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LAST 10 ENTRIES

SHINING
A 'WHITER' BIG EASY?
BLOG SITTING
In My Absence
Banned Books 2005
In the Mail
Something's Not Quite Right
A Community of Commercialism
The Cindy Sheehan Diaries
What, Were They Teaching Evolution?




« August 2005 | Main | October 2005 »



September 30, 2005

SHINING

What if "The Shining" was directed by Nora Ephron instead of Stanley Kubrick?

Posted by Patrick at 10:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




A 'WHITER' BIG EASY?

A Bush Cabinet officer predicted this week that New Orleans likely will never again be a majority black city, and several black officials are outraged.

Outrage for stating the obvious or outraged that poor black people are taking a horrible situation and using it to their advantage and finally doing what they should have done years ago; get out of New Orleans?

Mr. [Alphonso R.] Jackson, whose remarks were reported by the Houston Chronicle, said New Orleans might reach a population of 375,000 people sometime late next year with a black population of about 40 percent at the highest, down from 67 percent before Hurricane Katrina sent a storm surge that overwhelmed New Orleans levees and flooded 80 percent of the city.
In the storm's aftermath, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, charged that relocating evacuees across the country was "racist" and designed to move black people, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, out of Louisiana. The state elected its first Republican senator, David Vitter, in nearly a century in 2004.
Both the preacher and the congresswoman suggested that the residents be housed at the closed England Air Force Base at Alexandria, La., to keep them closer to home.

Yes, we must keep them on the plantation. Wouldnít want them realizing thereís a better world outside of their slave shacks in the 9th Ward. Itís all about how a person votes, see? We canít be lettiní our good little voters get away.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is referring to La Nueva Orleans. (Registration might be required.)

NO MATTER WHAT ALL the politicians and activists want, African Americans and impoverished white Cajuns will not be first in line to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Latino immigrants, many of them undocumented, will. And when they're done, they're going to stay, making New Orleans look like Los Angeles. It's the federal government that will have made the transformation possible, further exposing the hollowness of the immigration debate.

So, like Los Angeles except with humidity and swamps. Parts of Los Angeles are like a cesspool and thatís sort of like a swamp, so I guess itíll only be the humidity that sets the two cities apart.

Whatís it going to be? Could it be that Katrina wiped the slate clean? Maybe wiped away the product of centuries of oppression? Isnít it a better idea to allow the city to grow naturally? If itís like most growing cities in the United States it will likely see a huge increase in Latino (largely Mexican) residents, but it seems to me that a good mix of people is healthier than going back to the past and recreating entrenched political corruption, poverty, and hopelessness.

I expect there to very soon be a severe shortage of underpaid and exploited workers in SoCal.

Posted by Patrick at 01:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




BLOG SITTING

Hello World Wide Rant readers. (Say that five times fast.) My name is Patrick and I will be attempting to hold your attention for the next week or so while Andy is off on vacation.

I am a native and resident of Southern California, but I thankfully grew up in the eastern suburbs which are like a red state within a blue state. (Actually if you look at the voting itís more like a few densely populated blue blobs in a red state.)

Anyway, I hope that anything I post will be taken in a spirit of conversation. Nothing I will post is intended to be taken as a statement of gospel truth, but rather the beginning of a conversation. Let's begin then with a reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Just kidding, of course.

Posted by Patrick at 12:41 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)




September 29, 2005

In My Absence

I'll be stepping away from the blog, more or less, for a week or so to enjoy a much needed vacation. Oh, don't worry, I'll blog here and there as events warrant.

I've asked a couple of people to guest blog for me, so be nice to them and such. I'll let them introduce themselves, pimp their own blogs, etc, as they see fit.

I'll be around until mid-day Friday, after that, have a nice week...

Posted by Andy at 11:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




September 27, 2005

Banned Books 2005

Michele reminds us that it's Banned Books Week here in the land of guaranteed free speech. From the Denver Public Library website, this about sums it up:

"Swimming pools can be dangerous for children. To protect them, one can install locks, put up fences, and deploy pool alarms. All these measures are helpful, but by far the most important thing that one can do for one's children is to teach them to swim." óNational Research Council, Youth, Pornography, and the Internet
That's all I've got on the subject.

Posted by Andy at 07:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




September 26, 2005

In the Mail

A couple of books, one from a reader, another from a fellow blogger:

Posted by Andy at 09:10 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)




Something's Not Quite Right

Odd, but I don't seem to recall any of the terrorist beheading victims wearing black hoods. No, I'm almost certain their innocent, pained faces were on display for all to see, as their necks were sawed through and their heads placed upon their jumpsuit-clad, limp corpses, while the praises of Allah rung out.

Oh, these are anti-war protestors? I see.

You'd think they could maybe find a tiny bit of time to criticize the terrorists. You know, like that 15-20 minutes each day the rest of use for personal hygiene.

(found via Mr. Zomby Boobs)

Posted by Andy at 08:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




A Community of Commercialism

Have you ever seen an ad on television and thought to yourself, "Hey, I wonder who that person is, that hard-working person trying to break into the big time by portraying a giant dancing chicken with erectile dysfunction?"

Well, if you're like me, you can probably stop reading here and go do something productive.

But if you do wonder things like that, do check out AdActors.com, a messageboard to satisfy all of your idle commercial curiosity. Not only is it superydupery, but it's run by Matt Moore, who also brings you The Blog of the Century of the Week.

Go now. Scoot!

Posted by Andy at 06:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




The Cindy Sheehan Diaries

i am watching e! and it's all ashton kutcher this and demi moore that...i mean yes they are famous but there are other pretty people in this country... and in the world!!!

i'm the prettiest of them all! me me me!

p.s. jesse jackson said he'd like to "get all up in me." that made me giggle.

by CindySheehan on Mon Sep 26th, 2005 at 05:51:15 PDT

(see Rita)

Update: You know, I think "jesse jackson said he'd like to occupy my new orleans" would have been funnier.

Posted by Andy at 08:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




What, Were They Teaching Evolution?

Michael Moore's much-admired "minutemen" are bravely defending Iraq from the scourge of school teachers.

Gunmen in Iraq have killed five school teachers - all Shias - at a school near Iskandariya, south of Baghdad.

A police spokesman said the gunmen had arrived at the school in two civilian cars, and led the five teachers and a school driver out before shooting them.

Onward, oh valiant and defiant minutemen!

Posted by Andy at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




September 25, 2005

I Ponder Things

Do you think it confuses the moonbats and wingnuts when I write one post blasting the right and then another poking a sharp stick at the left?

Posted by Andy at 10:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




Me! Me! Meeee!

Cindy Sheehan, once again reporting live from Camp Batshit Crazy, is jealous of Hurricane Rita.

i am watching cnn and it is 100 percent rita...even though it is a little wind and a little rain...it is bad, but there are other things going on in this country today...and in the world!!!!

by CindySheehan on Sat Sep 24th, 2005 at 06:29:15 PDT

Those "other things going on" would be Cindy's continuing march from Concerned Mother to Leftist Whackjob. How dare we not pay attention!

Hey, she found a way to work her anti-Bush zealotry into the wake of Katrina ("occupied New Orleans")... I give it a day or two before she joins the Oliver Willis Cavalcade of Kookery for Rita.

(found via Jeff)

Posted by Andy at 10:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




The Oppression Continues!

Someone alert the pea-brains at Stop the ACLU! that those dastardly civil libertarians are up to their old tricks again!

Yes, once more the ACLU steps into the trenches of the culture war as they attempt to "remove every vestige of decency, goodness, patriotism and morality in America."

Behold the horror!

For Immediate Release
September 20, 2005

Newark, NJ -- The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey announced that it filed a motion yesterday to participate as amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) in a case seeking to uphold the right of an elementary school student to sing a religious song in a voluntary, after-school talent show.

"There is a distinction between speech by a school and speech by individual students," stated ACLU-NJ cooperating attorney Jennifer Klear of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in New York City. "The Constitution protects a student's individual right to express herself, including the right to express herself religiously."

I'm pretty sure that stories like this make the hollow heads of anti-ACLU crusaders shudder and creak, as they begin to slowly implode with a polite foomp! We should give thanks that there's not much brain matter involved for the janitorial staff to scoop up.

(found, better late than never, at Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

Posted by Andy at 10:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




September 23, 2005

Oliver Willfully Confused

What else can explain Oliver's latest nonsense?

In the ownership society, the Republican utopia, you are on your own.

Completely.

Those last words links to an article detailing the woes of Rita evacuees. In fact, here's the opener:
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- Wilma Skinner would like to scream at the officials of this city. If only they would pick up their phones.
Wait, city officials? I'm pretty sure Bush isn't a city official.

Perhaps she is trying to call upon Bill White, the non-partisan, but heavily backed by Democrats, Mayor of Houston.

I guess, though, that pointing that out won't help Oliver with his agenda.

Posted by Andy at 10:51 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Chicks with Guns!

The evil of the right to self-defense strikes again!

AURORA - A serial rapist may have tried to strike again, but a woman shot at her would-be assailant before he could attack her.

The woman says she heard her blinds rustling in her living room and got a gun. She sat up in bed with the gun, and when the man entered her bedroom, she shot at him. She missed, but the blast was enough to make the man take flight.

If anything, this is an argument for the Second Amendment and target practice.

Posted by Andy at 01:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Christians Being Christians

Color me surprised!

A 14-year-old student was expelled from a Christian school because her parents are lesbians, the school's superintendent said in a letter.

Shay Clark was expelled from Ontario Christian School on Thursday.

"Your family does not meet the policies of admission," Superintendent Leonard Stob wrote to Tina Clark, the girl's biological mother.

I guess they overlooked this little Biblical tidbit:
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him" - Ezekiel 18:20
Granted, it doesn't say anything about daughters and mothers.

And, I suppose, given that Isaiah 14:21 would appear to say the opposite, we can forgive them for being erratic in their application of such policies (e.g. why aren't they kicking out children whose parents lie or commit adultery or have impure thoughts or who take the Lord's name in vain - that's even one of the Commandments! - could it be they'd have no one left to pay tuition?).

Posted by Andy at 08:52 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)




September 22, 2005

All Enemies Foreign and Domestic and Spooky Ooky Supernatural!

Oh lord.

National Guard troops in New Orleans battlin' evil spirits in haunted buildings.

I'm...

errr...

dumbfounded.

Hey, maybe they should call in The Presidential Prayer Team!

Posted by Andy at 11:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




September 21, 2005

Absence, The Heart, Blah Blah Blah

Posting will be light until Saturday.

Just so you know.

Because, hey, admit it: you worry.

And that's sweet of you.

Update: Here, this should hold you. Stuff you already knew.

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(78% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Posted by Andy at 10:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




September 20, 2005

A Strategy for One Front in the Culture War

Don't turn around, uh oh, but the Commissar, fresh from a raging battle against ignorance (see GoldenEagle references in previous posts), has compiled a list of tactics for dealing with creationists and ID fanatics.

Presenting: The Wedgie Document.

The title, of course, is a play on the Discovery Institute's "wedge document" which outlines their strategy for using Intelligent Design to overturn materialism and naturalism, making any claim that ID isn't religion to be an out-and-out lie.

But the ID camp has never been above lying, so why be surprised?

I only have one minor disagreement with the Wedgie Document, which would be where we are urged:

Be factual. Donít insult him or call him names .
To which I say, as politely as possible, to my fellow science fan: poppycock!

Factual? Of course.

No name calling? I think not!

Were these yahoos presenting something new, some actual science, some enlightened view of theology or philosophy, perhaps it would make sense to coddle them and whisper sweet nothings in their ears (intelligently designed in such a way that infection or loud noise can render them useless).

However, all I have ever seen is the same tired creationist gobbledygook spewed by people who have a very weak understanding of evolutionary science. Compound that with a general inability to follow philosophical lines of reasoning (e.g. ID is nothing but the argument from first causes with a dash of personal incredulity thrown in), and you're talking Exasperation City for the smarter half of this debate.

So, go on, dream up a colorful name for them and use it with pride!

They've earned it.

Posted by Andy at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




It Is To Weep

Aw, poor Kate Moss:

The Swedish clothing chain Hennes & Mauritz says it will drop a planned advertising campaign with model Kate Moss after she admitted to recently using cocaine.
On the bright side, she'll now have plenty of time to maybe eat a sandwich or something.

Posted by Andy at 08:14 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Coming Soon

Google WiFi?

Online search leader Google is preparing to launch its own wireless Internet service, Google WiFi, according to several pages found on the company's Web site on Tuesday.

A WiFi service, which offers a high-speed connection to the Internet, would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies.

I've got nothing witty or insightful to say on this, just found it interesting. 'Cause I dig me some wireless connectivity and free hotspots.

Posted by Andy at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Not Again!

That's the Drudge headline regarding the possibility of Tropical Storm Rita rollin' her saucy self up onto the shores of the Gulf Coast by the weekend.

Additionally, New Orleans Mayor Nagin, who originally was stupidly encouraging residents back into their toxic-mud-caked city, has now ordered an evacuation of the city. No word on how many buses he'll leave sitting in flooded parking lots this time.

Answer me this, though... why are people surprised by Rita?

It's hurricane season, which doesn't end until November 30. It's the Gulf Coast which is sort of known for, oh, hurricanes (and seafood, but that's neither here nor there). It's no secret that weather experts have been predicting more storms than usual for the foreseeable future.

Crikey, next we'll be shocked that Alaska gets cold in the winter.

Posted by Andy at 07:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




UK the Next NOLA?

I'm sorry, what?

Britain's black and poor communities could end up like those exposed in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, minister Harriet Harman has warned.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Ms Harman said: "We don't want to get into a situation like America, but if you look at the figures, we are already looking like America - in London, poor, young and black people don't register to vote."

Ministers fear the failure of many to register is evidence of their disengagement from civic society - in the same way the poor of New Orleans had no power to improve their position.

Let's examine this, shall we?

Poor, young, black people don't register to vote, therefore they are powerless to improve their position in society.

Errr...no. Sorry. Wrong.

Poor, young, black people (or anyone, for that matter) who don't register to vote are abdicating their power to create political change. Cry me a river.

Posted by Andy at 07:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




September 19, 2005

RINO Sightings, Continued

A new batch of RINO sightings is posted over here. I've been pretty craptastic about linking to them lately, so forgive me oh gods of generally rational discource. I beg your mercy be upon me.

Posted by Andy at 09:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Crocodile Tears?

Was Aaron Broussard lying when he tearfully told the story of the mother of a colleague drowning in New Orleans?

Some people seem to think so.

I don't.

Given that FEMA, for a couple of days, apparently didn't know thousands of people had congregated at the Convention Center, even though it was on every television channel, I'm willing to accept that one man could get the story of another man's mother wrong.

More here.

P.S. For those who asked what kind of man would let his own mother die, my answer would be: a man with an important job to do and a dedication to that job, sacrificing his own interests for the good of the people he chose to defend.

Posted by Andy at 09:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Fool Me Once...

Big news from North Korea:

Nearly three years after ordering U.N. nuclear inspectors out of the country, North Korea Monday agreed to give up its entire nuclear program, including weapons, a joint statement from six-party nuclear arms talks in Beijing said.
North Korea said it looks forward to starting up a new secret weapons development program in violation of this agreement, so that we can do this song and dance again in seven to ten years.

Update: Did I say seven to ten years? Sorry, I meant seven to ten hours.

North Korea said Tuesday it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States first provides an atomic energy reactor, casting doubt on its commitment to a breakthrough agreement reached at international arms talks.
Why anyone in any government is stupid enough to take the North Koreans as serious and honest negotiators is beyond me. The country is on the brink of collapse; we should be looking for ways to put the nail in the coffin rather than respirating Mr. So-Ronery

Posted by Andy at 07:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




September 18, 2005

Another Five Word Movie Review, A Concept Still Stolen from Jeff G

"Blade: Trinity" (2004). Wesley Snipes, Dominic Purcell, Jessica Biel.

First review: Wesley Snipes needed a paycheck.

Second review: I'd sure stake Jessica Biel.

Third review: A "Best In Show" Reunion!*

* "Best in Show" also starred Parker Posey and John Michael Higgins.

Posted by Andy at 11:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Arrrr!

Tomorrow, as you may know, is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Make the most of it.

I might have to declare September 20 "Talk Like A Dishonest Creationist Cretin Day," and just have everyone read GoldenEagle's comments over here.

I swear, good people, I thank the fates that evolution didn't provide us with imploding heads, because that idiot's rampant stupidity would have made my desk a bloody, brain-covered mess by now.

Also, feel free to complement your creationist-babble with classics like "Evolution is only a theory!" and "It violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics!" and, my personal favorite:

I ain't never seen no fish turn into no monkey!
Be the willfully learning disabled laughing stock of your "moderately intelligent and above" friends!

Posted by Andy at 11:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




September 17, 2005

The People Have Spoken!

I'm finally getting around to providing the final results of this poll. In it, I posed a question in the form "Are typical creationists and ID proponents..." followed by several choices, all of them equally flattering.

After 69 votes, the results are:

creationist-idiot-poll.jpg

I think the results speak for themselves. It doesn't look pretty for the anti-science crowd.

Thanks for voting!

Update: Speaking of the anti-science crowd, you can see one of them in action over here. It's take a special kind of dumbass to selectively quote evolutionary scientists discussing a part of evolutionary theory (punctuated equilibrium) and somehow think they're actually arguing against evolution.

Posted by Andy at 07:18 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)




An Evening With Richard Dawkins

ancestors_tale.gifLast night, a couple of friends and I had the pleasure of attending a reading by scientist and author, Richard Dawkins. He is currently on a tour of the USA in support of his new book, The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution. Additionally, a camera crew was in tow, making a documentary of his whistle stops along the way. Ooh, maybe I'll be on the Beeb sometime.

Dawkins read from several chapters of the book, taking the audience from modern humans back to the first appearances of life.

During his talk, he touched on the idea that religious belief makes the world a more shallow, less interesting place. If everything is the way it is because "that's how God wanted it" - and if the end of questioning is "I don't see how that's possible, so it must be God" - you miss out on all the majesty of the universe, on the mysteries waiting to be solved, on the beauty of - if I may use this word without implying anything - creation.

Generally soft-spoken and good-natured, until asked about the idiocy of Intelligent Design or claims of supernatural god-belief, he engaged the audience easily, and then spent half an hour or so answering questions.

dawkins.jpgWrapping it all up, he signed copies of his books, past and present. I would have liked to have gotten the man out for a beer or three, to pick his brain, to ask him how we can confront the anti-science liars when we have an American populace so woefully ignorant of science, but his handlers seemed to have everything humming along on a schedule.

So, I settled for letting him know that he was one of the driving forces for me as I went down the road to atheism. Not that he made me not believe in God, but that the more I learned about the universe, the less God seemed necessary at all.

I just realized I never actually said "thank you."

Posted by Andy at 12:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




"Occupied New Orleans"

Cindy Sheehan reporting live from Camp Batshit Crazy.

(via Zomby)

Posted by Andy at 09:36 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




September 16, 2005

Action / Words

Uh oh, looks like I'm not the only one who thinks today's National Day of Prayer will accomplish, oh, nothing useful.

The Rev. Enoch Fuzz, president of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, which represents about 100 Tennessee pastors, said his group planned nothing different for Friday, but was focusing on organizing more aid for victims.

"We need a prayer that's walking and not just talking," Fuzz said. "We need a prayer with legs right now."

God-hating infidel! Seize him!

Posted by Andy at 12:55 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




September 15, 2005

Irony?

Having completed my morning round of blog-reading before getting to work, I see that some of the right-wing blogs I read are upset that the confirmation panel, in particular the Democratic side, is asking Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts so much about abortion.

Maybe it's me, but if I was a right-winger who felt abortion was murder, I'd certainly want to see more discussion of a supreme law that allows millions of wee babies to be brutally killed every year with approval from the state.

Is mass murder* only important when it supports an agenda?

* Note: see the abortion post below and the links within to see my views on the subject.

Posted by Andy at 08:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




The People Speak - Poll Time!

After watching the abortion debate over here turn into a debate on evolution and Intelligent Design (obfuscation and misdirection being a treasured tactic of the religious right), and once again seeing the rampant ignorancy and outright dishonesty of some of the creationist-types, I felt it was time for a poll.

Please note that this poll, much like Intelligent Design, should not be considered scientific.

And if anyone knows why there's that big honkin' area of whitespace between this and the poll, please let me know. Is it a "feature" of their free polls?

The poll is closed!

Posted by Andy at 08:19 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




September 14, 2005

WWR At the Movies

We watched the indie film Primer last night.

PRIMER is set in the industrial park/suburban tract-home fringes of an unnamed contemporary city where two young engineers, Abe and Aaron, are members of a small group of men who work by day for a large corporation while conducting extracurricular experiments on their own time in a garage. While tweaking their current project, a device that reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it by blocking gravitational pull, they accidentally discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities--ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next.
My review: ouch, my head hurts now.

Posted by Andy at 07:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Do It For the Children Undifferentiated Lumps of Cells!

Big abortion row going on over at RWS. Join in if you wish, regardless of which side of the debate you happen to take (or, if you're like me, somewhere in the middle).

Update: I've just posted a couple of thoughts that came to mind over there, waiting to see how they respond.

Essentially, I asked why they would be willing to respect a state law that allows the murder of innocent babies (i.e. respecting an unjust law that compromises the sanctity of life). It sounds very 1930s Germanesque to me. You know, "Hey, look, the Feinstein's are getting a free train vacation! Let's look the other way, dear."

While I think that people who gun down abortion doctors are, well, bonkers, they at least have the courage of their convictions, taking up arms to save the innocent (as they perceive them).

And the other thought, sort of a repeat of an earlier exercise, was this:

There's a burning building, and you're the only one who can save the people inside.

What people? Why, that would be one newborn infant and a large container holding 100 frozen embryos.

You can only save one - the infant or the container. Which do you choose?

If you say you'll choose the container, why are you lying to us?

Update 2: And let the tap dance begin!

Update 3: People really don't like having to face the fact that we assign different values to different lives, do they?

Update 4: No one seems to want to answer the question about which we should save, the newborn or the 100 embryos. They'll tell me which they might save reflexively, heat of the moment, but won't tell me which one is the morally correct choice.

I wonder why that is...

Posted by Andy at 08:18 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)




September 13, 2005

WWR Endorsement for Your Potential Future Purchasing Needs

A little over one year ago, Mrs. WWR and I bought a new trashcan. We originally had a cheap, black, plastic number with a hinged swinging lid - it was good enough for us, until such time as one of our dogs discovered the swinging-to-and-fro nature of the lid and found easy access to much (albeit nasty and decaying) leftover goodness.

It wouldn't have been so bad if she had hidden her crimes with nary a trace, but - no - she would leave tell-tale signs, canine fingerprints in the form of gnawed pork chop bones, shredded foil, and paper towel confetti. Debris which she found difficult to clean up, given her lack of opposable thumbs (and, by all appearances, a functioning brain).

So, we bought a SimpleHuman step-on, flip-lid trashcan, foiling her nefarious scavenging plans for many a month, until a few weeks ago when it broke.

Whoops. But these things happen. Some products are defective, despite the best of the production line's intentions. The difference comes in how the company handles such issues.

Thus, pleased was I when I visited their website and read:

We stand behind our products 100%. We'd be happy to help with any product concerns whether it's new out of the box, or something you've owned for years. In most cases, we can fix the problem at no charge with a free replacement part or minor adjustment. In the rare case that the replacement part does not work, we'll replace the entire product.
I completed their online form, guessing at the model of my trashcan as the packaging was long since landfill fodder, as were the receipt and any proof of purchase, and sent it on its merry way. Minutes later, an automated e-mail confirmation (ok, nothing special there) - and one week later, a mysterious package arrived on the doorstep.

Within, a brand new pedal with installation instructions. We were born anew! Huzzah!

Yeah, I know, why get excited over a $40 trashcan? It's not like it was a car or a major appliance that broke down. For me, however, it's more impressive that a company in a more-or-less commoditized business would actually seek to differentiate itself with superior customer service, all for - yeah - a $40 trashcan.

So, kudos to SimpleHuman. I'll be recommending them to all my... errr... trashcan-buying friends?

Posted by Andy at 08:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




September 12, 2005

Choo Choo

You would think that after watching The Aristocats fifteen times in as many days that the wee Fiona would know the cats don't get run over by the train. But, no, here comes the train - and she yells "Choo choo! Choo choo!" As the cats scramble in a panic, she's shouting "My kitty cats! My kitty cats!"

Girl's definitely a Type A personality.

I can't imagine where she gets it.

OK, that's enough cutesy stuff for one day. What to mock, what to mock?

Posted by Andy at 06:22 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)




Sad News

In my continuing efforts to confuse people who are incapable of thinking in shades of grey, this pro-choice atheist finds this news to be unfortunate:

Susan Anne Catherine Torres, born prematurely on August 2 after her mother was on life support for three months, died of heart failure at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, a family statement said.

The infant's condition had deteriorated rapidly during the weekend, according to the family. The baby's prematurity led to an intestinal disorder and an infection that overwhelmed her body, and she died just after midnight, the hospital said.

My condolences to the family.

Posted by Andy at 06:06 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)




From the WWR Bookshelf, A Continuing Series

Dear readers, please allow me to take a break from the incessant take-downs of the mystical, and instead indulge me in this, a couple of book reviews.

(Once again, a thanks to reader Michael for the hefty tip jar contribution - I promise to get the books you noted and report on them. Hold me to it.)

So, what have I been reading? Here we go...


The End... now, back to the incessant mockery! Muwahahaha.

Posted by Andy at 12:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Can You Smell That Smell?

That will be the question on everyone at work's mind by lunchtime, as we all arrive to find the thermostat for our floor set to, oh, somewhere just north of 90 degrees. It's either an icebox or a deep-fryer it seems, and the controls are unreachable without a key that building maintenance has in their possession.

Yes, the power to make people comfortable lies not with those on the floor, but with someone perhaps in another building entirely. Centralized planning. The building manager knows best. All hail the building manager!

We have a casual dress policy, but I think stripping down to my skivvies might be abusing both the spirit and the letter of the law. And the idea might catch on and, well, that would be a very bad thing (trust me on this one).

So, we suffer.

Pity us.

Posted by Andy at 07:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




September 11, 2005

Four Years Later

Count me in with Bill.

Posted by Andy at 01:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




September 10, 2005

Faith, Hope, Love

For Darleen, who sees hopeful prayer as a manifestation of faith, I present The Raving Atheist helping others to manifest their beautiful faith as well.

And as for your Bible bashing, here is some advice; "Don't wear anything flammable when you die."


Well you picked a great name, RAVING... You are just a butt munch. Crawl back into your hole.


Furthermore, homosexual behavior is crude, barbaric, filthy and nauseating, and is in the same league as incest, pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality.


Second, the fact that an obviously lost and confused soul like yourself is still living and is, at least, able to use a computer is proof enough to me that GOD exists, and that HE loves everyone in this realm, including slimy losers.

Ahhhh, behold the power of faith. All five pages of it (as of this writing).

Posted by Andy at 08:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




I Stand Corrected

Based on this enlightened commentary provided by religious people who apparently think we atheists should just shut up and suffer gladly the mad delusions of the crowd, I have come to realize that prayer is, indeed, effective.

At least if your idea of effectiveness is to feel better about yourself and think you've actually done something useful and constructive by talking into your folded hands.

I'm not exactly sure how the evacuees of New Orleans are supposed to live on your good feelings and self-esteem, but the Lord works in mysterious ways (so the legend goes).

Note: Yes, I'm aware that Michele is not religious, hence the intentional inclusion of the word (stay with me here) "religious." I've explained here and there why I disagree with Michele's position, but I am more interested in focusing on people who think prayer does something other than generate warm fuzzies.

Note, the Second: OK, folks, honest answer needed. What would your reaction and/or the reaction of the nation be to a President who used his office to declare a National Day of Mocking God - or if he came on television to say "there is no God and all we have is one another."

I mean, really, what's so wrong about a public official using their office to espouse their beliefs? I'm sure all of the religious right would just nod their pretty heads, smile, and say "Isn't that nice?"

Note, the Third: Yesterday, while I kept an eye on the wee daughter, my wife (a technie in her pre-Mommy life) joined a few other volunteers to gather up donated hardware and software and build a computer lab for evacuees at Lowry AFB. With it, they'll be able to contact loved ones, look for the lost, and make a start on building a life in our city, if they so choose.

But here's where the story gets weird... while they were hooking everything together, a veritable fleet of brand new PCs and routers magically floated in through the door, and - with nary a human hand in sight - began connecting themselves, powering up, and forming a computer lab. A miracle!

OK, I'm making that part up. Once again, 'twas human hands engaged in productive labor that brought hope to others. Good on ya, wifey.

Posted by Andy at 03:49 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)




September 08, 2005

And don't xerox anything either!

Sorry, but I have to do this:

Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos Legos!
I'm sorry, but I just can't see myself ever asking the wee Fiona, "Would you like to play with your Lego bricks and/or toys?"

It's "legos," damn you!

Posted by Andy at 09:35 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)




Because It Worked So Well Before...

I, Andy of the World Wide Rant, declare Thursday, September 15 to be "Fat Lot of Good Tomorrow Will Do" Day.

Update: Michele has a different take. However, I think stating that it doesn't hurt anyone, that it doesn't force anyone to pray, and that we should worry about other things undercuts the entire point of the endeavor.

Posted by Andy at 08:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Updates, Whereabouts, and Rumors

Hi, kids!

Been away from the blog, out of town on profession-related activities. Spent a couple of days over in western Colorado, sampled and bought some wines from Two Rivers (a Chardonnay and Port) and Carlson (Riesling). They await consumption in the wine fridge.

Related, but of little interest I suspect, is that I dined at an Italian/Vietnamese restaurant, which also happened to serve a nice curry chicken dish. On the way back, my colleague and I paid a visit to the Gore Range Brewery, where the beer (Powder Day Pale Ale) was tasty, the food (burger with pepperjack and onion straws) quite edible, and one of the waitresses (blonde) wore riding pants, which - hey - no complaints here.

(I'd have mentioned the way she had her dish towel tucked into the back of her pants like a tail, and then referred to her as a hot little filly, but that would sound sexist, and no sexist am I, no sir, bite your tongue!)

Some of you have noticed that 100 Words of Les Nessman is no longer in my blogroll, and that I'm not listed over there as a contributor. 'Tis true, 'tis true. I opted to drop out for personal reasons, a decision to not be associated with a particular individual. However, please do continue to stop by to read Michele and Laurence.

And last, but by no means least, thanks to reader Michael for hitting the tip jar in my absence, even if it was to force me to buy C.S. Lewis books. I actually was going to get them from the library, but this way I'll be able to mark them up, make notes in margins, etc. I anticipate reporting back on it sometime in October at this rate.

Uh, if anyone else wants to hit the ol' tip jar, I wouldn't complain. Of course, I write for you because I love the game, man! I do it for the people!

OK, must go play catch up now for work. And I have a cold. And I want to be asleep. The end.

Posted by Andy at 08:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)




September 05, 2005

Getting Our Just Deserts

We're all, I would think, rightfully disgusted when a group like al Qaeda makes a claim like this:

The al Qaeda group in Iraq on Sunday hailed the hurricane deaths in "oppressor" America as the "wrath of God", according to an Internet statement.
...but what about when the Salvation Army says this?
The Salvation Army conducted an outside religious service that included songs such as "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

"Natural disaster is caused by the sin in the world," said Maj. John Jones, the group's area commander. "The acts of God are what happens afterwards ... all the good that happens."

That's right, all of you suffering people, all of you lost in Katrina, it's your own fault! Al Qaeda and the Salvation Army say so!

All of the deaths, the looting, the hunger, the dehydration, the destruction - it's because mankind is horrible and unclean and found wanting in the sight of God.

But let mankind rise up to nature's challenge, let us appreciate our common humanity and pull together as a people to help those in need, and suddenly all the credit goes to God?

I'm sorry, but... no. Hell no.

How sick and twisted does one's mind have to be to even begin to think that way?

Posted by Andy at 02:57 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)




September 04, 2005

For God's Sakes

"Shut up and send us somebody."

Required viewing.

I was moved watching Geraldo show us the suffering of children and impressed with Shepard Smith shoving Sean Hannity's "perspective" right up his perfect-coiff ass (thereby ensuring his tenure at Fox News will end soon).

But this... Think of the thousands who have the same story, the same story with the same unhappy ending. And ask why. We have to ask why.

So.

Why?

Posted by Andy at 09:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)




Shanghai Hong Kong Egg Foo Yong

Fortune cookie always wrong.

(sorry, watching a classic movie with the wee Fiona before her bedtime)

Posted by Andy at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




September 03, 2005

Breaking News

Fox News is reporting that Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist has died.

Posted by Andy at 10:27 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)




A City By Any Other Name

While perusing CNN's coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, I saw a sub-story called "Spared history might be Sin City's salvation."

"Oh no!" I thought, "What has happened to Las Vegas?"

But, no, it was about New Orleans. Better known as the Big Easy. Or the Crescent City. Not "sin city," even if it is apropos (can I get a round of applause for sin? Oh yeah!).

They've since corrected it, at least in the title of the article. However, the body text still says:

Those images might forever change the city's allure. But New Orleans' tourist backbone -- its buildings, its culinary creativity, its reputation -- might be the salvation for "sin city."
When someone figures out how, say, the Luxor in Las Vegas is going to save New Orleans, would you let me know?

Posted by Andy at 05:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)




To Protect And To Serve

And maybe loot a little on the side.

Posted by Andy at 08:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)




September 02, 2005

Can You Feel God's Love Tonight?

Hearing that New Orleans is in the dark due to a lack of electricity, the cockroaches are out in force:

Two Christian leaders in New Orleans are testifying to God's mercy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One suggests that the death toll could have been much higher had it not been for God's mercy -- and the other that God may have used the hurricane to purge wickedness from the city.
Oh brother, here we go.
"It's a terrible tragedy," Kelley [New Orleans Bapitist Theological Seminary] says of the devastation in and around New Orleans, "and we still don't know the scope of it -- but the evidences of God's mercy are there. We rejoice in the fact that He has got the whole world in His hands, including the city of New Orleans and [the seminary]."
No, you idiot, a sign of mercy would have been to not let thousands of people die; to not let old people and infants wither away in hospitals deprived of electricity and food and water; to not let thieving thugs kill innocent people and attack those who would rescue the needy.

Tell me, Mr. Kelley, how many people have to die before you will say that God could have done a better job? I don't think you can answer it. If fifty-thousand die, you'll say it could have been one hundred thousand. If ten, you'll say fifty.

Many, many people are berating the President, FEMA, state and local governments for their response, yet somehow God the Almighty, a being who (so rumor has it) could have stopped all of this from happening, gets off with a "oh, it's not so bad." Irrationality at its finest!

Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, also sees God's mercy in the aftermath of Katrina -- but in a different way. Shanks says the hurricane has wiped out much of the rampant sin common to the city.

ďNew Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now," Shanks says. "God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again."

Yup, and to do it he only drowned and brought great suffering to poor blacks, traditionally the most devout Christians in the South, those who go beyond the "dress up so our friends see us on Sunday" Christianty of many Southern Protestants to truly see their faith as a means of hope for something better. Hooray for God!

Might I recommend some target practice? He seems to have pretty crap aim.

Look around, folks - see who is doing all the good works? That's right, your fellow humans - be they black or white or yellow or red, believer or secularist infidel, Democrat or Republican or independent. We, the people, have come to the rescue of our fellow humans, and the various gods have apparently decided to hide their faces, probably in shame for their complete impotence.

(found via Radley Balko)

Posted by Andy at 11:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)




Roll Tide

Unlike the storm surge, this is good news:

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (AP) -- In football-crazy towns like this one, the confrontation has loomed all week: Would Katrina evacuees be sent packing again, this time by college football fans in town for opening weekend?

The answer has been a resounding no.

Football fans around the Southeast are giving up their prepaid rooms and even tickets to storm victims -- opting to stay home and watch the game on TV.

Yea, Alabama!

Posted by Andy at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Kids of Katrina

katrina1.jpgMy friend Michele over at A Small Victory is pulling together donations to buy school supplies for the many displaced children who are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The collected funds will be used to purchase the supplies and they will then be trucked to the Astrodome (and, I would imagine, other locations in Houston, as needed).

No matter how you feel about people who chose to ride out the storm, our children are the most helpless among us and we must do what we can to help them regain their childhood.

If you haven't donated to some part of the relief effort, consider donating to Michele's good cause. If you have donated but want to do more, you know what to do.

Posted by Andy at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Which Country Does He Call Home?

Randall Robinson, apparently a left-winger of some import, had this to say:

My hand shakes with anger as I write. I, the formerly un-jaundiced human rights advocate, have finally come to see my country for what it really is. A monstrous fraud.
See, that's strange, because here's what I have seen:

Americans have responded to the call for help with incredible speed and generosity, donating (last I heard) almost $200 million to the relief effort, helping in anyway they know how to get needed supplies to those suffering, opening their hearts and homes and pocketbooks to our fellow Americans in their hour of greatest need, with no concern for race or social status.

I have come to see my country for what it really is: A land populated with a people rich in generosity and kindess and sympathy. A nation that I am, more than ever, proud to call my home.

Mr. Robinson, it's not often I say such a thing - in fact, I often criticize others for saying it - but in this case, I believe that if you don't love this land, if you don't, despite its warts, see the great promise of America, then you are welcome to renounce your citizenship and get the hell out.

The rest of us will be busy demonstrating the spirit of America as we donate our time and money to our neighbors in need, regardless of their color.

Posted by Andy at 09:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Help Find the Missing

Note: I've removed the anonymous login for now. If you'd like to post missing persons information, please use the comments to this post. Thanks.


Along with Overtaken by Events, I'm making my blog available for people to post missing persons reports. Other participants, as well as details on how to post, are below.

If you don't want to be bothered with posting, feel free to leave information in the comments and I'll promote it to a post this evening. Thanks and I hope we all find the people about whom we are concerned.

Posted by at 06:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)




Making News Where None Exists

The headline:

Angelina Jolie Slams Storm Aid Efforts
...and what she said:
The 30-year-old actress issued a statement late Friday that she was "shocked" at the images coming from New Orleans, a city she said is "very close to my heart."

"It is wonderful to hear of the relief efforts that are finally coming into New Orleans and the rest of the region today, but as we all know, it is simply not going to be enough," she said.

"The federal government's response must be dramatically increased in order to prevent a further loss of life."

Wow, harsh! She really pulled out the kitty claws on that one!

Or not.

I guess that since they've pretty much worn out the sensationalist headlines regarding the disaster, they're looking for other ways to use them. And I'm not just saying that because I'd like to get funky on Angelina's monkey.

Posted by Andy at 06:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




September 01, 2005

Carol Henry-Jeanjaques

These people are looking for you!

Kerensa Davis, Curran Blvd,
F. Jeanene Stewart, Louisa Dr.
Monicka Bolling, Allen St.
Carolyn Roberson Louisa Dr.

Are ALL OK. They are in a shelter at
Second Baptist Church Angleton TX 77515
contact them at 979-849-7220

Posted by at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Paul Stewart

These people are looking for you!

Kerensa Davis, Curran Blvd,
F. Jeanene Stewart, Louisa Dr.
Monicka Bolling, Allen St.
Carolyn Roberson Louisa Dr.

Are ALL OK. They are in a shelter at
Second Baptist Church Angleton TX 77515
contact them at 979-849-7220

Posted by at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Kay Kelly-Brown

These people are looking for you!

Kerensa Davis, Curran Blvd,
F. Jeanene Stewart, Louisa Dr.
Monicka Bolling, Allen St.
Carolyn Roberson Louisa Dr.

Are ALL OK. They are in a shelter at
Second Baptist Church Angleton TX 77515
contact them at 979-849-7220

Posted by at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Why the Violence and Looting?

According to Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy and president of Samaritan's Purse (an aid organization), we see the crime in New Orleans because, damnit, we took God out of the schools!

I don't have a link for it yet, but he was being interviewed on Fox News when he made the asinine statement.

That's right - apparently we secularists (among others) were to blame for 9/11 and now we're to blame for this.

Franklin Graham, you hateful spooge stain on the mattress of humanity, go f*ck yourself. Maybe if your all-loving and all-powerful God had gotten around to, oh, maybe answering some prayers from the good people of New Orleans, we wouldn't be seeing this disaster unfold.

(You can let Franklin know your thoughts here.)

Jeff Jarvis saw it as well.

Update: Jody Wheeler is recruiting his fellow homosexuals to use their magical weather-manipulating powers to crush the bigotry of the religious right.

Tags: , , , ,

Posted by Andy at 08:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)




Jeff Moebus

Jeff Moebus last seen at the marina in Slidell on harbour lane. His wife was working at the hospital and made it back to the Marina to find their home - a sailboat destroyed. Someone said thatJeff had been injured, but she has not been able to locate him. Please contact me if you know of any news. Michelle at mcbrooks@srhs.com

Posted by at 02:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)




Missing Persons

Cut and pasted from Overtaken by Events:

I am in desparate need for help. I am looking for my dad's best friends. They live in slidell, la, and there is no cell phone use yet. If Leslie Elisar and his wife Dana, and Whane Venus and his wife Lynn, are heard from, please let David Chauffe know in Lafayette. Also, Tom musser. These are like my father's brothers. They are closer than most families are. He is getting desparate, and wants to go to Slidell to look for them, but we need him to stay in Lafayette. We have other family members also that we have not heard from. Ethan Chauffe, Christian and Ashley Banke, and their son Ezekial. Yvonne, if you hear from Ethan, please call our family in Lafayette. If anyone knows anything, please email me at CmCdoodle@aol.com. Thank you and God bless everyone in this horrible disaster. Everyone is in my prayers.


We are concerned for the welfare of Michael and Meredith Higgins, of Laurel St., New Orleans. Anyone knowing of their whereabouts, please post! Many thanks! Mike, come back to Chicago! (rfox631@yahoo.com)


I am looking for Roberta and Dewey Crosby of 19 Oak Grove Way, Slidell, LA. If you have any information, please contace Lori Chauvin @ 225-744-4855. Thanks.


I am looking for Leslie Petty. She lives alone in New Orleans and there is no one there looking out for her. Please, please if anyone finds her contact me at this email. (courtgilma@aol.com)


I'm hoping someone out there can help me. I'm looking for my dad and step mom. There names are Rusty (William) and Diann Bellefy of Covington, LA I haven't heard a word from anyone about their whereabouts. If anyone has any kind of information please contact me by e-mail. Thanks and my prayers go out to all of you. (SnowWitch01@aol.com)


I'm looking fro my grandmother, Tina Cassimus who lives on Fleetwood Place in Ocean Springs. The family has not heard from her since before the hurricane hit and at that time she was refusing to evacuate. Please contact me with any information about her or the area in which she lives. Thank you. olson1460@aol.com


I'm looking for my Aunt Elaine. Last I heard she was living on the Point somewhere but had family in Gulfport and Jackson. Her last name could be Jordan, or Ezell. If you have any information please contact me at this e-mail address. elizabeth.goedert@usafa.af.mil
More to come I imagine. If you want to add your own information to this site, please read the post above.

Posted by Andy at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)




Jefferson Healthcare Nursing Home

First of all, thanks to Andy for picking up on this. It was a bit of a selfish effort on my part since we're still trying to get information on my mother-in-law.

Florence Sclafani is a patient in Jefferson Healthcare Nursing Home in Metairie. She is recovering from a fractured pelvis and the nursing home decided to ride the storm out in place.

We were able to contact the administrator of the home on Tuesday and learned that everyone was alive but they had no power or water. The plan then was to move the patients to Baton Rouge. Since then, we haven't been able to get hold of anyone with any information. We have no idea if they've been moved (although it seems unlikely) or if they are still in place without the necessities of life.

If knows anything about this nursing home, please leave it in the comments on this post or over at my site.

Thank you,
Matt Drachenberg

Posted by at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




Can I Shoot You Now? Good!

For those who disagree with my shoot-the-opportunistic-thieves policy, what do you say to this?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The evacuation of the Superdome was suspended Thursday after shots were fired at a military helicopter, an ambulance official overseeing the operation said.
These people are the scum of New Orleans. Can we shoot them or does your little heart bleed for them too?

Posted by Andy at 08:11 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)






MONKEY BUSINESS








THE BLOGROLL