Aug 31, 2005

Toxic Gumbo

The storm is over, but the worst is already here. The water and sludge now covering The Big Easy is contaminated with sewage, natural gas, decomposing bodies, and hazardous waste.

Local officials said they fear diseases such diarrhea, cholera and malaria could spread, just as they did after a tsunami devastated Southeast Asia eight months ago.
As the Rude Pundit suggests, this may be the "viable exit strategery" that the U.S. needs to pull out of Iraq. Hell, let's do it. Who among the legislature would vote against securing the safety and well-being of our fellow Americans in the South?

(With inspiration from esteemed colleague and fellow BARBARian King of Zembla)

President Doofus, yet again

While people are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, here's Not-My-President executing yet another ill-planned PR move:

President Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country Singer Mark Wills, right, backstage following his visit to Naval Base Coronado, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Bush visited the base to deliver remarks on V-J Commemoration Day.

(AP Photo/ABC News, Martha Raddatz)

Which, all too conveniently, and sickenly, reminds us of this:

(With inspiration from Bob Cesca, at the HuffPo.)

Somebody get me a Snapple

I wasn't planning on commenting on Hurricane Katrina (which, quite frankly cracks me up every time I see that on the news because my cousin's name is Katrina) and the devastation wrought on the South.

But, what the hell. Here's a list of thoughts that ran though my mind while watching the media coverage. Brutal and honest. Thoughts, not proven truths. May not be popular among the rah-rah jingoistic set, but here goes:
  1. I can see how they want to draw the parallel between this and the Thai tsunami, but quite frankly, these people had ample warning the storm was coming. The tsunami victims didn't. So basically, the casualties resulting from Katrina are socioeconomic. Richer people who had the money to flee, did. Poorer people didn't. Everyone in that area is paying a price; some more than others.
  2. Stupid Iraq war. Now we don't have enough manpower on the ground to help rescue trapped folks. Or the looters. And when you have looters, you have anarchy, by god.
  3. Looting. So the fuck what. Get me a Snapple.
  4. So how many Neocons were affected by this?
  5. What are those levees made out of? Sandbags? Dirt? Can't they bust out with some concrete structure or something?
  6. There's gotta be at least one non-black looter out there. Show yourself to the media cameras, babe.
  7. There goes my plans for a Nawlins trip next year.
  8. I never want to live in Hurricane Country. Ever.

In all seriousness, my heart goes out to all those who lost family members, pets, and property during the hurricane. Here's to getting back on your feet as soon as possible.

Aug 30, 2005

If it's Japanese anything, I'll eat it.

I'm not a big fan of the P.F. Chang chain of restaurants. It's basically overpriced Chinese food that I could get for $5.00 a pint at a smaller, local place. But I could certainly get down with this:

The company's chief executive officer, Rick Federico, said Taneko will fill a niche for authentic Japanese cuisine that isn't sushi or prepared teppanyaki-style. Much of the food at Taneko will be prepared on grills and in ovens fired by a special hard-oak charcoal. Federico said the technique will help Taneko become a category-defining restaurant.Look for dishes such as salt-grilled chicken, saki-braised pork ribs and Kobe steak. The menu also will include sushi.The average check per guest at Taneko is expected to be $30. That's higher than P.F. Chang's average of $18 to $19 and Pei Wei's average of $8 to $9.

So I'm assuming they're going to test this "concept" restaurant in the Scottsdale, AZ area first. If anyone knows of a similar place in San Francisco or the rest of the Bay Area, help a sista out and leave it in the comments. Your girl loves her some grilled meat.

Am I outraged at the whole bastardization of Asian cuisine by huge restaurant corporations? Annoyed, yes, but mostly ambivalent. When it comes to Asian cuisine, if it's good, I don't care who makes it. But I will say - I have yet to find a place that makes Filipino food as good as the way my dad makes it.

Quite possibly a niche that will never be filled.

Aug 29, 2005

U.S. Planted Evidence in Lockerbie

What's that you say? The US would never fabricate evidence to further its own political agenda?

Well, aside from the reasons for going to war with Iraq, there's an article in the UK Scotsman that asserts key evidence in the Lockerbie investigation was fabricated.

I'm going to direct you now to my friend Erica's post over at Soft Pretzel Love. She's a friend of mine who did some journalism work in Lockerbie a few years ago as part of a project in partnership with our alma mater. I forwarded her the article (which was forwarded to me by my friend BYO - how's that for full disclosure?) because I knew her personal involvement would yield a better post than I could ever write.

The World Challenge

The BBC and Newsweek are sponsoring The World Challenge, a competition "aimed at finding individuals or groups from around the world who have shown enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level. This competition is all about finding entrepreneurs whose projects are making a difference to communities." Here are the 12 finalists:
  1. "A Chilli Reception," Zambia
  2. "Weaving Magic, " Kenya
  3. "Bugs Money," Kenya
  4. "Coconets," Philippines
  5. "Dye-ing for Change," United Kingdom
  6. "Fat Chance," Malta
  7. "Lucky Birds," Spain
  8. "Men at Work," South Africa
  9. "My Big Fat Ethical Wedding," United States
  10. "Reef Rehab," Vanuatu
  11. "Rooftop Revolution," Ukraine
  12. "Snakes Alive,"India

The public is invited to go to their website and vote for who they think should win. The winner receives a $20,000 US grant from Shell for the continuation of their project. I'm going to vote for the "Coconets" project in the Philippines, because it's good to see people in my ancestral country making the move to better the lives of citizens and to also help the environment by recycling coconut byproducts. My dad's hometown in the Philippines was pretty much devastated by the "lahar," a rapidly flowing mix of debris, rock, and water that happened as a result of the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption, causing my grandparents, and the rest of our extended family to evacuate their long-time home and move to a nearby city. Perhaps the proliferation of these "coconets" will help prevent more of this erosion from taking place.

Anyway, check out the short profiles of each of the finalists. It's very interesting to see how the seemingly tinest of ideas can make such a huge impact.

Aug 27, 2005

A Day at the Zoo

So London Zoo is currently displaying eight men and women as part if their primate exhibit. Many Londoners are taking in the sights with a good sense of humor:

Pointing at one heavy muscled and gleaming body on the ledge, one visitor joked that the zoo should consider a breeding program.

"You can tell why some people came here, like the big muscly men who clearly like parading around in thongs,'' said Damien Largey, 23.

However, the larger meaning behind the exhibit is to show that we humans, or rather, homo sapiens, are just a small part of a larger world.

Tom Mahoney, 26, decided to participate after his friend sent him an e-mail about the contest as a joke. Anything that draws attention to apes, he said, has his support.

"A lot of people think humans are above other animals,'' he told The Associated Press. "When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds us that we're not that special.''

I think the real point here is that we homo sapiens are special, but that doesn't mean we're entitled to ruin this planet. We share it - we don't own it.

I don't know if you can see this on the link, but AOL took an informal poll to ask its members if this "human exhibit" was something they'd actually go to see. I voted "yes," but was surprised to see that, at the time I voted, 52% voted "no."

I swear, AOL is filled with some no-sense-of-humor-havin' mafakas.

Aug 26, 2005

Girl crushes

The New York Times wrote on Aug. 11 [yes I know I'm behind the times - deal] an article about girl crushes, “referring to that fervent infatuation that one heterosexual woman develops for another woman who may seem impossibly sophisticated, gifted, beautiful or accomplished.”

Yes, I have a few girl crushes, and I also keep a list of “girls I’d go lesbo for.” Don’t we all?

Check out some of the reasons women develop girl crushes:
  • "I stammer around her, and it's definitely because I think she's supercool."
  • "She really knows her stuff, and there's something almost sexy about that."

WAY different than boy crushes, for sure.

A crush is a relatively mild form of infatuation. People have killed themselves over true love, said Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University who has written extensively on human love. Think of Romeo and Juliet. With a girl crush, Dr. Fisher said, "you won't kill yourself if she doesn't want to jump rope with you." For that reason, girl crushes can give women safe and valuable experience in the emotions of love.

Dr. Fisher, the author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love," said girl crushes are as natural as any other kind of love. But they are romantic without being sexual. Love and lust are distinct urges, Dr. Fisher said.

This was one of the findings she and colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the State University at Stony Brook made when they analyzed brain scans of people 18- to 26-years-old who were experiencing new love. Love and lust, it turned out, could be mapped to several separate parts of the brain.

"The brain system for romantic love is associated with intense energy, focused energy, obsessive things - a host of characteristics that you can feel not just toward a mating sweetheart," Dr. Fisher said, adding that "there's every reason to think that girls can fall in love with other girls without feeling sexual towards them, without the intention to marry them."

Do guys ever develop boy crushes? Do they admit to them?

(Shout out to my friend Amanda for the link.)

Aug 25, 2005

The iPod. It ain't just for music anymore.

And now, in a marketing move I'm sure you all have been dying for, Kraft Foods now has a special section of their website in which you can download recipes.

To - wait for it - your iPod. Or Blackberry. Or cell phone. Or other PDA device.

“More and more consumers are out of home and away from their Internet connections and we need to determine how to get recipe ideas to them where they are,” said Ian Smith, director of global digital marketing at Kraft. Whether through iPods, cell phones, Blackberrys or PDAs, he said, “you’re going to see these new media get a lot more attention from us in the future.”

Right. Because what I really want to touch - especially when my hands are all greasy and messy from cooking - is my technology. And yet:

Mr. Smith said that since the July 25 launch, several thousand people have downloaded recipes, among them grilling ideas featuring Kraft’s Zesty Italian dressing and desserts using Kraft’s Cool Whip and Jell-O brands, to their iPods.

Some of the recipes available for download:
Pesto crostini
Spaghetti crust pizza
Frozen peach citrus squares

I think I'll just stick to cookbooks.

Aug 24, 2005

I knew this was coming.

So now Pat Robertson is saying that he didn't say "assassinate" when it came to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Uh huh. And monkeys are flying out of my butt.

I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should, quote, "take him out," and "take him out" can be a number of things including kidnapping. There are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time.

Let's all refresh our memories of what Pat said, shall we?

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.


We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Mmmhm. Whatever, Pat. Seriously.

Does anyone else notice that Pat is getting a little shaky? I'm talking early stages of Parkinson's, perhaps. Dude needs to retire and get some rest.

The Bulldog's Orwellian 101

Today's post on The Bulldog Manifesto is a brilliant discussion on how the language surrounding the war in Iraq spins positive, which obviously contributes to why people think that this is the right thing for us to do.

One thing I found most disturbing was the Bulldog's discussion of "depleted uranium" and how we - supposed liberators of oppressed Iraq - are actually fucking killing them in the process:

Depleted Uranium
Your television will never mention the topic of depleted uranium. Depleted Uranium (DU) is a dense, radioactive metal used for armor-piercing shells. American tanks and A-10's fired DU munitions all over Iraq, littering the Iraqi terrain with an estimated 75 tons of DU shells. (These shells have been found to contain traces of Plutonium, which is the most toxic substance we know of. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, Iraq is destined to be a radioactive nightmare for the rest of human history.)

Beside the fact that our media rarely discusses depleted uranium, when it does get mentioned, it's misleadingly called "depleted uranium". That's Orwellian newspeak again. It should really be called what it is-- "Enriched Uranium"
"The term "Depleted" refers to the removal of uranium-235, but the process for its removal is called "Enrichment." It is Enrichment because what remains is uranium-238, a highly potent radioactive carcinogen that emits alpha particles. Once in our body, either inhaled, or in a flesh wound, or even ingested in contaminated food or water --- you get cancer in your lungs bones, blood or kidneys (Caldicott, 2002). There is one more way, the Uranium is Enriched. Uranium-236 and Uranium-238, otherwise know as Plutonium is laced into the so-called "Depleted" uranium weaponry." -- David M. Boje, Ph.D. (March 13, 2003).

You see, this clever language makes it hard for the public to discern that we fought a nuclear war in Iraq. To be precise, it was an Enriched Uranium Nuclear War. And there is a profound reason for this Orwellian language-- Enriched Uranium weaponry is illegal under the terms and conditions of the Geneva Convention. It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to leave harmful materials on a battlefield after the conflict has ceased.

I urge you to read the rest of this post. It's really quite thought provoking.

Uh, yeah. reports today that Harrod's is putting up a statue of the late Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Al Fayed. The couple is portrayed holding hands and looking into each other's eyes. Underneath an albatross in flight, apparently a symbol of eternity and good fortune.

It's hilarious to me how their relationship is so romanticized. I'm not saying their relationship was perfect, I'm just saying it's cheesy as all hell.
Diana is wearing a dress with a plunging neckline, while Dodi's shirt is unbuttoned to reveal a bare chest.
Whatevs. The sculpture is called "Innocent Victims," which is a direct reflection of Mohammed Al Fayed's suspicion that the deaths were not accidental.

Props to Ceci for the link.

Aug 23, 2005

Tarzhay Takes Manhattan

Target Corporation resurrected a vintage ad tactic by doing a $1 million ad buy in the August issue of the New Yorker. In this issue, every single ad in the magazine sports Target's bullseye logo. I didn't know that people who read the New Yorker were Target's demographic, but hell, there's a lot I don't know. Anyway, here's an example of one of the ads:

I gotta say, that's just cool. And lately, I've been on this Target kick. Like, I can't get enough of that store.

And this trend is catching on. Coke recently bought up all the slots for several weeks on Jack FM in L.A., and ran brief commercials for Coke Zero and Minute Maid Fruit Punch.

Courtesy of AdAge.

Thou Shalt Not Lose Thy Mind

Pat Robertson. What the hell is wrong with this guy? Straight up saying that U.S. covert operatives should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez:

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Where does he get off saying this? So Robertson, a supposed religious man, is saying that killing is okay, if it's done for political reasons? What about for aging televangelists who have apparently lost their minds and call for murder on TV?

UPDATE: Cenk Uygur at the HuffPo likens Robertson's maniacal blatherings to a fatwa. And it's not the first time Robertson has called for the head of a foreign leader. Check out Uygur's article here. Fatwa, indeed. Unbelievable.

Aug 22, 2005

Fat Guy in a Little Coat

I don’t know what I find more offensive: The fact that Rush Limbaugh repeatedly refers to Native Americans as “Injuns,” spreads false information about the Clinton administration, or the fact that he’s now recanting his comments about Cindy Sheehan.

Click on the links above for the details of each egregious offense. I don’t know if they do this all the time, but today at least, Media Matters has a great round-up of examples where Rush puts his foot in his mouth, and repeatedly. What frightens me is that he gets to spew this on TV, and people who are too weak to be objective and make up their own minds, soak this shit up like sponges.

So people will continue to think that racial slurs are acceptable forms of speech, that Clinton was negligent with his relationship to the CIA while in office, and that Cindy Sheehan is some crazy opportunist who is defiling her soldier son's good name by speaking out against the war. In some ways, he's like Ray Zalinsky, that slimeball businessman from "Tommy Boy." [I know, I know. You're thinking, "Where the hell is she going with this?" Bear with me, seriously.]

In the movie, Zalinsky says that he cares for the American working man, but in reality he could give two shits about Joe Schmo Six-Pack. And not until the movie's end is Zalinsky exposed for the fraud he is. Unfortunately these days, the mainstream media (not to mention the current administration, but that's too easy) is filled with a whole slew of Ray Zalinskys. It's up to organizations like the "little pimple-faced kids at" Media Matters and a whole slew of media watchdogs (and dare I say it --- bloggers?) to continue to chip away at their shady facades and expose them for the money-grubbing, opinion whores that they truly are.

Aug 19, 2005

Shake Your Groove Thang

(Courtesy of Hello, My Name Is Sam)

Here's a fun Friday thing to do:

1. Go to Music Outfitters
2. Type in your birth year in the "search" field
3. Click on the first link
4. See the list of Top 100 hits from that year
5. Start feeling really, really old.

Here's my list. I've bolded the songs that I actually know and underlined the ones I also like. You'll notice that the numbering gets screwed up along the line. I didn't do that.

Top 100 Hits of 1972 / Top 100 Songs of 1972

1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack
2. Alone Again (Naturally), Gilbert O'Sullivan
3. American Pie, Don McLean
4. Without You, Nilsson
5. Candy Man, Sammy Davis Jr.
6. I Gotcha, Joe Tex
7. Lean On Me, Bill Withers
8. Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me, Mac Davis
9. Brand New Key, Melanie
10. Daddy Dont You Walk So Fast, Wayne Newton
11. Let's Stay Together, Al Green
12. Brandy (You're A Fine Girl), Looking Glass
13. Oh Girl, Chi-Lites
14. Nice To Be With You, Gallery
15. My Ding-A-Ling, Chuck Berry
16. If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right, Luther Ingram
17. Heart Of Gold, Neil Young
18. Betcha By Golly, Wow, Stylistics
19. I'll Take You There, Staple Singers
20. Ben, Michael Jackson
21. The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Robert John
22. Outa-space, Billy Preston
23. Slippin' Into Darkness, War
24. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress), Hollies
25. How Do You Do, Mouth and MacNeal
27. Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond
28. A Horse With No Name, America
28. Popcorn, Hot Butter
29. Everybody Plays The Fool, Main Ingredient
30. Precious And Few, Climax
31. Last Night I Didn't Get To Sleep At All, 5th Dimension
32. Nights In White Satin, Moody Blues
33. Go All The Way, Raspberries
34. Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose
35. Back Stabbers, O'Jays
36. Down By The Lazy River, Osmonds
37. Sunshine, Jonathan Edwards
38. Starting All Over Again, Mel and Tim
39. Day Atter Day, Badfinger
40. Rocket Man, Elton John
41. Rockin' Robin, Michael Jackson
42. Beautiful Sunday, Daniel Boone
43. Scorpio, Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band
44. Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens
45. The City Of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
46. Garden Party, Rick Nelson
47. I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash
48. Burning Love, Elvis Presley
49. Clean Up Woman, Betty Wright
50. Hold Your Head Up, Argent
51. Jungle Fever, Chakachas
52. Everything I Own, Bread
53. In The Rain, Dramatics
54. Look What You Done For Me, Al Green
55. The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A., Donna Fargo
56. Bang A Gong (Get It On), T. Rex
57. Mother And Child Reunion, Paul Simon
58. Where Is The Love, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway
59. I'm Still In Love With You, Al Green
60. Layla, Derek and The Dominos
61. Day Dreaming, Aretha Franklin
62. The Way Of Love, Cher
63. Black And White, Three Dog Night
64. Sylvia's Mother, Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
65. Hurting Each Other, Carpenters
66. Coconut, Nilsson
68. Puppy Love, Donny Osmond
69. You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce
70. Hot Rod Lincoln, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
71. A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done, Sonny and Cher
72. Joy, Apollo 100
73. Anticipation, Carly Simon
74. Never Been To Spain, Three Dog Night
75. Kiss An Angel Good Morning, Charlie Pride
76. School's Out, Alice Cooper
77. Saturday In The Park, Chicago
78. Drowning In The Sea Of Love, Joe Simon
79. Use Me, Bill Withers
80. Family Affair, Sly and The Family Stone
81. Troglodyte, Jimmy Castor Bunch
82. The Witch Queen Of New Orleans, Redbone
83. Freddie's Dead, Curtis Mayfield
84. Power Of Love, Joe Simon
85. Ain't Understanding Mellow, Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager
86. Taxi, Harry Chapin
87. Don't Say You Don't Rememeer, Beverly Bremers
87. Sealed With A Kiss, Bobby Vinton
88. I Saw The Light, Todd Rundgren
89. Motorcycle Mama, Sailcat
90. Day By Day, Godspell Soundtrack
91. Roundabout, Yes
92. Doctor My Eyes, Jackson Browne
93. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, New Seekers
94. Vincent / Castles In The Air, Don Mclean
95. Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms), Detroit Emeralds
96. Speak To The Sky, Rick Springfield
97. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, Hillside Singers
98. Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, Love Unlimited
99. Good Foot, Pt. 1, James Brown
100. Pop That Thang, Isley Bros. <--- I wish I knew this song, based on the title alone

Have a great weekend.

My thoughts are with you, Cindy

If anyone's noticed the somewhat light, fluffy blog content here this week, it's because I'm burned out on politics right now. I will say, however, that I am real sad that Cindy Sheehan had to cut short her vigil/protest. My heart goes out to her and her mother, who suffered a stroke recently.

The fight will continue, and will continue to grow, according to this article in today's Salon.

Aug 18, 2005

Going Commando

So Europe is currently experiencing an underwear shortage. It appears that the European Union's initiative to prevent "cheap Chinese clothing" from flooding the EU markets is the cause of all this silliness.

I guess it couldn't have happened at a better time. Technically, it still is summer, and what better time time of year to walk around with no chonies on?

Aug 17, 2005

You've GOT to be kidding me.

Rush Limbaugh has GOT to be back on the drugs, because he had this to say about Cindy Sheehan and her protest:

From the August 15 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show (courtesy of Media Matters):

LIMBAUGH: I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real. It's nothing more than an attempt. It's the latest effort made by the coordinated left.
I don't even know what to say. Likening Cindy Sheehan's plight to the guy that produced the "unauthenticated documents" surrounding Georgie's National Guard service is as malicious as it is cognitively dissonant. Rush has got a serious case of elephantiasis of the nutsack, because it takes some major balls to draw such an outlandish parallel. The audacity and ruthlessness with which the Right is attacking Sheehan is just reprehensible. For fuck's sake, Rush. Cindy's son died in the war. What is not "real" about that? Do you need to stick your hand into a dead, rotting soldier's flesh to see that the bodycount from this war is real and meaningful? Some people, I swear.

AP photo courtesy of the HuffPo.

Good News for Average Joe

According to a Playgirl magazine survey:

Playgirl asked 2,000 of its readers what they find sexy in a man and the answers were surprising: 42% said they thought love handles were kind of sexy and 47% approved of chest hair.


"This survey shows that the guy who's most attractive to our readers is not your average Hollywood hunk," said Playgirl editrix Jill Sieracki. "It's the average Joe who came up on top. Women are practical about their choices, and they're smart."

This is totally true for me. What I find gorgeous about men differs from the super buff, hairless, six-pack havin' guys you see on Abercrobie & Fitch ads, magazines, tv, whatever. As I mention in my Blogger profile, I fall in love with people's minds, and a great sense of humor, a great kiss, a blazing intellect, or the ability to make me go weak in the knees with just one glance, is a million times more sexy to me than a man who has a six-pack and wears product in his hair.

Ahem. I'm going to take a cold shower now.

Courtesy of the NY Daily News, with inspiration from the HuffPo.

I'll have a garden salad with a spray bottle of dressing on the side, thanks.

So WishBone salad dressings is going to come out with spray-on salad dressing.

I'm not exactly sure what the price point will be, but I'm sure it will be at a premium, since people tend to charge more (and consumers agree to pay more) for convenience.

If you're counting calories like me, then this could possibly be a good thing, if they keep everything vinagrett-ty. Spray-on Ranch? Yikes.

And don't think Unilever (Wish Bone's parent company) is looking out for us and our ever-expanding waistlines. Rather, spray-on salad dressing is just another way for them to rake in the dough.

Unilever sees a chance to sell consumers as much as 1/3 less salad dressing for the same price. “The food industry is all about selling us less for more and coming up with innovative ways of making us think it’s worth it,” [Portfolio Manager] Mr. Patsky said.
Aaah, the joys of marketing.

Aug 16, 2005

Taking "Tea Time" to the next level

Charbay, a Napa Valley-based winery and micro-distillery, is coming out with a new vodka flavored with green tea. This news is of particular interest to me, considering the kind of work that I do. Anyway, I'd be curious to know whether this vodka will carry with it more vegetal notes, or if it will be perfumy, like jasmine-scented green teas usually are. In any case, I bet it'll be yummy.

[Owner Miles Karakasevic's] son and distilling partner, Marko, says:

"People can't wait to try it since it's the first Green Tea Vodka produced in the U.S. Our advantage is we have the stills, the know-how and our own bottling line to keep being creative."
Indeed. I can't wait to try it either.

No word yet on whether this green tea-infused vodka carries with it any health benefits, heh heh.

Hershey's on a rampage

Further proof that Hershey is desperate to get into the premium chocolate niche market:

HERSHEY, Pa., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY - News), the largest North American confectionery company and a leading snack food marketer, today announced that its newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary, Artisan Confections Company, has acquired the assets of Joseph Schmidt Confections, Inc., a premium chocolate maker. Joseph Schmidt is known for its artistic and innovative truffles, colorful chocolate mosaics, specialty cookies, and handcrafted chocolates presented in distinctive packaging. These products are sold in select department stores and other specialty outlets nationwide as well as in Joseph Schmidt's stores located in San Jose and San Francisco.
Sigh. Yet another Bay Area company snatched up by a megacorporation. I had written something earlier on the whole Scharffen Berger acquisition, so you pretty much know how I feel about this.

Aug 15, 2005

It's SO on.

In an effort to revitalize an otherwise "flat" market, beermaker Samuel Adams is coming out with a new product in a new niche: "Extreme beer."

Sam Adams Utopias 2005 is supposedly meant to be aged on customer's wine racks, but with an alcohol content at 25%, it probably wouldn't last very long. On my shelf, anyway. *ahem*

He must be feeling so tormented

Courtesy of Daily Kos

Why is Bush acting like he just got out of a long-term relationship or something?

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush, noting that lots of people want to talk to the president and "it's also important for me to go on with my life," on Saturday defended his decision not to meet with the grieving mom of a soldier killed in Iraq.

Bush said he is aware of the anti-war sentiments of Cindy Sheehan and others who have joined her protest near the Bush ranch.

"But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job," Bush said on the ranch. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say."

"But," he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

I'm sorry, WHAT? What do you mean, "get on with your life"? Oh right. Because that's what you DO, Georgie. You keep pluggin' ahead, even if red flags are going up at every turn. You keep living your life, without regard or concern about the end result of the decisions you make on a daily basis.

Coz' you're all "steadfast" and "resolute" and you think that makes you a good leader. But you forget, Georgie Boy, that you are here to serve the needs of the people, and you owe it to Cindy to listen to what she has to say.

The Cindy Sheehans of the world are not going to fade away, Georgie. Their voices will continue to grow and swell, and you won't be able to ignore them for much longer.
The comments came prior to a bike ride on the ranch with journalists and aides. It also came as the crowd of protesters grew in support of Sheehan, the California mother who came here Aug. 6 demanding to talk to Bush about the death of her son Casey. Sheehan arrived earlier in the week with about a half dozen supporters. As of yesterday (Saturday) there were about 300 anti-war protesters and approximately 100 people supporting the Bush Administration. In addition to the two-hour bike ride, Bush's Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading. "I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy," he said when asked about bike riding while a grieving mom wanted to speak with him. "And part of my being is to be outside exercising."
Oh yeah, and try not to fall off your bike again.

Aug 14, 2005

The CA State Fair

So I spent all day Saturday in our wonderful state's capital, Sacramento. We spent some time at the state capitol building, taking this semi-fascinating tour with this semi-annoying tour guide who enjoyed rambling very much about his personal life, political beliefs, things his grandmother used to say, lame jokes, etc. So to keep myself from strangling the poor guy, I busied myself with taking pictures, instead. Here's my little Show-And-Tell from this weekend.

Here's a picture from inside of the rotunda. It's pretty ornate, as most capital buildings seem to be. Something about real gold paint. There were also some other interesting facts about those windows, but I was already getting annoyed with the tour guide, so I stopped paying attention.

At some point in the tour, we ended up in this room which housed giant portraits of former California governors. Most of the previous governors opted for the typical photo-like portraits, but current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown opted for something different. Most of the people on the tour didn't really like this portrait because it was "different," but according to the tour guide, the painting looks "unfinished" because Jerry Brown was unable to finish - or realize - his "vision for Caliornia." I got it. And quite frankly, I fell in love with the whole modernity of this piece.

After our visit to the Capitol building, we drove over to the State Fair. You know, basically, I'll drive anywhere for a fried Snickers bar.

Just kidding.

The only other time I'd been to a State Fair was back in New York in 2002. And I had such an awesome time [you guys know who you are!] That time, I had about eight beers in me. And basically, after eight beers, you can have fun doing just about anything.

One real cool thing they had - and quite possibly the only cool thing they had at the State Fair this year - was this giant sand sculpture. I guess you could say the whole theme of this piece was a hodgepodge of California shit.

Here's a closeup of a humpback whale made of sand.

This large sand sculpture was at the entrance to this exposition building in which the different counties represented themselves - and what makes them special - via special displays. Some counties really went to town, using music, mechanical animals/people/bees, mirrors, 3-D displays, whatever. Imagine mini diaoramas, but California County style. Some were pretty awe inspiring. I wish I had taken a few pictures of them, but really, why take pictures of any other county, when your very own county comes up with this gem of a presentation:

I am SO glad that visitors from other California counties will finally see that here in San Mateo County, we all live in Pastel Land, complete with white picket fences, Easter-egg-colored mailboxes, and floating DNA strains in the air. Lovely. They really did me proud.

Then we went on to see some of the performances, like this Vietnamese group doing some sort of cultural dance (which really didn't look very "cultural") and a fashion show. We also stopped by to see the Kenya Boyz African Acrobats, who really weren't acrobatic at all. But maybe I missed that part.

What I did notice though, was a bunch of women wearing some very interesting hats. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. They were more entertaining than the people on stage.

And that's pretty much it. I think I'm done with the State Fair, unless I go back with pro-beer-drinking people. And this week, the fair promises some great concerts:
  • Boyz II Men, Aug. 16
  • Hoobastank, Aug. 17
  • Carrot Top, Aug. 18
  • Ryan Cabrera, Sept. 5
I just KNOW you're all dying to go. Especially to the Carrot Top show.

Aug 12, 2005

Good thing I'm not in Crawford

Because I'd probably bust out with something like this:

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Bush Snubs Cindy Sheehan, again

Just posted on the Houston Chronicle web site today, 1:24 p.m. CT.

Go ahead, Dubya. Keep acting like this. See if the voices of hundreds can't bring you down.

Bush passes by protesters, but doesn't stop
Associated Press

CRAWFORD — From the window of his limousine, President Bush got a motorcade view of more than 100 anti-war protesters camped outside his ranch as he rode to a political fund-raiser today near his spread. Bush did not stop.

Law enforcement agencies used their cars to block two intersecting roads, where the demonstrators have camped out all week, and required them to stand behind yellow tape. They were not asked to leave their makeshift campsite.

Cindy Sheehan, a California mother leading the protesters, held a sign that read: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

It's unclear whether Bush, riding in a black Suburban with tinted windows, looked at the demonstrators as his caravan passed. He arrived before noon, local time, at a neighbor's ranch for a barbecue where he was expected to raise at least $2 million for the Republican National Committee, said RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt.
Dubya likes to posture like he's some tough-guy cowboy, but really, he's the biggest pussy there ever was.

Aug 11, 2005

Novak the Informer

Salon has this great article out now on Robert Novak, the CNN personality who originally leaked Valerie Plame's name out into the media. The article gives a pretty deep analysis into Novak's career as a "journalist."

I say "journalist" because what Novak has really proven himself to be is a disgrace to the industry. And he only has himself to blame.

What I found most interesting is that Novak converted to Catholicism from Judaism in 1998. Not only that, but he is part of that wacky bunch of hardcore Catholics, Opus Dei:
Novak's conversion was more than met the eye, as he became a member of the tightly knit far-right Catholic coterie clustered in Washington. Andrew Sullivan, the conservative Catholic writer, observed: "Perhaps the least-known aspect of Robert Novak's public persona is that he is a convert not just to Catholicism but to its most hard-line sect, Opus Dei. It helps explain Novak's occasional, weird digressions into defenses of the most far-right social causes, and also why those columns appear, without this context, to be, well, slightly unhinged."

I wonder if he wears that spiky thing around his thigh.

Anyway. All that aside. What a crusty old curmudgeon Novak is. I can't believe that this man calls himself a journalist. He's a malicious, unethical, opportunistic misanthrope if ever I saw one. And Jah forbid if you ever cross his path:
For years, Novak has used his various platforms to promote whatever causes and individuals he deems fit. Along the way, he has fostered any number of false assertions, accusations and innuendoes without any consequences to his standing in Washington. In 1989, he published a malicious rumor promoted by operatives at the Republican National Committee about the supposed sexual orientation of then House Majority Leader Tom Foley, referring to "the alleged homosexuality of one Democrat who might move up the succession ladder." Foley felt prompted to declare: "I am, of course, not a homosexual."

After the death of I.F. Stone, the iconoclastic, independent journalist of the left, Novak said on CNN that Stone had been a paid agent of the KGB. Author Eric Alterman, a columnist for the Nation and a friend of Stone's, wrote, "Since Stone was dead by this time, however, Novak was free to make his McCarthyite accusation without fear of a libel suit. I wrote to the president of CNN shortly thereafter to ask for a correction, but received no response."

Throughout 1997, Novak relied upon a source who had in fact been in the pay of the KGB, FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who was apprehended and convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Novak used Hanssen as his principal source for stories attempting to prove that Attorney General Janet Reno was covering up Clinton campaign finance scandals. The innuendo that Novak published turned out to be a flow of disinformation. In 2002, he wrote a column divulging his dependence on the spy. "To be honest to my readers, I must reveal it."
I hope CNN suspends Novak indefinitely. Not only is it time to make a clean sweep of the White House, getting rid of all its corrupt, back-door, non-transparent dealings and incestuous relationships with Saudi Arabia, Big Business, and NeoCons. Mainstream media could use a high colonic as well.

Open Letter to Margaret Cho

My friend Dan, the one I wrote about back in May who's making a documentary on Bernie Baran, just wrote this letter to Comedian and Gay-Friendly Activist Margaret Cho, in the hopes that she'll help build awareness about his case. I'm reproducing the letter here, because as a Person-Who-Loves-Gay-People, I want Bernie's voice to be heard. Every American deserves the right to a free trial. And in the tradition of the West Memphis 3 and Mumia Abu-Jamal, I want to do my part - however small - to end injustice in our own country.

From: Daniel Alexander
Date: Aug 11, 2005 12:56 PM
Subject: Bernie Baran

Dear Margaret & Margaret's People,

I'm writing to tell you about a gay man I have gotten to know while making a documentary film about him, his story, his family, and the injustice done against them.

His name is Bernie Baran. He likes to be called Bee. He's one of the most courageous and sweetest guys I have ever met. He reminds me of the guy at the Gap on Upper Market in San Francisco that can fold a sweater perfectly while simultaneously chatting you up and ringing you up, and noticing that you've lost a few pounds when you haven't. Unfortunately, Bee has not had the chance to work at the Gap, or see San Francisco.

Bernie Baran has the dubious distinction of being the first conviction from the day care panic of the 1980s where dozens of innocent day care workers across the country were wrongly convicted of child abuse. In some ways the Baran case is just like all the other day care cases: false accusations from one, crazed parent, then a panic amongst the other parents; aggressive, suggestive interviews with young children leading them to believe they were abused when they weren't; bad science introduced in the court room; constitutional rights to face your accusers overridden; parents allowed to make hearsay testimony in place of their children.

Bee's case gets worse than the others in that he was targeted because of his open homosexuality. The mother who sparked the panic in the Baran case said in a deposition that gay people shouldn't be around kids, shouldn't be allowed to have kids, shouldn't be allowed to get married, shouldn't be allowed out in public. Her son has boasted privately as recently as this year that he and his mother got away with accusing a gay guy of raping him when he didn't so they could file a civil suit for millions of dollars.

Baran's trial transcript reads like a homophobic melodrama. Think of those cases in the Deep South where African-American men were accused and convicted of rape without any evidence when the all-white juries just wanted to see black men hang. The Baran trial was much like this, with the assumption that any gay man around children must only be there to molest regardless of there being no evidence of it and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Baran was 19 at the time of his arrest in a small town in Western Massachusetts. When he went to trial in 1984 It was still months before Doris and Rock appeared on television and AIDS became AIDS. It was still a mysterious disease during the Baran trial, and Baran was portrayed as some kind of diseased animal because he was gay and worked with children. He is still in prison today.

I recently read your blog entries about Zach and his incarceration. I also noticed you have several links to cases of injustice similar to Bee's case. I thought perhaps you might write a blog entry about Bernie Baran. (Please, pretty please: your voice goes much farther than any of the rest of us who have told Bee's story.)

Each time his story is printed (which has been rare), or each time I screen some clips from my film, a few new people come into the fold to support him in some way which he appreciates in ways we can't understand.

I've included links at the end of the email so you can read much more about him. Or you can contact me with questions; I know the case inside and out.

A ruling on overturning his conviction comes down this fall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Baran loves to hear from people on the outside who read about his story and contact him in writing to say they believe he is innocent (which he is). He especially likes to hear from gay people and people-who-love-gay-people, the luckiest people in the world. Although he is on "the inside" he was worked to keep up with the changes in gay culture. He is Queer Eye and Will & Grace literate, sneaking a portable television into his cell to watch the late night reruns hidden under the covers. He does a great Megan Mullally.

Bee is a genuinely nice guy who lives in hell but whose spirit withstands it all. In person, he's almost as funny as you.

Thanks for considering posting an entry about Bee, thanks for being a person who loves gay people, and thanks for making us laugh.

Dan Alexander
917 385 4714

Attached is an
article by Katha Pollitt from The Nation that encapsulates the Baran case in a page.


For all the details of Bee's case, go to the Bernard Baran Defense Fund. The site and fund are managed by two Boston justice activists who have been Bee's staunch supporters – and his gay dads -- for 6 years now. The site is comprehensive.

If you prefer watching over reading, there is an 11 minute teaser from the doc about Bee posted at my site.

CBGB's can stay ... for now

CBGB, the legendary punk venue in NYC had been threatened with eviction because of about four years of unpaid rent increases, interest, and fees.

However, yesterday a civil court judge ruled that the club can't be evicted, because it "shouldn't be punshed for not noticing it owed its landlord money."

The dispute involved about $100,000 in rent increases, interest and fees. The club says the increases went unpaid for four years because of a bookkeeping mix-up. CBGB's said it wasn't billed for the increases, but Rosenblatt said the increases were clearly stated in the lease. CBGB's rent is $19,000 a month.

In her ruling, Judge Joan Kenney praised the club's impact on the neighborhood, which she said was plagued by "destitution, degradation and substance abuse" when the club opened in 1973.

"CBGB has proven itself worthy of being recognized as a landmark -- a rare achievement for any commercial tenant in the ever diverse and competitive real estate market of New York City," she wrote in the ruling, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press by the Save CBGB's Coalition.

"It would be unconscionable for this court to allow petitioner to proceed with its intent to evict CBGB ... because it failed to notice that monies were outstanding for approximately four years," the judge wrote.
Cool. I'm a big fan of holding onto historical places for as long as we can. I mean, so many bands have played here: Blondie, Joan Jett, The Plasmatics, The Ramones, etc. I've never been inside (I hear the bathroom is legendary), but I walked past it once a few years ago on my way to Webster Hall with some friends.

The lease expires at the end of this month, and it's still not known whether it will be renewed.

Aug 10, 2005

Filthy Marauders

Looks like I've been hit with some spam "comments" lately. Those pesky online marketers just loooove uncovering new ways to get the word out, don't they.

So basically what this means is I'm not going to allow any "anonymous" comments anymore.

If you got something to say, reveal yourself. Don't worry. I won't bite. Hard.


Some people need to be beaten with their own shoe:

August 10,2005 LOS ANGELES -- A third juror in the Michael Jackson case who initially favored a guilty verdict weighed in after two others expressed second thoughts, saying she believes the entertainer is a child molester but joined in the verdict exonerating him because of reasonable doubt.

Appearing on MSNBC on Tuesday, Juror Katarina Carls said she initially agreed with Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman that Jackson was guilty, but decided she could not convict because of jury instructions that he must be acquitted if there was reasonable doubt. She said it was possible that Jackson's accuser was lying.

"I kept asking myself, is there any slight possibility that this boy might lie at all? And my answer was yes," she said.

Here's the thing, jurors: If you think there's a possibility that Jacko's accuser was not believeable because of inconsistencies with timelines and details, fine. But you also have to keep in mind that he's a child, and testimony of children carries with it a lot more leeway than that of an adult. But, if you still have a lingering feeling that Jacko is, in fact, a Chester Molester, don't you think that mitigates any sort of apprehension about whether this child's testimony is 100% bulletproof?

Yeah, granted, the kid's mom was a little wacky, and her parenting skills leave very much to be desired, but we're talking long history of alleged pedophilia here. And furthermore, it's not the mother who is on trial here.

The fact that the other two jurors are coming out with books on the entire trial just reeks of blatant opportunism, dilutes their effectiveness as a jury, makes them look like the biggest idiots on the planet, and - do I even need to say this? - makes a mockery of our country's judicial system.

Aug 9, 2005

Google THIS

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is all bent out of shape because CNet wrote an article about him last month which included some personal information.

Personal information that the reporter found by doing a Google search on Schmidt.

Reporter Elinor Mills' Cnet article made the point that Google, the search engine used by more than half of U.S. Internet users, has much potential for privacy invasion, particularly through data it collects that is not available to the public, such as logs of Google searches. She illustrated the story with information that could readily be obtained by anyone with access to Google and the Internet: Schmidt's net worth, home neighborhood, attendance at Burning Man and enthusiasm for amateur piloting.

"From what I understand, most of (Google's objection to the article) had to do with the anecdotal lead we used to illustrate the point that information could be obtained rather easily using Google search," Singh said.
Seriously, Google. Give me a fucking break here. This is information was found on YOUR search engine, which - in the interest of full disclosure - I love and use daily. It's not like CNet's Elinor Mills rummaged through Schmidt's dumpster at his private residence. Lighten up.

Aug 8, 2005

What did our sons die for?

Vacaville, Calif. resident and mother of a fallen U.S. soldier, Cindy Sheehan, is now being intimidated by Not-My-President's Secret Service in an effort for her to cut short her protest.

Sheehan's son was killed in Iraq a year ago. And now Sheehan has vowed not to leave her designated protest spot until Not-My-President agrees to meet with her. So far, he hasn't. Instead, he sent two of his Yes Men, two senior officials (Stephen J. Hadley - National Security Adviser and Joe Hagin, deputy White House chief of staff) to do his dirty work for him.

Last week, 20 Marines from a single battallion were killed in Iraq. Dubya's approval rating is still low. There is still no viable exit strategery coming out of the White House. Sixty-one per cent of people polled by Newsweek say the disapprove of how Dubya is handling the war.

And the longer he waits to meet with Sheehan, the louder Sheehan's voice - and other mothers like her - will become.

For those of you who don't remember Sheehan, you my remember this story of how Not-My-President handled himself behind closed doors while visiting with bereaved families of soldiers. Emphasis mine:
The White House has released few details of such sessions, which Mr. Bush holds regularly as he travels the country, but generally portrays them as emotional and an opportunity for the president to share the grief of the families. In Ms. Sheehan's telling, though, Mr. Bush did not know her son's name when she and her family met with him in June 2004 at Fort Lewis. Mr. Bush, she said, acted as if he were at a party and behaved disrespectfully toward her by referring to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting.
Some have said that Sheehan's son isn't any different from the 1,800 plus soldiers that have since been killed during the war. And while I respect that opinion - and people's right to be of that opinion - I also think that if Sheehan's camping out at Dubya's Crawford, Texas ranch is what it takes to draw media attention and to put a human face to this war overseas, then so be it. Perhaps many more mothers, like Sheehan, will come forward and tell their stories. It may be one mother's struggle to get answers, but this one woman's fight for answers will hopefully ensure that her son - and the the 1,800 plus sons and daughters of America - did not die in vain.

Then perhaps, many will finally see that we are in the wrong war, for the wrong reasons, and at the wrong time.

And until that happens, we will continue to support her.

(photo credit: jonschwarz at After Downing Street)

Breaking News

This just in: Scientists have managed to clone Karl Rove.

(Taken at a College Republicans get together at the Old Ebbitts Grill in D.C. Photo credit: Truth Caucus)

R.I.P. Peter Jennings

One of my favorite news anchors passed away last night.

There was just something about ABC's Peter Jennings that resonated with me, with viewers. During the week of the September 11 attacks, Jennings was on the air for more than 60 hours. And his aim, as a reporter in the field, was not to candy-coat reality, but rather provide viewers with what he called a "rough draft of history. Some days its reassuring, some days it's absolutely destructive."

Many remember Jennings' raspy announcement that he was going to undergo chemotherapy to treat his lung cancer. It's kind of scary - although he had quit smoking some 20 years ago (aside from a relapse during 9/11, if I remember correctly), he still was unable to escape this illness.

He was only 67 years old when he died. As Barbara Walters said, he died much too young.

Aug 5, 2005

When sports fanatics attack!

Thirty-year-old Christopher Offord from Panama City, Fla. was so mad that his wife wanted to cuddle after sex that he bludgeoned her with a claw hammer, striking her approximately 70 times.

What he really wanted to do - instead of cuddling - was ...

... wait for it ...


[Incidentally, he wanted to watch clips from a Mike Tyson fight. Innnnnnteresting.]

Now, I know how some of you guys hate to cuddle after. And I know some you guys get all uppity at chicks because we like to talk during the game, or if we walk in front of the TV, or if we're not able to grab you another beer within 1.2 seconds of you asking us for one. But this fucker took it to a whole other level. Look at the picture they took of him in the courtroom. You just know that mafaka's out of his mind.

Anyway. The whole death penalty issue generally freaks me out, but in this instance, I hope fucker frys - while watching SportsCenter.

Aug 4, 2005

Reid's take on Kamehameha Schools

A few days ago, I posted about the 9th circuit court's ruling that basically dismantled the Kamemeha Hawaiian-only admissions rule to its schools. My friend Reid came through with a great comment. I'm posting it separately, because he does a great job presenting a side of the issue that us mainlanders probably don't understand.

what a sad sad state of affairs. it's a huge ruling and many saw it coming ever since the rice v. cayetano case several years ago. without the passing of this native hawaiian recognition bill up for vote in the senate, many many more hawaiian entitlement programs will be targeted by mainland haoles. (on a side note, although this bill is controversial even among native hawaiians, i believe this is one of the best steps to take at this time.) i think many of these lawsuits coincide with the increase of mainland haoles moving here.

princess bernice pauahi bishop must be turning over in her grave.

i also wanted to report that from early yesterday morning commercials on the radio about the kamehameha schools decision were already playing. basically, it went something like it being a dark day for hawaiians, but with their faith, their perseverance, and their princess, they will appeal. it also said that "gatherings of support" (i.e. protests) will take place this weekend at the iolani palace (the seat and home of the monarchy before it was overthrown by the u.s.; now currently behind the state capitol) and similar locations on the neighbor islands. pretty
amazing stuff, huh? all of the radio stations had call-ins, allowing people to express their opinions on the subject, and i can tell you that the majority of local people here are infuriated with the decision. growing up as a non-native hawaiian, you just know that kamehameha schools isn't for you. there are many more private schools, good ones, anyone can attend. you understand why you can't attend, and respect the institution. you know all of this like you know how kona winds affect the weather, or why you take your shoes off when you enter someone's home. it's just local custom and local knowledge.

this school and its admissions policy have been in existence long, long before hawaii was a state, in fact, before we were even a territory of the u.s. and now this decision. i think that asshole grant (the lawyer for the plaintiff) remarked how civil rights even apply to hawaii. ugh...remarks like that just get to me, especially when they're made by people who have absolutely zero ties to these islands and likewise zero understanding of the local culture. these constitutionalists fail to understand the history of hawaii and refuse to acknowledge the differences that separate hawaii from the mainland. this school is the last major bastion of hope hawaiians have for their future, and it represents a long history of oppression suffered under the hands of ignorant americans. sorry, i'm just going off on a rant here, but over the years i have just seen the situation of the hawaiians deteriorate.

Eww. Eww.

Mike "Your Ear Tastes Damn Good" Tyson apparently wants to try his hand at things other than boxing. He's currently in talks with porn star Jenna "Copious Spit Glob" Jameson, to co-star in an upcoming x-rated movie. And he's requiring that he be paid "up front."

Apparently "Iron" Mike has what it takes, as his member is reported to be some 14" long. Yikes.

I hope they don't expect him to talk dirty, because that would totally kill the mood, I would think.

Somewhere out in the San Fernando Valley, Ron Jeremy is feeling threatened, and John Holmes is turning over in his grave.

Aug 3, 2005

It's times like this I wish I lived in New York

New Yorkers are killing each other.

It's all part of this "assasination tournament" game called Street Wars. Here's how it goes:

At the start of the game, you receive a manila envelope that contains the following info on your intended target(s):

  • A picture
  • The home address(es)
  • The work address(es)
  • The name(s)
  • Contact information

Upon receipt of this information, you or your team's mission is to find and "kill" (using a water gun, water balloon or super soaker) your target(s).

Granted, giving my info to strangers who are trying to "kill" me is pretty creepy, and in the wrong hands, could prove quite disatrous and stupid. But assuming all participants in StreetWars are of sound mind and body and are aware that THIS IS JUST A GAME, I'm sure this game is a shitload of fun.

The website has all the information you need: How to sign up (it's over), whom to contact (cool email address, btw), other cities that have played this game (not many), and various media clips.

What cracks me up the most are the game updates. Like this one:











AGENT # SC107-666

Courtesy of this girl, who got served on Day One.

Behind the Mustache

Oh man. CNN started out on the right foot, calling their segment "John Bolton: Behind the Mustache." Classic.

A title rich with possibility. A title that signals "let the derision begin." A title that begins to draw John Bolton as the caricature of the big, angry walrus that he embodies.

But no. Oh, no.

According to Media Matters, instead of investigative journalism, instead of giving a fair and balanced account of the conflict surrounding John Bolton's appointment to the UN ambassadorship, Andrea Koppel instead served up a nice, touchy-feely, softball account of Bolton and gave no airtime regarding allegations of harassment while at the State Department.

I guess I'm not surprised, really. Corporate media messages always reign supreme in the Iron Chef battle for airtime. [Insert GOP mind-numbingly frat-boy-style "woot woot! of victory" here.]

More of Media Matters' analysis here.

Maribel Cuevas

Yes, she threw a rock.

Yes, it made 8-year-old Elijah Vang's forehead bleed. A lot.

Yes, the boys were teasing her.

But kids tease other kids. Kids also react irrationally. They're kids, for fuck's sake.

Leading 11-year-old Maribel Cuevas away in handcuffs, saying she "resisted arrest" by kicking officers and scratching one on the arm is a bit much. She's a kid. She was probably scared out of her right mind. Big scary white man with badge going to take little brown girl away.

The way Fresno police have treated Lil' Cuevas was as if she was the town bully or something. Quite frankly, if I was a kid, and a group of seven boys started throwing rocks and water balloons at me while I was minding my own business playing with my little brother and some friends, best believe I would throw rocks back at them.

How outrageous is it that the more we do things to "protect the children," we end up doing things that
a) will fuck them up forever (e.g. what's being done to Maribel Cuevas),
b) end up being unsuccessful because kids will do what kids do anyway (e.g. downloading a patch so that they can play GTA San Andreas with all the nasty parts), or
c) make childhood boring as hell (e.g. trick-or-treating in malls).

Has the world really gotten worse, or has it pretty much stayed the same, but we've only become more informed and, therefore, more paranoid?

(cross-posted at Blogs by Women)

UPDATE: Luckily, the Powers That Be have come to their senses and agreed that Lil' Cuev go to into mediation with Elijah Vang's family instead of going to trial to face the felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Fresno's mayor and police chief stand by their handling of the case, asserting that it was the right thing to do.

Aug 2, 2005

Kamanawanna Schoolya

Okay sorry. Cheesy title. But look:

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down the exclusive Kamehameha Schools' policy of admitting only Native Hawaiians, saying it amounts to unlawful racial discrimination.

Overturning a lower court decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that the practice at the private school violates federal civil rights law even though the institution receives no federal funding.

The case was brought by an unidentified non-Hawaiian student who was turned down for admission in 2003.

If you don't know, back in 1883, a Hawaiian princess established the Kamehameha schools to educate "the children of Hawaii." According to this article, the Hawaiian-only admission policy was created specifically to remedy the disadvantages suffered by Hawaiians as a result of the overthrow of Hawaiian monarchy. And the Kamehameha schools have been known to be some of the most sought-after institutions based on the quality of education received here.

I'm curious to know what my friend Reid thinks about this, as I know that he closely follows the goings-on in his home state. Most likely we'll think the same - that this is a defeat for native Hawaiians' efforts to hang on to whatever shred of original, non-mainland culture they have left. The Kamehameha schools are private. They are partly funded by a trust left behind by the Hawaiian princess which is worth now about $6.2 billion, and it receives no federal funding. As far as I am concerned, they can admit whomever they want. And in this case, where the schools are trying to uphold the mandate in the name of preserving Hawaiian culture and giving back to the children, I see no problem with it.

I hate to draw this parallel, but if this happened on the mainland, say, oh, I don't know, in a red state? Oh, the uproar. Yeah, I know, if these were white people wanting a white-only school system, the same argument applies. And yes, I'd be angered to find out that there's some private school out there that only admits whites. Hell, I went to a private university for grad school, and there was just a handful of non-whites there, anyway.

But when it comes to minority interests, we need all the help we can get. American society as a whole is not the kumbaya, racially tolerant society we think we are. Not yet, anyway. And yes, even in California. So whatever helps out the underdog, I'm all for.

And good for that Hawaiian princess wanting to save all her money and donate it to the "children of Hawaii." Of all the selfless, charitable, heartfelt gestures ever. Go on with your bad self.

Let the native-born Hawaiians have their Hawaiians-only schools, Jesus H.

Mohammed Jacko

From the NY Post via Salon:

Michael Jackson has been spending time in the Middle East while recuperating from his molestation trial. Rumor has it that the King of Pop feels so at home in the region that he has gone so far as to purchase "a 14 acres spread in Bahrain, adjacent to the palace of his 'good pal' Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad al Khalifa." What's the attraction for the reclusive rocker? Sources say, "The Gloved One has enjoyed his monthlong Middle East vacation, in part because he can don local garb -- often a flowing, white djellaba, complete with headdress -- and walk the streets virtually undetected."

I'm fresh out of Jacko jokes. Please, be my guest.

Aug 1, 2005

Blogs by Women

I've added quite a substantial number of blogs to my blogroll. They're all part of the Blogs by Women group. Check it out.

Your specialty food industry update

Here's what's new in the specialty food industry. I know, you were starving (get it?) for information. Well, I'm here to give it to you.

You can thank me later.
  • Jana Skinny Water - Did you know that there's a "functional hydration" category of beverages? And did you know that this new water claims to curb the appetite and increase metabolic rates? It'll be available starting today at your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven for a little less than $2 a bottle. I'll take five cases, please.
  • Atkins Nutritionals files for bankruptcy - Man cannot survive on cream cheese and cold cuts alone. And apparently, neither can the company.
  • Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten, the cooking show hostess I love to hate and hate to love, is coming out with a new line of products called the "Barefoot Contessa Pantry." Now all of us can pretend we're cooking for our rich university professor husband who only comes home on the weekends.
  • Metromint - That minty water you've seen around town with the cool packaging is now making its way to the Midwest according to a July 25 press release. Now beveragistas around the world can rejoice, while drinking water that not only soothes your stomach and freshens your breath at the same time. Sidenote: Everyone that works for this company is totally hot. I think it's like, a requirement for working there.

Someone owes me a carne asada burrito

I knew Not-My-President would pull something shady like this.

Bush names Bolton as U.N. Ambassador

"This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform," Bush said from the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

The move bypasses the confirmation process in the Senate, where Democrats had blocked the nomination in a dispute over documents and accusations that Bolton lacks the temperament to hold the U.N. post.

I'm sure the presidential privilege of recess appointments has existed for like, forever. But really, it is just rank with autocratic overtones. "I really want this, so therefore, it shall be."

Ugly. Just ugly.

We put the "BAR" (twice) in "BARBARIAN"

So tomorrow night is the semi-regular BARBARian gathering. It's going to be at Zeitgeist, starting around 6 p.m. From what I gather, the BARBARians are going to bond with the folks from Drinking Liberally.

I'm sure it'll be an awesome time. I still don't know if I can make it though. If not, have a pint or two for me.

Did I mention $2.50 Pabst? Boo yeah.

Aww yeah.

With inspiration >ahem< from ScaramoucheBlog.

Part Passionate Kisser

For you, kissing is about all about following your urges
If someone's hot, you'll go in for the kiss - end of story
You can keep any relationship hot with your steamy kisses
A total spark plug - your kisses are bound to get you in trouble

Part Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable