Friday, April 28, 2006

Is the Internet a Heaven or Hell for grammar nerds?

I've had 2 total strangers take the time in the last 2 weeks to either leave a comment on my blog or email me about some random typo or grammatical error.... errors that I can't actually find anywhere. Not on blog posts, not in comments I've left elsewhere. Not on bulletin board posts. THough I don't doubt for a minute that I've committed these sins against the English language. THe truth is, I don't give a shit.

Yes you idiot I KNOW "alot" isn't a word in the dictionary. If you spend any time reading my blog or comments I leave on other blogs, you'll quickly see that I'm the fattest-fingered typist you'll ever see. NOte hte very common DOuble capitalization at the beginning of sentences and the transposing of hte h and hte t in "the". Those my friend, are Mustang Sally trademarks. As is the passive voice and gratuitous use of run-on sentences.

I can barely summon the energy to take 5 minutes out of my precious daily existence to check for stray boogers on my face before walking out the door. Yesterday I put on navy BLUE socks with my black shoes and pants, BEFORE leaving the house. Yet, I DID NOT change the socks. Not even when I came home for lunch. Obviously, appearances do not mean a great deal to me. Not my real life persona, not my internet persona.

I catch spelling and grammar errors as I catch them, but I've never pretended to be a good copy editor. SOmeday when I write that best-selling novel I trust my publisher will hire a most excellent one to clean up my prose. Or not.

I have delusions of becoming the e.e.cummings of the blogosphere.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Here's a clue

Today Newsweek columnist Rabbi Marc Gellman tries to understand Angry Atheists, asking "Why Are Nonbelievers so threatened by the idea of God?" 
He starts out saying "I think I need to understand atheists better. I bear them no ill will. I don't think they need to be religious to be good, kind and charitable people, and I have no desire to debate or convert them. I do think they are wrong about the biggest question, "Are we alone?" ...
Then goes on to say "So we disagree about God. I'm sometimes at odds with Yankee fans, people who like rap music and people who don't like animals, but I try to be civil. I don't know many religious folk who wake up thinking of new ways to aggravate atheists, but many people who do not believe in God seem to find the religion of their neighbors terribly offensive or oppressive, particularly if the folks next door are evangelical Christians. I just don't get it. "
No, Rabbi - you apparently don't get Evangelical Christians. Because unlike you, they NO bear atheists ill will (remember McCarthyism and the Red Scare?) They DO think people need to be religious in order to be good, and kind, and charitable.  They DO have a desire to convert us, because they, unlike you... believe that THEIR personal salvation is dependent upon trying to do so. 
It's not the idea of God that we feel threatened by.  It's the very real intentions and agenda of your fellow believers in God that we are threatened by.  And we've got 2000 years of bloody, brutal history on our side to demonstrate that it's not God that's the problem. It's the folks who claim to do His will that are. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This is so sad: New study says  more than 40% of Americans earning between 20k - 40k / year do not have insurance. Per the Census Bureau, Poverty level for a single individual is $9600.  Poverty level for a 4 person household is about $19k. 

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bravest Woman In the World

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations to not clash, but compete. ... ... ...

The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: 'I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.' When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels. ... ... ... I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it. ...

You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs. ... The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blows himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them." (full translation by

Her name is Wafa Sultan. She's a self-described secular Arab-American Psychologist who went after the roots of radical Islam in a public debate on Al-Jazeera last week. And is now in hiding with a fatwa on her head.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fisking anti-Immigration bullshit rhetoric

I came across this phenomenal debunking of idiot anti-immigrant rhetoric today via Redneck Mother, via Super BabyMama (hey I did her template!). Everyone should memorize these facts the next time you're arguing politics with the in-inlaws (highly summarized - check out the link for a much more thorough analysis):

B.S. Point #1: They* place increasing demands on an overloaded healthcare system by going to ER's where they cannot be turned away.

Alisa's response: "Far and away the biggest strain on our emergency health system are the 45 million American citizens who are uninsured, not the illegal immigrants. 45 million is a number larger than the entire elderly population of this nation, larger than the entire African American population of this nation, larger than the entire LEGAL Latino population of this nation and larger than the entire country of Canada, and more than four times the entire population of Greece. Under Bush, the number of uninsured Americans has GROWN by over 5.2 million since 2000. Right wing pundits are pushing this b.s. to distract you from the real issue: More American citizens are sinking into poverty & losing health insurance than ever." If you're truly worried about an overextended emergency health system, push for universal health coverage.

Sally's Addendum to Alisa: The total estimated population of illegal immigrants is what: 7 Mill? And thanks to tougher laws that require E.R.'s to report the citizenship status of all patients, IME illegals only come to the ER when they have absolutely no other choice, for fear of deportation.

B.S. Point #2: They pay no property taxes to support the schools, which they overwhelm.

Alisa's response: No, but they pay rent and the landlords sure as hell pay property taxes. And you can be damned sure those owners are getting enough rent to cover those property taxes. So yeah, they pay property taxes.

Sally's Addendum to Alisa: Dude, does this mean we get to throw every child of apartment-dwelling American citizens out of our school districts, too?

B.S. Point #3: They do not register for selective service and do not serve in the military - forcing legal Americans to defend them.

Alisa's response: "All male immigrants – legal and otherwise – are required by U.S. law to register for selective service. Five percent of those serving in our military are illegal immigrants. The first soldier to die for the United States in the current war in Iraq was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. He died for you. You are not in Iraq fighting for anyone . You are home, sending lie-riddled missives to strangers at 3 a.m. on your computer."

B.S. Point #4: The only tax they're likely to pay is sales taxes which they cannot avoid and can remain anonymous

Alisa's response: Due to their extremely low wages no, they don't pay much in sales tax. But that tax cut Bush gave the wealthiest billionaires in the country? Thanks to it, we're losing $69 Billion a YEAR in tax revenue. For that kind of cash, we could have paid for 40 Million of the above-noted Uninsured Americans to have health coverage. "Sixty-nine billion dollars PAID BY OUR GOVERNMENT AS A GIFT TO THE RICH OF THIS NATION is many, many times more than anything 11 million illegal immigrants working for $4 an hour could contribute." You worried about people sucking the country dry of services and doing nothing to contribute to those services? Start with Bush's billionaire buddies.

Sally's Addendum: Let's not forget the corporate thieves who incorporate in Grand Caymen to avoid their federal tax burden.

B.S. Point #5: They refuse to assimilate, learn English, and send much of what they earn back to Mexico.

Alisa's response: Studies show "that by the third generation all immigrant grandchildren – no matter where they are from or the legal status of their ancestors are completely assimilated English speakers. There is not a single third-generation Hispanic in the United States whose primary or dominant language is Spanish. NOT ONE. This is precisely the same assimilation pattern followed by the Germans, Italians, French and every other linguistic minority immigrant group to this nation."
And regarding remittances: "The same argument should be held against US foreign investments abroad. After all, the amount of corporate transfers of capital is greater than the amount of remittances sent by low-paid workers. Moreover, if the US is to oppose the money remittances of "migrant workers" - should the reverse argument be held? That is, should US corporations abroad NOT be allowed to remit profits to the United States?"

Sally's Addendum: My grandmother (2nd generation immigrant on one side) actually only spoke German until she was in grade school. Nobody is suggesting we throw her out. Well, except my Mom & the Uncles when she's being a bit cranky. And re: money going offshore and depriving our economy? Dude..... the Saudi's & citizens of other oil-rich countries own half the stock in just about every major bank/financial institution in the country. I'd be happy to see some of those profits stay here.

* They being illegal immigrants, of course.

Monday, April 17, 2006

New Motto

"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution.
They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

Great quote I've seen in many places in the blogsphere lately, coined by Dem candidate for Maryland Senate, Jamie Raskin. Pump up the bumper sticker presses.

More on Right Livelihood

One other aspect of the controversy I hadn't picked up on until reading this:
"I have actually discussed it with my current employer when I was hired," said Norlander, who has been a pharmacist for 18 years. She felt at the time she was taking a risk by having that discussion, but it did not interfere with her employment. "I just don't want to be asked to dispense something which would not allow a human life to live."
That pretty much rules out EVERY SINGLE MEDICATION she would ever dispense, doesn't it?  So many Rx's for possibly fatal side-effects.  Allergic reactions.  Overdoses.  Conflicts with other contra-indicated medications. Hell, what about drivers who are mentally impaired by those drugs and who get in automobile accidents?  Vioxx alone was estimated to have killed nearly 30,000 people.  How many Vioxx Rx's did she dispense?  According to this article (which claims prescription drug are 16,400% deadlier than terrorists), there are probably up to 200,000 deaths a year as a result of prescription drugs.  How does she sleep at night?

Why Women Should be in charge

Owner of a self-serve golf driving range in Texas captures on video exactly why he thinks women should be in charge. Takes a minute to load.

Why Women Should Be In Charge.

The owner, Bud is hoping to make some $$ from his women's clothing line - the proceeds of which he tells me will benefit breast cancer research, a battered women's shelter and the campaign for the first woman president (no matter which ticket she's on).

Monday, April 10, 2006


Making me snort on a Monday morning: Pam at Pandagon brings us the great boob & panty wars of Alabama (a.k.a. gubernatorial race).  You've got to click through to Loretta Nall's website/ blog to get the panty story - definitely worth a read.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Springing Forward, Blogging Back

Why do we even bother with Daylight Savings Time?  Wouldn't it just be easier to start the workday and all activities an hour earlier in the day starting in the Spring rather than having to dink with moving the clock back?
I got my new issue of Discover magazine yesterday. This article in particular struck me: All Aboard the Cow Train. Snip: "The Svensk Biogas company of Linköping, Sweden, has built a locomotive that runs on cows and cow manure. The $1.25 million engine, which replaces an old Fiat diesel-powered locomotive along a local commuter line, is billed as the most environmentally friendly train in the world ."
At first glance, this looks great!  Then you read a little further: "Until recently, only cow manure and other farm waste fueled this process. This summer, however, Svensk found a way to use the whole heifer. Now the company chops up the cows and converts their guts, fat, and bones into an organic sludge, which then gets processed as before.

Obviously, there's a huge question left here - please Maude tell me that they're not raising the cows *specifically* to butcher them in order to throw 'em into the railroad hopper??  Please tell me that they're only "recycling" the entire animal after they've died of natural causes after a long and happy lifetime of frolicking in the fields producing manure for the train instead? 'Cuz if not - this next sentence is really horrifying:

"It takes about 30 cows to power the train along its 75-mile route from Linköping to Västervik, one of the countryside's most beautiful stretches of rail."

So that would be what, 2.5 cows/mile efficiency? First it's cows..what's next?  Rounding up stray dog/cats?  Unclaimed human corpses from the morgue? I don't know... it's starting to sound like the basis for a creepy Stephen King novel, crossed with the Polar Express.  Let's call it the Corpse Express.  Maybe Tom Hanks will agree to narrate?