28 August 2006


Born-Again Brain Teaser

God Squad lady: Praise Jesus! You won't be saved without Jesus! You have to start believing in Jesus to be saved! Jesus will always be there for you!

Suit #1: Would it be so awful if we pushed her out when the doors open?

Suit #2: No. Jesus will save her.

--4 train

great website. click on the title of the post.

check it out...

26 August 2006

#41 vs. #43

In a previous post, I mentioned the not so close relationship between George W, #43, and his father, George H, #41. Maureen Dowd has an op-ed up at today's New York Times entitled Junior Needs a Spanking. [subscription may be required]

As with so many things about this byzantine, Shakespearean relationship between father and son, reunited here at last for a wedding, a christening and a funeral this weekend, it’s an ironic turn of events.

The son was furious when the father was painted as a wimp in the 1988 campaign, and now he and his spinners are painting 41 as a weak leader. W.’s pain at what happened to his aristocratic dad with “the wimp factor” led him to overreact in the other direction when he became president, embracing a West Texas-tough, muscle-bound foreign policy that shunned diplomacy, nuance, compromise, multilateral treaties and allied coalitions as measures that reflected impotence.

And now it has led him to scapegoat his own father, and Bill Clinton, for sending signals of weakness that encouraged the terrorists — even as many Middle East experts say it is W.’s culturally obtuse, diplomatically averse and morally simplistic style that has spurred terrorism and made the world more dangerous.

definition -

Byzantine /bizantin, bi-, bizzn-, -teen/ • adjective
1. relating to Byzantium (later called Constantinople, now Istanbul), the Byzantine Empire, or the Eastern Orthodox Church.
2. excessively complicated and detailed.
3. very devious or underhanded.


Well now, the US and the world have been dealt from an underhanded deck of cards for the last five years: WMD's, insufficient intelligence data, b(p)lame-gate, & Gitmo are all examples. Culpability has been de rigeuer from this administration as a means of putting opponents in their place, along with the rhetoric of cowardly and unpatriotic. Intimidation is a calculating defense used by bullies in making their dominance felt by those they consider weak. It also is a way of displacing responsibility for one's own actions.

George W. operates from a base of power and might and "I am right..."

“They misread history,” said one Bush I foreign policy official. “43’s born-again background and lack of experience and simple view of the world made him think it was easy to define who the enemy is. But hope is not a policy — hoping to win, hoping to make a democracy. They came in with the philosophy that the U.S. was the most powerful country in the world and they could remake the world any way they wanted. Condi and others assumed that the Middle East would fall apart peacefully, the way the Soviet Union did, if given a chance. But the Middle East is a totally different place.”

What they failed to see was all of the nuanced goings-on behind the scenes for years by the Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. It was a relentless effort by many people, Republican and Democrat alike, to weaken the Soviet threat. The "bull in the china shop" approach has never really worked by an aggressor when an aggressee is a fanatic. They don't mind losing the china.

At this hazardous moment in world history, somebody has got to grab the stubborn, shuttered scion wearing the “43” windbreaker and talk some sense into him, the way Dwight Eisenhower did when he privately dressed down the young J.F.K. after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. And who better than his dad, that 82-year-old still demonically driving his cigarette boat around the Bay of Bushes?

I imagine that there is a story behind the relationship of #41 and #43 that will never be known. Regardless, the bond and the intricacies of the relationship between father and son has been argued, discussed, psychoanalyzed, dramatized, and studied for centuries. The link is strong even if it is one of love/hate as so often is the case. To repeat a phrase, it is very byzantine.

When I had done something egregious, I knew I was in for it because may father's line was, "The only thing you can do right now is breathe." It's probably the approach Eisenhower took to Kennedy. It is what is needed between George H and George W. Of course, #43 would possibly have to get away from his make-believe father - Dick Cheney - for anything to make a difference.

think about it...

22 August 2006

absolutely, positively...


You Are a Martini

There's no other way to say it: you're a total lush.
You hold your liquor well, and you hold a lot of it!

If it had come out as any other cocktail, it would have been the most bogus test ever. I LOVE martinis, especially cosmos or gin. When asked once how I like my gin, the answer was simple, "By the glass." That's a martini. Of course, up, chilled with a twist or a blue cheese olive makes it even better.

The lush part in the description is a fooler because I used to be a professional drinker - a bartender. It's difficult to turn down the offer of a drink from a customer when it puts cash in the register and a tip in your pocket! Consequently, no one knows what a lush I can be.

That reminds me of the time a bunch of us that tended bar was asked if bartenders were all alcoholics. My friend, Mary, without hesitating said, "Nah, we're just a bunch of drunks..."

What is that old adage? Oh...

Drinking problem?
I don't have a drinking problem.
I drink...
I stand up...
I fall down...
No problem!

so, What Mixed Drink Are You?

just asking...

20 August 2006

...what do you want to be when you grow up?

I always used to say "a typewriter."

Billy's Dad is a Fudge Packer!

little did I know that i had options...

17 August 2006

what's going on here (II)...

can anyone explain?

Suspect in Ramsey Case Says Death Was an Accident

garrote verb [trans.]: kill (someone) by strangulation, typically with an iron collar or a length of rope or wire; noun: a wire, cord, or apparatus used for such killing.
...doesn't sound accidental to me.

Judge Nixes Warrantless Surveillance

...can democracy be far behind?

Shoe Rapist kept store of stilettos as trophies

...wanna bet it wasn't a drag queen?

As the Airports Struggle to Adjust

...airports? what about all the people? ...a plane full of people with bad breath?

Hezbollah defeated 'gay' Israeli soldiers

hezbollah: "ORIGIN from Arabic hizballah 'Party of God,' from hezb 'party' + 'allah' (see Allah).
...what happened to "Don't ask, don't tell?" God knows everything.

Astronomers find space for three new planets

...hell, I'm still traumatized from it being pronounced /ˈjurənəs/ when I was taught it was /ˈjurānəs/ all my life!

and finally...

I wonder how many people agree with him?

just asking...

12 August 2006

The Unmentionables..

Last night I went to a play at Steppenwolf here in Chicago entitled The Unmentionables written by Bruce Norris. I'm not going to pretend to be a critic or write a review. That's not my purpose. Suffice it to say, it is a piece worth seeing. It is still playing through the end of August. I recommend it very much.

The first act is uproariously funny! The second act is very funny also but I got to a point where I found myself not laughing. It's not because it wasn't funny, but because it dealt with an issue that... that really put me into a funk that I'm still dealing with this afternoon. I'm not going to give you a synapsis but just set the scene so that you may better understand what has "challenged" me and that maybe you might understand the two exhanges in the second act that set me thinking.

The play takes place in an unkown country in Africa. The characters are either native to the country or Americans who are there for one of two reasons: 1) missionary work or 2) running a large successful business that makes lots of money. The native characters are a rebellious teenager, the Doctor, a governmental minister [Aunt Mimi] and two armed soldiers. The characters fit into their respective positions well.

Over the course of the first act the stage is set for the confrontations that happen in the second act. The young missionary disappears and everyone comes to think that he has been killed by either the teenager or the rebel organization of which he may be part. At any rate, they believe that the teenager knows what happened.

He, of course, refuses to say anything. Aunt Mimi, the minister, in what could be interpreted as how a backwater country would behave, believes that the only way they are going to get the boy to talk is through torture. There is much arguing back and forth between the characters but, being the country is a democracy, Aunt Mimi says they should decide it democratically with input from all and a vote.

The missionary's girlfriend goes into a rage at not just the thought of torture but the idea of voting democratically about it. The arguing continues while the voting is in process. This leads the Doctor to make the following observation:

"The biggest problem with democracy is that it takes too much time."

This is the point in the play that started my funk.

The second exchange happens very quickly after it. When the "vote" is a tie, the missionary's girlfriend goes into a tirade about what is happening and how it is being done. She screams,

"Where I come from we don't do this sort of thing."

Aunt Mimi looks at her, walks over to one of the soldiers, takes his tazer from him, walks back to center stage, holds the end of the device directly in front of her and reads,

"Made in Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A.."

and doesn't say another word.

These two exchanges have my head spinning round and round. The only time this morning that I didn't think about them was when I was at the gym. Otherwise, I can't get them out of my mind.

I cannot define what exactly is going through my head. I am disgusted? I am dismayed? I am distraught? I am.... I don't know.

The friend I went with also thought that the second act wasn't as funny but observed that people in the audience were still laughing. He wondered if it wasn't nervous laughter because of how close to home it hit. With the things happening in the political sphere in the U.S., it certainly hits close to home.

I also think that it may have touched a nerve for me about my pacifism. Since Vietnam, I have been an out and out unapologetic pacifist. I don't believe that anyone has the right to take another person's life for any reason whatsoever. I think of capitol punishment as legalized murder. I also believe strongly that no one has the right to do anything that can harm another person in any way.

At the same time, I have never been in the position where someone I love dearly has been murdered or harmed or killed, so, I have often wondered that if I were, would it change my mind. I don't know. I would hope that I would be able to stick to my belief no matter how difficult. I think this transferred over to the play. If someone I loved very much was missing, would I also think that torture would be acceptable. Again, I would hope that I would be able to say, "No."

I may also be feeling helpless in the face of all the things happening in the world. I have no say. I have no power. I have no alternatives. I have a core set of values in which I strongly believe, but what difference do they make?

what do you think?

just asking...

again, if you have a chance, go and see the play. it is well worth it.click here for tickets: Steppenwolf Box Office

before I get serious in the next post...

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.

The waitress asked kindly, "Crushed nuts?"

"No," he replied, "Arthritis."

is this what we all have to look forward to?

just asking...

11 August 2006

the logic...

of the Christianists and ultra-conservative right, I would like to say, baffles me. It doesn't. It actually escapes me. They believe in so much that is not in their dogma, doctrines, sacred writings, theology, etc., etc., etc. They purport to be the true followers of Jesus. They claim to hang on his every word. They maintain that people must heed the Bible literally.

They believe that God made all things. ALL THINGS!

If this is the real case than how can they deny this?

god made me an...

For the sake of argument, let's substitute the word athiest with each of the following:
a Jew
a Democrat
an Arab
a Catholic
a Gay
an African-American
a Lebanese
a liberal
a terrorist
a Lesbian
a Muslim
a Mexican
an Irani
[or add your own]

IF their God, in all of his/her wisdom, created all of these people, how can they deny, defame, decry, denounce, or destroy those who their God created?

just asking...

10 August 2006

too cute not to share...

Simon sez...

i couldn't pass this one up...

Simon sez, go ahead, tell me it didn't make you laugh...

haven't had a silly quiz in awhile...

What does your birth month say about you

my results... duh!

You scored as March. MARCH: Attractive personality. Affectionate Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody

created with QuizFarm.com

Filling out the quiz is really one of the silliest I've seen, but...

it's amazing how accurate the description is of the perception I have of myself.
well, except for the "hasty decisions in choosing partners." doesn't fit at all.
the rest........ kinda scary.
wanna try?

just asking.

if you're game, click here: What does your birth month say about you

09 August 2006

we came close once before...

The Christianists think that we are now at 158 on the Rapture Index they keep. They are overjoyous.

They are hoping that the Middle East crisis is the harbringer of the rapture they so desperately want to happen.

Here is a reminder for them about what would have to happen for their rapture to happen.

Nagasaki August 9, 1945
Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

Is it because they can't make the present meaningful to themselves that they hope that everyone dies?

Wouldn't they be surprised if when they are dead, they are just dead?

just asking...

03 August 2006

where have we heard this before?

Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General in the Bush cabinet, was before a Congressional Committee concerning the use of torture [White House Asks Congress to Define War Crimes, New York Times, August 3, 2006]. Senator McCain entered into an exchange with Mr. Gonzales regarding the use of testimony and information gathered through the use of torture, not only about its reliability but also its admissability in court:

The differences between the administration and the Senate were most pronounced when Mr. McCain asked Mr. Gonzales whether statements obtained through “illegal and inhumane treatment” should be admissible. Mr. Gonzales paused for almost a minute before responding.

“The concern that I would have about such a prohibition is, what does it mean?” he said. “How do you define it? I think if we could all reach agreement about the definition of cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, then perhaps I could give you an answer.”

The exchange reminded me of something I've heard before:

"It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is." –Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair.

In other words, it depends on what the meaning of "cruel" and "inhumane" and "degrading" is.

Cruel: is indifference to suffering and even positive pleasure in inflicting it. Wikipedia

Inhumane: cruel and savage, not humane Wikipedia

Degrading: to lower in value or social position Wikipedia

I checked several on-line dictionaries for the definition of each word. They said almost the exact same thing as Wikepedia.

What dictionary is Mr. Gonzales using?

just asking...

01 August 2006

Mel Gibson has the solution...

to all of the world's problems!

His people announced tonight that he has entered rehab after his little anti-semitic incident. Celebrities have been doing this forever.

Why hasn't anyone thought of this: Iraqis, Iranians, Americans, Lebanonese, neoconservatives, Chinese, Irsaelis, Canadians, liberals, Pakistanis, Indians, Indonesians, Christians, etc., etc., etc. should ALL go into rehab and everything will be all right!

Isn't the solution that everone who has a problem with addictive behavior immediately goes into rehab when they get caught?

[Usually people only think of addiction as alcohol or drugs, but isn't hatred and bigotry an addictive behavior?]

Again, why hasn't anyone thought of this as the solution to all the world's problems?

just asking...

the important life questions...

Iraq, abortion, same-sex marriage, Lebanon, stem cell research, Middle-East Peace, cure for cancer, elimination of AIDS, bird flu, Iran...

Here are a few things to think about that you probably have often wondered about. These should be the most important things to think about. [Some you may just need to ponder on a bit!]

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. . but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wiley E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head out the window?

Now, didn't that take your mind off of the list of things at the beginning of the post? Just for a little while?

just asking...