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Musings & Ravings
caliantrias
For as long as I can remember, if you had asked em to identify the single most important political issue we faced at any given time I would have said "the Environment." I said that because I believe that the environment is a fundamental issue. It's an issue that all other issues depend on. Without clean air, clean water and healthy soil economies fail. When economies fail, nations crumble.

I was forced to change that answer in 2000 and to reiterate it in 2004. My current answer to that same question is "restoring democracy to America." I say that because, without real democracy, we have no voice in the process and, without a voice in the process we have little hope of protecting the environment.

I first became aware of the ill health of America's democracy in 1992 when I heard Clinton supporters placing unity ahead of issues at our local convention. Since then, American Democracy has grown weaker and weaker.

The Daily Kos has an eloquent argument explaining why I can never support Hillary Clinton. (That's not the point of the piece, just my take on it.

In short, the Clintons are not interested in party unity unless the party is unified behind them. They are extraordinary politicians. They have an incredible capacity for manipulating the democratic party. In or out of office they wield real power but their actions have repeatedly demonstrated a "we know what is best for you" approach to governing.

I want a leader who will really listen to the people and be able to recognize when democratic will must trump all else. I'm inclined to believe that Obama is capable of understanding that. I may be wrong but I'm certain that Clinton is no longer capable of seeing that. She may have at one time but she is no longer that person.

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caliantrias
I am invulnerable. According to a recent study, having a cat in the home reduces you chances of heart attack and stroke by 30%. I have six, therefore my chance of heart attack has been reduced 180%, right?

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caliantrias
OK, this one hurts. Sure I haven;t played actual D&D in years but I owe him a lot for countless hours of wonder and fun.

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caliantrias
If you use Internet Explorer you are contributing to a disease on the Internet. IE is proof that "invisible hand of the market place" is attached to a drooling, lobotomized, retard. I just open a page that is fully valid HTML 4.01 STRICT and IE7 fucked it up. Now I have to make special changes so that Microsoft's "special snowflake" can handle it properly.

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caliantrias
Certain people should not be allowed to use certain words/phrases. Not because these expressions are offensive but simply because they are untrue. For example;

Bill Gates should not be allowed to use the word innovate or any of its derivations when referring to Microsoft.

Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to use the word 'progressive' when referring to herself. (Her campaign manager, Terry McAulife should not be allowed to use words, he wrecks them.)

Any others you can think of? (For this contest George W Bush is off limits. Nominees are limited to those who can actually form coherent speech.)

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caliantrias
Since at least 1992 we have been hearing a familiar refrain from the democrats, "we must unify in order to win."

The implicit promise in this statement is "from unity comes democracy." I would suggest that that statement is backward, it should be "from democracy comes unity." How does that work?

Democracy is built upon a free exchange of ideas and, it seems, a whole lot of shouting. What matters in the end, though, is that everyone gets a chance to be heard and IF everyone feels that they have been heard and their concerns given serious thought, then they are usually willing to compromise and unite with the majority for the common good. So, if democracy is truly practiced, then unity will likely be the outcome.

This is part of why Bush has been so divisive. Half the country believes that he is an usurper. That could have been fixed by a good, transparent investigation by congress or a more careful examination by our legal process but we didn't get that. We allowed fear to make us rush to judgment, crown a winner and then sweep it all under the carpet.

Now we are hearing that unity refrain again but I have noticed that I don't hear it from the Obama camp. Over and over again I hear that refrain from Clinton supporters. I just read a post in another forum complaining about how ungrateful some of us are for not recognizing all the Clintons have done for us and for not rallying behind Hillary. The writer went on to warn us all against the danger of another '72 convention and complained about how democrats 'eat each other.'

Personally, I long for a contentious convention. If it happens, I might actually become a Democrat again. If the convention is contentious but allowed to work properly, I might have reason to believe their is room for democrats in the Democratic Party.

Yet, I can't unite behind Hillary. I can't unite because I have heard that backward and anti-democratic refrain of "unity first" from that camp for far too long, for at least 16 years. If it were 'just' Hillary vs Barak, I might be able to. But it's not. It's Hillary and Bill and the Democratic Leadership Council * and all the anti-democratic policies and maneuvering caused by the New Democratic Movement.

If the Clinton supporters really believed their 'unity first' mantra, they would now be shifting their support to Obama who is the frontrunner. They won't do this, of course. When I start seeing people refer 'the Clintons' and 'all they have done for us' I see the birth of monarchism in America and that makes this tired, cynical patriot's blood boil.

* I have not had time to research all the claims of this article. If there are refutable facts, I'm sure you will let me know.

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caliantrias
To be, or not to be: that is the question: *BLAM*
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer *BLAM*
The slings and arrows of SHIT! Out of AMMO!,
Or to take arms against a sea of zombies,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand zombie hordes
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; *BLAM*
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When they still shuffle through this mortal coil,
They give no pause: there's no respect
That makes calamity of so long life; *BLAM*
For why continue with this song of pain,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? and zombies' kiss.
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
Only zombies return, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of? *BLAM*
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the foul stench of rot,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy garrisons
Be all my limbs dismember'd.

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caliantrias
But Soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east and...SHIT! ZOMBIES!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the zombie hordes,
who are already sick and pale with grief.
That thou her maid art far more keen of shot:
Be not, her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.


Nah... that one isn't going anywhere.... but this one is;


If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these zombies did appear.
And this awful viral strain,
No more yielding than a brain
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the zombie's moan,
We will make amends alone;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your brains, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
--A MidSummer's Night's dream, William Shakespeare

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caliantrias

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caliantrias
Every time I go anywhere near the issue of racism I come away with the same feeling. "Forget the humans, save the animals."

And yet,

I never learn.

It's like some form of post-natal amnesia.

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caliantrias
Apparently, the Joker did. Most of the people reading this blog will recognize the power of having another person in your head. Well, imaging sharing your mind with "a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy". I just saw the new trailer. Ledger may have finally brought the real Joker to the screen and it may have eaten him up to do so.

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caliantrias
OK, people it's imagination time.

The movie "I am legend" spawned a post on another forum in the vein of "if you were the last person on earth." OK, this is not a realistic question. Let's provide a more realistic scenario;


A serious catastrophe has struck earth. The cause is mostly irrelevant. You are now the only living person you know about. It's likely that there are others but you have no idea for certain. You may be 1 of a surviving million or a surviving 100,000 or less. If they exist they are scattered randomly throughout the world.

Around you you have the combined wealth of your local civilization. You have an entire home depot (and others) to yourself, your house of choice, cars galore, etc. You no longer have a access to services like water, sewage, electricity, gas, internet or television.

You no longer have a job to go to, no bills to pay or debts to payoff.

What are you going to do with the rest of your life, especially if you can't find other people?

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caliantrias
I don't know who my muse is but she is one whacked out chick. I've been listening to They Might be Giants and realized that their music is basically a dadaist offshoot of beat poetry set to popsynth music. So last night my muse drops the line "Lonely, Lonely Ravioli" in my head and then wanders off (probably to go pee) and finally comes back with the rest this morning;

this way madness lies (with props to Red Dwarf)Collapse )

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caliantrias

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caliantrias
Went and saw Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman make a great team. In 30-40 years I'd like to see if Natalie Portman can pull off a full blown wizard but, at her age (and role) she exhibits the right characteristics of an apprentice wizard.

The editing had some annoying elements and the ending, while correct, was weak. Here is how I would have ended the movie;

cut for spoilageCollapse )

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caliantrias
This guy has proven that stonehenge could have been built by one man. It does not prove that this is actually how it was done but I would have to argue that it's damn close. The beauty of his brilliance is that he was able to set aside so much of what he knows and restrict his solution to simple tools. In this day and age we are virtually incapable of thinking up a solution without resorting to a wheel and a pulley.

WARNING: Behind this curtain lies an answer to a 6,000 year old mystery. You may not want to know.

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caliantrias
Yesterday the Democrats handed the Republicans another victory and further alienated a growing segment of the left.

For many of us questions surrounding the elections in 2000 and 2004, 9/11, and the Iraq war have less to do with conspiracy theories and much more to do with the fact that congress has repeatedly abdicated its duties.

I don't believe the theories behind 'Loose Change' but neither do I believe the official story. The physical evidence left by 9/11 should have provided decades of material for scientific study. Instead it was destroyed. Was it incompetence, misfeasance or malfeasance? We'll never know because congress failed in its job and has continued to do so ever since. We have no faith in our government but our anger is directed at the Democrats because we trusted them and they failed us.

In 2006, the Republicans experienced what happens when their constituents feel betrayed. It's one thing to have low expectations and be cynical, it's another thing to allow betrayal.

So the Democrats have been trying to lower our expectations for the last seven years. First, they blamed Nader, then they began to chant "Anybody but Bush." Nobody wanted Kerry, but he got supported him solely because we thought we could trust him to fight if another Florida occurred. But he betrayed us in Ohio.

Each year, the Democrats have chiseled away at our expectations to the point where the Dem base accepts the dogma that "impeachment is a waste of time."

Now, think about this: If a burglar broke into your home or you were assaulted would it be a "waste of time" to pursue the assailant and secure his capture? Would it be a "waste of time" to go to court to testify to ensure he didn't do it again? Or would we say "Oh well, I'm busy, I've got work to do, let him go."

Our expectations are so low that Hillary has been anointed more than a year before the election. The arrogance of the Democratic leadership is so profound that they think they don't have to worry about a vote splitter again. They are exactly as Conservatives betray them - they believe the know what's best for us and they will do whatever *they* feel is best for us and if we children don't tow the line we will be punished by another Republican victory.

They think we haven't noticed the lack of difference.

Yesterday the Republicans proved that they have far more courage and more cunning than the Democrats. Here's what happened;

Dennis Kucinich brought his previous resolution to impeach Cheney as a privileged resolution. The Dem leadership wet itself and the Republicans yawned.

DK finished and Stenny Hoyer raced desperately to the microphone to table the resolution. The voting began but some smart republican went "Hey, look, the Dems are wetting themselves to block this. Let's keep it alive. We can claim that we want to allow them their day in court. Then we can smash it and give our base something to cheer about."

When Hoyer failed to table the motion he rushed to get it referred to committee where it can languish alongside John Conyer's own bill impeaching Bush.

What Kucinich accomplished was to force the Democrats to take a position and get their votes recorded. Now the progressive wing of the party can look at that roll call and tell who was trying to address the issue and who was trying to sweep it under the rug.

That part of the party is pissed. And they readily cite polls showing simple majorities of people who want Bush & Cheney impeached. In order to counter the Republicans, the Dems needed to show courage - courage that they don't have. They needed to allow it through and allow the ONE HOUR of debate it required.

They could have isolated Kucinich and claimed the high road. It would have created no more delay than the challenge to Ohio's electoral count in 2004 and the resolution would have been dead - not tabled, not referred - it would be dead.

So they have succeeded in alienating more of their base and entrenching those inclined to vote against any Dem candidate other than Kucinich.

Meanwhile, the Reps chalk up another victory and Pat Robertson went a long toward preventing a rift in the GOP.

The Democrats handed the Reps a small victory yesterday but it might become a big victory next year. If that happens, the Dems will do what the did in 2000. They will blame everybody but themselves.

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caliantrias
Up until about 30 min ago, the impeachment resolution was proceeding as expected. Kucinich made the motion and a Republican moved to table. The vote proceeded swiftly until the vote was over 2:1 in favor of tabling with about 40 dems and 20 reps voting against tabling.

Now the vote is 242 to 170 AGAINST tabling and the Rep vote is 164-28 against tabling and the Dems are 142-78 in FAVOR of tabling. There was an obvious move in the GOP to start changing their votes. At first, it seemed they were just allowing a few endangered seats to change, then the GOP votes exceeded Dems and I thought they were seeking embarassment.

NOW, I wonder if the goal is to call the bluff.

I don't care if it is, as long as serious hearings are held and the issues are properly examined rather than swept under the rug.

The vote was supposed to last 15 minutes but it's been over an hour.

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caliantrias
Now this is innovative and imaginative. Take 150 useless grocery store plastic bags and crochet them into one useful, STRONG, reusable bag;

http://community.livejournal.com/environment/741724.html

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caliantrias
Doesn't that mean we get a prize or something? It always sounds so exciting on the news but it's really kind of dull. But, get this, it's 12:19 am, we are officially refugees and unable to go home and daemonaquila is blogging.

Blogging! I mean c'mon, what's up with that?

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caliantrias
Tonight is a first. I've been "evacuated" from my home. The creek overflowed and the waters were pouring into the basement. We had just enough time to get the cats in the car, grab the laptops and cut the power to the house. I nearly drowned the car at one intersection. 1-2 more minutes later and it's likely I would not have made it through.

Fortunately, we had an evacuation plan handed to us on a silver platter the day we moved in. So, here we are in J's barn with stressed out cats and stressed out us. I'd give my right nut for a web-cam pointed at my house. But if one existed, it would have been mine and it would have been cut when I cut the power.

We talked to the neighbor across the street who is nearer the creek and has been there for the '78 flood and '02 flood. His house and our house, never suffered serious damage from those floods. We are elevated just enough to avoid the worst of it.

However, the pool is going to have to be completely drained and refilled. I don't want to think about the water bill for that. The pool has required very little water over the past year. I have to buy a sump pump or two. I tried to buy one a couple of weeks ago but our lame ass lumberyard was out of them. Every time I've gone in there I have been unable to get what I came in for. All the stuff stored in the basement for the 'yard sale' is now toast.

I just figured it out - I know why this is happening. At 8pm, I fixed the leak in the toilet. It's like washing your car, I jinxed us.

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caliantrias
Chap 1 Harry HuntedCollapse )

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Current Mood: dazed

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caliantrias
Poll #1025658 Is it too soon?

Is it too soon to post Harry Potter comments and potential spoilers?

Nope, go for it.
3(27.3%)
Yes, wait a few more days.
7(63.6%)
YES! Never post! Never Never Never! Harry Potter is the devil!
0(0.0%)
Yes, it's too late, you are way behind the times.
1(9.1%)

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caliantrias
I feel like the kid who opened his xmas presents before xmas.

but it was good

spoiler alertCollapse )

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caliantrias
I guess some of you need visual aids;





I think this ranks second only to "And the Rock Cried Out (Babylon 5) for best use of music in a TV scene. The best part is that John Simm (The Master) is actually singing along with the song.

And just for shits 'n' giggles;







The Master Lives!

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caliantrias
Theme Songs are important! (It's OK to steal someone else's. Remember, you're EVIL)


I can't decide whether you should live or die
Though you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
Sold and bought and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride

Oh I could throw you in the lake,
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake,
I wont deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I'm sleeping that's why.

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Though you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
Sold and bought and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride
--I Can't Decide, Scissor Sisters

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caliantrias
What happens when the only two congressman worth their seats get together? We finally get a Health Care Reform bill worthy of consideration. The Conyers-Kucinich Bill provides for Universal Health Care and coverage for all Americans including at least;

(1) Primary care and prevention.
(2) Inpatient care.
(3) Outpatient care.
(4) Emergency care.
(5) Prescription drugs.
(6) Durable medical equipment.
(7) Long term care.
(8) Mental health services.
(9) The full scope of dental services (other than cosmetic dentistry).
(10) Substance abuse treatment services.
(11) Chiropractic services.
(12) Basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(13) Hearing services, including coverage of hearing aids.

I am just beginning to analyze the Bill now but if you have any interest in Health Care Reform, I suggest you get on the phone (not email) to your reps and Senators and tell them to support it. I also suggest you put your support behind Kucinich.

Text of the Bill
< href="http://kucinich.us/issues/universalhealth.php">Kucinich Website</a>

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caliantrias
Yes, it's true my parents actually did/do love me and
Yes, most people actually *do* understand me

but... that's O K I can reject all that

because I'm bad enough, I'm mad enough, and gosh, darnit, people fear me!

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caliantrias
I accept that my political machine is broken
I accept that my politicians won't stay bought

but at least I'm not the one who fucked up Iraq

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caliantrias
It's OK that my plans have failed...AGAIN.
It's OK that I had to kill my minions and buy new cloning equipment.
I *will* bounce back.

'cuz I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darnit, people *fear* me.

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caliantrias
I have a confession to make.

This isn't easy for me so please bear with me.

I.. I'm ... I'm a little behind on my plans for world domination.

There. I said it. I'm behind schedule and that... that's... O K.

I know, I know, I can sense the disappointment. I know some of you have money riding on this. (Well, more precisely I know you *would* have money riding on it if you could find someone who would actually bet ON me... but that's OK. I know who you are.)

It's not as easy as they make it look in the movies. It's not like I can major in it in college or find a mentor. (Geez, I wish I had known *that* before I walked in to the career office.) World domination is hard work. I mean first you have to alienate your friends and then replace them with sycophants and... well, I *was* off to good start with high school and all. When I got to college I was in prime position, I didn't have any friends to alienate! Then, of course, I met you all and well... I promised doctorwannabe she could be pope and I so I started to revise my plans since it seemed it might be easier if I didn't have to *everyone* spied on.

And sycophants? OMG have you seen the quality of minions these days? It's so hard to find good help these days. I should show you some of these resumes...

Not that I'm making excuses. I admit, I admit... I got distracted by a few things. College warped my mind, I think. I started to think in terms of doing good works and making a positive contribution to society and... well, law School! Boy was that a wrong turn! I thought it would get me back on track but instead I found myself promoting social justice, non-violence and *shudder* grass-roots democracy.

I don't know what happened. I'd blame the drugs but I've never done drugs. You all know the alchohol I drink - it's expensive! It's bourgeois! It's not that hairy-armpit stuff.

At least I'm on track with the cats. yes, cats. All my cats are reasy for their roles as evil-genius-cat. (I think it's wrong to have just one cat, it leaves the impression that the cat never leaves my arms.)

OK. I feel better. I've got it off my chest. I allowed myself to get distracted for a few years but that's all behind me now. I'm moving forward again. The world will be mine. Oh, yes, it will be mine.

Right after I pass the bar exam.

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Current Mood: cathartic
Current Music: Art of Noise, The with Max Headroom - Paranoimia

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caliantrias


DISCLAIMER: This post is conjecture. I have no access to pertinent facts that gives this explanation any more credibility than any other.

After going back to figure out what scotia_girl was talking about, I think I now have a picture of what's going on.

It helps, however, to have a little insight to the rights and responsibilities of internet services like LJ.

Your ISP is what is called a "common carrier" (unless it's cable). Under that distinction they are not liable for content that passes through their system. However, if they start to interfere with the content, i.e. if they exercise editorial control, they lose their common carrier status and start to become liable for the content and the harm it may do.

Now, LJ has Terms of Service which prohibits certain material from being posted and they exercise the right to remove that material. Universal policing is nigh impossible, though, so they usually only react to specific complaints.

Still, with this knowledge, it becomes easy to imagine what happened. It's easy to imagine the execs in the lawyers' offices asking "We're getting a bunch of complaints about some communities and blogs, if one of these posts/communities/blogs resulted in some kid getting hurt could we get sued?" The lawyer probably answered "Of course you'll get sued, the question is - will they win? They might."

"OK." say the execs we better try and do something.

This is where things went haywire. If you do search on some of the suspect search terms you will get several hundred hits for each term. Humans have to review each on of these and LJ relies heavily on volunteers. It is likely that these people, as they searched, went through phases of boredom and fatigue where they started seeing false hits and acted on them. Thus, the great purge began.

According to the latest news post they are trying to rectify the problem. However, given the 'myspace' scare mentality, you can expect this problem to persist for awhile.
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caliantrias
I know I posted this somewhere before but now I can't find it. So, I'm posting it here to ensure I don't lose it again.

Raising children is logically backward. It is much more logical to raise cats.

With a cat, you get a kitten who is practically litter trained by instinct. They spend most of their early life sleeping and require very little care. They shower you with love and purring and all they ask is a warm place to sleep and decent food. As they grow older they continue to provide companionship and a maintain a tight bond with you. (Yes, cats bond but only to 1-2 people, rarely a group). They express their affection in myriad ways - from purring to mice on your pillow. They even contribute to the house by removing pests and occassionally providing dinner. Yet, even their occassional forays into delinquent behavior tug on your heartstrings.

After several years of love, affection and partnership, your cat may begin to experience problems that come with old age. You may spend many hundreds or thousands of dollars on their care. You may have to learn new skills. You may lose many nights sleep out of worry and changing soiled bedding. But your faithful old friend has been worth it. In the last days you may even have to give your friend permission to cross the rainbow bridge because sometimes their loyalty won't let them go.


Children on the other hand -

Require constant care in the beginning. By the time you get them home you have already spent thousands of dollars. You will lose many nights sleep feeding and changing diapers. Over the years you will lose more sleep to worry as your child grows up and grows distant. After 18 years of sweat, worry and money you send them out into the world and hope that they make your sacrifices worthwhile.

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Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: The Alan Parsons Project - Damned If I Do

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caliantrias
Wouldn't it be nifty if we could ALL* vote for president? If our votes actually counted?

They could if we change the electoral system. Go here --> http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/index.php if you want your vote to count for something.

*(Sorry, Scotia, for now I mean US citizens as opposed to US electors. If we can get suffrage for US citizens, we might be able to get suffrage for resident aliens again.)

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caliantrias
Finally, the post-9/11 era has passed. How do I know this? I listen to NPR.

By listening to NPR today I heard a reviewer state, quite matter-of-factly that we are now the post-Imus generation. I wasn't sure I heard that right but now NPR is doing coverage of the coverage of Imus so we must really be in a new era.

Apparently, our eras are now defined by stories so significant that the media starts do coverage of the coverage stories.


Welcome to the Post-Imus generation.
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caliantrias
http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=22&art_id=nw20070411115308554C449217


No one wants White House job

Washington - The White House is unable to find anyone willing to fill the high-powered job of Iraq and Afghanistan wars coordinator, with at least three retired four-star generals turning down the position, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

President George Bush is creating the job to coordinate civilian and military aspects of the two conflicts, the Post said, and whoever fills it will have the power to order other agencies to act.

But, despite the job carrying the title assistant to the president, one of the highest ranks in the White House, at least one candidate turned it down saying it would be difficult to work alongside powerful, dominating war hawk Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going," retired Marine General John Sheehan told the Post.

"So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,'" said Sheehan, a former senior Nato commander.

The Post said the White House had also contacted, and been turned down by, retired army General Jack Keane and retired Air Force General Joseph Ralston.

The inability to fill the job reflects the continuing struggle the White House has to find supporters for its war policy, over five years after leading the invasion of Afghanistan and four years from the invasion of Iraq.

Bush is currently in a tough battle over war funding and pullout schedules with Congress, controlled now by the opposition Democrats.

AFP

Published on the Web by IOL on 2007-04-11 11:53:08

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caliantrias
Snow. Yep, that's right, snow fell most of the day on Scarborough Faire. It was beautiful. It was also fucking cold because I couldn't wear my cloak most of the day. But it was still beautiful.

I also got my new boots. After 20 years, I finally have a pair of Catskill Moccassins. They are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo comfy. For the first time *ever* my feet didn't hurt at the end of the day.
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caliantrias
Just thought this should be pointed out since it's been so long since anyone has seen real diplomacy;

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/04/world/main2645707.shtml


Ahmadinejad said the crew would be taken to Tehran airport at the end of the press conference.

"On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet (Muhammad) ... and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people — with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial — forgave those 15," he said, referring to the Muslim prophet's birthday last Saturday and Easter, next Sunday.

"This pardon is a gift to the British people," he said.

Ahmadinejad criticized Britain for deploying Leading Seaman Faye Turney, one of the 15 detainees, in the Gulf, pointing out that she is a woman with a child.

"How can you justify seeing a mother away from her home, her children? Why don't they respect family values in the West?" he asked of the British government.


Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip.

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caliantrias
(cuz I just can't stay out of trouble)


Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip that
can store and play music in women's breast implants.

The i-Breast will cost $499 or $599 depending on size.

This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women are always
complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.
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caliantrias
Finally, the last quiz you'll ever have to takeCollapse ).


Which caused the following thought;

I want this tattoo on my chest;

"Dear Coroner, Please tell my mother I passed my final exam."
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caliantrias
I can't make this into a poll, that would be too rigid.

If you could have cybernetic/bionic implants/prosthetics for any part(s) of your body, what would you replace? What would you never replace?

Assume sesnory inputs are available.
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caliantrias
From Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) on Faux news, Mon 2/5/07


Those individuals from the far left, now I'm talking about the Hollywood elitists and the United Nations- those individuals want us to believe its because we are contributing CO2 to the atmosphere that's causing global warming. It's all about money, I mean what would happen to the Weather Channel's ratings if all of sudden people weren't scared anymore.


This paranoid freak is a Senator.

Yes, Senator what *would* happen if people weren't scared of.... oh, let's say .... TERRORISM? Where would we be?

I'm guessing you are an expert about using fear to influence people.

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caliantrias
Now I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist but...

what?

Stop laughing. ... Stop laughing!!

OK, that one thing but otherwise it's common knowledge that Hillary Clinton the was gunman on the grassy knoll and that her training was funded by the Rand Corporation.

Back to my point. 24-hour flus.

They MUST be genetically engineered. I had one yesterday. It started at 1:30p on Monday. At 1:00 pm on Tuesday I was ready to call the project and tell them I wasn't going to make it. At 1:30pm I felt fine.

There is no way, NO way that a natural virus can tell time that well. Hell my own bio-clock runs on a 25 hr day.

It's a conspiracy I tell you. Somebody, ANYBODY explain how it could otherwise?
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caliantrias
We're all supposed to blog abut why we are pro-choice.

typically long and over-analyzed rationale under cutCollapse )

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caliantrias
Here's my list of choices for democratic party presidential candidate based on "official candidates", i.e. candidates who have file or formed an exploratory committee;

Candidates I actually Support
1. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio (http://kucinich.us/)

Put a bag over it's head and do it for America
2. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois
3. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York

The Ole Boys
Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut
ex-Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska
ex-Gov.Tom Vilsack of Iowa
Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico

Damaged Goods
Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina

Vote Republican first
Sen. John Kerry (Not official yet, just making a record

Hmmm, Hillary's not last on my list. I don't know enough about the Ole Boys to really have an opionion yet but I doubt they will have my interest. To be honest, Obama and Clinton only get the place they do as a result of affirmative action on my part. All other factors being equal, they get priority.

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caliantrias
I need to step back here. I'm about to earn one of doctorwannabe's olive loafs to the head and it would be justified.

I need to try and take the role of teacher and I will try my best not to sound arrogant and to keep my frustration in check. (I learned awile back that teaching was not for me specifically because of that frustration.) By teacher, I mean I have an idea or vision that I need to communicate - not scream.

When I was child, the world was big, deep and wondrous. When I was twelve I became conscious of the fact that my view of the world was changing. The world was shrinking and simplifying. But I also realized that fundamental elements of my perception were changing - right down to the colors and tones and smells. I swore never to forget what the world was like to my five year old senses but that oath has been hard to keep.

Magic, for me has always been elusive because, as soon as I understand the 'trick' it's no longer magic to me. As I delved into physics, the world changed to me. As I delved into law, the world changed to me. As I delved into politics, the world changed to me. But I broke my promise - I've forgotten how the world looked before Contracts were demystified and I've forgotten how a Leader looks when I haven't seen him naked.

When we were in school, we were taught, roughly, how our government works. By the time we are 21 most of us have figured out that that information, like so much of what were taught, is bullshit. We are then faced with trying to figure out the truth. But that truth is a carefully guarded secret of those in power.

The power-elite WANT the process to be complicated. They want the system to complex, inefficient and obfuscated. By doing so they simultaneously create the illusion that the problem is insurmountable and ignorable. They want us to believe that our power is limited.

The truth is much simpler than all of that. It's much simpler to understand but much, much harder to act upon.

The truth, is that our economy and our government are based on a pyramid scheme and the power-elite's greatest fear is that the base of that pyramid will one day wake up and revolt. If that happened, there is nothing they could do. Despite having the military might to squash such a rebellion, it is likely that the military would split under such circumstances and, regardless of the outcome, the damage would be done. The veneer would be stripped away and the comfortable illusions of American Imperial life would be gone. All that would be left would be understanding that might makes right.

But the glory of American life is the illusion of the American Dream - that any child can grow up to be president or that anyone can get rich if he just works hard enough. No empire in history has been built on such a clever premise.

But these are not just illusions. I call them that when I am frustrated and when I need to expose the lie of the "even playing field" or the lie of the "invisible hand of the market place." The playing field is anything but even and, frankly, I'm OK with that I just don't like people lieing about it. The playing field is steeply slanted but, none-the-less the possibility -- the possibility remains for each of us to attain the American Dream.

And this is where the bullshit starts to fly. "Yes" they say, "Yes, the American Dream is possible BUT...". "Yes, a woman can be president BUT..." "Yes, a senator can be honest BUT..."

And this is where I get in trouble.

Imagine our government is a plane. I look at it and I see air currents, eddies and vortices, I see energy fields and wave packets. buteo_flight sees airfoils, vacuums, and venturi curves.

Some of what he sees are convenient simplifications and even misconceptions but... which one of us do you want working on your plane? I could argue with hm for hours that some of what he has been taught is inaccurate but at the end of the argument, he can fly and I can't.

And that's OK. It's a plane. It only needs to break the sound barrier, not the light barrier. If he manages to get one of those things close to the speed of light THEN we can worry about wave packets, energy fields and extra-dimensions


Now, let's get back to government and where I'm getting in trouble with some of you, especially mysticmoonstorm. She has a life, you all have a life. You hired a bunch of people to manage the government for you because you had other things to do.

Let's start there. Who are these people? They are public SERVANTS. But their jobs descend from a tradition which made the people believe that they were ordained by GOD. There are, in fact, people in this country who believe that our own president rules by right of divine providence.

Somewhere, between these two extremes, they have managed to get the majority of us thinking that they are in power because they are somehow better than we are. And they have added complexity and obscurity to the process to the point where it is a full time job for us to maintain the "eternal vigilence" that is the price of freedom.

We don't know what these people are doing. We can't keep track. And thus, in a very practical sense mysticmoonstorm is right. Before a candidate can even get started, they have to have the support of their fellow politicians.

But I want more. I want better. The ole boys network exists because we allow it to exist. The two party system persists because we are too tired or too scared to break it down. But it is POSSIBLE. It may not be practical and it may not be probable but it is POSSIBLE.

We the People are the power, if we have the Will to exercise that power. The odds are against us. Horribly, massively against us but we still have that one chance. That chance to have the democracy we were taught about in school.

And if I can get two of you... just two of you to see that and to break away from herd, then I've done enough for today.

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caliantrias
Over the next couple of years I will probably rant several times about the candidacy or possible candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

My reasons, in short, are;

1) She is no more a "progressive" than her Husband.
2) She is the spouse of a former president. (By the same criteria, W and Jeb should be disqaulified. NO MORE ARISTOCRACY!)
3) Her health plan was a joke.

I really hate the way the winds are blowing in this.

My question to you - Do you want me to filter you out of these posts? All political posts?

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caliantrias
How in the hell did I survive 20 friggin years in the city without losing my mind?

Last night we went to the new Palladium theater in San Antonio. Worst theater experience, ever.

We went there because it was an IMAX theater and we went to see Eragon. Eragon is an OK movie, a bit choppy but very pretty and better than most of the shit out there since Matrix 2 lowered the bar, no, flushed the bar into the sewer.

Anyway the palladium is this huge 20 screen monster with a bar and restaurant. When we got there the place was *packed*. We should have turned around and gone back to Kerrville but we thought the IMAX thing would be fun.

We got our tickets and went in. Within two minutes I felt sick and ragy. I wanted out of there from the crowd alone. I kept asking myself, "why did I put up with this when I was in Mpls?"

It was an hour until our movie so we were going to try the restaurant. Nevermind, they were so backed up the hostess couldn't even give us a decent wait-time estimate. We considered the candy counter pizza. pantheras_box stood in line for over 30 minutes just to get to the damn counter and order. The bar was mostly empty but it turns out it was run and stocked by Starbucks and the product sucked. The most telling point was that Guest services had a line as long as the candy counter. People were pissed.

And this wasn't just a shaken down problem. It was bad planning and bad management. Under the circumstances, management should have been running their asses off and looking haggard. Management was nowhere to be seen.

And here's the final insult. It wasn't IMAX. Out of 20 screens, two were IMAX. OK, I'll take some responsbility here for not doing my due dilligence. But, it made the rest of the experience stand out next to my lone experience at Cracker Barrel (Worst dining experience, ever.)

Needless to say, I won't be back to either one. I hope they both lose a lot of money.

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caliantrias
Most of you have already read mysticmoonstorm's post today but I still have to make this statement;

ALL SECURITY IS A FACADE

Have you called your new Democratic Congress to ask them when they intend to repeal the unPATRIOT Act, dismantle Fatherland Security and restore airport security to sanity?

Or do you think they will just do it by themselves the way John Kerry fought sooo hard to ensure the integrity of the vote in Ohio in 2004?

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caliantrias
I need to rant.

I knew when I moved here that I was moving into Fundie territory. I knew I was moving into the heart of that little branch of Christianity that makes the rest look bad. Yet, despite all their hate mongering, bigotry and narrow mindedness I was never prepared for what I encountered on Saturday.

After that I think I'm beginning to understand how these people can be so stupid. No, I don't mean ignorant or unenlightened, I mean Stupid. I can now understand why these people are so easily threatened by scientific discovery and the slightest challenges to their faith.

Their faith and their mentalities are both so weak that rather than trying to understand what they don't understand, they instead limit their god and cram him into a smaller mold.

When I was growing up and still christian I understood the nature of God to be defined by infinity - omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent. Thus, I have no problem reconciling what appears to be a contradiction between Genesis and the Big Bang Theory and the theory of Natural Selection. I have studied all three and I am amazed by how easily they are reconciled. Of course, that mere fact is not enough to keep me Christian. My departure from that faith came with the realization that I simply don't believe in the divinity of Christ and never have. There were many other factors that caused me to question my faith, but they were not the cause of my rejection.

Recently I have been somewhat preoccupied with the foolishness of the Intelligent Design movement. It has occurred to me that these people are making the mistake of trying to shoe-horn their god into science. That they are inherently claiming that God can be measured by Science. An infinite, omniscient being, however, can not be so easily measured and categorized.

I found this idea humorous because it demonstrated how little these people understand science. I had no idea just how limited these people are though - so limited that their view of their god is inherently limited.

On Saturday I was at "Christmas in Comfort" and I saw a booth title "Three Things God Can't Do." I wasn't going to get into it but curiosity caused me to find it on the web. I don't think I have ever been so appalled. Here are the three things God "can't" do;

1. God can't force you to love him.
2. God can't lie.

(http://www.godslinks.com/3things.html)

OK, this is bad enough. These people can't tell the difference between "can't" and "won't". To make these declarations no matter how strained is to deny the omnipotence of God. Of course an omnipotent being can do these things, it is the fact that he chooses not to do so that make him so interesting or "Good."

Even in their explanation of #1, they contradict themselves by making "can't" and "won't" synonyms. But it's #2 that really annoys me - in their tiny little brains they resolve the simple paradox they create.

But it's #3 that really torques me off.

3. God can't LEARN.

This is back to the old question "Can God make an object so big he can't move it." It's a basic paradox but to resolve it with this declaration is obscene. It's no wonder these people continually give all their money away to television evangelists.

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