Since I'm traveling you'll just have to make do with an archive picture. This was a month or so ago. Both are perched on the cat tree eyeing the camera, or the man behind it, dubiously. Click on that thumbnail.
I just had a political argument with my mother. Who does not believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney are lying to her and the rest of the country. That there are perfectly good reasons Haliburton got no-bid contracts. That they are doing good work and anyone who says otherwise is lying. That the news she hears on NPR has a liberal bias. She doesn’t believe anything in the New York Times because it’s very liberally biased. But she cannot explain to me why conservative bias is more believable than liberal bias. She watches CNN and reads the Tulsa Daily World and that’s about it. Oh, and that bastion of liberality NPR.
But you see, she doesn’t believe everything Bill O’Reilly tells her so she’s open minded.
She doesn’t think that this administration is trying to revoke our constitutional rights. The TSA threatened not to let me on the plane because I rolled my eyes at them? Well, they must have had a good reason. If the Patriot Act is unconstitutional then the Court will find that way when someone challenges it. Yeah, we had that discussion -- she thinks Bush genuinely won the election too.
She doesn't believe Abu Ghraib was more than a few scattered people and anyway it wasn't really torture like Saddam Hussein did. When I informed her that we had, in fact, tortured people to death there and in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo she flatly said she didn't believe it. Because it would have come out if we had. I told her it was, in fact, under investigation but that there was no way this administration would let it come out before the election. She flatly didn't believe that either.
I admit, I got passionate and excited and raised my voice. She’s a relatively intelligent person but she simply doesn’t believe the things that I’m telling her are true. You see, she knows how the world works and I don’t because she’s 71 and I’m 52 and she has so much more experience of the world. Despite the fact, you understand, that she’s lived in Oklahoma all her life and I’ve lived all over the United States. Despite the fact that I'm far wider read, better educated, and have been exposed to a much wider variety of people, experiences, and news sources.
Anybody got any good suggestions on how to actually prove to my mother that my information is correct? I mean other than going back and digging up the stories with documentation, which I plan to do. Though whether she'll deign to believe my sources is another matter. She convinced that all this is merely my opinion and it’s wrong, but her views are based on fact and are correct.
Remember my exciting adventures in airport security back in May? Well, they're still making you show your boarding pass unnecessarily a second time before letting you go through the metal detector. When we flew out of Seattle on Thursday and the woman asked me for it I rolled my eyes and began to dig it out of my purse. That's it, rolled my eyes.
And she said, "Do you have a problem with that? Because if you have a problem with that I can get a supervisor over here right now." Fortunately I was, for reasons which escape me, in a really good mood that morning. I just bit my tongue very hard and replied, "I didn't say a word." She dropped it there, but that was a threat you know. Because the supervisor can declare you hostile and not let you board the plane just because, well, because she has a crappy life and no power otherwise and this makes her feel important.
Last time it was a sotto voce comment about dumb procedures, this time it was a facial expression. A. Facial. Expression. I don't know about you, but I'm getting more and more scared, and not of the the things the Bush administration wants me to be scared about either.
I have been very busy this week recovering from the big party Friday night and getting ready for my trip. We're leaving tomorrow for Tulsa where we'll attend Conestoga. The fan guests of honor are old pals of mine and I'll be doing the GoH interview. Jordin flies back to Seattle Monday morning and I spend the next week bouncing back and forth between my parents' home and my sister's home. I'll be going to see my niece in her play but that's the only firm plan.
On Tuesday July 27 I'll fly from Tulsa to Detroit where I'll pick up a car and head for Ann Arbor. I'll be visiting a friend and her new baby as well as visiting favorite places from the old days. Middle Earth and Zingerman's here I come. On Friday the 30th, Mythcon starts and I'll be tied up with that until the following Monday when I drive back to Detroit and fly home. And collapse.
I'll probably have dial up access most of the time so I'll probably only be online once or twice a day. See you in August.
What time is it boys and girls? That's right, it's time for Friday cat blogging!
Just to get everyone used to the idea, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling starting next Thursday and my internet connection may be intermittent. I may or may not be able to cat blog on the next 3 Fridays. Yes, I'll be gone that long. Yes, I travel too much. But when your family and friends and scattered all the hell over the place, whatchagonnado?
Click on the thumnails as usual.
Ooops. There he is on the table again. This is a a special set up for the party later this evening and obviously it hasn't got enough cat hair on it yet.
Loki trying to catch bits of rainbow light reflected by the leaded glass in the door. He's the world's sweetest cat, not the brightest.
Elayne Riggs has a story I haven't seen elsewhere. Original Guardian story here. Many foreign journalists have found out the hard way that the current administration decided, with no warning, to start enforcing a special visa provision which had never before been enforced. Apparently journalists, even from countries that have visa waivers, must get a special foreign journalist visa. With its usually stunning stupidity, the current administration started enforcing this with no warning, detaining, locking up, harassing, and deporting people who write for newspapers in other countries. How many ways can you spell stupid? Of course everyone sent home then wrote about it and a stink was created. So the US had to promise to let them in once with a warning and require them to have the visa after that.
So now, they've come up with a new wrinkle. Prveviously, it seems, those foreign journalist visas could be easily renewed in any large city in the US. Now however, the journalists have to leave the country and apply from abroad. This is known to add delays of 4 weeks to 6 months to the process. The election is only 5 months away and they've come up with a sneaky plan to get rid of the press they don't control. No worries now about the unfortunate truth coming to light!
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Thursday warned Americans that al Qaeda may try to carry out "a large-scale attack" to disrupt upcoming elections, but offered no details and had no plans to raise the terror threat level.
"Wolf!" cried the boy. "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!"
Senior intelligence officials could not point to any new specific information regarding an attack, saying only there are "nuggets" that come in daily to add to existing intelligence.
However, the Democrats just announced their VP candiate garnering lots of air time and a substantial bounce in the polls. When reporters asked Ridge about the timing, he, of course, denied any political motivation. Why do people believe anything anyone in this administration says at all?
The blogs have been full of the administration's pressure on our allies and troops in Pakistan to come up with somebody meaningful to capture during the Democratic convention so as to take those news cycles away. According to our Pakistani allies, they've actually specified the best dates which happen to be the first 3 days of the Democratic convention. They really just don't care anymore do they?
I suspect that we might see an upping of the alert level, oh, around the time of the Republican Convention. And I predict that these sorts of announcements and changes in alert levels will become more frequent and more ominous as we grow closer to the election. I still haven't decided yet whether they'll actually try to cancel the election, but I'd probably give even money either way.
"I deeply resent that this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist."
So okay then. I'll be hosting a party for bloggers and LJ folks on Thursday, September 2, 2004 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Boston. The suite will cost $289 for the night, plus tax and tip, and I generally spend a couple hundred dollars on food and drink. Contributions gratefully accepted, either in kind or in money. I'd appreciate it if you let me know what you're bringing if you're bringing goodies so I know what to expect and what I need to buy. I've aready gotten many offers of help and don't think I don't remember who spoke up!
I had hoped to do this on Friday night, but I waited too long to make the decision and there were no party rooms left on Friday night. Sigh. Maybe in LA. No, I'm not going to try to throw a party at a con in a foreign country next year.
It has apparently escaped the notice of these people that the word God is not used anywhere at all in the Constitution of the United Sates of America; that the first amendment says,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the peoplepeaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
It seems to have escaped their notice that the founding fathers were not in fact Christian and stipulated in the Constitution
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the
Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and
judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States,
shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but
no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any
Office or public Trust under the United States.
It seems likewise to have escaped their notice that the oath stipulated for the president to take has no mention of a deity in it.
Finally, it seems to have escaped their notice that their Bible says, " And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40.
I can only surmise them completely and totally ignorant of the history of their country and the word of their god. This country was founded by people who had had a great deal of experience with religion as an instrument of opression and tried very hard to make sure it could not happen here. Their religion, Christianity, has as its basis the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth who both taught and practiced tolerance. I simply shake my head. What can you do with people like this? Will they hear if you try to educate them, however gently?