Monday, April 30

Facing the fear and doing it anyway.

Sure there are times when I'm so tired of death and torture and powers and no justice, no justice.

Darfur, Guantanamo, secret prisons, and the suits in Washington are fighting posturing, about timetables. Timetables.

Jesus walked around with a broken heart for approximately thirty six years. He healed, he cast out demons, and he had no patience or even time for political power, a personal sense of what he "wanted to do", some human agenda. That was not his mission.

His mission was peace, healing, and changing the world.

What is the least I can do?

Things that are back up.


Laptop battery arrived today and appears to be working. Available memory is at over 48%. Memory? Memories? Please don't que cue (thanks Leila!) Barbara Streisand. Oh shit....

People who are full of....

from Hyper Death Babies. Cute name!


1. Ehud Olmert. If you don't know why it's probably not worth explaining. Plus he's Jerry Falwell's best friend until he has to choose between converting to Christianity and burning in hell for all eternity.

2. I hate to say it. John Murtha. Congressman, the last time YOU considered impeachment as just one more way to deal with a recalcitrant President was 1974. Give me a break. It's not, as you said to NPR, "one of the things that we always consider", but it is now, in large part because you decided to say the word. Thanks for the props, the blogosphere has been ahead of you for like, oh, three or four years at least, but please don't think you're fooling anybody that impeachment is just one more card you always have in your hand. It's the joker you are sneaking in the deck. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Blue Gal at the Salon today Noon Eastern...

...and probably sometime tonight too. Maybe ten Eastern.

Isn't it nice that in html you don't have to dust when company comes. That coffee you smell, why yes, it is fair trade organic dark roast, and it's "Hardy Passion" blend, naturally. And I'm baking those GQ baking powder biscuits every thirteen minutes, because that's what I do.

I guarantee that I my own self will be at the Skype Salon from noon to one Eastern time today.

Couple things: Monkey Muck saw Kucinich last night, and has his report here.

And Mark H. at The Aristocrats pointed out that Wapo is covering the whole gender threats in the blogosphere issue this morning. Food for thought and maybe for discussion.

So that it get's caught this way in the "who's blogging" link over there, I'll put it this way: Live chat discussion by bloggers of this article at Noon Eastern.

You download Skype here. (remember you don't need headset, camera, or anything other than high speed internet and a keyboard. It's typing, not writing.)

Then you get to the salon here.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 29

The Mother's Day Project

BG's Evil Twin, AL at ThreadingWater, has a fantastic post up and an anti-war project for anyone willing to pick up a needle and thread.

She's a great writer with a beautiful blog and she's always worth a visit.

Comments over there, please.

Checking the thesaurus...

bumper sticker from here

I know I've brought this up before but Ruth Walker in The Christian Science Monitor did a much more mature job than I did of dealing with the whole Wolfowitz/Riza "companion" thang.

...Riza is unquestionably a grown-up, professional woman, not a "girl." What is the term for two bona fide grown-ups of opposite sexes who keep company? I suppose the question I'm asking is, What is the adult form of "boyfriend" and "girlfriend"?

I mean, why don't we just come out with it and call her his "squeeze"? It's fit to print, works whether the "relationship" is extra-marital or not, and most importantly, is gender and age neutral.

Problem: "Main Squeeze" according to Houghton-Mifflin can also mean one's boss, as in, "who's the main squeeze in this office?" In this case, Wolfowitz's relationship with The World Bank would be "main squeeze," and his relationship with Ms. Riza would I thinking too much? Sorry.

Stephen Colbert and the latest GQ

You know, I'm sure lots of left-wing women share my fantasy of getting ONE of the big three liberal TV anchors for a night in a swanky hotel room. But I have standards and there would be certain...demands I would make to the gentlemen in question, not as a quid pro quo, mind you, but just to maintain my sanity.

Jon Stewart would have to buy me dinner and denounce AIPAC.

Keith Olbermann would have to buy me dinner and drinks after and convince me he doesn't have either obsessive-compulsive disorder or Asperger's Syndrome.

And then...there's Stephen Colbert.

Stephen has a terrific spread in the new GQ magazine (funny as hell and a lot of it online here), which no doubt liberal women like me will be pulling off the newstands in droves. No doubt either that the GQ staff has that figured out: I mean, Jesu Christi! There's a goddamn baking-powder biscuit recipe on page eighty four! Don't believe me? GQ Magazine. May 2007, page eighty-four. Makes about eighteen biscuits. And the smart metrosexuals don't forget the egg wash.

Seriously most magazines are skimp copy holding together advertising, and there's no doubt that the primary purpose of GQ is to pimp Dolce & Gabbana Eau de Toilette for Men: "rugged, masculine, exotic"? Yeah, smells so pretty I put the scent strip in my bra drawer.

But look, I read a lot of this issue in preparation for this post and I gotta say that like the Colbert Report, it looks like the editorial staff of GQ not only has a sharp sense of humor but enjoys having one, which always bumps the writing up a notch, trust me. I loved this sentence in the Editor's note:

Look, I believe in positive thinking. It once got me through a screening of The Lake House.

And wait. Oh yeah thank the coders their open letter to Nancy Grace is online.

Saturday, April 28

Blue Gal, not to get fresh, but what are you wearing?

After emailing this to like, the third person today, I decided to just go ahead and post it:

If I may speak frankly?

impeachment of the war profiteer criminals running this country
ending gun violence in the US
working for justice in the Middle East
standing for solutions in Darfur

and yeah, Kucinich for President.

Frankly? May I speak frankly?

I don't give a fuck anymore if these causes are hopeless. If I'm not
working for what I think is right, then I'm over. I'm gonna follow my
heart and that's it.

Glad I'm not alone.

Go say hi.

"Maybe one day blue gal will link me and then I'll be truly happy."

There ya go, Monkey Muck. Blogrolled, too.

Have fun with Dennis Kucinich tomorrow night and send us a report.

You bet your ass we're taking back the blog.

And yeah, Pammy can eat her Bolton-lovin' heart out. Wait, I know reading the odd words in that sentence is just plain wrong. Don't do it.

Today is Take Back The Blog day and speaking of Pammy Atlas, I've been considering the idea of doing a little vlogging, knowing full well that after my first vlog I'd have to clean up the puddle of anonymity dripping down between my feet.

And that loss of anonymity brings with it the whole problem. I'm a woman. Exposure might lead to all kinds of unwanted attention, and I'm pretty good at deflecting that, but watching what happened to a woman who didn't mean to offend anyone....

...just not sure I wanna go there. And folks, it happens. All the time. If I had an extra half hour I could link to six or seven women telling of the time they were threatened physically by an anonymous message. Here's one, found with no effort whatsoever. I know. I know.

And yet, I don't want to be governed by fear either. But when you get in the habit of checking the back seat of your car for an intruder before you get in... When you simply don't walk alone at night, ever... When your heart beats a little faster in fear because you find yourself in an elevator with a stranger...

Listen guys, we women are sometimes governed by fear, and sometimes its totally, totally justified.

It should not be so. I should be able to post my panties images and giggle and make fun of this administration and use my real name without fear that someone's going to threaten me. I do believe that the weird sick people who do that sort of thing are in the vast minority. It only takes one to change your life forever.

We as the blogosphere community will take back the blog together. I love, and I mean LOVE (don't get jealous, Mr. BG) the men and women I have met through this amazing medium. They're more than supportive of women's rights in the abstract. It's so much more than that. I email fellow bloggers all the time and there is always the presumption of equality. So much so that it's easy to take that for granted. Then you walk out into the "real" world and try to get promoted or into management or just get a high school history teaching job that doesn't require you to coach football. Gender discrimination? Yeah, it is.

I'm sorry, I don't want this to be a feminist issue. Hell, I don't want feminism to be a feminist issue. Sure, women bloggers are empowered. Is there anybody who reads this blog on a regular basis who thinks I'm not empowered? Anyone? Anyone? Okay. But we women bloggers are not doing this alone. And for that I'm very grateful.

Take back the blog means standing up for free speech, human decency, and safety for everyone. We're all for that, and we'll work out what that looks like together.

Happy Saturday, everybody.

I'm kissing that furry orange cheek like it or not, Dr. Zaius. Thanks for "Super Blue Gal."

Friday, April 27

A feel good for Friday!

Love on all those coming from Crooks and Liars, especially Mike his own self, whose commemorative panties are here.

And if you just can't get enough left wing politics with bonus panties, full-frontal Blue Gal is here.


Thank you, thank you so very much, to the fourteen people who were arrested in the Hart Senate Office Building this week, for doing this:

Damn, I needed that. h/t the princess .

More winners!

Winners in the John McCain photo contest.

Original photo is shown above.

The caption winner is close F.O.B.G. Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors, for his definitive caption:

"The John McCain Love Doll did not sell as well as expected.".

It was much harder to judge the photoshop contest. In the end, it wasn't talent, but originality, that won out. Lots of folks wanted to make McCain into a zombie or ghost. Leave it to Ricky Shambles of Cause for Concern to be truly original. Meet Emo McCain:

Congratulations Ricky, though I should take points off because thanks to you I now know about Fallout Boy (the band shown) and I did. not. need. to. Ricky also did a nice job on his Ebenezer Cheney and Jacob Marley McCain version here.

Because I found out I can vote for more than one, both Tengrain and Ricky will be written in on the ballot for Harvard Board of Overseers. If elected, they can then help to decide just how much of Allston, Massachusetts, to drain, evict, and/or bulldoze in order to expand the University Campus beyond the confines of Cambridge. It's not a job, it's a lifestyle, boys.

Fun contest. We'll have to do this again soon.

Thank you for the award, Greenespace.

Wow. This is quite an honor. Greenespace has selected me to receive a Thinking Blogger Award.

UPDATE: Turns out Not Soccer Mom gave me one earlier, which surprises me, as I thought I was a TOTAL technorati whore, but I've been demoted now to only an occasional technorati whore. Please make a note of it.

Now what I'm supposed to do is select five, only five, blogs that make me think, and pass the award along? Ha.

I have been giving this a lot of thought, because of course one look at my blogroll and you know there's no way I have only five blogs out there that make me think. So I'm giving this award to five blogs I've discovered since Easter, and haven't linked to already, which means I've probably discovered them through Blog Against Theocracy, but not necessarily.

"No particular order whatsoever" seems fair:

Paperwight's Fair Shot
: Really well-written, one of us, cares about the blogosphere, has standards. I like it.

Improvisations: Arab Woman Progressive Voice: Did you know that Palestinian activists planted trees for each of the Virginia Tech victims? You would if you read this gal. As she says in her profile: "Since I often find myself caught between anti-Arab racism and arab reactionary politics, both of which threaten to gag me, I'm raising my voice against both, hoping in the process to contribute an improvised note to a progressive Arab blogosphere." Unique voice? Ya think? There are few blogs about which I would say, "the world needs this blog." This is one of them.

Blonde Sense: One of us, except she's blonde, and even I can forgive her. Which means she's smart and worth reading.

If I Ran The Zoo: Paperwight pointed out that this blog, while pretty simple in design and approach, is one of those deserving of greater attention. Agreed. Read this post, for instance.

There Is No Blog
(by there is no spoon): Yeah, yeah. No Spoon frequently posts at the House of Orange but I respect him anyway because he also has his own blog. He's a good writer. I like him.

Winners are asked to follow the rules here. Share the love, etc.

Thursday, April 26

Sometimes I just can't help myself.

Sorry, but when NPR reported this morning that Bush had given Paul Wolfowitz a "fresh vote of confidence," my brain immediately thought, "Summer's Eve." Speaking of douche, Mister President, maybe if your cuntensquirten loyalty came in fresh scents like "Tropical Rain" and "Island Splash," I wouldn't have to blog about it.

I got jiggy with this over at The Aristocrats, too.


Wednesday, April 25

Catching up...

Oh, don't we all? (from Big Head DC archives)

Before I tie up my machine with defrag I want to post a couple things:

While Cap'n Dyke did not testify her own self at the Congressional Hearing on equal pay for women, (WHY are we still talking about this? WHY?) her co-hort Dedra did an amazing job, and the Cap'n did get to meet with congressional staff, Wake-up Walmart people, and generally give her all for the cause. The hearing will run on C-Span, details to follow, I'm sure, and there's also a podcast and transcripts here. Summa the women on the committee rocked, too. Major League hat-tip again to Doctor Zaius for all his help.

Regarding Blue Gal's Salon: I know. I know. Starting next Monday, we WILL start having a couple hours a day Mondays when you can guarantee that Blue Gal will be in attendance at her own Skype Salon. To that end, I will never go to the bank on a Monday again for the rest of my life. What I'm looking at (Central Time) is 11 to 12 am and then again in the evening around 9. The salon is open all day Monday anyway and lots happens when I'm not around, too. So work around your schedule, or let me know what's cooking with you (I added the email addy to the sidebar for convenience's sake) and I'll try to adjust. Apart from getting kids to school and home again and then dinner and tubby, I'm pretty open.

If you're having any problems with skype (and remember you don't need any skype equipment just a high speed internet connection and to download skype here) please email me. I can getcha some help.

Please stand by....

I've had some pretty serious hardware issues today. As in, I didn't have enough free space to even RUN defrag. Hours later, I'm back up, running disk cleanup, ordering a new laptop battery (LONG overdue) and trying to recover what is basically a lost 24, except for a call from a close friend, who basically saved the day for me.

Talking yesterday with the guy from CompUSA, who didn't carry a laptop battery but was helpful anyway (Matthew at the Galleria location, btw, ask for him by name) and he said yeah, I could own a Mac, but it would be kinda like going to heaven, sitting on a cloud with wings and everything, but then I'd have nothing to DO. Theology in all things, folks.

More later on this evening, I hope. If you're the praying type, feel free.


Tuesday, April 24

watching the hearing right now.

oh thanks, Doctor Zaius.

you can watch live streamed here. click on the "live webcast" on the right sidebar.

sorry not capitalizing gotta get back to it bye.

Monday, April 23

Welcome to Blue Gal's Salon.

Oh, Hello! Happy Monday, sorry I'm a little late. Come on in. Sure, you can sit on that wool paisley, it's fine. There's coffee and tea, a little early for wine yet but I'll break out the port later for those who like it.

A salon, yes. Oh yeah, people will joke about that, but here, you know, we won't change your hair but we may change your mind. A flip? Right.

You don't need a headset to join. Just download skype and then click here. I may have to pop off to the bank in a bit but others will be around.

And welcome.

BREAKING: Blogger to testify before
U.S. House Committee

PLEASE NOTE: Cap'n Dyke has been advised by counsel I believe, to take down the post at her blog. I've opened up comments here so you can show your support.

Sorry Cap'n, I guess it's just not my turn to be a good girl today. Kiss the attorneys for me.

Doug did this one, isn't it awesome?

Blogger Captain Dyke has been selected to testify before the House committee on Education and Labor this Tuesday. The hearing is entitled 'Strengthening the Middle Class: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women'. It's the tied-in with the gender discrimination class action against Wal-Mart.

The Captain may or may not testify, depending on the committee schedule. But she's there and she's got a case.

Captain Dyke and her co-testifier, Dee, were fired within hours of Wal-Mart management finding out they were participating in the gender discrimination class action suit against the "Screw women...Always" conglomerate.

I emailed and IM'd Captain Dyke several times yesterday to make sure she wanted to come out as a blogger and connect her blog to the Congressional testimony story. She has agreed to do so.

Amazingly brave woman. I'm still going to try to shield her from google searches on her name and just link to her specific testimony as Cap'n Dyke.

Here are the pertinent links:

Cap'n Dyke's blog
, specifically the post where she indicates she is going to DC to testify. PLEASE leave a comment of support at her site.

Her legal statement. Yeah this has her veritable nomenclature on it but let's stop any future resume checker from google-ing here for a revelation, n'est-ce pas?

I'm hoping there will be C-span coverage of this on Tuesday. I just want to give her all the support I can.

And I know she's not leaving for DC until noonish today.

Feel free to blog this information, and link to the Cap'n Dyke post rather than to anything I'm doing; I will be posting more on this myself, with an additional longer post at Corrente, later this morning. Post at Corrente here. Thanks.

Again, no comments here. Leave 'em at the Captain's.

I should be at the salon by 11 Eastern time. Maybe a little earlier. I'll post.

Sunday, April 22

Blue Gal contest - caption this photo

You can caption it or photoshop it. Winner in the photoshop category will get a write-in vote for Harvard University Board of Overseers, with a photocopy of the actual mailed-in ballot, with his/her name or blog name written in, sent via snail mail from Blue Gal her own self.

Winner in the caption category will get the same deal on the Directors of the Harvard Alumni Association ballot.

Yeah, I know that as an alumna of a Prestigious Center of Learning I really should take these elections seriously and vote for the "professional resume padder" Gervaise Brook-Hampster or the "always available for one more committee meeting as long as there's plenty of Gimlets afterwards" Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith.

But I don't.

Made-up candidate's names from here, of course.

Deadline, oh, let's say noon Friday. Leave entries in comments.


Saturday, April 21

Okay, everybody needs to go read Glenn Greenwald.

The Feds know what pills you take.

Hat tip? Heh. I lean on Lambert at Corrente.

And thanks, DS, for everything.


Ya know, Quizilla results usually don't get me misty.

What Classic Actress Are You?

Audrey Hepburn. "My Fair Lady", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Roman Holiday"...Need I say more.

Modest, Sweet, Attentive, Generous, Cosmopolitan

You are a little self-conscious and sometimes can't see why people think you are special. Going through hard times in your life, you never look back and never take things for granted. You are a survivor and you now see to it that others less fortunate can survive as well. With a heart filled with genuine kindness, you can really make a difference. Never doubt yourself for you are a force to be reckoned with; smart, compassionate, and talented to boot.

Take this quiz!

Friday, April 20

pictures worth a couple dozen US attorneys?

CORRECTION Gonzales Prosecutors

You probably saw this at Sparklepony (love that Princess) but worth showing everywhere. Oh, and Princess Sparklepony has the AG's replacement picked out. I hate to disagree with ya, your highness, I was really hoping for Katherine Harris, but whatever.

Mr. Gonzales: Republican Senators from ALABAMA are "thinking about" whether you should keep your job. I mean, Jesu Christi, Alberto! Sessions still supports the war, fer crying out loud. So much so, that CHENEY ACCEPTED AN INVITATION to speak at a reception for Sessions EIGHTEEN DAYS AGO.

Mister Gonzales. With all due respect,


Thursday, April 19

Meet the Anti-Pammy.

I can't believe this woman is vlogging for the first time here. I'm going to have to watch it several times to actually respond to what Arbitrarymarks is saying...right now I'm just so blown away by her intelligence and self-assurance.

The right wing has Pammy of Assless slugs. I'm gonna break my own rule and link, so you can see what I mean.

We've got this woman. Heh.

The Blog Against Theocracy started when I was just sitting there thinking that maybe this would be a good idea and I would let my fellow bloggers know about it and we could have a few score posts and you know, raise awareness, etc. I just can't believe that it resulted in this video, and this level of participation. *Sigh*

I would ordinarily ask you to leave comments over at Arbitary's blog (blogrolled, babe) but comments for her BAT post seem to have expired or something, so the thread's open and I'll email her. Thanks.

Evil Spock, I owe you one.

Thanks to everybody's favorite bearded Vulcan.

Watch to the end, Mister Blue Gal.... That last line.

Wednesday, April 18

Cunning Runt

I need your email. bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com.


Cernig at Newshog is pushing for a Snowdrop Petition to ban handguns in the US.

It won't happen, yeah, I know. It won't happen.

But here's the deal: I want to work in this country against a culture of violence. I have to be a part of that work. I know that what ultimately happens will be somewhere in the middle but I'm going to go to an extreme because Charlton Heston does not seem to have enough opposition right now.

That is all.

Gotta have some faith in the sound....

Warning: faith post.

I'm re-posting this ol'pre-election youtube because we're all having a bad week.

First, the hydra-head of Scalia-Thomas-Alito rises at long last.

And Tengrain, bless him, sent me this lovely image, illustrating Jesus as being for hatred of homosexuals in Texas.

Didn't our Lord rendevous with other guys at the beach? And ask one of them three times if this guy loved him? It's a nice Bible story, actually. Don't think I'm denegrating scripture here. I'm not saying Jesus was gay, shut up. But it doesn't sound like he worried too much if people might think he or any of his friends were queer. Just saying.

All Things Work Together For Good, they say. I feel that way today.

And anyone who desires good for the Republican Party is peeing their pants today. This court decision is a nail in the coffin of the "permanent Republican majority."

Have faith.

Trust me. Karl Rove is not happy today. Not. His super secret polls tell him this. is. bad.

Have faith.

And the homophobia thing. I just shake my head. Demography is against them. Big time. Young people in this country have too many gay friends to worry about sexual preference orientation (thanks b). And time after time we find that

* when a family member comes out,

* a neighbor may be gay but "seems nice, came to the block party last week and was okay"

well guess what? Attitudes, even attitudes that seemed entrenched, change. Dramatically. Add a human face, and love can replace the hate.

Have faith.

Here I was volunteering for my son's school in the copy room with a buncha Alabama Baptist moms, none of them with more than a couple years of college at most, trust me I can tell. Talking about church. There's a TV in the copy room and all of a sudden Ellen comes on.

"Oh I just love Ellen!" coos the blondest of them.

I could have shaken her. Does she go to a church that preaches that homosexuality is evil, that Jesus considers homosexuality a sin? Does she know that Ellen is a lesbian!?!

Blondie. Doesn't. Care. Add a human face, especially a cute comedienne's face with a sense of humor, and love replaces the hate. Took a lot of work, didn't it, Ellen? And now even American Fucking Express doesn't care. Thanks.

Yes, there are murders, beatings, awful hate crimes, and we MUST denounce them and we MUST fight them and we MUST START NOW. This cancer of hatred is being "exhalted" so it can be eliminated. Remember, hatred is just fear in disguise, and ignorance of what human beings are, what they "should" be, fear of "teh gay", within our national consciousness, has an honest-to-GOD expire date on it which gets closer every day. (And that's what scares them most of all.)

Hate the sin of homophobia. Love the sinner. (Yeah, turn that fundie saw on its head.)

And unmask that hate as fear whenever you can. Tell that so-called enemy: Be. Not. Afraid.

Have faith.

UPDATE: Shakes reminds us that today is the LBGT community's Day of Silence, and says what I said better than how I said it. (What did I just say?)

The people who still make life hard for LGBTQ teens are dinosaurs, and one day they will be extinct—and we will collect their bones and put them in a museum and tell our grandchildren about the freaks who once thought that the LGBT community didn’t deserve to be our equals. Our grandchildren will laugh and shake their heads, and we will remember bitterly when there was a time people had to be silent to make some noise.

Blue Gal scoops little-known tech publication

Which is why you're here and not there.

Yesterday FOBG David Stephenson emailed me and guest-posted some stuff he wrote about crisis management, communication and technology in the wake of Virginia Tech.

Today he's doing a little on line thingy called, I think it's, "Wired"?

Mmm kay. Been there, done that.

Book Review: Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy

I know I've been negligent the past couple months on the book reviews. This summer, I promise. And I also know that this is not a Mommy Blog, nothing against those, there's some amazing ones out there, but I'm doin' the lefty hippy chick thing over here.

That said, last night a box arrived from Auntie M. and inside was this book called Fancy Nancy and I have to tell you that middle BG child, who will tell you straight to your face that she is four and three quarters (!) and she is NOT purple girl any more she likes pink and gold now and would you like to see her dress-up closet? Now HERE is how you play dress up. You take off your school clothes and jump on the bed for as long as you can stand it, then you put on fancy clothes until you almost can't walk down the hallway. Then you walk down the hallway and go into the bathroom and find some gorgeous stuff. [Editor's note: "gorgeous stuff" is whatever make-up Mommy was too A.D.D. to remember to put away] and you make yourself GORGEOUS. Then you go to your secret hiding place [Editor's note: the first place I always look for middle BG child, but don't tell her that, it's a secret] and you do...

Sorry, I don't know what she does in her secret hiding place. But it must be fun because it keeps her busy for at least twenty minutes and involves Barbie and teacups and "arranging." Middle BG child is big on "arranging."

Oh, sorry. Back to the book. So many books for little girls seem to be about princesses or Dora or the circus or some world the child can use her imagination to enter. Fancy Nancy requires no such pretending. It's all about you, little four and three quarters. My Fancy Nancy wanted this book read to her several times last night. Thank you Auntie M.

And Harper Collins knows a cash cow when they see it: Fancy Nancy already has a follow up book out and at the publisher's website you can print out a Fancy Nancy Paperdoll and...gasp... printable Fancy Nancy STICKERS!?!

Don't tell Dad.


Tuesday, April 17

The chat thing WORKED.

We had a GREAT "Blue Gal's Salon" yesterday over at Skype. The thing really works.

Want to clarify something. IMPORTANT:

You do not need a headset or any special "Skype" equipment to participate at Blue Gal's Salon. If you are reading this blog via a high-speed connection, you have all you need to participate. You will need to download Skype, but that's it. It's not even writing, it's just typing! (Truman Capote would love chat. Love it.)

As far as my participation is concerned, I'll be there at least part of the day on Monday. I may need to set a specific time so anyone who wants to chat with me can do so, but hey, the chat went on lively and fine without me when I was picking up the girls from school, so that's fine. The chatroom is always open, so you can drop in anytime, but I'll be there for sure on and off on Mondays.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the bloggers who were there yesterday (in alphabetical order)

The Aristocrats (Mark H)
God is 4 Suckers (1)
Jesus General (2)
Jewish Atheist
Largest Minority
Mock Paper Scissors (3)
Neural Gourmet
Quaker Agitator

(1) who, by the way, is really askin' for a visit from Donohue with this post.

(2) yes, it was just like Tom Jones walked into the room. Panties and hotel room keys were being tossed at him from every corner. (My apologies, General Sir. Wouldn't want you to think of me as French, except in the undergarment department.)

(3) sorry I missed you, west coast.

Happy Birthday

Is it me, or does this picture make it look like Jesus wore his superhero mask out in the sun too long?

Many happy returns to BAC at Yikes!

And yeah, I just hadda use that image. If you know her, you know.

Honor of the day...

I love Figleaf. He's a sex blogger, and one of the best writers in the blogosphere. I found him years ago (seems like it) google searching for writings on abortion, and we've been blog buddies ever since.

And yesterday I inspired a post. Man. Anybody who can combine the subjects of triple penetration sex and professional figure skating and make it all make sense? Intelligence is an aphrodesiac, Figleaf honey, but you knew that.

(Unless your boss doesn't want to catch you reading a site called "real adult sex," Figleaf is pretty safe for work.)

Leave comments over there. As you might expect from someone in his line of blogging, he moderates comments, but he's very welcoming to readers like mine, if I do say so myself.

The shooting.


You can light a virtual candle in sympathy for Virginia Tech (not at all as corny as it sounds) here.

Yeah, we're all shaken by this. All of us.

This morning they released the name of the perpetrator and said his family's phone was not accepting calls. I'd like to say I can't imagine what they must be going through, but I can. They not only lost a family member to suicide, they must live with knowing that their loved one killed another human being first (or in this case a record number, as if we needed to know the record). How tragic. And how guilty they must feel, as every family member does who has lost one to suicide. What could they have done? What word, what action, would have prevented yesterday from ever happening?

I'm sorry for the victims. Horribly, horribly sorry. But goddammit I don't think this paragraph is off topic (emphasis mine):

The highest percentage of gun deaths in the United States isn’t homicides or accidents– it’s suicides. And a study like this confirms why that is– access to firearms makes it easy for people who are in danger of suicide to carry out their plans without getting help in time. The gun lobby counters that people who would commit suicide will do it whether they have access to a firearm or not, but the ease and quickness with which a firearm can be used to end someone’s life drastically reduces the chances these people have of getting help. And that reduced chance is undoubtedly a factor in how many people are able to actually carry out a suicide.

"Ease and quickness." Half a morning. Over thirty lives. My heart is with Virginia Tech today. Mourning. For everyone.

And yeah, I have some friends who are responsible gun owners, but I still wish they'd send Charlton Heston to Gitmo as a terrorist collaborator. Maybe Laura Bush can come out today and talk about the one gunman a day who discourages everybody. And her husband can show his deep empathy without mentioning guns once. (oops he did it again.)


Yeah, I'm doing it again, politicizing this tragedy. But this is a perfect example of our response to real terrorism, and we as a nation don't get that. The campus police fucked up, people. There was a murderer with a gun at large on campus at least an hour, possibly two, before the classrooms were shot up.

And there are solutions to this, most of which involve simply the proper use of existing technology in the area of mass communication in an emergency...

....I know! Let's invade Iran!

David Stephenson wrote me, and memo to the Democratic presidential field, he belongs at the Department of Homeland Security, because he gets it. (David's blog is in the process of being moved to Wordpress and will be down for a few.)

...there's NO PLACE in our society that should have been more on top of real-time, location-based info sharing about something of this sort than a college campus, because of their high concentration of tech-savvy users, let alone a technology one:

* the media, especially CNN, have been full of photos shot by students with their cameraphones. Along the lines of what NYC is developing, the university could have had a process in place for students to submit their photos and videos, which would have given situational awareness.

* the SquareLoop technology would have let the authorities broadcast alerts that would have automatically been received by every cell phone on campus (without the students having to register for the service)

* social networking apps such as Boostloopt,, etc. would have allowed the students to share info instantly (and, in fact, they did share via Myspace)

* while I'm sure the university had a crisis plan, when things spiral out of control, as they did in this case, a wiki would have allowed real-time, collaborative planning of ad hoc responses.

* the iFind project at MIT would have allowed instantly identifying students' locations...

* the "presence dashboard" developed by Zingerang would have allowed instant networking among all involved to plan response.

* Portland's "Connect and Protect" would have allowed two-way 911 information sharing..

It adds up to the stark reality that the first incident should have resulted in an immediate lockdown, and the second round of shooting (unless there's something that hasn't been reported yet...) should never have happened.

Monday, April 16

We're gonna just try this...

Today and tonight I'm gonna guinea pig this Skype chat room wizard.


The image linky doesn't work 'Kay I made it work. The Skype widget to create an image link doesn't work. Also, Skype won't recognize my headset, whereas both WINDOWS (yeah, Windows.) and Googletalk will. NOT a good sign.

Anyhow, I'm kinda desperately looking and pushing my way into another blogger's business (sorry, Shakes) to see if skype might not provide a better alternative for her Friday night virtual bar.

So at least for this week (while Mr. BG is outta town, natch) I'm starting Blue Gal's Monday Night Salon. With trepidation, as I don't know just how much time I can commit to it.

I realize this means you'll have to download Skype to participate. It's your choice: the bloggers I know who use Skype do not seem to feel it's buggy or spyware-ish. If you have feelings about Skype positive or negative let us all know in comments. I really appreciate ANY feedback, positive or negative.

The chatroom is called Blue Gal's Salon and you can access it here.

And today we do have a topic, so let me get to it...

What would happen if we bloggers decided to go for broke and actually endorse Dennis Kucinich?

As John Harrison of The Largest Minority put it in an email to me,

What do you think of Kucinich, and what do you think of a blogger ring to support him? If enough blogs participate we could generate some buzz which would get picked up by the mainstream media.

I'm not exactly sure how we should do this (whether there should be one site dedicated to it, a special blogroll we all display, or a type of carnival we take turns hosting) so it'd be good to get some different opinions.

Personally, I'm praying for a Kucinich/Nader ticket, but that may be too far out there for anyone to get behind. If that ever happened, they might as well hire Hugo Chavez for their PR rep and vow to put Che on the flag. Not that I would be opposed to any of that, but we'll take baby steps to avoid frightening the squares.

Okay, I'll give us all a few minutes to stop laughing. Make no mistake, I've joked plenty about Kucinich, but always, always, with a sense that, 'specially since Russ Feingold's not running, Dennis is the candidate with the guts to be as liberal as we are.

My fellow Aristocrats and I even started Bloggers for Dennis which is totally tongue in cheek (note The Kucinich Army is one of the participants, yeah) but everytime I read the posts there I think, yeah, there's really nothing here to disagree with, ya know?

The only other candidates worth talking about (and I'm sure we will) are Edwards (who has made some good pro-gay and other statements but still, the trial lawyer's experience with bloggers still leaves a bad taste in my back tooth) and Obama.

There is a lot to say in favor of an Obama presidency, not the least of which is, if we really want to tell the rest of the world that Bush was a sick anomaly, that we are really changing direction, then electing a black man, yes dammit, with the middle name Hussein, is a definite way to do that. I also would like to see what America looks like when there is a 70% black turnout. Not that the so-called war on brown people drugs hasn't disenfranchised way too many. Just saying.

So I'm not suggesting that we temper any Obamamania. Just asking what would happen if we stuck to our liberal values for a few months and made a stand for a candidate (hopeless? maybe, but so what?) who agrees with us on a lot of stuff.

I'm gonna send him five bucks today just because, like me, he's got a peace sign on his top banner.

And goddammit I know I make fun of Elizabeth because she is such a babe (and of course I mean that in a fellow feminist younger smarter than a whip wife of an older guy solidarity way. Yeah.) but goddammit she allows comments on her goddamn campaign blog and good for her. I mean, hey, I registered.

Feel free to leave comments below, on whatever, but especially on whether the skype thing is gonna cause problems for you. I'm over in that chatroom today as I can be.

Sunday, April 15

Analyzing Blue Gal stats....

A. Sorry, Blue Gal doesn't go for the whole triple pen thing. The poor girl ought to be allowed to breathe with all that goin' on.

B. Stats are down for this one, are you slipping, or am I?

C. What the heck is it with you Austrians and the frog porn, anyway? Not that there's anything wrong with that, unless the PETA people get ahold of you, and I ain't callin'm. I've only posted one frog picture that I know of.

Badge for participants

There's a badge for BAT participants over at the Blog Against Theocracy website. Oh duh, it'll be on my sidebar in a minute.

And the most recent Carnival of the Godless (at Neural Gourmet) features BAT writers, big time. Neural Gourmet? Well, Blog Against Theocracy would not have happened without him, anyhows.

Once again Christopher O'Brien at Northstate Science
is a science blogger who really gets it, this time about why Blog Against Theocracy needed to be Easter Weekend.

I get it.

National Day of Reason
is a counter-movement to the rather silly if you ask me "National Day of Prayer" that Congress and the White House use to suck up to the constituency that is comforted by such nonsense. If you pray daily this kind of political fellating makes little difference, and if you don't, the National Day of Prayer "reminder" is jingoism, pure and simple.

The Reason movement seems much more geared toward atheists and humanists than the First Freedom First umbrella, which I think is trying really hard (and at least sometimes succeeding) to get all of us, believers or not, working together in favor of First Amendment rights. That's no biggie, God knows (oops, sorry) that there are plenty of believer-only tents out there, which, of course, is part of the problem.

It's hilarious that The National Day of Reason people asked George W. Bush to proclaim a day of reason in 2003, and apparently haven't asked him since.

Yeah, I woulda given up, too.


Related News: I'm putting final (at least for this year) stuff up this afternoon at the Blog Against Theocracy website. If you contributed a post to BAT, and your blog has NO link at the site, please email me at bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com. I didn't have time to link each blogger more than once.

This afternoon there will be a badge at the site that you can use at your own blog to show that you participated, as well as ways you can keep helping the cause of separation of church and state. I can't tell you how impressive you bloggers are. I've read almost every post, and there is so much intelligence... Thank you.

Missed opportunity from Googlelabs.

For those of you who are new readers at Blue Gal, there is an iron clad rule regarding Mister Blue Gal, and that rule is: don't get me started.

I am telling you. For real.

It was Gmail's April Fool's Joke. But Mister Blue Gal WOULD PAY REAL MONEY for this service.

And even more money, EXTRA money, BONUS money, hell! FOUNDATION money!!! if they would just mail the box to the Illinois State Historical Library.

Oh look, you got me started. Iron clad rule regarding Mister Blue Gal? Don't get me started.

Waiter? Exorcism, please....

I woke up with a fricking Nickelback song stuck in my head.

Saturday, April 14

Not seeking plausible deniability here.

Yeah, this IS my comment:

Left here. You just gotta watch Jon's face.

I'm an aging hippie. Sue me.

Gut splitting post of the weekend.

Cycle takes back the rainbow.

As usual in these pimping posts, leave comments over there. Thanks.

You'd think I was hard up for a post topic or sumpin'


Responding to an overwhelming (hey, at this blog, four identical questions in one day is overwhelming) number of queries about yesterday's post.

No, that is not my actual bathrobe. I got it offa Google.

I can't find an actual pic and I don't have a digital camera. But my bathrobe is made out of terry cloth fabric identical to the blue and white stripe shown at the bottom of the photo above. Except this bathrobe is almost twenty years old, has been bleached a gobzillion times, is blessed with years of baby burp-up, and the sleeves are wearing out. I'm wearing it right now. hubba hubba.

I love it.

I swear I'm going to get the last of the Blog Against Theocracy posts up this weekend. Next year we're doing this again, and we'll have a different email address (Not. Mine.) to send posts to. If you blogged against theocracy and you don't see your blog linked at the BAT site by tommorrow (Sunday April 15) afternoon, send another email to bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.

Friday, April 13

Brian Williams, I got yer qualifications right here.

Yeah, and I got my uniform, too.

This from Crooks:

"You're going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe. All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I'm up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn't left the efficiency apartment in two years" — Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News," speaking before New York University journalism students on the challenges traditional journalism faces from online media.

Brian, Brian. First of all, you should be so lucky to be up against Vinny. You're up against Driftglass, QuakerDave, Norbizness, Blogenfreude, oh sweet Jesus (General) I've gotta stop. Look at my damn blogroll, and I just mentioned a couple of the guys, here. (Women bloggers? Heh, you could not compete there fo' sho', hon.) These bloggers, all of them, have more brains in their typing fingers than you've got in your little head (not going there).

And Brian? I know nothing about the development of your credentials, but your current field of work is "TV talking head." That may be some sort of career pinnacle where you come from, but this bathrobed babe is not impressed. I've gotta hot date with the bloggers listed above, and you can take your developed credentials and be "up against Vinny" all night long.

Happy Blogiversary

To Doug at Balls and Walnuts, who has posted a NSFW for his party.

But naked Polynesian breasts hopping out of the cake is so Doug. Knowing him he's posted the recipe, baked the damn thing, and pronounced it that while son loved it, wife thought it was too sweet. Incidentally, Mrs. Doug is a wonderful example of how to stay in that zen zone of not reacting to her husband's insanity, which makes her one of the best blogmates out there.

Happy blogiversary to one of my long-time blog buddies. It only seems like forever, but that's a good thing.

Thursday, April 12

Memo to Markos:

Congratulations! In a single post you've managed to piss off:

Shakespeare's Sister

not to mention Feministing.

Update: Skippy, always the gentleman, has a nice digest of women bloggers' response to Kos.

Aw jeez, Kos, not only do you have the awesome burden of being president-for-life of the internet's most rowdy frat house, now you've got a buncha uppity dames riding your ass. Sucha pain, especially during that time o'the month. Lucky you, I found out about this on the exact one day out of each 28 that I would be happy to kill everyone in the whole fucking universe.

That's not a threat, though, Markos honey. Don't sweat it.

h/t to one of the blogosphere's most perceptive and sensitive guys. He knows who he is and many of you probably do, too.

Facing the fear and blogging it anyway...

Is that yer little green football or are you just glad to see me?
I've been talking with a couple of bloggers today about this story I wanna cover. It's a internal Israeli politics story and it may totally bore you, world news sometimes is boring, but before I even get into that the fellow bloggers and I have been discussing how this story might bring a rain of Little Green you-know-who rage down upon this here little blog and am I prepared to deal with that?

You mean, like, deal with a gang of uber-zionist kneejerk thugs via the internet? What, they won't be gentlemanly with a married Lady, capital L, who lives in the south? Bless their hearts, I know they will.

The thing is, I had to deal with a thug like that in person once. Many of you know I have my undergraduate degree from Brandeis University. Brandeis, for those of you who don't know, is a Jewish sponsored, non-sectarian university which was founded in 1948 as a kind of "Jewish Harvard," back right just before Harvard opened their admissions to Jews. Brandeis flourished anyway, and it's a damn fine school and I'm damn proud of my degree from there. And just so you know, I don't wave it around too much, but I have a degree from that "H" school too. I'm MORE proud of my Brandeis degree. Moving on.

The thug: I was hanging out in the slightly smelly "offices" of The Justice, the Brandeis school paper, eating lunch. Not too many people around. This very brawny guy stormed, and I mean stormed, into the office. "I want (reporter's name) NOW. I want the Justice's charter, NOW! We're gonna shut this paper down! Where's (reporter's name)!!! I want him here! He can't get away with this! Student Council's gonna meet and this paper is gonna get shut down!"

I mean this guy was screaming. At me. He was opening file cabinets and slamming them shut. I only knew he was some heavyset lug who sat on the student council, yeah, and he didn't know me from Eve though he probably labelled me "shiksa" the minute he walked in, which meant he wasn't really gonna fight me personally: I was not worth it. Yeah, there are guys at Brandeis who think that way. "Shiksa" (a derogatory term for non-Jewish woman-slash-whore) was my protection, and I knew it and he knew I knew it. Hope that doesn't sound too derogatory. It's just the way things were in that setting. No big whoop. Really.

Okay, here's the money quote and the admittedly hilarious punchline. What was this guy so upset about? The reporter he was so mad at and "wanted there NOW" had written a piece about this guy's bullying practices at student council meetings and had quoted an unnamed source as saying this guy had a "siege mentality."


So listen up, Little Green Foosballers. This Brandeis shiksa has faced greater sieges than you could lay down in comments. And if you attempt to call me an anti-Semite, a holocaust denier, a Nazi, an enemy, in any way, I gotta big bag of kosher candy hearts for ya right here:

Okay, now on to the boring internal politics of Israel story. The reason it interests me, apart from since it seems true it's a travesty, is that the current Israeli government is out-Rove-ing the Rove/Gonzales/Bush cabal. Karl is wondering why they can't get away with this kind of behavior and Gonzales is saying, well, we can't, YET. And Senator Lieberman is praying for the day they can.

Okay. Here is the deal. There's this member of the Kennesset, which is the Israeli Parliment. His name is Azmi Bishara. I don't quite understand all the politics here but apparently Bishara is one of those really radical Israelis who looks around and sees "Arab people" and thinks it might be a good idea to, um, okay, I'm pushing the Holocaust denial envelope here, but he thinks it might be a good idea to actually, like, talk to Arab people. Like, maybe, the Jordanians. Sheesh.

So he goes off TO JORDAN and talks to them. And government OFFICIALS in Israel are threatening him with not only removal from office, but arrest. Bishara has not returned to Israeli territory yet. And he may not. Doesn't George wish he could do that to Nancy.

Look, I'm going to be real careful here in showing off my sources, and in every instance I'm going to link to an ISRAELI newspaper or an ISRAELI blog. Got that? That's important. You'll see why.

Here's a story from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about Bishara's travels and the reaction from Israeli hardliner politicians.

Okay, I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who has lived in Israel. This person says that Bishara is reviled in Israel by a lot of people as more than an Arab sympathizer, more of a collaborator. But this friend also said that he is DEFENDED by people who hate him, Israelis who think it's a good idea to keep the label "only democracy in the region" meme going strong.

That's the meme that resonates most with me, even when Joe Lieberman says it. 'Cause you see, Pammy, I don't like the way the Arab world treats their citizenry in general or their women in particular. Theocracy is theocracy and it's bad whether it's Christian, Jewish, Islamic, etc.

Sorry I know this post is rambling. But when I see an Israeli Kennesset member being threatened with arrest (?) because of his politics and another Kennesset member introducing a bill to disqualify for election anyone who meets with Arabs, I think we've gotta ask some questions here. Like, how do you, Mister Netanyahu, define democracy?

Here's an article from the Jerusalem Post, which confirms this Israeli blog post*, that the Israeli Government has imposed a gag order on the whole affair. *major thanks to whoever translated that post into English for posting.

Some commenters at the Jerusalem Post article think that since Azmi Bishara is still out of the country (apparently as a political exile, but no announcement has been made) but his family has returned, the Israeli security forces should arrest his family. Yeah.

As the blogger points out, if this is allowed to stand, who's next? I think that's a good, fair question.

Believe me, I've tried to be very fair covering this. I'm happy to have anyone challenge the facts and provide me with links, proof, problems. I've got a really open mind about all of this. Thanks.

Why we will miss Kurt Vonnegut.

Oh, don't look back, honey. Don't look back.

I am sad that he was sad in the end, but he was sad because he was honest. He was sad because he loved this crazy fucked up world enough to hate the shit that ruined it.

Let us remember.

No comments here: the wake is over at 'Risties. That would be his kinda blog. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 11

Usually, I'm immune to guerrilla marketing?

But I am SO going to buy this book.

h/t Libby

Don't Sugarcoat It Award for April 11

I've been saving up these awards but it's time to give 'em out. And the don't sugarcoat it award is now being enhanced with an actual prize. But first to the three (!) winners:

Winner Number 1

The Neoskeptic, who has defended "what Jefferson really meant" for the blogswarm against theocracy, but whose comment at this post, directed at theocrat and mis-quoter Bob Ellis, wins him the prize:

And, as a graduate of The University, you had better not EVER misuse a quote of Th. Jefferson against me, or I shall rain down a world of intellectual pain and righteous vengeance upon thee, motherfucker.

And then Ellis takes the bait, and it rains.

Winner Number 2

Liberal Oasis, for this simple, direct, statement of fact:

You know what sends mixed signals to Syria? Working with Syria to torture our detainees for us, then attacking Syria for sponsoring terrorism.

Winner Number 3

The Largest Minority, for their story on a proposed arms sale to Arab nations? Clutch yer pearls, Senator Lieberman!

Congress, which is almost entirely pro-Israel, has 30 days to block the proposed sale if they so choose from the date they are notified about it. Formal Notification will likely take place later this month. One solution being considered is for a separate arms sale to Israel so that the Israelis won’t have to fear about losing their spot in the food chain.

By now you ought to be up to your neck in bullshit. With about 200 nuclear weapons in their possession, Israel doesn’t have anything to worry about with this sale. This has nothing to do with protecting Israel’s right to exist, and everything to do with keeping Israel’s neighbors defenseless. Then again, I’m a terrorist sympathizer.

No way, LM! You're a don't sugarcoat it winner!

Okay, now about those prizes. The winners, should they choose to accept it, may send their snail mail addy to bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com. One of these days they will receive in the mail their very own "Vituperative foul-mouthed blogger of the left" button from my Cafepress income vacuum store. (Sorry, if any of you actually make money from Cafepress, more power to you.)


You may remember that V.F.M.B.O.T.L. is what Washington Post Columnist David Broder called us in a column last September. I responded in a post at The Aristocrats, where I unfortunately managed to use the F word only 49 times. I was so grateful to the commenters who pointed out those declensions of "fuck" that I had missed.

On the Imus thing.

I left this comment over at QuakerDave's and thought I'd post it here, too.

I loved Serena Roberts' column in the newyorkfuckingtimes today, page C13, I think. It's timesfuckingselect, natch. Talked about it being more than race, also gender. It's not about taking offense any more, it's about accepting that equality between men and women is a given. And in the sports world in particular we've just got too far to go.

And Paul Hinrichs at Aristocrats (love him) also points out a different perspective, leave Imus to his idiot audience which is not what we're doing but it's interesting, isn't it? I mean, QD, seriously honey, you didn't listen to Imus before this. Neither did I. What Imus has done, bless him and curse him, is get the attention of people too smart to listen to his show. Those people also sit in the board rooms of advertising agencies and networks.

The NYT column pointed out that the network execs were "pulled out of their focus group meetings" by this controversy. I think that's the real subtext of where Imus "crossed over the line." NOT that he used a racial sexist slur, hell, he does that all the time. But THIS time he got attention from...well...Rutgers University Alums. Not his intention, I'm sure, and if he survives this, (and QD honey for all our wishing I think he will) I doubt he'll cross THAT line again, though it's a tough one to see.

And as I said at 'risties, the Rutgers team used their minute-thirty-five to show the media what class is, so stay tuned, we'll be right back with a Anna Nicole Smith paternity update. (Speaking of ho's, anybody on TV who gives Imus an interview? Yup.) Again, the impact brought about by those amazing women, with their grace and resolve, is, I'm sorry to say, with the intellectuals who have been angered by this.