30 April 2007

law day...

You have the right...

President Bush regarding Law Day:

Law Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Constitution and the laws that protect our rights and liberties and to recognize our responsibility as citizens to uphold the values of a free and just society."

No. Don't say anything. The president may be wiretapping you.

I'm sorry, Zay, but I had to post this verbatim. No one could have said it any better. This is from QT by Zay N. Smith in today's Chicago Sun-times.

monday morning mayhem...

because without a laugh to start the week, it might not work...

this week - information to slip into conversation, be it over cocktails or the negotiations table.

1. Trivial Pursuit...

Can you guess which of the following are true and which are false? Sharpen your pencils...

1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button.

3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years.

4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!

6. Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.

7. Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

8. Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.

9. The average person over 50 will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

11. The average housefly lives for one month.

12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day.

16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

17. The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.

18. The only two animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads are the rabbit and the parrot.

19 John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."

20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State Anthem.

21. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

22. Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash.

23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are used in vein transplant surgery.

25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.

26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.

Now, click on Comments for the answers...

2. totally useless information...
- At 300 pounds, William Howard Taft was the only US President to get stuck in the White House bathtub
- Taft also had a special re-enforced steel dinning chair.
- Hrand Araklein, a Brinks's car guard, was killed when $50,000 worth of quarters crushed phim.
- Donald Duck's sister is called Dumbella
- Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.
- Goofy had a wife, Mrs. Goofy, and one son, Goofy jr.
- Superman is in every Seinfeld episode (it's on a shelf in Jerry's apartment)
- The guy in the Darth Vader suit didn't know that James Earl Jones was doing the woice until the screenplay.
- Queen Elizabeth I had anthophobia -- the fear of roses
- Malcom Lowry had pnigophobia -- the fear of choking on fish bones
- Arnold Schonberg suffered from triskaidecaphobia, the fear of the number 13. He died 13 minutes before midnight on Friday the 13th.
- Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark. (Hence, the light bulb?)
- Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns.
- Bill Gates' first business was Traff-O-Data, a company that created machines which recorded the number of cars passing a given point on a road.
- Elvis was once appointed Special Agent of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
- There have been about a quarter of a million Elvis sightings since his death.
- When Einstein was inducted as an American, he attended the ceremony without socks
- Einstein couldn't speak fluently until after his ninth birthday. His parents thought he was mentally retarded.
- The average American has $104 in their wallet
- Mozart wrote the nusery rhyme 'twinkle, twinkle, little star' at the age of five.
- The airplane Buddy Holly died in was named the American Pie.
- Picasso's full name was Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso.
- The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's 'Its A Wonderful Life.'
- Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
- Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.
- Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of 'Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom.'
- Charles de Gaulle's final words were, 'It hurts.'
- Gilligan of Gilligan's Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired ppilot show. His first name was Willy.
- The skipper's real name on Gilligan's Island is Jonas Grumby. It was mentioned once in the first episode on their radio's newscast about the wreck.
- Sherlock Holmes never said 'Elementary, my dear Watson.'
- Aztec emperor Montezuma had a nephew, Cuitlahac, whose name meant 'plenty of excrement'
- Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep cool. ( He changed it every two innings)
- The only real person to ever to appear on a pez dispenser was Betsey Ross.
- Betsy Ross was born with a fully formed set of teeth.
- A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn't give her coffee.
- In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.
- Meteorologists claim they're right 85% of the time (think about that one!)
- Mike Neismith's (the guitarist of The Monkeys) mom invented White Out.
- Bruce was the nickname of the mechanical shark used in the JAWS movies.
- Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
- John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles.

and finally

- The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

3. IEDILF - Omnificient English Dictionary in Limerick Form...
A Mexican chef named Miguel
Loves to hear when his customers yell,
And the louder those screams,
Then the wider he beams;
His chipotles are hotter than hell.

The IEDILF is looking for help in providing entries to the dictionary. They're only up to the c's!

4. scary thought...

What if the
Hokey Pokey
what it's
all about?

Now, don't you feel smarter? Great pick-up lines in there also...

29 April 2007

Nietzsche on christianism...

The Christian resolve to find
the world evil and ugly, has
made the world evil and ugly.

The Gay Science, 1882

my presidential draft choice...


Here we are already discussing the future President of the United States in the Year 2008. Can you believe it?

Well, I have my own candidate; and I'm sure that once you know for whom I'm voting, you will also agree.

For those of you who would like another choice for President, I have the best solution:

It is probably time we have a woman as President. My choice, and I hope yours as well, is a very special lady who has all the answers to our problems.

PLEASE give it a thought when you have a moment...


Maxine w: flag

Very eloquently put..........
don't you think?

Some of her platform positions:
Maxine on "Driver Safety" "I can't use the cell phone in the car. I have to keep my hands free for making gestures.".......

Maxine on "Housework" "I do my housework in the nude. It gives me an incentive to clean the mirrors as quickly as possible."

Maxine on "Lawn Care" "The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless."

Maxine on "The Perfect Man" "All I'm looking for is a guy who'll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and then go away. Or wait nearby, like a Dust Buster, charged up and ready when needed."

Maxine on "Technology Revolution" "My idea of rebooting is kicking somebody in the butt twice."

Maxine on "Aging" "Take every birthday with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita."

On aging

"I'm telling you ... she's the perfect candidate."

Maxine Breathing

More stands on other issues:
The trouble with bucket seats are that not everybody has the same size bucket.

To err is human, to forgive: highly unlikely.

Maxine Burning Flag

Money can't buy happiness--but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than a Kia.

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching somewhere... you may be dead.

There's no one better for the job.



what's going on here (part XXIV)...

can someone, please, explain...

1. 'I Abhor Injustice,' Alleged Madam Says
Miz Julia was the pseudonym for Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the woman at the center of a sex scandal that has caused a deputy secretary of state to resign and has lawyers calling around town trying to keep their clients' names out of public view. A one-time law student, Palfrey ran for 13 years what she insists was a legal escort service. Federal prosecutors allege she was providing $300-an-hour prostitutes, and a grand jury indicted her in February on federal racketeering charges....

On Friday, Randall L. Tobias resigned as deputy secretary of state one day after confirming to Brian Ross of ABC that he had patronized the Pamela Martin firm. Speaking yesterday on "Good Morning America," Ross said Tobias told him Tobias's number was on Palfrey's phone records because he had called "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." There had been "no sex," Ross quoted Tobias as saying, and that recently he has used another service, "with Central American gals," for massages....
You see, if it ain't about money, then it's about sex. Oh, and by the way, though Mr. Tobias denies that there was any sex, he was K. George W's AID's Czar! Do massages count as abstinence? just asking...

2. New Noah's Ark ready to sail
SCHAGEN, Netherlands (AP) -- The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark was thrown open Saturday -- you could say it was the first time in 4,000 years -- drawing a crowd of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder.

Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.

Reckoning by the old biblical measurements, Johan's fully functional ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house. (Watch a tour of the replica Ark )

Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.
Some people have too much time on their hands. Some people have too much money and don't need anymore. [Did you notice the cash register in the video link? Think Noah had one too?] Some people will do anything for attention. Some people want everyone to believe as they believe only. Do you think the damn thing will even float? mmmmmm...

3. The Daddy Dilemma
YOU'D THINK that we have enough problems keeping fathers around in this country, what with out-of-wedlock births and divorce. But these days, American fatherhood has yet another hostile force to contend with: artificial insemination, or AI.

While the number of kids born as a result of the procedure (about 1 million so far in the United States) is still quite small, AI is having a disproportionate cultural and legal effect and is advancing a cause once celebrated only in the most obscure radical journals: the dad-free family.

Today's sperm banks provide lengthy online catalogs of donors, containing such basic stats as height, hair color, eye color and education, as well as results from personality tests for an extra fee. The sophisticated marketing of sperm banks, which appeals to single women and lesbians as well as infertile married couples, has coincided with what I call the "unmarriage revolution"— that is, the decoupling of marriage and child-rearing. The California Cryobank, the country's largest sperm bank, estimates that about 40% of its customers are unmarried women. The Sperm Bank of California says that two-thirds of its clientele are lesbian couples.
And the courts are going along with saying that the donor has absolutely no rights in the upbringing of the child. Activist judges? Hardly. It happened in Kansas recently. Now, the christianists don't seem to be taking any sort of stand on this that I could find, but where is their outrage on not only defending the traditional family but also on the attack towards the patriarchal nature of their religion? You don't even need a penis to have a baby anymore. where's the fun in that? oh, wait. It is technically part of Bush's abstinence policy...

4. Condoms Strike Fear At Iowa College
(Ankeny, Iowa) Several classrooms at Des Moines Area Community College were evacuated after college officials became nervous about a suspicious package.

College officials called police and postal inspectors after the box was delivered Thursday.

What they found inside wasn't a bomb - it was a box containing 500 condoms.

The package was sent to a teacher of a human sexuality class, and was sent by a person who had been a previous speaker at the class, said Rob Denson, the college's president.
See, I told you. Sex gets people's attention quicker than anything else. Oh? Do you think that this might have been a christianist conspiracy? it doesn't fit into their abstinence policy...

5. Actor calls daughter 'rude, thoughtless little pig'
A voice mail Baldwin left for his 11-year-old daughter, in which he can be heard calling her ''a rude, thoughtless little pig,'' was published Thursday by celebrity news site TMZ.com.
I was not going to touch this, but since I have a lot of experience with teaching 11/12-year olds, I have to say/ask, "Maybe she is a 'rude, thoughtless little pig'?" Most of them are, especially the girls. The boys will fight and break each other's jaws and then be best friends the next day again. The girls, on the other hand, go on and on and on and on... They rely on "he said, she said" tactics, refuse to pay any attention to reason, and show indignance when put to task. Am I lumping all 11/12-year old girls together with this? Pretty much so. When they turn 13 the vast majority stop behaving like this. [Go Figure. I've never been able to do so.] After teaching 5th & 6th grades for so many years, I had to ask a principal to please, please, please put me with a lower age group. My own puberty was bad enough. Going through it over and over with kids was starting to get to me. However, I do agree with one thing in the Baldwin situation: It should never have been made public. It is a private family matter and the person who made it available to the media should have their tubes tied so they never have (any more) kids. He/she is actually the "'rude, thoughtless little pig'!

Sources: 1. Washington Post, 2. CNN.com, 3. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, 4. 365gay.com, 5. Chicago Sun-Times

28 April 2007

2008 - time to change the way we chose a president...

Lewis Black first explains why he thinks there should be a change in how we do it then describes the best way to chose the leader of the free world.

Well, it certainly has just as much merit as how the choice was made in 2000 & 2004. think about it...

over-reaction or over-cautious...

A Chicago area high school student wrote an essay during a "free writing" exercise in his creative writing class that has people in an uproar. The essay is disturbing because of the graphic nature of violence and sex it contains. You can read the essay in its entirety here: Allen Lee's essay. The opening lines:
Blood sex and Booze. Drugs Drugs Drugs are fun. Stab, Stab, Stab, S…t…a…b…, poke. "So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone…, then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did." Umm, yeah, what to wright about…… I'm leaving to join the Marines and I really don't give a F... about my academics, so why does the only class that's complete Bull Shit, happen to be the only required class…enough said.
The result of his writing: 'Disturbing' essay gets student arrested
Allen W. Lee, 18, has been charged with disorderly conduct stemming from an essay that was part of a "free writing'' assignment in a creative writing class.
and though he had already been accepted by the Marines for an October start to his basic training the Marines drop essay writer.
He was "crestfallen" when his recruiter called him with the sad news Friday that Marine regulations say the criminal charge makes him ineligible, said his attorney, Dane Liozzo.
Two very important things to keep in mind about this case: 1) the recent Virginia Tech shootings and 2) Lee is Asian-American. Are the two related to this situation? You bet.

His essay mirrors, in a lot of ways, the things reportedly said and written by the VT shooter and the guilt by ethnic-association is sadly a great possibility.

Should they be related to this case? Yes, to the writings; no, to the ethnic similarities. People have been doing the ethnic comparison on Arab-Americans since 9-11-2001 to great harm. It's not only not fair; it's discriminatory. However, back to the over-reaction vs. over-cautious question -

Arresting the young man, in my estimation, for writing what was clearly following the directions of the assignment is a gross over-reaction. The only peace he disturbed is the teacher's and the school's administration. I don't see that he actually broke any existing laws in Illinois. The police in the community took this action on their own. The teacher and the school did the two things that they should have: 1) reporting the essay to administration & 2) immediately referring the kid for intervention/counseling to determine if he posed any kind of threat to himself or others.

The over-cautiousness, given all recent incidents of school shootings, was correct on the part of the teacher. The school administration acted properly, according to law, in its actions, including reporting it to the police. As a former Illinois public school administrator, I know that this is what is required by the School Code of Illinois. The police arresting the student was more than an over-cautious over-reaction. What they did is expose the student to unnecessary notice, that will soon be national I assume, and placed themselves in a very litigious situation regarding 1st Amendment issues.

And what about young Mr. Lee? Though he followed the requirements of the assignment, he seems bright enough to have realized that possibly the content he wrote just might have been inappropriate, especially in light of the VT shootings. With the national and international coverage of the incident he certainly could not have been totally ignorant of it. Also, there is one statement in his essay that points to culpability and what could be construed as poor judgment:
I'm leaving to join the Marines and I really don't give a F... about my academics, so why does the only class that's complete Bull Shit, happen to be the only required class…enough said.
He should have cared. He has been removed from the school, is being tutored offsite, may not participate in graduation ceremonies and has been dropped by the Marines. Such are the lessons we all learn in moving towards adulthood.

Free-writing or not, it not only was poor choice of content but also a poor choice of words. The Marines had to drop him by code because of the arrest. I am sure they may be also questioning his attitude and language towards authority as well.

Whatever... It's a mess all the way around, AND now that lawyers are involved, it's going to go to even deeper and higher levels. I hope the young man comes out of this not only learning a valuable lesson about adulthood but also as unscathed as possible, because at the bottom of it all his future and well-being should be tantamount.

27 April 2007

"major combat operations in Iraq have ended...

This is the new TV ad from Americans United for Change. If I wasn't such a cynic when it comes to K. George W, I'd believe that there is a chance.

After reading the actual bill [Congressional Record, April 24, 2007] being sent to him, I really don't know what his problem is with it. It gives him the slant he really wants and, in what could be more important to Bush, it takes him off the hook. [Check out Balkinization for an easier read and explanation of the bill.]

He still reminds me in nature and traits of a (re-covering)alcoholic and a pre-teen - You can't tell me what to do. Sometimes, I can do what I want to do. He's right. Sometimes he can, and for the most part he has been. However, his parents, the American people, are saying, This is one of those times that you can't do what you want any more. Just as a pre-teen, he needs to be grounded.

maybe for the rest of his life...


as with starting the week off laughing, why not end it with a laugh...

why women live longer than men...

this hurts even to watch.
makes me nervous for some of my friends.
i never take chances...

[p.s. that bridge is still for sale in new york. i checked it out when i was there last week...]

25 April 2007

"knowing what I know...."

Asked by ESPN.com whether the Tillmans' religious beliefs are a factor in the ongoing investigation, [Lt. Col. Ralph] Kauzlarich said, "I think so. There is not a whole lot of trust in the system or faith in the system [by the Tillmans]. So that is my personal opinion, knowing what I know." ESPN.com
What does Kauzlarich know? diddly s***...

Kauzlarich is the Army officer who led the first inquiry into Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan. The inquiry that didn't reveal that Pat Tillman died from friendly fire.

So this spin is that the inquiry is because the Tillman's are not christian and will never be satisfied because they don't believe in an afterlife!

Mary Tillman, Pat's mother responds:
"Well, this guy makes disparaging remarks about the fact that we're not Christians, and the reason that we can't put Pat to rest is because we're not Christians," Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, said in an interview with ESPN.com. Mary Tillman casts the family as spiritual, though she said it does not believe in many of the fundamental aspects of organized religion.

"Oh, it has nothing to do with the fact that this whole thing is shady," she said sarcastically, "But it is because we are not Christians."
Yesterday, we heard another soldier in Tillman's unit testify before a congressional committee that he was ordered to keep quiet about the nature of the incident.
Committee members heard from Specialist Bryan O’Neal, who was with Corporal Tillman when he died. Specialist O’Neal said he knew immediately that it was American troops that had killed his comrade and that he wanted to tell Kevin Tillman, who was a specialist in the same platoon, right away. But he was barred from doing so, he said, by his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey.

“I was ordered not to tell him what happened,” he said, explaining that it was made clear that he “would get in trouble.”
New York Times, April 25, 2007
Specialist O'Neal believes that he would not be alive today if it weren't for the actions Pat Tillman took right before he was killed, but he's probably not christian either now....

give me a break...

beyond comtemptable...

The two leaders of our country are really beyond contemptable. Not only are they proven liars, they are spinmeisters that put all others to shame.
Last November the American people said they were frustrated and wanted change in our strategy in Iraq. I listened. Today General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course. But the American people did not vote for failure, and that is precisely what the Democratic leadership’s bill would guarantee. George W Bush, Tuesday, April 24, 2007 via TPMcafe
He changed his strategy as the American people wanted? He increased [surged] the number of troops just like the people wanted? Is he delusional? The polls overwhelmingly indicate that the Ameriacan people want less and less, if not nothing more, to do with his fiasco. So now, he's blaming us for the continued failure of his dirty little war.

This was appropriate back in the 70's and it's appropriate today also:

[note: I originally had a video of three-five-zero-zero in this post, which is the source of dirty little war from the the musical Hair, but the person who posted it on youtube removed it. There was no explanation from the person. The one above is the finale of the movie. It works well also, in a different way.]

24 April 2007

Use of Wiccan Symbol on Veterans’ Headstones Is Approved...

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The title of this post is actually a headline from today's New York Times. It has taken 10 years for this to happen. Other religions have had approval within a few months. Why the difference? Here's a little background quote that gives a slant on the nature of the discrimination:
In reviewing 30,000 pages of documents from Veterans Affairs, Americans United said, it found e-mail and memorandums referring to negative comments President Bush made about Wicca in an interview with “Good Morning America” in 1999, when he was governor of Texas. The interview had to do with a controversy at the time about Wiccan soldiers’ being allowed to worship at Fort Hood, Tex.

“I don’t think witchcraft is a religion,” Mr. Bush said at the time, according to a transcript. “I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.”
I'm not sure if this puts Wicca a step above or a step below athiests? Wicca is centuries older than Christianity. It was one of the more prevalent religions that was surpassed by the myths du jour, ie Christianity, Islam, Judeaism, etc.

The question is, if the federal government was not allowing the Wicca symbol to be put on soldier's grave markers, did it, in fact violate the freedom of religion section of the First Amendment - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...? Athiests at least can put nothing on their grave markers.

23 April 2007

monday morning mayhem...

just a little late. i just got back from NYC this afternoon.

1. how to tell the sex of a fly
A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.
"What are you doing?" She asked.
"Hunting Flies," he responded: "Oh! Killing any?" She asked.
"Yep, 3 males, 2 Females," he replied.

Intrigued, she asked.
"How can you tell them apart?"
He responded, "3 were on a beer can; 2 were on the phone.
2. Reasons to Smile
Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America?

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Wow...that was fun!

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!

When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping," now I just "chunky dunk."

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?

Wouldn't you know it...
Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it.
So I said "Implants?" She hit me.

And remember: life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say, "Supersex."

She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, "Supersex."
He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup."

google, gaggle, giggle...

google maps works for getting directions!

Try this, and make sure to scroll down to direction #23 & #24:

1. go to www.google.com
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type New York in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type London in the second box (the "to" box) & hit "get
directions" on the same line
6. scroll down to step #23 & #24

hmmm? i just flew back from new york this afternoon. must keep this in mind & save this for later. i'm tentatively planning on going in september.

i wonder if it works from any other city?

18 April 2007

what's going on here (part XXIII½)...

someone really needs to explain this...

A head's up from AmericaBlog

Why does the Bush administration have a list of everyone who has ever used anti-depressants?
Guess what? They do. From ABC News, regarding the VA Tech shooter:

"Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government's files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search."

We don't even have a list of gun owners, and we have a list of everyone who has been prescribed anti-depressants? And in fact, the article suggests that this isn't just a database of patients who use anti-depressants, it's a federal database of every prescription drug you've ever bought.

What exactly do the Bushies do with that list? And what other lists do they have of which medications you've ever taken?
Here's the link to the original ABC story: Killer's Note: 'You Caused Me to Do This'

My first reaction was anger dealing with privacy issues. Then I realized that there is much more than privacy to this administration - it's economics. Who has access to these lists? The drug companies? Are the lists to help them determine their bottom line? If the pharmaceuticals have access, how secure is the information on each of us?

Then I realized that there also was a drug bill and a patriot bill that gave the bush administration the right to gather just about any kind of data that they want. Add to that the signing statements that King George gives himself the power to do what he wants, and we are in bigger and bigger trouble than we may think.

again, where is the outrage? how much power have the bushies actually given themselves? how much closer are we to 1984?

off again...

Though I normally would never post anything with Pavarotti*, this video really is apropos. I'm headed to New York for a long weekend to see opera (Turandot, il Trittico, Guilio Cesare) at the Metropolitain Opera, to do some shopping (Barney's and the new Tom Ford store are calling) and to visit friends. Though this video was made at Carnegie Hall, it's close enough to the Met.

I will post if I get a chance.

*Why would I not post Pavarotti? It's a preference thing on my part. I really don't think that he is that great of a singer, in technique especially. He had a great sound that is masked with power and charisma. Yes, he continued what Maria Callas put into place with bringing opera back as a major art form in the world and for that I am thankful, but...

If you notice in the video he is constantly looking at the stand while he is singing with Liza Minelli. It's not to read the music. He can't read music. He doesn't remember words. So his performances are either memorized, punted or cribbed.

I saw him do his first Otello at the Chicago Symphony with Kiri Te Kanawa. It was a concert version. He should not have been singing it. The opera is one of the most difficult in repertoiry.

In front of him was a giant black box. Afterwards, speaking with friends in the orchestra, they informed us that in the box was Pavarotti's little man. His own personal prompter who was not only helping him with the lyric but also the music because it's not easily memorized. He also spit eucalyptus all over Te Kanawa when they were doing the duets. Our friends told us that when they got to New York to do Otello at Carnegie, she finally blasted him in front of everybody.

I was one of the people who cheered when the audience at La Scala booed him when his voice cracked during a Don Carlo, another opera he should never have sung. He was well past his prime and the La Scala fiasco finally made him realize that he should retire and only do concert.

Yes, most everyone loves him. everyone except...

17 April 2007


I've been watching the PBS special series America at a Crossroads. If you're not aware of it, check the link or find out when it's on your local PBS station. It's not a one topic series, ie Iraq. It is a series of eleven shorter films dealing with different topics. Here is the description from the website:
America at a Crossroads is a major public television event premiering on PBS in April 2007 that explores the challenges confronting the post-9/11 world — including the war on terrorism; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; the experience of American troops serving abroad; the struggle for balance within the Muslim world; and global perspectives on America’s role overseas.
It's not easy to watch. It's graphic; it's honest; it's frustrating.

The graphic nature is not meant to be a scare tactic or to give it a liberal/progessive slant. It just tells the truth like it is. The MSM filters what it shows the American people. This series does not filter it. Of course, the American people don't want to see it either. Without a doubt, those who back the administration's positions are going to cry foul and label it as either liberal or Democratic propaganda. Maybe it is. The problem is: the camera does not lie.

Watching this, I am haunted by one accusation that we hear over and over from the Bush administration: that the liberals/progressives/Democrats do not want to win this war. Why am I flumoxed? I'm not really sure what we are trying to win.

Mssrs. Bush and Cheney repeatedly say we're fighting to safeguard America's borders from terrorists. That may have been true in 2001 but how accurate of a description is it today?
Not a single member of the White House can explain what a win in Iraq would mean. I hear a lot of comments like this war is keeping America free from attack. This is absurd! The same people pushing this spin are keeping our borders open to any terrorist who wants to strike us from within. How stupid do they think we are?*
We're trying to bring democracy to the Middle-East. It's been under theocratic and dictatorial forms of government based on religion for hundreds of years. How did invading Iraq help to spread democracy? It's a civil religious war in all but name only to everyone except the Bush administration. They will not or do not want to admit it.
Is it not possible to leave Iraq to the people involved and let them sort out their own democracy? It might mean that a civil war will be recognized (versus a civil war not recognized) and the winner takes all.*
There are many people who believe that we are in Iraq for the oil. If the US had access to all that oil, wouldn't that bring the price of fuel down? How would BP, Exxon, et al react to lower prices at the pump? They're showing larger profits than at any time in economic history. It's also cannot be factually backed up:
Despite claims by some critics that the Bush administration invaded Iraq to take control of its oil, the first contracts with major oil firms from Iraq's new government are likely to go not to U.S. companies, but rather to companies from China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. And Iraq's big oil contracts go to ...
Of course there are also the cynical reasons. The one that is the most absurd is to defeat Islam and spread democracy. The saddest one, and it probably is true for some people:
Many Conservatives that I communicate with on my own network of addresses tell me that they want to see the end of Islam in the Middle East. I’ve been told that Islam outnumbers us (whatever “us” is, or are) and it would mean a world war encompassing 80% of the nations on the planet. Another viewpoint is that the Middle East must be introduced (read “forced”) into a Democracy, which often means “mob rule.*
We hear that this administration lied to get the US into the war. There were no WMD's or even evidence of continued development.

Safety on US soil? Bush again yesterday said that the purpose it to secure the country's safety from terrorists. A reader on the Daily Dish today pondered:
I had a thought; if anyone can get a gun, and shoot people, even teenagers, and obviously psychotic people, then why haven't any Islamist terrorists done so?
The Revolutionary war was fought to secure freedom from a despotic government. The Civil War was fought to secure the Union from being torn apart. WWI was fought to stem the world conquering desires of the Kaiser. WWII was fought against the totalitarian regimes that wanted to conquer the world. The Cold War was fought to stop the spread of Communism.

Maybe we're fighting to bring down the price of oil? Maybe we're fighting to spread democracy? Maybe we're fighting to bring peace to the Middle East? Maybe, we are trying to save face for the United States, but how did we lose it to start? I'm not sure. As I said, "I'm flumoxed."

What do you all think? What is it exactly that we're trying to win?

16 April 2007

i've been memed...

and I do appreciate it very much.

Wayne, over at Wayne's World has awarded me with a Thinking Blogger Award

thinkingblogger award

So, Wayne, thank you very much...

As part of accepting the recognition there are three rules. One of the rules is to write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. Here are my five nominees who make me think when I read them. Please, give them all a look. They are well worth it.


Tony does a great job of providing amusement, but he hits topics that are varied and make one go mmmmmm...?

The Conjecturer

Josh is a young man trying to make a difference in the world. He has a great knowledge about things happening in Asia about which you don't find too much now a days. fascinating...

John Paul McCarty

John brings up issues and asks questions that are more than relevant in today's world. He has a perspective that is penetrating, open and honest.


His blog just tells things like they are - no holds barred. jimbo is quite the rugby enthusiast.

Do Buddhists Watch Telly?

Alistair Appleton is best known in the US as the host of Cash in the Attic on BBCAmerica. Just the title of his blog makes one think. He writes about journeying for self-enlightenment. He also has an extensive website - .....Alistair Appleton.....

I didn't realize that this was going to be so difficult. Not that I couldn't find blogs to nominate but narrowing it down to just five! I'm an incessant reader, not only of blogs but books, newspapers, magazine.... just about anything with words on it. Also, I discovered that a few blogs that I regularly read already had been given the Thinking Blogger Award. Please, give each of the a look. You'll probably keep going back again and again.

Again, thanks Wayne.


NYT: I.R.S. Audits Middle Class More Often, More Quickly...

Well, duhhh...
Middle-class Americans, listen up: the I.R.S. is much more likely to audit you this year. Those caught cheating can expect to pay about $4,100 more on average in income taxes.

Since 2000, authorities at the Internal Revenue Service have nearly tripled audits of tax returns filed by people making $25,000 to $100,000 as part of a broad change in audit strategy.

Audits of these middle-class taxpayers rose to nearly 436,000 last year, up from about 147,000 returns in 2000. For these 61 million individuals and married couples, who make up nearly half of all taxpayers, the odds of being audited rose from 1 in 377 to 1 in 140.
You don't expect George W is going to do any inverstigating of anyone who gave his campaign large support or friends who made lots of money or corporations to whom he gave large tax deductions, do you?

and what's the administration's excuse, err... reason?
Kevin Brown, the I.R.S. deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said the audits “were out of whack” in 2000, with far too little attention paid to the middle class and to the very highest income generators, those making $1 million or more. “We try to run a balanced audit program,” Mr. Brown said.

But even with the stepped-up scrutiny of middle-income taxpayers, they still are less likely to be audited than those earning more — and those earning less.

For taxpayers with incomes above $100,000 the odds of being audited in 2006 were 1 in 59; above $1 million, the odds increased to 1 in 16. People in lower income brackets — those reporting incomes below $25,000 — faced a 1 in 94 chance of being audited.

uh huh... Is that because there are so fewer people above the $1 million dollar level and people below or at the poverty level break the law more often or get caught more often?

just asking...

[related editorial from today's NYT: Cleaning Up the Alternative Tax: quote - The alternative tax should be reformed so that it does what it is supposed to do: make wealthy taxpayers with excessive tax shelters pay up.]

monday morning mayhem...

start the week off with laughter

1. new medication...

2. new t-shirt imprints...

I'm confused

Dyslexics Untie



3. voted best joke in Ireland 2006...
John O'Reilly hoisted his beer and said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, between the legs of me wife!"

That won him the top prize at the pub for the best toast of the night! He went home and told his wife, Mary, "I won the prize for the Best toast of the night" She said, "Aye, did ye now. And what was your toast?" John said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife."

"Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!" Mary said. The next day, Mary ran into one of John's drinking buddies on the street corner. The man chuckled leeringly and said, "John won the prize the other night at the pub with a toast about you, Mary."

She said, "Aye, he told me, and I was a bit surprised myself. You know, he's only been there twice in the last four years. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come."

4. Jamie listens to the sermon closely, very closely...
"Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust."

He would have continued, but at that moment my very obedient four-year daughter who was listening very intently leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little-girl voice, "Mommie, what is 'butt dust'?"

15 April 2007

what's going on here (part XXIII)...

can someone, please, explain...

1. Abstinence programs take hit
STUDY | Students taking part just as likely to have sex
Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, according to a study ordered by Congress.
Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes that were reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes. And they first had sex at about the same age as other students -- 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc.
Kids who were going to abstain before the program still abstained; kids who were going to have sex before the program still had sex. If there was no difference, why was $179 million dollars spent annually since 1999? That's a total of $1.4 billion that could have gone to Social Security, Medicare, environment, poverty..., and kept the federal government out of our bedrooms. those christianists sure have a fixation on sex. don't ja think?

and while were on the subject of sex...

2. Administration Blamed For Rise Of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea
A national HIV/AIDS activist organization says that the Bush administration is to blame for a major increase in the number of drug-resistant cases of gonorrhea.

“The Bush administration’s response to STDs in the US has ranged from apathetic to actively harmful," Sean Barry, Director of Prevention Policy for the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project said in a statement.

The organization blames the administration, and the formerly GOP-controlled Congress of under funding HIV education and the promotion of Abstinence Only programs in schools.
There has been lots of research on the spread of HIV & STD's for many years. Prevention is the number one way to combat them. Granted, abstinence is one form of prevention and the most effective. However, humans that we are, that doesn't always work. Well, sometimes it never works. There has to be at least equal treatment and funding on medical cure and prevention. Though the christianists probably want to make abstinence mandatory, with almost 302,000,000 people in the US, I think that it is an improbability, even though George Orwell foretold it as possible in his novel 1984. I wonder if 1984 is on the required reading list at Pat Robertson's Regent's University? hmmm...

[Note: Bill Maher on his Friday night show gave his perspective on Regent's U. and the DoJ scandal. Check it out on AmericaBlog.com. I love his new name for George W: President Shit-for-Brains!]

3. JAG lawyer: Military commissions avoid the law
THE LAWYER who won a key U.S. Supreme Court ruling on behalf of a former driver for Osama bin Laden has concluded the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay were created for a single purpose—to secure and use evidence obtained by coercion and torture.

That intent makes the creation of military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees “revolutionary,” the lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. Charles D. Swift, told Emory University law students and faculty this week.

The purpose of military commissions is “bringing law to a lawless place,” Swift said. But their use at Guantanamo is intended not to enforce established U.S. and military law, “but rather to avoid the law and any attempts of defense counsel to bring it back,” Swift added.
The right to open and free trials goes back hundreds of years in history to England and the Star Chamber. It was a secret court used by the Stuarts and previous kings to remove their political enemies. Besides secrecy it extensively relied on testimony that was coerced by torture with the accused not even being able to confront evidence or accusers. The commission that Lt. Cmdr. Swift is referring to is known as the Combat Status Review Tribunal under the Bush administration's pursuit of terrorists, and the trials are held mostly at Guantanamo. The Star Chamber was abolished in 1641. The US founding fathers had it directly in mind when they incorporated the right of habeas corpus into the Constitution. What is the thing that George Santayana said? Oh, yeah. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Wait, I forgot, George W slept through his history classes...

4. Russian Police Vow To Crush Planned Opposition Rallies
Russian police today said they would crack down harshly on attempts to hold unauthorized opposition rallies planned for April 14 in Moscow and April 15 in St. Petersburg, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported.

Metal police barricades have been erected on the central Moscow square where the March of Dissent is planned.

Special police forces, the OMON, are being deployed to the capital.

Chess star Kasparov fined over Russian protest
Riot police beat and detained protesters as thousands defied an official ban and attempted to stage a rally Saturday against President Vladimir Putin's government, which opponents accuse of rolling back freedoms Russians have enjoyed since the end of Soviet communism.

A similar march planned for Sunday in St. Petersburg has also been banned by authorities.

A coalition of opposition groups organized the "Dissenters March'' to protest the economic and social policies of Putin as well as a series of Kremlin actions that critics say has stripped Russians of many political rights. Organizers said only about 2,000 demonstrators turned out.
One of the protesters was Gary Kasparov, former World Chess Champion and Grand Master. No wonder Bush said of Putin: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul. - they're soul mates and both champions of democracy...

5. World-Class Violinist Joshua Bell Overlooked at DC Rush Hour
The Washington Post conducted a fascinating experiment in mid-January. They placed world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell at the entrance to the L'Enfant Plaza Station in Washington, DC to conduct a little experiment. Would hearing a world-class violinist inspire commuters to stop and look up from their morning rush, or would they soldier on, ignorant of the Grammy-winning musician who has played with nearly all of the world's major orchestras? The results were an exercise in music appreciation and context:
In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look."

Stacy Furukawa, a demographer at the Commerce Department, was the only commuter to recognize Bell.
Why would anyone be surprised? Most probably had on their iPods, were rushing to work, and used to hearing/seeing this sort of thing every day. I probably would have done the same thing. At least I think I would. More often than not when a Joshua Bell piece comes on the radio, I can recognize that it is him. There is just something about his technique and sound that strikes me. I've seen him in person but I can't watch him for very long. He makes the strangest faces when he plays, it's annoying to me. So, next time I hear someone singing/playing I'm going to stop and look and appreciate the music they are giving to the world. Hey, it might even be Joshua Bell. Seems he found a new venue to try out pieces.

Sources: 1. Chicago Sun-Times, 2. 365gay.com, 3. The Daily Report, 4. Radio Free Europe & ctv.ca, 5. Towleroad

14 April 2007

so up-tight...

The majority of people in the US tend to be just that way -- up-tight. They are too unaccepting of the unusual, too questioning of anything interpreted as not normal, and so inflexible with the unexpected that the fun is missing a lot of the time. The Europeans, on the other hand, like to have a good time. Maybe it's because they have a secular society as Benny XVI is often decrying.

One of the best examples of this is the annual Eurovision Song Contest. The first time it was held was in 1956! Each country in the European Broadcasting Union submits a song on which the people of the country has voted as their best entry. All songs are then broadcast live throughout Europe and the people then vote for the best of all. Think of it as American Idol done right.

The thing is, each year the songs have gotten more and more outrageous as have the productions. It's a fun time for everyone. Check out the entry from little ole Denmark in this year's competition and tell me you didn't start tapping along.

Drama Queen

Check out the eurovision.tv website. it's fun...

13 April 2007

let's start the weekend with some fun...

because we deserve it...

strike a pose...

what number is it...

#3: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
#9: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
that Monica Goodling is afraid of breaking by refusing to testify in Congress and calling on the Fifth Amendment?

If she swears "...so help me God," in the oath required, she could be breaking #3. If she testifies or refuses to testify, she could be doing one of two things: lying about what she knows or omitting what she knows.

The first would be a sin of commission - ... a positive act contrary to some prohibitory precept. The second would be a sin of ommission - a failure to do what is commanded. A sin of omission, however, requires a positive act whereby one wills to omit the fulfilling of a precept, or at least wills something incompatible with its fulfillment. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Sin

So in the sin of commission, she would actively be committing the sin if she swears and lies. In the sin of ommission, she could still be lying if she pleads the 5th because she would be commanded by law and oath to tell the truth.

I wonder what the classes dealing with the 5th Amendment teach at Regents University School of Law? Would the discussion be about sin or protection from "self-incrimination?" AND what laws are they actually learning?

just asking...

agenda, agenda...?

Let's talk about who has an agenda.

The christianists constantly employ the use of amorphous phrases such as the liberal agenda, a homosexual agenda, and an anti-christian agenda as a tactic to incite fear, and they hide behind the conservative agenda. But who has the the biggest agenda?

Yeah, right, the christitanist agenda. And what is that agenda?
The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.

But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to “dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.” And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge.
For God’s Sake, Paul Krugman, New York Times op ed, Friday, April 13, 2007
Please, read the entire op ed by Krugman by clicking on the link. It succinctly puts into perspective what's been going on not just for the last 6 years but for the last 26 years.

Can anyone say that no one hasn't seen it coming? How did it get this far? AND, though it hasn't been widely spotlighted to date, as Krugman points out, do people realize that the US is in the midst of possibly not only its biggest constitutional crisis but also in a civil war? One that is splitting this country not just apart but into many different segments? A war based in words rather than organized bloodshed?

A religious civil war...

I don't usually take on the role of alarmist, but I think I have referred to this in at least one previous post. If you are not familiar with Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, now, more than ever, people should be aware of it. It scared the sh*t out of me in 1985, again with the movie in 1990, and even more so today. It's been transforming into a possible reality, one step at a time. Could armed camps become a reality?

just asking...

11 April 2007

no obfuscation here...


He's following the law too. He's on a leash and walking himself. This dog's a lot smarter in more ways than one...

new blog title...

kinda, sorta...

I've been debating for awhile about changing the title of the blog. I've been blogging no matter what... since January 2005. The content has evolved. My cynicism has reawakened, dozed off and then reawakened again.

When I looked back over the last two year's of blogs, I realized that in addition to adhering to my intitial goal of spreading my belief that everyone has the right to be, say and do whatever is right for them - as long as it does not physically harm another person - there has been a current of seeking out the hypocrisy and getting people to ask questions by thinking about things in ways from many and different perspectives, not just one.

Rather than changing the title completely, I realized that the one I was considering actually fit with no matter what.... Hence the original title + the new one =

no matter what... eschew obfuscation

So, what does it mean?

The phrase eschew obfuscation is a bit esoteric and arcane, and that's the point of it. A little vocabulary lesson:
eschew /es chü/ verb: to avoid, to shun
obfuscation /ob'fu skā shən/ noun: the act of rendering obscure, unclear, or unintelligble
To put the meaning in a clearer form - no matter what... avoid being unclear...

and have we had a time dealing with that for the last several years. As a point of reference: April 9, 2003. The reasons for invading Iraq are the height of obfuscating, lie after lie, spin after spin, revision after revision.

The phrase eschew obfuscation has personal history also. Working in education, one of the biggest problems of teaching is making things clear for all students. When you have students gaining information in different modalities, processing it in several learning styles, and understanding it with different abilities, it can be very difficult when there are 25 - 30 kids in front of you.

Also, if you stop and think about it, relationships rely heavily on eschewing obfuscation. When two people, or more for that matter, are being unclear either inadvertently or on purpose all kinds of misunderstanding can happen. So, yeah, I've obfuscated at times and paid the price. [I have the t-shirt to prove it!]

In a way, whether it's a personal relationship or a problem between two countries, obfuscation of some sort will probably be at the base of it.

What we need then is to eschew obfuscation.

and they still have that bridge in New York for sale...

a misnomer...

Global warming is actually a misnomer - a wrong or inaccurate name or designation.

When people hear it they're thinking, "It's gonna get hot." Yes, it's going to get hot, but in the wrong places. All of the talk of the warming is pointing to places like Antactica and the Artic: the massive icebergs falling off of the glaciers; the giant ozone hole at the bottom of the earth. This is causing a major problem for the rest of the world but not necessarily with it getting warmer. Yes, there will be droughts and great heat but what about the rest of the world? Not every place will become overheated.

What it is actually doing is playing havoc with weather patterns, seasonal changes, moisture levels, violent storms, etc.

In Chicago today we have had a snowfall, actually more slush than snow, and we're into April. One commenter on a blog wanted to know where the global warming was. We had warm weather - in February & the beginning of March - 70's. That's unusual. We're having snow today. That's unusual too but not unheard of.

The naysayers on global warming are pointing to the literal act of warming and say that they aren't seeing it. That's not what it's all about. It's much more complicated than this. The Earth is a very large space, no matter how small it seems at times, and has an enormous range of climate differences. Not all are going to be effected in the same way.

The problem is that no one really knows what's going to happen in the long run.

That may be the greatest misnomer. If the experts don't really know what's going to happen and the naysayers are wont to admit that the phenomenum actually exists, will it be too late to do anything about it?

for more information: An Inconvient Truth

10 April 2007

the spin...

al Sadr calls for demonstration against the occupiers after telling both Sunis and Shiites to oust them with violence.

The spin from the White House - Democracy at Work.

What am I missing here? How does this support the troops? When did the US start advocating democracy through violence?

oh, wait... four years ago.

09 April 2007

monday morning mayhem...

this weeek, a tribute to the wiser folk among us...

1. elderly pre-nup...
An elderly couple in their 80's were about to get married.

She said: "I want to keep my house."

He said: "that's fine with me."

She said: "And I want to keep my Cadillac."

He said: "That's fine with me."

She said: "And I want to have sex 6 times a week."

He said: "That's fine with me... Put me down for Fridays!"

2.heart exam...

Heart exam

3. sleeping in church...

Sleeping in Church

4. whatever Lulu's grandma wants...
Lulu was a prostitute, but she didn't want her grandma to know.
One day, the police raided a whole group of prostitutes at a sex party in a hotel, and Lulu was among them. The police took them outside and had all the prostitutes line up along the driveway when suddenly, Lulu's grandma came by and saw her granddaughter.

Grandma asked, "Why are you standing in line here, dear?"

Not willing to let her grandmother know the truth, Lulu told her grandmother that the policemen were passing out free oranges and she was just lining up for some.

"Why, that's awfully nice of them. I think I'll get some for myself," Grandma said, and before Lulu could stop her she proceeded to the back of the line.

A policeman was going down the line asking for information from all of the prostitutes. When he got to Grandma, he was bewildered and exclaimed, "Wow, still going at it at your age? How do you do it?"

Grandma replied, "Oh, it's easy, dear. I just take my dentures out, rip the skin back and suck them dry."

The policeman fainted!
(I couldn't help it. This one made me dizzier than usual, literally, when I read it.)

see what we all have to look forward to when we are members of the wiser folk. I can't wait.

Ohhhhh... I'm almost there...

08 April 2007

what's going on here (part XXII)...

can someone explain...

1. North Koreans Arm Ethiopians as U.S. Assents
Three months after the United States successfully pressed the United Nations to impose strict sanctions on North Korea because of the country’s nuclear test, Bush administration officials allowed Ethiopia to complete a secret arms purchase from the North [Korea], in what appears to be a violation of the restrictions, according to senior American officials.

The United States allowed the arms delivery to go through in January in part because Ethiopia was in the midst of a military offensive against Islamic militias inside Somalia, a campaign that aided the American policy of combating religious extremists in the Horn of Africa.
All right. The US assents. Why? Because the Ethiopians are fighting the Islamic fundamentalists in Somalia. North Korea, part of the axis of evil. The Bush administration talks out of both sides of its mouth - at the same time. For what reason? They are so transparent...

2. Al-Sadr to followers: Fight Americans, not Iraqis
A powerful and radical Shiite cleric implored his followers Sunday to stop killing Iraqis and focus their violent efforts on ousting American forces from the war-torn nation.

Muqtada al-Sadr also called on Iraqi forces to join the insurgents in the battle against "the occupiers."
What is the effect of the surge? It's working; it's workng; it's working. Right, and that bridge in New York is still for sale. Could it be that Iran is really the one who wants to buy it? just asking...

3. Iraqi insurgents recruit among U.S.-held detainees
U.S.-run detention camps in Iraq have become a breeding ground for extremists where Islamic militants recruit and train supporters, and use violence against perceived foes, say former inmates and Iraqi officials.
Yes, yes... The surge is working. But for whom?

4. Iraqi Insider Details U.S. Mismanagement
In a rueful reflection on what might have been, an Iraqi government insider details in 500 pages the U.S. occupation's "shocking" mismanagement of his country _ a performance so bad, he writes, that by 2007 Iraqis had "turned their backs on their would-be liberators."

"The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order," Ali A. Allawi concludes in "The Occupation of Iraq," newly published by Yale University Press.
and the Iraqis are very, very grateful for that. They are enjoying the surge to no end. got that right - no end...

5. Guantanamo hunger strike staged
Scores of detainees at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have begun a hunger strike, human rights lawyers have said.
The prisoners, many of whom have been held for more than three years without charge, are believed to be demanding an immediate trial or release.

Lawyers for the detainees say about 200 are refusing all food. Military officials put the number at 76.
The New York Times is reporting that the hunger-strikers are being force fed. However,
A military spokesman at Guantánamo, Cmdr. Robert Durand of the Navy, played down the significance of the current hunger strike, describing the prisoners’ complaints as “propaganda.”
Excuse me? Wouldn't some people say that Guantanamo is US propaganda itself? Oh, and the detainees are the ones fighting for habeas corpus?

So, I have to ask. Where is the outrage? Where is the disgust? Where is the fight to protect the Constitution? Are only the detainees demanding it?

Sources: New York Times, cnn.com, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, BBC NEWS

hop, hop, hoppity...


don't put all of your eggs in one basket...

walk softly and carry a big carrot...

everyone needs a friend who is all ears...

there's no such thing as too much candy...

all work and no play can make you a basket case...

a cute little tail attracts a lot of attention...

everyone is entitled to a bad hare day...

let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits...

some body parts should be floppy...

keep your paws off other people's jellybeans...

good things come in small sugarcoated packages...

the grass is always greener in someone else's basket...

an Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare...

to show your true colors you have to come out of your shell...

the best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

remember - you always bite the ears off first...

07 April 2007

kill 'em with kindness & love...

An op ed in this morning's New York Times by Robert Wright entitled Easter Sermon makes a point I've referred to on a few occassions.
Consider a teaching of Jesus that seems on its surface devoid of strategic import. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Christians often cast this verse as innovative, a sharp break from Jesus’ Jewish tradition. But the same idea can be found in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament), and here it is clear that the point of the kindness is to thwart the enemy: “If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads.”
This was the major stepping off point for a little unkown radical group called Christians two thousand years ago that helped bring about the fall of the mighty Roman Empire. A small group with the radical idea of love over all - and the peace it brings.

The world is facing another of those small unkown groups - radical islam. Here's the money quote from the op ed that sets it all in perspective:
The ultimate in viral marketing was Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Deemed a threat to the social order, he was crucified under Roman auspices. But the Romans forgot one thing: If you face a small but growing movement that threatens the imperial order, you shouldn’t attack the men in ways that help the memes.

Mr. Bush says his favorite philosopher is Jesus. One way to show it would be to spend less time repeating the mistake of the Romans and more time heeding the wisdom of Christ.
George W has done everything to keep the radical islamists in the limelight, proven every idea they have concocted against the west, recruited more and more believers to their cause, and given them the ability to keep the focus on the cruelty that the US spreads.

George W acknowledges that he was not a good student. I guess he slept through most of his history classes. Don't you think that insead of clearing brush and parasailing at his ranch this week he should be reading Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? just asking...

06 April 2007

let's start the weekend with some fun...

A koala was sitting in a gum tree...... smoking a joint

Smoking Koala

when a little lizard


walked past, looked up and said,

"Hey, Koala! What are you doing?"

The koala said,

"Smoking a joint, come up and have some."

So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a few joints.

After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was "dry" and that he was going to get a drink from the river.

The little lizard was so stoned that he leaned too far over and fell into the river.

A crocodile


saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard,

"What's the matter with you?"

The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he was sitting smoking a joint with the koala in the tree, got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink.
The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest, found the tree where the koala was
sitting finishing a joint. The crocodile looked up and said,

"Hey you!"

Stoned Koala

So the koala looked down at him and said,

"Shiiiiiiiiiiit dude.....
How much water did you drink?!!"

04 April 2007

promote the general welfare...

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
A couple of questions: What does promote the general welfare mean? To whom's general welfare is it referring? Is anyone excluded from the general welfare?

The Bush administration has taken stand after stand in favor of big business and big government time after time, at the expense of the general welfare for individual citizens. Look at the EPA, the DoJ, and Medicare/Medicaid.

SCOTUS yesterday said that the federal government has the right and responsibility to maintain and reach safe levels of hothouse gases. Bush's response: we're doing enough already. The general welfare is not being promoted allowing continued pollution levels.

The DoJ, or specifically Bush's political appointees, last year interfered with a federal lawsuit against Big Tobacco. It ordered the US attorneys handling the case to lower the sought after settlement and placed strictures on the course of action they should take in conducting the case. The general welfare is not being promoted by tying the hands of jurists in seeking to regulate not only a proven health issue but also another pollutant.

Medicare and Medicaid are on the horizon for millions of baby boomers and in the forefront of the minds of current retirees. They have seen their coverage more controlled and their contributions heightened. Funding is in question for future retireees. In addition, Social Security is in dire problems and could even disappear. The general welfare is being totally ignored when lip-service is the only thing addressing these issues.

In addition, certain groups are being specifically excluded from the general welfare when the Bush administration's base is fighting to exclude them from federal hate crimes legislation, specifically a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The present law only specifies race, religion or ethnic background. Clearly, there are people/groups who fit into other or broader categories. What is the problem with including everyone in support of the general welfare?

So, again: What does promote the general welfare mean? To whom's general welfare is it referring? Is anyone excluded from the general welfare?

just asking...

03 April 2007

etymological lesson...

verb: take or claim for oneself without justification
ORIGIN: mid-16th cent.: from Latin arrogat- 'claimed for oneself,' from the verb arrogare

verb: formal repeal or do away with (a law or agreement)
ORIGIN: early 16th cent.: from Latin abrogat- 'repealed,' from the verb abrogare, from ab- 'away, from' + rogare 'propose a law.'

USAGE: The verbs abrogate and arrogate are quite different in meaning. While abrogate means 'repeal (a law),' arrogate means 'take or claim (something) for oneself without justification,' often in the structure: arrogate something to oneself; as in The committee arrogated to itself whatever powers it chose.

adjective: having an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
ORIGIN: late middle English: via Old French from Latin arrogat- 'claiming for oneself,' from the verb arrogare (see abrogate)

*signing statements, USA firings, the surge, unamerican liberals, bush?

just asking...

*see post below for other examples and a good laugh...

from multiple dictionary sources: Cambridge Dictionaries Online, The American Heritage Dictionary, Oxford American Dictionary

bush collector plates...

This is from Bill Maher's Real Time, Season 5, Episode 7. Nothing else needs to be said? does it...?

02 April 2007

what's going on here (part XXI)...

can someone explain...

1. New Generation of Qaeda Chiefs Is Seen on Rise
As Al Qaeda rebuilds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, a new generation of leaders has emerged under Osama bin Laden to cement control over the network’s operations, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials....

Top American officials said that, despite the damage to the structure of Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks, concern is still high that the group is determined to attack globally.
There is an Aesop fable that immediately comes to mind. This is the end:
"We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the youth, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"
Sad, isn't it, that we have become a country who operates at two extremes: fear for the worst and doubtful of a possibe reality? My father always told me to never tell a lie - no one believes the truth anyway...

2. Supreme Court Denies Guantanamo Appeal
he Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from Guantanamo detainees who want challenge their five-year-long confinement in court, a victory for the Bush administration's legal strategy in its fight against terrorism.
This is not as bad as it seems.
The victory may be only temporary, however. The high court twice previously has extended legal protections to prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Cuba....

At issue is whether prisoners held at Guantanamo have a right to habeas corpus review, a basic tenet of the Constitution that protects people from unlawful imprisonment....

But the administration said that because of changes in the law since 2004 there was no need for the justices to hurry. Congress has authorized military hearings to assess whether the prisoners are being properly detained as enemy combatants. Those decisions can be appealed in a limited fashion to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the same court that ruled in the administration's favor in February.
In other words, because of a change in the law after earlier court cases, the procedure is in place. So...
''There is no need for this court to assess the adequacy of the...review before it has taken place,'' Solicitor General Paul Clement, the administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, wrote.
The revisions in the re-worked law haven't been tested yet. SCOTUS is saying that they would be jumping the gun, if they ruled right now. The article ends by saying the court will have to hear the cases eventually. Though the bushies are claiming this as a victory, it is not. They will still have to go through the process and the court, in those cases having followed the process, have basically sided with habeaus corpus and the detainees. This shows that the court system is functioning, even though it does not like the knots the administration has put it into. It is going to take years for the U.S. to get out of the messes that King George W and Crown Prince Cheney have gotten us into.

3. Justices: EPA Can Control Car Emissions
The Supreme Court ordered the federal government on Monday to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming.

In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars....
The Bush EPA has refused to determine if greenhouse gases are a threat to the environment. Massachusetts, eleven other states and thirteen groups brought suit against the EPS.

The dissention, written by Chief Justice Roberts, didn't focus on the issue of global warming. Rather, he put his attention the the right of states and groups to file suit:
In his dissent, Roberts focused on the issue of standing, whether a party has the right to file a lawsuit.

The court should simply recognize that redress of the kind of grievances spelled out by the state of Massachusetts is the function of Congress and the chief executive, not the federal courts, Roberts said.
That's it. Don't face the issue - work harder to give the imperial presidency more power to expand its empire and wealth...

4. Briton tells of his four-year ‘nightmare’ at Guantanamo just some highlights from the timesonline -
A former Guantanamo Bay detainee spoke yesterday of the sense of hopelessness he felt during his 4½year incarceration at the internment camp.... Mr al-Rawi was detained in The Gambia in 2002 while on a business trip and flown to Afghanistan and then Guantanamo by the CIA.

“The hopelessness you feel can hardly be described. You are asked the same questions hundreds of times. Allegations are made against you that are laughably untrue but you have no chance to prove them wrong.

“There is no trial, no fair legal process. I was alleged to have participated in terrorist training in Bosnia and Afghanistan. I’ve never been to Bosnia and the only time I visited Afghanistan was thanks to the hospitality of the CIA in an underground prison – the Dark Prison – outside Kabul.”

“Bisher has been through almost unimaginable difficulties . . . kept in an underground prison, beaten, subjected to temperature extremes and to extended isolation.”
We are quite a democratically civilized country. aren't we?

5. "Don't ask, don't tell" is a strictly Christian policy.
Holy Orders
And, if we want to incorporate the entire Judeo-Christian tradition into current policy, it is true that the Old Testament does say harsh things about sodomy. So, just as--following Biblical tradition--they don't mix milk and meat, observant Jews, for instance, should be pretty tough on gay people. But why do Christians pay the Old Testament's commandments any mind? After all they stopped keeping Kosher centuries ago, when Jesus wiped the rulebook clean except for the ethical code--e.g., the Ten Commandments. And the Judeo-Christian ethics don't say anything about sodomy. The whole apparatus of condemnation rests on three letters from Paul, decades later, in which he called homosexuality "against nature." Homosexuality thus presents the purest instance of whether a democratic republic should enforce a purely theological (rather than ethical) prohibition--one with not the slightest secular defense. It's as if Pace had said the Army would not take people who eat bacon.
Paul = closet case? think about it. who else is so vehement against gays? ted haggart et alia, anyone? just asking...

Sources: New York Times, New York Times, Huffington Post Wires, The Times Online, The New Republic Online