Friday, September 29, 2006


In today's wapo:
...Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) issued a written statement on Wednesday declaring: "Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 159 of her Democrat colleagues voted today in favor of MORE rights for terrorists."

GOP leaders continued such attacks after the wiretapping vote. "For the second time in just two days, House Democrats have voted to protect the rights of terrorists," Hastert said last night,...
Because the U.S. Congress is supposed to protect the rights of everyone, you asshole, even the people you don't like.

I am so sad - so very, very sad.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mind Still In The Gutter

Today I noticed the MSNBC headline, "Sen. Clinton Backs Husband in Terror Hunt Row"

Yes, that says "Row". As if anyone uses the word that way (definition three, for chrissakes), any more.

Anyway, you don't have to read the article to guess that it's about Sen. Clinton not-so-subtly slamming Secretary Rice regarding the infamous "Bin Laden determined to attack within the U.S." report.

Now, I could start thinking about if maybe trying to blame the whole mess on just one President, or one National Security Advisor is a little short-sighted, or I could think about how during the Clinton era, the news would occasional say "Bin Laden", but no one really listened, or I could think about a dozen other important things. Did I have these thoughts straightaway? No, I did not. In fact, my first thought was, Huh. Cat fight. I guess that Bill and Hillary actually still sleep together". Extrapolate from this thought that I obviously also believe deep down that Dr. Rice is sleeping with the President, and you're left with one more question:

What the hell is wrong with me?

I was going to leave it at that, just sit here and wonder if the soap operas are melting my mind, and then it came to me that the number of actual sex scandals in the world are legion. People do stupid things all the time for sex, they just do. So now, rejuvenated by the power of my suspicious and cynical mind, I feel kind of justified in my incredibly inappropriate assumptions.

Hey, thanks for listening!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Do You Like Tom Kean Jr.?

If so, is it because you just can't trust Menendez now that you know about him renting out that building in Union City? If that's the case, you should know about this BlueJersey article.
I have a question for you. What were you doing in February of 1996?

It was a month that saw yet another major snow storm hit New Jersey. Bill Clinton signed a telecom bill to widen competition and market access in cable television. Republicans were watching rightwing freakjob Pat Buchanan bury Bob Dole and Steve Forbes in the New Hampshire primary.

Kirsten Danis was writing an article [Page one, Page two] for the Jersey Journal revealing that then-Congressman Bob Menendez had approval from a House Ethics lawyer to rent his former business office to the North Hudson Community Action Corporation.
I'm not saying that you have to stop liking Kean, per se, I'm just saying you should probably base your decision on other factors. Like anything you find out for yourself and don't hear from any particular political party.

Yeah, I know, that takes effort, it'll never happen. Thought I'd try asking, anyway.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Final Soap Frontier

Lulu had an abortion (Monday, September 18th). For those of you who don't watch soap operas and don't feel like clicking the link, we're talking about "General Hospital" here, but that doesn't really matter.

For years, soap operas have been telling their viewers that abortions are legal, and they're safe, and they're a valid choice for a woman to make, if it makes more sense than bringing a baby into this world.

I'll tell you all right now up front: I'd be afraid to have go through with a pregnancy. Yes, afraid. Afraid that I'd do a terrible job raising a child, afraid that I'd go insane if I carried a child to term and then gave it up, afraid of what being adopted might do to the kid's psyche, and not least of all, afraid of what it would do to my rapidly aging, already messed-up body. I try to be responsible by never being irresponsible, if you get my drift. There are options in this world, and I use them.

So I cannot personally censure abortion for moral, or even religious reasons, what with my being Jewish. There are specific Jewish teachings about when a fetus becomes a person, and they conveniently tie in with what my own mind came up with before I went out and found them. I've written about this a lot, if you want to check.

Soap operas have been notoriously chicken about pissing off their pro-life viewers. I cannot imagine any other reason, when the characters on these shows routinely lie, cheat, steal, and kill all for our entertainment. And most of the time, especially if they're a lead character, they find some way to get away with it, and we're all supposed to forget that Miranda suffocated her ex-husband to death 3 years later when she's going to marry Desmond, the handsome pediatrician who 6 years ago was both blind and paralyzed, but is walking and fully-sighted today. Soap opera fans suspend their disbelief and their conceptions of right and wrong every day just so they can lose themselves in the story - the story which never, ever gets boring.

I've chatted about this topic with several friends, and none of them thought that Lulu would actually go through with it. Last minute change of heart, right there on the table, one said. Another suggested a miscarriage would take the decision out of everyone's hands. They were positive that a soap opera wouldn't "go there" and actually terminate a pregnancy, because it would generate lots and lots of hate mail and boycotts. Well, I've found a couple of discussion boards where there is indeed dissenting opinion, but I haven't heard the raging outcry that they were expecting. In fact, I see a lot more comments that this is a good issue to bring up, and that choice is important, and even that showing the repercussions of choice is important. Not that soap operas really do that.

So what does this all mean, what's my point? My point is that one of the cheesiest mainstream outlets for schlock watched by millions of people, every day tested a boundary. Someone actually went an had an abortion on a show viewed by roughly 5.2 million people, and no one mentioned it on the news. Perhaps the lack of outcry is because there's a lack of outrage; perhaps people are coming to their senses.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Arr, matey, sorry for the light blogging lately, but I've been preparing for the holiday.

Friday, September 15, 2006

And You Thought I Was the Moon and Stars!

I Am Wind

Strong and overpowering
A force to be reckoned with, no one dares cross you
You have the power to change everything around you

You are best known for: your wrath

Your dominant state: commanding

Granstanding Old Party

Republican members of the NJ State Senate have a new bug up their behinds - no candidate swaps during the final days of a campaign before an election. No later than 48 days, they say. I say, OK, fine! What's with you people?

They're still mad over the Torricelli/Lautenberg deal, I guess. I got news for you, people - Torricelli most likely could have beaten Forrester from a jail cell (Not that Torricelli went to jail for anything at all, mind you). It wasn't because of the last minute switch that Doug lost that one.

An excerpt from the Ledger article linked above is what made me stop and think that this isn't just legislation, it's also a neat opportunity to malign people needlessly!
"It is vitally important to the integrity of the election process to prevent cynical maneuvers to substitute duly nominated candidates and replace them with candidates approved by party bosses," Lance said at a Statehouse press conference.
Approved by party bosses? We're talking about Frank Lautenberg, right? Or are we talking about Robert Menendez being not acceptable to party bosses? When Junior's been talking about how corrupt Menendez is actually supposed to be? Are they accusing someone - anyone - of anything concrete?

This is nothing but a way to get controversial words into the heads of the voters with no real substance behind them. I hate that this method is so often effective.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Hero

(also posted at skippy the bush kangaroo)

I know, I know, 9/11 was yesterday, I could have said something then, but I didn't really know for sure until today that Keith Olbermann is my blogtopian hero.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Moment of Silence

I've already read around the blogtopian block a bit this morning, and it's at the point where I'm holding back the tears. I had, for most of this year, forgotten how very very very sad 9/11 made me, and everyone around me. Nervous, anguished, determined, and so, so sad.

Right now, however, I remember as if it were yesterday, and so I'm going to observe a moment of silence. It's the least I can do.

Friday, September 8, 2006

I Have Eyes, You Know

Blondesense has a post today about how the government lied to all the rescue workers at Ground Zero and said that the air was perfectly safe to breathe:
UPDATE: Check this bogus shit out. Christie Whitman the EPA chief on 9/111/01 had assured NY that the air was safe. Now she says she didn't say that and it was the city's fault. May they all go straight to hell Check it out.
From that article:
"We didn't have the authority to do that enforcement, but we communicated to the people who did," Whitman says in the interview with Katie Couric.
Oh, my freakin' god, you lying, deceitful hag.

I was riveted by everything that was going on at the time, riveted. Like everyone else, I'm sure, I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the first plane, and when I watched the towers fall on television I was horrified. I live about 30 miles from NYC and I could smell the new burnt smells. I could taste the faint trace of dust when I spoke. Everyone with allergies got bronchitis. Everyone without allergies knew that the air wasn't quite right. We all could tell these things, and there, in the middle of it all, on TV, for Christ's sake, was Christy Whitman, spewing the falsities for all of us to hear.

"It's safe", she said, "There's no need to panic. The rescue workers are perfectly safe in there. The people sifting through the rubble are fine".
She was quoted in Newsday on Sept. 15, 2001, as saying, "There is no reason for concern," referring to asbestos measurements at Ground Zero and elsewhere in lower Manhattan. And on Sept. 16, she said, "New York is safe."
And I knew at that moment that Christy had sold her soul and wasn't ever going to get it back.

Back to the Cheese!

Do you know enough about cheese? From
Serving and Storage Tips

* Unpasteurised cheese with a range of flavours should not be sliced until purchase otherwise it will start to lose its subtlety and aroma.
* Keep the cheese in conditions in which it matures. Hard, semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses are stored in the temperatures from around 8 - 13 C.
* Keep the cheese wrapped in the waxed paper and place it in a loose-fitting food-bag not to lose humidity and maintain the circulation of air.
* Wrap blue cheeses all over as mould spores spread readily not only to other cheeses but also to everything near.
* Chilled cheeses should be taken out of the refrigerator one and a half or two hours before serving.
* Cheeses contain living organisms that must not be cut off from air, yet it is important not to let a cheese dry out.
* Do not store cheese with other strong-smelling foods. As a cheese breathes it will absorb other aromas and may spoil.
* Wrap soft cheeses loosely. Use waxed or greaseproof paper rather than cling film.
* Let cold cheese warm up for about half an hour before eating to allow the flavour and aroma to develop.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

I Need Some Good News

And I need good news that isn't crap, like "the price of gas has fallen back down to $2.53 on Route 1 North in Edison" (although that's true).

No, I want good hard news. News like this:
Cancer deaths fall, new diagnoses stable
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Death rates from cancer have continued to drop in the United States, with Hispanics showing lower-than-average rates of most cancers, according to the latest statistics published on Wednesday.
All right, I admit, the number of diagnosed cases of cancer hasn't gone down one whit from last year, but fewer people died from it. That's good news to me. I credit science. Go science!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

I Still Notice the Disconnect

Israeli air strike, commandos kill 3 Palestinians
GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli forces killed three Palestinians, at least one of them a militant, during separate operations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank on Wednesday, witnesses said.
All right, I'm reading along, there seems to be some dispute about whether the man was a militant or not, I get it. Then, though, then I come across this line:
During the offensive, at least 208 Palestinians have been killed, about half of them civilians.
I was momentarily confused. Why is it so important that half of them are civilians? Aren't all war fatalities of equally terrible import? And that's when it hit me: Americans still don't know what it's like to live with war. I've said it before, but it's still true. No one runs through our streets with guns because they're from another country and they're here to kill us for being American. We've got it all sorted out in our heads that in war, only soldiers get killed, and killing the civilians makes an army the Bad Guy.

How I wish that it were true that casualties could somehow be limited to those who had signed on to be part of a war - hell, I still wish there was no war. This is just a wish, though, people. Anyone in a war zone can be killed, on purpose or by accident. There are bombs and guns there. When a neighborhood is suddenly deemed to be a war zone, people who couldn't or wouldn't get out are now in danger of being killed, whether or not they're soldiers. Thinking that civilian casualties can be avoided is delusional.

War is terrible, people, for everyone involved, not just the soldiers. As Americans, we're all just lucky that land war against us is geographically improbable.

Make the connection.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Some Random Thoughts

I have a referral to go see a specialist. I had 3 choices, and all 3 were Jewish. I just live in an area with a lot of Jews.

My father lectures me on the same stuff over and over again. The man hardly ever has conversations, he just warms up to a topic and starts lecturing. These days the repeat track is how people are crying that pension plans in New Jersey cost too much, and they're one of the causes of our high real estate taxes. His points:
  • Only allowing people to take one state job doesn't lower pension spending, because those jobs would just be filled with other people, so the money spent is the same

  • Lowering the amount of money spent on pensions wouldn't affect property taxes anyway, because property taxes aren't set by the state, they're set by individual municipalities.
I tell him that lowering the amount spent on pensions could possibly, indirectly affect property taxes, if - IF - the money saved was then distributed as state aid to the municipalities, thereby lowering the amount that they need to collect from the residents. I tell him that, but I don't really believe that it will ever work that way.