Friday, July 29, 2005

A Livejournal moment

Pete was kind enough to request that I participate in this fun little meme:

List ten songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to.

Here goes . . .

1. Beck- "Go It Alone," with Jack White. I don't care what anyone says, I dig the Stripes, I dig Beck, and together they make the perfect drop-the-top-crank-the-volume song for Summer. By November, I'll probably hate it.

2. The Epoxies- "Need More Time." The Epoxies have this great funky 80s punk rock sound, sort of like if the Clash had a girl on vocals.

3. Elvis Costello- "Good Year for the Roses." This is not his best musically, but the lyrics break your heart.

4. Neko Case- "Thrice All American." It's about the tender feelings of defensiveness she gets when people diss her hometown of Tacoma. I can relate.

5. Von Iva - "Solid Gold." Rockin grrrl band music, lots of fun, great driving music.

6. Arcade Fire- "Rebellion (Lies)." The best song on an otherwise super weird album.

7. Snow Patrol- "Run." Lyrics like a seventh grade love poem, but a really decently orchestrated song.

8. Gershwin- "Rhapsody in Blue." Since I saw "Manhattan," I find myself humming this all the time.

9. The White Stripes- "Blue Orchid." I don't care much for the newest album, but I do dig this song.

10. Fischerspooner vs Billy Squier- "Everybody Wants You To Emerge," a mash-up song of epic proportions. I like to ask people at parties what song they'd strip to- since I've gotten over ACDC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," this has become my choice.

So there ya go- a really random mix of what I'm listening to this summer. I'm supposta pass this on to five others, so I'm calling on Ass, Lizzie, Red Jalepeno, Dex and Bobby to tell me what is going on in their ears these days.

Friday vacation pic blogging

Natural amphitheater, New Mexico.

Great moments in 180s:

1. The time that the Volvo skid on some ice in a mall parking lot and turned completely around (sweet!)

2. The numerous times PacMan took a wrong turn

3. Eisenhower speaks out against the military industrial complex.

4. Anne Heche decides she's no longer a lesbian

5. Bob Dylan decides he's no longer a Christian

6. Dr. Bill Frist sez embryonic stem cell research ain't so bad after all.


Well, considering that ostensibly, the President and his happy shiny Born Again voters think that every embryo is, in actuality, an adoptable, viable human being, (a "snowflake," if you will) this statement is bound to come up against some heavy opposition from high levels and the ever-annoying multitudes of vocal Christian voters.

So why, oh why would the good Dr. Frist, who fought so valiantly for other life-for-the-sake-of-life causes like Terry Schaivo, decide to do an about-face on the embryonic stem cell issue?

Could it be because it means Big Big Money for the pharmaceutical industry?

Perhaps because they've been so kind as to give him more than $870,000 in campaign funds in the past, and continue to be the largest single contributor to the GOP?

Sure, he tried to crack down on their multibillion dollar advertising campaigns, but he's never done anything of substance to actually curtail drug prices, and it is reasonably well known that the Frist Family Fortune comes from the largest for-profit hospital in the country.

So let's review. Frist will fight for anyone's life, if it means that they will remain in a state that generates revenue for a hospital, such as long-term intensive care or life support. He cares a whole helluva lot about that kind of life.

As for the embryos that the hardcore Christians consider to be precious pre-born babies? They are only profitable if they are used for research.

So, all of you "Culture of Life" voters? I've said it before, but if you voted for this guy, you gots played.

UPDATED: Check out the reaction over at the Free Republic.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The All Your Base Are Belong To Us Free Trade Agreement

CAFTA passed because Georgie and his friends wanted it to. It would have found a way to pass whether it had been voted in or not.

But that's beside the point.

Someone on Atrios the other day suggested that we should just start calling all such -AFTA agreements "the SHAFTA". It reminded me of the Daily Show a couple of days ago where they talked about the origin of the phrase "Borking" and how you also don't want to get "Pfükked" (named for an 1880s judicial nominee) or "get the Shaft" (named for Frederick Shaft, a 1920s nominee) and you really don't want to want the same fate as Hiram P. Reameduptheass.

Anyway, back to this CAFTA business.

Seems that the bill had solid opposition on both sides of the aisle. Representative Jones (R, NC) called the bill "NAFTA's ugly cousin," which is kinda like saying "Caligula's crazy half-brother." But like most trade agreements, there is the school of long-term and the school of short-term. The free-traders, of course, have always lived in a supply-sider's utopian world of "someday," in which all iniquities in pay and standard of living are eliminated in a sort of economic entropy. To them, CAFTA is a step in that direction. In the short-term, however, CAFTA is going to make things unpleasant for a lot of people, and not just in Central America. It will evaporate even more manufacturing jobs within the U.S. borders and will increase the number of people in Central America who work for poverty-level wages. However, as the New York Times states, the actual trade volume out of the areas affected by CAFTA is only about that of New Jersey. So I have to wonder why Bush lobbied so hard for it.

Maybe he thinks it will lower prices on Columbian Booger Sugar.

At any rate, such agreements are really just the floundering of an end-stage global superpower, since China will soon pwn us all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Good on Daisy Duke

I don't really have an opinion about Jessica Simpson, except that I have often asked the question, "WHY is she famous?" when hearing her sing in that mediocre Britnyish whine. But the girl has a platform and an audience, which is why this is rather heartening (via Eschaton):

JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY's harrowing trip to Iraq got to - because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.

The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.

But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn't appear in the fun-filled TV show.

Simpson says, "It was unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced.

"It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice. I can't even fathom being out there right now. I was ready to come home."

Now we just wait until the NRO and Free Republic starts crying out "HANOI JESSICA!"

Wake up little sushi

(post title taken from one of my favorite Ann Taintor prints)

So. Let's just get this out of the way: last night I had a very romantic dream about Mo Rocca of "I Love the 80s" and "The Daily Show." So if I am visibly awkward around Italian/Columbian men with hip glasses, please excuse.

At least it's better than that Elvis impersonator dream I had back when I had Chex Mix for dinner that one time.

Moving on.

This morning I read about this charming little story of red state love:

LINCOLN, Neb. — A 22-year-old man who legally married a 14-year-old girl in Kansas after she became pregnant has been criminally charged in Nebraska for having sex with her.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said Matthew Koso of Falls City began a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 13. After she became pregnant, her mother gave permission in May for Koso to take their daughter to Kansas, which allows minors to get married with parental consent.

“The idea … is repugnant to me,” Bruning said.

Koso was charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault, punishable by up to 50 years in prison. He was released on a $7,500 bond. A preliminary hearing is Aug. 17 in Richardson County Court.

“Kansas has this ridiculous state law,” Bruning said. “Of course the marriage is valid … but it doesn’t matter.

“I’m not going to stand by while a grown man … has a relationship with a 13-year-old — now 14-year old — girl.”

Bruning said the girl is seven months pregnant.

She and Koso were married May 3 after getting a marriage license in Hiawatha, Kan., just across the Nebraska border.

Kansas law has no minimum age for marriage, though state judges through case law have set the minimum age at 14 for boys and 12 for girls. Anyone younger than 18 must have consent from a parent or judge.

Nebraska, by comparison, sets the minimum marriage age at 17. In Missouri it is 15, though state statute allows judges to waive the restriction in “unusual conditions.”

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has said it is a priority to investigate and prosecute child predators and statutory sexual assault. But his spokesman, Whitney Watson, said Tuesday there is little Kline can do in the face of the state law.

“It would take legislative action to change the law,” Watson said.

Sen. John Vratil, a Leawood Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would not be technically difficult to change the law to insert a minimum age.

“If there’s a will to do it, it’s not very difficult to fix,” he said.

The Hiawatha incident may be the nudge the Legislature needed, he said.

Koso’s attorney, Willis Yoesel, said the girl’s mother and Koso’s parents approved of the marriage.

Yoesel said he has written Bruning, saying the prosecution is unwarranted.

“My question to the attorney general’s office was very simple: Why?” he said. “It’s kind of an unfortunate situation.”

He said the couple is “trying to make the best of a bad situation.”

“The families are all united in this effort. I don’t know who is complaining,” Yoesel said. “What their objective is in this, I don’t know. What benefit is there to anybody in the prosecution of this young man?”

A number of things are disturbing about this story. While I can't say that I approve of the 22-year-old sleeping with the 13-year-old, it would seem that the law in Kansas indicates that it wasn't so long ago that such relationships were not all that unusual. And I had plenty of middle-school friends that would come back from weekends with stories of their older boyfriends, so it would seem that such relationships continue to be in existence (or at least were 10 years ago when I was in middle school). So I hesitate to agree with the guy who deems the 22-year-old a pedophile. I have known many a very mature 13-year-old girl, girls who could easily pass for much much older girls, and who are not afraid to use that to their advantage. The fact that the 22-year-old obtained permission from the girl's mother to marry her after she became pregnant already makes him much more responsible than at least one of my middle-school classmate's 20-something boyfriends . . . And honestly, I know people who were married or pregnant well into their twenties who had no idea what they were doing.

What bothers me is the mystery individual who is bringing the charges. Why does this person care so much? Why is he so disgusted by their relationship that he would go to court- and expend funds, time and energy- to try and get the girl out of the marriage? They both should have known better- the 22-year-old should have known better than to get mixed up with a middle schooler and the 13-year-old should have known better than to have unprotected sex with a guy old enough to be out of college. But I don't really think that there is any malice involved here- just a screwy sense of the appropriateness of a relationship. Plus, the couple gerw up in a small town in Nebraska. These things happen.

Seems to me that this case could set somewhat of a dangerous precedent. If a third party can simply decide that your marriage is wrong, or that it doesn't jibe with their moral attitudes, they can take you to court. This could prove to be a very difficult issue in the coming years when legislation involving same-sex marriage will most likely be left to the states. Say you are married and have an open marriage- could your neighbor take you to court to invalidate it? Or if you are vocal about your choice to not have children, and your kid's friend's Sunday School teacher thinks of that as a sinful lifestyle? I realize that the charges in this case are based on actual laws regarding statutory assault and marriageable age, but who is to say whether a marriage is a moral one? If this guy is able to take a case to court based on the fact that the union is "repugnant" to him, despite the fact that the marriage is perfectly legal in at least one state, there is a problem.

Another example of the unnerving conservative tendency to care a little too much about what is going on in other people's bedrooms.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tuesday Lists


1. My Game store is closed!!! What to do!!!
2. Wearing a skirt in combat
3. Ogre class
4. What Music should be listened when playing a session?
5. Claw, Bite, Talon Damage - WHERE are they Defined !?
6. Cut-outs and other paper folding fun
7. I'm going to construct a mansion. Need advice
8. 5 levels in 30 seconds
9. Cross Breeding Dragons:What do you think would happen?

1. Fruit of the Spirit Spinner

The Fruit of the Spirit Spinner was created with the idea in mind that the nine parts of the Fruit of the Spirit make up one whole. So even though there are nine different fruits, they are all presented on one spinner toy. This is to help children identify the different characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit and help them to memorize them. However, in the game "Please Pass The Fruit" the sections of one tangerine are used to show the different aspects of the Holy Spirit's characteristics.

The following cartoon fruit are illustrated on the Fruit of the Spirit Spinner toy:
Love = Strawberry,
Joy = Orange,
Peace = Banana,
Patience = Peach,
Kindness = Kiwi,
Goodness = Plum,
Faithfulness = Blueberry,
Gentleness = Apple,
Self-Control = Pear.

2. This Little Light Of Mine (a decorated t-shirt)

"Begin by singing 'This Little Light of Mine'."
3. Creation Wheel

"Cut a 12- inch circle from the corrugated cardboard. Cut an identical circle from the light-weight cardboard.

Use the ruler to divide the corrugated cardboard circle into eight equal wedge-shaped segments. Cut a segment from the light-weight cardboard that is slightly smaller than one segment of the corrugated cardboard circle. Make sure it does not go all the way to the center of the light-weight cardboard circle.

Use the markers to decorate each segment on the corrugated cardboard to tell about the seven days of creation. In the first segment write "The Story of Creation" and decorate the segment.

The next segment will be the first day of creation, when God separated the light from the dark.

On the second day He made the sky. You can glue a bit of cotton in the sky to look like clouds.

On the third day He separated the lands from the seas, and on the fourth day God put the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky.

On the fifth day He filled the seas with fish and the sky with birds. On the sixth day He created all the animals and He created man. On the seventh day God rested from his work.

Attach the light-weight cardboard circle to the top of the corrugated cardboard circle by putting the paper fastener through the center of both circles. Arrange the top circle so that the title segment, "The Story of Creation," shows through.

Use the creation wheel to tell the story of creation, turning the top wheel to expose the picture of each of the seven days. "

4. "He is Risen!" Tomb Craft
Directions: Ahead of time, cut 1/3 off the bottom of the large plate. Have the child color both plates brown (you can also have them paint the plates - but markers are quicker!) Staple the large plate onto the heavy sheet of paper - make sure that the cut part lines up with the bottom of the paper. Next, cut a "tomb opening" out of black construction paper and glue to the plate. Cut a small square out of white paper and write "He Is Risen!" with a marker - then glue to the tomb opening. Attach the small plate (stone in front of the tomb) to the paper by putting the paper fastener through both pieces. Finish off the project by adding a sun, spring flowers and clouds! Be sure to visit our site for a picture of this craft.
5. "My Grandkids walk all over me!"

You'll need:apron or t-shirt,fabric paints, fabric markers

Directions: Slip a piece of cardboard under the apron, or inside the shirt. Use fabric paint or fabric markers to write "My Grandkids Walk All Over Me!" in the center. Then, paint your kid's feet with fabric paints and make foot prints all around the saying. Make sure to wash off the foot before using another color. You can also write the date and kid's name on the apron/shirt. This makes a cute gift for Grandma or Grandpa!

6. Ten Lepers Nesting Doll and Paper Craft

Print out the following templates.
Template 1
Template 2
Decorate each leper.
Cut out. On a piece of paper, paste leper #10 in the bottom of the page. Glue the flap of lepers #9 through to #1 on top of the flap of the previous leper. Each leper should hide the lepers preceding it until all are hid by leper #1. Say the poem below as you lift the flap of each leper. Alternatively, on a large piece of paper, place glue of the flap of each leper and stand them up in a row in order.

(ed. note- does anyone here want to lift a leper flap?)

Alternative #3, cut tabs off each leper and glue in a row on a large piece of paper (will not fit on standard size paper) and decorate with trees etc.

Do we have a winner?

It's hard to pick out the absolute freakiest, wackiest, foot-in-mouthiest Colorado Republican, especially when you have a stable of contestants that includes Marilyn "Mad-Cow" Musgrave, Wayne "That's not an exploded Pop N Fresh tube, that's my face" Allard and Bill "Every sperm is sacred" Owens. But lately, Tom "All immigrants are bad, but there are obvious exceptions like Italians" Tancredo has taken the lead. Not only are protesters angry:

Protesters' message at Capitol: "Tancredo does not speak for me"
Garrett Weekly brought his children to the state Capitol on Monday to protest U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, saying the Colorado congressman crossed the line with his recent remarks about bombing Islamic holy sites.

"He is wrong for Colorado. Colorado is the most racially mixed state," said Weekly, 35, a social-studies teacher in Cherry Creek Schools. "I learned at an early age that people are based on character and not on looks."

The rally attracted more than 150 people.

Protesters said Tancredo's fierce anti-illegal-immigration stance already has foes accusing him of racism, and his recent bombing remarks added fuel to the fire.

Attendees held signs with messages such as "Tancredo does not speak for me" and "Tancredo is wrong for America."

But he's getting some feathers ruffled at the highest levels, too:
Bill counters Bush "guest worker" plan

Washington - Rep. Tom Tancredo, Congress' leading critic of U.S. immigration policy, unveiled his counterproposal to President Bush's guest-worker plan on Monday with a bill that would make unlawful presence in the country a felony.

Tancredo's measure, unveiled at a Capitol Hill news conference, would establish a "guest worker" program that allows immigrant labor only when employers can show a need and would limit the workers' stay in the United States. It also says that the workers' children would not automatically become U.S. citizens.

Besides making unlawful presence in the country a felony, the proposed legislation would fund a "substantial" increase in border and immigration law enforcement. Also, employers who knowingly hire illegal workers could face jail.

"With every murder at the hands of an illegal, with every potential terrorist that crosses the border, with every job taken from a domestic employee, Americans have cried out to Congress to fix our broken system," said Tancredo, R-Colo. "For years I have been embarrassed by how the leadership of both parties have tried to ignore this issue."
[emphasis mine]

The measure would block public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who graduate from a state high school, unless the same rate is offered to all U.S. citizens.

In 2002, Tancredo sought deportation for an illegal immigrant who went public about illegal immigrants' problems in getting money for college.

Under the measure, hospitals could only be reimbursed for treating illegal immigrants if they report citizenship information to the Department of Homeland Security.

President Bush has a plan to allow more guest workers from foreign countries, a position popular with the business community.

Something tells me Tancredo is going to see some retaliation from the Bush administration. Guest worker programs are a backdoor way for Bush's buddies to make more money on the backs of illegals, and they like that. A lot. And they won't take too kindly to any backwoods loudmouths who try to interfere with their big-boy plans.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My dorkiest picture yet

I heart 57 Chevys.

A little lite music blogging

It's too hot to get all ranty about the war, or about Egypt, or about how only a lobotomized jellyfish could deny the fact that the current rise in terror is direct fallout from the so-called War on Terror. So, I'll take a cue from Norbizness and have a look at the new Rhino compilation of 90s music.

I have categorized the playlist as follows. Keep in mind that the 90s were from when I was 9 to when I was 19:

I'M TOO SEXY - Right Said Fred (R*S*F*)
JUMP - Kris Kross
BITCH - Meredith Brooks
MMMBOP - Hanson
RUMP SHAKER – Wreckx-N-Effect
SEX AND CANDY - Marcy Playground
CARNIVAL - Natalie Merchant
BROKEN HEARTED SAVIOR - Big Head Todd And The Monsters
SHINE - Collective Soul
WHAT IT'S LIKE – Everlast
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - Deep Blue Something
WHAT I GOT - Sublime

TURN IT ON - Sleater-Kinney
BRIAN WILSON (Live) - Barenaked Ladies
LULLABY - Shawn Mullins
ONE OF US - Joan Osborne
TOMORROW – Silverchair
RUN-AROUND - Blues Traveler
GOOD - Better Than Ezra
HERE AND NOW - Letters To Cleo
M.I.A. - 7 Year Bitch
YOU GOTTA BE - Des'ree
THUNDER KISS '65 - White Zombie
UNDER THE BRIDGE - Red Hot Chili Peppers
O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature
HARD TO HANDLE - The Black Crowes
HEY JEALOUSY - Gin Blossoms
MY SISTER - The Juliana Hatfield Three

LADIES FIRST - Queen Latifah Featuring Monie Love
WHATTA MAN – Salt-N-Pepa
SHE DON'T USE JELLY - The Flaming Lips

BALL AND CHAIN - Social Distortion
TUBTHUMPING - Chumbawamba
6 UNDERGROUND - Sneaker Pimps

LOVEFOOL - The Cardigans
JUMP AROUND - House Of Pain
KISS ME - Sixpence None The Richer
MMM MMM MMM MMM - Crash Test Dummies
THE IMPRESSION THAT I GET - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
NAKED EYE - Luscious Jackson
WOO HAH!! GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK - Busta Rhymes featuring Rampage The Last Boy Scout


NOTHING COMPARES 2 U - Sinéad O'Connor

BACK & FORTH - Aaliyah
FREEDOM OF '76 - Ween
CUT YOUR HAIR - Pavement
NO MYTH - Michael Penn
GIRLFRIEND - Matthew Sweet
CALLING ALL ANGELS - Jane Siberry with k.d. lang
ONLY SHALLOW - My Bloody Valentine
N.W.O. - Ministry
WALK - Pantera
COATTAIL RIDER – Supersuckers
NEARLY LOST YOU - Screaming Trees
UNSUNG – Helmet
START CHOPPIN - Dinosaur Jr.
THE DEVIL'S CHASING ME - The Reverend Horton Heat
GONE TO THE MOON - Fastbacks
TRUST ME - Guru with N'Dea Davenport
EYE TO EYE - The Muffs
GENTLEMEN - Afghan Whigs
FAR BEHIND – Candlebox
BRICK - Ben Folds Five
CAPRI PANTS - Bikini Kill
PHOTOGRAPH - The Verve Pipe
SWEET 69 - Babes In Toyland
CUMBERSOME - Seven Mary Three
GIRL, YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON - Urge Overkill (I know the original, of course, but I don't think I've heard this one.)
SUGAR FREE JAZZ - Soul Coughing
MOCKINGBIRDS - Grant Lee Buffalo
REVOLVE – Melvins
RADIATION VIBE - Fountains Of Wayne

IT'S A SHAME ABOUT RAY - The Lemonheads

SLIDE - Goo Goo Dolls

WHAT'S UP - 4 Non Blondes
GOD - Tori Amos
POSSESSION - Sarah McLachlan (My first major concert, outside of punk rock shows at the local Elks lodge, was Lilith Fair)

CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT (possibly due to prohibitively expensive licensing fees):
The Smashing Pumpkins
Anything from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, etc.
Paul Oakenfold, Chemical Brothers, DaftPunk, Massive Attack or anything else from the rave years
Not that I was a big fan, but what of the "Latin Explosion!" we supposedly had in 98-9?
U2 or Madonna (look, I liked "Discotheque" and "Ray of Light," OK? I was, like, 16!)
The ultimate guilty pleasure- Paula Cole before she got so full of herself
The Offspring
Dre or Snoop Dogg (love them or hate them, they a hand in defining the decade)

Friday, July 22, 2005

LOL @ teh Bush

From Wonkette:

Q: Mr. President, you said you don't want to talk about an ongoing investigation, so I'd like to ask you, regardless of whether a crime was committed, do you still intend to fire anyone found to be involved in the CIA leak case? And are you displeased that Karl Rove told a reporter that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife
worked for the Agency on WMD issues?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We have a serious ongoing investigation here. (Laughter.)

The press corps is now openly laughing at Bushie's bullshit. This is, indeed, good news.

Maybe hanging out with all of those ballsy British journalists a couple of weeks ago has done some good for our little press gaggle.

Another Friday vacation picture

The Del Norte shopping center sign, Roswell, N.M.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Judge Patty

Ha ha.

Lizzie pointed me in this direction:

The school yearbook from 1972, his junior year, shows he played Peppermint Patty in the production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."

"From now on, Judge Roberts should be known as 'Judge Patty.'"

Good Grief.

Signifying nothing

Well, after all we did to keep from blowing up the filibuster, Bush goes and picks the most lukewarm guy he can find to nominate as O'Connor's replacement.

I mean the guy is no saint, but he's no Scalia either. Some "highlights" from Junior's two-year career:

In an environmental case, Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion that raised questions about the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act as applied to a creature that lived entirely in one state. He also dissented from his court's refusal to reconsider a ruling that ordered Vice President Dick Cheney to release records of his energy task force.

Another Roberts opinion last year upheld -- with some reluctance -- the arrest and handcuffing of a 12-year-old girl for eating a single french fry in a D.C. rail station. He's also voted to overturn a criminal fraud conviction and allow a disability suit against the transit agency.

Okaaay . . . I wonder who goes around eating single French fries, but whatever. The Endangered Species act smells of conservative "states-rights" BS, but not so strongly that it alarms me.


In another case, Roberts joined in a ruling upholding police car trunk searches even when officers did not assert evidence of a crime.

Hm, a little unsettling considering the importance that the Patriot Act will probably hold in coming years, but nothing really crazy.

Bottom line- the guy is kind of a wild card. He could do what most "conservative" judges do once they are in office, and when faced with social issues, make the kinds of rulings that madden conservatives and reassure liberals. Pretty likely, given that he has reneged on his 1990 memo concerning Roe v. Wade (as a deputy solicitor general, he stated that he wanted it overturned, but now he says he was just representing a client.) I doubt very much that he would become the same kind of ranting ideologue that Scalia has been.

But there is this danger: the guy is the president of the Big Business fan club. While he is undoubtedly going to be grilled on the abortion issue, his stance on issues like logging, air quality regulations, trust regulations, corporate accountability and other important things will probably be left unexamined by the senate committee. I really don't think that his stance on reproductive rights should be the deciding issue here. I really believe that Roe v. Wade is pretty safe right now, but we live in a country where Ken Lay is still allowed to walk free, where roadless rules in the mountains are being overturned, where tax breaks are given to the wealthiest 1 and 2 percent and Halliburton is allowed to snap up multi-billion-dollar no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq. While I am a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, we can't let that be the ONE issue that we use to weed out those we consider to be "ideologues" and those we consider to be "moderates."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

America's Finest News Source

A particularly good Onion Weekly Dispatch today.

I'm a Fucked-Up Chick Magnet!

I know what you're thinking: "Who is this guy to sound so full of himself?" I'm not being egotistical—it's just true. Hey, I know I'm not perfect. Who is? We've all got problems. I'm sure I've got some myself. But here's one problem I don't have: the ladies. When it comes to charming every borderline psycho in a skirt, I take second place to no man. I guess I just give off that "Hey there, pretty lady with the lifelong unresolved emotional issues" vibe. It can't be taught—you either got it or you don't. And I got it.

Everywhere I go, all kinds of psychiatrically disturbed women come running—women who never got over a traumatic childhood accident, or habitually cut themselves, or slept with their stepfathers, or abuse substances while locked in self-destructive cycles of internalized loathing and rage. They just can't keep their hands off me.

It's been this way my whole life. When I was 14, I got lucky with a classmate's mom. In high school, I dated every bipolar suicide risk in town. In college, I had at least a dozen girlfriends who couldn't decide whether they were mental patients or lesbians. It's just the way it is: Deranged dolls dig me.

Marine Corps Shortens Slogan To 'The Few'
WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recruiting shortfalls, a near standstill in re-enlistment, and rock-bottom troop morale, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee announced Monday that the Marines will alter their unofficial slogan, abbreviating it to the more accurate "The Few." Hagee said, "We are still the Marines, the premier combat arm of the U.S. military." The Marines will also change their motto to Semper Fidelis, Sic Non Sapienti, or "Always Faithful, But This Is Just Ridiculous."

And from the sidebar:

Bush Awaits Orders From Rove On Handling Of Rove Scandal

In other news, after driving home late last night from a birthday dinner for a friend of mine (by the way, I highly recommend "LOLA" down on South Pearl and Florida. Good Caipirinhas and Latin American fish dishes. Kinda pricey, but good.) and I see some people embracing in front of my apartment. At first glance, there was nothing unusual about this, there are a lot of bored teenagers in my hometown and I often see a couple making out near my apartment at night. But when I got closer, I realized that this was no couple. It was three men, in a sort of circle, heads bowed, arms around each other's shoulders. A little three-way prayer circle, right there on the lawn below my apartment.

Weird. What does it say about me that I would have preferred to see the feverish gropings of a couple of bored teenagers than three paunchy, middle-aged men praying in my front lawn at around midnight? Well, I guess it says that I consider feverish groping at around midnight to be more . . . normal? Because I consider three old white guys praying on my front lawn to be indicative of a more sinister sort of human behavior than a couple of kids slobbering on eachother? Probably.

Ah well. Only two more weeks until I move out of my bizarro backwoods apartment complex . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A proud day for Colorado

Another grand day to have been born in the Centennial State!

Getta load of this:
"I simply throw that out there as something to think about, although it is horrendous to think about, I understand that," Tancredo said. "So is having one or more cities destroyed in the United States. And that's all I did."

Muslim leaders disagreed.

"When he makes such a statement he should have the courage to go back and apologize," said Rafaat Ludin, president of the Colorado Muslim Society, an organization that includes a mosque and represents 15,000 Muslims in the Denver area. "He is trying to provoke these terrorists who are making our lives miserable, here and across the world. How can you in your right mind call for something like that?"

Who keeps voting for this guy? And when will they understand that global politics is a little differently nuanced than the WWF?

The triumphant return of Tuesday Lists


1. A world in which tapirs evolved from man.

2. A civilization in which all thought and human interaction is dictated by the Home Shopping Network.

3. A world dominated by passive-agressive, Midwestern androids who don't so much violently impose their will on the last struggling vestiges of humanity, but sort of guilt them into doing their bidding.

4. Mormons have taken over- but somehow they still manage to believe that they are the most persecuted group of people on the planet.

5. Hipsters become the ruling class, and one brave individual and his lover must fight against the tyranny of horn-rimmed glasses, cardigan sweaters and sensitive, instrumental rock music.

6. Paris Hilton buys the world, covers it in Swarovski crystals and commands a fearsome army of armored, teacup Chihuahuas.

And, bogarted from Motorbikequeen, former Coe schoolmate, Cabaret cast member and all-around cool friend, who is currently teaching English in Thailand:


1. "date with keanu reeves."
2. "kiss my sweetheart."
3. "kick my friends." (this showed up multiple times)
4. "shoot the gun."
5. "go heaven."
6. "eat sandwich and KFC every dinner."
7. "buy a shoe."
8. "have dinner with my lover."
9. "build a new house for my family--bigger and saver."
10. "learn or study in Canada."
11. "die before my parents."
12. "i want my sister to marry with a good and handsome guy."
13. "i want to know about gay."
14. "i want to drink beer."
15. "won the lottery price."
16. "make petroleum for Thai people and this petroleum will never lose and can use forever."
17. "meet my soulmate. (maybe get married.)"
18. "be the good child for my parents."
19. "sing and dance at the intersection."
20. "stop the war of the world."
21. "close my school and take the students to eat ice cream together."
22. "rob the bank."
23. "take all the lizard out of the world."
24. "owner to sheep farm."
25. "eat apples about 2 kg."
26. "meet E.T."
27. "go to visit Dhali lama's house."
28. "run in the rain."
29. "help women that are oppressed in jordan."
30. "choose my coffin."
31. "sleep with my parents."
32. "donate every part of my body."
33. "be alone."
34. "be buffalo."
35. "i want to somebody love me."
36. "i want to be a god."
37. "i want to be no die."
38. "jump edifice to next edifice." (dictionary/thesaurus help, no?)
39. "see the big bang."
40. "control the time."
41. "design a build."
42. "drive a f-16."
43. "to be a perfect guy."
44. "ride a shark."
45. "take photo with miss universe."
46. "be clever."
47. "make some food." then "eat some food."
48. "go to every pub in the world."
49. "say 'hot guy' to Andy Roddick."
50. "wear the skirt."

Monday, July 18, 2005

So suddenly he's a stickler for having "all the facts?"

Bangkok Post Tuesday 19 July 2005 - Bush sidestepping over future of Rove:

"Some Democrats have called for Mr Rove, whose title is deputy chief of staff, to be fired. They have suggested that he violated a 1982 federal law that prohibits the deliberate exposure of the name of a CIA agent. "It's best people wait until the investigation is complete before you jump to conclusions. I don't know all the facts. I want to know all the facts," Mr Bush said. (AP)"

Facts. Huh.

Jumpin' Jack Straw, I say yes yes yes!


So Chatham House, a non-partisan think tank comes out with the startling revelation that maybe, just maybe we shouldn't reject out of hand the notion that the UK's alignment with G-dub had something to do in precipitating the Underground bombings.

And then . . . the predictable outrage.

Sez Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary:
'I'm astonished that Chatham House is now saying that we should not have stood shoulder to shoulder with our long-standing allies in the United States.'

Well, actually, Chatham house didn't really say those words, that the UK "should not have stood," blah blah, they just said that a consequence of that action might be the increased risk that Britain would be a target for terrorism.

But really, how could any educated individual really reject the idea that any terrorism on ANY coalition nation from the point we engaged in Iraq to now is directly related to that nation's involvement in the Iraq war? How could any smart person reject the link between what we are doing in the Middle East and any attacks by Islamic extremists?

Like this:

Mr Blair has rejected any link between Iraq and the London bombings, saying on Saturday that the terrorists were driven not by opposition to particular policies but by "an evil ideology" that could not be moderated, only opposed. It would be a "misunderstanding of a catastrophic order" to believe they would change their behaviour if Western countries changed theirs.

Luckily, the British are much smarter than their leaders.

A selection of letters to the BBC on the subject:
Security, Terrorism and Our own secret service reports before the Iraq invasion said it would increase terrorism. Millions of UK people, many of them Muslim, demonstrated against the war before it started. Close childhood friends of the bomber state Iraq was a major source of their anger. Now the government tells us there is no correlation!
Ralph Williams, Cambridge

I agree that we were a target before we invaded Iraq. However the government trying to deny that the war in Iraq has had no effect on the threat of terrorism is ridiculous. The fundamentalists would have wanted to bomb us anyway but Iraq has created a situation where recruitment and support for the fundamentalists is greater.
Rob, Cardiff

When asked about the resistance met during the occupation of Iraq, George Bush said: 'Bring 'em on.' It seems that his wish has been granted, in London sadly. Anyone who denies the link between what happened in London and what happens in Iraq is in self-denial.
Abdellah, London

Of course the war in Iraq made terrorist attacks on the UK more likely. It amazes me that the government (and some of the public) seem to think that these terrorists have no agenda other than to 'destroy our way of life'. We may not agree with their goals or motivations, but obviously throwing our weight around in what they consider to be Muslim countries is bound to influence their thinking. As Osama Bin Laden himself said, if he was simply against our way of life, why doesn't he attack Sweden? The answer is simple - it's not our way of life, it's a direct result of our actions that have caused this.
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK

Of course, much of this rhetoric is a little too little, a little too late. There is really no use wondering whether or not the attacks would have happened if the UK hadn't gone into Iraq, since such retrospection is only satisfying in a kind of "we told you so" way. But showing the "War on Terrorism" for what it really is- a strategic power play, rather than any real attempt to quell Islamic extremism- is a step in the right direction.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Did someone call for an exorcism?

Gotta love Will Durst:
(In a supposed voicemail to the president from Scott McClellan)

"Anyhow, boss: please, please, please tell me we're not going to run that stupid "he never mentioned her name" defense. I mean, c'mon. He did say Joe Wilson's WIFE worked for the CIA. Which unless the guy is the King of Bahrain or an Elder in the Mormon Church or an Eskimo or something sounds pretty definitive even to me. And unh, if you do talk to Mr. Rove about this, could you leave my name out of it? To be honest, the guy kind of gives me the heebie jeebies. Remember that time I spilled coffee on his lap, and everyone laughed? Later on he pushed me into my office and started screaming and all the doors and windows shut on their own and the air got dense and I swear his eyes turned all red and stuff and a bunch of papers on a chair burst into flames. They were just a pile of old Posts so it was no big deal, but still. "

Mwah ha ha

And in further acts of deviance, I have stolen one of the "good" office chairs from the intern desk and replaced it with my old crappy chair.

My latest act of socially acceptable rebellion

Well, since the sister is leaving for Africa, and I'm too entrenched in my bourgeois lifestyle right now to do anything as nutty and ambitious as that, I got my hair colored. Yeah, that'll teach the establishment. Streaks of bleach blonde on top, nearly black underneath. Take that, capitalist pigs!


In the spirit of Friday-let's-post-a-picture-and-not-blog-about-what-is-really-going-on-blogging, here is a pic of a cat that we met in the Mountains over our trip. Mountain cats all seem to have this funny, stunted physique- they are short-legged and very round. Probably due to a diet of table scraps and whatever they can catch.

And, for comic relief, here's my mom's dog, sitting on his panda toy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Wednesday rock show really breaks up the week

So last nite I went to Boulder's Fox Theater for a free, all-ages show including my coworker's band, The Symptoms, as well as a band called Born In The Flood that had been recommended to me not long ago.

The Symptoms have a classic kind of punk sound, equal parts Ramones and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but with really great lyrics and songs with titles like "Beat Up By a Girl."

And I am so glad I stuck around- BITF creates a kind of musical landscape that pulls the best elements from early 90s grunge rock, OK Computer-era Radio Head and old-school U2. Very very good.

The crowd was kinda funny, lots of Bouldery hippie yuppie kids with indy band T-shirts and funky haircuts. I would guess that the youngest kids there were around 12 or 13. The Fox is laid out with a weird sort of pen for the kiddies, with chicken wire and plywood so they can't get booze from the over-21s on the other side of the wall. It's like a rabbit hutch of underagers. I thought it would be funny to bring someone who was not yet 21 and taunt them from the others side of the wall . . . Hey, there! How is it at the kiddie table? See you after the show . . . when I'm drunk!

But all in all, glad I went out on a school night to see these guys. Now I have to go back to doing my best impression of a girl who did NOT stay up until midnight last night listening to rock bands and drinking bottled PBR.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

So it goes . . .

The Rock and Roll Soldiers are now shilling for Verizon.

Crazy stuff. Ah well, I guess you can't be that rockin' and that cute without the fat cats coming around and promising to make all your dreams come true.

In other news, I'm not really surprised that they haven't found a "mastermind" behind the London bombings yet. I actually wonder if these kids (and they were kids- from the suburbs) acted alone out of much the same kind of anger and resentment that fuel such events as Columbine.

I have to wonder what consitutes a "terror cell." Is it just that a couple of kids had had enough of Britain's passive aggressive racism, and were impressed enough by the ideologies of extremism to think that they could make a real change in the world by blowing people up?

The Coultergeist would call me a traitor, she'd say I have sympathy for the devil here, but there is a vicious cycle at work. The more anger the non-Muslim world directs toward Muslims, the more likely it is that the odd extremist will act out. The more the extremists act out, the more anger is created against them. Which is why a "War on Terror" is like a kerosene-filled fire extinguisher.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ch-ch-ch-changes . . .

Yes! I found a place in Governor's Park. and I'll be moving at the end of the month. But of course, every decision I seem to make in regards to moving begets a new breed of chaos. I leave in 19 days and I've packed . . . some photos. I need to get on that.

In other news, I came across this little bit in the Washington Post, attributed in a roundup of ponderings on the Rove issue to a Mr. David Kidwell of the Miami Herald:
"All you really need to consider is this: If you were a government employee with a nagging conscience, if you had secret records that would expose corruption or lies at the highest levels, if your job was on the line and you needed to find a journalist whose promises you could trust with your life -- who would you call today: Matt Cooper and Time magazine, or Judith Miller and The New York Times?"

There are a number of things wrong with this statement. First of all, Judith Miller is not a hero of the American Press. She is not martyring herself in the name of the first amendment. She did not publish information from a little guy who went to the press to "do the right thing" and blow the whistle on "corruption or lies at the highest levels." No. She is *PART* of the corruption and lies at the highest levels- the very highest levels- of government and she is taking the fall not for her convictions but for someone bigger and far more powerful than she. Lois Lane she ain't.

If the person in the scenario described above, that is, the little guy with a nagging conscience and a collection of secret records, came to Judith Miller with his story, he wouldn't get past her assistant's assistant.

Monday, July 11, 2005

All Together Now

This is what you need to know.

Now, here's what you need to say:

Karl Rove compromised national security to settle a petty political vendetta.

Karl Rove committed a crime that is usually punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

In sum, Karl Rove is a criminal who disrupted the work of an agency who was working to secure our nation, all in the name of getting a jab at a minor political rival. While he deserves (at the very least) to rot in jail, I imagine the best we can hope for is his termination. If that. Turd Blossom is mighty resilient, but I think he's feeling the heat.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Resolve! Now with more . . . uh . . . Resolve!

Oy vey.

To clarify, this "Resolve" actually does something:

And this, this, this, this and this "resolve" only serves to reinforce the talking points of an administration that will co-opt any world event to defend its actions abroad.

(I personally love where Bush tells Britain to be "Extra Vigilant." For Christ's sake, the man talks like Hank Venture.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Just finished up the happy shiny vacation post and find out that this had happened.

I think teh l4m3 is probably right- the right is gonna spin this to mean that Blair is being to soft on Al Qaida. Which is unfortunate.

After seeing it last weekend, I was going to buy the director's cut of "Brazil." But I don't think I have the stomach for dystopia anymore.

Back home

This is me by Uncompaghre Peak in Southwest Colorado. Yes, this IS my "hiking" outfit.

Here's the obligatory list of important road-trip lessons:

1. Roswell is deep in the RED heart of New Mexico. Nothing but lizards, aliens and Republicans. Or just Republicans, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference.

2. Albuquerque is 300 years old this week. She doesn't look a day over 299.

3. If you ask for rellenos smothered in "red chile sauce" in Fairplay, Colorado, they will put chili (as in, chilidog chili) all over your rellenos. Not cool.

4. Roswell's home brew, "Alien Amber," is pretty good.

5. Just in case you need to know, these are the aliens that are most commonly encountered. I found that handy chart at the UFO museum in Roswell.

6. Albuquerque's town square is a prime spot for antiwar protests. The Independence Day protest was particularly poignant.

7. Due to an unusually wet summer, all the cacti are blooming this summer.

8. Albuquerque is still very much a car town. We were there for the tail end of the annual Route 66 vintage car show and cruise. The sister and I are trying to figure out how we can put a hybrid engine into a 1959 Eldorado and travel the country.

9. Roswell, being a military town, has a pretty awesome fireworks display for the fourth. Plus, it is close enough to the Mexican border that the "amateur" shows in backyards and driveways rival the professional show before, during and after the town's display.

10. Billy the Kid's gravestone has been stolen three times from the gunfighter's final resting place in Fort Sumner, N.M.

Now to attend to the thousands of emails and voicemails and small smoldering fires I need to put out after a weeklong absence from work.

Until next time . . .