Ink & Paper

Friday, March 25, 2005

I can't write anything today. Perhaps I have nothing left to say. I'm taking the weekend off, try to be back for Monday morning.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:44 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Look, I know you have nothing to do. I know you are sitting around the house or apartment, drawing circles in the layer of dust that is on your coffee table. And besides digging that green glob out of your ear a few hours ago, nothing too exciting is happening to you.

So go see my brother play music. Live. Check out his awesomeness as he performs under the moniker Leaving Juneau. It ain't all out screamo, more artsy, folksy kinda stuff. Bring your girlfriend cause after she has heard Leaving Juneau's tender songs, she'll want to be hugged and held. And since you will be the only one around, score for you.

Look, just go, I'm tired of trying to convince you. Go or I'll kick your ass.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:44 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Thursday, March 24, 2005

From the NY Times

March 23 - After a series of legal and legislative setbacks to efforts to resume the feeding of Terri Schiavo, Gov. Jeb Bush succeeded on Wednesday in getting a state court to hear new motions in her case, presenting an affidavit from a neurologist who said Ms. Schiavo's brain damage appeared less severe than previously thought....

There was no immediate indication when the court might rule....

Earlier in the afternoon, Governor Bush held a hastily convened news conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the doctor's affidavit, and he suggested that state officials might seek to gain legal custody of Ms. Schiavo.....

Judge Greer did not rule on their request immediately, but he granted a request from Ms. Schiavo's husband, Michael, to bar the state's Department of Children and Families from removing her from the hospice where she has gone six days without her feeding tube and from providing her with nutrition or hydration....

George Felos, the lawyer for Mr. Schiavo, who had sought to end life support for his brain-damaged wife, said he had heard "credible" rumors that state officials planned to send doctors to the hospice to give Ms. Schiavo intravenous fluids. Judge Greer also directed state sheriffs to take whatever actions were necessary to enforce the order....

Speaking from Tallahassee before Judge Greer's hearing, Governor Bush indicated the state might indeed try to take custody of Ms. Schiavo, which the law would allow it to do under certain circumstances. He said a new review by Dr. William P. Cheshire, a neurologist in Jacksonville, suggested that Ms. Schiavo had been misdiagnosed as being in a "persistent vegetative state," meaning she cannot think, emote or remember....

Dr. Cheshire, who visited Ms. Schiavo in her hospice room for an hour and a half on March 1 and reviewed videotapes of her made by her parents, said that instead she appeared to be minimally conscious.
"This new information raises serious concerns and warrants immediate action," Mr. Bush said. "If there's any uncertainty, we should err on the side of protecting her."

Dr. Cheshire is the director of a laboratory at the Mayo Clinic branch in Jacksonville that deals with unconscious reflexes like digestion, and the director of biotech ethics at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, a nonprofit group founded by "more than a dozen leading Christian bioethicists," in the words of its Web site. The clinic said in a statement that the state had invited Dr. Cheshire to offer his opinion. Other doctors who have examined Ms. Schiavo for the Florida courts have declared her to be irredeemably brain damaged

Is it just me, or does this seem incredibly messed up? Sending state doctors to gove her fluids, thus undercutting the rule of law because of your entrenched and intertwined religious and political ideologies? Christ, this sounds like a bad Nazi movie.

A "Christian" bioethicist? I find this to be a near-contradictory term, especially so if the degree of Christianity falls hard to the conservative side. Why was I not surprised when this doctor declares that the last ten years of diagnosis is completely wrong (based on his one and a half hour observation) and thus the 'best' thing is to ignore all the other doctors' opinions and contravene the judicial ruling in favour of a few like-minded politicians. Of course the state offered him a chance to voice his opinion. They wanted someone to back them up ideologically. I don't invite my enemies to speak at my wedding, do I? No, I invite friends and family, people I know will say nice things about me. Especially when they are getting a free meal, but I digress.

And to show you how easy it is to twist things, as the Republicans are so apt to do, think about this: The state may take possession, for lack of a better word, of Terri. I don't know what the law says on this, but I do know that her husband has been found, again and again, to be her legal guardian, and to take the right away weakens the institution of marriage. Can we all think of another issue that the Republicans think might weaken the institution of marriage? It is a stretch, but consider it.

And lastly, I am glad to see that X has come out of hiding after being caught man-handling my fiance with his enormous hands. (Note: Patent pending on the "SuperGroper 3000" hand growth hormone) Welcome back X, sorry for the massive threats. Oh, by the way, I sent some terrorists to take care of you, as they are all just standing around here on the streets looking for work. But they need a ride from the airport? Would you mind? Thanks buddy.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 3:05 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


A whisper of reason in a hurricane of hypocrisy...

"My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing."
Christopher Shays, Republican congressman of Connecticut, on the Schiavo case.

Meanwhile, in La-La Land, the Jackson trial is proving just how odd the singer (and his hangers on) truly are:

At the end of the day, one of the pop star's lawyers was taken to hospital after collapsing.
Paramedics removed Brian Oxman on a stretcher after he felt unwell.

On Wednesday, the singer arrived at court 20 minutes early - two days after proceedings were delayed when Mr Jackson entered late and complained of back pains. He walked into court unaided, followed by his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, and his parents.

What the hell, this must be the most medically unfit group of people ever. People fainting, collapsing, back pain, and an inability to even put one's pants on (Jackson, of course) without hurting themselves. Sheesh.

When Jackson was late a couple of days ago, the judge didn't impose any kind of penalty, despite earlier saying that he would not tolerate any tardiness and threatened to revoke Jackson's 3 million dollar bond/bail. Why wasn't any action taken? Cause Michael is a celebrity and that is the way the world works.

Maybe you have heard of the explosion at the BP Oil refinery in Texas. This plant produces 3% of the US's oil, thus meaning that oil prices are going up yet again. $60 a barrel anyone? Subsequently, I am predicting that my exchange rate will get even worse. Hooray.

I have made mention that I, and others, think that it is only a matter of a few more missteps and time until the US government introduces the draft again. Numbers have been falling as the military tries to meet it's recruitment quotas and we'll see what the final numbers read when the recruiting year ends September 30.

The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals again this month and next, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday, and it is developing a new sales pitch that appeals to the patriotism of parents who have been reluctant to steer their children toward the Army. AP

Maybe before parents start pushing junior to enlist, they should read this article that highlights the coping mechanisms of troops when they are surrounded by death and destruction. And then the parents ought to ask some hard questions on what kind of mental health support systems the government is willing to pay for when junior comes back from Iraq more than a little messed up.

In the next 100 years, I have read on numerous occasions, the wars will be fought over oil (of course) and water. Yep, the ole Earth is maxed out when it comes to the fresh water supply. The US, particularily in the breadbasket states and out west, is due for a series of droughts as they have all but tapped out their aquifers. Canada has a lot of the earth's fresh water supply. Thus things might get a little hectic, especially if the Asain giant known as China continues to grow.

China's already severe water shortages are worsening due to heavy pollution of lakes and aquifers and urban development projects with a big thirst for water, such as lawns and fountains, state media reported. More than 100 cities have inadequate water supplies, with more than half "seriously threatened," the official Xinhua News Agency cited Qiu Baoxing, a vice minister of construction, as saying. CNN

And lastly, after I wrote my little piece about the entrenched racism that will see a collective ignoring of native situations, I came across this headline on Yahoo:

"Behind the Why of a Rampage, Loner With a Taste for Nazism"

So tell me, is it Nazism that is to blame for this kid's actions? Or is it a minor 'cherry on the top' that he turned to a skewed ideology after his mother suffered brain damage in a car accident and his father committed suicide, leaving him with no role models and an alarming lack of social work-style support? And don't forget to throw in the crippling poverty of his reservation, which is what he no doubt felt he had to look forward to when he became an adult. Nope, just the Nazi boogeyman, dug up from the not so distant past. That's all, one kid with an affection for Hitler. That was surely the only reason that he acted as he did.

I give this story another 3 days before it is gone from the headlines. By Easter Monday at the
latest. Columbine took a lot longer than that to fade away. But those kids were white. Sigh.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:01 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Just to give you an idea of how the right wing radio is portraying the Schiavo case to the listening public....

On his personal website, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opined on the controversy surrounding the Terri Schiavo case by "speak[ing] out against the Dem Deathworshippers" and comparing Democrats to the infamous "doctor" of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Josef Mengele:

"The radical Democratic left is an army of soulless ghouls. Being of the living dead, they live in a world of death and try to impose it on we the living. Witness who led the charge: a radical homosexual, Barney Frank. A radical abortion Mafiosa, Barbara Boxer. What is difficult for we the living to comprehend is the reason they can engage in such anti-life abominations is because they have no souls. They have said that the tears of Terri Schiavo are mechanical. They have said that her smile is reflexive. They can rip an emerging child from the womb, murder it, and call this a compassionate act. Like Mengele -- the doctor of death from the Nazi concentration camps -- the radical, soulless Democrats keep referring to "the doctors," as if a medical degree guaranteed humanity. Therefore, choose life. God bless George W. Bush."

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 3:40 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


This seems like a familiar road. A teenager, as you well know by know, walked into Red Lake High School, on a Native American reservation in the northern state of Minnesota and killed 7 of his classmates and himself, after killing his two grandparents. BBC

The US government will continue to deny that the freedom to bear arms is leading to tragic consequences. For those of you who have seen Bowling for Columbine you may remember that a few weeks after Columbine, Charlton Heston, head of the NRA went ahead with a scheduled convention a few miles from the school. One wonders if the NRA will stage some pro-gun rally this time around to ensure the anti-gun lobby doesn't get too much press.

Fine, picking on the NRA is easy for a lefty like me. I'll lay off them, for now. But there is another deeper and more entrenched issue that will not get addressed by the mainstream media. This happened on a Native American reservation. Not in a lily-white suburb.

The US and Canada have a horrible track record when it comes to treatment of natives. Cultural extinction through government schools morphed into a reservation system that is appalling at best. Poverty is rampant, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse only ensuring that this vicious cycle will continue on. The Canadian prison population is over-represented by the natives, much like in the US with African Americans. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the natives of Canada are suffering the same, if not more, degree of racism as is experienced by blacks in the USA. Natives in the USA are the most marginalized of the minorities, far worse off than blacks and hispanics.

Now before you go on and ask me what orfice I am pulling this out of, one of my last (and best) classes at the U of A was in Global Education, where we highlighted the issues that native students face. So while I am not an expert, I feel that I am reasonably up to speed on some of the major issues.

This shooting in Minnesota will not get nearly as much media play as the one on Columbine did. This will no doubt be in part due to the Schiavo case, but beyond that is the not so thin layer of racism that allows people and the media to look the other way when it comes to 'native on native' crime.

Of course there will be the standard window-dressing of the true issue of racism/poverty, and we can see it emerging from CBS news

(T)he Red Lake reservation is a bleak and financially troubled area. The school district produces some of Minnesota's lowest test scores, which is unusual for such a small school and close-knit population.

At the Capitol in St. Paul, several hundred people attended a prayer ceremony for victims of the shooting where religious leaders joined Indians in drumming and chanting.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty expressed his condolences for the families of the victims and said it appeared the school had "very rigorous security." "It looks like you had a very disturbed individual who was able to overcome a lot of precautions to do a lot of damage," the governor said.

The reservation is about 240 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. It is home to the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe, one of the poorest in the state.

I chose to go to CBS for some information, not because I feel they are the pinnacle of news reporting, but becasue I figured they would be fulfilling their role as the proverbial Chicken Little, claiming that the 'sky is falling, the sky is falling. ' I was not disappointed, as they were leading with this story.

Ah hell, I can't let the NRA off the hook. In no way was this tragedy portrayed by CBS as a gun issue either, instead we see the Govenor of Minnesota claiming that the tragedy is the result of one individual who managed to get past a lot of security. Perhaps we wouldn't need to have so much security at schools if the students didn't have access to weaponry at home.

And we see the politically correct politicians attending a traditional native chanting and drumming ceremony as well. This just sickens me. Are we so blind that seeing a few seconds of footage of politicians sitting awkwardly in a native ceremony makes us feel that things are improving? I will be honest with you: I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting around a native ceremony and chances are neither would you. And neither you nor I have the ability or the power, as politicians do, to immediately improve the situations on the reserves across the country.

While I hate to quote pop culture in a serious discussion, Eminem had some line in a song of his
that went something like "now it's in middle America/ now it's a tragedy" in reference to school crime. It's true, when there is a shooting or a gunplay incident in an inner city school in Detriot, it barely causes a ripple in the local media, much less the national media, unless the body count gets a little high. Same logic, or illogic if you will, applies to native crimes on native lands. The only exception with this current story is the number of dead.

After Columbine there was a continent-wide questioning of children and violence, with much questioning aimed at identifying students with potentially dangerous levels of self-isolation. In short, the whole country stopped and wondered what they could have done and could do in the future to avoid another Columbine. Was it the culture? Or was it the parents? Nature? Nuture? Fluke?

Well, it Columbine happened again just a few days ago and I wonder if the same level of self-analysis will happen this time around. I doubt it only because of the marginalization of natives in the American melting pot culture will doom this story to the back pages of the newpaper far too quickly. The only thing worse than the death of 10 people is the fact that we as a collective society cannot look in the mirror long enough to admit that we are part of the problem and will not get off of our collective asses to begin building a solution.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:45 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ah yes, the views of the few decide the viewship of the many. It's stories like the following that make me what to crawl back into my cave. But of course it would be blasphemous to even suggest caves, in the eyes of some....

From the NY Times
Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures.

People who follow trends at commercial and institutional Imax theaters say that in recent years, religious controversy has adversely affected the distribution of a number of films.

"Volcanoes," released in 2003 and sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and Rutgers University, has been turned down at about a dozen science centers, mostly in the South, said Dr. Richard Lutz, the Rutgers oceanographer who was chief scientist for the film. He said theater officials rejected the film because of its brief references to evolution, in particular to the possibility that life on Earth originated at the undersea vents.

Carol Murray, director of marketing for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, said the museum decided not to offer the movie after showing it to a sample audience, a practice often followed by managers of Imax theaters. Ms. Murray said 137 people participated in the survey, and while some thought it was well done, "some people said it was blasphemous."

In their written comments, she explained, they made statements like "I really hate it when the theory of evolution is presented as fact," or "I don't agree with their presentation of human existence."

Hyman Field, who as a science foundation official had a role in the financing of "Volcanoes," said he understood that theaters must be responsive to their audiences. But Dr. Field he said he was "furious" that a science museum would decide not to show a scientifically accurate documentary like "Volcanoes" because it mentioned evolution.

"It's very alarming," he said, "all of this pressure being put on a lot of the public institutions by the fundamentalists."

Dr. Lutz, the Rutgers oceanographer, recalled a showing of "Volcanoes" he and Mr. Low attended at the New England Aquarium. When the movie ended, a little girl stood in the audience to challenge Mr. Low on the film's suggestion that Earth might have formed billions of years ago in the explosion of a star. "I thought God created the Earth," she said.

He replied, "Maybe that's how God did it."

*This article was thoughtfully emailed to me by.... The Future Mother-In-Law!!!

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:14 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


The Schiavo Case and the Islamization of the Republican Party

The cynical use by the US Republican Party of the Terri Schiavo case repeats, whether deliberately or accidentally, the tactics of Muslim fundamentalists and theocrats in places like Egypt and Pakistan.

Read more of this fascinating article at

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:13 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wow, this Terri Schiavo debate is huge. Before I get into it, the blog might be a little later tomorrow (Wed) as I have to be at the school ("mandatory attendance for all English teachers" said the memo) to watch 20 kids read their speeches to their parents. Don't get me started, especially on the fact that this event falls on my Friday night.

Back on Schiavo-track. I have a lot of info to cover here, so hopefully it comes out decently organized....Hot off the wire, 5:30am Edmonton time, I found this on the CBC....

Tue, 22 Mar 2005 08:10:31 EST -- CBC NewsWASHINGTON - A U.S. federal court judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube keeping a brain-damaged Florida woman alive. U.S. District Judge James Whittemore's ruling denies an emergency request from Terri Schiavo's parents. In his ruling, he said the parents had not established a "substantial likelihood of success" at trial on the merits of their arguments.

That is where the story is at right now, although her parents have already said they will be launching an appeal asap. I have yet to see any government reaction to this, but I am sure there will be some.

From a NY Times article, which discusses the long term impact of the US governments involvement in the Schiavo case....

The new law tramples on the principle that this is "a nation of laws, not of men," and it guts the power of the states. When the commotion over this one tragic woman is over, Congress and the president will have done real damage to the founders' careful plan for American democracy.

(S)upporters of Ms. Schiavo's parents, particularly members of the religious right, leaned heavily on Congress and the White House to step in. They did so yesterday with the new law, which gives "any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo" standing to sue in federal court to keep her alive.This narrow focus is offensive. The founders believed in a nation in which, as Justice Robert Jackson once wrote, we would "submit ourselves to rulers only if under rules." There is no place in such a system for a special law creating rights for only one family.

The White House insists that the law will not be a precedent. But that means that the right to bring such claims in federal court is reserved for people with enough political pull to get a law passed that names them in the text.

President Bush and his Congressional allies have begun to enunciate a new principle: the rules of government are worth respecting only if they produce the result we want. It may be a formula for short-term political success, but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic.

The following information owes a great deal of thanks to the Glorious Mr. T, who sent me an email today. Here comes the scary stuff, in terms of hypocrisy and religious influence. Ready? In 1999, as govenor of Texas, george w. bush signed into law legislation that allowed the hospitals to pull the plug on 'futile' patients, despite the wishes of the patient and/or their family/guardian. Now this may not and probably does not apply in Flordia, where this whole fiasco is exploding, but it certainly offers a twisted insight into bush's mind. Read on...

Section 166.046, Subsection (e): If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the review process has affirmed is inappropriate treatment, the patient shall be given available life-sustaining treatment pending transfer under Subsection (d). The patient is responsible for any costs incurred in transferring the patient to another facility. The physician and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after the written decision required under Subsection (b) is provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient...
Think Progress

Even non-lawyers like me can make some sense of the language used above. For a more layman-type of analysis, read the following....

The law does not ensure that actions are taken "in accordance with the wishes of the patient or the patient's family." In fact it codifies and legalizes the ability of doctors to stop treatment even if it goes against the explicit directive of the patient or the patient's family. Scott Paeth

Right Jay, as if this would ever happen in modern day America, at least not without a huge uproar. I'm sad to direct your eyes below....

Sun Hudson, a six-month-old boy with a fatal congenital disease, died Thursday after a Texas hospital, over his mother's objections, withdrew his feeding tube. The child was apparently certain to die, but was conscious. The hospital simply decided that it had better things to do than keep the child alive, and the Texas courts upheld that decision after the penniless mother failed to find another institution that would take the child during the 10-day window provided for by Texas law.

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.Scott Paeth

So tell me how you feel about the 'sanctity of life' argument that the bush administration is pushing so hard. I do not know of any other way to be more two-faced than to sign one law that says one thing, and yet go on to sign another law that completely opposes the spirit of the first. I know politicians have a bad reputation, but this is a whole new level of ewww. The feeling that this whole thing is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better grows more and more each day.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:59 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Monday, March 21, 2005

I struggle to write this, as it conflicts with my better-informed logical side.

America. It still, to me, causes an intake of breath, a pause. The imagery of America is immense and the allure of America is persuasive, even in these times of discontent.

It draws me in, despite my knowledge, my distaste for the policies, the actions taken. It lingers, this romantic notion of "America" in my head. This imagery of open roads, mountains, streams, big sky country, and the power of defining oneself as an American. This imagery is power, a visual testament to the loudest nation on earth, and it draws us in.

I long to sit atop a motorcycle and explore this vast land, tasting it, touching it, and living within it. Perhaps this is an image best left to my imagination, seen through a rose-coloured, escapist series of thoughts. I think of traveling, finding the 'real' America, the variety of people who come together to form often inaccurate stereotypes.

I don't want the suburban version, the WalMart, the McDonald's. These aren't part of my image. What I seek is the exploration of a thousand photographs, the images that are captured in time and whose influence is incredibly far reaching. I want to see the nature of America, the land and the people who perhaps haven't bought fully into the 'perfect' life. The National Geographic. I wonder if there is still a true cowboy out there, a maverick who has removed themselves from the hype and is content with a silent piece of land, a scenic view or views. Is this image of an open America simply a myth, or, worse, is it a fading photo, overwhelmed by the now?

I know, I know. Much of what I could see in America, I could see in Canada. But somehow it is different south of the 49th. It seems so much more. Is it nothing but hype, a clever marketing scheme, a picture painted on an overused canvas? Or is there a pocket here, a corner there, that still qualifies as authentic? Who would be around to qualify it as authentic and moreover, would that pocket, that corner, even care?

Would this be nothing more than a futile journey, one fraught with traffic jams and other modern headaches? Or would this still have a hint of Steinbeck, a series of cultural corners devoted to nothing except what has always been. Are these corners possible anymore and if so, could I find them?

America. It is immense, both in name and on maps. And it wafts through me, tickling my curiousity and drawing me away into imagination.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:16 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Admittedly did not know what this meant until I came across it on the net....

A plutocracy is a government system where wealth is the principal basis of power (from the Greek ploutos meaning wealth).

The term plutocracy is generally used to describe two unrelated phenomena. In writings about history, plutocracy is the political control of the state by an
oligarchy of the wealthy. Examples of such plutocracy include some city-states in Ancient Greece and the Italian merchant republics of Venice, Florence, and Genoa.

Plutocracies typically emerge as one of the first governing systems within a territory after a period of
anarchy. Plutocracy is closely related to aristocracy as a form of government, as generally wealth and high social status have been closely associated throughout history.

The second usage is a pejorative reference to the allegedly great and undue influence the wealthy have on the political process in contemporary society. This influence can be exerted positively (by financial "contributions" or in some cases, bribes) or negatively by refusing to financially support the government (refusing to pay taxes, threatening to move profitable industries elsewhere, etc). It can also be exerted by the owners and ad buyers of media properties which can shape public perception of political issues (e.g.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp's publications alleged political agendas in Australia, the UK and the United States).

From Wikipedia

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:47 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


I saw at least 3 yellow cars today. That means that although it wasn't a terribly bad day, it was a day that I could have done without. Let's just say that I had a really good "Teacher Comeuppance" day, where I learned just how little power I have when it comes to kids with certain last names. Yet another reason I won't be teaching next year; I don't deserve treatment like this and I will be making some changes in June so that I don't have to deal with this kinda thing again. Yep,I'm changing routes again. I know what you are thinking and no, I don't care to hear it.

Onward to shit that matters. The US government is continuing to get even more involved in the Terri Schiavo case. Over the weekend the Senate and Congress passed emergency legislation that will basically force the feeding tube back into her. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, you must acknowledge the rather massive intrusion of government into peoples private lives. No longer is this a family dispute, it has become a vote generating machine, something to score politcal points off of.

bush flew back to Washington from his Texas ranch simply to be available to sign the legislation, making it law. I'm sure he swept a whole bunch of other legislation off his desk, some of it probably long in waiting and more far reaching, just to sign this one.

Mr Bush returned early from a weekend in Texas to sign the bill, shortly after it was passed by the House of Representatives."In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws, and our courts should have a presumption in favour of life," Mr Bush said in a statement.

You see, the thing is, Schiavo isn't going to get better, she has been this way for over a decade. I am not sure there are "serious questions" nor are their "substantial doubts" in a medical sense. Ethically, certainly. But medically speaking, I am a little more inclined to believe what the doctors say, not what the politicians want us to hear.

Republicans said it was their duty to save a life that was still worth living.If they did not act now, one said, Mrs Schiavo's blood would be on their hands.(All from BBC)

That would be a terrible thing, to have blood on your hands. Even one person's blood. It would be the height of hypocrisy to claim you didn't want blood on your hands while your party was waging an unjust war that has killed thousands of women and children. But that is what makes those Republicans who they are, I suppose.

And hey, while we are ignoring the bloody chaos of Iraq and claiming to be all high and mighty, lets give this whole "Save Terri" fiasco (if I could be so glib with this issue) some religious references to make damn sure our evangelical voters don't waver in their commitment to the GOP. From Yahoo.

Republican supporters said the "Palm Sunday Compromise" would protect the constitutional rights of a disabled person, and denied suggestions that they viewed the case as an opportunity to shore up support among religious conservatives ahead of next year's elections.

"As millions of Americans observe the beginning of Holy Week this Palm Sunday we are reminded that every life has purpose and none is without meaning," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., a leader in crafting the bill.

Republicans distanced themselves from a memo suggesting GOP lawmakers could use the case to appeal to Christian conservative voters and to force Democrats into a difficult vote. DeLay said he and other GOP leaders hadn't seen the memo and that he would fire any staffer who wrote such a document.

I am finding this case to be perhaps the clearest glimpse of the power of religion over the government decision makers. And trust me, being over here in a country that is for all intents and purposes a theocracy, you do not want to travel down that road. This issue, the Schiavo case, is far far more important than we care to admit, it is the snowball on top of a very steep, very treacherous hill.

I just don't know anymore, everything is so opposite of what it should be. I'm going to play with my dog.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:19 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bush said he ordered Operation Iraqi Freedom "to disarm a brutal regime, free its people, and defend the world from a grave danger." Yahoo

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

No bush, you said that you were going in there to get rid of the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. That is what you said. You were so goddamn specific. You said that Saddam could deploy these weapons in as little as 45 minutes. You sent Colin Powell to the UN with photos of nothing except a few tanker trucks. You claimed that the US was in direct danger of attack from Saddam. That was the crux of your whole arguement for war. Nowhere did you claim some alturistic motive of freeing the people or spreading freedom/democracy. You were all about the WMDs. Only after you kicked out the UN inspectors and couldn't find the WMDs did you change your tune.

And yet, here we are. I don't blame you for that shit-eating grin you got. Man, you managed to pull off one hell of a lie. And the whole country, or at least 52% of the people who bothered to vote, bought it. What a world. What a joke of a world.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 7:38 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Middle East related news from the weekend...

Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, is set to have a visit with bush at bush's Texas ranch in April. What about Mr. Abbas, bush? You know, that new Palestinian leader who has managed to contain the militants since he was elected in the aftermath of Arafat's death? That guy who is seemingly doing all he can to ensure that Israel and Palestine can co-exist peacefully. What about him? Seems to me like your loyalties, and your adminstration's favoritism, is more than a little overt. If you are serious about ending the Israel-Palestine dispute, how about having both leaders attend a meeting?

Just as an aside: Kuwait is a strange political animal. I have told you how they literally black out Israel on the maps here, yet Kuwait is one of the few staunch pro-American countries in the middle east. More than a little conflicted in my view, but what do I know?

A good piece of investigative journalism by the BBC, illustrating the getting-stronger, won't-go-away claim that the bush administration had designs on Iraqi oil long before 9/11. Gonna be tough to ignore this unless those pesky WMDs decide to appear.

This past weekend was the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there were many protests all over the world, although the numbers are not nearly as high as they were before the invasion and at the one year anniversary, signalling to me that the post-election depression felt by the left is still ongoing. It is kind a depressing to protest en masse and still be ignored, or even worse, scorned.

So two years on, where are we as a planet?

-The leading economy is struggling under a massive and ever-growing deficit, something future generations will pay for in reduced education and health care funding.
-The gulf between Europe and the US has never been wider.
-Anti-US sentiment is continuing to rise all over the world.
-The fastest growing religion in the world, Islam, is now massively misunderstood by the majorty of North America.
-The world is no doubt less secure, and currently in Iraq there is a whole generation of children being traumatized by the war, a fertile breeding ground for future terrorist recruitment drives.
-Oil is at or above $57US a barrel and showing no signs of coming down anytime soon.
-Civil rights have been further trampled on, not only in the US, but worldwide as well.
-Torture is now nearly openly admitted as a legitmate tactic of interrogation by the US and it's somewhat questionable allies.
-Misinformation and ideological ignorance is seemingly at an all time high and rising.
-And yes, estimates of between 20,000 and 100,000 Iraqis, many women and children, have died as a result of the invasion.
-And on and on and on.....

It is a sad state of affairs this world is in and it shows no sign of changing anytime soon. I fear a real sense of hopelessness will emerge as this conflict, this borderless war on terror, continues to ignore the desires of the majority of the western world's pleas for peace. It is not getting better. Iraq will be the new Afghanistan, which is described as being a state supported almost entirely on narcotics and still overrun with warlords. If, after two years of chaos, missteps, confusion and dishonesty, the world still sees bush and his ideologues on the six o'clock news, I truly wonder what it would take for humanity to finally say "enough."

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:57 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Jay and The Glorious Mr. T. discuss the issues regarding the supposed time traveler, John Titor, in a series of emails.

Mr T wrote: So I was searching for information about a problem us computer nerds have to deal with, the Unix operating system is going to get confused in 2038 about what date it is, same sort of thing as Y2K...Anyway I came across this bizarre time traveler guy, who is all over the internet. He supposedly came back in time to pick up an old IBM computer to help fix this problem in 2036. But more interesting is the predictions/description of how civil rights are eroded to the point where the US has a civil war.
Wacky stuff.

Jay wrote back: That is some pretty crazy stuff. I read it quickly, gonna go back and read it more closely later on. I dunno. Did you know about the IBM computer, or is that BS in your opinion?

Mr. T: That I'm not sure about, reading up about it sounds like it had this undocumented feature that he knew about. Interesting thing too was his prediction of mad cow becoming a big problem. It makes sense if it has a 30 year period before it affects a person, that it would be a big deal in the next 20 years. Also I saw just today some scientists just created a mini black hole, a singularity, in the lab another thing that Mr time travellor said would happen soon and is needed to power is time machine. Weird stuff.

Jay: Man, I'm pissed, I just wrote this super long email to you about Titor, and then my internet cut out when I was halfway thru sending it. Arrgh, he we go again...I am a skeptic because I like being the devil's advocate and it is easier when it comes to questioning time travel.

1. It is not too far fetched in 1999-2001 to predict a stronger China emerging, especially after the Asian financial crisis of 1997. One could surmise that China, with an increased military and endless supply of cheap labour, would emerge stronger than Japan or S Korea after the crisis.

2. I have a hard time seeing a split between the rural and urban factions of the US. Technology is as much a part of life in the massive farms as it is in the urban centres. More likely, a predicition of a split between the two parties and their followers would be more reasonable. The economies of the farm and the city are too intertwined and stable to foresee a noticable change.

3. If Titor intervened to stop Y2K from killing people, would it not stand to reason that he could have intervened to stop 9/11? This arguably would have saved more lives and prevented a further split along party lines from developing. And, how would he have prevented Y2K? By 1999 we had thousands of programmers working to update the systems and thus it seems implausible that one man, even with all the knowledge, could have singlehandedly fixed the problem. Kinda like Santa Claus haulin ass all over the world in just one night. Weren't the seeds for the Y2K bug sown in the late 50s, early 60s? Would it thus have made more sense for Titor to travel back to then to fix the problem at the root?

4. Predicting a war in the Middle East is like predicting my brother will get drunk at my wedding. Its a no brainer. Titor does not mention the dwindling supply of oil that the world will face in the coming years, something that I would see as being more of a factor for the middle east than whether or not people support Israel.

5. Throwing Russia into the mix just doesn't make any sense to me, seems like a Cold War relic idea. Seems to me they would be more concerned with capitalizing off of US weakness (because of the civil war) by expanding their own sphere of influence. While the Americans are busy fighting one another, move into the oil rich Middle east. (This is my weakest arguement, I know)

6. No mention of Paraguay. How the hell can you ignore Paraguay????

I dunno, just thoughts. I am now going to copy this email and then try to send it again. 3 months left until I have reliable internet service again....

Mr. T: Personally I think it is all BS, but it is interesting to think about.

1. Agree. Even Nostradamus predicts this, according to my mom anyway.

2. Totally agree, especially with liberals vs conservervatives. I think Titor's thinking here was based on the backwoods miltias that seem to be in the media more in the late 90s, the guys who had to have their guns, and hate the government for taking away their civil rights (oddly enough, these same guys probably voted for bush).

3. He arrived in 2000, to see the 2000-2001 rollover, he says he was just making a stop on his way back from 1975 where he was to pick up the modified 5100 which somehow fixes the unix problem in 2038. I don't believe he said he was there to fix anything for Y2K, just to hang out.

4. Agree.

5. Could happen in a power vacuum, if the US completely withdraws from all foreign policy and is dealing with a civil war?

6. What about Poland?

7. What about Islam? You'd think he would mention the Islamic boogeyman that every American is afraid of now. 9/11 is basically what kicked off the huge culture shift down there so you'd think that would get some sort of vague hint.

Although you have to consider the worldline argument he built in. His worldline is 2% different then ours, whatever that means. Terry thinks the whole thing falls apart when he said his time machine was made by GE. They can barely make appliances that don't self destruct in 6 months, let alone a time machine. If it was me, I'd stick to the Delorean.

And this is just further proof why Mr. T and I will someday jointly rule the world, fixing all the problems and debunking myths in a matter of a few emails. Because that is how awesome we really are.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 3:11 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


© Ink & Paper 2005 - Template by Caz.