Legalistic theology and bankruptcy

My mother wrote me mentioning Bankruptcy Reform and I thought she was asking for further info on it but realized later she wasn’t, she had another question on it that had to do with religion’s role. still the particulars according to Mediagirl’s blog are here (fair rundown, mom) which I found via Alas, a Blog and there’s a link too to a rant at Dailykos by Maryscott Oconnor.

Maryscott Oconnor notes:

The details of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 — a Draconian piece of shit so OBVIOUSLY crafted as a Republican Paean to MBNA (the LARGEST SINGLE CONTRIBUTOR to the REPUBLICAN PARTY — never, ever forget that) and their co-conspirators, in a giant “Fuck You, Assholes — We Want MORE!” – are horrifying in the extreme.

One of the charms of wealth is that if you are wealthy wealthy wealthy you don’t, of course, have everything taken from you because you put your assets in a trust…the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 provides exemptions for asset protection trusts. Oconnor gives a nice rundown of the amendments (such as one that would rein this in) that were rejected. Such as exempting debtors from “means testing if their financial problems were caused by identity theft” which was a no go, and I would like to hear Rejected: the amendment that would limit the amount of interest charged on any extension of credit to 30 percent.

Continue reading Legalistic theology and bankruptcy

One learns when one is two that a big fat square will not fit through a little peg hole. Intelligence is judged by some on an ability to recognize and accept this fact

In the comment area of Washington Monthly’s this article which states Italian Foreign minister Fini has rejected the U.S. account.

Is it any wonder? At dailykos is a summary of Gianfranco Fimi’s testimony to the Italian House of Representatives. Paper Tigress listened to the testimony at La RepubblicaRadio.It and prepared the summary which is also up on her website.

Continue reading One learns when one is two that a big fat square will not fit through a little peg hole. Intelligence is judged by some on an ability to recognize and accept this fact

I want to read Giuliana Sgrena’s story

CNN executive, Jordan Eason, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is said to have said that the U.S. military deliberately targeted journalists–he knew of about 12 who’d not only been killed but had been targeted as a matter of policy.

Jordan Eason, reportedly having said to have said the above, then resigned from CNN and said he hadn’t meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when they accidtantally killed journalists.

Today comes the news of another U.S. checkpoint slaughter in Iraq. This time the car taken aim at was one in which was Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, just released after being held hostage for a month. She was wounded. The Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, who had facillitated her release “threw himself over her” and was killed. Two other agents were wounded.

Continue reading I want to read Giuliana Sgrena’s story

Karen gets a quoter: When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds

Kelli Davis, a student at Fleming Island High School in Green Cove Springs, Florida, wore a tuxedo for her high school yearbook picture. Sam Ward, the school’s principal, said it must be removed because Kelli was wearing boy’s clothes and was not following the rules on dress. The decision was debated at a school board meeting attended by about 200 people, at which 24 people spoke, the majority of whom supported Kelli. The school board took no action and so the picture will be pulled. Bruce Bickner, the school board attorney, said there was no written dress code for the pictures but principals had the “authority” to set standards.

Karen Gordon, no doubt a proud patriot, attending the board meeting, applauded Ward’s decision. Said Karen, “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.”

This astute appraisal of the situation appears to belong all to Karen. She thought it up in her very little-bitty own, or her husband did, or her pastor did, or maybe Principal Ward said it at a PTA meeting and Karen was so impressed that the words were impressed upon her brain with the near vehemence of the ten commandments. I looked up “in Google “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds” and there were no returns. Karen, if she knew this, would be so proud she could about pop.

Back to the tuxedo for a minute. The argument couldn’t possibly be about a woman wearing trousers as I have never seen a class picture in which the whole person is pictured, instead it is usually a head and shoulders shot. Never mind that pants on females is the norm. Back in the late 60s pants on females were, yes, an issue in ass-backwards conservative America but I remember somewhere along 1969 girls being permitted to wear pants to school in most parts and then around 1972 jeans became acceptable. It’s true that at church services and rights of passage (weddings, funerals) dresses on women still tend to be the norm, a quirk that is attributed to etiquette, but defies rational explanation. Just like the gold standard is another culture quirk. And eating with forks or fingers.

Head and shoulders shot. You can’t see the pants, so the pants couldn’t be the problem. Is it the bow tie? Are bow ties overtly masculine? Have I missed some phallic symbolism in the bow tie that marks it as sacred to the male? Or maybe the school system doesn’t want to appear to be promoting a service industry career for women, tuxedo shirts and bow ties not uncommon as service uniforms in the restaurant or catering world?

Uniformity. Pants weren’t ever an issue, actually. Kelli showed up for her school photo and what happened was there were drapes for females to put over their bodices and tux tops for the guys to don. Kelli was uncomfortable with the drape baring her chest. She opted for the tux.

Kelli happens to be lesbian. Kelli’s mother says her lesbianism has nothing to do with the matter, that it’s a human rights issue. The papers beg to differ, lesbian being in most of the headlines. An article by Susan Clark Armstrong at altweeklies.com certainly suggests that lesbianism factored in principal’s decision, and that Kelli believes this was a factor.

Reason wasn’t a factor, that’s for sure.

Kelli is one of those problem students that cause headaches for school administrators every year. You know the type, the kind of person who feels compelled to try for a little self-expression and autonomy. There’s nothing that can throw a cog in the orderly wheels of a fine-tooled school system, the machine to seize up and start throwing gears, than a picture of a woman in a bow tie crossing the desk.

Truth is, Kelli’s lesbianism is a factor, but she would likely have had the same response in that school if she’d not been a lesbian. The problem in Sam Ward world is anyone, male or female, exercising a bit of brain matter and questioning our largely haphazard potluck culture table, what makes sense and what needs to go in the trash. Karen Gordon fully grasps the problem when she defends the principal’s position with her statement, “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.” She knows that when individuals start thinking for themselves in school, there’s no telling what can happen.

You know Sam Ward and Karen Gordon. You remember them, don’t you? Sure you do. They’re the students whose only question was ever, “Will this be on the test?”

Meanwhile. It’s tough to concentrate when your seven-year-old is rolling the bathroom in wet toilet paper and painting vanilla yogurt on the bathroom mirror. But I try. Besides, he was kind enough to make a movie of it for posterity so I’m not missing anything. He and his dad were supposed to be playing Ultra Seven and King Joe. H.o.p. and I played Ultra Seven and King Joe last night for quite a while. This was after one of his questions on mortality, asking me if I was going to die when I got lines all around my eyes and was on a cane. He asked me what it was like when people die and asked me to act it out. I at first demurred then figured what the hell and did a good old drawn-out stage death. H.o.p. said I did a good job of dying. Then suddenly I was Ultra Seven and he was King Joe. When he was later doing his reading program, he’d had enough of one of the games at one point and moaned his hand was oh so tired from clicking the mouse (yeah, right, this is a kid who draws four hours a day and can play computer games for hours). I said hey I’m Ultra Seven trying to reach and attack you before you can get to the end of the game. He liked that. He liked it so much we played it over and over again. I’d start toward him, he’d yell freeze and I’d stay in that frozen position for a while and then he’d say I could go and so on and so forth. Thus does H.o.p. continue down the reading road in his own fashion. I laid down on the couch to rest my head this evening and when I came back in he had the reading program up and was doing the next episode.

We recognize Margaret Spellings is a sensitive issue and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time

Settle down to watch “George Shrinks” on WPBA with H.o.p. and there it is, a brand new commercial, swear it is (though I could be wrong) which gets down to business with big white script on the screen informing 84% of you see Public Broadcasting as a Safe Haven for your child. They may as well have substituted with footage of Department of Education’s Margaret Spellings, PBS and the Coalition of Vigilante Mom and Pop Justices clubbing poor Buster Rabbit bloody senseless for getting into the maple sugar patch. What’s disturbing is I doubt the message was concocted to reassure people like me that PBS is only doing what the majority wants. Instead the message is crafted for those who have already won, a scramble to beg their pleasure, frothing desperate, a pandering declaration of submission to Bush’s All-Consuming Mandate.

Disgusted, I go check email and find that WPBA has finally gotten around to responding to my protest on their not airing Buster’s Vermont adventure.

Continue reading We recognize Margaret Spellings is a sensitive issue and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time

I’m gibbering already

The doorbell rings. Our friendly neighborhood USPS woman with a box. (And she is friendly.) H.o.p. grabs a fork and begins his transformation of the carton. He punches holes. Gets a flashlight and shines it through the holes onto the wall. “Look, a Phoenix!” And it is. A magical flutter of light wings and wisp of body that soars up the wall to the ceiling. He gets his puppet Phoenix and shines the flashlight through it so it is radiant orange and gold.

My brother and sister-in-law were over Sunday with their little girl who is a remarkable combination of brilliant, inquisitive intelligence and enviable, easy-going, even-tempered, good-natured, self-assurance. They brought a gift of homemade whole wheat bread made from grain they themselves ground. The bread is a perfectly formed loaf, light rather than dense and chewy stick-to-the-back-of-your-throat dry like my homemade whole wheat bread used to be eons ago, the one or two loaves I made.

Speaking of something that would be hard going down if not oiled by (alas) history and the travesties of Newt Gingrich, Sonny Perdue and Zell Miller (to name a few), is the announcement that Duluth’s Ralph Reed, of Century Strategies, will be running for Lt. Gov. in 2006. My first thought was I guess now I’ll be paying more attention to Georgia’s hopeless situation (I’ve preferred to block all knowledge Ralph Reed was down here) rather than South Dakota’s, and then just a few short minutes after that thought the internet reveals that Ralph Reed’s public campaign contributions, 15 lined up at Newsmeat, include one to John Thune for South Dakota in 2002 and another for John Thune for U.S. Senate in 2004.

Continue reading I’m gibbering already

Confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech


Betty’s winning job interview. Picture courtesy of H.o.p.

Sat down at the computer at 2:30 and though I’d been working continually with no goofing somehow after three hours I’d not managed to get much done at all when H.o.p. puts on one of his new Betty Boop DVDs and Marty sits down to watch after a minute and says hey come look at this twisted bit of Boop-oop-ee-doo in which Betty is sexually harassed by her employer, calls the police and ends up making out with the boss.

I ask H.o.p. to play it from the beginning as I figure it’s best not to remark upon until I’ve seen the whole seven minutes — and found the tale’s slightly more convoluted.

Continue reading Confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech

Slaughterhouse Five probably had a drain in the floor too

I was going to start out with fun stuff, how H.o.p. and Marty went to see “The Adventures of Mighty Bug” at The Center for Puppetry Arts today, but on my way to get a link to the website I stopped in for some news and happened on this, a new old news story on Manadel al-Jamadi, a ghost detainee (ie. held secretly) of the CIA whose November 2003 obituary was a matter of photos showing Abu Ghraib guards giving a thumbs-up over his abused, ice-packed corpse. The new news is that he died in one of the prison shower rooms, during a half-hour of questioning, while being suspended by his wrists with his hands cuffed behind his back. He had already been roughed over by SEALS before turned over to the CIA interrogator and Abu Ghraib guards, his autopsy showing several broken ribs. It’s reported that when he was discovered to be dead, his shackles undone, lowered from his hanging position, that blood gushed from his mouth as if a faucet had been cut on.

Continue reading Slaughterhouse Five probably had a drain in the floor too

Back then “free” was a powerful word and the little arm hairs tingled positive not negative

More on Ward Churchill. Brief bio that calls to mind (for me) Lucas’ “American Grafitti”, a film that I am reminded of about once every two years at most so it’s not like my brain’s short list of synonyms equates all things 50s and 60s with Ron Howard.

H.o.p. doing his online reading program becomes mostly phys ed. He props elbows on desk, chin in left hand, and looks to levitate, one foot then two feet leaving the ground as they travel up the chair on which I’m seated behind him. A swivel chair. Knees dangle in the air, one foot on the seat pushing me back and forth and around, digging sharp toenails into the tops of my bare feet (me having regressed to a seated fetal position), the other foot kicking up toward my face. This lasts only as long as it takes to click an answer on the mouse, about two to three seconds, then he plants feet on the ground and turns, opens mouth wide and happily roars, jamming his tonsils in my face. Then turns back to the computer, elbows on desk, chin in left hand, feet again climbing the chair, the air, air dancing like Fred Astaire, toenails digging into my flesh, as he clicks the next answer then again down, turns and roars his tonsils in my face. In the meanwhile, a Flaming Lips song repeats itself endlessly, courtesy of H.o.p.

Continue reading Back then “free” was a powerful word and the little arm hairs tingled positive not negative