Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XXVII
The Lines of Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, April 26, 2003  


Go to the above website. Use their nifty search engine to find a store near you. Take a few minutes on Saturday, May 3rd to drive/walk/bicycle/crawl/leap to the aforementioned store. Pick up FREE comics, no strings attached. If you are an adult, read and enjoy. If you are a kid, have your parents check 'em first, then read and enjoy. No further obligations. Just fun books for free. Well?

posted by Tegan | 7:36 AM

Friday, April 25, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - TV

Smallville: Visitor: After the short hiatus, I would have hoped for a stronger return episode. If this had aired right after Rosetta, it might have had a better impact. Haven't the bullys in Smallville learned how stupid it is to tease kids, yet? It wasn't fantastic, but it was ok. 3 starfish

Smallville: Precipice: This one showed how much Clark still has to learn. He intellectually knows how dangerous his powers are, but hasn't yet realized that emotionally. I like the new sheriff, though her attitude might grate a bit much if they continue to push it. The secondary plot with Lex and Helen was simply great. 4 starfish

And I continue to urge you to check out the Smallville Ledger for a whole gob of fun in-jokes, hints to upcoming episodes, and insights on the most recent episode. Be absolutely sure to check out the Classifieds, as some of the ads are pretty funny for comic book fans. Smallville may not be the best show on TV, but the website has got to be the best supporting website any show has ever had.

posted by Tegan | 9:45 AM

No Sanity

There are two statements that bother me most about Senator Rick Santorum's shooting off of mouth: "It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution" So Sen Santorum does not believe that the people of the United States have a right to privacy, mostly because a right to privacy means that people could commit acts that are contrary to his personal beliefs. But lack of a right to privacy goes a lot further than that, and it bothers me that someone who should be fairly schooled-up on what goes into laws and such could seriously argue that we don't have any right to privacy. I would think that what goes on between myself and my husband is completely private, but Santorum seems to think it's the government's right to send somebody in to check and make sure we are doing it right. That's frightening.

The second isn't as quotable, but it argues that laws should be set by the people, and even if the laws aren't constitutional: "I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in." So the people should have no recourse if a law is bad? Is that what he's saying, or is there something else going on here?

Both statements bother me, and the lack of condemnation from the Republican party also bothers me. Do Rebublicans agree with Santorum, that we don't have any right to privacy and that the Supreme Court shouldn't be able to overturn laws? Wow. Suddenly I feel a chill wind blowing from somewhere.

posted by Tegan | 7:51 AM

Thursday, April 24, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 23 Apr 2003 - Part II

Crossovers #4: Wow. I keep wondering how the crossing over can be kept up, but this series just continues to exceed its promise. Yeah, it's not high art, but it's one of the funniest comics on the shelves right now. And although I see many of the twists coming, I've been fooled by more than one. And the dog!!!!!! BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! 4 1/2 starfish

Powers #30: The conclusion. Wow. It's a different wow than for Crossovers. This is a brutal book, not for children. And it's a very wow ending, since the whole book has been... rewritten. You can't see this thing in DC and Marvel, but this is the kind of change that makes reading this comic worth it. 4 starfish

Next week: Green Lantern, JLA, Power Company, Ruse, and the long anticipated Superman: Red Son Elseworld (what if Kal-El's rocket had landed in the Soviet Union instead of Kansas?).

posted by Tegan | 7:48 PM


Not that anyone has been demanding any pictures of me, but I've decided to supply one anyway. This image is of me at the grand old age of just under three months. I don't know whose hand is supporting me. I was going to post the color version, but the red-eye problem makes me look an awful lot like a baby vampire, and the dress is white anyway.

Doesn't it just make you want to run away screaming?

My little sister is working on digitizing all the family photos to preserve them for another generation. As part of the program, she's been figuring out the people in the various photos and making sure the important facts are recorded. Every family needs someone who is willing to make this sort of effort to preserve the past. Thanks to her efforts, I've got a bunch of school pictures sitting in my inbox that I half-wished I'd never see again. But, on the other hand, I've got this gem (vampire-baby with poofy hair!) and some classic shots of me with my brothers as a toddler.

Thanks to the efforts of my brothers, I've also got lots of information on my geneology. Most of my siblings have contributed to the efforts to figure out where we come from. This is why I know that I'm approximately half-German, a quarter Danish, and a quarter from around the British Isles. I think. I could be forgetting something important.

posted by Tegan | 11:11 AM

Comments (4)

Just wait, when I am around the scanner for the summer there will be a daily onslaught of baby vampire pictures. I have seen what mom has, boxes and boxes of pictures just waiting to be sorted through and digitized.

Lisa Dunham | Email | 04.24.03 - 4:35 pm

oh. Boy.

Tegan | 04.24.03 - 7:35 pm

My recollection without seeing the color version is that it is Grandma Riggs' hand.

Maggie | Email | 04.30.03 - 9:41 am

Hrm. I can't remember. I was less than three months old. And, looking at the image again, the dress looks like it's actually a very light blue. But my eyes are definitely a glowing red. Definitely a baby vampire.

Tegan | 04.30.03 - 9:59 am


Rapid Reviews - 23 Apr 2003 - Part I

Birds of Prey #54: I'm down to counting the issues until Gail Simone takes over. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #24: The um... rivalry... between Kyle and Ollie doesn't ring true. It just seems overly forced. I'm just not that impressed with this whole mini-storyarc. 2 1/2 starfish

Amazing Spider-Man #52: A little confusing, but the villain is interesting, the supporting chracters are great, and the storyline is working out. Yeah, I like. 3 1/2 starfish

Still to review: Crossovers and Powers.

posted by Tegan | 10:47 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003  

Wow, Great Article

There's a great article on about what's unfinished in the war with Iraq. It's a heckuva lot more polite than I am, and makes the points much better.

Got the link from This Modern World.

posted by Tegan | 7:43 AM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

Random Bits

Did you know that nursing a baby in a plane is a terrorist activity? Yeah, neither did I.

Did you know the Washington State legislature has just passed a bill making it illegal for retailers to sell violent video or computer games to minors? There are some important limits to it, like that the game must depict "realistic or photographic-like" violence against a "public law enforcement officer", but I still feel uneasy that this thing made it through the Washington State house and senate. Yeah, I don't like those ultra-realistic violent video games, but why put the responsibility on the retailers? Don't most minors have a parent or guardian who should be checking for such things? Thanks to Unqualified Offerings for pointing this out.

While Gary Hart hasn't really written all that much on his blog yet, I find this piece to be an interesting view of the way Democrats think. I also like reading the responses to Mr Hart's comments, as the quality of thought is wonderful. Kind of like my own Bush-supporters who offered me great arguments yesterday (thanks guys!). Heh, on that note, I noticed nobody actually defended my opinion except me... hrm.

And lastly, I really like the cover to Aquaman #8:

posted by Tegan | 6:50 PM

Our New Neighbor

A woodpecker has moved into one of the trees in our front yard. So far he seems to be a pretty good neighbor. He's drilled two holes in the dead portion of the tree, and seems to have decided to use the lower hole. Neither Eric or I recall hearing the construction, but it might have happened while we were away, or we might have mistook the sounds for something else.

I have got a few good looks at the guy. From searching pictures on the internet, he seems to be either a Red-Breasted Sapsucker or a Lewis's Woodpecker. The Sapsucker is more likely, considering our location and everything, but I swear he looks more like the Lewis from the pictures I've seen. Therefore, even though I'm not sure what he is, his name is Lewis. It's easier than trying to make a name out of "sapsucker". Given the fact that I don't know for sure if it's male or female, this is probably a good name because if we ever get a definite answer that it's female, we just change the spelling to Lois.

I usually see just the head of the bird, sticking out from the hole in the tree. Lewis doesn't appear to be looking at me, but if I say anything, he flies off. The head is a deep red color in the front, but I can't say for sure what the color is on the back, as he's always well above me. When he flies off I see red and white underneath with dark wings. From the pages I've read, if he's a Lewis's Woodpecker, the wings should be completely dark, so I'll be watching for that next time I see him.

posted by Tegan | 7:38 AM

Monday, April 21, 2003  

What a Stupid Way to Spend a Day Off

I just realized that I've spent most of the second day of my weekend arguing fruitlessly with a Bush-supporter. I know I'm not going to change his opinion, and he knows he won't change mine, so why have I wasted my time like this?

That's it for today, I'm out to have some fun. Buh-bye.

posted by Tegan | 3:56 PM

Comments (1)

Argh! I can't stay away! Quick, somebody hit me over the head with a clue-by-four!

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 8:28 pm


Happier Thoughts

Ok, now that I've gotten myself completely depressed about the state of the Union, I think I should find something more happy to talk about. I expect some nasty responses from some Bush-supporters on my ramble-rant, so I need something to brace myself against the expected attacks. Let's see... happy thoughts...

Um, bunny rabbits! They are happy. Cute. Singing "Peter Cottontail" in unison... that must have been an ad. I also liked the bunny ad where the guy was checking ID and the bunnies kept multiplying. Yeah. Bunnies are happy thoughts...

Um... er... flowers! Yeah, I like daffodils and buttercups. Even dandylions have their charms. We have some really pretty purple blossoms in our back yard. In the places that aren't covered by creeping blackberry bushes and ivy...

Oh right. Happy thoughts. Ok... let's see... puppies! Except when they nip painfully, piddle all over the floor, and get sick. Right. So... kittens! Except they have most of the same problems, and they grow up to be lazy and anti-social cats.

Uh. Happy thoughts. Happy happy, joy joy. I like music, that's happy! Of course, most of my favorite songs are depressing ballads. Or, as filkers call it, "Ose" (from ose, ose and morose!). They aren't terribly happy.

Uh, how about books! Yeah, I like books! Unless they get fried from the inside by someone microwaving them. And I don't like boring books much. And I don't often get in the mood to really read. The last couple of weeks I was in the mood, and read a whole bunch of books all at once. But when I'm not in the mood to read novels, books are more frustrating than fun.

Oh my. I'm having trouble staying happy. Let's see... what other things are happy... Uh, brown paper packages tied up with string! Except they might have bombs or anthrax in them nowadays... Gah! This is useless!

Oh well. What I'm hoping for in a response to my essay on why I think Bush has failed as president is a nice counter-essay from a Bush supporter that gives four or five points on which Bush has suceeded, so I can see that it's not all doom and gloom.

posted by Tegan | 9:19 AM

Comments (7)

Apparently in your "happy thought" world Rome was built in a day. Our troops have been in Iraq less time than Clinton took to torch the Davidians in Waco--probably with fewer innocent lives lost. Bush's greatest strength (and the reason he will succeed where his father and Clinton failed) is that he and his advisers have a long term view of the problems America faces. He won't govern by focus group (like Clinton) or cowtow to the UN (like Bush-1). And that's why he will be remembered as a great president.

In the long run, the new Iraq may fail, but I doubt it. I work in Detroit and know several Iraqi-Americans some of whom have already gone back to Iraq since Saddams' fall. They are decent people and they have a vision for Iraq. They know it will be a long treacherous road, but they don't doubt that Bush did the right thing. There was big Iraqi pro-American rally/celebration in Dearborn MI two weeks ago which I attended. Maybe you saw it on the news. For your information, they don't say Bush-1 betrayed them. The Iraqis I've spoken to say that Bush-1 was good man with a soft heart who listened to the wrong people, but Dubya's heart is stronger and that is why he is doing the right thing. They know that if Bush-1 hadn't acted Saddam would have taken over Kuwait (and more) and would he would be enormously more powerful now, and they would never be able to return and give their country a chance for a decent future. Maybe you know more about Iraq than those people do but I doubt it.

They are looking to the future and you are dwelling on the past. No wonder all you see is doom and gloom.

farsider | Email | 04.21.03 - 12:23 pm

Let me get this straight.

Instead of replying to my note about why I think George W Bush is a complete failure as President, you reply to my note in which I'm trying to cheer myself up. Bad aim, there. Or are you trying to make me more depressed?

Instead of addressing the points in my note (I made five of them), you are focusing on Iraq to the exclusion of all else, just like Bush is. What a narrow view of the world you have!

Instead of addressing what Bush has or hasn't accomplished in his two-plus years in office, you are focusing on what might happen, if there aren't more terrorist attacks in retaliation for Bush's warmongering, or more wars started by Bush on the flimsiest of pretenses. The future you are so cheerily predicting is so far off from the future that I see that I can only wonder which one of us is blind.

You say he'll be remembered as a great president? I think he'll be remembered as the man who spat on the American constitution, sent American soldiers to die based on clearly false evidence, and lied to cover his tracks. I'm no psychic, but the future looks VERY dark to me, and what you've written only further confirms my belief that Bush and his supporters are completely oblivious to reality.

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 1:11 pm

I didn't have time on my lunch break to reply to your five points. I was specifically replying to one point you repeatedly harp on--how you were so disillusioned by Bush-1's abandonment of the Iraqis in 1991 that you left the GOP--, and it's corollary--that W will be just as bad as his father.

And yes I was trying to cheer you up.

I think you are like the dwarves in "The Last Battle" who refuse to be cheered up. They're not blind; they just refuse to see that there is a right side and a wrong side. Let me know if that reference is lost on you.

farsider | Email | 04.21.03 - 2:19 pm

Reference definitely lost on me.

By the way, do you have a blog? I'd like to link to it, if so.

I don't see any repeated harping on Bush Sr's failure on my blog. Perhaps you are confusing private correspondence with public? Besides, I didn't think Bush Sr was all that bad, except for that one failure which led to the situation we're in now. Nor have I ever said I didn't think Bush Sr should have attacked. I was pro-war back then, and I have never once felt that Bush Sr's original decision to go into Iraq was wrong. You might find that strange, but it's true. Bush Sr was right to invade Iraq with the support of virtually the entire world.

No, I'm judging Bush Jr entirely by what he's done so far. And I see nothing good in it. Nor do I see much good coming out of it, as you do. There may be some short term positives, like Iraqis being able to speak their minds in public for the first time ever, but I do not see them lasting long-term. Just look at what is happening in Afghanistan. Will Bush abandon Iraq as soon as he decides to attack Syria?

One of us will someday eat crow over this discussion, and I hope and pray that it will be me. I would love to live in the future you so brightly paint. But I simply cannot see it happening after what Bush has done.

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 2:32 pm

That's a Narnia reference, isn't it? I haven't read all the Narnia books yet. And comparing Bush's America to Narnia is a major stretch, unless at the end Narnia turns out to be some horrible dictatorship with no freedom or rights?

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 2:39 pm

Good guess. I'm impressed. The Last Battle is Book 7 and it sort of corresponds to Revelation.

Please tell me you didn't mean to say that Bush has or will turn the US into "some horrible dictatorship with no freedom or rights."

If so, I give up.

No blog here. Yikes. I already spend too much time on line. The offer of a link is gracious, and I take it a compliment.

Well, I need to go or I'll miss Fox News. But you suspected as much all along didn't you?

farsider | Email | 04.21.03 - 3:01 pm

If Bush is allowed to continue on the path he's already set, yes, I do see America turning into a horrible dictatorship with no freedom or rights. That's the ultimate conclusion of all the acts he's taken in office so far.

Why do you think I'm so depressed?

Does Narnia turn into Bush's America? With goose-stepping Bush-Youth and massive propaganda drives telling us what country we need to invade next because it is "sheltering" terrorists? If it does, I suddenly have no desire to continue reading the series.

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 3:09 pm


Why I think George W Bush is a Complete Failure As President

I haven't really seen that many presidents in my life. I was born just as Nixon was being disgraced, and the first president I actually remember was the ineffectual Jimmy Carter. I grew to maturity thinking that Reagan was actually a pretty good president, despite his many failings. Bush Sr's inexplicable inability to finish the job he started in Iraq upset me immensely and utterly destroyed my youthful idealism. Clinton was an adequate president who got impeached for personal reasons when there were plenty of political reasons to go after him instead. But George W Bush, in my opinion, has consistently and completely failed the American people. And here are the reasons I think this way.

1) September 11th, 2001. Intelligence agencies across the world warned us. There was enough evidence to at least look into the possibility. Yet nothing was done to stop it. Somebody fell asleep while on watch, and at least some tiny bit of the blame for that failure must splash on the executive branch.

2) The Invasion of Afghanistan. It was planned before Sep 11th, but once the terrorist attack happened, Bush stated that we were now in a war on terrorism. But we've failed to capture Osama Bin Laden, and the Taliban is moving back in while we're distracted elsewhere. If Bush's goal was to stablize Afghanistan and capture the terrorists, he's failed on both points. And American soldiers are still dying in Afghanistan.

3) The Economy. It's very odd how the whole economy has collapsed, and Bush wants to cut taxes for the people who still have money. Why not raise taxes on the people who still have money, and lower taxes on the people who are barely making it day-to-day instead? Things are getting worse, not better, and Bush has done nothing to fix the problem.

4) The Patriot Act. Under no other president have our rights been so thoroughly removed. Under only one other president have so many American citizens been unconstitutionally detained for the most trivial of reasons.

5) Iraq. We barely had a reason to go into Afghanistan. Yeah, we thought Bin Laden was there. But Afghanistan had been a cesspool of horror for years and we utterly ignored it. And then Bush uses the barest of pretenses to go into Iraq. We attacked a sovereign nation on its own soil. And why? To throw out Saddam and to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But where is Saddam? Who knows? He might be dead, he might have fled safely to Syria. He might be back with his thugs the instant we leave. As for his weapons... have we actually found any yet?

The cynic in me thinks that Bush's reasons for invading Afghanistan and Iraq were completely different than the public reasons. The idealist in me prays that I'm just being paranoid. I'm worried about the so-called "Patriot Act", and its little brother. I'm worried about the precedent Bush has set by attacking a country with no proof of wrongdoing. I think that Bush is definitely the worst President to come along in my lifetime (and I include Nixon in that), and may be the worst current world leader... if only because he has the power to destroy the world at his fingertips and is apparently willing to use it.

Has Bush actually accomplished any good during his time as President? Has he ever finished any of his stated goals? While the apparently wonderful things he's done for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to shine out as a positive example, they do seem to be welcome side-effects and not the goal of his invasion plans. Worse, they seem to be temporary side-effects that Bush has no intention of preserving. More Americans are suffering now. Schools are scrambling for money. Finding a job in my neck of the woods is near-impossible. American soldiers are dying in foreign lands where we haven't come close to achieving our goals, and we're even losing ground in Afghanistan. The threat of a terrorist attack is higher than ever because we've managed to anger nearly all the Muslim world. We have threatened both Syria and Iran.

And for what? What good has been accomplished?

I would like Bush to get defeated soundly in the next election. The only problem there, I think, is that the Democrat party is in complete shambles thanks to their spineless backing of Bush's destructive policies. I don't see them putting forth an intelligent opponent. Nor do I see the Republicans pushing anyone but Bush. The "War Euphoria" from Iraq will be long gone by election time, so unless Bush invades another country, the overwelming emotion caused by victory (even one as hollow and pointless as victory over Iraq) shouldn't be a factor. No third party stands a chance, even now. All-in-all, the future seems very dark for our nation.

I know I'm going to get slammed for this by pro-war Bush supporters who believe that Americans were justified in killing thousands of Iraqi citizens in order to protect them from the threat of being killed by their own government. I know those same people are going to pull up piles of "facts" that contradict what I've said. The truth is so foggy, though, no presented fact will convince me that the war in Iraq was justified, unless and until it's been verified by someone outside the American government who is trustworthy. I'm more on the side of those who think this is far from over than those who believe we've somehow won something by marching into Baghdad.

posted by Tegan | 9:02 AM

Comments (6)

Your final paragraph convinces me that nothing I can say would be received by you as anything other than partisan propaganda. The only "facts" you are iinterested in must come from outside the American gov't from someone who is "trustworthy." That seems to be automatic self fulfilling prophecy.

However, regarding:

4) The Patriot Act. Under no other president have our rights been so thoroughly removed...

As I understand it, the Act merely consolidates prior restrictions under previous administrations, and updates them to include cellular and internet technologies that were not anticipated by previous legislation. This could come in handy, don't you think? But I guess terrorists don't use the internet or modile phones, do they?

Only under only one other president have so many American citizens been unconstitutionally detained for the most trivial of reasons...

Huh? Are you talking about Arab-Americans detained after 9/11, most of whom were illegal aliens? It don't think Sept. 11 was a trivial reason. And the detention of some of these people led to valuble intelligence that probably prevented other terrorist acts, and definitely led to the arrests of several terror cells in the US. You blame Bush for 9/11, but you don't want him to take action to prevent future terrorist acts?

farsider | Email | 04.21.03 - 2:46 pm

If they were "Arab-Americans" then, by definition, they weren't "illegal aliens". You have a strange sense of word definitions, Rich. As for detaining people, there are legal ways to detain people, and illegal ways. There are citizens being held with no formal charges. That's illegal.

And the so-called "Patriot Act" makes it perfectly legal for the government to spy on anybody without a court order, including their phone communication and their use of the internet. That's no consolidation, that's a HUGE expansion. That makes everyone a suspect.

But then, normal people don't deserve any sort of privacy when they use their phones or the internet, do they?

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 3:00 pm

Not true. They still have to get a court order just like before. I stand by my previous response, unless you can prove me wrong by a "trustworthy" source.

Re: Arab-Americans. Fine. Make that Arab-Americans and/or Arab US residents. As in "the 19 innocent Arab-Americans and/or Arab US residents who hijacked planes, flying them into buildings, communicating with their fellow innocent Arab non-citizens solely by carrier pigeon, smoke signal, and tin cans connected by kite string."

farsider | Email | 04.21.03 - 3:18 pm

"Not true. They still have to get a court order just like before."

You are correct. I misread. It just no longer requires "probable cause" to issue a court order. You can now get a wiretap as long as you say "this person might possible be remotely related to some sort of terrorist activity", and that makes it all hunky-dory.

As for the rest of your note, especially your over-laden with sarcasm nonsense: "Those who would give up essential liberties for a measure of security, deserve neither liberty nor security." - Benjamin Franklin

You seriously believe that Americans have no right to privacy? You are arguing that our freedoms are unimportant when put in the context of the fight against terrorism. Without the so-called "Patriot Act", the FBI had enough information to stop the terrorists of Sep 11th if only they had been able to put the clues together. Being able to read anyone's e-mail would not have helped them one bit. Being able to listen in on any phone conversation wouldn't have changed the fact that they missed the information that was right in front of them. And yet, you are still willing to give up your rights to the same people that showed themselves utterly incompetent? Are you nuts?

That's like saying to a major league pitcher, "Well, you haven't lasted an inning all season long. We're making you one of our starters!" It's just begging for trouble, and we're going to get plenty of trouble from it, one way or the other.

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 3:53 pm

Just a couple of observations on your five points.

1) September 11. The lion's share of the blame for this should rightly be placed on the Clinton Administration for its persistent downplaying and ignoring intelligence reports that demonstrated al Qaeda was a credible risk for a mass-casualty attack. Blaming Bush for this is a little like blaming a person who walks into a burning building for setting it on fire.

2) The goal of the invasion of Afghanistan was to remove the Taliban from power and disrupt the infrastructure of not only al Qaeda, but also other Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. This has largely succeeded, although not entirely, as you point out. The objective of stabilizing the country as in establishing a representative government is a generational affair. Expecting it to be done by now is not only unrealistic, but hopelessly so.

3) Not my area, so won't comment on it.

4) Too soon to judge how well the Patriot Act will or won't do anything, but I don't give a lot of credibility to scaremongers who argue it's only one step removed from Big Brother. I agree it demands vigilance on the part of the American people.

5) We attacked Iraq to remove a threat to American national security -a known hostile rogue regime armed with weapons of mass destruction. Go back and listen to Colin Powell's presentation to the UN where he revealed previously classified US intelligence sources demonstrating Iraqi officials conspiring to hide WMD from inspectors. We haven't found any yet, you're right. Been looking for a whole week and a half now. If you want instant gratification, I'm afraid it won't be forthcoming. Where is Saddam? He's out of power. Maybe in Syria, that's true. But he won't be back. Because we aren't leaving for a while.

I'm not trying to make you change your mind, just raising a few points for thought and civilized discussion.

Jason | Homepage | 04.21.03 - 5:37 pm

Argh! I can't keep away! Help, save me from discussion of politics!!!

1) The lion's share of the blame for this should rightly be placed on the Clinton Administration

No. The lion's share of the blame should be placed on the terrorists who planned and carried out the attacks. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Bush for what happened. I'm only saying that there is evidence that, as late as August, he and the FBI were ignoring crucial facts that might have stopped it from happening.

Blaming Bush for this is a little like blaming a person who walks into a burning building for setting it on fire.

Actually, I see it more as a case of a person walking into a building that is an obvious fire hazard and doing nothing in the seven months he's lived there to improve conditions. He's not to blame for the original conditions, nor is he directly to blame for the fire, but there is some small blame there.

2) The goal of the invasion of Afghanistan was to remove the Taliban from power and disrupt the infrastructure of not only al Qaeda, but also other Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

So why did the White House and Bush make such a big deal of bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice, then? If all we wanted to do was overthrow the Taliban, why didn't we do it years earlier when the people of the Northern Alliance begged us for help? Why not before thousands of women died at the hands of extremists? Why not before the world lost priceless parts of its heritage? If we were just going in after the Taliban, we should have moved far sooner. And if we weren't, if it was indeed a war on terror, then why are we letting those same people move back in again? Seriously, the place is a mess right now. And the remnants of the Taliban have even more cause to hate us than before.

The objective of stabilizing the country as in establishing a representative government is a generational affair. Expecting it to be done by now is not only unrealistic, but hopelessly so.

I don't expect us to establish a representative government in less than two years. But I do expect us to have actually finished the job we started and finished mopping up the last remnants of terrorists in the area. We haven't done that. We're not even close to that minimum level of security, and we've started a war on yet another country! Doesn't Bush realize that it's stupid to fight on multiple fronts? Especially if we're also trying desperately to defend against another terrorist attack?

4) Too soon to judge how well the Patriot Act will or won't do anything, but I don't give a lot of credibility to scaremongers who argue it's only one step removed from Big Brother. I agree it demands vigilance on the part of the American people.

What I've read of it, and it's one hard piece of legislation to plough through, is not terribly comforting. It seems like, to me, a lot of the safeguards that were in place against the official abuse of power have been removed. I don't think most of it would stand up in court, if it comes down to that, but I really don't like it. And calling it the "Patriot Act" when it's whole goal is to provide security by weakening basic rights smacks of insulting propaganda. I think the whole thing is despicable, and I'm very disappointed in every politician who allowed it to happen. Which is, sadly, most of them.

5) We attacked Iraq to remove a threat to American national security -a known hostile rogue regime armed with weapons of mass destruction.

I have seen no proof that Iraq was anything but a powerless, constantly bombed, overly supervised, toothless tiger. We had inspections there for years, what little fighting capacity they had was nearly gone. Heck, they were practically back to chucking spears at our soldiers.

Go back and listen to Colin Powell's presentation to the UN where he revealed previously classified US intelligence sources demonstrating Iraqi officials conspiring to hide WMD from inspectors.

Is that the one based on "crude fabrications", or the one based on information from a ten-year-old graduate thesis?

We haven't found any yet, you're right. Been looking for a whole week and a half now.

Been in the country for a month now, had inspectors in there for years now... I sure hope we find those WMD. I will celebrate louder than you if and when we do, because it'll mean that we didn't start a war based on fake papers and made-up intelligence reports after all. But hey, why should US soldiers be doing all the work in trying to find those WMD? Let's bring in some UN inspectors, preferably lots more than before. Let them do all the hard work.

Tegan | 04.21.03 - 8:23 pm

Sunday, April 20, 2003  

A Quick Poll

On a mailing list I'm on, a list member stated that most libraries, after getting books returned from borrowing, microwave the books to destroy any possible paper-eating pests.

I want you, without going to Google or another search engine to look it up, to tell me if (a) you've ever heard of this practice and (b) if you have heard of it, if you know that it is being performed in a library near you.

posted by Tegan | 7:37 PM

Comments (1)

I used to work in a library, but that was 10 years ago. Never heard of it. Seems a bit time-consuming to me.

Franklin Harris | Email | Homepage | 04.21.03 - 3:51 am


A Pleasant Easter Sunday

I had two goals for today. One was to make creamed eggs on toast for breakfast, as is the Easter tradition in my family. The other was to visit the Frye Art Museum in Seattle and see "In Line With Al Hirschfeld" before it closes. Because the exhibit closes today, hubby-Eric and I pretty much had to see it today if we could.

The first goal went well. I had pre-hardboiled some eggs, and mixing the traditional margarine, flour, and milk into a standard sauce is cooking that even I can handle. Eric had to help with the egg peeling and toast-making, and I mistimed it by a bit, but it was pretty good anyway. I suppose I would be better at making it if I tried it more than once a year.

Because the museum opens at noon on Sundays, we decided to drive out a little early and bring some reading material so we'd be sure to find a parking spot. What we weren't counting on was that the museum is right next to St James Cathedral... and it is Easter Sunday after all. We ended up driving around the block a few times before we found parking, as even the free lot reserved for visitors to the Frye only was filled up with pious church-goers' cars. We eventually found street parking in a spot that was only slightly less difficult to get into than a tight pair of jeans from college that you haven't worn in ten years.

Admission to the Frye is free, and we wandered in and located the important spots quickly. We decided to visit all the other galleries, then return and check out the Hirschfeld room. There was a Wyeth Family exhibit, and "Path of the Sun: The World of Teng Chiu" was fascinating for his odd painting style that seemed blocky and forced close up, but looked fantastic when you stood back. There was an exhibit called "New Temperaments" which showcased artists who work in tempera. Most of them didn't impress me, but I instantly liked the work of William Patterson.

The standard gallery was mostly neat stuff, but only one painting reached out and grabbed me by the throat. That painting is currently on the Frye website, listed as Dániel Somogyi, View of Königssee, 1878, oil on canvas, 46-3/4 x 59-1/2 in. The image on the website simply does not do the painting justice. It practically jumped out at me from the wall. It said, "I know you recognize me, even though you've never been to Munich." and I could only stare at it. It made a little lightning bolt connection to my soul, and it is an image I won't be forgetting soon.

Ok... coming back down to earth, now. We then wandered over to the Hirschfeld exhibit. The early works were all new to me, with lots of realistic sketches that I'd definitely never seen. I read every one of the little cards on display, and learned a few things about Hirschfeld that I'd either never known or had forgotten. I didn't realize he spent time in Russia, nor did I know that he started indicating the number of "Nina"'s in each work after a desperate fan begged for some indication. Many of the people viewing the exhibit with us were counting "Nina"'s, which was fun for a bit. But there was so much more to see and read, I didn't concentrate too much on Nina.

Getting back home from Pill Hill was more interesting. Traffic was mighty heavy for a Sunday afternoon. But we got home safe, and it's turned out to be a pretty good Easter.

posted by Tegan | 6:34 PM

Rapid Reviews - 16 Apr 2003

Green Lantern #162: Yeah! That's more like it. Both characters having fun and kickin' butt. And one doozy of a cliff-hanger. I like. 3 1/2 starfish

JLA: Age of Wonder #1: OOOOOOhhhh, I wish they could've fit Aquaman in. There were plans to, you know. This was great. 4 starfish

JLA: Scary Monsters #2: oooh. Scary. Seriously, this is paced about right. We're building up to something, and the movement of the story works. Yeah, it's pretty good. 3 1/2 starfish

JSA #47: This book needs a scorecard. I'm having a miserable time following all the plotlines. And a lot of the appeal of this book seems to be to people with a strong knowledge of the Justice Society's past, which I don't have. I'm enjoying it, but I'd enjoy it a lot more if I just knew what was happening. 3 starfish

Due out April 23rd: Birds of Prey, Powers (maybe), Green Arrow, Amazing Spider-Man, and Crossovers.

posted by Tegan | 4:10 PM