Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Where are the guns, Rummy?

Murphy's Law meets BushCo's brown* thumb
The Pentagon cannot account for 14,030 weapons -- almost 4 percent of the semiautomatic pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other weapons it began supplying to Iraq since the end of 2003, according to a report from the office of the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

The missing weapons will not be tracked easily: The Defense Department registered the serial numbers of only about 10,000 of the 370,251 weapons it provided -- less than 3 percent.


Fear not, unrelenting military-supporters, your unmanned drones will remain loyal to your Eye For An Eye Diplomacy March of Freedom War on Terra.

ABC News has learned the raid was launched after U.S. intelligence received tips and examined Predator reconnaissance indicating that al Qaeda's No. 2 man may have been staying at the school, which is located in the Bajaur region near the village that is thought to be al Qaeda's winter headquarters.

Despite earlier reports that the missiles had been launched by Pakistani military helicopters, Pakistani intelligence sources now tell ABC News that the missiles were fired from a U.S. Predator drone plane.

linkage (emphasis mine)
To quote a blogfriend of mine: "I guess they think nuclear annihilation would be preferable to Democratic control of the house?"

I dunno the answer to that question, but I do know that George Bush, John Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership still heart Rummy despite the continuous missteps.
BOEHNER: I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best thing that’s happened to the Pentagon in 25 years. This Pentagon and our military needs a transformation and I think Donald Rumsfeld is the only man in America who knows where the bodies are buried at the Pentagon, has enough experience to help transform that institution. Let’s not take the problems in Iraq, the tough fight that we’re in there and blame it on anyone.

ThinkProgress has the video
Criminally Insane or Bald-Faced Liars? I'll take 'all of the above' for $338 billion, please.

*everything turns to caca

Let The Election Shenanigans Begin!

Via Steven D at BooTrib, a tale horrific enough to satisfy any of your Halloween fright needs.
Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen -- the final voting step. [...]

Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist.


How come the voters never switch from Republican to Democrat? Just askin'...

Ahh the joys of living in a country where the corporate voter yanks our chains and lifts our assets. Perhaps Diebold will find it expedient to their bottom line this year and decide their little honeymoon with the GOP is over.

From the 'You Can't Make This Mierda Up' Department: a federal investigation is being launched against a voting machine company. Think it's Diebold? Har Har.

In order to redefine irony in the dictionary, this probe has the added bonus of deflecting attention away from the issue of verified voting and re-resurrecting the specter of the "Madman Liberal Latino From South America Who Dares Speak Ill of Dear Leader".

A U.S. manufacturer of touch-screen voting machines confirmed Sunday it was being investigated by the federal government for alleged ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez but flatly denied any connection.

[snippity snip]

Sequoia Voting Systems, based in Oakland, Calif., said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, was conducting the formal inquiry into it as well as its parent software company, the Smartmatic Corp., at the firms' request after news articles suggested improper ties.

Good Morning America - do you know who your Corporate Overlords are?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

fotos, fotos everywhere sunday tour!

Okay well maybe not everywhere, but in lots of places! And what's better on a lazy Sunday afte... what? You're having a busy Sunday afternoon? Well, stop it right this minute! We have a tour to do!

First up, I might as well get this out of the way right away. It's about Olivia. See... she's admitted to holding out on us. Tis true! :| BUT... she says it's for a good cause (isn't that what people always say?)... she's been toodling around doing fotofairs and such, as if that was a good excuse. See for yourself and you be the judge!

katiebird wants to know if you're ready for New Years! Me, I"m not even ready for Halloween! Also, firming daily and I think one can still get committed too. And don't forget to lounge around!

ILJ not only has Obama elected, he already has his Inauguration Speech written! Pretty cool, go read!

[UPDATE!] I (that would be me) finally have something to put on the tour too! And it has to do with fotos, although not the same ones. I did a "meme", my first (and, no doubt, only) one, of 8 things you find amazing, in picture form. I forgot a couple, but still... go look! (Not thumbnails, so fairly graphics heavy).

Over at the wild pink peace place, Janet let's her feet do the talking! Or, at least, her shoes.

What's a Sunday without a food for thought? Well, we don't have to worry about that this week, cuz catnip has one! Also, hope.

Yay! Boran has started the new picture and I think it's going to do very well! I remember the first one. Also, looks like the Earth may be running on empty. Uh oh! And Cheney looks in the mirror.

[UPDATE THE LAST!] All righty then, I need to get the rest of this in quickly before blogger disappears again. Zoom, zoom! Sigh.

Deano has an art piece up that I like... not that I don't like all of them or anything. Okay, well I don't but it's art! Aren't you supposed to not? Anyway, this one I do, and if you do, or don't, you should go say why. Critique!

Nezua (whose permalinks I have finally found, yay!) has a whole bunch of stuff, but here are a couple of things - he's starting a new category of posts called Road to the Fifth Sun series, and it sounds like it's going to be very fun and interesting! Also, some big mistakes people who make their living by lying are making. And the crushing of young spirits.

Original James is highlighting the words of Maher Arar - powerful words they are, too! Also, GOP hypocrisy (doesn't that seem a bit redundant?) And at Jazzy James, featured are the sounds of Joseph Jarman and Noah Howard!

All done! I think... some haven't updated. Let me know if I've forgotten anyone, or if Blogger lost them along the way!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

fOtofair2006 Today and Tomorrow

Come check it out via the master diary by clicking on the logo below

My offerings are here

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Bud Blogging

We went from this:

to this:

The Minutemen vs. The Minutemen

Too funny.
Since its inception in 2004, the Minuteman Project (MP), an immigration control operation, has recruited civilians to apprehend illegal immigrants along the Mexican border.

And while the organization—which drew nationwide coverage earlier this month when pro-immigrant students at Columbia University rushed the stage during a speech by founder Jim Gilchrist—expected to draw the ire of many, it may not have counted on the opposition of certain citizens of Massachusetts, who are vigilantly patrolling the use of the moniker “Minuteman.”

Those critics consider the title sacred to the state’s colonial heritage.

“It does offend me,” said Carla Fortmann, who works at the historic Buckman Tavern in Lexington—the same tavern where the original minutemen were stationed on the eve of the American Revolution. “I understand how they might pick [the name], but vigilante might seem more appropriate. Or self-appointed posse. Or even bounty hunters.”

The vigilantes have deluded themselves into thinking they resemble something like this:
Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.

Here's the reality:

Not very elite. And certainly not under 25. Definitely armed.

Since it's a mixed bag, I'll just defer to their Commander-In-Chief's characterization:
President Bush yesterday said he opposes a civilian project to monitor illegal aliens crossing the border, characterizing them as "vigilantes."

Border Fence Further Isolates the U.S.

At least George is consistent.

First the Kyoto Treaty pullout due to "economic concerns", then the warmongering with Iraq that occurred without U.N. support or oversight, now the World Community™ is speaking out once again in opposition to the policies of the United States government.
On Thursday he [Bush] signed a law that approves partitioning 700 miles of the United States from its southern neighbor.

Mexico's president-elect Felipe Calderon, who takes office Dec. 1, blasted the bill.

"The decision made by Congress and the U.S. government is deplorable," Calderon said while on tour in Canada. "Humanity committed a grave error by constructing the Berlin Wall and I am sure that today the United States is committing a grave error in constructing a wall along our northern border."

On Wednesday, Mexico received the support of 27 other countries in the Organization of American States showing their "profound concern" about the fence plan.

Leaving aside Calderon's obvious concerns with his own corporate elite structure in Mexico for a moment, stop to think about something:

We are not at war with Mexico.

In the conventional sense, at least. It could be argued however that economic war has been waged on the world from Washington, D.C. for as long as the U.S. decided it was a superpower. So what does the OAS have to say on the Great Wall™?
Insulza said he had doubts about the effectiveness of an initiative which, in his view, could create diplomatic frictions and deteriorate relations among friendly nations and which will not hinder migration driven by socioeconomic conditions which will remain unresolved. He argued that such a measure that is presumably based on national security considerations, rather than yielding positive results will damage hemispheric relations, without doing anything to reconcile the realities of receiver countries and those countries from which migration originates.

Imagine that - thoughtful analysis. God forbid it be given a chance north of the line.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Peace vs. Smarter Warfare

Rumor has it, temperatures are starting to drop around the country in preparation for the winter. It's still t-shirt and jeans weather here in the Sonoran Desert, so I can't know for sure, but in case you need to warm up from the cold - here's a tidbit of info that's sure to raise your blood temp

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says if Republican candidates want to succeed on Election Day, they should turn their focus away from the Iraq war.

"The challenge is to get Americans to focus on pocketbook issues, and not on the Iraq and terror issue," Frist said in an interview with the Concord Monitor on Tuesday.

Frist suggested that Republicans remind voters of subjects like tax cuts and lower gas prices, the result, he said, of the energy bill passed by Congress last year.

Hear that military families and supporters of the troops? There's no spin there - lawmakers could give two shits about the effects of their policies on the lives of military personnel, let alone the scores of human lives being erradicated each day in whatever battlefield the suits and pearls in Washington have callously failed in diplomacy and peace-building to protect from the latest barrage of Shocking and Awful.

So, ex-Dr. Frist wants to remind voters of pocketbook issues, eh? Is that some type of dog whistle message to his greedy friends in the oil business? I think so.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world's two biggest oil companies, posted higher third-quarter earnings than analysts expected after crude prices soared to a record and production increased.

At Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, net income rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier to $10.5 billion, or $1.77 a share, the company said today in a statement. Shell's net income dropped 34 percent to $5.94 billion. Profit excluding a year- earlier divestiture and changes in inventory values rose to $7.03 billion from $5.8 billion.

Think about that the next time your child's school has to have a bake sale in order to raise money for classroom supplies; or the next time you have to figure out whether food or medication is the priority this month; or a lawmaker votes con gusto to provide funding for more militarization of your neighborhood to stem the invasion of brown people instead of staunchly supporting economic policy overhauls and union movements.

Congressional elections are just over a week away and while the winds of change are in the air, the trap that the U.S. constantly finds itself no matter which political party is in power has been set and it's salivating for the opportunity to capture its next victim

A Pew Research Center poll this month found that 50 percent of independents listed Iraq among their top two national concerns, compared with 36 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats. Overall, 58 percent of respondents said the war is not going well and only 38 percent said the battle for Iraq is helping the war on terrorism.


"I'm getting less and less happy with way Bush is handling things," fifth-grade teacher Denise Hall said in Doylestown on a crystalline autumn morning. Iraq is "definitely a factor" as she considers backing Democrats this year after twice voting for Bush. "Things seem to keep getting worse."

Hall said she is troubled not only by the war deaths -- 93 Americans killed this month, the highest total in a year -- but also by what the Bush administration's approach to Iraq tells her about its ability to manage other crises. "My real concern is North Korea," she said. "That scares the heck out of me. Would we go in somewhere else and think we could straighten it out?"

"With the way Bush is handling things."

The million dollar question is whether the public in the U.S. has finally had enough of its warmongering government or if they're just sick of its warmongering goverment failing on the battlefield and within diplomatic circles. The answer, to recall the [gag] Secretary of State's words, could come in the form of a mushroom cloud someday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Prop 103 Is An Insult to Arizona's Roots

I've had about all I can take from the U.S. Exceptionalist Brigade. Courtesy of their festering hate for all things un-American (read: white, European-based Americanism), Arizona voters will be met with several ballot initiatives on November 7th targeting a specific group of people. The jewel of their Burger King cardboard crown is Proposition 103
Proposition 103 would replace the existing provision of the Constitution of Arizona with a new provision establishing English as the official language of this state. Representatives of the state or a local government would be required to preserve, protect and enhance the role of English as the official language. Proposition 103 would require that all official actions of the government be conducted in English. Official actions include actions on behalf of the government that appear to present the position of the government or that bind the government. The proposition specifies situations in which state or local government could act in a language other than English, including:

1. When required by federal law or when necessary to preserve the right to petition the government.
2. In teaching languages other than English, or in using or preserving Native American languages.
3. In actions to protect the public health and safety, including law enforcement and emergency services, or to protect the rights of crime victims and criminal defendants.
4. Providing assistance to hearing impaired or illiterate persons.
5. In informal or nonbinding communications or translations among or between government officials and the public.
6. For actions necessary for tourism, commerce or international trade.
Proposition 103 would prohibit discrimination against a person because the person uses English in any public or private communication.

Proposition 103 also would allow a person who resides or does business in Arizona to enforce this new constitutional requirement in court. However, a person shall not file an action under this section unless the person has notified the attorney general of the alleged violation and the attorney general or other appropriate representative of government has not provided appropriate relief within a reasonable time under the circumstances. If the person is successful, they may be awarded costs and reasonable attorney fees.

(emphasis mine)
I highlighted #2 of the list provided by the Secretary of State because it occurred to me that it's bizarre that Mexicanos are not seen as Native Americans, even though we were here long before Manifest Destiny rode is trek of destruction and pestilence from sea to shining sea.

Why is that?

Proposition 103 is an unneeded form of idiocy that smacks of elitism and whispered racism. It comes from the U.S.-born citizen or lawmaker who refuses to see beyond February 14, 1912.

My tío who died a week ago today after suffering for months from cancer never lost his ability to speak both English and Spanish. He was able to code-switch until his last moments here despite the tumors that were growing in his brain.

For many of us, our very being is woven with the threads of different languages. Why are there efforts to stamp out that legacy? It makes no sense, unless you subscribe to the Sheriff Joe Arpaio method of tough love.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Changes, Or Not.

They’re building a freeway not far from my house.

There used to be an empty field there, that I would pass by on my way to the neighborhood grocery store. A small patch of city “nature” which, when unmowed, would be covered with knee-high tall grass, thick green plants with huge white flowers, discarded papers, empty bottles, and squirrels. Being a great lover of nature… from afar, I had a habit of shaking my keys to make noise as I walked past, so that the squirrels would hear and scurry away before I passed them. Sometimes, though, I would pause at the edge of the field and just watch them run from place to place, popping in and out of their little holes in the ground, and being very busy in general doing little squirrel things that I don’t know the purpose of.

At least, I think they were squirrels. They looked like them, only they didn’t have the fluffy tails and they didn’t live in trees. I’d prefer to think that they were not rats. Not that it matters now, anyway. They are gone.

There were no sidewalks for that one block, so the walk was sometimes an adventure. If we were having one of our (formerly rare) California rains, then you’d have to guess which puddle was just a layer of water over the surface, and which ones would swallow your foot up to the ankle. On dry days, it seemed a wind would blow up just as you got to the middle of the dirt block, ensuring that when you got wherever you were going, you’d arrive there with a suitably dusty, well-travelled look, as befits those who have just hiked through the wilds.

Now that the dreadful, really dreadful, chaos of the initial construction is over (Secure walkways for pedestrians? What are those?), however, one can now walk the entire way in the comfort of concrete and fences (protecting the overpassers from falling onto the freeway, and protecting the underpassers from the overpassers).

There is a sprawling elemetary school across the street from the new freeway; single level buildings dotted here and there around the scruffy playground grass, trees and flowers. I was a bit concerned at first, as the freeway offramp points right at the school parking lot, and should just one person fail to make the turn… well, it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Not to worry though, I have found out what that long, three-story boxy structure they are building on a small lot a couple of blocks away is for. They are moving the school.

There are no cars on the freeway yet, as it’s not been completed. When you stand in the middle of the overpass you can’t see where the beginning of the road is on the one side, or the ending is on the other. I don’t know when I decided that this side was the beginning and that side the ending, by the way. Others probably see it exactly the opposite. Regardless, both directions stretch out and then turn a corner, hiding the rest from view.

There is something so seductive about empty, untravelled roads. I find them compelling, at least… in imagination, if not always in fact. There is time to wonder what lies around the corners that you can’t see, and if you should go look. Not much time, though.

Soon the first car will appear around the bend, pass under my observation point and then disappear around the next bend, to be followed by thousands of other cars, day by day. People in ones and twos and tens travelling on my little stretch of road (which only exists from there to there, if you don’t go look). As I pass by on my walk to the store, the wind kicking up when I am in the middle of the overpass block to blow exhaust fumes at me, I’m sure I’ll sometimes pause and look down at them, hurrying from place to place, going somewhere for some reason and being very busy in general doing many things that I don’t know the purpose of.

Not unlike the squirrels they’ve displaced, really.

(I have nothing new, so this is from the archives. Last year sometime.)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Eegeehood Blogger Tamer Tour!

I don't think I am the only one to have needed a Blogger Tamer this weekend, am I? Wowee zowee! Not that I'm all that blogger proficient in the first place, but somehow I broke Manny's blog and wound up with posts just stacked one on top of the other, and even some on the side! Luckily, I was unable to unbreak the blog and here we are! Ready to see what sort of Sunday everyone else is having!

Family Man has been thinking in (and of) pictures lately! Well, and talking about them too... and memories of those who are no longer here, that he wishes he knew better and more about. I come across photos like that too! Also, clouds over the pond... do you see any pictures in them?

Guess what!? Boran2 is finished with our cool car! I'm sad to see it go, but it was fun watching it come to life in the painting, week after week. Next week will be the start of a new painting, but am not sure it will replace the car in my affections. I'm not fickle! Also, grrrr... he asks "what have we become?" and reading this story, you have to wonder. And, begone!

Deano is back! And full of artfulness - like this um... incredible, metalble egg! Also, the meaning of this photo is clear as suds! Or not.

[UPDATE!] Original James does a little talking about the plausibility of the recent study by the Lancet. Also, a review of one week in Iraq. Sigh. Over at Jazzy James, he has news of some rapid something to do with music! I think it's to make it easier for downloading without disappearing. Also, go to the top and just scroll down! scroll down! Some very cool stuff there, that you'll likely not find anywhere else (without a great deal of effort).

Olivia has a page full of buggy goodness! Well, okay, just two bugs but that's better than none! And isn't this a pretty one... eating its version of garlic and chive chips! In California it's illegal to shoot whales from a car, but there are no laws about shooting beautiful photos here OR in... in... somewhere in Canada! More clouds to see pictures in too. And don't forget to peek back!

Now, about Donna... she may not have petal pr0n - BUT... first she's talking about beer blogging, and you know what that leads to. Not that I'm saying anything, mind you... but then she swings right into the age of sphincter failure and of course you can guess what comes next? Safe sex in the garden! My, my...

[UPDATE AGAIN! MAYBE THE LAST!] If it's Sunday, catnip has a food for thought! Most times. And here it is! Also, she tells why Ignatieff shouldn't lead the Liberals (Canadian style), besides the fact that he is a tool. At least I think he was when he was in the States. And Bush is flip-flopper in chief! He's sure been doing a lot of it lately, hasn't he?

katiebird has some interesting thoughts regarding obesity and children! And being firmed daily, of course... and don't forget, after you are firmed, you can go lounge about! And play!

Arcturus has an amazing retrospective on Nathaniel Mackey - you could spend quite a bit of time there just absorbing that! But, there is more! He tells about a new reality show... class war as spectacle - more reality than show, I'm thinking. And lots more!

Nezua gives us an update on what's going on in Oaxaca - the people are not giving up! Also, Terrorists on the ballots! I bet you can't guess who put them there. And lots more besides... you don't want to miss the Mi Familia series... chock full of history and thoughts and memories.... fascinating.

Duke tells about yet another crazy Republican, this one who thinks he can get away with telling people it's illegal for them to vote! Also, the hypocrisy of border security Republicans.

And right here our Manny has had a tough year... a tough couple of years, for that matter. He needs hugs! His funny and charming Tio that he introduces to use in this story has passed on, and Manny will be away for a few days. Our condolences to him and his family.

All done! I think.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday -not Bud- Open Thread!

Whoa... I tried to do a post and a photo, but I broke the blog! Or something.

Anyway, here is an open thread because I am afraid to touch anything. Hopefully Duke or someone will be along with a post of substance (and a Blogger tamer!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Speedy Recovery Wishes Open Thread

Wanted to make sure that scribe knows she will be held in warm thoughts of love and healing tomorrow (Thursday) as she undergoes eye surgery.

Scribe, everything will be great and we'll all be waiting for your return to full sight and passionate activism for peace.

UFW Action Alert: ThreeMile Canyon Farms

Note to Lou Dobbs and all the other right-wing anti-immigrant crusaders: stop your bitching about the middle class getting screwed in the United States.

If you really cared for the workers of this country, you would shut your mouths about immigrant workers and focus your energies on building up the labor unions of this country that have been sucked dry by the anti-worker policies and divisive political climate running rampant in Washington, D.C.

Here's a good starting point for you to back up your rhetoric with some action.

Photo ofLauraThis will make you angry. Threemile Canyon Farms in eastern Oregon is back to its shameful behavior of discrimination against women.

Threemile's latest intimidation of women is to avoid providing them with a separate changing area--a necessity as workers must wear coveralls to protect them from feces and urine. Laura Garay repeatedly spoke out on this issue and won. Now the company is making her pay for protecting her rights and the rights of other women.

A couple of weeks ago, Laura found out she was pregnant. One of Laura’s jobs was to bathe each cow’s udder with chemicals—which brings her face directly into the chemicals’ fumes. As no masks or protective gear are provided, it made her dizzy and worsened her morning sickness. Her job also required Laura to go up and down stairs. In order to protect her unborn child, Laura requested to be transferred to one of numerous other jobs at the dairy. Management said, if she could not do her job she would be fired.

A week ago, Laura slipped on cow manure and fell hard on her tail bone. She was sent to a company doctor who told her to take a day off and cleared her for reassignment for five days to a different job. On the sixth day, despite Laura telling management she was in a lot of pain because of the fall, they sent her back to her old job. When the pain became too much to bear and Laura felt she was going to faint, she demanded to be allowed to go to the hospital.

At the hospital, Laura discovered the company doctor misdiagnosed her. She likely had a fracture in her back and was told to avoid any physical activity. The doctor told Laura she couldn't understand how the company physician sent her back to work so quickly.

Laura is now at home recovering, waiting to see when the doctor at the hospital will let her return to work. She told us, "I'm really afraid that because of this fall and the hard work that they assign to me that I'll have some problem with my baby. I'm also worried that they're going to fire me because I'm pregnant or retaliate against me because I fell."

Please help Laura and all the Threemile employees by writing a letter to McDonalds and ask the giant restaurant to use its influence to stop the problems at Threemile. McDonalds gets products from at least three different companies that buy milk and potatoes from Threemile. McDonalds’ code of conduct says, "We hold our suppliers responsible for ensuring adherence to our standards in their facilities and in subcontractor facilities that produce products for us...We will not do business with suppliers who fail to uphold our standards, in action as well as words." Yet McDonalds has repeatedly refused to take action.

Please take action to help Laura and the Threemile workers!

You can send a letter to McDonalds and spread the word about this disgusting abuse of human rights by going to this United Farmworkers Union link.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Life Matters

"You're doomed!" he said to me in a frail voice before supressing the latest round of coughing.

"I know, tío, and it's all your fault" my voice quipped as I chuckled sarcastically.

Despite the laughs, the lines on my forehead became pronounced with the worry I felt. The cancer has overtaken my uncle's body and it'll only be a matter of time before the end arrives.

Yet, there we were, joking in his hospital room about the fact that I would be bald someday due to my mom's notoriously hairless male relatives.

"You're doomed!" he said again, this time with a smirk on his face. I couldn't help but tear up a little bit because it was clear he had forgotten that he had just said the same words a few moments ago. The tumor in his brain was working its dark magic.

It's hard to grasp what the family has been through over the past several months. From the shock of learning the diagnosis to the golf tournament we put on to fundraise for what promised to be an unending stream of medical bills. Life without insurance can be a major bitch. The stress of having a terminal illness is potent enough so we felt an obligation to try to raise as much money as possible to alleviate the monetary woes of this rocky path.

It has let us all focus on loving and being. And that's exactly what we're doing.

On Saturday, I spent the entire day with just he and my tía in the mundane hospital room that was keeping him comfortable. He was looking at me and started to laugh to himself.

"Hey kid. Quiero una piedra verde on top of my coffin."

"Huh?" I instinctively responded as I turned my head to the side like a curious dog.

"Yeah, I want a green rock. Like kryptonite. So you can tell everyone that they finally got him"

Laughs abounded as I realized that the cancer would never kill the spirit of the man that ranks up there with the biggest smart-asses I've ever known (that was a high compliment, by the way). While he hasn't told me directly, he let my mom know that I was to be the one to give his eulogy when the time finally comes for him to start the next chapter of his life.

It could be days away. It could be months. It'll be soon.

But for now, it's all about love and nuestra familia. Peace too. He's at peace despite the pain and anxiety of watching his body shut down. That has been the greatest gift to us lately.

So instead of agonizing
today, I'm on the hunt for the perfect geode so I can tell the world about my uncle, the superMan. It's the least I can do to repay him for my thinning hairline.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Immigration and Race: Exhibit A

That could've been my nana in the supermarket line.
Graf’s political mantra was standard for a Reagan Republican when he was elected to the state House of Representatives in Phoenix in 2000. He talked about lowering taxes, downsizing government, lowering taxes, protecting the rights of gun owners and lowering taxes. The year 2000 actually set the high-tide mark for the flow of illegal aliens in what the Border Patrol calls its Tucson sector — already by then its busiest — encompassing an area of 90,000 square miles along 262 miles of border and including all of Graf’s legislative district: the Border Patrol detained 616,346 aliens that year in the sector. As Graf tells it, it wasn’t the numbers or the growing presence of the Border Patrol giving chase on highways between Green Valley and the border that drove him to seize on the issue. It was an epiphany one evening in a supermarket. He found himself, so he says, in line behind a grandmother, mother and daughter from a single Hispanic family — the daughter, eight months pregnant — all making their purchases with food stamps and uncomprehending when the sales clerk addressed them in English. He had no way of being sure they were here illegally, but for Graf it became a vision of a connection between taxes and illegal immigration that needed to be elevated to a cause.

linkage - NYTimes (free subscription req'd)
My nana was born here.

Still think this isn't about race?

Senate Debate: Snot Stew Edition

When I was a young elementary kid, I read every book I could get my hands on. One of them that has stuck in my head is Bill Wallace's Snot Stew. Part of it was me being a travieso and liking the gross title, but the other was because it highlighted the petty bickering that most of us engage in on a regular basis.

"Is not!"

"Is too!"



"S' NOT!"

"S' TOO!"


In a debate chock-full of accusations, name-calling and biting retorts, Senate candidates Jon Kyl and Jim Pederson agreed on one thing – the race has gotten downright ugly.

Out of all the pressing issues from immigration to the war in Iraq, the first question posed to the candidates was why both sides have run so many accusatory ads.

Kyl says Pederson has dragged the race down into the gutter and that some of his ads are downright false.

No wonder people stay away from the voting process. Would you want to eat a bowl of that stuff?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just another manic Sunday... Eegeehood Tour!

It's gorgeous outside today... low 70's, sunshine, a slight breeze. My kind of weather! And, of course, perfect weather for running around peeking in windows... blog windows, that is! Don't get any ideas.

Lessee... oh! Nezua at the Unapologetic Mexican wants everyone to know that he's not feeding them anymore! Or, at least, not 10 separate things but only one thing and that should fill everyone's feeder up! Or something. So there. Also, we've lost another of the good ones, but his work will live on. And another important, and lyrical! essay.

Over at catnip's, an Iraqi - American citizen has been sentenced to death... in Iraq! After some fishy dealings by the US, too. Canada's Liberal candidates are holding a debate today... would be interesting to watch just to see the differences in the meanings of the word. Also, Sunday Food for Thought!

Duke has the most hilarious story... talk about wacky Republicans! Circus isn't even the word for it. Also, the hypocrisy of those complaining about the students who protested the racist MinuteMan thingy as the college.

[UPDATE!] Guess what Olivia did this week!? Well besides trying to sneak in Easter candy to her photo blog! As if we could not tell that these are just flower shaped Peeps. And no, it isn't the coneflower OR the autumn walk in the woods (woods look so lovely, don't they? in pictures, that is... no bugs!)... nope, it's that she's hit 10,000! Visitors, that is. Well, more than that now, but still... it's always a good time for congrats!

Katiebird has made it official... it's time to lounge around! And play games! And goof off... yippie! All while still being firmed daily! No word on the vibrating massage beds (or whatever those were). Go pick out a favorite chair!

Speaking of Olivia, everyone is in a dither getting ready for the fotofair! Including Family Man, whose relatives are once again coming to stay for a while (I think I now understand the name Family Man!). He's taking old pictures and new ones too... and also gathering all the info about the fotofair in one place, so... got camera? Join in the fun!

[UPDATE THE LAST! maybe] ILJ has another article/podcast interview (he's becoming quite good at those, isn't he?), this time with Robert N. Rosen, on FDR and the Holocaust. It looks very interesting, go read/listen!

boran is making a better road! Much more smooth - in the painting, of course! And yay, another milestone! 2000 visitors! Time for more congratulations... it's really a good thing that one never runs out of cheesecake online. And you'll be surprised at who's um... lost their status on the island this week!

Arcturus has put some odds and ends together and has come up with quite a whole. Also, a young girls gets a civics lesson that we should all take heed to! And, torture begins as home.

[UPDATE! UPDATE!] I somehow forgot the Original James and the New one too! Who is really the same James, just with a new site! Sigh, age. Anyway, Original James showcases a reporter in Iraq that let's the fighting keyboarders have it! And the Rachel Corrie play opens in NYC, finally! At the music site, he's talking about Dharma whispers and Mtume: Kawaida, which I am not sure what that is but the fun thing is, James doesn't just talk about this music, but shows you where you can download it!

All done! (I think... it's been a long week so let me know if I've missed anyone.)

Oh WAIT! I do have something else... beyond petitions... beyond "say hi" threads... one just sometimes has to break out the BIG guns (nerf, natch)... and there comes a time when nothing else will do, but a .....

bleating baby tapir siren

Time for all honorary ancestors to say hi! Even if there is just one of you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekend Events in Tucson

Lots of stuff happening here in the Old Pueblo

Tonight KXCI Community Radio will be welcoming Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! to the Rialto Theatre
Author Goodman is on a national speaking tour to mark DN!'s 10th anniversary and launch her second book with journalist David Goodman, "Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back. "

Friday, October 13, at 6:15 pm (doors open at 5 pm)

The Rialto Theatre: 318 E. Congress St. Booksigning will be next door at 320 E. Congress immediately after Amy Goodman's speaking event.
First up Next up is the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival
Friday, October 13, 2006 - Lunch & 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday October 15, 2006 - NOON to 5:00 pm

Tucson Meet Yourself has celebrated the richness and diversity of Tucson's traditional arts since 1974 - as one generation shares with the next; "Passing It On".

The FREE event takes place in downtown El Presidio Park, between the Old County Courthouse and City Hall and is FREE to the public.

The festival has four basic aspects:

Folk Art
Special Events
Can't forget to plug The Great Tucson Beer Festival

The 20th Annual Great Tucson Beer Festival, presented by Desert Diamond Casino, is an evening of beer tasting with breweries from all over the Southwest. There will be a silent auction, appetizers, live music and more! This is the largest fundraiser for the Tucson station.

When: Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 6 -10 pm, last pour at 9.30 p.m.

Where: Hi Corbett Field in central Tucson - Getting There

Cost: General Admission tickets are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event.

If you want live music, check out 4th Avenue/University District's answer to Fall Crawl - the Big Arizona Music Festival
Hosted by Main Gate Square, 4th Avenue and Downtown Tucson, wristband holders will experience over a mile of non-stop live music, shopping, dining and fun. Over 100 bands and 80 venues will liven the heart of Tucson beginning at 4pm, with the evening continuing until 1am for those late night revelers. BAM is an all ages event, featuring 3 main stages and other locations for those under 21.
And last but not least, Congressman Raúl Grijalva will be joining with grassroots volunteers and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a full day of canvassing on Saturday.

click for larger image

Friday Bud Blogging

The photo delayed dinner
he deployed the laser beams

Thursday, October 12, 2006

AZ01 - Latest Poll Has Ellen Simon Beating Renzi

Word on the street is, Ellen Simon (D) has been out and about all over the district talking to people. That's the most effective way of building support, in my opinion, and it appears to be working (via kos):


Renzi (R) 46
Simon (D) 50

Demographic information on the district can be found via MajorityWatch.com

A suggestion to any campaign operatives or supporters of Simon in CD1. Make your presence known in the numerous small town papers that span the district.

For the Copper Belt, a personalized letter to the community from Ellen or a LTE from a supporter would be good for the San Manuel Miner, Copper Basin News, and Superior Sun (they can be found via Copperarea.com) Also, the papers in the Thatcher, Safford, Morenci, San Carlos, Globe/Miami are fertile ground for support - strong labor roots.

Too many politicians write off the small towns and focus their concentration on getting numbers in the more populated areas, but with a race as close as this latest poll suggests - every ballot cast is going to make the difference on who gets sent to Washington to represent that huge chunk of Arizona tierra.

Note to the Simon Campaign: send me an email, I have the perfect spot for a big sign in one of the small towns I listed above. All I have to do is make a phone call to my parents.

2006 Arizona Ballot Initiatives

Congressional Elections are notorious for having low voter turnout. Hopefully this year, with George Bush's tantrum continuing unbridled, enough people will realize that the only real way to stop the War Council is to get their rear ends to the polls on November 7th and permanently retire any lawmaker that has given The Oval Office Cowboy a free pass.

Another important reason to make our voices heard is the numerous ballot initiatives that have survived the petition process and made it to the ballot. This cycle there are 19 Propositions that voters will need to do their homework on to make an educated decision on the direction of our state.

In the coming days I will offer my thoughts and recommendations, but for now, here are some good resources
AZ Secretary of State - Official Listing of each initiative
AZ Legislative Council - analysis of each proposal

Tucson Weekly - recommendations for all
Blog for Arizona - recommendations for all
Sacred Mountain Blues - Props 100-105 as of this entry
Daniel's News and Views - Props 200-205 as of this entry
AZNetroots - Prop 205
m2powered - Prop 202
Spidel Blog - Prop 205

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rubberstamp Randy

The world is abuzz with the recent nuclear test by North Korea. Whether it was a dud or not is irrelevant, the sabre-rattling is the intent behind this show of force by one of the members of the so-called "Axis of Evil"

So what does GOP Candidate Randy Graf have to say about it?
Asked if he believed the U.S. should engage in dialogue with North Korea, Graf said: "On that I can't say. There are people way above my paygrade currently that have laid out the course. Our commander-in-chief is obviously in charge of that decision right now, and I'm going to trust his judgment."

Did you read that carefully, voters of Arizona's 7th Congressional District? Randy Graf still trusts the judgment of George W. Bush despite the fact that he has proven over and over and over again that he is an incompetent leader at best, dangerous quickshooter at worst.

Every poll out there gives a resounding message that the people are sick of the direction this country is currently barreling down. While we may differ on what would constitute a good change of course, it's clear that the status quo is unacceptable.

At first I thought Randy Graf was a rabid extremist, now it's becoming clear that the former golf pro is running par for the course - passing the buck to others when it comes to the tough questions and lockstep support of George W. Bush's failed vision of the world.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Russell Pearce Finally Gets Burned

C'mon Russell. Didn't you learn in Boy Scouts that if you keep playing with fire, you'll eventually get burned?
A week after Rep. Russell Pearce drew fire for immigration remarks many called racially insensitive, the Mesa Republican sent an e-mail to supporters in which he copied an article from a white separatist group and a link to that group's Web site.

Pearce says he immediately sent two apologies to supporters after sending out the e-mail, claiming that he did not know what the group was and had not read the entire article before copying it into his e-mail.

"My heart is really hurt to think something like that would go out under my name," Pearce told The Republic today. "I was very embarrassed I didn't have better diligence and read the whole article."

Gotta love the pickles that the Republicans keep putting themselves in lately. Pearce has either revealed his true racist intentions behind his long-standing hard-right immigration tantrums or he's proven to be a lazy legislator who doesn't even take the time to read his correspondence before sending it out to his supporters as "proof" that he's on the right track.

The group Pearce endorsed was none other than the odious National Alliance. Here's a taste of the hate they spew
Disney was the last major studio to be seized by the Jews and Walt Disney fought them. Now a battle is being waged in the city that is the home to Disneyland in a way Walt Disney never imagined.

It’s not just the Mexican invasion that is the problem in California, the Jews are now fighting with the Arabs over the corpse of "the Golden State.".

For so many years, the Jews in California, Hollywood/Tel Aviv West, have had their way. But then the Arabs set up a place in Orange County referred to as "Little Gaza," which according to the 2000 Census has more than 24,000 Arabs.

linkage - click at your own risk
And speaking of endorsements, this little stunt by Russell "Bring Back Operation Wetback" Pearce has caused his list for re-election to lose at least one prominent name
JD Hayworth issued the following statement today:

Given the regrettable and disturbing nature of the email Russell Pearce circulated earlier today, I cannot in good conscience lend my endorsement to his candidacy for State Representative. While Russell has issued an apology for his email, I nonetheless will not be associated with any communication that contains anti-Semitic remarks.

linkage to AZCongressWatch
I echo the question asked by my fellow Az Blogger: Does Trent Franks feel it's politically prudent to remain on the endorsement page of Russell Pearce's re-election website?

And while we're at it, how many "macaca moments" are the Mesa voters going to take before they realize that Pearce is a divisive, immoral legislator who deserves to be retired permanently in exactly one month?

Enough is enough, people. The Minuteman Wing of the Republican Party, which includes Randy Graf (in the photo with Pearce) and JD Hayworth, regardless of his feeble attempts to distance himself from Pearce, has given cover to white separatist groups like National Alliance for far too long with their enforcement-only approach to immigration reform.

You might not be racist if you support things such as mass deportation, building the Great Wall of Arizona™ or the militarization of the backyards of Baja Arizonans, but how's your conscience treating you knowing that you hold the same political positions as true racist groups like National Alliance, Border Guardians and the KKK's David Duke?

We need comprehensive reform of our immigration system. One that respects humanity regardless of which side of the border your citizenship lies and it must address the underlying economic issues that are plaguing the lower classes of all the nations involved.

Crossposted at Migra Matters and Booman Tribune

Mango Cheesecake Open Thread

That flower is nothing compared to the
consistent beauty you'll find at

Parvum Opus

on 10,000 bloghits!

I Pledge Allegiance To My Conscience

I take my Catholic faith very seriously. As a regular churchgoer and active member of my parish, my ears always prick up whenever the subject of politics and religion intersect.
The allegiance of Catholics in the upcoming election is considered important in an era in which moral values are closely tied to public policy. Many political experts consider them a powerful voting bloc, with nearly 70 million baptized members and an estimated 27 percent of the electorate. Nearly 1 million Catholics live in Arizona.

But the various voting guides represent varying viewpoints, including if issues such as abortion and gay marriage should be of higher importance than other items meaningful to Catholics, such as immigration and war.

The article continues to discuss where a person's conscience comes into play when dealing with divisive and explosive issues that have become center stage as the "Religious Right" ascended into power under BushCo rule.

As a Christian, I believe that:
  • bigotry is wrong, therefore you can take your gay-bashing initiatives and shove it
  • war and agression are wrong, therefore you can take your preemptive wars and sabre-rattling and shove them too
  • human rights are my foundation, therefore I am appalled at any efforts to blur the lines of torture, circumvent justice by eliminating habeas corpus, and the operation of secret prisons that are kept in the shadows for nefarious purposes
  • compassion is key, therefore I don't support female-demonizing policies that rob a woman of her dignity by dictating her life's decisions
  • poverty is a social problem, therefore I support the strengthening of programs that educate people, provide a safety net of financial survival and accessible health care to everyone that needs it (which is everyone)
  • the community is ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of all, therefore tax policies should not favor those who have more financial resources
  • respect of the land is a responsibility that we all share, therfore I support environmental laws that protect our air, water and natural habitats from further encroachment by our greedy, developing schemes
There are more things I believe, which are all informed by my conscience but to some Pharisees Catholics, I'm nothing more than a CINO (Catholic In Name Only).
A more liberal guide, published by the Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Alliance for the Common Good, says responsible voting is not best decided with a "litmus test" of selected issues. The guide has been criticized by conservative Catholic groups, which say abortion is always the most important public policy issue for Catholic voters.

"We won't ever support the Catholic Alliance guide because it does a disservice to church teaching," said Kelly Copeland, 45, a Tucson business owner and part of a local group called Catholics United for the Faith. "If a candidate is pro-choice, that is an area that would be non-negotiable. If you are going to follow church teaching, you are not going to vote for Gov. Janet Napolitano because of her stance on abortion."
Perhaps it's an incurable, intrinsic reaction for me, but anytime I see the words "non-negotiable", I immediately turn into a rebel. Right-wing Catholic groups are so convinced of their morality yet the truth is, the Church is ultimately ambiguous in its positions as they directly translate to political platforms.

The Beatitudes, however, are unambiguous
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
  • Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
  • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If the polls are to be believed, the "Catholic Vote" is in swing territory at the moment. Methinks a bunch of war apologists are finally starting to listen to their conscience again. It's a good thing, because a suave devil has had their ear for far too long.

Monday, October 09, 2006

McCain endorses Minuteman Candidate

John McCain(R-AZ) has obviously begun his 2008 presidential bid in earnest with a dive into a slime pool, hoping to gain favor with the bottom feeders that make up the most extreme element of his party. In just another demonstration of just how little real integrity and backbone the maverick "straight talking" Senator from Arizona has left, he formally announced his endorsement of beleaguered Minuteman congressional candidate, Randy Graf, running in his states eight district. Graf who has been shunned by party regulars due to his extremist positions is viewed as having little hope of capturing the seat left vacant by the outgoing Republican, Jim Kolbe. But apparently McCain is once again willing to "forgive and forget" in the name of political expediency.

Just as McCain was willing to forgive team Bush for their vicious attacks upon him in 2000 when they ran a smear campaign accusing him of fathering an illegitimate black baby when pictures of his adopted daughter from Bangladesh appeared, he's now willing to court the Neanderthal vote in hopes of getting a new mailing address at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. All this despite the fact that the Graf and his Minuteman cohorts have not been shy in their distain for the Senator.

But perhaps he's just unaware of exactly how Randy Graf and his minutemen friends really feel about him:

From the Minuteman website:
"John McCain is dead in my eyes. And he is delusional if he thinks -- after his asinine pro-illegal-alien stand -- that he has ANY chance of winning the presidency.

Or, maybe I'M delusional to think so. Maybe there ARE enough John McCain junkies out there who would stupidly vote him into office. Heaven help us if that happens."

"John McCain has surely been a traitor to the Republican Party, and seems to be a representative of the Illegal Immigrants more that his constituents. I have wondered and hope that I am wrong when I wonder if Saint John like so many other political hopefuls such as John Murtha, John Kerry et al, went to Nam to get their ticket punched so they could come back and run for political office.

McCain has definite proof of what happened to him in Nam but many of the other members of congress who readily wave their hands as veterans and are called war heroes by their admirers I believe could not stand a close scrutiny of their military records.

I don't wish anyone dead but I wouldn't be disappointed if he and George Bush took adjoining condos on some Mexican Beach permanently, and then they would have easy access to that cheap labor."

"I realize that McRhoid’s proof of what happened to him in Vietnam makes him out to be a hero. But that is his proof and the speculation of his admiral daddy’s influence on that proof should not be discounted. If his NVA records ever become available for comparison, I would like to review them to see how well he served our nation and to see if there are any embers of a fire that resulted in the smoke over his time as a POW.

Remember that Benedict Arnold himself was considered to be a ‘war hero’ up until he showed his true colors. McRhoid has shown us his and they aren’t ours."


"All one has to do is note Mr. McCain's voting record in regards to the Second Amendment to realize he was turned in Hanoi. He's a commie underneath the facade. When seen in this light, everything else he does makes sense."

Or maybe McCain is unaware of just how much of a minuteman Randy Graf really is.

From the Graf webpage:
Randy Graf is a Minuteman. He enthusiastically answered the call when the Minuteman roject was formed in April 2005. He was there on the first day in Tombstone, Arizona where he lent a hand to the Project’s organizers in ensuring that registration and orientation went off successfully. He was a part of the month-long event on the border.
And he was there as a featured speaker at the celebratory closing event of the Project.

Now is the time to take the Minuteman Project to the next level and it is time to send a Minuteman to Congress to represent American citizens who want something more done about illegal immigration and the lack of border security. The Minuteman Project can’t go on forever. We need to have the federal government take over and do the job that they are obligated to do.Randy Graf is ready and able, the target has been identified, and the goal is achievable. To do it, this Minuteman needs YOUR help and continuing support.

Imagine that...sending a Minuteman to Congress. You can help strike a blow against the powerful groups in Washington that continue to condone the massive violation of our national borders. You can be a part of taking Minuteman Project to the next level by helping Randy Graf get elected to Congress where he will serve alongside Rep. Tom Tancredo and work for you to stop the border invasion. You can’t vote for Randy Graf, but Randy Graf will vote for you. He knows the issues. He knows what needs to be done. He needs your continuing support now so that when he gets to Congress you will get his support.

From the Minuteman website:
The #1 issue for Republican Randy Graf is stopping illegal immigration, defending our borders and protecting US national sovereignty. Randy is also a rock solid conservative on both economic and social issues and he is pro gun rights. Randy Graf needs your help! Randy Graf is just like Tom Tancredo and we need a lot more Tom Tancredos in Congress.
The number one race for conservatives in the USA is the Randy Graf campaign for Congress in Arizona, district #8. Nationwide grassroots conservatives can help Randy win by 1) sending money and 2) making GOTV phone calls from YOUR HOME to key precincts in AZ # 08. Please call the Graf HQ at xxx-xxx-xxxx and offer to volunteer no matter where you live in the USA. They will email phone lists to call the last 3 days of the election.

Or perhaps even as the minutemen themselves have figured out; "it shows McCain for what he really is...a panderer."

If it wasn't clear when he was kissing and hugging Bush, or when he had a little birthday bash with the President just days after Katrina while Bush was hiding with his head in the sand, it certainly is clear now… even to those whose knuckles might scrape the ground while walking…McCain is now a man devoid of all backbone, one that will do anything and say anything in his attempt to gain higher office. All the "straight talk" in the world cannot hide McCain's utter lack of principles.

Graf's Ad Scarier Than A Graveyard Stroll

Halloween is approaching. Instead of making your way to a haunted house or an old spooky graveyard to get your kicks, why not just sit your keister on the couch and watch Randy Graf's current FrightFest known as advertising?

Graf is counting on his one-trick pony show to terrify voters next month and get him elected to the House. The pregnant girl at the end was a particularly gruesome addition, he might as well have raised another phantom and made the ad about abortion in addition to evil terrorist border crossers who come to steal your children from their front doors (watch the video).

The problem with these menacing messages is that they are akin to hearing a cymbal clash during a thunderstorm. The GOP has been scaring the shit out of voters since 9/11 and placing their bets that the people will be sufficiently spooked to keep them in power. The tactic worked in 2002 and 2004, but will this tired meme prevail again?

I don't really know about the rest of the citizenry, but I'm certainly sick of their howling and shrieking.

This era of U.S. Politics has been devoid of leadership that inspires positive political action. We have been continually terrorized for the past five'ish years and the culprits are within our borders, not in some cave along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. All those white sheets you see? Those aren't ghost costumes they wear.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

tap, tap, tappin' on blogger's doors... eegeehood tour!

Yes, indeed... we're on our way, so I hope everyone is ready! None of this last minute dusting and all.

Let's see... Oh... Family Man has discovered many things! Among them the fact that he is not 20 years old anymore, sigh. Who knew? And balloons that don't sound at all fun, but which will hopefully still bring joy! Or at least relief. I think he needs a hug! (but gently, gently).

Duke has good news! The 9th Circuit Court - the one right wingers love to hate - just made their keyboards explode again, I'm thinking! Also, time to get rid of a nasty little man, and now we know the purpose of local immigration laws!

ILJ puts current events in some context in Full Circle: From Jim Wright To Dennis Hastert and and don't miss about the national pension plan for working people. He's looking for input, so if you have any thoughts... leave them there!

Boran has become the destroyer of worlds! Well, maybe just of buildings. Okay, okay... so he just painted over the house in our cool car picture, and replaced it with a green hill! Wait! Boran has done the environmentally sound thing! whew. Also, some guy forgot to prostrate himself before Cheney, and look what happened! And, of course... someone was voted off the island... but who?

[UPDATE!] Olivia is talking about... I bet you can't guess what! Oh... you can? You're right! The birds and the bees! Green bees, no less. Hmmm, I wonder if that means something? Oh, about the birds... my favorite is sharing! Well, only with himself though. ! Okay, not my favorite bird, but my favorite photo!

spiderleaf ends her boycott again to write about five things feminism has done for her!

(dove and Ductape are still boycotting tho!) <----- (this doesn't count as a petition. Yet). Are you hungry yet? If so, catnip has a Sunday Food for Thought just for you! Well, even if you're not hungry. Also, in addtion to being invaded by YouTube, she seems to have disappeared her Environmental Minister. And Afghanis are switching sides.

katiebird wants to know what you are doing today! It doesn't have to be food related... do you have a goal or a project you are procrastinating on? katie has just the cure, by being firmed daily! AND... after you are done thinking about what you want to get started on, katie also has the perfect thing to distract you from it - a new crossword puzzle! Talk about testing your willpower....

[UPDATE THE LAST!] Wow, have you seen James' new site yet? I have, for the first time! I have figured out how to disable colors and now I can read it... it's very cool. Much info about music and musicians and old albums and classics and so on - good reading, and I don't even like music! At the Original James, he gives us the latest on the Gitmo scandal.... or what should be one, anyway. Also, something the US and the UK have in common!

"to weave a different fabric" ... thus Arcturus starts a series of posts on real people powered movements, this one continuing on in the face of betrayal, adversity and almost certain failure. Also, Paraguay rejects immunity for US military! More there too... read on!

Donna talks about sustainability, in a personal way, in this wonderful post. And there is more there besides, click around!

Don't forget to scroll down and read our Manny's posts! If you've not been reading this week, you've missed out on lots. Scroll down, scroll down!

And this one I saved for last because you're going to want to find a quiet space, even if for just a few minutes, and sit down to read Nezua's Sometimes, for a Moment, I Dream. And maybe dream for a little too.

[UPDATE BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!] Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian eegeehoodians!

All Done! I think... let me know if I've missed anyone.

Use this as an Open Thread.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Bud Blogging


Let the Beatings Commence!

Nothing makes my patriotic heart burn brighter than learning that Cowboy Diplomacy continues unabated.
Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.

The two-page statement was sent Wednesday to the Inspector General at the Department of Defense by a high-ranking Marine Corps defense lawyer.

The lawyer sent the statement on behalf of a paralegal who said men she met on Sept. 23 at a bar on the base identified themselves to her as guards. The woman, whose name was blacked out, said she spent about an hour talking with them. No one was in uniform, she said.

A 19-year-old sailor referred to only as Bo "told the other guards and me about him beating different detainees being held in the prison," the statement said.

"One such story Bo told involved him taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee's head into the cell door. Bo said that his actions were known by others," the statement said. The sailor said he was never punished.

linkage - emphasis mine
Bo Bo Bo, clearly you're an amateur. A real soldier for Christ Bush would've been much more creative than that. Here, sit your nalgas down and learn from the pros.
Guantanamo detainee Abdul-Rahman Shabali described tubes bigger than his fingers forced into his nose until he passed out, a Navy doctor who inserted a tube with such violence that he started throwing up blood, and reuse of tubes that had been filled with blood and bile of others.

Did you take notes? Good. While you perfect your Freedom March Boogie, the liberal traitors that congregate at all those evil college campuses are gonna waste more time debating whether or not we should be coddling terrorists.

Don't they know that Thanksgiving is coming and in order to spread democracy and peace, first we've got to fatten up the turkeys then go in for the kill?

Some people just don't get it.

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

AZ Voter Registration Deadline This Weekend

[UPDATE] Apparently I'm an idiot. The deadline is Monday.

If you've been reading here for awhile, you'll see that I like to throw various Diebold references into my posts when it comes to electoral politics. I have major doubts on the accuracy of votes when there isn't some type of paper trail to cover all the bases. While some may call me a conspiracy theorist, I have a question for them: "Have lawmakers ever done anything crooked?"

(how's that for a strawman)

Anywho, regardless of the hackability of polls on Election Day, I still think it's vitally important that people engage in the political process. I would consider myself the paragon of hypocrisy if I spent X amount of hours each day writing these posts and not participate on November 7th. Please Note: that is a standard I only apply to myself.

Too many people sit on the sidelines when it comes to the decisions of government at all levels. In this era when the GOP goes out of their way to appease the rabid wing of their party and the Dems pretend they don't have a liberal wing, the balance has clearly sent our policies and direction to the rightward path (nearly 2/3s of the people think it's the wrong direction, btw).

There are plenty of good reasons to vote on November 7th - you can register your complaint with the status quo by voting for change and you can prevent atrocities from becoming law that enjoy dressing their hateful selves up as ballot initiatives.

Are you registered yet? If not, get thee to Service Arizona or Project Vote Smart for more info on who are your current politician employees.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sushi and Blogger Bienvenidos

Had a great lunch with my boss and another co-worker today. Sushi was involved and it proved to be the magic bullet to improve my mood. Who knew?

XicanoPwr, who is one of the best bloggers out there, in my not so humble opinion, and I corresponded a few months ago trying to brainstorm ways for Latinos/Xicanos to have our/their voices added more strongly to the blogtopia (y!sctp) mariachi. I said something along the lines of, "Just write, the audience will find us. All we can do is offer our point-of-view like everyone else."

I'll be damned but recently tons of Latino-based blogs have been sprouting out of the tierra faster than California poppies in the White Mountains on the way to Pinetop. Please give a hearty ¡Bienvenidos! to the following blogistas that are new(ish) to me:
There's much more out there and I think it's a Good Thing™. We have a unique perspective on what it means to be a U.S. American in 2006. Our roots are indigenous and we're surrounded by legislators who are trying to pour Clorox on those roots. Little do they know, the bleaching job they're trying to pull on this country will prove to be pendejada.