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Friday, November 19, 2004

Fanning the Flames 


Soon I'll get some answers for you on just how many people across the country want to secede from the Evangelical States of America. Tom wants to call them Right-Wing Christians, and I'm fine with that. But for now, let's read.

Tze Ming -- who doesn't seem to have a web site, so maybe she doesn't really exist -- referred me to this article, from which I'll offer only one quote, though it is certainly worth reading. (As is everything at Salon.)
[Secessionist] sentiments were so pronounced [right after the Election] that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on "The McLaughlin Group" the weekend after George W. Bush's victory, panelist Lawrence O'Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, "The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don't pay for the federal government."

A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, "Are you calling for civil war?" To which O'Donnell replied, "You can secede without firing a shot."

This is one of the things that fumes me most, and something my father has been talking about for ages. That we pay for their ignorance. We make all the money and all the entertainment and we pay all the taxes and they get to decided the whole country's, ahem, values. I won't get into it anymore, dear Choir members.

So. That article linked to this one from Seattle's "Stranger" alternative. I'd never read it before, but it's pretty good.
It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion--New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on. And we live on islands in red states too--a fact obscured by that state-by-state map. Denver and Boulder are our islands in Colorado; Austin is our island in Texas; Las Vegas is our island in Nevada; Miami and Fort Lauderdale are our islands in Florida. Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They--rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs--are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers. Red Virginia prohibits any contract between same-sex couples. Compassionate? Texas allows the death penalty to be applied to teenaged criminals and has historically executed the mentally retarded. (When the Supreme Court ruled executions of the mentally retarded unconstitutional in 2002, Texas officials, including Governor Rick Perry, responded by claiming that the state had no mentally retarded inmates on death row--a claim the state was able to make because it does not test inmates for mental retardation.)

The Republicans have the federal government--for now. But we've got Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City (Bloomberg is a Republican in name only), and every college town in the country. We're everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We'll take Manhattan.

To red-state voters, to the rural voters, residents of small, dying towns, and soulless sprawling exburbs, we say this: Fuck off. Your issues are no longer our issues. We're going to battle our bleeding-heart instincts and ignore pangs of misplaced empathy. We will no longer concern ourselves with a health care crisis that disproportionately impacts rural areas. Instead we will work toward winning health care one blue state at a time.

I'm going to have to give what they're proposing some thought. Not that I'll necessarily have any choice: the metaphor of a liberal archipelago is a disturbingly accurate one, and we're all being fenced in, isolated and marginalized. (No, Dad, I haven't forgotten that you live up in the cold, cold north; but if you look at the maps, NH was pretty solidly blue, so I think you'll be okay.) It seems that this kind of strategy would eventually lead to some kind of civil conflict: eventually, the black holes of ignorance of hate, the ones WE support, are gonna come calling back to Mama for their lunch money. And with isolation will come hate and animosity -- not that they are in short order these days, anyway.

I must say, the thing I'm most concerned with right now is how huge, God-fearing swaths of the country are being brought up to hate liberals, like witches, blacks, and communists of old. There are strict breeding grounds for ignorance and hate and, like it or not, they ALL know how to use guns. I'm concerned that reason and intellectual thought is openly mocked and discouraged. I'm concerned that religious fanaticism is the order of the day -- as long as it's a certain kind of fanaticism: the other kind are terrorists. I'm concerned that the purgings are going to begin, and I ain't kidding. They've mixed up religon and politics into some delusion righteous crusade, and I believe "they" would like nothing more than to wipe "our" kind out; if not, our sinful ways will destroy the country.

And this is BushCo's base, people. Hate and fear. And they are breeding it. Counting on it. And I still pay fucking taxes, amazingly.

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Poor Johnny 


One of my new favorite things to do is to hit the "Next Blog" button at the top of the screen there. Yeah. That's nice. There are a lot of boring, corporate blogs, like "Garden Equipment Salespeople Resource Center" and what not. And there are a lot of "This Is Erica's Blog, No Big Deal" kind of stuff. But for the most part, it's fascinating. Everyone, it seems is getting in on the game. Which is awesome. It's really neat to just skate across this electronic mindscape and look in on what people all around the world are thinking and feeling. It's anonymously public, and it allows people to say things they don't have the strength or willingness to speak to another person. Sometimes.

Sometimes you get a set of blogs for a High School Honors class that absolutely hates Johnny Tremain.
I was almost hoping that Johnny would get himself killed. I know that sounds mean but honestly people. Most of you were proably hoping the same thing. I was hoping that Johnny would get his hand cut off or blown off or something like that so he would stop complaing about how usless it was. Sorry, that was kind of gory people. Too bad Rab died, I think. That part was kind of unclear to to me. At least the book is done. Dang now I have to go to the library and get the next one. Poo.

Johnny Tremain was overall an O.K. to poor book. The author tried to make it seem like Johnny was an outcast who everyone picked on. It was okay at first but after 100 pages of boo hoo sob sob it gets annoying. You know what I mean? Does any body know if the next book is any good? One little tip for Andrew Clark... Reeeeeeeeeeead Faaaaaaaaaaaaster. If it takes over a month or two to read a book as short as short as JT then you might want to try to read a little quicker. I really hope this thing is almost 100 words now. Anyway I hope the next book is good.

(This particular gentleman wants to be an attack helicopter pilot for the Air Force. He is 5'11")

i can't remember wut i've read, cuz i haven't read stupid johnny tremain in a loooooong time. some sort of war or battle or something is starting. johnny's depressed cuz rab went off to fight, and rab finally got a gun. that pumpkin guy got hanged cuz he was tryin to escape the army or sumthing. i have no idea wut's going on w/ cilla and isannah. or the other laphams. i think the oldest girls ran off w/ guys and got married or sumthing. johnny is kind of like a messenger, i think. paul revere is gonna be part of the war, it seems like. i think the british soldiers that invaded boston are stupid. they could've just forgotten about wutever it was that got them mad in the first place. well, i think this is good enough. i'll do my last post when i finish the book. (if i survive the boring-ness until the end) hmmm.......i don't think i had enough opinions of the book in there.............so here's another opinion: i hate the book johnny tremain!

(An opinion, any opinion, is better than none. Even if you have no idea what the hell is going on. Ever)

Water- for breakfast? Oh dear I 'm near about going to faint! Goodness girl, get with it, it's not that big of a deal to have water for breakfast, water is good for you. I think Kit should be thankful they actually have breakfast, and bonus that they have something to drink! I still think Matt is really stubborn and mean for not letting Judith and Mercy have the beautiful dreeses Kit gave them. They're just going to go to waste if nobody wears them, sitting up there in the attic. I would totally have taken advantage of having such pretty gowns, and I would wear them alot. I think that Kit is really really weak and has no muscle since she complains about stirring a little pot.

(She knows what's up.)

It's all good. No child is being left behind.


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Bleeding the Workers, One Minute At A Time 


I am admittedly so programmed to the ways of the All-Knowing Corporate One that I've encountered and griped about this specific practice, but never considered it overtly Wrong. Working extra is just something you do, right? Wage earners, that is.
Workers at hair salons, supermarkets, restaurants, discount stores, call centers, car washes and other businesses who have murmured only to one another about off-the-clock work are now speaking up and documenting the illegal practice.

In interviews and in affidavits supporting employee lawsuits, Ms. LeBlue and more than 50 workers from a dozen companies said they were required to do such unpaid work despite federal and state laws that prohibit it and despite recent lawsuits against Wal-Mart and other companies that have highlighted the problem.

Over the last year, the Labor Department has brought enforcement actions against several companies that required off-the-clock work, seeking back pay and demanding compliance. The agency has grown more aggressive after plaintiffs' lawyers filed scores of off-the-clock lawsuits, some resulting in multimillion-dollar settlements with prominent companies, including Radio Shack and Starbucks.

It literally breaks down to a blood-letting taken in 5 minute intervals. You know, starting work 5 minutes before you clock in; breaking down your station after you clock out; no pay for driving to the job site. That kind of crap.

They did interview an attorney for WalMart -- AHEM -- who says the seriousness of the problem is overblown and that it's only a few workers who make these claims, often without cause. This was even more profoundly corporate a response than others, who said the top executives knew nothing of the problem, so it's an issue with middle management. Which is probably strictly true. What the hell does the CEO care about mandating that workers in his nail salon chains start work 5 minutes before they clock in? Nonetheless, the endless quest for profit, I'm sure, creates the atmosphere in which this kind of thing can exist.

Bow to the All-Knowing Corporate One. The unseen thing. Ever present and always moving. It hath smitten the idolatrous heathen called Labor Union, cast it to the flames of ungodly hell. And there it shall remain!

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Fuck It 


Well, Harry Reid is the new minority leader in the Senate. I don't have many high hopes, I must say. He's a Mormon. He's against abortion. He's for gun rights. He supports the War In IraqTM and the War On TerrorTM. And he "wants to work with the President" and reach out to rural Americans and evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians.

What have the evangelical chritsians done to deserve such groveling subservience from the people who are supposed to be running our country? They are so minor a minority they almost shouldn't be considered at all. Like black people. Or poor people. But they're neither. And Harry Reid wants to have a microphone to their ear and to moderate the Democrats message. Great. That is just fucking great, and EXACTLY what the party needs to do. Moderate the message and kowtow to evangelical chritsians. Yes. Yes. Yes.

This is a good strategy for the future.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

All will be well if we bend to the archaic views of 8 million Americans. Yes. This must be the way. Yes. Do not argue. No. This is the way. Yes.

Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians. Evangelical christians.

With a voter base like this, who needs electronic voting?


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Monday, November 15, 2004

The Most Important Post... Ever. 


The world is on the verge of a great awakening.
Tom Hanks is cracking the code.

The Oscar-winning thesp is on the verge of reuniting with Ron Howard to star in the big-screen version of author Dan Brown's hugely successful bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

Hanks is in talks to play globe-trotting Harvard art historian Robert Langdon, who sets out on a quest to decipher clues found in Leonardo Da Vinci's famous paintings that unravels an explosive conspiracy that threatens the very foundations of Christianity.

I haven't even read this book, but enough people I know and respect hate it. And I've taken a lot of guff for getting a real hoot out of The Celestine Prophecy when I was... 12. So back off. It's my turn.

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C'mon, You Love Maps! 


We're cartographing our way to victory, one info-packed diagram at a time. This one shows how much each state has spent on the Iraq Invasion, versus how much it gets back in Homeland Security and No Child Left Behind funds. I bet you can guess how it turns out.

PS. Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Alaska all get more Homeland Security money than does Massachusetts. While that liberal cess pool has paid out much more -- double the next closest contributor.


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War Art 


I find this to be powerful for some reason. I can't say what it is exactly. But looking at it, investigating the little details, I'm brought near to tears. Honestly. It's nice to allow something to have that kind of effect on you.


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