Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Little Nachtmusik

Because I'm incredibly nice, I will suggest that you download this song and enjoy it immeasureably. If you find yourself wanting the full, non-free version of the song, I suggest buying the album -- or at least buying the single off of Napster. Do enjoy.

WeeWillyWinkygate

Two South Korean rock musicians stripped off their clothes while performing live on television, prompting the network to scrap the popular music show.

If seeing a nipple on national television gets Americans in a tizzy, imagine what damage this would've produced in the good ole US of A! Two tallywhackers were exposed, flopping in the wind, for crying out loud!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Top Three Soundtracks

I feel bad that I haven't been posting with any sort of regularity this week or last. To make up for it, I wish to let you into my psyche a bit. I give you my..

Top Three Non-Musical Movie Soundtracks
1. O Brother, Where Art Thou
2. Garden State
3. I Am Sam


Agree? Disagree? I don't care, but feel free to voice your opinion!

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Shifting Right

From the "Transformation of the American Right" off of Lew Rockwell. Written in 1964, it talks about the shift in ideology in the Right since WWII. I've been meaning to write something about that, but it appears that Murray Rothbard beat me to it by 40 years.

Evidence of the Right-wing subordination of all its other goals and principles to nuclear war against communists is overwhelming, and at every hand. It lies at the root of the obscene eagerness with which the Right hurries to embrace every dictator no matter how fascistic or blood-stained, who affirms his "anti-communism." William F. Buckley's "libertarian" apologia for the fascist regime of South Africa in the pages of National Review is a case in point. So is the enormous enthusiasm for Chiang-kai-Shek, for Franco, for Syngman Rhee, and – most recently – for Mme. Nhu. It is not simply that these dictators are welcomed reluctantly, for expediency's sake in the "war against communism." The Right has proceeded, in its war hysteria, far beyond that point. For now these dictators are better, since their policy is evidently far "harder" on communists and suspected communists than the policy of the democracies. Mme. Nhu, as a Catholic as well as a totalitarian, has touched the heart of every Right-wing publicist. There can be nothing "harder" on one's subjects than repressing a religious majority and herding the peasants of the country into concentration camps in order to stave off "communism." The fact that this is hardly a better policy than communism itself makes no imprint whatever on a Right-wing which often likes to boast of itself as a "conservative libertarian" movement. It is tragically ironic and almost incredible that a movement which began, not too many years ago, in a passionate commitment to human liberty, should end as the cheering squad for a Mme. Nhu. Is it really too impolite to wonder how the Right-wing would now regard the man who was, in his day, the "hardest" and the "toughest" anticommunist of them all: Adolf Hitler?

I guess I didn't realize that the ideological shift started that early. It clearly has gone further; I've defintely noticed a shift in toted values just during my lifetime.

Following are some quotes included in the article from paleo-conservatives:

Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns. Persuasion and example are the methods taught by the Carpenter of Nazareth, and if we believe in Christianity we should try to advance our ideals by his methods. We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics.
-Howard Buffett

Those who advocate the ‘temporary loss’ of our freedom in order to preserve it permanently are advocating only one thing: the abolition of liberty. . . . However good their intentions may be, those people are enemies of your freedom and my freedom; and I fear them far more than I fear any potential Russian threat to my liberty. These sincere but highly emotional patriots are clear and present threats to freedom; the Russians are still thousands of miles away. . . .

The Russians would only attack us for either of two reasons: fear of our intentions or retaliation to our acts. . . . As long as we keep troops in countries on Russia's borders, the Russians can be expected to act somewhat as we would act if Russia were to station troops in Guatemala or Mexico. . . .

I can see no more logic in fighting Russia over Korea or Outer Mongolia, than in fighting England over Cyprus, or France over Morocco. . . . The historical facts of imperialism . . . are not sufficient reasons to justify the destruction of freedom within the United States by turning ourselves into a permanent garrison state. . . . We are rapidly becoming a caricature of the thing we profess to hate.
-Dean Russell

One of the great failures of our foreign policy throughout the world arises from the fact that we have permitted ourselves to be identified everywhere with the old, doomed, and rotting colonial-imperialist small European nations which once imposed upon so much of the world the pattern of exploitation and economic and political domination. . . . None of these rebellious, awakening peoples will . . . trust us or cooperate in any way so long as we remain identified with the economic colonial system of Europe, which represents, even in its capitalistic pattern, the last remnants of feudalism. . . . We leave these awakening peoples with no choice but to turn to Russian and communist comfort and promise of Utopia."
-Louis Bromfield

There's a history lesson.

Gearing for '08

Breaking with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Friday he now supports legislation to remove some of the administration's limitations on embryonic stem cell research.

You can almost smell the presidential aspirations.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quote of the Day

"We need to look at ways of helping and supporting the proper, true face of Islam in taking on that small fringe of extremism that abuses the good name of Islam."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, June 27, 2005.

Profiling Racially

There's a political cartoon I saw today on a conservative blogger's website that made me stop and wonder. Its message in defense of racial profiling is pretty clear. I can almost be persuaded to believe in this philopshy, as the artist is absolutely right in assuming all terrorists are Arabic Muslims. After all, Osama bin Laden called on only Muslims to attack the United States, right?

Only Arabic Muslims in turbans and beards pile explosives into a van and detonate it under a federal building in Oklahoma.

Surely the bomber at the Atlanta Olympic Games was swarthy.

So yeah, maybe I am a pro-racial profiler. I mean, if only Arabic Muslims are terrorists, let's search and imprison every Muslim and every Arab every time we come across one. They're the enemy, out and out. Remember during World War II, every German was the enemy. During the Vietnam war, ever North Vietnamese was the enemy. During the Cold War, every communist was the enemy. It's only common sense to assume that every Arab is the enemy.

But why stop there? Let's extend to all those who bring ill upon our society. No liberal ever bombed an abortion clinic so every conservative with a backpack is the enemy. No liberal ever killed a homosexual because of bigotry and ignorance. So every conservative with a baseball bat is the enemy.

I like it.

So Sad



He's the president of the United States, and this is the biggest television he can find?

Sufficiently Inadequate

An independent panel headed by two former U.S. national security advisers said Wednesday that chaos in Iraq was due in part to inadequate postwar planning.

And thus concludes today's post on the painfully obvious.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Overturning the Unjust

The legal right to abortion is settled for lower courts, but the Supreme Court "is not obliged to follow" the Roe v. Wade precedent, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday as the Senate prepared to consider John Roberts' appointment that would put a new vote on the high court.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gonzales said a justice does not have to follow a previous ruling "if you believe it's wrong," a comment suggesting Roberts would not be bound by his past statement that the 1973 decision settled the issue.

Well, duh. Keeping true with the conservative tenet of smaller government, the Supreme Court overruled Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) with Lawrence v. Texas (2003). And rightly so.

Blossoming Feces

Note to self: If ever writing for a newspaper, don't use the nickname Turd Blossom.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Can You Blame Me?

Is it incredibly wrong of me to think it'd be hot if President Bush's Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts was the other person in Colin Farrell's sex tape?

Okay, okay. Hear me out before you judge me. I mean, it's Colin Farrell. Anyone with him would be hot, but there's something about Mr. Federalist Society that makes me swoon like a little school girl. (No offense to any school girls who may be reading this post.) Or maybe it's just his eyes. I don't know. Now if only either of them liked guys. There's always a crux.

Oh No You Don't

The White House on Monday warned Democrats not to make extensive requests for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' legal writings in previous Republican administrations, saying many such documents are "out of bounds."

In other words, "embarrassing."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Say Wha?!

I've been way too busy lately. I can't believe I didn't know Colin Farrell had a sex tape. I can't believe I don't have it yet.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I Heart Vigilantism

Spam haters given right of reply:

Israeli technology firm Blue Security has set up a scheme to batter spam websites with thousands of complaints.

The plan is to fill order forms on spam websites offering pills, porn and penile health tonics with complaints about the products advertised for sale in junk messages.

The plan has been criticised by other anti-spam workers who say it amounts to vigilantism.

But I heart vigilantism!

Those signing up for Blue Security's Do-Not-Intrude registry can have messages sent to up to three e-mail addresses monitored.

...

Any junk mail sent to these real and fake addresses is analysed for accompanying websites where people can buy the goods or services being offered.

A software program downloaded by those signing up then visits the spammers' websites and fills in any online order forms it finds with complaints about the unsolicited mail.

...

Blue Security's hope is that the complaints will clog websites and make the job of being a spammer more expensive and time consuming.

Sounds like a jolly ol' time.

But the scheme has been criticised by John Levine, a board member of the anti-spam Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail.

"It's the worst kind of vigilante approach," Mr Levine told the AP news service. "Deliberate attacks against people's websites are illegal."

In late 2004 Lycos Europe courted controversy with a "Make Love Not Spam" campaign that bombarded known spam websites with data traffic. The scheme was scrapped following complaints that it skirted the edge of the law and encouraged vigilantism.

But I heart vigilantism!

Frankly I just think it's a cool idea and that sometimes cool ideas should be allowed even if they're illegal.

Spending More of My Money

The Bush administration's free-trade agreement with Central America would cost taxpayers $50 million a year in loan forfeitures by sugar farmers, the Congressional Budget Office says. An administration official's response can be summed up in two words: Nuh uh.

And thus the lines were drawn in the sand for what will surely become a battle of epic proportions. Well, probably not, but even if this fizzles away and nothing comes of it, American tax-payers can be sure to look forward to the $4.4 billion we'll lose over the next 10 years, primarily in lost tariffs. Excellent!

I Agree, Mr. Conservative

Here's a great paragraph from an article in The American Conservative, courtesy of our good friend Mr. R.

The administration implicitly knows that Iraq is not going well, and it is trying to shape the inevitable postwar debate about who lost Iraq -- laying the groundwork for its own version of the Dolchstoss, the post-World War I myth fabricated by German nationalist extremists that the German army was not defeated in World War I but rather was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements at home. Already administration officials are implying that those who question the wisdom of its strategy are undermining the morale of the troops. The clear implication is that open debate about the Iraq War is unpatriotic. When things end badly in Iraq, the White House will claim that the U.S. could have won but its policy was undermined by domestic critics.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Don't Watch Us

The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere, because, as you see, any sort of investigative oversight over an administration that already has wracked up a documented history of abuse and neglect of prisoners is the very sort of thing that would make Baby Jesus cry. And we wouldn't want that to happen, now would we?

And besides, the White House said such amendments would "interfere with the protection of Americans from terrorism by diverting resources from the war." Resources that can be better spent giving Halliburton a $72 million bonus for its mismanaged work in Iraq, or the $212 million Halliburton overcharged the US government just as of April 2005. You know, important resources that are keeping Americans safe.

At a Loss for Words

From none other than a red state.

Ronnie Paris would shake, wet himself and vomit as his father forced him into a box and repeatedly slapped him on the head in an effort to prevent him from being gay, the child's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified Monday. The boy was 3 years old when he died from swelling on both sides of the brain on January 28.

"He was trying to teach him how to fight," the boy's aunt, Shanita Powell, told the court. "He was concerned that the child might be gay."

"He didn't want him to be a sissy," Shelton Bostic, the defendant's Bible-study friend, testified.

Turning a Deaf Ear

Is anyone listening to Karl Rove and/or the other Republican elite anymore?

White House political strategist Karl Rove and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been trying to talk Florida Rep. Katherine Harris out of running for the Senate next year, but have been unsuccessful thus far. ... "I know I can win this," she has told doubting party officials. Polls show Mrs. Harris, who is popular with the state's conservatives, would be the clear front-runner in a party primary contest, but they also show she runs particularly poorly among independents and draws virtually no support among Democrats. A Quinnipiac University poll last month showed Mr. Nelson leading her in a head-to-head matchup 50 percent to 38 percent....

Meantime, Rhode Island's [Lincoln] Chafee, a liberal party maverick in a heavily Democratic state, faces a conservative challenge from Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey, who would be favored in a Republican Party primary. State Republican officials say they, Mr. Rove and the NRSC have also tried to talk Mr. Laffey out of running, urging him to run for lieutenant governor and then seek the governorship.

"Right now, it looks like Laffey is going to run and that means we could lose this seat," a party official said.


-- Washington Times, July 21, 2005

Both times conservative senatorial hopefuls rebuke the wise teachings of their Republican elders, and in both instances common sense says that they are going to receive a hefty beat-down. Booyeah. Let the party roll. By the sound of it, Ms. Harris has indeed already partaken in the good times.

Quid Pro Quo

Well isn't this just interesting and.. convenient? President Bush's Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts has donated in the past to the political campaigns of several Republican candidates, including President Bush himself and one senator who will vote on Roberts' appointment to the high court -- Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

How much does a vote of affirmation from a GOP Senator from Indiana cost? Only about 500 bucks.

Woe Are Sources

The fight against terrorism would be undermined by a law to protect reporters from going to jail when they refuse to reveal their sources, the Bush administration said Wednesday. Just as the United States was attacked briefly after Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein first refused to reveal the identity of Deep Throat, we shall too be attacked for keeping all other sources underwraps.

Many things undermine the fight against terrorism, like same-sex marriage, Social Security, and Spongebob Squarepants. We should all do our part to combat such grievous hurdles.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Good News from Iraq

There's some great news coming from Iraq today! Framers of Iraq's new constitution said Wednesday they will meet an August deadline despite a move by Sunni Arabs to suspend work after the killings of two colleagues. This will bring our troops one step closer to leaving the God-forsaken land, the Iraqi government one step closer to independence, and the Iraqi people one step closer to a theocratic rule of law!

Say wha?!

A working draft of Iraq's new constitution would cede a strong role to Islamic law and could sharply curb women's rights, particularly in personal matters like divorce and family inheritance....

One of the critical passages is ... a sweeping measure that would require court cases dealing with matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance to be judged according to the law practiced by the family's sect or religion.

Under that measure, Shiite women in Iraq, no matter what their age, generally could not marry without their families' permission. Under some interpretations of Shariah, men could attain a divorce simply by stating their intention three times in their wives' presence....


-- New York Times, July 20, 2005

Lovely.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Unpossibility



Me fail English? That's unpossible.

Lying Sack of...

Americans have growing doubts about President Bush's honesty and his effectiveness. According to a poll taken at a time people are uneasy with the war in Iraq, uncertain about the economy and nervous about the terrorist threat, forty-nine percent of Americans said they believe the president is trustworthy, while almost as many, forty-six percent said he is not.

One Fugly Child

Rove in the Spotlight

I think this Economist article does an excellent job of explaining the current Plame controversy.

Certainly, damage was done. The CIA was indeed taking “affirmative measures” to protect her identity. The agency has since kept her from publishing an article clarifying what happened, saying it could damage their work. Her front company was exposed. So regardless of whether anyone will be convicted of a crime, the affair has the potential to become highly embarrassing for the Bush administration. Mr Novak spoke of not one but two senior administration sources who told him about Ms Plame.
I still don't understand why Novak isn't being involved in the criminal proceedings like Cooper and Miller are. I'm not even necessarily implying that he should be, I just honestly don't understand why, if it was his article that leaked Plame's name, is he not under investigation or being forced to reveil his sources?
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from July 14th showed [Bush's] approval ratings in negative territory, and for the first time more respondents rated him negatively than positively on "being honest and straightforward". While he might like to stonewall until this passes, he may not be able to. The press corps is in high dudgeon, feeling misled by the administration while one of their own is in a prison jumpsuit for protecting an administration source. They are unlikely to let the matter drop.
Very true.

Happy Nuclear Thoughts

From here:

A senior general in the Chinese army threatened to use nuclear arms against the United States in a conflict over the Taiwan Strait, prompting the Bush administration to call the remarks "highly irresponsible."

"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu said in yesterday's editions of the Financial Times and the Asian Wall Street Journal.
Yikes. Echoes what was said a few years ago by another general:
"If the Americans are determined to interfere ... we will be determined to respond," said Gen. Zhu, head of China's National Defense University. "We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian [in central China]. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds ... of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."
Yikes again.
China also is set to conduct its first joint military exercises with Russia this fall that will include the use of Russian strategic bombers, another indication of China's preparation for a nuclear conflict. Several years ago Russia and China conducted simulated nuclear exercises that involved a conflict with Taiwan in which the United States used nuclear arms and Russian forces retaliated with their nuclear arms, according to intelligence officials.
That doesn't make me feel too comfortable.
Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province but the island has been an independent Republic of China since nationalist forces fled the mainland during a civil war in 1949.

President Bush said in 2001 that the United States would do "whatever it takes" to help Taiwan defend itself, a remark that prompted the Pentagon to renew war plans for a defense of the island from mainland attack.
Even before nuclear threats, I'm not really sure how I feel about Taiwan. I guess it plays into the larger question as to whether the US should interfere in political battles within foreign countries. Is it really our responsibility to protect every democratic foothold? I'm not so sure.

Monday, July 18, 2005

"anti-state, anti-war, pro-market"

Lew Rockwell. Interesting site. Their philosophy, economically at least, seems to be Bentham, Shumpeter, and Smith on steroids. Maybe a pinch of Kant's perpetual peace for good measure.

All I've read so far is The Living Constitution, which was provocative.

Thus, despite the fact that the Fifth Amendment states that "No man shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law," the United States Supreme Court once found it "unconstitutional" for states to have capital punishment. It is beyond rational dispute that a document which states that a man may be "deprived of life" following the "due process of law" does not itself outlaw executions. Yet the Supreme Court thought so.

I'm not familiar with a case in which the Supreme Court flat-out said that capital punishment is unconstitutional, only that certain methods violated the 'cruel and unusual punishment' clause in the Bill of Rights. I assume he's talking about Furman v. Georgia, which ruled that "the arbitrary and inconsistant imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment, and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment". So, really, it is quite in the realm of 'rational dispute'.

St. Thomas Aquinas famously writes in his Summa Theologica that the law should not require more of a people than they are able to do, as they will lose respect for the law. Despite the fact that St. Thomas lived from 1225 to 1274, our "experts" in Washington (who would be ousted by term limits) have not learned this lesson. Thus, the Congress passes its share of burdensome laws – the tax code, for one – while spawning other federal agencies with "rule-making" powers that are effectively legislative powers.

Yawn. Government needs money, sorry. Enough trite off-handed jabs at the tax code. Cumbersome, yes. Necessary, probably. Unfortunate, yes.

Between EPA and OSHA, try to find a good oil-based paint, or some good paint for a tin roof. Sorry, all illegal now. As one contractor recently told me, "The government thinks we're all too foolish to make decisions for ourselves."

Guess what. You are too foolish to make decisions for yourself if you're bemoaning the lack of availability of oil paints that produce 170,000 tons of VOC emissions a day (comparable to industrial plants) when equal-quality latex paints are available. Not to mention those coma-inducing, sweet-tasting lead paints for tin roofs. Awwww buddy. The EPA and OSHA are protecting you, your children, and your neighbors from poisonous substances, how mean. Fool.

But other than that, it was a good article. I'd like to look around the site more. It's always interesting and refreshing to read conservative tirades against Bush.

Bring Back the Breakfast Drink looks promising:

A final note on a frequent objection: morning drinking diminishes one's productivity during the day. This is true, of course, but particularly for adults who process liquor more slowly. This underscores a point that cannot be emphasized enough: like smoking, morning drinking is particularly suited for the young, meaning under the age of 25. Their systems are robust and can handle it better. Don't waste your youth: it is up to you to bring back the breakfast drink!

w00t

InSantorum

Santorum continues to get pummelled for his insensitive and politically-cheap shot. Deserves him right. I, for one, absolutely cannot wait for the 2006 Senatorial Election here in Pennsylvania.

Involvement

Was Karl Rove involved in the outing of an undercover CIA agent whose husband spoke out against the lies given to the American people as a means to go to war against Iraq? Absolutely. It's not even a question of maybe anymore. The answer is unequivocally yes. He may not have been the one who actually outed the agent -- that remains to be seen at the end of the investigation -- but he is definitely involved in the whole scandal.

If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.

-- White House Press Briefing, 09/29/03

Pretty clear cut, eh? One would think that a sharp-shooting cowboy like President Bush would stand by his convictions, even if those convictions stood in the way of his long-time friend. But, alas, the president is even wussified enough to flip-flop, so to speak, in order to help his criminal friend and rethink his words.

President Bush said Monday that if anyone on his staff committed a crime in the CIA-leak case, that person will "no longer work in my administration."

-- Associated Press, 07/18/05

Another day, same old hack.

Visual Entertainment

Ever stay home on the weekend after a long week of unending work, with a bowl of popcorn in one hand, remote control in the other, and realize you have nothing to watch? Your DVD collection is dismal. You've watched your VHS tapes a billion times. You need something new, something fresh, something... intelligently entertaining.

Well the wait is over! You can own a piece of history, help pay off election debt, and have something to watch next Saturday all in one click! Our good friend Alan Keyes knows how to get a party started.

"In response to overwhelming demand, we are pleased to offer the historic Keyes-Obama 2004 Senate debates! Not since the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 have the moral issues of the day been deliberated upon at such an intense and impressive level. Available individually or as a set, these debates are a unique and valuable exhibition of two very different approaches to the challenges facing America. Watch and decide for yourself who the winner was!"

Clearly it was Keyes, with his almost-impressive 27 percent of the Illinoisian vote. Oops.

Oh How You Are Blind

Hypocrisy is a fickle thing. After decades of waging what is commonly referred to as the Southern Strategy, the Republican Party and its chairman are apologizing for the indecency of the act at the same time that it wages a second, more modern strategy.

The Southern Strategy, begun under President Nixon, describes Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters. The Homosexual Chairman of the Homophobic Republican Party Ken Mehlman calls such maneuvers "wrong." And yet he continues to lead a party that now uses another wedge issue -- gay rights -- to appeal to voters.

I suppose we could call it the Second-Class Strategy -- or is that a blanket term for the both of them? Who can ever tell?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Overheard, Overseen

Actually seen on a conservative blogger's website: Karl Rove was Judas Iscariot's scoutmaster. Gotta love it.

It's Called Fact Checking

While it is theoretically possible that some jihadists were forged as a result of the invasion of Iraq, no specific instance of such a terrorist has yet been produced.... And though two of the London bombers appear to have traveled to Pakistan for religious instruction post-March 2003, there is not the slightest bit of evidence that it was Iraq which "turned" the cricket-loving young men into killers. In fact, it is transparently absurd for anyone to claim such a thing.

-- Hugh Hewitt in The Weekly Standard, 7/14/05

Shahzad Tanweer, the 22-year-old son of a Pakistani-born affluent businessman, turned to Islam, the religion of his birth, a few years ago.... He became withdrawn and increasingly angry over the war in Iraq, according to those who knew him best.

The U.S.-led war was what likely drove him to blow himself up on a subway train last week, said his friends. "He was a Muslim and he had to fight for Islam. This is called jihad," or holy war, said Asif Iqbal, 20, who said he was Tanweer's childhood friend.

Another friend, Adnan Samir, 21, nodded in agreement.

"They're crying over 50 people while 100 people are dying every day in Iraq and Palestine," said Iqbal. "If they are indeed the ones who did it, it's because they believed it was right. They're in Heaven...."

...Maroof Latif, an unemployed Beeston resident, said he knew Khan since he was a child and believes if he took part in the terrorist bombings of the subways it was because of his anger over the war in Iraq and the U.S.-British occupation.


-- Associated Press, July 15, 2005

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Smoking Hot

Harry Potter VI

Needless to say, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out today. Posting will be light, at least until Monday. Feel free to post your thoughts and predictions.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Muzzling the Muppets

So yeah, Zac invited me to do some writing on his blog. I know I won't have time to be nearly as faithful as Zac, plus I have my own blog to attend to, but we'll see how it goes.

Found on Rolling Stone off of Google News.

As head of the board that doles out $400 million in federal funds for public broadcasting, Tomlinson is actually required by law to provide PBS and NPR with "maximum protection from extraneous influence and control" by meddling politicians. But in recent months, Tomlinson himself has been the one trying to alter PBS programming. A close friend of Karl Rove since they worked together overseeing Voice of America, he hired a right-wing consultant to secretly monitor Bill Moyers for signs of "liberal bias." He collaborated with the White House to hire two "ombudsmen" to keep an eye on Frontline and All Things Considered. And after President Bush was re-elected in November, Tomlinson warned a gathering of PBS executives that the country had moved to the right -- and that their programming should reflect that.

"It was inappropriate," says Pat Mitchell, the president of PBS, recalling the air of disbelief that filled the room. "The role of the CPB is to provide a heat shield against the power of political parties." Moyers, who helped create PBS as a source of independent journalism, had even stronger words about the attempt to tilt the network to the right. "I always knew Nixon would be back," he said in a speech to the National Conference on Media Reform in May. "I just didn't know this time he would ask to be chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

Welcome to a new era in the battle over public broadcasting. Instead of simply threatening to cut federal funding for PBS -- as Nixon, Reagan and Newt Gingrich did -- the Bush administration has taken a new approach. Far from standing as a firewall against outside political pressure, Tomlinson is trying to force PBS to toe the Republican line, turning the network into a taxpayer-funded facsimile of Fox News. The GOP coup scored a major victory in late June, when the CPB board quietly confirmed Patricia Harrison -- a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee -- as its new president.

Yaaaaaay. If I could name one aspect of life in which Republicans haven't tried enough to get their grubby paws...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Censorship

Censorship. I hate it. If you don't want to listen to a song, scan the dial. If you don't want to watch a TV show, switch the station. If you don't want to see a nipple, turn your head. But what I hate more than people pressing their fragile sensibilities on me are people who blame uncensored music and video as the root of violence and disrespect in our nation.

A popular song is no more likely to make a person go out and bust a cap in a bunch of hos than any of the Harry Potter books is going to make someone shoot magic spells out of a piece of discarded tree.

I read Tom Clancy books, but I don't feel like setting off nuclear bombs in football stadiums. I read James Patterson books, but I don't feel like kidnapping beautiful women and keeping them in an underground lair. I read Dr. Seuss books too, but I don't feel like becoming a Star-Bellied Sneetch.

Hell, I listen to Barry White, but I'm certainly not going to do the things he suggests!

If music and literature and television had such a great impact on our society -- an impact aside from groovy dances -- what explains away the impactless of the great and popular song "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)"?

Oh, what a night, late December back in '63
What a very special time for me
As I remember what a night!

Oh, what a night!
You know I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night!

Oh, I got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
And I, as I recall it ended much too soon

Oh, what a night!
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me
She was everything I dreamed she'd be
Sweet surrender, what a night!

I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinnin' my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night!
Let's recap. One night in late December 1963, a man -- the singer -- met a woman. When she entered the room in which he was present, he received a massive boner ("I got a funny feeling"). After just meeting, and before they ever exchanged names ("I didn't even know her name"), they did the dirty and he lost his virginity ("I was never gonna be the same"), but only after a premature ejaculation ("as I recall it ended much too soon"), one that he refers to as a "rolling bolt of thunder."

Is this what the Four Seasons wanted to teach our children? That anonymous one-night stands is not only acceptable, but "hypnotizing, mesmerizing"? This whore of a woman was "everything" the man "dreamed she'd be." Is this what we should hold in our minds as the archetypal woman?


///Update:
Thanks to Ian for the catch.

I Concur

"Desperate Housewives," a dark satire about suburbia that became an instant hit in its debut season, was among the top Emmy nominees announced Thursday, receiving 15 nominations.

Just for Ted

Yay! The budget deficit for this year is actually smaller than first anticipated, dropping to a measely $333 billion from a number $94 billion greater. That's great news. The money we spent this year outweighs the amount of money the federal government received by approximately $333 billion. This is what I call fiscal conservatism! But I'm happy, this means that my grandchildren won't have to sell their other kidney to help pay off the record-breaking deficit this administration has built up! Oh happy days!

And though I'm told polls are crap, I feel a certain obligation to announce that Bush's approval rating is at a redhot 49%. Or 46%, or 45%. Yes Ian, Bush is liked, or at least put up with, by almost half of America. It's a day of celebration. It's like Festivus, but without the pole or the feats of strength.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Well Thank God

Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas has come forward and quashed reports that he had sex with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise.

I'm glad to see Mr. Thomas has taste.

Good v. Gooder

News Flash: The Pope doesn't like Harry Potter.

In a letter dated March 7, 2003 Cardinal Ratzinger thanked Kuby for her "instructive" book Harry Potter -- Gut oder Böse (Harry Potter -- Good or Evil?), in which Kuby says the Potter books corrupt the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.

I understand that it was compulsory for the former Cardinal Ratzinger to be a member of the Hitler Youth, and I don't hold it against him. But I wonder exactly how much of a "properly ordered sense of good and evil" young Catholic children can muster when their holy figure was once a part of such a group. To a young mind who can obviously scarcely wrap their minds around such a tough subject, the contradiction of the Pope once cheering on the murder of millions and millions of Jews must be devastating. < /sarcasm >

Harry Potter is not evil. He rocks, and I will be busy on Saturday! :)

We Endorse...

Always the hypocrite and from time-to-time Presidential and Senatorial candidate Alan Keyes was joined by fellow B-list conservatives to announce their endorsement of... wait for it -- Roy Moore to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

I'd love to see the day.

Howard Phillips, Chairman of The Conservative Caucus, has also been active in previous Supreme Court battles. He was "(a) in opposition to the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor, (b) in support of the confirmation of Robert Bork, (c) in opposition to the confirmation of David Souter, and (d) in opposition to the confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg." Well, quitters never win.

Guessing Game

Who said...

"I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."

Was it the editors of the New York Times? Journalists from the Associated Press? Shills from FOX News? Nah. It was good ole former President George H.W. Bush in a speech back in 1999.

What else has the GOP -- which is ever so mum lately -- said about leaks?

"The president does have very deep concerns about anything that would be inappropriately leaked that could in any way endanger America's ability to gather intelligence information, and even that could harm our ability to maintain sources and methods and anything that could interfere with America's ability to fight the war on terrorism."

-- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 6/21/02

"[Leakers] are disgraceful. They're unprofessional. They're dangerous. They put people's lives at risk. I would also add that I think it's the obligation of people who find people leaking to tell responsible authorities because folks that do it and put people's lives at risk ought to be in jail."

-- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 2/13/03

"Leaks of classified information do substantial damage to the security interests of the nation."

-- Attorney General John Ashcroft, 12/14/01

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Help Is On the Way

Actor Brad Pitt has been hospitalized with a flu-like illness. Pitt, 41, checked himself into an undisclosed Los Angeles area hospital Monday night complaining of flu-like symptoms, his publicist Cindy Guagenti said Tuesday. There were no other details and the name of the hospital wasn't disclosed for security reasons.

If he needs me, he knows where to find me.

Against Precedence

During this ongoing investigation into exactly how involved President Bush's deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was in leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent to the media, he still retains his security clearance. This is absurd. And it goes against precedence.

Mr. Maloof's Pentagon career was damaged in December 2001, when his security clearances were revoked. He was accused of having unauthorized contact with a foreign national, a woman he had met while traveling in the Republic of Georgia and eventually married. Mr. Maloof said he complied with all requirements to disclose the relationship. Several intelligence professionals say he came under scrutiny because of suspicions that he had leaked classified information in the past to the news media, a charge that Mr. Maloof denies.

-- New York Times, April 28, 2004

Mr. Maloof's clearance was revoked because of "suspicions" that he had leaked classified information to the news media. There are now more than enough suspicions to cancel Rove's subscription to any information he could use in retaliation to Bush administration detractors. Especially since that is what got him in trouble in the first place.

Conspiracy In Action

A grand jury indicted Kentucky's Republican Party chairman and two state officials Monday on charges alleging they conspired to violate state personnel laws.

Go figure.

Oh Rovey-Poo

The White House, and more specifically Press Secretary Scott McClellan, is facing damaging evidence that it misled the public by insisting for two years that presidential adviser Karl Rove wasn't involved in leaking the identity of a female CIA officer.

In September and October 2003, McClellan said he had spoken directly with Rove about the matter and that "he was not involved" in leaking Plame's identity to the news media. McClellan said at the time: "The president knows that Karl Rove wasn't involved," "It was a ridiculous suggestion" and "It's not true."

Oh, the bearers of the torches of truth and honesty.

President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove -- in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond.

He pledged even before 2003 to bring integrity and honesty back to the White House. You don't see him making good on that pledge either, now do ya?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bringing the Funny

It would seem that, although humorous, Hillary Clinton is not all that original. Thanks to Lisa from Scatch & Sniff for the hattip email.

The New Taliban

Pakistan. They're our friends.

A controversial new law critics say will seek Taliban-style moral policing has been presented in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. The bill would see the introduction of a moral police force to ensure strict adherence to Islamic injunctions.

It was tabled amid deafening shouts of disapproval from opposition parties who have vowed to resist it. However, hardline religious parties have enough seats in the provincial house to pass the bill.

*****

I'm surely going to hear about this, but I just have to ask. Moral policing is obviously really, really wrong. The Taliban did it. But how is a moral police force ensuring adherence to Islamic injunctions different from the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of the United States government ensuring now or at one time adherence to Christian injunctions such as bans on homosexual sex? Both have ramifications for infarctions. No one in the United States is killed for such rule breaking, but is it not parallel, only on a lesser level?

Morality to the Highest

Almost a year ago, an angry, embarrassing former Dem. Senator Zell Miller didn't hesitate to appear on national TV at the Republican National Convention to rage against what he considered a loss of moral compass by his fellow Democrats, and to challenge no less than one journalist to a duel.

He took the stage to rail against the loss of morals. How.. interesting.

When this nationally famous figure left the governor's office in 1999, he pocketed more than $60,000 in taxpayer funds earmarked for entertainment and other expenses at the Governor's Mansion, WSB-TV investigative reporter Dale Cardwell revealed last week.

Miller also picked up a check for more than $20,000 for "unused leave" -- a sum to which he was not entitled as a constitutional officer, Cardwell also reported.


-- Macon Telegraph, July 11, 2005

Zell Miller's excuse? He said he was unaware of the rules barring the state's highest elected officials from cashing out their leave. Such morality. Such... he was a guest of honor at the Republican National Convention? Oh the day of humor never ends!

Relax, Just Do It

For the record, What, me worry? does indeed spread out past the Oval Office. It nestles itself into all the little minds of the Republican sheeple who find comfort in the mindless dribble of their president. (What, me worry? I'm still giggling like a little school girl. Hillary is so cool right now.)

Anyway, a brave, brave soul asked an obvious question the other day on the Free Republic chatroom, a question that everyone in the nation has had to ponder at least once in these four years since September 11.

I was lectured on Freerepublic that I was supposed to "feel safer" because we captured Saddam -- even though there's no evidence that he was behind 9-11. Osama is the guy that Bush promised to get "dead or alive" -- but four years later, he's still out there, free as a jail bird.

Maybe it's time to refocus on the mastermind and culprits who were behind 9-11?
As anyone can see from the responses this unfortunate man received, What, me worry? is not only their philosophy but their way of life.

****
You go find him and show us how easy it is.
****
Go ahead and get him.
****
Please explain how capturing Osama is going to stop this?
****
So when do you ship out? I mean you are volunteering for this aren't you?
****
Exactly! If we get him dead or alive all we will do is have 100 other crazies trying to outdo him. As much as I hate the SOB we are better off if OBL is in hiding; at least for now anyway.
****
Sure. Go barging into the Northwest Frontier - a region no foreign power has ever controlled. Make it to where our presence in Afghanistan will no longer be tolerated and spark a widespread tribal war that will make the Sunni Triangle look like a school zone. Makes loads of sense.
****
People like you both amuse and disgust me. You expend energy to mock and impede the war on terror, you're nowhere to be found as daily we post victory after victory in the GWOT, but the second something like this happens you proclaim defeat, using the Brits' suffering for your own weak position. You should be ashamed.
****
"Refocus"? What is the basis for claiming we lost focus? Have you heard anything from the folks on the ground in Afghanistan that they do not have enough troops to do their job? Any complaints from the special forces guys that they are too busy in Iraq or elsewhere?
****
ZZZZZZZZZZZ. ZZZZZZZZZ.
****
Nothing but more hot air from you.
****
You're spewing lines of the lefties..Change the station, now!
****
It's all our fault, us evil Westerners should get what we deserve. All bow to Allah, wear your burka's and submit to the chosen few to rule the world.
****
What would we do with him if we caught him? That wouldn't stop the terror war. And a thousand liberal lawyers would be filing lawsuits and demanding a "trial" and God knows what else. It would be a three ring circus, complete with claims of torture and Koran abuse. I kinda like him holed up in a cave where he can't do much harm.
****
No one has forgotten about him but it so just happens that during our search we came across Saddam and found him.
****
I buried a penny somewhere in Texas, now go find it.
****
He's probably some Freshman acne-cratered wuss who still hasn't grown hair on on those peanuts that his mommy washes for him when she isn't servicing her pimp.
****
Bush NEVER promised to get Osama dead or alive. He said he wanted him dead or alive. Huge difference.
****
He's irrelevent, except for Bush bashers who need something to whine about.

What? Him Worry?

Republicans took aim at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday for comparing President Bush to Mad magazine's freckle-faced, "What, me worry?" kid, Alfred E. Neuman, calling the senator from New York "part of today's angry and adrift Democrat Party." What an absolute joke. Any angrier than Ann Coulter when she wished that the terrorists would've singled out the New York Times building in New York City for their barbaric destruction? Puhlease.

Angry? I think this is freaking hilarious, not angry. If anything, I think this is light-hearted truth. Osama bin Laden -- the man he wanted dead or alive -- is still on the loose. What? Bush worry? Ha! You must be kidding.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Five Stars for These

Okay, so I ended up picking two of the group. I had initially planned to watch Dark Water by myself and then War of the Worlds with two friends who were meeting me at the theater at nine. When I happened to say that I was watching the former only as a means to pass the time, the ticketman guy suggested that I see Fantastic Four instead because, for a lack of a better word, Dark Water blew.

I'm glad he persuaded me. Fantastic Four was excellent. I give it four very enthusiastic thumbs up. It had plot. It had action. It had humor. It had sadness. And it had three very good-looking half-clad men. Who could ask for more?

As for War of the Worlds, it was everything I suspected it would be. Tom Cruise, whom I believed couldn't act, pulled this one out of his ass. I think he did a very interesting job, as did his acting superior Dakota Fanning. But it was Steven Spielberg and that pretty much guarantees a kickass movie. That is all.

More posting tomorrow.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

All on a Saturday Night

Batman, Bewitched, War of the Worlds, Fantastic Four, Dark Water... Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Live By It

I know I have very intelligent readership on this blog. From my conversations with people on instant messengers and through email, I get a sense of awe from the sheer level of intellect brought to the table by the people on both sides of the political spectrum.

But now it's my turn to really see what you know. As if I need anything else on my plate at the moment, I decided to start teaching myself something I've always wanted to learn. And that topic is represented in the quote below. I'm curious to find out which one of you can tell me what it means and where it's from. Enjoy!

Μη κρινετε, ινα μη κριθητε.
And may God be with you. *hint hint* It's a game, see?

Fasting for Fun

I can't tell if they're interesting people playing like they're Christian fanatics (a la Betty Bowers) or Christian fanatics being all kinds of fanatical. I'm hoping the former, but suspecting the latter.

Ugly On the Inside Too

A sad, sad day at FOX News. And not just because of the horrific attack on London by disgusting, barbaric terrorists. It was the day an anchor revealed the true nature of his ugly inside.

I mean, my first thought when I heard -- just on a personal basis -- when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, "Hmmm, time to buy."
Was this before or after he got on his knees and prayed to Mammon, do you reckon?

Ain't Protecting Nothing

Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of coalition operations in Iraq -- who is also senior commander at this base -- General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."
Well, what do you know. It looks like terrorists can walk and chew gum at the same time, and this tired, silly, dangerous, myopic, and truly dishonest line of reasoning does not make any of us any safer. We must take this time of reflection and sorrow and formulate a new, effective way to combat the barbaric terrorists who wish to inflict such pain on fellow humans.

To play the game that the terrorists won't attack our homeland as long as we fight our wars across the ocean is an insult to our troops. It sets them up as fodder and bait. This line of thought demeans them as sacrificial lambs instead of believing they are something superior to duck decoys.

To play the game that what happened in London this morning could not happen in the United States is also erroneous and dangerous. We have seen a systematic and progressive decaying of the budgets to the very programs what will, in effect, be our only line of defense against a London-style attack, or, dare I say, another 9/11-style disaster. As long as budgets are slashed and our ports, borders and public transportation remains unwatched, we are no safer than we were September 10th.

  • The National Intelligence Reform Act, approved by Bush on December 17, 2004, included the requirement to add 10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006. Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border from Texas to California, along which thousands of people cross into the United States illegally every year. Nearly two months later, Bush's proposed 2006 budget funds only 210 new border agents.

  • New York City's own subway system is lacking funds and has already started to decay as money for repairs and safety are just not met. For the past four years, the funds for keeping the subway in what is quaintly called a "state of good repair" have been 29 percent lower than the MTA's own needs assessments, according to an analysis by the Regional Plan Association.

    American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William W. Millar called on Congress just last month to restore a cut in public transportation security funds made last week by the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security Appropriations, a cut over $50 million. In letters sent to committee members, Millar said the action created a major step backward in protecting the safety of millions of daily public transit riders by severely reducing the transit and rail security grant program Congress initiated just last year.

  • A General Accounting Office (GAO) report released last year contradicts claims by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that U.S. ports are in "full compliance" with anti-terrorism standards scheduled to go into effect today. The report alleges that about 7 percent of all U.S. ports and more than half of U.S. ships have not even been reviewed, and that the process for reviewing some other ports is flawed. The big problem, however, is money: the LA Times reports, "experts said yesterday that inadequate government funding has slowed efforts" to secure the nation's ports. As in many areas of homeland security, President Bush has underfunded his own security mandates for U.S. ports, putting Americans at risk. American Progress's P.J. Crowley writes that as a result of underfunding, "a lot of the security improvements the Bush administration is touting exist on paper and not yet on the pier."

    Let's get serious, and let's get efficient. Or get out of Washington and let someone else take care of business.

  • Chica Chica Boom Boom

    In lighter, fun-to-imagine news, President Bush collided with a local police officer and fell during a bike ride on the grounds of the Gleneagles golf resort while attending a meeting of world leaders Wednesday.

    That's right, he actually ran his bicycle into somebody.

    And if you remember correctly, this wasn't his first time.

    Please Be Safe

    As everyone knows, four blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, sending bloodied victims fleeing in the worst attack on London since World War II. At least 40 people were killed, U.S. officials said, and more than 390 wounded in the terror attacks.

    I have only heard back from two of my five close friends in England. One is of the two who live and work in London.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    With Two First Names

    Domino's Chief Executive Officer David Brandon, who serves on the Board of Regents at the University of Michigan, is rumored to be in the running for governor of the state of Michican in 2006. Domino's, eh? I prefer Pizza Hut, and I really prefer this pizzeria uptown, but what can you do.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that after the 2004 election Brandon was the guy who said he is "counting on the president to counter any potential moves to increase the minimum wage" -- even though the minimum wage is nearing a 50-year low in terms of purchasing power. Brandon, a longtime Republican donor, has many weapons at his disposal to make sure wages in his state stay low: Since 1998, Domino's has given the Republican Party more than $100,000 (link).

    But that's the general consensus among super-rich Republicans in the state of Michigan. Consider the chairwoman of the Michigan GOP, Betsy Devos of the billionaire family that controls Amway. In 2004, she actually issued a press release claiming that "most of the economic problems in Michigan are a result of high wages." Such a thing to say to Michigan workers, considering the Detroit News had reported just one month before that "Michigan ranks dead last among the states and the District of Columbia in personal income growth since 2000."

    If this is part of his platform, there is no hope for those in Michigan. If they're blind enough to vote for him next year, may their souls rest in peace.

    Oh For Shame

    First Martha and now Lil' Kim! What is the world coming to?! Noooo! < /sarcasm >

    Make My Decade!

    Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday pronounced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales qualified to sit on the Supreme Court...
    Please pick Alberto. I just want to see Falwell's head split in two. Please, please, please!

    Being Their Tool

    Remember this from oh so long ago?

    A coalition of major conservative Christian groups is threatening to withhold support for President Bush's plans to remake Social Security unless Mr. Bush vigorously champions a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

    Only several days later, President Bush caved under their sweaty body weight and reendorsed a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages.

    Then, true to their word, the conservative Christian groups requited quid pro quo.

    Only days later, Dobson's Citizenlink included a special Web page devoted to promoting Bush's plans "to fix Social Security." ... And in early February, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service, BP News, published a three-part series pumping Bush's call for partial privatization of the Social Security System.

    As I have written before, "Within hours after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announced retirement from the Supreme Court, members of conservative groups around the country convened in five national conference calls in which, participants said, they shared one big concern: heading off any effort by President Bush to nominate his attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, to replace her."

    How many people out there think President Bush has the balls to stand up against these bullying groups? He has a track-record of being pushed around. Such a cowboy! Such a Texan.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Saint Josh

    Railing against the United Church of Christ's recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages, the blogger known as Josh had this to say.

    First, the UCC may call themselves Christian but they practice everything but. Second, the ruling body declared no freedoms. To be free indeed is to be a slave to Christ and ALL His teachings. As I've said before, Christ is God, so you can't exclude the Old Testament doctrines!

    I've never actually met anyone who stayed away from lobster and shrimp because -- as we well know -- that is an abomination to consume such things in the eyes of the Lord. But dear ole Josh must because you can't exclude the Old Testament doctrines! And I'm pretty sure I've never actually met anyone who would murder his own kids for disrespecting him because -- as we well know -- that is an offense righted by death.

    Or I'm sure that it's hard living in today's modern world of high-priced salons when you never cut your hair or trim your beard. Because, yes, that's unbiblical. As is wearing clothing made from two different threads, or planting a field with two different seeds.

    If this guy says now, and has said before, that "you can't exclude the Old Testament doctrines," he must be one hella crazy looking guy.

    It really makes me hope he's sterile.

    Thank You, India

    President Bush thanked war ally Denmark on Tuesday in Copenhagen...
    But he forgot Poland.

    Oh Hell Yeah!

    Nor will I be posting on August 16, 2005. And if you have an extra $25 laying around, I highly, highly, highly recommend buying this as well. You will not be sorry. Trust me.

    Please Take Rush and Hannity Too

    A contingent of conservatives talk radio hosts is headed to Iraq this month on a mission to report "the truth" about the war: American troops are winning, despite headlines to the contrary. Its snappy name? The "Truth Tour."

    Mark Williams, talk show host for KFBK in Sacramento and a member of the delegation, said the group will report "what we see and what we are told," but their collective feeling is that there is mostly good. "We believe that the emphasis has been placed on the negative and if Americans knew what really was going on over there they would have an entirely different picture," said Williams.

    "We are Americans first and journalists second, as opposed to the crop of 'pinkos' that tell us on the news every night that America is going to hell in a hand basket," he said.

    Independent, unpartisan, unbiased journalism at its finest. I don't know if I'd call them journalists at all, but I do know for sure that there ain't no "journalist" finer than one who uses "pinko" in a sentece to describe his fellow co-workers.

    Desperately Waiting

    A little heads up for everyone: there will be no posting on September 20, 2005. That is all.

    Going Gaga for Gonzales

    "I'm not going to anticipate a bruising battle," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said in an interview on Friday after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her resignation, "but I'm not going to run from one either."

    ***************

    Within hours after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announced retirement from the Supreme Court, members of conservative groups around the country convened in five national conference calls in which, participants said, they shared one big concern: heading off any effort by President Bush to nominate his attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales, to replace her.

    Late last week, a delegation of conservative lawyers led by C. Boyden Gray and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III met with the White House chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., to warn that appointing Mr. Gonzales would splinter conservative support.

    To which, of course, President Bush is telling these conservative groups to back the fuck down. Well, not in so many words, of course. These groups make up a majority of his constituency and without them he's deader in the water than he already is. So instead of taking my advice and telling them to fuck off, he asked them politely to "tone down the heated rhetoric." That's cowboy-talk!

    Please, President Bush. Please. Nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and give us the greatest show on earth.

    Bringing Down the [Green]House

    A recent poll reports most Americans would support U.S. involvement in greenhouse gas reduction agreements, one of the items to be discussed this week at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland.

    Wait, wha? The same type of gas reduction agreements that President Bush claimed would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy? Who knows better, the American people or the President? Why does he think we're a bunch of stupid idiots best unheard and unseen?

    Monkey Writing

    People have often times made fun of President Bush's speaking style, mispronunciation of words, and overall ineffectiveness of tone. But perhaps too much blame has been placed on the hands of Bush. His speechwriters are the ones who need some help. For proof of this, and a cheap laugh, let's look at two speeches given less than a week apart.

    Bush speech in Morgantown, West Virginia, yesterday: The war we are fighting came to our shores on September the 11th, 2001....

    Nationally televised Bush speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Wednesday night: The war reached our shores on September the 11th, 2001.

    **********

    Yesterday: They seek to spread their ideology of tyranny and oppression across the world.

    Wednesday night: Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression....

    **********

    Yesterday: After that day, I made a pledge to the American people, we will not wait to be attacked again.

    Wednesday night: After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again.

    **********

    Yesterday: Iraq is the latest battlefield in the war on terror.

    Wednesday night: Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.

    **********

    Yesterday: We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

    Wednesday night: There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.

    **********

    Yesterday: And our military is helping to train Iraqi forces so they can defend their own liberty. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down....

    Wednesday night: And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own. Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.

    **********

    Yesterday: On this Fourth of July, and in the days ahead, I ask every American to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom. There's so many ways to do so. You can fly the flag, or send a letter to the troops in the field, or help a military family down the street. The Department of Defense has set up a web site, Americasupportsyou.mil. You can go there to learn about efforts in your own community.

    Wednesday night: This Fourth of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom -- by flying the flag, sending a letter to our troops in the field, or helping the military family down the street. The Department of Defense has set up a website -- AmericaSupportsYou.mil. You can go there to learn about private efforts in your own community.

    **********

    Okay, okay, you're right. President Bush's inability to use the English language is his own damn fault. But he really should stop using the monkeys to write his speeches. Anyone can use a thesaurus. Wow us, don't recycle the dribble. I remember friends in high school who would attempt to rewrite what the encyclopedia had written on a certain topic by changing certain words. It didn't work to impress then then, why should it be acceptable now?

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    I'm Feeling Lucky

    Yay! I noticed today when I googled "Zac Attack" that I am first on the list. Hell yeah. And I'm so popular, I have a drink named after me. It's a good day.

    Constitutional Right to Petition

    Flamingo, I thought you'd enjoy this.

    To: Steven Spielberg
    Dear Mr. Spielberg,

    We, the undersigned, wish to inform you that we are compelled to boycott your movie "War of the Worlds".* Our decision is based solely on the abhorrent behavior of Mr. Tom Cruise. We will not be spending our good money to support the ridiculous and potentially dangerous antics of this raving narcissist.* Mr. Cruise's actions and comments have been offensive and insulting when not downright laughable.

    -We do not want to hear Mr. Cruise’s uneducated and unsubstantiated opinions on medicine and Psychiatry. His mean-spirited decision to use Brooke Shields as an example was unforgivable. The potential impact on those in need of treatment, who might heed the advice of a 'celebrity' over a trained professional, is dangerous. If Mr. Cruise believes that vitamins can cure mental illness, then perhaps he should consider increasing his dosage.

    -We do not want to be enlightened about Mr. Cruise's 'religion' of Scientology. If he is so concerned about mind control, he should not be part of an organization that seems to use this tactic as its Modus Operandi. Mr. Spielberg, was the fully staffed Scientology tent you allowed Mr. Cruise to have on the movie set placed right next to the Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim tents? Didn’t think so.

    -We are sick of being force-fed his relationship with Katie Holmes which, if it isn't the publicity hoax it appears to be, is a pathetic, juvenile, attention mongering display. Tom's obvious control of his Stepford-Wife-To-Be is frightening.

    -We do not want to watch his 'out of control' yet suspiciously manipulative antics nor listen to his condescending, holier-than-thou judgments. This man cannot even articulate a coherent sentence. He should stick to reading movie scripts.
    It is revealing that the most compelling character Tom Cruise has ever portrayed is "Frank TJ Mackay" from Magnolia, a control-freak with a pathological need to assert his obsession over not just those around him, but the public as well, by exploiting his access to public media. Apparently Mr. Cruise was playing himself.

    Perhaps he views the aliens he battles in War of the worlds as a metaphor for the aliens he and his Scientology friends believe inhabit we humans. Relax Tom, it's just a movie. A movie we will not be paying to see.*


    Sincerely,

    The Undersigned

    --------------------

    * I will be going to see said movie, but please Tom, stop making blockbuster movies I will want to watch. Thank you.

    Ask, Ye Shall Receive

    Question: How would you kill a T-Rex?

    There's a tie for my personal favorite.

    "Um, my vote is for a Big Mac a day for a month," and "A real man would do it with a chainsaw."

    (via BlackSundae).

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    You Go Girl

    Do not thank God if you can't show or perform your work in church. Some of you just need to thank your manager and keep it movin'.

    -- Jada Pinkett Smith, BET Awards