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Saturday, August 02, 2008

"For a man who will turn 72 this month, he's a surprisingly immature politician..."

Ouch.

PS...I found this via Americablog, but the dude fucked up the link, so no hat tip for him!

If I fuck up a link, it sucks. But I'm a hobbyist so no one gets hurt. John Avarosis, on the other hand, is running a business and would probably like us to call him a "professional blogger." Not only that, many people consider him to be a "player" in political blogging circles.

You make me register to leave a comment, require me to validate the e-mail I sent, make me tune out all the fricking ads on your page, and then you want to give me bogus links that don't even work? Fuck that.

Step up or step back.

(Yes, that pissed me off a little more than it should.)

You Neglected to Mention the Sleeper Sofa

I love this commercial. It reminds me of the Oompa Loompa song.

My Man...

Obama on the McCain campaign's latest ads:
"This is the classic dilemma of politics,'' Obama replied. "We get four or five shots in a row (assertions by McCain), that I would rather lose a war so that I can win a campaign, that I am not willing to visit the troops, that I somehow am full of myself, that I'm an empty-headed celebrity, whatever repeated attacks have been launched this week, so when I say, boy those are kind of silly arguments, the press says, isn't that being negative. Well no, I'm describing what their strategy has been for the last week... I'm just stating the facts....

"Ultimately, what I think we've got to do is keep driving home the essential message of this campaign, that we've got to change business as usual... What we've seen this week has been politics as usual... This is the same thing that was done four years or eight years ago... You guys are all familiar with this. You've seen this before. We've seen this movie before.''
I can't wait till Obama opens the floodgates of negativity on McCain. I don't think he'll convince many die hard Republicans to vote Democratic, but maybe he'll remind them why they don't really like John McCain in the first place.

Updated: Also this is going on my list of reasons why I'm supporting Obama: He believes in compromise.
"If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage - I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done.''
Republicans, on the other hand, have no qualms about not getting anything done.

If nothing gets done, they just blame the Democrats.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dancing Rabbit

The eco-village featured in 30 Days, which I ripped below.

Dirty Smelly Hippies

For some reason, Netflix sent me Disc 2 of Morgan Spurlock's show 30 Days before they sent me Disc 1. (Obviously I've been neglecting my queue.) I watched it and enjoyed it, but one episode left me scratching my head.

The premise of the show is basically Super Size Me expanded to a whole bunch of other subjects. Instead of eating just McDonald's for 30 days, for instance, a straight guy from Michigan has to go live in the Castro district of San Francisco for 30 days or, the subject of this post, a couple of conspicuous consumers have to live "off the grid" for 30 days at a hippie farm, er, excuse me, eco-village.

Now when I heard the term "eco-village" my ears pricked up. Organic farming? O RLY? Solar power? I'm listening. Graywater collection? Keep going. Permaculture? You had me at organic farming...

You get the idea. I was very interesting to see how the hippies were going to live off the grid. The why, well, that's not so interesting. The why is easy. We all have our own reasons why.

For me, I'm interested in all that stuff because it's ruthlessly efficient and incredibly smart. Also, I'm a cheap bastard. The prospect of paying the utility companies for the rest of my life annoys the piss out of me. Yes, I want hot water. Yes, I want the water to be clean. Yes, I want to turn on the lights and use my computer and listen to the stereo. I just don't want to keep paying these damn bills! That, to me, is the real appeal of "off the grid." Not dropping out, per se, but achieving true independence.

But after watching 30 Days, I could never do it as a hippie.

Witness.

The first encounter with the hippies comes from watching this strange man, Cecil, who picks up the city folk from the airport. His curly hair has been teased into an unkempt afro and he's wearing ill-fitting, mismatched clothes. He's as thin as a prisoner of war and looks like he hasn't shaven in at least a week. His eyebrows have grown together, and he's got this real awkward demeanor about him.

When he tells the lady that the car runs on vegetable oil, she starts laughing and the guy just stares it off, stone-faced. It's the look of a guy who has been there before, who was used to being laughed at, who didn't like it but passively endured it anyway because a little laughter wasn't going to change who he was. It could cut, but it could not kill.

But it also hinted at something deeper, and I'm not sure if it was a lack of awareness or a lack of a sense of humor. Most people, I would think, would know that a car that runs on vegetable oil is unusual, strange enough perhaps to be funny. But not Cecil.

Then there was the lady who advised the city folk guests that they couldn't use their "products" in the bathroom. "It has to be biodegradable," she says. The water runs through a constructed wetlands and into the pond where it gets used by the whole community. But as it turns out, the lady wasn't really all that concerned about the environmental effects of the products, so much as the smell. "It smells all chemical-y," one hippie says in an oh-so-serious meeting.

The smells! Can't have perfume in the air at the hippie hovel.

Nor meat. The hippie eco-village had decided as a collective that they were going to be a vegan community, and it shows. They all look malnourished and as they eat vegan pizza, they proclaim, "Meat is inefficient."

Yes, that's true, if you're a farm trying to feed a city. But if you're a fucking hippie, it's terribly efficient. Get a few chickens and you have eggs (and fried chicken). A few hogs? A cow or two. Maybe some goats because you like feta. Inefficient? Are you sure that's the reason? It's not out of some kind of PETA kindness to animals thing?

Then there was the hippie lady gathering dinner in the garden with the guests. "I feel really connected to the food," she says. Stop right there.

Why would you want to feel connected to your food? On a certain metaphysical sense, sure, I can understand that. Also in the sense that you grew it. But I'm not so sure this is an experience one should seek all too often. If it happens, great. But what's wrong with just eating your food?

If you get over this whole interconnectedness with your food stuff, you might have different feelings about eating meat.

The thing that would really get me are the rituals. I'm sorry, I'm not standing in a circle holding hands and singing a song. Can't do it. I don't care if the song is Georgia On My Mind, which normally I love to sing. It ain't happening.

No. Holding hands and entreating the spirits, not for me. And come to think of it, I'm keeping my scented body wash and other chemical-y grooming products, too.

Yeah, on my hippie farm, we eat meat, we bathe everyday (better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning!), and we don't hold hands and sing songs.

Cave Bloggum

Shocking but true...

Commenting on A list blogs will, without a doubt, get your e-mail address added to a spam list.

You can find this out by using a dedicated e-mail address for all your commenting needs. When you start getting (literally) scores of junk mail you will know that you found yourself the unwitting victim of some blog's revenue stream.

Is it ethical? Absolutely not.

But when has that ever stopped anyone?

Idiots

After the commercial break, Wolf Blitzer is going to examine the strange phenomenon of people who still think Barack Obama is a Muslim. This should be good...

I mean, at this point the people who think that Obama is a Muslim are 1) uninformed or 2) unforgivably stupid.

The "uninformed" I can understand. To someone who gets their information from Limbaugh/Hannity type sources, you're just not going to have an accurate picture of things. You might as well get your news from comic books.

But if you've been told that he's a Christian, you've seen him in his Christian church, you saw him praying at the Western Wall in Israel, but still believe that he might be a Muslim...

Well you're just dumb. You shouldn't be allowed out of the house without a helmet and a seeing eye dog, and when you show up at the polling place, that's when the adults point you to the kiddie table where you can vote for your favorite flavor of ice cream in crayon.

This shit ain't a joke!

Energy Questions

Hypothetical question: If you think the answer to our energy problems includes an expansion of nuclear power in some capacity, would you support other countries doing the same? Say...Iran?

No? Didn't think so...

Not Plausible

Oil Companies: Waaaaaaaah!!! Democrats and environmentalists won't let us drill for oil. Waaaaaaaaaaah!

Yeah, right!

You mean to tell me that you couldn't buy some Democrats and environmentalists? No one's that incorruptible, and if they are...perhaps we should listen to them.

Juan McCain, the Magic Oilman.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scenes From the Garden

I'm growing medicine in my backyard. Gardener, heal thyself! An echinacea bloom.
A "blueberry" pansy.
My cucumber farm. There are 8 different varieties of cukes in this plot. Poinsett 76, Boston Pickling, Tendergreen, National Pickling, Eclipse Hybrid, Spacemaster, Bush Champion, and Marketmore.My squash plant. One is more than enough, I've found, and looks like in a day or two, I'll be having some fried squash.

Plus, this morning I watched a bee stumble out of one of the flowers drunk on nectar. If you saw it, you would have laughed too.
And then there's my tire stacks. I took two tire, painted them silver (the better to reflect light), layered the bottom one with compost, the top one with soil, and bam. They're going crazy. The one in the foreground has Sweet William (not currently in bloom), shasta daisies, petunias, and convolulus. There's some other stuff in there too, but you get the idea.

My theory is that the second tire collects water in the rim, which sustains the plants. The rich compost in the bottom layer draws the roots, the silver reflects the light, and basically what you have is an extremely efficient planter made out of garbage. They don't call it the ghetto garden for nothing!
Speaking of tires...the tire tiers are doing well, too. (Yes, I know that window is broken. I did it. And I learned an important lesson about throwing rocks over your shoulder when you're pulling weeds.) It could also be called marigold city, I guess.Finally, a day lily bloom!Verbena.

Monday, July 28, 2008

W

Oliver Stone's new movie, the one about George Bush, looks really bad.

The First Shot in the True Culture War

For the most part, I disagree with the idea that "Everything is political," so I wish I didn't see the church shooting in Knoxville as the logical extension of right-wing extremism.

But in this case it's almost impossible. The shooter wrote a 4 page letter about his "hatred of the liberal movement" and apparently picked this church because of its gay-affirming policies.

This isn't the "culture war" bandied about in some metaphorical sense by pundits. This is the culture war realized with cordite dust and blood.

I just hope he's an isolated case. I'm sure Fred Phelps and family are high-fiving each other, but I hope that at least Dobson is praying contemplatively for his fellow believers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to Adele

Before I forget, let me just extend a warm blog Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Justacoolcat, who welcomed baby Adele into the world on Friday.

The Cat got some Cubans to celebrate. I got these.
Life will never be the same, Justa....and that's a good thing.

Acting President

I think I'm going to take a page out of Frank Rich's book and start to call Barack Obama our "acting President." If anything, I think it will annoy the piss out of Uncle Jim.

I loved the concluding graph in Rich's piece:
The election remains Mr. Obama’s to lose, and he could lose it, whether through unexpected events, his own vanity or a vice-presidential misfire. But what we’ve learned this month is that America, our allies and most likely the next Congress are moving toward Mr. Obama’s post-Iraq vision of the future, whether he reaches the White House or not. That’s some small comfort as we contemplate the strange alternative offered by the Republicans: a candidate so oblivious to our nation’s big challenges ahead that he is doubling down in his campaign against both Mr. Maliki and Mr. Obama to be elected commander in chief of the surge.
Doh!