zen.org Communal Weblog

October 4, 2007

The Boy Who Cryed WMD

Filed under: — Sven @ 03:25 GMT

According to Wikipedia, the attack on Perl Harbor killed 2,388 people, the September 11, 2001 attacks killed 2,993. The 9/11 sum includes the terrorists, I don’t think the Perl Harbor deaths include any invaders, but all but 55 of them where military. The 9/11 deaths were predominantly civilians.

The Japanese invasion united the country, al Qaeda united the country. As I watch Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The War I am amazed at the lessons forgotten. I would of bought a war bonds, I would of (I did) limit my gas usage, I wanted to sacrifice. When George W. Bush was first running for President I remember hoping John McCain would win, and there is only one Republican I have ever voted for, but Mr. Bush won, so I wanted him to succeed. I’m a patriot, what the masses thought was more impartant then what I thought. One of these posts I’ll figure out what I think now.

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August 27, 2007

Gonzales Leaves

Filed under: — Sven @ 13:48 GMT

I wonder if Alberto Gonzales choose to resign now because Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert just started a two week hiatus.

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August 16, 2007

Civil Disobedience

Filed under: — Sven @ 20:28 GMT

Grist sez the New York Times sez Al Gore sez to commit civil disobedience!

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June 12, 2007

A Typical Day at the Justice Department, Circa 2005

Filed under: — Sven @ 12:09 GMT

This weeks This Modern World is really funny: http://www.workingforchange.com/comic.cfm?itemid=22406

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May 7, 2007

A French and a French Canadian Walk Into a Bar…

Filed under: — Sven @ 11:44 GMT

Does anybody else apart from me think of The Kids in the Hall‘s Kevin McDonald when they see France’s president elect Nicolas Sarkozy?

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March 21, 2007

Invasive and Patriotic

Filed under: — Sven @ 18:52 GMT

I’ve been taking gardening a little more serious this year then I have in the past. Wondering what the Pennsylvania government had to say about gardening in this Commonwealth I discovered that the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission says The Penngift Crownvetch is the official beautification and conservation plant, as enacted by the General Assembly on June 17, 1982. Says so on their Pennsylvania: Past and Present Symbols page just above the state fossil. Then the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural resources puts the Crown vetch on their Invasive Exotic Plants In Pennsylvania List page. Wikipedia tells me that Crow Vetch indeed does have a Penngift variety.

Worth a letter to my state representatives? Perhaps I should assume they are reading my blog.

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February 22, 2007

Clinton and Obama Descent

Filed under: — Sven @ 16:46 GMT

Every news outlet I visited this morning highlighted Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama’s silliness. I just wish one of them would come out and say While I think I would be a better president then φ, I still think that φ would be a great president and would endorse φ over any Republican. By this time next week I hope to see them holding hands and saying things like We are merely exchanging long protein strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I’d like to hear it. (The Simpsons, Treehouse Of Horror VII)

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February 10, 2007

A Hen Party for Hillary

Filed under: — lois @ 14:07 GMT

So, Hillary, what about a heart-to-heart? About that little episode a couple of weeks ago in Davenport? I mean, think about it. It unfolded back on January 29th but pundits still are bringing it up. At least male pundits. And, let’s just say it out loud. Wouldn’t that male reaction have been funny if it weren’t so pathetic? There they were—night after night, the male talking heads, each weighing in your sound bite on evil and bad men, with no clue on what had transpired between you and (did they even notice who reacted?) the female contingent of your audience.

A two-week old story. The boys just won’t let go of it. In my opinion, Senator, you need to put it to bed. And, at the same time, you think about that little square dance that took place at that town meeting in the Hawkeye State, and what it should have hammered home to you: there is an advantage that is ripe for your picking, that, unlike the Garden of Eden episode, can only be harvested by a woman. Not Edwards or Obama or Richardson, Biden or Kucinich. Only you. Wow.

Okay, let’s so over it hopefully for the last time. You, Hil, were asked what there was in your background that would make you a good commander-in-chief, able to deal with a Saddam or Osama. You were rephrasing the question because some didn’t hear—and, as you often do, to give yourself an extra few seconds to work on your answer: “The question really is,” you said, “…what qualifies me to deal with evil and bad….” You were just about through and presumably ready with a serious response when, to your surprise, the room erupted with the sound of laughter—feminine laughter in the land of the wild prairie rose, but precipitated by the same kick of estrogen that precipitates a chortle in the bellies of women in Manhattan and Chicago and San Francisco—and Paris, London and—who knows?—probably Bagdad when those poor females are up for lightheartedness about anything at all.

It was a woman kind of thing. Clearly. The men in the audience, their rumps on the edges of their folding chairs, reporter’s notebooks in hand, wore blank faces. Something was in the air, but what? Which is how I guess they can still be chewing on it two weeks down the road.

As an aside, don’t you agree, Hillary, that that kind of male confusion is a perfect example large piece of their discomfort with you, with Nancy, with Barbara Boxer—with all the political women? Men can’t stand to be out of the look; they feel threatened.

Of course Mrs. Clinton, you’re no slouch and after all a woman yourself. You immediately got it, the joke. On you. Well, really on your understandable inability to keep your husband zipped up. It was one of those accidental comments that really was quite funny to us gals, don’t you agree? Woman talk.

If you had meant to make a joke—and in retrospect it is too bad you didn’t come clean right away and admit that you were a bit startled yourself until you caught on a nanosecond later—you could have reworded the question: I’m being asked what is it in my life-experience that might qualify me to deal with difficult egotistical males. Ho ho ho. But no matter. We sisters, including you, were all in on it.

But it was when male journalists and TV hosts and their panels dissected it—clue-less—that the episode got legs. Given their analyses, probably even Dr. Phil read it wrong. Meanwhile women from Maine to San Diego, from Washington’s San Juan Islands to Key West were doing a collective eye-roll of contempt: you weren’t talking about Bill; the women of Iowa had simply leaped upon the parallel, as girls will do. And you joined in.

It’s kind of a sexist sport that every woman partakes in. Like it or not, fair or not, the gals make fun of the guys, point out the masculine lack of logic. How they can never find things right before their noses. Their capacity to complicate the simplest job. From the female perspective, President Ford’s inability to walk and chew gum at the same time was hardwired into every male, not specific to Ford.(As my husband will say if he’s still talking to me after reading this column, it’s time to move on.) This was one of those times when you, Hillary, and the women of your audience instantaneously bonded over the body of your man. A man God knows is a handful. And, of course, the fact that you, Hillary, weren’t the only woman in the room with such a problem is a problem that can elect you president.

Females all had difficult dealings with the errant male animal, or have a friend who has, or a mother, or a daughter. A common experience. Senator Clinton, take advantage of the sisterhood, this group-dynamic, only available to the feminine politician. Ignore your army of guy-advisors and go with your womanly instincts. Assure yourself of the largest block-vote: the American woman. Yes, yes, talk just to us about the men you’ll have to handle—four star generals, secretaries of state, FEMA heads, dictators— and why obviously it is a woman who can best keep them and their bullying ways under control. We’ll identify. And, for a change, you won’t come across as preplanned; how could you? It’s your opportunity to look relaxed, to be relaxed. It’s a safe strategy because the men won’t even hear you, Hillary, in a way that only we can hear. It’s a takeoff on the religious right buzz words Bush implanted in his speeches for years before the mainstream picked up on the code—that the evangelical Christians took to heart all along. Except there’s no disingenuousness here, no pandering. All you have to do is be the woman you are.

This common feminine connection will win over those ladies who might have been put off by you for whatever reason. And it could just be that, when the curtain is closed at the voting booth, men will quietly follow their wives’, mothers’, girlfriends’ instincts.

Can you imagine? Tasks, once begun, will be completed. Like war? You think?

You go, girl.

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January 22, 2007

Take Me To Your Leader

Filed under: — Sven @ 15:10 GMT

The Iowa caucuses are a wee bit less then a year away.

Wikipedia currently displays nine candidates for the Democratic nomination for president. Little Green party member me thinks there are one of two of them I might vote for in the general election even if there is a Green party candidate, and I’m not only talking about Mr. Kucinich!

Wikipedia displays ten Republicans. I liked Mr. McCain in the 2000 primaries, and I remember thinking a year ago that he could get my vote in 2008. If loose lips sink ships, his lips have been very loose. None of the other people I know would ever get my vote, but I don’t know most of them.

If 2004 and 2000 are any indicator, both parties will elect the worst candidate from the list and the USA will all suck picking the better of two evils again. I’m already jaded by the 2008 elections. I plan on trying to grow brussels sprouts this spring, I wonder when I should get the seedlings started.

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January 18, 2007

The End Of Days Is Near

Filed under: — Sven @ 13:51 GMT

It what has got to be a sign of Ragnarök, Evangelicals, Scientists Join on Warming. In other weather related news, for the first time this year I had to scrape frost off my car window!

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