Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The King of Wishful Thinking

Rudy Giuliani says that he thinks the Democrats will change their minds and see that the Republicans were right about Iraq.

See, there's just one lil' problem with that, Rudy: even many of the Republicans don't think the Republicans were right about Iraq anymore. If your own camp is emptying out in a mad trek toward reason, you certainly can't hope to convert the folks who thought it out and were rational all along...

And they called us fantasists...

Monday, October 29, 2007

The "Did You Evah" Survey...

This came from Stephen Rader's blog...his answers were much more entertaining that I'm sure mine will be! But there was nothing too embarrassing for me to answer, which is not always the case with these things, so here goes...

Taken a picture completely naked? I don't have the stomach for it. And neither would the viewer, trust me.

Made out with a friend on your MySpace/Facebook page? Actually, yes...I met this person before I added them on MySpace, but the makeout was damn fun anyway (God, what a mouth!)

Danced in front of your mirror naked? Please. Even I couldn't keep breakfast down.

Told a lie? Yes, of course. When I do, I convince myself that it's for the best. (Which is sometimes another lie--we humans are adept at self-deception.)

Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Nearly always (Does anyone ever have them back?)

Been arrested? No, but I'm sure that my outspokenness will get me into some sort of detention at some point.

Made out with someone of the same sex? Yes.

Seen someone die? Yes, and I probably will again sometime in the not-too-distant future. I don't recommend it.

Slept in until 5pm?
No, I couldn't handle doing that--I'd never sleep through the night and I'd feel even worse the next day.

Had sex at work? No.

Fallen asleep at work/school? When I was in college, I pulled an all-nighter studying and kept falling asleep at work the next morning. Nobody noticed (our job was answering letters/inquiries, and it was quiet by nature), but I was quite embarrassed.

Held a snake? I had a boa constrictor around my neck was I was four years old at the zoo (they were looking for volunteers to demonstrate, and I jumped right up there--amazing what little fear ignorant children have).

Ran a red light? Yes, semi-accidentally (I thought I could get through the yellow light in time--I didn't, and the City of Chicago was kind enough to photograph me with their new-fangled aerial camera).

Been suspended from school? No, but I had a few detentions in my day.

Totaled your car in an accident? Yes, when I was 18. Fortunately, I walked away and there were no other cars involved.

Pole danced? No way!

Smoked? Yes, I am a smoker, although I had cut back until these last two months. I'm also a bit overweight, so I'm a safe pariah two times over. (Go ahead, folks, make your cracks--when it's my turn, I will not forget...)

Been fired from a job? Yes. It sucks, although there's that whole "everything happens for a reason" song and dance you always get from them. And I suppose it does.

Sang karaoke? A few times. It was pretty fun, except at Hydrate, where all the queens think they're competing on "American Idol." I never saw so much attitude coming from people who sounded like three cats being stapled together.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? I'm currently living my entire life doing things I said I never would. Sometimes it's out of your control.

Laughed until a drink came out your nose? Only once.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes. I do love winter sometimes...

Kissed in the rain? No. That's outdoors, and nobody would be seen kissing me in public where alcohol isn't served.

Sang in the shower? Not very often.

Given your private parts a nickname? No.

Ever gone out without underwear? Once, when I accidentally forgot a change of underwear at the gym. I just wore my T-shirt untucked on the way home.

Sat on a roof top? Sure.

Played chicken? No, but I was riding with a friend in high school who played it. In a Pinto.

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? No, but I've been pushed in when I wasn't ready to get in yet.

Broken a bone? No. I broke a tooth when I was 7 years old, but no other bones so far.

Mooned/flashed someone? No.

Shaved your head? Not so far. My last haircut left me feeling scalped, however!

Slept naked? A few times.

Played a prank on someone? Yes.

Had a gym membership? I have two now (one at the work gym, one at the Y).

Felt like killing someone? Oh, God yes.

Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? No.

Cried over someone you were in love with? Yes...it lasted a few hours, then I was just glad he was gone.

Had sex more than 10 times in one day? Wow...that's even more than I can take.

Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? No--I had a pet rock once, but I don't think it's the same thing.

Been in a band? Yes. I'm in one now.

Subscribed to Maxim? No, I hate those hoity-toity middle-aged-adolescent-rich-guy magazines.

Taken more than 10 shots of alcohol? At once? No.

Shot a gun? Yes. It had blanks in it, though (it was for a play).

Had sex today? With someone else, you mean? No.

Played strip poker? No.

Tripped on mushrooms? No, but I slipped on a banana peel yesterday.

Donated Blood? Not since 1996.

Video taped yourself having sex? No.

Eaten alligator meat? No.

Ever jump out of an airplane? No.

Have you been to more than 10 countries? Nope, never traveled outside the U.S. (I don't belong to the "traveling class," I'm more the "lumpen proletariat" type...)

Ever wanted to have sex with a platonic friend? Yep. They usually have enough taste to say no.

Have you ever shaved yourself bare? Not entirely.

Have you ever dressed in drag? Yes, once in high school. I looked exactly like Bonnie Tyler. I never did it again.

If you could be one celebrity for a week, who would it be? One who's semi-retired and doesn't have photographers chasing them around all the time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pre-Teen Mean

Like that song from "Into the Woods" says, "careful the things you say, children will listen." Guess it was true. It looks like a world full of precocious piranha fish are now listening to their bitchy older sisters for cues on how to interact with their peers. Boys do the same thing, but they just flat out beat each other up. I think I preferred that.

And, really, is there anything more attractive than sarcasm and snark in the extremely precocious? Why, it's almost as quasi-charming as seeing them stumble around in their mother's high heels, dressed in her over-large silk blouse, with her pearl necklace pooling around their heels (not for the last time).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So THIS Is My Problem

A Glimmer of Reason

As much as he exasperates me, sometimes I really have to take my hat off to my local alderman. Since I'm on the ward's e-mail list, I get his weekly bulletins, and something I read in today's note really caught my eye and impressed me:

"According to the nonpartisan National Priorities Project, Chicago taxpayers alone have spent $4.8 billion dollars on the war in Iraq. If you divide that number by Chicago's 50 wards, the 49th Ward's share of that amount is $96 million.

Think about it. Ninety-six million of our hard-earned dollars went to that stupid and disastrous and immoral war. We could have used that money to rebuild our crumbling el stations, hire scores of new police officers, provide hundreds of 49th Ward families with quality affordable housing, and extend health care coverage to thousands of 49th Ward families.

And Chicago could have balanced its budget and avoided any tax increases with just a small fraction of the $4.8 billion city taxpayers sent to Iraq."

"Disastrous and immoral?" Wow! Now THAT'S real communication. This is a guy who many of us see as snuggling into cahoots with developers to build more and more useless condos in our already-saturated neighborhood and pushing out the working families. (We get used to thinking this sort of thing when we continually see apartment buildings being torn down in our neighborhood--because what happens to the people who lived there?) To see this sort of statement from him when the elections are already over indicates that he means what he says. It's nice to see that we agree on something.

On the other hand, I was stunned to see how much my neighborhood had actually shelled out for the war--$96 million?? Jesus, no wonder our taxes are so fricking high.

I can't imagine what they're like in desirable neighborhoods...

UPDATE: Check out this incredible figure, estimating what each of us will end up having paid for these wars over 10 years. I think I may have already topped that figure!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Official!

Travel and Leisure is the least useful magazine around.

I mean seriously, who wants to know this shit? Do people plan vacations to go to the least attractive cities? And who decided? Who was the sample? A bunch of haggard women in some strip-mall plastic surgeon's office in Sherman Oaks, CA?

How very scientific.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Oh? By The Way? Betch!

If you love the video for Kelly's "Shoes," you'll also love this kick-ass parody, which is endorsed by Kelly herself:

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Nuclear Options...

I love the wording in their statement. Essentially, "this might never happen again. Kinda. Sorta. We hope."

I'll sleep easier tonight. Won't you?

More Light Entertainment for Heavy Weather

Another fun thing to do on a dreary Friday afternoon...

This was my favorite "Schoolhouse Rock" song ever ("Interjections" was a very close second). Courtesy of the treasure-trove that is YouTube, please enjoy...

"Sufferin' Till Suffrage"

Thought For a Rainy Friday

Is it just me, or does Mahmoud, erm, Ahmadinaj...erm... Vitameatavega...erm...Takahomasak the President of Iran look a little like Diahann Carroll in man-drag...?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Knew I Was Right!

Take that, Miss Manners!

(Then go take a laxative, because it's obvious that you sorely need one.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"You're No Ronald Reagan"

Ouch, Rudy--how embarrassed are you? You don't understand the art of insult, do you? You should, if you've been listening to what other people say.

(Oh, whoops, I forgot--that was never your strong suit, was it? That, along with finding dentures that FIT, seems to have fallen by the wayside.)

Is somebody supposed to be offended when told, "You're no Ronald Reagan?" My reflexive response would be to say, "Thank you," and heave a huge sigh of relief...

Because I don't think Obama was saying he WAS Reagan and certainly not that he wanted to be Reagan (nobody ever wanted that, even when the old fool was president). He was simply using an example of an extreme right-wing conservative who negotiated with people he considered terrorists, saying that as doddering as he was, even Reagan wasn't so stupid as to underestimate the humanity and intelligence of adversaries the way our current Great Embarrasser does. (And perhaps reminding us that it's only said Great Embarrasser who declared we'd "never negotiate with 'terrorists'," as part of the absolutist, unblinking, unthinking dogma he built up from watching too many John Wayne flicks.)

But pulling a wise-ass one-liner out of his already-crowded ass was good enough to get Rudy a laugh. Will it be enough to win him an election?

Perhaps not if ALL New Yorkers vote.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Fun Survey," or "What Crackhead Wrote These Questions?"

1. You and Jesus go out to dinner - who pays?
Somehow, I think having Jesus with you entitles you to a comp...otherwise, I'd probably pay. He already died for me, for piss sakes...

2. You suddenly have to flee the country and adopt a new name. What do you choose?
Darlene Ryan.

3. Pick one state in the U.S. to get rid of permanently?
I can't imagine getting rid of a whole state. We need all the land we can get. A few states have dumber citizens per capita than others, but I have friends in most states, so I think I'll keep 'em all…

4. You wake up as the opposite gender what's the one thing you wanna do?
Go shoe shopping.

5. Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?
Han Solo all the way (I used to heart Luke more, but Harrison Ford stayed cute when he got older).

6. Toy you always wanted but never got as a child?
A vacuum cleaner (don't ask--I can't explain).

7. Top three celebrities you wanna do:
See Number 5--I can't think of two others. I don't find the genetically altered nouveu-Aryan stars of today attractive.

8. What's an automatic deal breaker in a potential significant other?
Bad hygiene/doesn't like music.

9. What is the last movie you saw that actually scared you?
"Charlie's Angels" (I was scared that someone actually paid money to make that pile of shit).

10. Stupidest thing you've ever said out loud?
I sometimes call people by the wrong name when I'm really tired...

11. You're sentenced to death and its the morning of your execution, what do you eat?
A pound of plastic explosives (I'm not going down alone!)...

12. What's something that most people do that you don't?
Talk on their cell phones while driving.

13. Before you die you want to go to...?
A place where I can buy immortality.

14. Something you'd really like to do but probably won't ever be able to do?
Write a book.

15. A wild animal you'd like to have as a pet?
My cat is already wild enough for me. I don't need anything that actually KILLS when it bites.

16. A drug you'll never try?
Lots I'll never try--I'd have to say crack is right up there.

17. If you were an animal what would you be?
A big grumpy bear.

18. If you had to marry someone you knew at the age of 12 who would it be?
I'd never marry a 12-year-old--that's sick! (Oh, you mean, someone I knew WHEN I was 12? Oh, hell, I don't know--they were all bitches.)

19. What's something a lot of people don't know about you?
Probably nothing at this point--I'm embarrassingly honest.

20. First celebrity crush?
Ann-Margret (also Barbara Mandrell--they were simultaneous). Along with Christopher Reeve (I couldn't make my mind up even then).

21. What's a weapon to suit your personality, habits and abilities?
Paintball gun.

23. Favorite breakfast bread style (pancakes, waffles, toast etc...)?
Waffles are the bomb--but I love really crisp cheese bagels too.

24. Favorite parody movie?

25. Worst way to die?
In isolation.

26. Grossest injury you've ever seen?
A kid dislocated his foot during gym class (I actually had to sit on the ground because I almost passed out).

27. The worst injury you've ever had?
I tripped and put my arm through the glass part of a storm door when I was 10. I cut my arm in several places. No permanent damage, although I still have the scars.

28. Favorite thing about Thanksgiving?
Being off work and spending time with family.

29. Sport you hate the most?
I'm not wild about any of them, really. I hate golf more than most, however. I'm sick of Tiger Woods (yeah, yeah, yeah, you're rich, you're young, you're straight, you're unbeatable--you da man. Retire already.)

30. What state in the US do you want to visit?
Washington (State), Virginia

31. What's something you think would be sweet to know everything about?

33. What's one phrase you absolutely detest?
"I'm just sayin'" or that so-and-so "dropped the ball." Get some original speech, for fuck's sakes.

34. What makes an awesome party?
Terrific folks, good booze and lots of spicy nibbly bite-sized things!

35. What's your material obsession?
I buy lots of shirts for some reason...

36. What's something most would consider an insult but you enjoy having said about you?
That I'm a bitch.

37. Favorite kind of dog(s)?
I like all dogs except for the small, yappy ones.

38. Favorite carnival food (everyone has one)?
Funnel cakes.
39. Morning or night person?

40. Worst drunken habit?
Munchies/smoking too much.

41. Weirdest ebay purchase?
I've only bought one thing on eBay: a copy of "Female Trouble" on VHS. That was 8 years ago, so I'm not too active on eBay!

42. Favorite food to eat when you're wasted?
Really SPICY Mexican food.

43. Its Saturday at 3am where are you?
Asleep (or getting back from a Joans gig).

44. Who's your favorite friend to go out with?
I like going out with all of my friends (unless they're in a bad mood).

45. Worst job you've ever had?

46. What's something your friends make fun of you for?
That I talk so much occasionally. (It's not my fault that I have interesting things to say and they don't!)

47. Favorite cereal?
Frosted Mini-Wheats, granola with raisins.

48. Book you could read repeatedly?
Anything by James Thurber (they're usually short story collections, so they're quick, too).

49. What's the meanest thing you've ever done?
I'm probably mean not to give money to all the panhandlers, but I've gotta pay my bills, too.

50. If you were drafted into a war, would you survive?
Impossible to say...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sometimes, Love Trumps Money

Especially when the love is for your land. I'm sure eventually Trump will get what he wants, but it sure is refreshing to see at least one person in this ass-backwards world who isn't foaming at the mouth to kiss Trump's ass.

Real estate speculators and those looking to bottom-feed from them simply don't understand that some people are not willing to give up their land and their homes for any amount of money. I know, I know, it's wacky and baffling in this new age of mercenary interests and raw money-lust, but they still exist: people who value some things more. What is the world coming to?

I particularly love that Trump's trying to play his own family history card here, saying that his mother was born in Scotland and he feels a "deep connection" to it.

Sure, Donald. What better way to show your appreciation for the history of a country that to cover half of it with a golf course? Give us a break. If you really felt such a "connection" to the place, you'd realize that the place you called "disgusting" is actually pretty typical for a crofter's land. Rusty tractors? So what, as long as they run? These folks aren't rich and they don't necessarily aspire to be. They love their homes and they work the land to live and provide for themselves and their neighbors, not to impress you and your useless minions. So take your ugly-ass rug and fly it home.

And stop trying to insult everyone's intelligence with flimsy, pseudo-sentimental reasoning. Ain't nobody buying it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, A New Health Scapegoat...

Move over, smokers and fatties: the uber-sensible, number-crunching "risk managers" of the new millenium have found another group that impedes workplace productivity.

Shall we charge them $100 a month fee?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Lessing To Learn

I'll never live to be 87, but if I do, I want to be just like this woman.

I think she's my new heroine. I already talk to people like this, but am strangely ostracized for it. If I live to be old enough, it'll be considered charming.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

In The Current Issue of "Duh" Magazine...

...a low-fat diet may cut the risk of ovarian cancer.

In other "Duh" news, weight and blood pressure may predict heart failure risk.

What'll they think of next? Clouds predicting rain? The (simple) mind boggles...

Chatty Patty

Saturday morning, I drove down to Chillicothe to visit Mom. I got to the home about 10:30, and Mom was in the training room with the occupational therapist. She was very perky (more so than I've seen her in a few months) and started talking immediately.

And kept talking.

In fact, she never stopped talking the whole time I was there. (And I was there until nearly 8:00PM.) She was very hoarse the next day and sounded like Marge Simpson.

I had brought a few DVDs for her, and we watched a little "Arrested Development," but we only got through part of the first episode before she got distracted and got talking again. Her memory is still very jumbled, but I see signs that there is an improvement. Not the least of which is her memory therapist, Dee, telling me that there is an improvement. (She also showed me her written exercises over the last few weeks, and the change is clear.)

She's contented enough in the home and says everyone's nice there (they are), but that she's anxious to get back to her own apartment. This won't happen for quite some time, as Dee told me that "we're looking at months here, not weeks." The trick will be to keep her from getting frustrated as more time passes and she sees that she can't get back there yet.

She still asks me about my grandmother and my aunt (her sister) who both died during the same 6 month span over three years ago and is frustrated that she can't remember that. We've told her not to get frustrated and to just relax and let memories come when they will come. She's doing her best, but forgets we told her that and starts fretting again! But the therapists have said that, in time, she will find it easier to recall things. They did tell us that she was trying to stand on her own last week and she slid out of her wheelchair and landed on her knees. She didn't break them, thankfully, but we've had to tell her not to try to stand without the therapists. The fact that she's restless, however, is a good sign. Another good sign is that she wants to get started on her chemo again. She doesn't remember the last three weeks that she spent in the hospital with dehydration/exhaustion, because if she did, she'd never want to do her chemo again (that's what started all this). But the doctor will likely cut the dose in half from now on so it's not so strong. He'll wait until she's stronger, though.

There was hardly any frustration this time--she still doesn't eat all her food, but she eats what she wants to and now, she's eating a little of everything, which is encouraging. She's also drinking her meal-replacement shake-thing, so she's getting plenty of nutrients.

There were a few angry words exchanged this time, but neither mom nor I were involved. My cousin "Junie" came in to see her Saturday and suggested that she and I and Aunt Fay go through Mom's storage locker (which she rented to put all the stuff from her house that she couldn't fit into the apartment--there's a lot!) and sell the stuff she doesn't want at auction, then make more room for the apartment furniture, thereby eliminating the need to keep paying rent on the apartment until she's ready to move into a new one. She told mom, "You won't be going back to that apartment with all those stairs" (which is probably true, but it's premature to suggest that to her right now). It sounded a little pushy, but that's Junie, so I didn't argue with her right away--frankly I was a little too taken-aback to think of a way to respond that wasn't too snippy.

I didn't have to. She called Aunt Fay on her cell right then and there to make her pitch. I could hear Aunt Fay through the phone--and she wasn't singing. I couldn't hear everything she said, but could make out the words "nurses said not to bring up any of this shit to her" and "screwiest idea I ever heard" and then a firm click. I walked Junie out when she was leaving and she burst into tears, saying "I didn't want to cause problems, I was just trying to help," etc. I felt bad in a way, but that's kind of her M.O.--when her shit hits the fan, turn on the waterworks. She called the next day and invited me to come to her house for dinner and "take a little break" (how is it a break when she's 10 miles away and I can go to Mom's apartment across the street and take a nap if I want?) and take Mom back some dessert. Mom didn't want any dessert and I knew Junie was just going to work on me again and I didn't feel like being harangued. So I said I'd try to stop by around 7:00 if I could, then just didn't go.

At the end of the night, I did go out for a few beers. (Always a tricky thing in a small town, but since it's my hometown...) The place I usually go to was already closed (it was Sunday), so I went to this place called Margie's, where there were five or six women and one token man watching the Bears/Packers game. The bartender was a surly little bitch who grudgingly served me one Bud Light, then ignored me the rest of the time. In fact, the entire clientele were coarse and unattractive--the kind who hate men because they can't find decent ones (they griped about it the entire time) and refuse to acknowledge that their attitude and demeanor might have something to do with it. Finally I got tired of being ignored and went next door to a much nicer place called Crazy Charlie's, where the bartendress was much nicer and more polite.

Yesterday morning, she had her physical therapy again and, with a little assistance, she walked all the way down the hall with the walker. I was very proud of her--and I always have fun talking and joking with the staff, since they're so good-natured. We went back to her room and two of her childhood friends, Terri and Cheryl, came in to visit her just before I left (it's a small town, and most of the girls her age stayed in town and now work in/around Peoria, or are even retired). They had a nice time and it was amazing that she recognized them immediately (she recognizes people right away--just forgets events).

Since she's making such great progress, I feel better about not going down there every weekend, and just going once a month or every three weeks. I told her that once "Rudolph" rehearsals start, I can't do weekends, so I may come down on a weekday sometime. She said not to worry about coming down every weekend, because she's doing better (and I think she really is now). I'm relieved, because my 14-year-old car won't take the constant journey every week--it needs new brakes as it is. And I'm still hoping she can come and see "Rudolph" some weekend. It's two months away, so I'm hoping she should be able to ride in a car by then.


When I got home last night, after dropping off the rental car at Hertz ($112 for 3 days--Hertz, don't it? And that's cheap for a rental!), I went to the Lakeshore Theatre to see Gay Chicago's After Dark Awards. I've never been to one before, but this year, my fellow Joan and the artistic director of Hell in a Handbag Productions, David Cerda, was honored for best musical score for "Caged Dames." I was in the pit band for that show, so those songs have a special place in my heart and always will. I got to see lots of my other friends in attendance, like Stephen, who was wearing a very snazzy black shirt, Doug Vickers, who was wearing a snazzy black shirt, and the other Handbaggers, who were all wearing--snazzy black things. I was the only one there wearing green.

I must've gotten it confused with St. Patrick's Day. Damn. Although it was a classy, dusty sage-green and not that lime green that leprechauns wear.

I got to sit with the other Handbaggers and friends and was pleasantly surprised to see Andra Velis Simon and her husband Jamie. Andra was the musical director for the first run and half of the second run of "Caged Dames" (until she had to leave to work on "The Apple Tree"), and Jamie played trumpet during the first run. We had a blast working together, and her new show is right down the street from my house, so I'm going to try to see it this week.

I was out from work today (completely run-down and tired), so I'm trying to do some straightening up here since the cable people are coming to install my new phone service today (I'm upgrading to digital cable, too, which is kind of exciting--finally I can TiVo! Woo hoo...)


By the way, The Joans T-shirts are in! Yay!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Yep, Their Priorities Are On Straight...

Big record companies make a $200,000 example of a single mom as a warning against illegal downloading.

What a brilliant PR move. Their spin doctors will be clinking glasses later celebrating this coup, I'm certain. None of the record companies was mentioned by name, but I'm sure one of them rhymes with "bony." (And "phony.")

I'm all for artists being paid fairly for their work, but under the record-company standard, when has that ever been the case?

And don't these companies have bigger battles to fight? Like, oh, I don't know, finding artists that don't suck? Or make spectacles of themselves in public?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Prayers answered

More "Good Christian" Examples

This suburban Chicago priest seems to think he's Tomas de Torquemada. Sheesh! Give 'em a collar and they think they own heaven! (At least my collar has studs.) I can't believe that the teacher is only suing for $50,000, given the normally swelling coffers of Catholic churches, especially in the suburbs.

My favorite quote is from the diocesan spokesperson who says that they're hoping for a "peaceful solution." In other words, "settle out of court, and now."

A wise decision, pumpkin. And if I were you, I'd cough up the whole $50,000. That "send him to hell" bit is just way inappropriate. (Although I wonder if we can use that as a write-in ballot option come November 2008...?)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hollow Christian, Paper Dragon

When it comes to being a bastard, President Bush will gladly do it in public if it means sending GROWN kids off to war or ramping up spending to perpetuate the war that fills his cronies' coffers.

But when it comes to denying children health care? THAT he prefers to do behind closed doors, without fanfare, so no icky-ocky-poo-poo news coverage comes out of it.

Thank heavens for that Christian charity. So typical of the arm-chair soldier. Hasn't changed much from the National Guard days, has he?

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Eyes of A (Big) Brother

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells residents to get used to surveillance--it's part of life in this, our new and dangerous world.

As justification, he reminds us that London's Ken Livingstone has the "Ring of Steel" surveillance system which works so well, and that the people like it so well that Ken would be "run out of town on a rail" if he didn't have it.

On the marble wall in the entrance of the building I work in are inscribed several quotes as they relate to freedom. My favorite is the one from Ben Franklin:

"Those who would trade security for freedom deserve neither."

Perfectly stated. People don't realize that when they begin surrendering their privacy and freedom to authorities, those authorities begin making boiler-plate decisions for everyone and the individual--the bedrock that the spirit of the law of our land was based on--disappears. But of course, in this day of easy microwave meals and instant gratification, everybody wants the fast and easy fix to everything, and that includes their security. They've eased and convenienced themselves (and the rest of us) into a police state that we'll never be rid of. But the spin doctors for the establishment will make it sound like a good thing, and probably write a humorous commercial come election time. They may even use Ben Franklin's picture at the end, discrediting his words with a cute, flippant caption:

"Remember: He suffered from electric shock."

You were right, Ben: we deserve neither.