Friday, December 29, 2006

the times really are a changing

"Men and women are becoming just as good friends as if they were with their same-sex friends. The dynamics have changed. I think the opposite sex is no longer really such a mystery as it was before," says Jeffrey Chang, a sophomore at Clark University, a school of about 2,800 students.
Research finds cross-gender friendships are more common among young people. A 2002 survey by American Demographics and Synovate found that 18-to-24-year-olds are almost four times as likely as those age 55 and over to have a best friend of the opposite sex. More than 10 percent of those ages 25 to 34 reported their closest friend to be of the opposite sex.
"I have a variety of female friends - many are entirely platonic, some of them I am attracted to," says Danzig, who sees Wesleyan's rooming policy as an extension of the school's rejection of traditionally defined notions of gender. "There's less pressure to behave the way that stereotypically males and females are supposed to behave."

Thursday, December 21, 2006


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE - news) Chief Executive Hank McKinnell will receive $198 million in total compensation after his departure in February, the company said in a filing on Thursday.

Well it is not likely that anyone I know will have access to those sort of resources this holiday season, that said it is the Holidays and I am giving thanks...for lots of stuff, see below:

1. Serious quality time with friends that I haven't had time with in what feels like ages. I feel renewed and proud of how well I pick friends, cuz they are awesome.

2. Serious time with family. Can't call it quality because all time with my family is quality time:) So instead just time, For sister's wedding, for the holidays and just serious time after being away for so long. It is very nice.

3. For happy endings. I took a lot of risks and crooked paths recently. I went with my gut for the first time, for a sustained period of time, ever. It looks to have worked out well and I am off on another adventure with hopefully much more wisdom and patience and sense of purpose.

4. For a Democratic sweep of Congress, it seems so long ago that I was wailing about the rising of the dark lord and I feel like there has been a reprieve. Thank you American public.

and finally...

5. For love. I have been so thoroughly reminded of the power and optimism inherent in love. I assume life will throw me in the dirt again before I'm through, so I am calling out my gratefulness now. It is necessary to be loved and to love, everything else is just a game:)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Not good news

by smintheus at Daily Kos

Here is a collection of highly remarkable and inconvenient facts about Iraq that I've assembled from cross-examining the report (none stated explicitly anywhere in the document, however):

p. 27: Since January, sectarian executions have increased more than five-fold.

p. 25: Average weekly attacks are up more than 100% since summer 2005. Civilian casualties are nearly 3 times higher than they were a year ago. And as high as that rate was in the previous quarter, it continues to mount.

p. 45: The number of Iraqi battalions in combat dropped slightly during this quarter.

p. 42: Although the number of Iraqi security forces is said to have increased this quarter, the majority are Ministry of Interior forces, which have a phenomenally high (but unspecified) rate of absenteeism. Therefore the increased numbers are illusory.

p. 17-18: Since the start of the quarter, both oil production and electricity generation are down. Electricity is being generated at a slightly lower rate than in 2004, though unmet demand has greatly increased. Oil revenues are down since 2004.

p. 27: In every region of Iraq surveyed in October, the proportion of respondents who said they were somewhat or very concerned about the outbreak of civil war was never less than 25% (and perhaps a good deal higher, given the vagueness of the chart). That's substantially worse than the attitudes in a survey from November 2005.

p. 29: Between August and October, the confidence that Iraqis expressed in the ability of their government to protect them from violence dropped between 30 and 80% in many provinces. In most of the other provinces that did not witness steep drops, Iraqis already had virtually no confidence in the government.

Another feature of this report, on nearly every page, is the determination to find some way, any way, to put a more positive spin on the grim news. Typically, that involves finding a wider context in which the information appears less depressing.

For example, on p. 24 the chart depicting the average daily number of attacks by province manages to find two ways to draw the reader's attention to the fact that some of the most dangerous provinces have relatively low populations (as if that made matters better). There's even a bizarre "Population weighted map" of Iraq poking like a stick-pin into the center of the chart.

And when the report describes "the nature of the conflict", it begins by focusing on foreign fighters. It even claims that "a few foreign operatives are responsible for the majority of high-profile attacks" (p. 21), whatever the heck that means. Two pages later, the section concludes with a long discussion of the "foreign influence". Hence an understanding of the conflict begins and ends with those foreign meddlers.

There's a rather curious chart on p. 28 reporting how Iraqis responded to the question "How safe do you feel in your neighborhood?" Evidently the questioners did not feel safe enough to conduct the survey in Anbar province, but let's set that aside. In nearly half of Iraq, large majorities reported that they feel very safe. Wonderful news, then. Except, isn't it the case that neighborhoods are often the last bastions of safety in Iraq, that neighbors have cooperated in protecting each other and barricading their neighborhoods against outsiders—at least until the ethnic cleansing reaches such an intense pitch that the neighborhood is cracked open and the terror descends full bore upon people? So the question appears to be framed in such a way as to maximize the appearance of stability in certain regions that are beginning to be torn apart.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Exactly-post from Daily kos that explains my reaction this morning

I could understand if the general manager of a strapped, small budget rural TV program had to let them go. They might be nice enough fellas, and it's not like they make the weather happen. Hey, they may sincerely be drawn to the science of weather, perhaps they're also trying their level best. Maybe they're just extraordinarily unfortunate. Who knows? But if you're a farmer out there in TV land watching these clowns mangle the forecast night after night, none of that matters does it? Because such a pair would be worse than useless as TV weathermen, downright embarrassing in fact, one might even argue that at some point they would become a potential liability. See, they're not just wrong: they're so spectacularly wrong, so often and so consistently, that new units of wrongness have been specially created and named in their honor.
But what do you with them if you're major network, like say, NBC? Well, apparently, if you're a senior NBC programming director, or Tim Russert, or whoever makes these kinds of decisions, you give them an entire segment, unopposed, together, to more make predictions about the deadliest national weather event in a generation on the most prestigious, highly rated weather program in the United States.
Yes, I just caught the rerun of this weekend's edition of MTP and I'm stuck somewhere between ... bemused and aghast: David Brooks and Tom Friedman, on Meet the Press, two of the most wrong columnists in America on Iraq, opining and predicting the future of our involvement there, while wide-eyed Tim Russert leads them on, smiling with warm affection and fatherly approval?
NBC, are you fucking kidding me? Is this some kind of new satire schtick along the lines of the Howard Beal Show? Because as legit, competitive, news programming, it makes no sense. It's worse than makes no sense -- it makes Russert and MTP and the entire NBC news department look like out-of-touch, incompetent, comical, pitiful caricatures of what a tough, pragmatic major news department should be all about.
If one considers the timing, these already incomprehensibly stupid selections make even less sense, coming as they do after the military, many Republicans, and a none too happy electorate, have had all they could take, and finally gagged and vomited up the foul, bitter, putrid crap this same exact pair of shitheads have been trying to shove down our collective throats for three years and calling manna from heaven.

not good at all

The report, released by the Treasury Department' and the president's Office of Management and Budget, found that under the accrual method of accounting, the deficit for 2006 would have totaled $449.5 billion, not the widely reported $247.7 billion incurred under the cash system of accounting.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Blogger Beta

So I changed to Blogger Beta and I think it looks pretty cool? I think that those of you who post will have to re-register. Let me know if you have any issues.

Where NOT to Work if You are Gay

The two "0" scores are:

Exxon-Mobile (Esso).

Only five companies rated at the next worst level, score 15:

Nestle Purina (Alpo, Beggin’ Strips, Fancy Featst, Friskies, T Bonz).
H. J. Heinz Co. (Clasico, Ore Ida, Smart Ones, Weight Watchers)
Nissan North America (Infiniti). (NOT to be confused with Toyota Motor Sales USA; Lexus Scion, which scored 90)
Bayer (Aleve, Alka-Sletzer, Femstat 3, Midot, One-A-Day, Flintstones Vitamins)
Cracker Barrel Restaurants

Friday, December 15, 2006



It's been a while. This being unemployed is surprisingly busy. I'm not complaning mind you, just fascinated at the things that take up your time when you don't work. I got to spend a day with the children of my college friends which was awesome, because one of the hardest parts of living in Phoenix was feeling lousy about not getting to see them grow up. I feel much more connected now.

Also...I got the job and am moving to Philly! Will post more later.

Monday, December 11, 2006

and just because AZ won't get this

Dude! You're 100% from Massachusetts!

Dude! Me and Sully and Fitzie and Sean are gonna hit Landsdowne tonight after the game, hang out at the Beerworks. I'll pick you up at the Coop at 6.

How Massachusetts are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Crossing the Rubicon

"Berry was undeterred. Then as now, when branded a Luddite, Berry rises to the
group's defense. 'These were people who dared to assert that there were needs
and values that justly took precedence over industrialization,' he writes; 'they
were people who rejected the determinism of technological innovation and
economic exploitation.'"

Even now, after centuries of reductionist
propaganda, the world is still intricate and vast, as dark as it is light, a
place of mystery, where we cannot do one thing without doing many things, or put
two things together without putting many things together. Water quality, for
example, cannot be improved without improving farming and forestry, but farming
and forestry cannot be improved without improving the education of consumers —
and so on.

I had a terrible day today for reasons not worth going into, but during it I was reading Wendell Berry who is quoted above. One of my most intense fears in life is that I will be overwhelmed and lose hope...that the future will stop being an adventure to be pursued and will become instead a prison of time to be endured. I disagree with several of his theorems on the economy, progress, technology and his definition of community, but reading him today let me feel where hope resides when the actual day offered nothing but overwhelming disappointment. I will go to sleep still believing in Machu Picchu.

Freedom, in Berry's view, is not about unconstrained individual autonomy,
but rather about choosing which constraints we will abide by and which
communities we will be responsible to.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How is this possible?

WASHINGTON - Fannie Mae erased $6.3 billion in profit in a long-awaited restatement Wednesday capping the accounting scandal that stunned financial markets and brought the ouster of top executives and a record fine against the government-sponsored mortgage leader.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's only entertainment

Some people are aware that I am mildly obsessed with all things Hollywood. I have ridiculously arcane gossip on a depressingly wide array of celebrities for no justifiable reason. I say, if you want to understand the world we live in, watch how we portray it and who we pick to portray it. Obviously there are numerous dissertations on the impact of media on people's perceptions of the world we live in.....yadda yadda yadda....

I have a friend and she's been telling me to watch Studio 60 for several weeks now. I finally watched it tonight and the overwhelming power of storytelling made me cry. They had musicians from New Orleans playing msuic to back drop of a photo montage of New Orleans and its people.

We sat by and let a city drown. The news never mentions it anymore, except occasionally to tell us about the criminality, the displaced "people" (read black and poor) impact on the "quiet" (read white and not poor) towns they went to, and how no one anywhere (read Federal, State or local government) can or will do anything about it. We watched as one our greatest, most creative, talented cities drowned. And old shallow Hollywood is working to remind us.

Monday, December 04, 2006

How the World Works -

"Monsoon Katrina
'Extreme rain events' are on the rise in India, says a paper published in the Dec. 1 issue of Science magazine. From 1981-2000, the incidence and intensity of heavy rain bursts during the monsoon season rose, as compared with the 1950s and '60s. Overall rainfall has stayed about the same, attributable to a drop in moderate rain events. (Thanks to SciDev.Net for the link. )
The culprit: climate change. The prospects: grim.
Another recently published paper, included as background material in the much publicized Stern Review on climate change, offers up some context for understanding the potential consequences of increased monsoon volatility.
The population of India is expected to increase to about 1.5 billion by 2030. Food production must increase by 5 million tons per year to keep pace with this increase and ensure food security. Much of this extra production will need to come from rain-fed agriculture that comprises 70 percent of the farmed land -- but these rain-fed farming systems are acutely vulnerable to climate variability and change.
So what's the problem, you might ask, if rainfall isn't declining? Ask a farmer who has just had a flash flood send her topsoil into the nearest river. Extreme rain events aren't good for settled agriculture.
Just a few minutes ago, How the World Works was reveling in the satisfying return to global sanity signified by John Bolton's resignation as ambassador to the United Nations. But it didn't take long to get a reminder of how turbulent, and unsettling, the rest of this century promises to be. Monsoons, typhoons, hurricanes -- we'll need some stronger umbrellas. "

How the World Works -

"But BusinessWeek's article portrays U.S. employers from a quite different angle; expending millions of dollars in good faith on audits attempting to ensure that workers are treated well, only to be fooled and tricked by the iniquitous Chinese. 'Can corporations successfully impose Western labor standards on a nation that lacks real unions and a meaningful rule of law?' asks BusinessWeek.
Certainly not, if those same companies are threatening to move to Vietnam at the first sign that the Chinese government may actually be attempting to institute meaningful labor standards!
This is not to say that the new labor law is some kind of panacea that will achieve what the audit firms hired by Nike and Wal-Mart cannot. A law is only as good as its enforcement, and Chinese authorities have a long record of being selective about just which regulations they'll chop your head off for disobeying. Nor is it easy to deny BusinessWeek's sobering conclusion, that no matter how hard the audit firms work, 'Ultimately, the economics of global outsourcing may trump any system of oversight that Western companies attempt.'
But BusinessWeek's failure to consider what the Chinese government is attempting to do might be partially explained by its use of the word 'impose' in its question about how 'Western labor standards' are going to be inculcated in China. The choice signifies an incredible lack of sensitivity to how Western demands, for anything, play in China today. Gunboats impose demands. Trading partners, theoretically, negotiate a deal. Anyone who thinks the West is going to impose anything on China at this stage of the game isn't paying attention. "

Friday, December 01, 2006

Remember its not paranoia when they really are watching you!

"WASHINGTON - U.S. companies will need to keep track of all the e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees thanks to new federal rules that go into effect Friday, legal experts say.
The rules, approved by the Supreme Court in April, require companies and other entities involved in federal litigation to produce 'electronically stored information' as part of the discovery process, when evidence is shared by both sides before a trial.
The change makes it more important for companies to know what electronic information they have and where. Under the new rules, an information technology employee who routinely copies over a backup computer tape could be committing the equivalent of 'virtual shredding,' said Alvin F. Lindsay, a partner at Hogan & Hartson LLP and expert on technology and litigation."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Prominent Chinese AIDS activist missing - AIDS -

"BEIJING - A Chinese AIDS activist who was organizing a symposium to help people with the disease fight for their legal rights has gone missing after meeting with police, his advocacy group said Saturday.
Although Beijing launched a more open and energetic fight against AIDS two years ago, the apparent disappearance of the activist, Wan Yanhai, highlights the government's lingering antipathy toward its more outspoken critics.
Four police officers showed up at the Beijing offices of the AIDS advocacy group Aizhi on Friday and questioned Wan for much of the day, the group said on its Web site."

7M in U.S. jails, on probation or parole - Yahoo! News

"WASHINGTON - A record 7 million people — or one in every 32 American adults — were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday. "

Iain Hollingshead wins Bad Sex prize - Yahoo! News

"Judges were moved by Hollingshead's evocation of 'a commotion of grunts and squeaks, flashing unconnected images and explosions of a million little particles.' His description of 'bulging trousers' sealed the win, the judges said.Judges were moved by Hollingshead's evocation of 'a commotion of grunts and squeaks, flashing unconnected images and explosions of a million little particles.' His description of 'bulging trousers' sealed the win, the judges said."

Cost of being a stay-at-home mom: $1 million - MSN Money

"Cost of giving up a career: $1 million
She uses herself, a writer (ahem), as an example of what happens when women decide to leave the workforce. Most not only forfeit their income, but also retirement savings, pension and other benefits. All told, Crittenden says, she gave up about $700,000. Shocking? Yes. Unlikely? Nope. Economists say that the stay-at-home parent who relinquishes a career may lose about $1 million over the years.
Crittenden doesn't regret a minute of the time she spent with her son; nor do any of the mothers she interviewed. But the financial tradeoffs she lists are a stunning indictment of a mother's financial vulnerability. To combat these realities, Crittenden recommends a slew of smart policy changes that would reduce the financial penalty of having kids, especially for stay-at-home moms (or SAHMs, as they're increasingly abbreviated). But if you, like me, would like to consider staying home before the glacial pace of government acts on your behalf, here are some practical ways to shore up your financial (and emotional) security now.
Reconsider the prenup
Don't sign your rights away in a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are meant to protect the financial assets of both partners, so make sure yours does. By choosing to stay at home, you're limiting your future income prospects, so make sure any agreement you sign takes into account your somewhat special status as a stay-at-home parent. (If you've already signed one and are now thinking of having children, you and your spouse can renegotiate.) Katherine Stoner, a certified family law specialist in San Francisco, recommends the following precautions:
Many premarital contracts are boilerplate, so it's important to weed out any offending clauses. You don't want to sign anything that waives your right to spousal support or future spouse rights in the event of death or divorce.
Get a lawyer to help you plan this, Stoner says. Or you'll be leaving an awful lot up to chance and the generosity of the courts.
Even if the exact details are fuzzy, spell out your future financial plans in the prenup. For example, some couples stipulate that in the event of divorce, since the wife gave up 10 years of her career to raise Jack and Jill, the court should take that into consideration when determining her settlement. You don't need the details, as long as the intention is clear.

Leap second - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"A leap second is an intercalary, one-second adjustment that keeps broadcast standards for time of day close to mean solar time. Leap seconds are used to keep time standards synchronized with civil calendars, the basis of which is astronomical."

Broadcast standards for civil time are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a time standard which is maintained using extremely precise atomic clocks. In order to keep the UTC broadcast standard close to mean solar time, UTC is occasionally corrected by an intercalary adjustment, or "leap", of one (1) second. Over long time periods, leap seconds must be added at an ever increasing rate which corresponds to a parabola near 31 s/century² (see ΔT).

I would like a leap second or two. No word yet on my fate. This is torture.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

"At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.
'How's your boy?' Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
'I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,' Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
'That's not what I asked you,' Bush said. 'How's your boy?'
'That's between me and my boy, Mr. President,' Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House [...]

If the exchange with Bush two weeks ago is any indication, Webb won't be a wallflower, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq. And he won't stick to a script drafted by top Democrats."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gay Marriage Is Still Evil? / Because the funny thing is, despite all the frantic state bans, no one can really say why

"What would happen to the nation were it to become legal? Real answer: They really don't know. Probably nothing. So why is gay marriage so wrong? Because, well, it just is. What was that again? It. Just. Is.
And there you have it.
This is, I believe, the last remaining detestable thing. It is a vagueness of mind, of spirit, a tepid sort of oatmealy hate that knows no real reasoning or heat or nuance. It just is. It is the banality of evil, distilled into a single phrase, a fuzzydumb but yet weirdly powerful mind-set that means nothing but which still lashes out at the world.
This is my guess: Most Americans, even if they voted to ban gay marriage, really have no clear answer as to why they did it. Deep down, if they really looked, they would know: There is no threat. There is no danger to children, the economy, sunshine, puppies. They are merely scared to death of change, of the Other, of their own buried impulses.
In other words, they don't like gay love because it's not what they do and it's not what their neighbors do and therefore it must be evil and wrong and bizarre, and, being Americans, if we don't understand something we either kill it or ban it or poison it or vote against it about 1,000 times until we exhaust every possible angle of idiocy. " - Silicon Valley last among tech hubs

"SAN FRANCISCO — Silicon Valley ranks last in an annual ranking of 12 U.S. technology hubs because of the region's notoriously high housing costs, traffic congestion, unemployment rate and other quality-of-life problems.
According to a survey by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the nation's top-ranked tech hub is North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham area, which enjoys relatively affordable housing and a thriving job market. The region also wins points for local kids' performance on eighth-grade math tests, as well as comparatively low sales taxes and affordable utility bills."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Slashdot | Online Video Begins To Threaten Television

"The BBC has an article reporting that a survey of 2,070 Britons revealed that online viewing is on the rise against television. From the article: 'Some 43% of Britons who watch video from the internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less normal TV as a result.' The figures the BBC is reporting are up from last year when they ran the same survey. It seems the digital world has disintermediated Magazines, Music, & Newspapers but somehow never really tapped books. Will the internet also take on the role as the family television?'The BBC has an article reporting that a survey of 2,070 Britons revealed that online viewing is on the rise against television. From the article: 'Some 43% of Britons who watch video from the internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less normal TV as a result.' The figures the BBC is reporting are up from last year when they ran the same survey. It seems the digital world has disintermediated Magazines, Music, & Newspapers but somehow never really tapped books. Will the internet also take on the role as the family television?'"

reason number 2378 to hate the Bush administration

"Many economists believe the dollar will decline in value - and needs to decline - rela- tive to other currencies. The reason: The record US trade deficit shows no signs of shrinking on its own accord. The larger it grows, the greater the risk of a 'hard landing' for America if other nations become worried about America's ability to repay foreign creditors, who are now lending some $1.6 million per minute to finance overall US spending.
The hard landing scenario, which could spark a global recession, remains a possibility rather than a consensus forecast. But policymakers worldwide, from finance ministers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), take the threat seriously.
'The thing that's driving the international focus is the concern that the adjustment [in the dollar] could easily be disorderly and really painful,' says Charles McMillion, president of MBG Information Services, an economic consulting firm in Washington. 'This imbalance will dominate Paulson's and [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke's efforts, for the rest of their terms.'"

Deep thoughts first thing on a Monday

"But science is as much about method as anything. The scientific method posits hypotheses and theories that can be tested. Is that something Buddhism does as well?
Not in the same way. I wouldn't want to overplay the case that Buddhism has always been a science, with clear hypotheses and complete skepticism. It's too much of a religion, and so there's a lot of vested interest in the Buddhist community not to challenge the statements made by the Buddha and other great patriarchs in the Buddhist tradition. So there are some fundamental differences. At the same time, science is not just science. This very notion that the mind must simply be an emergent property of the brain -- consisting only of physical phenomena and nothing more -- is not a testable hypothesis. Science is based upon a very profound metaphysical foundation. Can you test the statement that there is nothing else going on apart from physical phenomena and their emergent properties? The answer is no.
You're saying we don't know for sure that the physical functions of the brain -- the neural circuits, the electrochemical surges -- are what produce our rich inner lives, what we call the mind?
Cognitive science has plenty of hypotheses that are testable. For instance, is Alzheimer's related to a particular malfunctioning of the brain? More and more, scientists are able to identify the parts and functions of the brain that are necessary to generate specific mental states. So these are scientific issues. But now let's tap into what the philosopher David Chalmers has called 'the hard problem' -- the relationship between the physical brain and consciousness. What is it about the brain -- this mass of chemicals and electromagnetic fields -- that enables it to generate any state of subjective experience? If your sole access to the mind is by way of physical phenomena, then you have no way of testing whether all dimensions of the mind are necessarily contingent upon the brain.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

 Dobbs: Populist tide has elitists running scared -

"And in the mind of those elites, any call to curtail illegal immigration is xenophobic, even though ours is the most racially and ethnically diverse society on the planet; even though we bring in one million immigrants legally to this country every year. Without question, I am an independent populist, and as I've said before, the antonym of populism is elitism, which I reject as simply un-American.
The chairman of the elite business lobbying organization, the Business Roundtable, Terry McGraw, took issue with the newly elected 'Lou Dobbs Democrats.' He dismissed the controversy over the business practice of outsourcing American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets, except 'in certain areas and especially in areas where manufacturing companies have been particularly affected.'
Unfortunately, those affected areas are expanding, not diminishing. And one has to wonder why the effect of putting our middle class in direct competition with the cheapest labor in the world isn't as clear to them as it is to most working men and women in this country. McGraw is a capable and intelligent businessman who should know better, and so should the CEOs of the multinational corporations the Roundtable represents.
Almost a century ago, Henry Ford doubled his workers' salaries so the people on the assembly line could afford the automobiles they manufactured. Ford and his employees helped build the strongest middle class in the world. But today, American business leaders seem intent on destroying jobs and looking at their American employees as liabilities, not assets"

Daily Kos Inspires Humanist Muslim Activism

"Eteraz is an online forum whose goal is to mobilize people of conscience throughout the world to identify, discuss, and take action on political and religious issues involving Islam and the Muslim world. Eteraz seeks a humanist vision of Islam for the future and looks to illuminate the wisdom and spirituality that made Islam a great religion historically by creating community, promoting informed opinions and more than anything else, moving its members to real world action.
Most, if not all topics touching on the religion and politics of Islam are appropriate at Eteraz. This forum represents people of widely diverging (and even conflicting) theologies. However, the soul of Eteraz is, and always has been, a) the simple idea that every human, man or woman, believer or atheist, wealthy or poor, has the same intrinsic worth, and can only be judged on the basis of his actions; and b) that it takes more than emails, and more than flowery articles, to stand up for the intrinsic worth of individuals."

Video Dog -

"The cheese stands alone
Let's state the obvious: Tom Cruise has no style. Naturally, the sophistication and fabulousness of his Italian nuptials never threatened to displace, say, JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette's big day from the celebrity wedding hall of fame. Even so, there was something so promlike and disappointing about the TomKat wedding photos, particularly those shots of Katie, dressed like Catherine Zeta-Jones 20 years from now. But nothing compared to the news that Tom serenaded Katie at the reception with -- what else? -- 'You Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.' We can understand Tom (see also the Least Self-Aware Human on the Planet) choosing the frat-boy anthem he sang in 'Top Gun,' but what about his friends and family? Does no one love this man enough to look him in the eye and say, 'Come on, guy!'?"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Conservative plan to protest Wal-Mart - Yahoo! News

"Conservative leaders viewed these actions as a betrayal of Wal-Mart's traditions, which have included efforts to weed out magazines with racy covers and CDs with explicit lyrics.
'This has been Christian families' favorite store — and now they're giving in, sliding down the slippery slope so many other corporations have gone down,' said the Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America. 'They're all being extorted by the radical homosexual agenda.'
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. spokesman David Tovar said the company's outreach to the gay-rights groups was part of a broader effort to best serve its diverse customer base.
'We take pride that we treat every customer, every supplier, every member of our communities fairly and equally,' Tovar said Tuesday. 'We do not have a position on same-sex marriage. ... What we do have is a strong commitment to diversity. We're against discrimination everywhere.'"

So mostly I find this stuff funny to watch, but every now and then you have to wonder why these people are so obsessed with gay sex?

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | If you feel a commotion beneath your feet today, that'll be gazillions of unbaptised children moving out of Limbo

"Since the Middle Ages, Limbo has been for Catholics a place (in Dante's vision, a castle) where the souls of unbaptised children go. Aborted foetuses, too. But a 30-strong commission of theologians established by John Paul II has concluded that a nicer destiny is necessary - namely that all children who die do so in the expectation of 'the universal salvation of God', whether baptised or not. 'In effect, this means that all children who die go to Heaven,' a papal source told the Times earlier this week.
But this can't be right. There must be some naughty children who don't go to Heaven, but wind up in Purgatory awaiting intercessory prayers, and others who go straight to Hell. What is a papal source anyway? Why weren't they prepared to go on the record?
The Pope's announcement nevertheless will end centuries of heartlessness typified by Pope Pius X (1903-14), who declared Limbo to be a place where the unbaptised 'do not have the joy of God but neither do they suffer . . . they do not deserve Paradise, but neither do they deserve Hell or Purgatory'. What a revolting invocation of deserts! Instead, the Catholic church now believes that God wishes all souls to be saved. It seems remiss, to put it mildly, that the church took seven centuries to come to this more compassionate position.
Today Limbo's children will be able to scamper with their satchels and protractors towards Heaven, where - fingers crossed - God will make Heavenly sandwiches for packed lunches. Ovid's were rubbish."

Daily Kos: Bernanke Is Flooding the Economy With Money

"This is a classic case of 'ignore what they are saying, because what they are doing is speaking so loud:' While the Federal Reserve has been reporting rather flat money supply growth in M2 (blue line), in reality they have been dramatically increasing the cash (red and blue line) available for speculation.
Hence, that sloshing sound you heard. They have been providing the fuel for the rally, the huge M&A activity, the explosion in derivatives -- even the eye popping Art auctions are part of the shift from cash to hard assets. It is just supply and demand -- print lots of lots of anything, and that thing becomes increasingly devalued. It works the same for cash as it did for Beanie Babies.
Its not just the increase in Money Supply that should be concerning to investors -- its the misdirection about it. If Money Supply matters so little, as Fed Chair Bernanke has been out explaining to anyone who will listen, why pray tell has the Fed been working those printing presses overtime?"

Those bastards really will wreck the world economy...and why? Seriously, why?

Vatican concludes study on condoms - Yahoo! News

"Barragan said that Pope Benedict XVI is 'greatly concerned' by the issue and that the dossier was prepared at his request.
The Roman Catholic Church opposes the use of condoms as part of its overall teaching against contraception. It advocates sexual abstinence as the best way to combat the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
But several leading churchmen have spoken out on the issue in recent years as the Vatican has come under increasing criticism for its position. Some — such as a one-time papal contender, retired Milan Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini — say that condoms were the 'lesser evil' in combatting the spread of AIDS. Other cardinals, however, have rejected their argument — an indication that the issue is still undecided at the Vatican."

Maybe I am being judgemental, but I think these bastards should end up in hell for dithering on this issue. Mind you I don't really believe in hell, but if there is one...they belong there for pontificating while millions die.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fear - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Fear is a basic emotional sensation and response system ('feeling') initiated by an aversion to some perceived risk or threat."

I slept almost not at all last night. I knew before I tried to go to sleep, when I read a whole book in one gulp that sleep was unlikely. I used to love when that happened, but last night I was pissed. I knew I was doing it because my brain was panicking. Panicking over today, its implications and the unknown unplannable future. I war within myself all the time with this....the reliable, persistant and insatiable brain and the desirous, adventurous, insatiable self.

It is the passion flowing right on through your veins
And it's the feeling that you're oh so glad you came
It is the moment you remember you're alive
It is the air you breathe, the element, the fire
It is that flower that you took the time to smell
It is the power that you know you got it well
It is the fear inside that you can overcome
This is the orchestra, the rhythm and the drum

Com uma força, com uma força
Com uma força que ninguem pode parar
Com uma força, com uma força
Com uma fome que ninguem pode matar

It is the soundtrack of your ever-flowing life
It is the wind beneath your feet that makes you fly
It is the beautiful game that you choose to play
When you step out into the world to start your day
You show your face and take it in and scream and pray
You're gonna win it for yourself and us today
It is the gold, the green, the yellow and the grey
The red and sweat and tears, the love you got. Hey!

I told my brain in strong terms that it was a COWARD. That its fear was no only irrational but ineffecient, which is deeply challenging to its notions of methodical observation, incorporation and forward planning based on the best available assessment of data. My jaw slackened a little bit and I think I ended up sleeping a little bit and I hoped that the dream of Machu Picchu was a good omen.

Gender-bending boy fruit flies fight like girls - Yahoo! News

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a study that sheds light on the biology of aggression, scientists swapped genes in gender-bending fruit flies to make boys fight like girls and girls fight like boys."

This is Your Story - The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On.

"As a citizen I don't like the consequences of this crusade, but you have to respect the conservatives for their successful strategy in gaining control of the national agenda. Their stated and open aim is to change how America is governed - to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich and privileged benefactors. They are quite candid about it, even acknowledging their mean spirit in accomplishing it. Their leading strategist in Washington - the same Grover Norquist – has famously said he wants to shrink the government down to the size that it could be drowned in a bathtub. More recently, in commenting on the fiscal crisis in the states and its affect on schools and poor people, Norquist said, 'I hope one of them' – one of the states – 'goes bankrupt.' So much for compassionate conservatism. But at least Norquist says what he means and means what he says. The White House pursues the same homicidal dream without saying so. Instead of shrinking down the government, they're filling the bathtub with so much debt that it floods the house, water-logs the economy, and washes away services for decades that have lifted millions of Americans out of destitution and into the middle-class. And what happens once the public's property has been flooded? Privatize it. Sell it at a discounted rate to the corporations.
It is the most radical assault on the notion of one nation, indivisible, that has occurred in our lifetime. I'll be frank with you: I simply don't understand it – or the malice in which it is steeped. Many people are nostalgic for a golden age. These people seem to long for the Gilded Age. That I can grasp. They measure America only by their place on the material spectrum and they bask in the company of the new corporate aristocracy"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

War, religion, and gay rights - The Boston Globe

"The human race is undergoing a massive cultural mutation. The meaning of sexuality is being transformed as biology revolutionizes reproduction. Women are demanding equality across the globe. Men are being forced to reimagine their familial and social roles. Gays and lesbians are at the center of these changes. Their refusal to be silent and invisible is one of the era's great resources, a magnificent sign of hope."

Rape law reform roils Pakistan's Islamists - Yahoo! News

"Rape is already a common tool of revenge and settling tribal scores in Pakistan. The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated in 2002 that a woman is raped every two hours and gang-raped every eight hours."

This is theoretically a hopeful article that the requirement of producing 4 male witnesses to rape is being reformed, but I read this sentence and I find hope elusive. Not because I don't think that eventually this won't be true anymore, but that within the human condition this is ever true and that for so many places in the world right now....this is "normal". How can we all be human if this is "normal"?

MathFiction: A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)

"'And the fourth?' 'Well, I guess if you want to put it into mathematical terms you'd square the square. But you can't take a pencil and draw it the way you can the first three. I know it's got something to do with Einstein and time. I guess maybe you could call the fourth dimension Time.' 'That's right,' Charles said. 'Good girl. Okay, then, for the fifth dimension you'd square the fourth, wouldn't you?' 'I guess so.''Well, the fifth dimension's a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions and you can travel through space without having to go the long way around. In other words, to put it into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.' For a brief, illuminating second Meg's face had the listening, probing expression that was so often seen on Charles's. "

I dreamt last night about Machu Picchu and felt time jump. It was as if I really climbed the mountain and come upon it and it was one of the few times where the hope and desire for a place was overwhelmed by the actuality. I love those dreams.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Letters to AZ

"If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge. You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

I have just spent some time, the last times presumably with the people I have met in AZ. I drove off thinking what if it was all a terrible failure? A mistake that cost me a year and half of my life....I should not have worried. For such a long time I have struggled with fear and envy of people who seem certain of things. I struggle with listening to my own internal voice. I have issues of faith, only not the kind pondered by philosophers or poets or religious folks. I struggle with having faith that living your life true to what you believe is enough. period. I was reminded of that this week. Hopefully I can begin anew. Thank you AZ. I wouldn't be near where and who I am without you.

Total ban on junk food ads for kids in UK

"New rules put forward by the media regulator Ofcom would also ban the use of celebrities, characters, free gifts and nutritional claims in the advertising of products aimed at primary school children.
The announcement comes as part of a drive to tackle the nation's growing problem of childhood obesity and follows a public consultation involving a variety of individuals and organisations.
According to Department of Health statistics, one million children could be obese by 2010 unless steps are taken to halt this rise."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Heart valves grown from womb fluid cells - Yahoo! News

"CHICAGO - Scientists for the first time have grown human heart valves using stem cells from the fluid that cushions babies in the womb — offering a revolutionary approach that may be used to repair defective hearts in the future. "

This stuff freaks me out....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Broadsheet -

"Sit down, this one's going to blow your mind: According to the Associated Press, a 16-member Missouri legislative panel has submitted a report asserting that the U.S. has created a market for illegal immigrants by aborting all the Americans who would otherwise have held their jobs.
The report, from the state's House Special Committee on Immigration Reform, is so embarrassing that none of the six Democrats on the panel would sign their name to it, though all 10 Republicans did.
The report also includes the claim that 'liberal social welfare policies' keep government aid recipients living so high on the hog that they are unmotivated to get jobs, again creating a vacuum that pulls illegal immigrants across the border to work in terrible conditions for pennies an hour in their place. "

Some Women Allergic to Sex

"Women can be allergic to sex with men, but doctors are finding women can overcome this allergy through regular sex combined with treatments derived from semen."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Daily Kos: Why the Student Loan System in the U.S. should be Investigated

"Take the student loan industry, for example. Since 1994, the cost of attending college has skyrocketed, to where the average student can expect to graduate with over $18,000 in debt for a four year degree.
Sallie Mae, the largest provider of student loans, and former Government Sponsored Entity has seen its stock price rise by nearly 2000% during the same period. Its executives have paid themselves billions in stock bonuses. Its Chairman recently attempted to purchase a major league baseball team. Its CEO again topped the list of highest paid CEO's in Washington D.C.
Many don't realize that Sallie Mae lobbied for- and got- draconian legislation passed during the same time period. This legislation took away bankruptcy protection for all student loans- federally guaranteed or not. This legislation made it illegal for most borrowers to refinance their consolidated debt, even with lenders willing to accept less profit. This legislation gave the lenders collection powers that would 'make a mobster envious', to quote Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren. These powers include termination of public employment, income tax seizure, wage garnishment, suspension of professional licenses and certificates, and seizure of social security, and disability payments. This legislation has actually made it more profitable for lenders when students default, as opposed to remaining in good stead with their loans." Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse -- Page 1

"Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "

Let the cards start falling!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

so much for never again...

"November 10,2006 SNAGOVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Forensic experts said Friday they found a new mass grave in northeastern Bosnia believed to contain the remains of more than 100 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre where Serb forces buried some of the almost 8,000 victims.
The grave in Snagovo village, about 30 miles north of Srebrenica, was found after experts received a tip-off from an undisclosed source, said Murat Hurtic, head of Bosnia's Missing Persons Commission.
It is the seventh mass grave Hurtic's team has found near Srebrenica, the scene of Europe's worst massacre since World War II."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Britney dumps K-Fed, saves America at

"America and Britney became eye-averting trainwrecks together, but I wasn’t serious about their connection. Until now.
Two days ago, Britney Spears kicked K-Fed’s ass to the curb. And she did it via a humilating, well-deserved kick to the nuts: by sending him a text message. Similarly, America filed for divorce from the Republican Congress with a humiliating, well-deserved kick to the nuts: by taking custody of not one, but both Houses. "

I am embarrassed but I totally watch this show....

"There's more to the Girls Next Door than meets the eye. (Or maybe I was just naive ) Someone very involved in the Playboy world filled me in on what we DON'T see on the reality show. I'm not going to name names, so you'll have to figure it out, but it makes watching the show a LOT more interesting, looking for clues. Apparently ONE of the three girls (Holly, Kendra, and Bridget) is a hard-core lesbian and not the LEAST bit interested in men. Another of the girls is super freaky and into almost any kind of kinky sex. The third girl seems to have a genuine crush on Hef and just wants to keep him happy. The lesbian has claimed the super freak for her girlfriend and they regularly get it on in a wide variety of ways for Hef's amusement. The third one joins in if Hef says to. At his age, he's happy just to watch."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Funny story

So I have spent more time with cousins and uncles in the last week than I have in the past decade. It has been very informative to meet the extended family and I am amazed to see what behaviours might be more genetic rather than learned:)

On one of these occasions, our cousin who is currently residing in Jamaica Plain generously offered to host dinner. Thus my mom and another cousin trekked in to JP to have dinner with cousins, uncle and brother and sister. We of course also brought Brandy the family dog.

It is important to understand that Brandy is likely 16 years old, half blind and either deaf or really excellent at selective hearing. She is also rather spoiled.

So family has just eaten a great meal with much laughing and barb slinging when my mom asks "Where's the baby?" referring to Brandy. This launches an all out hunt for the dog. 8 people wandering around JP way calling out for the dog. Stress and concern as both my parents will likely descend into deep depression when we really do lose this dog.

Sister comes back around to cousin's house and notices that the humane society truck has pulled up across the street. She asks if our family called them and he says "No, #51 called us because they just found a dog" Sister looks at him funny, "really, cuz we just lost our dog..." The humane society fellow and my sister enter the house across the street and find Brandy SLEEPING in front of the fire place. Joy at the reunion you imagine? Nope. My sister calls Brandy, who ignores her completely. She has to walk over to Brandy and tap her before Brandy recognizes her and jumps up as if everything is perfectly normal. She brings Brandy back to cousins house where we all alternately tell her she is bold and hug her tremendously.

Evangelical summer camp shown in film to end | Entertainment | Film |

From the files of "the bigger they are, the harder they fall..."

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Organizers of an evangelical summer camp for children featured in the documentary 'Jesus Camp' are discontinuing the camp because of negative reaction sparked by the film and recent vandalism at the camp site in Devils Lake, North Dakota.
'We have decided to hold different activities in future,' Pentecostal pastor and camp organizer Becky Fischer told Reuters.
Fischer was the central figure in 'Jesus Camp,' a documentary about Pentecostal evangelical Christians, some of whom send their children to summer camp where they pray, 'speak in tongues' and are urged to campaign against abortion."

How the World Works - Ted Haggard

"I'm looking for someone to turn the other cheek
I'll go on Larry King and tell him, Larry, I was weak
Deliver me from evil and deliver me from greed
Deliver me a hot stud and a couple grams of speed "

Oh the way

Democrats kicked ass!

YouTube - Ted Haggard - Daily Show

It really is a problem when you cede the moral high ground to a drug dealing prostitute:)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Crooks and Liars » OLBERMANN: “This country was founded to prevent anybody from making it up as they went along.”

"Not four years removed from the most dismissive, the most condescending, the most ridiculing denials of the very hint at, as Mr. Rumsfeld put it, this 'nonsense'…
There you were, campaigning in Colorado, in Nebraska, in Florida, in Kansas — suddenly turning this 'unpatriotic idea'… into a platform plank.
'You can imagine a world in which these extremists and radicals got control of energy resources,' you told us. 'And then you can imagine them saying, 'We're going to pull a bunch of oil off the market to run your price of oil up unless you do the following.'
Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and re-written the constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you've stayed the course, having belittled us about 'timelines' but instead extolled 'benchmarks'…
You've now resorted, Sir, to this?
We must stay in Iraq to save the two-dollar gallon of gas?"

Call, vote and keep up the hard work!

Call For Change

Monday, November 06, 2006

Beautiful Wedding, Christening and Comedy

Hello all,

I haven't been able to post recently as life has been a whirlwind of activity. Absoultely amazing fabulous weekend though. I am sick as a dog and utterly exhausted but happier than a pig in shit! My sister's wedding was a crazed logisitcal emotional frenzy of activity. Her twin's maid of honor dress' zipper busted 20 minutes before the limo was to arrive to take us to the chapel. Thanks to the cool head of a family friend, we found a tailor who fixed it in under 7 minutes and we made the limo. My friend Ann who had flown in from NC, because she loves me, had no luggage and showed up to the wedding barefoot carrying shoes that didn't quite fit.

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and the wedding reception was amazing. Dancing laughing and drinking all around. We all retired to hotels and chatted until far too late.

Sunday I became Theo's godmother in a greek orthodox ceremony. Theo was highly displeased with the baptism, but it was great to actually participate in the ceremony. That night a bunch of friends went out for Alex's birthday to Grafton Street and the Hong Kong comedy club.

So now I am sick and exhausted and deeply happy. My sister is off to her honeymoon. I am defintiely staying in Boston and life is better than it has been in ages. I can't stop smiling.

Worried Sick

It started at the airport—the nausea, the headache, the dizziness—but I didn't say anything to my boyfriend

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

it's called jumping the shark George

"The federal government's 'no sex without marriage' message isn't just for kids anymore.
Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.
The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.
'They've stepped over the line of common sense,' said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. 'To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health.'
Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.
The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.
But Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children. "



I haven't posted recently due to terrible head cold. I hate head colds. I would much prefer lung congestion so I could at least think. I am soon to be taking more drugs and napping. I wanted to post an update though before I went offline for a while.

My sister gets married on Saturday and boatloads of relatives are arriving shortly. This will mean much logistical planning and likely many trips to Logan airport, oh the joy. My brother is bringing his girlfriend though and that is very exciting. Best part of the wedding agenda I have seen so far is that us bridesmaids will enter the reception to J/ Lo's "get right". Real best part is my two friends from high school are flying up to come to the wedding which should be awesome.

As for me, life is changing so quickly I think I am only kinda keeping up. I am likely leaving current employer and seeking employment back in the Boston area. Phoenix and I will never be friends, it just can't work. So it is back to Boston for me, for now. Till I get a new bug up my but to go somewhere else.

That's all for now.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Daily Kos: Press Freedom In America Sinks To New Lows -New Study

"The fact that this country, whose Constitution explicitly honors a free press, fares so poorly in this report is shameful. But what makes it worse is that, while the press in other nations is often suppressed by threats of violence, the main reason our media suffers is due to its own cowardice and ineptitude. This report is an exclamation mark for media reform and the movement to break up the Big Media conglomerates.
This sorry appraisal for the United States reflects squarely on the Bush administration and its open antagonism for the press. In its alleged quest to protect America from enemies whom we are told hate us for our freedoms, Bush has alighted on a unique defense:
If he takes away our freedom, they won't hate us anymore.
20 Countries Ranking Highest In GDP
Ordered By Freedom Index ScoreRankCountryScore
7United Kingdom6.50
8South Korea7.75
14United States13.00

20 Countries Ranking Highest In Both Population And GDP
Ordered By Freedom Index Score
3United Kingdom6.50
4South Korea7.75
8South Africa11.25
10United States13.00

Women under attack in Iraq, Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

"'In Afghanistan, attacks on school establishments put the lives of girls at risk when they attempt to exercise their basic rights to education,' Guehenno said. 'Women and girls are raped when they go out to fetch firewood in Darfur. In Liberia, over 40 percent of women and girls surveyed have been victims of sexual violence. In the eastern Congo, over 12,000 rapes of women and girls have been reported in the last six months alone.'"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I liked the destiny stuff better...

"Relationships are non-linear
In practical terms, this means a small perturbation may cause a large effect (see butterfly effect), a proportional effect, or even no effect at all. In linear systems, effect is always directly proportional to cause. See nonlinearity.
Relationships contain feedback loops
Both negative (damping) and positive (amplifying) feedback are often found in complex systems. The effects of an element's behaviour are fed back to in such a way that the element itself is altered.
Complex systems are open
Complex systems in nature are usually open systems — that is, they exist in a thermodynamic gradient and dissipate energy. In other words, complex systems are usually far from energetic equilibrium: but despite this flux, there may be pattern stability. See synergetics.
Complex systems have a memory
The history of a complex system may be important. Because complex systems are dynamical systems they change over time, and prior states may have an influence on present states. More formally, complex systems often exhibit hysteresis.
Complex systems may be nested
The components of a complex system may themselves be complex systems. For example, an economy is made up of organisations, which are made up of people, which are made up of cells - all of which are complex systems.
Boundaries are difficult to determine
It can be difficult to determine the boundaries of a complex system. The decision is ultimately made by the observer

Dynamic network of multiplicity
As well as coupling rules, the dynamic network of a complex system is important. Small-world or scale-free networks which have many local interactions and a smaller number of inter-area connections are often employ"

Exxon Mobil posts $10.49B profit in 3Q - Yahoo! News

"DALLAS - Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil's earnings rose to $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company. Its shares briefly rose to a 52-week high."

Not so invisible hands on your markets....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

info for those who need it

"The kindness of strangers Getting access to emergency contraception -- always a time-sensitive task -- can be all too difficult for some women. (We're looking at you, Target, for refusing to stock Plan B.) Women who can't get a prescription for E.C. often have to rely on generous friends willing to part with a few birth control pills, or even turn to Facebook, the social networking site that allegedly has several underground networks dedicated to helping provide Plan B to high school and college students.

Now, there's another alternative -- on Wednesday Feministing tipped us off to the cheerily named initiative Emergency Kindness, which launched on Oct. 21. Emergency Kindness makes E.C. available online so that every woman with Internet access can get the drug when she needs it.
It works like this: Users submit Plan B requests using Emergency Kindness' online form. The organization then alerts two of its 'Janes' (members of a volunteer network that, sadly, brings to mind the pre-Roe era's community of underground abortion providers), who arrange to overnight or hand-deliver emergency contraception to the woman in need, free of charge. If asked, the Janes will disguise the E.C. to help keep the client's needs confidential. Emergency Kindness asks that clients disclose any other medications they're taking, and provides information on how Plan B works, but doesn't ask for clients' ages. The woman behind the network, who goes by 'San Cai,' personally screens each potential new Jane. (If you're interested in becoming a Jane, go here.) And we particularly love the manifesto promising a no-judgment, no-shame attitude for those seeking E.C.
It's not a perfect system, by any means, and we sure wish women didn't have to go underground for easy access to emergency contraception. But given the curr"

New ad on bushies

so Orwellian they disturb me viscerally

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Russian commander: Tu-160s penetrate US airspace undetected - Wikinews

"A senior Russian air force commander has claimed that new, upgraded Tu-160 bomber aircraft were unchallenged by US air defense systems when they penetrated a radar zone near the Canadian coast in US territory during an April training exercise, reports the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Commander of Russia's long-range strategic bombers, Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said that the bombers successfully carried out four mock Tu-95MS cruise missile launches, 200 mock bombings, and 53 mock sorties during the exercise. The RIA Novosti reported that the United States Air Force is currently investigating how the Tu-160's escaped detection.
Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said, 'They were unable to detect the planes either with radars or visually.'
Khvorov denies any link of the tests to the current US-Iranian tension, saying, 'Of course, our exercises did not have anything to do with the situation in Iran, but their organization indirectly echoed in that region.'"

Friday, October 20, 2006

yah don't say? really...DUH morons

"Telling women they can't do well in math may turn out be a self-fulfilling statement. In tests in Canada, women who were told that men and women do math equally well did much better than those who were told there is a genetic difference in math ability.
And women who heard there were differences caused by environment — such as math teachers giving more attention to boys — outperformed those who were simply reminded they were females.
The women who did better in the tests got nearly twice as many right answers as those in the other groups, explained Steven J. Heine, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Expectations, it turns out, really do make a difference.
'The findings suggest that people tend to accept genetic explanations as if they're more powerful or irrevocable, which can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies,' said Heine.
The math study is the latest since Harvard University's president ignited controversy last year by suggesting that innate gender differences may partly explain why fewer women than men reach top university science jobs. The comment eventually cost him his job."

Evangelicals losing the kids

Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.

Boo hoo hooo...I feel for their plight, I really do. Us secular progessives are claerly luring them to the dark side...heh heh heh.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Asshattery continues

"The letter, written in Spanish and mailed last week to an estimated 14,000 Democratic voters in central Orange County, tells recipients: 'You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time.'
In fact, immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens can legally vote.
State and federal law do prohibit threatening or intimidating voters, though, and the complaints about the letters that began surfacing this week prompted state and federal investigations"

Olbermann: 'Beginning of the end of America' - Countdown with Keith Olbermann -

"We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values” and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere—anywhere -- but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere - anywhere.
And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.
And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”—exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

California insurer Blue Cross settles lawsuit - Yahoo! News

"Plaintiffs in the case claimed they had been left to pay crippling hospital bills -- some in excess of 100,000 dollars -- after Blue Cross had retrospectively cancelled medical coverage"

I assume they mean retroactively, but still how depressing.

Arizona ranked dumbest in U.S.

"Arizona ranked dumbest in U.S. "
Comparison of states' education systems, per-pupil funding among criteria in survey
John Faherty
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 18, 2006 12:00 AM
Arizona has the dubious distinction of being the dumbest state in the Union, according to an independent research and publishing company in Kansas. "

And um by the way....
2006 smartest states
1. Vermont.
2. Massachusetts.
3. Connecticut.
4. New Jersey.
5. Maine.
45. Alabama.
46. Alaska.
47. California.
48. Mississippi.
49. Nevada.
50. Arizona.

Monday, October 16, 2006

WTF Oprah?

So we had satellite radio for the cross country journey and we listened to a lot of talk radio. I hadn't been that exposed to talk radio before this little sojourn. As such, I only knew of many of the hosts from commentary on their shows. So it was enlightening to actually listen to them for myself. I discovered strange things, such as Dr. laura, depite being an obvious nutbag is quite fun to listen to and often dead on in her assessment of people's situations. So when we ventured over to Oprah and friends I was expecting to really enjoy the programming with the exception of Dr. Phil who I think is an obnoxious, useless blowhard. Here I heard Marianne Williamson. There are not words in existence to describe the idiocy exemplified, but here is a smattering from the XM site, with commentary.

"Romantic Love
Original Air Date: Week of October 10, 2006
How do you attract the mate you desire and keep them and yourself happy? Marianne is joined by marriage and family therapist, Dr. Pat Allen, to share advice that she says opened her eyes to the truth (read bland unimaginative hope for conformity) about romantic relationships.

According to Dr. Allen, the success of a romantic relationship rests on two principles:

A man's greatest psychic craving is that his thoughts be respected. (are you thinking to yourself, well what do women want? I was curious on where she was going as I rather enjoy having my thoughts respected by my romantic partner. wait for it....)

A woman's greatest psychic craving is to have her feelings cherished. (that's right ladies, you bundle of misunderstood uncherished emotional vomiting, your deepest pysche just wants to be told that you are loved and cherished...much like puppies gets better)
Based on these underlying desires, Dr. Allen spells out some of the ways couples can achieve a lasting romantic relationship: (because it is deeply and profoundly romantic to have a dynamic of owner and sensitive cute puppy)

Show respect for your man's thought processes, don't coddle his emotions. Don't ask, 'How do you feel?' but rather 'What do you think?'
The key to being loved by a man is not what you achieve or do, but in who you are inside.
A woman is most powerful and most attractive when she exudes her feminine (apparently defined as passive/ I'm not kidding ) energy.
Husbands and wives each have within them both masculine and feminine energies that need to be balanced, complementary and noncompetitive. (This sentence is why I hate these asshats so much, because this sentence is true in a lot of ways and yet completely contradicts every other asshat thing she has said)
Focus on complementary energy rather than competitive energy. Competitive energy diminishes intimacy. " (now, not for nothing, but I know more than one couple who find a good wrestle leads to not only intimacy but also to some other very enjoyable activity)

So in summation, avoid listening to this woman, or listen just to remind yourself how sad it is that you aren't getting paid a lot of money to talk, because if she is considered profound....yeah I should be making lots more money.

We need a new plan...soon

"At the moment, vegetable growers and packers are virtually unregulated. “Farmers can do pretty much as they please,” Carol Tucker Foreman, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America, said recently, “as long as they don’t make anyone sick.”
This sounds like an alarming lapse in governmental oversight until you realize there has never before been much reason to worry about food safety on farms. But these days, the way we farm and the way we process our food, both of which have been industrialized and centralized over the last few decades, are endangering our health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that our food supply now sickens 76 million Americans every year, putting more than 300,000 of them in the hospital, and killing 5,000. The lethal strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, responsible for this latest outbreak of food poisoning, was unknown before 1982; it is believed to have evolved in the gut of feedlot cattle. These are animals that stand around in their manure all day long, eating a diet of grain that happens to turn a cow’s rumen into an ideal habitat for E. coli 0157:H7. (The bug can’t survive long in cattle living on grass.) Industrial animal agriculture produces more than a billion tons of manure every year, manure that, besides being full of nasty microbes like E. coli 0157:H7 (not to mention high concentrations of the pharmaceuticals animals must receive so they can tolerate the feedlot lifestyle), often ends up in places it shouldn’t be, rather than in pastures, where it would not only be harmless but also actually do some good. To think of animal manure as pollution rather than ferti"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

things you learn driving across country

We are in Memphis. We went out on Beale street. There was a girl singing jazz at one place. She was a bit giddy to be singing jazz. We went to BB King's after that and the band there was great. We are behind schedule but glad to have stopped. So things we have learned:
  • Oklahoma might possibly be the longest most boring state ever. Avoid.
  • Alburqueque has a balloon festival this weekend. We missed it:( But, we had awesome food with friends and bro got the infection in his finger drained. That was gross, but he had to get a shot in the butt. That was funny.
  • Badly dressed (and I mean feathered hair, one fellow who looked like those guys who compete in fishing challenges in Upper penisula Michigan and another fellow who had his sweater tucked into his jeans) white people over 40 dancing their heart out to Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" is life affirming in a way that should be studied.
  • Bugles are really very tasty.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Friends for Life: An Emerging Biology of Emotional Healing - New York Times

Not the best science writing I have seen, but still I find this fascinating. I think is some ways I found it counter-intuitive that being around an angry person would affect my level of anger. It simultaneously decreases your level of control over your mood, while increasing your responsibility for the people you surround yourself with. I suppose, though, that if you believe that the below is an accurate interpretation of the data, that Oprah, Wicca and the Golden Rule are speaking to a universal truth now proved out by science. It comforts me when perception of how the world works seems to align with scientific data. Sometimes just because you feel really is true:)

"Mirror neurons offer a neural mechanism that explains emotional contagion, the tendency of one person to catch the feelings of another, particularly if strongly expressed. This brain-to-brain link may also account for feelings of rapport, which research finds depend in part on extremely rapid synchronization of people’s posture, vocal pacing and movements as they interact. In short, these brain cells seem to allow the interpersonal orchestration of shifts in physiology.
Such coordination of emotions, cardiovascular reactions or brain states between two people has been studied in mothers with their infants, marital partners arguing and even among people in meetings. Reviewing decades of such data, Lisa M. Diamond and Lisa G. Aspinwall, psychologists at the University of Utah, offer the infelicitous term “a mutually regulating psychobiological unit” to describe the merging of two discrete physiologies into a connected circuit. To the degree that this occurs, Dr. Diamond and Dr. Aspinwall argue, emotional closeness allows the biology of one person to influence that of the other.
John T. Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, makes a parallel proposal: the emotional status of our main relationships has a significant impact on our overall pattern of cardiovascular and neuroendocrine activity. This radically expands the scope of biology and neuroscience from focusing on a single body or brain to looking at the interplay between two at a time. In short, my hostility bumps up your blood pressure, your nurturing love lowers mine. Potentially, we are each other’s biological enemies or allies.
Even remotely suggesting health benefits from these interconnections will, no doubt, raise hackles in medical circles. No one can claim solid data showing a medically significant effect from the intermingling of physiologies.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Arizona's Urban Sprawl Stretches Shelter System

"In 2004, the Governor's State Plan on Domestic and Sexual Violence reported over 100 domestic violence-related homicides in Arizona during the previous year. In 'Breaking the Cycle,' a resource book developed to assist victims and service providers, Napolitano wrote that domestic violence was the No. 1 call for service among state law-enforcement agencies and that Arizona had the second highest domestic violence murder rate in the country."

I wonder what rank Massachusetts is?

Monday, October 09, 2006

my gypsy heart....

Attached is the route I'm taking home. I'm leaving again. I'm very happy I get to spend the next few months at home, but spent the week struggling with all of this. Life really does change on a dime and while normally I'm happy as long as its not boring, this has been a little much, even for me. It's a long least I have satellite radio:)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Feeling a little crazy? there is a reason...

"Tonight's full Moon will be almost 12 percent bigger than some of the full Moons this year, according to NASA, setting up a fine viewing opportunity when it rises in the evening.
The reason: The Moon is near perigee, the point on its slightly out-of-round orbit that is closest to Earth.
This Moon is called the Harvest Moon, owing to its timing of being nearest the autumnal " Farmers in the past relied on it to harvest all night. The Harvest Moon is not always closer and bigger than normal.
"Harvest Moon"
Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin'
We could dream this night away.
But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.
Because I'm still in love with youI want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with youOn this harvest moon.
When we were strangersI watched you from afar
When we were lovers I loved you with all my heart.But now it's gettin'late
And the moon is climbin' highI want to celebrate
See it shinin' in your eye.Because I'm still in love with youI want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

more reasons for city living....

"The findings show that, across a wide range of settings, women are more at risk of violence by an intimate partner than from any other type of perpetrator,' said Dr Claudia Garcia-Morena of the World Health Organization.
The prevalence ranged from four percent in cities in Japan and Serbia to more than 30 percent in rural areas in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Peru. The violence was most severe in rural rather than urban settings, the report said."

Marijuana may help stave off Alzheimer’s - Alzheimer's Disease -

"WASHINGTON - Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function."


"Virtue describes the inner qualities that we are born with and develop throughout our life. The truth is, in order to be in harmony you need to be able to create the flow for your own existence. Many times when things are not working out for us, it may simply be that we have not have discovered the type of virtue or internal power we need (to apply) in order to overcome an obstacle or manoeuvre a situation. Having the power to apply or manifest the virtue (appropriately) is yet another part of this equation. "

The crossroads are moving and I am taking a long path. I felt certain for a moment, but in the cold light of travel planning I am shook to the bone. I wish for savvy. I am heading east for awhile. It's a long way from here and I hope crossing the long way lets me get there in time. I am so sad. I don't want to be. I want this to have been worth it in hindsight. Still I fear the whole adventure was a terrible waste of precious time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Daily Kos: Garrison Keillor: Roll call of Senate damned

" The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an 'enemy combatant' is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter. If your college kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected of 'crimes against the state' and held in prison, you'd assume that an American foreign service officer would be able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer, but this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned. "

Slimming photos with HP digital cameras - HP Digital Photography Center

How vain am I for wanting this?

so should have learned stats...

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: "Let's not go quite that fast. I looked at the original research summary, and what it states is that weeks worked by the mother had no correlation with childhood obesity. So when moms work, kids don't get fat. Get it? What the study did demonstrate was that childhood obesity was positively associated with mothers who work long hours per week, and only then for the educated white mothers, and that is the percentage Harford chooses to cite in his article. There was no relationship between childhood obesity and working hours for the black or Hispanic mothers. It might be worthwhile to dig out the sample numbers here. How many white and educated mothers did the study include?Let's not go quite that fast. I looked at the original research summary, and what it states is that weeks worked by the mother had no correlation with childhood obesity. So when moms work, kids don't get fat. Get it? What the study did demonstrate was that childhood obesity was positively associated with mothers who work long hours per week, and only then for the educated white mothers, and that is the percentage Harford chooses to cite in his article. There was no relationship between childhood obesity and working hours for the black or Hispanic mothers. It might be worthwhile to dig out the sample numbers here. How many white and educated mothers did the study include?"

Lazy, lazy lazy

"No, not that way. A study released last month in the journal Psychological Science appeared to show that what we think is attractive, or beautiful, is whatever requires the least amount of effort."


Billmon: "This guy obviously was confused. He seemed to be under the impression he was living in a free country:
Mr. Howards, 54, said . . . he was taking his 8-year-old son to a piano lesson on June 16 at the Beaver Creek Resort about two hours west of Denver when he saw Mr. Cheney at an outdoor mall. Mr. Howards said he approached within two feet of Mr. Cheney and said in a calm voice, “I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible,” or as the lawsuit itself describes the encounter, “words to that effect.”
Mr. Howards said he then went on his way. About 10 minutes later, he said, he was walking back through the area when Agent Reichle handcuffed him and said he would be charged with assaulting the vice president. Local police officers, acting on information from the Secret Service, according to the suit, ultimately filed misdemeanor harassment charges that could have resulted in up to a year in jail.
Good to see the Secret Service is living up to its initials.
I think Cheney must still be sore about this incident. Mr. Howards should consider himself lucky he didn't get a shotgun blast in the face."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Timing, luck & good planning

For each and every person, there is a destination to which they are bound in their lifetime. In addition, no two people can play the same role. We are in the process of creating our destination every minute of the day via our decisions and interactions. Each and every one of us is born with an intrinsic series of dynamics existing within our unique potential - our personality - which we enact throughout our lives accordingly.

I am again at a crossroads, faced with options with ambiguous pros and cons. I committed to "going with my gut", but find my gut is as confused as my mind when faced with the actual options. I get envious of imaginary people who have some innate structure for seeing all options as opportunities. I envy true optimists who see experience and wisdom in every/any road taken. My less rational parts cling to the idea that there is a correct choice, a path that will really crack open the world for me to explore. I still wish for things I don't really believe exist. Is that hope? Is that self destructive? I know enough now to realize that everyone struggles. Confidence does not mean certainty and ambivalence doesn't mean lack of focus or ambition. I know this viscerally and yet still have ridiculous nostalgia for the time when I thought confidence, ambition and focus would yield the BEST plan ever. I will continue forward,a s there really is no other option. I struggle to embrace whatever folly may result from the best laid plans.


"'The patent system is being abused by private actors to the detriment of the mostly unaware public. Our health, our freedom, and our economic prosperity are all under assault from bogus rights meted out to the few with the power and expertise to game a system originally established hundreds of years ago to promote progress within society as a whole. The government, through primarily a captured patent office utterly failing to achieve its mission and skewed policies implemented into patent law by Congress and the courts, is not just failing to defend the public interest from abuse of the patent system, but is omplicit in and supportive of such efforts.'
Them's fighting words!
The Monsanto patents in question involve the methods by which genes from one organism are inserted into another. Ravicher's contention is that by the time Monsanto got around to patenting these methods, they were not new and unusual enough to constitute an invention worthy of protection.
Despite Ravicher's previous success, one would have to guess that the odds of success in invalidating these patents are long. But seen in a larger context, the attack on the patents is just one element of a broader pushback against Monsanto's assertion of intellectual property rights in an ongoing clash with traditional farming practices. "


"'In principle, the stock market represents the discounted value of the future profits of corporate America. If the value rises because the economy can now be seen as growing more rapidly, then this is certainly good news. But, if future profits are projected to be higher because of lower wages or lower corporate taxes (e.g. a higher tax burden on workers or fewer public services), why should the mass of the population, who own little or no stock, celebrate?'
Good question -- especially when most indicators suggest that the economy is actually slowing. In fact, one theory for why oil prices are declining so rapidly is that speculators are selling off their holdings precisely because they fear an economic slowdown next year will depress worldwide energy demand.
Which brings us back to square one. If it is true that the Dow's recent vim and vigor is a result of falling oil prices, then what investors are actually celebrating is the likelihood of an oncoming recession. Woo hoo!"

Monday, October 02, 2006


"Oct 2, 2006 — NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is pushing to create a cheaper, more flexible work force by capping wages, using more part-time workers and scheduling more staff on nights and weekends, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Wal-Mart executives say they embraced the new policies for a large number of their 1.3 million workers to better serve customers, the newspaper said.
But some Wal-Mart workers say the changes are further reducing their modest incomes and putting a strain on personal lives, the Times reported.
Investment analysts and store managers say Wal-Mart executives have told them the company wants to transform its work force to 40 percent part-time from 20 percent, the Times reported. "

Friday, September 29, 2006

A call to action as our gov't votes for Torture

"What gate did we think we were crashing, exactly? A gate to a garden party? A cotillion, perhaps? An ivory tower nestled in the green, green fields of Oxford?
For the past couple of years, this site has been about nothing but taking control of a weak, ineffective and inbred party, making it strong with new leadership and new vision, and taking our country back from a rabid majority gang of power-hungry, self-serving, religious-pandering, imperialistic, militaristic, corrupt cronies. That, at least, was why I was here.
What? Were all the diaries entitled 'Worst. President. Ever.' just little jokes we made in cyberspace, as of much importance as flippant little theater reviews? Did we not realize years ago that this administration fully intended to gut the Constitution, create a unitary executive and render not just the Geneva Conventions but our Bill of Rights quaint?
We were all just - ha ha ha - kidding? Did we - we who pride ourselves on being so media savvy - buy into the spin that we were 'alarmist' and 'extremist' with all our dire warnings and that deep down, we never really believed it would come to this?
I sure as hell wasn't kidding. And I didn't think the rest of you were, either. This torture bill ... I'd call it a line in the sand but for the fact that there have been so many lines in the sand in the past six years there's no sand left. We're down to bedrock now, folks, and it ain't pretty. But then, I'd always assumed we never expected it to be. Frankly, I always thought it would come to this. This and far, far worse.
But that's why I thought we were here, to rebuild and retake control of a political party, not abandon it. After all, who's got the power? Ask Howard Dean. We've got the power.
This is democracy, people. Seize it. Take control. Grab hol"