YouTube is the Greatest

Ok, I can fritter away HOURS--I mean H O U R S--looking at this kind of stuff on YouTube. Dresses over the Pantsuit! Ohmygod.

Profiles in Congressional (and Executive?) Courage

I usually am not a fan of this kind of stuff. The kind that makes a big joke out of seriously criminal activity--something the Republicans are masters at these days--usually makes me pretty sick. But this guy's schtick is great, and he has got Bush's body language and swagger down. Seiously.


"Our Mothers Had Less Rights Than Our Fathers..."

Reading today about what has happened in New Jersey (in case you haven't heard: the Supreme Court has given the legislature a 180 day window to figure out how to give commited gay couples the same rights and protections as married ones... some say just in time to stir up anti-gay venom and get out the Republican vote), i came across the blog of Doug Ireland, and a post he wrote quoting Spain's Premier last year. The speech is in support of gay marriage, and came on the eve of the vote to include Spanish gays in not only the marriage club, but the child-rearing club as well. Last year, both gay marriage and adoption by gay couples was legalized in Spain. And the sky has not fallen. Anyhow, if you are interested, click on the title of this post to link to Doug Ireland's blog and the speech from Premier Zapatero. It is wonderful, and makes me proud of the things my Mom and BC have lived through--and hope that the world might actually change before Steven and I are dead.


Another Gay Movie

Oh my god--look what is playing at our tiny little movie theatre! I know what we're doing tomorrow night. May be cliche overload, but this trailer sure makes it look hilarious. Has anyone seen it?


Why Trust Electronic Voting?

There is no good reason. Click on the title of this post to link to a pdf from a statistician friend at uscountvotes.org, to find a brief overview, with examples of statistically improbable examples from the 2004 election. We must stay with paper ballots UNTIL someone can come up with a foolproof method of counting votes that ensures there are not hundreds, maybe even thousands of pols out there tampering with electronic totals. This is more fundamental and basic to our liberties and our way of life than anything folks.

Things You Have to Believe to be a Republican

Thanks for this Tammy. You people out there in blogland spread the word!

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extra-marital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands (more than half a million by some estimates) die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

If you don't send it to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with more Republicans in '06 and '08. Remember; friends don't let friends vote Republican


Don't Be A Sucker

Found this linked on TomPaine.com today: "This is about the division of minorities and rise of a right-wing conservative agenda. It looks frighteningly familiar. They've just waited until enough people forgot. Please watch and pass along."


Don't You Want to be Gay??

Cmon, you know you do! Oh boy, to be a marketeer. Gee I feel so great! Thanks Martina! Thanks Bill. Thanks Coretta. Thanks John. Thanks Anne, you Bridesmaid you!

I Heart Europe


We aren't even close to having advertising like this on this side of the Atlantic.

So Wrong

Here's a great example of why i'm glad to not live in Georgia anymore. Wrong on soooo many levels.

More of JingXia's handiwork

She is a wizard with the sewing machine. I'm loving this brown canvas with pink piping and the kinda turquoise walls. It's our Annette Funicello guest room, Moon Doggy! Those Africana curtains are leftovers from the previous inmates of 308, but we are getting a bit attached to them. It's a cacophony of clashing patterns.

Yes, Master

I lost $5 in this slot machine last week. With each bet, Jeannie would say yes master in a, well, kinda orgasmic sort of way.

Omigod. This is from Melissa at work

Issue du Jour

In the past few months I have so enjoyed getting to know complete strangers, with whom I find I have a great deal in common. This is the essence of community.

And it is because of the internet.

Bill Moyers writes eloquently about this troubling effort to turn the internet into Fiefdoms, turning it over to business interests who'd like to hack it into profit centers and revenue streams like everything else in the world. Click on the title of this post to link to the essay at tompaine.com, or read below:


Against An Imperial Internet
Bill Moyers and Scott Fogdall
October 16, 2006

Bill Moyers is host of “The Net At Risk,” a documentary special airing Wednesday, October 18 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Scott Fogdall is with Films Media Group. Visit www.pbs.org/moyers.

It was said that all roads led to Rome. However exaggerated, the image is imprinted in our imagination, reminding us of the relentless ingenuity of the ancient Romans and their will to control an empire.

For centuries Roman highways linked far-flung provinces with a centralized web of power. The might of the imperial legions was for naught without the means to transport them. The flow of trade—the bloodstream of the empire’s wealth—also depended on the integrity of the roadways. And because Roman citizens could pass everywhere, more or less unfettered on their travels, ideas and cultural elements circulated with the same fluidity as commerce.

Like the Romans, we Americans have used our technology to build a sprawling infrastructure of ports, railroads and interstates which serves the strength of our economy and the mobility of our society. Yet as significant as these have been, they pale beside the potential of the Internet. Almost overnight, it has made sending and receiving information easier than ever. It has opened a vast new marketplace of ideas, and it is transforming commerce and culture.

It may also revitalize democracy.

“Wait a minute!” you say. “You can’t compare the Internet to the Roman empire. There’s no electronic Caesar, no center, controlling how the World Wide Web is used.”

Right you are—so far. The Internet is revolutionary because it is the most democratic of media. All you need to join the revolution is a computer and a connection. We don’t just watch; we participate, collaborate and create. Unlike television, radio and cable, whose hirelings create content aimed at us for their own reasons, with the Internet every citizen is potentially a producer. The conversation of democracy belongs to us.

That wide-open access is the founding principle of the Internet, but it may be slipping through our fingers. How ironic if it should pass irretrievably into history here, at the very dawn of the Internet Age.

The Internet has become the foremost testing ground where the forces of innovation, corporate power, the public interest and government regulation converge. Already, the notion of a level playing field—what’s called network neutrality—is under siege by powerful forces trying to tilt the field to their advantage. The Bush majority on the FCC has bowed to the interests of the big cable and telephone companies to strip away, or undo, the Internet’s basic DNA of openness and non-discrimination. When some members of Congress set out to restore network neutrality, they were thwarted by the industry’s high spending lobbyists. This happened according to the standard practices of a rented Congress—with little public awareness and scarce attention from the press. There had been a similar blackout 10 years ago, when, in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress carved up our media landscape. They drove a dagger in the heart of radio, triggered a wave of consolidation that let the big media companies get bigger, and gave away to rich corporations—for free—public airwaves worth billions.

This time, they couldn’t keep secret what they were doing. Word got around that without public participation these changes could lead to unsettling phenomenon—the rise of digital empires that limit, or even destroy, the capabilities of small Internet users. Organizations across the political spectrum—from the Christian Coalition to MoveOn.org —rallied in protest, flooding Congress with more than a million letters and petitions to restore network neutrality. Enough politicians have responded to keep the outcome in play.

At the core this is a struggle about the role and dimensions of human freedom and free speech. But it is also a contemporary clash of a centuries-old debate over free-market economics and governmental regulation, one that finds Adam Smith invoked both by advocates for government action to protect the average online wayfarer and by opponents of any regulation at all.

In The Wealth of Nations, Smith argued that only the unfettered dealings of merchants and customers could ensure economic prosperity. But he also warned against the formation of monopolies—mighty behemoths that face little or no competition. Our history brims with his legacy. Consider the explosion of industry and the reign of the robber barons during the first Gilded Age in the last decades of the 19th century. Settlements and cities began to fill the continent, spirited by a crucial technological advance: the railroad. As railroad companies sprang up, they merged into monopolies. Merchants and farmers were often charged outlandish freight prices—until the 1870s, when the Granger Laws and other forms of public regulation provided some protection to customers.

At about the same time, chemist Samuel Andrews—inventor of a new method for refining oil into kerosene—partnered with John D. Rockefeller to create the Standard Oil Company. By century’s end Standard Oil had forged a monopoly, controlling a network of pipelines and railways that spanned the country. Competition became practically impossible as the mammoth company manipulated prices and crushed rival after hapless rival. Only with the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890 did the public have hope of recourse against the overwhelming might of concentrated economic and political power. But, less than a century later a relative handful of large companies would assemble monopolies over broadcasting, newspapers, cable and even the operating system of computers, and their rule would go essentially unchallenged by the U.S. government.

Now we have an Internet infrastructure that is rapidly evolving, in more ways than one. As often occurred on Rome’s ancient highways, cyber-sojourners could soon find themselves paying up in order to travel freely. Our new digital monopolists want to use their new power to reverse the way the Internet now works for us: allowing those with the largest bankrolls to route their content on fast lanes, while placing others in a congested thoroughfare. If they succeed in taking a medium that has an essential democratic nature and monetizing every aspect of it, America will divide further between the rich and poor and between those who have access to knowledge and those who do not.

The companies point out that there have been few Internet neutrality violations. Don’t mess with something that’s been working for everyone, they say; don’t add safeguards when none have so far been needed. But the emerging generation, which will inherit the results of this Washington battle, gets it. Writing in The Yale Daily News, Dariush Nothaft, a college junior, after hearing with respect the industry’s case, argues that:

Nevertheless, the Internet’s power as a social force counters these arguments….A non-neutral Internet would discourage competition, thereby costing consumers money and diminishing the benefits of lower subscription prices for Internet access. More importantly, people today pay for Internet access with the understanding that they are accessing a wide, level field of sites where only their preferences will guide them. Non-neutrality changes the very essence of the Internet, thereby making the product provided to users less valuable.

So the Internet is reaching a crucial crossroads in its astonishing evolution. Will we shape it to enlarge democracy in the digital era? Will we assure that commerce is not its only contribution to the American experience?

The monopolists tell us not to worry: They will take care of us, and see to it that the public interest is honored and democracy served by this most remarkable of technologies.

They said the same thing about radio.

And about television.

And about cable.

Will future historians speak of an Internet Golden Age that ended when the 21st century began?


The War of the Words

This 5ive part mockumentary counts down the weeks till election. It's pretty funny, yet sad. Worth five minutes of your time, per week! Click on the title to link to the website.

I'm a Socialist

What are you?

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Love This!

Love This
Even if it is a depressing electioneering ad, it sure has resonance to me. Thanks Michael for posting it!

Caught Steven

in his mud mask. He threatened me with death if I posted this, so if you don't see any more of me here, you'll know what happened.


Look at this

Cool new rug I got in Sioux City yesterday. I'll surprize Steven with it (unless he reads this first!). It will be perfect by the front door.


Take This Test

to see what your Medieval vocation would have been (click on the title of this post to link to "kingdomality." My job is Benevolent Ruler. Yeah right.
Fight the H8 in Your State