Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Christmas Eve Gift To You!

BERKELEY, United States (AFP) - From cards to action figures to doggy chew toys, gifts mocking US President George W. Bush are a hit in famously liberal northern California this Christmas.
Bobble-head Jesus dolls and glow-in-the-dark Virgins de Guadalupe were available at Oddball novelty store in Berkeley as Christmas Eve neared, but the last Saddam Hussein and Bush action figures set was gone from the window.
"It sells well at the San Francisco store, but it flies off the shelves here," said Shellina Visram, who, along with a sister, owns Oddball in Berkeley and Cheap Thrills toy shop in the Haight district.
"People seem to be grooving on it. They love to make fun of Bush. They love to hate him."
Bush is fashioned with cowboy boots, a leather jacket, jeans and a denim shirt. The doll comes with a toy Bible and bucket of oil.
Hussein is adorned with green military fatigues and comes with a container labeled weapons of mass destruction and a book titled "World Domination for Dummies."
"They are really cool," a store worker, who gave her name only as "Gina," said of the action figures. "It is funny, when you think about it, because both of them are so (screwed) up."
The dolls created by a fledgling company called Mulberry Pi were referred to as "Puppetics" and were "born" in the end of November, according to the Pi website. They were made available in stores in the San Francisco Bay area.
The 25-dollar price tag for the set did not hamper sales of the figurines, which seemed particularly popular with customers in their 30s, Visram said.
Oddball also sold out of "National Embarrassments" breath mints featuring Bush on the packaging.
Other hot selling Oddball items included Bush "Dum Gum" with idiot-proof pieces and playing cards featuring Bush's face superimposed on pictures ranging from dogs and chimps to bathing suit models and children.
Among the slogans on the gum package was "Don't debate, manipulate."
"Those have been very fast," Visram said of the cards, gum and mints.
Also popular was a refrigerator magnet set featuring a nude Bush, a star of Texas keeping him modest, and a papal wardrobe.
It came with sparkling platform boots and magnetic phrases "Who would Jesus bomb" and "Armageddon outta here".
Hanging from a display rack near the door were Bush-head chew toys bearing the message: "You can't get even, but your pet can."
And, for masking odors in cars, Oddball sold hanging air fresheners bearing Bush's face and the words "dumbass head on a string".
"Everybody from around here gets a laugh out of them," Visram said of the Bush-bashing merchandise. "The only complaints I've gotten have been from tourists from places like Kansas or Texas. They tend to get upset."
"The times they are a changin'."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thank You Harold Pinter!

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- Nobel literature laureate Harold Pinter has slammed U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a harsh award lecture, saying they should be prosecuted for the invasion of Iraq.

In a prerecorded lecture presented at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Wednesday, the British playwright said Bush and Blair should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court.

"The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law," said Pinter, known for his outspoken criticism of U.S. foreign policy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Thank You Michael Moore

December 17th, 2005 2:15 pm

By Michael Moore / Rolling Stone

They were the seven words you can't say on television:

"George Bush doesn't care about black people."

"2005 will be remembered for many things, from a rising body count in an endless war to the first criminal charges against a sitting White House official in 130 years to something as simple as the weather and a storm that revealed, with one levee break, an administration re-elected on the promise of keeping everyone safe had no clue at all what to do.

But it was the bigger levee of apathy and silence which was broken by the utterance of those seven words, live and unexpected, on national TV. Spoken with simple sincerity by Kanye West on the NBC telethon to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, it shot out of the nation's flat screens like a laser beam of truth. Stunned viewers simply could not believe that someone had said what many had been thinking -- but no one was saying. An obviously nervous director cut away from West as soon as he could, and by the time the telethon aired three hours later on the West Coast, NBC had exorcised those seven dirty words.

In a time of carefully managed information dissemination and a media afraid to veer from the Official Story, it was, perhaps, the pivotal moment of the year, the instant where culture and politics collided and the apple cart of a president who once had a 90% approval rating was turned upside down. NBC's censoring of Kanye West's remarks, I'm sure, made sense to the brass at General Electric. After all, we now live in a time where dissent must be marginalized, ignored, punished and, most importantly, seen as something that gives aid and comfort to America's enemies.

What NBC didn't understand was that the American public was already way ahead of them. Thanks to a number of individuals who, in 2005, dared to step out of line and say something real, the public had begun a seismic shift away from the chokehold of uniform and uninformed thought. It was the year the Stones got political and showed no sympathy for the devil. You could turn on Jay Leno and see Bright Eyes singing "When the President Talks to God." George Clooney seemed like he was churning out a film a month that spoke to the dark path the country had taken – and people were lining up to buy tickets. It was a year when the most popular music video (Green Day's "Wake Me When September Ends") was one that dared to show an authentic depiction of how the Iraq war costs young soldiers their limbs and their lives.

But not all of 2005's truth-tellers and troublemakers were well-known artists – some were just average citizens who had simply seen enough. A student in Ohio decided he'd take on the army recruiters swarming his campus in search of fresh bodies. A guy in Texas made it his mission to uncover the dirty deals of the Republican House majority leader. A lone mother of a deceased soldier went to Crawford one day, and the American people listened and wondered what they would do if their son had died for a pack of lies. It never got better for Mr. Bush from that day forward.

As a rule, we are instructed from childhood that serious consequences shall arise if we dare to rock the boat. We learn instinctually that it is always better to go along so that we get along. To slip off the assembly line of groupthink means to risk ridicule, rejection, banishment. Being alone sucks, but being alone while you are attacked, smeared, and scorned is about the same as picking up a hot poker and jamming it in your eye. Who in their right mind would want to do that? Especially when conformity to the community offers as its reward acceptance, support, love and the chance to be comfortably numb.

This month we celebrated the 50th anniversary of a moment that shook the world on December 1, 1955. A black seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white man when she was ordered by the law to do just that. This unknown woman endured every imaginable abuse from the authorities, the press, and even from some of the old guard in her own black community. None of that mattered. A single, simple act by a lone woman ignited a revolution. When Rosa Parks died in October of this year, the president-who-doesn't-care-about-black-people couldn't even bring himself to make it to her funeral. December 1st should be a national holiday, to honor all individuals who rebel and cause trouble for the common good. Without these people there would never had been a United States of America and without them it won't continue.

Far from becoming Public Enemy #1, Kanye West was not only roundly applauded across the country, he was asked to come back and appear live on the following week's telethon, one that aired on all the major networks. The country had come a long way from a certain Oscar night two years prior when a guy I know was booed off the stage for his anti-Bush remarks.

I asked Kanye what prompted him to speak out and he told me he hadn't planned on doing so. "I was just standing there, looking at the teleprompter with the words they had written for me to say and I just thought, ‘How can I read these words when the truth needs to be said?'"

And that's the good news about 2005. This year's mavericks and rabble rousers stuck their necks out -- and they didn't get them chopped off. They helped the nation make a turn toward the truth, and average Americans began to speak their minds freely in the diners and the churches and the bars, little words of discontent and dissent and growing outrage. You can argue that it was five years and 2,100 dead soldiers too late. Or you can say that Americans may be slow learners, but when we finally figure something out… well, watch out. A new majority forms and there can be no stopping it. Stands taken by this year's troublemakers had become, by years' end, the mainstream position of the American people. Every poll shows the same thing: The majority now oppose the war, the majority no longer trust the president when he speaks, and the majority would rather vote for a Democrat next year. The time is ripe to get this country back in the hands of the majority. Will we seize the moment? Or will we need a whole new crop of rebels next year to keep us honest and doing the right thing? Thank God we will still have artists and writers and everyday citizens willing to sign up for the call. Those who dare to be different are the closest thing we have to a national treasure."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Some GOOD News!

WASHINGTON - In a stinging defeat for
President Bush, Senate Democrats blocked passage Friday of a new Patriot Act to combat terrorism at home, depicting the measure as a threat to the constitutional liberties of innocent Americans.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Real Courage

Viggo Mortensen isn’t backing off his stinging critique of George Bush.

The “Lord of the Rings” hottie took some heat for criticizing the president’s policies lately, and in a recent interview, Mortensen is unrepentant.

“I’m not anti-Bush; I’m anti-Bush behavior,” Mortensen told Progressive magazine. “In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his administration.”

THANK YOU Viggo Mortensen!

Good Luck Howard!

Good luck to Howard Stern on his move to Sirius. He is the true Pioneer!
Best wishes. We'll be listening!
F the FCC!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Termination Of Tookie

The Terminator has done it again, only this time it was a real live person. I cannot figure out the benefits to humanity of the death penalty. I wonder if Arnold lives his life completely in a movie. Did Arnold take pleasure in this execution?
What does killing people teach our children? What would Jesus do? Tookie will live forever, and the good and positive things he's done will have far greater impact than anything Arnold will ever do. I do know one thing for sure; Arnold will pay dearly for his wrong decision. And I will never again go see a film that he is in. Rest in Peace Tookie. You will be missed.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Rest In Peace, Mom

On Saturday, December 3, 2005, my Mom transformed from this life to the next.
She will be missed by many. She made a very positive difference.
We will always celebrate your life.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Great news today for human rights!

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 1, 2005 - South Africa's highest court ruled today that same-sex marriages enjoy the same legal status as those between men and women, effectively making the nation one of just five worldwide that have removed legal barriers to gay and lesbian unions.