Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Keeping Track...

I have NO idea who to credit for this graphic, but I found it posted on myspace by my niece and had to share:

Hate Crime--Detroit

I don't get the whole "hate crime" thing. Once this guy was dead, what difference does it make what flimsy excuse the jerk made for hitting him upside the head with a lead pipe? Dead is dead. Murder is murder. In my opinion, the perpetrators of "hate crimes" are not deterred by stiffer sentences. They either don't think they will get caught, or don't care if they get caught.

That being said, I received this email from a friend of mine in the gay community, and totally agree that this garbage has to stop. I don't know that further legislation is going to do it, but I reckon it can't hurt.

"Hatred is not a gay/straight, black/white, catholic/protestant issue; it is a disease that will eat at the basic fabric of our freedom. We all in the court system are caring individuals; why else would we set our goal to be a Monarch and spend all our money to reign. We do it because we can and those who need our help, needs us. Everyone receiving this email should SPEAK UP and do it now. A 72 year man lost his life because of hatred and we all would make our voices hear if it was our grandfather, father, friend or someone else's relative. Please do it for the friends and family of Andrew Anthos; and for all of our right to be safe and who we are."



Here are a couple of links to the story, from the Detroit papers.

Crimes like this one make me ill. To think that there are people out there whose only criterion for evaluating or judging their fellow man is the very narrow one of sexual orientation is a puzzlement to me. You put all the good that this man did in his lifetime on one plate of the scale, and his sexual orientation on the other, and that one little thing makes the scale go "THUD." And he feels justified in clubbing a 72-year-old man upside the head with a lead pipe.

As my friend Melissa used to say, "In the Grand Scheme of Things, what can it possibly matter who sticks what into whom?"

Some day my candidate will come...

I've had a mini epiphany this evening. I'll try to explain in case you want to follow along and make the leap with me.

In June 2006, I was fortunate enough to see Greg Palast speak to a group of concerned citizens, while on his "Armed Madhouse" tour.

During his talk Mr. Palast said, rather than presidential candidates entering the race in hopes of presenting a platform that the American people might embrace, what America needs is someone who can listen to what the American people are saying and offer understanding, support and solutions. I'm not sure those are the exact words that Palast used, but it's what I processed.

He said if a strong person came along, understanding what America really longs for in terms of policy and leadership and expressed those needs and solutions in a clear and committed way, the American public, longing for a leader that listens, thinks and truly cares, would rally behind them and propel them into office. I think he's right.

Hillary is trying very hard, but Obama and Gore are the ones that can be considered committed without being calculated. They're humble and unassuming by comparison.

Obama declared after great urging from the public. A year ago he said he was too inexperienced to run. He thought it folly but he seems to have been thrust into it. Gore has not declared his candidacy, but every day he tells us what's happening in our nation and in our world and tells us how we can make a difference. He ducks the joking and the speculation, but continues to listen and work.

So, as I'm writing this I'm really going out on a limb. I think Al Gore may be the one to fill the top slot on the ticket--the one to be compelled, nay, propelled into the oval office. Maybe I’ll be accused of smoking something. Perhaps I’ll admit later that, though I was not smoking something, I can understand why someone might think that.

My call? Gore/Obama in '08 and, perhaps again, in '12, if they do a good job. If so, we could be set up for Obama/whoever in '16 and '20. We can straighten this mess out and take our country back.

Am I dreamin’?

silver lining

With all of the horrible things going on in the world these days, there is at least one thing we can all agree on to thank George W. Bush, the CEO president, for. At least the economy is solid as a rock and the stock market is humming along like...


Well, never mind.

that didn't take long

"February 27, 2007 -- THE fabled Van Halen reunion tour set for this summer has been derailed, thanks to a new set of ego clashes within the always-troubled band. David Lee Roth was to have hit the road with Eddie Van Halen for the first time since 1984, but concert promoter Live Nation has "shut down" the tour, says the L.A. Times. Roth told the paper: "We have fragile politics in Van Halen, please accept that as a partial answer." Roth's publicist told us she couldn't comment." -- NY Post

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

now it makes sense

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

that's one way

The big news in the entertainment world is that Britney Spears shaved her head.

So, the carpet and the drapes finally match...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

a passing

RIP my father, 4-11-25 until 2-17-07.

He meant well.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

loose hips, synch lips

News today that Universal Pictures is producing a new movie about disgraced pop duo Milli Vanilli's Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan.

I wonder if they are going to film it in SuperMarionation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

so much for that

I have hitherto supported John Edwards candidacy for president. Not because I thought he was the best of all possible nominees, but that I thought he was at least the most candid and forthright of the bunch. Over the weekend, it was announced that Edwards had caved to the right-wing feeding frenzy instigated by the vile and repugnant William Donohue and that recently-hired bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan of the blogs Pandagon and Shakespeare's Sister, who had been engaged by the Edwards campaign to coordinate the Edwards internet presence, had "resigned" from Edwards' staff as a result of complaints spearheaded by Donohue, complaints that they used bad language and were disrespectful of the insane superstitious precepts of Donohue and his fascistic ilk.

As a result of this act of blatant reversal, I no longer endorse John Edwards' campaign. Yes, it can be construed as a victory for the right that people like me have been driven away from what could easily have been a good and progressive presidency. However, that isn't enough. The president of the United States has to be able to look his enemies in the eye unflinchingly. He has to bring the full force of his personal integrity to the office. He has to have real ideals and must be able to stand for those ideals under the withering fire of people who hate him simply because of his positions. He must offer his full and unflagging support to the people who back him even under the threat of the most malicious personal attacks.

John Edwards failed miserably.

The agents of superstitious intolerance, in only a couple of days, managed to force Edwards to kneel before them, to sacrifice people that believed in him enough to put themselves on the firing line with him, and to appease their irrational and petty bigotries.

Mr. Edwards has irrevocably compromised his integrity to satisfy those who would never have voted for him in the first place and who will now only attack him more vigorously, in the knowledge that they can easily force him to knuckle under and bend to their will.

I will support no coward who desires to be president.

Blogger made me its bitch

...and finally forced us to switch over to the new Blogger. I've seen several major blogs experience some little, uh, issues, as they switched.

So far, so good...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Darwin Day

Happy Charles Darwin's birthday.

Evolution is real. Get over it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I can't help but wonder...

...if Elton John is at home right now, seated before a shockingly garish piano, with sweat dripping from his hairplugs, as he furiously scribbles yet another hideous lyrical rewrite that begins with "Goodbye, Vickie Lynn."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday sermonette

I recently saw an interesting question on a blog discussing religious and non-religious philosophies. This was the question, which I've seen phrased in different ways numerous times before:

"How can atheism be something that leads us towards peace and the alleviation of suffering?"

Who ever said that is what atheism is or does? Atheism is the conclusion that no "supernatural" forces (although I detest that oxymoronic term, it is as devoid of meaning as "infinity squared") exist. I see no reason to believe that the universe can not be thoroughly understood through empiricism using observation and experiment, and that there has been no aspect of the universe so far discovered that requires me to postulate that which can not by definition be observed and experimented upon. Although, as far as answering the question posed, it turns out that whenever cultures decide that simply based upon reason and emipiricism that it is best to cooperate and coexist and actually strive to do so, peace and the alleviation of suffering are the usual results.

Who says that religion leads us towards peace and the alleviation of suffering? I only see the people who are trying to persuade others that their own supernatural beliefs are valid and must be accepted at face value and even respected, although they are subject to neither logic, measurement, observation, experiment nor even the need to be consistent. The fact is that the argument that religion leads us to peace and well-being is a red herring, a little distracting hand-waving. Even if religion has (although this is certainly debatable considering the amount of war and suffering it has caused) contributed to peace and the alleviation of suffering, how does that make the central supernatural thesis true?

Morality and ethics have existed since humanity began and are rooted in our ability to live together in peaceful and productive community and necessitate no unobserved and unknowable deities. No atheist ever said that not believing in mythological entities makes one a better person or the world a better place, it only makes one a slightly more rational person and the world a place of fewer ideas that have no empirical foundations. When you base your entire world-view on foundations that can only be accepted by relinquishing your ability to reason, you are building a castle on quicksand.

What atheism does is to remove one of the most powerful of the many socio/cultural filters that deny reality, which can only lead to an overall increase in the rationality in any particular individual and an overall inrease in the rationality of the culture that makes that determination. Atheists can still be bad people individually, although it seems very rare as statistically atheists are arrested and convicted far less than self-professed theists when scaled for relative percentages of each in the population. Atheists also tend to have significantly higher educational accomplishments than theists as well.

You can still have other stupid beliefs as an atheist, but at least you are free from baseless superstitions.

Friday, February 02, 2007

on the other hand

Days later, the "Hillary Clinton tries to sing the national anthem" video is STILL getting play in the major media. Just like Al Gore's brown suits, Senator Clinton's utterly irrelevant vocal skills are being used to ridicule her and to insinuate that this is yet another indication of why she is not suited to the highest office in the land. Somehow, the lack of qualifications of the present occupant of that office never seems to be brought into the conversation.

However, one important observation about Mrs. Clinton's singing talents appears to be neglected despite the fact that Republican office-holders have humiliated themselves on numerous occasions in the same arena, one in recent times notably exemplified by the illustrious Denny Hastert.

The observation?

At least Hillary knows the fucking lyrics.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the best revenge

Tune in to the wrong-wing television shows tonight. They should be amusing. We might finally get to see Hannity's head explode from a massive aneurism...