Saturday, May 5, 2007


Next is a bad sci-fi movie. Adapted from the classic short story by Philip K. Dick, it's a dumb, incoherent mess that wastes the time of the actors trapped in it. I'm sure Nicholas Cage doesn't care because he's been in a greedy, take-the-money-and-run frenzy for a long time now, but what it does to Julianne Moore should be illegal.

Besides, Julianne doesn't have the time to waste.

Julianne is a very talented actress and a very beautiful woman. So, unfortunately, what usually happens is that most of the guys in Hollywood making movies won't take her seriously. After all, what beautiful women usually do in movies is take off their clothes, go out with ugly guys old enough to be their fathers, or become lunch meat for serial killers.

Julianne has either been miscast (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Hannibal), or stuck playing another variation of her sad, fragile, and sexually-frustrated housewife/single mom character (The Hours, The End of The Affair, Far From Heaven, Boogie Nights, Magnolia). And no, it's not entirely her fault.

Nicholson, DeNiro, and Pacino haven't played characters other than themselves for years, but whenever they feel like being actors again, the roles will be waiting for them. It's called having a choice. Meanwhile, because of the table scraps Hollywood feeds them, too many actresses are starving to death.

Still, let's not forget that when she's not doing junk, Julianne Moore is a formidable actress. In Children of Men, Julianne had a role that was commensurate with her talent. Directed by Alfonso Cauron (Y Tu Mama¡ Tambien, The Little Princess and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), it's a brilliant, thought-provoking and terrifying film that should have won the Oscar.

Adapted from the novel by P.D. James, the film takes us to London in the year 2027. Things ain't looking too good. Bombs explode in coffee shops. There are more guns than food. Rotting garbage fills the streets. No jobs. Illegal immigrants are herded into internment camps. And when you think things can't get any worse, no child has been born in the world for eighteen years. It's as though all those inconvenient truths we've ignored finally got tired of knocking and kicked the door in. Theo (Clive Owen) is an ex-activist who's now a bitter, gin-soaked bureaucrat and all he wants to do with the rest of his life is, as the Pink Floyd song put it, get "comfortably numb". But his ex-wife Julian, a guerrilla soldier hunted by the government, unexpectedly reappears and wants Theo to join her on a deadly and mysterious mission.

Julian, as played by Julianne Moore, is a very important plot construct because she has to convince us that this cynical drunkard would be willing to risk his life. Theo's decision has to be logical. In a bad movie, a bad script would compel him do it just to move the narrative along. If it doesn't make sense, it feels emotionally off-key to the audience and the film won't work. Does Theo tell Julian to "Bugger Off"? No. Amazingly, besides getting Theo to agree, I was ready to pack my own suitcase and join them because Julianne made me believe in Julian. Yeah, she's that good.

A less-talented actress could have easily turned Julian into a dull, placidly-smiling and romanticized saint who walked on water or a shrill, bromide-spouting G.I. Jane, but no, Julianne doesn't do that. Instead, Julianne invests her character with compassion, wit, strength, mischief, poignancy and wisdom. This is a mature and heartbreaking performance that only a woman could deliver, not a little girl.

In less than fifteen minutes of time on screen, Julianne gives us a lifetime. It's breathtaking.

I can't wait to see what Julianne does next, after Next.

Poem: "The Journey", by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Darwin's Revenge

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."
--Anatole France, understanding the difference between lies, damned lies, and statistics

Seeing these pasty-faced lumps of Whitebread Privilage on stage stuffed in expensive, ill-fitting suits made me wonder (and not for the first time) how mankind ever graduated from the primordial jambalaya.

Barbaric Torture

Back in January 27, 2005, Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”

Well it looks like the Bush administration has allowed many of our soldiers to become (and/or continue) to be, uncivilized, brutal, cruel, and barbaric towards the people of Iraq.

WaPo reports many soldiers support torture, U.S. Troops Lacking in Ethics with many soldiers supporting torture and other forms of abuse against Iraqi civilians. An Army report also indicates our troops face higher rates of mental illness due to longer deployments.

I guess the United States under the Bush administration has no problem having our soldiers torture and kill non-combatants as a strategy in war. One has to wonder if the "mass killing" and "civilian victimizations" attributed to insurgents is American driven?

Your thoughts?

Christian Fundamentalists Move To Embrace Hate Speech

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Remember, this is part of Bush's base:

A hate crimes bill passed by the House yesterday, extending coverage to people victimized because of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, is attracting opposition from an unusual coalition of Christian leaders.

Proponents say the bill - similar to one the Senate is expected to pass in the next few weeks - is a moral imperative. But some Christians are depicting it as a "thought crimes" bill attacking 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and religion. A coalition of evangelical, fundamentalist and black religious leaders is mounting a furious assault on the bill, airing television ads and mobilizing members to stop its progress. President Bush has said he might veto the measure.

If the bill, approved 237-180, were to become law, they say, a pastor could be held liable for giving a sermon against homosexuality if a listener later attacked a gay individual .

Maybe preachers should stop with the Gay bashing? Hate crime is not a Constitutional right.

The bill's supporters say that such an assertion is nonsense, and that a sermon could never be considered an inducement to violence unless it explicitly advocated it.

In addition to broadening the federal definition of a hate crime victim, the law provides funds so that local authorities can request federal assistance for prosecutions in the aftermath of a hate crime.

I think White Fundamentalist Christians are just mad because they can't lynch Blacks anymore.

Oh, and the clincher:

"This legislation strikes at the heart of free speech and freedom of religious expression," said Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition.

When did murdering gays become religious expression?


"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' ".
--Dr. Isaac Asimov, proving to us that nothing has changed.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pajama Party with Hillary

On last night's Daily Show, I saw a clip of Hillary Clinton's appearance on The Insider.

Hillary: Those are the greatest shoes!

Host: I got them on super sale at Sax.

Hillary: Boy do they look fabulous!
Hillary: I am the woman on more diets that don't last. ... Ration your chocolate so you don't go overboard...
Omigod! I totally want to have a pajama party with her! We can talk about boys, and share secrets, and do each other's hair...

In all fairness, I didn't see the whole interview. Nor am I likely to, so I'll just allow that it's possible the interview also contained some non-gag-inducing moments. But from what I saw there, I've got to think this was part of an attempt on HRC's part to connect with voters as "one of the girls".

And maybe that was an effective way to connect with some women--but it sure doesn't work for me. I haven't worn high heels in almost a decade. I do *not* use the word diet, as I am trying to raise my daughter to see a balanced, sane view of eating and exercise as the norm--rather than *expecting* to forever be on diets.

Oh, and Hill--you know what would really help me connect with you as a woman?

You not acting like such a freaking hawk! That's something that matters to me as a a mother. One who is trying to help teach the next generation that there are better ways to solve problems than with violence and threats. And, as much as it would be nice to finally have a woman president, I'm willing to hold out a little longer until we can have one who shares those values.
But I loved Jon Stewart's response to the clip...

Jon: Oh my God--Hillary Clinton is running as Cathy.

I guess that explains her new slogan: Aack!

"I can't put on a bikini--AACK!"

"Oh my God, we've been attacked by Syria--AACK!"

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Paris Hilton

There are some rich people out there who have a huge savings account of undeserved good fortune. Now, they’re not always evil, stupid, vulgar or mean-spirited. But they are incredibly annoying. It's like you're being tormented by an itch you can't reach because you're tied up in a straitjacket.

For me, the latest itch that won't go away is the fake “actress” and tall blonde skinny corporate pimp Paris Hilton. Oh God, please make it go away.

Because life isn't fair, Ms. Hilton is a rich and famous celebrity whose ego happily spins in a narcissistic orbit around the planet “Paris”. I know she's a big Star because I keep seeing her on magazine covers, TV and movies. There she is, aggressively promoting a new perfume, movie cameo, DWI arrest, an upcoming appearance on Letterman, or a pornographic video of herself leaked on the internet.

As much as I hate to admit it, although it looks like Paris isn’t doing anything, she really is working very hard.

Do you know what Paris Hilton’s real job is?

No, it's not parading semi-naked in front of a camera with that hateful, “Yeah, I know you want to fuck me” smile on her face. What Hilton and the other empty-headed, toothpick aliens from Barbie World work hard at is making women who don't look like them feel bad. And it's a job they're very good at, too.

Hollywood is a funhouse mirror that reflects distorted images of the real world and the people who live in it. But, in the majority of the movies and television shows, there’s a cruel double standard where men aren’t defined as unrealistically as women are. In short, guys can get away with being slobs and still have a career.

John C. Reilly, Billy Bob Thornton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Paul Giamatti, and Steve Buscemi can get away with being regular-looking guys. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s idea of a “regular-looking” woman is to put Uma Thurman in raggedy jeans and an oversized sweater wearing Clark Kent’s glasses. For women, “average-looking” is code for “ugly”.

Too fat? Crooked teeth? Nappy hair? Big nose? What to do? Well, how about botox, yo-yo dieting, plastic surgery, humiliating boot camp exercise programs or shoving a finger down your throat to vomit up breakfast? Huh? You still don’t look like Paris Hilton? Jeez, what an ugly loser you are.

Is it any wonder comedian Margaret Cho, who powerfully dramatized her struggles with self-esteem in I’m The One That I Want, decided to save her life and stop listening to the toxic, soul-destroying propaganda ?

“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.”

I think the only thing left for women to do who aren’t anorexic freaks is just start whispering to that stranger in the mirror, “I‘m beautiful, damn it!” and get really pissed off at anybody who foolishly tries to tell you otherwise. Do you hear me, Paris? Or, as Miss Piggy so wonderfully put it, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”

Uh, Paris? Duck.

Fanboy Smut

Oh sure, an old, stained, well-used copy of Maxim will do the job, but this photograph of the upcoming Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. is guaranteed to raise a Happy Tent in the trousers of fanboys everywhere.

"Timmy? What are you doing in there?"

"Nuthin', Ma!"


"This is notoriously a time of crises, most of them false. A crisis is a turning point, and the affairs of the world don't turn as radically or as often as the daily newspapers would have us believe. Every so often, though, we've stopped dead by a crisis that we recognize at once as the genuine article; we recognize it not by its size (false crises can be made to look as big as real ones) but because in the course of it, for a measurable, anguished period--sometimes only minutes, sometimes, rarely as much as a day--nothing happens. Truly nothing. It is the moment of stasis between a deed that has been performed and must be responded to and the deed that will respond to it. At a false turning point, we nearly always know, within limits, what will happen next; at a true turning point, we not only know nothing, we know (something much more extraordinary and more terrifying) that nobody knows. Truly nobody."
--an editorial from The New Yorker

Dick Cheney: Servant or Master?

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I really do wonder who is in charge at the White House. Bush increasingly seems like a impudent child to me, more and more and the days drag by.

Even this week, when I hear Pelosi or Reid speak-out forcefully against BushCo, I still feel a little shock in my brain - have I grown so accustomed to not seeing adults behaving like adults in Congress that I am still shocked when I see it? I am the most jaded and cynical person I know and still it jolts me somehow.

Now when Congressional members of the GOP start doing it, something will truly be amiss.

P.S. It is also a total coincidence that this is post 666 on my blog... or is it really?



The first time I saw these bizarre photographs, I imagined an ad posted in the "Casual Encounters" section on craigslist: "Hi! I'm a bisexual, radioactively-enhanced Arachnid-American stud looking for freaky but open-minded humans. Let's have some hot 'n' sexy interspecies fun!"

From doing further research I learned they're posters for a safe sex campaign. (No, not in the United States, silly; it's in France. What's the chances of something this controversial and overtly sexual getting a green light here?) The subtext, of course, is: Be careful choosing your sexual partners because you never know what vermin you might pick up. Ewwwwww. O.K., maybe it's not subtle, but it's clever and I think it's sure as hell effective. Hey, whatever works. In spite of what disgraced hypocrites like Randall Tobias might think, Ignorance Isn't Bliss.

It's Deadly.

So don't forget those condoms, boys and girls.

Just leave the can of Raid at home.

Kicking the "war on terror" habit

I saw this headline a couple days ago while on a break at work, but didn't get a chance to look for the story until now. Thought this was worth sharing--from Time Magazine...

Edwards rejects the "War on Terror"

At last month's Democrat (sic) debate in South Carolina, moderator Brian Williams asked the eight candidates: "Show of hands question: Do you believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror?"

Senator Hillary Clinton's hand shot up. After hesitating noticeably, Senator Barack Obama joined her. Edwards did not, even though he has used the phrase himself and a policy paper on his Web site refers to "winning the war on terror." And now, in his first interview to explain his turnabout, Edwards tells TIME that he will no longer use what he views as "a Bush-created political phrase."

It's about bloody time. More like this, please, Dems? 'K thanx.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Me, I trust in seat belts

No impeachment? Why not?!!!

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What kills me is most Republicans in Congress today still think the impeachment of Bill Clinton was the right thing to do. Yet we cant muster the courage, political will, balls, the perfect press release to impeach George W. Bush.

If there EVER was a President in the history of America where a clear case for impeachment exists, it is George W. Bush.

But Kucinich is right, impeach Cheney first.


Predatory Payday Lending

That's the issue that B.R.E.A.D. (our local church based social justice group) is taking on at next week's meeting. According to George, our rector, this is the first issue the group has taken on where there are actually lobbyists working against us.

Unfortunately, because I'm working these 10-hour days this week, I don't have time to research and put together a good post about the issue.  Hopefully George will find the time to e-mail me the sermon he gave about this issue a couple weeks ago, because that was a good summary of what we're dealing with, and why it's important.

In the meantime, the Wikipedia page on payday loans has a good overview of some of the controversy around these businesses. There is also an overview on the Center for Responsible Lending web site and more information at Policy Matters Ohio.



Remember freak shows? For a quarter, voyeurs from small towns would eagerly gawk at the bearded lady, the World's Fattest Man, midgets, Siamese twins and Zippy the Pinhead.

"Oh wow, lookit that, Ma!"

"Not so loud, Timmy. It can hear you. Pass the popcorn."

But we've moved on from those barbaric times. We're civilized. Who goes to nasty old circuses now? That’s so twentieth century. Besides, why stare at physical deformities when it’s more fun to peel off a loser’s emotional scabs in front of everybody? Now that’s entertainment!

Today, the freak show comes to you.

Hey, isn't American Idol on tonight?

Oh, don't be fooled into thinking it's just a big and loud talent contest where bad singers disfigure good R&B/Rock 'n' Roll songs and induce migraines. No, it's a sleazy, lowbrow carnival where pop music's Axis of Evil gleefully crush the dreams of anyone foolish enough to step inside.

And how could you forget William Hung? Ick.

Is American Idol any worse than those daytime TV shows where you can watch the obese lesbian ex-nun having a incestuous relationship with her HIV+ step-brother who's in jail for stabbing their blind grandmother to death?

Sure it is. At least Jerry doesn't ask his victims to sing for their supper.

"Sweet Jesus, ain't she terrible? Sounds like somebody's torturing a cat, huh? Pass the popcorn."

And, of course, the noisy carnage drowns out a national dialog on topics like Iraq or rising gas prices or the sudden uselessness of the FDA. We're more interested in hearing about what Sanjaya's doing now. As Neal Postman wrote in Amusing Ourselves To Death, “Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.”

Hey, whatever happened to Clay what's-his-name?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

From the candidates

These links provided as a public service, because you shouldn't have to shop at Blogmart to hear from the candidates.

From the Obama campaign, by Joe Rospars: Our MySpace Experiment

From the Edwards' campaign, Watch the ad: We the people by Tracy Russo

From Fight the veto

He's not a candidate? We'll see. He certainly seems to be acting like one...

Please feel free to e-mail me at ohiorenee(at) if you see a post on a candidate blog that might be of general interest. A lot of us are not ready to support a candidate just yet, and don't care to be added to yet another mailing list, but, as politically active and aware citizens, would like to be kept up to date nonetheless.

Who will stand with Bush now?

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Yesterday, on the 4th Anniversary of "Mission Accomplished," Bush vetoed the military funding bill. In that bill was funding for safer Humvees, Walter Reed restoration, body armor and the list goes on and on.

It may have been my imagination, but Bush seemed even more cocky that usual - like his middle finger was pre-lubed. Also, during Nancy Pelosi's response speech, she seemed mad as hell. You could see the enriched anger in her face and hear it in her voice.

From Bush's speech of May 1:

The Democratic leaders know that many in Congress disagree with their approach and that there are not enough votes to override the veto. I recognize that many Democrats saw this bill as an opportunity to make a political statement about their opposition to the war. They sent their message, and now it is time to put politics behind us and support our troops with the funds they need.

Someone is out to lunch.

You mean the American people are making a political statement? Maybe we just want our soldiers back home from this unnecessary war, that you started by lying through you teeth to the American People.

This one kills me:

For example, Iraqi and coalition forces have closed down an al Qaeda car-bomb network, they've captured a Shi'a militia leader implicated in the kidnapping and killing of American soldiers, they've broken up a death squad that had terrorized hundreds of residents in a Baghdad neighborhood.

General Petraeus was confirmed by the Senate in January, so you are telling me in the past 4 months, we have closed down ONE car-bomb network, captured ONE Shi'a leader and busted ONE death squad?

That is your progress?

We made better progress in Vietnam.

Bring the troops home NOW.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Mr. Bush, your party is jumping ship without you.

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You are in trouble when George Will and William F. Buckley begin to think not only is Bush's foreign policy strategery flawed, but it is so horrid, it has the chance to sink the Republican Party back to where it was during the Great Depression.

George Will from ABC's This Week:

They do not want to have, as they had in 2006, another election on Iraq. George, it took 30, 40 years for the Republican Party to get out from under Herbert Hoover. People would say, "Are you going to vote for Nixon in '60?" "No, I don't like Hoover." The Depression haunted the Republican Party. This could be a foreign policy equivalent of the Depression, forfeiting the Republican advantage they've had since the '68 convention of the Democratic Party and the nomination of [George] McGovern. The advantage Republicans have had on national security matters may be forfeited.

And from Buckley's column (courtesy thesaurus link) :

The political problem of the Bush administration is grave, possibly beyond the point of rescue. The opinion polls are savagely decisive on the Iraq question. About 60% of Americans wish the war ended — wish at least a timetable for orderly withdrawal. What is going on in Congress is in the nature of accompaniment.

The vote in Congress is simply another salient in the war against war in Iraq. Republican forces, with a couple of exceptions, held fast against the Democrats' attempt to force Mr. Bush out of Iraq even if it required fiddling with the Constitution.

President Bush will veto the bill, of course, but its impact is critically important in the consolidation of public opinion. It can now accurately be said that the legislature, which writes the people's laws, opposes the war.

If Christopher Hitchens ever leaves the plantation, you might as well order the tombstone for the GOP.

It's May!

Click here for Alexandra Lynch's diary about Beltane.

Every time this month rolls around, without fail, I get this song in my head:

It's May! It's May!
The lusty month of May!...
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
Ev'ryone breaks.
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes!
The lusty month of May!

Couldn't find it on YouTube though. Phooey.

Still want some tunes, so I'm going with What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

Monday, April 30, 2007

How Wal-Mart Went Bad.

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Who would have thunk it?

Historically the Walpurgisnacht is derived from Pagan spring customs, where the arrival of spring was celebrated with bonfires at night. Viking fertility celebrations took place around February 25 and due to Walburga being declared a saint at that time of year, her name became associated with the celebrations. Walburga was honored in the same way that Vikings had celebrated spring and as they spread throughout Europe, the two dates became mixed together and created the Walpurgis Night celebration. The main mascot of Walpurgis Day is the witch.

But after the death of Sam Walton, the man who insisted every item in the store be made in America, the children, or shall I say, the spawns of Satan, took over. Once in their control, out goes the American merchandise and in comes all the crap from China. Then, and this is the sickening part, Wal-Mart puts on the bright and shiny face of doing well for America. It is the one corporation that reminds me of the Christian Fundamentalist movement here in America - they are so far from their founding roots they became the thing the preached against.

And with all Pagan holidays, the Vatican stepped in to ruin everything.

The festival is named after Saint Walburga (known in Scandinavia as "Valborg"; alternative forms are "Walpurgis", "Wealdburg", or "Valderburger"), born in Wessex in 710. She was a niece of Saint Boniface and, according to legend, a daughter to the Saxon prince St. Richard. Together with her brothers she travelled to Franconia, Germany, where she became a nun and lived in the convent of Heidenheim, which was founded by her brother Wunibald. Walburga died on 25 February 779 and that day still carries her name in the Traditional Catholic Calendar. However she was not made a saint until 1 May in the same year, and that day carries her name for example in the Finnish and Swedish calendar.

Allow me to finish up with a quote from the The Two Towers.

The fires of Isengard will spread. And the woods of Tuckborough and Buckland will burn. And... and all that was once green and good in this world will be gone.

- Meriadoc Brandybuck

Maybe (Maybe Not)

"I do not believe that the meaning of life is a puzzle to be solved.

"Life is. I am. Anything can happen.

"And I believe I may invest my life with meaning.

"The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise.

"If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.

"I believe that human freedom may be stated in one term, which serves as a little brick propping open the door of existence: Maybe."

--from Maybe (Maybe Not) by Robert Fulghum

Professor Stephen Hawking ("A Brief History of Time") floating in Zero-G, the one place in the world where his body is as free as his mind.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Randall's Karma Got Run Over By His Dogma

Call it bad luck, God turning a blind eye to your value, karma, or the indifference of a vast universe, but for some people life is always going to be uglier than it should be, while other people get a free ride. If you're a priest, Nazi war criminal, baseball player, cop, rapist, ex-bank teller or the President of The United States, it really doesn't matter. What happens to you, bad or good, has nothing to do with your merits as a human being.

But sometimes justice happens, even if it’s by accident.

Just ask Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, who resigned after it was discovered he was a frequent customer at an upscale escort service allegedly involved in prostitution. Wait, it gets better. Remember, Tobias was an abstinence-only zealot who was also the ambassador for the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief. Never mind unholy nonsense like sex education or condoms, just cross your legs and say a prayer.


Here are more details from ABC news via Think Progress:

ABC: Brian, I know you were the only reporter to talk to Tobias late this week before his resignation. What did you learn from him?

ROSS: Well, David, I talked to him one day before he resigned and told him that we had found his name and personal phone number on a list of clients of the so-called DC Madam’s escort service in Washington. And what he told me was that he in fact had been a customer of the service, but that he had not had sex. He had had what he called gals come over to his condo to give him a massage. He claimed there was no sex but that he was stunned by the fact that we were aware he was a client and that was his conversation. I asked him if he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza.

Oh, Mr. Tobias? See Mark Foley and Ted Haggard over there? Get in line, please.

rush to judgement

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
yes, we are too afraid to put him in blackface

cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

john amato at c&l is reporting that black employees of radio stations are pretty p.o.'d about limbaugh's "barack the magic negro" parody:

updated: rush limbaugh has angered many black employees over this parody song called "barack the magic negro" this isn't the first or the last time that limbaugh will go after obama's race...

i've been told that they have held meetings internally to deal with a ground swell of anger at rush because of this.

update: i've anonymously confirmed that stations around the country who carry the show are having concerns expressed by listeners and even their own workers of color about the obama parody, and the ensuing controversy in the media, and that respective managements are considering ways to address the matter with as little imus-like backlash as possible,..this is starting to boil over…
we hope it is starting to boil over. and you can help it along.

via antirepublican at the unfiltered news network forum (hat tip malmo blue commenting at c&l), here's a list of links to some of limbaugh's advertisers:

life lock
lumber liquidaators
laser sheild
cartridge world
quicken loans
barnes & noble
gold central
dollar imprint
big baby
big red consulting
constant contact
premier radio network
of course, the last one, premiere radio network, is actually rush's syndicator (don't mention that skippy used to work there in the 90's when you call!)

and, on prn online, a parody site of premiere (hat tip to wess commenting at c&l), here's a list of phone numbers of "some" of rush's advertisers:

autozone (901) 495-6500
bose wave radio 508-766-7781
mission pharmacal(makers of citracal) (800) 531-3333
general steel metal buildings 1-888-98-steel
hotwire discount travel 415-343-8444
lending tree (704) 541-5351
life quotes 1-800-670-5433
red lobster (407) 245-6546
select comfort 763-551-7460
mission pharmacal(makers of thera-gesic) (800) 531-3333 (801) 947-3100
remember, when calling, be polite and focused. ask the advertisers why they choose to continue to support someone who is patently racist. inform them you will no longer/never buy their products/services, and you will actively work to spread the word that they support racism on a national level.

No Love For The Gipper

I have never liked Ronald Reagan. I always thought-until the frat boy came along of course, that he was probably the worst President in the history of the Republic. I never bought into his phony ass cowboy persona, or his so called quick wit and great communications skills. To me, he was created by America's media, and his greatness was a figment of our imaginations, caused in part by a need to feel good about ourselves after the gloomy seventies."Mr Gorbachov tear down that wall" my ass, that wall was coming down with or without the "great communicator". And the hostages were coming home as well.Timing is everything in politics, and no one was luckier when it came to timing than the Gipper.

But all that's not why I despise the Gipper and everything he stood for. No, driving through South West Philly today-an area that is about as safe as a Baghdad market these days-I realized why I really despise the faux cowboy from California.Now I am not one who believes in conspiracies. I really think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, the World Trade Center was blown up by a bunch of crazed terrorist who call themselves Al Qaeda, and man really did land on the moon. But I do believe that the Reagan administration was indirectly responsible for the flow of crack cocaine that hit our urban areas in the eighties. See I believe that story by Gary Webb from the San Jose Mercury News, about the Reagan administration funding the Contra's and allowing them to flood the West Coast urban markets with crack cocaine. I do believe that they did it in order to fund the Contras as they-the Contras- attempted to over throw the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua. Why you say? Well it seems that the Sandinistas were Socialist in their thinking, and we just couldn't have another left leaning government in our back yard now could we. I mean who knows, before you know it we could have had another Cuba on our hands.So what did we do, we (Reagan and the CIA) allowed our cities to be flooded with a potent cheap form of high known as crack cocaine. This insidious drug, would eventually destroy the fabric of many of our urban areas, and our families for years to come. As a result of crack, we have lost an entire generation of African Americans. (Maybe two) If you don't believe me, take a trip to any inner city in America, and see how many grand parents are raising their grand children. Or, see how many homes have been abandoned and foreclosed on after grandma and grandpa died. Check out the rising prison populations and then check out the race, poverty level, and the background of most of the inmates there.

Every time I see that ex convict, Ollie North, on the FAKE NEWS NETWORK, I want to puke. I mean the nerve of him to even show his face in America after all the shit he did to destroy this country. Now the guy has his own show, does speaking tours, and is the darling of the conservative right. And they wonder why black folks will never come into their so called "big tent". It's because we are scared you will fold the tent up with us in it, and burn the mother fu***r, that's why we won't come in it. We don't trust you, and why should we? Because of your cowboy hero, our families and our communities are in crisis, and who knows when we will recover.I am driving past boarded up home after home. I still see the crack addicts doing their dawn of the dead walk, and the dealers with their nice whips, and their entourage. There isn't much open space or green, and when you do see them, they are filled with trash, bottles, and who knows what else. Yep, this neighborhood like so many others in Philly is fu***d up. It's like it's not even a part of America. Trust me, I have been through the ghettos in West Kingston, and this isn't much better.

But this is what happens when a government that is supposed to be looking out for its citizens abandon them. This is what happens when we get too cute and intellectual for our own good. (See Iraq) We worry about the spread of socialism in our back yard and the effects it will have on our country, while destroying a part of the very country that we are supposed to be looking out for in the first place.So now as America crumbles from within, we are stuck with yet another President that Americans tried to make great. Only this time we can't. We cant ignore the terrible job that he has done, and what a terrible cost we are paying for his phony ass war. Reagan was smart, he waged his little dirty war in a clandestine manner, and he made sure that the only people that would be hurt were poor African Americans in America's inner cities.Not so with this President; his f**k up is front and center for all to see, and most Americans ain't liking the picture. If this had been the Gipper, he would have sold it better. At least he can communicate, and he is a good actor. Just look at all the people that still love him and think he is great.

Jessie said he would rather have "Roosevelt in a wheel chair that Reagan on a horse". I don't know Jessie, I would have preferred if we never had Reagan at all.

Also posted at the field-negro blog.

Happy Birthday, Maryscott

Today is Maryscott O'Connor's birthday. In today's Open Thread, she reminds us all of something that I hadn't thought of for a while--that at the age of four...
My vocabulary wasn't quite so colourful as it is today; but it was already vastly superior to that of George W. Bush -- who was, if I am not mistook, at that very time engaged in avoiding the war he vocally supported that had taken my father's life three months prior to my birth, four years earlier.

Yes, while George drank and dawdled and debauched on some airbase in Alabama, I was a four year old girl, already reading beyond his capacity and fully comprehensive
of what he never would be: that war is hell, to be undertaken as a last resort -- and, should it be a necessary thing, an enterprise for men of courage and honour -- and that only cowards and liars and thieves applaud, encourage and escalate wars in which they will not fight themselves, but send others to die in their stead.

I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that Maryscott's father had died in Vietnam, but hadn't thought about that for a while. Clearly, many of us are anti-war, but thankfully most of us have not experienced that kind of loss as a direct result of war.

Thank you, Maryscott, for your voice. Kind of late to say this, but I hope your father is "somewhere cool". Wherever that is, he's gotta be proud of you. And I know for a fact that many, many people in this plane of existence sure are.