31 July 2007
Let's Start August on a Fun Note!
What's Your Blog Wanted For?
Here's a tip if you do this one. You don't really have to put the URL, you can type in whatever name you want. For instance:
What's Your Blog Wanted For?
Okay, I played with the text (and the reward) on that one....
30 July 2007
Blog Note Update
Anyway, I have a question for you all today. I may, in the near future, be working for a software company as an online tutor for a new service that they expect to be rolling out in a few months. As part of our agreement, this company has suggested providing me with my very own connection to the interwebs tubes!
The problem is - I live in a camper. No (land) phone line, no cable (cable isn't even available to my neighbor). So, my question is, what other options are there? I understand there are a couple of satellite internet providers, but that there are also potential problems and limitations with at least one of them. Are there any other options, besides getting a landline (which would be complicated by the whole camper thing - and, based on the service my neighbor has been recieving (specifically, downgraded performance when it rains[!]) would not be my first choice, anyway)?
The aforementioned company is a family member's and, due to the fact that this new service (which is way cool, btw) has been in development for over a year, company finances are rather tight and I want to find the best combination of economy and service.
I would appreciate any information/suggestions.
28 July 2007
Another Blog Note
I may not be very active in the blogosphere for the next few days, as the internets DSL connection I am using is interfering (for some unknown reason) with regular phone service. As some of you know, the Secret Lair (aka '73 Winnebago) receives a wi-fi signal from a neighbor (with permission, I feel compelled to add). So, until said neighbor can get the situation resolved with
Keep my seat warm - and wish me the best for survival while not connected to the world.
And don't let the shit hit the fan while I'm offline!
27 July 2007
Awesome Personality Test
This is a way cool test, both the mechanics and the questions... allow several minutes if you want to do it.
(h/t to Samurai Frog)
26 July 2007
Campaign 2008 - On the Run
This post comes to you from my mobile campaign HQ, a 1972 Volkswagen Microbus. I have piggybacked onto a wi-fi network in order to ensure that this message, unaltered, makes it on to my blog. For security concerns, I cannot reveal my exact location.
The last week has been difficult, to say the least. I haven't slept in an actual bed, and my entire staff has been surviving on convenience store hot dogs and by dumpster diving. Why is this, you may well ask?
The truth of the matter is this: my erstwhile opponents have apparently teamed together to try and take me out. Unable to effectively provide responses to my platform, they have decided instead to attempt to remove me from the debate.
It all started last Friday. Phee and I were speaking at an ASPCA rally, entrancing thousands of young voters, when suddenly a band of EVIL LESBOTS showed up and started threatening everyone with their pink Glocks! It was a horrible situation. My aides barely managed to get me to safety. But did you see any of this on the news? No, what you saw was some media genuflecting about the Current Occupant's upcoming “colonoscopy“.
Coincidently, Dr. Zaius published this picture of me:
taken at summer camp, when I was a young pup, and in an "experimental" phase of my life. He added the caption: "Phydeaux Speaks has threatened to have his kitty poop in my driveway." That was my first clue that I was on a hit list.
On Saturday, I was speaking at the annual convention of the Canine Dental Institute (sponsored by Milk-Bone) and a horde of SCRUBBING BUBBLE SPEWING DALEKS materialized, claiming they were only trying to apply whitener to my teeth. Not even bloggers paid any attention to this - as they were too verklempt over the two hour Occupancy of Dick Cheney, while Dubya underwent his “colonoscopy” - at Camp David.
After which, I found out that Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein had made this claim:
Did you know that Phydeaux's running mate is a cat? And that Phydeaux is a Communist? And a practitioner of the black art of dentistry? If he gets elected that cat will pee everywhere and Phydeaux will pull all our teeth until we give him all our money. It's sick I tell ya, just sick.
At this point, Phee Lign and I decided that it would be best if we, for the time being, didn't travel together anymore, reasoning that no matter what, one of us would survive to carry on the fight.
I had hoped that these events were merely happenstance, but it was then that I discovered that the "time travelling" Sleestak had said:
Phydeaux was recently exposed as having sold American secrets to foreign countries in order to finance his campaign and disgusting personal habits.
It was now clear to me that these three “worthy” opponents had, out of sheer terror, banded together to try and discredit my campaign. As we prepared to board the “Straight Bark Express” to head for my next appearance, we were attacked by three sleestak - perhaps clones of the candidate by the same name - and my speech writer was savagely mauled.
Did you hear about any of this? Of course not, because my opponents contrived to have Alberto Gonzales appear before Congress (again!) to not answer questions and pull all media attention away from these attacks.
And so, I have had to take this campaign underground - and have hired two new advisers. An attorney (from Samoa) and a specialist, who has many medicinal aids to help me relieve my stress.
Due to these attacks, Phee and I have been unable to complete our platform. And yet, it is more complete than any of my opponents have managed to show:
25 July 2007
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me
My pirate name is:
Mad Jack Read
Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Even though many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the stereotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network
This "test" has some of the best questions and answer options of any of the ones I've seen/done!
(h/t to Icaia)
24 July 2007
Okay, really, the note is that I'm busy with "other things" but will be back a'postin' very soon!
23 July 2007
Health Care for Bill
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich is the only presidential candidate who has:
1) ALWAYS been against the war in Iraq, and introduced legislation "to end the United States occupation of Iraq immediately." The bill is surprisingly readable and quite short, so take a few minutes to read it and see if you don't agree.
2) Co-sponsored legislation to ensure universal, high-quality, not-for-profit healthcare for all Americans. All of the other Democratic candidates with healthcare plans leave ultimate control over your health in the hands of private insurance companies and HMOs, not doctors and hospitals.
3) Introduced articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors. If we do not impeach Cheney and/or Bush, then the powers of impeachment granted to Congress in the Constitution was for naught, because a stronger case has never been assembled against an elected official.
For more information, go to kucinich.us.
21 July 2007
I Don't Have a Title For This Post
Secret secrets of HARRY POTTER and the Order of Incompetence
Secret secrets of THE SURGEON GENERAL
Much thanks to Teh Portly Dyke for introducing me to this guy.
20 July 2007
The Tree of Liberty is Dying
This is not at all surprising, considering that he views himself as Chief Executive Officer of the United States. I find that odd as well, since the ballot I used listed candidates for President of the United States of America, not CEO of USA, Inc.. This is also not surprising, when viewed alongside his other administration appointments and decisions. The Administration Energy policy was developed by the oil industry. Cabinet members whose sphere of influence is the environment have deep and long ties to the same sector of business.(I offer the above extended quote to show that I am not a "Johnny-come-lately" to the cause of impeachment)
The Administration's statement's concerning power shortages in the West spoke only of building more power plants, not of responsible energy use. I find it unconscionable and incredibly stupid that the withdrawal from the Kyoto Accord was made, "because it would be harmful to American business interests." Is the definition of America business or people? How can you Americans allow this man to baldfacedly lie?!
Yes, the agreement would be detrimental to business - BECAUSE BUSINESS CARES NOT A WHIT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, OR CONTINUED LIFE ON EARTH, BUT ONLY ABOUT PROFIT!!!! Is the president (and I refuse to show respect by capitalizing the title) answerable to the People or not?
As far as I am concerned, this is an impeachable offense -a total disregard for the citizens of this country, and a complete kowtow to the gods of industry. Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning furiously in his grave (if you don't know what I'm referring to here, look up his anti-business stance in a history book). The Supreme Court elected president has insisted on denying a large (and growing) body of evidence concerning the effect that pollution is having on the world. The United States is the number one polluter of the environment on the entire planet, and his response is to build more power plants! What the Hell?!?!?
Since that time, we have seen
- tax cuts for the richest,
- gross legislative overreactions to the al-Qaeda attacks of 11 Sept 2001, under the guise of the "Patriot Act",
- a justified invasion of Afghanistan that morphed into an unjustified and immoral invasion of Iraq,
- more tax cuts for the upper income brackets,
- domestic spying (in the form of warrentless wiretaps),
- extra-constitutional imprisonment of "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo,
- federal subsidies to Big Oil - at a time when they were reaping record profits,
- more tax cuts for the wealthy,
- passing control of Medicaid drug coverage to Big Pharma,
- a reprehensible lack of response to the inundation of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast (except for the wealthy who have beach houses there) during and after Hurricane Katrina,
- attempts to privatize Social Security,
- and the annulment of habeas corpus.
- oh, yeah, more tax cuts for those who needed them the least,
- and many more....
In early May, the White House released the National Continuation Policy. On 3 July, the Current Occupant commuted the sentence of "Scooter" Libby, in an act that may well have been illegal - as Libby was convicted of perjuring himself in an effort to protect the Executive Branch, (putatively) headed by non other than the Current Occupant.
On Tuesday, the White House released "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq", that allows the Executive Branch to " ’starve out’ a person by completely freezing their assets, without trial, without the need to present evidence, and without appeal."
And just yesterday, two more attacks on Freedom in America.
First, a letter from the Pentagon to Hillary Clinton was leaked, that claims she "reinforces enemy propaganda" by suggesting that the Pentagon start plans for withdrawal from Iraq. This letter is enough evidence for Senator Clinton's assets to be seized under the aforementioned Executive Order - as well as anyone who has supported her.
Next, the administration claimed that "that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege."
This whole - totally unconstitutional - "Unitary Executive" business is totally out of control. Comparisons to fascism and
the Roman Empire are no longer exaggerated. If anything, they are not strong enough.
The Congress, and the Judicial Branch, must exert their constitutionally mandated powers of checks and balances and end these anti-democracy and un-American behaviors of the Bush malAdministration.
If the other two branches of "our" government don't rise to the occasion, it will be left to "we the people" to take matters into our own hands and put into practice what Thomas Jefferson said two centuries ago.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
UPDATE: Cheney takes over - temporarily (yeah, right)....
19 July 2007
Do We at Least Get to Pick the Prison?
READ THIS NOW!! (at Shakesville)
Time to learn this:
Official Lyrics of O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
and pack up and head north....
18 July 2007
RFP: Must It Be This Way?
And so the slinging begins. "Doctor" Zaius is accusing me, in Phydeaux Enters the Race! Already in the Doghouse with Women and Lesbians, of disdaining the “fairer gender”:
He has started his campaign off to a bad start, if you ask me. He has already shown his open disdain for both women and lesbians by refusing to acknowledge the candidacy of Germaine Gregarious. Perhaps this is his plan... Perhaps he is intentionally trying to create enemies?
My Good “Doctor”, are you perhaps ignoring my own co-candidate, Ms Phee Lign? Visit her blog to read her rebuttal of this slanderous simian speech.
17 July 2007
Warm up Those Internets Tubes
I would think that "someone" was intelligent (and somewhat of a punster). Why? Well, let's look at the definition of the word "primate":
1. Ecclesiastical. an archbishop or bishop ranking first among the bishops of a province or country.
2. any of various omnivorous mammals of the order Primates, comprising the three suborders Anthropoidea (humans, great apes, gibbons, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys), Prosimii (lemurs, loris, and their allies), and Tarsioidea (tarsiers), esp. distinguished by the use of hands, varied locomotion, and by complex flexible behavior involving a high level of social interaction and cultural adaptability.
Okay, then. This "someone" used a word that was appropriate for both of the above definitions. But BillO took the use of the word as an insult.
Here's the second:
Bill, I couldn't agree with you more!
The Faux Noise Charnel is TV's biggest hate site. I propose that "American customers... take a stand" and assure that FNC "be held accountable" for its' actions and hate mongering.
I tried to find a list of FNC's advertisers, without success (Google and I just don't get along - we think too differently, apparently). But if anyone out there has a list, I would sure appreciate a copy.
I really must thank BillO for making this so easy- to paraphrase Keith Olbermann:
"Bill Orally, the stupidest person in the world!!"
(video can be found at Shakesville, if you haven't seen it)
New Fox (Sports Net(?)) Preparedness Ad
Well, ain't this just wonderful?
Fear!! Fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Them A-rabs is commin' to getcha!!
(h/t to Father Tyme, commenting at The Dark Wraith Forums)
Hyperbole Weakens Debate
“I must say this really does make my day. ‘None of the Above’ has surged into the lead in the new GOP primary poll out from AP/Ipsos. The only thing funnier is that this is even surprising. McCain’s campaign has imploded. Giuliani’s the fading pro-choice contender, which is sort of redundant. People seem to be catching on to the fact that Fred Thompson is a one-term senator and lobbyist not Reagan 2.0. And that leaves you with Mitt Romney, the avatar of transcendent phoney-baloneyism. Okay, I’m done.”
Melissa adds a clip of Nelson's (from the Simpsons) signature "Ha ha!". While I join in the laughter most wholeheartedly, and it is most satisfying to see the discord and dissatisfaction in the GOP, I must object to the misleading wording of the quote.
From the actual poll, (page 9 of the pdf) we find that "None" is actually only 8%:
Other 2(once again, I apologize for my inability to align a table in my posts)
You may say that I'm picking nits here, but the wording is an exaggeration. I highly respect Marshall and Talking Points Memo (and read it every day), but by using hyperbole in his posts he is, IMHO, lowering himself to the level of the Faux Noise Channel.
I understand the temptation, but what we need in this country is more reason and less emotional reaching.
While I'm on the subject, I find the same tactics being employed by many people and websites that are left-leaning (and even totally fallen over to the left). A prime example of this is Robert Scheer - both on his website Truthdig and in his regular role as a commentator on the NPR program "Left, Right and Center". Scheer's arguments are less dissuasive because of his propensity to rant. I find it personally bothersome when I can more readily agree with the (in my opinion) far right Tony Blankley - whose positions are often antithetical to my own - simply because he puts forth reasoned arguments. I find myself feeling the same way when watching "The McLaughlin Group", which is even more disturbing because I sometimes find myself in agreement with none other than Pat Buchanon. Ick.
16 July 2007
Running for President: Part II
First, if you haven't yet, read Part I.
In Part I, for those who don't want to click on the link above, I spoke briefly about the Repellican and Demitasse candidates. What I would like to discuss in this installment is the burgeoning online candidacies of various and sundry. Wikepedia has a rundown of the declared Libertarian, Constitution, Green, multi, Independent, and Prohibition (?) Party candidates. I won't bother to go into those in detail - mainly because I don't know jack shit about any of them.
No, I wish to make you all aware of the growing group of frustrated individuals who are declaring their desire to sit in the custom made comfy chair in the Oval Office come January 2009.
First (as near as I can tell) there was Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein. Then came Dr. Zaius, Sleestak and Dr. Smith.
Now, as I said in Part I of this series, I think it’s a good thing that so many have expressed a desire to be President. I have no objection to the candidacies of the above named worthies. And, were they using this opportunity to discuss the topics germane to the day, I would be more than happy to give each of them serious consideration.
However, look what they are using this platform to do!
Typical primate behavior! Even Sleestak, who is reptilian, has given in to this despicable continuation of politics as usual here in the United States of ‘Murrika! Can no one stop this madness!?!?
These "candidates" are oh, so proud, of their intrigues and photoshop skills, and they expound - at great length - upon the evils of their opponents. This cannot stand! We must end the bipedal overlordship in this country!
These erstwhile worthies are merely perpetuating the primacy of bipedal perambulators - the so called sentient beings. It is time for the truly oppressed denizens of this nation to have a voice and a champion.
With all this in mind, it is with great humility that I, Phydeaux, 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 days, be explaining, in excruciating detail, the planks of my platform.
Unlike these other squabbling sentients, I have picked my running mate for the 2008 Presidential Election before announcing my candidacy. In a blatant effort to erase any species gap, and acceding to the established precedent of the Current Occupant, I hereby name Ms Phee Lign as my co-candidate. This move is guaranteed to get me the votes of all you hard-working cats out there.
Phee brings with her a long history of oratory to rival the biggest blowhards in Congress. I'm sure you've heard her at some time, expounding in an alleyway late at night. As we are still formulating her beliefs, it will have to wait until next time for you to hear directly from her. I can tell you at this time, however, that we are both in favor of food, clothing and shelter for everyone, regardless of their tax bracket.
Once elected, Phee will provide an invaluable ally in the Congressional cat-fights sure to ensue when we implement our sweeping socioeconomic changes. More on that in the future. For now, keep in mind our campaign slogan: "Choice 2008 -- Phee/Phy or Ho/Hum?" I smell the blood already...
¡Cumpleaños Feliz, Galón Azul!
A very happy one at that, to one who is an entire five days younger than yours truly. Pop over to her place and add your wishes....
15 July 2007
Won't Someone Think of the Kittehs!?!?
Running for President: Part I, Background
And boy, are the clown cars crowding city hall parking lots all over American as candidacy is filed. 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.
Oh, I forget myself. We use touch screen balloting now - all the better for to control the outcome, doncha know. And don't forget the added benefit that the machines are made, in part, of plastic, which helps increase the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn helps line the pockets of the Oil tycoons....
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. Big surprise there, huh.
Partisanship is out of control. The system is broken. Drastic measures must be taken. Let us consider some of the more well known candidates.
On the Repellican side, you have
On the Demitasse side, there are six white men - ranging form middle aged to old, moderately to very wealthy - a youngish Black man (not too bad off financially), and a woman (whose husband used to be President) who has lots of personal wealth. Their idealogies range from the Repellican in Demitasse clothing to the nearly Socialist. As Will Rogers (whose terms, "Repellican" and "Demitasse", I have gleefully taken to using) once said, "I belong to no organized party, I'm a Democrat!"
In the "other" column, we have: Mike Bloomberg - the former Demitasse, former Repellican, now Independent Mayor of NYC - whose personal wealth is on the sunny side of 5 billion dollars; Al Gore, who constantly denies that he has totally ruled out running - oh yeah, he's got gobs of money, too; Chuck Hagel, who has announced that he will announce his intentions to announce a potential candidacy at some unannounced point in the future; Fred Thompson, the lawyer turned lobbyist turned actor turned Senator turned actor who has announced that he will be entering the race if his next audition for a TV role fails. There are more, but I tire myself out trying to remembering them all....
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 her or his self, what beliefs to have and what choices to make... in Presidential elections and grocery stores.
At this point, I definitely have a preferred candidate, but I believe it is up to each person to decide, without considering the prevailing winds, on a candidate of choice. Which is why I favor a national primary - but not in February, which seems to be what's happening.
Haven't Done One of These in a While
Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?
Move over, Potter!
h/t to Rana (Frogs and Ravens)
14 July 2007
More on Impeachment
Both the video and a transcript of the discussion are available at the above link.
Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION's John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.
"The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch... They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check." — Bruce Fein"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools." — John Nichols
Related: My earlier post on The Case for Impeachment.
UPDATE: DCup has an excellent elaboration.
[O]ur mission is very clear: disarmament....our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people....a clear mission: to end a regime...and to free a people...Their mission is complete, and major combat operations in Iraq have ended....will complete our mission in Iraq....our mission all along, to develop the conditions such that a free Iraq will emerge...our mission is clear there, as well, and that is to train the Iraqis so they can do the fighting...We’re making progress toward the goal, which is, on the one hand, a political process moving forward in Iraq, and on the other hand, the Iraqis capable of defending themselves. And we will — we will complete this mission for the sake of world peace.… Advancing the ideal of democracy and self-government is the mission that created our nation — and now it is the calling of a new generation of Americans....our remaining mission in Iraq…By helping the Iraqi people build a free and representative government, we will deny the terrorists a safe haven to plan attacks against America....We will finish the mission. By defeating the terrorists in Iraq, we will bring greater security to our own country....we have a new strategy with a new mission: helping secure the population, especially in Baghdad.... [I]t’s the combination of providing security in neighborhoods through these joint security stations, and training that is the current mission we’re going through, with a heavy emphasis on security in Baghdad....It’s a new mission.
51 months worth of lies....
13 July 2007
The Republicans show up at the NAACP debate. Look closely at the picture. Nine pedestals (there's one offpic right), one candidate - Tom Tancredo. The other eight were "too busy". Write every newspaper and TV outlet you can think of and ask why this isn't news.
A Real 'Murrikan
I present to you, my friends, a product of Faux Noise indocrination. A true
Pay special attention to the last half.
What. A. Fucking. Tool.
Friday Cat Blogging: Memorial Edition
First, apologies for the poor quality of the above picture. It is a digital photo of an actual photo taken twenty (or so) years ago that I cleaned up as much as I could with my poor knowledge of GimpShop (the open source PhotoShopian program). She was actually very much focused.
That is Serena (aka Sméagol (aka Gollum)), who was my kitty for eighteen years and who died eleven years ago. The aka's come from when I first got her - she was the runt of the litter and stayed with her mother long after the other kitties had been sold (pedigreed [if that's the right term for cats] blue point Siamese). As a result of this, momma carried her around by the scruff, not wanting to lose her last baby, for months.
In the pic, she's laying in front of the woodstove in my parents house, which was her almost favorite spot in the winter (the absolute fave was under the woodstove). She's probably six or seven in the pic, I don't really remember.
Serena was seven months old when she joined the Speaks household, small enough to fit in the palm of my fifteen year old self, and had no fur on the back of her neck (from spending all that time in momma's mouth). My sister took one look at her and remarked on how much she (the cat, not the sister) looked like Gollum. I chose, however, to name her Serena (again, the cat, not the sister).
Over the years, "Smee" and I lived in many different places and she had the opportunity to reject several "cousins" (cats are supposedly happier in pairs, but I've rarely had two get along - although I've seen it repeatedly with friends' kitties). Up until the last few months of her life, she loved to chase crumpled up sheets of paper - it was her favoritest pastime.
I’ve been thinking about Serena a lot this week, after reading Fairlane’s Tribute to a Dear Friend.
One morning I awoke and she wasn’t in the bed with me. I went downstairs and found her in the living room, dead. That was truly one of the worst days of my life. She had been with me over half of my life. She had helped me cope with so many disappointments....
Even now, over a decade later, I’m still saddened to the point of tears when I think of that day.
Support Net Neutrality
Protect the Principles of Democracy
I am in the minority of poor people (my income is less than $15,000/year) who have broadband internet access. I do not have cable or satellite television and depend on the internet for news. I am a participating member of this democracy, having voted in every election (local, state, and federal) since I turned 18.
The number of credible news sources is decreasing as politics invades the newsroom. The days when we could tune in Walter Cronkite and hear an unbiased accounting of the days' news are gone. It is only by diligent searching that we can find the truth behind the spin. The internet provides the means by which we can find that information.
It is essential to free speech and equal opportunity for net neutrality to be upheld. If broadband providers are allowed to block, interfere with or discriminate against any lawful Internet traffic based on its ownership, or even political leanings, our democracy will suffer.
This proposed change would damage my ability to connect with others, share information and participate in our 21st century democracy and economy. I ask that you protect Net Neutrality and our open access to information and "the truth".
11 July 2007
Repellican Stall Tactics #1,846,742
Attention all Americans! Please take note that the Republicans have blocked an amendment that would reinvigorate the fighting morale of the US military!
And, at the same time, note that the following seven did manage to put the needs of the troops ahead of politics:
Norm Coleman, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Sununu, Chuck Hagel, Gordon Smith and John Warner.
Also note the Joe Lieberman (I[diot] - CT) voted against cloture. Does Connecticut not have measures for recall? And if not, why won't someone in the CT legislature propose measures to that effect?
Contact your Senators and express your opinions!
UPDATE: via Petulant, Webb issues a statement.
10 July 2007
The Sun is Actually Cooling
This is enough, one would think, to blow their claims out of the water. But, as we all are aware, denialists are adept at one thing - whether it's religious denial of evolution, political denial of the debacle in Iraq, or political/big bidness denial of climate change. Fuel has also been added to their claims by The Great Global Warming Swindle, which was broadcast on British television earlier this year.
As it turns out, though, there is "No sun link to climate change".
A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun's output cannot be causing modern-day climate change.
It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun's output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen.It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun's effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.
Writing in the Royal Society's journal Proceedings A, the researchers say cosmic rays may have affected climate in the past, but not the present.
"This should settle the debate," said Mike Lockwood from the UK's Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, who carried out the new analysis together with Claus Froehlich from the World Radiation Center in Switzerland.
Dr Lockwood initiated the study partially in response to the TV documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, broadcast on Britain's Channel Four earlier this year, which featured the cosmic ray hypothesis.
"All the graphs they showed stopped in about 1980, and I knew why, because things diverged after that," he told the BBC News website.
"You can't just ignore bits of data that you don't like," he said.
I can't wait to hear what the denialists have to say about this!
UPDATE: BBC video.
Without Further Comment
|You Are the Middle Finger|
A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem.
You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious.
However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!
You get along well with: The Index Finger
Stay away from: The Pinky
A Call to Action
As the voice over at the end of the video says - do something.
As you may know, I earn the meager (but satisfying) living that I do by working in construction and carpentry. Home Depot is on my way to most of the places I work, so they have been my default building supplier. However, with just a slight change in my route, I can instead pass Lowe's on my way into town.
I have figured out the difference in fossil fuel use (by going to Lowe's instead of Home Depot) and compared it to HD's loss of my tool and supply purchases (the profits of which are funding, in part, FNC, which, in turn, spews out lies concerning climate change - thereby implicitly promoting further greenhouse gas emissions) and have decided that this action will be carbon neutral and possibly carbon "negative".
I have already signed the petition linked above and suggest that you do the same - and make your DIY and/or commercial construction purchases somewhere besides Home Depot.
09 July 2007
The Case For Impeachment
Dear Senator Reid,
I'll make a deal with you. You press for impeachment with no whining about political costs, and I'll gladly sign on to your toothless complaint campaign.
Dr. Zaius disagreed with my theory (his post is not pro or con re: impeachment, but a well developed critique of those who declaim that the current Congress is "do nothing" - if you haven't read it, do so now!), and rightly so, as it was not really a theory - rather, it was an incomplete throwaway statement made because, well, mainly, I wanted to post the email to which I (apparently) objected.
It was not so much that I objected to the email and the sentiments it expressed. It was, instead, that I know deep down that even if every single citizen of the US were to complain to the WH about the commutation, it would make no difference.
Many others on the left have written on this - generally concluding that the commutation was in aid of protecting the Administration from the possibility that Libby would roll over and "spill the beans" on the machinations that led to the outing of a covert CIA agent, in order to marginalize former ambassador Joe Wilson's debunking of one of the key reasons we were given for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein.
Those on the right who have written on this have, for the most part, claimed that either Libby was unfairly prosecuted (and somehow in a partisan manner - even though the prosecutor and judges were all Republican appointees) - or that the sentence, for the correctly adjudicated perjury, was excessive.
I'm not going to get in to that discussion. If you have somehow missed it, just google "Libby commutation" (as of this writing, that search returns ~ 1,600,000 hits). What I want to talk about (finally, he's getting to his point!) is the growing desire on the part of the American public to impeach Cheney and Bush.
From what I have seen, there are basically three camps on this. One, "Get the bastards out of office!" Two, "I wish we could get the bastards out of office, but it ain't gonna happen, so why waste the time and money?" And, three, "This is nothing but partisan political theater!"
The people gathered around this campfire view the entire Bush Administration as a collection of hubris laden criminals who cheated their way into office (and re-election) and have willfully ignored and trampled upon the Constitution in their desire to further enrich themselves and their fellow businesspeople. From the secretive Energy Task Force - composed (as far as we have been able to determine) entirely of oil and other energy executives and operatives - all the way through dismissal of the Kyoto Protocol, tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, the attacks of 11 Sept 2001, the Patriot Act, the buildup to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, running roughshod over the Republican controlled Congress, the ever-changing reasons for and goals of our involvement in Iraq (although the oil revenue goals have not changed a bit), etc., etc., etc.; this camp of Constitutional idealists sees nothing but avarice and deceit in the current Executive Branch (and whatever the Constitutional location du jour is of the Office of the Vice President).
In the minds of those clamoring for "impeachment über alle", nothing is more important than holding BushCo to task.
The drum circle that surrounds this bonfire agrees with, for the most part, everything that the GtBOoO camp says, but looks at the makeup of the Congress (specifically the Senate) and has concluded that the impeachment process will never come to fruition - no matter how much evidence may be forthcoming.
And it also seems that that their greatest fear is a backlash from the voters come 2008 if impeachment fails.
Those that crowd around this sputtering, smoking fire built of green wood are the ones who put Party before State, and who will never agree, even should God him/herself appear before them and say otherwise, that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." They sit on their piles of money, assault rifles in hand, and stare in abject fear at the other two camps in the distance - knowing that, if those two should somehow join forces, their influence would be virtually wiped out. This camp excels in productions of the same political theater which they claim, loudly, on Fox News and other willing media pawns, that the "other side" is trying to initiate. They know that their only hope of survival is to inflame the politically naive and susceptible and to continue to convince those same people that those who have ever done all they could to "keep the masses in their place" are actually champions of those same masses.
So, the question you are probably asking is, in which camp does Phydeaux wish to pitch his tent?
In the comment thread at the linked Dr. Z post, I said (in part):
I do feel that to allow the Current Occupant to end his term of office and retire to his Paraguayan Safe Zone without answering for his disdain of the principles of American Democracy would do irreparable harm to the nation - and the memories of all who have fought (and even died) in support of those principles throughout our history.
to which, the good Doctor responded:
And I think that it is safe to say that the majority of us feel the same. My question is, is it logical or even sane to push for impeachment at this time? What would use for evidence, for example? What evidence of a crime do we have that Bush can't slime his way out of? Especially with Cheney or Roberts as the judge? And a 50% vote, because we have one man down. I ask you, how do we go about this logically? Perhaps you have an answer that I can't see, but at present I have not heard anything that sounds reasonable as of yet.
I will take this opportunity to respond to those questions.
"[I]s it logical or even sane to push for impeachment at this time?"
At the risk of being labeled an "emotional liberal", it is my belief that we may have reached a point where it is necessary to risk emotion (and even sanity) in order to protect the Constitution and the continued existence of Freedom that all who came before us in the history of the United States worked so hard to establish and maintain.
Remember the holiday we celebrated just last week? Was it logical or even sane for the Continental Congress (and the people of the Colonies) to declare themselves in rebellion against the most powerful Empire on the planet? The men in that chamber in Philadelphia pledged "to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." Can we, who have received the benefits of their actions, do any less?
"What would [we] use for evidence, for example? What evidence of a crime do we have that Bush can't slime his way out of? Especially with Cheney or Roberts as the judge?"
As I am neither a lawyer nor privilege to inside information, I cannot answer the first. However, it is incumbent upon the Congress - as a Constitutional mandate - to oversee the Executive Branch (and Cheney). In other words, it is their duty to pursue this matter, no matter what the outcome or consequences are. A debate on Articles of Impeachment would bring out the evidence (even though the matter will inevitably have to go through the courts), whatever that may be. If the evidence proves to be insufficient, then the Articles will be voted down. Only then would the matter go to the Senate.
As to the last of this group of questions - if the case were to make it to the Senate, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (Roberts) would preside. Cheney would have no role. And, as far as your fears regarding Chief Justice Roberts being the presiding judge are concerned - I have to believe that this would be an instance (even if there were no other) that he would have to rule only in his intended role - as a non-partisan adjudicator. To do otherwise would be to blatantly deny the role of not only himself, but the entire Supreme Court, as the final arbiters of law in the US.
Should he choose that route, however, I believe that it would signal the beginnings of a new American Revolution - because it would show that the entire system of government has been operating as a sham.
I have no idea what the outcome of any impeachment proceedings would be, but I would state again that I believe that it is in the best interests of the nation for the Congress to take up the matter.
And if, at the end of the day, the Senate fails to convict (assuming that sufficient evidence is brought forth) on the basis of partisanship - it is my fervent desire that the Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and all other parties and engaged citizens will take every opportunity to point out that Justice and the Constitution were subverted by the Republican Party.
To conclude, I would like to say that I hold Dr. Zaius in high regard and that I hope that my words will be taken in the spirit in which they are sent - merely as answers to his questions, not as criticisms of his statements.
Also, as part of my pledge to PortlyDyke, I will be sending my Senators and Congressman an edited and likely expanded copy of this post. I urge each of you to take PD's pledge and do the same (in your own words, of course - but feel free to quote me, if you must).
07 July 2007
More Python Hilarity
Some Saturday Fun
05 July 2007
Another Gender Myth Exploded!
Men talk every bit as much as women do, U.S. researchers said after painstakingly counting every word that 400 volunteers spoke.
Their study, published on Thursday in the journal Science, challenges the common wisdom that women are somehow biologically programmed to talk more -- but the researchers said people do often fulfill gender roles when it comes to subject matter.
"Women and men both use on average about 16,000 words per day, with very large individual differences around this mean," the researchers, led by psychologist Matthias Mehl of the University of Arizona, wrote.
16,000 words per day. Really? This was me today:
For a little while.
Do those side windows open?
Yeah, I was wondering when your husband would be home.
If you don't mind.
Yeah, I figured that out.
Four hours of actual work, then....
You want me to call in the morning?
All right. See ya.
Thanks. Have a good'n! Get inside where there's AC!
Hi, my name's ***** ****. ******* said he'd leave an envelope here for me.
Thanks. Have a good evening.
No, you go ahead. My stuff is in a cart.
That's all. 92 words. Now, granted, I was working alone today.
Oh, I forgot something. I did scream, "No it's not, you stupid pile of shit!" at the radio when NPR played some sound bite of the Current Occupant.
That makes 100.
For a more loquacious discussion on this (and for the link to the story about the study) go to Shakesville.
And, no, I don't think my gender has any bearing on the number of words I speak.
04 July 2007
Tagged by the Cap'n
Cap'n Dyke, Lesbian Pirate Queen & Rogue Blogger, has tagged me as a Thinking Blogger. I am deeply honored and somewhat taken aback. As I read posts around the blogosphere, I sometimes wonder why I bother doing any writing of my own. My own attempts to make a point (and hopefully a difference) seem somehow flat in comparison.
These are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.
And here are my choices:
The Cunning Runt at Little Bang Theory - It’s no wonder I like his writing; we often seem to be on the same wavelength topic wise. He makes very good points in his posts and is an excellent nature photographer.
PortlyDyke at Teh Portly Dyke (no, that's not a typo) - She’s only been blogging for a month, but already seems to have found her zone. It’s a beautiful zone.
BitterGrace at BitterGrace Notes - I became aware of this gem of a blog due to the recent DOS attack on Shakesville. BitterGrace “specializes” in sexy, fragrant nature posts.
Tata at Poor Impulse Control - I have been a lurker at Poor Impulse Control for months and may have posted a comment or two, I don‘t really remember (I don't really remember the late 80's either, so please don't be offended). Fantastic and moving writing.
Minstrel Boy at Harp and Sword - This one likely needs no introduction. For those of you who haven’t visited, I highly recommend his recent “Superstition Ride” series of posts.
So, there you have it. If any of you tagees choose not to 'play along', that's fine. You still might get a hit or two and out of this. If one person discovers you because of this post, I will have done something for the mutual benefit of our world.
Thanks again, Cap'n, for tagging me.
Open Letter to Harry Reid
For a while we've known that George Bush believes his administration is above the law. For anyone who still had doubts, yesterday he proved just that. By commuting Scooter Libby's sentence and removing his prison term, George Bush has disrespected the authority given to him in the Constitution.
We cannot let this moment go by without speaking out on this travesty of justice. Back in November of 2005, almost 70,000 members of GiveEmHellHarry.com demanded George Bush not pardon Scooter Libby. Now 18 months later we need to speak out again, just as forcefully.
Let George Bush know the disgrace he is bringing on the White House by commuting Scooter Libby's sentence:
The President's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence is disgraceful. His conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. During Libby's trial, evidence was presented that proved what we already knew.
When Joe Wilson courageously told the truth and exposed the deceitful behavior that lead up to the Iraq War, members of the Bush administration, at the highest level, sought revenge on him by outing his wife - a covert CIA operative. And no matter what right wing pundits say, none of those facts are up for debate. Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative and high-level White House Staff members destroyed her career.
Outing a spy has serious consequences to the security of our nation. But Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and others simply didn't care. And because of Libby's perjury and his obstruction of a federal investigation (the crimes he was convicted of) we will never know the full extent of this plot or its damage.
Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President's Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law. This action is nothing short of a continuation of the obstruction of justice begun by Scooter Libby.
Let George Bush know the disgrace he is bringing on the White House by commuting Scooter Libby's sentence:
This act cannot deter us. Democrats will continue to press forward with our oversight and expose the truth about this corrupt administration.
I went to the website Give 'Em Hell Harry, whence camest this missive, to respond. Unfortunately, I could not find a "contact" button. How odd.
So, I am forced (forced, I tell you!) to respond here:
Dear Senator Reid,
I'll make a deal with you. You press for impeachment with no whining about political costs, and I'll gladly sign on to your toothless complaint campaign.
What a cock-up this country has become.
03 July 2007
New Method to Cool Electronics, Harness Waste Heat and Sunlight
June 4, 2007 - University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars.
Hyar's the linkitude. And, yes, I know it's a month old - but I just saw it.
Happy Birthday, America
This is my favorite arrangement of this song. There's an annoying camera whine, but once they start singing it gets drowned out.
Oh, yeah. One more thing.
FUCK YOU, GEORGE W. BUSH!!!!
02 July 2007
It's All too Possible
16:42 19 January 2009
Due to the increased racial tensions following the disputed election of Barack Obama in the recent Presidential election, I, George W. Bush, do hereby invoke the National Continuation Policy (NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51 / HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20)
Effective immediately, the United States is under martial law. A national curfew is set from 10PM until 7AM local time. Anyone found in violation of this curfew will be held pending charges. Duly deputized units of Blackwater, USA will enforce this law, until such time as US Army and National Guard units return from the front in Iraq.
America is facing the greatest threat to the rule of law in its history. Until such time as the Supreme Court issues a ruling on the matter before them (Thompson -v- Obama), this order will stay in effect.
My fellow Americans, it is with the gravest of hearts that I invoke these powers. Rest assured that I do this in your best interests. God bless America.
And may whatever power exists have mercy on us all in the event that this scenario (or one similar) comes to pass. Based on the actions of the Maladministration of George W. Bush to date, it's not as far fetched as you might imagine.
What Would the Founding Fathers Think?
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.
I can think of no other statement that better expresses the danger of Theocracy. And no better counter to those who claim that the United States of America is a "Christian country". Except, possibly, this one:
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
And yet, a significant portion of the population of this country denies the second quote and seeks to institute a Theocracy. I have written before on the subject of "America as a Christian" nation and don't wish to repeat myself, but perhaps I should.
America was founded, for the most part, by people who had left Europe to escape persecution. The Puritans in New England, the Quakers (and others) in the Middle Colonies, and the Scots and Scots-Irish in the South all came here because of two things: the promise of land and to escape religious persecution. They were all 'others' in their homelands, and looked upon - at best - as second class citizens, or - at worst - as heretics.
One of the main concerns of the fledgling United States, after winning independence from Great Britain, was to assure that they would no longer suffer from religious persecution. This is why it is the First Amendment to the Constitution that says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
People often look at this one amendment as three separate items, but they are not. They must be viewed of a piece - co-equal. Those that wish a return to "our Christian roots" or to establish a Theocracy (though they will never use that name) with the Ten Commandments as the supreme law of the land, are guilty of no less than treason. That's right, treason.
Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution says, in part: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." Actively espousing ideas that are against the Constitution is, indeed, "levying War against" the United States - and in a more insidious manner than Radical Islam is.
As Sinclair Lewis said, “When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Theocracy and Fascism have a lot in common. Both depend on the suspension of reason, and the blind adherence to belief. Two years before his death, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter, "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind." The spirit of the Sage of Monticello is no doubt moaning in grief at what is currently happening in the nation that he helped to found. Televangelists openly pushing for the initiation of the "end times" and the Current Occupant of the White House holding that he has been "chosen by God" to lead the country. How far the country has fallen from its' founding as a bastion of freedom.
I end, as I began, with a quote from Jefferson (emphasis mine):
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)
(Blog Against Theocracy)
Careful of the Moat and Pitfalls
I couldn't be happier! Now, the pressure is off and I can go back to being a D-list blogger. Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and I'll see you over at Liss' place.
01 July 2007
You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.
Take the quiz at www.fightconservatives.com
H/T to Misty via Shakespeare's Sister.