Monday, December 17, 2007
"But the deeper reason to support Ron Paul is a simple one. The great forgotten principles of the current Republican party are freedom and toleration. Paul's federalism, his deep suspicion of Washington power, his resistance to government spending, debt and inflation, his ability to grasp that not all human problems are soluble, least of all by government: these are principles that made me a conservative in the first place. No one in the current field articulates them as clearly and understands them as deeply as Paul. He is a man of faith who nonetheless sees a clear line between religion and politics. More than all this, he has somehow ignited a new movement of those who love freedom and want to rescue it from the do-gooding bromides of the left and the Christianist meddling of the right. The Paulites' enthusiasm for liberty, their unapologetic defense of core conservative principles, their awareness that in the new millennium, these principles of small government, self-reliance, cultural pluralism, and a humble foreign policy are more necessary than ever - no lover of liberty can stand by and not join them.
"He's the real thing in a world of fakes and frauds. And in a primary campaign where the very future of conservatism is at stake, that cannot be ignored. In fact, it demands support.
"Go Ron Paul!"
I can't deny it--I'm feeling the Paul spirit myself.
"With the Iowa caucuses just two and a half weeks away, the candidates have pretty much taken up residence in the state, with one conspicuous exception. This morning will find Senator Chris Dodd on the Senate floor, where he plans to be staging a filibuster against the telcom immunity provision in the FISA bill. As we've written here before, Dodd's opposition has won him much love from the netroots. But it's not exactly the best timing from a conventional political perspective. (Dodd, after all, moved his family to Iowa in October.)
"A campaign official tells me: "He understands that he should probably be in Iowa campaigning, but the Constituion and the rule of law are Dodd's passion. He has a deep history with it and fundamentally believes that we decrease our standing in the world when we don't live up to our values. And when that happens we weaken our national security.""
That scores some points with me.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Last night he addressed the impeachment catastrophe as his number 5 pick on The Countdown. Video below:
I still don't think I've received a satisfactory reason why the Democrats folded, but the discussion is highly appreciated.
"Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.
And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
"The latest Democrat "saviour" to flip flop 180 degrees in light of their victory is Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Presumed to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, Conyers today said that impeachment of President Bush "is off the table."
"In this campaign, there was an orchestrated right-wing effort to distort my position on impeachment," Conyers said in a statement released by his Judiciary Committee spokesman. "The incoming speaker (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) has said that impeachment is off the table. I am in total agreement with her on this issue: Impeachment is off the table."
Conyers seems to have forgotten that last December he laid out the grounds for impeachment in a 350 page long report called "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups in the Iraq War" and later updated to add "illegal domestic surveillance.""
You want to know the worse part of this? Hearing the heartbreak in my Dad's voice as he watches the Democratic party fall apart before his eyes. I'm equally disgusted.
What you probably don't know: Dennis Kucinich, Congressman from Ohio and long shot presidential candidate, had submitted a resolution calling for the impeachment of VP Dick Cheney in April, and yesterday it came to the house floor. What happened next, was mind boggling:
"House Republicans on Tuesday prevented Democratic leaders from blocking a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. [Yeah, you read that right]
"The vote to table the privileged resolution, offered by Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinch, began as a largely party-line vote to kill the measure, but Republicans developed a strategy to force Democrats to debate the resolution by supporting Kucinich. GOP leaders felt as though it was in their interest to debate the measure because it would make Democrats look bad.
After more than an hour of waiting for the vote to close, the motion to table the resolution failed by a vote of 162-251 after Democratic leaders failed to convince a group of liberal caucus members to side with them."
So are you following this? Kucinich's bill, thought to be an easy kill, was then supported by the GOP and nearly killed by Democrats, who were then forced to push the resolution into the Democratic controlled Judicary Committee, where it will be used by Nancy Pelosi as scratch paper for her to doodle new ways to fold to the Bush administration.
Oh but wait, it gets worse.
I wake up today figuring that they'll be some coverage on it either in the M$M or the indie left blogs. I mean the impeachment of a Vice-President, just that alone sounds like news, not counting the Machiavellian maneuvers that kept it alive. You'd figure they're be something right?
Instead there was nada. Nothing. Squat-diddly. I've heard feathers land on pillows that make more noise. The only substantial response I received to this monumental news was from Sully, who, sadly, sums up my feelings perfectly:
"A great idea. [Impeachment] The man is a war criminal, and has done more to undermine our Constitutional balance than any man since Richard Nixon. Secretive, incompetent, belligerent, contemptuous of the rule of law, there is barely a bad decision this president has made that doesn't have Cheney's fingerprints on it. Of course, the Democrats are scared of taking on this man. But they are, by and large, a bunch of empty suits (and one botoxed empty pant-suit). I'm delighted the Congress is finally tackling the issue of the vice-president's attack on the constitution. If done right, it could help air the fundamental indecency that Cheney represents. But, of course, it won't be done right. Which is why I remain someone who, abandoned by the current Republicans, still can't even think of identifying as a Democrat."
But I might even go farther--fear can no longer be an issue for Democrats, because fear implies that there is a substantial chance for reprisal. On all the issues that the Democrats claim they stand for: ending the war, ending torture, curtailing the patriot act, and restoring habeus corpus, the public supports them. Furthermore, there are significant cries for impeaching both Bush and Cheney. If anything, a public debate and investigation into these men will hem up the widening gaps in our Constitution and prevent politicians from taking advantage of the public again. So why wouldn't the Democrats want to have this discussion? I fear a much sinister purpose, that I'm hesitant to put forth; so, rather, I'll state it in more philosophical terms. When the opposition party no longer opposes, it becomes time for those who support them to look to other leaders. Now I'm not saying I'm abandoning the Democrats, because with Giuilani in the race the devil I know is definitely worse than the devil I don't know, and I'm still tempted by the candidacy of Obama. But yesterday was a low point, for not just the Democrats, but really for the entire left wing, who, through their silence, were just as acquiescent about their representatives' wrongs as conservatives, like Sully, who were silent when Bush began to trample on the Constitution. Frustration and anger will breed strange bedfellows.
PS: Yeah, yeah, I know Me + Sully = "strange bedfellows", purely metaphoric. Or is it... :)
Monday, October 01, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
"No sooner did tens of thousands of African-American demonstrators depart the racially tense town of Jena, La., last week after protesting perceived injustices than white supremacists flooded in behind them.First a neo-Nazi Web site posted the names, addresses and phone numbers of some of the six black teenagers and their families at the center of the Jena 6 case and urged followers to find them and "drag them out of the house," prompting an investigation by the FBI.Then the leader of a white supremacist group in Mississippi published interviews that he conducted with the mayor of Jena and the white teenager who was attacked and beaten, allegedly by the six black youths. In those interviews, the mayor, Murphy McMillin, praised efforts by pro-white groups to organize counter demonstrations; the teenager, Justin Barker, urged white readers to "realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind."
Hat Tip: Mithras
"The story begins on September 1st, 1983, when Soviet jet interceptors shot down a Korean Air Lines civilian airliner after the aircraft crossed into Soviet airspace and then, for reasons still unknown, failed to respond to radio hails. 269 passengers and crew died, including US Congressman Lawrence McDonald. Ronald Reagan called it "barbarism", "inhuman brutality", "a crime against humanity that must never be forgotten". Note that this was already a very, very poor time for US/USSR relations. Andropov, the ailing Soviet leader, was half-convinced the US was planning a first strike. The KGB sent a flash message to its operatives warning them to prepare for possible nuclear war.
"On September 26th, 1983, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was the officer on duty when the warning system reported a US missile launch. Petrov kept calm, suspecting a computer error.
Then the system reported another US missile launch.
And another, and another, and another.
What had actually happened, investigators later determined, was sunlight on high-altitude clouds aligning with the satellite view on a US missile base.
In the command post there were beeping signals, flashing lights, and officers screaming at people to remain calm. According to several accounts I've read, there was a large flashing screen from the automated computer system saying simply "START" (presumably in Russian). Afterward, when investigators asked Petrov why he hadn't written everything down in the logbook, Petrov replied,"Because I had a phone in one hand and the intercom in the other, and I don't have a third hand."
The policy of the Soviet Union called for launch on warning. The Soviet Union's land radar could not detect missiles over the horizon, and waiting for positive identification would limit the response time to minutes. Petrov's report would be relayed to his military superiors, who would decide whether to start a nuclear war.
Petrov decided that, all else being equal, he would prefer not to destroy the world. He sent messages declaring the launch detection a false alarm, based solely on his personal belief that the US did not seem likely to start an attack using only five missiles.
Petrov was first congratulated, then extensively interrogated, then reprimanded for failing to follow procedure. He resigned in poor health from the military several months later. According to Wikipedia, he is spending his retirement in relative poverty in the town of Fryazino, on a pension of $200/month. In 2004, the Association of World Citizens gave Petrov a trophy and $1000. There is also a movie scheduled for release in 2008, entitled The Red Button and the Man Who Saved the World."
Hat Tip: Megan
Time has the write up, quote:
"By 12:30 p.m., hundreds of monks, students, and other Rangoon residents approached the police, stood in the road and began to pray. Then the soldiers and police began pulling monks from the crowd, targeting the leaders, striking both monks and ordinary people with canes. Several smoke bombs exploded and the riot police charged. The monks and others fought back with sticks and rocks. Many others ran, perhaps four or five of them bleeding from minor head wounds. A car was set alight — by the soldiers, some protesters claimed — and then there was the unmistakable crack of live ammunition: the soldiers were shooting into the air.
"They are not Buddhists," cried one student, who clutched half a brick in his hand, running from the smoke. "They are not humans. We were praying peacefully and they beat us. They beat the monks, even the old ones." An 80-year-old monk stood with the student, bleeding from a baton gash on his shaven head.
"However, after this confrontation, the monks regrouped and surged forward again. Shops along the road were shuttered, but people threw down water bottles from their balconies to aide the protesters. Minutes later, the arc of a tear-gas canister looped through the air toward the pagoda's east entrance. The air was full of dense black clouds from a burning car and motorbike. Running monks retreated through the smoke, many armed with clubs of scavenged wood, one armed with a riot shield snatched from the police. They were shaking and incandescent with rage. "The United Nations must know about this!" cried one. "They beat the nuns too," cried another. "
I know this is going to sound completely quixotic and naive but...what's up with beating up monks and nuns? I mean, they're friggin monks man! Looks like some more people bought themselves an first class flight to Hell. That's getting to be a pretty packed flight.
Hat Tip: Sully
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.
"...Officials with knowledge of the case said it is active, although at an early stage. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, which has heightened since 11 Iraqis were killed Sunday in a shooting involving Blackwater contractors protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Baghdad."
Maybe they just wanted to give Iraqis guns to shoot back at them; you know, like a big game of cops and robbers. Oh wait, that's what they play with Bush and Cheney.
Seriously, send Britney. These guys haven't seen a woman in make up and a thong in years. You see how hard up they are. And the worse that could happen? She gets shot and Bush gives her a medal posthumously. And the best? When she gets into a car accident she might hit a IED. Britney Spears--saving lives.
I have a very libertarian attitude towards most issues, and I am a strong proponent of the right of self defense.
So here comes the radical part of my opinion: it is POSSIBLE that those 6 black youths should be COMMENDED and THANKED for showing REMARKABLE RESTRAINT under the circumstances.
"What", you ask, "is this guy a NUTCASE?"
Well, my wife may think so, but let me give you a "devil's advocate" argument.
This is the SOUTH we are talking about. Blacks were held as slaves there for hundreds of years, and white-on-black lynchings were both prevalent and accepted for most of the 20th century. A noose is not only a symbol of grotesque and horrific oppression and murder, it is also a WEAPON. And it is a weapon that has been used to DEADLY effect against thousands of innocent blacks across the South, for decades, even centuries.
When those kids hung a noose fom that tree, it was no different than if a bunch of Nazi skinheads in Germany held up swastica flags, waved around full canisters of Zyclon-B gas, and threatened to release it into a Jewish Highschool.
The black students at the school waited patiently for the wheels of justice to turn, and for the white students involved to be arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to PRISON time (3 to 5 years each?) for assault. The justice system failed them UTTERLY.
Now, they were faced with a situation where they had been credibly threatened with murder, in a jurisdiction where the murder of blacks by whites was a socially acceptable hobby within living memory, and the forces of law enforcement had refused to either offer them protection or prosecute the offenders.
Individuals have a right to be secure in their persons. If the police refuse to do the job, then the individual if morally obligated to protect himself BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
I say that white kid got of lightly. I am Jewish. I am married with 4 children. If a Neo-Nazi ever threatened my wife or one of my children, he'd be lucky if all I did was kill him."
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
"Retired General and former CENTCOM CINC John Abizaid argues that we could live with a nuclear Iran. And, indeed, we could. Iran getting a nuclear bomb wouldn't be a threat to the United States and wouldn't even be an especially serious problem for Israel or any aspects of American power projections in the region.
"Somewhat ironically, I think getting clearer about this might make it easier to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Acting in an unduly paranoid manner about the Iranian nuclear program suggests to Iranians that there are some large gains that might accrue to their country from developing nuclear weapons. In fact, a nuclear weapons program would be a largely useless waste of money. The United States has good reason to worry about nuclear proliferation in general and, therefore, to worry about the Iranian program as an instance of the general phenomenon. But Iranian nuclear weapons, as such, aren't a big problem for us."
Sounds right to me. But try to convince McCain of it.
Friday, September 14, 2007
But today the follow up report was under this headline: Arrest in TV Chef's "Gay Bash". Ok, maybe I'm being sensitive (Fox News tells me that liberals have a tendency to be this way) but what's up with the quotation marks around Gay Bash? I mean, were the suspects quoted screaming "Gay bash!" as they beat her? Or was someone at the Post trying to be witty and make a pun on Chef? If so, the comedy was inappropriate, and just not funny. Or, worse yet, is the author trying to throw doubt as to whether the woman was gay-bashed at all? I've seen the quotation marks used in that manner. Either way it seems sort of offensive to me considering the subject matter. I mean how would it look if they published these headlines:
US Marine "murdered" in Iraq.
Woman gets "gang-raped" by twenty men.
Suspects in terror get "tortured". (Oh wait, they use that one in City Journal).
Anyway, you get the point. Maybe I am being sensitive, but well, whatever. Sue me.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
"MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed his long-serving prime minister Wednesday and nominated little-known Cabinet official Victor Zubkov to replace him in a surprise move that could put Zubkov in the running to replace Putin next year.
After dismissing Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov -- triggering the government's automatic dissolution -- Putin explained the shakeup was required to "prepare the country" for forthcoming elections.
Legislative elections are to be held December 2, and presidential elections are expected three months later."
Business as usual in Russia. Note to Bush, probably not a great time to push the NATO missile shield.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
""He [Warner] then asked Petraeus a pointed question: "Do you feel that [Iraq war] is making America safer"?
Petraeus paused before responding. He then said: "I believe this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq."
That was, of course, a non-answer. And Warner wasn't going to let the general dodge the bullet. He repeated the question: "Does the [Iraq war] make America safer?"
Petraeus replied, "I don't know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind.""
My take? I think Petraeus has gotten a bad rap this last couple of weeks, especially with the farther left questioning his loyalty to the country, a charge that's both unwarranted and counterproductive. However his obstinate adherence to misleading statistics, his appearance on Fox News, and his robotic and ideological abstractions of the Iraq conflict lead me to believe that he's more interested in somehow figuring out a military solution as a academic exercise than looking at the problem in terms of the bigger picture of America and terrorism. Is he yet another talking head of the Bush administration? To me the court is still out on that, but that's really irrelevant anyway. We had more than enough info to decide to pull out before Petraeus delivered his report, and his presentation isn't convincing enough to change our minds. Maybe if he'd held up a vial of anthrax...oh, mah bad.
"Every nation has an interest in shutting down terrorism. CITO will create connections between a wide range of nations on terrorism and intelligence, including countries on all continents, including Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. New connections between previously separate nations will be forged, creating new possibilities.CITO will allow members to voluntarily share financial, police, customs and immigration intelligence. Together, nations will be able to track the way terrorists travel, communicate, recruit, train, and finance their operations. And they will be able to take action, through international teams of intelligence and national security professionals who will launch targeted missions to root out and shut down terrorist cells.The new organization will also create a historic new coalition. Those nations who join will, by working together, show the world the power of cooperation. Those nations who join will also be required to commit to tough criteria about the steps they will take to root out extremists, particularly those who cross borders. Those nations who refuse to join will be called out before the world."
I'm down, especially if it gets us closer to catching Cobra Commander--er, I mean Bin Laden.
Hat Tip: MY
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
"According to Matt, it's over-treatment. Yep: they're making us too healthy, those fee-based doctors. Can't have that, can we?"
The problem here is Sully's statement that they're making us 'too healthy' completely misconstrues Matt's observation:
"...I don't see any politicians wanting to tackle -- the fact that doctors frequently overtreat patients in ways that are sometimes directly harmful and even when not harmful per se, contribute to a terrible maldistribution of health care resources. That's not to say that America has "too much health care," but rather that at the same time as many Americans have too little health care other Americans are, in fact, getting too much. Doctors are, in essence, prescribing all the treatment that will get paid for -- which means too much treatment for people with a large ability to pay, and too little for people with little ability to pay."
Of course, that doesn't stop Sully from using his fallacious reasoning as a jump off to diss the entire idea of universal/ socialized/ any other type of health care policy other than what we have now:
"And who would be paying their salaries? The government of course, in some form or another, looking over doctors' and patients' shoulders to make sure they don't behave incorrectly, by over-prescribing, or prescribing one of those new, expensive drugs that actually cure or treat diseases. (Of course, if Matt and liberal Democrats have their way, there will be far far fewer new expensive drugs anyway.) It's often clarifying to see the leftist mind at work: we know best; the profit-motive is inherently suspect; doctors and patients cannot be trusted with their ow health decisions. Yes, I know insurance companies and HMOs make similar decisions. But if you think they're callous and irrational, wait till you give the same powers to Washington D.C."
Ooo the bogeyman! Watch out! Because the government can't be trusted with anything! Especially war, er I mean health care. Sure glad the government doesn't oversee the foods we eat or the cars or drive or anything like that--oh wait, they do? Damn you government! Damn you to hell!
(Short story: I have a friend who's had a drinking problem. He went to a doctor who sent him to AA and, after over a year of him not drinking still prescribes him nine different psychotropic medications. Now his hands shake worse than when he was withdrawing and he can barely formulate a sentence. But he leaves his faith in his doctors because, well they're doctors and they know best. Meanwhile he can't hold down a job. Now has he gotten better or worse? Overtreatment can be a problem, and even if it's not because of the influence and greed of the pharmaceutical industry, human arrogance can be just as dangerous.)
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
A little lesson in the power of non-violent protest:
"Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes. Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”Maybe we haven't gone to hell just yet.
Hat Tip: Digby
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Side note: I'm serious though, if anyone can refresh my memory about Democratic scandals in the past year or so, please add a comment. And please let it be something substantive. Don't just write "Oh and Sen Byrd was in the Klan!" Yes, we know he was in the Klan, but unless he was burning a cross in front of the NAACP headquarters in the last year I don't wanna hear about it. But if he was, and you have pictures...please send. NYT here I come!
The only think I would add to it is that the true challenge of our country's grit comes in the challenges that we face. One reason why people (including myself to some extent) might see American as not gritty (or as George Carlin might say, 'pussyfied') is that our new set of challenges are more ideological and philosophical and less physical and warlike. This leads us to 'fight' battles not with our fists but with our minds, and when you consider that mental challenges are seen as the arena of 'nerds' rather than 'warriors' one then concludes that we've lost mettle. Still, that doesn't change the fact that this is the new world that we live in, and sadly, our inertia still carries us to old methods of engagement.
Monday, August 27, 2007
"...but my best guess is that Bush will go out of his way to pick somebody fairly controversial -- someone whose confirmation liberals will find outrageous -- and then start loudly and immediately declaring that each hour's delay in confirming his nominee is putting thousands of lives at risk. The hope would be to generate one of these situations where all the Republicans plus maybe a dozen Democrats vote to confirm, and then progressives spend the next month arguing with themselves over it, and even the Democrats who reliable agree to surrender on anything terror-related get criticized in fall '08 for being soft on terror."
Divide and conquer while Bush sets his exit strategy. Sounds about right. What say you? How about Robert Bork? That'll keep the Dems busy.
"As Digby put it, "Sometimes you have to see it to believe it." From Rush Limbaugh's show a few days ago:
"LIMBAUGH: Here's [caller] in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thank you for calling. Great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. It's great to talk to you. I talked to you once before. I've been listening to you for a couple of years now, and I think I'm getting brighter, but there's a lot to be learned. I know I'm no expert in foreign affairs, but what really confuses me about the liberals is the hypocrisy when they talk about how we have no reason to be in Iraq and helping those people, but yet everybody wants us to go to Darfur. I mean, aren't we going to end up in a quagmire there? I mean, isn't it -- I don't understand. Can you enlighten me on this?
LIMBAUGH: Yeah. This is -- you're not going to believe this, but it's very simple. And the sooner you believe it, and the sooner you let this truth permeate the boundaries you have that tell you this is just simply not possible, the better you will understand Democrats in everything. You are right. They want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur.
LIMBAUGH: There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur?
CALLER: Uh, yeah.
LIMBAUGH: It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble.
CALLER: Yes. Yes. The black population.
LIMBAUGH: Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.
CALLER: It's just -- I can't believe it's really that simple.
"I'm hard pressed to pick the most offensive angle here. The racism? The ignorance? The disregard for a human catastrophe of historic proportions? The total lack of decency? Take your pick.
And let's also not forget that this clown is a favorite of the Bush White House, and a frequent outlet for both the President and Vice President. "
Only thing I need to add to this? Through all of Rush's BS, Imus became the icon for what's 'wrong' with talk radio. I'd love for the media to put this little gem next to Imus' 'nappy headed 'ho' comment and really discuss the merits of each person's racism. Limbaugh has made his bread and butter on these types of positions, and furthermore he seems to get more crediblity as a 'journalist' than Imus (which makes him more dangerous). He gets even scarier when you consider that Rush has a greater market share and number of listeners.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Anyone else probably would have gotten arrested for driving a golf cart drunk in the middle of downtown Sweden, but how can you arrest Carl Spackler?
He's still my hero.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"Well I'm sick of it. There is no excuse for a country as wealthy as ours allowing innocent children to go without access to basic health care. And if policymakers take steps that result in a net increase in the number of children without access to care, they have a moral duty to find a way to fix that problem immediately. As far as I'm concerned, the Bush administration is morally responsible for what happens to the children who lose access to health care as a result of these new rules. If any of them die or suffer permanent harm from a condition that could have been prevented with routine care (and it's bound to happen), the Bush administration bears the blame."
Now the argument has been revitalized from the most surprising of people. Country music superstar Kenny Chesney has challenged both Kayne and 50, and said in a press release, "''It's funny how with every record that comes out, we're aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist, until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200."
Someone really needs publicity. So sad.
Hat Tip: All Hip Hop
Friday, August 17, 2007
"I'll observe that in both the criminal justice and counterterrorism fields, there seems to be a tendency among policymakers to treat punishing the innocent as a kind of close second-best to punishing the guilty. And, of course, in bureaucratic terms it is -- a conviction is a conviction and a clearance is a clearance, whether or not you've got the right guy. In crime control terms, though, it's a terrible error to be wasting resources (prison space, prosecutors' and judges' time) on punishing people who aren't criminals. It's also a terrible injustice, of course, but it's not a tradeoff between justice and effective crime control -- punishing the innocent is counterproductive, just like torturing innocent people and wasting your time chasing down their "leads.""
Which was further evidenced in this week's exchange on the hill when William Murphy, assistant director of the FBI was questioned by two congressmen:
"Lundgren and Delahunt said they were also troubled by reports that in order to protect the identity of its informants, the FBI had withheld exculpatory evidence from criminal trials, resulting in innocent people going to prison.
"This is worth repeating. The FBI has determined that in some cases, it's better to let innocent people be assaulted, murdered, or wrongly sent to prison than to halt a drug investigation involving one of its confidential informants.
"Could Murphy assure the U.S. Congress, Delahunt and Lundgren asked, that the FBI has since instituted policies to ensure that kind of thing never happens again?
"Murphy hemmed and hawed, but ultimately said that he could not make any such assurance. That in itself should have been huge news."
It sounds like it should have been, but it won't be. Why? Because both what Murphy says and Yglesias' deduction shows the inherent flaws in the system, which can't be rectified with reform but rather deconstruction. Basically we judge the justice system by convictions and by cells filled in prisons--not whether justice is being served. Until that changes "close but no cigar" will be good enough, and a few innocent by-standers will be acceptable collateral damage. It just proves to me that what my father told me when I was a child was correct: stay away from police and the entire justice system no matter how innocent I am, because once you're brought into close contact with them your life becomes nothing but a roll of the dice.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Note to VH1: You have to have a reality show that follows the tour. I want the moment that Eddie cracks David Lee Roth's head open with a bottle of Jack Daniels to be caught on film.
"The result of this [Guiliani's] policy is going to be an endless series of wars, a bankrupt country accounting for way more than fifty percent of world defense expenditures, fewer and fewer countries willing to cooperate with us on key priorities and, perhaps worst of all, more and more nuclear proliferation as countries decide its not safe to live in a world where the Rudy-led USA is the big kid on the block."
In other news, David Duke becomes head of B'nai Brith.
Update: So someone pointed out to me (actually, I pointed out to myself) that one can take the above post to say that I'm comparing a) either the teacher to David Duke or b) Orthodox Jews to David Duke. That, I would hope, would obviously not be my attention, and of course there's no reason why an Orthodox Jew wouldn't be able to be a competent and loving teacher at any school. The joke here, or what I'm really pointing to, is that the off the cuff reaction to this, considering Arab / Jewish relations, would be that the appointment isn't very political and would be polarizing, just like David Duke's appointment wouldn't be political as well. Sorry to offend (myself), and hopefully someday I will apologize (to myself).
I need a therapist.
"BAGHDAD (AP) -- Rescuers dug through the muddy wreckage of collapsed clay houses in northwest Iraq on Wednesday, uncovering at least 200 victims of suicide truck bombings that the U.S. military blamed on al-Qaida.
"The victims of the war's second-deadliest attack were members of a small Kurdish sect, the Yazidis, who have been the target of Muslim extremists who consider them infidels."
Al-Qaida stays busy don't they? Not only do they find time to kill Americans but they also have time to kill Kurds. Considering their effectiveness, do you think the military will consider outsourcing the war on terror to them? I mean SAIC is an abysmal failure but we still use them to the tune of 8 billion.
At least that's the rumor:
"The pop star has been having bisexual romps with her pretty 21-year-old assistant Shannon Funk, according to an article set for publication in OK! magazine. Her alleged torrid makeout sessions could spell trouble for Spears, who is desperate to prove she's a good mom as ex-husband Kevin Federline lines up witnesses to say otherwise."
Ok, so in one fell swoop I've managed to destroy my feminist rating and my credibility as a journalist. On the other hand I've also managed to increase my hits ten-fold and found a way to post up a pic of two girls kissing. And the morning has just begun.
...so of course they call it "controversial":
"An unusual billboard on the West Side Highway that's part of a series of ads for Manhattan Mini Storage poking fun at the Bush Administration is stirring up controversy. The billboard at 44th Street and Twelfth Avenue reads: “Your closet space is shrinking as fast as her right to choose.” There is a picture of a coat hanger in the background.
"A NY1 viewer wrote in to the station, saying she felt the advertisement lacked compassion.
"Passersby on the West Side Highway had mixed feelings about the message. “It’s not in the best taste, but it reflects probably the actual truth to the issue, you know. That’s the history,” said one man. “I think it’s catchy, I think it’s, you know, eye-grabbing and it gets your attention and it’s certainly a little controversial with the hanger,” added a woman. “I think it’s kind of crazy that they put it up there like that,” added another man. “I think it’s a little disrespectful. I think it’s a little inconsiderate and it’s big! I mean, it’s not hidden, people can see it.”
I'm sure that the arguments against the ad are more rational and more thought out than the above comments (It lacks compassion? Huh?), but I like the fact that its topical and actually inspires thought compared to how most ads usually try to lull you into a dopey spending trance. In fact, I have a few more ideas for the Mini Storage guys:
1) Your closet's filled with more dresses than Rudy Guiliani's.
2) Because you've packed your closet with shoes the way Bush packs the courts.
3) Because inmates at Camp X-Ray have more storage space than you do.
Feel free to send your ideas in.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Well, that was the story as posted up by the increasingly irrelevant Media Matters Sunday (as related from Swampland) who must seethe so much at Matthews that even the most mundane breaches of decorum must be touted like he was running a dogfighting operation:
"On the August 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, during a discussion of recent financial news, host Chris Matthews told CNBC's Erin Burnett: "[Y]ou're beautiful" and "[y]ou're a knockout," before closing the interview by saying, "It's all right getting bad news from you.""
Um...Wtf? Like isn't Media Matters supposed to report on the truly big foul ups and offensive behavior? I suppose it's misogynistic to call a guest "beautiful" (unless it's John Edwards, who really is dreamy). Look, anyone who's watched Matthews knows he runs his show like it being broadcast from the restaurant above Cheers. So for him to flirt with a guest...well I guess I just figured we had bigger fish to fry.
And by the way Ana, it really is alright getting bad news from you--definitely better than Wolf Blitzer.
"Rove is one of the worst political strategists in recent times. He took a chance to realign the country and to unite it in a war - and threw it away in a binge of hate-filled niche campaigning, polarization and short-term expediency. His divisive politics and elevation of corrupt mediocrities to every branch of government has turned an entire generation off the conservative label."
The only thing I would add to that is that the legacy of Rove (much like the legacy of Bush's whole administration) will be judged solely on their abysmal conclusion and their lack (or inability) of foresight, which, by comparison, makes Nixon look sagacious. Rove, by any means necessary, could get you that election--but what happened after that was, to him, irrelevant. They bit their noses to spite their faces, and then shrugged when no one could smell. But considering how much time and money is spent in the electoral process this tactic is the fashion and will continue to be the fashion as long as politicians are forced by the system to only see the forest for the trees and get reelected. Politics as usual.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I feel more urbane already.
Hat Tip: Sully
It took a while, but after a couple of tournaments of only human performances Tiger erupts in the second round of the PGA Championship to tie record round:
"TULSA, Okla. - They could hear him coming simply by following the cheers that charted every birdie along the back nine. The sweat-soaked spectators rose to their feet when Tiger Woods climbed onto the 18th green with history waiting at a major.
"They sensed something special at Southern Hills, even if it was only Friday.
"Fifteen feet from the lowest round ever at a major, Woods raised his putter when the ball began to dip inside the left edge of the cup, then let the club fall from his hands as the ball spun around the cup and out the other side."
He now leads the field by two strokes. Looks like I have something to do tomorrow, if my fiance lets me stay home. I'm praying for rain.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
|You Are 96% Feminist|
You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.
What can I say, I was raised by a single mom.
Hat Tip: Bloggers who take dumb quizzes.
"Mitt Romney spent yesterday morning barnstorming the small farming communities of Eastern Iowa, holding a series of "Ask Mitt Anything" events and urging his supporters to turn out for the straw poll in Ames on Saturday.
"How many counties are in Massachusetts?" she asked.
"Thirteen," he said. A few feet away, an aide shook his head and said, "Ten.""And just to think--the day just started!
Hat Tip: Sully
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
There is something deeply appalling and
disturbing about the media's reporting of Bond's 756 homer. Their lack of unbiased recording of this event, in fact their sheer lack at the attempt at disinterest, to me, borders on the pathological.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
"I spent a decent portion of the afternoon wandering the halls, slightly dazed at the notion that out there in the MSM a controversy was raging over Barack Obama saying he could rule out the idea of using nuclear weapons to fight al-Qaeda. Hillary Clinton, it seems, disagrees. But why on earth would you use nuclear weapons to fight al-Qaeda? You use nukes to destroy large portions of cities. Remember counterinsurgency?"
But one mustn't rule out nuclear weapons at any time because then we show weakness and the terrorists win. Obama is naive!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
"The Bloomberg administration is quietly pushing new regulations that would ban certain kinds of photography in New York City without a permit and $1 million in liability insurance...
"It seems clear that this measure is designed discourage small-time filmmakers from shooting in the city. Cynics would speculate that the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, and Television wants to create a monopoly for the big commercial filmmakers who generate revenue for the city."
Stop the madness. Allowing small time filmmakers to participate in the arts (which new technology has allowed in copious amounts) helps to enrich the cultural fiber of the city and hell, is downright fun. (I recommend everyone should make at least one short film in a lifetime that's not a porn (which, of course, you should make three)).
Sully wonders, "He needs to give these people a pep-talk? Or just the usual instructions?" I think the answer is obvious.
By the way, is it just me who finds his invitation to Glenn Beck to be particularly reprehensible? I mean just a couple of days ago Beck was comparing Gore to Hitler and Nazism to Environmentalism, yet he gets in to see the President? I mean--are you kidding me?
"Outflanking Bush-Cheney with a serious, aggressive, intelligent campaign against Islamist terror? It's what the country wants. And it seems to be what Obama is offering. He manages to decouple the war in Iraq from the broader war on Islamist terror thus:
"Just because the President misrepresents our enemies does not mean we do not have them. The terrorists are at war with us. The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, but the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for...
"The President would have us believe that every bomb in Baghdad is part of al Qaeda's war against us, not an Iraqi civil war. He elevates al Qaeda in Iraq – which didn't exist before our invasion – and overlooks the people who hit us on 9/11, who are training new recruits in Pakistan. He lumps together groups with very different goals: al Qaeda and Iran, Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents. He confuses our mission...
"By refusing to end the war in Iraq, President Bush is giving the terrorists what they really want, and what the Congress voted to give them in 2002: a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.
"When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland.""
Of course none of this is articulated by the M$M, but they simply focus on the fact that Obama would unilaterally invade Pakistan should it be necessary, which, of course, has gotten the Democrats up in arms. I think the passage above displays Obama's reasonable criteria for doing so, but I'd like to make one more point. According to both international law, and the law of common sense a nation has the right to protect its borders by any means necessary. We had to go address this topic when Kerry was running, and the Bush team distracted us by saying that Kerry would ask the UN first before defending the nation. This claim is both outlandish and dumb. No one in their right mind would ask anyone else for the right to defend their self. The only question is when it becomes necessary to take action, which is then a question of the candidate's character, reason, and irascibility. As time has shown Bush lacks that (a dearth that was on display from before he was even elected) and Obama seems to have it. This isn't to say that Clinton, or Edwards don't have it either, but Obama wins this week for articulating his position in frank and concrete terms before his competition.
"CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has praised Sean Penn for his critical stance against the war in Iraq, saying the two chatted by phone and soon plan to meet in person.
"Chavez said Penn traveled to Venezuela this week wanting to learn more about the situation in the country and walked around some of Caracas' poor barrios on his own."
I guess once you're divorced from Madonna anything (or anybody) is up. In 2013 Guy Richie will probably become bff with Kim Jong-Il.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
"This just in from the Tillman hearings:
"Kucinich [irritated]: did the WH have a press strategy on the Iraq war?
Rumsfeld: If there was, it obviously wasn't very good.
"And, you know what, he's right! There was a press strategy, and it wasn't very good! It most consisted of Rumsfeld standing at podium being folksy and gruff. Also? There was a military strategy on the Iraq war, and it wasn't very good!"
"In the Senate, I don't promise any legislation," Reid said. He said the hang-up is "what the involvement of the attorney general will be.""
So, to break it down, he's endorsing a program that is a pretty obvious breach of civil liberties (assuming that we have some left) and is unpopular, and his only hold back is Gonzo? I'm truly baffled by the Democrats' weakness. The Times assumes that it's because they're afraid to be called 'unpatriotic' but is that argument still holding up? If so then this really shows a dearth of moral fiber and courage on the Democratic side, which has become disgusting and reprehensible. More and more they're looking less like Jonathan Harker and more like Dracula's toadie Renfield.
Seriously though, this is news? Can you imagine if Mary Carey was running for President like she ran for Governor of California? The Washington Post would would explode and the Four Horseman of Apocalyse would fly out their heads.
Now that's cleavage.