MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Sunday, July 31, 2005

I don't have much energy to write all of what I wanted to write tonight, but let's just cut to the chase right here and now. Orange County sucks. I was in Yorba Linda today because Saccharine Trust played a gig. We were about a mile from Tricky Dicky's final resting place. The fascist vibe in the OC is thicker than the humid air has been these past few days. Ugh.

If California ever secedes from the Union, it is quite likely, to my mind, that Orange and San Diego Counties would probably ask to be annexed by Arizona. They do not belong to us. They are a concentrated slice of Red America. San Diego is only tolerable during Comic Con because you can hang with fellow geeks and avoid the locals. Orange County isn't even tolerable during Anime Expo, dammit.

I can't figure out why Doc Rosow can tolerate living in the OC.
I couldn't. I can't figure out why Chaz and Library Lynn can tolerate it either. They'd have to throw me into a rubber room if I spent more than a few days there.

However, I did find out a happy thing about Midori-chan the Wonder Wagon: it handled the trip to Yorba Linda and back with grace, style and without major effort. No overheating, no problem. Perhaps it can do the Santa Barbara run? Hmmm...I suppose we'd have to figure out whether Amtrak fare for both Richie and I would beat gasoline prices to see if we can make it work.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

National Health Insurance: if it's good for Toyota (and GM) it's good for America.

Toyota has had plants in the United States for over 20 years now. The car we recently had to get rid of because an uninsured, unlicensed motorist plowed into it was built at the Toyota/GM NUMMI (I don't know what that acronym expands out to) Plant in Fremont, California, US. It had a Chevy bow-tie and a "Nova" nameplate but in reality the thing was almost identical to the Toyota Corolla of the same model year. For a while there, Japanese companies were getting into joint ventures with American auto companies, and even setting up plants of their own, mostly in Southern, right-to-work states.

However, due to several considerations, the Japanese are no longer looking to the US to build plants. Korean company Hyundai is still going ahead with their plans. But Toyota in particular is looking to our Neighbor to the North for future expansion.

Why is this? One consideration is the crappy state of education in America, particularly in the "faith-based" Southern states. Pre-literacy is such a pervasive problem there that Toyota had to produce a pictorial version of its manual for operating certain machinery at its Alabama plant. However, this is not the only reason why they chose Canada over the US for its new plant, which will be dedicated to building the popular RAV-4 mini-SUV.

Health insurance is beginning to choke the life out of many industries in America. GM is currently strangling on a $5,090 per employee bill for private health insurance. Toyota sees what is going on with its partner in Saturn and opts to build the new plant in Canada, where health insurance is not an issue. In spite of efforts to "reform" Worker's Compensation in California, Worker's Comp insurance is still skyrocketing through the roof. The crippling supermarket strike in Southern California was all about attempts to change health insurance by Management. People sue motorists in personal injury lawsuits because personal injury coverage in car insurance policies is insufficient. There is a frightening percentage of people across America without health insurance. Neither I nor my husband have insurance, which is insane. If it weren't for the FamilyPACT program and the LA County Public-Private Partnership, I'd not get any health care.

It is time to stop the madness. A universal, single-payer health care system would make America competitive again for the manufacturing jobs that lift people out of poverty and into the Middle Class. Failing that, the effort to bring single-payer health insurance to California is something worth getting behind. It would solve, in a single stroke, many of the problems that currently plague California and cause potential employers to look elsewhere to set up shop. I am not sure about the status of SB 840, but last reports are that it passed the State Senate in May. However, it is quite likely that Governor Gropenfuhrer will veto the bill if it crosses his desk, driving home the need to unseat him in 2006.

Here are some links to the facts:
Toyota 'moves forward' to Canada (NYTimes, soul-sucking registration required)
Scranton Times-Tribune: A Striking Trend
Health Care For All California: SB 840 and other advocacy for a California-wide single payer health care solution

Friday, July 29, 2005

On leaving a site I used to be a heavy participant on:

I posted a very personal post during a discussion of anti-Choice Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's policies on Plastic. It was responded to with a very snarky post which said that my views on abortion were the opposite pole to Operation Rescue, and that somehow I advocated baby killing.

Here is my response.

OK, I'll clarify further.

In a situation where it is a choice between the life and limb and health of a woman, and the "life" of a fetus, that it is, to use your turn of phrase, abhorrent and inhuman to force the woman to carry said pregnancy to term at her peril. The life of the already born and living human being trumps that of the potential life.

What absolutely drives me up a wall is the fact that a lot of the anti-Choice folks out there cannot see the life of the already born woman as more worthy of protection than that of "the poor unborn baby."

Also mark well: after the "unborn baby" actually is born, most of the anti-Choicers have no regard whatsoever for that new baby's life and welfare. The same people who protest most vigorously against Abortion are also people who believe that we should get rid of programs like WIC and Head Start and privatize the schools, etc. These are also the same people who are totally rah-rah about the Iraq War, believe in a strong and draconian Death Penalty, believe that the rights of fictional corporate "persons" trump those of real human beings, etc.

I think it is personally not right for a woman who is very far along in a pregnancy, say beyond the sixth month, who decides to get an abortion because she doesn't like the latest fashion in maternity wear. I think it's personally not right for a woman to abort a child because her husband wants sons and she is pregnant with a daughter. I think it's personally not right to get recreational abortions or use abortion as a form of birth control. However, I have never known anyone who has had an abortion in any context other than philosophical agony. It is not a decision that any woman arrives at lightly. It is a last resort.

I believe in Clinton's maxim about abortion: Safe, Legal, and RARE. I believe that contraception and real education about sexuality (not faith-based "abstinence education") is necessary to prevent abortion. I believe that research into making contraception more safe and more reliable is you realize that there hasn't been a new type of birth control in decades? My primary reason to get my tubes tied has to do with concern about long-term side effects of being on Depo-Provera. The political aspect is only secondary. Nobody really understands the long-term side effects of being on hormones for extended periods of time.

The Religious Reich is not only targeting abortion in their initiatives, but contraception. Note well that the Griswold decision is in the sights of GW Bush and his fellows in the Faith as well as Roe.

In this environment, do you blame me for feeling how I do? Do you blame me for feeling under attack and under siege by people who have more power than I do?

I am not going to participate any further on this website. I have instructed Carl to remove my account. I shared something intensely personal and got called a baby killer for it. Thanks a lot, sons of bitches. I hope you get reincarnated as an Afghani, Iraqi or Iranian woman next time around so you can understand where I'm coming from.

Yeah, on August 10th I will be going under the knife and getting my tubes tied. There, I said it. I don't want to be in a situation where, as a 41-year-old woman going on 42 years old, I have to face the hobson's choice of continuing with a hormonal method of birth control I've been on for 11 years or going off the Shot and taking my chances on my fertility being naturally lower now than it was 11 years ago. I had horrible periods before my doctor put me on the Pill to control them at age 15, so something like an IUD would be a bad risk. I was taken off the Pill and put on the Shot because my blood pressure was spiking due to something resembling Gestational Preeclampsia. Other options are simply too prone to failure.

Basically it was this or nothing. I don't want to roll the dice anymore. If I could choose to get a hysterectomy I would, because it would be more final and more sure than a tubal ligation. I don't want to continue the hormones until I hit Menopause. I hate needles, I hate shots. I hate being a human pincushion. One shot every three months is too much.

I don't want to be put in a situation where I have any chance of being forced to be a human incubator for 9 months for a child I do not want and cannot afford. However, this is where I fear my country is headed. A rollback of Women's Rights to the point where we are reduced to being walking wombs rather than human beings entitled to equal protection under the law.

Unless someone takes control of the wheel and steers the Ship of State 180 degrees in the opposite direction than the tack we're on, I can only see the future of Women in America as being similar to our unhappy sisters in Afghanistan and Iran and increasingly in Iraq. One of the blogs I link to is called "Welcome To Gilead." Read "The Handmaid's Tale." It isn't Sci-Fi anymore. I suspect they'll ship me off with the rest of the Unwomen to clean up toxic waste. Halleluyah. :-P

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Well, I got some good news with regards to one of the computer "missions of mercy" I've been in the process of facilitating since returning from Comic-Con. My good friend Brian from SFVLUG has a functional lappie again.

I was able to turn the computer karma I have accumulated over the years of running Ms. Geek's Home For Orphan Computers towards making sure someone who should always be equipped with a functioning lappie due to the fact he's trying to make a living as an itinerant software engineer is actually equipped with one. One of my fellow SFVLUGgers, Nick, offered me his 600e. It's basically a twin to my BlueTomato: 400MHz. Mine has a combo drive that was retrofitted, his had a CD-RW that unfortunately died before it could get to Brian. His had a 20GB HD that died, mine has a 40GB HD. I told him that instead of giving me, of "too many computers" fame, the machine, he should give it to Brian. His Compaq's display would occasionally flicker off, and to get the picture back he would violently whack the thing around. Just before Nick and Brian could get together, the Compaq died completely. Unfortunately we couldn't get it to him before the Compaq kicked off, but at least we got it to him to where he wasn't long without one.

Note that I mentioned not a singular mission of mercy, but plural missions of mercy. I'm hooking up another friend with my beloved 600e, and moving up in the ThinkPad foodchain to a 600x. Thank you, Tom Reed: this friend has become involved with the ToonMag.Com/The Cartoon Geeks project, and this is why he's participating in this particular mission.

The 600x arrives tomorrow and will get the standard treatment: booting from a live CD to check the fitness of the machine, a test install of Debian Sarge or maybe Ubuntu on the provided hard drive, a swap of the provided CD with the Combo drive, then preparation to transfer the 40GB drive in my 600e to the 600x, and installation of a 30GB drive in the 600e. The one sticking point is going to be installation of another SO-DIMM in the 600x. I don't have it now. It will have to come later.

When I get both working to my satisfaction, I'll send the 600e to my friend up North and begin life with my new 600x. Yes, it is a major upgrade: 600e is 400MHz Pentium II, 600x is 500MHz Pentium III. Same basic chipset, new generation of chip. Big difference for video and audio geeking: Streaming SIMD Extensions. Linux audio and video apps are pretty much all optimized to take advantage of what Mike Magee, who started The Register and is now at The Inquirer, calls "Screaming Sindies." My buddy Chad seems to thing that audio will work right out of the gate with the 600x. As anyone who has read these pages knows, I have had constant battles with audio on my 600e. It's complicated to explain why this is the case with the 600e but suffice it to say that the implementation of audio on that particular model ThinkPad is ideosyncratic to say the least.

Anyway, all this, and Tuesday I still have to take that damn "Microsoft Literacy" exam. Bleah.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If Treason isn't enough, then perhaps maybe nookie? This seems to be the new tack that Kos is taking with regard to Karl Rove. And frankly that makes me very, very disappointed.

Why is it that things like lying about the casus belli for the Iraq War and outing a CIA agent for cold-blooded revenge are not enough to get people outraged? Why is it we have to bring S-E-X into the picture? I suppose it's because of the very fact that Dubya is getting away with far worse things than an Oval Office Blow Job, and that the outrage level is still so low. So we go the predictable route. Karl Rove has a girlfriend! Nyah nyah nyah nyah NYAH nyah!

Yeah, I know this is war. Yeah, I know that Rove's played the nookie card in the past, and in a certain way turnabout is fair play. Yeah, I know that there's been a fair amount of schadenfreude about Gannon/Guckert and his vocation as a gay escort. But still, this is beneath us. It's all about the TREASON. It ain't about the sex. Whether Karl Rove has one mistress or many mistresses or is getting plooked up the butt by Gannon/Guckert is immaterial to the issues at hand with regard to Mr. Rove. His sexual behavior neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. His behavior in leaking Valerie Plame's identity is the issue at hand. Let's keep our eyes on the ball, shall we?

Monday, July 25, 2005

In regards to Karl Rove/Treasongate:

Don't pretend that nothing is wrong.

Read this post. Read through it well. Follow the links.

Next, read this. Yes, the writer is Joe Wilson's lawyer, but it gives a bit of insight into the human cost of what Rove did.

Someone's got to stop this monster. Karl Rove is, in my opinion, a far more dangerous man to the United States than even Osama bin'Laden. This vile Machiavellian puppet-master needs to get 30 days before a firing squad. And the truth of the matter is that he'll wind up getting off scot free like Oliver North did. Fearless prediction: he'll have a "hot talk" show in 5 years time. None dare call it treason...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Could the Nov. 8th Budget-buster Special Election be called off???

It looks like Herr Gropenfuhrer is trying desperately to find a way to cancel the Special Election. He seems to know, in that steroid-shrunken brain of his, that the Special Election has hurt him a lot more than it has helped him.

However, "unringing the bell" will require a 2/3 majority of the legislature and Ah-nold's John Hancock.

In this "reporter's" opinion, calling off the election is something that will only benefit the beleaguered State of California. The money which has yet to be spent could be parceled out to other pursuits, and we can call a bit of a "time out" and get something done about the problems that still face us before the political machines crank up for the 2006 fight over the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento. It means that we Dems can save some money which would have been spent fighting this travesty and use it to kick Ah-nold to the curb. Sure, letting the election go ahead would mean great political theatre and another issue to use against the Governator in 2006. But the minuses outweigh the pluses. What if those horrible measures pass? What then?

It's time to come together and stop this Special Election madness. Then it's time to get ready to say "Hasta la vista, baby" to California's answer to Jesse Ventura.

Here's some coverage:
Arnold in retreat on Nov. 8th vote: SF Gate
Is cancellation an option? SD Union Tribune

Yee-haw...London cops go Cowboy on hapless Brazilian tourist.

Well, the mysterious guy in the coat was no shadowy, swarthy, Islamic terrorist...he was just a swarthy tourist from Brazil who spoke Portuguese and did not understand what the cops were screaming at him to do.

There was no 'suicide vest' under his overcoat. He had no ties to al'Qaeda or any other terrorist organization. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Jolly good, boys. Maybe you can come work for LAPD when you get kicked off the force in London. :P

Friday, July 22, 2005

I haven't posted here, basically because I haven't had much to say.

The first big heatwave of the summer is in progress, and it really is doing a lot to dull my mind. It is not only hot now, it's freakin' humid. The heat and humidity is sapping both my mental and physical strength.

Regarding the incidents yesterday and today in London: really bad situation. It's almost like these were done exclusively to rattle an already shaken populace. And today, the inevitable knee-jerk reactions begin. The young man who was shot to death this morning was behaving strangely, and some Blair administration officials are saying the guy was "directly linked" to terrorism, but the facts have not come out about some important salient points:

1.) Was the guy armed?
2.) Did they find explosives on him?
3.) Didn't the cops think twice about shooting a guy who might have explosives on him and trigger the explosives?

Really, really stupid move. If he was wired up with explosives and the shooting caused the explosives to go off, it would have been just as bad as if he had the chance to activate the explosives himself. Seems like the "special patrols" in London have been getting instruction in cowboy tactics from the LAPD and the LA County Sheriff's Department. :P

Sadly it also seems like the Dems are rolling over on this Supreme Court nominee. WTF? He's an unqualified choice with anti-Choice, anti-Roe views. I suppose all this servile showing of bellies has to do with a belief that "if we don't confirm him, Bush will put someone worse out next." Bullshit. Right now Bush is wounded. His 'brain' Karl Rove is in deep trouble and so is Dick Cheney's chief-of-staff Scooter Libby. The papers that Rove and Libby shared with the press were marked SECRET, with a special designation not to share them with friendly foreign governments. Eventually this will go all the way to the top, just like in Watergate. Bush might have to actually trot out a moderate candidate for the Supreme Court if he finds himself in a position where he has to deal with questions about the legality of his "people's" actions. Instead of throwing red meat to his base, if we hang tough and act as a true opposition party, he might have to throw us a bone.

I have already contacted Sen. Boxer about my belief that she should fight Roberts and fight him hard. Will she listen to me? I have no illusions that she will. She knows what side her bread is buttered on, and it's not buttered by a poor middle aged woman who is trying to finish her degree in hopes of a second chance in life. sigh...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Here we go, kiddies...

This is Dubya's choice for Supreme Court Justice. His name is John G. Roberts, Jr. And he is a grade A, class 1 anti-Choice motherfucker.

To wit:

"[W]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled. The Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion...finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

This bastard needs to be Borked. Big time. These are extraordinary circumstances. Filibuster the stuffing out of him. Block that kick.

Completely coincidental (but not unrelated) to this decision is that I made my appointment to get my tubes tied. I go under the knife on August 10th at 10:30am. I will be knocked out completely and the procedure they'll use is the so-called "mini-Lap." Hopefully this will be enough time to be completely healed by the time of my first day of classes at Woodbury.

Again, George W. Bush shows his real opinions about the American public, specifically if you are a woman:

Monday, July 18, 2005

Back to the Mundane World.

San Diego Comic-Con 2005 was almost as exasperating as I thought it would be, and it was almost as fun as I thought it would be. Ultimately everything balanced out and I feel really good about having gone this year.

Lowlights included a lot of stress and storm over our accomodations. The SDCC's travel agency partners' site does not have a good explanation about travel agency shorthand about hotel rooms. We paid for a triple/triple which would seem to be a three-room suite with three beds, one in each room. Turned out it was a single room with two King beds. Fun. Hopefully next time they will have helpful explanations for those people who aren't veteran Road Warriors. (K'plah!) Other lowlights were the chronic crowding problems that seem to be endemic to SDCC, irrationally planned-out shuttle bus routes, and humid weather.

Highlights included meeting up with old and new friends, a bunch of wonderful panels, the news that Ralph Bakshi is returning to feature animation, the annual Manhwa compilation from the South Korean Cultural Ministry which again seems to be translated (with hilarious results!) by the same translators that worked on the video game Zero Wing, and not one, but three free T-shirts.

It looked like the big item everyone seemed to want were lightsabres. Not the Kenner plastic glorified flashlights, mind you. We are talking the ultra-deluxe fluorescent (or are they neon?) lightsabres that people can spar with and which have sound effects from the movie that activate when the thing is waved around or the "blade" hits something. They are something like $200 but it seemed like every other person had one. I even saw kids walking around with them! Exempli Gratia:

Isn't little chibi-Vader adorable? Especially with that Clone Trooper guarding him? As always, the costume/cosplay competition was fierce and furious at this Comic-Con. Since I would be so weighed down by the stuff I was carrying while on the floor I didn't get any cosplay pictures. I don't know if I will ever set foot on the SDCC floor in costume because it's so intimidating, all those total pros out there with costumes worthy of the movies. Anime Los Angeles is different because it's smaller. It's also got another's close. It was hell carrying around all the stuff I brought for SDCC, and I was pretty much pared down to essentials. A-LA is in my backyard, only a few minutes away by car and two bus hops away.

Anyway, it's over, and I think all in all it went well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Gropenfuhrer and the Treasonous Troll

Yeah I know I was going to not post here but I had to put this up. Just in case anyone was going to say that Ah-nold is somehow "different" from other Repugnicans. He isn't. And he takes his orders from the same guys. I hope you think about this long and hard between now and November 8th. And think about it even more when this bastard stands for re-election. Just say NEIN.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I'm going to take a break from blogging here, but I'll be blogging over here:

We will be launching either on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. This is an outgrowth of my participation at Toon Magazine Online. Unlike this blog, The Cartoon Geeks' Blog will be a team effort.

See you after Comic-Con!
Ms. Geek

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cross-posted from DailyKOS...

A friend of mine in London speaks.

My friend Jan is a Canadian who lives in London, hence she has the nickname Canadibrit amongst my friends and net-friends. She wrote a wonderful essay in her Live Journal blog (don't laugh) which I felt deserved a wider airing. Take it away, Jan...

Open Letter To A Terrorist @ 09:40 am

Dear People Who Blew Up Our Public Transport Yesterday,

Well, that was quite the stunt you pulled, wasn't it? I mean, seriously -- four explosive devices, and possibly four lives (if suicide bombers were involved), and you managed to severely disrupt the entire London public transit system. But then again, so do leaves on the tracks, the wrong kind of snow, the wrong kind of rain and people looking at it funny.

Oh, yeah, and you killed people, and hurt lots more. Way to go. Someone Up There is going to have words with you about that, particularly if you did it in Their name.

Honestly, guys, I have a vague understanding about the point of terrorism. It's supposed to be about instilling fear into the population and the government in power, predominantly so that any demands you have will be met or any causes you may support will at least be recognised. It's a power play; we all know that. And to be fair, you went about it in a pretty impressive way. Or would have, if you hadn't picked London as your target. Let's look at London's history, shall we?

1666 -- the Great Fire of London. A baker in Pudding Lane forgot to douse his oven and started a conflagration that burned for five days and destroyed most of the city.

7 September 1940 through 16 May 1941 -- the Blitz. The Germans bombed the UK, focusing mostly on London.

4-7 December, 1952 -- the "Great Smog". A high-pressure weather system trapped pollution and smog near the ground, and respitory and cardiac distress killed some 4,000 people.

June 1982 -- The IRA begins a bombing campaign that will last for one and a half decades by blowing up Hyde Park and Regent's Park. Between this point and the cease-fire in 1997, the IRA bombed Harrods, Downing Street, the City and Canary Wharf, and that's just the main ones.

18th November, 1987 -- King's Cross station burns, trapping thousands of people inside.

April 1999 -- a nail-bombing campaign from a group known as the White Wolves, targeting the pavement outside a supermarket on the high street in Brixton, a car boot in Brick Lane and the Admiral Duncan pub on Old Compton Street.

I think you see the point I'm trying to make here. London is a city of survivors, of people who can turn around, look destruction in the eye and say, "Meh; we'll sort it when things have settled". And then they do. People get hurt, people get killed, but they will not be beaten. These people remember Winston Churchill, no matter how young they are.

So what were you trying to achieve? I've heard nothing about your cause. I don't know your agenda. And you've certainly made no demands, because the laughter of a few million refusing-to-be-cowed Londoners hasn't reached me yet. Seriously, I want to know why you did it. If it was in the name of Islam, you're a lunatic. If it was because we were involved in the Iraq war, you're punishing the wrong people. If you want anything from us, you won't get it. After all, you haven't got the reaction you wanted, so why expect anything else?

And the final question: was it worth it? Was this reaction -- was the small amount of carnage, the mild, transient fear that you did manage to instill in people, the panic of a man who doesn't even run this country (because let's face it; Bush looked terrified) and the questionable notoriety of being the cause of yet another public transport fuck-up -- really worth the expense, the loss of your own lives if you were suicide bombers, the risks? Was it really worth it when people are banding together and muddling through, and frankly creating the exact opposite atmosphere to the paranoiac culture you apparently want?


A London denizen

The original LJ post is at this URL:

I think that says it all, doesn't it?

Cheers, Jan!

Michelle aka MamasGun (DailyKOS and Plastic) aka Ms. Geek (here and at Slashdot)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We are all Londoners today.

There is tentative word that an al'Qaida cell has claimed responsibility: link.

If this is correct, George W. Bush deserves some of the blame for this. If we had put our all into eviscerating al'Qaida after 9/11, we would not have seen this. Instead, Bush drew down US forces in Afghanistan six months after 9/11, in preparation for the Fool's Errand, this imperialist war on Iraq.

My husband wept today. I just got angry. My only netfriend in London seems to be fine. So now I'm left with a great deal of anger. My stomach is churning with bile. Al'Zawahri, the second-in-command of al'Qaida, sent a video message within 3 weeks of this incident, and there is a clear pattern between Al'Zawahri messages and al'Qaida attacks.

This is partially your fault, George. Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Duhbya: crappy crappy birthday, baby...

I hope when this day rolls around in 2007 you will be celebrating it in Leavenworth. I hope that you will have been frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs and leg irons after being impeached and removed by a new Democratic majority Senate and House of Representatives. I hope that all the war criminals who infest your administration are treated similarly. As Was Not Was once said in a song, "Happy birthday from JAY-YUL!"

I hope that the emissaries from other G8 countries are making this birthday miserable. The Germans, the French, the Canadians...I hope they are giving you all the crap you deserve for your arrogant, over-inflated, messianic foreign policy. You once said that your foreign policy was going to be "humble." In praxis, your theme song should be "It's Hard To Be Humble When You're As Great As Me". You are a modern-day Caesar, bestriding the world like a colossus. Well, don't forget that your nutsack is pretty exposed when you bestride the world, dear Leader.

You have 1,746 American families who are mourning the loss of one or more sons or daughters or even fathers or mothers because of your lies that sent them to fight and die in Iraq. Some "Mission Accomplished," eh Mr. President? On the occasion of the 1,776th American serviceperson killed in Iraq, will you do the same as you always have and not attend the funeral?

You wink at torture we turn around and condemn less developed countries for. Places like Gitmo and Abu Ghraib are now going to live in infamy in history, right next to the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the Gulag Archipelago, Ile du Diable, the dungeons of the Auto Da Fe, and, yes, the extermination camps of Nazi Germany. No, I will not apologize. It's true. You have guaranteed that the United States of America under your watch will be spoken of in the same breath as Stalin's USSR and Hitler's Germany. The Founders hurl their scorn at you from their graves. How dare you reduce their glorious dream to a mockery? How dare you sully the Flag they bore into battle against Imperial England? Whose side would you have been on back in the 1770s? Hint: I suspect Benedict Arnold would be one of your homeboys.

I hope this birthday is miserable, I hope your next birthday is worse, and I hope you spend your next birthday after that in prison. Fuck you very much, George.

Monday, July 04, 2005

OK, here's my thoughts on patriotism.

1.) Dissent is patriotic. Decrying dissenters as unpatriotic is not.
2.) The American Flag belongs to Us as much as Them. Don't be afraid to fly it. Although you might consider flying it upside down as a symbol of the distress we are in under the GW Bush Administration.
3.) Disagreeing with the war but going off to serve anyway is patriotic. Cheerleading for the war but not being willing to sign those enlistment papers and go off to serve is not.
4.) "My country, right or wrong" is not patriotic. "My country, right AND wrong" is. This is my country, regardless of whether I think it's on the right or wrong track. And it behooves us, if we see the country headed down the wrong track, to get it back on the right track.
5.) Some of the Founders were deists. Some, like Ethan Allen and Thomas Paine, were downright Atheist. Patrick Henry, on the other hand, was a professing Christian. He was in the minority among these interesting folks.

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Life is weird. That's all I have to say. Life is freakin' weird. Especially when you observe it through the kaleidoscope that is The Internet.

Slashdot basically put a full nelson on the BBC's download bandwidth today. Why? Was it a whole mess of Dr. Who episodes for download? Hitchhiker's Guide radio show episodes for streaming? No, it was an article about how BBC's all-classical Radio 3 had offered five of Beethoven's symphonies for mp3 download. The stereotype of the typical Slashdotter is that of a guy who listens to techno remixes and This Week in Tech on his Neuros Hard Drive media player while "leveling up" in some massively multi-player role playing game. Hardly the audience for classical music. Well, for good or for ill they are becoming an audience for classical now.

The files are available in other corners of the Internet now, including one of my favorite sites of all time, Archive.Org. If you search on Beethoven you will find almost all the files, plus as an added bonus a whole bunch of Camper Van Beethoven concerts from etree. But I suppose it's best to get them direct from the source, if only so Auntie Beeb will know just how many people are interested in this in the future.

The Slashdot thread about this subject has to be the one I have participated in the most in a long while. The thread was very handy for finding alternate places to snarf the files from, and I would report back as to how well or badly I was doing with them. As a response to a person who was bellyaching about the lack of quality, I wrote:

These are perfect for my cheap-ass MP3 CD player, which will hard lock (pull the batteries!) if given an MP3 file it doesn't like.

This will be a nice companion for my trip to San Diego Comic-Con. ^_^ BTW the site is holding up quite well to my 133c|-|1|\|6. Goddess bless DSL bandwith is rocking hard too.
Welcome to Planet Baka. Enjoy your stay.

Anyway, the leetspeak is meant as sarcasm, and the rest? Well, it's just me being myself.

Some guy going by the nick of Blakey Rat had to comment about my's his comment in its entirety...

Ok, between the trip to the Comic Con, the Japanese smiley, the 1337-speke, the "Goddess bless", the "Planet Baka" sig, and owning a buggy MP3 player that barely works because it's cheap-ass...

I have to say that that post is the geekiest thing I've ever read in my life by far. I don't know whether to congratulate you, or curl into a ball and cry.
- There is absolutely nothing in my journal []

Well, I don't know anyone else who has a nickname that is a direct warning about who and what you are dealing with. Yes, I'm geeky...I'm Ms. Geek, dammit! (You have to imagine that line said by Eddie Murphy in a Gumby suit.) I've had this nickname since Goddess only knows when. Yes I'm a geek, nerd, Otaku, dweeb, Poindexter, "professor," whatever else you want to call me. Yeah, I'm going to Comic-Con, and I will be freakin' BLOGGING about it! Damn right I'm a geek. I wear it proudly.

In other news, a couple of weeks ago the Vice-President of the Heritage Foundation, an ultra-Right Wing thinktank, got into a road rage dustup with a 105-pounds-soaking-wet ex-Ballet Dancer turned "communications assistant" on a bike. The guy is ex-Navy and huge. He got out of his SUV and shoved her off her bike and onto the ground. Can you say "big fat bully?" Can you say "big fat lawsuit?" I knew you could.

Here's the DailyKOS discussion of the affair. There's a link to a Washington Post story on it. I'd link myself but they require evil brain-sucking registration, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?

Anyway, I have a date with a husband and a Scrabble board, so I want to get done with this. Have a nice Sunday. I suspect I will be blogging tomorrow. I have some things to say about patriotism and the idea of "my country, right or wrong."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

No room at the inn? Jesus is court.

This is a silly, silly article, but apparently it's based on a real situation in West Virginia which has now spilled over into the DC courts. And it made me laugh, something I haven't been in the mood to do since the announcement yesterday that Justice O'Connor was resigning.

Oh well, it's silly and a bit corny but I had a laugh over it.

Submitted for your approval...

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's on.

Sandra Day O'Connor, in the second-most calculatedly evil move of her career, has tendered her resignation from the Supreme Court effective upon finding her replacement. (Her most evil move? Being the swing vote on Bush v. Gore, 2000.) It was another chilly blast from Red America, under the shadow of the Right-dominated Congress and the George W. Bush Administration in the White House.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, under a bright, warm sun, Anthony Villaraigosa was inaugurated as the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since 1872. The only dark spot was loud boos when Mayor Villaraigosa (damn that feels good to type!) announced that Herr Gropenfuhrer was in the house along with former Veep Al Gore, former Governor and current Mayor of Oakland Jerry Brown, and all the other progressive to conservative politicos in the audience. Mayor Villaraigosa did the right thing and told off those who were jeering at the current Governor, then returned to his speech. His speech was optimistic, evoking the cherished memory of our late, sainted Mayor Tom Bradley, and set a progressive agenda for the next term.

Today shows the contrast between the two Americas: Blue America and Red America. Blue America brings people of good will together to solve problems; Red America divides and conquers. Blue America embraces diversity; Red America finds "tokens" with compatible ideologies to fill jobs so that they can point fingers and shout "RACISM!" when people see through appearances to the idealogue lurking within.

It's time to fight for Blue America. Starting with fighting whatever idealogue Bush nominates to fill O'Connor's seat. We can triumph. We *must* triumph.