Saturday, October 30, 2004

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Eminem takes aim at Bush

Article re. Eminem's lastest and amazingly activist video: "his new anti-Bush song 'Mosh,' makes 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look like a GOP campaign spot". There is also a link to download the video online (warning: it takes a looooong time!), but also describes the highlights of the video in case you don't/can't watch it. Says Salon:

It all ends amazingly earnestly, with Eminem leading a black-clad army to the voting booth. Once again, Bush proves he really does have wonder working powers -- by behaving even more callously and irresponsibly than the most outrageous rapper, he's turned music's foremost enfant terrible into a role model of civic engagement.

Now we just have to see if MTV has the guts to air it.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Eminem on election: Bush 'not my homie'

Another Jon Stewart Alert!

According to an Associated Press report, it would seem the dapper and insightful Mr. Stewart will be profiled on 60 Minutes this Sunday!!!

Fahrenheit 9/11 - A Must-See

Michael Moore's documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" is now out on video and DVD, and I just finished watching it. I recommend it in the highest possible terms.

I had delayed watching it for months because I'm not a big fan of Michael Moore's style. But this film is so effective in so many ways. At this moment, the main thing that is staying with me is the way that Moore humanized the dreadful human cost of the war in Iraq - by showing wounded American soldiers, families of innocent Iraqi civilians killed in the war, and - perhaps most memorably - the family of an American soldier killed in Iraq. This is exactly the perspective that the mainstream media is actively avoiding to present to the public (for whatever reason). Michael Moore may be an asshole at times, but at least his film shows his ability to empathize with human suffering (which is more than I can say for Bush, Cheney, and Co.).

But there is a lot to this movie, many themes and a lot of information. It is both a strength and a flaw (a weakness because the movie probably tries to do too much).

But really, it is well worth watching.

Grab-Bag of Political Links

#1 - Check out this ad: It's a bang-on contrast of the incredible human toll of the Iraq War and Bush's unbelievably flippant attitude. There are also some ads further down on the page, and I would especially recommend "History" as well.

#2 - Today in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff investigates what the Bible really has to say about homosexuality (free registration required to read the column). Here are some highlights:

Over the last couple of months, I've been researching the question of how the Bible regards homosexuality. Social liberals tend to be uncomfortable with religious arguments, but that is the ground on which political battles are often decided in America - as when a Texas governor, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, barred the teaching of foreign languages about 80 years ago, saying, "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us."
While homosexuality never made the Top 10 lists of commandments, a plain reading of the Book of Leviticus is that male anal sex is every bit as bad as other practices that the text condemns, like wearing a polyester-and-cotton shirt (Leviticus 19:19).

As for the New Testament, Jesus never said a word about gays, while he explicitly advised a wealthy man to give away all his assets and arguably warned against bank accounts ("do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth").

Likewise, Jesus praises those who make themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, but conservative Christians rarely lead the way with self-castration.

#3 - Bush probably lied about his work for a project for inner-city kids (he says he ran the program voluntarily, evidence suggests he had to work there - but not run the program - because he got into a little trouble with the law). Why am I not shocked?

I can't take any more right now - but I'll have more links later.

Still sick - and sick of being sick!!!

Well, this will be weekend #4 that I will be staying at home trying to beat this bug. It seems to rotate around from throat to sinuses to lungs - just to keep things interesting, I guess. Which may be a good thing, as otherwise I am well on my way to being a very boring person!!!! LOL

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

By all that's dear to me, I hope he's right ...

Sidney Blumenthal today in Salon:

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has more than 10,000 lawyers deployed to defend against voter suppression, 2,000 stationed like the Union Army in Florida; and civil rights groups are sending out more than 6,000 lawyers.

The polls, nearly all showing a dead-even race, are fundamentally flawed in that they mostly fail to account for all these new voters, who have no past records. Also, they do not measure those for whom a cellphone is their principal phone -- 6 percent of the population now, concentrated among younger people, who appear to show an unusual interest in voting and will vote Democratic by a margin of 2.5-to-1.

The Democracy Corps poll, however, accounts for newly registered voters. Stanley Greenberg, Bill Clinton's pollster in his 1992 campaign and Tony Blair's, conducts the poll's research. Four months ago, Greenberg told me, the newly registered made up only 1 percent of the sample. One month ago, they comprised 4 percent. Now, in the poll completed on Oct. 18, they are at 7 percent and rising. And they will vote for Kerry over Bush by 61 to 37 percent.

Moreover, Bush's job approval has now fallen to 47 in this poll (others have it at 44); presidents below 50 lose without exception. Bush has not campaigned in Ohio for an extraordinary stretch of three weeks, though he plans to stop there once this week. Unemployment continues to rise in the state. "There is no other explanation for his absence," says Greenberg, "other than his numbers go down when he's there. His position on jobs is implausible."

Democracy Corps' research shows that best-case arguments for either candidate shift no voters, not even 1 percent. They are locked in. (Democracy Corps has the contest at 50 to 47 percent for Kerry.) The deciding factor therefore will be turnout -- the higher the turnout, the larger the vote for Democrats.

Mmmmmm ribs!!!

I continue to play cruise director at work, this time organizing a get-together for ribs at a downtown restaurant (we actually wanted to go to the Red Devil Barbeque and Grill, but found it was boarded up, so we went to Baton Rouge instead). Mmmmmm ribs!!! Great people, good times!

Julie McCoy Posted by Hello

Tough choices in Sudan - some easy help could be provided?

NYT columnist Nicholas Kristoff snuck into the war-devastated nation of Sudan recently, and today writes (free registration required) about the way people are struggling to survive among the genocide, and the extremely difficult choices some families have to make. I must confess I've read nothing about this situation until this morning, but it's well worth reading about. He also writes:

I understand the painful ethical choices of Abdelrahim's family, of Mr. Hassan and of the international aid agencies. But what I can't fathom is our own moral choice, our decision to acquiesce in genocide.

We in America could save kids like Abdelrahim and Muhammad. This wouldn't require troops, just a bit of gumption to declare a no-fly zone, to press our Western allies and nearby Arab and African states, to impose an arms embargo and other targeted sanctions, to push a meaningful U.N. resolution even at the risk of a Chinese veto, and to insist upon the deployment of a larger African force.

Instead, President Bush's policy is to chide Sudan and send aid. That's much better than nothing and has led Sudan to kill fewer children and to kill more humanely: Sudan now mostly allows kids in Darfur like Abdelrahim to die of starvation, instead of heaving them onto bonfires. But fundamentally, U.S. policy seems to be to "manage" the genocide rather than to act decisively to stop it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Dissent Among Republicans

Quoted in a Salon column today is Paul Craig Roberts, the assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy in the Reagan administration:

Bush's supporters demand lock-step consensus that Bush is right. They regard truthful reports that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and was not involved in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. -- truths now firmly established by the Bush administration's own reports -- as treasonous America-bashing ... In language reeking with hatred, Heritage Foundation Town Hall readers impolitely informed me that opposing the invasion of Iraq is identical to opposing America, that Bush is the greatest American leader in history and everyone who disagrees with him should be shot before they cause America to lose another war ... Bush's conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country.
Even dyed-in-the-wool Repubs are concerned about where the Bushes are leading the U.S. (and the world).

Jon Stewart Alert

Fans: The dreamy Mr. Stewart graces the front cover of Rolling Stone.

Maha Will Make You Think

One of my favourite bloggers is Barbara O'Brien, or "Maha", who writes today about
"the way the Bush campaign subtly plays Americans against each other". You should read it.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Scary TV

Except for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", my TV rarely changes station from TLC ("The Learning Channel", which is really just a lot of "reality" shows that aren't quite so gratuitous as "Survivor" or "Fear Factor" or the like).

On right now is "Maternity Ward", which is an hour of film taken of actual women delivering babies in a hospital. Women screaming, women moaning, women getting epidurals and C-sections ... Everything that makes me have no regrets about not having children! LOL -- WHY do women sign up for this????

Among the stories tonight, there was a stellar family of a 17-year-old pregnant girl who insisted on NO pain medication (not even a Tylenol) to teach her a lesson and to discourage future pregnancies. Nice, huh? I expect if I were to open the dictionary, their family portrait would be illustrating the "dysfunctional". Not there? Check under "beastly" ...

Off to bed now.

No cherry pie yesterday, but a whole lotta Hagen-Daas

I was going to be good. While dreaming of cherry pie, I nibbled on a totally healthy pomegranate instead. But then I noticed that some of my frozen food was getting soft, and that my freezer wasn't really working. I had almost a full pint of Hagen-Daas Rocky Road ice cream that was half-melted and would be ruined. It was damn fine ice cream, lemme tell ya! LOL

Fortunately, I didn't take the same attitude toward the jar of mayonnaise in the fridge that was getting kinda warm ...

Breath-stealing hypocrisy

When Maureen Dowd is right, she's like a laser. This column concerns the Catholic bishops in the U.S. who have stated that voting for Kerry is so evil that it must be confessed as a sin before receiving communion. Um, excuse me????

Some of the bishops - the shepherds of a church whose hierarchy bungled the molestation and rape of so many young boys by tolerating it, covering it up, enabling it, excusing it and paying hush money - are still debating whether John Kerry should be allowed to receive communion.

These bishops are embryo-centric; they are not as concerned with the 1,080 kids killed in a war that the Bush administration launched with lies, or about the lives that could be lost thanks to the president's letting the assault weapons ban lapse, or about all the lives that could be saved and improved with stem cell research.

The president's certitude - the idea that he can see into people's souls and that God tells him what is right, then W. tells us if he feels like it - is disturbing. It equates disagreeing with him to disagreeing with Him.

The conservative bishops' certitude - the idea that you can't be a good Catholic if you diverge from certain church-decreed mandates or if you want to keep your religion and politics separate - is also disturbing.

America is awash in selective piety, situational moralists and cherry-picking absolutists.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A Candidate to Save Us From Fried Chicken and Janet Jackson

Too funny ... (free registration required - unless you're already registered with the NY Times)

Freudian slip?

Bush sought to counter suggestions that there will be a military draft if he's re-elected, but the president almost blew his line.

He said that, after a debate with Kerry, "I made it very plain. We will not have an all-volunteer army." The crowd fell silent. "WE WILL have an all-volunteer army," Bush said, quickly catching himself. "Let me restate that. We will not have a draft."

Early morning food craving

It's 7:45 AM, and there is nothing I want more right now than a piece of cherry pie ... LOL

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Worth reading in its entirety

A very powerful column by Hal Crowther:

One problem with this referendum is that the case against George Bush is much too strong. Just to spell it out is to sound like a bitter partisan.

All it takes to make a Bush conservative is a few slogans from talk radio and pickup truck bumpers, a sneer at "liberals" and maybe a name-dropping nod to Edmund Burke or John Locke, whom most of them have never read. Sheep and sheep only could be herded by a ludicrous but not harmless cretin like Rush Limbaugh, who has just compared the sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners to "a college fraternity prank" (and who once called Chelsea Clinton "the family dog" -- you don't have to worry about shame when you have no brain).

I don't think it's accurate to describe America as polarized between Democrats and Republicans, or between liberals and conservatives. It's polarized between the people who believe George Bush and the people who do not. Thanks to some contested ballots in a state governed by the president's brother, a once-proud country has been delivered into the hands of liars, thugs, bullies, fanatics and thieves. The world pities or despises us, even as it fears us. What this election will test is the power of money and media to fool us, to obscure the truth and alter the obvious, to hide a great crime against the public trust under a blood-soaked flag. The most lavishly funded, most cynical, most sophisticated political campaign in human history will be out trolling for fools.

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

JS rocks!!! This website has the video of his entire appearance on CNN's "Crossfire". You know, it takes incredible integrity, personality, intelligence, and conviction to pull off what he did.

I have such a crush!

Revolt in the ranks in Iraq

The inside story of the Army platoon that refused to carry out a "death sentence" mission.

An Incredible Kid

Who had to grow up way too early ...

I'd love to know what he'll be doing in 10, 20, 30 years.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Freeway Blogging

Funny, and creative ...

War Penguin

Meet one of my co-workers, Oleg. Perhaps it's his experience as an officer in the Russian army, but he took the little foam penguin and armed him with a Stinger-like outfit. It's pretty sad what you find funny sometimes when you work in an office ... LOL

War Penguin Posted by Hello

Voter fraud in the U.S.A.

New York Times' columnist Paul Krugman has yet another article worth reading today (free registration required to read it online) regarding attempts in the U.S. to make voting in the upcoming election difficult if not impossible for certain populations (i.e., blacks, Democrats).

Earlier this week former employees of Sproul & Associates (operating under the name Voters Outreach of America), a firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters, told a Nevada TV station that their supervisors systematically tore up Democratic registrations.
Krugman lists a number of other documented examples. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be grabbing a lot of media attention. Why not??? Every democratic nation should be absolutely outraged. Hell, people with guns flip out when it's suggested there should be some restraints on their "rights" to bear arms! Who's flipping out about thousands of people losing their right to vote?

The sad fact is that when a country like the U.S. has this kind of corruption and voter fraud, and it goes unchecked, it's going to encourage similar behaviour in other democratic countries.

What the heck has gone so wrong???

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Hot hot hot

It's just wrong for it to be 10:30 pm in mid-October, to have every window open, and still have the internal temperature to be 24 degrees Celcius. The centralized heating in my building is out of control. Last night I had to turn on the fan just to get some cool air so I could sleep ... Could this be the cause of global warming???

Okay, all drugged up - maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.

Welcome to my new blog!

Hi there - and thanks for visiting! Why the new locale? A bunch of reasons, one of them being I wanted a medium that would allow interaction with you the reader! Please feel welcome to post your comments below!

There are some things that this blog does not allow me to do (organize recipes and book reviews, for examples), so isn't going anywhere for a while. Maybe I'll find another solution that will have the best of all worlds. Until then, I will just be submitting little posts here on this blog.

So what's new here? Well, if you've been wondering why you haven't heard from me lately, I've basically been under the weather for the last two weeks - first with a sore throat, and now a miserable cold. (Do you hear the violins???) A wonderful friend from Korea (Jen C.) was in town this week, and unfortunately, I felt gross, tired, and clammy, and was afraid I'd pass the bug on to her, so we didn't get to go out for dinner as we'd planned.

Well, hopefully I'll feel better in the next few days. Thank goodness the weekend is almost here!

This isn't really an auspicious post to begin this new blog with - but post your own comment and cheer up this snuffly l'il sickie!!! ;->