Ink & Paper

Friday, April 15, 2005

From the NY Times, the insanity is well organized....

1.As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

2. Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

3. The event is taking place as Democrats and Republicans alike are escalating their public relations campaigns in anticipation of an imminent confrontation. The Democratic minority has blocked confirmation of 10 of President Bush's judicial nominees by preventing Republicans from gaining the 60 votes needed to close debate, using the filibuster tactic often used by political minorities and most notoriously employed by opponents of civil rights. (Like the republican party perhaps?- Author)

4. "As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and organizer of the telecast, wrote in a message on the group's Web site. "For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."

5. But Mr. Perkins stood by the characterization of Democrats as hostile to faith. "What they have done is, they have targeted people for reasons of their faith or moral position," he said, referring to Democratic criticisms of nominees over their views of cases about abortion rights or public religious expressions.

6. "The issue of the judiciary is really something that has been veiled by this 'judicial mystique' so our folks don't really understand it, but they are beginning to connect the dots," Mr. Perkins said in an interview, reciting a string of court decisions about prayer or displays of religion.

In paragraph two, it is mentioned that the fliers say "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith." It is interesting to note that much of the racial bias in post WW2 US history has emerged from the south with regards to black people and their rights. It is also interesting to note that all of the southern and midwest states were carried by the Republican party in the last US election, as with many of the elections previous to 2004. I think you can allow me to make a small leap and deem this portrait of the filibuster as slightly more than self-serving and extremely hypocritical when one considers the recent history of segregation.

In paragraph four, the reference to the American Civil Liberties Union as an "interest group" effectively demotes it to the level of that guy who lives down the street and who claims milk gives you gutrot. From Wikipedia, I gleaned these few "wacko" causes the ACLU has been involved in over the years...

In 1954, the ACLU played a role in the case of Brown v. Board of Education which led to the ban on segregation in U.S. public schools.
In 1973, the organization was the first major national organization to call for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon, giving as reasons the violation by the Nixon administration of civil liberties. That same year, the ACLU was involved in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, in which the Supreme Court held that the constitutional right of privacy extended to women seeking abortions.

Yes, those sneaky ACLU people would just love to see animals and men be allowed to marry. Damn activists, having the gall to question the obvious intelligence of the law-creating elected officials.

In paragraph five, Perkins says in reference to Democrats "What they have done is, they have targeted people for reasons of their faith or moral position."

Yes they have. As you have done with your beliefs that suggest that everyone must conform to Christian standards, even though in the land of the free, religious freedom and the right to express that freedom without hinderance is one of the main supports of the founding fathers.

It was also not too long ago that a man's moral position might have included seeing black children educated separate from white children. Yet, once that issue was targeted by those "leftist" judges, state-sponsored segregation ended. Was that a bad thing? I suppose it depends on who you ask.

And do you, Mr Perkins, not target people who have the moral position that a woman has the right to choose? Do you not target people who have the moral position that church and state should remain separated? Do you not target people who simply fail to agree with your 'my way or the highway' theocratic morals? It all seems so subjective to me.

And paragraph six, where he says "The issue of the judiciary is really something that has been veiled by this 'judicial mystique' so our folks don't really understand it...." just annoys me because it paints the picture that the people he represents are simply hard working, simple folk, the American myth of the everyman, who have been duped by those slimy academics.

The fact that his 'folks' are probably the most organized, best mobilized interest group that has ever existed in the US is something that he appreciates but does not want to broadcast. Everyone loves the underdog, the folks, and it pays well to sell the image of a, well, a David vs. Goliath battle of right and wrong, if I could be so cocky as to use that analogy. No one wants to cheer for the organized team, you want to cheer for the backcountry hick kids who have mismatched uniforms.

Ok that is enough heavy thinking for a Friday. Time to go chase some gophers with my freshly-bathed dog. Bark bark.

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Morning all, from the amazingly normal Airdrie.

Made it back yesterday afternoon, safe and sound with doggie in tow. Last night when I went to bed I had been awake for 49 hours straight, which I think is a new record. Anyway, I am here in Airdrie and will be coming up to Edmonton this weekend, probably getting there around 6 or 7 Friday night. I'll be at Megan's parents place in Beaumont, but you can call her cell at 910-7344 if you need to hear my Barry White-sexy voice.

Monday is good, as mentioned, and is fascinated by the gopher holes in the field behind Dacia and Matt's house. No accidents in the cage for me to clean up, just a little stiff. But she's happy, tail-wagging as usual.

Anyway, I have to go wake Megan up so she can drive me (with my expried drivers licence) to Tim Horton's for a cup of real coffee. And she has to go to work, so I'm not just waking her for my coffee needs. Looking forward to seeing you all in the next few days. Except for Al "I am a heavy petter" Gibson. Ewww.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I am not surprised at this. The only thing that surprises me is that it took so long for the speculation to finally make it to mainstream media.

OTTAWA - The United States has covered up cases of mad cow disease in the past eight years, a former U.S. agriculture inspector said Tuesday at a House of Commons committee.

Leslie Friedlander repeated a claim he has made before that cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy surfaced in the U.S. long before the disease showed up in Canada, devastating this country's beef industry.

Washington has denied the allegations.

But the testimony raises a question that has been asked many times: how the U.S. industry has been able to essentially escape BSE when Canada's much smaller industry, observing almost identical safety and testing practices, has had four cases.

This would stand to reason when considering the isolationsist policies that US is reknowned for. We can also look to the ongoing and festering softwood lumber dispute that has handicapped many Canadian business for the past 3-4 years, if not longer. Canada, to a much smaller extent, feels the slings and arrows of US foreign policy, which is all in favour of co-operation so long as the big dog gets to make the rules. That is, after all, how the world works. Brawn over brain and protect the homeland first and foremost. We really are just monkeys marking our territory, aren't we?

If this article worries you, perhaps you should read Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, which among other things, illustrates the inhumane and non-hygenic practices that allow us to eat various kinds of animals. If after reading this book, you don't consider the above article to be plausible, then please seek professional help for your denial problem.

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"I haven't been gone very long/But it feels like a lifetime."--- Bright Eyes from the song "We Are Nowhere, And It's Now"(feat. Emmylou Harris)

As I write this out, I am a mere 13 hours from take off, when I will begin my 24 or so hours of being "in transit." I admit looking forward to this brief return home, but I am oddly feeling rather ambiguous about it, as if it is all happening to someone else. Like I am simply floating along for the ride. Odd.

It has felt like a lifetime since I was in Canada, some nearly 8 months now. Even England and Ireland feel like a long time ago. This time away, and I know it isn't done yet, has largely been spent looking forward to the next connection with Megan, and now that the clock has ticked so close, I am finding it a little odd to try to shift my thinking to the present.

I leave Kuwait at 140am, fly into Frankfurt at 630am, and then depart for Calgary at 230pm, arriving in the mid afternoon on Thursday. Monday does too, provided I harass enough people to make sure she is on the flight. I am a little worried about her, not so much about her being in a kennel for 23 hours, most of which she will sleep away, but I just hope that she gets transferred to all the right places and there aren't any snafus. So cross your fingers for my pooch, if ya get a second. She's worth it, a good dog.

It was funny moment today though, as we did our morning walk and she sniffed the ground so intently, deciding where to pee. I smiled because to her, the sniffing is the most important thing in the world, and she has no concept of the idea that I am attempting to fling her halfway around the world. I dunno, just struck me a little, is all.

So anyway, no blogs for a while, I'll see some of you this upcoming weekend. I hope I don't disappoint, I'll try to be as interesting as my blog. I will try to post on and off over the week that I am back, especially if the jet lag kicks my ass and I am wide awake at 3 in the morning. So good day for now, I may post real quick later on today if something in the news gets my blood boiling, but no promises. Later skaters.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

From the NY Times....

The New York Public Library has decided to sell 19 works of art from its collection - including "Kindred Spirits," a widely admired landscape by the Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand, and two seminal portraits of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart - so that it can better compete in acquisitions of important books and collections.

Still, Mr. LeClerc said the soaring cost of books and research materials, coupled with city and state cutbacks and the shrinkage of the library's endowment as a result of the tepid stock market performance after Sept. 11, 2001, left the library with little choice but to sell the artworks to continue expanding its collection. The library owns some 43.3 million research materials, including 15.5 million books.

Fund-raising at the library has remained strong, he said, but the library has sought to channel much of that money toward restoring the branch hours that it reduced for financial reasons after 9/11.

In 2000, the library's endowment hit a high of $530 million, but because of 9/11 it dropped to $426 million by the end of 2002. Since then, the endowment has grown to roughly what it was at four years ago. "But during those four years we lost a huge amount of purchasing power," Mr. LeClerc said. "There was not sufficient revenue to support growth."

And from Common Dreams....

SALINAS, CA -- The reputation of this farming community, known as the Salad Bowl of the World, has been burnished by giants of American history like the civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who organized the area's farmworkers, and John Steinbeck, a native son who borrowed images from the landscape and Depression-era residents in writing "The Grapes of Wrath."

Unless the city can raise $500,000 by June 30, the John Steinbeck, Cesar Chavez and El Gabilan Libraries will be shuttered, victims of the city's $9 million budget shortfall. If the branches are closed, Salinas will become the nation's largest city without a public library.

Word of the library closings has spread in recent months. The American Library Association sent a delegation to Salinas in February to meet with local and state officials. The mayor helped to organize Rally Salinas, a fund-raising group, and residents formed Save Salinas Libraries to explore a ballot measure. Last week, residents drafted a petition to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger requesting long-term help in saving the libraries, because the $500,000 would only ensure that each library stays open one day a week through 2005.

The poignancy of library closings occurring in Steinbeck's birthplace has elevated the Salinas problem. But according to the American Library Association, branches across the nation have been forced to reduce hours, eliminate staff and thin inventories. Library services have been cut in Lancaster, Pa.; Onondaga County, N.Y.; and Detroit. The library in Bedford, Tex., closed its doors last Wednesday and will remain closed for at least six months.

I've been following the story of the library closures in Salinas, California for a while now, and just yesterday the story about the NY libraries landed in my email bin. I find it almost sickening that in a world that spends billions on war and weapons, we allow libraries suffer financially and close down. I'll admit it, as if it were something new to you all: I'm a bookworm. Far from the days where being a bookworm was a sure way to get beaten up, I now drape myself in the definition, devouring any and all reading material that I can get my hands on.

Reading in Kuwait is a very low priority, as it has been deemed lame and uncool in the onslaught of video games and DVDs. I can tell. The reading level here is low, and more alarming, the desire to learn, to acquire information is nearly non-existant, especially when it requires some effort, as reading and analyzing does. Surely this has some cultural/religious aspects to it, but nonetheless I find it more than a little disconcerting. The simple and appalling fact that we have, for all intents and purposes, no functioning library at my school, only serves to re-inforce the mentality that reading and learning from the written word is passe. I would hate to see a similar situation emerge in North America.

There is a bigger picture being painted here, a picture of emerging ignorance. In an age where more people than ever have access to and have acquired a remarkably high level of education, we run the risk of slipping backwards into a form of cultural ignorance. I, as much as any nerd, love to tinker with the latest do dads and gadgets, but it is not through a new video game or movie that I acquire an indepth understanding of my fellow man. While movies, gaming, and book reading are all largely insular, isolating activities, only reading gives us a better idea of what humanity is all about, save for a few rare movies. If we are closing libraries down, we are in effect creating a society that is too busy to be able to acquire information in any way other than rapid-fire soundbites. In effect, we are dumbing ourselves down by substituting mass media for books. Are you comfortable being told how mentally handicapped people act by CNN, or would you rather see it from the point of view of Lennie, in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?

Further to that point, I have an interesting and I think telling, anecdote. During my Education degree I took a course in Special Needs. This was a blanket type of course, as it covered everything from ADD/ADHD to emotional behaviour issues that students bring to class. I learned a fair bit. But not nearly as much as what I learned from reading a novel entitled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. This story, told from the point of view of an autistic child, did more to open my eyes than any traditional definition could have. Jeff and I had a good discussion on this one day, agreeing that we could have thrown the textbook away and written many a paper simply from the information acquired through this novel.

Even if one isn't remotely interested in reading literature, the idea of reading simply for an escape is certainly legitimate. A mass-produced paperback, even if it follows a formula, is a good way to take some time for your imagination, working those detective muscles of the brain, instead of sitting on the couch, blankly staring at the television. One does not need to understand the symbolism in 1984 to get totally immersed in what used to be an otherworldly scenario.

Reading is more than just a consumption of values, as movies tend to be. Reading allows room for interpretation and critical thought, of guessing and testing the potential outcomes, of looking into a well-written character and seeing something of ourselves, something we could not grasp from Hollywood. Through reading in libraries we graduate to reading the newspapers, acquiring information and critiquing it through an analytical eye, instead of being fed information as if we were mice waiting for supper. If we lose the libraries in effect we are losing the capacity to acquire the ability to be discerning consumers.

Another big picture loss that I've alluded to is the simple loss of what was once another pace of life. In this era of cell phones, email, 24 hour news channels, voice mail, and 40+ hour a week jobs, we are run ragged. We are an immediate-gratification society. No longer do students go to university to acquire knowledge, instead they go to obtain only the information that is needed to enhance their earning potential. The numbers in your GPA have become more important than the knowledge behind those numbers.

Our society cannot keep up the pace we are running at, eventually the rabbit gets tired. Books, and what are books without libraries, offer a respite from this harried existence that we call life. And yet, they too are being 'modernized', formatted to fit on my Palmpilot, or onto a CD so that I can listen to them while I am frantically trying to get to work on time.

This is an attack on the aspect of 'slow', a moment or moments in time where our thoughts are concerned only with themselves, where introspection and self-analysis is allowed and encouraged. Libraries are closing and we are losing those few spots in the modern world where it is acceptable to sit and be quiet without feeling like we ought to be doing something else, something more "productive."

Edmonton nearly closed down the library that sits between the Calgary trails, just north of Whyte Avenue a few summers ago. Fortunately the citizens rallied to save it, forcing the city to come up with some money to keep it running. For now. But surely we have not heard the last of this issue as we continue to live in times of cost-cutting measures, where libraries and other arts are deemed non-essential. Society needs to understand that for a community to raise independent thinkers, children of reason, we need to give them the skills to be able to discern, to critique. To deny people the opportunity to read, especially people in poorer neighbourhoods, is a societal failure that will be passed on through the generations. Yet this can work the opposite way as well, for if we nuture the adventure of reading, the allure of the next chapter, we instill a love of reading that will last a lifetime, if not several lifetimes.

It is with that closing thought, that the love of reading can be passed down through the generations, that I want to wish my father a happy 58th birthday. No doubt my love for the written word was passed from father to son, as I remember the many times he sat and read stories to his young sons. It seems to me that no matter what birthday gift I give to him, it pales when compared to the gift of the written word that he gave to me.

Happy Birthday Pop.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

From a UN report on natives in Canada....

"Poverty, infant mortality, unemployment, morbidity, suicide, criminal detention, children on welfare, women victims of abuse, child prostitution, are all much higher among aboriginal people than in any other sector of Canadian society," said the report issued by the UN Human Rights Commission.

-Poverty affects 60 per cent of aboriginal children.
-The annual income of aboriginal people is "significantly lower" than other Canadians.
-Unemployment is very high among aboriginals.
-20 per cent of aboriginal people have inadequate water and sewer systems.
-Aboriginals make up 4.4 per cent of the Canadian population but account for 17 per cent of the people in prison.
-Cases of tuberculosis are six times higher than the rest of Canada.
-Life expectancy among the Inuit is 10 years lower than the rest of Canada.


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It helps that Dominionists have a direct line to the White House: The Rev. Richard Land, top lobbyist for the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, enjoys a weekly conference call with top Bush advisers including Karl Rove. "We've got the Holy Spirit's wind at our backs!" Land declares in an arm-waving, red-faced speech. He takes particular aim at the threat posed by John Lennon, denouncing "Imagine" as a "secular anthem" that envisions a future of "clone plantations, child sacrifice, legalized polygamy and hard-core porn."

The Dominionists are also stepping up efforts to turn public schools into forums for evangelism. In a landmark case, the Alliance Defense Fund is suing a California school district that threatened to dismiss a born-again teacher who was evangelizing fifth-graders. In the conference's opening ceremony, the Dominionists recite an oath they dream of hearing in every classroom: "I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe."

Cass urges conference-goers to stack school boards with Dominionists. "The most humble Christian is more qualified for office than the best-educated pagan," says Cass, an anti-abortion activist who led a takeover of his school district's board in San Diego. "We built quite a little grass-roots machine out there. Now it's my burden to multiply that success all across America."

To read more of this Handmaid's Tale come to life, click on the link. Yes, it is that scary.

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Oh sigh, what a day.

I taught from 730am to 12 noon, then I ate quickly and hopped in the car for a quick trip home to walk the dog. Quick 15 minute drive turned into a 40 minute wait in traffic, as there was a huge accident that tied up traffic all over the place. So there I am, not having a Kuwaiti driving licence, with cops all over the place directing traffic. Oops. Had they pulled me over, my white skin and shaved head probably woulda have got me through no questions asked. Such are the advantages of being a honky.

Anyway, made it home, walked my dog to the bathroom field, then hopped in the car to come back to skool as I have a basketball game (hopefully the last) tonight. Hence why I needed to walk Monday halfway through the day, as opposed to coming home late to a doggie surprise.

So I am going to coach soon, its plus 30 and our game is outside. Don't ask, I'llk explain the illogic of having an outdoor b ball court in the middle of the desert when you all buy me beers this upcoming weekend.

Details of this upcoming weekend, Saturday, April 16....

Where: The Atlantic Trapp & Gill, where we all went for my going away party. Calgary Trail South and about 78ave or so.
When: Between 8 and 830pm or later if you run on Cross time
Who: All those people who love me. The rest of you who hate me are welcome too.
Why: Cause you miss/want to punch me
What: To have a sociable drink or 8.

I will be in and around Edmonton on Saturday afternoon so call my folks or email me if you want alone time before we go out. Ok, off I go, hope your weekend was Tucker Max-awesome.

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

I'm not sure if I am going out on much of a limb here, but I think that the ongoing revelations from the Gomery Inquiry regarding the sponsorship scandal could be the end of this minority Liberal government. Minority governments, no matter what their political stripe, rarely last longer than 18 months, and that is usually without having to carry around legitimate accusations of massive accounting/donations mismanagement.

The inquiry, which has been keep quiet, is now having some of its testimonies revealed to the public, after a US website published details, thus skirting the no-coverage ban that was imposed in Canada. Apparently some of the testimony is pretty scandalous. It would have to be to gain the publics attention; after all, this episode of government has long since run over its 15 minutes of fame. For the public to get re-involved in this debate would take some damming evidence or testimony.

If this happens, this public groundswell of resentment, it is entirely conceivable that two of the opposition parties would join forces and force the Liberals to dissolve Parliment. The only hang up that might prevent the parties from ganging up on the Liberals is the amount of money that each party has in the bank. If the Conservative party has enough money to run another federal election campaign so close on the heels of last years, then perhaps they will never have a better time (public sentiment-wise) to do so.

This potential ability by the Conservative party to afford to run another election is not necessarily a good thing. The NDP and the Bloc probably do not have the money to stage another go round in the political boxing ring, which would leave the battle to the two major players, the Liberals and the Conservatives. This is not a good thing for Canadian democracy. The NDP and the Bloc both had excellent showings in the 2004 election, giving strength to the multi-party entity that is Canadian politics. But if neither of these two parties can afford to market themselves as effectively as they did last time, then we face a two-party system for the 'pontential' next election, if it comes sooner rather than later.

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Save the Cookie Monster!

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Oh, I am right pissed about this....

The makers of Sesame Street are selling out the Cookie Monster to the 'healthy eating for children' lobby groups. Apparently instead of the time honoured song "C is for cookie/That's good enough for me", the Cookie Monster will be singing some politically correct garbage about how cookies are a "sometimes" food.

What a load of crap. Are we so driven to overmonitor our children that the idea of reshaping the Cookie Monster persona is seen as a good idea? Here is a better idea: Don't let the TV babysit your kid. And when junior does ask for a cookie, give 'em an apple and tell them to stop whining. Still whining? Well, that is what the 'time out' closet is for....

C'mon, not only does this transformation of the Cookie Monster ruin my childhood memories, but think of the traumatizing effect this is going to have on the Cookie Monster. After 30-odd years of eating nothing but cookies, he is going to have to re-evaluate his whole outlook on life. Not only that, after eating cookies for 30-some years, he looks pretty good, I'd say. He still moves about, sings some songs about awesome letters of the alphabet like T and V, and has taught many thousands of kids that life on the street isn't as bad as their parents say it is.

And yet, because junior has a bag of chips in one hand and a Playstation controller in the other, we are turning the blame on the Cookie Monster. For shame society. Here is a pillar for the youth being told he has to conform to our new standards of living because, despite the fact he is a puppet with someone's hand up his ass, he is responsible for the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the western world.

Sesame Street has to get over itself. If you are going to sell the Cookie Monster down the river, why not other characters as well? The children are obviously dealing well with the idea that Bert and Ernie are more than just roomates, so why do you suddenly feel the need to start caving in to some local lobby group's agenda? Even though Bert is on leave from the show right now (see below), the children who remember him are obviously not all moving to San Francisco, thus indictating that they can handle the idea of independent thought.

What about Elmo? He was able to handle his skyrocketing rise to fame, laughing and getting tickled the whole way. Surely Sesame Street got some complaints because this new Elmo feature might give children the wrong idea about where it is appropriate to touch a stuffed animal. So why didn't they hammer Elmo? I'll tell ya why. Cause he was a star, brining in lots of cash. The rules didn't apply to Elmo, but they suddenly apply to the Cookie Monster. Doesn't seem fair now does it?

Or what about The Count? Here is an obvious bias that is telling kids that everyone who is a vampire or who hails from Transylvania is good at math. I happen to know many people who neither come from Eastern Europe nor drink people's blood, who are good at math. Yet you don't see Sesame Street caving in to their demands for more well-rounded representation in the math department. Again, apparently the Cookie Monster has to play by different rules.

Or Big Bird, why not hang him/her/it out to dry with the Cookie Monster? Obviously Big Bird has some form of gigantism or thyroid problem, but despite repeated boycotts of Sesame Street by various interest groups affiliated with large individuals, you don't see Big Bird getting the shaft from the producers.

It is quite obvious to me that the producers of Sesame Street are trying to force the Cookie Monster out, simply using his cookie habit as a good excuse to not pay him what he is worth. They tried to do it with Bert, who has taken them to court over sexual discrimmination. The decision is still before the courts, but Ernie and Bert are standing strong together, trying to make ends meet on Ernie's sole paycheck.

They ran that poor Greek elephant, Mr. Snuffalupagous out of town, a crucial mistake that cost them thousands of dollars of potential marketing revenue during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece.

Even Oscar the Grouch isn't on their website, which only teaches kids that expressing your true feelings and being true to who you are are quick ways to end up on the unemployment line, forced out because you didn't conform. There was also that issue of the unsanitary living conditions that hung over Oscar's head, but perhaps had he been paid what he was worth, he could have afforded a nicer apartment.

I can't believe what is happening to the Cookie Monster. If you think this is a travesty of justice, an open invitation for that shithead Barney to grab more of the coveted weekday morning ratings, make yourself heard. Email PBS and give 'em a piece of your mind. Tell them that you will not stand silently by as they attempt to run the Cookie Monster out of town. I know its tax season and the yard needs cleaning, but this issue has larger societal implications that will define the future lives of our children and our children's children. Save the Cookie Monster, stand by him in this time of strife and need.

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