Friday, April 29, 2005
We should be a big tent, and we're pretty much tied together to be the party of hope, opportunity and fairness.
-- Senator Barbara Boxer, speaking of the Democratic Party (Time, 25 April 2005)
Because in a world where the Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy are out to ruthlessly stomp all of us into complete and utter submission, we need all the guys like this we can get.
Rock on, dude. Long may it wave.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Exxon Mobil posted a 44 percent rise in quarterly profit on high oil prices ... Net income in the first quarter rose to $7.86 billion ... (Quote from the International Herald Tribune)
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
Do the people of the good state of Alabama know what they voted for? Being told what you can read was a staple of the Goebbels media machine in Nazi Germany. (And yes, Jerry dude, it is censorship. Look it up in a dictionary. Are dictionaries acceptable? I bet they have words about queers in them. Uh-oh! They must go!)
Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" has lesbian characters.
Oh my God! Lesbian characters?!
Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is.
I bet he can't. (I know, that's a cheap shot, but these NewAgeNazis make my skin crawl.)
Librarian Donna Schremser fears the "thought police," would be patrolling her shelves.
"And so the idea that we would have a pristine collection that represents one political view, one religioius view, that's not a library,'' says Schremser.
Jerry can't define a "classic," I rather doubt he can define "library" either. In Jerry's world, a library is endless shelves of enriching tales like My Pet Goat, no doubt.
But in book after book, Allen reads what he calls the "homosexual agenda,"
and he's alarmed.
You know, generally speaking & all, people tend to see what they want to see. Jerry, honey, you married?
"It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for," says Allen. "And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."
They sure will. It's just that we're thinking of different groups of people here. You define "they" one way, and I define "they" as "go look in the mirror, buddy, you know you want to ..."
Is it too much to ask for protection against those who desire nothing more than to impose their rigid will and "value system" on the rest of us? At what point will this be a problem recognized for what it is, a particularly nasty form of theocratic fascism?
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
... his [Bolton's] raging-bull temperament is ideally suited to an organization steeped in global pettifoggers and oil-for-food pilferers.
The uncombed, untethered Mr. Bolton is fabulously operatic - the Naomi Campbell of the Bush administration, ready at a moment's notice to beat up on underlings.
Who doesn't want to see Old Yeller chasing the Syrian ambassador down the hall, throwing a stapler at his head and biting at his ankles?
Who doesn't want to see him foaming at the mouth - yes, it will be hard to tell - at the Cuban delegate over Castro's imaginary W.M.D.?
Further, he has done his best to dissipate the overwhelmingly sympathetic reaction of the rest of the world toward the US, post 9/11. Way to go, guy.
Now we have concrete proof that terrorism, far from being "well-handled" by the Bush regime, is actually spiralling ever-further out of control. The problem is, the numbers are so bad the State Department won't be including them in their report on terrorism.
Um. Does this make sense to anyone who is not a Bushie?
Look at some of the titles offered by Regnery, the right’s premier publishing house: Invasion Within: Overcoming the Elitists' Attack on Moral Values and the American Way; Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing Our Kids; Mugged by the State: Outrageous Government Assaults on Ordinary People and Their Property; Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage; Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity; Power Grab: How the National Education Association is Betraying Our Children; Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security .(Note to you folks: you guys control all three branches of government and most of the fourth estate, and have basically cowed the rest of the fourth estate into terrified submission. The victim card you play is counterfeit.)
As anyone who has listened to right-wing radio or tuned in to Fox News knows, the angry cry of the victim is the lexicon of the conservative media. As the novelist David Foster Wallace recently wrote in the Atlantic Monthly , “It is, of course, much less difficult to arouse genuine anger, indignation and outrage in people than it is real joy, satisfaction, fellow feeling, etc. The latter are fragile and complex, and what excites them varies a great deal from person to person, whereas anger et al. are more primal, universal, and easy to stimulate.”This is an excellent point. But I suspect that many of the rank and file that fall into the trap of agreeing with everything the "christian leaders" tell them are not smart enough to realize they're being used and had.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Isn't there anything we can do to stop this? Taxpayers are footing the bill for this insanity (yet many of them -- the ones that don't agree with Bush and most likely feel that he has no utter clue what he's talking about). It's a waste of money. It's money flushed down the toilet. Isn't there any way to get the guy to stop recklessly wasting money that isn't his to spend in the first place?
(Silly me, what am I saying? Why should he change now?)
Monday, April 25, 2005
A must read, filled with fascinating insights like:
(Boy, does that explain why some of my dates went so horribly wrong!)
It's every man's dream to have a penis so large that he must hire a small boy to carry it.
I can only imagine the condition of a society in which a comic featuring wet, well-trimmed, virile young man gazing romantically in a monkey's eyes could be published without raising some serious red flags.(Ditto!!)
Boy, I know I'm moved. Go USA! We're number one!
Such displays are especially moving when accompanied by those W04 or Bush/Cheney campaign stickers. I mean, the message is clear enough, isn't it? The zombies who embellish their wheels thusly, brains long since sucked away from too much Fox News viewing without protective tin-foil beanies, are stating their belief that to support the troops and to support the Bush regime is the same thing.
Those nutty peacenik liberals on the other hand want to "suppoort the troops" by bringing them home! What a nerve!
There is a long and damning article in today's New York Times about how our troops are being "supported" by the Bush regime. The article opens with:
On May 29, 2004, a station wagon that Iraqi insurgents had packed with C-4 explosives blew up on a highway in Ramadi, killing four American marines who died for lack of a few inches of steel.Of course, the folks that complacently put silly yellow magnets on their cars proclaiming their proud "support" won't be the ones reading the article and getting steamed at the way the Bush regime is pissing away the country's lifeblood. Of course, it's just the lifeblood of the poor, and they only count when they're unborn fetuses. But it bothers me. A lot.
The four were returning to camp in an unarmored Humvee that their unit had rigged with scrap metal, but the makeshift shields rose only as high as their shoulders, photographs of the Humvee show, and the shrapnel from the bomb shot over the top."The steel was not high enough," said Staff Sgt. Jose S. Valerio, their motor transport chief, who along with the unit's commanding officers said the men would have lived had their vehicle been properly armored. "Most of the shrapnel wounds were to their heads."
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Luddites, religious zealots and morons shaping our "science" sector seems to be taking a toll that, like much else in the Bush regime, will only become truly apparent at some future time.
(Going out on a limb, I expect the democrats to be blamed for this.)
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Good god almighty, is there any way the Vatican could be more out of touch with reality? If you aren't already shaking your head in amazement, take a deep breath and check this out.
Gee, I wonder what one wears to an Inquisition?
Of course, this was some years ago and one can only hope that the meds have kicked in since then, but one has to question the competentcy of an administration that makes such a nomination, and further (and ultimately more troubling), the republicans who will rubber stamp it. (Analogous to our current system of checks and balances is what occurred after Hitler stacked the deck back in the 1930s in Germany and from then on was allowed what amounts to a totally free hand.)
Within hours of sending a letter to US AID officials outlining my concerns, I met John Bolton, whom the prime contractor hired as legal counsel to represent them to US AID. And, so, within hours of dispatching that letter, my hell began.
Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel -- throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. For nearly two weeks, while I awaited fresh direction from my company and from US AID, John Bolton hounded me in such an appalling way that I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton, of course, then routinely visited me there to pound on the door and shout threats.
When US AID asked me to return to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in advance of assuming leadership of a project in Kazakstan, I returned to my project to find that John Bolton had proceeded me by two days. Why? To meet with every other AID team leader as well as US foreign-service officials in Bishkek, claiming that I was under investigation for misuse of funds and likely was facing jail time. As US AID can confirm, nothing was further from the truth.
He indicated to key employees of or contractors to State that, based on his discussions with investigatory officials, I was headed for federal prison and, if they refused to cooperate with either him or the prime contractor's replacement team leader, they, too, would find themselves the subjects of federal investigation. As a further aside, he made unconscionable comments about my weight, my wardrobe and, with a couple of team leaders, my sexuality, hinting that I was a lesbian (for the record, I'm not).
For me, someone more interested in the state of my country than in whether someone is a democrat or a republican, this whole charade of theocratic fascism intent on domination that is being played out under the guise of "democracy," this whole sorry situation has long since stopped being about politics. It's about what is right and wrong, about what it best for the country. Can anyone truly believe that the sort of thing we've seen -- just in the last week with the bankruptcy bill and the repeal of estate tax -- that the voting going on right now is in the best interests of the country? Does anyone elected as a senator or representative remember that his or her vote should be predicated by the best interests of the people they represent? Can I be the only person who feels her interests (health care, civil rights, the economy, disability rights) are increasingly unrepresented by those voted into office?
We're living under the most shameful display of non-democracy this country has ever endured and those elected to office should feel that shame, but their comfort and complacency get in the way. They're not hurting so that makes it okay? Shameful.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Read a wonderful deconstruction of what you really see in that ad here in a BAGnews post with the lovely title Spoil the Rod and Save the Child.
(And you can see a more honest version of the ad here. (There may be no place like home, but sequins do help dull the pain a little.))
This isn't going to make a bit of difference, but I'm crankly & depressed & fed up with the way things are going in what used to be my country and I wrote my senator and told him so. Here's what I wrote:
I'm writing to express my dismay over the way the legistlative branch (particularly the Republicans) have been voting recently.
I strongly and increasingly feel as if I have no representation in the system of the federal government. I don't feel my best interests are being taken into consideration, nor the best best interests of the vast majority of the "common man" (& woman) of NH. The bankruptcy bill and the repeal of the estate tax are two especially egregious examples (both last week!).
And I also cannot see how anyone can support John Bolton as our ambassador to the UN. It exists for a reason -- a failsafe against the failure of diplomacy. John Bolton is a failure of diplomacy.
I have been extremely disappointed with your "representation" of the people of NH. You certainly are not representing me.
As Herbert points out, last week was the 60th anniversary of FDR's death -- an event which went un-noticed by the Bush regime in their headlong dash to dismantle FDR's policies.
His [Roosevelt's] goal was "to make a country in which no one is left out." That kind of thinking has long since been consigned to the political dumpster. We're now in the age of Bush, Cheney and DeLay, small men committed to the concentration of big bucks in the hands of the fortunate few.Herbert goes on to quote from Roosevelt's last State of the Union speech:
...the president offered what should have been recognized immediately for what it was, nothing less than a blueprint for the future of the United States. It was the clearest statement I've ever seen of the kind of nation the U.S. could have become in the years between the end of World War II and now. Roosevelt referred to his proposals in that speech as "a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race or creed."As a nation, we lurched awkwardly and imperfectly forward toward ultimate attainment of those goals. Now, led as we are by small men whose goals are wholly self-serving, we are taking great strides backward and paving the way for China to gain the crown of Superpower of the World.
Among these rights, he said, are:
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.
"The right of every family to a decent home.
"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.
"The right to a good education."
Way to go!
Roosevelt was far from a perfect president, but he gave hope and a sense of the possible to a nation in dire need. And he famously warned against giving in to fear.
The nation is now in the hands of leaders who are experts at exploiting fear, and indifferent to the needs and hopes, even the suffering, of ordinary people.
"The test of our progress," said Roosevelt, "is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
Sixty years after his death we should be raising a toast to F.D.R. and his progressive ideas. And we should take that opportunity to ask: How in the world did we allow ourselves to get from there to here?
We allowed this surreal horror to unfold because we got too fat and lazy as a nation. For an average American like myself, I never had any interest in the minutiae of politics. I'd base my voting on what I read in newspapers or saw on the news. I didn't bother to do any more than that. I figured that all politicians were greedy & smarmy & generally not the kind of folks I wanted to waste my time knowing about. It took Bush and his illegal reign of terror (yes, reign of terror -- this man goes out of his way to play the "terror hand" at every opportunity, so that Judy & Joe Regular will have the bejesus scared out of them and allow Bush a free hand to do whatever he wants) to wake me up. And what I saw when I opened my eyes scared the bejesus out of me: bullies and bigots holding sway over the minds of a big chunk of our populace by playing to their "rights" (most of which include guns, for some reason) and natural "superiority." (Spend some time with RedState Harry and see firsthand how superior he is. I dare ya. Hitting his coffee-can spittoon 5 out of 10 tries is the highlight of his day as he polishes up his arsenel of guns and dreams of the day he can, by God, defend himself (probably against some pansy who wants to make a pass at him!) and be a hero and get a mention on Mr Limbaugh's broadcast.)
But you know what's worst of all?
We have small men "leading" us because we don't deserve the FDRs of the world any longer.
(btw, if you've not explored Sourceforge, it's home to some of the nicest and most innovation software available. Many of the abstract images I put up on the blog are created with Apophysis, which is also supported under the aegis of Sourceforge.)
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Top Democrats urged U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday to withdraw from an upcoming telecast organized by Christian conservatives that portrays Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's judicial nominees.A couple of comments here:
- why aren't republicans urging Frist toward a saner course of action? (if they're not, they sure should be ...)
- isn't it worth pointing out that the democrats have bent over backwards and jumped through hoops to approve the vast majority of Bush's judicial nominees (a higher percentage by far than Clinton, Bush I or Reagan)?
- this sort of thing isn't new -- back in the 1930s the right-wing priest Charles Coughlin accused President Franklin Roosevelt of being "anti-God" and attempted to inflame his flock of followers with lots of rhetoric to back up his claims; what is different, of course, is that Coughlin, though a powerful man of his time, held no political office.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
I've got a cat.
I've got a bottle of glitter
I've got a way to fund my retirement.
He has written an awesome and damning piece about Bush and his "principles" for the Harvard Crimson which was picked up by the Smirking Chimp. (And I found it via the excellent Sideshow.)
Thirty years ago, President Bush was my student at Harvard Business School. In my class, he called former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Class of 1904, a "socialist" and spoke against Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other New Deal innovations. He refused to understand that capitalism becomes corrupt without democratic civic values and ethical restraints.Dr. Tsurumi could easily have used the present tense -- refuses to understand.
Bush is the first president of the United States with a Master's of Business Administration (MBA). Yet, he epitomizes the worst aspects of America's business education.The whole thing is worth reading.
To privatize Social Security, he is peddling a colossal lie about its solvency. Furthermore, Bush, along with today's business aristocrats, shows no compassion for working Americans, robbing them to benefit big business and the very rich. Last year, due to Bush's tax cuts, over 80 of America's most profitable 200 corporations did not pay even a penny of their federal and state income taxes. Meanwhile, to pay for his additional tax cuts for the very rich, Bush is drastically cutting back several social services, such as federal lunch programs for poor children.
And I suppose it's too much to ask that someone in the MSM would actually query Bush about how he really feels about Social Security (& FDR for that matter)? He's been against Social Security and the New Deal programs for decades. Why does no one bring this up? The media should realize that when the truth of this rising tide of fascism becomes known to Judy & Joe Regular in the heartland that they too will be held accountable for their gutless lockstep march alongside the current regime.
Bush doesn't want to strengthen Social Security, he wants to eradicate it.
Big difference, you know?
It's also unconscionable that he is being allowed free rein to take his show on the road on taxpayer dollars to tout what amounts to propaganda.
This should never, ever be acceptable. Read up on your Goebbels, folks ... you can bet Rove did.
As a member of the younger of the two professions that are the focus of this book, I am not naive enough to be ignorant of the connection between them. The casting lots of Hollywood studios, full of actresses flaunting themselves in their Sunday best, are a sharp reminder of our fleshpit expendability. And one of my colleagues recently told me of a "meeting" with a producer that began with him stepping out of the shower with a towel hanging loosely around his groin. (Oddly enough, she never did tell me what happened next.)
Saturday, April 09, 2005
This is a great article and it deserves wider notice. It compares testimony before the House Armed Services Committee by Richard Perle from September 2002 and last week:
At the September 2002 hearing, GOP lawmakers joined in Perle's dismissal of Clark's argument that "time is on our side" in Iraq and that force should be used only as a "last resort."
He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA. "There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."
Why is no one in the current regime never willing to take responsibility for anything they've done? Who raised these people?
Friday, April 01, 2005
And I think I should also mention the Google Gulp, an idea whose time has come and who better to implement it than the good folks at Google?
Think fruity. Think refreshing.I bet it's wicked fizzy too.
Think a DNA scanner embedded in the lip of your bottle reading all 3 gigabytes of your base pair genetic data in a fraction of a second, fine-tuning your individual hormonal cocktail in real time using our patented Auto-Drink™ technology, and slamming a truckload of electrolytic neurotransmitter smart-drug stimulants past the blood-brain barrier to achieve maximum optimization of your soon-to-be-grateful cerebral cortex. Plus, it's low in carbs!
Via Raw Story: the Bush twins find gainful employment at last.
The whole darn page at American Street is worth a look. An excerpt from an article in favor of Social Security privatization:
Let’s discuss the imminent DANGER you are in. Social Security is falling apart. If we do not listen to President Bush and privatize Social Security, everything will fall apart next year. That’s right folks. Read this next bit carefully: I’ve done the math myself. If we do not privatize Social Security TODAY, the planet will LITERALLY implode on July 19th, 2006. Also, your grandmother will be cannibalized by heathens. In front of you. Tomorrow.Finally. A convincing argument!
Science News for the masses at Daily Kos. I bet you didn't know there was a (cylindrical) molecule called Arsole or a mineral called Cummingtonite (thus named because it was discovered in Cummington, MA, pull your minds outta the gutters here). There is also some great stuff about the IgNobel Prizes, too, including something I hadn't read about before but which makes perfect sense: see this article regarding the link between suicide and listening to country music. I would have read the pdf file about the coordination modes in the multisegmental dynamics of hula-hooping, but it's been some years since I've managed to be multisegmental, much less dynamic ...