April 2006 Archives

Big Girl genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

Big girl

Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2006 | 5:56 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Dems: Southern Strategy? genre: Polispeak

Former Virginia Governer, Mark Warner, is proposing a new strategy for Democrats to garner votes in southern states. The latest edition of Newsweek explains Warner's strategy. I thought the article was interesting, especially when you realize how little agreement exists within the Democratic Party on a voter strategy.

Howard Dean, DNC Chairman believes that Democrats need a presence in all fifty states and is in the process of putting people on the ground accordingly. A number of other Democratic strategists feel the money Dean is spending would be better spent on targeting specific races that the Democrats can potentially win.

Warner, an unannounced but unrelenting candidate for the presidency, is happy to help, urging Dixie's Democrats to break with the national party's Bush-bashing strategy and instead emphasizing bipartisanship and values. Warner is hoping big Southern victories in 2006 will prove that his Virginia success was a preview of things to come, not just a random stroke of luck in a region grown hostile to Democrats.

He won the Virginia governorship in November 2001, a high point for post-9/11 Republican power. While in office, he won rural support by channeling economic development toward the state's depressed Southside. He even managed to raise taxes and see his poll numbers go up.

In speeches in the South, he preaches the blessings of bipartisanship. He rarely mentions the words "Bush" or "Republican" and only invokes his own party to say, "I'm proud to be a Democrat, but I'm prouder to be an American." There is "a wide swath of Reagan Democrats or independents who are up for grabs," Warner tells NEWSWEEK, "but it can't be for a Democrat who's going to preach the kind of 'us against them' '70s populism."

Warner is also telling Southern Democrats to go on the offensive on values issues and run against "cultural elitism."

Some Democrats who've heard prophecies of a Southern renaissance before are skeptical. They think the party would be better off cutting its losses in Dixie and focusing on the Southwest and Rocky Mountain states.

In my own opinion, the lack of consensus merely indicates a shortage of leadership within the Party. Without a national voice that can garner respect across the diversity within the Party, Democrats remain vulnerable to the Republican strategy that has routinely focused on the absence of a Democratic message. As long as the Party is seen as nothing more than a number of competing factions jockeying for the 2008 presidential election, the public will continue to believe that principles take a back seat to partisan posturing. The 2006 midterm election is an opportunity the Democrats can ill afford to squander.

Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2006 | 12:19 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Bay Buchannan vs. Kate O'Beirne genre: Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek

My idea of a Sunday talk show nightmare. Well, at least one of the possibilities.
BayBuchanan & Kate O'Beirne

Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2006 | 10:25 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Alphaville: Forever Young Robotech Mix genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

This is an interesting animation video set to an old song, "Forever Young" from the group Alphaville. I like the song enough that I would probably like it with just about any video.

Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2006 | 9:52 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Snarling Dogs: Civility Revisited genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

I’ve had an issue on my mind for the last couple days. It started with a comment thread on another site. The question is, “what should you do with people who have nothing more to share than negative thoughts, personal insults, and hateful rhetoric?" There are some quick and easy answers. One, you can ignore them altogether. Two, you could respond in kind. As I debated with myself, I tried several time to draft responding remarks. In the end, I decided to do nothing.

As I’ve pondered the issue, I’ve wondered why I even care. Nonetheless, I do. In attempting to boil it down to its most basic construct, I came to some conclusions. In some regards, the conclusions are more troubling than the events that precipitated the analysis.

My uncle used to talk about separating people into some loosely defined categories or types. He explained that it was far too complicated to attempt to fully understand everyone you encounter. He proposed you look for some basics traits to sort the people you meet and then fill in the unknowns with the best available template. All in all it’s pretty effective…if you can be content to leave it at that. I never could.

While pondering my experience with the comment thread, I recalled one of the types he used to talk about. He explained that there are people who approach meeting others with the two by four method…they immediately clobber you with the two by four and then follow that up by putting their arm around your shoulder and saying…so how have you been? The best analogy for this approach is in the hierarchy seen with some animals such that the dominant animal waits for the other animals to acknowledge their lesser position in the social structure. Territorial factors can be at play as well. It often begins with a growl or a minor skirmish until the pecking order is established and accepted. Primitive as it seems, it helped me make sense of my comment thread experience.

I’ll try to explain it further. With many blogs, there seems to be a loosely established commenting community. Often times, some “members" compete to be the first to comment when a new posting appears. In many ways, it serves the purpose of establishing a type of pecking order. Additionally, many sites inadvertently develop a policing system that identifies new visitors. Further, the members may decide to accept the new participant or as I’ve seen happen on occasion, they may decide to attach the “troll" label…the lowest position in the internet hierarchy.

Coming back to my own experience, I have spent a significant amount of time making comments and observations on other sites in order to introduce Thought Theater and expand the visits to the site. The blogs I visit are primarily sites I’m familiar with and where I have occasionally commented. However, since introducing Thought Theater, that frequency has increased dramatically and, in truth, I’ve sought to make my comments towards the beginning of the comment thread…where they are more apt to be read.

In studying this particular site more closely, the individuals who made the “territorial" remarks are in fact regulars that are frequently at the top of the comment thread. Other commenter’s routinely grant them a degree of deference…subtle mind you, but enough to be recognized if you happen to disrupt the normal ebb and flow. Once I made the connections to the above analogy, I felt an initial degree of relief. It didn’t last long.

I could have simply concluded that I had a better understanding of the situation that had troubled me for these last couple days and left it at that…but I couldn’t because it has a larger significance that is at the core of my own search for understanding and “truth". Not simply for my own edification, but because I genuinely care about the human condition and, naïve as it may sound, I am always hopeful that I can offer something constructive to improve it.

Despite many disappointments, I always feel fortunate to come away with a somewhat greater understanding of the nature of our existence and I endeavor to remain optimistic that it brings me more proximate to the “truth". Sometimes I find satisfaction in simply understanding the games of self-deceit that are played because it allows me to decide that I will participate as neither the villain nor the victim. At the same time, I find great sadness in the repetitively counterproductive behaviors I witness.

I can elaborate in order to tie it all together. In large part, blogs originated as a political grassroots endeavor to effect change. The Rudymentary goals of that change have been either to ouster the party in charge or retain the party in charge. Hence the struggle taking place is simply a larger scale of the issue that I experienced personally as an individual. Specifically, those in positions of power, whether perceived or real, whether obtained legitimately or by other means, seek to retain it despite the merit of doing so. In other words, many of the individuals in the chat room hierarchy, as well as the political party in power, want to stay there whether or not they have any inherent or particular right to do so. At the same time, many individuals, as well as the political party not in power, want to assume power whether or not they have earned the right to do so. The problem is obvious.

When individuals cannot find consensus based upon thoughtful dialogue and debate, the larger construct of the party and the even larger construct of society as a whole cannot advance beyond the primitive animal analogy whereby aggression and brutality are the measure with which we determine authority and leadership. When one Democrat in a comment thread personally attacks another Democrat with the goal of nothing more than obtaining or retaining power or authority, it is hard to imagine that the larger goals of any one party to effect change within the society can succeed. When this exists, the notion of cohesion amongst like minded individuals necessarily becomes a secondary objective. When this happens, each blog becomes nothing more than a microcosm of the political order which it dislikes and seeks to dislodge.

I’ve never liked or respected bullies. By that I don’t simply mean someone who can use physical force to obtain what they want. Bullying can take many forms. However, at the core of all bullying is a disregard for a fair and just system that is honored and observed by each individual because it is understood to be the evolved social order and social structure necessary to advance civilization. Until we agree upon a system of merit that has its origins in rational and reasoned thought and analysis, we will remain more similar to the animal occupants of this world. Until each individual honors a legitimate social contract, we will be nothing more than feigned shells of the civil creatures we pretend to be. When we dishonor humanity by dehumanizing each other, we betray our own humanity and we are all lessened. In the end, destiny is ours to choose.

Those individuals in the comment thread, who offered nothing more than a growl and the display of their teeth, purport to espouse a desire for large scale social change. Unfortunately, they are destined to be victimized by their very own capitulations to force over forethought, to brawn over brains, and to power over persuasion. If ones notion of change is nothing more than to assume authority or power in order to impose change, real progress is not a fundamental goal. Power is the goal. Perhaps that’s all the individuals that I encountered in the comment thread are seeking. If it is, they ought to cease presenting it otherwise. In the meantime, I may have to swim through their pretense, but I need not succumb to their miscalculations. For me, I’ve resolved that the pursuit of more “truth" is worth the annoyance.

Daniel DiRito | April 30, 2006 | 8:22 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Rasmussen: Bush Approval Of 37% An All Time Low genre: Polispeak

The latest Rasmussen Report shows President Bush with a 37% approval rating, his lowest ever in polling conducted by the organization.

Just 37% of Americans now give the President their Approval, only 16% Strongly Approve. Even among Republicans, approval has tumbled and is currently measured at 66%. For most of his first term, Bush earned Approval Ratings in the high 80s from Republicans.

At the other end of the spectrum, 62% Disapprove including 45% who Strongly Disapprove. Those figures are also the bleakest for President Bush ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports.

Just 32% give the President good or excellent marks for handling the situation in Iraq. That's down from 35% a month ago. Just 39% believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the War on Terror.

These numbers mirror the downward trending found in several other polls. The President has reached all time lows in at least two other polls.

Daniel DiRito | April 29, 2006 | 2:48 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Daily Show: Gay Marriage genre: Gaylingual & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 29, 2006 | 2:34 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Former FDA Chief Under Investigation genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Six Degrees of Speculation

Lester Crawford

Lester Crawford, the controversial former head of the Food & Drug Administration, is being investigated for possible false statements to congress and financial improprieties. Crawford, before his resignation last fall, had been accused of blocking the approval of the Plan B contraceptive drug. His nomination was put on hold at one point by Senator Hillary Clinton because of the delay by the Administration to issue a decision on the drug. During his tenure he was also accused of an improper relationship with a fellow employee. That investigation did not lead to Crawford's resignation. The New York Times reports:

Dr. Crawford resigned in September; fewer than three months after the Senate confirmed him. He said then that it was time for someone else to lead the agency.

The next month, financial disclosure forms released by the Department of Health and Human Services showed that in 2004 either Dr. Crawford or his wife, Catherine, had sold shares in companies regulated by the agency when he was its deputy commissioner and acting commissioner. He has since joined a Washington lobbying firm, Policy Directions Inc.

The criminal investigation was disclosed at a court hearing in a lawsuit over the FDA's actions on the emergency contraceptive Plan B, a subject of bitter contention during Dr. Crawford's tenure as acting commissioner and commissioner. After the pill's maker, Barr Laboratories, applied three years ago to sell the pill over the counter, the agency repeatedly delayed making a decision on the application.

According to the transcript, she said that Dr. Crawford was under criminal investigation and that the issue of his financial disclosures "is within the grand jury."

Crawford, during his time at the FDA was accused by many of making politically motivated decisions with regard to medical issues. Some felt his actions with regard to Plan B were consistent with the administrations favoring of abstinence programs and their fear that the approval of the drug would lead to promiscuous behaviors.

Obviously Crawford is innocent until proven otherwise. However, he seems to be one of many who take positions on morality with regards to sex but seemingly forget about morality when it relates to financial issues. It seems like an all too familiar pattern. I often wonder if the actual reality is that many of these people who become vocal advocates of sexual morality are simply using the issue as a vehicle to political power. Sadly, it seems to be an effective approach. As we approach the 2006 midterm elections, I expect to see the rollout of a number of moralistic wedge issues.

Daniel DiRito | April 29, 2006 | 8:15 AM | link | Comments (0)
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NSA: Some Details Emerging; DOJ Challenges Suit genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

Slowly we are finding out more about the NSA program of domestic spying that has essentially bypassed the FISA court system to obtain information about Americans.

WASHINGTON (April 29) - The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

It was the first time the Bush administration has publicly disclosed how often it uses the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.

The secretive program leaves many wondering the criteria used to determine which Americans are legitimate targets of the program. Given the number of inquiry letters, reported to be 9,254, the larger question seems to be how many of these investigative letters led to indications of terrorist activity as opposed to nothing more that fishing expeditions into the personal data of American citizens. Critics of the program have repeatedly argued that the same activity could be conducted under the FISA court, thereby providing some checks and balances.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same panel that signs off on applications for business records warrants, also approved 2,072 special warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies. The record number is more than twice as many as were issued in 2000, the last full year before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The FBI security letters have been the subject of legal battles in two federal courts because, until the Patriot Act changes, recipients were barred from telling anyone about them.

Ann Beeson, the associate legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the report to Congress "confirms our fear all along that National Security Letters are being used to get the records of thousands of innocent Americans without court approval."

At the same time the administration, through the Justice Department moved Friday to block a lawsuit against AT&T that claims the company violated customer privacy. The lawsuit did not name the US government but the administration apparently feels the suit threatens the controversial domestic wiretapping program.

The government, in a filing here late Friday, said the lawsuit threatens to expose government and military secrets and therefore should be tossed. The administration added that its bid to intervene in the case should not be viewed as a concession that the allegations are true.

As part of its case, the EFF said it obtained documents from a former AT&T technician showing that the NSA is capable of monitoring all communications on AT&T's network, and those documents are under seal. The former technician said the documents detail secret NSA spying rooms and electronic surveillance equipment in AT&T facilities.

Daniel DiRito | April 29, 2006 | 7:40 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Republican Poster Boys genre: Polispeak

Continuing the trend towards being arrested in order to avoid the expense of purchasing publicity photos, Rush Limbaugh "elected" to be arrested today in Miami. There is speculation that Karl Rove may take advantage of the free publicity photos within the next couple weeks. A Democratic source indicated that additional Republicans were expected to participate in the free photography services.

Limbaugh mug shot

DeLay mug shot

Daniel DiRito | April 28, 2006 | 5:51 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher: "War On Christians?" genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 28, 2006 | 9:45 AM | link | Comments (0)
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'Twas The Night Before Fitzmas? genre: Polispeak & Rhyme-N-Reason & Tongue-In-Cheek

‘Twas the night before Fitzmas, and all through D.C.
The Senate stood empty, just waiting to see.
The Grand Jury listened to Fitz with much care,
He hoped that the votes all would be there.

Ken Mehlman and Rover all snug in their beds,
While visions of November danced in their heads,
And Dick in his bunker, as “W" did sip,
A drink from the flask he poured through his lips.

When out at the Post arose such a clatter,
They sprung from their cubes to see what was the matter.
Away to the phones they flew like a flash,
Called up their sources who asked for some cash.

The Times of New York had the lights all aglow,
As they savored the scuttle they knew soon would flow.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a signature sheet with twelve names written so clear.

With Old Crow in his throat, George W then spits,
He knew in an instant it must be the Fitz.
More rapid he guzzled, his Party might lose,
So he bristled and shouted while chugging his booze.

Now Karl! First Libby!
Damn Fitz you vixen!
Lost Browny then Scotty!
Who else are you fixin’
To topple from power!
We’re takin’ a lickin!
Now damn Fitzy, damn you!
Damn you this hour!

If not for those levees and Katrina’s wrath,
Dear God, why all these obstacles, who chose her path?
You live in the big house, but the White House is blue,
What else can go wrong, will Dick Cheney go too?

And then in a tantrum, he ran to the roof,
The stomping and kicking of each little hoof.
As he pulled out his hair and was turning around,
Up through the hatch big Barbara came with a bound.

In blue robe with white dots, from her head to her toes,
Yes her clothes were old fashioned, but everyone knows.
A bag of buckshot she held in her hand,
Then she told him that Karl could not take the stand.

His jaw how it twitched, his chin to and fro,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose white from blow!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
She pulled on his ear…you’re back on the snow!
The shaft of a pen he held tight in his fist,
And the smoke it encircled, man was he pissed.
He made a mad face, then reached for the lead,
He shook it and scowled, I wish he were dead.

Righteous and pompous, a nasty old soul,
She slapped him and said, pull Cheney from the hole.
A wink of his eye and a grin on his face,
Soon Fitz he would show that he should stay in his place.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
And filled all the shotguns, then turned with a jerk,
And with shaking fingers, he dialed the phone,
Dick Cheney I need you, he said with a groan.

Dick called for his chopper, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,

Happy Fitzmas to all and we’ll get him tonight!

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 9:23 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Dixie Chicks: "Not Ready To Make Nice" genre: Polispeak & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

The Dixie Chicks long awaited album is called Taking The Long Way. "Not Ready To Make Nice" is their response to the criticism they received for speaking out against the President in 2003.

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 12:27 PM | link | Comments (7)
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The War On Obscenity: "Project Vegga-Ban" genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek

Rep. Ralph Davenport [R]

A South Carolina Republican is proposing legislation to ban the sale of devices that can be used for sexual stimulation. Digby has comments here, and the full article can be found here.

An unnamed source with Rep. Davenport's office has told Thought Theater that this piece of legislation is simply the tip (woops...my bad) of the iceberg. Davenport believes that in addition to the items found in these adult oriented stores, there is also a larger and more pervasive nationwide vegetable sex cult. The source indicates that a larger plan to attack this widespread obscene activity is in the works. The initiative is tentatively being called "Project Vegga-Ban".

The ambitious project seeks to completely eradicate all inappropriately shaped vegetables. The program will not stop with phallic shaped vegetables...melons, tomatoes and other such lewd and offensive shapes will not be tolerated. When Thought Theater pressed the source for enforcement details, we were told that Representative Davenport felt the first step would logically be to ban such vegetables from grocery stores.

When asked about plans to monitor large scale farming operations and backyard gardening, the source indicated the intention to place the Project under the oversight of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Davenport believes the Department's experience in illicit drug crop eradication will allow Project Vegga-Ban to quickly mobilize. The source admitted that it will be complicated to monitor the home gardener given the difficulty in confiscating the large supply of vegetable seeds. Few other details were made available.

Some excerpts from the article:

COLUMBIA — Lucy’s Love Shop employee Wanda Gillespie said she was flabbergasted that South Carolina’s Legislature is considering outlawing sex toys.

But banning the sale of sex toys is actually quite common in some Southern states.

The South Carolina bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Ralph Davenport, would make it a felony to sell devices used primarily for sexual stimulation and allow law enforcement to seize sex toys from raided businesses.

Rep. Davenport, who is from Spartanburg County, did not return several messages Friday to talk about his bill, which was introduced last month. No other legislator has signed on as a co-sponsor and its passage this year seems unlikely.

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 11:54 AM | link | Comments (0)
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You Didn't Just Say That? genre: Nouveau Thoughts

"You Just Didn't Say That?" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "Nouveau Thoughts" is to present a provocative thought for debate and discussion. A key objective is to take established or accepted ideas or beliefs and challenge their legitimacy in order to extract any hidden or overlooked truth. The thoughts posted herein are not intended to offend or impugn...they are merely topics or issues I have pondered in search of meaning and clarity. Feel free to share your opinions, observations, and objections. A search for truth cannot be completed if one is afraid to explore the extremes. Today's new thought has to do with the persistent conflict between the left and the religious right.

Nouveau Thought:

The assault on liberals and the use of the term "liberal elite" is the manifestation of doubt within the religious right regarding the validity of their Biblically derived way of life and its associated reliance upon God to withstand the fear of their own pending mortality.

The mere presence of secularism is interpreted by the mindset of the religious right as an attack that must be extinguished. The psyche of the religious right is threatened by the existence of this discordant theory. The mere chance that secularism could prevail is seen to have the potential to force them to confront their beliefs such that they could find themselves absent a functional means to confront their mortality. Tolerance of secular thought is therefore unacceptable because it permits this internalized anxiety to persist. Comfort can only be achieved when there is an absolute consensus of thought that unanimously supports their singular ideology.

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 11:01 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Rove: I'm Not That Stupid Defense genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Ah, yes, when all else fails there is the “that would have been stupid defense". It appears that Karl Rove has chosen this to be a piece of his final efforts to avoid indictment. I’ve always found the very notion...

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 9:08 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Name Dropping: What A Drag genre: Gaylingual & Tongue-In-Cheek

It's common knowledge that a drag queens name may be as important as the rhinestone regalia he/she wears. The conventional approach (although I would say that it's more urban legend than actual fact) is to take the name of your...

Daniel DiRito | April 27, 2006 | 7:16 AM | link | Comments (8)
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Did Rove Receive Target Letter? genre: Polispeak

Jason Leopold at truthout.org reports that Karl Rove's attorney received a target letter prior to Rove's appearance today before the Grand Jury investigating the leak of the name of former CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Rove's appearance today before the Grand...

Daniel DiRito | April 26, 2006 | 2:47 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Michael Shermer: Former Born-Again genre: Hip-Gnosis

Michael Shermer is a former born again Christian and founder of the Skeptics Society and editor of Skeptic Magazine. He explains his transition to skepticism as follows: "I used to be a born-again Christian. Now you could say I'm a...

Daniel DiRito | April 26, 2006 | 2:02 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Gill Funds Ad Campaign For DP Initiative genre: Gaylingual

Tim Gill, former software entrepreneur and founder of the Gill Foundation, a philanthropic advocacy group, has announced the kick-off of a $1.5 million dollar ad campaign to support the domestic partnership initiative he is backing for the November ballot in...

Daniel DiRito | April 26, 2006 | 1:20 PM | link | Comments (0)
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I Hate Instruction Manuals genre: Indie-Script

I hate instruction manuals. Last fall, I went to the New York Film Academy to learn digital filmmaking. The camera we used for the program was a Panasonic AG-DVX100. The good news is that we received hands on instruction and...

Daniel DiRito | April 26, 2006 | 11:34 AM | link | Comments (0)
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"Shameless" Promotion genre: Indie-Script

I was playing around with Adobe Creative Suites (OK, more accurately, I was looking around like a two year old at the zoo) and decided to see if I could create some type of ad copy for Thought Theater....

Daniel DiRito | April 26, 2006 | 8:50 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Ali G: Youth In Asia genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 8:36 PM | link | Comments (0)
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HIV Vaccine Update genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood

The following HIV vaccine information is reprinted from Kaiser Netwrok which can be found here. More and more experimental vaccines are in the testing and trials pipeline. An available vaccine is still a number of years away even if one...

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 4:54 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Where Is "Our" President? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Can we please have a President for all of America? I'm serious because I would really like to feel like this is "our" country being led by "our" President. I just don't get the need for one group to tell...

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 2:46 PM | link | Comments (2)
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The Tony Snow Job Show genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek

Amid rampant speculation, it is rumored that Fox News and the Bush administration will be collaborating on a new program direct from the White House. An unnamed Fox source has confirmed the speculation and has provided some further information...

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 2:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Rant: 1,000, 24,000, That's A Lotta Minutes genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Tongue-In-Cheek

George Bush has 1,000 days left in his Presidency. That is 24,000 hours. When I pondered this information, it made me think about the play Rent...so needless to say...since I like playing with words, I decided to play with the...

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 1:32 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Pieces genre: Gaylingual & Rhyme-N-Reason

The subject line read “blast from the past". It was an old high school friend who I hadn’t spoken to in twenty-three years. It was last Thursday and at the time I took it in stride. I instinctively responded and...

Daniel DiRito | April 25, 2006 | 7:21 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher: Intelligent Design Smackdown genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 24, 2006 | 4:45 PM | link | Comments (0)
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In The Tank: Bush Approval 32% genre: Polispeak

In the latest CNN poll released Monday, the President's approval rating was 32%, the lowest on record for the Bush Presidency. The survey was conducted from Friday through Sunday. For those polled, 60% disapproved of the President's performance. In...

Daniel DiRito | April 24, 2006 | 2:44 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Dialogue, Not Dish...I Promise genre: Indie-Script

OK, frustration break. Today, I spent a fair amount of time on another site in a "discussion" about immigration. First admission...I have an opinion about everything. First caveat...even though I have an opinion, I want to hear other opinions because...

Daniel DiRito | April 23, 2006 | 7:49 PM | link | Comments (2)
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80,000 Protest Murder In Brussels genre: Indie-Script

An estimated 80,000 people took to the streets in Brussels, Belgium to protest the murder of a 17 year old teenager who refused to give two robbers his MP3 player. The crowd was the largest since 1996 when some 300,000...

Daniel DiRito | April 23, 2006 | 4:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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New Osama bin Ladin Tape genre: Just Jihad

It is reported that Osama bin Ladin has released a new audio recording. On the tape, bin Ladin called the withdrawal of monetary support for the Palestinian government a demonstration of the ongoing Christian Crusade against Islam. This recording...

Daniel DiRito | April 23, 2006 | 7:18 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Brokeback Mountain - "Goodbye My Lover" Video genre: Gaylingual & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

This video is a compilation of scenes from Brokeback Mountain set to the James Blunt song "Goodbye My Lover", one of the best songs (IMO) off of his CD Back To Bedlam....

Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2006 | 10:43 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Happy Earth Day (Photo: Paris) genre: Snapshot Thoughts

Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2006 | 9:43 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Slavery Redefined: The Immigration Myth genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Everybody’s talking about immigration. The opinions are as varied as the surnames in a phonebook…surnames that represent countless former immigrant families. When discussing immigration, many draw comparisons to that portion of our history where passing the Statue of Liberty signaled...

Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2006 | 2:58 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Slave To The Rhythm (Adult Content) genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

The following video was first released in 1985. It is the music video for "Slave To The Rhythm" by Grace Jones. The video was produced by Jean-Paul Goude who Jones later married. An artist, Goude produced only five music...

Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2006 | 10:56 AM | link | Comments (0)
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"I'm As Mad As Hell" genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

I tend to think most of life can be understood by looking at relationships. The exchanges that occur between people tell us a lot about the mechanics of power and persuasion. It is within those mechanics where one is most...

Daniel DiRito | April 22, 2006 | 9:59 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Pink: Dear Mr. President genre: Polispeak & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Pink performs her song "Dear Mr. President" live in NYC. She is tough on the President but she does it in a thoughtful way. I didn't know she was so politically inclined. Good for her....

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 6:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Cardinal Supports Limited Condom Use genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of the potential frontrunners during the election of the current Pope, Benedict XVI, said today that the Catholic Church should consider allowing condom use in light of the AIDS epidemic. Read the entire article here....

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 5:54 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Italy: New Government Doomed? genre: Polispeak

Despite being declared the winner of the Italian election, Romano Prodi is already struggling to form a coalition that can move forward with governing the economically troubled country. Outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi continues to be defiant and has refused...

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 2:57 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Thought Theater's Heckler Handbook genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

Yesterday, while speaking outdoors at the White House, Chinese President Hu Jintao was heckled. Try as I might, I have been unable to find a guide book for the proper etiquette of a heckler. I decided I would come...

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 9:12 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Less Than One genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Uncivil Unions

The category “Rhyme-N-Reason" is intended to be a place to share poetry that stimulates thoughtful reflection. For me, writing poetry is cathartic. It’s a way to encapsulate a group of feelings or thoughts that might be on my mind...

Daniel DiRito | April 21, 2006 | 6:57 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Eternal Inequality genre: Gaylingual

Bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate to limit the protests of military funerals conducted by Fred Phelps and his clan of hatemongering zealots. Senator Evan Bayh [D-IN] and Representative Michael Rogers [R-MI] are the sponsors...

Daniel DiRito | April 20, 2006 | 5:12 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Battle Of The Sexes: Daddy Knows Best genre: Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

I thought this was an interesting article in light of the new South Dakota law virtually eliminating a woman's right to reproductive decisions along with the growing promotion of "Father-Daughter Purity Balls" whereby young girls pledge to their fathers to...

Daniel DiRito | April 20, 2006 | 12:33 PM | link | Comments (0)
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What Would Bill Buckley Say? genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

What Would Bill Buckley Say? is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "Tongue-In-Cheek" is to provide some comical thoughts that might elicit a laugh or two. I've always found listening to William F. Buckley...

Daniel DiRito | April 20, 2006 | 8:55 AM | link
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Love Is In The Air genre: Just Jihad & Snapshot Thoughts

Given all the rumblings about a possible attack on Iran, this photo of graffiti from Vienna seemed appropriate. These types of anti-war imagery are seen plastered on walls and sidewalks throughout much of Europe....

Daniel DiRito | April 20, 2006 | 6:17 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Blumenthal Speculates On Rove Legal Troubles genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

According to Sydney Blumenthal, Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has shown new attention to Karl Rove's activities in the Plame leak case. Blumenthal writes: (I have included bold type for emphasis) Two weeks ago, Fitzgerald filed a motion before the federal court...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 5:10 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Red Rove(r), Red Rove(r), Send Karl Right Over genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The MSM seems to be giving the impression that it's surprising to see Karl Rove has been removed from his policy advisor position. Nonetheless, there is little doubt as to the meaning of Rove’s role change. Frankly, given the shambles...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 12:04 PM | link
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Lost In Translation Music Video genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I really liked the movie Lost in Translation. It was written by Sofia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, and stars Bill Murray. I recently found this music video that does a good job of capturing the essence of...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 10:55 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Duke Rape Suspect May Lose Plea Bargain genre: Gaylingual

The Associated Press is reporting that one of the suspects arrested in the Duke Lacrosse rape case may lose a plea bargain entered on his behalf in a D.C. case of gay bashing. Finnerty has been defended by neighbors and...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 9:23 AM | link | Comments (0)
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McClellan Out genre: Polispeak

Scott McClellan has announced his resignation as White House Press Secretary. The President remarked, "It's going to be hard to replace Scott...but nevertheless he's made the decision and I accept it." It had been anticipated that White House Chief of...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 7:55 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Camille Paglia: A Primer genre: He Said, She Said

Camille Paglia is difficult to characterize despite the fact that she fits into a number of defining categories. She is a noted intellectual, an educator, an author, and a social and cultural critic. Both within and beyond these classifications,...

Daniel DiRito | April 19, 2006 | 6:30 AM | link | Comments (0)
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It's A War; Not A PR Campaign genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

They just don't get it! The calls, by numerous retired generals, for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld along with criticism of this administration's ongoing execution of the war in Iraq are being met with a public relations strategy. Early reports...

Daniel DiRito | April 18, 2006 | 2:33 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Thank You genre: Indie-Script

I really appreciate all those who have taken the time to stop by Thought Theater. It's been encouraging to see the number of visitors steadily increasing and to witness the many readers who continue to return to the site. If...

Daniel DiRito | April 18, 2006 | 1:34 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The Mind Field: Bad Wiring genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

In light of the recent killing of a ten year old girl in Oklahoma and the dismay with the mindset of these type of criminals and with serial killers in general, I thought I would offer my own thoughts on...

Daniel DiRito | April 18, 2006 | 10:55 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Italian Court May Certify Results Today genre: Polispeak

Silvio Berlusconi, the current Prime Minister may be forced to accept defeat if the Italian high court certifies the election results as early as today. The apparent victor, Romani Prodi has voiced criticism at Berlusconi's refusal to acknowledge he will...

Daniel DiRito | April 18, 2006 | 8:48 AM | link | Comments (0)
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An Appointment To Die genre: Do Not Resuscitate

We’re all dying. Some sooner, some later, but with certainty death will defeat life. It’s the one appointment that’s never missed yet few of us are ever sufficiently prepared. When we’re young, dying is a remote concept with which we...

Daniel DiRito | April 17, 2006 | 1:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Proverbially Speaking genre: He Said, She Said

"Proverbially Speaking" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "He Said, She Said" is to present sayings, proverbs, and quotations that provoke thought. From time to time, I will try to relate them to...

Daniel DiRito | April 17, 2006 | 11:39 AM | link | Comments (2)
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The White Stripes: The Hardest Button To Button genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I'm off to a slow start this Monday following Easter. I thought I would start the week off with a cool music video. The group is the White Stripes and the song is The Hardest Button To Button. It's...

Daniel DiRito | April 17, 2006 | 8:41 AM | link | Comments (0)
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WWF Cage Match: USA vs. Iran genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

WWF Cage Match Extraordinaire: George "Big W" Bush vs. Mahmoud "Mad Dog" Ahmadinejad WWF has just announced the Cage Match of the century...a no-holds-barred holy war smack-down. The combatants are two loose cannons who have each been pile-driven one time...

Daniel DiRito | April 15, 2006 | 8:44 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Its Friday I'm In Love (Updated) genre: Tuned Out

UPDATE: Mad TV recently did a spoof of the music video of James Blunt's song You're Beautiful. The actual song lyrics appear at the end of this posting. The video is pretty funny. I believe you can find the...

Daniel DiRito | April 15, 2006 | 9:11 AM | link | Comments (0)
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A Deep Breath: There's Still 94 Years genre: Indie-Script

Well it's been two weeks now since Thought Theater came out from behind the security of a password. Those fourteen days went awfully fast...which for me isn't necessarily a bad thing since I'm prone to boredom. Nonetheless, it seems appropriate...

Daniel DiRito | April 14, 2006 | 10:16 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Mad TV: "Just For Lesbians" Hair Salon genre: Gaylingual & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 14, 2006 | 8:45 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Us vs. Them: The Root Of Conflict genre: Hip-Gnosis & Just Jihad

Generally, definitions are used to distinguish the meaning of one word from another. They tell us what a word means and in so doing they should likely, by omission, tell us what a word doesn't mean. While a dictionary is...

Daniel DiRito | April 13, 2006 | 1:38 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Theocracy Watch genre: Hip-Gnosis

"Theocracy Watch" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category 'Hip-Gnosis" is to provide information about God, religion, and faith from various perspectives. The postings will attempt to provide the reader with interesting and provocative...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 12:43 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Silent Voice genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

The category "Rhyme-N-Reason" is intended to be a place to share poetry that stimulates thoughtful reflection. For me, writing poetry is cathartic. It's a way to encapsulate a group of feelings or thoughts that might be on my mind...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 10:58 AM | link | Comments (0)
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You Didn't Just Say That? (Encore) genre: Nouveau Thoughts

"You Just Didn't Say That?" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category "Nouveau Thoughts" is to present a provocative original thought for debate and discussion. A key objective is to take established or accepted...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 9:28 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Language of War (Encore) genre: Just Jihad

The history of the World is a cacophony of war. We live in a growing time of conflict. This includes war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, war in the West Bank, war in the Sudan, and war in Chechnya. There...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 9:14 AM | link | Comments (0)
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McCain: All Things To All People? genre: Polispeak

It has become increasingly difficult to determine where Senator John McCain stands politically. His recent behavior has left many speculating whether or not he has begun his push to garner the Republican nomination...something not long ago viewed as a long...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 8:25 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bush Wins Muzzle Award genre: Polispeak

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression awarded President Bush a Muzzle Award for his actions in the NSA surveillance program whereby the phones of U.S. citizens were wiretapped without the established procedure of obtaining the approval...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 7:45 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Novel HIV Therapy Being Tested genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood

A new approach to build the immune systems of HIV infected individuals has been the subject of extensive speculation and guarded excitement. The procedure involves removing the a supply of the patients own stem cells and infecting them with a...

Daniel DiRito | April 12, 2006 | 7:33 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Cables Cabal: The Blogosphere genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

Life is seemingly an exercise in moving forward. With this understanding, as we navigate the terrain we call life, much like with the act of walking, we often only focus on where to place our next footstep. However, sometimes...

Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2006 | 5:17 PM | link | Comments (0)
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One Step Forward, Two Back: Iraq genre: Just Jihad

Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, the recent redeployment of U.S. troops to secure the dangerous streets of Baghdad raises some serious questions about the progress in Iraq. We are regularly told that the Iraqi military and security forces are...

Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2006 | 9:01 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Biblically Speaking genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is the talk radio personality who offers advice (and opinions) to people who call into her radio show. She has been quite vocal in her criticism of the homosexual lifestyle. In one of her programs she said...

Daniel DiRito | April 11, 2006 | 8:26 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Football Buddies: Mad TV Video genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | April 10, 2006 | 10:35 PM | link | Comments (0)
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12 Million Reasons genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

Numerous protests are being conducted throughout the country today by opponents of immigration reform measures recently passed by the House of Representatives. While it is doubtful that the House version could ever gain approval in the Senate, the issue...

Daniel DiRito | April 10, 2006 | 3:39 PM | link | Comments (4)
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Fun With Phones: White House Link? genre: Polispeak

Back in 2002, Republican operative James Tobin, put together a plan to jam the phone banks of the Democratic Party as it conducted it's election day efforts to get-out-the-vote. In that senatorial election, the Republican candidate John Sununu defeated challenger...

Daniel DiRito | April 10, 2006 | 2:14 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Italy: 2000 All Over Again? genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

UPDATE III: It appears that final results in the Italian election may not be available until such time as alleged voting discrepancies can be resolved. Current Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is seeking clarification on the reported annulment of some...

Daniel DiRito | April 10, 2006 | 9:51 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Cold War Revisited - The NSA Scandal genre: Polispeak

With the exposure of an alleged program of domestic surveillance by the National Security Administration (NSA), the Bush White House has found itself in its repetitive pattern of deflect, defend and redefine. At the core of the issue is determining...

Daniel DiRito | April 10, 2006 | 8:03 AM | link | Comments (0)
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500K Protest In Dallas genre: Polispeak

Reuters is reporting that upwards of a half a million people took to the streets in Dallas to voice their concern over the issue of immigration reform. Dallas police had anticipated a much smaller crowd. Numerous protests are planned...

Daniel DiRito | April 9, 2006 | 9:02 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bad Math & Leaks genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Now that it is clear that the White House released (leaked?) information (classified?) to refute the claims of Ambassador Joe Wilson in the run up to the Iraq war, the President's usual apologists are rushing to provide the plausible explanation...

Daniel DiRito | April 9, 2006 | 10:03 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bush Ponders "Nukular" Assault In Iran (Updated) genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Seymour Hersh reports in the latest issue of The New Yorker that the Bush administration is contemplating the use of nuclear weapons to dismantle Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. You can find the full article here. More analysis at AMERICAblog,...

Daniel DiRito | April 8, 2006 | 12:54 PM | link | Comments (0)
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440 Billion Dollar Budget: No Audit genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

Reuters reports that the Pentagon could not pass the muster of a traditional audit despite the fact that its proposed budget for 2007 is $440 billion. They apparently only recently determined a cost for each individual piece of equipment. A...

Daniel DiRito | April 8, 2006 | 9:06 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Family Values: This Blows genre: Gaylingual & Rhyme-N-Reason

It's become fashionable to talk about family values. In today's culture war, the posturing by various groups to become the definitive voice on the subject is rampant. All too often the debate centers on issues outside of the family in...

Daniel DiRito | April 7, 2006 | 4:36 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Scotty M: Boy Who Cried Wolf genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Scott McClellan, soon to be called "The Magician" given his propensity to make the President's indiscretions disappear, played political dodge ball again today as he was peppered with questions about the revelation that the President allegedly authorized the release of...

Daniel DiRito | April 7, 2006 | 1:46 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Oy Vey Day genre: He Said, She Said & Tongue-In-Cheek

Oy Vey Day is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. It's strictly lighthearted and meant to bring a smile or a chuckle. Strange as it may seem, even though I grew up in an Italian American Catholic home, I've...

Daniel DiRito | April 7, 2006 | 9:01 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Rep. McKinney: More Doo Doo Than Hairdo genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney has just apologized on the floor of the house for her actions in the altercation with a Capitol police officer. Obviously, I wasn't present for the incident, but from my viewpoint, her actions since the event...

Daniel DiRito | April 6, 2006 | 10:10 AM | link | Comments (6)
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The Big Fish Found genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

It was announced yesterday that a key find in the long sought evolutionary link may have been discovered. Scientists in the Canadian arctic discovered several intact specimens of large fishlike fossils that have what appear to be the precursor characteristics...

Daniel DiRito | April 6, 2006 | 8:29 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Homeland (In)security (Updated) genre: Polispeak

Does anyone else wonder how secure we really are when an employee at the Department of Homeland Security, Brian J. Doyle, is on his computer making sexual solicitations to what he thinks is a fourteen year old girl? If anyone...

Daniel DiRito | April 5, 2006 | 11:24 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Razor Blade Conspiracy genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

Call me a conspiracy theorist...but am I alone in the belief that each time they add an additional blade to a razor system, they notch the blades in the older versions so that it tears your face off and...

Daniel DiRito | April 4, 2006 | 4:24 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Cedric genre: Gaylingual & Uncivil Unions

It was Friday the thirteenth and I had been in London for approximately a week. I’ve always liked Friday the thirteenth despite it’s billing as an unlucky day. I ventured out to Compton’s (a gay bar) to see what London...

Daniel DiRito | April 4, 2006 | 12:33 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Tribute To Tom DeLay genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

I'm guessing most everyone has heard the expression, "It takes a big man to cry". A while back I stumbled upon an irreverent derivation that made me laugh. Sometimes the simplest things are the funniest. Given that Tom DeLay is...

Daniel DiRito | April 4, 2006 | 8:35 AM | link | Comments (0)
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My Imaginary Friends genre: Hip-Gnosis

Santa Claus and God have a lot in common. Their existence is hard to prove yet everybody seemingly starts out believing. Both persist despite doubts to the contrary and they live on because their underlying messages of kindness and goodness...

Daniel DiRito | April 4, 2006 | 7:39 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Democracy On A Leash genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

The recent visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the British foreign minister, Jack Straw, to Iraq is being reported as an effort to apply pressure on Iraq's fledgling politicos to move forward with forming a new government. The...

Daniel DiRito | April 3, 2006 | 8:35 AM | link | Comments (0)
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A Web Of Lives genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

The emergence of the internet leads us to believe that we have seemingly rewritten the process of human connections. It provides dating and friend networks, blogging and chat rooms, and countless other places where distant people can presumably engage each...

Daniel DiRito | April 3, 2006 | 7:42 AM | link | Comments (2)
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The Keeper Of The Night genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem while living just west of downtown Denver near the railroad tracks. I woke up in the middle of the night and as I looked out the window, I witnessed a lengthy coal train traveling...

Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2006 | 3:29 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Welcome! (Update) genre: Indie-Script

Thought Theater went live on March 31st. If this is your first visit, it may be helpful to read the next posting first. If this is a follow up visit, let me say thanks for coming back. I thought it...

Daniel DiRito | April 1, 2006 | 5:17 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Welcome! genre: Indie-Script

Bringing Thought Theater to life has been a long but rewarding undertaking. It's been both a time of anticipation and doubt but it has always been a labor of love. While I've never personally experienced the process a parent goes...

Daniel DiRito | April 1, 2006 | 11:48 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Victim Redefined: The Jill Carroll Saga genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Am I missing something? When did the remarks made by people kidnapped in Iraq become the measure of one's status as a victim? Unless I am mistaken, being taken against one's will and witnessing one's translator being murdered does constitute...

Daniel DiRito | April 1, 2006 | 10:03 AM | link | Comments (0)
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