Sunday, September 28, 2003

BUMP!


I bumped this for obvious reasons.

Holy Fucking SHIT! This is BIG NEWS!


It's even bigger news because the Press knows who the treasonous bastard is!

Watching this will be better than sex. Really. Someone's about to go "BOOM" in a big way.

Stay tuned to media outlets, and the incomparable Agonist.


Pass the popcorn, guys. This one's gonna be a doozy!

Saturday, September 27, 2003

I already linked to this in a sarcastic post below, but I read it again and I'm all kinds of angry and annoyed. Probably because the event I was supposed to work tonight got canceled without my foreknowledge so I lost $70 right there, but gotta direct it somewhere otherwise I'll just grind my teeth in my sleep. And this did annoy me earlier in the week.

I'm not going to say what I really want to say(which has a lot more foul language than this upcoming rant). Instead, I'm yet again going to offer my challenge.

Those of you who are so indignified by the idea of gay people getting married and getting all the rights afforded to you, explain your freaking self. Why is it okay to discriminate? I already forsee the moral argument. What do you base those morals on? Leviticus 18:22? Any scientific studies you wanna point out explaining why gay people can't have the same bloody rights you do?

I bloody dare you to answer my challenge.

Okay, I'm angry. I'll acknowledge that. I just don't understand why people can get around using the argument that "you who oppose my bigotry are bigoted." I'd have to look that up, but is that circular logic?

Friday, September 26, 2003

Wonderful News from the Potemkin Village that is America

Boxcutters are STILL a threat, two years and two weeks later. Way to go guys!

The US Poverty rate increases for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW! Yay!

The UN staff is leaving Iraq. George, you got your wish! Yay!


I'm feelin' good, how about you?


or in the words of Bill O'Atrios: Shut up, just Shut UP!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

This is so amazingly and mind-bogglingly stupid I can't even think straight. (Via the Agonist).

Maryland had this to say about the Diebold Voting machines. It wasn't pretty.


Yet, they're going to USE THEM ANYWAY.

"For two years, Baltimore County has warned, `Iceberg ahead!' and now independent experts have warned that it's a gigantic iceberg," Mr. Smith said. "Maryland should not say, `Damn the iceberg, full speed ahead.' "


What the fuck?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Interesting....


I had noticed this when I saw a map of the outbreaks. Areas that had drought had major outbreaks of West Nile...acutally it was as obvious as day to me, I'm glad someone else saw it.
Guess what gay people, you're intolerant bigots!

Monday, September 22, 2003

STRIKE WATCH

There's brewing tension in the SSHE. The professors may go on strike. Before you jump to conclusions about money and whatnot, I'm firmly on the side of the professors in this one. The Management of the SSHE has all receieved raises (including Judy Hample, State System Chancellor--hers was 10% at least from what I'm hearing) while professors have all received...well...shit. Pay freezes.

This story is still developing. Early polling shows the students behind the professors, as of now. It's gonna get ugly in the Keystone State, sadly.

I'll have more soon.
Fantabulous.


Four government regulations completed on Monday and a half-dozen more in the works will provide federal money for religion-oriented programs run by people President Bush (news - web sites) has dubbed America's "neighborhood healers."

Cabinet members met with the president at the White House to discuss ways agencies are eliminating barriers that have kept "faith-based" groups from obtaining federal grants to help people in need.



While the idea of creating federally funded agencies to help people is a good one, I'd like to see this with a little less "God." Honestly.

I'd also like to see: any Muslim groups? Jewish groups? Buddhist groups? Shito? Hindu? Pagan? Wiccan? New-Age? They can help people too, right?

Just curious.
If this comes to pass I am never ever EVER flying again. Ever. Ever. Ever. Never ever.


Speaking of contracting out, an administration move to privatize air traffic control at 69 airports has sparked opposition from labor groups, which contend it would compromise safety.

The administration had proposed 71 airports, but House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska), who supports the effort, got someone to strike the two Alaska airports on the list.

Young, on an Alaska cable TV show a week ago, acknowledged the move generated some heat.

"Of course the criticism of myself," he said, "is that I exempted the state of Alaska." But there were ample reasons for that, he said, ticking off a number of them.

"Lastly," Young said, "my hotel room is on the top floor of the Sheraton, and the airplanes take right off towards my hotel room. Every morning I look out and there's one coming right at me. It's an interesting experience and I want to make sure everything is done right in that field."

Sunday, September 21, 2003

This identity thing seems to be bigger than I thought. I need to explore this further.


I gotta shine some light at this post, as she says exactly how I feel in much harsher terms that I generally can muster.
I'm noticing some interesting Isabel aftermath. The states hardest hit can't seem to provide services. In addition, despite the fact that Isabel weakenend considerably, Virginia and Maryland got hit very hard and it looks like neither state was well prepared. In fact, some are arguing that deregulation may be a cause of the massive power outages. At Isabel's height, some eight million people from North Carolina northward through New York (and even some in Ontario) lost power. This from a storm that was relatively weak (winds onshore were 100mph, with scattered unconfirmed reports of 115 to 120mph along Hatteras Island.) The recent drought from last summer and this summer's near constant rain weakened a lot of trees. If another storm comes through, I suspect a lot of the trees I see when I look out my window will come over. They look fairly weak.

Delaware, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania were largely spared although several hundred thousand lost power in Pennsylvania. However let this be a warning: one of these days sometime very soon, we're gonna get smacked down like they do down south.
It's beginning to catch on. Fundamentalist religion of any sort is really dangerous. Sisyphus notes India's BJP.
I was so busy caring about important things that I must have missed the "news" that J-Lo and Ben broke up. With Isabel blowing down trees and flooding several major East Coast cites and the President and his boys (and girls) continuing to lie to the country and get away with it I was just too busy to keep up on those "celebrities" . . .

. . .and that's all I'm going to say about that.
Meanwhile, I have yet to hear a good explanation as to why THIS is a good thing.

Under the Bush plan, the Department of Veterans Affairs would disqualify about 1.5 million veterans, two-thirds of those now in the VA disability program.

In Kipling's day, at least, the civilians and the government would wait until the killing fields had been quieted before deciding to act like ingrates and treat the disabled troops as a needless expense.

The Bush administration is trying to cheat the veterans while continuing to send today's troops back into action, all at the same time, thereby creating more casualties and new disabled veterans who can be denied benefits. And don't think the troops don't know.




Anybody? Anyone? C'mon....defend it. Oh, that's right. YOU CAN'T.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Here's what you can buy for $87 billion.



(found via The Agonist)
It's official! The Next President of the United States Of America....Gen. Wesley Clark!

Friday, September 19, 2003

This is kinda neat.
Yar.....

You are The Cap'n!



Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.




What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

(it's talk like a pirate day)
Bye Bye Isabel

We had sustained winds near 40 mph and one lone gust to above 50 at 4am. I, of course, slept through it.

It looks like the campus survived rather well. No one was killed, power remained on (although it flickered), and the damage is limited.

There are tree limbs down everywhere. I took a lot of pictures. I only found one tree that snapped in two during last nights high winds.

We were really lucky here in Millersville. Had Isabel made landfall with 130mph winds instead of 100 mph winds, or had come further north, it'd be a different story.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Playing football during a hurricane is fun. I recommend everyone go do it.


Winds gusting past 40mph right now.


Posts and pictures in the morning.
Friedman has either lost his goddamn mind or is just displaying that he's just a hack.
HURRICANE UPDATE

Rumors are flying all over campus on whether they will lock the dorm residents in. The campus is effectively closed overnight as Isabel approaches. We've had a lot of rain this summer, so flooding (possibly serious) is expected overnight and into tomorrow as the worst of the storm hits.

Computer labs and the library will close at 9pm, tonight.

Pennsylvania under State of Emergency, joining Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia and three other states. New Jersey to follow at 4pm.

For what its worth, the Hurricane Center's forecasted landfall has only shifted by at most 200 miles over the last five-six days. That is excellent. They called this track on Saturday and Isabel has gone exactly where they said it would. Whoever says that meteorologists are full of shit are full of shit themselves, as the NHC gets a A+ in my book for calling this nearly five days ago. Now, all they need to work on is intensity. When they do that, it'll be great.

Andrew Sullivan, of course, is an idiot. He added his comments, which you can go read at Atrios. I won't link to someone so stupid.



Identity

There's not much more I can say about miss Isabel except that it will probably rain, a lot, and there will probably be some wind. I think it's time to move on, well for me, at least. Until the pictures come out.

I'm currently drafting an editorial for next week's paper that will read something like this: my ethnicity is only a tiny part of my identity. What does this mean?

While I was in storm mode, I seem to have missed out on a discussion on "What it means to be a black blogger?" over at Promethus 6 and other sites I visit from time to time. I thought about it overnight, along with thoughts about racism and stuff like that, and decided that for me, it means very little. As I said before, my ethnicity has very little to do with my identity as a whole. I don't wake up in the morning and think "hmm, I think I'll act black today," although that's not what this is about. I suspect I came to this conclusion after being really tired of being talked down to, being asked for the "black" perspective, wondering if that rude lady at the mall was a bigot, wondering if that frat that slighted me was doing so based on skin color, people wondering if I'm in the remedial program for low-income students (aside about that, it's for low-income first gen. college students that IS disporportionally minority, but conservatives on this campus continually scream about affirmative action when the program is NOT an affirmative action program) and so on and so on. I just want to be considered and seen as a normal, All-American boy! Is that so wrong to ask for?

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Non Related News

This is ridiculous.

A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options:

· To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent;

· To maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection;

· To try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.


I'm moving to a cabin in the mountains somewhere. Again, what utter bullshit that "End of History"-We're-Saved-From-Nuclear-Armaggedon that was.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

ROUNDUP

Isabel's outer clouds overspread the area just before sunset.

States of Emergency in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. All DC public schools closed until Monday. All public schools closed until Monday in Delaware. Philadelphia public schools are on a half-day schedule Friday.

I've got my flashlight ready just in case Isabel passes closer to us. It looks like it will move further west, but as of 10pm it hasn't turned back to the northwest. It was still headed further north toward the Chesapeake Bay.

Lots of rain coming.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

States of Emergency declared in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Delaware may follow suit tomorrow, if it hasn't yet.

The hurricane watch DOES include areas up to (but not including) Washington DC and its southeastern suburbs in Maryland. Hope my dad's ready.

Isabel weakened as it sucked in some dry air and reorganized itself, but is strengtheing again.



WEATHER FACTOID
4 years ago today, Hurricane Floyd slammed North Carolina and points northward, dropping as much as a foot of rain on areas near Philadelphia.

100 years ago today was the last hurricane landfall in the state of New Jersey. That storm was a Category 1 and came ashore north of Atlantic City with winds near 80mph.
What I've Missed Since I've Been in Storm Mode


*Whoa...no more recall? Oh wait, Wait....recall? California gets weirder and weirder.


*WESLEY CLARK TO RUN! YEA BABY! RUN! I'm EXTREMELY excited about this.


*North Korea blusters. We turn our sights toward Iran instead. I suppose this is evidence that the adults are in charge. Meanwhile, it's blatently obvious who the threat is.

As I'm bouncing in and out of storm mode, I may go back to Isabel coverage until the storm passes or fizzles or I get bored with it. For better, thoughtful, timely, and global news coverage, check out Sean-Paul Kelly's The Agonist and his excellent team of correspondents and reporters. Much better than cable news, which is all about performance anyway and not news reporting.

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm an editor on the school paper, and that takes up much of my time on Mondays.


Depending on Isabel's track, my location (between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, closer to Harrisburg though) may get heavy rain, or heavy rain and winds gusting to hurricane force. Either way, I'm ready. The digital cameras have been charged. There will be a lot of picture taking. I hope my bandwidth holds up.

I'm very excited, actually. Nervous, because a lot of property that isn't mine is gonna get wrecked, but excited, because storms excite me. I'm the type of guy that would chase twisters if he could. Sometimes I wonder if I should have stayed meteorology, but I think it was the semester of high-level math that turned me away. It's still a major hobby of mine (forecasting). One day I'll be good at it. I'm just getting there now.

I'll update in the morning. Watches should be up by the time I post again.

Monday, September 15, 2003

ALL EYES SOUTH

East coast residents from Cape Hatteras northward to Cape Cod really need to prepare now. The entire mid-Atlantic is in this storm's future sights.

Watches and warnings will likely go up tonight or tomorrow morning for a significant stretch of the East Coast.

The Hurricane Center's future track takes Isabel just west of Cape Hatteras and inland over Virginia and Pennsylvania. As the storm will be fast moving, much of its force may be maintained well inland.

Model forecasts bring the storm onshore from as far south as Myrtle Beach to as far north as Atlantic City.

For more coverage on the approach of Hurricane Isabel and where she may strike, here's some independent meteorologists I frequent and who are quite good:

WXRISK
Millennium Weather
Tropical Update
NEMAS

Also, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Accuweather out of State College, PA , and The Weather Channel are all resources that can be used as this very dangerous and very powerful hurricane approaches the Eastern Seaboard. The National Weather Service is another tool. It is predicted to weaken slightly, but it could still pack a very significant punch when it strikes the coast.

Please stay tuned to your media and emergency management officials for any information. Oh yes..those emergency kits you were supposed to make for Homeland Security: They can be used for natural disasters too.

I'll be moving and updating this post during the coming days, as this is going to be a major event.

For the State of New Jersey, here's where you can find out where to go and how to get there if Isabel makes a strike on NJ.

For coastal Delaware

For Maryland (Ocean City)

For Virginia

For North Carolina

More Evac maps here.

Long Island Storm Surge maps can be read here, along with an account of the last truly major 'cane to strike New England.

Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center and media outlets on this story that continues to change by the hour.


UPDATE: Flooding rains in the Philadelphia western suburbs.

UPDATE: At 11AM, CNN now reporting that there may be a Navy and Air Force evacuation of aircraft and ships away from the East Coast due to the approaching hurricane.

For people coming inland, Millersville has an inn. I'll find out how many rooms are available.

Isabel is affecting the market: Insurance stocks are down in anticipation of heavy property damage. CNN reporting this now.
100 Years ago Tuesday is the anniversary of the last direct hurricane strike on New Jersey. Just a factoid.
This is this blog's first birthday. Happy Birthday, blog!

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Things You Should Have


HURRICANE SUPPLY LIST

Flashlights and extra bulbs
Battery-operated radio
Fully-charged, battery-operated lanterns (Candles and kerosene lanterns can be fire hazards if not used properly.)
Extra batteries
Toilet paper
Matches
Clock (wind-up or battery-operated)
Plastic garbage bags
Working fire extinguishers
Scissors
Clean change of clothes, rain gear, sturdy swamp boots
An inexpensive, rabbit-ears television antenna to use if cable goes out
Map of the area to assist in evacuations


Stock Up on the Following Foods and Beverages

Bottled water
Ice
Shelf-package juice and milk boxes
Canned and powdered milk
Beverages (powdered or canned, fruit juices, instant coffee, tea)
Prepared foods (canned soups, beef, spaghetti, tuna, chicken, ham, corned beef hash, fruit cocktail, packaged pudding)
Canned vegetables and fruits
Dried fruits
Snacks (crackers, cookies, hard candy, nuts)
Snack spreads (peanut butter, cheese spreads, jelly)
Cereals
Raw vegetables
Sugar, salt, pepper
Bread
Dry and canned pet food
Extra formula, baby food

Medical Supplies

(Drugstores will be mobbed just before the storm and closed for days after. Keep a two-week supply of prescription drugs.)

Medic-alert tags
Insect-repellent sprays and candles
Feminine hygiene items
Sunscreen
Soap
First-aid kit and first-aid handbook
A supply of any prescription drugs
Extra over-the-counter medicine (for colds, allergies, cough)
Children's medicines
Adhesive tape
Cotton-tipped swabs
Antiseptic solution
Sterile rolls, bandages
Ear drops
Thermometer
Tweezers
Needles
Disinfectant
Emergency Management Links

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

Delaware

Maryland

American Red Cross

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Things That Are Ridiculous


What the fuck is with the Clark smearing?

Party of Inclusiveness. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. Move along now, nothing to see here.


This of course, is fantabulous news! Onward to Tehran!


David Neiwert has an interesting piece from the New York Times that I felt I should comment on too. I owed you all a thesis update anyway.

Fascism seems to have become this template for everything far-right these days, and overuse (as the scholars cited in the NY Times article state) de-legitimizes the word. Indeed, the article's title is "The Latest Obsenity has Seven Letters." How many curse words do you take seriously, other than their shock value. The word Fascism, and all it implies, is going down that road quick and that's not good.

To be honest, I've followed the work of various writers with great interest, and I've gone back through history to study fascism and I'm finding that using 1919 fascism doesn't quite describe what we call fascism now. I think we need a new word. The article says that at its conclusion.

"The fact that people are using the term fascist to refer to such extremely different phenomena tells you that it has lost most of its descriptive power," she said. "I think the problem is that we are dealing with all sorts of new, strange political phenomena — Osama bin Laden, Hindu nationalism in India, the Le Pen phenomenon in France, Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive force — and we don't have the right words to describe these things."


(They, of course, completely miss Chrisitian fundamentalism in North America, which is very much like those phenomena above.)

All those things are fascist-like, but they're not quite fascism. However, just because they're not fascism doesn't mean we can turn our backs on them. They are all still quite dangerous and deadly. Osama still hasn't been caught, India has the bomb which is a major part of BJP policy along with having (or explotining) anti-Muslim sentiment, Le Pen's movement hates immigrants, Berlusconi is a lunatic (in my mind) and the Bush Doctrine is making noise at Iran while center-right and right-wing commentators decry any dissent to the policy at home. Dangerous times we live in.


Arthur Silber comments as well. And he has been commenting.

Matthew Yglesias comments as well, and one of his commenters just can't fathom that fascism comes from the right, which it does. Poor, poor commentor....
McDonald's is out of their mind.


"authentic?"

yeah right.

Friday, September 12, 2003

The September "product" has a deadline: October 31st.




VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog on Friday set Iran an October 31 deadline to prove it had no secret atomic weapons program, prompting Tehran to threaten a "deep review" of its cooperation with the agency.


Following intense U.S. pressure for action against Iran, the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution setting the deadline. Iran's delegation stormed out of the closed-door meeting, accusing Washington of having new invasion plans after Iraq (news - web sites).


I await the further poisoning of the political discourse. I await more war calls. I await those creepy Clear Channel rallies (my minds eye saw "Seig Heil"ing Germans everytime I saw one of those). I await another expensive war. More death. More calls of liberal treason, and so on, so on, and so on. Fuck that.

Meanwhile, North Korea continues to do its thing, which is build nuclear weapons.

We can stop this now. Call Congress.
Interesting study on college drinking.

I'd have to say that in urban colleges, this probably doesn't happen as readily as it does in suburban or rural campuses. This has just been my experience.


In all honesty, I don't think most colleges realize that if the kids want to drink, they will. Making the campus dry (like mine) won't really help; there's a ton of places just off the boundaries of the campus.
Yes, that does say "Clark for President" up there. You're not imagining things.

I'll post about it later, though.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Always Remember. . . . . . .

Never forget.



Those images make me very angry, and very sad.



9/11 Rememberance

Always Remember




Never Forget

September 11.

I was going to blog today, but I've found I still can't really talk about it. It's not depression (that I reconciled awhile ago, although the associated insomnia returns from time to time), it's actually a ton of anger. I shared my story below. I think that's all you are going to get for today. Keep your heads up.

(and yes, I did delete a post from early this morning.)
Any of my readers Alabaman? If so, I'm sorry.


Move to PA. You won't rank 50th in everything if you do.



10% of your teachers?! No wonder the rest of us think you're morons. (And I'm sorry to say that...but statistically, well...yeah....damn. there's not much more I can say.)
My latest masterpiece.


(you may have to register.)

Oh heck. It's below so you don't have to go through that privacy-invading process.

---------------------

Last week, the state of Florida put a terrorist to death. This terrorist killed two people. This terrorist did it for religion. This terrorist expects to get his reward in Heaven. This terrorist is Christian. This terrorist was named Paul Hill. This terrorist murdered an abortion doctor and the doctor's aid.

This week the United States and the world will observe the day that nineteen terrorists sent by a fanatic destroyed the World Trade Center and scarred the Pentagon. These terrorists expected to get their rewards in Heaven. These terrorists did it for religion. These terrorists were Muslim. These terrorists murdered some 3,000 human beings.

All twenty are probably in Hell.

Do you see a trend? I do.

It is no secret that I have major problems with fundamentalist religion of any faith. I find that as a movement, it is reactionary, anti-modernist, anti-democratic and hateful. As I prepare to spend my life studying it, I've come to the belief that fundamentalist religion is the modern day fascism. Knowledge is the first tool in fighting ones enemies. As an American living in a democratic and secular country, fundamentalist religion is my enemy, and yours too.

Why am I writing about this? Two years later, I fear we still have not learned the implications of this particular reaction against modernity. My fear is that if unchecked, it could be too late.

For example: In Alabama, Judge Roy Moore set up a statue of the Ten Commandments. While it is true that the Constitution does not explicitly use the terms "Separation of Church and State," it does not allow the government to prefer one religion over another. The statue was declared unconstitutional (as I highly doubt Judge Roy Moore would put up a statue about the 5 Pillars of Islam), and the statue was removed, after a rather interesting stand-off. Fundamentalist Christians in the United States strongly believe that the US is a Christian nation and oh well for all the others.

More examples? A writer friend of mine who runs a site named The Agonist recently spent considerable time in Central Asia researching a book. He noted that Wahabbi Islam, the branch that fueled the 19 that attacked our country exactly two years ago, is strongly in force. Policy makers are still raising alarm bells over the Hindu fundamentalist party currently holding power in that nation, the BJP. Saudi Arabia remains fundamentalist. Turkey, Israel, and a host of nations have religious fundamentalist parties that have made significant inroads into their mainstream.

However, the most glaring example in the last two years seems to be in this country. Currently there's a movement among the Religious Right to "codify" marriage rights in a Constitutional Amendment. Marriage, in their view, is only between a man and a woman. Therefore, marriage rights, in their view, are only enjoyed by couples comprised of men and women. Nevermind the millions of people who do not fit into this simple definition. This movement is spearheaded by a Christian movement to "reconstruct" society, or Re-constructionism. It is a Calvinist-based movement that holds all nations should hold to the laws of the Old Testament. These are the people who feel they, and only they, get to decide your morals for you. Of course, they're intolerant extremists (they think you can own slaves, and all homosexuals should be killed).

And like the Muslim extremists in Muslim nations, these extremists have made significant inroads into the conservative mainstream. Turn on cable TV and you can see it quite well. The "religious" expert on any of the Sunday morning talk shows or Cable television is almost always Jerry Falwell or one of his clones. The 700 Club makes a ton of money off of their entire network. Commentators are always talking about their religious faith. Public figures cannot be publically agnostic. The Marriage Rights Amendment is just more proof of the matter, and probably the tip of the iceberg. It was the President himself who stated this summer that he had lawyers working on the question of homosexual marriage.

Two years later, we should have recognized the threat. Any religion is capable of the violence America suffered on September 11, 2001 and, incidentally, was blamed for by Christian commentators in the US. It makes me wonder when fundamentalist Christianity will rise to these levels, as the Marriage Rights amendment already suggests they have a target. Consider this: I'm going to make a comparison. You'll need to fill in the blanks.

"The ______'s are responsible for everything that's wrong with this country. They are against this great nation. Every evil, every wrong, every slight and every catastrophe that occurs to and in this country is all their fault. They ruin everything. We need to do something about the _______'s. No more rights for the ________'s."

Insert the word "Jew" in the blanks and you get Weimar Germany, circa 1933, just before Hitler plunged the Continent into 12 years of terror and death.

Insert the word "homosexual" in the blanks and you get the United States of America, circa 2003.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Monday, September 8, 2003

Question, and I really need your help.

Is it legal for a town to target its poorer neighborhoods with somewhat bogus property violations and other aesthetic violations in order to keep property values in the richer neighborhoods artificially high?

Just curious, because if it isn't, I'm going to have to advise some people I know to sue.

This will probably be my last post for a couple days.
9/11

I'm not posting this coming Thursday. I felt I should share my 9/11 story now. I've actually never sat down and written this out.

Everyone knows what they did, where they were, and how they reacted. I remember what I wore. I remember who I ate lunch with. I remember fear, and most of all I remember feeling the seeds of an deep anger that continues to grow, to this day.

I awoke on 9/11 around 8:30. I had a 9:30 class. For some reason, I did not turn on the morning news, which had become apart of my routine. I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore in college.

I only got a bagel and milk for breakfast. I got to class about 9:10am. It was then that one of my classmates (and I remember exactly who, and strangely, exactly what she was wearing) informed me and a few other students who arrived early that two passenger jets had flown into the World Trade Center. The girl next to me said (and again, I remember exactly what she was wearing too,) "Well that sucks, all those people are dead."

My professor had no idea what had happened. It was a media workshop class that was broken up into two groups. One group went into the studios while the other group waited in the classroom for their turn. We were in the studio with a satelite feed but Dr. Igyor did not turn around to see what was coming over the feed. In fact, he kept yelling at the students who kept turning around to look at the monitor. It was in this period that the Pentagon was struck. He did find out, once we went back to the classroom and the next group who had been waiting in the satelite monitor room informed him.

I watched Tower Two collaspe and was nearly ill. I don't think my brain comprehended what my eyes saw. I still don't think it's fully made that connection. CNN went to commercial break, actually, after their anchor (I don't recall who it was, it was male, though) said "There are no words."

I did not see Tower One collaspe, I was between buildings.

My next class was Calc. The news continued to get progressively worse. Another plane was missing, possibly down in Western Pennsylvania. Some of my classmates in Calc did not know about what had happened.

I went to lunch and tried to catch more news (everyone was rather calm, although there was a run on the ATM that morning), then I went to Biology. Dr. Steueck (now retired) informed the class that one of the pilots on the American Airlines jet was a friend of his. I nearly lost it.

I sat in front of a television for the rest of the evening. It was quiet on my floor (the coming days would see a xenophobia that would make the Nazi's proud...and definitely made me liberal). I flipped out on a hallmate who suggested we watch "Die Hard II." That's the one with the plane crashes.

I distinctly remember putting a big black X through Afghanistan on my world map. That was done in anger. I also made some anti-immigrant statements that I now regret making. I have since purchased a new World map.

I went through most of that day in a haze, and frankly, it was the longest day of my life. Finally, at 4am Wednesday, I turned off the TV and everything sank in. I thought, "My God, it's all over. This is the beginning of the end. We are doomed." And I cried.

I didn't get out of bed until Friday at noon.

I personally didn't lose anyone, although my parents did. Even so, the events affected me in such a way that I woke up on September 12th, 2001 a fundamentally different person than who I was on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Since then I've had anxiety disorders, bouts of depression, a loss of faith in God, and a lot of anger. Most of that I've reconciled. I think I am still very angry.

Early on, in the intial weeks, we were informed that there were warnings. I was infuriated. Then the Patriot Act, an act that no one who endorsed it read, was signed into law. Afghanistan was bombed, an act I supported. In that time, we were informed that Bin Laden got away. I was infuriated again. Then, John Ashcroft stated that those who criticize give aid and comfort to America's enemies. I could no longer support the Bush Administration after that point. And that meme has never gone away. Note Ann Coulter's "Treason."

Then came May 2002 and the news that "Bush Knew." Then came the war talk, again. By the time I started this blog, I had had enough, and I think the early days of this blog reflect that.

So, two years later, I'm still angry. And I'm afraid. I'm afraid of the terrorists who could strike again. Most of all, I'm afraid for America. The discourse in this country has been poisoned by the rhetoric surrounding two wars (or three, depending on how you look at it). Liberal is a dirty word in the US now. Ann Coulter and her ilk think we're all treasonous. Add in the anti-democratic Christian fundamentalists and you have the reason I see dark clouds just over the horizon.

That's the reason this blog is titled as it is.

And I hope I'm totally wrong for it.
Eighty Seven Billion Dollars?!!?

On top of what... $450 billion already?

err...it actually looks like this : $450,000,000,000. Look at all those fucking zeros.

And in reality, it will end up being this: $1,600,000,000,000. That's $1.6 trillion over a two year period, according to some estimates.

Fiscal Responsibility? WHAT UTTER BULLSHIT THAT IS! The next person to use the phrase "tax-and-spend Democrat" gets smacked in the teeth. Enough said. And those of you who support this, your kids (meaning me, and many like me, and younger) are ever so grateful to get to pay this hefty bill in about twenty years time. Thank you President Bush, thank you.

On a serious note, I am very deeply concerned about the times are living through. I just see clouds, dark ones, and more dark clouds. I'm dreading 2004. I don't want to fathom 2008. It started with 9/11, but I'm sure research could prove the beginnings of the storm date back long before. Every sense of mine is now screaming we're at the precipice. Is this what Weimar Germany felt like before the end? (the end as in 1933)

If there were ever a time for the work of David Neiwert, it's now.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Hmm...

The week of hell (the second anniversary of the Day from Hell) seemingly coincides with a rut I seem to have myself stuck in. That means hiatus. I won't be posting till Saturday. Or so I say. When I say I'm on hiatus, I seem to post anyway.

Next Monday, the 15th, is The Storm's 1st birthday. There's a wishlist somewhere on the side there. I'm just kidding. All I want is your patronage, and a lot of people have helped keep this site going even when I couldn't stand it anymore. Thanks guys (and gals) :)

Saturday, September 6, 2003

Invasion of the Flies.



(sometimes they try to land in my mouth when I'm trying to sleep.)
I'm going to make a comparison. It violates Godwin's Law. And you know what? I don't fucking care.


"The ______'s are responsible for everything that's wrong with this country. They are against this great nation. Every evil that occurs to this country is all their fault. They ruin everything. We need to do something about the ______. No more rights for the ________."


Insert the word "Jew" in the blanks and you get Wiemar Germany, circa 1933.

Insert the word "homosexual" in the blanks and you get America, circa 2003.


While I'm busy ranting I can just say that I'm real glad Paul Hill was put to death. Hopefully, he'll say hi to the 19 who blew up the Trade Center, since, you know, they all think they're getting some sort of reward for their actions of evil. Enjoy Hell, bastards.
Finally!


I had a ton to talk about yesterday. I bought "The Pianist." And decided that it was appropriate Friday night viewing.

The images of the holocaust are always disturbing. However, this movie did some subtle usage of the people of Warsaw, the non Jews. Their "sheepness" was equally disturbing. I'll have to post on this concept sometime soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

This story I found over at the Agonist is very interesting, as it involves the Congressman from my home district.

Apparently, the Pentagon has tried to lay the smackdown on Kurt Weldon (R-PA), who merly wants to offer recommendations on nuclear policy.

Weldon also represents Delaware County, PA, which is a suburban county just west of Philadelphia. It also is home to the Boeing Plant in Ridley, which makes parts of the Osprey, a VTOL helicopter (that largely doesn't work...but that's my belief). Weldon's support of this plant has been instrumental over the years.

It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.
For all those big, bad, buff, hard muscles, he certainly is a wimp. . . . . . .
I wonder how many conservatives heads' exploded this morning upon reading this headline. Or one similar to it.

One good benefit: Those two nasty partisan kids in my American Foreign Policy class can shut the hell up now.
On second thought, I think my best bet is to go with a dental discount plan even though I'll still be paying a lot. That's probably my best bet until I get a good job, or get a research assistantship that pays benefits when I get to graduate school.

Although, help is still needed.

and I wasn't kidding about the painkillers.
Help!

I have to buy dental insurance (I got a tooth that needs root canaling badly, plus I'm going to need braces) and I'm real confused. What's this deductable? $1000 max? Gawd, insurance is confusing as hell.

Please help me!

And send me painkillers too.


UPDATE: Ugh. Just, ugh. I've always known that I'm pretty much uninsured...but now I know what those 40 million other Americans (did that number rise?) feel like. Ugh. Ugh. They're all these discount plans, or I have to wait two years to get this damn tooth fixed. Ugh. Ugh.

Help?!