Monday, December 31, 2007
Is 2008 finally going to be our year?
PS. I'll try to step up my blogging & commenting soon. I've actually been busy lately...which is very new to me! ; )
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
When people ask me who I'm supporting, my first answer is Kucinich, but things aren't looking so well for Dennis.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
We're watching our friend, Mike's, pugs for a week. So, along with my French bulldog, Norman, and my pug, Stella, that's a total of 5 dogs!
Norman hates Marley, and Stella doesn't want anything to do with any of them.
It's utter chaos. If I'm not around much over the next week, you'll know why.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
...and some people wonder why I don't watch FauxNews
Dear activists, colleagues and friends,
Pardon the holiday interruption, but the bullies at FOX are at it again. This time, they are trying to get Senator Obama and Senator Edwards to buckle to their threats and accusations. The senators are standing tall, tough and strong.
We must encourage them to resist the name-calling and intimidation and refuse to legitimize the propaganda network.
Watch video of the attacks: http://foxattacks.com/senators?utm_source=rgemail
Then sign the open letter supporting their decision. You helped us beat FOX on the Nevada debates, and stopped the Detroit debate. Now it's time to take your email lists, your blogs, your radio and newspapers, and let the world know. We support strength. We support candidates who don't cave to the bullies.
Thanks for everything you do,
P.S. We just redesigned BraveNewFilms.org. In addition to being the home for the best political video on the web, we're now starting to do live events. On Monday we covered Senator Dodd's filibuster threat with Cenk Uygur hosting several experts explaining the situation as it unfolded. We'll have similar coverage of the January 3rd Iowa caucuses. So stay tuned!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I have a made a tough decision. I have decided to put college on the back burner and try to go pro with my photography and film making.
Thanks to my friend, Brian's, faith in me, one of my photos is about to be published in the City Pages, a Mpls newspaper. They are doing a blurb on his band, The Hard Left, and my photo will accompany the feature. (Dec. 26th edition)
I am taking my photography seriously. It may have taken 42 years, but I've finally found my niche. I hope I am supported by all in my decision. This feels right and sometimes you just gotta go with your gut.
Here's the photo:
More examples of my work:
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Watch this clip from Chris Carter's (the X-Files) short-lived series, "The Lone Gunman." Originally aired 03/04/2001.
Remember these quotes?:
Bush: No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft - fly U.S. aircraft into buildings full of innocent people - and show no remorse.Never did anybody's thought process about how to protect America did we ever think that the evil-doers would fly not one, but four commercial aircraft into precious U.S. targets - never. But never did I dream we would have been under attack this way." -White House (09/16/01)
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that...they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," -CBS (05/17/02)
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said.: "You hate to admit it, but we hadn't thought about this" -DoD (10/23/01)
Monday, December 03, 2007
I bought the Canon Rebel XTi, and I absolutely adore it. I haven't taken a bad shot yet. It's like night and day compared to my old camera.
The store I bought it from offers classes in digital SLR & more. I'm going to take them up on that. I need to learn how to take pics indoors at night, without a flash. I see a fair amount of bands in clubs and would like to do them justice. This could be the start of something big for me.
Here's a few pics from the last 2 days:
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Lew Scannon resurfaces!
I was worried about Lew. I had visions of him being taken away in the middle of the night...and we were next. (He's just taking a break.)
Am I paranoid? Yep.
Favorite paranoia quotes:
"It isn't paranoia...if they are really trying to get you." - Author unknown
"No matter how paranoid I get, it's never enough to keep up." - Author unknown
"The truly paraniod are rarely conned." - Author unknown
"The question is not whether I'm paranoid, it's whether I'm paranoid enough." - Author unknown
"When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is only good thinking." - Author unknown
"Paranoia is knowing all the facts." - Woody Allen
"Paranoia is heightened awareness." - Author unknown
"This is the Nineties, Bubba, and there is no such thing as Paranoia. It's all true." - Hunter S Thompson
"Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're
always afraid. You step out
of line, the man come and
take you away." - Steven Stills and Buffalo Springfield, 1967
Monday, November 26, 2007
I started playing drums in the eighth grade. Later, I played the snare drum in the marching band in high school...which actually kinda sucked, because that meant I had to go to all the games and pep rallies. Being a little punk rock girl; I wasn't exactly friendly with the athletic and cheerleader types.
Back in the day, my best friend Michelle and I almost started a band. We were going to be called "Jungle Rot," but alas, it was not meant to be.
In my 20's, I sold my drum kit to my neighbor -- semi-rock star, Peter Himmelman.
Now that I'm in my 40's and around musicians a lot, I've got the bug to play again.
I bought an excellent used drum kit from a friend of mine, and with practice, a few lessons from drummer friends Cookie and Pat, I should be good to go.
I want to start a girl band!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What Would Jesus Buy?
produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me)
directed by Rob VanAlkemade
I gotta see this film!
Some stores in MN are opening at 4AM on black Friday.
IMHO, I find all of this manic consumerism to be completely ridiculous.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Obama is having a good week. Hillary? Not so much.
From The Huffington Post:
Clinton Plants Question
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign came under fire over the weekend for planting fake questions at town hall events, as all the Democratic candidates gathered in Iowa for the state party's pivotal Jefferson- Jackson Day dinner.
The Clinton campaign arranged for a college student to ask a "canned" question at an event on Tuesday, which was first reported on Friday by Patrick Caldwell, a writer for Scarlet and Black, a student newspaper at Grinnell College. The student, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, said a senior Clinton staffer told her what question to ask after Clinton finished her remarks.
The latest UNH/Boston Globe poll of likely Democratic NH primary voters has been released and as teased on Friday, it shows a net drop in Clinton's lead over Obama of 9%. This follows on the heels of the Marist poll, which showed a 10% net drop since October and the Rasmussen poll, which showed a 6% net drop since October.
Starting Gate: Obama Wows 'Em In Iowa
The Barack Obama boomlet has apparently begun. The Illinois senator is getting rave reviews for his speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner Saturday night. (more...)
So...every time I hear someone say that Hillary is going to be the candidate, I remind them that there is still some time left and you never know what's gonna happen.
Obama's latest speeches, and his Meet the Press interview were great. I hope he keeps this up.
He just may pull this thing out.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Over the years, I've heard that some dogs, especially pugs, can see TV. I never believed it until I got Stella, my black pug. Stella is the third pug I've had in my lifetime, and the first to have this ability.
She enjoys watching TV. I've never seen anything like it. She's always on the lookout for animals to attack, whether it's dogs on Animal Planet, or the Nasonex animated bee.
When she sees the "intruder," she runs up and attacks the TV, and then looks around to see where it went. When she can't find it, she goes after poor Norman, which he completely doesn't understand.
She also does this to computer monitors. If she sees another pug, it's especially vicious.
Here is a small sampling. (Sorry it's so dark.)
Friday, November 09, 2007
While driving around town today, I noticed something, or should I say, I noticed the lack of something.
I didn't see any "Support Our Troops" yellow magnets on people's cars. There was one exception -- a disgusting Hummer with Army AND yellow ribbons on his
I have a small penis truck.
Those magnets used to be everywhere. I think people have finally figured out that they've been had.
I'm curious, have you noticed the same thing in your towns?
This is the sticker I've proudly displayed on my car since this whole mess began:
Get yours here: http://www.cafepress.com/beatbushgear/757236
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
This individual seeks an executive position. He will be available next January, and is willing to relocate.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Law Enforcement: I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.
Military: I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.
College: I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.
PAST WORK EXPERIENCE: I ran for U. S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:
- I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.
- I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
- I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
- With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
- I am the first President in U. S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
- I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
- I spent the U. S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U. S. Treasury.
- I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U. S. history.
- I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
- I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
- I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U. S. stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
- I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U. S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
- I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by a U. S. President.
- I am the all-time U. S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
- My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U. S. History, Enron.
- My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U. S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
- I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U. S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
- I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U. S. history.
- I changed the U. S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
- I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U. S. history.
- I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
- I've broken more international treaties than any President in U. S. history.
- I am the first President in U. S. history to have the United Nations remove the U. S. from the Human Rights Commission.
- I withdrew the U. S. from the World Court of Law.
- I refused to allow inspector's access to U. S. "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
- I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U. S. election).
- I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
- I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U. S. history.
- I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U. S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U. S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
- I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
- I am the first President in U. S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U. S. citizens, and the world community.
- I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.
- In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.
- I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
- I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
- I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.
- Yet, I am the favorite of the religious right and God-sent.
RECORDS AND REFERENCES:
-All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
- All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
- All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-president, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERY VOTER YOU KNOW!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Dems are debating on MSNBC right now. They are all going after Hillary. It's about time!
At this point, I'd be happy with any one of them being our candidate, except her.
My favorite is still Kucinich. Biden, Edwards, and Dodd are also doing well.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
For almost 24 hours yesterday there was explosives practice going on at Camp Pendelton. I've been home in bed nursing a virus, so I've been up at various hours throughout the day and night. New recruits? Practicing for Iran? Now, it's not unusual for us to hear this sort of noise on a semi-regular basis, but it just seems a little excessive than what they usually put out.
There is something going down, folks.
When Bill Maher's show was interrupted by 9/11 truthers, I briefly thought that wasn't cool. I don't anymore.
It's time more of us rise up against the machine. Michelle's comment is another wake up call.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I got tagged with this cool meme, demonstrating evolution in cyberspace:
There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".
Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:
* You can leave them exactly as is.
* You can delete any one question.
* You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is..." to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is...", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is...", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is...".
* You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".
* You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.
Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.
Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Clubs
My great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-grandparent is Shakespeare's Sister.
My grandparent is Shayera.
My parent is PoliShifter
The best time travel film in SF/Fantasy is:
Back to the Future written & directed by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale
The best scary movie(s) in scientific dystopias is:
Alien/Aliens directed by Ridley Scott/ James Cameron
The best sexy song in rock is:
Closer by Nine Inch Nails (gotta go with Poli on this one)
The best (cult?) novel in teenage angst is:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
5. The best stand-up comedian in American comedy is:
6. The best politician is:
Let not let this lineage go extinct! I am asking the following to go forth and multiply:
Here's a typical Norman/Stella play fight. This one is from 2003. Nothing has changed since then...except for the basement.
No puppies were harmed in the making of this video. As you can see, their mouths rarely connect.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I had to dig to find this story. The details are sketchy right now, and of course, the MSM isn't reporting it.
Here's what we know so far (from Democratic Underground) :
She lost some teeth.
She had nothing of value.
She wore her track suit and was walking her dog.
No purse, no money, no jewelry.
She will be off the air for a week at least, until she recovers.
This was a serous hit folks... it may very well be political (from Lizzy - duh!)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Al Gore, U.N. panel share 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
Last update: October 12, 2007 – 8:11 AM
OSLO, Norway — Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize today for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.
Gore, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his film on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth,'' had been widely tipped to win the prize
He said that global warming was not a political issue but a worldwide crisis
"We face a true planetary emergency. ... It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity,'' he said. "It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.''
The win is also likely add further fuel to a burgeoning movement in the United States for Gore to run for president in 2008, which he has so far said he does not plan to do
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
You know what, Nancy, if I believed in god, I'd pray that you step down as Speaker of the House because you are a spineless douche bag.
Same goes for you, Harry. Instead of worrying about what comedian Rush Limbaugh is spewing, do your fucking job.
Cut the damn war funding and impeach these war criminals already!
Holy crap...what's it gonna take?
Sunday, October 07, 2007
(From Daily Kos)
And yes, this is real, not an extremely clever photoshop job, and truly encapsulates what the Republican Party is all about.
Wide stance? Check.
In Minneapolis? Check.
Prison stripe-wearing? Check.
Starry eyed? Check.
As for the elephant humping the "2008"...
Are they going for a "Still screwing the country in 2008" theme, or is it a reference to hypocritical adulterers like David Vitter and just about the entire Republican presidential field?
All of the above? Check!
Apparently they ran out of space for a collapsing bridge.
From Lizzy: I found the following on All Spin Zone.com:
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I have no idea where he picked up the OCD.
This is from a couple summers ago. That is me cracking up in the background.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Coen brothers to get 'Serious' in Minnesota
By Tim Campbell, Star Tribune
Last update: September 28, 2007 – 11:07 PM
For the first time since their Oscar-winning 1996 film "Fargo" brought duck stamps, wood chippers and "you betcha" into the national consciousness, the Coen brothers are returning to Minnesota to make a movie.
"A Serious Man," set in their hometown of St. Louis Park, will begin shooting in the Twin Cities in March, Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, said Friday.
Joel and Ethan Coen helped scout locations this summer, Winter said. "They looked in Richfield, Brooklyn Center, maybe Hopkins -- neighborhoods that would match the one they grew up in."
The Coen-scripted dark comedy centers on "Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest during the 1960s," according to the website FilmJerk. Bedeviled by children who lift his wallet, a wife who wants a divorce, a too-intense grad student and a hot neighbor who sunbathes in the nude, "he starts to question the value of life."
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Coens' parents were college professors.
The Coen brothers could not be reached for comment Friday night. They are in New York City, filming their next feature, "Burn After Reading," which stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand, the "Fargo" star and wife of Joel Coen.
Meanwhile, their critically praised bloody thriller "No Country for Old Men" will open in November.
After a drought in Minnesota film production alleviated only by "North Country" in 2005 and "A Prairie Home Companion" last year, Winter said she was "over the moon."This is a serious production," she said. "They'll be here from January [for preproduction] through June. There'll be jobs for about 100 Minnesotans."
Just as important, she said, it will "jump-start our visibility as a film location. Even now, people come up to me and say, 'Oh, Minnesota -- 'Fargo.'"
Producers also scouted locations in Wisconsin, but opted for the Coens' home state because of its "Snowbate" incentive program. Reinstituted in July 2006, it returns up to 15 percent of film production money spent in Minnesota.
"We're a player again," Winter said.
This is the best news I've heard all week. I'm definitely going to try to work on this film somehow. They are filming it in my neighborhood!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tom said I should just blog about other things for a while. He has a point.
Monday, September 24, 2007
By Cindy Sheehan:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the president of Iran spoke at Columbia University today. I heard that he was invited there because the President of Columbia wanted to foster a “free exchange of ideas.” Even though I am not an Ahmadinejad supporter, I know he was elected in Iran in a knee-jerk and understandable response to the USA’s bloodily unnecessary invasion of Iraq, as many reactionery governments have been elected in that region and all over the world in response to the spreading US corporate and military empire.
Citing such human rights’ violations in the form of imprisonment and executions, the President of Columbia University, very boorishly said that Ahmadinejad appeared to be a “petty and cruel dictator.” First of all, how does one invite someone to your place for a “free exchange of ideas,” and be such a rude American? Did he only invite Ahmadinejad so he could publicly scold him or to become the darling of Fox News?
Secondly, what about our President who appears to be a “petty and cruel dictator?” George Bush presided over a stunning amount of executions when he was Governor of Texas and the US is operating torture prison camps, openly and secretly, all over the world. BushCo has fought the Supreme Court and Congress for the right to hold thousands of humans without their human rights of due process and they have also been strenuously committed to the strategy of torture---or “enhanced interrogation methods” as the Ministry of Truth likes to call it. A Reverend gets beaten down in the halls of Congress; nooses are being hung in the south; students are being tased on campuses and Congress is censuring Freedom of Speech…how much evidence do we need before we decide that something is profoundly wrong in present-day America?
In 2006, China, the leading practitioner of state sanctioned murder in the form of execution, killed 8000 people in this manner. However, the Premier of China is welcomed to the US by George Bush who is probably envious of President Hu Jintao's record. We borrow vast sums from China to wage our wars and China is our major trading partner. Wal-Mart’s cheap and dangerous crap is manufactured by near slaves there, but somehow that is okay? Somehow it is okay to welcome Communist China with open arms, but demonize and disparage a Socialist like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? America has a very lucrative prison business and is the only country in the Americas that practices execution. A barbarian is a barbarian no matter what color, religion or nationality they are.
George Bush has added signing statements to almost 1000 bills that he has signed into law saying that he doesn’t have to obey those very same laws. We have the Nazi-ist sounding Department of Homeland Security which seems to be obsessed with keeping my un-zip-locked baggied lip-gloss off of flights. The un-Patriot Act and breaking of FISA laws and our 4th Amendment right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure have turned the “Land of the Free” into the “Home of the Slaves.”
To put the cherry on the sundae of the crimes that BushCo have committed, they have sent hundreds of thousands of our own sons and daughters to occupy a country that was no threat to America or its neighbors. Thousands of Americans are dead, wounded or mentally screwed up and millions of Iraqis are dead, wounded, mentally screwed up or displaced from their homes.
Another boorish American, Scott Pelley (of 60 Minutes) hammered Ahmadinejad about sending weapons into Iraq without even once acknowledging the immoral tons of weapons that we rained on the citizens of Iraq during “shocking and awful;” the cluster bombs that look like toys that litter the killing fields of that country and have killed and maimed so many children; the mercenary killers that outnumber our troops and use the people of Iraq for target practice; the thousands of tons of weapons that the US let out of such weapons dumps as al-Qaqaa that were left unguarded while the oil ministry was heavily fortified. Not to mention that America supported Iraq in its eight year long war with Iran that killed an unbelievable amount of people on both sides of the border. The hypocrisy of our system is spectacular and deadly in both ignorance and arrogance.
We here in America are living in a fascist state that regularly puts corporate profits and an insatiable and evil thirst for power above people and their needs. Our supercilious leaders and media are so busy calling the kettle black, they don’t notice or care how dark our pot is. We are supporting Israel in their human rights violations against Palestine, illegally occupying two countries on our own and we have the nerve to claim any kind of moral superiority over anybody?
The fascist, near dictatorship of the Bush regime (a la Nazi Germany) has even intimidated universities to align with their hypocritical murderous rhetoric. Universities should feel free to invite anyone to speak to open much needed dialogue in our country and in the world. And if a person is invited, they should be treated by the person who invited them with a slight modicum of courtesy and then let the rocking and rolling begin with the “Q & A”…which would truly be a free exchange of ideas. I am surprised President Bollinger didn’t have President Ahmadinejad tased.
Peace is going to take all the nations working in cooperation to limit naked aggression and human rights’ violations, not just the ones which the US declare as evil. How many nukes do we have? How many does Pakistan have? How many does India, Israel, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union have? Should the rhetoric be about destroying all weapons of mass destruction and not just prohibiting Iran from obtaining one?
Many countries are committing human rights' violations and sending arms and troops into many parts of the world. America's biggest export is violence and we would do well to call for an end to all occupations and violence by beginning to end our own.
Let’s clean our own filthy house before we criticize someone else for theirs.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I've been calling myself an agnostic for years. In the back of my mind, I knew I was doing it to "hedge my bets," so to speak, as I'm sure most agnostics do.
I come from a 100% Jewish background. I went to Saturday school at Temple Israel in Minneapolis almost every Saturday until the 10th grade. I lost family members in the Holocaust. I respect my ancestry, heritage, traditions, and the state of Israel.
I will always be considered a Jew, but I am an Atheist.
When I finally let myself say those words, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I believe in Science, Mother Nature, Animals, Karma, Love & Hate, and even ghosts & UFOs, but I don't believe in god.
On a side note: When I told Tom about my revelation, he said, yeah, I've known that about you for the last 7 years.
Well, there it is.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
When moderates feel lost in the GOP
A Missouri state senator abruptly declares himself a Democrat, angrily citing the influence of social conservatives.
By Stephanie Simon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 3, 2007
RAYMORE, MO. -- Talk about a nasty divorce. In an announcement last month that left Missouri politicos agape, state Sen. Chris Koster, a rising Republican star and chairman of the Senate's GOP caucus, abruptly declared himself a Democrat.
Not only did Koster join the marginalized minority party in Missouri, but he did so with a thundering speech that lambasted his former colleagues as ignoring the needs of their constituents and slavishly following the dictates of "religious extremists."
The former prosecutor denounced several Republican positions he had once supported, such as steep cuts in Medicaid coverage and subsidized family-planning programs.
But Koster reserved his harshest criticism for GOP efforts to overturn a voter-approved constitutional amendment that protects embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri.
"The Republican desire is to criminalize early-stage stem-cell research in our state," Koster said in a speech he repeated three times as he hopscotched across the state. "Go to Boston for your Nobel Prize; come to Missouri for your leg irons. And the Missouri Republican Party not only tolerates this lunacy, but embraces it," Koster said.
Days later, one of his staffers updated his website -- by deleting a photo of Koster shaking hands with Vice President Dick Cheney.
Koster's decision stunned Republicans here in his district just south of Kansas City and across this quintessential swing state. "There's no precedent for it in the state of Missouri," said GOP consultant Paul Zemitzsch.
But the move sounded like deja vu just across the state line in Kansas.
Three prominent Kansas Republicans moved into the Democratic column in late 2005 and 2006, voicing similar concerns about the influence of social conservatives. One of those defectors was elected attorney general. Another -- who once chaired the Kansas Republican Party -- now serves as lieutenant governor.
Political analysts don't expect a cascade of party-swappers in Missouri. As political scientist David Webber put it: "I'll be darned surprised if anyone follows [Koster's] example."
But they say the move does point at how effectively social and religious conservatives dominate the Republican Party across several Midwest states -- and how frustrating that can be to self-styled moderates who would prefer to focus on economic issues.
"That's been true for a decade," said Webber, a professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Missouri elder statesman and former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth last year wrote a book on the subject. "Faith in Politics" called on the GOP to shake free of the religious right. Danforth is now trying to translate those words into action by leading a national coalition of GOP moderates called the Republican Leadership Council.
Koster knows that many in Missouri would have preferred it if he, like Danforth, had stayed with the GOP despite his differences. "It's a disappointment to lose him," said former state Sen. Betty Sims, who had her own battles with the religious right but remained Republican.
But after three years of feeling out of sync with his own party, Koster, 42, said he couldn't take it any longer.
The final straw, he said, came this spring when his colleagues overturned a state law requiring public schools to give students comprehensive, medically accurate information on sexually transmitted diseases and birth control. Districts may now focus exclusively on abstinence.
"I knew at that moment," Koster said. "For me, leaving was the right, the moral thing to do."
Skeptics -- and there are plenty -- point out that Koster voted for the abstinence-only provision that he now says is so troubling. (He says that's because the bill included other programs he supports, such as funding to encourage pregnant women to consider adoption instead of abortion.)
These critics see Koster's switch as opportunism, a way to bolster his expected candidacy for state attorney general in 2008 -- a year many pundits expect will be good for Democrats across the board.
"Any time you jump to the other side of the ship to make a gain and leave your friends behind. . . it's hard to respect someone like that," said Tom Circo, 54. A Republican, Circo sells insurance here in Raymore, a town of 16,000 in Koster's western Missouri district, which stretches from the suburbs of Kansas City into farmland.
Koster responds that he jumped from the fourth-ranking GOP position in the state Senate -- with a cushy office and a chance at a still-higher leadership role -- to become the lowest-ranking Democrat in the state Senate. He will face stiff competition in the Democratic primary for attorney general. The governor, a Republican, has urged him to resign his Senate seat.
He's hated by many on the right, distrusted by more than a few on the left. And to top it all off, he has opened himself to charges of flip-flopping not only on party affiliation but on key positions. When he made the switch, he announced he was no longer "pro-life" but would henceforth support legal abortion.
So if he was trying for political gain, Koster jokes, he pretty well botched it.
John Willis, 73, disagrees.
A voter in Koster's district, he said he didn't believe in blind loyalty to either party -- and he was glad to have a state senator who apparently felt the same.
"If he has the guts to do that, he must believe in it," Willis said. "And that's what we want in our politicians, isn't it? People with the guts to stand up for what they believe in."
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
My father used to get mad at me for feeding the critters because he thought they'd do damage to our house. Now Tom gets mad at me for feeding them because he thinks they'll turn vicious. My sister thinks that if I ever stop feeding them, they'll "come for me." Can you imagine a row of squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, cardinals, Blue Jays, chickadees, and woodpeckers waiting for me at the back door? : )
About a week ago, I noticed large poops on the roof of the pool house. I assumed it was raccoons because they are common around here, but I wasn't sure.
My sister & I have named him/her "Leslie." (I don't know why.)
Here's a pic of a red raccoon from a couple years ago: