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Showing posts from April, 2008

Gaza terror factions agree to a "truce"

Several factions of extremist groups in Gaza have agreed to a "truce" with Israel. That's good news.

Here's the thing. Israel has said repeatedly that if the rocket attacks, weapons smuggling, and other terrorist attacks from Gaza cease, Israel will stop doing military operations in Gaza. The blockade that Israel has placed on the territory is purely defensive. It's not meant to punish the residents of Gaza. The blockade should be lifted when the attacks from the territory cease. It's that simple. Call it a truce or what have you, the point is that Israel has no interest in attacking Gaza if it is not, in turn, being attacked by Gaza.

Tulsa named "emerging city for same sex couples"

The Advocate has named Tulsa an "emerging city" for same sex couples. From the article:

"I think The Advocate did pick a set of cities that sort of demonstrated, at a city-level, some of the broader trends that we're seeing," Gates said in a telephone interview. "The counts of same-sex couples are growing dramatically higher in more conservative parts of the country. And my read of that is that it is, perhaps in large part, due to acceptance of lesbian and gay people is starting to move beyond the coasts in the U.S."

Living in tulsa as a same sex couple is an exercise in contradictions. On the one hand, we've never had a problem getting an apartment together, and our landlords have always been welcoming. We have occasionally run into discrimination in leases- having to put down two application fees instead of just one as a straight couple would - but actually our current apartment manager didn't make us do that. We're a little concerned…

Monday loldog

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In "important scientific research crucial to the future of humanity" news

Fartproof underwear.

No, seriously.

Well here's a bit of good news

The OK State House has voted to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries. It's not clear from the article where the bill is in the process, but that would be a nice break. Now, if we could only eliminate ALL sales taxes, we'd be getting somewhere.

Happy Friday

Forever War

Bill in Portland Maine, a Kossack who does the "Cheers and Jeers" column daily, creates a brilliant parody of Poe about John McCain.

Kossack eats John Ashcroft's head

A student at Knox College (a great school that I almost attended) gets all up in John Ashcroft's grill, and gets snapped at by the former Attorney General. Great story.

Fix our damned roads, Oklahoma!

Our roads are literally killing people. Can we please do something about them?

Obama gets Brad Henry

Obama just netted another super delegate: our own governor, Brad Henry.

Ok, emo bands, now it's war.

I just heard a horrid abomination of musical horridness. Two Emo bands mangling "Under Pressure." Why was this allowed?

What part of "it's freaking over" does Pennsylvania not understand?

Argh.

And so we go on. And on. And on. And we tear ourselves in half, and Mark of Cain wins in November.

Fucking Democrats. I'm voting for Cthulhu.

Happy Earth Day.

Conservation can only be a tiny percentage of what solves global warming. The only real solution is to stop using fossil fuels completely and forever. The only clean, safe, viable and practical alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power. Click the link to find out more.

On Gravitas, Charisma, and the election

cross-posted to Daily Kos.

I got on the Howard Dean bandwagon right after the disasterous 2002 midterms, and I didn't get off till the bitter end. This cycle, I did not see a candidate like Dean, a galvanizing figure who had two components necessary to move me: gravitas and charisma. Sure, there was plenty of gravitas: Richardson, Biden, Dodd. And there was plenty of charisma: Edwards, Obama, Clinton. But no candidate had both.

Thus, I spent a large part of 2007 trying to figure out whether gravitas or charisma would matter more. I supported Edwards for a time, and then he inevitably disappointed me. I decided I would go with the candidate who really reflected my political positions, regardless of whether he had a shot at winning, and so I gave my support to Kucinich. Kucinich dropped out. I went to an Edwards rally, and he convinced me again to vote for him. Then he dropped out the very next day.

So I was left with Clinton or Obama.

I've never liked Hillary Clinton. …

Monday loldog

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see more cute dogs and puppies

By the way, in case you're confused, my "Happy Friday" posts always contain video, and my "Monday loldog" posts always contain a picture. :-)

Happy Friday!

BURMA!!

OK legislature overrides Henry's veto of 1878

The legislature has overriden Gov. Henry's veto of an anti-abortion bill. The bill forces doctors to perform ultrasounds before abortions, and "protects" health care providers who refuse to perform abortions.

That's the part that really gets me. If we're going to have laws that give doctors the right to exercise religious or other non-medical bias in deciding what procedures to perform, then we're in for a world of hurt. The decision of whether or not to perform a particular medical procedure should be based only on sound medicine and medical ethics.

For me, though, the bottom line is this: don't we have other things to worry about in this state? Aren't our roads and bridges in state of dangerous disrepair? Aren't our schools underfunded? Can't we do something about our state's shameful record when it comes to food insecurity? Is abortion really the one thing we need to pinpoint right now?

Still, kudos to Gov. Henry for having the ch…

Gaza-Sderot Blog

There's a new blog that started in January written by two people, one of whom is in Sderot, and the other of whom is in Gaza. They communicate with each other and share their experiences on the blog. I recommend taking a look at it.

JStreet

There's a new kid on the block in Israel policy. Organized to be a counter-weight to AIPAC, JStreet is backed by a lot of good people in the progressive Zionist sphere. I reserve judgment on them until I've heard more, but here's their pitch:

I thought you might be interested in this video from J Street, a new pro-peace, pro-Israel political voice:
http://www.jstreet.org/campaigns/a-new-pro-peace-pro-israel-political-voice

And if you'd rather read a short message from J Street, check it out below.
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For too long, uncompromising right-wing leaders have imposed their narrow definition of what it means to be "pro-Israel" on American policy, undermining long-term Israeli and American security interests while squashing real debate about America's foreign policy in the Middle East. It is high time that mainstream Americans fought back.

Fight back today with J Street, a new pro-peace, pro-Israel political movement dedicated to a new direction …

An attempt at a poem

Consider this a first draft. I used to write poetry all the time when I was younger, but I haven't done it much recently. Last night I watched a fascinating PBS program about Walt Whitman, and it inspired me to attempt to write poetry again. So, without further ado, here's this:

How to write with the unabashed soul of Whitman
when I have an ironclad and cynical intellectual shell
encasing my emotions
To break free of that shell requires
a supreme act of faith and of will
to cast off the
inevitable judgment
How to break free
and yet avoid the
comfortable trappings of cliche
and tired metaphor
How to find a new voice
within the context of all that is
same
stifled by timeclocks
wasting hours staring at the endless television
and slowly dying
everything is convenient
everything is comfortable
everything is compatible
When I was younger
I dreamed dreams
I believed I could change everything
given the right tools
but I had those tools
at least some of them
but I coasted the years away
the tools at my fee…

More proof that the surge is working

For no particular reason

here's today's Song of the Day:



"Cities in Dust" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

Carter just doesn't get it

And here's a quote that proves why:

“I think there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, the Palestinians, that Hamas will have to be included in the process,” Carter told U.S. television network ABC News’s “This Week.”

No, Mr. President. You're making the same mistake that Chamberlain made. Hamas is a terrorist organization that should neither be legitimized nor appeased. Meeting with its leaders is a slap in the face to all of those innocent Israelis who have been brutally murdered by suicide bombers and rocket attacks from Gaza. Your profound misunderstanding of the situation on the ground is frankly stunning considering your stature as a global voice for human rights. The only way peace will happen in the Middle East is for extremist elements like Hamas to be marginalized, discredited, and eventually disarmed.

I am, however, pleased that Carter decided to visit S…

Monday loldog

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Randi Rhodes and Air America Radio

I listen to Air America Radio at work sometimes. Randi Rhodes was one of my favorite hosts.

Recently, Air America suspended Randi because she said some, shall we say, undiplomatic things about Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. Randi has now left Air America radio, and will begin a new show on a local talk radio station in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday.

I've been torn about this situation since I heard about it. I was one of the first to jump on Don Imus when he had his little "nappy headed hos" moment. Thus, I had to ask myself whether this situation was different from that one, and if so, how, and, most importantly, should I be angry at Randi, or should I be angry at Air America?

My partner and I came to an interesting conclusion.

Point One: Don Imus gratuitously insulted young, innocent basketball players with absolutely no provocation, using racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive language with no justification whatsoever.

Point Two: Randi Rhodes insulte…

Happy Friday

Been a bit of a crazy week. Here's something to think about:

Spring in Oklahoma

Tornado sirens at 3:00 AM. My favorite thing ever.

Thankfully, it looks like the rotation is not near me. I'm going back to bed in a minute. Of course, I won't sleep; the rotation may not be near me, but I will be hearing the big nasty thunderstorm with all the thunder, lightning, and baseball-sized hail.

Fun.

Tulsa Kossack proves how a red state republican can turn blue

Interesting diary from a fellow Tulsan about a personal political transformation. I'd post highlights of it, but I think it's better if you just click the link, read it, and post your own comments to it.

Monday loldog

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Charlton Heston died

I wonder what the coroner pried out of his cold, dead hands?

Obama's speech today on MLK assassination anniversary

Two things really stood out to me:

...he had seen that Americans have "the capacity," as he said that night, "to project the 'I' into the 'thou.'" To recognize that no matter what the color of our skin, no matter what faith we practice, no matter how much money we have – no matter whether we are sanitation workers or United States Senators – we all have a stake in one another, we are our brother's keeper, we are our sister's keeper, and "either we go up together, or we go down together."

This paragraph touches on something that's profoundly wrong with the politics of the reactionaries and ultra-capitalist libertarians on the far-right fringe who control so much of the political dialogue, especially in certain parts of the country, like Oklahoma. They believe in a politics of opting out, of "why should I pay taxes for X to help this other person with Y? It doesn't affect me." For example, "Why should my taxes …

Sinister Quote

Some of you may have noticed that I've put a quote at the top of the blog. This quote will change every so often, when I get around to it. At the moment, it's a pretty funny one from Terry Pratchett's book Interesting Times. Click the quote and it'll take you to the Wikiquote page where I found it. :-)

New Gas Prices Widget - How are Gas Prices Affecting You?

Look on the top of the blog for a new widget monitoring Tulsa's gas prices.

With gas prices as high as they are, my partner and I are having to make some real changes to the way we drive. For example:

1) I'm driving the speed limit or below at all times. If you knew me, you'd know why this is a major change. Nothing to see here, officer... ;-)
2) I'm not coming home at lunch to walk my dog. I had been doing this every day, but I just can't justify the cost anymore. The good news is that Wendy (my dog) is perfectly housebroken, so she's completely fine without a mid day walk.

Even with these changes, our cost for gas is still higher than we'd like it to be. I spend at least $100 a month on gas, and I'm sure my partner spends the same, if not more. Yet it doesn't make any sense for either of us to sell a car and start taking the bus, because we still need both cars. That's the problem with living in a city without decent public transit. We can…

Happy Friday!

No, it's pining for the fjords!

Sinister Radio canceled

I'm going to have to re-think the whole podcast / radio thing. I think I'd prefer a format where I can record over myself if necessary.

Stay tuned.

A Sinister Endorsement for McCain

For a long time now, I've been really concerned about the bickering in the Democratic race, so much so that I've been reluctant to pick a candidate. It seems clear to me now that neither candidate is willing to unite the Democratic Party around a coherent platform of change. Therefore, my only recourse is to endorse McCain.

John McCain is a seasoned leader whose decades of public service have prepared him amply for the position of Commander-in-Chief.

God, even writing this makes me a little nauseous. Why don't I just say "April Fools" now and save us all the heartburn?

;-)