Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Bad all over

Hi. I'm on vacation. Sure, I miss blogging, but not so much that I'm likely to post again before next Monday. You'll all live. Anyway, two things:

1) There's been a terrible tsunami, many people need help. The NYT has a list of how you can do it. I'm a fan of the Red Cross, but hey, pick a charity, any charity, I won't fuss about it. And yes, I gave them some money. I'm like that.

2) Even if someone puts comments on my site that I abhor beyond all reason, as long as they stop short of disturbing violent images describing how they'll commit my murder, I'm going to leave them up. You can go ahead and disagree with me vehemently, I'm leaving the evidence up for all to see. Although I will do my best to mock you and your reasons for not believing the same way I do. It's my blog, after all.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Wait - strike that, reverse it

Over at The Moderate Voice, Joe Gandleman has a piece that doubts the convenient timing of Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq. Honestly, while I think he's more than capable of doing something just to exploit people, I believe that he had the Christmas trip planned in advance, and being able to exploit the attack on the mess hall angle is just an unplanned bonus.

In the news this morning, though, I find Rumsfeld Tells U.S. Troops in Iraq They Can Win. It contains feel-good messages like this one:
He said: "This is a tough situation here in Iraq. It is dangerous, people are being wounded, people are being killed."
Oh, my sweet fannie. It's a tough situation in the country WHERE WE DECLARED WAR.

But wait, wait, I hate when I do this, and I do it every time. I had a point about the article's title - didn't we already declare that we'd won this war? You know, the whole "captured Saddam, toppled his statue" thing? You mean the war's still going on? Is that why all those poor soldiers are being killed? Well this makes a lot more sense, now!

If everyone supposedly wants peace on earth, then why are we still killing each other?

Merry Christmas, all you Christian-type readers.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Repeating myself some more

You know, today I just want to rant about torture. I made a comment at Brilliant at Breakfast the other day that torture is *never* OK, and I got jumped on. I was told that I can't make sweeping statements like that, and given an example that if someone had kidnapped and hidden my child that I'd want to keep torture open as an option in order to save my kid.

Well, you know what? No I don't. No I wouldn't. Torture is wrong, and just because I'm being wronged doesn't OK its use. I'm talking about TORTURE people! Not interrogation, I'm talking about unreasonable cruelty, the kind that can make you actually insane. "An anguish of body or mind", "a punishment for the purpose of coercion or sadistic pleasure". This is NOT something that "the good guys" do.

In a world lacking a reputation for kindness to strangers, there needs to be people who hold themselves up to a higher standard than the rest. Maybe the goal is too lofty, maybe it's unattainable, but without reaching for the sky, you're never going to make any of the steps along the way, and those steps are important. We need to hold ourselves to these high standards, and realize that torture is beyond the pale. Monstrous people stoop to that level, and we should never lower ourselves that way. There used to be a country that held themselves up to these standards, achieving them or not, it was the published goal. That country was the U.S. A. We stood for freedom, and human rights. It seems that things have changed these days, but I want to shout out right now that I never signed up for that change. I swear by everything I hold dear, we should NOT have a government that sanctions torture under any circumstances. People who commit acts like this should be punished, arrested, and denied freedoms that they would have enjoyed as people who obey the laws of the land. Documents authorizing this behavior is unacceptable to me. Unacceptable.

I didn't think that the 2 people who wanted to discuss the fact that "never" was too strong a word to use affected me this deeply, but it seems they did.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Show some respect

Settlers Compare Gaza Pullout to Holocaust

It seems that a group of settler activists in the Gaza strip are protesting the pull-out. OK, I get it, you live there, it's your home, and now the government is saying that you don't have the *right* to love there any more, that they've given your land to another nation. Well, that would make me pretty upset, too. I see the reason for the protest, but I protest the method of the protest. Seems these people have taken it into their head that in order to show their dissent, they should wear holocaust-style orange stars on their clothing. Hold it right there, fellas, that's where you've crossed the line.
"The plan to wear orange stars perverts the historical facts and damages the memory of the Shoah," said Yad Vashem's director Avner Shalev, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. He urged the settlers to refrain from using the stars.
I have to agree. What are these people thinking, that they could violate a solemn memory like that? You can't go around waving Nazi symbols as a sign that you dispute any old process as unfair. Even if it means that you have to move out of your home, because the land you live on is being given to another country in a border dispute, it's just not the same. The Israeli government is nothing like the Nazi party, using a symbol that invokes that memory is disrespectful and cruel.

I'm begging you

William Rehnquist, please, please, please try and hold on to your health for another 4 years. Please, don't step down. I don't care if you slow the Supreme Court down a million times over, I just need to know that Bush isn't going to be the one to put someone new in your seat.

I know, I know, it's a pipe dream, and a hideously selfish one at that. But really, reading this post over at Running Scared makes me feel... worried. I despair of a future in which the less permissive half of the country manages to force the more permissive half to bend to their will.

One of the main reasons that I call myself a liberal is that I don't feel that we, as humans, have the right to dictate how other people live, love or worship. I'm not anti-law, I believe that harming others is wrong, but when someone believes something that doesn't hurt anyone else, well, that's their business. I know, I know, you've read these words from me before. But if you allow people to choose their own path, there's nothing that says that they can't follow the path of conservatism. If you're anti-abortion, no one forces you to have one. If you're anti-profanity, you're not tied to a chair in front of your TV with your eyes help open and "Cinemax Late Night" played on an endless loop before you. Even if your against mild titillation, no one tunes your TV to "Desperate Housewives" against your will. There's no one who says that you can't have churches, or personal Christmas trees, or kosher food, or AA meetings that talk about a higher power. All these things are available to choose, even amongst all of us that choose to live like heathens.

Making only one set of choices available seems uncharitable to me. Uncharitable, and unamerican.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Quest for Intelligence Life

New Phase Begins in Push to Reorganize Intelligence

Looks like we actually have to have someone in charge of the new intellegence agencies, and that the President has to support this person, What a surprise! Give me a break, some of the things mentioned in this article make me wonder why I just wasted the brain power to comprehend those words. In fact, all of it seems superfluous to me.
The director's office is one of several bureaucracies created under the bill. The others include a National Counterterrorism Center, which will serve as a governmentwide clearinghouse on terrorist threats; a National Counterproliferation Center, which will oversee the government's efforts to halt the spread of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the technology to make them; and a board to police against abuses of civil liberties and privacy.
We needed specific agencies for these things? What in the world was wrong with the idea of divisions in the agencies that already existed? We couldn't have terrorism and couterproliferation (that is *such* a mouthful) departments of the CIA, the FBI, the military? OK, maybe not the military, as we all know that they're way overtaxed. But why whole new entities? So Bush could feel like he was the one who got to create the "good guys"?

It seems odd to me, is all I'm saying. Like squid ice cream.

Friday, December 17, 2004


Holy Cow am I busy! Can't blog now, and I'm really sorry.

Luckily, you have the rest of the whole blogosphere to hold you over.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Jews, read the Hanukkah post ( 2nd one down) and rejoice! Rejoice in non-sequential mystic lore references! Lore which doesn't come from a single recognized source in out religion, and yet, all the coolest amongst us know about it. It's like a rave site for kabbalists!

Hanukkah, wie er in die Welt kam

Things I didn't know

Top Official Shot Dead in Baghdad

Kassim Imhawi was hit by gunmen who pulled up beside him as he traveled into the city from a western suburb.
Mr Imhawi was director-general of the ministry and a senior adviser to the interim Iraqi government.
There's an interim government? Geez, what do they think about all the chaos?
Insurgents have frequently targeted Iraqi government officials and ministry
They view the interim government as collaborators with the US.
Well, OK, now that I understand that there really is an interim government in place, I guess I should have figured that out.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is to meet discuss the plans in Washington on Thursday with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his successor Condoleezza Rice.
The UN has maintained a minimal but growing presence in Iraq since a bomb attack on its Baghdad headquarters in August 2003 killed a senior UN envoy and 21 others.
After pulling out of Iraq for a year, Secretary General Kofi Annan has allowed foreign staff to return in small numbers.
The UN has less than 60 staff currently in Iraq and plans to have just 25 electoral experts in the country for the 30 January elections, alongside around 250 Fijian
peacekeeping troops currently being trained.
Fijian peacekeeping troops. That means that there's Fijian soldiers. I had never pictured Fiji as ever having a need for an army, what with being surrounded by all that water. Now, on top of being sad that poor Kassim Imhawi nd his 8 bodyguards were shot and/or killed, I'm sad to try and picture people from one of the nicest-looking places on earth wearing camo and carrying automatic weapons.

I didn't know that people were still trying to claim that they were an actual working government. I didn't know that the UN was actually planning to come through with peacekeepers for the elections, and I sure as heck didn't know that they were going to come from Fiji. I feel very uninformed, today.

My Brilliant Brain

OK, so this morning, I was making some changes to my template, and I accidentally erased the whole thing. Gone. Kaput. I felt like an idiot. Just as I thought that I was going to have to go back to the original version and re-create all my changes, I remembered Google Desktop and it's fabulous ability to recreate things from my cache. Yay, Google!

The reason I was changing the template is that I suddenly realized that I had added my few extra features really sloppily, and I wanted to fix them. My technorati profile and sitemeter icons were stuck at the top because that's where I had blindly pasted them in without any regard to form or placement. My blogroll blogs list had no header. Also, I wanted to add the keen new "muppet terror alert" icon that I saw over at Polyester Bride, and I wanted it to be all nice and neat on the side, like it should be, For pete's sake, I'm a web developer, I can darn well find where I'm supposed to put things in a template laid out by someone as good as Jeff Zeldman is. Have I mentioned before how much I admire him and his work? Because man-oh-man, I really do. He's the ginchiest.

Anyway, it's all back now, as you can see, since there's actual content instead of a big, blank page. And the icons are all lined up nicely in the sidebar like I wanted them. Plus, I've added a new blog to my blogroll, Polyester Bride. I am loving the way that this woman writes! I was introduced to her, of course, by Running Scared, my favorite other blog that I sometimes post at. He linked to her post about novelty t-shirts, and the conflict it caused with the creator of said t-shirts. She mocks a bit the idea that a woman would wear a t-shirt that says "Make me happy - take me shopping". I get where she's coming from because she's young. Me, I'm older, and I know that sometimes, if you don't wear that shirt, your male significant other will not understand that yes, you REALLY WANT HIM TO BUY YOU STUFF. Sure, I love you baby, but I need the swag, I really do. And it's 14k or better, I like it better. Materialistic and cold? Yes. Anti-feminist? Maybe. Cynical? Definitely, and we all know by now that "cynical" describes me pretty well.

By the way, feel free to send me presents, I've got an Amazon wish list.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Ho-ho-hoo boy

Last night I was listening to Jersey 101.5 on my radio dial, because good gravy, a whole MONTH of unrelieved holiday music is a little much (thank you, WPLJ), and they had our newish Governor, Richard Codey on. One of the topics that the host brought up was the issue of Christmas carols in schools, and that it's to the point where even the orchestral arrangements of religious songs are being left out. Well, Duh, Eric Scott, just because the song doesn't have words doesn't make it a different song. But once again, I leave the point I'm attempting to make.

When I first heard about New Jersey schools that were trying to eliminate the religious songs from their holiday concerts, I was in favor of it. I, as many of my 11 readers already know, am Jewish, and sometimes Christmas can leave Jews feeling kind of left out. South Park didn't have Kyle sing the Lonely Jew on Christmas song because nobody ever felt that way. But now, I've reconsidered.

I think about the Constitution, and the bits that people interpret to mean "separation of church and state", and I see a line that says that no religion will be favored, nor will any religion be denied the right to practice. I'm paraphrasing, here. So what I'm thinking now is that there's no reason to ban any religious music. Let's celebrate good music, no matter where it came from! Why can't we just be super-inclusive, instead of all-exclusive? Let's do Christmas songs, Hanukah songs, and some songs from some cultures that we'd never think of as being "mainstream". Surely someone else has a December holiday that we can sing about, no? How about Buddhist Bohdi Day, they have any songs for that? I honestly have no idea.

Anyway, I've definitely switched up my thinking on this. I think that we should celebrate everyone's festivals at a concert, and not try to deny them just because everyone doesn't celebrate them. A concert should be first and foremost about lovely music. Censoring it for religious content in schools now seems to me as bad as censoring it for "adult content" on record albums. I mean, are we trying to protect our children from disturbing religious ideas?
OK, last side track before I finish this non-directional ramble - big statues and images of a guy hanging dead, all bloody and nailed to a cross, that's kind of disturbing. It just is. OK, off the side-track.

The goal of most religions that I've run across is peace and morality (most, most!). These are not issues that children need to be protected against. The truth is that Christmas in the US is all about shopping, and Santa, and presents. Jewish/Muslim/Hindi kids never feel left out that they don't get to go to midnight mass and sit on a pew singing prayers and listening to a sermon; no, they feel left out of getting piles of presents. Singing or not singing certain songs probably isn't going to fix that.

Codey didn't really state a preference on the issue one way or the other, by the way. His answer was that he thinks that there are much more important things to worry about. Good point.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Death Warrant?

Abbas calls for end of Palestinian uprising
Peaceful resistence
In an interview with the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published Tuesday, Abbas said Palestinians should resist Israeli occupation without resorting to violence.
OK, so I agree with him. Resistance shouldn't necessarily be so bloody. If we all kill each other, after all, there won't be anyone left to live on the land we're disputing, in the end.

I suspect that the non-violent attitude will get him killed within a month.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Still a NJ Cynic

Some major newspaper stories about former nominee for the post of Homeland Security chief, Bernard Kerik. Some people go more for the jugular than others.

CNN -just the illegal alien employee angle. OK, so he hired a Mexican nanny. Anyone can make that kind of mistake, right?

NYT - ties to a company with mob connections. Ooh, mob connections, never good. Taking cash gifts? Even more not good.

Washington Post - "hounded" Judy Regan. Hmm, veiled allegations that the man has enjoyed more than a friendship with the famous publisher, but couched in terms as to make her look uninvolved...

NY Daily News - love nest in battery park. Finally, allegations brought right out as facts, not implying that Regan wasn't involved at all, but still smacking of Regan-camp spin ("stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company"?). And, throwing another woman into the mix, on top of it.

OK, so the guy has done every sneaky thing we've seen politicians accused of, short of murder (actually, I'm glad about that!). Here's my issue: I personally believe that almost (nothing is absolute in this world) EVERY politician has stuff like this in his closet. According to an ABC show, Primetime, 22 percent of males 50-64 admit to cheating on a spouse. A lot of people run around. Dealing with companies that have ties to organized crime? Tougher statistic to call for obvious reasons, but really, I bet the numbers are up there.

Here comes the cynical part. If so many people are doing it, and so many are getting away with it, then why not Kerik? I'm guessing that he crossed the wrong person. In the world of public officials, there are people that wield a lot of power. The kind of power that can make stories like this come out, or go away. It looks to me like Bernie made the wrong person angry, and now he doesn't get to join the exclusive club that he was up for membership in. Heck, maybe it was his lack of pedigree that inspired the press-driven expose-a-thon, we'll never know.

Sorry Bernie, guess we'll never find out what kind of job you would have done.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The right idea

Wangari Maathai has won a Nobel peace prize. She's been actively trying to prevent deforestation of Africa. It's an amazing effort. When accepting her prize, she had some very reasonable things to say:
"Further, industry and global institutions must appreciate that ensuring economic justice, equity and ecological integrity are of greater value than profits at any cost," she said. She said grassroots citizens' movements should be encouraged.
This is the kind of thinking that we should all be doing. The earth is our home, and if we use it up, we as a race will have nowhere to live. Just as we can't abuse your body's resources by working and working without ever eating or sleeping, we can't use up what the earth gives us without ever getting back. No, we can't make the same kind of profit as we could if we continued in environmentally unsound ways. Protecting the earth will never make anyone the kind of money that abusing it and forgetting about it does. But if we don't accept that the profits that we could manage being unethical are not worth the consequences, we will all suffer with a less hospitable world.

Wangari Maathai has gotten herself out there and made a difference. In return, she is now receiving a Nobel Peace Prize. Way to go, Wangari.

My opinion

In my opinion, Pat Robertson is an ass.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

A lighter note

And now, discussing sperm in a completely different context, The Moderate Voice discusses the latest news about laptops and whether or not they can damage male fertility. Folks, today it's all about the seed.

OK, I'm serious, now

You intolerant people are making me MAD!

Look at this article. Overlook the fact that Gerald Allen either thinks that Hammet is great literature or else doesn't know the actual title of "Hamlet" and is confused about it being by Shakespeare. Move past that, obviously I have.

Now that you've read the stuff, including such lovely lines as
"Traditional family values are under attack," Allen informs me. They've been under attack "for the last 40 years". The enemy, this time, is not al-Qaida. The axis of evil is "Hollywood, the music industry". We have an obligation to "save society from moral destruction". We have to prevent liberal libarians and trendy teachers from "re-engineering society's fabric in the minds of our children". We have to "protect Alabamians".
you can see why I'm mad. Tolerance is not about degrading morals, it's about upholding them. Not practicing prejudice against others is one of the most moral things you can do. Why is homosexuality considered a sin, because some guy in the bible didn't want to have sex with his dead brother's wife? OK, I can see how that's interpreted as masturbation being a sin, but isn't it taken just a little too far? All sexual activity that isn't directly intended to cause pregnancy is a sin? It never says that! Come down off the high horse, people!

And how many homophobes actually ever read the bible, anyway? Do they know why they're even supposed to look down on it? And who decided that? I bet most of them don't! They just feel icky, and lo, it's a sin to do the icky stuff! Well guess what? Lots of stuff about Catholicism makes me feel icky, like the whole "drink of my blood" thing, but you don't see me saying that we should dig a hole in the ground and put all of the writings about Catholic people in the ground!
Intolerance is intolerable. Every person on this planet has an equal right to live their lives on it. Being a homosexual is not an agenda. There's not some manifesto that all gay people have read explaining how to turn everyone else in the world gay. That reminds of the Mormons, who actually *do* have a mission to turn everyone else in the world Mormon, but I digress. One of the things I like best about America is that it truly is an example of how different kinds of people with different beliefs and traditions really can live side-by-side. No one denies the Shakers their right to live their Shaker lives, even if we don't want to live that way. Every day people who love members of their own gender go about shopping for groceries, or paying their taxes, or going to the movies exactly the way that people who love members of the opposite gender do. We don't have to eliminate other people's ways of life in order to protect our own. Being that close-minded is unimaginable to me, and that's why the people who say that we need "protection" from people, or books, or TV shows, well, they make me hopping mad.

OK, forget my liberal leanings, let's look at this another way: all you people who believe in God, whom amongst us did God create?

Everyone. And he calls us all his children.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

You Don't Get It, Do You.

OK, time to talk about the basics of terrorism. Again.

Basic Rule 1 - terrorists are not actually soldiers

No matter how often people refer to the "war on terror" or "Bin Laden's army of Al Qaida terrorists", one fact remains: when you're a terrorist, you don't play by the army rules. Terrorists aren't representative of their governments, they are only representative of their causes.

You'll note I say "causes", plural. That will be important later.

Basic Rule 2 - The defeat of an army means nothing to a terrorist

See, if you don't report to a government, it doesn't matter much to you whether or not that particular government's army has conceded defeat to your army. Since the government's not paying your check, you don't care who's surrendered to whom, you're still out there fightin'. No governmental ties, no respect for things like treaties, or cease-fires, or surrender. Geneva convention? Don't care!

Basic Rule 3 - There are more terrorist causes in this world than we could hope to identify

Yes, Al Qaida is a major force in the terrorist world, but they are far from the only terrorists that exist. In fact, the smaller your cause, the more likely you are to use things like home-made car bombs driven in to a hotel lobby frequented by people you consider to be oppressing you. Even if we could completely eliminate one large group, we could never hope to identify all the smaller ones, not with all the time or money in the world. It would be like trying to find the bad grains of sand on a beach. Admittedly, it's a small beach on the Mediterranean, but it's still a near impossible task.

So, combine rules 1,2 and 3, and come to the same conclusion that I have - terrorist activity, even if it's funded by a country's government, is not directly controlled by it. Punishment is seen as a type of martyrdom that simply inspires others of the cause to greater heights of violence. That's why arguments like the one on the new Becker-Posner log (nod to Running Scared), let's say Becker's piece on how preventative war can be justified must ultimately be discarded as naive and wrong.
Combating crime mainly relies on deterrence through punishment of criminals who recognize that there is a chance of being apprehended and convicted-the chances are greater for more serious crimes. If convicted, they can expect imprisonment or other punishments- again, punishments are generally more severe for more serious crimes. Apprehension and punishment reduce the gain from crimes; in this way, it deters others from criminal activities.
We're not "deterring the criminals" by going to war with regulation armies. The criminals don't care what we do to the armies - wait, no, I take it back - the criminals LOVE when we attack the armies, because it just goes to serve as a great example to the children that they're brainwashing that the U.S is an evil, evil place that's trying to take over the whole world by force.

It is because of the utter lack of rules, and the complete refusal of terrorists throughout the world to operate in a civilized manner or venue, that Yasser Arafat was never able to control the activities of Hamas. It's also why defeating the Iraqi army and ousting Hussein from power has done us no good whatsoever to secure peace in Iraq so far.

This war is not preventing future problems, rather it is opening the door to a never-ending list of problems that we have no expertise or understanding to solve. In my opinion, nothing could ever justify that.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Blame gets Laid

Disclaimer: I have a wicked headache, and the following post may be completely incomprehensible. I can't tell.

Minor Sanctions for U.S. Troops Who Balked in Iraq

Remember those soldiers who wouldn't drive a pointless, contaminated fuel convoy through hot spots in trucks without sufficient armor? Well, they're being punished, but not courtmarshalled.
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan said a further five would also face "non-judicial" punishment under Article 15 of the U.S. military justice code, making 23 troops disciplined in this way.

OK, so now we know that they're being punished for disobeying orders, which I support, because a soldier that doesn't obey orders is of no use to anyone. What I don't know is this - are there any repercussions for the person who gave this stupid-ass order? Where's the accountability there? Who thought it was a good idea to send a few of our brave young men and women to drive what amounts to a giant bomb through an are where it was most likely to get detonated? Is judgment that bad not a crime? Shouldn't it be? And if there were repercussions, would I ever know?

Friday, December 3, 2004

Kerik Named Security Secretary

Bush Names Ex-Police Chief to Top Security Post

So, what do you think, man with first-hand experience who understands the people who commit terrorist acts and will be a strong force to fight against them, or just another misguided New Yorker out for revenge, fated to make mistakes in judgment out of anger and blunder into even worse situations than we currently find ourselves in?

The fact that he worked as a warden in Paterson, NJ makes met think that the first option is still possible - you can't even *go* to some parts of Patterson without learning how unscrupulous people can harm you, forget work there. I'm keeping my hopes up, but, knowing how I feel about the current administration, know that I'll be keeping my guard up, as well.

Remember, please, I don't know this man, and I'm a very cynical individual. Anything *I* think could be completely off-base. Doesn't hurt to get the questions out there, though.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Holiday Sarcasm

The Left's Christmas Debate Readings

Sarcasm that smacks of reality is both a good thing and a scary thing. An excerpt:
March of the Wooden Soldiers: Santa's Toyland is under attack by the evil Barnaby. Two of Santa's helpers bring Santa's wooden soldiers to life to fend off the assault. Since the wooden troops haven't been properly trained, they turn tail and run, allowing Barnaby to take over Toyland and make nothing but violent video games. Eventually, the U.S. invades Toyland, stating that Barnaby is secretly hoarding chemical weapons in his candy cane facilities. When no chemicals are found, U.S. Forces decide to arrest Barnaby anyway and hold democratic elections. Alas, most of the citizens of Toyland have died in the invasion, so a puppet government is installed. Pinocchio is declared Premier.
The more I think about Iraq, the more I ask myself the question: "Didn't we already declare victory there, and if so, whom are we fighting?" We deposed the dictator, we should be done. If they want to start a civil war, at this point, I think it should be their business. Personally, if I were an Iraqi, I'd just want to get back to living a semblance of a normal life, act calm, and let the outsiders leave. Don't they see that insurgent activities are just going to keep us there? Stop with the killing, we'll go. Then you can start up killing each other again, if that's what you all really want. Don't know if my plan would work or not, since I'm basing it on old strategies that as I child I employed to get babysitters to leave my sister and I alone in a room. Still, it's more of a plan than I've seen elsewhere.

That's kind of off the track that the Left-Right Debate's article stays on, but hey, sometimes I hit a tangent.

I'm off to go spend more than I can afford on gifts. I'm an American, after all.