Sunday, December 31

New Year's Eve Open Thread: What will make BG better?

one of my favorite Post Secrets

So I'm working on how I can take Blue Gal, the blog, to the "next level," without a preconceived notion of what that means.

I don't want to become one of the big blogs. I noticed one comment thread had over thirty posts yesterday. On this blog, that is a sign that something is wrong. I'm not interested in hosting a chat room, even though I participate occasionally in Shakespeare's Sister's virtual bar and really enjoy it.

One thing I have resolved for next year is to read more, and the way to accomplish that (since the blog runs my life these days) is to do a monthly book review. "Art and Chaos Day", where I invite readers to join me at an online art museum, will become a bi-weekly feature. There's too much good art on the web to miss.

I'd love any other ideas you might have. Thanks.

Saturday, December 30

Hangman? We lose.

Hell yeah Paul Hinrichs is a genius. Duh.

How it's done:

And by the way, there may be some out there who think I'm a castrating beeyotch, but consider. I do it with my wit. Unlike some, who do it with their own bare hands.

First Freedom First: Worship...or Not.

“Despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of the earth, more than half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.”

"Speaking to a small group of supporters in 1999, Bush reportedly said, 'I believe God wants me to be president.' Believing that God has delivered you unto the presidency really seems to entail the belief that you cannot make any catastrophic mistakes while in office."- Sam Harris

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia. (All the Jefferson quotes at that link highly recommended.)


Freedom of Religion has allowed Christianity to flourish in this country. It's sad that a small group of zealots think that is not enough, that if the government and public sphere does not "acknowledge" God in a prescribed way, something's wrong.

And again with the science thing: Christians around the world, and particularly in this country, need to learn the definition of one simple word:


The idea that a story written by ancient people featuring a talking snake means that God himself requires us to LIE about the age of say, The Grand Canyon, is so pathetic as to make our religion a public laughingstock.

The focus on "worship...or not" at the First Freedom First website has to do with NOT the public display of religiousity by elected officials. Believe me, Sam Harris and company will have to hold their noses when Obama gives his acceptance speech in Denver two summers from now. But there is too much pressure from inside the political power structure itself to make everyone join the theist party.

As Garry Wills, a devout Christian (though because he's Catholic some Jesus lovers probably think he's headed for hell) has pointed out in his book, "What Jesus Meant," Jesus did not trust the political world to further his mission for him. In a wonderful NYT op-ed (and yes, it's worth reading the whole thing, several times) Wills says,

It was blasphemous to say, as the deputy under secretary of defense, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, repeatedly did, that God made George Bush president in 2000, when a majority of Americans did not vote for him. It would not remove the blasphemy for Democrats to imply that God wants Bush not to be president. Jesus should not be recruited as a campaign aide. To trivialize the mystery of Jesus is not to serve the Gospels.

The flip side of this coin comes from First Freedom First:

Our private choice to worship, or not, must be protected when we go to work and to school and when we participate in our communities. It is never up to politicians or public officials to coerce us into supporting religious expressions in which we do not believe.

[Flying Spaghetti Monster adherents are also welcome to chime in at BG.]

Thursday, December 28

Outta town

Sorry I should have posted this before I skipped town.

I've skipped town.

Back on the blog Saturday.

All is well, visiting relatives with the Blue Gal Clan is all. Have a good rest of the week.

Isn't it nice that James Brown went ahead so Heaven would be funky enough for....Gerald Ford.

Tuesday, December 26

First Freedom First: Sound Science

I continue to blog this week about First Freedom First, an umbrella group working to safeguard the separation of Church and State - BG

One would think "Sound Science" included rejecting intelligent design but First Freedom First categorizes that under "academic integrity" and it's all kinda arbitrary, but hey, they've got it covered. The Sound Science component has to do with stem-cell research, access to emergency contraceptives, and making sure the National Science Foundation and FDA are not being run from a pulpit somewhere in Virginia.

Scientists seem to be tripping over themselves working to find a way to harvest stem cells without destroying an embryo. That might solve the political "moral" fight staged over stem cell research, but it doesn't solve a larger problem churchy types will have to face at some point: the breaking of the commandments regarding idolatry when it comes to the unborn fetus.

Churchy advocates hold up photos of unborn babies like they are Jesus his own self (and hey, don't get me started about idolatry and graven images when it comes to that dude). It's called fetus fetishization, folks, and it's no different than a golden calf.

Anti-abortionists might argue that this is about human life but we all know it isn't because if it was there would be at least as much effort on the part of abortion foes to help single moms after their baby is born as before. Some churches do make an effort in this regard but it is not nearly as prevalent.

On the other hand, don't get me started about the "Church of the Latest Pill from Big Pharma." There's a whole lot of faith going on every time you put a pill in your mouth and expect healing, folks, and I for one am really concerned about how much more "life-span" all of us "need" and the promises of medical science to bring it to us regardless of cost or quality of life. (See End of Life Care at the earlier post.) If I'm pushing envelopes here it's because this conversation has to include all of it.

Okay, now I've gone on this long theological tangent but there are two battlefronts in the fight for sound science. The first is in the hearts of Christians, and we Christians really have a lot of work to do to figger out if we're really walking the talk.

The second battlefront is simply, earnestly, for the Constitution of the United States. Churches and other religiously-inspired groups simply can't be allowed to dictate federal policy regarding scientific research. It's not their provence. Render unto Caesar, and all that.

More on First Freedom First's Sound Science component here.

Monday, December 25

Merry Christmas and all...

Merry Christmas or whatever you want to celebrate this time of year. The little Blue Gals are busy with Dora, Spongebob, and Barbie, which of course, means it's been a very good Christmas for Viacom and Hasbro.

I made three batches of cookies yesterday which would not be necessarily bloggable, except I sang lefty ballads (rather than holiday carols) while mixing and measuring. Here are my recommendations for cookie recipes and their musical accompanyments for next year, or whenever.

Jiffy Mix Sugar Cookies, with two teaspoons almond extract and one cup dried cranberries mixed in...Billy Bragg, Accident Waiting to Happen.

Duncan Hines Chocolate Chip cookie mix, made with real butter and another cup of dried cranberries mixed in....Pete Seeger, Little Boxes.

Once-a-year pain-in-the-ass date balls (not a sex toy.) Nine Inch Nails, Head like a Hole.

Honestly, "Chinese Chews" are delicious, especially with strong coffee, BUT.

We'll be finishing up the First Freedom First posts this week, but posting will be a little erratic for the same reason it is for everybloggy else. Have a great week. The Christmas letter is here if you missed it. Much love, BG

Friday, December 22

First Freedom First: Academic Integrity

Last night Mr. Blue Gal read a science book to Young Master Blue Gal called What Makes Day and Night. (BTW the book is part of a children's science series...highly recommended by the Blue Gal clan if you have a child in grades 1-3.) Mr. Blue Gal was so impressed with this book he looked through the whole thing, and exclaimed, "Wow! This book is part of a series! We need to get more of them!"

So I looked at the list and in my best June Cleaver impersonation, said, "But honey, there isn't a book here on Intelligent Design."

Mr. Blue Gal: "Of course not. These books are written by actual scientists."

It is not up to the courts to convince individual Americans that intelligent design isn't intelligent. Freedom means, in part, freedom to be wrong. You don't have the freedom to ACT on wrong information if you're just being bull-headed, especially about big things like traffic laws or invading sovereign nations.

But back to ID: Those of us who treasure the separation of Church and State fight intelligent design in the courts because it is only the latest not-too-subtle attempt to inject Christian theology into the public school curriculum.


The court cases have nothing to do with the fact that intelligent design isn't intelligent. Although it isn't.

I'm no Karl Rove, folks, but the talking points here are important. Don't get into a debate with an ID'er about whether or not it is good science. ID'ers clearly don't give a monkey's thumb whether it's good science or not. They wouldn't follow it if they cared about empirical evidence.

Intelligent Design is religion
. It is a perfectly acceptable subject for debate in a philosophy class, an (elective!) comparative religion class, or a political science/sociology class. Issues of religious faith must not be taught as empirical fact in a public school science classroom.

More on the issue of academic integrity, of which ID is only a part, here. Class dismissed.

Thursday, December 21

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for December 21

If you haven't heard the song, make sure you do.

Today's don't sugarcoat it award goes to two terrific bloggers.

First, Stunted Growth from the Blog, Is Richmond Burning?, for his lovely New Year's Resolution:

To get the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Sheriff's Department, Henrico Police Department, and the Virginia State Police to bend over so that I can give them a free tonsilectomy with my boot.

Runner-up goes to Robert Ellman of Intrepid Liberal Journal, who pointed out in his most recent podcast post:

Prostitutes are held in higher esteem then today’s politicians because at least they’re providing a service.

Thanks for sharing, gentlemen.

Happy birthday, Frank Zappa. Zappadan returns next year to the Aristocrats.

First Freedom First: Democracy, not Theocracy

I'm blogging this week on the battleground issues of First Freedom First, an umbrella organization supporting specific issues related to the separation of church and state. - BG

I was gonna write something about why democracy protects religion, but Arthur and friends say it so much better in a minute-twenty-seven than I could in a thousand words. Go watch.

When you're done, I have something else for you. One bad thing that happened to me this past year is I lost my paper address book. All of it. Christmas card is online at the sister site. If you think you were in the old book, or just want to be, send your snail mail, phone numbers, etc., to bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com. I'll be happy to write cha down in version 2.0. A very happy time of year to all of you.

Wednesday, December 20

First Freedom First: Reproductive Health

I'm blogging this week on the battleground issues of First Freedom First, an umbrella organization supporting specific issues related to the separation of church and state. - BG

And I've set aside my ban on live models because it's a bathing suit and the head scarf makes it so demure. Yeah.

I've blogged many times on issues of contraception, abortion, gender politics, not to mention sex.

So you can go back and read what I've wrote on these issues, but two points, I think bear repeating:

I think NARAL is using Roe v. Wade as a self-perpetuating cash cow, just like the religious right does. I do not forgive them for endorsing Lieberman, either.

It is regrettable that the heavy lifting in smaller cases, like when some pharmacist won't sell birth control because said pharmacist would rather prescribe their own sexual morality than prescriptions (I think "you're fired" is a good response)...anyway, the heavy lifting in these cases goes to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU. (Check out some recent cases here.) These smaller cases threaten to gradually erode reproductive health for Americans in general, and American women in particular.

Secondly, I find it fascinating that some of the best web info on reproduction and contraception can be found at The marketplace can't afford to be inaccurate or preachy. The marketplace, in this instance, has decided to tell the truth. It isn't preaching, by the way, to indicate that abstinence is the best way to avoid STD's, pregnancy, and AIDS. Duh. But it is responsible to point out that "abstinence is not always a practical or desirable option." Double duh.

For more on the First Freedom First campaign for reproductive health, click here.

Tuesday, December 19

No Christmas Card from the White House Yet....

panties tree

Last minute holiday shopping don'ts and do's:

DON'T: Because anyone who buys this is FUAW (First Up Against the Wall) the $6,810 ensemble, including alligator leash, for your dog.

DO: Attaturk has gone and put out the calendar as a real, hangable object. Twenty bucks is more than worth it. What calendar? Oh where have YOU been? It's the one, the only,

GOP Character Counts Calendar for 2007!!!

Don't you remember former GOP chairperson Ken Mehlman as Miss June?


Many of the other months are too obscene for even this blog, but if you scroll down the Rising Hegemon After Dark site, you can see for yourself.

And you can order several dozen here, through LuLu. I can't imagine a better way to start the year.

PS. Thanks to my hunnies Norbizness (for the title) and Omnipotent Poobah (for the panties tree).

First Freedom First: End of Life Care

Panties not only liven up a blog,
they can lighten up a funeral.
Surprise the widow with a gift she'll never forget!
(No linky. Don't you think the poor woman
has suffered enough?)

But seriously folks...

Seriously. This post is about death.

I remember when a relative of mine was in hospice care with stage four lung cancer. My relative never smoked and took her vitamins, etc. The kind woman who volunteered at the hospice told us that her husband had died under the same circumstances. I was astonished that someone who lost her husband in such conditions could volunteer to watch others die of the same thing. People don't walk out of hospices. But this woman was committed to making sure people died with care and dignity. And she put her emotions and her time and her energy to that end.

End of Life Care is code for if you're dying, you get to die. This may include refusing tube feeding or even breathing apparatus, or it may just go so far as a "do not resuscitate" order should a patient die while under care. It can go so far as physician-assisted suicide. (Doctor Doug, please comment on all this, btw.) It's a tough nut for the medical community to crack, as that community is rightly committed to saving lives, not ending them or allowing them to end. I remember reading about a doctor in the NYT Sunday Magazine a few months ago who took extreme measures to save a 96-year-old woman in a vegetative state. Asked why he did that, he said frankly and without irony: "If I didn't, she would die."

As the boomers continue to age, like it or not, they seem as a generation to want a tremendous amount of control as to how they die and under what circumstances any extreme measures should be made to save them in terminal circumstances. The medical community is responding, slowly but surely: Eldercare, hospice, and end-of-life issues, not to mention physician-assisted suicide, are hot topics at AMA meetings, fo' sho.

This is an issue, I think, where the religious right does not have the best interests of individual Americans at heart, and individual Americans know it. Pew Research Center polling shows overwhelming support for Right to Die laws and strong consideration, if not implementation, of living wills, especially after the publicity of the Terri Schiavo case.

Yet Congress continues to be whores to the religious right and their bullhorns on this. I'm with Sister Maureen Fiedler, SL, host of public radio's Interfaith Voices, who said in response to the Schiavo Congressional intercession:

"Would this same Congress return for a special session to appropriate the billions of dollars that we've already promised to AIDS victims to ensure that they live? .… to approve the funds needed for African Union peacekeepers to stop genocide in the Sudan? … to save uncounted American lives by providing every citizen with guaranteed health insurance? Would they devote a special session to the lives lost in Iraq? ….an accounting of Iraqi lives lost?"

There is a big gap, folks, between wanting some control over how you die in Schiavo-like circumstances and actually filling out the paperwork. I myself fall into that gap. One of my New Year's resolutions is to do something about it.

Monday, December 18

If Blue Gal ran Time Magazine...

Commandante Agi has kindly provided us bloggers with a blank Time Magazine template to play with. I love to play:

Cross-posted at The Aristocrats.

First Freedom First: No Religious Discrimination

It's bound to be a slow news week, slow blogging week, etc. so I'm going to take this opportunity to blog all week on First Freedom First, a group that advocates for support of Americans' Constitutional right to religious liberty as guaranteed by the First Amendment. On my sidebar there's a link to the FFF website, which indicates eight battlegrounds, yes, battlegrounds, in the struggle for First Amendment freedoms.

Today: No Religious Discrimination. It amazes and saddens me, as one who is inspired and indeed devoted to Jesus, that we have to fight fellow "Christians" (and I use the quotes for myself as well as others) to stop religious discrimination in America. Christians who blandly deny equal rights and opportunities for non-Christians, and today that means Muslims above all, have no sense of the history of their own religion, either in this country alone, or perhaps more importantly in the time of Jesus himself.

The Puritans and many who came to the United States afterwards came in search of the freedom to practice their religion freely. That is an incontrovertible fact.

And Jesus. Jesus. No, not using his name in vain, just with a sigh. Nailed to the cross, executed in cold blood, because he spoke the truth to the secular AND religious majority of his day. Aggressive attempts to make the human power structure conform to the Jesus/Christian worldview? How did that work out for you, Judas Iscariot?

It is throughly tragic that most "Christians" have succumbed to the comforts of cultural majority, and erased all memory of the radical, radical savior whose birthday we celebrate next week. Neither right-wing nor left-wing politics, the tinny whine of human advocacy, can contain the power of the unconditional sacrifical love of Christ. Excellent book on this subject is Gary Will's What Jesus Meant:

Not only is he born into an oppressed people, and forced out of his parent's city, and excluded from the common shelter—now the oppressed person, the homeless person, the excluded person must become a fugitive, driven farther away from the familiar, the comfortable, into an exile that recalls the wandering of the whole Jewish people. Herod the persecutor takes up the role formerly played by Pharaoh, the men of power trying to stamp out God's chosen instrument—first his People, then his Son. The relationship of Jesus to worldly power is revealed from the very outset of his life. He is the rulers' prey, on the run from them down through the ages.

"Love thy neighbor" is the most radical statement ever spoken. If you don't believe me, walk around an outdoor mall, oh, I'm sorry, "lifestyle center," and watch the shoppers avoid each other, battle for PS3's, and go into deep debt in the name of a holy holiday. As Jesus himself might say today, "Oy." (By the way, Wills also points out that if you persecute gays, you're persecuting Jesus. Just saying.)

The Religious Discrimination prize of the year has to go to the so-called faith-based initiatives of the Bush Administration, who clearly were pandering to a specific narrow-minded group of political supporters. Recommended: Ellen Goodman's editorial from October. As she sums it up, it's "We the People, not we the parishioners."

Next up: End of Life care and an appreciation of hospice care workers. (Have a nice day!)


Oh. So I win a little Weblog Award and then YOU go ahead and get named Time Magazine's person of the year. You always have to go the extra mile, doncha, punk? Well congratu-toody-lations to you.

Sunday, December 17

Sex. Knitting. Sex. Knitting. Sex.
Er, whatever.

Some of you already know that Blue Gal, the blogger, is a knitter. This is not a knitting blog, however. But I did want to take this opportunity to let knitters who may be reading my blog anyway (cool) to be aware that I'll be in Tacoma, Washington at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival on the weekend starting Thursday, January 25. Thanks to Chris in Seattle who suggested I get in touch with some Drinking Liberally people, will do. Please, if you're in greater Seattle, and I hope by now you have power, you poor dears, feel free to drop me a line and let's make arrangements to meet.

Because it's on topic, I'm gonna indulge myself with a little knitting post. Feel free to come back tomorrow if you only come for left wing politics and panties.

But oh, speaking of panties, those of you who are knitters probably read Knitty on a regular basis but honestly, knitting a man's thong in Fixation? Geez.

We'd better explain the joke, which goes beyond that yarn's silly name. Fixation is a cotton/spandex blend with a big emphasis on the spandex. It's the stretchiest yarn I've ever encountered. I'd be afraid to knit with it, frankly, though a thong made out of same would be a "snap" and I mean that in the ouch way.

Okay, so what if I told you that the sexy come-hither finger in this photo is attached to a hand that is attached to a man who actually knit the sweater you almost missed because you were fantasizing about that, um, ankle?

Of course if you are a knitter like Blue Gal (and Figleaf, the guy in the picture who did indeed knit that sweater, in silk, ohgodohgodohgod....)

...then I'm afraid you noticed the sweater first. Are the stitches in those cables twisted? Is that plain ol' trinity stitch in the center panel, 'cause it looks like there might be some little yarnovers, but then again, it could be the yarn. What size needles? Do you have any problem with the silk worming (it's a knitting term) or felting? What about tension? How much give does silk have? Is it pure silk, or is there cotton or ramie or bamboo blended in?

But now I'm thinking about that finger. I don't wonder for a single solitary moment what else Figleaf could do with those fingers. I am sure he can. The only thing that would recommend him more on that naughty level than knitting would be playing Hammond Organ, but I digress.

Sigh. And I hesitate to send you knitters to a sex blog, your virgin eyes, yeah right. But Figleaf is such a wonderful writer, he keeps the "nice" photos of himself below the fold, (where I go first) and this post is about erotic knitters in the news. What's not to love?

Saturday, December 16

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for December 16

Something tells me if you haven't ordered your Christmas cards by now, you probably aren't the Christmas card type. But if you're the kind who orders theirs for next year (nut) you can get these lovelies here.

Today's Don't Sugarcoat It award goes to Tengrain at Mock, Paper Scissors, for his lovely eulogy for Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Tengrain is one of the more talented bloggers out there: great writing, terrific commenting here and elsewhere, and web design that just knocks me for a loop every time.

As you may remember, the Don't Sugarcoat It award is reserved for individual bloggers who tell it like it is. If we could give one to a MSM kinda person, I would choose The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg on a regular basis. Here's a comment, overstating the obvious, but still, from the December 4 issue:

According to the “Backwards Bush” countdown clock, available on the Web and in key-chain and desk-accessory form at selected novelty and toy stores around the nation, the sitting Administration in Washington will, as of this writing, be in office for another seven hundred and eighty-nine days, five hours, twenty-three minutes, and 36.2 seconds. But, if present trends continue, it’s going to feel like forever.

From Tengrain, too.


Shucks, folks, I'm speechless. Except to say thank you. Especially to those fellow bloggers who asked their readers to vote for me.

What a wonderful group of friends I have. I am so blessed. Thank you.

Okay, now I'm starting to sound like Sally Field. But no kidding, next year they plan to have a live awards ceremony in Vegas, baby. Telly Savalas, Celine Dion, and Paris Hilton all missed their chance to present the award to BG. Not that Paris and I would have much to talk about. And if Celine started to sing I'd have to use my trophy to, you know, beat her senseless.

I guess this means the Koufax for "blog desperately needing more attention" is out.

Love you guys. Thanks again.

Friday, December 15

Thanks for continuing to vote...

Now is not the time for Flappy Birds to sit on their laurels!

...for Blue Gal in the Weblog Awards. You can click HERE to vote again (once every 24 hours) but if you need to click on a pair of panties to get in the mood, they are HERE.

A little message for Paul the Spud

Paul the Spud has decided to hang up his blog, Adventures of the Smart Patrol, and blog exclusively at Shakespeare's Sister. He is absolutely one of my favorite bloggers, whereever he does it. A dedication, Spudsy, honey:

I'm leaving Smart Patrol on my blogroll just in case, just like I leave Fafblog there. Some blogs must stay there 4-Evr.

BREAKING: Alabama Senator communes with the DEAD!

Actually, the Senator is not clairvoyant, he's just...well, he's so darn Jeff Sessions:

"An evidently distracted Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke of communing with fallen troops. "I talk to those who've lost their lives, and they have that sense of duty and mission," he reported."

The man's name oughta be an adjective.

The War on Christmas Blogswarm. Santa Responds:

image stolen from the always wonderful Is Richmond Burning?

And because I just can't resist the temptation to turn my blog into a cheesy women's magazine feature, here's a bonus quiz! Find out just how much Christmas you can handle!

Give yourself one point for each thing you do during the Christmas season, then see how you score!

1. Hang Christmas lights outside.
2. Order Personalized Christmas Cards
3. Have over 100 family photos printed
4. Compose Annual Christmas Letter.
5. Create laser printer labels, complete with year, for the back of the photos.
6. Buy and wrap all of the presents your family will give this year.
7. Don't forget the kid's teachers, the mailman, your pastor (if any), and your spouse's secretary.
8. Buy two sets of Christmas stamps, religious (see minister above) plus snowflake so your heathen friends won't be offended. By the stamp. On your holiday card.
9. Buy 18 snowflake pencils and sets of three snowman and Santa stickers for goodie bags for your child's school Christmas party.
10. Bake Cookies for the Parent Appreciation (?) Lunch at Cub Scouts.

Now score yourself:

7-10 points - Well, congratu-f-ing-lations, you put Mrs. Claus to shame, ya elfin beeyotch!
4-6 points - Screw the black box warning: you need Prozac, in the limited edition red and green capsules!
1-3 points - Thanks for putting up the outside lights, honey.
Zero points - No offense, but you think you'll keep her, huh? Asshole.

Thursday, December 14

Yer kidding!

You mean to tell me that the Saudi Royal Family is telling the Bush Royal Family how to conduct Middle East policy? Who knew?

'Kay, shorter answer: who didn't know?

I mean, The Mofo Wall Street Journal isn't covering this story today. It isn't news to them. It's nice of the Saudis to give the Israelis a break, though. It was high time for a tag.

Great posts on this from There Is No Spoon and Smirking Chimp.

Wednesday, December 13

Speaking of Awards Shows

There is a little controversy over whether the Weblog Awards have a conservative bias, but there is NO such controversy about the Koufax Awards.

Look, here's the deal. Wampum puts OUR award show on with little money and little thanks and we in the left wing blogosphere can do better. Way better.

I just used the Amazon Honor System (they do PayPal, too) to send them five bucks. They need a new server which costs $178.00 plus s&h. The server hits they get from "Koufax only" viewers is phenomenal and costs money.

If you've ever fantasized (oh don't get me started) about winning a Koufax, you owe it to yourself to support the servers that make the awards possible. Get over there and give less than the cost of 12 ounces of ground Starbucks. It's time.

UPDATE: Gaaah! As of the moment of this writing I am behind by ONE VOTE. Think your vote doesn't count? Heh. This is crazy. I'm so hyped up I might even vacuum today.

Tuesday, December 12

The War on Christmas Blogswarm Post

Commandante Agi is hosting a War on Christmas Blogswarm. I'm always behind anything that might piss off Bill O'Reilly. If you have your own blog (good for you!) please participate.

It will come as no surprise to any of my regular readers that when I say War on Christmas, of course I mean war on what NPR just gave up and called flat out "The Gift Giving Season." The Consumerist Season, more like. People this amazingly rich country of ours are buying Christmas-themed toilet seat covers and glue-on toenails and charging them.

And while the war on right-wing fundies continues the year round, please, let us not allow the Right to define and push us into getting all anti-Jesus this time of year. It isn't necessary. As I pointed out to Agi his own wonderful self:

Just remember, for some of us lefties, Jesus is our union organizing carpenter/death penalty victim/truth to power homeboy.

Santa? Cut his balls off.


I'm about 40 votes behind in the Weblog Award voting. Time to fugeddaboudit and get the focus back on the writing. Thanks for all the love and support. I don't care what my competition says, MY BLOG has the best readers in the blogosphere.


Before I forget, even if you're not into Frank Zappa, you might be fascinated by qwerty's contribution to the festival of Zappadan: A YouTube of FZ on the Steve Allen show in 1963, portrait of the artist as a young up-and-coming square, with a tremendous amount of gumption and creativity. It's fantastic.

Monday, December 11

Is BLUE Gal a Libertarian in disguise?

underpants on his head
Memo to this guy:
You can hate America.
You can wear your underpants on your head.
You cannot do both.

I got a great email this weekend:

Dear Blue Gal:

I read you almost daily... and I have a question.

Would you consider yourself a libertarian?

I consider myself, more and more, one. Even though I've "hung out" in the Democratic party since I obtained my voter ID card - oh geez, 18 years ago.

I heard an article on NPR about why people who consider themselves libertarian are moving more and more to the political Left, as far as who they are electing, because of the current government's nosing into personal business where they don't belong.

Just wanted to know where you stand and why, and I didn't see any particular post that I could comment on to ask.

My response:

Thanks much. Mister Blue Gal is a member of the Libertarian Party, and I voted for the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Alabama, Loretta Nall. So did lots of progressives in this state. Our Democratic candidate, Lucy Baxley, was a total GOP-lite embarrassment.

But even at the state level, Loretta Nall could not get on the ballot. The big parties have so much locked up...

I think voting the issues, particularly in state and local races, is the key.

I consider myself a Democrat and probably will for the rest of my life. It's definitely in my blood.

Thanks for reading and for the question.



I think we progressives need to be really concerned about ballot access for third parties. Who knows, there may come a time in the future when we even go so far as to dislike the Democratic candidate for President. (Ya think?) You can read more about Loretta Nall's struggle over this issue at her blog, particularly her November archives. Some jerks at County Elections even went so far as to suggest that write-in candidates should PAY to have their ballots counted. Don't get me started. As Loretta pointed out last month:

We should demand that our election process at least be as fair and equitable as the one in Iraq, where there were 75 political parties and 111 candidates on the ballot in the last election.

This is not a Mommy Blog.

Not Blue Gal's actual house, just a reasonable facsimile.

But as I wrote to a friend yesterday, The Sunday New York Effin' Times is read, the blog is tended to, and the best video blog has three blog round-ups full of wonderful blogs, even though Mike is outta town. My house is a SHAMBLES. Every single room. I have not put away a clean shirt in four days.

But here is what IS done: The Christmas tree is up. All three children are fed and bathed and have clean clothes on and know Mommy loves them. (Did I mention I'm doing this alone until the 20th, as Mr. BG is outta town? BTW the rumors are not true. Mr. BG and Mike are not the same person. Thanks for checking.)

So would I have it any other way? NOPE.

PS who would have thought the top three flappy birds would only be separated by FIVE VOTES as of this writing? Think your vote does not count? Get your butt over there and vote.

And CDR Salamander is a very very funny opponent. Thanks, Hon. I'll raincheck you on that lunch date.

Sunday, December 10

Saturday, December 9

Why I support the ACLU.

And on a related left wing slant, if you see someone walking around with this shirt, you might wanna walk up and say hi and see if it's me. Mine arrived in today's mail. UPDATE: Okay! Okay! Sorry! Here's where you get the shirt.

A commenter asked a while back, quite sincerely and honestly, I thought, how I could call myself a Christian and have an ACLU banner on my website. I've been meaning to repsond for a while now, and am prompted to finally do so by this article by Fran Quigley, the executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union.

But before I quote her article, allow me to quote Mr. Blue Gal. He knows a thing or two about the ACLU, as he has been in a leadership position within the ACLU of Alabama for some time now, making me, Mrs. Blue Gal, extremely proud in the bargain. I mentioned the "how can you be Christian and ACLU" comment to him (we've had this conversation many times on the way to and from church, actually) and he made the following point. I apologize to my readers for whom this sounds like Con Law for Dummies, but I needed this primer and maybe others do, too.

There are two clauses in the Constitution related to the separation of Church and State. One is called the Establishment Clause. This clause prevents the Government from establishing a State-sponsored church. There will be no "Church of America" as there is a "Church of England." I usually roll my eyes when people involve the Founding Fathers in their political arguments, but in this instance there is no question: the Founding Fathers did not want a "Church of England" style relationship between any religious institution and the American government. Therefore, "Congress shall make no law establishing" such a church.

The other clause is the "free exercise" clause. This clause tells the government that they cannot interfere with anyone's personal religious expression, as long as that expression does not interfere with the rights of others. A government employee, for instance, can wear a cross around her neck to work. Or a Star of David. Or a diamond-studded flying spaghetti monster. There are numerous other examples of free exercise of religion. This blog, for instance. If I decided to turn this into a blog where I pretend (?) to be Jesus H. Christ and answer emails from surfers about whether anal is okay, that sure is free exercise. Some may find it offensive, but it's protected speech AND free exercise (known by ACLU lawyers as a "twofer").

This gets to the point of not only why I, as a Christian, support the ACLU, but why I can't imagine any Christian NOT supporting them. Mr. Blue Gal pointed out to me that the ACLU defends a great many more free exercise cases than establishment cases. That means their main activity in terms of religion is helping the little guy practice his or her religion the way they and their God see fit. And I'm not just talking high-profile peyote cases, the only kind of case the MSM seems to cover.

The problem for the ACLU is that when they defend a Baptist preacher who wants to preach on the sidewalk (and they have done so) it does not get nearly as much press as when they ask a judge in Alabama to take his handmade Ten Commandments plaque off of the wall behind his chair. That, of course, just gets him elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, for a few months anyway.

Here is what Fran Quigley of the Indiana ACLU has to say:

As part of our justice mission, we work hard to protect the rights of free religious expression for all people, including Christians. For example, we recently defended the First Amendment rights of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets in Southern Indiana. The ACLU intervened on behalf of a Christian valedictorian in a Michigan high school, which agreed to stop censoring religious yearbook entries and supported the rights of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at their school.

There are many more examples, because the ACLU is committed to preserving the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom for all.

And that is why I am a big supporter of the ACLU. If you are a Christian who has been taught that the ACLU is your church's enemy, ask yourself why you can't believe in Jesus Christ AND ALSO support this country's "constitutional guarantee of religious freedom for all." How can you not?

Friday, December 8

Did you vote today?

Just click on the panties, ma hunnies.

This post will remain the top post until the end of voting.

I've been checking out the other nominated blogs as I can. One really can't second guess the judge(s), but it seems to me the criteria for finalists is they post regularly, know pretty much how to spell, and have enough html under their belts to get by. That makes the nominees a nice buncha bloggers, and on the whole worth a visit.

Certain of BG's competition has suggested a sense of urgency in voting against "Leftyblogs":

I'm within striking distance of #1 and #2.....who are both LeftyBlogs!! To paraphrase, "The Left triumphs only when the good people do nothing!"

I don't know anything about good people doing nothing. I've never met a good person who did nothing. But I digress. Just allow me to say that if you are checking out Blue Gal for the first time because she is a finalist for a Weblog award, welcome. This is definitely an unapologetic Leftyblog...and probably the only finalist who encourages you to click on a pair of panties to access the ballot.

Please also give these FOBG's your consideration. And thank you.

Best New Blog - Konagod
Best Liberal Blog - Shakespeare's Sister, Jesus' General, or Bring It On! [my vote in this category is so secret, I don't even know who I'm voting for.]
Best Video Blog - Crooks and Liars
Best Humor Blog - Sadly, No!
Best of the Top 1751 - 2500 Blogs - Last Left Turn Before Hooterville

Thursday, December 7


The 2006 Weblog Awards

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to click on the above graphic to vote for Blue Gal in the category "Best of the Top 3501 - 5000 Blogs."

Then, to completely screw up the exit polls, email one, JUST ONE, personal friend of yours, asking them to vote for Blue Gal, too.

UPDATE: Turns out you can come back every day and vote for Blue Gal once a day. No kidding. The idea behind this is that Markos is too self-important to pimp daily for votes, and Kossacks are too lazy to go ahead and do it, which levels the playing field for us smaller, more diligent, desperate, well, you get the idea. I am not making this up:

I'll admit that I stumbled onto the formula in 2003 while trying to devise a system that would give blogs with lower daily readership a chance against blogs with much higher daily traffic. Call it the InstaPundit influence... I surmised that someone like InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds would probably link to the inaugural edition of the awards only once. If the voting period was one day and he linked to the poll how, I figured, would a site with 1/10th of his daily traffic be able to compete?

The answer, of course, was to extend the voting period and allow for multiple votes, thus giving determined challengers a chance to send members of their smaller audience back to the polls repeatedly in contrast readers from other blogs who might only visit once or twice. The idea behind The Weblog Awards has always been to level the playing field in as many of the categories as possible. That idea is what lead to the creation of the Ecosystem categories. I figured that blogs in proximity to each other in the TTLB Ecosystem would be aligned closely in readership as well - making them natural competition for each other.

Glenn Greenwald, honey, if your large mammal ever wants to do it with a flappy bird...

Please also give these FOBG's your consideration. And thank you.

Best New Blog - Konagod
Best Liberal Blog - Shakespeare's Sister, Jesus' General, or Bring It On! [my vote in this category is so secret, I don't even know who I'm voting for.]
Best Video Blog - Crooks and Liars
Best Humor Blog - Sadly, No!
Best of the Top 1751 - 2500 Blogs - Last Left Turn Before Hooterville

And of course
Best LBGT Blog - Captain Dyke (What do you MEAN they don't have write-in voting!?! Oh crap.)

With all this new found blogebrity comes certain annoyances. The red carpet is buzzing about the fact that Blue Gal is a finalist in her TTLB range, but Asslass Slugs was shut out of every category, including Best Conservative Blog. My attorneys have warned me not to make too much of this. They say it can probably be handled with a letter. They always say that. For the record, my position of several months ago stands: Pam's persistent, annoying demands for a gmail invite will go unanswered. As to the rumors that she was screaming my url when she was recently "asked to leave" the kosher wine superstore in Howell, New Jersey, I have no comment. She looks tired. I hope she gets some help. That is all I have to say.

My imaginary publicist picked out this "look" for me for when I present the "Best New Blog" award to Konagod. I don't give a rat's butt that Konagod is gay: the kiss he gets at the podium will be a cross between this:


and Tom Cruise's wedding smooch. Just saying.

Wednesday, December 6

Quick comment

In a battle-of-wits steel cage match between Christopher Hitchens and Totie Fields, my money is on the the "hefty, dykey, Jewish" CORPSE.

Blue Gal (and her betters) at Carnival of the Liberals

I'm honored that my post was selected for the latest Carnival of the Liberals, even moreso because two of my favorite bloggers, Shakespeare's Sister and ThreadingWater are also included.

I look forward to reading the entire carnival's worth of posts.

I'm going to be doing a couple days guest blogging for another little roundup at everybody's favorite video blog (OMG Blue Gal! Are you lonelygirl-15 !?! Heh.) later this week, so posting may be lightened here at BG. But don't count on it.

Tuesday, December 5

Being Left, being right, and being a jerk.

No, there wouldn't be.

Ooh ma hunnies I think an interesting little flame war has been started at the New York F-in Times.

Nicholas Kristof, who by some approximations nears sainthood (I reckon there would be no Darfur coverage at all without his courage), takes on Darwin's Rottweiler:

If God is omniscient and omnipotent, you can't help wondering why she doesn't pull out a thunderbolt and strike down Richard Dawkins.

Doh! Oh Nick honey, don't sugarcoat it.

Ordinarily, we'd have to snip and clip the Kristof article as we could without a subscription to Times Select, or take the text from everybody's second-favorite rogue blogger. But behold, Dawkins puts up the eddy at his own site, in the spirit of "I'll just let my sycophants fight for me on the comment thread."

I'm really sorry that Kristof has such a halo over at NYFT, that his editorials probably don't get fact-checked, 'cause it's that next to last sentence, "Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars, let's hope that the Atheist Left doesn't revive them." that is so heinously incorrect as to get the Media Matters panties in a twist. (They love that.)

But look, essentially Kristof is right. Dawkins is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant people on the planet. He is by far the best defender of true science in the face of unscientific Christianist BS. For that alone we are, all of us, in his debt. Dawkins is also an arrogant prick. I think if Nicholas Kristof had even less editorial oversight, he might have said so.

[Slightly off topic, I love bloggers whose entire comment policy is "don't be an a-hole." I'm an a-hole often enough that I hopefully keep it to my own blog and emails. Trust me when I criticize Dawkins or anyone else, that I'm well aware that my own sins and failings keep me busy 24/7/365.]

But back to that brilliant prick Dawkins: In one of his own videos, Richard Dawkins sits through a religious revival meeting as if he has a large stick up his butt, then afterwards is warmly welcomed into the office of the minister in charge of the meeting. Within three minutes Dawkins is comparing the church experience to the Nuremberg rallies. To the minister's face. That's not science. That's bad manners.

A lot of leftie irreligionists would point out that the minister in this video is none other than Ted Haggard. Haggard of the homo/meth scandal, who certainly deserves to be painted with the widest brush full o' hypocrite paint we can find.

But Haggard uses the term arrogance to describe Dawkins, and Haggard is right. Kristof is right, too:

...this Charge of the Atheist Brigade is often just as intolerant — and mean. It's contemptuous and even ... a bit fundamentalist.

Based on your input, I'm submitting to Carnival of the Liberals my post from June, 2006,

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

because it says just what I wish Kristof woulda coulda...

Monday, December 4

help me pick...

Carnival of The Liberals is asking lefty bloggers to submit their best post of the year for their First Anniversary Round-Up. I just went through the graveyard of May and June, to save time, and linked below to my favorites from those two months. But I would be grateful to hear from my readers before I make a final submission, which I must do before tomorrow night, Tuesday, at 8 pm EST.

If you are a blogger your own self, DO submit your best post of the year here. The more the merrier.

The Mainstream on Abortion and why we're out of it. (May)

Blue Gal goes Green. (May)

Can't a blogger get a little respect around here? (May)

And finally, Are we anti- the Religious Right or Just Co-Dependent? (June)

You know, that was my response to
the Bolton resignation, too.

I know this is one of the most watched youtubes on the planet, but what a fun way to start the week at Blue Gal.

And hey, Mister Bolton, I just found out The Colbert Report is looking for a new producer. Coincidence? He thinks not.

tip of something tasty to somewaterytart.

Sunday, December 3

Music for a Sunday

If'n you think Frank Zappa does not have any influence on today's music. Huh.

Cake, Comfort Eagle. Great music for a Sunday. Turn it up, kids.

At first I thought this fan video showed the "drilling for oil" image too often. Then I realized it wasn't. Not at all.

Saturday, December 2

Monday is the beginning of the holy month of Zappadan.

Sorry if this feels like spam. It's actually kosher smoked turkey.

I just wanted all of you to have updated info on the blogswarm for Frank Zappa:

December 4 through 21 shall henceforth be known as Zappadan: the days of the year between death and birth, that ethereal time when there was no Frank, so we must celebrate him to keep his spirit safe until his birthday again.

Or it's just a great excuse for a party that has nothing to do with the greed and debt festival known as Christmas in America.

In any event, it's a labor of love with the hope that Frank would be proud.

You can make a contribution by posting something about Frank or writing something up and sending it to the Aristocrats. You will be compensated for your effort with linky love, or a post to call your own at the Aristocrats.

Details here
. Thanks.

Stare at this photo for twenty seconds.


Now imagine waiting in line for two hours to watch this for twenty seconds. That was my yesterday.

The book, "Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid" looks really good. I look forward to reading it. Security was very tight at the booksigning. Given the topic and "don't sugarcoat it" message of this book, that should surprise no one.

In spite of the rush, Mister Blue Gal did get in a word to Mister Carter:

Mr. BG: "Thank you for your book, and more importantly, the message contained in it."

Mr. Carter: "Yes, well I think it's long overdue."

I was grateful to Mister Blue Gal for what he did NOT say: "Hey, meet the wife, the liberal blogger Blue Gal. The two-hour wait to watch you write your name sure is revenge for her making phone calls for Ted Kennedy back in 1980. Kudos! Wow, did you get a load of those Britney Spear's love flap photos? I'd like to show her a piece of apartheid, heh heh."

Mister Blue Gal would never. In fact, I doubt he knows who Britney is, more power to him.

Friday, December 1

The Price of Success

There's been quite a hit parade here at BG the past few days, and with that has come some new commenters. Welcome. I'm delighted to have new feedback, new contributions, new friends.

Some of the comments have posed a challenge however. The "excellent! Love it!" comment to a months-old post, with a convenient link to a Lipitor/Prozac/Vi@gr@ website, was deleted. The eight-gobzillion word 9-11 conspiracy theory comment did not get deleted.

And then there's this, Wally. Re: my open letter to James Dobson. A commenter calling himself "Mark," on topic, coherent, and totally calling me on my bull:

"What if we in the church told our young people that sex is terrific, especially when you love the one you're with?"

Probably because that is insane! ...maybe? Can you imagine a 13 year old who is "in love" hearing that bullshit? Please make a mental note Blue Gal: A pedophile 'loves' the child.

Once again, perhaps well intentioned, self professed followers of Christ justify their own desires in the name of 'love'. When God's boundaries for our lives are just 'too much to handle and people do it anyway', or by making it OK with God by simply revising God's word to fit their worldly wants based not on His holy word, but human wisdom, we all can just rest easy and 'live and let live'. Tolerance, after all, is key to living a holy life.

Good 'luck' with that thinking. I hope one day you see your error.

Oooh kay. Glad you found Blue Gal, and left the comment. Thanks. Let's set aside the easy smackdown that I certainly was not talking about MINORS when I said "young people." My bad, I should have been more specific.

I think, "Mark," you and I could have a really interesting conversation about "God's boundaries for our lives." That is exactly what I was talking about in that post. God's boundaries, in my opinion, certainly include NOT getting a girl drunk in order that you may have an orgasm inside her without her permission. (BTW how did you find this site? Even on Google Blog Search, "Christian Panties" does not bring up Blue Gal. Yet.) There are a great many other boundaries, I feel, God sets for us out of love. Killing, torturing, plus all the lying about everything, in order to pursue a false agenda and seemingly endless war that just so happens to make all your friends in your Presidential Cabinet filthy stinkin' rich...oh I digress.

I am, as a former theology student, well aware of the tremendous threat perceived by religious conservatives in the word "tolerance." They see "tolerance" as a code word for "tolerance for sin." There's even a "Christian" book on the subject, and while to me it signals "circle the wagons" mentality ("The New Tolerance offers a thoroughly biblical message of love and hope in the face of a culture increasingly bent on sabotaging the foundations of your faith and that of your children."), I also think it might teach a few fundies to cool it, and learn to love a little more for every slight, even a little, when it comes to getting the back hairs up over where our culture is going.

"Mark"'s comment has me thinking a little more about Blue Gal, the blog, and how to continue talking about sexual responsiblity from my own admittedly "liberal Christian" (and yeah, I'll put "Christian" in quotes for myself, too) perspective. As I said in the Dobson post, I don't speak for Dobson, and he does not speak for me, ditto for "Mark." Perhaps I simply need to leave "The Church" alone, and focus merely on public policy as regards sexual behavior, contraception, and civil rights. Although my arguments will still be with those who consider themselves as speaking for "The Church," I don't need to be telling that Church what to preach or how to talk to their young people (18-30) about sex.

Of course, I can retain my opinion that many churches are condemning themselves to complete irrelevance in our culture by not talking to people where they are. The Church can make a difference without "shoulding" all over the place. These days, people feel free to walk away from churches that do too much "shoulding". This is NOT a bargain with the devil. It IS a lesson in human humility. Learn it.

MUST READ: On topic and hat tip to C&L, Mark (not the same Mark, I think) Morford really laffs it up over the "no sex 'til you're 30" advice from our Department of HHS.

What I wonder is, if Walgreen's Pharmacy can provide comprehensive information on birth control (including the morning-after pill) and prevention of STD's online in a rational, honest, and inoffensive way, why can't the federal government? I mean, thank you, Walgreens:

Abstinence is an absolute answer to preventing STDs. However, abstinence is not always a practical or desirable option.

ESPECIALLY if you're think you're waiting 'til you're 30. Think about it, "Mark".