Thursday, May 25, 2006

Save the Internet - Today

For more information on what this means, please visit the

The House Judiciary Committee is beginning to "mark up" a good Net Neutrality bill at around 11am (EST) this morning. Then they're going to vote on whether to bring it to the full floor. Many in the Committee are being pressured by AT&T, Verizon and other major telcos to vote down the net neutrality provisions in this bipartisan bill.

Below are the members who need to hear from us to support this important bill. Urge them to support the Sensenbrenner-Conyers "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006" (HR 5417) in the Judiciary Committee -- and to support it without amendment. (Saying without amendment is key as the telcos want to re-write it in a way that guts Internet freedom).

Here are the members who need to hear from us right now:

Marty Meehan (D-Mass. 5th)
Phone: (202) 225-3411
Fax: (202) 226-0771

Howard Berman (D-Calif. 28th)
Phone: 202-225-4695
Fax: 202-225-3196

William Delahunt (D-Mass. 10th)
Phone: (202) 225-3111
Fax: (202) 225-5658

Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas 18th)
Phone: (202) 225-3816
Fax: (202) 225-3317

Bobby Scott (D-Va. 3rd)
Phone: (202) 225-8351
Fax: (202) 225-8354

Chris Van Hollen (D-Md. 8th)
Phone: (202) 225-5341
Fax: (202) 225-0375

Maxine Waters (D-Calif. 35th)
Phone: (202) 225-2201
Fax: (202) 225-7854

Mel Watt (D-N.C. 12th)
Tel. (202) 225-1510
Fax (202) 225-1512

Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y. 9th)
Phone: (202) 225-6616
Fax: (202) 226-7253

Robert Wexler (D-Fla. 19th)
phone: (202) 225-3001
fax: (202) 225-5974

Howard Coble (R-NC 6th)
phone: (202) 225-3065
fax: (202) 225-8611

Elton Gallegly (R-CA 24th)
phone: (202) 225-5811
fax: (202) 225-1100

Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 6th)
phone: (202) 225-5431
fax: (202) 225-9681

Steve Chabot (R-OH 5th)
phone: (202) 225-2216
fax: (202) 225-3012 (fax)

Dan Lungren (R-CA 3rd)
phone: (202) 225-5716
fax: (202) 226-1298

William Jenkins (R-TN 1st)
phone: (202) 225-6356
fax: (202) 225-5714

John Hostettler (R-IN 8th)
phone: (202) 225-4636
fax: (202) 225-3284

Mark Green (R-WI 8th)
phone: (202) 225-5665
fax: (202) 225-5729

Ric Keller (R-FL 8th)
phone: (202) 225-2176
fax: (202) 225-0999

Your help on this is critical. Please call now.

Feel the Pinch

I'm sure everyone notices gas prices in their area - but do you really pay attention?

Driving I-5 southbound into Portland, Oregon from Washington state, you must pass through Jantzen Beach. Jantzen Beach is home to a large shopping center and a well-endowed condo community and yacht club. There are two gas stations on the island. The first is a 76 station, which you can see from the freeway. Gas there has been posted at $3.29 for regular gas. On the other side of the island, the less visible Chevron station posts the same gas at $3.05 per gallon.

Why is this?

Do you drive down a street and see three or four gas stations within just a few blocks of one another all posting wildly different gas prices? $2.99 here, $3.07 there, $3.15 over there? All the 'major' fuel providers: 76, Chevron, Shell are showing gas prices in the OR/WA area of $3 and up. Arco is maintaining around $2.99 and up.

If you want to know a bit of how this works, visit here.

Then, if you are so inclined, go out and write to your congresspeople, your representatives, Senators and the like to get with the program and start creating legislation that will buid up proper, sustainable mass transit systems throughout the country. And to halt the production of gas-powered vehicles. Auto manufacturers should be producing electric vehicles only. Hybrids are bullshit. Sorry, they are. THEN find out where the electricity for these cars will be provided from.

Then go and buy yourself a bike.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No. 3? Over my dead -

So W wants his baby brother to run for president.

Well, isn't that sweet?

And the chances of another Bush taking office are about as good as a snowball's chance in hell.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Truthiness Hurts

Stephen Colbert is simply too good not to share. That he did this in front of the President, only makes it that much more special. Very few in this world have balls that big.

April 29, 2006:

COLBERT: Wow, what an honor. The White House Correspondents' Dinner. To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.

Is he really not here tonight? Dammit. The one guy who could have helped.

By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail.

Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up.

I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term.

I'm a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow.

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, welcome. Your great country makes our Happy Meals possible. I said it's a celebration. I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.

I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible -- I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical. And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's yogurt. But I refuse to believe it's not butter. Most of all, I believe in this president.

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

So, Mr. President, please, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash.

Okay, look, folks, my point is that I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback. I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." All right. The president in this case is Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed is -- everything else in the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case I guess would be the vice president, he's yelling, "Cut me, Dick, cut me!," and every time he falls everyone says, "Stay down! Stay down!" Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he -- actually, he loses in the first movie.

OK. Doesn't matter. The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don't pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's not doing? Think about it. I haven't.

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he's down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car!

And I just like the guy. He's a good Joe. Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America agrees. She's a true lady and a wonderful woman. But I just have one beef, ma'am. I'm sorry, but this reading initiative. I'm sorry, I've never been a fan of books. I don't trust them. They're all fact, no heart. I mean, they're elitist, telling us what is or isn't true, or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say it was built in 1941, that's my right as an American! I'm with the president, let history decide what did or did not happen.

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.

As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished.

Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!

Now, it's not all bad guys out there. Some are heroes: Christopher Buckley, Jeff Sacks, Ken Burns, Bob Schieffer. They've all been on my show. By the way, Mr. President, thank you for agreeing to be on my show. I was just as shocked as everyone here is, I promise you. How's Tuesday for you? I've got Frank Rich, but we can bump him. And I mean bump him. I know a guy. Say the word.

See who we've got here tonight. General Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld.

Look, by the way, I've got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble: don't let them retire! Come on, we've got a stop-loss program; let's use it on these guys. I've seen Zinni and that crowd on Wolf Blitzer. If you're strong enough to go on one of those pundit shows, you can stand on a bank of computers and order men into battle. Come on.

Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it's so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light, sir.

Mayor Nagin! Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It's a Mallomar, I guess is what I'm describing.

Joe Wilson is here, Joe Wilson right down here in front, the most famous husband since Desi Arnaz. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said? [looks horrified] I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along "Joe Wilson's wife. "Patrick Fitzgerald is not here tonight? OK. Dodged a bullet.

And, of course, we can't forget the man of the hour, new press secretary, Tony Snow. Secret Service name, "Snow Job." Toughest job. What a hero! Took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq.

Got some big shoes to fill, Tony. Big shoes to fill. Scott McClellan could say nothing like nobody else.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ring a Bell

Start a sentence. Any sentence. Just throw some words out. Here, an example:

"The world is round and all who live in it are flat."

There. That is a sentence.

'Sentence' of course, is just a word. It means a string of words put together to communicate some idea, to offer information, to articulate a feeling, an expression. A sentence is also a period of time allotted for service of a punishment. A sentence is whatver you want it to be.

I've served my own self-imposed sentence, a malignancy disguised as self-recrimination for the better part of my adult life. There no catastrophe, no murder, no theft. Yet, there was a crime. Fraud is the closest word I have for it. The fraud so many commit when they enter the adult world, the fraud of believing you know what you are doing. The fraud of believing what you are told. The fraud of allowing others to believe you are something you are not. The fraud of believing you are something you are not.

I, for example, am not an employee.

I have held many jobs, some of them fun or interesting, complicated, stressful, the works. Not a single one did I belong to or care much for. I have been employed, but I have never been an employee. I do not know how else to put it. No uniforms for me, no standards to be held to, no set course, no directive, no manuals. I've played the game, even bested them at it once in a while, when I chose. Anyone can do it, really. The games are not terribly complicated. But they are not fulfilling, either. They are not life. They do not represent life, only a means to sustain some version of it. Pay your bills, buy food, entertainment, gas money, a house, furniture, friends, even. Not one offers the real thing. Just a paycheck in exchange for your most valuable asset: your time.

How much time do you give your job? How much time do you give what you call 'work?' Our world is built on commerce; we must have, so we must create and we must sustain what we would have. We can't have working toilets if there isn't someone to build them and maintain them. Everyone must have a job. Jobs are what make us equal. Make us even. Someone has to make the food. Someone has to build the houses. Someone has to protect it all. This is the world. This is our sentence.

I only know of a few who, in this life, are doing something other than being part of the system, part of the sentence. They have, perhaps miraculously, side-stepped the drama and found a way through, to reality, to what can be sustained, without effort: choice. They made a decision, they took of leap of inner faith and gave up the machine, the uniform, the constraints. They jumped out and in and over, defying all expectations. They are real and they give hope. The rest of us are just responsible care givers.

Actually, we're more like whores. We sell our wares, our personal assets, sell them cheap or high, depending on our looks, our ability to please, to sustain the pleasure of those who pay for it, acting as our own pimps until some decent brothel takes us in. We may not be spreading our legs or giving blowjobs, but the idea is the same. So long as the boss is happy with us, we stay. When he isn't, we're cut out. And what sort of life is that? Even the best whore can't stay on her knees forever. Not everyone will take it up the ass. Not even in prison.

The sentence is, unfortunately, self-defeating. Those who were used in their youth, rise up the ranks only to rip up the next generation coming in - just like they were. No imagination. Just stagnation. Just a living rut. Controlled. Our choices reduced to yes or no. Conditioned responses. Pavlov's dogs. We make prisons out of pens and paper. We sign on the dotted line.

Watch everything. The news. The newspapers. Say that I am wrong. There is no choice there, only the manipulation of our senses. 'Dumbing down' is a phrase that is almost bad English. Yet it says exactly what it means. Everyone must stay dumb and must stay down. To allow everyone a real choice is the end of society and the beginning of chaos. We must have control.

I've been on a choke chain for almost two years. For a while I thought of myself as the loyal pet, the good one, reliable, caring, open, hardworking. I did this naturally. But the more likeable you are as a dog, the more everyone wants to kick you, I guess. Sometimes you break things, not on purpose. You were picking up the master's slippers when you knocked over the vase. Remember, the master told you to fetch. Whose fault is it?

Not that they're going to tell you anything, of course. You do not deserve a proper list of your flaws, of all you did to make your master unhappy. It's easier just to take you somewhere and leave you. Drop you off at the pound. Tell you to git. Scram. You are not a person, you know. You went from cute puppy to mangy mutt in less than two years. You stupid dog. What were you thinking?

Here's reality though - no one is a dog. No one should be treated like one. We are not really good at the work-order thing, are we? It's not really who we are. We should be minstrels and dancers and love makers. We should be swimmers and wrestlers. We should be awake, aware, unfettered. Suits and ties and skirts are all very well in this world, but you are lying to yourself if you think it somehow means something, makes you better, makes life more real. You have found your meal ticket and your home garden and your cable television. Your summer vacation. You are the perfect worker bee, the perfect consort to a queen.

And every eye that is one you, is an eye that doesn't blink.

This is a run-on sentence that has no reason to end or be anything other than a collection of words ending on a point.

What you have done to others, will be done unto you.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mad World

Scott McLellan has always had the most wonderful way with words. He takes after his boss, really. My favorite line in the whole article:

"The White House is not the intelligence-gathering agency."

For once, Scott, we agree!!

And for anyone who hasn't tuned in, Terry Gross had a great interview with journalist Seymour Hersch today regarding his recent article on the Bush White House's possible intentions for using nuclear weapons in Iran. He made the strong point that this administration, more than any other, has been ridiculously gung-ho on war over words; their denial of the debacle that is Iraq, and their escalation of tensions with Iran - and Bush's belief that dropping bombs on Iran will encourage the 'people' to uprise against their leadership and force a 'regime change.' Obviously a successful tactic, since it's worked so well in Iraq.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Throwing Stones

Noting this is just a report at this time, it's not without serious merit. If Bush is the lunatic so many of us believe him to be, surrounded by equally deranged lunatics - when will the American people stop being, as the polls report, 'disturbed' and 'distressed' and 'concerned' and actually take some action to stop him?

The Democrats are useless. MoveOn is useless. The Republicans are sinking in the quagmire of their own creation. We're pared down to the extremists now. Soon, extreme action will need to be taken by the people, to save the people.

Attacking Iran, seemily inevitable, is simply the final straw. Bush has no idea what he's going in Iraq and civil war there is all but etched in stone. He thinks he can bring 'regime' change to Iran.

Remember the tale of Goliath and David? Guess who is playing Goliath in this act.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Devil Made Him Do It

I'm guilty of this, I know. We take a piece of news and jump on it like it's the gospel truth and immediately point a finger. Libby says Bush is to blame. Bush authorized the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. For Democrats, his word (the lying cheat) is now as good as gold. The problem is, proving his word (the lying cheat).

It's all politics - just the 'idea' or the image of Bush as the source is enough for everyone to scream 'arrest him' and 'impeachment', etc. etc. I've done it too. I'm not sure that we are not wrong. Legally however, we can't make it stand without a confession from the accused or solid, unmistakable evidence. Evidence like, oh, a videotape of Bush telling Libby to tell a reporter who Joe Wilson's wife is. A signed document from the president in his handwriting, and proven by every expert from here to Russia as his handwriting, telling Libby to do it. Testimony alone isn't going to get it done. Does anyone honestly think Bush or Cheney will ever go to trial over this?

Well, strange things have been happening forever and why not, but you'll see a resignation or a death in the family before it hits the White House.
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