Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Will this sign of impending doom come to pass?

John Dean was on Randi Rhodes show this afternoon. He said that if Alberto Gonzales resigns during the Congressional recess there is no way the Bush Administration would be so stupid as to replace a cabinet level official with an interim appointment.

He does not recall that an official of that level has ever been replaced with an interim appointment and that doing so would show the highest levels of contempt for congress. (Not contempt in the legal sense, but in the sense of an abject and total belief in the unitary executive.) If Bush were to do such a thing the wheels would utterly be off this administration.

Somehow, given that warning, I can absolutely see it happening. In other words, no one ever erred overestimating the stupidity of this administration.

Fishhead, what did you do?

Here's my adopted actor, from 1976's "The Gong Show".

Monday, July 30, 2007

Am I mature enough to adopt?

A strange thing has been happening to me for the last few weeks. I love Turner Classic Movies and I tune in often, maybe not to see a whole film, confessionally I will tell you that I love old movies for ... set design!!! Bla bla plot, bla bla star, bla bla relevence. Screwa thata, I want to see how people's kitchens looked in the 1930's.

Okay then, as I am watching these set pieces (5-10-15 minutes at a time mind you) I have been on the lookout for my star to adopt. I, Splotchy thinks it's a good idea and many fellow bloggers agree.

I think I need to adopt a dead actor and a living actor. I would like to adopt many actors and give them all a classification, but for now I'll go for live and dead.

Here they are, my actors:

Dead.Mary Wickes

Mary Wickes was in everything and you know you know her. Apparently the last big thing she was in was "Sister Act" but then she died. Well, though she was a lifelong republican, I want her home to be here, at maison de Wundrun. Welcome Mary. Talk to the hubby, Ben Wundrun, he's a republican, too.

For the living:Paul Reubens.

That's right, Pee Wee. I love you and I don't care about what happened in the Florida movie theatre like, twenty years ago, what! You gave me the best Saturday mornings of my life--all hungover on Saturday mornings at college, my good friend without benefits, Edsel and me in my dorm, hanging and watching Pee Wee's playhouse. Word of the day? Dude, word! Sorry to all you people at that somewhat nice but now defunct supper club in Oshkosh where I was the cocktail waitress who would scream if you said 'cake' on the day 'cake' was the word of the day. Now that you are a character actor, Paul, you not only shine in your smallish roles, those of us who have a cultish devotion to you always go 'Waaaaaay' when you show up on film. Plus YOU gave a break to Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Jimmy Smits. Cripes, Rob Zombie worked for you.

Glad they all had your back when you got caught being a wanker. Not.

What would have happened if he was brown?

From the Chicago Tribune:
Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a chainsaw stained with what appeared to be blood, a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, and brass knuckles. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and then let him into the United States.

Has anyone blamed Clinton yet?

Who is today's saint?

Not saint but saints- today we get a twofer of saints for the Feast Day of Saints Abdon and Sennen.

Abdon and Sennon were from Persia. Since Abdon was a cooper and Sennen was his buddy, they became the patron saints of barrel makers. My dad's great-grandpa was a cooper who repaired whiskey barrels. He died of cirrhosis of the liver because he liked to drink up the liquid left in the bottom of the barrels.

And you thought I wasn't well-bred. I digress.

Saints Abdon and Sennen liked to show their faith in Christ by spitting publicly on pagan idols. This got them thrown to the lions. The lions weren't interested. So they got to meet the gladiators who hacked them to pieces. According to my Saint-A-Day guide "'the more their bodies were mangled with wounds, the more were their souls made beautiful by Divine grace'. As if to confirm their traditional patronage, these Saint's holy relics were eventually smuggled to France, concealed in wine barrels."

If Abdon and Sennen were our contemporaries they would not be saints, they'd be Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe.

Wouldn't you love to see his inaugural address?

It probably wouldn't stand up to George Washington's or John F. Kennedy's but if we were to elect Tommy Thompson, one could wonder if they'd edit the (*hiccups*) out of the transcript.


I, Splotchy has more drunk celebrities and other bad behavior caught on tape.

What's your favorite opening line of a novel?

Call me Ishmael may be the easiest to remember, but my favorite opening line of all time is

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

What's your favorite?

Would you like my answers in another meme?

I, Splotchy has tagged me with the five question meme. I am beginning to see that the questions the tagger asks speak more about them than the answers the taggee gives. Here are my answers Splotchy, untainted and from the heart:

1. Choose one superpower: super strength, super speed, or invisibility. Explain your choice.

Strength, physical, mental, emotional, is always best when you've earned it. Super speed would be very nice because maybe for once I'd be caught up w/my housecleaning. I would choose invisibility. For one, it would have been my choice amongst the Deathly Hallows, and two, I'd use it to eavesdrop on the current batch of Death Eaters in Washington.

2. What's the weirdest music in your collection?

Alphabetically, the Gregorian Chant is next to Hannah Montana. (If I actually alphabetized. Which I don't)

3. Name a place where you never have lived, but have always thought would be a
good place to settle down. Manhattan for retirement.

4. Have you ever seen, or been in the presence of, a ghost? No. Not even with the occasional Ouija sessions and that slumber party classic 'stiff as a board, light as a feather'.

5. What should be a crime that currently isn't? What's currently a crime that shouldn't be?

I think that lying under oath to Congress should be a crime punishable by a 'Contempt of Congress' citation and the guilty party should be taken to the basement of the Alamo Capitol and held there until he can tell the truth. Oh, and get fined like, $1000. What? We have that law? Oh. Nevermind. I think passing someone on a two lane on-ramp right before you merge should be a crime.

All current draconian marijuana laws need to be dropped. Marijuana should be treated like liquor. Hemp should be treated like an agricultural commodity. I'm not a pot smoker, but that's just a personal preference, like how I don't drink Jack Daniels. Those dope laws are out of hand!

What is important?

Pretty good question. Here's another one: Why doesn't the mainstream media treat democrats like serious candidates? There's Hillary's cleveland, Edward's hair, Obama's mochachina hue, and Kucinich is beneath even parody to them.

At least Edwards is addressing the question.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is the war over?

I accidently got myself into a blogger war with Splotchy of the fabulous I, Splotchy. This is a mistake I will never make again. I used the word 'taint' in a title last week and then casually wondered to Splotchy when he would be using the 'taint' word again.

That meant war.

Taint is kind of a naughty word which describes the area of your body known as the perineum. It's called that because it t'aint your ____________ or your_____________. (Please fill in your own wholly inappropriate description of your genitals and your anus).

I was feeling like Napolean in Russia during this war when suddenly, Splotchy surrendered.

Little did he know I was just about to hoist the white flag myself.

So, Splotchy, you were a very intimidating combatant. I will never go to the mattresses with you again.

Enjoy Sister Rosetta Tharpe, on me. (Double click through to YouTube. Well worth it.)

How do I answer these questions?

Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein (it's shteeen) has tagged me with a five question meme. Ever happy to talk about myself, I celebrate the popping of my meme cherry by answering these questions:

1. Does this look infected to you?

No. I think it is just a fungus.

2. What was the name of your kindergarten or first grade teacher?

My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Herman and my first grade teacher was Miss. Semlie. (I think I'm spelling Semlie wrong). Mrs Herman was the greatest kindergarten teacher that ever lived! She let me and David G. go to first grade every day for reading class and when we came back to kindergarten she would have us sit on her lap and read the books we were learning in first grade to her. She was a big lady and her lap could hold at least four kindergartners. I don't know why she picked me to move up in reading, but I am sure glad she did. It started a love affair with reading that means that for the rest of my life I will never be bored. My 'to read' stack never ever gets shorter. My first grade teacher was also fantastic. It was 1971 and we were her first class she ever taught. She wasn't a hippy, but she was so groovy. She looked like Brenda Morgenstern (aka Marge Simpson) but was much better dressed. At the end of the school year she got married and moved away.

3. Have you ever broken a bone in your body?

Not really. I fractured my nose on my brother's forehead once. He is 14 months older than me and we were fairly evenly matched as little kids. I had pinned him down with my knees on his arms and was doing the chest poke 'say uncle....pokepokepoke......say uncle......pokepokepoke' when he tried to lurch up and banged his forehead on my nose. We were at my parents' friend's house and she was a nurse who checked me out and thought I was okay. Later a doctor confirmed a hairline fracture. No big. I can't remember if my brother got in trouble. Probably a little, but me? Nope.

4. What's up with the humidity lately?

It's not the heat it's the stupidity. We went for a full month with no measurable rain and it was still humid. When I moved to Virginia from Wisconsin, many people wanted to brag on their humidity in VA. "Oh, just wait until summer" they'd proudly say, "the humidity is unbearable". Ladies of Virginia: yes, you have humidity, but so do we. So do we. Here is a chart of the humidity in Madison. In the summer we are at the top. We are so competetive that way.

5. What kind of alcoholic beverage would you buy me if we went out for a drink?

Glad you asked! I was a bartender for 10 years at a bar where every drink order was placed using the ingredients in the drink. To whit: Brandy Seven, Gin and Tonic, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. We didn't have no stinkin' blender. Once in a while we'd have to make whatever shot was trendy that season: blowjobs, sex on the beach, whatevah. But that was rare and those weren't regulars.

So for you, a Vodka Pres with a dash of Rose's lime juice and a wedge of lime.

Wait, ho! What's a pres? Pres is short for Presbyterian. I was told that presbyterian is half way between catholic and baptist, so a presbyterian drink is half and half. In most parts of the country this means making a cocktail with the booze and equal parts ginger ale and soda water. Here in 'Sconny we do equal parts seven up and soda water. For you, I'd make it diet soda. And it would be vodka because that seems to be the alcohol of choice for the people with health issues (and little old ladies who don't think it smells on their breath. Ladies, you ain't fooling no one.) The lime stuff just makes it tasty!

You can buy me a margarita on the rocks, no salt. Cheers.

I am going to tag Fran, Johnny Yen, Suzy, Yoga Korunta and Chris in Seattle with these five questions:

1. Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. Our side won! How do you celebrate?
2. Are you on a boat or are you a land lubber or do you soar?
3. What was the last mistake you wished you could cover up?
4. Are your omelettes fluffy?
5. When was the last time your paradigm shifted?

Some of you are on vacation. I don't think there's a time limit. You can get at it when you get back. Love, Jess.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How do the kids feel about wind energy?

A recent post by Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein about renewable/sustainable energy reminded me of a discussion I had with my girls while on a drive in the countryside of southwest Wisconsin.

I spied a row of windmills off in the distance and told my children what was up ahead and what they were. I knew that I could see them, but the kids ensconced in safety seats in the back wouldn't see the windmills until we got much closer.

"The windmills provide energy, and we call that energy clean because it doesn't make a mess or have scary side effects like alot of the energy we use now," I told them.

"But you girls are going to have to tell me what you think. Some people say that they don't like the windmills because they are ugly. So as soon as you see the windmills you tell me whether you think they are ugly."

The countryside in southwest Wisconsin rolls a little so that the windmills played peek-a-boo with our car. Finally we came upon them as we crested a small drumlin so that they appeared like white giants out of nowhere. The effect took the girls' breath away.

"Oh, mama!" they cried, "they are beautiful".

I always think so, too.

Are you in touch with your Hui Yin?

I have been seeing an acupuncturist for the last few months. I went in for some odd symptoms that my regular doctor couldn't diagnose, like dizzy spells and some numbness. I can't tell you how effective the acupuncture is because while my symptoms have appeared with less frequency I have no way of knowing if that's the acupuncture or something else.

I think it is hard for a person who thinks with a western mind to get a handle on the philosophy of acupuncture. My doctor wants me to look at whole systems and I, as evidenced above, want to know if the current prescription is effective or not effective. I will say this, about once a week I go to see the acupuncturist, spend a few minutes of unpleasantness getting the needles put in-not painful but I get the skeeves once in a while- and then I get a really comfortable hour long rest accompanied by eastern music with labels like 'Acupuncture for the Mind'. Groovy. I love it.

On my first visit to my acupuncturist, she told me that my Chi is blocked. Chi is essential energy that travels through the body. Regardless of the area my doctor is treating on a given day, I always get a needle on the top of my head. This is the location of the crown chakra, the place that connects me to the universal force.

A heard a man joking once about how acupuncture came into being. I mean, think of the potential for mistakes-sticking needles into various parts of your body. How many times did they stick needles in the wrong areas to be able to determine the right ones?

Take for example, the Hui Yin chakra. It is an extremely important point on the pathway of the chi. "When the Hui Yin is strong, the organs remain firm and healthy; when it is weak the organs lose cohesiveness and Chi energy drains away. Because this Center is the gate through which Ch'i energy from the other organs can be either retained or lost, it is called the "Gate of Life and Death"." This is the point at which all the other energy channels converge.

These are the associated psychological traits for the Hui Yin:
Balanced and Open: You are grounded and comfortable with earthy reality; you are not afraid of dirt or germs.

Overactive: You may be fixated at the anal level, and may have a crude or childish sense of humour. If this chakra takes over the normal role of the Genital Chakra, you will prefer anal to genital sex; if you are male homosexual you will hang out in public toilets to find sexual partners.

Malfunctioning: You may suffer from obsessive-compulvise behaviour; obsessive tidiness, a fear of germs, etc. Everything in your house has to absolutely spotless.

Blocked: You have difficulty relating to earthy things, and may feel emotionally insecure.
See here for more information on this chakra.

Happily, I seem to be in balance with my Hui Yin. Its location is an area where I t'aint never letting anyone put a needle! (Not since the babies were born anyway).

How different would Hillary be from what we've got?

One of the reasons I like Barack Obama is that the rest of the world loves him. There will be so much for the next democratic president to undo* that regaining the admiration for the United States by the rest of the world will be no easy task, but one that Obama already has a head start on.

Further, Obama has distanced himself from Hillary Clinton on foreign policy matters. In turn it seems Hillary hasn't really distanced herself from the current Bush Administration standard operating procedure. From John Nichols column:

In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, the two frontrunners are lining up on opposite sides of the question of whether foreign policy should be conducted in public or behind the tattered curtain of corruption that has given us unnecessary wars in Vietnam and Iraq, U.S.-sponsored coups from Iran to Chile, trade policies designed to serve multinational corporations and a seeming inability to respond to the crisis that is Darfur.

Hillary Clinton, the candidate of all that is and will be, wants there to be no doubt that she is in the Kissinger camp.

The New York senator's campaign is attacking her chief rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, for daring to suggest that, he would personally meet with foreign leaders who do not always march in lockstep with the U.S. government.

In Monday's night's YouTube debate, candidates were asked it they would be willing to meet "with leaders of Syria, Iran, Venezuela during their first term," Obama immediately responded that, yes, he would be willing to do so. He explained that "the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous."

Clinton disagreed in the debate and now her camp is declaring that, "There is a clear difference between the two approaches these candidates are taking: Senator Obama has committed to presidential-level meetings with some of the world's worst dictators without precondition during his first year in office."

Leaving aside the fact that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a popularly elected leader, is not one of the "world's worst dictators," it is particularly galling that Clinton -- in her rush to trash Obama -- is contradicting her own declaration in an April debate that, "I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people."

*Not saying the next president will be a democrat. Maybe the president after that. I should really be more optimistic.

Has a new word been invented to describe Barry Bonds?

"That's enter-taint-ment
Like one of those reality TV shows, soon-to-be home-run king Barry Bonds manages to disgust and fascinate at the same time

July 8, 2007
BY JAY MARIOTTI Sun-Times Columnist
ST. LOUIS -- We watch Barry Bonds with part humor, part disgust, like a reality TV show that insults our intelligence yet still qualifies as required viewing. He's about to shatter the most revered record of my childhood, the 755 home runs of Henry Aaron, and much to my middle-aged horror, Bonds and his suspicious pedigree have reduced the moment to a freak fest, asterisk debate and nightly security challenge"

The rest of the article is here. And I can't stand Bud Selig.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where is this?

This looks like part of your large intestine, or some strange biological speciman. But it t'aint that at all! Why it is a Department of Natural Resources map for a beautiful lake in Northern Wisconsin where one can enjoy a host of outdoor recreational activities.

Teaching the kids to ski t'aint hard on a knee board or other special skis. No t'aint.

Want to know more about this beautiful lake in Northern Wisconsin? Of course you do. Here's more information about beautiful Tainter Lake.

How did George Bush steal my Jesus?

It sounds strange to say it this way, but if Al Gore had won Bush v. Gore, I would probably still be a believer. Maybe not a Catholic, me n' the pope were not exactly seeing eye to eye by then--a little dust up over an annulment and the rules for baptizing babies with or without said annulment-- but I think I'd still be somewhere in the Christian community.

And I was still a Christian through the first term of the Bush Administration. But on November 3, 2004 I sat at my computer, cried, and read through the election stories and kept coming across 'values voters'.

The idea that the only moral vote was one for George Bush was absolutely confounding to me. I had to find my bible and read the New Testament to find these mysterious passages that rang the clarion of God's anger against homosexuals and unwanted pregnancies.

There was a slight problem: I couldn't find my bible. I had the Catholic issue, given to me by my aunt twenty years before as a confirmation gift. We moved the year before the election and most of my books were still in boxes in the basement. (Still are, actually). I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a new bible and what a trip that was. How could it be that I couldn't find a bible that resembled my old confirmation bible? What were these bibles that used hip, updated text? Who was TNIV? How can anyone believe the infallibility of the bible when there are so many bibles to choose from? I eeny-meeny-miny-moed a selection and went home determined to actually read it.

Being raised a Catholic means never having to read the bible. You get the relevant parts read to you in three year cycles. The rest, meh. What I read in Today's New International Version of the bible was a little surprising. I found myself disagreeing with Jesus on a few points.

This began my search for information on how maybe we've misinterpreted Jesus. I read Elaine Pagels, books about the gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene. I devoured books on the gnostics. I read A. N. Wilson's book about the apostle Paul.

All my studying led to one very clear conclusion: I had stopped believing in Jesus.

I sometimes envy people for whom religion is not important. My husband is that way. I have dragged him to all manner of different churches and different denominations trying to find our fit. He never complained about going, and didn't really care what denomination we were visiting which week. I think he's happier now that I have no demands on his Sunday morning time. He uses it to fly fish. I can't sit on a fence. If I'm going to have faith then I'm going to have it, understand it, participate in it. Once I climbed over the fence from the land of superstition and became an immigrant to the land of reason it was impossible to go back.

I mentioned that George Bush stole my Jesus on the comments of an atheist website. Someone replied that no one can steal what you don't want. It's true, my faith was always one of more questions than answers. The president didn't really steal my religion. It was more like he helped me clean out my closets.

Would you like to come out to the lanai for some iced tea?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where is it?

Is it here?

No it is not.

Is it here?

No it

Whose feast day do we celebrate today?

Today we have an All-Star in our Saint-A-Day line up. Representin' July 25th is Saint Christopher!! (A chorus of Yays please!) Many have seen the ubiquitous St. Christopher medal, particularly among travelers. This is because in the third century Christopher was said to have ferried the infant Jesus across a river.

Christopher is the patron saint of bachelors, bus drivers, ferryboat men, fruit dealers, police officers, skiers, soldiers, travelers, and truck drivers. Saint Christopher is invoked against nightmares, sudden death ('pray for me Saint Chri-ackkkkk!?), peril from water, peril from storms.

Here for your consideration is the story of Saint Christopher from my Saint-A-Day guide:
Christopher was a twenty-four foot tall giant from Palestine, a blacksmith's son obsessed with the desire to serve the most powerful king in the world. He joined the mercenary army of a tribal chieftain, but after he witnessed his master tremble before a wicked necromancer, Christopher resolved to follow the mighty Satan. Then the Devil cowered and fled from the crucifix worn by an ancient hermit, so Christopher bound himself in service to that holy old man, whose task it was to ferry travelers across a river. One stormy night a child (usually pictured as a baby) appeared and asked Christopher to carry him on his shoulders across the raging flood. During the crossing the child grew increasingly heavy, so that the giant barely reached the far shore. The "child" then revealed Himself as Christ and told Christopher (Greek for "Christ-bearer") that he had just borne the weight of the world on his shoulders. Christopher planted his staff by the side of the river, where it instantly became a palm tree, and set out on a career of preaching and brothel closing. Christopher's cult was strong throughout the Middle Ages, for it was believed that anyone who looked upon his image before noon would not die that day. His popularity declined the the so-called Enlightenment but has flourished in our own age of dangerous road and air travel; a Saint Christopher medal dangles from the rearview mirror of many an agnostic's automobile. In 1969 the doubtless mythical Christopher's Feast was expunged from the official Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, but Christopher remains the best known and probably most loved of all the Patron Saints.

If Christopher were alive today he would not be a saint, he would be a hero from the Ninth Ward.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wanna pick yer taint up off the couch and go to a feckin' festival?

Look! A festival for us bastards and twunts who couldn't keep it clean if we were in a goddam cherch:


Wonder if this clusterflock of arseholes will be there?

Wait, swairfest is ...what? Oh. Nevermind

What is the common denominator in these stories?

Story Number One:

Cheese Used in Terror Bomb Test?
Jenn Rourke
MILWAUKEE - NBC News has obtained a bulletin from the Transportation Security Administration suggesting that there has been a surge in suspicious incidents at several U.S. airports.

The memo mentions several cities, including Milwaukee. San Diego, Houston and Baltimore are also noted.

The memo suggests that terrorists are conducting pre-attack security probes, pushing the limits of what they can bring through screening checkpoints undetected.

According to the NBC memo, some of the items confiscated during the rehearsals include wires, switches, pipes and materials used to make IEDs, or improvised explosive devices.

The notice says two of the incidents involved hiding the components in a block of processed cheese. In at least one incident, the device was connected to a cell phone charger, the memo says.

The TSA said there is no specific, credible threat attached to any of this information and that the note is part of routine information-sharing with airports and law enforcement.

Passengers who spoke with TODAY'S TMJ4 at Mitchell International Airport said they are accustomed to these types of threats and found the use of cheese blocks amusing.

Story Number Two:

Boy locked up during Packers games
Greenfield mother, boyfriend sentenced in child neglect case

Posted: July 23, 2007

Through last fall and into the winter, Scott Scherer and Melanie Hardrath fell into a familiar routine for each Packers game day: wake up, shower and head for Potawatomi Bingo Casino to hang out for six hours or more.

But Hardrath's 7-year-old son didn't have a place in that routine. So his mother and her live-in boyfriend forced one on him that even Hardrath's attorney called "bizarre": When the Greenfield couple went to watch the team play, the boy was deadbolted in his room with a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly.

He also got a bucket to use as a toilet, which he had to empty and clean himself when the couple returned.

Photos shown during sentencing show the couple's Greenfield home packed with thousands of dollars' worth of Packers memorabilia, including autographed jerseys, helmets, posters and legions of figurines. A prosecutor said the pictures made clear how easily they could have afforded proper treatment for the boy.

"These are not people who could not afford a baby sitter," Assistant District Attorney Chris Liegel said. "These are not desperate people making bad decisions. These are selfish people making bad decisions."

Attorneys for the couple seemed at a loss to defend what happened, which Wagner said "shocks the conscience of the community."

Hardrath's attorney, Richard Johnson, said the discovery of the "bizarre" situation had forced the couple's parenting issues to be confronted, but he said he did not have a suggestion on how proper justice could be meted out

"What do you do?" Johnson said to Wagner. "Maybe this coming football season, lock them in a room with a bucket and make them watch Bears games."


The answer is cheese(heads)gone bad.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why do my friends think I would be interested in this?

A very good friend of mine sent me an e-mail today that was purportedly written by an American Airlines pilot. Snopes has the original letter and a rundown here. I'll post my friend's letter in comments.

Gloria Steinem once said that if you were uncertain as to whether a statement was sexist or racist or somehow bigoted, remove the offending class from the statement and replace it with another.

I've done that with my friend's letter. A comment left earlier today has had me thinking about our response to the second worst act of terrorism on American soil, the Oklahoma City bombing. So, putting those two things together, I altered the text of Amy's e-mail to me to reflect how it would have sounded had we let ourselves become consumed with fear after right wing extremists (who were Christians) plotted and carried out attacks on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma city on April 19, 1995.

Subject: This is why you worry me.
The newspaper stated today that some right wing christian extremist doctor is saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an airplane.
The following is a letter from a pilot. This well spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully....>Read, absorb and pass this on.
"YOU WORRY ME!" By American Airlines Pilot - Captain John Maniscalco
I've been trying to say this since April 19, 1995, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country.
But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from the backwoods, professing to be right wing christian extremists, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
On April 19, 1995 right wing christian extremists loaded a rental truck in my
country. They bombed children and watched mothers panic as they ran to the site.. They took that truck and drove it into buildings killing hundreds of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
The right wing extremists celebrated, the fundamentalist whackos were overjoyed as was most of the Posse comitatus fringe groups. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that have destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the right wing christian extremist terrorist.
How do I differentiate between the true right wing christian fundamentalist and the right wing christian extremist terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of
OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack on an abortion clinic that will slaughter these same good neighbors and citizens?
The events of April 19, 1995 changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every right wing christian in this country to determine it for me.
I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ? Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in >your many daily prayers that God will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that God will destroy it in the Rapture? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Freedoms that are spelled out in all ten amendments to the constitution, not just the second? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America ?
If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your right wing christian leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a communit y and as a religion to protect the United States of America .
Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am only interested in action.
What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?
I want to see right wing christians championing the Bill of Rights in the streets. I want to see young right wing christian men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.
The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the Alfred P. Murrah attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in right wing christian extremist communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals. The right wing christian extremist representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating.
They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow right wing christian extremists from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing "leaders" like Nichols, Rudolph, Koresh, Robertson, Dobson and Falwell.
If the true teachings of Christianity proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the bible and statements from popular right wing christian extremist leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the bible are good, and pure, and true, when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance.
It matters little how good christianity SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's
right wing christian extremists interpret the teachings of Jesus incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of
violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after a year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.
We will NEVER allow the attacks of April 19, 1995, or any others for that
matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the
greatest constitution in the world.
I want to know where every right wing christian extremist in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know.
I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American.
But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then. "YOU WORRY ME!"

You know, I was there when a Christian extremist attacked Centennial Park in Atlanta 1996. It didn't then and doesn't now make me afraid of Christians (other than their unique ability to trample my rights and act victimized all at the same time).

I am just dog tired of the fear mongering.

HR 676 Universal Healthcare: Don't Stop Believin'

Blue Gal is so well rounded and insightful for a two dimensional girl.

Waydago, BG and the 35 percenters!

What does it mean to be free?

Janet Nocek, a Connecticut librarian describes what it feels like to live in American under George Orwell Bush:

A gag order is very difficult to deal with. A person cannot tell her family or friends she has received a demand from the government to turn in information on another person. Whether you agree with the security-letter provision or not, receiving such a letter is an emotionally wrenching experience.

And if the government requires you to compromise your professional and personal ethics, it can be an intensely disturbing experience. You feel like a character in an Orwellian book. You feel trapped in a world that others like you may inhabit, but you cannot reach outside of that world to find out.

Ms. Nocek was aided in a lawsuit against the government by the American Civil Liberties Union and is now free to discuss parts of the case. Last March an anonymous citizen wrote this to the Washington Post:

Living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case -- including the mere fact that I received an NSL -- from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie.

I resent being conscripted as a secret informer for the government and being made to mislead those who are close to me, especially because I have doubts about the legitimacy of the underlying investigation.

The inspector general's report makes clear that NSL gag orders have had even more pernicious effects. Without the gag orders issued on recipients of the letters, it is doubtful that the FBI would have been able to abuse the NSL power the way that it did. Some recipients would have spoken out about perceived abuses, and the FBI's actions would have been subject to some degree of public scrutiny. To be sure, not all recipients would have spoken out; the inspector general's report suggests that large telecom companies have been all too willing to share sensitive data with the agency -- in at least one case, a telecom company gave the FBI even more information than it asked for. But some recipients would have called attention to abuses, and some abuse would have been deterred.

I found it particularly difficult to be silent about my concerns while Congress was debating the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2005 and early 2006. If I hadn't been under a gag order, I would have contacted members of Congress to discuss my experiences and to advocate changes in the law. The inspector general's report confirms that Congress lacked a complete picture of the problem during a critical time: Even though the NSL statute requires the director of the FBI to fully inform members of the House and Senate about all requests issued under the statute, the FBI significantly underrepresented the number of NSL requests in 2003, 2004 and 2005, according to the report.

So here's my question: How much longer do we have to live like this? All of this surveillance and the best we've turned up are several cells of Ninja clad goofballs playing YouTube worthy games, not actual terrorists. Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, told Tim Russert yesterday that he is unaware of any Al Qaida sleeper cells in the United States. Couldn't that mean Al Qaida has been eradicated and we can declare the homefront battle on the Global War on Terror over and restore our civil liberties we have "temporarily suspended" to deal with the threat?

Silly Rabbit, republican tricks are for kids. No, our president just keeps amassing more and more authority pressing the 'fear' and 'panic' buttons to get the sheep to go along. And he's using it in areas that have nothing to do with National Security.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wanna play Senatorial Sleaze Pool?

I would like to start a little game. It's a bit like Dead Pool, where you select a group of celebrities you think are going to die within the year. Points are assessed by how unlikely your pick is. In the past year, I think Anna Nicole Smith would get you decent points, but Gerald Ford was pretty obvious.

The inspiration for my game is the clip at Political Wire . Larry Flynt says that he will spill the beans on another senatorial customer of prostitutional delights and decadences. Flynt gives us a little teaser. He says "I was shocked, especially at one senator but..."

Hmmm. Ready to play? Who could the senator be that would shock,shock Larry Flynt?

Please leave your guesses in comments. I will do my best to unfairly handicap your choices with an unjustifiable points system. To help toward that end here are some thoughts:

Wayne Allard - given his anti-immigration bent, a Mexican prostitute might be shocking. 10 pts

Barbara Boxer - very shocking indeed! 50 pts

Sam Brownback - not shocking, practically expected. 2 pts

Robert Byrd - my first choice. I actually hope he is on the list. 50 pts.

Saxby Chambliss - see Brownback above. 2 pts.

Russell Feingold - this would hurt. I would not be shocked, I would be mortified. 10100 pts.

Lindsey Graham - If the prostitute is anyone other than Jeff Gannon/Guckert. 10 pts

Joe Lieberman - shocking because I don't think he could pay someone to fuck him. 100 pts.

Trent Lott - not shocking, expected. Not even a black prostitute would shock given Lott's admiration for Strom Thurmond. 7.5 pts.

David Vitter - 0 points. Are you paying attention?

John McCain - only mildly shocking. Since there is nowhere to go but up for his campaign, it could actually provide some bounce. 25 pts.

Who it is not: Senator John Barrasso R-Wyoming. He's only been a senator since June 25, 2007. 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 oogle google points.

UPDATE: Look! I put the new poll feature up so you can vote there, too.

Do you want to know who I'd like to vote for in '08?

This isn't really an endorsement. As yet, I am staying above the muddy gallimaufry (Tuesday's word o' the day. I've been dying to use it) in the race among the Apes, Monkeys, Dogs, Frogs, Sleestaks and Attack Lesbians.

It is my fervent wish that the senator from Rhode Island would throw his hat into the ring. Why? Simply because there would be a Whitehouse in the White House.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island.

Too cutesy? Yeah, I thought so. Well, kiss my ass.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who is Friday's Saint?

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Uncumber. Uncumber was the original bearded lady, or the first religious woman to wear facial hair. This became quite prominent among 20th century nuns, so that nowadays bearded sisters are really nothing to get beatified about.

Uncumber is the patron saint of unhappy wives; she is invoked against men's lust.

From my Saint-A-Day Guide:
One of an all-girl set of septuplets, Uncumber was originally named Wilgefortis, "strong virgin", in which state she fervently wished to remain. Her father, the pagan king of Portugal, had other ideas, insisting she marry his ally, the king of Sicily. Desperately, she prayed to become ugly, a wish that was miraculously granted when she sprouted,overnight, a formidable beard and mustache. Incensed, her father had her crucified, and from the cross she promised to all who invoked her aid that she would free them from male encumbrances-hence her name in English,Uncumber.

If Uncumber were our contemporary, she would not be a saint, she would be Rosie O'Donnell.

Why doesn't this surprise me?

From USA Today:

Government auditors discovered something odd last year when they reviewed KBR Inc.'s annual cost estimate to provide support services for U.S. troops in Iraq. The contractor proposed charging $110 million for housing, food, water, laundry and other services on bases that had been shut down.

KBR got a contract extension for $3.7 billion, but it agreed to drop the proposed $110 million spending on closed bases and an additional $50 million of duplicate charges and math errors, according to Defense Department records obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.

Linda Theis of the Army Sustainment Command, the agency that oversees KBR's troop-support contract, downplayed the errors. They amount to just 4.3% of the contract amount, she said. "This percentage does not indicate a systemic weakness in business systems."

Nice of them to agree to drop the fraudulent charges after they were caught charging them. Gee thanks, guys!

Now can you imagine how the administration would come down on a cheating welfare mother if she got caught with an extra cupla hunnerd bucks?

Why do I have to be Pauly Shore?

Yeah. I turned up as this guy in the 'What annoying b-list celebrity are you?" quiz which can be found at Dr. von Monkerstein's and Johnny Yen's fun palaces.

Thee only upside to this is that I am in good company. Tengrain and Evil Spock are the weasel, too. I think the consensus is that were we Pauly Shore we would do this to ourselves, post haste:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What does he think they should be doing in the Senate?

"No battle will have been won or lost, no enemy will have been captured or killed, no ground will have been taken or surrendered, no soldier will have survived or been wounded, died or come home because we spent an entire night delivering our poll-tested message points, spinning our sound bites, arguing with each other and substituting our amateur theatrics for statesmanship."

-John McCain.

"Amateur theatrics" aside, how does Sen. McCain believe we accomplish our goals in these United States? Like this:

Remember these words when our troops are still stuck in this qWagmire: "no soldier will have survived or been wounded, died or come home" because every soldier's death after April 1, 2008 will have been a result of your inability to do anything about this war.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hey, Michael Vick! What are you doing in my yard?

The boyz are just playing. Quit trying to make book on my dogs.

Guess who you know who resides somewhere great?

Bear with me. I do not want to get googled* on this one so the following may sound a little forced. A national periodical, something like the "Cash Journal" just came out with its opinion on the most superior of the mighty fine metropoli in the United States where you might want to reside.

My tax administrative district was selected as the best.

Eat that, everyone who doesn't dwell here!!!!

Having said that, (the ability to say so being the only useful part of this silly numeration) I simply don't get it. I have been a member of the population in several municipalities in this state as well as a couple of mid-Atlantic states as well. Additionally, I've travelled to my share of places around these United St@tes of Ame^ica and there are many that are far more lovely than the hamlet of my current residence.

In the "Cash Journal" online piece there is a really ugly picture of a pretty nice park that we have here. Nicest park in the hamlet, which oughta make it the nicest park in the US, given the standing of said borough, which it is definately not. Anyhoo, last night I was at said park (rec league t-ball. Our rec league is actually pretty tits) when a friend told me of the recent designation.

"No" I said to her, "you are mistaken. We were given something like 7th place two years ago and then last year nothing. I remember because the editor of the local paper complained that nothing had changed but yet, whazzah! dropped like a stinky potato."

"No" she said right back. "We got the new [status] this year. Like, today".

Because mothers that you meet in the park are shameless liars ('my child was potty trained at 9 mo's yada yada yada') I didn't believe a thing this dear friend whose name I got wrong in front of another rec league mom just two weeks ago said, so I went home and googled the "Cash Journal" municipal seedings.

True enough.

I mentioned a few days ago that I was going to be canning 56 pounds of pickles. Sure, you thought I was exaggerating but I wasn't. I am still working on the goddamned things. Last night while trying to get the crinkle cut cucumber chips put up, the phone rang. It was my neighbor from across the street.

"Tomorrow is my moving day" she said. She has been moving for the last three months and even rented her house out six weeks ago which must be an enormous pain in the ass for the renters who are in there because she keeps going back to the house to get more of her stuff.

"Really?" Did the tone of my voice betray any note of sarcasm, incredulity, boredom? I hope not. She is a very sweet lady.

"Everyone who promised to help me load the truck has been trapped in a terrible spelunking accident, so it seems I am on my own". This is not true but who cares? When someone you know is moving all you need is a great excuse. Particularly if you own a truck.

Crap. We know where this is going. "Is Ben Wundrun available?"

"No" says I because for one, I am a terrible liar so I have to painfully stick to my version of the truth to avoid confusion later, and for two, he wasn't. "He has a dinner meeting and won't be home sober till late".

"Well, I was hoping he might be able to help me with the heavier stuff."

"He might. When are you loading the truck?"

"Six" she says.

"a.m?" Now what does my voice sound like? Pigeons on helium?

"Yes. I need to get an early start".

"Well" I say hating myself with each word I know is about to come out of my mouth, "I could always help".

So the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. And ten minutes later. And ten minutes after that. Did I mention I was up late canning yet another batch of pickles? I fucking hate pickles now and I further especially hate people whose nicknames might be 'Pickles'. Off the top of my head I can only think of one. Fuck. 5:50.

In total revenge mode I roll out of bed and barely brush my teeth. Smell this people who move at ungodly hours of the morning!!!! Haha - there is no truck there. Back to bed.

I said to Ben 'no truck'. He made a happy murmur. In his inebriated compassionate state the night before he said he would be more than happy to help, too.

"I hear the truck" I say.

"I don't hear the truck for twenty minutes" says Ben.

"Your hearing has always been better than mine", I lie. I am supportive like that.

Twenty minutes later we are loading a truck. Shortly after that, I step in it. Not the truck, but a deep pile of doo dropped from my lips to god's driveway.

"Mavis**" I say brightly to my neighbor. "Did you know you are leaving the [apex of seeded urban administrative districts] in the United States of Ame^ica?"

She looked at me for a full 30 seconds before turning away because I think she was going to cry.

"Jesus, are you a dork!" says Ben, equally brightly.

Some people do feel it is the best [densely populated area], I guess. I am sorry those people, or just one anyway, can't stay.

*the reason that I do not want to get googled by mentioning the name of my municipality is that I would hardly want my neighbors to read my blog and know the dastardly things I plan on saying about them at anytime I see fit in the very near future. Hell, there's a guy on my street who's a blog just itching to happen. Oh, that and as a closeted atheist I wouldn't want the word to get out about that until I'm ready. Sometime after my parents have passed away would be just about right. I'm thinking 20 or 30 years would do.

**not her real name. duh.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wha'd you do today?

Not much. You?

Who've you been praying to?

It can be revealed:
Here he is, the All Mighty.

Why do I get the feeling I'm forgetting something?

Oh, yes! I'd like to be among the bloggers who wish BlueGal a very happy birthday! Live it large, BlueGal!!!!

Hasn't this been done?

I understand that Snoop Dogg* is the latest celebrity to sign on for his own reality TV show.

My first thought: isn't that being done?

*Actually, from his bio it seems that Calvin Broadus is a pretty decent guy who gives back to his community, coaches his kids' football team and generally has time to think of others besides himself. This is a really unfair comparison for Snoop and I should apologize.

Do you think Tengrain will mind?

Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors reminded me of an old joke, reworked here:

Q: What does Senator Vitter's weiner taste like?
A: Depends.

Why don't more people talk like this?

From a July 15th op-ed page in the Baltimore Sun:

In 2002, President Bush was content to redeploy U.S. forces out of Afghanistan so he could prepare for his strike on Iraq - though the job was unfinished in Afghanistan, and still is. Nobody called it cutting and running. Today, a much better argument can be made for redeploying out of Iraq, so that the U.S. can devote more than "gut feelings" to its defenses against al-Qaida


Why is this man all alone at the NAACP debate?

Here is Tom Tancredo. He is alone. He is debating himself (a master-debater?) at the NAACP's GOP Presidential Candidate Forum. None of the other GOP hopefuls could make it. 'Too busy', they all said, 'sorry, home-bro's' and in a rather embarrassing manner some added 'give me some skin, brutha'.

Let's check the schedule of one of the other third-tier candidates, my own former governor, Tommy Thompson. What was Tommy doing that he couldn't make it to the forum? Eating his way through Iowa, it seems:
This morning Kent Wainescott from CBS Milwaukee was following Governor Thompson and joined him Freedom between campaign events at the Town and Country Golf Club in Grundy Center to the Main Street Cafe in Allison to the Hampton Country Club in Hampton.

When we got to Mason City for lunch it was standing room only at the Chicago Dawg and as always the food there was delicious. If you are ever in Mason City be sure to stop by Chicago Dawg for the best pizza in Iowa. From great food to more, well, great food. This time in New Hampton at the home of two wonderful supporters, Elroy, WI native Jon and Paula Nicholaisen. This is the second event the Nicholaisens have thrown for Governor Thompson and every time they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The days events ended with Governor Thompson's triumphant return to Beck's in Waterloo.
The Beck's event was originally scheduled in February, but those of you in Iowa may remember the worst ice storm in the last 25 years that forced nearly every road closed. Thankfully, Governor Thompson was able to have campaign events earlier that week, so yes, he has still been in Iowa every single week since the beginning of December. Like they say, 'absence makes the heart grow founder' and never has that statement been more true. The event was the largest of the day with well over a 120 people. There were some familar faces in the crowd Mr. Leon Mosley and Mr. Karl Gilbertson from the state central committee, it is always nice to see them.
Tommy Thompson's strategy is to win the Iowa straw poll in August. Checking Iowa's census numbers I think I understand why eating a cob o' corn at each county fair in Iowa would come before the NAACP debate. Only 1 in 50 Iowans is a person of color.

I admit to being too lazy to check the schedules of the other republicans. I doubt any of them had better reasons.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who are the members of this rogue's gallery?

Here they are, the ten democratic bastards that voted against H R 2956, the bill with the succinct title "To require the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States Armed Forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008, and for other purposes". (Sometimes called just Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.) Jerks. D.I.N.O's. Traitors to the Grandma with a Gavel, Nancy Pelosi.

This is a collection of the most indigo of the blue dog democrats. I spit, pa-tooey, in their direction. I mean, guys, who doesn't want to bring the troops home?

Hold on there, a second. Who's that guy, second from the left, last row? Is that...Dennis Kucinich? Voting against a troop withdrawal? Talk about a gut punch, eh libby bloggers who just loooooooooove to push Dennis Kucinich as a presidential contender? Crazy talk. Why in the heat of hades would Dennis side with the republicans on this one?

Why indeed. Thanks to Ted Stevens' fantastical tubes, I can look up what the hell Kucinich's name was doing in a roll call with 190 sump'n people with -R's behind their names.

Here's what Mr. Elizabeth Kucinich says:
“This bill will not end the war. This bill will not end the occupation. It doesn’t take a vote to end this war. We must inform the Administration that the $97 billion appropriated last month is the end of the financing for the war.

“Use the money that’s in the pipeline through October 1 to bring the troops home. Compel the President to put together an international peacekeeping and security force which would move in as our troops leave.

“We could have our troops home by October 1. The question is whether we are ready to take a stand to do that, or whether we are going to vote on resolutions that give the American people the appearance that we want to end the war, without actually addressing the central issue that will end the war. Stop the funding.”


So it is true. Kucinich has put himself way out there once again. He's no 'shit don't stink but their farts will give 'em away' democrat. Kucinich has got the shit.

For the record, Vic Snyder (third from the left, top row) voted against the resolution because he, too, feels the resolution was flawed. His statement is here.

On the other hand, John Barrow (the dork to the left of Snyder), Georgia, voted against because - and I am not making this up - "I think the timelines have to be the president’s" Aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh.