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Saturday, December 31

Who And Where

Who will you be kissing at midnight?
Or, who would you like to be kissing at midnight?
And where?

Most Ironic Event of 2005

There has been a lot of irony this year. My nomination for the most ironic event would be when Brownie told us he was going into the consultant business advising companies how to handle disasters. Heck of a job of displaying irony, Brownie.

I’m sure there were so many more. Would you like to make a nomination?

The White House Website is Spying on You

Me too. I visit there frequently to get the news from the horses mouth, as it were.

We found out earlier this week that the NSA was keeping tabs on web site visitors, but stopped the practice after it was pointed out that the practice is illegal. Not the White House. They say it's not illegal because they use Web Bugs, not Cookies. Of course. Silly me.

A bug Bush won't exterminate (AP)
December 31, 2005

The White House said Friday its Web site will keep using Internet tracking technologies, deciding that they aren't prohibited after all under 2003 federal privacy guidelines.

The War On Immigrants

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
-Words on the Statue of Liberty

Nevermind.

It's post 9/11 and we have got to be careful of who we let in this country because they are a threat to our security and they are taking away our jobs. I was just dying to start up a lawn cutting business and I can't because El Salvadorians are cutting grass these days on Long Island. They have even gotten into the masonry field. What's an Italian-American to do?

You know, some of the nicest, brightest, most hardworking people I've ever met were immigrants. I don't know if they were legal or not but I do know that they really want to achieve the elusive "American Dream" that most of us who were born here know is really a scam to turn us into slaves... but nevertheless this country was built on immigrants and I wouldn't be here if not for my grandparents who toiled and were discriminated against just to give their children a better life. Maybe I'd be working in the coal mines of the Carpathian Mountains.

Alas, Americans, who are nothing but afraid, built the strawmen of the new century... the same old strawmen of last century... immigrants. What's more, Catholic and Christian outreach workers here feel threatened by a new bill in congress, co-sponsored by one of Long Island's own reviled congressman, Peter King (we have 8 in congress from L.I. and King is the only Republican). The bill proposes erecting a 698-mile wall across one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border, turning illegal immigrants into felons and making it a felony to shield or offer support to undocumented immigrants.

This is what's freaking out the Long Island charitable workers. (Immigration Bill Outrages Activists) Many are Christian/Catholic and it's against the religion to ignore a stranger. Yet there are many people who believe that immigrants bring problems to our country and want to punish Americans who offer support to those who are already here and are hungry and poor.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington said he had little sympathy for groups that help undocumented immigrants.

"These are people who are knowingly helping, knowingly promoting illegal immigration," he said. "The very people complaining about this are the very ones who helped bring about the illegal immigration problem in the first place" by offering them services.
Well Peter King, who is also chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is trying to allieve the fears of local charity workers who fear that the feds are going to raid churches by telling people that he will change the wording in the bill because they say the language is so broad. And rightly so. (King willing to redo bill)

Will I be thrown in jail because Eduardo cuts my grass and Juan does my sprinklers? Will my former colleagues at Parish Outreach be jailed because they collect and distribute food for the poor immigrants in our community? Will the pastor of St Brigids go to jail because there is a Hatian Mass, an Italian Mass and a Spanish one on Sundays? Is he aiding and abetting criminals? Will the Feds be checking green cards outside the church?

"Nobody is going to be going to churches locking people up," Peter King said. "If they are facilitating immigrants coming into the country illegally, that's another thing."

What does he mean by "facilitating"? You know how those neocons have been changing the meaning of words. It's no wonder that people have little faith in what law makers say.
Church and immigrant groups call the bill the harshest piece of anti-immigrant legislation in 70 years. Supporters say it would help bring under control a situation of anarchy at the border that has swelled the number of undocumented immigrants in the country to 11 million, including an estimated 100,000 on Long Island.

King said the bill is unlikely to be passed in its present form by the Senate, which he expected to add provisions for a guest-worker program granting temporary visas mainly to low-skilled workers. However, he did say "a significant portion of it has to become law otherwise no immigration reform bill will pass the House."
This is something I will be keeping my eyes on. Something is very fishy about it.

Friday, December 30

Mel Gibson: Crackpot

After watching his holy snuff flick, The Passion of the Christ, I realized that Gibson's one of those christian blood cult members. Nevertheless, The Lippard Blog, has some interesting quotes from a playboy interview with Melvin who proves that he isn't very bright at all... and isn't afraid of letting the world know... somewhat like Tom Cruise, another actor I can't take.

Excerpts of the excerpts at Lippard Blog:

PLAYBOY: So you can't accept that we descended from monkeys and apes?
GIBSON: No, I think it's bullshit. If it isn't, why are they still around? How come apes aren't people yet?

Bwahahahahaha. Guess he was too busy looking in the mirror instead of actually paying attention in science class. Or maybe he ought to watch the Discovery Channel.

Oh and he's so broad minded too. Not.
PLAYBOY: What about allowing women to be priests?
GIBSON: No.
PLAYBOY: Why not?
GIBSON: I'll get kicked around for saying it, but men and women are just different. They're not equal. The same way that you and I are not equal.
PLAYBOY: That's true. You have more money.
GIBSON: You might be more intelligent, or you might have a bigger dick. Whatever it is, nobody's equal...
Oh yes, the dick plays a huge part in equality issues.... dickhead.

On Clinton:
PLAYBOY: He was just 18 then.
GIBSON: Somebody knew then that he would be president now.
PLAYBOY: You really believe that?
GIBSON: I really believe that. He was a Rhodes scholar, right? Just like Bob Hawke. Do you know what a Rhodes scholar is? Cecil Rhodes established the Rhodes scholarship for those young men and women who want to strive for a new world order. Have you heard that before? George Bush? CIA? Really, it's Marxism, but it just doesn't want to call itself that. Karl had the right idea, but he was too forward about saying what it was. Get power but don't admit to it. Do it by stealth. There's a whole trend of Rhodes scholars who will be politicians around the world.

Oh Gibson's just jealous because he is so ignorant.
I have to get my hands on that issue of playboy to see the whole interview. I hear it's a doozy.

Cutting to the Chase

Here are the last two paragraphs of an excellent post today by John Dean (Findlaw's Writ):

"Bush's unauthorized surveillance, in particular, seems very likely to be ineffective. According to experts with whom I have spoken, Bush's approach is like hunting for the proverbial needle in the haystack. As sophisticated as NSA's data mining equipment may be, it cannot, for example, crack codes it does not recognize. So the terrorist communicating in code may escape detection, even if data mining does reach him.

"In short, Bush is hoping to get lucky. Such a gamble seems a slim pretext for acting in such blatant violation of Congress' law. In acting here without Congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his Presidency is unchecked - in his and his attorneys' view, utterly beyond the law. Now that he has turned the truly awesome powers of the NSA on Americans, what asserted powers will Bush use next? And when - if ever - will we - and Congress -- discover that he is using them?"

Stood up by his Mandate

Remember after the election when bush boasted of his “mandate”. He had his pockets full of political capital and he and his mandate were going to party hardy. He would swoosh his mandate off his feet as they feasted on Social Security reform and danced to the music of victory in Iraq.

They would trip the light fantastic over the bodies of dead soldiers and avoid the smatters of human blood. They would sneer at the Left while they waved and blew kisses to the religious right. They were even going to let more money flutter down to big corporations and they would do it with their abundance of political capital. Oh what a time they would have. They were a couple made in heaven, this george fellow and his new “mandate”.

While bush bragged about his mandate and his political capital, something went wrong. While he was prepping and preening he was interrupted by some visitors. There was Terri Schiavo, Cindy Sheehan, Katrina, Harriet, Brownie and a few others. He tried to push them out because they would mess up the place. How could he entertain his mandate with these women in his house? They did not fit into his plan. He must do something with them. He insisted they leave, but they just wouldn’t go away. Finally, in desperation he shoved them in the closet and slammed the door. He tried to do away with all traces of them. Then he waited for the big moment. He waited and waited for his Mr. Right to come a-calling. Weeks and months went by but his doorbell did not ring. He had been stood up by his idolized mandate and all he had left was a closet filled with people and events he did not want. He tried to blame those in the closet for causing his mandate to stand him up. Had it not been for them he thought, he would now be happily in the arms of his mandate. It’s not his fault, it was their fault. Because of them he lost his chance to have what he thought he clearly deserved.

What he failed to realize was that the mandate had never been anything but a figment of his imagination. But, those in the closet were real and had he dealt with them with respect, knowledge, humility and a sense of reality, he might very well have been able to receive that mandate he was expecting.

Thursday, December 29

Inept Clowns fall from High Wire

Just about every day we read or hear more about elected Republican politicians and some sort of corruption. Either they have broken the law outright or they are in deep legal doo doo. It’s like watching an inept bunch of dangerous circus clowns on a high wire. Are they so pompous that they think they can get away with what they’ve been doing? Or are they just stupid? When you analyze what they have been up to, it seems they are both. They are pompous enough to climb up to the high wire and stupid enough to think they could stay there.

Don’t worry; they won’t get away with it. Our justice system is neither stupid nor is it corrupt. Sure there is a bit-o-bias in every court room, but there is also a bit-o-Constitution hanging in there too. Case in point - Terri Schiavo. No matter how loud and bleating the legal requests were, the court remained sane. Common sense prevailed and so did the law. Of course I don’t believe that those who sponsored the protestations gave a damn about that woman or her life. They were simply playing a part hoping to keep the freaks at their side show until the next elections.

I remember back when President Clinton was in all his trouble. A lady called in to C-span and she was wailing about the disgrace that President Clinton had brought to the oval office. After her bitching and moaning she said, “How do I explain to my five year old what the president has done?” Of course you’re thinking what I thought that morning, how many children at the age of five know squat about politics or even that the president exists. If the mother felt she had to explain anything to her child, she might just say that the president did something wrong. Kids that age don’t usually expect, want, understand or care a lot about details. That’s why kids’ books have few words and lots of pictures.

I think about that lady frequently as all the Republicans scandals come popping up. Wonder how she’s explaining all this to her now ten year old kid? How does she go about telling her little intellect that the new president is listening in to mommy and daddy’s phone calls? How does she explain that soldiers are dying every day because this president lied and took our country to a war that never should have been? How does she explain Abramoff’s and Frist’s and Delay’s and Libby’s criminal activities? Maybe she’ll just say that they are dangerous, pompous, stupid, inept circus clowns on a high wire and now they’re falling down. I think even a ten year old could comprehend that sort of thing.

A New Christian NBC Series

The American Family Association is urging members to write to NBC at once because a new series, "The Book of Daniel" is written by a practicing homosexual, there will be a homosexual as a regular in the series and what's more the whole family of the Episcopal priest is dysfunctional.

"The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis.

Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter.

At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law."
Why it sounds downright HBO-ish! The horror. I don't get the homosexual republican though.

I have a better idea for a Christian NBC show:

Premise: An Episcopal priest with a lovely wife and 3 adorable children reside in a parish in a wealthy NYC suburb. Every day the family gathers together to thank God and praise him for all the blessings he has bestowed on them and their parishioners.

In one episode, little Mary is almost late for Mass. Dad gives her a stern look as she sits out of breath as the service begins. Later on, she explains how she helped a homeless kitten out of tree and that's why she was late. The whole family laughs and hugs little Mary. Another disaster is averted.

Makes for compelling television doesn't it?

In another episode, the priest councils a young gay man and convinces him to let go of the path he is on. The young man marries the girl next door and they live happily ever after.

The following week, the priest asks parishioners to bring canned goods for the poor. They do. The poor people in a neighboring town are grateful. The parishioners meet at the golf club for cocktails on the patio and talk about how good they feel for giving.

In a special Easter episode, the parishioners are concerned because the stock market took a plunge earlier in the week. A sermon about riding out the storm lifts the spirits of the parishioners who are afraid they will be wiped out and might have to move to a neighboring town. They begin to pray much harder and miraculously the market swings upward on Holy Thursday.

Concerned that some of the parishioners may be abusing their martinis, the priest preaches the importance of moderation and suggests that the flock limit their martini time each day to the hours between 5-7PM. Several parishioners heed the advice and their children's grades go up.

I just described the neighborhood where I lived with my parents. Real exciting eh? Oh lots of good stuff happened behind closed doors, but no one would want to see that on the tele, would they?

NSA Web Site Spies On You

NSA Web Site Places 'Cookies' on Computers

The NSA claims it made a mistake when it was discovered that cookies (files placed on a visitors computer to track their activity) from the NSA website didn't expire until 2035.

"Don Weber, an NSA spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday that the cookie use resulted from a recent software upgrade. Normally, the site uses temporary, permissible cookies that are automatically deleted when users close their Web browsers, he said, but the software in use shipped with persistent cookies already on.

"After being tipped to the issue, we immediately disabled the cookies," he said."


Since the NSA has been caught illegally spying on people recently. I hardly believe that the cookies are inadvertant.

"In a 2003 memo, the White House's Office of Management and Budget prohibits federal agencies from using persistent cookies — those that aren't automatically deleted right away — unless there is a "compelling need.""
Ah, jebus, everything is "compelling" with this White House gang.

Wednesday, December 28

Iron Hymen or Abstinence

Words of Wisdom From Our First Lady:

"Take it from me ladies---this is no good reason to rush into S-E-X. That's why I pray you choose abstinence, so you need never know the heartbreak of being trapped in a loveless marriage just because you drank too many margaritas one night and gave up your honey pot to a pushy young cokehead from a so -called 'good family."

Porn Star?

Ever fantasize about becoming a porn star? Probably not, but come on and play the game.

If you did become a porn star, what would your screen name be?

You can get your very own porn star name here: (Blogthings).


I will henceforth be known as “Jenny Jiggles”.

traditional texas

Crime Stoppers of Houston is paying $5000 in cash for the arrest and convictions of area people who fire their guns into the air on New Year's Day. At the stroke of midnight, Houstonians and other Texans fire their guns into the air to celebrate that living in Houston did not kill them last year. Unfortunately this festive outburst of joy kills other people as what bullets go up, must come down through roofs, into people sometimes miles from the gunfire.

One woman told local reporters on camera on the noon broadcast today that she knew it was wrong to do it but it was her family's tradition so that is what they do on New Year's Eve.

Another fine tradition in Texas is raising sports playing sons to believe that they can have whatever they want. They get passing grades to stay eligible to play sports. They are celebrated as demi-gods. Middle school and high school are organized training grounds, supported by tax payer dollars, to raise athletes.

Women are encouraged to give their all for these young men. Drill teams and cheerleaders dress provocatively on Friday for pep rallies where they dance, in contagion, identical and interchangeable, in anorexic and bulimic bodies, costumed and coiffed to resemble each other, in short skirts, barely covering their butts, in frilly satin and silk underpants, kicking their legs high over their heads. (Think of that Viagra commercial where the man throws the football through the tire swing to the cheers and joy of his faithful female companion.) They don't hold these enthusiastic rituals for the girl's volleyball team or the honor roll. Homecoming dances and dinners and Homecoming Queens and Courts where the message is clear, be young, celebrate our harvest and fertility, pair up or die and wither alone.

Young men are taught that all women, after all they are interchangeable, are available for sport. And women are taught that they must be desirable and displayed. Two young men in the football capital of Texas, Midland-Odessa, home of George W. Bush, are charged with raping a classmate. What is so surprising about this sad affair is that it was reported, the charges were seriously considered and the young men were charged with sexual assault. The newspaper accounts celebrated the young man's football prowess and that the young man was "committed" to Texas A&M University. No, it wasn't for his mental health but he was "committed" to playing football for A&M. This of course makes his arrest a tragedy.

The young woman was, according to the young man's attorney, drinking and had an alcohol related traffic accident that day. He is trying the "she was drunk, she wanted it," defense on the potential jury pool. The thing is, drunk people cannot consent to sexual intercourse. He is also saying that the police department is motivated by their desire for notoriety. Really? I didn't realize they needed a career boost.

One of the young man's mothers commented that her son was innocent of the rape that allegedly took place in her home. She did not comment on the young woman's rape kit or the photographs taken of her bruises. Her parents did not comment on the charges they helped their daughter file against the two young men.

The Economy Is Doing Very Well, NOT!

Don't let the people whose job it is to make Chimp Boy look good convince you things are going well.

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/pm110

Tuesday, December 27

2 questions

1. Why has an RTA company car (Regional Transit Authority of New Orleans) been "living" north of St. Francisville, LA ever since the day before Katrina? Did the RTA authorize their officers/executives to commandeer publicly-owned vehicles for personal evacuations? An NOPD wuss pulled that stunt --- and went AWOL to Mississippi, then Baton Rouge, in an NOPD car, and now he's fired and probably going to jail. What's the administrative difference here?

2. Why is a company with the magnetic signs reading, "Gulf Coast Rebuilding, Inc." parking their "company truck" at a local seafood/game-processing business, bringing in freshly-killed deer to be dressed/butchered, when they're on FEMA time?

Oh, and here's your Puking Blood From Disgust Moment:

Gray Line Tours is now offering tours, at $35 bucks a pop, to pass through the Uptown and Lakeview areas that were affected by Katrina. They won't be viewing the devastation of the Lower 9th Ward, of course, because that's too "sensitive." In other words, it's only "tragic" if rich white people lose PROPERTY, but not if poor black people lose LIVES.

An Empty House and a Full Heart

Hang on with me now, this is going to be difficult. I’m going to tell you about the house I can see when I look out my window. There’s a “For Sale” sign in the yard that popped up sometime this weekend. That house belongs to Mr. Pop and me. It was our first home and we were its first occupants. We moved out of that house when we had more stuff than room. We had an opportunity to purchase a larger house, the one we live in now, and we took it. We moved across the street and for about six years the other house has been a rental house. When our last tenants moved out we decided that we no longer wanted the headaches of being landlords, plus with the housing market the way it is here, selling the house now is the wisest thing to do. With that all said, I’m taking you over there and we’ll see what memories are still lurking in those empty rooms.

Opening the front door, I see the vision of Mr. Pop and me the first time we walked in that door and the pride we felt as we entered our very first home together. We were human smiling machines and we were stuck on grin.

I see the blinds there at the glass doors. Those are the ones that our little dog, Shaky, decided to chew on one night. We got them repaired later.

As I look out on the patio I see Mom cat and her little kittens she gave birth to right there in a little box that I had decorated for her for the occasion. I see those little kittens all snuggled up with their brand new momma cat. I see them there and I see them when they were old enough to scamper around and get into all kinds of trouble. We kept Mom Cat, Claire and Grimley and gave the other two to a friend.

When I look back into the living room, I see the Christmas tree the year that we were hunting for Grimley and found her curled up among the presents. The memory is fresh even though it’s years and years old.

In the dining room I see the table all set and ready for Christmas dinner to be served. That was the year that Mr. Pop became ill just before dinner. I had prepared enough food to feed an army and no one to feed but me. In a sort of Christmas pity I opened a gift bottle of wine and drank it. Not my proudest moment.

Oh, there are just so many memories in this house and outside it too. In the back yard I see all the plants that we lovingly placed there so many years ago. My how they have grown. I’m pretty sure they still remember me. They watched me when I cried and they watched Mr. Pop and I admire their beauty as we cared for them. The two big oaks in the front yard were barely seedlings when we planted them. The palm we planted in hopes of one day being able to hook a hammock to it is finally big enough to fulfill that purpose.

Now the hardest part, going to the little fenced in area of the yard. You see that was our little pet cemetery. That’s where almost all of them are now. Some were pets and some were strays that we cared for as much as they would allow. Each time we had to bury one of them, we planted a plant on its grave. The cemetery is a garden. I have to leave them now for the last time so it’s important to me that I place their memories safely and deeply inside my heart. That’s the part I get to keep forever.

See? That’s why I had to do this. I had to go back over there one more time and pluck my memories from their special places. I had to take what was mine. I had to remember all the happy times and the sad times. I had to recall each animal that now resides beneath the garden. I had to retrieve their memories. A lot of my life was there.

To anyone else the house would appear to be empty and now it officially is, because I have a very full heart stuffed with memories. I think I got them every one. I tried to find as many as I could. And yes, I sure have cried. Sometimes it’s just so damned hard to let go, say goodbye and walk away from a part of your life, even if you get to take with you a heart stuffed full with memories.

odd news



Oh my, the famous Nun Bun, a cinnamon bun that looks like Mother Teresa was stolen on Christmas day from a coffeehouse in Nashville. Tourists from all over the world patronized the Bongo Java Coffee Shop.




Darwin's rolling over in his grave: Speaking of religious fanatics and the drawback to living in a supposed democracy is that complete idiots who are breeding at a rapid pace are free to elect their own kind. A war against evolution is being waged in order to promote unintelligent design without exactly calling it that. We need more science teachers in this country.

Extra Virgin? A Catholic magazine inadvertenly ran an ad for a statue of the virgin Mary wearing a veil of a latex condom. It apparently slipped by the editors who are Catholic priests and don't know what a condom looks like! Now that's funny.

The right wing bloggers are being paid to spew lies.

Imagine that? This is a must read from Jane at Firedoglake.

Meanwhile our leader is pressing newspaper editors to kill stories about secret prisons and domestic spying in the name of "national security".

What have we learned from all this?

From Fascism Anyone:
  • 6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
  • 7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.


UPDATE: I just found this item in WaPo:
Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War
U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage


Not only did the US pay Iraqi TV stations to air favorable news about the US' bombing the shit out of Iraq, a Marine officer in Iraq recruited a blogger to go there and write the good stuff that was coming out of Iraq.

Monday, December 26

Bizzaro Christmas Eve

A young man who works/worked for the husband at the car dealer dropped by on Christmas Eve to pick up toys for homeless children. Danny is in the Army Reserves and was part of the invasion of Iraq back in '03. Luckily he made it home safely and in one piece. I found out on Saturday that his mother didn't even know he went to Iraq. He told his mom that he was away at school.

Danny will be telling her that he is going away to school again for 19 months as he's been deployed again to Iraq starting in February. Of course this distressed the hell out of me. I immediately went into crazy woman mode over the illegal war. Danny didn't want to hear it though. I was also particularly pissed at the Ford dealer for laying him off the day before Christmas Eve, the fucking bastards. But they aren't selling cars due to the boycotts by the religious, the gays and the environmentalists. How does a young person get a fucking break in this country?

I told him that I could get him hooked up with an underground railroad to Canada, but he told me that it's a job and it pays well. He wants to go. I asked how much it pays and he told me $3,500/month. I told him that was ridiculous to be willing to risk his life for that pissy amount of money... not that I can imagine any amount of money that would motivate me to go to Iraq. Danny remained calm despite my ranting and questioning him about how it felt to go into people's houses and search them disrupting their lives. He shrugged. It's a job.

My 20 year old son witnessed this, smirking at my typical 'Liz-ness' as he calls it. I never asked my son what he thought of fighting in this war. I never gave him the chance to tell me anything because I informed him that I would get him out of the country before I would allow him to be a part of bombing the hell out another country. On the other hand, if our country was invaded and being bombed, you can bet your ass that I would be an insurgent who set bombs on the side of the road and would have the whole family involved. Oh I certainly do believe in fighting to defend my country. I don't believe anyone is defending my freedom by killing Iraqi's. But I digress.

Danny's girlfriend who also worked for the same car dealer was also laid off right before Christmas. She happens to be pregnant and they will be married before he's deployed. He needs to get her on his benefits as she lost hers.

He told me that her parents are mad about her situation and her mom told her that she won't be able to help her out because the other daughter is pregnant with twins and so her welfare comes first. She hasn't met his parents and he hasn't met hers. oy vay. Her parents are from Italy and his from China. Can you imagine what a cool exotic child they are going to have?

His visit left me rather perturbed to say the least, but I had a rib roast in the oven to worry about and my guests would soon be arriving. Now that the Christmas weekend is over, I have time to reflect on all this bullshit for an hour or so as I have to get off the computer and clean up the house for the son's girlfriend from Arizona who will be arriving at LaGuardia later on (if the fog lets up). I have to put on my pretend happy face again. Ho Ho Ho!

Anything interesting happen over your Holiday weekend?

-----------

Before I forget, it was bitter sweet to see the FEMA trailers decorated for Christmas in Katrina ravaged Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. And these before and after pictures of this town are mind blowing. The human spirit is just amazing.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"...our governments are composed of individuals who seek office NOT to serve the people - even if they give lip service to that idea - but for money and power. If the "payoff" of money and power were removed from the sphere of government, if our elected officials were required to "post the number of patients who had died" above their doors, and were only paid if they were successful in solving the problems of the public sector, you can be sure that there would be a mad rush by many of them to get out of government, and the field would be left to those who were really capable of solving our problems." -- Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Sunday, December 25

what would Einstein teach?

"How could this happen?" Ms. [Jennie Mae] Brown asked Representative Gibson C. Armstrong two summers ago, complaining about a physics professor at the York campus of Pennsylvania State University who she said routinely used class time to belittle President Bush and the war in Iraq. As an Air Force veteran, Ms. Brown said she felt the teacher's comments were inappropriate for the classroom.

The encounter has blossomed into an official legislative inquiry, putting Pennsylvania in the middle of a national debate spurred by conservatives over whether public universities are promoting largely liberal positions and discriminating against students who disagree with them. New York Times


At first blush, you too may think, "well, what does a physics professor know about politics? He should keep his opinions to himself and teach science."

We don't actually know what Ms. Brown's professor said or didn't say in his physics classroom. We don't know if this is a publicity stunt, and it certainly has the feel of it. We don't know if the photogenic, patriotic, wholesome Ms. Brown, not a typical co-ed, is the latest useful soldier in the culture wars for David Horowitz, a professional busy body and president of his self styled Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Mr. Horowitz, not found in headlines as a liberal, has shed his early political ideology to get his name in the papers and no doubt raise money for his flavor of the week cause. He has taken a break from studying popular culture and made a foray into lobbying state legislatures, the political repositories of intellectual capital in our intellectually giant nation, and evidently a way of getting into BlondeSense and the New York Times.

But let's say, and why not, that Ms. Brown's professor, unidentified in the New York Times, but perhaps was one of the many professors listed in the campus website, did indeed say something untoward about Mr. Bush and Mr. Bush's war. Since Mr. Bush has injected himself into the American classroom discussing intelligent design and ignoring the theory of evolution, it isn't beyond the scope of a college physics classroom to illustrate that perhaps Mr. Bush should leave the teaching of science to the science teachers and conduct his experiments in social and political engineering in Iraq. Not that he doesn't need the help of rocket scientists to do that. And he certainly got the help of physics experts when it came to the development of weapon systems. One of the reasons college campuses erupted in the 1960s was college and university support and development of weapons, chemicals, and ever increasingly efficient methods of killing large numbers of men, women, and children. The Establishment of which colleges and universities certainly are, don't really want eruptions. It cuts into their fundraising.

What of German physics teachers who were required to inject the tenets of national socialism in their classrooms? And when they refused to teach only German ideas, college students ran professors off campuses and burned libraries. What of the Russian mathematicians who were required to teach Stalinist algorithms for the creation of the new Soviet Man? Their personal mail was opened and they were imprisoned for criticizing Stalin in it. It isn't wrong for secondary teachers like Aleskandr Solzhenitsyn or university professors like Albert Einstein to criticize their nation's leaders. An educated populace demands it.

Ms. Brown and Mr. Horowitz are injecting political correctness into the classroom by criticizing professors. They want academic freedom for students while they would deny it to professors. I am sure the Penn State physics professor did not ask Ms. Brown about the political correctness of her views about Bush or the war on his final exam. He asked her about physics.

My own students complained to a local radio talk show host about their assignment to use New York Times accounts of the perception that there was something rotten in the Florida presidential election in 2000 and write about what makes some people believe the election was stolen. The radio host had listeners call the community college, a place not unlike the Texas Legislature, and complain about me. My supervisors wrung their hands and asked to see my assignment, never realizing that academic freedom means never having to question a veteran teacher's assignments. I should have known that academic exploration is impossible at the community college level. In my teaching career I had already gotten reprimanded for telling my favorite political quote to a class. I was discussing our state's reluctance to fund bilingual education and recalled that our first female governor, Miriam Ferguson, commented that Texas school children didn't need bilingual education because the English language is good enough for Jesus Christ and therefore good enough for the school children of Texas. My academic dean told me not to challenge students' myths. I am not sure which myth he wanted to preserve, the one that our political leaders have sense or that Jesus Christ spoke red-lettered English. [An administrator of that particular junior college came by my office while I was hanging a photo of JFK and Jackie campaigning in a New York tickertape parade. He commented, "We were so relieved when he was killed."]

The myths that conservatives want to preserve--that Bush has sense, our political leaders know best, that college is full of crazy, academic anarchists with funny ideas about human nature, the natural world, and the really dangerous stuff like, civil rights, worker rights, sexual, political, and economic freedom-- are the myths the world, according to The Establishment, would be better off ignoring. We don't need no trouble making religious leaders, college professors, Christmas hating Jews, uppity Negros out of New Orleans or wild college students thinking about not supporting the war their students loans were cut to pay for. We certainly don't need any blonde co-eds thinking for themselves and questioning military service which funds her education. We can't ignore Mr. Horowitz. He is not just studying the political culture but is acting upon it.

Saturday, December 24

Happy Holidays


Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah
And Whatever Else You Celebrate


With Love From The Blondesense Bloggers
Liz, Patricia, Vicki, Jaye, Joanna and Peter


Friday, December 23

What If?

What if you could create your own reality? Deliberately and on purpose.
What would that be like?
Is it possible we do?

And The Lawd Said, "That Is Not-Yo-Cheese"

Come on. Put aside your glue guns, your cookie dough, your glitter pens, and your felt scaps.
Do not think of the cards you have not sent, the goodies you have not baked, gifts you have not wrapped. I offer you a strong coctail and absolution:

You are only one person. You cannot do it all. So drink up and be merry and remember, there is always next year.

Breaking News!!!

Some restaurant in Florida was cleaning out the nacho warming pan and looked in the pan and THERE WAS JESUS! Right there in the nacho pan.

That Jesus. He pops up in the strangest places.
Must be the war on Christmas. He had to go underground/under pan. Dose this mean Jesus is cheesy?

He was etched in the underneath warming pan. The one that holds the water.
Walk on water, hold water, water to wine, wine to nachos, nachos to tequila. JESUS LIKES TEQUILA!

What a friend we have in nacho cheeses.

Jesus loves cheese, this I know.

Jesus loves the little cheeses,
all the little cheeses of the world
Swiss and gouda, cheddar, jack
all are yummy as a snack
Jesus loves the little cheeses of the world.

So pull that reindeer out your azz and have some Tequila and nachos!

Apparently Not Everyone Thinks We're The Good Guys:

"Italy issues EU arrest warrant for CIA team"

MILAN (Reuters)- "A Milan court has issued a European arrest warrant for 22 CIA agents suspected of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric from Italy's financial capital in 2003, Prosecutor Armando Spataro said on Friday.

"Milan magistrates suspect a CIA team grabbed Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr off a Milan street and flew him for interrogation to Egypt, where he said he was tortured.

"Prosecutors asked the Italian Justice Ministry last month to seek the extradition of the suspects from the United States, but Justice Minister Roberto Castelli has not yet decided whether to act on the request.

"A European Union warrant is automatically valid across the 25-nation bloc and does not require approval of any government.

"The warrant was agreed by the European Union in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001 and was hailed as a key part of the bloc's fight against terrorism.

"Spataro told Reuters he had also asked Interpol to try to detain the suspects anywhere in the world.

"Earlier this week, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he did not believe CIA agents had kidnapped Nasr, but added that governments were not going to defeat terrorism by playing by the rules.

"Justice officials believe Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, is still in custody in Egypt. Italian investigators have accused him of ties to al Qaeda and recruiting combatants for Iraq, and a Milan judge has issued a warrant for his arrest.

"There has been a series of investigations into whether U.S. intelligence officials used Europe as a hub to illegally transfer militant suspects to third countries for interrogation.

"The U.S. embassy in Rome was not immediately available for comment."

Presidential Holiday Message

excerpts:

I hope you all have a happy holiday. This has been a year of strong progress toward a freer, more peaceful world, and a prosperous America... blah blah blah... Our economy is strong and getting stronger... blah blah blah... It's been a good year for the American people. We've got a lot of work to do... blah blah blah...blah blah blah...we're still under threat, there's still an enemy that wants to harm us... blah blah blah... Anyway, I hope you all have a great holiday. Thank you very much...

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Ann Coulter's Holiday Message:
"[T]he government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo"

Thursday, December 22

WORST. XMAS. EVER.

Okay, here's the poll of the day, just to get all of the angst and anxiety out before The "Big Day", when excavating those feelings are much more likely to have y'all on the roof of the house with a high-powered rifle, making up for all of the inequities of your childhoods/ongoing relationships with relatives/in-laws.

(Consider it my public service moment for the holidays.)

My worst?

Well, believe it or not, it wasn't entirely purposefully inflicted by my "family," although it was their fault (these people should not run ANYTHING, let alone their own business ventures).

"We" went bankrupt, lost the house, the car, everything. Got the eviction notice on my 17th birthday, nailed to the front door of the house.

So, in my senior year of high school (which was never a thrill for me anyway), I was moving-in with my grandmother (definitely a move UP) and trying to deal with my fuckwad parents.

I got a six-dollar hair dryer from the Dollar General Store and a block of commodity cheese.

I shit you not.

And the fireworks that year (as in most) had nothing to do with Chinese gunpowder.

Okay, y'all's turn!

C'mon, dig deep, dredge up all of the horrors, use BlondeSense for instamatic group therapy, and we'll all deal with our relatives with a little less bloodshed.

Keeping in mind, of course, that if said dredging/catharsis should RESULT in actual bloodshed, neither this author nor the operators of BlondeSense are liable for damages, real or imagined or psychological, that should ensue.

This is for shits & giggles, folks, not to ramp y'all up for a mass-murder in a shopping mall, as entertaining a concept as that may be.

So get off yer asses and dig out the worst xmas memories ever, and explain to the world why these fake "holidays" really suck.

And for all of y'all who want to flog me with holly branches for dumping on your precious holiday, just remember that the overweening arrogance of christians (especially at this time of year) is enough to set me off on a multi-state rampage. Don't assume that just because YOU "live" for all of this man-made manipulative marketing HORSESHIT, that the rest of us should be falling in line and worshipping at the same plastic creche.

So NYEH.

I read the news today oh boy

Congress has been working overtime. Good. Unfortunately they renewed the Patriot Act for another 6 months. So I guess we won't be attacked here in NY over the holidays. On the other hand, there won't be arctic drilling.

Speaking of NY, we are still having a mass transit strike. It's taking a drastic toll on businesses.

Saddam claimed that the US tortured him. The US denies it. Of course he is lying because we don't torture. duh.

Hey let's move to Canada. They are going to allow group sex at swinger's clubs.

Go over to MSNBC and place your vote. Should the preznit be impeached? So far, it's overwhelming so.

Tie breaking Cheney says a big, "merry fuck you" to Medicare, Medicaid, Student Loans, Food Stamps, etc in order to compensate for millionaires tax cuts.
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Predictions for 2006

Okay let’s hear what you think. What will the year 2006 bring?

Indictments? Impeachments? Weather? (If you predict my house will be hit by a hurricane in 2006, I’m reporting you to Santa Claus and suggesting he bring you a giant lump of coal.)

So what do you believe we might expect to happen next year? This time next year we’ll look back and see how you did.

Wednesday, December 21

SELLOUT

Well, the Fake Economy (that the republicunts like to proclaim as "booming") has just taken another casualty.

Remember Nora Dunn? She was the "uber-feminist" who walked out when "Saturday Night Live" hired Andrew "Dice" Clay (Silverstein) as host, back in the day.

Well, now she's doing bit parts on "STACKED."

Yes, that one. The one starring Pamela Anderson (nee' Lee)'s latest set of implants, Elon Gold and Christopher Lloyd.

Nora plays a horny middle-aged woman (professor) who flashes her tits (and the tattoo thereupon) in pursuit of Elon's character, when he's trying to fix her up with Christopher Lloyd's character.

NOW, I know that some of y'all will automatically chirrup, "Well, yaaaayyy for her, let her get her freak on!" --- but keep in mind that this is the woman who found Dice to be "repugnant" and beneath her presence on the stage.

My, how time flies when the bills are overdue... Or maybe she didn't really need the money, she's just bought-into the new society, where Tits & Ass count for five million times more than a spine and a brain.

(And yes, I've got more of these Pissed-Off Feminist things warming on the back burner, this was just your warning shot.)

P.S.: Read that Rotten.com link about Silverstein --- well-written analysis, and yes, there's a Bill Hicks payoff in there.

A Christmas Love Letter

This is my letter to everyone and everything that makes love possible for me in my world and maybe yours too.


Once upon a time I wrote an essay for the internet. After it was published, I received an email basically telling me to calm down and pay more attention to the subject of my writing. My first inclination was to smack down that email with a firm blow to the “delete” key. Thank goodness I had a second inclination and instead I clicked “reply”. Rather than verbally blistering the sender, I thanked him for his advice. Thus the beginning of one of my dearest friendships with a person I have never seen or heard. That friendship is everything that magic has to offer. Just about a year ago this dear friend suffered an illness. The impact of that illness did not allow him to correspond with me this entire year...until last Friday. He’s back. He’s online again and don’t even think about telling me I’m not one of the luckiest people on earth. I have my friend back! He’s the most treasured friend I have ever had and I love what he has added to my life.

My little dog, Murphy, went to the groomer yesterday to get his Christmas hairdo. This morning he was a vision of white soft doggie fur. He was all curled up on the bed and snuggled in for a peaceful morning nap. My love for him is unavoidable.

Yesterday I told you of my love and affection for the person you guys know as Mr. Pop. That’s the ultimate love.

Thank goodness there are lots of different kinds of love and thank goodness I have been fortunate enough to experience so many of them. If it finds its way into my heart, I call it love.

This aura of the holidays is so pretty. The way it makes you feel insignificant but in the best sort of way. It’s so much larger than any of us, but it’s better if you’re a part of it. It’s the time when you take stock of who you are and where you are. You have the option of allowing your emotions to flow happily and freely along with the tide of the season. If you shed a few tears it’s okay. This time of year just about all emotions are acceptable. You almost have to cry once the season’s spirit has wrapped its arms around you and snuggled you close. Inside the folds of the season there is nothing frightening, nothing but sweetness and love. Meanwhile much of the world is ugly and mean, but for just a little while, it’s okay to ignore it. It’ll still be there waiting anytime you want to visit, but for right now let’s not.

Let’s just take a little timeout here and concentrate on this moment, this fleeting joy that’s within arm’s reach of our hearts. Please don’t let it get away from you. You don’t want to miss this opportunity. Just allow it to happen. It will you know. Shoot, I don’t want to experience this alone.

That’s why I’m writing you this love letter and inviting you to walk down this path with me. You see, as I’ve shared these Christmas stories with you, you have become the characters in one more Christmas story. That Christmas story will describe these wonderful people who have allowed me to share myself with them. I opened up my memories and laid them before you. Thank you for treating them so gently. What a lovely story you have given me. I love you for that.

Merry Dickinson

Poet Emily Dickinson born a 175 years ago this month in Amherst Massachusetts lived her 55 years quietly. She never held a job, never married and never traveled far from her Washington, D.C. home.

By her 30s, Dickinson had begun the habit of her later years declining social invitations, preferring to spend most of her hours writing letters and tending her family's needs. Dickinson's eventual seclusion, her sister once remarked, was gradual---just happened. When the poet died in 1886 her death certificate listed her occupation as, "at home."

One the surface, Dickinson's life was uneventful----"too simple and stern to embarrass any," she once remarked. She published 10 peoms in her lifetime. All anonymously.

But Dickinson's interior life---the life of her mind---was extraordinary. When reams upon reams of poems were discoverd after her death, the true nature of her seemingly modest life revealed itself.

While the outward events of Dickinson's life were inarguably small and circumscribed, her imagination was volcanic. Her imaginative world---what the poet called her "undiscovered continent," was a place as thrilling, terrifying and tangible as any spot on earth.

Dickinson, 175 years after her death, continues to astonish us. Amtrak conductors coming into Amherst station in New York City frequently recite a poem as they near Dickinson's Homestead just a block from the tracks. An anonymous admirer from who-knows-where sent to the Dickinson Museum (as she does every year) 175 roses to mark the years since the poet's birth.

In Bozemon, Mont, elementary students at the Emily Dickinson School spend time in "Emily's Garden," a quite place amoung fir trees where they might read or write or think. Perhaps this month in honor of the poet's birth, a 12-year-old in Bozeman may sit in the garden and read Dickinson's work. Then put down her iPod and stare southeast to the Rockies and consider, like Dickinson, a view of the sky that does not stop.

Blow Jobs--Bad. Illegal WireTapping--Good

Remember six (sex) years ago how important the rule of the law was to the Republicans? How the very fabric which holds our democracy together was in grave and immediate danger of being eradicated by the nefarious President, Bill Clinton? He had lied under oath in a personal matter of sexual indiscretion and only one person was directly affected. That would be Monica Lewinski.

Nonetheless, the GOP told us that if a president breaks the law that potentially undermines the rule of the law itself and since we are a nation of laws, that was an offense that was simply inexcusable! The only answer that would resolve president Bill Cinton's egregious violation, Impeachment. Somebody remind me what we spent on that fiasco.

Fast forward six years. The president has violated the law by lying to Congress to start a war and revealed this week that he personally authorized the illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens and has been doing so for years. The law is clear. The president does not have the authority to do so without judicial oversight.

Yet there he is, our defiant would-be-King holding a media blitz to assure the coutnry that he did indeed have the legal right to violate the law offering us lame excuses about how the process of obtaining warrants is somehow cumbersome and in this fast-paced world of terrorism, well, the War Lord ain't gonna wait for no damn warrants! This is not only false, it is ludicrous.

The Foreign Intelligent Security Act (FISA) acturally allows the goverment to start a tap as soon as they deem it necessary and allows them 72 hours to retroactiviely prove to the court the need for it. Plus, the goverment officials are able to get the emergency warrants from the secret court set up (FISA) within hours, if not minutes. From 1970 through 2002 there were 15, 264 surveillance warrants issued by the FISA court. Clearly this process is quite favorable to the government seeking wiretaps and is not "slow."

Further supporting this is the amount of surveillance warrants which were rejected during that same 23 year period, ZERO. From 2002 until now, only four such requests were denied.

So the Invented Ruler would have us believe the leaking of this illegal activity to the press somethow compromised our national security . This is beyond the red herring, designed to distract the minons attention from the real crime, the wiretapping.

The best defense Rove and Cheney could come up with or muster is that he had legal authority because he has "sworn to protect American citizens" therefore he can violate any law by simply say he is doing so to protect the people. Yea, right. This is ridiculous. I think we are all aware of who he is trying to protect.

Bush used the word "understand" 25 times in his nearly hour-long new conferece, trying to convey that the Amerkan people need to understand that his breaking of the law was in their best interest. At the end of the day however, we do understand Mr. President. We understand you broke the law.

These Guys Are Scary

Bush, Chertoff and Gonzalez have been on television this morning threatening that America will no longer be safe as of Jan 1st, if the senate doesn't pass the Patriot Act. They claim that the tools they have been using for decades are at risk. Decades? Perhaps we ought to stay inside on New Years Day. What exactly is going on? Who really is the enemy?

Snoopgate: Latest News

Today's the shortest day of the year so I'll make this quick.

NYTimes: Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls
The requirement for wire tapping is that one end of the intercepted conversation should take place on foreign soil. But did it?

WaPo: Spy Court Judge Quits in Protest
Federal judge resigned and privately expressed concern about the legality of bush's secret wiretaps.

Conyers wants Bush and Cheney censured.
See also his website: www.censurebush.org

Ho Ho Holiday Blues

There is less than a week to Holiday(TM).

How are American Christians spending this week of holiday reflection? In addition to spending time in prayerful contemplation of the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, they can also wonder how many more civil rights that his stunt-double, George W. Bush will be stripping from the American people. But they will worry about that later, as they are currently stampeding into stores begging for XBox 360's at $299 or $399, the entire weight of the holiday season resting on whether they get this (or some other equally critical) item. Alas they are all sold out except for the few you can pick up for twice the price on e-Bay just to avoid the threat of junior throwing a Flintstonian, roof-raising tantrum on Holiday(TM) morning that makes you quake like a shepherd or a teenage boy in coital bliss.

Remember the Cabbage Patch Baby scare of Christmas past? My son wasn't quite born yet but it was still a national emergency. When my son was a toddler, I couldn't believe the number of used Cabbage Babies that were given to my son from the toy boxes were cleaned out by my oh-so-sacrificing-friends and relatives. He couldn't have cared less by that time. Obviously the kids who once craved them more than oxygen didn't care about them anymore. I know that my friends lost hair and sleep over the acquisition of said dolls.

When the "Tickle Me Elmo" craze hit, I didn't jump on the bandwagon. I told my son that they were out of stock and he could buy one with his holiday money in January if he wanted to, when there would be plenty of them. Sure enough, he never asked about it again. Mega-commerce dittoes to the PS2's famine one Christmas not too long ago. I gave my son an IOU in a box for one. No biggie. He did in fact take me up on the IOU that time, but no one lost any tooth enamel over it.

Know what? This whole Holiday(TM) thing is a crock. Kids go to school and some kid says he's getting something in particular, then more kids say they are getting it, too. Most of them ask for so much crap that they don't even know what it is that they are asking for. They just know that EVERYONE is going to have BLANK on christmas morning. For them, the important thing is going back to school in the new year and exclaiming that they got one.

Mom and Dad even get caught up in the want (dare I say--need). Mom and Dad have to prove their resourcefulness and Alpha-love by acquiring BLANK even if it means taking out a third or fourth mortgage. And if they have several kids, Creator Being (TM) help them.

The strange part of holiday "wants" is that the gift of the year isn't usually announced until it's almost too late to buy one. Why is that? Because the purveyors of toys are better at inducing guilt than 10 Jewish mothers or the entire Catholic Church. Hint to Fundy-NeoCons: when your kid screams on Sunday morning that you didn't get him BLANK, go ahead and try telling him to, "Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season." Then try selling him swampland.
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Merry Holiday

And thanks to BLapadat for the edit.

Tuesday, December 20

Christmas Magic

Last week I shared some of my experiences of Christmas magic. The magic of having Murphy come into my life and for these many Christmas mornings watching him as he’s torn into his tissue paper wrapped gift and the fun of watching him parade around the Christmas tree with his brand new plush pink pig. The Christmas magic that had to have occurred the year I received that oh so beautiful and idolized Barbie doll. Then there was the Christmas that, with the help of one elementary school teacher, I got to experience a moment of self-perceived stardom, that little beagle puppy and me.

I have no doubt that Christmas magic exists. I have so many offerings of proof. One Christmas the man I had loved since the first time I met him, the only man who really had stolen my heart many years ago, the man who remained in my heart every day of the ten years I was married to someone else, the only man I could have loved so deeply, told me he loved me too. He slipped a ring on my finger to prove it. The Christmas that Mr. Pop asked me to marry him will always be the most magical Christmas of them all.

I’ve told you how my childhood was a little less than Beaver Cleaver’s or any of the other images on TV. It was sometimes a nightmare and other times just so awfully pitiful. There were a lot of things missing, the least of which was money. It was a jumble of lives all mixed up and all broken up. When I look back, the pictures aren’t as pretty as I wish they could be. There appear to be more tears than smiles, more sadness and loneliness than happiness and joy. But that was then.

Today my life is the other side of the coin from those days gone by. Where love was scarce growing up, I am surrounded with the dearest and sweetest kind of love thanks to Mr. Pop being the kind of person he is and doing the kind of thoughtful things that he does. I don’t move to a new town or a new house just about every six months. I have a home. I don’t look in stores and dream of what I wish could be. I enjoy what is. I’m not afraid anymore of what tomorrow will bring. I can control most of what tomorrow will bring and if there are surprises I have Mr. Pop to help me through it.

You know what? If it meant that I had to go through all those scary sad times of growing up all over again, I would do it just as long as I was sure I would find Mr. Pop waiting for me when it was over.

Is there such a thing as Christmas magic? There sure is! How else can you explain someone like me finding someone like Mr. Pop? The Christmas morning that he asked me to marry him was the essence of Christmas magic in my life. It was even better than getting one of those big dolls in a box that the grocery stores sell at Christmas time.

While Visions of Impeachment Dance In Our Heads

According to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, Bush was so desperate to cover up the story of his utter and total disregard for the US Constitution, also known as a goddamn piece of paper, that on December 6, he "summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story." So there ya go. When is impeachment?

Furthermore, the Democrats repeat that they did NOT back wiretapping.

Quien es mas Nixonian?
Bush o Nixon?

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From Congressman John Conyers: "Today, I am releasing a staff report entitled, "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverups in the Iraq War."

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In science news, "Judge John Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that intelligent design - which bills itself as a scientific theory and states that life shows signs of being the work of an intelligent designer - is in fact reworked creationism.

What's the difference between a terrorist and a social activist group?

Not much according to the FBI.

The NYTimes today reports:
"One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals."

Oh those dangerous vegans! The ACLU used the Freedom of Information Act to find out just who the FBI was investigating since John Ashcroft loosened the restrictions on who the FBI could investigate after 9/11 mysteriously happened just when the fascists took control of our country.

"The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes."

Since 9/11, now social activist groups are relegated to the pile of terrorists. If you ask Americans who get their news in snippets from TV or radio about all this spying by the FBI, the Pentagon and the NSA or NASA as the president calls it, they are likely to respond by saying that they don't associate with those activist nutcases so they don't care if civil rights have been violated by the administration. They'd rather give up their civil rights than be violated by "terrorists". They move to gated communities and buy guns for protection. Americans are some of the biggest scaredy cats in the world.

Me, I'd rather that the government mind its own business and stay out of our lives. I'll take my chances rather than live in a gated community learning how to shoot a gun. Activism is what made our country a pretty good place to live. We can breathe better, eat safer foods, be free from most epidemics and look forward to social security checks in our old age because of social activism.

Last night someone told me that there is really nothing we can do about this. Well of course there is. We can call congress, we can write letters, we can sign petitions and we can spread the truth to whomever we meet. Newsday just called me to tell me that my letter of protest about Bush's total disregard for the constitution will be published within a week. So there. I made a difference. You can too.
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Tree hugging, Salad eating, Animal loving, Threats

If you are one of those salad-eating, tree-hugging, animal-loving, Quaker, or anti-poverty Americans, watch your ass. Uncle Sam is keeping his eyes and ears on you. It’s not enough just to be a citizen of a democracy. You had better toe the Republican line. Don’t even think of doing some funny stuff like protesting anything while george w. bush is the high sheriff. He’s from Texas, you know!

Sure, we’ve all known for years that vegans were a threat to our safety. Why else would they denounce the consumption of bloody animal flesh? Then we have the Greenpeace heretics; obviously they have far more dangerous plans than just trying to keep our environment healthy and our natural world in balance. And what’s up with PETA? What are they planning? As Americans, owning llama fur is our god-given right. Nothing more American than killing an animal just so you can cut off its bloody fur and sew it on your coat collar.

No doubt for years we have been concerned about the Quakers in Florida. Obviously people devoted to peace could be a threat to any war-mongering country.

The FBI is just doing their job according to their own rules. That sounds about right.

Bush and his disciples are guarding our every move. Some say he’s gone too far. Some say since they personally have nothing to hide they don’t care if their phone is tapped. Ha, wait until being stupid is outlawed. Then they’ll change their minds.

So let’s give a shout out to Osama Bin Ladin. He’s sort of been left out of this terrorist search. If only he were a devotee of veggies, an appreciator of animals and a tree-hugging Quaker living here in the US, I betcha his ass would be in jail or at least under surveillance.

Read the article in this morning’s New York Times. Read about the bush administration’s search and seizure of your rights. Then go eat a rare steak, chop down a tree, kick a dog, put a wooden nickel in the Salvation Army’s red kettle and openly declare that there’s nothing better than a goddamned war. Demonstrate that you are an American who can be trusted by this administration.

Something Different

This was lifted from Poopie @ keepinthefaith.

Here's the deal:

If you read this, if you eyes are passing over this right now, please post a comment with a made-up and fictional memory of you and Blondsense Liz.

It can be anything you want. (Lets keep it rated PG-13, please, cuz Liz is a prude that way) good-or-bad it has to be fake.

Monday, December 19

Kinda Like The Mob

What underlies Chimp Boy's penchant for appointing cronies rather than well-qualified people and bestowing honors on people who stood by him while failing the country?

Case in point. Chimp Boy bestows the Medal of Freedom on George Tenet whose failure in the pre-war intelligence helped plunge America into this disastrous war, or Paul Bremer, whose misjudgement helped squander what chances there were of avoiding disaster is indeed a scandal. Aren't these honors supposed to acknowlege achievements in service to a nation as a whole, to a nation's values, and not just the loyal service to an individual?

Chimp Boy's actions help us understand his excessive valuing of loyalty is a clue to why this president consistently works to advance his own power at the cost of the nation's good.

The fortified castles in medieval Europe in feudal systems are good metaphors for the mindset in which loyalty is the surpreme value. In a world in which a great price is paid simply for protection against a hostile outside world. A world where we are divided into us and them. Then being postured in expectations of war ato the death.

The chronic war is a psychological reality for the bushites who have degraded the system of politics into warring among those whom the possibilities of cooperation are distroyed by their endless strife.

They see the world as the arena for perpetual war, the distinction is not between right and wrong but between friend and enemy. Kinda like the mob.

So the Chimp Boy's declaration that "either you are for us or you're against us" distorts the realities of the war on terror and shows us that nature of the world he inhabits. It's a world where what counts about someone is that he is "for us" and "against them."

Yesterday I watched some of The Godfather Saga and like the feudal lords, the gangster also dwells in a system in which fragmentation dictates the war is a chronic condition and for the gangster, being able to trust those within the fortified walls is a matter of life-and-death importance.

The thing I noticed as I watched was the issue of trust that is woven throughout the Godfather---whether it is the fatal indiscretion of the hot-headed brother, Sonny, in the first film, or the fatal betryal by the weak brother in the second.

"Never tell anyone outside the family what you really think," Don Corleone tells his hot-headed son and similarly, the White House has never told us what it really thinks about much of anything).

"Fredo, you broke my heart,"says the new Godfather because his brother has allowed enemies to breach the family's protective walls.

So dear readers it is in the light of the spirt of gangsterism that we can make sense of Bush's record of dealing with minions and critics.

In a world in which loyalty is so profound a value that it displaces all the others, then, is part of an amoral framework that is all about service to the aggrandizing self.

This self that never feels it has enough security and thus seeks all the power and wealth it can get. It is a self that knows no larger or greater good for which it might sacrifice some part of its personal empire.

When loyalty is not a moral virture, Chimp Boy has shown himself exceptional.

Activism: Tell Congress To Investigate Wire Tapping

You can call your members of Congress right now on one of these toll-free numbers, 888-818-6641 or 888-355-3588. There are operators on duty 24 hours a day. Just ask to be connected to either of your senators or your house member and they'll put you through.
Or go here for a simple form.


PS: Don't forget to urge your members of congress to support Rush Holt's "The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (H.R. 550)
Sign the petition here
Tell your congressperson here.

Selling The Occupation To The Gullible Public

Yep, there he was bragging about his contempt for the law in only the way he can do.
He'll do anything to protect us, even spy on us. Not only did he admit that he did do this, but he will continue to do so, thumbing his ever growing nose at the courts and the Constitution.
Then he had the gall to be upset that it was reported. Mind you they have yet to prosecute ONE PERSON successfully since the onset of his "war". So to sum it up, Chimp Boy violates federal law, illegally spies on the citizens he is sworn to protect, and then is angry that someone would espose it.

"We don't talk about sources and methods. Don't talk about ongoing intelligence operations. I know there's speculations (Some who don't buy the BS I'm selling) but it's important for America people to understand--that we will do--or I will use my powers to protect us, and I will do so under the law, and thats important for our citizens to understand."

So we should just trust him! Sorry, Chimp Boy, we do not

Sure he's reluctant to discuss "sources" and "methods" because that would reveal the scope of the federal violation he has sponsored. And all the time BS-ing us and the world on his "noble" use of his "powers" to protect us.

Excuss me Chimp Boy, it is ILLEGAL to determine what those powers are and to rewrite "that goddamn piece of paper."

What is important for America to understand is that Chimp Boy does not operate under the law but rather seems to believe he is ABOVE it.

Rest assured, the neo-cons will say he operated within the law, but the part they will omit is the Chimp Boy turn King decides --what the law is.
Whatever annoying law there is, simply create a fake power that you can then grant yourself and blame it all on a post 9/11 world.

This is all standard behavior in the arrogant Chimp Boy's administration--that treats it's citizens like children who are guilty until the illegal wiretap proves them innocent.

His brazen admittance is that he no longer is bound by the Constitution and the system of checks and balances which has served our country well for over 200 years has been rendered, quaint.

So he has declaired himself the King. No longer answerable to laws, courts, or the citzens or government.

Wake up you flag-waving, materialist, gullible, good folks. Your phoney Patriotism will be your death son.

To sum it up, we were told again to go fuck ourselves.

Sunday, December 18

did you make Bush's A list?

A friend of mine called after the talk-chat shows this morning. She watches them and wants to tell me everything that was said and I don't watch them because it ruins my Sunday to see people lie before noon.

"What the hell is the matter with Bush! Has he lost his mind!"

I guess that she is discussing the news that Bush authorized illegal wiretaps. Gee a phrase I haven't seen in print outside a Watergate story.

"No." I am thinking why did I answer the phone. "He thinks that because he is commander in chief the wiretaps are legal during a war. He insists that we are at war."

I explained then to my friend that Bush & Co. are pushing their side of the story because we are going to learn that the NSA people who originally went to the New York Times with the story are going to reveal that the reason they would not comply with Bush's authorized wiretaps is that they weren't taps on Middle Easterners, but on Americans who don't support Bush.

There is a court established to do nothing but hear wiretap requests. The Patriot Act allowed Bush huge discretion in issuing wiretap warrants. There isn't any need for Bush to by-pass established procedures to authorize wiretaps unless of course there is no terrorism related reason he wants the wiretaps.

The wiretaps were used, we will soon learn, to harass Bush's "enemies." Why else would Bush need to be on the defensive making his case for the measures at his Saturday's address which could have been given by any petulant Kindergartner in the D.C. area? Why else go on the offensive and insist we are winning the war in Iraq unless he is trying to link in the public's holiday soaked mind that his actions as president have justified his actions as president.

The logic is circular and we are circling the drain.

Who are we going to find on Bush's lists?

Bush Vows To Keep On Spying In The Homeland

Not only did your president admit to ordering the NSA to conduct and eavesdropping program here in the US, but he said he would continue the program because it's a "vital tool" in the war against the terrorists. What's more he said his actions are "fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities." Then he went on to bash the senators who voted against the Patriot Act after all the news last week about the Pentagon spying on us and then the NSA. Read the whole story in the NY Times while I vomit.

Now on Fox News this morning, the whole reason 9/11 happened according to Bill Kristol was because Clinton didn't allow phone tapping. Somehow I knew it was all Clinton's fault.

------------------

What signs of fascism did we learn this week?


  • #2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
  • # 3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame forfailures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and“terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

I wish I'd said that:

Did you hear about the new headstone they're putting on Richard Nixon's grave? It reads: "And they thought I was a crook." -- The Dark Wraith

Saturday, December 17

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The defeat of the renewal of the Patriot Act will not be a deterrent to this Administration's violations of the civil rights of citizens; it will merely be an inconvenience." -- The Dark Wraith

The Wraith is in the beginnings of his 2nd anniversary at http://dark-wraith.com/

Saturday Musings



The General liked my new twist on the game Twister (NeoCon Twister) so he posted it on Jesus' General's GOP MART Store.


GOP children can have some fun and learn that what went on at Abu Ghraib certainly was NOT torture.


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And Now An Uplifting Christmas Story From New York: I heard the thump thump thump while I was looking through my telescope. I looked up by the chimney to see if it was Santa. Nope. I heard it again. It sounded like reindeer. But no. It seemed to be coming from the garbage cans. I tiptoed to the garbage cans with my red flashlight. Oh my, a Christmas miracle! Protein!

Since the gays and the christians have been giving Ford such a hard time and the husband is wondering if he will even have a job by the time xmas comes because there is no business and we crave some meat with our pasta and gruel occassionally, a miraculous event occured last night. Rather than hunting for road kill, the road kill somehow fell into my garbage can and it was fresh and juicy because someone left the lid off after they threw their latte in it and how the hell did he get the money for Starbucks when we are starving here? Here are the makings for a christmas possum stew. Mmmm mmmm.

UPDATE: So many readers sent us roast beefs, salmon, bacon, spare ribs, oven stuffer roasters and turkeys that we let the little critters go to be free to feed on other people's garbage. Run along little varmints, we'll always have pictures to remember you by. Now we're just waiting to hear about another job interview.

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Another uplifting story appeared on the cover of this morning's Wall St Journal. Little Sisters of the Poor (nuns) in Pittsburgh who run a home for the elderly poor (70-100 yrs old) can be found begging for food in a produce warehouse. It was quite a touching story of how they take care of old people, each given a personal room, dressed and washed each morning and fed well thanks to the contributions of others. Apparently they like to beg.

Speaking of begging, on the cover of Part II of the WSJ is a rather disturbing story. Harvard has an endowment of $26 billion. Many other universities have tremendous endowments as well.... they dwarf some countries' economies. Harvard has more than the GDP of Bulgaria. It's a wonder they charge such high tuition. They hardly even spend any of the money. Makes you wonder what their true goals are.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

WASHINGTON (AP) -- "President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

"The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for congressional inquiries into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties."

Violating civil liberties breaks the law. There's a remedy for that.
It's called IMPEACHMENT.

Friday, December 16

Chuckles from Marilyn:

1) "When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car." -- Author Unknown

2) Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children." -- Author Unknown

3) "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that.
It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." -- Drew Carey

4) "The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house." -- Jeff Foxworthy

5) "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base." -- Dave Barry

6) "Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, the day before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp." -- Bob Ettinger

7) "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'"
--Paula Poundstone

8) "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh." -- Conan O'Brien

9) "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner." -- Lynda Montgomery

10) "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" -- Richard Jeni

11) "If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." -- Johnny Carson

12) "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography." -- Paul Rodriguez

13) "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law." -- Jerry Seinfeld

14) "Remember in elementary school, you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower?" -- Warren Hutcherson

15) "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same." -- Oscar Wilde

16) "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain

17) "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Afghanistan." -- A. Whitney Brown

18) "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'" -- Dave Barry

19) "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I''ll have another beer." -- W. C. Fields

The Christmas Rhythm Band Minus Me

I told you a couple of days ago that I grew up in a self-inflicted (by my father), financially challenged household. We never had a lot, and due to my father's drinking problem, we moved so very often, town to town, home to home, always either unpacking or packing up.

When I was in the second grade we lived in yet another rented house, and again we had little to no money. We had only been in this particular town for a short while and already the job was lost and my father had relocated to a different town. We couldn’t afford to move yet, so my mother, my sister and I were left behind for the time being.

Christmas was approaching and just like all elementary schools at that time everyone was gearing up for the big Christmas show. My teacher sent a note home to all the parents informing them that she would need about five dollars to cover the costs for the show. My class was going to be the rhythm band and we would have little outfits to wear. My mother sat me down and explained to me that there was no way that we had the money for this event. I couldn’t be in the Christmas band.

I wasn’t mortified. I was too young to feel that emotion. I was hurt. How could I not be in the Christmas band with everyone else in my class?

I had to tell my teacher that I couldn’t be in the band and I had to tell her why.

The first day of practice, all of my class was on the stage in the auditorium learning their songs as I sat out in the audience seats with my teacher. Just me. Nothing to do but watch and wish.

The next day of practice I was once again sitting there all alone except for the teachers. I just sat there. Then my teacher got up and walked over to some other teachers and they were talking. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, because I was listening to the Christmas band practicing with their shining triangles, their gorgeous big jingle bells and their pretty little wooden sticks.

My teacher came over and asked me to come with her. We went outside the auditorium and she knelt down in front of me. She told me they needed me to sing a special song for the Christmas program. She said the name of the song was “Bow Wow wants a boy for Christmas.” She wrote down the words for me and the next practice day I went up on the stage and practiced singing. To this day, I know all the words to that song.

Hey, now I was no longer sitting out there with the teachers, I felt I was the star. I had my very own song to sing. Who needs those silly triangles and bells and wooden sticks. I didn’t need any of it. I had my own special part.

Finally the night of the show arrived. I can’t remember if my Mother was there. As I sat back stage awaiting my moment in the spotlight, I felt like a million dollars. Just before it was time for me to walk through the curtains, my teacher came to me and she was carrying a little beagle puppy. She asked me if I would like to hold the little puppy while I sang my song. I mean does it get any better? Not only did I get to sing the “special” song but I would get to hold this little puppy too. Star quality and puppy breath, what a wonderful combination.

I vaguely remember singing the song and cuddling that little puppy. I vaguely remember the audience clapping. But to this day I have never forgotten that teacher and what she did for me that Christmas. Now I realize that she created that “special” song for me. She found a way to include me. She took me from loneliness to inclusion and happiness. She saw what was happening to me as I sat there watching the others participate. She probably did more for me than I have ever really realized. I don’t know what my attitude would have been had I not been given the gift of that song. Maybe it would have sowed the seeds of ill content in my little head. I don’t know. I do know that, that night I felt so very special and it was due to the thoughtfulness of my teacher. Okay, and maybe that little puppy too.

Mrs. Cantrell, if by some quirk of the internet, you should read this, please know that this adult thanks you so much for what you did for that little girl that Christmas a long time ago.