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"It's morning in America, Hackenbush, and you work the nightshift."

Saturday, December 13, 2003

"The celebration of International Human Rights Day may be a good occasion to ponder whether the Bush administration should distance itself from the most influential U.S. foreign policy-maker of the 20th century: Henry Kissinger.

"I'm not part of the cabal of conspiracy theorists who have blamed the former secretary of state for most of the world's ills -- from the 1973 military coup in Chile to human rights abuses in Indonesia and Bangladesh. I've always read such allegations with some skepticism, because they most often come from human rights activists who denounce crimes by the right, while playing down those of the left.

"But The Herald's Dec. 4 report about an Oct. 7, 1976, conversation between then-Secretary of State Kissinger and Cesar Augusto Guzzetti, then foreign minister in the Argentine military government, raises serious questions about Kissinger's repeated assertions that he is the victim of a smear campaign."
Conspiracy theorists may be right on Kissinger, by Andres Oppenheimer, The Oppenheimer Report, The Miami Herald, December 11, 2003

Real politick sucked then, sucks now, and will always suck. Whatever we have now in the bush delusion doctrine isn't any better or worse.

But it would be nice to see Kissinger in the dock for crimes against humanity. Ah well, dream on, Mayerson, dream on.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:45 PM PST [Link]

"Mexican American Political Association President Nativo Lopez said it is an effort "to send a very clear message to Gov. Schwarzenegger, business, civic and political leaders that if our people do not receive driver's licenses early next year ... we will continue to call for economic boycotts, full days of boycotts, work stoppages, and school strikes."
California Latino groups urge boycott, CNN, December 12, 2003

Good luck, strikers. You've already got the Clear Channel radio goons rattled; they were more incoherent than usual when I had the misfortune to hear them after 3PM on Friday. Good for you guys! Go workers!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:44 PM PST [Link]

"12 December 2003 - Diebold has partnered with firewall vendor Sygate in an effort to protect its automated teller machines from future virus attacks after admitting that a computer worm infected devices at two of its banking customers in August."
Diebold takes virus protection measures after worm spreads to cash machines, Finextra, December 12, 2003

August? This happened in August and they waited until December to do something about it?

Is it even possible to boycott Diebold?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:43 PM PST [Link]

"A computer worm named "killer" is expected to break out today to cripple Windows users' computers online, China anti-virus authority warned yesterday.

"The worm, which the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center named "Worm_Killonce.A," will delete all files or documents in infected computers' C disk drive as well as allow Internet users to access and share the information on the hard disk. The worm can spread itself through the Internet when the computer's date clocked December 13, according to the center."
Computer virus set to hit, Shanghai Daily news, December 13, 2003

In other virus news... Update those definitions and don't open attachments you weren't expecting.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:42 PM PST [Link]

"Tips to avoid the flu:

"Try not to consume too many dairy products during the holidays. They can promote overproduction of mucous in the respiratory tract, which can support the growth of bacteria and viruses."
No spike in flu virus reported yet in valley, by Mike Perrault, The Desert Sun, December 13, 2003

Skip the eggnog and just have the brandy. A Mayerson Public Service Announcement.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:41 PM PST [Link]

Friday, December 12, 2003

Today is the feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. (via Rittenhouse Review)

Well, that would explain the brass, drums and singing going by under my windows at 5:30 this morning.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:54 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

"We are talking about something called 'sovereign debt.' And unless George Bush has finally named himself Pasha of Iraq, he is not their sovereign. Mr. Bush has no authority to seize control of that nation's assets nor its debts."
Baker Takes the Loaf, by Greg Palast, AlterNet, December 9, 2003

What would we do without Greg Palast?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:40 PM PST [Link]

"Securitarianism creates what we experience to be 'the reality' of a terrorist threat. This is not to say that there is no 'real' threat out there. Rather, this threat is always discussed in the new language of security. As we, along with our friends and families, come to see ourselves as potential victims of terrorist attacks, the national security state emerges to protect us from the threat. But fear and threat have come into being simultaneously; we can not imagine one without the other."
Feeding Fear: The New Security Culture, by Katherine Lemons and Patricia Purtschert and Yves Winter, AlterNet, December 3, 2003

Sigh. I know we'll never be the same, but must we be this fucked up?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:39 PM PST [Link]

"I had one of those shocks the other day. Keisha (name changed to protect the guilty) is not your average Jenny on the block. She is multilingual, has traveled extensively and lived abroad, and pulls down a six-figure salary. She's a compulsive reader and knowledge-seeker. And as a thirty-something African-American, Keisha is also part of a demographic whose political disappearing act should worry Democrats and anyone who cares about democracy.

"Keisha's reasons for not voting are simple. She hates most of the candidates. 'I vote,' she says, 'with my money.'"
Leave No Flygirl Behind, by Farai Chideya, AlterNet, December 9, 2003

Maybe we are doomed.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:37 PM PST [Link]

"The problem is that Kucinich supporters are likely to oppose Dean more than other Democrats because they feel pre-empted and marginalized by his peace candidacy. They complain that Dean, unlike Kucinich, has not laid out a broader strategy for global peace. They feel slighted when Dean attacks 'inside-the-Beltway Democrats' without mentioning Kucinich's early and consistent leadership against the war. The question is whether they can transcend this understandable bitterness or will take the opportunity to inflict payback on Dean."
The Anybody-But-Dean Syndrome, by Tom Hayden, AlterNet, December 9, 2003

Oh, Tom Hayden, hm, why is that name so familiar?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:35 PM PST [Link]

We're like frogs...

"You just never know exactly what Californians will do when they govern themselves directly through the initiative process. One year they’ll slash government spending on schools and health care by passing Proposition 13; another year, they’ll lock in rising spending for schools by passing Proposition 98. In the mid-’60s, the electorate endorsed segregated housing; in the ’90s, they wanted to kick the children of undocumented immigrants out of schools and hospitals. (The courts overturned both of those initiatives.) One year they’ll re-elect Gray Davis governor; the next they’ll recall him from office."
Ruling by Referendum - Governor Arnold wants voters to fix his budget mess, by Howard Blume, LA Weekly, December 5-11, 2003

...you never know which way we're going to jump. Kind of an odd way for the 5th or 6th largest economy IN THE WORLD to act, but there you have it. Sigh.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 04:01 PM PST [Link]

"That winter Monday would be a busy day for Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Justice Department, which, in the middle of its highly self-publicized war on terrorism, found itself with enough time and badges to raid 55 individuals and head-shop businesses under an obscure statute banning the sale of drug paraphernalia. No one at the Palisades house was arrested that day, but two months later the government would charge Tommy Chong with one count of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia. Suddenly, at the age of 65, Tommy Chong, who had never been arrested in his life, faced a felony conviction and jail time. Stranger still, Tommy Chong was not the owner of Chong Glass and its Nice Dreams line of smoking pipes."
Chong Family Values, by Steven Mikulan, LA Weekly, December 5-11, 2003

We have some really bad laws in this country.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:56 PM PST [Link]

"Johanson's flight made him the first person to fly a home-built, single-engine aircraft over the South Pole, according to his partner Sue Bell.

"He had planned to continue to Argentina, but unusually strong headwinds caused his plane to use more fuel than expected, forcing his precautionary landing at the McMurdo-Scott base.

"Johanson asked the base for 400 litres of fuel to complete his flight, but officials refused, saying the research programs at the base do not stock fuel for private individuals."
Stranded pilot offered flight to NZ, The Australian, December 11, 2003

So, I guess my question is, how often do home-built, single-engine aircrafts flying over the South Pole make emergency landings at the McMurdo-Scott base?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:35 PM PST [Link]

"Scientists say they have turned mouse embryonic stem cells into primitive sperm cells — and then used the sperm cells to fertilize eggs. The scientific team's work could offer insights into male infertility and boost human stem cell research."
Scientists Create Sperm From Stem Cells, by Rick Callahan, AP, Yahoo News, December 10, 2003

Does your parthenogenesis need some help?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:20 PM PST [Link]

"So is there any truth to the rumor that Clark is Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's Democratic presidential candidate of choice?

"The question came up again during Clark's visit to a high school in Somersworth, N.H., on Wednesday.

"Clark poked fun at the idea, toying with the thought that there was a 'conspiracy' between him and the Clintons.

"'It makes sense. Our names both begin with 'Cl.' We're both from Arkansas. We both studied at Oxford as Rhode Scholars," said Clark, straightfaced. 'There must be some connection there.'"
POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Washington Democratic insider says no problem running with outsider Dean, by Will Lester, AP, SF Chron, December 10, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:44 PM PST [Link]

Well, duh, California, what the hell were you those of you who voted this moron into office thinking on October 7?

"California's already battered credit rating suffered another downgrade from a Wall Street rating agency that criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to cut car taxes without any plan to pay for the move." Duh.
California government's bond rating downgraded; Schwarzenegger hedging on education promise, by Tom Chorneau, AP, SF Chron, December 10, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:22 PM PST [Link]

"The Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is dropping a plan to hire a private investigator to examine allegations he had groped at least 16 women over the past three decades, breaking a promise made to voters just before his state election victory in October.

"'There is no investigation,' he told CNN, saying he would instead concentrate instead on his new job as Governor. "I've been here for 35 years in this country and I have never had any complaints filed against me nor any complaints made to me," he said." "That I noticed. 'No!' 'Stop!' 'Don't!' Those are weasel words, they mean nothing to a big, burly man like me. Gasping, screaming, glaring - pah! How stupid. I just ignore it." Ed
Schwarzenegger shelves groping inquiry, Reuters, Sydney Morning Herald, December 11, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:21 PM PST [Link]

"In what may prove a dramatic reversal of a key campaign promise, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he is considering suspending Proposition 98, the landmark school funding guarantee." "Jawohl! That frees up 40% of the mandated budget. That's mandated, not manhandled." Ed
Schwarzenegger considering suspending school funding guarantee, by Tom Chorneau, AP, SF Chron, December 10, 2003

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:21 PM PST [Link]

"Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and various City Council members held a news conference Tuesday to warn that the up to $19 million that the city will lose each month because of state cuts pays for the equivalent of 190 police officers or firefighters.

"'We are extremely apprehensive that the nearly $4 billion in local revenues that cities in California are owed are at risk,' Hahn said. 'Most of that funding pays for police and fire services. In an emergency, this funding could mean the difference between life and death.'

"Schwarzenegger's evolving position reflects the difficulty of both fulfilling campaign promises and balancing the budget.

"California faces a $14-billion budget gap. For the governor to both repeal the car-tax hike and make local governments whole he would need to make steep cuts elsewhere in the budget, something he is reluctant to do."
Schwarzenegger Retreats on Key Campaign Vows, by Peter Nicholas, Evan Halper and Joe Mathews, LA Times, December 10, 2003, print edition

But, y'know, if it was a Dem in that seat, it would be a $44 Billion budget gap.

California - The frown and shake your head state.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:20 PM PST [Link]

So Ginger and I agreed that the only way to resolve the Dems' dilemma is to have a no-holds-barred wrestling match between Clark and Dean, with their respective wives as their tag-team partners. The winner would get to be the presidential candidate and the loser gets to be vice-president. (Although Ginger thinks Clark should be prez. because he's taller. There's some merit in that.)

This would go live on all three networks, with Hunter Thompson doing color commentary. Imagine the ratings.

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 10:54 AM PST [Link]

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Julia beats up Joe Lieberman.


Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:14 PM PST [Link]

"Re "Gov.'s Agenda to Go to Ballot," Dec. 7: Excuse me, but our so-called governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, did not run on a platform to borrow $15 billion and stick it to our kids. His mandate was formed by unrealistic promises, trust and a belief that he could resolve the budget crisis by cutting out waste. It is only arrogance and ego that could lead him to believe people will blindly follow his lead to pass his agenda. I applaud all our legislators in recognizing that amending the California Constitution is serious business and should not be done in a span of a few weeks."
Yolande Macias McKay, LA Times Letters, December 9, 2003

You tell 'em, Yolande!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:54 PM PST [Link]

"Gore's endorsement could also give Dean an additional foothold in the African-American community - a key part of the Democratic base, whose votes could be pivotal in early primary states such as South Carolina. In his remarks at the announcement, Dean drew attention to the fact that the event was being held in Harlem, and he stressed the importance of recognizing those 'people that are with us all the the time.'

"Although Dean's campaign has been criticized in the past for having mostly white supporters, he has been increasing his outreach to African-Americans lately. The nod from Gore likely aids that effort."It's not going to have the same impact that a Clinton endorsement, for example, would have," says David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. But 'it certainly helps.'"
Gore embraces Dean - and new political style, By Linda Feldmann and Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor, December 10, 2003

Harlem... isn't that where President Clinton's office is?

Oh, and those "people that are with us all the time" are probably waiting for the field to narrow enough to get behind ONE GUY. That's what I'm still waiting for, however impressed I am by President Gore's endorsement.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:27 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, December 7, 2003

There might not be much blogging this week for various reasons reasons, such as my dayjob. So, here's an open thread for book, movie, site, CD, you-name-it reviews. Enlighten me; I don't get out much.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:55 PM PST [Link]

"Thus, envision this G.O.P. whispering campaign soon directed to women, liberals and the legions of centrist, semi-hawkish, non-angry Democrats: If you want the Clinton Restoration to the White House in '08, the only way to make it happen is to stay the course with Bush in '04."
Hilliary, Congenital Hawk, William Safire, NY Times, December 7, 2003

Translation: Even William Safire knows bush is going to lose next year.

Safire audio quote on the bush junta meltdown.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 09:25 PM PST [Link]

"BLITZER: Was U.S. intelligence going into the war faulty?

"CARD: ...I think that's a moot point."
CNN, December 7, 2003

Is it moot that thousands of people died and continue to die in Iraq because of faulty intelligence? Card's remark is doubly offensive on this particular day.

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

States that have canceled their Presidential primaries:

Washignton, Kansas, Colorado, Maine, New Mexico, and Utah.

"Several states have moved to drop their presidential primaries next year, worried about costs in still-tight financial times and wondering if the political exercise would serve any purpose."


"So far, Kansas, Colorado and Utah -- all with Republican-controlled legislatures -- have canceled their state-run 2004 primaries. Republican legislatures tried unsuccessfully to drop primaries in Arizona and Missouri, but Democratic governors either vetoed the primary bill or restored the funding."
Some states cancel primaries, by Robert Tanner, Topeka Capitol Journal, December 7, 2003 (via ReachM High Cowboy)

I'm trying to figure out if this bothers me or not.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:38 PM PST [Link]

Unreal. I wish.

Thanks, Dave, belated happy birthday.

"'With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them.'"
Colonel Sassaman (via Cursor)

U.S. out of Iraq now.

Before reality completely implodes.

(Edited 120803 GM)

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:26 PM PST [Link]

Don't pretend you don't remember Gunne Sax dresses.

I myself had almost managed to forget and then Mr. Dan Kelly and Julia (of all people!) go and remind me. Oh, Lord, what can we have been thinking?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 05:18 PM PST [Link]

'I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.''

§ 3331. Oath of office. Taken by an individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03:53 PM PST [Link]

"The US economy has recovered from the worst part of the downturn in employment that we experienced during the spring and summer of 2003. Put another way, the labor market has almost (but not quite) clawed its way back to where it was throughout most of 2002. Unfortunately, the third quarter boom in the economy may well already be petering out."
Kash, Angry Bear blog, December 5, 2003 (via MaxSpeak)

What you don't see on this chart is how many lives have been ruined by the bush junta's economic jinx. Who's lost their home? Whose kids aren't going to college? Whose heath is fucked without benefits? God, I wish this chart went back to 1990- or even 1980- the present. Then you could see what we've really lost to fear, greed and anger.

And no matter what the Baffler wants me to believe, it wasn't just the Tech bubble.

"'The dollar crisis is the story,' warns James Harmon, an investment banker who headed the Export-Import Bank during the Clinton administration. 'A lot of smart money has moved out of the dollar in the last six months,' he explains. 'Now the latecomers are rushing to sell, and that's adding to the momentum.'

"Right after Clinton won the election - before he had even had a chance to take the oath, economists said we had an extra-good Christmas because they knew help was on the way.

"After he was swore in, Wall Street saw he was paying down the deficit. This gave them some incentive to bet on America, and others flocked to bet on America, too.

"The reverse is true about the wild-spending Chimp.
"Wall Street is afraid to bet on him because he brought back the Reag-Bush decifits.
"And other countries certainly won't bet on America because what have we become?
"An out-of-control bully who nobody can stop from stealing the world's assets.
"This will continue until America gets the vote back from the Supreme Court."
Today's link for BartCop, December 5, 2003, will be THIS LINK when the new page is up.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:30 PM PST [Link]

Foot Binding! It's Back! What Next? Designer Female Circumcision?

"With vanity always in fashion and shoes reaching iconic cultural status, women are having parts of their toes lopped off to fit into the latest Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos. Cheerful how-to stories about these operations have appeared in women's magazines and major newspapers and on television news programs."
If Shoe Won't Fit, Fix the Foot? Popular Surgery Raises Concern, by Gardiner Harris, NY Times, December 7, 2003 (as seen on Sisyphus Shrugged)

Sisters, please, wear Kumfs, wear Clarks, wear Eccos, but don't let a doctor cut your feet up for fashion. Please. Tight shoes can ruin your day, but nerve damage can ruin your life.

I mean, the whole high-heel thing is just so we can't run very fast. If we ever need to run very fast. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:58 AM PST [Link]

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