Friday, April 29, 2005

Friday text-only cat-blogging

I had to kick my beloved little Katie off the bed last night because her farting was intolerable. Cat farts are excruciatingly smelly due to a significant percentage of sulphur compounds resulting from cats' high-in-meat diets.


Reports indicate that "Democrat" Zell Miller collapsed while giving a speech, and was rushed to a hospital with "flu-like" symptoms. Sounds like a cover story to me. I'd be willing to bet that Zell was poisoned by his own bile...

capital idea

In the first few days after his "re-election," little w. made a big fuss about how he had been ushered into office with a mandate, and had lots of "political capital" that was burning a hole in his pocket. Now, by all appearances, our (figure)head Nutzi is somewhat bereft of those funds of which he boasted. It seems that even political currency is not immune to being overdrawn. Perhaps George's political capital is tied to the value of the U.S dollar, also down some 36% since our feckless leader was granted office by the puppet judiciary of the Supreme Court.

Thank goodness we're in the middle of the "Bush Boom," or I'd be really worried.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

truly magnanimous

Bill Frist proposed a compromise to the Democratic opposition today, offering a one-hundred hour allotment of debate time for each of the disputed judicial nominees, over which the radical Nutzi republicans have been threatening to dispense with the important balancing factor of the filibuster by using the so-called "nuclear option," as it was dubbed by Trent Lott, and reverting to purely mathematical majority rule which favors the republicans.

Gosh, uncle Catkiller, can we have cookies and milk and stay up an hour later too?

An American heresy

I can't help but post this speech by Al Gore in its entirety in hopes that at least one person will read it and understand what we lost by Supreme Court fiat five years ago, and what we are in danger of losing now. All of you Bush supporters, I hope you are proud. The monster will devour you, too.

April 27, 2005 Four years and four months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a bitterly divided 5 to 4 decision, issued an unsigned opinion that the majority cautioned should never be used as a precedent for any subsequent case anywhere in the federal court system.
Their ruling conferred the presidency on a candidate who had lost the popular vote, and it inflamed partisan passions that had already been aroused by the long and hard-fought election campaign. I couldn't have possibly disagreed more strongly with the opinion that I read shortly before midnight that evening, December 12, 2000. But I knew what course of action best served our republic.
Even though many of my supporters said they were unwilling to accept a ruling which they suspected was brazenly partisan in its motivation and simply not entitled to their respect, less than 24 hours later, I went before the American people to reaffirm the bedrock principle that we are a nation of laws, not men. "There is a higher duty than the one we owe to a political party," I said. "This is America and we put country before party." The demonstrators and counter-demonstrators left the streets and the nation moved on -- as it should have -- to accept the inauguration of George W. Bush as our 43rd president.
Having gone through that experience, I can tell you -- without any doubt whatsoever -- that if the justices who formed the majority in Bush v. Gore had not only all been nominated to the Court by a Republican president, but had also been confirmed by only Republican Senators in party-line votes, America would not have accepted that court's decision.
Moreover, if the confirmation of those justices in the majority had been forced through by running roughshod over 200 years of Senate precedents and engineered by a crass partisan decision on a narrow party line vote to break the Senate's rules of procedure then no speech imaginable could have calmed the passions aroused in our country.
As Aristotle once said of virtue, respect for the rule of law is "one thing."
It is indivisible.
And so long as it remains indivisible, so will our country.
But if either major political party is ever so beguiled by a lust for power that it abandons this unifying principle, then the fabric of our democracy will be torn.
The survival of freedom depends upon the rule of law.
The rule of law depends, in turn, upon the respect each generation of Americans has for the integrity with which our laws are written, interpreted and enforced.
That necessary respect depends not only on the representative nature of our legislative branch, but also on the deliberative character of its proceedings. As James Madison envisioned, ours is a "deliberative democracy." Indeed, its deliberative nature is fundamental to the integrity of our social compact. Because the essential alchemy of democracy -- whereby just power is derived from the consent of the governed -- can only occur in a process that is genuinely deliberative.
Moreover, it is the unique role of the Senate, much more than the House, to provide a forum for deliberation, to give adequate and full consideration to the strongly held views of a minority. In this case, the minority is made up of 44 Democratic Senators and 1 Independent.
And it is no accident that our founders gave the Senate the power to pass judgment on the fitness of nominees to the Judicial branch. Because they knew that respect for the law also depends upon the perceived independence and integrity of our judges. And they wanted those qualities to be reviewed by the more reflective body of Congress.
Our founders gave no role to the House of Representatives in confirming federal judges. If they had believed that a simple majority was all that was needed to safeguard the nation against unwise choices by a partisan president, they might well have given the House as well as the Senate the power to vote on judges.
But they gave the power instead to the Senate, a body of equals, each of whom was given a term of office -- 3 times longer than that of a representative -- in order to encourage a reflective frame of mind, a distance from the passions of the voters and a capacity for deliberation. They knew that the judges would serve for life and that, therefore, their confirmation should follow a period of advice and consent in which the Senate was an equal partner with the executive.
Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist # 78, wrote that the "independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill-humors which the arts of designing men... have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community."
When James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, he explained that "independent tribunals of justice will consider themselves... the guardians of [these] rights, ... an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislature or executive."
So, it is not as a Democrat but as an American, that I appeal today to the leadership of the majority in the Senate to halt their efforts to break the Senate's rules and instead protect a meaningful role in the confirmation of judges and justices for Senators of both parties. Remember that you will not always be in the majority, but much more importantly, remember what is best for our country regardless of which party is temporarily in power. Many of us know what it feels like to be disappointed with decisions made by the courts. But instead of attacking the judges with whose opinions we disagree, we live by the rule of law and maintain respect for the courts.
I am genuinely dismayed and deeply concerned by the recent actions of some Republican leaders to undermine the rule of law by demanding the Senate be stripped of its right to unlimited debate where the confirmation of judges is concerned, and even to engage in outright threats and intimidation against federal judges with whom they philosophically disagree.
Even after a judge was murdered in Atlanta while presiding in his courtroom, even after the husband and mother of a federal judge were murdered in Chicago in retaliation by a disgruntled party to a failed lawsuit -- even then -- the Republican leader of the House of Representatives responded to rulings in the Terri Schiavo case, by saying ominously: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to pay for their behavior."
When the outrage following this comment worsened Rep. DeLay's problems during the House Ethics scandal, he claimed that his words had been chosen badly, but in the next breath, he issued new threats against the same courts: "We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse."
In previous remarks on the subject, DeLay has said, "Judges need to be intimidated," adding that if they don't behave, "we're going to go after them in a big way."
Moreover, a whole host of prominent Republicans have been making similar threats on a regular basis.
A Republican Congressman from Iowa added: "When their budget starts to dry up, we'll get their attention. If we're going to preserve the Constitution, we must get them in line."
A Republican Senator from Texas directly connected the "spate of courthouse violence lately" to his view that unpopular decisions might be the explanation. "I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions, yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds and builds to the point where some people engage in violence."
One of the best-known conservative political commentators has openly recommended that "liberals should be physically intimidated."
The spokesman for the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: "There does seem to be this misunderstanding out there that our system was created with a completely independent judiciary." Misunderstanding?
The Chief of Staff for another Republican senator called for "mass impeachment" by using the bizarre right-wing theory that the president can declare that any judge is no longer exhibiting "good behavior," adding that, "then the judge's term has simply come to an end. The President gives them a call and says: 'Clean out your desk. The Capitol police will be in to help you find your way home.'"
The elected and appointed Republican officials who made these dangerous statements are reflecting an even more broadly-held belief system of grassroots extremist organizations that have made the destruction of judicial independence the centerpiece of their political agenda.
Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, who hosted a speech by the Senate Majority Leader last Sunday, has said, "There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench." Explaining that during his meeting with Republican leaders, the leaders discussed stripping funding from certain courts, Perkins said, "What they're thinking of is not only the fact of just making these courts go away and recreating them the next day, but also de-funding them." Congress could use its appropriations authority to just "take away the bench, all of its staff, and he's just sitting out there with nothing to do."
Another influential leader of one of these groups, James Dobson, who heads Focus on the Family, focused his anger on the 9th circuit court of appeals: "Very few people know this, that the Congress can simply disenfranchise a court. They don't have to fire anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do is say the 9th circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone."
Edwin Vieira (at the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference) said his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Stalin: "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem.'"
Through their words and threats, these Republicans are creating an atmosphere in which judges may well hesitate to exercise their independence for fear of Congressional retribution, or worse.
It is no accident that this assault on the integrity of our constitutional design has been fueled by a small group claiming special knowledge of God's will in American politics. They even claim that those of us who disagree with their point of view are waging war against "people of faith." How dare they?
Long before our founders met in Philadelphia, their forebears first came to these shores to escape oppression at the hands of despots in the old world who mixed religion with politics and claimed dominion over both their pocketbooks and their souls.
This aggressive new strain of right-wing religious zealotry is actually a throwback to the intolerance that led to the creation of America in the first place.
James Madison warned us in Federalist #10 that sometimes, "A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction."
Unfortunately the virulent faction now committed to changing the basic nature of democracy now wields enough political power within the Republican party to have a major influence over who secures the Republican nomination for president in the 2008 election. It appears painfully obvious that some of those who have their eyes on that nomination are falling all over themselves to curry favor with this faction.
They are the ones demanding the destructive constitutional confrontation now pending in the Senate. They are the ones willfully forcing the Senate leadership to drive democracy to the precipice that now lies before us.
I remember a time not too long ago when Senate leaders in both parties saw it as part of their responsibility to protect the Senate against the destructive designs of demagogues who would subordinate the workings of our democracy to their narrow factional agendas.
Our founders understood that the way you protect and defend people of faith is by preventing any one sect from dominating. Most people of faith I know in both parties have been getting a belly-full of this extremist push to cloak their political agenda in religiosity and mix up their version of religion with their version of right-wing politics and force it on everyone else.
They should learn that religious faith is a precious freedom and not a tool to divide and conquer.
I think it is truly important to expose the fundamental flaw in the arguments of these zealots. The unifying theme now being pushed by this coalition is actually an American heresy -- a highly developed political philosophy that is fundamentally at odds with the founding principles of the United States of America.
We began as a nation with a clear formulation of the basic relationship between God, our rights as individuals, the government we created to secure those rights, and the prerequisites for any power exercised by our government.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident," our founders declared. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..."
But while our rights come from God, as our founders added, "governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed."
So, unlike our inalienable rights, our laws are human creations that derive their moral authority from our consent to their enactment-informed consent given freely within our deliberative processes of self-government.
Any who seek to wield the powers of government without the consent of the people, act unjustly.
Over sixty years ago, in the middle of the Second World War, Justice Jackson wrote: "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion."
His words are no less true today.
The historic vulnerability of religious zealots to subordinate the importance of the rule of law to their ideological fervor was captured best in words given by the author of "A Man for All Seasons" to Sir Thomas More.
When More's zealous son-in-law proposed that he would cut down any law in England that served as an obstacle to his hot pursuit of the devil, More replied: "And when the last law was cut down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast-man's laws, not God's -- and if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"
The Senate leaders remind me of More's son-in-law. They are now proposing to cut down a rule that has stood for more than two centuries as a protection for unlimited debate. It has been used for devilish purposes on occasion in American history, but far more frequently, it has been used to protect the right of a minority to make its case.
Indeed it has often been cited as a model for other nations struggling to reconcile the majoritarian features of democracy with a respectful constitutional role for minority rights. Ironically, a Republican freshman Senator who supports the party-line opposition to the filibuster here at home, recently returned from Iraq with an inspiring story about the formation of multi-ethnic democracy there. Reporting that he asked a Kurdish leader there if he worried that the majority Shiites would "overrun" the minority Kurds, this Senator said the Kurdish leader responded "oh no, we have a secret weapon.... [the] filibuster."
The Senate's tradition of unlimited debate has been a secret weapon in our nation's arsenal of democracy as well. It has frequently serves to push the Senate-and the nation as a whole-toward a compromise between conflicting points of view, to breathe life into the ancient advice of the prophet Isaiah: "Come let us reason together"; to illuminate arguments for which the crowded, busy House of Representatives has no time or patience, to afford any Senator an opportunity to stand in the finest American tradition in support of a principle that he or she believes to be important enough to bring to the attention of the nation.
In order to cut down this occasional refuge of a scoundrel, the leadership would cut down the dignity of the Senate itself, diminish the independence of the legislative branch, reduce its power, and accelerate the decline in its stature that is already far advanced.
Two-thirds of the American people reject their argument. The nation is overwhelmingly opposed to this dangerous breaking of the Senate's rules. And, so the leadership and the White House have decided to call it a crisis.
In the last few years, the American people have been told on several occasions that we were facing a dire crisis that required the immediate adoption of an unusual and controversial policy.
In each case, the remedy for the alleged crisis was an initiative that would have been politically implausible at best -- except for the crisis that required the unnatural act they urged upon us.
First, we were told that the nation of Iraq, armed to the teeth as it was said to be with weapons of mass destruction, represented a grave crisis that necessitated a unilateral invasion.
Then, we were told that Social Security was facing an imminent crisis that required its immediate privatization.
Now we are told that the federal judiciary is facing a dire crisis that requires us to break the rules of the Senate and discard the most important guarantee of the deliberative nature of Senate proceedings.
As with the previous "crises" that turned out to be falsely described, this one too cannot survive scrutiny. The truth is that the Senate has confirmed 205 or over 95% of President Bush's nominees. Democrats have held up only ten nominees, less than 5 percent. Compare that with the 60 Clinton nominees who were blocked by Republican obstruction between 1995 and 2000. In fact, under the procedures used by Republicans during the Clinton/ Gore Administration, far fewer than the 41 Senators necessary to sustain a filibuster were able to routinely block the Senate from voting on judges nominated by the president. They allowed Republican Senators to wage shadow filibusters to prevent some nominees from even getting a hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Other nominees were victims of shadow filibusters after receiving a hearing and were not allowed a committee vote. Still others were reported out of committee, and not allowed a vote on the Senate floor.
To put the matter in perspective, when President Clinton left office, there were more than 100 vacant judgeships largely due to Republican obstructionist tactics. Ironically, near the end of the Clinton-Gore administration, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said: "There is no vacancy crisis and a little perspective clearly belies the assertion that 103 vacancies represent a systematic crisis."
Comically, soon after President Bush took office, when the number of vacancies had already been reduced, the same Republican committee chairman sounded a shrill alarm. Because of the outstanding vacancies, he said, "We're reaching a crisis in our federal courts."
Now, the number of vacancies is lower than it has been in many years: 47 vacancies out of 877 judgeships -- and for the majority of those vacancies, the President has not even sent a nominee to the Senate. Yet still, the Republican drive for one-party control leads them to cry over and over again: "Crisis! Crisis in the courts!" It is hypocritical, and it is simply false.
Republicans have also claimed quite disingenuously that the filibustering of judicial nominees is unprecedented. History, however, belies their claim. I served in the Senate for eight of my 16 years in Congress -- and then another 8 years as President of the Senate in my capacity as Vice President. Moreover, my impressions of the Senate date back to earlier decades -- because my father was a Senator when I was growing up.
From that perspective, I have listened with curiosity to some of the statements made during the current debate. For example, I have heard the Senate Majority Leader, who is from my home state and should know better, say that no Court nominee has ever been filibustered before the current president's term. But I vividly remember not only the dozens of nominees sent to the Senate by President Clinton who were denied a vote and filibustered by various means, I also remember in 1968 when my father was the principal sponsor of another Tennessean -- Abe Fortas -- who was nominated to be Chief Justice by President Lyndon Johnson. Fortas was filibustered and denied an up or down vote. The cloture vote was taken on October 1, 1968. When it failed by a vote of 45-43, President Johnson was forced by the filibuster to withdraw the nomination.
My father's Senate colleague and friend from Tennessee, Howard Baker, said during that filibuster, "On any issue, the majority at any given moment is not always right." And no Democrat would take issue with that statement, then or now. It is part of the essence of the U.S. Senate.
This fight is not about responding to a crisis. It is about the desire of the administration and the Senate leadership to stifle debate in order to get what they want when they want it. What is involved here is a power grab -- pure and simple.
And what makes it so dangerous for our country is their willingness to do serious damage to our American democracy in order to satisfy their lust for total one-party domination of all three branches of government. They seek nothing less than absolute power. Their grand design is an all-powerful executive using a weakened legislature to fashion a compliant judiciary in its own image. They envision a total breakdown of the separation of powers. And in its place they want to establish a system in which power is unified in the service of a narrow ideology serving a narrow set of interests.
Their coalition of supporters includes both right-wing religious extremists and exceptionally greedy economic special interests. Both groups are seeking more and more power for their own separate purposes. If they were to achieve their ambition -- and exercise the power they seek -- America would face the twin dangers of an economic blueprint that eliminated most all of the safeguards and protections established for middle class families throughout the 20th century and a complete revision of the historic insulation of the rule of law from sectarian dogma. One of the first casualties would be the civil liberties that Americans have come to take for granted.
Indeed, the first nominee they've sent to the on-deck circle has argued throughout her legal career that America's self-government is the root of all social evil. Her radical view of the Social Security system, which she believes to be unconstitutional, is that it has created a situation where, in her words: "Today's senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren."
This family of 7 judicial fanatics is now being stopped at democracy's gates by 44 Democratic Senators, led by Sen. Harry Reid, and a small but growing number of Republican Senators who have more independence than fear of their party disciplinarians. If the rules of the Senate are broken and if these nominees should ever be confirmed, they would, as a group, intervene in your family's medical decisions and put a narrow version of religious doctrine above, not within, the Constitution. They have shown by their prior records and statements that they would weaken the right to privacy and consistently favor special interests at the expense of middle class America by threatening the minimum wage, worker & consumer protections, the 40-hour workweek, your right to sue your HMO, and your right to clean air and water.
Because of the unique lifetime tenure of federal judges, their legitimacy requires that they be representative of a broad consensus of the American people. Extremist judges so unacceptable to a large minority of the Senate clearly fall outside this consensus.
Yet today's Republicans seem hell-bent on squelching the ability of the minority in this country to express dissent. This is in keeping with other Republican actions to undercut the legislative process.
And in the filibuster fight they are doing it with utter disregard for the rule of law so central to our democracy. There is, of course, a way to change the rules if they so choose -- and that is to follow the rules.
When they decide instead to break the rules and push our democracy into uncharted, uncertain terrain, the results are often not to the liking of the American people.
That's what happened when they broke precedents to pass special legislation in the Terri Schiavo case -- by playing politics with the Schiavo family tragedy. And, the overwhelming majority of Americans in both political parties told the President and the Congress that they strongly disagreed with that extremist approach.
And now, all of the new public opinion polls show an overwhelming majority of the American people are opposed to this current effort to cripple the United States Senate's position in our constitutional framework by destroying the principle of unlimited debate. But, the congressional Republican leadership and the White House are so beholden to the extremists that they feel like they have to do what they say.
One reason that the American people are upset about what the Republican party is doing, is that while they are wasting time on their extremist agenda, they are neglecting issues like the crisis in the cost and availability of health care, the difficulty middle class families are having in making ends meet, etc.
Our founders understood that there is in all human beings a natural instinct for power. The Revolution they led was precisely to defeat the all-encompassing power of a tyrant thousands of miles away.
They knew then what Lord Acton summarized so eloquently a hundred years later: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They knew that when the role of deliberative democracy is diminished, passions are less contained, less channeled within the carefully balanced and separated powers of our Constitution, less checked by the safeguards inherent in our founders' design-and the vacuum left is immediately filled by new forms of power more arbitrary in their exercise and derived less from the consent of the governed than from the unbridled passions of ideology, ultra-nationalist sentiments, racist, tribal and sectarian fervor -- and most of all, by those who claim a unique authority granted directly to them by the Almighty.
That is precisely why they established a system of checks and balances to prevent the accretion of power in any one set of hands -- either in one individual or a group because they were wary of what Madison famously called "factions."
Yet today that is precisely what a small group of radical Republicans is trying to do. And they threaten a fundamental break with a system that has served us well for 230 years and has served as a model for the rest of the world.
In the words of columnist George Will, "The filibuster is an important defense of minority rights, enabling democratic government to measure and respect not merely numbers but also intensity in public controversies. Filibusters enable intense minorities to slow the governmental juggernaut. Conservatives, who do not think government is sufficiently inhibited, should cherish this blocking mechanism."
Senator McCain echoed Will's sentiments, reminding his conservative colleagues, "We won't always be in the majority... and do we want a bunch of liberal judges approved by the Senate of the United States with 51 votes if the Democrats are in the majority?"
The rules and traditions of the Senate all derive from this desire to ensure that the voice of the minority could be heard. The filibuster has been at the heart of this tradition for nearly the entire 230 years of the Senate's existence. Yet never before has anyone has felt compelled to try to eliminate it.
The proposal from the Senate majority leader to abolish the right of unlimited debate is a poison pill for America's democracy. It is the stalking horse for a dangerous American heresy that would substitute persuasion on the merits with bullying and an effort at partisan domination.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

" was the worst of times."

With all of the pressure under the regime of George Bouche to overtly incorporate christian beliefs, precepts, and laws into government and the radical republican Nutzi drive to squash the "not Constitutionally guaranteed" right to privacy, I've finally realized in what time we live.

Welcome to the Endarkenment. Please set your clocks back nine hundred years.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

there's that other shoe

James "SpongeDob" Dobson, in a recent speech about the "filibuster against people of faith," explained that his goal was to return the United States to "orderly freedom."

It's hard to imagine a more Nazi-inspired phrase. "Orderly freedom," indeed. That's sort of like sex without sweating, isn't it? Personally, I like my freedom like my sex, unruly, messy, and free-wheeling. Anything short of that is NOT freedom.

Remember Denis Leary's rant in the film "Demolition Man?" THAT is freedom. Dobson's view of dronelike capitulation to Dobson's own superstitious beliefs is exactly the equivalent of docilely sticking our collective heads into the yoke and permitting the sanctimonius radical theocratic Nutzis to harness our blood, sweat, and tears for their own nefarious and duplicitously treasonous plans for our country and the world.

I repeat:



Monday, April 25, 2005

those were the days

With the exuberant and rampant Archie Bunkerism running amok in our country today, isn't it about time we had a new "All In The Family" that we can all laugh at and to help us cope? Come on, Norman, you know you're itching. The BatSignal is on for you, Mr. Lear.

you say you want a revolution

I'm tired of watching these theocratic republican Nutzis running roughshod over everyone in this country secure in the knowledge that liberals generally have manners and conduct themselves with some degree of gentility. These people are using our own sense of propriety as a cudgel to beat us with, and it means nothing to them because they have no sense of propriety of their own.

It's time to foment.

If you are a big, strong liberal and you are pissed off like I am, beat the fuck out of the next neo-fascist you hear spouting off, anytime, anywhere, anyone. In a restaurant and hear a conversation about "libruls?" Walk over and break a wine bottle right in the teeth of the offender. In church and your preacher starts to talk about how wrong liberal politics are? Run up to the pulpit and shove his cross up his ass. It doesn't even matter if they are male or female, young or old. If they want to play games, they have given up their right to expect favoritism based on gender, age, or physical condition. Let's show them what the ultimate penalty for their gaming actually is.

Get the picture?

Fuck gentility. Our very lives and freedom are at stake here, and it is time once and for all to pull the plug on this notion that we are chickenshits. It's worth an assault and battery charge to make these over-reaching assholes FEAR US from here on out. Put enough of them in the hospital and they won't think that they can sodomize us with impunity any more.

Plus, it will feel really, really, really good...


Sunday, April 24, 2005

one hand clapping

Why does nobody seem to question the notion that "the Saudis are concerned about rising crude oil prices?" The media passes along these assertions without a shred of irony as an oil man whose fortunes are intimately tied to the extraction and extortion that defines the modern petroleum industry stands before us and makes a statement defying common sense, expecting us to believe the people who are making their highest profits in history worry that they might be making too much money and are earnestly trying to figure out how to reduce their incomes just to make us happy.

I guess that's the problem. If there really was such a thing as common sense, we wouldn't have a special name for it.


The United States government, under the putative leadership of George Bush, has now spent three hundred billion dollars on our little adventure in Iraq. The annual budget for NASA is about fifteen billion dollars. In other words, NASA could have been funded at its current level for twenty years with the money spent in two years in Iraq. If you never have done so, visit and do a site search for "spinoffs." You will find an incredible number and variety of devices in our life, from the mundane to the life-saving, that are directly attributable to the research and development stemming from the space program. We wouldn't even have these wonderful internets without the space program. But, instead of following a superbly successful means of developing technology and streaming it to the ordinary person, we are spreading death, ill will and state-sponsored terrorism throught the world.

Of course, we have an alcoholic, cocaine-addicted, absolute failure of a theocratic C-student in the position of the highest power in this country, and now we have a pedophile-protecting, situational-ethically-challenged Grand Inquisitor of a Hitler Youth in the highest office of christianity, the predominant superstition in this country. What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

see? it can't be them...

Over the last couple of days, the radical theocratic Nutzi republicans have once again been gaming the language, much as they did with the "personal accounts" fiasco. They are reportedly trying to paint the term "nuclear option" as a derisive and partisan invention of the Democratic party. Actually, Trent Lott coined the phrase, and the last I heard, he was still a Nutzi and always has been.

Of course, it can't be too much longer before the Dredge Report explains to us all that it had to be invented by the Democrats, because everybody knows the Nutzis can't pronounce the word any other way than "nucular."

book 'em, Dan-o

There's lots of self-righteous sound and fury about the story in the news of an unruly five year-old girl being handcuffed because of her behavioral issues. It seems that a lot of people think the police went "too far."

Seems to me the real and completely overlooked issue is that the slovenly and lackadaisical parents of the girl didn't go "far enough" in teaching her how to behave in the company of her fellow humans.

In other words, if you don't properly educate your spawn the rest of us have no choice but to do it ourselves.

Friday, April 22, 2005

an Earth Day miracle

My faith is restored.

I still love Barbarella.

Jane Fonda gave an excellent clarification of her televised apology, her positions on Viet Nam and Iraq, and what she did and did not apologize for. Once again, I learn the necessity of being wary of quote-farming in the media.

Thank you, Jane. You have exhibited the class that one cowardly lowlife named Michael Smith lacked this week. You are still a great American, and I honor you.

Friday text-only cat-blogging

My cats watch the toilet flush with the same studious wonderment as astronomers observing a black hole devouring a neutron star.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

this hurts me more than it hurts you

I was a fan of Dennis Miller for at least twenty-five years. He was bright and incisive as the "anchorman" on Saturday Night Live, and for all but the final season, his eponymous HBO program was a weekly must-see for me, with the long breaks between seasons practically interminable. Then came the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In an incredibly short period of time, Dennis became an utter chickenshit. Instead of standing up for the positions he had taken for over two decades, Dennis suddenly decided that what he felt to be the safest course of action was to simply lash out and start killing non-americans around the world. Dennis became a poster boy for the theocratic conservative Nutzi right, and has unapologetically espoused their PNAC-inspired dream of world domination. He has unswervingly held to that tack since George Bush has held the presidency.

Last night, Dennis appeared as the evening's guest on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." Dennis tried mightily to buy back my approval and the approval of all of the other people that he let down with his political change of heart a few years ago.

He failed miserably. His jokes were forced, he had a tone of desperation, he practically begged to be perceived as the same old Dennis, but it didn't work.

Go away, Dennis. You are an irrelevant, opportunistic hypocrite. It saddens me, but it is the truth. The only reason you are changing your tune now is that the republican Nutzis are in finally trouble for their over-reaching, and your "show" is tanking, deservedly. I hardly think that your "conversion" is anything other than pandering.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go on a rant, but...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

gott im himmel

The catholic church will be much better at reaching out to the 21st century world community now that they have decided that there are worse things than being a Hitler youth or a member of the Luftwaffe, you know, things like having an abortion, being gay, and that sort of dreadful stuff. Congratulations pope Adolf the First, happy birthday mein fuhreur, and heil jesus! That orgasmic Wagnerian gotterdammerung you desire is right around the corner.

I guess the Nazis still just can't resist taking over Poland...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday text-only cat-blogging

Doody and Monchy are curled up with each other right next to me, and boy, are they ever cute.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

agape - as in "my mouth is"

Monica Crowley, discussing the upcoming NBC "Revelations" mini-series riffing on the themes of the apocalyptic "Left Behind" series of books, suggested that whenever entertainment programs use the bible as source material for plots that they include a disclaimer to the effect that the program is fictional in nature and is only BASED on the bible.

Presumably that would be to distinguish it from the factual nature of everything in the bible.

I'm A Believer

No, I'm not quoting the Monkees.

I am now convinced that the preferred superstition in this country is right. The end of the world is coming. The antichrist is almost here.

Britney is pregnant.

It is the End of Days.

Of course, that means it's the Beginning of Nights. I am, after all, a night person.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

happy 44th!

April 12, 1961 - the first human being in space, Yuri Gagarin. Rest In Peace, Yuri, you earned it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

labels are important

Now that Terri Schiavo and the pope are dead and Prince Charles and his favorite nag are wed, CNN Headline News can get back to covering REAL stories.

Like almost four hours of non-stop coverage of a silver Honda in New Jersey containing a distressed and unknown man who, after earlier shooting (fortunately not life-threatening) the father of his child's mother held that young child and the child's mother hostage while still armed, and later released them without further violence.

The mainstream media has completely lost its relevance and its mind. Our primary check on government excess is completely non-functional. This is the best they can do to sift through events in our turbulent time and present us with the crucial bits of information with which to build a reality-based worldview?

I hope they are proud.

But, remember, they are journalists. I'm a mere blogger...

Friday, April 08, 2005

yeah, that's the ticket

Cuomo/Boxer in 2008

count me out

Watching this National Press Club/"Jeff Gannon" event on C-SPAN2, I am struck that "journalists" are jealous that their label may be applied to people who post for other people to read on the internet, the "bloggers." After seeing the idiots participating in this event, I'd like to clearly state my position and at least allay any concerns they may have about me.


I am not a JOURNALIST.

I do not wish to become known as a JOURNALIST. With the embarrassing travesty our press has become these days, it's hard to think of anything that would be a greater insult.

Keep your term for yourselves. I don't want any part of it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

et tu, Barbarella?

Jane Fonda has now publicly apologized for her trip to North Vietnam during which the still-controversial photo of her seated on the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun was taken. Conservative pundits are eagerly taking the opportunity to reach out and slap her around some more over this bit of ancient history.

Why are today's liberals castrating themselves? At the time of the trip and the photograph, Jane Fonda had taken a principled position against an unjust, illegal, and savage war that was sapping American lives unnecessarily. It seems that she has yielded to political pressure and the atmosphere of conservative bluster that pervades our society these days. It's a sad commentary on modern times in our country that somebody has to back away from a stance they took thirty years ago.

Another brave voice has been successfully silenced.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

we got the bird

Living in Kansas is not without its amusements. Recently, an emu named Charley made national news after he escaped his compound, went on a bit of a walkabout, and was finally captured by the local constabulary.

One of the local television newsreaders led the story off with this statement:
"Charley the emu was just looking for a little love. Instead, he got captured, thrown to the ground, and tied up."

Hmm. Some people would qualify that as a "mission accomplished" rather than as an "instead."


Charming. Little w. couldn't find room for President Carter in the delegation for John Paul's funeral, but could find room for his mistress Condomzilla Rice and his oh-so-important press secretary, Andrew Card. Making us look good around the world again, prezdint Nutzi. Thanks so much.

Interestingly enough, Dick Cheney is nowhere to be seen. One can only presume he didn't want to take the risk of bursting into flames when he entered the basilica...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

pontificating - literally

Will you religious lunatics give it a rest? The dying pope is not "one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century." He is a promoter of fairy tales who has promulgated a lie and an agenda of hatred and exclusionism. Get the fuck over yourselves.

here's why

There has been a persistent rumbling for some time now of a desire by many to change the Constitution of the United States, one common example being the suggestion to define marriage as a bond exclusively between one man and one woman only. I have noticed many such opinions based on the line of reasoning that we are in different times now than we were when the Constitution was written and as a result, we should be able to adjust the defining document of our country to be in accord with popular opinion in order to be democratic about it.

That is wrong. The Constitution is a document that was written after years of debate, years of analysis of the problems and benefits of different forms of government, and was meant to be an affirmation of the freedom and nobility of human beings as a species. Some rules were intentionally left unmalleable by the rule of popular opinion so that the rights of all citizens would be ensured.

Today, the people who wish to change the Constitution do so only out of their personal sense of propriety and ideology, and have not gone through the rigorous intellectual process of trying to visualize all of the possible consequences and ramifications of their policies to citizens, individually and collectively.

That is why any person of intellect and conscience should contest any effort to change the single most important document of governance in the history of mankind.

Friday, April 01, 2005

don't know where he was, but

After several weeks in the Twilight Zone, Bill Maher has finally returned. It's about time. Now, if Stewart will finish his vacation...

Henley was right

With the 24-hour news cycles becoming increasingly fixated on extended and gratuitous deathwatches of individual persons, extending their "fifteen minutes" of fame to meaningless interminability, Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" is stuck in my ears - "it's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry."

Our entire culture is the victim of an eternal, nightmarish April Fool's joke.