If Mary Poppins were redone as a horror flick, this is what the trailer would look like.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The Bush administration has decided to supply billions of dollars in advanced new weapons to Saudi Arabia, other Arab allies of the United States and to Israel, senior State Department officials and congressional aides said Friday.
The arms and aid package, which the officials said is to be announced on Monday, is part of a U.S. initiative to reassure worried allies in the Middle East that despite its troubles in Iraq , the United States remains committed to the region. It also is meant to send a signal of resolve to Iran's increasingly confident leaders.
Billions of dollars. Color me silly, but couldn't we use this money at home, right here in the good ole U.S. of A.? I do believe people in New Orleans are still suffering, post-Katrina, for example. But even sillier is, what is Dubya thinking? Because THIS was in the New York Times on Saturday:
Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia’s counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.
But nope! Let's give 'em billions in military aid anyway with no guarantees the weapons won't be eventually used against us or the effort in Iraq:
In talks about the package, the administration has not sought specific assurances from Saudi Arabia that it would be more supportive of the American effort in Iraq as a condition of receiving the arms package, the officials said.
Of course, we all know that private contractors such as Haliburton are making money hand over fist in Iraq, so let's do all we can to ensure the region remains volatile. (For some appalling testimony about the State Dept and its contractors responsible for the $600 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, click here. Particularly interesting is the allegation regarding the use of Filipino slave labor.) Let's also not forget we once supplied Saddam Hussein with weapons, and it's no secret the Bush Dynasty has been doin' bidness with the Saudis for generations now. I'm beginning to believe that peace in the Middle East is actually the last thing these neocons desire.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
It's probably good that we weren't there to set this man's head on straight. First of all, dog fighting pits two dogs against each other, and the two animals tear each other apart in a teeth baring, biting all-out violent fight. The object of the "game" is for one animal to die, or to be so injured the animal cannot continue.
The object of horse racing is entirely different. Two animals aren't pitted against each other to fight to the death. No, several race horses (usually at least six but normally anywhere between six and fourteen) are lined up together to run. They race, you know, kinda like human beings have races. Additionally, race horses are thoroughbred athletes who are highly trained and very well treated. In fact, the average amount of money an owner of a bottom level, cheap claimer can expect to pay for the horse's keep (stable, feed, groom, stable hands) is $2000 per month. And this is for a horse that isn't Barbaro.
Mr. Opinionated didn't even know Barbaro's name. He's probably never been to a horse race at a real track or taken the time to walk through the stalls with a trainer and see how the horses are treated. Well, I have, and I'm pretty sure it's a lot different from how dogs intended to die in fights are treated.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
I'm not one to criticize cops. I think, like soldiers, they do a difficult, necessary job and are often disrespected for it. My partner is also an ex-cop, as is one of my best friends. The other day, in this blog, I took a swipe at the Spokane police because of an incident on July 4th in Riverfront Park. This was, by all accounts, a peaceful demonstration--the anarchists' crime was, apparently, "looking kinda scary."
But now I have to go all out and say WTF?! I watched the scene unfold on the local news: the suicidal man had been, apparently, talked down by the cops, and then they were going to arrest him to help him "save face" though they didn't actually intend to have a prosecutor file charges. It didn't play out that way. He made a move to come down, and one of the officers fired his Taser at him. The officer's missiles, all except for one, missed. The suicidal man leaped back, hoisted himself up higher on the column he'd been hugging, and then threw himself into the Spokane River.
Why fire the Taser? What on earth was that supposed to accomplish? If more of the probes had hit him, he could've been shaken up and lost his footing and fallen into the river anyway. As it was, they missed, but any bond of trust that man had built with the police was destroyed--so he panicked! He jumped.
Good job, Spokane Police Department.
Oh yes. One more thing. I think Tasers should be taken away from these guys. Chief, are you listening?
Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
I doubt ole Oscar is psychic; animals simply have keener senses than humans in some areas. My guess is there's a scent Oscar's picking up, and given where he resides, he's been able to correlate the scent with the fact of human death. What is more interesting to me is that, beyond being a kind of sentinel to the dying, he is otherwise a standoffish cat. Read the rest of the story here.
Of course, it is true that Dailykos is a liberal blog, brought to you from Berkeley, CA (which I fondly refer to as "The People's Republic of Berkeley"). Thus it is critical of the current Administration. But note that O'Reilly's problem wasn't even with the main posts by Kos writers. No, he was complaining about people's posted responses to posts on that blog. I suppose what O'Reilly wants is for Kos to edit and/or censor the people posting on his blog, because some of them are just too darn snarky for him.
Stephen Colbert had something to say about this last night:
Bill O'Reilly: [Daily Kos is] like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi party.
Stephen Colbert: Exactly! The Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis were both notorious for allowing people to express unpopular views in an open and free forum.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Hat tip to Shakes for the groovy graphic.
You recall Gonzales' little visit to Ashcroft when he was in the hospital to try and secure approval for the domestic spying program. Here, Senator Schumer directly asks Gonzo if the President asked him to do that. It's a "yes" or "no" question. All Gonzo will say is that he "went on behalf of the President." So it's not that he doesn't recall; it's not that he'll outright lie and say no; he simply won't answer. Talk about stonewalling. The man is the consummate Bushie--oops, I mean toadie. Joseph Palermo explains here why Congress should kick Gonzo to the curb.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Lohan, who is already facing a drunken driving charge in Beverly Hills, was stopped near the Santa Monica Police Department after authorities were called about a car chasing another vehicle, said Sgt. Shane Talbot.
Authorities conducted a field sobriety test and then transported Lohan to the police department."
The legal limit in CA is .08. She tested between a .12 and .13. For whatever it's worth, I don't think rehab is helping this girl.
It's a great question! Edwards fudges, though, in his answer--it's not okay, he says, to use religion to discriminate against others, but then he goes on to admit how he is personally conflicted about gay marriage. He's okay with civil unions, but not gay marriage. Obama handles his answer a little more honestly by at least pointing out that marriage happens to be a religious institution, but he is all for full equality under the law.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Today he could finally redeem himself since he's faster than any of the horses in this field, but he'll be bet down so much (he's one of three Todd Pletcher entries) that he'll hardly be worth the wager. So I'm thinking let's hope he charges to the lead and sets a blistering pace and then tires. (Of course, Garrett Gomez is his new jockey, and Go-Go Gomez seldom does stupid things like that.) The other thing against him is that this is a turf race, and he's never raced on the grass.
So, I'm gonna bet against him! I like the 9, Summer Doldrums. Wish me luck. The race should be on television somewhere between 2-3 Pacific Time.
UPDATE: Ha! I went to the OTB in Post Falls to play, and they didn't have Colonial Downs available. So not only could I not bet this race, I couldn't watch it either! It's just as well, because Circular Quay didn't win, but neither did Summer Doldrums (who came in 4th). Another of the Pletcher horses won. Huh.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
President Vladimir Putin has long promised to restore Russian greatness and build an "energy empire." But until now, his empire-building had been confined to taking control of corporations operating on his turf, buying into businesses abroad, and blackmailing former Soviet Republics who dared vote against Moscow-backed candidates, moved to join NATO or acted in otherwise uppity ways. But Putin's imperial ambitions have recently added an element of classic 19th century-style territorial expansion: Late last month, Moscow signaled its intentions to annex the entire North Pole ...What's so great about the North Pole? Well, the area contains 10 billion tons of oil and natural gas deposits, that's what.
"Doctors thought the strange, bleeding bumps on Aaron Dallas' head might be from gnat bites or shingles. Then the bumps started moving.
A doctor found five active bot fly larvae living beneath the skin atop Dallas' head.
"I'd put my hand back there and feel them moving. I thought it was blood coursing through my head," Dallas told the (Glenwood Springs) Post Independent.
"I could hear them. I actually thought I was going crazy."
Dallas said he likely received the larval infestation while on a trip to Belize this summer. Bot fly infections are not uncommon in parts of Central and South America."
The doctors dug the maggots out of Dallas' head, and now he's got 'em in a little container for all the world to behold. Blech!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Come learn about the rights and benefits associated with WA State’s new domestic partner law. Our experts will help you learn:
►How to register
►What protections are included in the registry
►Reasons why you may or may not want to register
►How to be engaged in the quest for full equality
There will be several attorneys presenting information about the DP law to help you become informed regarding the new law. There will also be time for questions and answers from our panel of experts. Don't miss this opportunity!
Domestic Partner Forums
Wednesday July 18th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Sponsored by the Pride Foundation
The Seattle Public Library
Washington Mutual Foundation Meeting Room
1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle
Currently reservations are full. You can be wait listed by contacting
the Pride Foundation 206-323-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday July 19th, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Hosted By: The Rainbow Center
741 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma
Please RSVP by calling ERW at 206-324-2570 or by emailing email@example.com
Tuesday July 24th, 6:00 - 8:00pm
Hosted By: The Inland NW LGBT Center
Shadle Library 2111 West Wellesley, Spokane
Please RSVP by calling ERW at 206-324-2570 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday July 26th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Hosted By: YWCA Clark County 3609 Main St, Vancouver
Please RSVP by calling ERW at 206-324-2570 or by emailing email@example.com
Domestic Partner Brochure - To learn more about the new domestic partner law please download the brochure "The Legal Rights of Domestic Partners in Washington State" by going to http://www.equalrightswashington.org/pdfs/dpbrochure.pdf
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Elizabeth Edwards, speaking in San Francisco, recently said it best, and I'm paraphrasing: "Heterosexuals are a greater threat to heterosexual marriage than homosexuals are." And it's true. Look at the Senator Vitters and Rev. Ted Haggards of our world, thundering on about family values and how gay people devalue the institution of marriage; meanwhile, Vitter is visiting the D.C. Madam and Haggard is having sex and doing meth with a gay male prostitute.
Britney Spears can go to Las Vegas and marry on a whim, then annul the next day.
The divorce rate hovers around 50% for heterosexual couples.
I don't think we can blame these facts on homosexuals, who presently don't have the legal right to marry. Marriage as a "sacred institution" is declining just fine on its own.
And then I think about what's fair play. In most states, a gay couple who has been together for twenty years doesn't have inheritance rights and can't even visit each other in Intensive Care should one fall seriously ill-at least not without plunking down thousands of dollars in legal fees beforehand to draw up living wills, medical powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, and so on. And even then, should the family of one person raise a ruckus, the couple's own stated wishes can be called into question and challenged in the courts. Is this fair?
Civil unions and domestic partnerships do solve some of the inequities, but there is no genuine fairness without full equality. Gay people don't want "special rights"-they simply want equal rights. The Declaration of Independence guarantees ALL citizens the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not just the heterosexual citizens, or the white citizens. Indeed, gay people collectively are productive citizens who pay their taxes just like everybody else and thus should be treated equally under the law. Two people who genuinely love each other, support each other, and are committed to each other have every right to have their union recognized by the State if they so choose.
And hey! If you disagree with gay marriage, then don't have one.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Here are my picks:
EM #6--Brainstorm with Gilgal
EM #7--Light My Ducks
HOL #8--Dr. Seacliff is a longshot, but a live one, but Enter Anon should take it with Winning Tactics
HOL #9--Fitz Flag with Stormin' Away
UPDATE: I hit Brainstorm (but Gilgal came in third, not second). Light My Ducks won it running away and was somewhat of a longshot so paid $14 and some change on a $2 bet. Enter Anon won with Dr. Seacliff! Arrgh! Wish I'd done that exacta. Actually I almost had the trifecta, but the 6 horse stuck his nose into third right at the finish line...so Winning Tactics came in 4th. Finally, Fitz Flag won but Stormin' Away was nowhere near. Alas, close only counts in horsehoes, not in horse racing.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I have taught at a military school now for about thirty years. Two years ago, a Lieutenant Colonel, new to the faculty, dropped into my office for advice. "Dr. *******, I made a mathematics mistake on the blackboard today, plain for all to see. Am I of high enough rank that I can claim I didn't make a mistake?"That sums it up pretty well, methinks.
My answer was "Hell, no, you're not!"
But our president believes he is of high enough rank ...
Friday, July 13, 2007
[Barack] Obama derided President Bush's commutation of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison term, noting black men routinely serve time.
"We know we have more work to do when Scooter Libby gets no prison time and a 21-year-old honor student, who hadn't even committed a felony, gets 10 years in prison," Obama said.
Aides said Obama was referring to Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. A judge last month ordered Wilson to be freed, but prosecutors are blocking the order.
Don't tell me there's not one set of rules for one group and another set for everyone else. Orwell said it best in Animal Farm: some pigs are more equal than others. And, of course, we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Who keeps screaming "executive privilege?"
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Looks like Rosie O’Donnell has some issues about her premature departure from The View.This seems like nothing more than sour grapes and is simply childish. C'mon, Rosie, you're a better person than that.
The comedian, 45, laid into Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- her former friend and cohost -- in front of a 1,500-person audience on her cruise (from NYC to a private island in the Bahamas) for gay and lesbian families.
A witness tells us that O’Donnell trotted out a giant photo of Hasselbeck doctored up as the devil, made a “crazy” gesture at the poster and said, “Her only f--king credit was Survivor. Come on!”
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
(Los Angeles, California) For the first time the leading candidates for the presidency will hold a televised debate devoted solely to LGBT issues.
The one-hour event will be held on August 9 and broadcast on gay network LOGO at 9:00 pm ET (6:00 pm ET) and through live streaming video at LOGOonline.com.
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have confirmed they will participate. Several other Democratic candidates also may join the debate.
The debate will be conducted with a live audience in Los Angeles. On the panel questioning the two Democrats will be Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and singer Melissa Etheridge.
Now, honestly, I don't care that the good Senator hired a 'ho. It's not my business. But what I do care about, as a gay woman, is his blatant hypocrisy. According to CNN.com:
A staunch conservative, Vitter disavowed same-sex unions during his 2004 campaign, boasting that he had co-authored and fought for the Federal Marriage Amendment. He further vowed to protect "the sanctity of marriage."
Seems like he's the one doing more to hurt the sanctity of marriage than I am, yet he'd deny me the right to marry. Bah. Reminds me a lot of Newt Gingrich cheating on his own wife and lying about it while simultaneously calling for the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
It is, of course, a horrendous lie. Bill O'Reilly wishes there were lesbian gangs; the thought probably gives him a big ole woody (or more probably, a teeny one). No doubt he'd love to scrub us all with his falafel.
Here's what the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has to say about it all.
Friday, July 6, 2007
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting a blowjob is not an impeachable offense."
Most educated people understand that global warming is a fact, and that it is largely the result of humans' effect on the environment in the form of CO2 emissions. Those, perhaps, with a vested interest in denying that humans cause global warming (energy companies and people who make millions investing in them) have done pretty well putting forth lies that masquerade as objective science--not by disproving the science behind global warming, which is fairly uncomplicated, but by simply casting doubt and by pointing out that the Earth has always had cycles of warming and cooling. (Yes, but not to this extent, and not this rapidly.)
Anyway, if you haven't read Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" (or seen the movie), I strongly urge you to do so. It explains the science very well and in very simple terms with plenty of graphics so that anybody can comprehend it. It's also humorous and not a dry text at all, actually an enjoyable (albeit scary) read.
In the meantime, here's a link to another very simple, clear explanation of how it is we know that humans are the cause of the current rapidly rising temperature of the planet.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
On the menu today: baby back ribs and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. Blistering hot out, so maybe a visit to the pool if too many kids aren't splashing around. Some red wine from Walla Walla called "the Jack." And lots of relaxation.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
And did anyone catch Serena Williams play yesterday? She was her usual domineering self until she caught a cramp in her calf. She tried pounding it out with her racquet, then went down to the ground, grimacing. I thought she'd have to pull out of the match because she stayed down a while, grunting, "ow, ow" as her trainer tried massaging the cramp out. I know that sucker hurt, because at one point, the camera zoomed in on her calf and I could actually see the knot. Ouch!
Finally she got to her feet and limped onto the court and pretty much stood there without returning any balls while her opponent quickly finished the set. Then the game was put on hold as the rain started coming down. An hour later, when the game recommenced, Serena showed up with both calves taped. She was still limping but finished the game and even managed to win. In my opinion, she deserves to take the title this year for that performance alone. UPDATE: 7/4: Serena lost today. Better luck next time, rock star.
(Postscript: Amelie, all is forgiven. We'll chalk up your meltdown to "a lack of return to form" since you must still be recovering from your appendectomy in March. But mostly, anybody with triceps like yours deserves forgiveness, more so than Scooter Libby.)
Now Dubya is well within his rights to do that, but I just think it's odd, given that he approved the execution of a retarded man when he was Gov'ner of Texas.
I thought that was maybe a little harsh.