“Don’t Forget Medicaid”

See the whole thing from Congressman Chris Murphy of Connecticut:

“As we wait for the white smoke to emerge from the ‘grand bargain’ negotiations at the White House, most Americans are already aware of the Republicans’ plan to dismantle and privatize Medicare and Social Security. But what many people may not realize is just how dangerous it would be to slash funding for a program that 60 million Americans rely on for their basic health care needs: Medicaid.

“While it seems that just about every major industry or interest group has teams of lobbyists in Washington looking out for them, some of our most vulnerable citizens simply don’t have a voice in a town where unfortunately, money still talks the loudest.

“Why? Medicaid covers only the impoverished and disabled, so it lacks a traditional advocacy base. This may be news to Republicans — but most poor people I know are spending all their time trying to find a job and put food on the table.”

PROVOKING a war on Christmas?!

Just wondering.  In Philly for the last few years City Hall hosted a German corporation’s “Christmas Village” gift-shopping platz… but only with time, ie, this year, did people start complaining about the word Christmas in the name and signage.

The Religious Right considered free-market businesses’ attempts to embrace/sell to as many of their customers as possible at this time of year — even their fave Walmart — “a war on Christmas,” when if anything it’s been an expansion of Christmas!  After all, IIUC Hanukkah used to be a relatively minor Jewish observance, until it got Christmased-up under “Gentiles'” cultural influence.  Kwanzaa?  Thanksgiving?  New Year’s?  Little Christmas/Epiphany/Los Tres Reyes? St. Nick’s Day (Dec. 6)?  Even, yes, neopagan Winter Solstice.

Taxpayer-funded public schools (of all kinds) and government real estate are a true problem… but I guess there’s only one time of year when they want gummint on our backs!!!

Just one more thing: The Establishment Clause has nothing to do with people “feeling left out” — the Framers left out many people: women, renters, slaves, Blacks, Indians, Halfbreeds, Mulattoes, Tories….  Catholics, Jews, and pacifists barely got in under the wire!  No, the Framers were no bleeding hearts.  The Clause is about barring government from the religion business, and barring religion as such from the government business.  That’s all.

So, what gives?  Well, I don’t know how typical certain self-appointed Orthodox spokespersons are of the U.S. Religious Right, but I’m afraid some of my co-religionists seem to almost be looking forward to an anticipated Roman-style persecution here, or perhaps Commie-style.  I just hope they remember what they tell Muslims: You’re only a martyr if you die, not if you kill, for your faith!  Also, I’m not sure it counts if you’re actually “persecuted” for Heretical politics or economics, and not for the real o/Orthodox Faith.  Real Catholic Orthodoxy teaches us not to go out of our way to seek martyrdom or persecution.  And think of those you’ll get “persecuted” by association, who might not actually share your personal “belief” … LIKE ME!

BTW the first “war on Christmas” on these shores was waged BY “CHRISTIANS,” namely the Puritans of Massachusetts, who opposed all manner of “merriment” on the day as not only immoral and irreverent, but …

wait for it …

CATHOLIC!!!  (Or as they’d’ve said, Popish.)

Anyway, how many Christmas Warriors / Martyrs do you think will be in church next Saturday?  No, not easy Friday night, but early Saturday morning!  Sure: PUT THE “MASS” BACK IN “CHRIST-MASS”!!!!!

“That’s B.S.!”

Gen-X asks, “Y” own home?

In this recent NY Times story, it’s not just the guys really, though there are Guy Issues too.

Ironically, of course, sagging home prices for owners are great for buyers…!

Update from Buffalo Commons

from NY Times Magazine in 2006, an intriguing ‘surface-level,’ face-to-face, “up close and personal” *  encounter with the emptying Plains.

The article isn’t a very enticing ad for a region theoretically trying to attract ‘new homesteaders’ or semi-homesteaders not already from or IN such a place, if you get what I mean.  But does it have to be hopeless?

Indians said a century or more ago that it really was (all due respect to the writer) more desert than farmland….  The Dust Bowl just added insult to injury.  There are a couple large Reservations near the communities featured, Fort Berthold and Fort Peck Reservations, that maybe could be asked about helping ‘re-vision’ the larger region’s future ISTM.

More conventionally, the Dakotas are already home to “National Grasslands” that maybe could be a future attracting visitors … and wildlife … maybe even hunters … and/or bison or other ranching.

Going out on a limb, let me say as one American who’s never been to ND that winter there sounds intolerable to most Yanks!  At least Alaska has windbreaks (trees, mountains…), mild Pacific currents and breezes, etc.  HOWEVER: Remember that scene in the recent HBO remake of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee where the Mountie welcomes Sitting Bull across the Border in Queen Victoria’s name with the polite warning, “The winters get pretty cold up here — This isn’t Dakota!”?  I’m sure some scriptwriter had tongue planted firmly in cheek at that point.  But my world atlas’s climate maps suggest a kernel of truth after all: ND as a little bit warmer than most of Canada, and drier than most of Settler Canada … you know, that ribbon of population that stays pretty much within 200 miles of the Border, from Nova Scotia to Vancouver?  I mention drier since they say Manitoba’s provincial bird is the mosquito!  So, a “modest proposal”?: Instead of being America’s Icebox, how about … well … The Fridge, to the Rest of Canada’s Icebox!?  If North Dakota became the 11th Province (ND residents might prefer the sociopolitical approach of this post!  And spooky: exactly two years ago…!), right away it’d have nearly the same population as New Brunswick, well larger than Newfoundland-and-Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, respectively — two provinces also losing residents.  And long term, I’d imagine lots of Manitoba and Saskatchewan folk moving south now that they could do so without changing countries … followed by Alberta Oil Sands layoffs once the world starts recovering from its hydrocarbon addiction.  (Many Sands workers are the expatriates from Atlantic Canada, where it IS less cold in winter than Alberta, though wetter … and increasingly desolate of Settlers’ descendants.)

And provincehood isn’t even necessary ISTM.  MB and SK are sometimes referred to as “North America’s socialist heartland,” traditionally strongholds of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), actually social democratic rather than strictly socialist.  Point being, a healthy sense of the Common Good — not unlike many ND’ans’ ancestral Scandinavia — and they just might open their bleeding hearts to ND’s economic needs, especially if ND were to join one or both provinces.  Either way, sounds like a Win-Win proposition, eh?

Otherwise, I guess some version of the “Buffalo Commons” idea will pretty much replace ND.  And/Or some version of the outstanding Great Sioux Nation claim.  Waving grasses, thundering herds, fenced-in towns if any at all, elevated highways/railroads if any, Tribal Villages / ranches / farms…. 

Your call.

(*–…what with the Olympics coming up and all…)

Sarah Palin, meet Jean Poutine!

UPDATE: Found a mostly-usable form of the video from 22 Minutes, not on their site but at YouTube.  I dunno, but did anyone hear what Palin actually said the same way I did?  In fairness, I didn’t hear “dismantle,” only that the government should share the market with the private sector, IOW a single (big) step backwards, not the giant leap.  No difference though.  “Commonsense conservatism”?  Sweetheart, it left the U.S. during/after the Revolution, and remained among Canada’s Red Tories until they lost their party in the Harper/Reform takeover a couple years ago.  And Sarah and Steve ain’t it!

The other thing I noticed is that, while the lovable “Marg Delahunty” (OK, I really can’t take the voice, but admire her “all lies” review of the book!!) was woman-handled out of the library, her camera crew was allowed to stay.  PURE PHOTO-OP!  No questions, just pictures.  I hope Muscle-Melon wasn’t on the public payroll facilitating that ‘un-campaign’ appearance for Palin.

——————————————

ORIGINAL: That’s right, the Canadians who ‘punked’ W. got last week what may be the only policy remarks Alaska’s disgraced, resigned, unqualified, eye-candy governor will allow herself to be drawn on involuntarily, unscripted, during her eternal, fluff book tour/photo-op … and her own country is not the subject (nor is Russia!): ‘Yup, yup,’ like most self-important Republican politicos, she’s now become an expert on Canada’s model single-payer healthcare system — and all she cares about is corporate profiteering instead, and RATIONING on the basis of wealth, Whiteness, suburban residence, non-Indigenous status, etc.

If that’s “going rogue,” then John McCain’s a maverick!  The free ride she’s been getting from the MSM ever since her (losing) nomination is a danger to America and the world, because the hard right wing will back her as their savior just to feel they get back in power, even if she doesn’t know what to do with it in any way that will benefit, apparently, anyone other than CEOs and wealthy stockholders … short-term, anyway….  TALK ABOUT “DEATH PANELS”!!!  ‘Whose plug would Jesus pull?’

Ribs aren’t attractive

Not even under Demi Moore’s ample bosom.  ‘Nuf said.

Palin has no future

…politically, despite every national-media stunt in the world, even a tell-all book about her ten weeks in the dimming Arctic sun(?), unless she gets some of what the kids call “game.”  Have we already forgotten that her relative inexperience is why so many McCain backers and other Republicans (and others, even racists and disappointed Hilary-backers) couldn’t bring themselves to vote for that ticket in the end?  Resigning early from her one term as governor of one of the least-populous and remotest states in the Union [Federation, actually], even so long before she could run for Congress next November, is a major miscalculation if she still wants “in” with national politics in the near or mid-term future.  Especially going out under a cloud of more than a dozen-and-a-half ethics charges.  It’s chutzpah, really.  Leaving office shouldn’t absolve her of any impropriety she might be responsible for anyway … unless Alaska is more lawless or politically inbred than I realized.

BTW, after she shamelessly subjected her eldest daughter to national exposure for her “youthful indiscretion” as a political stunt, she’s one to upbraid Dave Letterman for, yes, a tasteless joke, as it turned out unknowingly against her middle daughter.  But blood is thicker than water, and I don’t know that Willow, an innocent minor, is truly what we journalists call a public figure, so Dave stepped on a rake and got whacked in the face.  Shrug.

And for saying she wants to campaign for “conservative” Democrats, ie, against rational Republicans [if there are any left in America], the GOP that made her such a sensation so recently should break her, just like we ditched Joe Lieberman for the same reason.  Freedom of speech and expression are one thing, but if you take the Party’s coin (or wardrobe!!) you have to sing its tune at least a little while.  It’s not like the Repugs have gotten reason yet after their big blowout, if Rush ‘I Hope America Fails’ Limbaugh and Co. are any indication … so that Sarah would feel betrayed by them.  Near as I can tell they’re still in goose-step together, the Party of Racism, Recession, Corruption, Illegal Spying, Arab Oil, Global-Warming Devastation, Nuking Iran, “Liberal”-Conspiracy Theories, Stolen Elections, Government-Supported “Conservative” Religion, and Anti-Latina.

Cui bono, guys and girl?  Certainly not your voters!

McCain foreign affairs “expertise”?

See item number 2 here, in case we forgot.  (Yes, I did.  Who can keep track?  Especially since it doesn’t make a difference to me….)  I dunno, Obama looked pretty “expert” there in Berlin!  Oh, but that’s just celebrity….  Although sometimes politicians become celebrated” for good reason!!!

Morgentaler honour?

Yes, those words will be meaningless to most Americans, but Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada – similar to a knighthood – has been given to, among several dozen honorees this month on the occasion of Dominion Day (as it used to be called more meaningfully), July 1, the Auschwitz survivor who got abortion legalized in Canada by performing tons of them illegally, even in front of documentary cameras, and even going to jail for it, before getting the Supreme Court of Canada to outlaw outlawing it in 1988: Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

Whatever one thinks about abortion, it’s inappropriate to give a national honour in Canada to someone who is not only politically controversial – lots of good people are politically controversial – but considered by millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive,* Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – to be a butcher of innocent, viable human beings, and at their most defenceless: in the womb, by their own mothers.  Morgentaler is officially cited “For his commitment to increased health care options for women” and for his services to humanism and civil liberties.  I’m not aware of what he may have done for the latter two areas, but throughout Canada his name means one thing, legalized abortion – just like “Jane Roe” in the States.  Can you imagine “Roe” (of Roe v. Wade fame, the appellant being kept officially anonymous at the time) getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom – again, whatever you think of abortion?  Not even the most “liberal” US President would think of doing so, even if s/he wanted to; it’d tear the country apart.

Furthermore, using the Order of Canada to enshrine the abortion euphemism “health care options for women” in the national Honours system is not only offensive, it just demeans Honours; it sounds Nazi or Bolshevik, like something out of 1984.  OK, that opinion may depend on what you make of abortion in the first place.  And clearly I oppose the liberalization of abortion since the 1960s in the US and Canada and elsewhere.  But drawing back to the matter of the honour itself, millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive, Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – might consider instead that he worked for decreased health care options for children!  Should someone get an award for that?!

As the newspaper article describes, Canadian Honours are supposed to be apolitical, non-ideological.  (So anti-abortion activists lamenting that it happened under a “Conservative” Party government don’t get it.)  Her Majesty’s Canadian Ministry, aka the government of the day, is supposedly not involved, and neither is The Queen herself AFAIK.  I don’t even know how much discretion the Governor General herself has in the face of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, before the fact anyway.  Honours are supposed to reflect Canada as a diverse yet unified nation.  This kind of thing just divides.  George W. Bush is ‘a divider, not a uniter;’ and so is this honour, for Canada.

That said, I’m not sure that, bestowed, it can or should be revoked just on account of the firestorm of criticism – for the very same, apolitical, reasons.  But it does raise a question, for good or for ill, about the people and/or the process that chooses honorees.  Britain’s recent cash-for-honours scandal was nothing new there,** and Canadians designed their Honours system in the 1960s explicitly to try to avoid scandal and the taint of politics, corruption, etc.  Furthermore, not only are honours in a Monarchy a national feel-good exercise; the Sovereign is fons honorum, the Fount of Honours, so in theory they reflect on her.  Scandal in honours dishonors The Crown itself, and thus symbolically the whole nation.

However you feel about abortion, this bestowal of an honour is dishonorable.

(*–I don’t know what George Parkin Grant thought of Dr. Morgentaler personally, but he bitterly opposed the idea of legalizing abortion, as a signal turn from ‘progressive conservative’ ideals.)

(**–It’s not frequent there, but not exceedingly rare either.)

Russian Heiress hopes for Monarchy

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, considered by many to be Head of the Romanov Imperial Family and heiress to the Russian Throne, gave an interview the other day that was not at all the Western stereotype / propaganda of “Tsarism”!

By all means, I believe in the future of monarchy in Russia, or rather, I want to believe that the values of this system will be understood and valued by Russians again…. {Today} people still feel the weight of the hundred year’s long antimonarchist propaganda. It takes time for the people to understand that the monarchy is a progressive and up-to-date system which combines the best experience of a centuries-long history of Russia and modern reality…. And we do not intend to get involved in any political struggle, we only would like to be helpful to this country…. It is too bad that they pay no attention to efficient democratic monarchy systems in Europe. If their republican views concern Russia only, that means they consider Russia as a second rate country.

Wikipedia profiles Her Imperial Highness, and here’s her official website.  HIH’s remarks remind me of the attitude of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, and even the renewed public service of deposed King Symeon II of Bulgaria, recently Prime Minister of his country and still serving in the government.

Many Years, Sen. Kennedy!

We’re praying for ya!

Casey Wilson from SNL; Normal is HOT!

Sorry, Tina Fey, you snooze, you lose!  My latest SNL crush is new “Featuring” lady Casey Wilson!  Love your curvy-girl-next-door looks, and you make “sincere” look both sweet and hot, kind of like Drew Barrymore does.

Here’s to the new Brunette Clown-Princess of Late Night!  And that’s a good thing!

PS: You’re not “fat,” you’re normal.  Nothing wrong with that at all.  Normal is hot!

Freckles are not “imperfections”

Even if mannequins like Paris Hilton don’t have any!

Lindsay Lohan was most attractive before she started covering up hers, or as someone said, “hiding all signs of her ethnic background” or words to that effect.  Makeup for a TV, movie, or stage appearance is one thing, but out from under the bright lights too???

Freckles are God’s makeup!

Another Decency Rant

This is definitely not a commercial for the show, but I just saw a tease for Big Brother.  They’re now showing us actual fornication footage from the house?!!

Maybe they always have; I’ve never actually watched the show.  But IIUC, they’re turning it into an intentional soap opera, matching up residents they think might “hit it off,” apparently including sleeping together.  In front of cameras, for all the world to see.

MTV, of course, did this a long time ago on The (un)Real World, but we expect this from MTV.  Anyway, they’re cable/satellite; CBS ain’t.  You can be watching a perfectly OK program over-the-air, and all of a sudden there’s two kids going at it in bed.  I’m not a prude; I’m as pruriently interested as the next guy; but I prefer to choose when I see that sort of thing, often based on who else is in the room with me, the hour of late night – emphasizing late night – etc.

Is eHarmony a cult?

Yes, it’s true, I was rejected by eHarmony.  Now I know why: I’m not a wussy.  I’m a real human being, not some ’50s fundamentalist Ozzie-and-Harriet clone.  “Obstreporousness“?  What gall!  Basically you have to be a total doormat – or some cultist.  (I never knew Jim Jones’ full name was James Warren Jones.  Neil Clark Warren?  Hmmm … any relation?!!)

BTW, according to m-w.com, “obstreporous” doesn’t mean “can’t be pleased.”  Interestingly, it does mean “stubbornly resistant to control.”  Control, huh?  Especially when you look at the questions and the required answers, I seriously think some cult watchers should investigate this outfit.  What happens to these ‘shiny happy people’ long-term?  What happens to some of eHarmony’s ‘rejects’ short- and long-term?: I’m not a cult expert, but I do know that this kind of emotional manipulaton is typical of cults!  ‘Oh please I’ll do whatever you want just make me feel that hope again!’

F’KOFF!

There’s even at least one accusation of fraud against eHarmony, though obviously I can’t verify it.

Strangely, it’s a serious compromise of Warren’s Fundamentalism to make use of the term “soulmate,” since he must know it comes from reincarnation theology, but totally unChristian!  He must be really desperate for disciples, money, and/or deceiving non-Fundies who may actually believe in soulmates.

All of a sudden I’m glad they rejected me!

PS: A post here (search for text “eharmony cult”) suggests that eHarmony’s employees may be the cult, reminding me of that suicide cult of space-worshiping New Age computer techies from a few years ago….  OK, time for a serious probe, before they off themselves … and take God knows how many others with them!

Time/Putin, ‘the rest of the story’

With apologies to Paul Harvey, this commenter on another blog offers useful counterpoint to the Bu’ushist propaganda we’re getting on Russian President Vladimir Putin from Time Magazine and other sources official and (supposedly) unofficial.  Prior commitments delay any analysis I may contribute here myself on Time’s “Person of the Year” edition.

By way of preview (maybe), I don’t wanna channel Samuel Huntington here, but Russia IS different from the Catholic (Latin) and Protestant West, the Rationalized Capitalist West, the earlier-industrialized – and longer-suffering therefrom – West, the Classical Liberal West, etc. … and many Russians like the difference overall!  You know what Russians have always called contiguous land to their west?: EUROPE!  Now, (Western) geologists consider the ethnic heartland of Russia part of the continent of Europe, but Russians have always been conscious of a difference, Westernizing influences of such Western “heroes” as Peter and Catherine “the Great” – equally “Autocrats” with Ivan the Stern (whom the West never fails to call “Terrible”), Nicholas II, and everyone else in-between – notwithstanding.  But seemingly even “neocons” think a little autocracy, pogrom, persecution, purge, repression, national betrayal, apostasy, anti-democracy, etc., in pursuit of Westernization – or at least pro-Americanism – is AOK – just like in newly-Democratic Iraq, newly-Democratic Palestine, newly-Democratic Afghanistan, Democratic Kenya, “Liberalizing” China, the “Republic” of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, formerly-dictatorial Taiwan and South Korea and the Philippines and South Vietnam and Nicaragua and Panama and Argentina and Chile and Brazil and so on and so on and so on.

If there’s no objectivity involved in such allegedly professional analysis, let’s not pretend, but be up-front about our biases, OK?  But then aren’t you playing into the hands of the “post-modernists” who say there’s no objective truth?!!

One thing Russia does have, as they’re reminding us to their chagrin, is Orthodox Christianity, which isn’t afraid of objective truth, unlike their hardline Catholicism and Protestantism and “militant secularism.”  Their own Orthodox heritage, that of the West, generally ended around 1,000 years ago, just as Russia’s began in earnest.  And many of their ancestors hadn’t been Christian long enough to be Orthodox more than a fraction of the time most Russians have been.

I will say this for now: Orthodoxy’s role in a country is no more to stand up for Westernization / Americanism – what they sometimes call Snickerization (Russ. snickerizatsiya, similar to other cultures’ Disneyfication, etc.) – than for anything else other than The Truth, The Faith, The Common Good as they, limited human beings, see it, experientially guided by the All-Holy Spirit of God, One of the Trinity.  And many Russians have had quite enough of Western innovations – the Filioque, Papal supremacy, Uniatism, philosophizing, high-falutin intelligentsia of the West’s left OR right, Marxism, industrial slavery, Communism (aka “militant atheism”), the constant threat of American nuclear annihilation known as the (First) Cold War, Rationalized Capitalism, “militant secularism,” the current Second Cold War(?), etc etc etc.

Maybe I really am starting to become Orthodox, because I read Putin quotes and know what he’s talking about or hinting at, when it’s clear over their heads!  Maybe they should consult Orthodox when covering or analyzing Orthodox countries, cultures, histories, leaders, persons … and The Church itself of course!!!

MLK Day

  1. “Martin Luther King Sales”?!!!  I guess it was only a matter of time.
  2. “Day-on, not day-off”?  I’ve been familiar with this since the ’80s.  I understand the sentiment, but I think it makes non-Black adults (ie, not in school) question whether it’s a “real holiday” (as they say) if it’s not a day off except for government.  Fewer and fewer of them are “real holidays” anymore, with stores open, malls, even businesses / workplaces, factories, customer service….  It seems only Christmas, New Year’s (mostly), 4th of July, and Thanksgiving are “sacred” anymore, know what I mean?  And Europeans get all August off…!  Even Canadians get a couple unnamed, theme-free “bank holidays,” while we’re merging holidays – Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday into “Presidents’ Day.”  Frankly, I think February is too long as it is; we should un-combine them, and in fact, get every Monday in February off!  How about every Monday in August, too?  Christmas Eve … Black Friday … Thanksgiving Eve … Easter Monday … Friday before Memorial Day … Halloween (Trick-or-treat all day, kiddies!) … Election Day … Friday before Labor Day….

Conan Don’t Do It!

Don’t move to Los Angeles when you take over The Tonight Show!  (OK, so, I’m boycotting you; the Writers’ strike won’t last that long – Fall ’09?!!  NBC’ll cave long before then!)

Lala-land will ruin you just like it ruined Leno!  Jay used to be a great standup comic, which of course is why he got The Tonight Show.  And he promptly turned Hollywood-mean, celeb-suckup, glamor-glitzy, and Kansas-conservative (anti-Mexican, Jay?!!) and at the same time amoral (in his “humor”).  I stopped watching him in first-run years ago, and now that NBC has fecking Poker instead of Tonight reruns, I never see him anymore!

Carson Daly is Carson Daly, but still, even he was better, edgier maybe, when Last Call was in New York.  NYC is a character on Late Night, Conan.  Moving to LA would be like firing NY from your show – as if you were replacing Carol Leifer, say, with Paris Hilton!  Paris is always good for a laugh, but she’s no Carol Leifer.  (Ask Jerry Seinfeld!)  In any case, I don’t imagine Daly’s moving Back East, so unless Late Night gets a new host and stays here in the real world – the East Coast! – NBC late nights will be all-LA all the time – BORING!!!

Mrs. Conan O’Brien, Liza Powell, is from Seattle, so maybe she prefers the West Coast.  Trust me, I can understand that.  But New York is New York, man!

More on Writers’ strike and late night

NBC and ABC threatened to fire employees of Carson Daly, Leno, O’Brien, and Kimmel?  Let’s fire THEM!  Boycott NBC, ABC, their late-night advertisers, and these networks’ affiliated companies, if you can!  It’s hard, I know, they’re everywhere!  But don’t boycott MSNBC, it’s our only alternative to Faux News Channel and their MSM clones, for politics and government coverage, such as it is.

It’s OK, Craig Ferguson has the most entertaining/longest monologues in late-night!  Well worth the price of admission … and then some!  😉

BTW, so much for Conan’s allegedly-wispy facial hair….

“Richardson Leaves the Personality Contest;” Go with Kucinich

The Nation’s perceptive editorial about the frontrunners and MSM coverage of them.

Guess I have to go with Congressman Dennis Kucinich now, just to make a statement.  Although really, all his experience in Congress does dwarf Rodham Clinton’s, Obama’s, and Edwards’s, and is current, versus Mike Gravel’s (honorable) terms in the Senate back in the ’70s.

Heck, even running a major city, Cleveland, wisely, for a few years during a tumultuous time for it, should say something!

Huckabee crossed a picket line; Late night shows

…even if he doesn’t want to admit it.  When he went in a back door to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to avoid “crossing a picket line,” he either didn’t know or didn’t care that you don’t have to physically walk through a barricade of striking workers to “cross a picket line.”  All you have to do is help a struck workplace perform struck work.  IIUC, Leno, who is himself a Writers’ Guild member and theoretically still on strike, believes as long as he ad-libs and doesn’t “write,” he’s not scabbing himself.  But IIUC, the Guild – who are supposed to be his authority in such matters – disagrees, and was indeed picketing the taping of his show.  (If the Guild kicks Jay out, he’d be barred from writing for his own show!)  If Huckabee really supports the writers, he should’ve foregone the temptation to make political hay by going on Jay’s first new show since the strike began, on the eve of the Iowa straw poll.  But he either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t really care.

Catholic theologian David Tracy and sociologist Andrew Greeley have a theory that might explain Rev. Huck’s behavior.  They say Protestants have a congenital difficulty comprehending analogy – the idea that something is like something else – rooted in their Biblicism and centuries-long opposition to Latin-Rite Catholic material “sacramentalism.”  Thus, Huck wouldn’t have understood that the taboo against “crossing a picket line” isn’t necessarily literal.  It has nothing to do with a face-to-face challenge to the picketers on-duty at that moment, and everything to do with the total aim of the job action by all the employees.

Then again, maybe it’s just because he’s a Republican … which may be the same thing.  Greeley tells the one about the two old Irish-American ladies in Chicago: One says, “I hear Alderman O’Leary has become a Republican.”  The other replies, “Ridiculous!  Wasn’t I after seeing him in church just last Sunday?!”  😉

Of course, Leno calls himself a Catholic of some kind….  Conan O’Brien and Carson Daly, too.  (Daly even majored in Theology at Loyola Marymount … calling into question the Jesuit education available there!!)  So I guess we should boycott them and their advertisers!?  (I must confess that, last night, eating at a turnpike service area, their two TVs were blaring Fox News and O’Brien/Daly. Tough choice. I went with the latter, for which may God have Mercy on me! In Orthodoxy, we seek forgiveness even in a dilemma, rather than seek to justify ourselves before God – before Whom no creature can justify himself. But I saw it as the lesser of two evils!)

Catholic Dave Letterman* did the right thing, reaching an “interim agreement” with the Guild on behalf of himself and Craig Ferguson (aka Worldwide Pants Inc.), before returning to production.

(*–As Dave told fellow Catholic Ray Romano a year or two ago, “I have a season ticket, but I don’t make it to all the games.”)

Wearing tape

It really is “the end of history”: Women are now taping their clothing on!  They’re being convinced/pressured to believe that they have to show us so much skin, or other improbable clothing positioning, that won’t keep from indecency in most U.S. jurisdictions or on most U.S. TV channels, without adhesives.  This isn’t fashion, it’s soft-core pornography, or circus-wear – and as usual, damned uncomfortable for the women, in more ways than one.

I guess this means the end of the old joke about when a young lady is old enough to wear a strapless dress: “If it stays up, you’re old enough.”  And I guess 8-year-old Lisa Simpson’s been taping since the ’80s!

How soon before the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models’ paint-as-clothing goes “mainstream”?!  It’d certainly give new meaning to the Golden Globes!!!*

Yup, paint ‘n’ spackle, that’s all an actress or supermodel really needs today!  She’s nothing more than a robot-(wo)mannequin!

(*–I own that one.  You can’t use it without paying me.  And since the writers are still on strike, don’t hold your breath!!!)

Britney’s pregnant kid sister

Is anyone else really disturbed that we’re now being subjected to tabloid speculations about “the real daddy” of the unborn child of a minor, or is it just me?  As if a single statutory rapist were not enough….  WHO CARES?!?!?!  Or, who should care?!!  This is intrusive for her/them (I mean, all 3 … or more), and prurient for the rest of us.  I think it’s great that she wants to go home to Louisiana; I just hope she isn’t persecuted there … or harassed by the “media.”

You know, the singular of media is medium, in-between excellent and lousy … but right now I’m thinking a little farther down the scale….

More on Norman Mailer’s “Left-Conservative”

I didn’t know he’d died.  God be good to him.

Anyway, this Google seems to hold some promise!  Looks like one will have to poke around a bit, if one is not familiar with him, like me.

The truth about Carolyn Parrish

She was the Canadian Member of Parliament who, we’re to believe, was a witchy, bitchy, shrill (you know: all the stereotypes) anti-American, went ballistic on a W. doll, and after Washington pressure was booted from the parliamentary Liberal Party just before they themselves (just barely, for all their troubles) fell from power.

Believe it or not – horrors! – it was all overblown.  This is just Wikipedia, but it looks pretty factual, not much commentary for or against there.  And if you peruse the famous(?) video from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, it looks to me like the business with the voodoo doll was set-up by the show, not her, and she’s actually back-pedaling from her harshest past comments (seen in the cue-cards).

Now, I know nothing about her politics apart from criticism of Bushie war-mongering, and invoking a Cuomo Doctrine in opposing same-sex marriage (‘personally supportive, but my constituents oppose it,’ like former New York Catholic Governor Mario Cuomo’s “personally opposed to abortion but don’t feel I can impose my religious views on others”).

So I’m just saying, she was railroaded, at White House bidding.  A better U.S. foreign policy would be to try to make peace with whomever is in foreign governments, rather than trying to change them, especially when they’re reasonably-democratically elected (or constitutionally succeeded, in the case of Monarchs) … and OURS AREN’T!!!  It used to be called diplomacy.

Introducing Britain’s healthcare system

In ‘honour’ of Mike Moore‘s SiCKO coming out on DVD just in time for the holidays (give it to someone who needs it!):

“[S]ocialised medicine is not just a hallmark of a decent society, but economically rational as well. If one leaves behind capitalist-romantic theories about private-sector efficiency and looks at real-world privatised medicine, which may be observed in America, it is an obvious disaster. It is vastly more expensive and delivers mediocre results outside of luxury care. Britain spends about 1/3 the money per person and we have public health statistics roughly equivalent to America. Except for the fact that the bottom 1/4 of our population is vastly healthier.”

Who said this?:

Sorry, it was no less “conservative” a source than the fascist* British National Party!

One phrase I don’t see in the Wikipedia article on Britain’s National Health Service (linked just above) is “two-tier system,” even though those with money are perfectly free to pay to see docs ‘on the side,’ or “jump the queue” as they put it.  This I know is a concern in Canada, maybe elsewhere too.  Maybe it’s not seen as a problem in Britain, or not done alot, or not needed alot; I don’t know.

Speaking of France’s health-care system….  A few more details about it that Mike couldn’t work-into the movie … though I’m not sure I trust insurance companies, eh?  And Mike didn’t pick-up that even before W.-soundalike Sarkozy came to power in France, they were moving away from Mike’s iconic nanny-laundry setup, tragically.

Now Mike is pushing Norway (scroll down for video)Not bad, but lots of co-pays, plus it’s still married to the employer-employee system (PDF), which is a pain in the rear.  (Though a couple years ago I heard a theocon radio “host” claim that in Norway, the mothers look hotter than the daughters … and I’m getting to be an age where I might appreciate that!!!)

Maybe the Brits are still The Bomb after all…!

(*–Naturally, they deny the “fascism” charge.  Judge for yourself here and here.  Not that it matters, since they have a snowball’s chance of attracting anything besides sensationalistic “news” coverage….)


Looking at the tail-end of the Nightwatchman video on Mike’s site linked above, the scenes from Cuba, reminded me that it’s not a matter of national wealth, just national will.  Cuba is virtually cut-off from the outside world, remember?  And whatever the shortcomings of the Castro government, they’re kicking our ass when it comes to health care for those who need it in their country and overseas!Between Cuban doctors and Venezuelan Citgo oil, who’s really helping the needy around here???

Pluto and other anomalies

I’m as big a fan as the Hubble Space Telescope has, but what I don’t get is, if the Hubble can see a galaxy 13.7 billion light-years away, why can’t it read a fricken license plate on Pluto, nevermind these washed-out images?!!!

And Pluto’s satellite – Can something that isn’t a planet have a “moon”?? – Nix, in keeping with astronomical tradition, is of course named after the ancient deity Nixon!!!

Here’s a question: They say we can’t see the core of our galaxy, at the end of the Milky Way star formation, because of space dust.  Does that mean that if it weren’t for space dust, considering that there are “billions and billions” of stars and galaxies in every direction, night would be nearly as bright as day, only a different, softer color, and without shadows???  So arguably, universal space dust has played a key role in the development of life on Earth with its day/night cycles (for most of us… present company excluded!!) (in the Will of God of course)!

“Dark spots on Mars”???  If they’re not optical illusions, they’re too perfect for nature, I think.  Paging Richard C. Hoagland!

Yo Britney!

Are children really drinking Starbucks coffee?

These guys are more hard-core than I realized!!!

Indiana State “Honors” Demean, Exploit Native Americans

…for whom, after all, the State is named!

It all smacks of Boy Scout mascotry.  ‘We’ve conquered them, now we can pretend to be them.’

Yes, certain Commonwealth Royals also donned kilts before their most recent infusion of Scots blood, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.  The diagnosis in both cases is romanticist nostalgia for a culture nearly genocided by the now-nostalgic, or their ancestors, kinsmen, or those who now benefit from it.

The cure in both cases is to come and MEET us, do right by us, learn genuinely from those of us who are left.

“How to Talk to Ann Coulter (If You Must)”

Poignant, funny, ironic… and supposedly not a Leftie!

“True patriot love”

O Canada, our home and native land,
True patriot love in all thy sons command

–Opening lines of the nation’s National Anthem


The next time you as a U.S.’er hear the Canadian national anthem [as opposed to its Royal Anthem, “God Save The Queen”] at a hockey game or Bluejays or Raptors game, be sure and hear the boldface or underlining under “True.”  The rebels who usurped the 80-pct.-Loyal*  13 Colonies called themselves Patriots, and everyone else traitors.  Now, a patriot is someone who loves his or her country.  One may argue over whether British North Americans’ “country” was the nascent British Empire which sponsored and defended them, or its provinces of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, or whatever.  But the so-called Patriots loved neither.  They fought for their own “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – nobody and nothing else … especially anyone who didn’t go along with them.  Maybe most Loyalists stayed, by choice or were unable to afford to leave.  But those who went North, did they set up a similar, narrow, partisan, anti-American state in Canada?  No.  Their only goal, as always, was eventually embodied in three other, older, wiser principles: “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”  This brief discussion of Canadian philosopher John Farthing – I swear that’s his real name – speaks to this too.  The Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, a vote for one’s ancestors, even health care paid for, for those who need it: Then again, maybe it WAS anti-American; “UNamerican,” anyway! ;)Before he died, Canadian-American newsman Peter Jennings – who could nevertheless only bring himself to adopt U.S. citizenship in his final couple years – once offered a poignant image of contrast between his natal and adopted countries, reflecting poorly on the former he thought: If one Mountie stood in front of a crowd surging out of a stadium in Canada, he could stop them in their tracks, whereas no U.S. cop would dream of trying such a feat!  Jennings favored the American ‘free’ spirit and rebelliousness and skepticism … even as he chronicled its sad, tragic results night after night for so many years on TV.  [And they gave him the Order of Canada?!!]  Now, anyone who knows Canadians knows they are far from sheep; in fact, many are more free-spirited and skeptical than many Yanks.  But as someone else pointed out, they don’t pit themselves against their country like the so-called Patriots did; like “true patriots,” they “love” their country, desire to improve it (like “true,” “honourable” Members of the Order of Canada do), don’t worship it ideologically and self-destructively.  If “O Canada … commands … true patriot love,” it’s only because it’s earned it from its people in the first place, not just since 1783 or 1867, but from time immemorial, since “British North America” as an entity, no less than Britain itself, was born on those rainy fields of Great Britain and Ireland millennia ago – a “traditional,” Monarchical system of protective Sovereign, noble persons, and Commons, with no pretense of, but the growing FACT, of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for everyone, even eventually the conquered French and Métis in North America with little claim to the sodden soil of those two Isles of the Northeast Atlantic, as well as their “non-conforming” Irish and Scottish co-religionist immigrants and refugees in Canada, and the unconquered, treatied First Nations there.

Critics of Michael Moore’s new HMO-critical documentary SiCKO call Universal Health Care as practiced (diversely) in Canada as well as the UK and France “communist,” but as he points out, its origins have nothing to do with Marx.  At least for Canada and the UK, ‘progressive conservative’ social democracy has more to do with preachers than with Marx.  There’s real “compassionate conservatism”!  In the end, it’s not ideology or “class warfare,” it’s just the Common Good, the wisdom of the ages, “peace, order, and good government,” “a better country” … even what one British columnist has called “the care ethic” to balance the tired, overworked, underpaid, sick, injured-on-the-job “work ethic”!

So please, think some more about what a “true patriot” is, then and now.

(*–That recent NY Times Magazine piece, and most of the propaganda passing for “American history,” make much of the alleged one-third “Neutral” Americans, “neither Patriot nor Loyalist.”  But by anyone’s definition, someone who doesn’t rebel is Loyal, whether they join a Loyalist Regiment, write pro-King [and Country!] pamphlets, or ‘just’ till their farm quietly hoping to stay out of the way.   Anyway, as I’ve said, I believe John Adams’ one-third estimate of “Patriots” was closer to 20 percent in reality, based on my own research … and that he cooked the books, a practice which of course continues in America today.)

Rupert Murdoch bought Readers Digest?

It sure looks like it.  At least one celebrity on every cover now,* especially actors and actresses in movies coming out that month (talk about product-placement!), or American Idols from his network; also increased “conservatism” (though occasionally conceding the existence of “liberalism”), “disease-of-the-month,” fearmongering, yada yada yada….  They should change the name to Fox News Digest!!!

(*–This month the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, God be good to her, is the “lead”: she’ll be young and hot forever among the rest of us now!  But it’s just to plug another newly-released product, a book by a gossip columnist.)

UPDATE 8/8/07: Apparently my previous headline, with buys instead of bought, caused some confusion!  While I appreciated all the hits, far be it from me to allege knowledge of something so horrendous… or give the man – and I use the term loosely – any ideas!!!

“Canadians fought their wars of independence against the U.S.”

Think about it: 1776, 1812….

From Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor as quoted here: “Since Canadians fought their wars of independence against the United States, it is logical that we should feel a strong suspicion of the mercantilist Whiggery which won the American Revolution.”

That’s a different way of looking at it for us below the 49th Parallel!

(NB: The article and website to which the linked article links seems to reflect more the historical, elitist, Ontario Orangeist,* ‘bootstraps’ Red Toryism, which also had less respect for individual liberties than I propose as an American Red Tory.  The thing is, many internet discussions of Red Toryism cover this old-fashioned, elitist perspective, though it is far from dominant in RTism since, say, WW2.  But this is why it took me so long to find a good discussion of it, though brief… and the need to write my own!)

(*–Ironically, one of the RT philosophical stalwarts these days has been an Anglo-Catholic – even arguably Anglo-Orthodox – Ron Dart!)

I like hips.

There, I’ve said it.

Not immense hips, but definite hips, on a teenage girl or woman.  Someone who looks like a girl from the waist down, even in pants!

But current fashions seem to prefer girls who look like boys from the bottom of the breast, down (in some clothing, anyway) – and immense breasts, too big to be supported by the rest of their body.  What’s up with that, closet pedophiles or something?!!!

Someone I’m really proud of

Sherry Reynolds, who lived in Seattle for some years, tried to “obstruct” what turned out to be apparent police brutality in progress, and got prosecuted for it.  Internal Affairs and the (Bushie) Justice Department – contrary to FBI agents’ impressions – declined to act, but she was acquitted.  She was previously a volunteer firefighter, a compassionate HIV/AIDS worker, and a faithful Mormon.  Wherever she is now, God bless her.

The linked articles are part of an ongoing Seattle Post-Intelligencer probe of problems in the (Seattle-area) King County Sheriff’s Office.  The P-I is the Emerald City’s main daily newspaper.

(Sorry if it sounds like she’s dead, it’s just that I have no more-up-to-date info on her!  🙂  )