Current events links
Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top. The tunes come from flashkit.com.
Surrender Monkey Custard 04.02.03
Mon Dieu! People are boycotting French products! Mais, je suis une friandise française! Moi, Creme Brulee!
Ah well, if this is the price of having opposing views, I shall have to suffer along with my fellow shunned french tidbits. Me and wine... hey, me and french wine... that's not bad company. I wonder if I can work it so that we're boycotted and warehoused in the same place? No, they'd probably warehouse me with the also boycotted Giant French Prunes (click here for previously posted info on those). Oh no! They're probably going to boycott my beloved Giant French Prunes! Well now I'm pissed. I'm going to have to eat some plebian prunes from god only knows where. This sucks. Damn the French for opposing our sovereign... I mean, president. Now I shall have to suffer deprivations and whatnot... or is that privations?
Colin Powell said France will face consequences for it's opposition to the War on Iraq. We're going to punish a democratic ally - this is brilliant. Punishing the French for objecting and protesting is like spanking the Pope for being catholic. You want to punish bad policy? How about punishing the Israelis for their policy of collective punishment? How about punishing the Chinese for suppressing information about a deadly virus until it had spread to several other countries? How about... Gah! Forget it.
Let me know if you're planning on boycotting me so I can stop posting and start doing something more useful for me and my boycotted chums. Let me know if you think I should change my name to Surrender Monkey Custard or Freedom Pudding. And while you're at it, let me know if you'd prefer me to post my next short written piece when it's finished and polished, or in stages as I'm working on it - it's, like, a poll and whatnot. Click here to e-mail moi.
While I'm in the grips of this beastly spasm... I wanted to let you know that I've noted a trend. And it's green. I resurfaced from recent tumultuous global events and a way crappy winter to be greeted by spring and to find that, "Green is the new black". Green? How the hell did that happen?
I was walking down the street, minding my own business and wham! my visual senses were assaulted by this young woman in green. Green top, green skirt and green knee-high socks. I think there should be a spring color recall before this gets out of hand. I mean, green.
My spasm is threatening to turn into a chronic tick, so I may as well continue on and give you the latest sodomy law alert: Lookie what another compassionate conservative thinks... Gotta love these people's idea of inclusive and not "singleing out a lifestyle" - if there was a privacy law that restricted them from, oh, say, engaging in heterosexual acts on Fridays - think they'd have a problem with it being encoded in the LAW!? But no, this has nothing to do with society telling certain people that they are objectionable, of course not - no, this is simply a matter of opinion on activism in the courts - it's nothing personal - we'll just imprison you if you touch each other in a way we find... less than legal.
His words (from an interview with the Associated Press): "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery," Santorum was quoted as saying. "You have the right to anything."
My words (from my heart): Hateful bigot.
You, Mr. Santorum, are not only a hateful bigot, but a cowardly bigot who hides behind legal arguments. Sadly, we live in a time when people like you can get away with thinly veiled bigotry against homosexuals. Trent Lott got sacked for his racial remarks, thank heavens. Homosexuals haven't gotten to the place where we can command that kind of outrage, but one day people will look back and say, "He got away with that?! Arlen Specter defended him? I'm glad I wasn't around then, it must have been awful!"
Article on the subject: click here
Other stuff of note...
Michael Moore just gets cooler by the day:
Edward Said, good commentary on Iraq: click here
If I was into conspiracy theories, I'd sign onto Mr. MadCow's mailing list (just wish he wrote more coherently...):
MadCow articles like this will make yer skin crawl: click here
This is the world, this is humanity: disturbing
I was walking down the street today and a bus rumbled past with an ad on the side that said, "United We Stand". There was a photo of the statue of liberty and an American flag waving behind it (through it... double exposure wise... whatever). It reminded me of a poster I saw years ago in a supervisor's office that said, "When you are busy rowing the boat, you don't have time to rock it." Which is to say, "Shut up and toe the party line."
Recently I heard someone say (on a program that was focusing on media coverage of the war) that readers of USA Today had called in to protest images of dead Iraqis on the cover of the paper. "It's an anti-war statement," they complained.
Recently I learned that on the eve of the war 42% of the American public believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Recently I learned that Clear Channel Communications (the media giant that is sponsoring pro-war rallies), has close ties to the Bush administration. And wants the FCC to demolish the remaining media consolidation rules.
Recently I learned that the major media outlets that are very busy covering the war, have yet to mention in any depth that one of the most important regulations against media consolidation is up for review. It's not that they don't know about it, they are extremely busy educating FCC folk (who will be voting on the regulations soon) about why it will be a great idea to do exactly what is good for media giants - kill all "outdated" regulations and let them buy up whatever they can get their hands on. (click here for more info)
Recently I learned that if, "You're not with us in supporting the war in Iraq, you're against us." And I'm apparently guilty of gross inhumanity to Iraqis by dint of the fact that I didn't wish them to be "liberated". And further, my patriotism is suspect. Welcome to the black and white world of right wing inspired, Bush-level dialogue. Demonizing the opposition is a crude, but effective debate tactic (especially in a country where 42% of the populous can't remember who was responsible for the single most horrific event in our recent history). Any opposing view is wrong, unpatriotic, and dangerous to the troops. Personally, I'd think the troops would be a little bit more worried about the munitions flying around their heads than my opinions, but in case they're not - I hope that they are deeply encouraged by the fact that they come from a country where debate is not a crime.
Recently I heard President Clinton say that there could be no more debate about supporting this war, we just had to - period. Well, isn't that... special. Do you think he's taking a moral stand? Can't he just go away? No - I spent six years that he was in office covering my ears and saying, "La, la, la, la, la..." And every damned time I took my hands away from my ears he was still talking.
Recently I learned that, "British troops have found the body of Ali Hassan al-Majid, dubbed "Chemical Ali" by opponents of the Iraqi regime for ordering a poison gas attack that killed thousands of Kurds." He was a man capable of the most grievous acts against humanity and was able to joke about the number of people he was responsible for having murdered (somewhere in the hundreds of thousands). The news isn't all bad.
Recently I heard a WWII vet say that he had defended the liberty of this country by his military service and that protesters were nothings who never fought for anything. He sounded proud to have defended his country, but not the freedom that allowed his fellow citizens to object to a war that he so thoroughly supports.
For a good while in my adolescence I thought I was a pacifist. I'm not. This is neither here nor there really, it's just to say that I do believe that there are times when military force is unavoidable. How and when military force should be used... That debate was had by some and ignored by others recently and it's a moot point now. Now what we can hope for is the quickest and most humane end to this war and that the Iraqis truly get their liberation - because now, we owe it to them.
I wish the Iraqi people a more competent and well funded liberation than the Afghans got (they begged us after the war there to help stabilize their country - it wasn't worth the risk to the Bush administration - despite their promises to the contrary prior to the war there - Afghanistan is now a fractionalized mess and they aren't asking for more troops anymore, just money...).
The United States has a great responsibility in Iraq. To stabilize and revitalize it. To leave it better off than it was when the Bush administration gave the okay to invade it. It's an enormous task. I wish the Iraqi people the very best of luck.
Recently I read a Molly Ivans article (that's always a good thing): click here
I wouldn't be the first person to comment on how odd day-to-day life becomes during war. There are all of these life-altering, historical events going on and still you have to eat lunch, match your socks, be polite to coworkers, feed the hampster - whathaveyou. One feels somehow wrong to turn to the daily perspective while one's tax dollars are raining hellfire down on a nation thousands of miles away; while there are so many people suffering; death and destruction filling the airwaves twenty-four hours a day; us, them - ghastly nightmare images. One is tempted only to rage.
And yet, from my safe and privileged position thousands of miles away from Iraq (where the violence only reaches me as pictures and sounds), it's the daily occurances here that give me a sense of balance (I have no idea what could give one a sense of balance in a war zone... either great inner calm, or absolute belief in one's convictions... maybe). Not having children or pets, it's the odd social interaction that distracts my brain from the constant barrage of news.
Today, for instance, I had to go see a doctor about a spot. It's not a big spot and I have lots of spots, but this spot was worrying Ume who takes exception to spots on me that she can't easily identify herself.
"Where'd you get that spot?" she asks.
"Dunno," I answer - truthfully.
"How long have you had it?" she asks.
"Dunno," I shrug. "It's been there for a bit, it's gotten a little bigger than it was when I first noticed it. But it's not one of the scary spots on the spot chart the doctor gave me last year." The skin screening it took Ume two years to hound me into going to...
Before the words are fully out of my mouth she says, "I want you to go see someone about it."
Dermatologists are an odd lot. As a rule, I avoid them (people who have an overarching fascination with skin anomalies... think about it). Anyway, I went in and had someone look at it, but she turned out not to be a doctor, which was peculiar because I had asked to see a doctor... she assured me that she was familiar with a great many skin anomalies herself, but mine was an anomaly she'd not come across previously and would I mind coming back again so that the doctor could look at it and not to worry in the meantime because she didn't think it could be anything to worry about... this skin anomaly she couldn't identify... even though she assured me that she was familiar with such things...
Today, I met the guy whose fascination with skin anomalies is certainly an overarching preoccupation and has been for some (I'm guessing) many decades. He was an ancient skin guy - small and gray. I don't often come across doctors as old as he is - he was in a space and pace all his own and entirely unconcerned with the planet wizzing around him (my guess is this isn't only a function of age but also has something to do with being a senior senior doctor on staff).
He was interested in, but not at all concerned by, my anomaly. He told me what it was and shrugged, "Don't bother trying to remember it, it's a nonsense name. This will probably get bigger, if it bothers you we can treat it cosmetically, but otherwise, don't worry about it. You should stay out of the sun." He took my chin in his hand and looked carefully at my face (my anomaly is on my leg), "Your skin will wrinkle easily (it already has). If you want to play tennis (I haven't played tennis in years...) do it outside of the peak sun hours. Always use sun block."
His speech was so measured and thoughtful, I felt like I was being addressed by a skin monk. We chatted a bit and he seemed a nice guy, fascinated by things other than skin anomalies.
So my spot, which had a short lived moment as an anomaly, is now a spot with a nonsense name... which I haven't bothered to remember and I'm not going to worry about.
While I'm on about doctors...
I finally went and had my leg glitch (not a spot, a glitch - which differs from a spot in that it's architectural in nature) looked at by an honest to god Dr. person. It was a while back... <flashback effect>
Getting old has a few tricky drawbacks, no? Take care of your software youngsters or they'll be trying to install hardware in it before you know it.
Other history in the making... The Supreme Court is considering state sodomy laws. You know what those are, right? Those laws that criminalize various sexual practices. Yeah, on one level they're laughable, but then, people are arrested because of them (homosexuals, oddly enough...) and all of a sudden, it's not so funny anymore.
An exerpt on the issue from the HRC site:
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