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I Love New York September 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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So this past week New York said “Buh-bye” to Title 5 money from the Feds by dis-allowing “abstinence-only” sex education in New York public schools.

Finally, a State with a Sack.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand that abstinence is the only way to assure zero pregnancies and zero transmission of STDs.

But unlike the people who are foisting abstinence-only “sex education” on our children, I acknowledge the fact that it doesn’t work. Study after well-controlled major study concludes that it’s ineffective and results in no fewer pregnancies and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases by insuring that we’re rearing generation after rolling generation of Ignorant Fucking Children. Because God, in His Wisdom, has seen to it that young people will fuck each other. It’s normal, it’s natural, it feels good and we can’t stop it.

But we can stop the adverse consequences of this unstoppable natural behavior. We can reduce unwanted pregnancies. We can prevent most sexually transmitted diseases. All it takes is education about how our bodies work, how problems are propagated, how to keep one’s self safe and what to do if one fails at any step along the way.

The kind of Magical Thinking which rejects true sex education and embraces fairy-tale what-iffery in its place results in a lot of young lives being catastrophically altered, with educations truncated, economic viability rendered unattainable, social parity made unlikely and health care costs pushed through the roof.

And it results in a lot of little babies, some of whom will be loved and cherished and cared for, but most of whom will spend a lifetime struggling to pay for the stupidity of the people who were charged with their parents’ educations, people who failed their children on a most basic level, people who won’t bear the direct costs of their negligence, but who will rather point their greasy fingers at the victims of their own arrogant neglect.

New York has chosen a higher path, a more moral path, a more responsible path for it’s young people. New York has chosen to educate it’s young people, to give them tools and choices and resources to deal with Life On Earth. New York has chosen logic and facts and a practical Way Forward over magical thinking and dogmatic belief in that which has been proven to be untrue. New York has chosen a Path of Potential for its young people over the false promise of Ignorance as Bliss.

And now the battle begins: The Hordes of the Holy will descend on The Empire State from all corners of our country, with missions from Florida and busloads of frenetic fundamentalists from the bible-belt throwing money and lobbying hard to influence the debate, to represent the education of our children as Godless secularism, to insinuate the specter of socialism, to evoke the image of terrorists winning by being proved right by our blatant display of moral depravity.

These assaults on reason must not go unanswered. They must be countered by support from every corner where reason has taken root. They must be met with calls for similar displays of courage from other people in other states, people whose children have everything to gain and nothing to lose from knowing the truth, people who refuse to be held hostage by the Immoral Minority and their manipulation of the facts.

It’s time for each of us to step up to the plate on this matter. It’s time for every Thinking Parent to intercede on their sons’ and daughters’ behalf, to find out what’s being taught in their schools, to speak out against the waste of taxpayers’ money on programs which have been proven ineffective and to insist that young people be told the truth about their sexuality, their responsibilities, their futures.

Our children are depending on us to do no less.

Burnt Offerings September 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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4 comments

OK, so since struggling with difficult cultural vantages for a week and girding my loins and pouring my heart out generates fewer responses than blogging about my dinner does, here’s what I had last night:

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Grilled coconut shrimp over a jicama slaw, topped with a generous dollop of curry aioli and served with the seasonally ubiquitous side of garden fresh tomatoes and basil with local mozzarella.

Enjoy!

…PS, J/K about the agony of expressing my political/social views. I love “getting it out,” even if it’s just for me 😉

Every Sperm Is Sacred… September 20, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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6 comments

Unless it has a towel on it’s head.

Blackwater International, a North Carolina-based “security firm,” just got served its walking papers by the Government of Iraq for indiscriminately killing a bunch of Iraqi civilians. The initial report claimed eight dead, but the number is growing as the unsuppressible truth comes out, a truth fueled by a long and growing litany of Crimes Against Humanity committed by the largest taxpayer-supported mercenary force in the History of the Universe.

And I don’t use the term “mercenary force” lightly. Our government (and all other governments staking a claim in the “civilized world”) rails against mercenary armies and has put them squarely outside all manifestations of International Law.

Unless, of course, they’re US.

And in this sad and terrifying instance, Our Current pResident has seen to it that Blackwater is not only outside the law, it’s not answerable to the law. Not American law, not Iraqi law, not even the oxymorinic fiction of military law. They’re a bunch of highly paid murderers whose job is to protect Corporate America’s plunder of Iraq’s resources, Capitalist America’s rape of Non-American Cultures and Christian America’s Destruction of Islam.

I shit you not.

Visit Blackwater’s Official Website to see how they like to present themselves, then read Chris Hedges’ essay on the plans and progress of the Neo-Christian Movement toward world dominance. If it doesn’t make you puke, maybe it will make you do something about it.

Bottom Line: I seriously, sincerely hope that every last one of these murderous, money-grubbing mother-fucking fascists finds their charred-black asses hanging from a bridge in Fallujah.

Thank You Jesus. Amen.

HAARRRRRRRRRRR!!! September 20, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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If ye not be a visitor over at Cap’n Dykes place, ya Scurvy Dog, ye ought ta be keel-hauled and left on a Dirt Island to Dry in th’ Sun!

…Or maybe jest go there an’ we’ll let ye be!

Me Cap’n, I been flounderin’ fer some time in th’ flats o’ land, and ain’t been as regular as a Bursar ought t’ be, but I still be keepin’ me One Good Eye on yer loot (and Lasses, ye may have noticed!)

Sail On, me Cap’n, Sail On!

Another Voice Of Reason! September 19, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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4 comments

I was just over at SuziRiot’s place, which I learned of from DCup at PoliTits. I have to say, I’m always astounded by people’s ability to write clearly and concisely (I’m a Rambler by nature.) If you haven’t been, go. Now.

Well actually, read Tonight’s Ramblings, then go.

And I was all puffy-proud to see she’d added me to her Short List (that’s Blogroll to all you ‘Spheroids.)

Thanks, Gurrrl 😉

Begging Your Forbearance, But… September 19, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
4 comments

Because I’ve all but lost my ability to read, and because I struggle so mightily to string written words together into vaguely sentient sentences, it can (and does) take me forever to get posts onto this page. And much to my eternal shame, I can seldom get through the longer posts of the thoughtful and talented people who are kind enough to come visit me once in a while, let alone summon a response, though Lord knows you all deserve it.

So I have a lot of gall re-upping the post below, as if you weren’t patient enough with me the first time it ran. But you know, it was supposed to be the first of a two-part series, the exposition of a problem which occupies my thoughts to a more than healthy degree, followed by my ideas for a solution in place of my usual trembling retreat to bed.

If you can endure another bout of Leftist Finger Pointing, I promise it will be followed by a More Positive Proposal.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a good night.

Smoke And Mirrors, Redux September 19, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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So I’ve been struggling with the horrors of September 11, 2001 and how to make sense of it all and move forward in a productive way.

I remember where I was when I heard the news – in the County Court House, expecting to testify in a case involving an idiot who crashed his car in our tiny town after passing me on a corner, going at least 100 miles an hour. The court personnel and lawyers were scurrying about, looking serious and buzzing amongst themselves as we commoners sat cowed and clueless, trying to look legal and waiting for direction.

Eventually the word got out: the United States was under attack. We were being slaughtered by an undeclared enemy who had struck at the Heart of Everything American, New York City.

I was in shock, along with everyone else with the wits to understand the import of what we were hearing.

Six years later, the Best Estimate Death Toll stands at 2,749.

2,749.

And that’s not counting the thousands of folks who dropped what they were doing to rush down to NYC to lend a hand, most of whom are seriously disabled from breathing the shit which was off-gassing from The Pile, and who now struggle with authorities to try to get help with their related health problems.

2,749.

That’s an awful lot of innocent people being made to pay for the sins of the few.

So what kind of monster would kill 2,749 innocent people, and why?

Osama Bin Laden.

Actually, despite the fact that he master-minded the deaths of almost three thousand Americans (and doubtless would have done cartwheels if he had topped that by some multiples of ten,) Osama wasn’t always a monster. Seemed like he was a buddy of Uncle Sam when he was fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. At least the Average Joe might assume he was a Bud, given the fact that we armed and trained his men when they were serving as appetizers for the Red Bear.

Hey, anybody who kills commies must be A-OK, right? Right??

And he was a Favorite Son when he petitioned his family friends the Al-Bush tribe for redress of grievances, namely that he considered Saudi Arabia to be a Holy Land and wanted the US to stop supporting its Godless Murderous Tyrant Dictator and get our Infidel Army the hell outta there. Not outrageous requests, if what you want is peace and piety.

So what moved O-Man from the “support this freedom fighter” column into the “rub out” column?

Well basically it was this:

After he helped liberate Afghanistan from the Godless Ruskies, O-boy expected the US to say, “Mission Accomplished” and leave. You know, bring freedom from the Red Threat, the purveyors of stupid ideas like Workers’ Rights, Health Care For All and so on, and then go away.

Well, we didn’t go away. And we paid no attention to his entreaties about how we should get our military out of his homeland and stop exporting what many in the Islamic world see as Moral Corruption in the form of Western Values. We continued our hegemaniacal plunder of the Middle East and barely acknowledged his existence.

Well, we’re acknowledging him now, aren’t we.

It’s six years later, and Osama has become our traveling companion along the roads of our lives. He’s with us as we cross major bridges and drive through the tunnel under the bay, not because we heard his plea to let his culture be, but because he’s become a Useful Tool in the War on Sanity. We fear him because he orchestrated the slaughter of 2,749 innocent Americans.

2,749.

That’s a lot of innocent people. And murderers, or people who orchestrate murder (think Charles Manson) should NEVER be excused for their actions.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So somewhere along the way, our fear of Osama manifested itself as a War of Aggression against a country and people who had nothing to do with Al-Qaida or Osama, a War of Aggression which has spent the lives of 3,775 young Americans, a War of Aggression which has wasted the lives of well over 650,000 innocent Iraqis, a War of Aggression which has cost more than 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees their homes, their friends, the lives they knew, the Pursuit of Happiness which We Hold to be Self Evident.

2,749.

3,775.

650,000.

4,000,000.

Where does it end? Who’s the Good Guy here? Who’s the Bad Guy? Who has caused the most suffering and despair and death?

People who orchestrate death should NEVER be excused for their actions.

Enter Al-Marshalli September 19, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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2 comments

So here we are, spending two or three hundred billion dollars a year pissing off the Rest Of The World, ripping governments out of distant countries, fomenting the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, spitting on our allies, pissing on our enemies, and generally making the world a more miserable and dangerous place to be. Our Economic Imperialism is metastasizing at an unsustainable rate, swapping the future well-being of countless people world-wide for the comfort and avarice of the Filthy Fucking Few.

And “They Hate Us ‘Cause We’re Free??

I don’t think so.

——————————————————————————————

There was a time when the United States was a nobody on the world scene, an upstart colony who wanted to print their own money and fly their own flag. Then, just as we began to hit our stride, the World Wars happened and we found ourselves in a position to fight the “good fight.” We The People came together and stood up to Nazi fascism and Japanese imperialism, signed up to spill our blood for the good of mankind (well, perhaps there was a wee bit of self-serving manipulation of the masses going on there) and helped stop a steam-roller of Bigotry and Hatred and Othering and Genocide and Hegemony the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Roman times.

And after a couple of years of concerted effort, years in which The Greatest Generation (and yeah, Thanks Dad!) fought and died and rationed and grew Victory Gardens and went without and did the impossible, retooling our factories to build thousands of airplanes and hundreds of ships in incredibly short order, even splitting the fucking atom

…We came out on top, heroes and saviors of what was left of the world after two devastating Wars to End All Wars.

And most of the world LOVED us.

Because when the smoke cleared and the Boys Left Standing came home and the women, God Bless The Women, went back to caring for our children, and we were all so fucking tired of the pain and the loss and the sacrifice, we got behind an Idea, a Brilliant Idea, an Idea which took some selling to sell, an idea proposed by then-Secretary of State George Marshall, to rebuild what had been bombed into rubble, to rebuild the great cities of Europe, to rebuild the countries which had attacked us, invaded their neighbors and killed millions of innocents.

So we dug deeper and gave again, humbly, respectfully, with our hats in our hands, asking the people and governments of Europe what they needed, what they wanted, how could we help?

And we listened, and we rebuilt Europe, and every little thing we sent over there had “USA” or a little flag on it, and everyone knew who had dug deeper, who had sacrificed yet again for them, who their friends were.

And most of the world LOVED us.

It cost us, in today’s dollars, $15,000,000,000. That’s fifteen billion, with a “B.” And that’s a helluva lot of money.

But compared to what? What is our Illegal War Of Aggression in Iraq costing us?

And I’m not talking about the lives of our brave young soldiers or the respect of our Allies or the good will of the People Of The World. I’m not even talking about our long-term security or our claim to the Moral High Ground.

I’m talking about cold, hard cash.

Current estimates are hovering around two billion dollars a week.

Two billion dollars a week!

At that rate we could have paid for the reconstruction of Europe in seven and a half weeks.

At that rate we could provide clean, safe drinking water for the entire world in seven and a half weeks.

At that rate we could fund President Bush’s fabled but fictitious war on AIDS in Africa in seven and a half weeks.

But what would we get out of it?

How about the gratitude of the poor women and children of the world who spend an estimated 200 million hours a DAY walking to get water, often from polluted sources, for their families?

How about the respect of the myriad peoples of the world who need roads and schools and health clinics, but can’t afford to build them for themselves?

How about a defensible claim to the Moral High Ground we crow so loudly about even as we support vicious dictators, subvert fledgling democracies, and sell bullets and bombs and fighter jets to the highest bidder?

How about Real Homeland Security… because you know, if we helped the poor people of the world instead of plundering their resources for the profits and pleasures of the few, a grateful world would stand with us when we were attacked, not as a Coalition of the Coerced, but as friends and allies and partners on a more peaceful planet.

And Allah help the fools who would plot to take us down, to undo the good we’d be offering the world, to send the poor, tired children back down that long dusty hill to the polluted mud-hole where their water came from before We The People showed them who we really are.

We can do this, people. It won’t be easy to undo the wrongs we’ve wrought, to heal the rifts we’ve ripped open in the fabric of human existence. It will take time and patience and resources, and the courage to persevere in the face of setbacks and well-deserved skepticism.

It will take a new Marshall Plan, an Al-Marshalli Plan, committed to changing the hearts and minds of the common people of the world, initiated with humility and executed with love, not just because it’s cheaper than war, not just because we’ll be building security and good will and emerging markets for our goods and services, not just because we’ll all go down in flames if we don’t, but because it’s the right thing to do.

This, my friends, is the REAL “way forward.”

I’m inviting all of you, with your wider audiences and your more eloquent voices, to think about this, to talk amongst yourselves, to share it with your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your political representatives. I’m getting tired of bitching about the problems; I need to see solutions.

Thanks for hanging in there for my rambling rant. Now it’s your turn.

The North Quabbin Garlic And Arts Festival! September 17, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
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9 comments

So here it is as promised, the Full Report:

I drove out to Orange (the Town that Rhymes with Nothing) this afternoon to see what was shakin’ at the annual Garlic Festival.

When I got to the point on the skanky little back roads where the traffic was stopped and there were cars parked along the road, well, I parked along the road and started walking.

Little did I know.

A mile and a half of steep hills later, I passed under this banner:

youre-here.jpg

You and me both, pal!

So I paid the lady FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS and went in.

And as advertised, it was a huge conflagration of Hilltown Hippyheads, all tye-died and squinty-eyed, dreads and birkenstocks and braided armpits…

It was cool.

And colorful:

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That’s a rare uncrowded moment for Teh Camera.

There were two stages, powered entirely by solar panels and doing quite well, thank you. I got there just in time to catch the end of an exciting show by the Bamidele Dancers and Drummers:

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Kicked my ass, they did. And I loved the Festival motto, strung proudly across the top of the stage, and the solar panels down front!

A short walk took me to the “Family Stage,” a less amplified venue where Teh Chilluns was being indoctrinated with socialist concepts like inclusiveness and sharing, i.e. they were invited up front to dance:

family-stage.jpg

Fuckin’ socialists are gonna be the ruination of America.

But beyond the overt objective of providing food and fun for the community and the covert objective of poisoning our kids with the devil-cultures of Places Not American, there was a serious and, dare I use the term, hopeful aspect to this Hill-town Hoe-down. A major theme, evident wherever you looked, was that of Green and Sustainable Living. From the numerous kiosks espousing the local production of biodiesel fuel from post-consumer restaurant oils

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to the information available about solar hot water and photovoltaic panels, to the extraordinary job the organizers did to ensure that the festival’s footprint would be minimal:

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That’s right, read the small print on the yellow sign. The clear “plastic” cups and the disposable tableware, all made from corn starch, and all compostable! Turns out there are quite a few options for compostable tableware, plates and cups and spoons and forks and so on.

Funny how we in America only know about the petroleum-based alternatives, eh?

At any rate, last year’s festival, with thousands of attendees, generated one small bag of trash. It will be interesting to learn how we did this year.

Oh, and because garlic is a Wonder-Food and second in my esteem only to pussy, we mustn’t forget to honor the only Super Hero in attendance at this year’s festival…

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Garlic Man!!! …and Clifford the Tofu Pup.

I’m still struggling with the realization that I had a half-hour conversation with a bulb of garlic and loved every minute of it. This guy was a hoot, the real deal, the cat’s ass, and underneath it all, a fine architect. Who’da thunk?

But finally, with the sun sinking low and my wallet growing thin, it was time to seek out the object of my culinary curiosity, the Fabled Food of Fanatics, the Gastronomic Non Sequitur known as…

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Check the lower left, if you dare…

YES, GARLIC ICE-CREAM!!! And here it is Folks, about to go over the lips and gums and down the hatch:

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And I’m here to tell you peeps, it was… well, it was kind of…

interesting.

Quite the arresting juxtaposition, sweet home-made ice cream (and Bart’s is quite good) laced with small chunks of toasted garlic.

I recommend that you don’t miss it, but don’t run over any puppies in your rush to get there.

So all in all a great afternoon of music, people watching, heightened environmental awareness and sensorial adventures.

I’m already looking forward to next year!

And a parting thought from the fine folks who kept our collective footprint so unbelievably small:

homeland-security.jpg

True Dat.

Stop The Damn Veggies!!! September 17, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
3 comments

I took this photo of a “Fire On The Mountain”-type sunset last night, and found a hidden message in it:

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It’s mighty dim, but if you look hard you’ll get it.

Ted Nugent must be getting wood as you read this.