Friday, September 29, 2006

Sleep deprivation

I wonder...can I accuse my employer of torturing me by forcing me to wake up in the morning? I think the very concept of being awake at 8:00 a.m. is torture in itself.

One piece of good news coming out today: Mark Foley, Repugnant of Florida, has resigned amid controversy that he said some naughty things to a teenage page. Now a previously rock-solid Repugnant seat has become a probable Democratic pickup. One down, 15 to go, and we take the House. It'll happen.


The debate on torture is everywhere, and I don't think I have anything intelligent to add about it. I'll repeat what I read on another blog: "How can we even have a debate on torture?" and leave it at that.

Then again, this country does have a sordid history of enacting horrid, draconian legislation that shreds the Constitution, and somehow, a few years later, we wake up and fix it. Think about the Alien and Sedition Acts. Think about the Japanese internment camps. Both ended. Let's hope we stick with that pattern.

And let's hope that this torture legislation kills the Repugnant Party at the polls in November. It's up to all of us to make sure that happens.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An Appeal

I have a strong desire to make this blog work. For me, the greatest motivator would be knowing that people are actually going to read it and find it interesting. Nothing would discourage me more than having post after post on this blog get zero comments. Maybe that's selfish of me, but really, this blog is intended as a way of expressing myself to a larger audience, not just as a personal journal.

I am therefore asking anyone who reads this journal to do a couple of things:

1) Post a "hello" comment at the end of this entry. Nothing big or extensive, just "hi, I'm reading your blog and I like it because of a, b and c, or I hate it because of a, b, and c, or I have no opinion of it, or whatever." Give me constructive criticism.

2) Promote this blog to your friends, acquaintences, people you encounter who might be interested in a progressive Oklahoman left-handed Jewish approach to politics. Shit, I've got to have a unique angle somewhere. Post a MySpace bulletin about Sinister, for example.

3) If you have a blog of your own, e-mail me or post a link to it in the comments and I'll do a link exchange with you. I'll link to your blog if you'll link to mine.

4) If you have a secret method for gaining an audience, please, share it with me.

Thank you.

A good example of socialized medicine

One recent immigrant to New Zealand's experience with socialized medicine.

Now, tell me: why do Americans insist that fighting with insurance companies over every little thing is a better system?

Thursday Thread

If you're out there, say hi.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Brought to you by the good folks at "What the fuck" Industries

"The operation, announced Monday by chief surgeon Dominique Martin and the French National Center for Space Studies, is part of a project backed by the European Space Agency that aims to develop earth-guided surgical space robots."

Zero-gravity surgery. Just in case the Earth suddenly stops rotating on its axis.

Seriously, what in God's name is the point of this? Are we seriously going to be shooting heart patients into space and doing bypass surgeries on them? Isn't that kind of inefficient?

Earth-guided surgical space robots??????

Amazing. Bush signs something actually useful.

A bill that creates an Internet database of government spending, which anyone can peruse. Sounds good. It remains to be seen how this Administration will fuck it up.

Hump Day Open Thread

And speaking of Hump Day, here's the iGallup. As seen on several other blogs.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A textbook definition of cowardice

Keith Olbermann does it again. Excerpts from his "Special Comment" yesterday:

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as al Qaida; the nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit.


Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."

The Bush Administration did not try.

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!


The full responsibility for 9/11 is obviously shared by three administrations, possibly four.

But, Mr. Bush, if you are now trying to convince us by proxy that it’s all about the distractions of 1998 and 1999, then you will have to face a startling fact that your minions may have hidden from you.

The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton, but by the same people who got you elected President.


Thus was it left for the previous president to say what so many of us have felt; what so many of us have given you a pass for in the months and even the years after the attack:

You did not try.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your predecessor.

You ignored the evidence gathered by your own people.

Then, you blamed your predecessor.

That would be a textbook definition, Mr. Bush, of cowardice.

To enforce the lies of the present, it is necessary to erase the truths of the past.

That was one of the great mechanical realities Eric Blair—writing as George Orwell—gave us in the book “1984.”

The great philosophical reality he gave us, Mr. Bush, may sound as familiar to you, as it has lately begun to sound familiar to me.


The "free pass" has been withdrawn, Mr. Bush.

You did not act to prevent 9/11.

We do not know what you have done to prevent another 9/11.

You have failed us—then leveraged that failure, to justify a purposeless war in Iraq which will have, all too soon, claimed more American lives than did 9/11.

You have failed us anew in Afghanistan.

And you have now tried to hide your failures, by blaming your predecessor.

And now you exploit your failure, to rationalize brazen torture which doesn’t work anyway; which only condemns our soldiers to water-boarding; which only humiliates our country further in the world; and which no true American would ever condone, let alone advocate.

And there it is, Mr. Bush:

Are yours the actions of a true American?

Very difficult not to quote the entire thing. Keith Olbermann is the clearest and most powerful voice we have countering the lies and distortions of, as Mike Malloy calls them, the "Bush crime family." Send Keith your words of support, and tune in to Countdown every night. Journalism on this level is rare, and Keith is a shining example of it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sweet Jesus

Sweet Jesus I hate Bill O'Reilly. Great website.

Monday morning...oh how I hate Monday morning

in which I continue this blog as if it never had a 6 month hiatus. And pretend that I have an audience, thus hoping to generate one by sheer force of will.

Hiatus is kind of a funny word.


Over the weekend, I had a funny thing happen that almost made my head explode. My partner and I were driving to a home furnishings store when we found ourselves near a van with the following bumpersticker stuck amongst many other pro-Bush, super-Christian bumperstickers.

"I love Gitmo."

I was so infuriated that I was literally yelling at her in my car, and my partner joined me, and we got in front of her and flipped her off. Yeah, real mature, right? I have a bumper sticker on my car that mocks the whole "yellow ribbon" thing. It's a yellow ribbon in the shape of a question mark that says "Question War." Hopefully she saw that, but I doubt it.

Anyway, to add to our embarassment at being reduced to acting like angry monkeys because of this fascist, we soon discovered that indeed the fascist in the van was going to the very same home furnishings store as we were. We both decided that we would do our damndest to avoid her and forget the whole thing.

But not so. She sought us out in the store and confronted us about our, admittedly immature, reaction to her fascist bumper sticker. My partner started arguing with her, and I just got more and more flustered and incoherent with anger. When she told us to "take our gay asses home," I lost it, and, as she was walking away, I yelled, "well you're a fascist bitch!"

Thankfully, she finally walked away, and we were free to shop in peace. I must admit that my behavior during that incident was, shall we say, less than responsible and mature, but that bumper sticker was just...oooh.

I love Gitmo? So what are you saying, "I love torturing people who have been held without trial or access to a lawyer for years and years?" Hey, let me call you an enemy combatant, lock you in a cell, waterboard you and see how you like it. Hey, it's the American way, right? Cause we don't have any concept like "due process" or "habeas corpus."

Seriously, if another country started locking up Americans and calling them "enemy combatants," denying them access to counsel and torturing them, we'd invade them and call them a rogue state.

Or, as I heard it put on another blog, "How can we even have a debate about torture?"

On a lighter note, here's a ridiculously sweet video that will tug at your heartstrings, though I recommend listening to it without the volume on as the music is terrible:

What's on your mind today?

Friday, September 22, 2006

The blog that refused to die

I swear, people, one of these days I'm going to get this blog off the ground. I'm posting a lot of political stuff nowadays, but I'm dropping it all into my livejournal, when I should be dropping it here.

If anyone still tunes in, then please stay tuned, because reports of the death of this blog are premature.