30 January 2008

29 January 2008

Butts out



A LIFETIME SECOND-HAND SMOKER BELLIES UP TO THE BAR OF RAINBO CLUB. You're a smoker, the woman beside him reassures, "You smoke as much as anyone in here including that beat-up leather jacket. The buzz won't be the same, I guarantee you." The faded circa-1950s down-at-heel west side-Wicker Park-Ukrainian Village Bohemian vibe is nearly vanquished: no sawdust and dogs underfoot; the old man who hits on your sister is on oxygen; and now the end of the haze of gray-to-blue that's risen since 1936. Three hours before midnight a recently married couple hustle up: a last chance to share a smoke in their favorite tavern. A photographer shooting close-ups makes smokers aware of the rude detritus scattered about: no flash, only ash in trays and dusting fingertips. A veteran of gestures checks her iPhone while lighting someone else up. Singles and Abe Lincolns carpet the bar. The place hasn't had a cigarette sales license in weeks. Somebody's brought five Parliament hard packs across from D&D. Junk everywhere. The stroke of midnight is anticlimactic, no one's quit yet, but then there's always today. Closing time and out into the air. The sidewalk at closing: a crumpled fold of a Red Eye: pretty cover girl sucks one down. Flag up, flag down: the slushed streets race with traceries of taxi tracks, pulled to corners, zooming southward and eastward, a crush of dozens of revelers, one hand up in hope of a cab, the other glowing with one last, unconfined drag.

28 January 2008

Show


Show
Originally uploaded by raypride

23 January 2008

935 lies about Iraq


Absurdistan
Originally uploaded by raypride
From The Center for Public Integrity, 935 lies about the war in Iraq: "President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses. On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war. It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did notpossess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it." {More at the link.]

20 January 2008

Redford


Redford
Originally uploaded by raypride

16 January 2008

Why does Michael Dale Huckabee hate the Constitution?



“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And thats what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”

10 January 2008

05 January 2008

Last cig


Last cig
Originally uploaded by raypride

crowned


crowned
Originally uploaded by raypride

Exhale


Exhale
Originally uploaded by raypride

Soiled


Soiled
Originally uploaded by raypride