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April 14, 2006
It doesn't take a flock to be dangerous

It's Friday. It's sunny. I'm in a good mood. I'm at lunch. I haven't read the news.

This? Is not a political post. Not even buried secretly at the very end. No current issues. Not topical. No headlines. No thoughts about problems and solutions. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I'm just typing.

I'm thinking blogging thoughts of the meta variety.

I have this blog where I'm hoping to sound more intelligent than I am.* (I don't know why. When I started it, I thought it might be fun. So little of what I do requires any gray matter. Now, lo these many years later, I'm not finding that maintaining even a slight faÁade gets any easier.) Sometimes I get tired of the struggle to sound intelligent, thoughtful, and concerned. I get fed up with being reasonable and open-minded. I'm exhausted by the effort it takes to restrain my inner wingnut.

I have another blog, where I'm trying not to sound embittered and suicidal (humor is so tricky in prose) while discussing my personal and professional life. Sometimes I just post silly entries. Long, rambling posts about imaginary worlds where I live under a bridge in a climate of perpetual sunshine and 70-degree temperatures. Exhaustive lists of the many and interesting things I'd fill my time with if I were independently wealthy and not locked into an office every day. Wistful fantasies about the ideal work environment. Bitter screeds about the idiocy of my co-workers, employer, or fellow commuters. All the things that wouldn't be apropriate here. **

And just recently I added one where I'm supposed to be interesting and maybe even entertaining because it's actually being read by personal friends and people who know where I live and who can hunt me down and beat me if I'm tedious and self-indulgent. ***

It's a strain.

I don't suppose you'd be interested in an off-the-wall and highly improbable theory about how the decline of western civilization is the direct responsibility of the televised soap opera?

I figured not.

I have a job where I have to keep track of all my hours and turn them in every day (I'm having lunch now, which is the only time I blog while at work), so I really can't be messing around with these things during the day. If I try to update this one in the evening, that doesn't leave much time for the others. If I update all three, that doesn't leave much time for a life.

As soon as I run out of words, I'm going to stop talking in one, two, or all three of them.

The problem with the world o'political blog is that so much of it (I refer only to the bits I associate with, of course) is inhabited by grown-ups. I find grown-ups a bit wearing to hang out with for too long.

I never quite got the hang of maturity.

If I look out my office window and see the window-washer's rope dangling and twitching on the other side of the glass, grown-ups are not interested in hearing the resulting story that pops into my brain about how if you could get outside the window and climb the rope, you'd find that the roof of this building is the gateway to another reality and that said twitching is being caused by a struggle between a giant dumnorf and a flock of kweedits, each of whom want to slide down the rope, one to eat us all up and the other to bring universal enlightenment to the entire planet. And you have fifteen seconds to figure out which is which and who you're going to support and what do you do?****

But you can't post a story like that in a Serious Blog. Not even if what you really wanted to say was that it's really cool to have an actual office again, especially one with a really good view of downtown Denver and the mountains. And nice, clean windows!

28 minutes exactly. Lunch break over.


* Okay, so I'm thinking it's probably pretty obvious I started making stuff up right about here. At least, I hope it is. Especially in conjunction with this post.

** That one is fun. I find that being inane, unlike being "intelligent" or "interesting," being "inane" comes very easily to me. You've heard of random word association? I think of those posts as random thought disassociation. Stream of half-consciousness. (With extra commas thrown in so you can make your own punctuation.)

*** Oddly, even though I maintain three blogs, I do have friends. My friends are very indulgent around my many failings. They even tolerate the way I never shut up about myself.

**** For those uncertain, the answer is obvious. What do you do? You get a better grip on reality.

Everyone knows dumnorfs don't slide.

They do bounce. And occasionally they sing, but only the "Jingle, Jangle" song, which was gay and cowboy long before "Brokeback" was a whisper in the author's brain. (Although, to be fair, they think "spurs" are a kind of coffeepot. Dumnorfs are passionately fond of coffee, which they use to rinse off their gowels each week.)

Kweedits can slide, using their tails, but they prefer not to since they're prone to getting tangled in their jewelry. They don't sing, although one was once suspected of humming in an elevator and instantly put to death.

At least one of these species are vegetarians, although that doesn't mean there what it means here.

Everyone in that reality is universally terrified by blimps. Also by all things orange, which they consider an inexcusably, criminally ugly color that should never have been invented. (And they'd like to speak to someone in charge about it.)

There is no creature in that reality that would not sell its grandmother for a ball of yarn and a spark plug. If you throw in a big, pink eraser, they'll sacrifice their first-born to you and worship you as a god.

"Universal enlightenment" doesn't mean what you think it does, either.

Does your brain every worry you?

Posted by AnneZook at 01:18 PM | Comments (5)
April 12, 2006
Inappropriate Rant

Because I couldn't put it in the comments. The commenter said nothing to deserve such a hostile response. And yet...here it is.

So. You're "pro life"? How nice for you.

But only some lives, right? Not all of them.

Because you don't all feel that a woman's life is of as much value as a fetus's existence. Many of you think the very existence of a fertilized egg should take priority over a woman's life, her health, and even the well-being of any children she might have already borne.

Some of you think if a teenage girl is raped by her father, she should have to carry the fruit of that rape. Some of you think if a woman is walking into her house after work one night, and she's raped and impregnated, she should not only have to bear the child, but she should be forced to invite the rapist into her life and give the monster visitation rights to "his child."

I mean, do you feel that a woman is not entitled to medical care or medication if she's had an abortion?

Do you support a woman's right to choice when her life or health are in danger? If I have brain cancer and I get pregnant and the doctor says it's me or the baby, can I have an abortion?

Do you or do you not support a woman's right to choice in cases of incest and/or rape?

Do you support a woman's right to choice in cases where tests throw doubt on the viability of the fetus?

And, you know what? Aside from those questions, from just where do you believe you get the right to try and impose your private moral code on my private life?

My body. My genetic heritage. My health risk. My future on the line.

My. Choice.

When was the last time you demonstrated, wrote letters, waved signs, or screamed about the deaths of innocents across the globe who are already born?

Or do you believe that the already born are their own problem, outside of their reproductive systems?

If the "pro life" people cared even a fraction as much about the living as they do about a pea-sized fetus, then maybe we'd all be working to actually make life better for people. Thousands of abused, beaten, starved, or even murdered infants, toddlers, and children in this country could be saved.


Allowed to live.

But, no. Being "pro life" is not actually about the living.

The living are messy. Standing outside abortion clinics and passing judgment on women you know nothing about, writing hostile letters, waving placards, chanting silly slogans, and suchlike are a lot simpler. And cleaner.

It's easier to try and victimize women passing by you than it is to look at the face of an abused child and realize that, had you cared, had you tried, you might have been able to prevent it, isn't it?

Your way, you get to feel all sanctimonious about how you're 'doing good', but you don't have to look any really unpleasant reality in the face.

You so-called "pro life" types have neither the right nor the knowledge to pass judgment in the way you're passing judgment. You're arrogant and hypocritical.

Deep breath.

Okay. I'm getting far too hostile.

Bottom line? I'm anti-abortion and pro-choice.

I believe that a woman has the right to sovereignty over her own body and I believe that abortion should rarely ever be a choice she has to face.

I also believe that if we took the energy people put into fighting about abortion and put it into education, contraception, and aid, we'd cut the number of abortions in this country dramatically, while at the same time improving the lives of countless women, children, and men.

Abortion has to be a choice that's available, for many reasons. Abortion has been with us for a long, long time. Because it's been needed.

If you really disapprove of it, do something sensible. Work to make it unnecessary, not illegal.

But. You know. Until then? Keep your nose out of my body.

(And after that? Continue keeping your nose out of my body.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)
Death Sentence

Okay, so it's not okay to kill a foetus, but it's okay to kill a person. That's what the "moral Christian" anti-abortionists believe. We get that.*

Thank goodness for islands of sanity in this battle over a woman's right to control over her own body.


* It has long been a mystery to me how people can get away with claiming to be "pro-life" when they're really only pro-reproduction. And, if it needs to be said, anti-equality.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:23 PM | Comments (2)
April 11, 2006

There was a time when it would not have surprised me that slaughtering civilians, even in a war zone would have consequences.

I suppose most of you have read about Haditha, right? That's the place where 23 civilians were gunned down by USofA soldiers.

I don't entirely fault the soldiers. When you come under attack, it's natural to strike back. I do find myself wondering if they habitually find those who set traps with IEDs hanging around to see the results? Especially disguised as three year-old children, sound asleep?

I do fault the attempt to cover this up. Releasing stories that these people attacked the soldiers or that they were killed by insurgents? Please.

Anyhow. Because there were witnesses, these stories didn't hold up.

On Friday, the Marines relieved of duty three leaders of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, which had responsibility for Haditha when the shooting occurred. They are Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and two of his company commanders, Capt. James S. Kimber and Capt. Lucas M. McConnell. McConnell was commanding Kilo Company of the 3rd Battalion, the unit that struck the roadside bomb on Nov. 19 and led the subsequent search of the area.

You know how I feel about this. I feel that the officers leading the troops bear a heavy responsibility for keeping the troops in line.


There's really no "win" in this one, is there?

Posted by AnneZook at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)
Sanctified Intolerance

So, it's come to this.

Bigots are now filing lawsuits defending their right to be (and act) like bigots.

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

Many codes intended to protect gays from harassment are illegal, conservatives argue.

The illegality comes in because we're interfering with their "right" to "worship" their "god" by preaching hate or something like that, I dunno. Religion doesn't make that much sense to me under the best of circumstances.

Anyhow, this chick is suing her university because they won't let her give hate speeches about homosexuals.

"The message is, you're free to worship as you like, but don't you dare talk about it outside the four walls of your church," said Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Assn. Center for Law and Policy, which represents Christians who feel harassed.
Bullshit. You can worship as you like, when you like, and where you like, as long as youíre reasonably private about it. The only thing you canít do is shove your primitive prejudices and bigotries down anyone elseís throat. But thatís the real crux, isnít it? They donít care about their own right to worship. What they really want is for the law to codify their right to convert others, forcibly if necessary.

The want hatred, intolerance, and narrow-minded superstition to rule this country, instead of rational law.


Ahem. Yes, I found the story distasteful. Even disgusting.

To take the bad taste out of my mouth, I went and read The Kingdom of Christ. Fascinating.

(My dislike of "organized religion" is equaled only by my complete fascination with mythology.)

Posted by AnneZook at 06:02 PM | Comments (2)
April 10, 2006
Sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed....

Records show people in election phone jamming called White House

--Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 -- as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

The national Republican Party, which paid millions in legal bills to defend Tobin, says the contacts involved routine election business and that it was "preposterous" to suggest the calls involved phone jamming.

This Administration? Involved in anything like Tricky Dick's Dirty Tricks? Preposterous!

(You can tell he's innocent. The Rebublican Party spent millions defending him? Would they do that to keep him from if he might implicate the White House?)

While national Republican officials have said they deplore such operations, the Republican National Committee said it paid for Tobin's defense because he is a longtime supporter and told officials he had committed no crime.

You see? The goodness of their hearts.

(I'll bet there are records, you know. Someone knows whose phone number that was in 2002.)

I do have a serious question, though.

"If all you're pointing out is calls between Republican National Committee regional political officials and the White House political office on Election Day, you're pointing out nothing that hasn't been true on every Election Day," he said.

Are they actually allowed to run electioneering operations out of the White House? I thought that was against the rules.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)