Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Being an atheist, I obviously don't celebrate the Holy Day just the holiday. Some, I know, reject all the trappings of the season but I have no problem in enjoying the non-religious aspects. Just as the Romans stole many of the traditions of the Pagan religions to overlay them on Christianity, so do we non-believers adopt the parts which fit into our lives. I have a christmas tree every year and love that symbol of the rebirth of the land without believing in any religious rebirth. And I'm sorry, but only Scrooge doesn't like to give and receive gifts regardless of the season.
So anyway as we crawl out of the trenches of the no man's land of the WAR ON CHRISTMAS (TM Fox), I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and have a cold (or hot) beverage on me!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I missed the original story on Nov 11th when someone defaced the Confederate Monument in Montgomery Alabama. It seems the hands and faces of the Confederate soldiers depicted were painted black and "N.T. 11 13 31" was scrawled on the base. Freedom fighter Nat Turner was hanged on Nov 11,1831. As a Northerner (whose family fought in the Union army) I've always had a certain disdain for the Southern penchant for memorializing secessionists. I mean in most civilized countries people who display the battle flag of the losing side in a civil war are hung, but we here in America have always treated the south like an uncle who drinks a little too much. Obnoxious, but what the hell he's family.
Now this would appear to be the work of African Americans upset over a monument to those that fought for slavery, and who could blame them? I mean one really can't expect American Blacks to celebrate their enslavers. The interesting take on this story is that three white teenagers were arrested on Dec 14th for the vandalism. Now I guess my days of cheering on militant acts against are over, but I just can't help feeling that this could be a good thing. It might be that the white teens were really provocateurs trying to stir up resentment between the races but I would like to believe that the youth of Alabama have come so far beyond their Jim Crow past as to feel shame over these outdated monuments to oppression. It'll be worth following the story to find what the motivation really was.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lies, damned lies, and statisics

The Flyover Times (Your PROGRESSIVE Newspaper) has, as it has done every Wednesday for several years, published on it's front page the Human Cost Of The Iraq War. This consists of the number of US deaths (3886), wounded in action (28661), and estimated Iraq civilian deaths (81717). The first two figures are pretty much accurate without question but it boggles the mind that a "progressive" newspaper would use the absolute lowest figure they could find for our carnage in Iraq. Two years ago respected analysts in England put the figure somewhere between 500,000 and 800,000. Just looking at the numbers of car bomb and execution victims that have been in the papers for the last two years makes the 81,000 figure absurd. I guess that if we, as a people, were responsible for a milliom deaths we might have to launch a campaign to remove everyone who had sent us into this immoral and illegal war. Nah, might not play well with the advertisers.


Six years after it was first proposed and after months of wrangling with the current legislature the Compassionate Care For Rape Victims was passed last night. The Republican State Journal reported this morning that the bill was dead, but just before midnight the Assembly passed the act 56 to 41. Apparently this was after the bedtime of the WSJ reporter. Kudos to Rep. Terry Mussser, R-Human Race for his co-authoring of this much needed bill.
If you are not familiar with this bill, it requires hospitals to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims. "Plan B" is essentially a high dose of birth control pills which will prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse. Radical members of the American Taliban oppose this because women might get even more uppity than they already are.
The Rethuglican party of course had to get one last bit of obstruction in and blocked reading of the bill which stops signing of the legislation until the Assembly re-convenes in January. This benefits the Rethugs because they believe the unwanted products of conception due to rape almost always grow up to vote for them.
Now if only we can get that "Holiday Tree" renamed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

For those of you who don't watch TV you are missing the time of your life. For example last night I saw an Ad for {I shit you not} H.O.P.E., the Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies. The Ad depicted hummer owners driving through horrendous weather to save lives. Just when you thought that hummer owners were selfish eco-saboteurs, you find out that they're really working for Fatherland Security. I've never felt safer.