...just at the edge of the community on the way into town right before you reach Spring Lake Country Club. It's only about two acres square but it's TEEMING with life.
I use to go there LOTS to be alone and push over rotted saplings. (They make such a wonderful sound when they crack at the stump.) Saplings often rot there due to the ground being always damp in that area.
Well, I walked to the gas station yesterday and there was a sign right in front of the little patch of woodsannouncing that the area would soon be home to a 24 hour gas station/conveniance store to be completed by spring of next year.
I never made it to the gas station. Instead I turned back and cursed all the way home. When I told Lora about this horrible atrocity that was about to occur her reply was...
"Oh, cool. Now you won't have to walk so far to the store."
It was certainly NOT what I wanted to hear. So I told dead grandma, hoping that we could put aside our fighting because she, too, loved that patch of woods, but instead of helping me think of a way to stop this she's spent the last six hours having a fit up in my attic. (MY attic because that's where I keep all my horror stuff.)
On top of that, you'll never guess who came knock knock KNOCKING at my door this morning; SCOTT AMES!!!
Scott Ames was my first/last/only boyfriend. I couldn't believe my eyes when I recognized him. First thought; grab a knife and STAB him. But seeing as how that's usually my first thought to every sitch, I went to my second thought.
Okay, second thought was also to stab him, but it continued with dragging him into the cellar and disembowling him then rolling around in his intestines whilst screaming, " HAHA! FUCK ME THEN BRAG TO YOUR FRIENDS WONTCHA! WHO HAS THE LAST LAUGH NOW, BIOATCH!!!"
"Sara," said he, snapping me out of my daydream. Third thought; yell for Lora! (I always seem to rely on that lately.) But instead I, for some reason unknown, pretended I didn't recognize him.
To make a long story short, Scott has recently been saved/reborn/whatEVA and felt that he needed to make peace with his past. I let him talk for about ten minutes and he pretty much poured his little Jesus lovin' heart out. Said how sorry he was for what he did and that he hurt me.
Now, there was a lot of thoughts going thru my mind right then. (The foremost one STILL being to stab him.) I could easily have said things to make him feel bad and reallyreallyREALLY wanted to, but then Lora came down, recognized him immediately (We all went to school together after all.) and said...
"WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS LOSER WANT!"
I couldn't help myself, I laughed out, "To apologize." and could NOT stop laughing!!!
I laughed my butt off right there in this poor guys face while he was trying to be an honorable man and nothing he said, and he was saying LOTS, I just couldn't stop.
Lora finally pushed me aside and thanked Scott for being a man and said goodbye and I was still laughing. Very few things have ever been so funny to me.
Okay, speaking of guys; My sister Analie recently hired a guy to work at the resale shop with her and Lora. His name is Mark and he's 19, long brown hair, pretty green eyes, very cute, and smiles ALL THE TIME!
He's an absolute DOLL and when I wnt to the shop and saw him and Lora working together I noticed that she was very nice and almost flirting with him. (Almost.)
So that night I made a suggestion to Lora that maaaaybe...he could move in with us. And YES, I do mean for SEXUAL purposes. Well, Lora wasn't 100% against the ideal (80% probably.) however, the talk soon turned to moving another girl in with us.
I'll letcha know what happens with that.
Last thought for tonight; My new counter says that I'm getting 50-75 visits every day yet no one is commenting. :(
Hey fellow bloggers! Some EXCELLENT tools for you!
Sitemeter.com gives you a free visit counter for your site. After an easy sign up they email you a login and allow you to choose the counter you want. Paste the html code into your site and you not only get an accurate count of how many visitors you get but sitemeter will also email you the details daily. Plus you can log into their site and get info about your visitors, such as what sites they're coming from before visiting yours and what part of the world they live in. Even down to the exact city.
By World Map
By Entry Pages
By Exit Pages
It also gives you ways to increase your traffic and a few other interesting tools. I'm TOTALLY impressed with this site meter!
Even more, I've never once had to log into sitemeter. Just click on the link in the email they send and it takes you right to your sitemeter control panel.
You can check out what one of the site meters looks like at the top of my blog (The link is at the bottom of my sig.) I've ad over 120 visitors in two days! :D (If you need help on where to put the html code just pm me and I'll send you the info.)
Blogger for Word, from blogspot.com
This works with Microsoft Word so you can work on blog entries while offline. I haven't used this much but if you use blogger.com then this tool helps with all the confusing stuff. You can get this from blogger.com or from this rapidshare link.
The Bloggers Handbook
A .pdf file (Adobe) with a ton of helpful hints on all aspects of blogging. http://rapidshare.de/files/7930256/handbook_bloggers_cyberdissidents-GB.pdf.html
Prominent Conservative Leader: Government in Hands of Psychopaths
May stage terror attacks
Alex Jones & Paul Joseph Watson
Former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts expressed his dire warning that the US government has fallen into the hands of psychopaths and that the Neo-Cons in the Bush administration may be set to stage another terror attack in the US as part of a black operation to demolish growing dissent and coerce the public to rally behind the government once again.
During an interview with the Alex Jones Show, Roberts cited a Capitol Hill Blue article concerning a leaked memo circulating between top Republican leaders.
The memo outlines potential strategies to bring their agenda back online, including the capture of Osama bin Laden, a drastic turnaround in the economy or a resolution of the war in Iraq.
The most alarming option includes a terrorist attack that would validate the President's war on terror and "restore his image as leader of he American people."
This document adds to the mountainous pile of smoking gun evidence of government complicity in staged terror attacks and other false flag operations. It has now been declassified, as we already knew, that the Gulf of Tonkin never happened. It was staged to get us into Vietnam. Operation Northwoods was the official US government plan to carry out 9/11 style attacks against the American people and blame it on foreign enemies as a pretext for war.
Publicly published PNAC documents before 9/11 had saliva stains all over them as Dick Cheney and others talked about helpful Pearl Harbor attacks.
Roberts went further than he has ever gone before in stating that the Neo-Cons were worse than Hitler and Stalin because they publicly embrace torture and pre-emptive war, something that past despots at least tried to hide.
As the Senate bill to block torture is blocked by Bush and Cheney, the promotion of torture in official circles continues.
US National Security advisor Stephen Hadley refused to rule out torture in the case of an imminent attack, telling CNN's Late Edition that there are cases where the Bush administration's empty pledge not to torture would apply.
George Bush' repeated statements of "we do not torture" would certainly ring hollow to the thousands of disappeared individuals, now subject to God knows what in secret ex-Soviet gulag camps all over the Eastern Bloc.
And also to those subject to torture mastermind Donald Rumsfeld's Copper Green program, which manifested itself with arbitrary rape and fatal beatings at Camp X-ray and Abu Ghraib.
Paul Craig Roberts said that the US government is in the hands of dangerous psychopaths who are a disgrace to the human race and who should be arrested as war criminals and turned over the the Hague.
Roberts outlined his conviction that the torture program was not set up to gain any kind of real information from accused detainees because torture is renowned for extracting useless and false information. The real reason for the torture is to make the terrorists implicate themselves and thus create the perception of a real terrorist threat.
This is exactly the process in Uzbekistan, where the government was caught torturing innocent people into confession and then using the confessions as evidence that the government needed to crack down on terror.
Roberts said that the CIA was aware that the vast majority of detainees are not terrorists, proven by the fact that Pakistani gangsters admitted to rounding up innocent people in street sweeps and selling them to the US government as terrorists for anything up to $25,000. These people are now at Guantanamo Bay.
Roberts pointed out that only nine so-called terrorists have been brought to trial and none have been convicted. Why do individuals have to be held for four years without trial if there is proof that they can be convicted with? Army interrogators have gone public with their frustrations that these people are obviously not terrorists but they are still ordered to keep them. Images of mass ranks of terrorists are pure lies on the part of the insane Neo-Cons.
People who refuse to torture and blow the whistle on it, like General Janis Karpinsky and Rick Baccus are ejected and replaced with cadres of torture teams willing to do the dirty work. Roberts that these torture teams would be turned loose on US citizens before long.
Roberts said that America is the most hated nation on earth by design and that the military is completely out of control. The barbarism in Iraq practiced by the US occupational government will live in infamy when it is historically judged by hindsight.
Paul Craig Roberts is part of a crescendo of credible voices stepping forward to blow the whistle on the megalomaniacs in the White House as the insanity of the US government reaches unprecedented levels.
Outfoxed! The story of how Fox News is destroying journalism and spreading facist propaganda. Watch Outfoxed online here free, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7798.htm
Myspace.com is all the rage. All the cool kids are at myspace. I've had a profile there for some time (
http://www.myspace.com/xsaraxpoex ) but never used it till recently.
Quick shout out to some of my myspace friends that have contacted me to let me know they're on, too.
My beautiful and sexy Scottish cousin, Jessica. I think she's the one that got me to register. I love this pic of her standing on the spot where Joan of Arc was burned to death.
MOONSPIDER! I think that if I were EVER have sex with a GUY it would probably be...No, wait. Penis is icky so nevermind.
The "Mind of Steel" Warren Ellis. Warren is a genius when it comes to his writing. Also a very extreme soul. Check out his webste and some of his work and you will NOT be disappointed. http://www.warrenellis.com/
And my newest, Eyeliner_Junkie Jo. I first met Jo a year or so ago and we lost contact. I don't know much about her YET, except she's a raven haired DOLL (I LOVE dark haired girls!) and her girlfriend is a singer with an amazing voice.
Check out Jo's girlfriend, Claire Toomey, and listen to her music. She's really got a sweet voice. http://www.clairetoomey.com/
I don't spend a lot of time at myspace but since it could help me hide the fact that I'm a HUGE nerdy geek I'll probably be there more often.
I made this little pic showing the basic design of the community I live in. This isn't to scale and is lacking realism but it's the best I could do with limited art skills.
1. The McCullough House; My family home and where I currently live.
2. Annalara Bishop's house and garden.
3. The Poe House; Where my step-dad, baby brother and two sisters live.
4. Horse Stables
5. Elder Malcom and his wife Vivian's house.
7. The Montclair House; Where my best friend Kayte's family lives.
8. My enemy, Erica St Croix and the dog I poisoned lives here.
9. The Community Center
10. Drunk Jacob's house
The rest of the houses shown are other neighbors I don't associate with much. (Except number 18, which is a roadside market the community owns.) There are a few dozen other houses but not in this part of the community. Plus there are farms and corn fields we own to the north of us.
My Latest "Wrestling With Sara" Post, http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?p=1034812#post1034812
Question: What is a sonofabitch, exactly?
Quite often we ask ourselves hard to answer questions, like, "What is a sonofabitch?" The only true thing is that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this photo, the guy on the right is a member of a bomb squad in midst of a deactivation. The guy behing him, well, he's a sonofabitch.
| You scored as Neo, the "One". Neo is the computer hacker-turned-Messiah of the Matrix. He leads a small group of human rebels against the technology that controls them. Neo doubts his ability to lead but doesn't want to disappoint his friends. His goal is for a world where all men know the Truth and are free from the bonds of the Matrix. |
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
I don't eve like Neo. :( At least my number two is Batman! WOOHOO!!!
Oh, Agric pointed out that I set my blog to only accept comments from other bloggers. I fixed that so anyone can post.
More Music Videos!!! HUNDREDS!!!
Guess where I've been?
Yeppers, Sara Poe went to Wisconsin on a mission of unity. People that read my blog know that I live in a Gardnerian community that has links with several other samesuch communities throughout America. The oldest such community, located in Maine, has been declining in population over the last decade and people have been very worried about that.
Another community in Wisconsin(I visited it once a few years ago.)has also been in decline but for far longer and under far worse conditions.
So not too long ago I suggested to my stepdad that maybe the two communities should join together and be as one. I never thought I would be taken seriously but when my stepdad told me that he had presented my ideal to our Elders along with both the aforementioned communities, AND THEY LIKED IT!
He asked me to go along with him to Wisconsin to help convince the people there that this would be a good thing. I, being part of one of the original families to found THIS community, am expected to eventually take a more active role in community decisions and going ons, so I agreed.
I hated it there because it seems like they haven't let modern technology into their lives (Meaning; NO INTERNET!) but went and observed all that went on regarding my ideal.
To make a long story short, my stepdad is currently in Maine and if the people there agree then they will be accepting 48 new members to their community from the one in Wisconsin.
Along with financial support and several people from my community going there to help with the transition, everyone thinks this ideal will work out VERY well and I am proud that I was a part of it.
On a side note, I also suggested that the Maine community become isolationists (We have an Amish community about a mile from here which gave me the ideal.)but that was shot down rather quickly.
I was in Wisconsin when news that WWE wrestler Eddie Guerrero had died. He was much loved by wrestling fans everywhere and will be missed. Here's to you, Eddie. You will be very, VERY missed.
20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA
by Angry Girl Nightweed.com
Did you know....
1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
11. Diebold is based in Ohio.
12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.
14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here: http://blackboxvoting.org/baxter/baxterVPR.mov.)
17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
NOTE: Please copy the above list and distribute freely!
LET THE FACTS BE KNOWN! Thank you!
Want a cheap, fair, reliable, and efficient alternative? It exists!
Check out the Swiss Voting System at http://www.swissvs.org
DECEMBER 2004 GALLUP POLLS
1 in 5 Americans believe the elections were fraudulent. That's over 41 Million Americans. You are NOT alone!
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT? Get educated. Tell your friends what's going on. Go visit http://VelvetRevolution.US
GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor Print this page
As if the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby wasn’t enough to give the White House some heavy concerns, a report from the Government Accounting Office takes a big bite out of the Bush clique’s pretense of legitimacy.
This powerful and probing report takes a hard look at the election of 2004 and supports the contention that the election was stolen. The report has received almost no coverage in the national media.
The GAO is the government’s lead investigative agency, and is known for rock-solid integrity and its penetrating and thorough analysis. The agency’s agreement with what have been brushed aside as “conspiracy theories” adds even more weight to the conclusion that the Bush regime has no business in the White House whatever.
Almost a year ago, Rep. John Conyers, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the GAO to investigate the use of electronic voting machines in the Nov. 2, 2004, presidential election. That request was made as a flood of protests from Ohio and elsewhere deluged Washington with claims that shocking irregularities were common in that vote and were linked to the machines.
CNN said the Judiciary Committee got more than 57,000 complaints after Bush’s claimed re-election. Many were made under oath in a series of statements and affidavits in public hearings and investigations carried out in Ohio by the Free Press and other groups seeking to maintain transparent elections.
Online Journal.com reported that the GAO report stated that “some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes.”
This is the only democratic nation that permits private partisan companies to count and tabulate the vote in secret, using privately-held software. The public is excluded from the process. Rev. Jesse Jackson and others have declared that “public elections must not be conducted on privately-owned machines.” The makers of nearly all electronic voting machines are owned by conservative Republicans.
The chief executive of Diebold, one of the major suppliers of electronic voting machines, Warren “Wally” O’Dell, went on record in the 2004 campaign vowing to deliver Ohio and the presidency to George W. Bush.
In Ohio, Bush won by only 118,775 votes out of more than 5.6 million cast. Honest election advocates contend that O’Dell’s statement to hand Ohio’s vote to Bush still stands as a clear indictment of an apparently successful effort to steal the White House.
Some of the GAO’s findings are: 1. Some electronic voting machines “did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected.” In short, the machines; provided a way to manipulate the outcome of the election. In Ohio, more than 800,000 votes were cast on electronic voting machines, some registered seven times Bush’s official margin of victory.
2: the report further stated that: “it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works, so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate.” Very many sworn statements and affidavits claim that did happen in Ohio in 2004.
Next, the report says, “Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.” The GAO found that falsifying election results without leaving evidence of doing so by using altered memory cards could easily be done.
The GAO additionally found that access to the voting network was very easy to compromise because not all electronic voting systems had supervisory functions protected by password. That meant access to one machine gave access to the whole network. That critical finding showed that rigging the election did not take a “widespread conspiracy” but simply the cooperation of a small number of operators with the power to tap into the networked machines. They could thus alter the vote totals at will. It therefore was no big task for a single programmer to flip vote numbers to give Bush the 118,775 votes.
Another factor in the Ohio election was that access to the voting network was also compromised by repeated use of the same user ID, coupled with easy-to-guess passwords. Even amateur hackers could have gotten into the network and changed the vote.
System locks were easily picked, and keys were easy to copy, so gaining access to the system was a snap.
One digital machine model was shown to have been networked in such a rudimentary manner that if one machine experienced a power failure, the entire network would go down. That is too fragile a system to decide the presidency of the United States.
Problems obviously exist with security protocols and screening methods for vendor personnel.
The GAO study clearly shows that no responsible business would operate with a computer system as flimsy, fragile and easily manipulated as the one used in the 2004 election.
These findings are even more damning when we understand the election in Ohio was run by a secretary of state who also was co-chairman of Bush’s Ohio campaign. Far from the conclusion of anti-fraud skeptics, the GAO’s findings confirm that the network, which handled 800,000 Ohio votes, was vulnerable enough to permit a handful of purposeful operatives to turn the entire election by means of personal computers using comparatively simple software.
One Ohio campaign operative, Tom Noe, a coin dealer, was indicted Oct. 27 for illegally funneling $45,400 to Bush by writing checks to others, who then wrote checks to Bush’s re-election campaign, allegedly dodging the $2,000 limit on contributions by an individual.
“It’s one of the most blatant and excessive finance schemes we have encountered,” said Noel Hillman, section chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s public integrity section, as quoted in the Kansas City Star.
In the 2000 election, Florida was the key; in the 2004 election, Ohio was the key.
From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue
George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography
Read it here, http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm
We're Number One!!! NOT!!!
The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
"The International Adult Literacy Survey...found that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). No wonder they relocate elsewhere!
"The European Union leads the U.S. in...the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).
"Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).
Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation. The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004). We're not the place to be anymore.
The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th." In the fairness of health care, we're 54th. "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.
"The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country? Anyway, that's the company we're keeping.
Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)
"U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower" (The European Dream, p.81). Been to Mexico lately? Does it look "developed" to you? Yet it's the only "developed" country to score lower in childhood poverty.
Twelve million American families--more than 10 percent of all U.S. households--"continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves." Families that "had members who actually went hungry at some point last year" numbered 3.9 million (NYT, Nov. 22, 2004).
The United States is 41st in the world in infant mortality. Cuba scores higher (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
Women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005).
The leading cause of death of pregnant women in this country is murder (CNN, Dec. 14, 2004).
"Of the 20 most developed countries in the world, the U.S. was dead last in the growth rate of total compensation to its workforce in the 1980s.... In the 1990s, the U.S. average compensation growth rate grew only slightly, at an annual rate of about 0.1 percent" (The European Dream, p.39). Yet Americans work longer hours per year than any other industrialized country, and get less vacation time.
"Sixty-one of the 140 biggest companies on the Global Fortune 500 rankings are European, while only 50 are U.S. companies" (The European Dream, p.66). "In a recent survey of the world's 50 best companies, conducted by Global Finance, all but one were European" (The European Dream, p.69).
"Fourteen of the 20 largest commercial banks in the world today are European.... In the chemical industry, the European company BASF is the world's leader, and three of the top six players are European. In engineering and construction, three of the top five companies are European.... The two others are Japanese. Not a single American engineering and construction company is included among the world's top nine competitors. In food and consumer products, Nestlé and Unilever, two European giants, rank first and second, respectively, in the world.
In the food and drugstore retail trade, two European companies...are first and second, and European companies make up five of the top ten. Only four U.S. companies are on the list" (The European Dream, p.68).
The United States has lost 1.3 million jobs to China in the last decade (CNN, Jan. 12, 2005).
U.S. employers eliminated 1 million jobs in 2004 (The Week, Jan. 14, 2005).
Three million six hundred thousand Americans ran out of unemployment insurance last year; 1.8 million--one in five--unemployed workers are jobless for more than six months (NYT, Jan. 9, 2005).
Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea hold 40 percent of our government debt. (That's why we talk nice to them.) "By helping keep mortgage rates from rising, China has come to play an enormous and little-noticed role in sustaining the American housing boom" (NYT, Dec. 4, 2004). Read that twice. We owe our housing boom to China, because they want us to keep buying all that stuff they manufacture.
Sometime in the next 10 years Brazil will probably pass the U.S. as the world's largest agricultural producer. Brazil is now the world's largest exporter of chickens, orange juice, sugar, coffee, and tobacco.
Last year, Brazil passed the U.S. as the world's largest beef producer. (Hear that, you poor deluded cowboys?) As a result, while we bear record trade deficits, Brazil boasts a $30 billion trade surplus (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
As of last June, the U.S. imported more food than it exported (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn't show up: 79,279,000 (NYT, Dec. 26, 2004). That's more than a third. Way more. If more than a third of Iraqis don't show for their election, no country in the world will think that election legitimate.
One-third of all U.S. children are born out of wedlock. One-half of all U.S. children will live in a one-parent house (CNN, Dec. 10, 2004).
"Americans are now spending more money on gambling than on movies, videos, DVDs, music, and books combined" (The European Dream, p.28).
"Nearly one out of four Americans [believe] that using violence to get what they want is acceptable" (The European Dream, p.32).
Forty-three percent of Americans think torture is sometimes justified, according to a PEW Poll (Associated Press, Aug. 19, 2004).
"Nearly 900,000 children were abused or neglected in 2002, the last year for which such data are available" (USA Today, Dec. 21, 2004).
"The International Association of Chiefs of Police said that cuts by the [Bush] administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever" (USA Today, Nov. 17, 2004).
No. 1? In most important categories we're not even in the Top 10 anymore. Not even close. The USA is "No. 1" in nothing but weaponry, consumer spending, debt, and delusion.
Reprinted from the Austin Chronicle.