December 30, 2005

Count Me A Little More Than Pissed

I'm pretty much fuming right now. Between the asshole attorneys who have kept mum about their refusal to work with my client on a particular order and lien release, having to attend a holiday party this evening, my husband's pissy mood for the last week, and two things I saw in the paper this morning, I'm about ready to hit the next mutherfucker who walks in my office with a shit-eating grin.

I set a hearing on the law matter and just faxed over the notice for next week so they can't hold up closing and put my client in danger of another contempt. [My phone's ringing right now. It's the lunch hour- fuck whoever is calling. Oh, and now, they're calling my cellphone. Bastards.] We have a timeline, and they have set plenty of stuff without notice to me in the past.

The holiday party I'll have to endure. There's no way to avoid it. I'll beg off early enough to go get real food and go home and play with my dog which is about the only thing that makes me laugh these days. I fucking LOVE that dog.

I've told my husband three times this morning it was too bad he didn't stop breathing in the middle of the night. I don't really mean it (well, very much), but I'm sick of his contrived reasons for being pissy. His sister's greed isn't reason enough to fuck up my good mood, and one should go home waaaayy before midnight without being dragged out of the bar.

And the two things I saw in the paper are just plain fucking wrong:

First, a Pawhuska, Oklahoma ambulance service may have to go out of business because FEMA hasn't paid them for the 100K worth the service they provided during Katrina. That's utter bullshit. The EMSA service paid the expenses upfront and they have no cushion due to cutbacks in Medicaid by the GOP controlled Congress and White House. Without at least reimbursement, they're fucked.

FEMA has the money. They've had the money for two months. Why won't they just pay the goddamn bill so innocent taxpayers don't have to go without emergency medical services??? Worse yet, if there's another disaster and this ambulance service is still around (doubtful) they probably won't do business with FEMA and people might die because of that. I guess that's the compassionate conservatism that all those damn NASCAR fucks voted for because Jeebus told them to.

Second, the Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the NSA's warrantless and illegal wiretapping of American citizens. Shit, they knew a year ago that the New York Times had that "top secret" information. Why didn't they start the investigation last year? Might it have something to do with the fact the Times finally printed the story and this is political retribution for fucking with the Bushies and their neo-con ass pals? Could it be they're muddying the waters before Rove gets frogmarched outta the White House? Or could it be another swift-boating to avoid impeachment talks? You make the call.

Oh, and for what it's worth- watch "The God Who Wasn't There." I watched it on Xmas with the hubby (I know it's irreverent but fuck you if you can't take a joke). I had always considered myself a hopeful but militant agnostic. Not anymore. Count me an Atheist. Shit. Card-carrying. The correlations between the "hero" myths and Christ (and Osiris, and Muhammad and Buddha, etc., etc., etc.) and the fact that Paul never once in 80,000 pages mentions a historical Jesus or any of the highlights of his life is just too much to ignore unless you're a fucking retard. If people would stop buying into all that mumbo jumbo and end of times shit and stop listening to backasswards popes who call for people to ignore intellectual and technological advancements in favor for a dark ages view of life and science, maybe we wouldn't have stooopid ass wars and so many goddamn dumbass mutherfuckers out there who don't use birth control and act like fucks because they can claim moral bankruptcy any Sunday morning on their way to IHOP.


Happy fucking Hannkwansass Year.

This Isn't Something I Normally Do.....

But the topic is important. Torture is wrong. And not because it inhumane (torture can be fun and sexy!), but because it goes against everything our country is supposed to stand for. When we let neo-con chickenhawks shame our country with their irresponsible and utterly hypocritical actions, we shit on our own Constitution. (What was that thing about being the model of civility and democracy for the rest of the world?) BTW- did I mention Bush signed an executive order over Christmas that put the civilian neo-cons in charge of the military in the event of a Doomsday scenario??? That's all we need, a mentally deficient DoD Secretary and Darth Cheney's evil minions running the military and declaring martial law. They refused to listen to reason from career miltary men and now we're in deepshit in Iraq. What will they fuck up in the event of a real threat? Or will they purposely cause one.....

Anyhow. Here's the piece on torture authorization and secret memos reposted from AmericBlog:

Confidential British memos show how information procured by torture in Uzbekistan is being used by US and UK, in violation of international law by John in DC - 12/30/2005 12:26:00 AM

Markos has the story, and I'm repeating the gist of it here to help get it out there. Feel free to copy and past this entire post on your blog.Basically, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, is livid about the fact that the US and the British governments have been gladly accepting information from Uzbekistan procured by torture. You may remember that Amb. Murray was none too pleased with the horrendous human rights situation in Uzbekistan - the country is one of the most repressive on the planet - and as a result the Tony Blair, most likely with some US nudging, had Amb. Murray removed from his job. (You can read a chilling speech by Ambassador Murray detailing the Soviet police state that we are supporting in Uzbekistan.)

Well, today Ambassador Murray gets his revenge.

Amb. Murray has published a number of confidential British government documents proving that the US and the UK were conding torture in that abominable country. Tony Blair is now striking back, pulling down Amb. Murray's Web site. UK bloggers responded by doing a coordinated leak to get the documents out to the public. Markos has republished the docs to make sure they remain public, and I'm doing the same below.

Our government is sanctioning and benefiting from torture in one of the most repressive regimes in the world. A regime that we openly embraced after September 11. A regime that many of you will recall was torturing gay journalist and human rights advocate Ruslan Sharipov (the Uzbek government arrested Ruslan for being a human rights advocate, then, after beating him, threatened to rape him with a bottle and inject him with AIDS). These are the people that George Bush has buddied up to to fight this honorable war. The worst governments on the planet - people who make the Soviets look downright nice.

And who else do you think personally was sucking up to the Uzbek dictator just a couple of years ago? Donald Rumsfeld. The same man who sucked up to Saddam Hussein before we decided he was evil.

This is not America.

UK Torture Memos

The first document contains the text of several telegrams that Craig Murray sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful".

The second document is the text of a legal opinion from the Foreign Office's Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligence services of information extracted through torture does not constitute a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

Craig Murray says:

In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this.

First document: Confidential letters from Uzbekistan

Letter #1
FM Tashkent
TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID, MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts

16 September 02

SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting Terrorism

US plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerous policy: increasing repression combined with poverty will promote Islamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and cynical policy.


The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, has jailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way of converting their families and friends to extremism." The Economist also spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judged that "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an already grim human rights record". I agree.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 political and religious prisoners are currently detained, many after trials before kangaroo courts with no representation. Terrible torture is commonplace: the EU is currently considering a demarche over the terrible case of two Muslims tortured to death in jail apparently with boiling water. Two leading dissidents, Elena Urlaeva and Larissa Vdovna, were two weeks ago committed to a lunatic asylum, where they are being drugged, for demonstrating on human rights. Opposition political parties remain banned. There is no doubt that September 11 gave the pretext to crack down still harder on dissent under the guise of counter-terrorism.
Yet on 8 September the US State Department certified that Uzbekistan was improving in both human rights and democracy, thus fulfilling a constitutional requirement and allowing the continuing disbursement of $140 million of US aid to Uzbekistan this year. Human Rights Watch immediately published a commendably sober and balanced rebuttal of the State Department claim.

Again we are back in the area of the US accepting sham reform [a reference to my previous telegram on the economy]. In August media censorship was abolished, and theoretically there are independent media outlets, but in practice there is absolutely no criticism of President Karimov or the central government in any Uzbek media. State Department call this self-censorship: I am not sure that is a fair way to describe an unwillingness to experience the brutal methods of the security services.

Similarly, following US pressure when Karimov visited Washington, a human rights NGO has been permitted to register. This is an advance, but they have little impact given that no media are prepared to cover any of their activities or carry any of their statements.The final improvement State quote is that in one case of murder of a prisoner the police involved have been prosecuted. That is an improvement, but again related to the Karimov visit and does not appear to presage a general change of policy. On the latest cases of torture deaths the Uzbeks have given the OSCE an incredible explanation, given the nature of the injuries, that the victims died in a fight between prisoners.

But allowing a single NGO, a token prosecution of police officers and a fake press freedom cannot possibly outweigh the huge scale of detentions, the torture and the secret executions. President Karimov has admitted to 100 executions a year but human rights groups believe there are more. Added to this, all opposition parties remain banned (the President got a 98% vote) and the Internet is strictly controlled. All Internet providers must go through a single government server and access is barred to many sites including all dissident and opposition sites and much international media (including, ironically, This is in essence still a totalitarian state: there is far less freedom than still prevails, for example, in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. A Movement for Democratic Change or any judicial independence would be impossible here.

Karimov is a dictator who is committed to neither political nor economic reform. The purpose of his regime is not the development of his country but the diversion of economic rent to his oligarchic supporters through government controls. As a senior Uzbek academic told me privately, there is more repression here now than in Brezhnev's time. The US are trying to prop up Karimov economically and to justify this support they need to claim that a process of economic and political reform is underway. That they do so claim is either cynicism or self-delusion.

This policy is doomed to failure. Karimov is driving this resource-rich country towards economic ruin like an Abacha. And the policy of increasing repression aimed indiscriminately at pious Muslims, combined with a deepening poverty, is the most certain way to ensure continuing support for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They have certainly been decimated and disorganised in Afghanistan, and Karimov's repression may keep the lid on for years – but pressure is building and could ultimately explode.

I quite understand the interest of the US in strategic airbases and why they back Karimov, but I believe US policy is misconceived. In the short term it may help fight terrorism but in the medium term it will promote it, as the Economist points out. And it can never be right to lower our standards on human rights. There is a complex situation in Central Asia and it is wrong to look at it only through a prism picked up on September 12. Worst of all is what appears to be the philosophy underlying the current US view of Uzbekistan: that September 11 divided the World into two camps in the "War against Terrorism" and that Karimov is on "our" side.

If Karimov is on "our" side, then this war cannot be simply between the forces of good and evil. It must be about more complex things, like securing the long-term US military presence in Uzbekistan. I silently wept at the 11 September commemoration here. The right words on New York have all been said. But last week was also another anniversary – the US-led overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. The subsequent dictatorship killed, dare I say it, rather more people than died on September 11. Should we not remember then also, and learn from that too? I fear that we are heading down the same path of US-sponsored dictatorship here. It is ironic that the beneficiary is perhaps the most unreformed of the World's old communist leaders.We need to think much more deeply about Central Asia. It is easy to place Uzbekistan in the "too difficult" tray and let the US run with it, but I think they are running in the wrong direction. We should tell them of the dangers we see. Our policy is theoretically one of engagement, but in practice this has not meant much. Engagement makes sense, but it must mean grappling with the problems, not mute collaboration. We need to start actively to state a distinctive position on democracy and human rights, and press for a realistic view to be taken in the IMF. We should continue to resist pressures to start a bilateral DFID programme, unless channelled non-governmentally, and not restore ECGD cover despite the constant lobbying. We should not invite Karimov to the UK. We should step up our public diplomacy effort, stressing democratic values, including more resources from the British Council. We should increase support to human rights activists, and strive for contact with non-official Islamic groups.

Above all we need to care about the 22 million Uzbek people, suffering from poverty and lack of freedom. They are not just pawns in the new Great Game.


Letter #2
Fm Tashkent

18 March 2003


1. As seen from Tashkent, US policy is not much focussed on democracy or freedom. It is about oil, gas and hegemony. In Uzbekistan the US pursues those ends through supporting a ruthless dictatorship. We must not close our eyes to uncomfortable truth.


2. Last year the US gave half a billion dollars in aid to Uzbekistan, about a quarter of it military aid. Bush and Powell repeatedly hail Karimov as a friend and ally. Yet this regime has at least seven thousand prisoners of conscience; it is a one party state without freedom of speech, without freedom of media, without freedom of movement, without freedom of assembly, without freedom of religion. It practices, systematically, the most hideous tortures on thousands. Most of the population live in conditions precisely analogous with medieval serfdom.

3. Uzbekistan's geo-strategic position is crucial. It has half the population of the whole of Central Asia. It alone borders all the other states in a region which is important to future Western oil and gas supplies. It is the regional military power. That is why the US is here, and here to stay. Contractors at the US military bases are extending the design life of the buildings from ten to twenty five years.

4. Democracy and human rights are, despite their protestations to the contrary, in practice a long way down the US agenda here. Aid this year will be slightly less, but there is no intention to introduce any meaningful conditionality. Nobody can believe this level of aid – more than US aid to all of West Africa – is related to comparative developmental need as opposed to political support for Karimov. While the US makes token and low-level references to human rights to appease domestic opinion, they view Karimov's vicious regime as a bastion against fundamentalism. He – and they – are in fact creating fundamentalism. When the US gives this much support to a regime that tortures people to death for having a beard or praying five times a day, is it any surprise that Muslims come to hate the West?

5. I was stunned to hear that the US had pressured the EU to withdraw a motion on Human Rights in Uzbekistan which the EU was tabling at the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. I was most unhappy to find that we are helping the US in what I can only call this cover-up. I am saddened when the US constantly quote fake improvements in human rights in Uzbekistan, such as the abolition of censorship and Internet freedom, which quite simply have not happened (I see these are quoted in the draft EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan, again I understand at American urging).

6. From Tashkent it is difficult to agree that we and the US are activated by shared values. Here we have a brutal US sponsored dictatorship reminiscent of Central and South American policy under previous US Republican administrations. I watched George Bush talk today of Iraq and "dismantling the apparatus of terror… removing the torture chambers and the rape rooms". Yet when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in international fora. Double standards? Yes.

7. I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the US, at senior level, our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan.

Letter #3


TELNO 63OF 220939




1. We receive intelligence obtained under torture from the Uzbek intelligence services, via the US. We should stop. It is bad information anyway. Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK to believe, that they and we are fighting the same war against terror.

2. I gather a recent London interdepartmental meeting considered the question and decided to continue to receive the material. This is morally, legally and practically wrong. It exposes as hypocritical our post Abu Ghraib pronouncements and fatally undermines our moral standing. It obviates my efforts to get the Uzbek government to stop torture they are fully aware our intelligence community laps up the results.

3. We should cease all co-operation with the Uzbek Security Services they are beyond the pale. We indeed need to establish an SIS presence here, but not as in a friendly state.


4. In the period December 2002 to March 2003 I raised several times the issue of intelligence material from the Uzbek security services which was obtained under torture and passed to us via the CIA. I queried the legality, efficacy and morality of the practice.

5. I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. Michael Wood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture. He said the only legal limitation on its use was that it could not be used in legal proceedings, under Article 15 of the UN Convention on Torture.

6. On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said that they found some of the material very useful indeed with a direct bearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had been asked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected and understood.

7. Sir Michael Jay's circular of 26 May stated that there was a reporting obligation on us to report torture by allies (and I have been instructed to refer to Uzbekistan as such in the context of the war on terror). You, Sir, have made a number of striking, and I believe heartfelt, condemnations of torture in the last few weeks. I had in the light of this decided to return to this question and to highlight an apparent contradiction in our policy. I had intimated as much to the Head of Eastern Department.

8. I was therefore somewhat surprised to hear that without informing me of the meeting, or since informing me of the result of the meeting, a meeting was convened in the FCO at the level of Heads of Department and above, precisely to consider the question of the receipt of Uzbek intelligence material obtained under torture. As the office knew, I was in London at the time and perfectly able to attend the meeting. I still have only gleaned that it happened.

9. I understand that the meeting decided to continue to obtain the Uzbek torture material. I understand that the principal argument deployed was that the intelligence material disguises the precise source, ie it does not ordinarily reveal the name of the individual who is tortured. Indeed this is true – the material is marked with a euphemism such as "From detainee debriefing." The argument runs that if the individual is not named, we cannot prove that he was tortured.

10. I will not attempt to hide my utter contempt for such casuistry, nor my shame that I work in and organisation where colleagues would resort to it to justify torture. I have dealt with hundreds of individual cases of political or religious prisoners in Uzbekistan, and I have met with very few where torture, as defined in the UN convention, was not employed. When my then DHM raised the question with the CIA head of station 15 months ago, he readily acknowledged torture was deployed in obtaining intelligence. I do not think there is any doubt as to the fact

11. The torture record of the Uzbek security services could hardly be more widely known. Plainly there are, at the very least, reasonable grounds for believing the material is obtained under torture. There is helpful guidance at Article 3 of the UN Convention;"The competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights." While this article forbids extradition or deportation to Uzbekistan, it is the right test for the present question also.

12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful. It is designed to give the message the Uzbeks want the West to hear. It exaggerates the role, size, organisation and activity of the IMU and its links with Al Qaida. The aim is to convince the West that the Uzbeks are a vital cog against a common foe, that they should keep the assistance, especially military assistance, coming, and that they should mute the international criticism on human rights and economic reform.

14. I was taken aback when Matthew Kydd said this stuff was valuable. Sixteen months ago it was difficult to argue with SIS in the area of intelligence assessment. But post Butler we know, not only that they can get it wrong on even the most vital and high profile issues, but that they have a particular yen for highly coloured material which exaggerates the threat. That is precisely what the Uzbeks give them. Furthermore MI6 have no operative within a thousand miles of me and certainly no expertise that can come close to my own in making this assessment.

15. At the Khuderbegainov trial I met an old man from Andizhan. Two of his children had been tortured in front of him until he signed a confession on the family's links with Bin Laden. Tears were streaming down his face. I have no doubt they had as much connection with Bin Laden as I do. This is the standard of the Uzbek intelligence services.

16. I have been considering Michael Wood's legal view, which he kindly gave in writing. I cannot understand why Michael concentrated only on Article 15 of the Convention. This certainly bans the use of material obtained under torture as evidence in proceedings, but it does not state that this is the sole exclusion of the use of such material.

17. The relevant article seems to me Article 4, which talks of complicity in torture. Knowingly to receive its results appears to be at least arguable as complicity. It does not appear that being in a different country to the actual torture would preclude complicity. I talked this over in a hypothetical sense with my old friend Prof Francois Hampson, I believe an acknowledged World authority on the Convention, who said that the complicity argument and the spirit of the Convention would be likely to be winning points. I should be grateful to hear Michael's views on this.

18. It seems to me that there are degrees of complicity and guilt, but being at one or two removes does not make us blameless. There are other factors. Plainly it was a breach of Article 3 of the Convention for the coalition to deport detainees back here from Baghram, but it has been done. That seems plainly complicit.

19. This is a difficult and dangerous part of the World. Dire and increasing poverty and harsh repression are undoubtedly turning young people here towards radical Islam. The Uzbek government are thus creating this threat, and perceived US support for Karimov strengthens anti-Western feeling. SIS ought to establish a presence here, but not as partners of the Uzbek Security Services, whose sheer brutality puts them beyond the pale.


Second Document - summary of legal opinion from Michael Wood arguing that it is legal to use information extracted under torture:

From: Michael Wood, Legal Advisor

Date: 13 March 2003

CC: PS/PUS; Matthew Kidd, WLD

Linda Duffield


1. Your record of our meeting with HMA Tashkent recorded that Craig had said that his understanding was that it was also an offence under the UN Convention on Torture to receive or possess information under torture. I said that I did not believe that this was the case, but undertook to re-read the Convention.

2. I have done so. There is nothing in the Convention to this effect. The nearest thing is article 15 which provides:

"Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made."

3. This does not create any offence. I would expect that under UK law any statement established to have been made as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence.


M C Wood
Legal Adviser

December 28, 2005

On This Meme of 4's Thing

My favorite blog writers have been answering some "Meme of 4's" thing recently. Here are my answers and the last 4 categories are of my creation:

1. Four jobs you've had in your life: Juice factory worker, toilet paper factory worker, resident advisor, lawyer

2. Four movies you could watch over and over: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Flashpoint, Revenge of the Nerds (original only), Roman Holiday

3. Four places you've lived: Tampa, Florida; Biloxi, Mississippi; Houston, Texas; Zweibrucken, West Germany

4. Four TV shows you love to watch: The Daily Show, The Family Guy, Malcolm In The Middle,

5. Four places you've been on vacation: Neuvo Laredo, Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois

6. Four websites you visit daily: AmericaBlog, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars,

7. Four of your favorite foods: steak, homemade taters and gravy, homegrown tomatoes, Key Lime pie

8. Four places you'd rather be: bed, Key West, Las Vegas, San Francisco

9. Four people you'd sleep with if given a free pass: Michael Madsen, Mr. Sauter (my 6th grade teacher), Viggo Mortensen, Angelina Jolie (Come on. Who woudn't switch teams for that???)

10. Four people you'd like to beat within an inch of their life: The Bitch, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, Rupert Murdoch

11. Four people you'd party with any day: Rory, Grasshopper, Cliffy, Angry Johnnie

12. Four things you find funny: farts, accidental public shitting, stink palms, bed wetting

December 20, 2005

Ten Things I've Learned This Year

As shallow as I am (and I am shallow- I think about politics, sex, food and sports in that order), every year, I sit down and try to make a check list of things upon which I can improve or things that I have learned. Here's my list:

1. Not all 20-somethings are completely moronic. Some actually have their shit together (or at least more than I did at their age) and/or have some kickass potential. I will no longer discount someone because they put weird ass non-natural colors in their hair. I'll wait until they open their mouth.

2. Not everyone knows how to spank. Or admits to watching porn. Shame them into admitting the truth and to spanking it like a porn star.

3. Bush is a goddamn lying moron and should be impeached (actually this is just being reaffirmed for the umpteenth time this week). I will write everyone of my congressmen to that effect.

4. Old people can be real pains in the ass. Especially when they think they're owed something based on age, rank and serial number. I will tell many, many of these scratchy bottoms to screw themselves instead of letting them get away with young people like me buying into the bullshit line about respecting elders. Fuck 'em if they don't live in the land of the living and expect everything to be 1962. Having underwear older than me is not something to brag about, people.

5. Girls who work at being cute in an effort to snag guys really grate on my nerves because they're shallow, high maintenance, whiney liars who feed off creating drama wherein they're the victim. I will endeavor to make them all cry like the prostitutes they are.

6. You should check your knuckles after hitting your phone console repeatedly with your fist lest you bleed all over your files. I will keep band-aids (or suture kits) closer by next year or at the very least hit more people.

7. Most Democrats have no balls. And it's not my fault. I can't do anything about it, but bitch at them for being bitch ass pussies.

8. Most Republicans suck balls (or want to). And it's not my fault their mothers didn't abort them. I'll try to convince them to listen to OZZY and Judas Priest more often.

9. There's no better day than a Sunday spent in bed watching bad TV with your dog and your hubby eating bacon cheeseburgers and Ramen noodles. I'm investing in bedpans and IV's.

10. The Righteous Bros. were wrong. Time doesn't go by slowly. It's quick. Fleeting. It's constantly being lost to should have, would have, could haves. The older I get the faster the year goes by. This next year, I will endeavor to slow it down a bit. No use in rushing to my death bed.

December 19, 2005

I Think I May Have Married Too Quickly

'cos there's someone out there who thinks like me.

*sniff* I have a soul mate. *sniff*

Send a card to someone you love today.

December 13, 2005

A Sorta Balls of the Week Award

I saw this late, and it sorta counts as Pelosi having balls ('cept she still works with the GOP on the ethics complaint moratorium, thusly, shutting down any ethics investigations by the House committee owned lock, stock and barrel by the GOP).

I especially like the parts wherein it says:

Whereas the Republican Leadership's submissiveness to the influence of corporate interests, and their illegitimate efforts to overturn the will of the House to pass flawed legislation like the Prescription Drug bill, which was written to meet the needs of drug companies, call into question the legitimacy of the laws they enact and the agenda they pursue;
Whereas the culture of corruption has so permeated the Republican Leadership that they will violate their own Rules and the customs and decorum of the House to win votes on the floor of the House of Representatives;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The House denounces the culture of corruption exhibited by the Republican Leadership, denounces the ongoing resort to illegitimate actions taken to pass legislation like the Prescription Drug bill under false pretenses, rejects the practice of improperly holding votes open beyond a reasonable period of time for the sole purpose of circumventing the will of the House, and directs the Speaker to take such steps as necessary to prevent any further abuse."

Good stuff.

I also have to hand it to her for bitching about Hastert's attempt to stop the hemoragging in the Majority leadership position once held by Tommy "I'm A Fucktool" DeLay and try to keep it open long enough for DeLay to get thru his trial for money laundering out of the way. If the House reconvenes and DeLay's trial isn't done, the GOP house members will force a vote by sending a letter with 50 majority party signatures calling for a new election on DeLay's now vacant leadership post. DeLay's obviously strong arming Hastert to "delay" (teehee) the House's return as long as possible, lest he lose the position to someone else. I wonder if it has to do with the $81,750 bucks Hastert took off of Jack Abramoff and DeLay's buddies? Think there's some influence peddling and blackmailing going on? Ronnie Earle obviously does 'cos he's issuing subpoenas for bank records related to "Duke" Cunningham's bribery case and appealing the conspiracy charge dismissal.

Oh, did I mention that SCOTUS is taking a hard look at the Texas redistricting plan that got DeLay into hot-water with Ronnie Earle's office?

This baby is about to break wide open. Pelosi is just giving Hastert a way out. If he's smart he'll take it and hope the new GOP House leadership protects his sorry, flabby, white ass.

Like Shame Will Make BushCo. Do Their Jobs....

If I were George Bush or any limp dicked member of Congress, I'd be squirming right now. Some enterprising former New Orleans residents/ newly homeless put together an online donation campaign to raise $10K to pay for a full page ad in Roll Call, a prominent Washinton D.C. insider newspaper. Here are some quotes:

"Since the breakdown of the New Orleans flood protection system on August 29, 2005, we have lived like refugees in our own country....."

"The residents of Lakeview and countless other displaced New Orleans communities are sending you this holiday wish in one voice - 'We want to go home.' "

This is what most of us of the "younger" generation would term being called out or dissing.

I am conjecturing on whether to send Bush and members of Congress 1) testicular implants, 2) cups, 3) brown paper bags, or 4) razors blades. Vote now for your favorite.

December 12, 2005

Jesus. Frickin'. Christ.

As John A. of would say: Worst. President. Ever.

Seems the bullshit speeches about Katrina were full of lies. It takes a federal judge to make Bush and the FEMA staff do their jobs.

"NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- A program that put Hurricane Katrina evacuees in hotels must be extended until February 7, a month beyond the deadline set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval's temporary restraining order is part of a class-action lawsuit filed in November by advocates for hurricane victims.

Attorneys pressing the lawsuit said FEMA should not be allowed to end the hotel program because it has failed to provide other housing aid, such as rental assistance checks, to many victims who qualify for it."

Bastards. Make his sorry ass sleep outside this winter in a cardboard box. It'll be his reward for doing a heck of a job.

December 09, 2005

Happy Freakin' Holidays

This came from a friend of mine. I think it's pretty good. Enjoy.

"Jesus randomly chooses Norman, Oklahoma to anonymously visit for the HOLIDAYS. Jesus walks up to a crowd of people chanting and holding signs. Puzzled, he approaches a man waving his hands in the air and yelling to passing cars.

Jesus: Excuse me. I'm visiting from out of town, and I was just wondering, what's going on?

Man: We're protesting to prevent something that we feel is deteriorating the very fabric of our society.

Jesus: Oh, is it a war protest to bring our courageous men and women home safely?

Man: Umm, no. . .

Jesus: Maybe it's to draw attention to the ever growing homeless situation? It is getting bitterly cold. . . Last night I slept. . .

Man: . . .As if. . .

Jesus: Hunger? Is this a rally to gather funds and food for the children that don't have enough during the rest of the year?

Man: Oh, whatever. I work for my food!

Jesus: . . .But they're children. . .

Man: Children have parents to take care of them. That's not my problem!

Jesus: Social equality? Racial discrimination? Freedom for political prisoners? What is your noble cause?!?

Man: Well, we're all cheesed off because Norman is having a Holiday parade instead of a Christmas parade. This is the time of year to celebrate Jesus' birthday!!

Jesus: But. . . But December isn't even my. . . Oh, never mind. I admire you for your spirit, and love you for your convictions.

Man: Love? You LOVE me? You fag!! You don't get to Oklahoma very often, do you?!?

Jesus: . . . Not nearly often enough, I'm afraid.

The Lord walks slowly toward Food and Shelter For Friends to find a meal.

Man: Freakin' Liberal. . .

I wonder. . . Why is it so many "Christians" don't mind celebrating the birth of the Christ not only in the wrong month, but during a pagan holiday season ( Saturnalia) yet when you refer to it as a holiday it sends them through the roof. Well, all I can say is that this truly will be an enjoyable holiday season for tweakers. Holiday. Holiday, holiday, holiday. Hee, hee, hee. . . Holiday. Happy HO OOOLIIIDAAAAAAY SS."

On Beer, Jesus, Politics and Football

Last weekend, my husband went off hunting with his crazyass daddy and cousin and I got to stay home with my fat, loveable Boston Terrier and do stuff around the house without the usual interference. After dealing with the cable guys (twice), the sub-contractor working on our house, and doing all of the dishes and picking up the entire house, I decided I deserved to go out and meet a friend of mine for a couple of beers at our favorite bar. It at least sounded like a better idea than going to a surprise birthday party.

This friend is older than I am and has a child my age. In spite of the age difference, we find we have a lot in common. She's not as wild as some of my friends (or me on occasion), but we can still enjoy each other's company. So, we meet up and have a beer first talking about cooking and holiday baking. Soon we are joined by a buddy of ours who is the younger brother of a very well-known actor. This buddy is a laidback kinda dude who enjoys his Vicodin, Sauza and Budweisier and makes no apologies for it. He's great fun when he makes sense which is roughly 65% of the time- the other 35% is plain great just watching him play bumper cars with his own body.

So--- the three of us are sitting in this bar talking about this and that when the conversation turns to religion (I think we are bitching about Bill O'Reilly's made up "war" on Christmas). I had never really asked my first friend about her her views on religion 'cos I could care less, but I already knew laidback dude's ideas- "let freedom ring" he'll slur in a most hippy-ish way (he could care less who you fuck, who you suck, what you smoke or what you preach- just be a good person and don't harsh his mellow). In all, we were pretty much in agreement until the subject turned to the concept of faith. The first friend played the pretty much hopeful agnostic with an ID bent. Laidback dude didn't care. I stated my whole-hearted belief that the concept of faith is beautiful but only when rooted in joy, not fear and then it was complete bullshit.

That confession stopped them both. They wanted to know why. I explained it thusly- for me it's simple- the blind adherence to any concept out of fear or out of a desire for reward isn't true faith. It's bribery and/or capitulation to a threat of harm. It's makes the supposed "faithful" a fucking shallow, selfish asshole.

For me that's also why most organized religions never work. They have to keep morphing into something more pallatable when people catch up with the con. Seriously, have you ever looked at the crap Scientologists believe? Ghosts, volcanoes and aliens? Doesn't it really strike you as more of a story a 5 year old would tell their father about how the window was broken?? First there was this ghost and then he threw a ball and it landed near the alien's home on Mt. Vesuvius and.....and......and then the volcano blew up.......and......and tossed the ball through the window. Really...that's what happened. It's also why each of us knows so many people who profess to be good [fill in brand X orY here] and then run around lying, and cheating and stealing and saying nasty things about others, etc.. They're just dumbass kids who think they're outsmarting mom or dad and that they'll still get a lump of Jello salad at the end of dinner. Those kids suck. They tend to make up about 90% of the assholes I meet every day.

Then there are those kids who really do like mom and dad and are just really nice kids. They volunteer at the old folks' home, they make their beds and brush their teeth without being told. They get straight A's and play every sport. They're the kids you want to hate because they're so damn perfect, but can't well, because.....they're so damn perfect. This is the same person who believes in [fill in brand X or Y here] because of the joy they find- the peace and harmony that they seek for each day- not a future in Candyland, and not to avoid the snakes and other bad shit. Those things never even come into play for them.

I can respect the person with faith borne out of joy, but the asshole who tries to convert me with threats of fire and damnation and "Jesus is watching" shit can get the fuck off. And the thing is, if you really look for those people with real faith, faith borne out of joy and not an expectation of reward or safety from Hell (ever notice these concepts sound like a classic Mafia shakedown con???) you'll find them more often in small towns. It'll be the 90 year old baking cookies for her Pentecostal church's cakewalk. Or the old man so riddled with arthritis he can hardly bend his hands, but he's changing your flat tire against your protestations. It's the little girl who makes daisy chains for her puppy. Or the guy at the copy shop who finds more thrills in making his wife of 37 years blush like a new bride.

I dunno, I'm not in any way suggesting that evil is associated with urban life, but I guess I am saying that real joy often exhibits itself in the most germane of places and in the most unpretentious of people. Sometimes we have to slow down to appreciate the really inspiring things. For instance, have you ever watched ants build a hill? The sheer organization. Each ant has its part. It's pretty damn neat.

The Falwells and Robertsons and Dobsons, and LaHayes know shit about faith. They really know very little about the snake oil they're supposed to be selling. They do, however, know their market- the shitty little corner cutters who are more worried about keeping up with the Joneses than living simply. The corner cutters deserve the snakeoil salesmen and vice versa. The corner cutters will twist off on "Trading Spouses" shouting about "dark-sidedness" and tearing up checks because it's dirty money and comes from Satan only to take the money in the end for a gastric bypass. And the snakeoil salesmen will raise the idiot's picture high and show them off as a faithful god warrior. Neither will have even examined the concept of faith or goodness. They just publicly wear the mantle of what they buy and sell as faith, but they forget faith is not a commodity.

My concept of politics isn't much different than what I have just described. Right-wingers buy into the snakeoil shit because they have concerns about their security whether it be economic or physical or their goddamn social status. They're insecure fuckwit corner cutters who'll steal and lie all day to mom and dad and plead moral bankruptcy and beg forgiveness by dropping a $20 bill in the collection plate. Left-wingers, on the other hand, actually give a shit about having a society around that's peaceful and loving just because it's more fun than fighting all the time.

I'm somewhere in between I think. Not perfect, but certainly not a horrible little monster either.
Well, there. There are my views in a nutshell. Hate me if you will. I don't care. I'm not trying to get into Candyland and I could care less about what the Joneses think. I'd rather just drink with my friends and conjecture about the outcome of the USC/Texas Rose Bowl matchup. It's a whole lot less heavy. And at least we'll know which of us is right when the final gun sounds. That's a whole lot better than politics or religion.

Well, at least until March Madness.

December 08, 2005

You Ain't My Daddy, Mutherfucker

Had one of those restless nights last night. Maybe it was the Mexican food and beer.... Anyhow, I was up from 4-7 AM watching perfectly bad TV with perfectly bad reception and trying hard not to wake up hubby with my shouting at the TV.

What had me so worked up?

Some asshole named Howard (or Harold) Weyer or whatever. He was on Anderson Cooper 360 touting it was perfectly okay for him to fire employees who smoked because they caused health costs to rise. Not only could he not present any data whatsoever that he had saved money on healthcare costs (I bet the bastard didn't as we are all getting raped on health insurance costs, etc.) but he also said he had the right to tell his employees' spouses what they could and could not do. This weasel must be a real stud to have 500 children. What did he put roofies in girls' drinks at the USO club?

Alright. There's one.

Then I saw a story on the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. Stooopid fuckers are still fucking with our civil liberties. We should recall everyone of those dumb mutherfuckers in DC and make them retake high school civics...... Really? You want to know what I've checked out at the library? You want to load keystroke viruses on my PC? Fine. Well, enjoy the show as I check out every beastiality site in the world wide web and photoshop your momma's face on the sheep.

That's two.

Then there was a story about how Ford Motor Co. capitulated to the Nazi leaning American Family Association in withdrawing their support for gay advocacy groups and curtailing their advertising in gay media outlets (well except for Volvo 'cos its sounds like vulva and every good suburbanite fag has to have a Volvo for their illegally adopted, raped daily in the ass Chinese kid to ride around in- sarcasm implied). BTW- it turns out AFA is linked to a hate group in Colorado called the Family Research Institute. They espouse Nazi-like themes about gays and lesbians. Pretty freaky shit actually. I was so pissed I've actually called Ford and registered my complaint about them being a bunch of pussies. Built Ford Tough my ass.

That was three.

But then there was this bullshit puff piece about zoning out child molesters. Now granted, social science research has shown that the recidivism rates for child molesters are higher than for other crimes historically, and the media has jumped on some high profile cases in recent years because of the salacious content, but zoning out people with "sex" offenses in order to save the children? WTF??? That's nonsense. Utter bullshit. Most kiddy rapes are at the hands of family members or close family friends. Making R. Kelly move to a new neighborhood isn't going to stop short-eye syndrome. How about watching your kids dumbasses? How about running background checks on people who do work in your home? Or better yet- how about not lumping in statutory rape cases and peeing in public cases with people who sodomize 9 month olds?

That was numero quatro.

It pissed me off for the day. I hate paternalism. I hate it in every form. I may have an opinion about shit, but I still don't have the right to force you to be cardiovascularly healthier, or stalk your every move, or tell you which organizations you can support financially, or tell you you can't live in a condo with a view of the lake.

These fucking asshats have finally pissed me off enough that I may coldcock the next sonofabitch that tells me what to do (hubby included). If you want to put a Butt Blaster up your ass, go right ahead with your big self. If you want to attend XYZ Church of the Living Serpent, go for it. Not my damn business. Same thing if I want to do those things. IT'S MY FUCKING BUSINESS. YOU BUSY BODY MUTHERFUCKERS.

So, unless you paid my mother child support, pushed me from your uterus, took me in for vaccinations or teeth cleaning, stay the fuck out of my life. Don't tell me not to smoke. Don't tell me not to drink. Don't tell me I can't do it doggie style. Don't tell me who can be my neighbors. Don't tell me which causes I am allowed to support. You're not my goddamn daddy. If you were, you'd know enough to buy a cup and wear it because I wouldn't tolerate that kind of bullshit meddling from him either.

December 01, 2005

Not So Happy World Aids Day

December 1st always sticks in my mind. As an RA in college we always had educational programs about AIDS and HIV prevention and would ferry people from building to building to get tested. We'd get tested too just to show it wasn't so scary. We'd lie. Everyone was worried. I mean if you have had sex (protected or unprotected ) since 1978, you need to be worried.

The results would usually take a week or two because of the sheer volume of free tests being given out on December 1st. An you may not think that 7-14 days is that much, but when you are holding that tiny slip of paper with your secret passcode tightly in your Michael J. Fox-ish fingers, time starts to go by in dog years. You start to think of every time you helped a bleeding friend, or the condom slipped a little, or that your significant other may have stepped out for some strange and not told you. You know your risk is low- you're straight, white, 20-something and educated. You're not living in Africa, an IV drug user and you're not prone to visiting bath houses. You think you're safe.

You're not.

As a female, you're more likely to get the "HIV" (pronounced like the hiv in shiver) just because of basic plumbing facts. The vagina acts like a receptacle and is prone to microscopic tears. As a white person you are more likely to think that serial monogamy is safe. It's not. Far from it. And as a 20-something college student, you're getting laid all over the place. Sex is easy. Long term commitment isn't. And being "straight" isn't a guarantee. You assume your partner is heterosexual and has never experimented and you think your entire "group" is safe. That's utter bullshit.

No one's safe. Just some people are biologically safer because of their genetics and some people are safer because they don't put out, don't use drugs and don't need blood products. BUt those thing are never guarantees. There's no 100%.

My husband makes no bones about the number of close friends he buried in the 80's and 90's. It's been a burden for him. Knowing he's HIV free and having to bury people whom he loved and respected and grew up with and shared memories with. He witnessed firsthand the loss of human potential. That's pretty raw.

I'm a bit younger than he is and haven't had to deal with as much death or grief, but I'm not immune to it. I found out a few years ago that a friend from college is +. Knowing this person as well as I do and knowing how much this person would improve the world and the lives of the people around him/her, I am pretty saddened. Sure, with meds most HIV+ people can live longer, healthier lives than before, but the expense is burdensome. And the knowledge that relationships can't be free and simple is hard. And then there's that pesky fact that there's still no cure.

I read recently that there are 50,000,000 people with this disease. That's almost 10 times the number of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps. That's 50,000,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. That's 50,000,000 best friends of someone else. That's 50,000,000 who know they will die a horrible death.


That's 50,000,000 too many.

When I think about Iraq and how much we spend everyday to liberate a country with only 26 million people- nearly half of the HIV+ people in the world- I get pissed. We need to do more to find a cure. We need to do more to stop the transmission of this death sentence. Cutting off funding for rubbers doesn't help. The Bush administration and the GOP have been held hostage by the Christian fundies for too long. And the Christian fundies have been too worried about everyone else's sex life or contraception choices for too long. In order for lives to be saved, the religious right pervs have to be silenced. We need to stand up and tell them to shut the fuck up.

I wish "adults" would take a page from the school paper put together by some Tennessee high schoolers recently. They used their school paper to educate about the effectiveness rates of different types of contraception and the paper was yanked by the supposedly smarter adults. It crossed my mind when I learned this--- that these kids are really better than us. They aren't afraid of the big issues and are begging to be educated if only for their own safety. If they are successful, maybe they won't have to hold tightly to a tiny slip of paper praying they don't test positive.

December could just mean the holidays again.