Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Shopping

I have been shopping my ass off. Am about half finished, which is a first for me, most years I have that deer-in-the-headlight look from Nov. 30-Dec. 23. I am going to have a few extra dollars this year (although a very few) thanks to my job at the Bazaar.

It's too cool, I get talk to people, watch them shop, listen to good music, and get paid for it.
Yesterday when I was working the Ruthie Foster played, then Red Volkart and friends. The crowd is always SO Austin, lots of geriatric stoners. I was a floor walker last night, but the rest of the time I'll be watching the door.

This week end was full of activitiy. Had breakfast with Hoops Saturday morning. We were supposed to be distributing flyers, but we spent over an hour at the dojo watching some of my fellow Aikido practicioners test for advancement. We did take flyers around to all the large hotels in the afternoon, after going to the Museum to help get ready for a party.

Saturday night Nelly and I went shopping. We only shopped cool Austin stores, Toy Joy, Waterloo Records, and Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar (the food there is deliciously obscene). We intended to go down 37th Street, but tired out, so saved that for another day.

How 'bout that Obama???

Obama says Republicans practice "Social Darwinism"

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Republicans controlling the federal government practice Social Darwinism, a discredited philosophy that in economics and politics calls for survival of the fittest, according to a Democratic U.S. senator.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a fast-rising Democratic star, told Florida party members that only a philosophy among Republicans of sink or swim explains why some Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans still live in cars while Republicans in Washington prepare next week to enact $70 billion in tax breaks.

"It's called the 'Ownership society' in Washington. This isn't the first time this philosophy has appeared. It used to be called Social Darwinism," Obama said late Saturday at the Democrats meeting at Walt Disney World.

"They have a philosophy they have implemented and that is doing exactly what it was designed to do. They basically don't believe in government. They have a different philosophy that says, 'We're going to dismantle government'," Obama said.

Republicans running the federal government believe, "You are on your own to buy your own health care, to buy your own retirement security ... to buy your own roads and levees," Obama said, referring to flood barriers that gave way in New Orleans during Katrina last August.

Obama, the only African American now in the U.S. Senate, gave the keynote address at the annual meeting of Florida Democrats.

Social Darwinism applies Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection from biology to human culture. Popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the theory advocates free competition and a minimalist role for government in society. Darwin himself rejected the application of natural selection to human society.

Florida's Democrats have won only a single state-wide election since 1998, when Republican Jeb Bush, the president's brother, was elected to the first of two terms. Florida law bars him from seeking a third term, a fact which has fed optimism among Democrats about 2006's state-wide elections.

Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean also spoke to the group, repeating his call for a "strategic redeployment" from Iraq in which the United States brings home 50,000 National Guard and reserve soldiers in the next six months and transfers 20,000 troops to Afghanistan to root out terrorists.


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