It used to be that every five years or so I would spend a few days, pull out some paper, and answer the whole who-am-I and where-am-I-going and what-do-I-want-to-do-with-my-life question. But it's been a long time since I've done that.
However, something's nagging at me and telling me that it's time. In the past when I did this exercise, I found that I'm not very honest with myself; I told myself that what other people wanted for me is what I wanted as well. Mix in some stupid pride and I used to land up with a list of ridiculously high goals.
This time, when I do this, I have to focus on what *I* think, what *I* want. And I'm afraid to ask the questions this time around, because I don't know the answers. I'm afraid that the answers I do get will mean making big changes in my life, like changing jobs or moving away to another city.
And the madness continues. I am speechless.
US preparations for an air strike against Iran are at an advanced stage, in spite of repeated public denials by the Bush administration, according to informed sources in Washington.
The present military build-up in the Gulf would allow the US to mount an attack by the spring. But the sources said that if there was an attack, it was more likely next year, just before Mr Bush leaves office...
But Vincent Cannistraro, a Washington-based intelligence analyst, shared the sources' assessment that Pentagon planning was well under way. "Planning is going on, in spite of public disavowals by Gates. Targets have been selected. For a bombing campaign against nuclear sites, it is quite advanced. The military assets to carry this out are being put in place."
He added: "We are planning for war. It is incredibly dangerous."
No wonder Bush is pushing for even more troops to be shipped over to Iraq. Despite the upheaval that is going on in Iraq, it would still be the perfect staging ground for an attack on Iran—right next door. How on earth does the Bush administration figure they can pull off a surgical strike on Iran's nuclear capability without falling into yet another quagmire, especially given their recent track record?
read the original Guardian news report | digg story
Yesterday I received a piece of mail from my Member of Parliament, Ron Bruinooge (for whom, I hasten to add, I did not vote in the most recent election). What I read, and how it was written, made me very angry.
Canada's ruling Conservative party has halted a pilot program to provide safe-tattoo supplies to prison inmates, the purpose of which was to reduce the transmission of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS within the prison system.
It has been suggested in the newsmedia that the cost of the program would be covered, if it stops the spread of Hep C or HIV to as few as five other inmates per institution (thereby saving the government from paying associated healthcare costs later on when inmates become ill).
So Rod Bruinooge, my Conservative member of parliament, says in his mailing (reproduced above, the item I'm holding in my hand in the foreground): "I was against free tattoos for convicts and am proud our government ended this Liberal program." So he's proud that his government short-sightedly cut this pilot project, even before it could even be properly evaluated by the government's own public health department?
You are a political opportunist, pandering to the lowest common denominator using Fox-News-scare-bites devoid of any meaningful context. If you were indeed serious about ensuring my tax dollars were spent wisely, you could do a cost-benefit analysis and share the results with us, rather than simplistically paint the issue as an example of the previous Liberal government's misspending. And you're NOT getting my vote next time around, for exactly this sort of nonsense.
For God's sake, give the public some credit for being smart enough to figure out issues for themselves, instead of feeding them this pablum, you idiot.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal article displayed on-screen above (PDF from CMAJ website, Jan. 24, 2007).
Prison tattoo parlours get the axe (from CBC website, Dec. 4, 2006)
Give prison tattoo parlours a chance: activist (from the CBC website, Jan. 11, 2007)
In the current war of words between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump, The Donald's latest salvo is:
"If you talk to Rosie for a little while, she's crude, she's tough, she's arrogant, she's pushy, she's disgusting."
Uhh, Don, you're proving my point that often, that which most irritates you about other people, are qualities that you yourself have. Let's do a quick run-through, shall we? Hmmm... Crude, tough, arrogant, pushy, disgusting. Check, check, check, check, checkeroo, Don. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Oh, and just for the record, Mr. Trump? Rosie may have her moments as a blowhard, but at least she's not pretending to be anything other that who she is. You've become a walking caricature of yourself, as full of himself as Star Jones ever was, and if I see one more media picture of you with your over-Botoxed wife #3 pushing that gilded baby carriage around, I think I'm gonna throw something at my TV set.
I'm with Barbara Walters on this one; I'm taking Rosie's side. Replacing Star Jones with Rosie O'Donnell was the best move they ever could have made to revitalize The View.
I am so angry, and I have so much to say about the Mark Foley scandal down in the U.S., that I hardly know where to begin.
Lawyers acting for Mark Foley, the Republican congressman who resigned after it was revealed he had sent sexually charged emails to teenage boys, said yesterday that the politician had been abused by a member of the clergy as a teenager.
No details of the alleged abuse were given, other than that Mr Foley, who is a Roman Catholic, was between 13 and 15 years old at the time of the abuse. One lawyer, David Roth, acknowledged for the first time that the congressman, 52, is gay. "Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man," Mr Roth told a news conference in Florida, adding that the admission was part of a "recovery" programme. He also insisted that Mr Foley was "absolutely, positively not a paedophile". Mr Foley said in a statement on Monday that he was an alcoholic and that he was entering a recovery programme to treat his condition. (Glaister, Dan. "Republican who sent indecent emails was abused ", The Guardian, October 4, 2006)
Oh, so now he finally decides to come out of the closet, several years after he was already outed by The Advocate newsmagazine for hypocritcally voting in favour of the "Defence of Marriage" act.
And of course, now he checks himself into rehab, whimpering: "I did because I was drunk."; "I did it because of that priest."
Entering a "recovery" program? Recovery from what? Being gay? Being drunk? Getting caught??
I find it beyond pathetic that Foley finally plays the gay card, only when he thinks it will help him. How can it help him, you ask? By not-so-subtly using the "I'm gay so I molest children" charge which the Religious Right likes to keep throwing at us God-damned sodomites. That way, perhaps he can cast his sexual orientation as more of a "sin" that needs "recovery". This man is a disgrace to honest queer people everywhere, and I comfort myself with the thought that he's gonna be one helluva popular bitch at whatever prison he lands up in.
Oh, and he says he's not a paedophile?!? Well, I guess that depends on the law, but really. As more word leaks out about the content of those IM messages between him and one or more teenagers, one has to ask just how Mark Foel defines the term.
Apparently he is now saying (via his lawyer) that since no physical (i.e. face-to-face) acts took place, he is not a paedophile. This defence falls intro the category of "I never has sex with that woman!" Clinton learned a blow job is sex. Foley is going to soon learn that cybersex is sex.
And to make matters even worse, until his resignation he was a co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, and a backer of new legislation, the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which he may well now be charged under. HE WAS IN A POSITION OF TRUST. (I wonder what Joe Walsh, Adam's father and host of America's Most Wanted, is thinking now.)
I got news for Mr. Foley: Being gay does NOT excuse what you did. Being a drunk does NOT excuse what you did. Being a victim of child sex abuse does NOT excuse what you did. Being ANY COMBINATION OF a diddled-with, drunken faggot does NOT excuse what you did, in any way, shape or form. That you even TRY to use these as excuses or defenses makes you even viler, if that is possible.
I hope Foley gets the book thrown at him. His grasping, gawping response by checking into rehab and blaming booze/sexual abuse/being gay is absolutely, utterly, completely vile and reprehensible. Thankfully, most people can already see through that "rehab" act pretty easily; it's getting old.
UPDATE: Now Newt Gingrich has said that one reason why the Republicans in power didn't act on Mark Foley sooner was that they were afraid of being accused of "gaybashing". What the...?! As John Stewart said in response on The Today Show, assuming that all homosexuals are child sex offenders IS gaybashing.
News Flash: Paris Hilton Actually DOES Something!
Well, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
My favourite nasty comments on this video are from here:
"...I wanted to reach through the monitor, pin her arms down to her sides, truss her up with her own bleached hair, and javelin-toss her out to sea, where sharks will jump up into the air to eagerly consume her."
(with respect to the shaky camerawork on the video) "...is this the Blair Witch Project Beach Party Boogaloo? Was the entire "beachy" idea to make the viewer seasick? BTW nice "singing" Paris. And by singing I mean twelve layered vocal tracks, a pitch corrector, vocoder, and ten months of studio editing."
It has been humbling (and painful beyond belief) to realize that I need to focus on one key thing in my life: my foundation is cracked.
I've spent most of the last eight years (1997-2005) trying to build up a network and an identity for myself, failing and flailing as I go along, digging myself deeper and deeper into a pit of my own making.
And it is only the hard way that I've learned that I can't work on the higher-up stuff without dealing with the lower-down stuff first. The fundamentals, the foundational stuff that needs to be stable and strong for you to build upon.
For example, I can now see that it's pointless to try and make a romantic relationship work when I can't even love myself.
It's useless to work myself up over not getting what I think I deserve, because life is *not* fair and there is *no* contract that says, if you follow all the "rules", that you will get what you want. People are not always going to follow the Golden Rule, and God is not some celestial vending machine.
And it's deadly dangerous to suppress parts of yourself so severely, that you land up with a continuous "background process" running in your brain, constantly at work to keep those parts out of your consciousness, in order to "save" yourself. Because in "saving" myself I just burdened myself even more. Being blind to yourself as you really are is worse than any prison.
And that it's better to have a smaller number of closer friends than a Rolodex packed full of acquaintances. One minor miracle of the past eight months has been to realize that I don't have to *do* anything to be loved and valued; I just have to accept that I already *am* loved and valued (even if I don't see things from the same perspective as my friends and family do).
I have to focus on the little things before I can expect to achieve the bigger things in life. Which means accepting that I have cracks in my foundation, areas which were slapped together and now need to be repaired properly before I can move forward.
Painful. Humbling. But necessary.
You know, just when you think that the management at Friendster cannot possibly fuck themselves up any further, they manage to top themselves.
I agree with Jeremy Zawodny on this one. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on Troutgirl's blog that was not already a matter of public record, including Friendster's switch from JSP to PHP to make it run faster. They are a social software company, and they fired an employee for blogging?!? Jonathan Abrams and company should be ashamed of themselves.
And this is exactly the excuse I need to end my Friendster addiction for good. I am cancelling my account, and I suggest you do the same. I mean, c'mon, Friendster has been a ongoing joke anyway. It's time to cut to the punch line and let it go.
Oh, and I'm saving this image and my five profile images to Flickr as public images.
I wasn't able to use everybody's suggestions, but if you click on "AILTQ On The Air" (right above the calendar in the left-hand coluimn), the mix is up! Enjoy :-)
I don't know you anymore
I don't recognize this place
The picture frames have changed
And so has your name
We don't talk much anymore
We keep running from the pain
But what I wouldn't give to see your face again