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Monday, August 31

Perfect Day

Music video to the 1997 BBC Children in Need charity single. A cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day".

Performed by (in order of appearance): Lou Reed, Bono, Skye Edwards (from Morcheeba), David Bowie, Suzanne Vega, Elton John, Sir Andrew Davis (conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Boyzone, Lesley Garrett, Burning Spear, Bono, Sir Thomas Allen, Brodsky Quartet, Heather Small (from M People), Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Shane MacGowan, Sheona White (BBC Young Brass Soloist of the Year 1996), Dr. John, Robert Cray, Hugh "Huey" Morgan (from Fun Lovin' Criminals), Ian Broudie (from The Lightning Seeds), Gabrielle, Evan Dando (from The Lemonheads), Courtney Pine, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Brett Anderson (from Suede), Visual Ministry Choir, Joan Armatrading, Laurie Anderson and Tom Jones

Ah, yes -- A PERFECT DAY indeed.......

Have a WONDERFUL day at school kids!!



Friday, August 28

Vacation Time!

Yes, it's time for my vacation.

Where will I go? Exotic foreign climes?

Well, yeah, if you consider deepest, darkest Alabama "exotic" and Memphis, Tennessee "foreign."

In other words, dear readers, it's time for a Road Trip!

Here's the basic itinerary: Pensacola, Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Memphis, Fayetteville, St. Louis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta and then home.

Yep, a lot of pranging about in my Auto-MO-beel. While on my travels I expect to visit spots like the Parthenon replica, the Gateway Arch, Lookout Mountain, the National Civil Rights Memorial and others.

The lynchpin of the vacation will spending Labor Day weekend in Memphis attending a convention known as Mephit Furmeet, billed as a furry convention where those interested in promoting the anthropomorphic genre can exchange ideas. Now, don't start going all CSI on me - there will probably be very little of that kind of shenanigans. I'm going because I'm currently writing for that genre (on the Spontoon Island website, a great anthology site for stories and art) and I've never been to one.

I will, of course, be taking pictures.

Will I be going to Graceland while I'm there?



Because Tennessee has laws against desecrating graves, and that's the only reason I'd ever go to Graceland.

Rainy Friday

Nothing like stupid hurricanes 2 weekends in a row to ruin all the plans.

What's on your mind?

I can barely read the news without seeing red. Americans have to be the most ill informed people in any industrialized country.

Wednesday, August 26

RIP Senator Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy passed away after battling brain cancer for a year at age 77. He will be remembered as the greatest US Senator. Kennedy was elected to the senate in 1962. He truly believed in what he stood for unlike most Senators who act according to what is most politically expedient. He will truly be missed. More

Imagine a world without money

“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy”

Tuesday, August 25

Heart Attack On a Plate

KFC is test marketing a new "sandwich"- The Double Down. It's bacon, two kinds of cheeses and sauce between two pieces of fried chicken (instead of bread.) It may have 1228 calories, but it's not confirmed. It's only available in Nebraska and Rhode Island at the moment.

I dunno. I like fried chicken but not sure I'd want all that crap with it. Well it's not on my diet anyway. I don't think I would have attempted to eat that when I was fat. It seems kind of messy to eat a sandwich made of fried chicken instead of bread. It's screaming for a fork.

Some seem to think that KFC has gone too far. But it's a free country and we can choose to watch what we eat or not and face the consequences. I know that first hand. It would freak me out if the government banned certain food combinations although I believe that the calories of one of these babies be prominently displayed.

What do you think?

Americans: oy vay

National Survey Results

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance?

52% Approve.................
42% Disapprove............
6% Not Sure................

**Q2 Do you support or oppose President Obama’s health care plan, or do you not have an opinion?

40% Support...........................................................
47% Oppose...........................................................
13% No Opinion......................................................

**Q3 Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?

39% Yes.................................................................
46% No...................................................................
15% Not Sure..........................................................

**Q4 Do you consider Hawaii to be part of the United States?

90% Yes.................................................................
6% No...................................................................
4% Not Sure..........................................................

**Q5 Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States?

62% Yes.................................................................
25% No...................................................................
14% Not Sure..........................................................

Q6 Do you think Barack Obama was born in Indonesia? (Asked only of respondents who didn't say they thought Obama was born in US)

10% Yes.................................................................
7% No...................................................................
21% Not Sure..........................................................
62% Not Applicable.................................................

Q7 Do you think Barack Obama was born in Kenya? (Asked only of respondents who didn't say they thought Obama was born in US or Indonesia)

7% Yes.................................................................
3% No...................................................................
18% Not Sure..........................................................
71% Not Applicable.................................................

Q8 Do you think Barack Obama was born in the Philippines? (Asked only of respondents who didn't say they thought Obama was born in US, Indonesia, or Kenya)

1% Yes.................................................................
5% No...................................................................
16% Not Sure..........................................................
79% Not Applicable.................................................

See also the Public Policy Polling Blog

So who are the birthers?

-62% are Republicans, 20% are Democrats, and 18% are independents
-57% are conservatives, 33% are moderates, and 9% are liberals
-56% are men, 44% are women
-86% are white, 7% are Hispanic, 4% are black, and 3% are other races

You Swine!

A White House science advisory board reports that the swine flu may kill up to 90,000 Americans- twice as many as the usual flu kills each year. Hospitals may be stretched as 1.8 million could be hospitalized and 300,000 could land in intensive care. It is predicted that it will start spreading when the children go back to school in September but the vaccine won't be ready until mid October. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and chronic illness sufferers should beware. The government also issued swine flu advice for colleges.

Keep that hand sanitizer handy, get immunized and stay home if you get the symptoms- fever, sore throat, coughing, chills, fatigue and a runny nose.

Let's see how good our health care system is in this country.

Monday, August 24

Sort of Non-News

It was so obvious during the bush years that the terror alert system was fixed. In fact we used to track it here at blondesense and almost accurately predict when it would be raised. So it was no surprise that Tom Ridge's new book alleges that he was pressured to manipulate the color coded terrorism alert system on the eve of the 2004 election. It was not raised on that particular evening... but as I recall, didn't bin Laden rear his ugly head around that time?

Former bush WH communications director Nicolle Wallace who was on Faux News yesterday said that his claim was handled in a "wussy" way.

douchebag of the week

So many douchebags, so little time.

GOP Rep. Herger: ‘Our democracy has never been threatened as much as it is today.’

Maybe it's because the GOP automatically says no to everything the Democrats come up with?

Friday, August 21

This Comes As No Surprise

Tom Ridge, former Governor of Pennsylvania and former Reichsfuhrer of our Homeland Security Department, now alleges that he was pressured to raise the country's alert level from Puce to Cerise in advance of the 2004 Presidential election. He eventually didn't, but that's beside the point right now.

The fact that he was pressured reinforces my contention that the Bush Administration was an aberration not unlike the reign of The Mule in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Had it not been for the attacks on Black Tuesday Bush would have been a one-term President. Public opinion was running against him after the bitterly contested and still-fractious 2000 campaign, the economy was slumping and we had just concluded a minor diplomatic incident with China that left us looking weak.

But, as Burke opined, "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," and such was the case. Robert Clarke notified the President and others in the national security apparatus that Osama bina Badboy was planning on striking us, but it was blown off in exchange for fantasies about how bad Saddam Hussein was.

With predictable results.

And anyone with even a gram of common sense could see during 2004 that the Bushies were manipulating peoples' fears in such a way as to drive them, lemming-like, to the polls so they could re-elect a genuinely stupid man and his cabal of war profiteers, warmongers and authoritarians.

Of course, all the current GOP apparatus knows how to do at this point is to exploit and play on peoples' fears (but in this case it's health care).

So Reichsfuhrer Ridge's allegation at this late date comes as no surprise whatever.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

Just Good Clean Fun Edition:

Thursday, August 20

The Sounds of Summer....

Music video featuring the sounds of actual cicada singing the melody

Cicada mythology --
It is in Phaedrus that Socrates states that some of life's greatest blessings flow from mania [4] specifically in the four kinds of mania: (1) prophetic; (2) poetic; (3) cathartic; and (4) erotic. It is in this context that Socrates' Myth of the Cicadas is presented. The Cicadas chirp and watch to see whether their music lulls humans to laziness or whether the humans can resist their sweet song. Cicadas were originally humans who, in ancient times, allowed the first Muses to enchant them into singing and dancing so long that they stopped eating and sleeping and actually died without noticing it. The Muses rewarded them with the gift of never needing food or sleep, but to sing from birth to death. The task of the Cicadas is to watch humans to report who honors the Muses and who does not.

Well, don't tell anyone, but last night -- I wanted to squish one of these fuckers SO bad.

One lone Cicada (right outside my window) can certainly drive a person crazy in the middle of the night

Wednesday, August 19


On "Economics Is Not a Natural Science"

George Dyson: ...How to best transcend the current economic mess? Put Jeff Bezos, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Tim O'Reilly, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Nathan Myhrvold, and Danny Hillis in a room somewhere and don't let them out until they have framed a new, massively-distributed financial system, founded on sound, open, peer-to-peer principles, from the start. And don’t call it a bank. Launch a new financial medium that is as open, scale-free, universally accessible, self-improving, and non-proprietary as the Internet, and leave the 13th century behind.

An Edge Original Essay

What a fantastic piece. This guy is really smart.

Making Markets: From Abundance To Artificial Scarcity

The economy in which we operate is not a natural system, but a set of rules developed in the Late Middle Ages in order to prevent the unchecked rise of a merchant class that was creating and exchanging value with impunity. This was what we might today call a peer-to-peer economy, and did not depend on central employers or even central currency.

People brought grain in from the fields, had it weighed at a grain store, and left with a receipt — usually stamped into a thin piece of foil. The foil could be torn into smaller pieces and used as currency in town. Each piece represented a specific amount of grain. The money was quite literally earned into existence — and the total amount in circulation reflected the abundance of the crop.

Now the interesting thing about this money is that it lost value over time. The grain store had to be paid, some of the grain was lost to rats and spoilage. So each year, the grain store would reissue the money for any grain that hadn't actually been claimed. This meant that the money was biased towards transactions — towards circulation, rather than hording. People wanted to spend it. And the more money circulates (to a point) the better and more bountiful the economy. Preventative maintenance on machinery, research and development on new windmills and water wheels, was at a high.

Many towns became so prosperous that they invested in long-term projects, like cathedrals. The "Age of Cathedrals" of this pre-Renaissance period was not funded by the Vatican, but by the bottom-up activity of vibrant local economies. The work week got shorter, people got taller, and life expectancy increased. (Were the Late Middle Ages perfect? No — not by any means. I am not in any way calling for a return to the Middle Ages. But an honest appraisal of the economic mechanisms in place before our own is required if we are ever going to contend with the biases of the system we are currently mistaking for the way it has always and must always be.)

Feudal lords, early kings, and the aristocracy were not participating in this wealth creation. Their families hadn't created value in centuries, and they needed a mechanism through which to maintain their own stature in the face of a rising middle class. The two ideas they came up with are still with us today in essentially the same form, and have become so embedded in commerce that we mistake them for pre-existing laws of economic activity.

The first innovation was to centralize currency. What better way for the already rich to maintain their wealth than to make money scarce? Monarchs forcibly made abundant local currencies illegal, and required people to exchange value through artificially scarce central currencies, instead.

Outrage Fatigue Again

You just can't trust corporate news. Most people can't tell the difference between opinion and actual news because there are no boundaries. We have one of the stupidest, most uniformed population going. I'm totally fed up with the health care debate because most ignorant among us are making all the noise and may ruin it for the rest of us.... all thanks to commentators on the news channels who don't even bother to challenge those who have the facts wrong.

The Democrats, the idiots, are willing to concede rather than debunk the untrue rumors. To hell with bipartisanship. Worst of all is that gun toting protesters are allowed within a mile of Obama events. Educated and informed protesters couldn't get within 5 miles of a bush event.
How is it that we allow redneck terrorists to control the debate?

Did you see the interview some woman who said that she wants the country to go back to the way it was when it was founded? Hmm. She wouldn't even have a say if that were so. Wonder if she ever heard of Susan B Anthony.

I have outrage fatigue. I don't even know what to say to people anymore and I tend to get rude when they display such ignorance... willful ignorance and proud of it!

And how can our country be both socialist and fascist? If I were a newscaster/commentator, I'd be compelled to explain the difference to my guests.

It almost seems like a conspiracy.

And how is your summer going? Mine is great otherwise... as long as I don't think too much.

Making a Comeback

People of a certain age who watched the fall of the Berlin Wall will recognize this little car as the Trabant, or Trabi. Seating four adults, the little sedan with the smoky engine was a fixture on East Bloc roads for thirty years.

To hear Wikipedia tell it, refueling the Trabi was ... interesting. You had to open the hood, add gas, then add oil, then shake the car from side to side to mix the two fluids. It got 34 miles per gallon, supposedly. Production ceased in 1990, after 3 million models had been built.

Fast forward.

Cloaked in a roseate glow of nostalgia, people seemed to want the Trabi to come back. While Herpa, a miniature car company in Bavaria, offered a model for about 50,000 euros, another consortium is seeking funding for this:

Der Trabi lebt!

This concept model was unveiled in Leipzig in 2007, and the company hopes to have the first Trabant NTs rolling onto German roads by 2012 (a full-sized concept will be on display at the IAA Frankfurt auto show in September). Now, get this - the car will be an all-electric model, with a range of 250 kilometers between charges.

It also looks a bit sportier than its ancestor.

It's nice to see people trying to take an old symbol and recast it as a better, more modern model.

Monday, August 17

In Arizona they "still have some freedoms"

A man was spotted outside an event in Phoenix, where President Obama will speak, carrying an assault rifle and a pistol. Police are keeping an eye on him but not arresting him because it's legal in Arizona to carry weapons. (Hey, you never know... a rattle snake could sneak up and bite someone.)

The man, who declined to give his name, was asked why he was armed. "Because I can do it," he said. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms."

Hmmm. You could get arrested for being a Democrat at a Bush event or for wearing a peace sign on your T shirt.

And this is a socialist regime how?

This isn't the first time that citizens have attended presidential events packing firearms.

Sunday, August 16

I couldn't imagine disowning my own child for just being who he is

I had the opportunity to spend the day with my uncle and his wife on Shelter Island yesterday. All I can say is that it was like a day in paradise. I need to go there more often.

I met a young man who is the "wife" of my gay cousin and we spent quite a bit of time floating on rafts in the lagoon and talking. It seems that he's from Texas and the son of some very "devout" Southern Baptist parents that I've been reading about. At one time, he was an ordained Baptist minister and even a homophobe... then he realized he was gay and came out. He was kicked out of the ministry and had his Baptisimal certificate taken away. Worse however was that his family disowned him and he ended up in NY City. Lucky for him, he met my cousin, was embraced and welcomed into a truly compassionate family who doesn't care what you do in the bedroom as long as you're a decent person.

For a "bible based" religion, the southern baptists are really missing the boat... homosexuality isn't even in the 10 commandments for gawd's sake. I still haven't found the part in the bible that says homosexuality is a grave offense and I majored in bible! "Family values" my foot.

It's true that man created god in his image.

Saturday, August 15

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder. I really, really do.

Let me explain. We have an NFL player named Michael Vick, who did admittedly reprehensible things involving dogs. He served a two-year sentence in Federal prison, and has been (very gingerly) offered a job with the Philadelphia Eagles.

On the other hand, we have another NFL player, Donte Stallworth. He got drunk and decided to drive his car while drunk. He plowed into another human being and killed that person. Stallworth spent 28 days in jail, and has to sit out this year.

Two years for killing dogs.

One month for killing a person.

What. The. Hell!?

Since when do dogs rate higher than a human being? Had I been the judge, Stallworth would have been under the jail, and would still be there.

Thursday, August 13

If you thought Whole Foods was a good company... think again.

John Mackey, president of Whole Foods wrote an unbelievable article for the WSJ that clearly shows just how against health care reform he is. I won't be shopping there ever again.

I clearly heard Obama state that the reform would pay for itself. Mackey must not have been listening because he fears that we will rack up more debt. He also believes that health reform is socialist. If you read the article, he is positively libertarian.

He doesn't believe that we should have the right to health care in this country. A healthy country is a safe country and a productive country. He criticizes England and Canada. Nasty rumors are going around about the "failed" health care they have in those countries when in fact it's not true. It's safer to live in those countries, they don't have such a large portion of the populace in jail, they have lower crime rates and they don't have poverty like we do. If that's socialist, then I'll take it. So what if they pay a high rate of taxes? They still have enough money to live on after that, to go on vacations and feed their families and live in decent housing.

"Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices."
So who exactly is going to determine whether or not someone's diseases are self inflicted? A death panel? Corporate employees who are instructed to deny every claim? His scenario is more 1984 than anything I've read so far.

How many sickly people do you know who are thin and don't smoke, drink, eat crap, etc? Most sickly people I know do NOT abuse their bodies at all. When I was fat, I was perfectly healthy and hardly ever went to the doctor and it was for issues unrelated to my weight. I was just fat and it was annoying. Of course my insurance company would rather pay for open heart surgery or diabetes control if I were to get those diseases but wouldn't pay for gastric bypass surgery which is much less expensive and cures diabetes and practically eliminates heart disease in obese people. Come to think of it, 3 of my friends who have had heart surgery have never been fat and never smoked! Who is going to determine that many people become fat due to their illnesses or their medications? The talking point du jour is to make demons of fat people when in fact it's the insurance companies who are the demons who are just looking to make big fat profits.

Proper health care insurance would help people prevent those diseases from happening. He doesn't even realize that many people work excessive hours at their jobs, don't make enough money to feed their families properly and don't have the time to exercise. Should they be denied health care insurance? He thinks so. It's every man for himself in Mackay's little world.

Tuesday, August 11

Town Hall Meetings on the telly

I've been watching CNN's coverage of town hall meetings happening around the country. My favorite one was in Portsmouth, NH where Obama answered questions and skepticism from the audience. He explained things pretty well and allayed the fears of those who actually believed the jibberish and lies spewed forth by the corporate media, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and GOP congresscritters.

Other town hall meetings around the country were marked by complete rudeness coming from the very misinformed who believe everything sent to them in conspiratorial emails that probably emanated from GOP operatives and those in the private health care industry. It's pretty sad. Arlen Specter's audience in Pennsylvania was clearly the winner when it came to the most outrageous and maniacal questions from the audience.

Wouldn't it be nice if the journalists actually told it like it is and would challenge liars?

First Draft

From Abtruse Goose

First Draft

WaveCatcher over at The Big Picture says:

It’s true. There would be far fewer wars if governments were forced to fund them out of the general fund with tax dollars. There would be a tax revolt.

Ever since government began printing money, we have been inflating a WAR BUBBLE!!!!

Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform - by Steven Pearlstein

Thank you for these clarifications Mr. Pearlstein
There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.

When Democrats, for example, propose to fund research to give doctors, patients and health plans better information on what works and what doesn't, Republicans sense a sinister plot to have the government decide what treatments you will get. By the same wacko-logic, a proposal that Medicare pay for counseling on end-of-life care is transformed into a secret plan for mass euthanasia of the elderly.

Please read his entire column here.

Monday, August 10

"Afraid of the Facts?"

The above question was the chyron on this morning's edition of Fox and Friends, subtitled Stupidity Ahoy!, and you have to admit it's rather thought-provoking for Fox. The thrust of the question seemed to center around the loud disruptions of town-hall meetings and the assertions made that the loud mouths are stifling honest, thoughtful discussions.

Well, here are some of the questions and statements I heard over the weekend, culled from the videos played for us by the media:

"The Government should keep its hands off my Medicare!"

"This bill - this monstrosity - says nothing about tort reform."

"Why won't Obama come clean about his birth certificate?"

"Why does Obama want to kill Trig Palin?"

Taking these statements and questions in order, I suppose it'd be nice if the Government - which established, runs and funds Medicare - should just drop it like a chalupa and walk away. I suppose it'd be good to wedge some tort reform into the bill and make it harder to sue doctors for malpractice. The "birther" and "deather" arguments are Just Plain Silly, but are usually delivered at volume levels just shy of public nuisance (the bit about tort reform was actually delivered in a deliberate and measured tone - much respect for that guy).

Unfortunately, the people who are tossing these statements and others like them around like so many verbal firecrackers are not interested in measured, thoughtful debate. Far from it - they want to yell, displaying their ignorance for all and sundry while trying to drown out anyone who actually wants to talk about issues.

Let's toss in for good measure the Twittered threats that these "protesters" will exercise their First Amendment rights while carrying guns, which poses the risk that they'll be whipped by their own rhetoric into a homicidal fury.

Because it's all fun until someone dies.

And that's what people should be afraid of - not the facts.

Sunday, August 9

Bill Maher was right. This is a stupid country.

This country is going crazy thanks to the corporate media that allows our most corrupt to spread lies and rumors. Angry mobs are now being urged to bring guns to town hall protests, for god's sake. These morons could probably use adequate health care for the psych benefits.

I do not believe for one minute that those who advocate for health care for our most vulnerable are starting the violence.

Remember when the GOP minions were flown in to Florida to stop the Bush/Gore recount? These same evil operatives are working to stop decent health care for Americans and disrupt the meetings. sheesh.

And how do people like Glenn Beck get airtime to suggest that "his effigy of the Speaker of the House should drink a deadly cocktail of wine and poison that he personally prepared." There are crazy crazy people who listen to him. Shep Smith even said on Faux News that his emails were despicable and hateful. The desperate GOP operatives are inciting violence. This is not a tenet of free speech, people.

And check this out: "Union officials continued to receive a barrage of threats on Friday evening and into Saturday punctuated by warnings that if organizers were sent to counter-demonstrate at health care town halls they would be met with violence." Read this. Jebus. What happened to good old protests with signs and chanting?

"I will be going to a local town hall this weekend, all you union members BEWARE!" an emailer wrote at 9:40 Saturday morning. "We will be waiting for you. better make sure you have arrangements with your local ER. today is the day when the goon meets the gun. see you there."
Is this the wild west? A relatively small percentage of the populace is disrupting progress and getting away with it! The country is too big. It should split into 2. One country could be for gun toting, misogynous, undereducated, war mongering, inbred, religious nuts and the other could be for progress and peace on earth, goodwill to all people. Of course the gun toters would probably invade the peaceful part.

Are we a country of stupid brain dead people with little or no logic? With no ethics? With no consideration for others? I'm appalled. The GOP is desperate and will stop at nothing to turn this into a fascist country.... and there is no voice of reason on the airwaves to stop the madness. My friends, this is NOT a "christian" country... not the kind of world that their lord and savior, Jesus Christ advocated. It makes me simply want to throw up when I see what people are protesting against. If there is a god.... God help us.


Saturday, August 8

The NY Times Fired Ben Stein


He was shilling for a questionable financial services firm.

Let's Live For Today -- THE GRASS ROOTS

Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for today!! (my new motto)

Another gem from Sarah Palin

I don't know what corporation paid her to release this statement and apparently Ms Palin never heard of Medicare.... but she wrote on Facebook
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Oh for gawd's sake. "Death Panel"? Seniors on Medicare get better benefits, more tests, more life saving procedures than I get on my very expensive private health care insurance. I usually have an excess of $20,000 year in medical expenses that are NOT covered by my ridiculous private health care. I want what the seniors and government employees have and I am willing to pay for the coverage and tell my private company to put a stick in it. What is the big deal?

These politician types must be involved in some sort of conspiracy and kick back from private for profit insurance companies who are instructed by the powers that be to deny every claim. No one is advocating that doctors and healthcare facilities become nationalized. That would be socialism and god forbid anyone but corporations practice socialism in the good old USA.

Who's in charge of determining what's best for American taxpaying citizens healthcare needs? Those numbnuts who may serve 2 stinking years in congress and get fabulous FREE healthcare for themselves and their families forever more. What's wrong with this picture?

I'm really starting to think that elected officials be tested for their IQ and grasp of current events as well as world history. They should be taken to task for misleading ignorant masses of people down the road to hell in a handbasket and scaring them into thinking that the US is going to turn into Soviet Russia. We want to be like France. I'm most disappointed that women (like Palin and Bachmann) have jumped on the propaganda machine. I always hoped that women in politics would be better than that... but alas, they just want to play with the white boys in Washington. Too bad. I've got their number.

Friday, August 7

What You Give A Woman


Glenn Beck fans turn health forum into ‘near riot’

In a stunning display of anger, Florida Republicans and fans of Fox editorialist Glenn Beck turned a Tampa healthcare forum into a “near riot,” one reporter said, as they attempted to enter the meeting hall and drown out a group of community organizers and a member of congress.

There were at least two reports of violence at the forum.


Can you imagine that that fascist can rile a bunch of people to protest against their own interests? Should Fox News be brought to task for being allowed to use the word "news" in their TV channel?

See also Maddow calls out GOP operatives behind healthcare mobs

The High, Lonely Music

Harry John Patch died recently. A plumber's apprentice, he was drafted into the British Army at the age of 15, and fought at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), one of the many bloody slaughters that marked the First World War on the Western Front.

Mr. Patch's funeral was attended by British troops (six privates bore the coffin) as well as Belgian, French, and German soldiers. He insisted on Germans being present as a sign of reconciliation.

At age 111, Mr. Patch was the last man to have fought in the trenches for his King and Country.

As the pallbearers stood, two buglers played The Last Post, that high and lonely music that the United Kingdom plays for its military dead.

Rest, Harry.

Thursday, August 6

Sotomayor is confirmed 68-31

I'm glad that's over with. Well I suppose if I watch cable news, it won't be over with because there will be paranoid wingnuts fretting over it. I won't be watching it.

While I didn't think that the Supreme Court needed another Catholic, we did need another female and an Hispanic person to start rounding out the judicial branch of government. Most of the nay sayers in DC could only wish they had Sotomayor's credentials and level of education. Most shouldn't even be qualified to be in the Senate... and yet we let them decide our fate.

Here's the story

The Return of Big Bill

Four and a half months ago, two journalists sneaked/strayed/ended up across the border separating the People's Republic of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The two women, affiliated with Current-TV, were arrested by North Korean authorities, charged with conducting a smear campaign and sentenced to 12 years at hard labor.

Twelve years at hard labor.

In North Korea, folks.

Club Med this wouldn't be.

Now, our relations with North Korea are not really the best possible (we're still at war with them, 56 years on), so while we officially made noises about demanding the return of the women, a call was sent out.

Enter Big Bill, also known as former President Bill Clinton.

Apparently using his mighty Rolodex, he made some contacts. This ended up with Clinton being invited to Pyongyang for dinner and a chat with the DPRK's Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.

The outcome?

The journalists were pardoned, and are now home in California.

So, everyone happy, right?


The atonal, brassy braying of the Right Wing Bombs-n-Jesus Machine started venting instantly, displaying once again the deranged hatred and fear they still harbor for all things Clinton. Several of the pundits, notably former UN Ambassador and Walrus Porno Mustache Bearer John Bolton, continued their usual tactic of looking at the glass as half-empty by alleging that we gave something away to Little Kim.

While I dislike even reading Fox, here's a link to the article. They're all hot and bothered about Kim scoring a propaganda victory - as well as (of course) screeching about what the DPRK's news agency called an apology.

For the record, here's the bit from the Korean Central News Agency:

"Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it. Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view."

Now, an apology is just words. Our reputation is big enough compared to North Korea's that we can afford the minor loss of face in apologizing. And, to their credit the Obama Administration rather strenuously denies that there was an apology or any other quid pro quo.

Both countries can claim a victory here - the US for getting our people back, and the DPRK for the photo op (they may have also stuck us with the check for the dinner). And we got our people back.

So why isn't the Right happy?

Because it brought back Big Bill, whose magic penis is still able to strike a Lord Voldemort level of terror into the heart of conservatives.

Wednesday, August 5

Paranoid Glenn Beck Fan makes Beck paranoid.

A couple of days ago, a Long Island woman who was armed was caught taking pictures at the Air National Guard facility near Westhampton, NY. She was not only a gun nut but was looking for FEMA concentration camps. Turns out she was a Glenn Beck fan (according to her MySpace page) and a paranoid one at that. Beck spent weeks telling his fans that he couldn't debunk the FEMA camps story and then eventually debunked it. Perhaps some of his listeners missed that. I kind of laughed at that part because there were people during the Bush years equally as frightened of the FEMA camps and they didn't even have anyone on the television touting the conspiracy.

Glenn Beck while still condoning the radical right got on the air after this story broke to urge his followers not to resort to violence....but not until he got them all outraged about the country going into the toilet. Sheesh.

Today's Good Read

The New Yorker has an interesting piece called THE COURTHOUSE RING
Atticus Finch and the limits of Southern liberalism.
by Malcolm Gladwell

Monday, August 3

What happens to Afghani and Iraqi refugees when they come to America

Afghani and Iraqi translators working for the US Military are in great danger in their home countries. They are hated more than the occupiers. The US issues Special Immigrant Visas for interpreters and their families. "Sam" is 31 years old and was an Afghani translator. He has an engineering degree from Kabul University. He now works in Churches Chicken for $700/month in Kansas City asking folks if they want regular or spicy.

Another refugee, Ahmadi who is a friend of Sam's can't rent an apartment because he has no money, no job and no social security card. They can't return to Kabul because their lives would be in too much danger.

If it wasn't for the kindness of Janet Dean, these men and their families would be homeless.

Read "We are not just refugees."

Saturday, August 1

JK Wedding Entrance Dance -- INGENIOUS

Our wedding entrance dance to Forever...yeah, forever.
For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: Jill & Kevin's Wedding