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Monday, July 31, 2006

What would YOU say to her?

Major hat tip to PT Cruiser for this one. Second best laugh I've had all day! (Robert "Flash" Gordon over at Left of Centrist holds top honors for the day)

Coulter recently claimed that "Liberals want to rape me". Ann-dy, only if that will shut you up. And only if, like certain insects, we don't get our stinger back afterwards and are allowed to die immediately. Oh, and don't expect us to respect you in the morning. . if not already dead from stinger-loss, we'll be too busy puking our guts out and praying for blindness and dementia. And I just HAVE to quote Carlin on this one: "I wouldn't f*ck HER with a stolen dick"! (The proceeding quote was actually directed at Marilyn Quayle, but hey, what's the f*cking difference? I think I'd need a blindfold and alcohol poisoning for either one.)

Heeeyyyyyy. . .this bitter-assed hate-spewing stuff seems pretty easy to do. Oh wait, I guess that, once again, explains it all. . .I guess I'll continue to think for myself instead.

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Back Home Again in Indiana

Sabrina and Samantha with cousin Ian in Wisconsin:
I'm baaaack. Didja miss me? If you didn't know, we left early Saturday morning for a family reunion with my wife's relatives up in Wisconsin. The journey there was one of the smoother ones, Chicago is always the wild-card on this particular adventure. You either have to take it head-on or go way out of your way. My route of choice is I-90 via The Skyway. You can generally rip through there at 70-75 with no problems other than construction, and there was only one 2-3 mile stretch after downtown that was bogged down.

In past trips up there, I've always left on Saturday morning and we've returned after breakfast on Sunday. This never gives the wife much time to visit with everyone she wants to see. And, with moving last year and a busy schedule in general, we hadn't been up there in two years. So this time I took Monday off so we weren't so rushed. Worked out pretty well, but I did miss blogging! =)

On the way back home, we had planned a trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. This didn't work out due to how damned busy the place was and the insane parking situation. My choices were to shell out $15 to park for two hours, or walk nearly a mile with a 4 and 6 year old. We passed. We'll make this a weekend trip at some other time, and take in the museums and other sites at our leisure.

I hadn't visited my parents graves since Mom's death in '01. I had some issues. Anyways, I decided to stop, and was glad I did. Samantha was only 18 months old when I lost Mom, and Sabrina was six weeks from being born. Mom so desperately wanted to see Sabrina. She fought for her very life to make it that far, but couldn't. So they sort of met today for the first time. I spent some time cleaning up around their markers, and we took several pictures.

Sabrina, me, and Sam at Mom & Dad's graves in Kocsiusko:

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

A farmer named Clyde...

A farmer named Clyde had a car accident. In court, the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Clyde.

Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, "I'm fine" asked the lawyer?

Clyde responded, "Well, I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into the..."

"I didn't ask for any details", the lawyer interrupted. "Just answer the question? Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, "I'm fine!"?

Clyde said, "Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road...."

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Clyde's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie".

Clyde thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her groans. Shortly after the accident a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road, gun in hand, looked at me, and said "How are you feeling?"

“Now what the hell would you say?"

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Saturday, July 29, 2006



Constipated People Don't Give A crap.
If That Phone Was Up Your Butt, Maybe You Could Drive A Little Better.
To All You Virgins: Thanks For Nothing.
Impotence: Nature's Way Of Saying "No Hard Feelings".
If You Can Read This, I've Lost My Trailer.
Horn Broken... Watch For Finger.
The Earth Is Full - Go Home.
I Have The Body Of A God ... Buddha.
So Many Pedestrians - So Little Time.
Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult.
If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away?
Eat Right, Exercise, Die Anyway.
Illiterate? Write For Help.
Honk If Anything Falls Off.
Cover Me, I'm Changing Lanes.
He Who Hesitates Is Not Only Lost But Miles From The Next Exit.
I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person.
You! Out Of The Gene Pool Now!
I Do Whatever My Rice Krispies Tell Me To.
Fight Crime: Shoot Back!
If You Can Read This, Please Flip Me Back Over...
(Seen Upside Down On A Jeep)
Remember Folks: Stop Lights Timed For 35mph Are Also Timed For 70mph.
Guys: No Shirt, No Service. Gals: No Shirt, No Charge
If Walking Is So Good For You, Then Why Does My Mailman Look Like Jabba
The Hut?
Ax Me About Ebonics.
Body By Nautilus; Brain By Mattel.
Boldly Going Nowhere.
Caution - Driver Legally Blonde.
Heart Attacks ... God's Revenge For Eating His Animal Friends.
Honk If You've Never Seen An Uzi Fired From A Car Window.
How Many Roads Must A Man Travel Down Before He Admits He is Lost?
All Men Are Animals, Some Just Make Better Pets.
WANTED: Meaningful Overnight Relationship.
Your Proctologist Called.... He Found Your head.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

The Pastor's Ass

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.

The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.

This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN

The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10

This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read: " NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE. "

The bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is....being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery...and even shorten your life. So be yourself and enjoy life... Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer!

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Minimum wage increase tied to tax cuts

Well. . .here they go again. . .

Republican leaders are willing to allow the first minimum wage increase in a decade (from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, phased in over the next three years ) but only if it's coupled with a cut in future inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates. The plan would also renew several popular tax breaks, including a R&D credit for businesses, and deductions for college tuition and state sales taxes. The clear aim of this maneuver is to defuse the minimum wage issue as a campaign issue for Dems , while serving the base with the GOP's long-sought goal of permanently cutting taxes on millionaires' estates.

Democratic senators were quick to fire back:

"It's political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans.Members of Congress raised their own pay -- no strings attached. Surely, common decency suggests that minimum wage workers deserve the same respect."
- Sen. Edward Kennedy

"It's outrageous the Republican Congress can't simply help poor people without doing something for their wealthy contributors."
- Rep. Tim Ryan

The move comes after almost 50 rank-and-file Republican lawmakers pressed House leaders, who strongly oppose the wage hike and have thus far prevented a vote, to schedule the measure for debate. Democrats have been hammering away on the wage hike issue and have public opinion behind them. In a rare moment of clarity, Rep. Steve LaTourette(R-Ohio)who pushed for the bill, conceded that "We weren't going to be denied. How can you defend $5.15 an hour in today's economy?"

GOP leaders also excluded a measure popular with small businesses that would make it easier for small businesses and the self-employed to band together and buy health insurance plans for employees at a lower cost. Blasted as a "poison pill" by Democrats and labor unions, the small business health insurance bill exempts new "association health plans" from state regulations requiring insurers to cover treatments such as mental health and maternity care. And opponents fear they would offer inferior prescription drug benefits.

Congress last voted to increase the minimum wage during the hotly contested campaign year of 1996. A 40 hours per week job at minimum wage makes $10,700, which is below the poverty line for workers with families. Inflation has eroded the minimum wage's buying power to the lowest level in about 50 years. Yet lawmakers have won cost-of-living wage increases totaling about $35,000 for themselves over that time.

Democrats have made increasing the wage a pillar of their campaign platform and are pushing to raise the wage to $7.25 per hour over two years. In June, the Republican controlled Senate refused to raise the minimum wage, rejecting a proposal from Democrats. It's long been clear that there is wide support for the wage increase in the House, but Republican leaders have a general policy of bringing legislation to the floor only if it has support from a majority of Republicans. Perhaps one-fourth of House Republicans support the wage increase.

Repubican lawmakers fear being pounded with 30-second campaign ads over the August recess that would tie Congress' upcoming $3,300 pay increase with Republicans' refusal to raise the minimum wage. As well they should. . .

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

This could be someone you know. . .

I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday.

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didnt have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends im a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.

I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die
because two straight men wanted to "teach me a lesson"


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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

America - Freedom to Fascism New Trailer

16 minute trailer to share with everyone you know.
America Freedom to Fascism will open as a mainstream theatrical release on July 28.
We need to pack the theatres where it shows with lines around the block.
The power they understand is the Power of BoxOffice.

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Oil Change?

Click on the Jiffy Lube logo below for an enlightening report from KNBC - Los Angeles:

Yet another good reason to change your own motor oil, or at least invest in some spy cams. . .

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Congress vs Bush

Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue the president in federal court. "We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will ... authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional,"

Specter's announcement came on the same day that an ABA task force concluded that by lodging more than 800 challenges to laws passed by Congress, Bush has sidestepped his constitutional duty to either sign a bill, veto it, or take no action. The statements reserve the right to revise, interpret or disregard laws on national-security and constitutional grounds as he sees fit.

White House lapdog and former Faux News "reporter" Tony Snow said signing statements "are not intended to allow the administration to ignore the law. A great many of those signing statements may have little statements about questions about constitutionality, It never says, 'We're not going to enact the law.'"

No, Tony, you're not. You're merely trying to create a unitary executive branch. And, I might add, with quite possibly the weakest executive in the history of our country in that position. But, as I'm sure your handlers have explained to you, THAT is a plus. Can't have the puppet talking back, now can we? Especially when the puppet speaks so eloquently when his strings aren't attached. . .

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Today's Quote

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

- James Bovard

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Cheney's "Clean Break" strategy

Or "All is now going according to plan":

The notorious policy paper, "A Clean Break: New Strategy for Securing the Realm," was presented to Benjamin Netanyahu when he became Israeli Prime Minister in 1996. Its authors included Richard Perle, former DoD official Douglas Feith, and neo-con fanatics David and Meyrav Wurmser. That document called for a "clean break from the slogan 'comprehensive peace' to a traditional balance of power." Indeed, it urged Israel to "seize the initiative along its northern border," against Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, including "striking at select targets in Syria proper".

Netanyahu came back from his June 17-18 meeting with Cheney and announced that Israel must reject any form of negotiations with the Palestinians, and instead reassert its military "deterrence." This policy has been embraced by Israeli PM Olmert, who enjoys many of the same U.S. financial backers as Netanyahu.

The Palestinian militants June 25 capture of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the Gaza Strip, served as a pretext to launch Netanyahu's policy of "rebuilding Israel's deterrence" against the Palestinians, by destroying Hamas. After rejecting political negotiations with the Hamas government of Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyah, as well as President Abu Mazen, the Gaza Strip was reoccupied, and chunks of its infrastructure were destroyed, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe.

Now a second front has been opened on the Israel-Lebanon border. Contrary to media reports, Hezbollah members did not cross into Israeli territory to "kidnap" two Israeli soldiers, as the media spin claims. The captured Israeli soldiers were part of a group patrolling inside Lebanese territory. Like Shalit, their capture became a pretext to launch a large military operation against Hezbollah. Surprisingly, the high-alert status that the northern border had been under since the capture of Shalit three weeks ago, was lifted only three days prior to the Hezbollah capture of two Israeli soldiers.

According to a July 13th report in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israel's military had approved a plan for a major exercise along the Israeli-Lebanese border, based on a scenario of a Hezbollah capture of Israeli solders, after which Israel would respond with a heavy air and land assault into southern Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah. It is this plan which is now being carried out. Israel has begun to mobilize its reserves, including a full division, to be deployed on the already heavily fortified northern border.

The Israeli military has similar contingency plans for a strike against Syria. These plans have been the basis of exercises for the last two to three years. While Israel has bombed targets in Beirut and put the entire country under siege, Hezbollah forces have hailed rockets into northern Israeli towns. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has declared that the Israeli soldiers will be released only in an exchange of prisoners.

The conflict is now vectored to escalate and spread to Syria. Israel's intention to attack Syria and Iran has been mooted by several Bush's toadies who blamed Syria and Iran. Bush himself, during his massaging of meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 13, declared "Israel has a right to self-defense.

The most obvious proof that BushCo wants a new war does not lie in it's bellicose statements against Iran, Syria, Hamas, or Hezbollah, but in the fact that it has not lifted a finger to stop, or even mediate the crisis. Through it's so-called UN Ambassador, the non-confirmable neo-con zealot John Bolton, BushCo is even preventing the issue from being brought before the UNSecurity Council.

Be assured that BushCo will most likely continue this course, and attack Iran as an "October surprise", unless they decide to pull Bin Laden out of wherever they already know he is. But, since their Mideast plan is now dead on track, Osama is most likely still someone they "don't spend alot of time on". . .

With our troops already stretched way past "thin", look for tactical nuclear strikes against Iran just before the 2006 elections. That's my prediction; I pray that I am wrong.

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Creative Grilling

How to cook your sausage:

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18 Tricks to Teach Your Body

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.

When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

2. Experience supersonic hearing!

If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.

3. Overcome your most primal urge!

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" video.

4. Feel no pain!

German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

5. Clear your stuffed nose!

Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.

6. Fight fire without water!

Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Star-poli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity's in your favor.

7. Cure your toothache without opening your mouth!

Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

8. Make burns disappear!

When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

9. Stop the world from spinning!

One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

10. Unstitch your side!

If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

11. Stanch blood with a single finger!

Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed—if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums—just behind that small dent below your nose—and press against it, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

12. Make your heart stand still!

Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

13. Thaw your brain!

Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. "Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too," says Abo. "In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache." The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

14. Prevent near-sightedness!

Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. "It's usually caused by near-point stress." In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles—like the eyes—into relaxing as well.

15. Wake the dead!

If your hand falls asleep while you're driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It'll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don't let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

16. Impress your friends!

Next time you're at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He'll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that's a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will fold like a house of cards. By misaligning his hips, you've offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body's ability to resist.

17. Breathe underwater!

If you're dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first—essentially, hyperventilate. When you're underwater, it's not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it's the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin' ain't right. "When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity," says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. "This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen." It'll buy you up to 10 seconds.

18. Read minds!

Your own! "If you're giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep," says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Flow Through

Now THAT'S an impressive bidet!

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Bull meets Bush

And be sure to check out the state of Connecticut's "welcome message", courtest of Bilerico!

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

More Major Moves, Different Domain

Leroy Walters has survived many threats against the farm that has been in his family for 120 years — droughts, hailstorms, tornadoes, grasshopper attacks. But the latest danger on the horizon is a man-made one. A man-made danger that that will seem eerily familiar to most Hoosiers: a colossal, 600-mile superhighway carved through the heart of Texas, and leased to a foreign entity (Cintra-Zachry of Spain). The proposed road may cut right through Walters' sorghum and corn fields, obliterating the family's houses and robbing his grandchildren of their land."I don't think they're going to want to pay a toll to go across this land," he said. "They want to enjoy it free, as Texans should enjoy it."

That kind of fear and anger among farmers and other landowners across the Texas countryside could become a political problem for Republican Gov. Rick Perry as he runs for re-election in November. Perry proposed the Trans Texas Corridor in 2002, envisioning a combined toll road and rail system that would whisk traffic along a megahighway stretching from the Oklahoma line to Mexico.

The Oklahoma-to-Mexico stretch would be just the first link in a 4,000-mile, $184 billion network. The corridors would be up to a quarter-mile across, consisting of as many as six lanes for cars and four for trucks, plus railroad tracks, oil and gas pipelines, water and other utility lines, and broadband cables. The exact route for the cross-Texas corridor has yet to be determined, though it will probably be somewhere within a 10-mile-wide swath running parallel to Interstate 35. Whatever course it takes, it is clear many farmers and property owners will lose their land, though they will be compensated by the state. Construction could begin by 2010.

The opposition comes in several forms: Some see it as an assault on private property rights; some object to putting the project in foreign hands (it will be built and operated by a U.S.-Spanish consortium); and some see the project as an affront to open government because part of the contract with Cintra-Zachry is secret.

Of Perry's major opponents — Democrat Chris Bell and independents Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman — Strayhorn has stirred the most fury. At campaign stops she calls the plan the "Trans Texas Catastrophe," a "$184 billion boondoggle" and a "land grab" of historic proportions. She refers to Perry's appointees on the transportation commission as "highway henchmen." She lets loose with Texas-twanged jabs at the contract with the "foreign" Cintra-Zachry. "Texans want the Texas Department of Transportation, not the European Department of Transportation," she says, often to loud applause, whoops and hollers.

Cintra-Zachry is paying $7.2 billion to develop the first segment. For that, it will get to operate the road and collect tolls for years to come. It is part of a growing privatization trend among conservatives in the United States as we Hoosiers are already painfully aware of.

Despite a state attorney general's ruling that the Cintra-Zachry contract be made public, the Perry administration has gone to court to prevent the disclosure of what is says is proprietary information. "We don't know for sure whether this is a concept that we can endorse or not because we have not seen it," complained Mayor Will Lowrance of Hillsboro, a town of 8,200 people 55 miles south of Dallas. "I happen to still believe in the open records law in Texas." Hill County Judge Kenneth Davis, who like Lowrance is a conservative Democrat supporting Strayhorn, agreed with Lowrance and added: "If we're going to build a highway in Texas, let's build it with Texas money, not a foreign company's money."

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You Tell Me. . .

It's "Make Your Own Caption Day" again here at Left in Aboite. Have at it!

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Jack Warden dies at 85

Oscar-nominated character actor Jack Warden, best known for starring alongside Warren Beatty in "Shampoo" and "Heaven Can Wait," died Wednesday at the age of 85. His longtime business manager, Sidney Pazoff, said the veteran character actor had retired in New York several years ago and had been suffering from medical problems in recent years.

Warden appeared in dozens of films and won an Emmy award as football coach George Halas in the 1971 TV movie "Brian's Song". His characters were often tough and gruff but also had a soft heart.

He won Oscar nominations for best supporting actor in the Beatty vehicles "Shampoo" in 1975, playing the businessman Lester, and "Heaven Can Wait" in 1978, as Beatty's trainer. Warden appeared again with Beatty in "Bulworth" in 1998. His other roles included playing the president of the United States opposite an idiot savant played by Peter Sellers in 1979's "Being There" and roles in the Woody Allen movies "Mighty Aphrodite" in 1995 and "Bullets Over Broadway" in 1994. Warden also played Paul Newman 's law partner in "The Verdict" in 1982, a Washington Post news editor in "All the President's Men" in 1976 and the barracks-mate of Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra in the Oscar-winning "From Here to Eternity" in 1953.

Born John Lebzelter in Newark, New Jersey, Warden boxed professionally under the name Johnny Costello. Later, as a U.S. Army paratrooper who missed the Normandy invasion due to a broken leg from a training exercise, Warden turned to acting after World War Two with the help of the G.I. Bill's education benefits, and took his father's middle name as his stage name, joining the Dallas Alley Theater in 1947.

His breakthrough film role came in "Twelve Angry Men" in 1957, when he played a disinterested juror who wanted a quick conviction. That led to a prolific television career in the 1960s. Aside from his role in "Heaven Can Wait", my fondest memory or Mr.Warden is of his dual role in the 1980 comedy "Used Cars". I know that he would laugh at my hope that he isn't buried in an Edsel. Whether you just laughed or not depends on your familiarity with the aforementioned film.

Jack, I thank you for the many laughs you gave us over the span of your career. I'm sure that there is laughter throughout Heaven as I write this tribute to your time among us mortals down here.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

25 Things You Should Have Learned by Middle Age

1. If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Don't worry about what people think; they don't do it very often.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

4. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.

5. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

25. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried.

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Today's Helpful Hint

Okay, I know. You've been driving cars for years and you aren't a MO-ron. You know how to adjust your mirrors. Turns out, maybe not. . .

How to adjust your mirrors.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

(W)rong Again

Bush has once again gone against the wishes of the majority to serve his own narrow, misinformed views and throw some "red meat" to his dwindling base. The following is a poll taken today by AOL:

Should federal aid be expanded
for embryonic stem cell research?

Yes 83%
No 17%

Total Votes: 17,049

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was quick to criticize the president's veto. "I am pro-life, but I disagree with the president's decision to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," said Frist. "Given the potential of this research and the limitations of the existing lines eligible for federally funded research, I think additional lines should be made available."

"To reduce this issue to an abortion issue is a horrible injustice to 100 million Americans suffering the ravages of diabetes, spinal cord paralysis, heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, cancer, MS [multiple sclerosis], Lou Gehrig's disease and other fatal, debilitating diseases," said Rep. Jim Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican.

"What could be more pro-life than working for a cure for a loved one?" asked Rep. James Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat, another of the bill's 200 co-sponsors, who suffered a spinal cord injury at age 16 and cannot walk.

Stem cell research has been touted by scientists as a possible step toward finding cures for diseases and afflictions including Alzheimer's, cancer and paralysis. Supporters point out there are embryos in fertility clinics that would never be used to create babies, but could be used for research purposes. These embryos are termed as "medical waste" and are routinely discarded.

I fail to understand how using these cells for research into cures for people who suffer from maladies which cause them suffering, lowered quality of life, and shortened lifespans is "taking the moral high road". But, then again, my personal range of views isn't nearly as narrow as those of our grand leader. This "Christian president" has once again failed to consider WWJD.

Click HERE to view Senator Bayh's statement on this bill.

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Bush, GOP resurrect plans to sell off US port operations to Dubai Cronies

In an explosive report today, top House Democrats discovered provisions in the controversial Oman Free Trade Agreement that would permit foreign ownership of U.S. ports and other key national security assets. Three Democrats and one Republican held an emergency press conference today to expose the provisions just before the House is scheduled to vote on the Oman pact on Thursday.

As Reuters reports, "Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who serves on the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said the pact would allow companies such as Dubai Ports World to acquire U.S. port operations by establishing a shell company in Oman."Those provisions might also allow foreign ownership of other key national security assets, considering just after the recent Dubai Ports controversy, that country went ahead with plans to purchase a major U.S. defense contractor.

Last month, lawmakers from both parties in the U.S. Senate joined hands to pass the Oman Free Trade Agreement - which is being pushed aggressively by the Bush administration and its largest corporate donors. Lawmakers ignored major labor, human rights and environmental objections to the pact put forward by more than 400 union, religious and consumer groups. Among those voting for the pact in the Senate were Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), two Senators facing tough re-election bids who could face renewed criticism in their home states that they have sold out their constituents.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

No Free Rides from Lebanon

Trapped in Beirut? Uncle Sam can get you out! You want to get out of the war zone that Lebanon is fast becoming? No problem, but I hope you have your wallet handy.

In a message to American citizens trapped in Lebanon, the U.S. Embassy's website
reads: "The Department of State reminds American citizens that the U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation." For those unfortunate enough to be weathering the bombing and also have empty pockets, the government offers a "repatriation loan" - citizens will get a bill once they land safely in the States.

This is in stark contrast to Canada, which
advises its citizens that "All costs related to the evacuation of Canadians citizens from Lebanon will be borne by the Government of Canada."

People trapped there, of course, have little other recourse for evacuation, since the airport and major roads have been bombed. Fortunately for some of them, other nations such as France aren't being selective about victim's nationality, and are rescuing all.

More on this story from USA Today

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Late-Nite Roundup

"A lot of trouble in the Middle East right now between Lebanon and Israel. ... Last night Israel bombed the runways at Beirut's airport, putting a stop on all flights in and out. So I'm sorry everybody, you're just gonna have to cancel that relaxing weekend getaway to Beirut." --Conan O'Brien

"It's been a very busy and somewhat disturbing day throughout the world. President Bush was overseas in Germany as events unfolded. Here is his press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany where he wasted no time addressing the many troubling developments [on screen: Bush saying, 'I'm looking forward to the feast you're going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig']. He may have the honor of slicing the pig? I'm just going to assume that is some euphemism for solving the Middle East crisis" --Jon Stewart

"President Bush had a phone conversation with the astronauts aboard the space shuttle. The odd thing is President Bush was the only one wearing a space helmet." --Conan O'Brien

"Evidently, low approval ratings can be contracted through saliva." --Stephen Colbert, on the effect of President Bush kissing Joe Lieberman

"At a joint press conference with President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a 'de-escalation of Mid-East violence.' Later, Bush called for both sides to 'de-angrify' and 'de-hurt' each other." -Conan O'Brien

"Homeland Security expects to have a new warning system in place by the end of the year that will warn you of a national emergency on your cell phone. They will call you on your cell phone if we are under attack or there's a tornado or there's a hurricane. Of course the important question for most Americans -- 'Does that use up our minutes?'" -Jay Leno

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Public Opinion vs GOP Congress

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How to Pre-empt a November Surprise

From columnist Mark Miller:

If the GOP should lose the House and/or the Senate on Election Day, they will pick out a handful of the "closest" races--as many as they need to hang on to majority control--and start to scream like hell about ELECTION FRAUD.

That's right: the major perpetrators of such fraud will cast themselves as victims of the very crime that put them where they are, and charge the Democrats with having used the very tactics that the Bush Republicans have now perfected: legal/bureaucratic disenfranchisement, e-voting manipulation, hostile challenges to would-be voters, covert efforts at disinformation, countless ballots thrown away, and so on.

This is what we'll hear non-stop from Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter; Hastert, Boehner, Sensenbrenner, Graham and Coburn; even Bush and Cheney and Karl Rove himself.

This, of course, is how the Busheviks routinely operate; and yet I'm basing this prediction not just on their history as war-propagandists, but on the blunt admission of a certain high-placed GOP insider, who recently told Thom Hartmann that this is the party's plan, if they should lose control of either side of Congress.

It's very easy to imagine such a plan succeeding, with the party's Mighty Propaganda Wurlitzer ahowl day after day, night after night, with all its stops pulled out; and with the mainstream press too busy being "balanced" to point out the truth (and no doubt piously harrumphing that such dirty deeds have surely been committed "on both sides"); and with the Democrats, as ever, playing feeble defense, fighting back too little and too late when they ought to have been out there slugging all along.

In other words, the Bush Republicans will certainly succeed--unless the Democrats, and others to their left, start working to pre-empt that strategy right now. The only way to foil that plan is to define the conflict truthfully and clearly, and to begin to do it now. However low the Bush regime may sink in the opinion polls, the Democrats, and all the rest of us, are simply cooked, if they do not stand up like vertebrates, and speak as patriots, and tell the nation the unpleasant truth: that these BushRepublicans are where they are today because they have committed vast election fraud, in 2000, and in 2002, and in 2004; and that they lately have committed it again in San Diego, and have more planned in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsyvania, California and Virginia, andwherever else they have the system rigged, whether at the state or county leved. In short, it's time to cut the crap, stop worrying about the epithet "sore losers" (the Republicans would never let that stop them), and trot out all the evidence that the Establishment has thus far largely waved away.

Right now, for example, the Democrats ought to be raising holy hell about the growing evidence of fraud in San Diego. What's more, they have to set the record straight about Christine Gregoire's 2004 election as the governor of Washington. It is now gospel on the right--and very often hinted in the mainstream--that Gregoire robbed Dino Rossi of his rightful victory. The tales to that effect are everywhere, and yet the Democrats have made no effort to correct them. We've heard all about that crucial little bunch of pro-Gregoire votes that appeared as if by magic right at the eleventh hour; but we have heard nothing of the thousands of pro-Rossi votes, in both Snohomish and Yakima Counties, that were concocted through the DRE machines.

The American people ought to hear about those phantom votes. And if, in fact, the Democrats did cut some corners in that race, they ought to say so, and atone for it, so as to drive home the essential point that the Republicans stole many more. The system is indeed corrupt, and both sides have committed fraud--but, since 2000, only one side has repeatedly and vastly disenfranchised the American electorate. While neither party is republican or democratic, there is only one side that cannot succeed without subverting the electoral process. The Democrats (or those of them who actually support Americandemocracy) should say it loud and clear; for even it it means that they too must come clean, it will be better for them in the long run; and in any case a thorough cleansing is exactly what this filthy system needs.

Unless the Democrats speak out right now, the GOP will manage to co-opt the issue of election fraud--by playing, as ever, on the perennial fear of foreign "terrorism." Specifically, the party will augment the sturdy myth of rampant Democratic "voter fraud" by linking it to the resurgent threat of those dark-skinned "illegals" scurrying across our southern border. Sequoia, the smallest of the three top vendors of e-voting machinery, is now owned by a Venezuelan company, and Hugo Chavez's party uses its machines to count the Venezuelan vote. That fact will be used to limn a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy-involving Chavez, Lopez Obrador, John Conyers, Rahm Emanuel, Michael Moore, George Soros, Barbara Streisand, Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton and al Qaeda--to trash American democracy and thereby force the Bush Republicans from power.

That paranoid scenario depends, of course, on a complete inversion of the truth: Sequoia's product, just like the machines from Diebold and ES&S, helped the Republicans to score their startling "re-election" victory in 2004. For instance, the party used Sequoia DRE machines to hype the Rossi vote in those two counties in Washington. (The evidence was so compelling that the state will now no longer use Sequoia's wares.) And yet that inconvenient fact can be erased quite easily by the GOP's terrific army of professional liars, who will keep lividly implying that Sequoia was a weapon in the Democratic plot to sieze power in Olympia. And that Big Lie also will succeed, unless the Democrats speak out against it now.

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Fireworks Survey Results

Regarding Indiana's new law allowing full use of fireworks by the public, what are your feelings on this issue?

Repeal it, Keep things as they were before. 7% (2)

I support the new law, let's keep it. 7% (2)

I support the new law, but restrictions are needed. 25% (7)

I feel all fireworks should be illegal. 50% (14)

Other? Enter here... 11% (3)

Total: 28 responses

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

North Korean Negotiations

I just had to post this, but felt that a disclaimer was required: As far as we know here at Left in Aboite, Kim Jong-il is not actually attracted to other men. Not that we care either way. . .but we feel that he could do much better.

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A Little Straight Talk for the GOP

By Nancy Greggs (With thanks to Kvatch for tipping me to this)

So I hear you people have your knickers in a twist over this flag-draped coffin ad thing, and to be perfectly honest with you, I am beginning to see why.

By using the image of dead soldiers in their campaign ads, it looks like the Democrats are trying to steal your thunder, doesn’t it? Looks to all the world like THEY’RE trying to take credit for all of YOUR hard work.

It’s not like you didn’t contribute to those casualties, what with not insisting that every soldier have proper body armor, helmet inserts, and communications equipment that actually works when they’re out in harm’s way. And now these Dem pikers come along and try to steal all the glory that rightfully belongs to you.

Yeah, I gotta agree with you on this one; this is pretty low. I mean, what are those shameless Democrats gonna do next? Maybe produce some of those Swiftboat-type commercials, where they just out-and-out lie about good Republicans who didn’t mean to take those bribes and got railroaded into prison? Honest to Pete, you’d think some people would have a sense of decorum when it comes to political discourse.

So let me tell you what I’m going to do to make it up to you. I’ve got a few good ideas that can help you turn this thing around.

First off, why don’t YOU run your own ads with caskets representing the dead. Of course, you’re going to have to limit it to just US military deaths, because if you start adding in all of those Iraqi casualties – well, you’re gonna need a bigger screen.

So you have all of these caskets lined up, and on each one of them you have a little sticker that says “Brought to you by the Republican Party” – now, how’s THAT for marketing genius? Let the American people know who REALLY gets the credit here, right?

Now, you’ve got to follow this up with more ads, just so there’s no doubt about who’s who in this war game, right? How about an ad with the eighteen-and-over kids and grandkids of Republican senators, congressmen, administration types – you get the idea – showing them NOT in uniform. This conveys the unmistakable message that even though YOU don’t have any kids serving on the front lines, that doesn’t mean you don’t empathize with the folks that do! And if you could have them dress up in those preppie-type uniforms from expensive private schools, all the better! I’m telling you, I’m even impressing myself here.

You could do a series of individual photo ads, too – like a GOP elected official standing in front of limo with a “Support the Troops” sticker on the bumper, with the message: “Mr./Ms. GOP So-and-So smiling proudly after having voted to slash military pensions and benefits yet again!”

Or maybe a video ad of one of you walking down a busy DC street, where you see a homeless vet and you stop and drop a quarter into his tin cup? Voice-over: “Who says the Republican party doesn’t care about the troops?”

Like we used to say back on the block, “If that don’t get it, it ain’t in town.”

Listen, I‘ve got lots of great ideas – this is just the tip of the ol’ Titanic-sized iceberg. So have your girl call my girl. We’ll pencil in some time to chew the fat, and get you guys back on track with this thing, okay?

Hey, don’t thank me. It’s the least I can do. Because when it comes to keeping our military safe and secure, you’ve shown the absolute least YOU can do time and time again.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Who's Afraid of Who?

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Imperial Measures

I discovered this amazing video via Mary's blog. She linked to it via Scottish blogger Thumping the Tub. Enjoy.

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Literal Leviticus

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. For example, when someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

However, I do need some advice from you regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

1. 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?

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 uncleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed 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?

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?

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?

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, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Today's Comic Quotes

President Bush says we should be patient with North Korea and use diplomacy and not rush into any kind of military action. So you know what that means? No oil over there! - Jay Leno

"The security of the world is threatened by Kim Jong-Il, a nerdy pompadour, platform shoe wearer who looks like something you would put on the end of your child's pencil." - Jon Stewart

"President Bush announced that the federal deficit is actually $296 billion less than originally forecast. It's less, yeah. The president credits low unemployment, high job growth, and the fact that he did the math himself." - Conan O'Brien

"Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was in Afghanistan today where he promised to defeat the Taliban. Didn't we do that already? He's also sworn we will soon capture Saddam Hussein." - Jimmy Kimmel

"Earlier last week the leftist candidate was declared the winner in the Mexican presidential election. Then after the recount, the conservative candidate was named president. Apparently, they had some problem with the ballots. They had what they called 'Hanging Juans.'" - Jay Leno

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Daily RoundUp

Robert reports on a "total lack of respect for the law". Campaign laws and festival rules at the minmum. "Just-a Good Ol' Boys. . ."

Kvatch weighs in on the future state of telecommunications. Or, as Men At Work might say it, "Who's texting ME now"? G I wish I new. . .

Mary delivers wonderful news for our great country! Oh wait, it was just a dream?
I'll have what she had. . .

The PT Cruiser signs in with a "super-sized" proclomation. Some guys throw rocks from overpasses;
this guy throws peace from them.

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Homeland Security Ranks Indiana As State With Most Terror Targets...

The Department of Homeland Security released a report Tuesday on its own National Asset Database, a resource the New York Times called "flawed." "Now we know why the Homeland Security grant formula came out as wacky as it was," said New York Senator Charles Schumer, referencing the truncated anti-terrorist funds that New York and Washington, D.C. received this year. Among other scarcely believable designations, the database ranks Indiana as the state with the greatest number of terrorist targets.

"Maybe because popcorn explodes?" said the owner of the Amish Popcorn Company in Berne, Indiana by way of explanation as to why his business might have been included in the list of potential terrorist targets. Other unlikely targets in the database were the Mule Day Parade, Old MacDonald's Petting Farm, Nix's Check Cashing, and an unspecified "Beach at End of a Street." The Department of Homeland Security was unapologetic about the seemingly absurd classifications. While some low-level officials admitted the information was out of date, the department's deputy press secretary maintained, "We don't find it embarrassing...The list is a valuable tool."

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Eric Schwartz Video

This one aint office-friendly or G-rated, folks! Nods Out to Dusty for the link!

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Fireworks Fallout

Many people have voiced concerns over the recent change to Indiana's fireworks laws. The overwhelming majority appear to oppose the changes allowing the sale and legal discharge of all fireworks to the general public, even though this was typically done in the past through the "signed waiver" process. For those of you who are from out of state or have been living in a cave, Indiana residents could purchase illegal/out-of-state fireworks by signing a waiver stating that they will "not discharge them inside the State of Indiana", which was still illegal to do. This law was widely ignored by citizens and law enforcement officials.

Today's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette posted an entire page of
letters to the editor in opposition to the new law.

The administrator of The
Fort Wayne Forum has expressed his disapproval on that site as well.

Now we'd like to hear your opinion. ou will find a new online poll on this issue in the sidebar to the right. Please vote and let us know how you feel about this law.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Shrub's first veto?

President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. "The president is emphatic about this,"said Karl Rove .

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. If the Senate approves the bill it would go to the president's desk. Rove said that he believes the legislation will pass the Senate with more than 60 votes this month, "and as a result the president would, as he has previously said emphatically, veto the Castle bill." "It is something we would, frankly, like to avoid," Rove said when asked if the White House would welcome, or dread, vetoing legislation passed by a Republican Congress, especially on so emotional an issue as embryonic stem cell

"I'm appalled that Bush would use the first veto of his presidency to veto a bill that could help 110 million people and their families," DeGette said today after being informed of Rove's remarks.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Terror Mis-Alerts?

Some of my fellow patriots have some very interesting posts up about the recent "terror alerts".

POP over at Morning Martini dishes about "I'm a Dick" Cheney's One-Percent Doctrine. Be sure to take the time to read through the comments on this one!

Dusty out on the Left Coast gives us the true details on the "foiled Holland Tunnel plot". She lists Raw Story as the source of much of this report, which is a revealing piece to say the least.

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Indiana SVRS Site

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Quotable Hunter S. Thompson

"He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer. I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing. He had no humor. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him. But when he passed out in my bathtub, then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away."
-Hunter S. Thompson on meeting George W Bush at Thompson's Super Bowl party in Houston in 1974

"Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous 'trickle-down' theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow 'trickle down' to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to pre industrial America, when only white male property owners could vote."
- Hunter S. Thompson

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

TRF Parade

Click HERE for TRF's home page!

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Ft.Wayne "Signature Gateway"

The city of Fort Wayne unveiled these two prototypes for the replacement span across the St.Mary's River in Headwaters Park yesterday. The new span, part of a three-phase project to improve traffic flow and aesthetics, is to serve as a "signature gateway" to Headwaters Park and downtown Fort Wayne. Senator Bayh has secured $4 million to supplement the estimated $8-9 million project.

Option "A" (shown above)would place twin pedestrian bridges on either side of a new span. Option "B" (shown right) would be a truss style bridge with wide pedestrains sidewalks on both sides. Either option would be a grand improvement over the current bland concrete span with it's narrow sidewalks.

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Today's Laugh

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will Judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They e-mailed.

They e-mailed with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets!

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did some genealogy reports

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curseword known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:

"It's gone! It's all GONE! "I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate.

"Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said,


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Thursday, July 06, 2006

A time to act. . .NOW!

As the 2006 election looms nearer each day, there are a number of points that we need to focus on. Points that we need to be talking to everyone about. Points that demonstrate just how critical the 2006 vote is to our future. Call these "Democratic Talking Points" if you will. Call them a pastrami on rye if you wish, but please. . .talk about them. I encourage you to add to this list as you see fit. . .


  • The Iraq Quagmire has now lasted nearly as long as WW II, with no credible plan for victory and no end in sight. This administration, and it's GOP congressional supporters still refuse to acknowledge the destruction and chaos that their failed leadership has caused.

  • While Bush obsessed over Saddam Hussein and misled us into this endless war, America's most dangerous enemy and the architect of 911, Osama Bin Laden, still walks freely in the world and continues to mock us. Bush "Just doesn't spend that much time on him" to coin an actual quote from The Misleader.

  • 10 months after the disastrous failure of FEMA and "Brownie" to the citizens of Louisiana, a new hurricane season has begun, with FEMA still in disarray and our preperations no better than last year.

  • The Republican Congress still continues to march in lockstep with this administration's domestic and foreign policy outrages. They have become accomplices to all of the cover-ups and assaults on the courts and our civil liberties.

  • Bush's mean-spirited 2007 budget cuts $15 billion from school aid. He leaves 5 million children behind, despite his solemn promise to leave NO child behind.

  • Corporations that send jobs overseas have been rewarded. More emphasis has been placed on tax cuts for Bush's corporate friends than for investment in jobs here at home. Some will attempt to tell you that unemployment has decreased. These delusional folk are not factoring in the people who stopped collecting unemployment and gave up, or were forced to take a minimum wage job to have some income.

  • Health Care for 53 million low-income Americans has been slashed by this administration. Children, the elderly, and the disabled have all had their coverage shamefully cut back.

  • Bush and his rubber-stamp Congress have wasted a record budget surplus and turned it into a record new deficit! In 5 years, Bush turned a trillion dollar surplus into a trillion dollar deficit that will burden our kids for generations. Yet he still wants more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. So much for the party of fiscal conservativism. When Democrats spend money, they pay for it as they go!

  • Our air and water have been poisoned by the repeal of key provisions in our environmental protection laws. Our national parks and other treasures of nature are in jeopardy.

  • We have alienated not only crucial allies, but most of the planet, while increasing recruitment for terrorists by our own reckless acts against other sovereign nations. We have become the "Ugly Americans" thanks to "cowboy diplomacy".

We MUST turn the tide by electing a Democratic Congress this year. While a number or Republican congressmen have begun to distance themselves from Bush, it's too little, too late. The supported him through all of his misguided agenda, and are merely looking out for their own hides in an election year.

What will transpire if we don't change things NOW?

Will they take us into another war, in Iran or North Korea?

Will they continue to rape the poor and middle class to fatten the uber-wealthy?

Will they continue their deficit spending and saddle our kids and their kids with debt for generations to come?

Will they continue to destroy the environment, to the point where an irreversible change occurs?

Will they continue to destroy educational opportunities for all but the wealthy?

This is the time for all true patriots to rise up and defend their country from the attacks that have come from within her very soul. It was once said that America could never be destroyed by a foreign power, if destroyed. .the act would come from within. Ladies and Gents, you are witnessing that TODAY! It is not enough to complain about the state of things as they are. We are now at a true "Boston Tea Party" moment here, folks. Inaction is NOT an option. If we do not act now, then when? If WE do not act, then WHO? Your very country is at stake. . .

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Laugh of the Day

Airline cabin announcements

Having recently experienced "discount airline" travel, I laugh along with you at these. . .

All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have.

4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"

5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

8. >From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa.. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City the flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the Passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."

20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

21. A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine."

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Indiana is now NUMBER 1!

. . in the percentage of high school dropouts in the nation.

According to the 2006 Kids Count Data Book, 13% of Hoosiers between the ages of 16 and 19 were high school dropouts in 2004, ranking us at 50th in the nation. Neighboring Ohio ranked 13th with a 6% dropout rate for the same age category.

While dropout rates nationally have decreased by 3% between 2000 and 2004, Indiana's rate has remained flat. This trend doesn't reflect the countywide numbers here in Northeast Indiana, where most counties saw decreases in the dropout rate between 1996 and 2004.

Read more on this
here in today's Journal Gazette.

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Today's Quote

We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.

-Jeremy Irons

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sponsor a Missile

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A Modern-Day Declaration of Independence

Contributed by Dave Lambert

As Citizens of this Nation we are confronted with due cause to reject the stratagem of this present administration. An account of these causes must be clearly declared so that the people of the Earth will understand how it is that loyal patriots can stand against the policies of their own administrating government.

We believe in liberty and we believe in justice, just as we insist on security. We believe in liberty for ourselves as an absolute necessity for our happiness. We accept that, as we would have liberty for ourselves, we would, through the recognition of empathy, advocate liberty for others. This goal of universal liberty is inherent in our concept of justice.

Further, an only national, or otherwise limited, liberty threatens the security of our liberty by creating an imbalance among the people of the Earth. Liberty. Justice. Security. Citizens of this nation must, as an obligation to their commitment to liberty, justice and security, demand of their government a reciprocal commitment.

Governments cannot be allowed to dictate to its citizens a self-serving doctrine. If a citizenry finds their government is subverting their ideals and intents, it remains for them, the citizens, to put aside that government. Governments cannot be allowed to fail to fulfill these, their constituents' expectations. If a citizenry finds their government ineffectual it is incumbent on them, the citizens, to put that government aside.

This administration, under George Bush, has proved itself to be either unwilling or unable to fulfill its responsibilities to protect its citizens' liberty or to recognize the imperative of justice. This negligence or inability has been exacerbated by this administration's peculation of the resources of this nation for its own international schemes.

To prove these allegations let the following facts be considered: This administration has sought to restrict, compromise and frustrate the constitutional rights of its citizens though legislative acts that allow secret surveillance of its citizens and coerced acquiescence of that secrecy by fellow citizens.

This administration has sought to create new and oppressive laws to imprison without trial, to deprive freedom without representation and to inflict cruel and unusual conditions in colonial camps on those who fall victim to those laws.

This administration has sought to deny non-citizens the same judiciary protections as citizens. Rights due to them by virtue of our common humanity.

This administration has sought the prerogative to put to death detainees without the due process of law established by our constitution.

This administration has sought to deny its citizens the right to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to other countries' people.

This George has failed his fiduciary responsibilities by excessively indebting this nation through tax dissolutions in combination with overwrought military expenditures.

This George has misused the material resources of this nation by offering those resources to other governments in return for their cooperation with this administration's global machinations.

This George has carelessly commanded this nation's military to attend, at the risk of their lives and at the loss of their lives, grave and dangerous conflicts for what has become to be understood as tribal and self gratifying reasons. For this George has caused this nation's men and women to go to war on the pretext of mendacious suppositions. Statements warning of increasing dangers proffered through unsubstantiated evidence. Statements deceiviously designed to alarm and frighten.

Alarm and frighten without honest cause. Conniving statements, given in person to the body of American representatives. Repeated false testimonies designed to persuade the American public to spend their personal and communal resources on an unwarranted invasion and occupation. Rhetorical subterfuge and deceit designed to trick the American public to succumb to fear and acquiesce to risk their livelihoods, to compromise their health and to sacrifice their lives on a belligerent war.

Under all circumstances we have prudently sought to lend our loyalties to any administrating government who would serve the good of this nation. Under the circumstance of lethal threat we have pledged ourselves, unrestrained by politics, to any administrating government who would serve the good of this nation. We have patiently awaited answers concerning this administration's energy policies. We have energetically investigated our status, and the causes of that status, in the world. We have diligently sought accurate economic information, including the costs of war. We have unflinchingly scrutinized our country's security policies.

We have raised our voices in concern, and have been answered with contempt.

We have walked into the streets in protest, and have been treated with derision.

We have, at every turn, sought the good for this nation. And for the good of this nation we have rejected this administration.

And for the good of this nation we will reject any administration that fails to serve to protect, that fails to govern judicially or that fails to recognize our need for liberty.

Robert Rouse also posted a new Declaration today; It's a wonderful post and I encourage you to read it and sign his petition!

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