Thursday, May 29, 2008

This will end in a book review.

Hi all y'all. It's the end of the school year so of course there are seven million end of the school year field trips, recitals, parades, plays and festivals, so I've been off doing real life. Now is the time to pretend that global warming does/does not exist based on the temperature in my neighborhood. Glad to say you can all continue to drive your land yachts even if it does cost 75cents a mile to do so! Mother Earth has put on a sweater this spring. It is cold! (Do I give a fig* if there are ozone warning days in Dallas due to the heat? No, I do not. Scientists can do that until we de-fund all of the Darwinist bastards).

Last Tuesday night midnight found me lying in the dark with hot tears streaming down my cheeks and into my ears. This is all the fault of Suzy at Luminiferous Ether. You see, Suzy said that a certain book was worthy of a spot on the bookshelf next to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". These are two of my favorite books of all time. Those were fighting words, Suzy! Over-reaching at best, blasphemy at worst.

I went post-haste* (in interweb time that's click, click another click, search, click) to Audible. com where I found the book called "The Book Thief". I get one book a month at Audible on my membership and had already listened to May's book "The Brothers K" (excellent). The Book Thief, though only about 12 hours long, was two credits! Books rarely cost two credits. Then I read the reviews, all glowing.

I splurged. After downloading I discovered that this book is categorized in kids' books. Crap. Then I started to listen. The first half hour practically makes no sense at all. The narrator of the book is Death and Death is talking about colors and discussing the story at hand in a completely non-linear fashion. 'Hard to get into' is an apt descriptor.

The reason I like to listen to books on my iPod is that I can listen to them while doing something else. In the summer I sit at swim lessons, knitting socks and listening to a book. This weekend I painted a fence and listened to most of The Book Thief getting past the odd beginning. I'm glad I did. Death the narrator tells the story of a young German girl who is taken in by foster parents near Munich at the start of World War II. As far as thinking a kids' novel would be somewhat dumbed down, rest assured that when Death tells the story, and when the language alone should help to get the book banned in book banning territory (f'rinstance: 'ass-scratcher' is a term of endearment) it's really hard to fathom that this book has been written for a youth audience. But I'm so glad it has.

Tuesday night I started listening. I was nearing the end and I thought I'd give it an hour or so before bed. Four hours later the story was over and I was crying. If I was someone watching me cry over the end of a book like that, I'd probably have to punch me in the stomach for being such an idiot. But it was that remarkable. It can go on that shelf by "To Kill a Mockingbird". Thanks lots, Suzy!

*When John McCain is elected president we will all be required to use idioms like 'don't give a fig' and interjections like 'Alas'. We will all be harkening back to an erstwhile Norman Rockwell past all the while blowing the shit out of brown people around the world. Alas!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Today I'm Remembering



Not only the soldiers, but the mothers and the children of our soldiers.

Friday, May 23, 2008

In the Whatever Happened To...Column

I am so glad that the Philadelphia Inquirer signed Rick Santorum on as a columnist. This way, we can continue to be amused at his batshit crazy fundamentalist logic. I mean, what's Mark Foley been up to? Who knows?

Now that California has said that creating separate language in the state constitution for a group of individuals amounts to discrimination, thus opening the doors for gay marriage, Rick is all 'uh hum, toldya the world would end' in his Inky column.

I plucked some bon mots:

First, he says his alarm! went unheeded. It's right in the title:

The Elephant in the Room: A wake-up call on gay marriage after '03 alarm went unheeded


One could just say you lost, Rick.

He says:
Five years later, do I regret sounding the alarm about marriage? No.

I'm just saddened that time has proved right those of us who worried about the future of marriage as the union of husband and wife, deeply rooted not only in our traditions, our faiths, but in the facts of human nature: as Pope Benedict said, "The cradle of life and love," connecting mothers and fathers to their children.

Okay, he's upfront in admitting that his notion of what is marriage comes from his faith. But then, get this and try not to giggle, he says that it's due to the facts of human nature that only men and only women should marry. His source? An anthropolgist? A genetic scientist? A biologist (known to Santorum as a Darwinist, btw). Nope. The Pope. Yeah, all us non-religious types who believe in equality and separation of church and state should look to that man of science and reason for our stand on human nature. The Pope. Who, I don't think, gets peer reviewed.

Then he raises the clouding of a spurious correlation to a high art. In Norway, he says, gay marriage was legalized in 1990 and then all hell broke loose. (If it's Norway, does that mean that Hell has frozen over? Just WonderingTM)

Look at Norway. It began allowing same-sex marriage in the 1990s. In just the last decade, its heterosexual-marriage rates have nose-dived and its out-of-wedlock birthrate skyrocketed to 80 percent for firstborn children. Too bad for those kids who probably won't have a dad around, but we can't let the welfare of children stand in the way of social affirmation, can we?


How is this related to gay marriage? I haven't the foggiest idea and Santorum doesn't bother to explain. How does he know these children are growing up without father? Maybe some of them are growing up with two dads? Further, does he really want to use Norway as an example of a place where they suffer the little children? Norway has, since adopting the gay marriage law also raised itself to the top spot in standard of living among all countries of the world - a feat it has been repeating year after year. Since adopting the gay marriage law, Norway's infant mortality rate has steadily dropped every year. It currently stands at 3.64/1000 births compared to the US who's rate is 6.4/1000.

Okay, but that's the disingenuous part. What of the batshit crazy stuff? Well lookie here:

But what about love? That's the question a student asked this winter when I spoke at Georgetown University.

Is anyone saying same-sex couples can't love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too? Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people.

What about the constitutional right to equal protection under the law? Marriage is not an inalienable right; it is a privilege, a license granted by government conferring certain governmental benefits.

There is a constitutional right that is under threat: the free exercise of religion.

Let me go out on another limb here and make another crazy prediction. Within 10 years, clergy will be sued or indicted for preaching on certain Bible passages dealing with homosexuality and churches, and church-related organizations will lose government contracts and even their tax-exempt status.


Wha? Where to begin?

Let's look at Santorum's Syllogism, shall we? (As if he didn't get enough abuse from his man-on-dog comments)

I love my brother. Marriage=Love. Therefore I have married my brother


I know the Appalachians run up through Pennsylvania, Rick. But really.

He rightly assigns the governance of marriage to the government. It is after all the government that issues the license. But then he goes on to say that it's a privilege. Then he collapses all sanity by saying that only the government is allowed to confer privilege on people and it can do so by saying which ones deserve the privilege. Which is exactly the point the Supreme Court of California made.

Going into foaming at the mouth mode, he claims that if two people in California get married my free expression of religion is going to be infringed upon. Again, we don't get the mechanics of how this works. Yes, if my religion says that I'm going to hell for casting my eyes upon an elderly gay couple sitting in a hospital room kissing each other goodbye on the day that death do them part, then yeah. But what kind of religion is that? Makes you want to run to your nearest atheist temple and lie prostrate upon the ground, doesn't it? Oh, I kid. There are no atheist temples. Maybe universities, or libraries, or possibly Unitarian churches. But we're not much into organization.

Then he says he's going to make a crazy prediction. (Oh, Rick? They've all been crazy, this isn't your first). All of his predictions center around Churches losing their federal advantages for promoting bigotry. And my response is: yeah, so?

Here's the deal. If you want to have a church that doesn't allow gay marriage go right ahead. But do it without the federal grants and the federal tax exemptions. In other words, religions, pull yourself up by your bootstraps. No one says you have to go out of existence. We're just saying our tax dollars don't have to support you.

That's a position you ought to understand.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can You Believe I Just Listened?
And didn't say a word?
Me Neither.


Last night at Lotta's dance class two moms were talking politics. I had my nose stuck in "Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein. (Did you know that mentioning Klein's 'No Logo' is one way to brand yourself as a white person who likes things?) I had previously pegged one of the moms as a GOP'er, since she thinks No Child Left Behind might not be such a bad idea. (She had experience with graduates in the Chicago area who could not read).

Nope. Dems.

Now in another age and time we'd have shown each other the secret high sign and pondered impeachment and other dreams (to crib a phrase from a great blogger). But these days, no chance.

The one mom - one I don't know all that well - started talking about the election. The other mom (NCLB lady) was more of a listener, a devil's advocate.

It soon became very apparent that first mom was a Hillaryite. And it occured to me that she was very close to becoming unglued. She was speaking in a low voice at high speed. It seemed feverish. She had the tone of a 9/11 Truther when you say you agree with some, but not all, of their claims.

"And now, Obama says 'lay off his wife,'" she snorts. "I mean, hey, it's an election. She's fair game, she's campaigning for him".

My nose slowly rises from the pages of my lefty book. I squint.

"All the wives campaign. Nobody goes after them," I intrude on a conversation that I'm not really in yet.

"Yah but" (is a Wisconsin expression) "Michelle discusses policy. For instance," the Hillaryite continues, "I think its perfectly fair to go after Elizabeth Edwards for her stand on healthcare".

"As I understand it" (I haven't seen the ad)"they are attacking her personally, portraying her as unamerican. That's not policy." I say. And then I make a Cindy McCain joke that does not include the word cunt, which is not easy, and it does not get a laugh.

The other mom is nodding with me.

"Yah but" rejoins the Hillaryite "Michelle Obama has said A LOT of things that make me wonder about her. Yah know, she's pretty down on a country that's given her so much ....." she searches above her glasses for the word, "opportunity."

"Well, okay aside from the 'for the first time in my adult life' comment, what has she said?" asked the other mother.

"Oh you know" said Hillaryite. Conspiratorial whisper: "there's just a lot out there. And besides I don't think that 'first time' comment was a mistake. I mean, she's the Vice President of the University of Chicago hospitals, she's in Public Relations- she knows how to address a large crowd."

The other mother (okay, actually it was me, but that doesn't fit the narrative of me passively sitting by just listening, does it?) deftly steered the conversation around to things we could all agree on. The fact that the media covers the horse race and ignores the issues. Oddly, Hillaryite comments that it's just not fair that every little gaffe the candidates make gets covered ad nauseum. She sees no hint of irony in her stance.

A few moments later we are called into the ballet studio to watch our daughters' routines. NCLB mom whispers "I hate talking about politics right now. I'm just waiting for this to be over."

Me too.

When I get home I consult Google. I can't find much quantity in anti-American comments uttered by Michelle Obama. I do find much on the "first time" comment. The only other thing I find is a report on her senior thesis at Princeton which discusses the racial experience of blacks at Princeton. How they are treated, if there is assimilation after graduation, etc. I find that this was a controversy from February that completely passed me by. It seems some pearl clutchers see a conspiracy because Princeton is not releasing the thesis. It seems that the number of requests for the thesis is overwhelming the archivists at Princeton.

What has me somewhat perplexed, coming late to this controversy, is how anyone can be shocked that Michelle Obama would look around at Princeton and see racism. It is unforgivable for fellow dems to make this complaint.

The reason?

Samuel Alito.

Concerned Alumni of Princeton. The organization opposed to both women and minorities on the campus of Princeton. The organization devoted to the advancement of privileged white sons. The same people who, nostalgia brimming, longed for the days when the Ivy League had no women, had no blacks, had no hispanics. Might have a Jew. Anyone remember them?

Yeah, that crazy Michelle. Imagining racism at Princeton. What will we do about that?

Perhaps she's just uppity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

George Bush took the war on terra to Iraq without knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia muslims, or much about Kurds in the north for that matter.

How'd that go?

Well enough, according to John McCain that we should extend our know-nothing foreign policy into Iran. McCain doesn't know how the Iranian government is structured, doesn't know who is in charge of what, doesn't know which brand of muslims are in the majority and doesn't know what their affiliations are. Yet he takes Obama to task for saying he would talk to Iran before going all shock and awe on them. Bomb first, ask questions later. In fact, he thinks Iran is as great a threat to us today as the Soviet Union was to us throughout the cold war.

Bomb first, ask questions later. (On the upside there would be no "Cuban Missile Crisis". We'd just bomb, bomb, bomb.)

And McCain's strong point is foreign policy because he doesn't know much about economics?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I got nothin'.


But this.

I need to find something to feign sadness and gravitas all at once so that people will think it is not allergies, but some tragedy. Yet with the GOP in a tidee-bowl death spiral I'm coming up pretty happy.

Except for the damned allergies. Screw you, ubiquitous green pollen!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yet another strain of the virus

Looks like m. yu tagged me about the same time I tagged m.yu.

Here's this appendage:

"I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words." (Splotchy)

"Meet me at two o'clock at Grisham Square. Don't be late!"




"What? I already had an appointment at that time. In fact, that was the only reason I had even taken off work that Wednesday. But, when I saw the photos, I knew I had to go and see what the hell was going on. Oh gosh, now I wish I hadn't, but how was I to know then that Elizabeth would take this whole thing so far?" (Freida Bee)

"I saw I had an hour to go to get there so went inside, and grabbed my bag, my video camera, and just to be safe, my new taser gun that my Dad gave me for Christmas. As I drove out of town to Grisham Square, I remembered how all this began. Or should I say, began to go wrong.



Elizabeth was always someone who could talk me into anything. Her mischievous smile and "I dare you" eyes have gotten me in trouble many times before. Now looking at those damn photos, I couldn't help thinking she had done it again!



"Let's go out there," she kept saying. "No one will know," she said running her hand along my waist like she always does, knowing how it melts me. Damn her! Damn her golden brown and oh so soft spankable hide! In the back of my mind, I knew things would come to trouble. They always do with her. I should never have gone with her out to that abandoned prison for that video shoot. With all that time we were there and with all those depraved things we did, I always thought we were alone. Now I know. I was wrong." (M.Yu)

Look, lovin spoofuls of depredation are sometimes only sexy if you think someone is looking on. Proferring a grade. I often wonder if sex was really, really dull before the onset of celluloid pictures, or if it was better thanks to neither partner performing, rather just doing. Who knows? Our grandparents probably just rutted a lot. Though this is something I'd rather not think about.

But our secret was out. And does it matter if it's a secret? What's the purpose of a secret? To hide or to protect? Would I care? I don't want to hide. Protection is another matter altogether.

___________

Okay, who to send this on to? I've got no idea. Ummmm, I think I'm just going to send it back to Mr. Splotchy Smartypants to see what he will do with it.

O'Reilly and the Winnebago Man
Separated at Birth?



In case you have never seen the Winnebago Man, herezat.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Power of The Bloggers


Sorghum Crow puts out a great blog, and I am a happy fan. But did you know that Sorghum's been up to so much more than merely posting the snark? Rather than complain about the problems of the day, Sorghum is doing something:

DEVELOPMENT: Can Sorghum Solve the Biofuels Dilemma?

Way to go, Sorghum. Way.

And the story goes....

Splotchy started another story virus. Thus far no eyeballs in applesauce jars, and least not per Splotchy, FranIam and DGuzman who has infected me. (Cover your mouth when you sneeze, Miss D!)

Here goes:

Splotchy's ominous beginning:
"I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words."(Splotchy)

Despite the throbbing pain in my knees and the dull ache in my lower back, I bent down slowly and picked up the envelope...

Oh no. It did not say this, did it?

Oh yes, it did. It did.

The handwriting was familiar in a way that inspired a cold sweat and a bout of nausea. It was the penmanship of my former husband. You know - the one that was presumed dead.

He disappeared in a suspicious blogging related accident a number of years ago and was never heard from again. I was devastated. I had hated the blog, loathed the thing. What began as a hobby that took but a few minutes a day had morphed into an addiction, the proportions of which could not be measured. It was pure evil.

The blog turned into a cruel and demanding mistress and her siren song was more than I could compete with. One day he left for an evening event, never to return again.

All fingers pointed to one blogger, but I could never get the charges to stick. That one is slick- slick, slick, slick. He can talk a good game and write like nobody's business. But there is something about him, it just is not right.

So my husband was gone, that other one kept blogging and I had to rebuild my life, which I did.

So I finally had the bastard declared dead. And now this. (FranIam)

I took the envelope inside and got out a magnifying glass. I studied the scribblings on the front and made out the words “This is for you. You KNOW why” just above the undead bastard’s name. What the hell?

What could it be? What did he mean, I “KNOW” why? What did I do? I had never been anything but faithful to him and his "interests." I followed his stupid blog as it meandered through the vapid expanses of his small mind, trying my best to be polite when he talked about some comment he’d gotten on a particular post, or a funny link he’d dropped into a post.

Just thinking about it made my stomach hurt.

Despite a fleeting fear that there might be anthrax powder in the envelope, I opened it and pulled out the contents. (dguzman)

A noodle, a meatball and one of the six legs of a squid? (Squid have six legs, not eight, right? Unsure I rushed to my computer to ask The Lord Google. OMG, I was wrong! Squid do have eight legs. And two tentacles. Like cuttlefish. I digress. Damn you Google!)

What was he working on when he had that blogging accident? I thought back to the nights of feverish typing. The nights the keyboard fairly reeked of despair, flopsweat and ricola. He would babble "vision quest" "noodly appendage" "the alpha and the semolina" "green sticky spawn of the stars". This last I just attributed to far too much interest in the pussy photos of Britney Spears.

In shaky handwriting was the couplet:
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange ├Žons even death may die


I felt that I was beginning to understand. He had been killed in an epic battle of Good versus Not-So-Good or even "meh!" (Jess Wundrun)

***********

Okay, got that done. Let's see. I am going to tag Randal Graves, though he's been tagged once already with the virus I practically wrote my addition for him to clean up. M. Yu at Social Seppuku, and Commander Other. If any of you are staunch anti-meme-ists, my regrets.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I wonder if he crosses his fingers behind his back

In remarks before the Knesset in Israel today, President Bush said "We believe in the matchless value of every man*, woman*, and child*. So we insist that the people of Israel have the right to a decent, normal, and peaceful life, just like the citizens of every other nation*. We believe that democracy is the only way to ensure human rights. So we consider it a source of shame that the United Nations routinely passes more human rights resolutions against the freest democracy* in the Middle East than any other nation in the world."







If this is his vision for a free democracy, or the type of democracy he dreamed of bringing to the oppressed people of the world, I think we can understand what went so terribly wrong.

By the way, in his speech he mentions the democratically elected Hamas only long enough to claim that they want to "wipe Israel from the map". He mentions Palestine or the palestinian people exactly never. I don't say that in support of Hamas, but in grasping the reality of the situation on the ground. Something Mr. Bush has no real interest in doing.


*Much like the game where you read your fortune cookie fortune with the suffix "-in my pants", the statements of George Bush need to be read with the silent suffix -"unless you're Palestinian".

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our "Secretary" of State brings new dignity to the job



Okay, I kid. But honest to pete, here's the real caption (shamelessly stolen from Princess Sparkle Pony)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives at the residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres, Wednesday, May 14, 2008, in Jerusalem. Looking on at rear is President Bush, left, and President Peres. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)


Did you detect a missing word? Vanna?

PS> as an aside, I went to a Yiddish translator site and asked to have "Beautiful Woman" translated into Yiddish for Shimon Peres to be saying. The translator said "Sorry, this word does not translate in Yiddish". Boom bappa chee! Be sure to tip your waiters!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I have had it.

In the past I've reproduced e-mails from my right wing friends that I find disturbing for us to chuckle about here. Could someone explain to me why left wing people don't have the same paranoic urge to send e-mails around? I mean, I have to say that the majority of people with whom I associate are left wing, none of them send these dumb ass screeds around the internet.

I know the answer: we are an elite band of brothers, secure in our knowledge who don't need to share the fear. But they do. What is wrong with Kansas? Or rural Wisconsin? Why do they want the rest of us to cower like they do, while all the time pronouncing how fearless, how brave they are? Fucktards.

That said, I think I hit the final straw with one of my rightie e-mail forwarders. It wasn't too hard. This woman is the wife of a highschool classmate of my husband's.

Here is what she sent to me:

Those of us who were alive at the time saw pictures like this in the newsreels at the movies and read about it in the papers. Those who fought in World War II in the area saw it first hand. Soon we will all be gone; I pray that we will not let others rewrite history to take true events out of the history books.

IT DID HAPPEN.


It is a matter of history that when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.



He did this because he said in words to this effect: 'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'

'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing'
Edmund Burke




This week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.

This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.





These photos were taken in Germany by James Emison Chanslor, an Army Master Sergeant who served in World War II from 1942 until 1945.


Here is my response:

Holly, you should check Snopes before you forward these. Neither the University of Kentucky (UK) nor the United Kingdom passed these rules you claim they did.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/holocaust.asp


I thought this was a great e-mail at first. It's true that history will try to deny the worst atrocities. There ARE Holocaust deniers and that is a sin against humanity. Then your e-mail took a fabulous twist and became the same ugly bigoted missive that it portends to be against.

Amazing how you can use one holocaust to justify another one. I guess 6 million dead jews don't yet equal 650,000* dead muslims, (the figure for dead Iraqis ) but with luck we'll get there, eh? (I personally believe we are at about a 6:1 ratio, meaning that in only five years we've killed one million Iraqis. The Third Reich had twelve years to get to 6 million. But what's in a number?)

Unfortunately, you are promoting the exact same hatred toward a religious group as Hitler did. And you are doing it by promoting lies and bigotry against a group that you know nothing about. Or please, tell me about your muslim friends. I wait....

That would be called irony, wouldn't it?

It IS a shame for good men to do nothing when evil raises its head. In this case you would like to condemn a billion muslims worldwide for the actions of 19. Oddly, the vast majority of whom came from a country that is still an ally of the United States. (Saudi Arabia, have you heard?) So, because I agree that it is a shame to do nothing in the face of ugliness and hate, I am going to tell
you that your bigotry is not acceptable to me. I will not tolerate your racist filth in my in-box. And when our country builds concentration camps for muslims(Guantanamo, anyone? Extraordinary rendition anyone?) I will speak up.

Did you know that I used to work for a country at the United Nations whose citizens were all muslim? None of whom fit your hateful description? They would be in awe of the bigotry you so carelessly promote. (Bangladesh)

If this were Germany in 1933 I know exactly where I would be and where you would be. Trust me, you wouldn't be on the side of religious tolerance. Your arm would be held so high up in the air in a Heil Hitler that the rest of us would have to duck from the backswing. And Ben and I have stood at Dachau that self-same camp and on that soil you want to weep for and the most striking thing about standing on that ground is that there are only about 300 yards that
separate the concentration camp from the village of Dachau. And I know that those citizens that lived in Dachau Village did nothing and pretended that nothing was happening because they bought, hook line and sinker, the fear that Hitler sold.

They pretended to be on the side of God.

So do you.

You change the word Jew to Muslim in all your little missives and you'll see
that you are promoting the exact same hate that Hitler did.

Proud of yourself?

Jess

*that figure is two years old, where are we now? Most likely well past one
million. Will you speak up when we reach 6 million? Or are any dead children
okay with you? I myself find any child a tragedy.

Blogrollin'


m.yu from the Jade Gate has created a new blog. One that I didn't see because I have been far far too busy as of late. But, thanks to about twelve hours of sleep last night I think I can get back to spying on all y'alls blogs and commenting and putting up more posts here.

Anyway, m.yu's new blog, Social Seppuku is less sexysex exotic erotica and more about the bumfarking we've been getting since about the Nixon admin. Hopefully I'll get some time to read all the way back to the end of April when the blog began with this pithy post:

Welcome to my new place. In order to keep my other blog, The Jade Gate, more consistent and on message (more bond age, rope, naked people and sex, which seems to disturb some politico types,) I have started Social Seppuku in order to give myself freer rein to vent and, as they say now, rant, bitch, yell and otherwise express my discontent for the current state of things. This harder edge of sarcasm and contempt seems to be more acceptable to some than mixing it with erotic power themes. Who'd have thunk it?.....

In other words, I do not want to contaminate the nice wholesome subjects of sexual fetishism, Erotic power play, Dominance and submission, sadism, masochism, alternative sexual lifestyles and practices, sexual orientations of all types and many other nice things with other postings of inane and pernicious things we do and allow to be done to us (non-consensually of course) by the institutional corporate fascists powers that be. Because after all, the society we live in is really some kind of strange ritualized social suicide of the most graphic kind but accepted and acquiesced to by we little baa baa sheep. This suicide allows us to keep living as we do.

So be sure to tell your friends and enemies to stop by here at Social Seppuku,
"Where the World Comes to Slit its Belly


So there you are m.yu. I'm telling everyone, get on over! One man's entrails is another man's tripe. (Wait, I think that came out all wrong...)

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Made In America Update

We've been at this for four months now, trying to buy only American products. At first I would wander around a store, just looking, until I found something that I needed with a USA label. Now I aggressively ask clerks for help and they are happy to oblige. Then we get into long, protracted discussions about globalization. It's been very interesting. Friends and family all know about it now, and while no one else has said "Hey, I'm going to do that, too" many are taking second looks at their purchases. Even a relative who works at *Sam's*.

Ima turned five recently. I shopped for her birthday present at Kmart. Did you know that of 'baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet", at the very least in that list those baseballs are no longer made in America. A few baseball bats are still made here, but I could find no softball, tee ball or baseball manufactured anywhere but China. Maybe there's a factory that produces all those American flag pins, American flags and baseballs all at the same time.

I thought I was pretty good at reading packaging to determine where something is made. Some products that are made in America just put the company's address on the package. I bought Ima a soccer ball (red white and blue flag motif no less) that looked for all the world like it was manufactured in Oregon. When she took it out of the package I spied in 2pt type the itty bitty word CHINA along side the valve stem. Rats! Ben had bought her a piggy bank, pink plastic with electronics inside that make squealing noises when you drop in a coin. He bought it at Walgreen's before the start of the challenge so the rules didn't apply. We didn't even check: plastic, electronics, Walgreen's=China. But guess what? It was manufactured in Ohio. And I must confess to one glaring violation of the rules that I made. I bought a Disney Princess clock radio for Ima. In a lawyerly application of our agreement, I justified the purchase because I needed a radio to listen to while I worked on the house in Milwaukee last week. And the rules state the purchases needed for work don't count. I should have taken a picture of the pink Disney Castle radio sitting on top of my toolbox. Incongruous to say the least.

Greeting cards are a whole 'nother wonder, I've discussed them in the past, but I think I have gotten pretty good at standing at Hallmark and being able to pick out the Chinese cards from an endcap away. Cards with glitter may still be printed here, but cards with little goo gads attached or 3-D effects that take some intricate piecework to assemble are made in China.

Last month was my anniversary and of course yesterday was Mother's Day. For Mother's Day I received some beautiful hand-crafted objets produced quite close to home by little 5 and 7 year old hands. These child laborers were not even paid for their work, but rest assured were given a healthy snack time right after putting away the paint and the glue. The other thing that I got for Mother's Day was a saute pan made by All-Clad in Pennsylvania. Which followed the 12" pan I gave Ben last month for our anniversary. We know that there are still cookware companies in Wisconsin, but sometimes you just draw the line and say Wisconsin might be better than Pennsylvania in the buying hierarchy of needs, but Pennsylvania beats China any day. As an aside, I have perfected the omelet! But in the 12" pan it takes six eggs to make a good omelet.

Shoes are the next big hurdle. Ima is set for the summer, but I'm not quite sure what to do about Lotta. I have found that New Balance still makes some children's shoes here, but summer time sandals are going to take some searching. And I myself am just about crazy for some new shoes. If you see a woman openly weeping in the shoe department it's probably me. Kicky thongs? Cute slingbacks? Those little slipper sneakers? Sob.

Gotta go. Ima wants to play with all the Chinese crap she got for her birthday.

Friday, May 9, 2008

And You May Tell Yourself
This Is Not My Beautiful House

The credit crisis, which is sapping America's economic strength, was the result of an almost religious belief in deregulation whose excesses are now coming home to roost.

It is instructive to compare the American financial mess with the economic situation in nations that resisted deregulation. Old Europe tends to get a scornful press in the U.S. But Europe is not suffering a financial meltdown today -- mainly because Europeans (with the exception of Britain and Switzerland) took only a few sips of the financial Kool-Aid so heavily promoted by U.S. banks.


read more at the American Prospect.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You Say Elitist...


I say "uppity nigger".

Don't know how else to explain a kid who grew up on food stamps with a single mother and who made it big through the promise of the American dream, who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, being given the "elitist tag".

Hillary might let that go, now that she's being asked to quit.

But you know McCain won't.

Yes, massah. Bes yah keeps thuh uppity niggahs down.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tenants.

Went to Milwaukee to clean out the apartment vacated by a bad tenant. Super nice guy, terrible tenant. According to the woman living downstairs, he would often leave his dog alone in the apartment for long stretches of time. Brand new carpet had to be pulled because it was soaked with dog pee. When they moved in this couple told me they had a small terrier, who lost all its teeth as a baby and needed to be carried down the stairs to go to the bathroom. I guess they thought I'd never come around and see that it was a pit bull. With lots of teeth and very functioning legs. When it wasn't peeing on the carpets, it was taking shits on the balcony. There are turds inbetween the planks on the balcony and in the downspouts.

On the upside, his ex-girlfriend left her video tapes of their sex life. Oh, I kid. There was a little standard missionary sexin' on the tape, rather ho hum. Tenant says that his fiance left him for her drug dealer (oy vey) and that now she's pregnant and on bed rest and doesn't know who the father is. The ovulation kit and four pregnancy tests I found under the bathroom sink say otherwise. For the record, she told neighbors that he was the one on drugs. (I cross myself). Others say that both of them had a problem with alcohol. The SWAT team that showed up one night at 2 AM after the tenant rolled his vehicle on the freeway offramp and then ran away on foot would probably agree with that assessment.

So I'm going back for the next few days to finish the cleanup. I wonder if that sage burning thing they're always doing out in California to rid the place of bad juju has any merit? Sigh.

Friday, May 2, 2008

More About Me, meh.





* The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.


* Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.


* At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.


1. Ten years ago I was:

Married to someone else and building a house that I designed. (Yep, I was the general contractor after I fired the guy who was a friend of the ex's) He still lives there. I wish I could've kept the stove - it cost more than one of the cars we have today.


2. Five Things on Today's To Do List:

-Pack for me, kids, dogs to go to Milwaukee to clean up an apartment a tenant just left in a bad state.

-Take Ima to kindergarten orientation

-Go to Lotta's "Reader's Theater" presentation

-Try to find Ima's immunization record. Will give up and call for the clinic to fax me yet another one.

-Stop at favorite truck stop on way to Milwaukee for dinner.

3. Things I'd do if I were a billionare

* Build new homes in New Orleans on a totally new, independent, green power grid.

* Travel obsessively

* Kick Donald Trump in the nuts for being such a dickwad and then laugh at his puny helicopter.


4. Three Bad Habits

* Procrastination

* Poking at trolls with sticks

* I drink too much diet soda.


5. Five Places I've lived

* Oshkosh, Wisconsin - when they still made the overalls there

* New Brunswick, New Jersey - the train conductor said "ElizabethMatawaaaaanEastBrunswickNewBrunswick....."

* Richmond, Virginia - Ben calls it the city of Second Place Trophies for all the Civil War statues in town. I love you, Richmond. Take a joke, please.

* Milwaukee, Wisconsin - On days you didn't smell the foundry to the west, you could smell the mash cooking at Miller Brewery to the east. Contrary to what you might think that's not a great smell.

* A suburb of Madison, Wisconsin (where I am right now. Look at me on Google Earth! I'm right by the window. Wave! Hi there! Ben, put your damn pants on, people are looking!)


6. Five Jobs I've had in life:

* clerk at Ben Franklin store

* Sampler at grocery stores for 7 UP.

* Sales & Marketing Manager for a cat toy company

* Estimator for a construction company

* Lunch lady at a daycare center.

I am going to tag Yoga Korunta, Dr. Zaius, Dean Wormer, ed, and Germaine Gregarious.