Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm so lonly.

So today a coworker asked me, "How do you spell barron? One 'r,' what do you think?"
I said, "I don't spell on command."
"You don't... spell?" she asked.
"Yes. Haven't spelled since 1988."
"Why's that?"
"Lost the third grade spelling bee. Lonely, forgot the 'e.' I was heartbroken."
Then another coworker popped up, "Lazy, I spelled it 'lassie.'"
The the first co-worker said, "Mahogany, I missed mahogany."
Well shit, I still can't spell mahogany. She must have gone to a better school than Pahrump Elementary.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"And special thanks to Wingy...

who gave his life so that we might beat our own world's record from last year."
So yesterday I heard a story about these guys in the Netherlands who shot a sparrow that flew into the building where they were working on their dominos to beat the world's record. Being an Okie I thought, "damn straight." Then I heard they might be making a memorial or dedication to the bird. And still being an Okie I thought, "It's a bird, you stupid hippies!"
Well it turns out that the bird is an endangered species. Is it really hilarious, or am I a total bastard?
My favorite part of the article is when the environmentalist website was urging people to break into the building and knock over their dominoes in retribution.
That'll show 'em.

God bless your tiny soul.

The Axis of Evil

Henceforth to be known as the Nazgul:

1. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado)
-Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
-Committee on the Budget
-Committee on Appropriations
- Chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch.
-Subcommittee on District of Columbia (That makes TONS of sense since Colorado is very close and similar to DC.)
-Subcommittee on Energy and Water
-Subcommittee on Homeland Security
-Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
-Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs.

2. Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri)
-Chairman Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development
-Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies
-Commerce, Justice, State
-Energy and Water
-Foreign Operations

3. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
-Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security
-Chariman of Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management

4. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)
-Chairman of the Appropriations Committee
-Member, Subcommittee on Homeland Security
-Subcommittee on Agriculture
-Subcommittee on Defense
-Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development
-Subcommittee on Interior
-Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services & Education

5. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas)
-Armed Services Committee
-Chairman Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee
-Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee
-Strategic Forces Subcommittee
-Judiciary Committee
-Chairman Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship Subcommittee
-Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights Subcommittee (NICE)
-Corrections and Rehabilitation Subcommittee
-Intellectual Property Subcommittee
-Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security Subcommittee
-Budget Committee
-Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
-Joint Economic Committee

6. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)
-Chairman of Committee on Environment and Public Works
-Committee on Armed Services

7. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas)
-Intelligence Committee Chairman
"As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, my job is to ensure that our Intelligence Community has the ability to protect the nation from threats at home and abroad. It is my goal to see that our intelligence agencies have cutting-edge collection capabilities and perform accurate analysis of intelligence information so that we can win the war on terrorism."

8. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
-Senate Armed Services Committee
-Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
-Subcommittee on Airland
-Subcommittee on Strategic Forces (Chairman)
-Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
-Senate Judiciary Committee
-Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts (Chairman)
-Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victims’ Rights
-Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship
-Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
-Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
-Subcommittee on Retirement Security and Aging
-Subcommittee on Education and Early Childhood Development
-Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
-Senate Budget Committee
-Senate Republican Steering Committee
-- Chairman-Congressional Joint Economic Committee
-International Narcotics Control Caucus

9. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
-Committee on Appropriations
--Subcommittee on Defense
--Subcommittee on Commerce, State, Justice
--Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
--Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
--Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
-Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
--Subcommittee on Aviation
--Subcommittee on Communications
--Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries
--Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space
--Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine
-Committee on Governmental Affairs
-Committee on Rules and Administration
-Joint Committee on the Library of Congress

These are the 9 Senators who voted for torture. Is anyone else concerned with this? Chairman of Senate Committee on Homeland Security?! These men are not schlubbs. They are important people with great power. And look at what these ass-clowns are doing!

I'm sure these guys are good huntin' buddies, but wouldn't you, after seeing how this was going to go down, have decided to vote with everyone else? Who wants to look like an asshole? This is my theory as to why so many congressmen voted to go to war-- who wants to look unpatriotic and uncaring towards the families of the victims of 9/11? I guess these guys are ok with looking like assholes. But I guarantee this is going to come up and bite them in the ass later. Ok I don't guarantee that. But I would like to think that Americans want to live in the America where people are not tortured. Where foreign citizens are not detained without trial indefinitely. (And let me clear something up. POWs are held until the war is over, then depending, they go to trial. Well, terrorism isn't ever going to end. EVER. Are we going to just hold these guys till they die? With no trial?) I guess it's not a big deal now to raise your head high and say "I think torture is completely OK." This is who people want running things? Hitler was surely efficient, but wasn't 6 million Jews a bit steep to keep the trains running on time? How many people are we going to torture for our information? Is 6 million too many? I guess there are a lot of Muslims. Oh, it is so hard to decide.

Isn't it fairly obvious that torture is wrong? What the hell is wrong with us? I want other people to care and I want them to vote. But they don't. I want people to care about Africa more then they care about tires. But they don't. I want people to care about the land they live on. But they don't. I want people to stand up, look around and see what we are actually doing. Look at us like everyone else can, and I want them to stand up and say, "No, that is not the way I will live." But I don't think they ever will.

Wouldn't it have been amazing if the Senate of the United States of America had stood together and said, "America will not stand for torture." I want to live in that America, the America that we tell our children we live in.

Dear Bushy,

Dear Mr. President Sir,
I was browsing BBC news today and found a fascinating article about White Phosphorus, an incendiary weapon that we said we didn't use in Iraq but we really did. My point is not that burning people to death is kind of yucky. And I know we didn't sign that treaty saying we wouldn't use incendiary weapons, so we can use them. So, why do you need to say we are not using White Phosphorus when we are? Didn't you think that since so many people knew, it would be a difficult secret to keep. You were the ones who called for embedded reporters. So why are you painfully un-sneaky?
My point is that I would like you to stop getting caught lying. Everyone fibs, but your administration is miserable at lying. "Oh we didn't leak that... ok we did." "We don't torture... well, only at our secret gulags. But we're not breaking the law... ok we're cutting it close... but don't worry we're going to get that law changed." "Saddam Hussein was totally in cahoots with the 9/11 bombers... ok he wasn't but we didn't know... ok we knew... but he was really really scary."
Just quit getting caught. You are totally embarrassing me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

If a picture paints a thousand words...

then this one could have saved me about 50 pages of my thesis.

Thanks to R.K. Milholland, who won't be suing me for printing this without permission, because I'm so damned cute. And look a link, I'm sweet too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh Jon Stewart you sexy, sexy man.

"Last month, the Senate voted for a ban on torture 90-9. You heard me correctly, nine United States senators refused to vote against torture. Those senators included Illinois Democrat Thumbscrews McGee, Iowa's Cattleprod von Analpair, and of course, Ted Stevens of Alaska.... The vice president is lobbying to keep torture an option. That's the guy not running for office in 2008"
("DailyShow," Comedy Central, 11/8).

Burning with Shame

Geeky thought for those who read comics. So the mayor of NYC is actually a two years term in office. Now where does this leave the comic Ex Machina after Mayor Hundred uses his two years? Re-election, back to super-hero work or a presidential bid?
Ex Machina, if you don't read it... you should.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ahhhhhh... so this is compassionate conservatism.

Yesterday (I think) in Panama our president was asked about torturing POWs. Bush replied: "Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture and therefore we are working with congress to make sure that as we go forward we make it more possible to do our job."

Good golly Miss Molly. That's one interestingly phrased answer. It took just a minute to figure out what that means: Any "torturing" we do is perfectly legal and doesn't count, however we are working towards legalizing torture as soon as possible.

What kind of sick bastard would like to go down in history as the guy who thwarted John McCain's "Anti-Torture Amendment?" Well, I guess now we know.

Additionally, I wish people would stop referring to these men as "foreign detainees." These people are POWs.

Four hours after the president's astonishingly honest comment on torture, Jeff Bingaman (NM) addressed the Senate with the following statement: "It's a sad day when an American president has to assure allies in Latin America that the US does not contemplate torture."

I think that it's worse that the White House is willing to make it abundantly obvious that the US absolutely is contemplating torture.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Charles in Charge

So I was reading about Liberia yesterday. Yea, do you remember a couple months ago when Charles Taylor fled Monrovia? Yea, me neither, you know why? Because after that one news blurb we never heard about it again. Why? Because America does not care about Liberia-- but they should.

You might remember Liberia from that one time when we (America/Quiana’s ancestors) were like, “You know what would totally make life easier? Making other people do all the crappy jobs.” Then we kidnapped or bought a bunch of folks from Africa (Quiana’s other ancestors) and made them do all the crappy jobs. Which was apparently going really great until some other people (more of Quiana’s ancestors) said, “Doesn’t this seem, I don’t know… wrong?” which caused everyone to blow the hell out of each other.

And once they had killed as much as they could a bunch of folks were worried about the ex-slaves being pissed-off so they thought, “I know we’ll just return them. This is going to work great.” So they put a bunch of ex-slaves on some boats with some pox-filled blankets and some beads and then the ex-slaves used those to buy a big chunk of land from the natives. Then the natives who used to live there were pretty pissed when they realized that all these dudes were showing up and taking all the good land and all they got were some crappy-ass beads. Then there were some problems because the folks who came from the states were all hoighty-toighty and were fighting with the others a lot and they got all the good stuff which made everyone else pretty pissed. And there was war and coups and the fancy constitution some smarmy Yale guy wrote for Liberia never got used. Then there were some weapons (and money) that some guys (Reagan/Bush) kept giving the evil dude in charge, because it was the cold war, and Quadafi was all up in our shit, and there was this really profitable tire factory there. Then the evil guy was captured and tortured to death on film in a really really nasty coup.

It was Charles Taylor’s coup and he is basically twice as evil as Dick Cheney but an eighth as sneaky. And then he fled and now you know twice as much about Liberia as all of your neighbors combined.

But I bet you still don’t know whatever happened to Charles Taylor.

Dick Cheney you are evil

I could barely believe what I heard on NPR yesterday. They said that you, Dick, traveled to Arizona to try to persuade Senator John Sydney “drank my own pee for five years” McCain III to get behind your campaign to exempt the CIA from the Geneva Convention. Naturally he refused for several reasons, not the least of which is that torture is absolutely wrong. Dick Cheney, are you made of stupid? Did you honestly think that a man so dedicated to playing by the rules that he refused to leave the POW camp ahead of other soldiers in spite of gruesome injuries and conditions was going to just say, “Hey, let’s go torture us some POWs?” I can't understand how you thought that you'd persuade McCain to turn his back on his beliefs by rescinding a law that he, personally, created.
I want to live in a safe country, but not if it is made safe by the murder of POWs. Dick, do you really think that our fellow nations will respect us if we torture POWs? Do you actually believe that our enemy nations would treat our POWs with respect if they know that theirs are being tortured? That we would be able to trade for our POWs if theirs die in torture cells?

You disgust me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Clouds in my Coffee

March of the Penguins was an awesome movie but I hear that in the original French, they had actors playing the roles of a male, female and baby penguin. Apparently it was decided that this wouldn’t resonate with American audiences when it was test shown with subtitles and the people laughed hysterically. The lines were apparently “hilariously French.” For example, describing penguin sex: “They danced the dance, the dance of love, the dance that will go on all night.” (In America it should have read “giggity giggity.”)

In the theater I saw the penguin sex and I looked over at my friend and whispered “Is this penguin porn?” And he looked at me as if to say, “Are they having sex, because it doesn’t look very good.” And he was right, Kevin Bacon had more fun dancing his forbidden dance in Footloose than these penguins seemed to be having during the only time over the course of an entire year that they get to dance the dance, the dance of love, the dance that will go on all night.

This desire to insert emotion into everything is so French. I dated a Frenchman once. I know. I know. I met him at a ski resort in Japan during Christmas. He was good looking and charming in a Frenchy kind of way. His name was Jimmy. No, I am absolutely not making that up. Anyway, Jimmy was a wine importer. I don’t drink wine. Jimmy simply could not fathom my not drinking wine. It was like him telling me that he was an oxygen-importer and me saying, “You know I’m just not into that sort of thing.” He described wine like sex. He described shoes like sex. Actually everything had an emotional intensity to him. I think he likened my dislike of wine to my emotional distance (mostly due to my North American-ness.) He would open increasingly expensive bottles when we’d hang out, as though if he could train me to love wine, he could train me to have feelings and talk about them to him as we smoked tiny cigarettes and cuddled in trendy cafes. All the bottles of wine tasted equally terrible, though each one was soured with an increasing amount of guilt.

The white sweaters, the constant romantic gestures, the gifts, it all struck me as… French. Too French. I began to resent his ridiculously expensive squishy cheeses and wine; even his accent which had so intrigued me on our ski trip began to wear on my nerves. My roommate Galvin, who seemed to have a crush on Jimmy, would say, “He can’t help it, he’s just French.” The Frenchman’s flaw was not his devotion to me, his beautiful body and face, his money, or his complete head of hair, it was his very Frenchness.

I think he was beginning to sense my growing anglophilia and started to react in the Frenchiest possible way. One night we were watching soccer in a pub downtown and a Canadian I knew came in with some Aussies. The Canadian was a typical expat: white, not terribly attractive, and positively fanatic about Asian women. I didn’t know him incredibly well, but we’d been at some of the same parties and shared a love of hockey and other Canadian things. Jimmy, sniffing the English fluency wafting about Rod’s tiny potbellied Canadian frame began to feel threatened. Being French, Jimmy used his most powerful weapon: seduction. He scooched close to me, placed his arm around my waist and watched me intensely. Rod and I were discussing the lack of American president and other political excitement and out of no where Jimmy turned to me with francophonic intensity and said, “Make for me a kiss.” I blushed and hid my face in his beautiful neck as the Australians laughed. He pushed the bottle of wine he’d been drinking into the center of table and got up to leave. I stayed seated. He said “very well” put his scarf around his neck and sulked out of the bar.

His scarf, it was apricot.