Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Olbermann on Clinton's "Assassination' Remark

There has been a lot of discussion around me concerning Hillary's 'Assassination remark' that hit the blogs this past week. I've heard many folks say it was a mistake or a comment taken out of context. And for all I've heard, I just can't believe it--although I want to. I want to believe that no one, especially a Clinton, would mindfully imply she is staying in the race in case Obama is assassinated, which is what happened to Robert Kennedy in June 1968. And yet, for all of Hillary's mis-spoken comments, just throwing something like that 'out there' makes me wonder to what extent she'll willing to go in order to win this campaign.

We all know that Obama has had to tighten his security amid constant death threats. Is she playing on that fear? Is she counting on folks thinking, "If I vote for him, I'm wasting my vote because he'll surely get assassinated."

You know, her use of fear and tragic 'what-ifs' is something Karl Rove did for George Bush. Bush frightened an entire country with threats of terrorism and "activist judges". And Rove led him all the way. Say, wait-a-minute, she's actually consulting Rove now, right?

Then her comments really shouldn't surprise me...they simply anger me!

Watch Olbermann's rant. He has the newsprint, commentary, and the outrage I feel towards her and her remarks.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Petra: A Tribute to 33 Years of Christian Rock

I grew up listening to this group and even now, years later, hearing their songs brings back wonderful memories.

Canon Balls*

It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on our Frigates - our war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem. The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.

Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys.
Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, you thought that was a vulgar expression, didn't you?

*Note: I have no idea if any of this is true, it was an email sent to me and I just thought it was funny.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Funny Married Names

Here's a fun post about the last names of people just married, taken from newspapers across the country. It's Hardy-Harr funny. ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The AIDS Blamegame

Here's a brilliant post from Wayne Besen:

The AIDS Blame Game
by Wayne Besen

"What is it about gay sex that makes U.S. health officials want to play Chicken Little with AIDS prevention and public safety?" Tony Valenzuela writes in the latest Poz magazine, where he criticizes, "The clueless tabloid and public health hysteria over man-on-man sex."

Valenzuela points to "an imaginary 'super strain of HIV to the sci-fi MRSA superbug." And, he is correct that it seems the media and society seem to always take on the absurd posture that gay sex is a mysterious ticking time bomb.

It is important to remember that gay bashing is a multi-million dollar industry. There is a vested interest by fundamentalist groups to convince the public that gay people are morally inferior and diseased, thus a threat to children, society and themselves.

The notion that AIDS is a punishment from God is a staple of right wing literature. Instead of focusing on the condemnation of unsafe sexual practices, extremist groups say that the very nature of being gay makes one a candidate for an early death. For example, the so-called "ex-gay" group Exodus International uses the Bible to justify their belief in God's wrath and fury against homosexuals.

"Those who practice these sins 'receive in their own persons the due penalty of their error,'" writes former Exodus Executive Director Bob Davies in 'A Biblical Response to the Pro-Gay Movement.' "In today's society, homosexuality is reaping a bitter harvest...homosexual involvement reaps deep devastation in the lives of many who practice it."

The Traditional Values Coalition has published what they call a "fact-based report on the dangers of homosexuals and homosexual behavior to children and to our society." One "fact sheet" is called, "Homosexual Sex = Death From HIV Infection."

Focus on the Family offers that, "solid, irrefutable evidence proves that there are lethal consequences to engaging in the defining features of male homosexuality..."

Of course, blaming victims for deadly diseases is nothing new and has ushered in some of the most shameful and horrific acts in world history. In a recent New York Times magazine article, epidemiologist and physician Gary Slutkin (the article was about gang violence, not HIV) spoke of how Chinese Americans were once thought to be inherently prone to disease.

"Chinatown, San Francisco in the 1880's," Slutkin said. "Three ghosts: malaria, smallpox and leprosy. No one wanted to go there. Everybody blamed the people. Dirty. Bad habits. Something about their race...And people come up with all kinds of other ideas that are not scientifically grounded -- like putting people away, closing the place down, pushing people out of town. Sound familiar?"

John Kelly's book, "The Great Mortality" explains how Jews were blamed for the "Black Death" that wiped out an estimated one-third of fourteenth century Europeans.

"In January 1349, Basel burned its Jews on an island in the Rhine, while hygiene-conscious Speyer, fearing pollution, put its dead Jews in wine barrels and rolled them into the river," wrote Kelly. "Strasbourg marched its Jews to a local cemetery and burned them...In Worms the local Jewish community, faced with death at the hands of Christian neighbors, locked themselves in their homes and set themselves ablaze."

What I find bizarre is how the right continues to portray HIV as a gay disease when more than 80 percent of people infected worldwide are heterosexual. If God really wanted to punish the so-called "gay lifestyle" and send a message, wouldn't He use a smart bomb -- like blowing up gay bars on Saturday nights -- instead of an indiscriminate shotgun blast that claims the lives of hemophiliacs and babies? The last time God was this inefficient, He placed George W. Bush in the Oval Office to carry out his will.

For reasons of political convenience and conservative correctness, anti-gay groups pick and choose who gets blame. In Washington, DC, black residents account for 81% of new reports of HIV infection and 86% of people with AIDS, though the city's population is only 57% African-American. Based on anti-gay "logic," this would mean that the "black lifestyle" is dangerous and should be condemned. Interestingly, they only focus on homosexuality and ignore other demographics and the largely hetero International AIDS epidemic because the inconvenient facts don't mesh well with the right's anti-gay storyline.

Gay people were around for thousands of years before AIDS and will still inhabit this planet long after the disease subsides or is eradicated. In the grand scheme of the universe, HIV does not define homosexuality any more than past syphilis or gonorrhea outbreaks in Europe defined heterosexuality.

Illnesses, like natural disasters, are not God's wrath, but ordinary phenomena that affect different populations at any given time. History, however, teaches us that the most enduring disease is divisiveness in the name of the Divine, that predictably rears its ugly head at the very moments when healing is needed instead of hatred.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another sign that you're getting older...

...is if you'd rather be regular than lose that extra ten pounds.

This is soooooo true, right? Within the last month, I've changed my breakfast selection considerably. Rather than eating cereal every morning with a piece of fruit, I now change it up to include real oatmeal (as opposed to those packets loaded with sugar). I had read that doing so will keep me from being hungry later in the day. And you know what? It's true!

Another added benefit, and this is something I didn't expect, is that I can now say, after 42 years of living... that I am now 'regular'. I have no idea why this is happening but if I don't eat my oats, then I am not regular and I decided just now, that if I had to choose between losing the extra weight I gained from my illness and being regular, I'd take being regular in a heart beat.

Fortunately I can have and do both.

No Shame on the Walk of Shame

This energy drink commercial was filmed at one of the most charming and photogenic intersections of New York City's West Village, where so much movie, tv and ad production takes place: where right-angled Commerce Street intersects with Barrow Street, between Bedford and Hudson Streets. The hot-dog stand is right at the corner, and the walk of shame is moving eastward on Barrow toward Beford -- within a short walking distance of the Perry Street block which provide the exterior shots of Carrie's street and townhouse stoop. Even closer is the Bedford Street intersection that provided the exterior shot of the apartment building on Friends.

h/t towleroad

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Appropriate Cartoon Image, right?

h/t The Daily Dish

We've Come A Long Way, Baby

Here is an inspiring story about a young man voted Home Coming King at his high school.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ghostly Car Ad

A friend of mine actually emailed me the movie, rather than a link to YouTube, that I am posting here. Here is what the email said,

Really cool, but make sure that you read the article before watching the video.

This is a car advertisement from
Great Britain. When they finished
filming the ad, the film editor noticed something moving along the side
of the car, like a ghostly white mist. They found out that a person had
been killed a year earlier in that exact same spot. The ad was never put
on TV because of the unexplained ghostly phenomenon.

Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in the middle of
the screen and you'll see the white mist crossing in front of the car
then following it along the road......Spooky!

Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You decide. If you listen to the
ad, you'll even hear the cameraman whispering in the background about it
near the end of the commercial. A little creepy but pretty cool!

My friend, in the email added his own note to say that I needed to get real close to the screen to see what they were talking about (perhaps you should to, I dunno, I am sure it'll help).

Pretty scary, right?

Friday, May 02, 2008

20 Things You Can Use Twice before Tossing

Here is a great post about using stuff twice. Most of us use those plastic grocery sacks as liners for our trash cans, but here are other uses of items from collected business cards to cardboard paper towel rolls.