I wrote a letter to my congress person today. I think she is a woman but regardless everyone is now a person and thats okay as long as we don't forget that men and women are different physiogically and no matter how much we try to hide our sexuality we're still pretty much here to breed and look up to God.

I don't remember the contents of my letter but in brief they had to do with the fact that there is too much insanity in the government. I watch these people when I tune into C-SPAN when I'm really bored and have had a few cognacs (I hide the bottle in the closet under a radiator). They are senseless like robots walking around waving their hands in the air and they have absolutely nothing to do with me. They're robots. They aren't real. How do we end up electing people who start campaigning for office when they are six years old and they don't even develop real personalities because they have to mold themselves for public office because we investigate their private lives so much? I couldn't run for office because I once had anal sex with someone I just met. They would find out about that and then her family would know and I wouldn't be able to take care of their dogs on the weekends anymore which makes me feel good because I had to put my dogs to sleep.

When I was first able to vote I cast my vote for Nixon and he lost that election but won again later but what was he up to? Man that was some weird stuff he was doing in the 1970s even though he was actually a pretty good president and I still vote Republicans all the way I think he was doing a lot of weirdo things. So when did we start creating unstable wacko people to become policians? Are you telling me cloning is illegal and we just discovered it lately? Let us be real because these politicians everyone makes fun of are running things in the most overpowering country in the world. Why don't regular people run for office instead of voting? Isn't it time for a change based on the fact that the two party system was developed when they had to count voting by covered wagons and drawbridges took six to seven hours to go up and come back down causing needless delays in the electorate? Didn't one of Thom Jefferson's friends once say that eventually the Constitution would have to be revised to keep up with changing times because they didn't know what the future would bring?

I've read a lot of you people's strong sentimentality about the anniversary of the American tragedy these last couple days on my visits here. I remember many times in the history of this country that changed because people stopped caring and just settled for doing complaining all the time. Just like when a little toddler person goes poop in his pants and cries. Well if the toddler is big and smart like you then he scoops it out and puts it in the toilet or portolet or even a sink that no one uses anymore. There isn't any leaving it in the pants all the time but that is what more and more people do in this country. I see that guy the other day in these logs talking about 9-11 lunchboxes as a joke, but I expect to see them anyday because people purchase memories and feelings these days instead of feeling them for real. Feel something and do something about it. Sometimes I think a revolution would be more comfortable than watching another parade of people who don't care that they are voting for whoever just puts up the most cardboard signs and pulls a lever and goes to work because they think they are a patriot. If there is no one worth voting for don't vote at all or leave the ballot blank or tear it up in front of CNN camera crews. I almost threw up once when I heard one person and another person and so forth on the news saying they voted for the less of two evils. That is why America is going the way of the Roman Empire into decadance and apathy and soon the Vandals and Hunns will be here.

I need a drink.

Serious thoughts.

I am an American, and proud of that fact. My nation was founded on a set of philisophical principles which I share. They were revolutionary at the time. Actually, they're pretty controversial now, if you take them seriously.

I believe that all men - and women - are created equal.

Note that I didn't say all Americans there. People in the Third World, who don't speak English and aren't as wealthy as I am, are my equals. Their suffering matters, and their lives matter.

I believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Again, that means all of us, including people who will use those rights in a way I don't approve of, and people who will voluntarily relinquish said rights. I will address the issue of liberty, and the missing link to responsibility, another time.

I believe that sovereignity derives from the consent of the governed, and that governments are accountable as a consequence.

This is the one I want to talk about right now, in the light of some reactions to my comments on September 11.

If sovereignity derives from the consent of the governed, then any ruler - monarch, parliament, dictator or president - who is not in power because the people want it that way is a tyrant. This applies whether they are in place because of a coup or are installed by a foreign power. And any society that advocates the displacement of a legitimate ruler, uses its funds to influence foreign elections or civil wars, or directs its efforts to the overthrow of another country's rulers is participating in tyranny. This is true no matter how much we dislike the ruler in question or his politics. (Note that assisting in making peace, arbitrating between disputants, and keeping the peace with the consent of the people affected are not tyranny.)

This also means that my government is my employee, answerable to me. I have the right to question and even criticise it if I think it is doing the wrong thing. Actually, I have a responsibility to do so. Historically, of course, this right and responsibility have been more honored in the breach than in the observance. Governments don't like criticism, and when the national mood is particularly fervent, neither do ordinary citizens. That does not dilute the responsibility.

On a more pragmatic note, criticising bad government policy is the only way to get good government policy. No one's ideas are universally correct; good ideas are developed by discussion and concensus, and bad ones killed by the same process. Writers know this - submitting your work to criticism is the only way to hone and improve it. Government is no different, and it is the duty of responsible citizens to participate in public debate to help improve policy. The most pernicious trend in US public life today is the stifling of this debate, the denial of this responsibilty, and the relentless kowtowing to the government.

But surely, comes the answer, in the national interest, we have to do things that are incompatible with our Constitution? They are unpleasant, but they are necessary.

I believe we cannot write straight with crooked lines. The ends do not justify the means.

Not even desperate times. This is when we need to cling to our principles more tightly than ever.

NB: I believe these are the principles that our nation should use in its foreign policy, not as an excuse to evangelise, but to limit our actions. Any American policy which deprives a people of their unalienable rights is a bad idea. As I said above, a people can voluntarily relinquish their rights if they so choose, for instance, by consenting to live in a country whose laws limit them. That's none of our business. Our duty is not to take these rights away against others' will. In my nine years living outside the US, I have yet to find anyone who objects to this approach.


Journalism has officially been reduced to American Bukkake.

DONALD RUMSFELD: (jerking off furiously) Yeah, you reporter bitch. Yeah. You want it right in your fucking face, don't you? Say you'll take it all, you fucking whore.

FOX NEWS REPORTER: (on floor, mouth wide open) Oh, god, baby... gimme that hot official Pentagon press release! Make sure you get some up my nose!

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (offstage, erection straining) Ooh...messy, messy, me want a messy!

FOX NEWS REPORTER: My professor in journalism school who taught about questioning official sources to get at the truth has never had the pleasure of getting a hot load right in the eye! Shoot, baby! Gimme the good stuff! Ohhh...

DONALD RUMSFELD: (peaking out) Make sure you snowball my yogurt to your viewing audience bitches, you fucking ssslut. Oh, oh, here it coommmmmessss!!!

blurt blurt blurt blurt

FOX NEWS REPORTER: (blissed out, come all over face, in hair) Oh...oh... Truly we have the wisest possible leaders following the best course of action. To spit out this jizz would be no better than blowing myself up in a Sbarro! Ohhgguuhh... back to you, in the studioooohhh....

FOX NEWS REPORTER: (loosened tie, sweaty face) John Smith live at the Pentagon, ladies and gentlemen. Truly an American hero. In other news, WE BOMBED THE SHIT OUT OF SOME MORE BROWN MOTHERFUCKERS! YEAH! YEAH!

The above is only a mild hyperbole. As tenuous as the concept has always been, the idea of the news media being "antagonistic" to the government/corporate/military power structure could never plausibly be argued given the last year of reporting as evidence.

Anyone and everyone calling themselves a journalist in the major American media today should be ashamed. There is no more news, there is only cheerleading. There is no reporting, only blind regurgitation of "facts" presented by official sources.

Turn on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, or pick up the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and witness the self-immolation of a nominally free press.

You don't need to censor those who are tossing your salad. I gotta go... CNN's due to lick out Tom Ridge's asshole at 10:30 AM EDT.

I got some good news yesterday evening, in the form of my most recent test results from my doctor.

For the past six months, thanks to the evil vampires who ruined my life, I have been suffering from high cholesterol. I blame them because if they hadn't tested my blood when I donated, I never would have known about it. And in my universe, if I don't know about a health problem, it doesn't exist. I'm convinced I would live forever if I just stopped letting doctors tell me what's wrong with me.

At any rate, my doctor discovered that my blood seemed to be made of equal parts bacon grease and lard, with a hint of artificial coloring to make it red. While the LDL (good cholesterol} and HDL (bad cholesterol) counts were within a decent range for a reasonable healthy adult, the triglycerides were off the chart. A count that should have been under 150 was over 1900! Helpful relatives researched my problem on the internet and seemed to delight in informing me that it could lead to everything from heart disease to pancreatic cancer to spontaneous human combustion. Basically, I was at an extreme risk of getting up from my chair and just plain exploding.

So my doctor took away most of what gives my life pleasure, red meat, fried foods, etc., and forbade me to enter fast food restaurants. This drastically lowered the triglyceride count to around 500 and induced a near-constant craving for McDonald's french fries. This was good, but since I still had triple the amount of triglycerides in my blood as a normal person should, he whipped out the prescription pad and gave me Tricor.

Which brings me to my current happy thought. My latest results indicated a further drop of the triglyceride count to around 300. Still twice the level I should have, but I wasn't watching my diet terribly well in the couple weeks before the test. I figure that I'd have been well within normal limits if I'd eaten fish rather than beef for most of those meals. Hopefully the next tests in 6 months time will prove it.

Another interpretation of '9/11': The day President Salvador Allende was murdered and the democratically elected government that he led was brutally overthrown by an army coup sponsored by the United States of America.

September 11 will remain for a long time in the minds of most Chileans as the day to remember their murdered daughters, sons, mother and fathers, who disappeared, and the families whose world was changed irreparably by Augusto Pinochet and his henchmen, the puppet government whose power was not based on democratic principles but the protection of the USA.

Thoughts on the concept of the living wage.

Being a recent grad post-boom and landing a job, finally I've been thinking of this term lately, "a living wage". A living wage, I would argue, is a wage that allows the following life style:
  • You can pay rent on a one bedroom apartment and don't need a roommate.
  • You can afford to eat out at a sit down restaurant once a week and see a movie.
  • You can save at least 10% of your pay check.
  • You can afford to fly some place and take a 1 week holiday once every other year or once ever three years.
  • You can afford to buy a new piece of clothing once a month (a new blouse/top/shirt one month, a new skirt/pair of pants the next month, etc.)
  • You can afford basic cable (no HBO).

I'm starting to wonder if daylogs should be retitled "Acid trip politics plus some personal reflections mixed with surreal moments from the lives of genuinely weird people."

Nah, too long.

Hollow log

I also feel like maybe the United States political system should just be put on auto-pilot these days. Career politicians are indeed scary entities. Spin doctors rejoice. Everyone is finally subscribing to your newsletters.

Get down with the clown.
Grab that wallet and ride downtown.
What's that?
Ladies in the empire rejoice.
Your man is up with that freedom of choice.
Do it.

Watch people cheering on war and glorifying revenge. The mainstream core of America starts thinking. "Why aren't all these people just like us? We're awesome. Lets make them all just like us!"

We have no control over the government.
They are acting on our behalf.
Do a flyby on my house motherfucker.
Get down on the floor like you just don't care.

When the people making the most noise are those cheering there isn't much you can expect to change. Be more aggressive. Rail against the world. We are right and you are wrong. We will act alone. We don't need anyone else. The only people standing up for the opposition are lunatics and morons with a convoluted message that makes the rest of us look stupid by association. Everyone else is lulled into a coma in front of television sets, computers and superfine video game consoles. We have endless varieties of beer and personal improvement drugs. Got a problem with the way things are? Your physician can prescribe a pill to make you feel a whole lot better about it.

You are fooling yourself
Mr Flag Waving United We Stand Super Patriot.
Bend those knees and get used to it.
Gotta kick someone's ass to prove you're right.
Teach your children well.
Do as I say.
Not as I do.
Be funky.

Voting is a panacea allowing us to ignore our general malaise. Go to the voting booth. Come out feeling you did your good deed for the day. Help an old lady cross the street instead. You'll be doing a whole lot more good in the world. When was the last time you saw an actual leader running for office? When was the last time you saw someone whose political platform wasn't custom designed by campaign analysts and scrutinized statistics? When was the last time you saw someone running for office on what they truly believed in rather than under the burden of doing right by the people who financed his or her campaign? Vote the party line like you're cheering your team on in the World Series. Vote like you're drunk and someone broke your shot glass. You might as well urinate in the voting booth. He who campaigns the smartest and has enough financial backing wins the race. Marketing. Advertising. Spin the bottle. Spin the mind. It's all good. It doesn't matter what flavor Pop-Tart you put in the toaster, you are still going to have that brain tumor.

Are the people ever going to rise again?
Or are we satisfied because the malls are stocked with really cool shit?
And funky.

Something you don't like about America's love of manifest destiny? We ran out of new territory. Now we're telling every country in the world they need what we're selling. Bow before the merciful hand of demoncracy. Pay attention some time to what they are saying. How could anyone want anything different? We turn people away for help unless they buy into the program. Look at us, we are so perfect. When we get attacked people worldwide better observe a moment of silence. If the death toll is higher where you are we'll try to give you a paragraph on the back page of our newspapers. Our headlines are busy with what we should replace our fallen twin towers with.

Write another blank check to your government.
Get funky.
Hold on.
If they raise taxes you'll get pissed off.
Almost forgot about that
Don't like taxes.
I need security and military action.
Kick some ass.

In an empire on the decline the people clutch at a few straws on the way down. People vote on single issues they've decided they care about. They vote according to the issues that mean the most to them. There is no big picture. Promise to lower taxes? Cool. Here's my vote, Satan. Thanks for helping me and my family out. We're drowning in credit card debt because we live paycheck to paycheck and my wife's mother lives with us. We can't afford to put her in a nursing home. They cut off her medicaid the other day because they said $100 a month is more than enough to live on. Please lower taxes and send grandma a bigger check?

"My country right or wrong."
Home of the free and land of the brave.
Don't like it? Move to Russia, asswipe.
They ain't as funky.
We'd never elect a guy with a spot on his head.
We're too cool for that.
Cuz we're funky.

Pull yourself together, man. You worked hard in that factory for twenty years. It was enough for you to know you had enough left over for a few beers down at the pub. That is the whole point anyway. There are those who are getting rich by tricking the rest of us, but they are bringing them to trial these days, ain't they? Remember that only the stupid get caught. Remember that only the foolish get exposed. We're looping. Air on a tape loop. History lives to repeat itself.

Pay no attention to those men behind the curtain.
They aren't doing anything that concerns you.
Everything is a-okay in Disneyland, USA.
We'll be building a 9/11 theme park pretty soon now.
The profit margin looks funky!
Gotta dance now.
Ride 'em cowboy.
Stay funky.

I need to go back to noding good looking actresses
and moments from history
but a part of me hopes we are about to make new history any day now.
Please. I am so tired.

Well, so far this Friday the 13th has been most inauspicious, at least for our little apartment household. My housemates are both sick, one is also injured, and I sprained the motherlovin' Christ out of my ankle and can't walk well.

(Not that I'm implying that my ankles are a special reservoir of Christianity that the rest of my body lacks. However, my ankles are even more lacking in crap, piss, tar, hell or heck, so the aforementioned turn of phrase seems most appropriate)

Braunbeck and I stayed up all night Thursday night so that I could drive him to a late-morning doctor's appointment. Why did we do this in lieu of actually getting sleep? Well, everyone here's turned into such a bunch of night owls that we've not been getting to sleep until 6 or 7 in the morning. Thus, it seemed logical to just stay up.

On the plus side, I got a lot of work done that night, and we were able to get a decent breakfast and run some errands before going downtown to the doctor's office. All good, so far, except that we both moaned "Argh! Daystar bad!" the moment the first bright early-morning sunrays hit my windshield and blinded us.

At the doctor's office, however, Braunbeck got some bad news. His wrist tendinitis has gone way beyond anything medicines can help, and he needs surgery yesterday. So the doc sent him on his way with new, stronger prescriptions and stern instruction to make an appointment with a surgeon immediately (which he did and he's seeing a surgeon on Monday)

But when we got to CVS, I started feeling quite queasy. Was it the unaccustomed sun? The lack of sleep? The multiple cups of strong coffee on top of a big, greasy breakfast at Bob Evans? Probably a combination of all. I took some Tums and went to sleep right when we got home, and when I got up I that afternoon I was feeling much better.

But not Braunbeck. He was sick, and couldn't keep anything down. It could be his new meds, but he has to be able to take them or he's in excruciating pain, can't move his hand, and can't meet his deadlines ... and if he doesn't meet the deadlines, he'll have no way to pay for his medicines or surgery. Welcome to the lovely world of a freelancer without health insurance.

I went to the store and got him some ginger ale, saltines, and jello. He already had Pepto Bismol, but it wasn't working. After I brought the groceries back and got him a bit more settled, I ran over to midnighter's house so I could give him a ride back from dropping his van off at his mechanic's.

I got back to the house around 5 a.m., and I wanted nothing more than sleep. But the vast quanitities of dirty dishes in the bedroom bugged me, so I gathered them up and took them downstairs.

Whereupon I slipped on the stairs and fell, twisting my ankle and smashing most of said dishes. Ironically, the most delicate glass in the bunch survived without a chip.

I hadn't sprained my ankle in many years, and I'd forgotten how painful such sprains are. At first I was afraid I'd broken it, but /jen, who is a nurses' assistant and in nursing school, took a look at it and said it likely wasn't broken. Yay, no emergency room visit for me!

I wrapped it and iced it for a while, took some Advil, then went to bed. It's much better today, though walking is problematic. And Braunbeck's still very sick to his stomach. And /jen woke up with a cold and a horrible headache.

Bad luck? Maybe. But all of this could have been worse; a sprained ankle is the least of things I could have done to myself falling on the stairs.

At least I have been saved from the terrible secret of space ....

Today I sent my daughter to school for the very first time. I was nervous and she was nervous and excited. We got there a bit early so she got to play in the playground with the other kids for a bit. It was funny to watch her elbow her way in like that.

I hope she makes a lot of friends. I hope she has fun. I hope she listens to her teacher and doesn't cause too much trouble. I hope I can survive this.

School! Good God. She's in... school. My mom took Kevin today so I could bring Celeste to school just me and her. My mom and dad took pictures of her on her first day, and of course I did too. She was almost too nervous for breakfast but she managed to have some somehow. I couldn't touch a thing till I got home.

I've been feeling sorta sick which didn't help matters. But I got her there and they let us parents walk our kids in to help them out. She gets her own hook for her book bag and her own cubbyhole for her shoes. She has indoor shoes and outdoor shoes. She packed her own lunch last night.

She was only a baby a little while ago, how could I have missed her growing up so fast?

I love you Celeste. I'm proud of you. Now don't go beating up any boys...wait until you are at least five. ;)

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