Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Second Image

In the last few weeks, more Shiite killed more Sunni, more Palestinians were killed by Jews, Hamas and Fatah killed each other some more, some Whites hated some Blacks, some Blacks hated some Whites, and fundamentalists killed many seculars and non-seculars alike.

It's really all so . . . tragic. Not just because of lives lost, but also because all of this is based largely on differentiating themselves from the "Other." You're different . . . BANG!

Nevermind that biologically we're all alike. We all have the same ancestor. I heard a blurb about the Human Genome Project on today's Writer's Almanac: that everyone on Earth - all 6 billion of us - can trace our ancestor back 7,000 generations.

Here's a USA Today article from last year:

" "Had you entered any village on Earth in around 3,000 B.C., the first person you would have met would probably be your ancestor," statistician Jotun Hein of England's Oxford University marveled.

It also means that all of us have ancestors of every color and creed. Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past. Every Sunni Muslim in Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite. And every Klansman's family has African roots."

Many cultures pride themselves in honoring their ancestors. Let's practice what we preach.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Copper Sol

I am so tired of half-assed American political leadership. I have never felt so politically disenfranchised in my life. Or rather, I have never felt so utterly tired of America. Of course, I lay blame all of this on Bush and his cronies. Terrorism - the spread of Al-Qaedaesque terrorist organizations - has expanded in a seemingly exponential fashion since Georgie went into town (Iraq) blazin' away like some third-rate Hollywood cowboy. Moron.

This is all so depressing.

I sometimes feel like taking m'ladies and hunkering how into a bunker.

By "bunker" I mean Barcelona, however. Or some other city - large or small - along the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

Maybe I should sell my house, pay off some debt, and take the rest of the equity to pay for a modest apartment in the Andalucían coast. I know Carolina would love that.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The San Joaquin Valley Library System

O.A.S. and Blue Sky

I just checked Google Analytics (which helps me track my blog). Kudos to Fresno for being a dedicated ALT-[frames] Head.

As a present, here is a giant shark coming out of a building.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

File Under: "I Saw This Coming a Mile Away"

Most people who read my blog - the regulars - are pretty liberal. Even a Republican friend of mine (Jimbo!) is pretty liberal on lots of topics; he may choose the word "rational," however.

So, for most of us, the FBI's recent admittal to breaking the law regarding privacy concerns should not come as a surprise. There have been thousands of instances where agents used the nefarious National Security Letter, a post-9/11 intelligence-gathering tool, to find out people's credit, telephone conversations, etc. I distinctly remember the FBI stating months ago that they would make sure that this procedure would not be "over-used." Ha! Yeah, right. Well, guess what? They sure over-used it, alright.

Allan, aka "Bury my thoughts in the pixellated thought-hole," posted something interesting today. It's called "Get Grandpa's FBI File." Check it out, especially those of you who have a longer history here in the States than us children of recent immigrants.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On Paris Hilton, "Celebrity Justice," and Irony

Lots of people have complained about the special treatment given to Paris Hilton, thanks to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Before being sent to jail, Paris seemed resigned to the fact that she would have to spend 23 days in a cell:

"I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."

She presumably meant taking responsibility for your own actions or misdeeds, not actually going to jail.

There was a great September 2000 article in Vanity Fair about the young Hilton sisters, Kathy their goofy misguided mother, and the general sense of Club Kid malaise that permerates their lives. In the story there was a particularly fascinating and ironic scene about "celebrity justice."

"Well, just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you shouldn't get in trouble if you do something," Paris says.

Nicky laughs.

"Oh, yeah, celebrities think that all the time," Kathy says quickly.

"You keep interrupting me," Paris tells her mother.

There's a long silence.

Nicky laughs again, dryly and somewhat mysteriously.

"There are some people, I guess," continues Paris, "who feel they can get away with anything—"

"This is just so ironic," scoffs Nicky.

Kathy giggles nervously. "We were having this conversation last night," she says.

No one says anything for a while. The silence is deafening.

I say, "Your eyes are so blue, Paris."

"Yeah," says Paris. "They're contacts."

Nicky says, "Mine are real."

I think it's quite telling that, when the judge re-ordered her back in jail after being prematuely released by the Sheriff, Paris shrieked the following:

"It's not right! . . . Mom!"

To quote Nicky Hilton: This is just so ironic.

Dear Hamas & Fatah. . .

Pieces of her washed ashore yesterday.

Dear Hamas & Fatah:

Fucking chill out.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Onion pretty much says what's on my mind.

Joe Lieberman is a raving lunatic. I mean - we all knew this.

It was only a matter of time before he would stop self-medicating and utter sheer nonsense.

Check out today's American Voices to see what I mean.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is what you get when you surround yourself with religious fundamentalist policy makers and brown-nosers who think they know the law...


You get bitch-slapped by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Ohhhh, daaaaaamn.

I laugh now at this Administration's flaccid legal maneuvering.


I just found out that the defendent has a horrid mullet.

Hang his ass!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"If you gave Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox"

Except for the entire Iraq War garbage, I agree with Christopher Hitchens on most issues (especially issues of religion and governance).

Sean Hannity got an honorary degree from Falwell's Liberty University. Seeing him spar with an Oxford-trained expert on the English language makes me laugh.

Hitchens' last barb at Jerry Falwell was "If you gave [him] an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox." So true.

Hitchens is an ass, but a lovable one.

Good lunch-time fun.

Friday, June 1, 2007

"Number, please."

AT&T Long Lines Building

I love this.

The link - provided by the Porticus Centre - is from an old audio clip from an episode of Dragnet, c. 1949. The show did not edit out the actual connection of the call - almost two whole minutes of connecting the AT&T/Bell long lines from who-knows-where to Murphy, Idaho.

In this day and age of instantaneous communication, where time space is irrelevant, where one can not only hear the blah-blah chatter of others, but also is able to read various mindless (if innocent enough) inanities like "LOL" or "ur my BFF!!11" or "KOKO BAAATAH!11," we often forget how involved telephony once was.