Monthly Archives: January 2006

The State of the Union

“He shall from time to time,” reads the Constitution, “give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” And so it shall be. George W. Bush will be speaking tonight from the podium in the House of Representatives. Before him will be arrayed Senators, Representatives, generals and judges. The balconies will be filled with observers, luminaries, reporters and a few so-called “special guests” whose presence will be used to reinforce some argument or another.

It shall be quite a thing to see, a show worth watching if only to observe exactly how many lies, distortions, threats, taunts and smirks can be crammed into a single speech. This will be Mr. Bush speaking, after all, and the truth is not in him. It will be in every pertinent sense a mere commercial, a television advertisement from a failing company, a whitewashing of ugly truths by a staggering CEO whose sole desire is to keep the stockholders in line for another quarter.

from the article The State of the Union by William Rivers Pitt

Tonight I’m off to have supper and then watch the State of the Union address with some friends — I’ve been told it’s far more amusing to watch me watch the address, than it is to listen to Bushie’s words himself.

UPDATE: For the email-less commentor Michelle, Check out Think Progress’s take on the speech — it’s a fact-checker, comparing what Bush says to what has actually been reported. Lots of discrepancies there, surprise surprise!

Here’s one example:

SOTU: How the Bush Administration Changes the Tone

Bush said: “[E]ven tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another – and I will do my part.”

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: “F*** yourself.” — speaking to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). [Washington Post, 6/24/04]

PRESS SECRETARY SCOTT MCCLELLAN: “It is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing…” — speaking about decorated Marine veteran Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA). [11/17/05]

KARL ROVE: “Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.” [6/24/05]

Oh, and here’s what really happened to Cindy Sheehan last night — something the “liberal media” didn’t report.

UPDATE AGAIN: Oooh, more good stuff from Think Progress: Bush’s One Hour Argument with Himself. Must read.

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Wow, I’d be in trouble.

I got this story in email: UCLA Alumni Group is tracking “radical” faculty:

A fledgling alumni group headed by a former campus Republican leader is offering students payments of up to $100 per class to provide information on instructors who are “abusive, one-sided or off-topic” in advocating political ideologies.

The year-old Bruin Alumni Assn. says its “Exposing UCLA’s Radical Professors” initiative takes aim at faculty “actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic.” Although the group says it is concerned about radical professors of any political stripe, it has named an initial “Dirty 30″ of teachers it identifies with left-wing or liberal causes.

Fortunately, this story was nipped in the bud last week as the nutjob conservative activist withdrew his offer.

I know that many of my illustrations in class revolve around politics — and I can’t help but let my own opinions shine through on the odd occasion. I’ve even used Hitler and Stephen Harper in the same sentence (but before some of you jump down my case, I wasn’t aligning Harper to Hitler — I was talking about ethics propaganda use in political commercials — particularly that infamous “soldiers with guns in Canadian streets” commercial. But I still get a kick out of the two names being in the same sentence.)

… and then there were twenty-five.

Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
Biden, Joseph R., Jr. (D-DE)
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA)
Clinton, Hillary Rodham (D-NY)
Dayton, Mark (D-MN)
Dodd, Christopher J. (D-CT)
Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
Feingold, Russell D. (D-WI)
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA)
Jeffords, James M. (I-VT)
Kennedy, Edward M. (D-MA)
Kerry, John F. (D-MA)
Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ)
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT)
Levin, Carl (D-MI)
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD)
Murray, Patty (D-WA)
Obama, Barack (D-IL)
Reed, Jack (D-RI)
Reid, Harry (D-NV)
Sarbanes, Paul S. (D-MD)
Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY)
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)
Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

‘Tis a shame there’s only 25 decent senators in the US Congress.

Freedom? Bah, who needs it?

UPDATE: It begins. (and ends?)

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Laundry day musings

I’m tackling the mountain of laundry tonight. Due to the lack of television stations and my laziness in changing the channel, “Wheel of Fortune” is playing in the background.

Now, if you know me, you know I hate this game show. Here are a few of the reasons why I can’t stand “Wheel.”

  • Why must the contestants yell whatever letter they’d like to pick? “L!” “D!” “S!” They’re miked, so there is no need for the excited yell — EVERY time.
  • Peeve #2 — buying vowels. This really stumps me. The puzzle is almost COMPLETELY solved, and these jerks will keep buying stinkin’ vowels! Don’t they know that they lose money, with each vowel they buy?! Why must they keep on buying them, especially after they already know what the puzzle is? Solve it already, sheesh.
  • As with all game shows, the introductions of each contestant is the most completely useless part of the show. I don’t care how many kids you have, where you’re from, or what crap you collect.
  • not to mention the speel between Pat and Vanna. Now THERE is a passive aggressive relationship if ever I saw one — and I should know, I grew up in the South, the homeland of passive aggression.

And yes, I should be thesis writing, and not ranting about Wheel of Fortune. I’ll get to it after Jeopardy! — a real game show. (“What is … another way to put off finishing that thesis chapter?”)

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Top 100 best opening lines from novels

I’m happy to say I’ve read a quarter of ‘em. (I don’t know why I always have to count how many I’ve read/seen whenever I encounter these types of lists)

Isn’t it funny how an opening line can be so indicative of what is to come in the rest of the book? They’re also some of the hardest parts of a book, essay, or thesis chapter to write.


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International week

It’s that time of the year again — International Week at the U of S.

It’s odd, because I don’t really consider myself “international” — the only times I out myself as not from here is when it comes to voting, going through Customs at the airport, or when I inadvertantly call someone “Ma’am” or “Sir” (showing my Southern manners).

Anyway, the next two weeks are packed with all sorts of talks/panels on International Development issues, FREE documentaries, and starting next week — an international food fair, every afternoon at lunch. The food fair is THE time to eat on-campus — good ethnic food, good prices. I’m already hungry at the thought.

A few of the events that look particularly interesting this week: (full schedule is here — PDF)

  • Tonight: “End of Suburbia”
    Free film screening
    5:00 p.m. Arts 241
  • Tomorrow: Operation PLATEAU: Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team in Pakistan and Sri Lanka
    Lieutenant–Colonel Michael R. Voith, DART Commanding Officer (Disaster Assistance Response Team)
    12:00–1:00 pm.
    2C02 Engineering
  • Thursday: A Long Night’s Journey into Day: South Africa’s Search for Truth and Reconciliation.
    A highly–acclaimed film, nominated for an Academy Award – Best Documentary – in 2000.
    Introductory remarks and discussion: Simonne Horwitz, History
    7:00–9:30 p.m.
    Arts 143
  • Friday: “Writing on the Holocaust”
    Yann Martel, Visiting Scholar, Department of English
    12:30–1:30 p.m.
    Arts 241

    “Scared Sacred”
    Free film screening
    7:00 p.m.
    Arts 241

And that’s just a few of the events going on this week. There’s more, next week.

These are open to the public — check ‘em out, and learn that we’re all part of a global community.

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Apocalyse, now?

So today, after a day of “hanging out” with the in-laws, we’re sitting around chatting and my father in law starts talking about the Anti-Christ.

[My relational tip to you: if a conversation is ever lagging in material, simply bring up something apocalyptic or in the realm of eschatology -- and voila! Instant talking material.]

Anyway, we’re sitting around talking, and he mentions that he’s done a web search on “anti-christ” and it came up with some rather interesting results:

George W. Bush is the AntiChrist:

There you have it – 666 - the number of the Beast, absolutely any way you care to add it up. The number of his name in Hebrew = 666. The number of his name using the Pythagorean system = 6. The Chaldean system = 6. ASCII code = 6. The number of his birthday = 6. His lucky number = 6. The number of the date when he was first elected Governor = 6. When he is first inaugurated Governor = 6. The number when he was inaugurated president of the United States = 6. The number of the man/beast named George Walker Bush = 666.

I originally thought this site was a satire or spoof — but there’s just too much work and rantings for this not to be serious. Despite the author’s serious aim, it’s a pretty hilarious piece of work. He talks about the “beast’s brain“: “One of the mysteries of Revelation has been the identity and connection of a second beast who rescues the antichrist and serves as his prophet” — any guesses who qualifies as such? Why yes, Karl Rove.

There’s even more “evidence” that points unequivocably that Bush is indeed the Anti-Christ: He’s part of the Merovingian blood line (shared with Herod the Great), there’s secret alliances of evil (of which I expect she’s a part), and Nostradamus, of course, backs it up.

Too funny.

But, in the light of being “fair and balanced” on this blog, I’ll also include a site that proclaims Bush is Lord. (thankfully, this really is a spoof and not some evangelical conspiracy theorist)

For those of you that are still skeptical that Bush is indeed the evil one, there’s always the remote chance that the AntiChrist is really David Hasselhoff, if only because:

The letters in his name can be rearranged to spell fad of devil’s hash.”

What does this mean? Well, Baywatch is David’s fad. David is the devil. The Hash is what makes Knight Rider popular in Amsterdam.


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