Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Same "Macaca", Different Day

I live in Virginia, the home of soon-to-be-former Senator George Allen. The reason he is about to become a "former" senator is because he was caught on camera referring to a campaign staffer for the Jim Webb (his opponent) campaign as "macaca". The word, which is a slang term for a person of African heritage, cost Allen his seat in the Senate, and also torpedoed his ambitions to run for the Presidency in 2008. When the campaign ended last month, we Virginians breathed a sigh of relief. No more talk about a national politician from Virginia embarrassing himself with a racist remark


Enter Virgil Goode (pronounced "gewd"). The chair of the Charlottesville chapter of the Sierra Club received a letter from Goode's office in which the Congressman made some pretty heady remarks about his newly-elected fellow rep Keith Ellison and his religion:

When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
The funny thing is, the Sierra Club chair had not written anything to Goode concerning Ellison, or Islam in general.

I think it's perfectly okay if Ellison uses a Koran to be sworn into office. I think it's fine that Goode uses a Bible. If you get elected and want to use a copy of the phone book, Dianetics or X-Men issue 107, that's your right. The Constitution doesn't require you to swear on any holy or revered publication for you to take office. My larger problem is with the attitude taken by Goode that we need to keep Middle Easterners from coming to America and messing with our traditions and values. When asked about the letter, Goode apparently took pride in the letter, remarking "I think it speaks for itself."

What it speaks to me is that racism and bigotry is not dead among our elected representatives. The letter, in my mind, speaks to the reprehensible notion that the United States is a White Christians-only club that "minorities" live in only at "our" leisure. What this letter speaks to me is that Virgil Goode is a racially and religiously intolerant man.

It may surprise Mr. Goode that most people from the Middle East share the values of faith and freedom that most Americans have. Of course, that probably doesn't mean a thing to him; Virgil Goode probably sees only a horde of future Muslim politicians coming over the ridge to storm the Capitol, take down the American flag and replace it with an Islamic crescent while forcing people like him to submit to Allah and follow the Five Pillars.

I'm really looking forward to the day when people can accept one another in our nation, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Sadly, I think George Allen and Virgil Goode have pushed that day back just a bit farther than I'd like.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Just a few quick things to note as I try to get through the Holiday Season:

  • Kathy is currently doing the DMA tour (currently at UGA), and I'm spending lots of time with Ian. Unfortunately, he seems to have finally found the "terrible" part of his Terrible Twos. Thankfully, my honey will be home tonight. Hopefully.
  • I found out earlier this week that Martin Nodell passed away. I wasn't aware of who he was either, until I heard that he created Green Lantern. GL was one of my favorite comic book characters growing up. I still would like to get a tattoo of the Green Lantern symbol one day.
  • Peter Boyle's passing was a little shocking, but not unexpected. I remember seeing him on an episode of Mind of Mencia and thinking, "Man, he's not looking too good". Little did I know. I also was not aware of the connection between him and John Lennon, nor of his training as a monk. Goodbye, Mr. Boyle.
  • Soy makes you teh ghey?
  • 11 days until Christmas. I have some things to say about the alleged "War on Christmas", but I'll wait until I get my thoughts together a bit better.
  • Anthony Field, aka Anthony Wiggle, has announced his retirement from the group. In kids' music parlance, this is like hearing The Beatles are breaking up. 'Course, by the time Ian knows about it and can understand, he'll probably be full on into Zambian death rap-metal-yodel fusion. In the meantime, I gotta relearn their names: Jeff, Murray, Greg, and Sam.
That's all I have for the moment. Talk amongst yourselves.

Friday, December 8, 2006

It's (iPod) Friday I'm in love

A long way for a joke that 1-2 people will get. Anyway, here's my iPod shuffle list for this Friday:

1) Eye In The Sky-Alan Parsons Project
2) Young Americans-David Bowie
3) Chromatic Death-Anthrax
4) Doing A Dance-The Wiggles
5) Hangar 18-Megadeth
6) Running On Empty-Jackson Browne
7) One After 909-The Beatles
8) Little Things-Bush
9) Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer-Jay Z/Linkin Park
10) Letter To A John-Ani DiFranco
11) World Hunger-Sam Kinison
12) Dreams-Van Halen
13) Cold Sweat-James Brown
14) Dazed and Confused (live)-Led Zeppelin
15) Her Majesty-The Beatles

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Thursday I don't care about you...

I went to the doctor today to get myself checked out. As some of you know, I have been suffering from sinus trouble for years. I've also had to contend with allergies, but it hasn't been as big an issue as the sinuses. I also have a case of sleep apnea, which I've been having more and more trouble with as years have gone by.

Earlier this week, I had to take Ian to the doctor's office to see about coughing fits he has been having recently. Turns out he has a sinus infection, and the pediatrician prescribed some antibiotics for him to take to clear it up. I figured, if he can get his cleared up somehow, why not me? I made an appointment to see the doctor and went in this afternoon.

I told her about my symptoms, and after taking a good long look at my ears and nose, she informed me that I had a deviated septum. This probably resulted from taking a softball to the nose about 11 years ago. However, while it may explain some aspects of my health, it doesn't address them all.

I'm supposed to go see an ENT next week, but we have no money left in our flex plan account for the year, so I'm gonna have to reschedule until January. In the meantime, I've been given a prescription for amoxicillin, which I hope will alleviate some of the sinus crappola.

Other than that, I'm feelin' fine and dandy! You?

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

And Wednesday too...

When it rains, it pours. Yesterday I found out that a friend of mine who lives in California may have to have his foot amputated.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Tuesday's gray...

Which Famous Revolutionary Are You?

Nelson Mandela

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities."

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Monday, December 4, 2006

I don't care if Monday's blue...

Today was pretty busy for me. We had a weekend of parades, "Breakfast with Santa"s and other holiday activities around the county, not to mention one of our high schools playing in the state semi-finals, so I had LOTS of photos to process for tomorrow's deadline this morning.

Then about noon, Kathy calls me and informs me that I would need to take Ian to the pediatrician this afternoon. He's been coughing in fits lately, and we were worried that he had developed a case of bronchitis. I got off work about mid-afternoon and took the boy to see our pedia.

it turns out that Ian has a bit of sinus infection, so he wrote up a prescription for an antibiotic to take for the next few days. After we got out, it was too late for us to go back to school/work, so the two of us hit Wal-Mart and did some Christmas shopping. Bought a few things, but I'm not done yet.

When we went to pick up Kathy from work, it turns out that while she was gone to audition Friday, she received three boxes of Pistoulet and a shelf stereo system at her office, all of which we had to haul home SOMEHOW in our Prius. And yet, we managed to do it. Don't ask me how, but we did.

In any case, it felt good to get home, but there was still one more surprise waiting for us in our mailbox. Kathy got a biography request from Who's Who for possible inclusion in their next annual book. We're still not sure what she's done to even deserve consideration of a mention, but we figure that it's worth submitting anyway. If nothing else, it's one more line on Kat's resume.

So, I'm gonna go now, take a shot of NyQuil, and hit the sack. tomorrow looks to be a busy day as well for Clintster and family. And so to bed.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Mr. Mom II: Electric Boogaloo

Kathy went off on part one of a (hopefully) three-part journey to audition for grad schools. See her blog for details of the trip and how it went. Meanwhile it was just me and the buddy at the house for two days.

Mind you, this wasn’t the first time that it’s been the two of us “bachin’ it”, but it always seems like she’s always gone too long anytime she goes away, to borrow from a great, underrated song. Luckily Kat had to leave on Friday morning, so it wasn’t too traumatic on the boy. When I picked him up from daycare that evening, I asked him if he wanted chicken or pizza. He immediately exclaimed “PIZZA!” and all the way home did a little “pizzapizzapizZA” chant.

After we got home, for the half-hour it took me to get the oven warmed up and the pizza cooking, he added to his performance by doing what shall henceforth be known in our house as the “pizza dance”. It consists mainly of jumping up and down at about 80 beats per minute while singing the above mentioned pizza chant. I have to say to his credit that, after all that, he worked himself into enough of a lather that he ate two slices of pizza all by himself!

Saturday was pretty uneventful, although I had to dissuade Ian from perusing his new favorite activity: pushing the television when he sees someone or something on the screen he doesn’t like. Yesterday morning, he managed to push the TV about a foot into the entertainment cabinet, which has no back, BTW. I’m just lucky that 1) the glass screen keep the rest of the TV counterweighted, and 2) we didn’t get the HDTV that I was waiting in line for last week.

A couple of times, we heard twigs being blown against the door, and Ina ran toward the office yelling “Mommy! Mommy!”, but alas it was not to be. She did finally come home (after contemplating sleeping over at her mom’s to break the trip up) about an hour before the boy’s bedtime. By this point, I was a bit exhausted being Mr. Mom for the Saturday, and glad to see my wife come through the door.

She has to do this again in a couple of weeks, but it’s in the middle of the week, so my worries over child-rearing will be limited to early morning, and evening hours. Wish us both luck.

Friday, December 1, 2006

World AIDS Day

Support World AIDS Day

In case you haven't heard, today is World AIDS Day. It's been 25 years now since the first cases of the disease were reported, and to date it has taken nearly 3 million lives. As of today, almost 40 million people are living with HIV and AIDS. Worldwide, 4.3 million new cases of HIV were reported in 2006, of which half a million were children under the age of 15.

In North America alone, 36,000 people dies of AIDS this year alone. There are half a million people living with HIV, and 68,000 new cases have been reported.

Although it has moved into the background, AIDS and HIV is still a threat to us all. Learn the facts and keep yourself protected.

Links to peruse
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
World AIDS Day
ACT UP/New York