Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Dear David Bowie,

I heard you have been hospitalized!

I get my news about you from a Yahoo! news reminder service that I subscribed to after beginning my economic (but not cultural) boycott of your products. When I stopped paying for BowieNet, I didn't know how I would get regular information about you; but the news wires are filthy with David Bowie news and you are so internationally popular that it's easy to keep tabs.

A trapped nerve. OUCH! How does something like that happen? Sounds really sore. Sounds worse than a lollipop in the eye! I hope it doesn't hurt too much, and I pray it is not a symptom of a more serious problem.

Sadly, today's news is that you have decided to cancel the rest of the tour. It must be frustrating to have to cancel so many shows. I know you adore your fans as much as they adore you, and I know your press releases present sincerity when they state your sadness and understanding of the hardship this causes those who planned expensive travel and purchased expensive festival tickets. With ticket prices being as insulting as CD prices, some people will have lost quite a tidy sum. Too bad!

I was at a party with some of your big fans and professional compatriots in New York last week. One of the young women started telling others that I'd left the BowieNet community because you and Iman endorse Tommy Hilfiger.

I hope you know that is untrue.

I do not find a Hilfiger endorsement offensive. I think it is dull and mediocre and middle-of-the-road, and I consider you none of those things, and the endorsement is therefore a disappointment, but it is not offensive, and it is not the reason I am boycotting your products.

I boycott you because you have sold all of your images (which were a HUGE part of my cultural coming of age) to endorse a Nestle product.

Some say that you didn't know Vittel was a Nestle product; but I don't buy that. A man in your business position, surrounded by advisors and bean-counters, knows what-is-what in the business world. Not knowing who owns the products you endorse might be worse than endorsing offensive products, so I hope this is not true.

Others insist you couldn't possibly know about the international boycott of Nestle products. But, you know about the release from prison of obscure Tibetan nuns, and your wife is from Africa, so I find it hard to accept that you know nothing of the Nestle problem and the 30-year campaign to stop Nestle from marketing over-priced breast-milk substitute to healthy women in developing nations.

The more clueless of your fans insist that corporate boycotts and political discussions have no place in the arena of rock-god worship. I doubt you would agree with that. After all, you donated the proceeds of your 50th Birthday Bash to a children's charity, which is a political statement. And the mission of an artist is to comment on his/her surroundings, which is what you do, so endorsement of a Nestle product is a very direct statement about your position on that boycott.

I know you endorse products to earn money, and I do not begrudge anyone any money. I think everyone should have money. I have adopted the philosophy of a mutual friend of ours when I say: "I am an American socialist; I think everyone should have nice things." So, it's not the money that offends me.

It is this: You have been a champion of children's charities, given them time and money, and then you accept money from a corporation who is known for jeopardizing the health of children in developing nations whose parents can least afford to protect them. The entire world health community condemns Nestle's marketing of breast-milk substitutes in developing nations, yet you endorse them. You give money and ink to Save The Children. They spend money and ink to fight Nestle. This contradiction is too hypocritical for me, and it is in this conflict that my boycott of your products is rooted.

With all that said, I return to your health: Will you return to New York for medical treatment? Will you take a long, restful cruise home? I hope the doctors make you well, and you get some well-deserved rest.

Here's to a speedy recovery.

Dick Mac

P.S.: Can you explain why are you endorsing Nestle?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Jesus Saves

June is the month when many cities around the world celebrate Gay Pride. This year, my friend Wilma snapped this picture at the parade in Boston. It seems a fundamentalist thought the Gay Pride Parade would be a good place to spew hatred. He was shown love:

Monday, June 28, 2004

"U.S. Soldiers to Be Charged in Iraqi General's Death"

I read this headline on Sunday and it is very disturbing. We are going to prosecute young American soldiers for killing their enemy. Please excuse my confusion.

The House of Bush is jumping on a public relations campaign to blame the failures of the Iraq war on the soldiers, to paint the current administration as moral and forthright, and to hide the real crimes being committed in the names of American taxpayers behind a veil of lies and Fox newscasts.

We have inducted huge numbers of young Americans into the military and shipped them off to Iraq to kill, maim, and torture all for the purpose of securing that nation's vast oil reserves for the profit of a small number of people (chances are: you are not one of the people who will profit from this war). These young men and women are doing a rather remarkable job, considering most of them are from the reserves and not the full-time professional military.

These youngsters arrived in Iraq and were let loose on the population. They did what they were told told, and now Fox and News Corporation wants to call them killers and torturers.

Well . . . duh . . . that's what they are! That's what we have trained them to do! That is why they are in Iraq: to kill people! When you don't kill the people you have been sent to war against, you capture them and you put them in prison. While you have them in prison, you torture them. That is the point of capturing them and not killing them. That is war! This is what you wanted!

The entire American broadcast media and most of the print media jumped on the war bandwagon a year ago and now they are all shocked and appalled that the military is killing and torturing people! What did you think they were going to do? Serve tea?!?!?!?!

Now the administration, in an effort to distance themselves from their own military debacle, are insisting that the criminals who have killed and tortured be brought to justice.


This administration sent these young people to Iraq to do their killing and maiming and torturing, and now they want to prosecute them for killing, maiming and torturing people?!?!?!?!

Does anyone else see a problem here?

These soldiers have been told to go be soldiers so that House of Bush and their fuck-buddies at Halliburton can rape us of as much of our treasury as possible and rape Iraq of as much of their natural resources as possible. Now that things are going poorly, the criminals in the White House and that cesspool of avarice Houston, Texas, want to blame our soldiers for this mess!

The current administration and ALL conservatives, ALL fundamentalists and ALL their apologists in the Republican party are screwing us! From Ronald Reagan's corporate deregulation scam to George Bush's war in Iraq, we have not once received anything beneficial from the GOP. Who benefits? A small number of wealthy people (not all of whom are Americans), to whom our tax coffers are being given and from whom less and less taxes are demanded.

If we do not remove the right-, er . . . wrong-wing from power, we will be in deeper financial and political shit than you could ever have imagined, because they have no intention of stopping, as long as you keep electing them.

They have stolen our treasury and given away our natural resources. Then they sent our children to die in the desert, and now they want to blame our children for the war that has gone so horribly wrong.

Please stop voting for Republicans!

If you don't think there is a problem here, as my friend Dave likes to say, you are not paying attention!


Friday, June 25, 2004

Joke - Robot Bartender

A popular bar had a new robotic bartender installed. A fellow came in for a drink, and the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"

The man replied, "150." So the robot proceeded to make conversation about Quantum physics, string theory, biochemistry, and so on.

The man listened intently, and thought, "This is really cool." The man decided to test the robot. He walked out of the bar, turned around, and came back in for another drink.

Again, the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"

The man responded, "100." So the robot started talking about football, baseball, and so on.

The man thought to himself, "Wow, this is too cool!" The man went out and came back in a third time.

As before, the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?"

The man replied, "50."

The robot said, "So... you gonna vote for Bush again?"

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Joy and Pain in the Czech Republic

Yesterday was a good day in Prague. The Czech Republic national team beat Germany to advance to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2004 competition in Portugal, and David Bowie played a show at the T-Zone Amphitheatre.

Milan Baros, the handsome and talented Czech striker who plays professionally for Liverpool FC, led the Czech national team to 2-1 victory over Germany. Baros, his Anfield teammate, midfielder Vladimir Smicer, and forward Marek Heinz who plays club football at FC Banik Ostrava, made easy work of all their opponents in the group stage of the competition, and I will not be surprised if they advance all the way to the finals. Germany returns home to utter failure. Hooray!

As impressive as Milan, Vladimir and the rest of the Czech side might be right now, I am hoping for a France v England final. Which brings us the to today's England-Prague connection.

David Bowie, one of my generation's English rock gods, played a successful show at the Norwegian Wood Festival last Friday where he performed twenty-seven songs over 2.5 hours for an audience that included a young woman who'd thrown a lollipop at the singer. Unfortunately, the lollipop lodged between the singer's eyelid and eyeball. OUCH! The picture I saw is so gruesome that I can't even print it here. Fortunately, no serious harm was done and the brilliant performer, in his charming way, made light of the situation by talking about it being his bad eye anyhow, and later throwing a guitar pick into the crowd with hopes it hadn't hit anyone in the eye.

Last night, his Prague show was cut short when pain in his shoulder forced him to first leave the stage for a short break, then to stop the show two songs later. His publicists assure us the pain is nerve-related, and I certainly hope it is a temporary condition that can be resolved with medication and physical therapy.

Though the past week has been a good week for the Czech national team, it has not been so good for David Bowie.

Here's to a better week for Bowie as he continues his European tour, and continued success for the Czech football team as they prepare for Denmark!


Milan Baros' excellent website

David Bowie

Euro 2004

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Fair Use? Fair To Whom?

Corporate apologists and their lackeys in the federal government often bandy-about the term "fair use" as if they are doing us some kind of favor by putting more controls on printed and recorded material.

I am a fan of fair use. I do not purchase bootleg material and I shy away from making free copies of artists' materials for distribution.

In the spirit of fair use, I will sometimes make a mixed CD of fave songs for a family member, which is fair use of the products I have purchased. I paid for the CDs containing the songs, I own the PC and CD burner, I bought the blank CDs and jewel boxes. I am paid-in-full. Burning a mix of 70s hits for my sister is covered here. I am not breaking the law.

When I was a member of an online fan club for a mainstream rock god, people would freely share copies of his concerts that they had recorded or obtained from others who recorded them. Generally the CDs were traded, not sold, and the artist often received copies of them for his own collection. In fact, the artist would ask for copies to be sent to the office. He knew the score: these were his fans and they wanted his live performances and he wasn't going to stop them.

This is fair use.

I used to live at the intersection of W 34th St and Broadway, in the heart of Manhattan. Each and everyday, without fail, young men would place a blanket on the sidewalk and cover it with bootleg copies of the latest hip-hop crap and pop pablum being generated by the big record companies/booze manufacturers/luggage consortiums. These illegal CDs were sold to unsuspecting (or knowledgeable) tourists for some lower-then-market price.

This is not fair use. This is stealing.

I did not get involved with the file-swapping frenzy that took place some time ago. To me it seemed like stealing, and I don't steal. (Hey: we all pick and choose which laws we'll break, and I choose others!) I never got into Napster or the peer-to-peer market. I couldn't be bothered stealing a $12.00 CD or a $4.00 single; it just wasn't worth it to me.

I think the P2P/file-swapping community had a good thing going: Want one song? Here it is! The people I know who did participate in it were consumers who also bought CDs. In fact, I am willing to bet that they bought MORE CDs after becoming file-swappers than they would have if they never swapped files. They were exposed to new music and they purchased the CDs of artists they wouldn't have otherwise known about.

Eventually, as you know, the booze manufacturing/luggage consortiums that own the music industry got the government to shut-down file-swapping. They convinced Americans of the lie that file-swapping hurt the artists. This is a lie. The alleged dip in CD sales hurt only the corporations. Famous artists earn less than a buck per CD and the booze manufacturing/luggage consortiums earn about $15.00 per CD. Who's getting hurt? The booze manufacturing/luggage consortiums, not the artists.

A promise to introduce legal access to electronic music was promised and forthcoming. Eventually iTunes appeared. Even if you didn't own an iPod (and why would you when there are far superior products on the market?), iTunes would sell you single songs for ninety-nine cents! This was great! I could now download all the songs I wanted for a buck apiece and fill-in my collection with all those missing songs on full-CDs I would never buy!

I signed-up and started shopping. I downloaded about twenty songs at first. I would burn them to a CD so I didn't lose them, then I would rip them to MP3 and add them to my RealPlayer, which was a far superior desktop jukebox. I added these songs to my library of 4,000 songs I already owned. I generated random mixes with RealPlayer, burned them to CD and never tired of my collection, or heard the same songs repeated very often. This was great.

This is fair use.

Then one day I downloaded a stack of songs from iTunes, burned them to CD, and was unable to rip them to MP3 for inclusion in my RealPlayer. A new encoding had been invented and I was no longer allowed to do with my own property what I chose. I couldn't have the song in MP3 format, even if I wanted it that way, because the booze manufacturing/luggage consortiums were now encoding the files I bought.

This is not fair and this is the last iStraw.

I am now having difficulty burning mixed-CDs for my own use. Sometimes iTunes will burn its own song to CD, sometimes it won't. Sometimes RealPlayer will burn an iTunes song to CD, sometimes it won't. The technology is a failure and is unnecessarily punitive. It is not fair.

When I buy a song online or on a CD, I own that copy of the song, and as long as I am not breaking the law, I should be free to do with that song whatever I like.

Since the advent of Reaganomics, corporations have been given the world for free. They have been let loose on our wallets: from hundred dollar monthly phone bills and two-hundred dollar monthly utility bills, to thousand dollar concert tickets and ninety-nine cent songs you can't use, voodoo (supply-side) economics has screwed-over every consumer.

No more iTunes for me. No more encoded digital music. I am going to start getting my music for free. I've been playing fair for decades, but now I am going to accept illegally burned copies of CDs from anyone who wants to give them to me. I am going to accept any MP3 anyone wants to send me. I ain't paying the booze manufacturing/luggage consortiums for anymore music.

I'm taking music back and I recommend you do the same! If you want a particular song, let me know. If I have it, maybe I'll send it to you. Fair's fair!

Here are some links:

Downhill Battle Music Activism

"Free Culture," by Lawrence Lessig discusses how corporations are locking down our culture as our culture becomes more open. It is a long PDF file (352 pages), but it is a good read. Download it here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Episcopal Bishop Introduces Same-Sex Marriage Rites

The Boston Globe reports that Bishop Thomas Clark Ely of Vermont has introduced two new rites, similar to traditional marriage rites, for Episcopal priests to use when presiding over same-sex marriages.

Though the international Anglican community remains deeply divided, with the idiots in Africa and South America and their fearful leaders in Canterbury holding onto antiquated, masculinist beliefs that homosexuality is an abomination, and the forward-thinking, people-loving clerics of more civilized cultures pushing for reform and modernization, it is refreshing that an Anglican bishop would risk his professional security by continuing to push for equal treatment of all people in God's churches.

It is important that Christians embrace all people. That is a lesson of Christ's teachings: love thy neighbor. To cling to Victorian ideals fostered by modern fundamentalists that homosexuality is wrong makes no sense. If we stayed in the past, most of us would not be able to feed our families. If medicine and technology and human advancement were stunted because of writings from the Old Testament or Torah, there would be big trouble for all of humanity. So, to stunt our spiritual development by saying that there are groups of people of whom God disapproves is nonsensical.

Homosexuals are taxpayers and they deserve the same protection under the law that heterosexuals are guaranteed with the laws that define marriage. This is not going to go away. Every state will eventually pass laws providing for same-sex unions: it's the only Constitutional answer to the question.

Whether or not churches want to participate is a different conversation. Most won't and that is sad; but, some will and that is reason to be joyous.

Marriage, as defined in religious writings, is a religious affair. Marriage, as defined by law, is a legal affair. The two need not meet - ever - in order for people to be united in their love for one another.

I applaud Bishop Ely and pray that other Christians will follow his lead.


Here is the text of the Boston Globe article, reprinted without permission.
You can find the original article, complete with the advertising that pays for it, here.

New rites for Vt. civil unions
Episcopal bishop sees three-year trial period

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, June 18, 2004

In a move that is likely to further inflame tensions in the global Anglican Communion, the Episcopal bishop of Vermont today will introduce two new rites, very similar to the liturgy for Episcopal weddings, for priests to use while presiding at civil unions of gays and lesbians.

Episcopal priests in Vermont have already been quietly solemnizing and blessing civil unions for four years, since the state legalized them for same-sex couples. But in introducing standardized rites -- a symbolically significant step in a highly liturgical church -- the Vermont diocese is signalling it fully endorses same-sex relationships.

"The commitment we are asking of persons who are entering into holy unions is of the same nature as the commitment we are asking of couples who are entering holy matrimony," Vermont Bishop Thomas Clark Ely said in a telephone interview from the diocesan headquarters in Burlington. "These relationships are expressive of God's love . . . and the church should be willing to recognize and embrace these loving and committed relationships."

Ely said the rites will be used on a trial basis and will be evaluated annually for three years.

The action by the Diocese of Vermont comes as the global Anglican Communion, and its American province, the Episcopal Church USA, are riven by controversies over homosexuality, many playing out in New England. Last summer, the Diocese of New Hampshire elected a gay priest as its bishop; now the dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts are grappling with how to respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage in this state.

A global commission, appointed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, this week was meeting in North Carolina as it examines the impact of the controversies on the 70 million member Anglican Communion.

Ely, who said he has blessed the civil union of a gay Episcopal priest, said the Anglican Communion needs to recognize the "context" in which Episcopalians live, and that in Vermont, that context is that civil unions for gays and lesbians have been legal for four years, and many gays and lesbians are active participants in the Episcopal Church. The lead plaintiff in the case that led to the creation of civil unions in Vermont is a lay Episcopalian who now serves as senior warden at the diocesan cathedral; the state representative who headed the legislative committee that oversaw the creation of civil unions is also an Episcopalian and now the chancellor of the Vermont diocese; and the Episcopal bishop at the time testified in favor of civil unions.

"I'm hoping that the local context in which we're doing our pastoral work is recognized -- the context in Vermont is very different than the context in Nigeria, and I wouldn't presume to understand the cultural context of Nigeria, but I would respect the local culture and context in which that diocese operates," Ely said.

Nigeria, with an estimated 15 million Anglicans, has more Anglican adherents than any other nation, and the Anglican primate there has been an outspoken critic of homosexuality and gay relationships. The Episcopal Church USA has 2.3 million members, including 8,700 in Vermont.

"Vermont has had four years [of civil unions], and Vermont hasn't fallen off the map," Ely said. "I believe that we're in a better place because of our capacity to be able to affirm the loving, committed relationships of gay and lesbian people, and because those couples enjoy the legal rights that are so desperately needed for them."

Because the decision by Vermont is to be announced today, there has been little reaction thus far. But, told of the planned action by a reporter, the New England head of an evolving national coalition of conservative Episcopalians expressed dismay.

"It's a very destructive act in terms of the traditional doctrine of marriage, and the status of the whole Anglican Communion," said the Rev. William L. Murdoch, who is rector of All Saints Church in West Newbury and who serves as dean of the Northeast convocation of the Anglican Communion Network. "It is contrary to the wishes of the archbishop of Canterbury, the primates, and the global leadership of the church, and it shows a disregard for the catholicity of the global church."

Ely said dissent in Vermont over the liberal movement of the national church has been minimal -- he said no parishes in Vermont have asked to affiliate with the Anglican Communion Network or have asked for supervision by a conservative bishop. He said he expected "a few" priests in Vermont would decline to officiate at civil unions for same-sex couples and that clergy would not be required to do so.

The situation in Vermont is unique because civil unions are legal there, but many Episcopal dioceses around the country are struggling with whether and how to bless same-sex couples. Priests in Vermont can sign the state documents couples use to form civil unions, a contrast to Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal but there are no civil unions, and where the bishop has asked Episcopal priests not to sign marriage licenses.

Although Massachusetts Bishop M. Thomas Shaw has barred priests from solemnizing same-sex marriages, he has authorized the blessing of married same-sex couples so long as the actual signing of the marriage license is done by someone other than an Episcopal priest. Ely said he agrees with Shaw's decision, and that there is no question the Episcopal church's canons bar same-sex marriage.

Last summer, the Episcopal Church's general convention passed a resolution declaring that "local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions," and dioceses in Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C., have official policies allowing the blessing of same-sex couples, according to Integrity USA, an organization that advocates for gay and lesbian Episcopalians.

In Vermont, Ely plans to ask priests to use essentially the same process for uniting gay couples as they use for straight couples -- requiring at least one partner to be a baptized Christian, asking couples to go through relationship counseling before being blessed, and imposing the same restrictions on people who seek a second civil union after a first one breaks up as the church places on couples who seek to remarry after a divorce.

Gay and lesbian couples will be asked to sign a "declaration of intention" that is nearly identical to the declaration used by heterosexual couples getting married in an Episcopal Church. In the declaration, the same-sex couples will state, "We believe that the union of two partners is intended by God for their mutual joy, for the encouragement and support given one another in daily life and changing circumstances, for the deepening of faith as they experience God's love in their love for one another, and (if it may be) the physical and spiritual nurture of children."

Priests will then solemnize the civil unions and pronounce, "In exchanging vows of love, support and fidelity, N and N are now joined in holy and civil union, as celebrated by this community of faith, and as recognized by the State of Vermont. May the grace of God be with them for ever."

Michael Paulson can be reached at

Monday, June 21, 2004

Father's Day

Yesterday I celebrated my first Father's Day as a father.

When I returned home from church, my three-month old daughter was asleep in her favorite bouncy seat wearing a blue and yellow striped dress bearing the red Arsenal emblem.

Arsenal is my favorite European soccer team. They are the reigning champions of the English Premier League. It was delightful to see my little girl wearing my team's away colors and emblem. Nothing better, really!

Here she is:

Friday, June 18, 2004

Joke - Arsenic

A woman walked into a pharmacy asked the pharmacist for some arsenic poison.

He asked, "What do you want with arsenic?"

"I want to kill my husband because he cheats on me with another woman," she explained

"I can't sell you arsenic so you can kill your husband, lady. Not even if he is cheating on you with another woman."

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.

"Oh, I didn't realize you had a prescription."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A Call To Action

So many issues require attention and nominal effort on our part can really make a difference. Calling your elected officials, signing a petition, donating money or time, writing a letter . . . these things can, and often do, sway an elected official to vote one way or another on a particular issue.

Often, elected officials are influenced by corporate interests because corporations are taking the time to sway the official. Citizens rarely, if ever, call to voice an opinion or request a vote one way or another.

You can make a difference.

Today, I ask you to consider this from the Audubon Society:

Congress is voting on the Interior Department budget this week. Please follow this link and take action.


The Audubon Society

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

MoveOn PAC - Help Air Our New Ad Revealing Bush/Haliburton Croynism

MoveOn PAC is working hard to expose the immoral (if not illegal) business dealings of Dick Cheyney and his current boss. In this vein, MoveOn has created a new advertisement to be aired when enough money is raised to pay for it.

These shameless avaricious thugs controlling the White House are throwing our children into the line of fire to fight a war for which their only plan is to profit magnificently.

MoveOn has been dedicated to exposing these scum.

At their website they explain: "While soldiers are dying in Iraq, Dick Cheney's old company Haliburton has defrauded the government of millions. In just one year in Iraq, Haliburton employees have accepted $6 million in illegal kickbacks, the company overcharged taxpayers millions for gas, and charged hundreds of millions of dollars for meals for our troops that were never delivered. But the Bush administration has done more than just turn a blind eye; internal Pentagon emails suggest Vice President Dick Cheney recently helped secure Haliburton an $18 BILLION no-bid contract. Today, we're trying to raise $1.1 million to air a new ad in swing states that calls the Bush White House on its cronyism with Haliburton."

While the media that was so generously de-regulated by the recently-dead Ronald Reagan uses its power to push forward a single-minded right-wing agenda, it is important that the voice of real carbon-based taxpayers be heard, and MoveOn is making sure your interests are protected.

Please consider sending them a donation. If you can't send money, at least go watch the ad. Both can be done at this link:

MoveOn PAC's new "Haliburton" ad.



Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Ronald Reagan and AIDS

I have read recently right- er, wrong-wingers saying that Reagan was not anti-gay and never had a failing or negative position on the battle against AIDS. They say this is true because you cannot find any quotes from Reagan that prove it.

The fight against AIDS was fought from the trenches by the people afflicted by it and the money of wealthy homosexuals. Reagan and his regime said and did almost nothing until 1985.

The fact that Ronald Reagan said almost nothing about AIDS is the point. He ignored the fact that a plague was ripping through our nation. He did nothing. He said nothing. This makes him a bad and evil person.

His sin was silence and inaction.

Reagan sits before his Creator with blood on his hands: the blood of every person who died of AIDS between 1980 and 1992.

Teach your children about Ronald Reagan. He was a bad and evil man.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Reagan Is Dead (Still)

Now that Ronald Reagan is still dead, I suggest we increase the dialogues about fitting memorials.

Adding him to Mount Rushmore is too dull and not innovative enough. Putting him on the money is so run-of-the-mill! Rename every airport after him? Nah! Force every city in the nation to name a Reagan Boulevard? We could take away all the Martin Luther King Blvds. and give them to Reagan!

I say we build The Ronald Reagan AIDS Memorial

A big hole in the ground someplace surrounded by a granite list of all the people who died of AIDS from 1980 - 1992.

I think St. Peter will have the entire list waiting for Reagan after he gets through heavenly immigration (which, given the re-engineering of the heavenly workplace, should take six or seven years).

I can see it now: An old guy with a big white beard in a priestly robe holding a list of tens of thousands of dead innocents looking down on Reagan in a wheelchair in a diaper, drooling on himself, hands covered in the blood of everyone who died of AIDS under his reign. Not a good moment to be Ronald Reagan!

So let's take that list of names and carve them into a memorial for Reagan.

Yeah -- that's fitting!


Friday, June 11, 2004

Joke - Tickets To Pittsburgh

A businessman enters the VIP lounge and sees some familiar faces at the bar. He joins them and notices that one has a black-eye. Since he was wearing his own fresh shiner he asked: "How'd that happen?"

"Ahhh! I was standing in line downstairs to get ticketed, and the woman behind the counter was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen: nice smile, pretty face, friendly disposition, nice rack, the works. I became fixated on her as the line inched forward. I was thrilled when I was next in line and she called me. I felt like a schoolboy again, blushing and stammering as the transaction began. She reached over and touched my hand and said 'take your time, sir.' Then I blurted out: 'I need a roundtrip picket to Titsburgh.' And she clocked me one before storming away."

The group snickered and the other businessman laughed:

"I can't believe it! Almost the exact same thing happened to me this morning. I was sitting at the table having breakfast with the missus. I meant to say, 'honey, would you please pass the sugar,' but it came out as 'I hate you! You bitch you wrecked my life!' And she decked me."

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Industrious Clock

Yugo Nakamura does cool stuff on the web.

I love his industrious Clock.

Also check out his Surface Project.

Today's political thought is: Nancy Reagan is thrilled by the outpouring of love for her husband. I would like to point out to the bereaved that what she is witnessing is an outpouring of love from corporate media giants who are broadcasting one-sided images in telling a one-sided story about one of the worst Americans ever to walk the face of this planet: her late husband!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

More on Reagan's Death

My position is, of course, that Ronald Reagan died much too young. He deserved twenty more years of suffering and sitting in his own feces and drooling.

Now he will be made a hero. For what? For stealing America away from the citizenry and turning it over to the corporations.

A horrible, horrible man for whom death is too good.

One of the few links I have on this site is to Steve Gilliard's News Blog, which I try to read regularly. Steve did a bang-up job with his article on Reagan's death, and I encourage you to read it here: Steve Gilliard's Reagan Article


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Humorous Remarks About Bush

I dislike all of the people to whom the statements below are attributed. I think each one of them is an example what has happened to America and its media since the advent of Reagan-era American self-centeredness, vapidness, and dullness. Irrespective, they hire writers who can be witty, and these are some fun remarks about the current state of the White House.

"President Bush went out touting his economic record in Ohio last week. Now this is a state that lost 225,000 jobs since Bush took office. You know, if Bush wants to tout his record, he should do it somewhere where the Bush economy has actually created jobs, like India, or Thailand, or China." -- Jay Leno

"The election is in full-swing. Republicans have taken out round-the-clock ads promoting George Bush. Don't we already have that? It's called Fox News." -- Craig Kilborn

"Kerry is well on his way to reaching his magic number of 2,162. That's the total number of delegates he needs to win the Democratic nomination. See for President Bush it's different, his magic number is 5. That's the number of Supreme Court judges needed to win." -- Jay Leno

"There was a scare in Washington when a man climbed over the White House wall and arrested. This marks the first time a person has gotten into the White House unlawfully since President Bush." -- David Letterman

"A new poll says that if the election were held today, John Kerry would beat President Bush by a double digit margin. The White House is so worried about this, they're now thinking of moving up the capture of Osama Bin Laden to next month." -- Jay Leno

"The White House is now backtracking from its prediction that 2.6 million new jobs will be created in the U.S. this year. They say they were off by roughly 2.6 million jobs." -- Jay Leno

"In Louisiana, President Bush met with over 15,000 National Guard troops. Here's the weird part, nobody remembers seeing him there." -- Craig Kilborn

"On 'Meet the Press' yesterday President Bush was asked what he would do if he lost the election and Bush said, 'Phhh, you mean like last time?'" -- Jay Leno

The new Prime Minister of Spain has called the war in Iraq a disaster, and plans to bring his troops home as soon as possible. In fact, President Bush is so upset at Spain that he is now threatening to close down the border between Spain and the U.S. -- Jay Leno

"While speaking to conservationists this week, Dick Cheney made it clear that he plans to deal with the rising gas prices by drilling in our federal wildlife refuge in Alaska. Cheney tried to sway his opponents saying trust me, there's enough oil up there to last us the rest of my natural life." -- Tina Fey

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald Reagan Is Dead

This is really too bad. It had always been my hope that he would live a very very long long time. A long slow life laying around in a diaper full of his own feces pressed against his thighs and his drool running down his chin, his condition not bad enough that he was oblivious. I hoped he would be unable to talk, but acutely aware of his discomfort. I had hoped he would suffer for what he did to America.

Reagan stole America from us, from all Americans. He tricked working people into thinking his party would help them, and they never have.

He led a movement to bring extreme right-wingers into power by tricking the faithful with two issues: abortion and taxes. He tricked an entire nation. Twice.

He promised people that de-regulation of American industry would lead to lower prices, more jobs, better service and less conglomeration. He and his henchmen knew all along that none of this was true, but they perpetrated the lie so effectively that America went for it. Twice. History has proven that he was wrong. Deregulation has been a failure and has delivered the exact opposite of what this evil man promised. Prices are higher, service is worse, there are fewer jobs, and conglomeration is the order of the day.

While tugging on the heart-strings and fears of middle America by waving the flags of abortion, morality and affirmative action, he took away our nation and sold it to the highest bidder. He started a trend of privatization that continues to destroy every public and quasi-public service that America spent so much to build. Your infrastructure, your airports, your public transportation. You paid for all that and he started the process of giving it all away to the rich who are sucking it dry for every penny they can get.

He convinced Americans that a small government is good. Well, a small government is fine for a small people. We have a government for and by the people and we have become a small people to match our potentially small government. Please note that the only government he reduced is that part of the government that helped the working, the working poor, the poor, and those in need. He bloated that part of the government that helps the rich, and the rich cost more than the poor.

Ronald Reagan stole America from Americans and he's got you convinced he was a good man. Now he will be honored in death, but who will speak of the dishonor he brought to our once-great nation?

Ronald Reagan was a bad man and death is too good for him.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Joke - Catholic Heart Attack

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had open heart bypass surgery.

He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital. As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding payment for his treatment.

She asked if he had health insurance. He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."

The nun asked if he had money in the bank.

He replied, "No money in the bank."

The nun asked, "Do you have a relative who could help you?"

He said, "I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."

The patient replied, "Then send the bill to my brother-in-law!"

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Jimmy Haig's Six-Step Program For Becoming A Dullard

Jimmy Haig was a post-punk romantic poet whose untimely death went largely unnoticed. After many volumes of his writings were saved from the recycling bin, artists, musicians, producers and publishers began a project of recording and distributing his work.

One small notebook was hand-decorated with the title "He Gimme Da Shivers" and it is from this notebook that this piece is copied (without permission):

Jimmy Haig's Six-Step Program For Becoming A Dullard

Step 1: Fill your body (which has been sculpted with the help of Tony Little's exercise machine) with as much Pabst Blue Ribbon as possible to show just how empty you are.

Step 2: Repeat as many cliches as possible without any hint of irony in that robotic, and obnoxiously quiet passive aggressive voice of yours. Do it especially loudly in elevators.

Step 3: Stare blankly at your crusty walls in the dark. Listen to your local college radio station churn out indie-rock and pray that someone will miraculously rescue you.

Step 4: Smile obnoxiously-wide without sincerity so as to make others take notice of how happy you've become due to your success as a new age yuppie-wannabe. Brush with Pepsodent, but only the kind with the vintage 1960's box. The 60's were so great, and you should keep reliving them, even if you were born a decade too late.

Step 5: Blame Jesus, Mary, and Joseph for everything! Be relentless. Worship the gods on the cover of Teen Beat, Boy Crazy, Vibe, and Rolling Stone.

Step 6: Be very conscious of the fact that you religiously follow steps 1-5. Use self-depreciating humor as a flaky cover-up. Rinse, gargle, and swallow.

Hear excerpts from the first Jimmy Haig CD at CDBaby, and order a copy today:

The Jimmy Haig Experience

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Come to think of it, there is not one good thing that the Republicans have done in my lifetime!

From Richard Nixon's elimination of the surplus food program and implementation of food stamps, to Ronald Reagan's deregulation of American industry, to George H. Bush's tax increases, to George W. Bush's military blunders, there has been nothing good. Not one program to improve the infrastructure of America (unless it specifically lined the pockets of friends from Bechtel and Halliburton), not one program to improve education or social services (unless it was in an attempt to further their fundamentalist agenda), not one program to help anybody but themselves.

Not once have they helped any Americans.

Not once.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Declare Yourself

In the United States it is more important to vote in the 2004 election than any single other election since the Gerald Ford debacle of the mid-1970s. Never in our lifetimes has there been a more corrupt administration or a more harmful lot of thieves sitting in Washington.

The web-project is working to teach young people about democracy and voting. According to their "mission": "Declare Yourself is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to energize and empower a new movement of young voters to participate in the 2004 presidential election. Declare Yourself will rally young Americans through a live spoken word and music tour of college campuses; an unprecedented nationwide voter education initiative for high school seniors; a comprehensive voter registration and election information Web site; an extensive online awareness campaign; a massive voter registration drive; a televised "get out the vote" concert; and public service announcements. Unique alliances with technology and media partners, educators, the entertainment, music and fashion industries, the corporate community and the National Association of Secretaries of State will be used to ignite millions of young voters."

Sadly, their sponsors include ClearChannel and AXA Financial Services. It's hard to take them too seriously while they spend the money gouged from us for concert tickets, but it IS a noble mission.

If you are of legal voting age, please consider voting to unseat the current American president.


The Declare Yourself website