Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wow... I was wrong... sort of...

Apparently the Seahawks should've won by a lot more than a field goal. Two touchdown catches by the Giants, both of which were challenged at the time, were ruled as incomplete by the NFL after further review. While the touchdowns, and the final score, stand... this justifies Seahawks coach Holmgren's anger at the calls at the time.

I saw both the plays (endlessly replayed for TV viewers), and I thought that one of them was definitely not a catch, but the second was too close to call.

Snowless in Seattle

Well, the area got some snow, but not enough to shut us down. We require at least an inch, maybe two, and freezing temperatures before we shut the city down. Some areas around Seattle, mostly on higher elevations, had as much as a half-inch. Not enough.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Daily Politics Dumpnote

Ug. A member of the House of Representatives pleads guilty to "conspiracy and tax charges", including taking bribes. More here. Taking bribes on defense contracts during war time... that's a pretty significant crime. The congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California, resigned after admitting his guilt. While I condemn his crimes, he's shown a lot of spine by confessing and resigning. Apparently he has also asked to serve a prison term and wants to devote the rest of his life (he's 65) to making amends.

Perhaps he can start by telling who else was getting bribes from MZM. It's clear that he wasn't the only bribed official. UPDATE: Apparently Cunningham is sincere, because he is going to cooperate in the on-going investigation. Good on him.

Death before more dishonour?

Atrios, one of the top political bloggers, claims that blogs weren't significant in the decline of mainstream media. I don't have much of an opinion, except to note that mainstream news really has gone down the toilet. You rarely see a well-researched article or TV segment anymore. It's all about ratings, and not at all about Truth.

Silly headline from Wonkette. Heh.

More insanity.

MetaFilter links to the Bush Approval Rating Map. In short, he's not doing too well in the ratings. Somehow the truth about the lies leading up to the Iraq war have gotten through to the average person, and more and more of them realize just how much Bush has screwed over this country. Years after 9/11, and the man responsible is still out there... because Bush was more concerned with going after Iraq's oil than actually fighting terrorism.


There's a snow advisory in the Seattle area, pretty much all over King County. I'm not sure I really believe we'll get any, but I'm usually wrong when it has to do with the weather. And also, Eric has been having nosebleeds lately, which I usually associate with a change in the weather... so maybe there is something to these snow warnings.

In any case, we don't know what the snow system is at Eric's new school, so I hope he finds out today just in case.

Why am I worried? Well, see, in Seattle we have these things we call "hills" that, if you go to the East Coast the folks there call "mountains". An Aside: For people in the Pacific Northwest, it isn't a "mountain" unless it has snow on it year 'round. And down in the "flat" areas where most of the people live around Seattle, we have hills that are steep enough to scare out-of-towners on a clear and dry day. When you cover such hills with ice and snow, then toss in a populace that really isn't used to driving in snow at all (much less on hills), you get a situation that tends to shut down the entire area completely. And if you are one of the few who does have a clue about driving in the snow, it isn't going to help you much. You are likely to get sideswiped by one of the folks who doesn't know anything about snow driving. Better to stay at home than risk an accident.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I try to watch the Seahawks games. I'm not nearly as passionate about the NFL as I am about baseball, but I do enjoy watching all the tight ends running around. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. So I caught today's game, from start to finish.

If there was ever a game that the Seahawks did not deserve to win, this was it. Now, admittedly, the Giants didn't deserve a win either... in fact, this would be one game I'd give both teams a loss on. The Seahawks finally won 24-21 in overtime after the kicker for the Giants missed three straight field goals, two of which weren't even at extreme distances for the NFL. The Seahawks, in the meantime, blew chance after chance and allowed the Giants to tie the game with a two point conversion.

Yeah, both teams deserve a loss for this week, but the Seahawks got a win and go to 9-2 for the season and the top of the NFC. Next week: Monday night football.

A Thanksgiving Memory

I have a lot of great memories of Thanksgiving, a holiday that was always marked by great food and a feeling of happiness in my house.

But it wasn't anywhere near my house where my favorite Thanksgiving memory happened.

I don't remember her name. But she belonged to our church and we all heard the story of how she'd lost her job and had a couple young kids and was barely managing to pay the rent on the small house she was renting in downtown Renton. While she was getting back on her feet, she definitely was going to have a sparse Thanksgiving, with no traditional food for herself or her kids.

My class in Sunday School discussed the situation, and our teacher suggested we help out, so we found folks to donate a small turkey and all the other makings of a good Thanksgiving dinner, including all the ingredients for dessert. We also tossed in other staples for later use, I seem to recall. We put it all in a very large box, then tried to decide how to deliver it.

None of us wanted to be praised, so we decided to leave it on her porch. But the neighborhood! We thought it would be best if she found it right away. So we decided to leave it on her porch and ring the doorbell and run. Yeah, it was silly, but we were silly teenagers.

Two of us got the box to the porch that night before Thanksgiving, and then I was picked to knock on the door because I boasted that I could do it without getting caught. The token adult driving the car had simply shook her head in amusement and said nothing.

As soon as everyone else was safely in the car, I pounded the door then jumped into the bushes at the side of the porch and raced to the corner. The car met me there, and I tumbled in as we drove off. I had heard the door open as I ran across the lawn.

But we had a distinct sense of incompleteness, so the driver drove around the block so we could check to see if the box was picked up. It was, and best of all, we could see into the window -- and burned into my memory forever is the image of the mother standing in the window, looking down at the box on a table in front of her, pulling out the items to look, while the kids jumped up and down in excitement around her. I will never, for as long as I live, forget the expression of wonder on her face. It was hope, and gratitude, and joy.

And she didn't have to bow down and thank anyone, didn't have to humble herself to us. At that moment she returned my door pounding and goofy run a millionfold. I daresay I got much more out of it than she did. Giving often works that way.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Judges are supposed to be non-partisan. They are supposed to follow the laws, not the parties. So why has a GOP PAC been formed to elect right-wing judges in the state of Washington? And it's being run by a politician that I've met and hated since the day I met him, former Senator Slade "Skeletor" Gorton. I personally will not vote for any judge who takes money from a partisan group, whether it be conservatives or liberals. Partisan bickering should NOT have a place in the judicial system, and any judge who bows to a party isn't a judge I want on the bench.

This letter is just stupid. "We, as Members of Congress," commenting on a company's hiring practices? Stupid, stupid, stupid. They can write in as readers, but this is over-the-top.

Friday, November 25, 2005

More Opinionated Crap

A nice round-up of the illegal challenges by GOP thug Sotelo.

If you live in King County, remember to sign the petition to get Sotelo prosecuted for her crimes.

And, yes, she committed crimes. See the law where it says: "The person filing the challenge must furnish the address at which the challenged voter actually resides." Sotelo not only didn't provide any actual addresses at all, she altered the form so it looked like she didn't have to.

In addition, she signed each form, under penalty of perjury (gross misdemeanor), and attested that she had personal knowledge of each and every challenged voter. She has made it clear during the hearings that she has NO KNOWLEDGE AT ALL about any of the voters she challenged, and she blamed the "volunteers" that gathered the information for her. But she's the one who signed those forms, and the one who should go to jail for lying.

A celebrity showed up for the challenges to argue that he has a right to privacy, and therefore a legal right to register to vote at a PO Box. Kim Thayil, of Soundgarden, believes that the law's confidentiality clause covers celebrities. We'll see if the Canvass Board agrees with him on Monday.

A woman in Denver was arrested for refusing to show ID when she wasn't legally obligated to show ID. This country is getting more and more like a bad Nazi movie "Papers, Please!" every freakin' day.

This is a Joke. It has to be. No one in their right mind would hire someone like Brown to teach disaster preparedness. His incompetence resulted in thousands of deaths. It's got to be a joke.

KansasU is rebelling against the stupidity: Intelligent Design will be taught as mythology. Via Querldox.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

What Am I Thankful For?

  • I'm thankful for my husband, Eric, and the wonderful years we've had together.

  • I'm thankful for my family. There's a lot of them, they know who they are. I'm thankful for all of them. I've been very lucky in the family I was born into, and the family I married into.

  • I'm thankful for my house, my car, my books, my comics, my Lego, and everything else material I have at the moment. They make life fun and comfortable.

  • I'm thankful for the friends I've met over the years, including all the old friends I've never met because of the internet.

  • I'm thankful for the internet.

  • I'm thankful for people who put up neat tutorials and guides on the internet, allowing me to learn fantastic new skills while sitting at home.

  • I'm thankful for people who understand obsession, and allow me to indulge in my harmless obsession for Aquaman without thinking I'm a loon.

  • I'm thankful for free speech. I'm glad that the government is not allowed to shut me down just for stating an opinion.

  • I'm thankful for retailers who wait until after Thanksgiving to start putting up Christmas stuff, instead of starting Christmas decorations before Hallowe'en. Along the same lines, I'm thankful for people who wait until the end of December (or even January) before starting to post "year in review" articles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Throw 'er in Jail

Two state senators are introducing a bill that would make it illegal to introduce voter challenges right before the election. In short, it's complete common sense, so you know state Rethuglican leader Chris Vance will whine that it's unfair or something.

Here's another report from the Canvassing Board about Soleto's perjury, and her absolute unwillingness to defend her illegal antics. Soleto didn't even bother to fill out the whole challenge form. It was a blatant act of voter intimidation.

If you live in King County, Washington, and are as outraged by Sotelo's perjury and voter intimidation as I am, sign the petition to Norm Maleng asking that Sotelo be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. One thousand, nine hundred and forty-four counts of perjury, a gross misdemeanor in Washington according to RCW 9A.72.040.

And here's your bizarre political story of the day. I mean, c'mon, the Mirror? But then... why is Blair invoking the Official Secrets Act?

A local school district has banned a book because characters apparently meet via internet chatrooms. Um. Ok. I just want to point out that I met Eric, my husband of over a decade, through the 'net. The banning couldn't possibly be more because the book is about gay teens, now, could it? I just checked the book out from the library. I prefer to read for myself.

Yet another request for ranked balloting in Washington. I'm all for it, if it can be implemented.

Decertified Diebold voting machines in California are being stealth recertified by republicans. The voting machines do not meet minimum state standards, which include a human-readable paper trail, which is why they were decertified in the first place.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I Cannot Keep Back My Opinions...

"Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country" - Patrick Henry

I didn't think I agreed with John Murtha's proposal until I read what he actually meant. This is a considerably better plan than just about any I've seen so far. Now if only the Republicans had actually brought Murtha's idea to vote, instead of a stupid neocon parody of it, we might already be on our way to fixing the mess in Iraq. Via Mark Evanier.

Washblog is following the canvassing board cases of voters that the GOP attempted to disenfranchise right before the election. Again, if the GOP was serious about "cleaning up the rolls", they would have turned in their complaints months ago to give people time to fix honest mistakes before the election, and they wouldn't have illegally altered the reporting form so they didn't have to do all their research. Soleto is guilty of perjury and ought to tossed in jail and fined heavily.

Variety reports that Frontline is showing a new and apparently damning look at what happened in New Orleans. The documentary airs tonight, along with a NOVA documentary about the science of the storm.

Forty-Two years. Wow.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wal-Mart = Scumbags

Wal-Mart. It's a corporation that exudes corruption. It mistreats and underpays its employees, relying on the government to provide the basic health benefits to them instead of doing so itself. It supports slave labor in third-world countries. It's low prices are a sham, disguising the rot that it brings into a community.

And over on the Huffington Post, it's "bash Wal-Mart". Wal-Mart's criminal activities, anti-Wal-Mart rallies, Corporate Ten Commandments, The Film, The Filmmaker, Wal-Mart slaves in China, Wal-Mart fights back, Patriotism is questioned, How we pay for Wal-Mart, and Illegal Workers in Wal-Mart. I'm sure there's plenty more, but frankly, this is more than enough to get any intelligent person to never set foot in Wal-Mart ever again.

For a round-up and current news about Wal-Mart's crimes, here's the link.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Quote of the Day

"I think it's a healthy thing in a democracy to have people disagreeing, but if you're screaming or demonizing, then the very people you want to reach -- which is those who don't agree with you -- can't hear you."

-- Bill Clinton

This is why the two sides may never come together. The Left thinks the crimes of the neocons are so incredibly horrible that they can't help but demonize, and the Right just screams the same thing over and over and over again. Neither side will ever hear the other.

Sunday Funnies

The BBC provides video of an idiot attempting to get away from people asking hard questions.

Political Garbage

Popular Science recently released its annual list of the ten worst jobs in science. Take a look at what came in at number three. Via Hubby-Eric

More on Ohio Vote Fraud.

For the one or two people who don't understand what Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly said that was so bad: "if Al Qaeda comes in here [San Francisco] and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." O'Reilly is inciting terrorists to come to the United States and blow up a specific building. That is treason. At the absolute least, he should lose his job. At the most, he should be sent to Gitmo to find out what he knows about Al Qaeda's threats against the Coit Tower.

And, for the brain-impaired, I'm as serious about what to do with O'Reilly as he was about what to do to San Francisco.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Political Garbage Again

KnightRidder weighs in on Bush's tendency to rewrite history to his liking.

Pelosi tries to explain why "Falafel" O’Reilly's incitement to terrorists was wrong to a dense conservative commentator. Like Pelosi, I wonder why O’Reilly hasn't been fired for his attempt to get terrorists to attack a city that he hates because he can't stand democracy.

John Murtha's statement. I don't agree with everything he says, but he says it with a great deal of moral authority. You can watch the video here.

A thread on MetaFilter about the Conservative Media, and how one company controls a lot of our media outlets.

And now we know where some of the money meant to rebuild Iraq was actually spent.

Happy Birthday Inger!

Happy birthday Inger! See you tonight!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Political Garbage

I like this political rant by Mark Evanier mostly for the creative ways he described Cheney's approval ratings.

Now we know why the oil execs weren't sworn in. The only question that remains is, if they blatantly lie about something that was part of the public record, then what else are they lying about?

More from the Times on the state Rethuglican party's dirty trick. Again, I don't have a problem with the challenges, but the timing and the fact that they didn't double-check the list before submitting it (under penalty of perjury no less!) are both indications that they aren't trying to clean up voting rolls as much as deny people the right to vote. I agree with challenged voter Raymond Doyle. Soleto committed perjury and belongs in jail.

I debated a long time whether or not to link to this post. And frankly, I have no words to describe my feelings about it. I did not, and will not, watch the video. I don't have the stomach for it. Again, Pogo is proven right: "We have met the enemy... and he is us".

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Race for the Cure

Eric and I have decided that, barring any unforseen circumstances, we're going to do the Race for the Cure next June. The race itself is June 17th, and registration isn't until January. As soon as I've registered, I'll put a little donation link up so if you feel like contributing a fiver or two, you can.

This gives me a goal to work towards. The race is 5K, about 3 miles, and isn't a tough walk if the last one is any indication. Instead of working on endurance, I'll be trying to increase my pace so I can keep up with Eric. It's definitely more my distance than the 3-Day.

Political Garbage

Garrett Fitzgerald reminds us why we don't allow Supertankers in Puget Sound, and urges us to help keep it that way.

John McCain, who's experience in this particular matter cannot be doubted, explains why the United States should never use torture.
"But every one of us—every single one of us—knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies, that we were better than them, that we, if the roles were reversed, would not disgrace ourselves by committing or approving such mistreatment of them. That faith was indispensable not only to our survival, but to our attempts to return home with honor. For without our honor, our homecoming would have had little value to us."
Read it.

I'm not shrill enough to make Bill O’Reilly's enemies list, but I would be proud to be on the enemies list of a man who incites terrorists to attack the United States.

Ok, this is being reported on left-wing political blogs as having originated from right-wing political blogs. But why would chickenhawks want to suggest that Shrubya is going nuts? This story doesn't add up... chuck it in the bin.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another Pet Peeve...

If your religion doesn't allow you to do your job, you should find another career. If your religion says you cannot kill animals, you don't work in a slaughterhouse. If your religion says you can't give people certain medicines, you do not work in a pharmacy.

But Target disagrees. They are allowing their pharmacists to not do their jobs. This is a very very good reason to never visit Target again.

It's very simple. If someone has a prescription from a doctor, it is the pharmacist's job to fill that prescription. If the pharmacist cannot do that job, they need to find another job that doesn't hurt people when they refuse to do it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

An Historical Note (unless it's A Historical Note...)

On this day in 1889, 116 years ago, the Territory of Washington became the State of Washington. I thought I'd mention that, since Laura and I live in the state...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Washington State Smoking Ban

This article actually made me feel a bit better about the smoking ban that just passed in Washington.

I was a little worried that it went too far in stating that smokers must be 25 feet from any opening in a building, but this statement: "Valdez said the 25-foot rule is intended to prevent smoke from entering indoor spaces, as well as keeping entrances and exits clear of smoke. Enforcement will take that intent into account, he said." makes it a little more clear. As long as the smoke isn't entering the building, smokers should be ok.

The article also indicates that us nonsmokers are going to be expected to keep enforcement going: "Enforcement of the law will be driven by people who complain to the health department about smoking taking place illegally," so if there is some dive somewhere that everybody smokes at and nobody complains, they'll get along ok.

I am a little irritated that the fine goes to the business owner, and not to the smoker, but it would be pretty hard to get at individual scofflaws, I guess. I'd much rather see the smoker be fined for lighting up. Especially when you consider that (in my experience, at least) 90% or more of all smokers are considerate folks who try to keep their smoke away from people who don't like it. It's that handful of inconsiderates who make these laws happen. And they are the ones who ought to be punished.

The ban goes into effect on December 8th. After that, no smoking in any place of business in Washington State.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good News!

Apparently, the reThuglican woman who signed all the challenge letters in a dirty attempt to keep democrats from voting can be charged with a count of perjury for EVERY SINGLE LETTER that turns out to be false. As it appears now that a majority of the letters were false, Lori D. Sotelo might get put away in jail for a long time, if there is any justice in the world.

If the republicans were serious about cleaning up the voter rolls, they would do their research. Then maybe they would learn that, yes, people DO live at storage units as on-site managers. If they really were serious, they would also make sure to get the information into the election office in plenty of time so that people who made an honest mistake could fix it. Sending out 2000 challenge letters a week before the election is the tactic of desperate scum. I really hope Sotelo goes to jail for it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Crucifixion is Legal... according to Bush and Cheney

Read this.

If you aren't disgusted, horrified, and enraged... you probably aren't human. If you vote republican, you are voting for torture and death.

Poor Reading Comprehension

Wow. I usually don't get e-mail from this blog, because so few people read it. But I got a couple of interesting ones on the entry just below this. Apparently, some republican Christians think that *I* am the one calling Christians "wackos". I have to wonder if the folks who e-mailed me even bothered to actually read the entry, rather than skim it? You see, the people calling Christians "wackos" are REPUBLICAN LOBBYISTS, one of whom used to work for Tom "I am not a crook" DeLay.

For the record: I consider myself Christian, and I don't hate Christians, just stupid people. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stupid people who call themselves Christian even though they have no compassion for the poor, no desire to help their fellow humans, and absolutely no love for anyone who isn't exactly like them (which includes having plenty of money). This includes virtually any "Christian" who votes republican while the current republican leadership is in power. And the "Christian Right" are so unChristian I sometimes wonder why God doesn't strike them all down. I guess those hypocrites will get their "rewards" after death.

Also for the record: I tend to be Republican, actual Republican, in a lot of my opinions. However, the current republican leadership isn't even close to being Republican. They spend like there is no tomorrow, and start wars based on lies. They are criminals. And when you add in the dirty tricks that the local republicans pulled in today's election, I can only say that the rot in the republican party goes all the way down. I don't forsee me voting Republican again for a long time, because I doubt there will be a coup in the republican party to get rid of the neocons, and that's what it would take. Until then, I'll vote against the republican scum in the hopes that a lot of losses will lead to change.

And so: I still think that any Christian who votes for republicans right now is a moron. Of course, you can tell those folks over and over again that they are being used by the republicans, but all they will say in response is "You hate Christians!" in the finest traditional of blame the messenger.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Oh, the irony! So Washington State ReThuglican chairman, Chris Vance, who made it absolutely clear during the hotly disputed election for the governor that mistakes regarding voting rights are not acceptable, has made some very serious mistakes regarding voting rights and as a result may well deprive some voters, in largely democratic areas (strangely enough), of their right to vote. I thought Vance was an idiot when he made some really stupid comments during the disputed election, now I think he's a scumbag and a liar, and perhaps should go to jail for his "mistakes" since he sure seemed to think that state election officials should go to jail for their mistakes. Only the mistakes the election officials made were accidental. His are intentional attempts to keep democrats from voting, as the challenges appeared RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION. If he'd wanted to fix problems, he should have made sure the challenges were made with enough time for people to respond. Scummy tactics from a scummy person. Are there any honest people in the Republican party? I sure know that no honest person can possibly vote Republican in Washington state as long as hypocrite and liar Chris Vance and his ilk are in charge of the Washington Republican party.

And let me make one more thing very clear. I don't think that filing the challenges alone was wrong. I think that filing the challenges as late as they did, making sure that the voters only have a couple of days to fix the problems was a seriously nasty partisan tactic for which there is no excuse.

Chris Vance's new motto: "Mistakes are only ok if we make them!"

Speaking of Republicans, if you follow this link (pdf) you'll see the evidence put in against these lobbyists in a money laundering scheme. If you don't feel like going through all 318 pages, go to page 119 under "Mobilization": Simply put we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them. The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. In short, these Republican lobbyists believe that Christians are wackos to be used. This is the Republican method. Use Christians to influence the vote, but don't give them anything they really want. If you are Christian and vote Republican, you are a moron. The Republican party doesn't share your values, they just manipulate you to make you think they do. The only people who vote Republican right now, with the current "leadership" of the Republican party, are either complete idiots or folks who are morally bankrupt. There's a good summary of the lobbyist money laundering case here.