Jesurgislac’s Journal

August 31, 2008

Why wasn’t Trig born in Texas?

Sarah Palin: A dangerous and intelligent choice? Hm. Well. I’ve seen enough already to know that lots of supposedly-progressive people are going to attack her on sexist grounds – as one of Avedon Carol’s commenters notes:

A brilliant pick not because she’s going to win over all those Hillary voters but because she gives the Dems an opportunity to remind women that not everyone who hates us has a (R) after their name.

This is going to be so much fun – racism from the right, sexism from the left. America rocks!

Given there is enough to attack Palin on about issues that matter, it is – well, completely unsurprising after months of idiot sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton, that some are already choosing to attack her on issues such as “omg, mother of five! who’s going to stay home and look after her babies? what if she’s breastfeeding when America has a security issue?

But there is a legitimate question to be raised about Palin and her fifth child Trig.


August 22, 2008

How conservatives even steal the dead

Charles Bird, who was once Obsidian Wing’s inhouse wingnut, wrote after Katrina: “Martin Luther King adopted a strategy that appealed across-the-board and across racial lines. Where is that today?” (The post, The Race Card and the Damage Done, was all about how modern black leaders – unlike Saint MLK – are nasty, complaining, racially biased creatures who keep complaining about racism just because they see black people being treated badly by white people – something Martin Luther King, at least the icon in Charles Bird’s chapel, never did.)

A few weeks ago, at a free concert sponsored by the Florida Republican Party, several hundred people heard John Rich claim, “Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically. And I’m sure Johnnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.” Then he launched into Walk the Line.

Roseanne Cash wrote: “It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so. This is especially dangerous in the case of political affiliation. It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform.”

I’m a fan of Johnny Cash. Somehow I doubt the Man in Black (Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose, In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes, But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back, Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black) would have spoken up for John McCain if he’d been alive. (I wouldn’t argue thereby that he would have supported Obama or Clinton or Edwards, either: but I really doubt that he’d have cared much for John More troops to Iraq! McCain: any more than at least one fellow PoW and midshipman would vote for him.)

I’d be a fan of Johnny Cash’s mellow-thunder voice even if he was a Republican. (If you are ever in need of cheering up, watch Johnny Cash singing with Miss Piggy or Big Bird.) But no one who felt like Cash did about people in need could be a Republican (in fact, the last President I know Cash actively supported was Jimmy Carter: I don’t suppose Cash would have cared for the routine Republican jibes at Carter for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, either).

“So,” I say, “Are you still the Man in Black? Can you tell me why?”
He goes into the stock answer: quoting the song lyrics, about wearing black for the poor and the beaten down. But I know all that – I’m wondering if that’s still how he feels, 30 years later. “I mean, are you still doing it?” I ask. “For the same reasons?”
“Now?” he says gently. There’s a wry look in his eye. “Now more than ever… ” – 17th September 2003

Johnny Cash a John McCain supporter? Listen to Here Comes That Rainbow Again. Wonder if John Rich ever did…

Martin Luther King wasn’t an icon for Republicans to hang on the wall and feel self-approval about. He was a troublesome anti-war activist, who one can safely say (given the things Charles Bird has said about other opponents of Bush’s war and Bush’s crimes against humanity) Charles would hate if he were alive. But safely dead, he can be stolen and flattened out and cleaned up and hung on the wall.

So with Johnny Cash. Good for Roseanne. Stand up for your dad: don’t let him get hung on the wall.

Update: I can’t imagine why I didn’t think of posting this!

August 20, 2008

What had this woman done?

No, I’m never going to the United States again:

There was one British tourist in the group. Paul (also not his real name) was traveling with three friends who had passed through customs soon after their plane landed and were waiting for him on the other side of the metal barrier; he suspected he had been detained because of his dark skin. When he asked if he could go to the bathroom, one of the guards said, “I wouldn’t.” “What if someone has to?” I asked. “They will just have to hold it,” the guard responded with a smile. Paul began to cry. I watched as he, over the course of four hours, went from feeling exuberant about his trip to New York to despising the entire country. “I speak the Queen’s English,” he said to me. “I’m third-generation British. I came to America because I’ve always wanted to come here, and now they’ve got me so scared that all I want to do is go home. We’re paying for your stupid war anyway.”

PS: The answer is – she was a US citizen who had visited Syria. In the United States today, a trip to Syria warrants hours of being harassed and crapped on at your arrival.

At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office, by Emily Feder, 18th August 2008.

August 19, 2008

Tuesday Recipe Blogging: nut roast

This is the quintessential dish of Sixties vegetarianism. (Which is when my parents became vegetarians. Yes, I have been a nutcase from birth.)

Nevertheless, nut roast is quite tasty. It is also an excellent dish to serve as the “vegetarian alternative” for a main meal where most of the diners will be tucking into the meat dish, because first of all, nut roast can be happily served with any side dish you would serve with meat, and second, you can make the basic mixture the day before, refrigerate it, and stir in an egg (if you’re using an egg, see discussion below) at the last minute before you pop it in the oven to bake it, so that it inconveniences you-the-host less than many a vegetarian alternative.

As someone who has been the sole vegetarian guest at many meals, I appreciate all the hosts who went to some trouble to ensure that I could eat my fill.


August 16, 2008

Kafka Ng.

Someone must have been telling lies about Jason Ng, he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lock them up till they’re dead meat.

He complained of back pain. He had spinal cancer. They let him sleep on a lower bunk, and let him have painkillers and muscle relaxants as long as he had strength to queue for them. When he couldn’t walk as far as the visiting area to see his lawyer, he was denied a wheelchair. He had cancer in his liver, lungs and bones, and a fractured spine. But they shackled him and drove him from Central Falls, Rhode Island, to Hartford, Connecticut, and back again the same day, to try to get him to agree to give up his appeals and be deported back to Hong Kong. They failed. He died.

Mr. Ng’s death follows a succession of cases that have drawn Congressional scrutiny to complaints of inadequate medical care, human rights violations and a lack of oversight in immigration detention, a rapidly growing network of publicly and privately run jails where the government held more than 300,000 people in the last year while deciding whether to deport them.

August 15, 2008

Who decides in November?

Well, come on, you know: the same people who decided in 2004.

Not the voters. The people who control the voting machines.

Since the year 2000, the US hasn’t had a national election where the exit polls corresponded to the results the voting machines provided.

Will Barack Obama win in November? I think it likely – Bush couldn’t win in 2000 or 2004, and neither Gore nor Kerry were as popular as Obama is, despite his recent betrayals.

Will McCain be in the White House in January? Quite probably.

On the other hand, if Chuck Hagel supports Obama for President, he may be all the voter Obama needs….

August 12, 2008

Tuesday Recipe Blogging: Cake or DEATH!

From Church of England Fundamentals, Eddie Izzard, mostly NSFW on account of he swears a lot:

“Cake or death?” That’s a pretty easy question. Anyone could answer that.
“Cake or death?”
“Eh, cake please.”
“Very well! Give him cake!”
“Oh, thanks very much. It’s very nice.”
“You! Cake or death?”
“Uh, cake for me, too, please.”
“Very well! Give him cake, too! We’re gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?”
“Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry…”
“You said death first, uh-uh, death first!”
“Well, I meant cake!”
“Oh, all right. You’re lucky I’m Church of England!”

So, cake or death? (more…)

August 8, 2008

Vote McCain. It’s a whole barrel of… wow.

A whirlpool! by xkcd

A whirlpool! by xkcd

Ugh: I’m voting for McCain in 2008 because I want to see how this ends.
Me: Can’t you wait till it comes out on DVD?
Ugh: No no no! That’s what I’m doing w.r.t. Battlestar Galactica Season 4. And. Its. Killing. Me.
Jon H: Can’t you just settle for writing fanfic?
Johnny Pez: Already been done — a graphic novel called Shooting War.
(An Old, Old Story, on Obsidian Wings.)

However, if you don’t share Ugh’s impatience… (more…)

August 6, 2008

We’re afraid of being killed.

This morning, on Farningham Road station in Kent, at 7am, three regular commuters met again: a woman aged 58, and two young men:

One of the men was described as white, in his mid 20s, and about 6ft, with a stocky build. He had short cropped brown hair and was wearing beige shorts, a green round-necked T-shirt and trainers.
The other man was white and in his early 20s with a medium build, bright red shorts and a dark top. BBC

Smoking is banned on all train platforms throughout the UK since July 2007. The two men were smoking, as apparently they did habitually: another regular commuter had seen the woman speak to them about this on Monday or Tuesday.

The woman was walking up the platform to catch a London-bound train. She passed the two men. Witnesses say there was a “scuffle”… (The Times) and they pushed her on to the railway line.

She missed the live third rail, 750 volts, by inches. The lone member of staff got the power turned off and pulled her from the line (The Telegraph), and she’s now in hospital with minor burns and a broken wrist, but the police are investigating this as attempted murder.

Now here’s some reactions to this from the British wingnuts on the Times website: (more…)

You cannot invite someone halfway in

This is (I hope) going to be the last post I write about Lambeth for a while. This one is inspired by an article, written by Henry Orombi (Archbishop of Uganda), published in Friday’s Times as Lambeth was drawing to a close. You can read the whole letter for yourself at the link.

Henry Orombi in The Times: “In every case, homosexual practice is considered sinful – something that breaks our relationship with God and harms our wellbeing. It is something for which one should repent and seek forgiveness and healing, which God is ever ready to do. Not only is Scripture to be taken seriously, but it is to be obeyed, because God intends for us things far better than we could ask or imagine.” “The Church cannot heal this crisis of betrayal”, 1st August 2008

MCC Manchester about a Ugandan refugee: “Prossy had been forced into an engagement when her family discovered her relationship with the girlfriend she met at university. Both women were marched two miles naked to the police station, where they were locked up.” – Prossy Kakooza Must Stay!

Henry Orombi about Prossy Kakooza: “Simply saying that the Christian faith that we practice, which was brought from the West, by the way, taught us what biblically sexuality is. We’ve embraced that faith, we are practicing that faith, and moving away from that faith would be a contradiction to what we have inherited. First of all our communities will not accept them because they will want to let them know that if that is your orientation you can come back to life.” GAFCON, 23rd June 2008

Jesus Christ: ” ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ – ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ – Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’” – Matthew 25, 43-45

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