Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ethical Economics...

First, let me wish each of you a Happy Festivus, Belated Joyous Yule (Ves Heil!) and Belated Happy Solstice (the light is waxing!) to each of you.

As many of you are blissfully unaware, I have some uniquely ethical business philosophies I'm very proud to say that my friend and business partner in USBuyBid shares. I don't meet many entrepreneurs who share my mindset -- so far, outside of my own bloodline, I've met a grand total of one... the aforementioned friend and biz partner, Samuel.

Aside from working almost round the clock on developing USBuyBid with Samuel, I also have my own little semi-backburnered project, designing for products such as t-shirts, greeting cards, bumper stickers, etc. which I sell through shops on various Print on Demand fullfillment services.

I have at least one design available, in at least one shop, on each of 7 such services -- CafePress (my primary shop,) Printfection (my secondary shop and Evil shop) Zazzle (ties & keychains,) ArtsNow (supplemental shop for TONS of products per design,) E-shirt (just a handful of test designs,) Greeting Card Universe (just a couple of test designs) and Skreened (the inspiration for this post.)

As I went about the traditional preparations for my annual December gift-giving Holiday - sorting the gift bags and boxes I re-use, each year, by whose tag is on them -- a win-win-win tradition that saves trees, money AND landfill space -- my mind wandered to what I'd most like to have in a POD fulfillment service.

My wish list was as follows:

Tie-dye base apparel
Magnetic Bumper Stickers
More "Made in America" products
Sweat-free apparel
Hemp products
"made from recycled..." products
More "Organic" cotton apparel

Not expecting to find any of them, I went searching for the first two things I listed -- magnetic bumper stickers and Tie-dye base apparel. I did't find them, of course. But, I found a number of POD services I was previously unaware existed, including one,, which I was most surprised and thrilled to find because they're an American owned, American operated business, located in Ohio, that offers two of the things on my list, exclusively: a small assortment of sweat-free shirts all made in the USA, in a variety of colors.

I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming! I wasn't -- they're real and some more digging turned up their blog, which includes some indications that they share some of my own business philosophies. I couldn't sign up fast enough! This is a service I can feel REALLY good about each and every thing I sell through them... or buy through them.

It's a little late in the Fred (sometimes referred to as "Christmas") Shopping season to suggest that you check them out for December Holiday gifts you can feel particularly good about giving, but there are lots of good designs to choose from and I highly recommend checking them out and bookmarking them for the next time you're shopping for yourself or a loved one -- help keep American workers employed and earning a living wage, by buying sweat-free American made:
or, if you just want to check in on my slow progress in building a presence there, Click Here

(Those who are interested can find most of my other shops by punching "Melhi" and the name of the service into a search engine.)

Oh and it's a couple of days early, but... Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Io Saturnalia - 2007

It's probably not pre-printed on your commercially produced calendar, but Dec. 17 kicks off the week long Saturnalia. Of the ancient December holidays and its modern variants, Saturnalia is my personal favorite and many of the trappings of a modern Christmas -- whether secular, religious or a mix of both, were taken from the traditional trappings of the Saturnalia celebration.

Amidst all the ruckus, in recent years, about the imaginary war on Christmas, there have been calls for a move away from the traditional greetings of my secular December holiday and a simultaneous return to even older, more traditional December holiday greetings.

Life is a series of choices and each of us gets to choose how to react to the world going on around us. As such, I can either allow the joy to be sucked out of my holiday by being incensed that anyone would have the audacity to ask me to give up traditions I hold dear and that trace back through several generations of my family while, at the same time, accusing me of waging war on their traditions simply by having and practicing my own or I can acknowledge that while the war is imaginary, the pain is real and make peace with those who've mistaken me for their enemy by taking this suggestion to heart and at face value. I've chosen to do the latter.

So, it is in the spirit of forging a lasting holiday peace, celebrating kinship, friendship, vitality & life and sharing my seasonal joy with those whose treasured company and presence on this Earth makes my own time on this orbiting rock seem to pass far too quickly, that I extend to you and yours a most joyous and heartfelt, ancient and traditional Saturnalia greeting....

Io Saturnalia!! Cast off your toga!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mitts Off My Country, Romney!

Mitt Romney wanted to make 3 things very clear tonight.

1. His religion shouldn't matter to any voter. (I'll agree with that. Render unto God what is God's, unto Caesar what is Caesars... Pray not in the streets.... )

2. If he's elected President, he won't be representing just ONE religion. (Could have been worded better... the President isn't supposed to represent ANY religion, but the President is supposed to represent ALL Americans... and that means people of many different religions or even no religion... )

3. Our religion or lack there of DOES matter to Mitt -- because if he's elected President, he absolutely will NOT be representing the secular humanist scourge that has infested America. (WTF?!?!)

Mission Accomplished Mr. Romney. Message received loud and clear!!!

You have no intention of representing me. I'm not American enough for you. I'm everything that's wrong with everything everywhere. You're better than me and better than several generations of my secularist American forebears. *cough* You also suffer from delusions of grandeur, you bigoted f**Ktard. *cough*

Actually it's good that Romney doesn't want to represent me -- doesn't look like he's going to get the chance to represent anyone, anyway... and that gives him less to be disappointed about.

I hope low-budget "who the Heckabee" wipes the floor with Mitt Romney in Iowa.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Whole Lott-a Speculation Going On

Seems like everybody's all a-twitter since Trent Lott announced, just this last Monday, that he'll be retiring five years before his six year term is up.

Speculation abounds and there seem to be as many theories as to why he's getting out of Dodge, barely a year after asking voters for the privelege of another six year term, as there are people talking about it. Is he still confused as to why praising Strom's 1948 political campaign was political self-mutilation? Does it have something to do with recent raids? Is there some other scandal brewing? Did he suddenly remember, as so many Republicans have during the Dubya adminionstration, that he has a family? Is it just no fun now that the big red rubber stamp is gone?

In honor of Trent Lott's resignation, I'd like to suggest a moment of silence... a break from worrying about WHY he's resigning, to savor and enjoy that he IS resigning.

Ahhhh... now, didn't that feel good?

Trent... if you're reading this buddy... so long and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

(singing quietly to self: "...and another one's gone and another one's gone and another one bites the dust...")

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Bush has vowed to veto a bill that would increase funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion.

Does he hate children? Good question, but be assured dear reader, by vetoing the bill he's not keeping affordable health care out of the reach of children whose families make too much to qualify for medicaid, but whose hard work still isn't enough to put decent private health insurance within financial reach.

No. Bush is looking out for smokers (like me)and for all the middle class children (like mine) who might suddenly find themselves potential victims of government run socialized medicine (as opposed to commercially run socialized medicine aka private health insurance.)

Bush knows that we can't afford to waste money on something as trifling as health care for American children. We just don't have the money, without a tax increase that might impact on the wealthy, who can least afford such an increase. Why, just look at how much a billionaire's family pays each month for private health insurance compared to what a working class family without health insurance pays each month for their coverage!

So, those slimy liberals in Washington found a way they might be able to sneak a tax increase by Bush... tax a product it's popular to hate, right now and that more poor and working class people than wealthy people are likely to consume! Cigarettes! Foxy!

But, thankfully, as sharp as they were, George W. Christ was sharper! He saw right through their two-fold plot to put the hurt on wealthy tobacco industry families while, at the same time, condemning millions of working class children to the evils of non-commercial socialized medicine. ...and, like the mythical, messianic, comic book hero that he is, he sprang into action!

Hitting the airwaves, he quickly reassured the people that he would veto this vile piece of legislation -- citing the many dangers cleverly hidden within the legislation and reissuing the threat that began with Nixon, and which every Republican President since has vowed to make good on:
If any version of universal health care is passed in this country, they'll see to it that it's micromanaged to death by the government and doctors are so far removed from decisions concerning the care of their patients that it's even more impossible to get health care expenses covered than it is with commercial enterprise micromanaging it to death and removing doctors from decisions concerning the care of their patients.

If you're still not sure you want to support Bush on this... just look at how deeply in debt the big commercial suppliers of health insurance have become... at how destitute the CEOs at the helm of these sinking ships are. Is that the kind of expense and loss you, as a taxpayer and thus stakeholder in America's financial solvency want to be burdened with?!

As someone who's experienced chronic nausea, headaches and anxiety since late 2000 or early 2001 and might thus be tempted to support non-commerical health care for every American, I get chills down my spine just thinking about how lucky we are to have Bush watching out for us and our 35 billion in tax dollars... don't you?

Meanwhile, in other news...

"The year 2008 is likely to be the most expensive year of the Iraq war, if the Congress approves President Bush's request for an additional $47 billion for war funding"

Hey, maybe we can fund that increase with a 61 cent per quarter pound tax on fast food hamburgers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Next Prez...

From Russ Feingold:

Today we are launching the "My President Will Be…" online campaign. As you will see, we put a different – and some might say slightly humorous – spin on an old Bob Dylan video, aimed at engaging the progressive community in a conversation about the qualities we want our next President to have. So take a look, forward to your friends, and upload your photos at today. Thanks so much for continuing to help move our country in a better direction.


U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
Honorary Chair
Progressive Patriots Fund

Here are my wishful thoughts... what are yours?

My next President will be...

on OUR side.

weilding OUR voices.

working around the clock to undo the damage that has been done.

above calling my love of country into question to draw attention away from his misdeeds.

honest and ethical.

the first to admit when (s)he's made a mistake.

actively and agressively putting Americans first.

rebuilding our gulf coast, instead of rebuilding Iraq.

bringing our troops home from Iraq.

making sure we repay the debt we owe our veterans and the loved ones our fallen veterans have left behind.

deeply respectful of the sacrifice our troops have volunteered to make for us.

bringing jobs back to the U.S.

well informed, intelligent and thoughtful.

aware that he is our peer representative and that he represents all of us, not just those who voted or who voted for him or who come from a specific state or make a certain amount of money, etc.

a man (or woman) who counts the phrases "We the People...," "Of, by and for the People..." and "E Pluribus Unum" among his/her most cherished pieces of the foundation of this country -- and who fully comprehends, embraces and incorporates into his/her job, the meaning behind those phrases.

well spoken.


honored to have been granted the rare privelege to represent us.

a Democrat with a spine... and a mouth... like me, like Senator Russ Feingold... like most of us.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Today's Buzz Word...

Quick, if you had to guess, how many times, since the bridge collapse in MN, have you heard or read the word "infrastructure" in the news?

Now, in the three years preceding the bridge collapse, how many times did you hear it?

That's what I thought. BUT, some of us, myself included, have been screaming ourselves hoarse with that word for decades... yes, decades. Were our pleas falling on deaf ears? Hardly. We were heard, loud and clear.

What did it get us before the collapse? That look. We know that look well. It's the one that for many years was followed with accusations that we're just tax and spend liberal Democrats looking for excuses to raise taxes. ...And since Sept. 11, 2001 has been followed by accusations that those of us who'd rather invest in America than invest in Iraq are America hating, troop blaming, terrorist supporting liberal tax and spend Democrat traitors looking for excuses to slam Bush and raise taxes.

Since the collapse? It's just another buzz word in the double talk that leads to no action.

*heavy sigh*

Monday, July 16, 2007

Vintage Melhi

Long before there was a Melhi Ink blog, I never have time to mess with, I was writing posts for a home page column I never had time to mess with. I had thought all of those articles lost to a hard drive crash two computers back, but I found one, by happenstance, today and thought I'd share:


by Melhi

I was out surfing the web this morning, when I stumbled
across a question about US troops in Saudia Arabia and my opinion on it.

The response I chose ("Can't an oil rich nation afford to protect
its damn self?") set me to thinking.

They don't have to protect themselves because they can afford to
to pay others to do it for them. But, do they pay us? I have yet to see my "Thanks anyway, Saudi picked up part of the defense bill, this year" IRS refund check arrive, have you?

Do we get free oil?
Judging from the pump price the last time I tanked up...NO!

Are any of the nations to whom we are indebted getting free oil in exchange for forgiving our debts?
We're just lucky none of them have started forclosure proceedings against us.

Do we get so much as an "I protected a patch of Saudi Sand and all
got was a sunburn and this lousy t-shirt" t-shirt?
Nope. All we get is burnt.

Our guys are sitting out in the middle of nowhere *just in case* something bad happens. Hey guys...Woo Hoo!! Over Here!!! Bad stuff!! Plenty for everyone!! Come and get it!!!

Oh well, at least when I lie in bed, tonight, trying to ignore the screams of my neighbor being knifed while he's on hold to 911, I'll be secure in the knowledge that I worked half a year to pay to protect the remains of some long dead flora and fauna a zillion miles away in a land long devoid of flora and fauna. And then I'll wait for the antacid to kick in.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America

As one of the best fireworks displays I've ever had the pleasure to attend burst brightly, directly over my head, this evening, I was filled to bursting with patriotic pride. Those of my fellow countrymen who have the audacity to question my patriotism cannot fathom and likely do not share the immeasurable depth of my love for this great nation -- all she is, all she has been and all that she can be.

Thanks to a handful of men, liberal rebels, all, from our beloved nation's darkest hours to her most shining moments, we have always had and will always have a glorious history and the potential for an even more glorious future to celebrate. ...And just as we benefit, today, from the work those concerned citizens and budding politicians did, then, so to will our progeny benefit from the work we are doing, today. It's an awesome thing to be a part of history in the making.

Happy Birthday America. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Moment...

Please take a moment to visit this website:

...and fill out the form that will automatically send a message to the Senators in your state asking them to support the Matthew Shepherd Act which would expand hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Any act of violence perpetrated against any person, for any reason or even no reason is horrific and tragic and must not be tolerated. A targetted act of violence perpetrated against people because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is an act of domestic terrorism.

It will take but a brief moment to fill out the form, less time than it took you to read this far into this bulletin and it's important because while more than 2/3 of Americans (68%) support the act, various anti-lgbt hate groups and Christian right extremists have been inundating Senators with calls, emails and letters that are outnumbering supporters' calls, email and letters by 5 to 1. Word from the Hill is that some Senators are bowing to that pressure! Speak up, make some noise! Let the majority voice be heard over the din of the hate-mongering few!

Thanks. :)

Here's that link again:

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's All in the Timing...

Last night's Democratic Primary Candidate debates on CNN... and the amount of time each candidate was given to speak:

Obama: 16:00
Clinton: 14.26
Edwards: 11:42
Richardson: 10:48
Kucinich: 9:02
Dodd: 8:28
Biden: 7:58
Gravel: 5:37

Only Clinton and Obama had more speaking time allotted than moderator Wolf Blitzer spoke! As for uppity Gravel and that little stunt he pulled at the first debate -- refusing to be silent and invisible, having the audacity to speak up and reflect some of the outrage of the average American Democrat -- well, they fixed his little red wagon, this time, didn't they?

Thanks for trying to choose my candidate for me, guys, but I'm a big girl. Unlike the slobbering Fox News enthralled sheeptards on the other side of the political fence, I can and do think for myself. (You remember me and my kind, don't you? We used to be your target demographic.) I'd already decided against your top two picks. Shoving them down my throat only gives them more opportunity to reinforce my decision.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pssst... Pass It On

Today, I received a YouTube preview from (via their MySpace bulletins) for the "Iraq for Sale" documentary. Whether you support the war or don't. Whether you support the troops or don't. Whether you support Bush or don't. The documentary is a must see:

Iraq For Sale

In other news:

Just when you were about to write off the conspiracy theorists on the extreme far end of our side of the political fence as a bunch of nutjobs who made a lucky guess on domestic spying, Bush proves them right, yet again, with The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. (For those of you just joining our new world order in progress, according to this vague directive, if any disaster befalls us that results in some undefined level of casualties or chaos, the President becomes dictator and stays dictator.) You can read about it here:

Had enough? Tell Nancy Pelosi to put impeachment back on the table.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

From Russ Feingold

From Russ Feingold:

A Republican Senator is trying to derail my campaign finance disclosure bill, and I need your help to figure out who it is.

My legislation, the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (S. 223), requires Senate campaigns to submit campaign finance reports electronically. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? House campaigns, political parties, Presidential campaigns, and even 527's already file their reports online - but that's not the case in the Senate.

The Senate has exempted themselves from this requirement and is only required to file paper reports. The public's ability to review these reports in a timely manner is substantially curtailed by these antiquated paper filings. Not only that, it costs taxpayers over $250,000 per year to have these reports scanned and made available online at a much later date.

When Senator Feinstein and I sought to pass this legislation by unanimous consent, an objection was voiced on the floor "on behalf of a Republican senator." Senators are within their rights to object to a bill coming to the floor of the Senate, but the objecting senator has not been named, and no one has spoken to me about any objection they may have to this legislation.

The use of these so-called "secret holds" has rightly come under attack in recent years, and I need your help to try and determine who may be delaying this common sense reform measure.

If you are represented by a Republican senator, please contact them and ask if they're holding up my Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act. You can get contact info for your senators here:

If you live in a state with two Democratic senators, consider forwarding this email to your friends in states that aren't so lucky.

If you learn of anything that may be useful in helping me identify the "Secret Hold Senator," email me at

I have no intention of dropping this issue and I appreciate your help in keeping the pressure on to try and identify this anonymous objector.


Russ Feingold
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund

Sunday, April 08, 2007

You Reap What They Sow.

"When you sleep with someone, you're sleeping with everyone they've ever slept with and everyone they've ever slept with and so on..."

It's true in regards to sex and, as an analogy, it's true in regards to professional and public reputations.

I got a reminder of that, recently, courtesy of a decision made by a company I've contracted with to provide services in regards to the Melhi Ink store. They decided to migrate their in-house affiliate program to a 3rd party. I'd parted ways with that 3rd party, many years ago,vowing never to do business with them, again, despite the fact that I'd cashed a lot of checks from them. As much as I love money -- and I DO love money --some things are just more important.

This 3rd party is structured to favor large "incentive publishers," which, from the perspective of a merchant or another affiliate publisher, is a parasite that bleeds merchants dry while snaking commissions from other affiliate publishers and often diverting traffic. These programs are the lowest of the low... the bottom feeders on the underbelly of affiliate marketing. I will not be associated with them, directly and... going back to that safe-sex adage, above... I CANNOT associate with them, even by proxy or their poison spreads through me to the other people and projects I'm associated with.

I'm politically active. I've supported candidates, volunteered on their campaigns, I'm active in my local party, I've run for office, myself and may run again someday. I sit on an important civic committee and am helping to draft a new cooperative corporation that will set policy and shape the economic future of my county for many generations beyond my meager lifespan. I'm looking at starting a large, national-scale online business with a business partner who is a good friend and is also an honest and ethical man with a solid reputation. He has other projects and businesses of his own to protect. The potential damage from a simple business decision, made by a service provider I use for a small sideline project I barely have time for goes far beyond just linking my own reputation and brand to shady operations.

So, I lent my voice to the chorus of other concerned shopkeepers and designers who use this service and lacking an immediate answer to this concern, I began to search for alternative POD service providers. I found an excellent service for apparel, with a small but expanding gifts line and my designs will be available through that service, soon. I also found an excellent outlet for greeting cards and may make some of my designs available through that service, later in the year.

I lacked only a provider for bumperstickers, mugs and pinback badges when an answer came. After considering all of the information about incentive programs and our concerns about the damage associating with them, directly or by proxy would do to our names, brands & bottom lines as well as to the service provider's reputation and bottom line, the company determined that they will NOT accept incentive publishers into their affiliate program. So, I CAN continue to use this company, and will continue to use them, while also making my designs available through a wider selection of services.

While I'm very pleased with this service provider's decision, either way, the crisis would have been averted because I know that my personal, professional, political and public reputation is built not only on my own actions but also on the reputations of those with whom I choose to associate, which is built on their actions and their associations and so on.

It's a simple concept... most of us begin to grasp it and learn to implement it in our lives in pre-school when we refuse to play with the boogar eater lest we be likewise ostracized as boogar eaters by association. It's a shame so many of our current political leaders fail to grasp it in even the smallest measure.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Million Blogs For Peace Assignment

First Tuesday Topic -- One Million Blogs for Peace:
Think back four years ago, to when you first heard that the Iraq War had started. Were you for or against the war at the time?
If you were for it, what has changed your mind over the last four years? If you were against it, why were you against it?

I was firmly and steadfastly against it.

I knew the WMD claim was bogus -- anyone who'd paid attention from the first gulf war on, should have known that.

I didn't want our focus and resources shifted from Osama bin Ladin and Al Queda... certainly not to the extent that so many of my fellow Americans were duped into forgetting that it was Osama and not Sadam who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks!

Any idiot (except, apparantly, the idiots in the Bush adminionstration) could have forseen that destabilizing Iraq would lead to civil war, while at the same time laying open Iraq's once secure borders to terrorists, creating new breeding and training grounds for them.

I knew we had no justification for the invasion, I knew we were being lied to and I knew we had no hope of achieving a victory that was never defined.

...And I am not giddy to be proven right, as the few remaining Bush supporters accuse. To the contrary, every moment of every day since we invaded, I have ached to the pit of my soul with the desperate longing to be proven wrong.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quick Brag

The Melhi Ink Peace Ribbon (in eco-green) was featured, favorably, on the environmental blog Living Gaia, today.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Steam Vent

"Stay the course"
We cannot achieve goals, objectives or victory if we have not defined goals, objectives and victory. We've set no course to stay.

"We can't just leave Iraq"
Then sell it to the highest bidder and treat it like any other real estate sale... we move out as the new owners move in. As I understand it, there are several interested parties in the region.

"Cut and Run"
Cut our losses.

"It's important that we rebuild Iraq"
It's important that we rebuild our own gulf coast and World Trade Center buildings. In regards to the latter, stop with the "it has to be a tribute to the tragedy" crap -- stop celebrating that we were attacked and start celebrating that we are a tenacious people who pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep living. You're showing those terrorists that we can be stopped in our tracks just that easily -- and the reality is that, except for those of you *cough*Pataki*cough* who've inserted yourselves in the rebuilding process and prevented it from going forward, we can't. How dare you? How F*cking dare you!!!!!

North American Union:
To everyone pushing this turd through: F*ck you. F*ck you sideways, backwards, upside down and inside out, but F*ck you!! NEVER have the f*cking audacity to question my patriotism, my concerns about our nation's security or my willingness to put my back into my living again you soft-handed, ignorant, anti-American, mouth breathing jacktards.

Guest Worker Program:
It's called a "work visa." If illegal immigrants were taking advantage of that program, they wouldn't be illegal immigrants. ...But those of you pushing for this know that, so what you're really trying to do is lay our borders wide open to anyone who wants to wander across to take jobs we Americans supposedly don't want, but which we DO and do quite damned well, thank you very much, in parts of the country that will still hire us to do those jobs or contract the companies we form to provide those services. Open the borders to anyone but natural and naturalized citizens, that is -- to re-enter our own country, we now have to have passports and be papered up to our eyeballs to prove we're who we say we are or we'll be barred from re-entry. F*ck you, right along with the NAU crowd.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fields of Presidential Dreams

Election 2008

Of note:
We have our first casualty in the race! As of Feb 23, Tom Vilsack, the second Democrat to declare official intent in the 2008 Presidential race, became the first official candidate of either party to drop out of the

This is the current lineup of 2008 Presidential hopefuls (so far as I'm aware, from my own ongoing research) in both major parties:

- - - - - - - - - - - -


Officially announced (at least remotely viable) candidates:
• Illinois Sen. Barack Obama ( Feb. 10, 2007)
• Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Jan. 31, 2007)
• Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd ( Jan. 11, 2007)
• Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (Dec. 28, 2006)
• Ohio Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Dec. 12, 2006)
• Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel (April 17, 2006)

Official intent expressed via establishment of exploratory committees:
• New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (Jan. 20, 2007)
• New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (Jan. 21, 2007)

Widely speculated:
• Civil Rights activist Al Sharpton
• Retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas
• Former Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee

Grassroots Draft Push efforts:
• U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr. of Michigan
• Environmental Atty & talk radio host Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
• Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer

Less widely speculated:
• Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
• Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell
• U.S. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska
• Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen

Not remotely viable official candidates:
• Laura Davis-Aaron (Tennesse) (FEC)
• Carlos Alvarez (NC) (FEC)
• Warren R. Ashe (Virginia) (FEC) Famous for faux-resume
• George Ballard (Pennsylvania) (FEC) Says he, not Barack, is the African American candidate America is ready for
• Emperor Caesar (Florida) (FEC)
• Randy Crow (NC) (FEC) Raving conspiracy theorist lunatic & openly anti-semetic end-times freak
• Richard Flynn (Arizona) (FEC)
• Michael K. Forrester (Colorado) (FEC) Single issue (repeal "No child left behind act) platform
• Danny M. "Dan" Francis (New York) (Exploratory) Former Marine, teacher & Vietnam vet
• Edward Gittelson (New York) (FEC)
• Amanda Hardy (DC) (FEC)
• Michael Hayes (Maryland) (FEC)
• Alfonzo Jones (California) (FEC) Fourth time's the charm?
• John Joseph Kennedy (Georgia) (FEC) Thinks he's on an anti-Bush mission from God
• Karen Keville (I've found no additional info, yet.)
• Karl E. Krueger (South Dakota) (FEC) Long haul trucker & Vietnam vet. Energy independence platform
• John Mason (NC) (FEC)
• Sherry Meadows (Texas) (FEC)
• Lee Mercer (Texas) (FEC)
• Sal Mohamed (Iowa) (FEC) Campaigns by wearing a sandwich board. Not U.S. born, so can't legally run.
• Oloveuse O. "Ole" Savior (Minnesota) (FEC) Weird artist/poet. Big fan of tv's X-Files and the biblical book of Revelations. Anti-nuke.
• Charles Vick (Tennessee) (FEC)
• Tony Vintinner (Texas) (FEC)
• Rubin Young (Florida) (FEC)

Official Drop Outs:
• Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack
  • - Announced candidacy Nov. 30, 2006
  • Dropped out Feb. 23, 2007

Officially not running:
• Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (Oct. 12, 2006)
• Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (Nov. 11, 2006)
• Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle (Dec. 2, 2006)
• Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (Dec. 15, 2006)
• Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (Jan. 24, 2007)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Officially announced candidacies:
• Attorney John H. Cox of Illinois (March 9, 2006)
• Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Feb. 13, 2007)
• Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (Jan. 20, 2007)

Official intent expressed via establishment of exploratory committees:
• Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (Jan. 29, 2007)
• Texas Rep. Ron Paul
  • Filed papers with state authorities in Texas on Jan. 11, 2007
  • Has not yet filed with the Federal Election Commission

• Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani
  • Established exploratory committee Nov. 20
  • Numerous public statements that he's running
  • No official announcement, yet.

• Arizona Sen. John McCain (Nov. 16, 2006)
• Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson (Dec. 13, 2006)
• Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III ( Jan. 9, 2007)
• California Rep. Duncan Hunter (Jan. 12, 2007)
• Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (Jan. 16, 2007)

Widely speculated:
• Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia
• Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel
• Former New York Gov. George E. Pataki

Officially not running:
• Former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist (Nov. 29, 2006)

Monday, February 19, 2007

One Million Blogs for Peace

The Melhi Ink blog has joined the One Million Blogs for Peace project.

If you have a blog and you're willing to (or already do) use your blog to further the cause of ending the Iraq war and bringing our sons & daughters, sisters & brothers, mothers & fathers home safely, you should sign up your blog to participate in the project.

Important Reminder:
March 19 marks the four year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war and March 20th marks the beginning of our fifth year at war in Iraq. Events will be taking place around the country over those two days. If you're interested in attending an event, it's time to start making any necessary schedule/travel plans.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Anti-war/Bush Inkware

For those of you who enjoy checking out the latest additions in my Melhi Ink store:

The Melhi Ink store proudly introduces to its political line, a new anti-war/bush, pro-peace demonstration slogan that is reminiscent of the popular Vietnam War protest rally chant, "Hey, Hey, LBJ -- How many kids have you killed today?"

Just as the LBJ slogan referred to both the war and the Johnson administration's failure to address deadly domestic problems of that era, the Melhi Ink "Screw W" slogan is intended to refer to much more than just the casualties in the Iraq war, but also to deaths attributable to: the mishandling of the Katrina disaster, the gutting of MSHA safety regulations by Bush appointees with corporate interests in the mining industry, un/underemployment, budget cuts that led to the downsizing of police and firefighting forces across the nation, un/underemployment, lack of decent health insurance, etc., etc., etc.

I've also added a beastly new goat-lord design to the Pop Culture Shack line. He's the result of an exercise to increase my mouse accuracy with the lasso tool... the inspiration came from the light/shadow on the ram's horn he's almost entirely crafted from and the lines on a Grand-Am I saw in traffic.

I invite you to click on the above links to see the designs on various merchandise and to offer your feedback on my product selections and design work!

If you currently have a website or blog on which you'd like to mention and link to either of these designs and your web/blog host also allows affiliate advertising, please remember to sign up for a CafePress affiliate account and tack a question mark and your affiliate PID onto the end of the URL before linking, so that you'll earn 20% commission from any purchases resulting from clicks on your referral link. :)

As always, I'm grateful for your interest!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Totally to say "I told you so!"

Can I call 'em or can I call 'em? In my eight part series on same-gendered marriage, I warned that precedent set in the banning of these marriages would lead to this...

Read the Kings5/AP News Report

MPIA, Wash. - An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.

Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington's ban on same-sex marriage.

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized" and people in those marriages would be ineligible to receive any marriage benefits.

“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation ... The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Supporters must gather more than 224,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Opponents say the measure is another attack on traditional marriage, but supporters say the move is needed to have a discussion on the high court ruling.

Hey, I tried to warn you...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Taking It Up The Budget

Once again, Bush's budget gives the American people an intimate look at how Bush feels about us...

If we're obscenely wealthy, he's on his knees pleasuring us with permanent tax cuts.

If we're middle to upper middle class, whether we're traditionally employed or self employed, he's made sure that more of us than ever before will be bent over by the alternative minimum tax that was created to make sure the afore mentioned wealthy pay taxes, at all.

If we're working class and have health insurance through our employers, we're bent over with Bush's greedy fist poised to plunge deep into our burden rate to tax our employer's contribution to our health insurance as income.

If we're poor or elderly, we'll be taking it particularly hard up the budget. The doctors who treat us will have ceilings placed on their incomes -- which will likely discourage many of them from treating us at all.

To recap:
1. Our most wealthy get permanent tax cuts.
2. Millions more of our middle class will be paying higher "alternative minimum tax" rates.
3. Our working class gets a NEW TAX
4. Doctors will be penalized, through salary regulation, for treating our poor and elderly.

And who is the real winner in Bush's budget? Not America. Not Americans. Not American families. Not American soldiers or veterans. Not American seniors or children. Not American workers. Not the American Gulf coast. No. The winners are Iraq and the Iraqi people. For them, we have billions, pulled from the pockets of the people who can least afford and have to work the hardest to foot the bill.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Let Them Eat Johnny Cakes!

Remember that vile, vicious, vindictive, strictly partisan thing the Republicans moaned and bellyached about Democrats doing to a handful of Bush's Judicial nominees? That thing no God fearing, patriotic American Senator would stoop to? Yeah... that's the thing: FILIBUSTERING.

Steady dear reader, gazing upon that word can no longer corrupt you. Apparantly, filibustering is no longer an indication that Senators are in Satan's employ and Republican Senators are piling on the filibuster bandwagon faster than flies flocking to a ripe corpse!

No, no, no... they're not taking a stand against a laughably unqualfied or frighteningly extremist judicial nominee... if Bush says he's known a nominee for at least 10 years, that's still good enough for them.

They're taking a stand against the nation's hard working poor. (Who are only slightly less a plague on society than those lazy bastards who can't find a job.)

Not only are they filibustering what, if it passes, will be the first minimum wage increase in a decade, they've successfully defeated the House's clean and simple version of the bill. ...And they're making sure that if the Minimum Wage Act passes, 121 pork barrel ammendments, some of which will provide even more tax breaks for large corporations, will pass right along with it.

I'll wait while you savor the warm fuzzy it gives you to know that, as a member of the working class, you'll get to work harder than ever to keep less than ever so you can bear the lion's share of the nation's rapidly growing expenses.

Ok, now that you're all warm and squishy, inside (your mouth, where you've no doubt just vomited...)
Click Here to find out who your Senators are, if you don't know already. Then, dial (202) 224-3121 to ask for your Senator's office. Let your Senators know that they are in Washington to represent YOU and that YOU want them to vote in favor of passing the CLEAN VERSION of the minimum wage act!


For the moment, at least, my Melhi Ink store is ranked the number one 2008-election Political Gear shop on!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Carrot Top Has Lock on Ginger Write-in Vote.

AP Headline: No lock on black voters for Obama

Washington Post Headline: Can Hillary Count on Women?
Author Linda Hirshman discusses why New York senator cannot rely on women's votes alone in '08.

Similarly pointless headlines, soundbytes, speculation and stories abound...

ENOUGH already!!!!!! We get it! It didn't escape anyone's notice.

Barack has a permanent tan and Hillary has a vagina.
Big friggin' whoop!

This isn't news and it has nothing to do with electing or not electing either of them as our next President -- as should be pretty damned evident considering that the current adminionstration is headed up by a Dick and a Bush.

Speculation as to whether all blacks will vote for Barack or all women will vote for Hillary? Insulting. Beyond insulting.... and, frankly, moot. There is no target market for this non-information!!

Here's a newsflash, for those of you in the right wing media who don't get out and mingle with us real people much:

This is 2007. The remaining handful of slobbering neanderthal f*cktards who still give even a fraction of a whit about a candidate's gender or race wouldn't vote for either Barack or Hillary, regardless of their race or gender, because they're something far more sinister. They're Democrats.

Worth a Listen

A Florida orator on Bush & the war:

MarkTalks (Listen to the file entitled "True Fiction")

Open letter...

Dear Democratic Senate Majority,

Stop wasting time and our hard earned tax dollars on non-binding resolutions. We sent you to Washington to weild our voices, pass binding resolutions and enact real pieces of legislation, not to busy yourselves sculpting do-nothing machines from empty words.

Stop lollygagging around on our dime and get to work -- real work! ...Or we'll be more than happy to field candidates who will, when next you're up for re-election.

The real McCain

Before you consider voting for him, get to know him! McCain, in his own words...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

AP headline: Lieberman may back Republican in 2008

A. Bush-lite is open to supporting a Republican? Big Friggin' Duh!

B. Does the Ap really think anyone's so interested in who Lieberman endorses that it's necessary to report on it before he's even chosen someone to endorse??

Drag Him Forward (part 3)

The remainder of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations discuss what Iraq, we and the rest of the world can do. I won't go through them recommendation by recommendation because they don't discuss what MUST happen.

Here are my recommendations:

1. We MUST butt out. We've done enough damage and our continued presence only delays what MUST transpire for Iraq to become a strong and stable sovereign nation, once again. (This is not bloody likely to happen.) We must also make it very clear WHY we are leaving, so there is no misperception that we are "cutting and running" on a mess we're too lazy to clean up after ourselves... and this won't be easy, if it's possible at all, given the ways in which the right wing media and the Bush adminionstration have purposely politicized this war to villify any American who doesn't fall into lockstep.

A. Shift our focus and resources from rebuilding Iraq to rebuilding our own gulf coast.

B. Take our "war on terror" to the people who ACTUALLY orchestrated the attacks of 9/11/01 -- Osama bin Ladin and his growing Al Queda organization.

2. The rest of the world also MUST butt out -- completely. (Not any likelier to happen than our butting out.) Isolate Iraq -- let them sort it out on their own.

3. Iraq MUST have its civil war, especially since WE waged their revolution for them. It's important that they win their own independence -- that's why they're fighting US for it, now and why we'd be doing the same, if the situations were reversed.

4. After their civil war has ended, Iraqis MUST determine what their new Iraq will be and how it will be structured and set about to the task of building it.

5. We and the rest of the world MUST accept whatever they come up with... even if they choose a form of government we detest. It's THEIR country -- not ours.

This concludes my series on the Iraq Study Group Report.

Sunshine 3

HR 5 -- PASSED -- College Student Relief


Aye: 232
No: 0
MIA: 1 (Obey)


Aye: 124
No: 71
MIA: 7

HR 6 -- PASSED -- Creating Long Term Energy Alternatives


Aye: 228
No: 4 (Barrow, Boren, Lampson, Marshall)
MIA: 1 (Cooper)


Aye: 36
No: 159
MIA: 7

How did YOUR Representative in Congress vote on these and other important pieces of legislation?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


In my ongoing duty as an evil liberal destroyer of all that is sweet and snuggly, I decided to enter a couple of designs in this year's anti-Valentines contest on CafePress. These are the Melhi Ink store's entries... enjoy!

Beware Love (Valentine skull & crossbones)


"Can't we just be strangers with benefits?"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunshine 2

HR3 -PASSED- Stem Cell Research:


Aye: 216
No: 16
MIA: 1 (Bishop-GA)

Aye: 37
No: 158
MIA: 7 (Buyer, Gilchrest, Hastert, G Miller, Norwood, Radanovich,

(Note: Johnson(R)IL-15 voted No)

HR4 -PASSED- Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation


Aye: 231
No: 0
MIA: 2 (Levin, Loebsack)

Aye: 24
No: 170
MIA: 8 (Buyer, Gillmore, Hastert, Kirk, McHue, G Miller, Norwood, Radanovich)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Let the Sun Shine In

The 110th Congress. You voted 'em in, now keep track of them!
For more info see:

H.R. 1 - Implementing the 9/11Commission Recommendations Act -

Aye: 231
No: 0
MIA: 2 (Moran-VA, Ortiz-TX)
Aye: 68
No: 128
MIA: 6 (Buyer, Gillmor, Knollenberg, Marchant, Moran-KS, Norwood)

H.R. 2 - Minimum Wage Act -

Aye: 233 v
No: 0
MIA: 0
Aye: 82
No: 116
MIA: 4 (Buyer, Knollenberg, Miller, Norwood)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Getting back to normal.

The new Democrat controlled Congress has convened. It's a little premature to be feeling even a hint of relief, but... at least now there's a chance.

In other news...

Bush tacked one of his infamous signing statements onto yet another bill. This time, it's a postal reform bill that, among other things, says Uncle Sam can't snoop through your private mail. The signing statement pretty much amounts to "Oh yeah, just watch me."


America's number one enemy and chief instigator of the loony left-wing media conspiracy, CNN, ran a trailer for a piece about Osama bin Ladin, which captioned footage of the hardly-worth-troubling-Bush's-thoughts terrorist leader with "Where's Obama?"

Presenter Wolf Blitzer, believed by some to be Satan's he-bitch, issued a formal appology to Senator Barack Obama, saying later of the oopsie "We had a very bad typographical error... We certainly deeply regret the error."

It's a shame someone hasn't developed a technology that could be afforded on a media cable giant's budget that would allow them to edit and record such things ahead of time, instead of making them up on the fly, so that news outlets could have their captions glanced over by a proofreader who has a vague awareness of the fair and balanced Obama name game media blitz of the last few weeks and can tell an "s" from a "b."

Typographical error? BZZZZZZZT -- try again, CNN. Granted, I don't have a PhD in typing, but I do know my way around a keyboard. I got my first typewriter when I was 6 and officially learned how to touch-type at 12. I type too fast for regular keyboards and, to avoid multiple keyboard replacements per year, while slowing my speed enough for the computer to keep up with me, I have to use an allegedly "indestructible" jelly board (fondly referred to as "the medicine board." If you've tried to use one, you know why.) I type very fast, I type a lot and while I'm usually pretty accurate, thanks to the medicine board slowing me down to what is, for me, an unnatural, finger-tying speed, I do make all of the common typos... usually several times each in a single blog entry, as you've no doubt noticed, by now.

So let's examine the many common typos, shall we?
B is neither adjacent nor mirrored to "s" on the keyboard. B isn't typed with the same finger as s -- on either hand B doesn't appear when the strike finger lingers too long the s key. S doesn't require pulling the strike finger from its home key and stretching to strike a non-adjacent position as b does. The word "Obama"does not result from typing the letters in "Osama" out of order. "B" isn't a common aurally induced "brain fart" substitution for "s" (as "ing" is for "ink") and it isn't a common visually induced "brain fart" substitution (as d,g,p or q would be for b.) Etc. Etc. Etc.

Not a typo and nobody who viewed the piece in production noticed it until everybody who viewed it on television noticed it? If I didn't know better, I'd say that either the left wing media is turning on its own... or... nooooo... it's almost too absurd to think... could it be? THERE IS NO FRIGGIN' LEFT WING MEDIA AND NEVER WAS.

Yep, things are getting back to normal, quickly... just not the particular brand of "normal" I was hoping for. *long, heavy sigh*