Saturday, February 21, 2004

The Latest Hot Issues

Noticed that the Ralph Nader issue is picking up steam. Supposedly he will announce this Sunday on Meet the Press what he plans to do. Democrats are going all out to convince him otherwise. One on his long time friends made this comment: Mr. Green said that he, in turn, told Mr. Nader that during a talk Mr. Green recently gave about his new critique of Mr. Bush, "The Book on Bush," 93 of 100 audience members who said they voted for Mr. Nader in 2000 said they would not do so again. "I relayed that as a way to say, a) It may hurt Kerry and help re-elect Bush and b) It won't help you given how much more you have to contribute." Joshua Marshall points out in his Talking Points Memo :A reader notes that since Nader now isn't even running as a Green, he has apparently abandoned even the pretense that he is in the race to create a viable third party in American politics. If he runs, it would now be strictly on a platform of vacuous moral posturing and self-aggrandizement.

SF Marriages
A judge blocked conservative groups from denying gays the right to marry . Gee, guess these groups won't have the chance for a few days to further their bigotry. I know, I know, there are 2 sides to this issue, but I'm sorry, I still don't get the side that thinks this is harming the "sanctity of marriage". Gov Schwarzenegger weighed in with this comment: saying that "San Francisco's actions are directly contrary to state law and present an imminent risk to civil order." What? The conservatives are going to rise up and wage war on the gays in the streets? Actually, that wouldn't surprise me. Update: Here's an interesting article on Mayor Newsome and his reasons for taking on this issue.

GW slips Another One by
George installed Willaim Pryor Jr to a Federal Appeals court during a Congressional recess. First we get Pickering, now we get Pryor. Pretty slick - you just get tired of Democrats filibustering, so you appoint them while the Congress is out. Fortunately they can be removed in the future when the Senates gets to vote on them - all the more reason to elect Democrats to Senate seats, who will rid the court of all these ultra-conservatives.As a state official in Alabama, Mr. Pryor, 41, gained prominence as an outspoken opponent of legalized abortion and as an advocate for a greater Christian influence in government Furthermore, Mr. Pryor is also known for defending the right of high school athletes to pray "spontaneously." And, in a brief before the Supreme Court, he argued that if a law in Texas outlawing sex between homosexuals was overturned, it would open the way for legalized "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography and even incest and pedophilia."

Staring Into the Mouth of the Trade Deficit SEATTLE - Huge container ships steam into this port every day loaded with clothes and shoes, furniture and video games, electronics and aircraft parts made in Asia.

On their return trip, those same ships often cross the Pacific half empty, bearing chemicals, meat, grain and engines and routinely stuffed with hay or scrap paper. "This is what the nation's trade imbalance really looks like," said Mark Knudsen, the deputy director of the Port of Seattle. "We've got so much empty cargo space, it pays to ship over hay for Chinese animals, or scrap paper to be recycled into packaging for Barbie dolls."

Obviously the trade debate is going to be a big issue in the upcoming election. Many think that outsourcing to other countries is hurting us, but there are others who don't see it that way. Will be an interesting debate. As I've said before, if you want to watch someone who really is outspoken about this, watch Lou Dobbs on CNN.  

Friday, February 20, 2004

Bill Clinton - A Speech shortly after 9/11

This may take you awhile, but it's always interesting to listen to Clinton talk. Smart minds like his don't come along every day. This is the text of a speech delivered to Georgetown Univ. students , not long after 9/11. Interesting viewpoints on terroists, Muslims and how we should view the world. Worth a read.  

Please Ralph, Don't do It!

There's a possiblity that Ralph Nader may run again - he's even got a web site testing out the idea. Now I know anybody should have the chance to run, but in Ralph's case, he actually made a difference which cost the Democrats the Election. He sucked up 80,000 votes in Florida when the difference came down to some 500 votes. And he sucked up 4% of the vote in New Hampshire where GW won by 1%. It would be one thing if Ralph really had a chance, but he doesn't and I can't believe he can sit back and see what the Republicans are doing and think that what he is doing is of some benefit to the country. You can email Ralph at . Do us all a favor and take the time to click on that link and jot Ralph a note telling him to cease and desist.

Quote of the Day:
I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough.

Claire Sargent, on women candidates, The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1993 

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

By Golly, The World may not End!

Electablog* Campaign News with all the Carbs: An amusing quote from Electablog this morning - "I live in San Francisco and can report with some certaintly that our city did not sink into the sea over the weekend, nor did a single person turn into a pillar of salt. There were, however, hundreds of joyous unions. I suppose everyone has a right to their opinions on this, but you've really got to wonder about people and organizations who took the weekend off from their Janet Jackson nipple-related letter writing campaigns to dedicate themselves to stopping people who love each other from getting married."
Quote of the Day:
Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.
George Carlin (1937-) 

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

SF Mayor takes a brave Stand

Gavin Newsome did the right thing in my book. It was nice to see all these people who have been discriminated against for so many years, finally achieve some happiness in their lives. Newsome: "There's also a constitution in the state of California that I swore to uphold just 39 days ago," he told CNN's "American Morning." "The bottom line is I took an oath of office and read that constitution, and nowhere in there did it say that I should discriminate."

"I see a world that I saw over the course of this weekend where people were literally coming, from states across this nation, coming together because they have been in a loving relationship for decade after decade, and they want the same privileges and rights and obligations that were extended to my wife and I," Newsom said.

"That's the kind of world that I want to live in," Newsom said. "That's the kind of world that I think the constitution of the state of California, for that matter, the U.S. Constitution, provides and protects."

Whereas I'm sure the courts will find a way to strike this down, I salute brother Newsome for his act of HUMAN decency.  

Summing Up

Nascar and GW
Spent Sunday catching up on the boob tube. 2 or 3 morning News Shows , then got to watch GW strut his stuff at the Daytona 500 (was surprised he didn't come blasting onto the track in full driver regalia, doing a few spinouts in the infield or something - must be losing his touch. He did wear a Daytona 500 jacket and made sure he got all the requisite photo ops with various military personnel present. I'm sure the WH was all over that. And of course he enjoyed the jets streaking overhead (even a Stealth bomber) and upward camera angles to reflect his beaming face against the blue skies was just added wizardry. Laura was close at hand for this one - wonder how she liked the race? She doesn't strike me as Nascar material. Had to suffer through another rendition of Lee Greenwood singing his America song - time for some new material maybe? Earnhardt Jr won the race in a rather boring final 10 laps or so as Tony Steward just didn't have the juice to catch him. Of course I walked away from the race during one of the major pileups - that's usually the way it works. Like most Americans, I'm there for the blood and guts. LOL

Big John returns!
John Daly cranked up a win on the PGA tour after being winless since the '95 British Open. Was nice to see the big ol' sot back in the saddle again. Made a fabulous bunker shot on the first hole in the playoffs to come within a few feet of the hole, then got to watch his opponents both flub their 3' putts. Some are just destined for great things and others have to keep sucking it up for another day. Wonder how it feels to have your wife and her parents up on criminal charges? How does he keep himself removed from that mess?

HBO and Women's Suffrage Movement
Watched Iron Jawed Angels on HBO , the story of Alice Paul and the Women's Suffrage Movement during the Wilson Presidency. Excellent performances - sort of a modern approach put on a historical movement - was done quite effectively I thought. Sure made Wilson out to be a jerk. The force feeding scenes were rough to watch though during her days in the slammmer. The show repeats itself this week. For the schedule click here . HBO and Showtime often turn out quality TV, unlike the rest of the normal crap on the major channels. Thank God for satellite dishes out here in the boonies.

Chickens for RA?
Wandered off for my usual 4 month visit to the rheumatologist - looks like I'm gonna live a few more years. :) Same ol', same ol', they don't have anything really to offer except for drugs and some of the new "biologicals" like Enbrel and Remicade are not completely without flaw. Rheumie mentioned he was starting to have problems with some of them , even having one of his patients contract MS. Think I'll stick with my RA and save a few bucks (Enbrel and Remicade run about 12K/year) and avoid the MS. A friend reports that she is having excellent success with undenatured chicken collagen in a trial being run by Dr. Trentham in Boston. Apparently he has found a new pill form vs. the liquid form he used back in the mid 90's in similar trials. I'm not sure of the exact dosage one would start on and am trying to find that out. Not being a toxic drug certainly sounds encouraging.

For an amusing look at the Democratic Debate Sunday Night, check out Electablog . The comments in parentheses are great.

Just finished watching Finding Nemo . Wonderful movie - surely seen by the entire planet already except for me. Hilarious dialog - great animation - a 5 star effort.  

Sunday, February 15, 2004

A Follow Up to "Daughter from Danang"

Thought I'd add a few links to this very throught provoking documentary. Hopefully you've added it to your list of movies to watch. Once you've watched it, you should read this interesting interview with the two producers. Then I'd move on to the section where people have written in to express their opinions of the movie. There are some very thoughtful comments here - as you can see, opinions differ widely. This would be a very good movie for families to watch and discuss with their kids. It is interesting that we alone seem to be a culture that does not venerate one's elders. Wonder what that says about us? That we're selfish? I'll leave that for you to contemplate. It will be interesting to hear what Heidi decides to do in the future.