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Sunday, December 31

Got Any New Year's Resolutions?

Editorial: Reflections




Personally, I think that capital punishment lets the bad guys off easy and it sends the message that killing people is ok.

Many people are very happy that Saddam was executed. I expected that sentiment from the Iraqi people who had to endure hardship and death under his rule. We know that the sanctions against Iraq in the 90's hurt the Iraqi people more than it affected Saddam. So many people died as a result of the sanctions and Saddam's death camps. So many people died when the US shocked and awed Baghdad. As an American, I feel guilty for all the deaths attributed to this man. But American "christians" are just tickled at the outcome. Don't you sometimes wish that Jesus would come back and kick some ass? I know, I know, the "christians" would be the first ones to crucify him again.

Saddam was tried and hung for killing 148 people in 1982. It didn't seem to bother the US in 1983. See photo above.

The powers that be in the US have made sure that Saddam doesn't reveal just how far up his ass they were. Juan Cole has some insight on this.

I haven't been able to actually watch the hanging but it's here. I clicked to pause it because I have a problem watching people get killed. I'm a total weenie. So I read the comments instead. Disturbing.

PS. Our friend who's a reservist just came home for Christmas from his second tour of duty to meet his daughter who was born while he was away. He'll be going back on January 9th. He doesn't know where. Bush doesn't care. Condi doesn't care. She thinks it's all worth it. I don't want our friend to die, but then again, his type is also part of the problem. He looks at it as if it's a job that pays well with benefits. I am having a big problem with human beings lately.

PS. Found the Southpark version of Saddam's death on youtube.

Saturday, December 30

'On Faith' -- A conversation on religion...

with Jon Meacham (believer) and Sally Quinn (Atheist).

"At The Washington Post and Newsweek, we believe the first step is conversation-intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful conversation-among specialists and generalists who devote a good part of their lives to understanding and delineating religion's influence on the life of the world. The point of our new online religion feature is to provide a forum for such sane and spirited talk, drawing on a remarkable panel of distinguished figures from the academy, the faith traditions, and journalism."


THEIR QUESTION:
Atheism is enjoying a certain vogue right now. Why do you think that is? Can there be a productive conversation between believers and atheists, and if so over what kinds of issues?

What kind of question is that? First of all, I sure did not feel "in vogue" this Christmas and I really did not "enjoy" telling my entire family that I did not go to Christmas mass this year!

AND -- "productive conversation", from what I can gather from this website, is a given here. AND "issues" should be singular, as the only ISSUE up for discussion here is believer or nonbeliever.

The site does have some great commentary. Since this is my first visit here, I had best read more and stop nitpicking.

The "On Faith" panelists respond

I have only read these two so far.
God’s Enemies Are More Honest Than His Friends
by Sam Harris

No Atheists (Still) Need Apply
by Susan Jacoby

Add or Read Comments to this post here

Looks Pretty Old To Me


Photo by Blondesense.
January 1, 2005



Now for the geological agnostics

Good heavens, I can't believe this story is back in the news again. How Old is The Grand Canyon? For fear of offending flat earthers, the folks at the Grand Canyon National Park aren't allowed to speculate on the age of the Grand Canyon unless it's in the range of 6,000 years. Puhlease. What about NOT offending those who paid attention in science class and have working thought processes?

It's been 3 years since the story first took root. The Grand Canyon bookstore was forced to carry the book, "Grand Canyon: A Different View" which purports that the Canyon was created during the time of Noah. Naturally the people who work there were infuriated and demanded action. There was supposed to be a "high level" review but it seems that none was ever done. The issue is still a sore spot.

"I was well informed, but then I met the Lord and checked my brains at the door"
I blogged about this story 3 years ago. This is the quote from the Guardian by the man who wrote the book:
Mr Vail writes: "For years, as a Colorado river guide, I told people how the Grand Canyon was formed over the evolutionary timescale of millions of years. Then I met the Lord. Now I have a different view of the canyon, which according to a biblical timescale can't possibly be more than a few thousand years old."
Indeed. I met the Lord and now I'm blinded by stupidity.

Honestly, when I went to the GC in January 2005, I looked for that book and looked for signs that the national park was cowtowing to the fundies and I couldn't find it. If it was there, it was well hidden among the stacks of books about geology. I met no one who offered the so called "biblical" explanation of the canyon's formation and believe me, I was looking for it so I could blog it. Could my very well educated Noo Yawk axxent have given my indentity away and I was therefore briefed on the correct geology of the canyon by the ranger man in the big hat? I dunno. I was also gasping for air at the time and forgot to axe (ask).

This story could be overblown by eco-terrorists, but I still encourage those of you who visit the canyon and the surrounding areas to snoop around and see what the 'official' story is. See if you can find any park employees who are going along with the politically/fundamentally "correct" version rather than the scientific version. Let's "out" them. It's hurting my head. Since when is it politically incorrect to be correct?

What century is this?

help me

Executed

President Bush said in a statement issued from his ranch in Texas that bringing Saddam to justice "is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror."

That's a loaded sentence. It may come back to bite him in the ass some day.

"Brought to justice." I can't get that out of my head.

Check out Dark Wraith's post on the execution.
What happens next?

Friday, December 29

Last Minute Gift Suggestions For Those Who Don't Care



You've been invited to some festivities this weekend, eh? You didn't really care that much about the host/hostess because you didn't buy them a present for the holidays. Show them how much you care with a USB Humping Dog (you had better be able to read Japanese).

Or how about a radioactive isotope for that backstabbing piece of shit who you thought was your friend? Polonium-210, which comes in a cute gift box, isn't enough to kill your cheating spouse, but it will sure scare the shit out him or her.

What about the Dick Cheney in your life? How about some seasoned bird shot? Shoot the birdie and it will be marinated by the time you put it on the dinner table. Mmmmm. Ammo with flavor. Throw in some Mullet Shampoo too.

The religious freak in your life deserves the Thomas Kinkade Faith Mountain Religious Christian Home Decor. It's a thingy that looks kind of like a Christmas tree but it's really the life of jesus from his humble beginnings to his grisly death in painstaking detail and it lights up too.

What about the alky in your life who likes to sneak booze into non-alcoholic events? Why not a faux beer belly (with a straw) or a wine rack for the lady?

That little underdeprived daughter of the host and hostess deserves Barbie and her incredible shitting doggie. Comes with toy poop and pooper scooper. Don't miss the Barbie toy kitty litter box or Barbie's Let's clean up the stable playset either.

We keep this catalog in the bathroom for fun reading, but just about anything from Archie McPhee is a way to tell those you "love" how much you care. Personally, I like the Swedish Ear Syringe but you may prefer the Avenging Narwhal Play Set for the little brat.

A Modest Farewell



There will be no "12 days of funeral pomposity" for President Gerald Ford. President Bush will not attend the weekend funereal festivities as he is still busy "deciding" at his Crawford Ranch. Bushie plans to pay his respects to the former president, who disagreed with Bushie's war, on Monday and speak at his funeral on Tuesday.

Does This Mean That We Won and Can Go Home Now?

The White House wants Saddam hung as early as this weekend. He is charged with killing 148 people who were planning to assassinate him back in 1982. The US will turn the dictator over to the Iraqi's on the day of his execution. Saddam's lawyer insists that it is forbidden by international conventions to hand over a prisoner of war to his adversary. His lawyer doesn't seem to understand who is in charge here. The bush administration "believes the trial was held in accordance with international and Iraqi laws." So who is going to argue with that? The Pope says that he condemns capital punishment because it's inconsistent with Roman Catholic teaching, as if that matters to anyone involved in this. Saddam was a bad, bad man and that is really all that matters to the blood thirsty.

Meanwhile bush topped both lists of an AP Poll.

He was voted the top villain of the year by a landslide beating by far Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and voted top hero of the year by a tiny margin of fringe wingers.

Rebecca Solnit, End of the Year Review,........... 2026

The Age of Mammals
Looking Back on the First Quarter of the Twenty-First Century

2006 was a year just grim enough that a bit of perspective seemed a necessity. So Tomdispatch ordered up a little dose of the recent past from the distant future -- a trick not normally easy to accomplish, but just about nothing is beyond Rebecca Solnit, this site's resident historian of hope...........

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE MUST READ

Ahh.....life is good

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 28

I just love these year end summaries.

Most outrageous comments of 2006 at Media Matters

Best Inventions 2006 by Time Magazine

NPR Listeners Pick the Best CDs of 2006

“Best of 2006 List” by Amazon

Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2006 by Juan Cole

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2006 by Project Censored

Top Ten Stories of 2006 from National Geographic News

Top Ten Environmental Stories of 2006 from the Gristmill

Bush's worst lies of 2006 by Eleanor Clift

From Foley to Frey: The Year in U.S. Scandals
from Alternet

I'll keep adding to the list. What else have you got?

Presidential News

Can you believe this was newsworthy?
Flash! President Bush Says He Reads Papers
That was the headline in a NYTimes article on the 25th.

Apparently Gerald Ford read the papers and strongly disagreed with Bush's war on Iraq. Sure. Now that comes out.

Yay. John Edwards threw his hat in the race. The blonde in me thinks that he will be soooo much easier on the eyes than the Chimp.

Be Very Afraid. Oy.

Have you been keeping up with the propaganda of the week and the ensuing war?

The NRA published a beautifully illustrated novella which points the finger at the real enemies of America: A rich Jewish Hungarian man, illegal immigrants including the dastardly Chinese, animal rights terrorists (women who don't shave their legs), the media, Democrats and so on.

Eclectics Anonymous summarizes the story nicely with links to the debate between Wonkette, Boing Boing, a DKos diarist and the PDF version of the novella concerning the reality of this magnificently concocted fear mongering by the NRA.

Wednesday, December 27

RIP Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford passed away at 93 years. I will remember him best for pardoning Nixon, for his wife Betty's women's rights activity and her alcoholism and drug addiction which led to the famous Betty Ford Center for Treatment of Chemical Dependency and for Chevy Chase' impression of him on Saturday Night Live.

The president had a sense of humor, however. Gerald Ford was the only president to open the show with "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night."

10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism

(A Provisional Metaphysical Theory of Everything)

[As regards] those who seek the right path. When one of them rejects anything as false, he will be lifted towards a better symbol which is nearer to the truth and is not open to that objection; and if he is satisfied with it, he will be left where he is. When that better symbol is also rejected by him as false, he will be lifted to another rank, and if he is then satisfied with it, he will be left where he is.

Whenever a symbol of a given standard is rejected by him as false, he will be lifted to a higher rank, but when he rejects all the symbols as false and has the strength and gift to understand the truth, he will be made to know the truth and will be placed into the class of those who take the philosophers as their authorities.

If he is not yet satisfied with that and desires to acquire philosophical wisdom and has himself the strength and gift for it, he will be made to know it.

Via God...

NOW I am able to go back to these next two "Christmas Messages" and not want to SCREAM to the world WTF?!? because it just ain't worth getting my blood boiling anymore -- it's not good for me! I'm really glad I read those words above before I started writing this post -- (it's much shorter now!!)

Pope says: Worship God not technology
(out of respect, no comment -- a picture says a thou$sand words

A warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury
(no comment out of respect to my elders -- and an even BETTER pic!)

Now HERE'S something for you two gents to think about --Religion does more harm than good says poll and I have come to this conclusion also. After much soul searching over the past few years about whether or not I, as a mother, should be providing my kids a religious (church) experience, I can now say I made the right choice. I am now seeing the wonderful, happy lives that my three children are experiencing as a result of not belonging to a religion.

This piece by Sam Harris is very timely for us. 10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism

The kids at school seem to be noticing that mine have been absent from CCD for a few years now. Quite a few comments have been made to them this past year about jerseycynic's family being atheists. Up until now, I've just told them to respond "yes, that's right; thank GOD I'm an atheist" and see if anybody gets it!
Now that they are older and able to communicate with their peers on a somewhat intelligent level now, I hope they are able to get these great points across. A lot of kids discuss their family's religious beliefs. It's about time my kids were able to discuss the real deal with friends who care to challenge their minds.

I thought these were great talking points:

Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so.


There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Tell people you are intellectually honest.

"Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows..."

"There is no question that some Christians have transformed their lives for the better by reading the Bible and praying to Jesus. What does this prove? It proves that certain disciplines of attention and codes of conduct can have a profound effect upon the human mind"

"From the atheist point of view, the world’s religions utterly trivialize the real beauty and immensity of the universe. One doesn’t have to accept anything on insufficient evidence to make such an observation..."


"In most cases, it seems that religion gives people bad reasons to behave well, when good reasons are actually available. Ask yourself, which is more moral, helping the poor out of concern for their suffering, or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it or will punish you for not doing it?"

"We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness."

Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

Tuesday, December 26

Now Can We Call It Even...And Start Picking Up the Pieces

Sometimes I don't even have the words to express the pain and horror I feel when I gaze at the headlines. I thought I would feel better after the elections but knowing how much damage can still be done and how much evil and destruction we need to repair just to get us back to where we 'used' to be...well it gets a bit overwhelming.

The big headlines this morning is that we have officially lost more soldiers in the war than we did civillians in the 9/11 attacks. Of course little if anything has been said in the American papers about the Iraqi CIVILLIANS who have died. I think we're between a quarter and half a million dead at this point. There is a call for an influx of new soldiers, supposedly a temporary one, but others say to beware, it won't be temporary at all. And I'm sure they will need those extra troops to keep what little order is left when Saddam is hung by the kangaroo court. Now don't get me wrong, he is a evil, cruel man - one who caused a great deal of pain, hardship and death and perhaps he deserves death or a life sentence ( don't have the strength to get into the pros/cons of death sentences at the moment) But I would feel a LOT more confident if his lawyers had been permitted to defend him to the best of their abilities and not been banned from the courtroom on several occasions. Not to mention the murder of his original lawyer and judge.

Meanwhile, as we have read in the posts below, Islands are disappearing, climates are changing radically, extinction is coming at a rapid rate, and many insurance companies are dropping their policies on coastal homes from Texas all the way up the Eastern Seaboard.

And what is our government doing? Its going on vaction to 'rethink' (read- hide) its talking head points on the 'war on terror', it is hiring lawyers in anticipation of all the inquiries and probes that the Democrats can launch against them.

And then today, Boxing Day, the 2 year anniversary of the monster tsunami that killed so many started with another potential disaster, a true disaster and news that neither of the previous disasters are even close to being taken care of.

So, what are we going to do about this? Any suggestions outside of a large, large glass of Guiness with a chaser on the side?

What's the doggie thinking?


The president went back to Texas to "rethink" the course in Iraq in light of the death sentence that came down for Saddam Hussein who will be hung in 30 days.

As we know from previous news stories, the president will not address the nation as to the new course until January 23rd because the WH didn't want the war to compete with college football.

Why I'm glad Christmas comes only once a year:

It seems like every year I always get stuck sitting around the dinner table next to this same old geezer who is a prime example of self-imposed ignorance and stupidity. Remind you of at least one friend/relative you see once a year at Christmas time? Anyway, this year he outdid himself. When I asked him, "What do you think of the situation in Beirut"?, he replied,
"I t'ink Babe Rut' was da greatest baseball player dat ever lived".

What did you want for Christmas that you didn't get?

I wanted someone to throw their hat in the ring for the '08 election that wouldn't make me have to hold my nose when I vote.

And I still haven't gotten my pony.
---------

And on a happier note, what did you get that totally surprised you in a good way?

I got to see a whole lot of relatives that I hadn't seen in years and it was ok.

Our fascists suck.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military on Tuesday announced the deaths of six more American soldiers, pushing the U.S. military death toll since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 to at least 2,978 — five more than the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean, but to me it means that we doubled the amount of people killed on 9/11 plus we actually made terrorism worse, not to mention we practically obliterated Iraq for no good reason and Afghanistan is worse than ever. Heck of a job, bushie.

And how about this waste by the lousy fascists?
WASHINGTON - The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition.

Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.
Can this administration do anything right?

And what is with this troop surge NOW? Why didn't they send in enough troops in the first place if they felt that they HAD to wage this war? The military should have recruited enough troops and have enough war gear ready BEFORE the US shocked and awed Iraq. Hell, even I figured that out 3 years ago. They are so useless. Some people try to tell me to this day how the war was so urgent. I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now.

And bush is contemplating giving $10billion for a New Deal project in Iraq that would put Iraqi's to work? Get the hell outta here. Why doesn't the US just flush it down the toilet? And why do I get the feeling that somehow the US corporations will benefit the most from this exercise? And why aren't there any New Deal projects in the US at this time? feh, on all of them.

Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag

One good thing about the olden days: Radio stations and television variety shows didn't distinguish between musical genres so we all had a pretty good taste for all types of music unlike today where I am unfamiliar with a lot of popular music and lack an appreciation for it.

The clock radio went off on Christmas morning and the DJ's were talking about the passing of James Brown. What a great loss to the music world. I've enjoyed him and his music for most of my life.

Yesterday, I was picturing my family watching Ed Sullivan way back when and seeing the Godfather of Soul come into our living room and singing his brand of funky gospel blues called "soul" at the time and watching this skinny black man with his white man's hair, move his feet like nothing I had ever seen before. All those "Ow's" and "Ooh's"- no one did it like James.

This morning I found James Brown on You Tube from the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. Enjoy. (Lots more where that came from.)

If we could just figure out a way to move Crawford, TX to the middle of the ocean...

For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas.

That's the headline. Here's a couple of quotes:
"The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true."

"As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities."


The aptly named Independent has the rest and a hat tip to Chris at Americablog.

Monday, December 25

From Our Barn To Yours


The world today measures success in how much wealth we can acquire. The rich and famous are often placed on pedestals and admired by millions for their accomplishments. I tend to agree with Albert Einstein when he said, "A successful man is he who receives a great deal from his fellowmen, usually incomparably more than corresponds to his service to them. The value of a man, however, should be seen in what he gives and not what he is able to receive."

In your own search for success, I urge you to hear these words: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!

O What a Difference a Key Change Makes

Here's a cute (and menacing) twist on Christmas Carols....

Check out a great video from PandaSmash.com... it's called "Evil Christmas Carols (Volume 1)"... click here to check it out.


Merry Xmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Holidays to all

Sunday, December 24

The Gift Outright

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

-- Robert Frost

Merry Christmas to all blond bloggers!

Some Holiday Time Wasters

Just milling about, waiting for relatives to show up or the baking to be done?

Here are a few time wasters to keep you busy and somewhat sane during the oft frantic and stressful holidays.

Write a Presidential Speech , Not quite a game but useful in the mall parking lot, then there is Rock, Paper, Saddam, Oh and don't forget to celebrate the FSM yule time feast day, 'holiday', - get we get a rAmen?

Once the relatives arrive you can get them a Psych eval via Dr. Seuss., also specifically for some of those relatives; hitman the online version. If you are like me and have to put up with one or two exteme bible literalist who claim that the Bible predicts everything, explain to them that so does Moby Dick and let the fun ensue. Your relatives a little cooler than that? Maybe old D&D players from way back? Try the 8bit version for old times sake.

Maybe mess around with some 'will they notice its not the real stuff' ads. Or make them a new year calendar with all those 'important' dates already on it. And to top off the night, a little Monty.


Hope everyone has a happy, safe and relaxing few days off with loved ones and a bit of peace.

Saturday, December 23

Holiday Weekend Open House



Stop in, have a drink and leave a link.
Click for larger image of photo.

A Parable For Our Times - by Bill Moyers

In today's America, as it was in ancient Galilee, we must fight for a more equal society.

My Christmas wish:

I wish that ALL 'men of the cloth' (especially the RC priests) across this magnificent earth that we ALL inhabit would read this during their Sunday sermons.

The Christian story begins simply:

Friday, December 22

Scared Yet?

Some people are. So scared they don't even take vacation time they have coming. Courtesy of Patricia of Lone Tree who brought it to my attention, I offer an article entitled, "Are your vacation days numbered?" which contains such nuggets as:

"With the downsizing and companies being leaner in terms of the staffing, ... companies are trying to do more with less, and people are busier than ever,"

"On average, Americans will give up four vacation days this year, one more than last year."

"Experts say Americans are not fully taking advantage of their vacations because they are more insecure about their jobs. Some of them feel that if they take all their vacation, especially in large chunks, they will be looked upon negatively by their boss."


Final economic suggestion (for this post): Instead of buying a fancy-dancy can opener and presenting it to your loved one for Christmas, buy a couple of cases of Aldi's pork and beans and use your old opener to open the cans; then consume the contents right out of the can, preferably with a wooden spoon.

"Population Reduction" plan seems to be working:

"Iraq is "worth the investment" in American lives and dollars, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday."


Veterans Affairs secretary indicates support for military draft


Experts Predict Avian Flu Pandemic Could Kill 62 Million People


Pandemic Flu Similar to 1918 Would Kill 62 Million

Now this is a war on christmas



By night, they are tremendous and throbbing. By day, they lie strewn across suburban lawns like spent condoms and deflated egos.

It didn't take this article in the NY Times to tell me that inflatable christmas decorations are this year's landscape spoilers for lazy Long Islanders.

Is your neighborhood taken over by inflatable christmas decorations? And if so, what does this mean?

Another Friday, Another Excommunication

If you grew up Catholic, January 1st was a holy day of obligation (meaning if you didn't go to Mass, then it's a mortal sin and you will go to hell) because it was the Feast of the Circumcision. Looking back, it was kind of creepy, but then again, there were a lot of weird and paranormal holy days that were observed. If we giggled while the nuns explained a particular practice or observance, we were quickly admonished and warned of that special place in hell for Catholic boys and girls who asked questions. Our parents couldn't explain any of the weirdness to us, "Be quiet and put on your church clothes or we'll be late for mass." When I finally learned what a circumcision was, I paid attention at Mass that time, but the priest didn't talk about Jesus' foreskin at all. You weren't allowed to mention Jesus and penis in the same sentence when I was growing up.

I was over at Jesus' General and read his letter concerning the Holy Prepuce (Holy Foreskin) being stolen and it not being mentioned in the mass media for lo these past 23 years. It got me giggling like a Catholic school girl again. It seems that in 1983, the holy foreskin wasn't going to be available for devotion and procession that year because someone stole it out of the priests' closet. Some say that it was stolen by the Vatican because no one was supposed to use the words penis and Jesus in the same sentence. oops

As a matter of fact, in 1900, the Vatican supposedly decreed that if anyone were to write or speak of the holy foreskin, they would be excommunicated. So there you go. I guess I'm excommunicated again.

would you, Mr. President, volunteer for duty in Iraq?

Mr. Bush dodged the draft in his own class conscious, "the rules are for suckers" manner. It is true that former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes pulled strings to get Bush into the Texas Air National Guard. Barnes openly discussed what he had done for Bush and others who were well connected enough to avoid the draft. My hat is off to anyone who refused to go to that illegal war, but Bush didn't object to the war on moral or religious grounds. He supported the war, particularly if he didn't have to fight in it.George_bush_uniform

He had famously commented that he learned from the Vietnam War that politicians defer to the generals in the field. That presidents should listen to and respond to their generals. Politics shouldn't be a part of warfare.

No American president, as commander in chief, allows generals to run a war. (Isn't he the decider?) And evidently Bush isn't taking any advice from his own generals in Iraq. Two generals on the ground in Iraq would rather retire than accept an increase in troops in Iraq which they oppose. Some military officials have suggested that sending more troops into Iraq will cause harm to an already heavily stressed, all volunteer army.

But for heaven's sake, don't suggest a draft. The day after Bush suggested that he was considering sending more troops to Iraq, Bush's own Secretary of Veteran's Affairs Jim Nicholson commented that a draft would be good for America and then quickly backed away from his own statement, no doubt after a come to Jesus discussion with the White House, and said that he didn't support a draft.

If Bush was in his twenties again, would he volunteer for duty in Iraq?

Thursday, December 21

christmas presents a la blondesense

Cheap Date

I don't know if I was just slap happy or what, but while I was making elegantly beaded christmas presents yesterday, I came up with these wine charms. I just may keep them for myself and use them the next time I entertain... or maybe I will make more and give them as gifts.

(They are put around the stems of wine glasses for identification at a gathering where the guests are tight and can't remember which glass is theirs.)

PS: I posted some pictures of some of the other wine charms I have been working on at the Blondesense Annex.
Warning: Page is graphics intensive.

Who thought manholes could be so artistic?


You really have to hand it to them. This is a fine example of manhole art found in Japan. Wanna see more? Sure you do. Damn Cool Pics Blog

He wanted to mourn his wife before the holidays, so he wanted the murder over with fast

A snippet of life from my neck of the woods...

Excerpt from today's Newsday:
He started by asking a friend to kill her, they said. When that didn't work, Paul, 31, of 2431 Cliff Lane, North Bellmore, arranged to meet a hit man in a McDonald's restaurant parking lot in Uniondale. There, with his 3-year-old son in his car, Paul agreed to pay the man $200,000 to follow his wife to Manhattan today and stab her through the heart, prosecutors said.

There was just one problem: The hit man was a cop.

Paul said he wanted to mourn his wife before the holidays, so he wanted the murder over with fast, said District Attorney Kathleen Rice. He said his wife, who works for Cablevision, was heading into Manhattan to get a passport today, and that the undercover detective should follow her and stab her there, where crime is more prevalent, the prosecutors said.

Late Tuesday night, when Paul returned to the parking lot to give the man money for the job, he was arrested and charged with second-degree conspiracy. His unsuspecting wife, Tina, filed a missing person report when her husband didn't come home Tuesday night.
"Unsuspecting wife" is some understatement.

Welcome to my "Church of What's Happening NOW!

I'm still trying to put together our family's Christmas celebration (I'm the hostess this year -- lucky me!)

At present, none of them can give me a 'good time' to start the festivities because they're all still arguing over what mass and which church to attend. This is a MAJOR deal in my family, as most of them bitch and moan about all the "once-a-year attendees" that crowd their church and how they will have to get there an hour ahead of time to get a good seat and how they'll all probably catch a nasty cold during the sign of peace. This will be the first year I don't make an appearance. It's about time I gave up 5 seats! I probably only attended in recent years just so I could join in on the decision, and complicate it even more. I am sooooo tempted to offer them to attend MY 'church' this year -- Mass begins whenever you get here!

I was hoping to dig up a youtube video of
The Flip Wilson Show and have Reverend Leroy playing as they arrived. No such luck. (I'm such a trouble maker.) For the best, I guess. Apparently, it's only available to purchase on DVD. Too bad! I never realized that the Flip Wilson show was eventually cancelled because he wanted too much money. I wonder who owns the rights now?

Flip Wilson, Johnny Carson and Jonathan Winters were my abosolute favorites as a kid. Look what I happend upon while searching youtube: Flip Wilson on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965
CLASSIC -- still LMAO!

I think I'll keep the peace this year and tell them whatever works for them -- don't worry about us --we'll fit mass in around their schedules. Maybe I'll come down with a cold, and spare all the parishioners my germs (wink wink).

The one common ground we all seem to share is The Late Show with Johnny. I'm going to keep a lid on it this year and play the many episodes that are now showing up on youtube -- Rickles, Gleason, Winters, Newhart. So many!! We're going to have some good laughs. It should be a great time!

If you click on this video, it will bring up all of the episodes.

Johnny Carson - "What I have Learned"


HAPPY SOLSTICE to my all my BFF(s) at Blondesense and BigBrassBlog

Happy Winter Solstice

The days are getting longer again, and that's always a cheerful thought.

History Repeating Itself Again

I'd like to show you an excerpt (so that you'll read the whole article) from Madison’s Ghost on The Intoxicated Presidency – and its Corporate Support Group by Thom Hartmann, published on October 25th, 2002 in Common Dreams. (At this point in time, we aren't absolutely sure that Bush will invade Iraq)
"Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag (Parliament) building by a deranged Dutchman to declare a “war on terrorism,” establish his legitimacy as a leader (even though he hadn’t won a majority in the previous election).

“You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history,” he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. “This fire,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion, “is the beginning.” He used the occasion – “a sign from God,” he called it – to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their “evil” deeds in their religion.

Two weeks later, the first prison for terrorists was built in Oranianberg, holding the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the nation’s flag was everywhere, even printed in newspapers suitable for display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation’s now-popular leader had pushed through legislation, in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it, that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people’s homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic “Decree on the Protection of People and State” passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack on the Reichstag building was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained.

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. Instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as The Fatherland. As hoped, people’s hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was “the” homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands.

Within a year of the terrorist attack, Hitler’s advisors determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, including those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist sympathizers. He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the Fatherland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single powerful leader.

Most Americans remember his Office of Fatherland Security, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and Schutzstaffel, simply by its most famous agency’s initials: the SS.

And, perhaps most important, he invited his supporters in industry into the halls of government to help build his new detention camps, his new military, and his new empire which was to herald a thousand years of peace. Industry and government worked hand-in-glove, in a new type of pseudo-democracy first proposed by Mussolini and sustained by war.

This wasn’t a new lesson, however, and neither Orwell nor Hitler were the first to note that a democracy at war was weakened and at risk.
Chillingly familiar isn't it? (I heard Thom Hartmann on Air America yesterday reading something like this and I really thought he was talking about the US.)

Eisenhower then warned of the military industrial complex.
"As Eisenhower said in an April, 1953 speech: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

It was a brilliant articulation of human needs in a world increasingly dominated by the non-breathing entities called corporations whose values are profit and growth but not the human values of fresh air, clean water, pure food, freedom, and happiness. But it was a call unheeded and, today, it is nearly totally forgotten.

Reflecting on Eisenhower’s time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the Germany democracy had become through Hitler’s close alliance with the German military and industrial complex: “fas-cism (fâsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

A related article by Thom Hartmann, you will like is The Myth of National Victimhood - All Wrapped and Delivered for Christmas.
How the neo-cons use Hitler's trick of pointing to a "them" (Jews) out there who are destroying the nation's moral fiber:
This is an old trick, and one the cons know is very difficult to counter. Consider what happened when German militarism in WWI led, through the punishing Treaty of Versailles and then later the Great Depression, to the collapse of the German economy in the 1920s and early 1930s. Hitler couldn't blame the militarists and corporatist conservatives who had led his nation into WWI and mismanaged the economy afterwards, so he pointed to the Jews as the "them" responsible for the problems in German society.
Just substitute "liberal" for "Jew" and there is a clear picture of America today. (I noticed that Bill O'Lielly does it all the time.) There are lots of good related articles by Hartmann here.

Wednesday, December 20

Ah yes.....1984 IS...... finally here!

Bush Admin: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us
(from TPMmuckraker) and also from the carpetbaggerreport: Keeping Iraq attack numbers under wrap.

Of course, this does fit nicely into the Bush administration’s m.o. — when data is inconvenient, hide it.

* In March, the administration announced it would no longer produce the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, which identifies which programs best assist low-income families, while also tracking health insurance coverage and child support.

* In 2005, after a government report showed an increase in terrorism around the world, the administration announced it would stop publishing its annual report on international terrorism.

* After the Bureau of Labor Statistics uncovered discouraging data about factory closings in the U.S., the administration announced it would stop publishing information about factory closings.

* When an annual report called “Budget Information for States” showed the federal government shortchanging states in the midst of fiscal crises, Bush’s Office of Management and Budget announced it was discontinuing the report, which some said was the only source for comprehensive data on state funding from the federal government.

* When Bush’s Department of Education found that charter schools were underperforming, the administration said it would sharply cut back on the information it collects about charter schools.

When government reports conflict with the White House’s, the Bush gang has a choice — deal with the problem or change the reports. Guess which course they prefer?
-----------------------------------

TMPMuckraker continues carpetbagger's list below and is looking for additions.

Update:

* The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has to date failed to produce a congressionally-mandated report on climate change that was due in 2004. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has called the failure an "obfuscation."

* The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to close several libraries which were used by researchers and scientists. The agency called its decision a cost-cutting measure, but a 2004 report showed that the facilities actually brought the EPA a $7.5 million surplus annually.

* On November 1st, 2001, President Bush issued an executive order limiting the public's access to presidential records. The order undermined the 1978 Presidential Records Act, which required the release of those records after 12 years. Bush's order prevented the release of "68,000 pages of confidential communications between President Ronald Reagan and his advisers," some of whom had positions in the Bush Administration. More here. (Thanks to Roger A. and nitpicker below.) Update: TPMm Reader JP writes in to point out that Bush did the same thing with his papers from the Texas governorship.

* A rule change at the U.S. Geological Survey restricts agency scientists from publishing or discussing research without that information first being screened by higher-ups at the agency. Special screening will be given to "findings or data that may be especially newsworthy, have an impact on government policy, or contradict previous public understanding to ensure that proper officials are notified and that communication strategies are developed." The scientists at the USGS cover such controversial topics as global warming. Before, studies were released after an anonymous peer review of the research. (Thanks to Alison below.)

* A new policy at the The U.S. Forest Service means the agency no longer will generate environmental impact statements for "its long-term plans for America's national forests and grasslands." It also "no longer will allow the public to appeal on long-term plans for those forests, but instead will invite participation in planning from the outset." (Thanks to libra below.)

* In March 2006, the Department of Health and Human Services took down a six-year-old Web site devoted to substance abuse and treatment information for gays and lesbians, after members of the conservative Family Research Council complained.

* In 2002, HHS removed information from its Web site pertaining to risky sexual behavior among adolescents, condom use and HIV.

* Also in 2002, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission removed from its Web site a document showing that officials found large gaps in a portion of an aging Montana dam. A FERC official said the deletion was for "national security."

* In 2004, the FBI attempted to retroactively classify public information regarding the case of bureau whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, including a series of letters between the Justice Department and several senators.

* In October 2003, the Bush administration banned photographs depicting servicemembers' coffins returning from overseas.

* In December 2002, the administration curtailed funding to the Mass-Layoffs Statistics program, which released monthly data on the number and size of layoffs by U.S. companies. His father attempted to kill the same program in 1992, but Clinton revived it when he assumed the presidency.

* In 2004, the Internal Revenue Service stopped providing data demonstrating the level of its job performance. In 2006, a judge forced the IRS to provide the information.


(ALL LINKS TO ABOVE EXAMPLES ARE AT BOTH SITES)

E-mail, or print and snailmail it to your congresscritters today

I wonder what Lloyd BLANKcheckFEINd has on Henry Paulson....

Goldman Sachs breaks Wall Street bonus record, pays CEO $53.4M


The bonanza for Blankfein included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, with the rest paid in stock and options. He took the helm of the investment bank in June after President Bush nominated Henry Paulson to be Treasury secretary.

Freedom Tower?

UPDATE Wed, Dec 21st: In today's Newsday you can read Wrong-way flag yanked at WTC site. The flag was displayed backwards on the beam. Thankfully, there are enough Americans who love the flag to have noticed this disgraceful faux pas. Sadly, I missed it.

If you click on the image below, you can see the US Flag on the beam as it appeared yesterday.


The first beam of the "Freedom Tower" was erected at ground zero in NYC consisting of thousands of signatures. It will be completed by 2011.

How Tainted is our Collective Soul?

There are 2,243,040 people in US prisons. We have the highest percentage of the population imprisoned in the whole wide world. We even beat the bad guys!

Black men are hardly our biggest problem in America, but under George Bush, we beat out encarcerating black men against South Africa in 1993 under apartheid:
US in 2004: 4,919 per 100,000
SA in 1993: 851 per 100,000
(stats via prisonsucks.com)

We execute more white people than blacks though. White people are more likely to be serial killers. The Europeans called for a ban on executions. Here, more than 60% of the populace endorse it. Probably because we discuss who we are killing, not who is doing the killing. We are not number one in worldwide executions, but we share the stage with such luminary countries as Sudan, Kuwait, China, and republics of the former Soviet Union. (link)

So is it really hard to believe, when you read these days, that we're the number one torturers in the world and we are able to break a human being better than anyone else without even killing him? And if you ask around, like I have been doing lately, this doesn't seem to even bother a lot of people. They say that they don't want to be mugged or terrorized. It has never occured to them that giving equal opportunities to all people may reduce crime and terrorism. Or maybe it has, but they don't care.

If you read some right wing blogs, you'll see that the thirst for blood still runs strong. The consensus is that we haven't bombed the shit out of enough middle eastern countries to date. Maybe I don't care enough either because I haven't organized a nationwide outrage. I really do care though. I am outspoken and all it gets me are more enemies.

How sad it is to read this article by George Monbiot of The Guardian (UK): Torture Is Now Part of the American Soul. I want to cry out and say, No! Not my soul! But we've been taught to affect change at the voting booth, not to rally in the streets (because we are so civilized.) But we only have the choice between worse and worser on election day.

Please do read the article by Monbiot which details what the US has done to Jose Padilla and what goes on in our prisons (some things that are rarely ever done in a democracy.) This is what he concludes and he's sadly not mistaken:
President Bush maintains that he is fighting a war against threats to the "values of civilized nations": terror, cruelty, barbarism and extremism. He asked his nation's interrogators to discover where these evils are hidden. They should congratulate themselves. They appear to have succeeded.


PS: Check out this article about differences between men and women when it comes to the joys of punishement: Men Are From Vengeance

And this one: In Men, 'Trigger-Happy' May Be a Hormonal Impulse

Reality Check

So if 95% of Americans have had premarital sex, whose big idea is it to fund abstinence only education and who the hell do they think they're kidding? This is nothing new either. I wish someone would just cut the crap already.

In the past 10 years though, the self-reported practice of oral sex has doubled for 12-25 year olds. It hasn't slowed down the incidence of STD's. But perhaps young people are trying to avoid unwanted pregnancy... or perhaps they just like it. Oh wait. I know. Monica Lewinsky.

Tuesday, December 19

The Mark of Cheney: A Rotting Corpse

Wonkette has the scoop on the greatest scandal in DC. Bambi has been decomposing on the side of the road in Cheney's compound next to the Naval Observatory and nothing has been done about. Speculation on how Dick Cheney killed the deer are unclear because guns aren't allowed in DC. It is suggested that perhaps he just strangled it with his bare hands.

The comments just made me LOL.
"Everyone is saying that the shooter was on top of the observatory in front of him, but then the head would be forward, and to the right after the shot. Look at this picture. the head is back, and to the left......back and to the left. It's obvious that the shot came from behind him on the grassy yard across the street. Back, and to the left.....back, and to the left."

"I heard the Navy forensic team discovered Cheney's semen in the deer."

"Cheney shot it? Feh. He beat it to death with his massive penis."

"anybody check the corpse for polonium?"

The Santa Claus Test for Radical Extremists

Radical religious extremism is like bad breath: it’s impossible for those with it to smell their own condition. But others can smell it plenty!


The Essence of all Religion
The Golden Rule is the fundamental moral principle found in virtually all major religions:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Moses

“What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.” ~Confucius

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” ~Jesus

“Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” ~Muhammad

And yet, all religions have extremists who repeatedly strive to break this Golden Rule.

All religions, that is, except one…

Santa Claus as Religion

There are people who are convinced that Santa is real. There are people who are sure he’s only make-believe. Unlike with other religions, believers and nonbelievers aren’t killing each over the truth about Santa Claus.

So, how can you tell when you, or someone else, have crossed the thin line between embracing spiritual traditions and violating common standards of ethics and recipocity?

Have no fear, because the

Santa Claus Test for Radical Religious Extremism is here!

Whenever you, or someone else, refers to deity or dogma in conversation, replace said deity or dogma with “Santa Claus” and see if you sound Assholian.

From Hard-boiled Dreams of the World


Via Godisnotanasshole

A Legend Has Passed Away


When I heard on the news last night that Joseph Barbera had passed away, I commented to the husband, "He must have been a hundred years old!" Close. 95.

Then we got to reminiscing about silent cartoons that were on really early in the morning when we were kids: Koko the clown and Farmer Gray, not to mention we early rising kids also had the choice of watching American Farmer and Victory at Sea which were boring as hell and not animated. It was either that or test patterns. (Does anyone in the NY area remember this?)

I grew up deprived. We watched "The Wonderful World of Color" on Sunday nights in black and white. But then again, we also played outside because there wasn't much on television during the day except reruns of Lucy, The Gale Storm Show, Topper, The Bob Cummings Show and My Little Margie (how do I remember this? is my short term memory failing?) We ate a lot of crap (candy was cheap but made of real sugar) and we burned it off walking back and forth to the candy store, 5 miles in the snow, uphill both ways. We were lean and mean with rotten teeth. Kids today have no clue how lucky they are. We didn't even have a color TV until 1973 when I bought one for the family with my summer job money. My dad felt guilty and paid me back.

Where was I? Oh yes. Hannah/Barbera invented Tom and Jerry if you like cat and mouse cartoons, but they were best noted for their talkies that began in the 60's like the Flintstones and the Jetsons which were cartoon versions of the Honeymooners taking place in different eras but with the same premise: the buffoon husband and the sensible wife. Wonder what that was supposed to mean?

Business Opportunity?


Marijuana top US cash crop, analyst says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday.
...
The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion.

By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.

Gettman said the 10-fold increase in U.S. marijuana production, from 1,000 metric tons in 1981 to 10,000 metric tons in 2006, showed the country was failing to control marijuana by making its cultivation and use illegal.

The Second Revolution

Just surfing YouTubes replacement and came across this video, thought you all might enjoy it.








The Second Revolution

Monday, December 18

I Just Have To Ask:

Attacks in Iraq at record high: Pentagon

U.S. violent crimes jump in first half of 2006: FBI

SO, WHAT FUCKING GOOD ARE YOU, BUTTFUCKBOY?

How a Constipated Doll Baby Sabotoged the Hap-Hap Happiest Time of The Year

The scene on Christmas Day afternoon was straight out of a Norman Bates, er, Rockwell, portrait. There we all were: me, my husband, and our three-year-old, lovingly surrounded by assorted grandmothers, uncles, aunts, and cousins all staring, rapt, at the festively decorated dining table.

And there, in the center of the table,was no pineapple beringed ham or golden turkey but rather a foot-tall baby doll balance, but barely, on a too-small pink plastic potty.

"Why won't she go?" my brother-in-law moaned. He stepped forward and began to squeeze, pinch, and then pound Baby Born on her pink potty.

Aunts who had helped feed the doll, my daughter's only Santa request "because she performs seven bod-diddy fun-shuns," stood back and clucked their tongues. "Maybe she needs some prunes," one finally said, apparently serious.

The brother-in-law continued to pound Baby Born up and down on her potty. Saliva was now dripping from both corner of his mouth and his eyes gleamed like Jack Nicholson's in The Shining.

Baby Born had taken over our holiday and made us all a little crazy. She is made of had plastic, has slightly maniacal blue eyes, and isn't even fun to hold. She was one of the most in-demand toys that Christmas, leading me to realize that our wacky dining table scene was probably being repeated in hundreds of thousands of American households.

Baby came with instructions that you should only feed her the specially formulated cereal (sample packets included) before sitting her on her magic pink potty and waiting for nature, or something like it, to take its course.

There was a warning: "If Baby Born does not go on her potty, push her down and hold her in position until she is finished. Do not let go!"

I could only imagine what horror would ensue if we let go, so, like paramedics doing CPR, one member of the family would hold on to Baby Born until they got tired and another would take over immediately.

As my brother-in-law continued to pound away, my daughter began to cry. "You're hurting her," she wailed.

"Don't----be----ridiculous," he panted through clenched teeth. His voice got all high and squeaky then. "Baby Born likes the trampoline jump, don't you, Baby Born, don't you? Oh, yes um do."

Okay, so he'd lost his mind.

With several aunts taking turns, we decided to try to get Baby Born to at least cry real tears As Seen on TV.

When she couldn't even do that, I felt like crying a few of my own. For damned near fifty bucks, Baby Born should perform a least two of the seven fun-shuns.

"Seven?" my husband mused. "That's more than I got, I'm pretty sure." The aunts laughed at this so he said it a few more times.

The instructions advised that Baby Born would need to be rinsed frequently so she "would not be allowed to grown moldy inside."

Oh, great. Instead of a precious doll for my daughter to cuddle with a at night, I was going to wrap her arms around a fungal, constipated, and vastly overpriced piece of plastic.

The instructions further advised that, in the event of a blockage, you should "shake her vigorously in all directions, set her on the special potty, and repeat the entire procedure several times." Note to self: Postpone life.

We worked on this until late into the evening. Finally, six hours behind schedule, we sat down to a proper Christmas dinner. At my daughter's tearstained request, Baby Born sat in her own chair, smirking I thought, as her place a the table meant the brother-in-law had to balance his plate on a tiny Hollie Hobbie TV tray that one of the aunts found rusting behind the dryer.

I believe that if he could have, he would've taken Baby Born for a long drive into the country that cold December night.

Over the next few months, we tried, in vain, to get Baby Bitch, as I took to calling her, to do anything at all except sit there and look snotty.

She didn't pee or poop, she didn't cry "real ," she didn't squeal "bah!" when you lifted her arm . She didn't do shit.

The directions were very specific about never giving Baby Born anything but water in her useless specially designed bottle. Lemonade, tea, or "even milk" would damage the "intricate interior workings" of the doll.

One day my daughter and her little friend were giving Baby Born some orange juice, although I'd told them she could only have water. She had so much damned water sloshing in her now that she sounded like a coconut when you shook her. Which I had taken to doing lot lately.

"What are you doing?" I shrieked. "You know she's not supposed to have juice. It will make her sticky inside."

"So what? my daughter asked.
"Good point. Carry on."

The Iranians love Ahmadinejad almost as much as Americans love Bush.

Despite the election disappointment for Ahmadinejad, there won't be a shift in Iranian foreign policy. This story sounds so familiar. I wonder why?

Another kick in the butt for the chimp (not that he cares)

This is sort of uplifting.

Southern Methodist University in Texas is one of 3 schools which may host the GWB library. Faculty, adminstrators and staff of SMU's Perkins School of Theology have protested the library in a letter to SMU's president:
...regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious: degradation of habeas corpus, outright denial of global warming, flagrant disregard for international treaties, alienation of long-term U.S. allies, environmental predation, shameful disrespect for gay persons and their rights, a pre-emptive war based on false and misleading premises, and a host of other erosions of respect for the global human community and for this good Earth on which our flourishing depends.
Furthermore, two graduates of the school say they will lobby to have "Methodist" removed from the school's name if the library is put there.

I wonder if winter will come this year

I've been christmas shopping all morning and boy are my fingers tired... now my index finger has a twitching thing. It's a pain to shop on Long Island.

Speaking of Long Island, it's been downright balmy here. The grass is still green. My neighbor washed her car in her driveway yesterday. All we need are palm trees. It doesn't feel like Christmas. The awning came down over the weekend (just in case it ever snows) and we were packing up the summer stuff from the backyard as if it was October. I have a little bit more to do today and since it will be in the 60's it's not a problem. The husband found a nest of 'possums living in the shed yesterday when he was putting the awning away. They were evicted. I think they were intending to hibernate but it was too warm.

In Russia, it's balmy too. The animals think it's spring and are smooching it up way too soon. The smokers haven't quit smoking because it's still nice outside. There's a good article in the SF chronicle on how the climate change is affecting animal and bird migration and hibernation. They think it's spring but the insects, flowers and trees aren't on the same schedule.

Skiing in Europe sucks this year due to climate change or whatever you want to call it. It's being called a "snow crisis". That may be good news for the American skiing industry. Kenya's Mt Kilimanjaro hasn't much snow, so don't think you can go there either. Come on over Europeans- the dollar is cheap and there's still snow in our mountains somewhere. Spend spend spend. (Sorry about the airport fiasco, but we have to endure it too.)

Meanwhile car makers are fighting a global warming lawsuit in California. They don't believe that they are harming human health and the environment by producing heat trapping gasses. The technology is there for manufacturers to make more environmentally friendly automobiles but auto makers say the only way that they will make these cars is if the feds dictate stricter fuel-economy standards. But will they?

Years ago when there were fuel-economy standards, I asked the husband, who worked for Ford at the time, about his demo car which was a huge burgundy thing (slept 6)... the kind that old people in Florida drive, and he said they were making them in Windsor, Canada therefore they are not subject to U.S. fuel-economy standards.

So how's your climate? Typical? Strange?

Sunday, December 17

Does This Saddle Make My Butt Look Too Big?

A Christmas Tradition

Around five years ago, I started what is becoming a bit of a Christmas tradition around the Red State Blues household. I found myself wandering aimlessly around a department store looking for a little something for this friend or that friend, and I was disgusted at the notion of ending up with some little geegaw or other (probably made in China) that I wasn't sure the friend would like or want or need. What could I do, I thought, to bring a little of the personal, to give my friends something that could come only from me?

Growing up, I was never much of a baker. (Not much of a cook of any kind, really.) I never spent time with my mother in the kitchen learning how to make that fabulous pie crust, though Red State's momma made one mean apple pie. But over the last five years, I have developed a love for baking, especially cookies. My kids' friends actually call me periodically to see whether I have any freshly made cookies; if the answer is yes, I can expect a visit from them that day, with or without my kids in tow. When the cookies would go in my kids school lunch, I'd have to send extras for their friends.

So, cookies for friends and their families around Christmastime seemed a natural fit. Every year the Washington Post runs a cookie edition in the Food Section during the weeks before Christmas, so I would pick five or six recipes (as well as three or four others that have become old stand-bys), spend a weekend in my kitchen baking up batch after batch of all kinds of cookies, fill up little baskets for each of my friends, and deliver them. When I did it the first time, the feedback from my friends was encouraging, so I kept it up. This is my baking weekend this year. I spent yesterday up to my elbows in flour and baker's chocolate and lemon zest, and will do so again today.

On Friday I sent an email to my friend S. to make sure she would be home to receive her cookie delivery tonight. The email I got back said the following:

"I will be home and this may be good timing. My Mom and I are going to try to arrange a few bakers to help us bake for the injured at Walter Reed. Mom and Dad were out there last week visiting a family friend who unfortunately died but while there Mom said it was just heartbreaking to see the injured soldiers. She is checking with Walter Reed to see what if any rules they have for this and she and Dad will do the delivering. I'll let you know what they find out and maybe you will have a couple of cookies that will freeze for a few days? It really breaks your heart to see the suffering caused by that idiot in the White House."

It will, of course, be a real privilege for me to participate.

We have talked a lot here at BlondeSense about how poorly the returning veterans are treated by this (mal)administration. How "out of sight, out of mind" the true sufferings of the injured and maimed soldiers are. How John and Jane Q. Public show their "support" for the soldiers by slapping yellow Made in China ribbons on their cars. I personally don't know anyone serving in Iraq, but I appreciate the opportunity to show, in my very small way, that I feel so badly that these young men and women were served so very poorly by their political masters. And maybe the joy I feel in sending off a few meager batches of cookies is only a sauve for my conscience, but it's what I, as a single person, can do. (I never wanted this stupid war anyway.) I just hope they make someone smile.

Is there something you can do, too? Is there someway you can reach out? Send a Christmas card? Send some candy, or cookies, or flowers? Please think about it.

By the way, the Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich cookies from this year's edition are delicious. Now, back to the kitchen.

Is This A Joke?

New Counterinsurgency Field Manual Hits Net

Now you and everyone, including Al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents, can read the entire 282-page manual.

What a Tool

Former President George H.W. Bush on Hillary Clinton if she runs in 2008:
"I'll be back on the other side and I will be trying to beat the hell out of her if possibly I can. So that's the American politics."


There's just something about Republican politicians. Their eyes are empty. They are soul-less. Politics for them is a game. It's about winning. It's about strategy. Dirty tricks aren't out of the question. It's not about serving their country- it's the power. And it's a boys club.

YOU are Time's Person of the Year


If you use or create content on the web, then you are it.
Congratulations everyone.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 16

Steppin' out - Saturday Night!

Well.....

Maybe not this Saturday night for me. I'm exhausted, so I think I'll just sit here a tap my feet tonight.

I just love Bill Haley!

My dad used to cut a mean rug when we were growing up. He taught me all of these dance moves as a kid. I just loved getting airborne, as most kids do.

Unfortunately, I'd probably be in traction for 6 months if I attempted these moves today!!

Watch this "infamous" and "barbaric" scene from the 1956 movie 'Rock Around The Clock'
Razzle Dazzle

and my FAVORITE song --

I know I would have been sneaking out to RIP IT UP had I been a kid back then. What a time it must have been!!

The Corksoaker

from a youtube poster:

"this is a hillarious clip featuring "jimmy falon" you will piss yourself!!!!!!! ..."The Corksoaker

(You'll definitely launch a lougie watching this one!)

It looks like a homemade video off of the teevee, and then posted.

HURRY -- I have a feeeling they'll (network) make them yank it. It's BRILLIANT..

Like Totally Blonde Editorial

UPDATE: John Edwards threw in his hat once again.
UPDATE: Barack Obama Worries about being shot.

I'm just going to go totally blonde bimbo here for a moment and lament Senator Evan Bayh's decision to drop out of the race for democratic nominee for president. He is such a pleasant looking man. Isn't he? Almost John Edwards-ish. I kind of like that boyish thing he's got going- I liked that in Bill Clinton too. Republicans probably hate that because their candidates are so unpleasant to look at. But then again, I always thought that John Kerry looked like he was melting before he got his face done.
/shallowness

Sen. Bayh dropped out because he didn't get much of a response in New Hampshire due to Barack Obama's popularity. I think Senator Bayh, ought to reconsider. Look what happened to Howard Dean. I wouldn't trust what happened in New Hampshire as an indicator of who's going to become the official nominee.

According to the news, there was a huge Barack Obama frenzy in New Hampshire this past week. It worrys me that Obama may just turn out to be another "looks French" John Kerry. With the media ultimately controlling public opinion through lies and manipulation, I hope that other fine Democratic candidates would consider staying in the race (even not so cute ones)... just in case. You'll see why in the next paragraph.

How to undermine a Democratic candidate 101:
This is the type of crap that the media presented to Americans despite Senator Obama's success in New Hampshire:

No sense mentioning how wonderfully Obama was doing in New Hampshire. And it's politically incorrect to suggest that Sen. Obama "looks black"... but "everyone" hates Muslims! Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. Let's not only mention it on the news, says CNN, let's do a split screen showing America's arch enemy, Saddam Hussein alongside Senator Obama so we can imprint it in the minds of the sheeple.


Double Whammy- His name rhymes with Osama!
Obama-Osama. CNN insists that the two be shown side by side for emphasis. Not that they have anything in common- in case you haven't played the name game, CNN just wants to give you a suggestion. This is worse than the Dean scream.

I don't know folks. I wouldn't get my hopes up about any candidate until the media is finished smearing them. This smearing isn't just on CNN. MSNBC and of course government mouthpiece FOX are on the bandwagon. Evan Bayh shouldn't give up yet.

Everything you know about SEX is WRONG

Belated 'Mandatory Friday Sex Post' --

"The SATURDAY AFTER....." (A group effort?)

The disinformation guide to the extremes of human sexuality, (and everything in between) Edited by Russ Kick

Has anyone read the book?
If so, please leave some details for us in the comment section!!!

Here is Russ Kick's site: The Memory Hole

Psst.....
BONUS
(Pics of Rare Erotica)

Liz -- I hope you don't get fined!!

Wanted: Competent Executioners

"What happened to the good old days of hangings, beheadings and firing squads?" she asked her readers with her glorious tongue firmly planted in her rosy cheek, "You just can't get good executioners these days. They must all be union men."

Have you been reading about the unusual pain and suffering of those being executed must endure? It's so bad that last week in Missouri, the injection method of execution was declared unconstitutional, it was stopped last February in California and now Florida has followed suit. It appears that no medical professionals want to assist executioners to ensure that they have mixed the death potions properly and administer them properly. And gee, I wonder why. I guess it's hard work to get executioners to do their jobs properly and all I can say is duh.

This leads me to another interesting story in the news about the goode olde days when hangings were the preferred method of execution. People used to come from miles around and bring the kids and the family dog to watch a good hanging. Then they'd all have a celebration and pat the kids on their heads knowing that this was a good way of ensuring that their children didn't break the law. Between reading the bible and watching a hanging, kids were taught to stay in line.

In Illinois, the last hanging took place almost 80 years ago. The granddaughter of the sheriff who supervised the final hanging has started a legal battle where she insists that she is the rightful heir to the noose that hung the last man in Illinois and not the county jail. Presently the county jail has all sorts of memorabilia of its last bad guy to be hanged, the smiling Charlie Berger. See photo on left. (more authentic pictures of the execution here).

The granddaughter of the sheriff who wants the noose says, "It's part of my family's heritage. If I let it go now, I'll never see it again."

Indeed.

This has been another presentation of "Our Country's Glorious Heritage" presented by the blonde folks at blondesense.