Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the market for a new god?

This did not show up in blogger as it does where I found it. Screw it. I like the post otherwise.

{-'

Beep! Beep! has a link to this on her sidebar (which works!) This one'll end up on my side-bar (which I hope doesn't mean, will be gone soon ..[and if I can get it to look right! .) cuz I just thought it might be good first aid to have around. You know, in case yer thinkin' 'bout a trade-in, or something.

But, if you think you may have an interest in the latest model magical pink flying fairies, take a stroll through Blue Girl's garden in our li'l Red State o' Ohio.









DEITY OF THE DAY



Featured today:


>> View article

www.godchecker.com

Monday, May 29, 2006

Atheist Hollywood Wags the Dog



From a member of the Yahoo Atheists-World group. Dude's alright.

3:00 Moment of Silence

At least at Jacob's Field, and thus o'er the airwaves, it seemed to last only 30 seconds.

That's still more than enough time to imagine how we could do conflict differently.

How we needn't destroy lives, just because they signed on voluntarily, or happen to be geographically inconveniently intertwined with a goal of our own.


And, within my noodly noggin', a hope that some things can be swept away, as long as the lesson is learned. And, of course, that the lesson is learned.


So be it.

No Matter How Small

What specs of swirling nothingness we all ultimately are.

On that bright note:

I was feeling funny about reading on the deck as the sun went down, last night. So I just shut my head up, and listened. Turns out, I wasn't the only one.

Mannion's experience of Night Noises reminds me of all the little details which go into even the most silent of nights. Not that his was such a one.

A night when sounds travel. Low clouds, air damp. Fire horn sounds and it's not the one from our firehouse. The next town over's three miles away but that's to the south and this seems to be coming from the east which would put it six miles down the road. The horn hoots for several minutes, calling the volunteers. No sirens follow it.

Dog noises do. Every dog has to answer the first dog that barked in surprise at the fire horn.

The fire horn stops. The dogs discuss it for a bit and then settle down. Traffic dies. Nothing now but the peepers, clucking high, then low. cheep cheep cheep CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP cheep cheep cheep CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP.

I love how the description is so apt, of the birds and the dogs talking to each other. They're animals as we are. Intelligence for pets and wild critters is something folk either blow off as limited instincts or to which we impart too much of our own style of thinking, anthropomorphizing them out of their perceptory context; forcing our perspective onto them without really knowing of what they're capable. It's a working relationship for the short-term of the few thousand years we've been best friends with dogs, at any rate.

But in some ways, biological mechanisms in all active life, they are just like us; animals with brains and hearts and livers and mouths and feet and eyes, etc. etc. etc. Like humans, they're interactively alive in their environment, and aware of it, aware of each other and us and everthing else around them.

So, yah, the thing that moved me is how natural it is for animals, including humans, to have various magnitudes of intelligence. But it was also the fact that I wasn't the only one sitting out amongst the night sounds with both a good book and a quietly open mind.

It's got a really cool ending, too.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm A Californina Man!

Yah, well, I would be, if I didn't blow all my ca$h on pot...

(Kiddin'!!!)

Just some silly quiz I found whilst commenter-link hopping off the CotG. Ya never know whatchyer gonna find on a Sunday in the blogosphere.



You scored as Marijuana. The most beautiful, chill drug out there is.
You want something that's not too harsh on your body,
and soothes the soul.

It's also not addicting, so smoke it up, baby!

And never have to go through withdrawls.


Marijuana


63%

None!


63%

Inhalents


63%

Mushrooms


63%

Cocaine


63%

Alcohol


50%

Ecstacy


50%

What's your ideal drug?
created with QuizFarm.com

Truth is, I'm more like 78% None!, with a tad o' Jack and a historically personal leeriness of cocaine. I'm a shroom and xtc virgin, too.

Besides, in the right setting, my personal Drug of Choice is Sex. Nature's High.

Addendum: And I just thought of something else that 'turbs me off: They don't include Cigarettes. Alcohol, but not smokes...

Sure, it's just a silly quiz, but that differentiation only exists culturally. Cig'rettes are the only drug I do have a freakin' problem with.

Alright. das ist alles

Carnival of the Godless #41

Carnival of the Godless

Frankie's on it.

Memorial of Life

This is one of the reasons I won't unsubscribe from ARI's email list. Try not to read anything into it. It's hard if the Randian version of "enlightened self-interest" rubs you wrong, I know. But the words and principles of justice and defendable need - not some ethereal "higher" or "patriotic" cause - but for the cause of America's freedom from violence against its individuals.

A good Memorial Day weekend to all y'all, anywhere you've gotta (or hopefully wanna) be.

What We Owe Our Soldiers
By Alex Epstein

Every Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the American men and women who have died in combat. With speeches and solemn ceremonies, we recognize their courage and valor. But one fact goes unacknowledged in our Memorial Day tributes: all too many of our soldiers have died unnecessarily--because they were sent to fight for a purpose other than America's freedom.

The proper purpose of a government is to protect its citizens' lives and freedom against the initiation of force by criminals at home and aggressors abroad. The American government has a sacred responsibility to recognize the individual value of every one of its citizens' lives, and thus to do everything possible to protect the rights of each to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. This absolutely includes our soldiers.


Soldiers are not sacrificial objects; they are full-fledged Americans with the same moral right as the rest of us to the pursuit of their own goals, their own dreams, their own happiness. Rational soldiers enjoy much of the work of military service, take pride in their ability to do it superlatively, and gain profound satisfaction in protecting the freedom of every American, including their own freedom.


Soldiers know that in entering the military, they are risking their lives in the event of war. But this risk is not, as it is often described, a "sacrifice" for a "higher cause." When there is a true threat to America, it is a threat to all of our lives and loved ones, soldiers included. Many become soldiers for precisely this reason; it was, for instance, the realization of the threat of Islamic terrorism after September 11--when 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered in cold blood on a random Tuesday morning--that prompted so many to join the military.


For an American soldier, to fight for freedom is not to fight for a "higher cause," separate from or superior to his own life--it is to fight for his own life and happiness. He is willing to risk his life in time of war because he is unwilling to live as anything other than a free man. He does not want or expect to die, but he would rather die than live in slavery or perpetual fear. His attitude is epitomized by the words of John Stark, New Hampshire’s most famous soldier in the Revolutionary War: "Live free or die."


What we owe these men who fight so bravely for their and our freedom is to send them to war only when that freedom is truly threatened, and to make every effort to protect their lives during war--by providing them with the most advantageous weapons, training, strategy, and tactics possible.


Shamefully, America has repeatedly failed to meet this obligation. It has repeatedly placed soldiers in harm's way when no threat to America existed--e.g., to quell tribal conflicts in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. America entered World War I, in which 115,000 soldiers died, with no clear self-defense purpose but rather on the vague, self-sacrificial grounds that "The world must be made safe for democracy." America's involvement in Vietnam, in which 56,000 Americans died in a fiasco that American officials openly declared a "no-win" war, was justified primarily in the name of service to the South Vietnamese. And the current war in Iraq--which could have had a valid purpose as a first step in ousting the terrorist-sponsoring, anti-American regimes of the Middle East--is responsible for thousands of unnecessary American deaths in pursuit of the sacrificial goal of "civilizing" Iraq by enabling Iraqis to select any government they wish, no matter how anti-American.


In addition to being sent on ill-conceived, "humanitarian" missions, our soldiers have been compromised with crippling rules of engagement that place the lives of civilians in enemy territory above their own. In Afghanistan we refused to bomb many top leaders out of their hideouts for fear of civilian casualties; these men continue to kill American soldiers. In Iraq, our hamstrung soldiers are not allowed to smash a militarily puny insurgency--and instead must suffer an endless series of deaths by an undefeated enemy.


To send soldiers into war without a clear self-defense purpose, and without providing them every possible protection, is a betrayal of their valor and a violation of their rights.


This Memorial Day, we must call for a stop to the sacrifice of our soldiers and condemn all those who demand it. It is only by doing so that we can truly honor not only our dead, but also our living: American soldiers who have the courage to defend their freedom and ours.


Copyright © 2006 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bunny Wants the Ball


Unfortunately, the camera part of this cam-phone sucks.

It's still nice to have it handy for "show an' tell".


Happy Saturday, yo.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Since I'm Feelin' Weird Myself . .


. . I figured I'd just post this.

Without even listening to 1 second of these clips, I think I'm gonna like this band.

What's the specific question?


--- Can I tell from the 1) Band's name, 2) album and 3) song titles if I'll like the music?

(I mean, come on...Serious Young Insects? Running from the Aliens??? lol!)

L8

For an America UNITED Against Theocracy

Now this I consider the "Good News", even though I see no reasons at all to think a "Creator" is either necessary or likely. That doesn't mean I can't or don't share many of the same values and goals of many of the folks in such a coalition.

Fight Marriage Protection Sunday: Keep Hatred Out of Our Constitution

The Religious Right has designated Sunday, June 4th, as "Marriage Protection Sunday" and is mobilizing fundamentalist and evangelical congregations all across America, including those in the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, to try and pressure Congress to put forward an amendment to the US Constitution to ban gay marriage. The Senate is scheduled to take up the amendment on June 5th and vote on it the next day, so the push among conservative congregations is designed to show how much support there is for this change in our laws out in the heartland.

The extremist American Family Association on its web site calls this vote"the most important vote this year" which, given the many crises facing our nation at the present time, shows how deep the fear and animus exists among conservatives against gays and lesbians.

We cannot allow this attempt to enshrine discrimination in our most important national document to go unchallenged. Congress needs to know that there are millions of American Christians who do not think that gays and lesbians should be subject to a second-class citizenship that deprives them of the benefits available to everyone else and which singles them out for mistreatment.

The basic teaching of both testaments of the Bible is that what is good for one should be good for all. Yet according to the federal government's General Accounting Office, there are over 1,100 federal benefits which are conferred on heterosexual couples in order to induce them to marry which are denied to gay and lesbian couples. There is simply no way in good conscience that heterosexual Christians can enjoy the benefits extended to them by the government while their gay and lesbian neighbors are left out.

What You Can Do

We are asking each of our members, between June 1st and June 5th to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in opposition to this effort by the Religious Right and to call either your Senator or your Representative to tell them that Christians are against discrimination and that all of us should live under one law, not one for straights and a separate one for gays and lesbians.

Let them know that the Religious Right does not speak for all Christians!

Note: For those who live in Illinois or Wisconsin, there are campaigns to defeat amendments to state constitutions. Contact them here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yup. Ohio's a Red State

Yikes! I've not read the Ohio Constitution since, what... maybe Sixth Grade? What a freakin' scary theocratic piece o' work! Of course, there is much reason and sound structure to be found in it. Red state folk are great people, when they're not letting (or pushing) their leaders to mind other people's private business.

Hooo... {shakin'....}(just a little...) It's just frightening what delusions and horrors people take for granted as having some basis in reality.

Yesterday, State Rep. John White, Chair of the House Health Committee, announced that public hearings on the Ohio Abortion Ban (HB 228) will be held on June 13 at 10:00 am. This dangerous legislation would outlaw abortion without any exceptions -not even for survivors of rape or incest, to preserve a woman's health, or to save a woman's life.

We cannot allow right-wing extremists in the Ohio Legislature to endanger women's lives by outlawing abortion in our state. We need your help to
stop this bill in its tracks! You can help us by:

  • Attending the Ohio Abortion Ban Hearing: We need pro-choice Ohioans to come to Columbus and tell their legislators why it is important to keep abortion safe and legal in our state. Come to House Room 313 on Tuesday, June 13 at 10:00 am. Bring your family and friends and bring them with you. Are you interested in testifying, but have never testified before and don't know what to do? No problem. We will teach you everything you need to know. Click here, and let us know if we can count on you to attend the Ohio Abortion Ban hearing.
  • Writing to your legislators to make sure they get the message loud and clear!

This is how I edited their little sample letter.

At a time when schools are falling behind acceptable standards, and families are struggling to make ends meet, our state government should focus on legislation to improve the lives of women and families in Ohio. Instead, they are trying to control and manipulate people's lives in ways for which there is no medical, and at best an extremely misguided sociotal interest.

The Ohio Abortion Ban is not only bad policy, it is a horrifying usurpation of an individual's right to determine how to maintain the health and wellbeing of her own private person. This misogynist and thus misanthropic piece of legislation should not be passed into law, because such would constitute a threat to the general health and welfare of our society, by Re-relegating women to the 2nd class citizenship they "enjoyed" before the US Constitution acknowledged them as having equal status to men with the 19th Amendment.

Please find love for your species' ability to reason and be responsible for their own actions. Please respect the body of evidence and knowledge of the medical establisment and reject HB 228.

The Devil's Mind is an Idle Playground

Usually I hit the presets on the way in to work. Sports, classical, news or one of the local monkey freakshow morning stations. Unless I'm craving something different, then I just let a CD play.

Occasionally, it plays a song I need to hear 4 or 5 times in a row, for whatever reason.


The Great Indoors
John Mayer

Check your pulse
It's proof that you're not listening to
The call your life's been issuing you
The rhythm of a line of idle days

Scared of the world outside you should go explore
Pull all the shades and wander the great indoors
The great indoors

Lamplight makes the shadows play
And posters take the walls away
The TV is your window pane
The view won't let you down

So put your faith in a late night show
I bet you didn't even know
Depends on how far out you go
The channel numbers change

Scared of the world outside you should go explore
Pull all the shades and wander the great indoors

Though lately I can't blame you
I have seen the world
And sometimes wish your room had room for two*

{So go unlock the door}
{And find what you are here for}

Please leave the great indoors
Leave the great indoors

Check your pulse
It's proof that youre not listening to
The call your life's been issuing you
The rhythm of a line of idle days
Of idle days
If you don't have the disk, I highly recommend it. His second one, Heavier Things, as well. Of course, if you use iTunes, you can buy the songs 1 at a time for $.99, or an entire album for 'bout 10 bucks.


*
Experiencial Warning: THINK long and hard before joining another person in their Great Indoors. Whatever you may feel for them, they may not be so hot on being there themself. . .

God Made Him Do It

Or maybe he's sayin' G's got plans for him in prison. Or somethin' . . .

{shakin'head}

Some folks just don't get that lying is wrong regardless of whether it cost other folk lots and lots of money or not.

Though that last bit sure makes this more satisfying from a judicial perspective.

[Link] Lay, 64, and Skilling, 52, who were once lauded as two of the world's top business leaders but later became poster boys for corporate deception, looked shaken when U.S. District Judge Sim Lake read the decision to a packed courtroom.

Skilling looked down as the verdict was read. Lay sighed heavily and shook his head, as his wife Linda grabbed his arm. Afterward, Lay's family members swarmed around him, weeping. He was not crying as he tried to console them, saying, "God's got another plan right now."

Why I Like Al

Despite Arianna's likin' him too. I think Kos behind him is a more rational endorsement, though still "commercial".

T
wo of these three sentences say it all. From Slate, on why he's not the Dem's best chance, regardless of whether he is the country's.
There are lots of other reasons that Gore probably shouldn't run, often articulated by inside-the-beltway types. A lot of Democrats still have sour feelings about a nominee who blew a winnable election. Gore never liked the day-to-day work of politics (as opposed to governing) and was a lousy campaigner.
emphasis mine

Sounds Like A Relapse

Society allows us to "spread 'em out!" We find our own way. We surf the world and learn how to thrive in the wild unknown, or economics compels us to "get it together" and return to our roots for a base of support.

We evolve as a species, one cosmic second, and billions of individuals, at a time.

Not sure, right this second, what type of governmental economic intervention is necessary for posterity's prosperity. I'm havin' enough trouble workin' on my own.

Families Add 3rd Generation to Households
By MIREYA NAVARRO
Published: May 25, 2006

Tess Crescini keeps trying to limit her roommates to her fiancé and her dog, but so far she has failed miserably.

At the moment, Ms. Crescini, 51, and her fiancé are sharing her four-bedroom house in San Jose, Calif., with two of her three adult sons, a daughter-in-law, a 3-year-old granddaughter and a brother who comes and goes. Exorbitant housing costs, layoffs and children who yearn for family togetherness have coalesced to make her the head of a multigenerational household.

In a society where the most common type of household is led by those who live alone and where the scattered family is almost a cultural institution, many grandparents, adult children and grandchildren are gathering to live under the same roof.

The last census showed these "multigenerational households" — defined as those of three or more generations — growing faster than any other type of housing arrangement.

[Read the rest]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Religion's Epitaph

That's what I thought as I finished reading the following quoted testimony of a physicist, Brian Greene, in his The Fabric of the Cosmos.

The "meaning" of Religion has been politicized into meaninglessness. It was a universal search for "the truth", and made enough progress for our species that we evolved the scientific method using faith and experiment, and the freakish ability for mathematics.

This book doesn't mention religion much, except in incidentals. The issue is pure and vibrant reality of Space, Time and Matter.

Well, here's the part that feels a respectful and proud epitaph to protoscience. Science knows its pain.

... Promising ideas, more often than not, lead nowhere. That's the nature of scientific research. Yet, even during periods of minimal progress, I've found that the effort spent puzzling and calculating has only made me feel a closer connection to the cosmos. I've found that you can come to know the universe not only by resolving its mysteries, but also by immersing yourself within them. Answer are great. Answers confirmed by experiment are greater still. But even answers that are ultimately proven wrong represent the result of a deep engagement with the cosmos – an engagement that sheds intense illumination on the questions, and hence on the universe itself. Even when the rock associated with a particular scientific exploration happens to roll back to square one, (like Sisyphus) we nevertheless learn something and our experience of the cosmos is enriched.

From Chapter 1, Roads to Reality; Coming of Age in Space and Time



That's Whatchyaget . .

. . for questioning one of Life's Big Mysteries.



Gotta tip the ol' cap to Lance for another totally different take on the ol' Chuck theme... I'm in agreement with both the commenters so far.

Wanted: Education Industrial Complex

"The chief part of human happiness arises from the consciousness of being beloved." -- Adam Smith
For the government's part, I would think this should amount to provision of Education and real, economic assistance to parents. Assistance which allows the parents to pursue their own variation on Life, Liberty and Happiness, by making sure that all children get the most efficacious educational experience, from early child care (debate the age it should begin, not that it is needed) through a bachelor's understanding in the field of each child's eventual choosing.

That onus should include truly knowledgable folks at every educational level each of whom has the time and skills to interact with
every child in order to give them the greatest opportunity for understanding just what they, the children, want to be when they grow up.
[Link] The number of immigrants who have entered the country illegally is estimated at 12 million. At this point it's impossible to say who among them will be able to earn citizenship and the right to pursue their American dreams. The country and Congress are bitterly divided over the issue. But however many people are eventually able to gain legal status, there is one thing that should be required for all seeking to make a new life in this country: education. It is a matter to which Congress has thus far paid little attention.
And why, much less how, can we expect Congress to pay such an approach to immigrants, when they don't even show any respect for the children of the folks who've elected them?

I thought the above quote nicely framed the type of political problem we've created for ourselves by not being tirelessly vocal in our demands for a full-fledged attack upon ignorance by our policy makers.

There's another story in the WaPo which speaks more briefly to the effect of lower birth rates on a society's ability to compete in the future. It references the recent data comparing birth rates in countries which supply many services for families -vs- those which leave the economics more up to the parents.
[Link] Children are now usually a conscious choice -- whereas they were once considered economic necessities or religious obligations. Somehow American society better mixes child rearing and jobs than do other societies that provide greater child subsidies (government day care, family allowances). Indeed, generous welfare states may discourage having children. A study by economists at the University of Minnesota found that high Social Security payments and payroll taxes are associated with low fertility rates. People may feel they don't need children to care for them in old age. Or high taxes and poor economies may deter young people from starting families.
Maybe another reason is that we know how difficult is to raise, clothe, nurture, feed, nurture, entertain, teach, house and monitor our kids, all while adding to the richness and remarkable variety (oh the pros AND cons! lol!) of our separate though unavoidably interconnected lives in the world's largest ever Consumer Society.

Education. Pull back on Defense and refocus our enormous financial resources towards truly being the greatest society our species has ever managed.

THAT would diminish terrorist threats.

THAT would produce more problem solvers and fewer in need of assitance in getting their problems solved.

THAT would be lead towards the achievement of happiness and the "consciousness of being beloved" which each and every human being deserves from a society which claims to be Pro Life.



pshaw!!!











Like this Congress knows math!

Chimp is free of oversight for now.

It's a mean mind makes a nasty Devil's playground

.. and mine has been verily uncooperative lately.

I'm trying to remember what makes me like this person, in order to become more of that, and less of the panicky freak I too often feel. As is, I'm pretty bored with the same old craptraps goin' off in my head. It's not like I can't see 'em coming...


I've, most definitely, lost my place .. .

The trick is to get it back again where and how I want it. Without all the semi-conscious superstitious head habits.
Simpler Way
(a ditty in D)


I don't know

when it happened first

Think maybe

in your arms


I can't say for sure


It always hits me

when I'm lookin' down

Not sure

where I am

Then all of a sudden

there I am


There's got t' be

a simpler way

There's gotta be

a simpler way

yeah, yeah

x2


Love potion
that would make it work

Forget it

that won't work

I wish it was

I wish it was that easy


Frustration

builds within my heart

Forget it

that won't work


It keeps comin' around

There's got t' be

a simpler way

There's gotta be

a simpler way

yeah, yeah

x2

Well,
I'm hangin' in
I'm doin' alright, yeah

I'm doin' fine

{fucked up, insecure, neurotic and exhausted)


I don't know

when it happened first

Think maybe

in your arms

Maybe time
will tell
yeah

I gotta figure out how to make an' post my own mp3s. Jeez, I hate computers. ;-}

And maybe I'll quit smokin' this summer. {SIGHHHH} Yeah, that'd work.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I Get It

Back on Nat Geo for a minute.

I'd read the headlines of the
Gospel of Judas, but not delved into the site's layout for more about it's content. It's storyline as a gospel of the gnostic tradition.

I wish I could imbed their vid, but a link must suffice. Click on Clip Four: Judas Gets It for the translator's reading of Judas getting it.

(Keep clickin' for some mysterious spiritual jesus stuff flyin' around. Weird, man. But cool in context of the times. Heheh... Silly Humans.. .)

The Wave, She Must Rise



It's in the latest issue of Nat Geographic offline. It's just a quickie on their site.

I might pick it up...

I Thought I'd Thought It Through

Almost all grave software problems can be traced to conceptual mistakes made before programming started.
You can say that about most things in life, 'sfar as I've been able to tell.

'Tip to
3QuarksDaily on a cool story about the reasons projects blow up or fizzle out. It's the design stage that software, in this particular article, gains or loses the possibility of successfully meeting the ends of it's programmers.

And it is unquestionably the little things that count. They're what the big things are made of.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Unintentionally Shillin' For Gore

Not me baby. All-Intentional Shill here, folks. Enjoy.

[Link] Six years ago, Bush narrowly defeated Gore, apparently because voters thought he'd be a nicer guy to have a beer with. But after years of governmental bungling, of willful indifference to truth, the national mood seems to be changing. Voters have seen that nice guys can screw up. And technocrats with diagrams and charts have never seemed so interesting.

[Read the Rest]


And, yah yah... I'll be spillin' my reaction to the weekend soon enough. Just lettin' it slide off my shoulders, first. Dude's sure did make a run of it, though. Wow!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Gee mo Nelly

I don't know what the hell it means, but I agree with Austin Carr's exclamation 100%.

Detroit 84 Cleveland 82

All For One . .

. . and One for all.

I got that first from My Jesus©, then from Abraham Lincoln,
then from the Three Muscateers.

Detroit 38 Cleveland 37 at the half.


If they don't win this one, it's over. I know they can win. I think they will win tonight. I'll believe it when I see it.

What ever. `-}

Worth the Rote

A quick cut and paste from my Inbox, to y'all. Lots of links and evidence of insanity in office.

Happy Friday, none-the-less, folk
s.

CIVIL RIGHTS
Writing Discrimination Into the Constitution

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, and likely prohibit civil unions and other forms of domestic partnerships. S.J. Res 1 -- the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" -- passed the committee on a 10-8 party-line vote after Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), who said he was "totally opposed" to the bill, voted for it. The vote took place in a room just off the Senate floor that was closed to the general public. Instead of acting on the issues that most Americans indicate they are concerned about -- Iraq, gas prices, and stem cells among them -- the Senate is moving ahead with a divisive bill that growing numbers of Americans oppose. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the committee's ranking member, said the measure is "part of an election-year political agenda" to satisfy the right wing. "The Constitution's too important to be used for such base partisan politics." The Constitution has been amended to eliminate slavery, to give women the right to vote, and to secure for every person the equal protection of the laws. It has never been amended to mandate discrimination.

Wish I Had the Body for It!



From PETA's Weekly E-News.

No Way? Really??

Hayden Urges CIA Critics to Refrain
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, President Bush's choice to lead the CIA, strongly defended the administration's policies on domestic surveillance and the treatment of detainees during his confirmation hearing yesterday, and urged senators to suspend debate about CIA failures and give the agency a chance to...
(By Dafna Linzer and Charles Babington, The Washington Post)

---
Hayden vowed to remake the CIA into the premier intelligence agency, in part by encouraging officers to take risks and to admit uncertainties even when top officials press for definitive findings. He promised to "speak truth to power," and said that he and the intelligence community had learned the lessons of Iraq.
Can there be any doubt as to how much I hope so, but doubt it?

My fear is, dude's really just blowin' smoke to cover up the reality of the value of his "intelligence" abilities. That certainly seems to be the classic Dubya's Admin style.

We'll see.

The Immigration Age

The Hipster has a quick post on a new Senate bill making english "the national language".

The first commenter got me to respond by pattin' this 800lb gorilla on the back.
You cannot bring weakness and illiteracy into the country and ask for all kinds of privileges.
There be the crux. How to deal with needs not met by the economic "opportunities" for which so many folk cross into other countries.

Differences aside, Europe and the US have worked relentlessly over the last several decades to ensure Free (Fair or Not) Trade across the globe. With that result comes ever larger flows o' folk affected, both for ill and well, by their economic pre and proscriptions.


It's all good, as long as we take it seriously instead of only being reactionary.


Our species has been doing this forever. We've wandered, settled, wandered, settled. Still, we've had a lot more practice settling over the last several millenium, than wandering. Actually, we've developed quite a dislike for wanderers as individual groups (perhaps the Bedouins should be excluded from that group.) It's just that now there are more people than have ever tried to live together.

I wonder what the History books a hundreds from now, if there are any, will say about the Immigration Age.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cleveland 86 - Detroit 84

Unfrrreakin'believable.

A Nit Picked

I've wanted to blog this all day. Just because it's both an age old story (foreign "diplomat" finds warm welcome turned to "legal what-the-f***???") and a new twist on Internationalism.

I think she'll be fine. The Dutch, well . . . They'll be fine as well, of course, or most likely anyhow. They're just in for a rough couple o' decades as immigrants continue - despite this turn of events - to find sanctuary in the West.

And we in the US think we've got immigration headaches. It's an evolving species, folks. Don't forgot to adjust yer helmets and fasten yer safety harnesses.

From der Spiegle.

THE HIRSI ALI CASE

"Voltaire and Erasmus Are Spinning in their Graves"

By Henryk M. Broder in The Hague

Holland's most famous immigrant -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- has been stripped of her citizenship overnight following television revelations about news that's long been public: she lied a little on her application for asylum years ago. The controversial decision by the country's immigration minister has sparked outrage, and many are calling it a dark day for Dutch democracy.