No. 1 Now Playing: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen
Just got back from seeing the UT Tower lit up with the number one. Went down to campus, drove around for a while, parked a block or so off the Drag and went walking around the Mall. There was a big crowd down by the Littlefield Fountain and lots of picture-taking. I didn't take a camera, though. Just soaked it all up. The only news team down there was KVUE's Melissa McGuire and her cameraman. She is a very pretty lady. What a face! It was great to see so many people from so many different walks of life just milling around, being goofy and happy, and taking pride in their local school.
As for Vince Young, I don't blame the young man one bit for going into the draft. I wish him well and look forward to many more years of enjoying his talents ---this time on Sundays.
In societies where a man can see a woman's face and discern the shape of her body, there must be an evolutionary advantage at work there. This advantage is also derived from desegregated public places, employment, schooling, and business where men and women can interact as normal human beings do: freely and naturally. In such a society, the future generations benefit evolutionarily because love and baby-making are a consequence of chemical attractions and unconscious signals acted upon naturally and intrinsically. Healthy and fertile women in an open society are more able to give birth to healthier babies.
But in societies where women are physically and personally concealed and kept apart from prospective mates, this advantage is short-circuited. Tribalism certainly depends on this attitude towards females ---and that's why there's so much inbreeding in those societies. Maybe this explains the prevalence of mental illness and degeneracy in those peoples where unhealthy mothers are more likely to have the opportunity to give birth to martyrs (i.e., jihadists) than they would in normal societies where their wombs would rightly be left barren.
As you've heard by now, Carole Strayhorn is running for the Governorship of Texas as an independent. I guess that must mean that she can no longer be a Republican.
Anyway, Rick Perry's camp is correct in pointing out that Strayhorn is only doing this because she knows she cannot beat the money machine that Perry's going to crank up against his opponents.
But it may also be that she is doing herself and Perry both a favor. Going head to head with him in the primaries would have left both of them pretty bloodied.
Ideally, with Kinky Friedman and Strayhorn running as independents against Perry and whoever the Democratic sap is going to be, we might actually get an interesting race this time. Maybe events will lead to enough of a split to put one of the dark horses in.
As for me, I will not vote in the Republican primary so that I will be eligible to sign the petition to get Friedman's name on the ballot. I encourage my fellow Texans to do the same and preserve the viability of real choice in this state.
No, I'm not kidding.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 9:51 PM CST
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Updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2006 9:52 PM CST
Hypotheticosis Now Playing:that goofy-assed bassline in any obnoxious conjunto song playing in the pick-up truck next to me at a light
Don't forget: it's the self-styled "reality-based community" that is more concerned with the hypothetical consequences to the wider application of warrantless searches than they are with the actual consequences of not focusing our intelligence-gathering apparati on those with whom we are at war. You know: the usual "slippery slope" nonsense that is meant to stop us all in our tracks for fear of treading upon Civil Liberties.
Well, whether you wanted to or not, you already signed away your rights to privacy a long time ago. How often must we enumerate the ways in which any normal American citizen is going to be known for his habits and expenses and income by dozens of different financial, governmental, commercial entities? With a few keystrokes, the most important facts of your life can be discovered by anyone anywhere. If you doubt that, you are an idiot.
Most of us don't realize that we are at war because we do not feel it in our everyday lives. But at war we are. And it's a new kind of war with stateless and heedless mass murderers lying in wait. Not just in the Muslim world but in our own cities. If this President instructs his intelligence services to try to catch Mo in the middle of his plots, then we should damn well applaud the decision and shut the hell up about how our Bill of Rights is being trashed.
It cannot be that the potential loss of our civil liberties is more important than preserving the society in which those liberties are enjoyed. I don't care what Benjamin Franklin said about those who would "give up essential liberty": the fact remains that we have entrusted our security to this President. How stupid must (some of us) be to now deny him the tools with which to do the job?
Guaranteeing It Now Playing:broadway joe like a mug
The UT Longhorn football team is too smart and humble to say it, so I will: not only are we going to beat the USC Trojans come Wednesday night, but we're going to embarrass them. That's right, baby. You heard it here first: 45-7.
It's not even going to be close. ABC's gonna be doubling their close-up time on the cheerleaders by the middle of the third quarter. Because Keith Jackson is going to run out of ways to say he can't believe how completely those Trojans have collapsed.
I know you must think I'm a fool, but I'm guaranteeing it, man. The National Championship is ours.
I can't wait to see how the Tower's going to look!
Beating the Bishop Now Playing:the nauseating smell of popery
You know why I like to see Notre Dame lose? Because they are always fussed over. They are everybody's darlings: overrated, excused, allowed, and fussed over little darlings.
Oh, and also because some Irish fan was in the crowds at the Tostito Bowl just then with a placard that read "Anti-Buckeye Catholics." That's right, jackson: you people deserved to lose just for having a fan like that.
Thirty-four to 20, beeyotches. No time now to go renegotiate your contracts for another decade of sloppy servicing by the National Broadcasting Company. But just enough to slink off and recognize that you're a lot of overprivileged little darlings.
Why Isn't FISA unConstitutional?
Why hasn't the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) already been declared unConstitutional? It usurps the President's powers, as granted to him in the Constitution, to defend this country against our enemies, both foreign and domestic.
How has the damned thing managed to live so long? It is plainly a vestige of the over-reaction to Nixon-era abuses ---and no longer relevant. Not in times like these when our foreign enemies are living in our midst on expired visas and our domestic enemies are reporting live from Baghdad.
These are complex times, requiring greater nuance than knee-jerk civil libertarians will allow.
Best Wishes to Judy Maggio Mood:
I was very sorry to read this morning that local news anchor Judy Maggio's house was destroyed in an overnight fire. Fortunately, she was not home at the time, but off in California covering the Rose Bowl.
I wish her and her family my very best.
Maggio is one of the anchors on KEYE-TV, but I remember her best from when she was on KVUE. That was back when I was in junior high, for God's sakes! She is a pillar of the journalism community here in Austin and a very lovely woman. I have run into her a few times in public and she is even prettier and friendlier than on TV. A real woman.
The Consistency of Hobgoblin Stew Now Playing: it meant something a while ago
The Gateway Pundit reports on Michael Scheuer's recent remarks to the German magazine Die Zeit concerning the practice of rendition (emphases in the linked post):
Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, told Thursday's issue of the newsweekly Die Zeit that the US administration had been looking in the mid-1990s for a way to combat the terrorist threat and circumvent the cumbersome US legal system.
"President Clinton, his national security advisor Sandy Berger and his terrorism advisor Richard Clark ordered the CIA in the autumn of 1995 to destroy al-Qaeda," Scheuer said, in comments published in German.
"We asked the president what we should do with the people we capture. Clinton said 'That's up to you'."
Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, said that he developed and led the "renditions" program, which he said included moving prisoners without due legal process to countries without strict human rights protections.
At the time, he said, the CIA did not arrest or imprison anyone itself.
"That was done by the local police or secret services," he said, adding that the prisoners were never taken to US soil. "President Clinton did not want that."
I'm sure there must be some sort of hierarchy of argumentation in which pointing out that Clinton was the author of a program for which Bush the Younger is being pilloried is considered rather low-grade, but what shouldn't be is rejecting hypocrisy, however weak it is to argue for mitigation. Which is my intoxicatedly convoluted way of saying that it would save the various factions in political society valuable time if they would simply stop accusing this President of crimes for which his immediate predecessor essentially laid the rationale ---if not incurred the necessity itself through negligence--- of pursuing extraordinary measures against these savages. Nothing is more embarrassing to me than to see how quick to emulate Monica Lewinsky the anti-war Left are when Bill Clinton makes his peacenik rumblings heard. Don't they have some obligation to recognize Clinton's culpability in the al-Qaedist threat? Why not? Because when he lied, no one died? Because he didn't prosecute an elective war? You warm and squishy little diaper-fillers with your childish nonsense! Only ignorance of History can explain your stupidity. What the fuck else does Bill Clinton have to do right now except to play good cop/bad cop with the Democratic Party's next Presidential nominee?
You know why Clinton's crimes are so petty in retrospect? Because they barely had to outclass their perpetrator.
Sacco and Vanzetti Were Guilty Mood:
surprised Now Playing: holy frijoles
Check out this story in the Los Angeles Times about a newly-disclosed letter written by Upton Sinclair in which the guilt of the famous anarchist-bank robbers Niccola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti was confirmed to him by their lawyer, Fred Moore.
Prosecutors characterized the anarchists as ruthless killers who had used the money to bankroll antigovernment bombings and deserved to die. Sinclair thought the pair were innocent and being railroaded because of their political views.
Soon Sinclair would learn something that filled him with doubt. During his research for "Boston," Sinclair met with Fred Moore, the men's attorney, in a Denver motel room. Moore "sent me into a panic," Sinclair wrote in the typed letter that [Paul] Hegness found at the auction a decade ago.
"Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the full truth," Sinclair wrote. " … He then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them."
That's amazing enough, but get a load of what Sinclair's reasons were for never publicly acknowledging what he knew. From another letter found in the same cache:
"My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book," Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.
"The movement"? What does Sinclair mean?
"It is much better copy as a naive defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public," he wrote to Minor.
Man. What a remarkable thing to say. Socialist, anti-establishmentarian propaganda written for Eurowankers and intended to undermine American jurisprudence and national security. Why does that sound so fucking familiar?
All My Mexican Neighbors Mood:
All my Mexican neighbors are outside shooting off fireworks and playing that weird Germanesque music of theirs. The lady of the house next door ---a sweet grandmother named Maria--- came over to me as I leaned against my car and wished me un feliz a?o nuevo. I repeated her phrase and then wished her a happy new year. I gave her a hug and we exchanged our other mutually unintelligible remarks and then she went back to her house.
No fuegos in my yard, I told her. I am still watching for some.
celebratory Now Playing:blessed are the listmakers, for they shall bequeathe their neuroses
I decided to stay home tonight because I had absolutely no other plans. Most of my small circles of friends are very much caught up right now in the realization that they are parents and expectant parents and that that is something to celebrate with quiet joy and sacred reflection as a family. But, for all I know, some of them could be out right now getting their load on and dancing and smoking cigars and pissing in alleyways and yelling like maniacs ---all without having invited me. Yet, I do doubt that.
And, anyway, I, too, have a few things to reflect on in solitude. My employment. My age. My desire to have sex again. My expectations are fairly high for 2006. I am proud that I went and did something brave for a man in my socioeconomic condition by buying my first house.
Which is part of why I would like to be here tonight in my temenos ---hoping that my very dry and leaf-filled yards do not fuel any fires that might be started by these people around me firing bottle rockets or Roman candles or whatever it is that the kids are into these days.
Here, quickly: goodbye to 2005. You were one hell of a year, man. Probably in my personal Top Ten.
Reviewing Brokeback Mountain Mood:
a-ok Now Playing: "...if you can't fix it, jack, you gotta stand it..."
Just got back from seeing Brokeback Mountain. I didn't really want to see it, but the person I was with really did, so in we went.
And it's a good movie. Maybe even important. Sorta sad, though. Definitely beautiful to look at with all the mountain scenery and all the beautiful faces and everything, but it goes on for too long. That's really my only complaint.
Otherwise, it's a bittersweet journey through the lives of two young gay men lived out in a cultural and temporal milieu that simply would not have it. As I watched, I thought back to all the rough old country boys I've known from my own life ---which is not all that far removed from that very same milieu--- and it made me sad to realize that I've probably known ---without knowing it--- quite a few homosexuals who knew better than to allow themselves to be hurt as these characters did. I regret, for their sakes, what they had to sacrifice to keep the peace.
Human beings have been gay since human beings have been. I can't remember a time now when I thought otherwise. It must be in our code and it cannot be deleterious, else it would have already faded from the race. I am as sure of this as I am of any other natural phenomenon.
Do we have closetedness to thank for Michelangelo and Shakespeare and all the other great artists and thinkers from our pantheon? If so, that pain and tension are the only good things I can think of to take from the homophobic insanity that has too often possessed the great heterosexual masses.
People should be free to love each other as they feel and consent. It is a loss to humanity to crush that spirit.
The Better Part of Valor Now Playing: not so much
A certain person has exited my life today ---and I hope I will never have to see or hear from her again. I resent her deeply. She has done me real harm ---but I insist that it is reparable.
This woman is a moody liar who brings out the worst in everyone around her. She poisons people with her manipulations and paranoia. She is vindictive because that is her only compensation for being ignorant and incompetent. Her essential hatefulness knows no bounds of family or so-called friends. I am ashamed of our relationship.
Wherever this hysterical user goes next, she will do the same things she did to me, if given the chance. I wish I could warn someone ---all of them, really. But, for now, I will have to content myself with the knowledge that she is gone from my life. I must reclaim my time and psyche from such a wretched black hole or I will have given her even more of what she feeds on, which is unhappiness.
Bitchdump Now Playing: getting banned by duncan black because he knows i own his sorry groupies' asses anytime i come around
Okay, real fast now: We need some rain. Eight-dollar salad?! Traffic jammed on 35. Gotta make the donuts. Dissent is patriotic, Duncan. We need some rain. No more fucking Natalee Holloway nonsense on my TV. My TV is dying. Roadside solicitors and proselytizers. Lousy customer service. It's too warm for late December. Small women driving large vehicles. Hippies who became yuppies. All this fucking construction in places that looked different when I was younger. We need some rain. Really. It's very dry and warm and I have no idea what season this is supposed to be.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:13 PM CST
Post Comment |
Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005 11:15 PM CST
Tuesday, 27 December 2005
Tuesday Is $2.50 Bottled Import Day at the Austin Java Company on Lamar Mood:
Spent some quality time hanging out with my old friend from New York this afternoon. He and his beautiful wife are expecting a baby this coming spring, but that's not what's important.
Turns out that any fact I bring up in arguing with him is simply a Republican talking point, whereas his information emerges from his piehole as pearls of irrefutable progressive wisdom, fully researched and bearing the imprimatur of justifiable arrogance.
Another fact you may not have known is that military families and their loved ones fighting overseas are less educated than [progressives]. That's what makes them so easily led into disaster by the Chimperor.