Friday, June 29, 2007

Which Feminist Icon Are You?

This was a cute quiz. I took it and here's the result:

"You are Emma Goldman! You are the mama of Anarchist/Communist feminism and you inspired millions to embrace the labor movement. Without ever directly saying so, you directed efforts toward saving wymyn and children from exploitation. Oh yeah, you were also a total sexpot!"

Well, the total sexpot part is right.

I Am Spartacus!

Shakesville has been hit by a denial-of-service attack by the usual online wingnuts trying to shut them down. But you can still find them back at their old url for the time being; click above and then click on the link. Freedom of speech is one of the rights guaranteed us as U.S. citizens.

And thanks to the Cap'n, 'cause I stole her piratey Spartacus. Let's hope she doesn't make me walk the plank.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Angelina Jolie Newsflash

According to gossip columnist Mike Walker:
"Speaking of spousal fireworks, ANGELINA JOLIE took a break from filming her new flick “Wanted” in Prague, visited a sex shop called “Erotic City” and purchased two items – a black leather garter belt and…CRRAAACK!...a black riding crop!"
Oh yeah. I can think of worse things to think about.
James Gandolfini Shot By Closure-Seeking Fan

The Onion

James Gandolfini Shot By Closure-Seeking Fan

NEW YORK, NY —"I had to tie up the loose ends," said the assassin, who ignored criticisms that killing Gandolfini was "predictable," "cheap," and "void of imagination."

Mitt Romney: The Jury's In

I am an admitted cat lover, but it doesn't mean I don't like dogs. Though I'm no expert, I do know I would never, ever, under any circumstances put a dog in a crate, strap the crate to the top of my car, and set out on a 12-hour drive. I think anybody who would do that is a self-centered jackass. Well, guess what? The jury's in! Mitt Romney is a self-centered jackass:
The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario. ... Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog. ...
Windshield, whoopee doo! Wait, there's more!
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window.
Yup. Poor dog sh*t himself. Dogs don't do that unless they are terrified or have a need to go beyond urgent.

No matter how you look at it, that was simply cruel.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton Sopranos Parody

This is actually cute, and I voted in Hillary's "campaign song" contest. However, I voted for U2's "Beautiful Day," not the schmaltzy Celine Dion jingle that won. Hmm. Barack Obama continues to look better and better.


Yes, there is a website dedicated to cats that look like Hitler, which are called "Kitlers." The owner writes:
Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he's going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like "Sieg Miaow"? If so, this is the website for you.
I just love the Internet.

Professors With Guns

From Inside Higher Education:
Next time, if an unhinged student chooses a campus in Las Vegas or Reno instead of Blacksburg, Va., Stavros Anthony wants Nevada’s colleges and universities to be prepared. After April’s shootings at Virginia Tech, the Las Vegas police captain and member of the Nevada Board of Regents proposed that the Nevada System of Higher Education protect itself against a similar attack, in part, by enabling faculty and staff members to become reserve police officers.

“Virginia Tech hit home with me, and I thought, ‘What can we do here in Nevada to deal with an issue if, God forbid, if ever happens here?’ The answer, to me, was have more individuals trained to shoot back and kill somebody who’s committing a mass shooting.”

On Thursday, the Nevada Board of Regents gave the go-ahead to four public colleges in the state to develop policies — which would still require board approval in September — to allow faculty and staff members to become reserve police officers authorized to carry guns.
I dunno. This kinda seems like a bad idea, too, for, oh, half a dozen reasons.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Too Cute!

Look at the baby snow leopards!

Cheney on the Three Branches of Government

I admit it has been a while since I took my 12th grade government class, but here's what I learned about the branches of government as set forth by the Constitution--there are three: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. It seems Vice President Cheney has decided there's a fourth branch of government, that of the Office of Vice President With Special Powers. Here's a quote from abc news:
Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney.

Bill Leonard, head of the government's Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), told Waxman's staff that Cheney's office has refused to provide his staff with details regarding classified documents or submit to a routine inspection as required by presidential order, according to Waxman.
Dailykos elaborates more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: It's Not Serving Us Well

From Crooks and Liars:
Last December, we learned that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad employs 1,000 people, of which six speak Arabic fluently. The good news is the number of Arabic speakers at the U.S. Embassy has gone up 66%. The bad news is, when you start with six, that kind of increase is still pretty small.

Of the 1,000 U.S. employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, only 10 have a working knowledge of Arabic, according to the State Department.

That is still a slight improvement from last year when, according to the Iraq Study Group, six people in the embassy spoke Arabic.

A 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted the shortage of speakers of Arabic, which the State Department classifies as “superhard,” is acute at U.S. embassies in the Muslim world.

In December, confronted with questions about this, Tony Snow said, “[Y]ou don’t snap your fingers and have the Arabic speakers you need overnight.” Actually, if Bush were willing to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he could have more Arabic speakers overnight.

Fact is, we have discharged two gay soldiers (who had translating jobs) who were fluent in Arabic. Hear the story here. And an older version here.

What's more astonishing is that, in times of war, the U.S. has traditionally "waived" the gay issue. The thinking had something to do with, "the more swinging dicks in the field, the better." I.e., manpower trumps all.

Or, maybe, in times of crisis and necessity, we are forced to see past our prejudices. About ten years ago, I taught a speech class at North Central Technical College in Ohio, and I remember that one semester, an older, very Republican and vocally Christian student stood up to make a brief impromptu pro/con speech. His topic was on "gays in the military." I braced for the onslaught of gay hatred, the usual cliches about predators, cowering men, men vulnerable to blackmail or torture. Instead, he gave a moving speech about sharing a foxhole with a gay man, a man, he said, who always had his back.

Sadly, after wartime, in the U.S., discharges of gay soldiers rise again, even after clear acts of bravery on the part of gay servicemen and women.

So what's wrong? There is no reason I can think of--not national safety nor security--to discharge these soldiers who know Arabic. We need them. We're trying to better communicate with our new Iraqi friends...aren't we?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why, Yes, You ARE Losing It

We've all heard of the new weight-loss drug, Alli (pronounced
"Ally," long "I") which is now available over the counter for a whopping @$60 (for a one-month supply). Women are reportedly snatching it off the shelves in a frenzy.

But how does this "magic bullet" work? Well, it's a lower-potency version of the prescription drug Xenical (that didn't do well due to its nasty side effects). Though Alli is not quite as potent, it works exactly the same way: it blocks your body from absorbing about 25 percent of the fat that you eat. (In a diet of 3,000 calories and 100 grams of fat, this would knock out about 225 calories.)

If that sounds too easy, it's because it is. First of all, it does nothing to calories that come from carbohydrates and protein, and bear in mind that the average woman needs @2,000 calories a day to maintain her weight, not 3,000 (unless she happens to be training for a marathon). So how many calories are you really blocking? Not a whole heck of a lot. Second, lower potency or not, if you check out Alli's Web site, you'll find an entire section devoted to its nasty potential side effects, namely "bowel changes," such as "gas with oily spotting," "loose stools" or "more frequent stools that may be hard to control," the page says, before likening the undigested fat -- which will show up in the toilet -- to "the oil on top of a pizza." In short, it's quite clear that the human body is not designed to expel a quarter of the fat it eats. Indeed, they suggest, until you are used to Alli, perhaps taking an extra pair of slacks or undergarments to work would be wise.

But you can prevent these side effects, at least to some degree. Alli's makers tell us to merely limit ourselves to no more than 15 grams of fat per meal. In other words, eat a low-fat diet. Well, knock me over with a feather! If you're already eating a low-fat diet, why would you need the Alli? In fact, wouldn't Alli then be a bad idea? Because fat is an essential macronutrient--we need about 60 grams of it daily for basic bodily functions such as hormone transport, etc.

In fact, Alli sounds maybe a little too much like taking laxatives after a large meal in order to lose weight. And we have a name for that practice: bulimia.

Hat tip to Salon.

At Least I'm Not NC-17

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating
The rating was based on the presence of the words "gay" and "lesbian" on this site. Oh, and one use of the word "ass."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Best Buddies

Here's a kitty who loves her horsie friend.

Surge Isn't Working; Limited Draft May Be Next

According to the British online newsmagazine The First Post:
The US is considering introducing a limited military draft if it is to keep its present force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon advisers have warned British colleagues. Next month, US forces in Iraq will peak at around 170,000, and GIs in the new units are being told they could be on operations for at least 15 months.

The article goes on to say that
US-led operations in Iraq appear to have reached yet another turning point with the American commander, General David Petraeus, due to hand to Congress a report on his latest strategic thinking. He appears to have given up on the so-called 'surge' which has brought an extra 21,000 US troops to central Iraq. According to advance reports from Baghdad, the surge has failed because the Iraqi government and forces were not prepared to fulfill their promise to back it in word and deed.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bad At Blogging

I've been quiet lately ... it's not that I don't have opinions! But, I had a birthday on Thurs. and my partner has her birthday tomorrow (two Geminis--imagine! The four of us can never decide what to do). So we've been pretty much having a week- long party, wandering through downtown Spok-vegas and having appetizers and drinking. Thumbs up to Mizuna, our new favorite downtown cafe!

Feeling bloated, I did take a little time this morning to work out (legs, which is a short workout. Leg presses, leg extensions, leg curls, hip adduction/abduction, calf raises, leg presses again with calf presses, and then abs. (Always I do some kind of ab work.) I considered lunges, but my legs were already shaking, and there were three huge men I didn't know in the squat rack, and I got too shy to venture near, as the dumbbells and barbells are right there. And men who shrug six plates psych me out.

We went to Post Falls to watch the ponies this afternoon ... I ended up ahead, but poor Sweetie did not. Sometimes the horsies don't wanna run! However, when we got home and she checked her online account, she was up for the day. (I just read those last two sentences. Hmmm. Sounds like an addiction. No worries. We'll change up and start betting on golf before long.)


I'll post again soon, when we come up for air ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Could Wal-Mart Be Any More Heinous?

Of course, it's no secret that Wal-mart discriminates against its female "associates" in pay and management opportunities, but geez. They even found this innocuous t-shirt to be offensive and pulled it from their shelves!

Read more about it here.

Britain's Got Talent - Opera Man

This guy's a cell phone salesman, and he has truly bad teeth. But boy, he can belt out "Nessun Dorma" just as well as any of the Three Tenors. You have to see it to believe it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

19th Century Weapon Found in Whale

I swear this isn't from the Onion:
A 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt — more than a century ago. Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3 1/2-inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old.
Read more about it in the SF Chronicle.

Dang! I Wanna Go!

Poor Paris. From the Huffington Post:
PARIS Hilton is supposedly at the breaking point in jail - but she'll be breaking out the champagne and partying like mad the second she's released, if her parents get their way.

Page Six has learned that the celebutard's doting daddy, Rick Hilton, was recently shopping a "Get Out of Jail" bash for his little girl to the top Las Vegas clubs, including Pure, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the Palms.
Retired Gen. George Washington Criticizes Bushs Handling Of Iraq War

The Onion

Retired Gen. George Washington Criticizes Bush's Handling Of Iraq War

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Revolutionary War veteran noted that while Hussein was a tyrant, that alone did not justify a "conflict that seems without design or end."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Rags to Riches: Great Filly!

I did bet her across the board. She went off at 4-1. I got $18 on the bet and wished I'd put more down on her. Way to go, Rags to Riches!

A filly hasn't won the Belmont Stakes in 102 years. (Read that again.)

And Todd Pletcher, a phenomenal trainer, has never been able to hit a winner in a Triple Crown race. It's perfect that he did so with a filly in an "impossible" race.

I'm still gloating. Virtually every handicapper laughed at me when I said Rags to Riches had enough of a chance for me to bet her as I did.

Belmont Card

Thirteen races! And I have to work part of today downtown, but I'll be back home in plenty of time to see the Belmont Stakes go off (it's the 11th race of the day).

The Pick 6 commences with the 6th race. Here are my picks:

6th: Bordonaro
7th: Take the Ribbon
8th: Deadly Dealer, Street Magician, Sports Town
9th: Dream Rush
10th: Cosmonaut, Better Talk Now, Shakis
11th: Hard Spun, Curlin, Rags to Riches

A Pick 4 commences with the 10th race:

10th: English Channel, Cosmonaut, Better Talk Now
11th: Hard Spun, Curlin, Rags to Riches
12th: Hold That Thought
13th: Stately Pegasus

For the Belmont Stakes, as I posted yesterday, I like Curlin, Rags to Riches, and Hard Spun, in any order.

Good luck!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Uh-Oh, Did Bush Fall Off the Wagon?

That is, in fact, a beer that George Bush is drinking. However, it's a Buckler, a German "non-alcohol" beer. Nonetheless, they do contain a small amount of alcohol, just not the average 5% that most American brews do (it's more like Oklahoma "near beer"). Still, if you drink enough of them, and you don't have much of a tolerance for alcohol, it can definitely make you a little queasy the next day.

They're discussing the dangers of NA Beer for alcoholics over at Shakesville (though let me point out that the President has never admitted to being an alcoholic, just that alcohol, in the past, became a problem for him and that's why he quit drinking).

Paris Hilton Back in Jail

The plot simply thickens in this tale that should've ended aeons ago! Okay. Paris went in front of the judge today, who sent her right back to jail to finish her sentence. Paris reportedly pitched a total snit-fit and was basically hauled away, kicking and screaming, "It's not fair!" and mouthing to her mother, "Mommy, do something!"

Seems she had a party last night at home and held court with her friends, regaling them with tales of the many horrors of jail and how those terrible people made her wash with soap and water and they didn't even have any lotion for her!

What a rude awakening for someone with such a profound sense of entitlement.

Seriously, I think she should just settle in with a book and learn to be alone with her thoughts. (Certainly she must have them?) Martha Stewart could emerge from jail a pseudo-heroine; so, too, can Paris Hilton.

Tomorrow's Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes consists of only a 7-horse field, but it's proving a little difficult to handicap. I do think Curlin (pictured) will be hard to beat since Street Sense is not running. But with the Belmont, there's always the question of who can go the distance: it's a long race at 1 and a half miles. So you want to look for horses who are bred for distance and can close.

Hard Spun is entered, but he is an early speed racer. In the Preakness his jockey set him right off the pace but let him go too early and he tanked (still he hung on for third). Consequently, a new jockey will be aboard, Garrett Gomez, who is a master at riding a closer. Hard Spun also has a good Tomlinson rating for distance. Thus you can't really count Hard Spun out.

Another horse that you can't count out is the filly Rags to Riches. She won the Kentucky Oaks this year (which is the filly version of the Kentucky Derby). She's also one of Todd Pletcher's horses, and I find it interesting that he's putting her in instead of Circular Quay or one of the others. The thing that's scary about her is her lineage: she's totally bred for distance, and because she's a filly running against all colts, she gets a 5-lb weight break. That could make all the difference when we're talking about going a mile and a half.

Tiago is another one you can't discount. He's Giacomo's brother and has the same connections as that horse, closed well in the Kentucky Derby, won the Santa Anita Derby and is your typical closer.

C P West is on the improve for trainer Nick Zito and finished 4th in the Preakness. Edgar Prado is his jockey, and Prado is notorious for winning the Belmont on longshot horses.

In short, the only two horses I don't have much faith in are Slew's Tizzy (in over his head; his speed figures are too slow) and I'mawildandcrazyguy, who did fine in the Derby, but the pace scenario here will be completely different.

So phooey. Again I find myself wanting to make a chalky bet: Curlin with Rags to Riches exacta box, and Curlin-Rags to Riches-Hard Spun trifecta box. Or maybe I'll just bet Rags to Riches across the board and root for the girl. She's a beautiful horse, big for a filly:

Otherwise, since I think the favorites will prevail, I might do a Pick 3 or double with this race as one of the legs and look for a little more value in the other legs.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

NBC Courting Rosie O'Donnell

Apparently NBC wants Rosie O'Donnell in a bad way.

New programming chief Ben Silverman is telling friends he will do anything to get O'Donnell onto the network, and not just in daytime. Silverman is talking to O'Donnell about hosting a prime-time game show he has up his sleeve as well as a daytime hour a la "The View."

Love her or hate her, she sends ratings up. And her imitation of Donald Trump was dead on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Paris Hilton In Jail

Here is the LA Times' take on Paris's jailtime experience thus far. It's rather amusing.

UPDATE: OMG, they sent her home after a lousy 3 days in a cell all by her little lonesome. (Good grief, can't she just sit still and read a book?) The press alludes to some "medical condition," but I don't know what it is that makes house arrest more appropriate.

Bush's Nomination for Surgeon General

Good lord, the man is battin' a thousand. Several groups have now spoken out against the President's nomination for Surgeon General, but in my opinion, Soulforce's press release regarding the issue says it best:
Soulforce today expressed deep concern over the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger for United States Surgeon General.

"As the leading spokesperson for matters of public health, the Surgeon General should be guided by sound medical science, not anti-gay views rooted in religion-based bigotry," said Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes.

Dr. Holsinger is the current president of the United Methodist Judicial Council. As a member of the council, he opposed the 2004 decision to allow Rev. Karen Dammann, a lesbian, to continue serving as a minister. He also upheld the 2004 defrocking of Rev. Beth Stroud, another lesbian minister, and sided with a Virginia pastor who denied church membership to an openly gay man. Soulforce stood in solidarity at the trials of Rev. Dammann and Rev. Stroud, challenging the unjust policy that bars gay men and lesbians from ordination in the United Methodist Church and the false doctrine that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Holsinger co-founded Hope Springs Community Church, in Lexington, Kentucky, which operates an "ex-gay" ministry aimed at changing homosexuals to heterosexuals. Recent events have brought national attention to the existence of programs intended to modify same-sex desires, which continue to multiply in spite of the consensus of the major medical and mental health organizations that sexual orientation is not a disorder and is, therefore, not in need of a cure. The American Psychological Association identifies "depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior" among the possible risks associated with ex-gay therapies.

Later this month, on June 29 - July 1, Soulforce will sponsor an international convention in Irvine, California, for those who have attended ex-gay ministries or reparative therapy but ultimately concluded that the programs did more harm than good. The Ex-Gay Survivor Conference will feature the testimonies of former "ex-gays," including men and women who founded and directed ex-gay programs but are now speaking publicly about the injury the programs can cause. For more information about the conference, go here.

Soulforce Executive Director, Jeff Lutes, is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice and has treated dozens of victims of so-called "ex-gay ministries" and "reparative therapy." In a statement released Wednesday, Lutes said "America doesn't need a Surgeon General who supports 'reparative therapy' and anti-gay dogma masquerading as science. If Holsinger bars gays and lesbians from his own church, how will he treat them as the nation's chief physician? What America needs now is some 'reparative theology' - a force of fair-minded people of faith who will take an unwavering stand against religion gone bad and choose instead to welcome and affirm gay and lesbian people into full citizenship."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Newsflash for Holocaust Deniers

Fresh from today's headlines: "KIEV, Ukraine -- Pipeline diggers unearthed a mass grave believed to contain thousands of Jews slaughtered in Ukraine during World War II, a Jewish community spokesman said Tuesday, a grim finding in a nation that one Holocaust expert described as "an enormous killing field."

The grave was found by chance last month when workers were laying gas pipelines in the village of Gvozdavka-1, about 110 miles northwest of the Black Sea port city of Odessa, said Roman Shvartsman, a spokesman for the regional Jewish community.

The Nazis established two ghettos during World War II near the village and brought Jews there from Odessa and what is now the nation of Moldova, Shvartsman said."

The rest of the story is here. And please don't tell me this is just more Jewish propaganda. The situation in the Middle East is complicated, and Israel is not guiltless for its role in the conflict, but there is no denying that millions of Jews were systematically slaughtered during Hitler's domination of Europe.

Monday, June 4, 2007

"A Mouthful of Ledger"

Here's a deleted scene from "Knocked Up"in which they discuss the lack of graphic sex scenes in "Brokeback Mountain." Methinks the dude has a point! (And protests too much.) Oh--serious foul mouth, so be forewarned.

Women In Art

This is absolutely stunning.

Meet Odin

Odin is a five year-old White Bengal Tiger. Most big cats don't like water, but Odin loves diving in the pool to retrieve bits of meat fed to him by his trainers. He's at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. Man, if I were still in the Bay Area, I'd so go visit this guy.

Let's Go Shopping!

Let's go shopping at the Christian Domestic Discipline Store!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Friday, June 1, 2007

Haggard Tell-All

Well, this'll make Rev. Ted haggard for sure ('scuse the pun): his former buff gay prostitute lover, Mike Jones, has written a tell-all about their affair. I've skimmed a few reviews, which basically say it's a simple book, including anecdotes about their dating and all the giggles they shared. Of course, it also includes a lot of steamin', raunchy, man-on-man action, so sorry if I don't run right out and snap up a copy.

Ted Haggard, who after 4 days of intensive "gay reparative therapy" swears he's cured, doesn't really interest me. His lei in the photo does, though. Do you suppose it's real or plastic?

Pirate Master

I watched the first episode and will give the show a couple more chances, but I'm not sure this one is gonna hook me. In many ways, it's too much like Survivor, even down to the choice of contestants (anyone else see Reuben from Survivor: Panama whenever they look at Louie)? Then, finding the "treasure" is the same as a reward challenge. At the end of the episode, the captain singles out three of the pirates for elimination (with a black spot! Arrrgh! Shiver me timbers! Someone's read Treasure Island!) and the rest of the pirates votes one of them out. Eh. It's pretty much Survivor with a pirate theme.

Mostly I yawned my way through the episode, but the one thing that had me laughing was John, who identifies as a "Scientist/Erotic Dancer." ROFL He had a such a colossal ego it was almost frightening. ("Narcissist" would've been a better descriptor.) Perhaps instead of threatening the crew about having swiped their two compasses, he should've done a little pole dance and they would've let him stick around. I'm sure if I called up a certain acquaintance in Las Vegas, she'd be glad to lend him her tassles.

So far I'm going to root for the chick who's the Deputy District Attorney to win and be the "Pirate Master" (read: sole Survivor).

But by far my favorite Pirate Master can be found right here.