Sunday, October 30, 2005

This is Scary

After watching Halloween horror movies and specials galore over the past couple of weeks, I finally found my Halloween Scare. It had my heart going.

My husband found it while surfing at work through this site.

We're All to Blame

by Sum 41

How can we still succeed, taking what we don't need?
Telling lies as alibis, selling all the hate that we breed
SUPERSIZE OUR TRAGEDIES
(You can’t define me, or justify greed)
Bought in the land of the free!
(LAND, FREE)

And we're all to blame
We've gone too far
From pride to shame
We're trying so hard
We're dying in vain
We're hopelessly blissful and blind
To all we are
We want it all With no sacrifice!!

Realize we spend our lives living in a culture of fear
Stand to salute, say thanks to the man of the year
How did we all come to this?
(You can’t define me, or justify greed)
A greed that we just can't resist!
(RE-SIST)

And we're all to blame
We've gone too far
From pride to shame
We're trying so hard
We're dying in vain
We're hopelessly blissful and blind
To all we are
We want it all
Everyone wants it all with no SACRIFICE!!

Tell me now, what have we done? We don't know!
I can't allow what has begun to tear me down,
Believe me now, we have no choice left
With our backs against the wall!!

And now we're all to blame
We've gone too far
From pride to shame
We're hopelessly blissful and blind
When all we needIs something true
To believe
Don't we all?
Everyone, everyone
We will fall

'Cause we're all to blame
We've gone too far
From pride to shame
We're trying so hard
We're dying in vain
We want it all
Everyone, don't we all?

I was distracted by the silly video when I first heard the song, so didn't realize it was so very political until a few months ago when listening on the radio.

While on the subject of music, my iTunes random 10:

1. Praise Chorus Jimmy Eat World
2. The Red Chevelle
3. Dust in the wind Kansas
4. #13 Baby Pixies
5. Cracklin' Rosie Neil Diamond
6. Hate to Say I Told You So The Hives
7. San Franciscan Nights Eric Burdon & The Animals (inspiration for my blog description at top of page, in case anyone was wondering if it was a sign of a developmental disability or disorder)
8. Your House Jimmy Eat World
9. In a Big Country Big Country
10. Beautiful Day U2

"Pinhead!"

(I haven't had one decent scare yet this Halloween season. Any suggestions?)

Friday, October 28, 2005

More Holidays to Celebrate

Thanks to Rash Nussell (who should blog more -- neglect your kids!!!) we can celebrate a holiday every day of the year.

Today is, in addition to being the first day of Fitzmas/Fitzukkah: Den vzniku samostatneho ceskoslovenskeho statu - 1918 (Independence Day) in the Czech Republic; OHI Day on Cyprus; Quds Day for Islam; and it's Ramadan, so have your Fitzmas pie after sunset.

Care for a Piece of Fitzmas Pie?


I made fresh homemade apple pie this morning for a Fall Festival tonight, but now it's also a Fitzmas pie. Or Fitzukkah, as Al Franken called it, since it's reported that there will likely be 8 days of indictments.

Also as Al said, the spirit of Fitzukkah is not Schadenfreude, it's the Rule of Law. Schadenfreude is the fun part of Fitzukkah, so have fun, have a piece of Fitzmas pie.

Hmmm, what does it mean that the market is up today?

Liveblogging on Fitzgerald press conference now:

1 count lying to grand jury obstruction of justice (hard to liveblog with kids)
2 perjury
2 false statements to FBI

Valerie was CIA and classified, which was not widely known outside intelligence community.

Her cover blown July 2003; first sign of blown cover was Novak's column, but he was not the first reporter to learn of it. Libby was the first official to have told a reporter when he talked to Miller.

Investigators gather facts; who, what, where, why; then determine if a crime as committed, who committed it, if it should be indicted.

Witnesses before grand jury must tell complete truth because of necessity of determing truth

Interviewed Libby, focus was what had he known, what he said, why he said it, when. Long chain of phone calls spoke to Russert, Russert told him about Valerie. He told FBI he learned it as if it were knew, passed it on to others. He told FBI when he passed it along 2 days before Novak, passsed ti with the understanding that he got it form reporter and didn't know it was true.

He took oath and said the same thing before frand jury. said he learned info before russert, but forgot. siad he passed it on as if it were gossip he didn't know was true.

It is not true, according to the indictment. Libby discussed it half a dozen times before speaking to Russert, then when he did talk to Russert, didn't discuss Valerie Plame at all. 3 times in early 2003 Libby learned of Valerie Wilson from government officials -- and there was nothing wrong with that.

Early June, he learned of her role in sending Amb. Wilson -- one of the times from VP Cheney on June 12 (which was the 3rd conversation). At least four people in govt. told Libby. Also at least 3 times he discussed info with other officials.

July 7 2003, discusses with Ari Fleischer on Thursday what he claimed to learn on Monday.

At least 7 discussions before he spoke to Russert, again, at which time he never discussed Valerie Plame.

He testified that he spoke to Cooper and Miller July 12; that he gave them info from other reporters; that he didn't know if it was true; that he didn't know if Wilson even had a wife.

Fact is, he discussed it 4 times before July 14.

He spoke to Miller 3 times, June 23 2003; July 8 2003, when he changed attribution to former hill staffer; July 12. In those conversations, Libby never said it was what other reporters said; never said he didn't know it wasn't true; never said he didn't even know Wilson had a wife.

Libby lied under oath, repeatedly.

Investigation not finished. Substantial bulk of investigation is over. Keeping grand jury open in case there are related matters.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rant -- Michelle Malkin Stupidest Bitch on Planet Today

I'm in NO MOOD this morning, especially after I read this Michelle Malkin column title in the RMN: "The left's day of celebration is here: 2000 dead soldiers."

The argument is that 2000 is a fake, arbitrary, meaningless number, as Malkin quotes from U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan
"The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations," Boylan wrote.

Yes, they are as important, which is why a round number like 2000 was chosen to protest the rising ranks of the dead. Because it's a round number, and it encompasses all 2000. Should we organize large protests every day? Because that's when soldiers are killed...every day. And if the bitch hadn't noticed, many people do protest and keep track of the count, every day.

And talking about arbitrary numbers, why count only those killed? Over 15000 soldiers have been wounded, some so grievously that they will never live anything close to their former normal lives again. Are they not worth protests and notice?

That's over 17000 soldiers negatively affected by an unnecessary war of choice. Diddle yourself to that number, Malkin. I know it turns you on to think of the human blood sacrifice our Administration makes everyday to its twisted ideology. (Not so pleasant being ascribed emotional attitude, is it?).

Then the argument is to think of the families, think of the effect such protests and reporting have on them. Okay, how about we think of the families of the next 2000 military dead, the next 15000 military wounded? We have a responsiblity to the living as well, you know.

I have two sons who will be eligible for military service in 13 and 16 years. I would be proud for one or both to join some branch of the military. My older son said he wanted to go to the Air Force Academy (of course, he's five, and that will surely change). Many of the men in my family, both immediate and extended, have served in the military.

I was raised to appreciate and love the military, to have pride in our U.S. troops and their integrity and honor. Not only that, but I was raised to believe that they should have and be expected to have the highest integrity and honor of any military on the planet. The fact that the military do their duty as they are required by the current misAdministration -- even those who disagree with it -- is a testament to their honor.

I am part of the military families, and I get a say in how the military is used.

But so what that I am? It doesn't matter if anyone in the military doesn't agree with me, as it doesn't matter that some in the military do agree with me. I have a say, as a mother, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter. Hell, just as a citizen, I have a say.

I say our military is being used stupidly by ideological idiots who are being supported and cheered on by other ideological idiots.

Further, I say anyone who suggests that I don't have a right and a responsiblity to stand up and say someone is abusing our system is a stupid, ignorant, anti-American bitch. And anyone who suggests that I, as a member of the left, am "celebrating" the deaths of our soldiers is a santorum-sucking, donkey-fucking whore who prefers her smegma on toast, but will lick it right off the cock rather than go without. But that's my opinion.

"The left." That's a large spectrum. But she just points out the fringe. Am I fringe? Let's see, she says:
These are the people, remember, who liken Iraqi terrorists to America's Minutemen during the Revolutionary War.

Nope, not me.
Who believe the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and at Shanksville, Pa., were a Bush conspiracy with Israel and/or Saudi Arabia.

Again, no.
Who applaud when left-wing university of Colorado professor Ward Churchill gloats about "chickens coming home to roost" and suggests that the peace movement should support the fragging of American troops.

Way off.
Who use the names and images of dead American soldiers against their families' wishes to propagate anti-Bush hatred.

Uhhh, no.
Who believe Saddam Hussein should be freed and Guantanamo Bay emptied.

Where the fuck did she get that first one, and, actually, yes on the second, but only to transfer them to another facility under U.S. control. It's the same reason Abu Ghraib should no longer house prisoners...both have created a negative image of the U.S., and something symbolic (as well as concrete to make sure torture doesn't happen again) needs to be done.
Who carry around banners that proclaim "WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS WHEN THEY SHOOT THEIR OFFICERS."

That is a filthy libel, I never have. In fact, they're all filthy libels of millions of people who are on "the left" without being on the fringe.

But Michelle Malkin is on the fringe, herself. She's one of the few people who have an actual national platform read by -- well, I don't know how many read her idiocy, but it must be more than read mine.

Malkin talks a good talk about responsibility when it comes to others. We have a resonsibility to support our troops the way she thinks they should be supported. We have a responsibility to support the President in a time of war. We have a responsibility to be aware of the feelings of the families of the troops. We have a responsibility to not be divisive. Her only responsibility is to make lots of money questioning the motives and patriotism of millions of Americans who disagree with her.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Mom's Right, I'm a Socialist

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

That Way Lies Anarchy

Target claims Title VII requires them to make concessions to religious pharmacists. Wash Park Prophet points out that Title VII begs to differ, and Oh-Willeke makes an excellent point excellently
Any other standard the requiring every store to carry out its duties is an express route to disaster. Scientologists who won't dispense psychiatric drugs, vegans who don't want to sell milk, Hindus who don't want to sell beef jerky, Jews who won't check out pork, Mormons who won't sell coffee or alcohol, Catholic who don't want to sell condoms, God hates homosexuals so no AZT for you, blood transfusions are wrong so no clot busting and immune suppressing drugs for you, the parade of horribles goes on and on and on. If your beliefs prevent you from doing you job, you need to find another job.

Planned Parenthood offers a list of some pharmacies with good policies. They've also posted a letter from Kmart (pdf) in which Kmart agrees with Oh-Willeke
Under no circumstances is it Kmart's policy that a customer be forced to leave the pharmacy without the timely filling of a valid prescrition because of the ethical, moral ore religious grounds of the pharmacist on duty. If there is no way to accommodate the objection without resulting in an untimely delay to the customer, our policy requires the pharmacist to fill the prescription notwithstanding his or her objection. Depending upon the circumstances, a pharmacist's violation of these policies can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


I've written to Kroger's/King Sooper's for their policy, and will post the reply if I ever get one.

Candy:Opiate of Masses::Marijuana:Crack

Karen M. (AKA EvilMommy) and Pither in comments both made excellent points about whether Halloween should be celebrated in schools. Karen M. said it's a religious holiday called Samhain (pronounced sow-uhn, I learned in my Celtic Literature class in college), whereas Pither said the kids just want candy.

But consider the use of candy in Western Majority religions. It's a central part of nearly every holiday that has a religious connection: Halloween, Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Easter.

The fun, the parties, the games, the presents. Sure, we secularly-minded parents can think that we're only using the meaningless hedonistic parts of the holiday, but subconsciously, our kids are making the connection: religion is sweet, like candy.

But the reality of religion isn't sweet like candy. It's bitter, ascetic, self-sacrificing and painful. Was Christ sucking on a Tootsie Pop up there on the cross? Did the Jews smear chocolate sauce on their doorways as an invitation to the Angel of Sweet Snacks to bring bags of goodies to their first-born sons? Did Lemonheads and Screaming Yellow Zonkers rain down on Egypt?

Religion is deadly serious stuff that can change brain chemistry and affect your children for the rest of their lives. Will you sacrifice your child to religion just for some "harmless fun" with candy?

Just Say No.

Warning: the following contains an anecdote about my older son

Yesterday, discussing Christmas, my son asked if there really was a Santa Claus. I asked him if he ever got presents at Christmas from Santa, and what did he think. He said that one of his friends said that maybe someone else brought those presents, like someone who starts with a "D." He was sitting on his dad's lap, with whom I exchanged a look, thinking "D" stands for "Dad," and isn't 5 a little young to find out there's no Santa.

So I tried to distract him, guessing "dinosaur," and "David Letterman." He said, "No, it starts with 'D' and has an 'L,' I think. And a 'V.'"

It suddenly occurred to me what he meant, and I burst out laughing. "No, the Devil doesn't bring you Christmas presents." He thought it was funny, too. He's wicked smart.

[edited to add link]

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bush Administration Sadism

They've got a hard-on for the torture.

They do need an outlet, considering all the stress and emotional turmoil of their jobs.

Libby Lied: Cheney Played Role in CIA Outing

Libby didn't learn of Valerie Plame's name from a reporter, as he testified to the grand jury. He learned it from VP Cheney, who got it from Tenet.
In her testimony to the grand jury, Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, said Mr. Libby sought from the start of her three conversations with him to "insulate his boss from Mr. Wilson's charges."

But his boss is where Libby got the info.

These leaks say "some interesting indictments soon" to me. The leaks are a play for public opinion. Fitzgerald's office was sealed tight until a couple of weeks ago, and now a steady stream of leaks. It undercuts the argument that this is all politics, that Fitzgerald's a partisan who has nothing but possible omissions to the grand jury. And though the leaks may be a political play, they are necessary given the highly-placed political figures who are going to get indicted.

Halloween Under Siege

That's what you would say, right Bill O'Reilly? Hello?

My son's school is having a Halloween parade and party. I'd be pretty pissed if his school decided they would simply not do it. It's a great, fun, secular American tradition.
...the staff at Red Hawk Ridge Elementary School in Centennial recently sent home a reminder notice to parents:
No Halloween.
No costumes.
No classroom party.
No parade.

It's part of a recent trend among schools to do away with the Halloween tradition. They cite various reasons for doing so
In the past, concerns have tended to center on religion, with complaints coming from multiple fronts: There are those alarmed by Halloween's perceived relationship with the occult. There is the church-state crowd that doesn't like its eighth-century Christian roots and says it should not be allowed in public schools. And Wiccans complain children are portraying witches in an unflattering way.
...
"I think for the most part the real reason schools are doing away with Halloween during the day has to do with the disruption and the loss of instructional time," agrees Mike Crawford, principal at Palmer Elementary in Denver.


Sorry excuse. Anything can be an opportunity for instruction. The sorriest excuse of all is this, though
In addition, as schools struggle to be sensitive to diversity, there is concern that children whose homelands or cultures do not recognize Halloween will feel left out or uncomfortable.

Yes, American traditions with parties and candy make kids uncomfortable, and are a terrible way of helping immigrant children become Americanized.

Thank goodness there are still some level heads like Chuck Raisch, principal of Steck Elementary
He believes holiday celebrations can be teaching tools. For example, a parent who recently has arrived from China may not understand the American concept of trick-or-treating. But if you explain it as a chance for children to be creative, maybe even dress in their country's traditional costumes, he suspects few would object.

(Yes, I like the Christmas celebrations, too. Let's celebrate every holiday we can, because we and our children have had too much stress these days).

White House in Emotional Turmoil

In Strangers on a Train, the carousel was going around so fast it started flying apart. I hear warped carousel music playing
"He's like the lion in winter," observed a political friend of Bush. "He's frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone."
...
Presidential advisers and friends say Bush's demeanor is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy. Also, he is occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the "blame game."
...
Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the president himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."

However, I do recall he had similar emotional turmoil before the 2004 elections. He doesn't handle reality well, does he?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Target Painting Itself in a Corner in the Pharmacy

AmericaBlog got a more personal letter from Target about their pharmaceutical policy, in which they say their pharmacists have a right to not fill certain prescriptions based on religious objections, but must help fill the prescriptions despite their religious objections.

Whatever.

Like Whitewater in Reverse

Fitzgerald's investigation is going the opposite direction of the Starr investigations.

Starr went from what would have been a serious crime, but didn't actually happen (Clinton was cleared in Whitewater when Starr started) to a relatively minor but actual crime (lying under oath about a non-material sexual affair which was appropriately punished by suspension and fine).

Fitzgerald went from a serious crime (making false statements to Federal Officers and a Grand Jury about the subject of an investigation) to what could be a horrendously serious crime (forging documents and lying to Congress to start a war, which would appropriately be punished by impeachment, imprisonment, or permanent exile).

Serenity and the Nature of Evil

Hoban "Wash" Park Prophet gathered a bunch of links to Serenity/Firefly analyses, which I will have to take some time to savor.

I think Joss Whedon does an excellent job of sneaking in exposition without it feeling too much like exposition. He had to sneak a lot of it into the movie to explain relationships and backstory.

But there is just no substitute for watching the series and listening to the commentaries. One writer made an observation
"that the alliance sees itself as representing a force for good and progress and is willing to commit any number of atrocities and crimes to further those ends. It's an idea that has enormous historical resonance, from the white man's burden of the British Empire to the Soviet Union and the current American Empire. On the other hand, as a theme it seemed underexploited; in opposing the Alliance, Mal is surely perpetuating the anarchy and violence that seems to thrive outside it."


Perhaps it seemed underexploited in the movie (there's only so much backstory you can fit in for the unititiated), but in the pilot's commentary, Joss explains how he helped Adam Baldwin understand his character, Jayne, and to sympathetically play a selfish jerk. He told of an interview he saw with Willem Dafoe, in which Dafoe was asked whether he prefers playing good guys or bad guys. Dafoe answered that he plays them both the same, because everyone sees himself as a good guy.

Jayne sees himself as the hero. The toadie in the background sees himself as the hero. It explains why everyone in the Firefly world does what they do: they are serving the greater good as they see it. No matter what they do, they have a good reason, and it is not evil.

But I think most people on the planet acknowledge that there is good and evil, and in the series we are lead to believe one side is good and one side is evil. What makes some people evil and some people good, and is it really constructive or a good idea to use such labels?

The Mahablog did a post on the nature of evil a few months ago which resonated with me. It was partially sparked by her reaction to a David Brooks column in which he writes
Some liberals have trouble grasping evil, and always think that if we could take care of the handguns or the weapons of mass destruction, our problems would be ameliorated. But I know the problem lies in the souls of our enemies.


David Brooks sees himself and the Christian West as intrinsically good, while our enemies are intrinsically evil. Then wouldn't we Christian Westerners see the Alliance as intrinsically good and Mal as intrinsically evil, or vice versa depending on your allegiance? But Mal's the good guy we identify with and cheer on.

Maha responds



Fools (i.e., David Brooks) think of evil as an object that can be clearly deliniated, like a chair or a cheesecake. He speaks of it as graspable. But Zennies say that evil is no-thing, meaning it is not a thing you can put in a basket and show off to your friends. The action that is evil affects all beings. However -- especially in Buddhism -- no thing or being is evil.

This is an important distinction, because the history of evil reveals that people who create evil hardly ever see themselves or their intentions as evil. Osama bin Laden and his 9/11 flunkies believed their terrorist attack was righteous and justified, as did Tim McVeigh when he blew up the federal building. Even the all-time great evildoers like Hitler and Stalin and Mao no doubt rationalized their actions as serving a greater good.

The Firefly series deals with this kind of complicated murkiness, especially in the hero. Mal is a ruthless killer and a criminal who does what he must to protect himself and his crew, yet he often puts himself and his crew in mortal danger to help strangers. His motivations are complicated, but he sees himself as doing good. As the sympathetic hero, we Christian Westerners do, too, which is a hopeful sign.

Maha writes of a teaching of the Buddha



The Buddha taught that actions flowing from a mind purified of ego, hate, anger, and us-them judgments will be beneficial. However, actions flowing from a mind defiled with ego, hate, anger, and us-them judgments will cause suffering.

The Train Job episode is a good example of this. Though Mal's first loyalty is seemingly to his crew, he will not hesitate to endanger them all to do what is ultimately the right thing. His initial actions flow from his hatred of the Alliance: he will not bend to their will, he will steal from them and kill their agents, and he will ally with a sadistic, torturing monster to to maintain his freedom. Negative consequences arise from this motivation, and people suffer. But while he could easily escape and profit, he does not accept happiness and security for himself at the expense of the innocent.

Writes Maha



From this perspective, a person with a pure mind doesn't have to consult a rulebook; whatever he does will be "good." A person with a defiled mind can read the Bible eight hours a day and worship the Ten Commandments, yet his actions will still result in "evil."

This perspective drives conservative Christians nuts; they call it "situational ethics." Instead of responding to situations as-they-are, a "moral" person must live by a fixed code of conduct based on religious dogma and societal values. This, they say, makes sure that actions are correct. Not consulting the rules amounts to doing whatever you want. And that's bad.

But that misses the point; if a person is free of ego-attachment and personal desire, then there is no "you" and no "want."

Therefore the wise put themselves last,
but find themselves foremost.
They exclude themselves,
and yet they always remain.
Is it not because they do not live for themselves
that they find themselves fulfilled?


-- Tao Teh Ching, verse 7

Without morals and commandments and "you" and "want," there is just action to allieviate suffering. Easier said than done, of course, which is why even Zennies have written Precepts. Until you reach the other shore, you will need a boat. But from this perspective, fixed codes of conduct are not an ideal, but a crutch.



This is how Malcolm Reynolds lives. He doesn't know it, but he follows some teachings of Buddha, which makes his mocking prayer, "Dear Buddha, send me a pony and a plastic rocket," very interesting.

He had fallen into the trap of believing in the wrong things. (You have to have seen the pilot to get this next part) He had believed in a fairy tale Santa Claus God who would send "angels" to save him and his comrades, because what he was fighting for was right and good. When that didn't happen, he became embittered and stopped believing altogether, though his actions through the series and movie showed that he really did have faith in the right thing all along -- others shouldn't be made to suffer for your happiness.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison -- Now and Then

Via Atrios
Kay Bailey Hutchison on Meet the Press, October 23, 2005
I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation were not a waste of time and dollars.


Kay Bailey Hutchison's statement explaining her guilty votes for Articles 1 and 2 for impeachment of Bill Clinton, February 12, 1999
Based upon my analysis of the facts of this case and my own conclusions of law, I have concluded:

(i) The President of the United States willfully, and with intent to deceive, gave false and misleading testimony under oath with respect to material matters that were pending before the Federal grand jury on August 17, 1998, as alleged in Article I presented to the Senate. I, therefore, vote 'Guilty' on Article I of the Articles of Impeachment of the President in this Proceeding.

(ii) The President of the United States engaged in a pattern of conduct, performed acts of willful deception, and told and disseminated massive falsehoods, including lies told directly to the American people, that were designed and corruptly calculated to impede, obstruct, and prevent the plaintiff in the Arkansas Federal sexual harassment case from seeking and obtaining justice in the Federal court system of the United States, and to further prevent the Federal grand jury from performing its functions and responsibilities under law, I, therefore, vote 'Guilty' on Article II of the Articles of Impeachment of the President in this proceeding.
...
In reaching my decision with respect to this Article, I have concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that the President gave false and misleading testimony in the Arkansas sexual harrassment case and in his appearance before the Federal grand jury.
...
Willful, corrupt, and false sworn testimony before a Federal grand jury is a separate and distinct crime under applicable law and is material and perjurious if it is 'capable' of influencing the grand jury in any matter before it, including any collateral matters that it may consider. See, Title 18, Section 1623, U.S. Code, and Federal court cases interpreting that Section. The President's testimony before the Federal grand jury was fully capable of influencing the grand jury's investigation and was clearly perjurious.
...
When, on January 26, 1998, the President of the United States pointed his finger at the American people and represented to them that he was the victim of lies and not their perpetrator, he lied to America. The evidence is overwhelming that he did so because all of his 'ducks were in a row.'

The White House Intern had executed a false affidavit; subpoenaed gifts had been hidden; his own false deposition had been given; other witnesses had testified falsely based upon his own false representations to them; retribution against the White House Intern had been programmed should she abandon loyalty; and loyalty had been confirmed by the Intern's acceptance of a special new job in New York, that represented, according to a friend of the President, 'Mission accomplished.'

Then came the dress, the tapes, and the Federal grand jury. The attempt to obstruct and cover-up grew, expanded, and developed a life of its own. It overpowered the underlying offense itself. A new strategy was required, fast: The President was advised: 'Admit the sex, but never the lies.' Shift the blame; change the subject. Blame it on the plaintiff in the Arkansas case. Blame it on her lawyers. Blame it on the Independent Counsel. Blame it on partisanship. Blame it on the majority members of the House Judiciary Committee. Blame it on the process.

The blame belongs to the President of the United States. This juror has concluded that the President is guilty of obstructing justice beyond a reasonable doubt, as alleged in Article II of the Articles of Impeachment in this proceeding.

[All emphases added]

Update: Wash Park Prophet says Hutchison has been indicted before, and had the same lawyer that DeLay is using now. Like the links between They Get Letters and Wash Park Prophet, criminal Republicans have circular relationships.

Denver Post Blog

The Denver Post has a blog community. I don't know who the bloggers are, or how they got a spot there, but they may be worth checking out. I like D.Note's entries, his most current is Play it straight on marijuana.


Also, links
TALK BACK TO AL LEWIS
(Denver Post Business Columnist Al Lewis' Blog)
WASHINGTON & THE WEST (Denver Post Washington Bureau Blog)


Commenting requires a WordPress login.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Dog-biting Jiminy Cricket Fighting Religious War

No link because RMN neglected to put it on the website today
Mikey Weinstein, the Air Force Academy alumnus who sued the Air Force to halt religious proselytizing in the military, said evangelical Christians have launched a "religious war" in the United States.
...
"This is about ensuring that one particular religious view is not allowed to engage the machinery of the state to further it so that all the rest of us are children of a lesser God," he said.
...
Weinstein filed suit after the Air Force refused to disavow a June statement by the Air Force deputy chief of chaplains Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson, who said "we will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched."

Weinstein, a lawyer who lives in Albuquerque, called the statement "a brutalization of the Constitution" and its guarantees of free religious expression.

"What would America do if someone reserved the right to 'Islamize the unmosqued' or 'Judaize the unsynagogued?'" Weinstein asked.


This is going to be a nasty war
When Mikey Weinstein was 2 years old, according to family lore, his parents received a knock on the door. It was the neighbors, upset that the boy had bitten their dog.

"I guess I've always been very resolute," Weinstein said.
...
"A lot of people get upset by Mikey's passion," Morton said. "To me, he's like Jiminy Cricket. He's that annoying little voice you can't ignore. The Air Force should listen to him. He's telling them the right way to go."

But then, the opposition is nasty (from unlinked article)
Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, on its Web site, told visitors to "contact President Bush and urge him to restore the right to religious expression in the Air Force."

Dozens of members of Congress took that advice this week, drafting a letter to Bush seeking an executive order protecting free speech for military chaplains.

"Christian military chaplains are under direct attack and their right to pray according to their faith is in jeopardy," said the letter.

By late Friday, 58 members of Congress had signed the letter, including Colorado Republican Reps. Joel Hefley, Bob Beauprez and Marilyn Musgrave. The letter is expected to be delivered Monday.

A Great Idea for Robbing Banks

Everyone should start using Australian accents.

"Australian banks have the third deadliest poison in the world!"

Do the Guard Get Bonuses or Not?

Last week this was reported
The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle).


So why is the Rocky Mountain News reporting this today?
A veteran Guard member can receive a bonus of up to $15,000 cash for a six-year extension and $7,500 for a three-year extension, depending on the military speciality. New enlistees can receive up to a $10,000 signing bonus for critical skills needed by the Guard.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blog For Sale, Slightly Used



My blog is worth $23,146.14.
How much is your blog worth?



Via Pharyngula.

The Blog of Father Fitzmas -- I Believe

Dear Father Fitzmas,

Please send me a life-sized Karl Rove being frog-marched out of the White House.

Sincerely,
Julie O.

Via Crooks and Liars.

P.S. I forgot to ask for the matching detail-oriented, life-sized I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Poor Judith Miller

She spent all that primo martydom time in jail trying to rehabilitate her reputation, and this is what she gets? Stabbed in the back by the guy whose back she stabbed.

Remaking Iraq

It's going really well. Especially what we taught Iraqis about respecting and understanding the legal system.

Get 'Em While They're Hot

Schadenfreude.

Update: YES. I thought of doing this last night, but I was watching The Fog with my husband and eating late night BW-3 wings. Thank you, Janus Online.

Update 2: via Atrios, the AP shows its bias towards lazy reporting.

Associated Press Makes Association on Miers Work

Harriet Miers was paid an exorbitant lawyer's fee before Bush's 1998 Gubernatorial campaign, but the White House won't explain why or release the records, and his aides aren't talking.
Dana Perrino, a White House spokeswoman, said the legal fees to Miers' firm were for routine campaign work, but declined to be more specific. Presidential aides declined to say whether Miers ever worked on researching Bush's past, such as his military record.
...
In late September, when Miers' firm received the first of two $70,000 payments, Mauro said he trailed Bush in the polls by 35 points.

"If they're spending that kind of money," said Mauro, now an Austin attorney who estimates he spent less than $20,000 on legal fees during the campaign, "they're spending it to protect themselves from something."

Bush getting Clintonized by the press: innuendos, implications, connections, leading questions. Except IMHO, Bush deserves it. Bwa.Ha.Ha.

Wrong Again...But Even I Saw This One Coming

Evans W. Sussman was not an incompetent government agency patronage assassin. He knew the intended victims, had done work for them several years ago, when he had so much contact with them, they recommended an attorney for his pending divorce proceedings.

I was making fun of an incompetent career criminal who was going to kill his victims, but it turns out Sussman was a desperate guy down on his luck. He did a terrible job because it was his first criminal endeavor. His neighbor, Jim Leemon, was shocked by this uncharacteristic behavior
"He was a great neighbor. He had two kids about my kids' age. We had barbecues, we helped each other out. We both tried to sand graffiti off the fences in the neighborhood.

"It's rare to find someone so compassionate."

Leemon can't imagine Sussman carrying a big knife. "He wasn't a hunter. I don't think he ever had a knife, except a Swiss Army knife.

"He was just a regular guy. He had tools. He was a family man. He loved his children."

Which makes this whole story very sad.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Response from Target about EC

Is this supposed to mean something?
Dear Target Guest,

Target places a high priority on our role as a community pharmacy and our obligation to meet the needs of the patients we serve. We expect all our team members, including our pharmacists, to provide respectful service to our guests, particularly when it comes to their
health care needs.

Like many other retailers, Target has a policy that ensures a guest’s prescription for emergency contraception is filled, whether at Target or at a different pharmacy, in a timely and respectful manner. This policy meets the health care needs of our guests while respecting the diversity of our team members.

Your thoughts help us learn more about what our guests expect, so I’ll be sure to share your feedback with our pharmacy executives.

Thanks for taking the time to share your questions, thoughts and comments. I hope we’ll see you again soon at Target.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hanson
Target
Executive Offices

[emphasis added]

Does that mean that Target's policy is that its pharmacists can refuse to fill a prescription they don't like for whatever reason, but they have to hand the prescription back so the customer can take it to another pharmacy? (I did hear about pharmacists who would refuse to return the unfilled prescription to the customer.)

That's a bad policy. Pharmacists who won't do their jobs, who make value judgments about the medical care customers receive, need to be fired so they will be free to get a job at Chick-Fil-A. Does Chick-Fil-A have a policy which allows their vegetarian employees to refuse to sell chicken breasts to people, who are, after all, free to go to Wendy's for a Spicy Chicken sandwich?

Perhaps a better policy would be to have at least one pharmacist on duty who will do his job of dispensing legal medications.

Sex Offender Outrage

The citizens of Lakewood are concerned about the high-profile violent sex offender moving in near them. But they're already most likely surrounded by sex offenders.

They're everywhere



Know where your kids are. It makes me want to implant a microchip under my children's skin for satellite tracking. They can get it removed when they're 18.

Although I do wonder if any of the offenders who were in their early 20s were having "consensual" sex with 17-year-olds. That's still technically child abuse.

I-100 Billboards; Both Sides Have a Point

The new billboard is accurate -- alcohol contributes to domestic violence, while marijuana does not.

The anti-violence advocates are right -- legalized marijuana would not prevent alcohol-induced domestic violence.

The pro-marijuana forces need to make the point clear -- there is no compelling reason for marijuana to be illegal, as it is a safer drug than alcohol, and should be a controlled substance, like alcohol or cigarettes.

Even Super Assassins Incompetent Patronages

How else to explain the white muscular "burglar" in his late 20s, early 30s with no ID and untraceable fingerprints who was stabbed to death by his own knife by the peace-loving Boulder couple who tried to resuscitate him?

An obvious Bush Administration appointment. This government couldn't even manage to cover up the incident and keep it out of the news.

Expect an update when more is known.

Update: It took dental records to ID the attacker, Evans W. Sussman, which further shows the government's incompetence. There shouldn't be any dental records. And an interesting development
Sussman was represented in a 2002 divorce proceeding by the lawyer who had been acting as a spokesman for the Sunshine Canyon couple who said they were forced to defend themselves after Sussman tried to enter their home, according to court records.

Coincidence or cover-up? Or maybe I need to stop listening to Art Bell late at night.

Wealthy Scrooges Stiff Charities

It's not too surprising. My husband used to deliver pizzas, and said the wealthier and bigger the house, the more likely he was to get a very small or even no tip. I understand that is a common complaint amongst pizzer delivery people. That's partly why many wealthy people are wealthy; they will often screw over other people even in small ways for their own benefit.

However, the wealthy are paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes, which helps make up for the shortfall in charitable giving. If not for progressive taxation, there would be a greater need for charity, yet I doubt most of the wealthy would chip in any more.

Which is why this meme about high tax burdens and useless government has got to be countered. There was a time when the tax burden was very low. At that time, a whole lot of people also lived in dark cold hovels on muddy "streets" with no communication with the rest of the world. There is this idea that government is too inefficient, corrupt, and wasteful, while private contractors would provide services cheaper and better. There's just as much, if not more, corruption and waste in private contracting as in public. The real problem is in places like Jacksonville, FL, where there is a marriage between corrupt government and corrupt private contracting -- and I think quite literally a marriage, as in "we'll give that building contract to my sister's husband."

Read Shirah's series at Unbossed about public vs. private services, which goes a long way to debunking this myth. It's in several parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. They're not that long.

The series lays out the historical reasons for using government for certain roles, the difference between public and private, accountability, and -- what I find most chilling -- lack of accountability in the private sector which disguises itself as public
Private companies are not only desiging static information pages, but also web pages the public must use for mandatory reporting. Nothing about the page reveals that private information is being given to anyone but the government.

This leaves the public with no information about who is providing the services. If a private contractor revealed the private information it had collected, an injured member of the public would have limited recourse, as a practical matter. Not only would the citizen lack the information necessary to hold that wrongdoer accountable, it would appear that the government caused the injury.

As in most things, I think we will find the solution lies in finding a balance between private and public services, and making both more efficient and accountable, which necessitates government involvement, and the taxes to pay for it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm a Tigress for my Family

You scored as Zoe Alleyne Washburne.

The Soldier. You are the second in command,

and that is fine. You like a chain of command,

but only when the one in charge has earnt your

respect. Those who earn your love or loyalty

will find no one better to guard their back.

Zoe Alleyne Washburne

56%

Capt. Mal Reynolds

50%

Hoban 'Wash' Washburne

50%

Simon Tam

50%

The Operative

38%

River Tam

38%

Shepherd Derrial Book

38%

Inara Serra

25%

Jayne Cobb

19%

Kaylee Frye

19%

Which Serenity character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

About O'Reilly on the Daily Show

It wasn't as uncomfortable and embarrassing as I thought it would be, and to his credit, I thought Bill O'Reilly had a sense of humor about it. If only he would stop being a dick for ratings, he might have half a hope.

And what timing for Colbert's new show if O'Reilly retires. That undercuts the whole premise. O'Reilly expressed fatigue, which Jon rightly pointed out is because O'Reilly wastes his outrage on the unimportant and powerless, like France and Cindy Sheehan.
If this were the Peanuts series, France is Marcie. Every now and again she shows up, she's standing next to Peppermint Patty, but nothing's happening with France. You know who's the problem? F*$%ing Lucy, she's the problem! Go after Lucy! Get Lucy! You can do it, go out and get her!

Infant Potty Training -- Uhhhh, No

In fact, Hell no
Learning to read your baby's elimination signals correctly involves watching them closely. It requires divining an infant's "timing patterns and rhythms"—zero, five, 10, 15 minutes after nursing; in the morning; in the afternoon; in the evening—and her "body language and signals"—frowning, squirming, fussing, tensing. Once you've keyed into the right cues, you hold the baby over a potty at the appropriate moment, go "hss-hss," or "wss-wss" to trigger the desired association, and then repeat 10 or 15 or 20 times a day.
...
"Most babies and toddlers around the world, and throughout human history, have never worn diapers," Small writes. In China, India, and Kenya, she continues, "children wear split pants or run around naked from the waist down. When it's clear they have to go, they can squat or be held over the right hole in a matter of seconds." Right, because presumably those babies live in rural villages or in cities where peeing down a hole or in the gutter isn't viewed as unsanitary or unseemly. That's not the sort of diaper-free culture likely to catch on in the United States in 2005. "Babies without diapers" in this country sounds to me a lot like "mothers without lives." Maybe America would be better off without diapers. Maybe we'd be better off without dishwashers and washing machines, too. But before we get too taken with that all-natural vision, let's remember who did all the work before the hardware came along—a lot of very tired women.

Tired women who died in their 30s of old age, if not from cholera they got from water contaminated with their neighbor's kid's waste.

China's even dropping it. Try to imagine why.

The Great -- Well, A Very Nice Pumpkin Patch

14 variously-sized pumpkins (some not seen, as the boys had to hold theirs)


for $25

In Fort Collins, just north of the Budweiser Brewery on County Rd 54, near the intersection of Douglas and Giddings.




Warped Minds Think Alike

I refer my husband to this post because he thought the same thing when he heard the name "John Hannah" on Al Franken's show.

Pharmacists Are Trying to Kill Me

A pharmacist made my blood pressure soar to near-lethal levels when I read this at Big Brass Blog
A 26-year-old Missouri woman was refused EC when she handed her prescription to a pharmacist at a Target store in Fenton, MO, on September 30. The woman was told by the pharmacist, “I won’t fill it. It’s my right not to fill it.”

I'm normally a quiet, polite, calm, understanding person, but in situations such as this, when someone is refusing to perform the most basic service their job requires of them, I get somewhat shrill and demanding (a friend said he actually saw a storm cloud form over my head, and it scared him). A little outrage used judiciously -- especially from someone with an approachable, friendly face and polite demeanor -- goes a long way.

If you are unwilling to perform the basic service which defines your job, then find another job. It's like a Jehovah's Witness becoming a surgeon, and refusing to perform surgery because his religious beliefs prohibit blood transfusions. How about a package store employee refusing to sell alcohol because he's a tee-totaller. A science teacher who refuses to teach evolution because she's a big stupid asshole.

Anyway, as much good as it will do, I signed the Planned Parenthood form letter demanding to know the policies of certain stores which have pharmacies. I prefer to be able to change the form letter, so it's not a form letter, but the site doesn't allow it.

Do it now.


"Ah want muh pills!"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Jake Plummer's Ball

Heard on WB2's news tonight right before sports:

Anchor -- Jake Plummer's got a girlfriend, and he's not too happy people know about it.

Sports Anchor -- And on the sports side, Jake says it's not important who he gives the ball to.

Taking from the Repub Playbook for Ref C&D Ad

Remember the Republican meme about Democrats? "Democrats are opposed to the President, the war, reform, whatever, but offer no alternatives or solutions."

It's time to hit back in kind.
The two Republican gubernatorial hopefuls - U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez and former University of Denver President Marc Holtzman - both oppose Refs C and D.
...
They can't offer specifics, but both say they would find efficiencies if elected.
...
Beauprez doesn't have a specific plan but said in an August interview that "government does a very poor job rattling the box long enough and hard enough."
...
Linda Gorman, an economist with the Independence Institute...thinks government needs to become more efficient.

Could Medicaid be further cut while preserving current levels of service? Yes, says the department's former administrator who left the position in August. But not enough to offset increased costs.

The Ad:

Even in a state with one of the lowest tax to income ratios, a conservative Republican Governor, and bare-bones programs such as Medicaid that were still cut, opponents of Referenda C&D say it's still not enough. They say they would find efficiencies, but can't say how. They have no solutions that come close to solving the budget crisis. If a conservative Republican Governor can't fix the problem, what will?

Referenda C & D will. Referendum C will fix TABOR's ratchet effect so that Colorado, like other TABOR states, can recover from recessions, allowing us to keep the kinds of programs and services which help Colorado families, and which Coloradans value. Referendum D means new schools and roads for Colorado's rapidly growing population.

Vote yes on C&D, Colorado's solution.

Update: ProgressNow Action has put together a good C&D ad. Go take a look.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tancredo's "Reform Now" -- Plus Squirrels

Tom's Blog has announced the start of his immigration reform center, Reform Now

Reform Now is frequently updated with the latest news and thoughts on our immigration and border security crisis. Don’t miss the Border Bluffs of the Day where various myths surrounding illegal immigration in America are dismissed.


On a side note, I like how Tancredo always asks for the reader's thoughts on the subject. It reminds me of Scary Squirrel World (warning: contains banjo music and disturbing photos of chitterboxes).


"What's Yer Opinion?"

Onion TV Guide -- Sunday, Oct. 16

Today's TLC Must See TV:

  • 2pm Wild Child: Story of Feral Children
  • 3pm World's Strongest Boy
  • 4pm Supersize She
  • 5pm Things Removed from Human Body
  • 6pm Conception Deception
  • 7pm Fetus Snatchers
  • 8pm Kill Me If You Can

Centennial Ensures No SOBs

Centennial's regulations for sexually oriented businesses has made sure that, even though they cannot outrightly prohibit an SOB from operating within the city limits, that such establishments will not make money.
...physical separation of entertainers from patrons; no direct tipping of entertainers; no private rooms; and manager’s stations with direct line of sight to all areas of the facility open to the public. At the August 15th meeting, Council amended the ordinance to limit the hours of operation for adult businesses to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with no Sunday operations.

Porn shops could probably deal with such limitations, but I'm pretty sure there will be no strip clubs in Centennial. On the other hand, I don't really envision too many wealthy people ducking into a porn shop in the middle of the afternoon...they get their freak on via the internet.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

7th District in Play; It Depends on How You Look at It

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Republican Rick O'Donnell is beating the Democrats in fundraising for the 7th District seat Bob Beauprez is vacating.

But the two Democrats combined, Peggy Lamm and Ed Perlmutter, have raised more than O'Donnell. One of them needs to drop out to not split the ticket.

Support the Troops; Yes on Referenda C & D

The Colorado Springs area will certainly vote down Referenda C&D, even as there will need to be new schools, roads, and open-space areas to accommodate the doubling of Fort Carson.
A new elementary school will have to be built in Fountain School District No. 8 if new homes are built on the base.

And Colorado 16 will have to be widened from two lanes to accommodate the commuter traffic to Fort Carson.

A new open-space buffer will have to be created between Colorado Springs and Fort Carson to keep development from encroaching on base functions.

"Two years is a very small amount of time to provide for the quality of life for these soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Robert Mixon, Fort Carson base commander.
...
A $50 million highway-widening project has been planned, but funding depends on whether voters approve state Referendums C & D on Nov. 1.

Dumbest Caldara Argument He Didn't Get Called On

Voting for Referendum C is like paying $20 for something that costs $15, and not receiving your change. Why is that dumb? It's a refund, so it's really like saying "Normally taxes are $20, but since we've covered our expenses because it is a boom time and more people have paid more taxes at the normal rate, we will refund the excess $5 to certain types of people. But since fewer people have paid less taxes since the recession, we really need to charge the full $20 this time around."

Or is it really the best Caldara argument of all?

Next time the Samsung refund offer on a DVD player through Circuit City runs out, just say "That $119 DVD player cost $99 last week with the refund, so I demand to purchase it this week for $99. John Caldara says so."

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hickenlooper Jumps for Refs C&D

Hilarious. Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper (who is afraid of heights) filmed a pro Ref C&D commercial while skydiving, lines and all. I can't wait to see it.

Major balls points for Hickenlooper.

Also, there is a TV debate between John Caldara and Gov. Owens tonight (Oct. 14) at 7pm on Channel 12.

Bush's Potemkin Teleconference

It was billed as "just a conversation" between the President and some of his Captains in Iraq, but it was totally choreographed. Since Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, knew what questions Bush was going to ask, they had to make sure they had the right people in place to give the right answers.

Scott McClellan tried to explain it away: "With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said."

That is important, given Bush's notoriously short attention span. In a natural conversation, by the time they figured out which Captain would answer the question, Bush would have forgotten what he asked. They also had to make sure there were no shiny distractions
''I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me,'' Barber said.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Southglenn Mall -- Urban Design in Suburbia

In Spring of 2006, Southglenn mall is going to be demolished (except for Foley's and Sears, which plan to stay open) and reworked into The Streets at Southglenn, now with urban design.

Energized and filled with shaded walkways and private spaces for relaxing, The Streets at Southglenn will be casually eclectic and activated with festivals, concerts and other community events.
...
The Streets at Southglenn will feature a gourmet natural foods market, a movie theater, bookstore, European bistros, sidewalk cafés, and unique women’s and men’s apparel, which are just a few examples of the types of places that will help create an up-market, community-based destination...with 950,000 square feet of retail and 350 loft residences.
It's a good start. But how's the public transportation?

(I just checked the bus schedule. I can't get to either Southglenn or Park Meadows by bus unless I go at 7 in the morning and stay until 4 in the afternoon.)

Anti-Marijuana Causes Criminal Behavior; W/Correction

An article in the RMN describes how upset City Councilman Charlie Brown is about SAFER's I-100 campaign, an initiative to legalize small amounts of marijuana for adult use that the city was forced to put on the ballot when a 12,000 signature petition was submitted.

"It is incredibly misleading, it is devious, it is deceptive," Brown said of the campaign signs.
...
"Marijuana is a gateway drug," he said. "You start using that and where do you end up?"

A convenience store at 3 a.m.?

On the same page as the above article was this "They Said It" blurb

"I put them in my dumpster, because that's where I put my garbage." Charlie Brown, Denver City Councilman, explaining why he spent an hour Saturday night pulling up signs supporting Initiative 100, a city ballot measure to legalize adult marijuana use.

Marijuana may not be a gateway drug, but pro-marijuana signs are definitely a gateway sign. First, they make you so upset that you are compelled to commit crimes on Saturday nights, then you start noticing all those other deceptive and misleading signs around town, and before you know it, you're defiling Gene Siskel's corpse for calling The Ice Storm the best movie of 1997.

Correction: The RMN was kind enough to clarify Brown's behavior today. Buried in a follow-up article (now about how another pro-pot group is paying for billboards, but Brown is still enraged over the misleading message) is this passage
He was so furious because the red-and-white signs were illegally scattered in his Observatory Park neighborhood and along street medians that he spent an hour Saturday yanking them out.

Which also effectively contradicts the humorous premise of my original post, but I still find it amusing.

--------------------------------

In related news, a disabled veteran, Steve Tuck, who fled to Canada to avoid prosecution on marijuana charges was arrested in his hospital bed, shipped to the U.S., given no medical treatment or medication for pain. Five days later, when he was dragged into federal court for a hearing, his catheter was still attached. (no link to AP story yet)

The federal judge, in a fit of humanity, ordered Tuck's release so he could seek medical treatment, but the officials at the King County jail then discovered a detainment request, so Tuck was kept in custody.

In addition to making people steal, being anti-marijuana also makes people be inhuman jerks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

How I Spent My Afternoon Instead of Blogging

I learned how to upload and download my account information onto Quicken so I will know how much money we have. Then we watched the Treehouse of Horror DVD from netflix. Then I finished reconciling our accounts.

We still have money. Hoorah!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Lovely O'Reilly Deconstruction

at Vestal Vespa. I especially liked this part
Let me put this in terms Bill would understand. Once the court criminalizes middle-eastern food fetishes, only criminals will have middle-eastern food fetishes.

And to this
Some liberal journalists and politicians are clearly saying conservative Christians need not apply to serve their country. This, of course, is outrageous and unconstitutional. If that kind of bias were directed at any other American group, there would be hell to pay.

I would say "Gays in the military."

I'm Feeling Much Better

I got some drugs, and went to see Serenity again today. I laughed and I cried. Again. In fact, I cried at more things the second time. I really don't enjoy crying in movie theaters, especially when I have some nasal congestion and I forgot to bring tissues.

There really needs to be a second Firefly movie. Joss Whedon is already a good director, it was his first film (and it was good), and seconds in series are often better than firsts. I don't care if it's direct to DVD, a TV movie, or a fan film on the internet (as long as the fans are Whedon and the original cast).

Ref C & D Push Polls

Today I experienced my first ever push poll, and it was sort of fun. I don't know what kind of morons are swayed by such things, but apparently they work. The complete rundown is at Soapblox Colorado, here and here.

It's a recorded poll, and the male questioner has quite a snide attitude. For instance, he asks self-righteously, "Are you like me, and are upset the some judges in California said it was illegal to say the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms?" I purposely answered everything the opposite of what I was being pushed to answer, and was told at the end the poll was paid for by Americans for Tax Reform.

Soapblox Colorado contacted the Ref C&D campaign, who were aware of the push poll, and had this to say

What's a push poll? It's the opposite of a real poll. Where a real poll is designed to measure public opinion, a push poll is designed to sway public opinion.

In this push poll, unsuspecting Coloradans answer their phones and hear a pre-recorded message asking if they plan to vote for Referenda C and D, which will [insert all the lies the opposition is spreading about C&D]. If the voter answers 'yes,' he hears a recorded message from Grover Norquist, founder of ATR, trashing C&D.


Now I wish I had answered the way they wanted, so I could hear the BS.

[edited to add linkies]

Update: Soapblox Colorado traces Grover Norquist's cancerous tentacles as they spread through several states using (571) 522-1180 to infect the tender pink brain cells of unsuspecting voters. Don't be caught unawares.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Journalism Licensing Test Question: Discuss the Irony of Having to Take This Test

Atrios is correct in his reaction to a proposed bill which would create a special class of people called "the press"
It isn't about creating a special class of people who are above the law, it's about understanding that certain types of activities deserve certain protections because it's in the public interest to preserve the ability of people - all people - to engage in those activities if they so choose.

It's not like being a doctor or a police officer which requires special training and oversight. No one has to have a degree, certificate, or to have passed a test to be a journalist. No one has to join a club, a guild, a union, or a secret society to be a journalist. No one has to be able to get a job at a newspaper or television station, or a press pass to the White House or a sporting event to be a journalist. No one needs anyone else's permission to be a journalist. You can just do it.

At least for now.

If there is no obvious criterion for making one a journalist, how can there be a protection for such a class of people? As the article Atrios links to states, journalists would have to be licensed. By the State. Even though the First Amendment says the State can't make any laws which would abridge the freedom of the press (which, in the 18th century meant publishing in general, not journalism, so, yes, blogging is covered).

But if a person is protected simply for who they are, then that means people like Judith Miller (who inspired this piece of dreck legislation) can gather and disperse information for political purposes without having written or having planned to write an article, and still be protected simply because she passed a state test for approval.

I wonder if there will be a question on the First Amendment in that test.

Joy #37 of Having Kids

Getting deathly ill every six weeks.

::melts into puddle of feverish phlegm::

Friday, October 07, 2005

"Christian" Priorities; Soul-Saving Update

The important thing in this time of hardship and need is to have a float in a parade.
Morrison said it's become more of a challenge than expected to raise float money because many churchgoers have diverted donations to this year's Gulf Coast hurricane victims. He said higher energy prices also seem to be having an impact.

"It's been a tough year," Morrison said, "but we're going to make this thing work."

It's tough being a floatless Christian.

Update: Having been rightly rebuked in comments by NDilly, and thus having been converted to the right priorities, I offer this wisdom, Proverbs 1:20-27
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice: "How long, you simple ones, will you love inanity, how long will you turn away at my reproof? Because you disdained all my flowers, and my papier maché you ignored -- I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom; I will mock when terror overtakes you; When terror comes upon you like a storm of giant floating cartoon animals, and your doom approaches like a teen pop star singing Broadway medleys in a whirlwind; when distress and anguish befall you."

Heed these words, friends, lest the Lord's Float of Vengeance smite you on life's parade route.

Bigotry Wins; St. Jude's Drops Pagans

The Secret Garden Coven had secured its right, despite Christian bigotry, to hold a fundraising event at the American Legion hall in Ramah, CO.

But because the event has become "politicized and controversial," St. Jude's has disallowed use of their name for the event, although they would still welcome the cash.

The Secret Garden Coven will instead be giving the funds to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. I wish I had some extra cash laying around, so I could, too.

National Blogger Roundup -- Lazy Friday

Rove is gonna geeetttt iiiittt. Also, new Bush poll number.

On a mission from God. "No I'm not. :: wink wink::"

The Irish: kidnapped from Ireland; enslaved for hundreds of years; not allowed to practice Catholicism or speak Gaelic; their families forced apart, unable to trace their lineage; a new culture forced upon them; even today, facing bigotry and racism because of their red hair, pale skin, and freckles. Is it any wonder the Irish are so poverty-stricken, under-educated, and disproportionately imprisoned in America today? Why don't they just get over it?

The Shit Speech.

False equivalence in NY Times on Creationism.

Local Blogger Roundup

Tancredo's stance on Miers nomination.

Crap, do we have to buy mid-grade fuel now? via Colorado Leftyblogs.

Kanye West was right!

No more fly-over states; drop-in states.

Light rail to DIA.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Source of Anti-Evolutionist Confusion

Last night, while watching My Name is Earl, I learned the reason some people reject evolution. Bad memories.

Earl was talking with his brother Randy, who had returned to high school so he could make a touchdown at a game

Randy: Today I learned that humans used to be monkeys.
Earl: Is that right? What were humans before they were monkeys?
Randy: I don't know. I don't remember being a monkey.


Update: I wrote this entry just two minutes before I went to Pharyngula and read this post about the reasons people have for being anti-evolution.

My answer is better, though the Law of Irreducible Complexity -- the law that a complicated explanation means the explanation was designed, and cannot be reduced, or it will cease to exist, therefore the more complicated the explanation, the more real it is -- suggests PZ Myers is right.

The General's Ad for Miers

She'll shank you if the President asks her to.

Miers has a cameo in an upcoming episode of Prison Break. She's the warden's secretary who, in a twist, shanks the chief screw for going over the warden's head to the Governor.

I'm Not Qualified to Have a Womb in Indiana

My head just exploded. Didn't make much noise, just a little pop and I kinda just end at the ribcage.

Via Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon, IndianaGreen at Daily Kos has the early story about a new law being considered in Indiana that regulates who may get pregnant by means other than sexual intercourse. Lesbians -- out. Hollywood starlets -- out. Couples with reproductive difficulties, such as impotence -- file it in triplicate for any old rubber desk johnny to read.

And if you are a married couple with reproductive difficulties, you'd better be the "right sort."

6) Personal information about each intended parent, including the
following:
  • ((A) Family of origin.
  • (B) Values.
  • (C) Relationships.
  • (D) Education
  • (E) Employment and income.
  • (F) Hobbies and talents.
  • (G) Physical description, including the general health of the individual.
  • (H) Birth verification.
  • (I) Personality description, including the strengths and weaknesses of each intended parent.
It would be a lot easier if they would just go ahead and tag us at birth and breed us according to our profile.

Lucidity on the Crazy Tom Tancredo Planet

Who are these people posting lucid arguments on Tom's blog?

Never fear, we still have plenty of loonies, and the future is secure. A highschooler named Jennie laments the state public schools will be in for her younger siblings after the full-scale Mexican invasion
Hey my name is Jennifer and I have listened to Tom talk on two occasions. Once at an immigration forum in Council BLuffs, IA and the second time was at a GOP Fest in Polk County, IA. I am writing my senior paper on immigration, it is persuasive, and I am totally for shutting down the borders. I think that there are many things we need to consider. Not only our safety but the safety of our future. Our countries future. I have a younger brother and sister. My brother is two and i am really worried about what the education system is going to be like when he hits school, if we let ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS come into our country and invade us because yes they are invading us then we are no longer going to be an English speaking country our primary language will be Spanish, there will be so many drugs on the street because that is was they are doing they are smuggling drugs in illegally. If they want to live in a free democratic society then they need to come to our country legally. Also, I was sitting in class and the lady came on the intercom and she was like today is Mexico's independence from God i don't know who she said, but they expected me to give thanks and celebrate their independence, but you know what I have never seen any hispanic or mexicans celebrate my independence on Fourth of July. That really makes me agrivated. -Jennie [emphasis added]

Boy, I bet that will be a persuasive senior paper. If a current high school senior doesn't know what country Mexico won independence from, imagine the state of our schools when her two-year-old brother gets there.

The Final Border Solution

Colorado Reps. Jim Welker (R-Loveland), David Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs), and Bill Crane (R-Arvada), toured the Mexican border with other lawmakers, all of whom were shocked at the accessibility of a simple barbed wire fence in some places

"It's not much of a fence, is it?" said state Rep. David Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs. "Come one, come all."

Minutemen shminutemen, laws shmaws. When will we get to the best solution?
I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."











Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sen. Wayne Allard's Statement on Miers

I like it better than Sen. Salazar's for this part
But I do have questions regarding her legal background on issues important to the West, issues such as water law and public land policy, which I outlined to President Bush when Justice O’Connor announced her retirement.

Oooh, he has specific questions. Her answers must be insufficient given what we know of her background, so he's sure to approve her.

Update:
I would have expected more yes votes on Allard's website. Because of the way the question is asked, I think many people who would otherwise have said yes to confirming Roberts as a regular Justice don't think he should be Chief Justice.

Well, It Worked for Napoleon

Didn't it?

Mmmmmm, Pork

Delicious.


Via Atrios

The Silver Lining of the Bush Administration

The Wash Park Prophet reminds us that good can come of bad, even in something like the Bankruptcy Bill.

Consider the parable of the barbarian horse (From notes of Tao te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell)

A poor farmer's horse ran off into the country of the barbarians. All his neighbors offered their condolences, but his father said, "How do you know that this isn't good fortune?" After a few months the horse returned with a barbarian horse of excellent stock. All his neighbors offered their congratulations, but his father said, "How do you know that this isn't a disaster?" The two horses bred, and the family became rich in fine horses. The farmer's son spent much of his time riding them; one day he fell off and broke his hipbone. All his neighbors offered the farmer their condolences, but his father said, "How do you know that this isn't good fortune?" Another year passed, and the barbarians invaded the frontier. All the able-bodied youg men were conscripted, and nine-tenths of them died in the war. Thus good fortune can be disaster and vice versa. Who can tell how events will be transformed?

It doesn't mean that you just sit back and let events unfold, but is rather a matter of attitude, of looking for and building on the positive aspects of something seemingly disastrous.

Monday, October 03, 2005

EvolveTV: Red Carpet Review

Before I get completely shallow about this, let me just say I enjoyed and appreciated the subject matter of the two premiere episodes of EvolveTV.

Superficially -- if they're going to keep that horrid green, non-neutral background (and I understand that when you have to buy a large quantity of fabric, what's affordable is often gross) then it would behoove the guests to consider color in their wardrobes to offset its influence.

Think warm colors...reds, oranges, corals, browns (like Kos' jacket), or strong neutrals, like dark grey (Myers' shirt). In a battle, light neutral colors (Black's shirt) will lose. The only reason Kos got away with his carpet matching the drapes was the intervention of the brown jacket.

Note the difference in just one small change to Dr. Cole's tie:

The eyes are drawn away from Cthulhu's underwear pinned to the wall and are focused on Dr. Cole, who is no longer a floating head and hands.

Whatever they do, they should avoid yellows and greens. For the love of Cthulhu's underpants, no yellows or greens.



Update: Atrios informs me the background will be changed for future installments. Also, as I watched the interview portion on Daily Show last night, I noticed that in the two shot Jon and his guest David Rakoff were in front of a green background (better hue and darker than EvolveTV's). Rakoff was wearing a dark grey shirt and Jon was wearing a dark suit with a warm tie, and they looked good against the background. Ignore Julie at your peril.

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