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Well, it would maybe be a "grrr" if I had the energy. I'm working on the paper that I've been all excited about but I've had a migraine for days now and it's wearing on me. Plus the fact that I've passed "informed" and "immersion" and gone straight to "sick and tired" of the topic. I'm sure it'll come back and I'll feel the love again but right now, not so much.

I haven't been totally useless today. I've gotten several pages written (okay, let's not go so far as "several" but I'll definitely claim "a few.") Also did some background/prep work for a smaller project that's due the 17th, and for which I need to go to Duke Medical Library on Friday.

I suppose I might ought to be working on That Damned Paper, which is due two days before the one I've been working on. Sigh. At least I have 3 of the 5 final exam questions answered for that class. Of course, they are the easy three, leaving the harder two for later. Yeah, like "later" is going to help. The final and That Damned Paper are both due the 18th, AND we are supposed to give a brief oral presentation of the conclusions of our papers that day too. Believe me, I am NOT spending any time doing a Power Point presentation with handouts of that puppy. I do not want this thing immortalized any more than it has to be to get a grade.

I've also been a wee bit distracted today with all the happy political news. And Mother called to see if I was excited and almost forgot to tell me that Daddy may be going home in a week and a half or two weeks-- in other words, before Thanksgiving. W00t! (Except do I have time to go back to KY for Thanksgiving? I do have other papers due after this batch is in. I'll worry about that tomorrow.) And of course, [ profile] harleenquinzell's news made me happy, too. Yay! All sorts of good news today.

Now if this damned headache would quit. And the package would get delivered. And I could get a flash of inspiration for That Damned paper. Bitch, bitch, bitch.
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From Weetabix' diary on D'land:

I’ve always believed that the Republicans run their campaigns like a war, while the Democrats run their campaigns like a bake sale, sort of relying upon the fact that people will just “do the right thing”. Which I’m sure they would on equal playing fields, but the competitor is not following those rules, which means that you have to adjust your strategy. I admire the Republicans for some of their research and correlations. Psychological profiling seems to offend folks because we all want to believe that we’re all precious snowflakes, individual and unique, but in truth, we are creatures of habit, and our personalities have commonalities. For instance, the analyst talked about buying patterns between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats are more likely to drive Subarus and Volvos, while Republicans are more likely to drive Lincolns and (and this is where I clutched the steering wheel of my Chrysler with abject dread and got ready to swallow back a mouthful of vomit) trucks. Note that there are certainly truck-driving Democrat outliers (Esteban, for instance) but they are looking at trends. They don’t need to necessarily understand why the two are linked (that’s psychology, not statistics) but it does add something valuable to their arsenal. Meanwhile, the Democrats are studying the song list of their Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits CDs, trying to pick their next theme song.

The rest of the entry is at: The rest of the entry is not specifically related to this but she's a good writer.
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Today's incredibly wonderful journal entry

I am really enjoying the music that's playing this morning-- It's great Sunday morning music, but I guess it's pretty much what I've been enjoying lately anyway. Right now it's Ladysmith Black Mombazo, and before that it was Dill Pickle Rag by Chet Atkins and Doc Watson; Otis Redding and Jack Johnson. Earlier I caught the videos by OK Go, which are a hoot. I like the treadmill one best-- who the hell ever thought of that? Still, since I have homework to do, I needed something a little more conducive to study. Problem is, I still get distracted and sing along. I suck at multi-tasking. Which does not address why I'm writing a journal entry and IMing instead of doing the aforementioned homework.

Last night I saw An Inconvenient Truth with Nia, Nikulai, Adam, Manus, and Francesca. Beautifully done movie. If Al Gore had been like that when he was running, I'm thinking the last 8 years would have been incredibly different. Hell, the rest of our lives would be incredibly different. Sigh.

And finally, I agree with a lot of what this guy has to say. I'm awfully afraid we're gonna let the same thing happen again. Because I have no doubt that the R's will play the same games; the only question is, will we have the nerve to do anything about it?
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I've gotten to the point that if our esteemed Prez says it's raining, I'm going to stick my damn arm out the window to see if he's lying about that, too. God knows he lies about everything else. And they impeached Clinton for lying about a damn blow job? Let's talk about important lies.
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I haven't posted anything from Molly Ivins for a while, and this is imminently worthy of your attention.


Jan. 25th, 2006 08:30 am
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Sure, it's okay for them to have privacy,, but not for us. (These two articles were side by side in the NYT today. Don't tell ME they don't have a sense of humor.) And it's not so much that I'm online looking for anything as exciting as rent boys, and I'm pretty sure they haven't singled me out for surveillance. But when they are data mining, who's to say how anything will be construed? Particularly when you think about some of the weird stuff that turns up even in the blandest google search, it's obvious that individual bits of information get combined in strange ways.

Anyone who is surprised that they are wiretapping and data mining for all they're worth sure wasn't paying attention.
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Good thing I was sitting down for this one. Who on earth would every have thought that such a thing could happen?
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It's been an entertaining weekend. I volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages on Saturday for three hours, and it was busy the entire time. I worked the register and by the end of the shift I was exhausted-- and I only worked three hours. I can't imagine working an 8-hour shift at a register!

Nia invited me out Sat night-- she bought Austrailia Rails and we got dinner at Neo China. Yum. By the time we got home I was coherent enough to play one game. We played a few more games this morning while we did laundry, and then we saw March of the Penguins at the $1.50 theater this afternoon. For a movie, it was a great nature show. I admit, I had no idea penguins were... well, such weird critters. I am also quite amused at the theory that some conservatives have espoused that penguins are good role models for the nuclear family. Or maybe they're good role models for the "nucular" family. Har. Anyway, what I learned today is that penguins are monogomous-- for one mating season. And the male and female are actually together for very little of that time.... once the egg is laid, they take turns going to the sea to eat enough to feed the chick when it hatches. So they mate, she lays an egg, and he warms it for four months while she goes off to eat. (The breeding grounds are 70 miles away from the shore.) Then she comes back and takes over the care and feeding while he goes off to the shore to eat. Hell of a way to run a marriage, if you ask me. Wonder if the divorce rate would drop if the spouses only saw each other a few times a year, and it were only a one-year contract? Not that I'm cynical or anything, but it sure is funny that the R's want to promote this theory. Heh.

Tonight there was a good show about Leonardo da Vinci on the History Channel; quite enjoyable. Mother called during the first of two hours, but didn't talk too long. She just called to say "Honey, don't worry at all about coming up to work on Aunt Susan's house." I don't think I remember her ever calling me "honey" before-- we're not much for endearments like that in the family, I guess. Interesting. She was much relaxed from her state of Friday night, which is good all around. As she said, they have six months to sort all this out, and the lawyer told them to relax. Whew.

Tomorrow is a doctor's appointment (should be an easy one), volunteering at the library for a couple of hours (helping prep for the move to the new building) and tomorrow night we're going to see Stay, again at the $1.50 theater. I'm looking forward to it.
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Not all links are work-safe!

There's a sex columnist in the Seattle free paper The Stranger named Dan Savage. (He's actually the editor, too, but I first read his column.) As a gay activist, he is clearly not a fan of Senator Rick Santorum, and to express this displeasure, he and his readers came up with an alternate meaning for the word "santorum." Since I don't think I'd ever heard Sen Santorum's name before reading Savage Love the alternate meaning is the one that has stuck in my head. (Awwww.... poor senator.) Nothing I have learned since first hearing of the man has raised my opinion.

Neither did this.

What a jerk.
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It's awfully early in the morning (before 8 AM when I started writing) to be anywhere near a dilemma, never mind an ethical one. Maybe I'm not on the horns, exactly, since this isn't an immediate-decision sort of thing. Torn. I guess I'm torn.

Half of me-- I'd like to think the better half-- is a Quaker, as much as I'm any kind of religious at all. I like to think I'm honorable, but then I guess we all do. This half believes in "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Not before they do it to you, notice; big difference there. The whole thing at Abu Gharaib was horrifying to me because we are supposed to be the good guys. We're supposed to be better than that.Read more... )
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Yet another column about the criminals in DC. (Dem Criminals?) I remain disgusted. I talked to a friend the other night, who is an apologist for this administration. Or do you call them apologists when they see nothing to apologize for? He admits that W just wanted an excuse to invade Iraq, though at the time all I heard was "WMDs! WMDs!" (The sky is falling, the sky is falling!) Now, however, the war is justified because of the terrible things Saddam was doing to the Iraquis. Which to my mind were terrible, but no worse than countless other examples, many still continuing.

Anyway, I find it interesting that this column is from the Christian Science Monitor, which is hardly a left-wing rag. Unless someone forgot to tell me? Wouldn't it be lovely if something were actually DONE to the leakers? As if.

The same friend called the Clinton administration the "most corrupt" in his memory. I wonder... if there was really so much corruption, why weren't there lots and lots of indictments? Like there were during, oh, say, the Reagan administration. But no, we're supposed to kick Clinton out of office because he can't keep his dick in his pants, which is the only thing they ever proved him guilty of. Personally, I thitnk screwing 'em on the Oval Office desk would be better than concocting excuses to start a war that has mainly served to turn half the world against us. Or perhaps I should say, even more against us. As a nation, we haven't gained a damn thing, and we've cost a hell of a lot of lives. Shameful.

Edit: From a NY Times opinion by Frank Rich (who always says it better than I can):
This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war, not the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative who posed for Vanity Fair.
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What a perfect song to be playing... I have a friend who lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Fl, which the Weather Channel guy specifically mentioned as being in Dennis' path. That sucker is a Category 4 right now. Beth and Stan have always been pretty blase about hurricanes, but I'll tell ya something... after Fran, which technically wasn't even a hurricane by the time it blew four oak trees over on my house, I don't ever want to be that close to any hurricane again, never mind a category four. I say that, but I don't know that I'd evacuate from where I live now, except maybe in light of the aftermath. I'm on the second floor of a three story building with 12" thick masonry walls, so I'm not likely to have the roof land on me, tree branches come through the walls at me, or flooding get to me. The aftermath, however... I also remember no water, no power, no phones.... ah, good times. Har.

In other news: I found this article interesting. I've never considered myself to be particularly analytical about politics, but I thought this was pretty obvious. So much so, in fact, that I was almost surprised to see an article articulating it. Now, if.... oh, never mind. Not gonna happen, anyway. Sigh.

The new scroll is coming along. For some reason, the acanthus leaves have given me fits this time. Usually I don't have any trouble with them. I finally got 'em going, though. Whew. I plan to try real raised gold leaf gesso this time. I found the required hide glue on Friday, which had been a problem in the past. So, what with one thing and another, I'm feeling all happy about the scroll. Whee!
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Sorry for the long entry but I don't know how to put in the cut thing.

A couple of articles from the NY Times caught my eye and raised my spirits yesterday morning. (Another day-late entry)

First, the Ford Motor Co says that rising gas prices have contributed to their falling sales. I’m delighted to hear that (a) consumers are smart enough to not buy cars that guzzle gas when gas costs are rising (duh!) (b) they are not doing this in sufficient quantities that someone noticed and (c) that this “news” made the front page of the NY Times.

Second, John Bolton’s nomination as ambassador to the UN “appear[s] to be in some peril.” Woo hoo! My hope begins to flicker again. Just the tiniest bit, you understand, carefully protected under a thick lantern globe of cynicism. But at least there is a bit of hope if the elected representatives aren’t swallowing every bit of crap that Georgie boy sends their way, and without even asking for ketchup to flavor it with. Wait, though, I guess I shouldn’t jump up and down for joy until the deed is done—or undone, as the case may be. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. And lord only knows who he’d come up with next. It’s just so nice to see even a teensy bit of backbone in the folks who are supposed to represent all of us.

Nia and I have been having an ongoing conversation about the intelligence, or lack thereof, of the Great American Public. I say that whatever they are told often enough, they believe. My prime example of this is the Swift Boat campaign. Let’s look at the logic here. On one side of the balance sheet we have Kerry, a veteran who served in Viet Nam, with several medals for valor. The men who were with him at the time of the incidents in question said that he saved their lives. On the other side of the balance sheet is Bush, who didn’t serve in Viet Nam at all. There is some evidence that he may not have served the full term of his stateside National Guard duty. (I’m doing my damnedest to be fair here, and believe me, it ain’t easy.) The men who disputed the events that resulted in Kerry’s medals were nowhere near the incidents that occurred. What did the public believe? The Bush ads that repeated over and over and over the same stories with absolutely no evidence to back them up. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I was not a supporter of the Viet Nam war, then or now. However, to see the military types support a draft evader over a decorated hero was mind-boggling, not to mention decidedly amusing. It felt kind of twisted for me to be rooting for the decorated hero.) And against all the evidence from the Pentagon and the men who were actually THERE, the public fell for the propaganda of people who weren’t there, and ridiculed Kerry as a faker. Huh?

Nia counters by saying that Dubya’s plan for Social Security isn’t the shoo-in he hoped for, though she admits that it’s different when the question has a direct effect on one’s wallet. I reply, we’re only in the warm up rounds, baby.

I’ve only just now started reading political stuff again since the election- my blood pressure and my heart wouldn’t take it before. I’ve also been more interested the last couple of weeks because of the anniversary of FDR’s death. I watched the History Channel special on Sunday and Monday nights, and it was an eye opener in many respects for me. From what I’d heard about him, I’d always taken him as a hero, and never questioned enough to know of faults. I had read that he probably knew about the bombing of Pearl Harbor before it actually occurred, but also read that it was the only way to get us into the war, since popular sentiment at the time was very isolationist and no one knew about the death camps. This 4-hour special really filled out my view of him. I knew, for example, how horribly the Japanese-Americans were treated during the war, but hadn’t connected it with the obvious fact that he was president at the time. (Duh.) The writing of the show was interesting, too; every time they pointed out something like that, or that he didn’t push for an anti-lynching law, they noted that Eleanor was urging him to take the more moral stance.

So. I watched the FDR show, and read this column. And then, god help me, I started reading this article on current judicial thinking and I was aghast. What are these people thinking? They are obviously of a class that doesn’t have to worry about working for a living, nor do they care about anyone who does. I was equally appalled at the implications for the future of the country if it is ravaged by companies unfettered by any restraint on how they destroy wetlands and old growth forests, or dispose of hazardous wastes. I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t care about what kind of country their kids and grandkids would be living in, till I remembered that James Watt says he believes the End is near enough it doesn’t make any difference. I guess if that’s the case, then why should we care about the 40 hour work week or minimum wage?

In some weird part of my brain, I must think that each of us gets the destiny we plan for ourselves. IE, James Watt’s end may be so near that it won’t make any difference to him but by god, I plan for my kids and grandkids to live long enough that it will make a difference to us.

This has been an altogether interesting week for me. Generally I'm not a big-picture sort of gal. I see what's right around me and have a really hard time seeing the connection between things that happen over a span of time. This week events have pretty much slapped me upside the head, though, and even I can't miss making the comparison between then and now.

So, now do you see why I was so heartened to read those two stories this morning? Perhaps there is the tiniest ray of hope. Maybe.


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Susan Arthur

February 2011



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