Thursday, July 27, 2006

it's my party

i spent my birthday wallowing in shit. figurative shit. when i found myself a work widow and felt completely isolated by my recent writing schedule i threw myself a pity party.

oh, and the end of the world might have influenced my grief just a wee bit.

the other 364.25 days a year i feel obliged to be optimistic and keep up the fight. so as a treat to myself i gave myself one whole day to just wallow in despair.

my poor husband.

and, as if his work demands didn't depress me enough, i had to accompany him to a taping of a true piece of shit that night. got the whole studio-audience-as-cattle treatment and all -- after waiting for hours to be allowed to attend the craptacular fiasco.

while waiting in the 100+ degree weather i watched as a little bird flew by and landed in a nest in the eves above my head.

and it took me awhile -- but i had plenty o time, just sitting there, sweating, waiting to be herded in to see a bunch of crappy jokes with NO FUCKING PUNCH LINES -- so i kept looking at that thing hanging down next to my little bird friend's nest.

this is a closer look

as if i wasn't already suicidal. i just kept imagining my bird friend watching as his/her mate hung there by some kind of vine or something, thrashing away until weakly giving in to...

somebody please shoot me!

the good news is my passport is on its way... i finally got some air conditioning of sorts so the cats have stopped panting... i bought my tickets for crawford... my script is almost done...

it's not much but i have to get it up again so...

at least the following post/prediction hasn't come true... yet. with omens like i've seen, i fear what really is a-brewing...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the lusitania, the orient queen and the gulf of tonkin

Crew members of the Orient Queen welcomed aboard parents pushing strollers and clutching their children.

Many expressed frustration that it had taken the U.S. government so long to get them out of Lebanon while Europeans and Lebanese with foreign passports already have fled by the thousands.

"I can't believe the Americans," Danni Atiyeh, a 39-year-old civil engineer from Kansas City, Mo., said as he stood with his pregnant wife and sons Ali, 10, and Adrian, 6, while waiting for buses that were taking them to the ship. "Everybody else has gone home ... We're still here."

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it had dropped a plan to make Americans reimburse the government for the trip, but Atiyeh said he and others were asked to sign promissory notes to pay for the trip before they could leave.

It wasn't clear what time the ship would leave port. An estimated 8,000 of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon want to leave the country.

cassandra grimly predicts that the ship won't ever leave the port. the orient queen will sit there with its captive evacuees until they are attacked giving george WWIII bush his ultimate ticket to all out war.

i see troy burning! save yourselves!


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hitler's ugly legacy

as an abused child grows up to abuse, israel turns on their enemy with a visciousness that can not be defended.

a listener called in to the ed schultz show today to say she couldn't support israel's actions and schultz countered with a knee-jerk response, "what do you have against the jews?"

i guess the jews for justice for palestinians are a bunch of anti-semites too?

We watch with horror the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. Everything reasonable must be done to secure Corporal Gilad Shalit’s safe release but nothing Israel is doing contributes to that aim. Instead, it is using its enormously superior military might to terrorise an entire people.

Destruction of the fragile Gaza infrastructure will not release Shalit. Bombing power stations and cutting off fuel supplies deprives people of electricity, refrigeration, pumped drinking water and sewage disposal services. It holds hostage hospital patients on life support systems, or undergoing dialysis. It brings the threat of epidemics and starvation.

never again... that was the lesson of the holocaust. but what is happening now? i surfed into this port which summed up my queasiness perfectly

... what does “never again” even mean? Never again to the Jews? Never again should the Jewish people be without a home, and we must defend that home to every possible end? Never again should killing, or even the preparations for killing, go on for years on end without intervention? Never again should the world witness the organized and systematic attempt to exterminate (a) people?

Never again should we see anything even resembling such horror, or only something at that level? Worst of all, what will we do if/when it does happen again? For me, the lesson has been that a people who have suffered such great tragedy and oppression should never participate in, let alone be responsible for, policies and actions that result in the oppression of others. No exceptions.

when will we ever learn?


Friday, July 14, 2006

musings of a boiled frog

cassandra told you wwiii was coming. i even thought it might already be here but i actually hate being right about these things.

so i choose to continue to live in denial and do what i can to rage, rage against the dying of the light...

stray thoughts keep colliding in my head.

i came across this story today:

*By Mark Benjamin*
Jul. 14, 2006 Congress has demanded that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hand over a raft of documents to Congress that could substantiate allegations that U.S. forces have tried to break terror suspects by kidnapping and mistreating their family members. Rumsfeld has until 5 p.m. Friday to comply.

It now appears that kidnapping, scarcely covered by the media, and absent in the major military investigations of detainee abuse, may have been systematically employed by U.S. troops. Salon has obtained Army documents that show several cases where U.S. forces abducted terror suspects' families

the article goes on to describe a few of the many, routine kidnappings of women and children used to force a suspected terrorist to comply with the US' requests for info or surrender. i honestly don't have the energy to go into it any further or even comment... i'm so... i don't know...

and i'm also wondering whether i should read john dean's new book "conservatives without conscience." or will it just make me feel even more abandoned by my father.

this is, of course, all about daddy. daddy was in the army. daddy was in intelligence. when i moved to san francisco at the age of 19 and lived with folks who told me all about what our military was doing in central america, i had to find a place to compartmentalize that information because daddy was in the military. and my daddy wouldn't do that. would he?

my dad was always a cool dad. he's funny and smart and used to hunt and peck out letters to the editor on his little electric typewriter on such a regular basis that one time, when i was introduced at the first read through of a play in college, another actor said "are you related to that guy who always writes to the paper?" i was proud of my dad. he fought for things. and he was creative too. once when a neighbor left a bathtub on his front lawn for one too many months, my dad put a notice in the paper for a "free bathtub to anyone who can haul it away." yeah, he verged on being the town crank but he also fought for injustice. he typed up a letter for me once when i told him about the amway convention at the hyatt where i worked. the amway honchos were SCAMMING the amway peons in a big way and i was forced to collaborate. together we wrote a letter to 60 minutes. it might not have meant anything to 60 minutes but it meant a lot to me. he instilled in me that you can fight city hall. you may not win, but you can fight.

and i fought with him too. we had some rocky years there where he didn't talk to me for months on end. typical teenaged rebellion stuff, mostly. pretty mild actually. arguments about bathing suits and backtalk, nothing too heavy...

so it's not like i'm in love with my daddy as an authority figure. not in the way dean talks about in his new book. i love my dad because he taught me what to believe in and how to fight for it. he instilled in me my morals.

and now he believes in ann coulter. and rush limbaugh. and bill o'reilly. and george bush. it's just so hard for me to understand. my dad overcame a lot. he grew up in a home with rampant racism and domestic violence and i only know this because he told me, not from any of his actions. he left home and left those things behind and raised a family the best he could. he has so much to be proud of, and yet...

we can't talk about these things. it's too volatile, i guess. i know it would be for me. i'm in tears just contemplating the discussion.. but if we could i don't know where i would start. would i ask him about any friends he's had who were gay and why he would deny them basic human rights, like the right to sit by a bedside of the one you love when they're dying? would i ask him if he thinks i should be punished for treason for my beliefs and imprisoned for my support of gold star families who have lost their sons for no noble reason? would i ask him if he thinks it's okay for young american soldiers to kidnap a wife and three daughters and threaten them with torture in order to get the husband to turn himself in? would i ask him if supports imprisonment without trial of those in gitmo for being suspected terrorist? what about the torture at abu ghraib? does he really believe that it was only a few bad apples and the chain of command is innocent?

i don't know what i would ask first but i would start by reminding him of something he said to me once. when i first started working in campaign politics i was amazed at how much i could do, how much influence i had so quickly. i remember telling my dad that i only had half a brain yet i was a frikking genius compared to the quarter-brained people i was working with. my dad kind of off-handedly said, "well, you always were the smartest one in the family." that kind of rocked my world. at first, i was bowled over by my father even remarking that i was in any way intelligent. later, i was angry that he felt that way and never said anything earlier. i spent my whole early family life feeling like a weirdo, definitely ostracized by the rest of the clan who would just shake their heads in unison at most of what i said as if i was speaking the language of the planet claire..

now that i'm older, i still try to wear that remark as comfortably as possible. when i was home for a family crisis i felt honored to be the one who figured out how to manage my grandmother's health care. it was weird and invigorating to be the adult in the group who they trusted to find answers and good advice.

so i think i would start somewhere around there. i would remind daddy that he told me once that i was the smart one and ask him to trust me as i try to untie the knot that his thinking has become. i would ask him to reconcile the father i used to know with the one he has become -- to explain it to me so that i can understand how this change has happened. but mostly, i think i would try to tell him that i want my daddy back. the one that was my hero. i need him right now. the world has become so very dark and scary and i don't know how to live with his being on the dark side of it all.

john dean's book and article talk about the hard core conservatives' need for a strong authoritarian father figure. that they will not be swayed away from their loyalty to big daddy bush. it makes me want to come up with some kind of counter to those fkers who always yell "get a job!" at our protests. i want to tell them to "get a daddy!" but that so dumb it doesn't make any sense at all..

the idea that my father has abdicated his position to follow another, bigger father like a lemming is just too hard to handle. i guess i'm the one who needs to get a daddy..


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bush spreads oldstyle communism

People were kept out of the city centre except for invited guests and more than 2,200 drain covers and other receptacles were sealed as a precaution against bomb threats.

With more than 12,000 police drafted in for the Bush trip and any area he visits sealed off and turned into a fortress, many [Stralsund, Germany] locals grumbled that the barbed wire reminded them of life in the communist east

yep, that's what happens when bush comes to your town...

see i grew up in divided berlin. and when i was in elementary school we would visit the wall. we would climb up the stairs of the observation decks and peer over the wall into the desolate east. our side had observation decks, the east had gun towers. and the east was desolate. the streets were empty and the buildings looked dank and colorless -- i now recognize that they lacked the advertising and billboards of the west. capitalism = color.

being 7,8 or 9 i would ask why they were over there and we were over here. i was told various things that i can remember. i vaguely remember inferring that they were to be pitied because they had a bad government. why? because they weren't free. they couldn't speak freely (so far, we can do that in government sanctioned areas, stay tuned to this free speech zone), they weren't free to choose where they lived (as a military brat i found that ironic even then), they couldn't choose what they wanted to be when they grew up (as a teacher i see the very real limitations imposed by economics and racism there), and they couldn't even choose when they could go to a doctor -- hello? any of you have insurance? if you do, do you get to use it the way you would like? do you know that if you ever have to leave one insurance carrier for another that you won't be covered for anything you've been treated for for the past ten years??

and now our "good" government wants to build our own wall. and i don't think our side will have the observation decks. even my politically middle-of-the-road mom finds this unbearable. she can't imagine living on the side with the gun towers.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Liberal Media Outlet NBC Outs Flag-Burning War-Protesters


WHEREAS, On April 25, 1976, the Chicago Cubs were playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles, California when two protesters ran onto the baseball field with an American flag; and
WHEREAS, The protesters doused the American flag with lighter fluid and then attempted to light it on fire with a match, but the wind blew it out; and
WHEREAS, Just as one of the protesters reached for a second match, Rick Monday, the Cubs' center fielder, raced towards the protesters in left field and scooped up the flag; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Monday then sprinted towards the infield with the flag safely in his arms; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Monday was heralded as a hero for saving the flag, earning a standing ovation at his next at-bat, and receiving a hero's welcome wherever the Cubs played the rest of the season; and
WHEREAS, Former Mayor Richard J. Daley asked Mr. Monday to serve as Grand Marshal for Chicago's "Annual Salute to the American Flag" in June of 1976; and
WHEREAS, The Baseball Hall of Fame recently named Mr. Monday's quickthinking act as one of the one hundred classic moments in the history of the game; and
WHEREAS, Thirty years later, Mr. Monday's act continues to inspire baseball fans across the country, from Pearl Harbor survivors to people who were not yet born in 1976; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Monday has earned the respect and admiration of all Chicagoans for rescuing the American flag, which embodies the most cherished rights and freedoms central to our cultural identity; now, therefore, Be It Resolved, That we, the Mayor and the members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, assembled this twenty-sixth day of April, 2006, do hereby honor Rick Monday on the thirty year anniversary of his selfless act to save the American Flag; and
Be It Further Resolved, That suitable copies of this resolution be delivered to Mr. Monday as a token of our esteem and good wishes

why does this patriot actor care about this declaration of whatever or other? because whereas a baseball player rushed to get a flag off the ground out of respect for what it stands for (a scene i've witnessed numerous times at peace marches and immigration rallies when a flag inadvertently touched the ground), on tonight's local nbc newscast, the protester burning the flag was turned into a "war protester."

so, nbc, since this is the 30th anniversary of the event, howsabout pointing out what war was going on in 1976? (other than argentina's "dirty war" supported by the US in the form of henry kissinger -- no one was paying attention to that at the time and i think those details were disappeared along with 10,000 protesting argentineans..)

no, nbc, those weren't "war protestors." according to the april 30, 1976 los angeles times "The man who tried to burn the American Flag at Dodger Stadium was attempting to draw attention to what he claims is his wife's imprisonment in a Missouri mental institution, authorities say." don't know if i'd choose that particular method myself, but the guy weren't no war protester.

so don't go denigrating us true war protesters by getting your facts all screwed up. unlike 1976, there is a very real war going on right now, an illegal war. one that is being truly protested all around the world. and we have more important things to do that screw with america's favorite opiate.

i personally don't get the flag fetish. the flag is a fkng symbol. we use symbols like flags to stand in for things that are intangible, invisible, they can be amorphous and open to interpretation. i know this may be hard for some hardheaded literalists (read: fundamentalists) to understand but the flag is not what's important, it's the invisible, imaginary superpower that it stands for that's important.

and what it stands for is freedom to speak your mind and protest your government and the pursuit of life and liberty. (i think i've learned to forget about happiness - don't pursue happiness, or at least don't let the folks in power see what it is that makes you happy. as soon as they figger out what makes you happy, say stuff like letting grandma live a long life in her own home with the pension her husband earned for her and with nice comfy medical care and prescription drugs right up until the day she passes peacefully in her sleep. if they think that'll make you happy, they'll be sure to destroy it. hide your happiness -- hide! but i digress, again...)

to kick someone's ass for destroying the symbol is desecrating the ideals and actions for which it stands.

i know i'm an atheist, but my christian upbringing tells me this is worshipping false idols. to worship the flag and disdain the freedom it symbolizes is perverse. i simply don't understand it. it's like worshipping jesus and then ignoring his messages about loving your enemy and ministering to the poor and imprisoned and ... oh, nevermind.

i, personally would also rush to pick up a dropped flag. i would equally rush to protect a flag burner. they're both the right thing to do.