Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bloggers against gonzales...

Kos has a petition/pledge/roll call for bloggers against gonzales as attorny general. It is hard not to endorse damn near anything which is against that creep.

"Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In this case, we, the undersigned bloggers, have decided to speak as one and collectively author a document of opposition. We oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General of the United States, and we urge every United States Senator to vote against him."

Daily Kos :: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

religious 'leaders' call a spade a spade (and then call a sponge a fag): "Hood-rat, hood-rat, hoochie-mama..."

finally the religious assholes that annoy the rest of us and love the chimp in chief are starting to pay a little closer attention and annoying their beloved leader for a while.

Tbogg points out that they are sending him letters calling his, 'classy' is not the word they would have chosen.
jenna and notjenna bimbos of babylon

something to smile about on this dark day.

In other religious nutcase news, Dobson (or as James Wolcott says, SpongeDob Stickypants) is turning on Sponge Bob. Guess what dvd's my nieces are getting for their birthday? It beats the hell out of that veggietale crap that I was forced to watch over the break.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Maybe the president is right for once: of the young and our trust for the government

Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo does a great job of countering the nekkid emperor's continuing assertions that social security is falling apart and will die a swift and inglorious death unless he swoops down and saves us from ourselves (like he did in Iraq). He quotes the president on the youth perspective on the whole mess:

> Today the president said: "Most younger people in America think they'll >never see a dime [from Social Security]. Probably an exaggeration to a certain >extent. But a lot of people who are young, who understand how Social >Security works, really do wonder whether they'll see anything."

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: January 09, 2005 - January 15, 2005 Archives

Josh explains quite well why the president is wrong, and I agree with his points, but in a different way the president is right (although it doesn't support his assertions): most young people don't expect social security to be there for us.

But not because we think the system itself is flawed, but rather because we know there are folks like the president in the government whittling away at anything that is good and precisely for that reason we do not trust the government. Period. I believe that there are any number of programs that work amazingly well and should be expanded, but if I go away and come back later I don't trust that things will still be where I left it. After Nixon and Reagan (and in certain ways Clinton; the first bush just really didn't seem organized enough to change a table setting) and Vietnam and the Iran-Contra crap, faith in our government isn't exactly soaring and this isn't an attitude that we acquired; we have been raised with it. Our default expectation for the government is failure.

We have to be heartily convinced that any program that we have not had personal, direct interaction with is good and no twenty-something knows anything of social security personally except that some of our money goes there from every check. We are not a generation that believes in institutions or public figures.

But we love the things we feel we can trust (institutionwise, I personally only really allow myself the indulgence of trusting National Geographic, which may seem silly or trivial, but you have to hang on to something and I think I have picked well) and don't have an aversion to stability. We just expect otherwise.

Just look at how we approach employment. I do not expect to hold a single job for the rest of my life. I do not expect to stay at a single company or organization. I have already work at more varied things than can be counted on one's hand, and I think the same is true for most of my peers. How many different jobs did our parents have by 27?

So maybe lil' bush is right for once; we do not expect social security to be there when we get old. We expect him or someone like him to manage to destroy it long before then.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Project Concern International: Helping children and families around the world

A friend who I haven't seen in years but live vicariously through their infrequent but lengthy updates just sent a personal request about tsunami relief. She spends most of her year on the water and spent much of this last year in areas hit by the tsunami. She wrote a personal message and forwarded on a message from a friend currently working in the region delivering aid. If you are interested in giving, please consider giving here (their letters follow):

Project Concern International: Helping children and families around the world

>From: heather t----- <*snip*>
>To: *snip*
>Subject: Here's how to HELP!
>Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 17:07:53 -0800 (PST)
>Hello all, Just when you think the lion is sleeping,
>she bites back with ferocity. Amazing how a tragedy in
>one part of the world can effect those miles and miles
>away. I am grateful that myself and my two great
>loves, John and Dancyn, weren't anywhere near the
>tsunamis. Unfortunately, many cruisers like to spend
>the winter season in Phuket and I am sure there are
>many that weren't so lucky. I recently heard on the
>radio that more people die from the lack of clean
>water and good medicine a year in those regions that
>we disdainfully refer to as the third world than all
>of the tsunami victims to date, but now we have a
>chance to really reach out and help those that we
>don't know, will never know, but are fellow citizens
>of the planet. A fellow cruiser friend, Chris, is
>currently in Bandi Aceh on Sumatra heading up relief
>work with Project Concern International, a grassroots
>organization based out of San Diego. His partner,
>Dana, will be joining him shortly. We met them in the
>Galapagos, were best friends at their wedding in the
>Marquesas (since we knew them the longest-2 months),
>and have had the joy of reuniting with them in Hawaii
>after they sailed up from Tahiti 2 months ago.
>According to Chris, there is a lot of money, a lot of
>help pouring into the affected areas, but
>unfortunately, it has remained concentrated in only a
>few places. Chris was sent to Sumatra and came up with
>the brillant idea to charter a ship (once a sailor,
>always a sailor) and deliver supplies to the thousands
>of people in outlying areas that still remain without
>water, food, and medical help. If you donating funds
>to relief efforts, consider giving directly to Project
>Concern International (see below) because you know for
>certain your money will be used to its fullest.
>I know that in today's world if we only put as much
>zest into making peace as we do fighting wars and
>creating capital, such events would have less impact
>on everyone.
>Health and peace to all, Heather
>Dear family and friends,
>As you all know, we are in the midst of a tragedy that
>is beyond our
>collective capacity to put accurately into words. It
>is being called the
>worst natural disaster of the last 100 years. Veteran
>relief workers,
>foreign journalists and military personnel are
>consistent in their response
>– they have never seen anything that compares to the
>destruction that this
>has caused. Hiroshima has been the best point of
>reference to describe
>has happened. But in the end, the tsunami is just
>another destructive
>that has sapped the life and livelihood out of those
>who had little to
>with. It will take years to rebuild and many will
>never recover from the
>physical and emotional trauma this event has caused.
>This past week,
>Project Concern International (the organization I
>worked for prior to going
>sailing) asked me to go to Indonesia to lead our
>disaster response. I
>currently in Jakarta but will leave for Ache, ground
>zero for the
>earthquake/tsunami destruction, today. It is likely
>that Dana will also
>come out to help with me within the coming months.
>Our initial priority
>focus will be to get to areas currently out of reach
>from the massive amount
>of supplies flooding into the region. Ironically,
>just when I thought
>I was
>retiring from sailing, I will soon find myself back on
>a boat. PCI is
>the process of chartering an 800 ton capacity steel
>schooner to bring
>supplies and medical assistance to those who have thus
>far been inaccessible
>by modern craft and land transport.
>I have never asked family or friends to support my
>causes but I am asking
>now. We need your help. I need your help. You can
>directly link to
> and find out how
>donate or call 858 279-9690. I will be out of touch
>for awhile but thank
>in advance for any support you can provide.
>Chris Bessenecker