Friday, April 29, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

Okay, seriously. How many stories involving BOTH semen AND brownies can there be? (In the case below, they are separate, but still.) One day this will be old hat.

This week's version of Friday semen blogging takes us to lovely Waterloo, Illinois. Here's the initial report, found throughout the Internets:
Former cook 'put semen in sandwiches'

A former cook at an Illinois restaurant has been ordered to stand trial after putting his semen in sandwiches.

Police said that Anthony J. Lindhorst, of Waterloo, Illinois, deliberately contaminated food on at least two occasions by putting his semen into honey-mustard dressing.

A police spokeswoman said 26-year-old Lindhorst targeted "people that he didn't like, for one reason or another."

He's been charged with aggravated battery and will stand trial on four counts, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

One of the victims was a woman in her early 40s. The other was a male police officer who had issued a traffic ticket to Lindhorst.

Hmm. Apparently "battery" doesn't mean what I think it means. Apparently, it sometimes involves, ummm, sandwiches.

Okay, so, hard-nosed journalists that we are, we knew that couldn't be the entire story!

Back on April 11, we find this:

A former employee of a Denny's restaurant in Waterloo admitted Monday that he served co-workers brownies laced with marijuana, but charges that he served honey mustard sauce laced with his own semen were dismissed.

The defendant, Anthony J. "Tony" Lindhorst, 27, of Waterloo, pleaded guilty of battery over the brownies incident in circuit court at Waterloo on Monday. He also pleaded guilty of driving with his license revoked.

Okay, so big deal about the pot brownies, and big deal about the license-not-having. But the semen is obviously what got this story all over the Net and, let's face it, it is pretty humiliating. Obviously we here at selfishhedonist are not above making light of the role semen plays in our society, but in truth, if he didn't do it, the whole episode is pretty shameful.

And Tony agrees:

April 18, 2005

The Waterloo Police Department is flatly dismissing the suggestion it should issue an apology to a man who avoided a pair of felony convictions last week.

After 27-year-old Anthony Lindhorst had his day in court, he publicly stated—through the local Fox Television affiliate—the police department owed him an apology for "ruining his life."

Lindhorst was set to be tried before a jury on two counts of assault, but the state accepted a plea bargain to the lesser charges of battery.

Waterloo Police Chief Joe Brauer said he stands by the initial charges, which alleged Lindhorst served two of his Denny's co-workers brownies spiked with cannabis and—on a later date—mixed his semen with food served to a Waterloo policeman and a former supervisor.

The latter charges were dismissed as a condition of the plea bargain.

"There was no evidence to substantiate the marijuana food contamination charges because they ate the evidence," Brauer said. "However, he pleaded guilty to this because he plea-bargained this to a lesser charge."

For some reason, nobody mentioned whether the semen-contamination charge could be substantiated, or whether that evidence had been eaten.

 

All right children, I'll make this brief. Family, Religion, Friendship: These are the three demons you must slay!

Okay, so this county inVirginia lets local clergy register to give the invocation at its meetings. So, okay. So, this witch (no, literally, a witch) was like "Sweet! I'm gonna sign up! Wicca baby!!!" And the county board was like "Umm, no!" And she was all like "A curse on you!" No, actually, she took them to court. Because OBVIOUSLY a public entity can't exclude people from participating in an activity based on their religion, right?

Right?

Heh. So the good three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that why, yes, they could so discriminate. Only Judeo-Christians/monotheists allowed, they said. Why? They don't have to give a reason, apparently! Ha! Joke's on us for believing that the ole' First Amendment actually means something anymore.

And these are the types of judges that Bush seems to think are too liberal and that we need to get more conservatives on the damn federal bench.

WITCHCRAFT NOT WELCOME
County Can Ban Wiccan From Giving Invocation, 4th Circuit Says

BY TERRY CARTER

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled a Virginia county can refuse to let a witch give the invocation at its meetings by limiting the privilege to clergy representing Judeo-Christian monotheism.

Lawyers for Wiccan practitioner Cynthia Simpson planned to file a motion this week asking the full court, based in Richmond, Va., to review the three-judge panel’s decision.

...

"The Judeo-Christian tradition is, after all, not a single faith but an umbrella covering many faiths," Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote in the opinion.
Translation: The First Amendment only covers those religions that don't give us the heebie-jeebies.

The kicker? For all their talk of "Judeo-Christian" religious types being welcomed into the county, they didn't have ANY rabbis on the registry until Ms. Simpson took their Christian selves to court. The lesson? Whenever Christians say "Judeo-Christian" they usually mean "Christian (plus the hell-bound Jews who're willing to play ball with our theocratic asses)".

Thursday, April 28, 2005

 

It's a perfectly cromulent word

Word of the day: "modernize"

As in: We're trying to "modernize" Social Security.

Originator: Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, who knows??

Replaces: "Privatize"

What's next? I'm guessing "Awesomeize"

Good catch by James Wolcott or whomever it is that caught this shift in language. Damn they're sneaky.

 

The lesson is: Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!

Poll question.

Which is more disturbing: the fact that this exists or the fact that our political leadership is completely intertwined with the producers, consumers, and theoretical enablers of above?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

America: land of the free and home of the scared

Wires, vials lead to scare in the air
Suspicions force jet to land at O'Hare

By Jon Hilkevitch, Tribune transportation reporter. Tribune staff reporters Jennifer Lebovich and John Keilman contributed to this report
Published April 27, 2005 in the Chicago Tribune

A passenger on a cross-country flight Tuesday morning immediately tipped off flight attendants after noticing that the man seated beside him had odd vials of liquid in his pockets and electrical wires running into his coat.

Informed about the situation while the plane cruised about 6 miles above the ground en route to San Francisco from New York, the United Airlines captain declared an emergency and diverted to the closest landing strip that could handle a Boeing 757--O'Hare International Airport.

As the plane made an unusually rapid descent, the passengers were herded to the front of the cabin and belted into available seats to put as much distance as possible between them and the suspicious man and his companion.

The plane landed hard at O'Hare at 10:40 a.m. and was met by emergency vehicles and teams of heavily armored police officers and bomb-sniffing dogs who scrambled aboard.

The vials, it was soon discovered, held a homeopathic herbal lotion carried by a Japanese national who calls himself a "healer," authorities said. The wires were connected to his portable music player.

The incident appears to have been exacerbated by language differences.

In a time of heightened concern about terrorism and explosives aboard commercial planes, the United crew acted appropriately, security officials said Tuesday.

"In the post 9-11 world, passengers, flight attendants and pilots will err on the side of safety and security," said Amy von Walter, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration. "We are aware it's a decision that has operational impacts and passenger inconveniences, all of which are taken into consideration."

Violent plots that occurred after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks serve as reminders that aviation remains a target of terrorists.

British citizen Richard Reid was convicted for attempting to detonate a bomb in his shoe aboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22, 2001. Reid was subdued by passengers.

Earlier this month, lighters were banned on U.S. commercial flights, in part because of the Reid incident. He used matches in his unsuccessful attempt to light explosives hidden in his shoes. Authorities later said a lighter might have worked better.

In addition, the downing of two Russian passenger jets in August was caused by suicide bombings carried out by Chechen terrorists, Russian investigators determined.

As the emergency played out Tuesday, a flight attendant brought the vials, which were secured tightly with rubber bands, to the cockpit for the captain to see, authorities said. Unsure what they could be, the captain declared an emergency and requested immediate clearance to O'Hare.

"The pilots and the flight attendants agreed the materials looked strange and wanted to have everything checked out by authorities," United spokesman Jeff Green said.

As a precaution before landing, flight attendants moved the 64 other passengers to seats in the front of the plane.

The crew did not speak Japanese, and the suspicious passenger did not speak much English, officials said.

The tense situation appeared to befuddle a group of Chinese passengers who also did not speak English, passengers said.

The flight crew "told us there was nothing for concern, they were quite close to Chicago," said Jason Wagoner, 35, of Australia. "Most of the passengers seemed confused. Most of them were from Beijing."

The Federal Aviation Administration cleared the airspace to allow the plane to make a quick descent.

"We took a dive out of the sky from 35,000 feet into O'Hare," said passenger Richard Myers, 63, of Manhattan, adding that the captain came on the cabin intercom to announce a security threat. "It was a very hard landing."

Monday, April 25, 2005

 

When the shit hits the fan, is it an "Elmo" or a "tickle alert?"

 

On Hyde, Mozilla

I hate to spoil the chocolate milk party. However, Hyde retiring is bad news for Cegelis. Hyde's numbers have slipped each election in a trend that would have led to his losing in the next cycle (see Russ Stewart). Her best bet was to run a second time against the entrenched old fart (ala Melissa Bean).

Now there's going to be a open race for the Republican nomination. Hopefully they bloody up each other. However, the primary offers an opportunity for the Republican candidate to mobilize support, build name reconicion and get their organization in place. And if Rosemary Mulligan, a moderate pro choice woman, runs Christine is toast. And we're not certain Cegelis won't have to contend with a Democratic primary. Cegelis can still win, but her job just got harder. She needs to work hard now (as she clearly is) to avoid a Democratic challenger. Then pray for the right Republican to contrast with in the general.

As for the AFA award on Peter's website. Of course, he puts that on his site. He's running in a district that has supported the intellectual godfather of the Pro Life movement for 40 years (remember the Hyde Amendment). They love that stuff as much Deaniacs scream about Iraq and WMD (pun intended)

Yes, Jonathan the blog look fine using Firefox.

 

Mormons and Gays, together again...

Of course this is good news. Hawaii, however, has a different political culture than the mainland. I'd like to see how this news plays out in Utah. Shoutout to Steven Baines, who is quoted at the end. He's my homeboy (Can we call gay friends "homoboy?" Or say stuff like, "Yeah man, he's my homo?"). He was a community leader in Greenville, SC during my formative years. - da Streetman


Mormon, gay advocates compromise on Hawaii housing discrimination bill

Tara Godvin THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONOLULU -- When local gay rights activists decided they needed to put through a law this year protecting the housing rights of gay and transsexual people, they looked for help from an unexpected source -- the Mormon church's Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

"They wanted to see if we could reach a compromise. And we thought that would be a great thing if we could do that," said Steve Hoag, who participated in the unprecedented negotiations as an attorney representing the church school.

The measure first introduced in 1998 passed the Legislature last week. It amends an existing law to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the criteria that can't be used as the basis for denying housing.

Another bill passed by lawmakers adds gender identity to a law banning discrimination in the work place.

While the bills still need to be reviewed by the administration, Gov. Linda Lingle has said in the past that she supports anything that reduces discrimination and is likely to support the bills, said her spokesman, Russell Pang.

BYU had consistently opposed the housing measure because it felt it could be used by residents of its dormitories to challenge the code of conduct signed by every student proscribing sexual activity outside marriage.

The result of the discussions between the advocates and BYU was an antidiscrimination law with a fairly narrow exemption for accommodations owned or operated by a religious institution or religiously affiliated higher education housing program.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia already ban sexual orientation-based discrimination in housing, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

And it is not unusual for civil rights laws, including those that don't mention sexual orientation or gender identity, to exempt religious institutions.

What is different about Hawaii's proposed housing law is the dialogue that happened between gay rights groups and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Matt Forman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The Mormon church, along with the Roman Catholic church and some evangelical Protestant congregations, have led the opposition to same-sex marriage nationwide, including Hawaii. Discussions on the topic have been heated for each side.

"That is what I think is the most remarkable part of the story -- not so much the outcome but that in fact ... there was a genuine attempt on both sides to reach out and have a genuine human dialogue. That is something that we rarely experience," Forman said.

It was the bill's sponsor, Rep. Blake Oshiro, D-Aiea-Halawa, who suggested that rights groups sit down with BYU, said Ken Miller, executive director of The Center, an advocacy group in Honolulu.

"And once we started to go through this process we realized, 'OK. It was valid, their concerns,"' said Miller, one of a core group of about six people who advocated for the bill.

Though in an ideal world no exemptions would ever be necessary, the current bill was something its champions decided they could live with, he said.

Testimony during last year's hearing on a similar bill was contentious, so sitting down this year to talk was a happy surprise for everyone, Hoag said.

"It was nice to bury the hatchet and to work together," the lawyer said of the process of devising language each side could accept.

Protecting the First Amendment, including the expression of one's religious beliefs, is what has held the United States together for 200 years, said Steve Baines, senior organizer for religious affairs with the First Amendment advocacy group People for the American Way.

The government should not force local houses of worship to accept gay and transgender issues, said Baines, a Baptist minister.

So the effort in Hawaii would seem to be something that should be encouraged elsewhere, he said.

"I'm not naive enough to believe that we can clear all hurdles with one state's example. But I would like to be able to think that other states and ... federal elected officials would be able to say, 'This is a way, a model of which we can move nondiscrimination legislation forward in our country," Baines said.

 

Lousy American-made dog! (Also, Friday semen blogging)

Sorry about the lack of posts last week. Other than regular busy-tude and anxiety with regard to buying a new computer (suggestions for a laptop are welcome in comments), there seems to be a problem with viewing this blog in Mozilla Firefox! I finally decided to try Explorer and it's fine. So my excuse for last week is technological.

If you can read this using Mozilla Firefox, please let me know!

Some exciting developments in the world (the Fonda spitting incident, the Fonda speaking to me and a crowd of 1500 incident) will have to go unremarked on today, as I'm in the middle of a major journey of self understanding and newfound directions. In the meantime, please enjoy yourself with a VERY late installment of Friday semen blogging!

COMIN' AT YA!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 

Let us celebrate our new arrangement with the adding of chocolate to milk.

So Henry is retiring after this term. As much as I would have liked seeing Christine Cegelis deposing the guy after 32 years, this is definitely a terrific opportunity for CD6, Democrats & progressives in Illinois, and the nation in general.

Meanwhile, her likely opponent, Peter Roskam, publicizes on his Web site an award he received from Peter LaBarbara's Illinois Family Institute. The dude is anti-gay, anti-choice, and best of all, a former aide to Hyde and (drumroll please) Tom DeLay! Nationalizing this race, linking Roskam to DeLay and the corrupt, out of control, and unpopular Congress we now have is crucial. And there's no doubt the national GOP is going to pour money into this race now.

This is THE critical in Illinois in 2006, with regard to national politics.

The blogosphere is going to play a key role in this race. Stay tuned to this space for opportunities for YOU to help make change a reality.

Go Christine! Seeya Henry!

Monday, April 18, 2005

 

With $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love!

Okay, I promise ... PROMISE ... this is the last blogging on gay republicans for a long, long time. Promise.

But, ladies and others of the jury, let me point you to Exhibit F on hotness:

Gay Republicans Soldier On, One Skirmish at a Time

Check out the pic of Arthur Finkelstein. Sure, he is, by all accounts, a heinous awful horrific man, who will take money from Jessie Helms and then marry his gay homosexual lover. But how cute was he back in 1983??

As for the rest of the article, let me just say that it bizarrely neglects the pink elephant sitting in the room of what should be any discussion of gay republicans - that of money. It quotes Martin Duberman as saying "A number of gay people approve of the administration because they are militaristic, they are jingoistic, and they may have grown up in fundamentalist families," but I
know plenty of gay republicans and most of them are so because they have an interest in lower taxes, less regulation, and have little obvious need for the social safety net. All other aspects of modern-day Republicanism - the theocratic intrusion of church into state, the solipsistic militaristic "patriotism," the hostility to non-traditional families and recreational sex, the fetishization of guns - are either secondary or completely overlooked in their decision on what party to affiliate with.

UPDATED TO ADD: Okay, one last gay Republican. If that one were alive today, he'd probably have some interesting thoughts on the the whole gay master/slave thing.

 

What is it with KFC and "Terrorism"?

And I thought the KFC sprinklers on the PETA folks in Texas was bad! -Richard

'KFC bomber' faces death penality
From Agence France-Presse correspondents in Jakarta
April 18, 2005

THE alleged mastermind of a series of bombings – including a strike on a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet – that killed three people on Indonesia's Sulawesi island, went on trial today and faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

Under heavy guard, Muhammad Agung Hamid took the stand in the district court in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, accused of planning attacks on a KFC and a car showroom in the city on December 5, 2002.

Prosecutors took turns to read the 400-page indictment in which they accused Mr Hamid, who goes by several aliases, of terrorism. The 36-year-old was charged under tough laws that carry a maximum death sentence.

They accused Mr Hamid of having "planned or motivated others to engage in acts of terrorism," and of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Mr Hamid was on the run for almost two years before he was arrested in the university city of Yogyakarta, in Central Java, last October.

A total of 17 other verdicts, ranging from acquittals to jail sentences of up to 18 years, have been issued by the same court in Makassar over the same bombings.

Police have said some of those involved in the Makassar bombings were associated with militants involved in the blasts in Bali on October 12, 2002 that killed 202 people.

Investigators have blamed the Bali attack on Jemaah Islamiyah, an Al-Qaeda-linked regional terror network.

The trial was adjourned for one week.


Friday, April 15, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

Special birthday edition...

I love it when government officials talk dirty:
Under New Chief, FCC Considers widening its reach

...

"Yet the majority concludes that the program, in which a prostitute is hired to sexually arouse a horse by removing her blouse and to extract semen from the horse, is not indecent because the prostitute is never seen actually touching the horse. Despite my colleagues' assurance that there appeared to be a safe distance between the prostitute and the horse, I remain uncomfortable. I respectfully dissent."
Emphasis added.

I would give up my worldly possessions (consisting of a travel coffee mug and a hand-me-down tennis racquet) in order to be able to contemplate, in an official capacity, for the benefit of my fellow citizens of this great country, what constitutes a "safe distance" between a prostitute and a horse. I'm guessing it would be ... arm's length?

 

Hey PETA (!corporate terrorists?) don't mess with Brownsville

This story has so much meat (pun intended) that I'll just highlight my favorite quotes for your edification. -Richard

PETA gets rude welcome in Brownsville

image

Group braves sprinkler system to spread message of chicken treatment

By Gilberto Salinas
The Brownsville Herald


April 14, 2005 — Why did the chicken cross the road?

Well, it depends who you ask in Brownsville.

A protesting trio from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), one of which was dressed in a chicken outfit, stood their ground Wednesday at The Chicken Stop as they briefly protested next to the local eatery. Then they crossed Boca Chica Boulevard to picket the nearby KFC for the restaurant suppliers’ treatment of chickens.

But if you ask the manager for the KFC, the chicken crossed in search of water.

“They already hit me in McAllen,” said John Olivo, shortly before cranking KFC’s sprinkler system at full blast and soaking the curbside protestors.

“I was already waiting for them here in Brownsville,” he laughed.

The PETA members were also greeted by David Ingersoll, a Los Fresnos beef-eating supporter who showed up with his children to antagonize their protest.

When the chicken crossed the boulevard, he followed.

Armed with a microphone and a hand-held speaker, Ingersoll shot strait at the chicken protestors and outspoke them at one of the busiest intersections in the city in the middle of a hot South Texas afternoon.

“You bunch of crazy animal rights nuts!” he shouted. “You’re not going to win. Not in Brownsville!”

His two step-children hurriedly passed out anti-PETA pamphlets to drivers stopping at the intersection.

“I’m waiting for someone to throw a cabrito head at them so they know what part of the country they are in,” Ingersoll said.

The protesters were then greeted by high school students yelling insults from their school bus windows.

“Who’s your chicken daddy?” one student yelled as he and others stuck their heads outside the bus and screamed.

Despite the rude welcome, the PETA members remained outside the KFC to spread their message.

“It hasn’t been quite like this in other parts of the state,” said Chris Link, PETA’s campaign coordinator who is traveling to protest KFC in 12 Texas cities.

The group also protested in McAllen on Wednesday but did not receive the same harsh treatment, he said.

“It’s a rarity that we get this,” he said after the mid-afternoon dousing outside KFC.

The protests are part of an international campaign to get KFC to put pressure on slaughter houses, which are inhumanely killing the chickens, according to claims by PETA.

The campaign thickened after talks between PETA and KFC corporate officials fell through in March.

So as part of a national tour, Brownsville was placed on the PETA map.

“We’re out here today to raise awareness about the chickens,” said Link, a Baltimore native. “All we want them (slaughter houses) to do is gas the chickens instead of killing them.”

PETA suggests a “controlled-atmosphere” killing, using gases such as nitrogen and argon to kill the chickens.

The gas chambers would ensure a painless death for the birds, PETA reported in its Web site. Slaughter houses currently use an electrical stun method or cut off the birds’ heads.

In a previous story, KFC spokeswoman Bonnie Warschauer told The Associated Press that "we don’t comment on the corporate terrorist activities of PETA. They are corporate terrorists and just like the United States government, we will not negotiate with corporate terrorists."

Ingersoll said he hopes KFC stands firm against PETA’s demands.

“I don’t know about you, but I want my chicken to be cut in the throat, hung upside down and bled to death,” Ingersoll said. “I don’t want no chicken that has been gassed. Chickens are not gassed in the farm.”

Olivo also was not sympathetic toward the activists. He accused them of taking away his way of life.

As far as I’m concerned, they are terrorists. I’m trying to make a living and they are trying to stop my people from making a living,” he said just before cranking the water system at full blast, showering the protesters.

“To me, there is no difference between them and al-Qaida.”

Link was accompanied by Chris Arellano, an Uvalde native, who was holding a television showing the slaughter of chickens.

Eric Deardorff, the man inside the chicken suit, was at the receiving end of most of the obscene comments at the intersection.

Link said awareness is vital to PETA’s goal in stopping cruelty to animals. The organization’s reason for pressuring KFC is because the company is the nation’s largest buyer of chicken. The restaurant chain, therefore, has the power to change the way slaughter houses kill the chickens.

“Almost all (PETA’s) money goes directly to fund animals,” Link said. “Every dime goes directly to helping animals whether it’s through demonstrations (or) to raise awareness.”

Olivo said the campaign is hypocrisy. “I’m sure they secretly eat their hamburgers,” he said.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

 

Any man who uses his young skinny photo (left) on his website when he now looks like the one on the right is clearly gay. Why did it take so long for them to know?

 

Why don't you start a rumor that he's... ding a ling a ling! Helloooo! What a delicious quiche! I drive a pink Miata!

As has been well-established on this blog, it is a fact that gay Republicans are hot.

Gay republicans with a conscience are a little less hot, but still pretty damn hot.

A wrenching decision

Sen. Paul Koering felt time had come to announce he is gay, plans to seek re-election as Republican


Koering said he hoped voters would look at his performance during the last two years and conclude that he was a good guy with a good heart. Although he was the only Republican senator to cast a vote against the unsuccessful measure to force a floor vote on the Defense of Marriage Act, he said he continues to staunchly support other core issues he has emphasized in the past.

"I continue to be someone who fights for the unborn," he said.

He said, with three older brothers who are avid hunters, he's a strong supporter of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

"I'll never, ever waiver on those issues," Koering said. "I know I'm a Republican and nobody can take that away from me."

Koering said he's always been an independent thinker and has always done what he thought was right. He said he thinks Minnesotans are more interested in good-paying jobs with health benefits than they are with his personal life. [Side note: As an Illinoisian, I'm far more interested in the personal life.]

"Paul Koering has not changed," he said. "I'm still the same Paul Koering I always was."

Koering grew up in the rural St. Mathias community, raising pigs as a young boy and later starting a dairy herd that grew to about 60 cows in 15 years. He said he first knew he was gay when he was about 15 and remembered how difficult it was to share that with his mother, who died two years ago. He described his mother as his best friend.
I want to steal a photo & post it on here, but honestly have no idea how?!? Any help? Richard? Anyone??

 

Them's city names. From now on you're Dengus Squatburg Jr. and Pamela E. Lee

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm mighty thrilled that Howard Dean won the chair of the DNC. As far as I can tell, he's got the best shot of reinvigorating the grassroots, having competitive races in even the reddest of places, and getting young people back into the Democratic party.

I can't say whether it's having an immediate effect or not, but these things take time. One good sign is in Cass County, Indiana, where my cousin brought my attention to the fact that the Dems down there, in that pretty darn red area, are getting into online organizing with their new Web site and, of course, a blog. Go check them out if you get a chance.

I feel strongly that most Republicans - city, suburb, rural, other - are Democrats-in-waiting. We have to continue to converse, learn, invest, and create change. Nobody is off-limits. Except Tom DeLay. That frenchified mofo can stay GOP leader in the house until he's the only one left.

(Oh, and the title of the post is a joke. Yes, I'm an effete urban liberal elitist, but this blog is about bringing people together!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 

You want the truth!? You can't handle the truth! No, truth-handler you are! I deny your truth-handling abilities!

Here's the deal.

The recent attacks on the judiciary by the GOP are nothing new. And in fact, in a perverse way, such attacks serve as a check and/or balance on the power of an unchecked judiciary - our checks & balance system, after all, is not just limited to procedural actions like "ability to make laws" versus "duty to enforce them" and so forth. Rhetoric, propaganda, words words words are just as important a part of our constitutional system.

Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas would seem to agree with me:

The justices' comments came during a congressional hearing on the Supreme Court's budget that turned into an unusually wide-ranging discussion of the role of judges. Thomas noted that federal judges are appointed for life, which means that although they might be criticized by politicians, the judges are insulated from real retribution.

"I think the reason we have lifetime appointments is that we are supposed to be criticized," Thomas said.

...

Kennedy said criticism of the federal bench is part of "the democratic dialogue," and he dismissed a suggestion by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., that the Supreme Court should be concerned about public dissatisfaction with its decisions. Kennedy noted that the most controversial rulings begin with dissent among the justices themselves.

But it's up to the Democrats to call this particular surge in anti-judiciary sentiment what it is -- part of a long-standing power grab to turn a country that seems to be about 50-50 into a one-party state. This is not about one chamber of the government striving to outshine another. It's not about "culture of life" or "judicial activism" or any of those things. It's about winning a long-term majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Courts, and everywhere they can. By doing so, they'll be able to further the Republican Agenda, which, I think we all know by now, has a lot more to do with corporate hegemony and making sure the highest up keep their coin than it really does with abortion, gay marriage, or even the United Nations. These Republicans really don't care a whit over whether Tom and Arnold marry, they'll gladly disconnect their own relative from a feeding tube if they feel like it, and I'm guessing 90% of them would look the other way if someone in their own family got an abortion. And they don't really care who in the hell their kids' college professors vote for.

Those are side shows -- effective side shows, with real, meaningful implications for those of us in the middle of the culture wars -- but ultimately distractions from their anti-labor, anti-regulation, anti-safety net, anti-tax mandate from God.

I just wanted to make sure we all kept that in perspective as discussions about "judicial activism" continue to escalate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

 

He didn't give you gay, did he? Did he?!?

Shorter New York Times: Gay panic is hard!

The Man Date

...

Anyone who finds a date with a potential romantic partner to be a minefield of unspoken rules should consider the man date, a rendezvous between two straight men that is even more socially perilous.

Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie "Friday Night Lights" is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.

This is so lame. If guys want to hang out together, fucking hang out together. Naturally, the New York Times has no interest in exploring actual sexual tension that might exist between these friends, which is fine, but by spending the entire article avoiding the issue, it's the elephant in the middle of the room. And really, the activities they're talking about - art museums, fine dining - are also about the sexual insecurity of the upper class.

In other words, yawn.

But hey! Shout out to Williams College in paragraph 3!! WOOOOO!!!! Go Williams! Talk about a hotbed of sexually insecure upper class men!

 

Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican!

Cegelis for Congress meetup tonight! This will be more of an organizing meeting, it seems, but do me a favor: consider attending the May meetup (location TBD) on May 10. That will be the big opportunity to discuss fundraising possibilities, visibility at summer outdoor events, Internet organizing, and other ideas to help retake Congress.

The more we see Tom DeLay making a fool of himself and embarrassing this country...

The more we see fake "commissions" set up by the administration to exonerate the administration...

The more we see attacks on the separation of powers, an independent judiciary, the notion of religious pluralism, and Democrats even having a voice in running this country...

The more we see trade and budget deficits, debt and medical costs wreaking havoc with our national well-being...

The more we in Illinois need to help bring balance to Congress.

Helping Christine Cegelis get elected is the best way to make that happen.

And hey! If you're interested in going to the Morton Arboretum on May 1, that should be fun...

Monday, April 11, 2005

 

It's from my "Things Suck" line of clothing

Is your mom a raving right wing lunatic?

Does she like hoodies??

Get her the Bill O'Reilly "No Spin"(TM) Women's Zipped Hooded Light Blue Sweatshirt for Mother's Day!!

A particular favorite with the women in our product test group, we expect these to go fast. Front zip hoodie with roomy hood and cuffs. Stylish & comfortable in hard to find 100% cotton this hoodie gets softer with each washing. Great indoors or out it is sure to become a staple of any wardrobe. Made in the USA but these hoodies run real small, consequently we are only offering them in Large and Extra large.

Staffer shown in the picture is wearing the Large hoodie.

You can order up to 30, but only in light blue! Seriously, on Bill's front page, the first item for us readers is "Get your Mom a great "No Spin" hoodie!" I couldn't make this shit up.

 

I always dreamed you'd be my library buddy...

Happy National Library Week, everyone! Make sure you check out your local public, academic, special, and or school library this week to find out what sorts of programs, speakers, or exhibits they have. Or, if you wanna be really wacky, go and check out some books, or even take some time to do some research on a topic of interest to you! Maybe even look at their special collections? It could be fun.

Oh, and check out the e-cards from American Greetings dot com.

Friday, April 08, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

... and you were worried that I might run out of material ...

Princeton U. bans harassment suspect

Princeton University has banned from campus a graduate student charged with tampering with the drinks or secretly snipping the hair of dozens of Asian women, campus officials said yesterday.
...

Lohman was already a suspect in reports of a white male pouring an unknown substance into the drinks of Asian women around campus, police said. When he was questioned last week, Lohman admitted he had secretly cut the hair of at least nine Asian women, according to the police report.

He also confessed to adding his urine and semen to the drinks of Asian women more than 50 times in the graduate student dining hall and other locations since 2002, police said.

Investigators searching the campus apartment Lohman shares with his wife found women's underwear and numerous mittens believed to be linked to thefts around Princeton.

...

"We have every reason to believe every victim is an Asian female," McManimon said.


Ummm. Jesus.

Okay, four things:

  1. Mittens?? Did he have some sort of "Three Little Kittens" fetish? What did his wife think of his little underwear & mitten collection, for that matter?
  2. Remind me not to be an Asian woman in central New Jersey any time soon.
  3. The way the press handles these reports is obviously my favorite part of Friday semen blogging(TM). The use of the words "pouring" and "adding" are particularly fun. POURING? Like from a container?? That he carried around with him to the parties where the Asian women were at??? Come on, Star-Ledger, enquiring minds and all that!!!
  4. Did he include women of Pacific Island descent as well?

 

Objection! That party-hardy attitude is a registered trademark of the Duff Corporation

So I saw The Corporation last night.

Of course, I recommend that people see it - as I recommend people see almost any movie not starring Jimmy Fallon. Particularly documentaries.

And it most definitely hit some high points in terms of looking at the history, makeup, legal and cultural ramifications, and future of "corporations." And they did pull an amazing feat by getting such high-profile CEOs to appear in their meditation. But obviously it was more than just a meditation, which became clearer and clearer throughout the film. It was an agenda-packed exercize in which the filmmakers had the nerve to put subtitles that belied what the CEOs were telling us without doing the same for the Chomskys or the Michael Moores.

And it was obviously part of this larger "anti-corporate"/"anti-globalization" politics which I have to say - I've read some and watched some and witnessed some of the protests and critiques of this movement and ... I don't quite get it. I get the individual critiques of global capitalism's impacts on the environment; how privatizing water can have deleterious effects; that sweatshops are not beneficial for those who find themselves working in them (even if they may have larger net "beneficial" impacts on the country's economy). But I don't get how they necessarily fit into a larger whole - a seamless garment if you will - and this is what I see as part of the failing of the anti-globalization movement. They don't seem to be providing us with an alternative vision, but instead are asking us to "Just say no" to the pervasiveness of corporate control over our food, air, free time, genes, etc. They say "government regulation" as a good in and of itself without pointing out that governments can be and often are more corrupt than the amoral profit-driven corporations.

But mostly, I am going with my gut (a very anti-intellectual, "conservative" take) in feeling like there is something very fishy about the shock troops of the anti-globalization movement. The anarchist hangers-on, for instance; the fact that they seem to do a great deal of organizing so far below the radar that most Democrats and progressives I know aren't even brought in; their phenotypical similarities to A.N.S.W.E.R. and other ultimately ineffectual and suspect anti-war types... Something about it makes me quite uncomfortable.

Long story short - it was an imperfect movie; it hinted at the larger progressive movement I've been trying to work through in my mind but didn't completely grasp it; but overall it was an important document and well worth watching. See it with a critical eye but if you don't get mad at parts of what they show you, then you deserve to live in a soulless corporate wasteland. Or at least in Celebration, Florida.

(P.S. Anything that adds more insight on who and what the P.R. industry actually is and does, is right on with me. After reading Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, I realize that until we figure out a way to dismantle P.R.'s hold over us, we are indeed lost. They are the true corporate villains with very little to nothing of value added to our world.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

 

Hey Lenny, lets say you pull a thorn out of the Pope's butt and he grants you one wish. What'll it be?

So. About the Pope. I know the body's barely even cool yet, and it's completely inappropriate to say things that are disrespectful. But.

The guy called gay marriage part of an "ideology of evil." That's strong words. It is, in my mind, singlehandedly enough to counteract his tearing down of Communism. None of us is perfect, but why the hell am I supposed to put up with that kind of crap? Even if that were his only misstep in his entire 26 year career, I would still reserve the right to despise him. Gays have it tough enough without the Pope leading the charge against us.

But it's not all. He allowed his archbishops here in the U.S. to threaten to deny Kerry communion, thus affecting the election and possibly tipping the scales for Bush. And although he may have disapproved of the Iraq war, he did more to stop the dissemination of contraceptives in the Third World than he ever did to stop that damn thing.

But whatever. He was one man and all of us - Catholics, American voters, Senators - need to take responsibility for our own actions. The Pope, president, etc. only have as much power as we give them.

In any case, my two questions related to the Pope:

1) How long will it be before someone SOMEWHERE blames the Pope's death on "liberal, activist judges"?

2) Who gets the Popemobile?

 

So this is what it feels like when doves cry

The Illini's sad loss last night means that we will now -- all of us -- have to search for other ways for the Man to keep us occupied as he oppresses us (the people).

Thank god for the Amazing Race.

On an actual serious note, COULD IT BE?! "Corners" may be actually being "turned" against the insurgency in Iraq. In March, for the first time, U.S. troop fatalities in a month were actually lower than they were in the same month the year prior. And given that last April saw 135 deaths, it seems likely we'll see the same phenomenon this month (although the four deaths in the past 24 hours is not the best way for that to happen). That, plus the parliament finally elected a speaker ... who knows!?

As we all know, history is written by the winners. Discussions of "was it worth it" seem to become moot as long as there are "good results." Good results are also defined by the winners, and such a definition can change over time. 1,500+ dead soldiers and a hundred beezillion dollars spent is, in the long run, insignificant as long as we can define success by a stable, U.S. friendly government in Iraq .... right? And whatever protocols we had to break, whatever stories we had to tell ourselves and the world to justify our actions ... well, sometimes you have to break the rules ... to free your heart.

When there's nothing to believe in, believe in hope.

(Thanks to the producers of Waiting to Exhale.)

Friday, April 01, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

This one surprised me:

Semen to blame in 12% of workplace injuries

(A.P.) April 1, 2005

In 2004, semen-related accidents were the fourth most common form of worker injury in the country, according to a report released today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor today. In its annual report on Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, the report revealed that semen injuries most typically involved slipping, eye wounds, or repetitive motion injuries.

This was the first year that the report separated out semen from toxic substances, which was number three on the 2004 list. Heavy objects and fire were the top two causes of workplace injuries.

The number came as a surprise to government officials. "We've known for a long time that semen in the workplace posed hazards, particularly for night watchmen, professional musicians, and farm hands,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. “But none of us thought it would be this extensive. I have informed President Bush about the situation, and we have agreed that reducing semen-related injuries will be a major priority in his second term.”

Secretary Chao noted that in 2004, for the first time in nearly a decade, there were no semen-related fatalities reported. She failed to mention, however, the seven deaths so far in 2005 linked to semen, including a high-profile incident in February in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in which five died.

The statistics in the OSHA injury report are compiled from worker compensation claims, insurance industry estimates, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is available online at http://www.bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

I hadn’t heard about the Colorado Springs incident & can’t find anything online. Can anyone help??


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