Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Gil Scott Heron
I think I may have posted this once before, but this is a better video than the one before.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Goodyear to Close Texas Plant, Cut Jobs
James Howard Kunstler on "Peachville"
October 30, 2006
My travels last week took me to small college town in Georgia and into the heart of Vermont, and the contrasts were instructive. To protect some sensibilities, I call the Georgia town "Peachville." There are lots of places like it down in Dixie, and they all suffer from similar problems.
Peachville's surrender to the tyranny of the automobile is total. For a region whose people like to yap about "defending freedom," their own capitulation to the car is complete. Practically every street in this town of 40,000 has been turned into a multi-lane mini-freeway. If you wanted to walk, or needed to walk -- and a number of faculty members at the college where I spoke said they did -- then your experience would be frightening and miserable because there are so few sidewalks, and the distances between things is scaled to cars, not people.
The quality of the buildings was another striking thing. The remnants of Peachville's little main street downtown was composed mostly of one-story buildings so ugly that they seemed to be missing some essential DNA. They were mean little brick boxes lacking any ornament, denoting an utter disregard for the public realm of the street. Along a couple of blocks, the town officials had recently carried out a "street upgrade program," meaning they added a center median with trees in a few places, but the buildings themselves are so weak and homely that no amount of tarting up the streetscape will make much difference.
All the town's recent wealth had gone into the construction of a franchise strip along the street connecting Peachville with a nearby interstate. Here were all the anonymous chain restaurants and familiar chain stores, and the four-laner was unencumbered with any frivolous decor like medians or sidewalks. This was the stuff they were really proud of. Of course, it is an infrastructure for daily living that has no future in an energy-scarcer world -- along with all the new McHouse subdivisions outside of town -- and yet this is the stuff that they identify with "freedom" and "progress." It will be hard for them to let go of it.
I had dinner that night in a little independent "authentic down-home" eatery across the street from an abandoned 1970s-vintage drive-in bank. Everything inside was made of plastic, and of absolutely the cheapest kind. The walls were adorned with signs or discolored cardboard prints in warped frames. There were two fluorescent light fixtures over our table that made the food look yellowish-purple. The food was like something you might be served in a state penitentiary.
I have some theories about southern culture -- I'm entitled to have them, and even express them, whether you like it or not. This is a region that was miserably poor until very recently. All the material progress, the new wealth of the Sunbelt, has been acquired rapidly over the last thirty years or so, and it has been delivered in the form of corporate products: tilt-up buildings, hamburgers, Ford pickup trucks, manufactured "homes," and cornucopia chain stores overflowing with plastic goodies. Building all this stuff and hitching employment rides with these ventures has dragged the cracker class out of the extremest poverty. Nearly universal air conditioning has also changed the picture, giving folks a reason to make an effort to do anything after the sun rises above the windowsills.
The reason their authentic down-home eateries are so bad is because for two hundred years they had a miserable diet of cornmeal, sugar, and pork fat, and a miserable concept of cuisine for presenting it. The reason the decor is so bad is because until fairly recently they lined the walls of their houses with newspapers and sat on benches. Electricity from the TVA also arrived relatively late in the game, and the finer points of interior illumination have not yet developed there. A restaurant dining room in Georgia is lighted the same way as a used car lot.
The sad fact is that the final blowout of the cheap oil age has been the foundation of the Sunbelt's prosperity. The whole nation is afflicted with the cancer of suburban sprawl, but down there it is invested with the highest values. It is their truth and beauty. To a certain extent, their former poverty embarrasses them and they want to forget about it, not celebrate it.
They seem to have no plans for coping with a daily life that is not based on cheap oil. They even resent the suggestion that they might have to. They will keep sending a disproportionate number of their young people into the military to help with the current project of securing future oil supplies by attempting to pacify the Middle East. Sooner or later that project will come to grief and the people of Georgia will have to make other arrangements like everybody else. But the process may be extremely traumatic for a people who have not allowed themselves to imagine a future different from the present.
I was in Vermont, two days later. I had dinner in the Bobcat Cafe on Main Street in Bristol. The place was full, the lighting was mellow, the furnishings were wood, the napkins were cloth, and the menu was composed of things other than cornmeal, sugar, and pork. Vermont, by the way, is also a mostly rural place that had been relatively poor for a hundred years before the 1960s. The customers in the Bobcat Cafe seemed to include all ranks of local society. I noticed one particular man sitting at the bar eating dinner on his own.
He was wearing work clothes. The back bar he faced while eating, where all the bottles stood, was a magnificent piece of 19th century carving. It represented an effort to create some beauty. It was lighted softly and carefully. It gave the guy something to look at while he ate his dinner and drank his beer, some beautiful forms to contemplate while his mind wandered among perhaps more mundane concerns. In Peachville Georgia, nobody would have ever thought of creating such a thing in the first place.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Hold My Hand - Hootie and the Blowfish
With a little love, and some tenderness
We'll walk upon the water
We'll rise above the mist
With a little peace, and some harmony
We'll take the world together
We'll take 'em by the hand
'Cause I've got a hand for you
'Cause I wanna run with you
I saw you standing there
Your hair was down, your eyes were red
No comb had touched your hair
I said get up, and let me see you smile
We'll take a walk together
Walk the road awhile
'Cause I've got a hand for you
'Cause I wanna run with you
Hold my Hand
Want you to hold my hand
Hold my Hand
I'll take you to a place where you can be
Hold my Hand
Anything you wanna be because
I wanna love you the best that, the best that I can
See I was wasted, and I was wasting time
'Till I thought about your problems, I thought about your crimes
Then I stood up, and then I screamed aloud
I don't wanna be part of your problems
Don't wanna be part of your crowd, no
'Cause I've got a hand for you
'Cause I wanna run with you
Hold my hand
Want you to hold my hand
Hold my hand
I'll take you to the promised land
Hold my hand
Maybe we can't change the world but
I wanna love you the best that, the best that I can
Hold my hand
Want you to hold my hand
Hold my hand
I'll take you to a place where you can be
Hold my hand
Anything you wanna be because
Hold my hand
Want you to hold my hand
Hold my hand
I'll take you to the promised land
Hold my hand
Maybe we can't change the world but
I wanna love you the best that, best that I can
The best that I can
The End of Suburbia
I saw this nearly a year ago. It's well worth watching, particularly if you live in the suburbs. But it won't give you any "warm fuzzies."
The fact that suburbia is ending in terms of economic viability ties in with the "Life During World War 3 post immediately below. Darth Cheney has called our economic way of life "non-negotiable."
When one tribe or civilization refuses to negotiate with another, war is the inevitable result. The 'Murkans of 2006 are a motley agglomeration of tribes — some civilized, some not — who believe themselves to be entitled - in fee simple absolute, as lawyers would say - to all the resources on the planet. It's the "Why is our oil underneath their sand?" mentality.
Life During World War 3
The alarm clock stirs us to life once again. As one of the "lucky few" still employed, I must get ready for work.
I make my way downstairs, nodding to the sister-in-law and her husband emerging from another bedroom. Having recently lost their jobs they were in a tight spot after paying out their credit card debts. Younger than us and nice company, we invited them to live with us till they get work. They make a good deterrent to the smash and grab crowd, seeking unoccupied houses to break into. Dodgy pawnbrokers are doing a brisk trade.
Flipping the TV on, I note the talking head discussing the 'core' unemployment rate. Said to be approaching double digits, it pales against bloggers estimates of over 25%.
Breakfast is as usual, while I sort the junk mail from overnight. Garage sales, cheap cars for sale by desperate families, offers to mow lawns, wash cars, trim edges ... all at dirt cheap rates. But our boarders agreed to do household chores as part rental payment for living with us, which is fine by me. It means I have more spare time.
Breakfast over, I walk to the station to ride the train to work. As usual, there are plenty of spare seats. Quite a change from the usual peak hour crush we used to endure.
The day passes; news rolls in like the tide. Our government jobs might be secure, but we face changing conditions. Our enterprise bargain is being renewed and we are being offered 5% pay reductions each year for the next three years. We can take it or face involuntary redundancies, as departmental budgets are being slashed. Government revenues are down and the IMF is recommending indebted western governments institute voluntary budgetary cutbacks on spending. After the destruction of the US dollar through hyperinflation, we really have little choice.
The day's work over, I retrace my steps. Dinner awaits. Tonight we are having steak as a rare treat, as most of the time it isn't available at any price; most of our local beef is shipped to Asian countries to satisfy their increased buying power; our weak domestic demand means we eat more rice, beans and cheap imported mince.
We are fortunate though as our investments in gold and silver have preserved our purchasing power. Despite the windfall profits tax on all precious metals investments, we own our home, run a car on $100 a barrel oil and eat fairly well. Of course, we have an extended family we help out. It's the right thing to do after the government defaulted on pension payments and the bond market; our aging parents need our help, and they aren't really well enough to work minimum wage jobs.
Most people over 70 have had to look for this kind of work just to afford to eat. Retirement? It just doesn't happen at the moment. Most people have to work until they drop, as billions of dollars in superannuation has been lost by ignorant financial planners with no knowledge of history.
News headlines are a mix of the unsurprising and the unexpected; birth rates are down again, serious crime rates have also subsided, but petty crime is on the rise. The incidence of fraud and minor theft has tripled in the last year, as many security guards overlook people stealing food from stores, bins behind grocers and transport hubs.
I indulge in momentary contemplation about our hundred-bagger investments; what would they be worth without the windfall profits tax? It's a temporary distraction; we're happy enough as it is, having structured our redemptions over financial years to minimise tax payable and maintain a discreetly comfortable standard of living.
The gold and silver reality show is back on TV at 6:30. Tonight we're watching the assay results of four couples competing to get the best results from 'their' mines. "The Biggest Looser" compares grams for tonne loosed from the mines operated by twelve couples, with the winners getting to work their mine for a year afterwards.
The rest of the news is fairly predictable, though gold has fallen back under $10,000 an ounce. Silver is also experiencing a weak patch of trading, which the talking heads attribute to the end of the traditional Indian wedding season. At the moment it changes hands at around $2,500 an ounce. The end of the finance section news concludes with a brief society page review; as rich metals company CEO's are the new celebrities, they often feature on TV at fund-raising dinners or mass apprenticeship sign-ons.
School leavers are being encouraged to do trades again; university courses are being denounced as the fraudulent time-wasters they have been for a long time.
After the reality TV show was over, we stayed tuned in to watch a documentary on the economy. Just when we thought that the economy might be getting better, it looks as though one of our major banks closing had worse effects than first thought. The effects had been hard to see early on, but predictable in hindsight. The bank had played heavily with derivatives to hedge its risk, ignoring Warren Buffet's warning about them being "weapons of mass financial destruction." Much of the sub-prime mortgage portfolio had been sold off overseas, with the result that many 'home-owners' were now tenants of large offshore multinationals.
Many middle class people are now broke and scraping along by selling their assets for whatever they can get for them. Their meager savings are gone and as creditors, they are down the bottom of the list of people owed money. Bankruptcy professionals and foreclosures firms have been doing excellent trade, but at great cost; many people have been forced into default on their mortgages and reduced to renting the homes they had been paying off and could have owned, had they been better prepared.
Of course, mere descriptions do no justice to how it feels to be living amongst such hard times. The so-called generation Y, who expected jobs to be falling out of the sky as the baby boomers retired, have found themselves competing for work alongside desperate people of all ages, many of them immigrants. Having lost the jobs that paid for their travel, iPods and designer clothes, they now work for minimum wages just to stay alive. Their passports, crammed with stamps from countries around the world, gather dust.
People often ask me, why did all this happen? And when I try to explain fiat currencies, the impact of debt, savings ratios and Austrian economics, they just go all blank. "I don't understand," they whine. "We used to get along just fine." they all say.
Still, not all is lost. There are more people at church these days, although the soup kitchen probably attracts a few. We're rostered on to help out this weekend. And Sunday nights we're having an open forum on precious metals, managing your money, budgeting and investing for hard times. So there is interest, and hope.
We're considering moving house though. Our formerly comfortable neighborhood is looking a little rougher each day. As more people lose their jobs, the increasing incidence of petty theft is a bit of a concern. Just the other day, we had to turn down more people at the door asking for work around the house ... any work. When we told them we couldn't really offer anything, they went through our garbage on the way out, looking for food scraps.
Food is expensive after the government slapped higher tariffs on all imported goods, in an attempt to preserve local jobs. Learning nothing from the Smoot-Hawley disaster, we now suffer the predictable results with higher food prices, another slap in the face for the unemployed and the low wage earners.
Even though we can afford to travel around by car, driving is not as pleasant as it used to be. We've thought about trading the family car for a four-wheel drive, to cope with deteriorating roads. Local councils that refuse to admit their budgeting problems are not fixing roads any more and have yet to consider selling the roads to the highest bidders. In the meantime, the road conditions worsen and we take to driving less.
Our kids were always schooled at home and this hasn't changed. In the last few years, there's been a lot we've been able to teach them from the daily news. They're good kids, inquisitive, curious and fairly clued in about their world. But I still don't like all the time they spend on the PlayStation.
We're in hard times alright; last week the wife was asked to take leave without pay from her part-time job. We'll do O.K. without her income; since starting a family she had only ever worked part time jobs so she could retain her skills and home-school our children a few days a week. When we were a full-time two-income couple, it was very tempting to upgrade the house. But we're glad we avoided even more debt; now that values have plummeted 75% most people our age are underwater on their loans.
It's not all roses though; even though we live simply, we do get a few snide comments about running a car, still having a job, and eating out. We do get asked for money, and sometimes we do help out. The wife is probably a bit more compassionate then I on this front, particularly with older people. Having been initiated into the workforce by the inflation and redundancies of the 1970's, then seasoned by the 80's and 90's, I can be a bit reluctant to help those who should have learned from their past experiences, as I have. Maybe I am being a bit hard on them, what with the deceptive media coverage and all . . .
Now it's getting late and its time for bed. The house is quiet, with the gentle sound of sleep from numerous rooms. I carefully step over the creaking floorboard. And I hope that the libertarian candidate wins the next election. We saw this disaster coming and made preparations, but millions of others did not. People need to re-learn how to save, how to spend and how to look after their finances. I'm just one person, and there's only so many people I can teach. But tomorrow's another day.
Authored by an unknown 96-year-old man who recently departed this life
GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms
An editorial in Saturday's Gilmer Mirror made many of these same points. I think the "we are at war" paradigm will work on the impoverished denizens of rural Bible Belt country for at least another decade or two. They are literally too ignorant (and also too trusting of the "magnetic ribbon, support the troops" mantra) to know the military-industrial complex is stealing them blind and rendering the future of their descendants economically unviable. As long as the U.S. is the unpaid, self-appointed "policeman of the world," this trend will conntinue. Basically, the U.S. standard of living is being sacrificed for those who want to bring about the so-called New World Order.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
For years, I never knew why people would say they were "sleeping with" someone. So what, I thought. NOW I KNOW! They were speaking in code. "Sleeping" - yeah, right.
The Secret Letter From Iraq
Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."
This farmer might also turn Karl Rove's definition of "terrorist" on its head. Americans must be defeated, an Iraqi would say, because "we can't leave one of the world's largest oil reserves in terrorist hands."
Pot, meet Kettle.
Rove finally admits it's all about the oil
He is also more precisely defining "terrorist" for us. A "terrorist" is anyone not under the control of the Bush Crime Family. This now includes not only most people in the world, but also about 70 percent of the American public.
Rove: Military Must Be Flexible in Iraq
By TODD RICHMOND
The Associated Press
Saturday, October 28, 2006; 12:29 AM
WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Presidential advisor Karl Rove blasted Democrats on Friday for even suggesting the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, saying the U.S. can't leave one of the world's largest oil reserves in terrorist hands.
However, Rove also said the military must be flexible in its tactics. He did not elaborate.
"More sacrifice is going to be required," Rove, President Bush's chief political strategist, told a ballroom full of Republicans at a fundraiser for Wisconsin candidates. "We will either create a world in which our children and our grandchildren have a hope of an optimistic future or we will leave to them a world with a hateful empire centered in the Middle East."
His remarks came on the day Iraq's prime minister and the U.S. ambassador issued a joint statement reaffirming the two countries "good and strong" relationship.
Joe Wineke, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said the public realizes Bush and Rove took America to war under false pretenses.
"Frankly, I think Karl Rove has had too much of his own Kool-Aid. He's starting to believe his own message," Wineke said. "It's their war. It's their mess."
Rove predicted Republicans would dominate the November elections, which he said will turn on the GOP's strength, national security.
About 175 people, including Wisconsin Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, attended the fundraiser, which generated about $40,000, state GOP executive director Rick Wiley said.
Friday, October 27, 2006
U.S. tied with Botswana, Croatia, Tonga in terms of press freedom
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Rush Limbaugh physically mocks Michael J. Fox
This is just beyond comment. What happened to the Twelve Step program he entered after his addiction to prescription painkillers? Did it just totally not take on the guy?
Keith Olbermann's take
Embracing the Subtle Upside of Terror
by Garrison Keillor
An email I received with the subject line 'unclear nylons'
I just received this in my Yahoo! account from Jessie Gregg firstname.lastname@example.org.
If anyone can figure out what it means, let me know.
I am happy to report that mediabistro. My compliments to the sommelier for an excellent choice of wines too. Spannende Unterhaltung versprechen die Rubriken "Race of the Week", "World Circuit Index", "Lifestyle Features" und "Grid". I got an offer but didn't end up taking it because I would have been expected to keep my navel covered up at all times during the flight. If only humans found meat hor d'oeuvres to be so intensely mesmerising.
The last thing I want to do is freak the interviewer out.
Artificial flavouring, preservatives, and other mystery chemicals combine to leave an unwanted aftertaste on the tongue.
com and BtoB Magazine.
I wanted to present the image of the ideal flight attendant so I tied a scarf neatly around my neck, secured my bust and displayed my flesh pockets. I left work early and caught a flight out of JFK. It is an industry-established policy requiring compliance by all merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit cardholder data.
In honor of Purim Nancella, Scott, and I went to American. I left work early and caught a flight out of JFK. My compliments to the sommelier for an excellent choice of wines too. The Greek alphabet is indecipherable at first glance. I had never read any of his. Elf Jahre davor bestimmten zwei Franzosen das Geschehen in Kyalami. Und wie erlebte Michael Schumacher seinen letzten Grand Prix?
Corillian is constantly looking for ways to enhance its employee benefits program to ensure the continued satisfaction of its highly talented employees. For example, my real name is Kathy but when I apply for jobs I go by the name Super-Retro-Sexy-Pantihose Girl. The last thing I want to do is freak the interviewer out.
Und wie erlebte Michael Schumacher seinen letzten Grand Prix?
com and BtoB Magazine.
Revolt of the fairly rich
Shall we be content with the Biblical "food and raiment"? Guess not. These people, even the lower uppers, are so far above the typical resident of this area that I can think of nothing else to say but to quote another Scripture:
For the love of money is the root of all evil.
Man dies at his Riverview home
There see, this is what happens when you invest in single story housing:
Jumping out the window does no good.
I nominate this as the "in bad taste" comment of the day so far. I didn't make it. I am just (perhaps unwisely) repeating it.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Average IQ by State: Honest Numbers at Last
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
U.S. is reportedly about to overthrow its own puppet government in Iraq
You just can't make $h!t up any crazier than what has really happened with the Chimperor's imperial project in Mesopotamia since he declared "Mission Accomplished" in May 2003.
October 25, 2006
US Military Forces Prepare To Overthrow Iraqi Government In Coup Attempt
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
Russian Military Analysts are reporting today that 2 Battalions of American Special Forces Troops have been dispatched to Iraq for the purpose of overthrowing the current Iraqi Government in a Coup attempt against the very government that the United States itself installed, and as has been confirmed by Western media sources, and as we can read as reported by the UPI News Service in their article titled "Coup against Maliki reported in the making", and which says:
"Iraqi army officers are reportedly planning to stage a military coup with U.S. help to oust the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Cairo-based Iraqi and Arab sources said Monday several officers visited Washington recently for talks with U.S. officials on plans for replacing Maliki's administration by a "national salvation" government with the mission to re-establish security and stability in Iraq.
One Iraqi source told United Press International that the Iraqi army officers' visit to the United States was aimed at coordinating the military coup in case the efforts of Maliki's government to restore order reached a dead end.
He said among the prominent officers were the deputy chief of staff, a Muslim Shiite, the intelligence chief, a Sunni, and the commander of the air force, a Kurd. It is believed the three would constitute the nucleus of the next government after the army takes over power.
The proposed plan, according to the source, stipulates that the new Iraqi army, with the assistance of U.S. forces, will take control of power, suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament and form a new government. The military will also take direct control of the various provinces and the administration after imposing a state of emergency."
According to these reports, United States Military Leaders have become alarmed over the Iraqi Governments numerous agreements signed with Iran that would eliminate any chance of the Iraqi Nation being divided up into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish protectorates, with the emphasis being upon the United States desire to create a separate Nation for the Kurdish peoples they intend on naming Kurdistan.
Both Turkey, Iran and Syria have voiced strong International protests to the creation of a Kurdish state, with Turkey and Iran both vowing to prevent such a state from forming, even by military means and outright invasion of the Kurdish areas of Iraq.
To the United States, however, the full implementation of their ‘Grand Game’ plan for the Middle East cannot go forward without a separate Kurdish nation, and if lost to them would cut this Western Power off from controlling the vast oil and gas resources of the Caspian Sea Region.
In preparation for the expected United States coup against the Iraqi government, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a warning to his people, and the Arab world, and as we can read as reported by the Middle East Online News Service in their article titled "Khamenei tells Arabs: Stay united in face of US plots", and which says:
"Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday urged Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinians to remain united in the face of what he said were US plots to destabilise the region.
"Everybody should be alert in the region. All the Arab nations in the region - Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine and other Muslim nations should be alert," he told thousands of worshippers gathered in Tehran for Eid al-Fitr prayers.
"They should be careful not to make any move that allows a new betrayal from the plans of the Zionists and the United States to be realised."
The greatest present danger to the Americans in these actions lies in the expected Turkish and Iranian Military invasion of the Iraqi Kurdish areas, and which many of what are called the Neo-Con Faction in the United States are advocating their President to protect at all costs, and as we can read as reported by the Washington Post News Service in their article written by Richard Holbrooke, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and which says:
"Whatever else you do, Mr. President, you should send American troops to northern Iraq (Kurdistan), which is still safe but increasingly tense, to reduce the very real risk of a Turkish-Kurdish war. Both the Turks and the Kurds would welcome this U.S. presence, but it would have to be accompanied by a cessation of Kurdish terrorist raids into Turkey. This would allow Special Forces troops to move rapidly into other parts of Iraq if a terrorist target appeared, and it would show the world that you were not withdrawing from America's commitment to Iraq."
Kremlin sources, though, dispute the reasoning behind Ambassador Holbrooke’s statement that Turkey ‘would welcome’ an American effort to halt Kurdish rebel attacks upon their Nation by pointing out that both Turkey and Iran’s stated goal is to prevent the establishment of any Kurdish Nation whatsoever.
As both Turkey and Iran continue massing troops on the Iraqi border for an expected invasion of the Kurdish areas, and as the Americans continue their unprecedented buildup of Naval Forces in the Middle East, these reports correctly surmise, in our opinion, that at no time since the darkest days of the 1930’s has our World been closer to Total War.
© October 25, 2006 EU and US all rights reserved.
I'm Afraid of Americans by David Bowie
As this is from 1997, I believe this should now be classified as fulfilled prophecy.
Monday, October 23, 2006
CNN's Lou Dobbs: "We're facing a crisis in this country, and election officials are not taking notice"
Clinton foe: 'Whew' she was hideous before 'work'
Hillary Clinton's Republican challenger is getting personal and it's not pretty: He says the senator used to be ugly - and speculates she got "millions of dollars" in plastic surgery.
"You ever see a picture of her back then? Whew," said John Spencer of Clinton's younger days.
"I don't know why Bill married her," he said of the Clintons, who celebrated their 31st anniversary this month.
John, she's still ugly. So are you, by the way. Just shut up. Bill married her for political reasons. She married Bill for political reasons. They lead separate lives. Everyone knows this. No one cares. Nor should they. Also, no matter how we may fault his taste in terms of whose lips he allows to wrap around his "Dick Cheney," such choices do not merit impeachment. Suspending the Constitution and declaring a "unitary executive" (presidential dictatorship) does.
I got this off a financial site, believe it or not. Speculation is that the "Jayne Mansfield top" is being formed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today. You'd have to be a stock chartist to get this. And the chart would be more a depiction of the late Jayne lying on her back with you at the foot of the bed.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
An address to the dead
You say you desire love and peace, but this is the lie upon which your whole anti-life is founded. You gave up wanting love a long time ago. Power-lust has taken its place. But you have never noticed this about yourself. And neither has the leader you place in power. You and he are self-blinded, bringing tragedy to the world.
This is a little too long. It makes some good points, though. A pet peeve of mine is writers who don't know the different between "your" and "you're." I suppose if I were dead, I wouldn't have noticed it. So at least that's a good sign.
According to Revelation 21:8, all liars, as well as those who are fearful or unbelieving, will be cast into "the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."
Thanks to Bush, hasn't just about every American fundy Christian become fearful and/or a liar?
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This sacrilegious video really "hit home" with me. I thank God and Greyhound I wasn't hit by a bus.
BTW, Jesus Christ has not returned to earth. And if I were He, I wouldn't be in any hurry to do so.
The new face of Appalachia
CBS should remake the "rural comedies" of the 1960s which made them the No. 1 network such as "Green Acres," "Petticoat Junction," "The Andy Griffith Show" etc. with an Hispanic theme. They could be in English with Spanish subtitles or, eventually, vice versa. CBS could then change its name to the "Chicano Broadcasting System."
You know, I don't much care for Norteño music, but anything would beat "Hee Haw."
Gloom, despair and agony indeed.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Federal charges filed in 'dirty bomb' hoax
How many hoax threats do you think Bush et al. have publicized in the last five years? I'd say the number is at least in the dozens by now.
What scares me is that people still believe this crap. Not all, but there is apparently about one-third of the public which will remain under the "mind control" spell of the "fear-and-terror" apparatus in D.C.
Man accused of having relations with dog
In the words of Marion Barry, "Da bitch set me up!'
I have a question. Did they do it doggy-style?
I have another question. Doesn't this reflect rather devastatingly badly on the relationship between husband and wife here?
The words of a song by the rock group "Foreigner" come to mind (slightly altered):
You're as cold as ice;
You're willing to sacrifice our dog.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Pressure builds for policy shift, but Bush shows no signs of budging
By Ron Hutcheson and Nancy A. Youssef
WASHINGTON - Appalled by spiraling violence in Iraq and frustrated by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's failure to quell it, American officials are grasping for new ways to keep the conflict from spinning out of control.
But President Bush has given no indication that he's ready to make dramatic changes in his Iraq policy, which has come to define his presidency and dominate next month's congressional elections. If anything, the president's public comments and those of his senior aides suggest that he's more determined than ever to stay the course.
Senior U.S. military, diplomatic and intelligence officials, however, have concluded that Maliki's Iraqi government is either unwilling or unable to crack down on the country's Shiite Muslim militias. Some even have suggested that the United States should consider beginning to withdraw some troops to increase the pressure on Maliki to take decisive action.
Bush and his aides, however, say he won't retreat from his vision of a united, stable, secure and democratic Iraq.
"Our goal in Iraq is clear and it's unchanging: a country that can sustain itself, a country that can govern itself, a country that can defend itself, and a country which will be an ally in the war against these extremists," Bush said Friday at a Republican fundraiser.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday that Bush has rejected two of the most frequently mentioned options: a phased U.S. withdrawal or a partition that would divide Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions. He said that Bush is open to changes in tactics that could help achieve his goals, but won't consider any deviation from his core strategy.
"Leaving is not going to work, and partition is simply off the table," Snow said. "The strategy's going to be the same, which is an Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself."
That leaves senior American officials and commanders in Iraq in a tough place. They've acknowledged that the current approach isn't working, and that they're looking for an alternative. But the decision ultimately is the president's.
Lawmakers in both parties agree that Bush will face more pressure to change course if Republicans lose control of Congress next month.
Calls for change by the independent Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James Baker, a Bush family friend, might sway the president. Baker, who's said that the group won't release its findings until after the Nov. 7 elections, has pledged to consider all options, but Snow already has made it clear that Bush won't be bound by the group's advice.
"This is something you listen to seriously, but we are not going to outsource the business of handling the war in Iraq," he said. "The president is the commander-in-chief. And simply because you have a blue ribbon panel, it does not mean that he hands it off to them."
The pressure for change - from commanders in Iraq, from voters and from Bush's fellow Republicans - is building, and a flurry of meetings has prompted speculation that some changes may be afoot.
Bush invited Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the region, to the White House Friday for an update on Iraq, and the president will hear from commanders in the field in a videoconference on Saturday that will include Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
A senior defense official said that Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also has begun taking a more active role in shaping discussions about Iraq strategy, meeting regularly with military commanders and retired officers who've returned from the region.
But the official, who declined to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak on the record, was skeptical that the discussions would lead to "a major overhaul" of Iraq strategy, even though Pace acknowledged at a luncheon with reporters last week that the current strategy hasn't worked.
"I think conceptually the strategy is correct," the official said, "and I think operationally there may be a need for some adjustment to achieve the desired results."
At a Pentagon news conference Friday, Rumsfeld declined to say whether he'd offer any new ideas, but he stressed the current goal of transferring security responsibility to Iraqi forces.
"It's their country. They're going to have to govern it," Rumsfeld said. "They're going to have to provide security for it, and they're going to have to do it sooner rather than later. And that means they've got to take pieces of it as they go along."
U.S. officials in Iraq, however, concede that the handoff to Iraqis hasn't gone as planned.
On Thursday, Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the chief U.S. spokesman in Iraq, announced that a two-month effort to stabilize Baghdad has fallen far short of its goals. Shiite death squads continue to operate with near impunity, other officials said, and sectarian violence is increasing - up 22 percent in the first three weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan over previous weeks, Caldwell said. The Iraqi government is plagued by corruption and ineffectiveness.
Earlier this week, Iraqi forces lost control of the mostly Shiite city of Balad, months after U.S. forces handed control of the community to local leaders. U.S. forces had to intervene to stop tit-for-tat violence between the residents of Balad and neighboring Sunnis.
On Friday, hundreds of Shiite militiamen took over three police stations in the southern city of Amara. British troops joined Iraqi security forces in trying to restore order.
U.S. officials were particularly frustrated by Maliki's recent decision to order the release of Sheik Mazin al Saidy, a top associate of fiery Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia is thought to be responsible for much of the sectarian killings.
U.S. officials had planned to trumpet the arrest as a significant step toward stopping the surge of sectarian violence. But Maliki intervened and demanded Saidy's release, pointing out that he was the elected leader of a democratic Iraq.
To Iraqi Sunnis, the decision was more evidence that the Iraqi government is aligned with Shiite death squads. To U.S. military officials, it was a troubling development in their campaign to crack down on sectarian violence.
Some senior officials in Washington, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because their reports are classified and their advice to the president and the defense secretary is confidential, echoed the frustrations in Iraq.
Some have concluded that current U.S. troop levels and deployments aren't sufficient to stem the rising sectarian violence, but that sending additional troops wouldn't change the equation. Some say that the U.S. effort to train Iraqi police and troops to take over security has failed because the Iraqi forces are either overwhelmed by or in league with sectarian militias.
Earlier this week, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage suggested a gradual reduction of U.S. troops, perhaps at a rate of about 5 percent every few months.
"We can't win on the battlefield," said Armitage, who served throughout Bush's first term. "The problem is that this is now a political struggle being carried out amid chaos, and we can't wish stability on the Iraqis. They have to be willing to fight for it."
Asked if he thought that staying the course remains an option, Armitage replied: "If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then clearly it isn't. The problem is that you can change tactics in an hour, but it takes time to change strategy, and it's too late for that now."
One senior official said advocates of change have mounted a "low-wattage mutiny" to try to convince Bush to try a new approach.
So far, though, it seems to have had little impact on the president.
"All these proposals have one thing in common: they would have our country quit in Iraq before the job is done," Bush said on Thursday at another Republican fundraiser, after summing up the various options offered by his critics. "America will stay, we will fight, and we will win in Iraq."
© 2006, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Hutcheson reported from Washington, Youssef from Baghdad. McClatchy correspondents Drew Brown and John Walcott in Washington contributed to this report.
Mae West's Quotable Quotes
Quote (author unknown)
America is a melting pot.
The people at the bottom
get burned, while the scum
rises to the top.
Shadows of the Past
To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past,
and those that were given you.
All the rest must be forgotten.
Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection.
For the shadow figures you would make immortal are “enemies” of reality.
Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do.
The shadow figures are the witnesses you bring with you to demonstrate he did what he did not.
It is these shadow figures that would make the ego holy in your sight,
and teach you what you do to keep it safe is really love.
The shadow figures always speak for vengeance,
and all relationships into which they enter are totally insane.
Without exception these relationships have as their purpose the exclusion of the truth about the other, and of yourself.
In the unholy relationship,
it is not the body of the other with which union is attempted
but the bodies of those who are not there.
Every step taken in the making, the maintaining and the breaking off of the unholy relationship is a move toward further fragmentation and unreality.
The shadow figures enter more and more, and the one in whom they seem to be decreases in importance.
The “ideal” of the unholy relationship thus becomes one in which the reality of the other does not enter at all to “spoil” the dream.
And the less the other really brings to the relationship, the “better” it becomes.
Thus, the attempt at union becomes a way of excluding even the one with whom the union was sought. For it was formed to get him out of it, and join with fantasies in uninterrupted “bliss”.
If all but loving thoughts has been forgotten, what remains is eternal.
And the transformed past is made like the present.
No longer does the past conflict with now.
This continuity extends the present by increasing its reality and its value in your perception of it.
In these loving thoughts is the spark of beauty hidden in the ugliness of the unholy relationship where hatred is remembered;
yet there to come alive as the relationship is given to Him Who gives it life and beauty.
That is why Atonement centres on the past, which is the source of separation,
and where it must be undone.
For separation must be corrected where it was made.
The Holy Spirit wants only to make His resolutions complete and perfect,
and so He seeks and finds the source of problems where it is, and there undoes it.
All He perceives in separation is that it must be undone.
Let Him uncover the hidden spark of beauty in your relationships, and show it to you.
Its loveliness will so attract you that you will be unwilling ever to lose the sight of it again.
And you will let this spark transform the relationship so you can see it more and more.
For you will want it more and more, and become increasingly unwilling to let it be hidden from you.
And you will learn to seek for and establish the conditions in which this beauty can be seen.
All this you will do gladly, if you but let Him hold the spark before you, to light your way and make it clear to you. God’s Son is one. Whom God has joined as one, the ego cannot put asunder. The spark of holiness must be safe, however hidden it may be, in every relationship. For the Creator of the one relationship has left no part of it without Himself. This is the only part of the relationship the Holy Spirit sees, because He knows that only this is true. You have made the relationship unreal, and therefore unholy, by seeing it where it is not and as it is not. Give the past to Him Who can change your mind about it for you. But first, be sure you fully realise what you have made the past to represent, and why.
The past becomes the justification for entering into a continuing,
unholy alliance with the ego against the present.
For the present is forgiveness.
Therefore, the relationships the unholy alliance dictates are not perceived nor felt as now.
Yet the frame of reference to which the present is referred for meaning is an illusion of the past,
in which those elements that fit the purpose of the unholy alliance are retained,
and all the rest let go.
And what is thus let go is all the truth the past could ever offer to the present as witnesses for its reality.
What is kept but witnesses to the reality of dreams.
It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion.
But remember that to choose one is to let the other go.
Only the Thoughts of God are true.
And all that follows from them comes from what they are,
and is as true as is the Holy Source from Which they came.
Rev. Ananda & John McIntosh
1998 - 2006 © Copyright
David Kuo's Book "Tempting Faith":
The Author's Agenda, the Authoritarian Behavior He Reports, And the White House's Response
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Katy husband accused of arranging hit on wife
"They just kind of kept to themselves," she said. "That's what it is about in this neighborhood. Nobody ever really talks. They just keep to themselves. I guess everybody works and is too busy."
This is the problem with the transient nature of big cities and suburbia. No one knows their neighbors. Of course, those who prefer anonymity think this is a good thing. You can't get away with anything, good or bad, where I live without everyone knowing it almost before it happens. That's why they call places like this "close-knit communities."
What is strange is that he is described as a former "physician's assistant" who left to pursue a more lucrative career in "marketing and sales." His wife is a gynecologist. I have two questions. Why did she "marry down" on the income/prestige scale and, since she apparently had no problem with "marrying down" or she wouldn't have done it, why couldn't he have just stayed at home with the kids and made himself ready to "make it all worth coming home to" for her?
Note to Sir Paul: You should have just shagged her, not married her
Heather Mills at around age 20 while she was a model for a "sex instruction manual" published in Germany. Fast-forward to how she looks 18 years later below with her husband, Sir Paul McCartney, the "cute" Beatle. I'm not saying Sir Paul is blameless in this entire sordid affair. He took the bait. Remember that Linda Eastman had died of cancer, rendering him lovelorn and vulnerable. Men are the weaker sex. Women do not do this nearly as often - jump into a doomed relationship just because their mate has just died or otherwise become unavailable.
Let's have another look at Heather from her modeling days. Bloody gorgeous, I say. Jolly good show!
Bush says he may ignore new war-funding law
This is another reason the Chimperor and KKKarl are not concerned about the outcome of the congressional elections now fewer than three weeks away.
Even if the computerized fraud somehow isn't able to swing the upcoming balloting their way and control over one or both houses is lost, they will simply ignore all actions of the hostile House and/or Senate, up to and including impeachment and removal from office.
This is an administration which will not leave office — period. I used to think Clinton might be the same way, but I was obviously wrong about that.
A "unitary executive" as it is phrased in the "signing statement" is just a euphemism for presidential dictatorship and tyranny. It is time to face the facts. Way past time, as a matter of fact.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Support the troops but not our nation's leadership
Sexual suppression is creating HATE and WAR
This sort of ties in with the Austin Powers quote one post below:
ALL religions are based on control of
human sexuality and severe repression
of womens sexuality.
Until 75 years ago social order said
women have NO desires and were
made ONLY to breed and service males.
The systematic suppression of sex drives
for 3,500 years has made women frustrated
and full of self denial and subconsciously
blaming all men who are NATURALLY supposed
to be defending the NATURAL SEX DRIVES
of women as NATURES way to assure procreation
Males are pushed away so women can
stay within the NARROW CONFINES of
sexual action allowed by MALE LAWS
or risk torture and death .
Keeping distance from male desire helped
assure not being murdered.
The average man no longer has long sight
to see the dynamics at work so cannot see his
lack of understanding contributes to womens
repulsion of HIS desires.
He takes it personally and often harms the woman.
This is the primary set-up that creates generations
of frustration, blaming, hate,neurosis, and stifled anger.
Now the masses are made easy to manipulate and
push to this orthat belief and crisis/war stance.
Sexual freedom is path to tolerance and peace.
Womens sexual freedom.
Moving away from religious supression
and into the LIGHT of physical joy leads to world peace.
Create a place and times for indulging in SELF
gratification, build confidence,bring in a playmate
of YOUR CHOICE,learn to give each other pleasure.
There are many sexual help manulas
and sites to begin the re-learning process.
Start your path to bringing world peace
into manifestation today.
Don't forget the candles !
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Whatever you say, Mephistopheles
I want you to take a good long look at this Satanic-looking fellow whose last name reportedly means "devil" in Russian, and then I want you to look at me in the upper right hand corner.
Which one of us looks more like "Dr. Evil"? I'm not saying I look like Austin Powers here, but c'mon. This Michael "Cherk-off" is even more diabolical in appearance than Darth Cheney.
Okay, enough politics, baby. Shall we shag now or shag later?
Christians in the Crossfire
Sunday, October 15, 2006
U.S. agents question teen
Girl ran anti-Bush page on MySpace
Funny Doctor Stories
1. A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs, and I was in the wrong one.
Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio , TX .
2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. "Big breaths," I instructed. "Yes, they used to be," replied the patient.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle , WA
3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he
had died of a "massive internal fart."
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg, Manitoba , Canada
4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications.
"Which one?" I asked.
"The patch. The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!"
I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA
5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?" After a look of complete confusion she answered..."Why, not for about twenty years, when my husband was alive."
Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis, OR
6. I was caring for a woman and asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste" the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit , MI
7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room, when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of >tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass."
Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, "Sorry, had to mow the lawn."
Submitted by RN no name
8. As a new, young MD doing his residency, I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener".
Dr. wouldn't submit his name.
HOW HEZBOLLAH DEFEATED ISRAEL
White House Upbeat About GOP Prospects
The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command -- or of self-delusion.
Technology is the key word here. The White House controls the counting of the votes. In fact, as it has established a "unitary executive" and rendered the other two branches impotent while announcing it would no longer abide by the plain meaning of the Bill of Rights and most of the rest of the Constitution (except for Article II, of course, which deals with the executive branch), it is amazing that ANYONE would think we are about to experience an honest election.
You live in a "unitary executive" presidential dictatorship. Rove and Bush already know the results of the election next month. They will tweak the actual numbers a bit so as to make it appear less obvious, but the apathy is so overwhelming that I don't think even that is necessary.
Who Should We Attack
Imagine conducting "man on the street" interviews like this in a Scandinavian country. The humans who still have souls who inhabit those countries would look at the interviewer as if he were crazy.
I know because I've been there. Americans have no idea how insane they appear to the rest of the world. They also do not realize that they are outnumbered more than 20 to 1 by the rest of the world. Granted, at least half of the 20 live on less than a dollar a day and are no threat.
But the "America uber alles" policy is not going to work out any better for the 'Murkans than it did for the "Master Race" of Germany. We don't even have a race; more like a motley crew of increasingly ill-educated and ill-informed cretins in an increasingly obese physical condition.
I have a sense of foreboding that 'Murkans are being fattened up for the slaughter.
Divorce declining, but so is marriage
I'm not rich enough to have to worry about this sort of thing. I do understand that "security" is code for "money" in "femalespeak" and have been aware of this for a long, long time. Fortunately, since I have absolutely no earthly ambitions, I attract few stalkers. It may also be my location in the woods (bet you didn't know Antarctica had woods; Antarctica is a state of mind) and the fact I'm as close to a hermit as you will find in the modern world. I admit if I were really a hermit, I wouldn't have a blog. Or, at least, I wouldn't want you reading it.
It’s Official: To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered
Married couples, whose numbers have been declining for decades as a proportion of American households, have finally slipped into a minority, according to an analysis of new census figures by The New York Times.
The American Community Survey, released this month by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.
The numbers by no means suggests marriage is dead or necessarily that a tipping point has been reached. The total number of married couples is higher than ever, and most Americans eventually marry. But marriage has been facing more competition. A growing number of adults are spending more of their lives single or living unmarried with partners, and the potential social and economic implications are profound.
“It just changes the social weight of marriage in the economy, in the work force, in sales of homes and rentals, and who manufacturers advertise to,” said Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “It certainly challenges the way we set up our work policies.”
While the number of single young adults and elderly widows are both growing, Professor Coontz said, “we have an anachronistic view as to what extent you can use marriage to organize the distribution and redistribution of benefits.”
Couples decide to live together for many reasons, but real estate can be as compelling as romance.
“Owning three toothbrushes and finding that they are always at the wrong house when you are getting ready to go to bed wears on you,” said Amanda Hawn, a 28-year-old writer who set up housekeeping near San Francisco with her boyfriend, Nate Larsen, a real estate analyst, after shuttling between his apartment and one she shared with a friend. “Moving in together has simplified life,” Ms. Hawn said.
The census survey estimated that 5.2 million couples, a little more than 5 percent of households, were unmarried opposite-sex partners. An additional 413,000 households were male couples, and 363,000 were female couples. In all, nearly one in 10 couples were unmarried. (One in 20 households consisted of people living alone).
And the numbers of unmarried couples are growing. Since 2000, those identifying themselves as unmarried opposite-sex couples rose by about 14 percent, male couples by 24 percent and female couples by 12 percent.
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said gay couples were undercounted because many gay people were reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation. But he said that inhibition seemed to be fading.
“I would say the increase is due to people feeling more comfortable disclosing that they are gay or lesbian and living with a partner,” he said.
The survey did not ask about sexual orientation, but its questionnaire was designed to distinguish partners from roommates. A partner was defined as “an adult who is unrelated to the householder, but shares living quarters and has a close personal relationship with the householder.”
Some of the biggest gains in unmarried couples were recorded in unexpected places. In the rural Midwest, the number of households made up of male partners rose 77 percent since 2000.
The survey revealed wide disparities in household composition by place. The proportion of married couples ranged from more than 69 percent in Utah County, Utah, which includes Provo, to 26 percent in Manhattan, which has a smaller share of married couples than almost anyplace in the country. But Manhattan registered a 1.2 percent increase in married couples since 2000, in contrast to the rest of New York City and many other places.
Among counties, the highest proportion of unmarried opposite-sex partners was in Mendocino, Calif., where they made up nearly 11 percent of all households.
The highest share of male couples was in San Francisco, where, according to the census, they accounted for nearly 2 percent of all households. In Manhattan, they made up 1 percent of households. Hampshire County, Mass., home to Northampton, had the highest proportion of female couples, at 1.7 percent. Some of the highest numbers of unmarried couples were recorded in the South, which as defined by the census, has the largest population of any region.
David Blankenhorn, president of the marriage advocacy group the Institute for American Values, said married couples had become a minority largely because of the growing number of households made up of people who planned to marry or who used to be married.
Steve Watters, the director of young adults for Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group, said that the trend of fewer married couples was more a reflection of delaying marriage than rejection of it.
“It does show that a lot of people are experimenting with alternatives before they get there,” Mr. Watters said. “The biggest concern is that those who still aspire to marriage are going to find fewer models. They’re also finding they’ve gotten so good at being single it’s hard to be at one with another person.”
But Pamela J. Smock, a researcher at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center, said her research — unaffiliated with the Census Bureau — found that the desire for strong family bonds, and especially marriage, was constant.
“Even cohabiting young adults tell us that they are doing so because it would be unwise to marry without first living together in a society marked by high levels of divorce,” Ms. Smock said.
A number of couples interviewed agreed that cohabiting was akin to taking a test drive and, given the scarcity of affordable apartments and homes, also a matter of convenience. Some said that pregnancy was the only thing that would prompt them to make a legal commitment soon. Others said they never intended to marry. A few of those couples said they were inspired by solidarity with gay and lesbian couples who cannot legally marry in most states.
Jennifer Lynch, a 28-year-old stage manager in New York, said she had lived on the Lower East Side with her boyfriend, who is 37 and divorced, for most of the five years they have been a couple.
“Cohabitating is our choice, and we have no intention to be married,” Ms. Lynch said. “There is little difference between what we do and what married people do. We love each other, exist together, all of our decisions are based upon each other. Everyone we care about knows this.”
If anything, she added, “not having the false security of wedding rings makes us work even a little harder.”
With more competition from other ways of living, the proportion of married couples has been shrinking for decades. In 1930, they accounted for about 84 percent of households. By 1990 the proportion of married couples had declined to about 56 percent.
Married couples have not been a majority of households headed by adults younger than 25 since the 1970’s, but among those aged 25 to 34 the proportion slipped below 50 percent for the first time within the past five years. (Among Americans aged 35 to 64, married couples still make up a majority of all households.)
“It’s partially fueled by women in the work force; they don’t necessarily have to marry to be economically secure,” said Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College of the City University of New York, who conducted the census analysis for The New York Times. “You used to get married to have sex. Now one of the major reasons to get married is to have children, and the attractiveness of having children has declined for many people because of the cost.”
William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, attributed the accelerated trend to the lifestyles of baby boomers.
“It’s the legacy of the boomers that have finally caused this tipping point,” Dr. Frey said. “Certainly later generations have followed in boomer footsteps, with high levels of living together before marriage, and more flexible lifestyles. But the boomers were the trailblazers, once again, rebelling against a norm their parents epitomized.
“This would seem to close the book on the Ozzie and Harriet era that characterized much of the last century,” he said.
On the seventh day God rested....Chuck Norris took over
I've never seen more than five minutes of "Walker, Texas Ranger" or anything else he's ever been in, but this left me in stitches.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A Very Special Episode In Washington
"Do you think... I mean... do you think I'll be normal, when I grow up, like you? I mean, do you think I'll grow up and be able to look at pictures of guys being bitten by dogs, and people who have been beaten up, and people who died, and think of them as sexy, like you do?"
I smiled again. "Sure I think that, son. You're a good Republican from a good Republican family. Someday, you'll be able to look at these pictures like a grownup, like Rush Limbaugh or anyone else, and you'll learn to appreciate the sensuousness of taking someone, beating the crap out of them, maybe killing them. Power is a great aphrodisiac, son. Maybe the best."
He looked a little relieved. "Dad? Well... thanks again. I think I understand, or I will, anyway."
By this time, I was beaming. "Don't worry, son. It'll happen to you, sooner or later. I know you don't get it now, and when you're your age, nobody does. But it'll happen. Someday, I promise you, you'll meet a fifty year old Republican congressman who will make you very, very happy."
Lynch player gone, not forgotten
Colin Bodensteiner remembered as person who made world better place
01:57 AM CDT on Saturday, October 14, 2006
FORT WORTH – After a game earlier this season, Bishop Lynch coach Paul Maturi wished that he had played Colin Bodensteiner more. The junior had practiced hard all week and had played well in the game.
So when it was over, Maturi found Bodensteiner in the locker room and apologized for not playing him more. The outside linebacker just smiled at his coach.
"Don't worry about it," he said. "We won."
That's when Maturi knew that Bodensteiner "got it." He understood that playing football was about the team, not him.
It was always that way with Bodensteiner. Until Friday night.
At Doskocil Stadium, private-school powers Bishop Lynch and Nolan battled in their biggest regular-season game of the year. For the teams that have combined to win four straight TAPPS state titles, it was all about getting an early edge in the district race.
But minutes before kickoff, it was all about Bodensteiner, who died last week in a traffic accident while driving home from a game. He was 16.
Players from both teams bowed their heads in prayer for Bodensteiner. They also observed a moment of silence, making the stadium so quiet that all you could hear were the lights buzzing above and some sniffles on the sidelines.
Just a week earlier, Bodensteiner was in the shadows of his teammates. On Friday night, he was in their hearts. They wore his number – 82 – on their helmets and on black armbands. Some had his number imprinted in their eye black.
It was a time to remember the fragility of life. But also a time to remember to live life to its fullest, which Bodensteiner seemed to do. Friends said Bodensteiner, who split time on the junior varsity and varsity teams, loved to have fun.
He always had a smile on his face, they said.
And almost as often, he was putting a smile on another face.
"If I could take a piece of clay and mold the perfect son, he was it," said Colin's father, Tom Bodensteiner. "He was everything I could ask for. He was smart, funny and he was my friend."
He was a friend to a lot of people. And he was a good athlete, too. Bodensteiner was progressing each week, Maturi said, and would probably have been a starter next season. He was also on the Bishop Lynch baseball team, playing several positions including catcher and pitcher.
"Whenever I got down, Colin would always be there to bring me up," said Kurt Zihlman, a junior who plays on the football and baseball teams. "That's one of the things that I just loved about him."
And that's one of the things that made Bodensteiner a winner, his coach said. Colin's victories were – and will be – measured in his effect on people.
"As long as Bishop Lynch is around, students are going to know about Colin Bodensteiner," Maturi said. "They're going to remember how a young man with a great attitude and positive outlook on life affected and brought joy to a lot of people."
And remember how, in just 16 years, he made the world a better place.
"He did," Zihlman said. "He definitely did."
Family establishes scholarship fund
The Bodensteiner family has established a scholarship fund for students in financial need, in memory of Colin. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, you can donate online at https://payments.auction pay.com/ver3/?id=w025672 or mail your donation to: Jim Urbanus, Vice President of Advancement, Bishop Lynch High School, 9750 Ferguson Road, Dallas, 75228, attn: Colin Bodensteiner Scholarship Fund.
From Staff Reports
I sometimes think there is some truth to the saying "only the good die young." I also have thought since the judicial coup of 2000 and the "inside job" of 2001 that we may also see fulfilled the saying "the living will envy the dead."
I would have you imagine, then, that there exists in the mind of man a block of wax... and that we remember and know what is imprinted as long as the image lasts; but when the image is effaced, or cannot be taken, then we forget or do not know.
-- Plato, Dialogs, Theateus 191
[Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when referring to image activation and termination.]
This explains Alzheimer's Disease. What a genius. However, did he even know the difference between "mind" and "brain" or were the two terms synonymous back then?
FUSD cancels speakers' event
The "Christians" where I live see these types of actions as "persecution." No joke.
It always gives me a laugh when "Christians" ask others to "accept" Jesus. If Jesus is indeed the Son of God, such a concept demeans His deity. I think of a mewling, puking infant soiling his diapers. His father comes to him and says, "Son, will you 'accept' the fact I have to change your diapers, clean up your vomit and 'whoop' your little 'left behind'?
Friday, October 13, 2006
Bush Is Said to Have No Plan if GOP Loses
Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7–a concern aggravated by the president's news conference this week.
"They aren't even planning for if they lose," says a GOP insider who informally counsels the West Wing.
If you know the computers have it rigged in your favor, why would you waste time planning for what you KNOW is NOT going to happen.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Ross Perot's 'Giant suckin' sound' hits his son's airport
Nokia to close Alliance distribution facility
By JIM FUQUAY
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
FORT WORTH — Nokia said Thursday it will close its cell phone distribution facility at the Alliance Airport industrial park next spring, idling 300 workers and bringing to an end the Finnish company’s decade-long presence as a major Tarrant County employer.
The company, one of the world’s biggest wireless communications companies, now employs 450 people at Alliance, said spokesman Charles Chopp. About 150 of those will be transferred to the company’s U.S. headquarters facility in Irving. The other 300 will be laid off starting Dec. 10 and continuing in phases through early next year, Chopp said.
He said workers who lose their jobs will be offered severance packages and outplacement services.
Nokia came to Fort Worth in 1992 with a cellular phone factory it opened in a joint venture with Tandy Corp., now RadioShack. Two years later the company announced plans for a factory employing at least 1,800 people in the Alliance Airport development in far-north Fort Worth.
The company received a 10-year property tax exemption which expired in 2005.
In 1997 Nokia announced that it would move its North American headquarters to Irving, where it now employs about 2,000, Chopp said. The company’s Tarrant County employment continued to swell until it peaked at about 3,800 at two facilities in mid-2000.
But starting in early 2001 the company began moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico and South Korea, when it laid off 1,500 local workers over five months. By 2002 the Alliance facility was doing only final assembly, packaging and distribution. The company continued to shift production jobs to a new factory in Reynosa, Mexico, until Nokia only handled distribution and repair at Alliance.
Chopp said the company plans to sell its 470,000-square-foot factory at 5650 Alliance Gateway after it is vacated next year.
The Cultural Devastation of American Women
I'm not sure I agree with much, if any, of this. The part alluding to women who have children by numerous fathers and then turn around and use the child support laws as ATM machines is perhaps the only graf I related to.
Hill Country, meet your namesake, Forest Country
Northeast Texas is not included in this, so I will not have to change the name of this blog to Forest Country Opinings. I would want to retain some semblance of alliteration, also, so I would have had to go with Forest Country Fantasia or something along those lines.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Army: Troops to Stay in Iraq Until 2010
Four more years of this will add another $300 billion or so to the debt your descendants will have to pay. I don't see how they get kids stupid enough to volunteer for this anymore.
There must be some really desperate young people coming out of high school these days — youngsters for whom death would be a blessing compared to what they are now experiencing. That's the only way it makes sense.
The term "descendants" for those who come after us is very appropriate. If things were getting better, we would call them "ascendants." The use of this term indicates that in our language we recognize that the human condition has been "devolving" rather than "evolving" from whichever day it was "back in the day" when the first human walked the earth.
The rightward shift to political polarization emerged in public in 1980 with the Reagan administration's overt pandering to the religious right for fiscal support and votes, and the movement went exponential in 1994 with the Southern Baptist takeover of the Texas Republican party. This evolutionary strand reached completion with the emergence of Old Testament JudeoRoman fundamentalism ("compassionate" conservatism) directly in the Oval Office, compliments of an unelected, court-appointed Bush administration.
Ironically, in January 1994 I became a "born-again Christian" and joined a Southern Baptist church. I now realize that, generally speaking, the Amish are closer to being Christians than Baptists are, although none of us really knows at this point what it would mean to be a true Christian.
I just try to live One Day At A Time and follow the Golden Rule. However, my version of the Golden Rule is a little different.
It is traditionally said to be as follows: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
However, we do not all have the same desires and preferences, so what we would want done unto us is not necessarily what others would want done unto them. A better rule would be to find out what they would want done unto them and then do it for them or find out what they would not want done and refrain from doing that.
Libertarian Stan Jones Montana TELLS TRUTH
I'm just repeating the title on YouTube. There's nothing particularly "communist" about the so-called New World Order. I would call it more feudalistic combined with a very high-tech surveillance of the subjects rather than moats to keep them from straying off the global plantation.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Oy! 12-year-old runs over and kills Mom
while Dad is in Israel
Having lived through this kind of thing as a pedestrian, this really hits home, so to speak.
Trump: China trade wrecks U.S. jobs
Real estate tycoon says middle class is shrinking because of lost manufacturing.
Monday, October 09, 2006
North Korean leader wags his nuclear penis in Bush's face
Every story has the obligatory reference to the "starving" North Koreans, yet the soldiers pictured here appear to be in robust good health. Even photos of civilians do not reveal the extent of the famine. I wonder if it is all made up. On the other hand, I would like to see more references to the "obese" Americans who cannot get up off their couches and thus are subjected to 24/7 Fox News Channel agitprop.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
'One long sin against mankind'
"If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot be easily asked without disturbing it--the life of that man is one long sin against mankind."
— William Clifford (19th cent. British mathematician)
The Psychosexual Terrorist
After reading this, I have to go "Huh?"