Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
From Yahoo News:
"We are not going to die for property," said Tom Harbour, national director of fire and aviation management for the Forest Service. "It's time for homeowners to take responsibility for the protection of their homes."
... Federal firefighters could scale back structural protection without too much political fallout, but that would not be easy for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which answers to the governor, said John Maclean, a federally certified firefighter and the author of several books on wildfire disasters ...
"There is an expectation on the part of a lot of people that somebody better get in there and do or die for their house," Maclean said. "If you stop doing that and you stop taking reasonable risk to protect structures, you'd have a new governor in about five minutes."
He's right, of course. One of the people who lost his home said, "What is the purpose of the fire department? Are they just going to stand around and watch?"
Well, actually, yes. That is, if you're not rich. This is a story from a Phoenix TV station:
MESA, Ariz. -- A Gilbert family whose home burned to the ground while town firefighters refused to douse the flames will get a bill from the private fire company that eventually responded.
The double-wide mobile home in an unincorporated county area on South Higley Road was destroyed Wednesday night.
Gilbert firefighters responded to the blaze and made sure no life was at risk, but did not fight the fire under a town policy because it is in an unincorporated area.
Instead, the Rural/Metro Fire Department went to the fire as a courtesy, but they came too late to save the home.
Rural/Metro officials said they'll bill the family about $10,000 dollars anyway.
The county island fire protection issue has simmered for more than a year.
Rural/Metro ended subscription service, and county island residents voted against joining Gilbert to get protection. So for now, Gilbert officials say they will not get fire protection.
I don't know who I hate more--the money grubbing idiot developers who build fancy houses in fire zones or the money grubbing idiot politicians who put dollar signs ahead of doing the right thing.
As for the trailer park that refused to be incorporated in order to receive fire protection, I guess I'll quote Dr. Phil: How's that working for you?
So I turned on a brighter lamp. Held it up closer to my eyes. Then held it farther away and the letters came into focus.
Goddammit. I need bifocals.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I have agoraphobia. It's really difficult for me to even leave my apartment some days and it's always hard for me to go anyplace where there will be a crowd. I can tolerate it better if I have someone to go with but I never feel like I can ask anyone to go with me.
I could have forced myself to get dressed and go up there, I could have maintained an appearance of quasi-normalcy while I stood in line and found a seat. But there's no way I could sit there for an hour or more in a crowded room and try to make small talk with strangers or worse yet, sit there while everyone around me was talking to their friends and I had no one to talk to.
So I didn't go. And now I want to slash my wrists.
I've been wanting to do that all day. All week. For the last 30 years really.
The picture is from a new website called lolpresidents. It's a take off on the lolcats phenomenon and I love it. If this picture doesn't convince people that humans are descended from apes, I don't know what will.
But then, maybe I'm making a leap by assuming Bush is human.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Turn offs: Republican pit bull Elisabeth Hasselbitch
Monday, May 21, 2007
“Knowing love, I shall allow all things to come and go, to be as supple as the wind and take everything that comes with great courage. My heart is as open as the sky.”
If she becomes First Lady, she plans to use Princess Diana as her role model. I know that's a long shot but the more I learn about this guy the more I like him. Maybe it's the Mr. Spock haircut and vaguely Vulcan ears. Or just the fact that he can attract a hot young chick and has the balls to stand next to her even though he looks like an elf.
He's a vegan but she still likes dairy products now and then. She's British and she learned her new age philosophies from her mother. Oh yeah, and she wears a tongue ring. (timesonline)
The nurse on duty said that she'd already been treated and they weren't going to do anything for her. The police finally came and were in the process of hauling her off to jail when she died. Perforated bowel.
I've had a few trips to the emergency room over the last 20 years. Enough to know that what happened to Rodriguez isn't that unusual. If you're fat and poor and perceived as crazy, they just want you to leave. It's always been that way.
But nowadays, it's not only poor people who go through this. This is from an op/ed piece by Richard Pretorius:
My mother's last scream pierces my conscience as I try to fall asleep in a lonely house. Eight months after her death, my mind still wanders to the image I'll never be able to escape: She is gushing bloody vomit as I hold her, yelling for help and pulling desperately on the call cord in her room.
No one shows up, so I have to leave her and run up and down the halls of the care facility she has been sent to, shouting for the night aides. They arrive, too late. One puts a stethoscope to my mother's heart and tells me she is gone. The cancer has killed her, as the doctors had said it would. But did it have to be so horrific?
The story of my mother's death is a cautionary tale of modern medicine. It's a story of profits placed ahead of patients, of medical professionals protecting their own and of the dying elderly being treated as if they were already dead. Unless something changes in our medical system, I fear that what happened to my mother will happen again and again.
I emailed Pretorius after I read his article and told him that he's naive if he thinks profit-motivated medical neglect only happens to elderly people who are dying. My mother got jerked around one way and then the other during her hospitalization after she suffered a stroke during surgery. He replied that he had heard from about 2 dozen doctors after his article appeared at The Washington Post, who agreed that it was awful but most say it's out of their hands.
Whose hands is it in then?
What's so frustrating is that the patients and their families are left on their own to try to negotiate with hospitals and insurance companies to get the proper treatment and find a way to pay for it. This article on MSN discusses how your insurance might cover the hospital and he surgeon but not the anesthesiologist or radiologists or other specialists involved in your care. So the patient is supposed to call ahead of time to make sure each of these specialists is on their plan, and to find a substitute if they're not or ask for a better price for the procedure.
The whole system is insane.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history. The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”
The response from the monkey house? Carter is "irrelevant."
I can't stay focused long enough to write anything worth reading. Right now, it's all I can do not to slash my wrists. So I put up some kitty pictures because they make me happy. Sort of. For a few seconds anyway.
One of the hottest trends on the internet is lolcats or cat macros. I found these particular pictures on I Can Has Cheezburger?
Friday, May 18, 2007
If I had Photoshop, I'd merge the two pictures together but you get the idea.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Matt Foreman, executive director of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, extended condolences to those close to Falwell, but added: "Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America's anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nation's appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation."
... In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive ... A month later, his National Liberty Journal warned parents that Tinky Winky, the children's TV character, was a gay role model and morally damaging to children.
And of course, the highlight of his career came in the days after 9/11 when he blamed gays and people who provide abortions for the attacks. He said:
"I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians ... all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say: you helped this happen."
If there is a hell, I'm sure I'll end up there because the only reason I'm sad to see him die is that he was getting more and more ridiculous (and therefore entertaining) in his old age.
Monday, May 14, 2007
... the public "seems to prefer the news from white guys." In an interview with the CBS blog Public Eye, Mason said she has concluded from the downward trend of Couric's ratings and the upward trend of Charles Gibson that viewers "want the reassurance of a Walter Cronkite." Mason suggested that she was surprised by the failure of the public to latch on to Couric. "I had no idea that a woman delivering the news would be a handicap. And I'm afraid that Katie's paying a price for being the first woman. But I think it's a great trail that she's blazing, and I think if the broadcast continues to be as good as it has been, if we continue to break news, if we continue to tell interesting stories, people will start to watch."
No, Linda, it wasn't the fact that she was female. All of my friends and I eagerly tuned in for Katie's first week on the evening news and found Nooz Lite. It was cute and spunky but seriously lacking in substance. If you had been breaking news (and by news, I mean what's going on in the world besides Britney shaving her head) and told interesting stories, we would have continued watching.
Another thing: We like to get our news from real people. Not digitally, cosmetically, or surgically altered mannequins, which is what Katie looks like in every publicity photo CBS puts out. There is nothing in that picture that looks like the lovable, very human Katie we thought we knew.
I watch Charlie Gibson because he tells the story. No gimmicky bullshit. No winking at the camera.
Further evidence of network idiocy, also found on IMDb: NBC cancelled "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." One of the reasons they cancelled it was because they had spent too much on promotion and it didn't pay off with the big audience they expected. But their promotional campaign was part of the problem. They overhyped it. They promised us something extraordinary and ground-breaking but gave us something good that had the potential to become great. When you're expecting extraordinary, good is a disappointment.
Also, Amanda Peete is a dork and she has this weird thing she does with her neck when she's trying to be dramatic. She was badly miscast as a network executive. And it was too soon for Josh, er, I mean Bradley Whitford, to show up in a new drama. Josh wearing glasses on his head is still Josh. And Chandler was still Chandler.
Their new characters would have grown on us if the network gave us time to get used to them before they started jerking us around by threatening to cancel the show.
Which is another symptom of their overall idiocy. Very few people I know are willing to commit the time to watching a new drama because chances are it will get cancelled just when we're really starting to get into it. We've been burned way too many times. I know some people who Tivo new dramas and don't watch them until they find out whether or not the series got picked up. If it's cancelled, they delete the shows without watching.
The other problem is juggling time slots. I loved "The West Wing." Never watched a single episode after it got moved to Sundays. Same with "Medium." Loved it. Haven't watched since it got moved to Wednesday.
And while I'm on a roll: some of the new advertising gimmicks really suck. Product placements annoy the hell out of me. And those little popup ads that show up on the bottom of the screen promoting other shows during the show I'm watching are very disruptive. Especially the ones with sound effects.
Turn ons: the real Katie Couric with her crinkly smile
Turn offs: the plastic automaton in the picture
Sunday, May 13, 2007
That is a stand that will almost certainly lose him votes from the Christian right in next year's primary elections to choose the Republican party's candidate to succeed President George W. Bush.
But Giuliani believes that his stand will resonate with most Americans, who polls show to be against rolling back the Supreme Court's landmark "Roe v Wade" ruling permitting abortion even if they personally oppose the practice.
He said he was trying "to broaden the base of the Republican party" as issues surrounding terrorism and the economy "are so important that we have to have the biggest outreach possible."
The former New York leader is also under fire from Christian conservatives over his moderate positions on gay marriage and gun control, and his personal life -- he has been married three times.
Do you like the picture I posted of Mitt Romney? At least, that's what I see when I look at him. He was pro-choice before he was against it, anti-NRA before he was for it, and he told 60 Minutes, "I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy."
He can't imagine anything more awful? Really? Has he talked to any of the soldiers who returned from Iraq brain damaged and missing arms and legs?
George Carlin turned 70 yesterday. Here are ten of my favorite lines from him:
1. Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
2. A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.
3. You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.
4. There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large. “All of you words over here, you seven….baaaad words.” That’s what they told us, right? …You know the seven, don’t ya? That you can’t say on TV? Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits.
5. In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem.
6. Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.
7. The planet is fine. The people are fucked.
8. The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.
9. The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.
10. When you think about it, attention-deficit order makes a lot of sense. In this country there isn’t a lot worth paying attention to.Speaking of aging hippies, I just read an article that said nudist resorts are having a hard time attracting young people to join. At the Solair Recreation League in Connecticut, the median age is 55. The American Association for Nude Recreation has 50,000 members, and 90% of them are over 35. Robin Maguire, 27, recently attended a nudist event. She said:
“I hope to get the word out to younger people that hey, it is OK, and here's a safe place to be, a very accepting place,” Maguire said. “Unlike any other place in life, people actually look at you when they talk to you.”
Maybe that's the problem. I don't like having people look at me even when I have my clothes on. That's why I live online.
Turn ons: George Carlin
Turn offs: George Carlin naked
Friday, May 11, 2007
Do you know why we’re underwhelmed by this rumor? Because even if it’s a fact, which it probably is, there’s no way it would have any impact on Cheney’s “career.” This is a draft-dodging half-human war criminal with a pregnant lesbian daughter who tells senators to fuck themselves and shoots his own friends in the face. Ordering an outcall hooker is positively innocent compared to the well-known things Cheney does every day.
I couldn't agree more. But if this gets conservative panties in a twist to get rid of him, I'll take it.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Jacques Lansac, chairman of the French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, is leading the campaign against what he describes as "an attack on the dignity of women".
He has also issued advice against hymenoplasty – a surgical operation that involves reconstructing the membrane usually broken during the first act of sexual intercourse.
"We get more and more women coming in and saying that their brothers or fathers will kill them if they find out they've slept with a man. But it's important to say no, because if we don't we're giving in to the fundamentalists," Professor Lansac said.
What a paternalistic asshole. Of course it's wrong for a woman's body to be treated like property to be transferred from her father to her husband. But it's equally wrong for a doctor to tell her she can't choose the surgery if she wants it. While he's on his high horse protecting "the dignity of women," she's being beaten, shamed and humiliated by her family.
As I posted last week, I don't know why the bees are disappearing but today I found out why the butterflies are dying. The All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow opened a new butterfly house. Within the first four days, 200 of the 300 butterflies had been killed by children who visited.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the state's response was limited by the shifting of emergency equipment, such as tents, trucks and semitrailers, to the war in Iraq.
"Not having the National Guard equipment, which used to be positioned in various parts of the state, to bring in immediately is really going to handicap this effort to rebuild," she said.
If our country no longer has the resources available to help after weather disasters--hello, remember New Orleans?--how are we supposed to defend ourselves from a terrorist attack?
This is the real cost of the war in Iraq. Our country is more vulnerable than ever.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Yesterday, the judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail with no work release or furloughs, no electronic monitoring instead of jail, no paying to choose the jail she wants.
Her mother Kathy's response: "This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayer money with all this nonsense. This is a joke."
Which is how most people would describe Paris's life.
Hey, Mom, how about offering your daughter the guidance she's obviously been missing? Why not tell her to accept the consequences of her actions?
Lately, the Hilton hotel chain has been doing a lot of advertising. Every time I see one of their commercials, I think of Paris and I think sleazy. I wouldn't want to stay there. She has damaged her whole family's reputation.
A follow up on my Creative Writing post: The teenager who was arrested because of an essay he wrote has been allowed to return to classes. From Yahoo News:
"We all reached the same conclusion, which is that he's not a threat and never was a threat and he should be treated as such," said Loizzo [his attorney].
Loizzo contended the charges were a product of paranoia, born of the previous week's massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech ...
Finally, the guy in the picture is the surfer dude from the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff. I thought he was hot but most of my female friends didn't see the appeal. They said his abs aren't that great and his nipples are too big. But there's a gay men's message board where I lurk and those guys are drooling.
Turn ons: Chris Lowell, the surfer dude
Turns offs: the Hiltons
Friday, May 04, 2007
That leaves me somewhat confused. If he's now the Commander Guy, does that mean I have to stop calling him The Decider? Or does he spend some days deciding and other days commanding?
Turn offs: Rupert Murdoch, who's trying to buy The Washington Post and shut them up
"That means CBS and MSNBC both knew the language that was going out, and both knew the language complied with (Imus') contract. ... It was consistent with many of the things he had done."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
CBS is clearly in a bind, because not only does the contract require Imus to be "irreverent" and "controversial" but the document says those qualities are "desired by Company" and "consistent with Company rules and policies."
He never got a formal warning in all the years when he was spitting out racial and ethnic and sexist slurs day after day. He's suing for $40 million, the remainder of his contract. I hope he wins. Corporate hypocrites are more despicable than racists.
Speaking of suing, there's a judge in Washington, DC, who is suing a dry cleaner for $65 million because they lost his pants. Sounds like he lost his mind.
New subject: I have never wanted to go to Las Vegas but I do now. Elton John, Cher, and Bette Midler will all be performing there in the next year, replacing Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace. Time to start playing the lotto because I don't see any sugar daddies on the horizon.
The pictures? Pink the pop star is hugging a dolphin. Below that, a dildo that's a life-size replica of a dolphin's penis. It's 2" around the shaft and 7.5" from base to tip. In case you wondered.