Saturday, April 11, 2009

Extended Hiatus Continues for Multitudinous Reasons


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blogging Burnout

Happens to the best of us.

And to me as well.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


A picture of my family's ancestral home in Germany. This was built in 1796, but on land owned by my family for seven centuries.


Friday, March 06, 2009

Catblogging! Action and Inaction Shots!

After a bit of a hiatus (I've been out of town at conferences the past 2 weekends, and it's been crazy busy even without the traveling), one action shot and one not-at-all-action shot of the kitties!

Tista crawls under the covers with me at night. Sometimes he stays there after I've gotten up...

Gramsci, meanwhile, is all about defying gravity, as the heaviest cat of the household who also jumps the highest. (He can jump on top of a 4.5-ft-high box that's currently in our den!) And he loves loves loves Da Bird...


Sunday, March 01, 2009


A gay rights pioneer is being honored:
The Washington, D.C., home regarded as the epicenter of the city’s gay rights movement is being designated a historic landmark.

The home belongs to 83-year-old Franklin E. Kameny, who is considered the “father of gay activism” by the Historic Preservation Review Board.

Kameny fought in World War II, earned a doctorate and then moved to D.C. to work as an astronomer. But he was fired by the Army Map Service in 1957 for being gay.

In 1961, Kameny argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that a federal policy calling homosexuals a security risk was “no less odious than discrimination based upon religious or racial grounds.” It was the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court based on sexual orientation.


What Is Wrong with These People?


Just before President Obama was inaugurated, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh declared, “I hope he fails.” Though some Republicans have distanced themselves from Limbaugh’s sentiment, conservatives at CPAC have fully embraced it.

In an interview with ThinkProgress today, radio host Mark Levin and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) added their voices to the chorus of conservatives hoping for Obama’s failure:

TP: What do you think about what Rush said about, I mean, do you hope, should we hope that President Obama fails?


TP: Yes?

SANTORUM: If…absolutely we hope that his policies fail.

“I believe his policies will fail, I don’t know, but I hope they fail,” added Santorum.



Americans are decadent, so why not use that fact to prop up government funds?
In his 11 years in the Washington Legislature, Representative Mark Miloscia says he has supported all manner of methods to fill the state’s coffers, including increasing fees on property owners to help the homeless and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, most of which, he said, passed “without a peep.”

And so it was last month that Mr. Miloscia, a Democrat, decided he might try to “find a new tax source” — pornography.

The response, however, was a turn-off.

“People came down on me like a ton of bricks,” said Mr. Miloscia, who proposed an 18.5 percent sales tax on items like sex toys and adult magazines. “I didn’t quite understand. Apparently porn is right up there with Mom and apple pie.”

Mr. Miloscia’s proposal died at the committee level, but he is far from the only legislator floating unorthodox ideas as more than two-thirds of the states face budget shortfalls.

“The most common phrase you hear from the states is, ‘Everything is on the table,’ ” said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with National Conference of State Legislatures, who predicted the worst financial year for states since the end of World War II.

Nowhere is that more true than California, where Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a freshman from San Francisco, made a proposal intended to increase revenue, and, no doubt, appetite: legalizing and taxing marijuana, a major — if technically illegal — crop in the state. “We’re all jonesing now for money,” Mr. Ammiano said. “And there’s this enormous industry out there.”


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Still Kinda Wishing...

that I hadn't got hit by that car last week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Record

House prices continue to go through the floor:
Home prices tumbled by the steepest annual rate on record in the fourth quarter, two housing indexes showed Tuesday, and the pace of decline continued to gain speed in all but a handful of battered cities.

The farther prices fall, the fewer homeowners may be able to qualify for President Barack Obama's mortgage relief plan. Last week, the president estimated up to 5 million borrowers in good standing who don't owe more than 105 percent of their home's current value would be able to refinance into a lower interest-rate loan.


Diamonds: Not Forever

De Beers is quitting:

Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers, the company founded by Cecil Rhodes, and the government of Botswana, produces a fifth of all the world's diamonds – around half of de Beers' global output – from four open-cast mines in the arid country.

Work will be suspended for the rest of the year at two of them, Damtshaa and Orapa No 2, while Orapa No 1 and Jwaneng, the planet's single most valuable diamond mine, will stop activities until at least mid-April.

Production at the mines had already stopped in December, when the workers went on their Christmas break, and when they returned only care and maintenance was being carried out. Now several thousand of the firm's 5,510 permanent employees will be sent home on extended leave on full pay from Tuesday, while 580 jobs will be slashed at the two mines facing long-term closure.

The shutdowns will be a crushing blow to the economy of Botswana, which has used its diamond wealth as the bedrock of one of sub-Saharan Africa's most successful and stable countries. Diamonds account for 70 per cent of its exports and 30 per cent of government revenues.


Poor Homophobe

He just can't get no justice:
The Supreme Court said Monday that it would not take the case of a Kentucky high school student who wants to sue his school district over a policy that allegedly barred him from expressing opposition to homosexuality.
Truthfully, I don't think people should be stopped from expressing their beliefs. In fact, letting them speak makes it so much easier to identify the idiots and the hateful. But still, I cannot say my heart bleeds for the kid.