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Living In King George's America
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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in under_the_oak's LiveJournal:

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
9:31 am
Wherein your notoriously cranky hostess makes an endorsement- of sorts
I am a bleeding heart liberal. Like, really seriously, carry a towel with me to mop up the excess dripping blood bleeding heart liberal. I was lucky enough to be able to cast my first presidential vote for a candidate that I really, truly believed in, but since then I have been waiting patiently for my presumptive party of choice to cough up someone I could endorse with something more enthusiastic than "Thank god it's not That Other Guy."

This is not one of those years.

Oh, I like a lot of what Obama says. I like that he selected a veep who's a perfect cynical, sarcastic fuck of a yin to his starry eyed, visionary yang. (Wait, which one is the white one and which is the black one, again? Hee.) But I have good reason to believe that he's just as good at rolling over and playing dead in the name of "bipartisanship" as every other Democrat- and frankly, what I would sell my left tit for at this point is not a Democratic candidate I can get enthused about, it's viable third, fourth, fifth, and seventeenth parties. Just imagine an actual plurality of opinion, and not this either-or bullshit. Now wipe the smile off your face, and wipe up your chair.

As of this morning, however, no magic pixies had harvested this sinister mammary in exchange for political upheaval, so I am left with endorsing That Guy Who Isn't McCain.

Here's why: A vote for McCain is a vote for fear and hatred. Period, end of story. I don't care if you run a smelly old gym sneaker that just stepped in a pile of dog shit against him, at least that gym sneaker doesn't support doing to American citizens who are too brown to qualify for habeas corpus exactly what was done to him 40 years ago. (Hint: if it looks like torture and quacks like torture, it ain't a fucking duck.)

For all of those moderate democrats convincing themselves that this "maverick" label makes him palatable, and that really, he's not like all the other Republicans: This is a party that requires conformity of its members.
That means keeping Gitmo, which ought to be a stain of shame on our national conscience so filthy that we dare not show our face, open.
That means more war.
That means less freedom- domestic spying, wiretaps, arrests of dissenters- in the name of "security".
That means an ongoing refusal to acknowledge that we have to change our consumption habits or face economic ruin.
That means that the sacred cow of the "free" market will go on, with tax cuts and subsidies to corporations while we villify individuals who need government assistance, and claim that nothing can be done to enforce compliance with whatever half-assed environmental protections are being stomped to pieces by Almighty Bidness.
That means an ongoing effort to overturn protections put in place by a "renegade" judiciary, by judges who will overstep their bounds- but that's ok, when it's in the direction they want.
That means continuing consolidation of power in the executive branch, in direct violation of both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and its separation of powers.

It's also a passive endorsement of vicious hatred: hatred of queers, hatred of Islam, hatred of the poor. They prop up the invisible bogeyman and we fall for it time and time again. It is an endorsement of the Us vs. Them mentality, and they substitute whatever Them serves their ends, and somehow every time it ends up being Us who take it in the ass.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
10:20 am
Writer's Block: Sarah Palin?
Is Sarah Palin a shrewd choice for the Republican Party, or is she a liability?

Oh, McCain, such a boo-boo you made with this. All these scandals breaking, left and right, and all it shows is that the only thing you knew about this woman was that she lived somewhere with oil and had an innie, just like that ball-busting and less attractive Hillary chick.

If only you had picked her for a good reason! Just think of all the maverick cred you could win back, going on national teevee and fervently defending her qualifications against a sea of nay-sayers. If only you believed she had any!

And the question is not whether or not she does, any more, it's whether you thought she did, or if this was pure tokenism that just happened to blow up in your face because you didn't do your homework. Hm, I'm going to ponder that for a sec- yep, tokenism. It doesn't do her much credit that she went along with it, either- but maybe that won't piss off every woman who's fought to be recognized for their talents alone... I'm sure there are one or two who haven't opened a newspaper yet.
Monday, September 1st, 2008
10:17 am
McCain/Palin: We Welcome Our New Cylon Overlords!
(No, actually, we don't, not even a little bit. But it is a pretty funny image, that foursquare making the rounds.)

Ed. note: While I will make reference to "Cryptie and his all-bimbo backup band" (can't leave Cindy out, now can we?) I want to make it perfectly clear that these are cheap shots that have absolutely nothing to do with the relative ability to run a country. There's plenty that I can see wrong just sticking to the almighty Talking Points. Just because the man resembles an undead puppet from an ancient TV show is no reason not to dislike him on the issues alone.

It's slightly more complicated with Sarah Palin- there's no way that her gender can remain a total non-issue, because this is America, and gender is far from a non-issue in our politics. This does not mean that it has any bearing on her ability, just that I feel it was relevant to her selection as a vice presidential candidate and because it's been, what, one weekend, and already her status as a mother has come up. Being possessed of a uterus myself, I tend to pay attention to what the media has to say about a woman who leaves a child in the care of others to work in the public eye, and I can tell you right now that it ain't what they say about a man who does the same- and that, folks, is what makes it relevant to my ranting.

So, about those issues.

1. The environment: I don't give a rat's ass which one of them favors offshore drilling vs. paving ANWR vs. building a supermachine to squeeze poor people rocks rilly, RILLY hard until we get every last drop of oil out. They amount to the same thing: increasing domestic oil production at the cost of, say, USING LESS MOTHERFUCKING OIL ALREADY. If there's anyone left out there who thinks that a short term fix is what's needed, I want to hide under whatever rock they've been using until the election is over. Will a temporary drop in oil prices help our economy? Oh, fuck yes. But how much improvement will we see from adding more domestic oil to the mix, versus taking a long, hard look at how oil futures are traded, and how regional additives contribute to an artificial idea of supply and demand?
Oh, right, they're Republicans, and one can't tamper with the Almighty Free Market (cough, bullshit it's free, end cough). Fucking with wildlife? Right on, baby.

2. Abortion: Sarah Palin thinks abortions degrade women. John McCain either can't afford to piss off the religious right, or thinks we're too dimwitted to make such an important choice, depending on when you catch him. Regardless of the flavor of anti-choice rhetoric used, it amounts to the same thing. Roe v. Wade is in their sights, and they cannot compromise on anything less than No Abortions, No Way No How, or risk losing the single-issue anti-choice voters that provide the bulk of the party's support.
I don't see Palin digging deep to fund better sex education, or programs that help unwed or poor mothers make something of their lives- I mean it's not like working menial jobs that don't even have the grace to provide health care or childcare or educational opportunities degrades women. Neither does having your doctor outright LIE to you, like you're too fluff-headed to handle a choice and need gentle, paternal steering, nope, not one bit. Oh, and please, can we go back to the days when kids were simply told not to fuck, and when they did, it was only one person's fault (bet you can guess how that split along gender lines!) Because double standards are never, ever insulting or degrading.

3. Iraq: I will say, good on Palin for being one of what, two now? politicians on the national stage with a child in a combat zone. Too many of them vote to risk the lives of other people's children, and find ways to keep their own at home. But putting her offspring where her mouth is doesn't make the war right, or well run.
Also, I will pay cash money to see someone point out that by the standards used by the Bush administration, McCain wasn't tortured in Vietnam. Preferably on national TV.
It's not like the Democrats are doing any better on this issue, and "at least we didn't start it" is right up there with "I'm rubber you're glue" for wit and usefulness. In fact, I can't name one person whose public remarks and voting record make me more than lukewarm on this issue. [If I find one- and I will look- I will retract this.]

4. Economics: Wasn't 16 years of Reagan enough? Jesus.

Tune in next week to hear why I'm glad to live in a state whose electoral votes are, statistically, a given!
Friday, March 3rd, 2006
8:45 pm
gearing up for the big rant, in 2 weeks
Yep. I sure do love how they celebrate Irish culture round about now...

More entertaining rant to follow on the subject. In the meantime, feel free to peruse the memories over in mhaille under the "Ireland" section.
Monday, December 12th, 2005
8:27 pm
File under: What the Fucking Fuck?!
Blue Balls for the Red States

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2005.

From the teaching materials for federally funded high-school abstinence programs, collected for a report commissioned by Representative Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and published in December 2004. The report criticized the presence of “false, misleading, or distorted information” in eleven of the thirteen most commonly used programs. The Bush Administration is providing $167 million for abstinence-only programs this year. Originally from Harper's Magazine, February 2005.

You ever read those sex ed manuals from the 50s and laugh? Well, apparently somebody wasn't laughing, they're using it as part of the core curriculum.Collapse )

And I say again: WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. Who believes this shit in this day and age? Seriously. Tell me where they are, because I am going to have to put them out of their misery RIGHT FUCKING NOW. I'm not even going to bother rebutting the individual points, because it is so painfully ludicrous that it doesn't deserve that level of acknowledgement.

I will also say that anyone who attempts to teach this fetid, steaming heap of bullshit to my children is going to have their genitalia ripped out so that I can provide a real lecture on sex ed, with props.

They really are trying to bring back the dark ages, aren't they? You know, I have no issue whatsoever with religious faith. I really don't. I have a problem with using it to sanction hatred on a group level, and I have a problem with using it to ignore or try to discredit inconvenient facts. And you know what? If you really believe that abstinence is the right way to go, then that belief should be enough. No arguments and counterarguments- God says don't do it, so don't. It is, at the heart, a question of faith, and I will not see them butcher reason to support a moral judgement they made on faith.
Sunday, November 27th, 2005
6:30 pm
more commentary on an article posted in mhaille

The quote from the psychologist left me speechless. How dare he put ethics before profit? Bad capitalist, no biscuit.

I grew up in a military family. Both grandfathers, all of my mother's uncles, my father, my husband and his brother are all veterans of some war. I'm familiar with the need to believe that what you are supporting is the right thing- my cousin Dan is a prime example of someone who is a career Marine because he truly believes that not only is he fulfilling duty to country by doing so, but is also living as a moral person in the eyes of God. I can't imagine what would happen to him if someone managed to shake that belief.

Ultimately, the thing that tells me all that I need to know about the current moral compass of the armed forces (and by this I mean their collective actions and the mindset of those who command them, not necessarily the individual soldiers, many of whom have serious moral issues with what they see) is this:
My grandfather, who served in WWII, lost a brother, and thinks that America is the greatest fucking thing since sliced bread, is opposed to this war and ashamed of what the country is asking his grandsons to stand for- and not one of us had ever heard him speak a single word of criticism of his country and government prior to the last 5 years; this is as out of character as if he were to renounce Catholicism and declare that he's moving to Amsterdam to marry his gay lover and smoke some weed. The only military person who actually thinks the war is a good idea, and isn't just bound by duty, is my yuppie asshole brother in law, the MBA.
Monday, November 7th, 2005
8:49 am
Today's Rant: brought to you by PMS, 4 hours sleep, and a deep and abiding need to stab something
Came across a post this morning in the piercing room recommending that people use antibacterial soap to clean a fresh hood piercing, and that it was totally necessary to shave (or trim ridiculously short) beforehand.

1. OW OW OW OW. (At the soap, not the piercing. I've got one, and it hurt for all of 5 minutes. Also, lots of blood flow = hella fast healing times.) No, I am not going to put antibacterial soap near any area that depends on a balance of microbes NOT TO ITCH LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME. Among the many clues I would dispense, were I granted the ability to forceably inject knowledge into people's brains, is that regular, plain old ordinary soap is antimicrobial. Get a bar of plain, unscented glycerine soap and use that.
And while I'm on that rant, do we really need every surface in our house to be disinfected? Now, I'm all for basic sanitation. But between the potential to create more drug-resistant bad germs, the fact that our immune systems depend on exposure to *some* pathogens in order to learn to work properly, and haven't we learned by now that it's a bad idea to kill off ecosystems willy-nilly, for fuck's sake? The proliferation of products designed to clean your house to the same level as a hospital- for god's sake, there's an AIR FRESHENER SPRAY that kills airborne bacteria so your house SMELLS BETTER, does NO ONE think that might be overkill?- makes me überstabby. Also, I'd like to point out that MRSA is thoroughly entrenched in hospitals, and that is some Bad Shit (TM).
I won't even start on the fact that they're using this logic to push for more disposable cleaning products, because we'd be here for days while I wore my fingers down to bloody stumps typing my precise opinion of that. Fucking RAARRR, is all I'll say.

2. WTF is wrong with people, that you would shave, douche, spray with perfume, and otherwise artificially attempt to make your bits smell like a fucking potpourri store just so the guy or girl shoving a sharp object through them doesn't think you're somehow a fucking human being, or something. It makes not terribly much more sense to me to insist on maintaining the artificial, antiseptic pink flower-scented bits for a partner, but at least you can argue that they have a vested interest in having them be aesthetically pleasing. [Of course, that's assuming that an antiseptic pink floral twat is aesthetically pleasing. MORE HIPPIE PORN! dammit.]
This is right up there with manicuring your 'lawn' before labor so that the doctor doesn't get "grossed out"..do these women realize exactly what happens to that area? [I will grant that I trimmed before going in with Maggie, because I knew I'd be bleeding afterwards and getting the adhesive strips from the depends-sized pads stuck to hair is just an unnecessary pain added to an already unpleasant process. It certainly wasn't to impress someone who was going to be shoving a hand and assorted instruments up there.]
Thursday, November 3rd, 2005
2:34 pm
Holy SHIT. The Dems grew balls!
Privileged Resolution on Iraq

Whereas the war in Iraq has resulted in the loss of over 2,000 American lives and more than 15,000 wounded soldiers, and has cost the American people $190 billion dollars;

Whereas the basis for going to war was Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the President made a series of misleading statements regarding threats posed by Iraq, but no weapons of mass destruction have been found;

Whereas the Republican Leadership and Committee Chairmen have repeatedly denied requests by Democratic Members to complete an investigation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq and have ignored the question of whether that intelligence was manipulated for political purposes;

Whereas the Vice President’s Chief of Staff Lewis Libby has been indicted on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in connection with the disclosure of the identity of a CIA operative, and that disclosure was part of a pattern of Administration efforts to discredit critics of the Iraq war;

Whereas four separate requests to hold hearings on the disclosure of the CIA operative were denied in the Government Reform Committee, and Resolutions of Inquiry were rejected in the Intelligence, Judiciary, Armed Services, and International Relations Committees;

Whereas the American people have spent $20.9 billion dollars to rebuild Iraq with much of the money squandered on no-bid contracts for Halliburton and other favored contractors;

Whereas Halliburton received a sole-source contract worth $7 billion to implement the restoration of Iraq’s oil infrastructure, and a senior Army Corps of Engineers official wrote that the sole-source contract was “coordinated with the Vice President’s office”;

Whereas despite these revelations, on July 22, 2004 the Republican-controlled Government Reform Committee voted to reject a subpoena by Democratic Members appropriately seeking information on communications of the Vice President’s office on awarding contracts to Halliburton;

Whereas prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan have seriously damaged the reputation of the United States, and increased the danger to U.S. personnel serving in Iraq and abroad;

Whereas the Republican Leadership and Committee Chairmen have denied requests for hearings, defeated resolutions of inquiry for information, and failed to aggressively pursue serious allegations, including how far up the chain of command the responsibility lies for the treatment of detainees;

Whereas the oversight of decisions and actions of other branches of government is an established and fundamental responsibility of Congress;

Whereas the Republican Leadership and the Chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction have failed to undertake meaningful, substantive investigations of any of the abuses pertaining to the Iraq war, including the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, the public release of a covert operative’s name, the role of the Vice President in Iraqi reconstruction, and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal;

Therefore be it resolved that:

The House calls upon the Republican Leadership and Chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction to comply with their oversight responsibilities, demands they conduct a thorough investigation of abuses relating to the Iraq War, and condemns their refusal to conduct oversight of an Executive Branch controlled by the same party, which is in contradiction to the established rules of standing committees and Congressional precedent.
Saturday, October 15th, 2005
11:01 pm
terrah level thumbtack
Hey Wal*Mart? FUCK YOU.

Because really, I needed another reason to hate 'em.
Friday, September 9th, 2005
4:05 pm
watch this space

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of a headline writer being fired.
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