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October 31, 2004

After You.

This animation is cute. It reminds me of someone I know.

Film 05:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Happy Halloween!

This is my favorite holiday. I will post a picture of my costume under Halloween Decorations in a bit. Meanwhile, go play a game on the Making Fiends website :)

Holidays 05:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 28, 2004

peace and dialogue

In light of recent posts and comments, this seemed appropos.

Peace and Dialogue

It is my belief that whereas the twentieth century has been a century of war and untold suffering, the twenty-first century should be one of peace and dialogue. As the continued advances in information technology make our world a truly global village, I believe there will come a time when war and armed conflict will be considered an outdated and obsolete method of settling differences among nations and communities.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

From "The Pocket Dalai Lama," edited by Mary Craig, 2002. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.


Other People's Words 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

the curse is lifted

Red Sox win the World Series!

Current Affairs 07:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

His sister is a thespian, and he masticates in public!

I hate politics.

The reason? People go insane when discussing politics. Myself included. We hear what we want, we believe what we want, and we think everyone who disagrees with us is an idiot. Or you get people like me who try to please everyone and end up pissing everyone off. Bah!

My cello teacher when I was in junior high school had a policy never to discuss religion or politics. I see now how wise she was. She wasn't going to be convinced to change and knew she wasn't going to convince anyone else. Sad, really, because people who refuse to be convinced are closing their minds to other possibilities. I have very specific beliefs, but they are always open to examination. If they don't survive examination, then they didn't have a very strong foundation in the first place. Take abortion, for instance. Hot, hot topic. I am pro-choice, even after examining all the evidence I can find and being grilled by my highly intelligent devil's advocate friends (why are all my friends like that?). If my beliefs can withstand that kind of pressure, I know they are solid. It's one reason I love rational debate.

What we are seeing in a lot of places is not debate. It is not rational. It is emotionally charged propaganda. Now, now, propaganda has a bad rap for being "lies" but that isn't true. Propaganda is any statement made to sway a person or group of people to one point of view. It's got nothing to do with lies, but much propaganda stretches the truth, knowing the average consumer won't check the facts. Those same average consumers are not taught or encouraged to examine the facts for themselves....assuming they can even find out what the facts are these days!

I don't guess I have much of a point here except to rant about politics in general and why I have a hard time with fanatics on both sides of the fence.

Speaking of abortion, no matter who tells you what it always boils down to faith. Faith in your deity of choice and whatever punishment or praise It metes out to you for your life choices. Faith in science. Faith that a book (any book) written by men is infalliable and is the thought of their god. I can say that I believe that the soul doesn't enter the body till the second trimester, after the cerebral cortex is developed. Someone else may say that the soul enters the embryo when it is just an egg with a sperm-head in it. Someone else entirely may say there is no such thing as an immortal soul. None of us can prove our beliefs. Therefore it is a matter of faith. I don't want my government legislating my faith. That's what it boils down to for me. Even if I am "pro-life" (which implies the other side is "pro-death") I still don't want my government legislating my faith. I don't want them forcing me to have kids any more than I want them forcing me to abort my children. But that's me.

I have gone on too long here, but you get my point I think. If not, I'll try again tomorrow when I have had plenty of sleep.

much ado about nothing 12:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

because I just don't stir the pot up enough, it seems

This is a piece written by the distinguished man of letters and novelist E.L. Doctorow. It first appeared in the September 9th issue of the East Hampton Star.

Let me state as a disclaimer that I do not believe GW doesn't care or doesn't feel. I think he does. I post this here, rather, to show what one man's belief about this administration is, and to say that I have seen his beliefs echoed in the words and actions of people all across the United States. He shows us the fear that many people, myself included, have at times for the future of our home and how it is perceived. If nothing else, I wish W's staff would look at things like this and wonder why people have this perception. Perhaps if they did anything to change that perception, people wouldn't be up in arms so much.

But maybe I am really glad they don't. An angry nation is a progressive nation.

_________________________________________________________

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty one year olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear. But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it.

He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be. They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... they come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not
regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he
did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to. Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is notcontrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills --- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel. But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it. But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time. But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of
mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble. Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we
sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn
but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

E.L. Doctorow

Other People's Words 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

October 22, 2004

gathering no moss

Why Hunter S. Thompson is voting for Kerry.

Current Affairs 04:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

holy cow!

Red Sox beat Yankees in the 7th game of the playoffs.

Current Affairs 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

the Lord works in mysterious ways

How many of you have seen those signs/billboards on the freeway that are "messages from God?" White writing on a black background, they have as many messages as the Burma-Shave ads from the middle of the 20th century. So maybe Hurricane Charley didn't cut a path through only the republican districts of Florida. That much we can believe. However, the high winds whipping around did peel off the top layer or so of a billboard and leave one of the messages from God. "We need to talk. -God" was what it said.

According to Snopes.com, this is true. Looks like the top layer of the sign pulled off was a MonsterJobs.com advertisement.

fun stuff 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 15, 2004

it's a regular holiday from work!

Isn't it odd that Bosses Day is on a Saturday?

Strange.

Sweetest Day is Saturday too, so be sweet to someone. :)

Holidays 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack