Against All Enemies

I started reading Clarke's book this evening. One of the things that has sort of jumped out at me is that the wrong headed approach to dealing with terrorism started before George W. Bush was a national candidate. The Republican Party essentially stopped President Clinton, who correctly identified the threat of terrorism, from taking care of business. I'm going to have to go back and see who the worst Clinton attack dogs were, and write them letters telling them I'm on to them - they aided and abetted the terrorists by diverting our President with the ridiculous scandal-mongering.

Finally getting to listen to Air America

Okay, I'm listening to the Bill Maher interview on Majority Report, now that I've had a chance to finally sit down (Wednesday: Smarty has Chamber Orchestra, Monkey has Ballet. At the same time, on opposite ends of town.) I hope I haven't missed Atrios yet.

I haven't listened to commercial radio in years, btw, and I only rarely listen to public radio. I forgot about stinking commercials. I'm going to have to go outside and kiss my car CD player, and then I'll have to kiss my sweet husband, who bought it for me.

They are currently talking about indecency. Maher is coming off very well, I think. Garofalo seems like she's trying a wee bit too hard. Seder must be the radio professional who keeps things moving? I never heard of him before, but he has that radio kind of voice that makes me zone out.

Read My Lips - Star Wars Missile Defense

Terrific article by Marie Cocco - she's not waiting for Condi to tell us her version of what Bush said/did about terrorism, she went straight to the horse's ass to find out what Bush himself had to say about terrorism in the months leading up to 9/11.

And he wanted to talk about missile defense protecting us from terrorists, specifically the Star Wars program, which clearly could have done nothing about the guys on 9/11, even if it did work, which it doesn't, unless the tests are rigged.

Great find via Pandagon

Air America Launches Today

I don't know if I can even get Air America, where I live. I know I can't listen to Air America at work because I don't have speakers on my computer and our receptionist complains when anyone plays a radio. But I'm glad that Air America is here, and I wish Air America huge success.

Remember that name, people: Air America

Clarke on The Daily Show

Richard Clarke was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show tonight. Jon, as always, asks more insightful questions than the not fake journalists routinely ask. First off - he read the book, which right there puts him ahead of many journos.

(Sidebar: One of the reasons I have a deep and abiding love for Jon Stewart is he eases my partisan anguish by convincing me, if only for a few brief moments, that it is possible for reasonable people to simply disagree and possibly hammer out some sort of solution to all our problems if we just stop demonizing one another and get to work. Alas, I then read some headline that convinces me that the Republican Party will not be satisfied until they have made Democrats extinct and I realize that not everyone is a reasonable person, but I love Jon for making me feel less angry and making me laugh, particularly during such trying times.)

Clarke came off quite well - he was serious but not humorless, he had a warmth that would not have been appropriate in front of the 9/11 commission and wouldn't have come off as well on 60 Minutes, and he spoke in the straightforward manner that we hear all too infrequently from anyone associated with government. It wasn't the funniest episode of TDS ever, but I enjoyed it.

By the way, I'm going to see The Daily Show next week!!! I got the tickets for my husband, who will be celebrating his birthday later this week (and they're free tickets, so kudos to me for my frugality).

Pride and Gravity

Every parent should know the pleasure of having a self-motivated child. I may have to change her psuedonym from Sweetness to Smartypants - for her sophomore year of high school, she is taking AP History, AP Chemistry, Honors English, Honors Biology, Honors French, Honors Algebra II, Orchestra, Chorale and Gym. And all without even the tiniest bit of pressure from me or the Mr.

Meanwhile, the Monkey was testing the theory of gravity this afternoon. She was climbing a small tree in our front yard when she slipped and fell like the apple that hit Sir Isaac Newton on the head. After a short bout of extremely angry screaming and the fortuitous arrival of a neighbor who happens to be an EMT, we figured out she was bruised but not broken.


What's worse than a perfectionist?

How about a perfectionist control freak! Or, as I call her, "Boss".

Gah! I hate my job.


Of all their outrageous abuses of power, this is the latest

This article on MSNBC.com indicates that Osama bin Forgotten again, because the Bush Administration has a new public enemy number one: Richard Clarke.

The Bush administration has refused to declassify everything Clarke said in his previous testimony - they are only looking for select tidbits that may appear contradictory to Clarke's more recent testimony. You know, contradiction, like the brilliant Daily Show bit where they showed a debate between candidate Bush and President Bush, and all the contradictions between what he said on the campaign trail and what he said/did in office. I, for one, feel if contradiction is good enough for our president, it's good enough for Richard Clarke.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall, who is actually a professional writer*, does a great analysis of this very article here.

*(as opposed to certain bloggers who have to punch out their occasionally incoherent thoughts whenever they can grab a spare moment between work-parenthood-homeowner responsibilities).

One Good Thing added to the blogroll

And that one good thing is.....One Good Thing. It's wicked excellent.


God is watching us....or is he?

I got this forwarded to me by a friend:

"After Sept. 11th, one company invited the remaining
>members of other companies who had been decimated by
>the attack on the Twin Towers to share their available office
>space. At a morning meeting, the head of security told stories of why
>these people were alive...... and all the stories were just:
>The 'L I T T L E' things .
> As you might know, the head of the company got in late
> that day because his son started kindergarten.
> Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring
> donuts.
> One woman was late because her alarm clock didn't
> go off in time.
> One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
> because of an auto accident.
> One of them missed his bus.
> One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
> time to change.
> One's car wouldn't start.
> One went back to answer the telephone.
> One had a child that dawdled and didn't get ready as
> soon as he should have.
> One couldn't get a taxi.
> The one that struck me was the man who put on a new
> pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to
> get to work but before he got there, he developed a
> blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a
> Band-Aid.
> That is why he is alive today."

Okay, you've got me so far - it's always interesting to ponder the little twists and turns of life that seem like hugs gifts after the fact. If I hadn't hit the snooze button, that could have been my car that the tractor trailer hit on the highway.

But she's about to lose me:

"> Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn
> back to answer a ringing telephone ... all the little things
> that annoy me. I think to myself, this is exactly where
> God wants me to be at this very moment.

>Next time your morning seems to be going wrong, the
> children are slow getting dressed, you can't seem to find
> the car keys, you hit every traffic light, don't get mad or
> frustrated; God is at work watching over you.
> May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little
> things and may you remember their possible purpose."

So I guess that all those people who didn't encounter little annoyances, or those that planned for those little annoyances so they could make it to work on time - for those people, God wanted them to die in a horrible, fiery tragedy?

Well, that's God for you: Taking credit when coincidence works in your favor, never taking responsibility when coincidence works against you.


What are you listening to?

This morning, in honor of Aretha Franklin, who was hospitalized after an allergic reaction to antibiotics, I listened to "I Ain't Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You". I think this is pretty close to a perfect CD. My favorite song is probably "Drown in My Own Tears", which really expresses the pain that love can deliver.

What are you listening to?

It's Your Fault!

Before I began my illustrious career as a secretary, I managed the E-911 database for a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). Three times a day, any new customers we brought onto our network, any address or phone or name changes, were submitted to our vendor. who sent the information to the satellite database that 911 calls route through, which would then transmit the location of the caller to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which would then begin sending out the first responders while they gathered information about the nature of the emergency.

Every time we transmitted information to our vendor, their system would kick back addresses they identified as errors. Sometimes it was because of an error on their end - sometimes it was because it was a new house and the address hadn't been entered into the satellite database, so it came back as nonexistant. There were a lot of things that could go wrong. My job (or at least part of it - just fixing the errors was not a full-time job) was to fix the errors, resubmit the record, and confirm that our customer's information was accurate and in the database.

I took this job very seriously. It was a life or death matter. In New England, nearly every town has an Oak Street, a Broad Street, a Main Street, a Maple Street. If you sent information to the database that put someone in the wrong town (which was not difficult to do, depending on the system your company was using), that could mean death for the customer. A customer of a different CLEC, in East Hartford, CT, had a house fire, and the fire department was taking forever to get to them. That's because their CLEC had submitted them to the satellite database as living in Hartford, not East Hartford. Thankfully, no one died because of this, but certainly the fire damage was worse, and the people who escaped from the fire had to wait longer to be treated.

Thankfully, I never committed a grievous error. Sometimes, though, a record would slip through with a problem, and that person would have to call 911 before you knew there was a mistake. I was lucky in that the few errors I got (and I did get very few - I spoke to several people at the PSAP who were very impressed with the reliability of our data) were never for serious problems, and never resulted in first responders being sent to the wrong address.

When I did get one of these errors back, I would fix the problem, and I would talk to my boss, Paul. Paul is the best boss I've ever had (and likely the best boss I ever will have). A genuinely great guy. My co-workers and I agreed that we wished Paul was a member of our family so we could see him on birthdays and holidays. One thing Paul would not do, and he always got disgusted when other people (usually golf-playing rich kid managers), in the company did it, was play the blame game. This is not to say he didn't think people should take accountability for their mistakes - he certainly thought it was important to take responsibility. But his first priority, when there was a mistake of some kind, was to find out HOW it happened, and then make sure it never happened again.

I wonder if we will ever reach that point with 9/11. So far, it seems like the Bush administration doesn't give a shit how 9/11 happened. It's just disgusting to see that instead of listening to a guy with 30 years of experience, a guy who, in hindsight, was a guy they should have been paying a lot more attention to from Jan 01 forward, they are engaged in a battle to smear him.

They are the golf playing, rich kid managers at my old company, the ones who only worried about who was going to take the blame instead of wondering how this happened, and how can we make sure it never happens again. It is clear from the actions of this administration that they just don't care, as long as they don't have to take the blame.


Everyone's okay

We have a car that is not entirely roadworthy. It is registered and insured, and it is basically used to shuttle children within a 5 mile radius. There are many things wrong with the car, including a fan that doesn't work. So today, the Mr. and Monkey were filling the car up with gas, and the Mr. (who worked the last 10 nights in a row) left the car running while he put the gas in. Monkey got out of the car to hang with him, but she locked all the doors so no one could take her stuffed animals. This meant they were locked out of a running car that overheats fast.

The Mr. is extremely knowledgeable about a host of topics: he can explain quantum mechanics, he knows a boatload about astronomy, he is extremely well-read and is familiar with the myths of dozens of different cultures, but a car guy, he ain't. He panicked, and called me to rescue them because he thought something terrible would happen, like the car would explode.

Well, by the time I got there, he got the door open on his own, everything was fine, and lucky me got to leave work earlier than expected. (Which is really good because my computer was being upgraded so I couldn't do any work except for filing, which I abhor).

I sort of lost my emotional steam for the piece I was writing earlier, but my mind is percolating with a new post that I will hopefully have up by tomorrow.

Well, DUH!

George W. Bush would have done anything to stop the attacks of 9/11, provided he had known about them before they happened.

(edited to remove weepy sappy stuff that doesn't ever reach a point)

(more later - family emergency - not life threatening)


HA! He said something nice about Bush!

As near as I can tell, this letter constitutes a new defense from the Bush administration. See, Clarke once said something nice about George W. Bush, which means that any criticism is completely negated. Clarke thought Bush provided strong leadership on 9/11, which means that Clarke cannot possibly think that anything Bush did or didn't do prior to or after 9/11 was bad.

I think a defense like this could have far reaching implications! Forget about divorcing for irreconcilable differences! Because you loved the person you married on your wedding day, it negates any future criticism, even when you catch your husband snogging with your best friend. You loved him once, which means your feelings and opinions can't ever change! Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!


No C-Span and no speakers makes Maurinsky something something

Until July of 2002, I worked for a cable company, where TVs were plentiful, you could catch a re-airing of The Sopranos over lunch, and when there was a big news story, you always knew what was shaking.

Now I work for a quasi-public agency, we have a TV that isn't hooked up to cable, I can't have a radio in my cube because it bothers our receptionist, and I'm not allowed to hook speakers up to my computer. So I'm surfing around trying to figure out what's going on with the 9/11 Commission hearings.

So if you have access and want to let me know, my tens of loyal readers, please, drop me a comment to tell me your impression of the hearings.

Sweetness and Monkey

My younger child, who I will call Monkey for the sake of her privacy (and it is an actual nickname of hers - I'm big with nicknames for my children), is here to challenge me.

Our older child (I'll call her Sweetness) was a born angel - she slept all night as soon as we brought her home from the hospital, picked up nursing immediately, decided she wanted to wear grown-up underwear a few weeks after she turned 2 and *bam*, she was potty trained. When we went out to eat, people would stop by our table to compliment us on what a well behaved child we had. She was friendly, charming, and lovely. We called her our goodwill ambassador, because she made us look good. And because she was such a great kid, we convinced ourselves we were great parents.

Since we were such great parents, clearly we should have another child, we thought. So we did - during the Republican National Convention in 1996, we conceived the Monkey (it's not like we were going to watch Bob Dole accept his party's nomination.)(Sidebar: isn't it funny how the current administration makes you feel nostalgic for Bob Dole?). Because of the circumstances of her conception, her in utero nickname was "Baby Dole".

I had a pretty good pregnancy (unlike my pregnancy with Sweetness, when I suffered from massive progesterone poisoning and basically didn't eat for 9 months), and a good delivery, and Monkey was born early in May, weighing 6lbs, 13ozs.

Monkey did not want to ever be put down, she was a poor nurser, she lost a whole pound in a week and it took her 2 months to gain that one pound back. We had to have her tested for a whole host of horrible things because she didn't gain weight - the worst was any test where they had to take blood - the whole bunch of us would leave the lab in tears. I knew in my heart that Monkey was just fine, but I wanted to make sure. Her last test was for Cystic Fybrosis, which was the best test - they put a little heater on her arm and collected sweat, and she slept through the whole thing.

Monkey was a challenge right from the start. She never slept, she cried if *I* wasn't holding her, when she was a week old, she started making a "mean face" at everyone (she still does this face) - people would look at her with a smile and she would put on her mean face as if to say "don't even think about coochicooing me, lady!" Once we got her to latch on (which took the help of a lactation consultant), she decided she liked nursing so much that she wasn't ever going to let go.

When she was around 2 years old, we started potty training. She decided she didn't care for the idea of using a toilet, and stayed in diapers until she was just about to start pre-school (3.5 yrs old). We stopped going out to eat, because whenever we took Monkey out in public, people would say things like "Oh, my, she's quite a handful!" or "I'm glad those days are over for me!"

Monkey is a great kid, though. She is interesting, she challenges the Mr. and I to be better, more creative parents, and she now gets comments like: "what a character!", "she's a hot ticket!" and "she's a sketch!"

Last night, I was washing the dinner dishes and Monkey was playing in the living room, when I heard a bloodcurdling scream. I ran into the living room to see Monkey sitting there as calm as could be. I asked her what was wrong and she said "Nothing's wrong, mom - I was just practicing in case someone comes up behind me and grabs me."

It turns out that Sweetness told Monkey a scary story yesterday that involved a china doll coming to life and eating people and grabbing children off the street. Which is why my tough little Monkey got into bed with me at 12am (the Mr. works at night)- closing her bedroom door so her dolls would stay put. She nudged me awake at 2:30 or so to ask me to get up and check that there were no dolls walking around. I made a mental note to have a few words with Sweetness (who is still, at 15, sweet as can be to everyone who isn't her younger sister) and dutifully reassured Monkey that her dolls are safely secured in her room. Like most people, I don't care for being abruptly awakened at 2:30 in the morning, but this is one of the ways Monkey challenges me - she is here to push my buttons, to figure out where my weaknesses are and exploit them. My challenge is to not lose my temper, to try to stay a step ahead of this kid and not diminish her spirit. I never would have thought that I'd find it easier to parent a teenager than a 6 year old, but there it is.


Imagine all the warbloggers....

I just read this article on Yahoo! news, and it got me to imagining what the reaction amongst warbloggers and Bush supporters would be if the French manage to catch bin Laden. It would be worth it just to see, don't you think?

I would like to see the warbloggers have to give credit to the French, but somehow, it's easier to imagine them spinning a French capture of bin Laden as a bad thing for the war on terror.

It's here! It's here!

Even though it snowed for over 72 hours in a row last week, and even though it's about 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside when the wind chill is factored in, and even though the calendar said it started on Saturday, today is my first day of spring, because I saw over 3 dozen robins on my lunchtime walk.

The problem with the Bush defense against Clarke....

...is that the fact they downgraded the terrorism "czar" position from the Cabinet level is a pretty good indicator that terrorism was not a high priority for them. Even if Clarke did have some sour grapes, the Bush administration did not think counter-terrorism had Cabinet level importance.

I thought Clarke came off extremely well, he didn't look or sound like he had an axe to grind. Stephen Hadley reminded me of Nathan Thurm, the nervous lawyer Martin Short used to play on Saturday Night Live. First, because of the glasses, second because of the squirming when he got caught in a little lie. He did not seem credible to me at all.


Atheists in the choir loft

This morning, this atheist did what what she does every Sunday morning. I went to church. I am a paid soloist/section leader at a church in Hartford, aka a "ringer". Although I don't believe in the Bible, and I don't believe in a benevolent (although also angry and jealous) deity who has a plan for me, and I don't believe that I'm a born sinner and that one Jesus Christ redeemed my sins by dying on a cross, I love good music, and faith in God inspired some really beautiful music. I'm lucky enough to work at a church that has an excellent music program - the adult choir is headed up by an incredibly knowledgeble Director of Music Ministry, and we sing challenging and gorgeous music. The children's music program teaches kids not just to sing "This Little Light of Mine", they teach kids how to read music, they teach them how to play some instruments, and my younger daughter, at age 6, is already a pretty good sight reader of music. (She does have an advantage, though - she has nearly perfect pitch).

Since we are currently deep in the season of Lent, the music right now is heavy on the "I'm a filthy sinner" sentiment, but even so, it can be really beautiful. (One of the the songs we did today was "Wash Me Throughly" - lyrics are: "wash me throughly from my wickedness and forgive me all my sins". Not terribly inspiring lyrics to me (although I'm sure appealing to a flagellating sort like David Brooks, who likes his religion to be tough instead of touchy feely), but the music is very moving.

I actually like going to church. The people there are very nice, it's a liberal church that does a lot of good work, and I don't think you have to believe in God to get something out of a well written sermon.

I was raised Catholic, and I dreaded church every Sunday. We had a choir full of 90 year old warblers who never attempted singing anything other than unison. The ritual of the church bored me, I felt like it was the same thing week after week. I sing at a Congregational church, which has *some* ritual, but not like a Catholic Mass (If someone gets me started, I can recite the whole portion of the Mass that repeats every week, and I haven't been to a Catholic Mass in several years.) This caused some stress in my family, which is heavily Irish Catholic (3 nuns and 1 priest among my aunts and uncles), but then my cousin took the pressure off by converting to Orthodox Judaism.

I know this is a horribly rambling post, with no point. I'm very tired after an extremely busy weekend, and I didn't want to let another day go by without posting. So I'll try to be more coherent next post!


skippy the bush kangaroo added to blogroll

i am posting in all lower case in skippy's honor. it's a very funny blog, and i'm quite flattered that he wanted to share links.

Cead Mile Failte! (Except for George W. Bush - how do you say "A hundred thousand pissed off Irish people" in Gaelic?)

Bush will be visiting Ireland this June and there are some Irish people who don't want him to come. I would like very much to visit Ireland *and* protest Bush at the same time, so I'm going to see if I can find the money in my budget to make that happen. If not, maybe I'll send the Mr., who has never been to Ireland and longs to drink the superior Guinness that is served there.

Sheitgeist had a great article about the Bush invasion of Ireland. It's going to cost Ireland a pretty punt (well, it would've before the euro was adopted, anyway) to keep Bush safe and secure from those pesky anti-war protesters.

Bush is also asking for immunity in case anyone protecting him "accidentally" kills a war protester or two, and the whole package he asked for when he visited England last year, war planes, close down the whole city, don't let anyone who won't smile and shake his hand for the camera anywhere within 100 miles of him, etc.


Welcome Obscure Kossack Bloggers!

I'd like to welcome a whole bunch of DailyKos regulars to my blogroll, and I welcome any of them who are coming for a visit, as well.

Corrupticut update

Uh-oh! A couple of Rowland friends are going to spill the beans! One of these folks has an electrical company that got a sweet 3.5 milllion dollar loan guarantee from the Connecticut Development Association, which was notable both for the size of the loan and because it didn't lead to any Connecticut Development - he ended up laying of 31 workers. The other person had a Rowland experience that I'm stumped by - he bought a condo at way above market value, and sold it at a $31,000.00 loss. I hope Rowland gave him something good for all that. We Connecticutians are a patient and fairly quiet people, but I think Governor Hot Tub is trying our patience - it's really beyond time for him to go.

I also saw an article yesterday indicating that our Democratic Secretary of State, Susan Byciewicz, is considering running for Governor, which is great news for Connecticut.


It takes more than votes to get a candidate elected

Ezra over at Pandagon has a post up called "Entering The Fray". His concept of a Democratic Defense Force is a good idea, and I am going to help out by writing letters (because, in case you couldn't tell by my pre-built template, I'm no programming whiz).

I think we also need a Democratic Offense Force to counter the various RNC spin points that make it into so many articles written by the lazy press corps. Bush has tons of attack dogs who pounce on every single thing Kerry says or does, thereby turning nothing stories (foreign leaders! jock straps!) into headlines. It helps take some pressure off Bush the candidate from going negative (although not too much - I'm sure his inner bully has a hard time staying repressed). It wouldn't hurt the Democrats to have some attack dogs of their own who can keep heaping the pressure on the Bush team to defend him. Not necessarily on items of importance (because those are complicated and require journalists to do work!), but on items that a David Letterman or Jay Leno might find amusing (like Bush's comments to at least 2 different men about what beautiful faces they have.)



Yes, according to my newly installed site meter, I now know that I had 9 unique visitors today! Give yourself a pat on the back for your good fortune at being the 10th visitor to Laughing Wild!

Since I was so giddy from learning that I have hosted nearly tens of visitors, I had to celebrate. I went to a spur-of-the-moment St. Patrick's Day party thrown by my friend Liz. Liz's mom, Edith, lost her housing today and moved in with Liz. They were both feeling down about Edith's situation, so they thought the best way to raise their spirits was to have a bunch of friends over and celebrate St. Paddy's the way it's meant to be celebrated - by getting ripping drunk. By the time I got there, Liz was already halfway to sloshed, and she was dancing to Irish music and entertaining everyone. We sang some Irish songs, ate some corned beef and cabbage*, had a few drinks - so much better than the evening I had planned, which involved A) the waste of time activity of trying to discuss the Spanish election over at CalPundit, where Kevin Drum's reasonable, moderate attitude has made Freepers and LGFers feel safe to spew endless mountains of crap, and B) sitting on the couch and finishing the back of the sweater I'm knitting.

But I did get a chance to talk a little politics. Edith told me that she isn't very politically active, but she heard a man on the radio saying that Kerry would capitulate to the terrorists by pulling our troops out of Iraq and stopping the efforts to find OBL. I told her in no uncertain terms that what she heard was a boldfaced lie. Liz's husband backed me up, even though he said he's also not politically active - he said it was crazy talk to think that Kerry doesn't want to eliminate terrorists and told her to stop listening to AM radio because it warps your brain. (Thanks Barry!)

*My parents are from Ireland (although my mother grew up in Brooklyn, NY). We never had corned beef & cabbage. Special occasions demanded leg of lamb. My grandmother used to crack the bone open afterwards and eat all the marrow out of the bone. My sister and I used the get the dry heaves at even the thought of leg of lamb.

Heads I win, tails you lose

The meme is spreading like ebola: the election results in Spain are a victory for the terrorists. Anyone who disagrees must counter this argument right now. Stop reading this right now, loyal readers (i.e. JBL and mom), and write a letter to the editor. Write a blog post, if you've got one.

Any free and peaceful exchange of power as the result of a democratic vote is a victory for democracy. Democracy is anathema to terrorists. There is almost nothing more anti-democratic than terrorism. Even if you don't like the results, it's still a victory for democracy.

The right-wingers are trying to have it both ways. It's just mind-boggling that the same people who claim we are fighting a war to spread democracy (amongst various other reasons) are now claiming a democratic election was a bad thing. And it's only bad because they don't like the results. That is a dangerous path to tread, and we have to call them on it.


Ohhhhh! Homeland Security? I thought you said Presidential Job Security!

Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.

Ezra over at Pandagon, the guy who's post on women bloggers essentially irked me into creating this blog, has asked everyone to blog on this paragraph. I am more than willing to oblige.

The Department of Homeland Security is using taxpayer money, money given to them to protect us, to assist President Photo-Op in his effort to get elected again for the first time. I have to express my feelings about this:


I just love the security priorities of this administration. We get bombed by Osama bin Laden, and thus declare war on Iraq, which was an imminent threat, one that had to be dealt with immediately because of his weapons of mass destruction, until we discovered there are no weapons of mass destruction, at which point they tell us that they never said Hussein was an imminent threat, not in those exact words, and what exactly is "is", anyway? Oh, and when the terrorists swoop into Iraq, it's a good thing they're killing our men and women, because the more soldiers they kill, the more desperate they are!

Oh yeah, I feel safer, knowing that our Homeland Security if focused on finding photo opportunities. It's like half the country has been snowed by a sick Republican version Fernando from SNL: "It's better to loook like we are making you safer than to actually make you safer, darling!"



Color me confused about the response to CalPundit's latest post on the Spanish elections.

Right wingers are displaying a Vizzini-like display of logic here. If you vote for the PP after they failed to protect you from a terrorist attack, that is teaching the terrorists a lesson, because the PP is serious about terror. You know the PP is serious about fighting terror, because they sent Spanish soldiers to Iraq, where there was no evidence of Al Qaida presence prior to the War on Terror. If you vote for the PSOE, you are voting for the terrorists, even though the attack happened under the watch of the PP.

According to Bush-proppers, the people of Spain were made deeply stupid and terrified by their recent grief and drank out of the wrong cup. The iocain powder was in front of the PSOE, not the PP!

Atrios said it best: "The people of Spain voted out the party which failed to protect them from a terrorist attack, and this proves they aren't serious about fighting terrorism."

Listen, I'm not giving a single thought to what the terrorists of the world might want when I walk into the voting booth. I'm not really that scared of terrorists. They piss me off, for sure, but I'm not considering their needs, wants or desires when I vote. I'm sure the people of Spain weren't thinking about what the terrorists wanted, either. Maybe they've had a scare campaign going on there like we've had here in the U.S., and after all this fear, the PP still failed to protect them in their own damn living room. That sounds like a really good reason to vote against the PP.

If it turns out the PP was using their homegrown terrorists to scare their own people, even when evidence pointed towards someone else -- well, the PP deserves a fate slightly worse than simply being thrown out of office.


If you're against the truth, what are you for?

Ezra over at Pandagon linked to this very amusing column over at TownHall.

After reading the rantings of Mr. Giles, I'm forced to once again ask why so many people who claim to be Christians, who accept the Bible as the word of their God, are so keen to break the ninth commandment? It is demonstrably false to say that our Founding Fathers were, to a man, Christian. Check out the quotes that the folks at atheist.org have gathered together. All the praying in the world won't make the Founding Fathers "Judeo-Christian" (whatever the heck that even means).

You have to ask why people like Doug Giles are willing to break one of the Top Ten rules, the rules that God himself supposedly gave to Moses. I think it's because they are hell bent on making Christianity not just one of many religions, but the law of the land. I can imagine Giles and others like him thinking "it's only a little fudging! What's a little fudging when you're trying to achieve a greater good?"

I believe that the people who are trying to turn the United States into a Christian theocracy have no faith, have no belief, and wouldn't know Jesus Christ if the man himself came down and planted his size 10* in Doug Giles ass. If they really believed in God, they would not break God's law to advance their own cause. The fact they are willing to LIE, to break one of the Top Ten, to ostensibly advance their faith says to me that they have no idea what faith is. If you have faith, you don't need to have public prayers and the 10 Commandments posted in every classroom or courtroom. You would know God was with you all the time. If you want to keep people in line, if you want to keep power over people, if you want to live in an authoritarian society, then you need to make God real. And that ain't faith.

I don't even believe in God, and I know that.

(*Just a guess: I can not vouch for the size of Jesus' feet)


Today's reason to vote for Kerry

Or against Bush, if you are a die-hard Republican who can't vote for a Democrat: If the numbers don't add up, just lie about them!

Faith based social services, faith based science, now we have faith based math. See, this is why I'm an atheist - if there were a God, He/She would have smited these crooked liars by now!


I attempted to add some folks to my blog roll, but I'm still working out the kinks.

What Are You Listening To?

This morning on my way in to work, I listened to an old favorite, London Calling by The Clash.

It's a great album (am I dating myself by calling it an album?). I think I chose this to listen to because of yesterday's events in Spain. Here's a nice overview of the album. It's one I think everyone who loves music should own.

So, what are you listening to?



I heard on the radio today that John Rowland's lawyers don't think it's fair that contributers to his legal defense fund are limited to $100.00 for contributions. I don't know - I think Rowland has accepted enough gifts at this point, that's his whole problem!


After reading several prominent bloggers post about the lack of female authored blogs (it was International Women's Day, they wanted to keep it topical), I decided to set aside some of that precious time I ordinarily spend sleeping to start a blog of my own. This way, on the next International Women's Day, the prominent bloggers can start another topic of interest to women, like "Why do women like to avoid conflict?" That will probably inspire me to pick fights with people.

The title of my blog originally comes from a Thomas Gray poem (which is probably best known for the contribution of the following lines: "where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."), but I chose it based on the Christopher Durang play "Laughing Wild", which is a very funny play, although mushier and sunnier than typical Durang play - there isn't quite as much viciousness. The full line is "laughing wild amid severest woe".

I don't necessarily think right now is a time of severest woe, but there is a war going on, a Republican in the White House, Tom DeLay has a shitload of power, and catching the guy who is actually responsible for killing 3000 people (not just Americans) has been set aside in favor of catching the guy who.... well, I know Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, bad for his own people, but I'm stumped if I can figure out what he did to us.

My blog will not be purely political, though - there are lots of bloggers male and female who are covering the topic well. I will also talk about marriage, children, pets (Basset Hound blogging, here we come), music, religion, theater, the trials of being a working parent, the difficulties of being a pedestrian in a car friendly world, growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home (no, don't leave, I have funny stories, I promise!), Alzheimer's disease, knitting, and probably lots of other things as well. I look forward to hearing from my readers (Hi, mom!).