Gotta Stop Bringing Work Home...

Sioux Haiku

the history of
Sioux City is on my mind
so many dumb rhymes

begin to craft it
the story of gritty folk
who settled cow town

not any cow town
but one with an opera house
a cow town opera house

the entrepreneurs
some quite crazy in the head
are Accrue City

while meatpackers and
the bustling stockyard gang
make up Zoo City


Run, RUN for your lives!
Flood, fire, collapse coming
Steamboat's run amok

department store fell
and two thirty-two.. we are
so Rescue City

and hell's half acre
and the little Chicago
gang are Sioux Seedy

can't forget the farms
all that corn feeding the world
more, MORE Beaucoup City!

in many ways it
is the greatest show on earth
dramatic and fun

full of ironies
trial and error that make
life so interesting

it's Bijou City
and lately Renew City
still Sioux City

Rock Star

Ok, so we are just returning from this party where rock star ANGELA from Project Runway was a guest. We so really didn't like her on PR, but the show is really great. Steven likes it more than I do I think; I'm constantly telling him how the design world is really like that. Geez, last week, 4 people were "aufed" from my office for chrissakes. It really does work that way. One day you are in. One day you are out.

The party was FABULOUS, tons of great homemade food, deserts, a bonfire...kind of mucky and slimey since it rained here all day, but it was really fun. We spent alot of time talking to Robin's mom about how fucked up our world is and how our Constitution has been trashed... and a lovely cat named Horn Dog sat in my lap forever in the garden.

Click on the title of this post to see Angela's collection. You can buy a piece!


More on the Military Commissions Act

From Hillary Clinton, this excerpt from her speech on the Senate floor, urging the Senate to vote no against the impossibly flawed Military Commissions Act of 2006:

"This bill undermines the Geneva Conventions by allowing the President to issue Executive Orders to redefine what are permissible interrogation techniques. Have we fallen so low as to debate how much torture we are willing to stomach? By allowing this Administration to further stretch the definition of what is and is not torture, we lower our moral standards to those whom we despise, undermine the values of our flag wherever it flies, put our troops in danger, and jeopardize our moral strength in a conflict that cannot be won simply with military might.

Once again, there are those who are willing to stay a course that is not working, giving the Bush-Cheney Administration a blank check -- a blank check to torture, to create secret courts using secret evidence, to detain people, including Americans, to be free of judicial oversight and accountability, to put our troops in greater danger.

The bill has several other flaws as well.

This bill would not only deny detainees habeas corpus rights -- a process that would allow them to challenge the very validity of their confinement -- it would also deny these rights to lawful immigrants living in the United States. If enacted, this law would give license to this Administration to pick people up off the streets of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charges and without legal recourse.

At the very least, this is worth a debate on the merits, not on the politics. This is worth putting aside our differences -- it's too important.

Our values are central. Our national security interests in the world are vital. And nothing should be of greater concern to those of us in this chamber than the young men and women who are, right now, wearing our nation's uniform, serving in dangerous territory.

After all, our standing, our morality, our beliefs are tested in this chamber and their impact and their consequences are tested under fire, they are tested when American lives are on the line, they are tested when our strength and ideals are questioned by our friends and by our enemies.

When our soldiers face an enemy, when our soldiers are in danger, that is when our decisions in this chamber will be felt. Will that enemy surrender? Or will he continue to fight, with fear for how he might be treated and with hate directed not at us, but at the patriot wearing our uniform whose life is on the line?

When our nation seeks to lead the world in service to our interests and our values, will we still be able to lead by example?"

Click on the title of this post to link to the full contents of Senator Clinton's speech. It is worth your time to read it. She makes an intellectually brilliant comparison to our fighting the terror of Bristish rule 225 years ago.

Planting Adjooga

sorry for the phonetic spelling, but i never know how to spell all these pesky plant names. This is Steven, digging up the 4' or so between our sidewalk and street, in preparation for a bed of adjuga..agooga, something like that. Someday soon (or maybe next year) we will have no more lawn, only garden. Can't wait for that day.

A Beautiful Day

And my beautiful Mister. The other day we went for a walk after lunch in Columbus. This is a bigish park west of the Short North, in an area called (we think) Victorian Village. We both wanted to wade into that pond to collect the Lotus seeds. A couple years ago in Shanghai, the subway stop next to our hotel had this guy on a bicycle selling these at the station, and we ate a whole bunch of them over a period of several days, coming to and fro points of fun in that boiling city. So, we really were thinking of jumping in to get some. But the prospect of what urban detritus may lay in the muck stopped us.

Oh, and by the way, the brutal 70s skyscraper in the background is Nationwide where Steven works. Even though I call it brutal, I really mean that as a compliment. Up close it is not bad at all, and the gardens they have around that building, inside and outside, are actually pretty incredible. There is a particular grove of white-skinned river birches floored with a field of mondo grass that Steven really loves. And there is a very nicely designed water feature/river that runs through the gardens and plaza, with bridges, a wonderful mixture of manmade cut stone river bed and more natural sections, all crisscrossing and making a really nice oasis. All the work i'm getting started on at the Ohio Statehouse has made having lunches together quite convenient!

It's Official Folks...

Torture is now official U.S. policy. Click on the title of this post to read about the bill that passed the Senate yesterday, without any of the amendments that attempted to temper it's destruction of our Constitution. I can't believe how ridiculously vague the provisions protecting the right to know the charges against an "enemy combatant" are, and how flimsy their right is to due process and legal representation. Another black day for America.


The possibility of this is mind-numbingly devastating.

This is from Curtis over at Let Me Tell You All About It, Sweetie. There is so much we don't know. And the mere thought that even 2% of this might be true is just unfathomable. Does anyone know who Dave vonKleist is? I've never heard of him before now. I feel sick.


In Case Any of You May Have Thought "Brownie" at FEMA was an Isolated Incident of Poor Judgement...

Think again. Click on the title of this post to read about how--in the never-ending rebuilding of Iraq--cronyism and fake loyalty to Bush are apparently more important than skill, policy consistency, or even pragmatism. Let's hope that while all these right-wing think-tankers are in Iraq getting a heavy dose of reality, that they'll learn something about the beauty of pragmatism, as compared to ideology. I'm not holding my breath.

While none of this is news, it certainly is a breathtaking look at why we are failing miserably with Iraq. It is all so sad, such a waste, such a diversion.


A Timeline of American Foreign Policy in the Mideast, 1990 to today

Click on the title of this post to link to Mother Jones' really interesting piece re: Iraq and the Middle East. I couldn't stop reading. It IS Mother Jones, so it is not friendly to the Bush family, at all. So don't read if you don't want to hear that. To paraphrase what Bill Maher said last night, the most patriotic thing any of us can do right now is to make fun of the buffoon that is Bush. He is so beyond having any political capital right now. As a matter of fact he has created quite a deficit for himself on that score; something he is really good at, whether it is the good will of our brothers and sisters all over the world, Arbusto shareholders, the voting public, etc.


How Dare Condi

And speaking of other items in the news (or not enough in the news, if you ask me), did you all hear about Condi's ridiculous statement the other day? She basically compared those who want us out of Iraq to a "what if?" scenario: What if the North had "Cut and Run," as the Republicans are so fond of saying in their own special dumbing-down kinda way, the way a majority of Americans now want us to get the hell out of Iraq, and the South still had slavery? What if? First of all, it's just dumb. And shocking. I am so disappointed in her. And it REALLY makes me wonder what kind of deposit was made in her Swiss bank account to get her to utter such a thing.

Who is Judge Anna Diggs Taylor?

Gee I wish I could click on CNN or MSNBC to find out. Hentoff is right, the press has been eerily silent about all this. Well, i sure would like to know more about her, because you can be sure the Republican Smear Machine is working on destroying her, right now, as I click. I'm sure they will lay as much Plame on her as they can; according to this article it has already begun. Click on the title of this post to read the full article. I am so shocked that Specter is doing this, I really thought he was above being bossed around by Bush & co. It really makes me think that so many people are being bribed. I bet there is a Swiss bank account somewhere in Specter's name, and that is the carrot that they use to whip him with to make sure he is on board with getting the President out of responsibility for committing FELONIES. It all just blows my mind, and it blows my mind that we are letting the illegal wiretapping--in direct violation of FISA--continue while the courts "decide" (or are coerced) and while the press ignores it all and keeps it out of our sight as much as they can. How can this be happening??


My Southernese Roots aren't as strong as I thought, Y'all.

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% General American English
25% Yankee
20% Dixie
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern


Good News for Everyone: Legislators pass a bill that could launch a national movement to elect the president by popular vote

Let's hope Arnold wants to be reelected badly enough to sign this.

You can find a link to this LA Times article at TomPaine.com:

A Vote to Quit the Electoral College
Legislators pass a bill that could launch a national movement to elect the president by popular vote.
By Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writer
August 31, 2006

SACRAMENTO — Lawmakers sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill Wednesday that would make California the first state to jump aboard a national movement to elect the president by popular vote.

Under the legislation, California would grant its electoral votes to the nominee who gets the most votes nationwide — not the most votes in California. Get enough other states to do the same, backers of the bill say, and soon presidential candidates will have to campaign across the nation, not just in a few key "battleground" states such as Ohio and Michigan that can sway the Electoral College vote.

"Frankly, the current system doesn't work," said Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico), the only Republican to vote for the bill. "Presidential candidates don't bother to visit the largest state in the nation…. California is left out."

If Schwarzenegger signs the bill — AB 2948 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Anaheim) — California will be the first state to embrace the "national popular vote" movement, though legislation is pending in five other states: New York, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado and Louisiana.

The California legislation would not take effect until enough states passed such laws to make up a majority of the Electoral College votes — a minimum of 11 states, depending on population.

The governor's office said Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the bill.

Many Republicans spoke against the legislation, arguing that it was an "end run" around the U.S. Constitution and would drive presidential candidates to campaign in big cities and ignore rural areas.

"Those who are running for president," said Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), "are going to talk to Los Angeles and San Francisco."
Fight the H8 in Your State