Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goodbye, Molly

We've lost another Texas Rose.
A Tribute to Molly Ivins is here.
Her last column, Stand Up Against the Surge, is here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lavender Dawn's blog is fun. (She's very talented and she designed my blog's template, btw.) Anway, she talked today about discovering the Urban Dictionary, and while browsing therein, she came across the definition(s) of e-penis. E-penis! I had never ever heard that term before in my life. I love it.

You know who I immediately thought of? Old Horsetail Snake! Hoss posts every day (well, he did until he re-met up with the gal who evidently never forgot his, um, bio-penis.) His posts usually have an outrageous cartoon, and the jokes should come with a coffee-spit-take warning, PLUS he offers a very funny and creative Word of the Day. He has a large and loyal following here in the Blogosphere, as he deserves. I mean, most of us just can't go a day without a Hoss fix. So yes, I immediately thought: Hey, Hoss has a huge e-penis!

Then I got to thinking about other people with huge e-penae. Naturally, Stephen Colbert came immediately to mind. Surely that goes without further comment.
And Hillary Clinton, after I read this article. The gal has cajones:
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Iowa on Sunday President George W Bush should find a way out of Iraq before he leaves office and called it “the height of irresponsibility” to leave the problem to the next administration.
Who would you include in the e-penis top ten?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Another Savior Bites the Dust

Iraqi cult leader killed in Najaf battle
Some highlights from the article (copyright Reuters):

The leader of an Iraqi cult who claimed to be the Mahdi, a messiah-like figure in Islam, was killed in a battle on Sunday near Najaf with hundreds of his followers, Iraq's national security minister said on Monday.

Women and children who joined 600-700 of his "Soldiers of Heaven" on the outskirts of the Shi'ite holy city may be among the casualties, Shirwan al-Waeli told Reuters. All those people not killed were in detention, many of them wounded.

These "Soldiers of Heaven" are not to be confused with our own homegrown "Soldiers of God," "Army of God," or "Soldiers of Christ."

Global Warming Climate Change

Experts slam upcoming global warming report (article copyright AP)
When I first saw this headline I thought, oh great, more "experts" in denial about this. But the article is about real experts "slamming" the upcoming report because it is "a sugar-coated version." They are saying it doesn't accurately reflect the extent of rising water levels and higher temperatures. A couple of excerpts:

Those calculations don't include the recent, and dramatic, melt-off of big ice sheets in two crucial locations:

They "don't take into account the gorillas -- Greenland and Antarctica," said Ohio State University earth sciences professor Lonnie Thompson, a polar ice specialist. "I think there are unpleasant surprises as we move into the 21st century."

In the past, the climate change panel didn't figure there would be large melt of ice in west Antarctica and Greenland this century and didn't factor it into the

They didn't figure in these large melts because they didn't think those would happen this century. We are only in January of the seventh year of this century, and it has already happened. I don't think this is good, people.

At our writers' group last week, it was unanimous: what I submitted for critique was "much better than last time." What I submitted this time was a chapter I started on NaDruWriNi. True, I finished the chapter stone cold sober after the group's suggestions that I needed to put in another plot twist at this point, you know, like kill someone else or something. So. For all you aspiring writers out there, remember: start drunk and listen to your critique group!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Supporting Our Troops

Supporting our troops means not sending them into harm's way based on lies, keeping them there based on more lies, in insufficient numbers to keep them safe, without an exit strategy, without a plan to secure the peace, and ignoring all evidence that a military solution is no longer an option.
True patriotism means speaking up, loudly and until you are heard, especially when the government is wrong. That is why this country was founded.

Friday, January 26, 2007

News Flash

Thanks to Dr. Deb's suggestion, Scruffybutt has launched an impeachment movement! Check it out.

Oh, No, You Don't

Is this slick or what?

The Administration's illegal domestic wiretaps were ruled unconstitutional in Federal court, so Bushco appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (next stop, the Supreme Court.) Now, it seems they're waking up to the reality that what they did really was illegal and that they aren't likely to get away with it.

So they thought and thought: what to do, what to do? Ah! They appointed a (secret) special court to oversee the wiretapping, reversing a decision they defended for over a year, and now seek to dismiss their appeal, telling the Court that hey, we've got oversight now, so ... nevermind.

They told the new Congress that the oversight problem is fixed now, too, so no need to worry about it. Only problem is, they refuse to give any information whatsoever about this supposed impartial special oversight court.

Read the details here: Justice wants spying lawsuit dropped

Oh, and just in case they ever do get indicted for doing anything illegal, they've already taken steps to stack the deck in their favor. The Attorney General recently fired several liberal Federal judges and replaced them with judges more sympathetic to the Administration. This was done suddenly and without explanation. Well, you say, that's not a problem because those replacements have to be approved by Congress, right? Wrong. Dick Cheney removed that pesky little requirement by tacking on a last-minute earmark to a bill that had nothing to do with domestic spying.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I've just spent at least an hour perusing this website: Boomer Girl. I even bookmarked it.

Help me.

Moonies Publish False Reports About Obama

Although it isn't mentioned in the following report by CNN, note that Insight Magazine, which is owned by the same company as The Washington Times, is the source of the vicious email I told you about in my previous post. For those who don't know, The Washington Times is owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church(click for history.) Rev. Moon said on its 20th anniversary: "I founded The Washington Times as an expression of my love for America and to fulfill the Will of God, who seeks to establish America in His Providence."

CNN debunks false report about Obama
You can click on the title to get links to videos of CNN's story, or read the article here:

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Allegations that Sen. Barack Obama was educated in a radical Muslim school known as a "madrassa" are not accurate, according to CNN reporting.

Insight Magazine, which is owned by the same company as The Washington Times, reported on its Web site last week that associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, had unearthed information the Illinois Democrat and likely presidential candidate attended a Muslim religious school known for teaching the most fundamentalist form of Islam.

Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, from 1967 to 1971, with his mother and stepfather and has acknowledged attending a Muslim school, but an aide said it was not a madrassa. (Watch video of Obama's school )

Insight attributed the information in its article to an unnamed source, who said it was discovered by "researchers connected to Senator Clinton." A spokesman for Clinton, who is also weighing a White House bid, denied that the campaign was the source of the Obama claim.
He called the story "an obvious right-wing hit job."

Insight stood by its story in a response posted on its Web site Monday afternoon.
The Insight article was cited several times Friday on Fox News and was also referenced by the New York Post, The Glenn Beck program on CNN Headline News and a number of political blogs. (Watch how the Obama "gossip" spread )

School not a madrassaBut reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.

He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.
"This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

"I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the "Situation Room" Monday. "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."

Vause also interviewed one of Obama's Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama's political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, "and are seeking to prove it."

"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."

The Obama aide described Fox News' broadcasting of the Insight story "appallingly irresponsible."

Fox News executive Bill Shine told CNN "Reliable Sources" anchor Howard Kurtz that some of the network's hosts were simply expressing their opinions and repeatedly cited Insight as the source of the allegations.

Obama has noted in his two books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," that he spent two years in a Muslim school and another two years in a Catholic school while living in Indonesia from age 6 to 10.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And So It Begins

Sigh. Another urban legend is born:

There is a vicious email going around stating that Barack Obama is a "stealth Muslim." No, wait - a Black stealth Muslim - even scarier.

Here are links to versions of the email and analyses by Snopes and About.

If you happen to receive one of these emails, try sending these links back to whoever sent it to you. Might help; won't hurt.

And stay tuned. These will probably get even worse.

Thanks. (Special thanks to Dawn)

P.S. Of course the good news is, this shows that the opposition has been forced to take the Senator's growing popularity seriously, and that they are desperate to try to stop him.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A President Under Siege

He's facing very strong, vocal opposition from his opponents, but now even members of his own party are renouncing his stubborn stay-the-course rhetoric and dangerous policies. The public is resentful over the vast sums of government money he's made available to companies owned by his political cronies, while he can't seem to find a way to help his own people. He turns a deaf ear to all criticism because he believes that he answers to a Higher Authority. Yes, you guessed it - I am speaking, of course, about a President under siege: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, so much in the news of late. (Links here and here.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Not Again/Never Again

Not again. Yesterday I heard a reporter refer to the O. J. Simpson proceeding as the "trial of the century." I don't mean to minimize Simpson's crime, and I have the deepest respect and sympathy for the Goldmans, the Browns, and the Simpson children. However, the Simpson trial was a farce permitted and orchestrated by a judge and a defense attorney who wanted to put on a show for the media, had a famous but narcissistic cold-blooded murderer, an incompetent prosecution team, and a jury with an agenda. It was a circus-like phenonmenon that captured the world's attention for a while because it was, apparently, the most entertaining thing on television at the time. But it was in no way the "trial of the century."

Nuremberg was the trial of the century.

The Holocaust occurred in the same century. The horror of that and the significance of the subsequent trials at Nuremberg will continue to impact our world for all time. Just a little historical perspective here, please!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"How hungry we all are for a different kind of politics"

Sen. Barack Obama announced the formation of an exploratory committee - the first step in his run for the Presidency.

Watch the video here.

A couple of highlights from the text:

I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. But as I've spoken to many of you in my travels across the states these past few months, as I've read your emails and read your letters, I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.


But challenging as they are, it's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics. America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions.

Tell Us Tuesday #12

When getting dressed, do you go:
sock, sock, shoe, shoe
sock shoe, sock shoe?

Celebrity fued:
The Donald?

Is your toilet paper roll:
over (the correct way)

Is your top sheet:
pattern side up
pattern side down?

Are you a:
cat person
dog person?

Men only:

Women only:



At the grocery store:

When blog surfing do you:
leave a comment
just lurk?

Q & As on blogs:


Monday, January 15, 2007

Or ...

For sunny days, I could get a "puppy purse" for Scruffybutt - that way, I just carry her, like a purse!

This one's called "Barkingham Pink," from Doggie Vogue.


I'm re-running what I posted last year about MLK Day. Not much has changed.

[From Archives: Monday, January 16, 2006]

Happy MLK Day?

I'm old enough to remember Dr. King. I saw him on television and read about him in the newspaper. I heard my parents and others around me talk about him. Sometimes what I saw and read and heard was ugly. I knew those people were wrong about him. Having heard and read his words, I knew in my heart that this was a good man.

He was assassinated in 1968. He was only 39. My friends and I mourned for days.Now, 38 years later, there are parades and most people get a day off work. The message of this good man is buried under feel-good hype about "how far we've come" in race relations in this country. Dr. King was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. He went to India to study methods of peaceful, non-violent resistance. He said it was our moral duty to disobey unjust laws. He was an anti-war activist.

The President of the United States is wiretapping citizens without a warrant, violating the civil rights of every American. None of the so-called justifications for the war in Iraq has passed the smell test. Violent gangs have taken over the poorest parts of our major cities. Four white teenagers in South Carolina just copped a plea deal for beating and attempting to lynch a Black teenager. The Federal hate-crime law was not invoked.

Why are we celebrating? What are we celebrating?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Scruffybutt in Raincoat Tags Katycat's Bleen

... or something like that. I hate coming up with titles for my posts, which is why I've been experimenting with omitting the dang things lately. Read on, and the title becomes clear, I think:

First, Cynthia suggested that Scruffybutt needs a raincoat. I looked for one online because I haven't run across any in the stores. Here's one that will look great on her (Scruffybutt, not Cynthia):

This is from DoggieVogue. I'll order the pink one, of course. For some reason, people always think Scruffybutt is a male. That's why I stopped buying generic-looking sweaters and started putting her in little girly-looking things. Some people still refer to her as a "he." When her groomer did that, I should have given up, I guess.

Next, Pooks tagged me for a book meme. Here it is

You do this:

1) Find the nearest book
2) Open to page 123
3) Type lines 6-8 of said book
4) Tag three others

So here goes:

" ... things as the bar codes used in food stores. Yeah, no kidding! They really are that nuts, and they are armed and extremely dangerous."
from Baubles of Blasphemy
by Edwin F. Kagin

I tag Cynthia, Garnie, and Dawn.

Thirdly, Katycat ran through here chasing another bleen while I was trying to come up with a title for this post. Hey, whatever works.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I wish you could have seen us this morning, Scruffybutt and me. It's cold and raining, turning to freezing ice later today, so I decided we should go walkies early. I bundled up in my coat, warmly lined, rainproof , black with a hood and all kinds of zippered compartments and cinch-thingies for the cuffs and the hood, the one I got for our first trip to London. That has nothing to do with anything, but I'm just trying to give you a visual.

Scruffybutt was in her pink and black sweater, the one shown on her blog, but which is kind of tattered and worn out now- it's great for keeping her warm and keeping the mud splatters off of her. To complete this picture, you must see me carrying a black umbrella. Over her. See, my hoodie kept the rain of off me, but that little pink sweater isn't waterproof, so ... what was I to do? The tricky part was keeping the umbrella over her while holding her leash and picking up her poop.

No wait, the really tricky part was getting her out the door in the first place. This dog does not do rain or cold. I have to nudge her hind end with my foot and pull on the leash at the same time to make her go through the door. She hates getting her feet wet, so she does this spastic little shaky-feet dance. When a gust of cold wind gets on her face, she shakes her head and growls. It was pretty funny. You should have seen us.

We're expecting an ice storm, with downed trees and power lines over the weekend and on into Tuesday. The last time we had a serious ice storm was over thirty years ago. Shut the whole city down, not just because of the icy roads, but because trees were blocking the streets. I was living in an apartment back then and was one of the lucky ones because my side of the block didn't lose power.

This time, I'm living in a house heated by gas, so even if the power goes off, we should be fine. It's going to be awfully hard on a lot of other folks, though.

Poor Tomcat - this is the one day of the year that he has to go in all day on a Saturday - some kind of annual conference-thingy that they do. Why, oh why, did they schedule this on the opening Stock Show Weekend!? For those of you who are not from around these parts, the annual Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo ushers in the coldest, nastiest weather of the year, just as surely as the Annual Byron Nelson Golf Tournament brings us the Spring monsoons.

Well, now that Scruffybutt and I have had our walk, I'm going to spend the day writing, even if I have to do it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper by candlelight. Stay safe and warm, everyone.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Have you noticed that Prophets George Bush and Pat Robertson's god has either a lousy track record for accuracy or a very warped sense of humor?

Bush's messianic complex got us into this Iraq war quagmire, and every outcome he's predicted so far has failed.

Pat Robertson's latest, "God told me of mass killing late in 2007. I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear. The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that," is stunningly vague, isn't it? At least Bush's prophecy that our troops would be greeted with flowers and candy on the road to Bagdhad was specific (though wrong, of course.)

A few more of Robertson's prophecies:

He predicted in January 2004 that Bush would "easily" win re-election. In fact, Bush received only 51 percent of the popular vote.

In 2005, he said Bush "would have victory after victory in his second term."

God told him last May that "storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America's coastline in 2006."

Did anyone else notice that Bush used the words "mass killing" in his speech the other night?

Just wondering.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I watched Bush last night. "Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned," he said, "deadly acts of violence will continue. And we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties. The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will." In other words, more of his tragic, failed stay-the-course nonsense. Remember, just ten weeks ago, Bush was telling us that "we are winning in Iraq."

Bush continues to obstinately ignore the political reality that if there is to be a democracy in Iraq, the Shia and the Sunnis are going to have to figure out a way to work together. He continues to overlook the fact that the Iraqi Prime Minister's power came from 30 Sadr militia votes, the very people Bush tells us Maliki will send his army against, side-by-side with American troops. (Can you say double-cross? Hostage situation? Bloodbath?)

Bush, still trying to tie this war with the "war on terror," warns us about the danger of an al qaeda stronghold in Iraq, neglecting to mention that he created this situation in the first place. Al qaeda never set foot in Iraq until Bush invaded that sovereign country.

There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein, who "tried to kill my [Bush's] Daddy," is dead.

Bush wants to help Iraq rebuild its infrastructure, which was intact before he invaded. Speaking of infrastructure, New Orleans is in shambles, yet Bush is building a state-of-the-art, self-contained embassy in Iraq that is larger than Vatican City.

Despite all evidence, Bush continues to tie this war with 9/11. He had our full support, and indeed the support of most of the world, when he sent our troops against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Remember that? Now the Taliban is regaining its strength, Osama is still at large, the goodwill we enjoyed after 9/11 from other nations has been destroyed, and Bush is losing support even within his own party. Nice going.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Did you ever stay up late, then oversleep the next morning, and then you wake up, look at the clock, but before you can say "OMG" you realize you absolutely positively have to get to the bathroom or else, and then while you're in there, the phone rings, and they don't leave a message, so then you wonder who the hell called you at that precisely inconvenient moment in time instead of earlier, when you needed to be awakened and weren't in the bathroom? Me neither.

I'm glad I'm married to a man who, while we're stopping by the store for ice cream cones, will pick up a package of little catnip mousie toys, then come home and gleefully hide them all around the house for Katycat to find on her nightly hunt.

And who also makes Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream cones for us every night.

Are you going to watch Bush tonight? Me neither.
Actually, I'm going to get the details later on CNN and then email Senator Cornyn (Tex.), who was on CNN yesterday trying to sound supportive of Bush's plan even though he admitted it was a long shot. (That's a gambling term, only he's gambling with lives.)

Tomcat and I choose a book every once in while to read together, and this time it was Hannibal Rising, Thomas Harris' prequel to Silence of the Lambs. It was excellent, as one would expect from Harris. One of the members of my writers' group has a wonderfully evil character in the novel he's writing, and last week we critiqued a chapter which delved into the character's childhood. I mentioned to him that he might want to read Hannibal Rising for comparison. We all had an interesting discussion about whether a chapter like this was even necessary. One member said that kind of evil cannot be justified. But I don't think either my critique group friend or Thomas Harris was trying to "justify" their characters' action. It was just interesting to read about the events that led the characters to express their inherent evil in a certain way. ("Evil" meaning "sociopathy.")

My friend Grace, the artist's, daughter turned 14 yesterday. This is not happening. She is wearing makeup. She has her hair highlighted with red and yellow. Red and yellow as in primary colors red and yellow. That's because her father won't let her get blue and purple highlights. This is not happening, either, because in our g-g-g-generation, hair was a huge issue that we used to upset our parents, and now this man is saying okay to red and yellow, but getting upset and putting his foot down at blue and purple. Dear Boomers, don't you remember what we all used to say? IT'S JUST HAIR! But then, as someone once pointed out (I don't remember who), if you remember the 60s, you weren't really there.

That's all for now. Oh, if you ever call me and don't get an answer? Leave a frickin message already.

Friday, January 05, 2007

When in doubt, kill someone

I'm enjoying our writers' group so much. This week, I didn't submit anything on my WIP, Gino's Law, because everything I've written on it so far has already been critiqued. Instead, I brought my blueprint, which is a 36" x 28" piece of brown drycleaners' paper with the three-act story mapped out in pencil, complete with the turning points and a timeline at the bottom.

I'm just past the Midpoint, and I've hit a wall. The scenes I had planned for this part of the story don't seem very exciting, and I suppose that's why I've been doing everything I can to avoid writing them - you know, like organizing dresser drawers, working a jigsaw puzzle, and surfing.

When I unrolled the blueprint and asked for help, the immediate response from one member was "Kill another character." Another person said, "Have Gino set a trap for the killer." And another's suggestion was to have Gino accidentally kill someone while he's trying to find out who set him up for murder." God, I love these people.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Um, ?

Miers resigns as White House counsel

Asked why she was leaving, [White House Press Secretary] Snow said: "Basically, she has been here six years."

[waving my hand wildly in the air] Um, Mr. Snow? Mr. Snow? Bush and Cheney have been here six years, too, didja know that? Mr. Snow?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Give Peace A Chance

A million people in Times Square last night, singing John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance while waiting for the ball to drop. Did you watch it? We did, at our friends' party, and then we all went out on the porch, fired some poppers with neighbors, and wished each other a Happy New Year. Imagine, a million people. I wondered, could this finally be the year we give peace a chance?

Maybe not.

Happy New Year, Anyway!

Anyway! *

Let's do what we can to make this a better year.
* Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007

American Death Toll in Iraq Hits 3,000
(which, btw, exceeds the number of Americans killed on 9/11)