Thursday, December 29, 2005
Yesterday my sister and I went with my dad to his radiation and chemo treatments. His chemo is done at an 'infusion center' where a bunch of people sit around in La-Z-Boys and have the chemo infused with an IV. It takes a couple of hours, usually, but yesterday it was a little backed up because of the holidays. Anyhow, we're sitting around with a bunch of people we don't know with nothing to do for 2 or 3 hours, and no TV because some piece of equipment had been stolen (go figure). In addition to my dad, there was a cheerful elderly gent who had just celebrated his 53rd wedding anniversary, a girl who appeared to be in her early 20s, whose son was having his 9th birthday that day, and an African-American woman in her 60s. At first, we kept our conversations among ourselves, but soon we began chit-chatting with the strangers about where we're from, etc. When I mentioned that I lived in California, someone asked about the Governator, and we were off and running.
D.J., the nurse who runs the infusion center is a sassy, hyperactive, opinionated old babe in her mid-60s from West Virginia, a great-grandmother who loves the Gators and Boot-Scootin' and hates FSU and Senator Byrd, so things got lively. Fortunately for us, my sister is a Gator. We started off with a general consensus that the younger generation (18-35 or so) is not very involved in politics, which is a tragedy. Geraldine, the African-American woman, told us that she and her best friend were involved in a 'Get Out The Vote' effort. She said that when they went 'door to door to door', almost everyone she talked to was of the opinion that their vote was useless anyway, so why bother? Score one for the Republicans on that one - they've done a bang-up job of convincing demographically Democrat African-American voters not to even bother showing up at the polls. After the way they were disenfranchised in 2000 with the 'felon purge' of tens of thousands of eligible voters and underserved with voting machines so working folks had to wait 8 or more hours to vote, who even needs to mess with the machines? Geraldine was a precinct worker, and told me that in 2004, the precinct that she worked in had nowhere near enough voting machines, and said that the line to vote went around the building 5 or 6 times. They had to request extra voting machines, which took their own sweet time in arriving. I wonder how many voters got turned away that day? And that was just one district. You can bet good money that the well-off Republican districts were not short any voting machines!
Well, as you can probably guess, Geraldine and I were off on a tear. We spent the rest of the time discussing the sad state of the nation. Most of what we talked about revolved around being informed. As a blogger, most of the people I meet up with, liberal or conservative, at least know who most of the players are, or they wouldn't be political blogging. But in the real world, I find that most of the people around me have never even heard of Tom DeLay, much less know how Congress works (or doesn't work!) or anything else about our political process! There is a general apathy, a disengagement from the reality of American life, that makes me very sad. In its place is info-tainment; people who are more in touch with the minutae of celebrities' lives than their own flesh-and-blood communities; people who are emotionally involved with fictional characters on television and apathetic about the deaths of Americans and other people around the world that our government is responsible for, and by extension, we are responsible for.
Because what was apparent to Geraldine and to me was that, in not speaking out or taking a stand, we are complicit. By not voting, we are complicit. We actively support what we don't oppose. If we have no voice, if with every Democratic vote together we do not have enough to move our plan forward, the only option we have is opposition. We cannot allow ourselves to be hobbled by Republican accusations of 'obstructionism' when that's all we have. And if we allow ourselves to be silent and apathetic because we don't feel that our lone vote, our lone voice can make a difference, then we've defeated ourselves without the opposition lifting a finger.
And that, dear friends, is the real tragedy.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Liberal media? What motherfucking liberal media?
Apparently, the New York Times knew about the illegal wiretapping before the 2004 elections, and sat on the story!
Of course, now that it's finally come out, conservatives say that it's timed by liberals to keep the Patriot Act from being reauthorized. But, honest to God - the intention and ability of this Administration to squash stories unfavorable to it is just staggering. The fearmongering that is the hallmark of this batch of criminals knows no limits. And it has proved immensely effective in pushing their police-state agenda. The magic words "9/11" are trotted out as the answer to every bludgeoning of the Bill of Rights, no matter how egregious.
But the New York Times had a story that was ready to go - that is, until the Busheviks cried "9/11" and "national security". And, as always, the problem is not the breaking of the law, but the reporting of the breaking of the law that has BushCo in a red rage. Now Times Executive Editor Bill Keller says that
"The publication was not timed to the Iraqi election, the Patriot Act debate, Jim's forthcoming book or any other event. We published the story when we did because after much hard work it was fully reported, checked and ready, and because, after listening respectfully to the administration's objections, we were convinced there was no good reason not to publish it." Keller rejected "the suggestion that the timing of the story was linked to next month's scheduled publication of "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," the book by Times reporter James Risen that includes information on the National Security Agency spying program.I contend, and have contended for a long time, that one of the most important factors in the takeover of our government has been a lack of the free press. We've always had rogue elements and powerful cabals in this country, but until now, we've had a press that would speak out about them. And when there was a chance to learn the truth about the Bush Administration's breaking of the law before the election, and a possible chance that the revelation of wiretapping innocent American citizens would hurt Bush's chances of re-election, as it was what finally brought down Richard Nixon, the same story which the NYT has finally decided is okay to publish (a year later) was squashed. Not only that, but when the Resident just flat-out, bald-face lied about wiretapping in 2004 while campaigning for re-election, stating:
"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."......nobody at the NYT who knew the truth said a damn thing. It's one thing to not mention wiretapping without a warrant if it is so important to national security (which, since we have an almost instant warrant system in place, it isn't) but when you just plain lie through your teeth to the American people and the press knows the truth, it is unconscionable to remain silent. And this grievous sin of omission is as responsible as anything else for the re-election (supposed) of this grotesque oligarchy. If the American people would have reacted then as they are reacting now, the bizarre Ohio results would not have been accepted by the country. We can see that we cannot trust this Administration to tell us the truth. But to have that information withheld from us by a cowardly, sycophantic and self-protecting press makes them complicit in the deception, and for this I am beyond furious. Oh, now that someone's writing a book about it anyway, they boldly come out with the story. What courage! The Judith Miller type of courage.
Gee, thanks, motherfuckers. I hope you're enjoying your cozy relationship with the oligarchy.
Journalism is dead.
Can democracy be far behind?
Ranking House Judiciary Democrat Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced a motion to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney for providing misleading information to Congress in advance of the Iraq war, failing to respond to written questions and potential violations of international law.My hero, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., is once again leading the charge for accountability and justice. Every single day, we learn of some heinous thing that the Resident and his Madministration has done to injure this country, but this really goes beyond the pale. Not only does he admit to wiretapping citizens without a warrant, dangerous terrorists like Quaker grannies, but he announces that he will continue to do so, even though there is a panel in place (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA) for monitoring 'suspicious' people with warrants immediately forthcoming, and who have never turned down a request for a warrant. The hubris and arrogance of this thug are not to be believed. When he states that he 'doesn't pay attention to polls', what he is really saying is that he doesn't pay attention to the American people's wishes. He truly sees himself as deserving of absolute power, and anyone who crosses him will do so at their own peril.
I have often wondered what it would take to get the American people to take notice of the fact that something very, very wrong has been going on, starting with the handing of the Presidency to the Chimperor by Judge Scalia (Dick Cheney's fishing buddy). It is just incredible to me what Americans have been willing to tolerate, overlook and ignore over the last five years. This wilful ignorance is what is so maddening. But perhaps, just perhaps, we are in the process of awakening.
Please, dear God, oh please, let it be true.
Here's John Conyers' site.
Also, check Shakespeare's Sister and AfterDowningStreet.org's new site CensureBush.org for more info.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Elections, for instance.
How much different would elections be if they were publicly financed? Imagine an election where one actually had to run on the issues! As it stands now, you either have to be fabulously wealthy and buy your seat, or accept so much in donations that you (and your office)are sold to the highest bidders. These are our options today - you either buy or sell. Imagine a candidate that was beholden to his or her constituents, not to the special interests that financed the campaign (and will finance any re-election).
Imagine a Washington where K Street and Tom DeLay doesn't call the shots. Imagine addressing the problems facing the country without fear of angering the big donors.
But most of all, we need to get the money out of war.
If war were unprofitable, we would not be at war right now. There was not a war industry before Vietnam. In WWII, American industry was asked to do its patriotic duty and switch their factories over to produce war materiel. Americans were asked to do their patriotic duty and ration materials needed for the war effort. Because of privatization, we are disconnected from the fact that we are at war - all of us, of course, except the families of soldiers who have died. They are all too aware. If we were in a just and necessary war - that is, if we had been truly attacked - we should all be part of the effort. But as long as the war is just something we hear about on TV, like a not-very-interesting miniseries, the war profiteering machinery will continue to roll on for as long as they possibly can - indefinitely. And the profit motive is also what induces companies like Halliburton to do the unthinkable - to cut corners, or just outright steal taxpayer money, with the result that our fighting men and women receive substandard support - substandard food, substandard clothing, substandard armor. I can think of no more egregious, heinous crime - it is so grotesque that I can't even find the right words to describe how vile that is. And then there are the 'private contractors', or mercenaries, who make so much more money that our volunteer military, and are also given so much more in the way of support. How does that make our soldiers feel? It's obvious, from beginning to end, how little this government cares about our soldiers - from the cuts in pay and benefits, to the non-support once they're over there fighting, to the lack of decent medical care if they're wounded (either physically, mentally or both), and if they die - no respect, no care for the survivors - just empty platitudes and chicken-hawkery. I am just filled with fury when I hear the Resident talk about 30,000 Iraqi dead, 2200 Americans dead - and then go on to make a joke.
I wonder if Dubya even knows what 'dead' means. Someone should make him go look at a real dead, mutilated, war-torn body.
The day we get the money out of politics, out of war, would be the happiest day of my life.
Suspected polling violations on voting day last week far exceeded the number in Iraq's first election in January, local and international monitors said yesterday.
On the deadline for filing complaints, the number of alleged violations which could swing results in the 275-seat parliament was "well into double figures", an accredited international election observer, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
In January there were only five of these "red" complaints, the observer added. Red complaints are alleged breaches serious enough to potentially hand a seat to a party or election bloc unfairly. The election commission has declined to say how many such complaints it has received, but several parties handed in dossiers listing breaches allegedly seen by their monitors.
Secular Arab parties have accused the Shia religious bloc, which dominates the current government, of intimidating voters in Baghdad and many southern cities.
Well, the Resident told us he wanted to bring American-style democracy and elections to Iraq. He seems to have succeeded admirably.
It looks like he has finally told the truth for once in his life.
Friday, December 16, 2005
There's way too much Scottie goodness to fit on Jam Tomorrow, so I'm going to put the best of it in the body of the post...(the best of the best bits are emphasized by me)
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. First of all, the President was asked a question and he responded to that question in the interview yesterday, and made very clear what his views were. We don't typically tend to get into discussing legal matters of that nature, but in this instance, the President chose to respond to it. Our policy regarding the Fitzgerald investigation and ongoing legal proceeding is well-known and it remains unchanged. And so I'm just not going to have anything further to say. But we've had a policy in place for a long time regarding the Fitzgerald investigation.
Q Why would that not apply to the same type of prosecution involving Congressman DeLay?
MR. McCLELLAN: I just told you we had a policy in place regarding this investigation, and you've heard me say before that we're not going to talk about it further while it's ongoing.
Q Well, if it's prejudging the Fitzgerald investigation, isn't it prejudging the Texas investigation with regard to Congressman DeLay?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think I've answered your question.
Q Are you saying the policy doesn't apply?
Q Can I follow up on that? Is the President at all concerned that his opinion on this being expressed publicly could influence a potential jury pool, could influence public opinion on this in an improper way?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that in this instance he was just responding to a question that was asked about Congressman DeLay, about Leader DeLay, and in terms of the issue that Peter brings up, I think that we've had a policy in place, going back to 2003, and that's a White House policy.
Q But that policy has been based in part, in the leak investigation and other things, on the idea that it is simply wrong for a President to prejudge a criminal matter, particularly when it's under indictment or trial stage. Why would he --
MR. McCLELLAN: And that's one -- this is an ongoing investigation regarding possible administration officials. So I think there are some differences here.
Q There are lots of times when you don't comment on any sort of legal --
MR. McCLELLAN: There are also legal matters that we have commented on, as well. And certainly there are legal matters when it goes to Saddam Hussein.
Q So the President is inconsistent?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, David, we put a policy in place regarding this investigation --
Q But it's hypocritical. You have a policy for some investigations and not others, when it's a political ally who you need to get work done?
MR. McCLELLAN: Call it presidential prerogative; he responded to that question. But the White House established a policy --
Q Doesn't it raise questions about his credibility that he's going to weigh in on some matters and not others, and we're just supposed to sit back and wait for him to decide what he wants to comment on and influence?
MR. McCLELLAN: Congressman DeLay's matter is an ongoing legal proceeding --
Q As is the Fitzgerald investigation --
MR. McCLELLAN: The Fitzgerald investigation is --
Q -- As you've told us ad nauseam from the podium.
MR. McCLELLAN: It's an ongoing investigation, as well.
Q How can you not -- how can you say there's differences between the two, and we're supposed to buy that? There's no differences. The President decided to weigh in on one, and not the other.
MR. McCLELLAN: There are differences.
Q And the public is supposed to accept the fact that he's got no comment on the conduct of senior officials of the White House, but when it's a political ally over on the Hill who's got to help him get work done, then he's happy to try to influence that legal process.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, not at all. Not at all. You can get all dramatic about it, but you know what our policy is.
Go ahead, Paula.
Q I do have a question about White House ethics guidelines --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the American people understand.
Q No, they don't. And the only thing that's dramatic is the inconsistency of the policy and you trying to defend it.
Notice how he called Tommi "Leader DeLay"? Even when he had to step down as Majority Leader? And what is a "possible adminisration official"?
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Now, let's analyze this seemingly innocuous statement. Take "end of my term is a long time", for instance. Now, what does he mean by that? Could it be that he's not planning to be out of office any time soon - perhaps a new disaster up ahead? One that will make it, uh, inconvenient to hold elections?
(Warning - I do believe I am riding shotgun on the Moonbatmobile - wooh, wooh! All aboard the Crazy Train, non-stop to Conspiracy City!)
And, next we come to the words that we are all familiar with by now..."heck of a job". The last guy who got those kind of kudos from the Resident went packing shortly thereafter. (And need I even say, landed softly and comfortably?)
We can only hope and pray that Bloody Rummy gets a kiss-off, too. I'll get to the rest of this cornucopia of Bush-speak later.
Monday, December 12, 2005
You've played a lot of different roles (actually, you've played one or two roles in a lot of different movies, Sir Laurence) but now, here's your chance to play the biggest role of all time - God. How the testosterone must be racing through your veins right about now. It's a better high than steroids, even. More powerful than the feeling you get when you grope the babes. Your entire life looks like one big quest for ultimate manhood, and here it is at last.
You say that Stanley 'Tookie' Williams never admitted to his crimes, proclaiming his innocence to the last, and therefore there is no redemption. Wouldn't it be something if, down the road a piece, evidence comes out that exonerates him? It's happened before. And perhaps he did do what he's accused of. I wonder how many young people's lives he's saved by his books reaching out to youth and rejecting gang life and gang violence. If you know anything about human nature, you know that it's hard to listen to someone who hasn't walked in your shoes. Do-gooders who wag their fingers and say, "Don't join gangs, now, kiddies!" are usually summarily dismissed, but when it comes from an authority on the subject, it has impact. The central tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous, the most successful plan ever devised to stop drinking, is the concept of 'one drunk talking to another drunk', and it works in a way no amount of lecturing from people who haven't been there ever could.
Stanley Williams will die in prison. That's established, barring some DNA evidence or something like that exonerating him. But killing him will not bring back the dead. Almost every democratic, civilized nation in the world has rejected the death penalty. Except us. We're in the august company of nations like
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
CONGO (Democratic Republic)
SAINT CHRISTOPHER & NEVIS
SAINT VINCENT & GRENADINES
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Impressive, n'est-ce pas?
I never cease to be astonished at how many people there are who profess to be Christians, who profess to value life, and yet support capital punishment. Jesus, on the other hand, was all about forgiveness. He forgave unconditionally. He forgave His own killers, and didn't bother to ask them if they were sorry.
I am against capital punishment for the simple reason that I cannot give life, so I have no right to take it away. Only God can give life. To the question of whether I would kill to save the life of my child - of course I would, and I would take any punishment due me for that. But killing Tookie Williams will not save anyone's life, nor bring back the lives already taken. Keeping him alive, however, has saved the lives of youth who will only listen to someone like Tookie, not a well-meaning social worker.
Unfortunately, we live in a culture of death and corruption. The Resident has not only killed many Death Row inmates, he mocked and taunted them. That's how his religious values manifest themselves.
You want to play God? Try forgiveness. That's what God does.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Libertarian millionaire John Gilmore is suing the Bush Administration for the the right to travel without showing identification. John was attempting to board a plane and was not allowed to without showing ID. To John, this is unconstitutional.
On July 4, 2002, John Gilmore went to Oakland International Airport. He had a ticket in his own name with Southwest Airlines to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The purpose of his trip was to petition the government for redress of grievances—specifically, the requirement for airline travelers to provide identification.Here's John's case, laid out in a clear, concise manner...
John politely refused to show his ID and was not allowed to fly.
John then went to San Francisco International Airport and attempted to fly to Washington, DC on United Airlines. There he was informed that if he was not willing to show ID he could fly, but only if he submitted to a far more intrusive search than what every passenger goes through at the security checkpoint.
He politely declined the search and again was not allowed to fly.
Showing ID. Intensive searches. What's going on here?
Sorry, Sir... that law's a secret.
That's what John Gilmore wanted to know. At San Francisco's airport, just like the rest of the country's airports, there was a sign that began "A Notice From the Federal Aviation Administration" and includes the sentence "passengers must present identification upon initial check-in.
John worked his way up the bureaucratic chain and was eventually told by United Airlines that there were security directives that mandated the showing of ID, but that he couldn't see them. These secret directives, issued by the Transportation Security Administration, are revised as often as weekly, and are transmitted orally rather than in writing. To make things even more confusing, these orally transmitted secret rules change depending on the airport.
Demanding ID: Plane Un-Constitutional?
Being told that there's a secret law that requires one to show ID before an American citizen can travel in his own country struck John as illegal. We have no 'papers' to show in the United States: how could they possibly be required in order to travel?
In addition, how could any 'law' requiring any citizen to do anything be a secret? None of this made sense.
John Gilmore left the airport and has not attempted to fly in the United States since that day.
He did, however file a lawsuit; and it's now up to the court to get to the bottom of this.
From an article I just read, constitutionality is the least of the Resident's worries. His true colors are shining through in this piece by Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue. Doug says:
Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.So, what have we learned today in Civics class, kiddies?
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.
GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”
I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”
And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that “goddamned piece of paper” used to guarantee.
We now have secret laws that Americans are not allowed to know about, but can be prosecuted for breaking!
And the Constitution is a worthless wad of paper, fit only for wiping the butts of BushCo, or making spitballs out of.
What really amazes me is that the Worst. President. Ever., whether you believe he was duly elected or not (and I don't), with the slimmest of margins, persists in bullying, bellowing and dictating as if he had been elected with 105% of the vote, rather like...Saddam Hussein. And he certainly has the same amount of regard for the rule of law and constitutionality. Yes, his true colors are shining through - red (for blood) and yellow (for cowardice).
It's long past time for a change in the Color Guard. We need our Blue (for truth) and our White (for transparency and honesty) back.
(Thanks to Earl for the photo - you either read the post or read my mind!)
Friday, December 09, 2005
Some people have no pride. No guts. No game.
Here's the Dukester. So he has some good friends who take care of him, and, naturally, friends return favors. What's so bad about that? Isn't that what friendship is all about? So he likes nice things. Who doesn't? I like nice things myself. Sue me.
So a bunch of 'soak the rich' liberal commie moonbats get their frilly pink panties in a twist - about what? That the Dukester is a swell guy and a loyal friend, and maybe has a little sump'n-sump'n to show for it? A little bling-bling? They're just jealous that they don't have nice friends, so they have to attack the people who do.
Really, 'corruption' is such an ugly word, don't you think?
Oh, sure, last summer he sounded like a stand-up guy, giving as good as he got. He swore up and down (a regular thing with him, the swearing) that he was completely innocent and would be vindicated, that he had never ever done anything that was not honest and aboveboard, that his whole life was one big shining example of sanctimonious righteousness. That he would fight those base and baseless charges to the bitter end.
Turns out, though, that when the 'bitter end' came along, he cried like a bitch. Like he just got pimp-slapped, clutching at his reddened, tear-stained cheek in horror and shame. What kind of man is that? No kind, if you ask me. A girly-man. A weak sister.
Now, Tommi - he's a man. You won't catch my Tommi blubbering like a baby who's peed his diaper. Never complain, never explain.
Tommi knows that you never, never, never admit wrongdoing of any kind, ever. Just attack back. The best defense is a great offense. Hold your head high. Smile when you say that, son. Show those pearly whites. It's worked like a charm so far. You wait, he'll be back as Majority Leader in no time, while the Dukester is filling up his dance card up to the Big House.
We here in Hooterville luv Tom DeLay so much, we have collaborated with Blue Gal and Helen Wheels on a site entirely dedicated to him: I Love Tom DeLay!
Here's my latest cross-post for those of you who, like me, just can't get enough of that Tommi stuff!
So much for those fair-weather nay-sayers.
I'm not the only one sticking by Tommi in his hour of need. None other than 'Swingin' Dick Cheney has stood up for friendship, loyalty and reciprocity! He showed serious love to our embattled Tommi by headlining a lovely, lavish fundraiser in Houston last Monday night, telling a rapt, upscale audience that he was "no fair-weather friend". At least that's what I heard from a little mouse, because no pesky, unfriendly Liberal Media were allowed into this swanky soirée, and neither were the annoying, screechy 'professional' protesters milling around outside, whining and holding up their stupid little signs. As if Tommi or Dick or anyone else inside gave a hamster's heinie about what those sore losers think. Veterans? Commie peaceniks? Everyone knows they don't count anyway. It's the folks inside, the ones paying $500 to $4,200 to attend this glamorous gala event, who matter. And they are the ones showing love, support and major simoleons to our darling Tommi.
(To be brutally honest, I think that Dick Cheney was hoping some of Tommi's powerful mojo would rub off on him - with a 19% approval rating, he needs to be seen with someone more popular than he is. Tommi just gives and gives and gives!)
Speaking of giving, lest you think that conservatives are not compassionate, let me tell you this little tid-bit. Conservatives are all about the love, no matter who gives it. Magnanimously, they allowed a feminazi protester from Code Pinko into the party - for only $50! Talk about your Big Tent Sale!
(thanks to Blue Gal for the original pic)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
As you know, I usually do my own cartoons, but I must share this gem, courtesy of my idol Princess Sparkle Pony. I love the Bush Hand Turkeys™! Who knew that turkeys (birds who will eat until their stomachs explode; birds who will pile on top of one another until they suffocate) were smarter than our very own Commander-in-Thief?
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
As I've mentioned, I'm a mom, raising four kids. I know a lot of you out there are parents or pet owners (yes, it applies there too!). Now, which is the better parent - the one who says, "My little darling is just perfect! He can do whatever he wants!" as Little Darling pulls the wings off flies, bullies other kids on the playground, steals their toys, lies, and disrespects others, or the one who corrects Little Darling's behavior?
Most people would not dream of allowing their children to grow up cruel and selfish. Children are born selfish by nature as a survival instinct, but it's a parent's job to teach the child to get along with others, to share, to wait their turn, to put themselves in other people's shoes, to respect others. That makes for a happy, well-adjusted child who has friends, who does well in school, and later on does well in life. To not give a child limits is to neglect and abuse them. We even treat our animals with more kindness by training them.
If a kid eats too much candy he gets sick. If he isn't given nutritious food, he becomes weak and sickly. If he isn't given chores and responsibilities, he doesn't understand how to take care of himself. If he's given every toy or thing he demands, he will not understand the meaning of money. He'll be spoiled, greedy and what's more, unhappy and dissatisfied without knowing why.
I see our relationship with our country that way. To say "America's perfect and if you criticize it you're unpatriotic" does our great country a huge disservice. Nobody wants America to be a spoiled bully, but if we do not discipline her, that's what happens. I love my country too much to do that.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Also, Old White Lady has a cool cartoon up for T-Day!
Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving. I'm taking a 24-hour reprieve from Food Prison (a.k.a. my diet) and enjoying absolutely everything. I'm grateful for so much in my life, and even in the face of the tragedies ongoing in this country and the world, it seems right to take a moment for gratitude. My little daughter is sitting by me, drawing a Thanksgiving picture and singing "The More We Get Together, The Happier We'll Be".
Sounds about right to me.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Once again we'd like to extend the invitation to any local bloggers reading this to come out and see us tonight, or any Wednesday between now and New Year's. We play for the door, but if 5 bucks is an issue (sometimes it is with me!), e-mail me and I'll put you on the list.
And if you can't make it but want to show love, please go to our website and click on the "Cozy's" link - it makes us look very good to the club owner! Pass it on if you're so inclined.
God, I am such a pathetic beggar...
Anyhow, the band is tons of fun and babe-a-licious - ladies, we're the perfect band for a 'Girl's Night Out' - and we guarantee a good time for all.
Update: New music on the site! Go to 'Hear Us' and click on the nifty little Wimpy player, made by yours truly. (That's me singing on Bad Dream)
We now return to our regularly-scheduled bitch-fest.
P.S. - I just realized I didn't put a link up to the site (duh!) although the music player goes there...
Some Like It Hot
Monday, November 21, 2005
As I look at your profile, M, it says you started on Blogger in November of 2004 also - does this make it your anniversary, too?
And speaking of blog-i-versaries, cheers go out to my former UPC stablemate Cernig at NewsHog (isn't that just a great name?). You're always right on the money, C.
Many Happy Returns, guys!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
A new visitor to Hooterville, Klem from Wiltshire, passed along this link to an interactive photo essay by a photojournalist named Paul Fusco. It shows military families at the funerals of our soldiers killed in Iraq, which receive no media coverage. If we are not aware of the cost in not only dollars and cents, but blood and tears, it's easier to perpertrate this atrocity. He speaks about the families "cringing when they are given the American flag - there's no glory in it. They know that. They've been given a rag for their husband's life - for lies." Our soldiers are honorable. The chickenhawks who sent them to their deaths for their own enrichment and power are not.
When you click the link, go to the essay titled "Bitter Fruit". This needs to be seen and talked about. He also has a webpage for the essay.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
One year ago today I started blogging here at Hooterville. I was in the depths of despair over the hijacked election and the frustration of feeling helpless and voiceless. My mom suggested therapy. I decided to blog.
A year later, I feel better. I've met some wonderful online friends, found some kind of writing voice, started cartooning, and watched the country slowly starting to wake up. I feel a little more hopeful for our future.
So I'm celebrating, and you're invited! Blog party here. Stop by and get your Party Favor! (Right-click and save, or just drag off the page).Thank you for keeping me sane.
Here's to success in 2006!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Well, I suppose it's par for the course. The traditional media are going to hell in a handbasket. Toothless and drooling, they are serving up bland, tasteless pabulum, completely devoid of any substance or nutrition whatsoever. Trying to save money by firing talent is killing the goose that lays the golden egg to save on the cost of goose food.
Even though I now get most of my news from the Internet, I still enjoy(ed) reading the newspaper. I am a reader by nature. I like print, paper, something to hold in my hand while I drink my coffee. But so many of my favorite columnists have died or retired; newspapers are not what they were. And I just have to face the sad fact that newspapers are on their way out. Circulation is down all over the country, and the media as an entity are either owned and controlled by a conglomerate which dictates editorial policy or terrified of stepping over the line and offending someone.
What a tragedy.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Find your 23rd blog post ever. Find the fifth sentence of that 23rd post and tell us what it is just to see how relevant it's remained.
Well, here's mine -
'Fixing facts' so we can attack a country who has not and cannot attack us?
That seems relevant, I'd say.
(check the archives if you think I'm making it up!)
I'll tag the next 5 bloggers tomorrow - I'm following the election results tonight.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
And I'm a card-carrying member of the Concerned Women of America.
When I hear the word 'privatization' these days, I start eyeing the exits with my suitcase in my hand. I know that robbery is not far off. And, of course, our Fearful Leader, undaunted by the stinking pit of his approval ratings and the ugly black cloud of indictments and corruption hanging over his Residency, is acting like he has since he was selected - like he's riding the crest of his overwhelming popularity. In his mind, he's the Most Popular and Bestest President Ever, beloved by the masses, with an unlimited mandate to do as he pleases. So far reality has not made the slightest scratch on the plexiglass bubble of optimism that he lives in.
And so he's ready - again - to start pimping his disastrous Social Security destruction scheme, as if Americans have been clamoring for it and he's ready to give the people what they've been begging for. It's easy to understand Bush-speak - whenever he uses the word 'reform', simply substitute the word 'destroy' and you will get the picture.
Are you fricking kidding me? I live in California, and experienced first-hand the benefits of the privatization of the energy companies. Thank you Enron. Because of that, the state of California was ripped off, our governor Gray Davis (who wasn't the greatest but surely no worse than Pete "Kill the Kiddies" Wilson) was yanked out of office and replaced by a Governator who ran on the promise of fiscal prudence and standing up to 'special interests', which sounded good until we realized that what he meant by 'special interests' were teachers, nurses and firefighters. If this is 'business' behavior, you can stick it where the sun don't shine.
The problem with 'running the government like a business' is that business' only purpose is to make a profit. And government's purpose is, not to 'take care of us' as in the so-called 'nanny state' (a misnomer if ever there was one) but to facilitate us taking care of ourselves! These are our tax dollars that we give to the government, and the government is us. Oil companies who make these obscene profits on oil seem to forget that the oil itself is a resource that belongs to the country that it is drilled from. And that means each and every American, each and every Saudi, each and every Iraqi. It is a national resource upon which our very lives depend, since no one has seen fit to make a serious effort to find other, more sustainable power resources. And yet these oil companies act like they fricking invented it.They do not have the right to hold us hostage with our own rope.
When you use business as a model, you forget one very important thing - that salaries are a business liablilty! A business is not in business to take care of anything but the bottom line. That's not a moral judgment, it's a fact. Why should it? A business is not a person; does not need to eat, sleep, care for a family. Its priorities are different than a person's. That's okay. But since the government is supposed to represent the people of the United States, who do, indeed, have these needs, this is a very poor model to use. People's needs are a liability to a business.
As a corollary to that, the demonization of unions has enjoyed a resurgence lately. But if business is to be let alone to protect its own interest, so should the worker. The obvious fact is, the less a company has to pay its workers, the better its bottom line. You can't argue with that. So it is in the company's own best interest to pay as little as it can get away with. Watch a company's stock rise when it lays off workers. And then the workers who are not laid off have to work twice as hard to do the work of the people who have been laid off.
Companies are always defending their huge tax breaks by saying, "We create jobs!" But if the jobs don't pay enough to lead a decent life, what good are they? I often use the example of the 2 employers - one pays one guy $25 an hour, the other pays 5 guys $5 an hour. So does the 2nd employer create more jobs than the 1st? Why not hire 25 guys at $1 an hour! That's 25 jobs right there!
The employee making $25 an hour, though, can at least afford a place to live, to eat, maybe even some discretionary spending, thereby adding to the tax base. The people making $5 an hour will be on welfare. The only chance that a regular worker has is to group together to negotiate a decent salary. Otherwise, it will be against a company's interest to pay it. In a business, some expenses are negotiable, others are not. If you can get a lower price on your inventory from one dealer than another, as a good business person you are obligated to buy from the cheaper wholesaler. An employer is obligated to pay the least in salary that he can get away with. So why is it so bad when people get together in a union to protect their own interests? If the problem is corruption - fine; get rid of it, deal with it. But don't disband the unions themselves. The corporations have massive resources at their disposal to take care of themselves; why not workers?
The demonization of the unions is a deliberate attempt by the corporations and businesses to cut a better deal for themselves. And who can blame them? But don't be fooled. "Right to work" means "Right to take whatever we feel like giving you". You can't count on a corporation to voluntarily give employees what they need. Workers need to be allowed the same rights to protect themselves. This vast inequality between the employers and employees has resulted in the sad living situation we see all around us - massive layoffs, those who still have jobs worked half to death and living in fear of their own layoff, people being forced to train their Bangalore replacement (sort of like being made to dig your own grave before you're executed).
And while we're at it, why not talk about universal health care? That would take one burden off of business' back. I don't think that with the job turnover rate as high as it is, that it makes sense for businesses to pay for health care.
So to have this as a model for our government is insane. When you bring in the profit factor, which is the main goal of a business, you're taking away money from yourself. Government is us taking care of us, not somebody else taking care of us. We need to deal with whatever waste and inefficiency there is within the system, not throw away the system. And, speaking of waste and inefficiency, not to mention outright thievery, what government agency could possibly compete with Halliburton and its subsidiaries on that front? The most wasteful government program pales in comparison.
So don't give me that nonsense about privatization. Let's have more transparent government, more oversight and accountability, a better system of implementation, but keep your greedy, grubby, grabby paws off my tax dollars.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
So, if you want to check out my early blog ramblings, here they are...
Anyway, here's mine...
'Welcome To Hooterville'!
Like a lot of people I know, I'm a little dazed and disoriented. I didn't expect to be hit quite so hard by the outcome of the election, although I knew I was invested in 2004 like never before. Never before did it seem to me so imperative to change the direction of the country. Never before was it so clear to me that we had not only an incompetent President, but a cruel one, propped up by a vicious and greedy Administration. In the months leading up to the election, I made phone calls, wrote letters, talked to anyone who would listen, supported my candidate. I was heartened to find that there were many others that felt the way I did. Surely, after the Travesty of 2000, things would be different this time around.
Alas, it was not to be.
On the morning of Nov. 4, I woke up in Hooterville.
Hooterville, for those of you who don't remember the '60s TV sitcom "Green Acres", was a small rural town filled with crazy people. Let me take this opportunity to fervently stress that it is not the 'ruralness' (for lack of a better word) that I am referring to here. These same types of characters can be found in virtually any sitcom setting - big city, suburbs, rich, poor - so don't go thinking I'm bashing the 'Heartland' like some over-educated, no-values-having, Cosmopolitan-swilling liberal elitist. It just happened to be the setting for this show. For those still unclear on the concept, think "The Simple Life" meets Franz Kafka. Anyhow, the story is about a New York City lawyer who longs to lead a simpler, more uncomplicated life - to buy a real farm and really farm it; to get 'back to the land'. His ditsy-but-sexy Hungarian wife loves the big city and has no interest in leaving New York. The husband puts his foot down, however, and off they go.
Once they get to bucolic Hooterville, though, nothing is as it seems. Bets are taken by the locals as to how long the greenhorns will last. Right away poor Oliver Douglas has to start dealing with the resident Con-Man-In-Chief, Mr. Haney, who, having begun the show with a swindle, makes it his mission in life to fleece Mr. Douglas at every opportunity while ladling on the country charm.
Everyone on that show, including his wife, was just nuttier than a fruitcake, and yet Mr. Douglas was the one who was unable to prevail. A reasonably sensible man, he stood no chance of success, because he was trying to deal with his neighbors in a rational, logical way. In return, he was constantly lied to, important information that everyone else knew was routinely kept from him, he was tricked into paying for things that already belonged to him. And, of course, always served up with a heapin' helping of hot, steaming corn-pone.
I didn't watch the show all that much growing up because it made me vaguely uncomfortable. It seemed wrong, somehow, that this basically decent guy couldn't get a break, ever. He didn't try to come in to the town and change things; he just wanted to learn how to fit in. He tried to play by the rules, but they kept changing the rules on him. His only fault was not being as crazy as the rest of them.
This is how I've been feeling lately - as if I have somehow wandered onto the set of "Green Acres". The inmates are in charge of the asylum. I've put up this blog in order to try and sort out what the hell happened, what the hell's going on now, and what the hell to do next!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
So if you have one in November, let me know and we'll have a Blog Party! My date is the 16th.
Monday, October 31, 2005
They figure if they can drag this out for a couple more years, the issues will be moot anyway - we'll be in a world war or something.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
A hope was held out for an end to the pillage.
An end to the theft of American dollars,
An end to the demonization of scholars.
The people of Hooterville wished and they prayed
For justice and peace to be no more DeLayed.
They longed for the day that their country would be
No longer a captive of venality.
For many a year now, the Hooterville people
Have cried, "What's the matter with all of you sheeple?
How can you just sit there and let this go on?"
But, sadly, their outrage was met by a yawn.
And those who were stealing from those who have least,
Rampaging like some kind of greed-maddened beast,
Were holding us up, shouting, "This is a heist!
So put up your hands in the name of our Christ!"
Then, what to our wondering eyes should appear
But a man speaking words that we so longed to hear:
"It's time for the Piper at last to be paid"
And Hooterville happily hip-hip-hoorayed.
Indictments all round for the scum who would claim
That they'd never known Wilson or Valerie Plame
And all along, vengeance had been the sole reason
To 'out' our own agent, and so commit treason.
For war must be waged, and their coffers be filled -
Who cares about mothers whose sons have been killed?
Who cares for the dying, the crying, the hurtin' -
Just look at those profits for ol' Halliburton!
It's time for the hammer of justice to fall;
Time we put a stop to it once and for all.
A stop to corruption, and cronies, and lies.
Let's stop before one more American dies.
And what do I want 'neath my own Fitzmas tree?
A Scooter, a Rover, maybe a Cheney!
(I wrote this before I read Catherine's masterpiece at Povertybarn...please check it out!)
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Well, let me suggest this. I am the proud owner of the domain name ilovetomdelay.com.
Would anyone like to help me put it together? Now is as good a time as any, I'd say!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
She's been paying very close attention to the Judith "Gee, I Forgot" Miller debacle, and her guess is that several big-ass indictments will be handed out, starring Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Stephen Hadley...and featuring special guest star Dick Cheney as an unindicted co-conspirator!
And the mystery 'second source' who corroborated Libby for Judy Blue Eyes? That suave, debonair, smooth-talking silver-tongued ladies' man John Bolton!
It will be interesting to see this play out.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Hi all -
I'm taking time out of my ceaseless whinging to band-whore for a moment. My band "Some Like It Hot" played last Thursday night at a blues club called Cozy's in Sherman Oaks. Our bass player Lynne and I used to play there on a regular basis with our old band the Scarletts but our new band had never played there before and we were anxious to do well. We had a great night with a lot more people than I expected, and it was a very generous and friendly crowd. It really felt like 'Old Home Week'.
We're booked back there a week from next Thursday on the 20th, and we would like to invite anyone in the L.A. vicinity to come out and hang with us. If you can't come but would like to show some support, you can go to our website and click on the 'Cozy's' link on the front page. Apparently the owner, who has now learned to look at his stats, noticed that our website had sent the most traffic to his site, and was suitably impressed. I'd really like to make a splash on his site, as this is a great club for us (and located a convenient block-and-a-half from my house!) and we'd like to be back regularly.
And now, back to our regularly-scheduled bitch-fest!
In all humility, I would be great. Look as hard as they might, no one will ever find any of my legal decisions to be unacceptable. I have not made any rulings that would be questionable. I, like Harriet, have never been a judge. But I can top her - I've never been a lawyer, either! Heck, I haven't even been to college! Talk about your blank slate! I've got it all over Harriet. And in the anti-intellectual, elitist-education-hating climate of this Administration, that makes me the perfect pick. I am, perhaps, the most qualificationally-challenged candidate in the field.
Plus, I look hot in a black muu-muu.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Tommi in particular just makes me furious. Besides Karl Rove, I don't think there is any one person more dangerous to our democracy than he is. Using every dirty trick in the book, he constructs a one-party state with no limitations on his power and greed. Illegaly redistricting - gerrymandering - Texas so as to shut out Democrats and grab a majority in Congress. And he gets away with it! Everybody goes, "Tsk-tsk - that wicked Tom DeLay!", but he gets away with it anyway. He takes over K Street and shuts out lobbyists who donate to the Democratic Party, and he gets away with it. He shuts out corporations who hire a Democrat to lobby for them. And he gets away with it. He shuts down any bill that threatens his corporate thievery - and he gets away with it! And then adds insult to injury by babbling on about his 'Christian' values. Sweatshops, forced prostitution, forced abortions (isn't that one a hoot!) are fine with Tommi in the Marianas, that shining example of free-market American business at its best. Everyone is shocked - shocked, but nobody stops it.
I for one am sick to death of it. I am so hungry for some justice, some honesty, some accountability. I'm so afraid for our soldiers, for the innocent people who are dying every day because of this administration's apocalyptic and venal worldview. The media is cowed into submission, so the average American, who deserves to know the truth, is left in the dark.
What do you think those First Amendment protections are for, anyway? Why does a 'journalist' like Judith Miller get to cloak herself in it? Because the press is supposed to challenge the powers that be, not suck up to them. That's what the First Amendment is for. And it is as much a protection for the people as it is for the journalists who are supposed to be exposing the workings of the government. The only people who have the time and the access to get at the facts are journalists. That is their job, not mine. The public has a right to know the truth, and that is why journalists and free speech in general are protected. That is the the privilege and the duty of the press. They are given these protections because their first duty is to the American people, not the government. But lately, it's been the other way around. The press operates at the behest of the government for fear of losing their jobs, their reputations, their access. But ordinary Americans are being asked to do a journalist's job as well as their own because the journalists won't do it. I can't go to Washington. I can't go to Iraq. I don't have the access to anyone in power. I can't find this stuff out first-hand; I am supposed to be able to rely on the press for that. It makes me sick. It seems as if we 'unpaid pundits' of the blogosphere have to take up the slack until the press can grow a set. The papers and the news networks need to support their writers and journalists and allow them the latitude to write and speak the truth without being smeared, discredited or ignored.
So, yes, I snark. And I rant. And I read. And I talk. And I listen. Because despair is not an option.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
"Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job - Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to “Mission Accomplished” and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.Read the whole speech here -
This is the Katrina administration.
It has consistently squandered time, tax dollars, political capital, and even risked American lives on sideshow adventures: A war of choice in Iraq against someone who had nothing to do with 9/11; a full scale presidential assault on Social Security when everyone knows the real crisis is in health care - Medicare and Medicaid. And that's before you get to willful denial on global warming; avoidance on competitiveness; complicity in the loss and refusal of health care to millions."
Saturday, September 24, 2005
According to the U.K. Observer, the warm-hearted and philanthropic George Bush appealed to Americans to give money to help with the reconstruction of Iraq. The response was overwhelming, raising over six hundred dollars!
"The public's reluctance to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods to the administration's attempt to offer citizens 'a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq' has been seized on by critics as evidence of growing ambivalence over that country.Gee, where do I sign?
This coincides with concern over the increasing cost of the war. More than $30 billion has been appropriated for the reconstruction. Initially, America's overseas aid agency, USaid, expected it to cost taxpayers no more than $1.7bn, but it is now asking the public if they want to contribute even more."
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Honestly, what do you think - some guy is going to come out waving a white flag and say, "I'm the King of All Terrorists, and on behalf of all the terrorists in the world, I surrender to you, President Bush! Please don't unleash any more American might upon us! We are helpless against your superior strength and moral righteousness. You've beaten us fair and square, President Bush, and I promise you, no terrorist will ever interfere with your oil interests again, O mighty Caliph of Carnage! We bow to your awesome American power!"
But you throw away American lives and dollars like they were so much Charmin on this invasion you insist on calling a war. Gleefully calling yourself a 'war president' as you've been dying to do for many years - except of course, you're not doing the dying, are you? Course, you can't very well be a War President without a war, now can you? And you can't have a real keen war without a lot of kids dying, now can you? So why don't you just explain that to Mrs. Sheehan? She's a mom; I'm sure she'll understand. Your mom sure does.
You are a total disaster as a President - may I say the Worst. President. Ever. - and a waste of skin as a human being. "We're at war! We're at war!", you keep bleating, the Kowboy Koward of Krawford, bicycling merrily along, git-tar playing, cake-eating and celebrating while your people die horribly.
No, we're not at war; you are - with the American people.
Drink up, George! Cheers! Mazel Tov! (I would say L'Chaim, but that would be very wrong.)
And I'd rather be a friend of Bill's than a friend of George's.
From Capitol Hill Blue...
Update - here it is from one of my fave ragazines the National Enquirer...love 'em or hate 'em, they get it right a lot on things like that.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
Apparently my iPowerWeb server where I host my sites is down, because I can't access my sites or my e-mail from there either, which means my comics page is down too.
Hope things change soon.