thank you, God

Nomar traded to Cubs

my phone rang almost immediately. long time dodger fan jeff whalen from tsar was on the other end.

“i woke up at 2pm like any normal person,” he said. “and i find out that the world has been turned upside down.”

he went on to tell me that the Dodgers had traded catcher/first basemen Paul LoDuca, reliever Guillermo Mota and outfielder Juan Encarnacion to florida for pitcher Brad Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi and minor league left-hander Bill Murphy in one of the most mindboggling trades in recent history.

while jeff and i continued to wonder aloud why the dodgers hate good catchers (piazza, johnson, and now loduca (who is currently batting .301)) all i could do was contain my disbelief that the cubs had actually pulled off the trade of the day.

the cubs, the chicago cubs, a team that hasnt won a world series since 1908, actually got off their asses and traded for something that they actually needed: one more big bat in streaky, uneven, but potent lineup brimming with potential.

the four way deal went as follows:

boston sent Nomar Garciaparra, powerhitting prospect Matt Murton, and cash to chicago

chicago sent shortstop Alex Gonzalez and reliever Francis Beltran to montreal

chicago sent pitching prospect Justin Jones to minnesota

minnesota sent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to boston

montreal sent shortstop Orlando Cabrera to boston

i still dont believe the cubs great fortune, the sox’s great loss, and the dodgers’s great stupidity.

desipio + bambino’s curse + a view from the bleachers

today we had a farewell party for michelle

our cheif engineer, the brains behind chopper one and several other of the magical machines and devices at the xbi.

michelle is the heart of the company. a devout partier and deadhead, she is the polar opposite of what you’d expect from a mechanical engineer.

her desk is a mess, her bob marley tapestry hangs proudly above her cubicle, and her groovy jams blaring from her speakers.

michelle loves ice cold coke. medium cold coke will not do. therefore dozens of half drunk plastic one liters litter her desk. as do dollar bills, trick staplers that electocute you upon touch, pennies, and a slinky.

shes not leaving the xbi entirely, just our department.

she is moving to the equipment room where she will fiddle with future machines and inventions.

so to celebrate we had a pot luck.

danielle was late to her flower stand this morn, which is bad news for a friday. but she too loves michelle, as we all do, so she picked me up out back in her newly fixed mercedes and we sped to the kfc, as a bucket of chicken was to be my contribution.

every excursion with danielle becomes a photo shoot, and we did get a few good pics in.

when we returned, john woo broke out the turkey mac, someone brought pizzas, someone else brought sandwhiches. there was potato salad, fruit cups, corn dogs, corn, ice cream sandwhiches, home made deserts, pop for the kids, and of course plenty of booze.

crime had a free for all this afternoon as we toasted our favorite dreadlocked engineer and she toasted back wearing a pink boa.

life sometimes is very good.

you forget that during the parts when its very bad, which seems to be all the time at the xbi, but days like today put things into perspective.

a beautiful drunken loving perspective of too much food and so much joy.

bunny has been a blogging fool + 2cents + i aint scared to say it + no, i am not the rudepundit

this week in rock in la

tonight 7/30

mere mortals, spaceland

mini-kiss (pictured), avalon

alanis morissette, greek

suicide girls, knitting factory

dita, dragonfly

kd lang, hollywood bowl

tomorrow 7/31

black sabbath + judas priest + slayer + slipknot, hyundai pavilion

jessica simpson, pacific amphitheatre

kristin hersh, largo

al green, the greek

rick royale, lava lounge

mutual admiration society, roxy

sunday 8/1

heart + lisa loeb, greek

zz top, pacific amphitheare

amoebapalooza (20 bands playing 10 minutes each), king king

monday 8/2

eric clapton, hollywood bowl

the hives, henry fonda

elefant, el rey

abandoned pools, viper room

tuesday 8/3

i love you but i’ve chosen darkness, viper room

the hives, henry fonda

wednesday 8/4

the crickets, house of blues

papa roach, roxy

thursday 8/5

john frusciante, knitting factory

richie havens, santa monica pier (free)

doc searls + flagrant + muscle68

it was cheesy, it was uninspired, it was lame

it didn’t go into many details, it wasn’t passionate, it didn’t sink its teeth into the real reason that people will vote for him, and it didn’t make me want to head off to arizona and register voters in that swing state.

it was as flacid as i expected.

but it didn’t suck.

this has never been a partisan blog. no one owns me. no one.

you can look at george bush and see a retard and not be a liberal.

you can listen to john kerry and doze off and not be a conservative.

the republicans immediately started blogging about how the speech was flat and i wonder, what did they expect?

john kerry has been a senator for twenty years and i doubt he’s ever delivered a great speech. why would the right have thought that tonight would be any different?

people will try to judge kerry on tonight’s speech like speeches mean something.

if speeches meant something then how the hell did bush get even ten votes last time?

yes tonight’s performance was weak, but if gwb could drag a “band of brothers” up there and talk about saving someone’s life during the vietnam freaking war, then his speech could be lame too.

yes tonight’s monologue was awkward and choppy, but if bush hadn’t sent us into a $200 billion war, driving us deeper into a freefall of debt that he started with his ridiculous tax bribes i mean cuts, then his speech could be awkward and choppy too.

yes john kerry sweated up there, and he should, there’s a lot at stake, cuz some idiots actually decide who they will vote for based on canned convention chants like “help is on the way.”

i want a president on the way.

but better, i want someone to get out of the way.

so john kerry’s a well-intentioned dullard and gw bush is a creepy retard. america, this is what you get when you throw out candidates because they paid a maid under the table, or got caught cheating on their wife, or because they’re black and they’re proud, or because they happened to be born female.

milquetoast is the requirement and kerry at the mic and edwards with that fake hair and smile fulfill our crazy standards. unless youre republican, in which case anything goes (cokehead? fine. deserter? mmm-kay. foulmouthed haliburton ceo? kewl!)

to be fair, john kerry did take a few risks and he did score some much-needed points.

he made stem cell research a debate about science and not religion, where it belongs.

Two young bicycle mechanics from Dayton asked what if this airplane could take off at Kitty Hawk? It did that and changed the world forever.

A young president asked what if we could go to the moon in ten years? And now we?re exploring the solar system and the stars themselves.

A young generation of entrepreneurs asked, what if we could take all the information in a library and put it on a little chip the size of a fingernail? We did and that too changed the world forever.

And now it’s our time to ask: What if?

What if we find a breakthrough to cure Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and AIDs?

What if we have a president who believes in science, so we can unleash the wonders of discovery like stem cell research to treat illness and save millions of lives?

he took a nice shot at the saudi crown: “I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation – not the Saudi royal family.”

and he took a very smooth shot at the current cabinet:

I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war.

I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws.

I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders.

And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.

maybe it wasn’t that bad a speech.

maybe it helped that i watched it three times.

maybe even a dull speech by a dull democrat is all that is required to remove a republican who didn’t win the popular vote and probably didn’t even win florida.

but speeches and elections are not what im interested in as much as i care about actions.

when and if kerry wins, i will not expect him to entertain me, or wow me with words, all i care about is the bottom line.

and i doubt that im alone.

and i did like springsteen at the beginning of the speech and u2 at the end.

and yes, im ignoring the van haggar that kicked in right before my tivo stopped recording.

blogumentary + ken layne + jim gilliam + welch n blair

the summer wind blew a little kid’s empty saltine wrapper

danielle treeover the bike path, tumbling across the lush green lawn and nearly into the koi pond before i had a chance to step on it for the little dickens so he could recycle it into his backpocket

which a cartwheel easilly freed.

danielle was scooping out some yogurt complaining that shes going to go mary-kate on my ass and stop eating entirely because shes fat and almost before she could finish her sentence i had popped her good in the thigh

as is our deal for whenever she begins blabbering the ridiculous.

she grabbed her bare leg and laughed and said “good one” acting every bit the masochist that she probably is

although she claims the contrary.

my cell phone vibrated in my pocket and i saw that it was anna kournikova who has blown me off so many times ive lost count.

last time we were supposed to do something she blew me off to console her best friend who was having issues with her boyfriend who was spotted having outdoor public sex with a known strip tease artist

ive seen this womans work and artist is justified in describing her

but all the ladies in the house went omg ewwwwww! a stripper!

and convinced anna that she had to tell her friend that she was going to have to confront the little romeo that the free ride was ending.

and then they talked about how they saw him at Deep, the club at hollywood and vine that nobody goes to anymore because it’s so 2002 with its velvet ropes, skanky hos dancing in the ceilings and walls, and $10 amstel lights.

“i swear to you anna he was doing coke right there at the bar.”

which in certain circles is worse than cheating.

i wouldnt know those circles

all my friends are deeply religious.

or drunkards.

outfoxedso anna turned to me and told me that she had to break our date last night to watch Outfoxed, the fabulous new documentary about how Fox News is slanted blah blah blah. i have it on dvd.

i said, why not tell your friend tomorrow so we can play tonight.

she said, if she has sex with that dirty boy and catches something i would never be able to live with myself.

i said, if theyre having protected sex then everything should be cool.

she said, she’s on the pill and thinks hes being loyal.

i looked at her.

she said, i know i know.

and i said, fine, but it means that we wont see each other for a week cuz im sure you’ll be consoling her for at least that long and she nodded her head and i knew i shoulda banged her in her range rover last week when i had a chance.

when i called her last night she filled me in, telling me that she told her friend about the drugs but not the sex.

“i thought you Had to tell her about the sex so she wouldnt catch something?” i said.

“i didnt have the heart,” she said. “plus shes so distraught that he is a cokehead that she cant even think about sex.”

who are these people you might ask.

fuck if i know, i might reply.

even in the throws of 9/11 i could have gotten it on with the right woman. in fact isnt that how we kept the terrorists from winning? dont tell me you didnt do your part for the country.

so there i was. alone again. pretty much lied to. nobody getting any in all of LA. all cuz one stupid ass cheated on his girl and fucked it up for all of us.

she could tell i was disappointed, and called me back minutes after we hung up.

“i really want to be with you tony. Really. but cheating on enrique makes me cry.”

then dump him i said.

“you know i cant do that.”

all these people who Can’t do certain things. things they know are the right things to do. Can’t stop driving down dead ends. Can’t stop bad relationships that aren’t in the slightest bit full. Can’t tell boyfriends the truth. Can’t stop the devil from saying, “i know hes a loser but tony is a player and since you cant hate the player hate the game.”

so when the little kid saw his forgotten saltines wrapper taking flight near the koi pond it took everything for me not to push him into the water as i passed by.

but i did it anyway.

kalidescope + lick blog + zulieka

for the exception of the hello kitty vibrator

that i got clipper girl’s cousin, i dont buy a lot of sex toys.

does that make me a prude?


people say how creative my mind is, how inventive my ideas are, and yet when it comes to matters of the most intimate of moments, i pretty much do things the old fashioned way: dull.

in out in out up down up down fiddle with this over here fudtz with that over there.

perhaps it was my midwest upbringing.

and so, when i read today that the Alabama law prohibiting the purchase of sex toys was upheld by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it sorta made me want to take a little trip over to the Pleasure Chest in hollywood to stock up before the tide of conservatism hits the west coast.

are sex toys really that dangerous to the moral fibre of this fine land?

more dangerous than guns? which are legal in Alabama?

and why is it that the Appeals court didnt overrule this silly law on the basis of the right of privacy?

and why are people so concerned about what goes on in my bedroom is beyond me. if i used 100 “toys” last night with a variety of young women, i dont see how it is any concern to anyone, let alone the nation.

as long as everything is consensual and everyone is satisfied i dont see how the purchase and use of sex toys is any way damaging to the union.

meanwhile i assume that whipped cream and cucumbers are still legal to purchase in ‘bama, but by law those should be banned as well.

therefore i suppose the only way that we could help get guns off the streets in alabama would be to start a fetish where people started using them in a sexual way.

hopefully if such a protest occured, people would have the good sense to unload the side arm or rifle before they committed the act.

unless they wanted to demonize the bullets as well.

canada, your way of life is looking smarter and smarter with each passing day.

add the busblog to your MyYahoo page and each post will be updated to your page automatically.

i dont know why i keep underestimating Al Sharpton.

maybe it was the running suits he wore back in the day, or the twana brawley fiasco, or the way he straightens his hair.

but tonight he did all the things that i was hoping obama would do last night. and he did it better than anyone had done over the last three days, other than former president clinton.

rev. al did the six minutes at the mic that he agreed that he would do, and it began like this:

Tonight I want to address my remarks in two parts.

One, I’m honored to address the delegates here.

Last Friday, I had the experience in Detroit of hearing President George Bush make a speech. And in the speech, he asked certain questions. I hope he’s watching tonight. I would like to answer your questions, Mr. President.

To the chairman, our delegates, and all that are assembled, we’re honored and glad to be here tonight.

I’m glad to be joined by supporters and friends from around the country. I’m glad to be joined by my family, Kathy, Dominique, who will be 18, and Ashley.

We are here 228 years after right here in Boston we fought to establish the freedoms of America. The first person to die in the Revolutionary War is buried not far from here, a Black man from Barbados, named Crispus Attucks.

Forty years ago, in 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party stood at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City fighting to preserve voting rights for all America and all Democrats, regardless of race or gender.

Hamer’s stand inspired Dr. King’s march in Selma, which brought about the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Twenty years ago, Reverend Jesse Jackson stood at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, again, appealing to the preserve those freedoms.

Tonight, we stand with those freedoms at risk and our security as citizens in question.

I have come here tonight to say, that the only choice we have to preserve our freedoms at this point in history is to elect John Kerry the president of the United States.

I stood with both John Kerry and John Edwards on over 30 occasions during the primary season. I not only debated them, I watched them, I observed their deeds, I looked into their eyes. I am convinced that they are men who say what they mean and mean what they say.

I’m also convinced that at a time when a vicious spirit in the body politic of this country that attempts to undermine America’s freedoms — our civil rights, and civil liberties — we must leave this city and go forth and organize this nation for victory for our party and John Kerry and John Edwards in November.

And let me quickly say, this is not just about winning an election. It’s about preserving the principles on which this very nation was founded.

Look at the current view of our nation worldwide as a results of our unilateral foreign policy. We went from unprecedented international support and solidarity on September 12, 2001, to hostility and hatred as we stand here tonight. We can’t survive in the world by ourselves.

How did we squander this opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to a global fight against hunger and disease?

This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women’s rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of civil and women rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years.

I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in ’54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.

and then he went off-script.

he freestyled, he came from the heart, he bit into president bush with passion, and he answered the foolish questions that the president asked last week to african-american voters in his pitiful attempt to get the black vote.

here’s how al responded:

Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question.

You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.

That’s where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

We didn’t get the mule. So we decided we’d ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn’t come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn’t gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men (inaudible) soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us.

This vote can’t be bargained away.

This vote can’t be given away.

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.

And there’s a whole generation of young leaders that have come forward across this country that stand on integrity and stand on their traditions, those that have emerged with John Kerry and John Edwards as partners, like Greg Meeks, like Barack Obama, like our voter registration director, Marjorie Harris, like those that are in the trenches.

And we come with strong family values. Family values is not just those with two-car garages and a retirement plan. Retirement plans are good. But family values also are those who had to make nothing stretch into something happening, who had to make ends meet.

I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table.

But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you’re going. That’s family values.

And I wanted somebody in my community — I wanted to show that example. As I ran for president, I hoped that one child would come out of the ghetto like I did, could look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and know they didn’t have to be a drug dealer, they didn’t have to be a hoodlum, they didn’t have to be a gangster, they could stand up from a broken home, on welfare, and they could run for president of the United States.

As you know, I live in New York. I was there September 11th when that despicable act of terrorism happened.

A few days after, I left home, my family had taken in a young man who lost his family. And as they gave comfort to him, I had to do a radio show that morning. When I got there, my friend James Entome (ph) said, Reverend, we’re going to stop at a certain hour and play a song, synchronized with 990 other stations.

I said, That’s fine.

He said, We’re dedicating it to the victims of 9/11.

I said, What song are you playing?

He said America the Beautiful. The particular station I was at, the played that rendition song by Ray Charles.

As you know, we lost Ray a few weeks ago, but I sat there that morning and listened to Ray sing through those speakers, Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains’ majesty across the fruited plain.

And it occurred to me as I heard Ray singing, that Ray wasn’t singing about what he knew, because Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn’t seen many purple mountains. He hadn’t seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

Mr. President, we love America, not because all of us have seen the beauty all the time.

But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.

Starting in November, let’s make America beautiful again.

the crowd was on its feet during this second half. as blown away as i was.

now we know why the Instapundit, the world’s most powerful and most popular political blogger took the night off to drink beer and told his readers to do the same, instead of watching a few hours of the convention.

because sometimes loose cannons like rev. sharpton have an uncanny knack of hitting their target square when the nation is watching.

sad thing is al isnt young, thin, mild-mannered, or without sin.

so his A+ power, elequence, and soul tonight will be ignored, over-looked and discarded, while obama’s B+ performance will continue to be lauded.

until he becomes a real threat.

and when that day comes dont be suprised if the instapundit starts into some serious drinking.

entire speech + sk smith + new blogger showcase + baldilocks


the apple ipod experiment is now over!

20. steve, $11.99

21. anonymous, $5

22. brian, $10

23. rene, $40

24. apple $63

yes, thats right Apple themself contacted me and told me that they would give me 15% off!

wtf is that all about!?!?!?!

i’ll tell you what its about, its about the unbelievable mystical powers of the blog.

which is real.

i keep telling you people that theres something magical about this crazy lil thing, and there is.

and i thank each and every one of you for being a part of it.

its wonderful, and in 2-3 days i will have my little music machine in my grasp and i will take a picture and show you what i got engraved on the back.

i think you will be pleased.

thanks again nice people, i feel blessed.

kirsten dunst came over last night

to watch barack obama with me. he was speaking at the dem convention.

if you dont know barack youre not alone.

currently he is an illinois state senator who is what many are calling the Future of the democratic party.

in fact he is so badass that he is running for US Senator and nobody will run against him, not even Mike Ditka who has never been afraid to take on any challenge ever.

Illinios is in love with Ditka. the SNL sketch that starred Chris Farley isn’t too far from the truth. people would take a bullet for the Coach.

but given the opportunity to vote for Barack or the former Bear coach who beautifully put together the super bowl shuffle team of 1985 that included sweetness, mcmahon, dent, armstrong, and singletary… the masses are still willing to vote for Barack.

18. buzznet $40

19. san diego blog $11

well kirsten and i watched the new kid in town and he wasnt bad.

but to be honest, he wasnt all that amazing.

id seen him in an interview a week ago with Chris Matthews and one-on-one he was mellow, sober, logical, well-spoken, and politically correct.

when asked why he felt that he was justified to disagree with Kerry and many of the other US Senators who backed the war on Iraq, he simply said that based on the information that he had access to he felt it was an unneccessary war, but he admitted that the Senate had much more information than he had.

last night however, kirsten and i noticed that he was a little uncomfortable in the spotlight of the nation. his hands were shaking, his gestures seemed unnatural, his volume wavered, and his message seemed muddled.

except for at the very begining and at the very end.

and during those moments we could easilly see what Illinois and Ditka saw: promise, hope, intelligence, and power. But delivered with a tone of reasonableness and sensibility.

“he doesn’t even sound black,” kirsten said blazing through the bowl hagen-dass rocky road.

here’s how Sen. Obama began:

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place; America which stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before. While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor he signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army and marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential. They are both passed away now. Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody’s son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted – or at least, most of the time.

then he got a little shaky, although the crowd hung in there with him. kirsten and i didnt. i yawned. she sat at the edge of her seat waiting for a lightening bolt of magic to fly from his mouth. maybe she was hoping for a young clinton, but black, and less of a skirt-chaser? she wouldnt get any of that.

until the end.

Now let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. And he knows it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper – that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism here – the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

the future might not be now. but it’s there and its nice to see it coming from a man of color, and a reasonable man from my home state.

flagrant + layne + the many sides of gregory vaine + the metafilter kids ate it up

soooooo close

the ipod goal is $399 for the new 40 GB ipod with better battery life and all that jazz.

after just two days it’s only $160 away.

this experiment was only supposed to annoy you for one day. im sorry it has taken so long, and to prove that i mean it i promise that this silly little shakedown will end tomorrow night (wednesday).

i appreciate everyone being so cool about this, especially those of you who have flowed, including the following who donated their hard earned greenbacks today

13. Jim H. $10

14. kimbalina $10

15. josh $10

16. jonathan S. $10

17. David M. $20