Thursday, December 30, 2004

Veruka touches a nerve...

in this post. I can see where she's coming from, and frankly, it happens so often that I have little or no reaction to it anymore. The 'it' I refer to is the msm bias toward whites. White tragedy, however small & insignificant in the larger scheme of things is more relevant to readers/viewers/audiences than some far away 'colored' people's tragedy. When you're poor and brown your life is hanging by a thread anyway & who wants to hear about that?

I really did appreciate when Ted Coppel apologized for his network's decision to put the story of the unfolding nightmare in Congo on the back burner for so long. I didn't think it was his fault entirely. The whole attitude is pervasive, so much so that most folks are probably like me- hardly even aware of it anymore.

Still, in this situation, I have to confess that it really is too huge for my comprehension. 114,000 dead? How am I supposed to comprehend that? I can intellectualize it, compare it to knowns in my daily life, but I can't really, can't deeply, can't honestly comprehend it.

And the numbers, the estimates keep going up. Exponentially.

I am in fatigue, tragedy fatigue. And I am so completely & utterly sick of those who are using this tragedy to complain about politicians', nations', and organizations' responses. This is a gigantic, staggeringly huge human tragedy & numbers, dollars can't possibly begin to define it.

And I have even heard of the small, whiny, petulant complaints about the president's public response. Perhaps he spent time in prayer on his ranch in Crawford, not publicly blathering about a horror of such magnitude. Perhaps more of us should do so.

Update: If you have the stomach for it, which I really don't, you might want to look at these photos posted by Jim at Right Thoughts. He wrestled with the decision whether or not to post these pictures of the reality of this tragedy. The photos show several dozen victims, maybe one hundred or so are visible. Multiply that.

Jim struggled with the decision whether to post these photographs, and ultimately decided to share with all some of the reality. Political posturing be damned.

Strong backs & shovels, backhoes & operators, clean water & some food. Then we can worry about houses & hotels. My God.

Newspapers suck ass, anyway.

I'm no tech savant, not by any stretch, but for a long time I have kept my brain working in a couple of ways. I love to read, and when I was a full-time-at-home mommy to a grade-school-aged son with autism and two baby girls in diapers, I would read the daily newspaper almost in its entirety every day. I would watch the network news daily. I would listen to radio news updates often. When I had time, I would check online for up to date information.

What would bug me occasionally is when I'd hear of something on the evening news, for example, and then after the kids were in bed I'd get a chance to go online hoping to find some updates. The next morning I'd look forward to getting the newspaper & a chance to read it while the kids ate their lunch- maybe there'd be some more in depth reporting of whatever event I was following.

As often as not, the morning paper would have pretty much what I'd read online after 9pm the night before. The last time the daily that I read in my town had anything interesting, it was when they published a huge excerpt from the Starr report. Yeah, it was a long time ago in newspaper time.

Lately, the paper has had more stupid errors than I've ever noticed before. Stories that have parts missing, the whole ending chopped off & nowhere to be found in the print version. Spelling, grammar and usage errors (my personal pet peeve). Directions to the continuation of a story that are wrong- maybe it's on page 10, maybe it's not, either way good luck finding it!

It almost feels like they're not really trying all that hard anymore to put out a decent print paper everyday. Cut & paste a few stories from the wire services, poorly edit a few stories from local sources, continually mess around with the layout of inner sections, improvements they say, messing around with layout to cover up the lack of substance I say, allow a couple of whiny columnists to piss & complain about pretty much the majority of their own readership & anbody who dares to put out an alternative to their print whining.

I linked to Powerline. In a recent Minneapolis StarTribune edition, one of their columnists printed a whole column pissing & whining about Powerline blog. I found it laughable. It read as though the man was really feeling threatened by a few smart guys who dare to tread into his domain- blabbing about issues & world events. What he meant was that he's mad at them because they questioned Dan Rather's reporting & led the charge that showed it to be a fraud & a lie & uncovered sloppiness at best & a hateful, lying, political agenda at worst, and therefore may cast doubt on all reporters & their reporting. And he's mad at people who use other sources to find out information. Those other sources are wrong, the newspaper/tv news/msm is right, and damnit people are stupid if they believe otherwise.

I blog & read blogs because I enjoy it. I like to have this outlet to rant, I like to read other people's rants. I like to find out information from other perspectives than my own. I like that many of the blogs I read contain opinion, but also links, often several, to different sources of info about the issue the blogger is writing about. I like that others will, through their blogs, share information I would otherwise not have access to- mostly because I'm too lazy to dig around & find it for myself.

That Minneapolis StarTribune columnist is not the first to piss & complain about bloggers in general, Powerline blog in particular. I think that they should clean their own house first, make sure their mid-market daily rag is top notch, then they can worry about the "competition."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

All in all, good times were had...

Things could be better, and of course, they could be worse.

Spouse helped our autistic eldest, our son, to give me the cd-clock-radio I expressly told him I wanted for Christmas. Spouse chose a 'nature sounds' cd, too. Used it this am to wake for work.

Nicest wake up I've had in a while.

Beats the barking dog, the splitting headache, the yelling kid...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The entire editorial staff of the Minneapolis StarTribune appears to be heading toward suicide.

Seasonal use of Prozac might be appropriate in this case.

Editorial: Solstice/Doesn't it seem darker this year?
December 21, 2004

...the darkness has seemed somehow darker as it swallows streaming taillights and enforces the boundaries of streetlamp pools... the dark has seemed to linger not just longer but more heavily in the low spots, and under the shrubs.

This editorial then launches into a couple of paragraphs lumping everyone into their malaise. It's political, they say, and we are all suffering.

Speak for yourselves, guys.

No matter which presidential candidate you favored, that campaign was like six months of rotten weather

Only for the losers. Some of us found it exhilarating. At least interesting.

No matter how you feel about the justifications for war in Iraq, almost every day demonstrates a steady, downward progress.

Get over yourself. Nobody loves war. Nobody wants to go to war. And nobody sits around relishing the blood. Except our enemies.

No matter your niche in this economy, it seems to be tottering like Humpty Dumpty.

And the wobbling started well before our president took office. The first time. The economy is cyclical.

And then they call us all stupid: matter what side you take on any of these questions, really, you can't help but note the fading of informed expression...

Now they try to explain their funk:

Perhaps this general retreat from reason enhances susceptibility to the influences of seasons and solar cycles.

Try the Prozac. And go outside once in a while.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Klebolds, the Harrises, and the movie '13'...

Parents don't really know what their kids are doing. Period. A parent may think they have a great relationship with their child, and may very well have such a relationship, but still not know everything in their child's mind or all of their child's activities. Period.

In the case of the child portrayed in the movie 13, the parent may even have a 'good' kid yet still not be fully aware once things start going frighteningly wrong. Or the kid may be basically 'good'- minds at home, up on schoolwork, no major complaints, but using drugs, or fucking somebody or God knows what.

Or the kid could be a Klebold or a Harris, or any one of the lethal youth we have heard of in the US in recent years. Just speculation, of course, but in a case like that the parent may know their kid is weird, may be aware of strange ideas the kid has, freaky hobbies- but not know when or if any of that will turn into actions. Or what those actions will be.

Or the parent of a child who commits suicide. They may know their kid is depressed, they may even be aware of some of the child's unpleasant thoughts, but how can they know when that moment will come?

How can a parent do what a parent is supposed to do, rear the child toward independence, allow & encourage the child to develop a sense of self, yet still somehow control or manipulate all of the child's actions? Sometimes basically decent folks love their kids and do their best but something still goes terribly wrong.

This subject was on my mind today. It seems that society wants so badly for someone to blame. It must be the parents, it must be the upbringing. I hate it when parents of suspected criminals are trotted out in the media, almost all of them saying what a good kid their kid was/is & that they can't believe their child could do something like this. I always think to myself that they don't really know what they are talking about, or who.

And that is how it should be.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Abortion. Women. Children. Men.

My opinions on these subjects have changed over the years.

I used to think that I favored choice, that women should be able to choose whether to have a baby even once they were pregnant.

I thought this even though I had, at 18, dropped my childhood best friend because I was so uncomfortable with her confession to having an abortion at 20 weeks gestation.

20 weeks.

She told me they induced labor for her to deliver the baby vaginally, and I hope, dead already. She complained about having to go through the pain of labor. She said she couldn't stand seeing herself get bigger and bigger. She said 'it' was a little boy.

When faced with my own unplanned pregnancy, I did not want to inform the father. It was none of his business, I felt. I was the one with the uterus, so I was the one carrying the responsibility. How screwed up I was.

I didn't want to have a baby then, but I didn't want to have an abortion even more than that. I didn't want to kill an innocent person, my child, just because I was to stupid to keep my panties on.

Perhaps in a place & time when a woman had a defined role and function in her society, unplanned babies were likely not killed at the rate they are killed now. Fathers provided for their children and their children's mothers. Mothers cared for their children and maintained a home for the family. They also contributed in other ways to the family's economic well-being. (I know that I am generalizing and that many families had two parents working or not or mom working for whatever reason.)

Recently I had an unpleasant thought occur to me. I should not have had children if I could not provide for them myself. Which is not to say that I should have chosen to kill my children prior to their births, but that I should not have gotten pregnant in the first place. I think that I live in a time & in a society where a woman can't count on having a provider for her children.

I fear that I live in a society where a woman is actually encouraged to not have a provider for her children, other than herself. Society lies and tells women & children that they do not need men. With an income and a babysitter, dad is unneccessary.

What bothers me, I think, is that of the likely many factors contributing to that atmosphere, a large part of it is women's fault. By denigrating motherhood, devaluing marriage, and bashing normal men, women are ultimately hurting women, and helpless children.

It sickens me to read stuff like what Logic Monkey scrounges from the dumb. It sickens me to read stuff like what J. Mitchard wrote in a recent column. I simply can't think of an excuse to justify killing a baby. Not one. It sickens me be surrounded by so many folks who apparently think it is okay.

(Okay, maybe if the baby is Damian & you actually saw the jackal giving birth...)

Thought this was funny.

You might think so too.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"...there aren't a lot of completely satisfactory answers when you're fighting a war"

David Reinhard, Newhouse News Service December 16, 2004:
"That is the way war and insurgencies and combat operate," Rumsfeld added. "You go in, you have an enemy with a brain that does things, and then you make adjustments. Does everything happen instantaneously as the brain in the enemy sees things and makes changes? No, it doesn't happen instantaneously."

I'm really exhausted today, and I guess I am also sick of hearing from 'armchair generals' who think they know how to run a war. The situation in Iraq sucks. No doubt. Each life lost is a tragedy. War is ugly, messy, painful, and bloody. But anyone who thinks the US could just perk along forever without ever entering into another war is living in a dreamworld.

Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Edward Lee Pitts planted Spc. Thomas Wilson's question to Rumsfeld. Just when you think you've witnessed a frank and useful -- almost All-American -- exchange between soldier and secretary, the story's aftershocks hit. Not only was the Pitts/Wilson question a setup, but Rumsfeld's critics used the occasion for their ritualistic bashing of the secretary.

Rumsfeld explained that last month he ordered that armored Humvees guarding the Pentagon be sent to Iraq. The military was acquiring 450 armored Humvees a month -- up from 15 a month in the fall of 2003 when insurgents began using roadside bombs. It has 6,000 of the 8,000 up-armored Humvees needed.

In brief, the military was addressing this before the Pitts/Wilson question.

You can read this guy's whole opinion piece here, if you like.

Unless you have something better to do right now.

Like take a nap.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Acidman & Steve

This post at Hog got me thinking. Steve links to Acidman in his post & those opinions got me thinking, too.

After thinking about it & sleeping on it, I think that the last 30 or so years in the US have ruined man/woman relationships. I think that guys with opinions like Acidman's & Steve's are not so rare because in order for women to become 'empowered' they had to break men.

It is sad, because I don't think it had to be this way.

Oh, and I have bigger boobs than Acid's whore.

Not that size matters.

Warm thoughts...

Cause it's cold as h*** here.

Tony shares a loving memory.

We've had similar moments with our girls- 9 and 10 now. They sometimes take the fun out of it, though, cause they're smarter than me.

Tony sounds like a great dad. Every little girl should have one.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Mob justice.

Better watch yourself.

"[T]hey're really the most rubbishy poems on Earth"

"Even I could write poems in English better than he could in Arabic.'' Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie told The Associated Press.

Gardening, exercising, reading, writing a novel & poetry. Tough life for Saddam H. Why is prison like a freaking spa? Hell, I should kill somebody.

At least my poetry is better than his.

Realists are red
Idiots are blue
Get over yourself
No one's listening to you

Friday, December 10, 2004

The name of this blog...

In looking for a link to help clarify, I found that I've been spelling the word wrong all along. I'll try to fix that.

I've an album, an lp, a record, vinyl- that is a recording of The Choir of King's College at Cambridge performing Gregorio Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus.

You may be able to listen to it here.

I was given the recording when I was about 7, from our family friend who was then an Orthodox priest. It is a hauntingly beautiful piece, that has spoken both to me and for me since I was a small child.

Have mercy.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

This is an "aww" story if you're a dog lover...

...or a "what a wuss" story if you're not.

This a.m. I heard on the local news that a vet clinic in Alexandria, MN had blown up due to some city gas leak. 6 animals inside, some there overnight for observation or whatever were killed. Owners had to be called.

I've had a rough few weeks & must have some defenses down, cause it made me tear up a teeny bit. (Not too much, spouse was up & he is merciless.)

My black dog came over & put her little head in my lap. Sigh.

"The dog has been taken off duty pending an investigation."

Star Tribune December 9, 2004 A Minneapolis man wandered naked through residential streets on the city's south side and fought with police before being bitten in the genitals by a police dog and subdued with the use of a Taser gun, officials said Wednesday.

My question is, what on God's green earth will that investigation involve?

Unless they're waiting to see of the dog passes the penis...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

They didn't even put it as nicely as Norm did...

when several more senators called for Annan's resignation.

"To me the question should not be whether Kofi Annan should remain in charge," said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J. "The question is whether he should be in jail."


Joe Lieberman, your own personal Willie Wonka.

No particular reason for that association, that's just the image that came to mind when I read this.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Mark Dayton will travel to Iraq in a separate trip organized by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.

So glad that Mark Dayton found someone to wipe his nose, dry his tears, take his hand, and let him play.

On the trip, Dayton also will stop in Israel and Jordan.

Potty breaks.

No specific dates were announced.

I'm sure he & Lieberman will bring much good will and shiny happy thoughts to the Iraqi people when they visit there... whenever.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My head is going to explode.

So much to say & no way to say it! Thanks blogspot!

I'm off to clean up the mess.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Senator Coleman, on the other hand...

Coleman says Kofi Annan should quit

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Norm Coleman urged U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday to resign because of a scandal involving the U.N.'s oil-for-food program.

Coleman said that... Annan should resign because "the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch."

Annan's son received reimbursements for health insurance coverage through June of this year from a Swiss inspection company that is being investigated for alleged fraud and abuses in the program. On Monday, the United Nations confirmed that Kojo Annan received nearly $2,500 a month after leaving the company, payments that did not cease until February 2004.

Guess the cookie don't crumble too far from the tree.

"Dayton's requests to go to Iraq are denied"

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Mark Dayton wants to make a return trip to Iraq. [He] visited Iraq with the the Senate Armed Services Committee committee in July 2003. Dayton, a member of the committee, speculated that his request was denied because he has criticized President Bush's handling of the war.

Or maybe because he's nuts.

John Ullyot, spokesman for the committee, declined to respond to Dayton's comments or to give a reason for the committee denying Dayton's request.

Low, gentle tone of voice, no sudden movements, ease him into the restraints...

After not being invited on the committee's trip, Dayton wrote a tear stained letter to chairman Sen. John Warner, R-Va., asking to be included. His request was denied without a reason, Dayton said.

We just don't want you there, loser.

I understand that Sen. Dayton is now curled up in a corner, sucking his thumb & working on his upcoming reelection campaign. I think he'll appeal to the pathetic whiny weenie lobby. He has nothing substantive to add to any discussion of the Iraq situation, or their upcoming elections, so there is no valid reason for him to go this time.

Get off Target's back & get out your damn plastic.

In 1946, Target Corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, became a founding member of the "Five Percent Club," a landmark movement encouraging U.S. corporations to commit five percent of federally taxable income to support community nonprofits. As a result of our commitment to sustained community giving, the Target Foundation was established.

In keeping with our strong tradition of giving, Target Corporation will give over $2 million every single week to the communities we serve.

This is in addition to supporting the United Way, the Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, community based organizations serving the areas where individual Target stores are located, and The Salvation Freaking Army.

Target shoppers using their store credit cards can designate a portion of their receipts to go to the school of their choice- the school will get a check from Target based on the amount shoppers spend who designate the school of their choice. My kids' school does this.

Target gives. You can find bellringers elsewhere. You can look up the SA yourself & call & ask where to send a check. You can get off your ass & volunteer your time as well, rather than smugly feel good about the couple of bucks you stuff in the bucket one month a year.

Maybe some of Target's merchandise is priced a little higher than other discount department stores or other grocers, maybe they are a little pretentious with some of their clothing lines, but they do give. It is a corporation that makes & gives money.

Minneapolis Star Tribune December 2, 2004
The American Family Association, a Christian activist group based in Tupelo, Miss., this week sent an "action alert" to more than 2.2 million people on its mailing list, alerting them to Target's decision.
While not calling for a boycott of Target, the association asked its members to consider shopping at retailers that support the Salvation Army -- such as Target's chief rival, Wal-Mart, which allows bell-ringers at its stores as an exception to its own no-solicitation policy.

I italicized a couple of phrases in the above passage. "Christian activist group?" War, hunger, violence, terrorism... and this is all they got? Shopping?

And there is a reason my father's family left Mississippi. Let's just leave it at that.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Bonecrusher is one fat f***er.

When I'm angry, which seems to be alot lately, I like to listen to his "I ain't never scared."

Saw him on the Source awards, I think, last night. Don't know if it was rebroadcast or what- was flipping channels, saw what looked like a black music awards show & decided to see if a fight wanted to break out.

He's a big'un.

With that belly his name refers to chicken bones and pelvic bones, I suppose.