Sunday, January 30, 2005

some good news

U.S. Is Close to Eliminating AIDS in Infants

In 1990, as many as 2,000 babies were born infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS; now, that number has been reduced to a bit more than 200 a year, according to health officials. In New York City, the center of the epidemic, there were 321 newborns infected with H.I.V. in 1990, the year the virus peaked among newborns in the city. In 2003, five babies were born with the virus.

Across the country, mother-to-child transmission of H.I.V. has dropped so sharply that public health officials now talk about wiping it out.


Much of the developing world continues to be ravaged by AIDS, however. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than two million people died of the disease last year. "We have had incredible progress," said Dr. Lynne Mofenson, the chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health. "But if you think about the U.S. and New York and then you think about Africa, it is like a tale of two cities, a tale of two epidemics."

Saturday, January 29, 2005

i wonder if this will make ANY difference at all

Diebold Election Systems, a target of many electronic-voting critics during the 2004 U.S. election, announced Thursday it has completed the design for a printer that would give its e-voting machines a paper trail.

Voter-verified paper trails would virtually eliminate machine error in which votes aren't counted, says Will Doherty, executive director of the Verified Voting Foundation. In the November 2004 election, one county in North Carolina lost more than 4500 votes when a misunderstanding occurred over the capacity of the e-voting machines used there.

yeah, it was only 4500 votes...

Friday, January 28, 2005

so much death is coming this weekend

this makes me scared and sad. i knew it was coming but it seemed so far off... how did it become the end of january already?

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq sealed its frontiers and imposed other draconian security measures to counter insurgents whose deadly campaign of intimidation threatens the country's historic election.


But the roar of bomb and mortar blasts rumbled across the capital as it braced for a violent final day before Sunday's election.


US President George W. Bush again appealed for Iraqis to brave the death threats and vote.

wise words indeed, coming from the man who used his family's money and influence to dodge serving his own country in wartime.

into the rain

it was sunny where i was coming from... and then i drove into the storm. but on the way i got to see this.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

driving home

god i love traffic

night traffic

60 years ago it was snowing too


Dusted by falling snow and surrounded by barbed wire, world leaders mourned the victims of the Holocaust on Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the biggest Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

"The snow was falling like today, we were dressed in stripes and some of us had bare feet," Polish survivor Kazimierz Orlowski, 84, said.


Among the more than 30 heads of state attending the ceremonies were the presidents of Israel, Germany and Russia -- loosely representing the victims, perpetrators and liberators.

hmm... any important countries missing? i guess not.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

my day in san diego

the hotel pool during a break. i hope there isnt an emergency.


then a night out with some colleages. i went to this "hooters" establishment i've heard so much about for the first time. quite silly, but fun.

a crappy picture (cell phone cam) - but i want to post it anyway


then we hit up a place called dick's last resort, where the waitstaff is delightfully rude, pitched battles amongst the tables using arsenals of balled up paper napkins is commonplace (it was great; i felt like i was in junior high), and dunce caps with vulgar expressions are prevalent.

a colleague hoarding ammunition
michelle with ammo

a dunce cap
(for those who cant see it clearly, it says "i jerk-off to disney movies")


good times.

a christian view of the bush administration

arrogance is the opposite of faith

i came across a great speech given by dr. robin meyers at an oklahoma university peace rally

an excerpt (you can check out the entire speech here)

--- When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them on their head (you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never return violence for violence and that those who live by the sword will die by the sword), you are doing something immoral.

--- When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says that the way the strong treat the weak is the ultimate ethical test, by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest among us so the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to turn out record numbers of evangelical voters, and use the Constitution as a tool of discrimination, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a follower of Jesus, who said an eye for an eye was the old way, not the way of the kingdom, you are doing something immoral.

--- When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to protect the earth which is God's gift to us all, so that the corporations that bought you and paid for your favors will make higher profits while our children breathe dirty air and live in a toxic world, you have done something immoral. The earth belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton.

--- When you talk about Jesus constantly, who was a healer of the sick, but do nothing to make sure that anyone who is sick can go to see a doctor, even if she doesn't have a penny in her pocket, you are doing something immoral.

i also found some very cool leftist christian websites: progressive christians uniting and the christian left

to read over these sites gives me faith in humanity... and the capacity of religion to preach real love and real tolerance.

anyone know of some others?

democrats sock it to condi

of course she will probably be confirmed anyway, but still... i like to see the democrats not being the spineless, over-gracious pussies that they have been for the past 4+ years. and it all started with barbara boxer - god i love my senator.

In a contentious debate that contrasted with the bipartisan embrace extended to Secretary of State Colin Powell at his confirmation four years ago, Democrats said Rice helped create a situation that would keep U.S. troops in Iraq for years.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy called Rice "a key member of the national security team that developed and justified the rationale for war, and it's been a catastrophic failure, a continuing quagmire."

Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota said Rice "misled the people of Minnesota and Americans everywhere about the situation in Iraq, before and after that war began." He added: "I really don't like being lied to repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally."

it's too bad - and not surprising - that a black woman has to be the scapegoat for this mess. but at least someone is being sorta kinda held accountable. sigh. i continue to go on hoping.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

from my hotel window

so i get to san diego and hear explosions. i think "has the war started?" i look out my window and i see this.


is there a holiday that i dont know about?

quote of the day

"hey, i can say anything i want! in this country. for a little while."

- anonymous friend, responding to someone telling him to shut up

Saturday, January 22, 2005

so glad i'm not at o'hare right now

Hundreds of airline flights were canceled Saturday and fleets of road plows were warmed up as a paralyzing snowstorm barreled out of the Midwest and spread across the Northeast with a potential for up to 20 inches of snow driven by 50 mph wind.


Friday, January 21, 2005

what kind of smart are you?

this is an interesting little quiz.

You scored as Interpersonal. You enjoy being around people, like talking to people, have many friends, and engage in social activities. You learn best by relating, sharing, and participating in cooperative group environments. People like you include salespeople, consultants, community organizers, counselors, teachers or any other helping profession.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

via fiat lux

Thursday, January 20, 2005


being stuck in chicago is not fun. but at least there are some visually entertaining things to distract me.

i like to imagine that this dinosaur is killing people.


dinosaur head

i went back and forth on this thing like 4 times already. i have nothing to do. except post pictures, apparently.

ohare lights

i hate him

Bush vows to spread liberty around the globe

makes it sound like a communicable disease.

from the air

view from my window on a flight from minneapolis to chicago.


i forgot to take a picture of the snow in minneapolis (it was really beautiful). but better late than never.

minneapolis from sky

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

quote of the day

"fear is the new black."

-jon stewart, discussing the security measures being taken for the inauguration

not even a nickel

Not One Damn Dime Day is tomorrow, thursday, january 20.

let's all do our part to consume more TODAY so we can stock up for tomorrow. after all, it's the american way!

as you can see, i'm feeling sarcastic. yet optimistic enough to post this.


Since our leaders don't have the moral courage to speak out against the war in Iraq, Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.

During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money, and don't use your credit card. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Nor toll/cab/bus or train ride money exchanges. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day," please boycott Walmart, KMart and Target. Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter).

For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down. The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan -- a way to come home.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.

For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

quote of the day

"I would drive 10 hours, 20 hours - I would drive to California - to have my vote counted for once."

SAAD ALGHARABI, an Iraqi expatriate who registered to vote.

i dont know if even that would get his vote counted... i have a sneaking suspicion that mine wasn't...

Monday, January 17, 2005

happy birthday dr. king

there are 2 songs that i must always listen to on this, my favorite holiday, martin luther king jr day. they are both somewhat cheesy, but they give me chills everytime.

some lyrics.

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride!

-u2, pride (in the name of love)

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
That they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

-stevie wonder, happy birthday

may the dream continue to live.

thought for the day

"Compassion is not religious business, it is human
business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our
own peace and mental stability, it is essential for
human survival."

H.H. The Dalai Lama

via my mom

Sunday, January 16, 2005

babel in babylon

silly and naive, i know, but i would think that a nation whose majority supports displaying the ten commandments at every government and educational building extant in the us would have a bit more respect for such an immensely historically significant biblical city.

the anthropologist in me cringes to read this.

U.S.-Led Troops Have Damaged Babylon, British Museum Says

American-led troops using the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon as a base have damaged and contaminated artifacts dating back thousands of years in one of the world's most important archaeological sites, the British Museum said Saturday.

For example, military vehicles crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement, and archaeological fragments, including broken bricks stamped by King Nebuchadnezzar II, were scattered at the site, a museum report said. The dragons at the Ishtar Gate were marred by cracks and gaps where someone tried to remove their decorative bricks, the report said.

flaming weapons

homosexual terrorists. america's worst nightmare. an integration of the two "issues" which seem to have won chimpy the election.

amusing then that this would come up.

The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said on Sunday.

The proposal, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, called for developing chemicals affecting human behavior "so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected."

"One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior," said the document, obtained by the Sunshine Project. The watchdog group posted the partly blacked-out, three-page document on its Web site.

house of flying daggers

zhang ziyi

i just saw this film tonight; i must say it was amazing. really beautiful. incredible cinematography. brilliant fight scenes. zhang ziyi is stunning as usual. i want her clothing. and she kicks serious ass. so do several other people. its worth seeing on the big screen for sure.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

love is fucked up

quote of the day

war is hell

"It will speak volumes to the accused, it will speak volumes to our Army, it will speak volumes to our country, it will speak volumes to the world."

CAPT. CHRIS GRAVELINE, the prosecutor in the case against Specialist Charles A. Graner in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, urging the jury to reach a guilty verdict.

this can't be good

China Promotes Another Boom: Nuclear Power

China plans to build reactors on a scale and pace comparable to the peak of the United States' nuclear energy push in the 1970's.

Friday, January 14, 2005

better late than never


via act

We're just beginning to understand the impact of the aggressive campaign of misinformation, repression and intimidation that was unleashed by corrupt Republican officials and partisans in 2004. Here are just a few examples:

(View the originals of these flyers by clicking here):

In Lake County, Ohio, a fake letter appearing to come from the Lake County Board of Elections was sent to newly registered voters saying that registrations gathered by progressive organizations (including ACT) are illegal and those voters would not be able to vote.

The week before the election, flyers were circulated in Milwaukee under the heading "Milwaukee Black Voters League" with some "warnings for election time" including that anyone convicted of any offense, however minor, is ineligible to vote; that any family member having been convicted of anything would disqualify a voter; and that any violation of these warnings would result in ten years in prison and a voter's children being taken away.

A flyer designed to look like an official announcement from McCandless Township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, was designed to misinform voters on a partisan basis. The flyer claimed that "Due to the immense voter turnout that is expected on Tuesday, November 2 the state of Pennsylvania has requested an extended voting period" encouraging people to vote on November 3rd.

In honor of Dr. King and the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, please sign your name to our demand for electoral reform nationwide.

he didn't MEAN it...

President Bush says he now sees that tough talk can have an "unintended consequence."

In the week after the September 11 attacks, Bush was asked if he wanted bin Laden, the terrorist leader blamed for the attacks, dead.

"I want justice," Bush said. "And there's an old poster out West, that I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive."'

Recalling that remark, Bush told the reporters: "I can remember getting back to the White House, and Laura said, 'Why did you do that for?' I said, 'Well, it was just an expression that came out. I didn't rehearse it.'

"I don't know if you'd call it a regret, but it certainly is a lesson that a president must be mindful of, that the words that you sometimes say. ... I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a confession, a regret, something."

i guess if you don't say anything that makes sense, then you don't have to worry about that...

for example:

Four years as president have changed [Bush]. "They say my hair is grayer. But I come from a pretty white-haired gene pool. At least half of it."


sister moon

titan haze

this is exciting

Information from the first contact with the surface of an alien moon is arriving at radio telescopes around the world.


The mysteries of Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun, have always enticed researchers. Scientists are perplexed why Saturn, a gas-giant composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, releases more energy than it absorbs from faint sunlight. Titan is also the only moon in the solar system to retain a substantial atmosphere, one even thicker than Earth's.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ah, numbers

Tsunami Facts vs. Florida Hurricane Facts

Via Converger's diary at Daily Kos

Number of deaths due to four Florida hurricanes in 2004:

Number of deaths due to Aceh earthquake and tsunami in 2004: 120,000+

Homeless due to Florida hurricanes:

Homeless due to Aceh earthquake/tsunami:

US government aid to help Florida hurricane victims:
$2.04 billion

US government aid to help Aceh earthquake/tsunami victims:
$35 million

Estimated cost of George Bush's upcoming inaguration celebration, not including
security costs:
$40 million

US government direct cost, per hour, of the US war in Iraq:
$9 million

christian fanatics disappointed

judge orders textbook stickers removed

the stickers read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

In a statement, the school board said it was disappointed by the ruling and will decide whether to appeal. A board spokesman said no decision had been made on when, or if, the stickers would be removed.

“The textbook stickers are a reasonable and evenhanded guide to science instruction and encouraging students to be critical thinkers,” the board said.

um... ok. whatever. just take the damn stickers off.

bush lies, nobody cares

best... president... ever...

The U.S. force that scoured Iraq for weapons of mass destruction -- cited by President Bush as justification for war -- has abandoned its long and fruitless hunt, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The 1,700-strong Iraq Survey Group, responsible for the hunt, last month wrapped up physical searches for weapons of mass destruction, and it will now gather information to help U.S. forces in Iraq win a bloody guerrilla war, officials said.

awesome, nothing like a good bloody guerrilla war.

"I felt like we would find weapons of mass destruction ... like many -- many here in the United States, many around the world," Bush told ABC's Barbara Walters, according to excerpts from an interview airing on Friday.

Bush said "we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering," and that the invasion was "absolutely" worth it even if there were no weapons of mass destruction.

meanwhile, back in iraq:

Car bombs rock Mosul, White House says Iraqi elections far from perfect

The northern metropolis of 1.5 million people has become a battle terrain for insurgents and Americans, with the January 30 polls seen as a referendum on who truly controls the city.

sometimes i forget how ludicrous this situation really is. then i remember.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005



I beg you not to do what Robert Chamberlain did in his room at a Motel 6 in Chenango, New York last May. Please don't buy 14 jars of petroleum jelly and smear the stuff all over yourself, the walls, and the furniture. On the other hand, Scorpio, I do recommend that you become as slippery as possible in the coming week, metaphorically speaking. Don't stay too long in one place, don't commit yourself to long-term plans, don't get stuck in dogmatic perspectives, and don't get pinned down, period.

hillary rocks

Sen. Clinton Chides Bush on Women's Health Policy

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Bush administration was making it hard for the poor to receive the full range of reproductive health services by putting too much emphasis on abstinence to combat AIDS.

Speaking at a dinner to hundreds of women's rights and health activists on Tuesday night, the New York Democrat urged advocacy groups not to give up "despite the less-than-friendly atmosphere we currently face in Washington with the current administration."

you go girl!

an interesting (and scary) article about women and AIDS can be found here.


In the United States, new AIDS cases among women rose at seven times the rate for men from 1997 to 2002. Women now account for 26 percent of AIDS diagnoses. According to the current Newsweek magazine, that's nearly four times the proportion they made up in 1986. Girls account for the majority of new HIV infections among teens.


Most Americans picture an AIDS patient as white, affluent, male and homosexual. The face of AIDS in America today is black, poor, female and heterosexual.

The disease is decimating Asia and Africa, and that could happen here unless the trend is reversed. Using condoms during sex greatly reduces the risk of disease. But it is difficult to persuade a drug-addicted, abused woman or a teenager eager to please a boyfriend to insist on it.

Treatment helps contain HIV-AIDS but more research is needed. As long as people with AIDS are on the fringes of society, don't expect major demand for funding. Perhaps when the disease strikes the middle class in bigger numbers, that attitude will change.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

on my way to work this morning


i love nyc


online credit card statement

i just like this. i feel so bicoastal.

capital one

Saturday, January 08, 2005

quote of the day

"if a federal judge won't let me kill it, then i'm taking it in the carpool lane!"

-anonymous friend, on the politics of freeway driving with his pregnant wife in the car

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

one nation's horrific disaster is another's "opportunity"

colin powell gives us a silver lining.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday the outpouring of American aid and humanitarian help in the region devastated by the tsunami may also help Muslim nations see the United States in a better light.

"What it does in the Muslim world, the rest of the world is giving an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action," Powell said.

i'm so glad we were given this opportunity to fight the war on terror in yet another way. god truly smiles on our great nation.

and i'm sure the world sees that whole $350 million we're giving as really impressive, after the billions we gave to florida last year after the hurricanes. of course that WAS a swing state.

i also love powell's rejection of the us response:

"Who criticized us? It wasn't the countries in the region," he said.

yeah... um, they didnt have electricity...