Wednesday, December 22, 2004


When my father was alive both my mother and I pressed him to record his memories; all those stories about being young and foolish before and during the Depression, about being in the Merchant Marine during the war, about teaching in the VA hospital about being a high school teacher ... all those stories that so often had a point of some sort - to be interjected into a conversation as a way of making the point more digestible and more memorable. He never did anything about it and I've felt the lesser for that fact.

I pressed my mother to embark on a similar project while she was alive, too. Nothing ever came of the thought except for a couple of voice activated tape recorders; one for each of them, bought about 10 years apart.

Now they are both gone and, except for some small anecdotes of theirs that I remember so imperfectly, their memories, insights and life's lessons with them.

I have started writing down all of my favorite stories; those little anecdotes taken from incidents in my life that I love to bring into a conversation to make a point - to make the point more digestible and more memorable. The outline is now about 15 pages long and I add new things as I think of them. At the same time, I'm doing a little literary back filling; writing out some of the memories as I go along.

If I don't capture these things, however unimportant they may be for the world, no one will. I want to give them to my daughter. When I'm gone they will be a nice reminder - a reminder I wish I had of my parents and their past.

I don't think it's out of ego. I think it's out of love for the future that will come through me and Alexandra and out of a respect for the past - and a fear of forgetting and being forgotten.

I am not a grand player on the stage of life. I have not been at the center of historic events, important discoveries or heroic deeds. But I have been here and I have seen the things I have seen. I have learned things from my mistakes and I have learned things from the mistakes of others. I think it's important to share those kinds of things.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Adding Ads and Other Thoughts from an Insomniac

Just some personal Stuff

Fool that I am, I've added AdSense to the "Double Negatives" blog. It would be a moneymaker IF I actually had something to say. But that's right up there with "If we had ham we'd have ham and cheese sandwhiches, if we had cheese."

I'd hoped that some of the other people on my list would like to participate. McGowan seems to be the only one. I'm not sure that they have an intuitive access to posting ... there have been a couple added comment lines, though.
I'd hoped Ali (daughter) would be able to spend Christmas here. That became impossible so, I hoped that Ali would be able to come in January. That's become impossible. She's new with her job and doesn't want to jeopardize it by asking for some time off. I'd sent her money for air fare. When she offered to send it back, I told her that she should keep it as a Christmas present. Buy some clothes or some furniture for her apartment.
Candy (wife) has been in a great mood since she got some shots for her back pain. It had been getting progressively worse ... to the point that it was impossible to contemplate going anywhere much beyond grocery shopping. We got an electronic gizmo that has electrodes for her back ... and electronic back massage in twenty minute cycles. We're saving that as we keep the effects of the shots under observation.

In the meantime, my blood sugar level is still elevated. I won't say that it's amusing to watch death creep into our lives but it is at least interesting. I've come to the conclusion that it is not death that I fear so much as the dieing. The process is the scary part.
Contract Delights

The first draft of the new contract was a lawyers dream ... something that could be litigated for years.

My initial response to the 16 page wonder:

Pursuant to our phone conversation earlier this morning, here are my questions regarding the proposed contract and suggestions for contract modifications (absent my pithy remarks about the Declaration of Independence being only a single page document, 1/3 of which is devoted to signatures).

Page 1 Paragraph 1:
Are we talking about a single PO covering the full 12-month period or individual POs for each of the succeeding months?
If XXXXXX Company considers this a subscription service and we are doing this on the basis of POs, why do we need a 16-page contract? Does XXXXXX Company now require a 16-page agreement when purchasing a subscription from The Wall Street Journal?
Where is/are the PO(s)?

Page 3 Paragraph 6
Regarding Communication – I don’t think these paragraphs complicate the issue enough. I’ll get back to you with proposed modifications so convoluted that they render communication totally impossible.

Page 4 Paragraph 8 (and following pages)
Regarding Confidentiality – pages 14, 15 and 16 represent a separate Confidentiality Agreement. Should there be a conflict between these two Confidentiality agreements, which agreement will XXXXXX Company consider to be the binding agreement? Given that everything I do for XXXXXX Company involves materials obtained in the public domain, is this a moot point? Is it now a requirement in XXXXXX Company legal that all attorneys therein wear both belts and suspenders in order to ensure their pants don’t fall down?

Page 6 Paragraphs 9, 10 and 11
Work Product - Based on our conversation this morning I was left with the impression that XXXXXX Company’s intention is to structure our relationship predicated on a.) I am not an employee of XXXXXX Company and that I am a self employed contractor [all very agreeable]; and b.) that, as a result, I am free to peddle my services around the block [we discussed why this can not and will not happen – but it furthers neither XXXXXX Company nor me to include language defining the agreement as being in any way exclusive] – yet the legal department seems to see it as appropriate to include language that does just that – rendering what I do as part and parcel of an exclusive relationship. Should we ever find ourselves in court [heaven forbid], it would seem that for me to try to maintain that the relationship with XXXXXX Company was exclusive would be as deniable as if I characterized the relationship as non-exclusive based on. Legal gymnastics of this sort would prompt even the most obtuse Solomon to cut the baby in half. If there were ever language included in an agreement that would provide justification for employee status, Paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 would form the basis for making that case – most particularly in light of the public domain nature of the material.

Page 8 Paragraph 14 / Page 9 Paragraph 17
It is absurd for XXXXXX Company to require me to maintain insurances for liability, personal injury and property damage in 14 while at the same time requiring me to hold XXXXXX Company harmless from liability in 17. If XXXXXX Company wants to run my “business”, they should either buy me out and hire me as an employee or underwrite the costs of their requirements. If none of these options represent an agreeable course, then XXXXXX Company should be satisfied to be simply “held harmless”.

I was, of course, requested to tone down the sarcasm so that my comments could be shared with the legal department without starting WWIII. I came up with the following:

Here are my questions and concerns regarding the proposed contract and some suggestions. I hope we can resolve these issues to everyone’s satisfaction in short order. I certainly believe that to be possible.

Page 1 Section 1:
Are we talking about a single Purchase Order (PO) covering the full 12-month period or individual POs for each of the succeeding months or daily POs to cover each successive OPI Report?

If XXXXXX Company considers this a subscription service and we are doing this on the basis of POs, why do we need a 16-page contract? If the OPI Report is, in fact, going to be dealt with as a subscription service, not unlike the Wall Street Journal, wouldn’t it make more sense to base the relationship on Purchase Orders as it is with the other subscription service?

Where is/are the PO(s)?

Page 3 Section 6
Regarding Communication – I believe the more control XXXXXX Company insists on having over how I conduct the internal administrative functions of my business, the more I begin to look like an employee. I believe it would be sufficient to substitute language that says all substantive communication between us will be via certified or registered US Mail.

Page 4 Section 8 (and following pages)
Regarding Confidentiality – pages 14, 15 and 16 represent a separate Confidentiality Agreement. Should there be a conflict between these two Confidentiality agreements, which agreement will XXXXXX Company consider to be the binding agreement? Given that everything I do for XXXXXX Company involves materials obtained in the public domain and I have no access to anything at XXXXXX Company other than the database of public domain materials I maintain for XXXXXX Company, is this a moot point?

Page 6 Sections 9, 10 and 11
Work Product – It is my belief that our collective goal is to structure the relationship between XXXXXX Company and me as being predicated on (a.) I am NOT an employee of XXXXXX Company and that I am a self employed contractor; and (b.) that, as a result, I am free to peddle my services to other companies – yet the this document seems to include language that severely impedes that – rendering what I do as part and parcel of an exclusive relationship. It would seem that for me to try to maintain that my status with XXXXXX Company was exclusive and definable as an employee would be a point as easily made as if I characterized my status as non-exclusive and independent. I believe XXXXXX Company would be confronted by the same dilemma based on the language set forth within these and other sections of the agreement. If the object of this agreement is to make clear that I am an independent contractor who provides a specific service on a business to business basis, I believe this language coupled with language in other sections within the document which appear to speak to an exclusive relationship between XXXXXX Company and me only serve to undermine that premise.

Page 8 Section 14 / Page 9 Section 17
It is counter productive for XXXXXX Company to require me to maintain insurances for liability, personal injury and property damage in Section 14 (for reasons stated in the previous paragraph) while at the same time requiring me to hold XXXXXX Company harmless from liability in Section 17. If XXXXXX Company wants to run my “business”, they should either buy me out or hire me as an employee or directly sustain the costs of their requirements. If none of these options represent an agreeable course, then XXXXXX Company should be satisfied to be simply “held harmless”.

My basic premise here is that I am an independent contractor providing a very specific and specialized service. I maintain that XXXXXX Company secures other similar products and services, such as a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, by means of a simple Purchase Order and without benefit of a 16 page agreement defining how the publishers of the Wall Street Journal should administrate their internal affairs. Though defining the specifics of what that product and service XXXXXX Company expects makes sense in this agreement (or on a Purchase Order for that matter), I believe the more XXXXXX Company defines how I administrate the internal workings of my business, the harder it is to make the case that I am an independent contractor. Given that XXXXXX Company can disengage from the relationship with 15 days notice, for any reason what so ever, without further liability other than to pay for services accepted, I believe we are all far better served by keeping the agreement between us as simple and straightforward as possible. I believe the more demands and restrictions XXXXXX Company imposes in this agreement the more we undermine the premise of independent contractor status and the more we support the case that I am an employee.

In defining what I do with respect to XXXXXX Company as a “subscription service” I believe XXXXXX Company is obligated to deal with me in a manner consistent with its relationship with other “subscription services”. To do otherwise runs the risk of creating issues where none need exist.

The draft response was a nine page wonder that addressed some of the questions I raised. It's an agreement based on the previous versions that we've been using for the last year and a half. If there are no major changes of mind on their side between now and the formal final version is available, I think I might be able to sign their effort.

It will be nice to have a full year contract ... even if there is a cancellation clause in it.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Well, we went to see the movie. It certainly wasn't as bad as the reviews made it out to be - but it wasn't a great and epic movie, either - though it had all kinds of pretentions to be just that.

Personally, I felt it was a casting error (challenge). The bleeched blond Irish dude simply didn't strike me as having the kind of charisma that would inspire men to folllow him to the ends of the earth.

The battle scenes (were there only two battles in seven years on the road?) were awsome. The first, against Darius, gave me for the first time a feeling that I knew the scale and scope of an ancient battle, of how the armies were arrayed, how they actually fought (much better staged in this regard than Braveheart, to be sure) and what the tactics looked like. The battle in India had more gratuitous bloodshed and was far less informative and enlightening for the effort.

Given we took in an afternoon showing at discounted prices of $5.50 a head (no discounts on the pop corn and soda - which actually cost us more than the tickets to the movie), I felt the first battle scene was worth the price of the flick.

Would love to have sat around over coffee or brandy or whatever for a post mortem (and there certainly was a fair share of mortem to go around).

Too bad about the blond dude, what's his name? He struck me as being more suited to a smaller screen. I liked him better in both Telephone Booth and Heart's War whre his characters were really quite credible. It was all too obvious that he couldn't fill Alexander's sandals, coming off more as being a little person filled with post teen angst and confusion than being a highly complex, emotionally torn conquerer of the known world. But then, maybe the conquest of the world was merely an overly dramatic cry for daddy's attention and approval after all.

We'll buy the DVD when it comes out and prices drop to about $14.95. I could stand to watch it again, now and then - but Band of Brothers would probably get more frequent rotation on my hit list of war movies.

Unhealthy Insurance

Fell off COBRA effective yesterday. We now have "affordable" health insurance from BCBSAZ. Interesting how it works - the insurance / health care business. If you have insurance, you pay $17 for prescriptions that would cost you $84 if you don't have insurance (even thought we have no prescription benefit). It'll be some time before we hit out five kilobuck deductible. The system is structured specifically to hold down those who are already down. Also, having insurance affords one cut rates on visits to the doctor as well. How much is health care? If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Fortunately, I see it as a relatively minor thing for us, however, my heart goes out to those who are really "going it alone".

Out of pocket cost of a visit to a doctor's office - granted, a specialist,
but it points out a severe inequity:

  • With company insurance policy: $15 co-pay
  • With private insurance: $165
  • W/Out Insurance: $325

a reason to withstand corporate humiliation handed out by bone headed bureaucrats... they pay for the privelege.

There is an argument that would suggest that an unintended consequence of current health care system profit structures will be socialized medecine. It is little wonder that so many people don't have health care insurance, preferring instead to let the state take care of it via Medicare and Medicade and the passage of laws that hold hospitals liable for providing "free" health care to those who can't afford it.

A doctor of our acquaintence complained that malpractice insurance caused him to close his practice and retire (in his 40s) - he said that it was breaking him. Interesting to note that, following the closure of his practice he took a six month vacation before retiring to his new home in the Caribbean. Is there something about this that strikes you as ... odd?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Contract Time

The contract has arrived. It's been modified .. oh, how it's been modified! First, to the good. The contract has been changed to an annual renewal cycle from the original six months cycle. The bad news is that the new version was assembled by emptying a wastebasket full of boilerplate into an agreement format and throwing it at me to see if I noticed anything smelly about it.

  1. The first paragraph of the 16 page document announces that I am a subscription service and that the company will arrange to buy the output of my services by means of a Purchase Order. If we are going to use a purchase order, why do we need a 16 page document?
  2. A second and related question that is unanswered in the grey ambiguities is are we talking about a single, blanket PO to cover the twelve month period or are we anticipating twelve purchase orders, one fir each successive month?
  3. The agreement outlines provisions for communication so convoluted as to make communication totally impossible.
  4. and on and on and on ...

Thought process like the one outlined in the agreement would have even the most obtuse Solomon cutting babies in half.

Is it now fashionable for corporate attorneys to wear both suspenders and a belt to keep their pants from inadvertently falling off?

I'm assembling my concerns and suggestions for modification - the original run at it involves some level of sarcastic humor and Bob thinks that to be a tad inappropriate. Must do a serious version that he can take to the legal department without, in his words, "starting World War III."

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Professional

A photograph about photography ... and those people that get real uppity about how professional they are because they make money doing whatever it is that they do.
Random Thoughts

I started a "public blog" ... At least "public" in the sense that I've invited a bunch of other people to join in, post their thoughts and to comment on what others are saying. I'm hoping that it will extend on the dialogs that were going among these people during the recent election period. I have no idea where it will go now ... probably into the ground. I don't think I know a group of "virtually social" types. I guess we'll see.

NPR had a thing on writing today. "Do a page a day and after a year, you have a book" was the bottom line. Actually, that's a pretty good idea .. though I suspect a page is a lot more than it sounds. I know I have trouble putting a page of thought together for this blog.

I was sharing some of the old stories with Eric today. He said he was having a slow day, and it was certainly a slow news day for OPI. I told him the one about Marc Nelsen giving the cat a bath. It reminded me of the night Jim Fecke, W. David F. J and I rolled David's Renault trying to find a bar, first in Stockton .. then in Freeport ... but never arriving in either place. That puts me in mind of the set design I did for the production of "Under Milkwood". Free association through the ages.

All of these memories are important to me but I realize that they mean nothing to anyone else. I watched that happen when my father died. All those things that were so very important to him ... and to me and others around him as a consequence, suddenly meant nothing at all except for the $.25 per memory they'd get at a yard sale.

I was talking to Darlene on line. She's one of the very few people from the past that I have any contact with. It was an interesting exchange:

Darlene: And lots of us have survived traumatic events in childhood. Peggy's Mom used to say, "Lots of us make a living off our scars." You may remember she was a famous child psychologist.

Darlene is no longer idle at 11:38:17 AM.

Darlene is idle at 11:39:13 AM.

Me: as a matter of fact, I remember F. Michael inadvertantly spilling a drink down someone's back at Peggy's mom's place ... some kind of reception, I think

Me: not sure how I ended up there .. that's actually the only clear image I have of the event I think I was the only one who saw it ... and Michael, with a his puckish look, trying to brush the droplets off the back of the jacket

Darlene: Yes, I remember that party. Maria invited us all. We got into an argument about the game of "Go," and Peggy grabbed the phone and called the ultimate expert, Edward Teller, a family friend.

(10 minute silence in chat)

Darlene: You know, the guy who invented the atomic bomb?

Darlene: That Edward Teller.

Me: yup .. that guy

Me: also of the Larry Livermore Lab

Darlene: Where's that one?

Me: Lawrence Livermore ... I was using the familiar

I hope Darlene didn't think I was being sarcastic. Actually, I probably was being a little sarcastic. sometimes that streak gets the better of me.

I found the incident so amusing. It was also very nice to remember with someone. It was nice to have a common past. I don't know why I find that both amusing and touching ... maybe vindicating.

And still, chat remains a little bit of the thearter of the absurd when you read the transcript back.
Perspective and a History Lesson

For those who don't know, Dennis Miller is a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller Live on HBO. He is not Jewish. He recently said the following about the Mideast situation:

"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Here we go:

"The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians."

"As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

"So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."

"I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

"That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course--that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.

"Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.

"It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mid east. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

"Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five Million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches,Everyone will be pals.

"Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

"My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.

"Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children?


"No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death After September 11th our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful.

"Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint. If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan."

- Dennis Miller

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


The sound of America's credibility going down the toilet.

MSNBC - 'This Ain't Over Yet': "'These guys are such cowards!' he shouted. 'Why don't they come out and fight?'"

Excuse me? Isn't that what the British said about George Washington and the Minute Men and other Amercan insurgents in the late 1700s? I guess insurgency never changes.

It seems to me, when we engage in an elective war - one in which we weren't directly attacked by the other party - we seem to fall into the same head as other aggressors before us - forgetting what people will do when they believe they are fighting in defense of their country.

We invaded Iraq because we had the "last-war" head thing going on. We invaded Iraq because we didn't understand that al Qaeda and other loose knit organizations like it (the real enemy) don't have a country or countries or an "over there" but we felt we had to do SOMETHING.

The proposition that "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" is absurd. It would make sense if they had an "over there" but al Qaeda is not bound by borders. While we're attacking the movement "over there", they're blowing up trains in Spain, bombing night clubs in Bali and kidnapping people in the Phillipines.

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, "There is no there there!"

Sunday, November 14, 2004

16 Things You Need to Believe to be Moral in America

  1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
  2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
  3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
  4. "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
  5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
  6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
  7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
  8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
  9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
  10. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
  11. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
  12. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
  13. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
  14. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
  15. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
  16. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

To ensure we Americans never offend anyone - particularly fanatics intent on killing us -- airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. They will continue random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, Secret Service agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year-old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal-of-Honor-winning former Governors.

Let's pause a moment, reflect back, vow to NEVER forget, and then take the following test based on actual cuts from history, on whether or not we should engage in profiling:

In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped & massacred by:
(a) Olga Korbut
(b) Sitting Bull
(c) Arnold Schwartzeneger
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
(a) Lost Norwegians
(b) Elvis
(c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women on a Quilting Tour
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
(a) John Dillinger
(b) The King of Sweden
(c) The Boy Scouts
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
(a) A Pizza Hut delivery boy
(b) Patricia Ireland and three other crazed feminists
(c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:
(a) The Smurfs
(b) Davy Jones
(c) The Little Mermaid
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, & a U.S. Navy diver was murdered by:
(a) Captain Kidd
(b) Charles Lindberg
(c) Mother Teresa
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) Scooby Doo
(b) The Tooth Fairy
(c) Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
(a) Richard Simmons
(b) Grandma Moses
(c) Michael Jordan
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1996, The Khobar Towers barracks at Dhahran, Saudia Arabia were bombed by:
(a) The Vienna Boys Choir
(b) The Ohio State University football team
(c) Alec Baldwin
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
(a) Mr. Rogers
(b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
(c) The World Wrestling Federation
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

On 10/12/00, the USS COLE (DDG-67) was attacked in Aden, Yemen, and 17 American sailors were killed by:
(a) Rosie O'Donnell
(b) Barbara Streisand
(c) James Carvell and Paul Begala
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked & destroyed & thousands of people were killed by:
(a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd
(b) The Supreme Court of Florida
(c) The Jamaican bobsled team
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 2002, the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
(a) Enron
(b) The Lutheran Church
(c) The NFL
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
(a) Bonny and Clyde
(b) Captain Kangaroo
(c) Martha Stewart
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 4/28/02, a suicide truck bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia killed 19 people. Those responsible include:
(a) Ted Williams' children
(b) D.C. sniper suspects
(c) online pornographers
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 10/12/02, two nightclubs in Bali were bombed and resulted in the death of over 190 men, women, and children. Most were Australian. The heinous bombers were:
(a) Bally Fitness Club towel boys
(b) Bally slot machine repairmen
(c) Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote Bali Hai for South Pacific
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 11/28/02, the Paradise Hotel near Mombasa, Kenya was attacked by a suicide bomber and a car bomb that killed 10 innocent Kenyans and three Israelis tourists. Who did this:
(a) Agusta National Golf Club members
(b) a group of crazed Wal*Mart Greeters
(c) UN. Weapons of Mass Destruction Inspection Team
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 12/30/02, three Southern Baptist missionaries providing free health care to the poor at the 80-bed Jibla, Yeman hospital were slautered by:
(a) Raelian cultists
(b) Michael Doonsbury and Rob Reiner
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 3/4/03, 21 inocents were killed and 170 injured while taking shelter during a rain shower at the airport at Davao City on Mindanao, the Philippine Islands. The homicide bomber was:
(a) Phil Donahue
(b) Phyllis Diller
(c) Phil Specter
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

On 5/13/03, in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, 34 honorable people, including 8 Americans, were murdered by:
(a) Karem Abdul Jabbar and Sean Penn
(b) Paula Abdul and Mike Farrell
(c) Muhammad Ali and Jeneane Garofalo
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

Hmmm . . . Nope, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?

(Throughout all these incidents the voices of moderate Muslims were conspicuous by their absence. Silence is most often seen as consent.)
Questions for Fundamentalsits; An Open Letter to George W. Bush:

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

  1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
  2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
  3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
  4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
  6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
  7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
  8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
  9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
  10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Yours truly,
A Post Election Note from Manny:
From: "Manny Celnick"
Subject: The Blue States Strike Back Cursing

Fuck the South. Fuck 'em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they'd stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves - yeah, those are states we want to keep.

And now what do we get? We're the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment giving you the right to keep your assault weapons in the glove compartment because you didn't bother to read the first half of the fucking sentence? Who do you think those wig-wearing lacy-shirt sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

No, No. Get the fuck out. We're not letting you visit the Liberty Bell and fucking Plymouth Rock anymore until you get over your real American selves and start respecting those other nine amendments. Who do you think those fucking stripes on the flag are for? Nine are for fucking blue states. And it would be 10 if those Vermonters had gotten their fucking Subarus together and broken off from New York a little earlier. Get it? We started this shit, so don't get all uppity about how real you are you Johnny-come-lately "Oooooh I've been a state for almost a hundred years" dickheads. Fuck off.

Arrogant? You wanna talk about us Northeasterners being fucking arrogant?

What's more American than arrogance? Hmmm? Maybe horsies? I don't think so. Arrogance is the fucking cornerstone of what it means to be American. And I wouldn't be so fucking arrogant if I wasn't paying for your fucking bridges, bitch.

All those Federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your fucking Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane you can come crying to us if you want to, but you're the ones who built on a fucking swamp. "Let the Spanish keep it, it's a shithole," we said, but you had to have your fucking orange juice.

The next dickwad who says, "It's your money, not the government's money" is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the ten states that get the most federal fucking dollars and pay the least... can you guess? Go on, guess.

That's right, motherfucker, they're red states. And eight of the ten states that receive the least and pay the most? It's too easy, asshole, they're blue states. It's not your money, assholes, it's fucking our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: buy your own fucking stop signs, assholes.

Let's talk about those values for a fucking minute. You and your Southern values can bite my ass because the blue states got the values over you fucking Real Americans every day of the goddamn week. Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate you marriage-hyping dickwads? Well? Can you guess? It's fucking Massachusetts, the fucking center of the gay marriage universe. Yes, that's right, the state you love to tie around the neck of anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond has the lowest divorce rate in the fucking nation. Think that's just some aberration? How about this: 9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are fucking blue states, asshole, and most are in the Northeast, where our values suck so bad. And where are the highest divorce rates? Care to fucking guess? 10 of the top 10 are fucking red-ass we're-so-fucking-moral states. And while Nevada is the worst, the Bible Belt is doing its fucking part.

But two guys making out is going to fucking ruin marriage for you? Yeah? Seems like you're ruining it pretty well on your own, you little bastards. Oh, but that's ok because you go to church, right? I mean you do, right? Cause we fucking get to hear about it every goddamn year at election time. Yes, we're fascinated by how you get up every Sunday morning and sing, and then you're fucking towers of moral superiority. Yeah, that's a workable formula. Maybe us fucking Northerners don't talk about religion as much as you because we're not so busy sinning, hmmm? Ever think of that, you self-righteous assholes? No, you're too busy erecting giant stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in buildings paid for by the fucking Northeast
Liberal Elite. And who has the highest murder rates in the nation? It ain't us up here in the North, assholes.

Well this gravy train is fucking over. Take your liberal-bashing, federal-tax-leaching, confederate-flag-waving, holier-than-thou, hypocritical bullshit and shove it up your ass.

And no, you can't have your fucking convention in New York next time. Fuck off.
On the Arafat Legacy

Yesterday, after reading more than I cared to read about the passing of Yasser Arafat, I wondered aloud how long it would be before the Palistinians started shooting each other. I got my answer today.

The Associated Press reports:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Nov 14, 2004 — Gunfire erupted Sunday at the tent set up for mourners of Yasser Arafat just after his successor as PLO leader arrived, and one Palestinian policeman was killed and five other people were wounded, witnesses and hospital officials said.

Gunmen fired in the air about five minutes after Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat's longtime deputy chosen over the weekend as his successor, arrived in a motorcade. Abbas' bodyguards also fired in the air, the witnesses said.

Associated Press Television News footage showed a group of about 20 men entering the mourning tent where Abbas, Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan and other key Palestinian leaders had come to mourn for Arafat, who died Thursday.

The gunmen, clad in green, shouted, "Abbas and Dahlan are agents for the Americans!"

Where is the outcry among the moderate Mulsims? When are they going to demand an end to killing. It seems the Islamic answer to all issues is to kill someone.

Monday, October 25, 2004

ABC News: Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence

It seems to me there's a significant difference between an accusation and an observation. I believe Kerry was merely articulating an observation of a highly demonstrable fact rather than accusing Bush of something that may or may not be true.

Friday, October 22, 2004 News - Latest News - 'Kerry Would Put U.S. in Danger' - Bush


We're already in danger. We're in danger either way and Bush has done nothing to alleviate the situation. The administration roots the belief that they have killed or captured "75%" of the al Qaeda leadership as if those people have not been replaced. They confront al Qaeda as if it were a monolithic structure when, in fact, the organization is diffuse, decentralized and organic. And it's not just al Qaeda. Since the invasion of Iraq and the (justified) war in Afghanistan, al Qaeda has become a role model for 1,000 different, unconnected groups throughout the world.

Bush says Kerry doesn't understand the war on terror? I don't think Bush has much of a clue, either.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

New York Daily News - Politics - Kerry out of bounds on Cheney daugther: Bush: "Cheney daughter off limits: Bush

President Bush gingerly waded into the controversy over John Kerry's remarks about Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter yesterday."

These guys are reacting as if Kerry had said something diaparaging about Cheney's daughter. He lauded Cheney and, in responding to the question, "do you think homosexuality is a choice", suggested one should ask Cheney's daughter. He ventured trhat I didn't think she would characterize her sexuality as a choice.

If it's OK to be homosexual, how come Cheney and his family are being so defensive? Are they suggesting it's OK for their daughter to be homosexual as long as it's never mentioned in public? Are they so ashamed in reality that they want to hide it?

Monday, October 11, 2004 / News / Politics / AdWatch: Bush turns Kerry's words around:

"In an interview with The New York Times magazine on Sunday, Kerry said the country has 'to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives but they're a nuisance.' Kerry also suggested that terrorism, like prostitution, illegal gambling and organized crime, will never be eradicated but can be reduced so 'it's not threatening the fabric of your life.'

Seizing on those comments, the Bush campaign took some of Kerry's words for an ad that tries to suggest the Democrat is unfit to lead the nation during the war on terrorism. The ad also argues that the country would be less safe with Kerry at the helm.

The commercial keys on comments Kerry has made in the past during interviews. However, it doesn't include the context in which the comments were made."

Here's Bush, a guy who is universally recognized as being severely challenged when it ocme to assembling a coherant sentence in English interpreting what someone elase is saying. Irony?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

MSNBC - Bush rips Kerry on 'global test' remark: "President Bush said Saturday Democrat John Kerry's debate remark that U.S. preemptive military action should be subject to a 'global test' would give other nations a veto over American national security decisions. Meanwhile, Kerry, speaking in Florida, accused Bush of 'serious misjudgements' on the economy as well as the war in Iraq."

Obviously Bush doesn't understand what a "global test" is all abut. Were I to try to explain to the block head what it means, I would point out that one must consider the global ramifications of any action and, if in the light of the effect one's actions have throughout the world - does it benefit the US more than it harms the US; does it strengthen us on a global scale rather than weaken us on that scale - then an action would pass a "global test". On the other hand, as with this ill advised invasion of Iraq (on par with Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor) - the action has cost us significantly more than it's benefited us.

I thought Bush was supposed to be an MBA. Surely if he was paying attention in class (rather than being the subject of a social promotion thanks to daddy) he'd understand cost/benefits analysis.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lessons from the CBS News failure: "But, adds Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute, 'No matter what CBS News does, CBS, and to a great degree Dan Rather, will wear a Scarlet Letter.'"

Weapons of Mass Distruction?
Iraq Ties to al-Qaeda?
The Iraquis will welome us with roses?
Exporting jobs is good for this country?
Didn't use family influence to dodge the draft?
Tax cuts arren't targeted for the wealthiest 1% or the population?
No child left behind? (left underfunded)
We support our troops (while cutting their benefits)?

It seems Dan Rather is not the only one who should be wearing a Scarlet Letter ... There may be others who should be wearing several of them!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Where is Osama?

We've looked all over Iraq for him and he's not there. We vowed never to rest until he was brought to justice. It's been three years now. We swore that we'd bring him in dead or alive. Where's Osama?

At a recent press conference, when that question was asked, the response was, "I don't focus on him that much."

Mission accomplished? Where's Osama?

Who cares about a couple of missed meetings?

Nobody cares about the missed National Guard meetings. I wonder if the people asking that question aren't the same people who took Bill Clinton to task over the Monica thing. They were the ones who were quick to point out that it wasn't about having an affair with a consenting adult in the past. It was about the lying about it NOW. I don't care that Bush missed a couple of meetings. What I care about is that he has lied about it since the 1990s. He's hidden facts, avoided the truth, obfuscated, prevaricated, and misdirected the American people. THAT's what concerns me ... Not a couple of missed meetings!

You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time - but you can't fool all of the people ALL of the time, George! Or maybe you can.

Friday, August 06, 2004

What do you learn about art when you live with it for a lifetime? Where do talents come from?e know them when we see them ... at least we think we do.

I'd always thought I would end my days in a small town making picture frames or some such thing. Perhaps it's premature to think I've finally come to rest after rolling around the country for all these years but it seems I've rolled into a corner; an urban corner, to be sure. I AM making picture frames. At least this time they are for me.

I've done some costing and it seems I have to sell the framed photographs for something on the order of $200 a piece, somewhat lower if I'm over estimating the gallery take at 50%. Rumor has it the co-op gallery will be looking for about 40%. Still, tht doesn't have much of an effect on the retail line.

I framed the protrait of Ali yesterday; the one I took when we were at the old Mission while she was here last December. It looks better than I expected it would.
Politics News Article | "Veteran Backs Off Attack on Kerry's War Record"

Invariabley, the accusations are front page news and the retractions are buried.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

More of the mundane: I met our new neighbor across the street while I was taking out the trash and recycles. His name is Tom and he works for America On Line (AOL). He's a shooter - but unlike my camera, he favors pistols and rifles and does his own re-loads. He's teaching himself welding so he can make a re-load bench that doesn't twist from the torque that results when he processes his reloads. They're pleased to have us here. It seems the former owner's teenagers had friends who drove and Tom was tired of trying to back his pickup "through 40 odd vehicles to get out of the garage".

He told me he'd seen us a number of times and started to wave. I told him I'm getting older and don't see as well as I used to.

An embarrassment of wealth: I got an e-mail invitation from a local photographer to shoot with him. I have no idea what his motivation is - though I did do a critique of one of his shots on MuseCube within the previous 24 hours. Maybe that had something to do with it. In any case, I think it's a great idea and I responded so. We'll see where that goes.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Ally called yesterday. She is getting her car back. She found the title ... in the box of important papers, of all places. She'd never thought to look there! My daughter! In any case, I guess things are ging a little better for her. I want to send her some money to buy an airline ticket out here. The last time she visited was in December, so I think it's about time .. maybe a little past time. I miss her very much and I think of her often.

Maybe it was time for use to touch base, I'd just mailed a letter to her last Friday. It hadn't arrived yet. I told her about the prints I'm making and my plans to get gallery representation.

Two more short (29" high) book cases to assemble nad the office is furnished abut as far as I can go with it. There simply isn't room for anything else. The book cases are in the garage and ready to go. I just couldn't summon the energy yesterday after we picked them up.

Sunrise. Electric pink puffs of clouds over the Rincons. I can see the mountains from my office window. It's not the view that I wanted, but It;s great to have this much! You have to pay extra for the view ... a lot extra.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I really wonder if we haven't passed our zenith as the light of the free world. We have a ton of petty political bickering, we're preparing for the last war and we're unbelievably vulnerable. For the last century we have lived with two friendly neighbors to the north and south and vast oceans to the east and west. Defending the USA has been, for that last ceentury, somehting that we do "over there". Now the attacks are here as of 9/11. Our ports, out railroads, our container based shipping system are virtually unprotected. Our entire emphasis is on the air transport system because we've been hit there. The situation has an almost slap stick comedy quality about it.

Friday, July 23, 2004

I've been engaged in a couple of flame wars on MuseCube (http:\\ with what I can only characterize as a sociopath. Sometimes people get me going and this fellow certainly has the ability to make me want to write. Fortunately quite a few others share my opinion and have been very supportive.

I don't want to sound like I'm on a lone crusade. He's at war with everyone and I just took a piece of the action, got my shots in an dtook a few before the thread got deleted by the management.

My office is pretty much together. I still need to put in some shelving above the desk. That could come together over the weekend.

I'd thought for several days that I'd lost the self-portrait of dad from the late 1930s. I searched everywhere including the old place (being the last place I can recall seeing the painting). I was in a panic and heart broken as I prepared to accept that the painting had been lost to the ages. What a relief to find it packed with several other things.

We've listed the old house. It should go on the market for much more than we expected. It will be windfall and pay down the loan on this place to a very manageable level.

We have been very lucky with the buying and selling of homes since we started in NJ. A quick calculation suggests that we've lived pretty much for free, having made far more on the sales than we had on the table with the purchases. It seems our luck is holding and for the third house in 7-8 years the real estate agent is telling us our timing is impeccable. We have consistantly made more on the houses than it has cost us to pay the mortgages. It's not showing up in the cash flow but it sure helps the net worth.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

It seems there's always one loose cannon rolling around the decks of MuseCube. The current incarnation prompted me to post the suggestion that folks ought to do a Googel search on the word "sociopath". Thought he calls himself InAFlash I think I'm going to start calling him FlashInThePan. That should stimulate some conversation.

Jackie and Ray came for dinner. I think they enjoyed themselves - in spite of the fact that Ray and I have so little common ground. He even complimented me on my office. I thought that was a very positive thing!

I have a sense of mild foreboding, it seems. I think more often about death and dyeing than I like to admit -- certainly more than I've admitted to anyone standing. I found the picture of mom and me, taken the month before she passed away --- actually, probably closer to two weeks before she died. She looks so small and frail.

I think often of my father, too. Frequently I ponder the thought that all of those things that were so important to him while he was alive instantly became useless baggage once he passed away. I imagine that will be the fate of all the things I consider important, as well.
This year has not bee a kind year in the market. I'm looking at losses of around $36K with they year more than half over. Fortunately there's enough ballast that there are no direct ill effects. There is also the fact that last year was exceptionally good, showing significantly more profit than this year is showing losses, leaving me ahead of the plan for the last two years. Sometimes you have to take the long view to make things look good.

It's sunrise in Arizona. I can see the sun just starting to break over the horizon in the east. I've been up since about 2:30AM, unable to sleep ... Not an event so much as "situation normal".

I remember when I used to hand write my diary in spiral bound notebooks. When I sat down to the task, it seems I would write for pages. I've not recaptured that fascination with detail. Perhaps it's just that I'm out of practice. Perhaps it's because there is a sense with blogs that someone might actually read what is written. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact it's easier to find things to write about when things are going badly that when there are moving along smoothly. I don't know what the answer is ... Perhaps even a combination of those factors plus something else I've not considered. No matter.

We will be listing the other house (9902) shortly. We have an appointment with Mary to go over the paperwork -- primarily the disclosure form -- and sign off on her representation in the sale. I'm ready to be done with the place and to pay down the loans on this place as well. Thought the rates are favorable and the fact that we're only paying interest for the time being makes the bill manageable, I think we'll both be far happier when the amounts are negligible. I hope the sale goes quickly. We are anticipating getting more for the house than we'd ever imagined. I guess that's the effect of all those Californians moving here to the Tucson area and pumping up the property values.

Where do they work? Do they work? Or did the simply bring wealth with them? Tucson is very much a blie collar town as far as I can see. There are veery few opportunities. Yet there are communities with $500,000 homes springing up all over the map. A million four is not a strange number. We see listings for homes at that level all the time.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

The book cases are together and in place. I'm done assembling until candy gets her cabinets for the sewing room. I've got most of the books in the book cases and even organized by an almost system of free association. Candy says they look good. (I honestly thought she's think they're just clutter but, I was wrong!)

I have a ton of CD's put away. I'm surprised at how many of them are Candy's. I think she's been buying them when I'm not looking!

Jackie and Ray (Wackie and Jay) are coming tomorrow for dinner (about 3-ish). The house looks great and I think Candy wants to show off a little. For as big as the place is, it's still cozy. I have a bunch of the paintings and prints hung. I honestly hope they're blown away.
I get interesting and unexpected notes in e-mail. This most recent one is from a photographer in the St. Louis area:

Hi Joe

We haven't met, I hope someday we might. You have critiqued Photos for a very good friend of mine, Sharon Spear, a couple of which were taken by me, like a dummy I had not the sense to thank you. So thank you for your time & kind comments.

When I first saw the photo of you on the Wicker settee my first thought were of a very good friend of mine, the 2nd was of Hemmingway.

I have one question, at what point does one become a GWC? I may have reached that status.

Take care

Sometimes I actually think I do some things right. Praise is always a good tonic. It seems, in my case, the effects don't last very long.

Of course, I have to answer Frank:

Hi Frank –

What a nice note to be confronted by first thing in the morning!

No thanks are necessary. It’s so rare that anyone actively solicits my opinion that the flattery of the request has been enough to get me through the day. (Have you ever noticed that on most occasions when someone asks for your opinion, what they really want is your unconditional support?)

Speaking of flattering, I’m quite pleased that I remind you of a friend (though any comparison to Hemingway might be a little over the top).

As for GWC* status, if you think you’re there, you’re there. The real qualifier is a certain world-weariness brought on the lengthy diatribes and pompous posturing of so called “pros” who spend a lifetime photographing naked women “for the sake of art” while denying the sheer pleasure of hanging out with naked women has anything to do with it. They probably buy Ploughboy for the articles, too! If you’re prepared to admit there’s something elementally kewl (“cool” to old farts like me) about having women slip out of their panties simply because you’re waving a camera around – welcome to the club! Of course, that some decent pictures come out of it is hardly beside the point.


I've been assembling bookcases for the last couple of days. I tire easily so I'm moving along at a rate of one bookcase per day - one more to go. I've started hauling books up to my office, too. It's so wonderful to have access to them. It's been over a year since we packed them in Pennsylvania and now they're finding homes on some very nice looking shelves.

I like this house. I think I like this house better than any house I've ever lived in. Maybe I will develop that sense of it being home. I certainly hope so. It's been a lifetime since I felt like I was "home".

* GWC; Guy with a Camera. A term that most often refers to quasi-photographers with "point-and-shoot" cameras who hire models in the hope of "copping a feel".

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Slowly things are coming together with the house. We make daily comments to each other about how much we like being here. That's a good sign. I've slowly been hanging the framed things. It's like Christmas; seeing those things that have been packed awy for more than a year.

Ali called the day before yesterday. She's still trying to get her car back on the road after her fiasco of inattentiveness. I guess, in many ways, she's like me an dhas to learn things the hard way ... though I don't think I ever too as hard a route as she has.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Shooting Rodney went well. At least I thought it went well. Rodney grew up here in Tucson, but he'd never been to the Saguaro National Park. He was surprised to find there was a road that we could use to get around the lower portion at the foot of the Rincons.

We used the wash at the far northern end of the circuit and later the rock outcrop about 3/4 of the way around. We came away with about 130 frames ... some of them quite good.

Rodney arrived on Musecube about a month ago with a handful of web cam photographs of himself in his portfolio. No one took him seriously. However, he asked me very politely if I would work with him. Based on his civil approach I thought I'd take a flyer. Besides, I need more "people pictures" in my portfolio.

I put one of the images up in the Model Critique gallery on MuseCube. There have been two comments so far ... both, interestingly, from photographers I respect for their portfolios:

Comment by: Shadowscape (July 09, 2004)
Rated: 10

What the heck am I doing over in this section. Oh well....
You have an amazing way of capturing the everyday in a not so everyday fashion. You seem to see things the rest of us don't. Maybe we do, but do not see the potential in them the way you do.
Kudos my friend for treating the rushing world to what they are passing by at such high speed.

Comment by: Teez (July 09, 2004)
Rated: 10

I agree with the previous critiquer....your work is always an inspiration to view as well as thought provoking. My immediate thought when viewing this was..."what is he looking at? What is he thinking"?

Wonderful tones and it...:)

Its very gratifying to have such positive comments.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I have the office hardware pretty well under control. Almost everything is working the way it should. Now it's time to work on the book cases. It'll be great to have the library back again. The books and art collection have been packed for over a year. Opening the cartons has been like Christmas - rediscovering the old and familiar things.

To quote Candy, "This is more like it."
New day, new opportunities. We're moved for the most part. There are still some things left at the other house, but we can take care of them easily.

We were without a cable hookup in my office over the holiday weekend. That has been remedied and I'm back in business.

I got a "hellooooo" from Roginski. He's resigned the bank and is now working with Eric at the brokerage.

We are fitting into the house quite nicely. I like the kitchen. I don't feel like I'm craawling around on the floor to get things out of cabinets or like I'm about to bump into somethihng if I turn around. The pool table fits where we'd hoped it would and, overall, the house is quite "showy"

I'll be shooting tomorrow. A male model named Rodney. I took the opportunty just to have a reason for shooting.

I've also been thinking about doing a send up of all the Travel Channel Grand Canyon stuff. I have a little artists manaquin that I want to take out into the desert and shoot in some "Perils of Pauline" situations ... and title the series "Bland Canyon"

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

MuseCube is getting less and less interesting. There are a couple of people who seem to have their heads screwed on straight but for the most part their a reflection of a miopic world. Does the word "petty" ring a bell? The world is made up of small minds and this bunch confuses "glamour" with something worth while.

I've posted pictures on MuseCube and I've expressed opinions - all in the hope that I was hanging about with like minded people. Reading this morning has put me off in the extreme. One photographer is attempting to make an artistic statement - and getting judged (or misjudged) by morons using inappropriate standards. Another photographer who's work I like removes a piece and resubmits because he doesn't like the comments - mine in particular, I think. :::shudder:::

Better, I think, to simply do my thing.
MSNBC - Altercation: "the most heartbreaking thing about F 9/11 is that we are now engaged in the national argument over a film that we should have had about going to war."
Sleep is not coming. It seems there are so many things to think about but really, there is nothing.

We spent a little time at the new house this evening. Ray and Jackie came by to take a look. I think I got Ray. He was coming down the stairs and noticed a light bulb was out in the fixture above the stairs. I told him I was going to wait for the rest of them to burn out and then hire out changing the bulbs. I'm sure he didn't kinow quite what to make of that.

Jackie went through the trash an dcame up with a couple of things she liked; a little carved wooden box and a metal heart for her grand daughter. Bernie is alove and well in his daughters. It's what Brenie would have done.

The place seems smaller than when we committed to it. I'm sure it's just a perception; maybe a little buyers remorse. It does not have the sweeping vistas I'd envisioned, but it does have views. The two bedrooms are going to be smaller than Candy wants to hoouse her office and the futon. The space is fine for me, but then I'm not trying to get dual usage out of them.

Candy will be using the loft for her quilting area. That looks to me to be a little on the small side, too. Have we settled for the smaller refrigerator solution?

Monday, June 28, 2004

We closed on the new house this morning. We found that the owners were further up the creek than we anticipated. According to the paperwork that I saw, they had to come up with about $10K in cash to sell the house. (We had to come up with nothing, zero, zip, zilch.) Candy speculates they're in the midst of a divorce. Why else would they have settled on a house here in Tucson while he hasn't decided on which of two job offers he wants to take ... One in Boston, the other in San Diego? He bought her a house. Simple as that.

The packers come tomorrow. The truck comes on Wednesday and then we're out of here.

There are still some issues with the house:

  1. The drip irrigation system is still leaking like there's no tomorrow
  2. We have no idea how to arm and use the security system
  3. The blind in the living room is stuck
  4. We don't have the code for the garage key pad

But the hell with it all. None of it real matters. All of those items are just inconveniences. And, oh by the way, one of the bulbs over the stairway is burned out.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I'd planned to go up to Chaco Canyon in the fall however, we've never been to Canyon de Chelly. That might make an interesting destination - and I think it's probably a good idea to make the rounds before repeating ourselves.

Canyon de Chelly is about an hour closer and we could still arrange to meet Magoski and anyone else who wants to tip a round in Gallup, NM. Gallup is the logical hotel point in any case. It's about 7-7 1/2 hours up the road from here - shorter time, more miles if by Interstate; more time, fewer miles on the straight line.

I haven't decided if I want to have a model hang out to add human scale to the images. Actually, the more time I think about it, the less I like the idea. The ruins shold be enough subject matter in themselves.
It's early on Sunday morning now. On Friday we had an adrenalin rush. We got a call from the mortgage guy telling us that the underwriters at the loan office needed a guarantee that I would have my Ricoh income after December when my contract expires. I could only tell them the truth, there is no guarantee.

"Well, can they call your contact in New Jersey."

"Of Course they can."

"Will he tell them your contract will be renewed."

"He'll tell them that the odds are very good, like 99.99%"

"Will he put that on paper."

"No. He would be representing the company and the company will not commit beyond the contract. If they were to commit beyond the contract, that would be a contract, and we don't have a contract for that period of time. We won't have a contract covering that period of time until we negotiate it sometime in October or November. In the meantime, I have almost four times the value of the house 'in the bank'. I'm only looking to finance the house until I can sell our current house in August and I'm only holding back on that to avoid the capital gains hit. You tell those morons in underwriting that if worse comes to worse, I'll buy the god damned house with cash and leave the bank out of the picture. Ask them what guarantee they have with their job beyond next week. I'm better off than an employee. I have a contract that covers the next six months. What are their friggin' guarantees? I'm a lot harder to get rid of than they are."

The upshot is that after the Chinese fire drill, the involvement of two departmental supervisors at the bank and Mary's intercession to point out to the underwriters that I've had a decade of uninterrupted employment with the company I now have a contract with - we have the money we need. However, the paperwork is delayed in the system and we have to move the closing a couple of hours and across town to the northwest side office.

Another sales prevention department in action.

We did a 'walk through' yesterday. It was a little premature, at least from our perspective - the Monoco's are still there. Though they are packed for the most part - they are still in full 'living here' mode.

We went over the list of items and issues they'd agreed to deal with and everything looks like its in order. At least that part seems to be working right.

I'll be glad when we are quit of this place.

I have an appointment to set an appointment for a TFP shoot with Rodney, a black aspiring model living in Phoenix. We're going to try to hook up during the week of July 5th, after the move and a few minutes for us to get our feet on the ground.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

We got a great deal on the Bill Clinton autobiography ... at the grocery store! Both Candy and I are threatening to read it but the 900+ page size is daunting, to say the least. I was most impressed to find out that Clinton literally penned the book (hand wrote the book) himself - without ghost writers.

I'm impressed. I cleared the entire things to do list plus re-routed the newspaper subscription yesterday morning. I hate being on the phone but once I got going, it wasn't so bad.

There's little else to report on. We're just marching in place at this point, waiting for Monday and the closing on the new house. We are finding that homes are listing for more and more. I'd initially thought we'd be putting this place up for something on the order of $130-135K. After out initial talks with Mary (real estate agent) we concluded putting this house up for $154K was not unreasonable. Yesterday, Mary faxed over two new listings from this neighborhood. One house, 2 doors down, is being listed at $229K. I find that unbelievable! Granted, it's four bedroom, there's a pool & jacuzzi in the back and about 500 square feet more of living space - BUT ... The upshot is that we're probably going to list this place at something like $160K. Already that number is a strain on my credulity.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Insomnia is a way of life. In bed by 11pm, sleep until about 2 or 3am, up until after sunrise then back to bed for another hour or two.

There are no great philosophical debates or moral dilemmas keeping me awake. There are thoughts that chase each other around in my brain. However many thoughts it seems there are as I lie there in the dark, they always resolve into only four or five when I rise to sort them out with the lights on.

The things to do list:

  • Call Tucson Water, get service for new house
  • Call the gas company, get service for new house
  • Call the electric company, get service for the new house
  • Call the insurance company, check on health insurance options now that we've been rejected by BCBS
  • Try to find a face plate that fits the circuit breaker box in the workshop

It's a managable list in the end. I'd rather be shooting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Got an e-mail from a model agency in New Mexico, probably as a result of listing my travel plans to Chaco Canyon this fall. I'd mentioned that I was interested in doing a TFP with any model interested in tagging along. I don't really need a model for anything other than to add some human scale to the photographs of the ruins. I'll send them a note - it would be working with an agency that actually tries to get something going for its models and that should be encouraged.

Here's their letter:


I would like to welcome you to your New Mexico visit. The land of enchantment certainly holds many magnificent quailities around the state!

As I read, you will be visiting the Gallup & Chaco areas. I invite you to see some of our local models; Saja (teen Model) and Stacey (, these models are the sage talent mgmt site here on muse cube. We are open to your TFP/CD work basis.

Should you have any7 questions, please feel free to give me a call at 505/368-1104.

Best Regards,

Roy J. Tso

The house deal is coming together. I had to dig out the ten year old divorve decree in order to demonstarte that Ali is "of age" and I am no longer subject to child support. I still have to contact water, gas and electric. Even tomorrow will be cutting it close. I keep forgetting to do anything about those utilities.
I'm feeling very discouraged. Sometimes life just gets a little overwhelming and this is one of those moments. We are trying to move from health insurance provided through my former employer and governed under the terms and conditions of the COBRA provisions to health insurance that we pay for - with the same basic network - Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). We have been paying into BCBS for years - via payments from my company and through payroll deductions. We've had few claims - at least I've not had many, but now that we're getting older and in need of insurance, we've been denied for the reasonably priced spread. How many thousands of dollars in profit have I represented? Keep in mind that insurance companies are among the most profitable on the planet!

I have an appointment with Ron H. later this morning. The bank needs a litter from me indicating that the new house will be our primary residence (as opposed to a rental property). Not a problem - it's just another detail in an inundation of details.

We watched "A Concert for George" - a gathering of friends to send off a fellow musician - and couldn't help wonder how small a closed it will be when all of our friends gather for those final good-byes. What does it matter? Who will care 100 years from now -or- 1,000 years from now? It was great music, thought. It's easy to forget how much music emanated from those four people (The Beatles). They have been a good part of the sound track of our lives.

We agreed that we simply haven't made the effort to have other people in our lives. We agreed that we simply don't have enough people in our lives.

I'd thought it might be a fun idea to do a "once-a-month" model, photographer "meet and greet" (cameras not welcome). I know we both miss the monthly get-togethers we used to have in Pennsylvania before we moved. It was good fellowship and laughter. Of course, as good as those things can be, we all forget each other once they are over. In any case, we're considering giving that a try.

Candy had some dental surgery yesterday - I guess some bone was spliced in to make up from some gingivitis bone loss. She's in pain and I guess she will be for quite a while as it all heals. We need to take care of the major things while we still have insurance coverage - it ends at the end of November.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Candy is doing orthodontic surgery today. I don't think she's going to be interested in talk to anyone when she gets out. The mortgage guy is chasing me for a copy of my daughter's birth certificate. I have a physical coming up ... and we're closing on the new house next Monday. We were complaining that we don't have enough things going on quite recently.

I watched Clinton on 60 Minutes last night. Nostalgia for the old days was the most prominent feeling I experienced while watching. I wonder if Evan watched. Evan, our "adopted son" in the Secret Service, has a history for being a knee jerk Republican ... Not so much for having thought through the issues (he's young) but more for the fact that his father is a kneejerk Republican. Our recent conversations indicate that the winds of change are in the air with Evan - mostly over the Iraq war and surrounding shit storm. Last time I checked, Evan was having trouble supporting either candidate for president.

I'm listening to a piece about blogging on NPR. The thing that strikes me; puzzles me is why do young people feel such a need to talk so fast. It's like if they don't rush through their ideas, they'll loose them. It seems so little is done with circumspection anymore. People drive fast, walk fast, talk fast ... All at the expense of thinking ... particularly critical thought. It's all a function of emotion; they are emoting. Conversation has been reduced to a series of emoticons, little type written faces made up of sideways letters. :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Flame wars fraught with circular reasoning plague MuseCube. I've gotten involved with a couple of them but there's no payoff.

In the meantime, Mary has come up with a web site that will allow me to expedite a request for Ali's birth certificate in response to Ron's (Wells Fargo's) request in counter to a credit report item indicating that I have some child support due. Yes, it's that convoluted.

Candy has dental surgery on Monday and I have a physical later in the week. We've been turned down by Blue Cross Blue Shield for insurance leaving us with the very expensive transfer option. I could do a whole rant on insurance.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Another day down and on the way to the new home. We have managed to have four addresses in the 7 or 8 years we've been together. Our hope is we can stop with this new one. We've retained a moving company. They will be sending packers on the 28th and moving us on the 29th. For our part, most of the packing we plan to do personally has been done.

Marcia re-sent her request to buy the "toy" bags. I've been trying to ignore her - given that she only surfaces if she thinks there's something in it for her. She is no one's friend unless there's some benefit in it for her. I think the word is "grasping".

With the move in progress, it's very hard to focus on shooting anything. I am hoping I can get back into it once we settle down.

I have a hearing test this afternnon. Indications are that about half my hearing on both sides is gone. Not somehting that has just happened, it's a process that's been going on for years and I'm finally at a point where I have to do something about it. More to follow, I'm sure.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I forgot to mention that I got a return note from the Ken (KSM) fellow. I guess my earlier note to him caught him a little off guard at first - but he's managed to retreat into academic BS defensiveness.

His note follows:

Why do we do this? I haven't the faintest idea. For me, I just need to express myself, and at the moment that can be visually, or with words, or with both. In part it's what you mentioned yourself, I think: working through the issues brings them to the surface, where we can see them in fresh ways, and then jump to another level. Sometimes it does amaze me though that women are willing to put up with what I need to make that happen. Sure, some are narcissistic, one or two have been full-blown exhibitionists, but a lot have just been curious, or willing to help. The true artists, including a few I met through this site, added suggestions which gave me ideas I might not have had otherwise.

As for perception... well, books have been written. As photographers we mostly understand that we see reflected light, interpreted by electrical signals sent to our brain. Look at an object under a microscope, at 10 feet, at a mile, it looks like different things. And none of them are real. The most convincing philosophy I've seen posits that we can at best infer reality. Of course, different cultural viewpoints construct very different realities. Justin Lane's post on a Native American perspective film was fascinating because they really do see things very differently than we do. Which of course means we, as visual artists, have an unlimited number of ways to see things.

Well, I need to get on the phone and try to pin down details on a couple of photo shoots so I can practice some of this. I heard last night from one of those web cam models, basically, her one tfp shoot was actually worse than the ones she took herself, at least hers were almost in focus. But she has a good face, so as a personal challenge I'm going to give her an hour and see what I can get. Should be fun.

Anyway, keep seeing things in a fresh way,


... ok, maybe I'm being to harsh. I tend to move in that direction when I don't get what I expect. I'm not sure how to repond. I've been rolling that around in my head since receipt of the response.

McGowan sent me a link to a list taht he manages ... a non-glamour, erotic nude list. I would love to join but I'm reluctant, feeling that to do so would be under false pretenses in a way. As I said before, I've not been involved in doing that kind of shooting in over two years. Maybe once we get the house under control and get settled in I can take it up again.
I spent some time shooting architecturals in downtown Tucson yesterday afternoon. When I got back to the computer to look at the results, I must say, I'm not satisfied with any of it.

I've rearranged my portfolio and I'm showing that I'm not taking bookings until late August or early September. With the move coming at the end of the month and the fact that we're buying furniture like it's going out of style, I expect we're going to be too busy getting settled in for me to focus (yes, a pun) on shooting - particularly if other people are involved.

A young fellow, James (PeepeyePhotography) on MuseCube, track down my AOL address and the web site. He sent me a very complimentary note telling me how much he liked my writing. I've not worked on that book or that area of photography for about two years now. It's nice to have the positive feedback, but I'm on to other things now.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Home Show wasn't a total bust. I picked up one of those carved mahogany models of a P-38 Lightening and Candy bought a laquerware candy dish. We stopped for a late breakfast then stumbled across a gas station where a bunch of high schoolers were washing cars. The car, desperately needing a wash, we stopped. There were a bunch of homeless guys in the corner of the parking lot. One saw that I had a camera over my shoulder and yelled out that I should take their pictures. I did. I showed them the digital results on the camera's monitor. They had a ball - and I got my shot for the day.

It occurred to me somewhere along the way that if I ever get rich and famous at this new "career", if there was ever one magazine I'd like to shoot for, it'd be National Geographic. I suppose the fashion and glamour and all the other stuff is ok, but sometimes it seems to artificial - always it seems so artificial.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'd wanted to drive up to Montezuma's Castle today - about four hours up the road from here - to shoot the ruins while I can still do that on my own steam. Candy argued that it was really a weekend trip. We're going to a Home and Garden Show instead. I've gone to thise things before. They're dull as paint but I'll take a cmera just the same. I need more portfolio fodder - one or two more archetecturals would be nice. If Candy is feeling good, maybe I can walk us toward downtown and find something there.
I can't wait til the move is over. We've been living in this place for a little over a year now and it has driven me so far into myself that sometimes I fear I will never come out again.

1,472 Square feet to 2,160 square feet! We've been buying furniture and there's more on the list. I'm doing the Great Living Room sort of like an Edwardian Gentalmen's Club - complete with a pool table and Mission (Craftsmen) style couches and chairs. Finally a place that we can make our own.

There is a problem on the horizon and, as a result, there are so many things I want to do over the next year. A little background: the perscription for my glasses has not changed materially for the last 15-20 years - at least that's what I've been told by a succession of optometrists. Over that period of time I've lived in Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and I've had to obtain driver's licenses in each of those places. In the past, when encountering a challenge with "line 4" on the eye test (resulting for an aesthigmatic condition), I've resorted to the "not from the doctor" ploy. Each of those states has had a form. Arizona - according to the clerk at the motor vehicles department when Candy went for her testing - does not have or accept doctor notes. I fear my freedom of mobility will cease in August a year from now. Yes, there are so many things I want to do in the next year.

Friday, June 11, 2004

A Message to KSM (Ken) ... See the link to his blog in the previous entry (below):

Ken –

I spent WAY more time reading your blog than I imagined I would … sucked in, as it were. It’s probably the most interesting and engaging piece of off the cuff writing I’ve encountered in a while.

I tend to jump in on one side of an issue or another, more for the sake of using the discussion as a means to hang my thoughts in the air so I can see what I’m really thinking than I do to score wins or losses. I’ve found the environmental nude discussion has been a great help to me in arm wrestling my way through the competing ideas.

I thought the idea of discussing reality versus perception was interesting – but I think a more visceral exchange might be an exploration of what draws photographers and models to this particular area of the arts – and what is the relationship between these photographers and these models. What drives these people to play their respective roles – freezing their asses off in a Sub-Arctic winter to get a picture of a naked person dry humping a snow bank?

As a parenthetical aside and just for the sake of argument, I’d would argue that perceived reality is the only reality and leave it at that. (Someone once accused me of being the intellectual equivalent of a drive by shooter. I think they probably mean something on the order of, “deadly at the initial encounter but without much follow-up after the fact.”)

Reading your stuff did two things for me, both good in my estimation – ok, maybe more than two things. First, they gave me the sense that I should pass on the coffee this morning and move straight on to the bourbon without benefit of side trips or stops along the way. Secondly and far more importantly, the narrative gave a context to your work that I’d not had previously. The blog was for me the Rosette Stone that I needed to find my way into your visual vocabulary. Where the images were before a series of individual hieroglyphs related more by style than anything else, I now have solid clues to the underlying drift of the “words” and “sentences” and “chapters” of the images – or at very least some clues on how to get there.

Your stuff is WAY more interesting after a couple of peeks inside your head.

I figured E-mail would be best for a personal aisde. Hope you don't mind me cluttering up your mailbox.

Politics is and always be an attack on the gastro intestinal system. Photography - done as a solitary pursuit or with others such as the occasional model - is much more calming and, in the long run, more productive on a personal level.

I discovered MuseCube in February and I've been building a portfolio there. I have had a similar membership at OneModelPlace for years but it is less than inspiring. MuseCube, though smaller, seems to have a far higher level of intellect.

KSM's blog

A number of us have been engaged in a discussion of "the nude in the envoronment". I've made a number of provocative comments. Conversation has gotten deeper than I imagined it would. The intellectual exercise is making attrophied mental muscles ache - a very good feeling.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Capital Games: "It's hard to know what is more disturbing. That George W. Bush misled the public by stating in the months before the Iraq war that he was seriously pursuing a diplomatic resolution when he was not. That he didn't bother to ask aides to present the case against going to war. That he may have violated the U.S. Constitution by spending hundreds of millions of dollars secretly to prepare for the invasion of Iraq without notifying Congress. That he was misinformed by the CIA director about one of the most critical issues of the day and demanded no accountability. Or that he doesn't care if he got it wrong on the weapons of mass destruction. "

I don't know what I can add except that when Bill Clinton lied, no one got killed.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Should one appologise for the truth? - GOP demanding apology from Kerry - Mar 11, 2004:

"The Bush campaign is demanding an apology from Sen. John Kerry after the presumptive Democratic nominee called his Republican opponents the 'most crooked ... lying group of people I've ever seen.'"

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Bush cuts rich in, leaves rest out:
February 3, 2004

"Budgets, as the president said in his Saturday radio address, are a matter of priorities, of making hard choices. The president's madcap tax-and-borrow policies have run up a staggering $500 billion deficit -- without creating the jobs needed to keep the economy going. Profits are up, but so is poverty. The Bush administration is building schools in Iraq, but not in the United States. How do we get out of this box?

The president's budget reveals his priorities, what he truly cares about. It is not a reassuring picture.

The president's first priority remains tax cuts, largely for the wealthy. Millionaires are pocketing $30,000 a year in tax breaks from this president. The president wants, first and foremost, to make his tax cuts permanent -- no matter what that means for the deficit, for investments in our future, for already obscene extremes of inequality in what once was a middle-class nation. "


that says it all. thank you Chicago Sun Times ...