Gene Wojciechowski, talking soccer, shortened version:"I don't know anything about David Beckham, but soccer's boring and stupid so his move to the U.S. is destined for failure."--WKW
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Mitt Romney, defending George W. Bush's pardon* of Scooter Libby:"(The prosecutor in the case"went after somebody even when he knew no crime had been committed. Given that fact, isn't it reasonable for a commutation of a portion of the sentence to be made?"Romney, back in his strapping-dog-to-the-roof-of-his-car days:As governor, Romney ...
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I've been having fun the past thirty six hours intentionally breaking things in my basement. Throw in some beer last night, and a great view of the Pittsburgh fireworks on Bigelow Street in Greenfield, and I have been having some fun.
Our basement is a full size, partially finished basement with four rooms. The following drawing is not to scale and is not that accurate, but it is good enough.
The front two rooms are cold cellars. We use one as a pantry and storage room while the other is where the water and gas come into the house, as well as the tool room and my once and future brewery. I need to do a little painting in there eventually, but the front two rooms are in good shape. The large middle room will eventually be the TV/Family/Video Game/Guest Room/Office. A few small details need to be completed, but this room is in good shape for a while.
The back basement room is where I have been having fun. We have a Pittsburgh Toilet in the top right hand corner on the back wall and a free standing shower stall in the bottom left hand corner on the back wall [represented by the blue squares] The toilet is walled in by 1x4 and spiderwebs, while the shower has not been cleaned since it was installed. I just spent a good two hours figuring out how to cut off the pipes and the drains and now I get to take a crowbar and hammer to have some fun.
The intermediate term goal is just to create some more space in the back room, and keep the washer, dryer, and a basin sink (the big red circles). Right now there are just the two of us in the house, and a single bathroom, so this is not a big problem. However I grew up in a large family and many names were called, eyes blackened, and arms twisted due to the single bathroom we had until I entered third grade. I want to eventually avoid those problems.
We'll patch over one of the doorways, and isolate the heating system with either a false wall or a set of curtains (#2). I'll eventually put in a real set of walls, and learn how to do the plumbing to set up a spartan but full bathroom in the top right hand corner against the back wall. [#1] And then where the shower stall currently stands, we'll throw some shelves and storage space (#3). I figure this is a two or three year plan, so I'll get to enjoy my demolition day today
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The cliché about people gone over the edge used to be thinking they were Napoleon. George Bush, who never falters in his patriotism, is convinced he?s George Washington.
The delusional attempt to impersonate a great military commander is understandable in those who feel overwhelmed by stress and impotent to deal with it.
Yesterday Bush told a huge hangarful of Air National Guard members: ?Our first Independence Day celebration took place in a midst of a war--a bloody and difficult struggle that would not end for six more years before America finally secured her freedom.
?Like those early patriots, you?re fighting a new and unprecedented war--pledging your lives and honor to defend our freedom and way of life.?
The President did not wear the dress-up flight suit of the ?Mission Accomplished? speech on the aircraft carrier so no one had the heart to tell him that Iraq is not colonial America, the al Qaeda folks are not Redcoats and he is not Washington crossing the Delaware--not until January 2009 when the proper attire may be a straightjacket.
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The Green Miles is celebrating its first birthday! As you can see by this picture, Miles (Green or otherwise) has always known how to enjoy a first birthday, preferably by demolishing a chocolate cake.
OK, so it's a belated birthday party. June 15, 2006 was actually my first post. But I've been so busy in my new job with the National Wildlife Federation, I didn't realize it had come and gone.
There were only eight posts in the blog's first two months, but I was unemployed for August 2006 and had some time to think about where I wanted The Green Miles to go. I did seven posts in August 2006, and kept that pace for the rest of the year, writing eight in September, six in October, six in November, and ten in December.
Then in January, I started getting serious about updating the blog every weekday. My friend Eric from What's Up Arlington and I started trading tips about how to improve our blogging and serve our readers better. Looking back, the blog's quality slowly started improving, and readership went up as a result, from about 700 readers in January to about 2,000 a month since then, with a spike of 3,700 in April thanks to links from Wonkette and AMERICAblog.
Want to get The Green Miles a birthday present? Here's the wish list:
- Donate now to Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment through the SixDegrees.org link on the right side of the page. Just a $20 donation will get you a one year ACE membership!Any ideas on how to improve the blog over the next year? Let me know!
- Bookmark this blog right now and read it whenever you're looking to kill time at work. I try to have it updated by 9am every day. You'll be entertained, I'll be happy someone's reading -- everyone's a winner.
- Leave a comment on any blog post you agree with. Most of my readers are a silent majority -- they like what I have to say, but don't vocalize it. The few who have a bone to pick comment, then comment on comments. So if you think there's a positive message here, say so.
The Washington Post published a pro-gay editorial today about marriage. And that's great. But they called us "homosexuals" throughout the piece, and that's not great. It's degrading and offensive and archaic.
I've written about this before, and some have disagreed. But I'd argue that those who disagree don't understand the nuance of language or of this particular phrase. Ask any gay person, regardless of whether they agree or disagree that the word "homosexual" is archaic and offensive, whether they use the term "gay" or "homosexual" to described themselves. I.e., "I'm gay" or "I'm a homosexual." Just ask them. Unless they're living under a rock, gay people rarely if ever use the word homosexual. (My gay-friendly straight friends, however, use the term all the time. In the same way that I still hear friends use the word "oriental.")
Why? First, because it's become archaic. Usage changes, and just as Negro and colored changed to black and African-American, just as oriental gave way to Asian, homosexual has become gay. But second, and more importantly, the word homosexual is offensive in the same manner as negro and oriental. Sometimes archaic words sting. In the case of homosexual, I think the main problem is three-fold. First, the clinical nature of the term. It's a scientific word that mildly dehumanizes gay people by suggesting that they have a medical or psychological condition. Second, the words "homo" and "sex." Both words connote something negative, or at least something that shouldn't be spoken out loud, to a lot of Americans. Third, and most importantly, homosexual is the word the religious right uses expressly and uniquely in an effort to dehumanize gays. Anti-gay religious right activists have said publicly that they will not use the word "gay" - rather, they insist on using "homosexual." Why? Because for some reason or another they figure that the word homosexual helps their cause. And while I don't agree with the religious right on many things, their ability to gay-bash swiftly and effectively is unqestioned. If they think the word gay helps us and the word homosexual hurts us, who am I to argue?
Again, I don't mean to opinionated about it, but if you don't hear the negative nuance in the word homosexual, it's either because you're not listening, or more likely, you don't have an ear for language. There's a reason that colored and Negro and oriental weren't offensive terms years ago, yet are today. The nuance of words changes over time. And while gays were once thought to be mentally disturbed - that all changed in 1973 - the language has not changed since that time.
It's time it did.
PS Don't believe me? Read what a communications professional has to say about this. (Actually, I hadn't read his piece until after I wrote mine, but the logic is remarkably similar.)
Funny how this is more "acceptible" than dressing him up as Hitler
A foreign army, bolstered by out-of-control mercenaries, occupies a far off country. Civil war is stoked by the occupiers and divisiveness is sewn. The residents, pushed to the brink, fight for their independence. It's an old story played out throughout time and in every corner of the world. Yesterday Americans contemplated our own desperate battle for independence from overwhelming British military-economic power. It isn't easy-- not with all the propaganda spewing out of the Bush Regime-- but many Americans are starting to see the occupation of Iraq in terms of a national independence movement.
Today's NY Times however, presents Bush's strange twist. Whether through frightening ignorance or by design, he claims the U.S. Revolutionary War has a different set of lessons to learn than the ones we learned in school. Bush can't seem to grasp that he is King George III. Stretching every definition Bush told military families in West Virginia that "Our first Independence Day celebration took place in a midst of a war-- a bloody and difficult struggle that would not end for six more years before America finally secured her freedom. Like those early patriots, you?re fighting a new and unprecedented war-- pledging your lives and honor to defend our freedom and way of life."
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is a brutal and horrific war against Iraq's people and in favor of a corrupt puppet regime, selected by the NeoConservative-dominated Bush Regime under a patina of fake democracy. Not even thinking Republicans beelieve Bush's lies any longer. No one spat on him though; no one, as far as the Times reports, screamed that he's a murderous tyrant who should be impeached, tried and punished for his crimes.
The Washington Post coverage of the same propaganda event, ends with an unimpressed voter's reaction. "I've heard it all before," said Patti Scott, 72, of Richmond. "I just don't approve of the war." And these days, Patti Scott speaks for most Americans, far, far more than George Bush does. And yesterday's Baltimore Sun editorialized about the results, not in Iraq, but here at home, where Bush has done more damage to the essence of America than anyone else-- foreign or domestic-- in our nation's history. His Iraq agenda was also a domestic agenda and the consequences are not full grasped by most of us.
Sweeping federal measures, most of them heavily cloaked in secrecy, have robbed Americans of privacy, due process of law, even freedom of movement. Warrantless wiretaps, e-mail surveillance, national security letters secretly demanding information on thousands of citizens and, soon to come, the equivalent of national ID cards-- all would be abominations to Jefferson.
America's suspected enemies have fared worse. They have been tortured, held indefinitely without charge and spirited away to secret prisons abroad so no one knows who they are or what has happened to them.
The United States has been fortunate to have suffered no terrorist attacks since 9/11, but there's little evidence that any of these extraordinary measures have had anything to do with that. What they have done is to further isolate the United States at a time when the war in Iraq has left America with no global good will to spare. And Iraq has now become a proving ground for development of terrorist weaponry, such as the roadside bomb, and tactics.
In the weeks and months after 9/11, when the Bush administration was paring back civil liberties through the cynically named Patriot Act and travelers were coping with what would become increasingly burdensome restrictions, fearful Americans were persuaded to accept the sacrifice in return for a greater measure of safety.
But Jefferson would argue that was a false choice. Liberty is the source of security. An open, accountable government is the best protection against tyranny and incompetence. Travel restrictions in the form of identity papers - aimed not at terrorists but at illegal immigrants - represent the cost of unchecked power on the quality of American life.
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?Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change.
But pretty soon, everything's different.?
?I've got to start listening to those quiet, nagging doubts.?
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As Fred Thompson prepares to finally announce that he's actually running for president, he gets smacked around by AP's Liz Sidoti. The headline of her piece is "Thompson lacking substance." True -- and while they GOPers want to compare him to Reagan, he's more like George W. Bush:
Top candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and John McCain mix it up daily, taking questions from voters and fleshing out their presidential agendas.There's no meat on the bones. And, there won't be.
His stump speech consists of broad conservative themes, talk of bipartisanship and commentary on issues of the day, but it largely lacks any vision for the future of the country. He deflects questions on what a Thompson presidency would look like and demurs when pressed for specific proposals for how to fix the nation's ills. He opines on hot topics, from taxes to terrorism, in online columns and on his Web site, usually without being challenged.