Thursday, June 29, 2006
This side of the looking glass is a scary place. Send me back, please.
Was Rush Limbaugh so supercilious that he didn't think that as a man on probation for doctor-shopping Oxycontin, his bags wouldn't be searched by customs on his return from sex tourism hotspot the Dominican Republic?
On his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh said, "I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it."
Ick. No. Please.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
For anyone who is accusing the Times of "treason," or claiming that they harmed national security, what is the answer to this question:What, specifically, would a terrorist have been willing to do on June 22 [the day before the banking story was published] that he would not do on June 23 as a result of the Times' article?The same question has been repeatedly asked, but never answered, with regard to the "treasonous" Times disclosure of the warrantless eavesdropping program:What, specifically, would a terrorist have been willing to do on December 15 [the day before the NSA story was published] that he would not do on December 16 as a result of the Times article?Prior to the "treasonous" Times articles, The Terrorists already knew that we were eavesdropping on their international calls and monitoring their banking transactions -- because that information was previously, and repeatedly, put into the public domain, often by the Bush administration and President Bush himself. What the Times revealed is the lack of oversight and checks on these intelligence-gathering activities, not the existence of the activities themselves, which were already well known.
Oh, and a message to Brit Hume (from me, not Glenn): Go fuck yourself.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
This isn't a movie review site, so I'll just say that it was just as depressing and hopeless as I'd remembered, but it may have been blunted a bit this time by just how insane things are now in the real world. Terrorism is only one of Gilliam's targets in the movie, but whatever he trains his lens on gets a devastating blow.
Jill: Doesn't it bother you the sort of things you do at Information Retrieval?As prescient as the "you'd rather have terrorists" line is — it could be coming out of a host of mouths: Coulter, Hannity, Malkin et al. — the biggest OMG moment for me came when the Dick-Cheney-like Helpmann is being interviewed on TV at the beginning of the film:
Sam: What? I suppose you'd rather have terrorists?
Jill: How many terrorists have you met, Sam? Actual terrorists?
Sam (dumbfounded): Actual terrorists?
Sam: Well, it's only my first day.
Helpmann: We're fielding all their strokes, running a lot of them out, and pretty consistently knocking them for six. I'd say they're nearly out of the game.Freaky.
Interviewer: How do you account for the fact that the bombing campaign has been going on for thirteen years?
Helpmann: Beginners' luck.
The Bush Administration now has the power to monitor your bank records and phone calls. They can designate you an illegal combattant and imprison you indefinitely without charges, and without access to counsel. While in custody, you can be tortured for information you may or may not have. (And by "you" I don't mean some abstract person. I mean YOU.) They can bypass the federal court system whenever they determine it's necessary. Now, they are seriously flirting with imprisoning journalists who attempt to expose the adminstration's power grabs.
The clear rationale underlying the arguments of Bush supporters needs to be highlighted. They believe that the Bush administration ought to be allowed to act in complete secrecy, with no oversight of any kind. George Bush is Good and the administration wants nothing other than to stop The Terrorists from killing us. There is no need for oversight over what they are doing because we can trust our political officials to do good on their own. We don't need any courts or any Congress or any media serving as a "watchdog" over the Bush administration. There is no reason to distrust what they do. We should -- and must -- let them act in total secrecy for our own good, for our protection. And anyone who prevents them from acting in total secrecy is not merely an enemy of the Bush administration, but of the United States, i.e., is a traitor.
The defining ethos of our country is a distrust of government power -- or at least it always used to be. The entirety of the Constitution is devoted to imposing safeguards against government abuses because our country was founded upon the principle that we do not place blind faith in political officials to act properly. But the argument being peddled now is that we can place blind trust in the Bush administration and we need not worry ourselves about anything. At the very least, such a dramatic reversal of how we think about our government ought to be the subject of debate.I think it's time to pick a side. And if you pick the administration's side, I think you ought to be able to answer a simple question: what more are you willing to give up in the name of fighting terrorism? Where is the line? Because up to now, the President himself has been able to define that ever-shifting line for all of us.
Pick a side.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sure, John McCain objected. But I wonder what Peter King and Tom Tancredo think of this idea. I have a feeling I know what Michelle Malkin might think.
Friday, June 23, 2006
My honest assessment is that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld (at least) should be not only removed from office, but imprisoned. The damage they've done to American society, goverment and culture is nearly incalculable, and will take at least a generation to repair, if it can be done at all.
Meanwhile, we sleep.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
- No abortions, ever. Both mother and doctor will be prosecuted for murder. If it's murder, it's murder.
- A massive law enforcement ramp-up in order to forcibly eject every illegal alien currently on American soil. Build a giant death wall along every foot of the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Death penalty for all murderers and sex offenders, after a single "trial." No appeals. All executions public, and televised.
- Gay people barred by Constitutional Amendment from marriage, adopting or raising children, teaching in schools, and military service of any kind. Sodomy laws re-introduced and zealously enforced. Further measures as needed.
- Divorce and adultery both illegal, with harsh sentences in all cases, no exceptions.
- Dismantle both the Department of Education and the entire U.S. public education system. All school taxes are abolished.
- Unions outlawed. Every state to follow "at-will" labor practices in all industries.
- No more White House press conferences. If the President wants to say something to us, he'll go on TV and do it.
- Homeland Security will be in charge of stopping speech in any form judged "anti-American."
- The Ten Commandments, in either sculptural or written form, posted in every courthouse and public building. (Obviously, religion in school is now a non-issue.)
O’Reilly: Now to me, they’re not fighting it hard enough. See, if I’m president, I got probably another 50-60 thousand with orders to shoot on sight anybody violating curfews. Shoot them on sight. That’s me… President O’Reilly… Curfew in Ramadi, seven o’clock at night. You’re on the street? You’re dead. I shoot you right between the eyes. OK? That’s how I run that country. Just like Saddam ran it. [Emphasis mine. -TM] Saddam didn’t have explosions - he didn’t have bombers. Did he? Because if you got out of line, you’re dead.Hey Bill, I've got the perfect guy for the job. I'm sure he's looking for work, too - if he can beat the rap.
-The Radio Factor, 6/19/06
UPDATE: Thanks to Utopia commenter Anonymous' favorite weblogger, the Rude Pundit, who reminded me that O'Reilly also said that the International Red Cross was to blame for the Guantanamo prisoners' suicides.
Not. making. this. up.
Oh, and pre-emptively: the minute The Rude Pundit gets a high-profile nightly TV show, or is featured on the cover of Time, we might begin to discuss how he "compares" to O'Reilly, Coulter, or the rogue's gallery of hate merchants infecting the right-wing airwaves these days. Until then, not so much.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The most revealing moment came when he thought the cameras were off: Before he gave his national address announcing that the war had begun, a camera caught Bush pumping his fist, as though instead of initiating a war he had kicked a winning field goal or hit a home run. "Feels good," he said.If that doesn't make you feel at least a little sick to your stomach, I fear for your soul.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Percent of peer-reviewed articles that concluded global warming was naturally occurring (not caused by human activity): 0 percent
Percent of news articles which presented global warming as disputed theory: 53 percent
Human beings have an extraordinary capacity to deny reality, if that reality conflicts with their deeply-held beliefs. (See: HIV denialists, who so desperately want to believe that AIDS is caused by drug use and icky gay sex, not a virus that anyone can get.) And the mass media has extraordinary power to shape reactions to that reality. Add to that the anti-intellectualism gripping American society today, and you have a recipe for disaster.
See this movie.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
"It is a shame when the overboard Homosexuals look less offensive than the so-called religious People."
"I bet some of Phelps gang are closet fags themselves."
"Unfortunately what I hate is the fact that I also think homosexuals are an abomination and these monkeys make people with real convictions Biblically grounded look like idiots."
-random Free Republic mouth-breathers
Monday, June 12, 2006
Seriously. Put up or shut up, bitches.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Having seen Kristen Breitweiser several times on television, I think she would be happy to debate anyone, anytime on any aspect of our pre-9/11 preparedness or what has happened in terms of homeland security since then. I don’t think anyone who supports the Bush Administration’s policies really wants that debate because she knows more about this subject than probably anyone else, including the 9/11 Commission. I don’t give her positions on anything more credence because her husband died, I give them credence because she really knows her shit.
These women did what I hope I would have done in their place. They could have gone on with their lives, but they decided that they would do everything they could to try to make sure this never happens to anyone else. I can’t think of a better way to honor their dead loved ones.
Love it love it love it.
I have to agree with a commenter on (I think) Balloon Juice who said, someday that girl's mouth is gonna write a check her butt can't cash.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
To me it's pretty simple: incest, bestiality, and for that matter the lamp, all fail the consent test. Underage people of any gender can't consent to a marriage, nor should they. Animals definitely can't consent. So there you go. Simple, right? It's not about what you or I consider perverted; it's whether both parties can consent to the relationship.
Which leads into polygamy. I believe that if all parties are adults and consent to the arrangement, I have no problem with it. Those who know better about these issues than I do say that much polygamy in this country involves coercion and/or underage girls, both of which would fail my consent test.
Finally, am I the only one who thinks Rick Santorum is just a little *too* preoccupied with "man-on-dog" sex?
Bennett: Look, it's a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.Of course, people like La Shawn Barber believe being gay *is* a random (and destructive) fetish, so there you go. Some people are unreachable. But I think there are a lot of people out there who would respond if the debate were put in Stewart's terms, instead of Bennett's.
Stewart: I disagree, I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
But wait. It gets better - much better. Damon now lives in a house built by the charity Homes for Our Troops. Homes for Our Troops is one of the charities to which Michael Moore donated profits from - wait for it - "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Monday, June 05, 2006
First, and perhaps most important, this has absolutely no chance of getting out of the Senate, much less passing the House and making it out to the state legislatures. So spending any time or emotion on it is stupid. I know that. That doesn't stop it from, as Grandpa Simpson would say, "angrying up my blood."
Next: Everyone, including the far-right religious fanatics this is being aimed at, know that this is a political stunt by a President whose approval ratings are hovering just this side of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Bush's statement is also meaningless, except in that it represents a craven flipflop from his earlier position to let the states handle it.
Next. Memo to hard-right religious fanatics: Did you by any chance notice that you're not getting squat from this President? Women are still getting abortions, even strippers and unwed teens. Sodomy is still legal. Revival meetings still cannot be held on public school football fields. Fags continue to flaunt their evil deviances in your face. You're getting nothing! Are a few meaningless words in support of your cause really enough? Where are the results? Think about it.
Next. I can't stand these Democratic operatives going on every national media outlet and using this as their debate tactic against the anti-gay amendment: Hey, the American people don't care about this; they care about jobs, and Iraq, and gas prices. To this I say, get a spine, will you, Dems? How about, "This amendment would enshrine discrimination into the Constitution"? Something like that. Something real and true. Can't manage it? No, I didn't think you could, you spineless, scum-sucking political operatives. Go fuck yourselves.
Next. As Atrios pointed out, why isn't every fucktard who screams about "activist judges redefining marriage against the will of the American people" asked a simple question: "When Loving v. Virginia made mixed marriages legal in 1967, 73 percent of the American public disapproved of interracial marriage. Was that an 'activist court'? Was that a bad legal decision, since it went against the will of the majority?" But of course that question will never be asked. The press knows where its bread is buttered.
Next. A fascinating factoid I came across when researching this entry: In February 2004, Massachusetts residents disapproved of same-sex marriage 53 percent to 35 percent. In May 2004, the state began marrying gay couples. When the same poll was taken in March 2005, less than a year later, the numbers had done a complete reversal: 56 percent in favor, 35 percent opposed. I guess letting those gays get married isn't so bad, after all.
Finally. My opinion, and I'm serious about this, is that the government should get out of the marriage business entirely. If people want to get married in a church, or on a beach, or in prison, or while naked or underwater, they are welcome to do so. But it should be a religious and/or cultural institution, not a legal one. Why should the state be sanctioning anyone's relationship in the first place? You want property rights, or child custody, or whatever - go to a lawyer. That means you, breeders. Yeah, you. I'm sure the lawyers will be behind this plan. You don't want the state to sanction icky gay sex? Fine. But it's not going to sanction your lifesize-sex-doll, Internet-porn, getting-it-on-with-the -babysitter hetero marriage either.
CODA: You think I have a potty mouth? Try the always-bracing Rude Pundit.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Attacking World War II troops for atrocities that were actually committed by Nazis? Bill O'Reilly is a traitor.
UPDATE: O'Reilly also peddled this same outrageous falsehood last year, so it's not exactly a slip of the tongue. And for the cherry on top of the sundae, Fox scrubbed O'Reilly's transcript, replacing "Malmedy" with "Normandy."