Saturday, May 31, 2003

Chocolate is bad for you, anyway

Bean over at Alas writes today about a few shockingly offensive and sexist ad campaigns for chocolate bars in the UK. The most horrible included a "top ten" list of things women can't do.

Top Ten Things Women Can't Do:
-Make a Decision.
-Watch Football Without Talking.
-Drive in a Straight Line.
-Use Ten Words When a Hundred Will Do.
-Open a Can Unaided.
-Use a Urinal.
-Own a Pet Spider.
-Speak on the Phone for Less than 15 Minutes.
-Understand Cricket.
-Buy a Yorkie.

A "Yorkie", by the way, is the chocolate bar being advertised here. Before I go off on my rant, let me just add that no one understands Cricket. That said, this list is incredibly offensive for obvious reasons, but also the first item on the list is the most incorrect! Men are much worse at making decisons than women. I don't know how many times I've had one variant or another on this conversation with my husband...

Me: "So, what movie do you want to see?"

Him: "Uhh, I dunno, whatever you want."

Me: "Action, comedy, drama?"

Him: "I don't care."

Me: "Let's go see The Pianist."

Him: "No, not that, too depressing."

Me: "Okay, so what do you want to see?"

Him: "I don't care, whatever you want to see."

Seriously, make a decision occasionally boys! It's very annoying! (Yes, I know the irony of complaining about the stereotypical assigning of traits to women, and then turning right around and assigning those traits to men, but I wasn't being that serious.)

But really, that is a very offensive ad campaign. I'd like to think if it were happening in the States there would be a huge outcry, but on the way to work every day I pass a huge billboard that says "Here's to Twins!!!" and pictures two identical women snuggling very close together.

Ugh, really makes me want to put up a huge billboard with a giant closeup of a male crotch in a bananna sling that says "Here's to Franks and Beans" and see how they like that one...but no one appreciates good vigilante justice anymore.

Actually, maybe they do. Ampersand read my response to this situation in his comments and pointed me toward this article about Operation T.I.T.S.

Shortly after the twins campaign began, a group of activists formed an organization known as "Operation TITS (Tactical Interventions Targeting System)." Last week, TITS operatives scaled two Coors billboards--one on Southwest Arthur and the other on Southeast 11th Avenue--and modified them with posters and paint to read, "Here's Sexism."

Bless them, really.

Note: this post appeared in its original form as a comment on Alas, a Blog.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Although it's not much of a difference...

There's a difference between being on Jackass and just being a jackass.

GAHANNA, Ohio (AP) -- A 13-year-old boy who wanted to make his own version of "Jackass: The Movie" threw a cup of boiling water on his best friend as he slept, causing second-degree burns, police said.

Collin Gaffney was charged with felony assault.

Police Lt. Jeff Spence said Gaffney videotaped the May 19 incident and others in earlier weeks. The boy told police he planned to make his own movie of pranks similar to "Jackass," a movie version of the defunct MTV show.

I've never understood the reasoning behind stunts like this. Maybe it's the teenaged testosterone? Is this yet another reason why it's better to be a woman? (No offense, guys...)
Bigot Scouts

I've never understood the Boy Scout's ban on gays. Apparently, neither have certian branches of the Boy Scouts.

The board of the Cradle of Liberty Council, which has 87,000 members in Philadelphia and two neighboring counties, voted unanimously this month to make the change after discussions with gay activists and other community leaders that began two years ago.

"We disagree with the national stance, and we're not comfortable with the stated national policy," council Chairman David H. Lipson Jr. said.

I think this is excellent, and a step towards the good. Being gay is more than having sex with the same gender. Just like being a straight woman doesn't mean I want to have sex with every man I come across (or even any men I come across) being a gay teenaged boy scout doesn't mean that you will want to have sex with all your troop-mates. So, whatever the Boy Scouts are afraid of here is totally ridiculous, and I applaud this Philadelphia group for recognizing that.
Rubber Lovers

All those nay-saying anti-sex education Santorumites, it turns out, were wrong about giving condoms to teenagers.

"Condom availability did exactly what we would have hoped it would do. It didn't get kids to have sex but it did get them to use condoms if they were already having sex," says study co-author Carol Goodenow, a student health official with the Massachusetts Department of Education. The researchers report their findings in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Teenagers are going to want to have sex, no matter what you tell them or what they are going to say to you. They just are. They're genetically designed to. So, why not give them something to protect themselves with if they ever do make that choice, during a hot an heavy moment when they have no control over themselves?
Another reason why is good to be a woman

Apparently, the fairer sex actually has more tolerance for pain than those big manly crybabies.

When estrogen levels are high, there's an increased number of areas in the brain where endorphins can "park." The more "parking places" available, Zubieta says, the more endorphins there are on call, waiting to flood the body with "feel good" chemicals capable of overriding pain signals.

Of course, my mother, a single mother of two, could have told you that already. Apparently I was a 10 pound baby.

Quite busy, preparing for an out of town visit, and have to get done crocheting (is that how you spell that?) a 17 feet long Dr. Who scarf (in the heat of summer, I know), so this distracted linkfest is all I have time for today!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003


Welcome to the Blogroll to Untelevised, Talkleft, Silver Rights, and ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose!
DIY Campaigning

This really appeals to the punk in me. Never let millionare campaign donors do what we normal people could do better ourselves.

From the site:

George W. Bush is a product, whether you like it or not. He is being promoted to the American people through an advertising campaign that has tens of millions of dollars at its disposal and it seems, the cooperation of the major media outlets of this country. Unless you have a vast resource of wealth to buy advertising and influence, there is no way you, as an individual, can compete with this promotional onslaught directly. However, through alternative means, you and others can counter the carefully manufactured image of George W. Bush.

I can see it as a rallying cry..."Download, print, copy, distribute! Download, print, copy, distribute!"

Via Cursor.
Have they been reading my journal from high school?

Via skippy I find the very amusing Goth-O-Matic Poetry Generator.

Here's what I came out with.


the night falls as if slain by the sun, stricken are we.
the salvation for which you pray
flares once, then dies,
devoured by guilt.
all hope must end.

your soul thrives no more.
how could you abandon me?
shadows surround us, crying,

I really think I wrote that poem already, in 1992, while listening to Bauhaus or something.
That's not Ariel Sharon, that's Mystique pretending to be Ariel Sharon.

I'm crossing all my fingers. I'm holding my breath. Perhaps I'm very, very naive, but I really hope this means something good will happen.

J E R U S A L E M, May 27 — Unbelievable. That was the word on everyone's lips on today after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a champion of Jewish settlement in areas Palestinians want for a state, described Israel's hold on land in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as "occupation."...A former general, the 75-year-old Sharon has called the West Bank many things before — the biblical land of Israel, the land of Jewish forefathers — but never "occupied," a word Palestinians use as a rallying cry in an uprising for statehood.

Look, I'm not asking for the region to turn into the Rock the Casbah video or anything. But I would like never have to hear about Palestinian children being shot by Israeli soldiers or Israeli shoppers being exploded by Palestinian suicide bombers ever again.

Israeli troops shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy and critically wounded two children, ages 7 and 9, during confrontations that erupted Tuesday in the West Bank as Israeli and Palestinian leaders moved toward talks on a new Mideast peace plan.

...In a village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, Israeli troops opened fire on youths throwing stones, hitting a 9-year-old Palestinian boy in the head and critically wounding him, and hitting two 12-year-old boys in the legs, lightly wounding them,

...Five Palestinian children, a Palestinian woman and a police officer, were injured Tuesday after accidentally detonating explosives in the West Bank city of Hebron,

...Israeli troops killed a Palestinian teenager Monday and another surrendered after infiltrating from Gaza, the military said. They were unarmed and apparently looking for work. In a village near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy was killed during an exchange of gunfire.

Imagine how nice it would be if all of that could come to an end. Actually, turning into the Rock the Casbah video doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me. Although I don't think they actually have armadillos in the Middle East.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

If I had been drinking milk, it would have come out of my nose.

This story, about Arab comedians dealing with racism and discrimination in ways that Black comedians have been doing for a long time, made me guffaw.

On stage, Obeidallah jokes about a gas station clerk, who took a look at his credit card and said: "'What kind of name is this Obeidallah thing?' I'm like, 'Sir, it's an Arabic last name.' I'm like, 'literally translated from Arabic to English it means peaceful, friendly Arab who denounces terrorism and loves America.' He's like, 'Yeah, what Arab country's your family from?' So I choose the most peaceful popular one that he'd like. I'm like, 'We're from the same Arab country that Aladdin is from.'"

It's funny because it's true. Or, it's not funny because it's true. I can't decide.
History Lesson

Read this excellent entry by Bob Harris at This Modern World.

Decades of U.S. shortsightedness in dealing with the Islamic world are what got us into the current situation. More of the same is not a solution.

We can engage the moderates in Iran, the non-violent factions of the Salafi, and genuine peacemakers throughout Islam and across the mideast.

Or we can just make more threats and occasionally blow stuff up in countries Bin Laden doesn't even hang out in.

Allah help us all.

To be very Instapunditish...Indeed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

More on the stupid teacher...

Silver Rights has more on Brian Emanuels, the teacher who thought it appropriate to trade slurs with a student.

Read this post.

I believe I did give insufficient weight to the usage of 'gay' as a slam by teenagers.

However, I have not changed my mind about Emanuels. He is not a person who should be teaching children of any color, gender or sexual preference. I believe his presence will likely to do more harm than good if he is allowed to remain. Surely there are many people from the high tech sector in Seattle who could take his place and don't have the problem with racism he does.

And this one.

Next, some commentators keep referring to Brian Emanuels' "good intentions." ...Looking at the situation, not taking Emanuels' words to heart because he is a 'nice, white guy' or as Eric Alterman might say, ' a gentleman,' I see a person who became a teacher at a predominantly minority school for his own ego gratification. He wasn't allowed to get into it at length during his press conference, but apparently has what I call an Alfred Schweitzer complex going on. By that, I mean a desire to help the dusky of the Earth, or at least at one high school in Seattle, while considering them his inferiors. Dr. Schweitzer definitely helped his patients in Africa, but he did so while considering them genetically inferior and himself their white savior.

What J. refers to as an Alfred Schweitzer complex I call the "Love me, I'm a Liberal" syndrome. Everybody go buy Prarie Home Invasion (the whole thing is awesome, really) and listen to this song, it describes alot of people I've had the misfortune to meet.

I cried when they shot John Lennon
Tears ran down my spine
And I cried when I saw "JFK"
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X and Ice-T had it coming
They got what they asked for this time

So love me, love me, love me
I'm a liberal

Stupefying Racism

Jesse at Pandagon describes an incident of racism that was so horrible, it left him mute.

Last Thursday I was at a store in Delaware, buying "spirits", shall we say. I had two bottles in my hand - one Skyy, one Grey Goose. A clerk comes up to me, as I'm picking between fairly expensive vodkas, and asks me if I'd like to know where the malt liquor is. The first thing that came to mind was Dave Chappelle's joke from "Killing Me Softly": Have you ever had something so racist happen to you that you just can't say anything? I couldn't, and stutteringly waved him off as my friend came up with the cart.

I posted this originally in Pandagon's comments, but I think I should repeat it here. One of my more memorable exposures to stupefying racism was back when I was doing theater in high school. We were doing a production of The Diary of Anne Frank because it was the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII that year. I was working on the stage crew for it, building sets and whatnot.

One afternoon, while painting some flats in the shop after school, our Drama teacher comes by with a table she got for the set. It was an old, flea-market type find.

"Great table" I said.

"Yeah," she said, "They wanted 10 dollars for it, but I Jewed 'em down to five."

I literally dropped my paintbrush. Here I was, building what was supposed to represent the last, desperate hiding place of a Jewish family that was brutally murdered by anti-semites, and my authority figure walks in flinging epithets like that around. Astonishing.
I always did have a problem with authority.

Take this interesting political quiz I found at Red Letter Day and see where you land. I scored a Economic Left/Right: -4.75
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.28, which puts me in about the same place as the Dalai Lama on the compass. Do you think I could get Richard Gere to worship me?


Here's another quiz. I've really become addicted, I think, to these silly online quiz things. I'll have to stop.

I am punk music!!
Rock on, dude! You are Punk music!

What type of music are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Really, though, I could have told you that one was going to happen.

Comments down...again! Perhaps they are more trouble then they are worth. I think they go down at about the same time each night.

Then again, I really should be asleep and not bothering with the blog at this late an hour.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

But...I thought all the Palestinians were supportive of terrorists...?

This story proves to me that the collective punishment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government is truly wrong.

May 20, 2003 | BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Palestinian residents of a northern Gaza town demonstrated Tuesday after Israelis destroyed buildings and farms there in a five-day invasion, but in a rare twist, their wrath was directed at Palestinian militants for firing rockets from their property, not at the Israelis.
Israeli forces pulled back to the edge of the town, Beit Hanoun, a letup that came despite a bloody wave of Palestinian suicide bombings that killed 12 bystanders, hinting Israel might not undertake a large-scale punitive military operation that would further weaken the new Palestinian premier, Mahmoud Abbas


The residents said the Israeli military demolished 15 houses, uprooted thousands of trees and damaged the water and sewage systems.
The demonstrators blocked a main road with trash cans, rocks and burning tires in a show of outrage against the militants. Most of the rockets are launched by members of the violent Islamic Hamas.
"They (the militants) claim they are heroes," said Mohammed Zaaneen, 30, a farmer, as he carried rocks into the street. "They brought us only destruction and made us homeless. They used our farms, our houses and our children ... to hide."

To quote someone my father met while travelling through this area, this conflict is not between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It is between Palestinians and Israelis who want peace and Palestinians and Israelis who do not. I'm starting to think that as part of the "Road Map", Hamas and the IDF should both be shipped to a tiny, treeless island somewhere in the pacific ocean where they can kill eachother to their hearts content. That way the normal, civilian, un-bloodthirsty residents of the region can live in peace.
How not to be a good teacher

Via Silver Rights I read about Brian Emanuels, a teacher who really needs some reschooling on how to teach people lessons.

The incident happened during a computer class May 2. Several sources say the teacher became upset when a sophomore called an assignment "gay," sometimes used as a general derogatory term. The teacher, a white male, reportedly called the teen out into the hall and asked him how he'd like to be called a "n- - - - -."

Brenda Little, deputy general counsel for Seattle Public Schools, said the teacher then walked back into the classroom with the boy, saying to the class, " 'Well, I guess the n- - - - - can come back in.'

Personally, I disagree with Mac Diva's assesment that in this situation the word "gay" is not a slur. I detest the fact that the word "gay" has become a slang term that means "sucks". Every time I catch my little sister saying it, I call her on it, and she now calls her friends on it, too. In that context I think that term is actually an epithet. If I were a teacher, and I heard one of my students say that, I would call them on it, too.

However, I would definitely not use that "n-word" in doing so. And I feel the teacher's motives were especially revealed when he said "I guess the n--- can come in now". "How would you like it if someone called you a n-----" might be explainable (but still stupid) given what the student was saying, but the second time the teacher uses "the word" he showed nothing but contempt for the student in front of the entire class. This teacher, I feel, is stupid and bad with teenagers at best and racist at worst. Either way he shouldn't be a teacher.

This teacher, I think, turned what could have been an excellent moment to open the classroom to a discussion on tolerance of diversity (or lack thereof) in our pop culture and turned it into just another display of our lack of tolerance. Not exactly the best example to set for a bunch of kids.

Note: this post appeared in its original form as an email to Mac Diva.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Embarrasingly Revealing Internet Quiz bla bla bla

Gryphon Banner
You're a gryphon. You're very powerful without
needing to brag about it. Creativity is one of
your strong suits. Your outward personality may
change drastically according to your mood,
which is not always a good thing. You're a
loyal guardian when you choose to be and you're
aligned towards *good*.

What mythical beast are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

That's pretty cool. From an email from my good friend Ginny.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Plucky Punk's Freedom Land

Came upon this while checking referring links. Kind of amusing.
What the cool kids are saying

Bean over at Alas, A Blog has info about an Indian woman named Nisha Sharma, who had her husband-to-be arrested for trying to milk her family for cash.

"He wanted material things - not me," Ms Sharma, a 21-year-old software- engineering student, said, her hands and feet still painted with intricate henna designs, the traditional hallmark of an Indian bride.

Police arrested the groom under the country’s anti-dowry act - passed more than four decades ago to combat the ancient practice in which a groom’s family demands cash, consumer goods and gold as part of a marriage settlement - but which is still widely flouted.

Yay for her! This is very encoraging news. Things like this tend to happen when society is starting to make a change for the better.


Hesiod has a comment on what might happen if suicide bombings on par with the recent bombings in Morocco were to happen in the U.S.

This will result in two things:

1) Massive panic, and fear in the U.S., along with a number of dead Americans.
2) A major clamp down on our civil liberties that will make the Patriot Act look like the Declaration of Independence.

It is disturbing, even after September 11th, 2001, to think that things like this are possible in the United States.


Rittenhouse tells the sad story of Ashleigh Moore in a series of heartbreaking posts. Here's the first one, the second, third, fourth, and the unfortunate final post.

What I really don't want to think about is if there could have possibly been a different outcome if African-American Ashleigh's disappearance had been given the same early 5-alarm treatment as that of the blonde Elizabeth Smart.


On a much lighter note, Michael McInnis entertains with this story of a strange encounter during the lunar eclipse.

When I finally entered my house, my cat waiting on the porch, I realized that these guys would do anything to get a photo-op. It looked like they were about to sacrifice a virgin to appease the angry gods that had turned the moon blood red. They will stop at nothing to win election. If Clinton had tried a stunt like this there would have been an uproar in the media. But then the last lunar eclipse I saw was just before the '96 elections. So maybe Clinton did sacrifice a virgin, except it was not orchestrated like this event. Perhaps it was a quiet family affiar in the Rose Garden.

Made me laugh out loud, at work even. The person in the cubicle next to mine stopped what they were doing and stared at me.
Comments may be down. Too sleepy to care. They don't seem to be getting much use, anyway.


Comments back up again. Yay!

Friday, May 16, 2003

Seriously, I want to move to Canada...

Someone send John Ashcroft a dictionary and tell him look up the word "sovereign". And then tell him to stop trying to make the laws in other countries.

May 16— Resentful Canadian legislators who want to decriminalize carrying around a decent-sized stash of marijuana are accusing their prime minister of giving in to U.S. meddling aimed at nipping the domestic drug plan in the bud. Canada delayed introducing a proposal to decriminalize marijuana possession after its justice minister met Tuesday in Washington with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Yeah, cause, you know, the United States has been sooo successful in it's War on Drugs.


Stoutdem is now at Go check 'em out.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

If this had happened in Iraq, it would have been used as evidence of Saddam's evilness

Why aren't things like this all over the news, all the time?

Authorities said 17 people were found dead today in an airless trailer left at a Texas truck stop, and an 18th person died later at a hospital. There had been more than 100 illegal immigrants locked inside the tailer.

In Des Moines, Iowa, last year, the remains of 11 migrants were found inside a box car, dead from dehydration. In Yuma, Ariz., 14 Mexicans died of thirst while wandering in the desert. And in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 18 immigrants died inside a locked boxcar where the temperature rose to 130 degrees.

Living in New Mexico this is an issue that hits particularly close to home. I remember, I used to work at restaurant of particular local fame that employed quite a few illegal Mexican immigrants. They would work the most horrible menial jobs...dishwashing, busing tables, etc, for 70-80 hours a week. I'm not sure what they were making. Hardly any of them spoke a word on English. And once every few month, everyone would have to show up at work brandishing their social security cards and half of the employees would be gone the next day.

I can't imagine what that would be like. So, when I hear complaints that illegal Mexican immigrants are stealing jobs from hard-working Americans, it really pisses me off. I didn't see a whole lot of jobless white people clamoring for the 70 hour a week dishwashing job. And it's not like they weren't always hiring for them. It really makes you appreciate your decadent American lifestyle (and I live in a neighborhood where the dumpster in my apartment complex is set ablaze so often, it's not even an event worth noting anymore) when you hear about people risking their lives for a job like that.

Ezequiel Pena is one of them. He has been here for two months, after leaving Honduras and making a harrowing trip through Mexico. Some of his companions were robbed, he said, and a good friend drowned in the Rio Grande. Even so, he is grateful to be here.

"Necessity made me pack up and come here," he said, adding, "Thank God, your country is here."

What kind of lives are these people fleeing from? It's a country we border, don't you think we would have more information about it than we would about countries in another hemisphere that really didn't involve us at all.

I am not pro-Israel, and I am not a Nazi for saying that.

Amptoons makes some salient points in this post.

Too many zionists forget that zionism is not Judaism. Not all Jews are zionists. Not all zionists are Jews. Someone who refers to zionism is not talking about "the Jews." Someone who criticizes zionism is not being anti-Jewish.

Every year, the word "anti-Semite" is degraded more. Accusations of anti-Semitism are flung about far too quickly and easily; zionists are becoming the boy who cried “wolf!” The goal, presumably, is to delegitimize criticism of Israel, by labeling all but the most mild, spineless criticisms "anti-Semitic." But I'm afraid the result will be just the opposite; calling legitimate criticism "anti-Semitic" will wind up legitimizing real anti-Semitism. And that sucks.

I agree. Calling people who criticize Israel anti-semetic reduces your legitimacy the same way that neocon chickenhawks calling crippled war heros unpatriotic reduces the legitimacy of the Republican party.
Dear Wachowski Brothers,

You don't know me, but I've just seen your new film Matrix Reloaded. And while I completely enjoyed the storyline and was again taken by surprise by the "twist", I have two things I'd like to say.

Firstly, there is no point in getting martial art movie bad-ass Yuen Woo-ping to choreograph your fight scenes if you're going to edit them up until the audience can't tell what's going on. Sometime's it's best to just pull that camera back and calmly capture the beauty of the movement, as you seemed to do fine in The Matrix, and as Ang Lee did for Yuen Woo-ping's choreography in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon .

Secondly, if the only way you can do a scene is with really, really sub-par CGI, then it is not worth doing that scene at all. Trust me. The CGI in this was better. (When that much hyped battle between Neo and the hundreds of Agent Smiths starts, just close your eyes. It ruined the rest of the movie for me, it was so bad.)

Thank you for your time and for your creation of a most interesting universe.

-Plucky Punk

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Embarrassingly Revealing Internet Quiz Result of the Unspecified Time Period

You're the Pink Panther!
You're the Pink Panther. Suave and sophisticated,
you enjoy your superiority and your natural
grace. Though to some, this attitude makes you
appear arrogant, most people are attracted by
it rather than turned off. You especially enjoy
being in the social spotlight. It just doesn't
get any better than this.

Which famous feline are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I, as anyone who has ever seen me trip over my own feet while trying to walk across the room will tell you, completely lack "nautral grace". So I don't know what this quiz is talking about.

Via Sisyphus.
So, is Bushville down the street from Hooverville?

Johann over at Coherence Theory Of Truth points out the disturbing fact that the economy under Dubya is bleeding jobs like a stuck pig. Look at these numbers, representative of jobs created under the past few presidents.

Reagan 1: 109,000
Reagan 2: 224,000
G. Bush: 52,000
Clinton 1: 242,000
Clinton 2: 235,000
G.W. Bush: 69,000 jobs DESTROYED per month

Depressing, no? So, let's see. Dead economy? Check. Foriegn relations destroyed? Natch. Personal freedoms in danger? You got it. I'm with Max. Bill Clinton lied about getting a blowjob, and he got impeached. I think the case for impeaching Bush is much more clear.
So why did we go to war again? Both times?

Oh, that tricky al-Qaida. First we go to war in Afghanistan to try and get them. Then, we go to Iraq to try and get them. (For those of you who are citizens of Oceana, we were not always going to war with Iraq to Liberate the Iraqi People. That particular meme didn't creep in until it became apparent to the White House that no one was buying their other excuses. It's like they were saying "They have ties to al-Qaida! No, you don't buy that, eh. Okay, how about they have weapons of mass destruction? Doesn't sound good to you either, eh. Okay, then let's Liberate the Iraqi People! Like that one?" To quote John Stewart, it's like they think we're retarded.) And yet, they continue to elude us.

R I Y A D H, Saudi Arabia, May 14— Saudi authorities linked the al Qaeda terror group to the attacks on foreign housing compounds that killed at least 34 people and warned that more terror attacks could lie ahead...."These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate, and the United States will find the killers, and they will learn the meaning of American justice," said Bush during an address on Tuesday.

The Saudi government says the attacks are connected to 19 al Qaeda operatives who engaged in a gunfight with police in Riyadh on May 6.

So, why did we go to war again? To diminish the power of al-Qaida? It seems as though we were as successful at that as we were at improving the lives of the Afghanis and finding those mysterious weapons of mass destruction. (The jury's still out on whether or not we've improved the lives of the Iraqi people in the long run, but in the short run at least, it doesn't look too good to me.)

Over the past few years I think I've learned "the meaning of American justice." A bunch of people die, and none of the things we were supposed to accomplish actually gets done in the end. How nice.

Hesiod has a nice post about this, too.
I'm baaaack!

50 feet of cat5 cable later, I'm once more on the fast track to blogging success. Sorry about the prolonged absence. I'm sure both of my several readers missed me bunches.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Eep! I'm offline!

We're doing some shifting around of furniture in the Plucky household, and our old faithful computer has been disconnected from the cable modem until we drag ourselves off to the store and get some really, really long ethernet cable. So, I'm left to blog at work, and it's been freakishly busy there as of late.

So expect not that much to go on around here for the next few days. I know not that much has gone on for the past few days as well. On top of everything else I just haven't felt much like blogging.

But I'll get my groove back soon enough, I'm sure.

Monday, May 05, 2003

No rest for the wicked

I keep trying to blog today, but other stuff keeps coming up. So I think I'll just give up. Sorry.

Expect updates tonight or tomorrow. I might just make tomorrow a day off from everything, though. There is much hectic-ness.

Have fun with this for now.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Top of the Blogs

I know I commented at the Dog House about how annoying "regurgiblogging" is, i.e., look-at-this-link-to-another-person's-writing-and-read-my-one-word-comment style blogging, but I just got back from a late showing of X-Men 2 and I'm afraid that's all I have the concentration for. Bamf! Snick!

So while I run around my apartment chasing my cats around and pretending I'm Mystique kicking ass, read these other people's blogs.

Al-Muhajabah has information on a petition to help save Amina Lawal, and also some info on why real Islamic law does not say people should be put to death for adultery.

Brooke Biggs makes some pointed observations about animal versus human rights. I can't think my way out of that contradiction either.

And Pandagon is running a contest to name Geraldo's new, ridiculous, all-caps blog. That's right, Geraldo Rivera has a blog, blogging is officially no longer cool. My vote for the blog name? "Drawing Lines in the Sand..."

And that's all you'll hear from me tonight. I have Mutant Fever. Bamf! Bamf bamf!

Friday, May 02, 2003

Welcome to my blogroll...

Mac-a-ro-nies and Thousand Yard Glare!
It's my Mom's birthday today

I forgot to call her. And now I'm stuck at work where I can't call long distance.

I'm definitely going to bad-daughter hell when I die.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Pyrrhic Victories

I wonder what the IDF actually thinks it wins if they have to win it this way.

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israeli troops surrounded and attacked the home of a Hamas military leader Thursday in Gaza, killing him and his two brothers, Palestinian security sources said.

At least 10 other Palestinians, including a 2-year-old and a 13-year-old, died in the attack and 47 others were wounded, the sources said.

Emphasis added. What's to stop the young, impressionable relatives of that 2 year old and that 13 year old from growing up and becoming suicide bombers? What has the IDF won at the loss of two children?

I wonder what Hamas actually thinks it wins if they have to win it this way.

"The boom was just outside the entrance," said the owner of the bar, Gal Ganzman, his shirt covered with blood. He was standing behind the bar when he heard the explosion. "I'm alive, I'm fine," he said, visibly shaken. "One of the waitresses lost an arm but she's still alive."

What's to stop the young, impressionable relatives of that waitress from becoming IDF soldiers who buldoze unarmed activists and shoot Palestinian children?

This conflict, to me, has reached monumental levels of stupid, useless tragedy. We need to send in some blue-helmeted UN Peacekeeping troops to babysit both sides until they get the whole "killing innocent people" thing out of their system. And I mean both sides. The IDF is equally as guilty of keeping this vicious cycle going as is Hamas and the suicide bombers.