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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We Need This Here 

The headline alone says it all, but here's yet another thing (besides universal health care) that we need to import from the great white north. It's called a "Vote of No Confidence", and it happens when the Congress (or Parliament) decides that the Executive (or Prime Minister) isn't worth following anymore. They vote on whether to keep his sorry ass in office. And Canada has just voted to dump Paul Martin and elect a new PM.

Sigh. How better would America be if we had this option, with one small variation. Instead of having the timid sycophants in our Congress decide the question, we'd put it direct to the voters. Once a month, an online, one-vote-per-person moratorium: Should the current Administration stay in power or not? If we had that simple power -- which we should, since all elected officials are supposed to work at our whim not theirs -- BushCo would have been on the streets several months ago, and most of Congress would have gone with them.

Hell, except for about two states, including all the red ones, Bush's approval numbers are past the toilet, and half way down the sewer pipe to shit-central. Even in the two states that sort of love him, he's hovering at 50%. And if we had an electorate (translation: us) with any true power at all, they'd be out of office, and so would 90% of the House and Senate, and half the Supreme Court.

Of course, we could change that. All it would take is an Amendment to the Constitution. Forget wingnut bullshit about anti-Flag Burning or anti-Gay Marriage ammendments -- which would warp the Constitution for purposes which it was never intended. If we're going to have a 28th Amendment, it should be this: it is the right of the people, at any time, to demand a referendum on the current government, and, should the majority plus one of the people vote no, every current elected official and all of the Supreme Court shall be removed from office, to be replaced.

That, and to hell with the electoral college, a useless relic.

Oh, Canada. You've given us an example. And we down here who despise everything our Administration has done and stands for champ at the bit. It would take major revelations and a snowstorm in hell to get the pussies in Congress to do their job and impeach these motherfuckers. Much better that we could do it ourselves, without having to take up arms.

I'm holding my breath until the 2006 midterms, and hoping that we don't explode into Civil War. But, for the first time in 140 years, I think we're getting close to that.

After all, it's more than abundant that the American People have given a big, flaming Vote of No Confidence to the Fucktards in the White House. Unfortunately, we have to wait until our Congress Critters grow the balls to do the same.

Chances of a Congress Critter growing balls? About the same chance of Paris Hilton becoming a nun.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven 

I just watched Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven on DVD and, while it has the usual historic dubiousnesses of most Hollywood flicks, it does make a good point at the end, something worth repeating again and again and again.

The history of the tri-partite religious wars of the last 1300 years centers on one city, Jerusalem. And the only solution to that problem is a simple one that so many people seem unwilling to take. It's this: Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims -- so should belong to none of them and all of them. Just as Vatican City is an independent state within Italy, Jerusalem should be an independent state within Israel, ruled by a triumvirate of Cardinal, Rabbi and Emir. All holy sites within the city should be open to all pilgrims of all faiths. And, without the blinders of religious fanaticism, the only honest position is to admit that all three religions have equal claim to the place. Just as a matter of "time occupied", none of these groups really has a pre-eminent claim. And each of them claims wonders and miracles within the city walls. The Ark of the Covenent resided there, Jesus died and was reborn there, Mohammud ascended to heaven there.

Now, I'm a raving atheist, but I'll tell you this -- if all three world religions descended from Abraham happen to have the same holy city in common, I'd gamble that the deity of those religions was kind of sending a message. And the message would be that this city belongs to all followers of Abrahamic religions. Not to the Jews by virtue of the temple, not to the Christians by virtue of Jesus, not to the Muslims by virtue of Mohammud.

In short -- share the goddamn place, will ya?

And, back to Kingdom of Heaven and the Crusades... what was started by one Pope in the 11th Century has not ended yet -- and if you don't think that the Iraq War and the Global War on (Some) Terrorists isn't an extension of the Crusades, well, then, you're just ignorant of history. I suggest that you read Dungeon, Fire & Sword by John Robinson, perhaps one of the best historical explications of the Crusades ever put to paper.

And, one other bit of news for all you Muslim-bashers out there. Were it not for Islam, there would be no western culture and no America, for two reasons. First off, while Europe was stuck in the dark ages of ignorance and superstition, all the scientific and cultural knowledge of Greece and Rome was being preserved way off in the middle east. Secondly, were it not for Muslim forces at the battle of Ain Jalut some 745 years ago, we'd all most likely be speaking Mongolian and living as nomads on horseback. The Jews didn't do that, because they were being oppressed by Christians. The Christians didn't do that because they were being oppressed by superstition. The Muslims did it because, frankly, for nine hundred years, they were the super-power of Europe -- something that later historians tried to erase.

Remember -- the Muslim empire stretched all the way to Spain, and it's why we still have Arabic words in Spanish and English. Alhambra. Alameda. Algebra. Where do you think they came from, and why do you think they stuck?

Now, mind you, I've really got no place for religion in my world. Were it up to me, all such superstitions would be outlawed, and the world would be ruled by logic. Anyone who seriously believed in something as stupid as I.D. would be sent off for re-education. And, eventually, all these moronic, mindless battles over meaningless plots of land based on some stupid belief called "My god is better than yours" would stop. But, until then, I'd like to remind the religio-fascists of something that they seem to forget. Yo, kids -- Abraham and Moses begat Jesus, who begat Mohammud. Hell, I'll even toss Joseph Smith into that formula for you. But the point is this -- if you're going to be at all consistent in your superstitions, then you have to admit that you're all on the same team. Jews, Christians and Muslims should not be fighting. If anything, each of those religions should honor each other and stop the damn squabbling already.

And, ultimately, ask yourselves this: if your religion is all about the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven and the after life and all that crap, then why the hell are you fighting over a piece of real estate, anyway?

Maybe that's the ultimate bit that makes me an atheist. Well, aside from the ridiculousness of all that "god" stuff. And it's this -- if your religion is right, and if you do what you do to get into some ethereal heaven after you die, then what the holy fuck does it matter what you do in this life, or whom you convert? Hey, to be consistent, it all comes down to you and your god, babe. And, from what I can tell, it doesn't matter whom you convert, or whom you make conform to your belief, or whatever. It only comes down to how you behave, according to how you believe, and what your god thinks of that once you die.

Put your manna where you mouth is, then. Leave the rest of us alone. Pray how you will, believe how you will, behave how you will. And, if your god is so right and so powerful, then there's not a damn thing you can do to help him. To think otherwise is just hubris, which is a sin in at least three religions. I'll repeat that again. If your god is the One, the all-powerful, then to presume you can help him borders on blasphemy. Think about what you're saying with your actions. "My god can't do it alone, so I've got to help." I.E. "I am equivalent to god." Ergo -- act like a crusader or a jihadist or whatever, and you are going straight to hell or gehenna or whatever version of "really sucky afterlife" you believe in.

Got that? Again, being an atheist, I just giggle at such things, but let me put this in terms the religious nuts can understand. An all-powerful god is gonna work things out how he/she wants. You can play your games and start your wars, but it isn't going to make any difference. Nothing you can do is going to change what's going to be. Much better, then, to improve the lot of your fellow man here and now -- a far, far better way to earn heavenly brownie points, after all. To think otherwise is to be deceived by The Adversary/Satan/Shaitan...

Hm. As I write this, I begin to realize that two other world religions got here first, long before the Western Three. There was Buddhism, there was Hinduism. The latter is the only world religion without a known founder, and the former was the first heresy within the latter. Hinduism accepts all deities from all other religions, without judgement. Buddhism condemns the "crime" of believing that "Maya," the veil over our eyes that creates what we call reality, is real. In fact, to grasp onto the material -- things like who owns which piece of land -- is a great sin in Buddhism.

Y'know, though, were I forced to pick a religion that most reflected reality, being scientifically minded, I'd become a Hindu. There are a lot of reasons for that, but here are two. First off, Hinduism is about the only religion to embrace time scales even remotely approaching those of the universe. Whereas, say, Christianity deals in millennea, Hinduism deals in millions of years. Second, Hindu deities are just so much more bitching than the rest, with their multi-arms and multi-faces. Although, if you've ever done acid, they're not so outside the realm of experience at all. And, again, there's the quantuum/relativistic angle. Eternal beings must exist outside of time and, to our mortal eyes, would look more like Shiva and Brahma and Khali, et. al. , than they would look like Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammud. And, at the same time, would clearly give less than two warm shits what the hell we mere mortals do.

If you're religious, go look at an anthill some time. Contemplate destroying the thing, then determine whether you'll do so based on the behavior of an arbitrarily selected ant. Watch the ant for a while... and you'll soon realize that you really don't care. Chances are, you'll stomp the anthill anyway. But it will have nothing to do with anything that any random ant does to any fellow ant.

Proverbs, 6:6: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

Oddly enough, a hell of a lot of truth in that one...

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Black Friday... 

Ah yes. Thanksgiving -- the day when the top news story of the day morphs from "Look at all those people trying to get out of town" to "Get ready for all the people at the malls tomorrow." All of this is told in excited tones by the perky "consumer" reporter (whatever the hell that is), interspersed with commercials for all the big sales tomorrow.

In other words, if you go shopping tomorrow, the media and corporations have played you for the mindless fool you are. Think about that as you stand in line for hours in the cold, get into fist-fights with soccer moms over this years' future yard-sale fodder, and then find out the store only had two dozen of whatever big-discount advertised item dragged everyone there in the first place.

See, they don't call it "Black Friday" because it's a dark and terrible experience for shoppers. They call it "Black Friday" because it's the day when retailers start to make a profit on the year. And make it they do, from here until the end of the year, laughing all the way.

But... they do it by exploiting the customers and consumers, by using you to create artificial demand, by playing you against yourselves, all because the media has carefully planted the seed that this year, everyone absolutely must have "X".

Want to change that, and make the retailers cater to you? It's really, really simple. Don't go shopping tomorrow. Or Saturday or Sunday. Wait. We'd start to see results immediately, because Monday's news story would be (in all caps), "RETAIL SALES DOWN!!! WALL STREET WORRIES..."

And, in a panicked response, you'd start seeing bigger sales, bigger cuts and increased stock right through Christmas Eve. Things would turn into a buyers' market as it became every retailer for themself, each trying to figure out what they did wrong, trying to undercut the competition.

And all you have to do is stay home for the next three days. Or, instead of that, do something else. Instead of shopping, take the kids to a museum or a movie. Go to a theme park with the money you would have blown on Friday. If you've got a multi-generational family thing going on, everybody sit around the fire and tell stories. (Believe it or not, parents, little kids do love grandma's stories, and could listen to them for hours. Especially when they're about you as little kids...)

Finally, remind yourself this -- your little crotch-droppings aren't going to die if they don't have the latest X-Box or Electronic Whatnot or other such bullshit. And, anyway, come January, you can probably pick up same for a song as retailers try to dump all the extra inventory -- by which time, whatever it was that was so damn important for Christmas will be yesterday's news, and about as cool as giving them a Pat Boone CD. Er, make that LP.

Take back the season, people. Stay out of the malls this weekend, and see what power you really have.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

PC Run Rampant? 

The scariest thing about this story is this -- the teen involved may be forced to be a registered sex offender. Why? He humped a mannequin. And, frankly, that's going a bit too far -- as has this whole RSO bullshit in recent days.

Why? Because there are degrees of sex offense, and society has ceased to differentiate. We've hit a point where harmless dummy humpers or random streakers are indistinguishable from rapists and child molestors, and that's a shame. Quoth an anonymous source in the article, "But I certainly would want to know if this person was my neighbour." To which I ask, "Why?" Are you afraid he might start humping mannequins in your yard, or try to have unsolicited relations with the Real Doll you ordered online?

Can we get back to some sort of sanity? Can we fix things so that drunken college students with poor judgement are not tarred with the same brush as forty-something men who try to score underage poon? Can we remind ourselves that the sight of a penis is not the same thing as assault with same? Can we remember the days when "rape" was a different crime than "I saw his willy"?

in short -- can we stop registering every man who made a teeny mistake with the "Registered Sex Offender" brush, and save that designation for serious, actual crimes? Because, Jesus, it's getting to the point where some guy who forgets to tie up his bathing suit at the beach and meets a strong tide can be branded for life as a pariah, and that just isn't right.

Rampant feminism in action? Perhaps. Although, given the number of MILF-esque teachers who have been sexually assaulting teen boys of late, I'd say that the RSO category has become less sex specific.

But... let's apply some sanity, okay? Lets eliminate "mere sight of genitals" from the RSO category, and return it to "attempted forced application of genitals". Otherwise, one drunken fratboy trying to moon passing traffic could be tainted for life, and that just ain't right. Not when drunken frat boy trying to shove his junk up unwelcoming vagina should be.

Again, the criteria: if they aren't trying to shove it in you, it shouldn't be a sex crime. Period. And some guy trying to fuck an inanimate object should not and never be branded a sex offender....

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Asshat 

Much has been made of it, but I gotta toss in my two cents' worth...

Sorry, but no way they didn't rehearse Captain Dumbass, and tell him in advance which way the exit was. He was either drunk or hungover ("jet lag" my ass), but also so desperate to get away from those reporters with their "nasty" questions that he beelined and blew it.

And the wingnuts say, "Oh, ha ha, look. It proves that our president is only human..."

Nah. It proves that he's a moronic jackass who isn't qualified to be appointed dog catcher in a kennel. And, trust me, the rest of the world was laughing their asses off at this little faux pas.

Memo to the rest of the world: Please don't blame us for this fiasco. Only blame the Red States, and Diebold. The rest of us have no responsibility for this waste of air occupying the Oval Office.

Sigh. The things that make you miss Nixon. And Reagan. And, hell, even Herbert Hoover...

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Withdrawal Method 

Ironic that one of the few accepted Catholic forms of birth control is rejected by this administration, which refuses to withdraw from Iraq. Not now, not on a timetable, not on any timetable.

Now, on the surface, this recalcitrance is utterly mystifying. After all, when the war is over, it's time to bring the troops home, right? Sadam is out of power, in custody and soon to be on trial. Iraq has its very own nominally democratic government. If those two things don't mean that our mission in Iraq is over and done with, what could? Nothing. There is simply no justifiable, logical reason that there are still any American troops there by Christmas, much less Thanksgiving. All they're doing now is providing fodder for insurgents -- who'd be called "freedom fighters" if we were behind them, q.v. El Salvador vs. Nicaragua.

No, I'm afraid there are only two possible reasons that this Administration is refusing to pull the troops out of Iraq, and they both suck. The first, more obvious, reason is so that our army is in a place of easy deployment on such day that BushCo. manages to bullshit the American people into a war on Iran. Thankfully, that day is becoming increasingly less likely as even Republican support for the occupation of Iraq dwindles.

Reason number two: if the troops are still in Iraq in November 2008, this will become the wingnut mantra in order to make sure there's a Republican successor to W. In short, "You can't change the party in power while there's a war on, it would endanger our troops. Stay the course, bullshitbullshitbullshit."

And the Administration dares to accuse the war's opponents with playing politics? Big Dick can choke on that lie. Because, logically, the only, only reason they're keeping our brave men and women over there is to ensure their re-election. That's right, Mr. and Mrs. Middle America -- and everyone else with a family member in the military. Your allegedly elected leader would prefer that they die, as long it keeps his party in power.

George Bush doesn't care about black people his own troops. If he did, he'd be presenting his plan for withdrawal already. After all, there's no way at all to claim withdrawal would be an admission of defeat. Dude, we took out the bad guy and installed a new regime. Mission Accomplished, asshat.

Instead, if BushCo. has their way, our kids are going to be over there for the next two years, and pretty soon the media will be mourning new milestones -- 3,000 dead. 4,000 dead. 5,000 dead.

How many dead will it take for us to tell them "Enough?" And to provide them two choices -- Withdraw or Resign?

And if you refuse to do either, we will Impeach, then send you all to Geneva for your war crimes trials.

A true patriot knows when the war is over. Only a jingoistic idiot can't see that truth.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Bullshit Meter 

Something about this confession just strikes me as bullshit; and I wonder how much this woman was offered. Did someone kidnap her kids and threaten her? Or was she offered an escape from Iraq along with her kids? Or what?

Simply put, the story Sajida Rishawi told the media just doesn't wash. For one thing, why the hell was she allowed to "model" her failed suicide bomb belt? Think about that one for a minute. "Okay, we'll tape your confession. Do you mind wearing explosives while we do it?" Not to mention that an apparently orthodox Muslim woman, wearing a headscarf, would so blithely whip open her outer garments for TV cameras. By those standards, she all but flashed tittie to the world. And, I'm no munitions expert, but the so-called "bomb" she was wearing looked awfully thin to be dangerous. Where the hell are the explosives, anyway? From what I've seen, Ms. Rishawi looked like she'd just wrapped a layer of duck tape around her body, with not much under it.

Ball bearings and explosives? Nah. Don't think so.

Now, think about the timing. What, they captured her outside the hotel, she didn't go boom, and she willingly confessed, all the while wearing the same bomb that didn't go bang? That's the kind of thing that sets my bullshit meter way off.

Also, her initial statements make no sense. Her husbad, the alleged bomber who succeeded, "pushed her out of the way" before blowing up? Um... how hard did he push her, exactly? Did he have an Incredible Hulk moment before triggering his device? Because, if we take the given that both of them were wearing ball-bearing laden explosives, unless he shoved her right out of the room and behind a bomb-proof wall, there's no way in hell she wouldn't have been severely injured when hubby went bang bang.

And, of course, there's this bit, censored from the regular news. Bomb placed in the ceiling hm? (whatreallyhappened had a great photo of bomb damage that was obviously caused by something planted from above, but I can't find it at the moment...)

Anyway... the confession from Ms. Rishawi strikes me as total bullshit, for many many reasons. And how convenient that a terrorist attack should happen in a Muslim country, just when W and Company are getting raked over the coals for lying their asses off.

Hm. Here's my bomb-belt Fashion Show... NOT.

And, the important question... qui bono?

Qui bono?

Again -- qui bono?

This woman is a liar. Just like W. and company. The question is: Why is she lying?

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Doubleplusungood 

Does W actually listen to the words that spew out of his mouth, or is he oblivious? Or, worse, does he actually believe the crap that comes out of his mouth on a regular basis? Personally, I think he's been drinking again -- as evinced by his body language and facial expressions during recent speeches. And so, most likely, the official proclomations coming from the president are the ravings of a crazy drunk, divorced from reality.
That's the only explanation for this bit of crap, quoted courtesy of Eschaton:
"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war began," Bush said in a Veterans Day speech today to military families at Tobyhanna Army Depot near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
(Ah. Gotta love it any time my mom's home town gets mentioned in the news.) But... I'd love to know how W thinks anyone but himself is "rewriting" history. Because, to unstring his drunken logic, he seems to be saying that all the claims now that there were never any WMDs and that the intelligence was cooked were inventions that happened sometime after Scooter Libby was indicted. And, well, obviously, that's just bullshit. If anyone is trying to rewrite history, it's W himself. But I guess that' understandable if someone is so drunk off their ass that they can't remember yesterday, so have to make up tomorrow.

Sign of the sea change of the times, though -- most newscasts of W's claims were immediately followed by a sound bite of Ted Kennedy pretty much calling shenanigans and setting the record straight. And that's refreshing. Suddenly, bullshit from the Oval Office isn't being given a free pass in the media outside of FoxNews. Bonus points: Senator Kennedy (who's never pretended to be on the wagon) derided W for turning Veteran's day into a poltical stunt. Nice touch there, sir. Payback, big time, for all the times the Republicans have tried to pull the "playing politics" card when Democrats have raised honest and serious objections to their crap.

Anyway, what we're seeing are the signs of an Administration under siege. Their moderate base is crumbling, the electorate has just given them a big "fuck you" that Diebold couldn't cook, the fundie-loonies are discrediting Bush every time they open their mouths, and there's no telling who will be indicted or forced to resign by the end of the year. Hell, on the news today, they were interviewing old white men in VFW hats -- you know, the ones who usually spout that inane "support the president, my country, right or wrong" crap -- and even they were saying that, basically, they have no use for Bush II anymore.

And W's approval ratings are in the mid-30s. Hint, Georgie-Boy: your approval rating should never be lower than your presidential number, and you're never going to see 43% again. Hell, Osama bin Laden himself could walk into Times Square and scream "Allah Ackbar uiuiuiuiuiuiuiuiui!" before setting off a dirty bomb, and it would only sink you further in the polls.

There's only one honourable way to save your party and your contry, and that is to resign while you still have a tiny shred of dignity left. You and Dick both, get out. Turn the reins over to Condi (ewwww) or (bring back) Colin (yay), and retire to obscurity. Hell, you'd at least escape with the total liberal mindfuck of being responsible for putting the first African-American in the Oval Office. But, as things stand, you've become poison to your own party. You even managed to un-elect a Republican and a Democrat by virtue of their connections to you.

Read the writing on the wall. Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. If you're really a fundie, you'll know that quote, so I don't need to translate. But let me offer these words to you from one of the world's pre-eminent Islamic poets (from one of my favorite works of poetry):
The moving finger writes and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it
Remember that in 2006, when the Democrats re-take the House and Senate and every State House up for grabs. And remember that you're responsible for it. Remember, until the end of your life, that you were the person responsible for swinging that big pendulum of history back from conservative insanity to liberal sanity. Only, this time, I think you've given the thing such a hard push that it won't be swinging back your way for a long, long time.

You, sir, are toast. Get used to it. You're going to be the lamest of lame ducks, from now until January 2009, if not sooner. And there's nothing you can do to change that. Nothing, nothing. Not a thing...

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Friday, November 11, 2005

What Planet Are You From? 

Okay, Pat Robertson is not an adult. He's an addled six year-old who believes in fairy tales and myths, and someone should take his pulpit away from him, fast. Every time he opens his mouth lately, all he achieves is embarrassing that proportion of Christians who are actually good people. You know -- the ones who believe all that love and peace stuff from Jesus, instead of all that "convert, conquer, destroy" crap of the wingnuts.

Pat Robertson is the Osama bin Laden of Christianity. Just as good Muslims are probably embarrassed and outraged every time bin Laden makes some pronouncement about the Satanic West, good Christians must do the same with Robertson.

And here's his latest warning:
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town Thursday that disaster may strike there because they "voted God out of your city" by ousting school board members who favored teaching intelligent design."
Two words, Patty boy. Eat. Me.

He says something later in his screed which is telling:
"God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever," Robertson said. "If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them."
First, if your god is so damn tolerant and loving, then why is he so vengeful? And, second, why not call on Charles Darwin? He's just as likely to appear in the middle of Dover, PA, and do something as your god is. But, of course, it just begs the question -- is Robertson implying that his loving and tolerant god is in the business of fucking with people because of how they vote? If that's the case, well, think about it. It means that his god is not all-good, but is also part evil. And, given the absolutes applied to descriptions of this god person, it means that he's got to be both all-evil and all-good.

So, in short -- Pat Robertson is saying that his god is evil. Think about it. This is the god that the fundies said was going to destroy Orlando, Florida, because Disney World had a gay day. It's the god who was going to have a 900 Hundred foot Jesus stomp on Billy Graham (or was it Jerry Falwell? Or Oral Roberts?) if they didn't collect a certain amount of money by a certain date.

In other words... why does this raving fuckwit even get airtime anymore? He's an idiot, a moron, a drivelling fool who spews bullshit with every breath. I'm not sure what century he's living in, but it's not the 21st. The School Board in Dover were being total dipshits, and the voters took action. In my book, that's a good thing.

Sigh. If only we could have a worldwide referendum, in order to vote fundie jerkwads like Robertson off the planet. Hey, I'd pony up for the pay-per-view to watch his ass being launched into space on a one-way trip, tied to the hull of a Russian rocket...

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Arnold Actually Gets It 

Wow. I have to say, two days after the election in which California told Arnold to take his propositions and stuff them, that he's done a rare thing for a politician. He's actually listened to the voters, gotten the message they were sending, and then admitted he was wrong in public. And that, for a politician is amazing.

He was surprisingly honest and candid today, going so far as to say that he never should have called the special election. And, even moreso, we finally found out why his wife didn't have much to say about the propositions during the campaign -- she thought the whole election was a bad idea, and advised him against it. He didn't take that advice, and publicly regrets it now.

And... he seems to actually be negotiating with legislative Democrats now, answering those questions about what happened to the billions he "borrowed" from the school system and didn't repay. In short, he may have learned his lesson, and is going to try to do his job the right way.

I'm sorry that it took an expensive special election and the time and opinions of nearly seven million Californians to achieve that, but at least, in this case, the Republican got the message. Whether Arnold will actual achieve something with that knowledge, and get off his "special interests" high horse is another matter. But maybe he can read the writing on the wall -- or have someone read it to him.

But when an average of 57 percent of the voters are on the side of certain groups, it's hard to call them "special" interests anymore, isn't it?

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Let Kids Be Kids... 

Okay, shennaigans. When I was in high school, weekender field trips were nothing but excuses for high schoolers to have sex. I mean, shit, c'mon -- why else would they have us bed down in gymnasiums with no adult supervision during shower time? And, flying spaghetti monster forbid they'd put us up in hotels. Because, even in high school we knew one thing -- hotels = fucking.

So, there's no excuse whatsoever for this. High school students suspended for fucking?

I want to bitch slap ever baby-boomer administrator on the planet. Why the hell do you punish your children for doing exactly what you did in high school, huh? And how come it was totally okay and cute for us slackers to do the same? Oh, that's right. When my generation was in school, you assholes weren't parents quite yet. You only wished you could be. And if you had half the balls you claim to, you'd teach your children about safe sex, and let them loose, and know that little Jenny isn't going to get knocked up, because she took the pill and made Johnny wear a condom and/or only went down on him and/or only let him go down on her...

Face it. Baby boomers are fucking hypocrits. They've totally forgotten what it was like to be a teenager, even as they want to withhold necessary information from their own teens. And so they are shocked -- SHOCKED! -- when their teens act like... well, teens.

High schoolers having sex? Holy shit, stop the planet. This is unprecedented.

NOT.

Truth to tell, it's only been in the last decade that certain asshole parents have decided that people between the age of twelve and twenty have no interest in sex. The same asshole parents who, between the ages of twelve and twenty, probably fucked everything with a hole in it up, down and sideways.

Hey, baby boomers -- fuck you. You've screwed up everything else in the world, stop screwing up your children, m'kay? High schoolers on a field trip? Of course they're going to fuck. Just like you tried to. So, stop the outrage, and give the help. Give 'em condoms, give 'em an education. Admit, for once, that your kids are going to start playing the game as soon as there's grass on the field. Because I can't possibly believe that you're so divorced from your own childhoods that you can't remember one simple thing -- as soon as you figured out how to masturbate, you did. And as soon as you figured out that someone else could do it for you, you asked them. And asked them and asked them and asked them, until someone else put out.

Relax. It's just sex. And, if you're open an honest with your kids, you'll manage to teach them how to do it without getting knocked up or without getting some disease. But, given the state of the world as noted by the article above, you won't.

You'll just try to stuff the same bullshit on your kids that your own parents did, and the lies and repressions will continue.

And those of us in Gen-X who managed to escape your crap will point and hoot and yell, "Bullshit!" And your own kids will be quiet, but continue to fuck like bunnies anyway. And only they and us will be the wiser, while you assholes will be left out of the loop.

Hint: your kids won't trust you until you trust them. And the article above tells me that, oops, you fucking baby boomers don't trust anyone. Idiots...

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's the Lying, Stupid... 

There's one thing that everyone who's ever been in a relationship knows: after that first big lie, it's very hard to trust again. I'm not talking about the husband swearing he took out the trash when he didn't. It's more along the lines of, say, the wife claiming she was out with her girlfriends when she actually met up with her old high school flame, or the husband insisting there wasn't a stripper at his brother's bachelor party when he was the first one offering up a twenty for a snatch in the nose. And this theory applies to politics as well. Clinton's "lie" was comparatively small, because it really didn't matter to anyone but himself, Hillary and Chelsea, whether he did or didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky. That is -- it was a big lie in terms of his own relationship, but meant nothing to the country at large.

And then we have W, who lied, lied, lied, lied, lied, big time, about WMD, about intelligence, about why we had to go to war. And most of America has caught on to him, as evinced by this poll (kudos to Eschaton for the tipoff). Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that he "deliberately misled people to make the case for war". (Sigh. When will pollsters and the media replace the weasel word "misled" with the real word, "lied"?)

But... now we have bombings in Jordan and arrests of missile smugglers and all the booga booga and hoo-hah, and the trouble is, the majority of us can't trust anything W says. If he got on the news tomorrow and said that they had ironclad, irrefutable evidence that X group of terrorists were going to nuke Y city the next morning, that same majority would listen to the news and shrug it off with, "Yeah, right...", wondering which Administration fuck-up the announcement was meant to distract us from.

And that's a sad state for a government to be in. Simply put, we can't believe a damn thing anyone in this Administration tells us anymore. They've squandered our trust the same as a cheating husband who insists that what his wife's private detective photographed didn't really happen. ("This isn't lipstick. It's... um... transmission fluid. Yeah, that's it. I was working on the car at four in the morning, but you didn't hear me in the garage...")

A sane wife would yell, "Bullshit" and file for divorce. A sane electorate is beginning to yell the same. Now it's time for that divorce. It's called impeachment, and it's the duty of every loyal, patriotic American to call on their Congressman to do something about it, to start the process; to save the country from the lying liars in power. And if our elected officials won't do their damn job, it's our duty to vote them out of office and replace them with people who will.

Richard Nixon keeps coming to mind as the benchmark bad Republican by which to measure W, but you know what? As evil as Nixon was, his crimes and misdemeanors don't approach one one-hundredth the venality of BushCo. Nixon only damaged the reputation of the presidency among Americans and, frankly, because we did the right thing back then and began impeachment proceedings, driving Nixon out of office, we repaired that reputation with the world. But, no matter how awful he was domestically, at least Nixon was an international politician, and other than a certain little inherited debacle (coughvietnamcough), dealt rather well with the world at large. Say what you want about the man, he did at least establish relations with China -- or "Red China", as we quaintly called it at the time. W seems to be doing everything he can to make the Chinese decide, "America? Fuck 'em. We will bury you." And, unlike the Soviet Union, China has the population and the economy to do it.

To appropriate a phrase from another evil Republican, it's morning in America -- and the majority is finally, finally waking the hell up. Given recent election results in California, Pennsylvania, and several other states, it looks like the Republicans are in deep deep shit, with no possible way to dig themselves out of it, short of repudiating the clowns in power and going back to their real base. Because, liberal though I am, I at least respect true conservative ideals, which have nothing to do with banning abortion or outlawing gay marriage or forcing religious dogma into the schools. The true conservative agenda is simple: keep government out of my life and out of my wallet. Ironically, all those other trappings of the culture war would be anathema to a true conservative. A real conservative may not like the idea of gay marriage, but a true conservative would be the first person to say that government had no business deciding who could get married and who couldn't.

Those are the people that the Neocons have abandoned -- the socially open/neutral, fiscally conservative Republicans. And those are the people who are going to become odd allies with all us flaming liberals. Any so-called Republican who wants to survive what's going to happen, electorally, in the next year, had better repudiate BushCo, smell the coffee, and start those divorce proceedings pronto.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well..."

We won't be fooled again.

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Title IX, Where Are You? 

AKA sometimes, liberals are hypocrits. Imagine this scenario: a girl wants to play a particular high school sport, but there's no girls' team. Legally, she has to be allowed to join the boys' team or, conversely, whether there are girls interested in a sport or not, they can't have a boys' team without a girls' team. This is how a lot of schools lost a lot of sports.

Well, just this thing has happened with the genders reversed -- a boy wants to join his school's bowling team. Trouble is, they don't have a boys' bowling team, just a girls' team. And the school has threatened to suspend him if he keeps trying to join it.

And I say... huh? Given exactly the same circumstances, the school would be forced to let a girl join the boys' bowling team if there were no girls' team. So what's the difference here? There is no difference, but sometimes the "equal rights" folk forget that there's two sides to the equation. That's what gender equality is all about. Not "girls get better than boys", but both genders get the same thing.

Let the kid bowl, for fuck's sake. And if the school is afraid that he's going to be a ringer and blow the opposing girls' teams out of the water -- well, what does that say about gender equality in sports in the first place?

They still have ladies' tees on golf courses, don't they?

Anyway, when it comes to sports and gender, we're still totally screwed up in this country. And you never hear people complaining that the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League baseball don't have any women players on their teams. Why not? To be consistent, those sports should be gender-integrated as well...

And, to be consistent, Paul Rofus should be allowed to bowl. Period.

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I Love SF 

And, in the intelligent voter trifecta...
By a strong 60-40 margin San Francisco voters approved Proposition I, which bans military recruiters from public schools...
San Francisco has always pretty much had its shit together when it comes to being in the forefront of progressive issues. I'll bet the Federal government will piss and whine about this one, and try to claim that the law isn't legal or some other such dance that they never do when voters tromp on rights and ban gay marriage.

But hey, recruiters, if you want to catch the kids' attention, do it like everyone else. Creative marketing. Do it the hard way. But, really -- if we can let the recruiters waltz into the schools, then why shouldn't we let big business do it as well, and cover every surface with advertising? Hell, let's let cigarette companies go in and hock tobacco to teens as well. Why not?

What's that, you say? Cigarettes will kill them? Well, duh. So will military service. The big difference is that, with the former, at least the kids will get to live to a comparatively advanced age. They won't get a neat flag on the coffin or a fancy funeral, but that's a good trade-off, don't you think?

Still, I'd like to see more of this happen. The government has no business pushing an unjustified war on our youth while they're a captive audience. They've got no business pushing it anyway.

Thank you, San Francisco, for getting that and acting on it.

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Intelligence... 

Also, in Pennsylvania, sanity rules, as shown by these election results:
The Pennsylvanian school board that is attempting to introduce the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution was yesterday ousted in local elections by anti-creationist campaigners.
Now, I'd quibble with the reporter's choice of words, "anti-creationist campaigners." I'd prefer to call them "pro-intelligence activists".

Hey, when all the churches agree to teach evolution in Sunday school, then maybe we can talk about teaching their myths in a science classroom. But, despite all the crap spewed by the ID crowd, the fact of evolution is pretty well established. In some places, the exact method isn't known -- but it happened, and it explains the rise of life, all the way from a drifting amino acid in a primordial sea up to the slightly less-intelligent creationism fan.

See, in science, the word "Theory" doesn't mean "wild guess." That would be an hypothesis. When an hypothesis is tested repeatedly, and evidence is gathered to prove it, it eventually becomes a theory, in the scientific sense. That doesn't mean that scientists understand every little mechanism that makes things work, but it does mean that the theory most likely explains how things behave or came to be.

Of course, you can always just say, "Hey, gravity is only a theory. No one knows how it works, right?" and then take a walk off a tall building, relying on some invisible being in the sky to catch you.

I mean, you can. But the results would be pretty messy. About as messy as the results of teaching fairy tales and myths in a science classroom. They don't belong there, and the people of Pennsylvania, for once, got that.

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Beautimous 

The people of California have spoken, and they have said up yours, Arnold. That's right -- from a point a month or so ago when it looked like all four of Arnold's propositions were going to win, yesterday, we had exactly the opposite result. In fact, a rarity in California politics, none of the propositions on the state ballot passed.

That's a pretty big message, because California tends to be a proposition-happy state, and I've long since despaired of the voters here ever having the intelligence to reject a single bond proposition. (I've often said that voters zero in on the word "bond" and ignore everything else to the extent that they could probably put a bond issue on the ballot to provide funding for pedophiles to have internet connections, and it would pass just because it's a bond.)

Anyway... eight up, eight down, all the answers "No", and I can't help but thing that it was anti-Arnold sentiment that drove the majority of voters to do the same thing I did. Walk into the ballot box, think, "Fuck it", and mark a straight-line No on everything. There might have even been a good prop or two in there; or not. But the real vote was whether or not we thought it was worth it for Arnold to waste the public's money for a special election that wasn't necessary.

Hope you can understand the answer, Arnold. Because yesterday's election wasn't just a decision about eight ballot measures. It was a referendum on your administration, and you lost. Lost big time. Now go back to Sacramento, and try to do something useful with the rest of your time as governator, because the odds don't look good that you have any chance of being re-elected, short of pulling some miracle out of your ass that erases our budget deficit and fully funds the schools.

This time, you won't be back...

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Sorry, Arnold 

It is with baited breath that I await the outcome of tomorrow's special election in California. And yes, I am voting. But, despite early polls that showed Arnold's propositions in the lead, they now all appear to be taking a big dump and, with the exception of Prop 77, the redistricting initiative, it looks like they're all going to fail tomorrow. Unless the No voters grow complacement and stay home and the Yes voters get a sudden fire under their asses (an inclination opposite the presumed trend) Der Gropenator isn't going to be a happy man tomorrow.

There were so many problems with this election and Arnold's propositions going in that it wasn't even funny. First of all, there was no reason for the governor to call this damn election, and waste money the state doesn't have. He's been trumpeting in the press how the election only cost a quarter per person. Well, Arnie, I want my quarter back. It's the economy of scale, and it isn't what the election cost per person. It's what that money, collective, could have done -- like, for starters, paid back into the educational budget the money Arnold took out and hasn't repaid yet.

Another problem, of course, is that Arnold's propositions are nothing so much as a quartet of "Fuck You" measures aimed at the groups Arnold would like to have us think are the evil special interests. Trouble is, Arnold wouldn't know a special interest if it bit him in the ass. Personally, I'd much rather let all those Teachers and Nurses and Firemen determine the fate of our state than those Developers and Oil Men and Nutritional Supplement Manufacturers. That's the one thing I think I'd enjoy most out of this election turning out into a big bitchslap for Arnie -- that he will never again utter in public the phrase "dee spedzhil inteeerists."

Asshole.

Here's to Arnie not getting his Props tomorrow, and getting his ass in gear and tackling the state's real problems the day after that.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Retribution 

Now, I'm an atheist, and not one to believe that some invisible cloud being can move around the weather to punish the wicked. But, keep in mind three things:
  1. Florida, home of Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, is a tornado magnet.
  2. Indiana legislators have made some really, really stupid proposals in recent months.
  3. Only yesterday, a local weatherman pointed out that this tornado season was exceptional, because no one had been killed.
And then:
An overnight tornado ripped a 20-mile-long path through southwestern Indiana, killing at least 22 people and injuring some 230 others, officials said Sunday.
Like I said, I don't believe in the whole divine retribution thing, but if I did, I'd be convinced that Indiana Republicans, through their intolerance and stupidity, had done something to piss off someone with their finger on the "really bad weather" button.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

"Oh no. Look. A Mexican!" 

Congress is grumbling about immigration again, specifically illegal immigration and the border. As in "let's build a big ol' wall along the (Mexican, not Canadian) border and keep all them wetbacks out." On top of that, House Republicans are talking about removing the right of automatic citizenship to anyone born in this country.

My only response whenever the Jingo-Nazis start screeching about immigration is to point out how totally racist they're being. Note above that Canada never enters into the discussion of border fences, but also blows up their rationalization that this is a national security issue -- a bomber intent on attacking LAX around 2000 came into the US from Vancouver. If it were a national security issue, we'd be concerned with all the borders.

What it really is is this: rich old white men deathly afraid that brown people are going to move into their neighborhoods. Or, in other words, racist assholes.

It's the same argument that anti-segregationists made in the 50s -- "You don't want an integrated neighborhood, because the black man will come in and rape your daughters." (I'm not making that logic up folks, I'm just reporting it.) The modern version of that one is, "You don't want Mexican undocumented aliens coming in, because they're going to steal all your jobs." Ah -- you mean all those engineering jobs that require advanced degrees? Or all those minimum wage shitjobs that the native born and well-to-do don't want?

Again, hypocrisy -- these are the same people who have no problem saving money by "outsourcing" jobs to India, hence creating exactly the same conditions they decry when it isn't benefiting big biz. Then again, they never have to really deal with the brown people when they outsource long-distance.

Anyway, illegal immigrants help big business by providing a large pool of people who will work for shit salaries, not demand benefits and just shut up and never complain, lest they be turned in and deported. And contrary to popular belief, they pay their share of taxes without sucking up their share of benefits. I've known a good number of illegals in my day; kind of hard not to, living in LA. They tend to be hard workers, keep to themselves, and avoid government offices at all costs -- as in, they aren't going to be heading downtown to apply for welfare benefits any time soon.

Generally, they're here for one reason: to make more money than they can in Mexico (or other points south), and help take care of their families back home. I'm not saying there are no bad apples in the bunch. No moreso than any other random, homogeneous group. But I do think that all the nightmare scenarios drawn by the anti-immigrants are complete bullshit; rare or unique incidents drummed up into trends that don't exist. Have they caught Mexican criminals who were here illegally? Hell yes. Just like the Mexican authorities have caught American criminals who were there illegally.

And let's not forget the matter of "here" and "there." If you're ever in LA, hop on the Red Line and get off at the Universal City station. There, you'll find murals telling the story of the Campo de Cahuenga (roughly what you're standing under), and the war between the Republic of California and the country of Mexico which pushed the border back to Tijuana. And had you been standing there a hundred and sixty years ago, you'd be standing in Mexico. My point being that, from a certain point of view, illegal immigrants from Mexico are merely the returning descendents of refugees.

[Side note, and very LA: when I first saw the murals in that station, I started reading them. Now, one side of the wall is in English and the other is in Spanish. I read the Spanish side. About halfway through, I realized that, out of all the people in the station reading the thing (a lot), all the Anglos were reading the Spanish side and all the Hispanics were reading the English side. Funny, but absolutely true.]

The ultimate joke, of course, is that everything from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego is a single, contiguous landmass that didn't even have any divisions into territories or countries (other than indigenous settlements) prior to the 17th Century. And then, those divisions became arbitray as England, France, Spain and Portugal bickered over territories. We could just as easily have a French-Speaking US, a Spanish-Speaking Canada (with English minority) and a Portugese-Speaking Mexico. All of North American cultural and race relations could be more like Brazil, or Venezuela could have wound up as the world's English language super-power.

But every country mentioned in that last paragraph has one thing in common. The vast majority of their populations are descended from immigrants, and those descendants can only trace their roots in the Western Hemisphere back less than four hundred years -- the vast majority of them, less than two hundred years.

Every major ethnic or national group in the US was, at one time, the pariah immigrant, legal or not. The Irish started out as despised and shunned. By now, there aren't a lot of Americans (including African Americans) who don't have some Irish blood in their veins. The Italians have been in the same spot, and so have the Germans, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, etc., etc. The groups that are here long enough assimilate, while often still maintaining their own culture. Every time you go to your favorite ethnic restaurant, be thankful for that one. Otherwise, you'd be dining on Shepherd's Pie, Bangers and Mash, shoe-leather beef and other delicacies never meant for human consumption.

Unlike most of the other countries on these two continents, America has absorbed rather than buried other cultures, and that's what has made us stronger and better over the years. In 1840, no upstanding New Yorker of British/American descent would ever have dreamed of celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Now, it's practically a national holiday. In some places, like California, Cinco de Mayo has achieved the same status (although el 16 de septiembre never will). And don't forget Oktoberfest, Columbus Day, or May Day; or that the 4th of July is a variation of how they celebrate Guy Fawkes's day in England (which is tomorrow, November 5th, by the way). Don't forget that most of our Hallowe'en traditions came from Ireland; most of our Christmas traditions from England and Germany. Even such apparently indigenous things as jazz and rock and roll came from Africa and the Caribbean, and even that most seemingly American thing called Blue Grass music came from, yet again, Ireland.

To grow, any culture needs new ideas, new traditions and new art forms. It needs new blood and new people. America was built by immigrants, successive tiers of arrivals from other countries who started out (collectively) as a despised underclass who took the shit jobs (Irish coal miners, Chinese railroad workers) and eventually worked their way up and assimilated or adapted as part of the higher classes. It happens over and over, and the only resistance to the process comes from the bigotry of the ones who got here first, forget where they came from, and try to shut the door after they've gotten to the party.

Now, I'm not saying that I think everyone should come streaming over the borders into the country illegally. But I do think that we would benefit from a guest-worker program, whereby Mexican citizens would be allowed to come and work in the US without being given citizenship; they'd be eligible for provisional drivers' licenses and SSNs, pay taxes, and be ineligible for benefits except those (like unemployment and social security) that they pay for directly. (Taxes that go into a general fund wouldn't be considered direct payment, so no State or Federal benefits available, except Social Security.) I'd say toss in free but mandatory ESL classes and the chance to apply for permanent status after a certain number of incident-free years.

That's really an everyone wins all the way around deal. By limiting the kinds of jobs that the permits are good for, we remove the wingnut argument that "they're stealing our jobs." By removing the threat of deportation, we make them less susceptible to things like blackmail or slavery, since the worker wouldn't have to fear exposing themself in order to report the crime. We'd also be increasing tax revenue by creating a method for all those extra wages to be tracked -- and remove them from the cash economy by having the permit only valid as long as the worker is contributing payroll taxes at a certain (high) percentage of the agreed-upon wage.

Anyway, is a wall around the border the answer? No. And it certainly isn't the symbol we want to present to the world, The Great Wall of America. Besides, building it would just create a false sense of security, because it would be physically impossible to monitor every single inch of the thing, and those that didn't find a way over would probably start going by boat, avoiding the wall entirely. The problem would just move elsewhere without the real issues behind it being addressed.

Mexico's economy must be built up, and its corrupt political institutions removed. There's no reason they can't be a first world country like the US. They've certainly got the oil wealth to do it. This would take away the incentive for people to leave there in the first place.

Secondly, we have to create a viable program for people to use when they don't necessarily want to stay in the US, but want to take advantage of its better wages and conditions -- one that tells them they don't have to risk their lives to sneak in across a river or under barbed wire.

Sanity and humanity, not fear and hate. That's the solution to the problem.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Because All Other Problems Have Been Solved... 

I shouldn't be surprised that this bit of asshattery comes from Indiana, the same state legislature that tried and failed to make it illegal for the unwed to have children. Now, a state senator there is wasting time trying to pass a resolution that would stop Abercrombie and Fitch from selling a new line of T-Shirts with mottos like "Who needs brains when you have these?" (over the breasts) or "I had a nightmare I was a brunette".

Well, y'know what? If you think the shirts are offensive, don't bloody buy them. But if you don't have a sense of humor, just shut up about it. And Indiana State Senator Steve Rauschenberger wins this week's "Legislative Moron" award.

(1) comments

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Let the Finger-Pointing Begin... 

A new buslane just opened in Los Angeles. An extension of the subway system, it consists of dual bus-only lanes that run from the North Hollywood Metro Station out to Woodland Hills. For those of you not from LA, this a major breakthrough in commuting, meaning that people who live in the distant suburbs can take public transportation from those 'burbs to Hollywood, Downtown, Long Beach and many other points without being stuck in traffic.

And, a bit more history -- the busway follows the old Southern Pacific rail line, basically; a route that was commuter-friendly fifty years ago. And, originally, it was going to be an above-ground extension of the Red Line; a streetcar, basically; which was a fabulous idea. That is, until a handful of rich whiners on one block around the route kicked and screamed and bitched and moaned and ruined it for everyone else. They managed to prevail in a lawsuit that banned a rail line from the route. End result -- the busway. Same idea, different mode of transit.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I love the busway. I love the idea that LA finally has a subway. And I think that we need more, more, more. While the whole system is great if you want to get to Hollywood, Downtown, Chinatown, the Airport, etc., it sucks if you have to get to the West Side. Now, it doesn't suck if you have to get to the West Vallley, or from the West Valley. But, before they opened the busway, I was apt to ponder out loud, "I wonder how long it'll be before we have the first bus/car accident on the thing?"

I was basing that on the unfortunate track record with the Blue Line, which is a street-level rail-line. And, gosh darn, wouldn't you know it, plenty of people have ignored the flashing lights and gate-arms and other alerts that say, "DON'T DRIVE HERE, ASSHAT", and have driven in front of or into the Blue Line Trains.

And, today, the Orange Line (as that bus lane system is called) had two accidents, one minor and one major. And, sure enough, the major accident was caused when a driver ran a red light and drove smack into the side of the bus.

And, sure enough, all the whiners and moaners came out of the woodwork to declaim, "The Orange Line is unsafe!" And they demand that the whole thing shut down until gate-arms are installed, and blah blah blah, and they can all go fuck themselves.

Funny thing here, if you're an Angelino -- all the moaners are people married to their cars, who wouldn't even dream of thinking of considering even trying taking public transit. Their concern is that they can drive to work while yakking on the cell phone, doing their hair, eating their breakfast, watching a DVD and putting on their make-up, all the while piloting a land-tank that's much bigger than their skillz. God forbid they should have to walk more than fifty feet, share their space with other people, and arrive at their destination unstressed, in comfort, and faster than they would have otherwise. Nope. Two total dipsticks slamming their cars into buses that are pretty damn hard to miss means the whole system is failed.

And they wonder why LA doesn't have a world class mass-transit system?

Of course, in the ideal universe, the MTA would have told those whining neighbors to go fuck themselves in the first place, and the Orange Line would be just another train. And there'd be a train line connecting Hollywood to West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood and Santa Monica -- hence connecting them to everywhere else. And, in that ideal universe, driver would not be so bone-stupid that they ignore all warnings and smack into a bus.

In an ideal universe, blame would be put in the right place. And the people of Los Angeles (especially the reactionary dick-wits who live in Woodland Hills) would pull their heads out of their asses, realize that People Who Speak Spanish are not Satan in Disguise, and they'd hop on the damn bus and figure out what people in most other major American cities have already learned -- you only need your car when you're buying big shit, or have to go a long way with family. Otherwise, pay your three bucks for a day pass, hop on the Oraange (or Red or Gold or Green or Blue) line, and go have fun.

Because, they forget the two big benefits of public transit: 1) You never have to look for a parking space. 2) You can get totally wasted and still make it home without worrying about getting arrested.

What better arguments could there be?

So, my fingers are crossed that the hideously bad drivers of the West and Central Valley don't permanently fuck up the Orange Line for the rest of us. How hard can it be people? Two simple words when you're anywhere near the busway: PAY ATTENTION.

Or, hang up and drive. Asshats.

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Der Gropenater 

California's governor, in an earlier time...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com...doing to that woman what he's trying to do to California's Teachers and Unions.

Just a reminder from the past that this little Republican golden boy was (is?) just as boorish and uncouth as a certain other famous Republican government official.

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