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My Favorite Blogs

  • Buckley Collum
    Sometimes you just have to stand up and look around.
  • Bethlehem Shoals
    Providing the best in Slovenian farm league analysis since 1968. Mostly basketball and politics. Check out his book "The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today's Game".
  • Jason Cooper
    The fiction, art, scribbles and notions born of a mind that often wanders, rarely arriving at any particular destination.
  • Matthew Haavisto
    A mountain hiking, guitar picking, hockey playing, badminton hitting, outdoor loving great friend of mine.
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    Michael Halle is a professional photographer in Portland Oregon.

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  • Atom Films
    Hilarious and Bizarre Shockwave Shorts.
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  • Derf City
    An art school dropout, Derf worked on a garbage truck before deciding to give cartooning a try. Today his comic strip, The City, is one of the most widely-read alternative cartoons, appearing regularly in nearly 60 publications.
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    Odd Todd produces short animations on, well, whatever he's thinking about.
  • Thinking Machine Chess
    If you like chess, you're gonna love this!

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Comments

Greg

Montgomery was obviously at the center of the civil rights movement, but I had no idea your grandfather was basically in the middle of it. He wrote the speech????!!!! How have I known you for 4 years and not known that?

Phil

That's incredible! You never cease to fascinate and amaze me, Fred Ferguson. It is sad, but if you could see this tiny, God-forsaken Southern town I call home, you would realize that it is still only "a Dream" for so many.

Frederick

Phil,

I guess that's why I had to leave America. I felt that the US turns good people into bad people. It eats you like acid from the inside so that in the end all you can feel is insecurity and resentment. America is still a very intolerant place--it's just that racism and sex discrimination have now been supplemented with elitism, homophobia and consumerism. Justice delayed is surely justice denied. I guess that is the point of the album title, "Forever Delayed".

Paul K. Min

Wow, Fred. Didn't know you had history all the way back so far; but it's great that your family saw that something was wrong and tried to do something about it. And yes, there is still a long ways to go in the States, but compared to other places (eg. S. Korea), the US is still a great place to live.

PS. Even back then, you didn't have much hair!! hehehe

peter b...

Fred.... your granddaddy was a fine man....you need to come back to the south and participate in the evolution of the culture rather than be a distant critic.... besides that I love ya and would like to see ya more than 2 times a year ...

peace!

-p

Neil

Fred, you must be very proud that your family made such an outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life of so many people.

Tash

Freddy you can't post a picture like that & not expect us to pass comments on your hair (!!) ...As for finding out the historical significance of your family lineage - it's no wonder - considering your promethean confidence, your cantankerous charm & your constant exhortions against jejune Americans' egregious political & social decisions & the inanition of US consumerism...I for one am glad that you're on "this side of the pond" & incidentally just upstairs(!):o) Tell me, do you feel any pressures to propitiate your friends cries for you to return 'home'? ...Or any impetus to educe changes from abroad? (...there is a kernel of truth to Peter's "distant critic" remark)...

Frederick

Look, life is short and I'm no martyr. I gave America some 30 years of my life and that's enough. I was inspired, idealistic, patriotic, etc., etc. Hell I even voted Republican. But I was unhappy. And I didn't know why. I didn't know why I felt so disempowered, confused and dissatisfied. In fact, I didn't really understand why until I had been out of the country for 4-5 years.

I think people like me are too small of a minority to make a difference. I can't change America. All I ever wanted was to mind my own business, pursue my happiness with my own little like-minded tribe. But Americana has a way of immersing you--it seeps into every crevice and slowly drowns you. It won't leave you alone. Either you buy in to the group think or else you're an infidel. You can't escape. It confronts you everywhere, in everyway, everyday.

The only hope for my own happiness and self-actualization was to leave. That is what I have done. I will NEVER go back. For those I have left behind, I wish them the best. If they match the American ideal enough to find happiness (in their lifetime) then great for them. Perhaps my circumstances were different. Just don't expect me to sacrifice my own happiness to prop up some out-dated notion of romantic nationalism. I seek to live in an enlightened, liberal democracy and frankly, the US is 'none of the above'.

Tash

...so uhh...did you ever jerri-curl?





Frederick

Tash,

You know despite my general animosity towards the self-styled deities of the health care professions and not withstanding what other people say about you, I still live you.

;-)

Tash

i live you too

;o)

Gaelan

The funny thing about this is I remember when Fred used to call himself a Republican. We had many a discussion/argument about American foreign policy with Fred taking a slightly more hawkish, patriotic position than he has of late. So Fred I ask you this. Now that most of the things I said would happen (the US is not as strong as it thinks, it will overextend itself militarily, dramatically undermining the stability and security of the region, threatening it's own long term interests and the prospects of general global prosperity) have happened will you admit that I was right and you were wrong?

BTW you're damn right about this country. The obsession with money and empty vacuous thoughts and feelings seeps into your pores. I could live with that however. The whole world is obsessed with money. What makes me livid is the assault by Christian conservatives on all that is good and true. A war has started and we are losing ground everyday because we don't know who the enemy is.

Best,

Gaelan

Carl

All of this passion is impressive. I would like to think that people change their minds as they learn new things and think carefully about the things they currently hold to be true. This has certainly happened to me on a variety of topics. I would also like to think that the nation can and has learned new things by recent events, even Republicans, and, even, dare I say, Christian conservatives.

I respectfully disagree with Fred and your assessment of the US presently. It overlooks many of the US's outstanding virtues, blames the US, as if it were a person, on the failings of our admittedly incompetent President and the bare majority of clowns who voted for him, blames everyone else for those clown who voted for Bush, does not acknowledge that Christian conservatives (though often ignorant of practically everything a thinking person should know something about), also strive for virtue and are aware of the problem of greed and materialism. It is just a stretch to blame them for going after everything good and true.

I also disagree about the position that we are losing ground in the war against terrorism. This war, if that is the proper word (and it is really not a war), has been waged poorly and at times we have shot ourselves in the foot (Iraq); however, it is not a disaster from the standpoint of protecting US residents on US soil from attack: none has occurred since Sept 11. Additionally, it looks like the US will succeed in Iraq, although there will be more bloodshed. I may be wrong here on Iraq's eventual success, but that is the way it looks now. And for as terrible as the Tsunami was, it does offer an opening to move beyond our focus on terrorism and act constructively and cooperatively in the world. To reclaim some hearts and minds.

Lastly, our President does have his eye on history, and his recent acknowledgement of diplomatic failings and poor word choice was to his credit and hopefully will preface a more conciliatory outlook. Of course, as you suggest, this may well be because of the reality that the US military resources are seriously overstretched and depleted and we have really little other choice that to use diplomacy and consensus in many areas of the world without raising taxes on rich people, which we all know is completely out of the question! :-)

I do think if Democrats are going to win in 2008 we collectively need to adopt a more positive outlook on our country and our political adversaries.

I've enjoyed interchange and hope I have offended no one.

Best regards,

Carl

Frederick

My objection to Theocratic Dominionism does not relate to any specific ideology--they are provably inconsistent with respect to Christian theology nearly across the board in any event. So they get 1 point for virtue and altruism, lose 2 points for tax cuts and homophobia. The issue is that the Establishment Clause* guarantees that we shouldn't even have to do the math.

still, just and always...FredFerg

*The first amendment to the United States Constitution forbids Congress from making any law with respect to an "establishment of religion." Here the term "establishment" refers to an entity similar to the Church of England, with which the Constitution's authors were quite familiar. This so-called "Establishment Clause" complements the first amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion, by limiting government entanglement with religion (whereas the "Free Exercise Clause" is more focused on preserving individual freedom of conscience).

Will

And at the risk of a flaming, I would suggest that one small factor for your disillusionment was those years of voting Republican. Unless you’re also making ungodly amounts of money and can drown the inevitable cognitive dissonance in self-indulgent escapist “stuff,” that’s got to be a major blow to your psyche. But I’m glad you stopped (voting that way) and I’m glad you got out, for your sake. And yes, I do feel the water rising, seeping into every crevice as you put it—and hell, I live in SF. (But my mind wanders back to Mawgumry at every opportunity.)

Love.

Reg

I'm impressed with your Grandfather. I remember you told me he helped MLK with the I Have a Dream speech, that's not something you hear every day. The man obviously had courage and a belief in his cause to stay in Alabama and fight when it would have been so easy to run off to Canada and let someone else deal with it.

R

Gaelan

Let's subtract another two points for actively making children ignorant through abstinence only sex education and the teaching of intelligent design. I also don't think that evangelical Christians as a group are particularly virtuous or altruistic. They simply project their own amour-de-soi onto a false idol of their own creation and then demand that others do the same. It's just another form of the invidious selfishness that surrounds us everyday. The difference is that they have the gall to call it righteousnous. Well it's not.

I suppose I should also add for the sake of clarity that I have no problem with the actual people who call themselves Americans. They are just like everybody else. Some are kind and some are not etc. I have a problem with Republican brownshirts who equate loyalty to party with loyalty to country and loyalty to country with goodness, and I have a problem with evangelical Christians who equate submission to their distorted vision with righteousness. I don't have a problem with actual conservatives or genuine Christians both of which should be disgusted by the travesty that is being reaped in their name.

Gaelan

Frederick

Amen Reverend, Amen!

Frederick

Carl,

I never answered your response on the "War on Terrorism". Is that like the "War on Drugs"? What is it exactly? Who is the victim and who is the perpetrator? You will forgive me if the distinction is starting to blur. Everyone who disagrees with the status quo appears to be a threat to the powers that be.

Clearly, there is virtue in fighting for good so as to overcome evil and to improve the condition of all human kind. But let us not be mistaken. The well that waters the fires of terror is itself fed by our own apologies for injustice and hypocrisy. Our confusion and inability to find our way derives from all of the lies that we have breathed.

still, just and always...FredFerg

Min Ki Hong

Hmmm.... Fred, I think - and I hope - that this is just a phase you're going through.... this being you having gone over to the dark side.

As for your cause of terrorism... I cannot believe you're blaming that on the US. Is it the US's fault that it is a rich country that makes other stone age idiot nations jealous? Is it the US's fault that the Koran, etc - what was written well before the New World was even discovered by the white boys - is written in such a way that can be deciphered in any way the fundamentally evil hicks?

Me.

Frederick

The United States and its allies have and continue to support undemocratic military juntas across the Middle East for their own selfish purposes (read buying oil and selling arms). And of course we shouldn't even speak of Israel.

Democracy for me, feudalism for you. Oh gosh darn it! Feudalism for everybody!

Min Ki Hong

All nations work for their own advantage... even dishing out money to tsunami victims is - at its base - due to the nation's self-interests. The altruistic nations you seek do not exist, have never existed and will ever
exist.

Make the best out of the nation you're living in. And like I said before, the US, despite all of its problems, is still a great country when considering the other choices in the world (eg. Korea, south)

Frederick

You asked if I was blaming the West for the rise of Islamic terrorism and the answer is an emphatic "yes". Iraq is today, presumably not by design, a virtual cauldron of anti-western Islamic extremists--kind of the same as what happened when the Iranians finally overthrew our puppet there (the Shah). Furthermore, I blame the current administration for the sudden rise of evangelical extremists in this US (think Northern Ireland). We will come to regret both.

-Frederick

still, just and always...FredFerg

Min Ki Hong

So are you saying that the Mid East didn't have these radical hicks/terrorists before the West set foot in that region?

Why do you insist on blaming the West for everything that's wrong in this world? What, the West was the cause of AIDS, too?

I agree that the West has fucked up many times and does a lot of bad, but at the same time, you have to give them their due for all the good they've done (society, technology, economic growth, etc.).

I can't believe you were moving to the dark side right in front of my eyes and I did nothing about it. Just call me obe one, my Anakin.

Frederick

Paul,

That is correct, there was no terrorism in the Middle East before Western intervention. Actually I guess we have to thank the British Mandate and the UN Partition for getting the party started.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population." David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

still, just and always...FredFerg

Rick

I drown everyday immersed in a sea of totally faithful unquestioning true red believers that I grew up with here in the Gump. You have been removed too long to have any idea how truly scary the join or be killed movement of the religious south is today. In conversation signs of independant thought are looked on as offensive. The Montgomery of today can be summed up in one simple statement. Jesus, have a seat, No Jesus, to the back of the bus please. This is what seeps in everyday.

I am bored with the your going to hell and your a bad person and the only reason is because we don't sit in the same church on Sunday.

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