Alarming News

November 30, 2006

Welcome to Miami (in English this time)

My favorite person, in the whole world, is my brother. I never laugh as hard with anyone as I do with him. He gives me the best advice of all time. He’s so good at cutting through the bullshit that Dawn is planning to write a “Big Book of Ronnieisms”. He’s my bestest friend and even if we have little in common in terms of personality and interests, we are much the same person.

When my mom tells the story of how I was born, how she was in labor for a million hours, the horrible conditions of the hospital, how she was in a room with 4 other screaming women, how the nurse didn’t check on them for hours at a time, how she was given no medication at all, it’s always followed by a “and had we stayed in Russia, Ronnie would never have been born”.

This isn’t an abortion post, believe it or not. This is a “Tancredo has no idea what ‘Third World’ means and he ruins any cogent anti-illegal immigration arguments he makes by referring to Miami as such” post. But we’re going to take the long way around because Dawn Summers says I never tell stories on my blog anymore.

My father had spent his Soviet life looking at a map, wanting to go. There’s a photograph of him in his 20’s, arms crossed, bellbottoms and a wide-collared shirt, map behind him. The second he got freedom his life became seeing as much of the world as possible.

Our first trip, my mother, my father and I, was to Venezuela. I was 6 years old. Our first stop was Caracas. My parents tell stories about me swimming in the pool at the Caracas Hilton, content and happy. We spent a few days there before going to Canaima, the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”. It’s a beautiful place, red water, pink sand, waterfalls. In the nearby town, though, the people live in huts and we too stayed in a hut. It was dirt roads and poverty was painfully obvious to even my 6-year old eyes. I remember the kids playing in the dirt of their schoolyard, their school also a hut.

It was my first time somewhere that could be called “Third World” but it certainly wasn’t my last. Since that trip I’ve been to places on the Amazon river that don’t use currency. I’ve been to a city in Guatamala that smelled entirely of sewage. I’ve seen the barefoot children in Mexico selling chiclets to tourists. I’ve seen towns in the Dominican Republic where every woman was for sale.

So when Tancredo calls Miami a Third World Country, he just seems foolish. And, because I agree with him on much, I feel it makes me look foolish too. I’ve been to Miami over 10 times, I have seen it with other tourists and I have seen it with locals. It is one of America’s great cities and to call it Third World is an insult, and a misplaced one at that.

Furthermore, as Ari pointed out to me yesterday, Tancredo, or some other Congressman, would never get away with calling say, some parts of Kentucky or Mississippi “Third World”. Republicans would be outraged. But the fact that so many of you defended Tancredo in my comment section shows me there is no such outrage when the target is a city. And as a conservative city girl, I’m disappointed.

My final point is this: I don’t want to be like doofy Democrats who make Hitler-Bush comparisons. I like that Republicans generally put together thoughtful criticisms to defend our positions. Calling Miami “Third World” is a leak in his argument against illegal immigration. It shows a lack of understanding of the world situation and how good America actually has it. That’s all. That’s it.

Posted by Karol at 04:40 PM | Comments (26)
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What happens in Vegas….

Remember when I was 85% going to Vegas? Well, the tickets are now booked bringing that percentage to something like 98% (it’s never 100% until you’re there). Dawn and I are going for a Poker Blogger Tournament, leaving a week from today, and are supremely excited about it.

It’s my first time in Sin City so if you’ve got tips or suggestions leave them in the comment section. At the moment the only plan is to eat at the brand new Rao’s restaurant at Caesar’s on Friday (read about my history of trying to eat at Rao’s here) and play in the aformentioned tournament on Saturday.

Posted by Karol at 02:56 PM | Comments (19)
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November 29, 2006

Let’s hope Mr. Todd is right

The National Journal has an interesting piece on the widespread belief that Hillary has the nomination for president all sewn up. Chuck Todd lays out six reasons why her run will be difficult, I find #6 particularly interesting:

President Bush: Welcome to what I believe is the single biggest problem for Clinton. It’s Bush, America’s second “legacy” president. It’s not that any Democratic voter will believe she will be like the younger Bush as president — it’s that Democrats may want to break the cycle of Bush, Clinton, Bush and Clinton. It’s possible voters got the “change” bug out of their system in ‘06, but if not, the fatigue of the same people in charge for a 20-year period (or basically, a generation) is going to be a problem. Clinton’s far from being an outsider. Also, don’t underestimate the polarization fatigue. No matter who started it, the twin-wing hatred of the Bushes on the left and the Clintons on the right may be exhausting the political system. Perhaps that “Rodham” name can be of use after all…

Via Daily Politics.

Oh Sanks G-d

Bill Frist not running for president.

I know a lot of poker players that were going to make his life miserable on the trail for his insistence on the dumb inclusion of an anti-online gambling provision in a port security bill. To me, that’s Frist’s legacy. Sad, too, I had such high hopes for the doctor.

Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but I prefer being a redhead

I mentioned that I was going to old-school it up tonight and go to a grand opening of a club, something I haven’t done in like 10 years. I was feeling lazy after Toby bailed on our plans, but then Dorian Davis got me up and out. We hooked up with the lovely Pretty Numbers and had a good old time.

As promised, here is my wig/fishnets/platform boots picture:

Before heading to the club:
Ok, now really ready

My fishnets and boots:
IMG_0542

Coming home, taking off my wig and deciding I love my red hair best:
I prefer my red hair

K post club

November 28, 2006

“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel, you were talking so brave and so sweet”

I found this really cool blog called “Living with Legends” about living in the Chelsea Hotel, a New York landmark that was home to people like Dylan Thomas and William Burroughs.

I love that place, it always seems so exotic and different from the world outside its doors. I go to Serena, the bar below the hotel, sometimes, but it doesn’t have quite the same vibe.

I mostly go by just to look at the placards outside and try to imagine Leonard Cohen and Janis Joplin on the bed while the limousines wait in the street…

Posted by Karol at 03:02 PM | Comments (15)
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Buenvenidos a Miami

Congressman Tancredo calls Miami a `Third World country’

I like Tancredo, honest, I think he’s a necessary voice against illegal immigration and speaks up when everyone else is silent. But this comment was moronic and Miami, as well as America, deserves an apology.

Miami is an incredible place, beautiful, vibrant, with glorious beaches, fantastic restaurants, a terrific nightlife and a culture to rival any of America’s great metropolises. It’s crime rates are on par with Denver, the capital city of Tancredo’s home state. Additionally, Miami has traditionally been home to the Cuban-American community, a community that has escaped Communism and is dedicated to fighting America’s enemies in Cuba. Are there many other immigrant groups who can say the same–that their goal is to help America defeat its enemies?

To insult Miami is to insult America–Tancredo should apologize.

Posted by Karol at 09:26 AM | Comments (28)
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Abortion is bad

More women have abortions as it loses stigma says the head of Britain’s leading abortion agency [via Drudge]

I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…

Posted by Karol at 08:15 AM | Comments (12)
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Gosh, I wonder where my father will move to when this happens

NYC City Council considering foie gras ban

Posted by Karol at 07:45 AM | Comments (2)
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What prominent New York Democrats believe

Chuck Schumer: “Reaganomics is dead, that the Reagan philosophy is dead”.

Charlie Rangel: “I spoke about the draft at Columbia, Harvard and Brown. These kids don’t even know there’s a war in Iraq.”

To those Republicans out there who voted Democrat or sat this election out to send a message, I blame all of you.

Posted by Karol at 07:38 AM | Comments (9)
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Fixing the bike, fixing your life

I read Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence” when I was 14, the perfect time to read a book so overwrought with meaning. Pirsig gave what he claims is his final interview to The Guardian last Sunday. I just discovered it via Al Daily which Candace, of the defunct but still world-renowned Candied Ginger, claims is the second best blog in the world.

Insomnia

I can not sleep. But, on the plus side, I’ve written 1100 words of a new novel that I will finish.

Posted by Karol at 04:02 AM | Comments (5)
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Since I’m all about the percentages today

There is a 75% chance I will wear a wig, plastic clothes and high platform boots tomorrow to attend the grand opening of Room Service, the new club opened by legends Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny, as I relive my club kid days. I might even do really long fake lashes. And if I do do this, it’s 100% that the pictures will be up on flickr.

UPDATE: I’m not going. :-(

ANOTHER UPDATE: I went!

Posted by Karol at 01:01 AM | Comments (10)
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November 27, 2006

We’re the best, just not in that way.

Many forwarded emails tend to take the shape of “we’re so great” and so I frequently get ones about Americans, women, Jews, even redheads specifically. And, I mean honestly, all those groups are pretty great.

My father sends along one about Jews and right away I am suspicious. Alongside the list of possibly true accomplishments and famous Jews, such as “Olivia Newton John’s Jewish grandfather was a Nobel Prize winning physicist”, there’s this: “Joseph Stalin was originally named Joseph David Djugashvili (translating into “son of a Jew”.) As well, all 3 of the women he married were Jewish.”

Even if Stalin was Jewish, which is absurd, there’s no way that would be a net positive for Jews. I speak Russian. Djugashvili does NOT translate to “son of a Jew”. And, I’ve never heard of Stalin himself being Jewish nor of his any of his wive being Jewish. Googling around for it now, I only find references of it on Nazi and White Supremecist websites.

To be honest, though, I barely noticed the Stalin reference. Alongside other supposed “Jews” like Geraldo Rivera, Winston Churchill and the Roosevelts, you can tell this forward was going to be a little wacky. It’s the end that really caught my attention. The email gives 40 “facts” about Jews, pay particular attention to the turn taken right around fact #40:

35. Fact: Dr. Paul “magic bullet” Ehrlich (Jew) – physician, Nobel Prize in 1908 for curing syphilis.

36. Fact: Armand Hammer (Jew) – “Arm & Hammer,” physician &businessman who originated the largest trade between U. S. and Russia .

37. Fact: Louis Santanel (Jew) was the financier who provided the funds for Columbus ‘ voyage to America .

38. Fact: Sherry Lansing (Jew) of Paramount Pictures, became the first woman president of a major Hollywood studio.

39. Fact: Flo Zigfield (Jew) of “Zigfield Follies,” is the creator of American burlesque.

40. Fact: Jews were the brains behind the Confederacy:

41. Maj. Adolph Proskauer led the unit at Gettysburg .

42. Judah P. Benjamin held 4 cabinet positions: Attorney General, February 25 to September 17, 1861; Secretary of War, September 17, 1861, to March 18, 1862; acting Secretary of War, March 18 to 23, 1862; Secretary of State, March 18, 1862, until the end of the war) and was referred to as “the brains of the confederacy.”

43. Rabbi Max Michelbacher was a confidant and spiritual advisor to General Robert E. Lee.

So, we’re the best, we’re curing diseases, originating trade, inventing burlesque and then we’re…fighting for the south in the Civil War? Say what? Again, googling this has produced mostly white supremacist websites, though I don’t know what they say about it as I refuse to click and give them the traffic.

This email has the feel of one passed along unwittingly by people who would be horrified by it if they actually read it. My father said he glanced at it but didn’t really read it before passing it along. And I’ve found the email reprinted on sites that seem to celebrate Judaism, and it doesn’t look like they realize what they are publishing. So, my advice, read stuff before your forward it, especially to me. I will compulsively check if what it says is true (and it often isn’t).

Posted by Karol at 10:40 PM | Comments (17)
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I’m not even on cough medicine….

….and that woman in the burka looks sort of familiar.

Posted by Karol at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)
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I would spit on Charles Barron if I saw him in the street

I have zero tolerance for racists and racialist antagonists, and City Councilmember Charles “I want to go up to the closest white person and say ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health” Barron is one of the worst in both categories.

We had a tragedy happen over Thanksgiving in NYC, cops killed a man on his wedding day. The man was black so hucksters like Al Sharpton and Barron were immediately on the scene. The cops responsible should be held accountable; 50 shots at unarmed men is 50 shots too many. I don’t think there’s anyone in the city saying anything different.

But Charles Barron won’t be happy until he’s incited a riot:

WNYC: “They’re going to say this is inflammatory… but our people are sick and tired of this, and don’t blame me if there’s an explosion in our community.”

ABC Radio: “There’s no consequences for killing a black person. I am fed-up. I’m not asking my people to do anything passive anymore. We’re going to sit here and we’re going to go in there, and we’re going to pray, we’re going to march, we’re going to do all of that stuff and then we’re going to sit down, and if they don’t respond to none of that, don’t ask us to ask our people to be peaceful while they are being murdered. We’re not the only ones that can bleed.”

Newsday: “It’s still Giuliani time. The mayor will say he’s sorry. He’ll show up to funerals. But he doesn’t change policy. Don’t ask me to be peaceful when they are the ones being murderers.”

Trashy

I love Rightwing Trash, the site that celebrates “conservative thought in film, music, literature, and other lowlife pursuits”.

Check out J.R. Taylor’s excellent posts on Casino Royale and Da Ali G Show.

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