Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Apparently Dennis Kucinich is saying what the rest of us have thought all along. Going to war with Iran is a mind-bendingly stupid idea. Or maybe it's mental illness. But can it be mental illness if it's exhibited by the most powerful man in the world? Maybe there's some small wrinkle in the USA PATRIOT act that disallows this diagnosis, makes it impossible, makes it illegal.
I expect this will pass... bye, bye Dennis.
No matter, I started answering her questions. And in the process I learned something interesting. They don't really care what we think! They can't really process that. They ask questions that are pre-formed and which assume a huge agenda. There's no room to move when answering. They don't know that Ron Paul exists! The only way to indicate that I wasn't a xenophobe and would not immediately send all illegal aliens back to their country of origin was to say we should make them all pay a fine and apply for, and then wait for approval before we allow them to stay here. They wanted to know which candidates displayed "leadership and vision" and none-of-the-above was not an answer. They asked me to take Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani seriously. Ugggh. First they asked me what is my religion and then they asked me how often I attended church-- after I told them I was an atheist! I wouldn't tell them my combined household income.
I said I believed all of the Democratic candidates would lie to their mothers, but she didn't ask about the Republicans, who I believe would all lie to their mothers, then steal all their money, and ship them to nursing homes where they'd be tied to their beds until they died of bedsores.
We live in a time of an almost stunning disconnect between the world as it exists, and the world our politicians can deal with. Corporations (monopoly capitalism) and lawyers run this country, and any initiatives which would change that power structure are immediately squashed. Our health care system is broken beyond repair, but it can't be fixed because no one can stand up to an industry that gobbles up almost 20% of our total economy.
Too many people live outside the "system," because the system has become too exclusive. Intolerance and disrespect and inhumanity in the name of security and order are now the norm. Our government kidnaps and tortures people! Greed makes the economy work and intolerance makes the social system work. Right now our government is fighting terrorism by sending our military to the middle east and shooting up the place and killing children and grandmothers. This is not making us more secure from terrorists!
It's fine now, when the economy allows us to buy hiding places from the freaks, whackos, criminals, mental patients, and terrorists among us, but when something bad happens, look out! Greed-capitalism has taken away our character, and easily digested Christianity has taken away our moral foundation, and gated communities have taken away the need for us to live with our social mistakes.
And high interest revolving credit, mortgage debt, and high taxes have eaten away our flexibility to change anything. The law says if you have a couple of million dollars to spend on your defense team, you can literally get away with murder. It also allows Visa to charge 35% interest on credit card accounts that are past due. This isn't Elysium, it's Gomorrah.
All this I find quite disheartening. But I couldn't tell that to the ABC news poll. It's not what they wanted to hear. Pity.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Then I discovered being forty and tall and good-looking and well dressed and drunk could make me appear to be confident and decisive. The less I let on exactly what I was feeling, the more I seemed like my ideal role model. Others thought that too. I had arrived. I still seem that way-- sometimes even when I'm sober.
But I'm not-- confident, I mean. I see that now that I'm sober most of the time. All of my plans of action were shams. All my decisions (many of them, at least) were wrong. I'm not a deer in the headlights, but I'm unsure.
That is all.
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Monday, October 15, 2007
I shook my head, and probably had a smug, self-righteous look on my face as I headed back to my car, and at the same time realized the man and woman who were walking up the garage ramp were indeed headed to the silver Prius, and as I got into my car, he yelled to me, “hey, what were you doing there, by that car?” (as if it wasn’t his) and I said, “I noticed a hand-written sign in the window, so I got out to read it… Oh, it looks like you’ve been booted,” and closed the door of my car and, while the woman pattered on about, “oh, noooos, your car… blah, blah, blah,” I drove off. What a dipshit! He seemed like an intelligent, affluent, good-looking 50+ year old with a hot, denim clad, spiky-red-dyed-chopped-hair coiffed girlfriend (hmmm…), who had twice, in two weeks (at least) driven into the parking garage at noon and taken a reserved spot right near the entrance. Then he had the audacity to somehow believe I was messing with his car and ask me about it.
And the idiot got booted! I’m not celebrating. I’m not… well, maybe a bit.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
So what we've decided to do, fellow Dems, is get all sanctimonious on them, and pass a non-binding resolution which will, once and for all, define the mysterious and sudden disappearance of approximately 90% of all the extant members of an entire nationality-- which we apparently didn't actually notice or spend too much time wringing our hands over at the time, or in any of the ensuing eighty-eight years-- as a genocide, darn it. Those Turkeys thought they could get away with it, but, well they're not going to now, dagnabb it, and we're plenty worked up about it now. So we're going to have a law. And anybody who doesn't agree is a durn genocidalist their self. So thur.
Our administration (not to put too fine a point on it) doesn't think this is a good thing, including Condoleeza:
"The passage of this resolution at this time," Rice said Wednesday, "would be very problematic for everything we are trying to do in the Middle East."This is perfect! We're so in bed with so many horrible people (Mussharaf in Pakistan, Gaddafi in Libya, all the various African "philosopher kings," and those fine upstanding democrats in Columbia and Peru and Costa Rica, and finally Turkey, who is a member of NATO), that the stain will never come off. But do we really want to "take a moral stand" right now? This is ugly and a lot like shooting ourselves in the foot.
The bulk of U.S. air cargo and about one-third of the fuel headed for Iraq passes through Turkey, Gates said, and passage rights would very much be put at risk if this resolution passes. (from the International Herald Tribune)
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
What have they done? This is what they've done. Quoting from CBS News:
According to the report, Rita Katz, who runs SITE, told The Post she turned the video over to the White House on the condition that it not be made public until the material was released on line by al Qaeda's own media wing.
Katz told The Post that by the afternoon of Sept. 7, the day she turned the video over to White House officials, it had been leaked and was appearing on myriad news Web sites and television networks around the world.
SITE claims the White House leak - the source of which had not been confirmed, according to the report - tipped al Qaeda off to the glitch that had been exploited for years by the company, rendering the practice useless for future intelligence gathering.
This is about a private firm who eavesdrops on Middle Eastern scuttlebutt. One assumes they're good at it, because they came up with a very useful item, viz the "pre-release" version of a video of Osama Bin Laden that was supposed to be released on the anniversary of Sept. 11th. President W and company, who are
- frankly desperate to keep people scared and edgy (i.e. easy to cow and agreeable to things like electronic eavesdropping, secret prisons, torturing prisoners to see if they're innocent, extraordinary rendition, national ID cards, identifying and repatriating aliens, that sort of thing), and
- frankly maintain a front office that's full of blonde totsies who are PR pros and re-election shills and fund-raisers.
Unfortunately, they were told specifically not to do that, because it would put at risk an elaborate, expensive, and possibly dangerous intelligence gathering endeavor that took a long time and a lot of effort to put into place. The name of the organization is SITE, and I know nothing else about it, except that they're pissed off.
The White House thinks this stuff is something akin to industrial espionage-- where one company is trying secure an advantage by finding out the marketing plan for their competitor's products, or who the rival baseball team is planning to hire as a catcher for next season. Do we really want these guys to be in charge? How stupid can you be and still remember to breathe?
Or could this perhaps be PR from same SITE, Inc., perhaps as an excuse for their system not working? Are there really "private" espionage firms? Who are their customers? Could this be "news" that was seeded by the Democrats (or perhaps rival Republicans?), who have their own agendas? It makes visceral sense to me that the entire front-facing doorway to the Bush administration is run by PR people. And I know that if someone actually plucks Osama Bin Laden from his soiled and unlit rat hole in Pakistan, many people will be out of a job. Maybe, though, there's more to this story. I remember when it was possible to trust the media to sort out this kind of stuff. This story may disappear. Stay tuned.
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Monday, October 08, 2007
This was fascinating! The following weekend we gathered in my friend's kitchen again, to play cards. This time, though, the tank was off-limits. There were no fish in it! Where are the fish? I asked. And what happened is this-- when the fish had tasted live prey, they changed. They attacked each other. One by one, the fish disappeared. First they'd be seen with bites missing from their fins or their tails or their bellies. The next thing anyone knew, they were gone. When there were only two fish left, a young blue neon tetra with a massively chewed up tail, and the tiny, lazy shark who hung out at the bottom of the tank, and then the tetra disappeared, it was easy to see who had won. The owners disposed of the now feral shark (they'd all lived together in apparent harmony for several years before the live-flies-as-food incident), and my friends left the tank uninhabited for a few weeks before they started over. Fascinating.
So then I found this article in the New York Times, about how horrific rapes are becoming more and more common-- and much more brutal-- in East Congo over the last ten years. Apparently there are a large number of exiled Ugandan Hutu warrior bands (among the other armed and warring bands of marauders), who had participated in the slaughter of Tutsis in their country back in the early 1990's. And now they've become like those fish. They rape females as young as three and as old as eighty-one. They're horrible. It's a nauseating and incredible tragedy. Those who are perpetrating these crimes can barely be described as human. Violence isn't just a "one time" problem. It creates more violence. It has to stop, and the only way to stop it is by perpetrating more violence. People are really messed up. Uggh.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Emotional generalizations like this aren’t that useful, I think, nor are they “true” in any way besides emotionally. But damn, it’s easy to wonder if I’ll ever catch a break.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Some people only survive by sucking the life out of others. They never get to experience how it feels to be blessed for their existence, or to work and struggle to earn it themselves. I feel nothing but pity (and a bit of revulsion) for them. They must always live in fear they won’t find another host. And their mouth will always be shaped like a lamprey’s, so once they bite on, they can hold on-- ugly, fearful, desperate… a parasite. Maybe I do care.