Tuesday, November 30, 2004

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day - 1 December 2004. Official info here.

Learn why HIV/AIDS is a human rights issue, and what it means to take a human rights-based approach to fighting the epidemic. Read AI's new report, "Women, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights."

AIDS has a woman's face, echoes Ms. Magazine. Cold, hard facts available for all to see. This is devastating to say the least.

Buy this book. All proceeds from this anthology will go to the Treatment Action Campaign, a non-profit organization whose funds are used entirely for the treatment and support of people suffering from HIV and AIDS. The collection features Woody Allen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Arthur Miller, Paul Theroux and John Updike.

Light a virtual candle here.

Write to C+ Augustus to tell him that he must lift US restrictions on health care services worldwide. His policies are based on lies.


Tom Ridge resigns. Yawn. Wake me when it's over.

And is it just me, or have we NOT had a conveniently-timed terror alert defcon threat color code raising since the "election"? Mm hmm. Thought so.

What cute muppet are we at today anyway?


[What I really want to know is why Kweisi Mfume is quitting.]

These Are the Things Which Keep Us From Our Rest

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Assails Bush Administration Record on Civil Rights

I am sick of not being surprised by every outrageous thing the B*sh crime family does. Ech, read the report. Nothing's shocking.

Yankee Go Home

B*sh visits our neighbors to the North. No, really, we don't want him. You guys take him for a while.

Anti-Bush protesters scuffle with police.

Mommy, the mean man with the big missile is scaring me.

Impeach Gonzales

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantanamo.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 - The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Psychological and physical coercion "tantamount to torture." "Tantamount to torture" = torture. Think of this. The United States of America, global torturer. My God, how will the B*sh cartel pay for this? They have to. All those moms and dads in Iowa and Nebraska waving their flags and loving their kids and sending them off to war with more waving flags and tears of love, will they hate B*shCo. for putting their kids in greater peril? Do they understand what this means to our moral standing, our reputation, our safety around the world? The US of A, global torturer. It's too much to bear. Back when the CIA did this as part of their covert ops and we normal folks merely suspected it, got a frisson of fear listening to Jack Nicholson bellow, 'You can't handle the truth!' in a movie, knowing we couldn't handle the truth, because it is this ugly, this devastating, and, ultimately, ruinous, we could at least pretend we didn't know what we knew. The time of pretending is over now, babies.

And though there are so many other problems, so many shameful wrongs presented, I can't help but wonder why there is not one mention of Alberto Gonzales in the entire f*cking article. And this, this from the so-called Paper of Record! How? Could the authors and editors possibly not know that Alberto Gonzales was instrumental in parsing the definition of torture for these jackals, trimming and twisting it until it was the desired transparency, a see-through policy reflecting B*sh's power to render it irrelevant, because this was "terror," after all. Gonzales, who led us directly down the sheer cliff drop of moral terpitude into the present day conditions at Gitmo, merits nary a mention? What does the NY Times have invested in this that they cannot call out an (im)moral relativist lackey like Gonzales by name. They say everything but his name. Four separate times they make mention of the memoranda --
In February 2002, President Bush ordered that the prisoners at Guantánamo be treated "humanely and, to the extent appropriate with military necessity, in a manner consistent with" the Geneva Conventions. That statement masked a roiling legal discussion within the administration as government lawyers wrote a series of memorandums, many of which seemed to justify harsh and coercive treatment.

A month after Mr. Bush's public statement, a team of administration lawyers accepted a view first advocated by the Justice Department that the president had wide powers in authorizing coercive treatment of detainees. The legal team in a memorandum concluded that Mr. Bush was not bound by either the international Convention Against Torture or a federal antitorture statute because he had the authority to protect the nation from terrorism.

That document provides tightly constructed definitions of torture. For example, if an interrogator "knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing such harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent even though the defendant did not act in good faith," it said. "Instead, a defendant is guilty of torture only if he acts with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his control."

When some administration memorandums about coercive treatment or torture were disclosed, the White House said they were only advisory.

"Government lawyers," "administration lawyers," "legal team," "some administration memorandums." I hate the Times. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.

And I think I may run for Congress if only to have the chance to introduce a bill making it a law that anytime anyone said Donald Rumsfeld's name they would have to spit and curse him, employing at least two of the following modifiers: donkeyf*cking syphillitic decrepit old motherf*cking depraved logorrheaic prick (may he burn in Hell).

Monday, November 29, 2004

And Now For Something Completely Different

U.S. Officials Say Iraq's Forces Founder Under Rebel Assaults, sez the NY Times today, which sounds awfully un-positive to yours truly, but let's take a look:
MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 29 - Iraqi police and national guard forces, whose performance is crucial to securing January elections, are foundering in the face of coordinated efforts to kill and intimidate them and their families, say American officials in the provinces facing the most violent insurgency.

For months, Iraqi recruits for both forces have been the victims of assassinations and car bombs aimed at lines of applicants as well as police stations. On Monday morning, a suicide bomber rammed a car into a group of police officers waiting to collect their salaries west of Ramadi, killing 12 people, Interior Ministry officials said.

I know the Iraqis are loving controlling their own country since Viceroy Bremmer handed over the keys in June, when they're not being car bombed, that is.

So, how's that "sovereignty" going?
In the most violent provinces, they say, the Iraqis are so intimidated that many are reluctant to show up and do not tell their families where they work; they have yet to receive adequate training or weapons, present a danger to American troops they fight alongside, and are unreliable because of corruption, desertion or infiltration.

Well, that's not a very nice thing to say. What about troop morale?? They are giving comfort to the enemy with talk like that! Why does our military hate America, er, Iraq, er, itself? Nevermind. I'm sure they'll all be chipper again as soon as they can come home in January after the elections are held, thus proving that democracy is alive and thriving in Iraq, where we will no longer be needed to shepherd it along like the gentle little lamb it is.
Given the weak performance of Iraqi forces, any major withdrawal of American troops for at least a decade would invite chaos, a senior Interior Ministry official, whose name could not be used, said in an interview last week.

A DECADE?? Gulp.

Okay, at least they have the satisfaction of knowing who is and who isn't on their side, right?
Down the road, in Ramadi, an American commander said the police had proved useless. There, American troops with the First Battalion of the Army's 503d Infantry are briefed to be just as cautious in dealing with the Iraqi police as they are with anyone else.
They also have serious problems of loyalty and competence. Just a few months ago, he believes, the local National Guard force was complicit in the abduction and killing of its own battalion commander west of Falluja.
Infiltration remains a problem. After the uprising, the Mosul police chief was quickly dismissed and was later arrested on suspicion of complicity with the insurgents.

And lest any firebreathin' gungho cowboy-wannabe argyle-and-ivy-crowd yahoos (that'd be you, prez) are reading this and thinking I'm not being fair to our boys, my cousin is preparing to return to Iraq for the third damn time, so I don't want to hear it from any of you about who does and does not love this country. He's done his job; now it's about f*cking time you did yours.

More Family Values from Lynne Cheney?

As Lynne Cheney's political star rose her early stabs at purple prose went the way of a stool pigeon wearing cement shoes -- down, down, down, down, waaaay out of sight into the cool dark blackness of oblivion. They buried this novel so deep we thought it surely must be swimming with the fishes, but wonder of wonders, it's been unearthed! It lives! Thanks, TBogg, for finding it on LiveJournal. Let's see what Madame Chairwoman, the woman once (and now) entrusted with our nation's cultural education, had to say about gender politics and the sexual revolution in the 70s...

As Wilson moved toward Sophie, she stood, but the dog growled menacingly, and she dared move no farther. Wilson grabbed her by the shoulders and put his face on her neck. He mumbled words she couldn’t understand.

She tried to steel herself, control her revulsion. All her instincts demanded that she fight him, that she kick, bite, anything to push him away, to get his hands off her. But her mind was moving rapidly. What would happen if she did? It wouldn’t change the outcome, merely delay it and bring her more pain and injury. She tried drawing within herself to a place he couldn’t touch, to a place from which she could watch him and hate him with a pure and unalloyed hatred.

He kissed her then, full on the lips as before, and he began to fumble with the buttons on the front of her dress. His breath, the whiskers scratching her face, his filthy hands on her flesh–suddenly…..

That is some clunky-ass "prose," good Lord. Let's just say Mizz Cheney should stick to her day job of being an unparalleled harpie harridan moralizing tool of the jackboot class. This load of tripe stiii-yinks, but then, I expect no less from tightly wound fetishists. Let the rape fantasies go, banshee, jeez. [Though I cannot help but feel one teeny weeny little ounce of sympathy for her, seeing as she is, after all, married to Satan. That'd cast a pall on even the healthiest of imaginations.]

Read it to see what all the fuss is about (not much), but unless you enjoy descriptions of kissing as "evocative" as "full on the lips," you won't get much out of it (besides despair). "Full on the lips"? Is she kidding? What is this, the 4th grade? And, like, "filthy hands"? I could be here all day w/ the Freudian-cum-Derridean analyses.

More adventures of Sophie here if you've the stomach for it.

Generals Consensus

Would a person who volunteered for combat, served honorably, and then was given medals for his service allow himself to be led around by the nose by a bunch of criminally inept hooligans and have no way of stopping it though he would presumably be the most powerful person in the world, or would a person with that experience -- knowing battle, understanding the importance of troop strength and allied support -- make reasoned decisions, challenging his advisors, military and civilian, to engage the hard questions so that success (for Iraq and America) could be reached? [This is presuming we would be in a war in the first place, which we obviously would not.] I'm just askin'.

Let's hear it from those who know a thing or two about this war business:

Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak
Air Force chief of staff, 1990-94
The people in control in the Pentagon and the White House live in a fantasy world. They actually thought everyone would just line up and vote for a new democracy and you would have a sort of Denmark with oil. I blame Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the people behind him -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary Douglas Feith. The vice president himself should probably be included; certainly his wife. These so-called neocons: These people have no real experience in life.

Adm. Stansfield Turner
NATO Allied commander for Southern Europe, 1975-77; CIA director, 1977-81
I think we are in a real mess. ...We have lost the support of the Iraqi people who were glad to see Saddam go. ...Whatever you call it, this is now an insurgency using the techniques of terrorism. With the borders poorly guarded, the terrorists come in. All in all, Iraq is a failure of monumental proportions.

Lt. Gen. William Odom
Director of the National Security Agency, 1985-88
It's a huge strategic disaster, and it will only get worse. The sooner we leave, the less the damage. In the months since the invasion, the U.S. forces have become involved in trying to repress a number of insurgency movements. This is the way we were fighting in Vietnam, and if we keep on fighting this way, this one is going to go on a long time too. The idea of creating a constitutional state in a short amount of time is a joke. It will take ten to fifteen years, and that is if we want to kill ten percent of the population.

Gen. Anthony Zinni
Commander in chief of the United States Central Command, 1997-2000
Did we have to do this? I saw the intelligence right up to the day of the war, and I did not see any imminent threat there. If anything, Saddam was coming apart. The sanctions were working. The containment was working. He had a hollow military, as we saw.

Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy
Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence, 1997-2000
From the beginning, i was asked which side I took, Shinseki's or Rumsfeld's. And I said Shinseki. I mean, Rumsfeld proudly announced that he had told General Franks to fight this war with different tactics in which they would bypass enemy strongholds and enemy resistance and keep on moving. But it was shocking to me that the secretary of defense would tell the Army how to fight. He doesn't know how to fight; he has no business telling them. It's completely within civilian authority to tell you where to fight, what our major objective is, but it is absolutely no one's business but uniformed military to tell you how to do the job. To me, it was astonishing that Rumsfeld would presume to tell four-star generals, in the Army thirty-five years, how to do their jobs.

Gen. Wesley Clark
NATO supreme Allied commander for Europe, 1997-2000
Troop strength was not the only problem. We got into this mess because the Bush administration decided what they really wanted to do was to invade Iraq, and then the only question was, for what reason?

Adm. William Crowe
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985-89
We screwed up. we were intent on a quick victory with smaller forces, and we felt if we had a military victory everything else would fall in place. We would be viewed not as occupiers but as victors. We would draw down to 30,000 people within the first sixty days.

All of this was sheer nonsense.They thought that once Iraq fell we'd have a similar effect throughout the Middle East and terrorism would evaporate, blah, blah, blah. All of these were terrible assumptions. A State Department study advising otherwise was sent to Rumsfeld, but he threw it in the wastebasket.

More at RollingStone.com: The Generals Speak...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Brand Democrat

See that purty new image at the top right of the page? That's for all who complained that Kerry had 12 different messages. [You know who you are.] Now you have your chance. Speak up, buttercups! The time is nigh! Define the Dems' platform, streamline our strategy, formulate our framing--or frame our formulations. Whatever. Just click on the sassy donkey, and start the process of engaging with the party of the people. They need you. We need them. Let's put Will Rogers' all-too-apt aphorism to rest. Let's Brand Democrat, whadday say, so the unscrupulous among us won't be able to frighten half of the country into voting with them for a good long while.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Launch the Tomatoes! Wimblehack Declares a Winner!

Ah, but Wimblehack has reached its inevitable sad conclusion. Go here to read why the "winner" has excelled above all others for the title of Worst Campaign Journalist 2004.

Dear readers, your humble ae notes with blushing cheek that Ms. Bumiller was, indeed, predicted to be in the Final Four by this very blog at this very post. I will admit though that I was sure that the top prize would go to none other than Kit "Katherine Q." Seelye, with an honorary kick in the pants for Adam Nagourney. I see that Howard Fineman has come in second only because he failed to deliver a post-election mortem. (Shocking! What other excuse to pontificate noisily to no end, Howard's forte?? Howie's clearly slipping.)

In a world where dignity, intelligence, serious-mindedness, and professional integrity were the norm, Elizabeth Bumiller would hide her face (and her fatuous prose) in shame. You would think the Grey Lady would have some reservations about splashing Ms. Bumiller's fanciful and highly irrelevant "observations" across the front page of The Paper of Record. Feh.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Textbook Disclaimer Stickers (cont.)

Thank you, smart person who did this.

Par example:
This book does not contain the word evolution, the unifying principle in biology and an important component of the National Science Standards and the Scholastic Achievement Test. For an overview of what your class is missing, go to: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

And my personal favorite...

This textbook claims that evolution is not fully accepted by scientists because it is just a theory. The author hopes to confuse you into equating "scientific theory" with "cockamamie theory." To read a short blurb on what a scientific theory is, go to, http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

Really, people, it is our duty to print these out and make use of them. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

No Thx(mis)giving Post, Just This

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sensing a Trend

Hmm. A little cranky and acerbic of late? A little pissy and snarky? Well, join the club of Disaffected Dems. I am taking suggestions for Feeling Better About The World, as I find that this pretty significant self-imposed news hiatus I am on is not doing the trick. I still feel like shit.

Have the Repugs overreached yet? Are they gone now? Can I look at a paper again?

[Disclaimer: Of course, I'm still reading the "news." It's just not the 24-hr marathon obsession that it used to be. I seem to be missing all the "good" "news" though. Where is it?]

Monday, November 22, 2004

F*ck the South? No, F*ck You (Says My Pal Jeff)

Dear friend and comrade Jeff weighs in on the "Southern Question," as it seems that everyone is aflutter with advice for and recriminations against us poor rubes down South. Quoth he:
Okay, here is today’s rant. What with the current political climate and all, I have been gifted with a great many opinion pieces on the election results, and allow me first to thank everyone who shared. Now, let the rant begin…

Just because I am from the South does not make me stupid. I did not vote for Bush, nor did any of the people I know and associate with on a daily basis. SO GIVE OVER WITH THE “ALL SOUTHERNERS ARE STUPID AND NEED TO BE LOCKED AWAY” BULLSHIT.

Here are the facts about being Southern in 2004:

1. I firmly support the separation of church and state. America is not a theocracy, and should not be governed as such.
2. I do not eat fried chicken and collards on a daily basis.
3. Evolution is a fact of biology. As such, it should be taught in schools. Creationism is not science and has no place being taught in schools as science. If as an opinion-wielding northerner you don’t know who Duane Gish is, or what the ICR is, or cannot give me a short synopsis of the Scopes trial, then shut the fuck up about Southern hicks’ attachment to “creation science,” because you are no better informed than any ignor’nt Southerner.
4. At no point in my life have I even shot a gun. I do not hunt, I do not own an assault rifle, and I understand the Second Amendment’s purpose. No person needs armor piercing weaponry.
5. I actually know and like some Muslim people. Hell, I even can tell you what the “five pillars of Islam” are, if you so desire, and I understand the linguistic derivation of the word “Islam” and can discuss how Arabic and Hebrew are actually related.
6. I can find Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other countries on a globe or map, with or without labels.
7. “Person with Southern accent” does not mean uneducated rube. I have read more than 10 books, many without pictures, and not a few untranslated from the original languages in which they were written. Some of the books I have read even used words with more than one syllable.
8. I do not believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. In fact, the King James Bible is a work of bad scholarship, and is not a particularly good translation from the original texts. This being said, the curse of fundamentalism is not only a Southern curse. There are people all over this country who are fundamentalists at heart.

Whatever. I know I am beating a dead horse here, but sometimes it really pisses me off when people who I believe have good intentions forward me some silly shit that equates the curse of the Bushies with the South. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t the Bushies actually a family of rich Yankees? So, rally round the Stars and Bars, boys, and let's start shifting the blame where it really belongs: to those ignorant Northerners who insist on leaving R’s out of words like “park” and “car” and shoving them onto the ends of their idears.

Well done, Master Jeff. Thank you for ranting. That said, I'm saddened by the defense of regionalism necessitated by this awful so-called election. Snarky yankees yelling about rightwing nutjobs down South while non-rightwing nutjobs down South have to yell about snarky yankees sucking up all the oxygen. Everybody's right, everybody's wrong. But mostly, Jeff is right and everybody else is wrong.

Go here to check out how this whole North v. South/red v. blue divide is a load of hooey anyway.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Screw you, America

[clapping 'til my hands go numb]

No, I haven't had my fill of angry, invective-filled diatribes reviling the ignorami among us, they who've voted with their asses and gotten all of us into this unholy mess. This is so good it actually stressed me out. I'd love to think otherwise, but every fiber of my being is screaming, "We're screwed!!!"

Mr. Garboden has a bit of friendly advice for all of us, starting with the Kerry campaign:
In your befuddling concession speech, you actually called for unity and healing. Sounds good, clown, but can't you even imagine for a second that the people who supported you so zealously for the past five months might just see that insincere gesture of good sportsmanship as a betrayal? See, unlike you pols, we voters actually believe in shit. We believe that George W. Bush and his henchpeople are a real threat to the survival of democracy. We believe that they're killing people for profit. And we believe that they don't have a goddamn clue about forfending terrorism on U.S. soil.

That's not a position gap; that's an ideological gash. And it's not going to heal, because, unlike you expedient professional truth-manipulators, I'm not prepared to meet the enemies of freedom halfway just because you lost the election. Your speechwriters might see the Bush administration's failings as nothing more than convenient fodder for your campaign blather, but the GOP junta's sins don't go away just because decrying them no longer serves your ambitions. Last week they were the imperialist pigs who misled us into war and you were the savior. Now we're the goddamn Getalong Gang?! Screw that. Fight back or shut up.

You know what? Yeaaaahh. That's right. What the hell was Kerry thinking saying all those nice things? He should've been more on the "frank exchange of views" tip like the rest of us. These freakin' Repugs don't have time for niceties in their scramble to shred the Constitution. They'll not have time to drop by for tea and sympathy. F*ck!!

But Garboden's just getting warmed up:
You've been duped, and the Bushies are laughing at you behind your spineless backs right now. The Republicans don't care about you; they just wanted your vote so they can stay in power and make their oil-and-blood-soaked cronies even richer. They're going to send your job overseas and destroy Social Security. In the name of catching terrorists, they're going to make sure you don't read any interesting books or travel without permission. They're going to toss you a minuscule tax cut in exchange for under-funding public education and social services, so there will be more poor people around to bother you. Perhaps you will become one of them.

They're going to shower the pharmaceutical companies with excess profits while denying you life-saving medical attention. They're going to let corporate conglomerates fill the air you breathe with carcinogens while they discourage clean-energy research. They're going to insist the ozone layer's OK until y'all bake your little red asses off. They're going to alienate the rest of the Western world and any portion of the Eastern world that isn't willing to supply Wal-Mart with cheap labor. They're going to throw more Saddam-esque bogeymen in your face while tacitly supporting Saudi terrorists and ignoring nuclear-armed Korean dictators. They're going to rig the system so that even you law-abiding yahoos won't be able to get a fair trial. And worst of all, they're going to dehumanize your children and send them off to kill or be killed in the name of oil profits.

Well, it just breaks your heart, don't it. Does mine.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Baghdad Burning -- Blog Recommendation

Y'all check out this self-described "girl blog from Iraq." Sad.

There's almost no way to be this daft--unless you're a Washington journalist

Ahhh, the Daily Howler, it does a weary heart good.

Of course, the sad implication is that these idiots are "informing" the public and influencing the public debate, such that it is. And we wonder why people are so focussed on personality. What else can they glean from empty reporting? What other information is sensibly offered? I don't blame the general public for focussing on the only thing they can gauge with their own senses. As much as I think people are idiots, I sometimes don't think people are idiots. The mainstream press, on the other hand....

Thursday, November 18, 2004

"Smoke Alarm" in the Sunshine State

UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds 'Smoke Alarm' for Florida E-Vote Count
Statistical Analysis - the Sole Method for Tracking E-Voting - Shows Irregularities May Have Awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or More Excess Votes to Bush in Florida
Research Team Calls for Investigation

BERKELEY, CA -- November 18 -- Today the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

The three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic: Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, respectively. Statistical patterns in counties that did not have e-touch voting machines predict a 28,000 vote decrease in President Bush's support in Broward County; machines tallied an increase of 51,000 votes - a net gain of 81,000 for the incumbent. President Bush should have lost 8,900 votes in Palm Beach County, but instead gained 41,000 - a difference of 49,900. He should have gained only 18,400 votes in Miami-Dade County but saw a gain of 37,000 - a difference of 19,300 votes.

"For the sake of all future elections involving electronic voting - someone must investigate and explain the statistical anomalies in Florida," says Professor Michael Hout. "We're calling on voting officials in Florida to take action."



I don' feel so gud. And I'm sick of feeling this way. It's been, what, 16 days since {{{please whisper it cos it hurts to hear it outloud}}}, and I haven't passed over into the WE MUST GET THIS DONE! phase yet. Maybe I'm too old, or maybe feeling like this makes me feel too old, but I'm just not chipper, rarin' to go, and sketching out the revolution on napkins at the diner over bad coffee and waffles. I feel more like the crumpled napkin. It's like a perpetual case of bad hair day-car broke down-pen ran out of ink x something as awful as that whispered thing ... like, how are we supposed to start when the entire universe is thwarting our every feeble effort? All I want at the beginning of the day is to play with my dog in the sunshine. Or take a nap. Or go on a looooooooooooooong vacation full of pajamas, quiet, no fluorescent lighting (die, fluorescent lighting, die!), no phones, no people, no commiserating, no strategizing, no cajoling and convincing, no banging my head against the wall, no wondering WTF are these cracker-ass Virgin-Mary-on-a-Grilled-Cheese crackers thinking?!?!?!?. Maybe I just haven't adjusted to being back in public yet, what with all the noise and hustle and bustle of everyone busily ignoring the coming apolcalypse and all. And it's so hard to cough out even the most mordant of chuckles at the DeLayization of Governance. No one's surprised anymore at the level of cheating; it's become the norm. No one can even be bothered to look up, because it's so commonplace, to register their complaint, cos why? To whom? They're all in on the take. We're so inured to it all, permanently dulled, that you could bludgeon us with irony, tattoo us with facts, give us an IV drip of super-clarity, and have Jesus Himself come down to straighten out his gay-bashing, woman-hating, fornicating flock, and still we'd cruise blithely by, oblivious to the truth which has become invisible to us, having so long ago receded so far into the distance. Truth? Define it, please. Somebody look up that relic at the Smithsonian or something next time you're visiting Archie Bunker's chair.

And, like, what? I'm supposed to get the "news" (remember that antique concept?) from ... where? CNN? MSNBC? Tom-Peter-Ted-Dan? Right. Before the "election," when I still thought that moderately free and fair elections were somewhat possible in this country (while knowing full well that "felons" were going to be kicked off the rolls to prevent black people from gettin' whitey, or something), I thought I could glean something of the national pulse by watching what "normal" people watched, seeing what lullabies the nattering nabobs were telling that week to satisfy our ever-thirsting need for validation of our American Exceptionalism. But it's like kryptonite to me now. I wilt at the mention of it. It seems the absolute height of, well, stupidity and a masochism that can know no bounds to sit there dumbly, passively, while being lectured to by a rogue's gallery of true idjits like Russert, Broder, Matthews, the entirety of CNN, and, oh-please-Lord-let-vengeance-be-mine, Andrea F*cking Mitchell. I would rather blow a syphillitic donkey than subject myself to the mind-blowing inanities, the earth-shattering vapidities, and the endless minutiae-privileging of that crew any longer, "research" be damned. I just refuse to operate under the fiction that our televised press has a shred, a modicum, a smidge, an iota of integrity, clarity, or professional dignity left.

Okay, hopelessly wimpy cynicism over. Back to work.

Dear Howard Dean,
I write today with heavy heart and glowing embers, if not yet fire, in my belly. I know Fannie Lou Hamer wouldn't be lying on her kitchen floor curled up in a ball crying, and I am trying to do better, for her memory if nothing else ...


A few broadsides from a sinking Swift boat...

White Women and Whine

I was going to do a whole rant about the Terrell Owens/Desperate Housewives/Monday Night Football sketch "controversy", but even I'm getting sick of it and the best blog on it I've so far come across is King Kauffman's Daily Sports Column in Salon.com, so I suggest you check it out. All I'll say here is that if you think any outrage like this DOESN'T have a racial element to it, however minor, then you probably haven't been living in this country very long. Or you're Ward Connerly (California's Black anti-affirmative action activist). Personally, I didn't find it offensive--just stupid and unnecesary. Especially since DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES is the number 2 show on TV even without a shamelessly sleazy skit to promote it.

Alberto Gonzalez and Condoleeza Rice: The Bad Kind of Affirmative Action

My support for affirmative action, even with it's so-called "flaws" is on record and vociferous. Except when Republicans try to practice it, because they only promote lapdogs of color, not people who actually have the qualifications and, oh by the way, belong to a minority group. This happened with Clarence Thomas (who had the gall to be anti-affirmative action of course) and it has happened again with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. As the LA Weekly reports, Gonzalez wrote several of the sloppiest legal memos in Texas history when Bush was governor, all in favor of the state's death penalty sentencing, a horror unto itself.

As for Rice, while she is undeniably smart, witty and cunning, her qualifications to run the State department, which let us not forget, is supposed to be the coordinating agency of national DIPLOMACY, are questionable and best and downright laughable at worst. It wouldn't shock me at all if the U.S. just up and pulled out of the United Nations altogether by 2008 as long as Rice is in charge. Then again, if we go to war with Iran in the next four years, we may not be alive to be outraged. Small blessings.

True Wisdom

This came in the email from a Friend of out Blog. It gave me a feeling of peace and calm, rare for things that come into my inbox. I hope it helps you all. Until next time, Peace:

"An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, 'A fight is going on inside me...It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride and superiority. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.'

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied..."The one I feed."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Shorter DeLay: GFY! Crime Pays Edition

GOP Pushes Rule Change to Protect DeLay's Post

Can Tom DeLay possibly be more of a fucking asshole scoundrel? [split-second pause] No.

I mean, really. They don't even try to pretend that they are not doing everything they can to lie, cheat, and steal. This is astonishing, but then, it isn't. Is anyone surprised? If DeLay can orchestrate the utterly corrupt redistricting in Texas, he can certainly rout an institution as puny as the United States Senate. Bien sur, ma cherie. What did we think -- that the Dems were going to have a say in the matter? Oh, dear.

But the language is delicious:
Some aides said it was conceivable that DeLay and Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) ultimately could decide the move would be politically damaging and ask their caucus not to do it. But Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), another member of the GOP leadership, said he did not think Hastert and DeLay would intervene.

It was "conceivable" that DeLay and Hastert could decide not to have their caucus approve this rule change? Hahaha! "Conceivable." That's rich.

TRANSLATION: It's conceivable in that it remains inside the realm of all possibility such that one could imagine it potentially coming to pass if one were, say, incredibly inventive and adept at holding many conflicting and fantastical notions in one's mind simultaneously, such that seemingly incongruous and counterintuitive assumptions that challenge one's expectations of a just universe could be swept up in one's cheery (if not eery) disregard for all evidence to the contrary staring you right in your lying eyeballs. Then it would be conceivable that DeLay and Hastert could decide not to have their caucus approve the rule change allowing soon-to-be indicted felon Tom DeLay to retain his leadership post.

Thud. But there is this:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last night: "If they make this rules change, Republicans will confirm yet again that they simply do not care if their leaders are ethical. If Republicans believe that an indicted member should be allowed to hold a top leadership position in the House of Representatives, their arrogance is astonishing."

Hear! Hear!

[*Go f-ck yourself. -- Vice President D-ck Ch-ney]

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Why Do Australians Hate America?

And we thought John Howard was an ally. Hmmph. Why are some Aussies, like the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, pretending that global warming is real? Why do they insist on worrying for their farmers' livelihoods and talking of hardship and drought? Don't they know it's "junk science" and a conspiracy of eco-terrorists? Jeez. Looks like it's not just the CIA and Justice Dept. who aren't on board with B*sh's agenda; it's the entire antipodean element. "Antipodean." That doesn't sound very American! I'm sure they're French-lovin' socialist treehuggin' commmies. And elitists, yeah.

R.I.P. Margaret Hassan

While we natter on speculating about this or that cabinet post, and who will replace Colin, and what Condi's legacy will be, truly decent people who have worked their entire lives to help the most vulnerable among us are being murdered. And why?

Condi? Colin? Rummy? Perle? Feith? Wolfowitz? Cheney?

(crickets chirping)

Hello, Condi Rice, World Class Asshole

Oh, good Lord. This is just as bad as the Ashcroft-Gonzales nexus. Trading one asshole for another. Grrreat! Viva la democracy!


That said, I actually hate Condi more, and a statistically irrelevant but snarkily definitive poll of my pals Paul and Kristina shows that three-out-of-three people polled this morning before their coffee find Condi to be more repellent than her colleague Colin. So there you have it. The people have spoken.

Welcome, Condi. I look forward to hating you even more, you tool. Try not to start any more wars, will you?

P.S. So, anyone interested in doing a rude and highly unscientific psychosocial profile of our dear Condi "I Don't Know" Rice? I'm thinking that a young black woman deep into figure skating and trained as a classical pianist while growing up in the Jim Crow South would have certain points of view that would make her sympathetic to, well, difference. I might be wrong. And I'm thinking that graduating from college at 19 probably didn't allow our dear Condi to, um, relax much with friends. You know, those people with whom one chooses to pal around. People much unlike Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove. You know, actual people. With shared interests that did not include World Domination and Doing The Man's Dirty Work.

Okay, I'm done with that game. I hate her.

Goodbye, Colin Powell, World Class Asshole

Much ballyhooed B*sh cabinet "moderate" Colin "Look! It's a truck! And it's parked next to a shed!" Powell decided to step down yesterday. Still not forgiving him for his remarks to the United Nations Security Council, so, yeah, good riddance to bad rubbish.

What difference does his "moderate" status make, I ask you, when he is powerless to assert it? He was just as much responsible for this as that war criminal Rumsfeld.


[A little shout out to my friend Ross! Thanks!]

Monday, November 15, 2004

More "Uniting Not Dividing" From the Preznit

WASHINGTON -- The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

Disloyalty, is it? Disloyalty to dumbyass?? Do CIA officers pledge their allegiance to the preznit, or are they charged with serving their country??
"The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."

The CIA as a "hotbed of liberals"? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAH! But it must be true. Our witless leader hath decreed it so! But wait. The next bit is important: The CIA "have been obstructing the preznit's agenda." Un-f*cking-believable. Oh my God, our long national nightmare is never going to end. I am so sick of these people, I could burst. What an irredeemable cabal of sociopaths these pricks are.

Then I saw this line and it gave me hope:
One of the first casualties appears to be Stephen R. Kappes, deputy director of clandestine services, the CIA's most powerful division.

I've said for years that I cannot understand how Prick and Dim Son can expect to get away with scapegoating the CIA at every turn. At the very least, this seemed impolitic; at worst, it seemed highly dangerous. I mean, they are the CIA. They've still got some power, don't they? We'll see.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Jesusland: Love It or Leave It?

Of course, someone sent me the f*ckthesouth.com rant. [WARNING: Explicit. Very explicit.] And, of course, I laughed, and I agreed, and then I wanted to defend these backwater yahoo rednecks. Not all of them are idiots, and not all of them are moralizing prudes, and not all of them play banjo on the front porch while sippin' from a bottle of moonshine while plotting against our African-American brethren and sistren. The B*shies set in motion a concerted disinformation campaign, this much is true. And maybe some of the folks--that neighborly, God-fearin' kind--down here especially buy into the Story of America, all the great myths, cos that's all they have. They may not be totally media savvy, may not be up on their Derrida, but if the damn Dems could give them an alternative (satisfying) myth, I guaran-damn-tee these Bible-belters would follow suit, cos it's not a secret the Repugs don't give one shit about the poor and the powerless. [I am not advancing the point here that "the South" is comprised wholly by the poor and the powerless, but I am saying that household income here is less than the national average.]

My fave part of the rant:
All those Federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your f*cking Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane you can come crying to us if you want to, but you're the ones who built on a f*cking swamp. "Let the Spanish keep it, it’s a shithole," we said, but you had to have your f*cking orange juice.

The next dickwad who says, "It’s your money, not the government's money" is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the ten states that get the most federal f*cking dollars and pay the least... can you guess? Go on, guess. That’s right, motherf*cker, they're red states. And eight of the ten states that receive the least and pay the most? It’s too easy, asshole, they’re blue states. It’s not your money, assholes, it’s f*cking our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: buy your own f*cking stop signs, assholes.

Completely agree. This idea of "my money, not the gubmint's money" has GOT TO come to an end. And soon.

Anyhoo, I thought South Knox Bubba provided an important counterpoint to FTS.com's admittedly poignant screed.

250 Million to One: A Must Read

Yeah, about those wildly "wrong" exit polls in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (among others) ... apparently, not so wrong. Or "wrong" insofar as there is a 250 million to one chance they're wrong. "Wrong" insofar as Dick Morris, Republican consultant, says this:
Exit polls are almost never wrong.... So reliable are the surveys that actually tap voters as they leave the polling places that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries.

Don't even get me started on the whole banana republic aspect of our current despotcracy. Is it any wonder that international election monitors were not particularly impressed with the way the oldest democracy did things? Hmmm. Apparently, Kazakhstan, Georgia (Republic of), and Venezuela did it better.

Oh, there's plenty to chew on. Let statistician Steven F. Freeman explain The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy.

As dumbyass has stressed many times before, I am not a statistician. But I am a person who can take the giggle -- or, in this case -- blind fury test. That is, it does not take a numbers-crunchin' genius to figure out that the statistical probability that every single indicator used to predict election outcomes of the last 50 years would have had to be wrong for this "election" to have turned in dumbyass's favor is, oh, about eleventy jillion to one. That is, we would have to believe that his re-elect numbers and approval rating numbers both being below 50% did not matter; that a massive nationwide GOTV campaign, which always favors Dems, did not benefit Kerry; that younger people voting in record numbers did not help Kerry; that there are more registered Dems than Repugs did not translate for Kerry; that people voting in record numbers, which generally benefits Dems, did not benefit Kerry; that exit polls (mm hmm) which said without a doubt that the trend was in favor of Kerry were all wrong; that John Zogby, a wholly reliable and reputable pollster, would have called it early and been so very wrong, &c. and &c. All of these are counterintuitive. Why?

Howard Dean Hits a '9.5' on the Shrill-o-Meter

Let me add my voice to the shrillness! Is there anyone left (excluding wingnuts) who does not believe that Howard Dean has consistently been the 'Democrat of record' of late? He has impeccable Dem values, he is willing to fight and sometimes angling for one -- rare among his kind (::cough:: Daschle), he always says something worthwhile, he inspires those within earshot, and he is always interesting, something which the Dems can't usually buy (woe), hence face time, hence information dissemination. It's the name o' the game, y'all.

Even before his "colleagues" chopped him off at the knees, he's acted with moral clarity (anti-Iraq War), tirelessly championing Dem values (health care and education, anyone?), burning up the campaign trail on behalf of progressive (actually progressive!) candidates (my friend was sent a check by Democracy for America!), been loyal to John Kerry (defending him against the scurrilous Swift Boat Liars for Opportunistism when Kerry didn't seem able to), and putting aside his personal interests to stand as the representative of a united Dem party. And, boy, do we need him. Also, any public servant who asserts the following about our kowtowed Steno Pool has my undying gratitude:

"How can you get to the conclusion morality was the most important issue in this campaign?" Dean asked. "It's beyond me, but that was what the media was riding. They're entitled to their opinion. It doesn't happen to be the opinion of thoughtful people who are looking." Emphasis mine.

Another morsel from the article:

Though Dean, a Democrat, complimented President Bush, saying he "ran a great campaign" and was "very disciplined," he compared the president to former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, at least in one regard.

"The truth is the president of the United States used the same device that Slobodan Milosevic used in Serbia. When you appeal to homophobia, when you appeal to sexism, when you appeal to racism, that is extraordinarily damaging to the country," Dean charged. "I know George Bush. I served with him for six years [as a fellow governor]. He's not a homophobe. He's not a racist. He's not a sexist. In some ways, what he did was worse ... because he knew better."

You got to love a man who compares the Preznit of Murka to a war criminal while complimenting him. Hunh, if the shoe fits, bomb it, I guess. And, of course, Dean's larger point is worthwhile, too. These cynical bastards would sell their souls and your grandma for another drop of oil for their Hummers with no regard for the damage this will cause to the social fabric, the very meaning of an open and tolerant society, or the fostering of a pernicious bigotry on a scale this country hasn't seen since at least the last "election." More on this latre.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Oh, Good Lord

People, what do you do when they roll the tanks out to a peace protest?

No, I'm not talking Tianenmen Square, I'm talking Los Angeles.

One week after the "election," and they roll the tanks out?? I'm sorry, is this "compassion" or is this "uniting"? Who can tell with all the decent things this madministration manages to do?

Thursday, November 11, 2004


My Message to Congress As Part of Moveon.org Petition to Investigate Vote Tampering

"It's supposed to be a democracy in the United States and if vote tampering is intentional and systemic, then those who are behind it are traitors who are trashing what should be our nation's most sacred value. Please do your job and investigate so that our democracy can be protected from tyranny."


Quote Sent By A Friend in these Troubled Times

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over,
their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight,
restore their government to its true principles.
"It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and
incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public
"If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till
luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the
principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter of 1798, after the passage of the Sedition

Thanks for reading in England, S! :-)

Shameless Plug Section

Check out the wit and wisdom of yours truly at the irregularly updated "R Spot" (http://rdonkey04.blogspot.com/). I need your musical suggestions...

Jamie Foxx. Best Actor Oscar. Enough said. I will be at the Kodak Theater after the Oscars with my trashcan ready to crash through the window if it doesn't happen.

But for now, Peace.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Post Mortem, Black Days

I can't say I'm shocked but I sure am disappointed...it's good to know that America has it's priorities straight: a quagmire in Iraq; a debauched, outsourced economy, these are mere annoyances in the face of the horror that is gay marriage, legalized abortion or stem cell research. OK, as a loyal, liberal Democrat I've learned my lesson. To paraphrase Bill Clinton (ah, Bill), "It's 9/11 and family values stupid!"

I can't even hurl my usual brickbats at the Democratic Party. Once they hit their stride in September 2004, they did almost everything right in their campaign. Kerry stayed on message. We didn't get drastically outspent. Kerry won the debates (but then again, a drunken monkey in a suit might have beaten Bush...if Bush wasn't already a drunken monkey in a suit. Am I digressing? Damn, I hate when I do that! How do I get out of my parenthetical digressions? It's like being a mole in a maze made out of glass. What the hell does THAT mean? Someone help...)

There's a huge culture divide in America, or so the Big Media would have you believe. In actuality, most Americans agree on a vast array of issues ranging from the sanctity of Social Security to the need for better (but not necessarily universal) health care. Karl Rove, the sickest and evilest political genius to show up since Henry Kissenger went into private practice, secured victory for the Red State Brigade by using wedge issues like the gay marriage initiative to inspire the most conservative voters to vote in large numbers. Even many Democrats, brainwashed as we all are by the notion that there is something sacred and religious about marriage, aren't comfortable with the notion of extending full benefits to gay partners and making it "legal" in the traditional heterosexual sense of the word. It was evil and narrowminded, but it was genius. It ensured that the Democrats and Kerry were the "them" that was eroding our precious tradition American values.

Yes, there were voting irregularities. There are always voting irregularities. There may even be enough irregularities here to merit a serious investigation and, yes, every vote should be counted because, gosh, this is a democracy dammit and we need to stop pretending that counting every vote is some kind of nuisance. The minute we stop counting is the minute we wake up in a Fascist, tinhorn dictatorship (we're on that path folks, but we're not there yet).

Where do progressives go from here? I was thinking about Iceland myself, but really, what is the future of the Left in a country that thinks John Freakin' Kerry is too liberal? (By the way, Bjork, why won't you answer my emails? Oh damn, another digression. And my g.f. is going to be pissed!)

All is not lost. We have to fight for all the progressive causes we always have and be even more vigorous. We can't let the Democrats in the Senate roll over like puppy dogs when the President tries to shove anti-choice judicial nominees down their throats--the GOP may have 55 seats, but they don't have enough to block a filibuster. It will be a long four years, we'll almost certainly pass the 5,000 mark in U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan and you can quintuple that if the neocons have their way and aim our troops and missiles at Teheran. But we can weather this and get behind Kerry or Edwards or Dean or Hillary or whoever in 2008 and still save our country from the kind of narrow, fundamentalist governing that has imperiled the Middle East and Africa for decades. Most importantly, whoever emerges for the Democrats over the next four years has to articulate, without condescension or hesitation, why we are all Americans, what our common interests are and how we go about them. It needs to be about the Red, White and Blue, not just the Red and Blue states. We deserve better and we are better. Even the rest of the world realizes that, although they must be shaking their heads after November 2nd.

Well, enough preaching. That's the state of our union, for real. Deal with it, but don't take it lying down. Stand up and shout. And pray like hell there's not another 9/11 between now and 2008.

On A Lighter Note, The Tortured Comedy of Dan Rather

Once again from CBS anchor Dan Rather, some of the oddest and funniest lines from Election Night. Peace y'all--back at ya' soon:

"It's the morning after the night before."

"This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex (and it has been all night)."

"If a frog had sidepockets, he'd carry a handgun."

"Bush is rolling through the Midwest like a big combine."

"We don't know whether to to wind a watch or bark at the moon."

Onward Christian Soldiers?

I'm sorry. Whuuuuuttt?? WTF is this:

Evangelical Marines Prepare to Battle Barbarians.

No, you just wish it were The Onion.

Ahh, the Face of American Justice. Ain't it Quaint?

What a visage! Thud.

Why would any of us be surprised that this madministration would find someone as repellent as John Ashcroft to replace him as Attorney General? Handbasket, meet Hell, your old friend. That the man nominated to head the Justice Department weaseled out the definition of "torture" for Rummy & Co. that eventually found its way to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo is an ironic capstone too miserable to bear for the already ironic capstone-studded tenure of this band of no-shame criminals. Is there nothing they will not stoop to? Is there no new low they will not plumb? I mean, calling aspects of the Geneva Convention "quaint"? Could they be more gross, more callous, more depraved and corrupt? If they can, I don't want to know.

Oh, bleeding hell.

Extinct Species Watch: Liberal Christians Challenge "Values Vote"

Liberal Christian leaders argued yesterday that the moral values held by most Americans are much broader than the handful of issues emphasized by religious conservatives in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Hear! Hear! Well, let's hear it...

Battling the notion that "values voters" swept President Bush to victory because of opposition to gay marriage and abortion, three liberal groups released a post-election poll in which 33 percent of voters said the nation's most urgent moral problem was "greed and materialism" and 31 percent said it was "poverty and economic justice." Sixteen percent cited abortion, and 12 percent named same-sex marriage.

Glory be to God! Screw you, 12%-ers. I mean, love thy neighbor, lambs.

I do take issue w/ one point:

"One of the things a few of us are talking about is a reassessment of how the Democrats deal with an issue like abortion -- could there be a more moderate ground, where even if they retained their pro-choice stance, they talked about uniting pro-choice people together to actually do something about the abortion rate?" said Jim Wallis, editor of the liberal evangelical journal Sojourners.

If the Democratic Party were to "welcome pro-life Democrats, Catholics and evangelicals and have a serious conversation with them" about ways to reduce teenage pregnancy, facilitate adoptions and improve conditions for low-income women, it would "work wonders" among centrist evangelicals and Catholics, Wallis said.

First of all, stop talking about my womb as if you have any say in the matter. Secondly, "a more moderate ground"? Darling, they're shooting us, hiring religious fanatics to determine FDA policy, reducing our access to birth control AND information, and cutting funding to sex education programs, and you're asking US to be moderate? No, thank you. What does 'moderate' even mean anymore? I am all for conversations about values across party lines and across red/blue state lines, but let's reassess just who needs to crank moderation to 11.

Don't like abortion? Well, join the club; no one does. That's why Democrats promote health policy that works well in the reality-based community, as opposed to (suppressing a morbid chuckle) abstinence policy, which is clearly a figment of fevered imaginations. Oh, and by the way, it doesn't work.

Let's be clear: Pro-choice IS the moderate position. Chinese one-child policy or the cultural privileging of boy children in, say, India such that female fetuses are aborted, that's a pro-abortion policy and denounced as extreme by--guess who? That's right! Women's rights activists. No one here is advocating that, so quit acting like American women making the most basic human rights argument for their physical integrity are flippant baby killers. Life, and it may come as a shock, is more complicated, nuanced even, than that, so let's all quit pretending. That said, my right to reproductive freedom does not impinge on your liberties. You will still be able to go about your business the day after, civil liberties and spiritual goodness intact. No need for you to poke around my underwear drawer, fetishists. On the other hand, your cutting funding, killing my doctor, threatening me and my livelihood, placing crackpots in positions of authority in health policy, teaching my kids that condoms don't work, &c. and &c., that does threaten my life, my health, and my well being, so I'll thank you* to be moderate.

This is still America, motherf*ckers.

(*Dearest genteel reader, you know I don't mean you. You know I love you.)

Now, get thine asses to these fine advocacy groups and give them some love in the form of cash, dammit! Do it for yourself, do it for your mom, do it for some girl in Nicaragua you never met, just do it.








Woohoo! Terror is Over (If You Want It)!

What, you haven't heard? Well, just look around you, silly.

John Ashcroft's new lullaby:

"The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved," he wrote (in his resignation letter).

Ruh roh! Then there is this...

Scratch that. Get me Ashcroft on the phone. This eagle ain't soaring.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Georgia Doing Its Bit to Become the New Alabama

Georgia joins the Evolution vs. Creationism "debate".

Dammit! Why do these loud-ass, petition-signing evangelical folk hold so much political sway? How is it that a school board could think placing stickers and inserts on textbooks reading, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered," was a compromise?

And I must know: how is it that creationism is a scientific theory but global warming is not? I mean, just because we can measure the ice caps melting, um, does not, er, mean that they are? Or something.

In anticipation of becoming redundant, THUD.

So the Dems Want to Know What We Think, Hunh?

Quoth that innocent Terry McAuliffe:

Tell us your thoughts.


We plan to use your feedback to help develop our strategy in 2005. As always, you will continue to play a critical role in the future of the Democratic Party. What we created together will be the backbone for Democratic victories in the future.

And so our dear pal Jeff did. [WARNING: Gloriously explicit content.]
Please forgive the foul language.

What the dems can do: STOP BEING PUSSIES! Stand up and say "The coke-snorting alcoholic lying bastard needs to be kicked out on his ass. He and his asshole-buddy Cheney also need to stop being fucking hypocrites and say 'We are out to fuck you over as much as possible, and we expect you to be grateful for the fucking.' "

Furthermore, the dems need to say "How dare this wiener propose an amendment banning gay marriage when the vice-president's daughter is a big ol' in your face dyke! Hypocrites! Lying bastards! Jackasses!"

ALSO the dems need to say "The Nazis took over Germany in the 1920s and 30s because the average German citizens sat on their collective ass and said 'Oh, ziz will never happen here.' But it did fucking happen there, and it is so close to happening here, and we will not sit still, you fucks, while our freedoms are used to wipe Karl "Goebbels to his buddies" Rove's lily-white dog-sodomizing rat-buggering ass!

Also, the dems need to say "We are sick of having an illiterate dickhead pass 'education' legislation, because the irony is just too fucking much, and we are getting indigestion from having to swallow Bush's ignorant jizz every fucking day, and furthermore, you cockwads, liberal is not a bad word, Jefferson was a liberal, and Thomas Paine, and Ben Franklin, and if those folks were alive today, they'd be wire-tapped and harangued and browbeaten until they stood up and screamed GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH, and the right wing assholes would shoot them, thus granting their wish!"

DEMS, this is fucking America, not Amerikkka, and being conciliatory to these bastards is slowly getting you disenfranchised to the point of non-citizenship, so if you don't stand up and scream and shout and rant about the bullshit that is going on, goddamn you, you deserve what you get.

Last thing the dems can do: Smack the shit out of anyone who says "Well, he is our president and deserves our support." Smack the shit out of anyone that says "Well, we need to work across party lines." Shoot anyone who says "He got us into this mess, so he needs to be the one to get us out." (A real quote from a person who said he is opposed to the war in Iraq, BTW). Bludgeon to death anyone who says "Support president bush and our troops." (How about "Support our troops by getting them the fuck out of there, chumley?)

Hoo-boy. Rant over. Carry on.

Just a quick PS--the other night I was so pissy I stooped to vandalism, and ripped a magnetic BUSH/CHENEY sticker off a car and ripped it to little confettis and threw it on the ground. Grrrrrrr!

Yeeeeeaaaaarrrggggh!!! Dean for DNC Chair!

Oh please, oh please, oh please.

This would actually be a smart move for the Dems. Dean is smart, plainspoken (read: clear, concise), enthusiastic, forward-thinking, inspirational, and perfectly partisan. Joy!

(reflective pause to let it sink in)

Obviously never going to happen.

(packing bags for Canada)

Maps and Cartograms of 2004 Election Results

No matter how much we enjoy giggling at (or crying about) Jesusland, these maps tell a more complete story.

Why is the Mainstream Steno Pool pushing this Red State moral values crap? They just lurve to put that big ol' Red State/Blue State US map up on the screen, letting it hover threateningly in the background while all us lefties shudder to think that the heartland's been taken over by faith-based pod people. That huuuuuge swath of red stretching over the whole country, don't let it worry you. According to our friends at the U. of Michigan, it's just out of proportion, like the old Mercator map that shows Europe roughly equal in size to Africa and S. America.

Why does this moral values story have legs? Even frickin' He-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Uttered said yesterday that voters cast ballots with an eye turned toward Iraq & the War on Terra and the economy, with "moral values" coming in at third. Now, don't think this doesn't make me pause double-triple-time, because anytime HWNSNBU speaks, one must first and foremost not look directly at him lest one crumble immediately to dust, but secondly, it is imperative that one parse every syllable for the coded message. (What could he possibly mean by "and," I beseech you??) I'm not sure what he was getting at by putting moral values third, but I'm sure it will worry me tomorrow. Tonight, while I'm still bleary from election-related psychic flu, I'll take HWNSNBU's comments and these maps to mean that we're not overrun by Red State moralizers, which suits me just fine.

Check it out. It'll make you feel less alone. There's so much purple going on there that you'll be compelled to break out your Prince records.

Rorschach Test, anyone?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Wisconsin Schools Allow Creationism Theory

I do really need to get a response more active than "Thud," but sometimes living in Murka is just too much. Thud.

Okay, below when I was joking about marrying a Canuck and going north to live in a librul-haven where civil rights are protected and science is valued, I take it back. I'm not joking. I mean, WTF is this:
School board members believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

Last month, when the board examined its science curriculum, language was added calling for "various models/theories" of origin to be incorporated.

First, what is "inclusive of one"? Second, isn't the operative term here scientific theory? So Adam and Eve are science now? Seven whole days to make the world and everything in it is science now? Take that, Big Bang. I got yer evolution right here, Darwin. Choke on this, Einstein.

While we're inviting multiple "scientific" theories of origin to the educational curriculum table, I'd like to propose a few more tasty morsels:

Chinese, Lakota, Babylonian, Aboriginal, Aztec, Norse, Korean & Japanese, Hindu, Navajo, And so on...

Listen, there are plenty of crackpots out there saying the Bible's right and science is wrong, but are we going to give them all chapters?

Dear God, save us from your followers.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Americans Flock to Canada's Immigration Web Site

My sweetie and I were for once waaaay ahead of this game, having long ago taken the Skilled Worker Assessment (we passed). Now it's just a matter of robbing a bank or two so we can have the ready funds to support ourselves for a year in case work is difficult to find in our new home country. O Canada!

Then again, it is very cold...

Marry An American

No, friends, I'm not saying that now that "the people have spoken" that we should all fall in line like good heteros and get hitched. I don't hold marriage in any regard, and certainly not as the hallowed mythical union of our faith-based red staters. Many ways for us to form unions otherwise, I say. I can't breed in captivity, I also say (with thanks to Gloria Steinem). For now, we can put that aside! Our neighbors to the north have hit upon a brilliant idea, and don't think I haven't yearned for just this reality, being willing, in the face of the known horror of the B*shies, to put aside my prejudice against this outdated vestige of a patriarchal social economy and partake with full compliance and open arms and say "I do" in front of God, country, the church, and some nice strangers willing to sign the documents of my concession to "traditional values." And if I can do that, I know you can.

So come one, come all! Let's support our Canuck friends by letting them Marry An American!


Red States = Former Slave States

Well, goodness. Who'd a thunk it, hunh, what with all this talk of "values"? I mean, it's not like proponents of slavery (gosh, were they Evangelicals, too?) defended a morally corrupt system by asserting God's approval or anything. One surely would not be blessed with success if it were not ordained by God, heavens no! And we do not need your pesky intrusions into God's will with your fancy facts and latte-sippin', New York Times-readin' lack of "values," blue staters. We'll keep the hate going and you heathens go back to consorting with the Devil or whatever it is you do in your libraries and your organic co-ops while you plot against school prayer and promote man-on-box turtleism. Our preznit (our slavery) was ordained by God and there's nothing you puny humans can do about it.


Do these voters--the activist evangelicals--feel love for us libruls (their neighbors)? Can they find it in their sinning hearts to look kindly upon us as brethren and sistren and dogren and catren, no matter how much latte we sip or Volvo we drive? Are we still Americans to them? Are we the enemy, such that they have to legislate against us? Are we criminals? Does God not love us? Are we irredeemable? What grievous wrong have we committed against them? Can they not worship as they please? Can they not teach and raise their children as they please? Are they not as free as the rest of us to choose their work and play? Who swooped in and told Mr. and Mrs. Matching Sweaters that they will have to divorce now to make room for the homos? Since when is "The Left" telling the God-fearing voting bloc what to do? Don't like abortion? Then get your ass volunteering with kids and supporting sex education and increased access to birth control. Don't support gay marriage? Then don't attend the ceremony of your favorite co-worker. (You know, the one with impeccable manners who always remembers your birthday and compliments you on your new haircut.) He'll understand, and you won't be missed. Want prayer in schools? Close your eyes, shut your mouth, and do it. You don't need a f*cking invitation.

I seem to recall famously conflicted and resolute (hmm) 4th-century Christian advocate St. Augustine saying, "In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?" Well, I put that to you, red staters. Will your sovereignty be humble, God-like, or will it be robbery of our fellowship, such that only some have the rights of citizenship? What is justice to you? What is God's love? And, more importantly, why do you want to place limits on God's love? How do you pretend to know what God is capable of?

When will the right-wingers admit that their problem is with the excesses of capitalism and not with the excesses of a mythical Other? Sex and violence freak you out? Well, sorry. Capitalism loves boobies and gore, folks. It doesn't make me happy, but it's true. Whatever the majority of people want to consume, capitalism will give them. So don't take it out on a librul, Media Resource Center assholes; take it out on your benighted free market system. Shall I expect now that the bible thumpers will hold forth w/ a new screed about the failures of a capitalist state to satisfy the soul's hunger?

[crickets chirping]

UPDATE: I'm thinking about the above, and it's obvious that I'm still smarting from the "election," if it was an election, yo. I am especially angry with the anti-gay element, because my friend is so sad that he's in hiding, physically and emotionally, and it's breaking my heart. I haven't seen him in days, and I can't find any way to make him feel better that 80% of some of these jerks in some states voted against his Constitution-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sickening, but I take heart in the answers that did not get as much press. Evidently (as my Southern compatriots never tire of saying in summing up), as much as 60% of these same folks support civil unions (among other Dem- or left-leaning policies). So I'm going to stop crying and take heart. Somewhere deep down, I knew that the American People were sensible. Generally, I just don't believe that there are more of "them" than there are of "us." Only about 30-40% of the populace are Evangelicals, and not all of them are conservative. So, what does that say about the turnout for dumbyass? It means that people act on their fears, and that Prick and dumbyass were successful in making people feel afraid, very afraid. Lots of what I would like to believe are good, sincere people of all faiths voted against the environment, workers' protections, the solvency of our Social Security, and our stature and reputation in the world, because they felt they could not take a chance on the terrsts blowing up a Buick dealership in Topeka. It will be an especially bad day for them when they find out how they've been lied to by these cynical peddlers in treason. Buyer's remorse wont' even begin to cover it, and, the only solace I can take right now is to think that this will be the end of any pro-Repugnican fervor for some time to come.

Voting Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes

Error?? "Extra"? "Votes"? Jeebus! How's this for a headline, you namby-pamby, democracy-stifling bastards:

Rove Cartel Fixes Election via Electronic "Voting" Machines Owned by B*sh Backer: Democracy Subverted!

Okay, that might be a touch too long, but you get the point.

P.S. Heck. I guess I mean, thanks for writing the story....

Sorry Everybody -- How Can We Make It Up To You?

I'm so glad these fine folks beat me to it! Your faithful dissenters will soon submit our own apologies. Join the fun and speak your piece/peace!

For Those About to Rock (the Vote), We Salute You

Thank goodness someone's got some energy to safeguard democracy... Go to: Black Box Voting and give them some time/money/love/attention.

P.S. Don't be fooled by blackboxvoting.com. GRRRRR.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Anybody Else Feel Like They Have the Flu?

The heaviness and weariness, fatigue and restlessness, the cloudy-headedness and the phantom aches, can't sleep...I'm running hot and cold, I can't concentrate on anything, I'm not eating... wait a minute!

This sounds familiar...
DSM IV: Major Depressive Episode

A. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

(1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.

(2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)

(3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.

(4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

(5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)

(6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day

(7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)

(8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)

(9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

Is there some sort of Rovian Victory vaccination for this? A pill maybe? Take two margaritas and call me in the morning?


H.L. Mencken Weighs in on B*sh

From the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920:
" ... when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental--men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost.

" ... all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre -- the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

"The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry Concedes

United States of Canada vs. Jesusland

Looks like we won't have to move far.

UPDATE: Wow. The fact that the fine folks who created this map now (11.06.04) have to ghost stamp "Satire!" across the middle of it freaks me out a little bit. Did someone, or many someones, think this was real? Gadzooks!

I wouldn't mind living in the United States of Canada...sniffle.

Can 59 Million Americans Be Wrong?


[interminable pause while I try to collect my thoughts, which are careening around my head like ping pong balls on speed]




Oh, forget it. I give up. Let's all just get out of bed tomorrow (since some of us couldn't manage even that today), put one foot in front of the other, and start the hard work (again) of rebuilding this democracy in anticipation of whatever it is that RoveCo. will be dismantling and ravaging tomorrow, because no matter what the Gullibles in the Steno Pool wish to believe--bless their naive, pitter-pattering li'l hearts--there ain't no way that dumbyass is suddenly going to turn into a statesman, bipartisan or otherwise.

[P.S. I'm fighting the urge to pimpslap the 59 million people who privileged murky, nebulous "moral values" over issues of war and peace, prosperity and social justice. I hope they can eat moral values; I hope moral values can pay the mortgage; I hope moral values will bring back old growth forests and educate the poor kids in Mississippi and Alabama and Okalahoma and Georgia and the rest of those fact-averse red states. Those of us in the reality-based community have our doubts.]

[P.P.S. Dammit, I just can't believe this. And here I thought I would be able to take some time off, read fiction again, get back to yoga, enjoy my human rights, attend my gay friends' marriage ceremonies, breathe non-poisonous air, and foment a media revolution. You know, whatever.]

[P.P.P.S. I should note for the record that it did not at any time occur to me that Kerry would not win and win soundly. I just assumed that there were more of us in the reality-based community, people given to reasoned analysis based on facts, people who could not fathom dismantling the Great Society, ransacking 50 years of civil rights legislation and rejecting the hard fought advances of the women's, gay rights, environmental, and anti-war movements, denigrating global cooperation (screw you, NATO, UN, Kyoto, Anti-proliferation, etc.), ravaging the environment, stacking the courts with right-wing ideologues, the lack of accountability, the irresponsibility, the unbridled criminality, the abuses of trust and disregard for the Constitution, the relentless fearmongering. The list is endless. If you're gay, screw you. If you need an abortion, or, my God, mere information about reproductive health, screw you. If you'd like to drink non-toxic water, screw you. And your grandkids and theirs, too. You want a pension, workers' rights, health benefits? Screw you. More war? Yes. More tax cuts for millionaires? Yes. More concessions to big business? Yes. More environmental rollbacks? Yes. Clean food? No. "Values"? Yes. We shouldn't even be having this conversation following the human rights violations that were (are still?) standard practice at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. In a sane, let alone just, world, the conversation would end there and both sides of this great blue state/red state divide would be compelled by shame and decency to right every last wrong and make formal apologies to the world and to the idea of western democracy that we had so sullied. But no. "We" validated the rampant, cynical criminality of B*sh policy by actually voting the yahoo in this time. HOW?? HOW??? (I'll stop with two; otherwise, we could be here all day.) I'm just pissed and sad enough to think that this idiotic country deserves what it asked for.]

[P.P.P.P.S. THUD.]

Haiku on the Occasion of Not Being Able to Get Out of My Pajamas for the Coronation

The Son King ascends--
So Apres moi, le deluge.
"Values" gild the throne.

"Don't Mourn, Organize"

Some encouraging words from Meteor Blades at the Daily Kos. Don't Mourn, Organize!

From the article:
Why were we in this fight in the first place? Because terrible leaders are doing terrible things to our country and calling this wonderful. Because radical reactionaries are trying to impose their imperialist schemes on whoever they wish and calling this just. Because amoral oligarchs are determined to enhance their slice of the economic pie and calling this the natural order. Because flag-wrapped ideologues want to chop up civil liberties and call this security. Because myopians are in charge of America’s future.

We lost on 11/2. Came in second place in a crucial battle whose damage may still be felt decades from now. The despicable record of our foes makes our defeat good reason for disappointment and fear. Even without a mandate over the past four years, they have behaved ruthlessly at home and abroad, failing to listen to objections even from members of their own party. With the mandate of a 3.6-million vote margin, one can only imagine how far their arrogance will take them in their efforts to dismantle 70 years of social legislation and 50+ years of diplomacy.

Still, Tuesday was only one round in the struggle. It’s only the end if we let it be. I am not speaking solely of challenging the votes in Ohio or elsewhere – indeed, I think even successful challenges are unlikely to change the ultimate outcome, which is not to say I don’t think the Democrats should make the attempt. And I’m not just talking about evaluating in depth what went wrong, then building on what was started in the Dean campaign to reinvigorate the grassroots of the Democratic Party, although I also think we must do that. I’m talking about the broader political realm, the realm outside of electoral politics that has always pushed America to live up to its best ideals and overcome its most grotesque contradictions.

Take heart, friends. The fight continues.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Novus Ordo Seclorum -- A New Age Now Begins

A nice day for a reminder from Bill Moyers. From his speech, "This is Your Story - the Progressive Story of America. Pass It On," at the Take Back America Conference, June 4, 2003.
Look at our history. All of us know that the American Revolution ushered in what one historian called "The Age of Democratic Revolutions." For the Great Seal of the United States the new Congress went all the way back to the Roman poet Virgil: Novus Ordo Seclorum" – "a new age now begins." Page Smith reminds us that "their ambition was not merely to free themselves from dependence and subordination to the Crown but to inspire people everywhere to create agencies of government and forms of common social life that would offer greater dignity and hope to the exploited and suppressed" – to those, in other words, who had been the losers. Not surprisingly, the winners often resisted. In the early years of constitution-making in the states and emerging nation, aristocrats wanted a government of propertied "gentlemen" to keep the scales tilted in their favor. Battling on the other side were moderates and even those radicals harboring the extraordinary idea of letting all white males have the vote. Luckily, the weapons were words and ideas, not bullets. Through compromise and conciliation the draftsmen achieved a Constitution of checks and balances that is now the oldest in the world, even as the revolution of democracy that inspired it remains a tempestuous adolescent whose destiny is still up for grabs. For all the rhetoric about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," it took a civil war to free the slaves and another hundred years to invest their freedom with meaning. Women only gained the right to vote in my mother's time. New ages don't arrive overnight, or without "blood, sweat, and tears."

You know this. You are the heirs of one of the country's great traditions – the progressive movement that started late in the l9th century and remade the American experience piece by piece until it peaked in the last third of the 20th century. I call it the progressive movement for lack of a more precise term. Its aim was to keep blood pumping through the veins of democracy when others were ready to call in the mortician. Progressives exalted and extended the original American revolution. They spelled out new terms of partnership between the people and their rulers. And they kindled a flame that lit some of the most prosperous decades in modern history, not only here but in aspiring democracies everywhere, especially those of western Europe.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Key Words for Swing States

international gag rule
energy task force
clear skies
healthy forests
uniter not divider
old europe
tax cut
duct tape
fair and balanced
tax cut
abu ghraib
tax cut
al zarqawi
homeland security
hard work
flu shot
rehnquist, scalia, thomas.
rehnquist, scalia, thomas.
rehnquist, scalia, thomas...

Let's do this, y'all. Bring it on.