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Saturday, February 15, 2003

Things you will never hear from the Christians occupying the White House:

"Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz hailed the worldwide protests:
"'They show the conscience of mankind against crime and against aggression,' Aziz, Iraq's most prominent Christian, told Reuters television in Italy, where he prayed for peace."

"Bishop Desmond Tutu said he believed the peace marches could make a difference:
"'People marched and demonstrated and the Berlin Wall fell. People marched and demonstrated and apartheid ended,' he said. 'And now people are marching and demonstrating because they are saying no to war.'"
Millions Join Global Protests of Iraq War, By Ellen Wulfhorst and Paul Majendie, Reuters, Feb 15, 2003

What could I possibly add? Godspeed.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:13 PM PST [Link]

I'm forewarned that some US pastors are planning to wrap their pulpits and themselves in plastic sheeting and duct tape tomorrow.

Please remember to unwrap them as soon as the present danger has passed.

Posted by Jane Seaton @ 02:24 PM PST [Link]

Friday, February 14, 2003

Molly Ivins making beautiful sense on taxes and fairness like she usually does on every subject she deigns to write on:

"The result is that, since 1995, the IRS has focused most of its tax fraud investigations on the working poor, people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit -- the only good idea that Ronald Reagan ever had." Call it inflammation of the wallet, Feb. 13, 2003, Star Telegram

Leave it to Molly Ivins to ferret out the one good idea Reagan ever had. Is this woman a goddess or just a great journalist or both?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:48 PM PST [Link]

"Well it's 3:30 p.m. I had a nice lunch at my favorite bar. I didn't want to go out on a meatball sub. In any case, nothing has happened. I grant there is a non-zero probability that something could happen here in D.C., or elsewhere. I could get a lot more skeptical, but there will still be that non-zero probability. You can't ignore the precedents. But the President's remarks, to the effect that there are tens of thousands of terrorists out there, hundreds of cells plotting evil deeds, looks more every day like a mile-high pile of horse puckey. How many opportunities for some really cool terrorism have there been over the past two years? Why didn't they hit the Superbowl when Shania Twain was singing? What good are they?"
The Fabulous MaxSpeak!

I can't help myself, I utterly adore this man's blog.

I've been living in my own little world so successfully lately, I don't even know why we're on Orange alert. Other than a peace demonstration, no march, in NYC, I can see no reason why today is really much different than the hellish days we've had since December 12, 2000. Terrorist attack? Okay, but I live in Los Angeles and am I really in any more danger of dying from that than from a car accident? I'm not very good at math; anybody got odds for me?

You know, someone who cares should remind the bush regime of the little boy who cried wolf. And what happened to that little boy. And how glad the villagers were when it happened. Yes, glad, yes indeed.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:54 PM PST [Link]

While we're worrying about Iraq, the UN, WMD, and The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), the bush junta has plans to eliminate income tax and replace it with a national sales tax.

When you've finished screaming in horror, journalist David Neiwert, in his blog Orcinus, has the scoop and great links, including one to Angry Bear, who is going to be writing about it a lot. Do these economists never sleep or what? He's blogified for sure.

Those of us with only the merest toe-hole in the middle class might be hoping for TEOTWAWKI if this new way to fuck us over goes through. And I thought Reagan was a prick; two years into the bush regime and I'm starting to feel nostalgia for the old bastard. Then I snap out of it because in addition to TEOTWAWKI, I have something NEW! to worry about! Wonderful.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:27 PM PST [Link]

"A FORTNIGHT ago, Bagehot argued that although Tony Blair's support for America over Iraq had left him politically exposed, the extent of his vulnerability had been somewhat exaggerated. Popular opposition to war could be largely overcome by a United Nations resolution specifically authorizing military intervention. Even without it, and even though a large number of his own MPs would probably vote against him, Mr Blair would still get a substantial majority in a House of Commons vote on the war. Once British forces were in harm's way, if past experience was anything to go by, patriotic support for “our boys” would sweep away many of the doubts about their mission. As long as the war was swift and successful, the prime minister would be home free."

God, is Bagehot a soulless bastard or is it just the way we live now? Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but Bagehot appears to have no problem sacrificing the lives of British Tommys so Tony Blair can stay in power. May the good Lord help us all if that's the case. I've always known it was all about power, but I've never seen it so raw and disgusting before.

"The prime minister will continue to insist that Britain should be the bridge between Europe and America. But if the gap is too wide to be spanned, even the best of bridges will disintegrate. Transatlantic spats are nothing new, but without the cold war glue that could once be relied upon to bound fractious partners back together, they have taken on a different and more rancorous quality. It is September 11th that has made this one particularly dangerous. Few Europeans comprehend America's feeling that it is being betrayed in its hour of need—and, thus, the lasting damage that Europe's leaders may now be doing." The boy stood on the burning bridge, Bagehot, The Economist, Feb 14, 2003 Yes! A free article for once!

Sometimes I wonder what 'America', if not what planet, The Economist does its reporting on. Most Americans, certainly all the ones I know, feel our own unelected administration is betraying us in our hour of need and wish we had leaders like Chirac and Schröder. But, I suppose the Brits are allowed to be smug; when they get fed up with Blair, they can vote him out and someone else in. Unlike we suckers here, who are stuck with the anti-administration until 2005, unless something tosses us a lucky break. Sigh. Oh well, at least I get Monday off.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:28 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, February 13, 2003

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday refused to rule out the U.S. use of nuclear weapons in the possible war with Iraq, but noted atomic weapons have not been unleashed in hostilities since 1945."
Rumsfeld Won't Rule Out Nuclear Bomb Against Iraq, Thu Feb 13, 1:04 PM ET

Fifty-eight years of progress just went right out the window. Damn. And I seem to have lost the ability to freak-out over this stuff anymore. I think the bush junta has reached my freak-out saturation point and this is very, um, disturbing.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:36 PM PST [Link]

"To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war."
Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences by US Senator Robert Byrd, Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003, Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:29 PM PST [Link]

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

"France, Germany, Russia, China, what do they know? They're spineless, cynical, self-interested, callow, envious and resentful. NATO? Who needs it? Pope John Paul? What's his angle? War, war, war. To the victor belong the spoils. No more quibbling with the Saudis and the Turks. We can change Iraq's name to the Arab Occupied Territories. The U.S. will have a West Bank of its own, complete with oil wells." A War of Convenience, Gene Lyons, February 12, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:28 PM PST [Link]

"Most L.A. County infrastructure, built more than 50 years ago for a much smaller population, is in decline. In a new ‘scorecard,’ The American Society of Civil Engineers assesses the state of Southland systems – from roadways to wastewater – and recommends what must be fixed." Degrading LA

Like we need that, even if it were possible. Here's the link to download the full report. (I think USC is working to fix this as I write, but I had to open Acrobat and then open this webpage, http://uscnews.usc.edu/InfrastructureReportCard/CitizenGuideBook.pdf to get the report to actually download.)

Yes, I know; I work in a 50+ year old county cinderblock with no windows and not much in the way of A/C or heat, leaky plumbing, leaky roofs, concrete floors, but lots of soul building over by County Hospital and my co-workers and I know exactly how tough we are.

However, here's LA County's report card from pages 8 through 10 of the report when I finally got it open:

Bridges = C; Dams = B-; Drinking Water = C- (not the water, the infrastructure to maintain and get the water to the tap); Flood Control = B; Parks = C+; Ports = B; Solid Waste = A-; Streets and Highways = C-; Transit = C+; Urban Runoff = D; Wastewater System = B.

This report is pretty cool, it goes through all the above issues one at a time, very carefully and has recommendations. These recommendations are nice but cost money and as far as I've been told, CA is flat broke and in the hole.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:00 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Chinatown LA Metro stop

So, the power is back on and the really cool serv-o-mail truck is gone, but the Lincoln Heights post office is still closed at 1:15ish. My alternatives are not to mail these copies of "What Liberal Media?" or drive to another PO. They're all about equidistant; so the deciding factor is what kind of food can I get near the one I choose.

So, in the rain, I'm driving down North Broadway, over the train bridge and past the former Women's Building, where it turns into Alameda and past the old train yards, where I once saw the Ringling Bros and whatever circus unloading (yes, I am that old). I get to College and Alameda and there's no way I could not possibly see the set straight out of "Farewell My Concubine" that will be the Chinatown Metro stop. I nearly had an accident looking at it (if anyone has a link to a picture I'd be much obliged, but, really, it looks like a ride queue from some stylized Chinese deco theme park whose mother was frightened by Walt Disney in the Paris Des Artistes Metro station). It's either quaint or embarrassing or both. All it will need are New Year's dragons coasting along side the train from the Courthouse. Is there a Courthouse stop or would that be too, I dunno, urban and normal?

Hey, I'm not blaming anybody that I choose to live in this city. Being able to talk about it is one of the perks, y'know?

And why can't an innocent woman get a double dip lamb sandwich when she asks for one at Philippe's anymore? I love their food, I guess I must speak LOUDER when I ORDER to get what I WANT.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:32 PM PST [Link]

I will never complain about the Post Office again. The power was out this morning when I went by to get my mail and parked in front of the PO there was a big mail truck with a window on the side (not unlike a burrito truck) selling postage, money orders, taking packages, the works! Who says snail mail doesn't work? Snail mail rocks!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:36 AM PST [Link]

Monday, February 10, 2003

"We are united in the belief that a military attack on Iraq at this juncture would be profoundly immoral, and would almost certainly result in destabilizing repercussions that would endanger the whole world."
Time to Move Beyond War

I totally agree with these Canadians.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:19 PM PST [Link]

TBogg takes the family to see The Two Towers.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:39 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, February 9, 2003

Never, never will I marry
Never, never will I wed
Born to wander solitary
Wide my world, narrow my bed
Never, never, never will I marry
Born to wander till I'm dead
Frank Loesser

Etiquette Hell

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:34 PM PST [Link]



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