It is a time of freedom and fear, of Gaia and of borders, of many paths and the widening of a universal toll road, emptying country and swelling cities, of the public bought into privacy and the privacy of the public sold into invisible data banks and knowing algorithms. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.
These are the times when maps fade and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread.
Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
Friday, July 19, 2002
Perhaps one more nail in the coffin of "global warming ain't happeningisnm"...?
Study Fuels Worry Over Glacial Melting (washingtonpost.com)
By Eric Pianin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 19, 2002; Page A14
Alaska's glaciers are melting at more than twice the rate previously thought because of warming temperatures, dramatically altering the majestic contours of the state and driving up sea levels, according to a new study.
Scientists using highly precise airborne laser measurements of 67 Alaskan glaciers from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s discovered that the glaciers are melting an average of six feet a year -- and in some cases a few hundred feet -- and that the rate has accelerated in the past seven or eight years...."
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Mother Davis nods her head and notes:
A new CBS News/New York Times poll with a margin of error of +/- 3 points indicates that less than half of Americans believe that George W. Bush in really in charge of his own administration. Only 45% agree with the statement that "George W. Bush is in charge of what goes on in his Administration most of the time".
Well, it's an obvious point to note that George W. is in over his head, but that doesn't make it less scary. The equally obvious follow up question is: Who is really in charge at the White House, and what does this person or group of people have in mind for the American people?
Spooked by the shadow government behind George W.,
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
According to the Associated Press, the General Accounting Office has found that the U.S. Army recently spent $38,000 on lap dances at strip clubs. Coincidentally, representatives of the Army are on Capitol Hill arguing for increases to their budget and decreased Congressional oversight of Army budgets.
If it had not been for Congressional oversight of Army spending, the GAO (the investigative unit of the U.S. Congress) could not have conducted its investigation, and we never would have known.
Mother Davis rolls her eyes:
What makes a moral authority a moral authority? In the case of the Catholic Church, moral authority hasn't been gained through a history of good works (the Spanish Inquisition and the Church's collaboration with the Nazis set a bit of a bad precedent). Instead, the moral authority of the Catholic Church seems to have its foundation in the fact that priests go around telling everyone what to do. That's pretty much what a priest does for a living, isn't it? When it comes to the behavior of non-priests, the Church is always preaching about what's right and what's wrong in absolute terms, declaring that its moral proclamations come from God and are thus infallible. Heck, Catholic priests even preach at non-Catholics, running off at the mouth about who is going to hell for eternal damnation and who isn't.
How strange it is when the Catholic Church falls silent, as it did yesterday (July 16, 2002) at the hearing of a priest in Baltimore, Maryland (the Good Reverend Rydzewski) after he plead guilty to using his Church-funded computer to amass an electronic library of child pornography. Every Sunday, at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, this guy would give a bunch of Catholic followers communion and then admonish them to do the right thing. Then, he'd sneak off and use the power of the Church to hide his sexual lust for little children.
What did the Catholic Church's Baltimore Archdiocese say in response to the conviction of this priest-child pornographer? No comment. This Archdiocese and its priests are all too eager to give sermons to the rest of their city about how sinful the secular world is, telling everyone who will listen how, when and even why to have sex. Yet when its own priests engage in a spree of sexual assaults and child pornography, there's no sermon to be heard. No comment, sayeth the Lord. Preacher, sermon yourself.
I grew up Catholic. I used to go in for the whole shebang, and I believed that the Church really had the TRUTH. When I got older and started hearing the stories about what Catholic priests really do when they're done trying to control the lives of everyone else, I realized what a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites these priests are, and I walked away from my well-worn pew for good. To those who remain in the Church, as you take your wafer this Sunday, you might want to ask yourself the following question: "What is the Church not telling me about my own priest?" Folks, I know you want to be loyal, but just think about the monster that you're being loyal to! The time has passed when we can just trust any jerk in a black robe. It's time for us to get up off our knees, think for ourselves and leave these predator priests to preach to an empty room.
In disgust, Mother Davis
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Mother Davis wonders:
I'm in Memphis on a business trip this week, and in my hotel room there's a complementary bottle of water. It's called "Pure Memphis: The Flavor of Southern Hospitality" and it's described as "Purified Drinking Water". So, let me get this straight: the flavor of Southern hospitality is PURITY? Now, I'm sure that the good folks at Pure Memphis didn't have this in mind, but given the long Memphis history of slavery, racial segregation, riots over civil rights restrictions and the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr., not to mention the old laws against interracial breeding, I find it kind of creepy to be drinking a bottle of water that focuses so closely on "purity". Anyone who's spent any time in Memphis knows that they still like to keep things racially pure around here. Ick - what a bad taste in my mouth!
George W. Bush found a new set of environmental regulations to toss aside today. He proclaimed that the Navy can go ahead and use ultra-powerful sonar detection technology, even though it's quite likely that the suped-up sonar interferes with the ability of whales throughout the ocean to communicate with each other, thus ruining their navigation and destroying the coherence of their social groups. So much for Bush's family values. The thing is that there's even reason to believe that the sonar can KILL whales, which have very sensitive auditory systems that they use to perceive their murky underwater environment through echolocation (we know, Mr. Bush, it's a big word - say it slowly).
Bush justifies destroying the set of environmental regulations by citing national security needs - he says it's important for the U.S. Navy to be able to detect the latest generation of quiet enemy submarines. In this post-September 11 world, after all, we must be willing to sacrifice... Oh, BULL! Does King George the W really expect us to believe that a bunch of Al-Quaeda terrorists have the latest generation of quiet submarines, or any submarines at all, for that matter?!?! What a bunch of baloney! We need to protect against super hi-tech enemy submarines, huh? What enemy does the United States have that possesses such technology? This project is just another example of the kind of military pork barrel spending that Republicans love to stuff the budget with.
Oh wait, I know what you're thinking: You never know. Better safe than sorry. There COULD be a terrorist super hi-tech quiet submarine attack, and if it COULD happen it is our DUTY to do EVERYTHING to prevent such a thing from EVER occurring, no matter what the cost. Of course, there's no evidence that such an attack has been planned, or that it is even possible for terrorist organizations to get a great big expensive hi-tech submarine that can only be detected with the Navy's latest super-duper whale-pulverizing sonar, but it COULD happen, and if it COULD happen, then it's our patriotic duty to let George W. do whatever he wants, right?
Ack. I'd rather drink Pure Memphis purified drinking water.
- Mother Davis
(asking, are the American people really going to sit back and let this guy get elected again?)
Monday, July 15, 2002
On the subject of lefty radio shows, Mike Malloy is worth a gander. This is not your supposedly typical liberal who hems and haws through a pc maze. Malloy offers dead-on Cheney and Dubya impersonations, and does not hesitate to display his anger and/or glee regarding political matters. You can listen live to Malloy 3-6 pm ET on the i.e. America Radio Network.
If you tune in to your typical AM station, you'll hear G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz and other conservative and economic libertarian voices shouting out their commentary. But where are the civil libertarians? Where is a left-of-center perspective on talk radio? Not, as critics are so fond of saying, on NPR: National Public Radio is so sensitive to the "liberal bias" charge that they've taken to bringing on Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation guest speakers. Jim Hightower tried it in the early '90s, but his popular program was shoved off the air by ABC after Hightower criticized Disney.
It's not because there aren't left-of-center people out there who are interested in talk about civil liberties. Those folks exist, as the significant Nader-Gore majority in the last election made clear. These voices just aren't on the air right now.
To hear civil libertarian and left-of-center on-air commentary, you've got to go online. Check out WebActive, an broadcast branch of Working Assets long distance. They archive shows so that you don't need to be in synch with broadcasts to hear civil libertarian and left-of-center commentary. Try it out - you may not agree with what is being said, but at least you'll get some counterweight to the right-tilted AM dial.
Politistock.com takes a leap to the literal from the observation that politicians are bought and sold. This site was designed to allow participants to trade stock in a variety of politicians for fun and profit. What does it say that politistock.com seems to have gone defunct?
Sunday, July 14, 2002
Mother Davis asks a silly question: What's so wrong about Scouting For All?
Are you sick of the sanctimonious, militant bigotry of the Boy Scouts of America? Want your child to be safe from hateful reactionary propaganda? Check out Scouting For All, an organization which works to reform the Boy Scouts, pushing for an end to discriminatory hiring and membership practices. Specifically, Scouting For All is seeking to end the Boy Scouts of America rules forbidding membership or leadership positions to non-religious and non-heterosexual boys and men.
Unfortunately, the Scouting For All organization has not put together an alternative scouting organization for children. Of course, you can't expect a small non-profit organization to do it all, especially when Scouting For All does not receive the huge amount of government funding and logistical support that the Boy Scouts of America gets. That said, I for one would love to see an organization where boys and girls of all backgrounds could come together without having to worry about the hateful habits of the adults who supervise them. Sadly, I think it's safe to say that the Boy Scouts of America is highly unlikely to ever change its bigoted ways.
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