Friday, August 31, 2007

Joe Republican

I first read this years ago and have wanted to find a copy of it ever since, it shows the delusion pretty much all Republicans are laboring under. As you read it think about the fact of all the benefits Joe takes for granted now were fought for by liberals and fought against by conservatives.


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Senator Craig

Let's face it, he handled that "I'm not gay!" press conference all wrong, we all know he's lying. Does he really not know we all know he's lying? But here is a great video on how he should have handled it from British TV, they have more experience with these things:

Special thanks to Long Live the Village Green for the link to Brain Police who had the link to YouTube.

How Fast is Your Mac?

Primate Labs, the blog for Geekbench, has tested the speeds of just about every Mac in the last 6 years or so up to the present. It's pretty spectacular. My old Quicksilver G4 comes in at 841. This is based on the score of a Power Mac G5 @ 1.6 Ghz being the base at 1000. My new iMacs came in at 2862, more than 3 times faster than the Quicksilver, and they probably used only 1 Gig of ram where I have 3. Tests at OWC show going from 1 Gig of ram to 3 is a better than 30% speed jump.

But it is very interesting to see where everything stands. At the very top is the new Mac Pro Dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons (which means 8 processors) at 8626. It better be that fast since a single one would have cost more than both my iMacs combined, which is why I didn't get one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Zen of Mac

A friend of mine once told me that Mac people would rather click ten times than write a single line of code. To which I said: “Exactly the point!” Apparently very smart people like Macs as Noah Gift says in his article, the Zen of Mac:
“Why would I use a terminal, it is a mac, that is the whole point!”. That taught me quite a bit, as here was one of the most successful and intelligent people on planet earth and he “got” Mac. He didn’t want to think about his computer as his thinking time was spent in other areas like making sure Caltech continued to be one of the top Science Universities and doing research on curing AIDS.

I've been working on my new iMacs all weekend and enjoying the heck out of it, my kind of meditation.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New iMac

I picked up a couple of the last white 20” ones, the new aluminum ones are simply unacceptable and an embarrassment to Apple. New ones are running fine and I got a very nice discount. I'm very happy, except for a few minor glitches, like my Keychain passwords won't copy over, or more accurately, half of them won't copy over. Weird. It's very fast but I haven't tried working with it yet, I will on Monday but after a 5 year old G4 anything would seem fast. The one really fun thing I've found so far is Photobooth, I can take pictures of myself with the iSight camera at the top of this thing and do it with special effects! Now what could be better than that?

But really, everything is VERY fast, even the new keyboard works better. Here on Blogger I see a movie icon up next to the image icon, wonder if that's new or if I just couldn't see it with my old system?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Republicans Can't Manage the Economy

Here is an article on Alternet that compares the financial records of democratic and republican presidents, there is simply no question that republicans should not be allowed to handle money. Here's a quote:
Democratic presidents spread the wealth through spending on needed social programs and targeting tax cuts to lower- and middle-income Americans, stimulating the economy more broadly. Republicans pump into defense contractors and high-income Americans, creating a significant detriment to the whole economy with larger deficits and higher interest rates.
The recent drops in the stock market have been blamed on all the home mortgages going belly up and poor sales even for Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart spokesman said people have less money to spend by the end of the month. Gee, what a concept! People need money in their pockets in order to buy things, if the government takes money from the economic pool and moves it upward t
o the rich and to corporations then there is less spending by the poor and middle class who are getting badly squeezed.

This article discusses this very thing and provides facts, that when the money is spread around to those who need it most we have a more robust economy, when it goes to those already rich the economy stagnates. Make no mistake about it the government WILL redistribute the wealth, it's merely a question of which makes more sense; to spread it out to the poor and middle class or for the those very people to support the luxurious lifestyles of those already rich?

The real irony is that all that money going to the rich only helps them for a short time, when the workers run out of money the rich start making less as well. But they are always too short sighted to see that and just get greedy. They really do think they are special and the poor deserve their fate by being less worthy.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Karl Rove has been making the rounds over the weekend to blast Hillary and say she is fatally flawed. Hillary keeps responding and getting lots of good publicity. Do most people really not see what is going on? Sadly, I think most don't.

The people in charge - rich people and corporations - want Hillary to be the Democratic nomination and are working hard to make it happen. First, they think Hillary really IS flawed so they think they have a chance if they run against her. Second, as part of the DLC she is the most corporation friendly of all the Democrats so if they can't stop a dem from getting elected they can at least choose the dem that suits them the best. So Rove is just playing a role to help Hillary get the nomination.

It's all a scam played by the people with money against the people without money. They keep squeezing the middle class so they are so busy just running the rat race that they can't pay attention to what is going on, especially if the corps make sure the real news of what is going is buried where only some people know how to find it. And since the big corps all own the main networks they can completely control what info the public gets.

Ever notice who they don't want to get the democratic nomination? John Edwards. You never hear about him except when it's about his hair, do you think that is just coincidence? In a poll I read in a newspaper - it never got on TV - when all the democratic candidates were matched against all the Republican candidates John Edwards was the guy who beat them all by the biggest margin, it was quite substantial. Obama came in second and Hillary came in third, just barely beating Giuliani by one point.

The sad thing is this isn't about who will be the best president, it's all about perception and manipulation. Edwards wins because he's the southern white boy, Hillary does badly because of an irrational hatred of her that the Republicans have been fanning for 15 years. But a little of it IS about who would be best president, it has to do with why the media doesn't like Edwards, because they don't own him. He's for the poor, not for business, and has enough money that he can't be bought. Hillary was bought long ago.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Famous Atheists

Celebrity Atheists List. This page has a pretty comprehensive list of famous atheists and agnostics. Of course, one doesn't become an atheist because it's popular, often it can be very traumatic to go against the overwhelming majority of religious people in this country.

But it can be fun to see what kind of company you keep.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sad Mac

I finally got down to an Apple Store and had my first look at the new iMacs. At first glance it looked pretty good, but at second glance it didn't. If I didn't know what to look for I wouldn't have seen it but the 20” screens really are darker at the top and lighter at the bottom. When I put that standard image of the clown fishes in the green plants it looked terrible. Too dark on the top with medium tones going almost black then so light at the bottom that light tones just washed out. This is completely unacceptable for a graphic artist. And I didn't like the glare, either. It wasn't terrible and I was in the brightly lit store but why would I want to put up with that?

The 24” looked much better but still had the reflections in the glossy screen. I could probably adjust to it but why spend $1,799 for something that's less than I'd like? Very odd of Apple to not offer a matte screen and to go with a cheap TN Film 6 bit FRC screen on the 20”. Artists and photographers all across the internet have been complaining, saying they can't use it. This is a major blunder, maybe Jobs has lost it. And I really prefer the new styling of the aluminum, thin body, but the screen quality trumps everything else, including speed. I really wanted to like these new ones and I don't.

What it boils down to is that I'm not getting one, when I was all set to buy two. I'm going to go for one of the white iMacs, on sale everywhere for around $1,299. I'm even thinking of getting the Mac Mini for the home computer, that way I can still use my old monitor and the compact keyboard I bought. I was really looking forward to a new iMac screen and making my old cinema display the second monitor but maybe it's not worth the price.

I'd love to go for a couple of the white 24” iMacs but don't think I can afford that. But the bottom line is I waited for these new iMacs for nothing. And what about the future? Is Apple going to only make glossy displays from now on for everything? I'm very disappointed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More On Darcy

Darcy is home again. She has no major heart problems so they still don't know what's wrong with her liver. She was so weak last night I had to lift her off the couch, they are talking about her being anemic and needing a transfusion.

They know she has portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the portal vein, the main one pumping blood into the liver from underneath) and ascites, but her heart checked out OK. Not perfect, it is showing signs of wear and tear with all she's been through but nothing serious enough to worry about and certainly not serious enough to cause the liver problems or the ascites. They also know she doesn't have cirrhosis and the portal hypertension isn't high enough to cause the degree of ascites she has. So they don't know what is causing the hypertension (can be caused by cirrhosis, heart problems or blood clots, all have been ruled out) or what is causing the ascites.

I think it's simple, all the meds she's had to take since her lung transplant have taken a serious toll. They are really quite lethal even though they have kept her alive. And as problems have developed from those meds they have had to add additional meds to combat those. She got extremely high blood pressure and they had to give her very high doses of anti-BP meds to bring it down to normal. Then she got serious blood clots in her legs so they had to put in a stent in the inferior vena cava and give her very high doses of blood thinners, she has to inject those. Then she has to be on prophylactic antibacterial and anti-viral meds because she almost died from pneumonia, both bacterial and viral at the same time, a few years ago.

Ascites is very interesting, never heard of it before this. Apparently our intestines are wrapped in a little bag, ascites is fluid seeping out into the space between the bag and the abdominal wall. They have to stick a needle in to drain it out.

It doesn't take a whole lot of knowledge of how the human body operates to see that it's the kind of mess that could only have grown on it's own, guided by cause and effect. If there was a designer he would make it much simpler and easy to figure out, like a car engine. The IDers have it all wrong, the level of complexity does not add up to a creator but to the lack of one. My usual metaphor for this is to compare a Zen garden to a wild forest. It's completely obvious which is tended to and which is growing wild, and we aren't in any Zen garden!

Darcy has been beating the odds for years, the other 5 patients who got lung transplants at USC at around the same time as hers were dead at 5 years out. Darcy had her 9 year anniversary in April. The
pneumonia mentioned above almost killed her, her doc said an 80% chance of dying, they were all surprised she recovered. Then they discovered a fungal infection in the air passages leading to her lungs, which had a 90% chance of killing her but 6 months of aggressive anti fungal treatments and it was gone. She is still on anti-fungal meds prophylactically, another med with very serious side effects.

We knew our luck would run out someday and this is looking like it. She is just so weak and thin I don't see her having the resources for miraculous recoveries any more.

Despite having 14 years to prepare for her death the idea feels like a crushing weight on me, something so unbearable it's hard to even think about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Difficult Day

Darcy went in to the hospital last night in order to do a test this morning called a cardiac catheter. Basically, they push a small tube up a vein and inject contrasting fluid into her heart and scan it to see what is wrong. Unfortunately, that dye is very tough on her already damaged kidneys.

She is so weak now it hurts to look at her, just skin and bones. So I get nervous about these tests like I never used to, she seems so fragile I don't want her put through any kind of stress at all. I talked to her this morning and she said she was going to have it done soon. I waited - and waited - then started calling her cell phone. Now I'm getting really anxious. Around 3 pm I start calling around the hospital and finally get to her nurse who said they didn't take her down for the test until 1 pm, sheesh. They are like that over there, takes forever for anything. That explained the delay so I wasn't as worried - except I still was. The nurse said she would call me when she heard anything.

It was almost 3 hours later before I heard from her, she said they had just called her and said they were bringing Darcy up and she was OK. But I was so stressed by this point I ate half a box of Nestles Pinwheels for dinner. Finally, Darcy called me around 7. Her voice didn't sound good, all slurred, but I think that was just from the fact her mouth was so dry, she hadn't been allowed to drink anything all day. She was very tired and was not allowed to sit up for 2 more hours.

She should come home tomorrow but the worry hasn't left yet. I'm sure it won't be good news. From what her doctor said long term lung transplant patients start to develop heart problems, really, it just wears out. It took them a while to discover this because most patients don't live 9 years past surgery for these things to show up. We are on borrowed time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The God FAQ

I don't know who put this web site up but it's damn funny. Brilliant in it's simplicity.

Update: The link has been fixed. I usually check them when an entry is first done but I must have missed this one.

Iraq Is About to Become a Lot Worse

This is an article on Alternet by Chris Hedges. His predictions are very disturbing, if true it means things will get far worse in Iraq than any of us have imagined.
The war in Iraq is about to get worse -- much worse. The Democrats' decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone, our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict. It will, in fact, signal a phase of the war far deadlier and more dangerous to American interests.

If this is inevitable then I can only hope it happens before the next election so everyone will see just how dangerous it is to have Republicans in charge. Of course, if the our involvement in the war continues another year then the Democrats will shoulder their share of the blame. On page 2 Hedges gives us a grim view of exactly how much worse it will get after we are driven out.
Iraq, however, is different from Yugoslavia. Iraq has oil -- lots of it. It also has water in a part of the world that is running out of water. And the dismemberment of Iraq will unleash a mad scramble for dwindling resources that will include the involvement of neighboring states. The Kurds, like the Shiites and the Sunnis, know that if they do not get their hands on water resources and oil they cannot survive. But Turkey, Syria and Iran have no intention of allowing the Kurds to create a viable enclave. A functioning Kurdistan in northern Iraq means rebellion by the repressed Kurdish minorities in these countries.

The Kurds, orphans of the 20th century who have been repeatedly sold out by every ally they ever had, including the United States, will be crushed. The possibility that Iraq will become a Shiite state, run by clerics allied with Iran, terrifies the Arab world. Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel, would most likely keep the conflict going by arming Sunni militias. This anarchy could end with foreign forces, including Iran and Turkey, carving up the battered carcass of Iraq. No matter what happens, many, many Iraqis are going to die. And it is our fault.

I'm saddened to say that what will upset Americans the most is that we were forced out in chaos with our tails between our legs. All the dead Iraqis will mean very little to them. We hate being losers much more than we are concerned about the lives of brown, non-Christian people on the other side of the world.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coming Out Godless

Thanks to Atheist Revolution I've discovered a new site, Coming Out Godless. This is a place for all atheists to post to let people know how they became atheists. For most I think they had to fight out of the claws of a Christian family, for me it was different. I always was an atheist, even when I didn't know what one was. My mom tried to raise me as a Jew but it didn't take and after my Bar Mitzvah I told her I was done with this religious stuff.

In my late 20's I became a Buddhist which was pretty interesting and I still retain some Buddhist ideas, but really, Buddhism shouldn't even be called a religion though it is often practiced that way. It is also completely atheistic. The type of Buddhism I was in required faith which is something I was never good at, my natural skepticism just kept coming out and I had to give it up. It really is quite a relief to no longer need to make sense out of nonsense. With a rational and skeptical world view everything just makes sense and there is always new amazing knowledge - real knowledge - waiting just around the corner to discover.

But I'm very glad to say I was never a Christian.

So take a minute to stop by Coming Out Godless and email Intergalactic Hussy your story to post. Then stop by Atheist Revolution when you have time.

Right now I should mention Google Reader. If you have a lot of blogs you want to follow or just a few, put them into Google Reader and it keeps track of them for you and lets you know when there is a new entry to read, and you can even read them all in the Reader. Very handy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Glossy Screens

I was really looking forward to the new iMac and want one badly (2 actually). One of the things I was most excited about was the new, glossy screens. There was one single phrase that sold me on it - true blacks. I practically swooned over the idea of not having the gray they call black on the matte screen monitors.

But then I started seeing postings all over the internet about how terrible the glossy screens were - that they were totally unacceptable for professionals and that it was a vicious plot by Jobs to force pros into buying the much more expensive Mac Pros! And they had glare! Oh, the humanity! This didn't seem right so I started searching the web and found this article:
Dr. Mac: Rants & Raves - Glossy or Not? by Bob LeVitus. The good doc really knows his stuff and most important, he posted comparison photos.

One look at the large image of this and I knew I was right the first time. Look at the greater detail and depth - and blacks!!! Look how gray and washed out the matte screen on the bottom looks. I'm amazed at pros who say they can't use it, hell, I could color a comic book on a grayscale screen if I had to and know just what the printed version will look. And for someone who used CRT monitors for over a decade I have the feeling I'm going to laugh at what they call glare.

And Dr. Mac's pictures are on the older MacBook Pros from 2006, not of the newer iMacs. The MacBook Pros are made with a kind of polyester but the iMacs are actually high quality glass. Still, I'm going to head down to the local Apple store to look it over in person before spending the money on 2 of these babies.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The New iMac

The new iMacs are here, I've been waiting for months for these babies to come out. They look fantastic, although I've only seen them on the web so far and not in person but best I can tell, Apple really hit this one out of the park. And they packed more punch into it at a lower price, too. I sent an email to a friend who is in the market for a new Mac but doesn't know what to get so I gave her a run down on types and prices. One of her concerns is how easy it is to move. Since it's pretty comprehensive I see no need to reproduce it when I can just copy and paste.

You don't want the Mac Mini unless you already have a monitor and keyboard to hook up to it.

The iMac is the best buy, for $1199 you will have a machine far faster than you need, a new 20“ glossy monitor (which I hear is very good but I've never seen it) and a new slim keyboard. Weighs 20 lbs, though, only 2 lbs lighter than the last one.

If you go for the 15“ MacBook Pro it weighs 5.4 lbs but is $1999. It's actually got more power and ram than the iMac. The 17“ is 6.8 lbs and $2799. Either is available with a glossy screen.

Or you can go cheaper and get the 13“ MacBook, also available with a glossy screen and weighing in at 5.1 lbs. Price is either $1099 with an 80 GB HD, $1299 with a 120 GB HD or $1499 with a 160 BG HD and black instead of white.

The 13“ MacBook has just about the same specs for speed & power as the iMac, the main difference is the much smaller screen and much more portable.

So it's up to you if price, screen size or mobility is most important and in what combo. As far as power any of them would be plenty for you. The MacBook Pro's would probably be more than you need but that's the only way to get bigger than a 13“ screen.

Also, with all of them you will get a free trial of iWork which is a word processor and now also has a spreadsheet app with it like Appleworks did. Look around on Apple's site and you can see screenshots of it. You can use it for 30 days for free before buying it for $79.

If you buy directly from Apple you will get free shipping for any of them and I don't think you would have to pay sales tax, since you aren't in California. You should get Apple Care for 3 years which is $249 for the laptops and $169 for the iMac, but there should be no other costs.

Her needs are simple, just basic computing, email, web surfing and other such things. For me, as a graphic artist, it's much more difficult. First of all, I need the bigger screen, I also need more ram for Photoshop work. I really need a Mac Pro but just can't afford it right now, even the iMac will be a problem. I need 2, one for work and one for at home, which makes things difficult. If I go for the 20” 2.4 Ghz with 2 GB of ram, which is really what I need, then 2 of them is going to cost around $4,000 by the time all the extras get added in like extended warranty, the extra gig of ram, taxes, etc. I'm thinking of going for the 2 Ghz which will only be around $3,000 for 2. That's actually pretty amazing when you figure I spent $2,000 for 64 MB of ram alone for my Quadra back in '95. close to $10 grand for the whole computer for a mere fraction of the power. Damn thing had a 80 MB hard drive in it!

No point in worrying too much about power, more is always good but I've been using a 2002 Quicksilver with a 1 Ghz dual processor and 1.5 GB of ram on the old PPC G4 architecture for 5 years and that has been fine for 90% of what I do. For the other 10% I just have to wait a bit for it to finish. Even the 2 Ghz iMac is going to be 3 or 4 times faster than that and I'll be in the new Intel technology. And if I have more money later I may be able to upgrade to 4 GB of ram and maybe a more powerful processor, I'm thinking 2 or three years from now. I usually use my Macs for 5 years. I'll be able to hook up my old 20” Apple displays to run 2 monitors on each, which helps a whole lot. That way I can put all my tools in Photoshop and Illustrator on the second monitor and have the main one free to be just working image.

I might have to settle for one now and the second one in a few months since my credit is maxed out too. But, I'm busy writing out invoices and trying to get them collected so it's possible I can pull in the $4,000 needed in 2 or 3 weeks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

FISA Anger

I've been searching the blogs on the FISA vote and man, are people angry. Even blogs that aren't normally political are talking about it and all the blogs and comments are about 100 to one against it. Even a friend who rarely posts to his blog had to put in an angry tirade against it - Wimpocrats and Republicrooks. The main thing I wanted to find was how to find the list of who voted for what when, by pure chance, I came across a blog by my friend Akkana that had that very info and how to find it in the future.

For the Senate.

For the House.

For my people Feinstein voted for it. I don't know how she has the nerve to call herself a democrat, I sure hope we can get rid of her in the next primary. Boxer didn't vote, wonder what was up with that, but I'm sure she would have voted against it. And in the House Loretta Sanchez voted against it. Way to go Loretta, you have my vote next time.

I don't know what the hell these people are thinking of, have they been so intimidated by the Republicans they just naturally salivate when Bush tells them to? Or are they just so completely out of touch with what the rest of America thinks of them? Each thing they do just makes them look even weaker than they did since the last thing. I think they were afraid of looking soft on homeland security and are just too stupid to have realized all the headlines would read "Democrats Cave In To Bush Again." Do they really think looking weak is going to make them look strong? Like I said - stupid.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Democrats Cave In To Bush AGAIN!!

I am absolutely furious with the vote over the weekend on FISA. They gave Alberto Gonzales even MORE power to spy on us without any oversight at all, a guy Congress has been investigating, thinking of bringing charges against and called completely without credibility. Bush tells them they have to vote on this and they do and they vote for exactly what he asks for.

Here is an interesting blog from Richmond, VA with an explanation of why Jim Webb voted for this and with a statement from Webb. Looks like we can also blame Dianne Feinstein for this as well.

This was the part that pissed me off the most:

FISA has needed an overhaul for many years now. Be thankful that it will be Democrats that will rewrite this bill instead of the Republicans. If Republicans rewrote this bill most Americans would end up being implanted with microchips to monitor their private thoughts.

Talk about creating a fictional Republican boogie man against whom whimpy Democrats will look good. They have to do that because there is no other way to make themselves look good. Frankly I don't see this vote being any different at all if the Republicans were still in charge. Bush forced them to make this vote in a hurry and they went along with it, which means this lame duck president still seems to get everything he wants all the time and the dems are quaking in their boots every time Bush looks at them. And their excuse is they will fix it later because they put a 6 month limit in it. Why would anyone think they'd not let themselves get pushed around by Bush then?

I thought America and our Constitution had a chance of surviving when the Democrats won the majority of both houses of congress last year, but it appears I was too optimistic. They are investigating the White House and the Justice Department, but so what if they fail to do anything beyond investigate? The Republicans are laughing at them and the Democrats across the country are raging at them. What is wrong with these people? Are they stupid or just cowardly? Maybe both, near as I can tell.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Carnival of the Godless!

Carnival of the Godless is a wonderful little post on Atheist Revolution that has links to quite a few blogs writing about atheism. It's a real treasure trove that could take quite a while to get through. I have to thank PZ Myers of Pharyngula for the link. I usually don't like leaving comments on blogs but I felt compelled to leave some on his earlier postings and he will now be a regular for me on Google Reader.

Another good post can be found at Rationally Speaking, a blog by Massimo Pigliucci, talking about the presidential abuse of power in American. We owe a great debt to Washington for refusing to be king. At the end of the revolution many wanted him crowned but he refused, at the end of his 2 terms as president the public cry was, once again, for him to be king. His comment was “I did not battle George the III all those years just to become George I.” Without his great humility we might never have been a democracy. But he was also the first president to invoke Presidential Privilege, which was not mentioned in the constitution when they drew up the blueprint of presidential powers.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Progressive Congress

Thanks to my friend, Long Live the Village Green, I just found out about a web site that rates how progressive your Senator or Congressman is, which I find very informative.
You can find out just how progressive your senators and your congressional representative are at Progressive Punch. Not only that, you can look at each member's voting record divided into key subject areas such as Housing, War & Peace, Heath Care under which all legislative action is listed along with your representative's vote compared with the Progressive vote.

She then has many good comments on various congresspeople and where they stand.

Looking at my own people I have to give props to Barbara Boxer who scored 95.07 and ranked 8 out of 100. Pretty good. Next is Dianne Feinstein who makes me clench my teeth and growl ever since she supported an anti-flag burning amendment. Surprisingly she scored 84.66 with a rank of 30 out of 100. Not great but better than I expected

For the House it's
Loretta Sanchez, who I don't know much about. I know that she is a democrat and that I was really happy when she first got elected because I had just moved into her district and voted for her, which means I voted against B1 Bob Dornan. That was probably my most satisfying vote ever. No one has heard much from B1 Bob since then, heh heh. Well, Loretta scores an 84.36 and ranks 142 out of 433. Pretty damn close to Feinstein which means not as good as I'd like but not too bad. WAAAYY better than B1 Bob would have scored, that's for sure.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Religion - Marcus Brigstocke

I don't know who this guy is - I'm assuming a British comedian - but this video is damn funny.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Your tax cuts at work. This, like Katrina, is the fruit of 30 years of conservatism.

Fear and Loathing in Middle America

This is an interesting article from Alternet on why middle America continually votes Republican, and totally screwed themselves over financially, in doing so. He thinks it's ignorance due to poor education. It's actually a review of a book written by Joe Bageant.
Author Joe Bageant's “Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War“ gets down and dirty with the hardship economics in Middle America.
By Sasha Abramsky

“The working class here in what they are now calling the 'heartland,' (all the stuff between the big cities)“ he writes, “exists on a continuum ranging from complete insecurity to the not-quite-complete insecurity of having a decent but endangered job. It is a continuum extending from the apathy of the poorest to the hard-edged anger of those with more to lose. Which ain't a lot, brother, when your household income hovers around $30,000 or $35,000 with both people working... Until those with power and access decide that it's beneficial to truly educate people, and make it possible to get an education without going into crushing debt, then the mutt people here in the heartland will keep on electing dangerous dimwits in cowboy boots.“

Those in power - or at least the Republicans - want those people remaining ignorant or they will no longer be in power.
...Bageant is unapologetically the product of redneck America. As a result, in the same way as I can get away with Jewish jokes, so Bageant can get away with redneck jokes that probably shouldn't be told by a man not of the “Borderers“ tribe -- the conservative descendants of the Ulster Scots -- that he so vividly describes.

“After a night of political discussion at Royal Lunch [his local greasy spoon diner-cum-tavern],“ Joe recounts deadpan, “a British relative, a distant continental member of the Bageant clan, called our gang of locals 'the most intellectually squalid people I have ever met' -- and he had chewed qat with Ugandan strongman Idi Amin's bodyguards.“

Now that's pretty scary, and I believe it. But I really wonder if people can really be so "intellectually squalid" without at least some of their own participation in the process. This is where I have hopes for the internet, with so much information available at cheaper and cheaper prices perhaps they can pull themselves out of ignorance. But as someone who has lived his entire life in big cities I know that ignorance is not limited to rural America.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Biologists Helping Bookstores

This a blog about a biologist in Orange County who has taken it upon himself to rearrange the books on the shelves.

Particularly Intelligent Design books that are placed in the Science section. He quite properly removes them and places them in the Religion section, but he doesn't pick only on Christians, he also moved Hitchens' book, "God is not Great" over to the philosophy section.

This is unacceptable, and something must be done. Booksellers are not scientists, maybe we shouldn't expect them to be able to discern between science and books desperately trying to wrap themselves in scientific credibility. I, however, am a scientist - and I can clearly see when an error has been made when stocking the shelves of the science section.

It is my mission to correctly re-shelve books to the appropriate section of the bookstore.

I would think he's only helping out the bookstores, after all, anyone who would read Behe wouldn't have any reason to be in the science section.