30 March 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

As I don't have a digital camera, I am reduced to text only to hype my kitties. So here goes....

The older of my two is Puff, and is now just under nine years old. She is one quarter (wild) bobcat, one quarter siamese, and one quarter neighborhood something, and was one of only two (out of seven) of her littermates that has a tail. She has grey and brown stripes on her back and her belly is spotted like her wild ancestors. Her black and grey ringtail most resembles that of a squirrel (meaning wide and flat with a droopy tip), which makes me wonder what that unknown quarter really was. Her claws are definitely those of a wild cat - thick and long and sharp as razors. She also has (proto) opposable dewclaws; she picks up small things including food, to examine, just like a human.

She epitomizes the phrase “fraidy cat” - will run from a breeze. But she is an incredible ‘hunter’. Once, a small bird flew into my loft apartment. I barely had time to register this fact before Puff leaped down from her favorite perch, dashed across the intervening thirty foot space and pounced. Before I could even leap up out of my chair, the bird was a snack. Another time, a mouse had the great misfortune of finding a way into ‘the secret lair - aka ‘73 Winnebago’. Said mouse took two steps and was history.

Puff’s favorite game is chase the laser dot. The loft I used to live in had one wall that was cinderblock and she would actually climb it all the way to the ceiling (over ten feet) to chase that dot. Her second favorite game is leaf spotting. In the fall, she sits in the south facing kitty screen porch I built on the side of ‘the secret lair - aka ‘73 Winnebago’, and runs back and forth, just waiting for one of those evil leaves to get close enough for her to snag through the screen.

Puff joined me with her brother Stuff - yes, they were Puff -n- Stuff (I'd wanted a pair with those names for a long time, ever since my sister had a pair named Kit and Kaboodle). Stuff was a gorgeous spotted orange and cream gigantokitty. He was the alpha male of the litter and he picked me when I visited his mother’s home one night. Puff was the omega runt of the litter, and I took her as much out of pity as anything else.

Poor Stuff thought he could fly, but was found to be wrong when he jumped out a third story window and landed on the roof of my Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I gave him a grand funeral and laid him to rest on a mountaintop.

Which is why I came to get my other kitty, Callisto. I’ll save her for next week.

29 March 2007

Fundamental Agreements?

French scientists rebut U.S., Muslim creationism
(h/t to Petulant Rumblings for the link)

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
ORSAY, France (Reuters) - With creationism now coming in Christian and Muslim versions, scientists, teachers and theologians in France are debating ways to counteract what they see as growing religious attacks on science.

Wow, I didn’t know that Falwell, et al, had teamed up with the ‘turrists’. But it turns out that they have. A Turkish “Islamist publisher” has mailed Muslim creationist books to schools in France. I’ve been saying all along that there was very little difference between Christian Fundies and Muslim Fundies (aka Islamists, aka turrists) and here is proof. They both object to the facts of science, among other things.

I really shouldn’t generalize the Muslim Fundies - as I don’t personally know any, but I do have the great misfortune to know some of the Christian variety and I suspect that the Islamic ones are just as narrow-minded and, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid. They reject Darwin and the myriad who have followed, because they believe, falsely, that Evolution denies the existence of God/Allah. Evolution restricts itself to what happened after the origin of life, and has nothing to say regarding those origins.

I don’t fall into the group who believe that all religious people are crackpots. I know, from personal experience, that a person can be both religious and open-minded. My parents, both of whom have graduate degrees in religion and are deeply spiritual, are open-minded and very intelligent. When I was first learning science in school I asked my father why the scientific and religious versions of creation didn’t jibe - specifically why the scientific record contradicts Genesis. He responded that the Creation Story was metaphorical and wasn’t to be taken as literal truth, that Genesis and the other early books of the Bible were descended from oral tradition. He also referenced Hinduism (although I didn’t realize it at the time) by saying, “a day to God could be millions of years to humans.”

So, I suppose that it follows that I do believe that those who believe in a literal translation of the Bible as the absolute and complete truth are seriously bent. I've tried to figure out how anyone could ignore the evidence in front of their faces and choose to believe instead only in something that's based entirely on faith. On the other hand, it must be nice to have someone else tell you how to think. I have to muddle through daily life, thinking for myself, and that can get tiring!!

It is fine for anyone to believe whatever he/she wants. The problem comes when she/he tries to force that belief on others and that is where Fundies (be they Christian or Muslim) are trying to do. Apparently with some success (as seen in this excerpt from the above article):

There is a growing distrust of science in public opinion, especially among the young, and that worries us," said Philippe Deterre, a research biologist and Catholic priest who organized a colloquium on creationism for scientists at the weekend.

There are many issues that go beyond strictly scientific or strictly theological explanations," he said at the colloquium in this university town southwest of Paris. Deterre's Blaise Pascal Network promotes understanding between science and religion.

I find it somewhat surprising, although I probably shouldn't, that a Catholic priest is the one who is pointing out the distrust. Surprising, because the Catholic Church isn't the first (or even fortieth) place where I would turn to look for scientific progressiveness. It only recently recanted its' heresy charges against Galileo, after all. I shouldn't be surprised, though, because the Catholic Church does run prestigious (if necessarily progressive) universities, such as Georgetown and Notre Dame.

In fact, I find Deterre's statement to be very brave. It seems to me, though I'm no Catholic scholar, to not be in line with the current Pope, Benedict XVI, who has reversed many of the progressive stances that John Paul II espoused.

One final quote from the article:

Barred from teaching creationism in U.S. public schools, some conservative Christians now advocate the "intelligent design" argument that some forms of life are too complex to have simply evolved. Scientists call this creationism in disguise.

And a US Federal Court, in Katzmiller v. Dover Area School District agreed:

For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [intelligent design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child"
After a searching review of the record and applicable case law, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of ‘irreducible complexity‘, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

As a result of this case, the entire Dover Area School Board was voted out of office and the district had to pay over a million dollars in legal fees and damages.

Creationists just can’t get past the fact that they lost the “Scopes Monkey Trial” back in 1925, and all the subsequent rulings against them (visit the National Center for Science Education for more info), including the Edwards v. Aguillard SCOTUS case in 1987.

Has all this deterred the Intelligent Design proponents? Oh, hell, no! Take a look at the Discovery Institute website. They have three conferences scheduled over the next few weeks to promote ID. States, including New Mexico, have pending legislation on the subject (see Albuquerque Tribune commentary and rebuttal). Even as I type this, NPR’s “Fresh Air” is airing (on my local affiliate) the second in a series discussing Evolution versus Creationism.

I seem to have strayed from my original topic: the commonalities between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists. I’ll return to that topic, rest assured. But I felt I had to comment on the denial inherent in fundamentalism....

As I said to earlier, I believe that people are entitled to whatever beliefs they have. That’s what Freedom means to me. Believe whatever you want. If you want to be so narrow minded that you refuse to see the evidence all around you that society is becoming more accepting, more open and yes, more liberal - go right ahead. I’m sure ‘God’ will judge you accordingly. But please, please, please stop trying to tell others what to believe!

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense

27 March 2007

That Which Was Old Is New Again

I was wasn’t quite ten years old when I first became interested in politics. I had no choice really. You see, that was when Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC) and the rest of the Senate Watergate Committee began the hearings that eventually led to the introduction of articles of impeachment against Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon and his resignation on 9 August 1974.

Back in the “Dark Ages“, kids, of the early 1970‘s, everyone had to rely on television signals that were broadcast through the air and picked up by antennas, and most people were glad if they could pick up the three networks (yes, there were only three commercial networks) and the fledgling PBS. and the only cost involved was for the electricity to power your TV.

So, anyway, once Senator Sam (as we in North Carolina called him) and his Committee got going, all three networks started covering the proceedings. this meant that when I got home from school each day, it was a given that my Dad would be watching it. I’m sure that at first I was upset because the reruns of I Dream of Jeannie and Gilligan’s Island were being pre-empted by this boring thing, but before long I became just as hooked as the rest of the nation.

John Dean, John Ehrlichman, E. Howard Hunt, H.R. Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, Charles “Chuck” Colson - I watched them all. It got to the point that my parents actually let me stay home from school on a couple of occasions to catch what everyone knew would be really “juicy” bits. And at 6:30 each evening we would watch as Walter Cronkite gave a rundown of each day’s events.

I was so caught up in the coverage of the whole Watergate scandal that on the day Nixon left the White House, flashing his trademark two-handed victory wave (which I thought at the time was simply “Peace, man!” - yes, I was a ten year old hippie, long hair and everything) dramatically before he stepped onto Marine One (the official Presidential helicopter), that I ‘interviewed’ my parents on tape. I asked them what they thought all this meant to the nation and to them personally, and whether or not they thought that Gerald Ford would pardon Nixon.

I kept that cassette for a long time, but I can no longer remember what happened to it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those days lately, what with the lies and obfuscation coming out of the Dubya White House. Talk of impeachment is rampant everywhere but the right to far right. Check out the remark threads on any article having to do with the administration on any moderate to far left blog and I guarantee you that there will be at least one that simply says “Impeach the Bastards!”.

For a long time I believed that, no matter how blatant and egregious the lies and actions of “the Decider”, impeachment was an impossibility - before last November, because of the Republican majorities in Congress, and since then because even though the Democrats have a sufficient majority in the House of Representatives to pass articles of impeachment, the fifty to forty-nine split in the Senate (with Joe Liebermann (I[diot] - CT) would preclude conviction, which takes a two-thirds majority.

However, in the last few days, my hopes have been renewed. Now, even formerly staunch allies of “He Who Should Remain Nameless” are hinting around the edges (and in some cases coming right out) of using the “i” word. The unnecessary, immoral, and hopelessly FUBAR war in Iraq, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (I don‘t blame them for the actual hurricanes, you understand, just their lack of giving a shit about the plight of those caught in the event and its‘ aftermath), the Scooter Libby trial and conviction, the Walter Reed Hospital scandal, the politicization of the Justice Department, no bid contracts to buddies of the White House for everything from the war to hurricane relief to hospital maintenance - all of these things have forced even those allies to rethink their position.

It’s about bloody time, in my opinion. I have been convinced that the current occupant of the White House is a festering boil on the ass of Freedom ever since the Vice (and how sweetly apropos is that) Deciderer held secret meetings with oil industry officials to formulate the official US Energy Policy and the Oval Office Pretender voided the US commitment to the Kyoto Protocols.

It is now blatantly apparent to anyone with an IQ greater than that of a tree frog that the current regime is lying and has been acting in a manner that is... well, I’ll be generous and only characterize it as unconstitutional.

"Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" indeed.

26 March 2007

¡Viva la Revolucion!

I just got through reading this over at Shakespeare’s Sister and, after staring at the screen in numb shock, I made the following comment:

“Okay. I've refrained from saying this up 'til now, because to wish harm on someone is not in my nature, but I simply must quote Hanover Fiste (in the movie Heavy Metal):

"Hanging's too good for him! Burning's too good for him! He should be torn into little-bitsy pieces and buried alive!"

The assault on basic civil rights and the BLATANTLY hypocritical use of 'family values' in the administration of president (lower case 'p' intentional - this asshole deserves ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT) George W. "Lying bottom-feeder without the conscience that nature provided a FUCKING SEA CUCUMBER" Bush are crimes against humanity that rank right up there with the worst of them.”

I had more that I wanted to say and, wow, it turns out I have this blog thing so here’s the rest:

  • They lied us into war.
  • They ignore the everyday plight of the people in order to line their pockets (and the pockets of their corporate partners) with filthy lucre.
  • They spit on the Constitution of the United States. They lie, under oath, in testimony before Congress.
  • They claim to support the troops, and yet they (of course) farm out the care of the wounded to their incompetent Halliburton cronies.
  • They have the gall to use such phrases as “political theater” (see: “Mission Accomplished”, etc.) and “partisan fishing trip” (see: the Clinton impeachment over a fucking blowjob) when their administration is nothing more than “political theater” - that makes the worst Community Theater production in the history of history look better than the last six Tony winners for best production combined - and partisanship (see also: “loyal Bushies”).
I’m not even going to get into the current “GonzoGate” thing….

I simply cannot understand why this “God” about which they prattle on and on has yet to strike them dead (or at least visit the plagues of Egypt upon them).

Were there any justice left in these United States, we might expect to see these cretins hauled before an impeachment trial and run out of DC on a rail and straight to the Hague, for they are, indeed, “enemy combatants“ who subvert and oppose everything the Second Continental Congress was fighting for.

¡Viva la Revolucion!

Wake Up and Smell the Nature!

Okay, I totally realize this is cheating (reprinting old material in a new venue), but, as they say "What the Poop!" (h/t to Shakespeare's Sister and Momma Shakes!). The following (from the November 2000 edition of Rapid River Literary Magazine), which is the third in the “Hey, to introduce myself to the Internets I’ll reprint some old magazine articles I wrote” series, helps explain, to anyone who happens to blunder by this meager excuse for a blog, a little more about me. Enjoy….

I recently allowed my continuing dissatisfaction with "civilization" to lead me to make some striking changes in my life. As long time readers may remember, for the past two years I was the owner/operator of a small retail [Head] shop in downtown Asheville. Yes, I was a merchant. A businessman. A minor league Medici. A Sam Walton wannabe.

Strange thing is, I've always been more of a John-Boy Walton wannabe. For me, peace and contentment have always been found in a picturesque valley or a star-filled sky over a roaring campfire, rather than in stacks of coins. Crickets, rushing water and the wind in the trees do far more for me than the clink of money.

So there I was, living the American dream of being self-employed, in the midst of the thriving metropolis of Asheville. Being serenaded by the dulcet tones of diesel engines, sirens, and late night drunks, my vision filled with pollution, concrete, asphalt and folks too busy getting somewhere else to notice where they were and what surrounded them. Ah, what… living hell it was.

There finally came a day when I could take it no longer and made the decision to sever my connection with the world of retail. It was something that I had threatened to do several times and I believe that my friends didn't really believe that I would actually do it this time. Well, I did. I met with my business partner and determined what I could get for my stake in the business, and then went in search of my new home.

Since I was very young I have tremendously enjoyed camping. My family had a travel trailer and we spent about half of summer break in campgrounds, usually along the Blue Ridge Parkway. During my senior year in high school, I lived in the travel trailer. At the time, it was really cool to live "in my own place", and looking back from the present the appeal of compact living was very strong. Therefore, I determined to seek out an RV in which to live.

It didn't take me long to find the perfect one. I ended up with an old Winnebago, big - but not too much so - in very good shape, and at a very good price. I then entered "Walden" mode, and culled my possessions down to a minimum. During this process I made several of my friends and three different local non-profit organizations very happy with donations of furniture, appliances and various and sundry other things. At this point I have managed to cull my worldly possessions down to clothing, books (I couldn't bring myself to get rid of many of those), music, and a few of my more meaningful knickknacks.

Ye gods, how much more free this has made me feel! No longer do I yearn to buy the latest whatever. I have shelter, food, clothing and the company of my cats, and I'm here to tell you folks, that's really all a person needs. I hear folks talking about buying this or needing to get that and I just wonder why they feel they need these things? They are doing nothing but complicating their lives with unnecessary clutter. And their desire for these material things simply drives them to greater and greater heights of consumerism - not to mention further and further into debt.

Most people feel that they need great amounts of material things to make their lives worthwhile. People, please believe me when I tell you that it just ain't so! If you want to experience something that will make you feel invigorated, just go out to the country, find a spot with little to no evidence of "civilization", and sit down. Just sit there for a while. Now answer this, would you rather do this every day for just an hour or so, or would you prefer to earn an extra dollar an hour?

Just the other morning I was sitting at the dining table drinking my coffee (I haven't given up everything) and listening to public radio when my aforementioned cats got all excited, looking out the front windows of the motor home and pacing back and forth. At first I thought they were just trying to figure out how to get at the squirrels (who have been going nuts - no pun intended - with their nut gathering -- it's going to be a rough winter according to their actions), but as I got up to refill my coffee cup and look out the windows to see the object of the cats' attention, I was astounded to see a mountain lion. Not something you see everyday and certainly not something you'd see spending all your time in the city. So take my advice and follow my lead and maybe, just maybe, you too might see something out of the ordinary and rare.
See ya.

[By the way, according to wildlife officials here (Western NC), there are no mountain lions in this area. How strange, considering I have seen her two other times (and heard the distinctive 'baby crying' sound of her voice many times) since my initial sighting….]

23 March 2007

Fear and Loathing in Ashe Vegas

The following is the second in my “Hey, to introduce myself to the Internets I’ll reprint some old magazine articles I wrote” series. Here is the piece I wrote for the Nov 1999 edition of Asheville, NC’s Rapid River Literary Magazine, as it originally appeared, with updates/remarks in brackets:

Ross Perot, I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. As a matter of fact, I think that I speak for all Americans when I say, "Thank you, Mr. Perot. Thanks to you and the Reform Party; for the first time in probably forever, the American people are exercising their right to be involved in national politics." However, what's happening isn't quite, I daresay, what the Framers of the Constitution had in mind. At my last count, approximately 2,346,972 citizens have announced their intentions to run for the office of President in the election of 2000. (Which, by the way, is the last election of the 20th century.)

Mr. Perot, the example you set in the last two presidential elections [1992 & 1996] was of such shining stuff as to instill into the average American's conscious the ultimate truth that any bozo can run for office. As if some of the choices of the last three decades haven't been proof enough of that. [Not to mention the buffoon who ended up ’winning’ the 2000 election]

And boy, are the clown cars crowding city hall parking lots all over American as candidacy is filed. Religious leaders, entertainment leaders, infotainment leaders, sports leaders, and loss leaders are filing in record amounts. To print the ballots alone will destroy thousands of acres of forest land -- although this will keep a few people working a little bit longer raping the planet and reducing the chances that our children will be able to breathe outside without respirators, so I suppose it's a good thing after all.

Actually, I do feel that all of these unusual candidates are a good thing for the system. The two party system is hopelessly bloated and corrupt. The "rules" of elections have been written by the party bosses in such a way as to make the will of the people immaterial. [As evidenced by the SCOTUS selection of George III - I mean Dumbya - I mean, ahh, screw it. Read on…] Big surprise there, huh.

Partisanship has gone beyond mere annoyance, such as the shutting down of the Federal government a while back [Late 1995 - Early 1996] , to the unbridled lunacy of yesterday's rejection of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. What is this horse shite they are trying to feed us?!? "Signing on to this treaty will damage our national defense." I believe that using nuclear weapons -- first strike or retaliatory -- is just flat-out wrong. It was wrong during the Cold War, when MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) was the best thing they could come up with. And it is assuredly wrong today.

Let's assume that some nation detonates a nuclear warhead somewhere in the United States. This would be horrible, but why would we respond with nuclear force? More to the point, why would any country even take the chance? No other single nation on the planet controls the stockpile of weapons that the US does, so in a toe-to-toe confrontation they would be hopelessly outgunned. Even if we didn't use nukes, our conventional forces would overwhelm any force in retaliation for an attack on American soil. [Remember, I wrote this in February of 2000, before Dumbya was selected by SCOTUS and Rummy got his greasy little hands on the military and FUBAR’ed it]

Back to my point... Partisanship is out of control. The system is broken. Drastic measures must be taken. Let us seriously consider some of these candidates who, at first blush, look totally out of their depth. Donald Trump? Let's see, didn't he lose a lot of his fortune on bad investments? Mark him off the list. Warren Beatty? Ever see "Ishtar"? Who's next? Pat Buchanan? Here's a tip, Pat. Most people in America wouldn't hire you as a gardener, much less elect you President.

There are some folks out there to whom you should really give a listen. But it's up to you to find this information. That is truly what democracy is. Each individual determining, for his or her self, what beliefs to have and what choices to make... in Presidential elections and grocery stores.
With all this in mind, it is with great humility that I, Phydeaux Speaks, do hereby announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America. I have already formed an exploratory committee, composed of my peers, and they have found three bones, two old shoes, and a candy wrapper. I feel that these results are a clear mandate from the masses, a real clap of lightning, a true barometer of the will of the people, and evidence that you should never have an exploratory committee made up entirely of hounds. I shall, over the next few months, be explaining, in excruciating detail, the planks of my platform.

See Ya.

16 March 2007

Riding Into the Future

It seems like one of the most popular things to do on a blog is to post pictures, so here's my first (see: The Good Old Days at the bottom of the page). This is a photo taken ca. 1927 of my Dad and two of his sisters. He emailed it to me yesterday.

I often think about how amazing this whole 'internets' thing must be to my parents. They are both in their mid 80's and, as you may guess from the pic, the world has changed greatly since they were born. Woodrow Wilson (to whom 'the Decider' has compared himself) was President when they were born, the US had only recently grown to 48 states and the country was still recovering from the Great War (later known as World War I) and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. The only mass media options they had were newspapers and crystal radios. My Mother lived in a house without indoor plumbing.

Now my Dad is emailing me digitized pictures from his childhood. So he's gone from a homemade crystal radio to transistors to microchips. Pretty cool, huh?

05 March 2007


The New York Times posted an article about the change in Daylight Saving Time causing a mini y2k. I thought that this commentary I wrote in August of 1999 for the Rapid River Literary Magazine was apropos.

"So, anyway, here we are at the end of the Twentieth Century, and what, exactly, is going on? Wait, wait, first things first. The twentieth century (I'm not sure it deserves capitalization) does not end until December 31, 2000!!! We must not allow this travesty to continue! Simple math, folks. There was no year 0AD (or BC or LMNOPC!)! Did Arthur C. Clarke pick a number at random when he wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey? No, he didn't. Personally, I think he foresaw, as he has other things in our time, the mass confusion and error of the Gregorian Calendar worshipping world, (it's not the end of the century in China, people) and was partially hoping to educate people about the Truth of the situation.
Now, we are facing a possible breakdown of civilization at midnight on December 31. One reason is the Y2K computer problem. You do know who is responsible for "two digit year", don't you? The United States Government, in its eternally shortsighted manner of doing things cheaply, decreed to all computer programmers "that thou shalt use only two digits for each year, whereby ye shall save us quibrillillions of monies, with which ye shall then line the pockets of our most high Senators, Congressmen, and other elected and appointed officials." Obviously, those in charge at the time hoped that a nuclear holocaust would occur before their error became public knowledge. Sorry that didn't happen, guys.
A much more likely possibility, in my opinion, is that the giant herd of cattle and sheep we call Civilization will be scared by all this talk of technology breakdowns and will lose its collective shit. You think I'm loopy? That's how the Great Depression started. A couple a guys on Wall Street got nervous and sold off some stock to cover their margins, the people buying those shares did the same and a landslide resulted that threw the entire world into a depression. All it will take is for the herd to lose faith in the dollar and everything will collapse. Life in America will not be like "The Waltons", it will be more like The Grapes of Wrath mated with Red Dawn.
Do something for me. Pick up that dollar you are going to leave as a tip and look at it for a moment. How much is it worth? Why? The answers are, 1) "A dollar" and 2) "Because it says so right on it and we all believe it". Is that gallon of milk at the grocery store, that you will pay $2.69 to purchase, any different from the gallon of milk for which John Boy Walton would have paid 20 cents at Ike Godsey's store? Not really. I know, I know, inflation is inevitable, blah, blah, blah.
Do yourselves a favor, folks. Start working on a barter network (there are lots around already if you look) and plan an escape route. The Self-Perpetuating End-Of-The-World Government-Promoted _ Thing could hit hard and fast.
See Ya."

Okay, I know that my final paragraph never came to pass, but I still stand by the rest.

04 March 2007

Vapid and Vacuous Vitriolic Venom via the VVeb

Okay, so I'm new to this daily web surfing thing, having only been IV'd to the 'net for about a month now, but I must say that I am really enjoying the ability to get more news than was available to me on the seven channels that I can pick up with my TV antenna. (Yes, folks, I have an actual antenna by which I receive free broadcasts through the atmosphere). I had long ago given up on the Big Three (ABC, NBC, and CBS) and depended on PBS' NewsHour and NPR to get my news updates. This was all well and good - as far as it went.

Unfortunately, NPR (at least here in the mountains of North Carolina) only has five minutes/hour of news, and the NewsHour is only on once a day. Granted, there is Morning Edition, All Things Considered and BBC Overnight, but... what if... what if Britney did something at 3:37pm or Anna Nicole came back to life at 10:46am? I wouldn't find out for minutes! And what if Ann Coulter called John Edwards a faggot? I wouldn't know for hours and then I would only have Carl or Scott or Corey's word for it.

Ahh, but having the tubes warmed up and being part of the internets, I can find these things out nearly instantaneously! No more anxious wondering at five minutes before the hour what Earth shattering thingy may or may not have happened! At any time day or night I can click on my bookmarks and go to Huffington Post, or Wonkette, or even the Washington Times (if I want to view the opposing viewpoint). And there it all is, in 12 point arial script, for my perusal.

And thus, we come to my actual topic. Once I read an item, I scan through the comments. This, I have discovered, is my favorite part. As an ingenue misanthrope (or is that misanthrope ingenue, I don't parlez the francais), I get a warm feeling in my loins whenever I follow any comment thread past the first few (normally) relative comments and reach the loony bin cries of "Troll!" and "Moonbat!' and "STFU!!!" Ahhh, constant reinforcement of the fact that most people on this Pale Blue Dot are dumber than a pile of warm cow dung. And these pea-brained people, both left and right, always take over the thread and scream at each other for page after page of comments. Then there are the (presumably) sane posters who try, to no avail, to return the 'discussion' to the topic, only to be buried in the offal of the bouncing off the wall crowd.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good cuss now and then (okay, all the time). I am, after all, a person who used to wear a button that said "Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck!" everywhere I went and who has to be constantly on guard when speaking to my elderly parents (both of whom have master's degrees in religion - in fact my mother was the first woman [thanks to alphabetical order] to graduate from the Duke University School of Divinity), lest I let slip with an expletive. But, come on, folks! It's one thing when you're sitting around smoking a bowl or sharing a glass of Chardonnay (to use two extreme examples) with your peeps/chums, but there are people actually trying to engage in civil discourse!!

So, please, all you people whose only contribution is to rant... STFU!!!!!!

01 March 2007

Here I Am, World!

I've spent several days staring at this page, wondering what I should address as my first topic, and have come to the conclusion that I got no freakin' idea! There's so much that is FUBAR in this country (Uhmerica) and the world that I become bogged down with ideas and can't decide which one to address first.
So I decided to just start things off by saying hi.
Hello, World!