Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Primary concerns

In general, I think that Howard Zinn has the right idea about

I almost didn't vote in the Oklahoma primary today. (The presidential primary took place back in February on Super Tuesday, but the primary for everything else was today.) Apparently, I was not alone in my lack of interest.

True, Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe is an embarrassment. But Democrat Andrew Rice had no serious opposition in his bid to unseat Inhofe. Rice is probably a nice young man, but he seems to have a talent for avoiding controversial subjects. Maybe this is a practical concession to the realities of winning an election in Oklahoma. But it did nothing to inspire me to vote for him in the primary.

On the other hand, a little bit of online research when I got home from work led me to the web site of Bert Smith. Smith was running for the chance to oppose Republican Rep. Mary Fallin in the Fifth Congressional District. On Smith's web site was the candidate's position on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban burning of the US flag. Smith's defense of free speech was enough to motivate me to hop on my bicycle and hurry down to my polling place to help Smith defeat opponent Steven L. Perry.

Apparently Perry won.

Bad news for the WTO...

...is probably good news for the rest of us.

CEPR - WTO Talks Collapse Amidst Developing Countries' Reluctance to Sacrifice Food Security

I originally found this article on truthout.

But what about Afghanistan?

Barack Obama has gained considerable support from peace activists for his opposition to the Iraq war--but seems to be making troubling proposals to take US troops from Iraq and send them to Afghanistan.

National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn explains why that is a really bad idea:

t r u t h o u t | End the Occupation of Iraq - and Afghanistan

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hillary Clinton on Bush's Outrageous Attempt to Undermine Women's Rights | PEEK | AlterNet

I saw this post on the "Peek" section of the AlterNet front page this morning.

Hillary Clinton on Bush's Outrageous Attempt to Undermine Women's Rights | PEEK | AlterNet

By early this evening it was terrifically difficult to find. (For instance, a site author search on "Clinton" didn't pull it up.) Probably a coincidence, I suppose...

The more things change?

To make a long story as short as possible, today an email discussion reminded me of an old Pat Parker poem. So I looked it up. Apparently lots of other people remember this poem, because you can see that the following web search came up with lots of results:


Here's a link to one place the poem appeared on the web:

Here is a link to a short biography of Pat Parker:

Adventures with Capitalist Medicine

Today I have an appointment to go see the physician's assistant for a pap smear. Oh joy. It won't be fun, but of course it's necessary. I've only seen this woman once, but she seems basically okay.

The last time I saw her, she sent me for some routine blood work. Seems my cholesterol was a bit high. She put a note on the results that we could try diet and exercise for a while, to see if that worked. The implication seemed to be, if diet and exercise didn't work, she might want to try cholesterol-lowering drugs.

She'll have a lot of convincing to do to get me to take those drugs. Here's why:

The Cholesterol Con -- Where Were the Doctors? | Health and Wellness | AlterNet

The Bad Science That Created the Cholesterol Con

This is the second part of the series:

The Bad Science That Created the Cholesterol Con | | AlterNet

Moving Mountains

Last night as I went down to get my laundry from the laundry
room, I noticed a dead bug lying in the middle of the floor of
the entryway to my apartment building. It was a plump brown dead
bug, maybe five-eighths of an inch long and a quarter-inch thick,
and it was surrounded by maybe a dozen tiny black ants. I didn't
give this spectacle much attention. It seemed vaguely disgusting,
so I ignored it.

Imagine my amazement when I returned from the laundry room to
find that the ants had already moved the dead bug about a foot
and a half toward the door. If you are ants, that is a heavy
weight and a long distance. I sat down on the step leading to the
upstairs apartment, and watched as the ants hurried about their
task. Very soon they had reached the door sill. It was almost an
inch tall. They had to maneuver the dead bug this way and that in
order to get it to the top of the sill, but shortly they
accomplished this.

I had closed the door behind me when I came in, but I opened it

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Talking to Myself, Part I

July 27, 2008
The name of this weblog is Talking to Myself, because that is
what I need to do to learn how to put a blog together.
A blog is not a diary. A diary is private. I have a diary. Hell,
I have 30 years worth of diaries. They are bound books that I
write in with a pen, or sometimes a pencil. In my diary, I can
say anything I want. I can tell stories that I'm not willing to
share with anyone else, or stories that would violate someone
else's privacy if I told them. A blog is a form of electronic
publication. Even if I restrict entry to this blog, it is
potentially a way of discussing ideas with others. What I say
here, I accept that there is a possibility that others will read.
That, indeed, is why I want to write a blog. I want to have a
conversation with others. It's a way to help create the world I
want to see, a world where power-over is no longer a governing
concept. A world where there may be many cultural differences,
and differences of opinion, and differences of ways of life--but
a world in which no one has power over others based on gender or
race. A world without economic exploitation and a world in which
everyone's basic needs are met. Haven't I said this all before?
Aren't these all platitudes? Maybe, but I'm talking to myself,
and if I listen to my own voice I will learn the specifics of
what I need to say.
Okay. That's enough to start with.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The permanent link to the transgender post


feh-mun-ist discussion of transgender issues

Yawning Lion has this very cool and complicated take on transgender issues over at feh-mun-ist. It is so connected to some key issues that I'm working on, in my fiction writing and in my life, that I actually worked up the nerve to post a comment.
I wonder if I managed to find the permanent link to this post. I wonder if posting this by e-mail to my blog will work. I guess I'll find out...

Friday, July 25, 2008

So far so good

I was looking for a confirmation e-mail from google asking me about my account, and didn't get one--but so far this account is still here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Things I'm not tempted to try...


In fact, I fail to see the appeal that chess boxing might have for anyone.

And I've been told that I have a good imagination...