17 Apr, 06 > 23 Apr, 06
10 Apr, 06 > 16 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
2 Jan, 06 > 8 Jan, 06
26 Dec, 05 > 1 Jan, 06
19 Dec, 05 > 25 Dec, 05
12 Dec, 05 > 18 Dec, 05
5 Dec, 05 > 11 Dec, 05
28 Nov, 05 > 4 Dec, 05
21 Nov, 05 > 27 Nov, 05
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
7 Nov, 05 > 13 Nov, 05
31 Oct, 05 > 6 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
10 Oct, 05 > 16 Oct, 05
3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
19 Sep, 05 > 25 Sep, 05
12 Sep, 05 > 18 Sep, 05
5 Sep, 05 > 11 Sep, 05
29 Aug, 05 > 4 Sep, 05
22 Aug, 05 > 28 Aug, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
1 Aug, 05 > 7 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
18 Jul, 05 > 24 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
27 Jun, 05 > 3 Jul, 05
20 Jun, 05 > 26 Jun, 05
13 Jun, 05 > 19 Jun, 05
6 Jun, 05 > 12 Jun, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
16 May, 05 > 22 May, 05
9 May, 05 > 15 May, 05
2 May, 05 > 8 May, 05
25 Apr, 05 > 1 May, 05
18 Apr, 05 > 24 Apr, 05
11 Apr, 05 > 17 Apr, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
28 Mar, 05 > 3 Apr, 05
21 Mar, 05 > 27 Mar, 05
14 Mar, 05 > 20 Mar, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
21 Feb, 05 > 27 Feb, 05
14 Feb, 05 > 20 Feb, 05
7 Feb, 05 > 13 Feb, 05
31 Jan, 05 > 6 Feb, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
10 Jan, 05 > 16 Jan, 05
3 Jan, 05 > 9 Jan, 05
27 Dec, 04 > 2 Jan, 05
20 Dec, 04 > 26 Dec, 04
13 Dec, 04 > 19 Dec, 04
6 Dec, 04 > 12 Dec, 04
29 Nov, 04 > 5 Dec, 04
22 Nov, 04 > 28 Nov, 04
15 Nov, 04 > 21 Nov, 04
8 Nov, 04 > 14 Nov, 04
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
25 Oct, 04 > 31 Oct, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04
27 Sep, 04 > 3 Oct, 04
20 Sep, 04 > 26 Sep, 04
13 Sep, 04 > 19 Sep, 04
6 Sep, 04 > 12 Sep, 04
30 Aug, 04 > 5 Sep, 04
23 Aug, 04 > 29 Aug, 04
16 Aug, 04 > 22 Aug, 04
9 Aug, 04 > 15 Aug, 04
2 Aug, 04 > 8 Aug, 04
26 Jul, 04 > 1 Aug, 04
19 Jul, 04 > 25 Jul, 04
12 Jul, 04 > 18 Jul, 04
5 Jul, 04 > 11 Jul, 04
28 Jun, 04 > 4 Jul, 04
21 Jun, 04 > 27 Jun, 04
14 Jun, 04 > 20 Jun, 04
7 Jun, 04 > 13 Jun, 04
31 May, 04 > 6 Jun, 04
24 May, 04 > 30 May, 04
17 May, 04 > 23 May, 04
10 May, 04 > 16 May, 04
3 May, 04 > 9 May, 04
26 Apr, 04 > 2 May, 04
19 Apr, 04 > 25 Apr, 04
12 Apr, 04 > 18 Apr, 04
5 Apr, 04 > 11 Apr, 04
29 Mar, 04 > 4 Apr, 04
22 Mar, 04 > 28 Mar, 04
15 Mar, 04 > 21 Mar, 04
8 Mar, 04 > 14 Mar, 04
1 Mar, 04 > 7 Mar, 04
23 Feb, 04 > 29 Feb, 04
16 Feb, 04 > 22 Feb, 04
9 Feb, 04 > 15 Feb, 04
2 Feb, 04 > 8 Feb, 04
26 Jan, 04 > 1 Feb, 04
19 Jan, 04 > 25 Jan, 04
12 Jan, 04 > 18 Jan, 04
5 Jan, 04 > 11 Jan, 04
29 Dec, 03 > 4 Jan, 04
22 Dec, 03 > 28 Dec, 03
15 Dec, 03 > 21 Dec, 03
8 Dec, 03 > 14 Dec, 03
1 Dec, 03 > 7 Dec, 03
24 Nov, 03 > 30 Nov, 03
17 Nov, 03 > 23 Nov, 03
10 Nov, 03 > 16 Nov, 03
27 Oct, 03 > 2 Nov, 03
20 Oct, 03 > 26 Oct, 03
13 Oct, 03 > 19 Oct, 03
6 Oct, 03 > 12 Oct, 03
29 Sep, 03 > 5 Oct, 03
22 Sep, 03 > 28 Sep, 03
15 Sep, 03 > 21 Sep, 03
8 Sep, 03 > 14 Sep, 03
1 Sep, 03 > 7 Sep, 03
25 Aug, 03 > 31 Aug, 03
18 Aug, 03 > 24 Aug, 03
11 Aug, 03 > 17 Aug, 03
4 Aug, 03 > 10 Aug, 03
28 Jul, 03 > 3 Aug, 03
21 Jul, 03 > 27 Jul, 03
14 Jul, 03 > 20 Jul, 03
7 Jul, 03 > 13 Jul, 03
30 Jun, 03 > 6 Jul, 03
23 Jun, 03 > 29 Jun, 03
16 Jun, 03 > 22 Jun, 03
9 Jun, 03 > 15 Jun, 03
2 Jun, 03 > 8 Jun, 03
26 May, 03 > 1 Jun, 03
19 May, 03 > 25 May, 03
12 May, 03 > 18 May, 03
5 May, 03 > 11 May, 03
28 Apr, 03 > 4 May, 03
21 Apr, 03 > 27 Apr, 03
Better Living through Science
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Loyal Opposition
The Left Coaster
Deep Blade
Moonbattery Park
Saturday, 23 August 2003
Mood:  don't ask
The anti-war Left is sure enjoying the opportunity that the bombing of the U.N. HQ in Baghdad has afforded them. Lots of talk about how the pro-war Right in America is eating crow now. What a predictable load of losers they are. They insist the U.N. is Iraq's best hope for peace, but the U.N. has never guaranteed anything that Uncle Sam didn't have to force upon some tyrant first. American troops are always the queen on the chessboard that these theorizing chin-strokers would like to forget. They ---these European NGOs and commie journalists---imagine that their way and their culture is the only path to peace. Gosh, if only we had listened to the French, there wouldn't have been such bloodshed these past several months. Rather, it would have been the biggest cocksuckers' carnival in recorded history. How much of the store would we have given away to provide the entire Hussein clan with golden parachutes and a pad in Geneva for them to land?

Now, is it an urban legend or did Kofi Annan and Sergio de Mello explicitly tell the US military to make itself scarce around the U.N. HQ? You know: a PR stunt to make the locals feel welcome! A huge fucking mistake to make the tourist-terrorists feel welcome when one of them came barrelling down the road in a giant cement mixer full of explosives. Naturally, Uncle Sam is responsible for that.

How much more smoothly things would have gone had our allies not been such chickenshits. We needed to come into Iraq from the north in Turkey and stop things dead in their tracks, but no: we had to subject ourselves to blackmail conferences with our putative allies. You know: the ones whose greatest desire (outside of screwing us for more billions) is to kill Kurds. Say! That makes the Turks about as reprehensible as any Ba'athist you'd ever want to meet. I dunno. Are Kurds anything like Gypsies? Maybe those guys know better. But, then again, the Turks pushed too hard for their advantage and now have a lot of people here who will remember their intransigence.

So, instead of crushing the resistance from both ends of Iraq, we forced a lot of it into their little holed-ups all over the so-called Sunni Triangle. That is where most of these murderers of our men are crawling out of, you know. We could have had these vermin buried alive inside the first weeks, but we had to play games with the bath-housers first.

And now we have interlopers coming into Iraq from east and west. God help those turds in Syria or Iran if we can prove it on them that they are helping al-Qaeda terrorists cross the borders. We may need to go do some laser-guided "distracting" next door.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:23 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
More from Brazil
Mood:  cool
Apparently, a few hours after my last posting, the Brazilian space agency suffered a huge loss with the explosion of its big satellite-carrying rocket. It was to be the first time a Latin American country had put a rocket in Earth orbit. But a prematurely ignited engine destroyed the whole launch pad, killing 21 technicians and specialists.

It's a very great shame when a great country suffers defeat on its way to something better for all mankind. But nothing is achieved without sacrifice.

I hope there are a handful of Brazilian patriots out there ---young men and women in and out of college--- who will remember the shock of these last few days and remember, when they eventually take control of their motherland, that there was always a friend for them to look to and look up to on their way to greatness. Brazil is one of those great countries who should always look to making friends with Uncle Sam.

Had de Mello lived, wouldn't Uncle Sam have pushed for him to become the next Secretary General and wouldn't we have both pushed for a Brazilian seat on the permanent Security Council of the U.N.? Of course. We're both great powers. We should expect greater support of each other.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:55 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 22 August 2003
Brazil Nuts (Or, As We Used to Call Them ---WHACK!!!)
Mood:  smelly
I read that the whole country of Brazil hates the United States now because of that suicidal sack of Muslim shit that exploded itself and the truck it rode in on outside the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing the Brazilian national hero Sr. de Mello. Well, it's a very great shame that such an accomplished man died, but a lot of men died that day. A lot of American men and women have died for the sake of Iraq's future and the so-called civilized peace-loving world hates us for that, too. There is a great thing left to be done in this world, but I will not name it now. You know what it is, though. There must come a Great Winnowing. Blood will have blood. The fewer, the better.

Sleep with one eye open, Mo. If you expand this war, it will not go well for you.

You knew that a quarter of the dead in the Jerusalem bus bombing of 19 August were Americans, right?

Long Live Zion and the Jewish People. Long Live Uncle Sam and all his folks.

The Muslims' paradise has been misunderstood. Bad translation. They don't get 17 virgins. They get a handful of dates.

Ha, ha, ha. Suckers.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:29 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
God and His Godless Defender
Let's see: we have "In God We Trust" on all our money; when executing oaths in civil or criminal proceedings, it is typically done in God's name; we pledge allegiance to our country's flag in which God's name is typically included; and billions of people the world over regularly pray to God or some other kind of monotheistic entity. Not only all of that, but we in America don't even allow ecclesiastical properties to be subject to taxation. So, what sort of legalistic fiction are we trying to uphold when we take offense at the the public display of the Ten Commandments? It is what I said it is: a high-profile point of contention for the ACLU and its liberal supporters to take a shot at the evil fascists on the Christian Right.

Of course, these are odd times when an overwhelmingly Christian country such as ours must undermine and conceal its natural affiliations for fear of offending atheists or Buddhists or Hale-Boppists. These people, by the very fact that I can name them and that they may freely stand up and be counted as such, are not in any danger. They are who they are and are not being oppressed. If they say they are oppressed by a minute of silence in a public schoolroom, they are liars: quiet time is healthy. A moment to concentrate and breathe deeply is just healthy. If these heroes of the First Amendment claim that the display of the Ten Commandments is somehow an abrogation of their rights, they are liars: none of them can demonstrate that even an explicitly Judeo-Christian document such as the Decalogue is somehow an infringement upon their own rights to believe as they will. Give me a clear example of how making Christians surrender their rights to display the very words of their faith will somehow ennoble or advance the beliefs of atheists or Hindus or whoever. It's a fucking lot of nonsense, cooked up by people whose real purpose is to cut the gibblets out of the dominant white power structure.

I give you revolution.

I give you counter-revolution.

But you best grab your packages when these post-gendered vegan patchouli princesses and the lawyers they hire start talking about diversity and rights. They don't believe in either unless what you're doing is being sorry for being a white boy.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:18 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Thursday, 21 August 2003
To the Tens' Place
Mood:  chillin'
The ACLU and its kind have a problem with the Ten Commandments being displayed in the building where the Alabama Supreme Court meet. They've even gotten the local federal court to agree with them that the man who put it there, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is out of line. It's really a pathetic display of multiculturalism run amok. Remember: diversity of belief or class or creed or of anything else is NEVER the purpose of that crowd. If it were, then, obviously, the expressions of the majority would be permitted and included and not held out to be extremist whip-crackery.

Tell me what a non-Christian has to fear from the Ten Commandments. The First Commandment? Well, I don't believe in it, either, but the fact that it's there doesn't detract from the reality of Judeo-Christianity's influence on the laws, customs, and culture I, myself, have accepted. And the fact that I don't accept the First Commandment doesn't mean that others who do should be deprived of having it included with the others.

Civil rights activists (and common sensical citizens like me) regard the First Amendment of the Constitution to be every bit as sacred as the First Commandment. That is certainly my opinion: this is a secular society and not a theocracy. And, yet, I am so certain of the power invested in that First Amendment that I am not in any way endangered or threatened by those who wish to recall the authority that they, themselves, believe they find in the words of the First Commandment.

I say quit trying to drive Christianity out of the public sphere. You're not promoting diversity when you do so; quite obviously, you are acting to the exact contrary purpose.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Monday, 18 August 2003
The Tyranny of the Minority
Mood:  cool
Looks like our Democratic state senators are starting to cost their staffs some privileges, like parking and franking. Must be nice to run off like a bunch of pussies instead of doing your job and, in the process, leave your staffs holding the bag. I don't see any principle or bravery in what these cowards are doing. Anyone care to clue me in?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:56 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Sunday, 17 August 2003
The Doors
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: "Back Door Man" by The Doors
What a neat surprise to wake up to: A&E has something called Breakfast with the Arts and today's offering are a lot of Doors performances. What an interesting band they were. I love those old live studio performances where the audience is cool and the sound is clean. I may just have to go and dig out my old CDs. I never did own Waiting for the Sun or The Soft Parade, but I wore the hell out of their first album and L.A. Woman, if that's possible to do with a CD.

You men, eat your dinner---
Eat your pork and beans---
I eat more chicken
Any man ever seen...

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:07 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 16 August 2003
Gazing out the Window
Extremely bored, but only a few more hours away from a four-day weekend. My apartment has taken pretty decent shape, but there are a lot of things I can start weeding out to make even more room. It's a very large 1-1 and I'm happy about that, but not about the cost of keeping it cool. Outrageous. My walls are all covered with the evidence of my travels and tastes and interests, and I couldn't care less whether they are regarded as tacky and dorm-roomish. I can't stand bare walls. I like to be surrounded by my own aesthetic values and comforts. Ever been in a home where you were afraid to sit down or felt like you needed coasters for the soles of your shoes? Fuck a place like that.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:41 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 15 August 2003
Thinking about Granny
My Granny's been in the hospital for several days now, recovering from a case of double-pneumonia. She's a sweetheart. Ninety years old this past April. Actually, she's my oldest friend's grandmother, but I've known her since I was 13, so she's been officially adopted for a while now. And, besides, she never fails to tell me that she feels just like I'm one of her "youngins," anyway, so that is good to know.

I wouldn't presume to share her name with the world unless I knew it was okay with her, but her very initials would tell you something about her: E.R.T.H. As in "Mother Earth" or "salt of the earth." Granny comes from good Southern stock, with lots of English and Cherokee mingled in her. In fact, if I'm not mistaken (and how very much I would like to confirm this some day), she is descended from some Cherokee who roamed the foothills of the Smoky Mountains ---men like Pumpkin Boy, Nettle Carrier, Old Tassel, and Double Head. These were the uncles and cousins of a half-breed named Robert Benge, whose enemies (and victims) called "The Bench." It was The Bench and his men who, one cold night in the fall of 1793, murdered my great-great-great-grandfather, Robert Sharp, outside a blockhouse near Maryville, Tennessee.

And, so, I think it says something about this country and its character (and the ineffable mystery of coincidence) that the descendants of men who hunted each other down in a race of war of two centuries ago can grow to know and love each other. Granny has been a blessing in my life and I hope that she might think, in some small way, the same of me.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:14 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 14 August 2003
That blackout up in the Northeast today has certainly gotten a lot of people's attention. It is said to have been started by a lightning strike, but that didn't keep people from first thinking it was terrorism of some kind. Now, of course, the al-Qaeda cells in North America have been treated to a risk-free demonstration of what could happen if they went the way of electro-terrorism. It seems to me that the term "asymmetrical force" becomes more and more apt every time it is used. Nineteen psychopaths with box cutters and a lot of planning created a new world order. A mere handful again could wreak incredible damage with a trunkload of nerve agent or anthrax. It's disproportionate, asymmetrical. In a world where so many people depend on the smooth and uninterrupted functioning of their electricty or internet connections or transportation systems, our own society, in particular, must become more willing to use whatever tools are at our disposal to identify the people who might cause such havoc in advance of their actions against the peace and destroy them. We must use the technology available to us and find hackers who release worms into the cybersphere. And once we prove it on them that they did these deeds against the peace, they must be publicly put to sleep. Examples must be made of these pieces of shit. We can't have malicious hackers and we can't have towelheads who funnel money to terrorists through so-called Muslim charities. Our Constitution cannot be made into these savages' doormat. We cannot continue to play by the same old rules. Their executions must be made to communicate the intolerance a tolerant society must cultivate against its enemies.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:33 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
What Sucks
Mood:  irritated
Oh, by the way, the Time-Warner RoadRunner's native e-mail service sucks big green donkey dicks. That is to say, there is no respect in which their e-mail interface does not swallow giant negro porno pole. And I've been telling people to start writing me at my "" address?! Uh-oh. Big mistake. First of all, it times out on you if you take longer than, like, ten seconds to write an e-mail. It doesn't tell you what's been sent, you can't scroll down all of your read (but undeleted) mail on a single screen, you can't get rid of its little secure/are you sure pop-up window at either end of the transaction, it won't stay running in the background, you can't archive stuff to your own hard drive, etc., etc. Take it from me, Gladys: Hotmail is the best e-mail account you can have. Bar none.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:24 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 13 August 2003
My Light Bill
Mood:  don't ask
I just saw the first full light bill for my current apartment yesterday and I just can't talk about it. I've been used to paying less than half of what this fucking thing came out to be and it makes me sick. And it's not like I'm hanging meat up in that mug, neither. Oh, well. We've got another month of this weather and then it will start to come down. I do love the fall. Cooler days and much cooler nights. Girls in sweaters. Wall-to-wall football. Fireplaces. Girls in sweaters. Girls in sweaters by fireplaces. Girls in sweaters---

We interrupt this blog entry with an important announcement:

Down with Austin Utilities! My light bill's more than doubled? Dammit!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:14 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
If Al Gore doesn't enter the race for the Democratic nomination within the next month or so, he will never again be in the running for the Presidency. That's because the Democratic base will absolutely demand that Hillary run in '08 and he won't have a realistic chance again. But she only runs if she can win her own Senate seat back in '06, which isn't a given. Hillary is playing everything perfectly so far in terms of cultivating some serious bona fides and practical experience in the middle and in foreign policy, but she is in for a rough time regardless. I personally hope that the same sentiments and collusion of forces that put HRC in the Senate in the first place will have evaporated by '06 because I think she is a dangerous woman. (We've only scratched the surface of her socialism.)

Of course, the most dangerous man in the Democratic Party right now is Howard Dean. He is pulling the party to the left with such gusto that there is no way for him to come back to the center without a lot of lying and bullshitting. But, face it: the Dems have at least and at last sensed what a sell-out to the center-right they experienced under Clinton. They still love him, of course, and need him to rekindle the fires in the hearts of the faithful ---but they can't be too sorry he's gone. Can they? Even now when his legacy is discussed, it's already reduced to simplistic shit like, "The Republicans impeached him for blow-jobs." But it was never so simple. Clinton was a liar and a conniver, let alone a cheater. He had no principles and didn't come close to understanding what his weaknesses in foreign policy would ultimately lead to. Everything he did was for his own benefit and his snake-oil salesmanship still has some members of his party thinking that he cared for them. But, now, the left is calling the shots ---and guaranteeing the Democratic Party an electoral ass-beating in '04.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:02 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 12 August 2003
A Great Letter in Yesterday's Paper
Mood:  sharp
There was a great letter in yesterday's Austin American-Asswipe from a Mr. Kirk Groninga in Keller, Texas regarding our Democratic state senators having gone AWOL. Groninga correctly points out that not only have these cowards (my word, and not necessarily Mr. Groninga's) essentially effected an unConstitutional adjournment of the State Legislature, but they are also denying me my right to be represented (the boozehound Gonzalo Barrientos is unfortunately my state senator).

What are we supposed to do about this? These people make me ill. They aren't heroes standing up for some right, but a bunch of yellow-bellies who know they can't win by democratic means, so they break the faith (and the law) by running off to New Mexico. Well, fuck 'em all. I hope this ridiculous nonsense is well-remembered in the next election and that it energizes the conservative base to replace these professional politicians with some principled citizen-legislators. After all, look at someone like Barrientos. The guy is a barnacle on the side of the capitol itself. If he's not licking up the perqs of being a senator, he's making money off of some booze distributorship. What a joke. CAN these chumps!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:09 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 11 August 2003
A Joke
Mood:  a-ok
Q.: Why are the natives killing each other in Liberia?

A.: Because they're all fucked up on coke and have machine guns.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 11 August 2003 4:52 PM CDT
Sunday, 10 August 2003
And Celibate Priests Give Marriage Counseling?
Now Playing: "It's Not for Me to Say" by Johnny Mathis
I don't mean to be a disrespectful dismisser of all religious and ecclesiastical belief and practice and someone who is immovably opposed to wasting any time at all on such nonsense, but what do you think of this gay Episcopalian bishop thang? They say it's going to break up the Episcopalian church. Well, good. That's what Protestant denominations are supposed to do, you dummies! When they stay all ganged up and constipated, they become Catholic, I guess. The whole idea is to constantly engage the schismatic impulse and find the next best thing. Churches that want to stick together are only in it for the money and the clout. Whoever loves his [property out on Loop 360] shall lose it, right? So, the best possible thing to do is for every Christian to become disaffected with his or her church and to break away from it. Get in touch with your gnostic side, is what I say. If your Christian upbringing won't allow you any truck with faggots in the pulpit, then tell 'em they're all going to hell and start up your own church. See, you Protestants should be ashamed that you have to have an atheist tell you these things and remind you of your original genius. What are the Evangelical Lutherans going to do about their trading partners in the Episcopal church? Why, they're going to denounce them, of course. And break up that old gang of mine. And that is the whole idea: reject everyone. Do your own thang. If the Episcopalians want to run their business in the ground by letting the queers steer, fine! They'll just become two Episcopalian churches with different clienteles. And that's the way it's supposed to go.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:36 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 9 August 2003
From an Anonymous Howard Dean Supporter (in Its Master's Voice?)
I received this as a comment on an entirely different subject, but since the poster went to the trouble, I will oblige him. My comments are interspersed in italics.

As Howard Dean noted...

The United States has a special role to play in world affairs as an historic inspiration to those around the world seeking democracy, freedom, and opportunity.

Sure. People respond to us because they know their history. That's why the current generation of young people from France and Germany to South Korea is infected with an extreme ignorance of American sacrifice for their countries' sake.

Our own fight for independence, democracy, and basic human rights has allowed us to act as a moral force in world affairs and a guiding light for other nations.

"Moral force" never rooted out a tyrant and this so-called "guiding light" never helped the oppressed to see but for the reality of American military and economic might backing it all up. That's the half of the equation that pie-in-the-sky types like you always leave out. Nothing gets done until Uncle Sam brings the toys.

In the last century, our strength as a nation was measured more by the extent to which others emulated and respected us abroad than by the extent to which they feared and loathed us.

Divorcing fear from respect in geopolitical terms is a childish notion, frankly. The threat of force is always there. If other nations have emulated our example, it's because they saw for themselves what dividends it paid to do so.

Under George W. Bush, this nation has lost its way.

Melodramatic garbage.

Not only are we less secure at home and abroad, we have squandered our role as the inspiration and guiding light for other peoples.

None of what you are saying is true. Quantify our loss of security, please. Are you blaming Bush for 11 September? Do you doubt that we could respond to any situation we had to at this very moment with as much force as was needed?

As for what we have squandered, it seems to me that when a country is falling apart anywhere in the world, you see the natives waving signs and American flags and screaming for our help into the lenses of any TV camera they can find. They're not asking for the French or the Germans to come because they know who has the will and the way to help ---and it ain't those wankers.

I seek to restore America's rightful place in the world and its moral leadership in world affairs.

Meaningless rhetoric.

We remain the sole superpower in the world as Madeleine Albright once put it, the "indispensable power" for addressing so many of the challenges around the world.

Why does attributing this banality to Madeleine Albright make my skin crawl? Couldn't you have referenced someone whose judgement matters?

But we cannot lead the world by force,

"So, we'll do it with weakness!"

and we cannot go it alone.

Well, we usually have the English-speaking peoples to help out.

We must lead toward clearly articulated and shared goals and with the cooperation and respect of friends and allies.

You and the governor will soon discover that clarity of purpose and coordination of power in geopolitics is neither achievable nor desirable. Hegemons like the United States will wind up fucking ourselves if we ever again allow so-called allies like France and Germany to drag us down. It was the obstructionism and moral cowardice of those countries, be reminded, that gave Saddam the time he needed to further conceal his weapons programs. Had we acted quickly, those stockpiles might have been much more easily found.

But what's all this about clear goals and cooperation? Sounds like a U.N. sorta deal. And it would benefit us how? We'd give it all we had just to answer to a failed colonial power or a reconstructed fascist state? To hell with that.

I seek to restore the best traditions of American leadership. Leadership in which our power is multiplied by the appeal of democratic ideals and by the knowledge that our country is a force for law around the world, not a law unto itself.

The only thing I can draw out of this is a vague sense of self-loathing.

I will not divide the world into us versus them.

Okay. We'll just become them and forget about us.

Rather, I will rally the world around fundamental principles of decency, responsibility, freedom, and mutual respect. Our foreign and military policy must be about the notion of America leading the world not America against the world.

This is simple gibberish, Howie. When American and British soldiers go into Iraq and liberate its people from 30 years of dictatorial oppression, THAT is a force for decency and freedom. We took responsibility and acted on it. We didn't sit back and stroke ourselves at a big round table: we acted as a force for good.

I opposed President Bush's war in Iraq from the beginning.

Translation: "I am somewhat different from my fellow-campaigners."

While Saddam Hussein's regime was clearly evil and needed to be disarmed, it did not present an immediate threat to U.S. security that would justify going to war, particularly going to war alone.

This is a perfect example of Democratic hypocrisy and doublespeak. Yes, Saddam was a bad guy who needed to be removed, but it could have been done with another year or two of talking with the French and blah, blah, blah. You can't make moral cowards act! You have to act and then rub their noses in the shit of their own indecision. More time spent talking and the guy who isn't any danger to anyone suddenly has weaponized anthrax and the missiles to deliver them. Was there something in his character or in his past that made you think that he could be brought to his senses and dealt with peacefully? What crap. Furthermore, guv, we didn't act alone. We had the help and approval of many nations. The lie that we acted unilaterally will only live amongst you who hate this country and wish to denigrate it.

From the beginning, I felt that winning the war would not be the hard part winning the peace would be. This administration failed to plan for the postwar period as it did for the battle, and today we are paying the price.

Howard Dean has repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence and ignorance regarding the United States military and is unqualified on that basis alone to speak to any strategic or operational aspect of the war or its aftermath.

I sure do hope y'all manage to get him the nomination. Just imagine! A George McGovern without any of the moral or experiential authority to oppose anything. You're practically guaranteeing a second term to the man you hate the most in this world. What a throat-slitting irony.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:48 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Here's a Picture of John H. Reagan
Here's a picture of the original Mr. Not-Without-Honor. Maybe I'll go find a picture of Sara Lee, too, but I think she is just a name. Earlier this year, we were told of the murder of a young woman at good old John H. Reagan High School. Her estranged boyfriend had a large knife and got her into a very desperate situation where he wound up murdering her there in what we used to call the "New Mall." These dumb kids. They say it was the first time a student had ever been murdered on a high school campus in the Austin Independent School District, but I just can't believe that. All of the local affiliates repeated that same factoid, but it just doesn't ring true. You're telling me that in a century or more of high school life in this town, that was the one and only time someone did such a thing? I just don't know about that. Anyhow, Reagan was the Postmaster General of the Confederate States of America and a Senator and lots of other things, besides. He came from the same part of the country and the same bolt of ethnic cloth that many of my ancestors did (Eastern Tennessee Irish) and made a home here in Texas. Interesting character. His descendants live in and around Austin, I believe. Seems like many years ago I read an obituary that mentioned a then-living John Henninger Reagan VI. Dem's good genes dere.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:18 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 8 August 2003
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: "Burnin' for You" by the Blue Oyster Cult
It was 108 degrees Fahrenheit here in Austin yesterday ---and then we got some sort of unforecasted freak thunderstorm this afternoon and evening. They say it was the fourth hottest temperature ever recorded in this town, but I always wonder about the accuracy of thermometers. Three of the four hottest days ever here have come in the last three years. Is that a reason to believe in global warming, or do we just not have the length of years to know whether these things are part of a cycle? Well, since we can't really know which, but can know that the former possibility is something we can't really recover from, it makes sense to believe in it, anyway. The consequences of denying it and trusting that this sort of unprecedented kind of heat is merely a phase in some unknowable cycle is irresponsible.

So, what to do? Stop buying and driving these goddamned Bradley troop transports and acting like you need them to "feel safer" in traffic or for the sake of the kids. (Aah, for the sake of the kids...). If you want to feel safer in traffic, get out of it. Stop talking on your goddamned cell phone and go home. And, then, insist that government get behind alternative energy sources and new automotive and architectural technologies and make them economically viable. Recycle. Telecommute. Destroy Vegas. Wear white. Live underground. There's a lot that can be done to conserve and not waste and not exacerbate the warming trends.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:25 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Thursday, 7 August 2003
Sara Lee
Mood:  silly
Do you know how many years I went thinking that the little jingle/motto for Sara Lee was "Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee"? Turns out that it's "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee," but I only found that out in the past year or so. It's a slightly odd way to put things, you know. It's not unlike the motto of John Henninger Reagan, Postmaster of the Confederate States of America and the man for whom my high school was named: "Not Without Honor." These aren't really double negatives, but they aren't singularly positive, either.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:40 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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