Thursday, May 31, 2007

God, Country and the War on Furriners

This would be funny if it was satire and not true.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

If Sen. Hillary Clinton had unveiled a plan to deport the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States, Susan Woodall would have been even happier about having driven 90 minutes from Pahrump to Las Vegas to attend an appearance Wednesday by the Democratic presidential candidate.

Susan Jones-Davis, who drove her cousin Woodall to Las Vegas from Pahrump, appreciated Clinton's desire to end the war in Iraq.

One of her sons has already served in Iraq. Another is slated to go Monday.

They'd like to end the war but only if we can get rid of Mexicans at the same time. Our kids are dying but we mustn't lose focus of our mission which is to rid our world of little foreign born brown people.

Is it any wonder that the US has only granted refuge to 69 Iraqis in the last 7 months while thousands have been admitted to Syria, Jordan, Iran, the UK, Switzerland, Sweden and a host of other countries?

Good to know where Americans priorities are.

Hat tip: Las Vegas Gleaner

Is anyone else seeing the the irony here? The first person our brilliant government decides to lock up in quarantine is a personal injury attorney.

I'm still laughing my ass off.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So Anyway.....

You have this friend who you love very much. You'd do just about anything for this friend because, well shoot, you believe this friend has the potential to do great things because they are great and you just know they could be even greater.

Problem is, this friend is incredibly self-destructive. Forever making terrible choices for even worse reasons and then even lies about it. You're not even sure if your friend knows she's lying or if she's been doing it so long she actually believes her own lies.

After years of doing this your friend has jumped into a completely destructive relationship with a man she got some crazy notion she could "save" from himself. Naturally this hasn't worked out very well. After a brief honeymoon period he resumed his old ways and even added a few new tricks. He tells her how much he hates her every day, in word and in deed. Your friend is black and blue from the beatings and she's thrown away untold amounts of her money trying to save this man but he only grows angrier with her and more violent. She abuses him as well and uses her money and her promises trying to control and manipulate him and back and forth they go.

You still love your friend but finally you've come to realize that much as she cannot save the man she is involved with, you can't save her from her own bad choices. You'll always love her and you'll be there to help if she ever comes to her senses and puts an end to her situation but in the meantime you just can't agonize over her troubles anymore and you can't cry every time she is beaten again and for certain you are not going to continue driving yourself or her insane trying to force her to see reality because you understand that people have to be willing to save themselves or no amount of talking, arguing or trying to help will be of any use. Most of all you know that you have to take care of yourself or you won't be able to help anybody with anything at all. You hope your friend figures this out before it's too late for her.

It isn't apathy America, it's just that I can't stay excited about your situation when you won't do anything about it. Please call when you're ready to get your life together.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Just Because I Feel Like It

I had an e-mail from someone and they said something that really struck me as funny, "It seems like if you don't rant about Iraq or the latest screw-up by Kos, the numbers drop." That isn't terribly important to me. If it was, I could write "hit pieces" all day and probably do at least a fair job of it, trust me on that.

I'm pretty much tired of ranting about Iraq, like I said, if America was serious about getting out we'd be out. Most of America isn't quite there yet and that doesn't surprise me much either, most of the country is usually running a mile or two behind me. We're going to get out but not before we muck around for another 6 months to a year. There isn't anything I can do to change that. Kos, well, if I visit there once a month that would be a lot for me. I don't care all that much if they do screw up but if someone wants a daily dose of outrage and titillation on demand I'd recommend them because even though I may have stored up a lifetime of outrage I'm not always inclined to produce it on cue. I'm not getting paid to do this and I wouldn't want to be, I do this because it's the first time in my life I have not been in a position where I have to "mind what I say" or worry about the consequences. I'll write it when I'm feeling it. Or I'll post a giant picture of my ass. Depends how I'm feeling.

Today I was feeling sick of the news so I turned it off and went outside. I spent most of the day doing absolutely nothing except make random half-hearted stabs at pulling weeds, watching the half billion birds we have living here and taking pictures of any random thing that caught my eye. Sorry if that's boring but I wasn't up to dealing with the body count tally for today.

This one is for RJ Adams. It's my baby chitalpa in bloom. Those are mountains behind it. Nevada is not flat.

Lamb's ears that have colonized in odd places. Random, careless gardening is my style.

My dearest companion. Yes, she probably does outweigh Paris Hilton.

A small toad I found hiding under my huechera.

Tonight's sunset as seen from my back yard.

That's it for me for tonight. No outrage, no bodycounts and I'll still be around tomorrow and the day after whether I have a "hitcount" or not. People can ignore me, they can never make me go away.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Osama is Bush's Mama

In case anyone was in doubt about who has been running the show here.

There are over 300 million of us. We have the most destructive war toys on the planet, just ask the Japanese. We have a huge chunk of the money in the world too. What are we so afraid of?

Where I Was in January: You Didn't Listen Then, You Probably Won't Listen Now

Rather than continue trying to explain myself in comments sections I'm just going to re-run an old post from January of this year. It holds just as true of my stance now as it did then.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Take a Lesson From Rosa

The last few days I've been reading a lot of complaints about the new democratic congress coming from some of the same people who have helped to elect them. For the record: I was one of the people who voted a straight democratic ticket, for all the good that did here in Nevada.

The complaints center around the perception that congress is not doing or going to do anything to bring our troops home. Never mind they've only been in office since last week, we want what we want and we want it NOW. Well alrighty then, my grandbaby likes things that way too. She'd like her mother home ASAP. She'd be especially thrilled to know her mother would have no chance of being redeployed either. Now that you mention it, so would I.

One particular post by Profmarcus at Yes, I Do Take it Personally has particularly gotten under my skin. Not because it makes me angry or I disagree but because I believe he's sincere, frustrated and as frightened about what has happened to our country as I am. We only differ on the point of who we hold accountable for our failure to act. I left this comment to his post:

Pushing some much needed and highly populist social issues is not a terrible idea. They need to build "political capital" with the center. You can't spend what you do not yet have. Reality: congress does not have the power to bring the troops home. They have the pulpit. Even if they were foolish enough to attempt to cut off funding and commit political suicide, the truth is there are 50 million ways Bush & Co. can get around them. In the meantime I'm keeping my ears tuned to any news that starts to come out re: findings from oversight committees. There is most likely where your ammo for impeachment will come from. And they will need a great deal of ammo AND the overwhelming goodwill of the voters to do it without handing the game back to the republicans.

I caught a bit of flak for that and that was fine. Better than fine, I fully expected to because they had no way of knowing where I was going with this.

To summarize a couple of points made by Brother Tim:

I differ with your opinion that it would be political suicide. Also, they HAVE the political capital, it was given to them on November 7. Doing nothing, and allowing this to go on, creating ever-increasing casualties, is political suicide.What is it gonna take to spur Congress into action?

I can accept that, he may indeed be correct. Being as pessimistic as I have become about the "will" of a people who have voted in the Emperor-Who-Has-No-Clothes not just once but twice, I may be underestimating the hearts and minds of my countrymen.

That leaves the question of what is it going to take. I have an answer for that. Us, we the people, our will, our actions. That's it in a nutshell.

Sorry but blocking the Emperor's driveway or getting ourselves kicked out of political venues will not do it, picketing is not going to do it and deliberately getting ourselves arrested for misdemeanors is not going to do it. It might get us publicity and give us our 15 minutes of fame, it will not end the war.

Rosa Parks understood this when she sat down on that bus. She also understood that the issue was not about her. She was one person and she was tired. She started a revolution because a whole lot of folks were tired too. Ms. Parks never tried to make it about her, she knew she would have gone nowhere with her stance if the people were not behind her. The people were behind her though.

So there's your answer people. If we really want to stop this thing, if we really want to bring our troops home and if we honestly and truly believe that it is the will of the American people to do this, then lets all sit down on this bus.

Call a nationwide strike, don't buy, sell, work or contribute to this economy in any non-essential way. For one day. Just one day. Give our new congress their mandate, tell them that no, we aren't going to slap you down come next election for stopping this bus, we give you our permission to stop this thing by any means necessary. In fact, we DEMAND that you do it.
If we cannot or will not do that then it's all talk and we have no will. We're just talking to the hand.

Rant du Jour: Why People Might Hate Us

I was optimistic about the new immigration bill. For about 5 minutes. After looking at it more closely it looks like a calculated move towards creating a permanent servant class in the US. Politics Plus has a good breakdown of it if you haven't already looked it over.

Sorry, several countries in the middle east have tried versions of that...the Saudi's with their guestworkers, the Lebanese with their never-to-be-assimilated refugees, etc.

This is not the fucking middle east and I do not need to keep underpaid workers with few if any rights, to clean my toilets. I know how to clean my own damned toilet. When I decide I'm too fancy to do that I'll pay $15 an hour to a willing worker with health insurance to do it, m'kay? And no, I am not willing to pay farm workers less than a living wage just so I can get cheaper salad greens. That's because I'm an American and this is America and REAL Americans don't play that way. If you're willing to consign any group of people to an artificially manufactured underclass please move to Saudi Arabia right now because even though we seldom manage to live up to our ideals we still have them and we're still trying to live up to them and what we do not need are asshats trying to take us backwards on this path.

Bill Richardson had much the same take on it (gee, big surprise there) which will likely make him quite unpopular in some quarters but hey, both of us are accustomed to being unpopular for some of our stances and it has not slowed either of us down one whit.

Mr. Richardson initially said he would support the immigration compromise announced earlier this week. But on Wednesday, he said that after reading it in detail, he had decided to oppose it, saying the measure placed too great a burden on immigrants — tearing apart families that wanted to settle in the United States, creating a permanent tier of second-class immigrant workers and financing a border fence that Mr. Richardson had long opposed.

“This is fundamentally flawed in its current form, and I would oppose it,” he said. “We need bipartisanship, but we also need legislation that is compassionate. I’m not sure that this is.”

He is the first major Democrat to call explicitly for defeat of the bill in its current form, a decision that he said would no doubt echo across the presidential playing field and in Washington. And his is a voice that carries particular weight: he grew up in Mexico, but went on to became a state governor who once declared a state of emergency in response to turmoil and violence on the border caused by illegal immigrants.

“I’m going to be speaking out on this issue, given that I’m a border governor and my heritage,” he said. “Maybe it won’t help me nationally — but I believe it is my responsibility to do that and not take a mushy position. I notice everyone else is taking murky positions.”

Naturally the pundits don't get it:

But Brian Sanderoff, the head of a New Mexico polling firm, said Mr. Richardson had handled the issue adroitly in New Mexico, presenting himself as both tough and compassionate. Mr. Sanderoff said that might serve Mr. Richardson well as he tried to navigate this more complicated national terrain.

“This is typical Bill Richardson,” he said. “Bill Richardson tends to take a middle of the road empathetic position with an act of toughness with it. That’s Bill. He’s hard to pigeonhole as being definitely anti-immigration or pro-immigration. He’s going to take a middle stance where he’ll seem to have positions on both sides of the fence.”

Well no Mr. Retardo. It isn't a fence-straddling issue. It's a case of both entrenched sides doing what they usually do, trying to define a broad issue into two simple, narrow camps. Richardson is smart enough to know there is a goddamn difference between drug runners and economic refugees. Aside from humanitarian considerations he's also smart enough to know that it's bad policy to start alienating any population living within ones borders...especially when their cousins live right next door. There's also a world of difference between rampant, unchecked immigration and our current immigration policies which effectively lock out nearly everyone trying to come here legally, especially people from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Oh, except Cuba because we hate Castro so much we're willing to give carte blanche to anyone just to spite him.

There's an idea, hey Mexico, overthrow your government and put a socialist in charge and we'll break out the welcome wagon.

I heard Michael Chertoff the other day talking about our approaches to terrorism and he said in the future we face a growing threat from "individual, independant terrorist cells" and stated the "we are studying the matter to try and figure out what radicalizes people". Doh, this one is not rocket science Mikey. How about doing shit like call their mother a "cockroach"? Would do it for me.

Figure that one out or shut up when some little boys grow up hating you and get together to kill a bunch of you because when they were 5 years old some assmonkey in Pennsylvania decided to deport their parents.

NY Times

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Progressives Please Calm Down

Please. I mean it. We're about to cut our own throats here and that's exactly what the Cracker-Barrel party wants us to do. Stop playing right into their hands, calm down, take a deep breath and think this through logically.

The Iraq war bill as it was written was never going to pass. Not if we sent it back 50 thousand times. In the meantime funding was going to run out and whether or not it actually ended up affecting the "troops on the ground", the Republicans were going to play that to the hilt. And lo and behold, a huge percentage of America was going to buy it.

Democrats are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position here and it is our fault. Both the sign and don't sign camps need to get a little reality here. "WE" can't agree or even get a majority on one side or the in the HELL do you expect the elected leadership to???

If Americans had been serious about getting us out of Iraq, guess what? We'd already be out of there. We'd have stood up and stood our ground and it would be a done deal. We did not do that. No, we didn't do it for a lot of reasons but one I believe is the most significant: we don't want to accept responsibility for our choices. We want someone else to make the decision so if and when there are negative outcomes we will have someone else to blame and boot out of office.

This is exactly the way we've been playing the game for, well, forever and this is exactly why we have elected leaders waffling all over the House floor. We did not stand up to Dubya when he decided to invade Iraq because we were scared. If we stood up and said no and omg, Saddam DID do something to would be our fault too! Can't have that now can we? So we swallowed the bullshit and kept our mouths shut so if things went south we'd have someone to blame. That worked out really nicely too. We can all scream at der Chimper for the mess he's made but nearly everyone seems to have forgotten that OVER 70% of Americans WENT RIGHT ALONG WITH IT.

So now I hear the Democratic base threatening to bash in the brains of any Democrat who dares to sign the amended bill. Do you think they aren't calculating the odds of you turning on them the first time something goes awry? The Republicans must be jumping for joy.

The saddest part of it all is it doesn't really matter. We're leaving anyway, most likely right after the next election...assuming Bushie can find enough troops to keep the current action going until then. If we are serious about ending it now we should stop working at cross purposes by attacking each other and get serious about removing Bush from office.

Race, Politics and Hip-Hop With Bill Moyers

Moyers interviews Melissa Harris-Lacewell. The sanest and truest discussion of race and politics in America I've heard yet. Bonus clip of Rush Limbaugh acting like the assmonkey he really is.

I Am Not Moving to Florida

Nothing too surprising there, naturally I'm sitting in the middle of one of the hot zones but we're pretty much prepared for extreme heat here and we don't get hurricanes so it still beats living in Florida.

While predicting an extremely active hurricane season with one hand, NOAA officials are cutting back on funding for "hurricane hunter" flights with the other. According to Philip Kenul of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this is for the sake of "efficiency" and will not impact upon the mission. I guess it has nothing at all to do with NOAA's plans to spend somewhere between 1.5 and 4 million dollars to put on a "200th anniversary" celebration.

It isn't all bad news for Florida though...a few good hurricanes could do much to relieve the drought. No worries though, Florida Baptists have discovered a surefire method for controlling the weather, pray for rain. Let us know how that works out for you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I have no idea what kind of shenanigans the military is up to out here but there have been helicopters flying all over the top of us for over an over an hour and our house just nearly got a buzz cut from a helicopter. Literally. Missed the power lines by no more than a few feet. So much for going to sleep early. Not a thing on the news so no idea what is going on.

Update: Apparently they were just using me for target practice, no worries. Air Force to fly training missions over Pahrump.

"Most training is conducted in rural locations with targets out in the open on the Nevada Test and Training Range, but in the current combat situation in both Iraq and Afghanistan, our troops on the ground need support in both urban and rural environments, said Maj. Sean Lowe, 17th Weapons School instructor. "Pahrump provides an ideal setting for urban close air support training."

Yeah, we're ideal...just a bunch of expendable rural folks.

I also have a few more days of this to look forward to. Maybe I'll give them a call because they were nowhere close to 500 feet off the ground.

May 22: We did not get swooped upon tonight. Either they got too many complaints, checked the readouts and chewed ass on some hotshot flyboys, or found another neighborhood to swoop down on. Everything around us stayed up in the air where it belonged.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Naked City

The real reason Lou Dobbs and Tom Tancredo are scared. I totally support what photographer Isaac Esquivel was trying to do here but I do hope he never tries this in Pahrump. Just would not be a photo perfect moment in history.

Best Wishes for Riverbend and a Note to Iraqis

"I always hear the Iraqi pro-war crowd interviewed on television from foreign capitals (they can only appear on television from the safety of foreign capitals because I defy anyone to be publicly pro-war in Iraq). They refuse to believe that their religiously inclined, sectarian political parties fueled this whole Sunni/Shia conflict. They refuse to acknowledge that this situation is a direct result of the war and occupation. They go on and on about Iraq's history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven't been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there."

I had missed the news that Riverbend and her family were leaving Iraq. I may have been the only one in the known universe that missed it but anyway, there it is. I wish them all the best of luck in the world and yes, I'm glad they have decided to go.

I don't know what political spin if any people in the middle east are hearing but the fact is we are leaving so unless one believes everything will be hearts and daisies as soon as the US troops are gone....LEAVE NOW. Do whatever you can and need to do to save yourselves and your families and do it quickly.

Quit worrying about who our next elected president is going to be, in this matter it will not matter. We'll be leaving regardless of who ends up running the show. Ok, worry if it's Giuliani because he'd enjoy pulling out our troops then sending some bombs over as a parting gift. Believe it or don't at your own risk. It just seems like it's only fair to tell you the truth so you can get a head start if you believe a run for the border is your best option.

Ok, I'm no one important, I have no inside information and I certainly have no power to affect any of the actions or outcomes of this situation but I do have eyes in my head and my hearing hasn't gone south yet. America has decided and hi-ho, hi-ho, it's home from Iraq we'll go and all the king's neo-cons and all the kings gen's cannot and will not put Iraq together again.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spoken Like a True American Conservative

Speaking of our right wing and wormlike creatures, Reenee at Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos got this comment from one anonymous poster.

Seems you only like people of your own race, religion or political view. Shameful that Most of YOU are illegal and living in my country on phony social security numbers. Get a life you lesbian liberal loser.

Keep it up anonymous guy. You and your friends are the best recruiting tools the Democratic party has ever had. Emphasis on tools. In the meantime if you're short on cash, why not do your part to support the troops, I hear the army is offering extra large enlistment bonuses.

Race, Politics and Oops, Fox does It Again

All modern men are descended from wormlike creatures, but it shows more on some people.
-- Will Cuppy

Someone (actually several someones), somewhere far, far away on another blog commented on not seeing the connection between racial/ethnic identity and political affiliation.

Now had these someones been American I'd have probably not paid much attention because they'd have obviously been from our ultra-right wing and I do get tired of wasting my breath trying to teach pigs to sing. As it happened they were not Americans and were primarily from that population of folks in the middle east who have bought the right-wing spin that the Republican party cares about the people of Iraq and Democrats only want to cut and run.

I saw a bit on Fox's "1/2 Hour Comedy Show" a few days back that would have illustrated the point here beautifully. Sadly after endless time wasted searching the net, there is no clip of it available. They were poking fun at pregnant women in the workplace. I had no idea that was such a big issue in the country recently but apparently it is to at least some Fox viewers, enough for them to do a parody skit about it in any case.

In the skit the 2 news anchors interview a guest spokesperson for the "pregnant working mothers" movement (for the record and non-US readers, to the best of my knowledge there is no such organized or even dis-organized movement in the US). This "spokesperson" was, ta-da, a pregnant (read full-term, going to give birth any time) woman and the kicker: HISPANIC woman. Now if one does not live in this country you might not be familiar with the all too commonly heard "Mexican women are always pregnant and breeding like cockroaches" and sorry but you are not going to convince me this was not a deliberate choice to play to that particular attitude. They played it up to the hilt right up to having the lady's "water break" in the middle of the interview. There is the rightwing idea of humor. Pardon me for not laughing.

Yes, real live American people say things like that on a daily basis right here in good old US of A. They say a lot of similar and even worse things about just about every other racial or ethnic group on the planet too. You don't even have to try very hard to locate people who say these things. The bad news for Republicans is that almost always these people are members of the Republican party, Republican voters, and quite often define themselves as "Christians" and "conservatives".

Of course it does not mean all Republicans are racists any more than it means all Democrats are not racists but the preponderance of the evidence is in and racism is much more an accepted ideology on the right. A racist Democrat is an anomaly, something most of us find freakish and revolting. A racist Republican is so common it rarely draws comment.

Granted, the "official" Republican party line is that all are welcome and racism is unacceptable. then they trot out the handful of minority members they have for the media and say "see, we are diverse" but you can't really sell that line to the masses when you don't really walk the walk in real life. Especially not when most of your hardcore "base" are the same people still waxing nostalgic for segregation.

There was also a comment (on the far away blog, not on Fox) about how people "should not choose their political affiliation because of their race or choose to identify with a specific race". Nice ideal, I'd like to see everyone self-identify as members of the human race but isn't really a choice when the society you live in identifies it for you and treats you accordingly. I could "choose" to call myself Chinese-American all day long or any other thing that suited my fancy but it would not change the way people around me identified me or the way they interracted with me based on that perception.

So there's my response to the connection. Believe it, don't believe it, get mad or get glad, it won't change a thing about what really exists and why yes, there is a connection.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Having a Profanity Filled Moment, If It Bothers You, LEAVE NOW

Bill O' just keeps getting loonier every day. Either that or he's just senile. Not too surprising he's having a hissy over the blogosphere reactions to the death of Jerry Falwell. According to Bill people ought to treat the subject with more "decency and respect". Says Mr. Bill: we should at least wait two weeks before commenting. Um, sure. Just like you did with the deaths of the woman and 9 children in the New York fire.

I guess well-known public figures are off limits but it's ok to say anything you want about innocent children. Bitch please, Falwell was a big boy and knew what he was doing. When you put yourself in the public eye to the degree Falwell did, you know you are going to take some heat. I think we all know you are pretty handy with dishing it out yourself to anyone who doesn't happen to agree with you so kindly shut the fuck up. You want to talk smack but oh how you whine when it touches one of your sacred monkeys. Suck it up. Besides, you know when someone that you detest dies you'll be dancing an Irish jig and singing hallelujah and praise Jesus. Oh've already done that before.

And while you're busy whining about how mean and spiteful the left-wing blogs are take a look at some of your kinfolk on the right. Moonbattery pissing and moaning about how utterly tasteless the San Francisco gay community was in marking the passing of Falwell. Guess they forgot about writing this: Death of a Moonbat. So much for your famed conservative respect for the deceased.

Note to wingnuts: you have to give a little respect to expect to get any. Now fuck off and die.

Hit Them Where it Hurts: Right in the Wallet

From AlterNet:

Why an Ultra-Conservative Texas Grandmother Hates the GOP

What could make Jordan Fogal, a 61-year-old ultra-conservative Republican grandmother from Texas, refuse to vote for a single Republican in the last election? Two innocent sounding words: mandatory arbitration.

I'll skip posting the entire story since if you are interested it is available at the above link but this paragraph should whet your interest:

Right now you may be thinking, "that is a sad story, but it could never happen to me because I would never sign a mandatory arbitration agreement." Unfortunately, if you have a new home, new car, car lease, credit card, bank account, cell phone, storage room, utilities, or an exterminator chances are you already have.

Do not just take my word for it, look at your contract.

More information on mandatory arbitration here and here.

Ok, I won't even try to claim this one is a strictly partisan issue, it isn't but (there's always a "but" isn't there?) let's say it leans heavily to the right.

While I'm on this train of thought, have you tried to purchase homeowner's insurance lately? Best of luck to you if you live in one of the Gulf States and in many cases, various counties all over the country that have been deemed "disaster prone". The number of major insurer's no longer writing policies in certain parts of the country has been increasing for several years....along with the number of places no longer considered 'insurable". Allstate pulling out of California is only the latest and largest case in point.

Now I'll grant that it is probably reasonable to not want to insure some homes in some areas. Hey, if you build your 5 million dollar mansion on an unstable, coastal hillside you're on your own as far as I'm concerned (these are referred to in CA as mobile homes (ie: Hey, look! Those people you just did the landscaping job for just got a mobile home!) On the other hand it is pushing entire populations of some towns and cities out of their present locations as businesses opt to relocate due to the high cost or unavailability of insurance coverage. Most of them opt out to another state....far, far away.

Face it southerners, many of your towns and cities are not going to rebuild after even moderate storm or flooding damage. When the jobs leave so does the population. In some cases that may be the best or only solution but do we really intend to de-populate the entire states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana? We're certainly headed in that direction without some serious attention to disaster mitigation and looking at ways to deal with the growing insurance crises.

We could of course just go ahead and de-populate the entire hurricane, flooding and tornado prone zones and increase the population in areas deemed safer but then there is the water issue.

When the MSM bothered to cover the issue at all, and it was only minimally as far as I could see, I heard mainly criticism for this proposed bill which would tie climate change issues to national security. Both sides of the aisle had some detractors, one side saying we could not trust government to deal with this issue and the other jumping on their wingnut-mobiles to proclaim this was a "left-wing alarmist" agenda.

Government usually is only as competant as it has to be to keep us from rioting, unfortunately it is the best and only agency we have at least at this time. Who else to begin addressing the issue? Talk show hosts?

For the wingnut crowd, take a deep breath, the bill is sponsored by Senator Chuck Hagel , a Nebraska Republican, and Senator Richard J. Durbin , an Illinois Democrat. Not even your daddy O' Reilly could call Hagel a "liberal".

You might consider this from the CIA World Factbook too, last check they weren't exactly a bastion of left-wing propaganda and thought.

government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

Getting blown to bits is but one of the obstacles to survival they are facing. The truth is they do not have a supply of potable water great enough to sustain the current population much less any future increased population. For certain they are not the only nation facing the same situation and situations like this tend to make people....testy. Maybe a look at how climate may impact security isn't such a bad idea after all?

I'm not going to worry about any of this too much because as with most things, probably not many people will pay attention until their water bill is in the hundreds of dollars. Funny how thousands of people dying of disease, hunger, thirst or warfare barely makes a blip on our radar but boy howdy, get one $300 dollar utility bill or a 20 cent a gallon increase in gas prices and we're all ears. Maybe we should start charging taxpayers for every preventable death, I'm thinking that might get our attention.

Thanks for Not Shooting

When I posted yesterday morning I thought it was likely I was going to be placed on the "shoot on sight" list for breaking the "thou shalt not speak ill of the dead" rule. Apparently not here in West Blogistan. Sometimes people surprise me in a good way.

Kudos to all the bloggers who are making certain Jerry Falwell's legacy is seen for what it truly is, a legacy of manipulation, hate, and intolerance.

Christopher Hitchens on Anderson Cooper:

The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend.

Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September the 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification? People like that should be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup. The whole consideration of this -- of this horrible little person is offensive to very, very many of us who have some regard for truth and for morality, and who think that ethics do not require that lies be told to children by evil old men, that we're -- we're not told that people who believe like Falwell will be snatched up into heaven, where I'm glad to see he skipped the rapture, just found on the floor of his office, while the rest of us go to hell.

How dare they talk to children like this? How dare they raise money from credulous people on their huckster-like radio stations, and fly around in private jets, as he did, giggling and sniggering all the time at what he was getting away with? Do you get an idea now of what I mean to say?

How dare he say, for example, that the Antichrist is already present among us and is an adult male Jew, while, all the time, fawning on the worst elements in Israel, with his other hand pumping anti-Semitic innuendoes into American politics, along with his friends Robertson and Graham?

Yes, we can thank Falwell and his fellow evangelicals for helping to further muddy the waters in the middle east.

From the Jerusalem Post:

The State of Israel is not doing enough to utilize the growing Evangelical support for Israel at a time when a Christian-Jewish alliance is vital in the battle against Islamic extremism, according to Likud MK Gilad Erdan.

"The strengthening and development of our relations with the Evangelical world is a national interest which must be furthered," said Erdan, the deputy head of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

All I can say is if Erdan is looking to Christian Evangelicals to save Israel then Israel is doomed. See Mr. Erdan, yes, they do share your hatred of the Muslim population but they only love you as tools to be used to bring about their beloved Armageddon. They will agitate in every way possible to escalate tensions in the middle east in order to bring this about and guess what, they have no intentions of seeing you survive it either. If you were planning on your grandchildren living long lives you had best find some saner allies. Tell you what...if you think they're so fabulous we'll send tham all over and they can fight in the trenches with you. Let us know how that works out.

Don't the religious texts advise against something like nourishing serpents at ones bosom?

Here's a clip of Hitchens' comments on Jerry Falwell. I could not say it any better.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm a Terrible Person and I'm Really OK With That

We'd probably all be a lot better off if we faced up to the fact that deep down we really are kind of a vicious, predatory species. It's easier to excercise a bit of control over something if you at least acknowledge a problem exists.

That said, I'm having a difficult time controlling my dark side today. I'll refrain from dancing joyfully in the street and confine myself to refurbishing my Tinky-Winky doll.

I honestly do wish I could say I'm sorry but I can't. Jerry Falwell singlehandedly did more to destroy intelligent debate and discourse in this country than nearly any other individual. He was among the most powerful leaders in modern times to elevate the idea of demonizing groups of people as a matter of public policy to an actual talking point. He spent his entire life advocating to take away the rights of women, minorities, gays, and insert any other people who are not white, evangelical Christians.

Most of the media and public figures decided to treat him as though he simply had a different but valid point of view. He didn't and I don't care how many coats of whitewash you try to put on it, his words and actions were destructive, damaging to our country and in many cases....downright evil. Advocating for state sponsored discrimination and fewer civil rights for any group of people is not an "alternative viewpoint", it's unacceptable to any civilized person.

Adios Jerry, you will not be missed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Little Bit of Good News and Hope

While the rest of the world is worrying over the decline of the bee population, tiny, remote, little Pitcairn Island may have become more important than it's roughly 50 inhabitants ever thought likely.

Notice from their website:

We have been asked by the Pitcairn Police & Customs Officer to make this announcement. Friends of Pitcairn and visitors to the island are asked NOT to send or bring honey, other bee products, or used hive equipment or clothing to Pitcairn. As many of you know, the Pitcairners have begun to expand their beekeeping efforts, and the island hives have recently been declared 100% free of disease. In order to keep the hives pristine, it is very important that the island not be accidentally exposed to products of bees from other areas that could contaminate the Pitcairn bee population. The Pitcairners and the bees thank you very much!

Pitcairns satellite internet connection is provided by Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory. Small world sometimes, no?

You can even order some of the honey here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Speaking of "Presence"

Not trying to be difficult but I'm not sure how anyone in Nevada could say any presidential candidate does not look "presidential" enough or lacks "presence". This is our freaking elected governor. Makes Kucinich look positively debonair. Yes, he is a Mormon, no, he did not marry all of those women. Rumor has it he only even slept with a few of them.

And here he is wearing a do-rag and some bling-bling. Smokin'.

Photos from MSNBC News and big tip of the hat to Vote Gibbons Out where you see even more about our ever so dignified Gov. Gibbons.

A Few Minutes Minus Stupidity

Jon Stewart interviews Reza Aslan. Now that's hot.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There is NOTHING on TV Until The Daily Show

Amazing what you learn while channel surfing. Bill Cunningham has clarified the entire issue of terrorism for me. Per Cunningham, if there is a terrorist attack in America Alan Colmes, Nancy Pelosi and Rosie O'Donnell are "directly responsible". Who knew they wielded so much powah!

That certainly simplifies things. All we have to do is lock this threesome up in Guantanamo and we'll have nothing further to worry about. Added benefit: HBO could make a series out of it.

Someone please call whatever asylum this man escaped from.

The Truth About Nevadans

We've been outed. Someone out there has discovered the truth about us and it's floating around all over the internets. So much for our dreams of grandeur.

Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Greater Nevada market:

"Summerlin Barbie"
This princess Barbie is sold only at Boca Park . She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.

"North West Barbie"

The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Wind star Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

"North Las Vegas Or North Town Barbie"

This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.

"Green Valley Barbie"

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

"Hendertucky Barbie"

This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

"Las Vegas Strip Barbie"

This collagen injected, rhino-plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as newly built high rise condo.
"Pahrump Barbie"

This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Butler Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.

"Reno Barbie"

This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Reno Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

"Bonanza Barbie"

This Barbie now comes with a stroller and 2 infant dolls. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. White boy Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

"Tahoe Barbie"

She's perfect in every way. We don't know where Ken is because he's always out a-'huntin'.

Just When You Thought You Were in Charge

A few posts and notes that strike me as being all about much the same thing despite appearing to be unrelated.

The Field Negro posted about the Baby Daddy Drama, The Sudanese Thinker linked to the story about lunatic German judges who uphold the right of men to abuse their wives in the name of multiculturalism. Toss in Dennis Miller burbling about how his misbegotten offspring find Paris Hilton "hot" but "stupid" and an internet forum poll asking men if they would select a mate based on intelligence, personality or "sex appeal" and I'm seriously wondering if there's any hope for our species.

If you're thinking (or hoping) this is going to be a rant about those bad, evil menfolk I'm going to disappoint you. It's us too ladies. Field got a lot of it right....we've been letting the fools get away with this crap.

It took me several years and more than a handful of "lightbulb" moments to get this when I was a young wife and mother. A few of the most memorable retarded-ass things that still stick in my memory:

A female acquaintance commenting that "at least your husband babysits your children while you work". Doh, babysits????? They were also his children....would it be "babysitting" if I stayed home with them while he went to work?

Said husband telling our then pre-school aged offspring as I was heading off to work, "there goes your mother, abandoning us again". Yes I did, someone had to pay the damned bills.

Needless to say, said husband was soon after this also known as "former husband". Ok, I was young and stupid....not THAT stupid and beating my ass was never an option unless you were planning to never sleep again as long as you lived.

Which brings me to my main point about misogyny and culture. Who determines the path a culture takes? People do and frankly, while I do not in any way diminish the importance of fathers in the development of our children let's be honest about who does the bulk of the child-rearing. Political correctness and the advent of the "nurturing male" aside, women are still the primary caregivers 99.9% of the time. So there it is, if your culture is struggling to stay afloat in the toilet better take a look at your women and how you treat them.

If you tend to view women as property, mindless cattle to be owned and used as it happens to suit you I have to ask why you would expect to produce exceptional offspring with a dairy cow? American men don't be smug.....most of you would hit near anything with an oversized pair of mammary glands, two legs and an IQ just high enough to allow for eating with a knife and fork. We women don't do much better, how else to explain the inability of "nice guys" to get a date while some neanderthal in a Hummer has to beat us off with a stick?

I know it has become not socially acceptable to admit that men and women are different in many ways and to varying degrees but if you think it through most rational people would have to admit there is some truth there. Take women out of the equation and humanity would probably be living in caves and spending all its energy trying to kill each other....oh wait, that's already happening. Take men out of the equation, hm, not sure what you'd have. Probably a lot of really cute what-not shops and nail salons and the end of parallel parking.

Be honest guys, without us there would be no civilization. Washing machine manufacturers would be out of business because no one would ever change their shorts again. Shut up, you know it's true.

Bushie wanted to change the culture of Iraq but he went about it all wrong, he went after the men. If you want to change a culture you have to reach the women and killing all their men is not an ideal way to do that. You also have to offer them a better incentive than freedom to live in abject poverty and be valued according to their "hotness factor".

Middle eastern women look at us in the west and see what? Women working two and three jobs to support their children who they never see because the fathers don't support them or living on begrudgingly given state benefits because what jobs they can get would not cover the cost of childcare much less health care or silly things like rent and groceries while asshats in $500 dollar suits rant about "lazy, welfare moochers". Opportunity to take off more of their clothes and have men ogle their breasts or belittle them if their thighs are too thick. Gee, I have no idea why anyone wouldn't jump on a deal like that.

Why do you suppose the fundamentalist movement has gained so much momentum in the US? It's the women stupid. Fundie girls don't have it all good but they sure as hell do not have it all bad either. They have their men by the short hairs and they know it, the men may get some perks but they also get nailed to do their "Christian duties". The women have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and the rest of us aren't offering them anything better. They make certain to properly indoctrinate their children to keep the safety net going. If and when we make a better offer....bye, bye fundies.

Another lightbulb moment was seeing a middle eastern woman on television gloating about her wonderful, dearly departed martyr husband and how "Sheik Osama" had sent her a big, fat wad of cash. Beautiful strategy....encourage the men to blow themselves up and you get the payoff AND the love and respect of your community, you're set for life and no annoying male to spoil it for you. The men apparently have not figured this one out yet. Hey martyr're being played.

Look fellows, throughout history you've done everything you could think of to keep us down and out of power because we scare you. You've done a pretty good job with the divide and conquer thing too, getting us to fight each other. Maybe it's time you figured out your strategy is not working and no matter how you try to do it you will always end up on the short end of the stick in the big picture and tried treating us as equal human beings. You never know, it just might work out to the benefit of all of us.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stuff I Learned This Week

Iraqi politicians should scratch Las Vegas off of their vacation travel list. Who needs more of this?

The French are more like Americans than anyone would have suspected. They are also fond of right-wing nutcases who were mediocre students. Expect to see Sarkozy on Lou Dobbs...they have a lot in common.

Americans still love the Queen of England because of her stalwart demeanor, her elegant hats and the fairy tale fantasy her life represents. I didn't get the memo about the hats.

I'm going to die early because I am a left-handed female. Probably from leprosy.

Most of my ancestry is French and they are not on my good list this year. I'm applying to become Igbo. I can get behind worshipping the Goddess of Yams, makes as much sense as anything else we're doing and I like yams much better than mean, crazy old men.

Mittens For Kittens

The inner workings of congress for the unitiated.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

People Are Strange

More proof I should be careful what I ask for. I posted a while back that Taylor Marsh needed to update her My Space page since it was showing her as being 19 years old.

Well she did. She is now 14 years old and her profile is now set to private. In which case I am now 12 and a half. I'm not even to to try to figure that one out, looks like Starbuck isn't the only one with issues.


Speaking of "presence" being in the eye of the beholder, I've never either disliked or liked the queen because royalty has about as much to do with my life as a Martian soil sample but....someone please explain to me, what was she thinking when she put that easter basket on her head???

Update: I have to give her credit, easter basket or no, she is ever so much more attractive than our own Gollum as seen at Sparrow Chat.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just a Few Questions

Why are we so obsessed with who has the most "presence"? If presence is what makes a great president then forget elections....just appoint Martin Sheen president-for-life and forget about it. Better yet....just have Reagan stuffed and plant him in the oval office. That's what "presence" will get you.

Why do people expect me to get all excited about Alberto Gonzales? He fired people the administration didn't feel were partisan enough.....ooooh, how shocking. This administration OUTED a confidential employee...CIA operative Valerie Plame because her husband had the audacity to disagree with them. Yeah, remember her? They quite literally ruined this woman's life and destroyed her career because they were ganked at her husband. And we the people LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. Some of us fuckers actually still have the nerve to defend this action. Piss off, I don't give a fig about Al-stupido and the republican hack lawyers, we already proved we have no priorities so suck it up.

Why are we prosecuting DC Madame Deborah Palfrey for allegedly promoting prostitution but not prosecuting the men who actually engaged in this alleged prostitution? If we are truly so disturbed about this "immoral" behavior then round up every single one of the men on her phone list and charge them all, otherwise shut the fuck up, I'm not interested.

Why is it that when John Edwards finally shows me he has a pair by finally getting in this administrations face about Iraq.....most of the other candidates get pissed?

Now that Senator Obama needs protection from the Secret Service....why are we making hay out of the fact that this is "the earliest" any candidate has needed protection like it's his damned fault and not hunting down the people sending the threats like the cowardly, shit-eating dogs they are?

You know what disturbs me the most? The fact that we probably will end up with exactly the government we deserve.

Edit: Forgot to mention....why are we so worried about Islamic terrorists and show very little concern about our own All-American Christian terrorists? I haven't heard anyone saying we should invade Texas and root them out to keep America safe.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

If Our Economy Went South....

Assmonkey Press: Mexican border agents overwhelmed by the staggering numbers of illegal American immigrants attempting to cross the border into Mexico since the collapse of the US economy were stunned to find this man stuffed into a crate labelled as produce.

Federal officials in the US deny any knowledge of this man's identity and are refusing to take custody and officials in Mexico have been unable to identify the man they are unofficially calling "Puerco Gordo". When questioned, Puerco will only repeat "fuck political correctness" and resumes sucking on his big toe.

Authorities are requesting the public's help in identifying this man so he can be returned to his unlucky owner.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Don't Fuck With Cranky People

The door-to-door Jehovah's Witness salespeople had been warned before: stay off of this property.

It is not my problem that they were unaware that a newly non-smoking, crazy woman was lying in wait just hoping to find a target to blow up on. To make it all worse they had the unmitigated gall to say "a dear friend" of our recently deceased family member had asked them to come and "minister" to her. What the fuck sort of "dear friend" doesn't know you are dead several months after the fact?


It was ugly, I'm still shaking and I'm willing to bet so are they....probably ran off to pray for safety from the demon-possessed monster that greeted them at the gate. Lucky for me there was no one with a video camera because I'm fairly certain I did look demon-possessed right about then.

On a lighter note...who knew old people could run so fast. Hope they were wearing Depends.

Our Iraq Strategy

Once upon a time in China, there lived an Emperor who owned a majestic white stallion, the finest beast in all his Kingdom. One night, a thief tried to slip in and steal the horse, but was captured by the palace guards and thrown into the dungeon. The next morning, he was dragged before the Emperor's court. "How dare you," bellowed the Emperor, "lay hand on my royal steed! Jailor, put this thief to death!"

The next morning, he was dragged before the Emperor's court. "How dare you," bellowed the Emperor, "lay hand on my royal steed! Jailor, put this thief to death!"

Immediately, the thief bowed deeply. "Your judgement is peerless and wise, O Emperor," he calmly replied, "but my life is of little value. I should offer you a gift before I depart. Your mount is quite a fine one, but if your eminence would spare my life for just a year and a day, I swear to you I can teach that horse to sing hymns!"

The court burst in to laughter at that, but the Emperor was intrigued. After all, you didn't get to his high position by turning down freely offered gifts, no matter how far-fetched they seem. To the surprise of all, the Emperor quickly accepted the offer.

As they were leaving the chambers, the jailor whispered to the thief, "You are a fool!"
"I am a fool?" replied the thief, smiling broadly. "Much can happen in a year and a day. The King may die. The horse may die. I may die... and maybe the horse will learn how to sing."

That is about as good an explanation of why we are still doing what we are doing as any I've seen.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fox Nation?

Add this to your list of things to be concerned about: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Makes Unsolicited $5 Billion Bid for Dow Jones & Co.

I don't know about you but the idea of Rupert Murdoch controlling even more of our national media, including Barron's and the Wall Street journal....well, it's disturbing.

Apparently the employees of the corporation feel the same.

The union representing Dow Jones employees, the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees, was harshly critical of the prospect of being owned by Murdoch, and issued a statement saying that Murdoch's bid was opposed by the staff "from top to bottom."

Citizen of Earth

Since today is the day for immigrants rights marches I'm going to add my two cents worth.

I don't care what the talking heads say....there is no such thing as an "illegal" person. Somewhere along the line some of us got the bright idea to restrict where human beings could choose to work and reside based upon their place of birth and some arbitrary boundaries. What part of "that is an incredibly stupid idea" are we not getting? Don't tell me "it's the law", laws are only as good as the people who write them and we have an unbelievable number of incredibly stupid people in positions of power. What are you going to say when someone decides to pass a law restricting you to living in the town you were born in?

Humans have been immigrating all over the planet as long as there have been humans and they still immigrate for very much the same reasons they did 2000 years ago. Resources, security and safety, and general quality of life. That we are even having this discussion, that people can actually utter the words "illegal immigrant", in North America of all places....boggles my mind.

How in the hell does anyone imagine we got here in the first place? Sorry fundies...God did not drop down out of the sky and teleport your ancestors across the ocean. Nope, unless you are 100% Native American or African-American what happened was your ancestors paid "coyotes" to bring them over on ships. They didn't bother to ask the people already living here how they felt about it either.

The way I look at it we're really pretty lucky in this wave of immigration. See, unlike how some of our ancestors behaved this current group of immigrants don't have any plans to eradicate us or forcibly convert us to their religion or utilize us as slave labor to build their plantations. No, this group of immigrants wants to come over and send their children to school and they are willing to pick our crops, wash our dishes and clean our houses if that's what they have to do to pave the way for their children to have a better life. If karma applied 100% to nations....we'd be in much worse trouble.

Somewhere along the line people better start getting a clue that every single one of us is born on this earth and has just as much right of access as the next person. Being lucky enough to have been born in a desireable place is just that, dumb luck. It doesn't make you special or give you any special rights. Hopefully we can figure this out before a time comes when we might need to move to greener pastures and everyone closes their door to us.