Thursday, March 31, 2005

Two Definitions

Pulled from

lib·er·al Audio pronunciation of "liberal" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lbr-l, lbrl)
    1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
    2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
    3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
    4. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
    1. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
    2. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.

Synonyms: liberal, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, generous, handsome, munificent, openhanded
These adjectives mean willing or marked by a willingness to give unstintingly: a liberal backer of the arts; a bounteous feast; bountiful compliments; a freehanded host; a generous donation; a handsome offer; a munificent gift; fond and openhanded grandparents. See also synonyms at broad-minded
Antonyms: stingy

con·ser·va·tive Audio pronunciation of "Conservative" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kn-sûrv-tv)
  1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
  2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
  3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
    1. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
    2. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.

We report, you decide. How would you rather be known?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Nu Ma Nu Ma Iei

It looks I'm about two months behind the times on the latest internet phenomenon, but please don't take my cable modem or wireless router away, please. It took my 14 year old son to bring this jewel to my attention.

Apparently there's a Romanian band called O-Zone who took Europe by storm last year with a mega-hit called Dragostea Din Tei, which sounds very much like Eurythmics Disco (I don't mean that in a derogatory way; I like it). In this country, of course, we only listen or watch good ole' US of A fare (we've given Great Britain, Canada, and Australia a pass occasionally, as they speak the correct language), so it never took off here.

Enter some New Jersey teen and his webcam: A internet music video is born! Now there are several thousand websites with various iterations of it, and the kid's an unwitting cyber-star.

I've attached 2 versions: One with extra stuff edited into it, the other, pure.

Edited version with extra stuff
Pure original version
Lyrics (its in Moldovian)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Worst In Us

As the Terri Schiavo affair appears to be coming to a merciful conclusion, one can't help but reflect on all the conflicting impressions this will leave on our society and culture. One thing jumps out immediately: Despite the intellectual pundits who claim that we do not live in an ideologically deeply divided society, we do live in an ideologically deeply divided society which at times can seem to find no common ground. But this was a bit of a different division. Numerous polls indicate that instead of the 50-50 (left right) split we've come to expect over the last 4 years, this issue brought more of 70-30, or even 80-20 difference, effectively separating the mainstream conservatives from the extremists and pseudo-christians.

Some have written that this issue has demonstrated the best in us, with strangers maintaining a continuous vigil outside the Florida hospice where Ms. Schiavo resides, sending letters of support, and sending their 10 year old kids to be arrested for trying to bring her a symbolic cup of water.

This may be, but it has also brought out the worst in us. As usual, we have the hate-mongers who have persecuted Circuit Court George Greer and his family for the last 5 years. Judge Greer, described as a conservative christian, is the judge who originally ordered that Ms. Schiavo's wish be granted, that she be removed from artificial life support, and has repeatedly upheld that order through several legal challenges since. It was a very brave position to maintain given the endless stream of injury and death threats against his family and him. Ironic, the "right-to-lifers" making death threats......

Then there's the US Congress, meeting in an emergency session to pass cynical legislation which can only be applied to a single individual in a nation of nearly 300 million people for purely political gains (which may have backfired on them). And Jeb Bush, nearly causing an old west-style showdown between two law enforcement agencies as he tried to stage a quasi-legal raid on the hospice to kidnap Ms. Schiavo and bring her to another facility.

Lastly one must look at the parents. No parent could help but be sympathetic with parents facing the loss of a child, I can't think of a sadder situation. But the Schindler's have shown a particularly ugly side the last few weeks, which I have not seen before in the 2+ years I've been following this story. Whether its their healthy appetite for media attention, their using the federal and state judicial systems for their own personal playground, or their seemingly total disregard for their daughter's wishes (whom they lost 15 years ago), they have become very selfish and self-centered. One wonders what must be going through the minds of the less fortunate who can't get justice or proper medical attention, or of parents who have lost sons and daughters in a war against a country who was of no threat to us, and who's reasons are murky at best.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Right of Privacy


This, from the Friday March 25th edition of USA Today, The Nation's Newspaper and Sooray's favorite periodical. They quote an inciteful editorial from The Arizona Republic

When Congress hustles back from vacation to pass emergency legislation affecting but one American citizen, and the president does likewise to sign it, we have entered a realm not only of high drama but also of real consequences ... A government big enough, powerful enough, intrusive enough to butt into this affair is fully capable of butting into your affairs should it disagree with whatever agonizing choice you might someday be forced to make. We cannot begin to understand how that could possibly, in any way, be a good thing.

And on a personal note, I'm embarrassed to find myself "rooting" for the women's death, fearing that the dark forces will finally manage to contrive some 11th hour legal pretext to insert themselves once again into the situation. I am deeply sorrowful for all the parties rightly involved here, meaning the husband and the family. I am likewise horrified by all others claiming a dog in this race.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Rise and Fall.....

If there was any doubt as to the righties' commitment to eventually pack the federal courts with out-of-the-mainstream right extremists, or to abuse their absolute federal power by promoting an extremist rightie-ideological agenda, such doubt should have been removed this weekend with the cynical law rushed through congress to assist Terri Schiavo's parents with their relentless quest to artificially keep their comatose daughter alive. One just has to read a single line of the arrogant new law to understand the precedent it sets, and the shape of things to come. The law states that it gives "any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo" standing to sue in federal court to keep their daughter artificially alive. Screw states' rights, that's just a flowery phrase they throw into speeches to sound populist and noble. I can't think of anything these characters have done to date that demonstrates better their creed that the "rule of law" only applies when it agrees with your personal ideology. When it doesn't, simply change the rules. Welcome the the budding world of fascism!

So at least we're no longer talking about ANWR. I wonder what next week's topic-du-jour will be?

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Coming soon.......
Ahhhh....... Wait till I get started on this one! You'll NEVER guess which side of this I'm on! (I'll give you a hint..... I've personally been to ANWR, Kaktovik, and Prudhoe Bay many times) And no fair Wightie guessing, he already knows.

Friday, March 18, 2005


"What's the difference between an anti-choice Democrat and an anti-choice Republican? The Democrat will also care about the child after its born!"

I'm paraphrasing DNC Chair Howard Dean's recent comments, though I believe I've kept his meaning is intact. The recent hypocritical brouhaha raised by the righties over the Terri Schiavo situation is typical of their "moral" standings: stand on theoretical principal, but be conspicuously absent when real life filters in (unless the issue affects their family personally). Even the US House is weighing in on this one; court rulings over the last 10 years leading up to this day and its events aren't good enough for them. These are the guys who boast of the "rule of law" in the US; I guess that only means something when the judges uphold their point of view. Otherwise, its "change the rules". (I'm surprised the House has time to get involved, what with the other more weighty issues they have taken responsibility for, like steroid use in major league baseball) This poor woman. They don't care a lick about her or what they're dragging her family through. Funny, if the whole family was actually united to keep Terri artificially alive, and they needed some government assistance to do so, the righties would be as scarce as a Texan at a Parisian crepe judging contest.

Righties' main concern

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!

Grab a good, heavy breakfast before you hit the celebratory circuit!

Good American Common Sense

Finally, some intelligent, no-nonsense straight talk about Gay Marriage. Thank god there are folk with the courage to stand up for traditional family values in the midst of rampant depravity. I'd make some clever comments about this article, but I don't think I could make him look more foolish; that job has already been taken. This is the crowd that swept the November '04 elections, folks. Somebody's god help us.........

The Basic Idea of Marriage Is to Raise Kids [Fox News]
via: Wonkette

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Week's Potpourri

Naz-ti Byrd:
Another comical dust-up by the righties this week attacking Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va) for a speech in which they insist he likened them to Hitler and his Nazis. More hyperbole, IMHO, but see what you think. Then see Wonkette's recollection of some rightie Nazi accusations....... (When's it gonna be OK to historically compare political conditions to similar conditions in pre-war Germany without linking to the atrocities of Germany in WWII?)

Who you callin' "Elite"?!?: Interesting "celebrity" panel next week in D.C. discussing, among other things, "Is the Media Elite out of touch with America?". Does "Media Elite" mean publications like the New York Times which produce, thoughtful, intelligent, well researched, comprehensive articles (as opposed to USA Today, Fox and Newsweek)? And by "America" do they mean the folks who watch pro-wrestling and listen to Limbaugh? If yes to both, the answer would be, ah, no, not that much......

The Next War (sigh....): Looks like the Dubyas are so confident with Rove's approach (and why shouldn't they be?) that they're applying his election blueprint to public policy spin. The War on Social Security (to be followed by the Wars on Every Other Program To Help The Less Fortunate) now has its own Central Command.

Martha Makeover: Will we now see a kindler, gentler Martha? Regardless, the residents of New York State must be breathing a little easier knowing her movements are being monitored by an electronic ankle device. Alas, no more morning romps with the dog, the horses, or the reporters for the next 5 months......

Miracle Products: While Team W is busy making your life more miserable, there are still companies working to improve its quality through scientific advances. (Product One) (Product Two)

Finally........: A bumper sticker seen today: "What would Scooby do?"

Planet of the Chimps?


What can one say about the seemingly premediated attack by two chimpanzees Thursday in California? My first thought was that "beloved" Moe had told his buddies a markedly different story about his early days than that put forward by his human "family". The three of them then crafted and executed a horrifyingly precise escape and revenge plan. "Get your hands off of me you filthy apes!" - Taylor

Friday, March 04, 2005


"Hello? Mr. Flyboy? This is the Better Business Bureau calling. We need to speak to you on a matter of utmost importance concerning your company StumbleKing Enterprises? Would you please return our call as soon as possible?"

A dagger through my heart. Who's mad at me? What have I done wrong? Breathlessly I dial them back .....

Most folks think the BBB is a governmental agency charged with consumer protection. Far from it, first and foremost this membership based not-for-profit organization promotes itself.

The first rule of business is survival. Survival requires funding. Funding requires dues-paying members. Those dues pay for everything, including the salaries of all employees and directors. Some are large salaries. These then are the people responsible for enforcing the BBB code of conduct, interdicting poor and contrary business practices. With whom? Why those dues-paying members, of course. Do you smell what I smell?

When you see a company advertising with the BBB logo, you might think to yourself, "This is an honest company". What might be more accurate is, "These folks forked out the hush money to purchase a veil of legitimacy." Because that's what the BBB is selling. They're a protection racket, disguised as a consumer advocacy group.

Have a complaint? Take it to your Attorney General, who has the force of law in the arsenal.

Need a recommendation? Look to Consumer Reports as THE model on how to produce independent arm's-length evaluations -

To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. (Source

The BBB? That's paying your sister to tell her girlfriend what a great guy you would be to date.

So what did these jokers want from me? Why, membership of course. After scaring the bejesus out of me with their ominous we've-got-a-problem message, it turns out to be a common sales call. Perhaps they ought to read their own material -

BBBs champion marketplace ethics and hold member and non-member businesses alike accountable to the highest standards of honesty in their advertising and selling. (Source:

Yeah. What they said.
Lest this be attributed to an overzealous or misguided individual, I have been receiving these calls on average every six months for the past ten years. It is established sales technique.