Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have political opinions!

and the energy to state them here, on this blog!

For example:

1) I am in favor of pie!

2) I am opposed to deadly spikes!

3) I am ambivalent about yogurt!

So says I!

...seriously, I'll do a serious post soon as all of my brain isn't eaten by my new job...

Monday, January 26, 2009

1st day of work a pretty good success

busy busy busy. Regular blogging will resume when I can catch my damned breath in this city.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Fr...Sunday

So I missed the Happy Friday video cause I was busy driving to Portland and moving in to my apartment, so here's this:


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Portland achieved.

Three and a half days of driving later, and we're sitting in a coffee shop in Portland. More later - just wanted you all to know that we're alive and happily in the magical kingdom of PDX.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another side of MLK

We all know "I have a Dream." American history books tend to leave out MLK's other accomplishments and causes. We tend to learn in school that MLK fought for civil rights, and then later, he was assassinated. The truth is that MLK was also an activist for labor rights and economic justice, and he also spoke out forcefully against the War in Vietnam.

Here's audio of a speech he gave against the Vietnam War:

And here he is arguing against both communism and capitalism - arguing for a synthesis of the two:

Monday Loldog

see more puppies

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ok, one of two things is happening here.

1) Israel is really coming under fire from Hamas militants hiding at UN facilities, which would be a truly ominous sign about the role of the UN in this conflict.

2) Israel is lying and covering up targeting mistakes that cause deadly casualties, which would be a truly ominous development in Israel's military strategy in Gaza, not to mention a major ethical breach on Israel's part - perhaps even a war crime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ricardo Montalban is dead

Ricardo Montalban, famous for, among other things, playing the inimitable villian Khan Noonian Singh in a Star Trek episode and later reprising that role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, has died at the age of 88.

Doctors declined to comment on rumors that Montalban was killed by a deadly mind-controlling ear eel.

No, Mr. "President."

"The most important job I have had -- and the most important job the next president is going to have -- is to protect the American people from another attack," Bush said.

Another attack? What about the first one? Was it not your job to prevent that one, too?

Can we please send this one to the Hague?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sea kittens & chips - delicious!

PETA, the Ann Coulter of rights groups, is now calling fish "sea kittens" for some reason.

See, guys, this is why nobody takes you seriously. This is almost as idiotic as the time you said beer was healthier for you than milk.

Think I'll have some sea kittens for dinner tonight - sauteed in a nice white wine sauce...mmmm.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is not okay.

Israel is banning Arab political parties from participating in its upcoming election. That's a pretty stunningly terrible move. Israel is supposed to be the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. It needs to act like it.

Big giant applause.

Breaking news on MSNBC right now:

BREAKING NEWS: Obama is set to issue order first week in office to close Guantanamo, AP reports

Awesome. Now let's do some war crimes investigations, shall we?

monday loldog

Spent some time with the Tulsa Scrabble Club yesterday, so here's this:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

Friday, January 9, 2009

Um, hey...

Not that I'm defending the guy, but has it not occurred to anyone else that Blagojevich hasn't actually been convicted of anything yet? We do have a thing called "innocent until proven guilty" in this country...

Major flooding cuts off Portland from Seattle

Rain-swollen rivers have inundated highways and farms, towns and parks in western Washington, shutting down traffic on a 20-mile stretch of heavily traveled Interstate 5 between Seattle and Oregon and threatening the federal roadway north of Seattle.

"If you're trying to do commerce between Portland [Oregon] and Seattle, there is no way right now," said Bob Calkins, a spokesman for the Washington State Emergency Operations Center in Camp Murray near Tacoma.

Be careful out there, folks. Don't drive into water that's covering a roadway - you don't know how deep it is, and it only takes a few inches to float a car.

The fundamentals of our economy

are absolutely horrible.

Last year's steep drop in employment marked the highest yearly job-loss total since 1945, the year in which World War II ended.

Economists surveyed by had forecast a loss of 525,000 jobs in the month.

According to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the unemployment rate rose to 7.2% last month from 6.7% in November and higher than economists' forecasts of 7%.

The unemployment rate, which is compiled in a separate survey from the payroll number, was at its highest level since January 1993.

Happy Friday

My partner found our apartment last night. Today he has job interviews. The final cogs are clicking into place. Or something.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I've been trying my hardest to give Israel the benefit of the doubt.

But when the Red Cross complains that Israel hasn't been helping civilians, then there's a definite problem.

The International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel of failing in its international obligations after its staff were met with "shocking" scenes.

One medical team found 12 bodies in a shelled house, and alongside them four very young children, too weak to stand, waiting by their dead mothers, the ICRC said.

Aid workers had been denied access to the site for days, it added.

"This is a shocking incident," Pierre Wettach, ICRC head for Israel and the Palestinian territories said in a statement.

"The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded."

Hamas is hiding behind civilians and even using UN facilities to carry out its attacks. Most of the civilian casualties in this conflict can still be blamed on Hamas. However, this situation is now a major humanitarian disaster, and all sides must do what they can to both prevent civilian casualties and allow aid groups access to wounded civilians. If the Red Cross, long a neutral and objective voice in world conflicts, is criticizing Israel this harshly, then Israel really needs to respond.

I'm extremely worried that this situation is escalating. There are new reports of rocket fire from Lebanon. Hizbullah appears to be adding its voice to the situation...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hello BNN Oregon!

The good folks at BlogNetNews have kindly moved Sinister from the Oklahoma feed to the Oregon feed in anticipation of the Big Move.

I'm an Oklahoma native, moving to Portland with my life partner, along with our one-eyed tonkinese cat named Cosette, and a neurotic but adorable mutt named Wendy, in a little less than three weeks. I'm excited about making a new start in what I am finding more and more to be a vibrant, unique, and extremely damp, city. The Onion newspaper satirized what I seem to be doing in a pretty hilarious article recently.

I've written Sinister for several years now. It's a blog that looks at the world from a left-handed perspective. I've written about everything from the Israel-Palestine conflict to the struggle for marriage equality to worker rights, technology, movies, music, and literature. I'm going to feature more local Portland and Oregon stories in the future.

Watch for my Happy Friday posts, which feature random videos - past entries have included Monty Python sketches, movie clips, and random YouTube stuff that made me giggle.

So, dear Oregonians, I invite you to peruse this humble blog at your leisure. I welcome comments, disagreements, praise, criticism, rants, raves, outrage, and applause. I also welcome restaurant recommendations.

Congrats to Mayor Sam Adams

New Portland Mayor Sam Adams was inaugurated on Monday, along with several other city, county, and state officials. Adams had previously been Portland Transportation Commissioner, and becomes Portland's first openly gay Mayor.

From an article on

Adams, 44, won by stressing specifics: He promised to work with school leaders to cut the dropout rate, make Portland a leader in environmentally friendly businesses and use the Portland Streetcar and better planning to spur urban renewal.

Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apple cuts prices and eliminates DRM from ITunes

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple Inc. closed its final appearance at the Macworld trade show Tuesday by cutting the price of some songs in its market-leading iTunes online store to as little as 69 cents and disclosing that soon every track will be available without copy protection.

Apple's top marketing executive, Philip Schiller, said iTunes songs would come in three pricing tiers: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. Record companies will choose the prices, which marks a significant change, since Apple previously made all songs sell for 99 cents.

Apple offered the record labels that flexibility on pricing as it got them to agree to sell all songs free of ''digital rights management'' (DRM) technology that limits people's ability to copy songs or move them to multiple computers. By the end of this quarter, Apple said, all 10 million songs in its library will be available without DRM.

Excellent news. That's one thing that has always frustrated me about ITunes - you have to authorize a new computer to play files that you bought from ITunes on another computer, and you can only have a limited number of computers authorized. I'm assuming this announcement marks the end of that mess. I hope it also marks the end of having to have your IPod synced with a particular computer's library, thus making it impossible to download new stuff on the go from any computer.

Eliminating those two annoyances will make me a little happier with Apple, a company whose "hipster" image hides the fact that most of its products are overpriced, underpowered, and completely impossible to customize or upgrade.

A reason why I'm moving.

Not THE reason; there are a number of reasons why my partner and I are moving to Portland.

But I've been using this illustration to explain one of the prime motivators behind the move.

In a lot of video games - for example, World of Warcraft - there are "zones" where you do quests, gaining levels and experience, and then you move on to the next zone. I kind of feel like I've leveled past Tulsa, that I'm done with Tulsa, and it's time to move on to a new zone.

A geeky explanation, to be sure. But then, I'm a geek. Actually I'm a gork - a geek/dork hybrid, but my point stands.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Franken declares Senate victory

Al Franken has declared victory in the Minnesota Senate race after the state canvassing board certified his win by 225 votes today. Norm Coleman, of course, is going to challenge Franken's win in court. This is the same Coleman who told us to "get over" the 2000 Bush v. Gore debacle, and to "get over" the death of Paul Wellstone. So shouldn't he "get over" his own loss to Franken in this race?

In another corner of the world, the sound of Bill O'Reilly's head exploding made a sound like a wet loofa thudding against a shower wall...

monday loldog

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome to Sinister PDX

PDX job achieved - moving preparations commencing. Very exciting. The next two weeks will see very sporadic blogging. Much to do. W00t!

Happy Friday from Portland

You'll only understand this if you've played Portal. Which you should do.

I've finally made it to the magical kingdom known as PDX. It's wet, cold, and wonderful, and I'm wet, and I have a cold, which isn't so wonderful. Blogging will be sporadic for the next few days - possibly even the next few weeks. The Portland transition seems to be happening faster than my partner and I anticipated, which is a good thing.

More later.

And yes, there will be cake.