Saturday, May 01, 2004

Lazy, beautiful Saturday
I'm sitting here while my hair's getting bleached. It's a wonderful warm May Day out there in Portland, and we've had scooter lessons for the boo, a bit of beer, some house cleaning - it's just been a good day all around. And now I'm getting my hair prettied up for a party tonight. Ahh.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Another shock: diseased meat (again)
CNN.com - Beef recall amid E. coli concerns - Apr 30, 2004
Is that dead animal worth the e-coli?

Americans once again give big thimbs-up to torture!
CNN.com QuickVote
Someday I'll stop being surprised at the American Right-wing, I suppose. But I keep mistaking them for human beings. In this poll, a full 36% said no to the question: " Were you upset by pictures that appear to show Iraqi detainees being abused by U.S. troops?" Great. Fucking great. There's Bush's base for you. The third of the country that is so filled with hate and bile that they can vote republican.

In his defense, Bush has condemned the treatment of the prisoners. Story here.

Letter writing
In the hopes that writing letters can make a difference, I just sent the following to the producers of the PBS kids show "Between the Lions."

Thank you very much for producing your show. I keep my 2 ½ year old son away from commercial television, but allow him to watch “Between the Lions.” I feel yours is the single best children's television programming running.

Perhaps if I did not hold “Between the Lions” in such high regard, I would not feel the need to complain about the one aspect of your show that troubles me. However, once again today, I was placed in a difficult position as a parent due to the content of the program. The problem I have is the constant display of slabs of meat as wonderful, desirable things. I can appreciate that real lions are carnivorous and the consumption of dead animals is the most desired and life giving thing in their lives. And I have no problem letting Sebastian watch documentaries about felines in which their need for meat is displayed and explained. We even cheerfully share our home with five meat-eating cats!

However, when the lions are as personified as they are in “Between the Lions,” such obsession with meat eating is out of context and unnecessary. For young Sebastian, it is even confusing. In addition to the wonderful lessons that help him learn literacy, he also gets the constant message that eating meat is a good thing. And I, as his stay-at-home father, am faced with the chore of reiterating that the characters on the show are cats, and it's necessary for cats to eat meat.

I also know it is my responsibility as his parent to teach him why a large portion of his culture eats dead animals and why we choose not to. However, just as your show avoids taking stances on issues of religion and politics, and even works to foster multi-cultural understanding (thank you!) you could leave this theme out altogether and avoid sending the inappropriate message that eating meat is a positive thing.

Thank you once again for your wonderful program,
Matthew Ryan
Portland, Oregon

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Our heroes in uniform
Salon.com News | CBS airs alleged GIs abuse of Iraqis
Torturing brown people for freedom! Boy, I sure am glad these guys are representing American values around the world. If not for them, we'd be living under the autocratic rule of Stalin or something.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Everyone should do this
The Cyborg Name Generator
C.A.T.P.H.I.L.E.: Cybernetic Artificial Technician Programmed for Hazardous Infiltration and Logical Exploration

Back to the campaign
I've been in kind of a lull during the last month of the campaign, as you can just get so caught up in the minutae of the daily talking points that the whole thing becomes one big back and forth of bickering.

But the White House's new line of attack is just so disgusting and disingenuous that it must be mentioned. Their current story (being dutifully repeated and discussed by their willing press corps) is whether John Kerry threw away his medals (and what he subsequently claimed he had done) at a war protest in 1971 after he had returned from his two tours of duty, for which he volunteered.

At this same time remember that after being suspended from flying, George fucking Bush went AWOL for two years and ran off to Alabama to work for a Republican senatorial campaign. And these flag waving, military benefit cutting GOPers want to start bringing Kerry's nine medals in to the national debate? That's right. They want us to discuss John Kerry's three purple hearts, his silver star, and his bronze star.

Great! Let's discuss, lil' Georgie Porgie. First question:
What did you do with your medals after the war?