Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cop A Squat

Some good news out of California (if you were able to keep your computer's moniter above the rising water level):
"Los Angeles' policy of arresting homeless people for sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks as "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter" violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and punishment, a federal appeals court ruled today."
So, cop a squat for justice.

Ooh. More good news. Catherine Harris is getting her ass handed to her in the latest polls.
Y'all might remember that she was the one who stopped the 2000 Florida vote recount, which ultimately led to a Supreme Court (5-4) decision that Dumbya should be the one to have his finger on the red button. i guess Floridians aren't as crazy sometimes as they mostly portray themselves to be in the media on an almost daily basis. I'm sure they'll lose their senses in time to vote her in and return to their gun-toting, serial killing, building cities for God, Jeb backing, contructing houses on moving sandbars, wondering why hurricanes keep damaging their property ways. Still, it's nice to see one of the Bush's main backers get it in the arse while spending millions of her own dollars because the Rethuglican Party has disavowed her. Personally, I think the Democrapic Party should endorse her for no better reason than to piss off and confound their ilk across the senate aisle. Plus, she seems the type who would jump ship for the chance of power.

My buddy, the fun-loving Greg Palast, sends another missive describing why Donald the Duck Rumsfeld shouldn't resign. Gregorich makes a decent point. Except for the fact that I don't care if Rummie ain't the worst. He should be escorted out just like the rest of the top bananas. In Nuremburg, it didn't seem to matter if they were just following orders. Nor did it in the case of Dr. Mudd. Why should that change here? Complicity is complicity. No matter what war, what theater, what cause, what ends. Break the law, lie to the people, punish the innocent, shoot the whistleblowers, line your pockets at the expense of those less fortunate, go to jail or into exile.

Ooh. More good news. We and the UK staged mock war games wherein we invaded Iran in 2004. Why, you ask, do I consider this good news? Simple. I can't wait until gas is $5 a gallon here and going to the Big Lots store involves monthly budget planning. Think about it. A cross-town trip would become a community event as we call all of our friends to see if they need to shop somewhere specific. If they don't, then we can't. If they do, then we can. Maybe. Because with the rise of gas costs, so goes natural gas, heating oil and electricity comes an assumed fiscal austerity program, which has been touted by Bush all along as a way to contradict most everyone's views that the War On Terror is a drain on our way of life. And when it becomes a large burden just to pay off monthly bills (excluding rent, mortgages, credit cards, insurance, groceries, laundry, and the ever evolving less social outings), we will no longer be able to jump up off the couch and rush to Blockbuster for the latest installment of Scary Movie in order to take our minds off of the War On Terror. Will CNN become the most watched news "program" at that point? Will American Idol crush its opponents, because we are forced to stay at home and watch TV? Will people start reading books again (ha, that one's a laugher)? No. We will continue to drive and consume and bitch about how we got to this point. Then we will forget to vote. Again. And we won't write to our Congresspeople. And we won't attend City or County meetings in order to air our grievances. But we'll keep going to Big Lots, because it's a discount chain, in our SUVs and bitch about how we got to this point. All the while, Bush and his masters will be dreaming up new ways in which to distract us from the fact that they have ruined our economy, enriched their friends and sullied our reputation as an inclusive society across the globe. Good news, indeed.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Holy Fromage, Batman!

Segolene Royal, perhaps the next (and first female) president of france. Now, I wait for the Pulp Fiction joke to hit. Wait for it...wait for it...

By the way, she's a...I'd better whisper it...Socialist. And next door to her is the Italian president who is about to be given his formal walking papers. And he will be replaced by, I'd better whisper this one, too...left-of-centerist. Germany has somewhat gone that way already. And not. Merkel (another first female, though this time it's a chancellor) is still ping ponging as she makes heads or tails of what she inherited and who she really is. The Poodle in Britain is on very shaky ground for now as scandals continue to rock his world and confidence from the public coninues to plummet. Fortunately, he's got the Parliament to diffuse any real indepth investigation of anything whatsoever so long as they're allowed to stand and pontificate about whatever they like for as long as they like. No offense to my friend(s) across the Big Drippy, but your politicians are almost as bad and windbaggy as ours. And they know bigger words. And can speak in complex sentences. you know, like:
"My Lords, Ladies, Provincials and Peons. Today is a day in which many threads of international and domestic issues provide fertile loam for the meandering tendrils of rootish conundrums, the answers to which this humble and lackeyish servant of the House of Whiteford-upon-Stratocaster-upon-Pokemon-upon-Widmer cannot ascertain without further canoodling and flippancy at the whim and genorosity of the Commoner's purse." They might even throw in a few henceforths and herewiths and to wits.
Translation: No comment.
And i say that you are almost as windbaggy as our pols. The truth is that yours are as windbaggy as our press liaisons. Our pols have no time to speak to any of their own, much less us Commoners. Exhibit #1: the Bush Townhouse meetings. He speaks, we listen. And we listen. And when we fall asleep we're awoken (my word) and escorted out, because as everyone knows only terrorists snore when the president pontificates.
Exhibit #2: the daily Scott McClellan Press Conference, in which he repeats what he said the day before and the day before that and the day before that and I begin to wonder why the press even bothers to show up and ask questions as if they're expecting to get the truth on anything.
What I do enjoy is the fact that almost all of our pols have discovered the Thesaurus. When a word like "fallacious" shows up in a speech or response to an attack by the other party and the Religious Right doesn't step forward to condemn that kind of dirty talk.
Anyhoo, Europe is leaning a bit to the dirty little commie side for a while as is South America. And it's mostly in response to Cheney's actions and attitudes. This will change eventually. It's a cycle after all. One side gets in promising all of these changes and hits the trifecta using the Commoner's dissatisfaction with the prevailing party. Then, this party gets that first wad of cash in the mail and discovers graft is good. It's a cycle.

update (8:00 PM): Trying to leave here on good terms is becoming a very iffy thing. I got chewed out via two way radio yesterday, because my boss couldn't find a particular piece of information in my office while i wasn't there. In short order, the problem was fixed, but that didn't stop him from berating me. This man's problem is that three of us are leaving within a two month period and he practices crisis management (he actually admitted that to me twice in the past three days and claimed that it is standard for the industry...which it most defi-fucking-nately ain't). I will continue to try and maintain a professional demeanor, but this morning I had to confront him during a closed door meeting with me and my lab tech on this and tell him that his approach to things he preceives as problems could use some tempering. He tried to get my tech to leave, but I said this involved my tech as well since my boss had attacked him in past as well. Do I even need to say that it went over like a sack of bricks? Do I even need to say that my tech wanted to crawl out the door within the first thirty seconds, but afterwards thanked me for forcing the issue? My boss is not a bad person. He does, unfortunately, suffer from fear of failure syndrome, blame everyone but yourself syndrome and short man's syndrome. He is a great salesman. He is, also, a lousy leader. He manages. So, today marked a new chapter in my short tenure here. I finally lit into him about his attitude towards his employees and his approach to problems that may not actually exist. The rest of the day was politeness. Yum. I can't wait to leave.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


A. He's a liar, or
2. He's never had control of his people from the get-go and found it easier to wallow in ignorance while those around him did the lying without keeping him in the loop.
Either way, he's at the top and that's where the buck is supposed to stop.

"We have found the WMD's."
"I will not tolerate leakers".
"Fuzzy math, fuzzy math."
"You're either with us or against us".
"I did not have sex with-" whoops, wrong president.
"A thousand points of light twinkling from a hundred bottles of beer on the wall."
"Fool me once, shame on--fool me again--won't get...fooled again."
"It will take time to restore order and chaos".
"I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep on the soil of a friend."
"But Iraq has—have got people there that are willing to kill, and they're hard-nosed killers. And we will work with the Iraqis to secure their future."
"It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way."
"If they pre-decease or die early, there's an asset base to be able to pass on to a loved one."
"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table."
"It's a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life."
"I believe that, as quickly as possible, young cows ought to be allowed to go across our border."
"The CIA laid out several scenarios and said life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better, and they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like."
"Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat."
"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."
"Secondly, the tactics of our—as you know, we don't have relationships with Iran. I mean, that's—ever since the late '70s, we have no contacts with them, and we've totally sanctioned them. In other words, there's no sanctions—you can't—we're out of sanctions."
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."
"But the true strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of people like Travis, people who are willing to love their neighbor, just like they would like to love themselves."
"[T]he illiteracy level of our children are appalling."
"[A]s you know, these are open forums, you're able to come and listen to what I have to say."
"The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the—the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice."
"It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America."
"First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."
"I think war is a dangerous place."
"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family."
"These people don't have tanks. They don't have ships. They hide in caves. They send suiciders out."
"I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: you disarm, or we will."
"There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."
"I'm a patient man. And when I say I'm a patient man, I mean I'm a patient man."
"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating."
"For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."
"There's nothing more deep than recognizing Israel's right to exist. That's the most deep thought of all. ... I can't think of anything more deep than that right."
"I understand that the unrest in the Middle East creates unrest throughout the region."
"The suicide bombings have increased. There's too many of them."
"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.''
"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."
"They misunderestimated me."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yum Yum

(you know, i never actually knew how enriched uranium was made. now that iran is declaring itself a member of the nuclear gang our press is finally informing me)
"The enrichment process is one of the most difficult steps in developing a nuclear program. It requires a complicated plumbing network of pipes connecting centrifuges that can operate flawless for months or years.
The process aims to produce a gas high with an increased percentage of uranium-235, the isotope needed for nuclear fission, which is much rarer than the more prevalent isotope uranium 238.
A gas made from raw uranium is pumped into a centrifuge, which spins, causing a small portion of the heavier uranium-238 to drop away. The gas then proceeds to the next centrifuge, where the process is repeated. Then it goes to another, and another, and another, in a chain that can involve thousands of centrifuges and gradually increases the proportion of uranium-235.
The enrichment process can take years to produce a gas rich enough in uranium-235 that it can be used to power a nuclear reactor or produce a bomb. Enrichment typically starts out with a gas that is 0.7 percent uranium-235, and boosts it to either 4 percent for power generation or to 90 percent for weaponry. "

YESYESYES!!! cheney roundly and loudly booed as he throws out the first pitch before the washington nationals game. that's gotta be a first (roseanne and maisy whosit were booed after they mangled the national anthem, which does no one's musicality any favors anyway). fortunately, as thinkprogress notes, the ball hit the dirt, not someone's face.

i wasn't gonna post about this, but it's hitting the newspapers now. and it may not be going away. an attempt to jam phonelines at a democratic get out the vote hotline center that was offering rides to people in order to get them to theie polling places. we already have one conviction, two plea bargains and a massive phone bill to ken mehlman's office the day before and day of.

man, this is a lot of people:
and greg palast (a noble dirty little commie) sent me a letter today. to wit:
"America is a nation of losers. It's the best thing about us. We're the dregs,what the rest of the world barfed up and threw on our shores. John Kennedy said we are "a nation of immigrants." That's the sanitized phrase.We are, in fact, a nation of refugees who, despite the bastards in white sheets and the know-nothings in Congress, have held open the Golden Door to a dark planet. Looking out at the tempest-tossed sea of protesting immigrants today, I finally figured out what's wrong with George Walker Bush. He's so far away from his refugee loser roots that he just doesn't get what it is to be American. So he steals the one thing that every American is handed off the boat: a chance. It's not just the immigrants denied a green card. When Bush threatens to take away your Social Security; when Bush's oil wars hike the price of crude and threaten your union-scale job at the airline; when Bush tells you sleeper cells aresleeping under your staircase, you don't take chances anymore -- you lose your chance -- and the land of opportunity becomes a landscape of fear, an armed madhouse. You want to say that George W. Bush is an evil sonovabitch? I'd go further: he's UN-AMERICAN. And that's why he lost the election. Twice. I'll stick with the losers. Take one, Anna, from Poland, who snuck across the US border near Windsor, Ontario. She was grabbed by La Migra -- 80 years later --just short of her 100th birthday. My father told Immigration, "OK, send her back." They didn't. Grandma Anna taught me what two million marchers this week are trying to teach that slow learner, George W.: In America, it's not where you come from that counts, it's where you're going. "

'Nuff said.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Smoke Me A Kipper, I'll Be Home For Breakfast. And the MOVE awards.

this lease of mine is really weird. it states that i started my lease on december 1st and it ends on the last day of june. that's seven months. the first weirdness. the agency's rationale is that they prorate the first month. well, i moved in on december 1. so, the prorate is the full monthly rent. the lease also says i am responsible for paying them $4950 during the lease. divide that by $825 (the monthly) and it equals 6. so, wouldn't june (the 7th month) be free? if i pay through may then i have done my part to honor the financial part of the lease. the agent was almost spitting at me over the phone when i asked about leaving early and demanded june as my duty. but it looks like she outsmarted herself. six months payments meets the lease requirements.
oh, and my old landlord just offered me a place and i'm sending him a check to cover may's rent so that i can move in any time that i want.
now, it's a matter of trying to finish up my lab so that it is in good working order. we just expanded and modified it and if i'm not here to work out the details of the flow of it all then it's going to be shit for a while.
and it's raining again. zonthar would love it. as do i. i will miss this weather and climate. i won't miss the complete lack of anything to do, though. so many liberals, so few brain cells. really, i think this is where they go to retire. and then you have the military who make a large part of this peninsula. they aren't so much conservative or rightwing as they are uninformed and too busy working and making babies.
oh yeah. i work with a mor(wo)man who uses the word fuck like it's going out of style. love it. breaking the stereotype. bustin' a mold.
so, jade, hold the phone. i don't know how i can pay for any of this, but i'm coming home.
smoke me a kipper, i'll be home for breakfast.

update: well, wait a minute. this means none of you win first prize in my contest. no one gets to buy me dinner. what a shame and shame on you.
win goes to chris mendes who offered me one of his places today. he doesn't know about the contest yet or what his prize is, but i'll let him in on it after i move in next month. you'd have thought he learned his lesson after the first time he rented to me. of course, i did leave a bunch of beer in the fridge along with my note about what i couldn't get cleaned up. metaphorically, he drank the apple.
place goes to stephan, because he (perhaps, no definate, ill-advisedly) offered me a room in his pad. which was awesome in its brain-farted stupidity and generosity. remember me two rogue closing night parties ago? that's me before beer.
show goes to mustang since he actually looked for places for me at his own risk (according to his description of the apartment complex he gave me). just think of him covered in gang initiation tattoos and you'll get an idea of where he thought i might want to live. and how i want him to look for next year's rogue.
so, mendes buys me dinner.
stephan drinks with me.
mustang buys me dinner, drinks with me, and...uh...pulls my hair out of my face while i puke?...gets me a taxi?...lubes up my ski boots?...agrees to take my cat to his house one night a week and let the family love it up?...dry the ink on my papyrus?...i really can't remember what the last one of these was.
4th place goes to APJ who, i think, offered me her untended garden. at no cost. any time i don't let her know.
bringing up the rear is lecram with his east is north and north is east routine. not only did ne not know where in the north-east conflict he was, but he never found the center. kudos, bravo and more luck upon you who bet on the mule this time.
the miss congeniality award goes to zonthar. what a pus.
the foreign press award goes to APJ for her creative english.
the voter's award goes to jade for her role in forming SSM's only glee club. i hadn't before thought i needed one. hindsight's 20-20, isn't it? maybe that's why i bought the harmonicas.
best dressed award goes to kamotion from a year ago again (what is it with you guys? get some handlers), because i just watched her wedding dvd again and she looks gradient.
the "got it" award goes to mustang. he'll either understand or i just completely missed on my last joke. mustang, if you don't get this dear, consult miguel.
and, finally, producer's award: me.
so glad you could attend this year's MOVE Awards. remember to vote again when you leave for Most Obnoxious Segment, Presenter, Video, Idea, Dress, Acceptance Speech, and Political Maneuver.
Please tip your bartender on the way out. Good night.

Say It Ain't So, Joe.

hmmm. do i pay for the move or do i rent a truck? the truck is way cheaper on the frontside. budget will do me for $699. but i need a tow kit for the car. that's about $125. and gas is estimated at $339.
so, do i sell everything i own and cram the little leftovers into my car? or do i go further into debt and try to maintain some kind of domestic continuity? i know what the cat would say: "toys, food, litter box, warm spot; all else is inconsequential and serves me not. now, pet me and then leave me alone. now, pet me again. wait, i changed my mind. go away. no, come back. go away. come back. go away. ooh, shiny thing."
unfortunately, i cannot afford to listen to my inner pussy. or my outer. i must make decisions soon based on finance and necessity. of course, i have to first find a domecile in which to place those items i decide to keep. based on jade's and my past experience with putting stuff in storage i opt out of that.
i must call chris m. and find out about any rentals he may have open. an agency that runs several apartment groups may have openings.

now, let's talk silence and complicity. the hell with the past. let's look to the present. someone hunt down joe lieberman and ask him why he will not stand up and say something about this newest information that dick cheney is right at the heart of the classified leaks and that he did so at the behest of george bush? i can understand republicans circling the wagons ever tighter (tighter, it seems, than physically possible), but a democrat hiding from the public? running from reporters? leaving through the back door? the one dem who has been invited to the inner sanctum of the administration's doings and briefings, because he is the dem they could count on to back them to the hilt? joe can run, but he can no longer hide. when we speak of appeasers, we speak of joe. makes me think of the movie "say anything" where all of lily's songs were about her asshole boyfriend named joe. and they were all depressed, suicidal and ultimately meaningless. still, i had to laugh. because it was all about the blind faith one puts in someone who has hurt you so bad that you have to hang on, because to let go is to admit that you have failed and wasted your dignity on a loser. so, some in this country will continue to sing joe's praises as a compromiser and uniter, because they're too invested to cede defeat. others of us were never taken in by this charletan and cringed when he was nominated as a vice president. look at his mealy mouth and it says it all. as a sidenote, did anyone watch "turner on turner"? there's a moment at the 2004 dem convention when jack turner and the camera crew catch joe. turner's handler asks joe if he remembers turner. joe's face shows confusion at first, then he shakes turner's hand and warmly says of course, how are you, gotta run, late for a meeting? joe got caught in the headlights and lied. because he can't be seen as forgetting someone. what's wrong with just saying, "um, no actually. refresh mymemory". fucking pols. sold to the highest bidder. no longer even caring about the common person. bought and paid for and every vote is a vote to pacify special interests. don't even think that a pol's vote is given at the behest of the people. if it seems like it to you, you're very gullible. all you can do is try to vote in those pols who most closely resemble how you feel. barbara boxer can surprise me once in a while. feinstein sold the farm a long time ago. jesse helms is actually one of the very few who voted as his constituents wished most of the time. but it's easier for republicans to accept massive graft and not fall out of favor with their voters. because most of the bribes offered are from megacorporations who have no interest in the environment or the homeless or the arts or education or civil rights or gas prices or the consumer index or living affordability or, well, anything to do with anything that truly affects you and me.
so, while the two parties spar over taxes and immigration and abortion and national security, you and i are left to wander further into the wilderness of being common citizens left behind by those who shape this nation with no thought to our well-being. left or right, it doesn't matter. we have been betrayed and left bereft.
and that is the silence and complicity that kills us. it's not so much us as it is them. most of us do not have the time to invest in seeking out the truth. we are too busy maintaining, too busy scratching for that little extra. and the pols know it. and they play on that. when your neighbor admits not voting or caring, he or she is not commiting a sin. he or she is copping to the common truth. we no longer feel we have the time to care about things perceived as being bigger than us or beyond our control. this is what the pols want. and it's what they've gotten. we work too much, we eat too much, we have too many children, we need too many diversions from our unhappiness. we have no energy left. we live in a nation of splendors and opportunities, but we have no energy to explore or enjoy or question. and we are now paying the ultimate price: loss of all of that.
herein ends the current apocalyptics of scarysquirrelman. feel free to tip the bartender.