Friday, November 28, 2008
iPhone Linux Demonstration Video from planetbeing on Vimeo.
Rabid "black Friday" shopping craze results in a death and a miscarriage in New York. This whole feeding frenzy of consumerism is totally nauseating. What the fuck is wrong with these people???
A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.The madness to reach the cheap, discounted Chinese imports that fill Wal-Mart was worth more to these people than this man's life. Blind consumerism at it's worst.
The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
He fell upon her like a savage, wielding his mouth like a machete, and in the pleasure she took from him her body became an extension of her quarterly earnings report—proof of her worthiness as a lover. His hard-on was sanction enough.
"Scream your secret passions, Hank Rearden!"
"Oh, yes! Yes!"
"Collateralized debt obligation."
"YES! YES! YES!"
Americans' Food Stamp Use Nears All-Time High
"We soon will have the most food stamps recipients in the history of our country," said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, a D.C.-based anti-hunger policy organization. "If the economic forecasts come true, we're likely to see the most hunger that we've seen since the 1981 recession and maybe since the 1960s, when these programs were established."Meanwhile, in the halls of corporate America's banking sector, the rich just keep getting richer! Failing back CEOs and Presidents reap windfall benefits as the government bails them out of their own shit.
Let's replace one Clinton in the Senate with another! Let's send Bill Clinton to replace Hillary! Actually, I kind of like this idea.
Doing so would spare the governor the agonizing dilemma of choosing from the 20 or so Democrats already named as contenders for the junior senator's seat. Those mentioned include six sitting members of the House of Representatives (three of each sex), Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Caroline Kennedy and her cousin Robert Kennedy Jr., Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (an African American), and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. (who is Hispanic). In this no-win competition, Paterson has to balance claims of gender, race, ethnicity and geography. He could wind up gaining one grateful ally while alienating not only all the losers but also millions of members of the disparate constituencies that each represents.Once again, Clinton would be the unifying candidate. It would eliminate the back stabbing and mud rolling that usually accompanies any kind of appointment position like this.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
No, I'm not kidding. The title of the piece is:
Exclusive: Why Did Our Founders Want Only Qualified Citizens to Vote?By "qualified" he means property owners. There was a litmus test in the Constitution that extended franchise only to white male landowners.
Above this enticing title is this picture of a white, male hand slipping a paper ballot into a box.
But the best part is the text. Check this out.
Instead, it has been determined that anyone should be able to vote, even though too many voters have no earthly idea what policy or party serves them best. National research demonstrates that more people know who Paula Abdul is than who know the three branches of government. This extension of voting rights to anyone and everyone has led to a huge bloc of people voting on emotion and only for their immediate gratification, as opposed to what best serves the country and even themselves in the long run. These voters are like the farmers who eat the seed corn and are therefore unable to plant in the spring.So when the voters who've been voting for the GOP for all these years suddenly realize that they've been duped and switch to the Democrats, this is a crisis all of a sudden. Uh huh... The remedy?
Some may say [returning to the notion that only landowners can vote] is unfair, that everyone should vote, but is the system as it is set up today fair? Under our everyone-can-vote current system, one group can vote themselves another group’s private property, something certainly unfair and unlikely to occur if only property owners were voting. In the short run, expropriating private property may benefit a few, but in the long run it is ruinous for everyone.Yes, the world should be further divided into haves and have nots. Let's just turn the poor into serfs, since that's all they're good for. This guy is not only stupid, but his ideas are racist and classist and a whole bunch of other things I can't even bring myself to articulate. This is the kind of shoddy misrepresentation of conservative values that is going to put the GOP into a permanent minority or eliminate it alltogether.
Indeed. You don't spend the money on investments when you're busy trying to steal that money for you and your fellow crime lords. The wholesale looting of the national treasury will one day result in a reckoning and that day can't come soon enough for me.
The idea that the nation had all but stopped investing in its infrastructure, and that officials in Washington have ignored the crucial role of job creation as the cornerstone of a thriving economy is beyond mind-boggling. It’s impossible to understand.
Impossible, that is, until you realize that bandits don’t waste time repairing a building that they’re looting.
The question now is whether the nation, in the midst of a full-blown economic emergency, can keep its cool and be smart as it marshals billions of public dollars for a new infrastructure initiative. It won’t be helpful to have sparkling new bridges to nowhere being built from coast to coast.
Monday, November 24, 2008
A former communications intercept operator says U.S. intelligence snooped on the private lives of two of America's most important allies in fighting al Qaeda: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Iraq's first interim president, Ghazi al-Yawer.Tony Blair. Really... Unreal. The crimes of this administration defy belief.
Faulk says his top secret clearance at Ft. Gordon gave him access to an intelligence data base, called "Anchory," where he says he saw the file on then-British prime minister Tony Blair in 2006.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
While I personally support any plan that prevents 2.5 million workers from hitting the bricks, the dickwads that run the Big Three are truly in a classless class of their own. Maybe someone should hit them with bricks instead!
Pitchforks and torches for everyone! Come on, let's go!
"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.
"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."
He added, "couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
What a world...
[The prosecutor] O'Brien claimed that Drew actively conspired with two others in creating and maintaining a MySpace profile for a nonexistent 16-year-old boy named "Josh Evans" in September 2006. The Evans account was used by multiple people to flirt with, befriend and ultimately reject 13-year-old Megan Meier, who'd had a falling-out with Drew's daughter.
One of the users of the account, Ashley Grills, a then-18-year-old woman employed by Drew and her husband, has admitted to sending a final, cruel message to Meier while posing as Evans: "The world would be a better place without you. Have a shitty rest of your life." Meier then hanged herself in her bedroom.
Grills has been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her cooperation with the government, and is scheduled to testify against Drew.
So check out the video.
The portrait of Israelite religion in the Hebrew Bible is the ideal, the ideal in the minds of those few who wrote the Bible—the elites, the Yahwists, the monotheists. But it's not the ideal for most people. And archeology deals with the ordinary, forgotten folk of ancient Israel who have no voice in the Bible. There is a wonderful phrase in Daniel Chapter 12: "For all those who sleep in the dust." Archeology brings them to light and allows them to speak. And most of them were not orthodox believers.Fascinating...
However, we should have guessed already that polytheism was the norm and not monotheism from the biblical denunciations of it. It was real and a threat as far as those who wrote the Bible were concerned. And today archeology has illuminated what we could call "folk religion" in an astonishing manner.
Looks like we've reached the top of the parabolic arc and the economy is starting to contract. Just like a ride on NASA's "vomit comet," when you tip over the top of the arc and enter free fall, you're weightless. That's what's happening to our economy: free fall.
The Consumer Price Index, a key measure of how much Americans spend on groceries, clothing, entertainment and other goods and services, fell by 1 percent in October compared with prices in the previous month, the Labor Department reported Wednesday morning.Wheeeeeeeeee!!!!
It was the steepest single-month drop in the 61-year history of the pricing survey and raised concerns about deflation as the economy contracts and demand for goods and services plunge. Another report released Wednesday indicated that new home construction continued to fall. “This month it’s more than slowing, it’s outright contraction,” said James O’Sullivan, United States economist at UBS. “And yes, if you extrapolate that, it’s deflation.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County's federal detention centers.Color me not surprised.
There need not be a contest between these two great presidents, both of them remarkable politicians. But the one quality Roosevelt had that Lincoln, at least in his popular portrayal, did not is sheer exuberance. FDR, who called Al Smith a "happy warrior," was himself a happy warrior. It was his jaunty enthusiasm and his willingness to try almost anything to break the back of the Great Depression that mattered most. It had to -- after all, in the end, nothing worked.
The solution is out there . . . somewhere. But it will take time and trial to find it. Obama knows this. It was one of the things he mentioned on "60 Minutes." But what he might not appreciate is that among his many gifts, the one that might matter most is how close he can come to Rooseveltian enthusiasm -- that optimism, that capacity for empathy that made so many ordinary people love this rich man and stick with him. Lincoln, a sometimes melancholy and somber man, belongs, as Edwin M. Stanton said, "to the ages." Roosevelt belongs to ours.
Blogspot, being the limited and simple tool that it is, doesn't have the concept of "pages" a la WordPress so rather than try to hack pages into the style sheets (yeah, right), I just setup a new blog for my more literary postings. It's called, ahem, Accidental Literature. So if you're interested, feel free to head on over and have a laugh at my expense.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"We were actually told they had been riding around in her car for several days, which raised all kinds of integrity questions," said Coleman's attorney, Fritz Knaak.This, of course, turned out to be baseless. Shocking, eh? Republicans lying. Seems to be their core competency. They attempted to block the votes and were shot down by a judge. So they made lemondade from the lemons!
Knaak also said a Minneapolis attorney reassured Coleman's campaign that no one but an elected official had access to the 32 ballots and there was no tampering.So when you call them on their bullshit, they fold like a house of cards. Typical.
But the story doesn't end there. The far-right echo chamber has picked up the rallying cry of voter fraud, despite the complete absence of facts in the case. Shameless, but hardly surprising.
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, co-host Fred Barnes echoed the discredited rumor that ballots in the Minnesota Senate race were mishandled, stating: "We've seen, under some questionable circumstances, Franken gaining, you know, 32 ballots from the trunk of somebody's car that had been sitting there for a few days. I mean, I find that a bit suspicious." In fact, state officials have refuted rumors that the ballots were handled improperly, and a lawyer for Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign, who initially raised questions about those ballots, reportedly said afterward that he had been assured the ballots were not tampered with.Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them, indeed.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"I'm gay." Mary barely whispered the words.
"What?" Aimee looked at Kim who was staring at Mary. "Did she just say what I think she said?"
Kim asked Mary, "Did you just say you were... gay?"
Mary nodded. Another moment of truth had arrived.
Kim and Aimee shifted uncomfortably in their seats, not knowing how to respond. Mary continued.
"I fell in love with an Indian girl while I was there. I had to leave her behind."
Aimee and Kim looked at each other and burst out laughing. Mary just watched her friends.
"Wow, Mary, that's the best one yet. You're hilarious! God. You had me going there. Gay. Hah! I almost believed you," said Kim. Aimee was laughing too hard to talk.
Mary just sat there, not saying anything while the laughter subsided. There followed an uncomfortable silence between the three of them as Mary's eyes went back and forth between her friends. He hands were folded in front of her on the table.
Aimee and Kim grew very serious. They exchanged glances with one another and Aimee looked around the food court to see if anyone was nearby. They were alone enough.
"You're not kidding, are you?" Kim asked.
"No, I'm not."
"Holy fucking shit," said Aimee.
"Yeah," said Kim.
"What do we do now," asked Aimee.
"Don't know," said Mary.
Kim had a quizzical look on her face. "How... how do you know?"
Mary smiled. "You know how you feel when you look at a hot guy? I feel that way when I look at a hot girl."
Aimee looked very uncomfortable. She was, by all regard, the prettiest of the four girls and she didn't like where this was heading.
"That's so... gross!" said Aimee.
Mary said nothing.
"What... what does it mean? I mean, what does you being... gay... mean?" Kim was genuinely curious.
"I... I like... girls, not guys."
Aimee shook her head. This could NOT be happening. She pushed her chair away from the table.
Kim put her hand on Aimee's arm.
"Where are you going? You can't leave. Mary needs our help!"
"What help? She's a dyke, a lezzie, a twat-licking freak! I'm not going to sit here and listen to this bitch tell me how she wants to jump me and suck on my tits. Fuck that, I'm outta here."
Mary was calm. She knew this was always a possibility. She and her friends had always had a deep seated fear of homosexuality. It infected their culture, their society, like a cancer. Mary knew that she would never get support from everyone she knew, it was too much to ask some people. Aimee might one day change her mind, and Mary would be there to extend a hand. But until then, she was content to let her go. She knew that Aimee's own prejudice would prevent her from saying anything for fear that it might reflect back on her since she and Mary had been so close for so long. Mary assumed that that was what was driving this reaction now. So she focused her attention on Kim.
"Kim, it's Ok. Let her go."
Kim released Aimee's arm. Aimee turned and stalked away towards the escalator. Mary watched her go.
"Mary, I don't care about Aimee. But I can't say I understand what happened to you, either. Please, help me understand."
The girls sat there for more than an hour while Mary told her story. At the end, Kim was in tears. Mary knew that Kim understood what this all meant for Mary. And she was Ok with it.
"Thanks, Kim. Please tell Aimee that I still want to be her friend if she'll have me."
"I will, Mary. I'll try to calm her down."
"Thanks. See you in school!"
"Senior year, it's going to be great."
Mary hoped so. She really did.
First, thanks to my coworker and buddy Russ for pointing me to the site and for encouraging me to write again. He's been a great inspiration (although I doubt he knows that) to me since this is his third NaNoWriMo. He's still cranking away, and I'm cheering him on.
Of course, thanks to my wonderful wife and partner Amy. She has been great through all this considering I've been ignoring her for several weeks while I bang away at the keyboard (like now).
I also want to thank my new buddy Melissa over at Melissa, Oh? She's been commenting on my novel postings here at AI and I appreciate her feedback. I hope she won't mind reading the whole thing when it's done. She's got a good eye and a strong stomach.
But more to the point. While this slapped-together "novel" is nothing close to complete, it is, in a way, done. I finished it. It's was in me and now it's out there. I did it. It's been a long time since I felt this kind of accomplishment and I want to feel it again. So will I participate in NaNoWriMo again? You bet I will!
For too long, I've ignored my creative side. I've put away the things that mean the most to me. I was focusing on the wrong things. It was a mistake. Poetry, literature, theater, opera were all ignored. No more. The time has come to rebalance, to find a new center that will ensure that the sweet taste of creativity will never again slip away.
I found some haiku I wrote a few years ago. I think I'll try again.
Some of them don't suck. :-)
The arrogance of knowing
Beams from every pore -
I am not wise enough
To write haiku,
The pen fails
Tender autumn journey
A child nestled close;
Mud caked sandals snuggle
on clean wooden steps,
A rain shower!
Buds on a branch
Snowflakes gently fall
Grieving husband bows
No more his wife wants him –
Tearful lotus blossom
I slept peacefully
Beneath old willow tree
Shines on frosted clover –
Morning gently breaks
Scratch, scratch, scratch
The poet’s pen on paper
Makes me poor!
A thousand lanterns float
Gentle breeze moves
Floating blossoms east
Forever is a long time
To feel one way
Noisy mountain brook
Cuts a rocky gap –
Carp make small circles
Cold moonlit field
Winter wheat sprouts –
Nut-brown leaves tumble
into an icy stream,
My face distorted.
Alone in the moonlight
A small dove lands
Snow falls on pines
Along the snowy bank
Cold grey clouds
Stony path decends
To oaken door, barred
Warm fire within
Two boys sled
By the river bank
Mother turns away
Cherry blossoms fall
From the woody branch.
A child runs to hide
Fog hugs the pines
Gentle rain falls
A small boy walks alone
Cherry blossoms fall
To nestle in the soft grass -
Another year to wait.
[The next three were written in the Milwaukee Museum of Art. For 10 points, see if you can guess which artist is described in the 2nd one.]
The gallery beckons
Level upon level of art -
What's THAT supposed to be?
Green, Red, Blue
Panels of color -
A ripe answer to koan's Mu!
Karma is a force
That has no force
Beyond what we feel.
Snow softly blankets
Brown grass and weeds -
As she drifts through my mind
My zazen concentration ends -
A delightful breakdown.
A gentle inspiration
In a shy, quiet smile -
Cloudy, snowy day
The cold grips my heart -
Then I remember her and warm up.
Without realizing it,
She has captured my spirit
In a little rabbit snare!
Threads of karma collide
And weave a new pattern -
Life is quieter now.
The wheel of karma spins
My life goes round and round -
A ragged cat sleeps
In slits of summer sun -
He looks bored.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Mary's home and her boyfriend has thrown her a surprise party at his house. He's invited all of Mary's friends. The scene is set in William's living room. It's the day Mary returned from India, around lunchtime.
Kathy, her best friend, said, “Tell us what it was like, Mary.”More tomorrow!
Mary looked down at her hands in her lap. She studied her palms, her fingers, the finger where Sara had first kissed her. She looked up, at the white cieling, let her eyes scan the textured surface, picking out small imperfections.
“It was...” she struggled for a word, one word, that would capture the vastness of her experiences in India. She hesitated, the room full of girls hung on her words, desperate to know what she would say.
“...enlightening.” She and Sara had spent some of those nights together just talking about life. Talking about India. Talking about religion, philosophy and the need to be true to who you were. Of course, for Sara that had meant being true to what she knew she must be, not what she wanted to be. Mary couldn’t understand that, until that very moment, surrounded by her friends who, in their expressions, wanted to know who she was now. Sara had known all along who she was but she also knew who she had to be. And for Sara, those two states of being were opposites. Yin and Yang. Kali and Shiva. But Mary had a choice. She could decide her own fate. She had choices. She had options. She knew from then on, sitting in that fat, comfortable living room, she must live as herself, as much for herself, as for Sara who was trapped by a world Mary barely knew. She knew that Sara would live her life, as she must, in the way she must, but that in that small, dark, quiet corner of her heart, hidden from the world, that place she had let Mary see and inhabit for a brief instant, Sara would draw strength to endure, as women always had throughout the ages, her suffering.
But to the crowd of girls in the room, the answer hung in the air, anticlimactic, certainly, for them, distinctly unenlightening. Mary had a Mona Lisa smile, she could see through the bullshit into what’s real. For her, enlightenment was hard won and not shared easily. She couldn’t bestow it on the gaggle of girls who surrounded her. Enlightenment was earned. Earned through suffering. It was never given.
The girls in the room all talked at once. To Mary and to each other, all attempting to unravel Mary’s enigmatic answer. Mary remained silent. Mona Lisa smile. She was so tired, so very tired. She saw William standing in the doorway looking at her, not smiling, not frowning. Mona Lisa smile.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sound familiar? Well Monty Python fans will recognize it as a version of the infamous Dead Parrot sketch.
It concerns a man who complains to his friend that he was sold a slave who dies in his service.
His companion replies: "When he was with me, he never did any such thing!"
The joke was discovered in a collection of 265 jokes called Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, which dates from the fourth century AD.
But this one is my favorite. It's so Henny Youngman / Rodney Dangerfield.
"A man tells a well-known wit: 'I had your wife, without paying a penny'. The husband replies: "It's my duty as a husband to couple with such a monstrosity. What made you do it?"(Insert Laugh-track Here!)
“Well, when I was fourteen, I went to a sleep-away vacation bible camp. It’s a camp with lots of other Christian kids, boys and girls, and it up in the woods in northern Wisconsin. It’s on a lake and there’s lots of outdoor things to do. Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, swimming, archery, that kind of stuff.Please remember, first draft only!!!! No tweaks or anything, so be gentle.
“The boys and girls slept in different cabins, of course. And each cabin had a sleep-in counselor. They were responsible for keeping us on the straight and narrow path. Our counselor was a girl named Julie. She was twenty and a junior at Marquette University.
“Anyway, Julie was a very sound sleeper. My two best friends at the camp, Tam and Kim, short for Kimberly, but she’d hit you if you called her that,” Mary said with a laugh, “we were all in the same cabin together. Now these weren’t friends from home, but they were kids I would see in the summer at this camp. So one night they snuck out of the cabin together, under the guise that they were going to go meet some boys down by the lake. I was fourteen and really hadn’t developed the interest in boys that most of my friends had but I was still curious. What were you supposed to do with boys besides maybe kiss them and stuff. Some of the girls were totally boy crazy at that camp. I decided to follow them to see what the big deal was.
“They headed down to the place where they stacked the canoes, where Tam had said she was going to arrange the meeting. When they got down to the dock, the moon was full and the lake was as beautiful a spot as I’d ever seen. The gentle waves were lapping up on the beach next to the dock, and the racks filled with canoes were shadowed under the overhanging trees.
“I was really nervous. I’d never even kissed a boy at that age. I watched them disappear into the gloom between the canoes and the old willow tree. It was completely dark back there and I wondered how the boys were going to find them back there. They must have arranged this ahead of time. I kept to the shadows on the path and sat down to wait.
“After a few minutes, I heard some rustling coming from over by the big willow tree. Maybe the boys were already there. I was far too curious to sit there and listen to this fooling around and not see it for myself. Maybe if I saw them doing things, it would pique my interest in boys.
“As quietly as I could, I crept along the edge of the canoe rack, keeping low to the ground, practically crawling. When I reached the end, I got down on my tummy and crawled under the bottom canoe. There was enough space to wiggle under and from the darkness, I could see the space out to the big willow.
“It took a minute for my eyes to adjust to the dark, but when they did, I saw something totally unexpected. Something that frightened me. Not because of what they were doing, Tam and Kim, but because of how it made me feel."
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."I'm reminded of a song...
The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Mary lay on the cot, still curled up in a ball and studied Sara’s face while she read her book.
Without thinking, Mary’s hand came out and touched Sara’s face. Sara didn’t move. She continued to read her book. Mary gently stroked Sara’s cheek, feeling like the loathsome dyke she knew she was. The dishonest freak, the one who was going to burn in hell for succumbing to these unnatural feelings. She knew just what her mother would say since she’d heard her talk about the abomination that was homosexuality so many times before.
“They’re sick. Sick, sick, sick. I don’t see why we can’t just round them all up and teach them not to be that way. How can men think about touching other men like that? And the women! Hairy, ugly, butch lesbians make me sick. Those women just to find themselves some good men who’ll straighten them right out. It’s sick what this country is coming to. All these dykes and fags running around WITHOUT SHAME! It’s appalling.”
She’d hear that speech so many times growing up. And she had used it, or some variation of it, with her friends at school. They had talked about who was a fag and who was a dyke at school. They used those terms as the ultimate insults.
“You dyke!” she remembers calling a girl in 9th grade for no particular reason than she could. That girl had been awkward, she had dressed like a boy and wasn’t part of one of the cool groups. So Mary had taken her place among the tormentors, a self-appointed judge of what was normal and what wasn’t. Damn. Just look at her now, lying on a cot in India, stroking another girl’s face with a feeling of love like she’d never felt before.
Was that girl in 9th grade a dyke? Mary never knew. The girl transferred to another school in 11th grade and Mary never saw her again. She felt guilty. She felt guilty for all the kids she and her “cool” friends had taunted over the course of their high-school years.
Mary looked at Sara who continued to read her book, seemingly oblivious to Mary’s soft caress. Mary expanded her exploration of Sara’s body by reaching down to stroke her neck, her long, beautiful neck. She heard Sara take a soft breath, and exhale. As Mary’s fingers softly stroked Sara’s cheek and neck, Sara’s eyes began to fill with tears again.
Mary quickly withdrew her hand.
As if from across a thousand, ten thousand miles of trackless wasteland, she heard the faint echo of Sara’s voice, husky, dark and full of sadness say
“please... please... don’t stop... please...”
Mary’s hand reached out again as Sara slowly turned her face towards her. Mary touched Sara’s full, burgundy lips, gently touching them with her fingertips, stoking gently, softly, with as much love as she could command. Sara’s lips parted, her tounge, soft and wet, caressed Mary’s finger.
They’re eyes met, Sara’s ancient brown eyes and Mary’s new blue eyes and Mary knew. She knew. She knew. Sara’s hand reached up and cupped Mary’s hand pulling it towards her mouth, kissing the palm, the fingers, her wrist.
Mary leaned forward, her eyes open, staring across the chasm of space between her and the girl she loved, her mind empty of thoughts, enlightened to who she was, aware only of the space that divided them, wanting nothing more than to close that space.
Sara came closer, Mary’s hand now holding her cheek. The chasm was mere four inches as they hesitated, seeking trust in one anothers eyes, looking for that affirmation that the other wanted what they wanted, each afraid that at the last minute, the other would turn away. The gap closed, inch by inch. Mary smelled the sandalwood again, the deep, rich scent, stronger now than ever. It overwhelmed her. She felt as if she might pass out. What were they doing? One inch. This was crazy, Mary thought. Crazy. What was she doing? No, this can’t be right.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
GE, my beloved General Electric, snuggles-up to the swollen teat of the Federal Reserve for a big suckle of our tax dollars. Shameful...
General Electric Co. said the U.S. government agreed to insure as much as $139 billion in debt for lending arm GE Capital Corp., the second time in a month it has turned to a federal program designed to help companies during a global credit crunch.
Granting GE Capital, which isn’t a bank, access to a new Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. program may reassure investors and help the unit compete with banks that already have government protection behind their debt, said Russell Wilkerson, a spokesman for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company. Coverage would be for about $139 billion, or 125 percent of total senior unsecured debt outstanding as of Sept. 30 and maturing by June 30.
As an aide to Richard Nixon back in the day, Roger, you were around for the birth of the Southern strategy -- the policy to move all those disgruntled racist Southern whites into Republican ranks. But the party as Nixon would have recognized it ceased to exist after the Republicans captured Congress in 1994. Since then, the national Republican Party has been dominated by far-right Southern legislative leaders -- Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott -- and by George W. Bush. The past two elections, Republicans have grown weaker everywhere but the white rural South -- the region that remains the least educated and least diverse.
And rather than present these voters with a picture of a complex, changing world, you guys at Fox serve chiefly to reinforce their fears, to paint people who hold different viewpoints as alien and threatening.
In that sense, your work remains dangerous and disintegrative to the nation. But it is also, more narrowly, tactically, for now, a great gift to liberals and Democrats. You ensure the ongoing Palinization and marginalization -- electorally, the terms are synonymous -- of the Republican Party.
And to think that you're doing all this not on the Democratic National Committee's dime but on Rupert Murdoch's.
Cheers from your new fan,
Here's a bit of the novel I'm working on for NaNoWriMo.
R.K. dropped them off at the main entrance to the old palace grounds. Mary had an enlightening the ride in. She had a chance to take in the scenery now that she wasn't jet lagged. She was startled to see that there were so many shops, stalls, carts and other commercial enterprises. It reminded her of strip-malls back home. Lots of little stores all packed together.There you go! I hope you like it.
Intermingled with the small shops were the hovels of the poorest of the poor. Many of these homes had numerous small children playing outside. The women, often in brightly colored saris were sitting in groups talking and making one of the many Indian breads Mary had grown to love.
Mary had always had an adventurous pallate, but India had been a revelation to her. Her parents didn't care much for "ethnic" food and the mission had tried to accomodate her "American" tastes. But she was having none of it. When they tried to serve her an Indian version of macaroni and cheese she finally rebelled and insisted that she be served what everyone else was eating. The cook was amused but Reverend Moorching questioned her choice.
"No, Reverend, I'm sure. If I'm going to be here in India, I want to eat what Indians eat. No exception."
So she had been exposed to a few Indian dishes so far. She was looking forward to learning more. But the thing she loved most was the paratha, a whole-wheat flat bread cooked on a skillet. It was delicioius. She ate it at all her meals.
But these women around the cooking fires outside their small shacks weren't making bread for priveledged Americans to eat, but for their families to survive. Mary had to remind herself that most of India was desperately poor. A kind of poor that American's never saw. Poor in America meant you only had one car and two TV sets. Poor in India meant you may or may not eat and your children may or may not live to see their 4th birthdays.
Sara caught Mary looking out the window at one of the poor families. She touched Mary's shoulder and said, "I know, it's hard not to look. But if you do, you must realize that there is nothing you can do for them. They were born poor and they will die poor and all the time in between they will be poor. Their poverty is our concern, but there is nothing we can do to lift them out of it. India is a growing nation, but she is not growing fast enough to bring everyone along yet. One day, this kind of poverty will not exist here. Until that day, though, we must look forward and not down."
The car lurched forward and the poor family vanished behind a bus loaded with people going to work. Mary considered Sara's words. They made her both happy and sad at the sametime. She wondered how the woman in front of the hovel would feel hearing Sara's words. What would she think of the notion that there was nothing that could be done for her. Mary doubted that she would agree with Sara.
As they continued to make their way to the palace, Mary saw hundreds, thousands of equally destitute families. All with the same dead stares, a look that spoke of thousands of years of oppression. Thousands of years of destitution. Thousands of years without hope. All piled on the shoulders of these masses of the poor. She wondered how anyone could survive. Was life so precious to them that they clung to it like shipwreck victims clung to the flotsam and jetsam of their sunken vessel, knowing that rescue was an impossibility, but yet they clung to bits of wood and foam in a bid to stay alive for one more breath, one more beat of the heart, one more moment of life. Is that what these impoverished families felt? Not living paycheck to paycheck, but simply mouthful to mouthful knowing that the tenuous thread of life could be cut at any moment. So precious was life that they endured this wretched existence to simply have one more day of it.
Mary knew that the fortuitousness of her birth would never allow her to sink into such poverty, no matter how hard she tried. The color of her skin, her nationality, her family, none of them would allow her to experience what these people experienced. It made her want to cry.
Sara was lost in her own thoughts as they pulled into the palace parking lot. She saw the endless ranks of hawkers peddling an endless variety of goods to tourists. They crowded around the car as it came to a stop.
Mary looked around the car at the brown faces, brown eyes and brightly colored merchandise that these men and women were peddling. She glanced at Sara who gave her a little smile and said
"Here we go!"
They opened their heavy car doors simultaneously and R.K. opened his a moment later. The hawkers stepped back to make room for the women to get out of the car and then closed in.
"Follow me!" said R.K. and Mary and Sara pushed their way though the crowd of sellers with many a "No, thank you"s and "No, not today"s and fell in behind R.K. as he made is way to the palace entrance.
Mary saw bracelets, necklaces, silk scarves, carved figures of gods and goddesses all on sale along with fruit, water, nuts and other goodies. Mary caught a glimpse of a female figure carved in a rich, dark golden wood. The small figure was of a many-armed goddess. The figure danced in her vision, swaying back and forth as the vendor, an old toothless woman, swayed with the crowd of hawkers. Mary looked at the figure as it moved along with her and noted that it had large breasts and a necklace of what looked like human skulls. Mary shuddered, but could not look away.
The figure was depicted standing on the body of a man, crushing his chest and groin with her feet. Her arms were akimbo and her tongue was sticking out of her mouth obscenely.
"Wait!" she yelled above the din of hawkers. Sara and R.K. stopped and looked back.
"What is that?" Mary asked as she pointed to the horrible figure of the multi-armed woman.
Sara followed Mary's finger to the now stationary figure a few yards away.
"It's evil," said Sara. "Don't look at it."
"I can see it's evil," said Mary, "but what is it?"
Sara sighed. The ragged crowd pressed in.
"It's the Hindu goddess Kali, consort of Shiva. She is the destroyer."
"She's amazing," said Mary.
"She's bad news," replied Sara with a sly smile.
"Come girls, come!" R.K. had returned to hurry them through the crowd and into the palace grounds. Mary looked back at the toothless old woman who was smiling right at her, holding the frightening figure before her, caressing it's front, fondling it lovingly as if she derived immense pleasure merely from the act of touching the small statue.
Mary stumbled as she turned and caught up with Sara and R.K. just as they passed through the gates of the old Mysore palace and into the shade trees beyond.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
In a fascinating but hardly surprising follow-on from the Mormon church's support of the "Yes on 8" hate campaign, there is a large movement afoot to boycott all things Mormon and all things Utah. Part of the effort is to encourage filmmakers to boycot the Sundance Film Festival until it moves out of Utah. LGBT activists are also encouraging supporters to boycott the Marriott hotel chain and its subsidiaries because of their close ties to the Mormons.
But what's more interesting, they're gearing up for a fight to strip the Mormon Church of it's tax exempt status. Clearly, battle lines have been drawn.
...Somehow an economic boycott doesn't feel direct enough; those who team up against gay people must learn that there are consequences.If you support this effort to take on the LDS, please sign on to this petition to strip the Church of its tax exempt status. For those of us who believe in equal protection under the law, it's our obligation to fight this hate with every means at our disposal.
That's why we are seeking to strip the Mormon church of its status as a religious organization. According to IRS law, "no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying)."
Thursday, November 06, 2008
In a development that can hardly be described as surprising, the wingnuts at redstate.com have begun to build their enemies list of McCain campaign staffers who dare to point out the shortcomings of Governor Sarah "Wink!" Palin. Their goal appears to be to follow in the footsteps of their ideological mentor, Richard Nixon. They want to "out" these staffers and prevent them from any sort of gainful employment during the 2012 campaign.
RedState is pleased to announce it is engaging in a special project: Operation Leper.We're tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others.
It is our expressed intention to make these few people political lepers.
They'll just have to be stuck at CBS with Katie's failed ratings.
So that would be one set of political lepers (redstate) trying to create another set of political lepers. Oh how I love it when Republicans eat their young!
We are rooting for Sarah Palin. Don't make us add you to our list. Do you really want to be next to Kathleen Parker in the leper colony?I'd be happy to join her, so please add me to your list! Anyone stupid enough to "root" for Sarah Palin must be on the wrong side of every issue.
From a vote accuracy and election capability standpoint? It seems so.
Voting machines that recently failed pre-election accuracy tests in Michigan are at the center of a disputed U.S. Senate race in Minnesota that hangs in the balance over fewer than 500 votes at press time.Are you f-ing kidding me? It's 2008 and we haven't learned to count yet? Holy disputed election totals, Batman.
Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson wrote in her October 24th letter that the ES&S M-100 optical-scan machines had inconsistently counted the same ballots that were repeatedly run through the machines during tests. She said that "four of our communities or eight percent" had reported inconsistent vote totals during logic and accuracy tests and that conflicting vote totals had surfaced in other areas of Michigan as well, though she didn't elaborate on this.
"The same ballots, run through the same machines, yielded different results each time," she wrote EAC Chairwoman Rosemary Rodriguez. "This begs the question -- on Election Day, will the record number of ballots going through the remaining tabulators leave even more build-up on the sensors, affecting machines that tested just fine initially? Could this additional build-up on voting tabulators that have not had any preventative maintenance skew vote totals?
"My understanding is that the problem could occur and election workers would have no inkling that ballots are being misread," she added, also saying that "this is the first time I have ever questioned the integrity of these machines."
Paper. Pencil. Booth. Locked box with slot. What more do we need? Come on... This is getting absurd!!
Normally, I don't reccommend anti-virus software for Mac computers. The underlying BSD operating system is stable and secure and essentially invlunerable to external attack. But after reading this, I can think of one Mac that's going to need a serious does of some kind of anti-viral remedy! And probably a big shot of antibiotics as well!
Justin Long has turned into quite a playboy! The “Mac Guy” dated Drew Barrymore for a while and has also been linked to Kirsten Dunst.You kiss your mother with that mouth, Justin? You're going to need a hazmat response team just to get rid of the smell. Yuck!!!
And now Long has a new target--Tila Tequila! Long was reportedly spotted on Halloween “hooking up” with Tila in Las Vegas.
According to Page Six, the two were spotted at Los Angeles airport and nightclub Noir. Apparently Long was even overheard "asking her to straddle him while making out."
Wasn’t she dating Courtenay Semel? We can’t even keep up anymore!
The most convincing evidence, for me, is number two
2. He is a big fan of Star Trek. He said himself: "I grew up on Star Trek. I believe in the final frontier." And, when Leonard Nimoy was the guest on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" in September, he said that he had run into "one of the presidential candidates" and that that candidate, had upon seeing Nimoy, given him the Vulcan salute. He refused to name the candidate, but said he "was not John McCain."Chills, baby. I got chills.
Live long and Prosper, President Obama! Oh, and may the Force be with you! (author promptly ducks to avoid the incoming fire!)
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
As we all celebrate the historic victory of President Obama, and the end of racial politics in America, we should pause to consider the fate of another oppressed minority in America. A minority that we as a nation still discriminate against without fear of recriminiation. Like the shout of "nigger" on a dusty Birmingham street in 1962, we endure in silence the shouts of "faggot" and "queer" in our midst. Our silence is a stain on our national character. This is the last great civil rights issue of our time and the retrenchment of the forces of hate against our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community has never been stronger.
The denial of 14th amendment rights to 10% of the American population simply because of their sexual orientation harkens back to the miscegenation laws in the south which prohibited mixed-race marriages. The last of these was struck down in 1967 when the Supreme Court affirmed the 14th Amendment right to interracial couples. Why can't we, as a nation, see through the fear and hatred of gays and lesbians, fear that blinds us to the affirmative nature of LGBT relationships and allow them the same rights the rest of us enjoy.
I am sad today because such hatred of the "other" still infects our body politic. Many continue to sit idly by as discrimination and hate rage in our midst. Hate driven by people who, due to ignorance or religious bigotry, believe that their fellow citizens who think or act differently than the they do should be subject to discrimination.
These people shout about the "defense of marriage" as if two men in love with one another is a threat to their own union. Can the existence of a lesbian married couple really cause your marriage to fail? How? We as Americans stand by and do not shout from the rooftops "This is wrong! This is un-American! We are all equal under the law!" Many of us stand on the sidelines because we are not gay. As Bishop Desmond Tutu so eloquently put it
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.We would be wise to remember the remonstrations of another religious figure, Pastor Martin Niemöller who penned the poem "First They Came..."
When the Nazis came for the communists,So while we raise a toast to President Obama and revel in the most improbable of Presidential victories, never forget the bigotry that still infects our nation and manifests itself, like a cancer returning from remission, to weaken our Republic and sap our collective spirit.
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Conservatives' response is a preemptive "nah, nah, can't hear you!" They contend that no matter how big progressives may win on Election Day, this is nonetheless a center-right nation.This is an extension of the conservative philosophy whereby ideology trumps reality, anecdote over outcomes. If they keep beating this drum, they expect that it will become the truth. That methodology has worked in the past. The trouble is, we, as a nation, are finally awake to this myth-making. And the press is on to it as well.
Indeed, a LexisNexis search shows this poll-tested term — "center-right nation" — is lately among the Punditburo's most ubiquitous Orwellian buzzwords. From a Newsweek cover story by conservative dittohead Jon Meacham to a Wall Street Journal screed by former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan to a Politico.com diatribe by former Rudy Giuliani aide John Avlon, the "center-right nation" phrase is being parroted with the propagandistic discipline of Cuba's Ministry of Information.
"As the Republican ticket continues to run against the very idea of progressive politics, they are sowing the seeds of the post-election realignment narrative," writes The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, adding that a McCain loss in such an ideologically polarized contest means "Democrats can justifiably claim that conservatism itself has been rejected."
That would be the very mandate for "direct, vigorous action" Roosevelt described in his 1933 inaugural address. Should a President Obama try to capitalize on it, he will have nothing to fear but fear itself.
The hateful Michelle Bachmann held her seat in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. Bachmann was the beast who called Obama and House Democrats "anti-American."
Bachmann overcame a polarizing comment she made last month that Barack Obama "may have anti-American views" to defeat Democratic challenger Elwyn Tinklenberg. Bachmann, a freshman representing the state's 6th Congressional District, had been favored to win re-election, but the comment turned the race into a tossup.The only upside here is that with the huge majority that the Democrats now have in Congress, her voice will be further marginalized.
We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man. - "How Long, Not Long" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. on March 25, 1965
Rest In Peace, Dr. King. That day has come.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
One more historic tidbit from the [Gallup] survey: Obama's favorable rating is 62% -- the highest that any presidential candidate has registered in Gallup's final pre-election polls going back to 1992.Heh! Has the Republican Slime Machine broken forever?
The Promised Land ...a message from Michael Moore
Monday, November 3rd, 2008
All of us.
You, me, and everyone we know.
Eight years is enough. Eight weeks was enough.
We have a chance to redeem this country, to prove we're better than this, that which Bush has made of us.
McCain is right about one thing: Barack Obama is the most liberal senator in the United States Senate. More liberal than Ted Kennedy. When was the last time you had a chance to send the MOST liberal senator to the White House? Trust me, it won't happen again in our lifetime.
Every vote is critical -- even in hard red states like Texas and Alabama; and true blue ones like New York, California and Michigan. Tomorrow, we need to create a massive popular vote that will give Obama a stunning mandate to return this country to we, the people. Let's write one for the history books and rocket Obama into the White House.
Expect trouble tomorrow. Stand your ground. Don't let some clerk turn you away. Make noise. Call the media if they won't let you vote. Let the Obama camp know. Check out his Voter Protection Center. Know where your polling place is. Be careful inside the voting booth. The ballot still reads like a Sudoku puzzle. Be prepared for long lines. That's ok, you know how to bring the party with you! Make new friends. Plot your local revolution. The 28-year rule of Republicans (and Democrats who act like Republicans) is over. The Reagan Era dies tomorrow night. My God, I truly thought it would never end.
There are over a million of you on my list. Each of you know 5 or 10 people who may not vote. Offer to drive them to the polls. If they live across the country, call them and tell them how much it means to you that they go vote for Obama. Take your co-workers to lunch -- and to vote. Be creative. Come up with ways to convince the undecided to get their decided on and go vote. Make it fun. Lead the horse to water.
60 seats in the Senate!
30-seat increase in the House!
It's in your hands. The Promised Land.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Prop 8 is in danger of passing in California. If that happens, hundreds of thousands of Californians (and ultimately the nation as a whole) will loose their rights under the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. Please, help our LGBT brothers and sisters in California defeat this terrible, bigoted proposition. Give what you can to No on 8.
Stay classy, Republicans!
Mich. woman: Supporting Obama? No treats for you
GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit woman has decided to scare up the vote among neighborhood children by just offering treats to John McCain supporters.
Shirley Nagel of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., handed out candy Friday only to those who shared her support for the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate Sarah Palin. Others were turned away empty-handed.
TV station WJBK says a sign outside Nagel's house warned: "No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters."
Nagel calls Democrat Barack Obama "scary." When asked about children who were turned away empty-handed and crying, she said: "Oh well. Everybody has a choice."
Saturday, November 01, 2008
"Now, listen, I've voted 'present' two or three times in my entire 25-year political career, where there might have been a conflict of interest and I didn't feel like I should vote," Boehner said. "In Congress, we have a red button, a green button and a yellow button, alright. Green means 'yes,' red means 'no,' and yellow means you're a chicken shit. And the last thing we need in the White House, in the oval office, behind that big desk, is some chicken who wants to push this yellow button."Calling a man who is likely to be the next President of the United States a "chicken shit" is beyond disrespectful. It demonstrates a lack of character that all Americans should challenge. This kind of person should not be permitted to serve the public. All Americans should be outraged that this is the kind of man who should be shunned and driven from public office.
And the audience was not impressed, to say the least.
"To hear [Boener] call [Barack Obama] a chicken shit in front of an audience was absolutely appalling," Heins said. "I couldn't believe it, this man's supposed to be a respected politician who's supposed to have a positive public image … It angered me that he would go that low in order to promote his own candidate."This modern Whig party is going the way of the Dodo bird.