Monday, November 22, 2004

Gmail Giveaway!

I'm curious to know if anyone out there is actually reading this, so I've decided to have a giveaway. I have six of the coveted Gmail invites to give to readers. You're going to have to work for them, though. Here's how to get one:

  • Add a link to my blog to your site.
  • Leave an intelligent comment about something I've written. "Gimme gmail" doesn't count.
  • Write a letter to the editor or to your Senator or Representative.
  • Do an hour of community service.
  • Pledge to support your local public radio or TV station.
The first six readers to send me an email (see link on the right) telling me which of the above you have done (or will do) win! I will repost this weekly until they're all gone. If you already have Gmail, don't feel left out. If you'd like, I can send a prize pack of Kerry/Edwards campaign memorobilia, which includes a button, a bumper sticker, and a yard sign (no frame). Destined to be collectors items!

Void where prohibited, decision of the judges is final, your mileage may vary, batteries not included.

This Weekend's Movies

Fire: A love story between two women in India. (7/10)

El Mariachi: Robert Rodriguez' first movie. I think I'd seen this before, but I didn't remember it. (7/10)

Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter: 70's Japanese cool, with a surprisingly serious subject. Stars the terriffic Meiko Kaji. (7/10)

Show Me Love: A love story between two girls in Sweden. (8/10)

(I swear I'm not obsessed with lesbians)

Kerry's Permanent Campaign?

I was somewhat surprised to recieve an email from John Kerry on Friday. He was asking for support on a bill that would provide healthcare for every child that he was planning to introduce at the opening of the next Congress. A healthcare bill was supposed to be his first priority if he had been elected.

I think this is an interesting idea. With Democrats out of power in all branches of government, we need a leader that we can look to. If Kerry can keep it up with a series of popularly supported legislative initiatives, he would be well positioned for 2008.

In fact, this is similar to what I wanted Gore to do after the 2000 debacle. If Gore had stayed in the public eye by commenting on the failures of the Bush Administration as they happened, he would have been a shoo-in for the nomination this year.

If you didn't get one, you can read the text of the email here. Or watch a video here.

Update (12/1): Looks like The Carpetbagger Report agrees with me. Cool.

How Did Your GOP Congressman Vote?

Daily Delay has a terriffic list of how GOP House members voted on the rules change to benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay. It also has how much money each of them accepted from DeLay's PAC. Use it to harass your Congressman or write a letter to the editor.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Indecent or Racist?

I only heard about the flap over the Monday Night Football intro yesterday so after viewing the clip, I was at a loss to understand what the fuss was about. You certainly couldn't see anything.

Then the good folks over at Cinemocracy clued me in. It wasn't sex that was the problem, it was race.

Since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, the FCC has taken it upon itself to be the primary protector of America’s “moral values.” They “protect” us from everything they deem indecent or profane. If the FCC finds this not-very-salacious but disturbing-to-some-white-people film clip worthy of a fine, then it will only serve to justify archaic racial prejudices.
I, too thought we were past this kind of thing. For crying out loud, it was nearly 40 years ago that Captain Kirk kissed Uhura on Star Trek (I feel old), and people still have a problem with this? Get over it, attractive people come in all colors, a fact for which I will be eternally grateful.

Science? Also NOT Political!

NPR reported this morning on a National Academy of Sciences report on how the Bush Administration is trying to inject politics into the selection of Federal advisory committees. I know Bush is all about creating his own "reality", but is he trying to create his own science now?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Science is about the search for truth, but the only truth Bush wants to hear is what he's already decided is true. The facts be damned. One of these days real reality is going to collide with Bush's reality and we're all going to be in big trouble.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Losing the Game? Change the Rules!

House Republicans today changed their own rules to allow Tom DeLay to continue to serve as House Majority Leader, even if he's indicted in Texas. This, despite the fact the House Ethics Committee has reprimanded him three times and that a number of his aides have already been indicted on related charges.

If DeLay is convicted, and if there's any justice he will be, look for the GOP to change the rules to allow DeLay to continue to serve from his prison cell.

Politics Imitates Life?

I've been thinking about how the changes in the Cabinet mirror George W Bush's own life. Bush failed at every business venture he ever tried. Yet, thanks to his family connections, he continued to get more opportunites, until he winds up in the White House. The same scenario seems to be playing out in the Cabinet. Alberto Gonzales writes a memo endorsing torture, and he gets a promotion to Attorney General. Condoleeza Rice fails as National Security Advisor and gets a promotion to Secretary of State.

Bush is just following his life experience. Failure = promotion. Maybe if he hadn't been coddled his whole life, we'd all be a lot better off.


On Monday's item about the man who set himself on fire outside the White House. It turns out that it wasn't political after all. NPR reports that the Yemeni man, Mohamed Alanssi, was an FBI informant who hadn't been rewarded for his work.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Is This a Trend?

A little over a week after a man kills himself at Ground Zero, a man set himself on fire outside the White House today. I was immediately reminded of this famous photo. I can appreciate the sacrifices these people are making, but I'm afraid that unless it happens on live national TV, few people are going to either know about it or be affected by it.

The CIA is NOT a Political Agency

At least it's not supposed to be. According to Newsday, the White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers suspected of being disloyal to the Administration.

"The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda."
People were concerned about Goss' nomination as CIA director, because it was thought that he would be too political, and that concern is turning out to be correct.

The CIA's job is to provide accurate intelligence to the President. It's not supposed to be a rubber stamp for the Administration's policies. If the CIA is filled with yes-men who do whatever Bush wants, I fear for the safety of this country.

Colin Powell Has Left the Administration

With him goes the last reasonable voice in this White House. To no one's surprise Colin Powell reisged his post as Secretary of State today. Not that it really mattered, because it seems to me that there wasn't anyone more ignored by Bush than Powell.

There are going to be a lot of books written by the people leaving this Administration. Powell's is the one I'm most interested in reading. I'm positive there's some very revealing stuff there.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

This Weekend's Movies

The other big interest in my life is movies, so here's what I saw this weekend:

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: I'm kind of sorry I didn't go and see this one on a big screen, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. (8/10)

Prey for Rock and Roll: I'd wanted to see this ever since I saw Rocked With Gina Gershon on IFC. It gets a bit melodramatic at the end, but otherwise quite enjoyable. (7/10)

My Little Eye: I just happened to catch this on HBO. A thriller with a very interesting twist. (7/10)
Update: Jennifer Sky gets naked in this one. So it's got that going for it.

Why is This Man Smiling?

Industrial Waste has the picture of Dick Cheney the White House doesn't want you to see. I don't know why, that's something most men wouldn't want to hide. It does make me wonder why he's so grumpy all the time, though.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Are you watching NOW?

The newsmagazine on PBS? You should be. It's one of the few sources of unbiased news on TV. Check your local listings. It's a damn shame that the anchor, Bill Moyers, is retiring at the end of the year. At which point the show will be cut from an hour to 30 minutes. Catch it while you can.

Absolutely Amazing

The scene from Yasser Arafat's burial yesterday. I didn't get to see all of it before I had to leave for work, but it's a wonder they ever managed to get him off that helicopter. I think we forget how amazing it is that we can sit in our homes a half a world away and witness history like that.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Is it Veterans Day or April Fools?

Because I couldn't believe it when I heard this:

WASHINGTON -- November 11 -- Yesterday, the Philadelphia School District announced plans to sell naming rights to a new high school in West Philadelphia. The school district also plans to sell naming rights to individual classrooms, the auditorium, and other parts of the school, according to the Associated Press.
C'mon people, pony up a few extra tax dollars to keep our schools non-commercial.

Unity poem

From Political Wire:

The election is over, the results are now known.
The will of the people has clearly been shown.
We should show by our thoughts, our words and our deeds
That unity is just what our country needs.
Let's all get together. Let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant.
You kiss my ass.


I think I speak for many when I say that I was pleased to hear that John Ashcroft was resigning. I thought that you couldn't do worse than Ashcroft as Attorney General. Until now.

Alberto Gonzales? You have got to be kidding me! The top law enforcement officer endorsing torture? In a just world, he would have been fired as White House counsel just for writing that memo. Instead he gets a promotion?! Republican "values" indeed.

I don't know if they're going to wait for the new Congress to confirm him, but write your Senators now! Let them know that you think the Attorney General shouldn't endorse torture.

The Center for American Progress lists 10 facts about Gonzales that anyone should find worrisome.

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank a veteran for your freedom. I hope it lasts.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Bush Makes Me Feel Safer,... NOT!

A couple of items from the excellent Carpetbagger Report.

On Election Day, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was helping Karl Rove read exit polls. Instead of doing, I don't know, her job?! I'm sure Osama is so upset that Kerry lost with people like that on his trail.

Not only have hundreds of tons of high explosives gone missing in Iraq, now there are thousands of shoulder fired missiles missing too. It's bad enough our troops are being blown up on the roads of Iraq, soon they'll be getting blown out of the sky as well. Way to go George!

I Predict...

That the image available here will soon be available on a variety of merchandise on a left-leaning website near you. If you know which one, please let me know. ;)

Update 11/22: T-shirts available here. I told you so.

What Sense Does This Make?

I noticed yesterday that the Kerry/Edwards signs that were behind my house had been stolen. (I had already taken down the ones in front). I can see stealing them before the election, but after? Typical Republican thinking.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Hello World!

This is my initial post. My purpose in creating this blog was to share the underreported stories that I find and my thoughts about them. I expect most of them to be political, but I also hope to share what I'm reading or watching. If you're really lucky I might tell you something about myself. So, without further ado...

Georgia man commits suicide at Ground Zero
New York, NY, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- A Georgia man fatally shot himself at Ground Zero in New York, in what was believed to be a protest against President Bush's reelection and the war in Iraq.

After the elections, I started thinking about strting a blog, and this was the story that finally got me to do it. Probably because I can identify with the man's feelings. Before the election, the thought of a Bush victory was inconceivable to me, but afterwards I took some comfort in the fact that I had done all I could to help the Democrats win. I was out knocking on doors until 6pm on Election Day trying shake loose a few more votes. While I fully expect Bush's second term to be worse than his first, people of good conscience can't lose hope.

It's late. More tomorrow?

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