Monday, October 31, 2005

Oh, just stop it already... 

When the Republicans apologize for Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton "The White House Dog," then I'll take their umbrage a little seriously. But, for now, I just want to applaud the reporter who had the balls to ask this question, and shame on the media and the whiners who try to spin a big deal out of it.

Obviously, Sam Alito is "sloppy seconds." And the Republicans can just get over it, then eat it. To John Roberts, the White House Correspondent who asked the question, goes this month's Ajai Raj Award.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ding, Dong! 

Can't say I'm sorry to see her go, but I find it wonderfully ironic that she was forced out by the Republicans, not the Democrats. In a really big way, this was the shot in the foot that the Republicans did not need this week. I mean, what else could go wrong? And we've still got Fitzmas to look forward to -- possibly a brilliant move holding the indictments off until Friday, in order to cap a perfect week.

The government screws up on hurricane relief again. Iraq takes its 2,000th American victim. No one really thinks the Iraqi Constitution was a) actually passed, b) going to do jackshit to stop the violence. Bush and Arnold, arguably the Republican Governor Poster Boy, have a little falling out over Bush coming to town for a fundraiser.

And Harriet Miers withdraws for the worst of reasons -- in order to keep White House documents secret. If they had played it smart, she would have withdrawn for the only reason that was bandied about publicly. She wasn't conservative enough on social issues for the "core" of the party. (It ain't, but they don't get that.) Sure, it might have been a bad thing to admit publicly, but it would have killed any further discussion, since this idea was already in the zeitgeist. The reaction would have been, "Oh well, she dropped out" instead of continued analysis of why.

But... using the "Executive Privilege" card was exactly the wrong thing to do, for two reasons. First, it reminded the American public yet again that W's White House has been the most secretive place since the Kremlin under Stalin. Second, it's going to keep that recalcitrance top of mind as certain administration members face indictment by Fitzgerald and Company.

Oh yeah. Two other big problems for the Republicans this week. W. drops even further in the polls, as does Arnold. Hint to the Republicans: your real base are people who lean toward the liberal/tolerant on social issues, but don't want to pay too much in taxes, thinking that it's all going to be given to poor people. They could give a damn whether a gay couple can marry or whether a teenager can have an abortion, as long as they don't have to pay for it. Fair enough -- but that mindset is much more centrist than the kabal that forced Miers to withdraw. Hell, that's the reason I actually have good friends who are Republicans. Because, for the most part, they aren't assholes. Another hint: I don't have any friends who regularly (or once, even), tried to tell me about Jesus, and how I'm a sinner...

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Fitzmas Tomorrow? 

Everyone is getting antsy. First, Redstateproject prints a complete fantasy prediction, including such impossibilities as Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame being indicted. Then, Drudge is pissing himself claiming that tomorrow's New York Times will report that Karl Rove won't be indicted.

Maybe, maybe not. But if Rove isn't and Libby is, seems to me that maybe Karl finally flipped after thirty years of dirty tricks and evil. Maybe, caught up in internicine warfare in the West Wing, he decided to finger Dick Cheney.

Perhaps my conjecture is as much a fantasy as Redstateproject's -- but I can dream, can't I? Odds that Rove would sell out anyone in this Administration: less than .000000001%. Or, correction -- odds that he'd sell out anyone important? Less than the above. But taking out Libby woudln't ruin any of his future chances. Might get ol' Dick pissed off at him, but I don't think anyone in or out of the Republican Party has any serious notion at all that Cheney is Presidential material. At least, not electable material.

Anyway, to me, this is much more exciting than the World Series. (Uh -- that just ended or something, didn't it?) And it's much more important. What do we get for Fitzmas? A few piffly indictments of minor players, that and a list of unindicted co-conspirators? Or something a whole lot better? And y'all know what I mean by that...

Tick, tick, tick, tick...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Bush's folly has now killed 2,000 Americans. To get an idea of how many individuals that is, I now bring you one "." for each dead soldier.


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Let's Hope They Remember This Next Year... 

"A majority would vote for a Democrat over President Bush if an election were held this year, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Tuesday." And according to the poll, 55 percent would vote for a Democrat; only thirty-nine percent said they would vote for Bush.
On separate issues, a majority of those questioned felt the Democrats could do a better job than Republicans at handling health care (59 percent to 30 percent), Social Security (56 percent to 33 percent), gasoline prices (51 percent to 31 percent) and the economy (50 percent to 38 percent).

Forty-six percent also believed Democrats could do better at handling Iraq, while 40 percent said the GOP would do better.
Of course, short of impeachment, W isn't going to be fighting for his office again -- unless the far right Wingnuts manage to repeal the 22nd Amendment in less than three years. Given the plummet in their political capital right now, that isn't likely. But, where this does pertain is to the mid-term elections, and it's a really bad sign for the Republicans, although a really good one for the rest of the world.

With any luck and hard work between now and then, we have a chance of kicking the Republicans out of power in the House and the Senate, and pulling the reins in on the runaway Administration. Of course, in my ultimate fantasy scenario, the indictments, resignations and impeachments begin this week, and the fallout of it all leaves someone like Colin Powell being appointed president. Of course, maybe things will drag on with just the right timing to give us the ultimate liberal wet-dream: Republicans losing power in Congress right before the impeachments of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney begin, and Hilary Clinton stepping out, balls-to-the-wall (metaphorically) in order to exact the perfect revenge on the entire Republican party for the witch hunt they conducted against Bill Clinton -- who was, in my humble opinion, the best President this country had in the second half of the 20th Century, and second only to FDR for the whole century itself. And, finally, the current Administration is so utterly indicted and convicted that it falls to the new Speaker of the House, a Democrat, to assume the office of President.

Sigh. I can dream, can't I...?

You're going to be hearing the words "witch hunt" a lot in upcoming weeks; in fact, I think Tom DeLay has already uttered the phrase. But there's a big, big difference between the anti-Clinton witch hunt orgy of the 90s and Patrick Fitzgerald's Plamegate investigation. 'Cause you see, after Bill and Hilary Clinton became the most investigated couple in American history, there weren't no nothing wrong going on. No indictments of high officials, no trials, no charges. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

But when Fitz is done turning over the rocks under this White House, the indictments are going to fly fast and furious -- indictments for real crimes, committed to defraud this nation into agreeing to invade Iraq. Hell, if we're lucky, there may even be some treason charges tossed in for good measure -- the highest of high crimes.

"...the President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." -- Article II, §4, United States Constitution.

But, of course, that impeachment bit is only the first step and, oddly enough, as far as anyone has ever gotten in an attempt against a sitting President in three tries. (That'd be Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, if you're keeping score. And maybe it means that "on" is a bad ending for a president's last name.) Let's hope fourth time's the charm. W and Dick would look so good in orange jumpsuits.

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Monday, October 24, 2005


Remember those nostalgic days long ago when Republicans were pissing and whining and making a big deal about a certain duly elected President lying under oath, and how he should be impeached for doing it?

You do? Good. Because the Republicans seem to have completely forgotten their own screeds of only a few years ago. When was it? 1996? 1997?

So, less than a decade later, will those Republicans remember what they said about an Executive-in-Chief lying, and what should happen to them? And will they hold the Vice President to the same standard? Oh, I'm sure they would if that VPs name were Al Gore or John Edwards.

But what do they do when the VPs name is Dick Cheney?

Thanks to Firedoglake, for an untwisting of NYT Editorial logic to point out one simple truth: Dick Cheney committed perjury and, according to the GOP, that is an impeachable offense. Meaning that, the second Cheney is indicted for perjury, or anything else, the House Majority Whip and the Speaker should be introducing those Articles of Impeachment.



Bueller...? Bueller...?

But, to quote some other online entity who got to it before me... It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas, more and more each day...

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Another Hero Gone 

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The woman pictured above is one of America's heroes, and she has just passed away, at the age of 92 -- proving that, sometimes, the good don't die young. In case you don't recognize her, that woman is Rosa Parks, and it was fifty years ago that she decided she's had enough, wasn't going to put up with society and government's bullshit any more, and she said "No."

It was, perhaps, the biggest "no" ever heard, as it launched the Civil Rights Movement to national attention, started to turn the tide of feeling, and pushed this country at last on the road to ending segregation.

It took one small, lone woman and a two-letter word to start that ball rolling. When Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, she reminded us all that this country is governed by We the People. All those elected officials just work for us, and when we're tired of them or think they're doing a really bad job, it is our right and duty as citizens to fire them. We must speak up and tell our servants, "No."

"No" to your abuses and oppression. "No" to your lies and theivery. "No" to your incompetence and failure. No, no, no.

We need a hero (or heroine) right now to say "No." History has not yet recorded who the great activist of this generation will be. Is it Cindy Sheehan? Patrick Fitzgerald? Someone who has yet to be arrested, oppressed or repressed by this Administration?

Whoever it is, may they have the courage of that little woman from Montgomery, who had the guts to just say "No."

Quoth the late Ms. Parks: "I'd like people to say I'm a person who always wanted to be free and wanted it not only for myself; freedom is for all human beings..."

Remember that last bit, and work for it. Freedom is for all human beings.

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Who Said It? 

Courtesy of Alec Baldwin, believe it not, over at The Huffington Post -- Who said this?
"I do not hold the view of our Constitution that there must be an actual, indictable crime in order for an act of a public officer to be impeachable. It is clear to this Senator that there are, indeed, circumstances, short of a felony criminal offense, that would justify the removal of a public officer from office, including the President of the United States. Manifest injury to the Office of the President, to our Nation and to the American people and gross abuse of trust and of public office clearly can reach the level of intensity that would justify the impeachment and removal of a leader."
A) Howard Dean
B) Kay Bailey Hutchinson
C) Barbara Boxer

Hint: it's the same person who said this about the Fitzgerald investigation:
"if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."
Go to the link to get the answer, then watch your head spin at the blazing hypocrisy of Republicans.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Long Live Larry Flynt 

The publisher of Hustler has received the first ever life-time achievement award at San Francisco's world-famous Erotic Exotic Ball, and I don't understand how this Chronicle Article can lead-in making it sound like the city has chosen to honor Hitler. Larry Flynt is a true American hero; a champion of First Amendment Rights who has stood his ground, fought for his position, and taken a bullet in the spine for his troubles.
Flynt recently calculated that he has spent $44 million on legal fees in the three decades that he's run Hustler, and given $10 million to $12 million to free speech and First Amendment protection organizations over that time. That generosity has endeared him -- or at least earned him an acknowledgement -- from many free speech advocates.
And again, the Chronicle tries to distance themselves with that "or at least earned him an acknowledgement" bullshit. But, c'mon. If you're at all interested in First Amendment rights in this country, Larry Flynt is a god.

Like Lenny Bruce before him, Flynt hasn't been afraid to "work blue", and has suffered for it. As noted above, he's spent an assload of money defending himself against the prudes, and has donated almost as much based on one simple proposition: grown-ups have the right to say and print what they will, without censorship.

And that's a noble cause. Period. Who cares whether Flynt made his fortune off of beaver shots? In fact, that little detail alone -- Flynt made his fortune off of beaver shots -- ought to tell you everything you need to know. People vote with their wallets, and while they might try to be hypocritical and deny it, there's a reason that porn (or pr0n, if you will) is a multi-billion dollar business. Why do you think the Internet exploded into a major force so quickly? That's right -- easy access to porn. What was the second thing we heard after Apple announced the video iPod? That's right -- porn movies were now available for it. That's always the second use of any new technology, and you can bet your sweet ass that as soon as that first cave painter at Lascaux was done drawing an antelope, someone came along and painted a tits 'n twat portrait.

But, anyway... just another indicator of America's hypocrisy. If we weren't so schizophrenic about sex, Larry Flynt would have received a Congressional Medal of Honor long ago for defending the Constitution. Instead, political parties return his donations, newspaper articles have to pretend they don't celebrate him even as he's being celebrated, and most people just don't have the balls to thank him for being the hero that he is. Quoth St. Larry:
"First, I'd like to think that I've helped two generations get through puberty, because we're all about having fun... The obscenity and free speech issues came later.

"You've got to see that this Justice Department keeps chipping away at our rights. The American people are so ill-informed... that they don't realize what's going on. And they won't until it's too late."
Hear, hear. To quote the motto of Flynt's (successful and fun) Hustler stores, "Relax. It's just sex..."

If you have a problem with that, then you probably need to get laid.

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DeLay: Talk to DeHand 

Jeebus. If being a smug, arrogant, self-righteous, hypocritical prick were a crime, Tom DeLay would be facing a life sentence. Every time this man opens his mouth, re: his recent indictments, I just want to scream, "Fuck you, asshole", and give him a metaphorical bitch-slap upside the head. Does he truly not listen to what's coming out of his mouth, does he not get it, or is he truly as venal, cynical and stupid as he comes across?

See, Tommy, this is what it's like when the chickens come home to roost, and unfortunately, your party destroyed every one of your defenses when they tried to go after Bill Clinton.
"The formal arraignment of DeLay, who has stepped down as leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, was delayed because his attorney said Judge Bob Perkins had made contributions to the Democratic Party and other groups that oppose the Republicans."
Okay, I'm quoting his attorney there, but what a lame defense. And talk about either a) major projection or b) a blatant confession of Republican modus operandi. "We can't get a fair trial because the judge may vote for the other party." Implying, of course, that everything the Repugs do is designed not to follow the law or justice, but to prop up their party.

Things that make you go, "Hm..."

Aren't the Republicans the ones who bitch and wine about partisianship every time the Democrats try to do their job and question some or another Republican proposal or nominee? And then piss and moan when the Democrats cry partisianship back at them? And aren't the Democrats the ones more likely to follow principal instead of the party line? In other words, aren't the Democrats the grown-ups, while the Republicans are the pissy little children who want everything their own way?
DeGuerin told reporters outside the courtroom that his motion was not about Democrats or Republicans, but that Perkins's political contributions were in opposition to DeLay.
Interesting, isn't it, that DeLay's attorney isn't debunking the charges, but instead is engaging in this kind of meaningless obfuscation? And the "opposition to DeLay" stuff referred to MoveOn.org which, as I remember it, is not specifically anti-DeLay; it's anti-Republican.

Still -- DeLay gave out a quote today that almost made me fall on the floor laughing. He claimed he was being indicted for pushing the Republican agenda, or something to that effect. To which I thought, a) No, you were indicted for breaking the law; and b) You should be indicted for pushing the Republican agenda; the whole lot of you should be.

Anyway... I'm hoping that DeLay is just prologue to Fitzmas, when Patrick Fitzgerald finally summons Cheney, Rove, Liddy, et al, to do the perp walk and guest star on The Smoking Gun. That screaming sound you hear coming from Camp David will be Andy Card realizing that W is truly useless without his handlers, and finally melting down and quitting.

Prediction, unrelated to DeLay? Cheney will resign as VP before Christmas, citing "health reasons", W will nominate Condi-dahling to take his place, and none of that will make a whit of difference in W's ratings -- in fact, may cause a push for W's impeachment in order to put the first woman and African-American and/or African-American Woman in the Oval Office.

Or not. Because, after all, you can't put anything past these fucks in cheating the system...

And Tom DeLay can go fuck himself. Fifteen ways from Sunday. Time to face the music, babe. I hope they send you up the river for a good, long time.

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The Constitution Wins One 

One of the few issues where I veer from the liberal conventional wisdom is the Second Amendment, especially in this time of lunatics in office. And Congress actually did something right and sane, in passing shield laws to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits over deaths caused by their products.

And I think that's a good thing. The logic behind it is pretty damn simple, actually, and something that raving anti-gun folk just don't get. It ain't the gun-makers' fault when someone uses their product to kill. After all, car makers shouldn't be held liable for accidents that are not caused by manufacturing defects. Alcohol makers shouldn't be held liable for illness, injury or death caused by use of their product. And tobacco makers should never have been held liable for same -- but that's one case where emotion ran away with the law and rationality.

The fact that it took Congress to stop these sorts of silly suits speaks volumes about one of the other big problems we have in American society. People refuse to take responsibility for their actions -- viz. attempts by fat people to sue McDonalds. Y'know what? You stuck the food in your gaping maw, repeatedly. Maybe when you couldn't see your own genitalia anymore, you should have considered going on a fucking diet? And corollary to the "avoid responsibility" meme is "find someone with lots of money to blame." Do the same survivors of gun victims who tried to sue, say, Smith & Wesson, also file a $30 million wrongful death suit against Gangbager Joe, the guy who fired the gun? Of course not -- because they know they'll never see a dime from him or his family. But that part of it shouldn't matter. If it's about retribution against the guilty, then sue the shooter. Even if you won't ever see any money from it, you'll make sure that he or she is working for you for life under the watchful eye of the court system.

Unfortunately, and I do not blame trial lawyers for this, our legal system has come to be seen as the Lottery with Better Odds. Chances are, if you've been breathing on the planet for at least two decades, someone somewhere has sued someone on your behalf. Case in point: I recently received (not the first time) papers informing me that I was a party in a class-action suit, and was entitled to compensation. Never mind that I'd never really suffered any wrong at the hands of the many named defendants. Some court somewhere had decided that I deserved some money for it because someone somewhere had complained. Did I file the forms? Well, in this case, you bet your ass I did, because it looked like I had a really good chance of actually seeing a bit of scratch. And the defendants are generally evil anyway. I acknowledge my mild hypocrisy here, mitigated by my having done nothing to instigate the action.

Note: I do not think class-action suits are bad things. Like the oft-misrepresented McDonald's coffee case, they're often intended to send a message to a company that has been abusive for far too long. They may not have hurt anyone individually that much, but collectively they have, and these settlements are intended as a heads-up that they'd better change their ways. As for the McDonald's case, they had been warned many many times before that they were serving their coffee way too hot, and had settled many a burn case out of court, figuring it was cheaper. The old woman in question, who got the gigantic award, was used as an example. After the jury saw McDonald's habit of ignoring the problem, they opened up a can of judicial whip-ass, which was why the award was so much bigger than seemed logical to an uninformed public. However, if I recall correctly, the plaintiff only got about $800K, not the millions and millions trumpeted in the press...

But I do digress. Getting back to my original point, gun makers make guns, and sell them to be used for legal purposes. If someone is shot, it isn't the gun maker's fault. If a gun blows up in someone's face, then it may be the gun maker's fault -- but only if the gun was defective.

And if this country continues down the path it's on, we're all going to need our guns to defend ourselves when everything goes down the toilet and the State of the Union makes post-Katrina New Orleans look like a weekend on the French Riviera by comparison.

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A Message to My Fellow Californians 

Swingstateproject reports on the poll numbers on the upcoming "Arnold's 5" ballot measures for the California Special Election -- and while the results are nowhere near clear-cut (other polls show the measures losing), there's a contradiction here I can't figure out. Arnold's approval ratings in the state are in the toilet, and it can't have helped with the Republican machine that he basically snubbed Bush as a political face-saving measure. And yet, the ballot propositions the Gropenator supports seem to be passing.

So, I'd like to explain to the voters of California why Propositions 73-77 are really bad ideas -- quoting from the poll's synopsis of same.
Proposition 73 requires that physicians notify the parent of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion. A typical rightwing, Big Brother measure. While, on the surface, it may seem like a no-brainer to vote for this proposition, it's probably both unnecessary and counterproductive. I suspect (although I haven't researched this yet) that minors must get parental consent for any medical procedure, including abortion. Also, absolutes must never be written into law in areas that can become very gray, very quickly. What about cases of rape or incest? What about cases of religiously-insane parents who'd rather doom their fourteen year-old to life of poverty as an unwed teen mother? What of emancipated minors, who legally don't have to inform their parents of anything? For all those reasons above, this measure is just another "make it harder for doctors to do their jobs" law, and it isn't necessary nor good.

Proposition 74 extends the probationary period for new teachers from 2 years to 5 years, and makes it easier to dismiss teachers with unsatisfactory performance evaluations. Again, it seems like a good idea, but I question the motives on this issue, since one of the groups Arnold seems to hate the most is California School Teachers. For that reason alone, I'm voting no on this one. But, also, it fails to deal with the real issue. The problem in the schools is not the teachers. The problem is the administrators and school boards. When Arnold starts proposing laws that will put administrators and board members under long probationary periods, then I'll listen. Otherwise, this is just Arnold trying to piss yet again on the teachers. Screw that. I'm with the teachers.

Proposition 75 prohibits public employee unions from using union dues for political purposes without the written consent of union members. Perhaps the most blatant power-grab, one of the anti-75 commercials nails this issue on the head. Currently, union members can opt-out and not have any of their dues spent on politics. This measure is unnecessary. But, if passed, it will suddenly put campaign spending limits on individuals, via their unions, that don't exist for corporations. This is the most hypocritical of Arnold's propositions, in that it favors his own personal special interests over a group he has declared -- quite wrongly -- to be a bad "spedzhul inteeeerist."

Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. Again, applying absolutes to situations that change. In theory, a good idea. The trouble with these laws is that they tend to backfire when times are good, limiting spending when funds suddenly become available. In addition, and not mentioned in the ballot question, 76 gives the governor carte blanche in budgeting matters -- not the way things should be. 76 is nothing but a blatant power-grab by Arnold.

Proposition 77 changes the way California draws boundaries for Congressional and legislative districts. District boundaries would be drawn by a panel of retired judges and approved by voters in a statewide election. In actuality, not a bad idea. Elected officials should never choose their own districts. I'm just against this one because it has Arnold's stink all over it.
In fact, this entire election has a taint of power-grab all over it. I'm voting "No" on everything, out of principal -- including the bond measures, on which I always vote no for reasons I'll go into at another time.

But, in short, if you don't like Arnold, be sure to go to the polls on November 8th and vote "No." No on everything if you wish, but in particular on the five propositions above.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Cost of War 

A friend sent me to a link that tracks the cost of the War in Iraq live, and it's worth checking out.

Be sure to check out the costs to your community, and the cost comparisons -- something I've done here before, but which is always a good reminder; how many students we could have sent to college, how many families we could have housed, how many children we could have immunized, etc.

But no. Instead, in W's universe, we get nothing for our money, wasted on a war based on lies...

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Bad Dog (Owner) 

And there was much bitching and moaning over efforts to ban Pit Bulls in California, but y'know what? Deaf ears... And I'm a huge dog lover. Dogs have been in my life almost since birth. When I was really, really young, I loved nothing more than to visit my grandparents and play with their father/daughter dauchshunds. Not much later, my parents got a cocker/chihuahua mix that was part of the family until I was in college. When she died, we adopted a Westie/American Eskimo mix who became my dog and was with me well into my adult years; when she died, I adpoted a White German Shepherd mix and, recently, adopted a Schipperke mix to be her little sister. So, I'm currently a two-dog dad... and I love dogs, understand dogs, and hate people who are bad dog owners.

Now, what makes a bad dog owner? First off, people who think that it's okay to take their dogs outside off-leash. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Y'know what? It doesn't matter how well-trained you think your dogs are. When they're outside of an enclosed area, you damn well better keep them on a leash. Why? Because, despite what you think, dogs are always and ever part wild. All it takes is one loose squirrel, one loose cat, or one responsible owner with two dogs on a leash for your little beastie to suddenly act like, well, a dog... and play chase. And, trust me, if they run up fast toward me while I'm with my girls, at least one of them is going to get defensive and protect me, leash or not, and try to bite your little sweetie's face off. And I'll tell you this, dog-lover that I am, if it comes down to a battle between my dogs and yours, I'm going to grab your dog by the scruff and kick the shit out of it to keep my girls from being attacked.

Not to mention this bit -- no matter how well they're trained, no dog in the world gets the concept of cars. They will not look both ways if something on the other side of the street gets their attention. Now, if they're on a leash, fine. They're not going that far. But, if they're not, again -- a squirrel, another dog, the mailman... there's nothing you can do that'll keep them from running into the path of that speeding SUV.

There's a woman in my neighborhood who used to walk her dogs (one of whom was an obvious pitbull mix) without leashes. And, while they seemed to obey her on command, sitting and not moving when she saw me and my dog(s), there was no way in hell I'd ever trust her training over instinct. Luckily, I think someone turned her in. She progressed to having her dogs on "leashes" made out of scarves, and then real leashes. And, recently, I haven't seen her and her dogs on the streets at all. But I bring her up as the perfect example. I love my dogs. I trust my dogs. But I would never, ever, ever let my dogs past my front door without them wearing their harnesses and leashes. No matter how well-behaved they seem to be.

Because, as is the case with human children, it only takes a second for everything to go to shit. Blink for an instant -- gone. And I refuse to blink for my girls. And I refuse to let them out front off-leash.

Because, if you love them, you'll restrain them. And that oughta be the mantra of PETA and the ASPCA and every other group that claims to love animals.

Animals? Nah. Dogs ain't animals. Except sometimes. Actually, they're five year olds. And you'd never let your five year-old run in traffic. Right?


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Monday, October 17, 2005

Pan et Circences... 

So, apparently, there was some baseball game or another today that decided the fate of the Western World, and I couldn't give less than two warm shits. I guess this team lost, and that team won, and there's going to be something called the World Series -- even though it only involves teams from the United States. And, all the while, I think some football teams (American sense) are starting to battle it out, and all I can say is... WHO CARES?

Okay, so the Angels didn't make it into the World Series, and Chicago did, and who knows who else did, but, again -- WHO CARES?

Pay attention to the important things, people. In fifty years, or five years, or five months, no one is going to give a rat's ass who won the 2005 World Series. Or, tell me quick -- who played the Super Bowl this year, and who won...? Who won the Oscar for best Actor/Actress/Picture?

You have two seconds to answer.

Now -- who bombed Pearl Harbor?

Who lost WWII?

Who invaded Kuwait in 1991?

Who was Paul Revere warning about when he said, "One if by land, two if by sea"?

Who was Benedict Arnold?

Who won the World Series in 1932?

Who was Best Actress of 1954?

Who was elected President in: 1980? 1996? 2004?

Which actress's daughter was charged with manslaughter in 1958?

Who won the World Series last year?

And... etc. The point is this: political events will last forever. Sports, entertainment, bullshit -- will be forgotten in a month. So, the California (not, never ever Los Angeles) Angels didn't make it into the World Series? Boo-fucking-whooo.

Repeat it after me, kids. Sports scores, sports teams, sports "news" -- mean nothing. Show biz "news", show biz gossip, show biz info -- mean nothing.

And all the "super" crap of this time of year -- the "World" (not) series, the NFL Playoffs, the Super (hah!) Bowl, this team, that team, t'other team -- who gives a flying shit. It means nothing. It's all just a distraction from the real news, from the real importance.

Oh, so "your" team didn't get into the finals this year? Y'know what? Who gives two warm shits. In the grand scheme of things, it means nothing.

If you think it doesn't, tell me this: what color were the shields of the winning gladiators in 324 A.D.? Or was it 325?

Or was it... oh, who cares?

'Cause everyone remembers that Caesar got assassinated, but no one knows which teams won that year, or which "stars" were the biggest. Hint...

Et tu Brute?

Et tu... all of you.

Fuck the Angels, fuck the World Series, fuck the Superbowl, fuck 'em all... They're all just distractions from the real story, which is the idiot in the White House. Keep your eyes on that prize. His downfall will give this country more brownie points than anything since the Boston Tea Party...

And far more than any stupid baseball game ever will...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005


A friend sent this to me, under the title of "Bush's al Cheit". An al Cheit is one of the two forms of prayers for atonement that devout Jews recite on Yom Kippur. Personally, I don't think that a single day of atonement is enough for Bush. It'd take him at least a year to recite his sins. But, since he's such a god-luvin' guy, maybe he'll want to take this to heart and actually learn it, love it, live it. Or not. Because, as is obvious, W really only pays lipservice to the tenets of Christianity. And if Jesus came back tomorrow, W would be number one on the Bitchslap List, followed closely by Dick Cheney, Pat Robertson and every elected official in Indiana.

But, without further adieu, here is W's al Cheit...
High Holy Days Confessional by George W. Bush

For the sin I have committed before you by promising to be a compassionate conservative, but showing no compassion.

For the sin I have committed before you by waging an unjust war in Iraq in the false name of fighting terrorism.

For the sin I have committed before you by waging a political campaign built on fear, not hope.

For the sin I have committed before you by cynically exploiting the horrors of 9/11 for political gain.

For the sin I have committed before you by ignoring the plight of the poorest and weakest among our citizens.

For the sin I have committed before you by the unnecessary deaths of 2,000 young Americans, the injuries to thousands more, and the deaths and injuries to untold numbers of Iraqis.

For the sin I have committed before you by lying about my record of service in the National Guard.

For these sins, oh forgiving God, forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.

For the sin I have committed before you by dividing rather than uniting our people.

For the sin I have committed before you by ignoring the loss of over one million jobs in the U.S.

For the sin I have committed before you by doing nothing to provide health insurance to millions of Americans, and to stem rapidly rising prescription medicine and other health care costs.

For the sin I have committed before you by systematically weakening environmental and pollution regulations, thereby endangering public health and destroying precious wilderness resources.

For the sin I have committed before you by promising to leave no child behind, and then failing to adequately fund educational programs.

For the sin I have committed before you by allowing the assault weapons ban to die, allowing these grotesque weapons to return to our streets.

For the sin I have committed before you by bearing false witness about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

For the sin I have committed before you by perpetuating the falsehood that increasing homeland security requires a weakening of civil rights.

For the sin I have committed before you by imposing a veil of secrecy on government decision making processes.

For these sins, oh forgiving God, forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.

For the sin I have committed before you by allowing the ends to justify any means.

For the sin I have committed before you by lowering taxes for only the very wealthiest Americans, enriching the few at the expense of the many.

For the sin I have committed before you by running a cynical and destructive presidential campaign, designed to destroy rather than just defeat my opponent.

For the sin I have committed before you by fighting a war in Iraq to divert attention from failures in the just war on terrorists, and from failing to act against the looming nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea.

For the sin I have committed before you by failing to make any progress in achieving a just peace between Israel and the Arabs.

For the sin I have committed before you by turning a massive government surplus into a massive deficit in less than four years, thereby burdening future generations with untold debt.

For the sin I have committed before you by unnecessarily damaging relations with American friends and allies throughout the world.

For these sins, oh forgiving God, forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.

For the sin I have committed before you by promoting a personal ideology rather than the interests of the people.

For the sin I have committed before you by arrogance and swagger, speaking with a forked tongue, and for the haughty exercise of power.

For the sin I have committed before you by appointing arch-conservative judges to the federal judiciary.

For the sin I have committed before you by irresponsibly damaging the reputation of the United States throughout the world.

For the sin I have committed before you by enriching my friends in the conduct of government and military affairs.

For the sin I have committed before you by encouraging xenophobia on the part of the American people.

For the sin I have committed before you by attempting to impose my extreme religious and moralistic values on the entire nation, and weakening the separation between church and state.

For the sin I have committed before you by characterizing all who oppose me as evil, and all who agree with me as good.

For the sin I have committed before you by failing to acknowledge my responsibility for all these sins, for attempting to blame others for them, and for all the injury and damage they have caused to individuals, the Nation, and the future.

For these sins, oh forgiving God, forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement.
If W truly is as devout as he pretends to be, he ought to be scared shitless. 'Cause, in Dante's world, one of those dudes getting munched in one of Satan's three mouths is going to have a replacement when Bush shuffles off this mortal coil. Quickly followed by Cheney.

Good Yom Kippur wishes to all my devout Jewish friends. Hope you ate plenty on Wednesday, and aren't too annoyed by your relatives today.

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More Booga Booga 

Well, looks like the fake NY terror scare scam has been unveiled -- yes, the "19 bombers with baby strollers" story was a hoax, but the timing was very... convenient, coming as it did right as Tom DeLay was being indicted and Patrick Fitzgerald was creeping closer to catching Rove and Cheney in his net.

And now, the next bit of "booga booga", yet another al Qaeda "threat". Or is it?
Senior U.S. intelligence officials call a letter from al Qaeda's No. 2 man to its leader in Iraq "chilling" because of how "calm, clear and well argued" it is in urging preparation for a U.S. departure from Iraq.

According to a translation of the 6,300-word letter provided by the U.S. government, Ayman al-Zawahiri predicts "the Americans will exit soon" from Iraq and says "things may develop faster than we imagine."
And, um... aren't we arresting al Qaeda's "Number 2" every other week? The letter, if it even exists, is nothing but fake propaganda, and really means nothing.

I imagine a time, maybe twenty years down the road, when Hollywood finally makes a satirical film about the fiasco of the last five years. Running gag: some anonymous Arab man is approached by a shadowy figure, who says, "You are now number two", and Arab man dissolves into a pants-wetting freak-out, since the entire function of al Qaeda number twos seems to be getting arrested by the US.

Sigh. It's a bullshit fest. Real terrorists will never give warnings or indications. That's counterproductive. I mean, c'mon. Would Osama bin Laden really have sent a video out to the Arab media announcing the date, time and method of 9/11? Of course not. He might have sent the chuckle and gloat movie out afterwards (if, indeed, that was really him in it, and there's some doubt about that), but the chief weapon that terrorist groups have (by definition, much smaller and weaker than their targets), is secrecy.

So... whenever you hear of some al Qaeda "threat" coming via any media, it's a safe bet to ignore it. And when it's being touted by our government and media, keep your eye on the real story -- whatever latest black-eye to the administration they're trying to distract you from.

That sound you hear is Scooter Libby being dragged before a grand jury, and then turning state's evidence to keep his ass out of Federal Pound Me in the Ass Prison.

The day our government announces a "real, credible threat" to nuke some major city is the day that Karl Rove's ass is going down.

And, ask yourself this -- why hasn't the magic terror alert moved to Orange, despite all these threats and whatnot?

Um-hm. Exactly.

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Big Brother the Homophobe 

Update: State Senator Patricia Miller (R) has pulled her head out of her ass, or at least seen the writing on the wall, and withdrawn the heinous legislation described below, noting, "The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission."

Translation: I realized I'd have my ass handed to me if I tried to push through this Fascistic measure. But still, for even proposing this idea, much less thinking of it, Miller deserves to be removed from office immediately. Remember that when she's up for re-election next.

I read this (courtesy Pandagon and Daily Kos) and got chills -- shades of "Brave New World", "1984" and Nazi Eugenics. Short version: Indiana is considering a law that would bar unmarried women from having children via artificial means. Read between the lines: what the law is really after is preventing lesbians from having children. 'Cause, it's totally fine for an unmarried woman to get knocked up the old fashioned way. Just keep your turkey basters to yourselves.

No surprise that this proposal comes from the Republicans. Because, as is obvious, Republicans are against governmental interference, until it comes to a woman's uterus and what she choses to do with it. One small quote:
As it (sic) the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent "who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure" without court approval, "commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor." The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit "unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction."
Note that phrase: "unauthorized reproduction." If that doesn't scare the holy fuck out of you, I don't know what else will.

It reeks of Nazism and eugenics. What next? "You don't make enough money (because you're black), so you can't have babies." "You go to the wrong church (Jew), so no babies." "We don't like your politics (Democrat), so no babies." Keeping in mind that the current law really reads, "We don't like your lifestyle (you dyke) so no babies."

Well, y'know what? If this law passes in Indiana, any legislator who votes for it deserves only one thing. To be hauled out of office, tarred, feathered, castrated and/or given a hysterectomy, then run out of state on a rail -- and whoever wrote this abomination deserves nothing less than a lead enema. No government entity in the United States of America has any right, whatsoever noway no how, to tell people how and when and in what way they can reproduce. The very concept is slap in the face to the 51% of the American population who are female.

Why do conservative asshats insist on this kind of crap? Because they're married to some non-existent fantasy image of mommy, daddy and the 2.5; mommy stays at home and cooks and cleans, daddy wears a fedora to work, and none of the 2.5 children ever ever will fall in love with someone of the same gender. (Cue Tattoo. "The plane! The plane!")

Y'know what? Except for a brief period in the 50s and early 60s, when America was flush with cash and admiration after being the heroes in that whole WWII thing, the above scenario has been the exception, not the rule. Go much further back in history, and children were only one thing: insurance. The more kids, the more manual labor for the farm or the local factory, hence more money coming in. Go further forward, the fewer kids the later the better. And go back even further in time and place, and you'll find the idea of girls being married at 12 to 30-ish men for the monetary advantage of their family not at all unusual.

Or you could go back to ancient Greece, where homosexuality wasn't an aberration, it was a hobby -- of all those married men, who had a barefoot, pregnant wife locked up at home.

Point is this: the Republican Fantasy Family is a myth. It is not, has not and never will be the norm, and no legislation will make it happen. Honestly, the only thing their law will create is a class of gray area criminals -- lesbian women who marry gay men in order to be able to conceive artificially. Or, without the marriage bit, lots and lots of lesbians asking their gay friends to take the tukey baster into the bathroom and jack off into it.

I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that this load of bullshit doesn't pass. But if it does, to the people of Indiana: it will be your solemn duty to punish the idiots resopnsible. Because, if they pass this, Indiana Republicans will have so abrogated the idea of "less government" that they don't even deserve to call themselves conservatives. Radicals is more like it.

No, not Radicals. I think the words is Fascists.

"Were sorry, Miss Smith. You can't have a baby."

That matter is no one's business but Miss Smith's. Ever.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Whose Life Is It, Anyway? 

Okay, here's what I don't get about conservative ideology. They claim to be the party of less government (at least when it comes to regulation of big business), and yet they just can't stay out of the birth and death game. Stop me if I'm wrong, but conservative ideology seems to dictate that no woman has the right to decide whether or not to have a baby, and no person has the right to decide the time and manner of their own death.

And I can't see how that is at all consistent with the "less government" meme. After all, there's nothing more sacred than those decisions. When to begin a life, and when to end it. Whether a fertilized egg will have a good life or be better served by being halted; whether an extended life will have any quality, or if the pain and suffering about to ensue isn't worth the few weeks or months or years the person will spend breathing.

Add to this the following conundrum: conservatives are generally, rampantly pro-death penalty. Reconcile that one to their pro-life at birth, anti-choice at death stance. You can't. You can't, because they're contradictions.

The conservative argument over the current Oregon "Right to Death" law is this: Oregon can't allow doctors to give patients ODs, because it violates Federal drug laws. Okay, fine -- but then doesn't shooting up a convict with various heart-stopping and paralytic drugs also violate those laws? You can't have it both ways. If you can't give grandma a blessed overdose of morphine because she can't walk two steps and can't recognize her own children and asked for it when she was lucid, then how the hell can you justify doing the same to a healthy man in his 30s who never asked for it? Sure, bring up justice and all that crap, but that dog don't hunt if you want your value of life arguments to hold true.

So, it really seems to come down like this. Conservatives are pro-choice when they get to make the choice. If they're the ones killing someone (most likely poor and/or of an ethnic minority), fine. But if it's someone else deciding whether to begin or end a life, forget it.

And I can't wrap my mind around the idea that there are people who get so emotional and twisted and pissy about decisions that should belong solely to the people involved. Who'd know better? Some government board, or the fourteen year-old girl who got knocked up by her boyfriend because the condom broke? Some faceless bureaucrats, or the 80 year-old cancer patient who is tired of the pain and nausea and hopelessness, knowing that death is going to come anyway and preferring it come sooner rather than later?

Yeah, Conservatives are into less government when it protects their precious corporate interests, and their own greedy fucking wallets. But when it comes to letting people make their own decisions and being autonomous, they're worse than their biggest nightmare version of the so-called "liberal nanny state." You want nannies? Just bring up start or end of life issues with a conservative.

And here's another irony... following the twisted logic of their arguments against the Oregon pro-life law, it'd be totally fine for a Doctor to just shoot a terminal patient in the head, because delivering a bullet wouldn't violate Federal drug laws. But god forbid that a few chemicals do the job instead, unless they're being administered to an unfortunate person who couldn't afford a good lawyer.

Proposal: Conservatives are not in favor of less government at all. In fact, they are hypocrites and liars, all of them. If they weren't, they'd leave these most deeply personal decisions alone, and insist that no laws be made regarding them. But they don't and they can't.

It'll be interesting to see what the Supreme Court decides about the Oregon case. I have a cynical feeling that they'll decide the wrong thing, and I have a big interest in seeing how John Roberts tap-dances his way into justifying his first big opinion -- 'cause I can't believe he'd do anything that the fundie whackos would disapprove of. I could be wrong. But I don't think I am...

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Take the Poll 

Should Bush be impeached, among other questions. And you'll be surprised by the demographic results beyond the other questons.

But, hey, Dubya doesn't believe in polls.


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Strict Constructionists 

I can't help but think that W's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is nothing but insurance against possible future indictments against himself -- hoping that his good bud and former lawyer will keep him out of prison.

Remember -- Caligula appointed his horse as an advisor.

But, in watching his press conference about the nomination today, I just wanted to bitch-slap this smirking fuck after every sentence. He kept harping on the concept of "Strict Construction", obviously without understanding it at all -- because a strict constructionist judge would rule against any laws or actions that prohibited free speech, that intruded on personal privacy, that allowed government money to go to any religious entity, that expanded governmental powers. Or, in other words, a Strict Constructionist judge would toss out all laws against abortion, against consensual acts between consenting adults. A Strict Constructionist judge would toss out the Patriot Act in a heartbeat, declare "under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance illegal, outlaw the funnelling of government cash post-Katrina to "faith-based" (read: fundamentalist Christian wingnut) organizations.

He also liked to whine about "legislating from the bench", but y'know what, Georgie-boy? A real judge can't help but doing so, in the sense that it is a judge's right and duty to strike down bad laws that defy the Constitution. You want to call it "legislating from the bench". Fine. I call it "checks and balances," one of the most important and sacred things that the Founding Fathers gave our form of government. They wanted to ensure that no one branch of government became too powerful, and they came up with a good way to do it. The Executive can override Congress, Congress can override the Executive, and the Supreme Court can override either.

But I'll tell you what, Georgie-boy: if you stop legislating from the White House, then I'll agree that judges should stop "legislating" from the bench. And if you actually bother to read the Constitution and figure out that your chosen form of religious stupidity is not the law of the land, and if you stop being such a smug, smirking fuck-monkey in public, then maybe I'll consider Harriet Miers's nomination seriously.

But, until then, I only see one thing. You needed to distract from all those indictments against prominent Republicans and your sinking poll numbers post-Katrina, and so you pulled a nomination out of your ass and tossed an old friend into the ring. Someone with no experience and no history -- although, apparently, a raving crazy, born-again, anti-abortion, anti-gay fucknut.

Oh yeah -- someone who was also involved with purging your past criminal history, and who personally handed you that infamous PDB on August 6th, 2001. You know -- the one that said, "bin Laden Determined to Strike in US"; the one that was much longer than the page and a half we were shown so long ago.

Or, in other words, the one woman who happens to know all kinds of dirt about you and your Administration, and who would be in a position to judge your fate were all that dirt to catch up with you and lead to impeachment.

Hm. John Roberts as Chief Justice -- hence presiding judge in impeachment -- and Harriet Miers as Chief Asskisser. Maybe you're not as stupid as we all think. After all, it was a warped Supreme Court that put you in office in the first place. Guess it was a logical conclusion to think that they'd be the only ones to keep you in it once the Senate and the People decide you should be out.

But I have a suggestion for you. Emulate that great Republican Idol Richard Nixon. Resign now, for the good of the country. Because I don't think you'll want to go down in history as the man who precipitated a major Constitutional crisis and had to be removed from office by the National Guard.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sad Trifecta... 

Say what you will, but it's true that celebrity deaths travel in threes, and with Bob Denver, Don Adams and Nipsey Russell all going to that great syndication gig in the sky, the beloved 60s TV stars who will live for generations trifecta is complete.

Honestly, when Denver and Adams kicked off so close together, I wracked my brain to come up with a 60s-era (but lived on) star who would complete the trio, and Nipsey Russell couldn't have been a better (or worse) choice. Granted, my first thought on hearing of his death was, "He was still alive?" But my second thought was sadness. He truly lit up those bad 70s game shows that live on and on and on via cable TV, and I will forever remember Nipsey as the poet laureate of impromptu but perfect rhymes.

I can only imagine what he'd have said about the current administration. "Somehow we wound up with one more Bush; he's in the White House, but his brain's in his tush."

Or... "Gilligan, Get Smart, little ol' me. I'm truly flattered to be part of that three."

Well, Nipsey should be. I had no idea until the obits that he was the first African American to be a regular on a sitcom (Car 54, Where Are You?, 1961; as well as the movie version in 1994), and on a game show (Match Game 73, et al.). All I know is, from what my young impressionable eyes saw on Match Game (seventy-something), was that he was one cool and funny dude; a man who truly knew the meaning of joie d'vivre.

So... another chapter of my childhood slams shut. Gilligan, Maxwell Smart, and the original rappa/rhymin' dude are gone now -- the latter being the one black dude that my racist parents liked. But, of the three, I'm saddest to see Nipsey go. After all, Bob Denver and Don Adams will forever be known as other personae, but Nipsey Russell was forever and always himself. He would have turned 81 in less than two weeks. But, to many of us, he is eternal.

Nipsey, here's to you, dude. Keep on rhymin'. And thank you for kicking down the walls in your own way for all us Gen-X'rs who grew up loving you like crazy.

You funny, funny motherfucka...

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