Friday, December 31, 2004

end of the world year

Fred Clark over at slacktivist has been posting on the "Left Behind" series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins for over a year.

The apocalyptic heresies rampant in American evangelicalism are more popular than ever.

It's easy to dismiss these loopy ideas as a lunatic fringe, but that would be a mistake. The widespread popularity of this End Times mania has very real and very dangerous consequences, for America and for the church.

Left Behind archives.

the scarred, the maimed, the tormented

The reality of the suffering in Iraq has been rendered invisible by media hype and partisan battle. One doctor, who has treated some of the thousands, speaks about the war wounded.

Gene Bolles has seen more than his fair share of human suffering. Two years in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center – the U.S. military hospital in Germany that receives all injured soldiers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan – is no doctor's dream job, especially not if you are a neurosurgeon who specializes in brain and spinal injuries – the kind that can destroy a 19-year-old kid's life. Yet as he speaks of the shattered soldiers who were once his charge, Bolles is neither overwrought nor angry.

The soft-spoken 62-year-old civilian speaks not of politics but of humanity – the terrible toll imposed by all wars, unjust or otherwise, on all involved, soldier or civilian. He speaks not of blame but of compassion and duty – our duty as a nation to pay attention and tend to the young men and women we ask to sacrifice life or limb in battle. At a time when the reality of the suffering in Iraq has been rendered invisible by media hype and partisan battle, Gene Bolles remains a steadfast advocate for the scarred, the maimed, and the tormented – whose numbers are far, far greater than what the Bush administration would like to admit.

photo essays of the wounded here, here and here.

friday elfgirl blogging

say hello to

No Insurance Card

Thursday, December 30, 2004

2005 Rollergirl Bouts

So far six Rollergirl Leagues have announced their 2005 bout schedules. Mark your calendars.

Arizona Roller Derby

  • January 8th: Bruisers vs. Surly Gurlies
  • January 14th: "away" game, Details TBA
  • February 12th: St. Valentine's Massacre: Surly Gurlies vs Smashers
  • March 12th: Smashers vs. Bad News Beaters
  • March 27th: Matinee Bruisers vs. Tucson Roller Derby
  • April 9th: Championship Pre-Qualifier: Surly Gurlies vs. Bad News Beaters
  • May 14th: Championship Pre-Qualifier: Smashers vs. Bruisers
  • June 11th: Championship Game: April winner vs. May winner
Kansas City Roller Warriors
  • January 22nd: Exhibition Bout
  • March 19th: Game 1
  • April 23rd: Game2
  • May 21st: Game 3
  • June 25th: Championship Bout
Mad Rollin' Dolls
  • January 30th
  • February 20th
  • March 27th
  • April 24th
Lonestar Rollergirls
  • February 13th: Holy Rollers vs. All Scar Army
  • March 6th: Rhinestone Cowgirls vs. Cherry Bombs
  • April 3rd: Holy Rollers vs. Putas del Fuego
  • April 24th: Hellcats vs. Rhinestone Cowgirls
  • May 15th: Cherry Bombs vs. Putas del Fuego
  • June 5th: Holy Rollers vs. Hellcats
  • June 26th: Rhinestone Cowgirls vs. Putas del Fuego
  • September 11th: Cherry Bombs vs. Holy Rollers
  • September 25th: Hellcats vs. Putas del Fuego
  • October 9th: Rhinestone Cowgirls vs. Holy Rollers
  • October 23rd: Cherry Bombs vs. Hellcats
  • November 13th: Calvello Cup World Championships
Tucson Roller Derby
  • February 19th: VICE Squad vs. Furious Truckstop Waitresses
  • March 5th: Iron Curtain vs. VICE Squad
Texas Rollergirls
  • April 4th: Hustlers vs. Honky Tonk Heartbreakers
    / Hell Marys vs. Hotrod Honeys
  • April 24th: Honky Tonk Heartbreakers vs. Hell Marys
    / Hotrod Honeys vs. Hustlers
  • May 15th: Hotrod Honeys vs. Honky Tonk Heartbreakers
    / Hustlers vs. Hell Marys
  • June 5th: Honky Tonk Heartbreakers vs. Hustlers
    / Hell Marys vs. Hotrod Honeys
  • June 26th: Hell Marys vs. Honky Tonk Heartbreakers
    / Hotrod Honeys vs. Hustlers
  • July 17th: Hotrod Honeys vs. Honky Tonk Heartbreakers
    / Hustlers vs. Hell Marys
  • August 7th: Championship!

support your local rollergirl

Minnesota Rollergirls to debut four teams

The Minnesota Rollergirls will debut their four teams with a mini roller derby bout on January 16, 2005.

  • When: Jan. 16, 2005
  • Where: First Ave (Downtown Minneapolis)
  • Time: 9pm Doors Open-- Show starts @ 9:30 PM
  • Who will be there: The Minnesota RollerGirls, 3 Bands, and YOU!!
  • What Else: 21+ Party (or must have legal guardian with), Bring your ID, and All of your Friends!

The Minnesota Rollergirls are also seeking bout announcers and other volunteers. To sign up, go out to Cheap Skate on Sunday, January 9th at 6pm.

support your local rollergirl

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Poster from the Propaganda Remix Project.

Invisible Soldier

A perilous journey from New York to Falluja and back leaves one soldier out in the cold.

Shelters Gear Up For Returning Vets

Bay State shelters are bracing for an influx of Iraqi war veterans, concerned the returning troops will be confronted by costly housing, cheating wives and a tight job market when they get back home.

"We do expect to see veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts in the shelter. It's just about inevitable," said Stephen Spain of the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Boston.

Related story here.

Are New Army Recruits Pre-Programmed for Violence?

Actually, yes. Says LtCol David L. Thomas II.

the living earth

Simon Winchester has a short essay in this morning's NYT. The Year the Earth Fought Back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Sad Sign of the Times

SALINAS -- Mary Jean Gamble organized the John Steinbeck historical archives, supervised the Steinbeck literature collection and ranks as an authority on local history and genealogy.

After nearly 23 years with the Salinas Public Library, she might know more about "The Grapes of Wrath" or "Cannery Row" than anyone else in the author's humble hometown.

Gamble doesn't hesitate when asked how Steinbeck might react upon learning that the city's libraries are scheduled to close permanently next spring. Facing record deficits, the Salinas City Council voted Dec. 14 to shut all three libraries, including the branches named after Steinbeck and labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Sigh. More on library pillaging funding here.

Cheap Bastards

The United States has pledged an initial $15 million and dispatched disaster specialists to Asian countries struck by a massive earthquake and tsunamis.

How much is $15 Million? Roxanne gives us some perspective.
The following list of actors earn $15+ million for each film they make:

* Tom Cruise
* Cameron Diaz
* Tom Hanks
* Jim Carrey
* Mike Myers
* Mel Gibson
* Adam Sandler
* Will Smith
* Harrison Ford
* Bruce Willis
* Julia Roberts
* Chris Tucker
* Leonardo DiCaprio
* Russell Crowe
* Eddie Murphy
* Denzel Washington
* Nicholas Cage
* George Clooney
* Vin Diesel
* Toby Maguire
* Johnny Depp
* Ben Affleck
* Brad Pitt
* Keanu Reeves
Clif Burns and Norbizness have more...