I Got the VD! Tuesday, Feb 14 2006 

And it’s Valentine’s Day yet again. Oh my gosh, I’m just, just so excited, really now, I can’t even bare to hide it. I shit you not. Okay, honestly, when I woke up this morning I had dinner plans to look forward to. Not with an actual date mind you, I had dinner plans with my best friend, Debi. After all, both single ladies with no chance of even last minute plans are also entitled to a little fun. When I arrived at work, Debi came strolling up to me and said “You’re going to be so mad at me”. She cancelled our plans. Instead, we were going up to a tattoo shop for a brief consultation; Debi is adding color to her currently black & grey chest piece. Afterwards, she realized she was hungry and we went out to dinner after all. The holiday barely even made a blip on my “Amazingly Horrendous/Awesome Holiday Scale”. Really, it was just that boring.

I suppose this holiday (if you can even call it that) is really only meant for couples. It’s meant to shun us single folk. Good, remind me that I’m alone. I won’t forget next time to remind that you’re an idiot for sleeping with that ugly motherfucker.

Nooo, I’m not bitter at all. As much fun as it is to spend copious amounts of time with my friends, I must say, the highlight of my day has been right now, watching David Cross hanging out on the Colbert Report. Seriously, it’s made my night. And with that, I pledge my undying love to David Cross and urge every one of you out there tonight who are emotionally alone to just say no to love. It only makes you get fat.

All in the Family (Part I) Monday, Feb 13 2006 

I decided not to post this weekend because I was terribly busy fending off my very, very Republican family. My cousin came across the letter in the paper and sent a response to my questions to my grandmother who in turn forwarded that onto me. It gave me quite a laugh, I have to say. Then, when I called my grandmother to thank her for sending me this, and so on, and then she told me that she also sent it to every other member of the family. My first thoughts, “Oh. Shit.” When I say that out of 7 uncles & 8 aunts, 35 (or so) 1st & 2nd cousins, more than enough 3rd, 4th & 5th cousins, I am one of three Liberals in my entire family. I am not kidding. I’m also the only one in the family who has a tattoo. I’m the only one (only female, I should say) in the family who didn’t get married at 19 (except for my mother, the other black sheep). I tell you what, being part of a very large Roman Catholic/Italian family has many benefits, but god forbid you’re considered a black sheep by all except for one or two NOT EVEN CLOSELY RELATED relatives.

That’s besides the point. I could complain about my family all day and all night if you gave me the chance, but through all their faults and political choosing, they are still my family. There, now if one of them finds this, they can’t get pissed.

Anyway, my cousin Carmine had some very interesting, although overly standardized Republican, answers to my ten questions. His answers are in italics.

Mr. President, given the infamous bond between Texas and the death penalty, and the fact that you were once the governor of Texas, how do you feel now that most states are doing away with the death penalty? Also, how do you feel about America being the last so-called civilized country that has yet to abolish the death penalty?

I don’t agree with the death penalty. But we need to find ways to stop the criminal from taking away every liberty we have. Because of violent crimes we live in fear, have many restrictions placed on our personal, everyday life.

Although Carmine makes an excellent point, why should we live in fear of every off chance that we might get mugged or raped or murdered? Why fear something that may not ever happen? That’s like being afraid of lightening striking you dead in the face, but what are the odds of that? A million to one. Unfortunately, terrible things happen that we cannot control. It’s a fact of life. Does killing another human being justify their crime? Taking a life for a life is a little outdated these days. Instead of the death penalty, send them to jail for life without parole. They’ll never get out and enjoy the wonderful earth that god has made. Plus I personally believe that the electric chair, lethal injection, and the gas chamber are means of cruel and unusual punishment. Thus, I believe the death penalty is unconstitutional.

What is your definition of the phrase separation of church and state? Doesn’t the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives negate the separation of church and state (the government should have no control over a person’s undeniable right to freedom of religion) by giving money to faith-based organizations?

The separation of Church and state was part of the constitution to prevent the government from instituting a wide sweeping mandate of religion on the people of this country (much like what had been done in England). The definition of the separation of Church and state is one that has been overused in so many cases that the true meaning of what the framers meant for our country has been blurred significantly. The funding of the programs in the faith based initiative is a realization by the government that in order for our government to do their job effectively they must utilize outside resources. For example, not every program that the government is responsible for is run at the grass root level by the government,. For example, here in our county, many government programs are operated by entitles like Trio County Community action, a non-profit group which runs facilities programs (etc) that receives grants from the government . However the data has shown that faith-based programs have had a significant effect on the areas of concern (aid to the poor, counseling for those in need, etc) examples of this would be Catholic Social Services, many protestant and African American church groups, Salvation Army,as well as many other faiths.

Again, Carmine is making an excellent point, however, the separation of church and state is a very simple thing. It’s definition is as clear as the phrase itself “separation of church and state”. The government should have no control over the peoples’ choices of religion. And vice-versa, as many seem to forget, the church will have no hand in the government. Religion these days has turned more into a blind faith and a “belief because you have to and not because you want to”. After my time served in private (primarily Catholic) schooling I learned that the line between church and state is significantly blurred. I have found that instead of teaching individuality and the persuit of one’s own belief and opinion is absolutely wrong. I was once told by a teacher “You’re in private school, your opinions is as meaningless here as it will be in the outside world”. Is that a positive influence? Is that how the church plans to keep it’s parishioners? It’s parishioner’s children (and so one and so forth)? Now, the reason this teacher said this to me is because of an essay I wrote on how Bush was relying too much on blind faith rather than clearly thinking about the aftershock of September 11th. For my school, flaming the right is as bad as a death threat on a student. The Christian right (and I’m not trying to offend anyone’s personal beliefs here) has so severely blurred the lines between church and state that it’s effects will damage the future of this nation. It’s aftershock will cause a societal revert to the time where religion was mandated by the government. Bush has done nothing in his office but rip the Constitution to shreds since he was handed his position on a silver platter (much like everything else in his life, especially the coveted Barbara Bush Scholarship … gee, wonder how he got that one?).

Do you have a response to the American journalists [and bloggers alike] who have said, because of the upcoming Senate hearings on allegations of illegal wiretapping, that you are this generation’s Nixon?

The similarities to other wiretapping in the case of Nixon are in name only. The method and the purpose are totally different. Nixon and his team were wrong were what they did and they paid the price for that. Other wiretaps have been executed by various administrations, most notable Robert F. Kenned during JFK’s team wiretapped Martin Luther King and his now departed wife Coretta Scott king. It is interesting to note that Jimmy Crater brought this up during her funeral (in very bad taste, I might add) and yet it was his democratic predecessor JFK who wiretapped the civil rights leader not a Republican as Carter tried to infer… Should we know if an terrorist-connected person residing or visiting in the US is able to converse with terrorist or terrorist organization outside the US?

No matter the circumstance, wiretapping is illegal. ILLEGAL. If it’s illegal, it’s unjustifiable. Not to mention that again, it’s another example of Bush shredding the Constitution to bits (metaphorically speaking, of course). As for JFK, RFK, and Carter (he wasn’t a very smart man and isn’t to this day, but he still had that silly southern charm that somehow captivated a nation, but I suppose is also the reason he wasn’t elected a second term), it’s still unjustifiable. Just because two assassinated men did it, doesn’t mean it was right. Plus, the comparison is seriously outdated as was the general consensus at the time of JFK and RFK that “black people were to be feared”. Now we know better (even though some people are still living in the 50s) and should realize that skin color should never matter. The wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King was a matter of race. MLK brought forth a worthy revolution that I believe did such wonders for the American people.

What is the current relationship between your office and the Fox Broadcasting Company?

I would say the current relationship is that just as many of the other news organizations favor a more liberal viewpoint, Fox Broadcasting favors a more conservative in theme terms balanced view point. To say that any news organization is unbiased is shortsighted. As an example watch George Stefanopolis reports on ABC and then watch the same new report on Fox and or other channels The Fox example stands out because most of the mainstream media tends to slant more toward the liberal rather than conservative view point.. That’s why there are many channels on the cable system. Watch them all and draw your own conclusions.

I didn’t know it was shortsighted to think that possibly money changed hands at some point (as is most often the case) when every single news channel declared Gore the winner in 2000 except for Fox News. Despite the fact that Gore had one popular vote. If I remember correctly from even my most basic History lesson, the electoral college was formed because during the time when our country was still only a few years old, most citizens could not read or write, thus voting was a befuddlement for most. So, men (and no women as they were the “devil” at one point just is as everything different than the considered “norm”) were appointed to go from colony to colony campaigning for the right man for Presidency. The electoral college depended on popular vote and were chosen to represent it. The electoral college failed in 2000 when it decided that money was better spent on a President’s son rather than a man that probably would have done a better job in handling all the disarray that our country is in now with Bush at the head.

My Coffee is Already Cold Friday, Feb 10 2006 

Privacy fears hit Google search (source: BBC)
Islam-West divide ‘grows deeper’ (source: BBC)
Warning Urged for ADHD Drugs (source: Washington Post)
Patriot Act Compromise Clears Way for Senate Vote (source: Washington Post)

On a more personal note, about a month ago I sent a letter into my local newspaper (I also posted it here) and have been waiting since then to see if they would actually print it. Well, they did! It took long enough, but I’m satisfied (even if they did cut out quite a few lines of my sarcasm, as was certainly expected). In the actual print version of the newspaper, I have two columns. Take that you employed journalists.

Reader dreams of chance to ask President Bush 10 questions

Politics, Shmolitics. Thursday, Feb 9 2006 

Bush Gives New Details of 2002 Qaeda Plot to Attack Los Angeles (source: NY Times)
Never let it be said that the New York Times doesn’t have a grip on irony & wit. Through the entire article they refer to Dubya simply as Mr. Bush, rather than “the President” or “President Bush” (etc). Also, the photos used with the article are genius! The plane in with the shot of the U.S. Bank Tower (just off to the left) and the photo of Mr. Bush speaking, notice the Paul Revere in the background. I think the photos correspond with the article very well. Well done New York Times, well done.

As described in the staff report by the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is said to be the mastermind behind them, had originally envisioned an elaborate plan with 10 planes that would attack the East and West Coasts simultaneously on Sept. 11, 2001. But Mr. bin Laden rejected the plan, the report said, because of its difficulty.

Related: Bush details foiled 2002 al Qaeda attack on L.A. (source: CNN)

Lawmakers, White House strike deal on Patriot Act revisions (source: Forbes)
Okay, so, concerns about the mockery of civil liberties included in the Patriot Act have been revised. Well, which ones? Basically, the Act has been revised and they have yet to vote on it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it will simply be tossed out with the daily trash – just as it should have been in the beginning.

New video of kidnapped journalist airs (source: USA Today)

“I am here. I am fine,” journalist Jill Carroll says in the new video. She urges supporters to do whatever her captors want to get her released.

And the world waits to see what happens next.

10 Questions … Wednesday, Feb 8 2006 

10 Legitimate questions I would ask the President if given the opportunity:

(1) Mr. President, given the infamous & synonymous bond between Texas and the death penalty, and that you were once the governor of Texas, how do you feel now that most states are doing away with the death penalty? Also, how do you feel about the fact that America is the last socially considered “civilized” country, in the entire world, that has yet to abolish the death penalty completely?
(2) Mr. President, what is your definition of the phrase “separation of church and state”? With the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, does that not knock out the proper definition of “separation of church and state” (exactly that, separate, the government should have no control over a persons undeniable right to freedom of religion) by the government giving money to faith-based organizations?
(3) Mr. President, do you have a response to those certain journalists in America who have said, due to the upcoming Senate hearings on allegations of illegal wiretapping, that you are this generation’s Nixon?
(4) Mr. President, what is the current relationship between your office and the Fox Broadcasting Company?
(5) Mr. President, why, in your first year of office, did you spend well over 5 trillion dollars of the deficit – a deficit, I might add, that would not have existed if it weren’t for the Democratic representation of former President Bill Clinton – leaving the countries budget at a mere one trillion dollars? With that said, can you explain why the conflict in Iraq cost over one trillion dollars?
(6) Mr. President, it has been reported that the government has borrowed 1.7 trillion dollars from the social security trust fund, what has this money been used for? How will it affect my social security when I’m eligible? I feel there is not enough information for me to fully understand what exactly is going to be done with social security. What if I do not want the government to have control of the money that I have worked so hard for?
(7) Mr. President, do you have any comments to those who feverently oppose your term in office?
(8) Mr. President, have you ever heard the phrase “Money is the root of all evil”? Or, “Absolute power is absolute corruption”?
(9) Mr. President, how has your father, former President George Bush, influence your current position?
(10) And last, but surely not least, Mr. President, what were your true intentions for imposing a war on the people of Iraq? Were they that of your own accord or “unfinished business” of your father’s?

!!! Wednesday, Feb 8 2006 

Halliburton building concentration camps

(from sploid.com)

Just Another Night at the Diner & Corinne Bailey Rae Wednesday, Feb 8 2006 

This fine evening, my best comrade and I decided that of course there was nothing else we could do on a Tuesday night other than go to a diner. It’s always such a difficult decision. Really though, to comprehend what kind of small town I reside in, you must understand our food joints. We have quite a few, and these quite a few always seem to close early. Thus leaving a diner, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. This is the usual nightly decision. Rather than getting all plump and fat on deliciously sinful Wendy’s or Taco Bell, we lifted the 6 month hiatus on diner visits (the last included a mass amount of Exorcist vomit – it was just one of those kind of nights you have when you’re 20, I suppose) and went to the ol’ hot spot.

Everything was relatively quiet for the first 10 minutes or so, that is, until two platinum bombshells (and I use that term loosely) “like hi my name is Elaine and my favorite color is clear, he he he …” girls walked in, swinging happily & drunkenly from this tiny plump fellow’s arm. My comrade and I snickered lightly as they took the table behind us as we continued to consumer our wonderful plate of pancakes. Eventually, one of the blondes got a little excited when the waitress told her the bar was making last call. Her voice raised a full 3 octaves “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S LAST CALL???” Cut to my comrade and I snickering a little more obnoxiously this time around.

Once the waitress left, Drunky-McDrunk-Drunk started to simma’ down a bit, at least she got a bit quieter in her nonsensical ramble, and began to have the ever so typical “Oh guys, I love you guys … Man, I love you, you guys are my best frienddssssssspfff”. And then she started to ramble. And ramble and ramble some more. Eventually it got to the point where my comrade and I were downright splitting at the seams with laughter and still, the drunkards noticed NOTHING. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING! Oh and was it wonderful!

As we got up to pay our check, Miss Drunk-Too-Much asked to shake my hand and then proceeded to ask my comrade if she had ever had a boyfriend. My comrade flushed red in her cheeks and quietly said “Noooo, boys are gross, I like girls. I’ve had girlfriends”. Then miss Drunkie-Drunk decided to start hitting on her. And what did we do? Laugh the entire way to the counter to pay our bill.

It makes for quite a night, I can tell you that. I’m glad that the end of the 6 month Diner Hiatus ended with a gleeful night spent happily sipping coffee in the stinky little diner. Hooray.

Now, listen to Like A Star & Enchantment by the amazingly talented and beautiful Corinne Bailey Rae. (courtesy of aurgasm)

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