Thursday, July 31, 2003

Our President is a homophobic bigot who doesn't believe in the separation of church and state.

Of course, we all knew that already, but it is still a little upsetting to see it illustrated so clearly.

Bush, at a news conference Wednesday, said, "I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or the other."

Today, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said the White House was studying possible responses if pending lawsuits in Massachusetts and New Jersey result in legalization of gay marriage. McClellan declined to say whether Bush favors a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.


I really have never heard why marriage is too sacred and pure for two men or two women to participate in together, but it's not too sacred for Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee to marry each other, or for Carmen Electra to wed a drunken Dennis Rodman, or for Anna Nicole Smith to marry that old guy.

Can the proverbial "Adam and Steve" enjoying the legal benefits of marriage really be worse for society than Plus-Sized former Playmates golddigging geezers on their deathbeds?
I really should be packing now...

...but procrastination has always been my strong suit.

Anyway, I hereby order everyone to request the second season of Twin Peaks on DVD. Apparently if Amazon gets enough emails from people wanting it, they'll tell "the studios" to put out for us.

And I seriously want these on DVD. So everyone, click here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to brush my teeth.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A Quick One (Happy Jack)

Read this article I found via Rittenhouse, "What Would Ann Coulter Eat?"

Apparently, the answer is "nothing".

I kind of thought it would be babies, or whole live mice, or something.
Real life intrudes.

So busy. School starting. Moving to new apartment. Work innundated with calls.

No time for blogging or complete sentences. So sorry.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

What President Bush "Brought On"

I've caught a few of my anti-war friends (well, just my husband, really) not sympathizing with wounded troops in Iraq. That is, after all, the job they signed up for, right? Well, it's not quite the job they signed up for, in my opinion.

Just because these men and women have sworn to defend our nation, even thought they might die, doesn't mean that those in the White House (especially those that never took the same oath) have the right to use them as cannon fodder. To be very cold about it, soldiers are a resource, and our leaders are supposed to use that resource responsibly.

So when Dubya says "bring them on" to the attacks on our troops, let's just rememer it's this that's being so callously talked about.

Link via Atrios.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Rich white guy lead a full life

Bob Hope died.

Hope died in his Toluca Lake, Calif., home Sunday evening, with his family at his bedside, his longtime publicist Ward Grant told the Associated Press.

It's been a big death year, hasn't it?

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Please, stop the insanity. You can buy cool shoes that I can't.

This is some serious bad parenting. If there's anything I hate, it's parents willing to flood their children's bloodstreams with needless medications, and the huge pharmecutical corporations willing to take advantage of them.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Friday approved use of a growth hormone for boosting the height of children who are short but in good health.

Eli Lilly's hormone, Humatrope, has been sold in the United States since 1987 and used for treating children with growth-hormone deficiencies. With the new approval, Indianapolis-based Lilly will be able to market Humatrope for short children with normal levels of the hormone and no evidence of a disease that stunts growth.


This is the stupidest thing I've heard of in a while. And given current events recently in the United States, that's really saying something.

As a woman who's been 5' 10" since she was 11 years old, I may not have much to say on this subject. But then again, maybe I do. It may not be easy being "abnormally" short. But being tall is just as difficult. Dresses and skirts my size usually fall 3-5 inches too short. The only women's shoes that come in my size are either Dr Scholls' or (ack) nurse's shoes. (I think that's one of the reasons I was a punk rocker...Doc Martens in UK men's size 9 fit just right!)

I hit my head on everything. I once saw stars knocking my head on a high shelf the bedroom of my petite, elfin friend Anna (who, incidentally, once bought the coolest punkest boots ever --they had a fat chunky steel toe with a hammer and sickle in red leather emblazoned on it, perfect for shocking all the rich Bostonians back home-- in in a tiny shop in the Village for 80 percent off because they were size 5, and only her tiny, Cinderella-like feet would fit them). There was a chandelier over the dinner table at the house where I grew up that I bumped my head on two or three times a day. My husband now thinks it's cute when I hit my head every time I get out of the car.

I get backaches stooping down to reach my keyboard at work. Or, I have to lower my seat to the point where my knees ache from being bent at a 45 degree angle all day. I'm taller than everyone else in my family, even my father.

So, in order to save my head from all the lumps and to save me from the social akwardness of highwater pants and nurse's shoes, should my parents have given me shots as a child to mediate my growth to an "acceptable" or "normal" level? Or, should they have encouraged me to see myself as statuesque and elegantly elongated? Should they have given me a sense of Amazonian pride at the fact that I would never need someone to reach something on the top shelf for me?

So, parents of potentially short children, please do not make Eli Lilly any richer by giving your children growth hormones they don't need. Please let your children know that although they may never play basketball, they could be great equestrians or gymnasts. They may need help getting that last jar of spaghetti sauce off the top shelf at the supermarket, but their heads will remain pristinely unlumped.

And please, please let them know that really cool shoes are easier to find in size 5.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Still winning the hearts and minds. Yeah right.

Our understanding of what will please the Iraqi people seems to be decreasing rather than increasing. For instance, the fact that we are still parading around the corpses of the Hussein brothers, although now with gobs of mortician's wax on their faces instead of gashes and bruises, grosses me out. And I have no religious feelings whatsoever. I can only imagine what devout Iraqis must feel about it.

"Showing dead and deformed bodies on TV is not acceptable," protested Amer Ahmed al-Azawi, a 55-year-old Baghdad merchant. "But the Americans are criminals and unbelievers. We got rid of one tyrant, and we ended up with a bigger one."

Hamza Mansour, secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front in neighboring Jordan, said the display violated Islamic custom.

"The bodies of Odai and Qusai should have been washed, shrouded and buried immediately, but the Americans have no respect for our traditions and doctrine and they acted in a very unethical manner," he said.


I think if we wanted to display our cultural ignorance any more obviously, we would have to actually try. Or is that not what we're doing? Sometimes I'm not sure anymore.

And then there's still this factor.

Their faces were reconstructed by morticians and medical personnel, a common practice in the West and not a bid to fool Iraqis, according to a doctor involved in the autopsy, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The people who we have "liberated" don't trust us further than they could throw one of our tanks. With our President lying about the reasons we invaded their country in the first place, how can we blame them?

*UPDATE** It seems like not giving the Hussein brothers a proper Muslim burial may really be pissing some people off.

"What happened is a mutilation of the body of the dead," said Souad Saleh, an Islamic theologian who sits on a committee entrusted with issuing fatwas, or edicts, at Egypt's Al-Azhar University, the world's highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning.

"But the Americans are infidels, and whatever Islam says doesn't apply to them," he said.

...Sheik Abdul-Aziz al-Qassim, a Saudi lawyer and a former judge, said the handling of the bodies by U.S. authorities in Iraq contravened Islamic law as well as the rules of war, arguing that Odai and Qusai died as soldiers who died in battle.

"It goes against Islamic sharia laws to display bodies of fallen soldiers to influence enemy morale," said al-Qassim, who spoke from the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Another scholar from the Gulf Arab region saw the display of the bodies as inhumane, although he described the two sons as criminals.

"This is a political game to instill fear in the hearts of others that follow their path or support them," said Sheik Adil Isa, a Sunni Islamic scholar from Bahrain.


Emphasis in that last bit is mine. I really am loathe to try and please anyone who would call me an "infidel", but the fact is that conservative Muslims are exactly the people we should be trying to impress with our respect and finesse in the Middle East right now. Besides, what we have done to these bodies is apparently so repulsive to them that even those who denounced the Husseins as criminals are creeped out by it.

Heck, I'm creeped out by it.

In any case, this is definitely a social faux pas at best and a barbaric and savage act of gloating at worst, and at a time when we need to proceed as delicately as possible in preserving the teensy shreds of respect the world still has for our nation.
Eh?

I seem to be on yet another new version of Blogger....eep? Weird.
Surprisingly Revealing Quizilla Result of the Week


SPIRIT is your chinese symbol!

What Chinese Symbol Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hey, that's pretty accurate.

Via Wallybrane.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Tsk tsk tsk...

To all of you who've found this page by searching for "pictures of Kobe Bryants's accuser" or some variant thereof, shame on you!

*added, after noticing about a hundred hits from these searches* On second thought...Welcome! Why don't you all buy me a present.

Of course, I'm still disgusted.
Why don't we just put his head on a pike?

This is really disgusting. No only did we beat them, apparently we also joined them. Releasing graphic photos of the corpses of the two sons of Saddam as some sort of "looky what we did, aren't you scared of us now?" kind of thing is behaivor I'd expect of a tinpot dictator. Oh wait...

While the U.S. military has historically been reluctant to release photographs of people killed in combat, the images were released by the provisional authority in Iraq to overcome widespread Iraqi skepticism that the Hussein brothers were dead.

The gruesome photographs were immediately broadcast by the Arab satellite channels al Jazeera and Al Arabiya across the Arab world.

But reporters in Iraq said the reactions to the photographs were mixed, with several Iraqis maintaining they were still unconvinced by the photographs. Several Iraqis expressed disappointment that Saddam's sons, who have been accused of human rights and war crimes, were not captured alive.


Qusai and Odai Hussein both escaped easy, and the Iraqi people they terrorized will never get to see them get punished for thier crimes

*ADDENDUM** I like this quote from former CIA Director James Woolsey in this CNN.com article.

"Normally, we would not do this," he said. "But I think it's necessary for the world to see and particularly for the Iraqis to see that these two are, in fact, dead, that this is not some ginned-up story from the United States."

Why oh why would the world suspect the United States of attempting to sell the world a ginned-up story I wonder? This whole war has damaged the credibility of the US to such an extent that nobody knows whether or not we're actually crying wolf anymore.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Drink up, me hearties...

Continuing with the strong pirate theme as of late, try this quiz.

What's your Pirate Name?

My pirate name is:

Black Bess Rackham

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!
The meaning of American Justice

I was going to blog about how the death of Saddam Hussein's two sons didn't quite sit well with me, but then Lambert over at Eschaton went and hit it exactly on the head already.

Suppose we had captured Saddam's sons, and then turned them over to the Hague tribunal for trial. What happens? The national interest gets served in all kinds of ways. We get all the propaganda advantages that the Peruvians and Imperial Rome got (which is all the killing was about anyhow). We get the Europeans and the UN back on board, and maybe we get some help with reconstruction and even a graceful way out. Best of all, it's good for the Iraqi people. The Clinton administration followed just this policy in the Balkans when they got Milosevic tried at the Hague for war crimes, and the Balkans are doing reasonably well.

At best, killing Saddam's sons was a missed opportunity. At worst, it's the tip of the iceberg of a policy of targeted assassination that perverts the notion of American justice, and will lead to blowback just as certainly as funding Afghan jihaadists did.


And I agree wholeheartedly. This sounds like something Israel would have done. Instead of arresting these men, dragging them out in chains in front of the cameras, making them answer for their crimes in front of a court of the world, we just killed them.

We get no intelligence from them, and they get to die honorably in battle (I hope that doesn't sound too much like I'm a Klingon, but that's exactly what I mean) instead of rotting away in a jail cell.

This should not be the meaning of American justice. I don't think we should be the vigilates of the planet.
Housekeeping

I've done some blogroll shifing...

A Rational Animal is now at http://www.arationalanimal.org/blog/, and Body and Soul is not at http://bodyandsoul.typepad.com/blog/.

Say hello to Ms. Musings! Thanks for the link!

The same goes to the Lefty Directory, Whom Gods Destroy, Conceptual Guerilla, and Iddybud!

Also I've deleted a few links that seem either dead or just absolutely inactive. Nothing personal to anyone!

Monday, July 21, 2003

Oh, blogger, please tell me you didn't just eat that huge post of mine!
Because there's no oil there...

I haven't been keeping track of the Liberia situation. But it's really starting to look bad.

Wailing Liberians lined up bloodied, mangled bodies outside the U.S. Embassy, demanding to know why Washington has not sent troops to end more than a decade of strife in the West African nation founded by freed American slaves.

...After the blasts, enraged Liberians dragged bodies from the residential compound and lined them up in front of the embassy, next to a wall emblazoned with the American seal.

"We're dying here," screamed some in the crowd, as two American servicemen in camouflage watched from behind bulletproof glass.

One man held up a hastily scrawled sign: "Today G. Bush kill Liberia people."


I'm really torn about this. On the one hand, I'd be very hesitant for the Bush Administration to enact any more of it's shoot-em-up diplomacy. Asking Dubya to dispatch more troops just sounds like a very bad idea. But on the other hand, I do think we could do alot of good if troops were sent in as a peacekeeping force, rather than as an agressive force, as in Iraq.

I don't know. The more I blog, the more I think I'm just full of crap. But the more I blog, the more I think our leaders are full of crap, too.

The Accused

I'm very annoyed that the media are choosing to go into a frenzy about the whole Kobe Bryant sexual-assault thing, but I'm really annoyed (although not surprised) that the fact that this woman apparently attempted suicide two months before the alleged incident is being used to sway the court of public opinon.

Some friends of the accuser said they believed the overdose was an accident. Not McKinney.

...According to the newspaper's report, Bryant's accuser was going through an extremely difficult period in her life at the time of the overdose. She returned home from her freshman year of college to find out her ex-boyfriend had taken up with another woman. Also, around the time of the overdose, close friend Nicole Clements died in a road accident while returning from high school graduation ceremonies.

"It was kind of boom, boom, boom," McKinney told the Register. "I think the things that happened to her in the past had a lot to do with what [she said happened the night of the alleged assault]."


I don't know whether or not this woman is telling the truth when she accuses Bryant of assaulting her, and I really don't care that much. Celebrity crime has never been that much of an interest of mine.

But it seems to me that this woman was probably in a very vulnerable place at the time, and Bryant, as a big famous person, was in an obvious position to take emotion advantage of her. Have people in positions of power ever taken advantage of weaker people before? Surely not!

I really don't think the fact that this woman was depressed enough to try to kill herself discredits her that much. For one, it happened two months before the night in question. But what's more important to remember is that even a suicidal person can be raped.
Yo ho, yo ho

So, I saw Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl twice already. I don't know if I want to be Johnny Depp in that movie or just go to bed with him. In either case, between him and Orlando Bloom, hubba hubba for sure.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

I see I'm not the only one

"I may just move to Canada..." has become a favorite empty threat of mine in the past few years. However, the threat is apparently becoming less empty for some.

July 19, 2003 | NEW YORK (AP) --

For all they share economically and culturally, Canada and the United States are increasingly at odds on basic social policies -- to the point that at least a few discontented Americans are planning to move north and try their neighbors' way of life.


To tell the truth, if I weren't such a desert rat I'd probably be there in a heartbeat. I lived in Boston for two years and the frigid winters nearly killed me.
Well, duh.

From the headline writers that brought us "Cigarette Smoking could be Damaging to your Health" and "Lack of Excercise Possibly Causes Weight Gain" comes the shocking "Iraq Nuke Evidence Was Thin, Experts Say".

The public case that Iraq was pursuing nuclear weapons was built primarily on several suspicious items Iraq reportedly tried to import, such as uranium, aluminum tubes and precision machinery. But the uranium story is now in dispute, and many of the other items had possible uses unrelated to nuclear weapons.

Other information was either lacking, or suggested that no nuclear program was in the works, said the former intelligence officials, who analyzed Iraq's weapons during the run-up to the war.


I'm glad that stories like this are eventually popping up in the media, however weakly phrased they are. But it's taken way, way too long for it to happen. Hopefully some outrage will pierce the thick hide of complacency the American public has wrapped around themselves, and some of us will drag our behinds to the polls next year and vote this group of liars out of the White House!
Azucar!

My Cuban grandfather sent me an email entirely in spanish about the funeral for Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa." Since I (ashamedly) don't speak a word of spanish, I will just link to this Reuters article instead.

Cruz was a star when she left the Caribbean island in 1960 and with her exuberant voice, shimmering dresses and colorful wigs went on to become much-loved grande dame of Latin music whose Grammy Award-winning career reached into her later years and produced more than 70 albums.

Her music was banned on the island, even though many Cubans still listened to her. When she died, the Cuban government gave the news the briefest of mentions, describing her as an important musician who had long been an activist for "counterrevolutionaries" in south Florida.

Cruz had long said she would never sing again in Cuba until it was "free." That, as well as her music, made her an iconic figure for Miami's often fiercely anti-Castro Cuban community.


Another sad loss for the performing arts. Perhaps if there were more performers like Celia Cruz today, people would be more willing to actually pay for albums instead of file-swapping them.
The RIAA: How not to win friends or influence people

In an effort that is sure to drive file sharing even further underground and make it even more difficult to ever get rid of, the RIAA is actually suing the users of file sharing programs like Kazaa.

The RIAA's subpoenas are so prolific that the U.S. District Court in Washington, already suffering staff shortages, has been forced to reassign employees from elsewhere in the clerk's office to help process paperwork, said Angela Caesar-Mobley, the clerk's operations manager.

The RIAA declined to comment on the numbers of subpoenas it issued.


If you want to fight file sharing, reduce the cost of CDs to something that makes sense. Stop releasing crap music people refuse to pay for. Start a bunch of cheap pay file sharing services like iTunes. Don't sue everyone with a computer in the entire United States. That will just make people want to steal from you even more because you are a money-grubbing capitalist pig-dog.

Besides, I've seen Behind the Music. I know what those "artists" spend my money on!
I'm sorry...

I will blog today, I promise!

Sunday, July 13, 2003

That depends on what your defninition of "Iraq purchased uranium from Niger" is...

The new spin the White House is trying to put on Yellowcakegate is worthy of Bill Clinton, only about something much worse than a cute chubby intern. Now they're saying it isn't a lie, because they did have the intelligence. But the quality of the intelligence itself is a completely different matter.

WASHINGTON July 13 —
Administration officials insisted Sunday that President Bush's disputed statement about Iraqi uranium shopping in Africa was accurate, even while conceding anew it should have been deleted from his State of the Union address.

Both Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, said the United States and Britain have intelligence that supports the contention that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa for nuclear weapons.

But both also said the intelligence falls short of the elevated standards necessary for a presidential address. They said CIA Director George Tenet had struck a similar but more narrowly focused assertion from a Bush speech in Cincinnati three months earlier.


I'm sorry, but this just reaches new levels of ridiculous. Let's examine how far that intelligence fell short of the elevated standards necessary for a presidential address, shall we?

Sources said that one of the documents was a letter discussing the uranium deal supposedly signed by Niger President Tandja Mamadou. The sources described the signature as "childlike" and said that it clearly was not Mamadou's.

Another, written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, bears the date of October 2000 and the signature of a man who by then had not been foreign minister of Niger in 14 years, sources said.


I think that falls short of the level of standards required on a fake note a high-schooler might write to get out of school that day, let alone a presidential address. (Thanks to Buzzflash for the link.) Let's again at something from that first article.

They said CIA Director George Tenet had struck a similar but more narrowly focused assertion from a Bush speech in Cincinnati three months earlier.

Three months earlier, during a speech in Cincinnati, they realized there might be some problems with that assertion. No offence, Cincinnait, but I think the State of the Union address should have higher levels of standards for accuracy than a speech in that city.

To quote John Stewart, it's like they think we're retarded.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

I have a stupid question...

But an honest one.

People from Nigeria are Nigerians.

Are people from Niger also Nigerians?

I feel kind of dumb...

*Addendum* Question answered. Apparently, people from Niger are called Nigeriens, with an "e", pronounced "Neezherians". Thanks James and Jesse for answering my silly question.
Tenet the patsy

CIA director George Tenet, we're supposed to believe, acted in such a horribly sloppy manner he forced the President to lie to the American people. What is his reward for this behiavor? Bush's absolute trust.

ABUJA, Nigeria July 12 —
President Bush said Saturday he still has faith in his intelligence chief after CIA Director George Tenet accepted blame for Bush's erroneous claim about Iraqi weapons.

Asked in Nigeria whether he continued to trust Tenet, Bush said, "Yes, I do. Absolutely."

"I've got confidence in George Tenet," he added.


Doesn't this seem a little fishy? I don't know, if someone brought a political controversy (as much of one as is possible with today's passive media and sleeping populace) down on my head, I'd at least ask them to resign. I don't think Tenet's taking the blame means anything besides an attempt to mark a scapegoat for the distracted American public to focus their displeasure on. Howard Dean thinks so, too.

"I think the hasty taking of blame by George Tenet is an attempt, really, on the part of a loyal person to the president, to try to deflect the problem," Dean said.

"We've got a lot more information that needs to be disclosed by this administration about why we went to war in Iraq," he said. "... The question is what other information did they (White House officials) then use that was not true to send us to war."


It's pretty obvious, really. You know, I've heard this Administration described as "not very transparent". I think that's completely incorrect. Their motivations, at least in this instance, are as plain as the noses on their faces.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Playing Hot Potato with the Blame

It's been kind of fun to watch the CIA, the White House, and Tony Blair play hot potato with each other as to who's at fault for the whole "Yellowcakegate" situation.

ENTEBBE, Uganda July 11 —
President Bush and his national security adviser on Friday put responsibility squarely on the CIA for the president's erroneous claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq tried to acquire nuclear material from Africa.

"I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services," Bush told reporters in Uganda.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice was more direct, saying, "The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety."

If CIA Director George Tenet had concerns about the information, "these doubts were not communicated to the president," Rice said.


Aww, the poor innocent misguided White House. They couldn't possibly have known that information was false, what with all the CIA's chicanery. And yet, even Colin Powell felt weird about the Niger claim.

(CIA Director George) Tenet has been further isolated by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said Thursday that he had reservations about the information used in the speech and thus did not use it Feb. 5 in a speech to the U.N. Security Council in which he offered a detailed catalogue of alleged Iraqi transgressions.

So if even the Secretary of State had reservations about the information, why was it used by the President in the State of the Union address? And did the White House know the assertion that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium was, let's say, suspiciously dubious, a year before Bush asserted it was true?

WASHINGTON -- An envoy sent by the CIA to Africa to investigate allegations about Iraq's nuclear weapons program contends the Bush administration manipulated his findings, possibly to strengthen the rationale for war.

That conclusion came on Sunday from Joseph Wilson, former U.S. ambassador to the West African nation of Gabon, who was dispatched in February 2002 to explore whether Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger.

..."The question was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice president. The office of the vice president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked, and that response was based upon my trip out there," said Wilson.

Yet nearly a year after he had returned and briefed CIA officials, the assertion that President Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain uranium from Africa was included in President Bush's State of the Union address as the nation marched toward war with Saddam's Iraq.


Well, George W. Bush may have lied to go to war, possibly even under oath, costing the nation billions of dollars and hundreds of lives, but at least he's not having affairs with interns.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Housekeeping

One of the cool things, I've found, about having comments on your blog is that you find all sorts of other cool blogs that way. Like this one, Hot Buttered Death. Welcome!
Excuse me if I'm not impressed.

It seems to me that in this point in our Nation's history the president issuing a condemnation of slavery is not a bold, newsworthy statement.

On Goree Island, Bush toured a centuries-old house that was used as a processing center for countless thousands of Africans who were herded aboard ships that took them into slavery in America.

"Human beings were delivered, sorted, weighed, branded with marks of commercial enterprises and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return," Bush said. "One of the largest migrations in history was also one of the greatest crimes of history."

Bush did not apologize for slavery but noted Americans throughout history "clearly saw this sin and called it by name."

"The spirit of Africans in America did not break," Bush said. "Yet the spirit of their captors was corrupted."


Uh-huh. Meanwhile, people are getting raped, macheted, and cannibalized in the Congo.

In the eastern part of Congo there is a town run by children, an uncontrollable army playing soldiers with Kalashnikovs. In the city of Bunia, men machete men, and underground there are diamonds and bones. At night the women hide in the forest because it is safer than in their homes, but they desperately hush their infants lest the noise bring looters who rape and sometimes kill.

..."We believe that human suffering in Africa creates moral responsibilities for people everywhere," President Bush said in a speech last week. But while the U.S. fights the war on terror, it has been 9/11 there for years -- and few seem to care. On a five-day trip beginning Monday, Bush travels to five countries -- Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria -- to focus on HIV/AIDS, democracy, security and trade. But despite his stated concern for human suffering in Africa, he will not be going to the Congo.


More on the Congo situation here, here, and here.
I wonder if this will boost ticket sales for the movie?

This just about made my morning.

SHOCKED six-year-old Leah Lowland checked out a mystery bulge on her Incredible Hulk doll — and uncovered a giant green WILLY.

...And when she peeled off the green comic-book character’s ripped purple shorts, she found the two-inch manhood beneath them.

Horrified Leah immediately ran to mum Kim and reported the find. And last night Kim called for a ban on the saucy toy. She said: “A hulk with a bulk like this just shouldn’t be allowed.

“Considering the doll is only 12-inches tall it’s amazing how big his willy is.


Definitely read the article, to see the picture of the little girl. She has an annoyed look on her face, like "Bad Hulkie, put your pants back on!"

I think if this happened in the US the girl would have been rushed to counseling, and the parents would have promptly sued someone.

Story via Blah3.
Wow...

Michael Savage told one of his callers the other day, a "sodomite", to "get AIDS and die."

Get AIDS and die? I'm shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!

But what did actually shock me was that MSNBC promptly turned around and fired him for doing it.

July 7, 2003 | NEW YORK (AP) -- MSNBC on Monday fired Michael Savage for anti-gay comments.

The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."

"His comments were extremely inappropriate and the decision was an easy one," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.


Wow. I suppose that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Took 'em long enough. It must have been a particularly strong-backed camel.

One thing I can already hear coming from the mouths (and blogs) of Savage's extreme right wing compatriots is that the fact that he got fired for his beliefs is also discrimination. Or, that because I call Savage an idiot (which I most certainly do), I am discriminating against him in the same way he discriminated against that poor caller. *coughBullshitcough*

The difference is, Michael Savage chooses to be an idiot. At any point he could stop acting like a complete jerk. At least, now that he is out of one of his jobs, he has less opportunity to act like a complete jerk. It's a step.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Film just smells funny.

On the subject of Cinema, read this article in Salon regarding the supposed rise of digital movie-making.

I like the fact that digital cameras make it cheaper and easier for independent filmmakers to get their stories told. However, I do agree that actual filmstock right now surpasses digital in terms of picture quality.
This is the best idea ever

I don't like children. I don't like it when people talk in movies. I really, really don't like it when children talk in movies. So this idea really, really appeals to me.

When Jennifer Garretson brought her 3-year-old son to the Cinemark Palace in Kansas City, she was shocked to be turned away.

Garretson was one of several parents who hadn't heard that as of July 4, children under 6 were no longer welcome at the movie theater -- even if they were accompanied by their parents.

Terrell Falk, spokeswoman for Dallas-based Cinemark USA, said the theater would no longer show movies rated G or PG. Instead, fliers in the lobby announced the theater will show "adult films, independent films and films geared toward adult audiences."


Look, if it's a PG-13 or higher rated movie, don't bring your 3 year old. Please. I beg you. They won't get it and will just annoy the rest of us movie snobs.

Granted, this is pretty hypocritical of me to say, because I think one of the main reasons I love movies so much was that my father took me to them so often as a child. But I never went to PG-13 or R-rated movies until I was old enough. These same people taking their kids to see these movies always seem to be the same exact people complaining that children are exposed to too much violence in the media.

I always thought, growing up, that I was a latchkey kid, whose parents allowed her to pretty much tend to myself. Reading about parents complaining they can't take their infant children to PG-13 or R-rated movies, though, I start to think differently.
Bad Omens

If I were superstitious, I would take this as a bad sign for America.

Bald Eagle Is Found Dead at National Zoo in Washington; Officials Suspect Bobcat

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON July 6 —
Officials at the National Zoo suspect that a large cat got into a bald eagle's enclosure and killed the bird, perhaps already weakened by fierce storms and unable to fly.


Good thing I don't believe in that sort of thing.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Link-o-rama

I'm going to let loose with some rapid-fire linking. I'm too preoccupied for actual blogging.

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Chechen separatists have been causing trouble again.

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Two female suicide bombers killed 14 people Saturday outside a rock concert in Moscow, Russian authorities said.

It's intruiging to me that most of the Chechen terrorists seem to be female. There was the woman who threw herself under a bus last month, and of course the group last year that targeted a Russian theatre. I seem to remember that group was comprised mostly of women as well.

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Barry White has died at age 58. He always seemed like such a likable guy. And 58 is too young. How sad.

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Joe Conason at Salon has a brilliant review of Treason, the new book by everybody's favorite hatemonger and Bill Maher's clubbing buddy, Ann Coulter. I haven't been keeping up with Ann ever since the demise of Anti-Coulter, but this one's a doozy. Ann seems to have finally revealed her true hero, Former Senator Joseph McCarthy.

"Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America," according to her demonology. "They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn't slowed them down." And: "Liberals relentlessly attack their country, but we can't call them traitors, which they manifestly are, because that would be 'McCarthyism,' which never existed." (Never existed? Her idol gave his 1952 book that very word as its title.)

Soon she'll be mentioning that Hitler at least made the trains run on time.

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Rittenhouse has a post about Ann as well. Even I was shocked to hear Coulter say things like this (via Richard Cohen's article).

Coulter’s book contains the usual name-calling, the usual spinning of the facts, the occasional racial insult -- McCarthy, for instance, “took enemy fire from savage Oriental beasts” in World War II -- and it revives the charge from the 1950s that the Democratic Party is the party of traitors.

Savage Oriental beasts? What's wrong with this woman?

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And I sincerely hope this gelatinous blob is a specimin of Octopus Giganteus and not a pile of whale blubber. That would be cool.

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So there it is. Promise to post something more substantial later.
Unintentional Hiatus

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I've been busy with, you know, life and stuff.