31 May 2007

there is unique beauty in the world...

...a scene we will probably never get to see in person.

This is the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point. You also see the sun below the moon.

Arctic Sunset


30 May 2007

because sometimes...

I just wanna @#$@% dance!

Thanks, Bob, aka Little Voice.

You made me laugh, bounce and smile making my day better...


With all of the things going on lately, I need a joke for hump day.
Sven found a printing press at a garage sale and decided to print some counterfeit money. He printed up a batch and showed them to Ollie.

Ollie said "Uff da! Yew must be noots! Nobody vill take an eighteen dollar bill."

Sven said, "Vell ay tink ay know yust vhere ve can get rid of dem -- in Nord Dakota."

Ollie said, "Well come on den, let's get rid of dem fast."

They drive to a store in Wahpeton, pulled out an eighteen dollar bill and asked the clerk, "Yew got change for dis here bill?"

The clerk looks it over carefully and says, "Ya, you betcha. Whaddya want: two nines or three sixes?"

from my Minnesota friends...

king, czar, führer...

What's in a name, especially when they all mean about the same thing? The Bush administration has put out propaganda condemning the reference any time that someone does a comparison to the Third Reich. Now there appears to be proof of the similarity.

Verschärfte Vernehmung is the German for enhanced interrogation techniques. It was coined by the Gestapo in 1937. You can find a copy of the document and an appeal that Andrew Sullivan has made to spread the word about this [coincidence?] here: "Verschärfte Vernehmung".

The phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung" is German for "enhanced interrogation". Other translations include "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation". It's a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court. The methods, as you can see above, are indistinguishable from those described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the president.[Andrew even includes a translation of the Gestapo documents.]

The methods identified in the document? simple rations, ie. bread and water; hard bed; sleep deprivation; exhaustion excercises....

I recently finished watching the PBS series Secret Files of the Inquisition. These were just some of the techniques used, along with the rack, the iron maiden, branks.... Oh, let's not forget waterboarding. It was a favorite not only during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution but also of the Gestapo.

Let's see... the Inquisition, the Gestapo, gulags, Abu Grhaib...

Gives credence to the old French saying Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

29 May 2007

Let's Start the Internet Revolution...

Dear Friends:

The FCC is on the verge of turning over a large chunk of the public airwaves to the same giant phone and cable companies that control high-speed Internet access for more than 96 percent of connected American homes.

This public "spectrum" could revolutionize the Internet in America. Its wireless signal passes through concrete buildings and over mountains; it can connect tens of million of Americans who are being passed over by Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

Don't let the FCC give away our wireless Internet to these price-gouging giants. The FCC deadline is fast approaching. Act now:

Tell the FCC: Use Our Airwaves for the Public Good

Broadcast television channels will soon vacate these airwaves when they go digital by 2009. If used right, these public airways will revolutionize the ways we connect to laptops, cell phones, PDAs, music players and other mobile Internet devices. They can deliver an open Internet into your house without the need for a telephone wire or cable modem.

Phone and cable lobbyists are pressuring the FCC to sell companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast our airwaves so they can horde spectrum and stifle competitive and cheaper alternatives to their established networks.

This would be a disaster. After years of phone and cable company control over Internet access, the United States has fallen to 16th in the world in high-speed Internet rankings, with few choices and some of the highest prices for the slowest speeds in the world. We will continue this decline as long as we let AT&T, Verizon and Comcast dictate the terms of Internet access for the majority of Americans.

These phone and cable giants refuse to open their networks to competitive applications and services. They lobby Washington to stifle new innovations like Internet phone service and to destroy Net Neutrality, the one principle that protects equal opportunity and free choice on the Web.

We need to end their stranglehold and demand a better Internet for everyone:

Tell the FCC: Keep the New Internet Open to All

With open networks, the rest of the world has rapidly adopted high-speed, Internet platforms for education, economic innovation, creativity and civic participation. Countries like South Korea, Japan, France and Canada have leapfrogged the United States and now offer faster Internet connections at far lower prices.

It's time we caught up.

Act now and help clear the path for a technology that will deliver faster, more open and affordable Internet for everyone.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

The FCC needs to hear from you about the importance of setting aside the public airwaves for a faster, more open and neutral Internet.

I just told my story at SavetheInternet.com and urged the FCC to protect the public airwaves for the public good. This is our one best chance to make America's Internet more accessible and open to everyone.

Click here to take action to improve the Internet for generations to come:
Save the Internet

and tell your friends.

Thank you

28 May 2007

on this Memorial Day...

Today there are posts on the internet from soldiers serving in Iraq talking about how they work during the day helping to train the Iraqi's against the insurgents. Most all of them reference how, at night, the Iraqi's they train are the insurgents trying to kill them.
"I thought, 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here?' " said Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. "We're helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us." International Herald Tribune

Some reports put up to 50% of the Iraqi military and police force as actually being members of the insurgency. The US seems to be prolonging and extending the conflict both militarily and monetarily.

In the meantime, for the last few weeks, Congress was waffling over funding the war, facing off the president, demanding a timetable for redeployment of the troops and turning the responsiblility of Iraq over to its own people. Ironically, the US citizenry indicated that they want all of this to happen by having voted last November. What did the senators and representatives do? They gave the Czar $100 billion to continue his surge and, in effect, allowing the insurgents to soldier on.

Here's a quote asking an important question that is to the point:
Isn't it time that we either win this war or tell the American people why we can't? Isn't it time to recognize the great immorality of sending our neighbors' sons to die with hope we can do so without angering the enemy too much?

Oh, wait. This wasn't about Iraq. It's a quote by then Governor Ronald Reagan at a Veteran's Day address he gave in Albany, Oregon on November 11, 1967. He was talking about Vietnam. ["Reagan Says Indecisive Action in War is Immoral', New York Times, November 12, 1967.]

At the top right of this blog is a quote by George Santayana - "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

over and over and over...

monday morning mayhem...

1. Vietnam Vets,
...says Roseanne Barr. I have a lot of empathy for them. They had to go to a horrible place and perform a hideous job for people who didn't appreciate it.

I know what that's like; I used to be a waitress at Denny's.

2. P.J. O'Rourke on Bill Maher, Friday, May 25, 2007.
Republicans should never skip their meds.

3. Dispatcher 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?
Caller: I'm trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn't have
an eleven on it.

Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.
Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one.
Dispatcher: Yes, ma'am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.
Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I'm not stupid.

[Yes, this is from the transcript of a real 9-1-1 call!]

4. My new car has so much horse power...
...and is fun to drive. I tend to have a heavy foot on the gas pedal. I blame it on the turbo engine.

Anyway, I got stopped for speeding the other day.

I thought I could talk my way out of it,
until the cop looked at my dog in the back seat...

Speed Kills

oh my...

26 May 2007

outrage on the funding bill...

Olbermann is the only one who seems to be able to get away with the truth. His special comment on Thursday was one of his best. No one goes unscathed.

why is no one taking to the streets?

no d*r*a*f*t!

it's a dirty little war. three-five-zero-zero...

25 May 2007

in the face of defeat... UPDATED

Click here for the original post.

UPDATE - 25 May 2007: Rahm Emmanuel even voted for the funding last night. I'm now getting more and more interested in just what may be going on here. The risk is that, if the Czar's surge works in even the slightest way, the Dems' might be playing with more than fire. Of course, the language in the bill gives the Czar the say on what's working or not working. Strange wording. If the loud after-the-vote reaction against the bill by the people who voted in November is an indicator, then part of the gamble may be paying off. Of course, it's still quite a gambit.

what DID Rosie actually say?

Rosie O'Donnell: Six-hundred and fifty-five thousand Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Who are the terrorists?

RO: ...six-hundred and fifty-five... I'm saying you have to look from... We invaded...

EH: Who are you calling terrorists?

RO: ...I'm saying if you were in Iraq, and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed six-hundred and fifty-five thousand of your citizens, what would you call us?

EH: Are you saying we're killing their citizens or are they, their people also killing their citizens?

RO: We're invading a sovereign nation and occupying a nation against the UN...

First, the 655,000 figure is not accurate. Second, Hasselbeck's remark that it's not just the troops killing Iraqis but many many more are killing each other is undeniable. Third, what has been most misconstrued is O'Donnell actually calling the troops terrorists. If you listen carefully, you can tell that she is giving another possible viewpoint - a viewpoint that might be one that the Iraqis could have. At no point did she say the troops were terrorists that I could hear.

I was watching the program that day, and I very seldom watch it, and did not think that she actually said that the troops were terrorists. Here is a clip from Scarborough Country that has the dialogue above. Unfortunately, I cannot find a stand-alone version of the exchange. The dialogue happens almost at the beginning and continues until about 1:01 minutes. Then Scarborough goes off on his rant, along with his guests, that she called the troops terrorists.

Of course what became more important is the rant that Rosie had this week with Elisabeth over not coming to her defense against the Republican pundits and now Rosie's early departure from The View. Donald Trump has weighed in on the fray; FOX has hit hard on the exchange; the rest of the media has focused on the terrorist aspect.

Isn't it sad that we are still listening to the main stream media not questioning the basic discourse about Iraq? Not attempting to give a fair balance to the issues? Not standing on its own two feet as the Fourth Estate?

In what should be an inspiration to the media:
"Il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace." Georges Danton
"We must dare, and again dare, and forever dare.

Of course, eventually he lost his head...


now why can't Czar George have someone like this in is Cabinet? Quick. To the point. Solution oriented. More of his problems would go away...

Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in this country lately; illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, wild animals and sharks attacking people in Florida...

Maxine Solution

Not me! I concentrate on solutions to problems. The result is a win-win-win situation:

+ Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border

+ Use the dirt to raise the levies in New Orleans

+ Put the Florida alligators and sharks in the moat .

Any other problems you would like for me to solve today?

now, all we need is for Maxine to spend some time solving that other little problem. What's it called?

Oh, yeah - Iraq...

Maxine for President!!

23 May 2007

anyone with reason could smell this one coming...

Bush may turn to UN in search for Iraq solution from the Guardian Unlimited.
The Bush administration is developing plans to "internationalise" the Iraq crisis, including an expanded role for the United Nations, as a way of reducing overall US responsibility for Iraq's future and limiting domestic political fallout from the war as the 2008 election season approaches....

"The blame game has already begun. The Democrats want to run against a 'chaos in Iraq' scenario. The Republicans will want to keep extending it [the surge] past next February. The White House may offer a schedule for a drawdown - but what does that really mean?... The only policy Republicans have is a policy of delaying the inevitable."

AND putting the blame anywhere but where it belongs - Czar George! Pursuing U.N. participation could help him try to clear his name and the Republicans who supported him.

The problem? He originally rejected all of the possible points being brought up with this plan. He thinks that he will be able to avoid blame. It's typical behaviour for an alcoholic, especially when recovery is not complete.

in the face of defeat...

People are being very harsh towards the Democrats over backing down on insisting on a timetable for getting US troops out of Iraq. On face value, the American people last November spoke in favor of getting the military out of an impossible situation, a civil war, by voting the Dems into the very small majority in Congress.

The first funding bill included the timetable. Bush vetoed it. He said he'd veto any bill with them. He will, and he knows that there is no where near the votes to override his veto, because he has the sheep in the Republican party who thing that they safely graze. They will bow to him out of fear, until...

their political lives are on the line come next election cycle.

The Republicans also know that they have no clear front-runner for the 2008 presidential race; so they have no reason to change what they are doing, and what they are doing is just that - nothing!

The Dems, on the other hand, may be playing a very tricky game of cat and mouse. It seems that they may have the most to lose, especially after the latest poll that puts their approval rating at the same as Czar George's, but do they have something more up their collective sleeves?

Maybe, just maybe, they have an endgame strategy in mind.
In chess, the endgame (or end game or ending) refers to the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board.

Reid and Pelosi are just too cool in their reactions to what exactly is going on with this bill. Rahm Emmanuel, the attack dog, it being very quiet. Could the Dems finally have learned a lesson from the Grand Ole Party's manueverings over the last few decades?

just asking...

UPDATE - 25 May 2007: Rahm Emmanuel even voted for the funding last night. I'm now getting more and more interested in what just may be going on here. The risk is that, if the Czar's surge works in even the slightest way, the Dems' might be playing with more than fire. Of course, the language in the bill gives the Czar the say on what's working or not working. Strange wording. If the loud after the vote reaction by the people who voted in November is an indicator, then part of the gamble may be paying off. Of course, it's still quite a gambit.

22 May 2007

gasoline price gouging = federal crime...

That's what Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI) wants to make it. The price of gasoline is escalating at astronomical rates. This week in Chicago I paid $3.65/gallon. Last week, I paid $3.55. The news reported this morning that Chicago is the 3rd highest price in the nation after two cities in California. San Francisco is #1.

Most people are under the impression that this constant rise in prices is because of the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. To an extent it is, but that is not the biggest reason. The price of crude oil is down $7.00/bbl from last year at this time.

The biggest reason is because the oil industry has not built a new refinery since 1976! There also has been two major refinery accidents in the recent past. Even Bill O'Reilly: Oil companies must ante up for new refineries has brought up the problem and wants Congress to get on the stick and get the oil companies to make a real move other than to up their profits. Here's a chance for everyone to help.

From MoveOn.org:

As of yesterday, gas prices are the highest in U.S. history—we just passed the 1981 record, even adjusted for inflation. Prices could reach $4.00 per gallon in parts of the country, just in time to crimp summer vacation plans. As consumers suffer, the oil industry continues to reap the windfall—breaking profit records on an almost quarterly basis. It's outrageous!

Enough is enough. Hearings start today on H.R. 1252, a House bill that would make gas price gouging a federal crime, punishable by 10 years in prison. Speaker Pelosi has said she'll move the bill to a vote this week—if there's the two-thirds majority required to fast track the bill through the process.

Oil company lobbyists are frantically trying to stop the bill. Your representative needs to hear from you today. Will you sign our petition asking Congress to pass the price-gouging bill—and then send it to your friends?

"Gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families."

Sign the petition MoveOn.org has started today:

Stop Price Gouging

Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI), sponsor of the House bill said this of his motivation to introduce the legislation:

"In April ... crude oil was $7 a barrel cheaper than last year (but) gas prices were almost 50 cents a gallon higher. Clearly there's more at play than simply the world crude oil market."

In April, more than two-thirds of Americans reported that their gas bills were causing financial crunches, with a full third saying it was having a "serious" impact on their families.

That same month, the top two US companies, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, announced a combined $14 billion in first quarter profits.

It seems like even the oil industry has gone too far this time, and it's time to balance the scales. The Senate passed a price-gouging measure out of committee last week, and the House bill now has over 100 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

The oil industry is nervous. They've sent their lobbyists to the Hill in full force to stop—or at least weaken—these bills, and they're pulling out all the stops. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry front group of more than 400 oil and gas companies, even threatened that new laws could increase gas prices more.

Enough is enough. This summer, we can stop Big Oil from profiting at the expense of American families. Can you sign the petition to ask your representative to make gasoline a price gouging a federal crime now?

Sign the petition: Stop Price Gouging Don't forget to pass it on to your friends—this week is an historic opportunity to send Big Oil a message that we've had enough.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Natalie, Eli, Tom, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's something each of us can do. We are a democracy and we need to let our representatives in Congress know what we want them to do - not what big oil wants them to do. Don't forget: Czar George's money is all in a blind trust based on his family's connection with the oil companies.

Click on the link Stop Price Gouging to sign the petition.

21 May 2007

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

can someone, please, explain...

Why are more of our rights and protections being assailed by Czar George and his ministers even more?

1. Gonzales proposing new Orwellian thought crimes law
* Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright. Federal law currently punishes not-for-profit copyright infringement with between 1 and 10 years in prison, but there has to be actual infringement that takes place....

* Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are "attempting" to infringe copyrights....

* Allow computers to be seized more readily. Specifically, property such as a PC "intended to be used in any manner" to commit a copyright crime would be subject to forfeiture, including civil asset forfeiture....

* Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America. That would happen when CDs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported.

All of this would be under the domain of The Department of Homeland Security. It would mean that even if you watch a video of a song or TV program on YouTube you could be at risk of having your computer siezed, your telephone tapped, or your thoughts on a blog be brought up for scrutiny. maybe czar was too mild on my part? is Big Brother more appropriate?

2. Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency
With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.

In a new National Security Presidential Directive, Bush lays out his plans for dealing with a “catastrophic emergency.”
Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.”

and from the document itself:

(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;

Implementation Actions

(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.

If I'm not mistaken, isn't this called martial law? Isn't there absolutely no mention of it in the US Constititution? Hasn't it been understood for the last two centuries+ that only Congress can suspend habeas corpus, though it never has. Didn't President Lincoln suspend habeas corpus during the Civil War and hasn't Czar George, in effect, done it with his war on terrorism? AND didn't the Supreme Court in ex parte Milligan (71 US 2 [1866]) declare that what Mr. Lincoln did was unconstitutional? Well, yes, I think it did with these exact words:
"The statement of this proposition shows its importance, for, if true, republican government is a failure, and there is an end of liberty regulated by law. Martial law established on such a basis destroys every guarantee of the Constitution, [emphasis added] and effectually renders the "military independent of and superior to the civil power" — the attempt to do which by the King of Great Britain was deemed by our fathers such an offence that they assigned it to the world as one of the causes which impelled them to declare their independence. Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure {125} together; the antagonism is irreconcilable, and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish [Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (4 Wall.), (1866)

what other damage can this man and his ministers do in the next

3. GAO Says Homeland Security is Breaking Privacy Laws
Washington - The Homeland Security Department is breaking the law by not telling the public exactly how personal information is used to screen international travelers, including Americans, congressional investigators said Wednesday.

One of the screening programs at issue is a computer-based system called the Automated Targeting System that is used by the Customs and Border Protection agency to rate the risk posed by travelers coming to and from the United States.

In its report, the Government Accountability Office said the department is not in full compliance with privacy laws that require agencies to tell the public how the government uses their personal information.

"CBP's current disclosures do not fully inform the public about all of its systems for prescreening aviation passenger information," the GAO report said. "Nor do they explain how CBP combines data in the prescreening process, as required by law."

The GAO, Congress' auditing agency, also said Customs has not publicly disclosed all the sources of data it reviews on passengers, including information obtained from commercial sources. It did not explain what those commercial sources may be and government officials declined to comment.

And what does the Czar's people have to say? "The GAO in this case is woefully uninformed and I think that Congress and the public are being poorly served by this report," Knocke said. Well of course it's uninformed! You haven't told anyone how it works and what effect it has. That's what the report says, stoopid...

Sources: 1. Americablog; 2. The Progressive & The White House: News & Policies; 3. Truthout;

19 May 2007

monday morning mayhem...

guf•faw: /ge´fô/ noun
a loud and boisterous laugh

1. doctor's advice...
The doc told him that masturbating before sex often helped men last longer during the act. The man decided, "What the heck, I'll try it," He spent the rest of the day thinking about where to do it. He couldn't do it in his office. He thought about the restroom, but that was too open. He considered an alley, but figured that was too unsafe. Finally, he realized his solution. On his way home, he pulled his truck over on the side of the highway. He got out and crawled underneath as if he was examining the truck. Satisfied with the privacy, he undid his pants and started to masturbate. He closed his eyes and thought of his lover.

As he grew closer to orgasm, he felt a quick tug at the bottom of his pants. Not wanting to lose his mental fantasy or the orgasm, he kept his eyes shut and replied, "What?" He heard,

"This is the police. What's going on down there?"

The man replied, "I'm checking out the rear axle, it's busted."

The policeman then told him, "Well, you might as well check your brakes too while you're down there, because your truck rolled down the hill 5 minutes ago."

2. import/export...
An American is having breakfast, in Paris, one morning (coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam) when a Frenchman, chewing bubble-gum, sits down next to him. The American ignores the Frenchman who, nevertheless, starts a conversation.
Frenchman: "You American folk eat the whole bread??"

American (in a bad mood): "Of course."

Frenchman: (after blowing a huge bubble) "We don't.  In France, we only eat what's inside.  The crusts we collect in a container, recycle it, transform them into croissants and sell them to the states." The Frenchman has a smirk on his face.

The American listens in silence.

The Frenchman persists: "Do you eat jelly with the bread??"

American: "Of Course."

Frenchman: (cracking his bubble-gum between his teeth and chuckling).

"We don't.  In France we eat fresh fruit for breakfast, then we put all the peels, seeds, and leftovers in containers, recycle them, transform them into jam, and sell the jam to the states."

After a moment of silence, The American then asks: "Do you have sex in France?"

Frenchman: "Why of course we do", he says with a big smirk.

American: "And what do you do with the condoms once you've used them?"

Frenchman: "We throw them away, of course."

American: "We don't.  In America, we put them in a container, recycle them, melt them down into bubble-gum, and sell them to France."

18 May 2007

how do you know that you're god?

When I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.

Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney,
The 14th Earl of Gurney*

A woman in Ohio is beside herself for reading the side of a cup from Starbucks that is contrary to her religious beliefs.

"Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure."

Her exact words:
"As someone who loves God, I was so offended by that. I don't think there needs to be religious dialogue on it. I just want coffee," said Incanno, who is Catholic.

This is similar to the controversy when someone saw a quote by Armistead Maupin on a Starbucks' cup a couple of years ago. Here we go again!
Well, wouldn't she just p** herself if she saw this clip, where the initial quote of this post is heard.

The Ruling Class

Well, I got news for the lady in Ohio. I'm offended by the constant barrage of people like her who assault my right to be able to read what I want to read, believe what I want to believe, and say what I want to say without her and other small-minded, unaccepting people being affronted so that they don't want me to exercise the same rights that they have.

I could very easily scream every time I see something about god on the side of a Starbuck's cup, read a huge billboard on the side of the road with a message from their good book, or hear them constantly complain about how everyone is trying to take away their right to believe in what they want. I don't. The reason that I don't is because I very strongly believe and live my life as if they have the right to have what they consider their spiritual beliefs.

I have a caveat though. If I accept that they have the right to believe in what they believe, then they have to accept that I have the same right to subscribe to my own beliefs or lack there of. With one proviso: no one may be physically harmed.

Oh, and I'm not giving up my venti Americano with extra room for anyone, any thing, any belief, or any silliness. Period.

More on the movie The Ruling Class:

*The Ruling Class is one of my all time favorite movies starring Peter O'Toole as the 14th Earl of Gurney. It is a critically aclaimed movie that was nominated for a Palme d'Or at Cannes, Best Foreign Film Golden Globe, Best Actor nomination Oscar, & won best actor at the National Board of Review. It didn't do as well at the box office because of its dark content and the mood of the country with Vietnam.

the saga...

goes on and on and on...

I first posted about the the US Attorney mess back in January before it was really widely known. In my incessant reading I saw a little post somewhere about the "firing" of the USA's and kept seeing other brief mentions pop up here and there. Then a letter that Sen. Diane Feinstein sent to both the Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority leader McConnell on February 26, 2007 surfaced and what looked not just interesting now had added to it more questions of what exactly was going on here. [You can read the letter at: TPMmuckraker.] All of the fired USA's had received excellent ratings and evaluations.

So, now, everyone in the country is more than aware of what this is all about. I really haven't posted much more on it because, well, to tell the truth, everyone else is.

Wednesday, the smarminess of Gonzales really caught my attention when I viewed his remarks that Deputy Attorney General McNulty had final say over the firings. In case you're not familiar with the word smarmy it means ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive; eg a smarmy unctuous reply according the the Oxford American Dictionary.

Here is a video from Youtube of Keith Olbermann's reporting and comments of Gonzales' National Press Club performance that he calls the Blame Game and uses the catch phrase throw 'em under the bus. Watch carefully starting at about 1:09 of the video when Gonzales says, "At the end of the day...."

Pay particular attention to his mouth. He appears to be doing everything in his being not to smile. This is the number one indicator of smarminess. Also, watch where his eyes are looking. There is a field of study known as neurolinguistics that includes research into eye movement and recollection of thoughts/actions/memories in the brain.

And today, about the vote of no confidence that the Democrats along with some key Republicans are calling for, according to Czar George through his mouthpieces, made this claim: White House: Anti-Gonzales Vote a Stunt
The White House on Friday called the Senate's upcoming no-confidence vote over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a "political stunt."

President Bush's support for his longtime ally and friend will not waver, said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., on Thursday became the fifth Republican senator to demand that Gonzales leave. Meanwhile, Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., suggested that Bush consider ejecting Gonzales if he decides Gonzales is doing more harm than good.

In addition, with the newest charges of interference with FISA and the NSA, through trying to intervene with Ashcroft approving the warrantless attacks:
Asked twice during a news conference Thursday whether he personally ordered Gonzales to Ashcroft's hospital room, Bush refused to answer. Fratto also refused to discuss the scene, or even to confirm that it happened.

This saga is a true constititional crisis.
Low-level disputes of this nature are commonplace in everyday government operation, and the point at which such a dispute becomes a constitutional crisis is difficult to define precisely. However, a good guideline is that a crisis occurs when one or more parties to the dispute refuses to recognize the right or power of another constitutional body to resolve or arbitrate the dispute.

We are at this point in time with the executive branch repeatedly indicating that it has the final say. The Czar is so entrenched behind his minions there seems to be no leeway or wiggle room.

what we need now is a Григoрий Ефи́мович Распyтин.

oh, sorry, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin...


and a groaner to boot.

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, "I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!!!"

"IMPOSSIBLE !!" said the groom broom.

[Are you ready for this?
Brace yourself; this is going to hurt.]


Oh for goodness sake...

Laugh, or at least groan. Life's too short not to enjoy... Even these silly little cute..... And clean jokes

Sounds to me like she's been "sweeping" around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sweeping Broom


17 May 2007

one dj, 25,000 people...

it always amazes me how music stands the test of time. samuel barber's adagio for strings is one of the most enduring pieces of modern classical music. it has many incarnations. even barber redid the piece for vocal as a kyrie eleison. it is absolutely beautiful.

here is a completely different version by one of the world's foremost dj's...


16 May 2007

unfortunate by reason of...


Judge Rules in 'That's So Gay' Case
A judge ruled Tuesday that a high school student who sued after being disciplined and then mercilessly teased for using the phrase "That's so gay" is not entitled to monetary damages.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing said she sympathized with 18-year-old Rebekah Rice for the ridicule she experienced at Maria Carrillo High School. But, the judge said, Rice's lawyers failed to prove that school administrators had violated any state laws or singled the girl out for punishment.

The merits of the case appear pretty straightforward. The law the idiot attorney chose to use for defense of the suit didn't apply in this specific incident, according to the judge.

Sadly, the student's use of the phrase "That's so gay!" is as offensive as what happened to her from fellow students bullying her because of her personal conservative beliefs. It's also sad because, as she said, she didn't use the phrase as derogatory towards a specific group.
The case filed by Rice and her parents in 2003 brought widespread attention to a three-word phrase that some teenagers use to mean "stupid" or "uncool," but has come under attack as an insensitive insult to gay people.

I worked with kids for many years. The phrase has been used frequently over the last decade or so by middle & high school students, and they really don't mean it as being bigoted towards the LGBT community. It has become slang for "stupid" and "uncool." It's how the language evolves. Everyday usage, fads and momentary meanings change the dictionary everyday.

[The Oxford English Dictionary cannot add, delete or revises entries fast enough because changes are happening so quickly with the easy acquisition of knowledge, news and gossip due to the media and the internet.]

Besides, the younger generations have been shown to be more accepting and inclusive of the LGBT community than any other in their everyday actions and thoughts.

I don't think that the importance of the article about the lawsuit is in the use of the phrase as much as the indictment of the attorney for incompetence. The media makes it into a sensational bigotry issue. I don't particularly like the use of phrases like this. I realize that some people do find it personally offensive, and that is their right. I also think that what was done to the young lady fits into the same kind of offensiveness.

What it really smells like to me is adults getting into kid stuff that would have blown over very quickly. Kids don't realize what they're doing while they're doing it. Let alone remember what they said or did ten seconds ago!

i feel sorry for everybody in this matter...

15 May 2007

new look...

couldn't decide on formal

or business

Armani suit

or casual


or dive right in


Guess I chose casual.

Been planning this for a while now, but it's always a little scary to try new things, though I'm known to take risks. My biggest fear was loosing all of the links, archives, etc., so I took it slow and made sure everything would stay the same. Actually, they didn't stay the same. They are better! It's difficult to do what you tell others, and one thing that I learned a very long time ago is that the things we worry about the most, never happen.

hope y'all like the changes and find it easier on the eyes ; ) ...


only one Falwell post...

I will not post anything about the demise of Jerry Falwell except to record my response when I heard the news.

I was getting on an escalator at Carson, Pirie Scott and to the left, as I started up, was an area with a small couch and a flat screen TV on the wall with CNN showing.

There was an elderly gentleman sitting on the couch, obviously waiting for his wife while she shopped. As I saw Falwell's picture on the screen and read the chyron underneath announcing his death, I said aloud, "At least there's some good news today."

Needless to say, the elderly gentleman did not like my comment turning and giving me one of those looks. I ust smiled and was rather proud of myself for being so contained.

DownWithTyranny! was not so reticent - BIG PIG ROAST IN HADES TONIGHT!

He even got into trying to decide in what bolgia of the Eighth Circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno Falwell would be given accomodations.

go and have some fun reading his post. hee, hee, hee...

no more King George W...

He has surpassed the definition of king. He now falls into the category of


Oh, sorry, those are the Russian characters for


The word czar comes directly from the Latin caesar that means emperor.

Why am I giving him a promotion? I'm not. I'm being more cynical and sarcastic than usual. [Trust me, it's hard to be cynical and sarcastic at the same time.]

- The evidence regarding Gonzales and his cronies is becoming more and more obvious but Czar George supports him and says he will continue to do so. [To top it off, Gonzales now is blaming McNulty, who just resigned, for the entire episode for firing the USA's, saying that McNulty was in charge of them - bottom line.]

- Tony Snow, the White House mouthpiece, today said Czar George supports Wolfowitz and doesn't think that anything he did was illegal.

- Czar George has now named himself another under-czar for War to oversee the various departments dealing with war and intelligence. This is on top of others such as the drug-czar.

- Being a self-proclaimed born-again he believes that he gets his direction and decision making powers from divine right with the backing and support of his own magisterium lead by his proconsuls Cheney & Rove.

- Czar George is demanding that he be given all the money he wants to contiue his surge with no strings attached and no guidance from the Congress and the wishes of the American electorate indicated as of November 2006.

- Every law that Czar George has inked included a myriad of signing statements that in effect said, "yes, but, given that I am Czar [sorry, President] I can decide to interpret the law this way or this way because I know better than the Congress."

- Czar George has only vetoed two, count 'em, two bills. All since the Democrats won control of Congress, with bi-partisan support, and over issues that the populace of the country is in favor. In addition, he has promised to veto H.R. 1592, the ENDA hate crimes bill, thus keeping dicrimination of segments of the citizenry in effect.

One could go on and on and on with the imperious* decisions, statements and moves that Czar George had made.

In the past, history has recorded how imperious men have been dealt with. On the Ides of March 44 B.C., a group of disgusted Roman politicians took care of the problem of Gaius Julius Caesar. On July 17, 1918, a group of Bolsheviks eliminated their problems with the last real Czar Nicholas II. Thankfully, we do not live in a time or a country where these types of solutions are accepted and are frowned on deplorably. The U.S. Constitution has written into it the solution

Impeach the bastard!

* imperious: adj., assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering; compare to imperial.
Oxford American Dictionaries

14 May 2007

let's hang on to what we've got...

and what we've got is quite a lot...

No, this post has nothing to do with Frankie Valli. At least, I don't think it does. It's just one of the silly, fun things to do that you find on the internet and can't force yourself to ignore. I don't think I've done one of these things for quite a while. thanks for the heads up to little voice

What Tarot Card Are You?

I am the Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.

With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of
loss from a situation, rather than gain.

The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.

The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

well, at first glance it was kind of a surprise. after reading it a couple of times, it's pretty positive. what card are you?

monday morning mayhem...

1. A very successful lawyer...
parked his brand new Lexus in front of the office, ready to show it off to his colleagues.

As he got out, a truck came along, too close to the curb, and completely tore off the driver's door of the Lexus.

The counselor immediately grabbed his cell phone, dialed 911, and it wasn't more than 5 minutes before a policeman pulled up.

Before the cop had a chance to ask any questions, the lawyer started screaming hysterically.

His Lexus, which he had just picked up the day before, was now completely ruined and would never be the same, no matter how the body shop tried to make it new again.

After the lawyer finally wound down from his rant, the cop shook his head in disgust and disbelief. "I can't believe how materialistic you lawyers are," he said. "You are so focused on your possessions that you neglect the most important things in life."

"How can you say such a thing?" asked the lawyer.

The cop replied, "My God, don't you even realize that your left arm is missing? It got ripped off when the truck hit you!!!"

"My God!" screamed the lawyer.

"Where's my Rolex?"
2. Little Johnny...
got on a bus and sat down next to a man. He noticed that the man had a strange kind of shirt collar, so he asked him, "Excuse me, sir, but why do you have your shirt collar on backwards?"

The man smiled kindly and answered, "I wear this collar because I am a father."

Little Johnny thought a second and responded, "Sir, I have a father, but he wears his collar the other way around. Why do you wear your collar so differently?"

The priest thought for a minute, and said, "I am the Father for many."

Little Johnny quickly answered, "My father, too, is the father of many. He has four sons, four daughters and many grandchildren. But he wears his collar like everyone else does. Why do you wear yours backwards?"

The priest, flustered, said impatiently, "I am the Father for hundreds and hundreds of people."

Little Johnny sat silently for a long time. As he got up to leave the bus, he leaned over to the priest and said, "Mister, maybe you should wear your pants backwards."
3. the power of television commercials...
Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of Tampax and proceeded to the checkout counter.

The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?"

"Eight", the boy replied.

The man continued, "Do you know how these are used?"

The boy replied, "Not exactly, but they aren't for me. They are for him. He's my brother. He's four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. He can't do either one.

11 May 2007

dialogue, did someone say dialogue...

Bush aides berate GOP members
Top Bush administration officials lashed out at a pair of House Republicans at the White House yesterday after details about a contentious meeting between President Bush and GOP legislators were leaked to the media earlier this week.
and who were #1 & #2? Rove and Cheney. Rove, of course, was the more incendiary:
White House political adviser Karl Rove, furious that Republican moderates had divulged a confrontational meeting they had on Tuesday with Bush on the war, started yesterday with an angry conversation with the meeting's organizer, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), according to several GOP lawmakers. Washington Post
so much for an unvarnished meeting...

UPDATE: firedoglake.com asking some of the same questions about the meeting on Tuesday that I brought up in a previous post [pardon my cynicism, puhleeze...] with one great last question - "Leader Boehner, if the meeting was 'very healthy,' why is Karl Rove treating your caucus members like Sheryl Crow?" i love it...


found it...

Up the creek

and you thought there was no such place, huh????

now where did i put that canoe?

10 May 2007

i was trying to put my finger on it...

[pun intended] for the last few weeks. What is it exactly that makes K. George W (re)act the way he does when he gets caught or questioned or wronged?

Michael Currie Schaffer in an article for "The New Republic" entitled Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzales should switch jobs explains it very well.
The controversies surrounding Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzales present President Bush with a conundrum. On the one hand, the two embattled appointees are in obviously untenable positions--their attentions entirely focused on surviving rather than actually doing their jobs. Their continued presence atop the World Bank and Justice Department are dragging Bush's reputation even lower--no mean feat. On the other hand, Bush is famously loyal and particularly stubborn in the face of prodding by the Europeans, liberals, and media types who are calling for the two loyalists' scalps. In Bush's mind, the World Bank president and the attorney general may well represent walking, talking middle fingers [bold is mine] aimed directly at his snottiest critics.

It is in keeping with something he did when he was governor of Texas.

If only more people understood that this is what he may truly be like - and not really very christian...

So what's with the point of Schaffer's article?
So, what's a Decider to do? Doing nothing probably won't work, since the Bank's board could decide to give Wolfowitz the gate even without American permission, and since Congress may yet bust Gonzales on a lying charge (leading to the spectacle of the nation's chief lawman doing a perp walk). Luckily, there's an answer that could appeal to a bold president like Bush. It's a simple plan, something the chief executive may remember from the happier days when he ran the Texas Rangers: a trade. Wolfie goes to Justice, Gonzo goes to the Bank, and everyone goes home happy.
Neither one of them has been doing their job well, so they really couldn't do any worse.

or could they?

the right "not to believe..."

Parents and District Settle Dispute on Teacher’s Religious Remarks
Matthew recorded his history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, making comments in class in September, including remarks that only Christians had a place in heaven, that the Big Bang and evolution theories were not scientific and that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark. After the tapes became public, Matthew received a death threat and was shunned and bullied by some of his classmates, he has said.
The First Amendment has always been legally interpreted as not just establishing a religion but also fostering one. Inherent in this is also the right to not believe. Yet, that certain segment of the US population does not agree with this. They think that their way is the only way. not very christian of them...

And as far as the threats and bullying to Matthew, isn't that breaking federal law. You know, the one about hate crimes that includes religion? Shouldn't he be protected because of the religious belief that he has that he shouldn't be subjected to religious beliefs with which he doesn't believe.

man, is that all very confusing...

pardon my cynicism, puhleeze...

Eleven moderate Republican members of Congress spoke with K. George W in an unvarnished discussion concerning the Iraq situation. Who were they?
Ray LaHood (Il)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pa)
Tom Davis (Va.)
Charlie Dent (Pa)
Mark Kirk (Il)
Jo Ann Emerson (Mo)
Todd Platts (Pa)
Jim Ramstad (Minn)
Fred Upton (Mich)
Jim Walsh (N.Y.)
[Note: I can only find names for 10. The one other representative mentioned in news stories is John A. Boehner (Oh.) who is the Republican leader of the House. He's certainly not a moderate. If anyone can find the 11th, let me know, please.]

There are some important questions to ask about this entire meeting.

Who authorized the meeting?
Who chose the members to confront Mr. Bush?
How were the schedules of everyone in Bush's staff (e.g. Rice, Gates, Pace) cleared for attendance?
Why moderates?
How important is the timing of this meeting?


Who came up with the term pivotal watershed? puhleeze...

09 May 2007

christianist cunundrum...

Watching a program on the History International Channel last night on Cain & Abel reminded me of a question I've had for a very long time. It's a question that is quite a cunundrum for the christianists, should anyone ask, concerning literal interpretation of the Bible.

There are a couple of different versions of the reasoning behind why Cain murdered Abel, but the one most interesting is that they were fighting over the love of their sister. Okay. There's no problem with that for me. Jealousy is a very human state of mind. The problem I have is in the genealogy of the human race with a literal belief of the Bible.

There was Adam and Eve. They are the mother and father of all mankind, according to the Bible. They had two children that we know by name - Cain & Abel - both male. The book says that one of the punishments for eating the apple was that Eve would know the pain of childbirth. In order to create an entire race it also means that she had to have had may children - male and female - because it takes two to tango.

In order for the next generation to exist, if all humans come from Adam and Eve, it means that the children of Adam & Eve had to have mated or Cain and/or Abel had to mate with Eve as an alternative. Isn't that incest?

In the Book of Genesis it reads that Cain indeed married his sister and had a son named Enoch for whom he built the first city where many people could live. Doesn't that mean that Enoch then had to marry, if not his sister, then at least a niece to continue the lineage? Wouldn't all of them have to marry a brother, sister, nephew, niece, cousin...?

Ahhh... that's a lot of incest.

Exactly how do the christianists justify and ameliorate this cunundrum? Did their god make it okay and then take it away? Is there any truth to Adam having a wife before Eve, Lillith? That would mean they would have been mating with only half-brothers and half-sisters. Still incest, though.

And what does all of this do to their arguments against so many things in today's civilization? Seems very hypocritical to me.

i'm confused, so i'm just asking...

07 May 2007

legal discrimination...

Here is an example of why ENDA needs to be the law of the land or taken away from everyone so no one has special treatment and all are treated equal:
Yesterday at work a strange thing happened. In the morning I was called into the office by the person running this company. It seems that I had blogged about this company a week or so ago, all very positive about this company and my new position there. They had done a search and found this blog. Although he was nice about it, mentioning that I had alot of very personal things on my site, he left it at that and said it made him realize that they have to establish a policy for all employees in this company, when anyone chooses to use their name in blogs and a memo had just gone out to everyone with these new policy procedures.

Later that day, they fired my ass. Hummm....guess they couldn't handle having their name being associated in any way with a gay oriented website.
"Wierd Coincidence...or what," The Adventures of Ken
ENDA has to be expanded to include ALL groups and individuals. It is the only way that "freedom and the pursuit" of happiness can be achieved from the struggles for US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and The Rights of Man.

who could have thought that after all these centuries anyone would be fighting for equality around the world and in this country? just asking...

monday morning mayhem...

because, well, you know how to laugh...

1. Amish transportation safety...
An Amish woman was driving her buggy to town when a highway patrol officer stopped her.

"I'm not going to cite you," said the officer. "I just wanted to warn you that the reflector on the back of your buggy is broken and it could be dangerous."

"I thank thee," replied the Amish lady. "I shall have my husband repair it as soon as I return home."

"Also," said the officer, "I noticed one of your reins to your horse are rapped around his testicles. Some people might consider this cruelty to animals, so you should have your husband check that, too."

"Again I thank thee. I shall have my husband check both when I get home."

True to her word, when the Amish lady got home she told her husband about the broken reflector, and he said he would put a new one on it immediately.

"Also," said the Amish woman, "The policeman said there was something wrong with the emergency brake."
think the American car makers could think outside the box like this?

2. who wants to live forever...
Here is some sound logic.

Recently a guy picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, the doctor said the guy was doing "fairly well" for his age.

A little concerned about that comment, he couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"

The doctor asked, "Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?"

"Oh no," he replied. "I'm not doing drugs, either."

Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"

The guy said, "No, my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!"

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?"

"No, I don't," he said.

The doctor then asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"

"No," he said. "I don't do any of those things."

The doctor looked at him and said, "Then, why do you care?"

3. I will never forget it you know...

Soph & Clementine...
I will never forget it you know. I met my girlfriend Clementine on the street the other day and her left breast was hanging out of her shirt. I said, "Clemintine, your left breast is hanging our of your shirt." She said, "Oh, the baby must still be on the bus!"

I will never forget it you know, my girlfriend Clementine goes on retreat once a year. She goes up north to Little Sisters of Unbearable Chastity. Once while she was up there, she discovered she had a spiritual power, a power for healing. It wasn't long before the entire retreat was over run by those seeking to be healed by Clementine. One time Clementine was in the shower naked and soapy. There was a knock at the door. A large nun walked in. "Clementine, come out of the shower girl. There's a blind man outdoors to see ya, he's come a long way, he's got something important to say to ya." "Sister!", says Clementine "Look, at me I'm naked I'm soapy I'm in the shower!! I cannot receive anyone in this condition!" "Oh Clementine be a sport, he's a blind man he's come a long way he's got something important to say to ya." "Oh very well", says Clementine "Show him in." So the door opens and the blind man walks in. He says "Nice tits where do want the blinds?"

I will never forget it you know. My girlfriend Clemintine is a filthy, vulgar ol' broad. She loves to keep me abreast of all the latest in filthy rotten jokes and filthy rotten songs. She rang me up the other day and said to me, "Soph, listen to this one. You've never heard anything like it. What do you get when you cross a donkey with an onion?" I said to her, "I have no idea what the hell do you get?" She said, "Usually you get an onion with really long ears. But occasionally when the stars are just right, you get a piece of ass that's so nice it makes you want to cry!"

I will never forget it you know. You know that Clemintine she's a rascal you know. She loves to fix me up with these exotic-type fellows. The other day she called me up and said "Soph I gotta live one for ya' this time." I said, "Send him over Clemintine." Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang and I opened the door and there was a man there with no arms and no legs. I said to him "What the hell do you think you're going to do?" He said "I rang the doorbell didn't I?"

I will never forget it you know, my girlfriend Clemintine in the height of her profession was a great great stripper, but she hated it so violently that she would have to run to confession in between shows. One day she completely forgot to put her shirt back on and she went into the church, nipples to the wind. A young priest stopped her and said, "Madam you cannot come into the House of the Lord in that fashion." "But I have a divine right," Clemintine said. "Okay, your breasts ain't bad but you better cover your head," the priest said. Well, after confessoin Clementine was walking back and she slipped on a banana peel, her dress got caught on a nail then completely unraveleed as she fell down a flight of stairs. There she lay, quite, quite naked and quite comotose. A passing motorcyclist took pity upon her plight and put his crash helmet over her exposed groin. Then the doctor came and took a long look at her and said "We'll put her in the ambulance, but first we gotta get that cop outta there!"
and when Clementine is not around to keep and eye on her...
I will never forget it you know.
I was terribly drunk the other night.
I woke up and there
was an elephant in my bed. I said,
"Lord have mercy I must've
been tight last night." "Well,"
said the elephant, "kinda."
words of the Divine Ms. M

05 May 2007

maybe they're just not that certain...

of their own beliefs that is.
Some PBS stations are reportedly set to air a three-part BBC series entitled “A Brief History of Disbelief” which seeks to “uncover the hidden story of atheism.”

Not surprisingly, the Right doesn’t like it at all:
Janice Crouse, director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute for the conservative group Concerned Women for America, told Cybercast News Service that "airing the program gives credibility and cohesiveness to individuals who seek to undermine the beliefs and values on which democracy and the American dream are founded."

"One has to wonder why it is so important to them for everyone to understand their 'disbelief,'" she said. "The program is not a dispassionate, positive voice - as they claim. Instead, it is clearly demagogic and propagandistic."
Perhaps Crouse is not the best judge of what is or is not “dispassionate” considering that Beverly LaHaye, the namesake of the institute which Crouse heads, believes that “Christian values should dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.” And when it comes to demagogic, it’s hard to top this: “In recent times, Western Civilization has willingly chosen to exchange the faith and logic of a Biblical worldview for an irrational secularism based on an unthinking and cruel relativism. This foolish exchange is at the root of the glaring injustices of modern American public policy.”
God Forbid, People for the American Way
If their belief is strong and true, what are they worried about? Is this just more proof that they want everyone to believe ONLY what they believe?

I can guess this means that there is one thing that they DON'T believe in - The First Amendment...

04 May 2007


Bike Riding.....Just 5 Miles A Day

Don't you think it's time we all became more physically active?
Beginning in 2007, a few friends started riding 5 miles every day.

If any of you would like to join the Bike Club, please let us know and we can make arrangements.

We think it would be appropriate to ride somewhere between 4:00 and 7:00 pm. We can call it... happy hour, if it will make you say yes.

The photo of the bike is below -

Bike Bar

Grey Goose Orange Cosmos are my preferred sports drink from 4 - 7.

Hey, it beats Gatorade!

don't stop the funding...

stop the war!

Brilliant! Senator Clinton finally has done something with cajones in my book.
WASHINGTON, May 3 — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed Thursday that Congress repeal the authority it gave President Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq, injecting presidential politics into the Congressional debate over financing the war.

Mrs. Clinton’s proposal brings her full circle on Iraq — she supported the war measure five years ago — and it sharpens her own political positioning at a time when Democrats are vying to confront the White House.

“It is time to reverse the failed policies of President Bush and to end this war as soon as possible,” Mrs. Clinton said as she joined Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, in calling for a vote to end the authority as of Oct. 11, the fifth anniversary of the original vote.
New York Times, May 3, 2007
Yes, it's a political ploy, but it just might be something that more politicos could get behind. There might not be so much debate of funding the military and protecting them. This would be the ultimate protection for them.

now, let's watch who get's in line behind her and just how serious she really is....

and who has the real cajones!

03 May 2007

I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down...

I’m going to a place that has already been disgraced
I’m gonna see some folks who have already been let down
I’m so tired of America

I'm gonna make it up for all of the Sunday times
I'm gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I'm so tired of you, America

in light of the the two previous posts, when I came across the new Rufus Wainwright video of Going to a Town from his album, Release the Stars that will be released May 15th, I was struck with the lyric. It's filled with frustration and languid yearning for what everyone wants and deserves.

I'm not tired of America. I'm tired of the small-minded people who are destroying the American dream of freedom, equality and safety.

you can find the complete lyric here: Going to a Town

you can preorder the album on iTunes

expanded equal protection...

House Votes to Expand Hate-Crime Protection
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend hate-crime protection to people who are victimized because of their sexuality. But the most immediate effect may be to set up another veto showdown between Democrats and President Bush.

By 237 to 180, the House voted to cover crimes spurred by a victim’s “gender, sexual orientation, gender identity” or disability under the hate-crime designation, which currently applies to people who are attacked because of their race, religion, color or national origin.
It's about time, but it's still limiting. There are still groups left out. Actually, it leaves many, many groups left out. The wingnuts were working in full force, totally frustrated and irritated that they were going to lose the House vote.

To prove just how irritated they were, the Republicans tried a tactic to kill the bill before the voting by adding an amendment to include the military and the elderly. The Democrats agreed wholeheartedly. The Republican response: they tripped over their lips putting the brakes on their own requested amendment.

Like I said, it's irritating the hell out of the fundies and the bushies. The fundies have redoubled their efforts and gone directly to the source - K. George W. The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, already put out a Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1592. It was probably written even before the House passed the bill.

In effect, it states that senior staff is recommending to K. George that he veto the bill because they have serious doubts as to its constitutionality.
Moreover, the bill’s proposed section 249(a)(1) of title 18 of the U.S. Code raises constitutional concerns. Federalization of criminal law concerning the violence prohibited by the bill would be constitutional only if done in the implementation of a power granted to the Federal government, such as the power to protect Federal personnel, to regulate interstate commerce, or to enforce equal protection of the laws. Section 249(a)(1) is not by its terms limited to the exercise of such a power, and it is not at all clear that sufficient factual or legal grounds exist to uphold this
provision of H.R. 1592.

[Complete advisory here: Statement of Administration Policy]
...Power granted to the Federal government... to enforce equal protection of the laws...? If this is true, equal in whose eyes? And if legitimate power, then why, pray tell, is there a Federal Hate Crimes law on the books that protects special groups, eg. religious fundies, to begin with? Aren't they saying that the original bill is unconstitutional also? Has anyone taken it to court? I couldn't find any rulings. Is this a signing statement in reverse?

Either include everyone in a hate crimes bill or repeal the exitsting one so nobody has special protection; everyone would have the same equal protection. No special consideration should be given. That would be the only fair way to handle it. True “equal protection.”

Wouldn’t the religious fundies p** all over themselves, if there were a move to repeal the existing bill that basically protects them and includes race, color and national origin. [My guess is they gave this concession to the original bill in order to make sure they were included by name.] See, in this country we are all members of a race, color and national origin. We are all immigrants, don'tja know?

As the Consititution starts -
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.
The words "exclude" or "exclusion" appear nowhere in the document. There are no exceptions to the law explained anywhere.

02 May 2007

4 May 1970...

The date may not be remembered by many. What happened that day is remembered. I don't know what I was doing when I heard the news. I do know that it was one of the defining moments of my life. I think that we all have these defining moments. They happen unexpectedly. They usually surprise us. They never leave us. In a freakish coincidence it popped into my head as I was driving home the other day. Weird? Scary? Spooky? ESP? I only admit to being psycho-ceramic [cracked-pot, get it?]

When I finished my training session at the gym this afternoon, I went to the locker room to change and get my eye protector and sunscreen for the tanning room. The locker room has about 15 televisions in it. Usually turned to sports stations, today they all seemed to be tuned to the Headline News Network. The words I was hearing hit me like a brick up the side of my head.
We know what happened in 13 seconds. Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on Kent State University in Ohio....
I sat in numb disbelief at the words I was hearing, especially having had Kent State in my head just a couple of days before this.

The newsperson went on to describe, over actual video of what has been identified as the Kent State Massacre, a lost audio recording with the words:
For the last 37 years it has been believed that the guardsmen panicked and fired at random. They were acquitted and the families of the slain and injured students accepted the verdict and moved on with their lives.

As I watched, I sat on the bench stunned by what I was hearing. I was transfixed on the T.V. I felt anger welling up inside me with each thing I saw and heard on the HNN video report. It was like everything was happening again.

As it finished I realized that everyone in the bank of lockers was watching me. I was shaking like a leaf. These were kids who not only hadn't been born but weren't even in the figment of their parents imaginations yet, and my immediate thought was for their safety. What I watched could happen to them. It happened to the students at Kent State and I was only 22 at the time. It could have happened to me.

At the time, in 1970, I realized that violence and the taking of a person's life was anethema to me. Though I had been opposed to the Vietnam Conflict, had friends who served and died there, and had professed to be a pacifist, Kent State affirmed and strengthened my belief. It also tore my psyche to its core.

By 1970, the majority of the American people by far were against the Vietnam disaster. The massacre at Kent State was indicative of how torn and embittered the fabric of the nation was. We were in an endless web of deceit and mistrust. The military-industrial complex, that President Eisenhower warned against, was in control of the leadership. The people had literally taken to the streets to protest and attempt to disengage the country from what seemed like an endless quagmire. The Phillip and Daniel Berrigans were being arrested for speaking up and civil disobedience. The words of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were echoing across the country. The music echoed the frustration felt everywhere. McCarthyism was taking a last gasp for air.

And then, May 4th happened. Every nightmare that everyone had imagined came true in 13 seconds. Vietnam casualties were no longer 8,190 miles away. They were now in Ohio. The warring had literally been brought home. There were four students shot dead and others wounded. No, it really wasn't a massacre in terms of numbers; it was a massacre in the way that it affected the nation. The grief became compounded by the senseless carnage both here and 8,000 miles away. Yes, it took another five years for the US to leave Vietnam, but those five years strengthened the resolve of what had to happen and no new troops were sent after 1973. It became just a matter of time.

The country was torn apart at the seams by Vietnam. Brother was against brother, father against son, neighbor against neighbor. The economy was in ruin. The military was in disarray. The moral authority of the nation was in question. Any thread of commonality was shredded. Trust had disappeared. Rebuilding was paramount. After the Vietnam Conflict the healing process for the nation was going to be slow and exhausting.

Richard Nixon pulled the country out of Vietnam. Gerald Ford continued with a focus on domestic problems. Jimmy Carter calmed the nation with a caring and smoothing personality. [Iran screwed that all up.] Ronald Reagon turned the focus to dismantling the premises of Soviet style communism. George H.W. Bush was confonted with a new conflict that had to be solved when Kuwait was invaded. William Jefferson Clinton again made domestic policy the number one focus. All of these men either through direct or indirect planning continued the national healing that was needed by Vietnam. It was almost complete by 2000.

I'm not really going to go where this is heading. Everyone is aware to what I'm referring. I don't have to outline or cite examples but the effects are the same.

Again, I feel the frustration of the nation being not just back to Vietnam and its after effects but even worse. Men and women again are being killed. People are against one another. The rule of law is not just in question, but also under siege. Groups are being attacked for what they believe, who they are and what they say.

I also feel helpless. At least with Vietnam there were outlets for protesting and resisting. This time the powers that be have people in fear of doing what could be taken as anti-American, when the act of rebelliousness is what helped found this country. If someone does make a statement or take a stand, they are instantly demonized. Think Cindy Sheehan and Judy Shepard.

I've tried to use this weblog as a means of asking questions that hopefully may get someone thinking. I don't expect or want anyone to think the way I do. What I want is for people to think. Think for themselves. Not just to ape what someone says or does but to take in all the information they can and to make deccisions for themselves. Most important is that they take a stand in what they believe and act on it...

just like the students at Kent State...

The CNN article can be found here: Kent State tape: 'Get set! Point! Fire!'. To see the actual HNN video click on "Watch scenes from the shooting and hear the tape" in the third paragraph.

going bananas...

A friend sent me this in an email. It's really very interesting. There is a wealth of benefits from bananas. They are also one of the best sources of water for hydration of the body.


Sadly, the bananas that we now eat are under worldwide attack from a virus and it's not the first time. The Gros Michel was the most popular banana at one time and was completely wiped off the face of the earth. We now eat the Cavendish and it is in the same boat [pun intended] and in jeopardy from the same disease that destroyed the Gros Michel.

A professor at CCNY for a psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression "going bananas" is from the effects of bananas on the brain.

This is interesting. After reading this, you may never look at a banana in the same way again.

Read on:

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depressed Banana

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school (England) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Frozen Banana

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"


PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

Monkey Eating Banana

I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!
Never, put your banana in the refrigerator! [When cold, bananas decay from the inside out and they don't ripen they turn black.] You should use a silly little thing like a banana hammock

or tree.

How do you tell if a banana is ripe? It's the brown spots on the skin - the more the riper. Also, as they ripen the skin becomes thinner and thinner.

and when all else fails...


this, all by itself, is enough to get anyone out of depression. and it has chocolate that has many of its own medicinal properties.

no wonder bananas and chocolate go so well together...