Monday, August 29, 2005

I know I was considering going Green, but after careful consideration, and reading the excellent comments from my blog buddies, I've decided to stay Blue. Now it's up to our elected officials to convince me that they deserve my support.

Would the Repubs kick the Dems while they were down? You bet they would... so why don't we?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Opposition party? Shhhh, they're sleeping

I hate to say it, but I am getting more & more turned off by the Democratic Party - the party of which I am a card carrying member.

Other than Barbara Boxer, and maybe Dianne Feinstein, I have yet to hear a prominent Democrat speak out against Bush's illegal, immoral war and how this administration has flushed what America once was, down the toilet.

Hey Hillary, Obama, Kerry, & Edwards,
You guys are really sucking right about now. Wake up & get your fucking asses in gear.

In the meantime, the Green Party is sure looking good to me.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Northwest Mechanics Strike - my 2 cents

I can't be a Minnesota blogger and not comment on the Northwest mechanics strike.

What NW is doing to their mechanics is despicable. They are trying to say that if the mechanics don't take a huge pay cut, the airline will go bankrupt. Bullshit.

Instead of putting it all on the mechanics union, how about cutting a few executive salaries? How about taking away the CEO's Christmas bonus? Nah, can't do that.

I, for one, will not cross the picket line. Needless to say, I support the union, but additionally, I don't want to fly on a plane worked on by a bunch of half-ass mechanic scabs. I guess I'm just silly that way.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

GWB: Shielded, Simple, or Evil?

How does it work?

When Dubya speeds past Cindy Sheehan on his way to a $2,000,000 Republican fundraiser, do his "people" distract him momentarily so he doesn't see her?

When he's home at the ranch, or the WH, do his people block out certain TV & radio channels so he's shielded from the truth?

Does W get a special pre-sanitized version of local & national newspapers? (Oops, scratch that - George has admitted that he doesn't read papers.)

When he's walking the halls of the White House, do his people keep those horrible Democrats & moderate Republicans out of earshot?

Do his people make damn sure that GWB never sees the documentaries that are about him?

Is the music on his iPod scrutinized so he doesn't hear any Green Day, or the like?

Or, does Bush see and hear it all, and still feel nothing? I don't know what's worse.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

An Essay on Death and President Bush

My uncle sent me this. It is a must-read.

Subject: An Essay on Death and President Bush

An essay by E.L Doctorow

I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be.

On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... They come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He doesnot regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it.

So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options, but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

This president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing --- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children.

He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills --- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a- half benefits for overtime because this is actually away to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into arogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that governour lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchaleconomics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

E.L. Doctorow

Edgar Lawrence Doctorow occupies a central position in the history of American literature. He is generally considered to be among the most talented, ambitious, and admired novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. Doctorow has received the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the residentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. After graduating with honors from Kenyon College in 1952, he did graduate work at Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army. Doctorow was senior editor for New American Library from 1959 to 1964 and then served as editor in chief at Dial Press until 1969. Since then, he has devoted his time to writing and teaching. He holds the Glucksman Chair in American Letters at New YorkUniversity and over the years has taught at several institutions, including Yale University Drama School, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of California, Irvine.

Monday, August 15, 2005

HIS name is Wellstone

I got my parrot's DNA test back today...and surprise, it's a boy! So, he is "Annabel" no more. I'm going back to my first pick for a name. Give a big Blogger hello to Wellstone.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Steps Into the Leadership Void

This column captures what I've been thinking. It says it better than I ever could.

From The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington

Cindy Sheehan Steps Into the Leadership Void

During my many years as a writer, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people. But talking with Cindy Sheehan this morning was unlike any conversation I’ve ever had. Even though we were talking via cell phone -- and had a crummy, staticky connection at that -- her authenticity and passion reached through the receiver and both touched my heart and punched me in the gut.

She spoke with a combination of utter determination, unassailable integrity, fearlessness, and the peace of someone who knows that their cause is just. Her commitment was palpable -- and infectious. It reminded me an old quote about the great Greek orators: “When Pericles spoke, the people said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march!’”

That’s the feeling I got from this former Catholic youth minister. She of the floppy hat and the six foot frame (though she’s standing even taller than that these days). A woman driven by faith and conviction who used to think that one person couldn’t make a difference and is learning otherwise. Her humanity stands in stark contrast to the inhumanity of those who refuse to admit their mistakes and continue to send our young men and women to die in Iraq.

She may not be the kind of media figure the cable news channels would order up from newsmaker central, a la Natalee Holloway. But she is the kind of unexpected leader I’ve been writing about for years. One who springs not from the corridors of power, but from among the people. One who may come from Vacaville, California, but who makes nonsense of red state/blue state distinctions.

The time has passed when we can stand around waiting for a knight on a white horse to ride to our rescue. We’ve got to look to ourselves -- to the leader in the mirror. Our elected officials have woefully failed to provide the leadership needed on this most vital issue of our time. And stepping into that void is Cindy Sheehan. Inspiring us. Touching our conscience. Calling forth our courage and our commitment. Focusing our outrage. And acting as a catalyst for the tens of millions of Americans who know that the war in Iraq is a disgrace.

Who knows, her example might even be just the thing to give Hillary and Harry and the rest of the Democratic leaders the spine transplant they so desperately need. But don’t hold your breath. Instead, use it to show your support for Cindy Sheehan -- and for our troops.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"How come you're so wrong? My sweet neo-con.."

Let's hope that this song sets off a domino effect on the rest of the (cowardly) music industry. Other than Green Day and a few others, there hasn't been any real protest songs of late. Sometimes it takes the right song at the right moment to set things off. Thanks Mick & Keith.


Rolling Stones tune takes aim at Bush policies

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rolling Stones' upcoming album contains a song seemingly critical of President Bush, but Mick Jagger denies it's directed at him, according to the syndicated TV show "Extra."

"It is not really aimed at anyone," Jagger said on the entertainment-news show's Wednesday edition. "It's not aimed, personally aimed, at President Bush. It wouldn't be called 'Sweet Neo Con' if it was."

The song is from the new album, "A Bigger Bang," set for release September 6.

There is no mention of Bush or Iraq. But it does refer to military contractor Halliburton, which was formerly run by Vice President Cheney and has been awarded key Iraq contracts, and the rising price of gasoline.

"How come you're so wrong? My sweet neo-con, where's the money gone, in the Pentagon," goes one refrain.

The song also includes the line: "It's liberty for all, democracy's our style, unless you are against us, then it's prison without trial."

"It is certainly very critical of certain policies of the administration, but so what! Lots of people are critical," Jagger told "Extra."

A representative for the Stones said the group had no further comment about the song.

The Rolling Stones intend to kick off a U.S. tour in Boston August 21.

Monday, August 08, 2005

All that talk of dead soldiers might dampen W's vacation

From Shakespeare's Sister contributer "D":

Monday, August 08, 2005

The gall of this woman, with her dead son and all

As Dear Leader sits back on his "ranch" enjoying his fiftieth vacation, and one of the longest of his presidency (a fact which cannot be repeated often enough), it seems he's got himself a little problem. Namely one Cindy Sheehan, who's son, Casey, was killed last year in Iraq. Now, she's gone down to Crawford and decided to camp out in front of Shrub's "ranch" until he personally comes out to speak with her about ending the illegal occupation, which of course he won't do. Cue the richly deserved public relations nightmare, as the press begins to arrive:

Early on Sunday afternoon, 25 hours after she was turned back as she approached Mr. Bush's ranch, Prairie Chapel, Ms. Sheehan stood red-faced from the heat at the makeshift campsite that she says will be her home until the president relents or leaves to go back to Washington. A reporter from The Associated Press had just finished interviewing her. CBS was taping a segment on her. She had already appeared on CNN, and was scheduled to appear live on ABC on Monday morning. Reporters from across the country were calling her cellphone.

"It's just snowballed," Ms. Sheehan said beside a small stand of trees and a patch of shade that contained a sleeping bag, some candles, a jar of nuts and a few other supplies. "We have opened up a debate in the country."

Now, as the King of Zembla also pointed out, does she not realize that the president has brush to clear? The presidency is hard work, and he's earned those five weeks off, goddammit! Just imagine the effrontery of this woman, ruinin' his ranchin' time with all that talk of dead soldiers and all. I mean, what nerve.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A shout-out to the fam

My sister, niece & nephew were getting a little ticked that I wasn't including them in my blog, so this one is for you.

Even though our family is small, we make up for it with our big hearts. You three mean everything to me.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Here is the newest member of our family, Annabel Mark Wellstone L. If she turns out to be a "he," well, we'll deal with that if & when the time comes.

She's a great bird. I can tell she's been socialized well.

Norman wants to eat her. Other than Stella, he doesn't get along well with other animals. We're going to have to work on that.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Our last birdless night

Tomorrow is the big day. I will be picking up my African Grey parrot sometime in the afternoon or early evening. This will be her new home. I think she'll be very happy here.

We've narrowed the names down to Annabel or Sylvia/Sylvie. When we get to know her better (and find out if she is, indeed, a female) her name will be decided.

Bird breeders give you 3 days to get the bird checked by a vet to make sure the bird is healthy. I have an appointment set up for Monday morning. While we're there, I'll have her DNA tested to determine the sex. I'm not sure how long it takes to get the results.

I'll keep you updated, with pics, of course!

Repub Bellwether

The Chairman speaks! Latest letter from Howard Dean:

Your mandate to fight everywhere had its first test last night.

Marine Major Paul Hackett ran for Congress in a special election in the most Republican district in Ohio. Republicans vowed to "bury" him, pundits wrote him off, and the conventional wisdom asked why Democrats would even bother to put up a fight.

But then something happened. With the infrastructure of local organizers we're building in Ohio and every other state, the most Republican district in Ohio became the most competitive district in Ohio -- a district where Bush won in 2004 by a margin of two to one. We energized thousands of grassroots volunteers and small donors in Ohio and across the country. We made our stand and we fought.

No, Paul Hackett didn't get elected to Congress yesterday. But he received 48.2 percent of the vote in a district where the Democratic candidate received only half that in the last four elections.

The formula is simple. Paul Hackett didn't apologize for being a Democrat, didn't hold back from criticizing a president who has failed to lead in Iraq and at home, and took a strong Democratic message into the heart of a Republican stronghold.

This district used to be written off. Now we have a network of Democrats, independents, and sensible Republicans who are tired of the out-of-touch Republican leadership and its culture of corruption. It proves that we can compete everywhere -- if we show up and fight, and give people a real choice.

This unprecedented result shows that Americans are hungry for change. In the words of one political analyst, Hackett's performance in supposedly safe Republican district means that something is "very, very wrong" for Republicans in 2006.

That's absolutely true. It also means that something is very, very right with our democracy.

For too long, we have conceded huge pieces of this country to the Republicans. No more. When we roll up our sleeves and fight we can compete everywhere -- and we will.

We're just getting started. We have moved people and resources into 25 states so far, and we are on our way into the next 25. We're building a permanent infrastructure to organize and build the Democratic base in every single precinct in the country -- an operation that will not disappear after a single election.

This effort is unprecedented and will fundamentally change the way our party does business. But the only way to do this building the community of people who have Democracy Bonds. A Democracy Bond is a commitment to give a small amount every month to build and sustain the Democratic Party everywhere.

Thousands of people have made the commitment already and are using tools on to grow the community and track their progress. If you want to fight everywhere, now is the time to join the Democracy Bonds community:

Thank you for everything you do.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Monday, August 01, 2005

It's not enough

I've said this before, but it keeps getting worse....

I'm feeling down and unmotivated. It seems like everyday there is something horrible coming out of the White House, and I'm getting burned out. We are a nation of fat, lazy Americans and we are letting them get away with whatever they want. While the Senate passes an energy plan that funnels billions of dollars to energy companies, including tax breaks and loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants, we say that's awful and then go fill up our SUVs. While the U.S. House of Representatives approves billions of dollars in cuts to veterans programs over the next 10 years, we put the empty gesture of a "Support Our Troops" magnet on our cars. And while the treasonous Karl Rove gets a raise instead of a swift kick in the ass out of the White House, we do nothing. (Myself included.)

We can go on blogging about this and that, but it's not enough.

What is it going to take for real change to occur? This cannot go on. And, where the hell is Howard Dean in all of this? Maybe he isn't the one.

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives

- Billie Joe Armstrong