Saturday, August 28, 2004

a day in history 

Although it is true bush is evil. There is one thing that happened on this August day many years ago. He could not prevent the birth of a very special induvidual. Yes it is Amy H natal day. Once she was the youngest, but now she is getting up there with the rest of us. We are glad to have you Amy. Don't change !! We love you !!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Time to question what our other great leaders were doing in Viet Nam 

With all of the talk about Kerry's war record, we don't want to leave out our Bush administration warhawks.

"Vice President Dick Cheney, another fierce administration hawk. Mr. Cheney asked for and received five deferments when he was eligible for the draft. He told senators at a confirmation hearing in 1989, "I had other priorities in the 60's than military service." Many draft-age Americans had similar priorities - getting an education, getting married and starting a family.

Attorney General John Ashcroft. He is reported to have said, "I would have served, if asked." But with the war raging in Vietnam, he received six student deferments and an "occupational deferment" based on the essential nature of a civilian job at Southwest Missouri State University - teaching business law to undergraduates.

Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary and a fanatical hawk on Iraq. He was not fanatical about Vietnam and escaped the draft with student deferments."


Don't need to mention the President's Viet Nam war record.

Bush, what is he good for? 

If Shrub gets elected again this year, he gonna have to work a lot harder.

The recent news from the US Census Bureau says poverty continues to rise. For the third year in a row the number of Americans who lack health insurance grew . . . to 45 million people. The report says that income heeld steady, which means it didn't shrink, but it also didn't grow.

Poverty. 1 in 4 blacks lives in poverty, a bit worse than the case for Hispanics. The total number of Americans who officially live in poverty stands around 35.9 million. Now it is important to understand what qualifies you as poor: a family of four cannot earn over $18810 a year. If you take that family and have both parents work 40 hour weeks, their hourly pay works out to $9 an hour. So if you make $12 an hour your just low income. Indiana has a relatively low poverty rate compared to the nation and our neighbors.

Health insurance. Bushie has a plan too help with the health insurance issue. His plan would provide an additional 1.3 million Americans with insurance over the next four years. With the new stats from the US Census, that number won't quite cover the 1.4 million citizens who lack health coverage.

More on America's health care safety net. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/27/opinion/27krugman.html?hp

Why do you think our current for-profit multi-payer health insurance program is the best choice? How do we compare to other countries? How much does it cost them per capita? What is the life expectancy here as opposed to other industrialized countries? The answers are easy to find.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bob's Minitel. Inexpensive. Clean-like. Get what you pay for. But no musicmachine.
Room includes used ice.
Super8 probably dirtier. Dollar Inn wurst.
Filthy filthy dishrag towels and used and abused comforter.
Comforter used as bed towel.
Free ashtray smeeell. Free unwashed cup with lipstick staine.

dead roach in ashtray. Bloody handprint on door. Hobo camp outside in parking lot with loud boisterous 3am renditions of "Jimmy Crack Corn".

people in next room consider it their summer home.

Global Warming and The White House 

From the New York Times:

"The White House, through the President's Science Adviser, has sent a report to Congress stating that global warming from 1950 to 1999 is unlikely to have occurred by natural processes alone."

"The new report, online at www.climatescience.gov, is accompanied by a letter signed by Mr. Bush's secretaries of energy and commerce and his science adviser."

Global climate change is happening and we are to blame. The report goes on to explain some of the changes we can expect to see. And most of them are not for the better.

For years, folks like Rush Limbaugh have been saying global warming is just a bunch of hot air. Libertarian and right wing groups for years have provided reactionary rebuffs to the science that says humans can have an impact on the global climate. Right wing think tanks specialize not on pure research but with a focus on reasons that environmental science is wrong. Focusing on disproving global warming is important for right wing and libertarian thinkers, because if climate change is proved to be true, they will have a problem that is not easily solved by free markets and 'government lite' and , gawd forbid, international cooperation.

"Myron Ebell of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute said the report was "another indication that the administration continues to be incoherent in its global warming policies.""

Incoherent? Yes. The White House is incoherent because it would like to agree with all of the industry lobbyists it represents, but there is too much damn evidence pointing to the fact that global warming is real. The White House is very much into pushing 'voluntary' compliance to environmental standards. Voluntary will not work. Americans aren't voluntarily losing weight, even though they should. Drug runners aren't voluntarily quitting the drug trade. People don't volunteer to drive the speed limit or to not pirate music.

Companies cannot volunteer to spend more on pollution controls while their competitors continue to go the cheaper dirtier route. Industry mandated pollution controls even the playing field. All parties must comply.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Stun Guns to be Banned in Marion County 

Residents could face a $250 fine for purchasing stun guns in Marion County under a proposal introduced Monday in the City-County Council -- a legislative body that rarely has delved into weapons control.


"If a subject uses a stun gun and incapacitates an officer, he can then get in control of the officer's weapon and use it against him," said Democrat Sherron Franklin, the measure's sponsor, who represents Lawrence Township.

So someone who owns a stun gun wouldn't just happen to own a handgun also? If you are shooting a cop with a stun gun, you wouldn't need the officer's gun to kill him. You could just brain him with a lampstand. I wouldn't expect the above scenario to happen very freakin often. It's just a dumb idea. And if I was a police officer and had a choice of being shot with a stun gun or a .38, I'd pick the stun gun.

Don Davis of Don's Guns said doing away with stun guns is one of the worst ideas he's heard in 30 years.

"That is so ridiculous," said Davis, who sells stun guns that start at about $34. "A stun gun will not hurt anyone."

Davis said the device -- like pepper spray -- is good for people who want to fend off an attacker without pulling the trigger on a gun. They've been around for years and "sell like crazy," he said.

Wouldn't we want to encourage people to purchase safer alternatives to handguns for personal safety?


Number of fairgoers to this years 2004 Indiana State Fair.
Indiana. We love our state fair.

And what a deal. $6 gets you into mucho entertainment. Really more than you can see in a day. Yeah, we spent money on Duck sandwiches and on both Steak-on-a-Stick and Key Lime Pie on a Stick. And you have to buy a ticket to ride the amusements. But this is way cooler than an ala cart Kings Island.

And a better value. We went last Sunday with my mom and dad.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Sea of Flesh, Animal & Human 

Ah the Indiana State Fair- the best $6 expenditure you can make this time of year. I went with husband and in-laws on Sunday, and although at times I felt adrift in a sea of human flesh it was a very good afternoon overall. Some things I saw: huge glistening black Percheron horses being hosed down. Slightly sinister looking hogs, one of which was "talking" loudly to no one in particular. Tiny baby rabbits that made me squeak in delight. Large well crafted quilts, one after the other, worthy of their own exhibit hall. Watched an exhibit of some microwave steamer gadgets and ended up buying them with visions of Chinese dumplings dancing in my head. Sat next to a woman in a cowgirl get up worthy of an early kd lang eat a deep fried Twinkie with no enthusiasm. Watched the sun slide down wrapping up a good day with the family.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Olympics: Good Time for All 

By the time the 2000 Games were half over, the Olympians had exhausted the initial supply of 80,000 gold, silver and bronze condoms that had been available for the taking from large bowls that dotted the (Olympic) village. Another shipment of 20,000 promptly appeared, but it didn't last long.

The ancients would have understood distribution of 130,000 free condoms in the Olympic Village this month. Few cultures have worshiped physical perfection as the Greeks did.

They might not have understood the inclusion of so many women athletes. None were allowed in the Games back then.

"It's all about safe sex ... and there's tons of that going on," says Diane Jones Konihowski, the three-time Olympian pentathlete who was Canada's chef de mission in Sydney. "That's the fun of it, I suppose. You're not going to find a better hotbed of bods. I mean, athletes are very physical people by nature, and there are some really nice specimens walking around.

"You're living in a fantasy world. You've got maid service, you don't have to cook any meals. The hormones are raging. It's sort of a natural phenomenon."

Adds Canadian cyclist Curt Harnett, who won three medals in four Olympics: "I never came across any orgies. But it was evident. (Sex) was everywhere. Everybody knew it. They don't give away thousands of condoms for no reason. For four years, your life revolves around the competition, and once that's over, it's time to blow off some steam."



Friday, August 13, 2004

Got my story told. At the Black Keys website, http://www.blackkeys.net/
I have pics from the 2004 INdy Jazzfest with the Black Keys.
Next week I have an appointment for another XRAY.
Hopefully I'll be ready to tap my feet again.

Yo Baby Momma 

A mother, Stephanie Michelle Gillum, was shot down near a Carmel, Indiana park this week. The most likely suspect is the father of her 5 month old son, Willie Dumes, who has restraining orders against him. Dumes has several priors. From the Indianapolis Star, Dumes has these fine words about Gillum.

"I love my baby momma more than I love myself," he said in a telephone interview.

Looking up 'baby momma' on Urban Dictionary will get you this: Derisive name for the ho that mothered your child when you have no intention of ever making an honest woman out of her. Man, I'm too drunk to drive home tonight, I better call up my baby momma fo' a ride.

The Urban Dictionary is a little suspect as a resource since anyone, inluding myself, may add their own definitions.
Another search for 'baby momma' gets an argument about Kweisi Mfume, and his children.


Too bad this 5 months old baby's mother couldn't get more respect.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Norman Mailer and His Son 

Second or third story down this link on Boing Boing is a brief conversation between Norman Mailer and his son about the next presidency. I would have posted the direct link but I noticed our old Clifton neighbor David Pescovitz posted the link on Boing Boing.

The conversation I agree with. Corporations continue to entrench themselves into our soil. Many people in this country may feel it, but not see it. Whether you like Ralph Nader or not, he is trying to make Americans see. I don't view all corporations or their employees as evil. I think most of the problems with corporations are unintended consequences.

Most people who run or work for corporations intend for good things to come from their labors. But the very nature of corporations and the way they interact with one another produce effects that are harmful to the planet, to our children, and to our souls. History has never seen the likes of the modern corporation. Our founding fathers had some ideas, but they were never confronted with them.

We can adjust how we live with corporations. The beast can be brought under control.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Anniversary Number XIII

Ab and I were married 13 years ago today. We celebrated over the weekend with a canoe trip down the White River, a stopover at Camp Chesterfield, dinner at Scholar's Inn, and listening to a couple of bands at Radio Radio.

You can have an extemely relaxing and easy float on the White River if you go to the Shelton Family's Canoe Country canoe rental in Daleville, Indiana. The Shelton family offers clean new canoes and kayaks for trips running canoes between Muncie and Anderson. The White River averaged about 2.5 feet deep for most of the trip. Huge cottonwoods and sycamores provided shade for most of the trip. Kingfishers and lesser sandpipers accompanied us the entire trip. Canoe Country has a no booze policy -- I didn't miss the beer nor did I miss the crowds of drunks that you get on some of the other Hoosier streams. At the end of the trip, Mr. Shelton offered us a couple of ice cream sandwiches since it was our anniversary. And one of the young attendants, possibly a granddaughter, listened with interest as Abby told of all mishaps she had to endured since she married me.

On the way out to Yorktown to be dropped off at the launch, we met the elder Shelton, who has been married 65 years. I must point out once again, the Shelton's epitomize small town friendly Hoosier folk. I would canoe there again tomorrow.


We met up with Pat Garvey and Kim Bennett Atkins and her son, Nathan, at Camp Chesterfield in Chesterfield, Indiana. I had never visited the historic Spiritualist enclave before. The grounds have a good feeling. At the very least, Camp Chesterfield deserves a trip because it is Indiana living history. It has recently been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Its Sunflower Hotel is a classic example of a kind of building that is pretty much gone. Hotels of this type once were common near mineral springs and other recreational areas.

Spiritualism has its promoters and its detractors. The criticisms stem mainly from charlatans who took advantage of other peoples beliefs with parlor tricks. Many of the critics will probably not tell you that their bias has more to do with their own traditional dogmas. While I do not believe in some of the things espoused by spiritualists, most of their beliefs are as valid as those of more traditional religions. Today Camp Chesterfield is still alive with believers.


After dinner at Mass Avenue's Scholars Inn, we went down Virginia Avenue to Fountain Square's Radio Radio. We caught a great band, Walker Kong, from Minneapolis. They were a lot of fun and had good stage. The next band, a local favorite, Brando, were pretty good, although we were getting pretty tired at this point, so some of their stuff was lost on us.

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