memorial day

    Linette and I spent the past few days working on the house and getting ready for the new windows to be installed Among other things, that meant cleaning up the dark little hole I call my office Here, for those of you who are interested in such things, are a few photos. The first few show a room that we stripped down to the plaster and then painted the color of a blood oranges pulp. (The intermediate color shown in the series is the primer.) The last photo is one I just snapped of my office. My hope is that it explains, at least to some degree, why it is that I havent answered that last letter that you sent

    Oh, and theres also a shot in there of Linette and me with Natalie Schulhofer. Natalie bought her first issue of Crimewave about seven years ago in Atlanta, when she was just a kid, and shes been writing to us ever since. This Friday, we finally got to meet face to face. I was nervous and stupid, as I always am when I’m forced to meet new people, but things got progressively better. By the end of the night, I was not only no longer afraid that she was going to kill us, but I was hoping that shed move to Ypsilanti, open a bakery, and help us raise our child. (Natalie wants to pay back her student loans from Columbia by learning how to bake bread in a wood-fired oven.)

    And here, because I dont know where else to put them, are a few quotes from Al Gore.

    George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world.

    He promised to “restore honor and integrity to the White House.” Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon.

    Honor? He decided not to honor the Geneva Convention. Just as he would not honor the United Nations, international treaties, the opinions of our allies, the role of Congress and the courts, or what Jefferson described as “a decent respect for the opinion of mankind.” He did not honor the advice, experience and judgment of our military leaders in designing his invasion of Iraq. And now he will not honor our fallen dead by attending any funerals or even by permitting photos of their flag-draped coffins.

    One of the clearest indications of the impending loss of intimacy with one’s soul is the failure to recognize the existence of a soul in those over whom power is exercised, especially if the helpless come to be treated as animals, and degraded. We also know – and not just from De Sade and Freud – the psychological proximity between sexual depravity and other people’s pain. It has been especially shocking and awful to see these paired evils perpetrated so crudely and cruelly in the name of America.

    The abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration’s march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th

    In hopes of balancing things out a bit, here are a few quick links to stories about the Bush administration. The first is a story from the Washington Post about the groundbreaking nature of Bushs reelection campaign Apparently hes making history for running one of the most inaccurate and misleading campaigns in the history of our great country. Heres a quote:

    It was a typical week in the life of the Bush reelection machine.

    Last Monday in Little Rock, Vice President Cheney said Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry “has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all” and said the senator from Massachusetts “promised to repeal most of the Bush tax cuts within his first 100 days in office.”

    On Tuesday, President Bush’s campaign began airing an ad saying Kerry would scrap wiretaps that are needed to hunt terrorists.

    The same day, the Bush campaign charged in a memo sent to reporters and through surrogates that Kerry wants to raise the gasoline tax by 50 cents.

    On Wednesday and Thursday, as Kerry campaigned in Seattle, he was greeted by another Bush ad alleging that Kerry now opposes education changes that he supported in 2001.

    The charges were all tough, serious — and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

    This next article is about Bushs Vice-President, Dick Cheney. Apparently, Time magazine has evidence that Cheney, contrary to what he has said before on the record, personally approved sweetheart deals for his friends at Halliburton.

    OK, lets end on a good note The veterans of World War II finally have their memorial in DC I only wish that my grandfathers were still around to see it.

    Good night and happy Memorial Day.

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    request for photos

    This request goes out to anyone who might have traveled through Ypsi with a camera in the past few months I am looking for photo documentation of a sign that, according to my friend Patti Claydon, once hung in the window of the now closed BioLife plasma donation center on Washtenaw Ave. According to Patti, there was, for a short time, a sign in their window that read, “People who give’s is people who care’s.” I want to believe her, but I just cant. I need evidence.

    P.S. Now that theres no longer a place for all the generous, community-minded people (read alcoholics) to line up and sell their blood plasma, does that mean that Ypsilanti has officially left the bottom rung of American cities? Did we cross some sort of line? Is there some kind of award involved when a town can no longer muster 25 people a day willing to lay down for an hour to sell a pint of their plasma for $10? I feel like we should have some kind of block party or something.

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      policy on retractions

      I suppose its a good thing in a way that the audience for this little online journal of mine has continued to grow over the past few years Its good because I continue to meet new and interesting people who point me toward increasingly interesting articles and other opportunities. Of course, theres a downside too – apparently, I can no longer just spout my theories without being prepared to back them up.

      Case in point I mentioned something in yesterdays post about the American automakers being incompetent assholes, or something along those lines, and linked to a few images of Ford F150 crash tests. I think I may have also implied in a roundabout way that Ford employees took some pleasure in amputating the legs of their customers Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

      So, someone wrote in to tell me that the crash tests I had linked to were in fact two years old and that the new F150 was now among the safest vehicles in its class. And, someone else wrote in to point out that it was unfair to compare the Ford truck to the Mini Cooper, as they happen to belong to different vehicle classes, etc. All of this then lead to other discussions, both on the site and off it, about the American auto industry and what they have and havent done over the course of the past century to defeat public transportation and hasten the depletion of our worlds petroleum supplies.

      Anyway, Im not sure I know what I want to say about any of this On one hand, I hate having to take the time to defend my positions. But, on the other, I really like it. I like that the comments section is heating up and that people are calling me to task. Thats a good thing So, I guess what I want to say is, please let me know when Ive crossed the line, or not done my homework. I may not change my mind about an issue, but its good to have the discussion (even if the discussion might keep me from blogging that night).

      As for the American auto industry, I know people that work in it and theyre good people. In fact, I have a friend that works for Ford, and, while he is somewhat of an asshole, he certainly isnt incompetent So, yes, I was wrong to paint the whole company with the incompetent asshole brush. That, however, doesnt change the fact that I believe the company is more interested in generating profits than in finding long-term, sustainable transportation solutions.

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      we love you, please dont kill us

      I just happened across a nice little news item about an 11 year old being held by authorities after his plot to commit murder was exposed and it has me panicking about this baby that Linette and I have coming to live with us in a few weeks. I know its probably really unrealistic, but I suppose theres always a slight chance, however remote it might be, that this child will one day turn on us Im going to try not to dwell on this possibility Heres a clip from the story, in case youre interested:

      The father of the older boy told a Mohave County Superior Court judge that he and his wife can’t control him and are terrified of the youngster. The man told the judge his wife takes a phone into the shower for fear that her son will attack her with a bat, golf club or knife.

      Id much prefer to keep the image of my son or daughter bathing me and feeding me ice cream in my old age in the forefront of my mind, but this idea is so much more horrific, and thus attractive to the mind of a person with OCD who likes to dwell on worst case scenarios.

      The good news is, since Ive been thinking about being murdered by my son or daughter, I havent thought much at all about the fact that nearly half of the ties worn by medical workers harbor bacteria which could cause disease.

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      emergency interruption: punk rock claims lives

      Its just been brought to my attention that someone has posted video clips from the Punk Rock episode of Quincy (1982). Im waiting for the performance of Get Up (I Wanna See You Choke), the one during which the guy gets stabbed in the neck, to load right now and Im rubbing my hands together in anticipation.

      One of these days, Ill tell you all about my punk rock memories, starting with that night in Atlanta that my friend David Spivey and I, having decided to stay up past midnight, caught a live news alert from downtown, where the Sex Pistols were playing. You would have thought that the world was coming to the end I distinctly remember hiding my head under a blanket after seeing the images of teenagers with safety pins through their cheeks.

      This might also be a good place to tell you that Linette has vetoed Quincy, Barnaby Jones, Columbo and Matlock from the official list of potential baby names.

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