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Saturday, February 8, 2003

Man, these are gutsy women. Where do I sign up?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:33 PM PST [Link]

The good Lord is trying to help us:

"WE DECIDED NOT TO RUN IT..." from Lisa, at Ruminate This.

"After Colin Powell spoke to the UN Security Council yesterday, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in Congress by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ron Paul (R-TX). It wasn't just any bill - this is legislation that looks to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution passed by Congress in October."

Please pass this link on to everyone you know and every journalist type, including bloggers and online diary writers, you read. Contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to support

H.J.RES.20
Sponsor: Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] (introduced 2/5/2003)
Latest Major Action: 2/5/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
Title: To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

If the press won't cover it, then it's up to us to get the word out.

If you don't know who or how to contact your representatives in Congress, go here and, you'll need your zip code, here, to find out. Godspeed.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:22 PM PST [Link]

I am answering this post over at The Goblin Queen. I think I hit the high spots, but I recommend you read the whole thing before you read my response, which was also sent to Katie privately. Ginger.

My email to the Goblin Queen

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:52 PM PST [Link]

"The city says the march can’t be held because of security reasons since Sept. 11. The reasons they gave Friday made no sense at all, unless you suspect that the march is being opposed because Mayor Bloomberg is trying to help Republicans by stopping a public outcry here against the beautiful war that the administration wants against Iraq. Ray Kelly, the police commissioner, is blocking the march on behalf of Bloomberg."
Jimmy Breslin , Newsday, Feb 7, 2003

Whew, no wonder Jimmy Breslin is hot, aren't we guaranteed freedom of assembly in the Constitution? But not in NYC? Hello, earth to Chief Rocco Esposito of the police department of the toughest city in the US, a little free speech isn't going to ruin anyone's day, honest.

Don't worry, readers, I'll get hysterical about this later, I'm just in a really good mood right now.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:10 PM PST [Link]

Well, maybe not enduring fame, but certainly a lovely feeling.

I've just helped a very clever young man in the UK, Christopher Seaton, name his software line. He has six products right now, but I'm sure there are many more in the pipeline. He makes wonderful programs that help you keep track of your passwords, play music, spell-check your code (I am not making this up), and some other things that are simply astonishing (to me). His descriptions are here and much better than mine could ever be. Please run right over and make a donation (size of your choice) when you download. You never know, Chris Seaton might be the next big thing. At least, that's where my money is. http://chrisseaton.com

Edit! Oops! Sorry, this is NOT a software line, but a new product, silly me. So I don't get my facts in a twist again, here's what Chris says about it on his site:

"I've started another new project (one of them is probably going to have to go). Orselli will be a MacOS X style dock for Microsoft Windows. There are several programs like this - YzDock being the one closest to what I'm going to do. I want to make mine more seamless however, taking control of the desktop and providing a replacement for the taskbar as well as just an icon dock.

"I started writing some code for this last night when I was experimenting with windows that had per pixel alpha blending which I will need to apply. So far I've written the basics for that, and the code to hide the standard Windows desktop. This should give me an application to use all my icons on too!"

Sorry about that, hope this clears it up.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:18 PM PST [Link]

I wish it was a magenta alert.

So, why are we on orange alert? I feel like I stepped out for popcorn at the wrong moment. Anyone who can enlighten me (on this subject), please feel free.

This is yet another slap in the face to Anglophone poets; there is no word that rhymes with orange.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:58 PM PST [Link]

Friday, February 7, 2003

"To save celebrities and VIPs from that environmental faux pas, the Natural Resources Defense Council on Thursday night dispatched a phalanx of hybrid cars -- Hondas and Priuses -- to ferry special guests to Staples Center for a free show by the Rolling Stones."
Stones start up benefit crowd, LAT, Feb 7, 2003. (For the dreaded LAT log-in use "hackenblog" and "hackenbush" or vice versa. Y'all are on your own with the pop-ups.)

Sorry, Steve, but why have your concert in one of the Bluest of the Blue States and in a city that is already oversaturated with this stuff? I mean, aren't all the elderly rockers voting Democrat anyway? Seems like the ones who learned their lesson voting for N... nnNa... (I’m sorry, I just can't write that man's name on a fucking Orange alert day) are certainly back in the fold by now. And, much as I love the early Stones (I'd take Exile on Main Street and Let it Bleed to hell or a desert island with me, honest), I don't see them converting, seducing, swaying any voters over to the side of light and truth (Democrat, like I have to say it). Don't get me wrong, Steve, fling money to the Lefties all your want, I think you're swell (but should probably learn to love condoms more) and bless you for being a Dem. But wouldn't it be more effective to send, say, Neil Young, or, did both Allman brothers OD?, someone, y'know, Ammurrkin, to play a free concert in Memphis, Mobile or some other angry Red state? Or in many angry Red states. And then have Mr. Wonderful come out and open the show. Or Senator Wonderful if she's not too busy, or Chelesa the Wondergirl, or Tipper or even Al Gore as long as he keeps it brief. Or one of the Wellstone kids; they're grrrrreat! I mean, the Secret Service and the State Militia will have their hands full, but think of it as angry Red state rehab. I know that inside every angry Red Southerner, there's a charming Democrat trying to get out. You can help these people see the light by giving them a good time, Steve, you have the money, all you need is the will. And the band. I would not send anyone English, unless you can get the Sex Pistols to reform (as a band, yes, I know Sid is still dead). Too bad Joey and Dee Dee are no longer with us. Sigh, there just aren't any songs like Bonzo goes to Bitburg out there anymore, are there?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:51 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Dystopia, anyone?

"I've made no secret of the fact I'm generally of the opinion that the words "Republicans" and "taxes" are just grown- up words for "children" and "matches," so you can imagine my utter shock and horror at learning of a tax proposal from Dubya and his cronies that (in theory, at the very least) I can get behind. Last week, the administration floated some changes in long term savings accounts, allowing Americans to save after-tax income in accounts that would subsequently be tax- free. You haven't heard about it because among other things a shuttle blew up. But they're out there."
New Retirement Accounts, John Scalzi, Feb 4, 2003

(Hm, I went off about these new, tax-free, blood-sucking retirement (yeah, right) accounts here. And I was not amused then anymore than I am amused now. In fact, I'm seeing red right now.)

Well, this is the same John Scalzi guy who also wrote:

"Now, the election. Given my oft-stated belief that the GOP, if not actually pure unmitigated evil, is at least pure unmitigated annoyance trying to work its way up to evil, you might believe that I am terribly put out by last Tuesday's election results. But remember: I am a white, male, straight, college-educated upper- middle-class sort of person. Whatever philosophical issues I might have with the Republican party, it is nevertheless a true fact that just about the very last time someone of my race, sex, orientation and income class was personally put out by Republican policies, it was the Reconstruction Era in the South. I'll be fine. It's the rest of you that might have to worry. In the meantime, I'll be sitting here working on my little pile of money. Hey, that's what the President wants me to do."
Election Whatever, November 7, 2002

At the time he wrote it, I thought it was amusing, but his latest Whatever has made me rethink my position. He wants more money for retirement. Okay, I'm down with that, so do I. But if the gov loses the projected $160 BILLION, yes!, BILLION, a year it gets from money laying around in FDIC insured savings vehicles (see? your tax dollars really do do some work), where is it going to get the money if not from wages, like, from people who have jobs? Jobs like, being a $30K/year secretary, or working at McDonalds, or temping for the country's largest employer (and I mean largest employer, not employer of temps, but of all workers) Manpower, as cruel and stupid as that is.

But does John Scalzi care? No, I think not. He might not even notice until it bites him in the ass. Because he thinks the money he'll be putting into tax-free savings vehicles is for him, when it's really for people like Grover Nordquist.

Grover Nordquist wants your money! in the marketplace. Well, we saw what happened to the Enron employees; if that happened to, say, everyone in the Red states, can you imagine what the country would look like? In a week, it would look like Afghanistan or worse.

But, take a hit for the nausea and let's listen to Grover for a moment:

"Yet even while emerging as a Washington power broker, Norquist has held on to the irreverent, in-your-face style that has been his trademark since his earliest days as a college activist in the 1970s. 'I've been a 'winger' from way back,' he says. 'I was an anti-Communist first, and then I became an economic conservative. I think I've gotten more radical as I've gotten older.' Today, he can barely suppress his glee at how much the movement has succeeded, saying that politics is shifting to the right while he remains constant. 'I started out as a right-winger, and when I retire I want to be a squishy middle-of-the- roader,' he jokes, chortling at the thought. To Norquist, who loves being called a revolutionary, hardly an agency of government is not worth abolishing, from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration to the Education Department and the National Endowment for the Arts. 'My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years,' he says, 'to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.'"

(No more FDIC savings insurance, you can kiss your money and your ass good-bye when another S&L scandal erupts. Or a Ken Lay clone opens a bank, it could happen. No more SEC to try to protect you and your investments either. Might as well just put it on Red 7 at the roulette table and let it ride, daddy, ride.) And this from Grover:

"...his next battleground, he pauses. Well, he says, there's the matter of all those state and local pension plans. State by state, he's planning to launch a campaign to dismantle and privatize state pension plans and their trillions of dollars of public funds held as investments for retirees. 'Just 115 people control $1 trillion in these funds," he says. "We want to take that power and destroy it.'"
Grover Norquist: 'Field Marshal' of the Bush Plan by ROBERT DREYFUSS, The Nation, May 14, 2001 (Yes, this article is on the elderly side, but I seriously doubt anything has changed, except the 1.6 TRILLION, yes! TRILLION, tax cut for the RICH is now a fact. Sigh. What are these people smoking in D.C.?)

Now, I have no hard or even squishy numbers, but I suspect that only a very tiny percentage of wage slaves (like me) have the investment savvy or are able to afford professional advice like John Scalzi. Again, I have no numbers, but I also suspect that those same wage slaves (like me), have no money to invest. I know I don't have any of those things (I've got the sun in the morning and the moon at night and my salary), and , foolishly perhaps, I'm counting on Social Security and working part time in my dotage. (Even if I had and could invest my Social Security deduction, which is generously matched by my skin-flint employer because there is a law that makes them do so, it would be sucked into the expenses vortex so I could live better, pay my ridiculously high insurance deductibles, get better car insurance and maybe a better car, move to a nicer apartment, etc. etc., y'know, quality of life stuff.) Unless society really runs out of money and really goes to hell and I'm one of the first casualties, which, in many ways, might be a blessing. Hey, I saw Road Warrior, I thought it was on the optimistic side.

I do believe Scalzi has succumbed to James Likes' disease, the predominant symptom being this chant: "Just let me get me and my family into the bunker and to hell with the rest of y'all." This strikes me as rather caveman naïve because the ravening hordes spawned by the destroyed society their stupid selfishness created, will certainly have shovels and be highly motivated, if only for survival reasons. In that scenario, I won't last any longer than James and John, maybe not as long since I don't have a bunker, but at least I'll know why I'm going to die and that I did what I could to keep us going. Like, pay taxes. Yeah, this is a hard-ass attitude, but I live in Los Angeles so fuck you Red states very much and I mean that sincerely. Maybe John and Lileks should take in a showing of A Boy and His Dog to get used to raising their daughters underground. Have a bad day, John, you're off my blog list.

If you're not willing to pay a little along with the wage slaves like me for a decent society, you don't get to live in one and don't blame people who have less money than you do for that, pal, look in the goddamn mirror for the culprit. Your money and your super ideas aren't going to do you or anyone else much good after the deluge.

Oh, and TBogg is CORRECT: Thanks Ralph, you asshole.

Wake up, liberals, or we're all through.

Snarl.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:34 PM PST [Link]

Nth Position Online Magazine has the coolest stuff, including a free, downloadable pdf files of 100 Poets Against the War and the sequel 100 Poets Against Redux.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:49 PM PST [Link]

Well, I was going to have a quiet evening...

WAR Haiku for YOU!

Hussein, ugly rat
Missiles hidden underground
Soon you will be dead.

*

Oh, Star Creator
Give us strength and booming guns
We will kill them all.

Poets For WAR! Neal Pollock, Feb 6, 2003

Don't ask, I'm laughing too hard to even begin to explain. Thanks again to skimble for the link. Our blogger on the poetry beat. And now, back to laughing.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:35 PM PST [Link]

BartCop is so useful!

Music Industry Settlement claim form

In order to determine whether you are eligible for an award under the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation, please click the appropriate response to the following three questions:

1. Did you purchase a Music Product (defined as a prerecorded compact disc, a cassette or a vinyl album)?

2. Was your purchase from a retailer? (A retailer is an entity that engages in the sale at retail price of Music Products.)

3. Was your purchase made between January 1, 1995 and December 22, 2000?

If you answered yes to ALL THREE of the above questions, you are eligible to receive an award under the settlement, and should click the Continue button below in order to complete a claim form. The exact amount of your award will be determined based on the total number of eligible claims filed and is not known at this time, but is estimated to be between $5 and $20.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:14 PM PST [Link]

"Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General during the Johnson Administration has drafted articles of impeachment setting forth high crimes and misdemeanors by President Bush and other civil officers of his administration." VoteToImpeach.org

God, it seems like almost too much to hope for...

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:02 PM PST [Link]

A weird juxtaposition between Lana Clarkson and G. Gordon Liddy:

"Clarkson never left Hollywood. She did commercials (for Kmart, Honda, Budweiser, Playtex bras and others). She tried stand-up. She volunteered for an AIDS charity. She formed her own production company, Living Doll Productions. She did bit parts here (a 2000 episode of the G. Gordon Liddy series, 18 Wheels of Justice), she did bit parts there (a 2001 episode of the Sci-Fi Channel's Black Scorpion)."
Spector Case Victim Kept Dreaming Entertainment –EOnline!, Feb 5, 2003

I swear, I was looking for an article by Liddy on Iraq and I found this. I'm sure he's for, but I just wanted to see what kind of nutty prose might be out there. I mean, I'm sick of the 80s, I think I'll mine the 70s for a while. Sigh.

Oh wait, I found some Liddy:

"'I'm a life member of the American Special operations Association, a former wartime artillery officer in our army, and a former bureau supervisor of the FBI,” he shrugs. “If someone starts shooting at me, and there is a gun nearby, they are going to be damned sorry.'

"So far, however, things appear safe enough for the conservative broadcaster, who is staying in a luxury suite at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, a hostel he says is 'world class.'"
Liddy in Israel Dave Eberhart, NewsMax.com, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2003

Doesn't Israel have enough problems without having the Liddy show broadcasted from there?

Maybe I'll go back to the 80s.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:01 PM PST [Link]

"It is true that science can be done in the space station. But science can also be done dressed in a clown suit atop a large Ferris wheel." The Economist on NASA, Nov 16, 2002

I seem to recall they thought the space station was a waste of time and resources.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:59 AM PST [Link]

"Rather than a man of unchallenged principle, Powell has consistently put his political interests first, as was demonstrated when he played a double game on the U.S. field commanders in the first Persian Gulf War. The second historical precedent was the now-admitted case of a fabrication that the Reagan administration used to fool the American people and the UN in 1983."
Trust Colin Powell? A Retrospective, ConsortiumNews, February 6, 2003

The 80s! The nightmare continues...

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:16 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Um, John Saleeby at Acid Logic has gone right over the edge for Pam Grier. John often gets, um, enthusiastic, but this is way enthusiastic, even for him. It's interesting stuff though. I like Pam Grier, I think if there's anything left of, well, anything in a couple of years, she'll probably be signed to portray Condi Rice in the miniseries. This will be a better deal for Condi than for Pam because Pam is a Goddess. And Condi... is not.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:07 PM PST [Link]

"The Federal Communications Commission, led by Michael "My Religion is the Market" Powell, is fixing to remove the last remaining barriers against concentration of media. This means that one company can own all the radio stations, television stations, newspapers and cable systems in any given area. Presently, 10 companies own more than 90 percent of the media outlets."
What this idea of the market is selling us, Molly Ivins, Feb 2, 2003

And like those 10 companies need to control 100% of what we see and hear in the media. And, in the interests of paranoia, how long before they find a way to control web content? Well, someone aside from Corante and Chilling Effects has to think theses things.

And here's where the whole mess started, the unspeakable Telcom Dereg Act of 1996, started in the 80s, which are already haunting us to madness. Okay, sorry, will cool the drama... for now.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:06 PM PST [Link]

And now a word or several from the most sensible man on earth:

"Faced with the thought that manned space travel — the real thing, not the show NASA puts on to keep the public entertained — could already have happened if history had played out a bit differently, I was forced to confront my youthful dreams of space flight with the question, So what? I found myself trying to think of wonderful things people might have done in space these past 30 years — and came up blank. Scientific observation? Machines can do that. Mining the asteroids? A dubious idea — but even if it makes sense, machines can do that too. (A parallel: Remember all those predictions of undersea cities? Sure enough, we now extract lots of valuable resources from the ocean floor — but nobody wants to live there, or even visit in person.)"
A Failed Mission by Paul Krugman, NYT, Feb 4, 2003 (for the dreaded NYT login in, use "hackenblog" and "hackenbush")

Much of NASA really is for pageant and spectacle, with some dazzzzling science tossed in. When Challenger
crashed in 1986, the investigation revealed, in part, that the project had been something of a rush job. I do remember hearing, briefly, that this was because the Reagan administration wanted something to take the peasants, sorry, citizens' minds off how messed up the government was. Challenger crashed on January 28, 1986. On June 5, 1985, David Stockman said that if the Securities and Exchange Commission had jurisdiction over the way the executive and legislative branches of government have handled the deficit, "many of us would be in jail." And that was just one incident in a very embarrassing year for the Regan cabal. Is there a connection? Well, even paranoids have enemies. Thanks The Bonzo Years - 1985 I'd be doing a lot more google searching without you guys.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:55 PM PST [Link]

I guess I never really thought about it and as incredible as it seems, I suppose there might be some Republican poets. How weird.

Poetry and Politics Don't Always Mix: A Case in Point WSJ, today.
Thanks skimble for the heads up.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:27 PM PST [Link]

"Be it recorded that last time the United States and its allies went to war with Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, I won a dinner bet with a New York editor who'd bought into the idea of a prolonged tank and infantry battle on the Kuwaiti border. Having had a small amount of experience in that region, I doubted that Saddam Hussein's army would stand and fight. I figured once the shooting started, the war would be over in two weeks."
Gambling with History by Gene Lyons, Feb 5, 2003

Sigh.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:43 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

I don't know why the Lana Clarkson entry was here twice or why Greymatter wouldn't let me delete it (I might be trying to do it wrong), but now we're down to once. Sorry about that.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:53 PM PST [Link]

I'm not completely clear why Lana Clarkson's murder is bothering me so much, but it is.

"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police think legendary rock producer Phil Spector murdered a B-movie actress in the foyer of his hilltop home just hours after meeting her at the Sunset Strip blues club where she worked as a hostess, sources said Tuesday."
Spector met actress at LA club hours before death

I don't remember ever seeing any of her movies, but, like Marilyn and Madonna, she sure comes right off the screen in these photos. And, I might be wrong, but it looks like all the, um, curves are real in ways we don't see much of in modern pinups. So, why in hell would anyone murder someone like this? But I guess I ask myself that all the time.

Oh, and thanks Joe Bob Briggs for the story about Lana in Barbarian Queen on his website today.

"Threatening to fall out of her flowing chiffon nightgown at any moment, she screams "Nobody is going to make a lady out of me!" at the evil king Ankaris, who keeps her in the dungeon and threatens her with death unless she reveals the secret of the scepter, which she won't reveal as long as her father, the real king, is alive, because if you reveal it while he's alive, he dies, but then none of this matters anyway because she escapes and joins a band of warrior Amazon women with enormous hooters and cute little leather fighting bikinis and pretty soon they're leading a peasant revolt against the corrupt castle-dwelling rulers, but then Lana is recaptured and chained up and gets her blouse ripped off several times, and the only hope is that about a hundred Mexican extras can overrun the castle and . . . but I don't wanna give away the whole thing, so let's look at those drive-in totals:"

What prose! I'd get the bends if I tried to write like that, but, you know, I think he liked those cute little leather fighting bikinis and, well, who would not?

I think I will miss Lana Clarkson, even though I just found out about her. Rest in peace, Lana.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:15 PM PST [Link]

Wouldn't it be nice to have a book by a witty, reasonable, right-thinking kind of guy who also likes Bruce Sprinsteen on the bestseller list, instead of a vicious rant by an angry bottle blond who needs more help then she'll ever be able to get? It's all up to you, America.
What Liberal Media? by Eric Altman, Basic Books, (ISBN: 0465001769), $17.50 at Amazon.

Sorry, Eric, I like you, but I haven't liked Springsteen since Greetings From Asbury Park and maybe half of Thunder Road, if that was the next album.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:20 PM PST [Link]

Monday, February 3, 2003

"In the long run, the cost could be enormous, congressional Republican and Democratic aides said. Taxes from capital gains, dividends and interest total roughly $160 billion a year, according to calculations by Citizens for Tax Justice, a labor-funded group. The loss of much of that revenue would begin showing up just when the baby boom generation is straining Social Security and Medicare.

"Democrats said the proposal is transparently aimed at the rich, who will simply shift existing savings into the new tax-free accounts.

"'It's breathtaking,' said Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee. 'These guys really don't care about the future at all.'"
New Tax-Free Savings Plans Proposed Retirement, Non-Retirement Accounts Would Shelter Earnings, by Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, February 1, 2003

IF you have an earnings to shelter; most people don't make enough to save and these are the people upon whom the tax burden will fall most heavily when the country runs out of money. (Thanks MaxSpeak for pointing this out, it nicely provided my evening freak-out.)

And do I feel the heavy hand of Grover Nordquist in all this? Grover, that quaint cretin who thinks that when the country runs out of money, the Government will have to be, um, compressed.

"Yet even while emerging as a Washington power broker, Norquist has held on to the irreverent, in-your-face style that has been his trademark since his earliest days as a college activist in the 1970s. 'I've been a 'winger' from way back,' he says. 'I was an anti-Communist first, and then I became an economic conservative. I think I've gotten more radical as I've gotten older.' Today, he can barely suppress his glee at how much the movement has succeeded, saying that politics is shifting to the right while he remains constant. 'I started out as a right-winger, and when I retire I want to be a squishy middle-of-the-roader,' he jokes, chortling at the thought. To Norquist, who loves being called a revolutionary, hardly an agency of government is not worth abolishing, from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration to the Education Department and the National Endowment for the Arts. 'My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years,' he says, 'to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.'"

Yeah, right.

Does this guy scare anyone else or is he just annoying?

I, on the other hand, think that when the Government runs out of money because the Republicans have become permanent rulers, they'll take all the wages of those who are unfortunate enough to still have jobs (aka, slave labor) and call it revenue generation. Unfortunately, any potential MLK, Jr. will have died in a small plane crash so there truly will be no one to save us from the worst case scenario. Hey, even paranoids have enemies. Wake up liberals or we're all through.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:03 PM PST [Link]

My first psycho mail!

I got this response from the Swap Shop scrawled at the bottom of my Rush sponsor boycott letter:

"How often were you coming to the Swap? We don't need the Calif Democrats to stop coming. Help us!!"

Well, how do they know I'm not AM Scaife's gal pal and flying in every weekend? It was, as you might imagine, unsigned.

But, more importantly, these people do need help!! Notice only that sentence fragment had !! on it. A cry for help!! if I've ever seen one. I invite any readers to write to the Swap Shop and recommend that they divert their Rush Limbaugh show advertising dollars into their mental health plan immediately, if not sooner. It is their only chance for sanity in Fort Lauderdale, poor little things. Here's the address:

The Swap Shop
3291 W Sunrise Blvd
Fort Lauderdale FL 33311-5603

You, too, might get a nutty note in that signature serial killer scrawl!

More on the boycott in the archives, here are some easy to download sponsor addresses, and more info also at TakeBackTheMedia.com Have fun!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:28 PM PST [Link]

Edit100504: Links that work:
http://sisyphe.org/article.php3?id_article=657
http://www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca/services/ucla_study_friendship.html
http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/gender/tendfend.html
PubMed Citation
PDF of paper
HTML version of PDF

"A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more. Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach quivering stress most of us experience on daily basis."
UCLA study on friendship among women, by Gale Berkowitz

I think this can be applied to the unmarried, divorced, and aspiring spinsters among us, too.

My friend Lene sent this to me and I thought it was too nice to keep to myself. I mean, that would be selfish, no?

Google had 17 hits on the title of this study, most notably to the Women and Horses site, but, sorry, no link to the original study.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:59 AM PST [Link]

I believe the Republicans have seen what they've believed all along, which is that this democracy stuff is bull, and that people don't want to be burdened by political affairs. That people would rather just be taken care of. The oligarchy doesn't need an educated public. And maybe the nation does prefer tyranny. I think that's what worries me. It goes back to Fourth Amendment issues. How much do you value your freedom? Would you trade your freedom for some illusion of security? Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.

Hunter Thompson, salon.com, 2/3/03

Posted by Lynn Loper @ 11:20 AM PST [Link]

Sunday, February 2, 2003

You know, even though I just asked Kevin Drum for a plug, I'm sorry, but I have to take issue with this post:

"Japan and Afghanistan are the only countries in this century to have attacked us on our soil."

Yes, I agree, the leadership of the country of Japan ordered its military to commit an Act of War (yes, I mean those capitals) against a protectorate of the United States in 1941. Afghanistan, in my opinion, did nothing of the kind; they didn't even attack us on our soil because I'm pretty sure that at the time of the attack, Afghanistan didn't have a military.

The 911 hijackers were terrorists acting independently of any government, even the Taliban in Afghanistan, because they were not Afghan citizens. And even of the four hijackers of unknown nationality, I would find it hard to believe that Afghanistan after 20+ years of war and horror could produce anyone strong enough to go flight school in the U.S. That's not a slam, that's just a deduction based on the poverty, starvation and lack of educational (and other) infrastructure in Afghanistan after what that poor country has been through. Nor do I believe Mullah Omar ordered those attacks, he was too comfortable with Pakistan's support and must have suspected he'd lose it if he attacked the US. That's how it is with countries; since you can go to war with them, that's always the risk when you piss one off. (Now, I know bush and co have made a joke out of that idea, but moving right along...) I think the attack, was either masterminded by Osama bin Laden or it was a committee project and probably the latter because it was huge. And even if some of the hijackers were Afghan citizens, I feel that terrorists renounce country-hood for ideology. Since most of the hijackers were Saudis (12 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 1 United Arab Emirates, 1 Lebanese, and 4 Unknown nationalities. More detail), I can't even feel that Saudi Arabia committed an Act of War against us. I believe that terrorists actions are criminal actions and should be treated as crimes, not Acts of War.

"The rest of them either attacked people we were friendly with or simply had the wrong ideology for our taste."

Now that is dead-on in the usual CalPundit style and ain't it a shame for all of us.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:55 PM PST [Link]

"Bratton selected the Hollywood strip, MacArthur Park and downtown's skid row as his first targets. Step by step, the Los Angeles Police Department has been introducing the "broken windows" system he used as New York's top police officer."
LAPD Tests New Policing Strategy

You know, LA is a big place and the numbers might be going down in the target areas, but they gotta be going up elsewhere. Our citizens are often reckless, but surprisingly adaptable. Of course the fucking crime statistics are down! The action has moved!

I'm sure Chief Bratton has it under control and I hope his strategy works, but, in addition to going after the small fry, is he also eventually going to address the problem we have in LA with rogue cops, South Central gangs and the overwhelmed juvenile offender system? Or is he planning to clean up Dodge in easy to swallow increments? Oh, and don't forget our terrible problem with cinema trash.

Also, I don't know why this wasn't mentioned in the article, but one of the main problems with MacArthur Park is that it's in Rampart and the legal residents were always afraid to call the cops because it just made it worse. At least that's how we felt in Echo Park, also in Rampart Division.

"A platoon from the elite Metropolitan Division patrols the park daily, concentrating on quality-of-life crimes. The effort has produced a 50% decrease in crime in the last two months, said Capt. Douglas S. Shur. The LAPD declined to provide more details on that decline."

And why the hell is Metro in the park and not Rampart? And, excuse me, but red lights start flashing for me when the LAPD declines to provide more details on anything. Sorry, lived here too long, I guess.

If I ever run into Chief Bratton at the supermarket (not likely), I'd strongly recommend he read "Policing Space, Territoriality and the Los Angeles Police Department" before he declares victory and runs for mayor.

And, lastly, is Chief Bratton's strategy going to lead to the kind of storm trooper policing we saw in the Abner Louima station rape and Amadou Diallo shooting and God know what else that doesn't come immediately to mind? Don't we have enough bad karma in this town already? Isn't the solution to get the LAPD to stop acting like an occupying army and become our fellow Angelenos? Even the ones who live out in Simi Valley.

Edit: I stand corrected in the comments. "Louima and Diallo happened under Bratton's successor, the utterly subservient Howard Safir." Thank you to Glen England for that. I hope Bratton succeeds here in LA, we could use a break.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:59 PM PST [Link]

The bush administration does something I approve of and you are there.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:42 PM PST [Link]



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