Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Republican Jaffee voted against, as did Independent Jeffords. Democrats Byrd, Nelson, Conrad and Tim Johnson voted for him.
From the LATimes this morning:
Twenty-five years ago, President Reagan came to Washington with bold plans to move the Supreme Court to the right.He and his lawyers wanted a high court that would uphold state laws that impose the death penalty, restrict abortion and allow a greater role for religion in public life. They favored property rights over environmental regulation, states' rights over broad federal authority and executive power over Congress and the federal courts.Now, with the Senate about to confirm Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., a second generation of Reagan disciples stands ready to fulfill the former president's vision for the court.
It was a birthday present from my Dad. Several CDs, mostly albums that were heavily rotated during my youth in the 70s, including one album I have not heard in, like 25 years:
Jethro Tull. Songs from the Wood.
I didn’t bother to change out of my work clothes or even take off my heels. I went right to the stereo, put it on, and cranked it up reeeeeal loud.
So I’m standing there in the middle of the room, totally blissing out on the awesomeness of this expertly remastered musical artifact, when Spooney walks in, regarding me with amusement.
“Isn’t this awesome?” I yell.
“Are you kidding me?” he yells back, “It’s like Spinal Tap. Only not funny.”
Okay, I have to admit that it is a great deal like a dead-serious Spinal Tap, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fucking wicked awesome as well.
But let me tell you, even though he is only four years younger, there is a world of difference between the class of '79 and the class of '83. And I get that. I do. Hell, the first thing I did when I went to college was throw out all my rock-n-roll records and start listening to Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello, and the B-52s and Devo and every other group we called "New Wave."
But back to the Tull. For those of you not familiar, and if you’re under 40 there’s no reason on earth why you should be, Songs from the Wood was one of those glorious high-concept albums of the 70s, the concept being, in a nutshell: we’re medieval/renaissance minstrals – except we rock!
Oh, babies, the things I did. The sex, the drugs, the inebriated driving, the vandalism, the concerts I went to but don’t remember, the close calls with the cops, and all set to soundtracks like SFTW:
Tell your mother that you walked all night on velvet green.
One dusky half-hour's ride up to the north.
There lies your reputation and all that you're worth.
Where the scent of wild roses turns the milk to cream.
Tell your mother that you walked all night on velvet green.
And the long grass blows in the evening cool.
And August's rare delight may be April's fool.
But think not of that, my love,I'm tight against the seam.
And I'm growing up to meet you down on velvet green.
Now I may tell you that it's love and not just lust.
And if we live the lie, let's lie in trust.
Who knew, one day, I would look back on those days with the same kind of gentle longing that my mother used to express about sock hops and Elvis?
Before you get too Freudian on me, maybe I should tell you that I watched The Aristocrats right before going to bed.
I got a reply from someone in "Customer Care":
We are very glad hear that you are already with the situation you have experienced. We forwarded your feedback about our store to our team responsible for store operations to make sure that [employee name] gets the recognition he deserves. Your input is important to us and we want you to know we are committed to people.
Committed to people? How about a little committment to the English language, or to sentence structure, or to prepositions for that matter?
And what the hell does that mean that I am "already with the situation [I] have experienced"? I have spun that phrase around, like 10 different ways to Sunday, and I can not figure out what the fuck this chick is trying to say.
One slip might be considered an oversight, but 3 sentences as badly put together as those above indicate a pattern of willful ignorance, I suspect.
And this person's JOB is to communicate with customers.
Can you imagine the employee who couldn't write well enough to work in Customer Care?
"I wish I could say, to satisfy my masculine ego, that I led her down this path; but I must say we went down together, because she was as actively involved and concerned when we met as she is now." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Coretta Scott King dead at 78.
Monday, January 30, 2006
SCENES FROM LORD OF THE RINGS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN USED AS SETUPS FOR BAD COMMERCIALS HAD THE FILMMAKERS NOT RESPECTED THE MATERIAL.
BY CODY JAMES
- - - -
(LEGOLAS bounds up a rocky outcropping and surveys the landscape. ARAGORN approaches.)
ARAGORN: What do your elf eyes see?
LEGOLAS: There ... in the distance ... (Points excitedly) ... two arches of gold.
(ARAGORN smiles. LEGOLAS returns it. They bound down the hill. Then:)
GIMLI: (Off camera.) Wait for me!
(ARAGORN, LEGOLAS, and GIMLI have just placed their orders.)
CASHIER: For a limited time, you can buy your favorite Lord of the Rings character figurines for just $1.99 with the purchase of any Value Meal.
(They look at each other and nod approvingly.)
(They are hungrily shoving burgers in their mouths at a table.)
LEGOLAS: Aragorn, who have you chosen?
(He sheepishly produces a movable figurine of Arwen and blushes. LEGOLAS and GIMLI smile knowingly.)
ARAGORN: And you, my friends—who did you choose?
(Simultaneously, they produce their figurines. LEGOLAS has GIMLI, and vice versa. They all look at each other and laugh heartily.)
ARAGORN: (Clapping and laughing.) I'm lovin' it!
Friday, January 27, 2006
Ah, the mid-forties. Ah, the mysterious aches and pains, ah, the spontaneous napping reflex, ah the continuously-degrading skin viscosity.
The worst thing? I am moving up to the next check box. You know, the 45-60 checkbox on the insurance forms, and the application forms, the goddamn magazine subscription forms.
I do not want the people at Vogue thinking that their subscriber base is skewing old, and start running ads for Depends, and Pepsodent, and oh, what ever else old people need to keep their bodies from dismembering en route to the early bird special.
And where did the time go?
One minute you're a young girl of 33, pondering marraige and a move to the big city, and the next minute you're fucking 45, and you think you're hot shit in your Volvo wagon, and you can't remember the last time someone called you "miss" instead of "ma'am."
But you know what? Fuck it. So what if I am the vaguely ridiculous when I rock out at the Franz Ferdinand concert? So fucking what?
Life is good, babies, and I intend to keep living it, in spite of my age, in spite of BushCo & Schwarzengroper, in spite of never having slept with Bruce Springsteen, not even once.
Life is good for me, and I hope it is for you too, my dear gentle readers.
Cheers. Love to you all.
And for all my LA friends...party at my house Saturday night.
I'll be the one wearing the Depends.
I'm scared just looking at her.
Look at her, she's all flawlessly beautiful in her wrath and shit.
But seriously, I have learned three things about this whole Frey memoir dust-up:
1. Do not ever, ever, ever make Oprah mad. Because she will tear you apart on national tv and then make you thank her for the oportunity to publicly shit your pants.
2. Book publishers are, like, one notch above "child molester" on the morality scale.
3. We, the public, understand very little about addicts and the nature of addiction.
My prediction? Frey will fall off the wagon, then go back into rehab, recover, and come back and write a memoir about how Oprah drove him to it.
One is tempted to conclude from such an about-face that they must be hiding something. And why not release the photos of Abramoff and Bush together, if they are as meaningless as the president says they are?
Certainly Rove and Abramoff were pretty good friends. Are we really supposed to believe that Rove's good friend is just another face in the crowd to the president?
Salon's Joe Conanson speculates:
Perhaps the president really doesn't know Abramoff and had no idea that the lobbyist was telling clients that he could fix the Bush White House. Maybe his abrupt removal of the U.S. attorney who was investigating Abramoff three years ago was merely a curious coincidence. But if he has nothing to hide, then why are he and his press secretary concealing the facts and photos of Abramoff's repeated visits to the White House?And now, the WH has removed one of the prosecutors by promoting him into a judgeship and off the case. NYT:
Mr. Hillman's nomination for a judgeship was among the factors cited Thursday by four Democratic lawmakers, two senators and two representatives, in calling on Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to name a special prosecutor to oversee the corruption investigation.
The timing of Mr. Hillman's nomination "jaundices this whole process," Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in an interview. "They have to appoint a special counsel. I think there will be broad support for one."
Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, called the timing "startling" and said, "You have one of the chief prosecutors removed from a case that has tentacles throughout the Republican leadership of Congress, throughout the various agencies and into the White House."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I got something that says otherwise:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The core of the film is a one-man, ever-evolving multimedia slide show that Gore assembled himself. A little-known fact: Since his defeat by George W. Bush in 2000, Gore has traveled the globe with his bar graphs, staging event after event for small, invited audiences. Free of charge. And he's presented one version or another of this slide show, by his own estimation, a thousand times.
I've watched Gore give this presentation several times by downloading the video from the websites of various organizations that invited him to speak.
What's compelling about it is that the acculation of evidence for global warming starts to snowball as you watch it, and you really get a sense of the enormity and the immediacy of the problem. It's sounds geeky, I know, but you really wouldn't believe how accessible it is.
And BTW, how rockin' awesome is the Sundance festival website? Here's what so freakin' cool about it: you can just wander around and watch the live updates from each day, or you can browse, or search for, an astounding number of featured short films. And the quality of the sound and the picture is just really fucking amazing.
And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
"Cruise's camp rejected assertions the couch-jumping thespian and self-proclaimed sonogram expert had anything to do with the edit."
Oooh, ouchie ouchie Yahoo news sarcasm!
Man, if Yahoo news won't kiss your ass, who will?
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 - The Bush administration, citing the confidentiality of executive branch communications, said Tuesday that it did not plan to turn over certain documents about Hurricane Katrina or make senior White House officials available for sworn testimony before two Congressional committees investigating the storm response.
He was 43.
In 2004, literary goddess Cintra Wilson wrote about the lesser Penn in her ongoing Salon feature about underrated actors. Here's an excerpt:
It's hard to tell if Chris Penn has benefited as much as he's suffered professionally from the relation to his brother, the Great Sean, The Great Ahctor with a Capital Ah. He's just as talented as Sean -- just a lot less cocky. Chris is an expert at the one complicated emotional state Sean doesn't really display much of -- red-faced humiliation. Ego crush. The hyper-vulnerable, exposed weakness of the bed-wetter, the fuckup, the sad sack, the hapless loser, the beta male -- which, I think, in terms of pound-per-pound acting skill, is one of the hardest things to do. I think it's kind of easy for a skilled, handsome actor with an imagination and an ego to act like the sexiest mahfugger in town -- James Dean, Marlon Brando, Sean Penn -- but it takes someone really fearless to look openly lame, shamed, screwed-up, dumb and scared. A character who knows he is not and will never be Slick King Fabulous, while he does not inspire oiled-torso photo spreads in Vanity Fair, is ultimately way more intriguing and sympathetic, for that is the painful secret at the core of being a human being -- nobody is Slick King Fabulous, even when he is. This is a generous giving of the fragile, flawed self as opposed to a flexing of dreamy ego-might. As Prince says, in "Pop Life," everybody wants to be on top, but Chris Penn beautifully demonstrates how rich the agonies of life can be about a third of the way down.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Not surprisingly, O'Connor voted for Bush when Bush v. Gore came before the Supreme Court. Why she was never questioned about this conflict of interest is beyond me.
And now, thanks largely to the actions of this one closeted pro-choice woman, there is a very good chance that the protection afforded all American women by the landmark Roe v. Wade decision will be eroded when Alito is confirmed (as he will be) and begins to make anti-choice decisions from the Supreme Court.
Congratulations, Sandra. Job well done.
I mean, sleep well at night and everything.
STRASBOURG, France (AP) -- The head of a European investigation into allegedCIA secret prisons in Europe said Tuesday that evidence pointed to the existence of a system of ''outsourcing'' of torture by the United States, and that it was highly likely European governments were aware of it.
But Swiss Sen. Dick Marty said there was no tangible proof so far of the existence of clandestine centers in Romania or Poland as alleged by the New York-based Human Rights Watch, and complained of a lack of cooperation by EU governments.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 - The White House was told in the hours before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that the city would probably soon be inundated with floodwater, forcing the long-term relocation of hundreds of thousands of people, documents to be released Tuesday by Senate investigators show.
A Homeland Security Department report submitted to the White House at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit, said, "Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching."
The internal department documents, which were forwarded to the White House, contradict statements by President Bush and the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, that no one expected the storm protection system in New Orleans to be breached.
"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," Mr. Bush said in a television interview on Sept. 1. "Now we're having to deal with it, and will."
But wait, they can explain:
A White House spokesman, asked about the seeming contradiction between Mr. Bush's statement on Sept. 1 and the warning as the storm approached, said the president meant to say that once the storm passed and it initially looked as if New Orleans had gotten through the hurricane without catastrophic damage, no one anticipated at that point that the levees would be breached.
Okay, so first they DID anticipate the levees breaching, but then later on, when they didn't breach for a while, then they DIDN'T anticipate it, so then when the levees did breach, and he made that remark, he were referring to their later non-anticipation, not the initial anticipating.
Everyone got that?
Oh, and this little tidbit buried near the end of the story:
Separately Monday, a Democrat on the House committee that is also investigating Hurricane Katrina urged Representative Thomas M. Davis III, Republican of Virginia, who is the chairman of the House inquiry, to enforce a subpoena presented to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld for documents related to the storm.
The Democrat, Representative Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, said in a letter that recent interviews by House investigators had produced evidence that "the Defense region," and that the documents from the Pentagon were necessary to address the accusations.
A Defense Department spokesman declined to comment on the letter.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Just my fucking luck. My 2-year anniversary with Spooney is the "unhappiest day of the year":
Watch out: Monday, January 23 is going to be the unhappiest day of the year, according to a British university researcher.
Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at the University of Cardiff, specializing in confidence-building and stress management, told AFP the prediction was the result of some gruelling mathematics.Post-Christmas blues, the return to work after the holidays, mounting bills to pay for the parties, the challenge of keeping New Year's resolutions, the slender prospects of fun in the weeks ahead and chilly winter temperatures for those in the northern hemisphere all add up, he said.
1. The one where Joey stars in a really bad tv sitcom.
2. The one where Rachel, who doesn't need the gig, holds out for more money.
3. The one that Monica and her no-talent husband produce for TBS.
4. The one where Ross and Chandler decide to appear on "Skating with Celebrities"
In classic WH press secretary fashion, McClellan refuses to provide details of Abramoff meetings with administration officials, and then bitches that people are basing accusations on too little info. The White House describes the number of Abramoff's meetings with staff members only as "a few," even though senior Bush aides have precise data about them. McClellan will not give details, saying he doesn't "get into discussing staff-level meetings." During a televised briefing, he added, "We're not going to engage in a fishing expedition." Pressed for particulars about Abramoff's White House contacts, McClellan said with brio, "People are insinuating things based on no evidence whatsoever." But he said he cannot "say with absolute certainty that [Abramoff] did not have any other visits" apart from those disclosed.
(Thanks to JT for the tip.)
So here's a new link to the Rise Up with Fists video by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins. Maybe this one will work for ya.
I can't stop watching it. I love this fucking video, and I love the song.
Also, in case you don't remember from the last time I mentioned it, the twins have their own 8-song CD-EP out called Southern Manners. You can listen to cuts if you're on MySpace (yeah, thanks a lot, Rupert) or download some samples at their website.
If you live in the greater LA area, you really really should see them at their record release party at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood this Wednesday night, the 25th, at 10pm.
And buy their album, because it's beautiful, and it fills you with the kind of longing that's it's really easy to lose in this crazy ol' world.
Friday, January 20, 2006
The Justice Department said yesterday that it subpoenaed four major Internet companies for data on what people search for on the Web as part of an eight-year
battle over a federal law designed to shield children from online pornography.Three of the companies responded to some degree, but Google Inc. said it was resisting the demand. Privacy advocates said the subpoenas raised deep concerns about the government's ability to track what ordinary people view on the Internet...
..."The real issue here is, is Google being deputized to spy on us? In this case, you could maybe argue that the spying is not that bad, because very little of it is personally identifiable, but what will the next case be?" said Richard M. Smith, a Boston-based software engineer who has written about the Internet age. "It's a terrible precedent."
So they're spying on us because they don't want children to see pornography?
Doesn't that issue seem to fall pretty squarely in the area of PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY?
And aren't there better uses for our tax dollars than funding a FEAR OF SEX?
p.s. For more Googlely goodness, go here.
Documents released under a court order show that a government investigator studying the stranding of 37 whales on the North Carolina coast last year changed her draft report to eliminate all references to the possibility that naval sonar may have played a role in driving the whales ashore.
The issue of sonar's effects on whales is a sensitive topic for the U.S. Navy. It has clashed with environmentalists in several court suits seeking to limit use of the technology because of its possible effects on marine mammals and other sea creatures.
The January 2005 stranding occurred shortly after naval maneuvers in the area -- which is off North Carolina and in the region where the Pentagon wants to build a controversial underwater sonar training range.
"We are winning," he said. "Clearly Al Qaeda and the terrorists are on the run, and that is why it is important that we do not let up, and do not stop, until the job is done."
Mr. McClellan added: "We continue to act on all fronts to win the war on terrorism, and we will. The president is fully committed to do everything within his power to prevent attacks, and to defeat the terrorists. We are taking the fight to the enemy, we are working to advance freedom and democracy, to defeat their evil ideology."
Finally, I say that war will go either in our favor or yours. If it is the former, it means your loss and your shame forever, and it is headed in this course. If it is the latter, read history! We are people who do not stand for injustice and we will seek revenge all our lives. The nights and days will not pass without us taking vengeance like on Sept. 11, God permitting. Your minds will be troubled and your lives embittered. As for us, we have nothing to lose. A swimmer in the ocean does not fear the rain. You have occupied our lands, offended our honor and dignity and let out our blood and stolen our money and destroyed our houses and played with our security and we will give you the same treatment.
You have tried to prevent us from leading a dignified life, but you will not be able to prevent us from a dignified death. Failing to carry out jihad, which is called for in our religion, is a sin. The best death to us is under the shadows of swords. Don't let your strength and modern arms fool you. They win a few battles but lose the war. Patience and steadfastness are much better. We were patient in fighting the Soviet Union with simple weapons for 10 years and we bled their economy and now they are nothing.
In that there is a lesson for you.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
His thoughts, and those of his sister on her blog, are prompted by a book review in Atlantic Monthly on the sexual promiscuity of teenage (and pre-teen) girls.
It always amuses me, that adults are so shocked at the sex lives of teenagers. Don’t they remember? I mean, I was a teenager in the 70s. I lost it at 14, and by 16 I had a prescription for the pill. And in my crowd, there was a lot of sex. A lot.
I mean a lot.
A lot of dry humping, a lot of blowjobs, a lot of handjobs, and a lot of penetration.
And speaking from my experience, I can tell you that all I ever wanted through it all was male attention and love.
Why? I was done being a kid. My parents were divorced, and, well, I felt as though I was merely an extra in the drama that was the Martyrdom of my Mother. To me, anything I said or did was fuel for her drama, and so I learned not to trust her. And when her life spiraled so frighteningly out of control, and no father came to rescue me, I think I concluded that to be a kid was to be a chump – to be a kid was to have no say, no dominion, and no bargaining chips at all.
Well, it’s easy to imagine how a 14-year-old girl with no money goes about acquiring some bargaining chips. And part of it was about that. See what I could get for what I gave. But I was never a mercenary. I didn’t want things. I wanted love, and by god I was going to find some way to get some, no matter what I had to do.
But you know what? I’m not sure there was any damage done. Sure, as an adult it took me a while to figure out the difference between real love, and the kind of arrangements I made as a teenager, but hey, everyone’s got to overcome some bad lessons from their childhood, right?
The Atlantic reviewer shudders at the thought of today’s girls gone wild trading in the “debasing, uncomfortable, and messy blowjob,” and I can’t help but think “Man, not if you’re doing it right.”
Seriously, I don’t remember ever feeling debased. It was exciting. I liked it. Are you kidding me? Of course I did. It was sex! It felt good! It was a new thing, a grown-up thing. Wild horses couldn’t have stopped me from doing it.
So, I just want to say that it’s not the sex itself that hurts you or debases you. It is the manner in which sex happens to you that determines its life-affirming or life-damaging power, so let’s not cast these young women as victims if that’s not what they are.
Because that’s not what I was.
In the course of his lengthy neuroimmunological experiments, the scientist arrived at the conclusion that sexual intercourse has a positive effect not only on the overall physical condition of both partners but also on their immune systems. Phagocytes are to be praised for the marvel.
Phagocytes are cells that help the body rid itself of various ailments. This is how they work: once they locate an alien body, they penetrate it and trigger self-destruction. During sexual intercourse, number of phagocytes tends to increase significantly; oftentimes, number of these cells almost doubles after orgasm. This in turn enables these cells to detect and destroy antibodies more quickly.
Lesley Stahl: You have two little girls.
LS: Is this the best experience of your life, being a mommy?
FH: No. No, and I resent the question. Because I think it puts women in an untenable position. Because unless I say to you "Oh, Lesley, it's the best thing I've ever done in my whole life," I'm considered a bad mother. And just when I said "No" you went back (she imitates Stahl's head recoiling).
LS: Let me ask it this way: are you a good mother?
FH: I don't know if I'm a good mother.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see a woman nominated, but not this woman.
I loved her as a first lady, and I'm sure she's done well by New York, but she is not a good enough politician to win national office.
Case in point? The whole "plantation" reference. I'm sure it was a remark designed to get her some press, which it did, and to endear her to a certain constituency, you know, in a clumsy, I'm-with-homey, condescending, did-I-mention-my-husband-works-in-Harlem kind of way.
Argh! It's so infuriating. She was his first lady, and they've been married for 30 years, sort of, and she's learned nothing -- nothing! about how to make words come out of her mouth that people will believe are true.
My little sister is blogging!
Ah, they grow up so fast.
Check her out: Two Minutes in the Box
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
If the Golden Globes was the "party of the year," then it is gonna be one tired, long-ass year, my friends
And then the host, Queen Latifah, seemed to be intimating that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have felt that her latest piece of box office crap was a testament to all that he struggled to achieve, or something. Luckily for her she bailed before it all got too cringy.
Lunesta commercials were heavily rotated throughout the evening, which was ironic, because with an award show this boring no sleep medication was needed.
Clooney, god bless his gorgeous little heart, tried to jump-start the evening with a mildly naughty reference to Jack Abramoff, but to no avail.
Once again, those that vote for actor awards believe that the highest achievement possible for an actor is the deft impersonation of another famous person. Hence awards for Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash), Reese Witherspoon (June Carter Cash), Jonathon Rhys-Meyers (Elvis), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Truman Capote).
The highest achievement used to be impersonating retards and gimps, but that was before Hollywood rediscovered the gold mine of biopics.
Not that the above actors didn’t deserve their awards. But I’m still pissed that Kate Blanchett took the Oscar for supporting actress last year for that lame-o Kate Hepburn impression, when they could have given it to Virginia Madsen or Sophie Okonedo instead.
Oh, but the fabulous Sandra Oh won. I love her.
Nominees in the "unfortunate gown" category include:
Geena Davis: Way too old and lumpy for such a tight gown.
Pamela Anderson: (shut up, she has a tv show now!) Tried to look "classy" and instead looked "stupid."
Gwyneth Paltrow: She of the precious cap sleeves. Fuck you Gwyneth. You suck. Go back to England and name your next kid after a vegetable or something.
Penelope Cruz: Wow. What year is it?
Drew Barrymore: Oh, my god, baby, get a bra. I'm not kidding. Your tits are two inches above your waist.
Catherine Denueve: Man, this one hurts. She got chunky. And she clearly doesn't know how to pick out an "I got chunky" gown. Call me, CD, I'll give you a few pointers. Here's the first one for free - big sleeves don't hide mutton arms.
Reese Witherspoon: Her dress was well within her tried-and-true red carpet formula. And yet it was hideous. Go figure.
Emmy Rossum: We get it. You're an ingenue. Stop with the mille feuille already.
Hugh Laurie, Geena Davis and Steve Corell at least had funny acceptance speeches. You can check out some “highlights” here (registration required).
I neglected to mention yesterday that Shelley Winters died over the weekend.
What a great actress. Check out A Patch of Blue sometime if you don't believe me.
There's a story that people tell in Hollywood, that Winters came in to meet with a director about a part in a movie. In the meeting, she was asked to audition for the role - a request that many established actors would have found insulting.
The story goes that she pulled her Oscar out of her handbag, set it down on the director's desk, and said "That's my audition."
Then she pulled her other Oscar out of her handbag, set that down, and said "And that's my callback."
Monday, January 16, 2006
Why? Because "food and drink are not allowed."
Well, that's what the the Y is telling the press, anyway. What they told the mother whose actions prompted the ban was that her breasts were "distracting the lifeguards."
"I do not see the likelihood of a filibuster, to be very candid with you," Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and one of the most prominent abortion rights supporters on the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday on the CBS program "Face the Nation."
Ms. Feinstein said she would vote against Judge Alito, in part because of the abortion rights issue. "If you asked me who would Alito most be like, it would probably be, I'd have to say, Scalia," she said, referring to Justice Antonin Scalia, leader of the court's conservative faction, which opposes abortion rights.
But she added: "I mean, this is a man I might disagree with. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court."
I would just like to remind Feinstein that 7 out of 10 Californians support Roe v. Wade, and that the majority of us want our candidates and court nominees to feel the same way.
Let us remember this when she comes up for re-election this year.
I wonder if it's the same small flock I saw over the Chandler bike path a couple of months ago. That's about fifteen miles from this sighting. Probably not though, since there are apparently thousands of wild parrots in SoCal.
Many birders turn up their noses to parrot-watching, since they are not native to the area. And many detractors say that the flocks should be eliminated because they strain natural resources. But come on, how can you not love a bird that escapes from some crappy little cage and learns to live in the wild?
Which reminds me, if you haven't seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, you really should. It's a wonderful documentary about a San Francisco flock, and the man who cared for them for several years.
Although I loved March of the Penguins, I feel like that movie manipulates your emotions about wildlife, especially cute wildlife, in some rather stock ways. TWPOTH is a much stealthier movie, and as I watched it I found myself wholly unprepared for its conclusion.
Netflix it, baby.
After a week of shopping the used car dealers, I got myself the exact same make and model of car that what burned up, only 4 years newer.
I fell in love with her at first site, but resisted her because she was more than I wanted to spend. But with only 82 thousand miles on the odometer, and the blessing of the wizards of all things Volvo at Superior Auto Repair, I decided to make her mine.
Her name, of course, is Phoenix.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The Bush Administration first attacked Rep. Murtha for his Iraq views by associating him with the filmmaker Michael Moore and Representative Jean Schmidt likened him to a coward on the floor of the House of Representatives. When those tactics backfired, Dick Cheney called Murtha "A good man, a marine, a patriot and he's taking a clear stand in an entirely legitimate discussion." Though the White House has backed off publicly, administration officials have nevertheless recently made calls to military leaders to condemn the congressman. So far they have refused.
As Tim Grieve in Salon's War Room quite nicely summed up, "Partisans on the right say that it's the Democrats' fault. Partisans on the left say it's Graham's."
Readers, I must confess it to you now. It's my fault. I made her cry.
While watching the hearings, I sent her a text message saying that I thought her jacket made her look like Harriet Myers' ugly older sister.
Hey, the truth hurts, sometimes. What can I say?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
When Alito served in the Justice Department, he argued that the federal government had no responsibility for the "health, safety and welfare" of the American people (a view rejected by President Reagan); that "the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion"; that the executive branch should be immune from liability for illegal domestic wiretapping; that illegal immigrants have no "fundamental rights"; and that police had a right to kill an unarmed 15-year-old boy accused of stealing $10, a view rejected by the Supreme Court and every police group that filed briefs in the case. He also wrote a memo arguing that it would be legal for employers to fire and for the federal government to exclude from any of its funded programs people afflicted with AIDS because of "fear of contagion whether reasonable or not."
As a judge, he has ruled consistently for employers against individual and civil rights, and for unbridled executive and police power. Against the majority of his court and six other federal courts, he argued that regulation of machine guns by the federal government was unconstitutional. He approved the strip search of a mother and her 10-year-old daughter although they were not named in a warrant, a decision denounced by then federal Judge Michael Chertoff, now secretary of homeland security, as a "cliché rubber stamp." Alito ruled in favor of a law requiring women to notify their husbands if they plan to have an abortion, which was overturned by the Supreme Court on the vote of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who stated, "A State may not give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children." Alito's decisions and dissents predictably flow from his politics.
On the Supreme Court, as O'Connor's replacement, he will codify the authoritarianism of the Bush presidency even after it is gone.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
It would appear so.
In the first of two stories, reporter David Cay Johnston reports that the IRS is defying a court order by witholding information it had formerly provided for years about audits on big corporations.
In the second story, he reports the the IRS has switched its fraud investigation unit's focus onto the poor.
“I get a call from the lawyers, and they’re, like, ‘DreamWorks … is furious about the whole Dakota Fanning thing, and they’re livid, and Spielberg is personally furious, and DreamWorks is putting you on a list, and they demand an apology,’ ” Griffin said.
“And I’m, like, ‘A list?’ I’m on the s- list? Who gives a s-? … Put me on your list. And Spielberg? Oh, what’s the matter? I’m not going to star in any more Steven Spielberg movies? Oh, no! What’ll I do with my time?
“Oh, and E! Channel called me: ‘We demand an apology.’ And I go, ‘OK, here’s your apology: You’d have to be a [bleep]ing idiot to not know I was kidding.’ And they’re, like, ‘Well, we can’t print that’ … It’s a joke. It’s a joke. I’m not going to apologize for jokes. Ten years old. It’s a joke.
Maybe Spielberg should find a better way to spend his, and his people's time.
1) Britney Spears - Blackwell calls her "an over-the-hill Lolita." I call her "does anyone care about this bitch anymore?"
2) Mary-Kate Olsen - I totally disagree about this one. I think Mary-Kate is a fashion icon. I mean, she took the whole Annie Hall thing of the 70s, and so totally updated it by being much shorter than Diane Keaton.
3) Jessica Simpson - Blackwell says she's a "cut-rate Rapunzel slingin' hash in a Vegas diner." I say she's about 1 bad marriage away from "Dancing with the Stars."
4) Eva Longoria - Ooooh, I wouldn't want to be on the set with her today.
5) Mariah Carey - Mr. Blackwell wishes she would leave more to the imagination. There's an obvious joke there, except I think the majority of straight men would agree. She starting to resemble a blow-up doll with a microphone.
6) Paris Hilton - Paris just needs to hire better dressers. Clearly the bad outfits are not her idea, since I really don't think she has ideas.
7) Anna Nicole Smith - Oh, leave Anna alone. The bitch is clearly crazy.
8) Shakira - Sha-who? Really, she's that famous, that she gets on this list? I mean, my dog groomer has bad hair too, but she's not on this fucking list, dude.
9) Lindsay Lohan - Should have been #1. Not only does she look awful, and I mean always, but she was so cute and young and normal, like, a year ago.
10) Renee Zellweger - Man, if you can't look pretty on your wedding day, you can't look pretty:
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Alito: No, Senator. I am not. The values that I was raised with, and instilled in me by my mother and father, support women and minorities attending college.
Hatch: Some far-left liberal groups have suggested that you would advocate the killing of kittens and puppies. Is that true? Would you advocate killing kittens and puppies?
Alito: I certainly would not. I believe my values, instilled in me by my working-class family, are supportive of kittens and puppies, and their right to live long, and, ah, cute lives.
Hatch: Judge, the unhinged homosexual communist media have made allegations suggesting that you oppose rainbows, and flowers, and girls in pretty dresses. Can you please state for the record your position on rainbows, flowers, and attractively attired young women?
Alito: Certainly, Senator. I do not oppose any of those things. My working class upbringing, and the values of my hard working parents, definitely embraced rainbows and flowers. And as for girls in pretty dresses, I believe there is no right more essential to the liberty of the American people.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Real Live Preacher, writing for Salon, talks to them:
He also quite rightly points out that their opposition to the show is a tad ironic if you've actually read the book of Daniel.
Yo, brothers and sisters in Christ. They weren't making fun of you. It's much worse than that. The folks at NBC don't care about you enough to make fun of you. They don't even know you exist. You are not a part of their world. They want to make money, that's all. This is no great mystery or secret. They're not hypocrites; they're capitalists.
This particular Christian church is simply a setting in which the TV people are playing out yet another dramatic comedy series. They use the same exaggeration and distortion when the shows are about police stations, hospitals, legal offices and entire ZIP codes like 90210. They don't care about you. They really don't care about anything except ratings.
Stop taking things so personally. You're giving the rest of us Christians a bad name. Learn to laugh at yourself, or do what I did. Just turn off your TV, look at the person next to you, and say, "Well, that sucked!"
I know that I have been lucky twenty different ways to Sunday in my life.
But, that being said, folks, I am in the midst of a huge clusterfuck.
The recent conflict with my mother’s side of the family came in the midst of a several-week-long funk brought on by the first anniversary of my Granny’s death. Maybe that’s why I found myself so hurt when I felt like the NE folks not only didn’t understand me, they didn’t particularly like me, either.
So yesterday, Spooney and I ran some household errands. First, we stopped at the automotive supply store. While he perused various fuel additives, I found this really bitching flame decal that would fit perfectly on the back of my car, right above the word “Volvo.”
Sure, I have 1992 Volvo wagon, but it’s a 960, and it HAULS ASS up hills and just has tons of acceleration and a great stereo and leather interior, and a flawless exterior, and well, I just love my car. Her name is Mulva. I bought her about 5 years ago, and when I asked my mechanic recently if it wasn’t time to get rid of her, he said “Why? This is a great car.”
And besides, how funny is that? A 14 year-old Volvo wagon with a flame decal? Come on.
Next, we went to the Empire Center in Burbank to buy a new pepper mill. Now, if you know me, you know that kind of errand gives me an insane amount of pleasure. I may be a political crankster, but I have a mile wide Martha Stewart streak in me as well. And Spooney is such a great guy that he always tags along with me, and frequently he even exhibits signs of enjoying himself.
So I make my purchases, and then in the parking lot of the Great Indoors, I turn my ignition key to start up my car.
I haven’t heard a sound like that since I blew a hole in the block of my 72 Vega.
Me: Oh, no.
Smoke starts to billow out from under my hood.
Spooney: I think you blew your radiator.
Spooney: Pop the hood.
I release the hood, but of course you have to still have to stick your hand under the hood to release the manual latch. Spooney gets out and walks to the front of the car.
Me: Wait until it cools down!
The smoke has by now gotten dark grey, and is turning black.
Then someone standing a few yards away points at my car and says “Flames!”
At that point I exit the vehicle as well.
The next twenty minutes are a blur. 911 is called, the car continues to burn. Flames are visible underneath the engine at first, but then they come out from under the hood as well. Spooney and I and several employees of the store stand at a safe distance watching while clueless idiots try to park next to me or drive by slowly, mere feet away from a potential fireball.
Okay, I know, cars only blow up in the movies. But still. Ya never know.
Freakily enough, in the midst of the blaze, Mulva started trying to turn over. I heard the engine, and I'm all "Is that MY car?" And Spooney says yeah, there's exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. I suddenly felt like I was in a Stephen King movie, like Mulva had come alive and was trying to outrun her fate.
Finally the firemen arrive. And one of them revs up a chain saw and proceeds to cut away the hood of my car.
At that point, I dropped my purse and my packages on the ground and started to cry like a little girl.
My car. My beautiful, beloved car. I’ll never ride in her again. I know that now.
Once the fire is out, the chief tells me that he has no idea what started it, and people seldom do figure out the causes of these things. That’s comforting, I think.
Amazingly, the firewall between the engine compartment and the interior has done its job well. There appears to be absolutely no damage to the interior. The CDs in my glove box aren’t even warm.
But the engine is toast. Just one big glob of molten wires, rubber and metal. The front tires are melted, as are my headlight covers. The bulbs are popped.
In short, the shit is BURNED UP.
So, I call my insurance company, and Spooney and I empty all my possessions from the car into the plastic bags that the store employees have brought us. And then they load Mulva onto the bed of the tow truck, and Spooney and I ride back home in a cab.
First of all, I always wondered, when I would drive past cars on fire on the freeway shoulder, how does that happen, exactly? I mean I understand overheating, but ON FIRE?
Now I know.
Secondly, if your car insurance doesn't cover a rental car, as mine doesn't, call them now and get an upgrade. So worth it.
I don't remember turning down that kind of coverage, but perhaps they never offered it.
Later, when Dr. Spooney has fixed me a big cocktail and tucked me into the couch for a movie, the phone rings. I pick it up.
CALLER: Hey there.
ME: Who is this?
CALLER: Wait a sec. My tv is too loud.
ME: Who is this?
CALLER: It’s Robert.
ME: I don’t know who you are.
CALLER: Do you want to lick me?
Great. Fucking great. A pervert. Why do they always call when you are at your most vulnerable?
So, here’s what I want to say right now, to the universe, generally.
Okay? I give. You win.
Did I piss you off, did I tempt your powers, with the whole flame decal thing?
If so, uncle. Uncle, okay?
Friday, January 06, 2006
Well, they sure aren’t now.
The forwarding of bad jokes and puppy pictures was inevitable, I suppose. And I was prepared to put up with that to some extent. But then came an email from a cousin with an audio attachment called “The Ballad of New Orleans.”
It was vile garbage, full of references to government checks and looted Nike sneakers, and the racist message it contained was loud and clear.
At that point, my brother, my sister and I all responded back saying, basically, “I thought this forum was for family news. Please do not send any more attachments like this. And because I could be held accountable by my employer for what you send, please delete this work email address, and use a personal one.”
Some family background is perhaps in order at this point. The Holbecks reside mostly in rural Nebraska, and also in various other red state enclaves in the US. Now, I didn’t grow up in NE, although I DID grow up in a similarly bigoted and regressive shithole in rural Indiana.
But unlike so many of my classmates, friends, and neighbors, I had the good fortune to be born to intelligent and tolerant parents. Parents who worked for Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign, and whose whole world changed when he was murdered. Parents who risked the wrath of our redneck local police and held NAACP meetings at our house in the 60’s. I remember when I was a little kid, being allowed to stay up just long enough to meet our guests, and then falling asleep looking at the cop cars parked outside my bedroom window.
I know, the phrase that springs to mind is “bleeding heart liberal,” and to that I say: HELL YEAH! I suppose I have the same sort of affection for that phrase that Jeff Foxworthy fans have for the phrase “you might be a redneck if…”
I am grateful every day of my life that my parents enabled me to overcome the fear and stupidity that I encountered from the white people of my hometown. And I am sad every time I think about my junior high girlfriend Sylvia, whose mom would not let her sleep overnight at my 15th birthday slumber party; a situation my mother was at a loss to explain to me at the time. All she could say was “to some people, certain things just aren’t done, honey.” And I remember being threatened with violence by some boys at school when I wanted to bring a black date to the Snowball Dance (and no, I am not making that name up). And I look back with weariness when I think about my high school friend Tori, a beautiful and sweet girl who became a cheerleader against all odds, only to suffer the humiliation of racial epithets yelled at her from the bleachers.
But back to Nebraska…
After my parents divorced, my mother moved back to her own childhood hometown in NE, and thus began my uneasy relationship with her side of the family. Visits to my mom’s house were always an exercise in patience, which frankly has never been my long suit. I found myself continually weighing the risk of alienation against the shitty feeling of swallowing all your principals for the sake of a family harmony. But the only thing I knew for sure from growing up in Indiana is that if you don’t speak out, then your acceptance is taken for granted. So I have learned to say, nicely, “please don’t use that word around me” and other like utterances. And the effect on the NE relatives had been mostly positive, and I took the resulting teasing about being just like my mom with a smile.
But now this.
I continued to receive the occasional infuriating email garbage in the forms of diatribes on the persecution of Christmas-celebrating Christians in America, and jokes about what an ugly cow Hillary is, blah blah blah. It was then I decided on a new strategy: to “reply all” to each offending email with a file or URL or even a sentence or two with my own point of view, adding that if they found it objectionable, then perhaps they could understand my position that we just stay off the tricky subjects and stick to family news.
I got two kinds of reactions, 1) people who told me I was full of shit, and by the way I sure didn’t inherit the Holbeck sense of humor, and 2) people who told me to lighten up and show some tolerance, and by the way I sure didn’t inherit the Holbeck sense of humor.
Tolerance. That’s pretty funny. Somehow, though, I don’t think they meant to be ironic.
See, tolerance is a one-way street for a lot of them. They want it but they can’t give it. They think there’s no harm in the occasional racist joke, but become infuriated when I poke a little fun at Jesusland.
So, after the latest email cartoon, this one a portrait of President Clinton pushing Monica’s head down under his desk (how fucking tired is that by the way?) and yet another request from my brother, sister and I that we 1) stick to family news, and 2) please not use our work email addresses, this is the response I got from a cousin:
Why did you give this email address if it is your work? You and your brother have some serious anger going on and should seek some counseling for some of your issues.
On another topic...it needs to be said that at least when you look back on the moral side of it, the Republican party has had a better record.
Consider both Kennedys (Marilyn Munroe) and Clinton (Monica) in the White House in the Oval office. You didn't see any of that from former Republican presidents. So there!!!!
I’d sent my email only to her, but she sent the above to the whole distribution list. And then this came in a separate email immediately following:
If you are at work...should you be doing personal emailing of any kind?? Get to work!!!!!!!
My brother replied, explaining that my mother had mistakenly given our work email addresses, and although he wasn’t sure who she was, to please respect our wishes. Then we got this:
You three are spending entirely too much time with personal emailing while you are at your important jobs. You guys are too much. I have a life to get back to. Put a smile on your face and cheer up for God's sake. And I hope you had a Merry Christmas too!!!
And then this:
Now that was funny. My email address was put on this list. We're long lost cousins...don't you know. Look at our last names. I just spell mine differently. Don't you have some work to do that's important to someone? I know I do....Hugs and Kisses.
My mother chimed in at this point, asking my cousin to lay off, and that she raised her kids up right and that she herself was sick of some of the opinions that were being expressed.
Then we got this:
If you guys don't mellow out I will be forced to attend someone else's family reunion this year. You take yourselves way too seriously. The Holbeck sense of humor has been lost with the passing of some special people. That's too bad. Better yet...delete my name from your list...this is a waste of time and depressing as Hell!!!!!Let me tell you, every one of these was like a knife through my heart. My family doesn’t fight like this. We don’t DO this. But by this time I had given up on communicating with her, although I did draft an email that I never sent. Here it is:
How fucking dare you?The most depressing thing about the whole affair is that none of the other Holbecks have bothered to come to our defense. I think perhaps that is because to their minds we have deserved it somehow, we have provoked this response with our leftie/PC ways and they guess we’ve been taught a lesson by this batshit-crazy keyboard harridan.
I had decided to ignore your emails because frankly, I don’t argue with people who posess no sense of reason. What’s the point?
But lay off my mom. What the hell is the matter with you?
Oh, and by the way:
Gerald Holbeck was my grandfather.
Marjorie Holbeck was my grandmother.
Wayne & Emory Holbeck were my uncles.
Virginia Holbeck was my aunt.
I miss them all like crazy and wish they were all still around today. I did not always agree with them but I loved them and they loved me.
Please never again suggest otherwise, you bitter, spiteful old bitch.
Because to them, they are normal, and my brother my sister and I are, and always will be, outsiders. We eat sushi, we wear “fancy shoes,” we hate Bush, and worst of all, we have transcended our circumstances, and to them that means we are uppity, and I suspect that at least some tiny part of them hates us for it.
As my friend Randy said, "It would be funny, except that the guy has a hot line to the Oval Office."
Thursday, January 05, 2006
"I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling that about 60 percent of what you say is crap."
I thought he said that the human being and the fish could coexist peacefully. I guess that didn't include bivalves.
You can leak the name of an American undercover operative for political payback, and then lie about it to the press and government officials.
You can claim that you weren't warned about an impending attack on your country that kills thousands of people, when in fact you were.
You can abuse other government employees and misuse intelligence agencies in order to further your own career.
But don't you ever, never, EVER...serve scallops to the President.
"Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
The wind is whipping off the lake, the temperature drops to 50 below (with windchill), and the former governor is so on trial:
RYAN REPLY WAS CURT, JURY TOLD: An ex-prosecutor says George Ryan reacted to a plan to curb government corruption with the words "[Expletive] you."
Sorry, governor, but apparently...ah, fuck you.
Unfortunately, Ryan's replacement, and the first Democratic governor of Illinois in thirty years, Rod Blagojevich, appears to be ethically challenged as well, and he's being opposed IN THE MARCH DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.
To an ex-Chicagoan, primary challenges to a Democratic incumbent are like sweets to a diabetic: they satisfy a serious craving, but they are also possibly lethal.
And who's challenging him? Get this: I KNOW the guy. He's the former alderman (city councilman) for my former neighborhood, the 43rd ward.
When he first ran for alderman, he used to eat in the cafe where I worked. I opened up the place at 7am, and he would come in for breakfast before hitting the nearby el platforms and bus stops to shake hands and talk to the residents. And after chatting with him about politics one day, I took my entire tips for that day and walked into his campaign headquarters and donated them. It think it was, like, $36.50 in cash, and to me in those days that was a chunk of change.
I ended up volunteering for a couple of his subsequent campaigns.
Look, if it means anything to anyone in the fine state of Illinois, this guy is the real deal. He's smart, he's dedicated, and he's wonky in all the right places. And speaking as someone who witnessed first hand his frustrations with the big machine, the guy is clean, and he always will be. If I could vote for him...okay, it is Illinois so I probably could still vote for him...I mean if I could vote for him legally I would.
So you vote for him, you fine, upstanding citizens of my former home. You vote for him.
Eisendrath for Governor 2006
Federal inspectors fined the Sago mine more than $24,000 for roughly 202 violations in 2005, according to federal records.
The total monetary figure is likely to rise substantially because the federal mine-safety agency has yet to put a dollar figure on some citations.
The most serious of these citations are 16 "unwarrantable failure orders," which are problems that an operator knows exist but fails to correct.
Thirteen of these orders were issued in the past six months, federal records show.
"Under the Bush administration, the citing of unwarrantable failures has gone down dramatically," said Tony Oppegard, a top federal mine official in the Clinton administration and a former prosecutor of mine-safety violations in Kentucky. "So to see a rash of unwarrantable failures under this administration is a telling sign of a mine with serious safety problems."
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
FOR. THE. RECORD.
Dollars given by Abramoff to Democrats = 0
Big fat fucking goose egg, okay, ya retards?
Yes, his clients have contributed to Democrats and Republicans, but that's not illegal, and that's not what the scandal's all about, is it?
No one bothers to get on the tv and count down to fucking midnight on New Year's Eve. We have to watch the fucking rerun of the New York City countdown.
How mind-numbingly lame lame lame is that?
This if fucking LA, man. We make movies and television. Okay, mostly badly. But we really, truly can't put together some kind of live lame-ass count down for the west coast time zone? Really?
We don't need no stinking Times Square ball, man! How about flashing the lights on and off on the Hollywood sign? Or setting off fireworks from a car fleeing police on the freeway? Or starting a wildfire in Calabasas? Or unleashing a torrent of mud from the hills onto those bastards in Malibu?
Something. Come on.
Two painful questions remain for all of us. Are the lives of Americans being killed in Iraq wasted? Are they dying in vain? President Bush says those who criticize staying the course are not honoring the dead. That is twisted logic: honor the fallen by killing another 2,000 troops in a broken policy?...
...Though it hurts, I believe that his death -- and that of the other Americans who have died in Iraq -- was a waste. They were wasted in a belief that democracy would grow simply by removing a dictator -- a careless misunderstanding of what democracy requires. They were wasted by not sending enough troops to do the job needed in the resulting occupation -- a careless disregard for professional military counsel.
But their deaths will not be in vain if Americans stop hiding behind flag-draped hero masks and stop whispering their opposition to this war. Until then, the lives of other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers may be wasted as well.
This is very painful to acknowledge, and I have to live with it. So does President Bush.
NYT: New studies suggest that cute images stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain aroused by sex, a good meal or psychoactive drugs like cocaine...