The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Monday, January 23, 2006

toga, toga, toga

There is a crazy idea, started by Wm. Rivers Pitt, going around on the 'net...which I thoroughly support. To wit, the Democrats should walk out on Shrub's State of the Union Address.

Yeah, it's crazy. But incredibly simple. At an agreed-upon point, all Senators and Representives of the Democratic Party should silently stand up, and leave. Personally, I think they should hum "The Star-Spangled Banner" as they go, but I confess to seeing "Animal House" at a young age.

Watching W go Dean Wormer would be worth it, though...

I've got a draft of a letter, suitable for sending to Congressional Democrats; I suggest you cut and paste (most of the time, I've noticed to email a pol you have to use their form...eck). Be sure you put your own name in -- and better yet, get your like minded friends to let you sign them to it too, in a list. And send it to as many Dems in Congress as you can. We keep voting for these lousy bastids...they owe us one!

Text for letter below:

Dear Democratic Congressional Member,

In view of the current situation in our country, I urge you, and every other Democratic member of Congress, to make a bold, and long overdue, statement during the upcoming State of the Union address to be delivered by George W. Bush scheduled for the evening of January 31, 2006. On behalf of all of the people who voted against Bush, on behalf of all of the people in this country who have come to see that this president does not have the good of our country at the basis of his leadership, and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have come to realize that the president and his administration simply has bad judgement, I have a request:

Please get up and walk out of the televised event.

I, and many like me, think the most efficient form this basic protest could take is for the Democratic side of the aisle to walk out en masse.

I urge you and your colleagues to make this dramatic gesture in acknowledgement of the need for solidarity amongst elected Democrats, progressives, and the pragmatic. Our Constitution is being ignored, our people are being lied to, and the very existence of our country as a representative democracy is in danger of perishing from the face of the earth.

We’ve been told freedom isn’t free. I recall Thomas Jefferson reminding us that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

We, the people, ask you to do this, and uphold your oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

(your name here)

Al Franken plays the Faber Anthem while he covers What We Learned Today. Myself, I'm a happy grad of the School of Hard Knocks. I leave you with the immortal words of John (Bluto) Belushi:

LET'S DO IT!!!!!!!

(note to those copying...leave out the pic, alright? we want them to do this thing)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I have to ask...

...what's up with making the whales sick. Hell, suicidal! I'd like to share an article on sonar and sealife:

Now I don't claim to be an expert in military strategerie, certainly not on the level of our Commander and Thief, but does al Queda have a NAVY I haven't heard about? Best I've seen 'em muster on that one was a rowboat in a harbor, that attacked the USS Cole. I wouldn't think you would need sophisticated electronics to SEE a rowboat in broad daylight...

We need to curtail the activities that are so hurting these large, gentle creatures.

meldonna in the flesh

Full disclosure...I'm over the faux blonde look. The rabbit, however, is real.


hurts my soul

I said I would wait out of respect before I started raisin' hell. My own comments probably wouldn't have made any difference quickly...

But now in southwestern West Virginia, another two miners got trapped, and died, without enough O2.

And again, the mine they worked in has had CONSISTANT fines for non-compliance of safety regs.

It is obvious that simple fines do very little to protect the miners. Mines in violation of safety rules should be forced to SHUT DOWN until they remedy. Out here in the user world (people like me, who use electricity), the understanding is not as it is in mining country. But you don't have to be an Einstein to realize that safety has been sacrificed for profits. It's just not right.

We've been taught to hate unions here in the land of the Free...which is sad. Those blue collar guys who signed up back at the early decades of the 20th century, the ones who got beat up and knocked in the head for doing so, and still wouldn't quit, gave us many things that are taken for granted today.

The Forty Hour Work Week. The Eight Hour Day. The Weekend. OVERfuckingTIME!!!! People were killed, literally, so we can have Saturday to relax, and Sunday to go to church.

And ALL workplace standards started with the unions.

Enjoy your standard of life while it lasts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This Land is Your Land

And mine, too. From the Redneck Truckers, to the New York Subway. From the Detroit UAW, to the single-family Farmer, this Land belongs to you, me, and everybody else who works for a living. I'm talking about the people who break a sweat and get dirt under their fingernails. I'm talking about the garbageman, the nurse, the grocery clerk, the mail clerk, the construction worker, the miners, that grease monkey who changes your oil and tires, and that pimply-faced kid who served you your fries the last time you hit the McFood drive-thru. Few of these people get paid what they're worth, but these are the folks that have built America, and keep it running.

Not to mention the piddly wages we pay our teachers, and our daycare workers. Not only should we keep our schools public, I think public education should also include pre-K, as well. Do you know what kind of support parents in other developed countries get? For one thing, in a lot of places, maternity leave not only extends far beyond anything commonly offered in the U.S., they receive living wages from their government while on leave to give their little ones the quality early nurturing that any mom anywhere realizes is essential. This ain't rocket science, folks.

Then again, there is quite a bit we could learn from other countries. Like um, MINE SAFETY? Case in point: Australia requires safety stations in their mines, with the kind of accidents like the recent clusterfuck in West Virginia specifically in mind. These safety stations are basically reinforced steel rooms, with enough O2 and supplies for at least three days, plus secure communication capability. It doesn't make mining foolproof, but it goes a long way towards valuing workers...

I'm growing exceedingly tired of some folks -- they seem to be the same ones who will tell you with a straight face that military personnel understand when they 'jined up' that a military career involves the risk of combat. Oddly enough, these are often the same folks screaming "support the troops" at the top of their lungs. Now I'm hearing that the miners in West Virginia knew the risks, bladdda, blah, blah.

First off: Military folks are in that same working-class crowd. And not only do they deserve our support, it needs to be manifested more practically than a yellow ribbon magnet on the back of an SUV, or a bunch of lip service from assholes polishing a chair. The military gets paid shit wages to do a shitty job with shitty equipment. Not to mention that to imagine that a youngster of 17 going on 18 has the capacity to fully comprehend the risks, yet deny that same kid the right to have a beer legally, does seem a bit stupid, don't you think?

Second: If you think that the fact that coal mining is a dangerous occupation in any way mitigates the responsibility of the mine owners and the federal government's oversight to make it as safe as possible, you need to log off the 'net, turn off every electrical device and light in your home, then sit there in the quiet dark and contemplate the nationwide power grid, and the large role coal-powered plants play in it.

We need to work together to hold some feet to the fire on this...because it's all of us that deserve to go to work and come home alive.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

decent interval

If Bush was actually a Texan, a Southern born and bred boy, he would understand my feelings.

The folks in West Virginia are busy laying their loved ones to rest.

Come Thursday or Friday, I got some things to say.

Godspeed to the goodfolk.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Meanwhile, back in the Cresent City, the bulldozers come

You've got to get a court order not to plow under what's left of the Lower Ninth Ward? As far as I'm concerned, it 's still a CRIME SCENE, and there are many bodies (or, SKELETONS) still to be found and recorded.

The crime, of course, is murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. Not to mention the attempted, nay, accomplished diaspora of an entire city. Abuse and neglect...if your mom was drowning, and nobody would answer the phone at the police station?

If your whole family was in danger, and the WHOLE WORLD SAW IT, and nobody responded, even as you screamed for help, and the elderly neighbors drowned in the attics....negligent homicide.

Destroying evidence and burying the victims -- classic actions of guilty parties.

We even have motive -- the need for the area to become CajunDisneyCasinoland. At least one official got caught with his real hanging out when he was so proud God had cleaned out public housing.

But apparently there are more important things than Katrina's aftermath.

It's inportant to prosecute women over 30 that 15-year-old boys score with? Pardon me, but it's fairly common knowledge that many a 15-year-old male will copulate willingly with anything from inatimate baked goods to anything their buddies consider to be 'pussy', age, social standing, marital status unconsequesential. Oddly enough, at 15, there's a lot of folks that are horny, male or female. Honestly, I say screw the 'abstinance-only' crowd, and teach your kids the truth. Boy + Girl - condom = Baby, and Baby = 20 years, if you're lucky. In past times (like, when they wrote the Bible, the Koran, etc.) people got married about at 14, and died before they were 40. Under those constraints, maybe married for life didn't seem so long. Now we have to live six or seven decades, never mind QUALITY of life, and we wonder why there are such things as Mary Kay and Viagra. As well as Restless Leg Syndrome (but there's a pill for that!).

Acid Reflux Disease? Quit eating so much! Then there's that bee that's alergic to pollen. That's like a polar bear that's alergic to ice. I'm sure he exists somewhere, but meanwhile in the real world, polar bears are drowning in the Arctic because she's swimming to that which has been there for time beyond mind, and is no more.
As you see, there are so many things that break my heart, I don't know where to start or end. But that's okay. I got a feeling, in this coming year, a lot of fat chickens are going to come home to roost in this country.
Either that, or the fabled bird flu will roost...

A true pandemic of global proportion might lay low many, fools and wise both. In this country, it will at least rip up the drug industry enough that they won't have time to make up ailments to cure. And Bush will look like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, in the parade, screaming "all is well!!!"


Saturday, January 07, 2006

a time to reflect

My deepest condolences to the families as they prepare to lay their love ones to rest.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I just don't know what to say

A lady tonight, a member of one of the mineworkers' family, said it best.

"We're West Virginians. We may be dumb, but we love our families."

I came from the country myself, and I know country folk ain't dumb -- they're what makes us what we are.

There's a lot of us all over this country just besides ourselves. My deepest wishes go out to the families for strenght.

And I just don't know what more to say.

Thanks, Dave

I just watched David Letterman interview Bill O'Reilly, and for all of Dave's bullshit over the years, I'm proud to report he gave Bill every bit as much respect as he deserves. Similar to the one appearance Rush made on Letterman a few years back, Bill doesn't do so good talking the talk with a live audience, instead of studio appearances on morning shows, under control like his own program. Dave's audience cheered him on in saying to O'Reilly what a lot of us would like to, just as they did with Rush. The following is a transcript:

O'Reilly: "I think that the Iraq thing has been full of unintended consequences and it's a vital thing for the country and it's brutal, it's absolutely brutal. We should all take it very seriously. This simplistic stuff about hating Bush or he lied and all this stuff, does the country no good at all. We've got to win this thing. You have to win it. And even though it's a screw-up, giant, massive, all right, right now, for everybody's protection, it's best for the world to have a democracy in that country functioning and friendly to the West, is it not?"

David Letterman: "Yes, absolutely."

O'Reilly: "Okay, so let's stop with the lying and the this and the that and the undermining and let's get him. That is putting us all in danger. So our philosophy is we call it as we see it. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. Robust debate is good. But we believe that the United States, particularly the military, are doing a noble thing, a noble thing. The soldiers and Marines are noble. They're not terrorists. And when people call them that, like Cindy Sheehan called the insurgents 'freedom fighters,' we don't like that. It is a vitally important time in American history. And we should all take it very seriously. Be very careful with what we say."

Letterman: "Well, and you should be very careful with what you say also." [audience applause]

O'Reilly: "Give me an example."

Letterman: "How can you possibly take exception with the motivation and the position of someone like Cindy Sheehan?"

O'Reilly: "Because I think she's run by far-left elements in this country. I feel bad for the woman."

Letterman: "Have you lost family members in armed conflict?"

O'Reilly: "No, I have not."

Letterman: "Well, then you can hardly speak for her, can you?" [applause]

O'Reilly: "I'm not speaking for her. Let me ask you this question."

Letterman, referring back to O'Reilly's examples of a war on Christmas: "Let's go back to your little red and green stories."

O'Reilly: "This is important, this is important. Cindy Sheehan lost a son, a professional soldier in Iraq, correct? She has a right to grieve any way she wants, she has a right to say whatever she wants. When she says to the public that the insurgents and terrorists are 'freedom fighters,' how do you think, David Letterman, that makes people who lost loved ones, by these people blowing the Hell out of them, how do you think they feel, what about their feelings, sir?"

Letterman: "What about, why are we there in the first place? [applause] The President himself, less than a month ago said we are there because of a mistake made in intelligence. Well, whose intelligence? It was just somebody just get off a bus and handed it to him?"

Bill O'Reilly: "No."

Letterman: "No, it was the intelligence gathered by his administration."

O'Reilly: "By the CIA."

Letterman: "Yeah, so why are we there in the first place? I agree to you, with you that we have to support the troops. They are there, they are the best and the brightest of this country. [audience applause] There's no doubt about that. And I also agree that now we're in it it's going to take a long, long time. People who expect it's going to be solved and wrapped up in a couple of years, unrealistic, it's not going to happen. However, however, that does not eliminate the legitimate speculation and concern and questioning of 'Why the Hell are we there to begin with?'"

O'Reilly: "If you want to question that, and then revamp an intelligence agency that's obviously flawed, the CIA, okay. But remember, MI-6 in Britain said the same thing. Putin's people in Russia said the same thing, and so did Mubarak's intelligence agency in Egypt."

Letterman: "Well then that makes it all right?"

O'Reilly: "No it doesn't make it right."

Letterman: "That intelligence agencies across the board makes it alright that we're there?"

O'Reilly: "It doesn't make it right."

Letterman: "See, I'm very concerned about people like yourself who don't have nothing but endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan. Honest to Christ." [audience applause]

O'Reilly: "No, I'm sorry."

Letterman: "Honest to Christ."

O'Reilly: "No way. [waits for applause to die down] No way you're going to get me, no way that a terrorist who blows up women and children."

Letterman: "Do you have children?"

O'Reilly: "Yes I do. I have a son the same age as yours. No way a terrorist who blows up women and children is going to be called a 'freedom fighter' on my program." [mild audience applause]

Letterman: "I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap. [audience laughter] But I don't know that for a fact. [more audience applause]

Paul Shafer: "60 percent."

Letterman: "60 percent. I'm just spit-balling here."

O'Reilly: "Listen, I respect your opinion. You should respect mine."

Letterman: "Well, ah, I, okay. But I think you're-"

O'Reilly: "Our analysis is based on the best evidence we can get."

Letterman: "Yeah, but I think there's something, this fair and balanced. I'm not sure that it's, I don't think that you represent an objective viewpoint."

O'Reilly: "Well, you're going to have to give me an example if you're going to make those claims."

Letterman: "Well I don't watch your show so that would be impossible."

O'Reilly: "Then why would you come to that conclusion if you don't watch the program?"

Letterman: "Because of things that I've read, things that I know."

O'Reilly: "Oh come on, you're going to take things that you've read. You know what say about you? Come on. Watch it for a couple, look, watch it for a half hour. You'll get addicted. You'll be a Factor fan, we'll send you a hat."

Letterman: "You'll send me a hat. Well, send Cindy Sheehan a hat."

O'Reilly: "I'll be happy to."

Go, Dave. Somewhere Johnny is snickering his butt off.

****update**** thanks to jeff for helping me clean up this transcript and make it decent to publish.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Double time

Well, the W-VA Mountianeers pulled it out over GA in the Sugar Bowl...a big hug to them! They need some good news in West Virginia, and my love and hopes go out to the folks at the mine. As of 11:00 west coast time, there still no news good on the miners, and I sure feel for everybody involved.

Been talking to a fellow blogger, and wanted to pass on a thought I'd had...blogging is one thing, but bear in mind there's a vast amount of folks out there that don't even have a computer. Or if they do, only check their email. They still get their news from 'tha tee vee', and if you've watched any here lately, it just makes you want to cry. Not to mench there's a lot of military families out there, with a loved one in harm's way, that simply cannot bring themselves to think this country would ever fight a little country unless it's for a good reason.

It's on us to figure out how to get the message out that our troops are brave and true, and that we love and support them, and want our government to do more to respect and support them. And we want them not to be put in harm's way for the wrong reasons, ever.

It's also up to us to let the people know we think the new prescript drug deal stinks, we think the bankruptcy bill reeks to high heaven (that one's speaking for itself -- most people's minimum credit payments double this month), and farm subsidy shouldn't go to corporate conglomerates. Big Business run wild gave us the Depression...tell me it ain't happening again.

There's a lot of confused, frightened people in our heartland. Dad says kick ass. Mom says protect us all.

It's up to us to get the message to them, what's in danger is not their lives. What's in danger is their livelihoods, their standard of living, and their very ideals.

And we got to let the people know, we got Robber Barons in control of our country.

Get you a piece of paper and a pen, and write a letter to the editor. In tones of voice you would use with your great-grandmother. Send it to a paper "out in the sticks" as we used to say in to the real people of America. They're the ones that still believe in the dream. They just need more honest information.

Don't forget you're talking to Great Aunt Skeptic. Write to the papers in the little towns around where you grew up. Mention the fact that YOU don't understand the new prescription drug benefit. Hell, I don't. Just write a good letter to the editor of a small paper, on why you think people in the country are not getting their fair shake.

Trust me. There is more than one person in 'the sticks' that's still a little aggravated with the football players getting away with everything, and with the rich kids being so durn snotty.

I quote Lennon again -- power to the people.

A New Year, Let's Hope it's a Good One

I hope I've exhausted most of my angst about the cognitive dissonance of Evangelicism in 21st century America...I'm starting to bore myself on the subject. Let's leave it at Jesus knew war was wrong, no matter who or what you're waging it on. 'Nuff said.

On more secular planes, how 'bout those Seahawks??? Being a born a Southerner, I'm not sure I could call my interest in football secular, but my boys in blue-n-green are sure having a spectacular season. I've had a soft spot for the Seahawks for years, long before I ever knew I'd one day call Seattle home. Being my dad's daughter, I was raised watching NFL games always rooting fer the underdogs (We're from Arkansas -- our belov-ed Razorbacks have a history of being the underdogs; gives one a twisted but sincere sort of pride mixed with humility. And Lawdy, don't it make a winning season sweet!!!). I still believe in sportsmanship, and I have yet to hear a Seattle crowd boo it's own team...we're believers up here, bub. They might not always win, but they're our boys and girls (go STORM). And honestly, there are few things more refreshing to me than watching a good close football game. Sadly, I do yell at the TV, but what the hell. There are worse vices.

Yesterday I saw Shaun Alexander get stripped and fumble the ball. I was shocked, and with good reason. First time Shaun's let a ball get away from him this year. Like an old Razorbacker, I take it in stride (better now than later!). A fond goodbye to Mr. Favre (say it ain't so, Brett!) and I'm looking forward to the playoffs. Hey, how 'bout ol' Flutie? Good on him for an old fashioned extra point.

Must run and watch the rest of the Sugar Bowl...31 28 4th quarter. Good stuff.

I'll be back on my soapbox soon (Capitol One Bowl? Where the hell did that come from???). Peace and love, y'all.