Friday, June 30

I'm sorry to be so cynical...

Cynicism is not my style. I actually believe in the power of good. But yesterday's "historic" Supreme Court victory left me cold.

Yes, even though Center for Constitutional Rights Lawyers said "it doesn't get any better than this," I'm disappointed.

So what? Our disgrace of an Attorney General, Roberto "Whatever We Want To Do Is Legal" Gonzales, isn't likely to change his socks over this decision, let alone his behavior. The prisoners at the Guantanamo Hilton can remain guests of the Chimperor for another five.

Those "traitors" at the NYFT say:

A principal flaw the court found in the commissions was that the president had established them without Congressional authorization.

So then the Republican Congress said, "oh please sir may I have another?"

Fox News will spend the entire day today covering the President's trip to Graceland.

And then of course there's the dissenters, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, who will be around for a long, long time.

Sorry to be so down today. I always appreciate when anything this President does gets a smackdown, it's just that I don't see what difference it makes.

We've got more guest posts coming. Keep the faith.

Thursday, June 29

Don't Sugarcoat It Follies - Alyosha McBain

Welcome to the Don't Sugarcoat It Follies. I had so much fun when I was on vacation in March reading guest posts to my blog, that I decided to invite the past winners of the Don't Sugarcoat It Awards to write a post for Blue Gal. These will run as they come in over the next week or so. I gave the winners the option of writing about the 2008 Presidential election or coming up with their own topic. First up is Alyosha McBain of the blog Auto Da Fe. He won the Don't Sugarcoat It Award last December 14. More recent posts include the lovely and demure "How To Be A Fucking Fascist Disgrace, by Alberto Gonzales." And he's here today. Thanks Alyosha.

panties for rudi

I lived through the eight long years of the Rudolph Giuliani mayoralty in New York City, and the possibility that this man could be elected President is terrifying to me. He must be stopped and kept away from a position that has stealthily accumulated more and more power under the Bush Gang. There is no bigger threat to American civil liberties than Rudolph Giuliani, and no other candidate out there has demonstrated their willingness to abuse the powers of elected office as clearly and readily as Mr. Giuliani.

He swept into power and won a mayoral election months after inciting a riot by NYC police officers, and left the office of mayor eight years later in 2001, standing on a pile of their corpses. His sonorous and somber intonations made in the shadow of the fallen Twin Towers (as smoke and debris clouds whipped around us all in NYC) helped establish himself as the government's public face of the 9-11 attacks. Prior to becoming NYC mayor, as a US attorney and later a prosecutor, Rudolph Giuliani attacked his caseload with the zeal of Andrei Vyshinsky, and used methods of humiliation and psychological pressure on his targets that were antecedents to those practiced by private contractors in Iraqi prisons under the Bush administration.

The media was adoringly complicit in these humiliations, giving wide rein to a man whose vindictiveness was so fierce that he once jailed a 78-year old mafia man over the Thanksgiving holiday as a flight risk and prevented him from receiving medical care while in police custody. Perp walks with Michael Milken and various other 1980's crime figures cemented his image as an up-and-coming figure on the NYC political landscape.

He used this notoriety to run against David Dinkins in 1989. Though he lost, Rudolph positioned himself as a logical successor to Dinkins. As the Dinkins administration floundered amidst such non-stories as a boycott of a Korean grocery store by African-American activists and real problems like the riots in Crown Heights in 1991, Giuliani's opposition to Dinkins took a turn from pointed critical analysis towards blatant pandering to frightened whites. This tactic proved successful for Giuliani as he won the 1993 election easily over Dinkins.

As mayor, Giuliani gave the police unlimited public support. He excused viciousness by the pigs in blue in the horrific torture and beating of Abner Louima, and helped defend and exonerate the trigger-happy coppers involved in the police murders of Patrick Dorismond and Amadou Diallo.

He turned the cops loose on the streets of the city, allowing massive numbers of illegal stop-and-searches in many non-white neighborhoods. His so-called quality-of-life improvement tactics allegedly involved the physical transport of NYC's homeless miles beyond city limits, although this issue was barely investigated by the city's elitist press, who if asked would probably have approved of this repressive and illegal activity. Cops began to flood precincts and courts with petty marijuana possession arrests that were dismissed by judges at rates of above 97% between the years 1997-1999. The arrest rates on this terrible, terrible crime rose over 7000% between 1992 and 1999 and ended up being little more than annoying busy work for city police officers. The fact that the civil rights of American citizens who happened to be drug users or minorities were being abused mattered little to shitheaded white NYC bigots, who had been thoroughly impressed and enraptured with the sudden fearful deference they felt from formerly self-assured minority citizens.

Giuliani closed off public access to City Hall as mayor (using concrete barriers, no less), and also did his utmost to prevent the most radical city in the US from having any sort of alternative political life. Protests were broken up by police after the mayor's office would deny permits, as Giuliani grimly attempted to make one of the most traditionally Democratic and unique cities in the US into some nightmarish Republican version of Fantasy Island. Welcoming franchise fast food chains into the city that other mayors had denied (like Subway and Chili's) was only one of the ways in which his asshole with a combover defiled the gloriously seedy landscape of New York City.

New York City folks are no fools. And by the sixth year of Rudolph's reign, many city residents were more fond of venereal disease than they were of Giuliani. The police stop-and-searches had begun to receive major negative coverage in certain newspapers, and the unapologetic use of deadly force by the NYPD had soured many early Giuliani supporters on the veracity of his rhetoric and purposes as mayor. The year 2001 witnessed the publication of a nifty hatchet job bio by Wayne Barrett that told of his transformation from a Democrat to a (gulp!) Republican, and it used his job as a prosecutor to probe Rudolph's psyche, concluding that his narrow, monochromatic view of the world was the result of years spent screeching at juries about the moral imperatives involved in locking people up in tiny rooms for really long periods of time. This bio splashed all over the tabloids in NYC, and there was no information more titillating than the fact that Giuliani's father did time in Sing Sing for armed robbery and also worked as a low-level enforcer for the Mafia. While this was going on he was being sued for divorce by his then-wife Donna Hanover, who alleged that this moral titan of Republicanism had been guilty of repeated infidelities with two long-term extra-marital girlfriends in the last eight years. Rudolph's response to this was to get all tabloid TV about it and reveal not only the name and face of his current paramour but to admit that he was suffering from prostate cancer. After public discussions of such treatment options as the implantation of radioactive seeds up Rudolph's ass along with less embarrassing, more traditional forms of chemotherapy, the people of NYC were just wishing that he would go away.

9-11 arrived just in time for Rudolph to rehabilitate his failing dictatorship. He was everywhere that day, running around with a crew of cameramen to record his every action on that fateful morning (which of course might suggest some foreknowledge of the deadly havoc that had been unleashed upon "his" city, but that discussion is for another day). Standing next to the witless GW Bush and the vapid, phlegmatic George Pataki in the days to follow, Rudolph couldn't help but come off looking like Churchill during the Battle of Britain by comparision. And once again, he was everywhere--at Yankee games, in his accustomed elite front row seat, with his newly beloved; or at Ground Zero, posing against the profile of the ruin of over 3000 lives. And not only that, but these events transformed this racist oppressor, this disciple of the Manhattan Institute's repugnant social philosophy into an American statesman!

Five years of relatively low visibility have allowed him to regain his health. His pugnacity and abililty to speak extemporaneously will be tough for any Democratic candidate in any debate situation. His iconic status as the Shepherd of Terror Victims is transparent, however, and he can be attacked on so many aspects of his record as mayor of NYC. The question is whether or not the Democrats will have enough balls to remind voters of his pre-9-11 record. His misuse of the police is something that New York State and City judges were on record about during the 1990's, and his sheer inattention to non-white citizens is something that must be brought up constantly by Democratic opponents. There is more to municipal governance than arresting its citizenry; I shudder when I think of a potential Giuliani administration, seeing DNA ID's, national traffic checkpoints, and routine police harassment as natural and immediate consequences of this dictatorial maniac's will to power. Great care should be taken by the Democrats to piss him off in front of running cameras; his shrillness and utter meanness cannot be hidden when he is in full temper. The retreat from the Bill of Rights that began after World War II and reached its high point under the illegal Bush occupation of the White House will continue, and if there's ever been an American politician who is likely to fill up the detention camps that Halliburton is slated to construct in the next five years, it is Rudolph Giuliani.

Wednesday, June 28

Is it just me?

cappella subliminal ad

Is it just me, or does this ad for Cappella University look like a pair of white panties and she's cupping her crotch? Just asking.

And kudos to the guy who owns a company selling High quality Nitrous Oxide Whipped Cream and Soda Chargers & Dispensers. Creamright is a terrific name: I'm kinda surprised the Joyscape people haven't found you yet.

Tuesday, June 27

Drinking it up with the Clintons

filed under WTF?

This post was gonna be about how mad I was at Bill Clinton, for offering a free mug with a $40 contribution to his Foundation. Mr. Blue Gal got this letter from none other than James Carville making the offer. My mug is way nicer, cheaper, and holds more coffee.

But then I go the and woo Nelly! There's enough booze glasses there to start yer own bar.

And hey Mr. Carville, what exactly are you trying to say with a pint glass with Hillary's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on it? I mean, at one level it is a real nice touch: I know that whole episode drove ME to drink.

It's just another reason kids, to yearn for the end of the current administration. That Laura Bush shot glass collection is gonna be hot.

Monday, June 26

Support Gay Marriage? I do.

wedding warning
stolen and modified from Slugtales

Nice writeup in The New Yorker (Hendrik Hertzberg, love him) on the whole gay marriage distraction, particularly those numbnuts claiming gay marriage as an "attack" on marriage in general:

It's a strange sort of attack, to be sure: a wonderfully pacific attack, a supportive attack, ...consisting, as it does, of the earnest wish of certain loving couples to join themselves to that very institution and thus to feel themselves, and be accepted as, full members of the American (and human) family.

...In the past forty years, the definition of marriage has indeed been changed, not by any homosexual master plan but by an epidemic of heterosexual divorce. Marriage is a social good -- Bush is certainly right about that -- but it has become a disposable good.

That is, for us heterosexuals who take it for granted. Hertzberg ends his comment by recommending Bush worry about the massive increase in divorces among those serving in Iraq. Huh.

Sorry folks, for sounding like a "thumper," as one reader has called me, but to me marriage is a sacrament. And as a sacrament its lessons, and blessings, should be available to all of God's children.


I had the chance to re-watch The Celluloid Closet this weekend. It's worth seeing again or for the first time. It's a little amusing to watch Armistead Maupin and Gore Vidal and Quentin Crisp and even Susie Bright talk about how closeted everything was, but then when you see the film clips you realize just how hard it was to watch the inevitable suicide of nearly every gay (though they would never say the word) character in film for decades. And the number of times "faggot" is used as an insult, particularly in teen comedies. Sheesh. Go rent it.


Finally, thanks to Don for pointing out that (only in) Alabama, where voters have defined marriage as one man plus one woman, one man did try to marry one woman and still had a little trouble. Okay, he 's a transvestite. But he was biologically a man. Just not man enough for the judge in one Alabama county. Next county over they got married, but I might have a problem with marrying a transvestite because no doubt the "big-ass bow" on the back of most Alabama wedding dresses would look much better on his butt than on mine. That is all.

Saturday, June 24

"Yeah, but will it help me meet girls?"


The "I'm Blogging" bumpersticker on your car could label you an unsafe driver.

But the "I'm Blogging" bumpersticker on your laptop at the wifi coffeehouse marks you as a cutting edge future-guest-on-the-Sunday-talking-heads-shows celebrity in training!

"Oooh, are you a blogger?"

Yeah, I'm calling Dick Cheney a fascist. Obvious but way fun. Wanna watch?

"'Keep your panties on.' That's too funny! You're cute. Let's get out of here."*

*Results atypical.

Friday, June 23

Welcome Joyscape Surfers. Now go home.

By far the majority of hits from a specific link this week to Blue Gal have come from Joyscape. This is apparently a directory of porno blogs, and while Blue Gal is no prude she really does not work to mislead surfers to her blog. Those surfers looking for "Preggo Porn Blog" or "Spanking 69 Latinos" are welcome here, but they're likely to be disapponted. That is all.

Memo to the AG


While you're illegally searching bank records, Roberto, would you please let us know how much Rick Santorum paid for this man-on-dog suit? Thanks.

h/t Spork.

Thursday, June 22

Sex! Sex! Sex! Oh, google it yourself.

Apparently the latest blogosphere debate is whether fellatio (hey, this month's Vanity Fair says it's as American as apple pie!) has killed patriarchy. Or that we should be thinking about patriarchy during blowjobs. Or something. I don't even want to follow this argument. I'm still mad at my mom for throwing out my patriarchy in 1977.

Speaking of sex, Star Wars Episode Four, A New Hope. That's the original one that came out that same year, and my seven year old just watched it for the first time. Wow. It was great because he could be indoctrinated into a major pop culture icon of my youth, while at the same time, learn another important life-lesson:

"See, son, the pee-nee shaped x-wing fighter?" I mean, seriously, what's the head on that thing for? Armor? Feh.

"Well, it goes barreling into this dark narrow cavern-like tunnel. The pee-nee ship's job is to shoot a little thingy so that it will penetrate the large spherical Death Star. Watch Luke grunt a little sigh when he shoots his little thingy successfully." Really folks, you need to watch the scene in this context. I am not making this up.

"Then a 'chain reaction' occurs. The big sphere ultimately bursts into a thousand points of light, and all the good guys jump for joy!"

And that is where babies come from.



Wednesday, June 21

I got yer coffee mug right here.

You may now visit my cafepress store, thanks to Akabini. Also, did you know that Akabini has a line of shirts with a little tiny logo, "yep, they're real"? For those of us blessed with what mother nature gave us. Loving that spaghetti tank, Akabini, but since mother nature, and being a mother of three, gave me too much for spaghetti to hold up, me be needin' the "extra wide egg noodle" tank top, ma hunnie.

Enjoy the shop, and remember that 10% of my profits go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which benefits bloggers and their rights as writers and journalists. Rock on.

Are we journalists yet?

If I had to find panties large enough for the whole blogosphere...but at least the guy in the green shirt looks happy, or is that a wedgie wince on his face?

This is something I've been wondering for a while now: What are bloggers, exactly? I found myself filling out a Sunday School registration form (for the UU's) and came to "mother's occupation". "Mother" sounded redundant, though accurate; "homemaker" or worse, "housewife" was out of the question. I only use "innocent spouse" when I'm signing the tax return. What about "blogger"? It certainly is a (pre)occupation, though few find successful ways to derive income from their blogs.

I thought about it for another second and put down, for the first time in my life, "writer." It sounded right then and still does. No imposter syndrome. Amazing.

That's just one of the self-affirming things blogging has done for me. And it turns out more and more the law is on my side. Case law is something I'm married to, not something I follow, but as Mr. Blue Gal will strongly attest, case law is what defines and re-defines roles for all of us, from who is a "marriage partner" to what is a "blogger." It's worth paying attention to case law in blogging to find out just who society thinks we are.

There's a good overview of the whole bloggers as journalists, including legal cases, in this National Journal article. As our society continues to grow in awareness of the blogosphere (and please, please, don't forget that blogging is still NEW), bloggers are more and more being thought of, legally, as journalists. This means blogs are protected speech, bloggers can protect their sources, etc. The jury is still out as to whether we will be given press passes as a matter of course, and that, I suppose is not a legal issue but an influence issue. I imagine Markos can get in where he pleases at this point. Blogging as journalism also leads to all kinds of responsibilities, like getting the story right (unless you're blogging for Fox, I guess), and spelling correctly. "Your a geenius" doesn't cut it. Even in comments. Understood?

Tuesday, June 20

Beyond the usual suspects....


What do you bloggers use for source material offline? I think as the mid-term and Presidential elections come closer, we're going to have to read more selectively. Of course, Think Progress, Media Matters, and Crooks and Liars are the big three of the lefty blogosphere online sourcebook. WaPo and the NYFT getcha the news, and WaPo's linky love via Technorati makes it a preferred choice.

But I think we need to go beyond our own insular online world and figure out what magazines and other print outlets might yield good posts. I recently picked up the June issue of The Atlantic Monthly, and I was so impressed I think I might just subscribe I did subscribe to the print edition. Print subscribers get full access to every article online, which makes cut and paste all the easier, but even more than that I was so impressed with the analysis, subject selection, and pure blogability (yep, that's my filter for just about everything these days) of this issue, that this magazine may become a favorite foil month-to-month. The fact that it's monthly helps, too. I can hardly keep up with The New Yorker, though it comes to the house, too, and I can't imagine life without it.

The June issue of The Atlantic has a fantastic cover story on the end (gasp) of Roe v. Wade, and how, if such an event were to occur, it would decimate the Republican Party. Read up:

The current abortion drama in South Dakota provides the best predictor of what might happen if a handful of other states try to resurrect old abortion bans, or pass new ones, that fail to include exceptions for rape, incest, and serious threats to a woman’s health...

Since the South Dakota ban passed, the approval rating of the governor, Mike Rounds, has dropped by 12 percentage points, and several state legislators have announced their intention to switch parties from Republican to Democrat.
[Bwa ha ha ha. Ride the donkey, South Da-ko-ta!]

...the moment pro-choice and swing voters perceived that their own right to choose was threatened, there would be increasingly urgent demands for a federal bill protecting the early-term choice that two-thirds of the country supports. If congressional Republicans failed to respond, or insisted on trying to ban early-term abortions instead, their intransigence could set in motion a national backlash that would make the response to Roe v. Wade itself look tame.

If Roe falls in June 2007, abortion will almost certainly become the central issue in the 2008 presidential election. And Republicans are already worrying about the political fallout. “We’d be blown away in the suburbs, and you wouldn’t see another Republican president for twenty years,” a pro-choice Republican congressman recently told Roll Call.

So there’s a good chance, assuming Roe falls, that there will be a Democrat in the White House by 2009. If Congress, at that point, passed a Freedom of Choice Bill protecting early-term abortions, the president would sign it. And if Republicans attempted a filibuster, they might marginalize their party for decades to come.

Now, perish the day that we all need such a cataclysmic event to push the Republicans to the margins of electability, but hey, at this point nearly everything else has failed. The Atlantic is preaching to their choir, of course, but notice that nice photo of Alito and Roberts on the cover. The Atlantic is preaching to them, too, and don't think for an instant that the Justices are any less narcissistic than us daily-hit-count-checker bloggers. The Justices have staff to be narcissistic for them, as well. They've read this article, and will not be Roe-ing any abortion boats in a political vacuum.

A side issue: in another section The Atlantic points out that a politician's support of reproductive rights regardless of party, is in direct proportion to the number of daughters that politician has. Yeah, I kinda think that's why Laura's not out giving speeches for the right to lifers. Do you think the twins are celebate? Nah, don't go there.

I've quoted Nina Totenburg on this many times here. She said during the Roberts confirmation hearings that the overturning of Roe would be the worst thing to happen to the Republican Party apart from a return to the military draft. I've also pointed out that while some extremists and many Christian's "on the ground" feel passionately about overturning Roe, abortion is such a cash cow for the religious right that they really have a negative vested interest in "winning".

Let me put it this way. Pat Robertson and James Dobson may talk loudly about protecting the unborn. But if Roe is overturned their ability to fundraise on the issue is as good as over. And Karl Rove does not want Roe overturned. I guarantee you. Who has more power within the Republican Party, do you think? Pat in-any-sane-world-I'd-be-committed Robertson? Or Karl in-any-just-world-I'd-be-indicted Rove?

So then the question becomes do the Justices themselves give a rat's behind who is in The White House for the next 20 years? Uh, Bush vs. Gore, 2000. I think they do. I also think they get it. Perhaps more's the pity, in spite of the upheaval, it might be nice to watch the GOP poison themselves on Operation Rescue Kool-aid. But this Republican Party, Rove, DeLay, Cheney, the whole lot, are the most politically astute crooks in the history of American politics. I would not take the bet that they are stupid (or compassionate) enough to throw away power over a few unborn, unwanted, babies.

UPDATE: Shake's Sis has info on the ballot initiative against the South Dakota abortion ban.

Monday, June 19

Happy Monday

remember, no Sunday (because of God)

A belated happy 64th birthday to Sir Paul McCartney. Ya know, Paul, it may be time to retire; you're almost as old as Mr. Blue Gal.

Remember Junior's Farm?

At the Houses of Parliament
ev'rybody's talking 'bout the President,
We all chip in for a bag of cement.

And that was 1974.

Department of Setting the Record Straight Here at Blue Gal:

It was nice of Tony Snow to apologize for being an idiot, but when I suggested in this space that he was a complete idiot, I was attempting to be charitable, not clairvoyant.


We really need to stop referring to Ann Coulter as a slut, a whore, etc. Again, being charitable, I ask, are there enough men in the world who would do her on a bet, let alone pay money for the (ahem) privilege? Sure she's thin and blond, but she's also mean and a liar. Guys, doesn't attitude count when you're looking for a prostitute? Just asking.

Oh, and don't tell me she's called that because she whores her books. (That's so obvious that David Horowitz was laughed off Larry King for denying that one.) Come on. Even though BG is both a Frappuccino and a feminist, we don't need gender specific insults for that crime. Bill O'Reilly is a slut and a whore, too, if that's the definition, and I for one do. not. want. to. go. there.

Feel free to call her, along with Michelle Malkin, a demented cunt. I do all the time.

By the way, I'm titheing. 10 per cent of everything I make off of the mugs will go to Electronic Frontier Foundation. The mugs are by a blogger for bloggers, and EFF does a lot to help bloggers defend their rights.

Sunday, June 18

And the mug says...


"Keep yer panties on, I'm blogging."

Akabini her own self came up with this one, but only after all of you did such terrific brainstorming. Of course I have the brainiest (sexiest) readers/commenters in the whole blogosphere.

Markos is eating his ever-fun-so-loving heart out right now.

The Cafepress store will go up later this week. This fall, the panties shirt. Love on ya for all the ideas, ma hunnies. xoxo

Happy Father's Day


We're still working on the mug below, keep those ideas flowing, folks.

I don't have an "I'm the meanest Daddy" or "Who's your Daddy?" poem for you today, but I do wish all you daddies a Happy Father's Day, and a chuckle (with which most of you are familiar already) Lamentations of The Father by Ian Frazer. He read this on Prairie Home Companion a few years back, too, but I can't find the audio.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 16

Need a few ideas, folks.


Blue Gal's gal pal Akabini already promotes a terrific line of "Fuck off, I'm knitting" merchandise at her Cafepress store. We're working together on adding a "Fuck off, I'm blogging" coffee mug.**

Is that the right phrase, though?

"f-o, I'm knitting" is kinda funny, because unless you are a serious knitter you don't associate telling people that while you're knitting. If you are a serious knitter you totally get it.

But bloggers say that all the time. A Google Blog Search brings up 320,700 hits for the term. But maybe that means more mug sales.

Can anyone think of a better phrase? Please nothing cutesie. I'm gonna break my own rule and delete comments with cutesie.

"Kiss me I'm blogging" will get flamed, and anything cuter will get your home phone number emailed to Michelle Malkin.

BTW these mugs are huge and perfect for blogging I use my knitting mug to blog all the time.

**Okay, okay, okay! The fifth person has asked me to come out with "Blue Gal panties" T-shirts. I. Get. It! This fall, I promise. My idea is to have a picture of panties on the shirt with a Blue Gal kinda logo. We'll get there, but I'm not marketing panties. That's not appropriate, unless you want them as a collector's edition or something.

Thursday, June 15

How many Unitarians does it take...

My journey has led me to the interior of a lightbulb.
Good thing my Birkenstocks do not conduct electricity.

Alright, alright. But out here in the blue state Blue Gal is attending Unitarian services. It feels right, and not only because it's the one church you can count on in town for good child care (a must).

My big problem with UU (and every UU has at least one "big problem" with it so even with my problem I feel right at home) is that my idolatry radar goes off every time I hear a UU talk about the journey and the search and not finding answers and that's okay because the questions are an end in themselves. I worry about the humanist tendency to worship one's own knowledge or lack thereof. But that's me, and for every me there's 20 UU's worshipping their journey. So who knows.

Some UU ministers end the "church year" (and take the summer off, imagine that) with a question and answer sermon, taking questions during the week before and working them with the answers into a sermon. The one I heard last Sunday, by the Rev. Bruce Bode, was really excellent, and is online here (it's pdf and the meat of the sermon starts at the bottom of page 4.) Here's the blog-able snippet (in the interests of fair use and to make you read more of the whole thing I'll just give the odd points):

QUESTION: How can you help me deal with the anger I feel when reading or watching the morning news?

RESPONSE: Dear Angry Reader and Watcher of the News: I agree that such anger is probably not doing you or your loved ones or the world at large much good, so here are some possibilities to consider:

1. You might meditate on the fact that one day you will die. That is to say, one day the part of you that stands apart from the world observing it, evaluating it, wishing to adjust it, and getting angry at it, will pass back into the world, while the world itself will continue on. It would be a sad thing if you were to spend too much of your brief time on this planet being angry about the ways of the world and so miss the wonder of the fact that this world is here at all, and the wonder at the fact of your own capacity to behold this world.

3. You might consider studying astronomy. Seen from the perspective of a starnursery in some nether region of our universe, our anger over Enron tends to loosen its grip.

5. Finally, consider limiting your intake of the news, particularly in the morning. As valuable and important as news is, a large part of the daily news business is to scan the planet in search of accidents, disasters, diseases, scandals, corruptions, conflicts, controversies, contradictions, and potential accidents, disasters, diseases, scandals, corruptions, conflicts, controversies, contradictions, and then to broadcast these at high volume and in language that is designed to hook your emotions. And given how wired our world now is, it’s not difficult to locate concerns and problems that can perpetually agitate, frustrate, and irritate a person.

You may wish to consider what a Unitarian ministerial colleague of mine did a few years ago during the Lenten season. Following traditional Lenten practice, he decided he would give up something for Lent and determined it would be reading the morning newspaper – which depressed him anyway, depression, they say, being anger turned inward. He discovered through this Lenten experiment that reading the morning newspaper for him was like taking a poison pill to begin the day. How much better he felt, then, as a result of not swallowing this poison pill every morning, and how much more energy he had to devote to making the world a better place during the day. (P.S. I don’t know what he did in the evening.)

There's more good stuff, about being "liberal" and "religious", about solitude, about being an older single woman, etc. again, starting on page 4 of this pdf document. Enjoy.

My addition to Rev. Bode's good comments: We do need to protect our mental atmosphere as much as our physical, particularly if we want to work to improve the world in some small way (Bode has stuff on that in point 2). But sometimes getting mad at the morning news actually makes you feel good. I mean, you couldn't do better than this morning's latest silly business, the Republican House deciding to dare Democrats to vote against Operation Endless War on Terrah(tm). Here's a good example of feel good anger from Alabama Ass Whuppin', the latest addition to the Blue Gal blogroll:

These fuckin' morons. The GOP wants to force a debate on the Iraq war? Umm, what's the phrase I'm lookin' for.....?...... Oh, yeah. BRING... IT... ON!

See what I mean?

Wednesday, June 14

But will they keep it clean? Aw who cares.


I'm getting the email invites out as fast as I can, but hey, if you won a don't sugarcoat it award from this blog, you are hereby invited to guest post at Blue Gal the week of July 3.

I'm not going on vacation, this is just a celebration thing.

The back of the panties are cute, too.


Tuesday, June 13

Actually, I'm against a draft...


Tipper, it's really up to you.

See, I'm willing to link to the draft Al Gore page, certainly I'd vote for him this time around.

But Mr. Blue Gal is the kind of husband who never says no to any draft that comes his way outside the Blue Gal domicile. If Mr. Blue Gal got an email asking him to fly to Tahiti, (flight paid for, natch) to give some speech on ACLU or legal history of prostitution or William Kunstler or whatever, he would be on the next plane. Me and the three junior Blue Gals would just have to suck it up.

So I can just imagine Tipper's reaction that some blogospherians are collecting five dollars a piece in a Draft Al Gore movement. This so Chris Matthews can hypothesize about her marriage, by which he means her weight, every day for the next twenty-nine months. Yeah, her kids are no longer little like mine, but listen, if she wants to flip us off en masse, I would not blame her one bit.

Course, The General, who was kind enough to visit Blue Gal yesterday, has another plan:

Remember my plan: If we can force Gore to face the draft, he might do the honorable thing and, like Our Leader, Deputy Leader, and so many other great neocons, get a deferment, run to Canada, or join the National Guard and then go AWOL.

Slightly off topic but recommended: a couple good articles on "whither the democrats" in terms of policy, one from Eli, and one from Liberal Rapture.

Monday, June 12

I'm blogging this, and why.

get the t shirt and other cool gear here.

Blogging has made me a better person. Bear with me for a little personal anecdote:

I came across a short, unassuming woman in a bad suit while waiting for a train to Toronto a few weeks back, and I noticed she had a totebag from some molecular biology convention. I struck up a conversation with her about her work in molecular biology, as if I know anything about that, which I totally don't. But I thought to myself, maybe if I talk to her I can learn something that will be blog-able.

It turns out she does some kind of protein study for a university in upstate New York. Her work is related to immunity, and why some cells are able to acquire immunity while others don't, and some lose their immunity while others keep it. Folks, I didn't understand a bit about the technical stuff she was saying, but someday she and her colleagues may come up with an AIDS vaccine. That is her fricking GOAL, people. She just blew me away, this unassuming woman who is a warrior on the real frontlines in the battle against AIDS. And she was delighted that someone at the train station was actually interested in asking her about her work.

I got on the train realizing just how glad I was that I had taken the time to talk to her, even if I wasn't going to use the conversation for my blog.

And then I just did.

Yearly Kos is making us all a little heady. The mainstream media from NYT to NPR is paying attention to blogging. Hooray, and welcome to the party.

And far be it from me to be the party pooper. By far the most wonderful part of blogging is the people you meet, and meeting them face to face is best of all. Firedoglake has some really heartfelt comments on putting a face to the blog at Yearly Kos. It sounds great.

I worry about those bloggers who are hoping to parlay their blog into something else. A job with a political campaign, for instance. I was a volunteer for Ted Kennedy for President in 1980 and Kennedy for Senate the next time. (Uh, have I earned my liberal-cred wings yet?) At the Senate campaign they had me do phone calls to invite donors to a fundraiser, and they asked me to use a false name when making the calls. For the phone calls, I was Kelly. Yeah, Kelly Suckashamrock, I guess was my last name, God forbid I should be anything but Irish Catholic for this gig. In both campaigns I was surrounded by highly caffeinated, fast talking, slick and horny pols who lived on the phone with one hand and made passes with the other. You can watch the movies: The Candidate, Bulworth, Primary Colors, Shampoo. That is really what it is like, and you could not pay me enough to go back there. Remember, in the world of Blue Gal, intelligence is the aphrodisiac of choice. Power is not. (And by "power", of course, I mean "being an asshole".)

Same for those who are looking to become pundits in some other media. Look, if I have to hire a media consultant to teach me how to do anything, stick a fork in me. I'm finished. I don't want to sit next to George Will and tell him he is wrong about global warming while George Stephanopolooza referees. I can tell George Will he is wrong about global warming right here, and call him honey at the same time. Watch me:

George, honey, you're wrong on global warming. Kyoto is not too expensive. And whether it makes a difference for the temperature of the planet, a cleaner planet is always a good idea. Love on ya, Blue Gal.

I worry about us bloggers. This article, sent over from Paul the Spud, points out that "In Las Vegas, Democrats court the netroots as if it were the AFL-CIO." Great. We're a special interest group now. We've even got our own netroots Kool Aid, according to MoDo. Gawd.

I worry about us bloggers. We're all so new at this, and blogging is such a lovely medium in its own right. Some of us are still at the stage of linking to news articles and saying "me too" to Eschaton and The General. (Well, some of us like to blog about how funny it is putting an entire package of Mentos into a 2-liter Diet Coke, but I digress.) Some of us have amazing, just amazing, talents, as artists, as writers, as humorists, and yes, as pundits. I hate, just hate, to see bloggers think of what they are doing as a stepping-stone to something "better," because in my humble opinion there is nothing better. I mean that.

Keep blogging, and keep the faith.

[um, not crossposted at Daily Kos.]

Sunday, June 11

This would win a don't sugarcoat it award...

text reads: "Now, even widows and children are fair game."
Order a pair and other cool stuff from Reddpepper.

If I thought Huff Post needed the hits. Oh, whatever.

Bob Cesca on the writer he refers to only as "Taints B. Adamsapple":

The Taints B. Adamsapple Strategy:

1) Write a book between anal bleachings,
2) Publish the book,
3) Whore book on national television and insult 9/11 widows,
4) Let the good times roll. And by "good times," I mean "piles of cash for more anal bleachings."

There's more you-know-who bashing and it's all funny.

I think you-know-who and their ilk are actually working themselves into irrelevancy. I'll talk more about that later this week. Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 10

Oy! Markos! I'm getting verklempt!


From the New York Frickin' Times, of course:

[Bloggers] may think of themselves as rebels, separate from mainstream politics and media. But by the end of the day on which the convention halls were shoulder to shoulder with bloggers, Democratic operatives, candidates and Washington reporters, it seemed that bloggers were well on their way to becoming -- dare we say it? --part of the American political establishment. Indeed, the convention, the first of what organizers said would become an annual event, seems on the way to becoming as much a part of the Democratic political circuit as the Iowa State Fair.

"It's 2006, and I think we have arrived," [Markos announced.]

I'm sorry...(sob)...I'm getting verklempt...I didn't go to the Yearly Kos Convention in hang out with the Kossacks...Alright, catch my breath. Just turn to the editorials...OY! A column by MAUREEN FRICKING DOWD, too?

Technology has enabled the not-meek to inherit the earth, and Democrats and others who refuse to drink the cyber-Kool-Aid...


...will, Mr. Moulitsas said, go into the old "dustbin of history."

So now we've got our own Kool-Aid? Oy-yoy-yoy! Alright, alright, I'll be fine. Give me a moment: "Blogging is becoming both mainstream and media because the outsider always becomes the insider, unless you're Daily Kos, in which case..." I can't go on. Discuss amongst yerselves...

Friday, June 9

Pass the bread...

Basket of Bread by Salvatore Dali
see larger original, and other Dali paintings, here.

Bill Moyers has given the commencement address of the year:

Frankly, I'm not sure anyone from my generation should be saying anything to your generation except, "We're sorry. We're really sorry for the mess you're inheriting. We are sorry for the war in Iraq. For the huge debts you will have to pay for without getting a new social infrastructure in return. We're sorry for the polarized country. The corporate scandals. The corrupt politics. Our imperiled democracy. We're sorry for the sprawl and our addiction to oil and for all those toxins in the environment. Sorry about all this, class of 2006. Good luck cleaning it up.

h/t to Braveneworld.

Thursday, June 8

Please do not think about Katherine Harris's panties...


...while you read this post.

Is it just me, or is everyone just a little tired of Media Matters rabid defense of Hillary Clinton? I mean, sure, the "Clinton marriage" story is even more tired. We all wish Chris Mathews would stick a sock in it, on a regular basis, no matter what the issue.

But if Hillary Clinton were elected, what about Bill? I mean, his numbers will always be higher than hers, and there are questions we all need to think about: What would his role be? What does it mean to have a former two-term popularly elected President returning to the White House as first spouse? These are not sexist questions, folks. Curious voters want to know, and they deserve the right to ask.

I don't give a rat's behind how their marriage "is," that's personal, and actually the fact that Hillary and Bill kept their marriage together is about the only plus sign I put in her column. Hillary clearly puts "family values" in the forefront of her personal life. Good for her.

But I still don't like Hillary. I don't trust her. I'm a woman, a dead-dog Democrat, a blogger, and I just won't support her candidacy for President.

The New York Frickin' Time's Frank Rich says it far better than I (5/28):

Mrs. Clinton does look like a weak candidate--not so much because of her marriage, her gender, or her liberalism, but because of her eagerness to fudge her stands on anything and everything to appeal to any and all potential voters. Where once she inspired passions pro and con, now she often induces apathy. Her most excited constituency seems to bee the right-wing pundits who still hope to make a killing with books excoriating her.

Kinda reminds me of Katherine Harris. Sorry about the panties visual. That was overkill.

But back for a minute to Media Matters, which I love. I use it all the time, post their newsfeed on my sidebar, consider what they are doing an essential blogosphere service. We need to call the right wing media on their bullshit. That's not going to happen by appearing shrill. Enough with the Clinton marriage story. Let it die. It's okay, we can drop it first, even if Chris A-hole Matthews wants to question it twenty times daily until Christmas. Oh, and about that Glenn Beck. It's obvious to me that guy gets a $2500 bonus every time Media Matters mentions him. So don't. Without MM, I would have never heard of him. He's there to drive up CNN's hit parade, by using words like Hitler and Antichrist around the Democrats. Don't make it so fun to make us outraged. Only we lefty bloggers are allowed to do that, to Republicans and conservative Christian wingnuts.

By the way, I realize I haven't been too topical this week, neglecting to mention that Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore LOST the Alabama Republican Primary. See? There is a God after all.

Wednesday, June 7

Can't believe this one got by Pat Buchanan...

Pat Buchanan, who thinks everybody has forgotten that he used to work for Nixon (think again), says on national television that we really ought to be worried that the US Southwest will secede from the Union after it is taken over by Mexicans.

He is overlooking one aspect of American life that has already been taken over. Dora the Explorer is definitely a plot brought on by those who support the Mexification of America:

Sure, she looks friendly, but...***

Pat, have you seen this show?

1. She's Hispanic, and we all know what that means.

2. Half the time she refuses to speak English.

3. Her theme song is clearly a reference to trafficking in illegal immigrants:

Grab your backpack
Lets Go! (north)
Jump In! (my flatbed with the false bottom)
Vamonos! (see, there's that Spanish again)

4. She is assisted by "The Map" and "The Backpack," get it?

If there's a place you got to go (America)
I'm the one you need to know (your secret transporter)
I'm the Map
If there's a place you got to get (illegally)
I can get you there I bet (your life)
I'm the Map.

5. She has one nemesis, Swiper, clearly an INS agent. The whole aim in avoiding Swiper is to see him first and yell, "Swiper, no swiping!"...a code to tell your cargo to hide.

This is bigger than the whole Spongebob is gay thing, doncha think?

***Fair use of the Dora image. I have three kids, Nickelodeon has too much of my money, and they can bite me.

Tuesday, June 6

Lookin' a little small, there, Leaker.

little podium
image was shamelessly grabbed from Spork

I just love Paul the Spud:

"GOP Uses Gay Marriage Ban to Woo Its Base"

In other words, the only way the GOP can keep votes within their party is to appeal to the most bigoted people in the country. Which comprises their "base."

And is it just me, or is Tony Snow eating crow instead of drinking koolaid?

We should probably be charitable to Tony, given he's new on the job and all.

Perhaps Tony Snow is just a complete idiot.

Anybody up for a little Tony Snow death watch? AL? Blogenfreude? Anybody else?

Why would you bring up civil rights when you are talking about marriage, which the Supreme Court specifically said was a civil right back in 1967? (It's no pun that it's called the Loving decision.)

One wonders whether the current court has the cajones to make this strong statement on behalf of EVERY CONSENTING ADULT IN THIS COUNTRY REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

A commenter over at Think Progress put it very nicely:

Au contraire, Mr. Snow — this proposed amendment would, indeed, deny civil rights from a segment of the population. Snow has a glib tongue, but he is obviously accustomed to FOX tv where he can something stupid like that and not be challenged; he’s the mouthpiece for Bush&Co and he is not doing such a good job. McClellan answered nothing and deflected every question; this guy answers them stupidly. Which is the better?

AL, I miss Scottie almost as much as you do...

Who knew that Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore, whose campaign for Governor is about as popular as Bushco these days, is pushing the anti gay marriage thing big time to religious bigots statewide? That's your base, Roy.

Finally, many readers may not be aware that there is at least one Alabama Baptist minister who is also a liberal. James L. Evans is also quite a good columnist, and he weighed in on the whole gay marriage thing from an Alabama perspective last February:

We have some serious issues before us here in Alabama, but gay marriage is not one of them. It is a wedge issue, a whip designed not to inspire voters to vote for better government, but to frighten voters into electing a savior.

And the last time I checked, that job was already taken.


Monday, June 5

Threats to America

During World Cup, a rogue soccer ball attempts to eat some wayward panties...
tip of something tasty to Knight of Pan

There were a couple of really good blog posts last month that have stuck in my mind, re threats to America, our Constitution, our way of life, etc.:

Cernig over at Newshog has a really great post about expansion of Presidential powers under Bushco, and insists that we question our candidates and leadership about the urgent need to roll back that power when (hopefully) our party's turn comes around. Mr. Blue Gal, a staunch Libertarian, stresses that in his opinion, the story of American History is one of continuing expansion of Presidential powers caused directly by power-grabbing Chief Executives, especially during times of war. Mr. Blue Gal singles out Lincoln and Wilson as well as Bush as being particularly egregious examples. (when Mr. Blue Gal starts talking Presidential history and then uses ten dollar words like egregious it improves his chances of getting nooky. But I digress.)

Anyhow, Newshog's excellent post reminded us bloggers that we have responsibilities if, and I think when, power is handed over to the Democrats. I like to harp on that, doncha know, so I'm sending my equally excellent readers and commenters over there today to show off your sexy brains. Love on ya. xoxoxo

Speaking of sexy brains, Brainshrub wants us all to relax about our President and concentrate on the real threats to America, reminding us that the Republican Congress is on the case. (ahem.) His excellent post on banning gay married illegal Mexican immigrant flag burning is a must see, especially the picture.

Instead of blogging, I finished "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie yesterday. Thanks for the tip on this one, Doug. A brief synop: chubby heroine with weakness for Chicken Marsala, Krispy Kremes, Elvis Presley ballads, and ornate shoes, meets Mr. Sexy Smart Rich and Perfect. After 275 pages of comic misunderstandings mostly involving their judgmental families, they have tantric sex (thanks for the tip again, Doug) involving mild bondage and said Krispy Kremes, get married and live happily ever after. (I'm not being a lazy writer here the book really does say they live happily ever after.) Hey, I told you I was gonna read fun romantic junk this summer, and I am. I enjoyed this book, and I'll save American Taliban and Joan Didion death books for after the summer, thank you.

25th Anniversary

Of AIDS as a named disease...


Thanks to Divajood for the panties and the reminder.

Saturday, June 3

A note on the panties...


By now, most of you know that Blue Gal posts pix of panties both as a way to drive up traffic from horny search engineers and also as a joke about same. The panties are so popular that she's even receiving submissions of panties pictures from readers. Thanks folks, and keep them coming.

A guideline for submissions: as a general rule, Blue Gal does not post pictures of women actually wearing the panties. This is not a moral choice, merely an aesthetic decision. I suspect that pictures of women (even, or perhaps especially, female torsos merely showing the modelled panties) affects a specific section of the reader's brain, also known as the "little head," which, while powerful, already does way too much thinking on the internet. Blue Gal is always going for the higher order thinking, the big head and the funny boner bone.

But on a related topic, do you have any idea how much bad porn I have to wade though in order to provide these images? Seriously, there are some girls out there who need to take a shower. And being hairless down there isn't attractive if you don't do the armpits, too, ladies. Just a tip.

The other day I wandered onto, a site where a young lady provides her readers with a typed description of the panties she is wearing that day. I guess this is a GFE for the techie set, but since she doesn't provide pictures, of the panties alone even, it strikes me as kind of like phone sex without the inflection. Here's a clip:

I bought some new panties this weekend...oh, but I'm not wearing them today. Sorry, maybe I shouldn't bring up new panties unless I'm going to talk about them. Well, I will wear them soon.

Am I making you hot? Have a nice weekend, folks, I'm taking tomorrow off.

Friday, June 2

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for June 2


The lovely text on this motivational poster reads: "If you can fuck an entire country in the ass, not even give them the benefit of a reacharound, and still get them to thank you for it, then you sir, are the man."

h/t to Hey Jenny Slater.

Yeah, yeah, Doug, I know. There I go giving anal a bad name again...

Thursday, June 1

Are we anti- the Religious Right or just co-dependent?


There are a couple of hot button culture war issues in my inbox today. People for the American Way are calling for action to stop the Federal Marriage Amendment, and DefCon (The Campaign to Defend the Constitution) is calling for action on Stem Cell Research. Both of these campaigns are attacking the religious right. Good for them.

The religious right has been a bee in our bonnets since before the Reagan Administration. Actually, a lot of wackos came from the anti-Communist mumbo jumbo of the fifties. McCarthyism could count on a lot of "Christians" for support against "Godless communism."

So often I talk or email with fellow lefties who have just had it with the religious right to the point that they can't stand Christianity or even religion in general. It's as if there is such a slippery slope in their minds between any admission of faith and total fundamentalism that it's just not worth it to go down that path. No religion is better than any religion, because in the end we all become Pat Robertson or Al Qaeda.

I'm actually quite forgiving of those lefties who think they hate Christianity. Funny thing is when you engage these lefties in conversation, a great many of them think Jesus was a cool guy, and some actually revere him. Even those who reject Christianity outright are not nearly so angry as they let on.

It's that the religious right has so often set the discourse that "God/Jesus equals us" that some of us lefties tend to believe that. Rejecting hate speech, intolerance, and fundamentalism becomes rejecting all religion.

Out here at the summer digs, I have a book of 12-step meditations for co-dependency called "A Life of My Own." It's kind of a joke because at the summer locale Mr. Blue Gal has rented an office downtown so he can work away from the three children. "A Life of My Own" sits on the back of the toilet in the "children's bathroom," which is the one I use, too. Yes, Mr. Blue Gal gets his own bathroom. Oops, there is a rule on this blog. When it comes to Mr. Blue Gal, don't get me started. You got me started. Don't get me started.

Back to the religious right and my co-dependency book (D.G.M.S.) I was perusing this book in the bathtub last night and had a lightbulb moment that some of us lefties are actually in a co-dependent relationship with the religious right. Whoa.

Some of the affirmations in this book seem tailor-made for us leftie blogospherians, when it comes to "hating the enemy":

I will not let someone else's behavior take charge of my life today. (July 15)

Do we really gain anything when we sit in judgment of someone else? Perhaps for a moment we feel superior, but...we are coming to understand that part of our problem is that need to feel superior. (July 16)

It's only human to think we're always right and to assume others need enlightenment. (May 19)

Of course, these quotes apply as much to Pat Robertson as to us libs. Among those of us who care to have a say about public policy, humility is not our strong suit. Ask Bill O'Reilly. But while you're at it, ask Al Gore and Jimmy Carter, too. God blessed the latter two with the ability to learn humility. Looks like the Lord's still working on the Right, and they're gonna take a little longer. 29 percent, wingnuts. 29 percent.

I am not suggesting for an instant that we lie down on issues of gay rights, stem-cell research, reproductive autonomy, or that we accept any pseudo-Christian fascism like intelligent design. But see, I love Jesus, and I'm on the politically correct side of all these issues. We're not all Pat Robertson, and I refuse to allow Pat Robertson to define what Christianity is, for me, or for my readership.

If you are "anti" religion, who has defined "religion" for you? Is it your own definition, or are you letting the enemy tell you how to think? Just asking.