Lost As You I Swear I Am

I am ambivalent about reunions of any kind. For instance, I’d rather chew off my foot than attend my high school reunion, though I imagine the startled looks when people my age are old and I am still getting better looking, which is like a curse, only …not. This morning, WRXP’s Matt Pinfield was talking on the radio about tomorrow’s Melody Bar reunion. It’s all over Facebook and friends can’t stop blabbing about it. I was there. It was cool and I was there. But how uncool is it to drag the black leather out of the back of your closet a decade or two after you left the scene and tell your former friends in mid-life crises your Mowhawk was just a phase?

What if you just want to dance?

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In For Bingo All the Nines

Get a load of this horseshit.

ND measure says fertilized egg has human rights

Aha. Lunch is in an hour, but I can start throwing up now.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A measure approved by the North Dakota House gives a fertilized human egg the legal rights of a human being, a step that would essentially ban abortion in the state.

The bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended abortion rights nationwide, supporters of the legislation said.

Representatives voted 51-41 to approve the measure Tuesday. It now moves to the North Dakota Senate for its review.

The bill declares that “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” is a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws.

The measure’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, said the legislation did not automatically ban abortion. Ruby has introduced bills in previous sessions of the Legislature to prohibit abortion in North Dakota.

“This language is not as aggressive as the direct ban legislation that I’ve proposed in the past,” Ruby said during House floor debate on Tuesday. “This is very simply defining when life begins, and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Until they’re born, then they have the right to starve, shiver and go suck an egg.

Critics of the measure say it will cost millions of dollars to defend. Ruby said the state has been willing to go to bat for other principles that were less important.

In Oklahoma, meanwhile, a state House committee Tuesday approved legislation that would prohibit physicians from performing abortions solely on account of the gender of a woman’s fetus, even though the measure’s author said there is no evidence the practice has ever occurred in the state.

The legislation passed 20-2 by the House Public Health Committee. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

The author of the bill, Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said it is designed to stop couples from using the gender of a fetus as a reason to get an abortion. Sullivan said a doctor would be prohibited from performing an abortion if the mother specifically said the fetus’ sex was the reason.

However, he said there is no evidence the practice has occurred in Oklahoma. “I haven’t received any definite information that proves it,” Sullivan said.

I can’t find mention of this on CNN, which is certainly curious.

One of my sisters rejects the idea that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned. Won’t hear a word of it. Won’t listen to discussion of current events and votes Republican. This attitude is not uncommon, actually.

How you like those Republicans now?

Extra Time And Your

Her name is exactly what you think it is when you look at her but we’re calling her Doris. She’s the hygienist at my dentist’s office and I have seen her exactly twice. The first time, two weeks before my braces came off, was the week her husband left her and the children. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but the last thing you want is someone having a crying jag while sticking sharp objects into your gums. I love my dentist but it was two years before I worked up the nerve to make an appointment for another teeth cleaning.

Mercy, mercy, Doris’ life is moving on even as time stops while I’m sitting in her chair. She remembers me. She asks how I’ve been. I can’t tell the nice lady with the sad blue eyes that the memory of our last encounter haunts me and causes me to brush longer, so I tell her two years ago my life turned upside down, but things are better, and here I am. She tells me her brother drank himself to death and her estranged sister-in-law won’t release the ashes. On a case by case basis I can be a compassionate person, but Doris’ case has lost its handles. Thank Vishnu I’ve been using an electric toothbrush.

Speaking of not handling things well, there may be a better way to handle this.

Stop smooching.

That’s the message of a new sign that went up outside a train station in northern England on Monday.

The goal is to stop departing passengers from pulling up in their cars at a crowded drop-off point and pausing to kiss each other farewell.

Virgin Rail says it installed the sign while refurbishing the station after a local business networking group said the place had to become more efficient.

But profit margins may have been a factor, too.

Virgin Rail says that if passengers want to share an embrace before they part company, they should pay to park their cars nearby where they can kiss all they want.

I can’t wait until a local government ANYWHERE ON EARTH puts up a sign that says PARK HERE AND KISS. If this happened in America, those delicate flowers home-schooled on abstinence-only sex ed would take that as an order. What else could go predictably wrong?

Well, for starters, Doris wants me to floss.

It’s Me On the Outside

When the Israeli Defense Force sealed off Gaza and began shelling I found myself unable to speak my horror. I haven’t written about it or the United States’ pallid response that, essentially, the bombing would stop when those being bombed stopped being bombed. I have no words for what the IDF did to Gaza. In the waning days of the brutal and stupid Bush Administration, I admit I put my head down and waited for cooler heads to prevail.

I donated to the children of Gaza and so can you.
U.S. | U.K.

Via Minstrel Boy, we find Juan Cole calling for a Cyberspace Aid Convoy. Dr. Cole:

The United Nations Security Council again demanded that Israel let in food, medicine and fuel unimpeded. Since Israel is still technically the occupying authority in Gaza, insofar as it controls its borders and airspace, for it to engage in collective punishment on the Gazan population is a war crime forbidden by the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949, which was enacted to prevent Nazi tactics from being deployed against occupied populatoins. UN relief workers, have been impeded from getting into Gaza by Israeli authorities. Those who managed to get through found between 14,000 and 21,000 homes destroyed and 240 of 400 schools badly damaged. The value of the destruction is estimated at $2 billion, and the essential infrastructure of the Strip has been deeply degraded, with potentially severe human health consequences. Much rubble has yet to be cleared away, so there could yet be more dead bodies found, and bomb clearing has not been completed, so people may yet be killed by accidentally setting off unexploded ordnance.

It is often forgotten that about half of Gazans are children, because of the ongoing population explosion, caused by insecurity, which has brought the Strip’s population to nearly a million and a half. When Israel made a total war on the Gaza population, it was inevitably targeting large numbers of innocent children.

I actually don’t give a damn who the bombs are falling on. Dropping bombs is barbaric no matter who does it, and dropping them on people who can’t even attempt to get out of the blast zone is wrong on a scale where language fails me. Refusing to permit aid to bombed out people and shooting up U.N. convoys is so far beyond the pale I can only summon one thought: Israel has become the thing it fought. I have lost sympathy for our ally, which is painful for me as a Jew.

My father-in-law used to say we can’t judge Israel because we’re not the ones with the gun to our heads. In better days, I agreed that perhaps I was sheltered from certain realities and might temper my opinion. Not this time, and not anymore.

On a lighter note, direct action is the best remedy for what ails us. February 19th-22nd, we can drop off a new or nearly new women’s suit or business separates at any Dressbarn throughout the U.S. to help deserving women entering the workforce. These Send One Suit events take place on a more or less regular basis because it ain’t easy out there, so if you clean out your closet and need what you’ve got, don’t sweat it. There’ll be a next time pretty soon. But if you’ve just dropped ten pounds, take a truckload of stuff to Dressbarn this weekend. You’ll feel a ton better.

But It Wasn’t A Rock

Pffft!

I’m bummed because All My Children just offed Greenlee in a dumb, squirrelly fashion. Get a load of this: Miss Thing is persuaded to call off the wedding and pretend to have food poisoning but never takes off the frilly human sacrifice suit. Then, when she can’t get her best friend’s husband on the phone, she jumps on her motorcycle, still in the designer parachute but adding a black leather jacket, and speeds off toward the place where she called out sick to avoid. Meanwhile, the cranky best friend speeds off in a car back to the hotel or something. They’d collide if Miss Greenlee didn’t sail over an embankment to her supertragic girlie death in her wedding dress, veil and riding gear that somehow reeks of stale Meatloaf songs. I mean, really. The one and only character on daytime TV that could tear off Bunny Bixler jokes deserved better.

As I said, I’m bummed, but I’m content to console myself with Michael Easton, star of another soap. Not only is he yummy, he and I share a birthday, which was yesterday. Michael Easton’s character on his soap set up a joke about guns and Italian pastries weeks in advance of the actual delivery. I was impressed when the actor didn’t wink at us on camera, because in his place, I might’ve succumbed to the urge. And speaking of urges, I’m kind of fighting the urge to quit blogging or turn pro or take up philately on a temporary basis, which everyone considers now and then. Yesterday, I remembered holding handstands in a split position, looking at my fingertips and placing my foot down behind me, between my hands, which I last did about 23 years ago. This evening, my yoga teacher called and classes start soon. I look forward to being the right kind of upside down.

And I Don’t Think They’ll Miss

Supposedly in America we don’t talk about class. Seems to me we never stop.

Wish I could attribute this clever image to a wry commenter. If you know who made this, please zap me an email.

I’m no credentialed brainiac but I can’t help noticing the budget-busting gagfest Confessions of a Shopaholic opened the same week Congress votes on a bill to save us from economic disaster. Creamy Jesus on a crouton, who thought now was the golden moment for a lighthearted romp about the rewards of living beyond one’s means? What the fuck is this?


I probably wouldn’t be spitting bullets about a chick flick if last night on The Daily Show Jon Stewart hadn’t let John Sununu get away with twice saying the bullshit euphemism entitlement reform. I don’t even go to the movies anymore because if I spend $10 on a bottle of wine and drink the whole thing I feel less stupid than I do leaving yet another mind-bogglingly bad movie. But it’s just too much to have even a moment’s patience with this tissue-thin premise when Republicans are campaigning to cut Social Security and Medicare and conservative Democrats might give ’em a hand.

President Obama intends to appoint a task force the week after next which will be charged with “reforming” Social Security. According to inside gossip, the task force will be led entirely by economists who were not able to see the $8 trillion housing bubble, the collapse of which is giving the country its sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

This effort is bizarre for several reasons. First, the economy is sinking rapidly. While President Obama’s stimulus package is a good first step towards counteracting the decline, there is probably not a single economists in the country who believes that is adequate to the task. President Obama would be advised to focus his attention on getting the economy back in order instead of attacking the country’s most important social program.

The second reason why this task force is strange is that Social Security doesn’t need reforming. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it can pay all scheduled benefits for the next 40 years with no changes whatsoever.

The third reason that this effort is pernicious is that this talk of reform is occurring with the baby boomers just as the cusp of retirement. Due to the reckless policies of the Rubin-Greenspan-Bush clique, this cohort has just seen their housing equity wiped out with the collapse of the housing bubble. Tens of millions of baby boomers who might have felt reasonably secure three years ago are now approaching retirement with little or no equity in their homes.

Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements in the pejorative sense this word has been used politically for the past couple of decades. They’re investments. Our whole working lives we pay into the funds and when we retire, we are paid our due. Period. There’s no reason to even talk about it except to say, “Isn’t it lovely that we’re so civilized? Yes, yes, it is” and SHUT IT – unless you disagree and show no class whatsoever.