Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This blog no longer exists. You will be redirected to my new blog in a few seconds. Thank you!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Giving Up The Ghost

I'm not one to easily admit defeat, but let's face it. This blog is getting ignored. I'm just not posting here any more. Sorry folks, but two blogs is just too many. So, until further notice, you can find me over at my other blog. I'm not saying this blog is dead, I'm not ready to do that yet. But, there is just no point in fighting it anymore.

So, head on over.

This way to my other blog. . . . .

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day

I'm proud of us, America. I really am. It is a new day, and a new chance. Read these words and tell me that you don't feel proud to be an American again. Barack Obama's speech is a truly inspiration moment.

*The full text of president-elect Barack Obama's victory speech yesterday before a crowd of supporters in Chicago.*

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

"It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

"It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

"It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

"I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

"I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
"I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
"To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics, you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

"But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to: It belongs to you.
"I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington, it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
"It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and 10 dollars and 20 dollars to this cause.

"It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organised, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

"I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime, two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

"Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college.

"There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you we as a people will get there.

"There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.

"And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for 221 years; block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
"What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek, it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

"Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers in this country. We rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

"Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House; a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

"Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies but friends, though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.' And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.
"To those who would tear this world down we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright, tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

"For that is the true genius of America -- that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
"This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing -- Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

"She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons because she was a woman and because of the colour of her skin.

"And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America; the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

"At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them

stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

"When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

"When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

"She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that 'We shall overcome.' Yes we can.

"A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

"America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves: If our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

"This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

"Yes we can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

This is How the World Sees Us

Wake up America. This is how the rest of the world sees us. It's time to change that. The editorial appeared in several Australian newspapers and was written by a columnist for the Guardian UK. It is scary that it has come to this.

The Triumph of Ignorance
George Monbiot
November 3, 2008

HOW was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist?

Like most people on the other side of the world, I have for many years been mystified by American politics. The US has the world's best universities and attracts the finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage.

There have been exceptions over the past century — Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton tempered their intellectualism with the common touch and survived — but Adlaid Stevenson, Al Gore and John Kerry were successfully tarred by their opponents as members of a cerebral elite.

Perhaps the defining moment in the collapse of intelligent politics was Ronald Reagan's response to Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential debate. Carter — stumbling a little, using long words — carefully enumerated the benefits of national health insurance. Reagan smiled and said: "There you go again." His own health program would have appalled most Americans, had he explained it carefully, but he had avoided tough political issues by making his opponents look like wonks.

It wasn't always like this. The founding fathers — Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and others — were among the greatest thinkers of their age. They felt no need to make a secret of it. How did the project they launched degenerate into George W. Bush and Sarah Palin?

On one level, this is easy to answer. Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people. US education, like the US health system, is notorious for its failures. One adult in five believes the sun revolves round the earth; only 26% accept that evolution takes place by natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; the maths skills of 15-year-olds in the US are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries of the OECD. Susan Jacoby's book The Age of American Unreason provides the fullest explanation I have read of how so many US citizens became so suspicious of intelligence. She shows that the degradation of US politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.

One theme is both familiar and clear: fundamentalist religion — makes you stupid. The US is the only rich country in which Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing. Jacoby shows that there was once a certain logic to its anti-rationalism.

During the first few decades after the publication of The Origin of Species, for instance, Americans had good reason to reject the theory of natural selection and to treat public intellectuals with suspicion. From the beginning, Darwin's theory was mixed up in the US with the brutal philosophy — now known as social Darwinism — of the British writer Herbert Spencer. Spencer's doctrine, suggested that millionaires stood at the top of a scala natura established by evolution. By preventing unfit people being weeded out, government intervention weakened the nation. Gross economic inequalities were both justifiable and necessary.

Darwinism, in other words, became indistinguishable from the most bestial form of laissez-faire economics. It is ironic that the doctrine rejected a century ago by such prominent fundamentalists as William Jennings Bryan is now central to the economic thinking of the Christian right. Modern fundamentalists reject the science of Darwinian evolution and accept the pseudoscience of social Darwinism.

But there were other, more powerful, reasons for the intellectual isolation of the fundamentalists. The US is peculiar in devolving the control of education to local authorities. Teaching in the southern states was dominated by the views of an ignorant aristocracy of planters, and a great educational gulf opened up. "In the south," Jacoby writes, "what can only be described as an intellectual blockade was imposed in order to keep out any ideas that might threaten the social order."

The Southern Baptist Convention, now the biggest denomination in the US, was to slavery and segregation what the Dutch Reformed Church was to apartheid in South Africa. It has done more than any other force to keep the south stupid. In the 1960s it tried to stave off desegregation by establishing private schools and universities. A student can now progress from kindergarten to a higher degree without any exposure to secular teaching. University of Texas researchers found in 1998 that one in four of the state's state school biology teachers believed humans and dinosaurs lived on earth at the same time.

This tragedy has been assisted by the American fetishisation of self-education. Though he greatly regretted his lack of formal teaching, Abraham Lincoln's career is repeatedly cited as evidence that good state education is unnecessary: all that is required to succeed is determination and rugged individualism. This might have served people well when genuine self-education movements were in vogue. In the age of infotainment, it is a recipe for confusion.

Besides fundamentalist religion, perhaps the most potent reason intellectuals struggle in elections is that intellectualism has been equated with subversion. The brief flirtation of some thinkers with communism a long time ago has been used to create an impression that all intellectuals are communists.

The spectre of pointy-headed alien subversives was crucial to the election of Reagan and Bush. A genuine intellectual elite — like the neocons (some of them former communists) surrounding Bush — has managed to pitch the political conflict as a battle between ordinary Americans and an over-educated pinko establishment. Any attempt to challenge the ideas of the rightwing elite has been branded as elitism.

Obama has a lot to offer the US, but none of this will stop if he wins. Until the great failures of the US education system are reversed or religious fundamentalism withers, there will be political opportunities for people, like Bush and Palin, who flaunt their ignorance.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Much has been made of Sarah Palin's recent shopping spree in the area of $150,000. I've heard many excuses as to why she needed the clothes and why it really isn't a big deal. I couldn't agree more. I mean after all, you have to dress for the job you want, right? Isn't this really just a classic case of Pretty Woman?

Hear me out. Richard Gere needed a classy, respectable lady to accompany him on a week's worth of events. But, he didn't want the emotional baggage of a real woman. So he hired the hooker with the heart of gold, Julia Roberts to be his "beck-and-call girl." Isn't John McCain doing the same thing?

He needed a running mate that was new, exciting and fresh. What he found was Sarah Palin. She was okay, but I think we can all agree that the frosted lipstick and shoulder pads had to go. So, he gave Sarah the charge card and told her to buy some clothes. "Where do I go for the clothes; good stuff, on him?" Neimans, baby!!

So, she needed clothes to be seen at good places. The opera, polo matches, Joe the Plumbers house. Things like that. He dressed her up, made her a lady and besides, the clothes were appropriate. The next thing you know, John McCain is going to flip closed that velvet box on Sarah's fingers. You know, the box holding that Flag Pin she is so fond of. I can almost hear her cackle-like laughter now.

When you buy and pay for your running mate, she's bound to need something more besides that Lycra dress you picked her up in. So, let's put this whole thing into perspective. Dressing like a well paid hooker takes lots of cash. Especially when you are trying to convince people you're just like them. Political hookers are no different. This pig needed a lot of lipstick.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stimulate Me

Sometimes, I feel responsible for this whole economic crisis. After all, it was Greazy and I who spent our "stimulus" money in Australia, instead of here at home. Is that wrong? But, now I hear they want to do it all again. Give us more money.

I'd like to say I'll spend all that cash here, but then I read this. Turns out, the Aussie dollar is back in the crapper, and the exchange rate is quickly plummeting. Which means, if I take that new "stimulus" money over there, it would go a lot further this time.

What is a girl to do? 60 cents on the dollar is really too good to pass up. And, let's face it. We're going to hell here anyway, don't we deserve another vacation?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bits and Pieces

*Love this article about the latest rash of ladies loving ladies.

*I just don't like Sarah Silverman. There I've said it, and I feel better.

*MMA is gay. And, now it might be fixed. Who the hell cares?

*Sarah Palin, if you're so fucking real, then why is it a problem to show your "real" face on the cover of Newsweek. Get over it, you're not as hot as conservative men say you are.

*Hugh Hefner is getting over his break-up with his girl Holly, by dating twins. Ewwww. Yuck.

*How am I supposed to go on when Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas have broken up.