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Saturday, April 30

Let's Just Get 'Em Hitched Sometime Before We See the Head

Is it small wonder that hurricane season and wedding season are one and the same? As a former bridal-page editor, I can honestly say that I've seen some category 5 wedding disasters.

Take the bride whose write-up included the delectable morsel that "She entered the church on the arm of her father while singing an a cappella rendition of 'All of Me' dedicated to her groom.

And then there was the infamous friend of a friend of mine who hired some silky singers to croon "Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady" as the processional for her third weddin'.

I adore weddings. The families, the emotion, the beautiful gowns, the sacredness, the little honey sesame chicken wings......

I fulfilled a lifelong dream last spring----directing a wedding---when a friend looked desperately into my eyes, and said, "I don't have a lot of money to waste on this so will you do it for free?" I was touched.

Because weddings make me bawl (in one friend's video, the only sound you can hear are my wailing and the sound of the groom's ninety-year-old mom's oxygen tank clicking away), I was a little hesitant. Only one thing would cure my jitters: power "har."

On the morning of the wedding, I had my har teased so high in front I looked like Jimmy Swaggert in a blue crepe sheath (which I suspect he owns and trots out just for "special friends").

With big har, you don't snivel and bawl, you say things one time and everyone scurries to do you bidding. It's fabulously empowing. ("Hey! Move that candelabrum two inches to the left. No? DO YOU SEE MY HAIR? That's better, asshole.")

When the groom's mother, a ferocious--looking woman with big har of her own, arrived a full forty-five minutes late (and wearing one of those god-awful glassy-eyed mink stoles where the little minks are chasing themselves around your throat), I was calm but firm.

"Hon," I said sweetly, "since we've already heard every song your thirteen-year-old nephew knows on the piano, including 'The Ballad of the Green Beret' and 'Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life),' what say you move your minks right on down the aisle and we'll get these two hitched sometime before we se the head."

Well, I didn't say she was a classy friend, now did I?

No one has asked me to direct a wedding since and I place the blame squarely on the taxidermied shoulders of the mother of the groom.

Or perhaps it's because couples aren't taking marriage as seriously as they used to.

Just the other day, I read about the trend of the "starter marriage." That's the catchy label for marriages that last less than five years, take place in your twenties or thirties, and end with no kids and little regret.

Starter marriages are all the rage these days, partly because you don't have to give back any of the wedding gifts. You stuck out holy matrimony for sixty months, for heaven's sake. Think of it as a typical car-payment coupon book and now you can, ahem, trade up.

Sure, you may have married a metaphorical drunk bike the first time, but a Lexus could be just around the corner, complete with global positioning system technology. Oh, I'm getting misty here!

According to the experts, the breakup of the typical starter marriage should be amicable. Aside from some predictable squabbling about who's gonna get the Krups retro toaster, everybody usually stays friends.
And that, darlins', is where it gets weird, if you ask me.

The amicable divorce is an urban legend. You believe there's such a thing? Then you also believe that some loser really did find a finger in her Wendy's meal.
Simply stated: Thou shalt not be friends with thy ex. It's, well, icky.

I know people who claim to be friends with their ex-spouses and I always tell'em that I'd rather eat my own eyeballs than be friends with my ex. It's nothing personal, it's just that you can't buddy up with somebody who has seen you slough the dead skin off your heels.

While there's certainly no need to be mean to an ex-spouse, there's also no need to invite them to your parties in some misguided attempt to show everybody how danged civilized you are.
Freak: "Oh, look, there's Joe! Yoo-hoo! Jo-e! I'm so glad you could make it tonight! And who's your friend? She's absolutely stunning!"

Normal Person; "Oh, look, there's Joe. That lying sack of shit. Who's that cheap Christmas trash hanging all over him? Wait a minute. I'll just go say hello. Hi, Joe. Have you told Lil' Kim here that you still wet the bed?"

Allow me to remind you that I'm not taking about people with children here. If you've made babies with somebody, you have to at least be civil during those drop-offs for the sake of the little puddins who didn't ask to be brought into any of your midlife angst crap.

But if you're both free and clear, I say move on and don't look back.

On a gut level, the whole starter marriage concept is a bit offensive, particularly to an aspiring professional wedding directress like me.

After all, you're supposed to be entering a sacred union with your partner for life. Getting married shouldn't be like checking another item off your postcollege to-do-list like taking up yoga or switching to Green Tea.

Remember how everybody wondered if Bill and Hillary would get a divorce?

While everybody else thought their problems were rooted in Bill's penchant for "trashy" women who wore too much makeup and could shoot pool with their toes, I knew there was something else wrong: too many house guest.

In fourteen months, the Clintons had 404 overnight guests. Now, as someone who believes in the adage that fish and houseguests should be tossed out after three days, I can see that this could ruin any marriage.

The good news was that the guests donated some $625,000 to Hillary's Senate campaign. Hey, I consider my self lucky if any of my deadbeat overnight guest show up with a box of Krispy Kremes for breakfast.

It's easy to see how having 404 overnight guest could strain a marriage. When my husband's middle-aged, un-married cousin (think Randy Quaid's character in National Lampoon's Vacation) showed up to stay with us recently, it was the longest fourteen hours of my life.

Sure, the Clintons lived in a big house but you're never quite yourself when there's a strange person flushing and unwrapping those little presidential-seal toothbrushes down the hall. It's unlikely that Bill and Hillary could have any time for amorous pursuits knowing that Steven Spielberg and the missus were in the next room probably making their bazillioneith kid together.

Money, along with overnight guests, is what trips up most marriages. The trouble can start as early as when the blissed-out couple goes to pick out the engagement ring.

Remember, gentlemen? After a nice spiel from the salesman about the four C's of diamond buying, she went straight for the he much pricier emerald cuts where you realized you were about to get acquainted with the one B of diamond buying: bankruptcy.

So keeping in mind that, to a diamond salesman, the only real C that's important is "commission," you discreetly managed to inform him that you rent your furniture. Crisis averted; return to the seven-chip cluster, which are "making a comeback!"

Later on, gents, the women will begin to whine for an "eternity band," which is the ring in the commercial that shows the husband renting a whole movie theater to show home movies of his wife chronicling their fabulous life together. He is hated by normal husbands everywhere. If you do give an eternity band, for heaven's sake, get he one with the diamonds all the way around, not just on top. What does that mean? "I'll be with you for, well, half an eternity, sugar booger?"

A recent poll found that 40 percent of Americans keep secrets from their spouses and, most of the time, it's about how much money they spend. What is wrong with you people? Don't you realize that the foundation of a successful, vibrant marriage is complete honesty? That anything less is demeaning and destructive to your relationship? I know, I know.

My standard answer to the straightforward "man" question of "How much did that cost?" is always the same: a quickly-muttered-while-leaving the room "Oh, not that much." To prevent a follow-up question---the dreaded "How much is 'not that much'?----it's a good idea to say something to immediately change the subject such as, "Lord! Is that beetle larvae in your ear?" Works every time.

According to the survey, men and women lie to each other in equal numbers about spending habits. Your coat is his fish finder. Women also tend to hid purchases, usually clothing, then bring it out weeks later, and say, "This? I've had this old thing for ages, you big silly! Now are you going to get that larvae checked out or not?"

More interesting findings of this survey of one thousand men and women: Only 2 percent of them said they lied to a spouse about having an affair and 16 percent admitted they wished they could wake up and not be married anymore.

Not me. But occasionally I do wish I could wake up and not be lactose intolerant anymore. Hey, you have your dreams, I'll have mine.
Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break.

So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well.

But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed.

(rapid fire)

Now the politicians are sayin' "send in the Marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard.

It'll be some guy from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from.

And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price.

And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute, little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon.

And naturally they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink seven and sevens and play slalom with the icebergs and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil, and kills all the sea-life in the North Atlantic.

So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive so he's got to walk to the job interviews which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids.

And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State


From “Good Will Hunting”, 1997
Original Script by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Maureen Dowd, my hero!

'Swindler on a gusher'

“Does anybody still think the path to war wasn't greased by oil?”

Murder? Miracle? Manipulation!

At first the TV news thought they had themselves another Laci Peterson story. A young woman was missing and she resembled a young, Mary Tyler “all American girl” Moore. Plus she looked a tad like Laci Peterson too. She disappeared while jogging one night, only days before her wedding. They had pegged her husband to be the possible villain. The groom-to-be luckily had a faint resemblance to Scott Peterson. The TV news was off and running wild with their 24-7 coverage of this woman’s disappearance. They thought they had themselves a juicy murder.

Well, last night there was a change of plans. Seems, according to the TV news this morning, the missing woman called home last night and she told her family she had been abducted by a man and woman in a van. These two people had driven her to New Mexico and now she was free. As yet no details beyond that, except the “abductors” had cut the woman’s hair.

Change the headlines. The spin on the story this morning is that it was a “miracle” that she’s alive and safe. It’s all because the family is very religious and they all prayed a lot. Apparently God stepped in on this one. They all prayed, God listened, and there ya go. We got ourselves a verifiable miracle.

How amazingly coincidental this whole story is to the current fervor of kinky religious, mumbo jumbo news. The man who was suspected to be a possible murderer yesterday, is today “a good Christian man”. See? Talk about miracles. Transformation happens real fast in today’s TV news world.

Change the headlines. Now the woman says she wasn’t abducted, she just ran away. No murder. No miracle. No story.

Well, at least the TV news tried. They did their damnedest to keep this story alive as long as they could, even if it had no merit. But you got to give them credit, they were able to keep God in their headlines, and dead soldiers and dead Iraqis in their footnotes for a little while longer. And now days that doesn’t take a miracle, just good old manipulation.

We Buy Machine Guns



Had to stop, turn round and go back to take this picture near Daytona this week.

If you need to sell a machine gun, here's their website: Florida Gun Exchange

Friday, April 29

more pornography from florida

"The plight of a 13-year-old Palm Beach County foster child, who is pregnant and wants an abortion, is pitting children's advocates against Florida's child welfare agency, which has custody of the girl and has asked a judge to forbid her from ending her 13-week pregnancy.

The Department of Children & Families, which has been responsible for the girl for many years, argued to a West Palm Beach judge Tuesday that the girl is too immature to decide for herself whether to carry the pregnancy to term."

She is too immature to decide for herself if she can carry a pregnancy to term, so that means the State of Florida is responsible enough to decide she should carry the fetus to term. She got pregnant while in the State of Florida's custody. She wouldn't stay in their children's home, ran away, and got pregnant.

The State of Florida needs to worry more about how this young woman got pregnant in the first place. If she was sexually active with an adult, the adult needs to be in the custody of the State of Florida.

The State of Florida needs to teach 13 year olds that if they are going to engage in sexual activity that they may become pregnant. They need to be teaching it in the public schools and in the state homes.

Grown men and women in the Florida Legislature and the welfare administration are actually attempting to require this young woman to carry the fetus to term. If the girl wants an abortion, the State of Florida should not attempt to stop her. If they do they are saying that the state should protect unborn fetuses rather than living, breathing, sexually active children. The State of Florida has done such a good job protecting the girl, why not give them a chance to manage the fetus, too.

Does anyone think that there might be something wrong with forcing a child to give birth to a child? Can't Florida see how violent that notion is? What a great political opportunity for the State of Florida to show dominion over the body of a teenage woman. Does anyone think that the mental health of this young woman might be in peril if she is required to carry the fetus to term? Will she be able to raise this child in foster care? Is Florida going to supervise her and her child? Until she reaches 18 in five years? Are they going to educate her and train her for a job? Are they going to provide day care for her infant until it is ready for public school in five years?

This is another chapter in violent pornography. Terry Schaivo was porn. We got to see the perfect woman, mute, not complaining, compliant. We could project all our fantasies on her image. This 13 year old is much the same. There is a pedophilic interest in her body. The idea that the State of Florida can force her to be pregnant must really turn women haters on. A helpless, child woman, a Lolita, dependent, sexually active and fertile, ignorant, yet sophisticated, giving her consent, not able to consent, a vessel for the whole secret hypocrisy of teenage life in America. Men and women of power deciding for the girl who is powerless except for the power of creating another life before she has her own.

Who was it that said there is a sucker born every minute?

2 women sue church when Christ fails to appear
-Salt Lake Tribune

Two women who gave their life savings to an apocalyptic religious group say they are victims of fraud because the church failed to make good on promises that the women get land and see Christ in return for their money.

Kaziah Hancock and Cindy Stewart took their case against Jim Harmston and The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of The Last Days (TLC) to the Utah Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

Stewart turned over her life savings to TLC. Hancock sold her farm and gave the church the proceeds.

In return, Harmston allegedly promised the women membership in the ''Church of the Firstborn,'' that they would see Christ face-to-face and be given land.

An attorney for Harmston argued that the promises are rooted in church doctrine, not a business contract. Also, Utah law requires a written contract for agreements related to property, attorney Kevin Bond said. Bond said the promises were not to be fulfilled by Harmston, but by God.

Don Redd, an attorney representing the women, said Harmston and TLC should not be allowed to create a ''religious cocoon'' to protect themselves.

A Picture Crying For A Caption

Al Franken, Senator in Minnesota?

From Salon.com (watch an ad for free day pass)

Interesting article about Al Franken moving back to Minnesota and doing his talk show from Minneapolis because he is thinking of running for senator against freshman senator Norm Coleman who is supposedly tight with bush according to Jesse Ventura in the article. Coleman is a turncoat though. He supported Clinton in '96 and bush in 2000. The article says, "It was President Bush who asked Coleman to run for Senate in 2002. Vice President Dick Cheney then pressured Coleman's Republican opponent to step aside. Coleman coasted through the primary, only to face liberal icon Paul Wellstone." Then Paul Wellstone suddenly died in a plane crash 11 days before the election. Mondale was called in to replace him and was in the lead.

...And just as quickly, the political momentum shifted, especially after a raucous Wellstone memorial service (Sen. Trent Lott and other Republicans who attended were booed) was depicted by conservatives in the media as an example of Democratic excess and dysfunction not seen since the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

To Franken, who attended the funeral and memorial service, it was Coleman who capitalized on the death of Wellstone, and the media firestorm that followed...

Even some nonpartisan observers insist Franken will have a hard time unseating Coleman. "Al Franken is a comedian," Jacobs says. "He hasn't lived in the state for a number of years. Why do we take it seriously apart from the fact that this guy creates a scene?" ...
Blondesense asked Minnesota liberal writer to comment on this situation.

Hell yes! We elected an unknown radical professor from a liberal college once--Paul Wellstone. And he walloped a heavily favored Republican, survived a Willie Horton-style attack in his second campaign against the same putz), and was becoming so popular in DC that the High Cabal saw to it that he had an unexplainable plane accident in Northern Minnesota.

MN politics is weird--we've had a Jewish senator since the Rayguns Revolution (Rudy Boschwitz, Wellstone, and Norm Coleman). Boschwitz accused Wellstone of "not being Jewish enough" in their last campaign. The smear didn't fly. Franken would love it it Nahmy made the same attack. I've seen Norm Coleman in a yarmulke once, and it was at a wedding where he was a guest and I was the best man! So we've each worn a yarmulke once in the last seven years, at least. Oh, and I'm Roman Catholic, btw.

Coleman is a native of NY come to Minnesota. Franken is a Minnesota boy who went to NY (to star on SNL) and comes back all the time. People see him as an expat. He would mount the same kind of campaign Wellstone did--humorous--to wallop Coleman. It would be an ass-kicking...55-44, Franken.

Speaking of "mounting," I wonder how family-values Senator Norm Coleman's estranged model-actress-wife is getting along in LA without him these days? Some say she spends so much time on the casting couch that she's seen more ceilings than Michaelangelo.

---thus spoke Lalock, King of the Mole People, here in Minnesota
Blondesense doesn't think Al Franken is very funny but enjoys the commentary on his radio on Air America nevertheless. He has great guests.

Outrage of the Week

By Red State Blues
Special Guest Blogger

When I sat down to write about this, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to subtitle this piece "Welcome to Nazi America" or "Why are the Republicans Obsessed With Everyone Else's Sex Lives?" So I thought I would let the Blondsense readership decide.

God Bless, Alabama! As Ronald Reagan would say, "There they go again." Seems that State Representative Gerald Allen wants to be sure that no public money from the state treasury is used for anything that could be construed as condoning homosexuality, an "unacceptable lifestyle" if there ever was one. To accomplish this noble goal, he proposes HB30, currently making its way through the state legislature, to prohibit the expenditure or use of public funds or public facilities by any state agency or public entity for the "purchase, production, or promotion of printed or electronic materials or activities that sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state." You can find the full text of the bill here on the web site of the Alabama Legislature.

Now, you may rightfully ask, "well, what the hell does that mean?". Here, my friends is what, in part, the bill says:

No public funds or public facilities shall be used by any state agency, public school, public library, or public college or university for the purchase, production, or promotion of printed or electronic materials or activities that, directly or indirectly, sanction, recognize, foster, or promote a lifestyle or actions prohibited by the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of the state of Alabama. No public funds shall be used for the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle or encourages or proposes to public school children that they have a legitimate right to decide or choose illegal conduct.


Sodomy! There's that word again. (Or as somegirl would say, "Sodomy . . . mmmm.")

Let's think for just a minute about the breadth of what's being proposed here: No public money to buy any book that contains any descriptions of "perverted" sex acts or "encourages" children to think that they have a "legitimate right" to be gay. What can't be bought? No books that reference dreaded homosexuals, unless maybe they are being consigned to Hell as punishment for their sins. I guess that the ones currently on the shelves can stay, but can't be replaced. I assume any book containing poetry by Walt Whitman would be out (sorry, Heretik), because we wouldn't want school children to think they can be gay AND a great American poet. No plays by Tennessee mWilliams (and we don't care whether he is named after a neighboring state). Truman Capote? Definitely out! Running With Scissors? No way. A DVD of Last Tango in Paris? We always knew Brando was a pervert, so no big loss. Works by Socrates (or was it Aristotle?) and Shakespeare? Well, apparently we have to think about the "classics", but we're not even sure about those, and even if we were, we can't figure out how to define what a "classic" is.


Said the good man who proposed this, "I don't look at it as censorship . .. I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children." So, you heard it in Alabama first, if you don't talk about gays, if you don't read about gays, if you don't think about gays, then gays apparently will cease to exist. At least in Alabama, theyre not interested in the reality based community.


A brief review of the Alabama legislatures web page reveal that dear Representative Allen, a compassionate conservative if there ever was one, is also the author or sponsor of several other bills, among which are: an amendment to the state constitution not only to prohibit gay marriage (HB1) but also to ensure that any extension of benefits in the context of same-sex civil unions is prohibited (HB320). And, oh yeah, no cloning (HB319).

For your personal invitation to the next Book Burning in Birmingham, watch this space.

There you have it, my Outrage of the Week.

And what's yours?

-Red State Blues

Let's Play "What's Wrong With This Statement"

BUSH: One other point on Social Security that people have got to understand is that the system of today is not fair for a person whose spouse has died early.

In other words, if you're a two-working family, like a lot of families are here in America, and two people working in your family, and the spouse dies early -- before 62, for example -- all of the money that the spouse has put into the system is held there, and then when the other spouse retires, he or she gets to choose the benefits from his or her own work or the other spouse's benefits, whichever is higher, but not both.

See what I'm saying? Somebody who's worked all their life, the money they put into the system just goes away. It seems unfair to me.

I've talked to too many people whose lives were turned upside down when their spouse died early, and all they got was a burial benefit.

If you have a voluntary personal savings account and you die early, that's an asset you can leave to your spouse or to your children.

That's an important thing for our fellow citizens to understand. The system today is not fair, particularly if a spouse has died early. And this will help remedy that.

Listen, thank you all for your interest. God bless our country.

Bush on Faith

QUESTION: Mr. President, recently the head of the Family Research Council said that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith. And I wonder whether you believe that, in fact, that is what is nominating Democrats who oppose your judicial choices. And I wonder what you think, generally, about the role that faith is playing, how it's being used in our political debates right now.

BUSH: I think people are opposing my nominees because they don't like the judicial philosophy of the people I've nominated. And some would like to see judges legislate from the bench. That's not my view of the proper role of a judge.

Speaking about judges, I certainly hope my nominees get an up-or- down vote on the floor of the Senate.

BUSH: They deserve an up-or-down vote. I think, for the sake of fairness, these good people I've nominated should get a vote. And I'm hoping that will be the case as time goes on.

Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life. And that's how I've tried to live my life: through example. Faith plays an important part in my life individually. But I don't ascribe a person's opposing my nominations to an issue of faith.

QUESTION: Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I ask is...

BUSH: No, I just don't agree with it.

QUESTION: You don't agree with it?

BUSH: No. I think people oppose my nominees because of judicial philosophy.

QUESTION: Sir, I asked you about what you think of...

BUSH: No, I know what you asked me.

QUESTION: ... the way faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society generally.

BUSH: Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should say to somebody, You're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion.

As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.

The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim.

And that's the wonderful thing about our country and that's the way it should be.

I knew he would say that.

Thursday, April 28

When Shadows Fall

This is a poem by my dear friend and all around good buddy, Bubba. It sustained me through a very sad night.

I am dedicating it to his beloved son Mathew. Who left this world April 16th four years ago this month. Rest in peace precious boy.

When Shadows Fall

When shadows fall across my heart,
when all I see is pain.
When all my friends seem far away,
when I'm crying in the rain.

When I forget I'm not alone.
When my burdens seem too much to bear.
When passion's flame die's within my breast,
and I have not the strength to care.

Lift up my head Great Spirit I pray,
fill my heart with fire once more.
Wipe these pitiful tears away,
let my spirit soar.

Give me words to inspire someone,
to carry on the fight.
Never let us surrender,
to the darkness of the night.

Family Values

by somegirl
Special Guest Blogger

Unlike one quarter of the children born in this country, my sister and I both resulted from planned pregnancies. My parents made a point of telling us this at quite a young age as I recall, and my mother has always seemed quite proud of this fact. We were taught that you don't bring a child into this world without being able to care for it, that creating a family is an act worthy of careful consideration. It was one of the many values that my family instilled in me, in the same way values are learned in any other family.

When I was 25 I found myself with an unexpected but not exactly unwanted pregnancy. Making a decision was easy but the living it wasn't. My boyfriend, who had previously wanted to have a child with me, decided to leave me instead. I desperately wanted him and the baby but I knew there was no way I could manage it. I was pretty much penniless, living a hand to mouth existence as so many were in the early eighties. The country was ostensibly coming out of a terrible recession, but I and most of my peers, almost all college graduates, were barely eking out a living in crappy jobs. And frankly, no matter how much I wanted that baby, I knew that I was in no way emotionally stable enough to be a parent. I would have been a terrible mother, and I shudder to think what would have happened to me, and my child, if for some reason I had not been able to terminate that pregnancy.

I couldn't get the abortion right away because I couldn't scrounge up the money for it. I don't know whether I would still be eligible for MediCal today and I doubt they still cover abortions, but in 1984 they did and they paid for mine.

And it was pretty horrible. Since the provider received public funding, they were required to have a little group counseling session beforehand to try to talk us out of it. No one changed their minds. All you want to do is get it over with and get out of there, and being forced to talk to strangers about an intimate and private medical decision is humiliating and abusive. I have seen this kind of humiliation used against women in other situations too, and it is beyond offensive.

So why am I talking about this? I've been thinking a lot about how urgent it is that the entire abortion debate be reframed, especially when many democrats now seem willing to cave on a strong pro - choice stance. Yes, it is a private issue, but maybe women need to come out about their abortions and how necessary they were, and how much it's meant to them over the years that they were able to get safe legal abortions. There is no shame in having an abortion, and an unwanted pregancy is not a crime. I am proud of this unselfish decision I made in my life, and also grateful that the state took care of me when I was barely able to care for myself.

I'm also really pissed that the religious right has been able to steal the use of the term “values” so easily, as if mine just don't count.

This story sums up what we've lost so far:
House OKs Bill Toughening Abortion Consent
Other links:
Senate approves bill on abortion restrictions
House Passes Bill Tightening Parental Rule for Abortions

Disturbing

From Raw Story

Republicans rewrite Democratic amendments to make the Democrats amendments look preposterous
The following statement was issued by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee.

"The Rules Committee discovered yesterday that the Judiciary Committee Report on this very bill, which was authored by the Majority Staff, contained amendment summaries which had been re-written by committee staff for the sole purpose of distorting the original intent of the authors.

"This Committee Report took liberty to mischaracterize and even falsify the intent of several amendments offered in Committee by Democratic Members of this body.

"At least five amendments to this bill, which were designed to protect the rights of family members and innocent bystanders from prosecution under this bill, were rewritten as amendments designed to protect sexual predators from prosecution and were then included in the committee report as if that was the original intent of the authors. The thing is, sexual predators were not mentioned anywhere in any of these amendments.

I asked the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee about this deception yesterday afternoon at the Rules Committee hearing.

"And instead of decrying what I certainly expected would be revealed as a mistake by an overzealous staffer...The Chairman stood by those altered amendment descriptions.

"He made very clear to the Rules Committee that the alterations to these members' amendments were deliberate....

"In fact...He said, and I quote..."You don't like what we wrote about your amendments, and we don't like what you said about our bill."
GROW UP! This is outrageous.

Read the amendments at Raw Story

Hat tip to Citizen Spot, loyal and astute Blondesense reader.

Norwegian Court Convicts First Woman for Rape

I'm at a loss for words

The 31-year-old man fell asleep on a sofa at a party in January last year and told the court in the western city of Bergen he woke to find the 23-year-old woman was having oral sex with him.

Under Norwegian law, all sexual acts with someone who is "unconscious or for other reasons unable to oppose the act" are considered rape.

The court sentenced the woman Wednesday to nine months in jail and ordered her to pay 40,000 Norwegian crowns ($6,355) in compensation.
guys?

What the hell are they doing?

Wednesday, April 27

from the Nuremburg Trial to Abu Ghraib Prison

390aboughraibU.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is the commencement speaker at the community college where I teach.  In case David Horowitz is concerned about leftist professors on campuses taking over (h)academe ( a word coined by Gore Vidal ) our community college is doing her part to stand alone against the liberal invasion and destruction of American college students' minds.



Many members of our faculty are offended and many of course are not.  Some are rather proud to have a man of General Gonzalez's position speak at our college.  Some believe that well, say what you will, at least someone of stature is coming to speak.  Someone who won't be boring.



Yes, yes, he is the attorney general of these United States.  So was Robert Kennedy.  So was John Mitchell.  So was Ed Meese.  And Ramsey Clark and A. Mitchell Palmer.  General Gonzalez is Hispanic and our college has a significant Hispanic enrollment, administration and faculty.  He is from Texas.  And this is the president's daddy's home town.



I would rather not have a speaker who wrote memos suggesting that the United States did not have to follow the Geneva Convention.  Even though we signed it and ratified it and made it part of our laws.  Even if it is in our self interests to follow it so that our soldiers are treated according to the agreement when they are held captive.  Or if they are not, we at least have grounds on which to complain.  Now we don't have grounds. 



Ken Starr once spoke at my law school's graduation. One of our Deans taught Judge Starr the rules of evidence when Starr was in law school.  Fortunately, he didn't speak at my class' graduation.  I would not have attended.  I am not going to my employer's graduation ceremonies,either. 



I wonder if General Gonzalez will talk about torture?  Would the phrases he used in that memo to justify torturing detainees inspire our graduates?  Might he be President Bush's first appointment to the Supreme Court?  Might his advocacy of execution for convicted murders--who probably included the mentally retarded and those under the age of majority when they offended--be a significant part of his speech before the gathered grandparents, parents, and friends of graduates?



I doubt it.  He will no doubt discuss the value of loyalty to the boss and working for law and order through a conservative interpretation of the Constitution.  He will discuss the virtues of the Patriot Act and how President Bush has no doubt used law to protect us from another terror attack.  He might mention how those activist judges are ruining the efforts of law enforcement and the will of the people.  He might address how education is a good thing, but is a better thing if it is obtained without federal aid since the Bush administration is cutting student loans and federal funding.  He might talk about the Texas Legislature's attempts to take children away from gay/lesbian foster parents and ban same sex marriage.  Will he talk about the high public school drop out rate for Hispanic Texans?  Will he talk about immigration?  Will he talk about how affirmative action helped him get into law school?



Will anyone listen?  Is what we have to say as a nation meaningful after we sanction torture?

hmmmm

......

We're losing the war on terr'r and the US is lying. What a shock.

US 'conceals high terror figures' Henry Waxman, citing official briefings given to congressional aides, said the number of "significant" [terror] attacks had risen more than three-fold in a year. He accused the state department of concealing the increase in terror attacks. "There were about 650 such attacks last year, the congressman said - up from 175 in 2003, a record number at the time."

Now this Reuters article says that the increase in terrorism was due to increased violence in Kashmir. And the article says that they had more full time employees counting terror attacks for 2004 than they had for 2003 so we can't compare the numbers because they were handled differently.

... it would be unfair of Democrats to claim terrorism was getting worse under the Bush administration, stressing that the 2004 and 2003 numbers were not counted in the same way and hence were not comparable.

It's a good thing I don't know who gave this lame excuse. Do they mean to tell me that all the time our country was pissing money and lives away on this war on terror that no one in government was capable of counting the damn terror attacks world wide? So now we're gonna start over and the state department doesn't want the responsibility of counting?

The State Department stirred a debate last week by saying it would no longer release the numbers in its annual terrorism report but that the newly created National Counterterrorism Center, which compiles the data, would do so.
They had to create a new agency to count and compile data. You could hire a college kid to do this! The Guardian reports that Condoleezza Rice ordered the report to be withdrawn and a new one issued minus the statistics. Waxman got angry.

Henry Waxman, has written an angry letter about the change to Cameron Hume, the state department's inspector general ... "There appears to be a pattern in the administration's approach to terrorism data: favourable facts are revealed while unfavourable facts are suppressed."

Ms Rice's spokesman, Richard Boucher, denied the change was politically inspired and said Ms Rice had decided the statistics would be better handled by the national counter-terrorism centre. However, intelligence officials said there were no immediate plans to publish the figures.

How they can even use the word, intelligence, in a sentence about the workings of our government makes my head explode.

This AP story reports:
Waxman said Russ Travers, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told congressional aides during a briefing Monday that more than 100 attacks in Iraq were not counted because they were not considered to be international attacks.
In Iraq... there were nine times as many terror attacks in 2004 as there were in 2003.
Do you get this? Can you believe this? No one can count. No one wants to take responsibility. Now just watch Waxman take all the heat for bringing this up in the first place.

David Byrne Blog

He's one of my most favorite musical artists. An astute reader sent a link to his blog and I am forever in his debt.

April 16 NYC
The tightening of the borders in recent years, while it may be understandable regarding genuinely suspicious individuals, is in fact applied with almost no rhyme or reason — although in fact it may only appear to be without reason. A friend told me over a lunch meeting that a chunk of Pina Bausch’s troupe of dancers, based in Wuppertal, Germany, were denied entry, which effectively scuttled the performances that were booked months ahead of time. A tango group in Buenos Aires told me a week or two ago that they have toured Europe 3 times recently but have been consistently denied U.S. visas, so at this point the U.S. doesn't even figure into their performance plans. Yale says that some of the new regulations make the applicants pay when they apply, without knowing if they will even get the visa. Needless to say some individual members of many bands and troupes are refused visas, usually at the last minute, which effectively cancels the tour. The promoters in the U.S. have become loath to even book or schedule foreign acts these days, as the odds are just not in their favor. The prospect of spending money on promotion, ads and radio only to have the show cancelled by the INS when the act applies for their visas is discouraging, and financially ruinous to some small promoters — so they eventually just don’t end up taking the risk. Likewise, many small U.S. labels who might release recordings by foreign artists will think twice if there will be little likelihood of a local live show to generate press and interest. Often that’s the only way they have or generating press and word of mouth. So, many times, the labels “edit” what they release based on these legal and economic factors.

It amounts to a kind of cultural censorship. Call me paranoid, but given all the manipulative tricks the Republicans have gotten up to recently, I am prepared to believe that this has less to do with Homeland security and more to do with keeping the American public ignorant and free of foreign influence and inspiration. An ill-informed, isolated, ignorant populace is a populace easily manipulated. Fed a diet of reality shows coupled with faith-based reasoning (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and you have a perfect recipe for a country in which the government that can do more or less whatever it wants. Democracy becomes a farce without access to information. And culture — music, theater, dance, etc. — is information for the heart. Yes, we can still obtain news reports and recordings online, but without live performance there is a hole where there should be face to face “news” about how others live, how they love and why and what their passions are. If we are not allowed to feel the rest of the world then we can be told anything about it and not know what those people are really like. If the Other is hidden from you, then you don’t even know to ask or inquire about what it is you’re not getting — because you don’t even know it exists.

Any government that can cynically manufacture fake news reports, install fake reporters, create fake media outlets and then simply shrug it off when caught is capable of doing this as well.

John Kerry Must Be Reading Blogs

Looks like he finally got with the program. Maybe he read my post the other day where I suggested that the energy bill benefits big oil companies and perhaps the tax credits should go to automobile makers in order for them to make gas efficient vehicles and find alternate fuel. Heh, like I'm the only one who thinks this. Anyone with half a brain had already figured this out... years ago.

Is it possible that a politician actually cares about human Americans and not corporate Americans? He sounds positively anti-fascist:

“We can no longer allow America’s dependence on foreign oil to compromise our energy security. Instead, we must invest in inventing new ways to power our cars and our economy. I’ll put my faith in American science and ingenuity any day before I depend on Saudi Arabia.

“The administration’s energy policy works for Saudi Arabia, it works for big oil and gas companies, but it doesn’t work for the American people. The president’s energy bill, by his own admission, does nothing to lower gas prices; will increase oil imports by 85% by 2025; and 95% of the tax benefits in the package – over $8 billion – go directly into the pockets of big oil and gas companies.

“Jawboning OPEC nations to increase production is short-term solution to a long-running problem. We need to invest in America’s energy future – not Saudi Arabia’s – and the only way to do that is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” -John Kerry 4.25.05

Hat tip to L&P, Mad Mustard and Auntie Roo, faithful informants in our blondesense community.
.

Was That a Threat?

We had a discussion here yesterday that really packed some heat about packing heat. Several commenters cussed and discussed the Florida “Wild West” law. Many opinions were shared and many with merit. Some felt that I along with others were blowing the possible consequences of the law all out of proportion. Okay, everyone gets his or her say and I appreciate all the comments.

This morning a reporter for ABC news translated the law to mean that even if someone just “touches you in Florida, you have a right to shoot that person”. Hummm, that could be serious, huh?

It would seem this all comes down to the definition of the word “threat”. What constitutes a threat? Is a threat someone pushing you while standing in line? Is a threat someone speeding up behind you on a highway? Maybe it’s someone giving you the finger. If you are gay, and someone says they hate gays, is that a threat?

See, that’s one of the problems with this law. It’s all about emotions. What might feel like a threat to one person might just be an irritating remark to another. A hot temper could result in a cold body and no one will be able to say for sure the intention of the person who is now dead.

No, not every gun owner in Florida is going to go human hunting, but it only takes one to cause a funeral. Let’s face it, there will be at least one, and due to this new law the shooter will go free. Is there a bag limit on feeling threatened? Until “threat” is clearly defined we won’t really know the repercussions of this law. As for now, it would appear everyone in Florida has the potential to be fair game if someone else finds them to be threatening.

Although a few snakes are deadly, many harmless snakes are killed just because people feel “threatened” by them.. “Better safe than sorry”, these people will tell you. Does that apply to human beings too? It just might.

More about this law from the New York Times.

In Case I Ask,

"What kind of business are you in"?--henceforth to make it easier for you, just answer, "Making money". Don't give me any bee-ess about "education" or "health care" or "insurance" or "journalism", etc. Here's the lead articles in this a.m.'s Iowa City Press-Citizen:

"UI proposes requiring insurance
University of Iowa students might have to reach deeper into their pockets if a new idea sparked at the state's largest public university becomes policy."
(AND)
"UI raising patient fees?
University Hospitals officials next week will ask for a 9.5 percent patient fee rate increase for the third year in a row."

The two ideas above remind me of bush's Social Security privatization plan which is nothing more than a "make-work" plan for Wall Street brokers. You can catch the entire articles here.

I suppose in the interest of full disclosure I should reveal that I receive compensation for posting articles and opinions on this website. Sorta. What compensation? Well, every once in a while after I write something particularly brilliant, Blogmistress Blondie will send me an e-mail which says, "You ain't such a dumshit after all".

Tuesday, April 26

Bush and his friend, supporter, house-boy, DeLay are in Galveston today talking up dismantling Social Security and then

Bush raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he asked locals in Galveston, Texas:"Do you still have Splash Day?""Splash Day" is the annual "adult oriented enormous beach party" celebration on the Gulf Coast.

BUSH: Do you still have Splash Day?

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: You have to be a baby boomer to know what I'm talking about.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: I'm not saying whether I came or not on Splash Day. I'm just saying, Do you have Splash Day?

(LAUGHTER)

Bush was evidently unaware "Splash Day" is now a gay and lesbian event on the beaches.


While the above exchange was in today's Drudge Report, it hasn't been in the Houston Chronicle which did report that Tom DeLay was with Bush in Galveston basking in presidential approval.

Now this is funny

I found this link on the comments over at Crooks and Liars.

Bush and Tony Blair video. It's a gem. I promise. Great editing.
Sorry if you have dial up. Try to watch.

Who is on sodomy patrol anyway?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consensual sodomy between members of the U.S. military no longer would be a criminal act under a proposal sent to Congress by the Pentagon's legal office and made public on Thursday.

I had no idea it was illegal to sodomize each other in the military. It's a darn good thing I didn't enlist.

But, if it's consensual and it's done privately how would anyone know who was doing whom? Who's watching and how does one qualify for that job?

Gays could still be drummed out of the military for openly discussing or acting on their sexual preferences...

Having any kind of intimate relations openly should be avoided everywhere except sex clubs or orgies, in my opinion... but I digress. But it seems that only gay guys can't do it openly if that sentence above is accurate.

I'm getting the feeling that it's ok if 2 "heterosexual" men do it, as long as they are both digging it, as it were, cause there were no women around. It's ok if a man and woman do it. But god help you if you're gay and try such a degrading thing.

And who the hell is looking?

Under the current Uniform Code of Military Justice, consensual sodomy by heterosexual or homosexual couples can be punished by up to five years in prison. But, if Congress approves, that would be changed so that only "forcible" sodomy or sodomy with a child could be prosecuted as criminal acts.
Well that's a relief. I'm sure congress just can't wait to sink their teeth into this very important issue. What age is a child in this context? Curious. What if it's a "consenting child"?

How do you prove you were forced in this man's army?
What manly man is going to go to his superior officer and claim that he was forced to commit sodomy? If a woman were to claim that she was forced, she'd probably be ignored.

Are you clear on all this?

Wild West Law goes National

You know that insane law we are about to get here in Florida? The law that allows someone to shoot first and don’t worry about it? A whole bunch of you guys poo-pooed it. You said my state was nuts. Okay, you were exactly right, but guess what? This law has its own little road show sponsored by the NRA and it could be appearing in your state next.

You can read about it in the Washington Post today

“NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in an interview that the Florida measure is the "first step of a multi-state strategy" that he hopes can capitalize on a political climate dominated by conservative opponents of gun control at the state and national levels.”

Dangerous Path........

Those who do not follow the actions of the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives had best begin taking notice of decisions made regarding cuts in Medicaid and social services.

Republicans elected to office in November, including our new state senator, Bill Stouffer and our baby faced, asswipe governor, Matt Blunt, vowed not to increase taxes. The implications of those promises will have a devastating impact on the working poor in this gawd forsaken state.

A single mother who receives more than $350 a month in income will no longer be eligible for Medicaid. How many of us could live on $350 a month and provide medical services for our children?

Several years ago, then senator James Mathewson was instrumental in a program to encourage work rather than welfare. Those successes will be totally set aside by the budget decisions made last week by the Missouri Senate. Bless their hearts. Families matter here and no child shall be left behind!

Much of the Republican talk coming out of Jefferson City ballyhoos the cuts as reducing fraud in Medicaid payments but does not address the needs of Missourians who face the future without health care.

Increases in funding for elementary and secondary education is being touted as an achievement for legislators. And gawd knows public schools sure as hell will need those extra dollars as teachers and administrators deal with sick, homeless, and hungry children. The burden of care has been shifted to educators to deal with the problems caused by legislators failing to solve the ongoing issue of adequate medical care. So much for the buck stopping here.

Children will not be the only ones to suffer if the current budget becomes law. Elderly persons will no longer be able to stay in their own homes. A myriad of services will not be available for those least able to care for themselves. Jesus must be so proud!

Our state representative needs to know that the people of this state are concerned about the children who will be deprived of health care, the elderly who will go without needed services, college students whose tuition will increase due to cuts to higher education, the disabled, the mentally ill. Yes, they're balancing the budget the old fashion way. On the backs of the poor and elderly.

Missouri apparently thinks its the Christian thing to do for those less fortunate. Many of our state officials, including our state senator apparently do not recall that Jesus said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Keep on Preaching George

As Rev. George bush has traveled around the country, spending god only knows how much of our money, he has preached to many choirs in the US. Perhaps the Rev. bush should have spent some time preaching to the congregation because according to the Washington Post he is failing with his message.

“The biggest changes in opinion came on Social Security, which Bush has made the principal domestic priority of his second term. Three in 10 (31 percent) approved of the job Bush is doing on Social Security, while 64 percent disapproved, an eight-point increase in disapproval in a month. Only a third said they trust Bush more than the Democrats to handle the Social Security issue, a new low for the president.

In little more than a month, there has been a double-digit shift in sentiment. In mid-March, 56 percent favored private accounts, compared with 45 percent in the latest poll, which marked the first time in Post-ABC News polling that less than half of the public supported allowing workers to invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market.”

Bush on the Economy: You Eeeeediot

On Monday, the White House expressed hope that Saudi Arabia's plans to expand production would ease U.S. gasoline prices that have shot above $2.20 a gallon.

"A high oil price will damage markets and he knows that," Bush said of Abdullah...

Asked whether pump prices would drop, Bush said that would depend on supply and demand.

Hot damn, does he know his shit or what?

"One thing is for certain: The price of crude is driving the price of gasoline," Bush said. "The price of crude is up because not only is our economy growing, but economies such as India and China's economies are growing." -Oil Prices Drop After Bush Meets With Prince

It dawned on me this morning, that perhaps journalists just report what bush says without comment just because they are simply dumbfounded. Rather than being maligned as "liberal", they just report it as he says it so anyone with half a brain can just see what a dimwit we're dealing with. I don't think that they are allowed to say, "you can't make this shit up" in a news item.


After his meeting with bush at the ranch, Prince Bandar made this gesture.

Does it signify bush's brain or what?

What does it mean?

.

Coffins! Get your new and used coffins right here.

Death Brings an Economic Boom to One Business in Baghdad


I don’t know about any warrantees but we have your used coffins and your new coffins.

“In his business there is no room for sectarianism. Coffins are made for both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and sell for between 30 and 40 dollars.

Muslim dead are taken to cemeteries in coffins but their bodies are then taken out to be buried, in a shroud, directly in the ground.

Many of the used coffins are then donated to mosques and recycled.”

Finally some good news from Iraq. The coffin business is booming.

"During the days of Saddam (Hussein), I used to make one coffin a day. Now, I make scores of them and the demand increases with every suicide car bomb that explodes," said the 67-year-old Baghdadi.

With a daily fare of bombs and shootings up and down the country, it is rare that a day passes in the capital with no one falling victim to violence.”

So, Mr. Baghdad Coffin Maker, where’s the love, where’s the gratitude? Without the US invasion of your country and the overthrow of Saddam, you would still be in a one-a-day business. Now, because of the US, there is an unending demand for your product and we see no sign of an end to this coffin bubble.

.Posted by Pissed Off Patricia (not Liz)

WTF moment

Capttxgh20404251659bush_saudi_arabia_txg
Will someone please leave me a message and explain how the president of the free world walks hand in hand with his Saudi prom date?

This creeps me out. I just can't imagine Lyndon B. Johnson or John F. Kennedy or Hillary R. Clinton doing this.

This is not the only time I have seen this conduct between Bush and a Saudi. There is a book with a similar photo on the cover about the Bush family's relationship with the Saudis.

I am not picking up on a Kumbaya kinda vibe or even a homo-erotic vibe but my president doesn't hold hands with someone to which he isn't married. I think this is clearly an attack on family values. When was the last time you saw Bush hold Laura's hand?

Is this a cultural thing? Like men of Middle Eastern cultures hold hands? Why is Bush doing this? Can you see him holding Putin's hand? Reagan sure didn't hold Gorbachev's hand. I don't care that it is a custom, I don't like it. I don't like American women covering their heads in Middle Eastern countries, either. You sure as hell didn't see Madeline Albright do it.

yeah, what Frank Rich said.

Read Frank Rich in the New York Times.

I cooked dinner last Sunday night, as the kitchen is where obviously all women's future lies, cooking for last night'sbroadcast of Jesus TV. Last night the Pope, tonight the end of the world and of course the end of democracy and an independent judiciary. I thought that NBC mini Sunday School lesson, Revelations, was on to pre-empt Law & Order, but no it was that moronic show, Contender.

I am upset about the fundamentalist occupying so much cultural space.

I am waiting for liberals to quit pondering this shit over cheese, Triskets and white wine. It is time for liberals to get upset about this country going all theocracy on us. I am tired of the Democrats not speaking out against this thing loud and clear. Like they are afraid they are going to lose votes if they offend someone. The fundies aren't going to vote for you Hillary. So quit positioning yourself and get the word out that we are not a theocracy. You have pretty good religious creditials. Tell these idiots that if they go nuclear on the filibuster because they want their nutty judges on the bench that the Democrats will not let another piece of legislation on the floor. End the filibuster, end democracy, usher in the theocracy.

I think what tears it for me is the Fundies' insistence that the filibuster will be used against their judicial nominees like it was used against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Used against "people of faith." What happened to Barbara Jordan and her faith "complete and total" in the U.S. Constitution? Well, she is dead and so is the brain dead Democratic Party. Stop worrying about winning elections and worry that there might not be anymore elections. As if these people were ever for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They were the ones using the filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

These snake handlers are not crazy. They have rushed to fill the void of average people who no longer participate in politics. The sensible Republicans have made a deal with the religious fundamentalist to allow them to govern as long as they give tax breaks to the rich. Together these two right wings of the Republican Party have given the nation over to the anti intellectual, anti science, flat earthers.

This kind of immovable insanity caused the Civil War of 1861.

Monday, April 25

Soldiers Cleared in Italian Agent's Death in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters)

“U.S. investigators have found that American troops who shot dead an Italian agent at a Baghdad checkpoint on March 4 committed no wrongdoing and will not be disciplined, an Army official said on Monday.”


Was there ever any doubt? We don’t do anything wrong, shit and death just happens.

Et Tu Email?

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a survey of befuddled volunteers.


Thankfully, TV makes you smarter.

The Dripping (Not Smoking) Gun:

Question for the Day: Why is Gigi like a roach motel?
Answer: He checks in, but doesn't always check out. WTF?, you may ask. Well there's this from John Byrne at Raw Story:
"In what is unlikely to stem the controversy surrounding disgraced White House correspondent James Guckert, the Secret Service has furnished logs of the writer’s access to the White House after requests by two Democratic congressmembers."

(AND)

"Guckert made more than two dozen excursions to the White House when there were NO SCHEDULED BRIEFINGS.(Emphasis mine) On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One—which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House. On other days, the president held photo opportunities."

You can read John's story here. It includes a listing of Gigi's checkin & checkout times. Other blogs on the story include Americablog and Shakespeare'sSister.

Final note to my readers: Some have wondered where I came up with the nickname "Gigi". I wish to state it's simply a contraction, if you will, of Gannon/Guckert. Under no circumstances should anyone infer that I meant for it to stand for "Gutwrench Gobbler".

Remember the last energy crisis?

Remember we were careful about energy consumption? I do. It was patriotic to conserve fuel. Auto makers began to produce cars that used less gasoline per gallon. President Carter didn't light the White House Christmas Tree to show solidarity with the Americans who were sacrificing for the greater good.

Fast forward to today. Oil prices are soaring, oil companies are raking in profits like crazy and getting tax breaks, and arctic drilling may soon be a reality. Have you seen how big the new SUV's are? I drive a regular car. I wear a sweater in the house. I'm paying for this gluttony. Fuck me.

Wouldn't it have been prudent to pass on tax credits to auto makers so they can produce energy efficient vehicles? Why are oil companies getting the breaks? The energy bill that passed the House is a joke.

We are in deep fascist shit. What's this?
Vice President Dick Cheney met on Sunday with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah ahead of the Saudi's talks Monday at President Bush 's ranch, where oil prices, terrorism and democratic reforms in the Middle East will top the agenda.

Cheney and Abdullah met at a hotel where Abdullah was spending part of his five-day stay in the United States. The White House refused to provide details about the meeting.
WTF?

And you thought you had problems

Excerpt from Reuters:
Twenty-nine-year-old rubber tapper Kuttiyamma, born with both male and female genitals, had been in love with the relative, Laura, 25, for 15 years before having surgery to become a man and change her name to Binu, the Hindustan Times reported.

Sunday, April 24

Quote for the Week:

It is a pity that cowards have come to be wealthy and powerful. That, I think, is the real mark of a nation that has come to its sunset. -- The Dark Wraith

Women have the secret weapon

The word "vagina" only came up in health class when I was a kid. Oh we knew we had them. We referred to it as "down there". "Did Robbie try to touch you "down there"?" or "I am having a yeast problem "down there" and I have to see the doctor." Boys had "thingy's" as in or "Did you see his thingy? Ewwwww."

Two high school girls got in trouble in Minnesota for wearing "I heart my vagina" buttons to school, after seeing the Vagina Monologues. This caused an uproar in the school and the community. Apparently the word "vagina" is offensive to some and according to message boards on the internets, some guys ask, "Do you want us to wear "I support my penis buttons" to school?" Well sure. If you feel that your penis has been used as a tool of oppression for thousands of years, then go for it, babe.

Rottenberry, a young women who writes at MediaGirl.org, brought up this subject and wondered why more liberals weren't outraged by the outrage. Good point. She also says:
"The buttons have been called pointless, disruptive, vulgar, and a cry for attention. First of all, there is a definite point to the buttons. Women are taught from a young age to fear their vaginas. Women are encouraged by corporations and by society to hide their periods--feminine products keep getting smaller and they are even making the wrappers 'silent' now. Heaven forbid another women in a restroom hear the familiar sound of a tampax wrapper! The point is, having your period and having a vagina is natural. There is nothing gross or disgusting about it. Why are women taught to be uncomfortable about their own genitals?"

Because it's not a penis?
Because the bible says it's gross?

Here's a guy who's petrified of vaginas and women. Get this:
From 'The Spectacles of Feminism' by Rudy Takala at OpinionEditorials.com.: "Feminism is now being utilized as a means to promoting pornography and cultural debasement. It has nothing to do with equal rights, of course, and the freedom to partake in such debasement generally isn't disputed. Nonetheless, they claim that not just poor taste, but flamboyant, public vulgarity is necessary to the advancement of "women's rights."

That the ACLU would call the buttons political speech is indicative of the fact that the real issue isn't about women's rights or violence against women. No one publicly advocates for violence against women. It isn't a political issue. If The Vagina Monologues were truly about violence against women, it wouldn't be a political issue, either. It's a political issue because it advocates public obscenity and nothing else."

This man is out of his mind, obviously but it's good that we have the right to free speech so I can read this kind of shit, know what's going on in sick minds and become a militant feminist. This guy hasn't even seen the Vagina Monologues so he really should shut the fuck up.

Anyway, if we can tell a lot about a man's satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his penis by the car he drives, or what political party he belongs to, what should stop a female from demonstrating her position from a genital standpoint? After all, almost everything in the world is based on the penis.

It's not just Minnesota where woman are wearing 'I heart my vagina' buttons and seeing the "Vagina Monologues'. Women are chanting about their vaginas on campuses across this great land. Vaginas make my favorite sexist pig columnist at Townhall.com, Mike Adams positively limp! Like it's not his fault that he can't get it up. He complains about his ED (Erectile Dysfunction) like we're supposed to feel sorry for him. He writes:
"In 2002, I read the book “Intimate Reading” by a feminist professor in the English Department at UNC-Wilmington. After I read the section about her losing her virginity at age 16 (told in graphic detail), I again experienced ED.

In 2003 (February), when campus feminists marched around stage chanting “vagina, vagina” during the Vagina Monologues, I experienced ED again. Even worse, it happened to me on Valentine’s Day...

Yeah, good excuses, limp boy. And see a shrink about your sexual orientation when you get a chance.

This is a wonderful opportunity for women to sport the vagina in every aspect of life and completely "gross out" the right wing, jeso-fascist pigs, make them limp and powerless... bring them to their knees. Mwahahahahaha.

Now back to the drawing board. More t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers coming.

UPDATE: Satire: Lynn Cheney remarks on Blessed Mary's Impenetrable Vagina. (Warning: Evil vagina pictures at the link. You decide if you want to look at it at work.) click click click click bye


The Well Oiled and Hot Wheeled, Bishop Jordan

In honor of Justice Sunday, I bring you Miracle Oil from Bishop Jordan

Seems, “The Master Prophet has been Commissioned by God to create another "Prophetic Anointed Oil Blend"

“Sister D.M. of NYC, gives a Miracle Oil - Praise report.
Her six year old grandson was left alone on the subway, by a sitter. She had just sowed her last $52, for the Miracle Oil. After learning about the mishap, she first called the Master Prophet. She was instructed to calm down and put her faith in God. The Prophet said "I see your grandson on Broadway". The child got off of the bustling subway car alone and walked home safely from Broadway. He was covered by the Miracle Oil.
Sister D.M. cried "Thank You, Master Prophet!"

And from another page on Bishop Jordan’s website

“Date: 3/18/2004 11:30 AM
Tomorrow (March 19) former Run-DMC group member Run, now known as Reverend Run will honor Bishop E. Bernard Jordan for playing a part in bringing the rapper into the church.

At 6:00 pm, at Zoe Ministries on 310 Riverside Drive & 103rd Street, Reverend Run and his wife Deaconess Justine Simmons, will present Bishop Jordan with a $325,000 2004 Phantom Rolls Royce.”

Finally

“As Seen on TV

Click here to give your Amos 3:7 Faith Offering Seed of $37.00, and get your prophecy sent to you on CD”

I found Bishop Jordan on TV this morning while trying to avoid watching the installation of the Pope. That sounds weird doesn’t it? Installing a Pope? When I think of installation, I tend to think of stuff like air conditioning units. Any way, I was clicking all around the TV channels and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this guy, Bishop Jordan. He was selling his wares. I didn’t hear him mention how the $325,000 Rolls Royce was working out for him. I did see on the screen while he was talking, that they accept all the major credit cards. I’m still wondering what they do with their money. These days they probably need the money to gas up the Holy Rolls.

Did you hear about the 5 year old girl who was handcuffed by police?

The story is in the St Petersburg Times.

A 5 year old girl was caught on video as "she tore papers off Dibenedetto's bulletin board and desk. She climbed on a table four times. About an hour had passed since she refused to participate in a kindergarten math lesson, which escalated into a series of defiant and destructive acts." The videos that are available at the link above. Teachers may not touch, hit or yell at students and they kept their cool but the child ignored their requests to calm down. The mother couldn't come to the school for another hour or so. The video showed very frustrated teachers.

President Bush was called to help quiet the little girl and bring her an autographed copy of My Pet Goat as a bribe to calm down. Since he couldn't arrive there in time, the police were called in.

As St. Petersburg police officers arrived shortly after 3 p.m., the girl suddenly sat quietly at Dibenedetto's table. And, just as suddenly, the tactics used by educators gave way to the more direct approach of law enforcement.

An officer sternly said the girl's name. Then: "You need to calm down. You need to do it now. OK?"

Seconds later, three officers approached and placed their hands on the girl's wrists and upper arms. They stood her up, put her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs. She bent over the table and let out a terrified scream.

"No. Nooooo. Ahhhhh."

The tape ends there.
The child sat as quietly when she saw the cops as we did a hundred years ago when a mean nun would enter the room at my Catholic school. The cop told her to calm down when he entered the room but she was already calmed down. Then she was handcuffed. Handcuffs? According to the article, this was not the first time the police were called to the school concerning this child's behavior. Definitely watch the video.

Saturday, April 23

More Light-Hearted Humor:

Ques.: What's the difference between a trampoline and a Neo-con?

Ans.: You take off your shoes before you jump up and down on a trampoline.

Hijacking Christianity . . .

This article sums up nicely the issues that inspired me to start this blog originally: how the radical right wing has hijacked Christianity, the Republican Party and the American Flag. Christian Republican Americans used to be nice people to share the planet with. I don't know what that means anymore but it certainly isn't good.

Excerpts from Hijacking Christianity . . .
By Colbert I. King Saturday, April 23, Washington Post

The American flag was appropriated by the political right wing years ago. Now the Christian right is trying to hijack religion. This time it shouldn't be allowed to happen without a fight.

...

It didn't help that some Vietnam War protesters stupidly burned the American flag. But what really ensured the loss of the flag to those who fancied themselves as having a monopoly on patriotism was the failure of equally patriotic Americans on the left and the middle to have any stomach for a fight.

Emboldened by their appropriation of the flag, ideologues on the right have now set their sights on religion, and specifically Christianity, as the means to promote their political agenda. And as the promoters of tomorrow's "Justice Sunday" national telecast have demonstrated, there is no depth to which they won't sink in their campaign to seize the country.

...[Tony] Perkins said that "activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups . . . have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms." That is an unmitigated lie that should not be allowed to stand.

Which judges are out to rob Christians of their heritage? That is religious McCarthyism. Perkins should name them, provide evidence of their attempted theft of "our Christian heritage" or retract that statement with an apology. Don't count on that happening.

Angered by Democratic opposition to some of President Bush's judicial nominees, Perkins's group has also put out a flier charging that "the filibuster . . . is being used against people of faith." To suggest Democrats are out to get "people of faith" is despicable demagoguery that the truly faithful ought to rise up and reject.
...

... Where do those on the religious right get off thinking they have the right to decide who is in and who is out? Who appointed them sole promoters and defenders of the faith? What makes them think they are more holy and righteous than the rest of us?
Read the whole thing.
thanks to Citizen Spot for pointing this out.

Another good article in WaPo today points out that the judges being demonized by the radical christian right are not ethical humanists or atheists, but mostly practicing Christians themselves.
What these self-avowed Christians do not acknowledge -- and what the American public seems little aware of -- is that the war they are waging is actually against other people calling themselves Christians. To simplify: Right-wing and fundamentalist Christians are really at war with left-wing and mainstream Christians. It is a battle over both the meaning and practice of Christianity as well as over the definition and destiny of the republic. Secular humanism is a bogeyman, a smoke screen obscuring the right-wing Christians' struggle for supremacy.

It really doesn't matter whether or not you yourself practice any religion. This is still an issue that must be tackled and protested by anyone and everyone who is NOT a radical right wing religious fundamentalist, because these people are shredding our constitution, they are NOT christian and they will cause an internal religious war that just may be worse than any other in history if it's not nipped in the bud. Remember, those fanatics are the ones with all the guns. Ignoring it will not make it go away.

In the Beginning

When did you first write something on the internet? The first time I felt compelled to write something was a morning in January 2003. I wrote a letter to the BuzzFlash mailbag. I wrote my letter and hit “send”. A couple of hours later I received an email from the BuzzFlash people asking me if they might feature my letter as a stand alone piece. I said sure and that’s how it all began. If you want to read the letter you may click here

How do you like this?

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, faulted by some for leadership failures in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, has been cleared by the Army of all allegations of wrongdoing and will not be punished, officials said.

Famous Last Words

“Yes, but not too many” (english translation)
-Gerrit Achterberg, Dutch poet answering his wife's question:“Shall I bake some potatoes?”

"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."
-Humphrey Bogart

"Dammit. . .Don't you dare ask God to help me."
-Joan Crawford .

"That was a great game of golf, fellers."
-Bing Crosby

"This is absurd! This is absurd!" (english translation)
-Sigmund Freud

"I know you have come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."
-Ernesto "Che" Guevara

"Water."
-Ulysses S. Grant

"That's good. Read some more."
-Warren G. Harding , to his wife, who was reading him flattering newspaper accounts.

"I'm all right."
-H. G. Wells

"This is funny."
-Doc Holliday

"Amen."
-Pope John Paul II

"Why not?"
-Timothy Leary

["Are you John Lennon?"] "Yes, I am."
- John Lennon

"Shoot me in the chest!"
-Benito Mussolini

"I just had eighteen straight scotches. I think that's the record."
-Dylan Thomas

"Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies."
-Voltaire, when asked by a priest to renounce Satan

Friday, April 22

Friday Cat Blogging


Click here to find out why Prince The Kat is sticking out his tongue.

UPDATE: Pissed Off Patricia's™ cat Fred has agreed to defend the Kat formerly known as Prince in court, pro bono, if Prince sues me for his bad haircut. Yes, it's true, our vet's office gave the pussy a shave that left a lot to be desired, but I assure everyone that Prince enjoys the crew cut and is much more frisky without the extra fluff.

Uh, Fred the sexy cat, looks like he could use a haircut, Patricia.

Justice Sunday

Sunday will be Justice Sunday. You know what it’s all about. Well, we need a plan. What’ll we do? Shall we have Democracy Sunday? Okay then, what do we call our Sunday instead of Justice Sunday and what do we do personally to protest? Do we party? Do we have fun? Hell yes, we always find some way to have fun. So give me ideas. If we opt for a party, as usual I will bring the booze and for those who do not drink the devil’s beverages, there will be many other choices.

Have at it, what’s the opposite of Justice Sunday and what shall we do?

Johnny's Back In The News

From the KWWL (NBC) Waterloo, Iowa website CLICKHERE:

"If you lived in Iowa during the 1980’s, you've heard about Johnny’s disappearance and his mother’s agonizing search. You may not have heard conspiracy theories involving satanic pedophiles connected to the U.S. government, kidnapping and selling kids into prostitution and forcing them into pornography, but Johnny's mother, Noreen, says she believes that's what happened to Johnny. Even more unusual, Noreen believes Johnny is still very much alive, and once again, in the limelight."

So Gigi is back, this time in the main stream media if you don't count the Des Moines Register, which I don't because it's an AP rag.

Here to me is the most fascinating quote of the article:
"Some people suggest Jeff Gannon to be the product of government training. An operative who uses sex to black mail government officials."
Which might explain why some congresspeople vote in irregular patterns ("Hey Senator Jizumjaws, either vote the way we want you to or guess who is going to get a picture of you diving on the dong of a gay male prostitute.)

Ditto to What He Said

Boston Herald

“Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday attacked Republicans for having an ``orthodoxy of view'' and overly inserting religion into politics, accusing them of using God as a justification for appointing conservative judges.

``I am sick and tired of a bunch of people trying to tell me that God wants a bunch of conservative judges on the court and that's why we have to change the rules of the United States Senate,'' Kerry told a group of Bay State residents….”

And

``I am sick and tired of (them saying) they somehow have a better understanding of Christianity, of the Judeo-Christian ethic, of values,'' Kerry added. ``We're talking about values? You show me where in the New Testament Jesus ever talked about the value of having taxes and taking money from poor people to give to the rich people in this country.''

LIZ AND PAT, I'VE TOLD YOU BEFORE, EITHER MOVE INLAND OR MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Most of the glaciers on the Antarctic peninsular are in headlong retreat because of climate change, a leading scientist said on Thursday.
"The peninsular could end up looking like the Alps if the glaciers retreat far enough from the sea..."

(AND): "Scientists have predicted that global temperatures could rise by up to two degrees centigrade this century, pushing the planet into the unknown with rising sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events threatening millions of lives."

You can read the entire article at Reuters which is the pick of the litter (which ain't saying much) as far as decent news reporting is concerned.

Friday Fun Time

Wonkette is one of those sites that I forget about until someone mentions it. I love the site so I don’t know why it floats out of my agenda so often. Anyway, today she has a toy that you can play with.

“More Proof That Google Is God”

More news

Since I can't think of anything original to say today and I can't find the hookup cable to my computer to show you the picture of my cat, who just happens to be shaved, I am posting the top stories of the day from our most verbose commenter, Liberal & Proud.

Here's Liberal and Proud:

2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds
Taped at a private conference, the leaders outline ways to punish jurists they oppose.
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Also, in one of the discussions on Crooks and Liars yesterday, someone brought up the idea of a march on Washington. I mentioned that I had brought up the idea of a march FOR the Constitution on several blogs over the last month or so. There was alot of positive response. My impression is that something may actually be in the works for the summer.
Would anyone here go?
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Found this on the Daily Kos it made me smile this morning.
GOP "nuclear option" internal poll leaked
"Republican strategists concede their efforts to swing public opinion behind their move (to eliminate the filibuster) suffered in the wake of congressional intervention in the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman in Florida who was being kept alive with a feeding tube. The survey suggested the GOP faces a challenge if it hopes to gain significant public support before moving ahead on banning judicial filibusters."

The wheels are falling off the GOP wagon.

America may FINALLY be waking up!
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This one's not surprising...Bill Gate's has no real committment to any type of values...just money. TAKE ACTION: Microsoft abandons gays


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Oh wait, I thought of something... this is Liz/Blondesense. Has anyone listened to Jerry Springer on Air America? At first I thought that he wouldn't be well received because of his ridiculous TV shows... but he's got an excellent radio show. It's on from 9-12am eastern time. I learned a lot this morning about energy and conservation. So maybe it isn't so ridiculous that he is on liberal radio. Maybe those Hee Haw fans of his will learn something if they listen to his radio show and won't be so quick to vote red next time.