Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscar noms are out
Read the whole list here. Nice to see Woody Allen get another nod for screenplay, even though I haven't seen Match Point yet.

I'm also hoping the 6 nominations for Crash (which I liked but didn't completely love), including best picture, turn into a re-release and lots and lots of box office/DVD revenues for Lion's Gate Films, but I say that for purely selfish reasons.
TN Senate Race
Kos posted new poll results for the TN Senate race between, most likely Harold Ford and whoever makes it through the Republican primary.

Corker (R) 42 (36)
Ford (D) 40 (42)

Bryant (R) 42 (41)
Ford (D) 40 (38)

Hilleary (R) 43 (41)
Ford (D) 37 (39)
I really think this is one we should win. My biggest fear is that the primary challenger to Ford will paint him as being so conservative that it will keep liberals at home on general election day. We can hope that religious conservatives do the same with Corker once he whips their chosen candidate (Bryant). But that sounds more like the kind of screw-up that liberals are far more guilty of than conservatives. Ford may not be a liberal, but he's a good Democrat, and our best hope.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What have you been listening to, reading and watching?

Oscar Nominations Out Tomorrow
Oscar Watch has predictions.

Weekend Box Office
1. Big Momma's House 2 (seriously....)
2. Nanny McPhee
3. Underworld: Evolution
4. Annapolis
5. Hoodwinked

Shocking that Queen Latifah movie didn't pan out...

Arthur and George
I broke down and bought the new Julian Barnes novel I posted about a couple weeks back. Man is it a page-turner, at this point (halfway through) it's become a different kind of story than I've read from him before. Tough to put down....full report when I'm done.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Kerry Calls Filibuster
Senator Kerry posted a diary at DailyKos explaining his filibuster position. I posted about this yesterday (too lazy to link; just look down).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What's Kerry Up To?
The first Senator to call for a filibuster of Alito:
Senator Kerry has officially called for a filibuster of Samuel Alito the Supreme Court. CNN reports the Senator will be making a statement shortly.

Three Democrats (Nelson, Johnson and Byrd) will vote for Alito. Senators Landrieu and Salazar have stated their opposition to a filibuster, and Senator Feinstein, if you'll recall, was also hesitant.

41 votes are needed to sustain a filibuster. CNN's congressional correspondent reports Kerry is calling on party and internet activists to support the filibuster. "I can't do this alone," he's telling them.
No doubt this is part of a plan to run for Pres again in '08. What's the strategy? Thoughts?
Hooray democracy. Bush identifies with Hamas?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More Bush (would-be) Troubles
In a logical world, our President would be in deep doo-doo.
Today's Washington Post:
[A]sking about Mr. Abramoff's White House meetings is no mere exercise in reportorial curiosity but a legitimate inquiry about what an admitted felon might have been seeking at the highest levels of government. Whatever White House officials did or didn't do, there is every reason to believe that Mr. Abramoff was up to no good and therefore every reason the public ought to know with whom he was meeting.

Mr. McClellan dismisses requests for the information as an effort to play "partisan politics," and no doubt there is more than an element of partisanship in Democrats' efforts to extract this information. But Republicans wouldn't stand for this kind of stonewalling if the situation were reversed. We can say that with confidence because history proves it. During the 1996 scandal over foreign fundraising in the Clinton White House, Republicans demanded -- and obtained, though not without a fight -- extensive information about White House coffees and other meetings, including photos and videotapes.
Plus this:
a poll released last week by Zogby International showed 52 percent of American adults thought Congress should consider impeaching Bush if he wiretapped U.S. citizens without court approval, including 59 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans.
But, of course, Democrats don't know how to take advantage of the fact that everything - and I mean everything - should now point Americans away from the GOP. And that impotence could be because of this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

News You Already Knew
Last Year Was Warmest in a Century
More important, he said, is that 2005 reached the warmth of 1998 without help of the "El Nino of the century" that pushed temperatures up in 1998.

Over the past 30 years, Earth has warmed a bit more than 1 degree in total, making it about the warmest it's been in 10,000 years, Hansen said. He blamed a buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
But I guess before we really decide to give a shit about global warming and agree to do something about it, we should wait and see if there's any actual scientific evidence, right Republicans? I'm sure that while the great-grandkids try to find a way out of the massive national debt we're going to pass on they'll have plenty of time to science their way out of this looming disaster.
More Give 'em Hell Harry
I'm starting to really like our Senate leader. Read this transcript of a speech to the Center for American Progress.

In related news, Bush approval rating back down to 36%, tying his lowest ever. I suppose not even an Iraqi election and a new tape from Osama can save him anymore.

And in more related news, political guru Stu Rothenberg is set to raise his predictions of Demoractic gains in the 2006 House elections to "5-8 seats, with a bias toward even greater Democratic gains." We will need a pickup of 15 to take control. Can Republicans even keep another handful of House members from being carted off to jail by November?

Monday, January 23, 2006

What have you been reading, watching listening to?

Oscar Favorite
I haven't seen many of the Oscar contenders, but I've still picked my favorite. I'll get around to seeing Brokeback Mountain but even unseen it's the one I hope wins. I was tiring of the hype and expected to jump on the bandwagon of some underdog. Then, last week, Chris Matthews and Don Imus had this annoying exchange, and the Washington Post ran this annoying cartoon on the comics page (which may have caused Jon at Americablog a bit of an overreaction but still). With so many people out there refusing to give gay people a freaking break, I realized it needs to win just so that fact can be stuck up their collective asses.

Weekend Box Office
1. Underworld: Evolution
2. Hoodwinked
3. Glory Road
4. Last Holiday
5. Brokeback Mountain

Friday, January 20, 2006

I've posted something of a challenge at the BJC blog. Article 19 readers should feel free to take me up on it.
Lyrics of the Day
Bright Eyes has been buzzing my head.
What's so simple in the moonlight,
By the morning never is.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alito-Filbuster Calculations
Kos has a running count of Dems voting yes and no on Alito at this point. And he points to a fascinating analysis (by a conservative, no less!) of the choices faced by Senate minority leader Reid in deciding whether to pursue a filibuster or not. If you're at all interested in political strategery, you should read it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cell Phone Privacy
Kudos to Jon at AmericaBlog for almost single-handedly forcing the cell phone records issue into the mainstream press. And props to Senator Durbin for being the one to finally introduce legislation addressing it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Son of "Words that Piss Me Off"
Until I actually study the English language, I suppose this is going to become a regular A19 feature (see here). Last night on some cable news, I heard the word "potentiality." Seems to me there is no reason whatever for the existence of this word, though it is in the dictionary. I will relent if anyone can give me an example of a sentence using the word "potentiality" where "potential" wouldn't work just as well.

Doug, what does your big dictionary say about this one?
Not that we needed confirmation of this, but we got our first real sense of where Roberts sits on the Court. The Supremes decided 6-3 that the federal government is wrong to think they can ban state laws allowing physician-assisted suicide. The 3 dissenters? Thomas, Scalia and Roberts. We can probably safely assume that Alito would have made 4 here. Pray for Justice Stevens' continued good health.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Interruption [UPDATED with excerpts]
Interrupting this Media Monday to point you to the text of Al Gore's speech just delivered. I didn't catch the video on C-Span (hopefully will replay), but the text is a barnburner. Interestingly, the speech was co-sponsored by the liberal American Constitution Society and the Conservative/Libertarian Liberty Coalition. Gore was introduced by former Republican congressman and Clinton impeachment manager Bob Barr. Some highlights:
At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.
[T]he President has also declared that he has a heretofore unrecognized inherent power to seize and imprison any American citizen that he alone determines to be a threat to our nation, and that, notwithstanding his American citizenship, the person imprisoned has no right to talk with a lawyer-even to argue that the President or his appointees have made a mistake and imprisoned the wrong person.

The President claims that he can imprison American citizens indefinitely for the rest of their lives without an arrest warrant, without notifying them about what charges have been filed against them, and without informing their families that they have been imprisoned.
Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is "yes" then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?
Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.
I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President.
President Gore.
It's a holiday--I'll come back strong tomorrow.

In the meantime, what have you been listening to, watching and reading?

Friday, January 13, 2006

A Start
Maryland passed a new law
The bill, which passed despite a veto by Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., requires employers with more than 10,000 workers to spend at least 8% of their payroll on employee health care or else pay into a fund for the uninsured.
Why 10,000? Because that makes WalMart have to do it.
"This opens the way for dozens of states across the country to follow suit, and that's clearly a chilling message to Wal-Mart," says Tracy Sefl, a spokeswoman at Wal-Mart Watch, a Washington-based group focused on the megaretailer.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney praised the Maryland action. "What the Maryland victory shows is that the tide is turning, because working people are not just fed up, they are ready to get active to set our country in a different direction, one state at a time," he said in a statement after the vote.
10,000 may set that bar pretty high (Wal-Mart is the only company that will be affected.), but now that the law is passed, lowering the threshold to hit more companies will be that much easier. Plus, the more we make huge companies spend on health care the more likely it will be that they will be supportive of a national health care plan that would relieve their burden. In the meantime, more people get health insurance.
Reid: Republicans are Criminals
Or something like that. Today's must-read is Senator Harry Reid's op-ed in the Houston Chronicle entitled: "If we can beat mob, we can fight Delay-style politics."
My term on the gaming commission came to an end in 1981, and when it did, I thought I had seen such corruption for the last time. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. It is not quite the mafia of Las Vegas in the 1970s, but what is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt and the consequences for our country have been severe.

Our nation's capital has been overrun by organized crime — Tom DeLay-style.

The gangsters are the lobbyists, cronies and lawmakers who have banded together and abused their power to serve their own self-interest. The casinos are the Capitol, which has had its doors thrown open for special interests to waltz in and help themselves, and the victims, of course, are the American people.
This piece should be the prototype campaign speech for every Democrat running for DC office in 2006. Corruption, Corruption, Corruption.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Great Moments in Textbook Writing
This may have to be a regular feature for a couple months while I come to grips with my reality this school semester. The first sentence to the section on "Harmony" in my new Music Appreciation book reads as follows:

"When folksingers accompany themselves on a guitar, they add support, depth, and richness to the melody; we call this harmonizing."
(book's emphasis)

A more stomach-turning sentence introducing the topic I can hardly imagine.

On the opposite page, there is a picture of Avril Lavigne, in some kind of camouflage clothing, sitting and playing the acoustic guitar while singing. The caption reads: "The singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne blends melody and harmony by accompanying herself on the guitar." Then there is a teacher's suggestion: "Play a recording by Avril Lavigne to illustrate the combination of melody and harmony."

I have a long list of rants about this I could bore you with, starting with the fact that this is a horrible non-definition of both "harmonizing" and especially "harmony", (let alone "folksingers") but I'll leave it at this side point: is there any doubt that some coordination exists between the textbook company and the record company that owns Avril Lavigne's recording rights? If there's not, why are they behaving like there is? Is this book *trying* to become out-of-date in 3 years? (My guess is that next year's freshmen will have never heard of her) And finally, If I were to take their advice, and play an entire track of Ms. Lavigne's in class as demonstration, is there any doubt that said company would, if they could find out about it, try and make me pay some kind of royalty for performance - educational use or not? I do that sort of thing all the time and, of course, don't pay and shouldn't. But schools are getting so cautious and worried...so filled with warning and a better-safe-than-sorry attitude over musical copyright as if educational fair use might as well not exist any more, that I'm shocked that a textbook would urge such behavior...
Some Sanity, involving Pat Robertson
Not sanity *from* him, mind you. Sanity in getting the heck *away from* him. The Israeli Tourism Minister has had enough. Hopefully that kind of attitude will be contagious. The man has long been a disgrace, but has recently devolved into a pathetic caricature of himself.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Turning the Tables
I'm too nice to strangers to be able to do this myself (working on it), but if you're not, you may want to try this the next time you're called by a telemarketer: a conversation flow-chart to engage your caller and turn yourself into the one asking the questions.
Lierberman Confirms What We've Been Saying
He's not a Democrat. He just likes being in the Senate.
More Alito
If you missed the hearings yesterday, you didn't miss much. The highlights? That's easy. Feingold was good, but Schumer was great. The Washington Post transcript starts here, but to get right to these 2 above average performances, skip right to the end of page 2. And on to page 3.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Hearing Dance [UPDATED]
Like Judge Roberts before him, Alito has now "made news" by agreeing that the Constitution does in fact guarantee a right to privacy. That right is the one typically invoked by abortion rights supporters, and denied by its detractors. Isn't it clear that this is the new strategy? Concede the privacy point to undercut the Democrats' avenue of questioning, and then simply determine, when the time comes, that the right to privacy doesn't extend to reproductive rights? It sounds to me like they know Americans like the idea of "privacy" and have just decided about arguing the general point: why bother?

[UPDATE: Senator Kohl (D-WI) just now (1:50 central time): "This begs the question...." AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!]

Monday, January 09, 2006

What have you been reading, listening to, watching?

Article 19 Music Recommendation: Bright Eyes--I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Like mosts musical things these days, I was late getting to Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst). I'm Wide Awake... is strong and compelling. Lyrics - which I normally listen to second or third - distinguish this otherwise warbly voice. He manages to be poetic without being overly pretentious, thoughtful without being condescending. The country-esque (Americana? who knows) sounds backing up most of the tracks, including the amazing Emmylou Harris, give the right musical frame to view these tunes not as elliott smith-like alternative rock (which it could easily sound like) so much as in the vein of newer Steve Earle. I'm surprised how much I like it. Here are some favorite lyrics:
If you hate the taste of wine, why do you drink it 'til you're blind?
And if you swear that there's no truth, and who cares, why do you say it like you're right?
Why are you so scared to dream of God, when it's salvation that you want?
Like stars that clear have been dead for years, but the idea still lives on.
In our wheels that roll around, as we move over the ground.
And all day it seems, we've been in between a past and present town.

We are nowhere and it's now.

Chicago Film Critics
Named Crash the Film of the Year, breaking(back Mountain) from the recent trends.

Oscar Host Announced
Jon Stewart. Ok. I'll watch.

Weekend Box Office
1. Hostel
2. Chronicles of Narnia
3. King Kong
4. Fun with Dick and Jane
5. Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dean kicking butt
Wolf Blitzer hardly knew what hit him. Read the transcript.
Not that anyone should still believe you can keep any of your personal information or actions from being monitored, recorded and up for sale. But this seems out of control:
[T]he Chicago Sun-Times ran a story two days ago about a Web site that sells phone records, for cells and land-lines, for $110 a pop. The company boasts on its own Web site:

"Give us the cell phone number and we will send you the calls made from the cell phone number."

So I went to their site, plopped down $110, and within a day I had a list of every single phone number that called my cell, or that I called from my cell, for the month of November. I even had the dates the calls were made, and for a premium I could find out how long the calls were.

I called Cingular and they were shocked by what I told them - yeah right.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Orleans Year in Review
Haunting column from the Times-Picayune (via Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death)
This was the year that defines our city, our lives, our destiny. Nothing comparable has ever happened in modern times in America, and there is no blueprint for how we do this.

We just wing it. Do good work. Save someone or something.

You'd have to be crazy to want to live here. You'd have to be plumb out of reasonable options elsewhere.

Then again, I have discovered that the only thing worse than being in New Orleans these days is not being in New Orleans.

It's a siren calling us home. It cannot be explained.
Read the whole thing.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Words And Phrases That Piss Me Off
Longtime readers of Article 19 will remember that I have a peculiar pet peeve about the rampant misuse of logical fallacy phrases like "begging the question." This is made worse by the fact, I know, that its misunderstanding has become so widespread that it no longer really is a misuse. It's now just a perfectly acceptable way to annoy the crap out of me. Kevin Drum yesterday pointed to a bizarrely funny cartoon with the same message.

But while I'm at it. I was disturbed yesterday to learn that yet another utterance I have always thought to be a misuse is in fact perfectly acceptable. We all know the word "preventive." So why are people always saying "preventative"?? That's got to be wrong, right? No. Either one is just fine. Why? I have no idea. Why don't we just let every spelling and every pronunciation into the dictionary?! Next thing you know the entry for "nuclear" will say "also nucular." Will make it so much harder to feel superior.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I guess "pastoring" can get you in trouble.
An executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention was arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said.

Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night on a misdemeanor charge of offering to engage in an act of lewdness, police Capt. Jeffrey Becker said. Latham was released on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon.

Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex. Latham was arrested and his 2005 Mercedes automobile was impounded, Becker said.

Calls to Latham at his church were not immediately returned Wednesday.

When he left jail, he said:

"I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police."
He wuz fraaaamed!
Really Funny
This seems old but I hadn't seen it before today. Andy Dick as the President's speechwriter and advisor. Plus some choice old-time favorites from Bush's legendary speech moments.
This West Virginia tragedy underlines a sad fact: miners are killed every year in accidents. Republicans wonder why we insist so strongly on corporate regulation and workplace safety. And there can be no doubt that mining -- like many blue collar, hard hat industries -- could be done more safely. It would just cost more.

Corporate profits are passed up the executive chain every day in this country; profits made on the backs of the hard-working who give up their bodies, and virtually all of their waking hours. They risk their health and their very lives doing work that seems to most of us unimaginably demanding. And all for a paycheck that just gets their families by in some of the poorest areas of the country.

So, in a sane world, those workers and their families would find a concerned protecting partner in the corporation that squeezes so much out of them and gives them so little in return. But of course that's not the case in ours. And so who do we count on to hold their feet to the fire? Who has the power to require the kind of corporate responsibility that is worthy of the dedicated workers, the calloused hands, and the grizzled faces whose anguish is now all over our TV screens? The damned federal government, that's who. (that's right, I'm pissed)

And here's the kind of government you get when you elect Republicans to control congress and the White House for most of the last ten years (my emph.):
Sago Mine was cited for repeated safety violations over the past two years, including multiple citations for inadequate ventilation and failure to fully secure the mine against a roof collapse. The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a total of 208 citations for alleged violations at the site last year, up from 68 in 2004.

Most of the citations were issued before the current owners took over the mine in November, but International Coal Group Inc. was cited by the federal government three times in five days in December for allowing flammable coal dust to collect in a work area. Those citations were among 17 issued last year at the mine for "accumulation of combustible materials." Anker West Virginia was the former owner.

The violations last year have drawn total fines of $24,000, with scores of penalties for the minimum of $60.
Under Bush, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has worked more closely with mine owners than under previous presidents, according to union officials. The government has formed formal "partnerships" between companies and agency officials and is shying away from imposing heavy fines and sanctions, said Phil Smith, a spokesman for United Mine Workers of America.

"They've gone from being an agency that enforces the regulations and puts penalties in, to something that's a lot more almost touchy-feely," Smith said.
J. Davitt McAteer, a mine safety specialist who was President Clinton's assistant labor secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said there has been a major shift from enforcement to cooperation under the Bush's administration.

"I'm not opposed to cooperation, but I'd suggest to you that -- much like the need for highway patrols -- you have to have enforcement for the laws to be followed," McAteer said.
Of course there's no way to eliminate all danger from work like that. But those that risk their butts for a company should be better paid, better supported and better protected. And while companies like this one are great at endearing themselves to the community that keeps them afloat, their true mission is making money, and no amount is too much to make.

The balance we have for this unhealthy system is called regulation. Republicans have not only run away from that responsibilty, they've made it a dirty word. And they've convinced an entire generation of the white working poor that love of God and country binds them to the GOP. They've convinced them that expecting the government to have as a priority their protection from corporate exploitation is a sign of personal weakness and lack of character. Meanwhile, our government cuddles up to another industry; a heavily cited, but lightly fined company continues practically unchecked, and another handful of hard-working, soot-stained faces streak with tears, huddled in their community church, clutching the families of fallen colleagues, asking God -- of all people -- why.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

How does a mistake like this get made? Truly cruel.
The mistaken information last night that 12 of 13 miners trapped in a West Virginia coal mine had been saved, when in fact 12 were dead and only one was alive, came through a series of miscommunications among rescue workers and others exhausted from more than 30 hours of searching, and desperate for a good ending to a tragic situation, the president of the mining company said this afternoon.
Or more precisely, how does a mistake like that not get corrected for hours? It was really exciting watching the "good news" last night.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Novel!
Julian Barnes has a new book. Looks like a glowing review in Slate. His A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters remains maybe my favorite book ever. I try to read it once every couple of years.
Woody Allen Interview
Since I took a much-deserved holiday from Media Monday yesterday, I didn't get to post any of the great interview with Woody Allen LAWeekly published last week. I'm worried now that I've become so excited to see his new film. In recent years (like 15?) that has always been mistaken expectation.
“Look, I make a lot of films,” he says. “Some come out fairly good. Some come out mediocre. Some come out poor. This one came out well. I could see it myself: When I finished the film, I felt, ‘Oh, this is a good film,’ and it doesn’t surprise me that people are responding to it. I must say that I got every break a film director could want making this film. When I needed Scarlett Johansson, she was available. When I needed a rainy day, I got a rainy day. When I needed sunshine for a week, I got it. It was like I couldn’t screw the film up no matter how hard I tried. It is indeed a better film than most of the films I’ve made before — just by coincidence, by happy luck.”
I’ve also never minded failing. For some reason, that was not a sensitive thing with me. Now, I would rather succeed, of course! But I knew when I was making Shadows and Fog that there would not be a human being who would want to see it.”
I’m certainly not intellectual. I’m a middle-class person playing the part of a neurotic intellectual. People mistake that for who I am, but actually, I’m the guy who sits next to you at the ballgame or the movie house. I’m the guy who will be home tonight with a beer watching the Knicks on television. I’m not going to have my nose in my Kierkegaard.”...But surely, I say, you’ve read Kierkegaard, and Freud and Marshall McLuhan...

“But only because I had to to survive. I didn’t read them because it’s an instinct in me or because I liked it. I read those things because the girls I was dating wouldn’t go out with me if I hadn’t.
A Father Lashes Out
A blistering op-ed in the Washington Post from the father of a US soldier, recently killed in Iraq.

A Life, Wasted
I choose to honor our fallen hero by remembering who he was in life, not how he died. A picture of a smiling Augie in Iraq, sunglasses turned upside down, shows his essence -- a joyous kid who could use any prop to make others feel the same way.

Though it hurts, I believe that his death -- and that of the other Americans who have died in Iraq -- was a waste. They were wasted in a belief that democracy would grow simply by removing a dictator -- a careless misunderstanding of what democracy requires. They were wasted by not sending enough troops to do the job needed in the resulting occupation -- a careless disregard for professional military counsel.

But their deaths will not be in vain if Americans stop hiding behind flag-draped hero masks and stop whispering their opposition to this war. Until then, the lives of other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers may be wasted as well.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006 Ir-resolutions
New Year's resolutions are noble things, I suppose. A clean slate to have an opportunity to better yourself, be more responsible. I used to be quite serious about them - about naming them anyway. But the last few years I've had more rebellious thoughts and they feel more appropriate. I've decided to get them down in writing this year. Frankly, and those of you who know me may disagree, I don't think what my life needs is more "responsible" boredom. I am in much more need of a good kick in the ass...a jolt of anything but responsible. So here are my 2006 ir-resolutions.

1. Be less courteous to strangers.
2. Take the last doughnut/cookie/beer and stop splitting it in half or deferring to others who seem to want it more.
3. Make more impulsive purchases.
4. Remember that stealing can be fun.
5. Talk and act with less thought going into it.
6. Argue in public with people I don't know when I overhear them saying something foolish, offensive, or for no other reason than that I just don't like the sound of their voice.
7. More Word-dojo.
8. Be willing to sleep my way to the top.

I hope you will all help hold me to them, especially after those first few weeks when old bad habits start to return. Do you have resolutions? And are they the responsible or irresponsible kind?