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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And what were you doing while New Orleans was being decimated?

Will somebody please tell me what freakin' chords Bush Minor is playing? The best I've been able to come up with are Ab min, 11 maj7 dim5 and Db7 +aug4. You don't think Shrub's some kind of fruity jazz musician, do you? At least Nero knew how to fiddle.

Katrina Relief

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to give money to them at this time. I will however be heading over to my local blood donation center later this week.

Give what you can.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Two articles

Two items linked to on Sunday by Laura Rozen have got me thinking.

The first one is bad enough. Laura asks, "How Kansas is like Pakistan?"

A 14-year-old girl whose 22-year-old husband is charged with sexually assaulting a minor has given birth to their daughter, and the man said he plans to plead not guilty in the case.

The girl became pregnant when she was 13, and her mother gave permission in May for Matthew Koso to take her daughter to Kansas to marry.

Absolutely, Nebraska should be charging Koso with sexual assault of a minor. But why in the hell aren't they charging her parents with conspiracy? Jesus. What the fuck is wrong with these people (the parents, the "husband", Kansas, et alia)?

The other link was about Guatemala's war on women, and in this case I am not using hyperbole. While there are no pictures in the article, I still have to give a warning that the link contains graphic images.

Bodies are appearing at an average of two a day this year: 312 in the first five months, adding to the 1,500 females raped, tortured and murdered in the past four years.

This is out of a population of only 14.6 million (CIA World Factbook).

The article highlights the cases of three people: Manuela Sachaz, Maria Isabel Veliz, and Nancy Peralta (I was going to say women, however Maria was just a girl and Manuela little more), but pretty much any other three would have been just as horrific: rape, torture, murder.

Why is this happening? Just to be clear, the specific people who rape, torture and murder bear the guilt for specific acts; but where there is a culture in which this sort of thing happens with such regularity that Guatemala City is the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere "with a per-capita murder rate five times higher than even Bogota in war-torn Colombia," we need to step back and ask why has this culture developed?

The proximate responsibility falls right back on us: from the 50s when Guatemala was the quintessential Banana Republic, to the 80s when it became a proxy war in our campaign against the Soviets, to the present during "which last year alone imported an estimated 84[million] rounds of ammunition" (most sold by US arms manufacturers to fill the US arms we sold them earlier), we have meddled, we have twisted Guatemalan society to suit our short-term goals, and we have left others to pay the long term price. And yes, by and large, the people we put in power in the 80s are still there.

Yes, we did play a significant role in placing the people who support and encourage this culture in power, therefore we bear a portion of responsibility for their actions. "Efrian Rios Montt, the general accused of acts of genocide at the height of the war (charges famously dismissed by the former US president Ronald Reagan as a "bum rap"), subsequently stood for president" is a "'born again Christian' [whose] political comeback was supported by his good friend and spiritual advisor, the 'Rev.' Pat Robertson."

What are we doing to help? Jack saquat. Unless a Western Hemisphere government has a president whose last name is "Chavez" we don't pay attention.

For more resources, check out Amnesty International's Guatemala page.

The new meme thing

Via Roxanne and Amanda. Go to Music Outfitters, put the year that you graduated from High School in the search
field, then pick "list of the 100 most popular songs". <strike> out the sucky ones and see what you're left with.

Here goes:

1. That's What Friends Are For, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Gladys Knight
2. Say You, Say Me, Lionel Richie
3. I Miss You, Klymaxx
4. On My Own , Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
5. Broken Wings, Mr. Mister
6. How Will I Know, Whitney Houston
7. Party All The Time, Eddie Murphy
8. Burning Heart, Survivor
9. Kyrie, Mr. Mister
10. Addicted To Love, Robert Palmer
11. Greatest Love Of All, Whitney Houston
12. Secret Lovers, Atlantic Starr
13. Friends And Lovers, Carl Anderson and Gloria Loring
14. Glory Of Love, Peter Cetera
15. West End Girls, Pet Shop Boys
16. There'll Be Sad Songs, Billy Ocean
17. Alive And Kicking, Simple Minds
18. Never, Heart
19. Kiss, Prince and The Revolution
20. Higher Love, Steve Winwood
21. Stuck With You, Huey Lewis and The News
22. Holding Back The Years, Simply Red
23. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
24. Sara, Starship
25. Human, Human League
26. I Can't Wait, Nu Shooz
27. Take My Breath Away, Berlin
28. Rock Me Amadeus, Falco
29. Papa Don't Preach, Madonna
30. You Give Love A Bad Name, Bon Jovi
31. When The Going Gets Tough, Billy Ocean
32. When I Think Of You, Janet Jackson
33. These Dreams, Heart
34. Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone), Glass Tiger
35. Live To Tell, Madonna
36. Mad About You, Belinda Carlisle
37. Something About You, Level 42
38. Venus, Bananarama
39. Dancing On The Ceiling, Lionel Richie
40. Conga, Miami Sound Machine
41. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
42. Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins
43. What Have You Done For Me Lately, Janet Jackson
44. No One Is To Blame, Howard Jones
45. Let's Go All The Way, Sly Fox
46. I Didn't Mean To Turn You On, Robert Palmer
47. Words Get In The Way, Miami Sound Machine
48. Manic Monday, Bangles
49. Walk Of Life, Dire Straits
50. Amanda, Boston
51. Two Of Hearts, Stacey Q
52. Crush On You, Jets
53. If You Leave, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
54. Invisible Touch, Genesis
55. The Sweetest Taboo, Sade
56. What You Need, INXS
57. Talk To Me, Stevie Nicks
58. Nasty, Janet Jackson
59. Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money
60. We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off, Jermaine Stewart
61. All Cried Out, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
62. Your Love, Outfield
63. I'm Your Man, Wham!
64. Perfect Way, Scritti Politti
65. Living In America, James Brown
66. R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A., John Cougar Mellencamp
67. Who's Johnny, El Debarge
68. Word Up, Cameo
69. Why Can't This Be Love, Van Halen
70. Silent Running, Mike and The Mechanics
71. Typical Male, Tina Turner
72. Small Town, John Cougar Mellencamp
73. Tarzan Boy, Baltimora
74. All I Need Is A Miracle, Mike and The Mechanics
75. Sweet Freedom, Michael McDonald
76. True Blue, Madonna
77. Rumors, Timex Social Club
78. Life In A Northern Town, Dream Academy
79. Bad Boy, Miami Sound Machine
80. Sleeping Bag, ZZ Top
81. Tonight She Comes, Cars
82. Love Touch, Rod Stewart
83. A Love Bizarre, Sheila E.
84. Throwing It All Away, Genesis
85. Baby Love, Regina
86. Election Day, Arcadia
87. Nikita, Elton John
88. Take Me Home, Phil Collins
89. Walk This Way, Run-D.M.C.
90. Sweet Love, Anita Baker
91. Your Wildest Dreams, Moody Blues
92. Spies Like Us, Paul McCartney
93. Object Of My Desire, Starpoint
94. Dreamtime, Daryl Hall
95. Tender Love, Force M.D.'s
96. King For A Day, Thompson Twins
97. Love Will Conquer All, Lionel Richie
98. A Different Corner, George Michael
99. I'll Be Over You, Toto
100. Go Home, Stevie Wonder

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Morans

shamelessly stolen from bluegirlredstate via The Heretik

update: Despite my previous title, this apparently wasn't from Crawford, and may, in fact, have been a prank. Thanks Holly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Atlanta Pandagoners

Last week, half-way down the comments on a post about whether or not Bush's spiderhole in Texas should be referred to as a ranch, estate, ranchette or whatever, it became apparent that a goodly number of us lived in Atlanta and annejumps suggested that those of us who do get together sometime. Well, one thing led to another, and while some e-mail addresses were exchanged, we didn't get contact information from everybody who expressed an interest.

So, if you are a person who lives somewhere within driving distance of Atlanta and would be interested in meeting up with other Pandagoners, leave a comment with your address or just shoot me an e-mail.

More specificly though, I'd like to suggest our first meeting. Every year on Labor Day weekend, the Starlite Drive-In on Moreland holds Drive-Invasion, a festival of good music, bad movies, and fun, fun, fun.

I was planning on going Sunday (Sept 4th) and I thought that other people might enjoy it too. If this doesn't work for you (it is Labor Day weekend and all), but you'd still like to meet other Pandagoners in Atlanta, let me know. We'll work it out.

Monday, August 22, 2005

It marches in a liquid manner

Last year, our Dear Leader informed us that freedom is on the march in the Middle East. Now however, Bush Minor has changed his metaphor and, "The tide of freedom ebbs and flows, but it is moving in a clear direction, and freedom's tide is rising in the broader Middle East." You know what they call a rising tide? A flow tide. So freedom is moving in a clear direction, then by his analogy it will stop and clearly move in the other direction.

We sent our soldiers to die so that freedom could march back and forth across the parade ground like a plebe with too many demerits? Excuse me, I think I'm gonna be seasick.

via Tim Grieve

We hold these truths to be self-evident

that Liberal Bloggers are the eyes and ears of intelligent world. Just take Asian Security as one of many examples:
Liberal bloggers are so completely aware of the latest moves by China to shore up support in South Asia, it's not even funny. And now, with China's overtures towards Russia, things are starting to look bad for US strategic interests in the region. I mean, GOD, how can anyone doubt us liberal bloggers when we suggest that India, China and Russia could end up joining forces to form the scariest triumverate since Ann Coulter's three-way with Rush and O'Reilly?
Do you see such inciteful analysis come from the religiofascist reichwing bloggers? I think not. But more than that though, not only are we smarter, but as Preemptive Karma so brilliantly deduces:
As you are no doubt aware, the vast majority of liberals are superior intellectually, morally, financially and sexually to conservatives. All liberals are better looking than conservatives. This is of course due to the fact that conservatives keep having to pull their heads out of their asses. Creates wrinkles, you know.
Only among the liberal blogger underground can you read the truth, my friends. Keep the faith.

1, 2, 3 Who are we voting for? Don't ask me, I voted on a Diebold machine.

Following the 2004 election, I didn't believe that there had been a systematic attempt to alter votes. Certainly Black Box Voting had reported potential problems with electronic voting, but the evidence - both direct as well as statistical - was equivocal at best. Since then however, new facts just keep rolling in. In a story about the special election for San Diego Mayor:
Nearly 50 percent of all voters participated in the parallel election, which included five polling places representing 11 precincts. The sample included more conservative than liberal precincts, with participation as high among Republicans as among Democrats. The tandem election results showed what most feel to be startling results. "There is a shift of four percent of the vote, consistently," Joe Prizzi, (engineer and physicist,) reported at a press conference held by CAPE [Citizens Audit Parallel Election] in front of City Hall. Frye received 50.2 percent of the votes cast in the parallel election - enough for an outright victory if those results reflect the outcome citywide. CAPE also found that the official count added approximately 2 percent to each of Frye's two Republican opponents, Jerry Sanders and Steve Francis. In addition, CAPE examined the only other ballot measure, a proposition over a war memorial cross on public land. The proposition's vote total also appeared to have been padded by 4 percent in the official election tally, which was certified Friday August 19 by San Diego County's newly appointed Registrar of Voters, Republican Mikel Haas. A team of statisticians from California State University- Northridge - have analyzed the data from CAPE, concluding that the probability of luck or chance as the cause of the observed four percent deviation is less than one in 1,300 - or .000678.
CAPE isn't the only group to accuse [San Diego Registrar Mikel] Haas of withholding public information. Jim March of Black Box Voting and a Republican maintains that the Registrar refused his request during the election to obtain audit logs, which would show whether records were kept of each user who accessed the Diebold GEMS central tabulator. In an interview with the East County Californian before the election, Haas stated that he would allow citizens to observe the central tabulator counting votes. But on election night, March found the tabulator screen had been placed eight feet away, behind glass and readable only through binoculars, literally. According to March, an activist who was with him brought binoculars and was able to clearly make out the screen. March's request to have the screen moved closer was refused, so he entered the secured tabulating room.
This is just riduculous. If we can't have faith that our ballots will be honestly counted, then democracy is nothing but a pretty word.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

So now we know

Well, we finally learn what the Noble Purpose for which Casey Sheehan and other military personnel from the US, Britain, and our allies sacrificed their lives. It was to make sure that Iraq became a properly Islamic country (from the National Review Online, for heaven's sake):
In the desperation to complete an Iraqi constitution – which can be spun as a major step of progress on the march toward democratic nirvana – the United States of America is pressuring competing factions to accept the supremacy of Islam and the fundamental principle no law may contradict Islamic principles.
I feel so much better now.