December 31st, 2004

J20

The media so rarely picks up the huge protests that happen, so one can’t help butwonder if they’re an effective means for change. The reason I like to go to protest marches is to stand surrounded by those that share my politics and feel that I am not alone.


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December 30th, 2004

I can’t find any accounts of Dino Rossi demanding a revote in the 2000 presidential election

But you would think he would have, since he’s demanding one for the Washington State gubernatorial race that was so close. Even though there is a winner and all, and Gregoire won by a vote of the people and not a court appointment.

Quoth the loser: “I would not want to enter my governorship with so many people viewing my governorship as illegitimate.”

I wonder if he would have said the same to W four years ago…


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December 30th, 2004

Stingy Bastards

Are We Stingy? Yes

Published: December 30, 2004
President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday’s tsunamis in Asia. He also hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America’s initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations “stingy.” “The person who made that statement was very misguided and ill informed,” the president said.

According to the Washington Post: “Bush’s first inauguration cost about $40 million. President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration cost $29.6 million.”
And then you look at the money that was donated after the attacks of Sept. 11th!

How embarressed am i for being an american right now? Have we become a nation that is so empathetic and self-serving that we find it more important to spend money on a presidential ceramony and not on human life?
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December 30th, 2004

USA Today: Treasonous rag

Editor and Publisher is the trade rag for the rag trade (you know, the newspaper business) and they are just a wee bit freaked out. It seems that USA Today founder Al Neuharth recently ran a remarkably un-shrill opinion piece in USAT suggesting that the US bring our troops home. “‘Support Our Troops’ is a wonderful patriotic slogan,” wrote the 80-year-old WWII veteran. “But the best way to support troops thrust by unwise commanders in chief into ill-advised adventures like Vietnam and Iraq is to bring them home. Sooner rather than later. That should be our New Year’s resolution.”

E&P printed a column that mentioned–not endorsed–this relatively mild viewpoint… but from the letters they got you would think he had advocated running al Zarqawi for Senate from Illinois. Really, read their roundup of reader responses. They include such nuggets of patriotism as:

Joe McBride, Fort Dodge, Iowa: “Mr. Neuharth, thanks to you and your ignorance the terrorists are probably booking their flights to the U.S. now! If we pull out of Iraq with the job unfinished the terrorists will be bombing McDonalds, and blowing up malls and schools here, killing our innocent men, women and children.”

These terrorists, do you figure they use Expedia to book the flights?

Duggan Flanakin, Austin, Texas: “Neuharth should be tried for treason along with a lot of other blowhards who should be spending their energies condemning the barbarism of our enemies, the same people who destroyed the Twin Towers.“

This just in: The Iraqis did not blow up the Twin Towers! I say we get that put on a branding iron and track down the Red State idiots still pumping that lunacy and pop a helpful reminder right on their foreheads!

Boots Harvey, Brentwood, CA: “One must recall that Churchill had to put up with the likes of Lord Haw-Haw, William Joyce, and his propaganda during WWII. In the end William Joyce was executed for giving aid and comfort to the enemy during war time. Would that the same fate befall Al Neuharth!”

So… if Neuharth is giving “aid and comfort,” where does that put us? Figure we have FBI files yet?

Mel Gibbs: “The Patriot Act will put both of you (Neuharth and Mitchell) on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you as traitors for running these stories in a time of war and it should be done on TV for other communist traitors like you two to know we mean business. This is war and you should be put in prison NOW for talking like this. Who the hell do you people think you are? You give aid and comfort to our enemies and aid them in murdering our proud soldiers. You people are a disgrace to America. Your families should be put in prison with you, then be made to leave and move to the Middle East …This is a great Christian nation and god wants us to lead the world out of darkness with great leaders like President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Communists like Al and Greg will soon be in prison and on death row for your ugly papers. We won the election and now you are mad. We own America and all the rights, you people are trash, go back to Russia and Africa and take your friends with before we put you on death row after a fair trial.”

Again with the “aid and comfort.” A) Ownership society or not, you don’t “own” rights. B) “Russia and Africa really says it all about this, doesn’t it?

So: to recap. Opinion pieces: bad. Questioning war: evil. Wanting to bring home the troops: helping Osama blow up malls and McDonaldses. 80-year-old veterans who disagree with Resolute Leader: first against the wall when Bush really gets serious about terrorism.

This isn’t like McCarthyism. It’s worse. McCarthy was far, far to the right of all but the John Birch lunatics in the hinterlands. Some fair percentage of Bush’s supporters are so far to the right of him that we should be really frightened. (Which of course we are.)


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December 30th, 2004

All in the Bag!!

OK, I am completely in a jealous rage this morning!! Until I got TIVO (OK, DVR but you get the idea) I didn’t get the whole hype…but now I do! And then there is NetFlicks, and I thought who cares I don’t watch that many movies anyway. And if I wanted beer or wine delivered to the house once a month, I would just go to the store: who can wait for mail delivery when you’re thirsty?

BUT TODAY!!!?? I find out that not only can women get brand new designer bags delivered to the house, but they can change them as often as they change their minds (hehehe)….and I am one jealous Bee-Atch right now!

Forget Barbie, CC Royale is going to look great this season!


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December 30th, 2004

Good news (from Arkansas!)

An Arkansas judge has ruled unconstitutional a law that bars gay people from becoming foster parents. When is the last time you read words like this in the news?

“The testimony and evidence overwhelmingly showed that there was no rational relationship between the . . . blanket exclusion [of gays] and the health, safety and welfare of the foster children,” [Judge] Fox wrote.

The whole article is below.
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December 29th, 2004

Could it happen here?

With the all the devastation around the Indian Ocean
the question immediately arises: could a tsunami strike here in the States, too?

The answer is yes — bigtime. Should the unstable La Palma volcano in the Canaries erupt again — as it does about once every 20 years — half of the volcano might fall into the Atlantic, creating an enormous wave that would make the Boxing Day tsunami look like a ripple by comparison.

And lest you relax, the Pacific coast is hardly safe either. Seattle is protected from open-ocean tsunami by the Olympics, but an event on the Seattle fault which runs through the sound could even cause giant waves in Lake Washington, as happened 1000 years ago.

Enjoy your breakfast.

Personally, as with other massive cataclysmic events like supervolcanoes and asteroid strikes, I don’t really see the point in worrying. The chances of such an event occurring in our lifetimes is pretty small, and besides, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it even if it is about to happen soon. So what’s the point in worrying?


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December 28th, 2004

43 things

Why 43? Find out here. I find the whole thing oddly compelling. You might too. It’s still in beta, so I can’t say how far you’ll get, but check it out.


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December 27th, 2004

Blowing the Whistle

Sunday morning we went up the hill to have a little lunch and to hang out with some folks who own a restaurant up there. The husband has been friends with these folks, well, forever, the way you are friends with people in a small town where you all go to tiny high schools together. It’s a very traditional postcard kind of village. The staff dress the part in their lederhosen and dirndls. Oh, and the food is quite good, plus, the chef is really a nice guy, I like him.
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December 23rd, 2004

The blowjob that ate India

…or at least eBay’s Indian subsidiary.

Tech execs here ought to think hard about the right’s new push for tougher indecency laws in the states. A new law in India landed the CEO of the company in an infamous Indian jail, despite the company’s rapid removal of the offending content. It’s a strange story that is illustrative of the undertow created when technology, business, and sex intertwine. The UK Guardian hasthe whole story.

To the Indian schoolboy, it must have seemed like an ingenious if indelicate use of new technology.

But when the 17-year-old used his mobile phone camera to record his girlfriend giving him oral sex he could have had little idea of the far-reaching global consequences.

By yesterday, his ungentlemanly act had provoked a scandal that was dominating every Indian newspaper, the chief executive of a major company had been jailed, and a major diplomatic row was brewing between India and America, with Condoleezza Rice reported to be at the fore.


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