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October 31, 2002

fulfilling my campaign promise

fulfilling my campaign promise

As promised to several people who swore they would vote for me:

click for supersize

And I suppose it can't hurt to show this again

Did someone call me shameless? Damn straight, skippy.

Now go vote so I can put my shirt back on. It's cold in here.

your time will come

your time will come

A lot of people are doing lists of their favorite scary movies. Dawn, John and Ashman come to mind.

I just want to say one thing. THE WICKERMAN WAS NOT SCARY!

Please, for the love of Satan, someone explain to me the great cult status bestowed upon that movie. They sang songs about vegetation! Corn rigs and barley!

It just wasn't scary, ok?

Neither was Jeepers Creepers. Or Thirteen Ghosts. Now, Kazaam, that was scary in an entirely different way. In the same way as Glitter.

Alright, three margaritas and five snicker bars later, I think I'm ready to come up with those cleavage pictures I promised. But you have to vote for me. I'm talking to you, Treacher.

blood lust

blood lust

Michael Meyers dropped by for a Halloween treat. We found some anti-war protesters and turned them into walking corpses. See the picture of that kid with the blood on his head? We kicked him to get his Snickers bars. How many of you blood thirsty hawks can say you hang out with the undead? How many of you have proof that you actually kicked an innocent child in the head today? Wait until you see what I did to the hippie.

I am the only one with proof that I am an evil, blood lusting bitch! And there's more where that came from.

meet the new boss

meet the new boss - same as the old boss

Someone took me off their link list today. That in and of itself is no big deal. It's the reason why.

At first, it didn't bother me. But the more I looked at the reason, and the more I looked at one of the comments on the post regarding the reason, the more it hurt.

See, the person wasn't de-linking A Small Victory. They were dismissing me. My views. My persona. My feelings.

I know things have changed around here. My world has changed in the last year and with that, I have changed. Obviously, the subject matter here would follow in that path.

But there is no Old Michele/New Michele. This is just me finding myself - finally, at 40 years old - finding my niche and finding where I'm comfortable. I feel at peace with myself and who I am now. If the person who I really am offends you or makes you uncomfortable, fine. I can still choose to be hurt by it thought.

I'm hurt that people can't look past my politics to everything else I am. A wife, a mother, a sister. A person with a decent sense of humor and what I personally believe to be a pretty big heart.

I know I have lost a lot of readers in the past few months. I don't mind that because above all, this site is still what it started out to be - a place for me to rant and rave and talk and vent. It is for me. Sometimes it's a whole shitload of fun, sometimes it's angry, sometimes it's downright nasty, and often times it's my heart and soul that are put out here in these words. So to turn your back on me just because my politics have changed is demeaning, because you are saying I as a person am defined by my politics. That's impossible because no one political ideal is mine. As complex a person as I am, my ideals and beliefs are just as complex.

I link to and read a lot of blogs whose authors are on the complete opposite of the tracks from me in the matters of politics or religion or world views. But I still like them for who they are, for the person that lives beyond their party of choice or the church they go to, for their hearts and minds and souls.

I may come off like a blood thirsty hawkish mean-spirited, belligerent lunatic sometimes because I am. But I am also a myriad of other things and I only wish you wouldn't dump all of me in the trash just because you don't like a small part of me.

This person claimed that I am not doing anything to better the world or myself. I think that's what hurts the most. Just ask me what I'm doing. Not every single detail of my life goes in here. You have no idea what I am doing outside of this box on your screen.

If you know anything about me you know I will not change for anyone but myself. I have not really changed so much as found a spot to be comfortable in. This spot may seem like a drastic shift from where I was a year ago, but my life has made a drastic shift, also. This is where I landed and I'm in a place that I like, finally. Where before I was always questioning myself and my motives, now, for the first time, I don't second guess myself.

Now, if you don't mind, I have to get back to being angry and pissy and looking for blood. Oh, and for the lot of you that are shaking your heads over the behavior of the contestants in the Daily Pundit contest, find a dictionary and look up the words parody and fun.

On with the show. I promised someone I would show my cleavage tonight.

*addendum* To answer an email question (are you now or have you ever been a conservative?), I quote Stephen of Vodka Pundit: I’m a Falwell-tweaking, gay-marriage supporting, drug legalizing, pro-abortion, pro-immigration, anti-trade barrier, wary-of-organized-religion kind of conservative. Hardly a conservative at all, but I digress.

ever get this one in your treat?

ever get this one in your treat bag?

One last thing before I head out the door:

Have a Jack Chick Halloween!


And remember: religious tracts given out as Halloween treats can only result in your house being egged. Or worse.

This has been a Halloween Public Service Announcement.

no treats, just tricks

no treats, just tricks

(click for supersize)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Halloween festivities to attend to. I'm dressing up as a blood thirsty hawk and putting BOMB IRAQ! stickers in the goodie bags of the little kiddies that ring the bell today. I have an effigy of Woody Harrelson hanging from my oak tree and I'm telling all the kids that if their mommies and daddies are liberals, Saddam is going to come get them and take them away in the middle of the night. And then I'm going to empty out my kids' goodie bags and keep all the peanut butter cups for myself!

Tell me that doesn't deserve your vote.

I'll be back tonight with lots of pictures of our family's venture into the dark side of Halloween.

i will not let it rest

i will not let it rest. i'm still pissed

From Maria McGrory in the Washington Post: more glorification and rationalizing of the Wellstone Ballot Drive Memorial Service. (italics are hers)

Wellstone was unique in death as well. His memorial service, which commemorated all the victims of the crash, was like no other.

Got that right. He's probably the first person to be memorialized at a party convention rally.

Twenty thousand grievers crowded into the University of Minnesota -- and had a wonderful time.

Actually, they weren't all grievers. There were busloads of union workers and voters brought in to lend to the politcal rally atmosphere.

There was rock music, there were emotional, dry-eyed tributes from his two lovely sons, one of whom looks just like him.

Don't forget the beach balls and concession stands selling hot dogs and soda. And his son looks like Yahoo Serious.

Tom Harkin delivered what could only be called a fighting eulogy, almost every line of which was cheered to the rafters.

That wasn't a euology. It was a campaign commercial.

It ended with a call to arms for the mourners to fight for the causes Wellstone had bequeathed to them -- along with his high heart for life and politics.

It ended without the governer of Minnesota in attendance, because he walked out on the shameful display. It ended without dignity. It ended with a disgusting display of partisanship and election time whoring.

Funeral service as rally is a new concept, but as the master of ceremonies, George Latimer, said, "He would not have wanted it any other way."

Master of Ceremonies? Where were the scantily clad girls to escort the speech makers out on stage? Where was the Ringmaster in his tophat announcing each new speaker? They wouldn't have been totally out of place.

And please stop calling it a funeral service. It was a ballot drive, pure and simple.

His memorial service, which commemorated all the victims of the crash, was like no other.

Really? I bet the families of the pilots who died thought the service was "like no other" also. Not in a good way, dear.

Will someone from the Democratic party please stand up and admit how wrong this was?

link via Juan Gato

Jam Master Jay that is his name

Jam Master Jay that is his name, and all wild DJ's he will tame

He's a one man band, in his own right
Jam-Master jams to the broad daylight
No instruments needed, just two record players
A stage, a crowd, and two rhyme-sayers
The creed is to hear, so have no fear
Definition defined, the position is clear
You couldn't be late, hesitate to debate
Jam-Master is here, and you could not wait
Couldn't wait to see Jam-Master jammin'
Couldn't wait to see the master jam

Jam Master Jay - 1/21/65 - 10/30/02

(image copyright Glen E. Friedman, 1985)

hit me baby, one more time

hit me baby, one more time

I use various tracking systems not to keep track of my hit count, but to see where the readers of this site come from.

For my hit count, I use my server statistics, which are generally more accurate than sitemeter or Extreme Tracking, neither of which counts hits from sites like Little Green Footballs, Metafilter and a host of others.

I was averaging about 800-1,000 hits a day last month. The numbers have doubled, and some days tripled, in the last month. Not just quickie surges - the count has pretty much stayed up in that range since.

I just want to give a shout of thanks to the following people who linked me and sent an absurd amount of hits my way - we are talking in the thousands here:

Instapundit, Daily Pundit, LGF, Cold Fury, Vodka Pundit, Volokh Conspiracy, Inside Gretchen's head, Asparagirl, Demented and Sad, Blogatelle, Short Strange Trip, Siflay Hraka, Amish Tech Support, Yourish, Bitchery.

Don't forget to vote!

halloween: heroes and villians

halloween: heroes and villians

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night
This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright

Wanna see something really scary? Just turn on your tv. Watch the election ads. That's some frightening stuff there.

We got a notice from my daughter's junior high school last week. In order to curb the proliferation of bloody, gory, disgusting costumes that kids have taken to wearing on Halloween, they will have a new rule this year: The kids can only come to school in costume today if they are dressed in the theme of "Heroes." That's literary or historical heroes.

In other words, not one kid will want to dress up as a hero - we are talking about junior high kids here - and the administration has effectively kept the kids from covering themselves in blood and half eaten flesh without telling them that they can't dress up at all.

Needless to say, my daughter and her friends are quite pissed. They wanted to go as the American Idol stars. Natalie was all set to get a ridiculous looking clown wig so she can be Justin.

That idea nixed, we started to run down the list of heroes. We were suprised to see that the party store actually sold a line of American Heroes costumes.

We stood looking at the Ben Franklin costume. A few of Natalie's friends were in the store with their parents. We gathered around the American Heroes display, sort of snickering at the idea of a teenager wanting to dress up in one of these costumes.

One dad spoke up. "What if we umm...embellish the costumes?" he said. We all knew what he meant. We ran with it. We were just trying to make the costumes more palatable for the kids. Really. I have no idea why they ran away from us and pretended to be orphans.

The Ben Franklin costume could be the hit of the day if you just add a kite and a key. Use gel to make the kid's hair stick straight up, throw some ashes around the edges of his face and voila! Franklin discovers electricity the hard way!

The idea for the Lincoln costume was a bit tasteless, but quite easy as all you had to do to fix it up was put a hole in his hat.

What about literary heroes? Julius Caesar with a knife sticking out of him? Beowulf? How about explorers? Nothing like a little raping and pillaging to go along with Halloween.

By this time the kids were gathered in the corner of the store, stocking up on silly string and colored hairspray and pretending not to know us. We were slightly disappointed that our ideas had gone to waste. But all was not lost. One father found this costume and decided he would go to his boss's costume party as James Traficant.

Hey, guess what I'm going to be! I'm going to make a hat out of tin foil and wear a sign that says "George Bush killed Wellstone!"

No, maybe I'll just wear a hemp suit and walk around saying "It's all about the ooooooilllllllllll!"

Or...I could dress up like Susan Sarandon and wear a sign that says For The Children(tm).

On second thought, I think I'll just walk through the neighborhood kicking puppies and stealing candy from little kids. Just call me The-person-who-quit-smoking. No costume necessary. Just a scowl.

October 30, 2002

rally monkeys

rally monkeys



(yea, I know it's in bad taste. so am i.)

where my bitches at?

where my bitches at?


Vote for me.

I really need this. I'm sick, I haven't smoked in three days and I could sure use a pick me up.

If I can't appeal to your empathetic side, perhaps I can appeal to your more animalistic nature.

Don't make me do something I'll regret in the morning.

i bet the placecards had donkeys on them

My photo self potrait is up at Picture Yourself
Carnival of the Vanities 6 has rolled off the assembly line

GO VOTE FOR ME FOR THE MOST BLOOD-HUNGRY HAWKISH WARBLOGGER! NOW! I SAID NOW! Don't make me hurt you. (use the sidebar voting thing)

I have a new post up at Raising Hell


i bet the place cards had donkeys on them

The theme of the evening, "Stand up, keep fighting," became the anthem for the faithful, who vowed to carry Wellstone's legacy into the final days of the Senate campaign.

Theme of the evening? Did they have matching paper plates and napkins at the subsequent dinner dance?

Anyhow, my point is this. And this is really a note to both my sisters, who frequently drop by here to read my rantings:

I know how both of you love themes and party planning. Go ahead. Hang decorations at my funeral. Make invitations. Hell, you could even charge to get in, I don't care. But I know you guys. I know how you work. And I'll be there, watching over everything. So just remember, if you dare play that "Seasons in the Sun<" song, I will have all the ghosts in hell follow me to your homes where we will devour your pets and set your beds on fire.

flying fists of death

flying fists of death

I would just like to thank Meryl for her encouragement while I endure The Lure of Forbidden Nicotine: Day 3.

Now, if anyone would like to volunteer to let me beat them up (or just offer up someone I can physically abuse), then perhaps I can work out this aggressive adrenaline that seems to be taking over my life in lieu of smoking.

Did I mention that I have a horrid bout of PMS right now, too? If anyone even looks at me wrong today, I may be forced to use the flying fist of death on them.

I'm looking at you. Yea, you.

short and sweet

short and sweet

Dear Ted Rall,

You are an ass.



And while we are on the subject of asses, to the person at Indymedia who wrote this:

Corporate Media Black out of Wellstone Memorial

As I write this, a Memorial service is being held for Sen. Wellstone. If you turn to CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CNBC or any of the other corporate media channels, you won't see any coverage of this. None. A memorial service for a sniper victim gets hours of coverage on all of these channels. A memorial service for an opposition politician who dies violently gets zero coverage. None, nada, nothing, zero. Completely blacked out.

Both FoxNews and MSNBC were carrying it. I know I wasn't that drugged out on NyQuil that imagined seeing it on both channels.

Maybe they cut away from it when they realized it was really a Democrat convention.

get your memorial popcorn right here!

get your memorial popcorn right here!

The stands were packed to the rafters and the beach balls were flying. The music played over the loudspeakers as people waiting for the event to begin clapped their hands and sang along. The smell of hot dogs was in the air and the floor of the arena had already become sticky with soda.

A basketball game? No. A concert? No. Toy Story on Ice? Nope.

A memorial service for a dead senator, his wife and daughter.

I've been to more memorial services and wakes in my life than I care to count. From setting up a wet bar in the parking lot of my grandmother's wake to attending a memorial service where sharpshooters were poised on the roof of the church, I have seen just about everything.

Until last night. Watching "highlights" from the service for Sen. Paul Wellstone some time in the middle of a sleepless night, I thought I was having another one of those strange dreams.

Was this a political meeting or a memorial to a dead person? It seemed like more of an election night pep rally than a memorial for Wellstone.

Every five minutes, applause. Every five minutes, laughter. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't been to a million funeral masses where the priest says funny things about the deceased and everyone laughs in a relieved sort of way. That's fine. This...this was more like a comic relief show for the Democratic Party. At times it was a "get out the vote" campaign stop.

In the hours before the memorial, those in the stands bandied beach balls or munched on foil-wrapped hot dogs from the concession stands.

Let it be known that if anyone is seen eating a hot dog or playing with a beach ball at my funeral, I will haunt you to your last dying day. The music is fine, the laughter and applause are nice. But the first person who starts the wave will be hearing a lot of chain-rattling and spooky noises coming from their closet at night.

"For Paul Wellstone, will you stand up and keep fighting for social justice? Say YES!" Harkin shouted. The crowd roared.

Rick Kahn, Wellstone's friend and former student, whipped up the crowd before Harkin took the stage by adopting the late senator's fiery speaking style.

He chopped the air with his hands, as Wellstone often did, and exhorted the crowd to keep Wellstone's dream alive.

"A week from today, Paul Wellstone's name will not be on the ballot," Kahn said. "But there will be a choice just the same ... either keep his legacy alive, or bring it forever to an end!"

They may as well have charged $100 a head to get into the service. Tax-deductible write off for political contribution.

Kahn continued:

"If Paul Wellstone's legacy in the Senate comes to an end just days after this unspeakable tragedy, our spirits will be crushed, and we will drown in a river of tears. We are begging you, do not let this happen."

That's right, folks. You are here to mourn Sen. Wellstone, his wife and his daughter. And oh yea, those other people who died, also. But let's take a moment to turn the Senator's death into a rally speech. Let's use his death as an excuse to get this party started. I wonder how many of the people who spoke and the people who cheered later on last night patted each other on the back and lit celebratory cigars. I wonder how many of them were thinking "when opportunity knocks, let it in, even if it's ugly."

I wonder, mostly, how the family of the campaign workers and pilots who died in the crash feel.

No one is eating hot dogs at their services. I bet not one politician who who grinned for the cameras yesterday can even tell you the name of just one of the campaign workers who died.

But I bet a lot of them, ex-president included, went to bed last night with a smile on their face, thinking of what a great publicity moment this all was for the Democratic party in Minnesota.

Me, I didn't sleep much after seeing all that. I was too busy cringing.

*Addendum* I found this over at Right Wing News:

Another White House official said privately that with the memorial service expected to draw thousands, the Wellstone family told the White House they did not want mourners subjected to the kind of security screenings that Cheney's attendance would have required. This official also said White House advisers worried that the memorial service, with unions bringing supporters by the busload, would double as a Democrat get-out-the-vote rally and be awkward for Cheney.
[all emphasis mine]

As Rachel Lucas says, despicable.

October 29, 2002

bongs and thongs and amish porn

bongs and thongs and amish porn

Take 36 hours without a cigarette. Add NyQuil, two sleepless nights in a row, antibiotics, Motrin and Ventolin and you have a mind that knows not what it sees or hears.

I was lying on the couch, hoping that a coma would overtake me. No such luck. While my body resisted all attempts to move it, my brain, sadly, was still in action. The tv was on and the remote was far away.

The combination of all the above factors plus an overdose of campaign ads flipped some sort of switch in my brain that caused every signal in my head to get crossed.

Here's what I heard and saw: Tom Golisano, should he be elected as governor of New York, will legalize both marijuana and prostitution. The money garnered from the prostitutes will go into the school system so that our children's education will be funded by sex. (Why not - it's already funded by gambling)

I finally fell asleep, with thoughts of a Career Day booth at my daughter's school featuring bongs and thongs.

I dreamed I won the bloodthirsty blogger contest and Laurence sent his killer cats after me. I caught them, sliced them up and then baked them into a beautiful loaf of bread which I served Laurence for dinner, along with a nice glass of Chardonnay. I laughed when he slathered his slice of bread with butter. Then Carl McCall came storming into the house, singing Funky Cold Medina and searching for Laurences's kitties. I hid under the table while the LAPD came in and cuffed McCall, accusing him of taking pictures of a polling place. He said he just wanted to hide out in the bushes and try to hear if anyone was talking about him. The cops told him to go home and watch the debates. Laurence came out of the house, butter dripping from his chin and bread crumbs all over his shirt. "That was some damned good bread," he said. "It tasted like pussy." Golisana laughed so hard that milk came out of his nose.

I did not make any of that up. This is your brain. This is your brain on medication and too much blogging.

I need a cigarette.

i smell the blood of an englishman

i smell the blood of an englishman

If you're here from Daily Pundit looking to see if I'm a ruthless, blood-thirsty hawk, I've done the work for you. I'm still not as worthy as the rest of the nominees, especially Cato.

armchair quarterbacking: terrorist editions
dear susan sarandon
that's T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T-S
I'll bite your legs off
life's not fair
my agenda
prof. plum in the blogosphere
wartime fun with photoshop: the post that started my descent into madness

That's just a couple of weeks worth.

rules, regulations, clarifications and by-laws

rules, regulations, clarificaitons and by-laws

Now I'm pissed. I'm about to close down my email account.

Last time, people.

Number 1: I was never a full-fledged liberal. I never wanted to free Mumia, I always thought Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky were boorish fools, I detest the utlra liberal way of protesting things. For christ's sake, people. I drive an SUV. What kind of liberal would do that?

Number 2: I have not "crossed over" to the extreme right. Please. I am pro-choice, I despise homophobes and racists and I don't believe in God. I don't think they would accept me even if I wanted to be on their side.

Number 3: Stop using my email as a venting point. If you want to comment on something I wrote here, that's what the comments are for. If you are afraid to make you statement by putting in public like I have, or using an actual name and/or email address, don't bother. And if you write me emails filled with innacurracies, horrible grammar and you spell the word "you" as "u" I will delete the mail without caring whether you made a valid point or not.

Number 4: If you have so much to say that you need to email me three times a day, get your own fucking blog and rant away. Don't waste my time if all you are going to do is call names and spout conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.

Number 5: If you don't like my solutions to problems, come up with an alternative before you start bitching at me.

Number 6: I know you are but what am I, and I'm rubber your'e glue are not valid retorts.

Number 7: I welcome any and all debating on the issues I present here. I will never delete a comment unless it is abusive or threatening. I will not delete a comment just because you oppose my point of view. But I will not debate you or get into a discussion with you if all you want to do is call names and fight like a two year old.

Number 8: If you don't like me and don't like what I have to say, or what direction I've gone in, or what I believe in, and if your only reason for coming here is to tell me how wrong my personal opinions are and how disappointed you are in my political ideals, do me a favor. See that little "x" in the upper right hand corner of your screen? Click on it. Don't come back.

that darn "t" word

there goes that darn "T" word again

Via Interfax:

Four die in helicopter shot down in Chechnya MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) - An Mi-8 helicopter was shot down in the vicinity of a helicopter pad in Khankala on Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Stanislav Kavun, deputy commander of the interior units, told Interfax.

"By early reports, the helicopter was shot down as it approached the helipad. Four people have been killed," he said.

Anyone want to draw conclusions? Or are we just going to call this coincidence and avoid the "T" word again?

the family that turn tricks together....

the family that turn tricks together gets treats together

Will the parent who thinks that these are appropriates costume for their child please stand up?

I can hear the conversation now.

I bought you a costume, Jimmy. You are going to be a pimp!
What's a pimp mommy?
A pimp is a person who sells girls for sex and takes all their money.
Kick ass, you're the coolest mom ever!
But wait, Jimmy, it gets even better! Look at what your little sister will be!
Oh boy, mommy! You just knew I wouldn't want to be a pimp without a hooker! I love you!
Awww, I love you too, Jimmy. Now let's go make your sister up like a whore.

(Ok, this isn't much different from the DJ-as-a-hooker scenario, but still).

seeing the sailboat

seeing the sailboat

While the Beltway Sniper (as he has been dubbed in that way the American media has of dubbing every event and/or perpetrator of a crime with a nickname) was still on the loose, everyone had a theory as to the person/people commiting the crimes, their motives and their race/religion/background/how much they hated their mommy.

My theory was terrorism. People from all over the globe came out to laugh at me, point their fingers at me and call me silly names. I defended the use of the word terrorism. I defended my feelings on the subject.

Most of the detractors of my theory pointed to the "lone white gunman" theory, the one that says most serial killers and mass murderers are middle-aged white men whose mother used to force them to wear dresses and sit in the attic and pray that their pee pee would fall off and they would turn into a girl.

So, to all those who called me every euphemism for "idiot" just two weeks ago, what do you think now? Can we call it terrorism yet?

Let's take the facts as we know them at the moment:

  • In 1985, John Allen Muhammed converted to Islam, Religion of Peace™.
  • He has been quoted as being a sympathizer of the September 11 attackers, and an al Queda symathizer.
  • He has most recently been linked to vandalism on a synagogue (p.2) in Tacoma, Washington.
  • He has links to a terrorist training ground in Alabama.
  • He was a member of the anti-semetic radical group Nation of Islam.
  • His funding is in question in that he was jobless, homeless and yet was able to procure guns, ammunition, and take frequent trips to the Carribean

Need I go on? These facts do not mean that he was acting in concert with organized terrorists groups. It does, however, lead one to believe that the killings were not the random gunplay of a white boy with mommy issues, but of a man and accomplice on their personal jihad against America, inspired by their "religion" and anti-American feelings. He was reported to the authorities twice (before the shootings began) for suspicion of being involved in terrorism.

Hmmm. He's anti-America. He's anti-Jew. He's a killer.

Did you see the movie Mallrats? Remember that one guy who spent the entire movie looking at the Magic Eye poster, trying to see the sailboat?

Almost every has seen the sailboat now. Stop averting your eyes and look. It's right in front of you. And just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.

Muhammed was not killing in the name of childhood trauma or some weird sexual dysfunction or simply for the joy of killing. He had a motive, he had a mission, and the more we know about him, the more we know that he is a terrorist.

(On the subject of Islam, I would like to state for the last time (to avoid any more emails) that I do not believe, nor have I ever said, that all people who practice the religion of Islam are radical extrememists or murderers. Muhammed is obviously practicing (or interpreting) an extreme and distorted form of Islam, the same extreme an distorted form practiced by the virgin-seeking members of al-Queda.)

October 28, 2002


Weblog Action Center: A collaborative weblog devoted to presenting information and commentary that will encourage readers to take action to create a better future.





more oxygen!

more oxygen!

It's hard to be outraged or witty when you are bogged down with antiobotics, a hacking cough and a lack of sleep. I've quit smoking (again) for the final time. That rattling in my chest this morning - and the subsequent vision I had - scared the living crap out of me.

I imagined a future me, rolling down the aisles of Target in my moveable chair thing that I bought on QVC, my dutiful husband lugging my oxygen tank, trying to keep up with me. I'd be a menace in those aisles, screeching my tires and popping wheelies while the other old ladies recoiled in horror.

"More oxygen, damn it!" And my poor husband, once so young and full of hope, now relegated to being my breath regulator, would run after me and turn the dial up on the tank. We'd leave the store and I'd light up a cigarette, mindless of the wheezing in my throat.

It all sounds like so much fun, but I think I'll pass. Bad enough that my poor husband, being 20 somewhat years younger than me old, will someday suffer the humility (or my humility) of having to change my Depends. I don't need him chasing me down the aisles of a department store, waving my oxygen tank after me.

So what was I saying?

Yes, I've quit smoking for good and that only means more vitriol, rage and misdirected anger from me. This may qualify me yet for the new position Bill is holding elections for.

I'm headed for the couch soon. Me, the tv, and some NyQuil. I have to find something to watch that will get that vision of the future out of my head.

at the doctor's

at the doctor's

Appointment time: 10:15. Actual time doctor called me in: 11:45

What I told the receptionist when I called: "I'm having a hard time breathing."

Diagnosis given after two breathing tests and a treatment: "Well, it looks like you're having a hard time breathing."

Overheard conversation at reception desk:
Receptionist: "Mr. Green! How have you been?"
Mr. Green (who is about 60 years old and is wearing a layer of gold chains over to go with his wide collar leisure suit): Great! I've got a twenty year old girlfriend and she's still a virgin!"
Receptionist: "Um...that's nice, Mr. Green."
Mr. Green: "Hey, I'm just kidding sweetie. You know I only date whores!"

Oh, that's not the best part. There's more.

Guy 1 (about 35-40 years old, has that freshly hungover look): "Hey, dude! I haven't seen you in months!
Guy 2: Oh..hey. How you been?
Guy 1: Not bad. Still not working, just drinking and shit.
Guy 2: You still fucking Samantha?
Guy 1: Nah, Samantha is fucking girls now.
Guy 2: Oh, I hear ya on that.
Guy 2: Oh, look there's that sniper thing (looks up at CNN on waiting room television). You know, I thought of you when that shit first happened.
Guy 1: Heh, you thought it was me?
Guy 2: Well, it wouldn't have been the first time you went around shooting people.

I moved down about three seats at that point.

armchair quarterbacking: terrorist edition

Site of today: Weblog Action Center

armchair quartbacking: terrorist edition

With all the second guessing in the media regarding the gas used to help free the Russian hostages, I wonder if any one of the terrorism armchair quarterbacks have thought about what could have happened had the gas not been used.

Yes, perhaps the dosage was too high. Perhaps the antidote should have been available in a quicker fashion. Regardless, imagine what could have taken place had the authorities not used the gas. Imagine the headlines, the second guessing, the protests, if Putin did not take the action he did and the terrorists ended up blowing the theater to bits, killing every single hostage. Sample headline: Putin's Inaction Leads to 700 Deaths. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

There's something else the media and naysayers seem to be forgetting. It was the terrorists holding the hostages in that theater. Where is all the media outrage over this? Where is are the endless opinion pieces on how horrid it is that terrorists can sweep right in and cause such havoc? Where are the rallying cries to bring down every Chechen rebel and make them pay for what they did?

Nowhere. The media, especially the media right here in the U.S. - the same television outlets and newspapers that relegated the hostage story to third string so they could spend more time interviewing former serial killers or show videos of a tree stump being hauled away - all have lead articles about the gas. They are asking questions, demanding answers. They are villifying Putin, who is between that proverbial rock and hard place. Had he not used the gas, they would be villifying him anyhow.

Where is the outrage over the terrorists? And still, no one wants to refer to them as T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T-S. Hostage takers. Rebels. Poor, misunderstood citizens who only wanted their complaints heard. For some unfathomable reason, the press would rather stick it to Putin that come down hard on these murderers.

At least someone is speaking sense:

The White House declined to criticize the rescue operation, making clear the Bush administration's view that blame for the deaths lay with the captors.

"The Russian government and the Russian people are victims of this tragedy, and the tragedy was caused as a result of the terrorists who took hostages and booby-trapped the building and created dire circumstances," spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday.

Almost every article I read is blaming Putin for the deaths of the hostages. Hello? Putin would not have had to make the decision if the terrorists did not take over the theater in the first place.

Why is the media so eager to protect terrorists? Why do they give more sympathy to the plight of our enemies than to the victims of our ememies? Has the idea of "root causes" so overtaken the mindset of the media that they fail to see the end result of those causes?

I've had enough of standing still and dragging feet. I've had enough of the apologists of the media who are afraid to use the word terrorist. I've had enough of reasoning and appeasing and negotiating. When will people realize that the only option to those ways of dealing with terrorism is none of the above?

Send a message to the evil, heartless, ruthless terrorists everywhere. Start with the biggest terrorist of them all. Drop the damn bombs already. Get the preamble to the war on terrorism overwith and move on to the real action.

Kill 'em all.

On the same subject: Safety Valve; feces flinging monkey; Samizdata; Emperor Misha, Glenn Reynolds (who sent me a nice Instalanche yesterday); Cato; silent running.

October 27, 2002

loony pacifist of the day

and the loony pacifist of the day award goes to........

A group of Americans known as Voice of The Wilderness, took a little trip to Iraq this week to show their support for Saddam the anti-war movement.

Kathy Kelly, a 49-year-old former Chicago high school English teacher who is a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, spoke out against the Bush administration and in defense of positions taken by Mr. Hussein.

At one point, she said she wished that the United States government would follow Mr. Hussein's example in ordering the emptying of Iraq's prisons, a move the Iraqi leader made last Sunday, in part to counter Mr. Bush's descriptions of him as a murdering tyrant.

"I wish people in our country would be willing to show the same spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation to the two million people in our prisons," she said.

Sure, Kathy. We'll in your home town, in fact. Let's open the prison gates and let all those convicted murderers and rapists and child abusers walk through your neighborhood.

Of course, you wouldn't know it was even happening because apparently, your head is up your ass.

"When I ask myself who has created the greatest threat to the people of Iraq, my answer is, the United States," Ms. Kelly said.

Yes, because gassing your own people and killing children and torturing your citizens is not a threat at all. Right?

The issue for the Bush administration, she said, was not Iraq's weapons of mass destruction but control of its oil.

You know how on the Charlie Brown cartoons the adults don't really speak, they just say wah-wah-wah-wah-wah? That's what I hear everytime someone says "it's about the oil."

"However I come from the United States, and my primary responsibility is to speak out against the U.S.A. My responsibility is to speak out against my government inflicting punishment unto death upon hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children under the age of 5."

I had on idea that our primary responsibility as United States citizens is to speak out against our government. Hell, I speak out against it all the time. But I had I known I had a responsibility to do it, I might have taken the job more seriously. As for the inflicting punishiment and death upon the little ones, I must once more delve into yesterday's back of tricks. Let's see, which of the quotes shall I use this time? Oh, here's a good one: This is a regime that will drag in a man's wife, daughter or other female relative and repeatedly rape her in front of him. This is a regime that will force a white-hot metal rod into a person's anus or other orifices. This is a regime that employs thalium poisoning, widely considered one of the most excruciating ways to die. This is a regime that will behead a young mother in the street in front of her house and children because her husband was suspected of opposing the regime.

But no. It's the good old USA that is killing the Iraqi children.

And don't tell me about sanctions. I know the sanctions didn't work. So what do you want us to do now? Oh...more sanctions? Please, take off your rose colored glasses. They are making you blind.

Is there really anyone besides this lone voice of delerium in the wildrness who thinks that Saddam's reasons for letting those felons out of prison was anything but altruistic? She's either very naive or she's been smoking way too many peace pipes.

link via Kathy Kinsley, who manages to say what I wanted to say in so many less words, rather succintly.



Natalie went to the America Idol concert tonight. She and her friends made humungous signs to carry around. Most teenage girls, when making such signs for a concert, will often make posters with hand drawn hearts and "I love you!" plastered all over it.

Instead, Natalie and her friend made one sign that said nothing but 'JUSTIN, YOU FREAK,GET A HAIRCUT!' The other had a very large picture of Simon's face. They drew a bullseye target over the picture and made horns sticking out of his head. They also put lipstick and eyeliner on him.

Natalie is, unfortunately, her mother's daughter. Save for the crappy taste in music.

audience participation

audience participation

This stems from a discussion with a friend last night about using music as a personal soundtrack. We've decided to do a current events case study (ok, we were drunk and the idea sounded great at that moment) using the theory that people will be more likely to quote a movie or a song rather than themselves when asked for a quote on a specific subject. Following? Good.

We need you to be our subject matters. Give us the current event (war, terrorism, elections, snipers, reality tv, etc.) that interests you most and a quote from either a movie or a song that you would use to either further or support your views. Use the comments. And then maybe I will do something interesting with the results. Depending on how interesting the results are.

And now, we are off to spend the day outside with the cameras. A new photo essay is long overdue and it's an absolutey gorgeous day outside.

dear susan sarandon

dear susan sarandon

Reprentative quote from yesterday's anti-war (oops, sorry, pro-peace) rally in DC, from Susan Sarandon:

Actress Susan Sarandon spoke as well. "I am here as a mother because I am afraid for my children," she shouted. "I'm afraid for our children. I'm afraid for the Iraqi children."[emphasis added]

Susan, dear. Hang on one second while I go peruse a post I made yesteday.

Ah, there it is:

"This is a regime that will gouge out the eyes of children to force confessions from their parents and grandparents. This a regime that will crush all of the bones in the feet of a 2-year-old girl to force her mother to divulge her father's whereabouts. This is a regime that will hold a nursing baby at arm's length from its mother and allow the child to starve to death to force the mother to confess."

Now, whose children are you afraid for, Susan? Yours? What you should be afraid of is not the war that needs to be waged, but what will happen to your children's future if we don't wage it.

You're afraid for the Iraqi children? Do you think the life described above is something they enjoy? Unlike your children, who enjoy the spoils of your riches every day and lead pampered lives, the children of Iraq live in fear of their brutal leader. Their lives mean nothing to Hussein. They don't expect to have a future, let alone a good one.

What do you propose we do about that, Ms. Sarandon? Do you want to go over there and rescue each and every Iraqi child so they don't have to endure a life of pain and misery? Wouldn't it be easier to get rid of the one thing that puts the fear and pain into their lives - their leader?

No, in your world everything can be solved with a peace pipe and a handshake. You and your friends better start coming up with some viable alternatives besides making nice if you are going to continue your protests. I mean, rallying and marching is all well and good, but unless you have some kind of action and plan behind it (blaming the Republicans for everything does not count as a plan) then just shut your mouth, go home and take your hairy-armpit, placard wearing, thickheaded friends with you. Then go hunker down in your fallout shelter while the people who know how to take real action make your country a safe one and free the Iraqi children that you care about so much from the reigns of a tyrannical regime. You can thank them later.

and they say the right are conspiracy theorists...

and they say the right are conspiracy theorists....

What.The.Fuck? (make sure to read the comments, also)

Wait, there's more: CNN Involved in Jesus Box Hoax, News service is major pipeline for Illuminati propaganda
--U.S. Government uses mind control to create an assasin dream team, including John Hinckley, Jr. and Mark David Chapman.
--Covert Intelligence Group Uses Psychotronic Weapons Disguised as Garbage Trucks on US Civilians

The things you can find by clicking on links in your referrer stats is amazing.


that's T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T-S

As the news slowly trickles in - and now that the sniper situation has calmed down enough for it not to be sensationalist, CNN and other outlest are finally giving Russia due coverage - there are reports of knockout gas being pumped into the theater before the seige began. Of course, I told you that 5:30 yesterday morning.

It's being said that most of the hostages who died, died from the effects of the gas.

It had to be done. While I feel deeply for the families of the hostages that did not make it out, this is a case where you need to look at the bigger picture. There were approximately 700 innocent people inside a theater rigged with bombs and mines. Two hostages had already been shot by the terrorists. The small number (relatively speaking) that died from the gas were a necessary casualty. Had the Russian commandos not been able to get into the theater, they would have ended up with 700 dead innocents, not 90.

Decision to use gas during storm of Moscow theater approved by hostages: Former hostages agree that if the gas used before the storm of a Moscow theater had not been sufficiently strong, the terrorists would have had time to blast their explosives.

"When gas seeped into the theater after the terrorists killed the first hostages, I saw that one of the terrorists, who sat on the stage, jumped up and tried to put on a respirator. He made several convulsive moves, trying to pull the mask over his face, and fell," a former hostage, currently undergoing medical treatment at a Moscow hospital, told Interfax, recalling the first minutes of the storm.

He said the terrorists had expected the use of incapacitating agents and brought in respirators and gas masks. "If they had not been incapacitated so quickly, they would have had time to carry their plans through," he said.

At least the former hostages and Interfax are referring to them as terrorists, unlike most U.S. news agencies.

newsday refers to them as hostage takers
cnn can't seem to say the word 'terrorist' either
fox news uses scare quotes
wapo gets a little closer to the heart of it

Let's turn to the non-U.S. press: from the Telegraph:

The Telegraph has learned that a number of Arab fighters, believed to be of Saudi Arabian and Yemeni origin, were among the group that seized control of the theatre...."There were definitely Arab terrorists in the building with links to al-Qa'eda," said a senior Western diplomat. "The Russians will now want to know how much help the Chechens received from bin Laden's organisation."

Mr Putin had claimed that "foreign elements" were involved and suspicions about al-Qa'eda's connection deepened after the Chechens broadcast a pre-recorded message on the Qatar-based al-Jazeera television network, which is frequently used by bin Laden and his lieutenants.

How are these people not terrorists? Why is the U.S. press so afraid to use that word? It's not a matter of semantics this time, as were my arguments with people over what to call the sniper. This is not only outright terrorism, but the more we learn about the murderers, the more we see the link between them and Arab terrorists. The Chechen 'rebels' are just one of many enemies in the war we are fighting.

As the links between Iraq and al-Queda grow, the lines between terrorist forces will become so blurred as to all but disappear. Our enemies are morphing into one giant killing machine. If you think that a hostage situation like the one in Russia could not happen here, you are sadly mistaken. If you think that terrorists world wide are not all being funded through the same channel, then I want to know what world you live in because it sure must be a nice, pretty place.

There are no peace signs in my little corner of the world anymore. You can march all you want, and refuse to use the word terrorist all you want and try to understand the psyche of our enemies (see, Horsefeathers), but I'm not playing that game anymore.

The world is a big, ugly place. It's getting uglier by the day. Playing nice and using euphemisms and pandering to the appeasers are not going to get us anywhere but dead.


Just in case you were having trouble with it.

Meryl weighs in on the same issue

October 26, 2002

cranium blowout!

I revamped the about me page. It is now a short version with all the basic things you need to know; a primer for figuring out what makes me tick, and one of the only about pages with comments open. I'm not afraid of you.


cranium blowout!

I was just about to make this long, rambling post about the media not referring to the "hostage-takers" in Russia as terrorists, even though that's precisely what they are.

Alas, it will have to wait. I just realized that Dead Alive (aka Brain Dead) is about to begin on IFC. Run, run, run to your television sets! Goriest movie ever! Peter Jackson! Blood! Gore! Campy dialogue! Ridiculous plot line!

Best horror movie ever, no doubt.

Seriousness shall wait until tomorrow.

sadistic leathermaster

sadistic leathermaster

We nixed the comic book shopping because I just didn't feel like driving all the way out to West Babylon in the drenching rain. We nixed seeing Jackass the Movie because the people waiting on line were downright scary. Instead, we headed over to Best Buy and spent $207. Relax, some of the loot was Christmas presents.

Justin bought some cult B-movie called G-Men from Hell, featuring an all-star cast the likes of which has not been seen since Cannonball Run 2. Bob Goldthwait, Zach Galligan, Paul Rodriguez, Robert Goulet and Gary Busey in lip gloss. Stellar, I tell you. The only redeeming quality of this movie is the campy dialogue by Mike Allred, the man behind Madman.

The highlight thus far has been Gary Busey, throwing a police department colleague up against the wall when the co-worker refers to Busey as gay. Busey, lips a-shining, leans into the guy's face and sneers "I am a sadistic, leathermaster, homosexual!"

Sadly, it turned me on.

all i need to know i learned from mad magazine

all i need to know i learned from mad magazine

Happy 50th anniversary to Mad Magazine.

Back in my day, kids honed their reading skills on Archie comics or Encyclopedia Brown books. Not me. I was in my room, door locked, stealthily reading Mad Magazine as if it were pornography. I actually hid the mags under my mattress at night.

I was nine or ten when I first started reading Mad. I didn't get a lot of the humor, but what I did get was funny. In a way, Mad Magazine taught me my first lessons in the politics of America. It's where I got my information on Watergate and gas shortages and nuclear power, which probably explains why I didn't fair so well in current events in school.

What I remember most about Mad is how it got me through our vacations to Roscoe, NY. Our aunt and uncle had a house up there, right on a lake. Beautiful woods and trails and streams; lots of fishing and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, my cousins were all there, too and the fishing turned into a game of who could keep away from the boys' out of control fish lines, and the outdoor activities included running away from cousins with bb guns.

One summer I found a stack of Mad magazines in the corner of the upstate house. While all the other kids were outside being healthy and productive, in the words of my mother, I was curled up in a corner of a tiny room, reading The Lighter Side Of... and laughing even though sometimes I had no idea what I was laughing at.

I spent hours folding the back pages just right so I could see the punchline to a joke that always poked fun at our society. I studied the movie parodies, I played Spy v. Spy in my head and swore I would be Don Martin when I grew up.

I laughed out lead at the "we'd like to see" pieces. Spray Cans We'd Like to See....Movie Ads We'd Like to See... My parents thought I was nuts. My cousins thought I was weird. Eventually, everyone began to ignore me and they stopped trying to force me outdoors. They left me alone with Alfred E. Nueman.

Mad taught me many things besides world affairs and the ills of society. It's where I learned satire and sarcasm, skills I think I have employed rather admirably in my life.

I stopped reading Mad at some point, probably when I got to junior high and became a stupid teenage girl. But hey, I had my sarcasm intact.

Mad also lead me on the trail to comics, something that is still an obession in my life.

Hey...wait a minute. Let's take stock here. What exactly did Mad Magazine do for me?

It give me verbal skills that get me into trouble. It gave me writing skills that my teachers couldn't understand. It kept me from becoming physicall active, therefore ensuring that I would never have the desire to try out for a team sport in high school, causing me to become an outcast. It turned me onto comic books, a hobby that has kept me from saving any real amount of money because all my free cash goes towards pricey graphic novels and accompanying action figures. And honestly, satirical skills only come in handy if you are a writer.

On the other hand, I only got shot with a bb gun once, I never got a fish hook stuck in my head like one of my cousins did, and I totally avoided the jocks in high school. And I still know more about Watergate than my parents do.

Thanks, Mad and happy anniversary!

a moratorium on idiots

a moratorium on idiots in front of the camera

I tried to imagine American journalists working with regulations like this:

The Press Ministry ordered the second-tier Moskovia television station off the air Friday for its coverage of the hostage crisis and issued warnings to a number of other media outlets.

Deputy Press Minister Mikhail Seslavinsky said Moskovia had "directly violated" legislation on the media and the fight against terrorism and had incited ethnic hatred, Interfax reported.

Seslavinsky said the shutdown had to do with a program that showed exit routes that the hostage-takers could use to leave the theater where hundreds of people have been held captive since Wednesday night. He also criticized racist statements made by journalists and people interviewed, as well as a report about new members joining the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity group.


On Friday, the ministry scolded the government's Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper for what it called an "inappropriate" photograph showing the body of a young woman killed by the hostage-takers, Interfax reported.

There's a part of me that thinks - especially after the whole sniper thing - that this is a great idea. Of course, the free speech lover in me would never really want this to happen. Just to certain newscasters. For instance, newscasters who write letters to serial killers in prison asking for their expertise. Or interviewers who thrust a microphone or camera into the face of someone who just lost a loved one in a tragic accident and asks "how do you feel?"

The more I think about it, the more I could go on. Good thing I have some comic book shopping to attend to today. But feel free to carry on my pissant point of view.

today's reading assignment

today's reading assignment

An excerpt from The Threatening Storm by Kenneth Pollack, read by Sen. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) this month in the House of Representatives.

"This is a regime that will gouge out the eyes of children to force confessions from their parents and grandparents. This a regime that will crush all of the bones in the feet of a 2-year-old girl to force her mother to divulge her father's whereabouts. This is a regime that will hold a nursing baby at arm's length from its mother and allow the child to starve to death to force the mother to confess. This is a regime that will burn a person's limbs off to force him to confess or comply. This is a regime that will slowly lower its victims into huge vats of acid, either to break their will or simply as a means of execution. This is a regime that applies electric shocks to the bodies of its victims, particularly their genitals, with great creativity. This is a regime that in 2000 decreed that the crime of criticizing the regime, which can be as harmless as suggesting that Saddam's clothing does not match, will be punished by cutting out the offender's tongue. This is a regime that practices systematic rape against its female victims. This is a regime that will drag in a man's wife, daughter or other female relative and repeatedly rape her in front of him. This is a regime that will force a white-hot metal rod into a person's anus or other orifices. This is a regime that employs thalium poisoning, widely considered one of the most excruciating ways to die. This is a regime that will behead a young mother in the street in front of her house and children because her husband was suspected of opposing the regime. This is a regime that used chemical warfare on its own Kurdish citizens, not just on the 15,000 killed and maimed at Halabja but on scores of other villages all across Kurdistan. This is a regime that tested chemical and biological warfare agents on Iranian prisoners of war, using the POWs in controlled experiments to determine the best ways to disperse the agents to inflict the greatest damages.

This is the fate that awaits thousands of Iraqis each year. The roughest estimates are that over the last 20 years more than 200,000 people have disappeared into Saddam's prison system, never to be heard from again. Hundreds of thousands of others were taken away and, after unforgettable bouts of torture that left them psychologically and often physically mangled, eventually were released or escaped. To give a sense of scale, just the numbers of Iraqis never heard from again would be equivalent to about 2.5 million Americans suffering such a fate.

Found at both American Kaiser and the Safety Valve.

In the words of Toren, have a nice day.

hostage situation ends

hostage situation ends

While I was sleeping off those margaritas, the hostage situation in Russia ended. I have to say, it did not end as badly as I thought it would.

The news from my tv is still sketchy. It's being reported that shots were fired before the Russian forces went in, and that the rebels had killed two hostages.

The Times of India is reporting that the theater may have been gassed before the troops went in:

Some of the hostages who died Saturday during an assault on a Moscow theatre may have been poisoned by gas Russian special forces released into the building to disable Chechen separatist gunmen, Moscow Echo radio reported.

Several hostages may have choked on their own vomit, a likely effect of the gas, the radio station quoted doctors as saying.

Up to 30 hostages died during the operation, Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov said.

Two of the rescued hostages earlier said there had been a strong smell of gas inside the building shortly before the storming began.

CNN says 22 of the 50 rebels have been killed, including the leader, Movsar Barayev.

What I haven't been able to find out is how many hostages died in the battle that took place after the troops entered the building.

Even though innocent people died in the raid by the Russian troops, it still ended with less blood and less death than I imagined.

And then there are thoughts on what this all means to world affairs. The rebels are almost undoubtedly linked to the same forces that were behind September 11. There is a bigger picture here. It may take time to see it.

Meanwhile, I'm still having trouble digging up information on the number dead, wounded, etc. Most news outlets are using the wire services. I think I just read the same words ten times on different web pages.

More as I wake up.

*update* AP is reporting that 67 hostages died and no children were among the dead.

October 25, 2002

what a compassionate man

what a compassionate man

So our copy of The Ring sucked (what do I expect for free?) and Justin is working on a deadline. That leaves me and you, baby. And a bottle of tequila. And this:

His Excellency President Saddam Hussein of Iraq has urged the Chechen terrorists holding 700 hostages in a Moscow theatre to release their prisoners. President Saddam Hussein claimed that “the true enemies of the Moslems” are the USA and Israel, not Russia. “Listen to the voice of Baghdad and if you are convinced, do what you should do (free the hostages and do not harm them)” said the Iraqi President on a televised message on Iraqi TV tonight.

He added that “Islam is a humanistic doctrine and not a fanatical one” and warned the Chechen terrorists that fundamentalist religious tendencies would deprive the Moslems of the sympathy of the Russians and the other countries of the world.

“This is Baghdad’s message. Zionism and the USA are the oppressors, not Russia, China and India”, continued the message. [emphasis added]

Yea. Anyone still think Saddam can be reasoned with in a diplomatic manner?

a picture is worth a thousand margaritas

a picture is worth a thousand margaritas

A digital camera is a dangerous weapon in the hands of the slightly drunk.


This one is for Christine and her Picture Yourself project. About damned time, I know.

raise your cup

raise your cup and let's propose a toast...to the thing that hurts the most

It's been this kind of week.

Margarita glasses courtesy of Kymberlie
Bar set courtesy of Miguel
Impetus to drink courtesy of Tanya
Dinner courtesy of Stephen's recipe
Laughs courtesy of Laurence, as always
Depression courtesy of the news
Illegal copy of The Ring courtesy some program that makes me a thief
Satanic tendencies courtesy of Joe

It's Friday. No kids, no schedule, no particular place to go except on the couch with my husband and my drink.

It's time to get my drunk on and forget the world outside my house exists.

Hey, let me know if you know where the title of this post comes from. I'll buy you a drink if you do.

Anyone joining me in a toast to a better world?

breaking news

breaking news

A small plane crashed today in Eveleth, Minnesota. Sources are saying it is the plane that Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn) uses, but no one can confirm that he was on the plane. No major newsites have a link yet.

Wellstone is campaigning for re-election.

*update* ABC news is reporting that Sen. Wellstone is dead, as is everyone who was on the plane. This is awful news, regardless of how you feel about the Senator's politicics. My thoughts go out to the families of the victims.

*another update* His wife and daughter were on the plane, also. How very sad.

(ABC link spotted at Juan Gato's)

attention blogger users

attention blogger users

found at plasticbag.org:

Blogger has been hacked. Many many people have been affected. change your server password immediately - it might have been compromised. Your passwords have been changed so you can't access your account. your url has been changed so you can't publish. if you gain access there's no way to change your settings back because the database has collapsed.

If this concerns you then follow these easy instructions to rectify the situation:

Go to Dreamhost.com
Sign up for service
Register a domain name
Download Moveable Type
Put the past behind you.

a bleak situation

a bleak situation

From Gazeta.ru: (I also posted this on the updated edition of my Russian News post from yesterday)

The rebels have issued an ultimatum to the Russian authorities. According to the Gazeta.Ru correspondent reporting from the site, through the hostages the rebels contacted the nearby crisis headquarters and said that by Saturday morning the authorities are to fulfill the following three conditions: firstly, an anti-war rally must be held near the theatre building, secondly, a similar protest must be held on Red Square, and, most importantly, federal troops must leave Chechnya. Should any of those demands be ignored, the rebels have threatened to start killing their hostages.

Some 30 relatives have already held a rally not far from the theatre. However, they fear that the terrorists might not have seen them, because police stopped them from moving closer to the building. The protesters even attempted to approach the building from the rear, and called on TV channels to broadcast the action.

According to various reports, between 50 and 100 people gathered for the rally. They held up hand-written banners and posters reading: ''No to the war in Chechnya'', ''Down with the Russian Army'', and ''Stop the war in Chechnya''. The protestors looked despondent and many women cried.

My heart is breaking for those inside the theater, and for their relatives. The rebels are not taking food that has been offered for the hostages. Instead, the captive people are existing on water and chocolate.

And then this:

At around 0300 on Friday a group of NTV reporters and a cameraman entered the building that has transfixed the entire country. The rebel leader Movsar Barayev granted reporters a short interview. He confirmed that his gunmen were anticipating a storming of the building and that they were ready for such a development.
However, neither Barayev’s interview, nor the words of the six female hostages with whom the terrorists allowed reporters to converse, went on air. The viewers could see the footage but could not hear their voices. Barayev’s words were related by the news presenter. The Ekho Moskvy radio station has learnt that the Press Ministry banned NTV from broadcasting Barayev’s voice. Under Russia’s media laws it is prohibited to give terrorists a platform to voice their views.

The hostages, who use their mobile phones to keep in touch with the press and relatives, said they were very deeply concerned over that ban.

There has to be some kind of medium between letting the media treat terrorists like talk show guests and completely banning them from the media. If, in some cases, it may help some hostages go free, the government should do what's right and rescind the ban, with condidtions.

In this case, I have a bad feeling that the government is going to do the only thing they feel they can; storm the building or blow it up, counting the hostages as casualties of war.

I can't see a good ending ahead.

whose child is this?

site of today: short strange trip

News From Russia has been update (10:30pm EST)

whose child is this?

You give birth and moments after you hold your tiny child in your arms, stroke his head, look into his eyes and feel an overwhelming sense of love. You hold him close to your chest and vow to keep him safe forever. You vow to love him unconditionally.

As the first days go by, you stare in awed wonder at your child. You listen to his tiny little cries, watch as his fingers curl and uncurl, sing softly to him as his eyes close and he falls asleep on your chest, his tiny baby breaths falling softly on your neck.

You imagine what the world has in store for him. In your mind, his life fast forwards and you see your child reaping all kinds of rewards; the honor student bumper sticker, the baseball MVP, valedictorian, employee of the month. Your mind only lets you see great things ahead for your child. You don't look into your baby's eyes and envision him growing up to be a terrorist, a murderer, a junkie.

I wonder about this as I watch the news and the cops surround a car, pulling out guns and barking orders. Someone's child is in that car. Sure, he's 41 years old now, but he is still someone's son. I imagine him as a baby, his mother cradling him in her arms, brushing his cheek with her finger and silently hoping that her son will have all the good things life has to offer.

That man in the car was a baby once. Someone had hope for him. Someone held him and sang to him. He was a toddler, unsteady on his feet. He was a young boy, watching cartoons and playing ball. What happened to turn that toddler with his goofy, milk-stained grin into a killing machine?

I sit at my desk each work day and watch the parade of prisoners that are brought past my office. Some are in orange jump suits, feet shackled. There are men and women both, some well-dressed in business suits and dresses, some unkempt and reeking of alcohol. They all have their arms behind them, their wrists bound together in metal cuffs.

They were children once. They were babies who smiled and toddlers who giggled. What does a parent think as they appear in court to bail out that child? What does a parent think when they turn on the news and see their son or daughter's face in mug shot form with the words "wanted" underneath it?

I look at the tv and try to imagine killers and terrorists as babies. I see the drug addicts and petty thiefs march into the courtroom every day and I try to imagine them learning how to ride a bike, their fathers holding tight to their arms so they don't fall.

As a parent, all you want is to be proud of your child, from birth to adulthood. You want to look at them one day and say "what a fine young lady you turned out to be." I don't care if my kids end up being doctors or professional cashiers. I just want them to be good people. I want them to respect the human race and the earth they live on. I don't want to see their faces splashed on the cover of the Daily News with target signs drawn over them.

I think of mothers in other countries, mothers who praise their god when their son dies in a suicide bombing because he was able to kill many "enemies." I think of fathers who train their children in the use of explosives, parents who dress their children in weaponry and ammunition, parents who teach their children that killing is good, that being a martyr will get you free sex in the afterlife.

I can't imagine raising my child to die. I don't know what it's like to have a policeman knock on your door in the middle of the night to say your son has been arrested for manslaughter. I don't know what it's like to have your daughter call you from a payphone in the city, asking you for help in getting away from her pimp. I don't want to know.

I just know that I look at baby pictures of my children and the journals I kept for them when they were infants. I see all the hope I had for them and I worry that this world has killed the hope, has killed the chances my kids have for a future free from bombs or poverty or terror. I worry that every word I whispered to them when they were little and slept in my arms, all that talk of the world being theirs, the life that stretched before them being filled with promise and hope, I worry that I said those things in folly.

All the things that happen between infancy and young adulthood, all the things that create your path and direction and lead to your future, they are not at all controllable. I can only do my part to give my children the values and morals they need to become decent adults. But I have no control over the outside world. I have no control over the influences of people they meet outside my home, the affect the events of the chaotic world around them have on their psyche.

I just know I feel for every mother or father who has had to watch their child become something less than human. I feel for the parents who did all they could but lost their children to evil in the end.

In the end, the ultimate responsibility for a person's behavior lies with themselves. But you can bet that the parent of every serial killer, evey mass murderer, every shoplifter or hooker or societal drop-out has said to themselves at one point Where did I go wrong? How did my child go from that laughing infant to the man I see on tv in handcuffs?

That is, every parent save for the ones who bring their children up to hate and fight and kill. And to that I ask, where did the world go wrong in making it a place where parents like that exist?

Teach your children well. It's the only thing you can do to help make your future and their future one that doesn't involve hatred and gunfire.

(note: the preceding was not what I sat down to write this morning. It's just what came out. It may be edited later for clarity once I really wake up)

October 24, 2002

moose and elk all night long

moose and elk all night long

I spent most of this evening engaged in the lost art of diorama making. The subject was elk habitats and the child whose project it was had become unbearably hostile towards his endeavor. Towards the end I was tempted to make a few elk out of molding clay, squish them into the shoe box and write a sign that said "Elk as Road Pizza."

By the time the elk were happily nested in their snowy habitat, the sniper news had already broken and the Moose conference had wrapped up.

Hey...elk....moose. There's a story in there somewhere.

Anyhow, I felt as if I had watched a suspense movie and the cable went out just as I was finding out whodunit.

Of course, I knew whodunit in this one, since Mr. Mohammed's face was plastered all over the news today. The question that remains is, whydunit?

No one will be able to convince me that this was not an act of terrorism. Mohammed and his companion were extracting their own personal jihad on America. Domestic terrorism, they call it. Unorganized terrorism, I call it. Either way, Mohammed has a message and he just hasn't delivered it to the mountain yet.



FoxNews TV just announced that the FBI has issued a warning that al-Queda is planning an attack on U.S. railways.

Let's face it, folks. It's going to be a long, long time before we feel safe again.

the more you know...

the more you know...

Found at Daily Pundit:

Two men wanted for questioning in the deadly sniper attacks were arrested early today in western Maryland in a car with New Jersey license plates obtained in Camden on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The license plates were issued to John A. Muhammad, 42, with an address of 1400 Sheridan Street, a state Motor Vehicles Division agent said. A bomb scare of undetermined origin occurred just minutes later.

Muhammad was arrested driving a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice with license plate NDA-21Z, which New Jersey authorities said had been issued for a different vehicle registered to Muhammad.

Neighborhood residents said today they did not know Muhammad and had never seen him. They also said they did not remember seeing the car.


Edmond Bonnette, agent at the state Motor Vehicles office at 2600 Mount Ephraim Ave. in Camden, said the car was registered at 8:52 a.m. on Sept. 11.

"At 9 a.m., we had a bomb scare," Bonnette said. "The police said it was called in from a phone booth on Kaighn Avenue. We had to evacuate everyone."

The more you know....the more you know.

news from russia

news from russia updated 10/25 10:30am EST

If you are looking for news of the Russian hostage situation, being that the U.S. media is all but ignoring it in favor of showing you the same scenes a car being towed over and over again, here are some English language Russian newspapers with up to date information.

Gazeta.ru has several personal accounts of what went on inside the theater:

''They talked to each other in some incomprehensible language. Only one of them talked to us in Russian. Without any threats he asked the assembly not to panic.'' Afterwards, the theatre-goers were divided into two groups – men and women were taken into opposite parts of the hall and asked to show their passports. After checking the documents, the terrorists started to release a few of the hostages – some foreigners and Muslims. The Chechens also released about 20 children.

Interfax Information Agency has a wealth of stories on the situation, including this interesting bit:

The Russian Press Ministry has issued a repeated warning to the media against letting the hostage-takers speak on the air, press secretary of the Ministry Yuri Akinshin has told Interfax.

"We insist on the inadmissibility of providing the terrorists with the opportunity to speak through certain media outlets, including the Echo Moskvy radio station," Akinshin said.

The circulation of such information violates the law On Mass Media, he said.

"If this is repeated, we reserve the right to take all proper measures, up to the termination of the activity of those media," Akinshin said.

From The Moscow Times:

Interfax and Russian television, citing rebel web site Kavkaz.org, reported the attackers belong to a group headed by Movsar Barayev, a nephew of slain Chechen field commander Arbi Barayev. The web site could no longer be accessed in Moscow late Wednesday night.

Movsar Barayev has been reported killed several times during the ongoing Chechnya military campaign, most recently 10 days ago during Russian bombing raids.

Barayev was quoted by kavkaz.org as saying that the gunmen arrived in Moscow "to die, not survive" and that 40 Chechen widows are participating in the attack, Interfax reported.

The Radio Voice of Russia:

President Vladimir Putin has called the hostage crisis in Moscow another symptom of international terrorism. He compared Wednesday’s terrorist act with the latest attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines. Those who masterminded them were involved in the Moscow raid, he told Russia’s Moslem leaders in the Kremlin on Thursday. Mr. Putin noted that the hostage drama had been planned in one of foreign terrorist centers and that the executors of the crime had been found. The bandits want to sow religious and ethnic strife in Russia, they want to impose the rules they once imposed in Chechnya, he said, assuring that the authorities would not yield to these provocations. The Russian Moslems have sharply condemned Wednesday’s terrorist act and offered to exchange themselves for the hostages

Russian Information Centre:

There are four US nationals among those who were taken hostage in a theatrical centre in Moscow's Dubrovka street, American ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow told reporters Thursday.

The diplomat said the embassy was not 100% sure of the information, but it seemed likely as of that moment.

One of the American hostages made a cellular phone call to his relatives in the States, who were quick to contact the embassy, according to Mr Vershbow.

He emphasised that the United States was eager to join hands with Russia to resolve the problem. Among other things, the US could offer intelligence assistance, according to the diplomat.


The Russia Journal Daily has some quotes from the hostage takers:

"I swear by God we are more keen on dying than you are keen on living," a black-clad male said in the broadcast. "Each one of us is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of God and the independence of Chechnya."

"Even if we are killed, thousands of brothers and sisters will come after us, ready to sacrifice themselves," declared a female covered in a black robe except for her eyes.

Interfax has updated their information on the Americans being held in the theater:

There are three U.S. citizens and one person who permanently lives in the U.S. and has a 'green card' among the hostages held in a Moscow theater, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow told the press on Thursday.

He noted, however, that this information is preliminary.

One of the Americans called U.S. diplomats on a cell phone from the theater and provided information about himself. Another American woman among the hostages managed to call her family in the U.S., from which American diplomats in Moscow learned about the situation inside the seized building, Vershbow said.

The U.S. Embassy does not have any confirmed information on the health of the remaining American hostages, he said.

Taking questions from the press, Vershbow emphasized that the action perpetrated by the hostage-takers in Moscow cannot help the Chechen cause but, on the contrary, can only provoke anger towards those employing terror for attaining their ends.

The U.S. is still convinced that the conflict in Chechnya can be resolved politically, but this cannot be done by way of terror, Vershbow said.

*update* 9:28pm EST

Gazeta.nu has some info on one of the main rebels:

Movsar Barayev is also known as Movsar Suleimenov. He is the nephew of the infamous warlord Arbi Barayev, who gained notoriety by establishing a huge slave-trading network throughout Chechnya. Arbi Barayev was slain in summer 2001 in his home village of Alkhan-Kala. After his uncle’s death Movsar took command of most of his uncle’s men.

It is believed that Suleimenov and his younger subordinates controlled all the rebel groups in Grozny, though his name was hardly ever mentioned in connection with rebel raids against the federals. Federal forces, though, have repeatedly claimed to have killed him.

On October 12 the deputy commander of the combined federal forces in Chechnya Boris Podoprigora reported that Barayev was killed in an artillery raid. The official notice read that Barayev was killed by precision strikes delivered by Russian artillery and the Air Force. Governmental news agency RIA-Novosti reported that the warlord and his gang were destroyed near the village of Komsomolskoye, in the Urus Martan district of the republic.

Interfax is reporting that many people in the theater, mostly children, are suffering from medical conditions:

A box with medicines for children needing medical aid has been passed to the theater, in which a group of armed Chechen fighters have been holding hostage hundreds of people since Wednesday evening.

A crew of the NTV television and a foreign doctor entered the building with the medicines several minutes ago, a source with the crisis center has told Interfax.

They are also reporting that all the children may be released on Friday.

*update* 10/25/02 10:30am EST

From Gazeta.ru: this is just incredibly heartbreaking

The rebels have issued an ultimatum to the Russian authorities. According to the Gazeta.Ru correspondent reporting from the site, through the hostages the rebels contacted the nearby crisis headquarters and said that by Saturday morning the authorities are to fulfill the following three conditions: firstly, an anti-war rally must be held near the theatre building, secondly, a similar protest must be held on Red Square, and, most importantly, federal troops must leave Chechnya. Should any of those demands be ignored, the rebels have threatened to start killing their hostages.

Some 30 relatives have already held a rally not far from the theatre. However, they fear that the terrorists might not have seen them, because police stopped them from moving closer to the building. The protesters even attempted to approach the building from the rear, and called on TV channels to broadcast the action.

According to various reports, between 50 and 100 people gathered for the rally. They held up hand-written banners and posters reading: ''No to the war in Chechnya'', ''Down with the Russian Army'', and ''Stop the war in Chechnya''. The protestors looked despondent and many women cried.

connecting the dots

connecting the dots

Let's see what we have so far:

John Allen Muhammad, 42 years old. Born John Allen Williamsm but changed his name and religion 17 years ago. He is a former member of the U.S. Military, a Gulf War veteran with combat training. He has declared his sympathy towards al-Queda and the Septmember 11 hijackers. He has links to an Islamic militant training camp in Alabama. A rifle, a scope and a tripod has been recovered from his car.

Now, let's go to Russia. The Chechen rebels, who have reportedly killed at least one hostage already, let all the Muslims in the theater go, in addition to children. Chechyna is a mainly muslim Republic. According to news sources, the hostage takers called themselves "smertniki," a word that in Russian refers to fighters who die for a cause.

*update* found on a comment at Cold Fury: The Chechens are backed up by Saudi Wahhabis, the same sect that organized the attacks on Bali and probably the WTC.... by Ralf Goergens

Connect the dots. The big picture says we are in deep trouble here.

And...Am I the only person out here that thinks these two guys they arrested are not the actual shooters, just the fall guys for a larger contingent?

*clarification* I didn't mean to imply that the two incidents are related in any way, I was just saying that the world is in deep shit.

brass monkey, that funky monkey

brass monkey, that funky monkey

There is so much disinformation about the sniper case coming over the airwaves or, in the case of the Russia story, lack of information, that I am going to bide my time and wait until the lies, half-truths and fabrications are filtered out before I pass any more judgment on either either story.

Meanwhile, blame the rest of this post on Solonor. He seems to have passed some Monkey Madness on to me.

At Empty-Handed, I found lyrics to a ditty called Song of the Burmese Land. This is of great interest to me because my nephew David is Burmese. So I read the lyrics and I thought, wow what a great cross-stitch sampler this would make to hang in David's room! Nevermind that I don't know how to cross-stitch or that the song makes very little sense; it has the word monkey in it!

Burmese land is like monkeyland
A bothersome, troublesome place
Burmese land is like monkeyland
Listen, I'll tell you so


Burmese land is like monkeyland
A bothersome, troublesome place
Burmese land is like monkeyland
To the lunatic asylum I'm going

Is that beautiful, or what?

And if you like that, maybe you should go spank the monkey over at Monkey Island.

Movie of the day: Alakazam (animated). Whenever this shows up on one of our cable channels, we end up watching it just because the blurb reads "an arrogant monkey learns about love and humility."

I think I will use that phrase as an insult in the future. You, sir, are an arrogant monkey!

Enough with the monkey madness. There's news to watch for.

no tinfoil needed

no tinfoil needed

Not for nothing, but it looks like the white supremacist theory is out. So is the lone gunman theory.

What have we got left?

Hmm...two men arrested, tv stations reporting that they are "anti-American" and "sympathetic to al-Qaeda."

Which, of course, leaves one to wonder: if they are part of a group, how many are in this group and where are they?

I thought the capture and arrest of the sniper(s) would bring a bit of peace and closure. Instead it's just blown the climate of fear wide open.

waking to a nightmare

waking to a nightmare

There's so much going on with the sniper investigation that I haven't had time to digest it all yet.

I find myself distracted from sniper talk by the events in Russia: "At least 40 armed Chechen rebels stormed a crowded theater and took hundreds of people hostage in the midst of a musical, threatening early Thursday to shoot their captives and blow up the building if Russian security forces attacked."

This situation is beyond frightening. The theater has been planted with explosives and mines. Most of the rebels are wearing explosives.

I feel as if everything is spinning out of control. Snipers, bombs, civil wars, explosions. Something must be done to send a message to purveyors of terror and evil world wide that we will not stand for it any longer. The world will not be held hostage by martyrs and infidels and dictators. A message needs to be sent, before there is no one left to hear it.

Faster, please.

Ok, one thing on the sniper. This is what he asked Chief Moose to say last night:

You have indicated that you want us to do and say certain things. You've asked us to say, quote, We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose, end quote. We understand that hearing us say this is important to you.

Kathy Kinsley did a little research on the phrase "duck in a noose" and came up with this:

The latest message to the killer caught my interest. Moose said, at the killer's request: "We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose." So I started a Google on this. I think the reference may be to a Cherokee story of a trickster rabbit who goes duck hunting, and catches a duck in a noose. The duck flies away, carrying the rabbit until the rabbit can't hold on anymore and falls into a tree. In short, the duck isn't caught at all.

I think the Moose is playing right into the sniper's hands with that one. He is most likely using the media to broadcast coded messages of his own to any cohorts he may have.

Anyhow, let's see what the latest happenings bring while I go make some coffee. It could be a very interesting day.

October 23, 2002

the plot thickens

the plot thickens

This is getting interesting.

My terrorism theory is gaining ground. I'm not the only one who thinks so.

This search has spread from one end of the country to the other. A wide net has been cast and it puts every American smack in the middle of it.

I would still love to be proved wrong. We all would rest much easier if they arrested (or killed) one lone, crazed guy found to be responsible for the shootings. The connotations that come with it being terrorism...well it's a bit too scary to think about.

one step forward, two steps back

one step forward, two steps back

Brainwashing in Grade School: By Edgar B. Anderson

When I was in grade school, there was a good deal of revisionist history taught. Now that the radical left has gotten ahold of our textbooks, our kids are learning distorted history; lessons that go too far in making America accountable for its actions in the past.

I have no problem with teaching our children the realities of life and war in the past. America was not always the good guy. But I do believe that as Americans, we should portray a somewhat balanced outlook on history. Not lies, not distortions, just balanced truth.

"The most dramatic offering in Bridges to Literature is a lengthy excerpt from Laurence Yep's semi-fictional Hiroshima, which appears in the textbook immediately preceding the Holocaust story about Anne Frank mentioned earlier. Many pages are dedicated to detailing the suffering and death of 195,000 Japanese, thanks to the Americans. "People are still dying today," the author informs. Yep acknowledges that war began as a result of a Japanese aerial attack: "Caught by surprise, many ships and planes were wrecked at the naval base, Pearl Harbor." But nothing is said about anyone being killed.

The narrative jumps back and forth between the crews of the Enola Gay and its escort planes and two Japanese teenage sisters, Riko and Sachi. The Americans are shown preparing for their operation. Finally, "The bombardier presses a button to release the bomb." As for the girls: "Sachi mercifully passes out." "Riko and her classmates are destroyed." Later, "The bodies of schoolchildren are piled up on a hallway bench. The mother looks through the bodies for her daughter. She hears a groan. Someone is alive. It is Sachi. However, Sachi has terrible burns on her face. She cannot even smile. It is as if she has no face."

How can you possibly teach about Pearl Harbor, recounting the horrors of the bomb, without recounting the Americans killed in the attack by Japan? Sometimes an absence of truth is as bad as a lie.

"A section called "Courage Counts" contains stories about four heroes: an escaped slave named Tice Davids, Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, farm workers union organizer Cesar Chavez, and Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller. Chavez is graced with a lengthy profile and canonized as "one of the truly heroic figures of the twentieth century," "a giant in the civil rights movement of the United States," and "A saint. A hero. The Mexican-American Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Contrast the treatment of Chavez with a story elsewhere in the book about Abraham Lincoln, the only traditional American icon to be featured, which is limited to reporting on his childhood relationship with his stepmother and says next to nothing about his accomplishments.

Have we gone so far in our attempts at political correctness that we are teaching our children to forget everyone but minorities? Please don't get me wrong; I think it is wonderful that kids are learning about more than white-bred heroes. But must we leave the majority out in order to teach about the minority?

Then there's this gem:

"Poetry selections in Bridges to Literature include a 27-line verse entitled "Graffiti" and subheaded "A Little Graffiti Can Say a Lot about the Person Who Wrote It." The editors pose to students three questions labeled "Connect to Your Life": "Where have you seen graffiti? Did you think about the writer? How do you think the writer felt when he or she wrote it?" There is no discussion of the wrongfulness of graffiti vandalism.

Now we are teaching kids to view graffiti as meaningful artistic statements? Our town just spent a million dollars on removing graffiti from walls and educating children about vandalism. Now they want to introduce grafitti as literature into the school system?

I can imagine it now. My daughter, at the police station, hands staind with spray paint.

"But mom, you should think about how I felt when I wrote that. I mean, my words are on the side of the Dairy Barn. I'm an author!"

I do not agree with the author of the article on everything. I do think that it is about time we taught our children more than what is in their history books now. I do think that other races, religions and nationalities should be reprsented in our history books.

What I don't like is the America as the Bad Man mentality that seems to be cropping up in our schools. Sure, America has been the bad man at some times. Let the kids know that. But don't include all the bad parts without teaching them the good parts. If you want to make room to include the negative aspects of our history, you can not do at the expense of the good parts of our history.

(link via: I'm not sure what weblog I saw this at today!)

coping in different ways

we all cope in different ways, i guess

Natalie took the hamster death rather well. She said she had a "feeling" about it last night. Her friend Jessica came over and Justin took them outside and helped them bury Kobe and the babies.

Ten minutes later DJ comes in the house with his friends. I carefully explain to him what has transpired. He looks in the cage.

"So, there's only one hamster left?"
"And it's my hamster?"
He peers into the cage and says nothing. A few seconds pass and he suddenly pumps his fist in the air and shouts to his friends, "HAMSTER SURVIVOR CHAMPION!"
His friends high-five him and they run outside.

Don't worry. He's already seeing a good therapis.

the bane of her existence

Carnival of the Vanities 5 is over at the Amish place this week. It's a good round-up, with blurbs and all. Plenty of posts offering good reading on a variety of subjects.

Also, tell us a scary story at Raising Hell and be eligible to win a neato prize!

your cd player caused 9/11!

your cd player caused 9/11!

From Aria Huffington at Salon:

Last week, talking to my friend Scott Burns, co-creator of the "Got Milk?" campaign, I was delighted to hear that he already had two ad scripts ready to go. The first one feels like an old Slim Fast commercial. Instead of "I lost 50 pounds in two weeks" the ad cuts to different people in their SUVs: "I gassed 40,000 Kurds," "I helped hijack an airplane," "I helped blow up a nightclub," and then in unison: "We did it all by driving to work in our SUVs."

The second, which opens on a man at a gas station, features a cute kid's voice-over throughout: "This is George." Then we see a close-up of a gas pump. "This is the gas George buys for his car." Next we see a guy in a suit. "This is the oil company executive who makes money on the gas George buys." Close-up on al-Qaida training film footage: "This is the terrorist organization supported by money from the country where the oil company does business." It's followed by footage of 9/11: "We all know what this is." And it closes on a wide shot of bumper-to-bumper traffic: "The biggest weapon of mass destruction is parked in your driveway." Pretty effective

Oh, bite me. Listen, I didn't like the drugs=terrorism commercials, either. But this is stretching it just a bit.

According to a list I saw over at AKA Cooties this week, the following items need crude oil or an oil product to be manufactured (partial list):

adhesives air conditioners artificial turf asphalt aspirin blenders bras cameras car batteries car bodies CD players chewing gum clothing combs/brushes compact discs computers credit cards deodorant dinnerware dishwashing liquid dresses DVDs eyeglasses food preservatives footballs furniture garbage bags gasoline glue golf balls guitar strings heating oil infant seats ink of all types lip balm lipstick loudspeakers luggage medical equipment movie film nail polish pens photographic film photographs printer ribbons roller blades roller-blade wheels rubber bands rubber boots shampoo shaving cream shoes stereos sunglasses surfboards surgical equipment telephones tires toilet seats toothpaste toys umbrellas vitamin capsules water pipes

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Unless you are living on an organic farm, running around naked and eating nothing but grass, do not piss on me for driving an SUV.

You have no idea what a weapon of mass destruction my SUV really is. Why don't you step in front of it while I demonstrate?

do hamsters get funerals?

do hamsters get funerals?

I failed to mention that our hamster had more babies on Saturday. This means that Akuma was humping Kobe about one day after she gave birth to the last litter. He was also humping her yesterday.

They had six babies this time. Yesterday, there were three remaning.

Today, we are minus one adult.

I found Kobe stiff and lifeless, with Akuma burying her under the bedding. I have no idea how I am going to explain this one to the kids when they get up in five minutes.

Sorry, guys, but I think Akuma fucked her to death.

No, that won't work.

I am done with pets. Today, I will take Akuma the Wife Killer back to the pet store, along with his three remaining offspring, dismantle the cage and suggest that we stick to Neopets.

I never wanted live pets to begin with. This is why.

foil head of the day

foil head of the day

I got this comment the other day on my post "The White Van Theory."


Hasn't anyone even thought of the possibility of a government cover up. You would think that it would be fairly easy to catch this guy through all the air surveylance available in this modern age. I find it hard to believe this guy is that good.With all the satellite technology the government hoans...they could pinpoint him in seconds. They do it everyday in other cases. Im not saying that this is fact...all Im saying is that with all the activity our government is involved with theses days (taking control of the planet with an iron fists to all who oppose{ a police state of being}), it would not suprise me in the least if they tried to sway our attention elswhere. What better way to do it then to use one of their well trained snipers, who are "orders strictly" emotionless weapons of destruction, to turn our attention. Its sad, but take it from a former "weapon" of theirs...not very far fetched.

Of course, the writer of that comment left no real name and no email address. Typical.

Yes, yes Mr. Anonymous. Our government is killing its own citizens just to....what? I don't get that part. You mean they don't want us to pay attention to the proposed war on Iraq? Geez, that address to the nation that Bush had a few weeks ago...we were not supposed to pay attention to that? Oh, then the networks must be in on it, too, because most of them didn't carry the address. But that theory is negated by the fact that the networks have gone overboard in their coverage of the sniper....ohhh I bet the media is in on it, too! Maybe Phil Donahue or Connie Chung are behind it all so they can get higher ratings. We're onto something here....a vast conspiracy consisting of media, government, anti-gun lobby and Pennsylvania Board of Tourism, who are hoping that people flee the D.C. area and flock to the Pocono Mountains for some leaf watching relaxation. Yea, that's the ticket.

And, what do you mean by "former weapon" of theirs? Whatever it is, I bet they fired you right after you started spouting off your idiocies that the U.S. government staged the attacks of September 11 to have an excuse to take over the world. Right, Pinky?

Unless what you mean by "former weapon" is you worked undercover for the FBI, kept on hand for whenever they needed someone to take on the role of stammering idiot.

I'd lend you my tin foil hat, Mr. Anonymous, but I think I'm going to need it today.

(tin foil hat image from AFDB: for all your tin foil beanie needs)

October 22, 2002

fear of the dark

fear of the dark

"Your children are not safe anywhere, at any time."

If that's not terrorism I don't know what is.

He's upped the ante again and he is enjoying this game to the fullest. He's using the media to to help him play this game out. In effect, Mr. Moose is hoping the media will assist the case, but they are ending up playing into the hands of the killer.

The game is far from over. In fact, I think he's just getting started. And what are we supposed to do now? Lock down every school in the nation? Keep our kids home, shielded by bulletproof glass? Do you think it's a coincidence that he mentions kids so close to Halloween?

The murders are a means to an end. Dead bodies is not what he's after. He just wants to paralyze a nation, cause fear and panic and dread to become part of our everyday lives.

I have this thing about horror movies. I love blood and gore and crazed psycho killers come back from the dead. But they don't scare me. What scares me is psychological thrillers. The ones where you don't know who or what the killer is or what's hiding under the bed. Fear of the dark. Fear of the uknown. That's what's really scary. Not killer clowns or the walking dead. The dark, unknown silent slayer is the scariest of all.

The sniper knows this. He knows what frightens us most is that the next attack could be anywhere, anytime. He's watching the media, watching the talking heads who say things like "he doesn't strike on weekends," "he doesn't aim below the head" and then he goes and proves them wrong, effectively saying "Don't claim to know me. I will fuck with your head if you think you have me pegged."

It's going to be a long time until we can say Game Over.

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have constant fear that something's
always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone's
always there

Have you run your fingers down
the wall
And have you felt your neck skin crawl
When you're searching for the light?
Sometimes when you're scared
to take a look
At the corner of the room
You've sensed that something's
watching you

playing dress-up

playing dress-up

I posted this over at Raising Hell yesterday, but I thought I would dump it in here too, just to break up my posts about my tin foil hat theories.

Consider this today's Halloween post:

We went shopping for Halloween costumes today.

Me: Oh look, Natalie, Teletubbie costumes!
Natalie (who is almost 13): Mom!
Me: What about Bob the Builder?
Natalie: Mooooom!
Me: Fairy princess?
Natalie: I don't know you.

We look around a bit more and Natalie decides on wearing a black t-shirt that has a candy corn on it and says "sweet," black and orange striped stockings and a black skirt that used to be mine. I used to be thin. Sigh. She picks up orange hair spray and her outfit is complete.

Me: Now, what about you, DJ?
DJ: I don't know.
Me: Baseball player?
DJ: I've been a baseball player the last three years.
Me: Ninja?
DJ: No.
Me: Yu-Gi-Oh?
DJ: No.
Silence. Long pause while we look around.
DJ: Can I be Christina Aguilera?
Me: Umm....no.
DJ: You were going to let me be Britney Spears like two years ago.
Me: Thankfully you changed your mind.
DJ: Why can't I be Christina?
Me: Because she's a slut.
DJ: What's a slut?
Me: (stammer...stammer)
Natalie: A slut is a dirty girl who sells herself for money.
DJ: Like those girls we saw in the city last year?
Natalie: Yup.
Long silence. More looking.
DJ: Ok. I know what I want to be.
Me: What?
DJ: A hooker!!
Me: A baseball player.
Natalie: A baseball player in a dress?
DJ: Oh! Mike Piazza!

Sigh. Again.

what does your gut say?

what does your gut say?

The bus driver who was shot this morning has died.

The sniper is back where he started at, coming full circle. Does this mean anything? I'm beginning to think nothing about this will ever make sense in a "so this is what he was thinking" way.

My overactive imagination keeps running theories through my head. Are those letters really from the killer(s) or just someone trying to cash in? Were those phone calls really from the killer(s) or does someone just have a need to insert himself in the scenario?

I keep thinking there's more than one killer. Maybe a whole fleet of them, all with different white vans and in a bizarre version of a relay race, they hand the gun off to the next person in their group while they skip town right after they make their mark.

The one lingering, frightening question that no one can answer until it's too late is where will the next one be?

I've got a bad feeling about this. My psychic intuition (read; gut feeling) tells me that this is far from over.

I can't imagine what it is like to be living in those parts right now. Stay safe, Meryl.

the festering sore on the face of the NBA

the festering sore on the face of the NBA

Attention Latrell Sprewell: Your maker called and said if you are not going to use the brain and common sense he supplied you with, could you please return them?

You can keep the selfish, bullying, immature traits you have, though. You wear them so well.


coming clean

coming clean

Glenn Reynolds made an interesting point yesterday in defending Little Green Footballs:

What's ironic is to read Charles's posts on the Middle East from before 9/11, and compare them with what he's written now. Johnson is a lefty who's faced reality, which apparently makes him offensive to those who prefer not to.

He could have been speaking about me, though my change has more to do with a myriad of things, not just the Middle East.

Look at my posts prior to September 11, and for almost a year after. My views and ideals have taken on a decidedly different tone since then. I spent the year after 9/11 in mourning, in a somewhat depressed, sad state. When I came out of it, I faced my reality. MY reality. Not yours, not Woody Harrelson's, not Sen. Byrd's. Sadness gave way to anger and that anger fueled the change my course took.

There are still some issues that I will never bend on, that will always have some people labeling me as left of center. However, I am most vocal these days about the issues that are painting me into the right hand corner. And that's ok with me. If that is where I need to be, then that's where I'm going.

I tend to be a very emotional person. I take everything that happens in this world personally. I gather everything into my heart and then my heart leaks it all into my brain and I let it out.

Like I have said a million times before, I do not consider myself either right or left. But these days, the slipperly slope of politics has me sliding down the right hand side of the hill.

September 11 changed me forever. I'm sure it's changed every one of us, if in some small way. Some of us had larger, broader changes in our world view. I am one of them.

I've been engaging in a lot of self-therapy since last year. Part of that therapy is coming to grips with who and what I am, and not bending to suit the needs of other people. Part of that therapy has been taking medication so I can sift through the self-made anxiety and nervousness that made defining myself so hard. I can see into myself with a much clearer view now that I have removed the filters that stopped me before.

I have taken a lot of flack for my stand on certain issues. Let it be known that I am not here to put out your point of view. If you want to be disappointed in my change of course, that's your right. But I am coming clean today and facing up to the direction in which my political compass has swung since last year. I am sliding towards the right.

This is me. Take it or leave it.

October 21, 2002

in defense of Charles Johnson

in defense of Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson is not a hateful racist, despite what the authors of MSNBC Weblog Central may think, or what their readers think.

There has been a question as to whether MSNBC should take down the link to Little Green Footballs because some readers have protested Weblog Central highlighting such a "hateful" site.

Underneath the link to LGF, the blurb says "A popular but controversial Warblog focusing on militant Islam and terrorism. Is this news or hate?" It's news with a personal take, which is basically what weblogs, more specifically newsblogs, are.

Charles dedicates most of his blog to one subject because that is what is close to his heart and his mind. His opinions, and the opinions of his readers, are one-sided because people tend to form discussion groups when their views are the same. Take a look at weblogs.com recently updated list. Click through some of the sites. The tech blogs tend to attract commenters who are interested in technology. The blogs about gardening or comics or cats attract people with the same interests. Why should politics be held to a different standard?

LGF is not a pay newspaper. It is not a piece of the larger, commercial media that has a responsibility to be fair and unbiased. Charles is not a reporter, he is a person with a weblog, and he uses that space - his own space the he pays for - to write down his opinions.

I don't see hate on LGF. I don't see anything mean-spirited. I don't see racism. I see one person who defends Israel with all his heart, one person who reports on the issue of terrorism in the Middle East with a passion and a fury.

If you don't like LGF, the solution is simple. Don't read it. But it is certainly not your business to try to prohibit others from reading it too, or linking to it.

Had MSNBC not taken the link to my own weblog down today (it was up for a littel over a week) I would have asked them to take it down. They are pandering to people whose only purpose in writing to Weblog Central about LGF is to screech that their opinion is the only one that matters. Did their browser not come with that little "x" button up in the right hand corner?

I know for a fact, having had dealings with Charles, that he is a kind, warm, intelligent person. He does not deserve the hate that is being thrown at him right now.



There are so many things going on that I would love to pontificate on at the moment, but my connection here at work is spotty and the news sites are loading slower than David Wells running out to the mound.

What I can tell you is that Meryl was on the spot playing Girl Reporter so go take a look at that.

Meanhwile, I see that John Hawkins has posted his favorite Simpsons quotes. I could really spend all day doing that, until I had finally recited every single line ever uttered, starting with everything Comic Book Guy said.

To pick just one, I would say that, for reasons I can't really explain, this line cracked me up more than any other:

(scene: backstage at a concert)

Billy Corgan (extending hand to Homer): Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins.
: Homer Simpson, smiling politely.

I need to get home and watch some news.

case in point

case in point


wanna read something really scary?

wanna read something really scary?

Obviously I'm not getting much work done today.

Today's Halloween link is a self-whoring one.

Raising Hell is having a Halloween story contest.

The Man with the Hook? The Vanishing Hitchhiker? What's your favorite horror story? How did you scare your friends as a kid? How do you scare your children now? Raising Hell is looking for the scariest horror story ever.

The winner gets some nifty RH swag. So go on over and try to scare us.

is this it?

is this it?

Police have picked up two men for questioning in Virginia, one of whom was in a white minivan.

I would love nothing more than to have every one of my frightening theories proven wrong.

leave the cannolis

leave the cannolis

I do believe that The Soprano's has jumped the shark.

someone get me a tinfoil hat, quick!

someone get me a tinfoil hat, quick!

I just heard on FoxNews that investigators have found other tarot cards at the scene of sniper attacks. There's a huge leak in the investigation and it's too late to plug it up.

Want to hear my theory? Of course you do.

The same person who is leaking the information to the media, most likely for an exchange of money, is the same person who is placing tarot cards at the scenes. Someone in that department is trying to make himself a whole bunch of extra cash and screwing the investigation up in the process. Someone with a bit of a loose screw.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

*update* If you are tired of my facetiousness on this subject, go read Susanna, who is more than qualified to write on the subject, and who does so with intelligence, clarity and sound reasoning.

i am the cheese

Reminder: Donate to Australian Red Cross Bali Effort here.

i am the cheese

Did you ever come across a memory you didn't know you had? Memories are funny that way; they will just sneak up on you out of nowhere, as if they escaped from some cell inside your brain.

I had one of those moments today and it clarified the whole meaning of my life for me.

It was first grade. We were playing Farmer in the Dell in music class and everything was moving along just fine. Until the end, that is, when Ray Cicco picked me to be the cheese. So there I was, in my puffy dress and itchy tights and shiny black shoes, standing in the middle of this huge circle while the rest of the class chanted and the cheese stands alone.

I wasn't an outgoing kid to begin with. My mother's penchant for making me wear frilly dresses and shiny shoes to school had already pegged me as an outcast. The fact that I rarely spoke above a whisper, added to the horror of being the smallest in the class, meant I was ripe for the picking.

So I stood there. The music teacher, Mrs. Kaplan, either was enjoying the singing so much or wanted to torture me, because she had the class repeat the and the cheese stands alone refrain several times. Finally, the game ended and everyone went back to their seats.

And then it started. Cheese! The first time it was whispered softly. Then again, a different voice. Cheese! Then someone more brazen than the whisperers pointed right at me and declared It's the cheese!

The rest of the day they referred to me as The Cheese or Cheesy and would walk past me singing and the cheese stands alone. The teasing lingered for the rest of the week and then died out. It didn't matter. The damage to my six year old psyche had already been done.

Is it any wonder that years later, I Am The Cheese would become my favorite book?

So what does this have to do with the rest of my life? Simple. I was the cheese standing alone for many, many years. I still am, in a way. I may be more outgoing than I was 34 years ago. I probably have more friends now than I did in my entire grade school years combined. But I am still uncomfortable around large groups of people. I still feel vulnerable and small in any setting that may put me at the center of attention. Maybe it's why I wear black clothes all the time; to not be noticed.

I still don't like overly competitive games. I hate musical chairs and dodge ball and any game that may single out one little kid for losing. I don't think they play things like Farmer in the Dell in school anymore.

DJ came home from school Friday with his jeans torn and grass stains all over him.

Me: What were you playing?
DJ: Suicide.
Me: Suicide.
DJ: Yea, it's a really cool game.
He then said something about a ball and a wall and throwing as hard as you can at someone.
Me: That's interesting. How do you win?
DJ: Duh. You don't die.
Me: That seems sort of violent.
DJ: What? You want us to play duck duck goose?
Me: Yes. As a matter of fact, I do.
DJ: How about kill the goose?
Me: Sigh.

The cheese episode must have affected me more than I realized if it was still rattling around in my brain this whole time. I was thinking that this was a whole new set of people to blame for my reluctance to speak up or make friends.

And what does it say about me that cheese is my absolute favorite kind of food? Is it a subconcious way of saying I love myself? I want to eat myself? And you know, I'm slightly lactose intolerant, so maybe that's my body's way of saying "hey, even you can't stomach you!" Could this be why I am a Packers fan? (cheeshead...get it?) You would think the incident would have caused an aversion to cheese, not an obsession with it.

Or maybe the cheese incident had nothing at all to do with my life and the way I turned out. Maybe it was the drugs.

Nah. It was my mother and the damn frilly dresses, or the infamous dress with a clock on it. I've forgiven her for it, but I get even by sending my kids to her house dressed like slobs. It absolutely kills her. I get a slight thrill by watching my mom cringe when Natalie and DJ bounce into her house wearing faded jeans and t-shirts. She once tried to buy a dress for Natalie (who has worn a dress about twice in her entire life) and I stopped mom in her tracks.

"You are not buying her a dress," I told her. "You make her wear one of those frilly dresses and before you know it she'll be sitting in a corner writing dark poetry and drawing pictures of her classmates with knives sticking out of their eyes."

"You are a really strange person," my mother says.

"Dress. Clock." I say in defiance. She knows what it means.

"Oh for god's sake, get over that crap already."

I pout and walk away and as mom starts making fun of me by mocking my "and you bought me off-brand sneakers instead of Keds" routine, I stick my fingers in my ears and say lalalalallala I can't hear you!

I am the cheese.

October 20, 2002

humor me

Well, there used to be a ballot box here. For some reason the poll place I used deleted it.

Suffice it to say that Carrot Top is a king among men, according to most readers.

(The views of the readers to not reflect the views of the author of this site. Personally, I would have went for Invader Zim as my political spokesperson. Or The Brain. I have "take over the world" issues.)

ghouls and goblins and sweet tarts, oh my!

ghouls and goblins and sweet tarts, oh my!

Veggie Tales 2: When Satan Calls
I'm a Halloween junkie. It's not the trick-or-treating. It's not even the cute little kids dressed up in their Bob the Builder costumes. It's the whole scenario; the blowing leaves, the early darkness, the constant playing of scary movies on cable - the overwhelming sense of the macabre that the holiday brings.

Ok, so I do like the trick-or-treating. The second my kids dump their loot out onto the floor I'm hovering over them on the pretense of looking for poison tootsie rolls and hidden razor blades in apples. But what I'm really doing is looking for what I consider to be the cream of the crop; Warheads, Nestle Crunch, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and caramel apple lollipops. They can keep the smarties and the M&M's and the pennies and whatnot. I walked them around the block three times, I deserve first pickings. Of course, they end up stealing the stash back, anyhow.

So, I'm here to share the Halloween goodies. Each day leading up to Halloween, I will post some theme related links, maybe tell you a good ghost story or regale you with stories of the horrid costumes from my childhood.

Today's links:

Halloween fonts and dingbats
Witch's finger cookies recipe
Gallery of unfortunate Halloween cards
Edgar Allen Poe library
Haunted Long Island (One day I will tell you my own personal stories of visiting some of these places)

Halloween joke of the day:
Q. Why did the Vampire read the Wall Street Journal?
A. He heard it had great circulation.

Oh come on, you laughed.

Don't forget to visit Raising Hell. We've got a Halloween question for you (worst thing you ever found in a trick or treat bag) and a Halloween Photo Contest - send us a picture of the worst Halloween costume you have ever seen. Embarass your kids, embarass your neighbor's kids, embarass a total stranger whose picture you came across on the web. We're not picky.

So, what are you going to be for Halloween?

unleash the hounds!

unleash the hounds!

Not for nothing, but for those of you who still think that Saddam can be dealt with in a rational, peaceful manner, I offer you this:

All prisoners in Iraq are to be freed under a general amnesty, Iraqi television has announced.

The statement added that President Saddam Hussein saw the amnesty as a thank you for the 100 percent vote in a referendum endorsing his leadership on Tuesday.

"Prisoners and detainees would be set free immediately except in the case of those who are sentenced or detained because of killing and they would be set free only if the families of victims would forgive them, or if they hand back their debts to the government or people."

The information minister asked the Iraqi people to welcome the prisoners back into society and forgive all of their sins.

I mean, if he wanted to celebrate his success in coercing every citizen to vote for him, he could have handed out lollipops and balloons. Setting prisoners free seems like an odd way to prove that you are a benign, democratic leader who is loved the world over, except by the U.S. Of course, he has only convinced himself of that notion.

So who still wants us to negotiate with this guy? Who still thinks that he won't hesitate to blow his dissenters off the face of the earth?

I'm waiting for Chomsky or one of his cultish followers to insist that Hussein was just kidding, or that the prisoners he is releasing are really good people and this should be viewed as a symbol of Hussein's willingness to forgive and forget. You just know someone is going to see it that way.

Me, I see a guy who is one fry short of a happy meal, and he's got his finger on the "nuke 'em" button.

*update* Kathy Kinsely has an interesting theory that Saddam is releasing the prisoners because he needs the prison buildings for something else.

the white van theory

the white van theory

By now you know there's been another shooting. They haven't linked it to the sniper yet, but they are treating it as such. And, of course, witnesses spotted a white van at the scene.

Personally, I'm discounting any white van sightings. There's several reasons for this.

First of all, I hardly think that a person or persons as cold and calculating as the sniper(s) would drive the same colored, same type vehicle to and from every shooting. We are not dealing with some deranged serial killer here, who has no sense of reality. We are dealing with someone who knows how to plan and implement with a scary precision. A person like that would not be so sloppy as to use the same getaway vehicle each time, especially when there is a dragnet several states wide looking for him/her/them.

Second, does anyone realize how many white vans with ladders on top there are? I know that around these parts, every electrician/carpenter/painter, etc. drives a white box van. It's a very familiar site on the streets each day.

I do have a theory as to why witnesses see a white van each time. It's familiarity. Let me give you an analogy:

When I bought my blue Explorer a few years ago, I suddenly began to see a thousand blue Explorers a day. Why? Because that's what my mind's eye was set to. I was only seeing blue Explorers, not green or silver or black. Another way to look at it would be this: You are in a mall parking lot waiting for a friend to meet you. Your friend drives a white minivan. So as you sit there waiting, it seems like every minivan that pulls into the parking lot is white. That's because you are subconciously blocking out all other colored minivans - your brain is only set on white.

In the instance of the sniper, when witnesses hear shots, see someone go down, there subconcious is automatically thinking "look around for a white van." In a crowded place like a suburban strip mall parking lot, you are bound to see at least one white van. Even if it didn't have a ladder on top, when you are recounting the incident for investigators, you will imagine that you did see a ladder on top. Because that's what you were looking for. You weren't looking for a green mustang or a red pick up. Your mind has been trained to look for a white box van.

If this is the work of the killer(s), the area of concentration seems to be moving south. The sniper(s) has managed to instill fear in a wide, wide range of cities now, and it won't be long before the whole eastern seaboard is under a reign of fear. Quite an accomplishment for one guy with a rifle, don't you think? My theory is that the shootings are not concducted to kill people -that's just a means to an end - but to spread panic and fear among citizens and to put the local law enforcement in a frenzy. Mission accomplished thus far. The only question that remains is, how far will it go? How many states are going to be put under the sniper spell before this is over? And at this rate, will it ever be over?

Ok, that was more than one question. They just come into my mind as I write.

If you want an idea of how the shootings have affected the way people live, go read Meryl, who lives just twenty miles from last night's shooting. I can't imagine what it's like to have to carefully plan out where you will get your tank filled up, and to be afraid to conduct such an ordinary task.

And remember Meryl, walk in a zig-zag fashion.

October 19, 2002

drunken superheros

what happens when you get drunk and dress up like superheros

Barring any world-changing news events, I am taking the day off.

See, those tequila and lime drinks last night...well...let's just say I threw my back out engaging in some tricky maneuvers. I'm looking forward to a day of motrin, cartoons, obessing over news channels, reading and not much else. (you would think I had learned my lesson by now)

Unless war breaks out or I suddenly develop superpowers, see you tomorrow. Behave.

Meanwhile, this photo was just begging for a caption, so have at it.

(click for full effect)

October 18, 2002

thanks for coming

thanks for coming

I just realized that this week marks the one year anniversary of asmallvictory.net.

I've had the weblog itself almost two years, but I switched over to Dreamhost and my own domain in October, 2001.

I just want to take a moment (before our Friday Night Margaritas and Steak tradition gets the best of me), to say thanks to everyone who has stopped by, especially those who hung around, even when I wrote things that made your blood boil.

This weblog started out as something solely for me. Now it's about me and you. I keep doing this because of everything you give back to me. Even if what you are giving back is not exactly what I wanted, or exactly what I deserved.

I know from obsessing about my referrer logs that I have quite a few lurkers - those who visit often but don't comment. It's ok, I'm a lurker, too. Just say hi once in a while, ok?

Hang on. Justin just handed me another margarita. We seem to be out of margarita mix, so I'm assuming this is just tequila with a lime stuck in it.

Ok. So, here's to my dysfunctional blogging family; that includes every single one of you who are reading this. You're all part of my life...you're all wonderful in your own odd ways, you're all.........damn it, the margaritas are speaking. I may start singing Sinatra songs any minute.

Thank you.

*update* Thanks for all the comments, especially from those who never commented before. Nice to meet you! And thanks to all of YOU for being here.

Tonight is ladies night, 2 for 1 at the bar! Live music! Dancing! Leave your clothes and opinions at the door!

another monty python take-off

delving yet again into my monty python obsession to make fun of something

The Virginia Police Theater Corp presents: The Ministry of Silly Walks (abridged version)

Minister: Good morning. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, but I'm afraid my walk has become rather sillier recently, and so it takes me rather longer to get to work. Now then, what was it again?

Virginia Police Chief: Well sir, I have a silly walk and I'd like to obtain a Government grant to help me develop it.

Minister: I see. May I see your silly walk?

Virginia Police Chief: Yes, certainly, yes.

(He gets up and walks in a zig-zag motion across the room)

Minister: That's it, is it?

Virginia Police Chief: Yes, that's it, yes.

Minister: lt's not particularly silly, is it? I mean, it's a simple zig-zag.

Virginia Police Chief: Yes, but I think that with Government backing I could get the whole city to walk like this. That would make it very silly.

Minister: Indeed.

in a nutshell

Raising Hell Halloween Photo Contest: Worst.Costume.Ever. (winner gets RH swag)

Also at Raising Hell: Why Calvin's dad is my hero

put that lawn gnome down!

put that lawn gnome down!

Community governments have taken to cyber-shaming citizens:

More and more cities are using the Web to coerce residents through the risk of humiliation to abide by municipal rules. Men who solicit prostitutes, sex offenders, tax-paying delinquents and restaurants who failed their health inspections are just some of the societal offenders plastered on the World Wide Web.

Some people think this goes too far. Personally, I don't think they go far enough. They haven't even begun to tap the well of community offenses.

There are so many other lapses in judgment, taste and manners in local communites that deserve to be cybershamed:

People who put up tacky holiday decorations, turning their neighborhood into a kitchsy tourist attraction.

People who hang their laundry out in their front yard.

Women who go out in public wearing sweat pants with high heels.

Men who go out in public wearing white socks with sandals.

Parents who behave like children at youth sports games.

Parents who let their 12 year old daughters wear shirts that say "tell your boyfriend I said thank you."

People who park in front of driveways.

People whose car dashboards are cluttered with stuffed animals.

People who leave their dogs outside to bark at the moon the entire night.

Two words: lawn gnomes.

The holidays are coming, folks. Don't even attempt to put up that giant Warner Brothers nativity scene or make your house look like a scale model of the Norhtern Lights. I'm armed with a camera and a website. I will not hesitate to cyber-shame you.

October 17, 2002

that age old question

that age old question

Who's the man?

gone from the headlines

gone from the headlines

Look at this. Follow it to the end. Watch it twice if you have to. Look at the last frame again. Let it sink in.

The Bali bombings have all but disappeared from the news in the U.S.

I haven't forgotten. I won't forget. I'm not going to let you forget either.

On Wednesday night, four-year-old Breanna Croxford went to her parents' bedroom in the family's Port Melbourne home and called out for her mother.

There was no reply. Breanna is still too young to understand that her mother, Donna Croxford, is among the missing in Bali.

drivel warehouse: australian blog keeping you informed.

Red Cross of Australia: give a little bit.

infographic link via cheesedip

i got a woody

i got a woody

Somebody has been smoking his own hemp jacket.

Woody Harrelson isn't happy with America, and that's ok. That's his right to feel that way. But let's invoke that "glass houses" rule for a minute.

Woody says:

And now my government is creating its second war in less than a year. No; war requires two combatants, so I should say "its second bombing campaign"..

Woody is guilty of the very things he is accusing his government of!

The Woody Harrelson Bombing Campaign:

1991: Doc Hollywood
1993: Indecent Proposal
1994: The Cowboy Way
1995: Money Train
1996: People v. Larry Flynt
1998: Palmetto
1999: Ed TV

That's a lot of bomb-dropping, pal. Think of all the starving children you could have fed with the money spent on those films. Think of all the money that could have went into your idea to "make paper and fuel from wheat straw, rice straw and hemp."

Guy's got a thing about hemp. Someone should play a good joke on him and tell him we're about to bomb Panama.

what's under the pope's hat?

what's under the pope's hat?

Pope adds 5 mysteries to the Rosary:

#1: McDonald's Filet o' Fish
#2: Keith Richards
#3: Siegfried and Roy
#4: Carrot Top
#5: How the hell did that ball get through Bill Buckner's legs?

link via the lovely jill matrix

Prof. Plum in the blogosphere with a manifesto

Raising Hell Halloween Photo Contest: Worst.Costume.Ever. (winner gets RH swag)



Another long night of dreams that drained me both physically and mentally.

In this one there were white vans, of course. As the dream went on, the vans became bigger and bigger until they were the size of department stores, rolling down the street with their headlights like menancing eyes.

There were twins, football players in green jerseys, one twin black and the other white, who went to take a college entrance exam and had an accident on their way there.

There was the fight with my sister over drunk driving. I said it didn't matter who was drunk or not to the relatives, they still had a dead loved one to deal with. My sister claimed that we didn't have to feel compassion for someone who was drunk.

There was the church, it's doors flung wide open like an animal stretching it's mouth in preparation for prey. I wouldn't go in, but several people behind me kept pushing and shoving until they had forced me into the church. I laid down on the plastic runner that covered the aisle to the altar and was immediately trampled by people carrying protest signs that I couldn't read. I heard my bones cracking, I felt the air being pushed out of my lungs as boots and sneakers and stilleto heels pounded my body.

There was the glass, cone shaped mountain that appeared out of nowhere, after the throng had finished stomping me. I ran with uneven breath, clutching my side in pain, feeling the blood seep through my clothing, towards the mountain. What I thought was glass turned out to be ice, and it felt so good against my bruised body.

There was the space shuttle soaring above the mountain, and I watched it explode in mid-air, sending a shower of flames and sparks that melted my ice mountain, turning it into a river of blood, flames and oil. I watched from the shoulders of a giant as the river grew to proportions that the earth could not sustain and soon it was washing away trees and houses and whole apartment complexes. I was looking down at the earth as if it were a map and I pointed to the giant where I wanted to be set down. He put me in Philadelphia and I started to walk home to Long Island.

There was the van that pulled up next to me as I walked down a dirt road. The driver, whose face I could not see but who had eyes of amber that glowed from within the darkness of the vehicle, did not offer me a ride or attempt to shoot me like I imagined he would. Instead, he just looked at me, just those two glowing eyes staring at me and then he sped away, the van's enormous tires spitting pebbles and dirt at me. I could hear his deep throated laughter over the roar of helicopters that were flying overhead.

I woke myself up, knowing that this part of the dream would probably delve into areas I had been before. The helicopters always preclude that recurring dream.

I laid in the early morning darkness for a bit as a line from Apocalypse Now mysteriously popped into my head.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

October 16, 2002

the hamster ate my baby!

the hamster ate my baby!

I posted a while ago about our hamsters and how they had babies and proceeded to eat several of them. Two survived, and we have been mesmerized by watching them grow from pink, alien-like beings to tiny fuzzy creatures who could finally walk without stumbling. They were probably about two inches long, if that, early this week.

Yesterday we found one of the babies, stiff as board, buried under the bedding.

Today, we found the other one, stiff, lifeless and....headless.

Just thought I'd share.

teach your children well

teach your children well

The California Federation of Teachers have voted to support a resolution to oppose the war in Iraq.

Whereas, this administration is using the so-called War on Terrorism to distract the American people from the vital issues they confront, Therefore, be it resolved that the California Federation of Teachers goes on record as strenuously opposing the Bush administration's march toward war with Iraq,

And be it further resolved that the California Federation of Teachers urge its members and affiliates to get involved with organizations working toward stopping the Bush administration's march toward war with Iraq.

Can they do this? It seems just a bit wrong to me. What business does a teacher's union have coming out for or against the war, going as far as to make a resolution stating their cause.

I don't say this because their views are opposite mine. I would be questioning this no matter which side of the issue they were on.

The delegates voted to support the resolution, but are the delegates really repsresenting all of their members? I wonder how the teachers who voted against the proposal feel.

In an age when student test scores are down, our schools are in dissaray and the public school system in general is going steadily downhill, this is what the teachers are spending their time doing?

I like how they urge their members to get involved. In other words, take our stance.

The tenets within the declaration can be refuted on every point. In fact, Kimberly Swygert has already done so and I suggest you go read her take on it.

My main point of conention is this; if these teachers feel so strongly about this issue, strong enough to vote on a resolution proclaiming their anti-war stance, I wonder how many of them are talking about it in the classrooms. School is no place for politicking. If my child came home and said either "my teacher said we should get out there and take a stance against the war," or "my teacher said we should get out their and support the war," I would be marching up to that school in a New York minute, especially if they were using the wording of that declaration to make their views known.

So they want to throw their support to a tyrannical dictator who kills his own people, flaunts his disregard for UN resolutions and thinks democracy is coercing his citizens to vote for him? Great. Great for them. Do it on their own time. Don't do it under the guise of being a teacher.

everyday is halloween

everyday is halloween

Another season, another mix cd or two. The last one I made was my summer mix. I'm ready to move on to Halloween.

Here's what I have so far. Suggestions welcome. I'd like to make this a two cd set.

Misfits - Dig Up Her Bones (It was a choice between this and 100 other Misfits songs)
Alice Cooper - Welcome to my Nightmare
Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Joy Division - Dead Souls
White Zombie - El Phantasmo and the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama
Brujeria - Sacrificio
Slayer - Necrophobic
Ministry - Everyday is Halloween
AFI - Halloween (Misfits cover. Download here)
Ramones - Pet Semetary
Iron Maiden - Number of the Beast

Add your own. Eventually I'm going to have some kind of Halloween caption contest and I'll offer copies of the cds as a prize.

news for the naive

news for the naive

subtitle: With Cheese!

News from the "Am I Supposed to be Surprised by this?" Department:

Prince Georges Police Department Detective Paula Pascarella, who is part of the task force, told WorldNetDaily on Friday that authorities are investigating the possibility of teams of snipers using more than one .223-caliber rifle and traveling in more than one white vehicle......

...Authorities now suspect the so-called tarot card left near a Maryland school-shooting scene is more a "red herring" than a break in the case. Police still have not made the document public.


Saddam Hussein won another seven-year term as Iraq's president in a referendum in which he was the sole candidate, taking 100 percent of the vote, the Iraqi leader's right-hand man announced Wednesday.

All 11,445,638 of the eligible voters cast ballots, said Izzat Ibrahim, vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council that is Iraq's key decision-making body.

In other news, scientists have discovered that earth is round, and the Enquirer is reporting that the Pope is Catholic!

reach out

Carnival of the Vanities 4 is up, the biggest one yet. Good reading.

reach out

While going through Tim Blair's posts on the Bali attacks, I felt a sense of deja vu wash over me. Of course. I had been in that frame of mind before.

The stories, the photos, the faces put on victims when you recount their personal tales that put them in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The wedding was 10 days ago. Now comes the funerals.

But first, newlywed Maria Elfes, 27, must find the bodies of her four bridesmaids: her twin sister, Dimmy, elder sister, Elizabeth, 33, and friends Christine Betmalik, 29, and Louiza Zervos.

Someone's birthday. Someone's wedding. Someone who will never see their daughter again. People holding photos searching for friends and loved ones.

"This is my brother," she said, in an unwavering voice that was somehow also shot through with grief, and fear. And love. She held up another picture: "This is his friend. Have you seen them? They were together."

The flowers lining the sidewalks, the candles burning as impromptu gatherings of mourners and supporters sprang up everywhere.

Amid the amber glow of candles and scent of incense sticks, about 200 foreigners held a beachside prayer vigil on Monday night for the 183 people killed in the Bali bomb blast.

The crowd, many of them friends and relatives of the victims, began gathering at a beach in front of a Hindu temple before dusk.

After sunset the crowd - men, women and children - formed a circle inside the candles to remember the victims of Saturday night's bombing on the resort island.

I feel that oh so familiar tightening in my throat and I begin to cry. It's so easy to just look at the headline of a newspaper and say oh what a horror, what a tragedy, and then turn to the sports section. But by looking past the headlines, reading every word and feeling the aches and pains of grief, that's how you learn to empathize.

I learned a lot about empathy last year. I learned it through strangers reaching out to help, through letters in the newspapers from people who had never set foot in America but cried for us nonetheless. I felt comforted by scenes of flowers and candles placed at the U.S. Embassies in other countries.

Shared misery makes friends out of strangers. It makes us want to reach out and embrace the crying and the mourning. It makes us want to do something, anything to ease their pain.

Read Tim Blair, Joe Friend, Empty Bottle or Bernard Slattery for personal accounts.

Send a letter of support to the Australian News
Send flowers to the Indonesian Embassy or the Australian Embassy.

October 15, 2002

daschle in dockers

daschle in dockers

I watch an awful lot of C-Span. Sometimes it's downright boring but lately you sense a certain tension - an almost uptight, constipated sort of feeling, coming off the floor.

I think Dress Down Fridays or even Hawaiian Shirt Tuesdays could go a long way towards loosening things up a bit.

Or maybe some industrial strength ex-lax.

saddam a go-go

saddam a go-go

To all my Iraqi friends, happy Election Day!

Don't forget to vote. Study your ballot carefully beforehand to avoid any mistakes.

(click, etc.)

In honor of Iraq's Election Day, I offer a one-time-only-free-offer-download:

Gwar, Saddam A Go-Go

the grind

the grind

As I sit here flipping from news channel to news channel I'm struck by many thoughts.

Are these daily press conferences really necessary? Have they not given thought to the fact that the killer(s) might be intoxicated by the notoriety he is receiving? The daily briefings, the constant stream of officials stepping up to the podium, the news vans lingering at the crim scene all day long, they all will feed his sick ego.

Basically, the briefings say nothing. Every question is met by a "no comment" or a previously heard statement or "we can't answer that question at this time."

Why is noone expounding on the fact that there so far have been three different types of vehicles identified? They keep referring to the person as "the killer" in singular, yet every pundit and newscaster and man on the street has spoken of this being a team effort. The police and FBI, however, have not made any mention of this aspect of the case.

Do they think the public is really that naive or dumb? Obviously there are things they know that they aren't telling us. They want the public's help - plead for it, in fact - yet they are treating the public as if we are babies who need to be spoon fed information.

Then they tell the citizens of the area to please go about their normal business. Right. That's exactly what all the victims were doing to begin with. So sure, let's just stick our heads in the sand and tell people to go ahead, shop at Michael's, fill your tank up at a self-serve, walk non-chalantly through parking lots. Sorry, but there is no normal in that area anymore.

The anti-gun brigade has come out in full force, using the shootings for opportunistic chances at selling their platform. Fingerprinting guns? I don't know the first thing about firearms; I have never even held a gun. But it seems to me as if there is a way around the fingerprinting of a gun. A metal nail file ought to do the trick, no? Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

It's not as if I'm out here being a gun advocate. I just hate when people use something like this to get on their platforms and sing. Similar to the idiots who are filling up newspapers with "root cause" hyperbole regarding the Bali bombings. Just shut up, step back and let people mourn and grieve before you start using their personal tragedies as your selling point.

Let's get these guys (or person) already. Take him down in a hail of bullets.

I'm feeling violent and vengeful today. I want to take down bin Laden's henchmen and Hussein and the sniper(s) all in one shot. Line up, shoot the motherfuckers down, be done with it.

Damn, I'm grinding my teeth again.

today's tin foil hat award

today's tin foil hat award

I was doing some self-appointed research on consispiracy theorists about a year ago. I came across this Sollog fellow and signed up for his mailing list because it was good blog material, not to mention unintenionally amusing. Sollog led me to 24 7 News Net, the Alternative News Wire, which is really nothing more than gory headlines, dubious auctions and Sollog news.

Sollog has predicted many, many things. Oh yes. He predicted the World Trade Center attacks and he predicted the war on terrorism and he hangs out with Nikkee the Psychic Babe.

I don't know why we bother with silly things like detectives and the FBI when we have Nikkee and Sollog around. For Sollog the magnificent has found the key to the DC shootings. Not that anyone asked him.

It's all about Satan, of course. Sollog says that the shootings, if drawn out on a map, are going to form a pentagram (insert creepy organ music here). In fact, the first two shootings formed a (organ music) satanic cross!

Of course he ties this all in with last night's shooting in Falls Church, Virginia. You can see this one coming, can't you? Falls Church = (insert "Omen" like music here) FALL OF THE CHURCH!

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Sollog, the pal that he is, introduces us to one Luciferius, a person or people whose website is devoted to the church of satan plus poetry and music! Luciferius made a song called The Virgin Mary Sacrifices a/k/a The Virginia Maryland Sacrifices. Sample lyrics:

I shall draw bloody crosses of sacrifice on a map I shall draw lines of fire to kill many I shall draw a perfect blood sacrifice I shall draw fear across VIRGINia MARYland

Above DC I shall draw my bloody cross
Above DC I shall make St Peter’s cross
Above DC on heads of sacrifices I shall set my cross
Above DC and above THE LAW I shall kill with the hairy cross of my scope

Hairy cross of your scope? Dude, that just sounds so wrong.

It doesn't take much research to figure out that Sollog and Luciferius and most likely Nikkee and 24 7 News are all one in the same people. Of course, they make not of that fact themselves in the last line of the DC song: Soul Log says we are all GOD, I AM GOD. Soul Log. Yes.

I'm just saying, if all this psychic, metaphysical stuff is real, why not call them in? Let's get Sollog into FBI headquarters so he can draw out his map of where the killer will strike next. Even better, let's get John Edwards in there, too and he can channel the victims to see if they can give any more information.

Now Sollog and Nikkee have their panties in a bunch because Fox News "slandered" their good name. I offer you this sentence from the 24 7 site as proof of the utter lunacy of these two clowns:

If you want to see real journalists go to MSBC with Nachman and Donahue, at least they have a small splatter of brain to speak with.

Did she just call Donahue a real journalist?

I rest my case and offer Sollog and Nikkee both a tin foil hat.

(as Mig points out in the comments, beware the tenacious pop-ups)



I saw the first tints of orange and red bursting from the trees yesterday. The air has finally gone from steamy to cool and the sweaters and jackets have come out of hiding.

I love this time of year. I love the constant change in the scenery. I love the way the pinks and purples of an October sunset reflect off the fall tinted trees, making them seem as if they are on fire. I like the early nights, the coziness of settling down and putting on fuzzy slippers when it is only 7pm.

I start thinking in terms of holidays now, a succession of celebrations that normally set my brain into panic mode. Halloween bleeds into Thanksgiving and Christmas and before you know it, another year is done. Time is of the essence when you are forty years old. Where I used to feel a shuddery excitement at the onset of another year, now I feel like time is slipping past me instead of moving me forward.

I try not to live so much in the future anymore. I used to plan my holidays months in advance, start Christmas shopping in July, feel anxious over events that are months away.

Things have changed. I no longer take future years for granted. I no longer expect the future to be rightfully mine. It's the wars and the violence and the sudden explosions of terror that have loosened my grip on my 5 year planner.

I can never fully be one of those "live every day as if it's your last" kind of people; I still have to pencil in basketball games and teacher conferences, I will practically hold my breath waiting for the next Lord of the Rings movie. But I am packing a bit more into each day, trying to appreciate each smile that comes my way, each chance to see a sunrise or watch the leaves change or talk with a friend.

Life is a random event. I don't believe in destiny, I just believe in wrong place, wrong time and right place, right time. A series of coincidences could lead you to be filling your gas tank at a very inopportune moment or dancing in a night club when it's about to explode or crossing the street when a drunk driver is approaching.

I want to lay on the floor of a field, surrounded by thick trees and soft grass and a sky filled with clouds that look like castles and dragons. I want to feel the peace that lately only nature can offer me, a peace that comes when the television is off and the my mind is set on pause and I'm the only person that exists for that moment.

October 14, 2002

the b-list

the b-list

I have reliable information that written statement from bin Laden that the media is showing today is a fake!

My informant, who shall obviously remain nameless, secured for me a copy of the real note.

(oh, click for the big picture already, it's not really offensive, I swear)

my kingdom for a controller

the company I keep

the company I keep

Hey, I'm the site of the day over at Right Wing News!. (thank you, John)

Go ahead. Say something witty. You know you want to.

peace love and understanding war

what's so funny about peace, love and understanding my need for war?

Another week come and gone and I'm glad to be rid of that one. It was an interesting week around these parts, one where my opinions on certain matters caused the strain of several relationships.

To those people, I would like to say this: whether you are pro-war or against the war, whether you want to use pre-emptive strikes or mediated discussions to deal with our enemies, our goal is essentially the same: we want to live without fear.

We may all have different ideas of how to get to that place, but in the end we have the same wants and needs and desires.

I want to live in a world where I am not always waiting for the other shoe to drop; where I don't have to be frightened when a plane seems to be flying a bit too low, where the daily headlines don't make me want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers, where I don't have a sense of impending doom hanging over my head every day.

I need to secure a safe future for my children. I need to know that they are going to grow up in a world free of tyrants who will not hesitate to terrorize their day to day life with threats of bombs and chemicals. I need to make this world one in which their future does not include gas masks and underground shelters.

I desire peace. I desire a world in which countries and people can co-exist without arms and borders. That is my pipe dream, I know. I am not naive enough to believe it can really happen, but that's the thing about desires; they often mingle with fantasy.

I am disappointed in those that choose to abandon friendships over political views. I am, however, more disappointed in those that choose to ridicule another person for having a different opinion than their own.

Our beliefs are a very personal thing. They come from deep inside, made up of pain and suffering and listening and thinking and compromising. They are part of our very soul, they make us who we are. To ridicule someone over their belief is to ridicule the person as a whole.

If you abandon a relationship because of politics or religion, you abandon your ability to accept others for who they are. In that case, you were probably not worthy of having as a friend to begin with.

All anyone wants is peace and safety. The issues of how we get there form a broad range of emotions and I can see where they would open up a forum for heated discussion and debate. I don't expect you to back down from your beliefs just to maintain a friendship. In fact, I admire you more if you fight me tooth and nail on every issue without cowering or conceding just to end the debate. What I admire even more is your ability to have these discussions, differ on the issues, and still go out for a beer together on Friday night.

It would be nice if we could settle the world's disputes with a pitcher of beer, a game of air hockey, and a pat on the ass for the winner.

October 13, 2002



It's been a good day.




The death toll in Bali is climbing, and what has become clear as I watch the news and read the stories is this: To Australians, this attack is their equivlant of America's September 11th.

As NZ Pundit says:

Two thousand, eight hundred and fourteen people died in the WTC on September 11, 2001. That was in a nation of 288 million people. A murder rate of one in every one hundred thousand or so.

Australia has a population of a little under twenty million. As seems likely, a sizable proportion of the dead are Australians (they make up close to 75% of the wounded) then, with the current death toll, Australians have suffered deaths at a rate similar to, perhaps a little smaller, than that suffered by the US in New York.

Tim Blair has some excellent coverage (just start at the top and keep reading down) including a quote from former Indonesian attorney-general who insists that the bombing was meant to voice disconetn towards the rule of President Megawati Sukarnoputri. However, as Tim points out, Sari is a club that bars locals.

My heart sinks every time the number of dead that scrolls on the bottom of the news channels rises. My thoughts are with those that are suffering and mourning.

banned books news

the banned books project is now the censorship project

Banned Books week may have come and gone, but the issues of free speech, censorship and book banning never go away. I have opened the Banned Books Project to the broader subjects of censorship and freedom of speech. Please read Arthur Silber's (Light of Reason) piece on free speech, on the essays page.

The project is reader-generated, meaning most of the fresh content, essays, reviews, and rants are provided by supporters and readers of the BBP. Please feel free to contact me if you have something to say on the subject, or if you have written something you feel would fit in on the site.

and babies come from the garden

and babies come from the garden

Funny I should come across this site, I Used to Believe, just days after I had a conversation at work about that very thing.

When I look back at the things I used to believe when I was a child, I finally realize why I am such a cynic and a skeptic. Everything I once thought was the truth was either a lie or some ridiculous notion made up in my head.

When I was a wee, wee child, I thought that there were tiny musicians who lived inside the stereo speakers and played songs for us. As I got a little older, I realized how silly this was. So I then convinced myself that the bands that were playing on the radio were actually at the radio station, playing the songs live. It boggled my mind when I tried to figure out how they could get from one radio station to another so fast. Shortly after that, I received my first record player and figured out that David Cassidy had somehow stuck his voice on that piece of black vinyl and he was not, to my dissapointment, inside my speakers or in my house.

I believed that God had nothing to do all day but sit up on a cloud with a notebook and pen, recording every single one of my misdeeds. At night, he would read the list off to my mother so she could punish me accordingly. How else would my mother have known that it was me who spilled her bingo chips down the toilet bowl?

I believed that God's punishments were always of the physical nature. A cold sore, especially one on my tongue, was a punishment for lying or saying a bad word. If I fell and scraped my knee or had some other minor injury, it was because I did something to offend God.

I believed if I stepped on a crack I would indeed break my mother's back.

I believed that if I stepped on an ant, it would rain.

I believed that somewhere, in some strange country, it really did rain cats and dogs. Then I took that one step further and figured that's where cats and dogs came from and there was someone at the pet adoption place that would watch the weather in that strange country and when it rained there, he would go and collect the cats and dogs in a big bucket and bring them back here to sell to kids.

I believed that thunder was the angels bowling and lightning happened when one of the angels got a strike. I never believed that rain was God crying, but I did believe my neighbor Frankie when he told me that rain was God peeing.

I believed that when a woman wanted a baby, all she had to do was fill out an application at the hospital and they would give her a pill that made a baby grow in her belly. I believed that Frankie was lying when he told me that babies came out of a woman's vagina. I even laughed at him.

I believed that if I got a splinter and didn't take it out right away, it would travel in my blood right to my heart and pierce it.

I would never say that "now I lay me down to sleep" prayer because I believed it was like asking for death.

I believed that when you drove past a cemetery, you had to hold your breath or the living dead would come and get you.

I once believed that I could use a rock in the middle of a lake at Bear Mountain to sail to the Statue of Liberty. Of course, that had to do with more with drugs than with reality.

I used to believe that a person was alloted only so many words they could speak out loud in their lifetime and I would probably run out of words before I died. That's when I began writing my thoughts down instead of speaking them.

I used to believe my action figures came alive at night. Oh, I still do.

I used to believe that 40 was old.

What did you believe?

October 12, 2002

my agenda

my agenda

Apparently I have an agenda. Also, it appears to be obvious to others, but not myself, that I ferverntly wish for the DC shootings to be an act of terrorism. Why? I don't know, my motives have not been explained to me.

Taking a stand on one issue of a certian party does not make you a party to that party. You know? Let's use our tenth grade math:

Republicans back the war on Iraq.
Michele backs the war on Iraq.
Therefore, Michele is a Republican.

False. Very, very false.

Suppose I think school vouchers are a bad idea. Does that make me a left winger? What if I oppose gun control? Does that make me a right winger?

No, of course not.

You mean someone can support different issues on both sides of the political spectrum? Goodness, no!

I also did not know that you can judge someone's ideology by the people they attract to their weblog. That would make me a liberal, right wing, libertarian, catholic, atheist, warmonger, peace loving, animal activist, meat eating schizophrenic.

I do not take kindly to being personally attacked without merit. Back your words up, show me citations and specific instances to prove that I am wishing for terrorist act to be perpetrated upon innocent people to further some agenda that I didn't know I had.

Wait, let me check my date book. Oh look at this, it says it right here:


I've been found out. Damn.

striking fear, part 2

striking fear, part 2

Humor me for a minute, ok?

Remember when I said that the DC shootings could be terrorism?

Is anyone with me on this yet or am I still alone in my own little boat?

Forget the tarot card. Let's just call that a red herring.

Now, let's think in multiples. Suppose there is more than one white van. There's a good possibility that could be the case. And that would mean more than one killer.

There is nothing to string the victims together in a neat little line. Nothing that says the killer(s) want to shoot women, children, brown haired caucasians, people who driver Jeeps, whatever.

What do they want, then? To strike fear into a community. To spread that fear in as wide a net as possible. To make people shudder as they hear a noise outside their windows, to make parents tremble with fear as they drop their kids off at school, to make something as ordinary as shopping an exercise in fright. That, folks, is terrorism.

The 911 line in that area is being inundated with calls about white vans. Yes, people are calling the emergency line every time they see a white van pass by.

Remember when the anthrax attacks started? Every enevelope was supsicious. Kids were sent to the principal's office if they left white powdered donut traces on their test papers.

Now it's white vans. If they had a description of this guy and it stated that he was wearing a denim jacket, people would be whispering into the phone lines that their Uncle Jimmy or their pharmacist is known to wear a denim jacket.

That's what terrorism does. That's exactly what this is.

i, robot

i, robot

It's pouring again. Little League is cancelled. The house is a mess, but I had a dream last night that tiny little elves were going to clean it for me, so I'll just wait for that.

Instead, I am just going to play around on Ink Syndicate all day.

I love this musician interview generator. Here's an interview with Mick Jagger:

R. Robot: Is "Careful With Quiche, Kathleen" about your relationship with Christina Ricci?

Mick Jagger: Yeah. It's too bad things didn't work out, but we're still friends. I think she's a wonderful person.

And then Fiona Apple:

R. Robot: And will we see a video, too?

Fiona Apple: Yeah, we're filming a video. Kate Moss makes an appearance in it. It's basically about prayer in school, growing up listening to Rush, that kind of thing.

Then there's the Mel Gibson movie generator, which produced this:

Axis of Evil -- PAGE 52


Every single day I wake up and I think of a reason not to do it! Every single day! You know why I don't do it?! This is gonna make you laugh! You know why I don't do it?! The job! Doin' the job! Now that's the reason!

Suddenly, British people burst in and shoot his partner.

The shock hits GIBSON like a freight train. We SEE it register on his contorted, huge face.

(In slow motion) NOOO!

everyone's a critic

everyone's a critic

Man, this will make reviewing music for Blogcritics so much easier.

Of course, the Robot Rock Critic works best with fake bands.

Saddman And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction Diary of a Mad Band

Underneath their antics lies a sultry artistic maturity that reveals how they have grown since they were young punks. Don't call it a comeback -- Saddam And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction has been here for years -- but never with such aggressive emotional honesty. An amibitious concept album about Brian Eno and sci-fi visions of tomorrow, the main dish of this self-aware meal is the muddily-produced "Poster Child, Running Wild." Until now, Saddam And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction was principally known as a explosive live act.

A penchant for leather-clad bravado makes Now That You Mention It truly quietly assured.

Saddam And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction's angst is truly compelling, all thanks to the street smart production by Brian Eno.

Saddam And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction superimposes lyrics about the universal brotherhood of man and cross-dressing over throbbing bass lines.

Saddam And The Weapons Of Mass Destruction gained a reputation early on for being savvy.

It may well be the most important purchase you make, ever.

Of course, what good would one of these random generator things be if one didn't apply it to blogs?

Blogs as bands, reviewed by a snarling bot: (excerpts only)

Vodka Pundit: Vodka Pundit understands that recycling musical styles is a pop tradition that's older than the blues.

Electric Bugaloo: His tunelessness has made him the hero of a whole new generation. Electric Bugaloo superimposes lyrics about conformity and mental illness over throbbing bass lines. Electric Bugaloo gained a reputation early on for being self-aware.

Jill Matrix: Jill Matrix can be hard to swallow, but her willingness to break boundaries makes her worthwhile.

The World Wide Rant: The World Wide Rant is unsafe at any speed. "What On Earth Do You Mean" won't win any Grammies this year. The same obsessions -- self-loathing and homeless prophets -- are here in spades.

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: A penchant for skull-crushing agony makes "Parabola Paratroopers" truly explosive. The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler's noise is truly bittersweet....[and has] gained a reputation early on for being formidable. Don't call it a comeback -- The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has been here for years -- but never with such headbanging pandemonium.

Solonor's Ink Well: If you enjoy introspective swagger, you'll like the latest release from Solonors Ink Well. Strictly for masochists.

Yes, I'll stop now. Maybe.

Thanks to Todd of Demented and Sad, But Social for the link.

Oh, one more: Demented and Sad, But Social: You would have to be a total idiot to buy this superficial album. This stuff wouldn't sound out of place in a Chilean torture den.


the gentle art of making enemies

the gentle art of making enemies

Hello, Mr. ID0012345679@HOTMAIL.COM, I.P. Number

Thank you so much for leaving the following comments last night on a post I wrote back in September:

First there was this comment which lists a whole bunch of brain functions.

Then there was this post which reads like a term paper and starts off by saying:

This site contains information relating to advanced satellite surveillance and "harassment" technologies which are made available to covert government agencies and organised crime syndicates.

At first I thought he was accusing me of being a spy for both the CIA and the mafia. But as I read through the lengthy treatise, which is complete with patent numbers and contact names and descriptions of spy equipment, I wondered if the commenter was trying to convince me that I am the one being spied on.

But, no. I don't think that's it either. It's about mind control. Now, the person who wrote this left it in a post about September 11, 2001, so I'm wondering if this guy is trying, in way too many words, to tell me he thinks that 9/11 was a conspiracy by our government, carried out by mind control and hypnotism.

I wonder, also, if anyone has a spare tinfoil hat to loan this guy. You really have to read the whole thing to get the gist of his message. Wait, I don't really get the gist of his message anyhow.

When he was done barraging me with his senior thesis, he left this erudite comment:

raven1.net electronic mind control
666 virus hoax russian
djx2000 scanner is the bomb but I dont have the cash?
By the way Wellington Newzealand is under attack!
Good Afternoon.
PS: The god of forces has no desire for women and bring's peace by flattery whilst in his heart is only war!

Well I'll start a fuckin real war called a holistic revolution and I will tell the whole world system to suck my cock.



Basically, what I read into this whole thing is that he is going to use the CIA's mind control equipment to get the world's leaders to give him a blowjob.

Whatever spins your dryer, buddy. Good luck to you.

I did not choose the tag-line the gentle art of making enemies at random, you know.

Oh wait, he just left me another two seconds ago:

A new comment has been posted on your blog a small victory, on entry #1276 (it's your turn).


IP Address:
Name: IBM Can Suck My Cock Bitch
Email Address: id00123456791@hotmail.com
URL: http://Get Off Your Network IBM Slut


O.k I just checked to see if this went through, it didn't...

That's bad because now I am going to slander IBM all over the fuckin
internet and microsoft your little slut....

Your playing with the big kids now.... 'Quote from Moses', the cartoon
version of course...

Now back to the original message...


jya.com is currentley down at the moment, ummmm

The Mind Has No Firewall

Anyone care to interpret for me? (I just banned his IP so I don' expect any more email from him)

Ground control to Major Tom.

October 11, 2002

ain't that a kick in the ass?

ain't that a kick in the ass?

I had a post here earlier saying what a farce it is that Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize; I compared the importance of that prize to the importance of winning a grammy. Which is to say, hahahhaa.

The post is gone now, because some nitwit decided to leave 14 comments in the space of two minutes calling for my head on a platter. It was easier to just delete the whole thing.

Anyhow, Gunnar Berge, the Nobel committee chairman, hds the courtesy to drive home my point that the peace prize is nothing more than a sham:

"It should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken. It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States."

So basically he is saying, "Yea, here's your peace prize, Jimmy, but don't read too much into it. We're just using you to make a point."

I think that someone should go kick Mr. Berge in the leg. Wear steel tip boots, ok?

linkage from Mr. Shark.

life's not fair, deal with it

life's not fair, deal with it

Oh, I can see the headlines now:


In a stunning move, Congress went back into session today and reversed themselves, saying, "Oh, gosh! We forgot to take into consideration the feelings of the the protesters! There's some guy in San Fransisco who says we didn't respect his opinion, so let's show him how he can make a difference with his sit-ins and his blocking of federal buildings and we'll reverse our votes in the name of the left!"

As if.

I love when I turn on the tv and see some protester spitting into a microphone about the poor women and children of Iraq. First of all, what about the poor women and children of the good old U.S. of A, where you live, jackass? Doesn't the fact that the man in charge over in Iraq is building weapons that could blow us all to pieces worry you just a teeny, tiny bit? Second of all, all those poor women and children in Iraq would give their right arms to have their lunatic leader taken out. This guy gasses his own people, tortures them, kills them, doesn't give a crap about them. Those ladies and their kids will be the first ones cheering when Saddam's head is speared on the end of a stick.

But these people with their signs and their civil disobedience and their utopian ideals don't care about the American women and children. They're the kind of people who put a pig or a frog or a tree ahead of their fellow human beings. Unless that fellow human being is in a country that is our enemy, then all of a sudden they want to protect human life.

I wish some of the tofu and bean sprout crowd would try to block me from getting into my federal place of employment one morning. I have a few weapons of mass destruction of my own I'd like to try out on them.

I think I'm having nicotine withdrawal.

link from the chocolate-covered gretchen

cement shoes

For those of you coming here from MSNBC's Weblog Central, I would like to say that the posts below and here are an abberation of my usual witty, astute, smart commentary. But they're not. They're pretty much indicative of my frame of mind. And I notice that Scrappleface is also on today's list of best of the blogs. Make sure you go there. He's the one with the witty, astute, smart commentary. I'm the one with the stunted emotional maturity.

And happy birthday, Laurence. You are a sick, twisted, evil person. I want to be you when I grow up.

October 10, 2002

chocolate covered gretchen

chocolate covered gretchen

It was a bad, bad night here in this household.

When you are on your way to becoming a parent, you envision nights playing board games and doing crafts and reading together. What you don't know is that you will probably have several nights like this one, when you fall off every wagon you were riding.

Several shots of tequila and a few cigarettes and bad words later, I'm sitting here in another reality where all kids are angels and kids eating donuts out of the garbage and peeing outside and defying your every word don't exist.

To top it all off, I have Iron Maiden's Run to the Hills on repeat in my brain.

A big hunk of crack is sounding awfully good right now.

Oh, and today, a crazed defendant bit off a court officer's ear in a court in Queens. Why don't these things ever happen in the court I work in? All I get is hancuffed prisoners banging their heads on the wall and screaming in the holding cell next to my office. Maybe I'll go taunt the next one that takes up residence there. I need more excitement than the neighborhood girls running into my house to tell my my nine year old just whipped out his penis and peed on a dead squirrel.

Good thing we have a therapy session tomorrow. I can almost hear the exchange now:

Dr.: And how do you think that made the squirrel feel when you pissed on him?
DJ: He was dead. He didn't feel a thing.
Dr.: I think it's crayon time.

Then DJ will draw a picture of Chris Pirillo and say that the devil talks through him on Tech TV and tells him to pee on dead rodents.

Oh wait, that was me. I dreamed that Chris Pirillo was the spokesperson for Satan. He turned into Oprah at one point and then Dawn Olsen, who was licking her lips laciviously. And then he turned back into Chris and told me to send his wife chocolates.

At least he didn't draw portraits of people in coffins on his bedroom floor.

I think it's time to go to bed.

fighting the urge

fighting the urge

Things I can do with my hands while fighting the urge to light up:

First, I can write a letter to PETA:


Your mission to change the name of the Green Bay Packers is kind of funny. I quote from your campaign literature here:

Few fans realize that the Packers are named after slaughterhouse workers, the people whose job it is to prod and drag animals to their deaths, to hoist, kill, and skin billions of cows, lambs, and other beings—all this at a time in our society when we have come to realize animals are whole and wonderful and feeling, not just hamburgers and handbags on the hoof.

One of your suggestions is the Green Bay Six-Packers. What? Barley and hops don't have feelings, too? What about the Clydesdale horses who are forced to work at minimum wage and don't even get to join the Screen Actors Guild for their commercial work? And you know, after throwing back a couple of 40s while watching a football game, I begin to think that my beer is whole and wonderful and feeling.

MMMmmmm hamburgers.

Also, perhaps you should start a campaign for the Miami Dolphins to change their name to the Miami Dolphin-free Tunas.


M.C., concerned meat eater.

Ok, that killed five minutes.

I could send a letter to GOP candidate Mike Taylor, telling him that he might want to seek out Spongebob and start a support group for wrongly outed personalities.

Eh, who writes letters anymore? And who reads them?

Other things to keep my hands busy:

Play with the Derek Jeter bobblehead in a way it wasn't meant to be played with.

Play Puzzle Fighter until my fingers bleed.

Draw a mustache and cornrows on every picture of Michael Moore I can find.

Wash the dishes. Again. Even though we have a dishwasher.

Play Word Racer or Bookworm until I see made up words like tump in my sleep.

Leave a comment on every single blog in my sidebar.

I'm feeling fiesty tonight. Anyone wanna throw down? Where my bitches at? Where my dawgs at? Who wants a piece of me?

James, Jessica, I'll take those drinks now.

i picked a bad day to quit smoking. again.

i picked a bad day to quit smoking. again.

The T-Rex was a mean, mean dinosaur. However, a female T-Rex with children was the most ferocious of all.

I am one with the T-Rex right now.

I am one with the offspring-eating hamsters.

I am one with whichever Greek goddess it was that stuck her children inside someone's head. Or did I make that up?

I'm looking in the Yellow Pages right now for "Evil Witches" and I am going to rename my children Hansel and Gretel and send them off in search of a house made of gumdrops.

I just may run away from home tonight. If you hear a knock at your door in a couple of hours and a strange person is standing on your porch with a suitcase in one hand and a bottle of tequila in the other, don't be alarmed, it's just me.

Got any shot glasses? A cigarette? A straight jacket?

if it swims like a duck...

You can also find me over at blogcritics today. And don't forget the Raising Hell caption contest, as well as the always fresh content popping up there.

living in/being a pineapple

just because one lives in a pineapple it does not make him a pineapple

A couple of days ago, Jonno sent me a link to a WSJ story about Spongebob being gay. Or at least a gay icon. He then blogged about it and before I knew it, the "Is Spongebob gay?" question began popping up all over the blogosphere, from wKen to Glenn Reynolds.

Let the debate end. I have definitive proof that Spongebob is not gay (sorry, guys).

May 24, 2001: Spongebob caught on camera, watching some decidedly non-gay porn.

I wonder if Patrick will be relieved or upset by this?

rock over london, rock on chicago

rock over london, rock on chicago

That Aileen Wuornos was one slick player. By giving some cryptic last words before she was executed yesterday, she made sure that people will be talking about her long after her death.

Ok, maybe I'm the only one talking about her, but still. Did you see what her last words were?

"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like 'Independence Day' with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mother ship and all. I'll be back."

From what I gather (using my mad interpretive skillz), she will be back on June 6, aboard a mothership with The Rock and perhaps Will Smith (but hopefully not Randy Quaid), coming to either

a) kill us all
b) take part in a publicity stunt for the June 6 premiere of Independence Day 2: Killer Women From Outer Space
c) go on a world tour to promote the use of "Jesus Christ in a Mothership" instead of "Jesus Christ on a pogo stick" or
d) she was just paraphrasing the Geto Boys: "Back up in your ass with the resurrection!"

I think if I knew I was about to be fried and had a chance to say some last words, I would make sure they were words that would leave people guessing for ages to come. Scholars would spend countless hours analyzing the strange, hidden context within my words. There would be books and articles written about my final utterance and its impact on the future of the planet.

Or not. I would probably just recite Wesley Willis lyrics, going out singing "Birdman kicked my ass" or "I took a rubber hose and flogged his rump, I whipped Superman's ass," and maybe I'd go out with a sly smile on my face.

Seriously, if you wanted to be remembered for all time, what would your last words be?

October 09, 2002



The thing about not smoking is I need something to do with my hands when I get the urge to light up.

So I fooled around with the site. I hate it. I will never get this place looking like I want it to. Problem is, I don't know exactly how I want it to look.

For now, you can stare at Tim Burton's Melonhead and try not to file any complaints with the home office about the changes.

At least I'm not smoking.

terror strikes a pose

terror strikes a pose


See here for more info on the sexy Mr. Arnaout

carnival #3

carnival #3

Carnival of the Vanities, issue #3 is up at Siflay Hraka.

Each week, Bigwig collects some of the best posts in the blogosphere that you may have missed. He posts links to them on his site as well as at Blogcritics.

You can't possibly read each and every weblog on your blogroll every day. Bigwig does a good job of encapsulating the week that was for you.

And don't miss the Caption Contest at Raising Hell, featuring my son, who will someday find this weblog and kill me, rightfully so.

contents under pressure

New action at Raising Hell, comments still going strong on this war stuff.

October 08, 2002

peeves that have nothing to do with pets

A lot of commotion still going on in the comments of the invade/not-invade post. I'm still waiting for you pro-war (as in invade Iraq) people to make yourselves known and heard over there.

national (weblogging) pet peeve week

The second week of October (this being that week) is National Pet Peeve Week.

I've got a ton of them. People not using directionals when they drive, chewing with your mouth open, talking over another person, getting on the elevator before people have had a chance to get off, coming into someone's office every day to drink their coffee but never offering to actually buy the coffee once in a while, people who refuse to listen to your point of view, well...I could go on. For a very long time.

You know what lends itself to all kinds of pet peeves? Weblogging. Hey, we could make a new holiday. National Weblog Pet Peeve Week. The word "peeve" sounds funny when you say it a whole bunch of times.

What's your weblog pet peeve?

suck em if you got em

suck em if you got em

I just got rid of my cigarettes.

I know, I've done this at least ten times in the past year. Quit two weeks, go back. Quit 6 months, go back again.

All the other times I quit, it was for the simple reason that I knew I should.

Now, it's physical. I'm tired all the time, I cough all night, my throat is on fire and I just feel like crap 24/7. Obviously, it's the pack a day of tar and nicotine I'm sucking into my lungs.

So, the cigarettes are gone. I can't do this to myself anymore. I can't do it to my kids and my husband, who are the ones who will end up carrying around my spare oxygen tank or packing my motorized wheelchair into the car when I can't take two steps without wheezing anymore.

Of course, there's that whole oral fixation thing and Justin suggested that every time I get the urge to smoke at work, I should just have Bonnie flash me and umm...have my oral fixation. I won't even tell you what his suggestion is for when I'm home. You can probably guess.

I'll settle for sucking down a beer or Mike's Hard Lemonade when I get the urge.

Make your own joke there. I need to go find Bonnie.

blog products

blog products

Randomly generated product ideas as applied to blogs:

a small victory: a hairpiece that requires a sample of DNA! It has room for a computer mouse inside.

blogatelle: a teddybear that defies gravity! It can be programmed to perform simple tasks and shouts 'WARNING!' at the first sign of danger.

amish tech support: a pen that removes stubborn stains! It can play Mornington Crescent and swears.

up yours: like a normal first-aid kit, but it's also available in white.

billegible: a human clone that's voice-activated!

ipse dixit: a bicycle that blocks spam email, doesn't take no for an answer and can cook small meals.

jill matrix: like a normal cricket bat, but it exists in five dimensions.

uppity negro: a football that can be used by several people at once! It folds away when not in use and induces lucid dreaming.

wken show: a housebrick that emits a constant high-frequency whine! '

little green footballs: a shopping bag that connects to the web! It can easily be recycled and looks better than it sounds.

blawg: a riot shield! It is inflammable!

ghost in the machine: a lightbulb that plugs into your gas-mask, flies like a rocket and probably won't work.

I had way too much fun doing that. What product are you?

why do they hate us?

why do they hate us?

Over at bigwig's place, I found a link to the Top Ten Moments in Yankee Hating History.

I'm not going to bother going through them all. Most of them reek of jealousy. I guess it's the price you pay when you're a fan of the greatest baseball team ever. You know, having to listen to the whining of other, less fortunate teams.

Unlike some other delusional Yankee fans, I don't expect them to win every year. That's the nature of sports. Players come and go, managers come and go, sometimes you win with what you have, sometimes you lose because of what you don't have. I'm not one of those rabid sports fans that will go into an alcoholic depression when my team gets knocked out of the playoffs.

Hmm, yes I remember #4, when the Yankees lost to the Mariners. I was in the Nassau Coliseum, at an REM concert, headphones hanging around my neck so I could check the score every couple of minutes. The concert ended up sucking and I spent a good two hours listening to the Yankees lose while watching cat-scans of various REM members flashing on a screen. The Yankees loss wasn't half as bad as watching Michael Stipe go through the motions of pretending to care about the audience.

And I'm not going to argue about #7, which happened just this past week. Basically, when a team plays like shit they deserve to lose. End of story. You Yankee haters can laugh and deride and make fun all you want, but I'm not going to run home to my mommy and cry because everyone is laughing at my baseball team. They stunk up the field. I was chanting "Go Home Yankees" right along with the Angels fans.

I suppose I could make my own list of my top ten moments of being a Yankee fan to counteract the ESPN list. Some of them would be on a more personal level, like working for the Yankees and watching a game from Steinbrenner's office with Mickey Mantle sitting next to me, or spending a summer sitting in the archives room at the stadium looking at a million dollars worth of memorabilia or walking into what I thought was an empty locker room and seeing Rickey Henderson's dick and my only thought being that I wanted to tell him he was a lazy, selfish baseball player and I honestly thought that had no balls up until that very moment.

However, I will just regale you with my one greatest Yankee moment that will rank right up there in my top ten best days of my life should anyone ever ask me to list such a thing.

October 2, 1978. Fenway Park. Bucky Dent v. Mike Torrez.

You know the rest.

bugs, bush and bongs

Raising Hell is experiencing some technical difficulties as we change hosts to Bloggerzone. Please stay tuned.

bugs, bush and bongs

I started to watch the speech last night. I was interrupted quite a few times:

DJ: Mom, where's my baseball bat?
Me: In your bag, by the door, hey....what do you need a baseball bat for?
DJ: To kill this giant, humongous bug that's on my floor.
(I run into the room)
Me: DJ, that's not a bug. That's a dirty sock.
DJ: Made you look! Hahahaha!

I go back in the living room to watch the rest of the speech. Two minutes later:

Natalie: Moooooooooooooom!!
(Sounds like an emergency. I go running into the bedroom)
Me: What's the matter?
Natalie: Can you get me a drink of water?
Me: Any reason you can't get it yourself?
Natalie: I'm too tired to walk all the way into the kitchen.
Me: Get it yourself.

I go back into the living room to attempt to watch the rest of the speech in peace. Justin has flipped the channels while I was gone. I'm about to yell at him to turn it back when I see Henry Rollins standing in Drew Carey's kitchen. I sit on the couch, and Justin and I watch Rollins do his usual overacting. I got some kind of guilty pleasure feeling when Henry punched Drew in the face.

Then the phone rings, the laundry needs to go in the dryer, the dinner dishes still have to be done and before I know it, it's 10:30 and I want nothing more than to go to bed. So I do.

One channel, maybe MSNBC, maybe not, is replaying the speech in its entirety. I turn it up, lay my head on the pillow with the intent to listen, and promptly fall asleep.

I dream about boats blowing up and planes falling from the sky. In one part of the dream, Bush appears as a giant Monty Python-esque head in the clouds, his lips moving out of synch with his voice. He is talking about Canada while a war wages on below him. Fighting the war are plastic green army men, all moving awkwardly because of the bases attached to their feet. What looks like a mushroom cloud appears in the distance, but on further insepction turns out to be a group of naked college professors smoking pot out of a bong made from a lightsaber.

So I missed the speech, but in reading through the recaps and critiques on the news sites, I most likely didn't miss much. He said nothing new, he pulled no rabbits out of hat, he didn't wave a sword and accept the challenge of a duel. In the end, people will hear or not hear exactly what they want. While some will view the president's speech as proof that we should not invade, others will see it as definitive proof that we should.

As long as their are words to spin and broad brushes to paint with and conculsions to leap to, there will never be any solidarity on this issue. Ain't that America?

October 07, 2002



Even if I didn't look at a calendar all day it would have been blatantly obvious that it was Monday.

Phone calls from hell came through all day, the devil disguised as attorneys bitching at me for things I had no control over. Then there were the phone calls that should never should have been transferred to me; mothers complaining about their sons being locked up, a daughter screaming that her father should have been locked up.

Then there is the tension that exists when you work in a courthouse where several judges are up for re-election or election to a different court next month and they are running against each other.

Then there's the weather; a gray, ominous sky that threatened all day but never followed through, leaving me with a feeling that I was always waiting for something.

The news didn't help. Another shooting, talk of war, dissent and disatisfaction and a general feeling of something creeping up behind me.

I refuse to look over my shoulder.

It was one of those days where I couldn't find files I knew I had, couldn't locate memos that I knew I saved and forgot what I was saying midway through sentences.

It was the kind of day where Raising Hell experienced technical difficulties and the related hell that goes hand in hand with that sort of thing.

This sense of displacement was further embellished by sighting Henry Rollins on the Drew Carey show.

It could just be Monday malaise, or perhaps, it's the moon.

moon link from Brian

striking fear

striking fear

There's been another shooting in Maryland, this time a 13 year old boy who was shot while being dropped off at school. He remains in critical condition.

Terrorism? I've been thinking about since the first reports of these shootings. Think about it; one of the main goals of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of people. What better way to spread that fear than to shoot random, ordinary citizens in sleepy American suburbs, to make them feel unsafe no matter where they go, to make them feel as if their children are at risk?

The fact that the police have no clue who is doing this, that there has been no description of the assailant(s) at all, leads me to believe that there is more going on than they are telling us. Per usual.

It's been my greatest fear since last September 11 that terrorism would soon invade our schools. I look forward to being proved wrong on this one. Not that a crazed sniper on a killing spree is a good thing, but there is a sharp shooter with a deranged soul running around, and if this is any way related to terrorism, you can be sure he's not the only one, and we haven't heard the end of it yet.

update: the shooting has been linked to the others.

For more on this, read here.

war polling

asv goes to the polls: an unscientific polling of the blogosphere and its readers on the use of force against iraq

There's been a lot of talk around the blog world about which type of blogger is more outspoken, more prevelant; the pro-war or anti-war faction.

I want to know where weblog authors and readers stand on this issue. Let's say this space here is your virtual congress and you are the elected officials, ready to vote on the resolution to use force against Iraq.

Just a simple yay or nay and a explanation of your vote, to satisfy my curiosity or end a certain argument I've been having or to get a less than scientific study on where the blogosphere lies on this issue. Not everyone talks politics on their weblogs, but most people still have an opinion on the subject.

Sound off. I am really interested in your point of view. I am curious about your opinions and your reasons for them. How did you come to the decision to support/not support the use of force? What's your political background? Has your opinion changed at all since the first days of the talk of war on Iraq? A simple "for" or "against" will suffice, also. Add anything you can think of that will help me in my informal study of the politcal climate of the blogosphere, both it's authors and readers.

update: The non anti-war people are very, very quiet. Very few people who support this war have spoken up. Scientfically speaking, I have yet to figure out what this all means. I'm working on a thesis, with the most likely explanation being that the pro-war part of the blogosphere does not read my blog.

Also, I hate saying "pro-war" because no one is really pro-war. Those of us that are in support of the use of force aren't out on the streets protesting for violence and death. Again, necessary evil.

October 06, 2002

eating crow

eating crow

Dad the Mets fan: Hey, you guys want to come over for dinner tonight?
Me: That would be nice. What are you making?
Dad the Mets fan: Yankee pot roast and humble pie. *snicker*
Me: *click*

sunday photo essay: falling

sunday photo essay: falling

I haven't done one of these in while.

Beginnings and endings. Autumn brings a bit of both; the earth-bound leaves and bare branches signifying the end of lush, green summer scenery while the bursts of color give welcome to the cooler weather and shorter days.

Autumn brings to me a sense of renewal, much like spring brings to others. The cool air reenergizes my soul, and I feel ready to reach back and let go and give it everything I have.

The heat of summer drags me down and I often feel stuck, unable to disentangle myself from the lethargy that comes with humidty. Now that the air has turned crisp and the green is starting to fade, I am ready to tie up my loose ends and take a close look at the challenges that lie right in front of me.

I'm ready for whatever is in store for me these days. If you throw hard, I am going to come out swinging. No more endless days hanging around, waiting for something to happen. I've got my game face on and I'm ready to move to the rhythm of the new season. Things are looking up.

previous photo essays:
there used to be an oak tree here
grandpa joe
around the yard in 80 shades
those summer nights
heat stroke
summer is

October 05, 2002

that was fast

that was fast

Well, I'm done for the year. Bring on hockey.



What possesses an eight grade child to kill herself? Where would she get the gun? How would she know how to shoot the gun? What is her mindset that she took the time to give away her personal belongings to her friends before she put the gun to her head? And mostly, why didn't her parents know that she wanted to end her life?

Eighth grade is young. You are 13, maybe 14. That's still a child to me. And children need to be talked to constantly and watched and listened to.

My daughter is 12. She will be thirteen in February. I can't imagine not knowing what's going on in her head. Long ago, I established a relationship with her that was open and trusting. I ask her questions, not just "how was school, honey?" but "what was your day like? anything interesting happen?" I give her the openings and let her in. I don't stop her from talking, even when she's telling me about who said what to whom and where they said it and who got mad. I don't stop the repeated stories, the mundane stories or the bitching about smelly gym lockers, because if I stop listening to the little things, she won't tell me the big things.

It breaks my heart to see that a child of that age was so despondent that she took her own life. How could there not have been signs? Or did someone see the signs but choose to ignore them?

I see so many parents who have all but tuned their child out. I know, just from listening, which girls are going in which direction. I know that the girl around the corner will end up doing drugs and alcohol at an early age, just like her brother. Her mother does not see what I see because her mother doesn't take the time to look. I know that one of Natalie's friends will end up being the slut in high school, most likely pregnant before 16. It's obvious to everyone but her family, because her family doesn't look.

I know my daughter inside and out. I can tell by just the way she blinks her eyes what she's thinking. I can tell by looking when she's had a hard day, when she's had a good day, when she wants to talk but is waiting for me to initiate the conversation.

She's entering a brave new world in seventh grade. The dangers of peer pressure are heavier. The kids are more street-wise, a little sharper around the edges.

I know my parenting can sometimes be a source of contention for her. I don't drop her off with at the mall with her friends; I feel she's too young for that. I don't let her cross the 4-lane main street here because I don't trust the drivers on the road. There are certain friends whose house she cannot sleep over because I know the supervision is lax.

She may get mad at me sometimes, she may pout and whine when she is sitting home while her friends are roaming the streets aimlessly, but I don't care. I don't want to end up being that mother who cries herself to sleep at night saying "why do I let her do that?" I don't want her to be a statistic.

How does an eigth grader get to the point that she no longer wants to live? Why didn't anyone see she was headed there? There had to be some sign, some clue.

I obsess over news such as this. I put myself in the mother's place and I feel the heartache of not just losing a child, but knowing that I was in some way to blame. I will never let that happen.

Just talk to your kids. Listen when they talk, no matter what kind of gibberish they're talking. If you listen to the boring things, they will trust you with the other things. They just want someone to hear them.

This is what happens when no one listens, when there is no exchange of words, no one to hear what lies underneath the smiles.

sell the rights to your blight

sell the rights to your blight

Indiana housewife goes on strike.

You know what, lady? Kiss my ass. You're not getting any applause from me.

I work full-time, raise two kids and take care of the house. For four years, I did this as a single parent. I didn't do it to get appreciation or to be noticed. I did those things because they had to be done.

The woman feels underappreciated because she does all the work and her husband goes fishing.

Apparently they don't have any children, save for the two dogs mentioned in the article. And I'm assuming her husband also works.

I know, I know, people just want to be appreciated. Then talk it out with each other, not the media. Go to marraige counseling. Don't air your problems to the whole world.

Soon she will be on Inside Edition, Dr. Phil and CNN. She will be the new media darling during moments when all the stations are looking for something besides war and elections to talk about.

I don't understand what she wants. Does she want her husband to say thank you once in a while, or help her out or just not go fishing at all? Is she jealous that he uses his free time to go out with the guys? That's a relationship issue, not one that should be settled on some sappy, overwrought talk show where five million people will see Dr. Phil berate your husband and probably make you cry at some point.

I would never deny my husband his time with the guys or the chance to enjoy his hobby. And I certainly don't expect him to fall to his knees and praise me every time I pick a piece of paper up off the floor.

It's hard working and cleaning and doing kids stuff. I'm not denying that. I just hate people who choose their space in life and then whine about it. I especially hate when they whine to the national media and take their problems to some sideshow cirucs version of therapy.

This strike and the ensuing media alvalanche will do more damage to her relationship with husband than fix it. He's being humiliated on national tv and in newspapers and she's standing around laughing, writing down dates for interviews and accepting flowers and free vacations from publicity people, who have become the ambulance chasers of the media. Don't be surprised if the husband files for divorce right after the wife deposits any money she gains from this whoring of herself in the bank.

I know I'm going to get blasted for this. Go ahead. I'm just sick of people bitching and moaning about their lives to anyone with a micrphone. The whole world has become a stage for Jerry Springer. Soon, we'll be hiring publicity coordinators the way we hire plumbers or mechanics.

You feel underappreciated? Tell that to every mother and father out there who is raising a child, keeping the house, working and doing it all without a partner. I doubt they will find your story very compelling.

Now, I'm off to the Little League field. I'll be sure to alert the media if my son doesn't show his appreciation that I came.

i hope it wasn't crazy glue

i hope it wasn't crazy glue

To the person who came here looking for "glued penis":

Is it your penis that's glued or someone else's? Are you looking for a safe solvent to remove the glue? What exactly is your penis glued to, and if it's not your penis, why were you putting glue on someone's intimate parts? Were you gluing your penis to your thigh to keep from masturbating? Then perhaps you were the same person who came here looking for 'secret cameras that got pictures of J. Lo naked."

Or is this just some weird fetish?

I had a dream once where I cut off the penis of a dead person and glued it to the wall of my living room as a trophy.

Or was it a dream? Hey, is that your penis on my wall?

I need to lay off the caffeine and get out of the house. I'm off to DJ's game. Be forewarned: more exciting pictures of my son pitching will be posted tonight.

left, right, left, right

left, right, left, right

A reader asks through email: Have you shifted to the right?

Someone else is addressing the same issue, and she says a mouthful:

"Before September 11 I had always identified myself as being "a little left of center." There were some issues on which I agreed with the Right but I was always embarrassed to admit it. Sure the Left always had it's lunatic fringe but the Right was scary. They were mean-spirited, evil, corporation loving, religious fundamentalists. I didn't want to risk being associated with them in any way.

Now everything is different. I don't think I've actually shifted to the Right. It's just that since September 11 the Right has done a much better job of shutting up their lunatic fringe, while the common sense Left has gone into hiding and let their lunatics take over. So the Left is worried about the Right dominating the blogosphere. This sounds to me like more of the same kind of whining they always do every time someone expresses a different opinion. The right-wingers are trying to shut us up; our civil liberties are being violated; freedom of speech is dead...boo hoo hoo... All while sitting at their PC posting on their own personal website where anyone in the world might read their blatherings."

I've written about this many times before. I never was associated with either the right nor the left to begin with. Both sides have their negative points; mostly the people on the extreme edge of their chosen sides. They are generally the most vocal, the most obvious. They write books, they protest, they hit the tv circuit, they send cryptic letters to the editor.

Everyone has a right to state their beliefs. I just take issue with people who want you to feel as if you have no right to an opinion, no right to make your own choices.

I am just as frigthened of the far right and their rallying cries as I am of the left and their violent protests and in your face activism.

I'm tired of being made to feel like my choices are wrong. There is no right or wrong. Either you eat meat or you don't meat. It's a choice. Either you believe in God or you don't. Pro-choice or pro-life. Pro-war or peacenik. For every choice you make, for every opinion you have, there is another side. Just because you are one side of the fence does not make that the right place to be. It just makes it your right place to be.

Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? You can choose from both side A and side B of the menu. I can back Bush on the war without backing him on education. I can be all for free speech but still punch your lights out if you make a rude, demeaning comment to my child. I can recycle my cans and bottles but still drive my SUV. And because this is America, I can do all this without expecting you to interfer with my right to do so.

So, to answer that reader's question, no I have not shifted to the right because there was nowhere to shift from. I don't have a place marker somewhere on the political line that says "This place, two inches to the left of center, is property of Michele." I haven't hung my hat on any party's door. I am a woman without a label and I like it that way.

I will shift and sway whichever way an issue turns me. But you will never, ever find me swaying all the way to the end of one side. I could never confine myself to the ideals of just one party, just one way of thinking.

I link to lefty blogs, I link to blogs on the right. I read them all. I like to hear all sides. I like to be informed. What I don't like is people taking issue with me personally for having my own opinion, one that differs from theirs. And honestly, like Lynn stated, that sticking point lies more on the left than the right.

It's Saturday. I shouldn't be this serious. I should be watching cartoons and eating junk food and working on my Saddam meets Dr. Phil piece.

October 04, 2002

and i had so much to say, too...

and i had so much to say, too...

We're babysitting our two year old nephew tonight.

We're teaching him how to say "The Cowboys are not America's team, Mommy," "Mets suck," and "Justin promised to get me a hooker for my 16th birthday."

Paybacks are a bitch, sis.

And as per Fraser, send in the nuns!

food and music

food and music

Dinner Music, something new from me over at Blogcritics.

problem solving through google

problem solving through google

Forget dueling. There's a new way to solve all your battles, large and small: Google Fight. Simply enter two opposing keywords in the space provided, hit enter and there you have it - a declared winner! Less blood than sword fights, less expensive than sending in the military and no fear of detention for fighting on school property.

This could solve all the world's problems and avoid messy election scandals.

Iraq crisis decided: Bush beats Saddam

Race for New York State Governer: Pataki wins

Superhero battle: Superman whomps Spiderman

Battle of boy bands: Nsync over Backstreet Boys

Left v. Right: O'Reilly takes down Chomsky

Think of all the other uses for this. Judges can make quick decisions: Guilty! No more fighting over where to go for dinner: We're going to McDonald's! Make a career decision: I'm going to be a pimp!

I'm thinking a battle of the bands. Or a battle of the bloggers. Start off with twenty or so, have them google fight each other until one remains.

It's Friday. Let's have a little fun. Give me your best, funniest, most original google fights. Solve the world's problems. End a long standing argument. Kick someone's ass. Put your blog up against someone else's. It's all about the Friday Fun.

October 03, 2002

jesus, hockey and humping hamsters

jesus, hockey and humping hamsters

Replay of an older post, "The Last Supper," over at Raising Hell.

And, for interested parties, hamster porn.

i'll bite your legs off!

i'll bite your legs off!



SADDAM: None shall pass.
BUSH: What?
SADDAM: None shall pass.
BUSH: If you have no Weapons of Mass Destruction, I have no quarrel with you, Saddam, but I must have unfettered access.
SADDAM: Then you shall die.
BUSH: I command you as Leader of the Free World to stand aside!
SADDAM: I move for no American.
BUSH: So be it!
[parry thrust]
[BUSH chops SADDAM's left arm off after a short battle]
BUSH: Now stand aside, you madman.
SADDAM: 'Tis but a scratch.
BUSH: A scratch? Your arm's off!
SADDAM: No, it isn't.
BUSH: Well, what's that then?
SADDAM: I've had worse.
BUSH: You liar!
SADDAM: Come on you pansy!
[parry thrust]
[BUSH chops SADDAM's right arm off]
BUSH: Victory is mine! [kneeling] We thank thee Lord, that in thy merc-
[SADDAM kicks BUSH in the head while he is praying]
SADDAM:come on then.
BUSH: What?
SADDAM: Have at you!
BUSH: You are indeed crazed, Saddam, but the fight is mine.
SADDAM: Oh, had enough, eh?
BUSH: Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left.
SADDAM: Yes I have.
BUSH: Look!
SADDAM: Just a flesh wound.

At this point Bush turns around, looks at Cheney and says, "Oh, fuck this, let's just bomb 'em."

up yours, blogger

up yours, blogger

Ok, who ate Dawn's blogger account?

She can't get into her blog at all so Stacy has offered Dawn a new home.

I'm glad she lost her blogger account. My browser at work won't accept URLs with underscores in them, so I always had to wait until I got home to catch up with Dawn's escapades.

Go on over and bring her a housewarming present. I hear she likes crotchless panties and leather.

action figures caught on tape 3

action figures caught on tape: part 3 (enter madman)

Spidey: I'd like to call to order this meeting of the Action Figures and Toy Society.
(lots of noise and chattering)
Spidey: Ahem. I said I want to get started.
(room quiets down)
Spidey: Ok, we have a new member I'd like to introduce you to. Everyone, please say hi to Madman.
All: Hello, Madman!
(Madman moves over to podium, bumping Spidey out of the way)
Madman: Hey! It's great to be here! I've prepared a little introductory speech...
(Spidey moves back in front of the mic)
Spidey: Umm...there's really no need for that. Just grab a chair. We have a lot of business to take care of tonight.
Evil Ash: Let the guy speak!
Spidey: But, we have to...
Evil Ash: I said, let him speak, dimwit!
Spidey: Hey, I run this show, not you! I have an agenda!
Madman: So, is this an elected position, this leader of the action figures thing?
Spidey: Errr..no...I just...I....I formed this group, so I'm the leader!!
Madman: Well that doesn't seem very democratic.
Spidey: Who said this is a democracy?
Boba Fett: Come to think of it, this has been run sort of like a dictatorship. Maybe we should have an election.
Red Power Ranger: Yea, an election!
(Spidey turns to look at the Ranger)
Spidey: What the hell? What rock did you crawl out from under? I thought you were garage sale bait a long time ago.
RPR: They found me under the couch yesterday. I've been surviving on pizza crust and cookie crumbs this whole time.
Madman: So about this election thing...
Batman: I nominate Madman!
Green Goblin: I nominate me!
Aquaman: I want to be the leader! Pick me! Pick me!
(uproarious laughter from the crowd)
Aquaman: What's so funny about that? I can lead!
Madman: You want to lead? Let's dance!
(Aquaman and Madman dance. Soon, Harley Quinn gets up and starts dancing with them, dirty dancing style)
Spidey: How many times do I have to tell you that there is a child present in this group??
Chun-Li: And how many times do I have to tell you that I am not a child. I'm just short!
Spidey: Whatever. Can we get this meeting back in order?
Optimus Prime: Only if we can have a real election!
He-Man: I'm down with OP! Bring on the election!
Luke Skywalker(whining): Hey! No fair! What about me??
Han Solo (in a mocking tone): But I was going into Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!
(Everyone laughs and hi-fives Solo)
Akira (rapping): You down with OP?
(every except Spidey sings and grooves)
You down with OP
Who's down with OP
You down with OP
Who's down with OP

Madman: Hey everyone! Let's dance!dancer.gif(Everyone dances. Spidey sighs, knowing he is doomed to another night alone watching Dragonball Z, drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade and uploading bad poetry to his blog. He walks out of the room unnoticed, silently vowing to seek his revenge on Madman for usurping his power like that).

Stay tuned for the next installment of Action Figures Caught on Tape: The Election Scandal.

Read Parts 1 and 2.

October 02, 2002

blowin' in the wind

blowin' in the wind

To Jonno and James: Perhaps this is the impetus you need to finally pack your bags and come to New York?

out of left field

out of left field

A portly middle-aged man wearing a wife-beater and a Speedo just rode past my house on a kid's bicycle singing "Redemption Song" at the top of his lungs.

Maybe it was this guy.

kiddie snacks

kiddie snacks

This whole eating your young thing is starting to sound like an interesting idea. Maybe if someone told me when I gave birth what my daughter would be like at 12 1/2, I would have made a snack out of her.

I'm kidding, really. Almost.

Is there a military school for girls?

what if

what if (your post disappeared)

I broke something. I tried to put another link in the post that was here and it wouldn't save, wouldn't rebuild and would not reappear again. Lost in cyberspace, I guess. If you see it floating around out there, send it back this way.

Today has to be Monday. It's sure shaping up like one.

wanna see something really scary?

wanna see something really scary?

Calling all horror movie buffs.

I'm planning a Halloween weekend movie party. 24 hours straight of horror movie watching. I'm open for suggestions.

We're not talking cinematic beauties or deep thinking plots here. I'm looking for blood, guts, gore, mutilation, zombies, and evilness. They can be campy because campy horror is good, but there has got to be some fright to it. No straight comedy horror.

Reference point: I hated the Scream movies, I loved Dead Alive. And don't bother suggesting any of the Evil Dead movies, we own them all already.

Help a gore-loving zombie freak out.

is there a pet doctor in the house?

is there a pet doctor in the house?

The hamster that we thought was a boy apparently isn't because there's little mutant-looking babies popping out of his nether region.

(S)he's eaten a few already.

Help? Please?

update: She ate them all. Every last one of them. Then she went and played around on her wheel a bit like nothing ever happened. Dumb whore.

Rread the whole sordid tale at Raising Hell.

the clowns ate my brain

the clowns ate my brain

Fitful sleep. Horrid nighmares. Can't form coherent though. Check back later.

October 01, 2002

everybody say yea!

everybody say yeah!*

A caller to a talk radio show today was upset about all the dissension in America. She was worried about people fighting and political parties fighting and mass media taking sides and drawing swords. I think she was close to tears.

Personally, I like this dissension. I like that we state our views loudly and clearly and we aren't afraid to do so. We happen to live in a nation where we can and do speak out against what we percieve to be unjust government practices. We can call our senators idiots and our congressmen whores. We can meet face to face, in public, and have an loud, strong argument about our president and no one is going to call the thought police when one of us says that our president is the anti-christ. You will not get thrown in a dark, filthy prison cell. I will not be tortured as if I were a traitor to a dictatorial country. [1]

My point is, I find all this debate and taking of sides healthy. It's healthy that Babs can stand up in front of a crowd of people who have nothing better to do with five hundred dollars than to listen to her shrill rants. And it's healthy for me to be able to call her an insane shrew. Really, it is. Go ahead and try it. Doesn't it feel good? Do you think Ashcroft is evil? Shout it out loud, then. Do you think we can trust Saddam to tell us the truth about his WoMD? Say it, then! Say it!

I'm not saying people won't pelt you with stones or laugh behind your back, but the point is, all this yelling back and forth and protesting and people going on political talk shows and saying whatever the hell they want is a good thing. It's all part of freedom. [2]

I am exercising my freedom by shouting war now! I am exercising my freedom by sharing views of both the left and the right. I can do that. So can you. Nobody has to follow strict party lines. Nobody can tell you that because you are a registered Democrat it is your duty to vote Democrat all the way across. [3]

How often do you exercise one of your most vital rights as an American? Do you vote in elections that aren't presidential? Do you vote in local races? School board races? Library budget votes?

Do you realize how lucky we are to be able to vote for the candidate we like best and not have to face blazing guns and raging fists at the polls? Do you? You have the ability to use just one little finger to make your choice known. You have the choice to not vote for the person on your party line if you think he is corrupt or just not fit for the job. You have the right to drag your finger all the way down to the bottom row where the person on the Independent or Working Families or Green or Right to Life or Socialist party's name is printed and push that lever down.

Are your local judges elected or appointed? If they are elected do you know anything about them at all or do you just push the lever that has your party's symbol next to it? Is that person tough on drunk drivers? Lenient with white criminals but hard on black criminals? Are they pro-choice? Make an effort to know about the people who are running for elected positions in your area. You don't know where they may end up some day. Robert Torricelli had to start somewhere. You don't want to be hanging your head ten years from now because you voted for a crappy, disinterested judge just because he was a Republican and now that judge is going to be appointed to a much higher court. Do you know anything about your school officials? Your library board?

This is America. We have the right to know. We have the right to information. We have the right to choose and the right to make our choices known.

Debate your neighbor over the Middle East. Challenge your waitress to back up her words regarding the Supreme Court. Write a letter to the editor. Call a talk show. Speak up. Challenge. Learn. Use your privileges, use your freedom. Some of you have no idea how lucky you are to have it.

[1]These statements do not hold true for people -ahem, elected officials- who march over to the land of our enemy and say these things on enemy soil. That's a no-no, just on ethical grounds.

[2] That freedom does not include destroying other people's property in the process of protesting.

[3] Well, they can tell you that, but you don't have to listen.

*I sat down to write about the evils of PMS and this is what came out. I thank you and apologizes to you if you read through to the end.

nigeria falls, new york

nigeria falls, new york

I received another in a long line of those Nigerian scam mails. You know, the ones that begin with:

EMAIL ADDRESS:jh_william001@mailsurf.com

Dear Friend,

I am a Solicitor resident and practicing in Lagos, Nigeria and I am using this correspondence to urgently seek and request your assistance and cooperation
in a sensitive but highly beneficial financial arrangement.

It then goes on to say something about 50 million dollars and how if I just come on over there and risk my life and my family's small fortune that I could become his next willing victim. Hey, you have to read between the lines.

I was overtired and goofy enough to actually write back to him last night. It was a beautiful letter with a bright pink background and neon green letters:

Hi friend!

Do u want 2 B penpals? I am 12 years old. Do i need money 2 do this thing with u? I have 10$ in my piggy bank and i was saving it 2 buy my brother a new leg his got cut off in the car acident when my dad was driving drunk lasty y ear and my mom said we culdnt afford 2 get my brother a umm..pathetic? leg. i think thats the word.

u called me a friend in ur email. that wuz nice. id like 2 be ur friend, too. ill do whatever u want me 2 so i can have lots of money 2 by my brother a new leg and 2 getmy mom out of rehab and to get my dad out of jail.

ok and im not really good at math so can u just say like how much money i need to do this thing? i know my mom got some money last time the mailman came here. it was weird cuz he left it on her dresser instead of in the mailbox. i wonder why.

oh r u related 2 john william the guy who wrote the star warz music? is that his name? do u no him? that would rule. do you like britney spears or linkin park? cuz if we r gonna be penpals then i would have 2 no sumthing about u. oh where is nigeria? is that the place in new york with the big waterfall?

ok peace and love.

byebye (I inserted 14 different Yahoo! smileys here) haha that clown is funnY

p.s can i tell my friendz about u cuz marci and gabby would think im really kewl to be friendz with a guy who knows about secret money and stuff and maybe you can come here and take us to the mall cuz we saw these earings we like at hot topic oh and the blink 182 shirt where theyre intheir underwear.

I haven't heard from him yet.

self linking

self linking time

Over at Raising Hell:

"My Stepfather Was An Alien?"
"Stepfather of the Bride?
"Oh Stepfather Where Art Thou?"
"Ok, this is ridiculous. Let's just talk to them

My Stepfather Is An Alien.



We're falling apart at the seams.

The economy is tanking, the Democrats are self-imploding, war is coming, and Vince Neil and Emmanuel Lewis are living together.

We are living in a parody show. Or a bad sit-com or dramedy or whatever they call those shows that are part funny, part drama but usually end up being dramatically unfunny. In this week's episode, Sen. Torricelli drops out of his bid for re-election and hilarity ensues as Bill Clinton has one week to sell his digs in New York, move to New Jersey, establish himself as a resident there and put in his bid to take over Torricelli's spot.

Al Gore is self-destructing at an alarming rate. When I used to watch Small Wonder (and I only watched it so I could make fun of it), I would always wait for Vicki's tiny robot head to overload and then smoke would pour out of her ears and sparks would fly out of her eyes and her skull would pop off, showering her loving family with wires and conductors. It never quite happened that way, but I can see it happening to Al Gore. Just wait til he makes his state of the economy speech Wednesday night. Rumor has it he's wired to implode the first time he says lockbox. Rumor also has it that it's his own party that wishes Gore's head would just pop off in a cloud of smoke. That's one way to get rid of him.

I've been listening to conversations in grocery stores and 7-11's and the women's room at Chili's. Fights are breaking out over Iraq, and something's gone awry because party line has nothing to do with it. I know lefties who want to go to war rightnowthisveryminuteplease and I know righties who are ready to put flowers in their hair and buy Jefferson Airplane records and start throwing eggs at cops.

People are lining up in a world-wide game of Red Rover and when you hear your name called - red rover, red rover, I call Jimmy over! - it's no longer cut and dry about whether you want to go to the other side or stay with your friends. There's things to be said for the other side. On the other hand, there's things to be said for the side you're on right now, so you sort of hesitate somewhere in the middle and look back and forth at the hand-holding line-up waiting for you either way and then finally they all meet in the middle to pummel you for trying to be diplomatic.

And then I glance at my Yahoo! horoscope and it says:

Horoscope: You have had a strong propensity towards war lately, michele. Your drive towards getting things done has been rallied and you are anxious to make progress on certain aspects of your life. The problem is that you might have to hold back a bit today, since there is a great force at work that is encouraging to you to take a break from your current trajectory. It is time to slow down and make a plan instead of just plowing ahead blindly towards the unknown.

Which I translate as: Your penchant for war mongering and your desire to make everyone see your point of view will be sidetracked by crippling cramps and Darth Vader. Put your head down on your desk today at work and dream up a get-rich quick scheme instead of hoping that your government job doesn't disappear along with the country's economic stability.

I'm not good at making plans. Right now the only plan I have is to spend a lot of time watching the news and listening to talk radio and running down protesters.

Maybe I'll go see if there's room in that house with Lewis and Neil. I hear MC Hammer is going to be there and I want to ask him if I can borrow his Hammer-Time phrase for a while.

here and there

here and there

Thanks to everyone who linked to Raising Hell yesterday, and to those who stopped by to check out our new digs. I'd say the day was a smashing success. Don't forget, RH is updated daily and we'll be announcing our October contest today, so stop by again.

I can't tell you enough times; if you ever have the need to hire a web design team, Stacy and Robyn of Sekimori are your best choice, hands down.

Speaking of Robyn, she asked me to be a judge for this year's wedding dress contest and of course I said yes. The contest starts today, so head over to the Fifth Annual Dress Contest. Tell them I sent you. Or don't.