Friday, September 30, 2005

Sensual girl-in-the-firm

You have to wonder about the one grey hair. As though that one follicle just gave up, threw in the towel, decades (hopefully!) before the others.
"Fuck this. Who gives a shit about pigment. I'm supposed to produce a hair, that's what I'm doing. No embellishments, no 'little something extra'. I'll leave that to those annoying gunners in the sideburns."

I think I'm Lillyfirm's one grey hair.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

From the "Laughing Diabolically" Department...

First, and most obviously, Tom Delay. A delightfully unsavory person who deserves what he gets. I hope he goes down and takes all his evil cohorts (namely, Karl Rove) with him.

Next, we visit "The Meth-Driven Life." Remember when that woman supposedly saved herself and kept her captor/potential rapist from harming her by reading him selections of that maudlin, stupid book "The Purpose-Driven Life"? Remember when the Christian Right delighted in that story, and sales of that idiot book rose astronomically in consequence? Weeellll.... turns out he didn't leave her alone because he'd found god- rather, he didn't hurt her because he probably couldn't- because he was ON HER ICE.
Apparently the experience was shocking enough to cure her of her habit, which is nice.
And I quote:
"I was not going to die tonight and stand before God, having done a bunch of ice up my nose."
Poetry. POETRY!!!

And finally, "Ten Minutes From Effective" ...
Remember when Bush picked his crony, his simpering confidant, Karen Hughes, to be some sort of undersecretary in charge of improving America's image in the middle east? Remember when we laughed at that? Well, she's doing about as well as expected. She met with Turkish women earlier this week who basically told her to take her condescension and war-peddling ideology and preach it elsewhere. She then journeyed to Saudi Arabia, where the women explained to her that they were happy in their lives and that not being able to drive was not the life-sapping prohibition she assumed it was.
Now, I'm not here to argue cultural relativism- we'll save that for another post, perhaps. What I'm interested in giggling about here is Bush's catastrophic choices, from Mike Brown as head of FEMA to Karen Hughes, that relentlessly pro-US blind-Christian-Patriot, as the person in charge of burnishing our image in a region that hates all that she stands for.
Again, well done, Bush Administration.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Let's pigeonhole

Here's a surprise:

You are a

Social Liberal
(73% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(10% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This Little Piggy...

"I guess you want me to be the superhero that is going to step in there and suddenly take everybody out of New Orleans."

No- we just wanted you to do your fucking job, asshole.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Trouble meeting your quotas? Try this!

I found this ad particularly disturbing:

Check out the cool kids listening to headphones. Remember when the Army had... Army-themed advertisements?

I also enjoy the last bullet point:

  • plus free music!!!

Seriously, good luck with this, Army National Guard. It's a clever gimmick; still, one wonders how successful you'll be- tempting as the free music downloads are, I'm not sure I'd want to get my crap blown out of me in exchange. I mean, I'm just sayin.

Remember, "it's called serving your community while working part time." As though it's just a step away from working at Starbucks or something. Fascinating.

PS: "I also understand that I will be contacted by a recruiter, and that's OK with me!"- HA!

PPS: Aren't iTunes downloads, like, 99c a song? So someone responding to this ad would subject themselves to harassment by an army recruiter for the equivalent of less than $3? Good god! Not only is the army's choice of ad campaigns amusing at best, they're insufferably cheap!

Sign me up!!!!

Today's pretension

"The person who cannot set himself down on the crest of the moment, forgetting everything from the past, who is not capable of standing on a single point, like a goddess of victory, without dizziness or fear, will never know what happiness is. Even worse, he will never do anything to make other people happy." Nietzsche, Use and Abuse of History for Life

Read this book years ago, hunted down the quote for a friend yesterday, thought I'd post it here.
The whole book (it's a short one) more or less centers around this theme. I've always been partial to this idea but lately I feel like this is exactly what the Bush Administration does. Except I'd bet my life on the fact that Bush has never cracked a book by Nietzsche.

I'll elaborate later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Because I really only have one coherent thought per day

Emily Messner discusses the Roberts confirmation hearings in today's WaPo and draws a startling comparison between the current hearings and Scalia's:

"While the debate on Justice Rehnquist took five days, the debate, if it could be called that, on Judge Scalia consumed barely five minutes.
The 50-year-old Court of Appeals judge was praised as thoughtful and fair by several senators, including Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who ... led the opposition to Justice Rehnquist. Senator Kennedy said that although Judge Scalia was a conservative, ''he is clearly in the mainstream.''" (quoting from NY Times, 1986)

Kids, if we have another Scalia on our hands, we're in serious trouble. Thomas + Scalia + Roberts + other bush appointee who's bound to be cast in this mold + Kennedy (who is easily manipulated) = not just a conservative majority, but a core of ideologues who have NO RESPECT for the past 50 years of Supreme Court decisions. Roe v. Wade would be just the beginning. These dudes could have a profound impact on the social and economic makeup of this country.

I will write more on just what I mean by that in future entries (no time, alas). In the meantime, here's the comment I posted to Messner's blog which summarizes why I think Roberts might turn out to be ok after all:

"Here's why the Republicans were wrong about Justice Souter- they liked his conservatism and respect for precedent, but seemed to forget that Supreme Court decisions, particularly with regard to individual rights, have been generally liberal since the 1960's. Thus, adherence to precedent means sticking to the generally progressive trend of the court and not overturning Roe v. Wade or any of the privacy decisions in that family of cases. Scalia and Thomas are the true ideologues- they want to uproot pretty much the entirety of post-war precedent, returning the court to what it was in the beginning of the 20th century, when decisions like LOCHNER threatened to make state and the federal government irrelevant. If Roberts says he has true respect for precedent, then, and means it, we might have another Souter in the court. If he's lying, and he's more of a Scalia/Thomas- well- what can we do?"

Any thoughts? Are we looking at another Souter (probably not, in all honesty)? Another Kennedy/O'Connor (more likely)? Or another Scalia, who stated in a speech a few years ago that he views the law as "the vengeful right arm of God"?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Onward Christian... Penguins?

Read these for context: Turns out a bunch of Christian right-wing groups have co-opted "March of the Penguins" as the silver screen Word of God. this scary church (from my home state, of course) has organized group trips to see the film, urging members to download a "viewing packet" and, while in the theater viewing the film:
"use a notebook, flashlight and pen to write down what God speaks to you as He speaks it to you (in other words, please don't wait until the end of the film to write things down)"

Unfortunately, I saw the film on Saturday, before I knew about the church's viewing packet. What follows is a literary rendition of what I might have written had I been blessed with the packet and had truly contemplated God's work while viewing the film:

1. (Opening sequence) Wow, there are a lot of French names in the credits. Is this a FRENCH film? Why would God speak to us through the French? I thought God HATED the French! I mean, George Bush does, right?

2. (5min into film) Morgan Freeman certainly sounds like God. But... wait a minute... he just said the penguins had been in the South Pole for MILLIONS of years. I thought God created the Earth, like, 6,000 years ago. Is Morgan wrong- or is GOD wrong?

3. (15min) These penguins are beautiful illustrations of God's grace. Definitely.

4. (22min) This movie totally debunks the evolutionists. Stupid evolutionists. It's so obvious that some unseen hand created these penguins. But... wait... why would God make these poor birds live in Antarctica? And trudge back and forth from their breeding ground to the ocean at 70 miles a go, like, 4 times? Why not give them a little pouch where they could store food? Or some sort of camel-like hump? Does God like camels better than penguins? I'm confused.

5. (23min) The man behind me totally just took God's name in vain. He told me to "shut off the G** D*** flashlight" or he'd "f*** me up." Some people just don't get the importance of being in communion with God at all times. Stupid man. He must be a Lutheran.

6. (40min) The mother and father penguins' devotion to each other is surely evidence that God wants us to be monogamous. But... wait... Morgan Freeman just said that the mom and dad penguins desert each other after one mating season! They're not monogamous- they find a new mate every year! Wow! Is that what our church leaders mean when they tell us to be monogamous? It's so easy! I love the church!

7. (45min) Sad- an old male penguin just succumbed to the snow and wind. And none of the other penguins helped him. He must have been the poor black penguin.

8. (48min) Oh my goodness! The little baby penguins are sooooo cute! God will definitely keep all of the little cutie patootie baby penguins safe and.... oh wait... no! A little baby penguin froze to death! How could God let that happen? It must be the French people's fault.

9. (48.5min) The man behind me kicked the back of my chair and told me to "shut the f*** up." Apparently I was emoting rather loudly about the baby penguin. He's threatened to go get the manager.

10. (1.5hr) God's been saying a lot to me, but I'm afraid the guy behind me will "f*** my s*** up" if I turn on the flashlight again. By the way, that evil seal was obviously the work of Satan. Only Satan would create such a menacing and... blubbery monster. Get behind me, Satan.

11. (closing credits) That was fantastic. I've learned so much about God's plan for me in the world. Let's see- God wants me to be monogamous for at least a year at a time. He wants me to kidnap another baby if my baby dies of exposure to harsh elements. He wants me to avoid seals... or Satan... or black people... or the French. I'm a little confused about His message there. But at ANY rate, He DEFINITELY wants me to avoid the Lutherans. Or at least not sit in front of one the next time our church does one of these "viewing packet" things. I've learned so much. Thanks, God. Thanks, church.
And thanks, penguins.

Un Lundi Soir de Reve

Amadou & Mariam concert last night. A blind Afro-Rock couple from Mali, I've been following them for a long time- and seeing them live last night made me absurdly happy. Several vodka-tonics later, I thought I'd set free the last shred of my dignity and attempt the Senegalese M'Bala dance, which involves shaking one's ass as hard as possible while keeping the rest of the body still. As I tackled this ancient art, I noticed a man to my left smirking at me with what I hope was amusement and pity (and not anger or something worse). I realized that I wasn't evoking images of West Africa so much as that of a silly drunk white girl grinding her ass into her husband's pelvis. As the man turned away, my husband whispered into my ear... "the man looking at you? That's DJ Danger Mouse." Oops.

In the balcony an awkwardly dressed white girl went to town with moves she'd no doubt learned from African dance class at the Encino Community Center. Next to her, in a batik dress and impeccably coiffed dredlocks...! Lisa Bonet!
Good times.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The great turn inward

Reasons not to have a baby:
  1. It is pure folly and hubris to bring a child into this crazy, mixed-up world
  2. There are too many disadvantaged children in the world already who need homes like ours
  3. I'm only 29
  4. No more trips to Africa (at least not for a while)
  5. No more trips to Asia (No! Say it ain't so!)
  6. The inevitable serious career setback
  7. The end of our rock n roll lifestyle
  8. The inevitable move from our super-swank little shack to a larger, more mundane house in a less exciting part of town
  9. The red-faced asking of parents for money for a down payment for said house
  10. The risk of becoming "that annoying couple with the baby"
  11. Being pregnant
  12. Giving birth

Reasons to have a baby:

  1. Raising a thoughtful, worldly, considerate, socially-minded child who will grow up to make a difference and will help move the world in the right direction
  2. I'm almost 30
  3. The kid will be smart
  4. Educational, socially- and environmentally- respectful trips to exotic places with child in tow (when we can afford them)
  5. We're thinking we might want to have more than one kid and if we have one now we can space them out so we don't have to squeeze them out all at once and have 3 children under 5 years old and become those harried, exhausted parents who've grown old before their time that you see in the children's book section of Borders
  6. The much needed kick in the ass to force us to start saving and jumping onto the adult band wagon and building up equity and ... sigh...
  7. Fulfilling my biological reason for existence
  8. Being pregnant
  9. Giving birth
  10. Becoming a better person because I suddenly have a kid and it's all about the kid and I want to be a good person for my kid

12 reasons not to, 10 reasons to. Anyone have anything to add on either side?

Cutting/Pasting for your reading pleasure

I don't have time to be clever or thoughtful today, but a quick perusal of Slate uncovered this tidbit:

"Because they don't see blacks as a current or potential constituency, Bush and his fellow Republicans do not respond out of the instinct of self-interest when dealing with their concerns. Helping low-income blacks is a matter of charity to them, not necessity. The condescension in their attitude intensifies when it comes to New Orleans, which is 67 percent black and largely irrelevant to GOP political ambitions. Cities with large African-American population that happen to be in important swing states may command some of Karl Rove's respect as election time approaches. But Louisiana is small (9 electoral votes) and not much of a swinger these days. In 2004, Bush carried it by a 57-42 margin. If Bush and Rove didn't experience the spontaneous political reflex to help New Orleans, it may be because they don't think of New Orleans as a place that helps them.

Considered in this light, the actions and inactions now being picked apart are readily explicable. The president drastically reduced budget requests from the Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the levees around New Orleans because there was no effective pressure on him to agree. When the levees broke on Tuesday, Aug. 30, no urge from the political gut overrode his natural instinct to spend another day vacationing at his ranch. When Bush finally got himself to the Gulf Coast three days later, he did his hugging in Biloxi, Miss., which is 71 percent white, with a mayor, governor, and two senators who are all Republicans. Bush's memorable comments were about rebuilding Sen. Trent Lott's porch and about how he used to enjoy getting hammered in New Orleans. Only when a firestorm of criticism and political damage broke out over the federal government's callousness did Bush open his eyes to black suffering.
Had the residents of New Orleans been white Republicans in a state that mattered politically, instead of poor blacks in city that didn't, Bush's response surely would have been different. Compare what happened when hurricanes Charley and Frances hit Florida in 2004. Though the damage from those storms was negligible in relation to Katrina's, the reaction from the White House was instinctive, rapid, and generous to the point of profligacy. Bush visited hurricane victims four times in six weeks and delivered relief checks personally. Michael Brown of FEMA, now widely regarded as an incompetent political hack, was so responsive that local officials praised the agency's performance.

The kind of constituency politics that results in a big life-preserver for whites in Florida and a tiny one for blacks in Louisiana may not be racist by design or intent. But the inevitable result is clear racial discrimination. It won't change when Republicans care more about blacks. It will change when they have more reason to care."
Full article here.

Very, very well put. A nice counterpoint to Kristof's op-ed in the times. Also a better answer than I was able to give to my critic in Mimi's comment page.

The point is that Bush et al did not just fail in the vacuum of Katrina and its aftermath. Their failure is, in a larger sense, the failure of the GOP to aim their policies and political mettle at the economically and racially disadvantaged. And why should they? These people do nothing for them. As noted above, when they do help out it's charity, not political necessity.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kanye's Workout Plan

I know everyone knows about this already, but to add to my earlier posts praising the eloquent and socially-conscious Mr. West, let me congratulate the earnest, angry Mr. West.

Nicely done, Kanye!

See also: Lindsay links to Kanye inspired t-shirts.

And finally: Daddy doesn't like it when rappers rip on his son. (Link via Wonkette).

A Shout-Out

This is by far the most comprehensive list of relief agencies I've seen. Well done.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Something's hitting the fan (and it ain't flowers)

When Michelle Malkin calls for the resignation or firing of the head of a former cabinet-level position, you KNOW something is terribly wrong in River City.

"Although the delay was not entirely the fault of the Bush Administration, Brown's complacency clearly didn't help. And his bumbling statements after the hurricane struck have not inspired confidence.
This is not the time to give a weak performer the benefit of the doubt. The FEMA director's role in the ongoing recovery effort is too important to be entrusted to a clueless political hack with such poor judgment.
Rather than praise Michael Brown, Bush should fire him."

Just days ago, Malkin was lambasting the liberals for even SUGGESTING that this catastrophe was preventable, and accusing us of playing dirty politics. Now she, like so many other GOP lackeys, is starting to understand where the future lies- and it doesn't lie with Bush or his administration.

Good luck, Republicans. These next few weeks are going to be quite the trial by fire for you. In my mind, you've already failed at the most basic requirements of government. Lets see if the rest of the country gets that. But when your guard dogs fail to defend you, for the first time in 5 years, you have to recognize that things are NOT good.

PS- did you notice she's quoting the LA Times? Has hell frozen over? Oh no, New Orleans is flooded, and thousands of the poor and disenfranchised are screwed, and America cares. And the best source of information, even for GOP talking heads, is the LA Times.

Friday, September 02, 2005

ACCOUNTABILITY begins at home

Paul Krugman in today's NY Times:

"At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.
Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.
So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying."
Article here.

We can't forget this next year. These people must be held accountable. This is the administration that we reelected because they were supposed to keep us SAFE???

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Update: While Nero Fiddled

Screw apologizing, man. This guy needs to be brought down:

This is pathetic. The federal response to this disaster is pitiful. People are dying by the minute because no food or water is getting to them. And what is our esteemed leader doing? Playing the guitar and going to a birthday party.

More here.
And here.

This isn't playing politics. This is astonishment at our government's inability to either prevent or deal with this disaster.

Because there's always a finger to point.

I'm just the bitch that wants to ruin this bipartisan outpouring of help and generosity, I guess. But we need to keep in mind how this disaster might have been averted and prevented. The WaPo op-ed points out:

"This administration has consistently played down the possibility of environmental disaster, in Louisiana and everywhere else. The president's most recent budgets have actually proposed reducing funding for flood prevention in the New Orleans area, and the administration has long ignored Louisiana politicians' requests for more help in protecting their fragile coast, the destruction of which meant there was little to slow down the hurricane before it hit the city."

In a nutshell, funds which could have gone to strengthening the levees and generally shoring up the city were diverted to the (what is it now?) "Struggle against Extremism"? Well, we're not winning that, but paying for the "struggle" has cost us dearly in other ways.

It's called accountability, people. Know it. Love it.

To counterbalance any negative feelings engendered by my post, here are some puppies.