Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why I love this man

Keith Olbermann's monologue tonight:

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions — its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History — and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England — have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty — and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today’s Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience — about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago — we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their “omniscience” as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens— must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart — that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: “confused” or “immoral.”

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” he said, in 1954. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”

And so good night, and good luck.

I'm nearly 40, and have the biggest schoolgirl crush on Keith and his enormous brain.

Katrina, one year later: Dial-a-Sham

"Want to gab with the sluttiest girls your nasty imagination can dream up? Mmmm...we can be whatever you want us to be, baby. After all, it is your fantasy..."

No, that's not my outgoing answering machine message; contrary to what some may think.

Instead, it's what victims heard when they tried to dial for Red Cross help after Hurricane Katrina. Not coincidentally, it was a telephone number provided by Kentucky Governor, Ernie Fletcher. 1-800-438-4637, for anyone interested. And it basically sums up where we were, where we are and where we're headed one year after New Orleans drowned.

What, might you ask, does examing Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath retrospectively and honestly have to do with calling sex lines? At first glance, not much. Look a bit closer, though...

Both activities require similar mindsets - above all, the ability to lie to ourselves. Our eyes averted, minds trying to block out more painful realities, desperate to put ourseves behind ourselves, we'll have a little trouble in the morning trying to face up to everything that's still going wrong.

The Bush administration has spent more time and effort scouting passable locations, posing for photo-ops and attempting to overwrite historical fact with glossy lies than they've spent actually fixing NOLA. Our media paints some lovely pictures, too. Unfortunately, they don't jibe with word from the ground, by people living outside the frames of pretty, posed, enforced realities.

From Donna and Paul at DailyKos, a plea for pets still separated from their owners...

One year later.

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune, today's headline: Feds to Begin Rental Assistance Cutoff.

Lake Worth, FL, finally gets FEMA money to repair a pier - on August 16, 2006.

From The Shreveport Times, in Louisiana: Nonprofits Still Awaiting Repayment from FEMA.

From the Free Internet Press, today: FEMA Red Tape Holds up Billions in Relief Funds for Katrina Victims.

It goes on and on. Just peruse your online news for more examples. More than most of us have time to read, no doubt.

One year later...not only are we still unprepared for another disaster, we've not even really done much to ameliorate the original. FEMA's in disrepair, with calls coming from conservative quarters to dismantle and shelve the program. Dismantle the same program that worked efficiently and successfully under James Lee Witt's tutelage during Clinton's term.

But this is what happens when the federal government is run by Grover Norquist types, those who wish to see federal government - and accordingly, federal oversight - shrunken until it can be "drowned in a bathtub." Of course they'd like to make it (and other programs like it) so ineffectual, so disgustingly and frighteningly inept that eradicating them seems the only logical step left.

Which brings me to the voices on the other end of that phone number we dial in the dark with a saddening blend of desparation and shame; they are voices of easy virtue, happy go lucky promises, breezy and insincere reassurances: our government.

This administration serves as America's political phone sex operators themselves, promising but never delivering, posing but never truly performing, serving up platitudes and photos but never genuine concern and remedies for what ails us.

In the dark, our leaders whisper in our ears, pretend to heed our voices and definitely take our money. What they are clearly incapable and uninterested in doing is actually caring about us at any hour, even our most desperate.

We learned this lesson last year, in our first collective, furtive call and today we're reminded once again, with so little progress and so much pain still left behind in New Orleans, one year later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

"The Yes Men" strike again - this time, New Orleans

Years ago I saw the documentary "The Yes Men" at Cedar Lee. For the unfamiliar,
check them out here.

Their premise is simple, but their acts bring new awareness and appreciation for the absurdity of corporate mentality and greed: impersonate movers and shakers in the business world and, through suggestion and implementation of the most ludicriously greedy, self-centered, and often cruel business plans, poke everyone's consciousness with very pointed sticks.

Today, they moved onwards and upwards, to the federal government. On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Yes Man Andy posed as a HUD housing official and began reopening public housing facilities in New Orleans. Said housing, primarily low income, was slated for demolition - often even though nothing was wrong with it.

Activist Andy Bichlbaum, pretending to be HUD "Assistant Deputy Secretary Rene Oswin," told hundreds of businesspeople at a forum the agency would reverse policy and reopen housing units now targeted for replacement by mixed-income development.

He promised to "fix New Orleans, not just for the benefit of a few but for everyone."

The audience applauded the speech and the moderator thanked "Oswin" for the "dramatic announcement."

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gave the preceding speeches at The Gulf Reconstruction and Hurricane Preparedness Summit, although neither was on the podium when the bogus official spoke.

The summit and action by The Yes Men come a day before the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city and led to the closing of New Orleans public housing.

The federal agency in reality aims to replace much of city's public housing with mixed-income development, arguing that will produce safer neighbourhoods and better lives. It confirmed that plan in a statement denouncing the stunt.

After seeing the Yes Men film, I immediately signed-on to become a "Yes Woman" and help raise awareness. If you've yet to see the movie or the group in action, check out their website. you hear that??

It's the sound of...freedom!

The first day of school, and I'm here dancing around the living room, blaring The Brian Jonestown Massacre. I feel lighter, younger, happier, prettier, sillier...and free!

It's been months since I've had the house completely to myself in the daytime. Literally months. Come to think of it, there's only been one night in months, too, and I spent it sleeping from 6 p.m. on.

Don't get me wrong; love the girls more than life, and am proud of the fact we're mostly weathering the teenage years without huge problems. That said, I really, really, really, really need some me time...and here it is.

I love school. Seriously, what a great invention.

What the *bleep* do we know?

Just watched this movie again Saturday night, and jury's still out on whether it's completely and intensely correct or complete drivel. Or both. What I did appreciate was the theory of cellular memory and the aging process. Though am not quite certain how to utilize and apply said information. Maybe that'll come in time.

So someone at Cleveland Craigslist's Rants and Raves section asked "What is love?" - all philosophical and deep, presumably after a long Saturday night. I answered his post, but then realized that this is just what love means to me...not necessarily to everyone. And while the response was purely true from my perspective, would venture to say it amounted to an incredibly tall order. One that maybe not anyone else would feel towards another person. Here's hoping the self-proclaimed questioning heterosexual male doesn't take it to heart and thus speed right off a cliff into suicide.

It's not understanding what love is that's difficult; it's understanding what another person really wants. That's tricky. Sometimes life would be infinitely easier if you could just immediately ask other people "What do you want from me?" when you start to know them. Would save so much time and indecision, not to mention misunderstandings and heartache. It would also be so much easier to express difficult emotions that way - like caring, anger and feelings of abandonment. Well, truthfully, it would only be really easy for me if I could do it from a safe, assured, clear another continent.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another year, another Emmy for The Daily Show

Maybe more than one, but I've got company so we keep stopping the DVR on the Emmy Awards. Just saw the ever-sexy Jon Stewart pick up his first of the night for Outstanding Comedy/Variety Series.

Whether covering such pressing issues as Future Shock or the wonderful, truthful, totally harsh take on how Lebanon feels about America, The Daily Show is consistently excellent and still an oasis of truth in a sea of lying liars masquerading as real news. All that, and the irony is the show's really good at doing hard news disguised as satirical commentary.

[Edit: Yes, more than one, actually. Poor Stephen Colbert, though. He's had a breakthrough year with The Colbert Report, and then to lose to freaking Barry Manillow... "Good evening, Godless Sodomites" indeed! ]

Here's the video from Stewart and Colbert's turn as presenters...hilarious!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Things you can't take on a plane anymore

[From last night's great return to HBO, "Real Time With Bill Maher" ...that man takes more vacations than Bush.]

Various items you should never be able to take on a plane (this would work so much better with video, and I'd post it if it could be found)

1. Armed and Hammas Baking Soda
2. Dr. Scholl's Shoe Bomb Inserts
3. Martyr Sauce
4. Jihad, Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo
5. Soap on a Fuse
6. Tic-Tocs
7. Behead and Shoulders Shampoo
8. Pray and Wash stain remover
9. Pezbollah

Here's a video of fearless leader Markos of Daily Kos on last night's Bill Maher...actually, Kos would hate to be called fearless leader. Maher makes the same mistake so many people have made about DailyKos - conflating it with a traditional blog.

Kos is community interaction, democratically driven. Markos, while the site owner, doesn't control content or overall message. As he said on Real Time last night, Daily Kos is about empowering everyday people to get politically involved - all voices and boats rising together.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A prescription for everyone

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where you've been, where you're headed and Bridget Jones

From where you've been to where you someday hope to arrive, and it's all summed up by dialogue from the oft-repeated on Bravo "Bridget Jones's Diary - now on Tivo!

Daniel Cleaver: Come on Bridget, we belong together - you, me, your little skirt. If I can't make it with you then I can't make it with anyone.

Bridget: That's not a good enough offer for me. I can't waste my whole life on someone who's just not sure. It's like you said, I'm still looking for something more extraordinary than that.

Mark Darcy: I don't think you're an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother's pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever's in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences... But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.

Bridget: Ah, apart from the smoking and the drinking, the vulgar mother and... ah, the verbal diarrhea.

Mark Darcy: No, I like you very much. Just as you are.

Bridget from the first movie? Scary resemblance to me, personality-wise. The second movie they made her a complete tool, though. And I've met plenty of Daniel Cleavers, but very few, if any, Mark Darcys in my life. Hence the "someday."

Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" on HBO

Watched the premiere of the first half of this film (to be repeated in its four hour entirety on August 29) on HBO last night. Lee manages to tie everything into a fairly cohesive whole without losing any of the natural impact or horror from the days following Hurricane Katrina. Quite powerful without being treacly or overtly biased.

The interviews are fabulous, as well. It was impossible not to cry, watching some of the people describe firsthand experiences, still carrying surprise that help did not arrive nearly fast enough. In America, so many of them repeated. Who could think this would be allowed here in America?

As someone who believes the aftermath of the hurricane and 9/11 serve as natural bookends to Bush's failed presidency, Katrina hammered home the administration's craven nature, the son's twist of a father's "Message: I care" credo, writ large and forever etched across the landscape -- "Message: I don't care," if you will. The shoddy and ineffectual crisis response served only as an exclamation point to a sentence most of us already heard loud and clear.

Lee manages to capture the incredulity and absolute shock so many of us felt, helplessly watching our fellow citizens suffer on the streets of New Orleans, and make us feel it all over again.

Monday, August 21, 2006


If it's said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation, than most women lead lives of quiet deprivation. Sometimes, it's a game: what can I live without today? Money? Time? My friends? Books? Food? Love? Sex? Sleep? How about all of it?

It's a game I'm getting quite good at. The more I want something, the more likely it is I'll sadistically withhold it from myself. And I'm not even sure why, exactly. Part of it belongs in the dustbin of history: the notion that we're the more delicate sex, fluttery-eyed little birdies who don't have actual needs.

Part of it centers around the perceived nobility of suffering coupled with the notion of never doing anything halfway. Jump in with both feet - if your life is not your own, why not make every aspect of it not your own? Sounds nutty, but there really is nobility in putting yourself last.

The other piece of it is simply being a female. We're hardwired and then, often times raised, to value connection, to nurture people we love, to think of ourselves last if we think of ourselves at all. And as much as I believe it's all bunk on some levels, frankly, I still do it, at various times picturing myself as Joan of Arc dressed in the warrior armor of Artemis.

Ironically, while doing that, I'm raising two females to deliberately put themselves first, in all things. They're strong, free-thinking, independent and come with highly tuned BS meters. Which is the way I think things should be.

Yet you cannot fight how you were raised, yourself.

So, I am woman....hear me do everything at once! Who cares if it's mostly only half-done and badly...this Citadel must stand, and stand alone.

But really, what am I and countless other mothers doing, running around like lunatics, trying to do everything for everyone every single day? Just what do we have to prove? That we're worth the same concern, the same care we put into our loved ones? That we are the exceptions to the rule? That we're somehow better equipped to do the impossible? That we don't need anything, or anyone - like some sort of female uber Terminator prototype?

Because no matter how hard we try, we're not going to prove any of that, or find someone willing to jump through all these hoops and hurdles we try to scale. It's not realistic. Hell, it's not even desired. If someone did for me all of that crap, I'd tell him/her to get off the street speed and sit still for a minute!

Really, I have no idea why some of us fall into this trap. Just know that, partly due to necessity, it is what it is. And that the myths driving the acts need to stop, with the next generation of females.

Anton has a new playmate....

Anton Newcombe's (Brian Jonestown Massacre) many detractors have lots to say about his ego. Well, massive ego or otherwise, it's hard not to love a man who posts the above picture at his blog. And right now I'm listening to Spun, off Strung Out in of the best cds ever made.


that boy who made you low
that boy don't even know
that boy who caused you pain
that boy's got shit for brains

had to let you know
'cuz he don't even
know what i know
you're my sunshine
you're my sunshine

sad girl, don't lose your faith
your tears are pretty diamonds
i'll kiss them off your face
i love to see you smiling

had to let you know
i had to let you know
you're my sunshine

just when you thought
that there couldn't be more
i can turn out the lights
and i'll show you it all
i can take you to heaven
before the sun comes up

it's the way that you smile
when you're talking to me
when i lost all my faith
you just made me believe
and i'll tell you all about it
get you closer to me

cause i feel like i've been spinning round and round
yeah I feel like i've been spinning round and round
feel like i've been spinning round and round

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The week of my life wherein people missed me

What does it mean, when someone says "I miss you" even though you've never gone missing? You've been here all along, easily located, within driving -if not shouting, stones' throwing or hugging distance?

This week my ex-husband admitted he missed me. Sure his wife would love to hear it. Nevertheless, it wasn't leering or creepy or a prelude to anything beyond that.

We did, after all, grow up together, have kids together, be kids together and have the kind of godawful brawls only people in love in their 20's are prone to having. I never much thought he appreciated me as a human being. More like "Wife Concept" - a blow-up doll with motility and an EverReady Battery.

Ironically, it was his friends, guys who were also my friends before the marriage, who gave me the human being warm fuzzies: reading my writing, helping decorate for holidays, complimenting dinner, treating me like an individual.

So it's of some minimal comfort to know, after 24 years of knowing one another, he found some value in me or our former relationship, or something like that.

And then, someone else implied they missed me. But it's not like I've been absent from school or moved to Zimbabwe, changed my personality or joined the Witness Protection Program. And it's not like my door's getting knocked down right now by all the people who've dropped out of my life. Maybe it's just a phrase, like "Good luck" and "Sleep tight" and "I'll talk to you later..." Something we all say just to fill up empty spaces in a conversation.

I really do know
what I genuinely miss, and the thing I'd run to if it were remotely possible: the way things were a few years ago.

If I could wave a wand and change my life I wouldn't leave the one I have now, exactly. Basic elements of it are nearly 40 I like the intrinsic me, a whole lot. Sure I could be more socially active, less prone to saying whatever I think at any given moment regardless of consequence, or date more, and I definitely need more sleep. But the basics - my brain, heart, general outlook, sense of humor, passion, senses of duty, loyalty and so forth are all things I really appreciate -- and the same things I'm looking for in someone else. And if I really wanted to be more socially active and date more, I would find the time and do so, like in the past.

The only thing bad about my life is what's happening to everyone else in it.

What I just want is to go somewhere peaceful and quiet, where these things aren't happening and I'm not the person designated to fix them all. Everything was like that in recent years, until some time last year.

Back then, it didn't even seem dull, all the nonstop movie marathons the three of us had, sleeping until 11 on weekends, dinner as a family every night, inside jokes and absolutely no big ripples in our happy little pond. The house was clean, the kids knew they had a mom who was there for them in all ways and who wasn't overtired, churlish, prone to tears at any given moment and more absent than present.

These may all sound stupid and dull to other people. But from where I'm sitting right now, they were perfection.

Batmobile -- Liz Phair

Fire up the Batmobile
Cause I gotta get out of here.
I don't speak the language.
And you gave me no real choice
you gave me no real choice
you made me see that my behavior was an opinion.

So fire up the Batmobile
Cause I gotta get out of here.
It's the mouth of the gift horse I know
But I gave it my best shot
I gave it my best shot
I gave you the performance of a lifetime.

So I hope you all will see
there just isn't a place here for me.
I look around and feel
like somebody must be fucking with me.
I just can't take any of you seriously
and I can't keep keeping myself company.

Fire up the batmobile
Cause I gotta get out of here.
Big shoulders block the view
You can't get your money back
you can't get your money back
you can't pretend that isolation is the same as privilege

So I hope you all will see
there just isn't a place here for me.
I look around and feel
like somebody must be fucking with me.
I just can't take any of you seriously
and I can't keep keeping myself company.

Happy Birthday, Big Dog!

Meant to post this earlier...since the 90's, I've come to view President Clinton somewhat differently than I did while helping campaign for him in the early 90's. Some of that comes with age, some with experience.

While Michael Moore once characterized Clinton as "the best Republican president we ever had," and rightly so, it's impossible in the age of George Bush not to look back fondly upon an intelligent, articulate, thoughtful presence having once graced the White House. Despite issues on which I disagree with Clinton's policies.

Who wasn't happier in the 90's, better off financially, more given to hope than despair?

We had a surplus budget, social programs designed to help the average person more than the wealthiest and/or corporate entitities and the boon of computer technology reshaping the way we interacted. Hindsight often dons rose-colored glasses without thinking, but in this case, the glasses are deserved.

So, Happy Birthday Bill Clinton. Your 2004 Convention speech moved me to tears - smart, compassionate, insightful and full of common sense. I sometimes watch it again when desperately in need of a world that makes sense.

The Speech (truncated for length)
"My friends, we are constantly being told that America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom and faith and family. We all honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.

We all want good jobs, good schools, health care, safe streets, a clean environment.

We all want our children to grow up in a secure America leading the world toward a peaceful and prosperous future.

Our differences are in how we can best achieve these things in a time of unprecedented change. Therefore, we Democrats will bring to the American people this year a positive campaign, arguing not who is a good or a bad person, but what is the best way to build a safe and prosperous world our children deserve.

The 21st century is marked by serious security threats, serious economic challenges and serious problems, from AIDS to global warming to the continuing turmoil in the Middle East.

But it is also full of amazing opportunities to create millions of new jobs and clean energy and biotechnology, to restore our manufacturing base and reap the benefits of the global economy, through our diversity and our commitment to decent labor and environmental standards for people all across the world...

... and to create a world where we can celebrate our religious, our racial, our ethnic, our tribal differences because our common humanity matters most of all.

To build that kind of world, we must make the right choices. And we must have a president who will lead the way. Democrats and Republicans have very different and deeply felt ideas about what choices we should make. They're rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home, and how we should play our role in the world.

We Democrats want to build a world and an America of shared responsibilities and shared benefits. We want a world with more global cooperation where we act alone only when we absolutely have to.

We think the role of government...

... should be to give people the tools to create the conditions to make the most of their own lives. And we think everybody should have that chance.

On the other hand, the Republicans in Washington believe that American should be run by the right people -- their people -- in a world in which America acts unilaterally when we can and cooperates when we have to.

They believe the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their economic, political and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on important matters like health care and retirement security.

Now, since most Americans aren't that far to the right, our friends have to portray us Democrats as simply unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America.

But we don't.

Americans long to be united. After 9/11, we all just wanted to be one nation. Not a single American on September the 12th, 2001, cared who won the next presidential election.

All we wanted to do was to be one country, strong in the fight against terror, helping to heal those who were wounded and the families of those who lost their loved ones, reaching out to the rest of the world so we could meet these new challenges and go on with our democratic way of life.

The president had an amazing opportunity to bring the country together under his slogan of compassionate conservatism and to unite the world in the struggle against terror.

Instead, he and his congressional allies made a very different choice. They chose to use that moment of unity to try to push the country too far to the right and to walk away from our allies, not only in attacking Iraq before the weapons inspectors had finished their work, but in withdrawing American support for the climate change treaty and for the international court on war criminals and for the anti-ballistic missile treaty and from the nuclear test ban treaty.

Now, now at a time when we're trying to get other people to give up nuclear and biological and chemical weapons, they are trying to develop two new nuclear weapons which they say we might use first.

At home, the president and the Republican Congress have made equally fateful choices, which they also deeply believe in.

For the first time when America was in a war footing in our whole history, they gave two huge tax cuts, nearly half of which went to the top 1 percent of us.

Now, I'm in that group for the first time in my life.

And you might remember that when I was in office, on occasion, the Republicans were kind of mean to me.

But as soon as I got out and made money, I became part of the most important group in the world to them. It was amazing. I never thought I'd be so well cared for by the president and the Republicans in Congress.

I almost sent them a thank you note for my tax cuts until I realized that the rest of you were paying the bill for it. And then I thought better of it.

Now look at the choices they made, choices they believed in. They chose to protect my tax cut at all costs while withholding promised funding to the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving 2.1 million children behind.

They chose to protect my tax cut, while cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of their job training programs, 100,000 working families out of their child care assistance, and worst of all, while cutting 300,000 poor children out of their after-school programs when we know it keeps them off the streets, out of trouble, in school, learning, going to college and having a good life.

They chose -- they chose to protect my tax cuts while dramatically raising the out-of-pocket costs of health care to our veterans and while weakening or reversing very important environmental measures that Al Gore and I put into place, everything from clean air to the protection of our forests.

Now, in this time, everyone in America had to sacrifice except the wealthiest Americans.

And most of us, almost all of us, from Republicans to independents and Democrats, we wanted to be asked to do our part, too. But all they asked us to do was to expend the energy necessary to open the envelopes containing our tax cuts.

Now, if you like these choices and you agree with them, you should vote to return them to the White House and the Congress. If not, take a look at John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats. We've got a different economic policy.

In this year's budget...

In this year's budget, the White House this year wants to cut off all the federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police officers under the COPS program we've had for 10 years. Among those 88,000 police are more than 700 members of the New York Police Department who put their lives on the line on 9/11.

With gang violence rising, and with all of us looking for terrorists in our midst and hoping they're not too well armed or too dangerous, the president and the Congress are about to allow the 10- year-old ban on deadly assault weapons to lapse.

Now, they believe it's the right thing to do. But our policy was to put more police on the street and to take assault weapons off the street. And it gave you eight years of declining crime and eight years of declining violence.

Their policy is the reverse. They're taking police off the streets while they put assault weapons back on the street.

Now, if you agree with that choice, by all means, vote to keep them in office. But if you don't, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter and stronger again.

On homeland security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for weapons of mass destruction. It cost $1 billion. It would have been paid for under our bill by asking the 200,000 millionaires in America to cut their tax cut by $5,000. Almost all 200,000 of us would like to have done that,
to spend $5,000 to make all 300 million Americans safer.

The measure failed. Why? Because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives opposed it. They thought our $5,000 was more important than doubling the container checks at our ports and airports.

If you agree with that, by all means, re-elect them. If not, John Kerry and John Edwards are your team for the future.

These policies have turned a projected $5.8 trillion surplus that we left, enough to pay for the baby boomer retirement, into a projected debt of almost $5 trillion, with over $400 billion in deficit this year and for years to come.

Now, how do they pay for that deficit? First, by taking the Social Security surplus that comes in every month and endorsing the checks of working people over to me to pay for the tax cuts. But it's not enough.

So then they have to go borrow money. Most of it they borrow from the Chinese and the Japanese government.

Sure, these countries are competing with us for good jobs, but how can we enforce our trade laws against our bankers? I mean, come on.

So if you think -- if you believe it is good policy -- if you believe it is good policy to pay for my tax cuts with the Social Security checks of working men and women and borrowed money from China and Japan, you should vote for them. If not, John Kerry's your man.

We Americans must choose for president...

... we've got to choose for president between two strong men who both love their countries, but who have very different world views: our nominee, John Kerry, who favors shared responsibility, shared opportunity and more global cooperation; and
their president and their party in Congress who favor concentrated wealth and power, leaving people to fend for themselves and more unilateral action.

I think we're right for two reasons.

First of all, America just works better when more people have a chance to live their dreams.

And, secondly, we live in an interdependent world in which we cannot possibly kill, jail or occupy all of our potential adversaries. So we have to both fight terror and build a world with more partners and fewer terrorists.

Now, we tried it their way for 12 years. We tried it their way for 12 years. We tried it our way for eight years. Then we tried it their way for four more. But the only test that matters is whether people were better off when we finished than when we started. Our way works better.

It produced over 22 million good jobs, rising incomes for the middle class, over 100 times as many people moved from poverty into the middle class, more health care, the largest increase in college aid in 50 years, record home ownership, a cleaner environment, three surpluses in a row, a modernized defense force, strong efforts against terror and a respected America in the world."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Nexus of Politics and Terror, continued

Raw Story has the video from Keith's excellent Countdown story on Bush's team playing politics with terror everytime their butts get in a sling. It lays out the case very well that coincidence can only labeled thusly when it doesn't happen with stunning frequency.

In other related news, push has certainly come to shove as regards the Federal ruling against NSA wiretapping as being unconstitutional. Alberto Gonzalez, who, as it happens appears more and more to be a giant playground putz, is essentially putting forth the amazing quasi-legal argument of "It's okay because we say so."

If we as the general citizenry do not get up-in-arms over such blatant disregard for both the Constitution and the Federal Judiciary, it will be okay just because they say so. On this issue and every damn other: torture, Presidential signing statements, conversion of the military tribunal to provide non-terrorist suspects their own judicial redress, and so on and so on and so on.

How could we just sit on our collective asses and let those idiots shred our Constitution, defile everything on which our democracy was built and then sneer at us?

Hostile? Hell yes, I'm hostile. Openly, wantonly, passionately hostile. Would that more people felt exactly the same.

Things I believe

1. It's better to give than receive - anything. Gifts, friendship, advice, a helping hand, love, sex, name it.

2. Life is, at various times, a gift, a chore, a drag, a pain, a mystery, worth having, worth losing, worth forgetting. Sometimes it's all those things at one time.

3. Time is only best spent with people you love who love you back, unambiguously and happily.

4. If you wash five pairs of socks, you will retrieve five mateless socks out of the dryer.

5. You often want what you don't have. When you still want what you already have that's the stuff you really wanted all along. Also, you've completely grown up and should consider yourself evolved.

6. Some people are in your life that make you feel stupid, tongue-tied, stricken with verbal diarrhea, confused, completely inane AND irrelevant. Those are always the people to whom you're strangely attracted. Unfortunately, since you come across as a bit of a psychotic ass with them and generally only them, don't expect them to ever reciprocate your affection.

7. No matter how many times you go over in your head all the wise, practical matters you'd like to discuss with someone who fits the description of #6, you're still going to babble like a monkey riddled with ADD as soon as they're around.

8. Stress makes your stomach feel like Freddy Krueger is performing particularly invasive acts of midwifery on you. But so does anything that makes you feel happy or excited. Basically, those days, weeks, months are meant for staying in bed and sleeping it off, by any means necessary.

9. If and when Jesus ever returns to Earth, you will be dressed inappropriately and running a bit behind.

10. When you're most in need of sleep, it will refuse to arrive.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Look again

Not a blank canvas
A ready made work of art
Valuable not for profit
Nor potential, but being
Swirls of color long dried
Patterns scarcely recognized

Some would not view it
Without alteration desired
A lighter hue or deeper lines
More Impressionistic than
Romantic or Modern
A change in basic design

Unwilling to corrupt meaning
Through reshaping or reform
ith thoughtlessness obscene
Instead I sit and look anew
To find what's yet unseen

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I still just don't get it

One of my first posts on here was called "I just don't get it." Comforting to see two years later I still don't get it...I get it less, in fact. A little less every single day. Which is allegedly a good place to start, but it leaves a person feeling like a fish out of water.

For starters, I don't get connection with other people. Why you feel it so intensely with some people, and not at all with others. Chemistry is a stupid word, outside of high school. It's a lame, made-up, quasi-important sounding word that attempts to describe what cannot be explained.

Tonight, though, I'm mystified and stymied by the thought that connection with others doesn't always run smoothly, no matter how much you feel for someone else. That there's always going to be a tension between two people who feel bonded yet seem to be seeking different things - at cross purposes, if you will. And that honoring that connection sometimes requests you give something up of yourself - something crucial, something you truly desire out of life. Is that kind of Faustian bargain worth it, in the long run? Hard to say.

Most of my issues, the reasons I'm grappling so mightily with heading towards the crossroads where I'm someone's daughter, but not actively daughtering (for want of a better word), and someone's mother who isn't mothering anymore, center around abandonment. Some would say that's due to adoption. I truly don't know, but I do know beloved people leaving my life carries far more impact than it does for other people in the same situation, from what many of them tell me.

It isn't just sad, or regretful, or a course of nature. It feels insurmountable, earth shattering and absolutely wrong on every level.

I'm such a coward. If freezing time at its most perfect moments is impossible, I'd prefer to leave first just not to have to feel so much pain and loss. Maybe that's the only way to avoid it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A life in letters

You say
the invisible "S"

on my shirt
means something other
than what I think
it does
"Sucker?" I ask
We laugh
"Stoic?" you offer
"Stupid," I reply

Because it's not:
serene or safe
silly or satisfied
stormless or smooth
soporific or sunny.

Maybe it's scared,
strained or spiritless
shattered or sad -
we continue to guess

But alone
in the dark,
pacing back and forth,
a shaky carnival duck
waiting to be shot,
my body reveals
what I cannot.

My father friend:
the "S" on my shirt
stands only for

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fool me eleven times...shame on all of us

Tonight's Countdown with K.O. featured a segment called "The Nexus of Politics and Terror," explaining that the Bush administration has used heightened terror alerts at times of political crises no fewer than eleven times. Including this latest politicization of the purported UK bombing plans, wherein Cheney referred to Dems as being "weak on terror," specifically Ned Lamont.

They claim nothing's more important than the safety of the American public; yet it becomes clearer every year that one thing is certainly more important: the safety of their well-dressed, wealthy, despicable behinds. Every single time they're in hot water - be it Rove facing Patrick Fitzgerald's Grand Jury, emerging details of Bush's failure to act on the August 2001 PDB regarding Bin Laden and during worldwide demonstrations against the Iraq war - they drag out the doomsday scenario like Marley's chains clattering behind them.

Without fail, all these terror alerts provide information long available, sometimes a full month earlier than they're disclosed.

Yet an increasingly complicit and docile media jumps aboard the screamin' meemie train and all news coverage even remotely critical of the administration is tossed overboard.

I no longer believe in terror as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney define it, in the best, most digestible bumper sticker terms, suitable for framing or needlepoint but lacking to anyone with a brain.

Like the boy(s) who cried wolf, it's simply impossible to take their puffed-up, political butt coverin' platitudes and pontification seriously anymore. Once or twice if terrorism and their bad press converged, it would still be within the realm of feasibility.

But eleven times? Not even I'm that gullible.

Are you?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Olberpornn of with video!

KO gives O'Reilly a TKO on Leno -- and here's the video. Damn, I love Keith Olbermann.

Teachers, philosophers and kids... oh my

This was an old draft...having pangs of conscience I removed it from the site at the time. But hey, the paper did get an "A" - even though the student got an "F" in the course. Which proves that try as one might, all good intentions's stupid, wrong and ultimately impossible to live someone else's life for them.)

Today I spent six hours working on an eleven page paper about a certain German philosopher whose first and middle initials are "G.W." Said philosopher, also considered a father of calculus, a mathematical genius and all around 17th century renaissance man, once proposed Eastern European countries band together to wage war on the non-Christian nations, beginning with Egypt.

Ironic, isn't it -- like Al Pacino in Godfather III, I keep trying to get away from politics, but it keeps pulling me back in.

Stay away, any warmongers with the initials of G.W.

The difference between the two men (aside from the whole calculus, genius stuff) is that this G.W. of old is still somewhat respected.

But for what, I ask you? For passages like this:

"...the most perfect of all beings, those that occupy the least volume, that is, those that least interfere with one another, are minds, whose perfections consist in their virtues. That is why we mustn't doubt that the happiness of minds is the principal aim of God and that he puts this into practice to the extent that the general harmony permits it."

Which is fairly straightforward, in comparison to, say, this:

-"...all true predication has some basis in the nature of things and...when a proposition is not an identity, that is, when the predicate is not explicitly contained in the subject, it must be contained in it virtually....Thus the subject term must always contain the predicate term, so that one who understands perfectly the notion of the subject would also know that the predicate belongs to it."

Pardon my crypticism (and for that matter, his) when it comes to full disclosure as to his name. You see, the paper wasn't mine to do. Lest my enabling of beloved children and placating of former teachers be unearthed, I'm forced to remain fuzzy on identities.

Said child was ill for days and in her normal state of procrastination. The teacher was apoplectic over the last "missing" assignment. His voice had a catch in it when he begged for the next paper to be done on time. A catch! I wanted to reach through the phone and give him a hug.

There's also that little matter of a paper I wrote in one of his classes over 20 years ago --- the one where he served as the Scrooge character to a class full of Tiny Tims, their Christmas vacations ruined by a creative writing assignment.

Guilt and karma, baby - they go together.

It was pity, all the way around. Rendered still more pitiful, given one night to try and understand G.W.'s hypotheses on God, substance, predication's influence on subject and the differences between contingent and necessary truths.

And that was before the physics stuff.

To my admittedly pedestrian eye, philosophers always seem to hedge their bets. Explains why many were lawyers and politicians. Maybe it's a genetic thing, a predisposition for abstruse wording obscuring fairly direct concepts. Like that sentence.

But, good God and butterflies, it's annoying.

I mean, he spends twenty minutes, 7 billion words and thousands of pages meditating on monads and how they carry God's essence. After that comes a two sentence paragraph that essentially says, "on the other hand, I may be wrong." The precursor to page 28 newspaper retractions about front page stories stemmed from philosophers.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't making sense of things in an orderly fashion supposed to be a philosopher's shtick? Cut to the chase, already!

It's like watching the movie Cold Mountain: hours and hours of pain for five second's worth of an ending that renders the entire exercise meaningless.

"Whoops, sorry. Nevermind!"

So, anyway, now I want desperately to go back to school and I'm feeling terribly guilty for cheating in high school -twenty years after high school - at the same time. Not to mention the fact that this post is nearly as bad as what it's complaining about: a whole lot of necessary sifting through stuff to arrive at one simple conclusion.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Invasion of the Brown Committee Chairpeople!

Just when you think their hatred and bigotry cannot get any more blatant...

Martin Peretz of the rightwing New Republic stated on Hugh Hewitt's show that it would be "scary" if the Democrats take either branch of Congress in November because he's "appalled by some of the people who would become head of Congressional Committees."

After Peretz' hit piece on Lamont, complaining about Sharpton and Jackson being integrated (no pun intended) into Lamont's campaign, and realizing the "appalling" people in line to become Democratic committee members include several African Americans - including my beloved John Conyers - I have to pick my jaw back up off the floor.

The GOP: setting back all values to the 1800's.

Here's part of Jesus' General's open letter to Peretz on how best to convey his "concerns" to the American public. I love JG, and here's why:

How about making a movie about it? Michael Moore and Al Gore used film very effectively to promote their seditious ideas to the public. We could do the same. Of course, we don't have enough time to do it from scratch, so we'll have to use stock footage and edit it quickly.

Wait. We won't have to do anything. DW Griffith's Birth of a Nation would be almost perfect as is. All we'd need to do is add a Toby Keith soundtrack. And the scene where all the brown reconstruction-era legislators are eating fried chicken, drinking whiskey, and leering at white women in the House Gallery would make a great trailer and poster--people wouldn't even need to see the film to get our message.

All we'll need is a little promotional money. A couple of million should be enough. Could you ask your wife for it?

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

2004 Statistical Voting Anomalies Revisited

Robert F Kennedy Jr has a stunning voting fraud argument in a recent Rolling Stone on 2004's presidential election. He examines it from every angle (polling discrepancies, voting surpression in predominantly African American/urban districts where Democrats are strongly favored, overseas ballots never arriving and how all of these voting errata skewed heavily in Bush's favor). Studies since have shown that roughly one out of every 100 ballots cast were spoiled by "faulty voting equipment."

Kennedy didn't rely strictly on articles or even recycle other information, though copious footnotes abound. He went straight to Ohio and spoke with elections officials, sifted through records and personally investigated. Long a hero for his environmental advocacy, his efforts here are equally stunning. Now he's calling for a criminal investigation and the article attests to his layout of enough fact to "convince a jury."

But the part that really stuck with me was this:

The evidence is especially strong in Ohio. In January, a team of mathematicians from the National Election Data Archive, a nonpartisan watchdog group, compared the state's exit polls against the certified vote count in each of the forty-nine precincts polled by Edison/Mitofsky. In twenty-two of those precincts -- nearly half of those polled -- they discovered results that differed widely from the official tally. Once again -- against all odds -- the widespread discrepancies were stacked massively in Bush's favor: In only two of the suspect twenty-two precincts did the disparity benefit Kerry. The wildest discrepancy came from the precinct Mitofsky numbered ''27,'' in order to protect the anonymity of those surveyed. According to the exit poll, Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only thirty-eight percent. The statistical odds against such a variance are just shy of one in 3 billion.(40)

For anyone still doubting massive election fraud was perpetrated by the GOP on a national level, you owe it to yourself to read the entire article.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just because

Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words.

Olbermann hits the right balance

The only talking head willing to state last night that given the government's well-documented use of terror alerts and events to control a fearful populace, the timing of yesterday's horrific disclosure of the UK terrorist plot should be viewed with a skeptical eye.

Not the plot itself, of course. Just the timing - and of course -political hay-making use of same. Since Bush approved raising the alert level to red on Sunday, according to White House spokesperson Tony SnowJob, the whole orchestrated "soft on terra" meme spouted from Cheney, Snow, Bush and others regarding Ned Lamont was premeditated capitalization.

Think that one over: While people are planning to bomb nearly a dozen passenger planes into oblivion, your government - our government - takes it as an opportunity to further their own agenda.


But ever since Bush and Condi said the events in Lebanon were tragic, but also an "opportunity," what could we expect, really?

For a funny brilliant, scathing indictment of those remarks from an international point of view, click on The Daily Show segment below. It's cutting, but true.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tripping the light fantastic in the right-leaning blogs

Before it becomes too difficult, quantifying and (dis)qualifying the 1,005 reasons being bandied-about in the right-wing blogosphere as rationales for Lieberman's loss to Lamont, it's time to write 'em down.

1. Lieberman's website was "hacked" on election day.

That's one of the official excuses, coming from the Lieberman party itself. Utterly ridiculous. Envision, if you will, hordes of Connecticut voters, all set to go out and pull the lever for Lieberman, suddenly stopped in their tracks because won't pull a Lazarus via Internet Explorer.

Yes, and rumor has it that Mel Gibson went out and got drunk because the satire website of Mel's Musings never goes down. Really.

Historically speaking, I hear it told Titanic never would've sunk if someone hadn't pulled a DOS Attack on

2. Clinton supported him.

Wow, that whole "Clinton's to blame for everything" meme really doesn't end, does it? Six years into Bush's failing presidency, and we can still find things for which to blame Clinton: lost garbage cans, ring around the collar, bad haircuts...THEY'RE ALL CLINTON'S FAULT!! Dear Meme Police: arrest these idiots.

3. Lamont is rich.

Sure, he is. Which is part of why dyed-in-the-wool Dems with blue collar roots, like me, had trouble climbing aboard the Ned Express initially. But if you think an incumbent, pathologically trysting with big corporate interests like a two-dollar whore for 36 years doesn't have some serious bucks...there's nothing we can't sell you.

4. Lieberman is Jewish

This from the life-sized bobblehead drug addict, Rush Limbaugh. Seriously, he claimed the entire state of CT just woke up a few days ago, scratched their collective heads and said..."Sure, we voted him in for decades - but I think he may be Jewish. Let's check that out."

And you thought it impossible to alienate an entire state more than Joe already had, didn't you? Way to go, Limbaugh; if ignorance is bliss you're twirling the flaming baton of giddy right about now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hedwig: Wig in a Box video

Through the magic of the Internets, here's the Hedwig and the Angry Inch "Wig in a Box" video, my erstwhile stress-relieving drive time sing along:

"I look back on where I'm from...
Look at the woman I've become...
And the strangest things seem suddenly routine..."

Music Video Codes by

You may need Internet Explorer to view. Lately when it comes to the Hedwig soundtrack, my tastes lean more towards Exquisite Corpse.

Lamont wins!

Lamont beating Lieberman was a nailbiter, sure - but it signals a sea change in Democratic politics, perhaps even in the greater sense of overall American attitude.

"This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. "This is not about the war. It's blind loyalty to Bush."

Not sure where exactly Lieberman was Bush's love child (sounds like something for the Enquirer to sort out), but if yesterday's rumored and unprecedented 50 percent turnout rate holds, so does the rest of Rahm's assessment. Fealty to a failed ideology and fallen political leader from the other side of the aisle won't endear you to an electorate disgusted with same - something many other Democratic leaders need to realize.

It's not rocket science; just simple common sense: the time to embrace people-powered politics is long overdue, and not one Senate seat should be considered truly safe unless it's being used to fulfill the will of those it's duty-bound to serve.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And speaking of stuff coming out of your stomach

How sickening, Bush's comments today on the Middle East as he rode off into his vacation sunset. I mean, really - take another vacation, Mr. Preznit. You've earned it. Okay, really? You haven't earned it, and your facile directives regarding the ongoing crisis between Israel and Lebanon prove you haven't the mettle to even work up a coherent thought, let alone a plan.(As well as your glib address of the Iraq situation, stating the Iraqi citizens chose against civil war when they voted...but we'll skip that right now.)

Do you realize, Leisure Suit Shrubby, how much your own actions, America's actions, contribute to the pervasive lawlessness playing out across the world? Probably not.

"What I would give to be 16 again!" Bush yelled out at one point as he mashed the pedals of his Trek bicycle through a wooded area.

In fact, Bush does not ride quietly, constantly shouting out in his Texas twang the names of trees and geographic features and yelling at himself to pedal faster.

"Air assault!" he yelled as he started one of two major climbs...

Ugh. That just makes me sick. What next, some donuts on your bike and jokes about circular firing squads? The so-called leader of the free world with as much depth and resonance as the down feathers on his vacation bed.

And then the Alien popped outta my stomach...

...early this a.m., just like Lance Henrikson in the movie Alien. Okay, no. It just felt like that.

Instead, I lay on a lovely ER bed, blood drained from me by a nurse named Michael, calming nature scenes playing across the television, my intestines being beaten about like blind kids were trying to tweezer them up in a game of Operation .

Wow, way to cope with stuff, Anne. You're handling everything so magnificently, here at 2 a.m. in the local hospital. Admitting you've been under stress lately. That phrase sounds so (as the girls would say) "the gay." So soap opera. So insipid. Who's not under stress lately?

So, after x-rays, bloodletting and the gathering of various other bodily fluids, it was determined that...we don't know what's wrong. Probably spastics living in my colon. But it's been 24 years since the last time I slapped 'em with a forcible detainer notice. Not coincidentally, it's also been about 24 years until this one that I lived intensely with my adoptive parents, under the ever-present menacing gaze of dear brother. Does anyone see a connection here? Just me? Okay, then.

In short, I'm not dying. Monkeys are not springing from my nether regions. No Sigourney Weaver impressions from me. Instead, I'm apparently internalizing everything to the nth degree and decided that some sort of physical manifestation of mental and emotional stress would play better on tv. And between not eating, not sleeping much and trying to exercise away everything...I've screwed up my system.

That's gonna be about $5,000. But if I think about that part, I'll end up back in the ER.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Olberpornn of the week

If it weren't for Keith, whole weeks might pass without any laughter. Instead, we get Mel Gibson Backstory Puppet Theater. What a sad world it would be without Mr. O.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Words and actions

How hard it is to learn you're not the person you thought you were. That you're not even the person you wished you were, and that, in some ways, you just cannot do anything to bridge that distance.

I've always been someone who believed I'd be there for the people I loved whenever they needed me. And honestly, I'm trying. But I can't stop this train. I can't even lift you off the floor by myself - though I promise you, I'll try again, and even if it's only for a few hours, like yesterday, we'll get you on your feet again.

But someday soon the time will come when I cannot stop this at all, or even help it, and inside I know I'll feel like I've failed you. It's already starting to consume me, the knowledge that no amount of love or care or time or help will circumvent the reality, or make your departure any easier on either of us.

Wednesday, as you sat there, looking sad and confused, defeated, legs akimbo, your hair all over the place, you never looked more like your father. Leaving you, I remembered how broken I was back when he died, how strong you were, tucking kleenex into my pockets, putting your arm around the shoulder of my navy blue wool coat as I wriggled in the church pew, trying to find somewhere to hide. I was so mad at him for leaving me, because he was the greatest friend and I was too young to understand.

And stubborn as I am, despite my age, I again keep wanting to do nothing more than rail, throw a fit, make this all just stop, somehow. What I wouldn't give to go back, even five years, back when I thought you weren't doing well. Where comparatively speaking, you were terrific - only I didn't know it. Not much progress, all these years.

I'll carry you as far as I can. I promise. Just like you used to carry me around on your shoulders, back when I thought you were a giant in control of the entire universe. As much as it is humanly possible, I want to be the person I always said I was - the person you've always been for me, dad. But when the time comes when nothing I can do will mean anything or make anything better, I'll try not to be mad at you for having to leave me - and not mad at myself for being unable to make any difference at all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ned Lamont

I confess to being out of the loop lately when it comes to primary races, challengers and the like. So seeing Ned Lamont, Lieberman's opponent in CT, speak so eloquently, passionately and forthrightly on The Colbert Report last night really wowed me. Watch for yourself, below.

Lamont's been fighting an uphill battle against Joe Lieberman, a 35-year incumbent, about whom the only thing democratic is the letter "D" after his name. Joementum, as he's less than affectionately titled, is a verified Bush bootlicker whose quotes are more easily digested when assumed made by Bush himself. He supports corporations over people, no timetable on Iraq, and basically grovels about the GOP table like a starved mutt in search of scraps.

But, I digress. This isn't about Joe's fealty to King George. Instead, it's about Ned Lamont. He's got a voice that rings true: in politics, that's often a curse. But for many dissatisfied, disillusioned Americans it's like hearing Moses call from the wilderness about now. Idealism, passion, drive trump his inexperience. In fact, in the face of Leiberman, who has spoken about his position as though it were a lifelong appointment and about as interesting as watching geriatric shuffleboard, Lamont's personality shines even greater.

To learn more about Lamont, click here.

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