RIP USA.58 to 42. By a vote of 52 to 48 Samuel Alito has been confirmed as a Justice of the Supreme Court. All you reichpublican Borg out there, when the government starts micro-managing your life and inspecting you like a fish in a bowl, when you feel like you are living under a regime instead of an administration and you come whining about it here, you can all blow me.42 votes YESTERDAY, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Cowards. Democrats, don't ever ask me for another fucking dime.
In today's brief cloture vote in the confirmation process of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, seventeen democrats voted with the reichpublican Borg, ensuring that all decisions Alito will be a part in are labeled as bipartisan and mainstream. Haven't these people learned that even if they support this administration, they will be used like call girls and told to go home? Most of them had nothing to lose in their electoral districts by taking a stand on principle, the blocking of the vote would have put Bush and his team off-balance for the State of the Union address, and would have required them to work overtime to counterbalance the effects of democratic unity at a time when republican politicians are not very highly regarded in the polls. But no, seventeen democrats voted for a man who promises a bleak future for the United States of America.I wonder if a lot of so-called democrats are really just paid sparring partners for the right. I suspect that we just saw several people do a spot-on impression of Jacques Cousteau and take a dive.
Coulter is right, this is funny!
the laugh is on them
I was just reading some unintentionally hilarious letters to the editor written by "intelligent design" (creationism) supporters over at http://brentrasmussen.com and while I was laughing hard enough to herniate myself at the colossal ignorance these ranters exhibited, one thought struck me. I'm not going to waste my time advertising the opinions of these hapless buffoons, but I will say for the record that the three people whose letters were quoted in the article are so abysmally ignorant of what science is that they must have dents in their head from the pressure of the atmosphere trying to squash their empty skulls, and between the three of them would lower the average I.Q. of any major city by at least forty percent.But, as much fun as it is to mock these louts, that isn't the point of this post.It suddenly struck me that all of the christian fundamentalists in this country and in others are far more like me than they will ever admit. You see, I am unabashedly contemptuous of all superstition. I conclude that all religions are equally false, equally deceptive, and equally lacking in any merits. Fundamentalists are unabashedly contemptuous of all superstition but their own. They conclude that all other religions are equally false, equally deceptive, and equally lacking in any merits.So, the total difference between their position on religion and mine is one religion. Unfortunately, they provide no reason to separate their own preferred brand of mythology from any other, and absolutely no evidence to support their own dismissal of all other religions than their own. What a delicious irony.
for absent friends
January 27, 1967Apollo IEdward H White IIVirgil I. "Gus" GrissomRoger B. ChaffeeJanuary 28, 1986Space Shuttle ChallengerFrancis R. "Dick" ScobeeMichael J. SmithJudith A. ResnikRonald E. McNairEllison S. OnizukaGregory B. JarvisSharon Christa McAuliffeFebruary 1, 2003Space Shuttle ColumbiaRick D. HusbandWilliam C. McCoolMichael P. AndersonDavid M. BrownKalpana ChawlaLaurel Blair Salton ClarkIlan Ramon
Friday text-only cat-blogging
While black cats are very common, all-black cats are not. 99% of black cats have at least a few sprigs of white fur somewhere, usually in the "locket" position on their throat, and sometimes as a white pubic tuft.These patches of white are known as a "St. Francis' kiss" because of an ancient story in which a crowd of people was going to kill a black cat they had caught because they were, of course, considered to be unlucky and omens of impending disaster. St. Francis saw the crowd, and went over to see what was going on. When he learned that the cat was in a very life-threatening situation simply because of the color if its coat, he picked up the animal and kissed it on the throat, leaving a small spot of white fur. He then told the crowd that they were mistaken, it wasn't a black cat, it was a mostly-black cat and because of the white patch it was not a harbinger of bad luck, which saved the cat's life.I'm not quite sure why he would have kissed any of them on the crotch...
Blipping channels just now, I finally recognized the source of the deja vu that our paranoid-in-chief gives me. George W. Bush is Jethro Bodine dressing up as president. He has the same wide-eyed cluelessness and shucky-darn bumpkin demeanor that delineated Jethro's character. "Well doggies, Granny, presidentin' shore is hard work!"Too bad we don't have a Miz Hathaway to clean up his messes.
time is running out
George Bush's protests of the election of Hamas, in which his lack of appreciation of democracy that doesn't conform to his opinion of propriety is all too evident, is a clear view of how dishonest, logically inconsistent, and misleading his "policies" are. He has recently made the statement several times that all he is interested in is peace.The problem is that he isn't, and while many in this country are too timid to voice it, citizens of other countries around the world are quite aware of what he actually seeks. Every day, more people around the globe grow to hate and fear all of us because of the misconceptions and twisted priorities of one man.What George Bush is interested in, and what he audaciously labels as peace, is simply a docile submission to his demands by all. His air of entitlement grows every day. He seems to think that he is president of the world and that he has the right to demand that every human being on Earth accept that his judgement is superior to all others and that we should all accede to his wishes. This has been his policy in both international and domestic affairs. The NSA warrantless wiretapping issue is a manifestation of this same kind of control-freak paranoia that is so Nixonian as to be utterly frightening. His paranoia is growing every day and with every new revelation, we find that he has treaded farther and farther over the line of legality and circumvented, disregarded, or eliminated checks and balances deliberately written into our system of government by our founding fathers.Until all truly patriotic Americans start to call these obvious patterns of behavior what they are and proclaim these truths in clear and explicit language instead of being hobbled by their own sense of etiquette, this country is going to continue down the present path which ultimately leads to monarchy instead of republic. We have a choice to make, and we have to make it now, because this patient will die if we don't do the right thing immediately. It is time to stand up and be counted. America, choose liberty or choose death.
So, the government "asks" Google to turn over a massive number of search records. Google, no doubt with the advice of their attorneys, refuses, essentially saying that it will not participate in a general government fishing expedition. Within hours, republican surrogates start pumping up the volume on their Outrage Boom Boxes about the fact that Google has decided to cooperate with the Chinese government and restrict searches to those to which the Chinese government agrees. Bush-fluffers like Lou Dobbs remind Google that it needs to remember which country "Google is chartered in," a "be a shame if anything happened to that nice company of yours" moment if there ever was one. Google stock prices drop.Nobody pays attention to the fact that the people who are the most outraged are the upstanding "free market" capitalists. Nobody pays attention to the fact that the Bush administration has catered to the whims of some of the most abusive and repressive regimes in the world in order to hide their little torture dens. Nobody pays attention to the fact that under this administration, China has been able to buy enough U.S. government bonds to be able to exert significant control over the United States. Nobody pays attention to the fact that this administration itself has no regard for truth or free speech, and has subverted the press in countries around the world with no compunctions and with no consequences. Nobody pays attention to the fact that the Bush administration has permitted and made conditions inviting to outsource middle-class jobs for American citizens to China, and that Chinese-made goods are the foundation of major republican contributors like Wal-Mart.Yeah, Google is the bad guy, no doubt about it.
Karl Rove is correct
I never thought I would say the above words, but as a dedicated follower of logic and truth, I have to give credit where credit is due. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with everything Rove says, but I find it extremely difficult to argue with this recent Rove quote:"We need a commander in chief and a Congress who understand the nature of the threat and the gravity of the moment America finds itself in."Truer words were never spoken. Let's elect a president like that in 2008. We sure don't have one right now.
step into my parlor
I've been thinking about this blogging stuff a lot lately. It seems that over the last couple of weeks, I've had a number of people contact me, both via the comments and also via email, and it's been quite humbling to see some of the nice things that have been said about my blog output. When I started doing this, it was really more of a cathartic than anything else. It's one thing to scream obscenities at Chris Matthews' image on the television screen, it's another thing to actually compose my thoughts and try to commit them to print in a way that truly represents what I think. I never really expected anybody to read my ravings, and even less, to find that my words spoke to them on any level. I tend to be an ignored blatherer in real life, and didn't expect anything else in the blog universe. With that said, I have examined this little adventure in writing I have undertaken, and have decided to break the "fourth wall" for a few minutes and speak personally to what readers I have.First of all, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thank you for coming back again to read and comment more. I pledge that I will always try to bring my best critical thinking and linguistic skills to every post, whether serious or silly. I write this under a pseudonym, and that isn't likely to change, at least not in the near future. I have an interesting life, I am both a professional musician and a college science professor, a reclusive animal collector, an outspoken atheist, and generally don't fit into mainstream American life very well, especially with my current residence in an extremely red state. I don't wish to complicate my life any more than it is, so it works best if I just maintain low profiles in all walks of life and that is why I take advantage of a certain degree of anonymity. Few of my face-to-face friends even know of this blog's existence. I certainly don't fancy myself a pundit of any sort, I always saw myself in this guise more as a sarcastic observer than any kind of an expert. I love logic, and the illogic of our contemporary American existence flabbergasts me. However, if anybody finds a grain of truth or wisdom in what I write, it is the best result I could hope to achieve.Because I write this for my own release, I don't generally respond to comments, and probably won't be starting to do so. Feel free to comment away, I always read them, but I don't do this to debate so much as to expound. I've already had a couple of minor comment trolls show up (wow, I've really made it!) and I neither censor them nor encourage them. If you really do wish to engage me in conversation, use the email link, it comes straight to me and I always respond. I initially decided to not place links to other blogs. I may change that at some point in time, but I design websites on the side, and one of my precepts of web design is that it is hard enough to get visitors to your site, why make it easy and indeed, tempting, to go somewhere else? I am reconsidering that precept in this specific situation, but I haven't yet finished examining the positive and negative ramifications. If one day you suddenly see links, you will know that I have changed my position on that. One thing that has recently happened with my change to the current color/font scheme that I am using, Blogger placed editable links on this template so I at least no longer have the excuse of not knowing how to place a "blogroll" on the site. I am flattered if anybody chooses to link to me, but I will never participate in mutual quid pro quo link exchanges just for the sake of spreading my own URL around.I sometimes go quiet for a while, I have a lot of commitments I'm juggling at this point in my existence, but don't think I'm packing it in. Sometimes, I get so aggravated by our times that I can't write anything that doesn't amount to incoherent, indignant spluttering, and I won't subject anybody to that.So, once again, thanks for reading, and thanks for coming back to read again. I promise I will take this as a trust between us and will always try to offer you something with some valid thought behind it, no matter what the topic and whether it's just for fun or really serious. I am so flattered by the support and attention that I have received, and will try to provide you with a worthwhile visit and a reason to come back. No matter what else happens, I have been privileged to make a few wonderful new long-distance e-friends (you know who you are!) with whom I hope to stay in touch and that simple fact in and of itself would be enough reason to declare this adventure a big success from my own perspective.One of these days I might even tell you the origin of my pseudonym...
it's like that da Vinci thingie
After careful consideration, I now realize that not only do we have proof that Iraq's neighbor is the next country we must obliterate to protect America, and we have to do it now because we can be absolutely certain that al Qaeda has nukular weppins.
This proves that Osama and his dark minions high-tailed it out of Saddam's playground, and headed next door to their new base of operations.
And don't forget, we also know they are armed with atomic bombs. How?
Remember that guy that was selling bomb secrets, A. Q. Khan?
"Al Qaeda" Khan?I mean really, do I have to spell it out for you? Military intelligence through revelation. It's the future.
breaking the code
I've assembled the pieces of the puzzle, and they all fit.
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, all of the neocons were right. As much as it pains me to say it, they saw what was sitting in front of our noses the whole time.
They deserve our gratitude for their keen, discerning minds.
Not only was there a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, they may as well have been conjoined twins. It's as plain as day.
Look at it, can you see it now?
See it yet? Look again.
No? It's all right there, you just have to squint your eyes just right, same as those posters with the dots that suddenly turn into a Space Shuttle or a pirate ship. Look one more time.
Come on, now, Saddam and Osama are laughing in our faces. Still not getting it? I suppose it's difficult for ordinary people, so I'll spell it out for you lesser intellects.
I = I
R = are
A = al
Q = Qaeda
"I are al Qaeda!"
How defiant can they get?
How much more proof do you need?
Now apologize for ever doubting our solicitous Masters.
I think I have finally found Bush's "reasoning" behind his statement that "nobody anticipated the breaching of the levees" in New Orleans.It's easy if you remember just how illiterate and dishonest the man is.He meant that (although he and his administration had been warned that the city would be flooded) nobody "eagerly looked forward to" the breaching of the levees, not that nobody "predicted" the breaching of the levees, and he is using that deliberate confusion to deflect attention away from his own incompetence. I think that when you look at this together with the previous post, you can see that it's much easier to lie without being detected when you use the same words that everybody else uses, but use them in a different manner from what the common interpretation is.Folks, our country is in so much trouble that it is really beginning to scare the hell out of me. I thought it was bad before, but the pattern of "secret code" within the English language that is being used by far-right reichpublicans is horrifying."Last throes," "strict constructionists," and "Dred Scott," indeed.
A lot of blog argument the last few days has centered around the administration's claim that their warrantless wiretapping program is permitted by law, with opponents saying that this program is illegal and flies in the face of the 4th amendment. In particular, Bush lapdogs Alberto Gonzales and General Michael Hayden have said that this eavesdropping is in keeping with the "reasonable search" provision of the 4th amendment. I AM NOT A LAWYER, but I think I know what the chink in the amendment they think they have found is. After reading through the actual text of the 4th amendment, here's what I believe is the manner in which they are justifying their claims. This is the 4th amendment:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Seems pretty clear to most of us that this means that a warrant is necessary to search and/or seize any citizen of the United States. However, if you are looking for a way to subvert the evident intention of the framers of the Constitution, it is easy to use the inherent imprecision of language to twist this seemingly simple sentence the way the government is at this time.
It strikes me that the perverse powers behind this administration are reading this sentence as discussing two separate issues.
They interpret it as containing two independent clauses, with the first portion meaning that the government has the right to effect what they claim as "reasonable" searches and seizures any time, and that only if they want to search a physical "place" or to take an individual into actual custody are they required to issue warrants.I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
how dumb can he get?
Did Leslie Blitzer really just say that changing the label of warrantless eavesdropping to "terrorist surveillance" (an unproven assertion if I've ever heard one) was a "great strategy?" Is he really that stupid? He sure seems to think WE are.
the "business," as usual
I won't be surprised when, after the 2006 elections, it is determined that the Bush administration lent an interfering hand of dubious legality to assist the victory of Canadian Bush-fluffer Stephen Harper in the election for Prime Minister.
say wha' ?
"We've been telling you for years that the far left in America is very organized, very vicious, and will stop at nothing to intimidate people with whom it disagrees." - Bill O'Reilly, 1-23-06
If the far left is so organized, vicious, and lacking in compunction...
...how come we haven't eliminated a scattered, timid, and polite group like the right-wing that exists solely in the dank, sweaty, falafel-laden recesses of your fetid little mind?
I probably shouldn't do this as it may upset the entire karmic balance of the universe, but here goes.I know the truth.The media has been on these important stories 24/7 for over six months now, with no sign of abating, because the American public has a right and a need to know the answer.Missing Honeymooner George Smith and Missing Blond Cheerleader Natalee Holloway ran away together. There is no more need to incessantly cover these stories.Can we get some real news now? You know, boring stuff like illegal wiretapping of United States citizens, illegal invasions of soverign countries based on fabricated evidence, Supreme Court appointments with stealth agendas, the libeling of over half of the citizens of this country as traitors because they disagree with the current administration, "black" prisons where torture is everyday business as usual, massive corruption among the leaders of the republican party, blatant lies told by putative journalists on media outlets that have demonstrable political motives, evidence of mass incompetence and mendacity in the Executive branch, huge financial giveways to the largest industries at the expense of the middle class and the poor, forty percent of the population at risk of death and financial catastrophe because they lack simple health care, a major American city lying in ruins seven months after an avoidable disaster, looming economic disaster as taxes on the rich are cut, oil prices soar and property values plummet, evidence of massive collusion to defraud the voting process on both national and local levels, gay prostitutes spending nights in the White House under assumed names, presidential aggrandizement of power based on specious arguments, Osama bin Laden still alive and well almost five years after successfully attacking our country, right-wing abandonment of the principles upon which this country was founded...You know, "news."I realize you can't masturbate to it, but that isn't what a "free and independent" media is for.
"If I wanted to break the law, why would I have briefed the Congress? Heh-heh!"-George Bush, addressing Kansans in a speech today"You did break the law and you didn't brief the Congress. Heh-heh!"-Me, being sardonically unsurprised at MORE lies from the "leader" of this country
happy last anniversary?
Roe v. Wade 1973 - 2006Rest in Peace
why fiction is better
In the middle of watching the classic Sidney Lumet film adaptation of Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler's, "Fail-Safe" on Turner Classic Movies, I was suddenly struck by one thought. If George W. Bush were playing the Henry Fonda role of "the President," the end of the movie would have shown the entire Earth to be a smoking, radioactive desert of nuclear-blast-glazed dirt.The contrast with today is frightening and embarrassing. Fonda's President is earnestly admitting a hideous error on the part of his administration, and is laying his own honor and that of his country on the line to demonstrate his true intentions and good faith.And how might Mr. Bush react in that situation? Use your own imagination.
truthiness, meet irony
Kyra Phillips on CNN, about 2:45 PM Central, discussing the Washington Post ombudsman recently cutting off the ability of the public to post their concerns and complaints on the Post's blog, mentioned that what started the story was "a Sunday column by Post ombudsman Deborah Howell who wrote that corrupt former lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. Well, that's true, but most of the money went to Republicans." (The emphasis is mine.)Notice that Kyra, an anchor on a major cable news network, didn't provide details such as which Democrats had taken money from Abramoff, she just asserted something as fact in a venue where her comments are taken as researched and factual by viewers. Of course, an FEC investigation has proven that Jack Abramoff did not give one Democrat any money. Not one. This is public record, is a simple thing to research, and a fairly simple statement to comprehend.Kyra Phillips on CNN, about 2:55 PM Central, discussing the lack of literacy and in particular, reading and comprehension, on the part of college students today (a sad truth I can personally vouch for, but that's another post) commented that students couldn't compare two credit card offers and successfully determine which one was better, and that they also "as much as it pains me to say, are not able to understand simple stories in the news." (This is a from-memory paraphrase, and once again, the emphasis is mine.)Evidently Kyra is a college student herself.
Friday text-only cat-blogging
I noticed one of the kids scratching and headshaking the other day, and I knew it was time to do battle again. You know you are in trouble when the instructions on the feline ear-mite medicine start with:"Step 1 - Hold cat firmly."
I'm just sayin'
Isn't it fascinating how threatening missives from the elusive Osama ("dead or alive") bin Laden, much like terror alerts, seem to show up at exactly the time that the Bush administration needs a little distraction, a little diversion, a leg up for their aggrandizement of power?
I'm not saying that there's a connection, I'm just saying the coincidence is amazi
finally got it up
After a couple of days of frustration, the New Horizon spacecraft has at last been successfully launched on its long, lonely trip to the tiniest, most distant and least understood planet in our Solar System, Pluto.For those who say "who cares," I can only say it must be an incredibly gray and lifeless universe that you live in to be able to be so incurious.Here's a little statistic some might find interesting. The spacecraft will be traveling at approximately thirty thousand miles per hour. That is as fast as any spacecraft has ever traveled, and is about half again the speed of the Space Shuttle.At thirty thousand miles per hour, you could reach the Moon in eight hours.At thirty thousand miles per hour, it will take about twelve years to reach Pluto.At thirty thousand miles per hour, to reach the nearest star (other than the Sun) would take...Two hundred thousand years.Now try to explain to me how you can be incurious about a universe that vast and unexplored.
that makes sense
So, if I understand this, republicans think that if a female minor is pregnant and needs an emergency abortion because her health is in danger, the law must take precedence over her health and that her parents must be notified before the procedure takes place, no matter how long it takes to notify them and even if she will die unless it is done immediately.They also feel that if a president feels he needs to wiretap a suspected enemy of the United States immediately because he thinks there might be a ticking time bomb somewhere that following the law and retroactively requesting a warrant in the seventy-two hour period permitted under the FISA court, well, that's just a little too restrictive.At least they aren't hobbled by any unnecessary consistency of logic.
can you hear me now?
While I really don't have time right now to tackle a project of this magnitude, this is far too important to not address. There has been a lot of complaining lately by the republicans and the liberal media that there is no attention being given to the Democrats who received money from Abram Jackoff. Please, go get yourself a cup of coffee or something and make sure you hit the restroom before you sit down to wade through all of this legal jargon and boring financial disclosure stuff.Ready?Okay, get comfy.Now, scroll down to see the top 100 Democrats accepting tainted money from a notoriously tempting Republican lobbyist:220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.I'll try to get to the rest of them in the next few days.
paging Ann Coulter
No, seriously!I need a "Constitutional scholar" like her to answer a simple question for me:Exactly how does the right to "petition the government for grievances" equate to a right to providing or accepting free dinners at expensive restaurants, yachts, trips to golf at exclusive private clubs in Scotland, Rolls-Royce automobiles, huge "campaign donations," employment for spouses that grosses five thousand dollars a month for a period of a couple of years in return for collecting a few hundred addresses that would be less than forty hours of labor in a real job, stays in expensive hotels, free trips on luxury corporate jets, fund-raising parties...I could almost weep. I have NEVER been so ashamed of my country.
Trent Lott on the proposed twenty-dollar price limit to lobbyist-paid meals (stated with an air of bemused derisiveness:)"Well, where you gonna go, McDonald's?"Uh, yeah, Trent, McDonald's. Why not? You seem to think it's good enough for the rest of us. Is there some reason you can't take your bribes over a Big Mac and fries instead of a Filet Mignon with truffles?
That pathetic, gin-sozzled, effeminate Ann Coulter impersonator with the British accent, Christopher Hitchens, is now part of a lawsuit being handled by (GASP!) the American Civil Liberties Union against the Bush administration, a suit representing several journalists who have written articles and published interviews about and with Al-Quaeda members and other jihadist types and who are concerned that they may have been caught up in the warrantless wiretapping recently admitted by the White House. Aside from the delicious irony of a member of the Bush league indignantly availing themselves of the services of the ACLU, Hitchens has been a devoted Bush-fluffer and contributed heavily to the chickenhawk echo chamber during the run-up to our illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. He has been uncritical in the least of the activities of this government during its efforts to "protect" us, but now seems to feel that they crossed the line by possibly eavesdropping on him, thus his participation as a litigant."Hey, wait a minute, I didn't say stomp on MY rights!"Chris, can you say "hoist on your own petard?"I knew you could.
a swing and a myth
In a surprisingly fast resolution, a school in Fresno, California, has suddenly dropped its plans to teach a "philosophy" class that a minister's wife was going to teach, a class that would try to bolster and engender support for the completely unscientific notion of "Intelligent Design" (creationism) and the "flaws" in the overwhelmingly fact-supported and science-based theory of biological evolution. The school system has pledged to never teach this topic at any time in the future in response to a group of parents who were taking legal steps to halt this unlawful endorsement of a religion in a public school.The next step will be the usual howling of the creationists, bemoaning the fact that they are being silenced and their First Amendment rights are being violated. They seem to have not figured out that nobody is silencing them. They have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of venues right here in this country in which to teach their preferred variety of mythology.Most people call them "churches."Exercise your First Amendment rights all you want. Just not on my dime.
don't make me beg
Al Gore, your country needs you. You got more votes than our buffoon-in-chief in 2000. Even with a secret earpiece, he could never match your intellect. You are the rightful president of this country. Take what should have been yours. You can be the next Abraham Lincoln in the history of the United States if you are willing to wade into the muck one last time. Lead us back to freedom, honor, and greatness.Please.
speaking of jawdropping
I can't be the only one wondering that if Abram Jackoff was the Willie Wonka of the republican party, offering up the heart's desires of various right-wing political whores in exchange for legislation favorable to his patrons and clients, has anybody looked for a connection between him and James "Jeff 'Bulldog' Gannon" Guckert, Male Prostitute (he leaves impressions, not marks!) and Marine impersonator in this whole sordid stew of sewage this administration is steeped in, particularly with the revelation that Abramoff was attending "staff-level" meetings in the White House that the White House seems particularly reluctant to discuss? Methinks Monica might not be the most interesting knob-gobbler that's ever been there...
what's wrong with Leslie
On CNN today, the ever-macho Scud Stud Leslie Blitzer (sporting his ubiquitous literal "beard") commented on Hillary Clinton's remark that the Bush administration would "go down in history as one of the worst ever." Leslie's characterization of Ms. Clinton's analysis:"A jawdropping attack."Meanwhile for the last few days, the right-wing sewer has been Swift-boating John Murtha, saying that his two Purple Hearts were undeserved and illegitimate.Leslie's characterization of this despicable defamation of an American who shed his blood in combat in the service of his country:"-------------------."
hey, wanna have some fun?
Reading "AmericaBlog" today, I noticed with interest a post relating the media and repulsican feeding frenzy over Hillary Clinton's remarks comparing the behavior of the ruling party to plantation owners. Everybody is all a-flutter over Ms. Clinton's audacity of simile. Unfortunately, it seems that right-wing hero Newt Gingrich made exactly the same comparison a little over ten years ago. Back then, of course, his comments were not considered over-the-top by either the press corps or the politicians who sided with him, yet today, Hillary Clinton is being excoriated by the same people who defended slimy little Newtie.This gave me an idea. Democrats, it's time to use their own tactics against them.I propose that all Democrats start using exact republican slime-quotes in their speeches, interviews, comments, wherever they find an opportunity. Turn them back on the other side. Use them as though they were your own thoughts expressed, do not say that your are quoting anyone. Keep track of the quotes that you use and from where they are sourced. Find the most odious quotes you can find, use them liberally and frequently. The right-wingers and the "liberal" media will have a field day for a little while, slamming liberals for their derogatory and defamatory turns of phrase. They will accuse left-wing people of the most vile and treasonous actions and statements. After they have had some time to rant, announce the original sources of the quote or quotes used, and watch the fun begin.In short order, the right-wing echo chamber will get so gun-shy about attacking liberals that they will have to lay off, and they will also have to start watching their mouths in the knowledge that their own words will be used to hang them. Since character assassination is their primary weapon in politics, what with them having no real concept of democratic principles, they will be silenced and shown to be the inadequate, insecure, self-serving little criminals that they are.Have fun!
blinded by the Right
Light posting for a few more days, the start of school and family health issues are eating up my time. Look for some interesting new stuff soon, though. Meanwhile...Watching Ken Adelman release enough hot air on CNN to accelerate global warming just now, I was struck by an interesting comparison. Ken was telling Leslie Blitzer that the United States wasn't covertly meddling in Iran enough for the last thirty years, and that is why we have the "problem" (they won't do what Bush tells them to) that we are having with Iran right now. Ken thinks that we should be clandestinely undermining their politics and encouraging a revolution against the powers-that-be in Iran, calling this sort of activity "part of the spreading of freedom." That is an utterly disreputable way of achieving a goal, whether it be an admirable goal or a despicable one.A little while back, in Dover, Pennsylvania, a Republican federal judge ruled that the school system's policy there was in violation of the separation of church and state by insisting that "intelligent design" (creationism) should be taught in classrooms. In his ruling, the judge specifically castigated most of the people on the ID side for their untruthfulness in court. Numerous witnesses were caught in lies and fabrications that were clearly intended to improve their chances of achieving their desired results. Given that both of these matters are largely supported by the same group of people, my question to both the current administration and the theocratists is the same:If your ideas about these matters are so right, good, proper, and correct, if your concepts are so valid, why do you need to be so dishonest about implementing them? I can't read your minds, but I can tell you that every single time I have seen anybody advocating actions and positions in a dishonest and underhanded way, it is because they are trying to hide the truth about their agendas, goals and motives. So, tell me, do you have any good reasons for why you are such a bunch of liars all the while you are vigorously defending your morality and ethics even as you denigrate mine?That, of course, is a rhetorical question.
Friday text-only cat-blogging
(Reprinted from a recent email conversation with a friend who just acquired a new unintentional family member. Welcome, beautiful little Cleo! Mom, you've been "pwned" in the best possible way.)squinch, squinch, squinch...
squinch, squinch, squinch, squinch...
ow! stop it!
squinch, squinch, squinch, squinch, squinch...
all right, dammit, I'm moving!
padpadpadpadpadpadpadpad - fadoop?
squinch, squinch, squinch, squinch, squinch...
All RIGHT, I give up! I'll pet you!
Today, the news networks are reporting that superstitious nutcase Pat Robertson has sent a letter of apology to Ariel Sharon's family, and by way of extension to Israel, for his recent public comments to the effect that Sharon had been stricken because he had contravened god's instructions to not divide the country. It is also being reported that he is asking forgiveness for his statements.However, a simple and perfunctory reading of Pat's letter shows clearly that what the networks are reporting is, once again, not quite the reality.Pat clearly apologizes. Not for what he said.He apologizes for WHEN he said it. He explains that it was "inappropriate" and "insensitive" for him to say these things at a time when Sharon was near death and his family distraught. He doesn't say a single thing about the content of what he said, and really just implies that he should have waited until later to admonish Sharon.Pat, I hope that when something horrible happens to you or your loved ones that you realize it is your own god bitch-slapping you for your sins.Pat Robertson is a wretched little man and an utter waste of DNA.And, isn't there one single person in the traditional media that understands the English language any more?
for crying out loud
During today's Alito hearings, the candidate's wife broke down in tears and had to leave the room for a while because she was so overwrought by the harsh questioning her husband was receiving. Throughout the day, Alito had been asked in many different ways and frequently with evident incredulity about his inability to recall having been a member of the less-than-savory Princeton group that was seeking to bar minorities and women from the campus of the famous Ivy League school.From her reaction, it would seem that Mrs. Alito thinks it, at best, audacious and rude to grill her husband about these inconsistencies on his part. Apparently, we are supposed to simply believe that a man born in 1950 would be unable to recall his membership in this organization because it was so very long ago. I am nearly as old as Sam Alito. Sam, according to his supporters, is a man of tremendous intellectual and organizational skills, and is being backed as the best possible candidate to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's position. I think it is safe to say that Sam's supporters would think that Sam is a lot smarter than I am.I spent a lot of the 1980's in a Scotch-and-substances haze. I'm not proud of it, and I don't recommend it to anybody, but it is a fact that I will not try to run away from. Nonetheless, I remember all of the events I was involved in, all of the groups I was involved with, who and what I supported politically, and why, and I even have the same ability to recall the 70's, 60's, and the last part of the 50's when I was first coming to be a conscious human being.Yet, Sam Alito, with his vaunted intellect, his immense organizational skills, his straight-as-an-arrow lifestyle, with all of these superiorities to little old me, is unable to. Cry me a river, Mrs. Alito, cry me a river.
today's Alito confirmation synopsis
Just to save you some time, here are Sam Alito's responses for Wednesday's session. Now you don't need to watch C-SPAN all day."I don't know.""I can't recall.""I was just trying to get promoted.""I haven't really thought about it.""I didn't mean it.""I said it inartfully."With qualifications like that, how can we go wrong?
I seldom do simple link posts, but this is too good to pass up. As a Kansas resident for a couple of decades, this is confirmation of something I suspected the few times that I met the fellow socially. Enjoy!
"Gosh, I wish I knew how to quit me!"
Let me get this straight. Sam Alito says that his legal opinions demonstrating the supposed lack of Constitutional support for abortion rights was done simply to improve his chances of being hired by the Reagan administration. In other words, as a lawyer, Alito was a prostitute, not terribly concerned about what the law actually meant, instead demonstrating that he would find ways to interpret laws of the Unites States that complemented the political motivations of his employers instead of interpreting laws based upon the meaning of the language and entirely willing to tout his membership in an organization which basically consisted of supremacist white males. He firmly applied his lips to the Reagan administration's collective ass, simply for a cushy government job.I can see why Dark W. Helmet thinks he is perfect for the Supreme Court. In fact, I can hear him already:"Sammy, yer doin' a heckuva job!"
remedial politics 101-A
Leslie and Tweety are all a-flutter about some of the reasonably hardball questions Sam Alito had to face today, particularly the matter of abortions and Roe v. Wade. Senator Feinstein followed a line of questioning that indicated she was concerned about whether he would help overturn Roe v. Wade. Alito's choice of words seemed to lean towards saying that he would not try to do so. Many pundits are opining that his answer means he would leave Roe as it stands and that there's once again much ado about nothing from the supporters of civil liberties.Isn't anybody paying attention? Is this strategery stuff that difficult?The far-right neocon theocratists that presently hold the reins of power are much slicker than that. They are robbing the bank by tunneling into the vault from underground in order to avoid detection until it's too late. They have no desire to take on Roe v. Wade in a face-to-face, mano-a-mano combat.The plan is to simply relax federal jurisdiction over the matter and leave it to states' rights. When the laws begin to change state by state, they will shrug their heads and tell us they can't interfere. Thus dies another tiny piece of American liberty.
I am speechless.Okay, never mind, I realize that's not credible.I am, however, amazed and honored.I have been discovered and promoted by a fellow blogger. I honestly figured that this blog was simply going to be my private primal scream therapy, and that whether the content was good or bad, my primary purpose was to try to develop better understandings of the world by forcing myself to organize my opinions through committing them to print.My humble thanks. For that, I may even change my online appearance. Welcome to all friends of http://ronnisrants.blogspot.com and make yourselves at home. Unlike the White House, dissent is welcome here. Feel free to indulge yourselves!I win the cat contest, though.
why is this so hard to grasp?
There has been much talk about Democratic "tactics" to prevent ScAlito from being confirmed as a justice of the Supreme Court. First, many articles and quotes from pundits and cognoscenti hinted that his positions on Roe v. Wade would be a big obstacle that those who oppose his confirmation would use to prevent his being appointed. Then, talk started about using his support of expanded powers in the Executive branch as a method of effectively stopping him. I don't see why it is so difficult.Alito is a proven liar. He has claimed to not recall being a prominent member of a Princeton college hate group, despite having bragged of his membership and importance in the group in a 1985 job application.He has said that some of the opinions he has expressed were just part of the quest for employment, and that he only said them to make him a more palatable candidate for prospective employers.He said that he would recuse himself from cases involving a company he had a significant financial stake in and went ahead and sat in judgment of these cases anyway. When called on it, he first said that his word was given with an expiration date, and that what he did wasn't illegal anyway.If I told my best friend that I wouldn't sleep with his wife, and did it anyway, I would be a liar. If I then turned around and told him that because of how long ago I told him I wouldn't sleep with his wife that the promise wasn't in effect any more, and that sleeping with his life was not illegal anyway, that would make me a scoundrel as well as a liar.When a witness in a court case can be shown to be a liar, the court often tells the jury that they are free to decide the credibility of that witness with the knowledge that they are dishonest. During the O.J. Simpson murder trial, witness Mark Fuhrman was largely discredited because it was proven that he had not been forthcoming during some of his testimony.Why can we not apply that same standard to decide if a person is fit to be on the dominant chamber of the American judicial system?Judge Alito is a proven liar. Untruthful in one, untruthful in all. He is not fit to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.(post script: Today, 1/10/06, I just noticed a post by the Rude Pundit that parallels some of the points I made in this post very closely. Strictly coincidence, but spooky. I'm not quite sure what to make of the idea that I may think like the Rude One!)
The Republican party is pushing the talking point that the (SC)Alito hearings are being driven by a "partisan division" with the Democrats being "unfair" to poor little truth-challenged Judge Alito because he has said that Roe v. Wade was "incorrectly" decided.They are correct, just not in the way they presume themselves to be.The partisanship reflects two different points of view. One group feels that the government should be entitled to a mulligan on already-decided laws on abortion rights and that the only rights that American citizens have are the ones that the people in power at the moment decide to permit them to have.The other group feels that the Supreme Court has ALREADY answered the question of abortion and reproductive rights and that our civil liberties come from the Constitution and are based on our inherent and intrinsic rights as human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Yeah, that's a hard call. Govermentin' sure is hard work.
one of three
On Chris Matthews' "Hardball" (a misnomer if there ever was one) Newsweek magazine's Michael Isikoff seemed to state that when Jay Rockefeller composed his handwritten note to Dick Cheney explaining his unease about the secret NSA eavesdropping program, that after he wrote the letter he simply stored it for a couple of years and didn't send a copy of it to Cheney.My recollection is that the text of the note explained that one copy was sent to Cheney and that the recently publicized copy was stored for safekeeping as proof that Rockefeller had expressed his discomfort with the program back when he was notified of its existence. Surely a high-profile journalist like Isikoff would be able to discern that, and would find it without credibility that the note would have only been written and never sent.One of three things is going on here. Either Michael Isikoff is an idiot or a liar or Jay Rockefeller is, or else I am simply an idiot. Judging by his track record, I'm going to have to go with the first option.
Author/blogger David Corn recently reported a new business venture slated to happen in Israel. The following is excerpted from his site at bushlies.com:The Israeli government is planning to give up a large slice of land to American Christian evangelicals to build a biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is said to have walked on water and fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, (emphasis mine)
A consortium of Christian groups, led by the television evangelist Pat Robertson, is in negotiation with the Israeli ministry of tourism and a deal is expected in the coming months. The project is expected to bring up to 1 million extra tourists a year but an undeclared benefit will be the cementing of a political alliance between the Israeli rightwing and the American Christian right.However, the alliance has not been welcomed by all Israelis, including some who fear the ultimate aim of the evangelicals is the conversion of the Jews to Christianity rather than support for Israel.Jonathan Pulik, a spokesman for the Israeli ministry of tourism, said the Christian market was very important for Israel's tourism industry. "We would like to give them more of a reason to come here. We would be willing to lease the land to them free of charge and they would finance the construction."Christians believe that in order for Jesus to return, two preconditions are Jewish control of the land of Israel and the conversion of the Jews to Christianity.
Yossi Sarid, a former government minister and member of the Knesset, said he was wary of the friendship of the American Christian right and projects such as the Galilee centre. He said: "I am not enthusiastic about this cooperation because I have no desire to be cannon fodder for the evangelists.
"As a Jew, they believe I have to vanish before Jesus can make his second appearance. As I have no plans to convert, as an Israeli and a Jew, I find this a provocation. There is something sinister about their embrace."Today, Mr. Robertson, who has a long history of meddling in government affairs, made the following statement on his television show, the "700 Club:"I have said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous period of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person. I am sad to see him in this condition. But I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, "divide my land." God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible, he says, "This is my land." And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he going carve it up and give it away, God says, "No. This is mine." And the same thing -- I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, "This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone." So, it's Ariel Sharon's fault that he is near death in the hospital. He is being punished by Pat Robertson's god for dividing the country of Israel, land that Robertson tells us in his own words that god "considers to be his," and "belongs to me, you better leave it alone." He clearly and unequivocally takes the position that "any prime minister of Israel who decides he going carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No. This is mine.' "Pat Robertson has negotiated a deal with the Israeli government for it to "give up a large slice of land" for his superstition theme park, thereby "dividing Israel."Ergo, Pat Robertson is responsible for Ariel Sharon's possibly fatal stroke. Israel should take heed of his warning and promptly renege on the agreement so that Pat Robertson can no longer harm their nation and its leaders.We should simply ignore him so that he can no longer harm ours.(Pat Robertson is not a Canadian, information I had found earlier is incorrect. The post has been edited to reflect that correction. His country of origin does not affect the situation described.)
curses, foiled again
Our Dick of a vice-commander-in-chief, in an effort to minimize our feckless leader's violation of the Constitution of the United States, is now claiming that if King George the W had the NSA warrantlessly spying on us before the incidents of September 11th, 2001 that we "might have been able to stop at least two" of the hijackers who flew into the Pentagon on that day.Too bad all we had was a "historical document" entitled (I believe) "Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US."
Let me see if I understand this. The "mainstream media," after ecstatically reporting all evening that all but one miner had been discovered alive in the West Virginia mine accident, had to do an abrupt about-face and explain that their reports earlier were incorrect and that only one survivor had been found. The story that had been trumpeted by all of the major cable news networks in non-stop live coverage was proven dead wrong. It was explained that the story was basically spread by non-official gossip and that the mining company had never declared there to be twelve survivors, which meant that the news networks were reporting an unverified and unsourced story as a true representation of the events of the evening.How many networks admitted that they were the ones who had made the mistake by broadcasting rumor as fact? How many were embarassed by the egg on their face for violating basic principles of journalism?None.Without exception and without skipping a beat, all of the major "journalists" on the cable news networks blamed the mining company for NOT CORRECTING THEM. It's not their fault for reporting unconfirmed rumors as fact, it's the company's fault for not doing their jobs for them.I've been reading a lot lately about how the "real" news organizations are professionals who have checks and balances, and that the "blogosphere" is like the Old West when it comes to accuracy.Sounds like more faulty intelligence. Must be time for another one of those panels on "blogger ethics." You know there's a problem when David Letterman acts more like a real journalist while interviewing Bill O'Reilly than Rita Cosby, Anderson Cooper, and Geraldo Rivera did during their coverage of this story.