ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage


Sunday, July 31, 2005

A guessing game 

You might argue that dark-skinned people are a special case, given the way the United States has treated them. I agree -- we have treated them so solicitously, and worked so hard to suppress racial prejudice, that dark-skinned people owe their country the benefit of the doubt.

The U.S. doesn't deserve gratitude for not doing wrong. But no nation in history has ever worked harder to correct a fault than the U.S. has to end racial prejudice. We've earned the right to expect everyone who fits a security profile to grin and bear it.
Where was the above published:

A. Powerline?
B. Free Republic?
C. The Los Angeles Times?
D. Little Green Footballs?

And the answer. (I can't believe this was published there either!)

Via Brad DeLong.

-Ziggy Stardust  15:53 EST | |

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Not quite sure what to think of this 

Some where between "awesome" and "abhorrent" lies the Vice Fund, a mutual fund composed of many vice related things. A socially irresponsible fund. Though mostly defense, gambling, and alcohol and tobacco stocks, also included are a strip club company, playboy, and a couple of video game companies.

This fund's 2 year average increase is a little more than 35%, and an investment made at the fund's inception in 8/2002 would be about 50% more valuable. Very tempting. And some where in the back of my head is a voice saying something about "profit" "world" "soul", something about gains...

-Miguel Sanchez  12:48 EST | |

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Senator Santorum is Scary 

Not only because his substantive beliefs, but also because Santorum is a pretty damn good politician. He states falsehoods that sound plausible and he says so with sincerity. Like the bullshit about gay marriage. Santroum sounds so damn reasonable (if--of course--you don't know much) and that's scary.

Check out his appearance on the Daily Show, and then check out Publius' take on it.

-Ziggy Stardust  03:48 EST | |

A prayer that's over ten years old 

Tony Kushner's "Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness" is an excellent collection of writings (essays, a play, poems, and a prayer). I picked it up at the same time I bought the script to "Homebody/Kabul" which is the best thing I've seen performed on the stage. If you haven't seen anything by Kushner, the HBO version of "Angels in America" is remarkable and moving and available on DVD.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from Kushner's prayer given on October 9, 1994 for the Episcopalian National Day of Prayer for AIDS:

Dearly beloved, let us pray.


A cure would be nice. Rid those infected by this insatiable unappeasable murder of its lethal presence. Reconstitute the shattered, restore to health all those whose bodies, beleaguered, have betrayed them, whose defenses have permitted entrance to illnesses formerly at home only in cattle, in swine and in birds. Return to the cattle, the swine, and the birds the intestinal parasite, the invader of lungs, the eye-blinder, the brain-devourer, the detacher of retinas. Rid even the cattle and birds of these terrors; heal the whole world. Now. Now. Now. Now.

Grant us an end that is not fatal: Protect: the injection drug user, the baby with AIDS, the sex worker, the woman whose lover was infected, the gay man whose lover was infected; protect the infected lover, protect the casual contact, the one-night stand, the pick-up, the put-down, protect the fools who don't protect themselves, who don’t protect others: YOU protect them. The misguided, too and the misinformed, the ambivalent about living, show them life, not death; the kid who thinks that immortality is part of the luminous glory of sex. Who didn't believe this, once, discovering sex? Everyone did. Protect this kid, let this kid learn otherwise, and live past the learning; protect all kids, make them wiser but, until wise, make them immortal.

Enlighten the unenlightened: The Pope, the cardinals, archbishops and priests, even John O'Connor, teach him how Christ's kindness worked: remind him, he's forgotten. Make them all remember, replace the ice-water in their veins with the blood of Christ, let it pound in their temples: the insurance executive as well as the priest, the congressional representative, the Justice and the judge, the pharmaceutical profiteer, the doctor, the cop, the anchorwoman and the televangelist, make their heads throb with memoryake them see with new eyes Christ's wounds as KS lesions, Christ's thin body AIDS-thin, his shrunken chest, pneumonia-deflated, his broken limbs, his pierced hands: stigmata of this unholy plague. Let the spilled blood which angels gathered, Christ's blood be understood: it is shared and infected blood.

Even Bob Dole, Guiliani and Gingrich, Jesse Helms and Pat Robertson - tear open their hearts, let them burn with compassion, stun them with understanding, ravish their violent, politick, cynical souls, make them wiser, better, braver people. You can. You, after all, are God. This is not too much to ask.

Grant us an end to this pandemic: Why after all, a pandemic? Why now? Give aid to the needy, not AIDS, give assistance to those seeking justice, not further impediment. Find some other way to teach us your lessons; we’re eager to learn, we are only reluctant to die.

Bring back our dead, all our dead, give us certain knowledge of the future recovery of all those we've lost, restitution of all those we've lost, in Paradise if not on earth, but guarantee it. Don't ask faith of people who have lost so much. Don't dare.

Manifest yourself now. With a cure, now. With a treatment, now. With a treatment that isn't more snakebite venom, more spider bite poison, which is all that fourteen years of prayers and waiting and searching have given us. Reveal yourself with an imminent medical miracle. Announce it on the evening news: something, finally, that doesn't fail to live up to its promise by morning of the following day. Reagan is gone, more or less, and Bush is gone, and Nixon and the Cold War are finally gone, and apartheid is gone, but AIDS is still here. And we are waiting. For the end of it.

Hear our prayer.

Your silence, again, is outrageous to me, it places you impossibly among the ranks of the monstrously indifferent, no better than a Washington politician, not better that an Albany Republican, Alfonse D'Amato, something that meager, that immured against Justice. Where you must not be placed.

Must grace fall so unevenly on the earth? Must goodness precipitate from sky to ground so infrequently? We are parched for goodness, we perish for lack of lively rain; there’s a drought for want of grace, everywhere. Surely this has not escaped your notice? All life hesitates now, wondering: In the night which has descended, in the dry endless night that's fallen instead of the expected rain: Where are you?

If prayer is beseeching, a seeking after the hidden heart and face of God, then this peremptory, querulous, insistent demanding, this pounding at your door cannot be called a prayer. This importunate sleeve-tugging while you are distracted, concerned, perhaps with something more important, holding the earth to its orbit, perhaps, keeping it from careening into the sun; or perhaps you tend another world other than ours, and do a better job with that one, where there is nothing like AIDS, and your tutelage is gentler, and the lessons are easier to learn.

I am in the habit of hoping. But it's become wrong to draw hope from this conflagration: If holocaust alone is the only lesson we attend to, then what batwinged butcher angel is our teacher, and towards what conceivable future, along the banks of what river of the fead, do we make our way?

I am in the habit to ask small things of you: one of the guilty who hasn't done enough, one of the lucky, the survivors by accident. When I was ten an uncle told me you didn't exist: we descend from apes, he said, the universe will end, and there is no God. I believed the ape part - my uncle had thick black hair on his arms and knuckles, so apes was easy - and the universe became a nulliverse, that too was scary fun - and since his well-meaning instruction I have not known your existence, as some friends of mine do; but you have left bread crumb traces inside of me. Rapacious birds swoop down and obscure the traces, but the path is recoverable. It can be discovered again.

So a cure for AIDS. For racism too. For homophobia and sexism, and an end to war, to nationalism and capitalism, to work as such and to hatreds of the flesh. Restore the despoiled world, end the pandemic of breast cancer too, bring back Danitra Vance, and Audre Lorde, and Sigrid Wurschmidt, dead at 36, and my mother, dead at 65. Or at least guarantee that loss is not irrecoverable, so that life can be endured. But above all, since this is my job today, a cure.

If you cannot do these things for us, we will do them for ourselves, but slowly, because we can’t see far ahead. At least give us time to accomplish the future. We had a pact; you engendered us. Don't expect that we will forgive you if you allow us to be endangered. Forgiveness, too, is a lesson loss doesn't teach.

I almost know you are there: I think Wordsworth was right, and you are our home. At present we are homeless, or imagine ourselves to be. Bleeding life in the universe of wounds. Be thou more sheltering, God. Pay more attention.

- Tony Kushner

If you want to read more, here's Kushner's commencement speech given at Columbia in 2004 (and introduced to me from someone I never got to thank properly...)

-Ziggy Stardust  02:13 EST | |

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Best and the Brightest 

Was everyone's brain as unreliable as his? Was he the only one unable to see what people were up to? Did everyone slip around the way he did, in an out, a hundred different times a day go from being smart to being smark enough, to being as dumb as the next guy, to being the dumbest bastard who ever lived? Was it stupidity deforming him... or was life just one big deception that everyone was on to except him?
Philip Roth's American Pastoral.

-Ziggy Stardust  15:13 EST | |

Friday, July 22, 2005

For just pennies a day... 

Some issues of The New Yorker, like this week's, are just shockingly good. Great articles on medicinal leeches, NYPD counter-terrorism, Iraq elections, and Ratzinger, plus very good fiction. All in one magazine.

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:23 EST | |

Why hasn't anyone thought of this yet?* 

Why doesn't the government subsidize useful majors? I keep hearing about this engineering/science/math crisis that's on its way, but we're still offering the same federal loan rates for academic pursuits that aren't exactly critical to national security, like sculpture and gender studies. I'm sure that if this was designed right, then this coming scientific crisis would be mitigated.

If it was super cheap to get a degree in the above 3 fields, and/or much more expensive to borrow money to major in dance, etc (loans at prime + 4.3% [that's about 3-4 times the present rate]) we would have many more engineers, etc. It makes me sick to think taxpayer dollars are being spent so people can go to Naropa and get a degree in Transcendental Buddhism or some 200 person "Bible college", when they could be spent inducing someone to go into a field that actually matters**.

I don't want to live in a world where the U.S. is the second banana. Who would have thought that stickin' it to hippies was an important part of the answer? Who says there aren't any win-win solutions?

*Maybe they have. I don't have lexis-nexus.
** No, smarty pants, I do still think the Bible is awesome, but most "Bible colleges" are a freaking sham.

Also: have either Miguel or I violated some kind of blogging rule by just writing original material with no hyperlinks?

-paul  10:23 EST | |

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Earth Schmirth 

Google Moon. Now I can find all of that savory cheese.

-Miguel Sanchez  10:53 EST | |

NGS round 2 

As some of you may already know, there is a wide-spread and little-known illness that leaves people crippled, disoriented, and totally unable to form relationships. That affliction is known as NGS: No Game Syndrome. New symptoms are being discovered everyday. For example, in certain cases, the victim will make the all-too-rare lighthearted dalliance sound like it has caused him or her to go totally crazy.

In this case, tragedy was averted by informing the reader that among calling strangers communists, making threats on public figures, talking at length about drugs, and being wantonly vulgar, "crazy" is the kind of blogging my audience expects. But this isn't about me (Miguel Sanchez). It's about NGS and the devastation it has wrought.

It's important to note that NGS can afflict both men and women. However, men are more likely to be diagnosed as NGS than women, due to social norms.

-The main symptom of NGS is sensory failure lasting for 10 seconds to several hours. When NGS strikes, the victim is left hearing nothing but the tone of the emergency test broadcast system and sees nothing but white light. Speech and fluid movement are impossible during the attack.

For example, one morning several weeks ago I was being my normal dashing and hilarious self at a local Starbucks. This drew the attention of a young lady who overheard my conversation with the Barista. She gave me a "come-hither" look and said something. What, I'll never know. All I can remember hearing is BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPP. I came to sometime later, the girl was gone, and my iced coffee had melted.

-The victim will come across as dense in an almost super human way in the place of attacks most of the time. This denseness was the subject of my last piece on NGS. Lucky for you, since I have been diagnosed as NGS since junior high, I have a ton of these examples. Each "her" is a different person. NGS touches many lives. And if you're wondering, these are all almost verbatim.

Her:"Take Me! Take me Now!"
M:"Where? I'll go start the car!" (she sure is in a hurry to get somewhere...)

Her: "I'm tired of dating dumb guys! I want a guy who can talk to me about international trade while we're getting it on".
M: "Hmmm." (Why is she telling me this?)

Her: "Hey Miguel! I bet I could beat you in a wrestling match! Want to go the upstairs office with the air mattress and see who wins?"
M: "I got to put these yard signs in my car..." (wrestling? why would I want to wrestle?)

[talking about game theory]
M: " some strategies are dependent on timing as much as risk."
Her: "yeah, risk..."
M: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Her: "and timing... ... ... ... ... ... !!! ...can be bad."
M: "what timing can be bad?"
Her: "Do you even know what we're talking about?!"
M: "..."
Her: "Quit squinting!"
M: "Bad timing?"
Her: "your timing is so bad I'm going to bed!"
M: (how strange! I have no idea what she's talking about.)

As you can see, NGS is a horrible affliction. If you or someone you love suffers from this disease, get help as soon as possible, before it's too late. Don't end up like me: always realizing too late that you made a huge mistake based on an egregiously bad calculation. Oh well. I guess that qualifies me for some job in the DNC.

-Miguel Sanchez  00:24 EST | |

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If you're not one, you must be the other... 

If you're not a Mormon, you must be a .... wait for it... WITCH!!!!

Via Ciceronian Review.

-Ziggy Stardust  19:57 EST | |

Monday, July 18, 2005

How will I spend my summer vacation! Start your bidding! 

NYC or Washington D.C.

Concerned parties can list the pros or cons of either in the comments. I'm leaning toward NYC. I'm off from the 9th of August till the 19th.

-paul  18:43 EST | |

Is there such a thing as being too funny? 

Yes, yes there is. A certain "knee slapper" I wrote today was a fictionalized amalgam of 3 sets of experience. A reader was alarmed that it seemed (in the reader's eyes) to be simply 1 set, seen through a filter of delusion.

NGS is still a problem, and expect a long and very, very carefully vetted piece later this week.

-Miguel Sanchez  18:38 EST | |

Friday, July 15, 2005

Rip Off 

This comic was pubished in 1990. Remind you of anything?

-Miguel Sanchez  18:58 EST | |

Economics Corner with Paul 

If you are the central authority in an economy and you increase the tax on a certain behavior, then you want to discourage that behavior.

If you reduce the tax on a behavior, then you want to encourage it.

The cheaper some good or behavior is, then more people will do it.

George W. Bush claims he wants to encourage a culture of life, and "life" in general (I wonder if he uses antibacterial soap?).

George W. Bush and the republican party are extremely opposed to taxing inheritance, which they believe to be a "death tax".

Therefore, the republican party and George W. Bush believe they are using economic policy to encourage death.

Therefore George W. Bush is lying when he says he wants to create a culture of life. If that were true, he would sharply increase the death tax, to discourage death. Ostensibly, George W. Bush is using economic policy to encourage as many Americans to die as soon as possible.

George W. Bush believes anyone who wants as many Americans to die as soon as possible is a terrorist.

Therefore, George W. Bush believes himself to be a terrorist.

Therefore George W. Bush, who claims to be both in favor of a "Culture of Life" and an enemy of all terrorists is both pro-death and a terrorist, which we know from his choice of economic policies.

-paul  10:00 EST | |

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Don't know what to think 

The WaPo with quotations from Sen. Santorum:
What drew the concentrated ire of the Bay State's congressional delegation was Santorum's decision this week to repeat his three-year-old comment that liberalism was at the root of the scandal over child sex abuse in the church.

"Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture," Santorum wrote in a July 12, 2002 article for the Web site Catholic Online. "When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

Since Santorum wrote those words, the scandal has spread from Boston to almost every diocese in the country, has forced three bishops to declare bankruptcy and has cost the church close to $1 billion. In a study for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice reported last year that 4,392 priests had been accused since 1950 of abusing more than 10,600 children.

Asked by the Boston Globe this week whether he stood by his remark, Santorum said he did. "I was just saying that there's an attitude that is very open to sexual freedom that is more predominant" in Boston, the Globe quoted him as saying Tuesday.
I read stuff like this, and I have to wonder, does he really believe this? Does he really think that sexual freedom is about pedophilia? When he says that gay marriage will lead to men marrying horses, does he believe that too? I have to think that nobody is that dumb and all of these comments are just canny sops to bigoted and ignorant voters.

-Daddy Brooklyn  23:02 EST | |

Monday, July 11, 2005

Economics Corner with Paul 

Hurricanes. Fearful unstoppable hurricanes. Living in Colorado, I have certain limitations. No beach access. No Disney World. On the "plus" side, no hurricanes. And therefore no multi-billion dollar federal bail-out every 2 months every summer.

Not so for for Florida. The state once called "America's Wang" by Homer Simpson is indeed sticking it to us. They are making us pay for their choice to live in an area likely to be hit by hurricanes. Like the Coloradoans surprised to find at their mountain/Forrest homes, their dogs are eaten by mountain lions, and their houses burned by forrest fires. These people are externalizing the cost of their lifestyle.

Federal Flood insurance was designed by an economist, and as originally imagined, as a way of putting the externalized costs of living in a flood plane back on the property owner. Since we will inevitably have to dole out money when we see houses afloatin' down the Mississippi, we have at least gotten that cost up front. Price signals are expected to be better as well. The insurance tells people "this house will be flooded" and more importantly "this will be expensive". More importantly because the foolhardy can ignore that former, but the later is an absolute, built into the price of ownership. So when the national guard spends a day getting your cow off of your barn, the rest of us aren't stiffed with the bill.

How about some hurricane/forrest fire/wildlife attack insurance so we can stop subsidizing people's bad decisions?

-paul  13:04 EST | |

Monday, July 04, 2005

Measuring YOUR implicit biases 

Think you've overcome all of your biases? Think again. Or at least consider taking the implicit attitudes tests at the website below. It's pretty interesting. I took a couple of the tests and my results (particularly compared with my self-measurement) made me think....

Click on the demonstration button.

-Jess  13:31 EST | |

Independence Day 

When was the last time you read the whole thing?

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

-Ziggy Stardust  11:03 EST | |

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I'm Moving to NEW LONDON! 

I have always been quick to admit when I am wrong, and thanks to commenter Chris, I have seen the error of my ways. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the New London redevelopment!

"this is for parks and parking lots and little stores like that to make the whole area more desirable, for the PUBLIC, not for PFIZER. Sometimes, you know, the details matter."

I am sorry! THESE details SURE DO MATTER! This wonderworld utopia you speak of, with its PARKING LOTS! (Gasp!) Its LITTLE STORES! (Fawn!) It IS more desirable! My heart has never been so aflutter with desire! To only think of the bliss on the hearts of the fair people of New London! It's like no other place I've ever heard of! The city on the hill! New London! They ought to call it New Eden, what with its PLENTIFUL FREE PARKING!

Rust Belt + Strip Mall = PARADISE!!!

SING WITH ME CHRIS! Sing to the Motherland,
home of the free,
Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong.
O Party of Lenin,
the strength of the people,
To Communism's triumph lead us on!
FTS. Maybe it's time to think hard about working for McCain...

-Miguel Sanchez  22:37 EST | |

Spainish Marriage 

From Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's before the vote legalizing marriage equality in Spain:

"We are not legislating, honorable members, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members. "In the poem 'The Family,' our [gay] poet Luis Cernuda was sorry because, 'How does man live in denial in vain/ by giving rules that prohibit and condemn?' Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people who, during many years have, been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended, their identity denied, and their liberty oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty. "It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet: because it is the triumph of Liberty. Their victory makes all of us (even those who oppose the law) better people, it makes our society better. Honorable members, There is no damage to marriage or to the concept of family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens is this class of Spanish citizens get the potential to organize their lives with the rights and privileges of marriage and family. There is no danger to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law enhances and respects marriage. "Today, conscious that some people and institutions are in a profound disagreement with this change in our civil law, I wish to express that, like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will generate no evil, that its only consequence will be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of decent human beings is a better society. "With the approval of this Bill, our country takes another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that was begun by the democratic change of government. Our children will look at us incredulously if we tell them that many years ago, our mothers had less rights than our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to stay married against their will even though they were unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a beautiful lesson: every right gained, each access to liberty has been the result of the struggle and sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition and praise."

The translation is by Rex Wockner.

This makes me so happy and hopeful; it's been a while since I've read about such a wonderful political outcome.

Via Obsidian Wings.

-Ziggy Stardust  21:05 EST | |

Friday, July 01, 2005

Holy Crap 

O'Connor Just Resigned.

I thought it was supposed to be Rehnquist.

I guess Bush will get to appoint two judges, and I'll bet neither will be as moderate as O'Connor.

-Ben  11:13 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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