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Thursday, March 31, 2005
On this day:

Derailing DeLay

Tom DeLay might have finally stuck his head too far beyond his collar. For a long time DeLay has worked in the background derailing due process, known only to the in-crowd and those he pissed off. Now, thanks to Terri Schiavo, he made a bogus move that the whole country paid attention to. The Democrats are now opening fire on Tom Delay hoping to Newt Gingrich him to oblivion.

Time to sandbag your office, Tom.

Browser Wars and Then Some

I'm posting this from my machine at work, a lame IBM (reads: Inferior But Marketable) with less memory than Ronald Reagan in his last years, It uses IE, which is lame as well. Since I don't own the machine, the company discourages downloading, fearful of spyware and viruses. Heaven forefend a consummate geek like myself, who can field-strip a computer under heavy fire, would actually install any useful software like Firefox, Spybot, or Ad-aware.

I question weather my corporate IT-department-of-one has yet heard of the vastly superior browser that Mozilla provides. It's more stable, it's even (gasp!) more secure that IE, but the kicker for me is the tabbed browsing interface. After using Firefox for the past two months, and getting used to the process of checking facts, looking for URL's, checking with the online thesaurus, you know- the usual blogging related work, I cringe at how clunky it is working with seven instances of IE, their windows layered like so much windblown newsprint, and the wrist-swelling alt-tab madness that is Microsoft.

Thunderbird is a superior email client that is stripped of all the useless"features" that compromise the security of Outlook. Be honest, do you really use the sticky notes, calendar and tasks routines? You can bet you paid for them (that is if you run a legal copy). And as for Thunderbird - what part of FREE don't you like?

These are two cool programs with two cools names that you'll use every day. Check them out, spread the love, and give Microsoft what is discretely needs: competition.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
On this day:

A Child's Letter to God

My inner child has been bugging me for the past few weeks. Tired from work tonight, I finally gave in and let him have a go at the keyboard. I’ve since proofread and corrected spelling and punctuation, to facilitate his message, but I’m amazed at the subject he chose. Apparently the little guy has been listening when the family discussed things. There’s hope for him yet.
Here’s what he wrote:

Yeah, that's what I want to know.

NY Times Op-ed columnist Paul Krugman has something to say about the current trend in religious extremism:

"What's goin on?"

NY Times Op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd thinks the same about political morality as I do.
"As the Bush White House desperately maneuvers in Iraq to prevent the new government from being run according to the dictates of religious fundamentalists, it desperately maneuvers here to pander to religious fundamentalists who want to dictate how the government should be run".


'Even some Republicans seemed appalled at this latest illustration of Nietzsche's observation that "morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose."'

Monday, March 28, 2005
On this day:

You have the right...

…to get another job.

Imagine. Pharmacists choosing to “conscientiously refuse” to dispense “objectionable” medication.

From Washington Post:
“Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.”

This religiosity is going too far. Religion is a personal choice. People who choose to believe that birth control is evil can very well keep such thoughts private. I recognise a persons right to uphold their morality anyway they choose, I do not recognise their rights to tell others what to do.

Thankfully, the court system still thinks rationally, although this could change:

“Pharmacists are regulated by state laws and can face disciplinary action from licensing boards. But the only case that has gotten that far involves Neil T. Noesen, who in 2002 refused to fill a University of Wisconsin student's birth control pill prescription at a Kmart in Menomonie, Wis., or transfer the prescription elsewhere. An administrative judge last month recommended Noesen be required to take ethics classes, alert future employers to his beliefs and pay what could be as much as $20,000 to cover the costs of the legal proceedings. The state pharmacy board will decide whether to impose that penalty next month.”

"He's a devout Roman Catholic and believes participating in any action that inhibits or prohibits human life is a sin," said Aden of the Christian Legal Society. "The rights of pharmacists like him should be respected."

Give me a break! If the nature and procedures of his occupation grieves him, perhaps it is time for him to re-evaluate his career choices. there are lots of good paying jobs out there. Maybe he should become a shopping mall Santa, if he’s so religious.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
On this day:

Happy Oestre!

Many happy greeting for the season, whatever you fell like calling it.  So Happy Easter, Happy Purim, and a Joyous Oestre to all.

Spring is a time of renewal, but who really takes heed? Can we all take this opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and focus on personal improvement? We need to, as Ghandi once said, “be the change you would see in the world.” This thinking needs no special day, no need for awaiting New Years Eve or some other arbitrary holy day, to make resolutions, everyday is a new start. So let’s celebrate whatever flavour of solstice festivities we choose by greeting the forthcoming season of growth with a corresponding season of inner growth.

Mind the weeds!

Saturday, March 26, 2005
On this day:

What if Jesus Returns now?

Here's some hypotheses about the Second coming: interesting.

If Jesus Returns...

If Jesus returns within His generation..

If... He would be Wanted.

Pretty grim, assessments of the state of the planet, no?

The above views are not the views of tannishblog.

Friday, March 25, 2005
On this day:

Point and Counterpoint

This is why I enjoy the blogoshpere: It's great entertainment. One guy writes his views, and another guy skewers him. Who needs T(unnel)V(ision)?

Like TV, nothing within the blogoshpere is actually real. Opinions - mine included - are not reality, but impressions of reality. This is a good thing to keep in mind as we lurk the 'sphere, only to be bombasted by someone's delusions. Surfer beware!

I Hate Hating the Haters!

We all hate at times, the damage occurs when a person feeds their hate by focusing on it. Hate crimes are becoming more in vogue as the political right become more vocal; the extremists feel more comfortable giving voice to their views. The Internet, of course, facilitates matters, but it’s the right-leaning of America that brings it out. Just as in years past left-leaning America brought out its own brand of extremities to the fore. I say this without judgment (for a change), but as a point of fact; as our political pendulum swings, as it is wont to do, contrasting views come into focus. The political right is currently in power, emboldening the extreme right to advance its agenda.

Another point of fact- hate makes lousy politics: Fascists in Germany hating Jews was bad politics, Irish Catholics hating Irish Protestants was bad politics, Muslim fundamentalists hating America was bad politics, Neoconservative Americans hating criticism is bad politics. Hatred as a policy just doesn’t work.

Thanks to David Neiwert at Orcinus for the inspiration for this post. Love your site!

Thursday, March 24, 2005
On this day:

A Little wisdom

What is wisdom? I ask this with an open heart, yet even so I come up with a smarmy answer on my first try. My inner brat tells me that wisdom is out of style, an archaic commodity of no real value. My inner brat is, as usual, wrong. Wisdom is the ability to view long and wide, to remove our needy selves from a decision, to understand that grasping is not the only way to get something. I would like to share a little wisdom from one of my favorite people, someone I've never met:
A great deal of our suffering comes from having too many thoughts. And, at the same time, the way we think is not sane. We are only concerned by our immediate satisfaction and forget to measure its long-term advantages and disadvantages, either for ourselves or for others. But such an attitude always goes against us in the end. There is no doubt that by changing our way of seeing things we could reduce our current difficulties and avoid creating new ones.

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Please take the time to re-read these words. Think about how they can apply to your life, and how they can be applied to the world. Think, if you will, how can they apply to our current political struggles. In our hyper-connected world no action is independant; like raindrops on a quiet lake, the actions of one person or group create ripples affecting the next person or group, and so on. No longer can people think that their lives and deeds are isolated, that they can do what they want irregardless of others. We are all responsible for our planet's future, and what we do today creates that future. Think carefully. Act carefully. Live carefully.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
On this day:

Blind, selfish and stubborn:

Dear Robert and Mary Schindler,

How many time can you hear the word "no" and refuse to accept this? Exactly what part of "no" do you not understand?

From the NY Times:
Speaking to reporters Tuesday night, Governor Bush said, "Tomorrow's the day. If it doesn't happen then, I don't believe there's any other legislative fix that is possible."

Mrs. Schindler, pausing briefly as she arrived at the hospice here in the late afternoon, said: "Please, senators, for the love of God, I'm begging you, don't let my daughter die of thirst."

But State Senator Tom Lee, Republican of Brandon and the president of the Senate, said he regretted that some of his members were under attack by "people who want to demonize and vilify them," and he would not pressure them to change their votes.

"I think with every day that passes," he said, "there is less likelihood there is going to be a legislative or legal remedy that can save Terri Schiavo's life."

While I understand and empathize with your pain, I do not understand your reactions to it. I am far enough removed to see that the duration of your suffering is a result of your own unwillingness to accept a difficult reality. If all this had happened 100 years ago, Terri would have died shortly after her stroke. Medical science wasn't then up to the task of keeping her alive. A century ago, your options would have been limited to prayerful vigils until she passed. You would have asked God why, you would have picked up your life and moved on, as all people must do in the face of insurmountable tragedy.
Because of the miracle that is modern medicine, Terri, Michael, and yourselves have been suffering needlessly for fifteen years. Because of the false hope that a medical breakthrough or some other miracle will fix your daughter. This will not happen. It is time to move on, time to pray, time to begin the long healing process. Count your blessings; you still have family, friends, and a growing community of empathetic strangers who are all willing to help you heal. Take advantage of these gifts, for gifts they are, and realize what you already know in your hearts: God works in mysterious ways.

Stupid MSM Tricks

If I were Judge James D. Whitmore, I’d be asking the State of Florida for some protection. The NY Times has plastered his picture onto its latest piece on the Schiavo debacle. Now any murdering madman can find him on the street and try his luck. This, I feel, is irresponsible. Are we, by the end of the week, going to list all the judges that have “wronged” Robert and Mary Schindler? A firing squad would be more humane; at least then they would not have to look over their shoulders for weeks to come. I know - I’m old-fashion, expecting the media to think of consequences, how silly! Despite frequent disappointments, I expect most of humanity to think of the consequences of their actions before they act.

How Victorian of me!

Monday, March 21, 2005
On this day:

The West That Was

It seems that the "Wild West" of the internet, as evidenced by the rise of the untamed blogger, is now being tamed. The first shots have been fired at the unshaven wrangler-bloggers as Google takes a hit from the French Media. More is sure to follow as MSM struggles to re-assert its dominance.

The weather report says a 80% chance of a flurry of lawsuits...

Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Badtux the Snarky Penguin finds a good one: I wish I thought of that!

Death Turtle from Hell

By now you’ve heard about the cheese sandwich with the image of the virgin Mary. Weirdness, huh? Now we have (for your religious titliation) a turtle who survived a fire that destroyed nine businesses and offices in Indiana. The turtle, named Lucky, seems to be doing all right, except for the “image of Satan” on its shell. Look for yourself. I see only a trick of the light. In a world seemingly full of weeping virgins, this is a new twist. But I must ask; just how gullible are we supposed to be?

Sunday, March 20, 2005
On this day:

This make me ill!

Did Terri Schiavo vote republican in the last two elections? There are thousands of people dying in hospitals this weekend, what makes Terri’s case so political? My guess is that Terri’s parents gave money to RNC last year. Why else would this become such a political farce? If  Terri was Democratic Muslim, would they care as much? 

Tom DeLay said: "We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being. That is the very least we can do."

Scott McClellan, said: "Everyone recognises that time is important here. This is about defending life."

Bill Frist said he is committed "to see this legislation pass and give Terri Schiavo one last chance at life."

Speaking of Persistent Vegetative State, our favourite Shrubbery is leaving the ranch early to add spectacle to this debacle. SHEESH! As I mentioned before, this fervour has nothing to do with Terri and Michael’s perceived rights. It’s about forcing right-wing “morality” on the defenceless.

Too bad they don’t have the same “ethics” when dealing with the Iraqis or Afghans. Defending life overseas just isn’t so important to our leaders.

Saturday, March 19, 2005
On this day:

Why I like to blog:

I’ve always phant’sied* myself a writer. I even wrote a novel-length manuscript once; the story embarrasses me, now. Back in the Paleolithic, when I was in 9th grade, an English teacher had us all write on an index card what we wanted to be “when we grew up”. At the end of the school year, she showed us her favourite answers, of which mine was one. I had written that I wanted to be a “Wrighter”. I still can’t spell too goodly, but modern software helps hide my ignorance. Well… maybe not.

Blogging feeds the writer in me. Frustrated for decades, my muse has had to make do with inventing cutting remarks and insults, blindsiding innocents and perpetrators indiscriminately. You’ve noticed that, you say. Now, I can attempt to restrain my muse with more socially acceptable writing practices. That’s right, just like your doctor, I am practising on you. I promise I won’t charge you anything for the dubious pleasure of being my sounding board.

Also, writing is cathartic. As I practice my meditation, I have become aware of the vast quantities of garbage that has been recirculating in my cranium. Time to purge myself of these poisonous humours, bleeding thoughts onto a virtual page. Ah, I feel better already. Biz Stone says that bloggers are smart, that the longer we blog, the smarter we become due to the writing process itself. My ego likes that idea. I can go from smart-ass to smart just by typing? Cool!

As with any practice, mistakes will be made: my writing voice must be polished over time, and the blog itself will settle down eventually. I thank you in advance for your patience, as I encourage you to leave your comments. Writing in a vacuum will not improve this experience for anyone. So c’mon, people, let’s blog!

* Thank you, Neil Stephenson, wherever you are.

Friday, March 18, 2005
On this day:

Right to Death

Terri Schiavo is not really living. She had expressed to her husband that she does not want to be kept alive by machines. Her parents cannot accept this, and in a style that speaks volumes about the Christian mind-set, has turned everyones life into a living hell trying for ten years to get their way. This case is not about morality, it is about selfishness and self-righteousness.

  • The patient wants to be let go.
  • The husband sides with the patient.
  • The doctor sides with the patient.
  • Finally, the court sides with the patient.

There is a “Quality of Life” issue that is being ignored by the patient’s parents. This fight is not about legality, it’s about forcing the parents brand of morality on their adult daughter who had already expressed her opinion about being kept alive. I’m sure it is a hard lesson for the parents to learn, but their daughter is an adult, has been for some time; she has more right to speak for her body and for her life then they do. There comes a point in any parents life when they are through raising their child, when all lessons are wrapped up and the child, now an adult, must be let to fly in their own. For Terri, this point has long been past.

When are people like Terri’s parents going to realize that not all humans need to think as they do, that such diversity of philosophy is a good thing for humanity. I ,for one, am quite weary of being force-fed Christian morality. Not every American is Christian! Not all Christians agree with each other! There is no perfect answer to all of life’s problems. Go ahead, scour your bibles all you want, I’m betting there’s no mention of feeding tubes. Let the poor woman die, for Christ’s sake and for the sake of Terri and Michael.

Terri, we wish you the gentlest of passing. May you find all your hopes fulfilled on the other side.

Thursday, March 17, 2005
On this day:

I’m burning for Jesus:

A South Dakota couple is marketing candles that allegedly smell like Jesus. I understand there is a huge market for Christian iconography, but I don’t get the spiritual connection implied here. I can’t fathom how a candle’s scent “…provides a really new dimension to one's experience with Jesus.” At $18 a whiff, couldn’t at least some of the money go to charity? That would be a Christian thing to do.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
On this day:

Blood on the Tracks

A poignant, if lenghty account of human tragedy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
On this day:

Technology as political catalyst:

It seems that cast off electronics from China are being resold to North Koreans who are beginning to glimpse that the grass really is greener on the other side of the DMZ. This proves one thing: Military might is not the only tool for the spread of democracy.

Monday, March 14, 2005
On this day:

Devolution of the Species.

What kind of parent would leave a loaded gun accessible to a young child? How blase are people toward handguns in the presence of a seven-year-old? This boggles me.

"C'mere, son. Let me show you my gun collection. Someday you, too, can be stupid enough to show off firearms to impressionable children."

Me? I refuse to own a gun of any sort. Gun ownership is a sign of weakness, of giving in to the culture of fear perpetrated by the news media. To own a gun with the excuse of protecting one's family is to expose said family to new dangers, as is evidenced by this story. It also shows, on a spiritual level, a washing-of-hands, giving-up attitude toward mankind; as in:

"I'm buying a gun because, although I live in a good neighborhood with good schools, I walk in fear of my neighbors. I pack a gun when I drive because so I can be the first to shoot in a road rage incident. I leave my gun lying around the house for easy access. You never know when it will come in handy."
In evolution, the strong eat the weak. For too long, no one has been eating our weak. they've been allowed to breed to the detriment of the species. Expect this to be a recurring theme here.

Victims of Humanity

Greed kills. Cold-hearted and selfish humanity, grubbing for money and defying laws, destroys lives. Humanity is killing off its own food chain from the bottom up. when will we wise up? (link)

In Mexico, illegal logging in these protected forests has shrunk the monarchs' habitat and forced the insects to higher elevations, where they are vulnerable to the cold. The government protects the forests with armed federal agents during winter, but large logging operations have continued to eat away at the dense stands of Oyamel fir trees here.

Satellite photos compiled by United States scientists show that vast numbers of trees in the 140,000-acre Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve , 75 miles east of Mexico City, have been logged and carted out, often by armed gangs who pay off the authorities, people tracking the fate of the butterflies say. The northeast face of Cerro Pelón, one of the mountains in the core of the reserve and a former winter home of butterflies, is stripped of trees now.

In other news, another god-fearing soul murders. Its’ true what they say: nothing is sacred.

Sunday, March 13, 2005
On this day:

Our Pied Piper

Our favorite shrubbery has bankrupt the country with two wars while giving the fat cats several tax breaks, now tighten your belts, middle class – it’s time for us to pay for all this.

Meanwhile, at the politburo

Saturday, March 12, 2005
On this day:

Blog marketing?!?

Ok. I'm new at this blogging stuff, but I’m blindsided by this: i'm just minding my own, clicking the Next Blog button and I come upon this. WTF? What's with the blog marketing? Does this person think we’ll give her money just because she has a method of spamming blogsites? It amazes me the new depths of greed the American culture can inflict upon its members. Get a life! Is someone paying her to become a scumbucket spammer? The money can’t be that good. What, did she sell her soul? Might as well have. Just gotta ruin the fun for the rest of us. Sheesh!

pant, pant, pant…(catching my breath)…Phew!

Sorry. I lost myself there. I’ll be OK in a minute. Where’s my Welbutrin?



Friday, March 11, 2005
On this day:

Gotta tinker with it

I'm still wearing my newby blogger shoes, and I can't help toying with the templates, searching for blogskins, and tinkering with them, too. My old copy of Dreamweaver 3 (big bucks when new) can't blog easily enough for me. My other sites are built with Trellix, which works only sometimes (rude noises). I need to create something uniquely Tannish. Expect to see this blog change clothes from time to time. I'm off to brush up on CSS...

Thursday, March 10, 2005
On this day:


Values can sometimes be better evaluated in the negative. Sometimes you can get a better picture of a person or group by viewing what they are unwilling to do or by which problems they choose to ignore. GWB seems better defined by looking at the issues he won’t face: the environment (here and here ), the declining dollar(here and here ), and of course our gargantuan deficit, single-handedly created by our favorite shrubbery, which may very well become the hallmark of Georgie’s tenure.

People and presidencies are measured by their choices. Choosing to do nothing is still a choice, after all. Time to get your house in order. How does our president want to be remembered? Jumpstarting the democratic process in the Arab world is a worthy achievement if he can do it (I’m still skeptical), but at what cost to the American people?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
On this day:

Why Tannish?

I’m tannish, what color are you?

Wait! Before you go off, consider this: our concept of race is wrong. There is only one race, and its first name is Human. White, Black, Red and Yellow are just colors. To use colors to denote genetic traits is belittling, inaccurate, divisive and crude. I, for one, know I can mate with and produce children with any female on this planet fool enough to partake. From Central Africa, Southeast Asia, the Amazon Basin or Western Europe, anyone can meet, mate and perpetuate the species with anyone, provided requisite genders are represented. So how are we different? I look at people everyday, and I see a infinite spectrum of tannish people, all living lives full of vibrant color and infinite possibility. The old school way of thinking of “people of color” is dying; we’re all the same color. Grouping people as minorities is becomes meaningless if you look upon humanity as a whole and see it for what it is: an endless variation of genetic possibilities within a framework of common functions.
That’s what a person is, that’s what humanity is – it’s tannish!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
On this day:

A Big round of Applause

I cannot honestly say I support our war in Iraq, but…

this I agree with.

Destroy the Destros

Just a pointer to my other blog where I post longer material.

Are you a Destro?


My wife and I were talking at the breakfast table this morning: if we had the means, we would create a new reality show. It would feature foreign travel, international espionage, and political intrigue, immersing the viewer in new sights and exotic locations. Players would include bungling arms inspectors, motivated but skeptical foreign investigators, an insular and self-serving political system, honest, hardworking peasants victimized by political games they care nothing about, and idealistic young people ready to die for the right to protect the culture they love. And the best part: the story would have no end!

We’d call it “Finding Osama”

Monday, March 07, 2005
On this day:

Bad me!

Yikes! Did I write that? I just broke etiquette rule #95431.6 about dissing one’s coworkers online. What an idiot! Sorry, guys, a little too much passion, there. Here I am blathering about people not being compassionalte, and I’m acting the same….
(sound of head impacting wall repeatedly)


I run a small warehouse. About once a month I hire two or three guys from a temp agency to help unload an 18-wheeler. Today is just such a day. Two hours into the unloading one fellow, the oldest of three, asked to go home - he was sick. OK, I thought, no biggie. After he left, two coworkers came to me and asked why he left early. "Was he useless?" one asked. My other coworker wanted to know if I let him go,too. The assumption both were making is that temp help are bottom-of-the-barrel workers, too stupid or too lazy even for the manual labor we use them for. People forget that many people who utilize the temp agancies are between job or just at a low point in their lives. They are not scum.
To me, people who forget temp workers are people just like them are scummy.

Blogger test

Blogger test number one. I'm currently trying out the various applications for blogging. This is one. I have a site hosted by Earthlink, here, but I'm looking for the "perfect" software package, if it exists. Any suggestions?