Monday, October 19, 2009

Livestrong

I'm issuing a challenge, to anyone who happens to run across this blog (which I guess means myself...) If I reach my goal for the Livestrong Challenge, I'll shave my legs for the ride. One condition, I have to make it by next Saturday, the day before the ride. I will post pictures (before and after, should anyone doubt) both here and on Facebook, where I've also issued this challenge.

I've also added the names of everyone who any of my donors have given in memory of to my bike and will be riding in honor of them and taking their memories along with me on the ride. It's the least I can do to repay the generosity of my friends and show support for their loved ones. So, in addition to the seven family members that I've already listed on my bike who we've lost to cancer, I've no got a list of six more people, friends and family of those who are supporting me. Honestly, it makes what I'm doing seem really insignificant. Anyone who gives in memory of someone before next Thursday will get added to the bike, if I can, I'll try to add anyone who comes in after that but no promises, as I'll be in Austin and I don't know what kind of access I'll have to printers, etc to make the decals. Later in the week, I'll post pics as well of the names.

I've got a razor set to go...it's up to you if I use it or not. Give and give generously...

And thank you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fear in a handful of dust.

I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.


T.S. Elliot The Waste Land
in memorium to the thousands of friends lost on this day, and the tens of thousands lost as a result of actions since - and for a country that lost its way, led by fear down a shadowless path. may we all find our way back to peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An open letter to Representative Joe Wilson (and friends)

Representative Wilson,

As an American citizen, I was outraged and, frankly, disappointed by your disrespectful, childish outburst during the President's speech to Congress last night. And while you have since stated an apology to the President, one which I'm sure that he will publicly accept, I want you to know, sir, that I do not accept your apology, not that one was offered to the American people.

You see, your little outburst is indicative of what's wrong with our country. You say that you let your emotions get the best of you. Well, that's unacceptable from a United States Representative. You should never let your emotions block your view of the truth. You know, or at least you should know, if you've actually read any of the proposed legislation, that that is absolutely false and for you to perpetuate this lie for political purposes is outrageous. It is already illegal under U.S. law for illegal immigrants to qualify for federal health care programs. HR 3200 Sec 246 states “no Federal payment for undocumented aliens.” I don't know how clearer that could be stated.

Not that there would be anything wrong with allowing some sort of coverage for undocumented immigrants, they are, after all, despite the attitudes and claims of some members of your party, human beings, deserving of basic health care and rights. It's not as if they will be sent away from the hospital when they show up sick and dying, why perpetuate this drain on the system? But, that's another argument altogether.

You should apologize not just to the President, sir, but to your constituents and to the American public for being such a blatant example of your party's attempts to use scare tactic, untruths, disruptive behavior and bullying to get your way. We deserve better than this. You are an elected official, you should behave like one. The American people deserve honest discourse and debate. This is not a schoolyard, it's not a matter of he who yells loudest wins. If you've got nothing but bull crap to stand on, Congressman, wipe your feet before dragging it into the House.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Soiling the halls of Congress

Hey, Rep. Wilson, if you've got nothing but bullshit to stand on, wipe your feet before dragging it into the House. Class, man, real class.

Friday, September 4, 2009

On Obama's speech to kids

Regarding President Obama's "unprecidented" speech to school children next week...



On November 14, 1988, President Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four area middle schools. According to press secretary Marvin Fitzwater, the speech was broadcast live and rebroadcast by C-Span, and Instructional Television Network fed the program “to schools nationwide on three different days.” Much of Reagan’s speech covered the American “vision of self-government” and the need “to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America” but in the middle of the speech, the president went off on a tangent about the importance of low taxes; "We also find that more countries than ever before are following America's revolutionary economic message of free enterprise, low taxes, and open world trade. These days, whenever I see foreign leaders, they tell me about their plans for reducing taxes, and other economic reforms that they are using, copying what we have done here in our country."

In 1986, Reagan took questions from high school students at the White House and the Q&A was broadcast nationally. He urged students to stay in school and say no to drugs but he also discussed overtly political matters, such as defense spending, nuclear disarmament and, is surprising detail, taxes:
“When we came into office, the top personal tax rate...was 70%...there were 14 different tax brackets, depending on the amount of money in each bracket you earned...we lowered it to 50% and the economy really took off.”

President George H.W. Bush gave a speech to schools nationwide in 1991, from a junior high school in Washington, D.C.. He began his remarks by saying he was talking to “millions” of students “in classrooms all across the country.”

And, of course, let's not forget that President George W. Bush was sitting in a classroom taking precious educational time reading to school children on September 11, 2001. Some might even say that he sat for too long...

Hiding your kids in a closet so they don't have to face something that you may not agree with is no way to raise them. You're raising an ignorant drone if that's your "parenting" style. And it makes you a fool. Pull your head out of Glen Beck's lilly white ass and turn off the Fux News for a second...okay? Now that it's a little quieter, THINK!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good riddance, Texas.

I received and e-mail, from my mother of all people, with the following text:


In case things get a little tough during the next few months we in
LOUISIANA, TEXAS , OKLAHOMA , & ARKANSAS have a plan.

Maybe you don't know it, but LOUISIANA , TEXAS , OKLAHOMA , &
ARKANSAS HAVE legal right to secede from the Union . (Reference the
Texas/LOUISIANA-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.)

US TEXOKISIANSAS love y'all Americans, but we'll probably have to take action since Barack Obama won the election and is now the President of the
U.S.A. We'll miss ya'll though.

Here is what can happen:

1. Barack Hussein Obama, after becoming the President of the United
States , begins to try and create a socialist country, then Texas ,
LOUISIANA , ARKANSAS , & OKLAHOMA announces that it is going to secede fromthe Union .

2. George W. Bush becomes the President of the Republic of
TEXOKISIANSAS . You might think that he doesn't talk too pretty, but we
haven't had another terrorist attack and the economy was fine until theeffects of the Democrats lowering the qualifications for home loans came to
roost.

So what does TEXOKISIANSAS have to do to survive as a Republic?

1. NASA is just south of Houston , Texas . We will control the space
industry.

2. We refine over 90% of the gasoline in the United States .

3. Defense Industry--we have over 65% of it. The term "Don't mess
with THE SOUTH," will take on a whole new meaning.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of TEXOKISIANSAS
will need for the next 300 years. What will the other states do? Gee, wedon't know. Why not ask Obama?

5. Natural Gas - again, we have all we need and it's too bad about those Northern States. John Kerry and Al Gore will just have to figure out away to keep them warm...

6. Computer Industry - we lead the nation in producing computer chips
and communications equipment - small companies like Texas Instruments, Dell
Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD,
Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Misconduct, Dallas Semiconductor, Nortel, Alcatel, etc. The list goes on and on.

7. Medical Care - We have the research centers for cancer research,
the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world, as well as
other large health centers.

8. We have enough colleges to keep educating and making smarter
citizens: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-AUSTIN, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO, Texas A&M-COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS A&M-SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY OF
OKLAHOMA , OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-MONORE, UNIVERSITY OFARKANSAS , LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY , ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. UNIVERSITY of NEW ORLEANS .

9. We have an intelligent and energetic work force and it isn't
restricted by a bunch of unions. Here in TEXOKISIANSAS, we are a Right to Work State and, therefore, it's every man and woman for themselves. We just go out and get the job done.. And if we don't like the way one company
operates, we get a job somewhere else.

10. We have essential control of the paper, plastics, and insuranceindustries, etc.

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the TEXOKISIANSAS National
Guard, the TEXOKISIANSAS Air National Guard, and several military bases. We
don't have an Army, but since everybody down here has at least six riflesand a pile of ammo, we can raise an Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over the Texas Rangers.

12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from the Gulf. Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. We don't need any food.

13. FIVE of the ten largest cities in the United States , and THIRTY TWO of the 100 largest cities in the United States are located inTEXOKISIANSAS. And TEXOKISIANSAS also has more land than California , New York , New Jersey , Connecticut , Delaware , Hawaii , Massachusetts , Maryland ,
Rhode Island , and Vermont combined.

14. Trade: FIVE of the ten largest ports in the United States are located in TEXOKISIANSAS.

15. We also manufacture cars down here, but we don't need to. You see, nothing rusts in TEXOKISIANSAS so our vehicles stay beautiful and run well for decades.

This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of
TEXIOKSIANSAS in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and
don't have.

Now to the rest of you folks in the United States under President Obama:

Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Obama will be able to drive around in his big 9 mpg SUV. The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.

You won't have any TV as the Space Center in Houston will cut off satellite communications.

You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes, but since Mr. Obama has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas as long as you survive the 2000 years it will take to get enough heat from Global Warming.

In other words, the rest of ya'll in the USA are screwed!

Signed, The People of TEXOKISIANSAS

P.S. This is not a threatening letter - just a note to give you something to think about!

Sleep well tonight 'cause the eyes of TEXOKISIANSAS are upon YOU!!


Now, I don't have the time, or the inclination, to go through all of these idiotic points, but here are a few of the highlights:

Maybe you don't know it, but LOUISIANA , TEXAS , OKLAHOMA , &
ARKANSAS HAVE legal right to secede from the Union . (Reference the
Texas/LOUISIANA-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.)


um, no. There is no such treaty. Seriously, do just a little bit of research before you write this shit. Texas joined the union with the Texas Annexation Treaty of 1845, formally becoming a state on December 29, 1845. Louisiana became a state on April 30, 1812. Oklahoma, on November 16, 1907. Arkansas on June 15, 1836. Oh, and there's no provision in the 1845 treaty allowing Texas to secede at will, it just isn't there. You guys can split into four more states if you want, for a total of five, but that would mean you'd have to give up some of that precious Texas identity, wouldn't it? And they'd be little, bitty, tiny, "normal" size states, wouldn't they? And...well, then what would you have left?

1. Barack Hussein Obama, after becoming the President of the United
States , begins to try and create a socialist country, then Texas ,
LOUISIANA , ARKANSAS , & OKLAHOMA announces that it is going to secede from the Union .



What is it that's so scary to you about a black man being president? And admit it, that's what this crap is about. You birthers and gun-nuts and Glen Beck quoting idiots are just scared of the fact that a black man is in office. What? Are you afraid that, like your women, once the country goes black, it'll never go back?* Is this really a penis size thing?

*(a thousand apologies for this joke, but really, what's more offensive here?)

2. George W. Bush becomes the President of the Republic of
TEXOKISIANSAS . You might think that he doesn't talk too pretty, but we
haven't had another terrorist attack and the economy was fine until the effects of the Democrats lowering the qualifications for home loans came to
roost.



In fairness, I think you should give Bill Clinton a shot at the presidency as well; after all, he's from Arkansas and that's a part of your little group, isn't it? And who would want to be president more?

Let's compare. There was also not a (foreign based) terrorist attack on the US during Clinton administration since the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Just that wacko right-wing domestic terrorist down in Oklahoma City (and before you go off the handle about this, remember, Bush also had a little domestic anthrax terrorism. McVeigh was executed for his crimes under the Clinton administration. Where's Bush's guy? Oh, that's right...).

So, both records being equal on protecting the country from outside attack, maybe we should go by body count? Let's see, the 1993 attack killed 6 people. How about under Bush? Oh, about 2,974 (give or take the couple of dozen still listed as missing.) Hmmm...

I suppose we could look at other things, like whether or not the country was "protected" without sacrificing Constitutionally guaranteed rights or freedoms, or without attacking a sovereign nation under made-up pretenses (and killing, btw, between 93,000 and 102,000 civilians, but who's counting?), or without indefinitely jailing people without charge, or...oh, never mind.

You want Bush, you can have him.

1. NASA is just south of Houston , Texas . We will control the space
industry.


Actually, NASA is headquartered in Washington, DC. True, the Johnson Space Center is in Houston, but you're forgetting:

the Ames Research Center in CA
Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB
Glen Research Center in OH
Goddard Space Flight Center in MD
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in CA
the Kennedy Space Center, FL (you know, where they launch the little rockets?)
Langley Research Center, VA
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL
Wallops Flight Facility, VA

I somehow doubt you guys will control space.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of TEXOKISIANSAS
will need for the next 300 years. What will the other states do? Gee, we don't know. Why not ask Obama?


and

5. Natural Gas - again, we have all we need and it's too bad about those Northern States. John Kerry and Al Gore will just have to figure out a way to keep them warm...



Yes, and while I'm sure, based on the validity of the other claims made here, that this 300 year figure is wrong, you're more than welcome to cling to all of the 19th century technology you want while the rest of the planet recognize the need for the development of sustainable and clean energy. Just imagine how long all of that gas of yours would last if you didn't all insist on driving around in your giant F-350 penis extensions?

9. We have an intelligent and energetic work force and it isn't
restricted by a bunch of unions. Here in TEXOKISIANSAS, we are a Right to Work State and, therefore, it's every man and woman for themselves. We just go out and get the job done.. And if we don't like the way one company
operates, we get a job somewhere else.


You also have median incomes lower than the national average ($50,740)

Texas = $48,300 (28th nationally)
Oklahoma = $41,567 (44th)
Louisiana = $40,926 (46th)
Arkansas = $38,134 (49th)

and a high percentage of your population living below the poverty line

Louisiana 19.4% (2nd highest in the nation)
Arkansas 17.9 % (5th)
Texas 16.6% (8th)
Oklahoma 15.3% (11th)

Damnit, Oklahoma, you guys were almost all top ten there!

Uninsured population rates:

Texas 28%
Oklahoma 22%
Arkansas 20%
Louisiana 22%

Ya'll treat your people real well, don't ya?

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the TEXOKISIANSAS National
Guard, the TEXOKISIANSAS Air National Guard, and several military bases. We
don't have an Army, but since everybody down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over the Texas Rangers.


The National Guard of the United States, while stationed in the various states and under the command of the state governors, is a reserve military force composed of militia members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States. The Militia Act of 1903 organized the various state militias into the National Guard system. Army National Guard troups are trained and equipped by the United States Army, Air National Guard, by the United States Air Force. As members of said forces, all servicemen take an oath of service pledging to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, foreign domestic. That last bit there would include traitors and secessionists, by the way.

12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from the Gulf. Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. We don't need any food.



Wow, you can cook. That's a good life skill to have as a fledgling nation. Bravo.

13. FIVE of the ten largest cities in the United States , and THIRTY TWO of the 100 largest cities in the United States are located in TEXOKISIANSAS. And TEXOKISIANSAS also has more land than California , New York , New Jersey , Connecticut , Delaware , Hawaii , Massachusetts , Maryland ,
Rhode Island , and Vermont combined.


Hey, but when you add in the other 36 states (what, can't count them all up?), I think we got you beat.


Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Obama will be able to drive around in his big 9 mpg SUV. The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.



I think I'm okay with this. Besides, what are you going to do, hoard all of your refined petroleum? I don't think so, you'll sell it, that's the only way it's valuable. And if you won't sell to the US, which I doubt, the shit you do sell will free up other sellers for the US to buy from. A little basic, I know, and there are lot's of other factors at play here, but really, this is just stupid. Besides, it wouldn't kill some of you lard-asses down there to get out of your trucks and get a little exercise.


Okay, that's enough. I'm tired.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Susan

I'm just going to link here to Elden's blog. Go, read the posts from the 21st through today.

Win.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WIN SUSAN!

If you have ever wondered why I've signed up to travel to Austin from Salt Lake City in October just to ride 90 miles in a bike ride, read this.

If I ever have half the courage that it sounds like Susan has, or Fatty for that matter, I will consider myself to have had a wonderful life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Unbelievable

A couple of hundredths of a second are what Lance Armstrong needs to take the Maillot Jaune. Fabian Cancellara holds the jersey by hundredths of a second.

Over three and a half years out of professional cycling and he drops back in like nothing's changed. Unbelievable.