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I know there’s been a lot said about Senator Larry Craig and his arrest and guilty plea to solicitation of sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Still, I thought I’d add a few points to the discussion:

I Am Not Gay: Its interesting language that Senator Craig uses in his press conference speech. He said “I’m not gay, I never have been gay.” He gets part of the Christian fundamentalist talk down, clearly making a statement that gays can change their stripes and become “normal people.” However, he uses the word “gay” which usually isn’t approved of in the social conservative movement. Just see the comments by Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Naugle stating that he can’t call them gay, because they can’t be happy in the homosexual lifestyle. It’s almost a red flag that Craig used the word “gay” in his denial, just like he seems to how signals that would make a trained police officer think there was a solicitation for sex.

Of course there is an irony that the conservative Mayor Naugle is leading a charge against restroom sex in Florida, but the two recent, notable arrests are both Republican lawmakers – one in Florida, even.

Entrapment: While most conservative talk show hosts and other Republican politicos have pretty much condemned Senator Craig for being a pervert, there’s a small minority who are trying to dismiss this as an entrapment scenario that was made to snare Republicans. Heck, he never whipped it out, did he?

While on the good side, I’m happy that they are talking about entrapment, which I don’t think is an effective way to get criminals and really is more an invasion of privacy, it’s being hailed in public with such looky-loo shows as NBC’s To Catch a Predator series. It’s interesting that the family values group touts these entrapment scenarios as being so good to keep these guys off the streets, and put them together with harsh fines, but the activity that they are meant to stop is never actually happened. It’s all about trying to make a crime about intent, which is close to thoughtcrime.

The entrapment issue also goes into the social and political right’s attempt to show themselves as victims. So put upon is the team that promotes themselves as the family values group, they feel that they are being targeted at all times. Here you have Tom Delay, not really defending Senator Craig on NBC’s Today Show yesterday, but trying to say that the media was just focusing on the poor, fallen Republicans and not the foibles of the other side of the aisle. Of course, the answers he gave were deflections of what Matt Lauer was asking. Still, the fact is, if you promote family values and fiscal responsibility, and you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you shouldn’t try to pretend that it’s being unfairly covered.

Of course there will be plenty of talk about the officer’s handling of the arrest, and if he acted appropriately when talking to Senator Craig, calling him a liar.

The Outing of Tearoom Sex: This has been hilarious. It’s fun to watch the media have to cover the ins and outs of sex in public bathrooms. They all look very uncomfortable. It reminds me of the Bobbit case where anchors has to start saying the word “penis.” Of course penis is all over TV now. We’ll have to see if toe tapping starts popping up in comedy shows.

Of course, the spotlight does create two problems. One is that we’ll have many more straight guys worrying that someone is going to solicit them in the bathroom now that they think they know the signals. The other is once again gays are being painted as all desiring restroom sex. You get an opinion from people that all gays are lewd and want to get it on in bathrooms, even if media types try to state that most out gays really don’t do this.

It’s All About Power: You see Republicans condemning Senator Craig stating that he pleaded guilty for a lewd act, but the talk is different for Republican David Vittner who was caught in a sex scandal for hiring call girls. Certainly part of it is the homosexual act vs. the more family-friend heterosexual cheating on your wife. It’s doubtful that trotting out your wife and saying that she and God forgives you will work for Senator Craig. Redemption seems to be a very fluid thing with Republicans who seem to be happy with Vittner, but already condemning and distancing themselves from Craig. Perhaps Craig in his speech didn’t ask for forgiveness as Vittner did.

What the Republicans are more worried about is that the Senator will cost them a Senate seat in 2008, and they would rather dump him now and get the Republican governor of Idaho to appoint a new Senator who can be a new incumbent in the next race. They don’t feel they can defend Senator Craig, and it seems like they may know there’s something more behind it, and want to get him off the stage.

Also there’s the desire for power that keeps a man like Craig living a secret life. He can’t be open as long as he still has to play the game, and vote on family values issues. They talk about how sad it is that he can’t be who he is, but I think of it as a trade off for the position he now holds, and what compromises he has to make to keep it.

Sexuality: When ever these scandals happen, I’m always amused how they always conclude that he’s gay since he was soliciting a man. Not that I’m trying to deflect from those of us who are gay just because I don’t want him to join the club, but he might be bisexual, or even straight. I guess I see that sexuality can be a little more fluid. Just because a guy is looking for anonymous sex with men, doesn’t necessarily make me think they are necessarily gay, but more opportunists. Really, it’s harder to get women to give you a free quickie blowjob in a random spot. Perhaps the guy does love his wife, but he likes variety, or he just isn’t getting his needs met. It’s easier to trace a transaction from a sex worker than just trying to get a little action in a cruise-y restroom, so when you see David Vittner getting in trouble for paying for his diaper fetish, you might choose to take your libido to a random spot.

Of course the Senator seems to have some other rumors following him and seems to talk about Bill Clinton as a “nasty, naughty boy” in a voice that sounds like Stewie from Family Guy, so in this case a spade may be a spade. It’s too bad he chose a life that keeps him in the closet, and unable to control himself.
eggwards: (Uphill Climb)
I've been seeing more and more stories that are bringing up the "Broken Army" clock. It's a timetable for when our armed forces will be pushed beyond their limits, and start becoming ineffective. Time's Joe Klein has one here.

The problem isn't all with the fact we've had our forces on several tours in Iraq and Afganistan, including extended 15 month tours. There's also the factor that military equipment, much of it designed for shorter strikes, is breaking down much faster than expected. Of course, the Iraqi forces aren't ready to take our place, because there's not a desire to replace the American forces. It's easier to oppose them than to actually take command of the country.

If months now, calls for the president's administration to set timelines have been greeted by the president's standard refrain that a timeline for withdrawal just gives the enemy a timeline to wait it out. Well, it's seems that there's no stated timeline needed. Shias, Shites, other forces in the country knew all along the goal was to wait out the occupation. They counted more on our growing discontent, but it's our lack of ability that will send us packing.

What's sad is we look weak, just when we don't need to. We look weak for going in and getting bogged down in something we shouldn't have done in the first place. We may posture against Iran and North Korea, but except for bombing raids, can we really put the fear into them to keep them in line, since we have so little diplomatic credit?

What will be interesting is to see how the administration spins a troop reduction in Iraq. will it be the "strategic redeployment" that's been called for, or will we suddenly try to declare "Mission Accomplished!" once again? While Bush and his administration seem to be oblivious or at least in denial about their actions, it's going to be tough for other Republicans who will be out on the 2008 campaign trail to find a way to spin this.

How does one say now that we have to wind it down, without admitting the obvious, we can't take on a foe without making bigger sacrifice. With 2008 in the balance, now's not the time to ask for a draft, and it would take months to demand more equipment with money we're already borrowing at too fast of a rate.

It's over, but it's not. The surge cannot sustain itself and we're going to start withdrawal. Just how fast, how much, and what it will labeled as are the questions.

I wish we could go back to the 80's where it was the Soviet Union was in this mess and not us.
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I kind of feel like this guy today.

With all the rain we've been having, he safely moved from the pond behind the building at work to the front walkway.

Couple of notes today.

➠ I need to go find the Kwik-E-Mart in town. Given that 7-11 started in Dallas, it's no suprise that one of the Simpson Movie tie-in stores is here. I wish i was more excited about the Simpsons movie, though. All those years on TV, so much of it feels like a re-tread to me.

➠ Well, there's never a real surprise with the Bush administration - well, maybe that he let the fines stick for now, just taking away Scooter's prison sentence. Don't worry, when the heat dies down, Scooter will get the full pardon. It's nice to know the administration is consistent for making sure the loyalists will reap the rewards, even if you are just a fall guy.

What kind of world is it where a person convicted of perjury (correction, obstruction of justice - sorry) in the case of divulging state secrets serves no time, while a celebutard manages to at least serve time for driving without a license?

➠ I'm almost finished with a book on Benjamin Franklin. Over the last couple of years I've read a lot on Revolutionary war figures, Adams, Washington, Jefferson and now Franklin. I guess i wanted to understand more about the founding fathers, and see if I can come to my own conclusion as what they wanted this country to be. Here's one thing, Adams was the most devout, and he didn't go to church often. Let's just say these guys were very tolerant, and not very observant of religion, despite what's said about the forming of our nation.

Franklin though seems less put upon a pedestal, perhaps because he wasn't president, but more that he seemed like the kindly grandfather to the whole process. He was certainly more folksy and didn't try to show that he was a great thinker even though he was one of the most influential people in both science and letters of his day.

Still, he seems funny, more of a clown with clever witticisms than the others, mainly because he was very quotable, where the others were more long winded. Still, we owe a lot to the man, not only from his inventions and work on such things as ballooning and the foundations of modern electrical use, but his ability (and well-traveled-ness) to see the nation as a whole, and not just 13 separate colonies and later states. Outside of kings, he was pretty much the most famous man in the world at the time of his death, having spent time in both the new and old world.

I'm not sure there's another Revolutionary War figure I really want to read about now. i think i have my opinions down, and i know the major players. what i do know is the slow build up in executive branch power over the last six years would have alarmed the founding fathers as much as it should alarm us.
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Saturday was the runoff for Dallas City Mayor. The race had made news nationally as one candidates, former city councilman Ed Oakley is openly gay. I'm sure that each campaign will say that it didn't factor in the race, but when you had African American preachers telling their congregations not to vote for the Democratic-aligned Oakley because he's gay, and you have other right-wing groups making calls to citizens stating that Mr. Oakley will push the homosexual agenda (and therefore you need to vote for Tom Leppert and family values) you know it is an issue.

Chris and I did our duty this afternoon. There was a short line, even though turnout was considered high. Less than 20% of citizens voted, so you have to think that there was a lot of money spent with very little payoff when 80% of people didn't even respond to it.

Tom Leppert won 58% of the vote, so it was a pretty solid victory. The map, as usual in Dallas showed a very big divide between the more affluent north side of the city and the poorer south. Mr. Leppert ran as a business man trying to bring in new ideas after a long time mayor has decided to step down. You could say that he was pretty Republican. Mr. Oakley touted his long time service on city council.

Had Mr. Oakley won, he would have been the first openly gay mayor of a top 20 city in the US. There's gay mayors in Paris and Berlin, but the US has lagged behind in electing gays to higher offices.

One of the bigger things that bothered me about Mr. Leppert was the wonderful phrase "I'm going to run government like a business." Years ago I'd be all for that, but these days i know better. Those who think government can be run that way tend to find that they can't run government at all. It's a completely different animal. You just can't fire your city council, or an elected department head, or often, a civil servant when things go wrong. You also can't make a change without going through layer after layer of bureaucracy. You can't make shareholders happy by cutting costs. It's a naive position.

Sure, I voted for Mr. Oakley because he's one of us - I didn't even know he was gay when the regular election had come up. at that time he was one of 10 candidates running. Once it got down to two, the choice for me was pretty clear. Dallas isn't a city in trouble, and doesn't need many changes except for trying to develop it's south side, but an insider would do that better, one that had the ear of the south side rather than a newcomer that's going to represent the businesses of the north side. I don't think in the long run it really mattered what Mr. Oakley's orientation was, but it was a nice little additional connection.

I'm pretty sure that Dallas as a whole isn't ready to have a gay mayor. It's a surprisingly closer thing than I would have thought, but still, Dallas is still safely led by a heterosexual. A recent story in Time touting the "lavender" nature of Dallas - such as having a lesbian sheriff and a large gay population- seemed to draw more concern here than favor at how open Dallas could be.

Dallas might be more liberal than it was...but not that liberal. It's still a part of Texas. It's still Bush country (thought not as much as Utah), but the cities are diversifying, and both Dallas and Houston have had women and African American mayors. Perhaps the gay mayor will be right around the corner.
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Well, it seems that our may rain showers are starting to go away and the Summer heat will be building in. If it wasn't raining so much, our Spring would have been really nice this year. Still, I do love being able to look out of all the windows at work and see the thunder and lightning come up over the forest-line and over the pond.

Well, the topic tonight is Presidential Candidates. I haven't rally said anything about current events lately, so I'll some quick observations about the big candidates. Of course I do have to say that this is way to early for these people to be running, and I wish that the money being spent on these damned campaigns could go to something good - like saving sea turtles or something, but if people want to throw their money away right now, then so be it.

On the Republican side there's three front runners and one shadow candidate that will start his run officially next month. of course there's Ron Paul, congressman from Texas who's really more Libertarian than Republican since he isn't for the war, isn't for spending programs, and isn't for legislating morality. It's funny, but two out of three of those issues Spending programs and legislating morality aren't true conservative issues - you know, less government, less intrusion. Just goes to show you that there's little conservatism being practiced these days.

The Republican Party is trying to quash Ron paul right now to keep him from challenging the other contenders who are mostly on the same page. They tend to play a game of "I'm more moral than you." It's Rudi Guliani's game to lose there.

So, let's start with Rudi, the 9-11 Mayor. The guy running on the events of one day, and it's aftermath. Still, he was hated for his job running New York City prior to 9-11. I can't see how he can run on that record, so he doesn't. He runs on a platform of security and continuing the war on terror as is. Well all of that needs a serious overhaul, and none of the Republican Candidates seem to be for that.

What scares me about Rudi most is he's a total control freak. Where Bush has worked to add powers to the presidency I'd expect rudi to really try to use them. When we need to be reconfirming the separation of powers, well, that's not Rudi's way. All of those Bush signing statements saying that he doesn't have to abide by laws, expect that and more with Rudi.

McCain is nuts. I liked him back in 2000. He seemed to have his own opinions, but that was before the war. now he seems hell bent to support the war, even though he could probably get some milage about wanting to get out of Iraq. he really doesn't have much else to say though. it's like every issue he had back then has been dismissed by the war. Where's our reformer?

One good thing about McCain is hat he's against the use of torture. I wish that all the candidates, Democrat or Republican would take this stance. I'd also like to hear the candidates clearly say that they will restore Habeus Corpus. another issue the current administration has given us and no one talks about.

Then there's Romney. Mitt is the guy who has no real convictions, he just wants to get elected and will say anything he thinks will work. He's a career politician. The Mormon thing doesn't bother me too much, but he's just a non-substantive Ken doll trying to run from the things he said to get elected the first time.

Lastly on the Republican side (well, I'm not covering all 11 candidates) is former senator and actor, Fred Thompson. You loved him on Law and Order, and we've already had an actor for a President, so why not? He seems more like an actor being placed in the role by people who don't think the other candidates are any good, rather than really doing this for himself. We'll see how good of an actor he really is.

On the Democratic side there's John Edwards, who despite having a great last name, and more policy positions out there than just about anyone, still doesn't seem to have the gravitas of other candidates. It's kind of sad really, because he brings up good issued, but everyone things of him as Captian Goodhair. Why people seem to dismiss Edwards, but listen to Romney I'll never understand.

Then there's Hillary Rodham Clinton. There's something really offputting about her, and also something that just screams opportunistic. I'd like to think that it isn't because she's a woman, and women in power...well, they are often thought of as bitches. Really, haven't we gotten past that? She does lead the pack in making everyone place healthcare as a major issue in this election. What's funny is that her and Obama's health car proposal is very similar to what Romney was proposing in Massachusetts, but wouldn't dare bring up in the national campaign.

Hillary just makes me worry about having a another Clinton administration. It's not that I don't like Bill, but I liked GHW Bush, but look what he next Bush in office gave us. I think we might be better off to have a different family and different advisors in the White House.

Obama seems to be the most intriguing. maybe it's because we still feel that there's something fresh about him, and we don't know everything about him yet. as the campaign wears on, that may change, but his message seems to be hopeful, not shrill. I'd love to see one of his speeches. He seems to be much more impassioned than the others. What I really want to know more about is what he'd do as opposed to the feel good stuff, but I suppose that will come. I'm just wondering, when we need diplomacy, will he be up to the challenge of foreign policy? Would he be a JFK, or more of a Carter, who got in but wasn't always sure what to do in the job?

Lastly, there's one candidate that I would vote for right away if he were to run, and that's Al Gore. I think he has the best experience and is the most presidential guy out there. yes, i do think he's raise taxes and make more expenditures on cleaning the environment, but i think that's a bullet we're just going to have to bite. any candidate who says he won't raise taxes is just driving us into the ground after the spending frenzy of the Bush years. I think Gore is one of the only people who could actually sell that to the people and not have a horrible backlash.

The rest of the candidates are just sideshows, and I think most of them will drop out over the summer when their money dries up - dries up much sooner because of the early start. of course starting this early also means that by next february we won't want to vote for any of these guys anymore!
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❄ Other people in the DFW area have been talking about snowflurries today. I haven't seen any here, so I must be in the warm part of town. Still, there's predictions of more as we drop below freezing tonight. I doubt any will stick, but it is still strange. I'm guessing that this is going to put a big damper on the Easter Pet Parade in Lee Park tomorrow, which sucks. We always see some great folks and their pets out there. Last year temps were in the 90's!

❆ About a month ago I saw a story stating that gas prices shouldn't go to $3.00 a gallon this year (in Texas). At that time prices had risen to $2.25. Now the price is 2.75. I'm going to guess that we'll hit $3.00 right after April 15th. *sigh*

❅ So I've been catching up with episodes of 24 this weekend. It's the first season that I've watched this show as I've seen a few people rave about it. I have one question: Has the show always been this bad, or is this season just terrible?

It's not necessarily the acting, but it's just the writing that seems awful. They have an interesting scenario, a suitcase nuke goes off, and not only do we see how we try to get those responsible, but we also see leader's response to it. The problem is, they throw away characters all the time. Someone shows up for an hour or two and then they disappear, having little impact on the plot arch of the show. Then there's the need to give the series regulars something to do, so they look for moles and have office romances and suspect each other of drinking on the job, none of which is interesting or does anything to move the story forward.

I wonder if the writers are also writers of videogames, as there is a similarity of plot devices where you go from one situation to another on a path to the finish. There's several small bosses that must be defeated (or as Jack Bauer does, interrogate them) until you finally get to the big boss.

There's also a lot of M. Night Shamalan "Ohh! What a twist!" moments that aren't as big a reveals as they seem to think.

I'll watch the rest of the season just to see what craziness they pull out to show that it's not the Muslims or the Russians or even the Cheney-like vice president. It's probably Jack's Dad who was seen in two episodes early on and promptly forgotten. After it's over, it's getting deleted off the Tivo.

❄Otherwise, Chris and I were at the local mall last weekend and it was a little dead. We walked by center court and there was the Easter bunny sitting there waiting for children to come up and get photos. At this mall he's a overly large brown furry with a nice waistcoat and tie. He was sitting on a park bench and the area was decorated like it was New York's Central Park. Why this was, I have no clue.

We're looking at the rather-lonely bunny from the second level, and Chris asks me if i found the bunny a little creepy. I said no and asked him what he meant.

He says, "Well you have a guy in a bunny suit waiting on a park bench for kids to come and sit on his lap."

Yeah, when you put it like that, yeah, it's creepy.
eggwards: (Labeled Bear)
A who's who of entertainers--from Tom Cruise to Tom Hanks to Tom Petty--has agreed to assemble Friday night February 2nd, for an unprecedented telethon on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox to aid the victims of this weeks week's horrific Mooninite attacks in Boston.

The live two-hour event, called America: A Tribute to Paranoia, will "raise funds and raise the spirits of all who have been touched by the horrific tragedy that has struck America, but only caused a problem in Boston" according to a joint press release Tuesday from the four networks.

"America: A Tribute to Paranoia will seek to unite a shaken city with words and music while paying tribute to the indomitable spirit, unfaltering fortitude and courage that truly makes America 'the land where people can get scared by a guerilla marketing campaign,' " the press release reads.

As one of the night's stars, George Clooney says of the event, "We are shocked and our hearts go out to those who were kept in absolute terror by the appearance of these plastic and battery-powered devices. A telethon is just our way of trying to get back to normalcy." He said they hope to raise tens of dollars for the effected victims.

Billed as "an unforgettable and uplifting evening filled with music, memories, hope and inspiration," the event will be simulcast live and commercial-free on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox from 9-11 p.m. ET and 8-10 p.m. CT (it will be tape-delayed in Mountain and Pacific time zones). In addition, the feed is being made available to all other broadcast and cable networks and radio stations, with the Bravo, CMT, E!, Style Network, The N and The Knitting Channel among those planning to carry the telethon. Turner Network stations have declined to participate.

The sheer star power is staggering. Participants will include Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Tom Petty, along with (in alphabetical order) Bon Jovi, Amy Brenneman, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, Cameron Diaz, Celine Dion with Rosemary Butler, the Dixie Chicks, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Calista Flockhart, Dennis Franz, Kelsey Grammer, Faith Hill, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Larry the Cable Guy, Conan O'Brien, Ray Romano, Julia Roberts, Paul Simon, Will Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Sela Ward, Robin Williams, Stevie Wonder and "Weird Al" Yankovic, with more likely to be added in coming hours.

All funds raised by America: A Tribute to Paranoia will be earmarked for the post light-brite attack relief effort.



(This is all in fun, folks - don't take it seriously)
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Yesterday I decided to test my car and actually run out on the ice, making the 25 mile trip to work. The car did alright, especially going over the Bush Turnpike, where a long stretch of it is elevated over the Trinity River. There was plenty of ice and snow, and there was more than a few cars on the side of the road, in ravines, and turned around the wrong way. the work ranch is pretty far out, so there wasn't much sand on the roads out that way.

Chris' car, which needs some new tires, didn't make it very far. After sliding across an intersection, he went back home.

After an hour and a half on the road, I finally made it to work. A good half of my co-workers didn't come in. Still, I didn't come the furthest distance, one guy drove 45 miles to get there. I worried about getting home, but enough of the ice and slush had evaporated, that i only had to keep it under 30 mph getting back on the Bush Tollway. Driving home took an hour.

Here's why actually braving it, and going to work was good. Today management made a decision and told everyone that didn't come in that they would be charged with an unpaid personal day. Besides the fact that many people stayed home because schools were canceled, I was amazed that they would penalize people for doing the safe thing and stay off the road. The moral of the story is: risking your life, or at least your property ,is what you should be doing for this job. This job that doesn't pay you enough as is.

there was a lot of grumbling, and so management decided that we would open Saturday to allow people to make up the time they missed. Given that it's optional is one thing, but still, it seems rather rude to ask people to give up another day when the reason for the missed time was not of their making.

To add insult to injury, another winter blast is due on Friday night/Saturday morning, so the roads may be iced up once again. Management will put people up overnight in a hotel some what close to work tomorrow night just so they can make it in on Saturday. I'm guessing the money they may spend for hotel rooms might cost more than actually giving people sick time for Wednesday.

It seems as though the company doesn't like to close sites for weather related emergencies, but a snow day in Texas is much different than a snow day in Boston. They need to know that we aren't prepared for this stuff, and productivity hours will be lost. Is it too much to ask for a little compassion on this?

Heck, I got paid for two days that we were closed after September 11th and for another four that we lost to Tropical Storm Allison when our building was flooded out - all in the same year. There were also two days lost to evacuations for Hurricane Rita two years ago. Luckily Dallas isn't susceptible to Hurricanes.

With the way things are going, weather-wise, I guess I'll need to make sure my tires are in good shape and inflated properly. There's going to be a few more slick drives before this winter is over.
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only holiday I know of that I get along with the bank tellers, but not with much of the rest of the world. Bank tellers get Columbus Day, but I do not. Most people don't get this day off because it is close to other holidays. Personally, I think we could honor Dr. King and still move this date to August when we don't have other holidays.

Still, much like the vacation day I took a month and a half ago, having this day off allowed me to miss the driver's pinball game that goes on in Dallas every time there is an ice storm. Chris was not so lucky, but he managed to get to and from work just fine. I got to sit on the couch and read comics and finally get through some of my Netflix movies while Joey the Dog harassed the Roomba cleaning upstairs.

We went out to Chili's tonight for dinner and the place was nearly deserted. I'm not sure if it was the cold, or the fact that the waitress who will not touch food was working. We've had her once, and she's horrible. Apparently we insulted her by not coloring a pepper for charity - you know, spend a buck for charity and color the logo to go on the wall to show how well the store has done getting people to fork over extra money. When we turned her down, I guess we ruined her percentage of sales or something, so her service for the rest of the meal was terrible. We call her "no touchy" (said like David Spade's character from "The Emperor's New Groove") as she has other people bring out all of her food and drinks, and has a busboy clear it. she never touches a plate, on out table or anyone else's. Very strange.

At dinner I told Chris that while watching the news in the afternoon, one of the weather forecasters said that he new that some precipitation would be coming down on Wednesday, but said we would have to watch the 6 o'clock news to find out what kind it will be. This was one of the dumbest teases I'd ever heard. For one thing, we can all check the internet to find out it's going to snow on Wednesday, but you don't tease the weather, you tease that something in your house can kill you, or that a celebrity was caught doing something. Personally I'm waiting for "We have video of children having sex. Find out if it's yours at ten!"

With snow in our forecast, that just means the local news can continue to train cameras on the freeway mixmasters to try to pinpoint when ice form. then they hope an accident will occur during the newscast.

Finally, Chris and I finally figured out what the cable channel LOGO needs. They need to take Lifetime movies and recast the leads as same-sex couples. I'm not sure who would play Valerie Bertinelli, or Meredith Baxter Burney, but think of the possibilities.
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One of the ongoing stories since November's election was the election of Rep Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first muslim member of congress. Really, this shouldn't be a big deal. It wasn't that he fooled his constituents for voting for someone by hiding his faith. Clearly that didn't bother the people who voted for him and thought that he'd make a good congressperson.

The problem is, when someone is different, when someone doesn't believe the way you think they should, then comes trouble. Add the current demonization and lack of understanding that goes with Islam these days, well, then the crazy comes out.

You've probably already heard that Rep. Ellison has been under attack for choosing to use the Koran, rather than the normal Bible for his ceremonial swearing-in ceremony. I put ceremonial in italics because its nothing but a photo op. the real swearing in takes place as a group, with no books of any sort.

Still, Virgina representative Virgil Goode stated that Ellison should be barred from using the Koran, and that allowing it's use could not only lead to a host of other books (right-wing talk show host Dennis Prager suggested Mein Kampf), but also lead to more Muslims getting involved with the government. Worst of all, Goode said, without better immigration laws more Muslims might come into the country and follow Ellison's lead.

Of course, Ellison is born and raised in the United States, and he is not Arab, but hey, why let such facts get in the way when we've got an enemy to fight? Trying to create a boogyman, even within the ranks of Congress is great for your political career, right?

Even though I see the book, whether it be Bible or Koran or Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals, as mearly window dressing, other's take it seriously. Why would you want any elected official to use a book that they don't have any belief in to use for an oath? It's like crossing your fingers behind your back.

Well, Ellison pulled a nice trump card today. Not backing down from his convictions, he has requested to borrow from the Library of Congress a copy of the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson. Not only is a historical relic, but it also shows that the founding fathers were much more tolerant and eager to learn the ways of others than many of our current representatives.

Given that the book was owned by a prominent and well-respected Virginian is only icing on the cake.

Here in a time that we should be embracing the fact that Islam will be represented in our Congress, especially that it's a moderate incarnation of the Muslim faith, we shouldn't be worrying how a representative goes about his inauguration more than we should be thinking about how well he'll do his job. We should be concerned that he's a representative for the people, those of his faith and not.

Still, we should embrace the opportunity to learn more about Islam in order to understand better the world that we seem to be stumbling through so poorly, and to learn about the diversity of our own country. There's millions of Muslims already here, whether through immigration, or US citizens. We have those born into the faith and those converted. Sunni, Shiite, or Nation of Islam. They along with everyone else make up our quilt.

The religious beliefs of a man shouldn't scare us, only how he chooses to present and use them. A book is only a book, despite what it has written in it. Only a man can give it power and meaning. Suddenly we have people trying to create fear using a book and a religion they know little about. We should be better than that.

I'd suggest another book for Rep. Goode... The Zax by Dr. Suess.
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Yesterday President Bush said that he’s still digging in his heels as he tries to go against the tide of advice to begin a withdrawl of troops in Iraq. The story, from CNN, is HERE. Quote:

Bush said that during his consultations he had heard some "interesting" ideas, but would not specifically address them, and some "ideas that would lead to defeat."

"And I reject those ideas," he said. "Ideas such as leaving before the job is done. Ideas such as not helping this (Iraqi) government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job."


Just how far in denial is this guy? Somebody please tell me what the “job” is and how we are supposed to finish it, let alone how we are supposed to “win” someone else’s civil war? Wouldn’t winning a civil war mean we need to take a side? Hell, most politicians don’t even know the difference between a Shiite Muslim and a Sunni Muslim.

I guess that I was in favor of the Colin Powell strategy of fixing what you broke, and it certainly looks bad to leave Iraq in such a mess, but really, someone please tell me what the positives of staying are. Iraq itself doesn’t seem ready to reconcile and build for the future, so why should we try to do the impossible for them?

I understand that the President is bull-headed, and he’s not taking advice – at least not from the Iraq Study Group, but does he think that for the next two years he can just go about continuing the war in the same manner he has for the last four? Does he really just want the effort to just coast its way to 2009 when his successor takes over? What is the good in that? If this is being done just to allow John McCain to be the heir apparent, as he seems to be the only “stay the course” candidate, then that effort is failing as McCain’s numbers are falling right along with the President’s.

I remember in the last couple of years of Bill Clinton’s administration that he was criticized that he was making a lot of moves to shore up his legacy, such as the Good Friday Agreement between Britain and Ireland. If this is also the case with Bush, then he’s only doing damage to his and his family’s reputation as he continues to go down this path.

The Iraq Study Group’s recommendations seemed sound. I wouldn’t expect them all to be implemented, but the main message is that there’s nothing to win in Iraq, and we should cut bait in a controlled manner as the costs, both human and economically are not worth the effort. Apparently Bush can’t or won’t see the same conclusion, so hopefully the House of Representatives will bring this to a halt by refusing to fund the continued war. It seems our only option to stop this continued farce.

Of course, the conspiracy theorist in me is thinking, is this what the President wants, a showdown for the funding of the war so that he can go on TV and demonize the Congress as being against the troops and unwilling to support the “war on terror”? Hopefully the American people can see through that and will continue to support a pull out from Iraq, and we should applaud efforts to continue to work in Afghanistan and fight the real war there, where we still have allies.

On the other hand, perhaps this “taking a stand” crap just shows Bush is just worried about his Soy Intake making him less manly.
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A Wall Street journal article on Blackberry Usage states that there’s several families who’s lives are interuppted by Blackberry usage. I’m sure this would also apply to other SmartPhones, such as the Trio that feature both email and text messaging, as well as games.

The story states that parents are often off messaging and typing and the kids can’t get their attention. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t bad parents before the smartphone. Still, the money quote:

Emma Colonna wishes her parents would behave, at least when they're out in public. The ninth-grade student in Port Washington, N.Y., says she has caught her parents typing emails on their Treos during her eighth-grade awards ceremony, at dinner and in darkened movie theaters. "During my dance recital, I'm 99% sure they were emailing except while I was on stage," she says. "I think that's kind of rude."


Also today was a shot from the other side. Parents are very concerned about their kids text messaging habits. These little wunderkinden are texting up a storm, sometimes sending 100 messages a day, and carrying on multiple conversations. Sadly, I’m much more like their parents, barely capable of packing out a message in 30 minutes on my Motorola phone.

Personally, I’m not a fan of text messaging, not because it’s annoying, but that it’s so dammed difficult. One of the few reasons that I would like to have the same Treo phone that Chris has, as it has a tiny, but full keyboard. I never learned to type, officially, but at least the QWERTY layout is familiar.

I actually could use a new phone. My little Motorola is starting to die in calls (well, it actually always did that, but now it’s the battery, not the Cingular network, which loves to drop my calls around the 8 minute mark, consistently). The phone has also reboots when you try to use the car charger, or when you close the phone too fast.

Of course, the phone isn’t two years old yet, so I wouldn’t get a special rate yet. Still, I want one with a better camera than my blurry phone, you know, for LJ pics.

One problem Cingular has, at least in our area, is that most of the phones are junk. I’d like one with the little flip-out keyboard, where text-messaging would be pleasant, even with my fat fingers trying to hit 3-4 keys on each punch. I think Verizon has this, but not Cingular. They would like me to buy an expensive smartphone.

Smartphones are big and bulky. I don’t need something like that when I don’t even talk on the phone that much. I don’t even come close to using my minutes each month. Thought it would be nice to get email, why should I get all the spam I get each day on my phone? The one thing I’d like about a smart phone is to have something where I can play Tetris type games like Chris does, often when we’re at a restaurant.

Of course, I’m trying to keep my phone going long enough to see if Apple really does release an iPhone. If it’s decent, I’d likely buy it. Of course, until it’s actually out on shelves, it’s vaporware.

So, back to the stories above. Both of these stories are just another lamentation that we no longer interact with people. It’s poppycock, of course, now we just interact with people in different ways, and in much greater distances. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t even think that I would be friends with someone in the next county, let alone the next state. Now it’s easy. Perhaps easier than actually talking to our neighbor.

Communications technology is a bit of a crutch. It’s easier to hide behind a text message, or lie in an IM. You certainly don’t have to show your real feelings over the phone. Shyness for many people seems to vanish when their IM or use a chat client. There’s so many different ways of communication now, whether broadcasting, podcasting and blogging to several, to the targeted text messages.

Somehow, the idea of getting to know our neighbors or even those we’re near too becomes so much more difficult. It’s interesting how there were visions of the future where people would nest and never go out, just watching TV in their homes. That vision is somewhat true, except that the media is becoming more mobile. Now we’re still immersed in our own world, but that world now can go with us with our iPods and Zunes and car televisions and wireless internet at Starbucks.

Suddenly, distance is not an object when contacting someone, so our relationships have changed – quickly. Now there’s always somewhere to go when you find out that the local crowd has gone to pot, or you find that you just can’t talk to someone in person. This, is why we need the EHarmonies and Match.coms of the world, because the actual meeting, meeting someone blindly, in person is too scary to do. A few years ago, one would hope that they would bump into someone and fall in love, but now we can screen them online before ever meeting. It seems easier, with less risk.

Of course, grabbing the Blackberry allows you to create the interaction on your terms, on your time, a revolution begun with voicemail. We seem to be getting further and further away from actually having to interact with people when it’s inconvenient for us.

Still, maybe I should just buy the Tetris game for my phone and tune everyone out.

4-Play News

Dec. 2nd, 2006 12:29 pm
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Here's an actual television news teaser from the "Arctic Blast" coverage. "A cat trapped in an icy tree. The dramatic rescue, tonight at ten." Why the anchorman wasn't laughing his head off, I'll never know.

For the last couple of days there have been reporters near freeway overpasses all over the metroplex reporting if there is, or is not ice on the bridge. Like a NASCAR fan, what they're really wanting to see is a crash.

Still, the cat didn't get as much coverage as the lady who's car slid off the road and into a full apartment complex retention pond. That included helicopter coverage.
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There’s nothing worse than trying to launch the next cool device than having Bill Gates in a brown coat made to match the color of your music player (the coat actually has the Zune logo embroidered on it) Well, you could also add an unknown Seattle DJ.

Microsoft launched the Zune this morning. It’s their iPod rival, or at least they hope it is. They are spending a great deal of money to get this initial product off the ground.

Bill Gates is not a hipster, no one sees the man, who’s looking a little more like the Simpson’s Mr. Burns here, as a guy who hangs with Bono – except when Bono needs some more cash to fund a charity. Kids are not down with Bill Gates.

Really, Steve Jobs is much more rock-star like, and the events show it. Apple events tend to feature John Mayer or Alicia Keys. This morning’s Microsoft event featured the Secret Machines. Really, not a bad pickup, but then not big news, either.

Sure, a potential Zune or iPod buyer probably doesn’t care about Steve Jobs either, but who would you rather have at your product announcement? Gates should have given the spotlight over to Ryan Seacrest, who has more clout with the youngsters, or perhaps Mark McGrath, former Sugar Ray singer and Xtra host on TV. If they weren’t available, how about John Hodgeman, the PC guy in those Mac ads?

Chris and I were out at Target last night and they were setting up the display for the device that included two tied-down non-working mockups of the device. They looked like bricks with a screen, and the brown one looks…well, as ABC is calling their new gameshow, shat-tastic.

I could go on and on about how it’s a Toshiba Gigabeat player in Microsoft clothing, or how the file-sharing feature is hopelessly crippled, at least at launch, but here’s one of my problems with the device. It doesn’t have the address book. I don’t know how often I use the address book in my iPod. Of course it syncs up to my Mac’s address book pretty easily. The Zune also won’t play games, and at this time there’s no TV shows or podcasts available for it.

I also think the name is dumb…it’s supposed to sound like tune, but with a crazy z, which apparently is the next “X” thing. Now I thought the iPod was a dumb name as well, but Apple at least had the foresight to think that the device might be used for more than just music.

Still, Microsoft has a record of throwing enough money at a problem to eventually make something of it. The old joke is that it takes MS the third release to get it right. Eventually, Zune could hit the right group of features and start selling. Still they will probably never catch up with the engineering style that Apple has.

My big question is why start out with a 30gb model? . Truly it’s the 4 and 8gb iPod nanos that sell the best, moving many more units than the full-featured video iPods. I guess that you couldn’t get the Zune’s big “feature”, the crippled wireless music sharing, into that small of a package.

Don't get me started on the scam that is Microsoft Points. Remember the scheme to make money in Office Space?

For now, the Zune looks like a pretty boring device, but Microsoft has been chafing watching Apple steal away the lead in converging media and hardware. Microsoft knows that they must work harder to make sure they sell more copies of Windows Media Edition, and re-establish Windows Media Player as the dominate player. Having iTunes take that away is bad for Microsoft’s business. Now with Apple prepared to offer it’s own video solution next year, it’s even more important for Bill to get back some market share.

I’ve always found it interesting that Microsoft keeps trying to be a media company, but never seems to know how to implement it, whether it’s with MSN, MSNBC, or with the opinion site, Slate (now owned by the Washington Post). Microsoft wants to be a part of it, but never can establish the cool factor that would bring partners along. Microsoft, and Gates are always seen as the nerdy coders in the backroom, while Apple hangs out with Beck.

Still, Microsoft will buy or control what it can to have its place at the party, much like Anna Nicole’s former husband. He may not have the looks, but he’ll eventually get the girl.

Welcome to the Social, Bill. Now we’ll all be waiting to see what the rockstar has up his sleeve.
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I was thinking about a longer post, but I'll try to keep this short.

Tonight our national governing body decided to allow the president decide what is and isn't torture with only a few caveats.
They have added a clause that would allow American citizens to be labeled "enemy combatants" and be held indefinitely, just like those foreigners that we don't seem to care what happens to them.
The House has passed a bill that would allow the president and his agents to wiretap anyone without a warrant. It waits for Senate approval.

They have decided to forgo human rights for the idea of security and political gain. For a country founded on the ideals of liberty and equality, not only are we allowing our government to get away with horrible crimes, a large portion of the population seems to be for it, or at least uncaring.

When will it affect someone close to them, so they will wake up, and realize their own freedom could be taken so very easily?

I ask of all of you, please make sure you are registered to vote this year. Deadlines are fast approaching, and many of you, like myself, have moved in the past couple of years. At least allow yourself to be heard this year.

There needs to be a change this year before other things get passed. there has to be a break. When senators who have been tortured turn their backs and make political deals to allow them to run for the presidency in 2008, you wonder if anyone in Congress has any morals, any guts, or any sense.

I'm really ashamed of how we've gone in these last five years, and it's all been handed over so easily, so quickly by a populous who's motivated by the boogieman. Let it be known that yes, I think we should be aware, and should fight religious extremism (from all faiths - *looks at Tom Cruise*), but there's a right way to do it. If we're ever going to be a light for the world to see again, we need to step away from these dangerous policies, NOW.

What we're becoming now frightens me more than current terrorism. I wish it frightened others, too.
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I realized a couple of weeks ago, sometime after my birthday, that I'm a grown up. How do i know that? This year none of my family gave me cash in a birthday card. It's the first time it's ever happened. I guess as I'm now with my own relationship away from the parents, they didn't think I needed such little things.

My grandparents were usually the givers of such gifts for years and year. I could rack up an easy $100 between the two grandmothers, of course this was after the years where I still got toys and clothes for school. Always a problem with an August birthday, it's all about back-to-school shopping.

When my grandmothers passed a few years ago, the parents kept giving, but that normally wouldn't be more than $25. About the price of most of a tank of gas today, or the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee - yet it can feed an African Village!.

An aside. No one has ever bought me a "donation" as a present. Not that I want anyone to start. I'll be completely greedy and take that iTunes gift certificate over helping the Barton Springs Salamander any day.

So this year's card from my parents was just a card with my mother writing about all the fun medical problems they are going through (Dad - Prostate Cancer, Mom - Breast Cancer and she thinks she might have a colon thing. all new stuff to bring up with the doctor tomorrow for "family history"). It was bizarre.

I would have loved the cash, just as a little money that I didn't have to worry about, or budget, and it would be helpful on the trip, but hey, I'm making my own way now, right?

Other Things:

Chris worked so much over the last couple of weeks that his overtime allowed him to buy a new Xbox 360. He's been playing the Dawn of the Dead game, whatever it's called. Zombies in a Mall? I guess he'll now have something to do while I'm gone for a week. In hi-def, even.

I guess he'll have finished the game by the time I get back, so I have to decide whether to get him another game for his birthday, or re-take the TV from him.

Lastly...

So the biggest surprise in the news today was that they arrested someone for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. What the hell? They were still working on this case? I was thinking it had gone the way of OJ Simpson looking for the real killers. Apparently they needed something for the next episode of CBS's Cold Case.

I'm firmly of the belief that the parents at least had something to do with it, even if it was just to introduce their daughter to this schoolteacher guy who ran away to Thailand. Thailand? Isn't that where lecherous men have sex with underage kids?

Still, why would a relative stranger come in, kill a kid in the basement, and run off - pretty much unnoticed, and run off to Thailand? Is there a motive? Sadly the media loves this case - more than missing blonde girls in Aruba, so expect to be hearing about this for weeks.

Still, what it says to criminals everywhere is don't mess with our nation's precious, precious prosti-tots and expect to get away with it!
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✩A couple of people at work have stopped me and said that I look like I've been loosing weight. Maybe it's because I have to pull my pants up as my belts are getting loose, and I've been too cheap to get a new one (and I really like my brown belt!). Thank goodness that Texas Tax-Free weekend is coming up.

Still, two people have noticed, and that feels good - now I'm waiting for all the hotties to notice. Chris has noticed as well, but he's biased. :-)

✡Mel Gibson. What a stupid guy. If you're going to be drunk, shut up - and rent a limo. We know his thoughts on Jews, and we know that he's not really fond of the gays either, so if he pisses off the Scientologists and the Kaballists, then he's pretty well fucked in Hollywood, isn't he?

Luckily the heatwave is taking our mind off the trouble in Lebanon, which took our mind off of the trouble in Iraq, which of course took our mind off of the trouble that is Lindsey Lohan.

✪Cuba. I guess since it's been somewhat verboten for americans to travel there for the last 50 years, you really want to see what it's like. Of course I find the ads for Cuba that are in Canada interesting. Heck, they have nationalized health care - but you have to drive a car with fins (maybe not the worst trade off).

It will be interesting to see what happens as power shifts. I need to get with the couple of Cuban Americans I know to get their opinions, but is an Americanized Cuba better than just letting them finding their own path without our interference. Heck, they might not like the new Castro in town without the help of those who are now americans.

✦I'm positively giddy that there's a Hurricane Chris right now. Unfortunately Hurricane Mike won't come for a few weeks more if this global warming keeps going.

❁Dang that Angela! Will you just be Auf'ed already!?
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So, except for the sentencing, the Enron trial is pretty much wrapped up, and Mr. Skilling and Mr. Lay are going to jail for what should be a long time. It's interesting how they tried to prove that the downfall of the nation's then seventh largest company was the result of a few bad decisions, or negligence on the part of Mr. Lay who apparently became CEO of this company without the ability to observe or act. That's called a figurehead, and even though there are some out there, they wouldn't be running a company for long.

No, what it was was people who got greedy, and learned all the loophole tricks of the time. They instructed a workforce to make these moves, and the workforce went along with it because they were reaping in the bounty.

Houston benefitted greatly from Enron, as their workers had disposable income, bout expensive houses and lofts, and ate at the best restaurants. I remember after Enron collapsed, the midtown housing market fell and several downtown businesses closed because the out of work employees could no longer afford to go there.

Enron left it's mark on Houston. Not only was there the familiar "E" logo that appeared on the nightly news for weeks, but much of the arts community, public events, and even a YMCA branch named for Mr. Lay, changed the town. That money has dried up as well, and one keeps wondering when that "Y" will change it's name. After the fall, Mrs. Lay even opened a shop to sell extra belongings for cash for the upcoming trial.

Some will say Enron was a lesson, but I'm sure we'll see some of the same old stuff the next time a group of guys think their smart and can develop a get rich system, not knowing what kind of turbulence they'll create in their wake. Greed's just not something people shy away from often.

________________________

Oh, so I found out my friend Pete ([livejournal.com profile] trapezebear) is in the Advocate this month with his chosen family of four. It's the Advocate's big polyamory issue (Matty, take note), and of course we all knew that gay marriage would lead to this, didn't we?

Of course, how do I find out about this? Not from Pete, or even from LJ, but from the American Family Association (AFA)! Yes, the AFA in their fight against Ford Motors has decided to email their supporters (and anyone else on the list) to tell them what an outrage this is, and that Ford is just flaunting it in the faces of right-minded Americans.

They provided a link to captured pages of the magazine, showing the Ford and Volvo ads closely linked not only to Homosexuality, but the unnatural state of more than one of them living together!

Shocking I tell you, though it is good to see Pete again, in 2-D form.

What scares me is that Donald Wildmon subscribes to the Advocate - or at least picks it up at Barnes and Noble.

I say we get him a subscription to A Bear's Life.
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Being from Texas, and knowing the wonder that is Sugar Land, I would have some familiarity with the former exterminator turned Hammer who announced that he's giving up his post in June. Of course, there's nothing really altruistic in what Tom DeLay does, and this is no exception. He's leaving in June because Congress check out in June so it's members can go out onto the campaign trail for the following several months, so DeLay will only miss the lame duck votes taken after the November elections. All the important votes that will be used to show what issues your congressman wants to show to the public will be taken in the next three months.

DeLay looked to have a tough battle this year in getting re-elected. Just as he's said, yes, the battle would have been about him and his record, not that of his opponent, Nick Lampson. DeLay was even the subject of the Republican primaries as two opponents tried to show the people of Sugar Land, Texas should vote for a new face, rather than the powerful lawmaker, but Sugar land is a very, very red area. Of course, DeLay had some doing in making it that way. he helped the Texas Legislature gerrymander several Republican strongholds where it should be nearly impossible for an incumbent Republican to be unseated. knowing that, for DeLay to even think that he might be swept out of office is a real revelation on just how bad his name reputation has become.

Since Texas doesn't let winners of primaries just elect to not be in an election, DeLay had to change residences to get out of the race. Not like this is a big deal, as most congressmen only spend a short time in their districts each year. Living in Virginia will be just fine as it's pretty certain that DeLay will get to wield the Hammer as a lobbyist, which is ironic, since he might end up in jail for accepting money from lobbyists. He represents the worst in what american politics can be, which is also interesting as he helped throw out what was perceived to be a corrupt congress in 1994.

So now there will be a new person hand picked by the party to become the new incumbent, and run against Lampson. It's unlikely that the two primary opponents, bent on being more moderate than DeLay will get a nod, as there's plenty of others who will tow the congressman's theocratic and devil-may-care policies. The lucky new incumbent will have two advantages, being an incumbent by accident, and not having the record of the Texas Hammer to have to try to talk his way out. It actually looks good for this guy or gal, in a very conservative Texas suburb.

While DeLay has already tried to taunt his Democratic opponent by saying that he's now taken off the best campaign fodder, DeLay is actually wrong. Democrats all across the country should use the image of DeLay as the touch stone of just how out of touch and corrupt the Republicans have become. DeLay's not the first one in trouble, and there will be several more who will come under scrutiny throughout this election season.

Now lets hope that the Democrats are strong enough to actually fight.

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Windows XP on Mac hardware. Supported by Apple. Who would have thought?
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And now to answer one more question, this time from Gary, [livejournal.com profile] gmjambear.

What attracted you to Chris and vice-versa?

Well, I can't speak for Chris, but I'm sure it's my...

Never mind.

I think I started falling for Chris about as soon as I met him. I was worried about that, since I was totally crushing on someone else at the time. I remember our first meeting, I was on my lunch break, and we met after failing to meet the weekend prior - he went to the rugby game in Houston he thought I'd be at, I went to a play that Chris was originally going to attend in Austin.

So over lunch I nervously talked and talked and talked, as Chris just listened, and probably thought I was a freak. Still, it wasn't until we went out to the cars and Chris just hugged me and gave me a little tummy rub that i really got an understanding of how sweet he is. I giggled because it both tickled me and made me blush to no end. I was still pretty new to all of this, so it was still remarkable to be touched by a good looking guy that way.

That continued to carry over as I got to know him more, usually I'd find a way to visit my sister in Dallas, and sneak off for a bit to see Chris, but it quickly became me coming up to see Chris, and I'd visit my sister for a little bit. Now of course, there's no need for such an excuse, and it wouldn't work anyway, as my sister is in baltimore, but it allowed me to get to know chris little by little. I found that i liked his since of humor, and his smile, and jut the way he makes me feel important and good, and alive.

That's not to say he doesn't have a nice body and hair and all that, because he does, but if I just based it on that, there really wouldn't be a relationship here. Chris is quiet, and sometimes I like that he's probably told me more things, shared more of himself with me than just about anyone else on this earth.

There's also a sense of trust and support, that make everything good, and made being able to take the leap into dating, and now living together, much easier. Now I'm trying to show him support as he'll want make some moves and changes to improve his life, including going back to school, so that could make things interesting, but you know, I'm glad to be with him, and to be along for the ride.

I've got one last question to go, so I'll try to get to it tomorrow.

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