Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Butch Stroll Sticker on a Cadillac...

The 99 Cent Store on Steinway Street has an ATM. The fee for the ATM is $2.00, which is even more than the standard bank fee of $1.50. As that bitch Cindy Adams would say, "Only in New York, kids. Only in New York."

Last night we celebrated K's birthday. Some highlights of the evening include Indian food, subsequent fire-hole, lots and lots of drinking, drag queens, pretty young girls insisting I do more kareoke, and a bottle shattering on the sidewalk. We were truly on the Butch Stroll. At one point, however, there was a man playing a flute at this bar on Avenue A. We all looked at each other and we needed no words: if someone is playing a flute, it ain't the Butch Stroll.

If you give me a microphone, an audience, and an instrumental track, I am a happy ruffian. Some fratty boy kept yelling "show us your tits" to my newfound sorority sisters. I of course had no problem showing mine. I told those girls they got my a-cups, drag queens, Guns N Roses, the Boys of Summer, and their youth--AND YOU ARE FUCKING HAPPY, MAN! YOU GOT YOUR MONEY'S WORTH.

"Iyaiyaiyaiyaiyaiyaiayaiyaiyaiayai...where do we go? No no no no no no no, sweet chiaiaiaiaiald o' miiiiine..." Tell me that shit doesn't get stuck in your head.

I went out earlier to drop my laundry off and realized I had locked myself out of the aparment. El Boyfriend Del Roommate is not here, so I set the alarm off to get on the roof. I climbed down the fire escape, putting my intense fear of heights out of my mind. I squeezed my skinny ass between the ladder and the wall to comfort me from thoughts that I might plummet to my death.

At Palace Fried Chicken, there was this little fat white boy in "gear", as the kids say, who was repeatedly referring to people as "nigga" this and "nigga" that, and then started telling his friend how he was going to rob some "niggas". That made me laugh because he looked so abusable that Meow Kitty could probably even gut him. But then I wondered, does he have a free pass on use of the N-word-ending-in-a, kind of like Eminem does?

Glad to know that the child-guard in the roommate's window is absolutely pointless. It was put there because the window doesn't lock, and there have been robberies in this building from people climbing in through the fire escape. We have no children in danger of falling out the window. And it's not keeping anybody out.

Iyaiyaiyaiyaiyaiyaiayaiyaiyaiayai...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Research Ethics

One thing that I understand about clinical trials of new drugs, is that often there is no research for the effects of new drugs on children, because children are hard to come by, not to mention the fact that their use in research studies raises ethical red flags. This story profiles a mature-for-her-age young girl who was a participant in a research study for parental consent. The girl sees herself as helping others, as she likely has. "If people don't do testing, how are we going to find drugs for these diseases?" she asks. The article asks the question, "What about the risks of not doing research on children?" The Big Question is how far a parent can go in "consenting" for their children, who are unable by laws or "ethical standards" to consent for themselves. Another big question is: what if that girl wasn't so gung ho and selfless about her participation in research that causes her pain?

Another question the article raises is just how "informed" is "informed consent"? I know from research on the subject, and from my own personal involvement with clinical trials, that informed consent is tricky. Not matter how many documents you sign, it doesn't mean you are informed. And many people often do not hear what the researchers are telling them (that they will likely get no health benefit from the research) because what they want to hear is that the research is a form of treatment. Then of course there are dollar signs in their eyes, as most clinical trials offer an incentive. Money, the song goes, changes everything.

This of course raises another issue, that of the overlapping of research and treatment. There are examples (though I can't think of a good one right now) of doctors, throughout history, noticing things that happen to patients being treated for one thing, and apply those side-effects to other patients for whom it might provide a benefit. As they both study and apply their new data, are they researching, or are they treating? Does one have to be a patient or a research subject? Can she be both at the same time? It's an interesting and tricky aspect of medical ethics.

A couple issues back the Rosamond Rhodes had an interesting--and contoversial--article in the American Journal of Bioethics about a system that could be created underwhich citizens are mandated to participate in medical research. The end that would come from this would be an explosion of our medical knowledge and ability to treat and heal. Her idea -- and I'm not doing it justice with this summary -- is that one can pick from a list of studies for which she qualifies in which to participate, every so often. There would then be no "free riders". I don't think children were excluded from this plan, either. Despite her compelling argument, I can't get around the crippling of liberty this idea poses. Plus, how would someone who refuses be punished?

I still visit the same doctor's office where my clinical trial was conducted for a rare condition, who offers discounted services as a charity, though I don't see the doctor I see his nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner can do everything the doctor can do and I like him better. So I do not mind and in fact prefer seeing him. But from the doctor's perspective, I think it is a matter of me seeing the NP because I'm not paying the full cost that my insurance doesn't cover. When I was in that trial, I feel like I was fully informed. But I also remember a false hope--that I might be cured. I remember asking, "Is this going to make it go away?" and he would never answer me directly because he didn't know -- that's why it was research. Rather he would say how "promising" it looked. As it turns out I'm one of the few the developing treatment and its trials did little for. But I'm still glad I took part.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Some thoughts on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka is portrayed as a gayish, narcissistic eccentric. As a gayish, narcissistic eccentric myself, I wholeheartedly approve.

You can't really understand the lyrics to the Oompa Loompa songs, which is unfortunate because they contribute to the telling of the story.

I do not like how Michael TeeVee is perhaps the brattiest and meanest of them all, but because he advocates for science in response to Willy Wonka's preference for fantasy, he gets his punishment, rather than because he is a little punk. (Though he shouldn't have jumped into the teleporter, that was just stupid on his part.)

The effects, Johnny Depp and the little boy who played Charlie were all excellent. As were all of the kids, really. The movie itself is only mediocre. This may have to do with the fact that the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is pretty much predictable as beloved as it may be.

My first experience with IMAX reveals that I only want to see movies in IMAX from now on.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Reporting Live From Astoria, Queens

ASTORIA - A fire engulfed Vaccaro's Bakery today, threatening to burn the entire neighborhood to the ground.


Apparantly Vaccaro's Bakery left the bread in the oven a little too long.


Rising above the crowd that gathered, the crane takes the "through the roof" approach.


The dog in this picture was just sitting directly in front of the bakery, tied to a parking meter, calmly drinking water from a styrofoam cup.






This firefighter gently shouldered his way through the door next door, causing the owner of the property to question his building's security.


People were apprantly still allowed to come and go up and down the sidewalk, as well as in and out of the store.


There were more firefighters and firefighting vehicles there than I've ever seen in one spot. Hopefully everyone was okay.
No one else has found this as funny as I have, except K-rock.


K-rock said she is going to write in, saying: "I had my two kids strapped into the back of the station wagon, headed to the river, with a ton of cinderblocks in the trunk...but then I found Su Doku, and it saved all our lives."

This is the company van for an unfortunately named company:


This ad is everywhere: on the side of busses, in the subway, and even in the theater last night:

No, evolution has not made a monkey out of us, but perhaps it has made some monkey-like creature's progeny into us through the process of natural selection over millions of years.

She's thinking: It's so fucking hot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pieces of News

Bin Laden goes after Wall Street and nightlife in fell swoop. Thank God he was foiled...but I did think that last bag of jack had a wierd consistency.

This headline reads as though it is a disappointment.

And finally, an ancient phallus was found in a German cave. I love that in the article they refer to it as a "tool". It is believed to have been used as both a dildo, and for "knapping flints". "There are some areas where it has some very typical scars from that"--knapping flints, that is, not dildo-ing.

Giant Carnivorous Mice

This is stuff strait from my worst nightmares: Giant Carnivorous Mice Eating Seabird Chicks Alive.

This story neglects to mention, by the way, that the Giant Carnivorous Mice are not only populated on the island of Gough. They are also right here in the United States -- also known as the NYC Subway Rat.

I am willing to put this ferocious beast on loan to resolve the problem:



She's not playing around. K-rock suggested I put the Roommate's Boyfriend in a mouse suit and let Meow Kitty go to work.


(Incidentally, I have had three conversations in the past three days about somene's body type looking like Mighty Mouse's.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Early Morning Stroll

Last night I was awaken by The Roommate's Boyfriend who was cooking a fucking extravagant Mexican meal in the kitchen complete with banging pots and insane, smokey, noisy frying, followed by rearranging the furniture in their room. This is happening from about 3 to 4 a.m. So, though I was dosed on 'scription sleep-aids, I could not go back to sleep, but the mild sedation may be what kept me from killing him on the kitchen floor right in front of the cat. This is why I was out on the stroll so early this morning. Now I'm in the cube.

First Crazy Person Interaction of the Day
For some reason crazy people spot me and go to great lengths to have interactions with me. Birds of a feather, perhaps. The first crazy person was a man at Dunkin' Donuts this morning. He was telling me how much he loves my outfit (which, mind you, is only the standard "bizness casual" crap I wear everyday). He proceeded to tell me how he likes how my outfit has the ability to convert (I believe "transform" was his word) into protective rain gear. Then he starts telling other customers this. I have no idea where he was getting that from. Maybe the umbrella.

Sneakers Redux
Previously,I compared iPod muggings with sneaker muggings. Then today I read that sneaker muggings are apparantly making a comeback. Now if anyone wants to beat me for my $30 Adiddas,

they need these fucking shoes more than I do. By the way, in my old age I could never justify spending over fifty bucks on a pair of shoes.

Su Doku
Every morning I read the NY Post. It is a part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but it only costs a quarter, it is the Cliff's Notes of the news (you have to filter through the editorialization), and it has Page Six, a guilty pleasure. Anyway, they have been really promoting their new puzzle, Su Doku, and part of this promotion has included regularly printing throughout the paper little "testimonials" about how in love people are with Su Doku. It's usually along the lines of, "I can't wait until I get the Post in the morning so I can start on Su Doku right away," or "It's even helped my kids do better in math". Today though I almost spit my coffee out of my mouth with laughter, as I came across this simple printed statement: "It is the best thing that has ever happened to me." Jesus Christ! Get out of the house more, dude!*

Crazy Person Interaction Number Two
I get off the bus. Crazy Man #2 approaches me. He has a copy of The Onion in his hands. His mouth is moving a mile a minute. I pull the earphone out of my ear to hear him. He is looking at me with desperation and anxiety in his almost teary eyes. I was thinking maybe he had taken one of The Onion headlines seriously. But no, he wants to know what the date is. "Why, it's the 25th," I tell him. He looks back down to the paper, pointing to the "Number 29" (as in Volume ___, Number 29). I explain that that is just the issue number, not today's date.

On a final note, I wish I had been first to come up with Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before for the title of this here blog. That is brilliant.

*Now this may be a case of somebody noticing how masturbatory and sickening the little Su Doku testimonials are and wanting to see if they could get one that is ridiculously over the top published in the paper. Let's all try that, shall we? For example: "I was going to kill myself until I found Su Doku and it gave me a reason to live again." Email your love letters to: sudoku@nypost.com

More later. That is both a promise and a threat. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Universal Sign for "Rock On"

No sooner had I posted the new image bove in he title-space of this here blog, than do I find this picture



at blog.bioethics.net.

For the record, the picture in the title-space is of my hand, not Dan Quayle's. ;)

Now I go see my friend's band play in a very heterosexual environment in Sunnyside. Whenever I am in one of these hetero places, I feel like I am somehow infiltrating something, like I am a spy or a sabatuer. My friend K-von refused to come with me because he discriminates against hetero establishments. I told him I was going to pick someone up and have sex with them just to prove a point. Again, ;)

Peace to the middle east. I'm out.

The Roommate Stroll

The Butch Stroll word of the day is luddite. Please use it in a sentence once, and scream every time you hear it.

Yesterday I didn't go to work. Long story, but the short of it is: Just Couldn't Do It. Then today I slept in, too.

The whole Nanny Diaries Online fiasco, and more recently Jolie In NYC having a "fired for blogging" epsiode (or two) of her own, not to mention the countless other bloggers fired for blogging is on my mind now when I post at work. Which I do, frequently. But the truth is if I get fired it won't be for blogging. It will be for being late more times than not.

It's not like this blog is reaching the gazillions of users who have figured out the World Church of Assimilation's true identity and are using this fact to destroy Christianity as we know it. And it's not like I post about it a lot anyway. And if I were going to be "figured out" for what I'm doing on my computer, I would have definatly been fired already for some of the shit that has popped up on my computer screen. Either the network guys aren't checking people's internet usage, or they like me enough to not rat me out to the luddites in charge of everything up there.

The truth is, my job is not that bad, and the WCOA does work that I can stand behind. They help people without a "come to prayer meeting and bible distribution" requirement. I am all for helping people.

So, speaking of helping people. My roommate and I have been through a lot together. He is my cousin. (It's so funny, whenever I call him "my cousin" black people want it clarified that he's my blood relative -- because many black communities use the term "cousin" loosely to describe a person close to the family but not necessarily related. But I digress.)

There is so much I want to say about my cousin. I love him dearly. I think he loves me too. There is a long complex thing that has been building up to this determined point for mellinia between us. In short, his boyfriend now lives here--the words have been spoken--and while my cousin is in NC, the boyfriend is staying here. I was so not cool with this. We discussed it. I told him that I was saying I can't get down with it, but that he was going to do whatever he wants to do anyway, so I don't really have a say in it. He assured me that I do have a say in it. But nothing changed. So the truth is: I don't have a say in it.

Now in fairness, I'm not gonna tell that boy he has to go sleep behind the gas station. I am all about the old-school long-gone gay community for which Sarah Schulman often laments in her writing. Cuz said, "I'm just asking for some charity." My heart strings were strung, and well. What are ya gonna do.

It could be not entirely true that he has no place to go, that his family through him out suddenly (what perfect timing? right when he gets a boyfriend?) for being gay... But I'm over and on with it. It's just the noise. The lack of privacy. The additional filth production. If there is any too-good-to-be-true studio in the five boroughs anybody comes across, let me know.

And now, a change of gears.
Another long-gone thing, like the aforementioned gay community is the graffiti writers of old, as documented in Style Wars, among other places. Now there are places to legally write but it's just not the same as the subversive, criminal act of painting a subway train. But there are still a few out there trying to refire the graffiti world of decades past. Here in Astoria, "Vent" is prolific:



As you can see, it is not exactly brilliant artistry. He is perhaps what they call a "toy".

Also, Sin2 is prolific -- I see his tag everywhere in Astoria -- and it is just simple and easy, just a quick "this is my name, everyone will see it, this is my form of fame".



I had this idea a while back to track down Vent, and Sin2, and others, and do a little article that would possibly put some money in my pocket and give them a little recognition and fame they likely want. I am full of ideas. But as someone once told me, ideas are a dime a dozen -- action is hard to come by.

It's a beautiful day. I'm going outside now.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Free Judith Miller

That I mostly loathe gossip columnist Cindy Adams doesn't mean that I can't occasionally agree with her. Regarding Judith Miller, she writes:

July 22, 2005 -- WHAT is this nonsense, insane stupidity hideousness, that has put the New York Times' Judith Miller, a hard-driving, great reporter — a credit to her profession, someone all we lesser writers hugely admire — behind bars doing hard time? What is this rage for rage that envelops our nation? This rage to punish. Punish what?! Punish what a few years ago her profession would applaud?


As others and I have said before, Miller is perhaps a poster child for the "liberal media" yet in a journalistic manner refuses to disclose her source which would likely hurt hugely powerful and influential conservatives. That is what we call non-partisan integrity...

Sooo, she is in jail for protecting the conservative brains--by refusing to disclose a source on a piece that she never even wrote much less had published. Free Judith Miller, I say.

Karl "The Hog" Rove



There hasn't been much above Karl Rove's CIA agent outing in the news lately, but I loved this little piece from the NY Press that reminds us that this isn't the reason why we should all be so disgusted by him.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Canada Disregards God's Plan for the Family

A Vatican newspaper decries gay marriage in Canada, calling it a "distortion of God's plan for the family. God's plan for the family according to the Catholics is for heterosexuals to raise their children in Catholic Churches, where they will have their buttholes twiddled by desexualized priests.

Random Bag Searches in Subway Stations

Since the recent London train bombings, and the small explosion today in London in which one person was hurt, the Mayor of New York, Michael "Hot Stuff"Bloomberg say, "We just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary," Bloomberg said. "Are they intrusive? Yes, a little bit. But we are trying to find that right balance."

I can think of a number of embarrasing moments this could cause me.

Rush Checks & Sick Days

Here at the WCOA, there is what is known as a "rush check". In the event that there is an emergency that requires money, you create the check in the computer and then someone in Financial approves it to be "rushed out" or directly deposited to the recipients account. Imagine how frustrating it is when you are going through the approval steps for a rush check--and the Big Boss is at the top of the chain for having the check rushed in the first place--but the person who does the final step in the process blows his lid. "You can't just bring these down here!" he proclaims, as he does it. "You have to start giving me more time!" Clearly, not understanding the concept of "rush" and "emergency" as it relates to "time".

This of course happens here, where Human Resources (who really does look upon humans as "resources" to be used up and discarded rather than actual persons) expects the help to plan their sick days. Again--not understanding the key concepts involved.

In other news, when I got home yesterday my roommate had that look on his face that says "I'm going to ask you to do or endure something either difficult or unpleasant." That look never betrays the truth of what's coming. More on that later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Two Bitches Holding Court

I can't think about the Supreme Court right now and Bush's nomination of John Roberts. It's too late and too kind of eerie not knowing what to expect as this plays out. Bitch Phd has posted juicy bits of the scoop, and there is always ye olde Wikipedia entry on Roberts.

So, on a lighter note, here is an AP article about Madonna's interview, cover, and photoshoot for Vogue magazine. It is kind of crazy that the media reports on your upcoming story in another part of the media. Look at her face in this picture:



THAT is the laugh of the well-to-do. I love that she is in a dress and heals to feed the chickens.

The Idiot Tax and more.

I find it kind of sadly funny that the Triboro Bridge Playground, located under the Triboro Bridge



is really just concrete with a few benches. I mean at least have a slide or something if you're gonna call it a playground.



The other day I paid the "Idiot Tax", also known as the lotto. I only do the "scratch off" games because, frankly, I don't know how the "pick numbers" type works. Sadly, that's where the Big Money is. Anyway, as illustrated, I made $5.00 on my $4.00 investment, which only encourages me to further hope against hope for "Easy Money".



Below on the left we have "Papa Johns" which recently moved in on the territory of our friendly neighborhood John's Pizzeria. The competition is fierce and I hope John's survives the Big Chain that has moved in two doors down. Papa John's is cheaper and quicker. I still support my boys at John's, but Papa John's sure is tempting with their dollar-slices.

Papa Johns Vs. Johns

Monday, July 18, 2005

Another work Email


MEMORANDUM

TO: All World Church of Assimilation Staff

FROM: HR Lady

DATE: July 18, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor has estimated that American business loses about $1 billion annually in absenteeism, low morale, and new employee training and replacement costs as a result of sexual harassment.

While most of us have no trouble recognizing overt harassment, the more subtle behaviors and situations can be confusing. Most harassers don't intend to offend; they simply don't understand some simple but crucial behavioral guidelines. They are:

- Think before you speak
- Respect the workplace
- Keep your hands to yourself

In today's diverse workplace, it's more important than ever to know what harassment is and how to prevent it.

It is the policy of the World Church to prohibit harassment of one employee by another employee or supervisor on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, creed, color, martial status, sexual orientation, handicap (differently-able persons), national origin, religion, gender, or veteran status.

Human Resources will be conducting a MANDATORY Harassment Training Refresher
[this sounds like a how-to, does it not?] beginning July 27, 2005.

Below is the schedule in which you should follow to attend the training. If you are not able to attend any of the scheduled dates, please contact HR.

We look forward to an interactive training.


Interactive? I hope I get a good partner...

DISCIPLINE!

Here at the World Church of Assimilation this morning, we recieved this message via email:

Just a Reminder. . . Staff are in violation of Policy 211 when they clock in and then leave the work area prior to 45 minutes from the start time to go to the cafeteria to obtain food/drink.

Disregard of this policy will result in disciplinary sanctions.


My finger is on the trigger, and I am, against my better judgement, so tempted to reply to all with:

Please come to the third floor ASAP to pick up your ankle braclets and cortical shock devices.

Mostly out of curiosity to see if they would fire me for it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Return to Oz

Last night I met this guy at That Place guy who seemed very cute. When I got the close up though he had the sunken-eyed look of a crack head and was skinny. Seriously, he looked like those pictures of Ethiopians on that Sally Struthers commercial, and that is not an exageration. He said he had been doing "too much Tina". I said, "Is that why you're so fucking skinny?" He claimed that his whole family was skinny, and it didn't have anything to do with drugs. But I am certain that anorexia is not something you're born with. Remind me to stop going to That Place--I've been swearing it off for years. And remind me to stop using drugs...though I am getting fat lately. Still a nosefull of something might make you Nicole Ritchie thin, but you need a makeup artist to keep the gaunt from showing.

I need to find the will-power, self-control, and discipline to:

1. Quit smoking.
2. Become a vegetarian.
3. Get off the caffeine.
4. Exercise regularly.
5. Start back with yoga.
6. Become celibate.

The other day there were these little girls--three of them, about six years old if that--handing out little cards in Times Square Station. They were in Little House on the Prarie style dresses and headwraps. I hate flyer-hander-outers because they are usually in the way and so aggressive, shoving their crap for discounted gym memberships or Jews for Jesus in your face when you try to ignore them, but these little girls intrigued me because they had a strange mixture of horror and boredom on their faces. So I took one of their things.



Apparantly, the time of redemption is near, and all you have to do is join up with the Rebbe [pictured] who is the "king" of this cult-like group. He has prophecized about everything and, of course, his predictions have come true without fail. I think this group probably wants to cash in on the popularity of the Kabbalah cult that my dear Madge Ritchie is so absorbed in. At any rate, I might be willing to get behind them on this "better world for all mankind" but in the Seven Noahide Laws there is a sexual immorality clause to which I can't commit. See number 6 above.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Somebody check the temperature in hell...

It might have frozen over.

I told myself I was going to break away from this damn computer today, but I loved this so much...that I had to post huge chunks of it here. :)

Today the NY Post--the right wing highly editorialized Cliff's Notes of the news media--carried a story by Johnathon Cohn of the New Republic about the Rove fiasco and media bias in which he is not only critical of Rove's outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, but cites a Fox News reporter's question that, while "softball" compared to other, wasn't exactly friendly. While the NY Post also ran like seven hundred stories defending Rove, the fact that they ran this guy's editorial and his claim that even Fox News is catching on, speaks volumes about Rove's guilt.

The article is brilliant. Basically, he comes to the conclusion that the "liberal media" has suffered by protecting Rove by not testifying that he was the leak. And he comes to the well-argued conclusion that Rove deserves an ousting.


So where's the liberal media conspiracy? Oh, right, back in the press briefing room, where reporters were pummeling poor Scott McClellan. But when even Fox's correspondent gets on the bandwagon, maybe it's a sign of what's really driving this story: not a partisan or temperamental crusade to bring down the president, but a recognition that administration officials committed sleazy, possibly illegal, acts for which they should finally be held accountable.


At best, Rove made a big mistake. At worst, he broke the law to nastily punish someone critical of the administration. In either case, he should be fired. But that won't happen.

Legal trouble still seems unlikely for Rove, given the high threshold for proving a transgression, but political trouble is another matter. It's now clear that Rove's past denials of involvement--namely, his statement to CNN last year that "I didn't leak her name"--rest only on the quaintly Clintonian distinction that he never uttered the words "Valerie Plame," referring to her instead as Wilson's wife. Both McClellan and Bush himself have made broad statements about the moral impropriety of leaking such information--and the consequences that would befall any officials caught doing so. "If anyone in this administration was involved in it," McClellan said in 2003, "they would no longer be in this administration."

Or maybe they would. When conservatives make mistakes, they don't admit them. They blame the liberal media conspiracy. And the right has been trying to defuse the Plame controversy that way for a while now. Even before this latest revelation, Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, had called the episode an "absurd media feeding frenzy about a non-crime that journalists relentlessly hyped to hurt the Bush administration." The meme continued this week when, on msnbc's "Hardball," New York Post Washington bureau chief Deborah Orin attacked the media for focusing on Rove instead of Wilson's (alleged) misstatements. On Fox News, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes made the same argument, suggesting that Rove was under scrutiny only because "three-fourths of the press and 100 percent of the Democrats are out to get him."

That last charge, which we hear every time Republicans get into ethical trouble, is particularly ironic given the sagas of two reporters ensnared in this controversy: Cooper and Judith Miller. Cooper looks like a poster boy for liberal media bias. He's a graduate of the Ivy League (Columbia University). He worked at two left-of-center opinion magazines (The New Republic and The Washington Monthly). He's even married to a former Clinton White House operative (Mandy Grunwald). Yet, when faced with the option of revealing his source--thereby embarrassing the White House--or going to jail, Cooper held fast and prepared for imprisonment. He did agree to testify about his conversation with Rove at the very last minute. But, according to news accounts, it was only after Time, over Cooper's own objections, relinquished e-mails that effectively outed Rove anyway and after Rove's lawyer reminded reporters that Rove had issued a blanket waiver to all reporters involved in the inquiry. Those are hardly the actions of somebody on a crusade to get the White House.


****
In other news, some man on the street earlier said, "Love your shirt [pictured]." That man made my day.

Now it's naptime. Laundry wore me out.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Hey Britney, you say you wanna lose control..."

Just when you thought there was nothing left to see of Britney Spears, she is reportedly preparing to birth her child on television. We have perhaps reached new heights in publicity stuntage. If this is in fact true, I hope that she takes a very clinical approach to the episode in which her gaping vagina is (unseen yet) featured. Maybe she should call Tom Green for some pointers--his testical surgery episode is likely being used in medical schools now. [via Pink Is The New Blog]

File under WTF

Woman grows penis...?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Wrong Values, Bitches.

I'm adding this to my growing list of What's Wrong With America: Coddled twentysomethings enjoy luxury on blue-collar salary.

On a related note: "We need to buy less and make better buying decisions," she said. "We're going to have to rethink how we deal with trash because so many things we throw out, we could reuse."

Regarding my previous post...see?

The Governator is a highly paid consultant for a fitness magazine that gets its revenue in large part from the "nutritional supplement" industry. As governor of California, he "vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry." This is clearly a conflict of interest. No matter how un-influenced he was, it still just looks bad for him. Then his spokesperson says:


that his financial holdings were "probably the most complicated of any governor" and that he had complied with all laws for disclosing his income. She said the consulting contract presented "no conflict of interest" because Schwarzenegger did not solicit any advertising.


No, Ms. Thompson, his contract does present a conflict of interest because he oversees the legislation that pertains to the industry that funds the company he's contracted with. They already advdertise--he need not solicit them to do so--and he decides on laws that directly affect them.

Bioethics and "The Industry"

The Lancet's Viewpoint is that bioetheics journals should not publish articles funded by by industry. In many ways, I think this is a "duh" point of view. "Influence peddling" is nothing new to bioethicists, as a main issue in bioethics is that



[...] clinicians who accept gifts and honoraria from industry are more likely to prescribe drugs from that particular industry, even when they do not themselves believe they have been influenced.



So, naturally this same sociological phenomena will occur when industry is supporting research into what is the right thing to do.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Scientists' Misconduct

On the heels of a Washington Post story about scientists' misconduct (from fibbing results to outright faking them) comes a new story from the LA Times. [via bioethics.net]

A case study of sorts, from the article, emphasis mine, natch:


"I did something which was the worst possible thing I could have done," he testified. [...] "I created data. I made it up. I also made up patients that were fictitious," he testified.

Friedman's wife met him at the door when he came home that night. He wept uncontrollably. The next morning he had an emergency appointment with his psychiatrist.

But he didn't tell the therapist the truth, and his lies continued for 10 more days, during which time he delivered a letter, and copies of the doctored files, to his boss. Eventually he broke down, admitting first to his wife and psychiatrist, and later to his colleagues and managers, what he had been doing.

Friedman formally confessed, retracted his articles, apologized to colleagues and was punished. Today he has resurrected his career, as senior director of clinical research at Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company.

He refused to speak with the Associated Press. But his case, recorded in a seven-foot-high stack of documents at the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, tells a story of one man's struggle with power, lies and the crushing pressure of academia.


He moves from the "crushing pressure of academia" to that bastion of ethics, the pharmaceutical industry...all via his shrink. There's a joke in there somewhere.

iPods are the New Nike Airs

After several muggings and a killing over iPods, iPod users are now trying to camoflage their equipment. The white "earbuds" are easily identifiable. So people are switching to different colored earbuds, so they can have piece of mind knowing that if they're gonna get jacked or stabbed, it won't be over their mp3 player.

I do not have an iPod. I have a Rio, or, as I like to call it, "the poor man's iPod." (Apparantly they can't give these things away--or maybe they can 'cause that's how I got mine.) The Rio comes with black earphones. I was in no danger of being murdered for it, until those earphones gave out. When I bought a new pair, before I read this story, they happened to be white. So now I could be killed over my iPod, and I don't even have an iPod, just the illusion thereof! What kind of life is this. On top of everything, my new earphones don't even sit in my ears right.

The iPod Murders, as they will come to be called, remind me of when I was in high school and kids were killing each other over their Air Jordans. I think this still happens. I've always wondered, though...how do you judge your victims shoe size? It would suck to go through the trouble of beating and/or killing someone only to discover their sneakers are two sizes too small.

Laptops replace Books

In an Arizona school, students will be completely textbook free, having their books replaced by laptops. There are a lot of benefits one can imagine, as well as a lot of pitfalls. Will solitaire become the new doodling?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I'm an easy laugh, what can I say.

Old Jokes Home from Popbitch:

Q: What do you call cheese that doesn't belong to you?

A: Nacho cheese.

Friday, July 08, 2005

London.

The Londonist has a play-by-play and an ongoing report of what's happening in London since the attacks yesterday.

Meanwhile, assholes are coming out of the woodwork. Some asshole from Fox News wishes it had been Paris. This asshole is also pretty stupid too, since he believes that the bombings had something to do with London being picked for the 2012 Olympics -- when in fact they had probably had this planned for a long time before the Olympic pick and almost certainly planned it to coincide with the G8 in Scotland. His hateful comments, like terrorism itself, achieves nothing. And this is the kind of person who moans and groans about other nations' distaste for Americans.

Another, somewhat less offensive asshole, is pop singer Omarion, who had the audacity to make a press release urging prayers for his safe return. He was no where near explosions and was of course unharmed. Is it just me, but if you're gonna ask people to pray for something at the moment, shouldn't it be the LONDONERS who were AFFECTED?

London has repsonded with courage to these attacks, and I think that the majority of us here in the U.S. share the feeling of concern for England in this tragic time.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

First thing I hear on the radio this morning

is the "dance hits" dj relaying the news of the London terrorist attacks.

Not much to say at this point. Just listening and reading the news. Horrible.

My heart goes out to London and all effected.

The War In Iraq.

Insomnia again.

Like many, many people, I am deeply troubled by the state of the world, particularly by the war in Iraq. And to be quite honest, I don't like politics or politicians of either stripe, and I really do try not to pay attention to what a party or group has to say about anything, and focus on the "facts" and come to my own conclusion. The scary thing is that any "facts" are hard to come by. Media is inherently biased in my opinion--no matter how objective and apolitical a source may strive to be, they are influenced by a number of things. I am influenced by a number of things. And even those in positions of political power that I think might actually be decent human beings, I still just can't trust any of them. Even when they are doing what is right, they are doing it not because it is right, but because of how it's going to look. Even when it comes to life and death situations, like war.

While there are misguided soldiers, and there are prisoner-experiment style abuses happening, I do support our troops and generally trust them. Many of them are younger than me, kids who signed up get some experience or earn money for college, who are now doing what could have happened at any time -- be in a war. A real life war where people die. Regardless of what's wrong with the war, I think the young men and women fighting it are mostly an ethical bunch, trying to honestly kill the bad guys--and there are bad guys--and not hurt a citizenry who is conflicted by the need for the security and the feeling of occupation and invasion. They are truly on the butch stroll. Meanwhile, they are a sometimes secondary consideration in their own country--a card that gets played out of a deck of political tricks. They are used in a profound sense of the word.

I think at this point anyone who claims that the war was a good idea is being intellectually dishonest. Sadaam was an awful man, but Iraq was stable and not a threat. He committed atrocities and there's little sadness amongst Iraqis for him now.

I honestly don't know much about the details of how horrible he was--just that he used pathological violence against the Kurds, he had torture chambers and "rape rooms", and he stole from the wealth of his people. Imagine if the Holocost had been about 10,000 Jews instead of six million. Would the ten thousand deserve the same military intervention as the millions? I think they would. So the fact that he gassed a relative few Kurds still, to me, is troubling. There is an aspect of something good in Sadaam being gone. That the U.S. government has failed to act in cases of genocide in Africa, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere doesn't make it right or wrong that we did or didn't in Iraq.

This is used as the justification after the fact, though, among false justifications like WMD's and 9/11. Then the tabloids turn Sadaam into a curiosity by publishing what equates to paparazzi photos of him in his underwear and details about his "daily life" such as what he likes to eat and those zany things he says to his guards. He now gets celebrity-style publicity.

So here we are in the present. And while it was a fucking bad idea to invade, it happened. Now there are innocent Iraqis, a U.S. supported "government", and an insurgency. The question now is, what is best for the innocent Iraqis? Do the troops stay to fight the violent isurgency that is cutting of the nose of Iraq to spite the face of terrorism by killing at every turn? Or do we pull out and leave Iraqis in the hands of an either unfriendly anarchy or a Talibanish theocracy worse than Sadaam could have ever dreamed of being? Do we have to, as Rumsfeld said, spend "6, 8, 10, 12" years trying to hammer them into peace or do we resign ourselves to the fact that we fucked them up and get out? And meanwhile this is all being decided by people who do not have to be there either living their civilian lives as Iraqis or serving as U.S. soldiers--both of which groups face daily violence.

That got long, and probably incoherent. As you can see I (like our government who we entrust with these things) can come to no conclusion or solution. That is why when I present information about the Iraq war, I try to do so in an "apolitical and objective" way as possible. Because I know I don't have any answers or any insights.

All this is meant to set up this meme from Brad of AIDS Blog (my very first "meme" lol I honestly giggle at the thought of the word, which has caused disruption in various classes). It can be useful to look at the visual and look at a part of the human cost of war, outside of politics for a moment.

I'm not sure if I'm going to do this right, but here goes.

Remembering the fallen.

1) Go to http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/news/photos/war_casualties/map/m10000.html

2) Click on your hometown on the map to see how many casualties have come from your hometown (you may need to zoom in and scroll to find your town - the controls are on the left).

3) Copy these instructions and the list below to your blog.

4) Add your blog's name/url, your hometown (optional), and the number of casualties to the bottom of the list.

Created by http://www.livejournal.com/~brbrbrad/

-----------------------------------------------------------

1) brbrbrad - Tallahassee, FL - 3
2) stroll - New York, NY - 29
3)
4)
5)
....

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Not that mine's much better, but...

If you work at McDonalds, think the uniform is cool, and wear it as "street clothes", I am very sad about what's happened to your life.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July

I can't believe I slept so late today. I had trouble going to sleep last night even with Tylenol PM. I think I am resistant to sedatives. So, I should now get off my ass and go see what's happening in the world.

But first...

I saw Batman Returns last night. It was not really that good, but I didn't hate Katie Holmes as much as I thought I would, in fact I liked her a lot in this.

It is highly irritating, however, that Alfred misuses the term
"beg the question", when he's supposed to be the smart, sophisticated butler.

Here are links to Ole Madge Ritchie's performances at Live 8 via Madonna.nu:
Like a Prayer, Ray of Light, and Music. I have to say she was very good -- I was very proud of her.

In other news, Happy Independence Day, America! Thanks to Will Smith for saving us from the alien onslaught--oh, wait...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Another.
After getting a little board with Bedazzling everything I own, right down to underwear, I have moved on to putting images on every t-shirt I own and can buy. I have considered trying to make some really good, iconic ones and sell them on Canal Street or perhaps at our street-sale location in Williamsburg. In the meantime, though, I'm just wearing them myself. Here are samples.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Internet...

So I got DSL, which, as I said, has opened whole new worlds of the Internet for me, and last night, though I had taken a half an ambien, I still couldn't sleep after coming in, and it was getting to be around 6 in the morning. I decided to explore the vast world of Internet pornography.

Flashback to October 2004, when the guy I was in love with was still in New York City. He had wound up in Astoria after his gig as a singer/dancer at some themepark ended. He was a talented little booer, I will give him that.

It had been kind of ugly there at the end--I had set him up, frankly, and he took the bait. Then, without telling him why, I told him "I'm really glad we've had this time together," closed the door, and started letting his calls go unanswered. He was really hurt by all this, or so he claimed on message after message, but then, as he was planning on returning to L.A. for lack of work here, we reconciled. I left with him that night as he headed home to wait for the morning when his flight went off and I went out with friends. I had felt very used by him, perhaps wrongly, but still.

I had let go, and resigned myself to never talking to him again. Months passed, and then one day I got an instant message from him. He was playing that whole "I'm all hurt" thing again, because I had not called or emailed, or whatever. So I won the "wait out" as it were. Now I hear from him every now and then; he just calls to say hello, and it's always very brief. Secretly, I would love for him to move back to the City and be mine.

Back to the present day: So last night as I was pointing and clicking my way through the endless sea of Penetration & Conquest known as pornography, lo and behold, if I don't come across HIM on a website known as "Twinks for Cash". (He's not even twinky, he's actually rather well built, so I don't know what that's all about.) That's right, my ex-boyfriend who broke my heart and then felt the wrath of my heart-breaking power, has his black ass on THE INTERNET in a STRAIT UP PORN MOVIE. You know I had to sign up for that shit, whipped the credit card out, and now I think the company is trying to refuse to allow me to cancel, but that's another story altogether.

My cousin, who I just told this to, asked me, "How does that make you feel?" And it really doesn't make me feel any particular way. I have no real objection to pornography (I was searching for it after all). I mean, he is an adult, and he is a hyper-sexual little freak, so, in many ways, it seems inevitable that he would have wound up in that position. No pun intended.

His name in the thing is "Pearl". A "pearl" is a white-girl on the campus of an Historically Black College/University -- I have been called a pearl a time or two myself, and he definatly ain't a "pearl". But whatever.

The thing is, by being unable to resist viewing his little movie, I am still spending money on him. Is this irony?

And a moral of the story is: when you do porn, that shit is forever. Someone will see it...

Who's doing the copyediting at the Times these days...?

The NY Times covers Georgia's first black woman! [via Goldenfiddle]

Friday, July 01, 2005

WTF?

Luther Vandross died. This is very sad.

I'm so late.

I just got DSL on my home computer. It's like a whole new world of the Internet has opened up for me.

Nothing against Downs Syndrome people, but...


THE FACE OF HATE also looks a little Downs Syndromy to me...

GROSS

The Daily News's Daily Dish reports that Aaron Carter reveals the trauma of being hit by the used tampon a fan threw at him. I kind of hate him, but that is pretty gross...though somehow amusing as all hell.

Never Been To Spain

In honor of Spain's legalization of gay marriage, I give you the lyrics to "Never Been To Spain" as performed by Ike & [the immortal] Tina Turner.


Well I never been to Spain,
But I kinda like the music.
They say the men there are insane,
And they sure know how to use it.
The don't abuse it.
Never gonna lose it.
I can't refuse it.

Well I never been to England,
But I kinda like the Beatles.
Well, I headed for Las Vegas,
Only made it out to Needles.
Can you feel it?
It must be real it
Feels so good.
Oh, feels so good.

Well I never been to heaven,
But I been to Oklahoma.
Well they tell me I was born there,
But I really don't remember.
In Oklahoma, not Arizona,
What does it matter?
What does it matter?

Well I never been to Spain,
But I kinda like the music.
They say the men are insane there,
And they sure know how to use it.
The don't abuse it.
Never gonna lose it.
I can't refuse it.

It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To

You would cry too, if you were the ugly girl that nobody let go down on them, or the boy with the small penis that ended up with no colored stripes.

But seriously. When I first heard about the book, Rainbow Party, I knew that a "rainbow party" or two may have happened in the history of the world, but that they were pretty unlikely to be widespread. I also imagined that the author, no matter how much he had convinced himself that he was educating children about "the dangers of oral sex" (really, let's get the dangers of teen pregnancy, HIV, and vaginal/penile diseases down first), that he knew in his heart-of-hearts that he was really creating a publicity generating machine. He got a two page article in the New York Times about his book, so the machine apparantly works.

This passage sums up what is going on: ""This 'phenomenon' has all the classic hallmarks of a moral panic," said Dr. Deborah Tolman, director of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University. "One day we have never heard of rainbow parties and then suddenly they are everywhere, feeding on adults' fears that morally bankrupt sexuality among younger teens is rampant, despite any actual evidence, as well as evidence to the contrary.""