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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Friday, 25 February 2005
Women. Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Kill 'Em. Or Can We?
Now Playing: Barenaked Ladies
From the Center for American Progress:
"The attorney general of Kansas, a staunch opponent of women's reproductive rights, "is demanding that two health centers hand over the medical records of about 90 female patients, including minors." Abortion clinics in Kansas have been targeted over the past few years, subjected to picketing and stalking of their employees, and two years ago, the very same attorney general "tried to force medical providers to report any information they had about girls younger than 16 engaging in sexual activity." This latest maneuver, which has surprised both anti-rights and pro-rights advocates, would force the centers, without the knowledge of their patients, to part with "names, as well as [patients'] medical histories, birth control, sexual practices and other personal details." Atty. Gen. Phill Kline is shrouding his inquisition tactic by claiming that it is "part of a criminal investigation into child rape and late-term abortions," but many are seeing it as the "fishing expedition" that it is."


It never fails to amaze me when people assume that making something illegal will stop it from happening.

No matter what your opinion or belief is, should abortion be made illegal, it will not stop. Should it become illegal, women will simply die more often than not as a result of them.

It's very easy to parade around your beliefs without considering the consequences. You think "children" will be saved? Why don't we start with the children who make up half the population living below the poverty line.

You think women have abortions because they're fun? How about it's really fucking expensive to raise a kid in this country and if you happen to be a low-income worker or - Heaven forbid - black, you're pretty much screwed going in.

I'm not even going to go into the rape/incest question except to say that it's pretty much bullshit to expect some poor woman to raise a kid she didn't want and perhaps can't afford just because she was unlucky enough to have been the victim of a sexual crime.

But, hey, fuck women. What have they done for us lately?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:03 PM EST
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Friday, 18 February 2005
Screwing Our Troops Over is Fun!!
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Mandy Patinkin, Oscar & Steve
MILITARY ? FINANCIAL AND MEDICAL 'FRIENDLY FIRE': In yet another "bureaucratic mistake," nearly a thousand Army Reserve and National Guard troops who were hurt in Iraq and Afghanistan "have gone months without pay or medical benefits they were entitled to receive." The problem is that the soldiers are removed from the active duty rolls upon returning home and then face a "convoluted and poorly defined process" to begin receiving their benefits and many just give up. One Army veteran, who suffered injuries to his brain and several other body parts during his tour, said that "it wasn't until he returned home for extended treatment that his 'real troubles began.'" The chairman of the House Government Reform Committee described the situation as "the equivalent of financial and medical 'friendly fire.'" The Government Accountability Office declared that the military has yet to resolve "underlying management control problems," despite these investigations.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:41 PM EST
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Thursday, 17 February 2005
Best Man for the Job...
Mood:  sad
Now Playing: Barenaked Ladies
From the American Center for Progress:
INTELLIGENCE ? AN UNINTELLIGENT CHOICE: At 10 a.m. this morning, President Bush named John Negroponte as the new director of intelligence of the United States. Who is John Negroponte? You may remember him best as one of the key figures in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration. John Negroponte was the ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. While there, he directed the secret arming of the Contra rebels in Nicaragua to help them overthrow the Sandinista government. At the time, he also was "cozy" with the chief of the Honduran national police force, Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez. Martinez ran the infamous Battalion 316 death squad. Battalion 316 "kidnapped, tortured and murdered" dozens of people while Negroponte was ambassador. Negroponte, however, turned a blind eye to the death squad and ignored the gross human rights abuses so Honduras would allow bases for the U.S.-backed Contras. Negroponte maintained he knew nothing about the abuses, leading to his nickname, "the ostrich ambassador." The abuses, however, were widely chronicled in local papers. That means he either willfully ignored the mass murders and torturing of citizens or he was so out of touch that he didn't see the atrocities going on beneath his very nose. Neither of these scenarios is what the United States needs in a national director of intelligence.


As my husband so eloquently put it, wake up, America! The swaggering son-of-a-bitch who calls himself our commander in chief is running us into the ground, just like he's done with ever other company he's ever been in charge of.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:06 PM EST
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An Open Letter to Michael Jackson
Mood:  cheeky
Dear Michael,

You do realize how guilty and ridiculous you look, right? I mean, flu-like symptoms? Are you serious? How stupid do you think we are? No really, how stupid?

Love, K.C.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:46 AM EST
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Wednesday, 16 February 2005
Frenched by a Feline
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: God Only Knows, Claudine Longet
So, okay. People do weird things with their animals. Not gross-weird (at least not all of them), but weird-weird. My cat enjoys sniffing the insides of our mouths when we get home at night. I think it?s a sort of way for her to see where we?ve been. Anyway, she and I were lying down last night after I got home and she pushed her face up against my mouth and I opened and she stuck her nose in to sniff like normal and that?s when it happened.

She licked.

The inside.

Of my cheek! Blech!!

So there it is: I?ve been French kissed by my cat. This is truly the life.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 3:16 PM EST
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Monday, 14 February 2005
Two Tid-bits
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Ani DiFranco
HEALTH CARE ? SOARING COSTS ARE COSTING COMPANIES: The chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corporation, the company that provides "health insurance for more people than any other private employer in the nation," has pointed a finger at rising health care costs to explain why "American manufacturers are losing their ability to compete in the global market place." Speaking in Chicago over the weekend, CEO G. Richard Wagoner, Jr. provided extensive evidence of the effect that soaring medical bills were having on "his company's bottom line" and announced he is launching a campaign to entreat legislators to pay attention to a very serious problem that endangers both future generations and future economies. Wagoner is not only concerned for his company; the cost of health care is "ultimately threatening the viability of most U.S. firms." But as Sean McAlinden of the Center for Automotive Research stated, "GM is the canary in the coal mine for Medicare and everyone else."

WAL-MART ? CHILDREN OF THE SAW: In January, Wal-Mart secretly settled federal charges that it violated child labor laws more than 20 times in three states, including allegedly allowing workers under age 18 operate dangerous machinery like cardboard balers and chain saws. It's no wonder the deal was kept under wraps. Wal-Mart was forced to pay just $135,540 ? about .000055 percent of the retailer's annual revenue ? to settle the charges. Moreover, the agreement includes a promise by the Labor Department to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before the department investigates any other "wage and hour" accusations, like failure to pay minimum wage or overtime. John R. Fraser, the government's top wage official under the first President Bush and President Bill Clinton, told the New York Times the 15-day notice was "very unusual," saying it "appears to put Wal-Mart in a privileged position that to my knowledge no other employer has."


Perhaps Ani is making me feel more militant than normal but this is simply outrageous. Health Care is becoming so expensive that even Corporate America is starting to feel it, and on top of that, Wal-Mart will now be given a head's up on all future labor investigations.

Why don't they just send us all to the poor house now and get it over with?

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 3:07 PM EST
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Friday, 11 February 2005
Another World Event and Another Book
Mood:  lazy
I don?t know about you but if I hear Boulevard of Broken Dreams one more time I?m going to hunt Billie Joe down myself and go ape on him.

And North Korea? With the nuke? That?s just lovely. Splendid, in fact. Especially since we?ve done thing at all to give anyone in the world reason for worry. G-dub is just a stand-up guy. Maybe Kim Jung Il is lonely as Parker and Stone suggest, but he?s certainly not stupid. Iraq is a bit of a mess. It looks like Iran is next. Can we really in all seriousness consider North Korea as target number three? It's doubtful.

Okay, that?s enough politics. I?m reading a great book right now called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. The link will tell you what it?s about better than I can, but I can't tell you how much I?m enjoying it right now.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:10 AM EST
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Wednesday, 2 February 2005
Year of Wonders
It seems like whenever I report the news I get hostile and sarcastic, so I'm going to try to ease off a little bit.

My good friend Joy recently suggested that we should start a mini book club where we recommend books to each other and report back. I thought it sounded great so I gave her Year of Wonders and told her how fantastic it was.

Her reponse? Why not post it here so that more than us can benefit from these recommendations? Why not, indeed?

So, I've add the link to my Book Recommendations and if you read further, I'll tell you what the book is about. It's set during the Middle Ages in England and it's about this tiny little town that goes through a bout of the plague.

A good portion of the towns-folk die, but the narrator (a maid who works for the town preacher) survives and relates to the reader in the most beautiful language the story of this doomed town.

So there you have it. My first book review. Joy, you're up!

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 12:31 PM EST
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Thursday, 20 January 2005
Money, Money, Money
Mood:  don't ask
From the American Progress Report:

A look at this week's Inaugural festivities by the numbers:

$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.

$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945?about $20,000 in today's dollars.

$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.

200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.

$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.

400: Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.

3,000: Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies" provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the Mandarin hotel.

$1: Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts, crackers and cheese and had cash bars.

22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.

1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.

$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.

$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.

2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office

26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.

$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.

$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.

9: Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.

66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.


I guess money is no object when you've got political capital to spend.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:10 AM EST
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Sunday, 9 January 2005
Oh, Jesus.
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: jazz
Here's a little pick-me-up from the Washington Post:

Iraqis Die In Errant Bombing By U.S.
Toll Is Disputed; Rebels Kill Sunni

By Karl Vick
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, January 9, 2005; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Jan. 8 -- A U.S. warplane mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb Saturday on a house in a village near the northern city of Mosul, killing several Iraqis, according to witnesses and the U.S. military.

South of Baghdad, meanwhile, insurgents abducted and killed a Sunni Muslim official as he returned from a trip to try to persuade a Shiite Muslim leader to support a delay in Iraq's scheduled Jan. 30 elections.

The airstrike, by an F-16 fighter jet early Saturday on the village of Aaytha, 30 miles south of Mosul, was part of "a cordon and search operation to capture an anti-Iraqi force cell leader," the military said in a statement. The satellite-guided bomb struck a house that "was not the intended target. . . . The intended target was another location nearby."

The statement said five people were killed and that the military "deeply regretted the loss of possibly innocent lives." The owner of the house told news services that the bomb killed 14 people, including seven children.


I won't force you to read more, however, if you're interested, you can find the rest of the article here.

My favorite part of this article is in the last paragraph above: 'The statement said five people were killed and that the military "deeply regretted the loss of possibly innocent lives."'

Okay, the people who died? Not the people we were trying to kill and yet, even in death they are guilty until proven innocent.

Over 100,000 Iraqis have died since this war began, making our losses pale in comparisson. And yet, we're running out of troops. Helen in my office has a son who's with one of the local police departments. He and his fellow officers have started shipping their old bullet proof vests to soldiers they know over there.

Did you hear that? USED bullet proof vests. What the hell have we come to when the citizens of a country are taking better care of our soldiers than our government?

If I think about this too much I get upset so I'll move on.

It looks like Brad and Jen are caput and I must say, "Boo!" You crazy kids don't have to pack it in just yet, do you? Come on! Think of the fans! We need you! Who are we going to look up to when you're gone? It's like Tom and Nicole all over again.


Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 4:25 PM EST
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