Low prices? I recently read how a woman with two children who worked full time at Wal Mart (itself a near impossibility) could not afford to house and feed her family, even if she only bought all her merchandise and groceries at Wal Mart. Most people that work at Wal Mart qualify for Food Stamps. Those low prices are based on the suffering of millions and the shunting of costs onto the American public. Aggressive domination of the marketplace by undercutting local merchants, providing little benefits to employees and engaging in union busting practices, all the while running miserable sweatshops overseas. Wal Mart is truly a corporation based on American ideals: rapacious greed and screwing it to the little guy, all the while draping themselves in the fraudulent veneer of patriotism and family values.
Just call me lucky: My Isuzu was driving funny the last couple days, a wobble in the front passenger side. I took a look yesterday morning and I was shocked. The tire was literally coming apart, and the radial steel belts were exposed and frayed. Needless to say I changed that tire out right quick. I took some photos of the stricken tire too:
I was very lucky. A blow out while driving around would have totaled the SUV, and probably me too. I’ve been thinking about getting a new car, and this is a powerful impetus to get me into the showroom.
Blogger done did the upgrade dance to me this weekend. Looks good.
I am particularly happy about all my archives being available again. That was really starting to bug me.
I seem to be slowly leaking my political leanings onto this blog. Oops. I guess I just cannot deny my inner liberal anymore.
Latest goodie plucked from the internet, how an uppity black Congresswoman was railroaded out of office on the basis of a fabricated quote. Payback is a bitch, especially when you mess with Republicans and press of hearings on their back room shenanigans.
Here’s the NPR story that blew her out of the water. What was that about the liberal media? Yeah right. This is NPR pegged McKinney as a hothead, unstable, a ‘looney.’ Check out the August 21 report where Denise Majette, who beat McKinney, promises her district ‘to not do anything to embarass you.’ Sounds like a perfect Democratic congresswoman (to ensure Republican control of the House).
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I’d something more to say…
I’ve been babbling a great deal about Margaret Atwood recently, when I really should be referencing George Orwell. Perhaps now more than ever in the last fifteen years. Well how about Margaret Atwood talking about the influence of George Orwell? Double whammy dystopic discourse.
About two months ago, I ran a link to a Harper’s Magazine exposï¿½ on ‘The Family,’ a weird pseudo-society of conservative Christian movers and shakers. Reading the article was like peering into the inner workings of a paranoid delusional’s mind. The Family openly espouses praise for Hitler and Genghis Khan, and seeks to become remake the world in it’s image; all the while maintaining a secret society, behind-the-scenes unaccountability.
Well Alternet is running a follow-up story on the article, interviewing the author, Jeffrey Sharlet, editor of the web site Killing the Buddha. Read both articles and then think about what I said last week about our country becoming the conservative dystopia in The Handmaid’s Tale.
I don’t have anything against France or the French, but I am forced to question their aesthetic taste. First that bizarre fascination with all things Jerry Lewis and now this: Woody Allen is appearing in a series of commercials to promote French tourism. Who’s bright idea was that? The man is an embarrassment now, and his imprimatur on something is not exactly a ringing endorsement for most Americans.
Four years ago, the ancient kingdom of Bhutan became the last place on earth with television, much of it supplied by Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV. Within four years, the once peaceful people of Bhutan and suffering under new phenomena: drugs and alcohol addiction, thievery, fraud, murder. Coincidence? What is the reaction of a Buddhist populace that believes in the sanctity of all life when exposed to wanton sex and violence? Television has a remarkable capacity to inform and bring our world together, but far too often the Lidless Eye speaks to our basest pleasures, dulling our senses and lowering our resistance.
The full moon rise last night took my breath away.
Happy Father’s Day, Pop. I hope you have a great time today. Enjoy those steaks I sent, and smoke a cigar.
Yeah, I got the pictures of the governor’s daughter. Several times now. I won’t post them here though, I like to think I have more class than that. Well maybe not. But I still ain’t posting them here.
After my grumbling about the RAVE act last night I came across a great article on Alternet, detailing the current government obsession with legislating away all fun. “The Second Prohibition” indeed. After railing against the RAVE act, the growing power of fundamentalist politicians, the federally funded ‘abstinence’ eduction and the everlasting shame of over 20,000 people locked up in our nation for marijuana offenses, the author sums it up nicely:
Sex and drugs and live music make life great. These are the kinds of things that were outlawed in Taliban-run Afghanistan. If they can’t be legal and easy in America, then I don’t want to live here anymore. I want to live in a place where drugs and sex are tolerated, where the government provides a sane level of social services, where religion isn’t always threatening to take over the state. Amsterdam. It always comes back to Amsterdam.
Every day I feel like we are inching closer and closer to the fundamentalist dystopia portrayed in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The fact that leading Republican Rick Santorum can spout off his repugnant views on the evils of homosexuality and the right of the government to control this kind of behavior – and not suffer any consequences deeply troubles me. John Ashcroft truly frightens me because I am certain he fantasizes about turning the United States into a Republic of Gilead. To head George Bush drops in code words and phrases (‘there is power, wonder working power’) during the State of the Union speech last January chilled me to my soul. The man actually believes God chose him to rule the nation. Uh, it wasn’t God Dubya, it was Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court. It certainly wasn’t the majority of US voters.
Latest GovGuam debacle: three corrections officers were arrested this week for assaulting and beating a prisoner last year. The officers indicted include the prison warden.
Guess you can’t bitch slap the cons anymore without getting in trouble.
John Ashcroft must be sportin’ a major woodie over this one:
A bogus law called the RAVE Act is now being used to bludgeon drug reform groups and stifle dissent, exactly what groups were afraid of. Praise Jesus. Who needs an open dialog about drugs when you can threaten and harrass venue owners if they don’t cancel events? Hallelujah brother, let freedom ring!
Maybe I’ve been working too hard, maybe I’ve been listening to too much Grateful Dead, but I had a great dream last night.
I was cashing a check at the bank, standing in line, minding my own business. I finally got to a teller and while I endorsed the check, he asked “Do you want that in $20’s? Or joints?” I laughed so hard I woke myself up. God, wouldn’t that be nice?
Time for a lighter post: my favorite Thai restaurant, Ban Thai, reopened for business yesterday. They lost their roof in Typhoon Pongsona and I have sorely missed eating there. But they are back, in the same location; new roof, new furniture, same good food. I was so excited about eating there yesterday I was literally the first guy in the door.
Somehow I think you won’t hear this on the evenings news: preliminary AP estimates Iraqi civilian deaths from the War On Iraq at 3,240. And they doubt a complete count will ever be available. The part I really like was where the US military spokesman effectively shrugged off any responsibility for counting casualties. His answer was basically ‘America doesn’t kill civilians, so there is no need to make such a count. Besides, any civilians that might have died were caused by the Iraqi regime.’
God bless America – ‘Blowin’ up brown people since 1776!’