29 July, 2007
(via Boing Boing)
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that
companies cannot change their contracts ("Terms of Service" in Web-Speak) without notifying their customers first.
The case that came before the Court of Appeals involved a customer who had signed up for telephone service with AOL. When the service was acquired by TalkAmerica they changed the Terms of Service. Although the changes were posted on their Web site, the customer, Joe Douglas, was not notified about this change prior to it taking place. Douglas, unaware of any changes, continued using the service for several more years (show of hands here, who among you periodically reviews the TOS for every Web service you use? Yeah, thought so.):
When Douglas became aware of the new charges [he] sued in federal court in California, charging Talk America with violating the Federal Communications Act, breach of contract as well as other California consumer protection laws.
One of the changes to the TOS was to force customers into arbitration, which TalkAmerica got a court to do in this case. When Douglas brought the case to the federal appeals court, they basically told TalkAmerica to go pound salt.
The court said that because a contract was an agreement between two parties, one of the parties couldn't change it unless the other party agreed to the change.
..."Even if Douglas had visited Talk America's Web site to pay his bills, he would have had no reason to look at the contract posted there," the court said. "Parties to a contract have no obligation to check the terms on a periodic basis to learn whether they have been changed by the other side."
This has some interesting--and serious--implications. Consider the recent censorship brouhaha at Flickr. They did indeed amend their TOS to reflect the fact that people in Germany and parts of Asia could only view Flickr in SafeSearch mode (I believe in Germany that has changed to where they can now view in SafeSearch Moderate). A lot of the tempest arose from the fact that Flickr did NOT notify users of this change (either by email or on the home page or Flickr Blog) prior to it happening.
Now, in the case of Joe Douglas v. TalkAmerica, this means that Mr. Douglas (and others in the class action lawsuit he's bringing) are not bound by the new TOS,--including the price increase--which, presumably, means they will receive some sort of compensation for overpayment. I'm not sure exactly how this would play out in Flickr's case, whether Flickr would be legally bound to refund the Pro accounts for users who could no longer use the service in the way they were accustomed to (Flickr's refund policy is, basically, NO refunds) or if they would be compelled to otherwise compensate affected users.
It'll be an interesting story to follow.
As you might have noticed in this photo and last week's Simon Sunday, Simon is sporting some new BLING. After Gwen's cat, Memo, went missing for an entire month I decided that Simon and Billie would start wearing their collars again because if either one of them went missing like that, I'd be dead from a broken heart after 30 days.
Simon pretty much took to wearing the collar like a trooper this time (he hated it before, but the tag I used to have on there was way too large). Billie, on the other hand, was Completely Pissed Off. When I first put the collar on her two weeks ago, she would storm off in a huff any time the tag clanked against the side of the food or water bowl. Anyone who knows Miss Billie knows that she would actually starve herself to death, JUST TO MAKE HER POINT. I took the collar off and decided I'd try again the following weekend, since I was taking an extra day off and would be around to make sure she ate.
So last weekend, in the midst of all the Harry Potter excitement, I put her collar back on. This time she seemed, well not exactly OK with it, but more or less resigned to having to wear it. I thought maybe we had turned the corner and she would accept the collar like Simon did.
HOW STUPID AM I?
(Don't bother answering...)
Billie declared war. Sunday morning, in the early hours, she peed on the couch; coincidentally in the same exact spot I had been sitting while reading Harry Potter just a few hours before. Then she did it again a couple of days later. When she was satisfied that neither I nor Simon could sit on the couch because it was now soaking in Nature's Miracle, she started working her Black Magic (well, I guess, technically it's not black...oh never mind) on my bed! Rapidly running out of places to sit and/or sleep (the only thing that saved my computer chair is the fact that it is her new Favourite Sleeping Place), I removed the collar.
We are--ever slowly--restoring peace to the household. At some point I'll get Billie microchipped (Simon was chipped when I took him to his first vet visit when he was a kitten) but, considering she hasn't had any desire to wander outside in nearly six years, it just isn't worth the stress it was causing to keep the collar on her. Thankfully, Simon isn't one to declare a jihad when life doesn't go to his exact specifications and, for Billie, the plus side to him wearing a collar is that she can now hear him stalking her.
26 July, 2007
The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy
In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.
Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho
Labels: personality quiz
24 July, 2007
Putting your appointed path ahead of any inner conflicts, you make your own rules for the benefit of all.
If my life or death I can protect you, I will.
Aragorn is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. There is a description of him at TheOneRing.net.
p.s. you can click the photo to go take the quiz...
Labels: personality quiz
22 July, 2007
Six years ago today, a wonderful volunteer from ICRA named Merry pulled this guy out of the cage at Petco and put him in my hands so we could meet. He immediately climbed up my arm and, purring, nestled into my neck.I fell hopelessly in love with him and remained blissfully clueless as to how that little Tribble With Enormous Ears was about to rock my world. Not every day has been easy, but I never have regretted that detour I took into Petco. I'd like to think I've given him a good life thus far, but it's nothing compared to the laughter and love he's given me for the last six years!
21 July, 2007
but the Harry Potter book has been available in my time zone for thirteen hours and twenty-one minutes and the UPS dude STILL HAS NOT DELIVERED MY COPY!!!
I really have bad luck getting timely UPS deliveries.
A highway in southern California has had to be shut down due to road work rage.
The first sign things were going to turn ugly was after the transportation department allowed drivers to use the highway only during rush hour last summer, with traffic flowing in one direction at a time and creeping along behind escort vehicles.
One person called and said he would climb a water tower and shoot workers. Next came angry exchanges, with one driver tossing a burrito at a construction worker. Vandals tore down barricades and construction equipment was stolen, and authorities threatened to shut down the highway.
You'd think that if CalTrans was threatening to shut down the highway altogether that people would get a clue and dial back the road rage a bit. You'd be wrong:
Last September, Charles Fenn was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon on allegations that he clipped a flagman with his vehicle on his way home to Wrightwood. When authorities finally caught up with him at his house, they noticed he had shaved off his mustache, said CHP Officer Jeff Perez.
"I'm the victim," Fenn maintained in a brief phone interview, declining to comment further. His criminal case is pending and he's been sued by the flagman. Fenn has he pleaded not guilty.
I got news for you, Charlie: When you're in a construction zone, it is incumbent upon YOU to maintain control of your vehicle so that you don't run down (or clip) a construction worker. END OF STORY!
After another worker was shot in the leg by a BB gun--and citing the need to expand the construction zone--the state followed up on its threat to shut down the highway until the project is complete.
Thankfully, not everyone who has been seriously inconvenienced by the project has felt compelled to behave like an utter asshat:
Samantha Frager, 18, said she used to commute to her job at a Mexican restaurant in Wrightwood from nearby Phelan and had to leave about 30 minutes early because of construction delays.
"It's been more of an irritation, a hassle, more than anything," said Frager, who now lives in Wrightwood but had to pick up a second job so she could pay her rent.
Tony Albers had to tack on an extra 10 to 15 minutes to his 60 mile commute to a heating and air conditioner distributorship near Los Angeles. He worries about safety on a two-lane road that serves as an alternate route this summer.
"The extra drivers make it dangerous," said Albers, 41. "In the end it's going to be worth having these delays to have a better highway."
Testimony to how much easier it is to get your work done when PEOPLE LEAVE YOU THE FUCK ALONE SO YOU CAN DO YOUR JOB, the contractor working on this project expects to have it completed on September 11--two weeks ahead of schedule.
This was taken Thursday morning. I was extremely concerned that the juvenile couldn't fly and it was in a location that I could have reached. My instinct was SCREAMING at me to go get the bird but I didn't. Instead I boarded the ferry and went to work.
The seagull was killed some time Thursday night or early Friday morning.
I found its broken, lifeless body on the rocks on the beach where it usually would hang out. I'm not sure if a raccoon or a dog got it, or if it was surprised by high tide and was slammed into the rocks. It doesn't much matter. I feel as though I failed the little guy.
I'm so very sorry, little bird. You deserved better.
A friend on Flickr suggested I see if Alameda has a harbormaster, which I will look into early next week. I'll also see if there's one for Oakland and, if so, whether they can provide any guidance for how to deal with this the next time.
I have a tremendous respect for the adult seagulls I see now: They made it against some pretty tough odds.
20 July, 2007
Around 4:40 this morning I awoke from a dream. I could hear Billie scratching the wall next to the litter box (it's how she cleans her toes of the dust and...oh, never mind, it's too early for such ick). Suddenly the apartment started shaking moderately violently and for quite a while.
The stats (so far):
Centered about 5 miles ENE of Alameda (that's CLOSE! And on the Hayward Fault, I believe.)
Depth was about 3.6 miles (rather shallow)
So, between the shallowness and the close proximity, we got a good, long shake. I was concerned about the pots of herbs I had to bring in from the front stoop (don't get me started on THAT bit of asshattery). Because Simon likes to munch on them, I've had them up on top of the high shelf...until about 10 minutes ago, when I relocated them to a less dangerous location.
Of course, it woke me up all the way, so I never did get back to sleep before the alarm went off. Fair warning: I'll probably not be in a very sunny-bunny mood today.
19 July, 2007
Your Score: Cheezburger cat
71% Affectionate, 53% Excitable, 55% Hungry
Sure, you deserve one. You helped popularized lolcats from a running gag to an online sensation. Now mainstream media writes asinine columns on this 'phenomenon', students write theses on the topic, programming languages adopt the grammar, and losers write tests about them on dating sites. Now take your cheezburger and never touch the internets again.
To see all possible results, checka dis.
|Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
King George has issued a new Executive Order that makes my blood run cold.
Nightshift, over at Shakesville writes a superb analysis of this chilling order, cutting through the legalese:
Under this order, the Executive Branch can ’starve out’ a person by completely freezing their assets, without trial, without the need to present evidence, and without appeal. The Treasury Secretary has sole discretion to determine who is in violation of this order, in ‘consultation’ with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. That last part is verbiage; Treasury has the power per this order. Even better, the Secretary of Treasury has the explicit authority to delegate this decision to any flunky or flunkies of his choice per Sec. 6. This order applies to all persons within the United States. If Treasury declares that a person is a ‘SIGNIFICANT RISK’ to commit violence in Iraq, or a ‘SIGNIFICANT RISK’ to support violence in Iraq in any way, or to have assisted in any way a person who is a ‘SIGNIFICANT RISK’ to do so, all their assets are to be immediately frozen.
It is a further violation of the order to make a donation to such a person whose assets have been frozen. (I was being literal when I said ’starve’ them. Such a person would have no legal means of acquiring food, clothing, or shelter. They couldn’t buy it with frozen assets, nor accept it as a gift, and stealing is already illegal.) [See here for the statute on which Bush relies to issue this order.]
I recommend you go read Nightshift's post and the comment thread, unless you're already nearly suicidally-depressed by this clusterfuck of a government (this might set you right over the edge).
Let me emphasize a very important point here: THERE IS NO DUE PROCESS! Let's say King George or one of his court declares CodePink, by virtue of opposing the war on Iraq, threatens "the peace and stability of Iraq". All of CodePink's assets can be frozen, but it doesn't stop there. King George and the US Treasury can also freeze the assets of Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink. King George and the US Treasury can go through the list of donors and freeze their assets. Let's say a friend of mine has donated to CodePink and has had his or her assets frozen and has lost his/her home and cannot buy anything to eat. I could have MY assets frozen if I gave them food or a gift card to a clothing store. Let me repeat: THERE IS NO DUE PROCESS! King George does NOT have to present evidence that CodePink (or I) are actually committing any acts that undermine the peace and stability of Iraq.
It occurs to me that, if King George and his court are able to access these frozen assets, it's a hell of a scam to continue to fund their war machine.
(UPDATE: Nightshift, in the comments thread at Shakesville, says that in theory, they cannot access the frozen assets to fund their war machine or anything else. But in reality, I don't put anything past these criminals.)
Confidential to Congress: Impeach. Them. NOW!
18 July, 2007
As of this morning, this poor guy still had that fucking wire and line wrapped around its foot (feet?). It looks like the Animal Control officer was unable to reach it safely to tend to it. I phoned the shelter this morning and someone there told me the officer tried yesterday to reach the chick (okay, juvenile, but it's still a baby to ME) and was unsuccessful and that she was going to return today. But it looks like she still couldn't reach it, and if she could, it really is a two-person job to recover the bird (while keeping the very-protective adults from pecking her to bits).
I went back this evening and met my friend K there. We agree that this is a job for someone with more skill and experience in this sort of thing than either of us have. He found the name of a bird rescue organization and he's going to contact them. Perhaps if they cannot come to Alameda, they can give us direction on how to recover and help the bird ourselves. Either way, this little guy most likely will need some care and rehab.
I was relieved to see that the adults are being so protective of it. They hovered and squawked and got REALLY testy if they thought either one of us was getting too close to the chick. K also said he saw the bird swimming around, so at the very least it should be able to get over to the pier pilings to eat the shellfish that cling to them. And it seems it found a shelter for the night underneath a concrete piling, so it should be reasonably safe until high tide sometime in the early morning hours.
I'm still so fucking angry about this that it took every last ounce of self-restraint to stop myself from going over to where a bunch of guys were fishing and screaming blue murder at them. I am tempted to post photos of this chick near the fishing areas, though.
I've often joked that the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team has died and returned from the dead more times than a soap opera diva. A couple of years ago, the team "died" which, like any soap opera diva worth her weight in cubic zirconia, meant that they were really exiled to
a secluded tropical island Houston.
She, uh, THEY are returning next season.
Here's a timeline from the SF Chronicle/SFGate story:
1974-1984: The original San Jose Earthquakes played in the North American Soccer League. The league folded after the 1984 season.
1985-1988: The Earthquakes played in the newly formed Western Soccer League. The team folded after the 1988 season.
1989-1992: The Earthquakes re-emerged as the SF Bay Blackhawks and played in the WSL and later the American Professional Soccer League.
1993: Moved to the United States Interregional Soccer League as the San Jose Hawks. Team folded after the 1993 season.
1995-1999: Joined the newly formed Major League Soccer as the San Jose Clash.
2000-2005: After changing name to the Earthquakes, won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Team went on hiatus following 2005 season and later became the Houston Dynamo, still of the MLS.
2007: Announced a return to the MLS as an expansion team.
2008: Will begin playing.
Diva jokes aside, I'm looking forward to seeing Becks play!
17 July, 2007
Seagull Chick #1: 17 July, 2007 (Fasten your seatbelts, there's a rant coming...)
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
Here's one of the chicks near the Alameda ferry dock. I almost didn't recognize them, they're looking so much like seagulls and less like big fuzzballs now!
I grabbed my camera and switched to my 70-300mm lens and started shooting and then noticed this guy was hopping rather oddly. I trained my lens on the chick and noticed it's foot is caught in some sort of fishing line (or something man-made) and that its other foot seems to also be injured. I tried to think of anything I could do to help the bird, but even if I COULD get down there, I had nothing to try to cut the wire off with and, as big as this guy is, it looked like a two-person job (or one person with a towel or a net). So I phoned the Alameda Police dispatch to get an animal control officer out and waited...unfortunately, I had to get on the ferry before Animal Control showed up, so I phoned the dispatch again to pinpoint exactly where I was standing, so hopefully the officer found the bird and was able to help (the tide was high this afternoon so I couldn't see where the chicks were).
It broke my heart to see this bird tangled in this fishing line! One of the parents brought food for the chicks, but this poor guy couldn't hop over to where the food was and went hungry! That this bird suffered for EVEN ONE MINUTE due to the carelessness of humans makes me so angry I can barely see!
And no, the irony is not lost on me that the adult and the other chick appear to have been eating a discarded sandwich...
15 July, 2007
Simon loves to help me tend to his pot of cat grass, mostly by snarfing it down the second I lift the wire protective cover off of the pot to water the grass. (The wire "protective cover" stays on because of his habit of eating the entire pot of grass, then horking it back up--usually after I've left for work so that I come home to several knots of grassy green puke all over the apartment.)
So it was with a great deal of dismay that I had to bring in my pots of herbs from the front landing this weekend. We tenants at my apartments got this letter from management saying that we can't have *anything* on the landing, and it matters not that the pots are placed well out of the way of any escape path in the event of a fire or earthquake. Unfortunately, basil, chives and rosemary tend to want a good deal of sunlight, but I can't keep them in my front window because Simon will eat them (I tried putting them on a table by the window, just to see...and he was nibbling on the chives within 30 minutes). I've done the research and know that neither basil, chives nor rosemary are poisonous to cats, but still, I don't want him eating all of my herbs! So until I re-arrange my kitchen--AGAIN--I've relocated the pots to the highest points in my living room where Simon cannot get to them. Unfortunately, not much sunlight can get to them, either.
In addition to the hassle of relocating my herbs, I'm getting more irritated that they're regulating these apartments to the point where the complex is starting to look as though there are no PEOPLE living here. This is only the second home Simon has ever known (well, third if we count the warehouse he and his littermates were rescued from) but I'm not sure how much longer we'll be able to stay here.
14 July, 2007
Sigh...I hate writing this post because I don't want to pile on when a mother has just lost her child. But one quote from Yolanda Flores really jumped out at me:
"I want this to be known," Flores said between sobs. "I want to warn all parents that they need to watch their kids at all times, because (Great America) doesn't do their job." (emphasis mine)
No. Parents need to watch their kids at all times BECAUSE THEY ARE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY. I don't care if Great America has four or six or twenty lifeguards at the pool, their job is to keep the wave pool (or whatever the hell it is) as safe as possible. They are not there to babysit your child and if you are not planning to accompany your child into the pool, you'd best be damn sure another familiar adult IS or that you put a life vest on the child.
Again, from the article (emphasis added by me):
"Flores said she had not been in the pool with her son at the time and does not know how he drowned. The 4-year-old had been in the water earlier, got out to eat some chips and went back in, she said.
When he didn't return within 10 minutes, she said, she became concerned and told her daughter to find him. After Jasmine told her mother she couldn't see the boy, both started toward the pool, where Jasmine ultimately found him underwater, Flores said. The girl's screams attracted the lifeguards' attention, she said.
Great America has no age or height requirements for children at the wave pool. "We do recommend that children under 4 feet tall use life vests, and we have them readily available," Frugé said. "There is no official rule that requires it."
Carlos was 4 feet tall, his mother said. He was not wearing a vest but might not have been required to if the recommended height rule were mandatory."
Ms. Flores asks, even with four lifeguards at the pool, how they could NOT see her son. My suspicion is that, given the string of warm days we've had lately, the pool is awfully crowded and a small child would be hard to see. A suspicion confirmed by another parent who recently took her children to Great America:
"It was amazingly crowded; we had two parents looking after one 7-year-old," Crawford said. "Once the waves started, it was hard to stay together. . . . The inner tubes are really a hazard to other guests because it is really easy to get trapped between several tubes as you bounce around in the waves."
Crawford said she saw lifeguards on the side of the pool but no lifeguards in the shallow entry area."
Ms. Crawford's experience does raise a red flag on Great America's part: There SHOULD be a lifeguard or two patrolling the shallow area of the pool, just as skating rinks have people patrol on the ice, rather than simply walking the edges of the rink. And I don't know that there WEREN'T lifeguards in the shallow area of the pool the day Carlos Flores died, but there certainly should have been.
But ultimately, it's the responsibility of the parent--or the adult who brings the children to the park--to keep an eye on their children. (emphasis mine)
"Parents have to "be vigilant all the time" with children in pools, said Sue Sherman, a spokeswoman for Lifesaving Society, a Canadian water safety group.
"That includes lifeguarded circumstances," Sherman said. "The lifeguard is your safety net. The first person that's responsible is the adult that takes those children to the pool."
I am absolutely sick for Yolanda Flores and her daughter Jasmine. I can only begin to imagine the horrible agony of losing one's child, and as I said at the beginning of the post, I have no wish to pile on. However, I've lost count now of how many times I've had to step in and tell a child on the ferry to NOT LEAN OVER THE RAIL or how many children I've ended up watching nervously at Crab Cove and Alameda Beach because their parents were nowhere to be found (there is no lifeguard on duty at Crab Cove or Alameda Beach). I've been called a bitch for asking parents to please keep an eye on their children when they're in the water (or running around throwing sand on other people on the beach) and it always amazes me that they get so pissed off that some strange woman has the unmitigated gall to expect them to mind their own children.
I just hope some of those parents see this article and take Yolanda Flores' words to heart: "I want to warn all parents that they need to watch their kids at all times..."
11 July, 2007
The circled headline reads "Pacman cited for vehicular violations in Tennessee".
10 July, 2007
My BFF sent me a link for a petition to Save Harry Potter. Evidently, recent quotes by J.K. Rowling have given fans hope that Harry might be saved or later resurrected.
I went to the petition page but just couldn't bring myself to add my name. I need to read the book, first. If Ms. Rowling DOES kill Harry and leaves a real sense of completion with the story, then it would be hollow to bring him back from the dead a year or two down the road, simply to keep the franchise alive. But if she gives any indication that she's leaving the door open...
And Yay for Central Cinema, which is a block from my home and will be playing "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" this week!
Basically, life will STOP on July 21st (which reminds me, I need to put in for a vacation day on the 23rd) until I finish the book. I'm accepting applications for volunteer tea makers!
08 July, 2007
Naw, he was just cleaning his private kitty bits, though this does look like a new, somewhat sinister, yoga pose.
While there are no new yogas poses, Simon has added a new bit of get-momma-up-super-early-in-the-morning-to-feed-me obnoxiousness. But first, let's recap the biggest weapons in his arsenal:
* Purring shoulder kitty-paw massage (only obnoxious when he slobbers in my ear during the massage);
* Speaking of slobbering...drool on the eyelids (always a winner!);
* Laying next to my head on the pillow and whapping my face with his tail;
* Taking advantage of my sinus problems to dip his tail into my mouth(!);
* Biting my nose. Hard.
* Sticking his paw under my nose (evidently he's checking to see if I'm still alive);
* Jumping onto the dresser and/or batting my things off of the dresser
* Batting the window blinds;
And for his latest:
* Pulling my hair.
Yes, Simon has taken to grabbing big chunks of my hair in his mouth and giving it a good yank. I have no idea where in the hell he learned to do THAT. Nor am I the least bit amused by this.
I don't really know how to stop this, either. Saying, "NO!" and pulling him off of me only causes him to cycle through all of the other behaviours. Putting him out of the bedroom and closing the door sends him into a blind panic because HE NO LONGER HAS ACCESS TO HIS MOM! The last time I tried that (and tried ignoring his cries as all the behaviour books tell me to), he shrieked himself hoarse and I felt so awful about it. And when he thinks his tried and trusted stable of obnoxiousness isn't working, he comes up with something new and even more obnoxious. And here I was thinking he really couldn't set the bar any higher than drooling on my eyelids. Just the ICK! factor alone makes that a tough act to follow.
But I guess that, in a nutshell, is the problem: Trying to out-wit a cat. I have other things to worry over like the job, rent, making sure we're stocked with cat food (and litter), etc. But Simon has the whole day, every day to think of new sinister plots to get me to do his bidding.
05 July, 2007
So for the past 2-3 weeks I've noticed we've had some Coast Guard officers on board the ferry in the morning. It seemed unlikely that they were simply commuting to work because they were packing heat. And then this week we've had a bomb-sniffing dog give us the once-over before we headed down the dock on Monday and again today.
I'm really not that terribly bothered by it, except for the fact that the doggie is so gorgeous and so young and eager that I've had to really fight my inner child's demand to go, "Puppieeeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!" and throw my arms around her! Also I'm unsure of trying to take a photo of her (though I really want to). If she's back again I may ask the officers that handle her, though I'd completely understand if they didn't want me to take her picture.
Strange days indeed.
You might want to reconsider how you choose to defend your boss, The Decider's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence:
"Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has scheduled hearings Wednesday on Bush's commutation of Libby's 2 1/2-year sentence.
"Well, fine, knock himself out," Snow said of Conyers. "I mean, perfectly happy. And while he's at it, why doesn't he look at January 20th, 2001?"
In the closing hours of his presidency, Clinton pardoned 140 people, including fugitive financier Marc Rich."
Um, Ton, hon, do you remember who used to represent Marc Rich?
This, right here is why. It's a People's Parade. There are no fancy floats. In fact, anything that could be remotely considered a "float" is actually a trailer or back of a truck decorated for the parade. There's room for everyone--from the Small Dogs Park to the National Rifle Association-- in the parade. Being an old military town, we have a lot of Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard representation and they are cheered just as passionately as the Peace group and the Alameda Democratic Party float.
Despite my disappointment that our country has lost its way, the parade was a welcome chance to celebrate the things that do make America the place that so many people want to come to. The day was a wonderful celebration of family, friends and community and of all of the things we have in common.
04 July, 2007
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
Somehow this image of our flag, frayed and backward, seems appropriate to these times. Two days before, the criminal in charge of my country commuted the sentence of his criminal crony. (That the Criminal-in-Chief finds a 30-month prison sentence, "excessive" is incredible when one considers his political career is littered with the bodies of those he's executed and the American soldiers and Afghani and Iraqi citizens whose deaths he is entirely responsible for--being the Decider and all.)
02 July, 2007
But instead I saw the headline that Bush commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence and then my head exploded.
Hours later, I still cannot seem to find the words to adequately express my anger. And yet, I'm sort of at a loss as to where, exactly, to direct my anger. From BushCo to the wingnuts who continue to support him, to the mainstream media who continue to give them a free pass, to that ever-shrinking-but-still-there percentage of people who STILL support Bush to, to, to...
01 July, 2007
Since discovering the LOL Cats Generator in Flickr Toys I've been fighting the impulse to create a whole new photostream of hundreds of LOL Simons (with some LOL Billies sprinkled throughout).
It's hard because he gives me so much great material to work with: