Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bad Behavior on Baltimore

Around 2:00 this afternoon, I rode my bike up Baltimore Avenue to grab a cuppa coffee at the Satellite, a new place downstairs from Firehouse Bicycles at 50th Street. I crossed the trolley tracks at 49th and was riding past Cedar Park, when I saw group of four or five guys from the neighborhood in their mid-twenties playing cards or chess on the corner where Florence forks off from Baltimore. My eyeball was really on the girl, who was glorious, walking this intersection.

One of the guys noticed her too and let out a whistle. "Hey baby," he called. She kept walking, ignoring him.

"Hey baby, c'mere," he called again, this time louder. "Hey baby!" I had ridden past by this time, and turned to look back.

"Cunt!" he was yelling at the top of his lungs at the girl as she crossed the street, her arms crossed across her chest, her head down. The other guys were laughing. "Cunt! CUNT!"

I didn't know what to do, but in Philly, you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, you end up with a bullet in the face. So I did nothing. I got my coffee. The japing churls were still on the corner when I rode back home, but the girl was nowhere in sight.

Bad Behavior on Baltimore.

Gogol Bordello

I'm listenign to an interview with Gogol Bordello on NPR. When I was in UncleFucker, we opened for them once and they opened for us, both times at North Sixth in Williamsburg. Izzy and Eugene know each other pretty well (Izzy knows everyone, and is himself a freakin' rock star).

That band was/is amazing. Gypsy punk. Hard polka. I don't know what to call it. They are ridiculously fun, and ridiculously good.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Go listen.
Dear Mr. President.

"You don't know nothing about hard work." Indeed.
I always did like Pink.

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Neil Young: Living With War

Listen to Neil's new album for free here. Neil's made it available online for free. This is really good.

Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My (Electirc version)" was one of the first songs that really blew my mind. I was 11, maybe 12 years old. He's had some weak periods, but this is pretty freakin' super.

The Party of Family Values

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI is “investigating whether two contractors implicated in the bribery of former Rep. Randall ‘Duke’ Cunningham supplied him with prostitutes and free use of a limousine and hotel suites.” The Journal also said the investigators are exploring “whether any other members of Congress” are involved.
-Think Progress

The ring went on for perhaps 15 years:

CALBREATH: We and a number of other papers have been on this for about six months or so. We have all been looking for the break in this and the Wall Street Journal found it, which is the confirmation that the feds were actually looking at this. For the past six months there we have been hearing a lot of rumors that not only the Congressman Cunningham but as many as a half dozen other Congressmen may have been involved in this. And we’ve also been hearing about the limousine service that Brent Wilkes used to bring prostitutes to the Watergate hotel and the Grand Westin in Washington.

-Scarborough Country, MCNBC

WSJ: Federal prosecutors are investigating whether two contractors implicated in the bribery of former Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham supplied him with prostitutes and free use of a limousine and hotel suites, pursuing evidence that could broaden their long-running inquiry.

Good roundup at Harpers As to the festivities themselves, I hear that party nights began early with poker games and degenerated into what the source described as a "frat party" scene—real bacchanals. Apparently photographs were taken, and investigators are anxiously procuring copies. My heart beats faster in fevered anticipation.

And good snark from The Whiskey Bar: You have to love it: Whores buying whores for whores. Even Jeff Gannon and his White House "sources" couldn't top that.

On the other hand, the Journal doesn't mention Goss, only convicted bribetaker and all-around dirtbag Duke Cunningham. Nor does Harper's mention the CIA director by name -- identifying him only as "one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post." Justin Rood at TPM is the one who connects the dots and decides they spell G-O-S-S.

It's only an educated guess -- but also a reasonable one, given that Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade, the two contractors involved, were manuevering to stick their dicks in the intelligence community's contracting honeypot as well as the Pentagon's. Goss's previous jobs as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and vice chairman of the low-key but powerful House Rules Committee (which controls the flow of legislation to the floor) obviously would have made him an extremely attractive piece of bowel material to a couple of intestinal parasites like Wilkes and Wade.

And if that's not enough, let's remember that "Family Values" Duke Cunningham swings both ways:

What you won’t read about in these mainstream press accounts is the other double life led by the closet case, Duke, the anti-gay conservative.

Cunningham, who is married with grown children, has admitted to romantic, loving relationships with men, both during his Vietnam military service and as a civilian. That was the remarkable story that this publication reported two years ago, when Elizabeth Birch, the former Human Rights Campaign leader, inadvertently outed Cunningham at a gay rights forum.

Birch never mentioned Cunningham’s name, but she talked about a rabidly anti-gay congressman who asked to meet privately with her in the midst of a controversy over his use in a speech on the floor of the House the term "homos" to describe gays who have served in the military.

Alone with Birch and an HRC staffer, the unnamed congressman shared that he had loved men during his life. In telling the story, Birch offered up a few too many details about the closeted congressman.

A few Google searches later, the Blade reported that it had to be Cunningham, whose career was pockmarked with bizarre gay pronouncements, including a reference to the rectal treatment he received for prostate cancer, something he told an audience "was just not natural, unless maybe you're Barney Frank."

The Party of Family Values, protecting marriage, etc. etc. etc.
I think I'm going to go with the Democrats' chosen slogan: Culture of Corruption.
This isn't, by the way, the first time the GOP has found themselves up to their eyeballs in prostitutes (this time involving the Bush Senior Administration) and illicit sex with Congressional pages(and minors, no less).

If I was a Christian conservative, I would be deeply embarrassed right now. I would be feeling duped. I would probably stay home on Election Day, or perhaps write-in Jesus Christ as my preference for Congressional representative.

Instead the reaction will be hysterical shrieks of "Mary Jo Kopechne! Mary Jo Kopechne!"

[UPDATE: Apparently, those limos were transporting the prostitutes against state lines, which I believe is a felony federal crime.]

Plame Fascination

I am fascinated by the Plame investigation, and my favorite Plame site is Firedoglake..

Jane, Christy, and frequent guest-blogger Taylor are such incisive, witty, and altogether with-it writers.
Bookmark, and visit often!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ricky Wants to Give Me $100.00

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.

However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...

The energy package, sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, will be offered as an amendment to an emergency spending measure now before the Senate funding the Iraq war and hurricane relief, according to a senior GOP leadership aide.

To put it mildly, this is a big pile of horse shit. $100.00? At the current rate of $2.95 a gallon for the cheap shit, my 27-gallon tank costs almost $80.00 to fill. That'll last me between one and two weeks. Then what?

Chuck, Ted, Pete, and Rick would do better to shove their rebate idea way up their collective assholes, and start figuring out how their government, so long the cocksucking whore of the oil industry even to the detriment of the common good, is going to get us out of this mess.

Hint: it ain't bribing the driving public. It's in rebates and incentives for high-mileage cars and hybrids; investments in biodiesel, wind, and alternative energy. It's coming up with a real energy plan that does more than just fatten the pockets of Exxon-Mobil and the rest of Dick Cheney's friends

This $100.00 rebate scheme is demagoguery. And the "increased Congressional scrutiny" detailed above? That's demagoguery too. Please. If gasoline was semen, Ted Stevens would look like a Cum on My Face girl.

And yeah, i'll post a nasty picture depicting that later today. But not now, I'm at work.

[Update: This piece, linked in Americablog's comments, should give you a good idea about what bullshit posturing this all is.

"Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!" charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. "They are too cozy with the oil industry."

She then hopped in a waiting Chrysler LHS (18 mpg) -- even though her Senate office was only a block away.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) used a Hyundai Elantra to take the one-block journey to and from the gas-station news conference. He posed in front of the fuel prices and gave them a thumbs-down. "Get tough on big oil!" he demanded of the Bush administration....

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) engaged his deputy, Dick Durbin (Ill.), in a riveting colloquy. "Is the senator aware that the L.A. Times headline reads today, 'Bush's Proposals Viewed as a Drop in the Bucket'?"

"I'm aware of that," Durbin replied.

Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) responded with an economics lesson. "Oil is worth what people pay for it," he argued.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) sounded the alarms. "We are one accident or one terrorist attack away from oil at $100 a barrel!"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) made a plea for conservation. "We have to move quickly to increase our fuel efficiency," she urged.

But not too quickly. After lunchtime votes, senators emerged from the Capitol for the drive across the street to their offices.

Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) hopped in a GMC Yukon (14 mpg). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) climbed aboard a Nissan Pathfinder (15). Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18).

Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Menendez had complained that Bush "remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards."

Also waiting: three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus. The greenest senator was Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was picked up by his hybrid Toyota Prius (60 mpg), at quadruple the fuel efficiency of his Indiana counterpart Evan Bayh (D), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14).

See? Nothing but bullshit and posturing. If you want to know why our country is in such bad shape it's because our representatives are nothing but poseurs. Empty suits clinging to the perks of power. Not one of them is worth the paper I use to wipe my ass.

Senate Panel Urge FEMA Dismantling

A Atriso points out, it was Joe Lieberman that wanted FEMA rolled into DHS in the first place.

Ms. Collins and Mr. Lieberman, who in 2004 helped lead a similar restructuring of the management of the nation's intelligence agencies, said the recreated agency at homeland security would have the authority and resources needed to lead a response by the full federal government to a disaster, instead of seeing itself pushed to the side, as FEMA was after Hurricane Katrina.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where are the Schindlers? The Randall Terrys?

h/t to Atta Turk:

Houston Hopspital Votes to End Woman's Life With Bush Law:

HOUSTON---The countdown has begun on the life of Andrea Clark, a patient at St. Luke's Hospital.

Six days left.

No, she's not terminal, her family says and she's not brain dead. Her sisters say that she wants to live. The Houston hospital is going to unilaterally remove a woman from life support, apparently based on the decision of a lone physician even though her family wants her to continue to receive care.

The central issue in the Andrea Clark case is the same as that in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, whether the state should be able to sanction the removal of a human being from life support.

What's even more significant in the Clark case is that the Texas bill that allows health care providers to end a human life despite the wishes of the patient and the patient's family was signed into law in 1999 by President George W. Bush as Texas Governor. However, in 2005, he rushed back to the White House from Easter vacation to sign a bill rushed through Congress which was designed to save the life of Terri Schiavo because of his "presumption in favor of life"....

"Andrea, until a few days ago, when the physicians decided to increase her pain medication and anesthetize her into unconsciousness, was fully able to make her own medical decisions and had decided that she wanted life saving treatment until she dies naturally", Childers said. "We have learned that this is part of the process, when hospitals decided to declare the "medical futility" of continuing treatment for a patient.

"Andrea, when she is not medicated into unconsciousness (and even when she is, and the medication has worn off to some degree) is aware and cognizant", her sister said. "She has suffered no brain damage to the parts of her brain responsible for thought and reason or speech. She has only suffered loss of some motor control. The reason that the physician gave to medicate her so much is that she is suffering from intractable pain in the sacral region (in other words, she has a bedsore that causes her pain). This is not reason enough, in our books, and we are trying, as we speak, to get Andrea's medication lowered so that she can speak to us.

"There is also some disagreement as well as to whether Andrea is really in that much pain. When she is not medicated to this degree, and she sees her son, Charles, she smiles. She also mouths words (Andrea is very vocal, normally, even with a trach, and asks for food, etc., when she is not overly medicated) Andrea has voiced her wishes, over and over again, an d if she were not on so much pain medication, she would voice them again", Melanie says.

Houston hospitals have a policy in that once the medical treatment of a patient has been deemed "medically futile" no other hospital in the area will accept transfer of that patient to their facility. This means that the patient, who is usually in a very delicate condition anyway, has to be transported over a long distance, in order to receive care, her sister explains.

When asked if Andrea is capable of being transferred to another facility, the hospital hedges but reluctantly admits that she could be, according to the sisters. Hospital representatives will not discuss the case with media.

Read the rest. So here we have a patient who "when she is not medicated into unconsciousness (and even when she is, and the medication has worn off to some degree) is aware and cognizant" but is going to be taken off life support. Not because she's brain dead with no hope of recovery, but because she's too expensive.

Where are all the "Save Terri Andrea" people? Where is Bill Frist? Can't he come up with a diagnosis from the floor of the Senate? Will Bush race back from a vacation to sign a bill to save Andrea Clark's life? Will Randall Terry ride to the rescue?

No. You will not hear a peep about this woman's needless death. Why not? The reason the aforementioned demagogues "stood up" for Terri Schiavo was not out of some real concern for her life, but because they thought she'd be a great political football, red meat for the googly-eyed rottweilers that make up the pro-life fundie base. That blew up in their faces. Profiles in cowardice: these politicians and preachers weren't standing for principle, but for their own power. They don't actually believe any of the stuff they say: it's just a bunch of words and empty promises.

Empty: a lot like the pro-lifers who to this day have not answered my request that they describe how they would punish a woman who obtained an abortion.

Pro-life, my eye.


I started lifting recently. Not huge weights obviously, but about two weeks ago I maxed out by doubling what I had already been doing, and that's become my standard weight. I do three sets of 10. The effect has been noticeable: my biceps are bigger, my delts more prominent. My chest is still struggling, but since I never had much of a chest to begin with I suppose that's natural. Also, my beer belly offsets whatever chest I may have developed. Wendy told me about calf lifts tonight, they will be added to the regimen in the AM.

When I get myself up to six sets of ten at this weight, I'm going to max again. The pools open in about a month, and I'm back on my bike. I'm going to trade it in soon, but before then I may get the back wheel replaced. I need a mountain bike frame, but with drop bars, a road/touring crankset, and a road/touring set of gear on the rear wheel. It's gonna take some time to get together.

Anyway, it's late. bed now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


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Pointing Out the Obvious

Iraq doesn't have to be a safe place for us to bring the soldiers home," Mr. Sodrel said, a formulation he repeats often on the campaign trail. "It merely has to be a country that is well organized enough that it can deal with its internal problems. There is no place in that part of the world that there won't be a car bomb or a suicide bomber."

The rate of suicide and car bombings in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was MUCH MUCH LOWER than the rate of suicide and car bombings in New Improved Liberated Iraq, a fact which Representative Sodrel conveniently neglects to mention.

I realize that, as Field Marshall Rumsfeld puts it, "Freedom’s untidy," that "Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things", and that "Democracy is a messy thing", but in the 35+ years I've walked this earth, I have heard of precious few carbombs and suicide bombs in America, Land of the Free, with the exception of right-wing extremist Timothy Mcveigh and a small cadre of "Killing for Jesus" clinic bombers . To suggest, as Mr. Sodrel does, that Iraq has always been the abattoir it is today, is dishonest, absurd, and defeatist. Life under Mr. Hussein was without a doubt awful, but it was not the Hell on Earth that Iraq is today. It's Bush's, and by extension the Republicans', Iraq. They cannot extricate themselves from the albatross millstone they've hung around their own necks, no matter how they try.

You broke it, you bought it. The waves of car bombs and suiciders belong to Mr. Bush, his loyal Republicans, and quite a few spineless and craven Democrats. But mostly Mr. Bush and his Republicans.

Why I Worry

First Comes Baby:

The attitude that marriage is not necessary to nurture and raise our children is actually a new one in the black community. Historically, blacks have valued the institution of marriage and the traditional two- parent household. In 1890, 80 percent of African-American families were headed by two parents, even though many had started life in forced family separation under slavery. Even in the 1960s, when black Americans were in the height of civil rights strife, 23 percent of black babies were born out of wedlock, a modest figure compared with 70 percent today. And today's single moms aren't just welfare teens, either. Most out-of-wedlock black babies are being born to women in their 20s and 30s across the economic spectrum.

While the stigma against children born out of wedlock has diminished, the impact on community bonds has not. A recent study for the journal Criminology has revealed that "neighborhoods with larger portions of adults who are less 'invested' in marriage and residential stability are more likely to see higher rates of assault by African-American males." Children raised in fatherless homes are more likely to be delinquent, do poorly in school, have lower self-esteem, become chemical abusers, and reproduce the same family pattern in their own lives. In most cases, no matter how strong or diligent a mother may be, children have a subconscious knowledge of what is right and wrong in a family set up. Boys turn to their fathers for their sense of masculinity and manhood. If their dad isn't around, the streets and group aggression are the next best thing for most.

Currently, I work in social services in Fishtown/Kensington, one of the poorer neighborhoods of Philadelphia; my first job in PA was abstracting fatherhood reseach, reading study after journal after monograph and ferreting out the hypotheses and results. I can tell you that this is true for white boys as well, from the studies I've read and the incidents I've seen. The problem of father absence is perhaps more strongly felt in the African American community, but boys with an absent father suffer, no doubt.

It's not just my personal emotions that come into play here: it's the weight of my knowledge base that drives my worries about what the future holds for my son.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It Is a Good Thing that I Do Not Have Supernatural Powers.

For the past few days, I've been consistently on the verge of having a temper tantrum. By temper tantrum, I mean the full-scale, yelling, throwing things, kicking-others-in-the-shin, lying on my back and screaming until I turn blue in the face and my shrieks devolve into full-thoated yelps as my lungs try to keep up with the demand for air, until I get what I want. But what do I want?

Who the fuck knows. It's a damn good thing I don't have superpowers like eyes that shoot lasers, or Voltron's rainbow beam, because I would lay waste to EVERY. FUCKING. THING. IN. MY. PATH.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


The war was going to bring us cheap gas. The oil revenues would pay for the reconstruction.

For the past three days in Philadelphia, the gas stations have been out of regular and mid-grade as we switch from MTBE to ethanol and, golly gee whillikkers, Mr. Peabody, who coulda predicted this, its taking longer than expected to make the transition.

Riiiight. Someone's making some money gouging the public. And the cheap shit is hovering at $2.95 or more a gallon.

I was at an opening tonight, walked into a conversation between two black guys about slavery and white indentured servitude. Or rather, one guy ranting to his friend.

"You know the thing is," the guy was saying, "and a lot of people, white and black, don't get it.

"We're ALL niggers now. We all slaves. Dude, in France, you get 34 days vacation? What do we get here? We're all niggers now, we just have better clothes and nicer houses."

Can't disagree.

We're slaves. We're just living in better accommodations than the brothers and sisters 150 years ago.

Most of us have no, or limited, social mobility. Most of us have no, or limited, economic mobility. Nobody wants a stake in our collective future because we've been conditioned to believe that this is as good as it gets. We're all souless, selfish bitches in that regard because we're resigned to our collective fate, not future.

Earth Day Quote(s)


BUT some perhaps will say--Are we to have no word of God --no revelation? I answer yes. There is a Word of God; there is a revelation.

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD: And it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.

Human language is local and changeable, and is therefore incapable of being used as the means of unchangeable and universal information. The idea that God sent Jesus Christ to publish, as they say, the glad tidings to all nations, from one end of the earth unto the other, is consistent only with the ignorance of those who know nothing of the extent of the world, and who believed, as those world-saviours believed, and continued to believe for several centuries, (and that in contradiction to the discoveries of philosophers and the experience of navigators,) that the earth was flat like a trencher; and that a man might walk to the end of it.

But how was Jesus Christ to make anything known to all nations? He could speak but one language, which was Hebrew; and there are in the world several hundred languages. Scarcely any two nations speak the same language, or understand each other; and as to translations, every man who knows anything of languages, knows that it is impossible to translate from one language into another, not only without losing a great part of the original, but frequently of mistaking the sense; and besides all this, the art of printing was wholly unknown at the time Christ lived.

It is always necessary that the means that are to accomplish any end be equal to the accomplishment of that end, or the end cannot be accomplished. It is in this that the difference between finite and infinite power and wisdom discovers itself. Man frequently fails in accomplishing his end, from a natural inability of the power to the purpose; and frequently from the want of wisdom to apply power properly. But it is impossible for infinite power and wisdom to fail as man faileth. The means it useth are always equal to the end: but human language, more especially as there is not an universal language, is incapable of being used as an universal means of unchangeable and uniform information; and therefore it is not the means that God useth in manifesting himself universally to man.

It is only in the CREATION that all our ideas and conceptions of a word of God can unite. The Creation speaketh an universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they be. It is an ever existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God.

Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible Whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not the book called the scripture, which any human hand might make, but the scripture called the Creation.


It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences 'human inventions;' it is only the application of them that is human. Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the unierse is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.

For example: Every person who looks at an almanack sees an account when an eclipse will take place, and he sees also that it never fails to take place according to the account there given. This shows that man is acquainted with the laws by which the heavenly bodies move. But it would be something worse than ignorance, were any church on earth to say that those laws are an human invention.

It would also be ignorance, or something worse, to say that the scientific principles, by the aid of which man is enabled to calculate and foreknow when an eclipse will take place, are an human invention. Man cannot invent any thing that is eternal and immutable; and the scientific principles he employs for this purpose must, and are, of necessity, as eternal and immutable as the laws by which the heavenly bodies move, or they could not be used as they are to ascertain the time when, and the manner how, an eclipse will take place.

The scientific principles that man employs to obtain the foreknowledge of an eclipse, or of any thing else relating to the motion of the heavenly bodies, are contained chiefly in that part of science that is called trigonometry, or the properties of a triangle, which, when applied to the study of the heavenly bodies, is called astronomy; when applied to direct the course of a ship on the ocean, it is called navigation; when applied to the construction of figures drawn by a rule and compass, it is called geometry; when applied to the construction of plans of edifices, it is called architecture; when applied to the measurement of any portion of the surface of the earth, it is called land-surveying. In fine, it is the soul of science. It is an eternal truth: it contains the mathematical demonstration of which man speaks, and the extent of its uses are unknown.

It may be said, that man can make or draw a triangle, and therefore a triangle is an human invention.

But the triangle, when drawn, is no other than the image of the principle: it is a delineation to the eye, and from thence to the mind, of a principle that would otherwise be imperceptible. The triangle does not make the principle, any more than a candle taken into a room that was dark, makes the chairs and tables that before were invisible. All the properties of a triangle exist independently of the figure, and existed before any triangle was drawn or thought of by man. Man had no more to do in the formation of those properties or principles, than he had to do in making the laws by which the heavenly bodies move; and therefore the one must have the same divine origin as the other.

In the same manner as, it may be said, that man can make a triangle, so also, may it be said, he can make the mechanical instrument called a lever. But the principle by which the lever acts, is a thing distinct from the instrument, and would exist if the instrument did not; it attaches itself to the instrument after it is made; the instrument, therefore, can act no otherwise than it does act; neither can all the efforts of human invention make it act otherwise. That which, in all such cases, man calls the effect, is no other than the principle itself rendered perceptible to the senses.

Since, then, man cannot make principles, from whence did he gain a knowledge of them, so as to be able to apply them, not only to things on earth, but to ascertain the motion of bodies so immensely distant from him as all the heavenly bodies are? From whence, I ask, could he gain that knowledge, but from the study of the true theology?

It is the structure of the universe that has taught this knowledge to man. That structure is an ever-existing exhibition of every principle upon which every part of mathematical science is founded. The offspring of this science is mechanics; for mechanics is no other than the principles of science applied practically. The man who proportions the several parts of a mill uses the same scientific principles as if he had the power of constructing an universe, but as he cannot give to matter that invisible agency by which all the component parts of the immense machine of the universe have influence upon each other, and act in motional unison together, without any apparent contact, and to which man has given the name of attraction, gravitation, and repulsion, he supplies the place of that agency by the humble imitation of teeth and cogs. All the parts of man's microcosm must visibly touch. But could he gain a knowledge of that agency, so as to be able to apply it in practice, we might then say that another canonical book of the word of God had been discovered.

If man could alter the properties of the lever, so also could he alter the properties of the triangle: for a lever (taking that sort of lever which is called a steel-yard, for the sake of explanation) forms, when in motion, a triangle. The line it descends from, (one point of that line being in the fulcrum,) the line it descends to, and the chord of the arc, which the end of the lever describes in the air, are the three sides of a triangle. The other arm of the lever describes also a triangle; and the corresponding sides of those two triangles, calculated scientifically, or measured geometrically,--and also the sines, tangents, and secants generated from the angles, and geometrically measured,--have the same proportions to each other as the different weights have that will balance each other on the lever, leaving the weight of the lever out of the case.

It may also be said, that man can make a wheel and axis; that he can put wheels of different magnitudes together, and produce a mill. Still the case comes back to the same point, which is, that he did not make the principle that gives the wheels those powers. This principle is as unalterable as in the former cases, or rather it is the same principle under a different appearance to the eye.

The power that two wheels of different magnitudes have upon each other is in the same proportion as if the semi-diameter of the two wheels were joined together and made into that kind of lever I have described, suspended at the part where the semi-diameters join; for the two wheels, scientifically considered, are no other than the two circles generated by the motion of the compound lever.

It is from the study of the true theology that all our knowledge of science is derived; and it is from that knowledge that all the arts have originated.

The Almighty lecturer, by displaying the principles of science in the structure of the universe, has invited man to study and to imitation. It is as if he had said to the inhabitants of this globe that we call ours, "I have made an earth for man to dwell upon, and I have rendered the starry heavens visible, to teach him science and the arts. He can now provide for his own comfort, AND LEARN FROM MY MUNIFICENCE TO ALL, TO BE KIND TO EACH OTHER."

Of what use is it, unless it be to teach man something, that his eye is endowed with the power of beholding, to an incomprehensible distance, an immensity of worlds revolving in the ocean of space? Or of what use is it that this immensity of worlds is visible to man? What has man to do with the Pleiades, with Orion, with Sirius, with the star he calls the north star, with the moving orbs he has named Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, if no uses are to follow from their being visible? A less power of vision would have been sufficient for man, if the immensity he now possesses were given only to waste itself, as it were, on an immense desert of space glittering with shows.

Thomas Paine, aka "the filthy little atheist".

My next tattoo will be a portrait of the man.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Back at Home; The Dwarves

I'm back at home now. I turned off the polka on the radio in favor of The Dwarves.
I'm still pissy, but listening to "...Are Young and Good Looking" is helping. Gonna drop a fat ol' shit in a minute, and do some lifting. I maxed two weeks ago (which isn't too impressive for a guy as little as me), and now that weight is my standard. I'm going to get to the point where I can do 5 sets of ten at this level before I max again.

I'm working strictly on my arms and chest, though I guess the butterflies work my delts as well.

I just downloaded "Up in Cornhole Creek", and got the live version. Eccch, what a song. "Ragtime Willy." Yeah, I got your fuckin' willy right here.

It's Back

Depressed again. It hit me like a Super Bowl tackle.

Sam stuff, as usual. I don't know why I bother sometimes: it's not like Melissa's going to buy a car, or put pressure on her parents to get him down here once a month.

The status quo suits them juuuust fine: out of sight out of mind, right?
I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid.

So how the hell did this happen? you're wondering. Just a moment ago he was having a grand ol' time slagging The Band, and now this?

Here's how it happened: I had to drive over to Northeast Philly to pick up the amp I dropped off last week. On the way to my tech's shop, I pass by a Navy installation just north of the Boulevard. On the grounds are a slew of fighter jets, helicopters, and other warplanes.

As a little kid growing up in Newport, RI, the best weekends were when my parents would drive us up to Battleship Cove, just outside of Fall River. They have the Battleship Massachusetts, the Destroyer USS Kennedy, the USS Lionfish, a WW2 submarine, among others and all of them are open for tours. You think the Battleship New Jersey across the river from Philly is cool? Try multiplying that by 10. That's how cool Battleship Cove is for a little kid.
So on the way back from picking up my amp, I pulled onto the base, and rolled down my window at the guard's station.

"Hey buddy," I asked. "I noticed all the planes and copters on the lawn. I have a two year old son, and he's just crazy about planes, trains, all that stuff. I was wondering if you let civilians on the grounds, because he would get a really big kick out of all the jets."

The guy told me anytime was OK, as long as I checked in with the base manager. "It's never been a problem before." I thanked him, pulled a u-turn and headed back towards work, and began to think how much fun Sam will have when he visits next.

When he visits next. Which is a month away. And I get him for a whole fuckin' week, a whole seven fucking days including the day I pick him up and return him, so really it's more like 5 days. And I shouldn't make such a big deal because as Melissa says "God almighty, it's only been a month" but of course having him for more than a week is out-of-the-question because keeping him for more than a week would break Melissa's heart (her words) and besides, I'm a step away from a kidnapper anyway, because i get sad when he leaves.

I don't know why I don't drop out. Maybe I'm a masochist.

Thanks Sitemeter!

I check the sitemeter through the course of the day, and try to visit the sites that refer visitors to me.
Here's a piece I really enjoyed I Guess I'm Not a Very Good Christian at Evangeliberal.

Up on Shit Creek

I'll be playing at Fergies (1200 block of Sansom Street, Philadelphia) tonight at about 10:00 PM. Oughta be a good show. Except for one thing.

Paul is making us perform "Up On Cripple Creek", by The Band.
It would be impossible for me to fully express how much I HATE The Band.
There are few bands that I despise as much as Robertson, Helm, and co, except perhaps for bands that want to BE The Band or who list The Band as a big influence.

The music isn't so much bad as it is bland. It's the faux nostalgia (their stock in trade) that annoys the fuck out of me. The lyrical content, which contains incessant references to people with "jest plain folks" kind of names who have nothing to do with the rest of the song, makes me want to eviscerate myself.

Consider for example "The Weight": who are Fannie, Miss Annie, Luke, Miss Moses, Crazy Chester and Carmen, and just why the hell should I care about them? It's like the outline of the "News from Lake Wobegone" schtick on "Prairie Home Companion", but without a plot or the humor. "Rockin' Chair" is just as bad, with the added benefit of condescending imagery and flatulent rhymes. "Old Virginny/ they call him Ragtime Willy". Barrf.

About the only thing worse than The Band and their shitty songs is that they have the kind of critical cred that an equally obnoxious band like Ace of Base, will never have, and thus they will never fade into obscurity and the dollar bin. Therefore, when The Band comes on the radio, you can never just get away with "Turn this shit off", because if you say that you'll have to sit through a lecture about why The Band is the best Band ever, and you just don't get it, and really they're really deep and you just don't get it.
Like this pompous pile of poop:
I've tried to write about this song for years. In many ways it needs little explanation. The words are transparent enough. But it is a key Band song for me, and a favourite of mine since 1969. While it is a favourite of Band afficianados, it fails to make all but the longest compilation, and until the remasters series in 2000 had not appeared in an official live version.

This article is even more an assembling of others' views than my previous articles on The Band. The folks on the Band Guestbook said it all so well, that I see my role as cutting and pasting the comments into order, deleting the repetitions (sorry if I cut a comment because someone else said it) and linking the various points together. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I've quoted Susan and Al Edge at length and I've added Pehr Smith's section on paintings as an appendix.

And it just goes on. About "Rockin Chair". By The fucking Band.

Levon Helm:

It was a complicated record. We wanted to make one that you didn't really get until the second time you played it. Some of the songs, like Rockin' Chair, sound like folks playing accordion and mandolin on the back porch of some farm ...

Barney Hoskyns:

The old-timey string-band arrangement was perfect for Robertson's enchanting song about a pair of retired seafarers: Helm on mandolin, Hudson on accordion, Robertson himself on acoustic guitar.

...and if you really care all that much, there's an even LONGER article about the meaning behind "The Weight". You can go find it for yourself.

Listen: I listen to so much old-time music, I shit fiddles and piss mandolin strings. "Old-timey string band arrangement"? What the fuck is this guy talking about? "Rockin' Chair" is nothing but self-conscious, self-satisfied, unadulterated CRAP, and about as old-timey as my mother-in-law's asshole.
It makes me turn into Alec Baldwin in "Glengary Glen Ross": "What's my name? FUCK YOU!"

If I had been of age to drive when Robbie Robertson etc were recording "Music from Big Pink" I would have personally driven to upstate NY and dynamited the house with them AND Bob Dylan inside.

If you should make it by Fergie's tonight, you will note the expression on my face when playing "Up on Cripple Creek." It's the expression you get when you're sucking on a lemon.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Michelle Malkin is Not Afraid

After getting a royal reaming from left and right for posting the home phone numbers of a bunch of anti-war college students, and then finding out that two can play at that game (19930 Wild Cherry Ln Germantown, Marland 20874 (301)
515-7601), Michelle Malkin posts a very funny "oh-woe-is-me" message:

"You know who you all are.

And if you think I'm going to stop blogging/writing/making a living because you've plastered my family's private home address, phone numbers, and photos and maps of my neighborhood all over the Internet to further your manufactured outrage and pathetic coddling of a bunch of lying, anti-troops punks at UC Santa Cruz... better think again."

Boo hoo hoo.

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Right now, as I type, Billy Joel is singing "Tell Her About It" on my office mate's radio.

Relationship advice from a guy who's on wife number 3, and who just stumbled out of rehab, is something I don't need, especially when delivered in that strange cadence Joel seems to have been perfecting since 1976 or whenever he hit it big, a fusion of drill-sergeant-meets-Liza-Minelli.

The second floor office has bad air circulation, which was made worse when the administration decided to move the coffee machine from the third floor, where it was never used, to the second floor copy room, where it is never used. In an effort to cram the coffee machine in with the photocopiers, the back door to our office was shut and blocked as they rearranged the machinery. Now the air hovers thick as a blanket, and Margie and I sweat.

Two projects are stalled as I wait to receive information from other agency employees.

Tell her about it, tell her everything you feel
Give her every reason to accept that you're for real
Tell her about it, tell her all your crazy dreams
Let her know you need her, let her know how much she means

Billy sings the line "crazy dreams" the same way he sings "lunatic" in "You may Be Right (I May Be Crazy)", over-the-top with emotion. He's the George C. Scott of rock music, a ham munching the scenery.

And then my bandmates... oy.

I Have Margins!!

Thanks to Matt at Tattered Coat, I now not only have a left-hand margin, my right-hand sidebar isn't shoved off the screen anymore either!

Matt, you rock. Thanks SO much.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Michelle Malkin is a Piece of Shit.

Michelle Malkin (no I won't link to her) posted the personal phone numbers of some college students opposed to the war; now they're getting death threats.

I am a firm believer in tit-for-tat. Click here for Michelle's home address and phone number. This is a game that anyone can play. Too bad no one has her credit card or social security number...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Skeletons and Ghosts

Philadelphia used to be THE industrial city in America, with one of the most extensive street car networks of its time.

Today, I drive my van through the streets across the remains of the trolley lines. The tracks poke through the blacktop here and there, and sometimes belgian block erupts as if out of nowhere and continues on for a half mile at a stretch. Right now, SEPTA is illegally burying the rails along Germantown Avenue, rails they are supposedly bound to reopen, a promise made in the 1980s. So much for promises. Six trolley lines remain in Philadelphia, four of which are the remains of the original West Philadelphia suburban lines, one of which serves Overbrook, and the mostly-for-show restored Girard Avenue light rail.

Everywhere you look in Philadelphia, the ruins of the industrial age stand crumbling around you, or in some cases are being torn down, and in ever-more-common cases are being reused as lofts and condo space. We people are closer to ants or paper wasps or those giant african termites than we like to think.

I love waiting for the 13 trolley on a foggy night. The triple headlights beam ghostlike through the mist, and the wheels rumble and creak on the old rails sagging through Clark Park. I step aboard, pay my fare; we coast along the what's left of the city's steel-and-copper nervous system, threading around, and then under, the dusty old bones of 19th century Philadelphia.

I was driving back from Northeast Philly late last Wednesday afternoon after dropping my bass amplifier off for a repair. Route 1, the Roosevelt Boulevard, the main route through Northeast, is a dangerous, obsolete stretch of road, notorious for accidents. When I got the chance to pull onto Rising Sun, I hung that sharp left and continued straight south into the slums.

Rising Sun Avenue was one of the main streetcar routes to Northeast Philly, back when
Northeast Philly was still largely farmland and the postwar housing boom was just taking root. Most of the rails have been paved over, though you can still feel
them under the blacktop, which buckles over the buried steel.

Winding through the muck and condemned houses, I stopped at the corner of Rising Sun and 6th Street, and there looming above me was a huge abandoned factory. On one side was a huge sign that read "S.L Allen", while the facing panel read "Flexible Flyer." It was the factory where the sled was originally produced! The factory sits where the old Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads met in N. Philly, the North Penn junction, itself obsolete and rotting.

Philadelphia is filled with skeletons and ghosts like this. They appear out of nowhere, taking up space but not of this place.

Mr. and Mrs. Howell

I've been following John Avarosis's recent observations about Katherine Graham's son, as well as similar questions raised about accountability and bias with regard to numerous Washington Post muckety mucks like Fred Hiatt, Deborah Howell, and Jim Brady.

This is going to be a disappointingly petty post. If you're looking for pithy, witty political thingies, you're at the wrong place.

Fact is, Deborah Howell looks a LOT like Mrs. Howell. And Donald Graham looks a lot like Thurston Howell. Or at least "Get Smart", but hey close enough.

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Deborah Howell

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Mrs. Howell

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Donald Graham

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Jim Backus, aka Mr. Howell, aka Mr. Magoo

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The question remains: who is Fred Hiatt? And who is Richard Cohen (personally I see Ernie Keebler).

The Decider

Your Preznit speaks:

"I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."

What a fucking whack job.
I wonder if any of those voices are the shrieks and screams of maimed Iraqi children, or babies deformed by depleted uranium?

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A Portrait of Deborah Howell

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Monday, April 17, 2006


When you live in the city, especially a river city like Philadelphia, there is always the chance you'll get mice or roaches.

I got mice recently, and not only did I get mice, I got smart mice: they won't go near the snap traps, no matter what I use for bait. So today, I bought glue traps, one of the most evil, and most effective, traps made.

The glue trap is a shallow plastic tray filled with jellied super glue. I am telling you, that stuff is strong: God forbid your finger touches the stuff, because you will lose skin getting it off.

I noted which parts of the kitchen had the most traffic from my visitor (or visitors), and laid the traps accordingly, and went out for a beer or two or three. When I came home, I heard a clear squeeek! coming from the back, and rushed to the kitchen. There, behind the sugar canister, was a little grey mouse, stuck fast in the glue. He was caught by the belly and his chin, his little legs scrambling futilely to get away.

Mice actually kind of freak me out a little bit. Even when they're dead and in a snap trap, I avoid handling them. Disease. or more to the point What if it wakes up and bites me an dgives me rabies? I considered letting the mouse die overnight, smothering himself in the glue. Poor little guy, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I'm sorry man," I said, as I used the dustpan to pull the trap to the edge of the counter. "You're stuck to that stuff.

"I wish this didn't have to happen, but I can't let you go. You'll only come back."

I poked the trap/mouse into the dustpan and put it on the floor. "I feel bad, I really do. I don't know what to tell you. I've never done this before.

"It's better this way. I'm sorry, I really am sorry, but otherwise you're just going to suffer."

And I dropped a cinderblock on him. Then I picked the block up and dropped it again, just to make sure, jumping half out of my skin when I looked down and saw the chunk of guts or brains or whatever that had splattered on my shirt. I flailed at my chest to get it off. I've never deliberately killed an animal before, at least not so personally: do snap traps count?

I bent down and scraped the trap and flattened mouse corpse from the bottom of the cinderblock into the garbage can.

There are two more glue traps in the kitchen, and one in the bathroom. A regular Mouschwitz.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

How Did You Get Here?

If you click on the sitemeter link at the bottom of the page, you can see who's been visiting bcftu, and where they were referred from. You certainly learn some interesting things about the internets.

For instance, a frequent refferring page is a Google search for "Jeff Brundle". That's Jeff Goldblum's character in the remake of "The Fly", and also the nickname of Johnny Fitz, featured in my piece "Scabby's Rest" (in my "greatest hits" sidebar).

Then there are other referrers. Like "analingus with my wife", a Yahoo search that brought me a reader from Devon, PA. Was the visitor actually looking for the article he found, "Santorum Phone Call, May 2003" (also in the sidebar) or was he looking for advice and just stopped by my link omn a lark? In any event, I hope he found what he was looking for.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

She Used to Be Pretty

Now I know people change
and sometimes that's good
and some people don't
when maybe they should
but right now that don't help me
I might just throw up
cause it sure does feel shitty
when things just get pretty fucked up

aww pretty fucked up
yeah pretty fucked up now
aww she used to be pretty
but now she's just pretty fucked up

--Eddie Spaghetti, The Supersuckers

That song is about my pal Carey. God almighty, the guy's a wretch, and it's all because she used to be pretty, and now she's just pretty fucked up.

I got to know Carey, who's a couple of years younger than me but looks a couple years older, a few years back at the neighborhood bar. He works as a drug and life counselor for convicts re-entering society.

His career grows from his personal life: sometime after college, he spent 5 years in prison. It was one of your classic snitch deals: someone got busted for drugs pointed a finger at Carey, who the prosecution then made the fall guy. Carey gets packed off to jail, with a stiffer sentence because his apartment was near a school. He showed me a letter-to-the-editor he wrote that appeared in the Washignton Post while he was incacerated. Well-written stuff: Carey was pretty much the last guy who should have ended up in jail.

About 5 years ago, for a few blissful months, Carey was dating this chick Janny. I know it was blissful because every time I see the guy, if he's had a couple of drinks, he mentions herue, or if she's at the bar he says "See that blonde girl..." I cut him off by saying "Oh yeah, Janny, the chick you used to date," and try to change the subject. She's a cutie: long blonde hair (bleached, but still nice), a very pretty face, and a nice body. Her hips have a delicious sexy sway when she walks across a room.

By everything he tells me, Janny put Carey through the fucking wringer. She was a stripper and on drugs: cocaine, meth, crack, what-have-you. While they were dating,
she was cheating on him with her customers at the strip joint, prostituting herself for drugs, sucking cock behind the club, the whole nine yards. Carey tells me this story of Jan and her girlfriend having a threesome with him and being so fucked up she didn't remember it the next day. Stories of the chick showing up smelling like cum, her eyes googling like spinning plates from the drugs, nightmare stories. Eventually they broke up (I think she dumped him, go figure) but they've stayed in touch. It's difficult to really lose yourself in Philadelphia.

I saw Carey a couple of weeks ago. He'd been trying to keep off the bottle, for the obvious reason that he's a drunk, but he had a beer in one hand and was ordering a shot of Irish whiskey with the other.

"It was only a matter of time before you fell off," I hollered over the crowd.

"Yeah, we both knew that," he said, "but I figure I might as well give it a shot. See that chick at the end of that bar...?"

"Yeah, your ex-girlfriend Janny," I said, getting ready to change the subject. "Did you hear the latest on Iraq? Now--"

"She's making movies now," Carey blurted, downing his Jamesons. "And by movies, I mean porn movies. She gave me one of her dvds, I just watched it.

"I don't have anything against porn," he continued matter-of-factly, "and this was her first one I guess.

But still, it was kind of... pretty fucked up to see her on film." He ordered another shot; his face had that red glow and his eyes and face went flat, drifting into the glassy watery drunk stare.

I saw Janny this past weekend walking through the park at the flea market. She was carrying a shopping bag filled with clothes and knick-knacks, just another pretty girl enjoying a warm and sunny Saturday. They say men think about sex every 30 seconds or so, and though I'd never seen her dance or film work, it was easy enough to picture Janny naked or performing. As I watched her walk away, I wondered what went wrong with her life to make her so self-destructive, or whether she simply woke up one day and found she'd trapped herself. I wondered what makes people like Carey cling to these fucked up relationships like some sort of totem, when common sense dictates you cut bait and forget about it if you can.

Pretty fucked up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Jesus Was a Jew: You're Not.

I was going to write a post critical of the All Spin Zone, one of my favorite sites, for getting a bit self-righteous about Christian throwback jerseys. There are so many awful things going on in the name of Jesus Christ in this country, that getting into Nelson Muntz mode about something as piddling as jerseys seems petty and wrongheaded.

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Besides, there are an awful lot of devout Christians who are as progressive and left-wing as anyone else on the left: just visit Street Prophets an explicitly religious site that grew out of the greater daily Kos community, or the Faithful America list (which for some unknown reason I'm subscribed to). It's like jumping on the Schmaltz Brewing Company for bringing religion into beer. I have nothing against benign public display of religion.

Furthermore, I didn't see the aforementioned piece as comparable to recent ASZ criticism of the Church of Christ and Mary Winkler story, a snarky series I wholeheartedly agreed with. This isn't the time to criticize and speculate, it is a time to love"? Gimme a break: I didn't see too many churches peddling this line during the whole Terri Schiavo carnival (I use that term in the sense of "festival of meat"), and ASZ was right to call them out on wanting what can only be defined as "special treatment."

So I was going to write something critical. But then I read the following article about Christian seders:

The hall had been symbolically cleansed of all leaven, and now, over the hush, Meri Harris's voice rang out in solemn intonation: Baruch Ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam . . . Blessed Are You, Lord Our God, King of the Universe . . . And as she lighted the festival candles, the Passover Seder began.

Over the next two hours, the ritual proceeded in order -- from the blessing of the wine to the washing of the hands to the symbolic opening of the door for the prophet Elijah. There were the questions -- "Why is this night different from all other nights?" -- and the answers, as the story of the Jews' deliverance from bondage in ancient Egypt unfolded.

It was just like a traditional Jewish Passover Seder. Except:

The Seder meal was served before the Seder service started, instead of two-thirds of the way through.

There was dancing.

And Jesus was everywhere.

The stripes and the holes in the matzoh represented his whipped and pierced body. The wine (actually grape juice) represented his blood. The matzoh was wrapped in white cloth, symbolizing the way Jesus's body was wrapped for burial.


You wanna hold a traditional seder as "a way to connect with the heritage of our religion and to see how the practices of the ancient world are still relevant to us as Christians today"? Be my guest. I think Passover is one of the most beautiful holidays on the planet, a celebration of freedom and escape from bondage. And yes, "since three of the four Gospels say the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, what could be more natural than for Christians to learn more about the ritual meal Jesus shared with his apostles before he died" is absolutely true, and I have long wondered why Christians don't at least acknowledge the Jewish holidays as the man they worship did. Everyone should celebrate Passover. It would be a great addition to our national holidays in my opinion, like Thanksgiving.

But observing, out of respect, the same holiday your saviour did is one thing; changing the symbolism of the holiday to celebrate him rather than Exodus, the event which the holiday was established to celebrate, is another. Jesus and his followers were a Jews: it is fitting that they observed Passover. The majority of Christians are not Jewish, a religion one is born into, and while they may choose to celebrate Passover, they have about as much right to change the rites of Passover as I do, which is to say none. The line is drawn when you start incorporating outside figures into what is a pretty straightforward series of symbols that tell a pretty specific story. Jesus is not part of the Passover story and should not be incorporated into the symbolism or the narrative.

I'm not exactly sure why this makes me so irritated. Only my father is Jewish, so technically, I don't really count. Furthermore, with Mom a lapsed Catholic and Dad an atheist, we never particularly got into religion all that deeply. A few midnight masses are all that I remember, a few stabs at temple. Meh. Yet perhaps due to the combination of my father's New York Jewishness, my mother's German roots (she's first generation American), and the crossover of cuisines, our family has always been always very culturally Jewish, if that makes sense or means anything. Passover was always one of the big four we celebrated.

One of the many things that I think has held my mother and father together for so long is their mutual love of history: the walls of their house are lined with antique tools, and sepia-toned, victorian-era photos of strangers doing victorian-era things. What my father would always emphasize during Passover was that the escape from Egypt actually happened. Did he believe the specifics of the narrative? Of course not. The overall story of slavery and escape? Indubitably.

It is not references to Jesus that I object to; there are certainly allegories that religious discussion brings out, and lord knows that debate is a hallmark of the Jewish faith. It is the physical representation of Jesus, the incorporation of the man into the cermony. The stripes and the holes in the matzoh represented his whipped and pierced body"? The wine...represented his blood? The holiday isn't ABOUT Jesus. It's about the birth of the Jewish nation. It's like bringing Haman into Easter. Or making yourself the center of attention at someone else's birthday party.

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Sorry, it's not all about you.

So to recap:

Christians educating themselves about Passover and participating with their Jewish friends or Interfaith ceremonies? Good.

Christians appropriating and tinkering with Passover? Bad. (but typical: go ask the Pagans about how all of their festivals strangely ended up as Christian holidays. It's like the fucking Borg.)

In sum: if you're gonna celebrate a holiday, you might as well do it rite!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Dick Cheney has chronic gum problems and his breath smells like shit"

Via Sugar in the Gourd, Suburban Guerilla, and Daily Kos.

I cannot vouch for whether this is true or not, but it is hilarious.

Donald Rumsfeld needs to wear iced underwear because of some medical condition, and he has his secret service detail hold his spares. He was recently getting uncontrollable long-term erections and had to change up his medical treatments. The underwear and the erections is why he uses a standing desk, not because he is some super-man. He also wears nylon stockings, not because he's gay, but to control some vascular problem with his legs which causes him intense pain.

President Bush uses anti-depressant medication, a lot of it, at a stupendous dosage, and he is hiding it from the American public. This is the real reason he stopped drinking. Because of the dosage, he is also impotent....

President Bush, when dining at the white-house, does not eat any item of food which has not been first sniffed by a trained dog before being prepared. Think about that.

Word among the staff is that Cheney was drunk when he shot that lawyer, and secluded himself for a day to sober up and avoid felony firearms charges. I don't have any direct information on this because the guys with him at the time are not talking. This is totally unconfirmed, but I think it is plausible.

Dick Cheney has chronic gum problems and his breath smells like shit as a result. He is also a CLOSE TALKER. He keeps a small bottle of diluted hydrogen peroxide which he rinses with every hour on the hour, and he swallows it instead of spitting. He also picks his nose vigorously (violently) and hums loudly and tunelessly to himself while taking shits.

Read the rest, and try not to spray coffee all over your keyboard. The Tom Ridge stuff is priceless. The answers to readers' questions are side-splitting.
I don't even care if it's true or not.

Casey-Pennachio-Sandals "Debate"

On Saturday night, I saw the much-touted "debate" between the three Pennsylvania Democrats vying for Rick Santorum's senate seat.

While I have to offer the caveat that I support Chuck Pennachio over the other two candidates, I was embarrassed by this "debate".

Y'see, where I come from, a debate involves two or more people arguing about certain topics. You have rebuttals, challenges, attacks and parries, etc.

What I watched on Saturday evening was three men, all of who want public office, reciting campaign promises. That's it.

It was boring.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


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Couldn't resist.


Renee Amoore, co-chair of the state GOP committee, stated:
"...Regarding Santorum, I know some of you may want to just hold your noses, but please vote for him anyway!"


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Yes, I am still having fun with MS Paint.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tom DeLay: Bigger than Jesus

DeLay recently told one of his pastors that God wanted him to leave Congress in part because He has bigger plans for DeLay....

"People hate the messenger. That's why they killed Christ."

That's Tom DeLay speaking. Hot Tub Tom: The New Jesus.

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Even the Flags Are Angry

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

I Can't Finish the Article

Pro-Life Nation: Abortion in El Salvador

I cannot finish the article. It's just that painful. Required reading for pro-lifers AND pro-choicers.

Just so we know what we're up against. Governor Mike Rounds in South Dakota must be stopped; the Randall Terrys of the world must be stopped. The Schindlers must be stopped.

Today, Article 1 of El Salvador's constitution declares that the prime directive of government is to protect life from the "very moment of conception." The penal code detailing the Crimes Against the Life of Human Beings in the First Stages of Development provides stiff penalties: the abortion provider, whether a medical doctor or a back-alley practitioner, faces 6 to 12 years in prison. The woman herself can get 2 to 8 years. Anyone who helps her can get 2 to 5 years. Additionally, judges have ruled that if the fetus was viable, a charge of aggravated homicide can be brought, and the penalty for the woman can be 30 to 50 years in prison.

Is this what we want here?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Furious George

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Synchronicity with Philly Bits


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Text from the New York Times:

Carla Herrara, 11, clutches pictures of her mother, Carmen Climaco, who was given 30 years for an abortion that was ruled a homicide... She had a clandestine abortion at 18 weeks, something defined as absolutely legal in the United States. But she had her abortion in El Salvador.

This is the end result of what the pro-life movement wants, whether they admit it or not, whether they know it or not.
The article itself will be up tomorrow. You can go to the NYT today, and se more photos from El Salvador by clicking on their multimedia link.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Newport Story

One night Eric, Rob, and I were hanging out in the living room getting drunk with our friends Taylor, Jimmy Riley, Dinah Pepperoni, and her friend Kim. Actually, with the exception of Taylor, the rest were Rob and Eric's friends. Talk about your cartoon show: every guy except Taylor had a metal-mullet of kind or another, even Rob's big Ronald McDonald 'fro.

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[This is not a picture of my housemates and me, circa 1990. But it might as well be.]

Dinah and Kim subbed in for Laurel and Hardy. Kim, who had a metal femullet, was a stick, while Dinah at 5'2' was as wide was she was tall, with a freckled face like a Garbage Pail Kid. Dinah had a screeching laugh and hectoring voice that could shatter glass, the accent recently represented by Lois Griffin on The Family Guy. She sat on the sofa across from me between Jimmy and Tyler, drinking Bacardi out of the bottle and screeching. The turnbuckles she called her legs were spread, and grey-purple blobs of her flesh peeked out from where the inside seams had split. She weighed as much as the five of us put together.

Taylor, like Bobby Francis the wrestler, was kind of the oddball in our scene. He'd gone to high school with me, and in fact we went to CCRI together. He was more clean-cut than the rest of us. Taylor looked, and sounded, like one of the Chipmunks if the Chipmunks were fraternity brothers.

Taylor was there when I met Pam, the girl I was dating at the time. We had been at a party somewhere off of lower Thames, I think Dearborn Street. Eric was talking up, and Sara Hanos, whose name and obesity had conspired to dub her "Heinous Sara" during high school, but who was actually a pretty nice girl. I was busy with Pam, and I didn't see Eric until the mext morning on the way to school. His head was drooping, and I asked him if he had a hangover.

"No man, I'm not hangin'. But look," he continued, "next time you see me getting like that with... oh man, someone like Heinous, dude you gotta stop me."

"I thought you knew what you were doing last night," I said. "You didn't look like you were shitfaced."

"Man, when I get a couple drinks in me..." Taylor trailed off. "I just do stupid shit, I just stop thinking with my head, you know?"

I laughed. "Alright. If I catch you getting into that situation again, I'll make a point of stopping you."

And so it was a few weeks later that we were hanging out with Jimmy and Eric and Dinah and Kim and Rob. It was summer, and the apartment was sweltering. The ceiling fan was spinning on medium, and Dinah was rolling another joint and cackling at the top of her lungs like some demented Muppet. Jimmy was stoned out of his head already, and his scarecrowlike body seemed to cave in on itself and sink into the sofa as beads of sweat dripped down his face.

"Yo, what we oughta do is go down Forty Steps and take a dip," he mumbled. Forty Steps, or as it's pvopahly pvahnounst, Fawty Steps, is a landmark along the Cliff Walk, a three-and-a-half mile long scenic trail that winds along the ocean behind the mansions.

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It was an alternative to the sand and fees at the beach, and a great place to cliff dive (but nowhere near as good as Doris Duke's, where during summer her menagerie of llamas would wander the grounds behind the mansion, in full view of us dirtbags leaping 30 feet into the waves below).
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We all agreed this was a great idea, and piled into my Cutlass and Kim's Escort, blasting up Van Zandt, down to Rhode Island Avenue to Narragansett. We ran down the steps, stripped down, and dove into the cool salt water. Deana and Kim stayed on the rocks, smoking cigarettes. Jimmy let Eric get halfway back up the crag before grabbing the elastic of his briefs and pulling him back into the water, while Rob tried to pull Kim in. The moon was nearly full, brilliant white in the sky, shimmering off the waves on us as we bobbed drunkenly like the seaweed.

I guess we were nearly dressed and ready to go that we noticed that Eric's trip to take a piss had gone on altogether too long, and that Dinah was gone as well. oh shit, I thought, he's done it again.

"ERIC! WE'RE ALL READY TO GO," Rob hollered.

"WE'RE COMING!" Dinah hollered back. I rolled my eyes.

We can be cruel when we're young men and women (we learn a different, more subtle, style of cruelty as we grow older I suspect). One way in which we're cruel when we're young is by putting so much emphasis on physical appearance. That said, going home with a person like the aforementioned Sara Hanos was very different than going home with Dinah. I can think of a few things right of the bat about Sara: she had a great smile; she was smart and funny. Dinah had none of these things going for her. She was a truly unpleasant person, the sins personified: greed, sloth, avarice. Her breath stank; she left a trail of crumbs, to-go containers, and empty bottles in her wake. She started fights. There was no way I could morally allow my friend to have sex with Dinah, but I was reluctant to be rude in front of her. Dignity and all that shit.

So we piled into our cars, and ominously, Taylor announced Dinah would be riding in the Cutlass. So much for the suspension. I back out, pull a three-point, and head back to the apartment.

"Since it's on the way, you can just let me out at my folks' place," said Taylor at the corner of Old Beach Road, so I made a right. A few blocks later, I pulled over across from the house.

"Dinah's coming with me," Taylor said. I had to do something, and as they crossed the street, I called "Taylor, you forgot my gas money!" He came rambliing over. He leaned in the window thrusting a few crumpled bills at me, as I tried to change his mind quickly and quietly.. "You can't do this. I'm your friend and you wanted me to stop you if you were going to do something stupid and dude don't do it." Rob

"No man, it's cool, nothin's gon-- goin' ta happen..."

"I'm serious man, I don't want to be responsible," I hissed.
"Don't do it, man!" Rob piped up from the back. "Don't do it!"

"I'm cool," Taylor insisted, "nothin's gonna happen." He threw the bills in my lap and ran across the street. Rob and I shook our heads. At least we'd tried.

I called Taylor the next afternoon. "I know what you probably think. I never did nothin' with her." Nevah did nuthin widdah "Seriously, all we did was watch tv." Seahvissly I gave him a long glance. I didn't know if I believed him, but didn't push the issue.

Rob and Eric got a report as well. "All night long!" Rob shrieked, imitating Dinah. "Oh, he was WONDERFUL, it was so good, the best I ever had!"

"She looked like she meant it," Eric mumbled. I known Dinah a long time, and I never seen her so happy, never." He chuckled. "You'll see. She's really excited.

"Hey, you wanna get high?" Eric offered, as he lit up a joint. The afternoon sun poured in through the blinds as the smoke swirled into the ceiling fan.

I took a hit, and when I saw Dinah later that night, she was radiant.
I never said anything, but Taylor never came by our place again.

End of an Era

As I type these words, I am recording Jack Boland's Country Gold Classics show on 107.3 WRDV over one of my Phish: Live at Nectars, 1988 tapes, sets 2 and 3.

And I just got done listening to the preceding show, The Polka Party. It's a great show: I wish it was two hours long.

Abortion in El Salvador is a crime

Abortion in El Salvador is a crime. This radio piece is worth listening to. No protections for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. A woman with an ectoptic pregnancy must carry the baby to term, ntialing the "explosion" (the reporter's words not mine) of the fallopian tubes.
"They carry "abortion equals murder" to its natural endpoint."
Indeed: women who obtain an abortion are charged with aggravated homicide and receive sentences of 50-60 years. When a doctor discovers signs of an abortion, irregularities around the uterus or vaginal canal, he is legally bound to report it to the police. Her vagina is inspected by a "forensic vagina specialist". Anyone who helps the woman is charged as a an accomplice, including family members.

This is the natural result of what people like my friend Byl want, although they would deny it til the day they died, and change the subject to the fate of the fetus or the criminality of the doctor (in fact, Byl and I emailed about this a few weeks back, and he dropped the subject after bringing up the latter).

In fact not one of my male pro-life readers has ever once stepped up to the plate and explained what punishment is appropriate for a woman who obtains an abortion in a world in which abortion is banned. Only a woman commented and she reffered to the women as "accessories" to murder. Sure, and so was Manson, right, because he didn't actually wield the knives? WRONG: Manson was guilty of murder in the first degree.

The fact remains: you cannot have a crime without a punishment. If abortion is murder, then a woman who obtains an abortion is by definition a murderer and no different than Charles Manson or Sammy the Bull.

Again I ask: what is the appropriate sentence for a woman who murders her fetus. It's gotta be life in prison, or execution. None of this "they're victims too" nonsense: see the previous paragraph.

And for the love of God, listen to the audio link above. Chilling and horrifying.


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This is my nephew Eliot, my bother Ray's little boy. He's only a few months old.

I am, as you may imagine, hideously envious.

Did I mention I'm paying an extra $150 so Sam can go to Montessori?
And the simmer continues.
Because I just don't get it.
And being sad when Sam leaves brands me as a potential kidnapper (so sez my ex).

Bush: Lying Liar

October, 2003:
"Randy, you tell me, how many sources have you had that's leaked information that you've exposed or have been exposed? Probably none. I mean this town is a -- is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials. I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth. That's why I've instructed this staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators -- full disclosure, everything we know the investigators will find out. I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is -- partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers. But we'll find out."

Liar liar, pants on fire, wrap yourself in telephone wire, if you don't know what I mean, douse yourself with gasoline.
We used to sing this in the schoolyard.

Lies and Lying Liars

George Bush, September 2003: THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.

April 6, 2004: Scooter Libby says Bush personally authorized the leak.

Byl has an excellent post today.

She's Retarded, not Asthmatic.

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'Nuff said.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 3

I am on day three of a pretty rough ride on the Depression Express, pulling out of Sam Station.

I have opined in the past that I didn't want my ex to be lonely.

On the roller coaster I'm currently riding, i don't know one emotion from the next. Currently I hope she's miserable and alone for the rest of her life.

Also today in the comics

Yenny's ass, side-view. It's like the Peter Griffin Side-Boob Hour, but Yenny.

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A dollar says Alvarez's room is wallpapered with naked Yenny, in all manner of inappropriate entanglements.


OK, remember last week when April was whining to senile old I mean Grampa about how her band got shitty after Becky left?

Well, she took Grandpa's advice and suckered in Eva. And Lynn Johnson is back to her old telgraphing tricks. At leats it's not as bad as "When Lizzy Met Pauly" late last year, when Johnson was reduced to actually inserting signs, yes signs fromt he narrator pointing out Lizzy's destiny for us at home. Thanks Lynn, for that glimpse into your cheesey Canadian soul. How's your collection of glass figurines and commemorative plates from the Franklin mint holding up.

First, she bashes us over the head that Eva's a cutie, and Boris (or whatever the token black kid's name is) thinks she's a hottie:

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Gotta love the way he's looking at her like a starving man looks at a rack... of ribs. You'll also notice that in panel one, Lynn can't help sneak in some skin; she certainly does love pimping her 14-year-old cartoon character, shades of Brooke Shields' mom...

But then we have the final panel from yesterday's strip.

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Yes April, it IS extreme. EXTREMEly likely that Lynn is laying out this month's plotline.

My prediction: Boris and Eva will get involved romantically, and the ensuing break up really will tear apart the band, 4 EVAH, forever. Then we'll get a nice homily from Johnson that love conquers all. Or something.
After that, everyone vomits, and by everyone, I mean Johnson's readership.

In Which Nancy Pelosi Digs a Hole

hat tip to Firedoglake.

Nancy Pelosi, or more probably one of her staff members, put up a diary at Daily Kos, entitled "The Gloves Are Off".

Pelosi spouts something about investigatign Tom DeLay (riiiiight) and goes on to say "the gloves are off."

And for the next however-many-hundreds of comments (literally so many that my computer slows down trying to load them all), all Nancy gets in response is "Support Feingold".

Hilarious. I've said for a long time that Pelosi is ineffective and out-of-touch. She really does think she can throw some bullshit line at bloggers, almost all of whom are informed voters, people like me who obsess over the issues facing the nation, and that we'll all give her a round of applause. "Hooray for Nancy P!"

Not that Nancy will read her comments, not that Nancy wrote the diary entry to begin with, but man it's good to see that bullshit artist get whacked with the reality club.

How to Respond to Dishonest GOP Mailings

Grand Old Preying

Political fundraising solicitations cater to the lowest common denominator, a fact with which everyone other than those in the lowest common denominator will probably agree. Recently, however, I received a solicitation that might give pause to even the lowest common denominator.

The solicitation was from the Republican side of the aisle, but Democrats should not feel too superior: Their communications are certainly not aimed at rocket scientists. Still, this particular Republican effort sets a new low.

North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School, was, in her capacity as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the signatory of the covering letter. I hope her signature was nominal only and not indicative of any actual awareness of the contents of the solicitation.

Life is too short to dissect the solicitation point by point. Let's just hit the highlights, saving the totally outrageous item, the item that aims below the lowest common denominator, for last.

I'm sure everyone knows what this guy is talking about. I get gallons of these things every day, asking me to fill out fake polls and questionnaires "to guide the direction of the party", followed by the inevitable plea for money. It's offensive, and usually goes in the trash.

Dole's solicitation certainly looks official. In the upper left corner is an official-looking American eagle. In white letters over a black bar above the address window is "U.S. INDIVIDUAL RESIDENT." In the bottom left corner is "Form 1163 (2006) Return Enclosed." [snip]

After several paragraphs is the slightly sinister warning, underlined in part: "DO NOT DESTROY YOUR SURVEY! The enclosed Republican Leadership Survey is an OFFICIAL REPUBLICAN PARTY DOCUMENT. Your Survey is REGISTERED IN YOUR NAME ONLY and MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR upon completion of this project." [snip]

And then comes the insult to the intellect of even the lowest common denominator. Aunt Maude has three choices. She can check "YES!" she wants to help defend the Republican Senate Majority with a contribution of $500, or several lesser alternatives. She can check "No," she does not wish to participate in "this vital Republican Senate Leadership Survey," but she does want to give a generous donation of $500, or several lesser alternatives, to "help build Republican grassroots support for President Bush and his agenda."

Or she can claim membership in the group below the lowest common denominator by checking No: "I do not wish to participate in the Survey, nor do I wish to make a donation to help the Republican Party. I am returning my Survey Document, along with a contribution of $11 to help cover the cost of tabulating and redistributing my Survey."
Emphasis mine.

"Tabulating and redistributing", my eye. My BROWN eye, the one wedged between my ass cheeks.

It just so happens I received this particular mailing, and like all the others it comes with a business reply envelope (when you're fooling pwoplw into sending you $11.00, you don't worry so much about the business reply expense). We all know how business reply envelopes work: person who sent you the mail pays for the return postage.
Here's how to deal with this sort of extortion.

1. Go to the grocery. Buy a fish. Any kind of fish, but make sure it's fresh. Whole fish, a couple pounds of cod filets, what have you.

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2. Wrap the fish in saran wrap, and let it sit in a nice warm place for a couple of days.

3. Wrap the fish in brown packing paper, affix the business reply envelope to the package, and send it on its way. Wrap the package with as much starpping tape as possible (duct tape is even better, because it's harder to remove and weighs more. DO NOT INCLUDE A RETURN ADDRESS. MUTILATE THE BAR CODE ON THE ENVELOPE SO THEY CAN'T TRACK YOU.

other items to send include: the rest of your junk mail; pork chops; garbage; a cinderblock; back issues of "Hustler". Remeber, you're going for weight. Throw in your kids' old UNO deck, handfuls of paperclips, sand, anything that adds weight.

Unfortunately, this won't prevent future mailings. In fact, you may even get more, which means you get to mail more fish!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How to Piss Me Right Off

Every time I read an op-ed about unwanted fatherhood, I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, then grab a hatchet and run through town swinging randomly. I'm speakign figuratively of course.

Comes now Matt Dubay with a proposal to make things worse. A 25-year-old computer programmer in Michigan, Dubay wants to know why it is only women who have "reproductive rights." He is upset about having to pay child support for a baby he never wanted.

Not only did his former girlfriend know he didn't want children, says Dubay, she had told him she was infertile. When she got pregnant nonetheless, he asked her to get an abortion or place the baby for adoption. She decided instead to keep her child and secured a court order requiring him to pay $500 a month in support.

Not fair, Dubay complains. His ex-girlfriend chose to become a mother. It was her choice not to have an abortion, her choice to carry the baby to term, her choice not to have the child adopted.

She even had the option, under the "baby safe haven" laws most states have enacted, to simply leave her newborn at a hospital or police station.

Roe v. Wade gives her and all women the right — the constitutional right! — to avoid parenthood and its responsibilities.

Dubay argues that he should have the same right, and has filed a federal lawsuit that his supporters are calling "Roe v. Wade for men." Drafted by the National Center for Men, it contends that as a matter of equal rights, men who don't want a child should be permitted, early in pregnancy, to get "a financial abortion," releasing them from any future responsibility to the baby.

Jacoby is, for once in his long benighted career, correct that Mr. Dubay just makes things worse. He concedes Dubay has a point, but not much of one.
I do not have any data in front of me, but something tells me that the percentage of guys in Dubay's position (and mine: I'm nowhere near forgetting the circumstances in which I was told that I was a father and that was that; and as previous posts will remind you, I am painfully aware of the fact that I got fucked out of fatherhood, giving up 25% of my meager paycheck every fucking month for a kid I see for a week every other month, and somehow this is fair) are a lot fewer than the number of women who are impregnated by irresponsible men and left to fend for themselves.

The only way in which Dubay's point is valid is if women are constitutionally guaranteed the right to an abortion, and the state provided a generous safety net. But they're not, and it doesn't, and Roe v. Wade for Men if enacted in today's circumstances would be nothing but a tool for feckless men to get out of responsibility for their children.

Which is exactly the conclusion that the normally brainless sack of guts named Jeff Jacoby arrives at.
For men, legal choices end with the decision to have sex. If conception takes place, he can be forced to accept the abortion of a baby he wants — or to spend at least the next 18 years turning over a chunk of his income to support a child he didn’t want.

All true. But it is also true that predatory males have done enormous damage to American society, and the last thing our culture needs is one more way for men to escape accountability for the children they father.

It would've been easier for me, emotionally,if I had just cut bait at the time and agreed to support provided I never saw my son. The shit I go through every single waking minute I would only wish on my worst enemy, the panic attacks, the spontaneous emotional overloads, bah. I don't care about it when I see my son.

Dubay's "point" to me is further undermined by the child's existence, because once a child is involved the rules of the game are fundamentally changed, and I don't mean this in legalistic terms although that is certainly so.

You can't abandon blood. It's impossible. The blood bond haunts you.
That blood bond is some tough stuff.