Saturday, May 21, 2005

Daily Planet

just a comment. i will be heading down to the Daily Planet in a few minutes to enjoy a last call with the bartender. the Daily Planet is a place we all could go to and enjoy the art deco decorations, the stockholm martinis and, for me, the lack of interesting beers residing in its coolers. i am getting drunk as i write, because that is a promise i made when i first started this blog (but have not kept to). and i will continue the drunkenage at the Planet.
It is closing its doors tonight. The owner died last year or early this and the children have decided to put the entire block up for sale (the Planet, the Tower Theater, the place formerly known as Butterfield's, etc). i don't know what is going to happen, but i will definately tip my glass to the end of another era. the Planet is on a par with the Oly and the Wild Blue Yonder as iconic locations in the Tower District. if you read this in time, join me and marcel and randy and raise a toast. if not, just hoist that glass from wherever you are.

First We Shoot the Mules

i highlighted the passages that give me pause. this reads (to me) as an attempt to wrest ever more control from those branches of government not titled "executive". but what happens when the Dems win the presidency back and the courts can't rule on anything involving God or foreign legal agreements and the filibuster has been blown to bits? are the Republicans thinking that far ahead? or are the neo-cons counting on removing all legal restaints on the office of the president in time to ensure that a Democrat can't get elected legally ever again? or that any democrat that can will be hamstrung from the start and coerced into following the established doctrine of the far right extremists (which include mule-fuckers and closet homos who claim homos should be locked up...not that a Democrat has never engaged in barnyard hijinks or homosexual acts; the Dems just normally don't go after those whom they can connect with)?


Congress moves to restrict court rulings on God
WASHINGTON — Conservatives balk at accusations that the current Congress and the Bush administration are intent on turning the United States into a theocracy. Yet, a bill sponsored by 28 members of the U.S. House and Senate looks like a move in that direction.
According to the text of the bill, the proposed Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 would remove the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over “any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”
Commenting on the general trend, Bill Moyers noted in a March article for the New York Review of Books that the religious right backs nearly half the members of Congress. “Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the most influential Christian Right advocacy groups,” he noted.
If passed, the bill also would limit the ability of judges to interpret the Constitution if it involved “any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.”
Judges who fail to comply could be impeached or prosecuted.
Project Censored award-winning journalist W. David Kubiak charges that the bill would divorce U.S. jurisprudence from “our hard-won secular history and international norms.” The Conservative Caucus has called it an important step that would prevent the U.S. Supreme Court from weighing in on “the acknowledgement of God (as in the Roy Moore 10 Commandments issue); and it also restricts federal courts from recognizing the laws of foreign countries and international law [e.g., against torture, global warming, unjust wars, etc.] as the supreme law of our land.”
Thus far, the mainstream media has ignored the legislation. A May 16 search of Google News turned up no coverage, despite the fact that the office of lead sponsor Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, told Kubiak last week, “We have the votes for passage."

Beauty and the Beast-ial

This comes from a blog, but includes the actual dialogue. This "gentleman" is a leading anti-abortionist who has listed the phone numbers and home addresses on his website of doctors who perform abortions. He has also admitted to one homosexual encounter and has children through adultery by two women (who he allegedly urged to have abortions, but they didn't follow through with his wishes).
Part Two:
Bizarre Sex Habits of The Extreme Right-Wing
Last night, anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley was a guest on The Alan Colmes Show, a FOX News radio program. The topic was an interesting one - whether or not an internet service provider should allow Horsley to post the names of abortion doctors on his website. Horsley does that as a way of targeting them and one doctor has been killed. In the course of the interview, however, Colmes asked Horsley about his background, including a statement that he had admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality sex.
At first, Horsley laughed and said, "Just because it's printed in the media, people jump to believe it."
"Is it true?" Colmes asked.
"Hey, Alan, if you want to accuse me of having sex when I was a fool, I did everything that crossed my mind that looked like I..."
AC: "You had sex with animals?"
NH: "Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."
AC: "I'm not so sure that that is so."
NH: "You didn't grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?"
AC: "Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?"
NH: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality... Welcome to domestic life on the farm..."
Colmes said he thought there were a lot of people in the audience who grew up on farms, are living on farms now, raising kids on farms and "and I don't think they are dating Elsie right now. You know what I'm saying?"
Horsley said, "You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naive. You know better than that... If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it."
In addition to Horsley, Colmes has recently interviewed Randall Terry another radical anti-abortionist and anti-gay activist. In the middle of an otherwise serious interview, Terry began joking - apropos of nothing - that he and Colmes were ex-lovers.
Another extremist interviewed by Colmes not too long ago was Rev. Fred Phelps who stated on the show that he thought the death penalty should be given for those who engage in "sodomy." When Colmes asked Phelps if he had ever engaged in gay sex, Phelps blustered but never said no.
Hmm, I'm beginning to sense a pattern here. Come to think of it, Ann Coulter is reputed to have an unusually, er, wide-ranging sex life, too, though as far as I know it's just confined to men. Still, it doesn't exactly match the profile of an ultra-conservative.

Booty and the Bush

...um...I have no words for this. It speaks for itself.

Mary Carey Comes to Washington
Porn Star to Dine with Bush
By JOSHUA FRANK
Oh my. This Bush administration is something else. On one hand they are all about "family values" and Jesus. On the other they are all about raising mad loot so they can maintain control of Washington. It's not their conservative principles that really matter; it's all about the loot and the power it buys. And Bush's new dining partners have very deep pockets.
Former California gubernatorial candidate and popular porn star Mary Carey, whose real name is Mary Cook, will be joining her boss Mark Kulkis in attending a dinner with President Bush on June 14.
Not kidding. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is hosting the swank fundraising event, where hundreds of well-heeled Republicans will be corralled in DC to hobnob with President Bush. Over the course of the two-day event, conservative interest groups will be talking with Bush administration officials about real "important" issues. As usual, money buys access: An individual ticket to the dinner festivities alone costs $2,500. And no, Laura won't be sharing any new jokes with the crowd.
Of course, Carey, Kulkis, and the porn industry have valid reasons for lobbying Washington, such as worker rights and protection. But Carey and Kulkis hardly represent those interests. Carey's run for the governor of California, which was marketed by Kulkis, was nothing more than a flaunted publicity stunt. Her platform included, among other things: Taxing boob jobs. Making lap dances tax deductible. Recruiting porn stars to be "ambassadors of good will." And putting web cams up in every room of the Governor's mansion (okay, that one is intriguing).
"I'm hoping to run as Lieutenant Governor of California next year," said Carey, who was arrested in Tacoma, Washington for touching herself in a sexual manner this past week. "Since Arnold [Schwarzenegger] is a Republican, I thought this dinner would be a great networking opportunity for me."
"I'm honored to be invited to this event," Kulkis said. "Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won't find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year." She's got a point I suppose.
Kulkis' company, Kick Ass Pictures, guarantees that "no fake boobs and no condoms" will ever be seen, even though Mary Carey, who appears in many of Kulkis' productions, has said in several interviews that her own boobs are fake. Kulkis is currently an Honorary Chairman on the NRCC's Business Advisory Council, a roundtable of millionaire business entrepreneurs who advocate for a robust "pro-business agenda."
Isn't it funny how the Bush administration could really give two-shits about the Christian Right? The bible thumpers are good for votes, and the porn industry is good for money.
"I'm especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove," Carey said about her forthcoming visit to DC. "Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he's against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn't so bad!"
I wish.
Joshua Frank is the author of the highly anticipated new book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been released by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy or two for a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org

Friday, May 20, 2005

Comment That Must Be Posted (because my ego will swallow you all)

you will always be able to "afford" something in the tower. but you will have to know people. my deal is really good only because the owner is a towerite and isn't too concerned about making a big profit. he owns enough other places that he can afford to help a Rogue creator stay in the neighborhood. but i am seeing so amny apartments staying on the market for longer now than i ever have and i know it's because the owners are trying to up the price just because the out of towners (who are buying up properties) are asking Bay area rent. Plus, the owners are trying to play off the "the tower is the only place to live" bullshit.what can we as a community do? i don't know. buy up property and refuse to let it go? i know i can't. petition the owners and play on their sentimentality? won't work. graffiti up the area and make it look like it did in the 70's and 80's? stage guerrilla drive-bys and throw rocks through windows with notes attached that read "rich coastie go home"? chance of jail time.it's funny. i've lived in the tower for a large chunk of my adult life. and it seems like no matter what might happen here, no matter what the national or state housing situation might look like, the prices hold in the tower and then go up.i live on the corner of white trash row and i'm only two blocks from livingstone's. my neighborhood is east of van ness and north of olive. the area is very diverse ethnically and affluently. i enjoy it, but most of the tower (read: affluent homeowners)don't. but they come in and swoop up any lot and home that's on the market. fix it up and put it back on the market. and tout the ethnic diversity of the neighborhood. the tower has become very hypocritical and very money-conscious. a house on van ness near brown is selling for $609,000. beautiful houses there, but how much?! we live in fresno for crying out loud. we have the worst air pollution in the nation. we are a homicide capital. my block just had a small child taken from his front yard tonight and the cops are everywhere. this is a city with a severe identity crisis, almost no awareness of its cultural richness and an inability to acknowledge the fact that it's repressed in every way imaginable.why would anyone want to spend unimaginable amount of money to not even live here? you have to love fresno and the tower. and, to be honest, it's really only natives and converts that see us for what we truly are.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quote of the Day

Ah, fuck it. Quote of the Year so far. Finally, someone stood up to these sanctimonious Senators and lit into them with the truth. And it had to be a Brit, of course, because no true American will dare to point out the hypocricy and lies inherent in our administration's obsession with figuring out why our oil is underneath Iraq's sand.
Evidently, when Americans are called to testify before or be inquisitioned by Senate committees they tend to be very obsequious and staid. Not so Galloping Galloway. He turned the questioning on its ear and ripped us a new one. The following is only a quote. The entire text is quite enjoyable.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right, and you turned out to be wrong. And 100,000 people have paid with their lives, 1600 of them American soldiers, sent to their deaths on a pack of lies, 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies. If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac, who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens, you are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth..." -- George Galloway, 5/17/05

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Oh, What The Hey! Dem Leftists Cain't Be All Bad





Published on Monday, May 16, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!
by Jeff Cohen

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.
And tell your friends.
Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."
Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.
Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.
So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.
Of course, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUYcott is for those of us who don't have a practical alternative to filling up our cars.
So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.
Jeff Cohen is an author and media critic (www.jeffcohen.org)

The Tower Is For Sale; Bids Now Accepted

Well, kiddies, the end may just be near. Last- what?- summer the empty lot across the street from my humble (and I do mean humble) abode suddenly became a swarm of activity as the new buyers (or the old owners) began construction on a two-story fourplex. In the end they did a pretty good job of making it blend into the natural architectural style of the Tower District. Each balcony and porch was made up in the Craftsman style, the roof was done in a faux Spanish style (not in tile, but the asphalt shingles in the same color), the front stairs to the upper floor were hidden, the lawns are gorgeous, the offstreet parking isn't pukey at all. It really does look nice as these things go.
My landlord, who is an insurance agent and multiple property owner, researched and found out that the owner was going to ask for $750,000 for the whole shebang. 5 years ago, we would have hooted and asked if we could have the name of his dealer, 'cuz the shit must be primo. Not any more. We gaped at the asking price, but we never once thought it was not going to be met. We knew someone would jump at the bait. Probably a Bay area person. My landlord, also, informed us that the current owner was planning on calling the units "3 bedroom". That's when I began to gag. My studio apartment on Vassar Ave was as big. Granted, these units were very likely better made and laid out, but it didn't dismiss the fact that they were all about 700-800 square feet at best. And the owner was planning asking for over $1000 in rent.
Well, the 'for sale' sign went up last Saturday. The realty agent came out, took a mess of pictures of the exterior, interior, shots of the views and houses across the streets (though I think she skipped my place because of the delapidated fence situation) and left. So, that was Saturday. Saturday was the first official day of saleability. Today is Tuesday. Today there is a 'sold' sign on the realty sign. That's 4 days at most. The place sold in four days. Four freaking days. It ain't even renting yet. Four days. 3/4 of a million bucks. Snap. Gone. Gobbled. Didn't even see the shark's fin.
Now, the burning question is: local buyer or Bay area buyer? Evidently, the rule of thumb for rental building buyers is that the sum of monthly rent must be at least 1% of the sale price. 1% of $750,000 is $7500. $7500 divided by four equals $1875. Following this code, each '3 bedroom' unit needs to rent for $1875. That comes to (in my estimate) somewhere in the $2.50 per square foot range. A Bay area buyer would not think twice about charging what he or she considers fair market value based on the Bay area. That's how I was forced out of my last apartment. A Santa Cruz realtor bought the place and immediately kicked everyone for renovations with the notice that rent would increase by 50%. The locals who bought it before her and renovated the outside and landscaped it raised the rent by $50 (15%). Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the new owners will keep the same description or make it more sensible and what they will charge for rent.
Until then, I will continue to enjoy watching people stop and look in as I try and assess their probability of being able to afford living there. So far, the stats are running in the negative in terms of viable renters.

Monday, May 16, 2005

This Headache Is Good Enough For Jehova! Ouch!

So much for $5 miracles.
Sittin' there minding my own business, enjoying the pain and along comes Little Rabbit Foo Foo who bops me on the head. Pain goes away. I'm cured. Whoo hoo, etc.
Now I'm dancing and prancing through the forest, sharing love and wet noodles. Now I'm dancing naked with nymphs and goats and sheepherders and wise men and all manner of happy, snappy folk.
I'm Singing in the Rain. I'm a Funny Face. I'm gorgeously Indiscreet. I am Love, Actually. It feels as if my whole body has been Born Free just as the Butterflies Are Free. I am a man in Possession of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I am...Keanu Reeves.
And just like that, poof. Out go the twinkly lights. Away blows the magic dust. Down goes the house of twigs. Beauty leaves the Beast. The Dwarfs trunch off to their jobs.
All that was ept is now in-. All that was in whack is now out. Gruntle has been dissed, Hansel dismissed.
Yesterday's recovery was but a respite from the storm. A mere lull between cloudbursts. The gentle lufting that announces the eye of the hurricane is watching you. A stall, if you will.
Der kopfschmertz ist returned. Der Third Eyeache hast arisen! No Big Smile, though. Only a grimace and a grunt.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Alms For An Ex-Leper

I know now the feeling one gets upon waking to a new day. I never understood that phrase before. My cynical mind scoffed at the notion that nothing is so bad it can't be seen in a better light merely by closing one's eyes and letting the bliss of slumber wash away some of the evil coating one's soul. It was something a mother tells her child when the child is upset, unhappy, frightened. It is something a lover tells one when the job is lost, the parent is dead, the bombs are falling. It is not something I would ever want to hear while in the midst of a 6 day tension headache that had worsened with each proceeding day. It is not something I would believe as my neck began to slowly cramp on the 5th day and night and I wandered aimlessly through a period of 30 hours with no sleep. But that's what happened.
Yesterday, after the aforementioned lack of conkout, I did get a nap and then drove out to my birth house to help my parents pack their things prior to moving them to Spokane. I needed the contact, I needed the activity (I'd missed 4 days of work while lying on the couch) and I needed to get the hell out of the house. When I came home it began to appear as if last night would be a repeat of the one before with no sleep and a cramping neck, pulsing temples, invisible vise around the head, no relief in sight. Somehow, I fell asleep early this morning.
When I awoke 5 hours later (on the couch, of course with the TV still on and muted) I encountered an immediate sense of something wrong, something amiss...something missing. It took me a moment to gather my bearings before I jumped and ran to the bathroom to start a shower. There was no way I was going back to sleep. No way I was giving this a chance to become a thieving dream. I had no pain whatsoever. It was gone, gone, gone.
I felt cleansed and energized. I felt new. The scales had been lifted from eyes. The crippled was healed.
I went to my local coffee joint and met friends and chatted and laughed until snot blew out my nose and I was asked to leave. I shopped. I cleaved branch from tree for my buddy Marcel. I came home and ate an entire meal. I gardened. It was truly a new day.
And now I look forward to returning to work tomorrow with a smile on my lips, a song in my heart, a hearty well-met for every brother and sister I meet...
Oh fuck I need an aspirin.