What's up? My brother is in Vegas and I'm still sitting at this stupid computer in my office.
Erin Stewart has had a birthday recently (she told me she was going to celebrate, but she didn't tell me what day her birthday actually fell upon), so let's all wish her a good one. Many happy returns, Erin!
Mom is staying with me for a few days so she can visit with my uncle, Donald. Uncle Donald is from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and he's a classic Yooper (see, they call the top portion of Michigan the U.P., for Upper Peninsula, and then the locals are called Yoopers, in some kind of bizarre, phonetical derivation of a nickname from U.P.). Anyway, when I say Uncle Donald is a classic Yooper, it means that he just shares a lot of the classic traits that a lot of these extemely backwoods northerners seem to share- he's super friendly and will talk your ear off, he loves to hunt and fish and enjoys all kinds of sports, he really loves a cold beer, he can keep any kind of vehicle running with some duct tape and a wrench, he's a good cook (including his recipes for pasties and cudighi, which are Upper Peninsula favorites), and despite his sort of no-nonsense, practical view of life, he's much more well-read and insightful than you would expect to find in someone from the forest mining towns of Upper Michigan. Like most Yoopers, he also talks with a funny, northern accent (think Fargo- "Oh yah, I got to take da boat to da lake.") Anyway, like the rest of the country, I think the U.P. is becoming more and more homogenized (they have cable T.V., the internet, and Wal-Mart there now, after all), so Uncle Donald is one of a rare, dying breed of Yooper, and I feel kind of lucky to have him in the family (although, like I said, he WILL talk your ear off).
And now for our travesty of the day,
The White House has actually been trying to avoid discussions on global warming and pollution emissions by trying to edit reports in a way that downplays the correlation between global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. They're actually manipulating data so that American pollution will look less harmful. I hate to sound like a broken record, but this is just SO FREAKING TYPICAL. This is yet another example of the Republicans literally believing that they can rewrite reality to make it more accomodating to their anti-enviromental political beliefs. I guess they figure that if they bury their heads in the sand about global warming long enough to line their pockets (with kickback money from pollution-producing big business), they'll be able to afford mansions that float on pontoons so they can just drift away when the polar ice caps melt. The whole argument that global warming hasn't been proven to be linked to greenhouse emissions is beginning to take on the same tone that the tobacco companies had in the eighties and nineties when they argued that smoking had never been proven to cause cancer. While we gathered additional proof for cigarette litigation, millions more people got cancer, and now, while we gather additional proof about global warming for people who have no interest in examining that proof, anyway, the atmosphere of our planet is getting screwed up. Do they really think that the scientists of the world have come up with this model of global warming just to hurt the profits of American big business? I don't get it. Tell George W. that I hope his grandkids have flippers, cause they're gonna need 'em.
p.s.- Remember all of my bitching about Guantanamo Bay? At least I'm in good company...
Carter may have been a mediocre president, but his work in supporting human rights has been exemplary in his post-presidency career. And, ok, maybe Amnesty went a little far when its spokesperson referred to Gauntanamo as a "gulag", but the righteous indignation of the Republicans at hearing such a comparison does nothing to diminish the fact that the place totally sucks ass (the Amnesty guy might have gotten carried away by calling it a gulag, but torture and the absence of legal due process don't exactly invite comparisons to Disney World). I'll throw in with Carter any day before lifting a finger to support Bush....