Saturday, July 31, 2004

Full Moon

One of the Ivory Madonna's co-workers just dealt with a particularly obtuse customer. Returning to her station, the co-worker muttered, "Must be a full moon."

She refers, of course, to the old bit of folklore that claims people are especially crazy around the time of the full moon.

The Ivory Madonna heartily agrees with this theory. Based on years of observation, she firmly believes it, and has worked it out to an exact statement, which she will now share with you:

During the period two weeks before and after each full moon, people behave like stark, raving lunatics.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Berger and Files

So Sandy Berger removed sensitive documents from the National Archives, and he's being accused of trying to hide embarrassing secrets related to 9/11 (link).

What is it with Republicans and trying to hide embarrassing secrets?


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Cutting the Grass

What is it with this society's abnormal preoccupation with cutting the grass?

The Ivory Madonna currently presides over about half an acre of ground. Before her arrival, this half-acre was a vast wasteland of grass, with a nice line of cedar trees along one border. Just the sort of place that would make a nice, native-growth meadow.

Harumph. Tell that to the Lawn Nazis.

Yes, the Ivory Madonna's local government has an entire department of the bureaucracy devoted to the sole task of forcing people to cut their grass. Every month or so, when the neighbors call the Lawn Nazis upon her, the Ivory Madonna receives a threatening letter from this department, telling her that if her plants are not trimmed to below six inches, they will send a crew out to do so, and then charge her for the service.

Then down come the daisies, the coneflowers, the wild roses, the ornamental grasses, the waves of amber grain. Away flee the bunnies, the birds, the butterflies and dragonflies, and all the other happy animals whose habitat has just been slashed to the ground.

Meanwhile, in a nation that is suffering from a shortage of petroleum products, countless gallons are wasted in weekly mowings. Greenhouses gases pour into the atmosphere from millions of lawnmowers. A positive haze of ozone and other pollutants hangs over the world. Not to mention the thousands of person-hours lost in this constant grass-cutting.

Why? To satisfy conformity. To provide lawnmower dealers with a guaranteed income. And (it's no secret) to personally annoy the Ivory Madonna and her entourage.

This nonsense must cease.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Activist Judges

Things aren't looking good for the radical right and fundamentalist Christianists on the gay marriage front. It's been two months since gay couples started getting legally married in Massachusetts, and somehow God hasn't sent down fire and brimstone (maybe He has more important things on His plate). Civilization has not collapsed. Yesterday's humiliating defeat of the Federal marriage Amendment shows how out-of-touch these people are.

But hate and fear spring eternal, and now they're going after "activist judges" (link). The new mantra is "activist judges should not be allowed to write laws, like they did in Massachusetts. The legislature should write the laws."

Hey, folks, quit beating up on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MSJC), okay?

The MSJC did everything in their power to let the legislature write the laws. The legislature just didn't co-operate.

Here's what the MSJC said, paraphrased by the Ivory Madonna: "Hey, Legislature! You know, we've got a bad situation here. Our marriage laws are in conflict with our Constitution. We'd like to point this out to you, so you can do something about it.

"So here's the deal: we won't do anything immediately. We'll give you six months to write laws to eliminate this conflict. Maybe you could take a look at existing marriage laws, re-examine the whole concept of marriage and what it means? The field is wide open, you can make any laws you wish, as long as they're consistent with the Constitution. Please take advantage of this period, and write some good laws. That's your job, not ours. That's what you were elected for.

"Really, guys, we're serious here: Please give us some laws that are consistent with the Constitution. Because if you don't, we'll do what the Constitution says, and give everybody equal treatment under the law. But we're confident it won't come to that, becuase you Legislature guys are just as serious about your responsibilities as we are, and we know you'll do your job."

The Legislature pissed away several months doing nothing but bitching and complaining. After a while, they said, "Hey, MSJC, we know you said the Constitution requires 'equal treatment,' but we figured 'unequal treatment' would be fine instead. Is that okay?"

At which point the MSJC said, "Uh, guys? 'Equal treatment' means 'equal treatment.' That's what it says, in black and white. Don't you think you should get busy writing some laws? You've only got a month or so. Please, please, don't put us in the position of having to act because you didn't do your job."

At the last possible minute, having piddled away six whole months, the Legislature decided to begin the process of changing the State Constitution.

The six month deadline came, and the Legislature had not changed State marriage laws by so much as a single comma. So the MSJC did what they said they would, and ordered that existing laws should be administered so that everyone gets equal treatment, the way the Constitution says.

Suddenly, everyone started screaming at the MSJC, for doing exactly what it said it would do if the Legislature didn't do its job.

The Massachusetts Legislature had the opportunity to take a hard look at the whole concept of marriage, to have the difficult discussions and come up with a way to balance religious beliefs, social justice, and equality. They could have taken a leaf from the French, and set up an institution of "civil union" for all citizens, leaving "marriage" to the churches alone. They could have scrapped "marriage" entirely, and created brand new institutions that would fit the 21st century and not conflict with tradition. They could have done anything. Instead, in the words of John Adams in 1776, they "piddled, twiddled, and resolved."

"Activist judges," phooey. What we need are activist lawmakers who will do their job and write laws to correct injustices, rather than pissing away the time they have in futile bitching and moaning.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Securing Polling Sites and Stealing Elections

Well, the Ivory Madonna is back from vacation and feeling feisty. And along comes this AP story (link) headlined "Ridge Warns of Election Terror Plot."

The key part is this:
"...authorities have begun working through the process of how to secure the thousands of polling sites that will be used around the country this fall, said another senior intelligence official..."

Oh, have they, now?

The Ivory Madonna supposes that this is advance justification for stationing armed and uniformed police (or military) at all polling places nationwide. Guards with the authority to do on-the-spot searches, without warrants.

Which will certainly deter many from voting. The poor, blacks, gays, underclass people in general...all of whom have various reasons to distrust and/or fear the cops. Anyone who doesn't want to take the chance of being detained, questioned, searched, or worse.

Hmmmm. Whom will this disenfranchise more, Republicans or Democrats?


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.