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Miscellaneous Thoughts (a.k.a. The Ranting Corner)
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Larry David: The Roving Thoughts of a Liberal Insomniac
As a long-time fan of Larry David (co-creator of Seinfeld and creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm), I was delighted to discover this gem on the Huffington Post. Enjoy!


The other night I was awakened by my nine-year-old. I remained in the room with her for ten minutes, whereupon she fell back asleep. Unfortunately, I had no such luck. I did manage, however, to keep a record of my brain activity. I present it herewith, strictly in the interest of science.

I wonder how long I've been up. It feels like at least forty minutes. Maybe I should look at the time. No, don't look at the time. How's that gonna help? I'm just curious. Don't look. DO NOT LOOK...three- thirty. Are you happy? Idiot. I told you not to look but you know everything…I can't stand this quilt. The comforter inside always slips down. I’m grabbing at nothing here! I haven't had a good quilt in a long time. Where'd this quilt come from anyway? Tomorrow I'll mention the quilt. She's not gonna like that. She'll say there's nothing wrong with the quilt and that'll be that. It's sad I can't have a quilt I rove...Rove, damn it, that’s the second time today I’ve done that. God, I hate that man. See, this is what he wants. He wants to get in your head. He wants to keep you up. You’re giving him what he wants! If he keeps us all up, we’ll be too tired to fight them. That’s their strategy, and you’re playing right into their hands. We have to start keeping them up. But how? The only things that bothers them enough to keep them up are fetuses. They love that fetus. The fetus and Jesus. Sounds like a comedy team. “Ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to Fetus and Jesus...” Stop thinking about them. I can’t. Try! ...Okay, I’m going to think of something else. How about that juicy nectarine I had today. Yum-my. That was dee-licious. The problem is fruit is so inconsistent. When you get a good one, it’s all luck. Fruit is like blackjack. The casino wins most of the time. But at least the casino’s not fixed. I trust the slot machines in Vegas more than the voting machines in Ohio. Even sleazy casino owners in Vegas have more credibility than this bunch...I have to stop killing insects in front of the kids. Am I setting a bad example? What’s my option? Am I supposed to start ignoring flies and ants and let them wander around like they own the place? I guess liberals aren’t supposed to kill insects. See, Rove? I kill them and I rather enjoy it. Maybe you want to sign me up. I like how if you criticize the war you don’t support the troops. You’re the ones sending them over to die, so how is it I don’t support them? If the army was made up of child molesters, then I’d support them. If we went to an all child molester army, I would be their biggest supporter. “Please don’t bring the troops home. Stay the course. Keep them there a long time.” But they’re not child molesters. And they’re not the Twins, that’s for sure. Where are the Twins? Send in the Twins. I’d like to hear that scene. “Jenna, Barbara…Daddy and I have talked it over and we want you to go fight in Iraq.” ...Ah, what’s the use? Now I’m all revved up. This is what Rove wants. You’re playing right into his hands. Should I take a sleeping pill? Is that a slippery slope? It seems there are a lot more slippery slopes now than there used to be. Now everything’s a slippery slope...It’s so hot in here. I have to turn the pillow over. Why’s it so much cooler on this side? I don’t get that. I would think it would be a little cooler, but not this much cooler. No matter how hot it is, the bottom of the pillow still stays cool. One day I’d like to ask a scientist about that. Of course, I never really get to meet any scientists. You’d think I’d run into a scientist at some point. I like how they keep saying the science isn’t in on global warming. They just don’t know. No proof. But, of course, it’s in on God. Lots of proof on that. Tons of empirical evidence. They got God’s DNA. And Moses parted the Red Sea. He said, “Open sea,” and it opened. And Jesus walked on water. Those are some tricks. People must have been after Moses to do it again until he finally got sick of them and lost his temper. "No, I'm not parting it again, now leave me alone." "C'mon Moses, please?" "I said no, now get the hell outta here!" You'd think anyone who believes this stuff would be so embarassed they'd keep it to themselves. But those maniacs shout it from the rooftops and they're running our country. God talks to Bush all the time. I don’t care if you’re President, if you say God talks to you, you’re a schizophrenic and a menace to society. You should be on drugs in a mental institution, like the Son of Sam. What’s the difference between God or a dog talking to you? It’s still a voice in your head. That means you’re certifiably fucking crazy! …Look what they’re doing to me. Take a deep breath. That’s good. Listen to your breathing. That’s a meditation technique. Clears your mind. There’s a breath, that’s good. There’s another breath. I guess the science isn’t in on evolution either...No, come on, breathe. There’s a breath. Of course the planet’s only 5000 years old. Breathe, prick, breathe. What about the fucking dinosaurs?! We have the bones. They know how old the bones are! The sad thing is these nuts who founded this country fled Europe because of religious persecution. Good trade for Europe. Breathe. You have to breathe. This is what they want. I’m so thirsty. I've got to start drinking more water. It's so hard to drink, though, if you're not thirsty. You don't eat when you're not hungry. Hey, that's a good point. You actually made a good point. See, you're not stupid. "You don't eat when you're not hungry." I like that. I've gotta try to work that into a conversation. That'll raise a few eyebrows... I'm so cramped here. Look how far over she is. She's on my side. She's way past the middle. Hey, move! MOVE! I need my space, man...If they hate Hollywood so much, maybe they should just start making their own movies and TV shows. In fact, we should just split into two different countries. Then, after our stem cell research gives us the cure for all these diseases, they’ll all be trying to get across the border for our medicine, but our minutemen won’t let them. And we’ll have a lot of minutemen. I think I’ll be a minuteman. “Sorry, but our scientists worked very hard to come up with a cure for Parkinson’s and there’s only enough medicine for our people. So beat it.” ...Time to turn the pillow again. No, it’s too soon. It’s not cold enough. Let’s just see. No. Turn it. No. I’m turning it. Okay, go ahead...There. It’s not cold enough. Are you happy? ...Well there’s only one way I can get to sleep now. It always works. Sure, wake her up. That’s just what every Jewish woman wants. Sex in the middle of the night. Go ahead. This I want to see.

“What. What do you want?”
“I can’t fall back asleep.”
“So why are you waking me up?”
“There’s only one thing that’ll do it.”
“Are you crazy? Why can’t you sleep?”
“You know…”
“Because of them?”
“Come here, honey.”
Thanks again, Karl. Keep up the good work.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 1:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 24 June 2005
Headlines...In no particular order
VA's $1 Billion Mistake Hurting Veterans
Friday June 24, 2:21 pm ET
VFW Demanding Emergency Measures
WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday's announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs had understated their 2005 health care budget needs by $1 billion came as no surprise to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.


Pentagon creating database of students
Privacy advocates blast effort to find potential recruits

By Jonathan Krim, Washington Post, June 23, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Defense began working yesterday with a private marketing firm in Massachusetts to create a database of all US college students as well as high school students between ages 16 and 18, to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.


Bush Says No Timetable for Iraq Withdrawal
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON - Despite growing anxiety about the war in Iraq, President Bush refused to set a timetable Friday for bringing home U.S. troops and declared, "I'm not giving up on the mission. We're doing the right thing."


Cheney Says Guantanamo Prisoners Well Fed
Fri Jun 24, 5:03 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Defending the treatment of prisoners at the U.S. jail in Guantanamo Bay, Vice President
Dick Cheney said they are well treated, well fed and "living in the tropics."


White House Stands Behind Rove Comments
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 24, 5:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON - A White House official said Friday the administration finds it "somewhat puzzling" that Democrats are demanding presidential adviser Karl Rove's apology or resignation for implying that liberals are soft on terrorism.


House Approves Cuts to Labor Programs
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Funding for job training, rural health care, low-income schools and help for people lacking health insurance would face big cuts under a bill passed Friday by the House.


And one last one:

Cruise Clashes With Lauer on 'Today' Show
Tom Cruise criticized NBC "Today" show host Matt Lauer on Friday when Lauer mentioned Cruise's earlier criticism of Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants. Cruise told Lauer he didn't know what he was talking about. "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," Cruise said.


I have an open letter to Tom Cruise.

Dear Tom,

SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY, YOU CRAZY BASTARD! We get that you're batshit crazy over this 'religion'. No, really, we GET IT!

Now shut up and leave us alone!

The World

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:20 PM EDT
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Thursday, 16 June 2005
From the American Progress Report:
[Today], Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will be holding major hearings on the Downing Street Minutes. Unfortunately, they won't take place on Capitol Hill. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) "recently announced a new policy to deny any request" from any minority commitee member "for the use of a committee hearing room." Sensenbrenner's deputy chief of staff let minority members know with the following e-mail: "I'm sitting here watching your 'forum' on C-SPAN. Just to let you know, it was your last. Don't bother asking [for a room] again."



Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:49 AM EDT
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Former Bush Aide Who Edited Reports Is Hired by Exxon
Published: June 15, 2005
Yesterday, it was announced that the former chief of staff of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, Philip Cooney, who resigned five days ago after it was disclosed that he had doctored government climate change reports in favor of the oil industry's position, has been hired by Exxon Mobil.


Boy, I have a really good feeling about this.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:13 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 June 2005
Jackson Ending Sleepovers in His Room
By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent

Michael Jackson's lawyer said Tuesday he is convinced that the pop star "has never molested any child," but he said Jackson would no longer let children or their families sleep in his room.

"He's not going to do that because it makes him vulnerable to false charges," attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview.


Huh. I would have thought that ending the "sleepovers" before now might have been wise. Also, he's ending the "sleepovers" because it makes him vulnerable to false charges? Call me crazy, but I would have thought that he might end them because they're COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 2:55 PM EDT
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Once again, the South disappoints
From the American Progress Action Fund:

The Senate yesterday issued a rare formal apology (its first of any kind to African Americans), expressing regret "for having rejected decades of pleas to make lynching a federal crime." Could there possibly be a less controversial resolution? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Several senators waited until the last minute to add their names to the resolution, when they knew it was scheduled for a vote. And outrageously, at least six senators refused to co-sponsor the resolution, including Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Thad Cochran (R-MI), Trent Lott (R-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).


Wow. Is there a better way to tell your African American constituents that they're better off dead? I don't think so. These senators have basically thrown in with the lynchers, because let's face it: if you're not against lynching, you're pretty much for it. There really isn't room for fence-sitters on this issue.

And in related news, government-sponsored terror directed at its own citizens doesn't just happen here.

One month ago, White House ally and Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov ordered his military to massacre hundreds of his own citizens in "probably the worst atrocity conducted by a government against protesters since Tiananmen Square." President Bush stayed silent about the killings for weeks, then called only for an international investigation into the massacres. But now, it seems, he doesn't even want that. The Washington Post reports that U.S. defense officials have "helped block a new demand for an international probe" from NATO into the killings.


What a guy our president is, with a heart as big as Texas.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:46 AM EDT
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Monday, 13 June 2005
Texas Governor Mobilizes Evangelicals
By MATT CURRY, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jun 12,10:03 PM ET
DALLAS - Even for Texas, the scene was remarkable: The governor, flanked by an out-of-state televangelist and religious right leaders, signing legislation in a church school gymnasium amid shouts of "amen" from backers who just as well could have been attending a revival.


Dear Gov. Perry,

Pander much?


Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 8:35 AM EDT
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Friday, 10 June 2005
Union Payroll Adds Children of Members, Inquiry Finds
Published: June 10, 2005
BOSTON, June 9 - Union longshoremen here have been placing children as young as 2 years old on their payroll for years in a scheme to secure jobs and higher salaries for members' children when they reach working age, the state attorney general said Thursday.


The problem with this is that the old maxim, “Power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately” is once again proven true.

Unfortunately, the history major in me feels the need to point out something that is just as important. Before unions came along, the American worker had no rights. There was no such thing as an eight-hour workday, no overtime, no health care benefit, no benefits period. You were happy to have a job and you did everything you could to keep it because that was all that stood between you and poverty.

This was no secret, of course. The companies who employed American workers knew they had the upper hand and relentlessly took advantage. This led to outrage and protests, the union movement and strikes, negotiations and laws. Union workers pay dues to be members so that their best interests could be looked after.

Once you have someone in charge, though, it’s hello Jimmy Hoffa. Am I wrong to expect more from people, or, since it’s a given that human beings are flawed, should I simply accept that more is neither expected nor required?

Scandals will continue to break, over and over again until the end of time. Perhaps it’s safe to say that while mankind has the capacity for both good and evil, given the opportunity and the likelihood of gain, whether it is financial, political, or whatever, mankind will always choose evil.

Depressing? Yes. Realistic? Probably.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:53 AM EDT
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Thursday, 9 June 2005
Truth Gets Screwed Again
According to the Washington Post, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, that bastion of integrity and morals, has once again been plucked from the iron jaws of justice and delivered safely into the arms of his faithful party. I don't know what deal he made with Lucifer, but I hope that some day it comes back to bite him.

Read the story here.

According to the article: "The ethics committee, the House's mechanism for enforcing rules for members, has operated for exactly one day since the 109th Congress convened in early January. In May, after Republicans broke an impasse with Democrats by backing off an effort to change the rules for investigations, the committee voted to organize for the year.

But it has not met since then. No session is scheduled, and both parties say any investigation is months off. The latest logjam relates to a decision by Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) to try to name his 10-year chief of staff, Ed Cassidy, as a co-director of the committee staff."


"The staffing dispute concerns a rule of the ethics panel governing the hiring of the committee staff. The rule specifies that the staff will be nonpartisan and chosen by a majority vote of the committee. But in what Democrats consider an effort to circumvent that requirement, Hastings has cited another provision of the rule that allows the chairman and ranking minority member to each name one staff member without the other side's concurrence."

In related news, the Environment got buggered along with the Truth this week when Tony Blair was unable to convince Bush to back the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming.

Apparently, Blair was no match for ExxonMobil who, according to The Guardian, was extremely influential in Bush's decision.

"Potus [president of the United States] rejected Kyoto in part based on input from you [the Global Climate Coalition]," says one briefing note before Ms Dobriansky's meeting with the GCC, the main anti-Kyoto US industry group, which was dominated by Exxon.

Lovely. One of the worlds biggest oil companies gets to make decisions on U.S. policy for global warming.

That's like putting Tom Delay in charge of writing laws. Wait...

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 9:14 PM EDT
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Sunday, 5 June 2005
Our Heartbreaking Hypocrisy
The policy of rape in Darfur, that is, the genocide fostering the policy of rape in Darfur is nothing if not a story I've heard over and over in the media.

No one is denying that the policy exists, least of all our government, and yet...nothing. We get nothing from our decision-makers about it. After 142 days of silence President Bush finally used the word genocide. Why bother if you’re not going to do anything about it?

If he really gave a damn he'd put his money where his mouth this and do something. Darfur could be a win-win for him. He sends in a couple thousand troops to end the killing, he gets props for doing something good and saves people in the process. What could be better? Especially for a guy who’s so into his “culture of life”.

The problem? I just don't think he cares.

Posted by freak2/katertot0208 at 11:48 AM EDT
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