Thursday, September 3, 2009

On the Pendulum Swinging

Okay, so I have been gone again. This time I won't make excuses, although I must say that I finally succombed to depression... for a while. I dunno. Depression has a way of sapping one's energies, don't you think?

Ah, well. It can't go on forever, can it?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sniffing the Glue that Holds the Republican Party Together

An interesting tidbit appeared in an article about Sarah Palin's resignation recently:
Only a few years ago, the [republican] party was considered a model of lockstep discipline with around-the-clock message control and seamless coordination of policy and politics. But from all appearances, it has entered a period of inner confusion, verging on the dysfunctional... How did so organized a party come apart so swiftly? One explanation is that it hasn’t been swift at all. The Republicans have been in decline for some time — and in recent years, even in disarray... Dating back to 1992, Republicans have won a plurality in only one presidential election — and that lone victory, in 2004, was not nearly the triumph it appeared to be at the time. Its architect, Karl Rove, spoke of establishing a “permanent majority” for the Republicans, but in reality Mr. Bush won by less than 3 percentage points — one of the narrowest re-elections in presidential history. And although he claimed a mandate, his two big second-term initiatives — privatizing Social Security and immigration reform — were easily thwarted. Some of the strongest opposition came from within Mr. Bush’s own party — further evidence that the Republicans were even then losing their cohesiveness.
The rise of Repubican power, and their abuse of it as they became drunk with it and sought to crush opposition without considering the lives of Americans whom they also crushed along with their political targets, followed by their fall from grace, fascinates me.

I have always tried to accept change readily, and yet I am, as this blog's title says, amazed at some of the changes I have seen in various areas of my life. I thought the repukes would always be on top because they are the power elite, or at least they are the tools of ht epower elite. Now, if the Dems are on top... what does that say about the power elite, who are always in control of everything? Nothing happens unless they allow it to happen, right..? So, maybe the Dems are the new tools of the power elite?

I don't know. Whenever I make real observations about the real world, it sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory. I wonder why that is?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blog reflections again

My blog looks a little dated with all the old anti-bush stuff on there... I need to clean house. Maybe put those in the "don't let this happen again" section :). Gotta stay up-to-date, even as I become old and musty myself...

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Okay, sometimes life gets in the way of blgging. I'm going into a busy period that will probably cause some more of my frequent lapses in blog posting... I'll try to keep up when I can. Blog on!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

If conservatives weren't hypocrites, we couldn't recognize 'em

The same-sex marriage debate rages on in my corner of California. It's a very right-wing community, so letters to the local newspaper generate a lot of responses from the "regulars" - locals who comment frequently on most articles & letters to the editor.

I always take the position that supports marriage equality, so I always end up being a defender of gay marriage, a hot topic here on the left coast. What I try to communicate to the other commenters, though, is that my defense of "gay marriage" has nothing to do with homo- or heterosexuality. It has everything to do with civil rights.

See, I have always been very much a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I have tried to live by the credo that people can do whatever they want, as long as they don't hurt someone else or infringe upon others' rights. This has led to conflicts in my life, as few people understood my belief that people should be allowed to do things that many feel they shouldn't, like commit suicide, etc. Where marriage is concerned, I believe consenting adults have the right to marry, period. That includes consentual plural marriage, same-sex marriage, even (gasp) between relatatives if they are adults when they enter into it and don't intend to reproduce (I draw the line at deliberate risk-taking with birth defects). I think it's nobody else's business, regardless of their individual moral values.

Also, as my wife will attest, before I was married I explained my resistance to legally-sanctioned marriage: I am firmly opposed to the idea that one of the most intimate parts of my life has to be licensed by the government, as if they own the rights to me like a slave. How can the government license who I fall in love with, the level of committment we have with each other, etc? Of course, I still married, but I did it for us, not to meet some government mandate. And with regards to California, where opponents to same-sex marriage frequently justify their position by procalaiming "The people have spoken!" (because they voted to ban it), I am also opposed to the idea that my marriage is subject to approval by popular vote.

Of course, local opponents to marriage equality also justify their position by ranting against homosexuality, citing "natural law" or what "nature intended", or that marriage is basically about reproduction, or that marriage needs to be protected and defended, or that it is the fundamental cornerstone institution of all human society and should be not defined as anything but a union betweem a man and a woman, and most often claiming that gays in civil unions in California already have all the same rights as straight married couples. I keep pointing out the obvious: They don't have the right to get married. If they did, we wouldn't be having this discussion over and over again.

So here I am, a heterosexual married man who shows up in the local newspaper forum to advocate for "gay marriage". Or as I think of it, advocating for civil rights while the "small-government" conservatives argue in favor of government micro-managememt of the intimate aspects of peoples' personal lives. They can shove their @#$% tea bags, as far as I am concerned.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Torture and Rape Rooms: America's way of saying "Howdy!"

Remember when former unelected president, sneering condescending liar, and incoherent half-wit corporate stooge George W Bush was giving speeches trying to sell his war-for-oil to the public by howling about Saddam Hussein's "torture and rape rooms"?
"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."-- Oct. 8, 2003

"We acted, and there are no longer mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms in Iraq."-- Apr. 23, 2004

"Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell, and Iraqi men and women are no longer carried to torture chambers and rape rooms ..."-- Feb. 4, 2004

"Because we acted, torture rooms are closed, rape rooms no longer exist, mass graves are no longer a possibility in Iraq."--May 3, 2004
Well, no one in their right mind believed him, but that doesn't matter because the war was bought and paid for by corporate backers anyway. Nevertheless, his promises lies have come home to roost:

Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'
"At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”

Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed."
So, that's how supporters of the war in Iraq "spread democracy." That's the "freedom" we heard so much about. Freedom for full-blown depravity done in your name and mine, that is.

When I refer to the Bush administration in blog- or newspaper-forum comments to account for these things, rightwingers always try to dismiss them by saying I am dwelling on the past, "blaming Bush"; that I should "just get over it". They insist the fault lies with either Clinton or Obama.

Well, the raped and tortured don't "get over it", and neither will I. It was just lies. It was treason.

Bonus rant:
When are we going to be held to account for irradiating the Iraqis with depleted uranium?
(pictures of some of the freedom we have spread)

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Constantly Amazing solution to partisan conflict

A wise blogger once wrote that we should not whine about society's problems without offering a solution. Personally, I think that's too heavy a burden. But it is nice to offer at least a suggestion sometimes, right?

Well, here at Constantly Amazed, we go that extra step and just solve the world's problems anyway.

Recently, I described how to solve California's budget problems. Not to rest on my laurels, I will now offer another Constantly Amazing solution: How to end partisan sniping in American politics.

Now, the Democrats will have to take the first step on this one, but here it goes: All they have to do is, en masse, switch their party affiliation from democrat to republican... and voila! No more partisan bickering possible.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the former dems should discard their values. I'm saying they should take their progressive selves, values and all, and simply become... the NEW republican party! They could go on doing what they did before, just under a new name. Not only would there be no more bickering between parties possible... but as a the majority, the former dems would actually redefine the republican party from the ground up. The old republican politicians, what's left of them, would be reduced to their role of the party's howling little mob of extremists, and eventually voted out as troublemakers. Most Republican voters would be fine with it since they would still have their familiar product-label recognition. The few who objected could splinter off and form their own little ineffectual extremist parties where they could no longer do any harm. They could deify their rightwing media heroes, hold conventions, have tea parties, and put up candidates like, yes, Palin-Bachman and "Joe the Plumber".

So there we have it. In my Constantly Amazing wisdom (don't worry, I'm as humble as ever), I have solved the California economic crisis and brought an end to partisan gridlock. As soon as I get loaded up with caffeine tomorrow morning, I'll see what other crises I can solve.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who Would've Thought?

Not too long ago, I wrote that if I read or hear of one more person claiming that liberals hate Rush Limbaugh because he's right, my head would explode. Little did I realize that there is such as thing as this. Maybe I should choose my words of exasperation more carefully next time..!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gabby Rocks

Gabby is home and doing great. He has to take some antibiotics for a little while, but he seems to be back to his old self and is very happy to be home.

Thanks very very much to everyone for sending the positive vibes. We, and Gabby appreciate it :)

He's probably going to be a spoiled kitty for a while, but he also seems to really appreciate his home environment now that he has had another taste of the outside world. He agrees with me that it's better back at the castle.

By the way, click the image for a surprise from Gabby :)

Ciao! Meow! - Gabby

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get Well, Little Gabby...

My kitty cat is sick. Throwing up. Lethargic. Not eating or drinking. Hardly even sleeping! He's been to the vet, and we're hopeful. We cannot bear the thought of life without little Gabby the cat. That's a worst-case scenario. We are hoping he'll bounce back.

I am sad.

Update: My wife posted about Gabby on her art blog here.

Hurry and get well, little Gabby.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh, man...

Seriously, how many of you wish you could jump on an opportunity like this? The top of the heap. Damn.

"I'm better than Sheanc because I blog for Think Progress"

Friday, May 15, 2009


Click Pic for More

Please, buy me this bass. You know you want to. You have to. You must. There is nothing in the universe more important right at this moment than the simple, inescapable truth that I should have this bass. You know it, and I know it.

It's $10,400.00, and worth every penny.

It's the only thing in life that will really make you happy, and it will certainly make me happy. Forget about all those other things that cloud your judgment with false hopes and fleeting moments of pleasure. Imaging the joy you'll feel knowing that you made me so happy by buying me this bass.

Please. Buy me this bass.

Let's get real: we all know there are questions, eternal questions, unanswered questions, about life, about existence, about the role we play in the grand and glorious panorama that is life itself. Well, here is the answer, truthseekers:

Buy me this bass.

This message brought to you by the Buy SheaNC This Bass or He May Never Be Truly Happy Ever Again, Probably, Foundation, LLC.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Thing That Just Won't Die.

Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere lately. I hate that. The former Vice President, to whom I will always refer as "The Snarling Hunchback" because 1) he maintains a visage with all the charm of an ill-tempered dog; and 2) whenever I see him on television he seems unable to lift his head... he simply lets it hang forward and addresses people by turning it sideways and glaring at them like Bela Lugosi's Igor from Son of Frankenstein, and snarling his answers out of the side of his mouth. But all that is neither here nor there. The point is, we can't seem to get rid of him. He is all over the media. They love to combine the hideous and the spectacular, and in him they have a tabloid monster ready-made. It serves their purpose well, and his also.

Sad to say, I blame the Democrats for Cheney's newfound public persona. In 2006 they were elected to end the war and impeach Bush and Cheney. Period. Everything else came second. They had the chance to impeach and they should have done it. It was absolutely the right thing to do... and they blew it. They decided that all the evil that had gone before would go unchecked and unpunished. It didn't matter. Lying. Conspiracy. Mass Murder. Treason. No matter, it's all okay; can't be bothered. Might affect someone's career, you know.

It's like Stockholm Syndrome. Or Battered-Wife Syndrome. The Repukes have been the battering spouse, and the Dems have been their apologetic enablers.

Whatever. We've all studied a little history, haven't we? We didn't expect the world to suddenly become fair just because a bunch of us want it to be that way, did we? I guess not.

...and Dick puts the "mean" in meanwhile...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Just In: Big Bald Rat Exits Sinking Ship

Hoky Smokes, Bullwinkle, get a load of this:
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, tells TIME he's so outraged by GOP overspending, he's quitting the party
Is there no end to the evidence that we live in a universe where the only thing you can count on is that it will continue to be consistently bizarre no matter how hard you try to find logic in it?

Mr. Wurzlebacher went on to proclaim that
...he wouldn't support any cuts in defense, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid — which, along with debt payments, would put more than two-thirds of the budget off limits.
So there we have it: "Joe the Plumber" is leaving the Republican party and becoming a socialist. Hey, if Sarah Palin can be a socialist, then so can "Joe", right? Of course, that means those of us on the left might be stuck with the weird "exaggerator" Samuel Wurzelbacher aka "Joe the Plumber", who was not a plumber, not named Joe, and whose sociopolitical wisdom could fill a thimble with room left over to hide a family of subversive crickets and the printing press they use to produce their pro-cricket 'zine.

Here's my prediction: Mr. Wurzelbacher will latch onto one ot the more, shall we say, "out there" political groups and try to pull a Jesse Ventura and get elected Governor as an independent. Any bets on which one of these parties he might find attractive?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What war?

The last I heard, we are still fighting at least two wars. But, you know what? To watch/read/listen to the mainstream media, you wouldn't think so.

We are still blowing the hell out of the cradle of civilization, still killing people, still sending kids and adults to be used as corporate cannon fodder and convincing them that they are somehow defending our country by doing so. But I don't think I've heard anything about the wars in so long I can't remember when the last time was.

Sure, it's covered by the alternative lefty media that I frequent, but only us diehards read that stuff - Alternet and Buzzflash and stuff like that. Nothing from local, state, or national news that was notable enough to notice.

On a related note, I recently read a quote from boxing great Muhammed Ali. A recent quote for a magazine article, he said that one thing he does not understand is war.

That is a very interesting statement coming from him, I think, because I'll bet he actually understands war better than most people do. See, you can kind of think of boxers as analogous to different countries. Ali, as a "country", fought for two different reasons. First he fought to get something. Once he had it, he fought to keep it. He didn't just fight because he enjoyed it. He fought because he was trying to acquire something or to defend it - the same reasons we fight wars (I'm leaving out the third reason - to destroy something - for now). Ali knows all about war, including how to win one, but perhaps he is unwilling to accept that the brutal, ugly aspects of boxing can be applied to entire populations. I guess it is hard to understand why entire countries can be made to behave like two pugs slugging it out to win a gaudy belt or some money.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

GOP Reaches Out [with a withered rotting claw that grasps a jagged poison encrusted dagger that would stab at the soul of humanity]

This is fascinating to me. Republicans are scrambling to redefine themselves in the wake of their defeat in 2006 and again in 2008. According to this article,
“…a group of Republicans are trying to re-frame and re-focus the party.”
Because, as the article explains,
"According to a recent ABC poll, only 21 percent of Americans self-identify as Republicans. That's the lowest number since 1983. And only 39 percent of Republicans themselves [that's 39% of that 21%] say they have faith in congressional Republicans to 'make the right decisions for the country's future.'"
No shit, Sherlock.

It fascinates me because the Republicans still call themselves "conservative" with a straight face, and insist that's what they are. Okay, for the moment we will give them that: Because, if they really want to "re-frame and re-focus" the party, they must do one of two things:
  • They must either return to real conservatism, which they abandoned in favor of neocon adventurism and corporate plutocracy, or
  • They must stop giving disengenuous lip service to conservatism altogether, and admit that the Republican party wants to redefine its political ideology as "whatever it takes to return to power."

The article implies these Republicans want to attract moderates and independents to the party, after they recently left it in droves. But how can they do this without acknowledging that they need to abandon the policies that drove people away, and adopt new ones to entice them to return? And, how can they adopt new policies and still call themselves conservative? Unless, that is, they plan to abandon neoconservatism return to real conservatism, including fiscal restraint and sharply limited involvement in foreign wars. They must also resist new ideas, change, and forward-thinking; and those are some of the things that their lost membership felt was lacking in the first place.

It's okay if they want to re-frame or re-focus the Republican party; heaven knows it could use it. Frankly, I think most Americans could live with a government that included a balanced mix of fiscal conservatives and social liberals (I think that's how most Americans define themselves anyway). But this road show looks to me like a deperate attempt to entice swing voters with disengenuous pandering that belies their intention to continue in the same vein they have for years; the party of corporate powermongers and international strategy game players to whom we are simply pawns. Whoever buy the crap they're selling is getting played.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Grain of Salt

My blog friend Nunya over at politckybitch raises some interesting questions about current events regarding swine flu in her post entitled "Color me cynical on the whole swine flu thing". Would maintream media employ sensationalism to distract from other issues, like the torture memos? Hmm...

Time on Wheels

Not too long ago, GM decided to stop production of the Oldsmobile line. Now, they are discontinuing Pontiac as well. This is sad to me. Classic Americana fading into history like an old photograph. I never thought I'd live so long.

It's not like I was unaware of such things. When I was most into cars, during my teens (16yo in 1976), I knew about brands that were real high flyers at one time that no longer existed, like DeSoto, Studebaker, Packard, and Willys, to name a few. But in those days, American autmomakers appeared strong, if knocked for loop by the energy crisis of the time. But the writing was on the wall. Anyone who is about my age would probably agree that new cars in the 70's were cheap, ugly crap. That's why we car buffs looked to the past for quality. It's probably also the first step in the sharp decline of the American market. Small efficient foreign cars took over, and American manufacturers struggled to produce poor imitations of those. Later, during the mass-consumption-consumerist-culture-me-me-me-gimme-gimme-gimme-more-more-more culture ushered in by Reagan & the Yuppies, big American junk became popular again, and the US automakers returned to producing the wrong product for the wrong reasons. In the meantime, I became a VW enthusiast in the mid- to late-eighties.

Now they pay the piper in so many ways. Oldsmobile and Pontiac, producers of such memorable machines as the Olds Rocket 88 & 442, and the historic Pontiac GTO, have gone to join the Studebaker Hawk and its brethren in automotive Valhalla. In the wake of peak oil, we look to hybrids and alternative fueled vehicles to carry us into the future. I just wish I wasn't so damn sentimental.

Update: I should add this: I had a great aunt who died in 1998 or so. As far as I know, she never lost her mental faculties. She was born around 1900 and was a nurse during WWI. Imagine witnessing almost the entire 20th century pass, and being aware the whole time! Incidentally - she chain smoked right up to the end. Go figure. Also: I inherited her favorite rocking chair, which she inherited from her father.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tales from the Opinion Page Battleground

Recently, I donned my armor and engaged in battle on my local paper's opinion-page comment forum. The letter-to-the-editor in question was asserting that America was "founded on Christian principles". No, I am not broadcasting through time from the 13th century. Where I live there are people who think that way.

So anyway, as I researched my comments in order to rhetorically eviscerate my opponents, I found some rather funny rules that we are to follow if we are indeed a Christian nation. So, I thought I would pass these along to you, my loyal readers (and the occasional lost soul who accidentally googled wildly and ended up here - HaHaHaHaHa!)

  • Don't let cattle graze with other kinds of cattle.
  • Don't have a variety of crops on the same field.
  • Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric.
  • Don't cut your hair nor shave.
  • Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed.
  • If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die.
  • If a man sleeps with his father's wife... both him and his father's wife is to be put to death.
  • If a man sleeps with his wife and her mother they are all to be burnt to death.
  • If a man or woman has sex with an animal, both human and animal must be killed.
  • If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be "cut off from their people" .
  • Psychics, wizards, and so on are to be stoned to death.
  • If a priest's daughter is a whore, she is to be burnt at the stake.
  • People who have flat noses, or is blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God.
  • Anyone who dreams or prophesizes anything that is against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, is to be put to death.
  • If anyone, even your own family suggests worshipping another God, kill them.
  • If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of it's inhabitants... even the animals.
  • Kill anyone with a different religion.
That last one explains a lot, doesn't it? The next time some rightie-tightie says we're living in a Christian nation... remind them that they'd better toe the line. I mean, that one about unfaithful husbands and wives being put to death would spell certain doom for the republican party!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interesting stuff from the Interwebs

The following was a comment to an article on MSN: "...studies show 1/3 of death row is innocent, 90 percent of criminal cases are plea bargained and 96 percent of police officers admit to perjury. They actually have a name for it TESTILIE..."

96 percent of police officers admit to perjury!? Yikes! I haven't researched that claim, but if it's true, that's a pretty sad statement about the "first responder" heroes everyone praised in 2001. If it is true, I think the producers of Law and Order should take note!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Easy Is It To Go Vegan?

Happy Cows Come From California, a current advertising slogan says. If you really want to make a cow happy, tell it "Moo moo moo moo", which roughly translates into "I have decided not to kill you, Ms. Cow."

I don't mind telling you, I am less and less inclined to eat meat. I know humans are omnivorous and nature is full of carnivores, but the longer I live the more disgusted I am at the thought of eating it. But I love cheese and other dairy products, even knowing that "Most cow's milk has measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics (perhaps 53, with LS-50), blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses" Oh, yum.

I kind of prefer leather shoes over man-made products, too, but I still hate the thought of eating animals.

It's hard to give up killing to make our lives a little better. Still, what are we giving up besides meat (and mad cow disease) when we spare our bovine friends from the slaughterhouse? Dig this staggering list of products made from cattle:

  • antibodies (immunoglobins)
  • beef insulin
  • bovine collagen - used as injections to fill in scars
  • bovine fibrinolysin (brand name- Elase) ointment for necrotic tissue
  • bovine super oxide - dismutase cream (Orgotein) - cosmetic skin cream to prevent tissue aging.
  • bovine thrombin (brand name- Thrombinar) clotting agent for blood culture medium - diagnosis
  • fetal bovine serum - tissue cultures
  • Hyaluronidase - efficient drug use
  • PTH - control tetany
  • pegademase - bovine derivative (brand name- Adagen) - for patients who are immune-compromised...helps prevent white blood cells from breaking down.
  • pill capsules - GELATIN
  • whole serum - vaccine manufacturing

  • estrogen
  • progesterone - a reproductive hormone

  • pepsin - aid in protein digestion
  • rennet - aid in milk digestion

  • bovine thyroid (Thyrar) a thyroid replacement
  • TSH - thyroid diagnosis
  • thyroid extract - hypothrodism
  • thyroid hormones
  • myxedema
  • cretinism

  • cortisone - for arthritis, skin allergies, anti-inflammatory medicine
  • epinephrine - aid in raising blood pressure, heart disorders, and allergies

  • heparin - anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene
  • liver extract - treatment of anemia
  • intrinsic factor - pernicious anemia
  • Vitamin B12 - prevention of B-complex deficiencies

  • heparin - anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene

  • plasma protein
  • blood albumin - RH factor typing
  • Fraction I - hemophilia
  • Fraction V - kills viruses
  • iron for anemia
  • thrombin - blood coagulant
  • protein extracts
  • diagnostic microbiology

  • heart valves for human transplant

  • medical sutures - surgery

  • bone marrow - blood disorders
  • bone meal - calcium and phosphorous source
  • mineral source in supplements
  • collagen and bone for plastic surgery
  • soft cartilage - plastic surgery
  • xiphisternal cartilage (breastbone) plastic surgery

  • chymotrypsin - contact surgery
  • diastase - aid in starch digestion
  • glucagon - treat hypoglycemia
  • insulin - diabetes mellitus
  • pancreatin - aid digestion
  • trypsin - for burns, wounds, and infection - promotes healing - aid in protein
  • digestion and in cleaning wounds

  • ACTH - arthritis, allergies, rheumatic fever, skin and eye inflammations
  • pressor hormone - regulates blood pressure
  • prolactin - promotes lactation
  • vasopressin - controls intestinal and renal functions

  • cholesterol - hormone products

  • nitroglycerine
  • antibodies (immunoglobins)
  • beef insulin
  • bovine collagen - used as injections to fill in scars
  • bovine fibrinolysin (Elase - brand name) ointment for use on necrotic tissue
  • bovine super oxide - dismutase cream (Orgotein) - cosmetic skin cream to prevent tissue aging
  • bovine thrombin (Thrombinar - brand name) clotting agent for blood
  • culture medium - diagnosis
  • fetal bovine serum - tissue cultures
  • Hyaluronidase - efficient drug use
  • PTH - control tetany
  • pegademase - bovine derivative (Adagen - brand name) -- for patients who are immuno-compromised - helps prevent white blood cells from breaking down.
  • pill capsules - GELATIN
  • whole serum - vaccine manufacturing


  • a huge variety of fresh, frozen, and pre-cooked meats
  • and prepared and processed meat products

  • butter
  • casein (proteins)
  • cheese and cheese products
  • cream
  • food ethanol
  • ice cream and ice cream mixes
  • lactose (carbohydrates)
  • milk powder
  • sherbet
  • whey (proteins)
  • fats (lipids)
  • yogurt

  • chewing gum
  • lard
  • oleo margarine
  • oleo shortening
  • oleostearin
  • pharmaceuticals
  • rennet for cheese (sheep)
  • rennet for cheese (sheep)
  • shortening

  • blood sausage
  • bone meal
  • cake mixes
  • deep-fry batters
  • egg substitute
  • gravy mixes
  • imitation seafood
  • pasta
  • whipped toppings and coffee whiteners

  • whitener in refined sugar

  • gelatin capsules
  • gelatin deserts
  • ice cream, malts and shakes
  • marshmallow
  • potted meats

  • sausage casings

  • sausage casings
  • gelatin
  • candies and confectionery
  • flavorings
  • foods
  • gelatin desserts
  • ice cream
  • marshmallows
  • mayonnaise
  • yogurt


  • adhesives
  • animal feed
  • buttons
  • carriers for human medicine
  • cosmetics
  • glue
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sizing
  • specialty plastics
  • veterinary medicines

  • adhesives
  • bone marrow
  • bone meal
  • fabric printing and dyeing
  • leather-treating agents
  • livestock feed
  • minerals
  • plaster retardant
  • plywood adhesive
  • diagnostic microbiology
  • from colloidal proteins - glue for automobile bodies
  • protein source in feeds
  • sticking agent
  • textile sizing

  • bone charcoal
  • pencils
  • high grade steel
  • bone handles
  • bone jewelry
  • mineral source in feed
  • fertilizer
  • dried bones
  • buttons
  • bone china
  • glass
  • porcelain enamel
  • water filters
  • whitener in refined sugar

  • adhesives
  • bandage strips
  • collagen cold cream
  • cellophane wrap and tape
  • crochet needles
  • dice
  • dog biscuits
  • emery boards and cloth
  • fertilizer
  • glycerine
  • laminated wood products
  • neatsfoot oil
  • photographic film
  • plywood and paneling
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • wallpaper and wallpaper paste
  • syringes

  • anti-aging cream
  • cholesterol

  • PRODUCTS FROM FATS AND FATTY ACIDS (edible and inedible)
  • animal foods
  • biodegradable detergents
  • biodiesel
  • cellophane
  • cement
  • ceramics
  • chalk
  • chemicals
  • cosmetics
  • crayons
  • creams and lotions (sheep)
  • deodorants
  • detergents
  • explosives
  • fertilizer
  • fiber softeners
  • floor wax
  • glycerin
  • glycerol
  • antifreeze
  • herbicides
  • horse and livestock feeds
  • industrial oils and lubricants
  • insecticides
  • insulation
  • linoleum
  • livestock feed
  • lubricants
  • makeup
  • matches
  • medicines
  • mink oil
  • nitroglycerine
  • oil polishes
  • ointment bases
  • oleostearin
  • paints
  • paraffin
  • perfumes
  • pet foods
  • pharmaceuticals
  • plasticizers
  • plastics
  • printing rollers
  • protein hair conditioner
  • protein hair shampoo
  • putty
  • rubber products
  • shaving cream
  • shoe cream
  • soaps
  • solvents
  • stearic acid (sheep)
  • tallow for tanning
  • textiles
  • tires
  • water proofing agents
  • weed killers

  • ornaments

  • air filters
  • artist's paint brush
  • felt and rug padding
  • insulation material
  • non-wovens
  • plastering material
  • textiles
  • upholstering material

  • belts
  • collagen-based adhesives (from trimmings)
  • bandages
  • emery boards
  • glues -for papermaking, bookbinding, cabinetmaking
  • sheetrock
  • wallpaper
  • drum head (sheep)
  • pharmaceuticals
  • photographic materials
  • leather sporting goods
  • leather wearing apparel
  • luggage
  • pigskin garments, gloves, and shoes
  • porcine burn dressings for burn victims
  • shoes and boots
  • upholstery
  • wallets

  • chessmen
  • combs
  • buttons
  • fertilizer
  • horn handles
  • imitation ivory
  • inedible bone meal
  • livestock feeds
  • ornaments
  • piano keys
  • plant food

  • instrument strings
  • sausage casings
  • tennis racquet strings

  • fertilizer - used in gardens, lawns and farm cropland
  • nitrogen
  • potash
  • phosphorus
  • minor minerals

  • airplane lubricants and runway foam
  • car polishes and waxes
  • hydraulic brake fluid
  • Stearic acid - helps rubber in tires hold shape under steady surface
  • friction
  • steel ball bearings containing bone charcoal
  • textiles for car upholstery
  • various machine oils and viscous fluids

  • asphalt binder
  • carpet
  • clothing
  • cosmetics
  • fabrics
  • felt
  • insulation
  • lanolin
  • medical ointments
  • paint and plaster binder
  • pelt products
  • rouge base
  • rug pads
  • upholstery
  • woolen goods
  • worsted fabric
  • yarns

If you made it this far, it's a good time to point out that there are some mighty good uses for soy and hemp.

Idea #1 on How to Fix California's Economy

Okay, in the spirit of Constantly Amazingness, I have figured out a way to fix California's shattered economy. You're chuckling already? Well, this could be the one that wins the biscuit. All it requires is some of the same civic-minded progressive volunteerism that "Hollywood Liberals" are known for.

Here's the deal, truthseekers:

Of the things for which California is reknowned, at the top of the list, thereabouts, is: The Film Industry. And if there's one thing the Studios know how to do, it's make money. I mean, it's an American stereotype, isn't it? Rich producers, directors, actors & actresses, and all manner of industry insiders. Even talentless human mannequins who chatter with celebs of all levels make more in 5 minutes than I'll probably earn over my entire lifetime.

So, with that in mind, here's my idea: California already has all the infrastructure in place, as well as most of the industry talent, so: I think that the state should go into the movie business.

Now, just for clarification, I am not talking about tourism documentaries here. I am talking about full-blown world-class movie making, with all the production value of a seasonal blockbuster. Picture this: Directors, performers, etc., volunteer their time to contribute to the production of a film that is designed to generate profit. Again, I am talking real-deal cinematography here. Imagine some of the greats who are financially able to contribute and would be happy to do it: civic-minded directors like Rob Reiner come to mind, or Ron Howard, (Scorcese would do it... for NY), and countless others from, as I said, all areas of the entertainment industry. Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon. Barbara Streisand. Janene Garofolo!

Eventually, after a hit or two, volunteerism would not be necessary, as the state-run studio would be self-sustaining and profit-generating. It could establish its own competitive television network, with all profits going into state coffers.

The scenario I imagine is a serious enterprise, not a publicity stunt. What kind of money are we talking about? Well, here are a few profitable movies and their numbers:

Titanic $717,700,000.00
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $470,513,663.00
Jurassic Park $397,050,000.00
Shrek 2 $388,060,852.00
Star Wars $387,950,000.00
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $385,955,277.00
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $382,185,666.00
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $369,142,189.00
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone $362,278,946.00
Star Wars: Phantom Menace $347,144,149.00
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $339,493,940.00
Finding Nemo $339,457,489.00
Independence Day $333,484,628.00
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring $324,841,547.00
Lost World: Jurassic Park $318,343,340.00
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith $309,235,289.00
Lion King, The $304,777,781.00
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $296,106,518.00
Sixth Sense, The $291,250,838.00
Forrest Gump $284,700,000.00

And that's just a few movies. If I am not mistaken, there is even bigger money in television and DVD releases.

California's budget deficit is something like $40 billion. It has all the tools at hand to start is own entertainment empire; one that would reap profits at hundreds of millions of dollars a pop. That's one way to make a dent in a deficit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Darwin would have been so proud


Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates
Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.

Dolphins Evolve Opposable Thumbs
"I believe I speak for the entire human race when I say, 'Holy fuck,'" said Oceanographic Institute director Dr. James Aoki, noting that the dolphin has a cranial capacity 40 percent greater than that of humans. "That's it for us monkeys."

Hmmm... :)

Tip o' the hat to Nancy

10 Repubican Lies for Tax Day

10 Repubican Lies for Tax Day
1. President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses.
2. The estate tax devastates small businesses and family farms.
3. 40% of Americans pay no taxes.
4. Tax cuts always increase revenue.
5. The GOP is the party of fiscal discipline.
6. Ronald Reagan was the greatest tax cutter of all time.
7. FDR caused the Great Depression, or at least made it worse.
8. Obama's cap-and-trade plan will cost each American family $3,100 a year.
9. Obama's tax proposals will undermine charitable giving.
10. The rich pay too much in taxes already.
All lies. Click on the link for more about each one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shock: What if there was more to the story than the mainstream media spoon-feeds us?

My old friend Mike of the North offers food for that in this entry at his blog Screams from the Wilderness. He reminds us that there is always more to the story.

Of course, we don't condone bloodthirsty violence. But desperate times drive people to desperate measures, and quite frankly, Somalia has seen deperate times so long that Hell probably appears as a distant cloud on the horizon.

Sam Kinison once joked that starving people in Ethiopia should GO WHERE THE FOOD IS!! (his screaming, not mine). Evidently it's not so easy. Some try to make a go of it and bloom where they're planted. I don't condone violence, and the story's resolution certainly is an example of "live by the sword, die by the sword." But is is also important to remember that evil is not always done for it's own sake; there is usually a complex dynamic of different influences at work; social, economic, environmantal; that result in the news of the day.

It's ironic. When you see a picture of a starving, impoverished Somalian, you might think that, among other things, they have to live a simple life. But the harder things get, the more it seems that life is not so simple after all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Oestre, part II

No one will ever believe me, but I swear this is true:

When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I had a summer job at a lumber yard/feed store in Arizona. One of the areas where I stacked lumber bordered forest (eastern/central AZ ponderosa pine forest, like this:

One day, while stacking lumber, I saw, through the brush, a jacktabbit as big as a full-grown german shepard.

No one believed me then, and no one believes me now. But I grew up in that area, and I was used to judging size according to the surrounding visual references, to I don't think I was mistaken. I saw a jackrabbit the size of a large dog. I'm not sayin' it was the Easter Bunny, but it was what we called, at that time, one fuckin' huge-ass jackrabbit!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Oestre, Pagans!

Well, it's time once again for my fifth annual Oestre post, pagans! Let's run naked through the forest and dance around oak trees like our druidic forebears!

Weird Easter traditions from around the world
Surely the strangest Easter custom takes places in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, where there is a tradition of spanking or whipping women on Easter Monday. Males throw water at females and spank them with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons at the end. The spanking is supposed to be symbolic and according to legend, females should be spanked in order to keep their health and beauty during the next year.

In Finland, children dress up and go begging in the streets with sooty faces, carrying broomsticks.

In Spain, a traditional “death dance” is performed which involves a parade down the streets of the medieval town. Everyone involved is dressed in costumes and the procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes.

In Germany the tradition is to create an Easter fire out of used Christmas trees from the winter. The fire is seen as a symbol of the victory for the beautiful and sunny spring over the cold days of winter.
And now, on to my traditional reprints of oestre posts from years past :) That's what tradition is all about, right?

Easter's Pagan Origins
Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period March 22 to 25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection."

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.
More about Easter
In Norway, in addition to skiing in the mountains and painting eggs for decorating, it is tradition to solve murders at Easter. All the major television channels show crime and detective stories (such as Poirot), magazines print stories where the readers can try to figure out who did it, and many new books are published. Even the milk cartons change to have murder stories on their sides. Another tradition is Yahtzee games.

In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, a tradition of whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. In the morning, males whip females with a special handmade whip... [consisting] of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods) and is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end. It must be mentioned that while whipping can be painful, the purpose is not to cause suffering. Rather, the purpose is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. The whipped female gives a coloured egg to the male as a sign of her thanks and forgiveness. A legend says that females should be whipped in order to keep their health and fertility during whole next year. In some regions the females can get revenge in the afternoon when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any male.
Call it Easter, Spring Solstice, Fertility, Jesus, Rabbits, or whatever... even the celebration of the marketing of hideous crap.

Finally, a constantly amazing blog post is nothing without my obligatory political section [link]
George Washington:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."

Adolph Hitler:
"The national government... will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.”
So, happy easter, everyone... another ancient pagan ritual celebrating the natural order of things. Seasons change. New life appears, and old things pass away. Constantly Amazing, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rambling Thoughts…

  1. Here's one that you don't hear everyday: I don't think we should have states. I think we should just be one big country. I mean, we live under three governments already: local, county, and federal. Why not just live under one government instead? PS: I already know why it was set up that way, I'm just sayin' it was not the best choice.

  2. I think health care and education should be freely available to everybody. What is the point of humans forming societies, anyway? It's because a group of people can each contribute to the group in different ways that benefit the group as a whole. And certain things are fundamental to the survival and progress of the group. These are the very basic necessities of life: Shelter, clean water, basic nutrition, basic healthcare, and yes, education. I think a society that provides these basic necessities to its members eliminates a lot of problems before they start.

    Now, I already know the conservative response: "There's no such thing as free healthcare or education, someone has to pay for it." Really? When we dial 911, does the operater ask us for a credit card number? When you need a cop or a fireman, do they require you to show them your protection plan ID card? No, that sounds absurd. Instead, we take it for granted that we will share the cost of such services and all benefit from them. Wouldn't our society be great if we could count on getting treated for pneumonia as surely as we can count on the other "free" services we all enjoy in the industrialized world?

  3. I don't support giving billions or trillions of $ to crooked brokers/bank owners/etc. I was a Kucinich supporter, and he said that the bailout(s), the first of which came in Fall 2008, was obscene. At a gut level, I agree. I am no economist, but if those bailed-out businesses didn't get that money, and went bankrupt, what would happen? How bad could it be? Maybe some of them should have just gone under. In a free market economy, that's what would happen, anyway. Bonus Rant: Any wingnuts who claim the bailout has anything to do with liberalism has forgotten that the bankers, wall street brokers, CEOs, etc., are hardcore rightwing conservative Republicans all; still surviving off the corporate welfare blessings of their St. Ronnie.

  4. Speaking of saints, what the hell is it with the wingnuts' insistence on referring to Obama as the Messiah? Liberals never say it. I think they say it to enrage the religious right, to give them the impression Obama supporters are worshipping false idols. The religious right have always been the Repukes' patsies, anyway.

  5. I have heard a lot of rightwing talking heads use the words "socialist" and "socialism" lately. Personally, I doubt if most of them know what socialism even is. Or liberalism, or even conservatism, for that matter.

  6. If I read one more time that "Liberals hate Rush because he is right", my head will explode. I want to reply: "Is that why you hate Jon Stewart? Because he is right?" (forgive me for comparing the two).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

There is Always Hope...

This article is striking because it is written by a former Republican power player who recently left that party in disgust. The whole article should be read, but I just posted part of it here. This guy was one as tight with the Republican party as anyone, and even worked to get McCain elected. He has since rejected the dark side and has come into the light. Here's an excerpt:

Open Letter to the Republican Traitors (From a Former Republican)
"You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created...

How can anyone who loves our country support the Republicans now? Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan defined the modern conservatism that used to be what the Republican Party I belonged to was about. Today no actual conservative can be a Republican. Reagan would despise today's wholly negative Republican Party...

Republicans are today's fifth column sabotaging American renewal. President Obama has been in office barely 45 days and the Republican Party has the nerve to blame him for the economic and military cataclysm he inherited. I say economic and military cataclysm because without the needless war in Iraq that you all backed we would not be in the economic mess we're in today. If that money had been spent here at home on renovating our infrastructure, taking us toward a green economy, putting our health-care system in order we'd be a very different situation.

For the party that created our crises of misbegotten war, mismanaged economy, the lack of regulation of our banking industry, handing our country to rich crooks... to obstruct the one person who is trying to repair the damage is obscene.

After Obama was elected, you Republican leaders had a unique last chance to send a patriotic message of unity to the world -- and to all Americans. You could have backed our president's economic recovery plan. Since we all know that half of our problem is one of lost confidence and perception, nothing would have done more to calm the markets and project resolve and confidence than if you had been big enough to take Obama's offered hand and had work with him -- even if you disagreed ideologically. You had the chance to put our country first. You utterly failed to rise to the occasion.

The worsening economic situation is your fault and your fault alone. The Republicans created this mess through 8 years of backing the worst president in our history and now, because you put partisan ideology ahead of the good of our country, you have blown your last chance to redeem yourselves. You deserve the banishment to the political wilderness that awaits all traitors." Frank Schaeffer is the author of CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back Now.
One of the reasons I am posting this is that we are beginning to hear a lot of rightie-tighties saying that "the economy was just fine before the Democrats took over" (a local blog friend will recognize that one), and basically blaming the left and Democrats for all of America's current problems.

Now, there aren't many people left who have read my blog for the 5 years or so that it has been going, but one of my earliest and truest things obsrvations has been the inevitable pattern where Republicans massively screw things up, and the rest of us have to clean up the mess. I say "the rest of us" because there are more than just Democrats who have to work to repair the damage left by the Repukes.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with the world: If one of them can see the light, there is hope.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Economy Thing from Dec 2008: Thom Hartmann, "This is an Absolute Consequence of Reaganomics"

I meant to post this a while back, but better late than never, I suppose. I just like the way Thom Hartmann explains it:
David what he needs to do immediately is read Alexander Hamilton's 1791 report to Congress on manufactures. Hamilton laid out this six step plan to build an industrial economy in the United States and we followed it. We, Congress actually put into place in 1792 and it stood until Ronald Reagan came along and started deconstructing this, followed by George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush now and the legislatures, mostly pushed by the Republicans taking this thing apart. You could argue some of this started with Taft-Hartley. But basically the founders laid this thing out. They had it figured out and it worked. We built the biggest industrial infrastructure and industrial economy in the world.

We have gone, when Reagan came into office we were the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet. And the largest creditor. More people owed us money than anybody else in the world. Now just twenty eight years later we're the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods, exporter of raw materials which is kind of the definition of a third world nation and we're the most in debt of any country in the world. This is the absolute consequence of Reaganomics.
Fast-forward the video to 4:13:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's Turn Up Your Speakers Time!!

With Rush Limbaugh in the news again, and again, and again, I think it is my duty to re-post this presentation which defines his character in succinct yet wholly accurate terms. In fact, it is probably way too complimentary!

As my bloggin' friend Grandpa Eddie quoted in this post about Limbaugh: "Limbaugh's the "role model" for the party of family values? A thrice-divorced, drug-abusing, Parkinson's-mocking, cigar-sucking egomaniac, a poster boy for meanness, overindulgence and excess? So for now the future of the party is an admitted Oxycontin addict who plea-bargained his way out of a drug conviction, who mocks children and Parkinson's sufferers, who exhibits strange sexual fears about our first black president (why is he worried about "grabbing his ankles?"), who was famously detained on a Dominican Republic vacation for carrying Viagra without a prescription?"

It was only a matter of months ago that Limbaugh declared that if John McCain became the Republican nominee for president it would signal the death of the Republican party. He also said that he was tired of "carrying the water" for the Repukes by defending Bush, etc. He tried to subvert the American electoral process by encouraging Repukes to deliberately foul up the Democratic National Convention. He has all but admitted that his ilk cannot win a fair election and must cheat in order to remain viable.

I have heard him off and on for over 20 years, and he has lied his ass off the whole time.

If Rush Limbaugh is the symbol of the Republican party, we have either nothing, or everything, to worry about.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reading the paper

When I read the paper, I usually make a beeline for the letters to the editor. Among the constant onslaught of anti-Progressive, right-wing garbage that usually infests the place, I like to find the gems like this:
...Remember when the Bush administration sent $12 billion in cash to Baghdad on huge wooden pallets? Three-quarters of the cash was never accounted for. Remember when Halliburton was given no-bid contracts and ended up billing the U.S. government $5.5 billion for work that should have cost $685,000? Remember how Wall Street bankers raked in billions of federal bailout money with no strings attached? ...President Barack Obama wants to spend money on schools, roads and bridges, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help disabled veterans, the elderly and the unemployed. And he wants to post all the expenditures on a government Web site. Unscrupulous private contractors and war profiteers had eight years to loot the U.S. Treasury. Now it's time for Congress to begin repairing the damage with the economic stimulus package. For those members of Congress who voted "no," they should feel the full consequences of their actions. Just strip their districts of any federal stimulus funds that will come their way.
Oh, if justice was that easy. Unfortunately, good people suffer when their bad elected officials are punished. We seem to get hit no matter what.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What kind of liberal are you?

I snatched this from over at Politicky Bitch:

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Take the quiz to find out what kind of liberal you are (or would like to be, with a sly wink towards the conservatives...)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

President's Day, the Retro Way!

I am reprinting these links from my 2007 president's day post, because, damn it, they are interesting :)

Here's how those dead presidents died,


here are their final words.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hooray! (updated)

Here's great news for anyone who has lived in or near Maricopa County, Arizona: Finally! House Judiciary Committee calls for investigation into Sheriff Joe By the way, I'm expecting a scream from the wilderness on this one :).

Here's more about the thouroughly corrupt "Sheriff Joe" at Overthrow Arpaio

And at this story from Alternet

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I haven't posted in a long time 'cause I wanted to leave everyone lots of time to read my looooooooooooooooooong final Bush-years post. Now, I have to hurry up and post because the holidays are coming. What holidays, you ask? Why, February 12th, of's DARWIN DAY!

As noted in last year's Darwin Day post, I live with a polydactyl cat (artist's rendering at right - not actual cat). This qualifies me, I think, as one who has done his part to encourage the progressive evolution of cats in general to the six-toed ideal. I mean, my cat can't actually reproduce (please don't ask him, he's sensitive about it). But the cat and I both encourage other cats to maintain an open mind about such things. And that's pretty good, if you ask me (you can also ask the cat, and he will offer an opinion).

By the way, here are my Darwin Day posts from 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Rock on, all you non-believers! Crack open some wine (Blue Nun might be appropriate) and evolve! Because when all is said and done, we're right, even if we have to wait until after we're dead to prove it :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finally (updated with more links)

As I write this, there is one day left of the Bush regime's official control over our government. It is the end of an era. The end of a political nightmare the likes of which I hope we never have to live through again (I am not so naive as to think we won't).

I have put a lot of thought into what I would write as my final Bush-related blog post. Actually, I have been thinking about it ever since I began the blog, in September 2004. Many of my posts were written with some thought devoted to the end of the story. Now that time has come, and I feel as though I have lived through a period that is so philosophically shattering that I am left shell-shocked.

Please, put the tea kettle on and find a comfy spot. This may be a long one.

As some of you know, I started blogging in Sept 2004. Like many others, I began as a means of finding a voice to address the urgency of the 2004 presidential election. I'll bet blogging increased a thousandfold in 2004. Here is one of my first blog posts, which describes my feelings at the time:
The initial reason I decided to enter the blogosphere is that our current political environment has inspired me to express myself... Not that I don't have other things to talk about. But the past four years have restored a political conciousness in me that had grown almost dormant in the 1990’s. With too much faith in Americans’ ability to discern between truth and lies, between the good of the country (and indeed the whole planet) and the undisguised avarice of a handful of over-privileged corporate royalty, I have watched our political climate transform into a storm of divisiveness by a self-proclaimed "uniter." The most important election of my lifetime has arrived.

I naively assumed that those right-wing extremist hate-mongers, the neocons, could not possibly come to absolute power. I watched as neocon leaders duped their followers into surrendering themselves, using the same tried-and-true formulae as so many who had come before… nazi-like propaganda designed to inflame the base passions of Jerry Springer Show-wannabe’s who can’t be bothered to imagine life outside the warm incubator of the spoon-fed neocon vision of “Us vs. Them” (“them” being anyone who does not contribute to the neocons’ money and/or power).

Even under the Reagan administration, the neocons seemed like they were still a fringe group. Not anymore. Power has been seized by those who seek only to feed their own greedy self-interest, the rest of humanity be damned. Calling themselves “conservative” in order to capture the demographics of the 1980’s Republican constituency, they have revealed themselves to be no such thing. Conservatism used to mean fiscal restraint and moral temperance. The modern leadership of the Republican party seems to believe “conservative” means spending money you don’t have (and lots of it), giving special favors to rich Republican plutocrats while snatching food, money and civil rights from lower-income people, and insulting the world by telling them that their opinions, rights, and very lives don’t matter to Americans. They damage they have done is horrific. If I had voted for any of them, I would be ashamed. I am embarrassed to be represented by them.
As you can see, that was an understatement as to the horrors that would follow. As I wrote in years to follow, everytime I thought they had done as much as could be done, they would come up with something unexpected. Remember when the Bush regime decided to take away workers' right to overtime pay? Or when they decided to "support the troops" by slashing veterans' benefits? Or when they planted fake journalists in news organizations so they could spread their propaganda? Or when they planted a gay male prostitute in the White House press corps and pretended he was a credentialed journalist? Cheney telling a senator to "go fuck himself" while on the floor of the Senate? Cheney's secret energy task force that met to plan their conquest of the middle east (here and here)? How Cheney about choosing himself to be vice president, and then lining his pockets off of the war. Cheney's company even continued to do business with Iran when it was against the law. Or all the sex scandals (Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, the Interior Dept Sex-and-Drugs-for-political-favors-scandal...)? Or how about the fact that the Bushes gave financial support to the Nazis? Or that Bush took more vacations than any previous president,yet still managed to spend more money and create more debt than all others combined? Or how they used fear to manipulate the nation into surrendering their civil rights? How about Bush cracking jokes about the way he lied to justify his invasion of Iraq? Or saying he doesn't even care about catching Osama Bin Laden? Or saying he doesn't even think we can win the "war on terror"? That's because he never considered it a war on terror - it was a war for oil, and he always knew that; the terror thing was marketing for dupes. How about being abducted and thrown into a foreign prison without knowledge of why, of who is responsible, of when you might be released, or if you might be released... and then tortured!?. How about the fact that we have done that to children who have now grown up in our torture-prison system? Will they come out of that experience thanking America for liberating them from Saddam Hussein ("let freedom reign")?

And don't think we'll avoid burning in Hell for showering Iraq wih radioactive material. If you can stomach them, here are pictures (scroll down) of how we have "liberated" Iraq with depleted uranium. We did this.

You never hear anyone mention these things anymore, do you? Not now, with two wars that have raged longer than WWII and an economy a gnat's piss away from repeating the Great Depression. And don't get me started on Karl Rove or Tom Delay or Abramoff or extraordinary rendition or... Augh! There are so many bad things to list that the Bush administration has done, that there isn't time to concentrate on any but the most currently pressing issues. Maybe that was something they counted on. You are willing to forget that someone held down your foot and smashed your toe to pulp with a 3lb sledge hammer, if they later decide to hack off your foot with a dull saw.

Those things I listed above are just a handful off the top of my head; the actual list of Bush administration transgressions is miles long, far too long produce a comprehensive list here. Not that I didn't want to... I started out wanting to do that as my final Bush post, but the further you go back, the further you peel back the layers of corruption, depravity, criminality, treason... it just become too overwhelming. Here are a few:

Bush Scandals List
Bush Lies, Etc
List of Bush Scandals
So Long Worst President Ever; 10 Reasons History Will Hang You
The 43 Who Helped Make Bush The Worst Ever
42 Reasons We Won’t Miss President George W Bush
Bush Lies
Do You Know?
ABC'of W
Know Your BFEE
Right-wing Claims vs Fact
Bush Family Values (a favorite!)
Rightwing Chickenhawks
The Comprehensive List of 110+ Palin Problems (not Bush but still important)
Republican Offenders
Republican Sex Offenders
More Republican Sex Offenders
Republican Sex Scandals going all the way back to 1925.

And let's not forget that Bush was not elected president in 2000 - the election was stolen from the voters by a corrupt Supreme Court (one, two, three, four). That's the same court that conservatives criticize now as "acivist." And, he fucked with our votes again in 2004 (here), and in 2006 (here)!

Furthermore, I don't care how crazy some people think it sounds, the Bush regime's complicity in the 9/11 incident is too far beyond coincidental.

When I first started blogging, I told myself it would take a long time to repair the damage inflicted by the Bush presidency. As their actions developed, I told myself I probably wouldn't see the damage repaired in my lifetime. Now, I believe the damage is irreparable.

I grew up wanted so much more from the 21st century. When I was a child, it was predicted that we would be living on the Moon and exploring Mars by now. Instead, almost a decade into the 21st century, we live in a world where religious fanatics want to drag us back to the middle ages, and socioeconomic "conservatives" want to return to a world of Dickensian sweatshops where the middle classes no longer exist, replaced by a master/servant serfdom. All in the name of "freedom", says George Bush.

The following article eloquently describes how it has been a disastrous eight years under Bush. I want to reprint the article in its entirety, so I will close, for now, with it. But I want give my most heartfelt thanks to all those who have been with me on this right through political hell. I'm not giving up, but I am so looking forward to being done with George Bush, who should have been impeached long ago. I hope criminal charges are brought against him and his cronies, and they are tried for crimes against humanity in a world court.

Sorry about the tone, but I can no longer summon much humor where the Bush years are concerned. In so many ways, they ruined our country, and I will forever be pissed off about it. Anyway, please enjoy this great article:
It is hard to imagine that one U.S. presidency could leave more wreckage than George W. Bush's did during his eight years in the White House.

By his own yardsticks, his administration was an abject failure. He was a divider, not a uniter. He was "the decider" who led the country into a war of choice on what proved to be false pretenses. His administration was neither compassionate nor conservative. It ran up record deficits while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and creating a culture of government neglect that left some Americans trapped in a netherworld of neglect after Hurricane Katrina, and continues to keep all of us gripped by the angst of an economic system that remains on the brink of collapse.

This was a president whose election was assured only after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, settled the more than monthlong dispute over the Florida outcome. He immediately began to govern as if he had a ringing mandate.

The defining event of the Bush presidency came on Sept. 11, 2001, when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and turned them into missiles against the icons of U.S. financial and military might. More than 3,000 died that day, and the world was transformed. For a fleeting moment, the American people - and global sentiment - rallied around Bush. But that opportunity would soon be squandered.

For the neocon factions within the Bush administration, the 9/11 attacks opened the opportunity for two goals it brought into office: To force a regime change in Iraq, and to expand the power of the executive branch. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney went on the stump in 2002 to sell the notion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and had a connection to al Qaeda. Neither proved to be true. Still, America went to war, and American troops remain in battle to this day, many billions of dollars and more than 4,000 U.S. lives later.

The threat of terrorism became the rationale for other Bush administration assaults on American values. The Bush White House pushed the limits of the law to establish warrantless wiretapping, military tribunals, indefinite detentions of suspected "enemy combatants," torture techniques on detainees and a legal no-man's land at Guantanamo Bay. Bush expanded and redefined the use of "signing statements" to effectively declare that he - as president - can pick and choose which laws he will enforce or ignore.

Just don't call Bush a conservative. The last Clinton administration budget had a surplus of more than $100 billion; the fiscal 2009 deficit could approach $700 billion.

Bush was a disaster on the environment in many ways, but in none more critical than in his belated acknowledgment that climate change was real and was a serious threat to the planet. This nation essentially lost eight years in addressing the most profound issue of our time. In the final weeks of his presidency, Bush moved to undermine the Endangered Species Act. The Bush administration also let politics trump science in other ways, such as its resistance to stem cell research and myriad family-planning programs.

Politics also pervaded this administration's oversight of the Department of Justice. Its attempt to fire nine U.S. attorneys appeared targeted at those who were not regarded as conservative enough.

When strong hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, what seemed to be a slow and disorganized response reflected badly on the Bush White House. The public relations damage was compounded when Bush toured Louisiana right after Katrina and commended Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown for a "heckuva job." The awful hurricane aftermath, in which we saw hungry and frantic Americans scrambling through the chaos, became an indictment on the competence of the Bush administration.

"He kept us safe" is the mantra of the Bush loyalists. Indeed, terrorists did not strike again after 9/11. But the Bush policies did, leading us into war, depriving our liberties, exploiting our natural resources and allowing the construction of financial houses of cards - while seizing new executive powers at every turn. This nation is deeper in debt, gloomier in outlook and weaker in global stature than when George W. Bush took office.

This has been a disastrous eight years.
It certainly has.

ps - I think I'll dedicate this one to the late Molly Ivins, who would be very happy that this time has finally come.

Friday, January 9, 2009