Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Tomorrow begins act II of the horrid tragedy that set me to blogging in the first place. Inauguration means a beginning and beginnings usually bring to mind a new start; perhaps a chance to make right past wrongs. Perhaps just to set off in a new direction.

In the case of Bush's second coronation I think it only means the beginning of more. More of the abuses of power we've seen for the past four years; power in both the political and the literal sense.

Most of us on the left side of the blogosphere are writing about the upcoming inauguration in dread and our posts show it. I thought about writing something along those lines, but as I often do, even when I don't write in my own blog, I made a quick stop at Steve Bate's blog, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat. What I found there expressed every wretched feeling I have about BushCo. and tomorrow's display of unbridled glee as well as their unbridled donors' money. (If you want to know how much your favorite corporation "donated" for inaugural events, go here.)

But it also made me smile.

Go read Bush's Inaugural Balls.

It's the best thing you'll read on the subject anywhere.

Shop Your Heart

I got an e-mail today from Adam Jusko of He asked me to just post a link to his site, but after taking a look at what he's up to, I thought I'd not only put up a link, but I'd post on it as well.

Here's part of Adam's e-mail:

I am writing to introduce a new Web site I hope you'll be interested in, and to request a link. The site, is an online shopping mall that donates a percentage of site profits to progressive non-profits and political organizations. I've included the press release below if you are interested in learning about it.
I checked out the list of merchants on his site and it was great to see that many of the companies I already shop with are there.

Go check out ProgressiveDepot; shop by clicking through the links there and shop your heart!

Bum Rap?

Tonight on ABC's evening news, the soon-to-be former Attorney General, John Ashcroft said that his "Patriot Act" had gotten a bum rap. If only he'd gotten ahead of the "bad press" with a true explanation of PA and PA II, everyone would see that they are only efforts to protect Americans. And they would love them.

It was all I could do to not throw my glass at the TV.

Bum rap? No, but instead of skulking out quietly, it would be so much better to see Ashcroft getting the bum's rush for the Patriot Act that got such a bum rap. But you'll soon hear his refrain repeated ad nauseum across the press and around the right side of the blogosphere.

The only good thing will be watching this turkey soar - out of sight.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Vote? What Vote?

Tell me you didn't see this coming?

With just over two weeks until the Iraq election, the United States is lowering its expectations for both the turnout and the results of the vote, increasingly emphasizing other steps over the next year as more important to Iraq's political transformation, according to U.S. officials.

The Bush administration played down voter turnout yesterday in determining the election's legitimacy and urged Americans not to get bogged in a numbers game in judging the balloting, a reflection of the growing concern over how much the escalating insurgency and the problem of Sunni participation may affect the vote.
Maybe they can put all those out-of-work WMD inspectors to work digging up votes.

Whips and Chains 'R' Us

It would have surprised everyone, I suppose, had they done otherwise, but BushCo. has decided that torture really is in our best national interest.

At the urging of the White House, congressional leaders scrapped a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by American intelligence officers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The defeat of the proposal affected one of the most obscure arenas of the war on terrorism, involving the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation of top terror leaders, according to the newspaper, citing congressional officials.
The measure had previously been approved in the Senate 96 - 2. But apparently a little arm twisting by administration officials was enough to get it scrapped in the final version that came out of committee.

Honestly, how long before they get our Republican controlled, lap-dog congress to do the same thing with some national law enforcement bill? That everyone - Congress critters and citizens alike - are not screaming about this bodes poorly for the future of our civil rights. Eroded as they already are...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A New Year

They say how you spend New Year's Day is an indicator of how the rest of your year will go. I hope, for my sanity, that the old saw is wrong.

A little background that will help explain my last post. On Christmas morning, while getting ready to drive to Canada to visit my wife's parents I walked into our bedroom and saw my pajamas were still on the floor. So as I do every morning, I bent down to pick them up. The next thing I know I'm on my knees in absolute agony: my back is in complete spasm.

I don't have a "bad back," and I'm not really familiar with back pain. I have to tell you, I'm not a big fan. It took me 15 minutes to make my way from the floor - right next to the bed - to the bed. I spent the rest of the day right there. There was no food in the house - we'd planned on being away. Our "Christmas dinner" was a little ham and cheese; no turkey, no roast beef, no wine, no desert.

My father-in-law has been sick for over two years with a form of liver cancer. Both my wife and I were pretty sure that this would be the last Christmas they'd have together. And we were missing it.

When I was barely able to move around the next day, we bundled ourselves into the car for the four hour drive to Canada. I couldn't drive and every bump was painful; fortunately the weather cooperated and we made the trip in good time.

What we found when we arrived was not good. My wife's dad was shrunken away to nearly nothing and instead of celebrating and opening presents, we had to get him to the hospital. The prognosis was not good and we were told that it was only a matter of days we had left with him. So we began a vigil - around the clock, with the help of family, we made sure that he was never alone. We talked to him even after he lost consciousness and held his hands. On January the 6th he was finally released from his suffering.

You can see why I hope that the old saying about new years is wrong. I'm not sure that we could hold up to a full year of what we've already gone through in the last week of the old and the first week of the new year.

As we left the hospital on the day my father-in-law died, it was snowing and sleeting. My wife and I had to brush and scrape our car and I told her that this was nature's way of letting us know that the world keeps going and that we have to keep doing all the things we'd done before - that we had to keep living.

That's the message I want to take away from this experience. That's the message I want to send to all of my friends and family who come to read this. Life goes on and we have a choice about how we live it. I plan on making the choice to live it fully and joyfully. I hope you will to.