Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why some people should not drink at the staff Holiday Party

A Cartoon.
originally posted here.

No Commentary Needed.

Except to point out that this is funny, but not a personal statement of any kind.
I happen to adore my boss, and working conditions here could be improved upon, but are far from frightful.

Alternative text provided for accessibility:
A drunk man standing on the punch table up sings:
"Well conditions at work are frightful,
and the boss is not delightful,
and someday we'll all be let go,
this job blows,
this job blows,
this job blows."

Harvey's bitter, drunken version of "Let it Snow"
brought down the house at what turned out to be
his last Christmas Party.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friends don't let Friends give socks to terrorists

Nat Hentoff reports A Brooklyn College Grad Experiences the Constitution in a Cage.
For the past year, a 28-year-old Muslim American student, Sayed Fahad Hashmi—the first person extradited to the United States from Britain to face charges of terrorism—has been held at the Manhattan Correctional Center under conditions of confinement that are the very definition of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment."

He has not been charged with being a member of Al Qaeda or for providing any money or resources to any terrorist. He is here—for a trial months away in 2009—for letting a former acquaintance, Junaid Babar, stay for a couple of weeks in his London apartment, where Babar stored several ponchos, raincoats, and waterproof socks in a suitcase.

A week ago, I was having a proud to be an American moment. But there is so much work to be done. The conditions under which he is being held, this American citizen? This is keeping me safe?
On a 23-hour solitary-confinement lockdown, Hashmi, was not allowed family visits for months. Now, he can see one person for an hour and a half, but only every other week. He is permitted to write only one letter a week to a single member of his family, but he cannot use more than three pieces of paper per letter. (I would be grateful, Mr. Mukasey, for an explanation of how these restrictions serve our security needs.) Mr. Hashmi is forbidden any contact—directly or through his attorneys—with the news media. He can read newspapers, but only those portions approved by his jailers—and not until 30 days after publication. And he is absolutely forbidden to listen to news radio stations or to watch television news channels.

You will not be surprised to learn that he is under 24-hour electronic monitoring and is forbidden to communicate with any of the other inmates. However, a merciful Justice Department allows him one hour of recreation every day—inside a cage.

There is nothing I can say to comment upon this that the facts themselves don't say.
Go read the whole article.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

If only I had stock in Cafe Press

The Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart is available on products from buttons to messenger bags. I'm sitting here wondering what I'll break down and buy.

I stayed up half the night and yelled at the tv with family and facebooked with friends and then went to sleep. These guys stayed up all night and made money.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin-Biden debate drinking games

I went a'googlin' for drinkin' games, and lookey here, Josh Nelson over at The Huffington Post has compiled them for me.

You can go there for the whole thing, but I could choose from this brief selection:

When Palin claims she said "Thanks but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere: Demand a new drink from your hosts, say "thanks but no thanks," and then when no one's looking, take it anyway, then claim you never wanted it. (Via) (from MIT)

Every time Palin mentions a Moose or says something so stupid you think she might be less intelligent than one: drink a Moosehead beer.

Everytime Biden mentions a foreign leader he has met: sip wine -- every time he mentions a Senator as a friend: drink beer.

Every time Palin fidgets and twists her fingers, switch drinks with the person next to you.

Every time Palin mentions Wasilla drink a shot of Jager and howl at the wolves.

(If you go to the original page, you'll find more ideas, and many embedded links)

But since I'm just too old to drink like that, more likely I'll simply add tequila to my margarita for every answer squeezed in that she missed with Katie Couric last week. She said she'd get back to ya on that, so I'm going to drink when she does.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Smithsonian Magazine on Why Iran is so Ticked off

I hate when I forget the history I swear I'll learn from. I'd forgotten that in 1953, the US overthrew Iran's democratic govt (whose Prime Minister was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1951) and installed the Shah. I had remembered that we backed the Shah, but had forgotten that we went and actually did the imperialist intervention thing to establish him.

Stephen Kinzer's excellent article, Inside Iran's Fury, is available online.

About the Iran hostage Crisis, he writes
Bruce Laingen, a career diplomat who was chief of the U.S. embassy staff, was the highest-ranking hostage. One day, after Laingen had spent more than a year as a hostage, one of his captors visited him in his solitary cell. Laingen exploded in rage, shouting at his jailer that this hostage-taking was immoral, illegal and "totally wrong." The jailer waited for him to finish, then replied without sympathy.

"You have nothing to complain about," he told Laingen. "The United States took our whole country hostage in 1953."

Understanding what hundreds of years of foreign intervention will do to the cultural and political outlook of a people (as say, First Nation peoples in North America, or African American descendants of 400 years of slavery) is important in terms of understanding the political context of a country in this fraught region.

And understanding how our CIA overthrew a[nother] government because their policies were first and foremost in the interest of their own people and not ours... that's a patriotic duty. The good and the bad people, the good and the bad.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Working Class Warrior or Liberal Elite ?

I took the How to Win a Fight with a Conservative Quiz, and with one answer change, got two different identities.

I had a terrible time deciding who to place in my naked pyramid, (in fact, wanted an opt-out so as to put no one into a naked pyramid) so I tried it both ways:

Turns out that it doesn't take much to change me from my working/middle class anti-corporate greed roots into an intellectual elite.

Putting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld into a naked pyramid made me a Working Class Warrior.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

Putting Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh in the pyramid is all it took to make me into a Reality Based Intellectualist
How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Truth is, I'm a farm girl that went and got edumakated. Which kind of makes me a Working Class Warrior Liberal Elite.

Funny how quizzes never have a category for that.

Nod to Ms. Kitty and Rev. Sean.

Friday, September 26, 2008

While you were watching the Other Hand

The House just passed the $630 Billion Omnibus bill. The Bank Bail out makes great press, as does John McCain's "suspending the campaign."
Meantime, as if they're powerless, the House Dems have passed a bill that contains
$488 Billion for the Pentagon
$30 Billion for Homeland Security
But not the increase in food stamps, extension of unemployment insurance, or Medicaid support they wanted.
Thank god there's an increase in funding for Veterans' Health programs, but here's a surprise to me, a 25-Billion dollar bail out (low interest loan) of the US Auto manufacturers. hmmm...

Thanks to

and mom.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

David Letterman on "suspending the campaign"

I haven't seen Letterman go on and on like this in a long time.

"You don't suspend your campaign, you have the vice president run it... are we suspending it b/c there's an economic crisis, or are we suspending it because his poll numbers are dropping......someone's been putting something in his Metamucil... you don't suspend the campaign, you put in your second string quarter back. Where's Sarah Palin? ...The Economy in Alaska is fine.

and best of all, 7 minutes in he does a lovely bit about how McCain couldn't be on Letterman because he was racing back to Washington, but then cuts live to the Evening News studio where he is doing an interview with Catie Couric.

or link directly

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin - even talking about her is sexist

Why watch real news when there's Jon Stewart? He masters another moment of letting people speak for themselves...again and again and Oh My Goodness, it's quite lovely. Watch Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, Nancy Pfotenhauer.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Reasons to love Jimmy Carter #46587b

You may have forgotten, but Carter put solar panels on the white house in 1979, and offered tax credits to Americans who did the same.

Reason # 5,947,356 to be mad at Ronald Reagon -- he took them down and terminated the tax credits.

Carter's goal was to have 20% of the nations energy supplied by renewable sources by the end of the 20th century.

Today it is the same as it was in 1979 -- %6

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee introduce Sarah Palin

Right here...

Keep watching for the excellent moment of letting FOX commentators speak for themselves.

Just a heads up, Samantha Bee goes a bit over the top... even for me.

Really really bad judgement

See the party boat.

See students drink.

Drink, Students, Drink.

Vodka or beer?

Both please.

They can drink because
everyone on board is over 21.

Drink more students, drink more.

(wait, excuse me a minute....


Not all students?

A... what was that? A President?

Oh, that guy my age is Robert Paxton, President of their community college?


Hold the keg Mr. President.

Drink, Students, Drink.

Resign, Mr. President, resign.

Why might he think this wasn't a bad idea? Maybe because no one has ever put the brakes on his behavior before. According to Clark Kauffman at the Des Moines Register,

In 2002, Paxton was indicted on charges of felonious misconduct in office, falsification of public records and tampering with public records. The charges grew out of an investigation into student athletes being awarded false grades.

Three of Paxton’s colleagues at Iowa Central eventually pleaded guilty to charges they tampered with student records to benefit the athletes and to deceive others. All three men retained their jobs at the school. The charges against Paxton were deferred under an agreement in which he accepted responsibility for the transcript fraud.

I guess if you get to keep your job after being responsible for tampering with student records, it might not occur to you that partying with students is a bad idea.

My favorite bit: he gets paid $400,000 for resigning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PolitiFact : checking on political accusations

The Truth-O-Meter is great!

Even better than truthiness, they do fact-checking.

Constantly updated, for instance, when it became clear that John McCain has 8, (not 7) houses, they fixed it immediately.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

When is Fasting and Prayer like Mind Control?

When it happens in DC, in August, for 12 straight hours, in likely 90+ degree heat and has silence rather than speech as an expectation of participants.
Mind Control = Creating circumstances within which one person can modify perception and cognition of another. It's not rocket science - it's social psychology.

The Call : A Fast, not a Festival August 16, 2008, Chief organizer, Lou Engle.

It is not enough that Jesus died. Someone must apply the blood of Jesus to the national sin of USA.
~ Lou Engle, from The doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood(this is a .pdf).
First, who is Lou Engle? You think you've never heard of him, but you did if you saw "Jesus Camp" He is the man who showed plastic fetuses to young children and reminded them that 1/3 of their potential friends had been aborted. He prayed while the children chanted, "Righteous Judges, Righteous Judges."

We are preparing for some 500,000 people, but really there's no way of knowing beforehand.

Can you imagine though if 500,000 people gathered on the National Mall, not in irritated protest against a man or his policies, but in abandoned worship and prayer - coming before the Lord, in a Joel 2 Solemn Assembly where united in fasting and prayer, generations turn to seek the Lord? Can you see the largest silent siege - as seas of people in solemn silent prayer with red LIFE tape across their mouths turn to face the supreme court and pray to the Maker of Heaven and Earth to "...end abortion and send revival to America?" and establish righteous judges?

What might this LIFE tape look like at a rally of fasting and prayer?

Faith Development is the natural unfolding of one's mind toward trust and commitment. There are natural stages of this, and concrete ways to help people to explore in developmentally appropriate ways.

The opposite of Faith Development is Mind Control -- dishonest and manipulative influence over what people believe.

How do you exert, not honest, appropriate influence, but manipulative influence to the point of control, over what people believe?
Control over Behavior, Information, Thought, Emotions. (Hassan)

What might this look like?
~Control the environment and limit information and ideas -- social environment and physical environment.
~Cast the world as binary - 1 and 0, yes or no, on or off. Don't allow for questioning, or context or complexity.
~Be sure you have absolute truth and repeat it again and again.
~Use language that is so loaded that everyone accepts the meaning of the word, and the surrounding ideas.
~Manipulate and induce blank-mind states - trance like states of openness -- through prayer, chanting, repetitive singing, etc.
~Keep them tired, fill up their awake time with material controlled by the group leader.
~Create emotional highs and lows and use those emotional states to induce thinking that the leader wants.

If you want to control someone's mind, control their behavior, limit their freedoms (of movement, speech, self-care), and keep them hungry and tired.

I've been to Marches on Washington. Hot, sweaty, thirsty, hungry and tired from a bzillion hour bus ride, but I am expected to participate, to march, to move my body and interact with people, to eat and drink, and listen to different speakers, some of whom don't' agree on everything and we all agree to disagree that day b/c the focus of the march is primary.
And we holler. And hoot. and whistle. And did I say, eat?

We sometimes take UU youth to events, overnight trips/lock-ins, or camps - and we support them while they examine and ponder and talk and worship and eat and drink. We feed and water them, we keep them safe, we engage them in dialogue, and we strongly encourage sleeping and other forms of self-care.

What happens if young people stand silently in the sun without eating for 12 hours?
They think this is what will happen:
TheCall does not seek to entertain, but to encounter God. Unlike other mass gatherings which attract people through the rhythms of loud music, the glamour of flashing lights, or through the appeal of charismatic personalities, TheCall is a gathering centered around the affections of a loving God. There will be no advertised bands and no promoted speakers, as our purpose is not to promote any man or ministry.

TheCall is a FAST not a festival. TheCall is a SOLEMN ASSEMBLY not a conference.
Whereas conferences focus primarily on training and discipleship, the 12 hours of TheCall are spent primarily before the Lord in the place of prayer and worship. ...
Those who fast should do so under the supervision of parents and doctors and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. A person could fast just one meal or drink only juice for the day. Water will be provided by The Call organization; however, food will not be available because this is a solemn assembly to pray and fast for revival. (bold emphasis mine)

I think that this prayer and fasting in the sun is just plain wrong. Their belief system aside (and don't get me started) I think this is coercive at best, abusive at worst.

An intervention is called for. This is what I would do if I weren't' in a pulpit the next day 650 miles away. Maybe you might choose to do it my stead.

Go to the rally.
Pass out juice and crackers/cookies/fruit.
Tell people the food is free, like speech, and you hope they will ask questions instead of agreeing to silence.
Don't argue, feed and walk away.

Jesus fed the 5000. No reason we couldn't as well.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Turn your face away from GA just for a minute

and watch Stephen Colbert interview Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, on Gay Marriage. He's plugging his book, Personal Faith, Public Policy. This clip was from May 27, but you can never wait too long to watch Stephen smoothly "agree" with his right wing guests.

According to the FRC website, the authors
argue that the religious Right is not falling apart; rather it is growing, expanding, and being rejuvenated.
"What our critics see as 'splintering' is actually the growing pains that precede a healthy expansion," write Jackson and Perkins. "The movement is adapting to the changing political environment and broadening its ranks while holding firmly to the principles that have united us thus far."

Jackson and Perkins write that the religious Right has experienced significant growth in recent years, becoming more diverse in a number of important ways, from race to age to political affiliation; however, they conclude that unifying these coalitions has been and will continue to be a challenge to the religious Right.

I wonder why they capitalized Right, but not religious in those paragraphs.
Perhaps being Right is more important than being religious?

naw, probably just an intern.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best Zinger all year

Departing from the cranky news, I thot I'd share a story wherein I'm not the cranky one.

My best friends used to own a small store during the 90's and into this century. I helped out and supported them and watched them through good and lean times, I got a discount on nifty items, and contributed my New Years' Days to inventory and carpet cleaning. Eventually, they sold the store. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for this store, and feel a lingering connection to it.

The new owner rearranged, and like when a therapist gets a new office, or the minister redecorates after a decade, the changes just felt wrong for the longest time. But after a few years I'd gotten used to the changes, and the store continued to have a special place in my heart.

I was there yesterday, asked the owner how he was, and he told me that he is selling and has a couple of prospective buyers. Awww.... damn. It seemed wrong again, just after I had gotten used to him and his way of doing things, just after I had gotten used to paying retail price for everything.

I said, the way I would were we say, actual friends, "So are you getting out with some money, or just your shirt?"

He didn't miss a beat and with no affect whatsoever said, "I am happy to talk in detail about that with any prospective buyers."

Bam, Zing, Set that boundary I'd crossed. It was excellent, and I laughed with appreciation.

He didn't.

I wonder if it is similar to how people come in and out of congregations, and have an emotional relationship to the congregation as a place, or as an idea, and come back after time away and are surprised that they can't just jump in where they left off.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Helen Thomas is my Hero

You may have missed this photo. It seems only the Washington Post published it, then got grief about it. The government... that is to say... our U.S. Government, has been pulling out all stops to keep us regular American citizens from seeing the consequences of the war in Iraq.

The Washington Post published this photo, of 2 year old Ali Hussein, being removed from rubble left by a US Airstrike. He later died.The photo is hosted at and was taken by Karim Kadim, Associated Press Photo. (He also was part of the AP pool who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Those photos can be accessed here.)

Some people complained that this was published in the newspaper.

Helen Thomas responds in her column, A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Howell [Post ombudsman] said some readers felt the photo of the Iraqi boy was “an anti-war statement; some thought it was in poor taste.”

Helen Thomas' response?

Well, so is war.

Howell said her boss, Executive Editor Len Downie, “is cautious about such photos.”
“We have seldom been able to show the human impact of the fighting on Iraqis,” Downie was quoted as saying. “We decided this was a rare instance in which we had a powerful image with which to do so.”

It’s unclear to me why this was deemed to be “rare.” After five years of war, there is finally one photo that is supposed to say it all?

Please go read her piece. I hope that when I am her age (39?) I'll have as much ... everything.... that she has.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

"The Contents don't squirt... (moved from happycindy)

Hmmm, odd that this clip about the perfection of a BANANA proving God's creation didn't make it into Expelled - No Intelligence Involved.

Bad, Bad, Happy Cindy. This is another "Mom, It's not my fault, I didn't do it, I just found it!" clip from the wacky world of media and cultural critics who don't pay enough attention to their own media.

Below are Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort in a clip from The Way of The Master (this is a longer clip).

There's more subtext here than in a Jr. High Locker Room.

How did they not know that this was a Bad Bad idea?
and how did Happy Cindy not know it was a Bad Bad idea to post this over there?????

Thursday, May 01, 2008

People believe strange and surprising things. Why would Rev. Wright be different?

According to Gallup, 6% of Americans believe that the Apollo Moon Landing was a hoax. Another 5% aren't sure.

A CNN/TIME poll shows that 80% of Americans think that the US Government is hiding the fact that it has knowledge of alien life.
Sixty-four percent of the respondents said that aliens have contacted humans, half said they've abducted humans, and 37 percent said they have contacted the U.S. government.

Huge numbers of Americans believe that UFO's are coming to earth and kidnapping humans.

Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard's body is on a planet galaxies away from here, and that Xenu, head of the Galactic confederacy, was responsible for bringing billions of frozen humans to earth 75 million years ago.

16 % of the American people believe that the Collapse of the World Trade Centers was primarily accomplished by an intentional, controlled demolition, likely by the US Government.

49% of New York residents believed (in a poll in 2004) that the US Government knew ahead of time of the attack on the Twin Towers.
Over the years, 36-49% of Americans polled by Newsweek have believed that Sadaam Hussein was behind the attacks.

Scripps Howard found (Nov 23, 2007) that of 811 US adults,
42% think it likely or very likely that people in the US govt knew ahead of time about the assassination of JFK,
37% thought it likely or very likely that some people in the US Govt have proof of alien/UFO life.

Where people believe that UFOs are kidnapping humans, we know that Africans were kidnapped.
So it fascinates me that it surprises anyone that a leader in the African American community-- a community that has a collective history that includes, yes, kidnapping, slavery, lynching, murder, rape, exclusion and discrimination, less than average educational opportunity and greater than average incarceration rate, and medical experimentation without consent -- why is it surprising that this man might believe that the US Government introduced HIV to that community?

For goodness sake people. I don't have to believe this myself to understand how someone could! Frankly, I think it's more likely to be true than alien abduction, or ghosts or that Xenu planted humans in volcanoes 75 million years ago. No, change that. More likely to be true than alien abduction or Xenu, but less likely than the existence of ghosts.

This is not a fringe belief in our country, to be scoffed at by others, including Mr. Obama, but a belief we must acknowledge and grapple with what it means that, in fact, "A 2005 Rand Corp. survey found...that 15% of African Americans consider AIDS "a form of genocide against African Americans, and nearly 27% agreed that "AIDS was produced in a government laboratory." (Rosa Brooks, LA Times, Today)

This belief, unlike beliefs about UFO's or who killed JKF or MLK, this belief is one which contributes to killing people. A lack of realistic scientific understanding of the etiology and transmission of this disease is killing people. These kinds of beliefs can lead people to dismiss the basic behaviors they need to do to keep from getting HIV -- the use of barrier protection/condoms for all sexual activity. This kind of belief keeps people from going to the Dr early enough after infection to make appropriate use of the medication regimes available.

And this kind of belief, unlike aliens and their magic spaceships, can make people lose focus on their own bodies and health and prevention, and make them turn their heads and Look Over There at the Big Bad Government rather than thinking carefully about their next step with the hot guy next door who wants them.

(and just for fun, here's my favorite hot guy)

We know that Pres. Reagan tied the hands of his Surgeon General for five years.
Dr. C. Everett Koop, Reagan's surgeon general, has said that because of "intradepartmental politics" he was cut out of all AIDS discussions for the first five years of the Reagan administration. The reason, he explained, was "because transmission of AIDS was understood to be primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs." The president's advisers, Koop said, "took the stand, 'They are only getting what they justly deserve."
So, what is the distance between knowledge of apathy and inaction to belief that some people in the govt caused AIDS? A couple of inches? A Mile? Is it so hard to believe that some people might believe this? I think these are incredibly important questions. And Obama needs to take a speech and talk about HIV/AIDS again. Here (reprinted) is his HIV/AIDS Plan (I'd call it an overview more than a plan) the original pdf. is here. He can't just say that Wright is wrong, he needs to take a positive stand about this disease, and how it is ravaging people here in the US and around the world, needlessly, because people aren't protecting themselves.

What Rev. Wright said two days ago at the National Press Club: (whole transcript here) It was a good speech overall.

MODERATOR: In your sermon, you said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. So I ask you: Do you honestly believe your statement and those words?

WRIGHT: Have you read Horowitz's book, "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola," whoever wrote that question? Have you read "Medical Apartheid"? You've read it?

(UNKNOWN): Do you honestly believe that (OFF-MIKE)

WRIGHT: Oh, are you -- is that one of the reporters?

MODERATOR: No questions...


WRIGHT: No questions from the floor. I read different things. As I said to my members, if you haven't read things, then you can't -- based on this Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything.

In fact, in fact, in fact, one of the -- one of the responses to what Saddam Hussein had in terms of biological warfare was a non- question, because all we had to do was check the sales records. We sold him those biological weapons that he was using against his own people.

So any time a government can put together biological warfare to kill people, and then get angry when those people use what we sold them, yes, I believe we are capable.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This cell phone stuff has gone too far

Cranky Nephew, who resides with Cranky Cindy, didn't feel good yesterday.

I got home from church at about 2, changed clothes, then knocked on his door to remind him that he was supposed to be at McDonald's at 3:30.

I thought he said, "Uhhhh" but it was hard to hear him. He low-talks when he's sleepy, but he hears everything (ask me some time about the argument he overheard between me and Cranky Spouse.)

I walked away and made lunch.

I ate my lunch.

I watched the end of a Die Hard Movie, a panacea after a long hard day at work where I'm terminally happy cindy to people who are, (just occasionally,) shall we say, um, overly assertive in my general direction.

An hour later, the phone rang. Caller ID identified it as him.

I sat up straight and said "Hello?"

"Hellooowww wwoowwooph." Cranky Nephew said.

"Where are you?" I demanded, fighting the intrusive traumatic pictures in my brain, imagining that perhaps I'd been wrong, that he wasn't in his room, that he was out all night, not safely ensconced in his bed, and I needed to go find him somewhere. My pulse raced.

"In my room."

In. His. Room.

Calmly, very calmly... deep breath first ...

"Why are you calling me from your room?"

"I can't move." My limbic system re-fires. "Everything hurts."

"What hurts?" What if he can't, actually, move?

"Everything! -- My back, my neck, my ribs, my thighs, my arms. Practically even my fingernails."

And there it was. Even the fingernails.

Calm, breathe, y
elling doesn't work. As I realize that I've been tricked into talking on the phone with a young man in the next room, who Can So Move.

"I'm hanging up the phone now. You need to open your door so we can talk like actual human beings because you are going to be late for work."

Well, you don't need the details, suffice it to say he learned the hard way what happens to one's body when one throws oneself head first (literally) into a 2 hour Kung Fu class. when they say stretch first, they really mean it.

The calling from the cell phone? It seemed to him a perfectly reasonable thing.

So tell me, dear readers, do your children (or other young people in residence) do this to you?

And if so, do you tolerate it, take it as an indication that we are, in fact, old, and/or do you make them hang up and drag their sorry behinds out into the real world where there are real people to bother and tell them they smell bad?

Or worse, are you one of those younger people with cell phone strapped to hip like Annie Oakley's gun, pulling it out and shooting off a text to people during meetings and phoning people in the same house? And if so would you please explain it to me?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jack Kevorkian for Congress

Honest to God, he's running.

There is no better commentary on this than the time that Michael Moore spent with Dr. Kevorkian on TV Nation in 1994.

A Day with Dr. Death

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cindy Goes to a Party - 1955

[deep sigh.]
Cindy, a tomboy unsure of her social status, dreams of a party where her fairy godmother gives her etiquette lessons, and wakes up to receive her very own invitation.
Just this very weekend I had an extended conversation with a group of people about the complex and wondrous diversity of the interplay of biological sex, gender identity, gender roles and sexual orientation.

One of the participants sent me the link to this video. Alas, if only I had a fairy godmother when I was a child, with my short hair and jeans and an untucked boys' shirt, I too could have been blinked into a frilly dress, and learned how to Obey the Rules of The Game.

My favorite line:
You can't see or hear fairies unless you need them.

of course, you could try looking here...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What prompted yesterday's post about racist opposition to Barack Obama

In all my flurry to get out yesterday's post taking apart some of the racist opposition to Barack Obama, I neglected to nod over to smijer over at tete-a-tete-tete where he posted a link to an email that's making the rounds. That's what prompted my post, and I'm copying it here in case you missed it, (and to strip out the email addresses, which makes it easier to "see" the message and not put people's email addresses out there.)

Subj: Fw: NEXT FIRST FAMILY Say "HI BRO" to the next First Family?

Barack stands behind Kezia (stepmother) in a Kenyan family shot.

(Including brother Abongo "Roy" Obama who is a Luo activist and a militant Muslim who argues that the black man must "liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture."

"Abongo's new lifestyle has left him lean and clear-eyed, and at the wedding, he looked so dignified in his black African gown, with white trim, and matching cap, that some of our guests mistook him for my father," Obama wrote in Dreams From My Father.

(in the original, you have to page down past a couple of hundred email addresses to get to the rest of the email.~cranky)

Source Associated Press

Senator John McCain and his wife, Cindy, in a
1999 family photograph with, from left,
Meghan, Bridget, Jimmy and Jack.



and that's it. That's the visual email.

Any Questions?

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Racist Opposition to Barack Obama

Sigh. I'm tired of this, and it's only getting started. And I can't imagine how he and his family stand it.
Let's look at all of the mud being slung, shall we? Much of it comes in emails, but some through video. (Following is lots of embedded video and pictures - watch your bandwidth and download time).

1. His childhood attendance in elementary school in Indonesia
2. Senator Obama - the Flag and the Qur'an
3. His church affiliation - Afrocentric Christianity in a Mainline Denomination
4. Thinly veiled - or not so thinly veiled - racist images of Senator Obama
5. His African relatives

1. He did not attend a Radical Islamic School. This is old, but showed up in my in-box as recently as a month ago. Insight Magazine ("In Indonesia, the young Obama was enrolled in a Madrassa and was raised and educated as a Muslim.") and FOX news liked to claim that Barack Obama attended a Madrassa in Indonesia. CNN and the AP debunked this, though the emails continue to fly. Snopes page here.

2. Obama does so salute the Flag, and he did not take the congressional swearing in ceremony on a Qur'an. All kinds of photographic evidence here. Obama says
"My grandfather taught me when I was 2.
During the Pledge of Allegiance, you put your hand over your heart.
During the national anthem, you sing."
Keith Ellison, of Minnesota, is a practicing Muslim, and used the Qur'an for photos after the swearing in.
It's only a teeny tiny itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit racist to not be able to tell them apart.
3 His church affiliation

In October 2007, reported that
a CBS News poll in August found that, in response to an open-ended question about Obama’s faith, 7 percent of Americans identified him as a Muslim — more than any other response. The right answer, Protestant, was second at 6 percent. (Most didn’t know or wouldn’t say.)
(see also a longer article at the Washington Post.)

He is a member of the UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST denomination, in an Afrocentric Congregation, Trinity UCC. It is a Mainline Denomination, and his views, particularly on salvation, are progressive.

Mission Statement: What Trinity Is About

Trinity United Church of Christ has been called by God to be a congregation that is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that does not apologize for its African roots! As a congregation of baptized believers, we are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God’s family. We, as a church family, acknowledge, that we will, building on this affirmation of "who we are" and "whose we are," call men, women, boys and girls to the liberating love of Jesus Christ, inviting them to become a part of the church universal, responding to Jesus’ command that we go into all the world and make disciples!

We are called out to be "a chosen people" that pays no attention to socio-economic or educational backgrounds. We are made up of the highly educated and the uneducated. Our congregation is a combination of the haves and the have-nots; the economically disadvantaged, the under-class, the unemployed and the employable.

The fortunate who are among us combine forces with the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!

W.E.B. DuBois indicated that the problem in the 20th century was going to be the problem of the color line. He was absolutely correct. Our job as servants of God is to address that problem and eradicate it in the name of Him who came for the whole world by calling all men, women, boys and girls to Christ.

An article that covers most of the material in the following inflammatory videos, should you prefer to read, can be found here.

Right Now America Needs to Take Notice: Change we Cannot Believe In.

Here is a brief clip by one of the "wiggers" mentioned in the above video by JTF:

A great article on Senator Obama's Faith Journey is
So, I have a deep faith," Obama continues. "I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.

"That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there's an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived."

Obama on Farrakhan (to whom the above video alleges he is connected, via his Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ) (By this logic, I am actually a world class fencer):
“I have been very clear in my denunciation” of Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Obama said at the Democratic debate in Cleveland, “I did not solicit his support.” Obama said he “can not censor” individual endorsements but said there is no affiliation with his campaign and Farrakhan. “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy,” Obama said, citing his support among Jewish Americans and stating that he would make it a priority to soothe historically tense ties between the African-American and Jewish communities in the nation. “I have some of the strongest support from the Jewish community in my hometown of Chicago and in this campaign,” he said, describing himself as a “stalwart” on supporting Israel.

4 and 5.
Thinly veiled (and not so thinly veiled) racist images and His African Relatives.

Ted Sampley, of Swift Boat Veteran "fame"

When it comes to imagery, choosing to show him with his extended family [of Muslims],

or in [frankly, any type of] traditional garb

is so much more useful in feeding the basest fears of white Americans.

Why don't people use images of his relatives who are identified as white people? Because that wouldn't be seen as damaging.


nope, doesn't work.

This photo doesn't work, he looks too... too...

American. You can tell by how tired his kids look.

The caption reads: Sen. Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, daughters and niece watching dancers at CARE/OBAMA project. Obama donated $14,000 to help fund a program assisting grandmothers raising grandchildren who are AIDS orphans. (Lynn Sweet/Sun-Times)
Yea, not so fear inducing.

Oh I have an idea! Someone could use
this photo which provides solid evidence that he's part of the African Straw Hat Brigade, out to destroy the American Straw Industry!

Lastly, the claim that he is close, friendly, and by implication, in kahoots (yes, kahoots, a really white people word) with Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga is mixed.

Obama is a supporter of Kenyan Muslim Raila Odinga, who recently lost in that country’s election, and who wants to institute Islamic Sharia law as the law of that land. Raila claims to be Obama’s first cousin.
This one pops up many places, but this particular quote is pulled from Jews Against Obama at

Well, the man claims to be Barack Obama's cousin, tho' it's not clear if he is. Odinga is a member of the same Luo tribe as Obama. And, as of 1994, the number of Luo was 3,185,000l so there's some latitude there in the DNA pool.

More notably, imho, Odinga's an Anglican, not Muslim, and of "ambivalent religious conviction." There was what appears to be a smear against him, designed to alienate Evangelical Christian voters in Kenya. does a lovely job pulling that one apart.

And when he introduced himself to the nation in his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote speech, Obama said he was

"grateful for the diversity of my heritage."

"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth is my story even possible."

But in this country it's damn hard to tell the story at all.

There is a follow-up to this post, really a prequel, about the anti-Obama email that prompted the above.
Subj: Fw: NEXT FIRST FAMILY Say "HI BRO" to the next First Family?

"We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth"

War Made Easy -- The Use of Propaganda to Sell War.

Sometimes it's difficult to decide where to post -- I could post this on HappyCindy b/c it's a great educational program, or here because propaganda makes me Cranky.
I flipped a coin...

The Institute for Public Accuracy, partially funded by the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, has produced this great video on propaganda has been used to sell wars. Featuring Norman Solomon and narrated by Sean Penn.

This documentary is slow and thoughtful, carefully laying out ideas with lots of supportive footage from wars, press conferences, and clips of all US Presidents and news stations, lots of reporters, looks at the news media as partners with Capital Hill -- "US officials say..." and failure to look deeper than public statements.
It's 1 hour 10 minutes long.

(Title quote was Sydney Schanberg.)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"The Word of God is Potent. The Word of God is His

"The Word of God is Potent. The Word of God is His



Bishop Eddie Long, via the Wittenburg Door : can't embed, click this external link.

There's really nothing else to say.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What I didn't know about Testosterone

could fill a syringe.

This American Life last week was incredible (a repeat from 2002 I've missed all these years.) Everyone should listen to it.


220: Testosterone

Stories of people getting more testosterone and coming to regret it. And of people losing it and coming to appreciate life without it. The pros and cons of the hormone of desire.


This American Life producer Alex Blumberg explains that he wanted to do this show because of his conflicted relationship with his own testosterone. He tells host Ira Glass that the reasons go back to a girl in his eighth-grade homeroom and the 1970s seminal feminist novel The Women's Room. We also hear from a man who stopped producing testosterone due to a medical treatment and found that his entire personality was altered. (9 minutes)

Act One. Life at Zero.

The interview with a man who lost his testosterone continues. He explains that life without testosterone is life without desire—desire for everything: food, conversation, even TV. And he says life without desire is unexpectedly pleasant. The man first wrote about his experiences, anonymously, in GQ Magazine. (7 minutes)

Act Two. Infinite Gent.

An interview with Griffin Hansbury, who started life as a woman, but began taking massive testosterone injections seven years ago, and now lives as a man. He explains how testosterone changed his views on nature vs. nurture for good. (17 minutes)

Song: "To Sir With Love," Lulu

Act Three. Contest-osterone.

The men and women on staff at This American Life decide to get their testosterone levels tested, to see who has the most and least, and to see if personality traits actually do match up with hormone levels. It turns out to be an exercise that in retrospect, we might not recommend to other close-knit groups of friends or co-workers. (12 minutes)

Song: "What Kind of Man Are You?," Ray Charles

Act Four. Learning to Shut Up.

Novelist Miriam Toews, author of The X Letters (which appeared in an earlier episode of the show), tells the story of a recent road trip she took with her fifteen-year-old son. (11 minutes)

Song: "That's Alright, Mama," Elvis Presley

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You've seen Yes. We. Can.

Aaron Sawyer and uuMomma have brought, to your attention [Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran,]

but have you seen NO, YOU CAN'T -- NO SE PUEDE. ?

Funny Funny Stuff.

While I'm at it, I'd like to tip my hat to CC for turning me on to Stuff White People Like.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thank you for purchasing a weapon from.... warranty questionnaire


___If everyone has a weapon in a theater you feel safer
___ Hand held weapons should be smaller and lighter because soldiers are younger ...

How did you become aware of this weapon?
___ heard loud noise
___ weapons fair
___ coupon
___ recommended by friend/ally
___ political lobbying by manufacturer
___ was attacked by one
___ As Seen on TV

External Link that's worth the click through. Once you are at the site, click to enlarge.

Feb 6 the link stopped working so here it is on the home page,

home page is brown background, this is black letters on white background that takes up the whole third column about half way down the page. [good luck]
Hat tip to mom.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rachel Maddow is on MSNBC again

with Pat Buchanan. Holding her own against a man who doesn't understand that the use of a woman's name at the beginning of a question indicates that the interviewer wants her to actually be the person to answer that question.

I'm actually in a RE Committee meeting right now, can you tell?

People who carry Obama signs should not jaywalk

I'm just saying.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Terrorism breaks my heart again

Two adult women with mental retardation/Down's Syndrome/mental illness (descriptions vary and their specific challenges are unclear to me) were strapped to bombs and exploded from a safe distance by (theoretically) mentally [st]able terrorists in Baghdad today.

Excuse me a moment while Hope takes a pause to make space for a competing thought:

People suck.

And I will continue my work to make it be otherwise.

The Reign of G-d is among us.

(AP continues to publish reports of mental retardation. thanks to h sophia for noting that NPR didn't)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The dumbest thing Hillary has said, ever.


Hillary Clinton said,
"Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone."
This is not a position, it's a sound byte. Even the pure America-For-America anti-immigration wahoos should be able to see through this.

Without a legal process, we won't know for sure that someone actually did commit a crime. Heck, without a legal process, we won't know for sure that someone is actually an illegal immigrant.

And people who committed crimes in their country of origin, say, the crime of opposing a dictator and fighting for democracy? Those anti-Saddam folks a few years ago? Or the Burmese poet Saw Wai for instance, who was arrested last week for writing a love poem with the hidden message "Power crazy Senior General Than Shwe." (military dictator of Myanmar)

Or identity crimes like the crime of driving while female in Saudi Arabia? Or the 77 countries in the world where it is a crime to be Gay?

I guess there's really only one thing to say,

Oh for God's Sake!

(I'd missed this until now. Thanks to Debitage, for not writing on environmentalism quite yet)

Monday, January 28, 2008

GW vs. the Pats vs. Crystal Meth Throwdown

Tonight at 9 pm EST, I can either watch the worst president in American History* share more bullsh, um, er, misperceptions, or a show about the Patriots and the Business of Winning on CNBC; or Tressa the Olympic athlete crystal meth addict on Intervention and watch an hour long train wreck followed by a 2 minute celebration of sobriety (we hope).

Boy oh boy, how ever will I decide. The pressure is intense.

I may have to read a book.

Oh no, wait, the Karate Kid is on VS. Phew, it'll be ok, I won't have to remember how to read.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wendy Wright, Pres CWA, Proud of being Olbermann's World's Worst Person

on Jan 2, 2008. She earned the moniker by stating, (on FOX, quelle surprise,) that advocates for comprehensive sex education benefit when teens contract sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant and have an abortion. Though called out for this morally reprehensible accusation, she repeated it.
Wright told CitizenLink her newest title is actually a positive thing.

“The overwhelming response I am getting from Olbermann’s award is hearty ‘Congratulations!’ ” she said. “More importantly, it has provided a wonderful platform to spotlight the common-sense point that earned me the title, that comprehensive sex ed promoters profit from the ill effects of their products.”

He's had better last words tho'.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Cruise in his own words

about Scientology on Gawker, which, unlike other media outlets, claims they won't be pressured into taking it down.

But I'd suggest you watch it now before you lose the chance.

When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help. We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind.... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures. Now is the time. Being a Scientologist. People are turning to you. If you are a Scientologist, you see things the way they are, in all their glory, in all their complexity... It's rough and tumble. It's wild and woolly. It's a blast. It really is. It is fun. Because damn it, there is nothing better than going out there and fighting the fight, and suddenly you see -- boom! -- things are better. I want to know that I've done everything I can do, every day... I do what I can. And I do it the way I do everything.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I don't know which disturbs me more

The idea of Al Mohler as President of the SBC, or Will Smith as a Scientologist.

According to the New York Daily News (I know, I may as well cite Santa) he gave wrap presents to his crew, consisting of personality tests at their local Scientology center.

Ever wonder that those personality tests consist of, these insightful tools to determine how Scientology can help you?

Operation Clambake has posted it here. It's worth a look.

Albert Mohler - the Southern Baptists - and what ever happened to Molly Marshall?

Albert Mohler is running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention. It would be another step deeper into fundamentalism (and yes, that is possible) for the Convention if they elect him.

My favorite comment about this thus far is a blogger Kyle McDaniel, a youth pastor and owner of the blog Southern Baptist Convention.

Lousivlle, Ky's "Courier Journal," has weighed in on the news that Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been nominated and is running to be the next President of the SBC.

This is a pretty good article that includes some great quotes from Dr. Mohler and Dr. Hershael York. Though they include people who oppose his candidacy, it is a pretty good article.
The typos and links are his, the emphasis is mine. We certainly wouldn't want our press to show differing opinions now, would we?


You can delve into the ucky-land of Al Mohler directly at his blog and radio show at or by association by clicking the link in my side bar to the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (he sits on their governing board).

Or find and watch the documentary Battle for the Minds, which is an incredibly well told story about the earlier days of the political/theological battles within the Southern Baptist Convention, and Al Mohler who was then President of Southern Baptist Seminary, who ousted Dr. Molly Marshall, a woman who was arguably their most brilliant theologian at the time.

Dr. Marshall, after being Professor of Theology, Worship and Spiritual Transformation, is now the President of Central Baptist Seminary affiliated with the American Baptists, and "in full support of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship."

Who are the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship? (golly, seems like there are more kinds of Baptists than there are individual Baptists) The CBF are the moderates who came out of the Southern Baptist Convention after the fundamentalist takeover. They believed that the fundamentalists running the SBC had departed from their Baptist roots and joined with a religio-political fundamentalist authority structure that was in direct opposition to Baptist polity (autonomy of the local church).

Another of Kyle the Youth Pastor's blogs, Theology, addresses Dr. Marshall's "lurch leftward" into the theology supported by Christians for Biblical Equality. Apparently his wife's church, years ago, hadn't noticed her "liberalism and her gender as head of the church."

Maybe more than you wanted to know.

Finally, Dr. Marshall's statement about theological education is one I really like and will reprint here.

I view my vocation as an “equipper of ministers,” a midwife of grace who helps deliver what I discern is struggling to be born in the lives of students. Theological education is a process of discovering and refining calling and gifts—learning where one’s “great gladness meets the world’s deep need,” in the words of Frederick Buechner.
Molly Marshall

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Megachurch Vision Statements (You're Not Likely To See)

The very funny people at the Wittenburg Door have come up with these very funny Vision Statements. (external link, totally worth the click through) See also My Messiah-Matic while you're there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fox News - Frank Luntz - unbiased polling NOT!


Fox News broadcasts an undecided voter in a Frank Luntz focus group.
Curiously enough, he was also an undecided voter last Sept 5 for Frank Luntz and Fox.

oopsy daisy.

This video shows these two "interviews" and a clip from a Penn & Teller piece on how to make data work for you, starring, yes, Frank Luntz.

look out mom, the cursing is still there, but somehow it seems to fit.