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June 2007
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Rolling Stone has an article from someone who went "undercover" with the Bush campaign in Florida this summer.

It's funny, sad, and scary, actually.

During my time on the campaign, I noticed an unusual phenomenon. The more involved a person was with the campaign, the more likely he was to be politically moderate. Most of the core group of our office -- Vienna, Rhyan, Ben, Don -- were quietly pro-choice or socially liberal in some other respect. It was the casual volunteers and the people whose only involvement was a bumper sticker who were likely to rant about liberals being traitors and agents of Islamo-Fascism who should be exiled from the country or jailed, etc.

I saw this clearly one weekend at a local gun show, where we were manning a voter-registration booth. I rotated with Rhyan and Vienna that weekend, and all three of us were quietly freaking out at the sight of all these fat weirdos from the sticks buying huge assault rifles and Confederate bumper stickers with messages such as IF I'D KNOWN THIS WOULD HAPPEN, I'D HAVE PICKED MY OWN COTTON.


Check out the article. It's worth a look.

A poll on BOR's website

Asks if he's biased toward one of the candidates and if so which one.

I think he's trolling for hits, but I suggest we tell him anyway.

Check it out. Windows Media or Real Player required.

Democrats.org

From the Kerry-Edwards campaign

Bayonne, NJ - Responding to comments by Vice President Cheney today, Senator John Edwards made the following statement:

“An amazing thing happened today. The Vice President spoke about this most recent report that says there was no active program in Iraq to create weapons of mass destruction, and then he described, through convoluted logic, that that report actually justifies what they've been saying.

“You know, first they suggest there's a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th which was not true. Everyone who's looked at it says it’s not true. Then they say there's this strong connection between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. They are willing to say that left is right, up is down.

“Here's the truth -- Dick Cheney and George W. Bush need to recognize that the Earth is actually round and that the sun rises in the east. That there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th. And they need to level with the American people. Level with the American people about what happened. Level with the American people about this diversion from the war on terror.”

this time it's another standalone client, lochj_announce

trying a new Livejournal client, deepestsender.

Not as many features as semagic, but it's an extension plugin for Mozilla, so I'm giving it a try.

Hopefully, this will upload without incident.

From the AP via Yahoo News:

MIAMI - Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) asserted on Thursday that a report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq (news - web sites), who found no evidence that Iraq produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991, justifies rather than undermines President Bush (news - web sites)'s decision to go to war.


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Un-fucking-believable.

And some of my longer/more complex entries really are hard to do in the LJ update page, so I'm quieter than I want to be right now.

Got lots to say and share about the world and my small corner of it, but it's kind of busy, too. So I'll try to keep up with y'all, and post my stuff later.

Greatest gun ever! Feel special. Beautiful and reliable but can still scare the living bejesus outta anyone.
Sig Sauer P226. Greatest gun ever! Feel special.
Beautiful and reliable but can still scare the
living bejesus outta anyone.


What handgun are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Why is this the greatest gun? I mean, shiny, yes, but what's the big deal?

And I should scare the bejesus out of anybody that crosses me. Bwah!

Many locales are having extended hours to allow people to register. Austin has at least one drive that will be going until midnight. And Texas isn't a swing state.

This is the most important presidential election of most of our lives. But no matter where you live, there are countless local and state races that will have an even more direct impact on your day to day life.

If you haven't already registered, please do so.

Then, find out the critical races that matter to you, locally and nationally. Get informed about propositions on the ballot as well as candidates.

Then vote. Early or on Election day.

This message brought to you by the League of Women Voters Nag Committee (okay, not really, but it if it gets you all to register, for this one time, I'll be your mom. ;)

I and my co-writer finished writing our script on time (yay) after literally writing all night (yawn) and I just woke up after sleeping the day away like the undead.

I had a goal this year of finishing my novel by my birthday. Not so much. However, since this project will yield a fully produced short movie, I've decided to declare it an acceptable ambitious substitute.

Go, ME!!!!!! and Happy Early Birthday. Hehe.

I fear for our country. I fear an electorate which demands appearance over substance, and consistency of purpose even when the premise has been proved false.


Our basic freedoms are under seemingly routine attack nowadays. Often by the very officials charged with protecting and defending the Constitution and the citizenry.

Today, however, was a good day for the Constitution and human rights. The putative Marriage Protection Amendment was defeated in the House today.

This defeat is a small victory in the battle to take our country back to the principles of freedom upon which it was so imperfectly founded.

It is an unfinished country even yet. I hope that it will be more so before I leave it to the next generation of American and world citizens.

This one with a very famous Republican name, John Eisenhower.

From New Hampshire's Union Leader

The Republicans used to be deeply concerned for the middle class and small business. Today’s Republican leadership, while not solely accountable for the loss of American jobs, encourages it with its tax code and heads us in the direction of a society of very rich and very poor.

Sen. Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically.

Kevin Drum in Washington Monthly's blog lays down the many Iraqi flip-flops of the Bush Administration.

PLAN E....Is George Bush in "fantasyland" regarding Iraq, as John Kerry says? I realize that's the fashionable position among lefty partisans, but it's honestly hard to come to any other conclusion these days.

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He goes on to point out the many plot reversals done for political reasons, and wonders, as I do, what's plan E actually going to be?

My money's on declaring victory after Iraq's January elections-that likely won't be the entire nation voting, because the security situation won't permit that. Then the Bushies will wash their hands and say, "Well, democracy's their responsibility now."

Please, let's not give them the opportunity.

From Ars Technica

As we mentioned last week, Microsoft revealed that a critical flaw exists in the GDI+ API that can allow a buffer overflow to occur when decoding JPEG images and allow execution of arbitrary code. What makes this flaw so critical is that infection can occur both by viewing an email attachment with Outlook or just by visiting a website with Internet Explorer. (Both applications utilize the GDI+ API). Up until recently, this flaw had not been exploited, but as is the nature of such things, it was only a matter of time before demonstration code hit the 'net. History has shown us that it only takes a few days for the virus writers to start launching their infections.


Not exactly Suh-Weet!!!

From Anomalous Data

The teacher told of an exercise wherein he read from both the Bush and Kerry websites. He read where each of the candidates stood on the main issues of the campaign. He didn’t say who was who…just “this is what candidate one says, this is what candidate two says”.

The kids made tally marks about each thing they agreed with from each candidate.

Then the kids voted on the issues.

Four kids voted for Bush. 26 kids voted for Kerry.

You have to realize the significance of this. We live in Eden Prairie, MN.


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Emporer's new suit looks spiffy, don't you think?

My biccies arrived a few minutes ago.

Tempted by the evil Mr. Tea and a US outlet, I have TIMTAMS!!!!!!!!!! As well as other assorted choccies.

TimTam inventory:


  • Tia Marias.

  • Choc Fudge

  • Kahlua

  • Strawberry and Chocolate Arnott's biscuits, too (hey, they were half price)



Also Arnott's Chocolate Ripple.

Arnott does indeed own my ample ass for some time to come. But it's tasty mortgaging.

2nd mortgage owed to Cadbury's for the Cherry Ripple bars.

Utilikilts have made the metafilter.

Utilikilts: Comfort, Style and Utility for Today's Modern Man - committed to pioneering a comfortable alternative to trousers by producing "Men's Unbifurcated Garments".
I can't decide if its a joke or not. I think it began as a joke and then people started ordering them. Note the trendy Survival Kilt (currently on backorder) or the stranger looking than the others and that's saying something Denim Kilt. And don't worry about the beer gut, fellas, they've got an option for a special cut just for you ($25 upcharge but comfort knows no price!).


Some of the comments are hi-larious.

Hee.

After many trials and tribulations, (and comparison shopping) I finally have an LCD monitor.

It's sooooooooo pwetty.

Because I went with a refurbished one from Ebay rather than new, I upgraded to a 17 inch instead of 15 inchs.

You all look so colorful and sharp on it. ;) I have hardware lust in my heart. Hee.

show's ABC webpage

JJ Abrams (Alias) is the creator, and Dominic Monaghan and Daniel Dae Kim are some very tasty cast members.

Long live teh pretty!

Survivors of a mid-Pacific plane crash have landed on an island of harsh terrain, cruel weather and dark secrets, including a frightful creature that stalks the jungle. Strangers all, even those related by blood, the survivors' pasts — their ethics, religions, politics, and attitudes — threaten to jeopardize the group's ability to endure.

Your dream semi awaits your checkbook.

You just gotta love the fact that some semitruck company somewhere called International Truck and Engine Corp. is now coming out with what they claim is the world's largest production pickup, called the CXT, all 9 feet high and 8 feet wide, a whopping 21 feet long and 14,500 pounds and 18 million excruciating earthly groans of it.

And in most states that don't give a crap for their roads or the environment or any human life that might be existing in the various passenger cars surrounding it, you don't need a commercial truck license to own or drive the CXT,


May I be the hundredth to say WTF?!!??

It will have to be reconciled with House Appropriations bill, of course, whatever that turns out to be.

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Some informative extrapolations from Juan Cole.

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

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Statesman. com (local Austin paper's website):

Indicted on one count of money laundering each were Colyandro and Jim Ellis, a former DeLay staff member who now directs Americans for a Republican Majority, DeLay's national fund-raising PAC. Ellis also was a paid consultant to the Texas PAC.

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Murder Charges against both US and UK soldiers (Two separate cases):

Two American soldiers have been charged with the premeditated murder of three Iraqi civilians, the US military says.


[...]

One British soldier also faces a murder charge, in connection with the death of a civilian near Basra last year.


Very little additional info is available, as the investigation is ongoing.

Another one from recipezaar I'm going to have to try.

Banana's Foster---Nanci's Way

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
2 ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
vanilla ice cream

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From the Daily Herald

Utah Valley State College is giving students and residents an object lesson in the First Amendment and questionable economics.

UVSC's student government approved spending $40,000 -- most of its public speaker's budget -- to have controversial filmmaker Michael Moore speak at the McKay Special Events Center. Moore is the director of "Fahrenheit 9/11," his polemic on the Bush Administration's handling of the war in Iraq and against global terrorism.


To see the real meat of the editorial, enter hereCollapse )

It's an expensive lesson, but damn that college makes me proud of my Constitution.

In the Washington Post, columnist EJ Dionne, Jr gets it in one.

It's a well written column. If you want to read it, but don't have an acct, check out Bugmenot.

But, most important, there is only one reason the story about Bush's choices during the Vietnam years persists. It's because the president won't give detailed answers to the direct questions posed by the Times story and other responsible media organizations, including the Boston Globe. Their questions never depended on the discredited CBS documents.

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I know a lot of people whose resilience I admire and aspire to emulate. This article makes me think of them. Salud.

From Psychology Today

Some people believe that resilience is a trait that is inborn; you either have it or you don't. But that is not quite accurate. You are born with some component characteristics that aid and abet the development of resilience. For example, there is a contribution that temperament makes to the acquisition of resilience; some people are simply born with less reactivity to stress. It makes them more hardy in the face of adversity and better able to draw on their cognitive abilities in situations that throw others off balance.


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There's a lot more to it than muscle memory, of course, but I think most of us are more resilient than we realize.

From Mother Jones Blog

Hong Kong's parliamentary elections were a disaster for its democrats and a victory for Beijing. Sadly, the White House seems to be hardly bothered by the strangulation of Hong Kong's democracy.


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Leaked to Rovian Hand Puppet Robert Novak

Inside the Bush administration policymaking apparatus, there is strong feeling that U.S. troops must leave Iraq next year. This determination is not predicated on success in implanting Iraqi democracy and internal stability. Rather, the officials are saying: Ready or not, here we go.
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Then again, I pretty much wouldn't trust this administration to tell me the correct time. As a matter of policy.

From the Beeb

Former chairman Ken Lay and former chief executive officer Jeffrey Skilling are facing multiple criminal charges arising out of the firm's debt-laden collapse in December 2001.


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Is the aim of HR 2028, the "Pledge Protection Act".

Some congressidiots want to make sure the courts can't interpret the Constitution regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which frames itself as a "religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom."

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote this week on the so-called "Pledge Protection Act." The bill, H.R. 2028, states that no federal court, including the Supreme Court, may hear lawsuits raising constitutional challenges to the Pledge.
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Disclaimer. As pointed out by Church of Critical Thinking the bill apparently does not mean the Supreme Court.

The text of the act states, "No court established by Act of Congress shall have jurisdiction..." (the Supreme Court was not established by Act of Congress but by Article III of the Constitution) and describes changes to "the jurisdiction of Federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court" [emph added].

Well, okay, she was more judicial than that. But here. From the NYT:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 - A federal judge has ordered the Federal Election Commission to enact tougher restrictions on how millions of dollars are spent on campaigns, saying that its rules have undermined the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

The decision affects 15 highly technical regulations governing campaign activity that, though not widely known outside the world of political operatives, serve as important guideposts for how to finance campaigns legally.


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in the red states and all the Republicans in the blue states, with affection for all.

Molly Ivins' Column in the Sacramento Bee:

Local Democrats participated in the Mason County Round-Up parade this year. A few people waved at them from regular shoulder-height, but more waved from hip-level, just with their hands, not wanting to attract attention. It's not popular to be a Democrat in Mason County.

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Recently I wrote here about watching the DVD of Frida.

The score of that movie was so rich with the sounds of Mexican music in all it's variations, but particularly featured were two female singers I'd not heard of before. Lila Downs has an incredibly rich voice, and features prominently on the soundtrack. Chavela Vargas is now in her 90s, iirc, but an earlier recording of her Paloma Negra breaks our heart along with Frida's at a pivotal moment in the biography. She also was a lover of Frida's.

So, I went CD hunting on Amazon. Elliot Goldenthal's score is now mine, after I fell in love with it hearing Burn It Blue on the Oscars (tm) this year.

Lila Downs Tree of Life broke my heart on the first track, Simuna and then put it back together and broke it again several times on succeeding tracks. Apparently this is the CD Goldenthal heard that convinced him Lila should be on the soundtrack. Good choice.

Hard to choose from Chavela Vargas' many offerings. So, I started with a Collecion De Oro, and I'll build from that.

Pain, grief, joy, strength all intertwined in the notes. I defy you not to respond to these voices, even if you don't understand the words. (Many times I do not, yet.)

Time to break out my old Spanish texts, to give me a chance at least. (Lila at least often sings in Zapotec or Mixtec, not Spanish.)

A friend pointed me to this on MSN

I am living my worst old nightmare: alone, childless, 50-something, a little overweight, losing my looks. If at 19, I could have seen myself as I am now, I would have been suicidal at the thought of such a terrible fate. After an uninterrupted string of boyfriends that lasted for three decades, here I am, alone at last -- middle-aged and single. But aside from the propane tank crisis, I'm almost perfectly happy. When I told my long-divorced friend, Susan, that I was writing an essay about what it's like to be single and middle-aged, she said, "It's heaven. Just say that it's heaven." But do I dare? If this secret information got out, it could strike a blow to the very heart of family values. It wouldn't be good news for men, either, especially in the unlikely event that there are actually some single 50-something men out there looking for women of a similar age.


Can I get a Hell, Yeah!!! with that?

While there are times I'd love to have a partner, the fact is I'm pretty happy with my life right now, as it is. There's no partner-shaped hole aching to be filled.

Though, I'll be happy to set up an interview if Colin Firth (or a more local candidate) suddenly becomes available.

From a promo emailed to me.

TONIGHT'S FOCUS: Slavery describes something that most Americans assume happened in this country over a century ago, or exists today only in far away, third-world countries. But here in the U.S.? Today? Tonight, Nightline introduces you to a young man, now a Dallas area high school senior, who got caught in a situation that experts say can fairly be called slavery. It's a story of perseverance and survival through a hardship that still exists here, but is largely out of view.

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I feel nauseous already.

Might have some action today.

I hope I hope I hope.

Austin American Statesman website:

The speculation among a half-dozen defense lawyers seemed to heighten Monday because the grand jury scheduled its last meeting for today. The deadline for the grand jury to act is Sept. 30. The jurors, who meet in secret, could schedule another meeting, but lawyers said they think that is unlikely. Prosecutors declined to comment.

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Sign the Petition

Recently, the number of petitioners has grown to almost 100,000. "The huge response shows that people all over the country care," says Gross.

If you have not yet signed our petition, please consider doing so now. If you have already signed it, help us to reach one hundred thousand by sending this link (Petition Link) to your friends via instant messenger, email, or word of mouth. The people of Texas - and Americans in general - deserve better than Tom DeLay's special interests running our government.

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