"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Barry snags a link out of thin air for me to steal.

This is my acknowledgement of today. Sad, tragic, awful, egregiously unfair...

I was going to put down something bitter, like "Payback's a bitch;" then I decided, out of respect for those who also sadly, tragically, awfully, unfairly lost family and friends last year today, not to do that.

Sotto voce: One must remember though, we are not blameless.


On the above site, I also found something really funny: The ANGRY LIBERAL!!!.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/11/2002 01:23:00 PM

I have a Spathiphyllum plant. It is just a small one that I got a week ago from a grocery store floral department. Now, peace lilies are notoriously thirsty plants. They like it dim and wet, as many spathe-bearing swamp-originating plants do. I loaded her up with water two days after I got her home and set her in a semi-lit spot. Time passes. Two new white spathes unfurl like cupped flags. I admire Peace Lily some every day, along with the rest of my green flatmates.

Come to find out when I got home last night, she was a tad droopy. The dirt was a tad dry. I thought, oh I'll water this one tomorrow when it gets a bit lighter. Zzzzzzz....

Severe droop come morning. Agh! Call out the plant ambulance! I can't let Peace Lily be the first to go! No!

Upon dousing Peace Lily with a hefty dose of water and putting her back in the semi-lit spot, I witnessed something that just begs to be metaphorized, especially today, but I'll just tell you all straight up: I watched while this plant literally lifted itself back up from flop-droop to 80, then 90 degrees vertical, five white spathes and all. How many of you have ever seen a plant actually MOVE on it's own without wind? I know, capillary action, water pressure, etc. I know the reason it happens. It is one thing to read about it in a biology book. It is completely another to watch it in action. See, this is not like the so-called resurrection plants (Selaginella spp.) that get all brown and crispy then with water unfurl. Those are fern allies and spore bearers, and those kind of plants are kind of weird anyway. Not all plants have this kind of toughness, grace and beauty. I am proud of Peace Lilies everywhere for their ability to withstand severe droop, then with water pick themselves up and carry on. It's behavior worth emulating on a primate level.

I have accumulated a total of 13 house plants in the last two weeks. I am not going to take time right now to look up all of their Latin names, but I'll give the ones I know:

Two Jade plants (Crassula argentea)
A Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
An aloe vera, which everyone knows about
A Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), a big hangy heavy one with countless new leaves unfurling
Two Dracenas, one tall, one not
A China Doll (Radermachera Sinica) who will be a challenge.
A mini-palm of some sort, the lady at the counter was not too specific
The aforementioned Peace Lily
Two pots of oak ivy (Cissus sp.), which is a grape ivy with oaky leaves

The cat, Vince, has learned not to eat Dracenas. His poor tummy was upset all yesterday, but he's okay now and avoiding Dracenas like the plague. I bring him enough catnip to fend off his leaf cravings, I think. The poisonous plants are up out of his reach.

Morgan is fascinated with the plants, too. She always wants to water them, but then we give her the lecture about overwatering.

I am, again, a rank amateur when it comes to houseplants. I do, however, have a very green thumb. I can grow anything. When I was gestating Morgan, I took care of a Wandering Jew and a Bridal Veil, and both thrived until the day we moved out. The African Violets under my care were gorgeous. Still...I prefer low-maintenance plants that flourish with some TLC.

Now I'm done blithering about plants.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/11/2002 10:24:00 AM


Seems I am the new "liberal media" whipping girl for the yutz at Seeking Truth. Fine, I dignify him with a link. He points at ME in particular, saying I should read this thing; lo and behold, what do I find but a link to NYPOST.com, with an article by Heather McDonald. You can go to his site and click on the link in his post if you want to read it. Needless to say, it is biased as far to the right as the Associated Press Patriot Act breakdown was to the left. Here is a small snip from the end, just as an example:

"We should rigorously track all immigrants once here, with the assistance of a national ID card. Law enforcement should not shrink from using the fact that every act of anti-American terrorism since 1983, with the exception of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, has been committed by Islamic radicals, almost all hailing from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. And if the elites continue to scream racism, the nation should stop listening."

Looks like she's capitulated to the fear already, doesn't it? Afraid of your fellow Earthlings, lady? Certainly, a utopian world view would have us all friends, all sharing and living peacefully. I am no utopianist, not by a long shot. This view, narrow and itself elitist, assumes that no American citizens (with the one notable exception) ever perpetrated horrendous amounts of death and destruction on ANYONE, directly or not. No, not us. We're the good guys. Fooey.

The anti-American terrorists, as she calls them, have a valid point that they would say is beside the point. We have our greedy hands in too many pies. We are one of if not THE worst, greediest consumerist wastrel societies yet spawned. I'm sure our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. (There is a point, I'm building up to it, just wait. Or not. ) We also produced some great literature, great art, great science and as I recall, not with a whole hell of a lot of censorship (there was some).

So we did some good stuff, and we did some real bad stuff too. So what makes us special? The fact that we codified it. That alone makes this place what it is; free to be a gun-totin, God-fearin bumpkineer, a militia man, a flower child, a surrealist poet, an impressionist painter, or not a fucking thing at all. That's great. That is so great, I can't even tell you. It sucks big hard donkey dicks that it has come to this. It has come down to the nitpicky of "Well, you accidentally tripped me, so I'll push you down in the dirt, and you can run away crying, or you can fight back, what are you going to do?" Schoolyard bully mentality that is holding office in major world powers and wannabees.

Love it or leave it, you say? Well, who's to say I'm not planning that very thing? No one else wants us cluttering up their shores and smogging up their skies. No, Europe is doing that fine on its own. I don't want to leave. I want, I want...

You know what I want? I want the populace of our country to take a look at what it once was: Home to millions of aboriginal peoples, thousands of tribes and clans and councils. Then it was The New World, land of freedom, independence, opportunity, a place to run to for those who had intolerable abuses of their humanity, body and spirit, in their original countries. Plenty of room for all, even monotheists who seemed to think their god just kind of gave them carte blanche over everyone. Then there were British colonies, plantations, small towns, budding cities. Some great ideas sprang up out of this time, mostly out of outrage at unfair oppression. Then there was that great bloody war. Oh yes. Harken back again to the aboriginals; I believe generally at that point they may have understood the need to move on from bad conditions and the necessity to fight each other to do so. I believe the Iroquois nation had a beginning similar to ours, moving in, wiping out, confederating. So. Then there was the original, the one, the only, United States of America. Yes indeed. Land of the free and home of the brave. There it was.

So what are we now? Not rhetorical. Ask yourself. Who and what are we? What does it mean to be an American citizen? Does it mean the same thing now that it once did? Should it?

They set out to make mousse au chocolat for us, and they ended up with gritty, powdery half-mixed instant crap.

The fact that we were founded by primarily Freemasons and Christians of various stripes set us up as targets for Islam immediately. Hate to say it, but the United States has given Christianity a bad name. (Again, remember, this is OPINION, neither right nor wrong.)

The idea of religious freedom was probably not originally intended to include Islam. It did by the letter of the law, but back then the letter of the law covered a limited number of people. Many African slaves were Muslim, so that may have had something to do with it too. So why didn't they have the foresight to mention, "Oh by the way, should any Muslim extremists ever decide to wage their jihad on us, they can't because we say so."

I mean, coming right down to it, it's all about religion, right? Extremism in any area is harmful, sure. Do I need to explain this one?

See, my opinions do not need foundation in REASON, sweethearts. If I were presenting FACTS, then yes I need to cite sources, give accurate stats, and so on. I did not get to this point in my career without learning a lot about accurate presentation of facts. My OPINIONS are based on observation of the populace, the media (both sides) and my own gut and conscience.

Remember, governments are mere constructs, pinatas of ideology that when whacked hard enough, spill out goodies on those who did the hardest whacking. WHACK WHACK WHACK I say! Take off the blindfold of the ubiquitous red, white and blue Wal-Mart flags! Go with your gut and observations, not the pundits. Think critically at the same time. It is possible to think critically and act on your gut at the same time. If someone criticizes you, quote the almighty Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

As for the rest, I will claim some "isms" as my own. Feminism. Paganism. Apologism. Leftism. Maternalism. Surrealism. Transcendentalism. Solipsism. Waxjism (a PZB reference). How bout that?

Again, I exhort you, fight fire with pudding. Grin from ear to shining ear. Do an Ammachi and gather your strength and just hug everyone who needs it. Be the great mother or father you think you never had. Be the great child you now know you never were. Do your damndest to put something in, something that wasn't there before. Write. Dance. Sing. Throw paint on the wall. Glom onto an art movement and revel in it. Play with your kids and puppies. Rick, this is what I meant by "do your thang." Do your thang to put that which gives you joy into the world and make it a reality. Who can argue with that (rhetorical this time; I already know the answer)?

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/11/2002 12:20:00 AM

Tuesday, September 10, 2002


Okay. It's time to vote. I'm going in soon as Mo gets on the bus.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/10/2002 07:59:00 AM

Monday, September 09, 2002


Some conservative yutz has called me out via my junk mail. I have no idea how he found my site. He shall remain nameless. I do not claim to be unbiased, and I am not a journalist per se, so I make no claims as to fair reporting. I also make no claims regarding my specialty. I am a medical language specialist, not a Constitutional Law attorney.

In point of fact, the Constitution has not formally been amended; however, let me compare and contrast again the wording of the Bill of Rights (AKA the first 10 amendments to said document) and the changes made by Bush II's administration:

I. 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 people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
But then we have this: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation. I believe this falls under the 'prohibiting free exercise thereof.' Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation. Free speech violation. Oh, and look below to see more religion issues. If I need to break down and enumerate why church and state need to remain separate, ask and I shall do so.

IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And then we have this: Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation. In effect, "Can too!"

VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
But then we have this: Government may...deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Oops, they forgot their tagline..."to assist terror investigation." Proofing comes in handy, n'est-pas? Again, "Can too! Nyah!"

This is a small sample. So, add on "to assist in terror investigation" to anything, and that makes it okay? Why not just dismantle the whole thing? Legislation is a semantic game lately.

"Every American citizen is under suspicion, until further notice, to assist terror investigation."

Article VI, the second part, may soon be in question:
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.

Now tell me this hasn't already been going on for years and years?

You know, I don't mind being called out. I just wish they wouldn't be so fucking patronizing.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/09/2002 12:48:00 PM


Happy Feet Travels. Lotsa good stuff on here, people.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/09/2002 10:40:00 AM


Here is a thing. Anna and a friend of hers (Vaughn) want to run for president.

I think we would all do well to consider our options. Running for president or public office is always supposed to be an option in this country. How old are you guys, anyway?

I like their platform. I would hate to run against them. Maybe we should start by gathering up all the people who jive with it, gather in a teeming mob, take a low-impact public transport caravan around gathering more and more people, have a mini-election within, and decide who can speak for us. Why not Spaughn and Spatula?

This is how it starts. Anyone who is reading this, get out there and light a fire underneath somone's complacent ass. Act as if you were seriously going to challenge the two-party system, because ANY dissention in the ranks is a challenge. Find common ground with dissenters. If that's too much, at least find a viable third party to support. Green is a good one. Green is probably the most viable at this point, if you need something with some structure. If not...then strike out on your own and do yo thang.

In the meantime, my minisubversion continues unabated. I am gestating, newly pregnant with idealism and fervor. I write and act locally, think and worry globally. Everyone I run into gets an earful of my displeasure about local and national issues now, and you know what? Even in this small conservative bedroom community, I get nods of agreement. They may be just being polite, but who knows? My mother the town gossip will finally be of some use for me. "Oh, Julie's all pissed off about what the government's doing, blah blah...she's going to get herself in trouble mouthing off like this...she has this website, yadda yadda...oh, I agree with her, but what can SHE do? She's only one person, etc, etc....well, I don't know who she voted for..." Make sure you talk to the right people, Mom. Aw, hell. Talk to everyone, just like usual.

Don't let frustration with the number of things gone wrong stifle you into inaction. Prioritize and GO!!!

I leave you with a brief lament, once again from my man Ralphie Emerson: "I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency." Think about that. This from his essay Self-Reliance. Have we? Over 120 years ago, he was saying this. We have most certainly not. Humans are NOT preprogrammed herd animals, yet most continue to let the current of history carry them all en masse....

I have to go now. I have cardiology.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/09/2002 10:21:00 AM


There’s a move in Congress to allow churches to promote political candidates with endorsements and donations. This is the Jones Bill.

Here is a link to a site with some reasons why this is a bad idea. Some of these are patently obvious.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/09/2002 07:29:00 AM


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