Quickies 15

The quickies archive. The newer quickies

May 2005
Monday 30 Memorial Day:
French resist EU constitution. One point of interest:
They feel that when the president, the government and the mainstream opposition combine to trumpet the merits of something and to implicitly denounce its opponents as half-wits who have understood nothing, it is their moral duty to revolt.
Thomas L. Friedman exposed again for speaking about what he knows nothing about. This time it's about Iraq.

Related is this use of Yeats (The Second Coming is seeing a lot of use lately) and they also point to the Riverbend rant.
The "Fed" in FedEx stand for the fact they will hold what the government demands over the privacy of US citizens. See also Western Union and Wal-Mart.
Pope Joseph Ratzinger Benedict Pedophile Protector In Chief Seeks to be made above the law. When will they run the bums like him and Law out?
Clinton corruption runs deep into Bush territory. reggie-rosen tapes
Bush fights action to help stop Dafur genocide. What can you say about Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick's statement after his recent visit to Sudan that the deaths are around 60,000 to 160,000 other than that it sounds like something a Turkish official would say about their own Armenian genocide. Why is this happening? Realpolitik. The Progressive Review points to the " clandestine friendship with Sudanese intelligence leader Maj. Gen Salah Abdallah Gosh" and the Bush Administration in fighting the "War of Terror." There's also the struggle for control of it's oil and war profiteering. Russia and China figure prominently in this; Russia more for the arms and China more for the oil. The Janjaweed are a convenient way for the Arab-dominated government to rid themselves of non-Arabs without having to be to obvious about their involvement.
Rick Santorum caught being bought: "Two days before Sen. Rick Santorum introduced a bill that critics say would restrict the National Weather Service, his political action committee received a $2,000 donation from the chief executive of AccuWeather, a leading provider of weather data..."
It's stuff like this that tries my attempts at civil discourse. That darling demagogue Tom DeLay has accused those of voting for stem cell research outside of the strict rules laid out by Bush as voting "to fund with taxpayer dollars the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation." In a moment of sanity the Washington Post responds, "It's hard, however, to be dismembered if one has no limbs -- being merely a cluster of a couple of hundred non-differentiated cells."
I say moment of sanity in regards to the Washington Post because their "hysterical" response to one word that did not appear anywhere in the Amnesty International report for 2005. Irene Khan made the remark that, "[t]he detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law."

The good folks at Pacific Views are all over this and it's such a terrible, but important story. It goes right along the ACLU report about Koran desecration that makes Scott Mcclellan's claim that "[t]he image of the United States abroad has been damaged; there is lasting damage to our image because of this report." and that they, "[n]ow we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report." appear to be a bully tactic and to blame the messenger. This is the pattern that has has its roots with the Dan Rather incident about a faked memo concerning the factual events of Bush's military service.

Deny, deny, deny is the plan and Americans seem asleep, drugged out of concern, or in paranoid denial. We have a damning Downing Street memo that the professional Administration liar has denied before even reading it! Reading might reveal you as a member of Smartland and screw up your popularity to that Passion/Adam Sandler demographic. Reading might introduce the idea that torture rarely works or that we are arming future and current hotspots. Reading might make you question the rah rah attitude towards the whole "War of Terror" in light of possibility that there are things we can't do no matter how much faith you have in the idea of freedom and democracy. You'd think they'd be busy enough fighting "gay sex demons" to fight a global battle for the hearts and minds of everyone. But no...The Soldiers of Christ [metafilter] are marching. As someone that has lived in Wheaton, the story of the "Wheaton of the West" is sad and scary. Where one guy talks of Smartlands they think we live in the Underworld.

One has to wonder if The Prayer Team is in direct competition with some Islamic variety and whether it comes down to technology, numbers, or the God with the biggest...Invisible hand.

Yeah, that's why "[o]ne of Pastor Ted’s favorite books is Thomas Friedman’s The Lexus and the Olive Tree (Friedman strikes again today).
Free-market economics is a “truth” Ted says he learned in his first job in professional Christendom, as a Bible smuggler in Eastern Europe. Globalization, he believes, is merely a vehicle for the spread of Christianity. He means Protestantism in particular; Catholics, he said, “constantly look back.” He went on: “And the nations dominated by Catholicism look back. They don’t tend to create our greatest entrepreneurs, inventors, research and development. Typically, Catholic nations aren’t shooting people into space. Protestantism, though, always looks to the future. A typical kid raised in Protestantism dreams about the future. A typical kid raised in Catholicism values and relishes the past, the saints, the history. That is one of the changes that is happening in America. In America the descendants of the Protestants, the Puritan descendants, we want to create a better future, and our speakers say that sort of thing. But with the influx of people from Mexico, they don’t tend to be the ones that go to universities and become our research-and-development people. And so in that way I see a little clash of civilizations.”

So the Catholics are out, and the battle boils down to evangelicals versus Islam. “My fear,” he says, “is that my children will grow up in an Islamic state.”

And that is why he believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart. “I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,” he says, “of military might, as a public service.” He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible’s exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because “the Bible’s bloody. There’s a lot about blood.”
Without even getting the deeper argument that we've been drawn into an Islamic civil war, it just scary to see the level of racism combined with the roots of using war as a form of divination. If the war between facts and faith is already settled for many Americans, then they can turn defeat into victory for a while. We were in Vietnam for 25 years after all. Their sights are set much higher and that fear of the Islamic state is merely cover for building an Evangelical State through "massive warfare." I fear that perpetual doubters like me will have a hard time in such a place.
Friday 27
A "crawling carpet of crabs" clusters to copulate.
Why John Kerry is a loser.
Google Nonsense (9,600,000) indicator:
"Creationist nonsense" 21,000 hits.
"Religious nonsense" 7,080 hits.
"Liberal nonsense" 5,870 hits.
"Scientific nonsense" 4,880 hits.
"American nonsense" 1,290 hits.
"right-wing nonsense" 1,250 hits.
"leftist nonsense" 1,210 hits.
"Socialist nonsense" 1,140 hits.
"Conservative nonsense" 880 hits.
"Christian nonsense" 772 hits.
"left-wing nonsense" 648 hits.
"Marxist nonsense" 621 hits.
"Feminist nonsense" 524 hits.
"Libertarian nonsense" 383 hits.
"Jewish nonsense" 323 hits.
"Evolution nonsense" 262 hits.
"Communist nonsense" 252 hits.
"Catholic nonsense" 223 hits.
"lefty nonsense" 187 hits.
"Capitalist nonsense" 155 hits.
"plain old nonsense" 152 hits.
"European nonsense" 142 hits.
"Islamic nonsense" 103 hits.
"Atheist nonsense" 72 hits.
"Mormon nonsense" 60 hits.
"Anarchist nonsense" 45 hits.
"Buddhist nonsense" 40 hits.
"rightist nonsense" 26 hits.
"righty nonsense" 10 hits.
Feeding your Brain!
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. thinks that Bill Maher borders on being a traitor for joking that after the military came under its recruiting goal by 42% last month that, "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies." He wants Bill "off the air."
US arms sales to around the world: "20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003 -- a full 80% -- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses." Are we the one of the biggest suppliers to those that are or someday will shoot at us?
Tuesday 17
Bill Moyer's made a great speech this Sunday about journalism and about the current assault on PBS.
For Enemies. For Pets. For Future Fetishists.
Police picked up a man wandering the streets in a suit and tie on April 7th. Anxious and not speaking, the only thing they had discovered is that he can play the piano expertly.[more]
fighting depression and self-hatred
I am quite confused about religion. It seems they do the same thing regarding war, except for the Roman Catholics.
Friday 13
Pope thinks FEAR OF GOD is Good. So does it follow that the more devoutly one does this the better one feels?
Staff Sgt. Thomas Kelt threatens 20 year old potential recruit with arrest and then claims it was a "marketing technique." FEAR STRIKES AGAIN!
Anti-abortion activist Neal Horsley, puts the FEAR INTO "FARM RAISED" in an interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News.
"You had sex with animals?" Colmes asked, with regard to reports of Horsley's past experience with bestiality and homosexuality. "Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."

When Colmes suggested that maybe that's not the case for everyone who grows up on a farm in Georgia, Horsley shot back, "It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from reality ... welcome to domestic life on the farm ... You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naïve…If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates you might in fact have sex with it."
-Salon
I FEAR people that some DON'T FEAR facing the END OF THE WORLD.
FEAR buying clothes made with sweat-shop labor? While we debate and wonder why global standards for labor can't be established to eliminate exploitation, you can help support both fair trade and help provide the poor of Bolivia with Medical care via Solidarity Bridge.
Do you FEAR Bolton will do more harm than good in the UN?
FEAR THE BLOGGERS! THEY CONFLATE OPINION AND FACT! But just maybe you kids will grow out of blogging soon, eh?
Wednesday 11
After reading this article by Bernie Sanders I learn that he's running for Senate in Vermont and that he's a "democratic socialist," which is common in Europe. So a quick google search leads to this wonderful Freeper take on it.

The first response has this statement, "...if you are the author of an AudioBook named "Socialist and Communist Perspectives on the 2004 Presidential Election," doesn't that imply that you hold communist perspectives?" I would say no, but then I one of those strange people that thinks that when people write about "perspective" in the plural it would naturaly mean more than just their own. Hell, I could imagine writing a book where I shared none of the perspectives outlined in it and I do believe that many such books have been written.

The next response is far too commonly seen online these days.
Somewhere, there's a rope and tree with Sanders' name on it.
This is by no means a manner of speech dominated by the right. In this Metafilter thread, I was shooked to see some vile comments on display towards creationists. They have been deleted by a moderator, but preserved within the thread here. The one that got to me was, "burn them all."
Here's a thread about the decline of undercover investigative journalism. It also has a good talk on the defunct Fairness Doctrine.
Take this post about how Iraq is looking more like Vietnam. Put it next to Naomi's ideas about how to end it. There's lots of talk after Naomi's article. In both threads that bogus claim about "foriegn fighters" in Iraq appears, which is something that elements of the American military seem to still believe.

There's something that at least one other person spotted that I found alarming in this article.
the Kurds have set their sights on Kirkuk, a multiethnic city that sits atop Iraq's vast northern oil fields. Even though the city lies outside of Kurdistan, Talabani calls it "the Jerusalem of Kurdistan," and Barzani says, "We are ready to fight and to sacrifice our souls to preserve its identity."
I remember reading about Kirkuk in Samatha Power's A Problem from Hell as being a victim of Arabization and part of the Anfal Campaign against the Kurds. There's just so much history in this region that exists outside the knowledge of US officials in command positions, that I fear things will continue to get worse.
Fill in the blank: "Don't even talk to me about video games until you've beaten _____." What do you think? When Ninja Gaiden was released for the XBox, some people had said it was so hard that gamers would wear it as a badge when they beat it. So what are some other games that every gamer should try to take on? Not just difficult ones, classic games apply too.
-Ask Metafilter
Monday 8
To continue from the previous entry that linked to Wulfgar!'s thoughts on civilty comes an article by Eric Alterman
...By insisting on "keeping things civil," in polite society, repressive powers may suppress ugly truths about their conduct merely because raising them requires bad manners. I always thought it was a stroke of genius on the part of Robert McNamara to start crying at dinner parties in the late 1960s when someone raised the issue of Vietnam, as it pre-empted discussions of the deception and destruction for which he was responsible. Perhaps if McNamara had been confronted with some of the morally uncomfortable consequences of his policies, he might have worked harder to reverse them.
I have only read Alterman here and there, but this whole article falls apart here and this is only the 2nd paragraph. I don't think I have a perfect grasp of McNamara's mental processes during his years as Secretary of Defense. The biggest glimpse of it came after watching Fog of War and the HBO film Path to War. From the later I got the impression that Norman R. Morrison setting himself on fire outside the Pentagon as McNamara watched. That and the weight of that dark wall of war dead as his legacy surely haunts him. You can see it in his eyes and in his voice, and I sense no subversion within that pain. So without liking the man, I still don't see any reason to for Eric to claim McNamara's tears are crocodile in nature. It seems to me, especially in this recent plea for a saner government nuclear policy that he's trying to fight those ghosts in any way he can.

[The McNamara article popped up on Metafilter and the hostility towards him was sometimes heated, but could be summed up as "too little too late" and that he should just be happy that he's not rotting in prision for war crimes.]

The rest of Alterman's acticle is a pre-emptive attack on Robert Novak before a debate at the University of California on "The American News Media--Liberal or Conservative Bias?" The pull to attack each other personally in politics is incredible. It seems that few are immune. Perhaps, it's done to distract everyone from actually getting to the bottom of any issue. We get caught up in the increasing calls of bias and become buried in bullshit.

That brings me to this thread about a New Yorker profile of the undersecretary of Defense, Douglas Feith. It's a creative pull-quote to foster a reaction. It's so obvious with making the link the phrase, "George W. Bush has more insight." Of course, it's funny/sad that the first few comments highlight the "never even read the links" crowd too.

Without judging the merrits of the guy's actions in the past, I find his seemingly newfound sense of doubt interesting. Perhaps this will get him ousted from his position in an administration so adverse to doubt.
Speaking of Adversion to doubt and therefore creating your own echo chamber (to fight the "dictatorship of relativism")...

Stations Of The Cross: How evangelical Christians are creating an alternative universe of faith-based news by Mariah Blake

It's about the expanding number of Christian programs and channels like CBN, the network that runs the 700 club (home of the vile Pat Robertson. One in a long line of Angry Evangelicals of America). Then there's "Sky Angel, one of the nation’s three direct-broadcast satellite networks, carries thirty-six channels of Christian radio and television — and nothing else."

One of the disturbing things is the strong bond with Israel (Here's a primer on Christian Zionism) that for some like Kay Arthur, "If it came to a choice between Israel and America, I would stand with Israel." No attempt at empathy is made towards the Palestinians. This is clear with the tour of Bus 19, which features a poster stating, "When Palestinians love their children more than they hate Israel, then there will be peace in Palestine."
Two links found on Alamut:

Two or Three Things I'm Dying to Tell You, by Jalal Toufic (short quote from the book)

Schizophrenia and the Book of Changes, by Philip K. Dick (1965,full text)
George Lucas profile in Wired
Col. David Hackworth died. He was one of the few people that allowed me to see past my own prejudices towards the military.
Patients with severe epilepsy sometimes used to undergo an operation in which the corpus callosum was severed. (The idea was to keep a seizure from spreading from one side of the brain to the other.) After the operation, the two hemispheres of the brain could no longer directly communicate. Such patients typically resumed their normal lives without seeming to be any different. But under careful observation, they exhibited some very peculiar behavior. When, for example, the word ''hat'' was flashed to the left half of the visual field -- and hence to the right (speechless) side of the brain -- the left hand would pick out a hat from a group of concealed objects, even as the patient insisted that he had seen no word. If a picture of a naked woman was flashed to the left visual field of a male patient, he would smile, or maybe blush, without being able to say what he was reacting to...

Pondering such split-brain cases, some scientists and philosophers have raised a disquieting possibility: perhaps each of us really consists of two minds running in harness. In an intact brain, of course, the corpus callosum acts as a constant two-way internal-communications channel between the two hemispheres. So our everyday behavior does not betray the existence of two independent streams of consciousness flowing along within our skulls. It may be, the philosopher Thomas Nagel has written, that ''the ordinary, simple idea of a single person will come to seem quaint some day, when the complexities of the human control system become clearer and we become less certain that there is anything very important that we are one of.''
-Of Two Minds, by Jim Holt
Two links on George Woodcock from Wood S Lot:

Anarchy, Freedom, Native People & The Environment

A Spectre is Haunting Canada
Iraq is slipping into the type of hell that knowledgeable people warned of before Bush blindly and obstinately decided to take out Saddam. Heady with the dreams of empire, Bush wanted to be known as a wartime president and the leader of the world and so he conspired with his henchmen and his good buddy Tony Blair to create the case for invading Iraq. What he has created is a horror show for our soldiers and a nightmare for the Iraqis.
-Pacific Views
Nader thinks that when Dean threw his hat in the ring in support of the war, it came as just another example of how there is no opposition party. Kucinich thinks:
There is no end in sight for the occupation of Iraq. The President says we will stay until we're finished. A recent report by the Congressional Research Service concluded that the United States is probably building permanent military bases in Iraq. The President refuses to consider an exit strategy. The Republican Congress gives the President whatever he asks for. We can draw no clearer distinction with the President than over this war. He cannot right a wrong (unjustified war) by perpetuating a military occupation. Military victory there is not possible. General Tommy Franks concedes that. The war will end when we say it's over. The Democratic leadership should be pressing for quick withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.


This miserable failure will grind away our military that is getting so desparate in recruiting that they are willing to teach teenagers how to fake a diploma how to beat drug tests. So it comes as no surprise that, "a senior Republican legislator has called for the reinstitution of the military draft, abolished during the Vietnam War more than 30 years ago."

This war is like a world heavy weight boxing champion rumbling down to kindergarten and beating up on the class bully. It’s like a shark eating a guppy. It’s like an elephant stepping on a fly. However, in this case, it’s like a man swallowing a scorpion. The scorpion will keep stinging from the inside until it kills the man.

Notice each week more civilian contractors killed, U.S. soldiers dying from roadside bombs and suicide bombers blowing up people. The same thing happened in Vietnam. They didn’t give up for 10 years of being killed by the millions. They wouldn’t have given up for 100 years. The Iraqi insurgents are no less than Iraqi citizens who do not want nor will they ever give up to the American military.
-Frosty Wooldridge

Be honest with Congress and the American people. White House statements consistently misrepresented the situation in Vietnam. The most egregious example was the edifice of falsehood erected around the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964, when American destroyers on a provocative intelligence mission were depicted as the innocent targets of North Vietnamese attacks.

Don't be afraid to admit mistakes. It is easier to correct a policy when it is acknowledged to be a mistake than to pretend it doesn't exist. The Johnson and Nixon administrations kept insisting on their success in interdicting the Ho Chi Minh trail while the CIA was telling them that North Vietnamese supplies continued to get through to the southern Viet Cong guerrillas.
-Lessons learned from the Vietnam War, by Pat M. Holt
Thursday 505-05-05
Pacifist Army Soldier
On the 22nd of December 2004, Kyle Van Horn taped a disposable camera to a piece of black foamcore and inscribed upon it the following message: "ATTENTION POSTAL WORKERS! Please help us with our project. As this camera travels across the country we want photos of all whom it encounters. Please take a photo before you pass it along. Thank you!"
-The United States Postal Service workers abliged...
It's just a picture of a rock, right?
The war on Amtrak
The War on Pot
When the president talks to God
"[ representative from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs] admitted, however, that they 'still don't know how to handle the bloggers.'"

When bloggers turn pro
The article I linked to earlier, What's the matter with Liberals? by Thomas Frank, got linked on Metafilter and it generated a lot of interesting conversation. All of it is mixing around in my head. Comments like this are critical because I know that I get pretty damn angry with those I disagree with and as Wulfgar! notes, civility can mask some awful thoughts. Image seems to be so much more important to some people. This reminds me of a recent RealTime with Bill Maher where he had to give props to George Bush and the Pope for consistentcy. It's not about being on the right side of the issue, but not budging from your position even when facts stubbornly point out you are either flat out wrong or that your "high moral standards" costs lives, which renders the stance invalid morally anyway.

Watching Bill these days makes me wince more than ever before. Where someone like Jon Stewart makes no overt motions of moralizing, Bill preaches in ways more like Dennis Miller. The result is a half-hearted, shallow (yet, delivered as informed) display of pompous opinion. The only saving grace is when it's funny. Lately my humor is half-hearted because I carry far too much weight within my heart these days. My reading choices of late have not helped.

Between parties respect is probably too much to ask for. The one thing that should be valued in America is tolerance. I'm not invoking any "dictatorship of relativism" by saying that we should allow greater freedom for people to live their lives. I think that tolerance should be the uniting force in this country.
Wednesday 4
Hmmmmm. Let's take a look...

Well, there's a new book for bigots. The book, "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools," claims, "our children are being forcibly indoctrinated to believe that homosexual behavior is acceptable." It also threatens that, "unless Christians turn from this gross sin we will reap a whirlwind that is unimaginable." WorldNetDaily claims that, "[t]he information in this book exposes the 'salt and light' and the 'our schools are different' rationalizations for educating Christian children in pagan schools for the contemptible falsehoods they are."

The amazing thing is that this is a "WorldNetDaily Exclusive" and you buy the very book they offer as NEWS from THEM!

WHY ARE CHRISTIANS LOSING AMERICA?
How the U.S. is becoming anti-Christian despite an 80% majority of believers

OMG! It seems that WND is rounding up according to most sources that put it at 76.5%. In fact...
76.5% (159 million) of Americans identify themselves as Christian. This is a major slide from 86.2% in 1990. Identification with Christianity has suffered a loss of 9.7 percentage points in 11 years -- about 0.9 percentage points per year. This decline is identical to that observed in Canada between 1981 and 2001. If this trend continues, then by about the year 2042, non-Christians will outnumber the Christians in the U.S.
-Religious Tolerance

Yeah, it don't look good for the Christians.
Although Christians comprise the vast majority of the nation's citizens and voters, America is becoming increasingly un-Christian and even anti-Christian with every passing year – from its culture, to its laws, its public education system, its news media and most other major institutions. Whether the battlefield is abortion or "gay rights," public prayer or euthanasia, most of the fights are being won by the bad guys. Why?
-WND

Maybe, because you folks are nuts?

In this thinly veiled ad, one of the "highlights" of Whistleblower is "Mainline churches bash Bush budget" which is, "how Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians attacked the administration for not spending more on the poor." How Dare They defend the poor? After all, What Would Jesus Do? According to WND, he'd open a can of whoopass on the ACLU! Why?

The American Civil Liberties Union is engaged in a long-term, relentless and well-funded campaign to remove every vestige of Christian expression from America's government, schools and public property.
Yes, they had the audacity to READ the separation clause in the Constitution and have actively sought to uphold it. But that's not the really "bad" part. Whenever they win lawsuits, they use that money to fund future lawsuits and since they are suing the govenment it is your tax dollars that they are using! Shock! Horror! Shock! Shock! Horror! OMG! I see the LIGHT! This is "extortion" and it "is destroying America!"

Not only that, but did you know that the ACLU was "founded by avowed communist Roger Baldwin?" He's not just "avowed," he is "card-carrying"! People like him probably want you to believe most of the Founding Fathers were Deists. David Kupelian will cure you of that "big lie" that the "the original basis of America's laws, culture and institutions" was not Chistianity and that "the separation of church and state" is not merely just a myth, it's unconstitutional!

Joseph Farah will reveal the face of this "Apartheid humanism." He warns that "The ACLU is never going to change," and that, "It is an anti-American organization. It is a group that seeks to destroy all that makes America a unique experiment in freedom. It is an organization in league with all of America's enemies. It is an organization that hates God, hates what is right, decent and morally upright." OH YES! SING IT BROTHER!

Coulter criticized liberals for undemocratic reactions to the Iraq war and the president's judicial appointments.

"They're always trying to act like they're oppressed," she said. "So let's do it. Let's oppress them."

The paper said one student asked Coulter why universities and institutions invite her even though she "advocates terrorism against liberals."

Coulter pointed to her book sales, with four New York Times best-sellers.
[After a student was kicked out for many lewd comments and gestures]

"I'm just amazed by how they can use these tactics and feel like they're getting anywhere," a woman attending the event told Limbaugh. "I was very turned off by it."

Limbaugh responded: "This was nothing more than a bunch of liberals that can't argue with her, that can't defeat her, can't pretend to play along with her in the arena of ideas. It's a typical liberal tactic – shut it down. If you don't agree with it, you don't want to hear it. And you don't want to hear it, you make sure somebody doesn't say it. And if somebody is gonna come say it, then you come make 'em pay a price for saying it. ...

"Isn't it interesting the left fears words more than anything else? They fear words, they fear the U.S. military. Here you have Saddam Hussein – 300,000 to a million people dead and buried in mass graves, rape rooms, torture – that doesn't bother them at all. But what we say about cleaning that situation up scares the ever-living daylights out of them. ... They know they're losing. They know they're in the minority."
-Vulgar heckler arrested at Ann Coulter speech, WND

Why can't Liberals just shut up and deal with their oppression quietly and take comments about advocating violence against them calmly? Why can't they shut up and let the Republicans rule them as it should be. They are weak and effeminate, which probably means they are gay, which means they are part of an Ideology of Evil, which means they are with the terrorists, which is why they hate America, which...which *BOOM* [head explodes]
Tuesday 3
Bush as an egghead?

One of the central characteristics of the Bush presidency is a profound commitment to theoretical notions, nurtured in think tanks and ideological magazines, and a relentless -- yes, even principled -- commitment to pushing them regardless of the facts or the consequences.
I don't see how this makes him an egghead. An egghead is a boring, baldheaded intellectual. I'm more qualified than Bush.

It takes balls not brains to bungle Social Security like Bush has, but this is E. J. Dionne Jr's first example of Bush's egghead status. It takes big balls to spend taxpayer's money to promote private accounts when there is "little popular demand" in the first place. Then it takes a real disdain for the intelligence of the public to spin "private" into "personal" and turn a problem years away into a "crisis."

Notice that Dionne avoids a word, "bankrupt" that makes it clear as day that Bush is a liar. An egghead relies on facts, numerous and meticulously detailed.

It's clear that Bush is merely trying to improve on Newt's plans allow Medicare to "wither on the vine". Medicare is going to go bust from a bloated prescription drug benefit that may cost $1.2 trillion. Add the trillions that SS privatization will cost and mix in a bit of "kill the estate tax for good" rhetoric and you got a recipe for major government funding gaps. We got 3 years for the effects to coincide with an administration just itching to eviscerate whatever social programs they choose to compensate for the lack of funds.

This is all old news from a strategic perspective. They have struggled to sell it and having largely failed, fell to relying on FUD, which worked so well in Iraq. But the lies of WMD became obvious to everyone but the terminally delusional and the strange myth that elections would matter (even though they don't matter in many countries in the world) gets buried in the rubble of increasing violence. Sure, it might be comforting to think, "Americans are, on the whole, pragmatists", but where is the proof? It seems that many Americans prefer to believe things consequences-be-damned. Comfort trumps correctness. There is a certain social detachment that embodies an egghead, but we don't buy the lies or brandish them like Bush.
Obama proposes tax credit for E85 refueling stations
Several intriguing behavioral studies add to the evidence that some sex differences in the brain arise before a baby draws its first breath.
-SA [metafilter has more links]
Venezuela: Rights Lawyer Faces Judicial Persecution and Curbs on Free Expression Tightened. Power corrupts.
This NYT article [Metafilter] shows how Kenneth Y. Tomlinson hired a member of the White House staff to monitor the "political leanings" of guests on Now with Bill Moyers. His ruse is to say he is striving for balance, but only hires Republicans. He accuses PBS of being too liberal. I suppose that in that case of Bill Moyers, truth=liberal bias and that it just doesn't sit well with Republicans fed on a diet of constant lies and hate via Rush, Hannity, etc. There is no shortage of conservative/corporate voices on 99% of the channels available. That any liberal voices get heard is enough for them to whine and threaten. I watch Now regularly. They have never been easy on either party. They are motivated by a sense of serving the public and not any political ideology. This follows naturally with what should appear on a public station. The fact that Moyers exposed the right-wing Republican/religious movement's efforts to undermine the Constitution should be cheered by conservatives. Moyer's reporting on the disgusting level corporate welfare taking place in government favored Democrats only in the respect that they were not as competent in getting the big payoffs. In fact, you could argue that Democrats come off looking worse since they will compromise their constituents for less!

Like I said before, "It is no longer simply right vs. wrong. It is reality versus fantasy." If we put party before truth, we enter into that shadow realm Orwell warned us about. In many ways, it looks as though we've already entered a glitzed-up American version of 1984.
On mission along the border of Chad and Darfur, Human Rights Watch researchers gave children notebooks and crayons to keep them occupied while they spoke with the children’s parents. Without any instruction or guidance, the children drew scenes from their experiences of the war in Darfur: the attacks by the Janjaweed, the bombings by Sudanese government forces, the shootings, the burning of entire villages, and the flight to Chad.
-HRW
Tom DeLay "proclaimed Abramoff 'one of my closest and dearest friends.'" Jack Abramoff is no friend to many. In fact, he's about as corrupt as they come.
The U.S. military plans to allow regional combatant commanders to request the president for approval to carry out preemptive nuclear strikes against possible attacks on the United States or its allies with weapons of mass destruction, according to a draft new nuclear operations paper. . .
-Kyodo

Is it just me or is this not the day for this kind of plan to be revealed. WTF are they thinking?
A large anti-nuclear rally in New York calls for global nuclear disarmament ahead of a United Nations meeting to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We speak with the mayor of Hiroshima - where 60 years ago the U.S. dropped one of two atomic bombs.
TADATOSHI AKIBA: Well, NPT, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is the only international treaty that binds the hands of the nuclear weapon powers. In Article VI, although it is a very mild clause, that’s the only international document which says that these countries must work very hard toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. And therefore, it is very significant, and we would like to strengthen this treaty so that by the year 2020 all nuclear weapons will be abolished. And that’s the wish of hibakusha, Japanese word for the survivors of the atomic bomb. And that’s why we’re here. Oh, by the way, the mayors -- international mayors are here. At least a hundred mayors and city representatives are here to press the United Nations, representing the voices of millions of citizens around the world, and we are here to represent their voices, because that’s the majority opinion in the world.

AMY GOODMAN: What about this latest news? On Saturday, Iran declaring it might end its voluntary halt on enriching uranium and resuming producing nuclear fuel, and then what happened with North Korea?

TADATOSHI AKIBA: Okay, I’m glad that you bring that subject up, because we don’t want to be taken as simply criticizing the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and India, Pakistan. Those countries possess nuclear weapons. Those countries have done all those things, and we have been opposing this because our aim is to eliminate all nuclear weapons, and according to the hibakusha, as long as there are nuclear weapons, that there will be a nuclear war, and then some people will have to suffer the way they did. And that’s exactly what they wanted to avoid. Therefore, what we are calling for is that all countries should not be allowed to do that, and I think the leaders of the world should show to the rest of the world by example that these are not the kinds of things which civilized society should be engaged in. And therefore, we are calling for a universal nuclear weapons convention which prohibits all those activities, and not by just Iran, North Korea, or a few other countries, but all of the countries, including the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the significance of North Korea launching a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday? You’re from Japan.

TADATOSHI AKIBA: Well, I think that people will be voicing some alarm, because it’s Japan Sea, but then again, there are – well, I don’t know exactly how many, but numerous number of missiles all over the world, which are on ‘Launch on Warning’ status, with nuclear warheads, and we are concerned about that because once that is shot, then the entire human race is at jeopardy, and we have been calling that all those systems should be dismantled, and I believe that as part of that picture, showing that one can shoot missiles with or without nuclear weapons and trying to threaten the world with that is just intolerable. But I think that we should look at the whole picture. There are missiles which are aimed at, you know, just many, many cities in the world with nuclear warheads right now, and a false warning at this moment could make those missiles be shot at any moment.
-Democracy Now! [another interview from Metafilter]
Crows are the cause of exploding Toads! Armageddon delayed
Michael Ruse is trying to mend the relations between religion and science....a waste of time IMHO. [metafilter]
South Park Conservatives
For well over half a century, Salvador Dalí has been internationally famous for the sexy and deranged subject matter of his paintings, for his personal nuttiness, flamboyance, and grandiosity, and for the demoralizing way in which he destroyed the borders between creativity and commercial self-promotion. He was a huge character; indeed, he often said, in that simultaneously boastful, cynical, and self-deprecating manner that he perfected, that it was his "personality" that was his greatest achievement. At other times he might announce to the world that his writing was his real achievement, and his painting the "least" of him. Yet what is most solid and substantial about Dalí is very specific and not wildly complex qualities: the particular gleaming surfaces of his paintings, with their often large areas of a single, pulsating color; his feeling for the transient, soft light of dawn or dusk and for the brilliantly hard light of a sunny summer afternoon by the Mediterranean; and his astounding ability to delineate and make us feel the simmering strength in tiny, tightly wound concentrations of lines, dots, or shapes.
-NYRB
Oldsmobile no more
Another story that leads me to believe "journalism" is not in my future.
A review of Jared Diamond's Collapse:How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
April 2005
Friday 29
Roshambo (beloved of many) determines fate of art auction. NYT - mefi Also, a frustrating thread to read over the destruction of some of Munch's artwork. The anti-original-art sentiment is sad. Of course, its shared by the standard mefi contrarian-just-to-be-contrarian.
Related to yesturday's ask mefi on flirting, is "How should a woman make it clear to a man she has just met that she is interested in being friends, even good friends, but not interested romantically?" Echoes of When Harry Met Sally.
Intro to Indian food.
Andrew Sullivan goes into depth on the divisions between conservatives. There's a lot of nit-picking inaccuracies I don't feel like getting into right now, but there's always the mefi thread, which seems to cover a lot of them.

Then there's the vaguely related thread regarding that "[w]hile other forms of crime continued to fall, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has documented a 4% increase in anti-LGBT crime in 2004, coming on the heels of a 26% increase in the last half of 2003."
Latin America in Revolt: Rice on Four-Country Tour As Leftist Victories Sweep Region-Democracy Now!
Thursday 28
APOD (some interesting ones from the past month or so) The Cosmic Whirlpool - Eclipsed Moon in Infrared - Albert Einstein's Miraculous Year - Orion in Infrared - Celebrating Hubble With NGC 6751 - A Window to the Once Secret Sky - Earth or Mars? - The M7 Open Star Cluster in Scorpius - NGC 1316: After Galaxies Collide - Enceladus Close-Up - Steep Cliffs on Mars - A Sun Halo Over Tennessee - NGC 1427A: Galaxy in Motion - NGC 1531/2: Interacting Galaxies - Frizion Illume - Saturn's Dragon Storm - Big Dipper Castle
Sean Hannity is just as full of hate as he claims his opponents are.
Sheep to the Slaughter By Matthew Rossi
Tools for del.lico.us, like alternatives. This led to The Hype Machine for current music fans.
Ask Mefi on Flirting
The Miracle of Democracy By Doug Kenny
Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog recent statement make for good mefi fodder on the environment
Mystery of the Democrats' New Spine. Something to wash down the previously linked "What's the Matter with Liberals?"
When More's zealous son-in-law proposed that he would cut down any law in England that served as an obstacle to his hot pursuit of the devil, More replied: "And when the last law was cut down and the devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast-man's laws, not God's -- and if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

The Senate leaders remind me of More's son-in-law. They are now proposing to cut down a rule that has stood for more than two centuries as a protection for unlimited debate. It has been used for devilish purposes on occasion in American history, but far more frequently, it has been used to protect the right of a minority to make its case.

Indeed it has often been cited as a model for other nations struggling to reconcile the majoritarian features of democracy with a respectful constitutional role for minority rights. Ironically, a Republican freshman Senator who supports the party-line opposition to the filibuster here at home, recently returned from Iraq with an inspiring story about the formation of multi-ethnic democracy there. Reporting that he asked a Kurdish leader there if he worried that the majority Shiites would "overrun" the minority Kurds, this Senator said the Kurdish leader responded "oh no, we have a secret weapon.... [the] filibuster."
Al Gore's recent speech on judges and the rule of law.
Bush's shame on display in Sudan
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
But in book after book, Allen reads what he calls the "homosexual agenda," and he's alarmed.

"It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for," says Allen. "And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."
-Alabama's shame

America doesn't stand for the opinion of right-wing bigots. It's bigger than that.
The morning-after pill prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Fundy Catholics like the current and ex-pope as well as groups like American Life League (ALL) believe that a fertilized egg is an "already created human being...a baby in the womb."

Faulty thinking like this is echoed by the head of the Population Affairs department, Alma Golden. She thinks, "One thing is very clear for our children, abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs and preventing pregnancy and the emotional, social and educational consequences of teen sexual activity," without realizing that the chances of children adhering to this logic are low and the lack of knowledge concerning contraception along with misinformation about its effectiveness put them in greater danger.

Social Darwinist at the core. They simply think those children deserve it, unless it happens to their own. The same thing is being played out with Social Security with, as one Freeper put it, "greedy geezers" live off the backs of the young. Didn't save enough or had to cash in your life savings to pay huge medical bills? TOO bad! Don't even try to file bankruptcy anymore. In the language of the Republicans, it's about "responsibility." A Calvinist sensibility nicely fills in the moral gaps in the "responsibility" line.
Wednesday 27
And I do think, Mrs. Bush, that there was some divine guidance in the president being elected. I do.
-Rudy Giuliani on Bush regarding 9/11/2001. Wow. I guess I never knew how far Giuliani's brown nose went.
Iraq future still shaky, but according to Howard Dean, "Now that we're there, we're there and we can't get out." Plus, The military is worried about a change in Irqi tactics.

A quagmire (from "quake" + "mire") is, literally, shaky, miry ground; as a political term used to describe a foreign military campaign in which there is either no foreseeable possibility of victory or the objectives are unclearly defined, and at the same time no clear exit strategy has been formulated in the absence of victory. The military campaign is likened to a kind of swamp or marsh in which the warring nation is unable to remove itself. Typically, a quagmire occurs when a major power attempts with little success to subdue a foreign guerrilla insurgency. Often matters of national pride or belief in military invincibility are the cause of the lack of an exit strategy. It is often humorously suggested that the best way to resolve the military impasse associated with a quagmire is to simply "declare victory and go home."
-Wikipedia
Thank you, soldiers of the United States of America and soldiers of her allies. Thank you our true friends. Thanks to all your sacrifices that delivered us from the darkness of Saddam to the light of freedom, elections and democracy.

We shall never ever, forget what you have given us, liberators
- Hashim Al-Sudani

The enemy is escalating his attacks. He is trying very hard to spark the sectarian war that he desperately needs. Rwandan Style genocidal atrocities seem to be the order of the day. Bodies are floating down the river. There are mutilated bodies of women and children to be found, not to mention the daily car bombs and assassinations and killings that have increased markedly. What is needed is firm response. Self defense of the majority of the Iraqi people justify preemptive measures. Diplomatic and soft talk and measures are not going to get us anywhere. The elected political entities are doing their utmost to form a “national unity government”. I fear this is only taken advantage of by the personalities who in fact represent the overt political face of the terrorists. Of course, not all Sunni people are terrorists, but all terrorists at the moment happen to be Sunnis. The Zarqawis of this world are feverishly attempting to implement their diabolical plans. They are exposing their incredible callousness and cruelty and suicidal frame of mind to the whole world. The question that all sane people everywhere must ask themselves: What if these people really do get hold of some terrible WMD and find the means to deliver it to some American or any other target, and it seems that the entire humanity is their enemy and target?
[and...]
Until the central government is strong enough to send forces to fully control areas such as the Western Anbar, and even parts of Baghdad and elsewhere, there will be no real peace. Let us hope that the soon to be formed government will have sufficient backbone to accomplish what is required.
-Alaa (here and here)
HOWARD ZINN:...I don't believe in neutrality. I believe neutrality is impossible, because the world is already moving in certain directions. Wars are going on. Children are starving. And to be neutral, to pretend to neutrality, to not take a stand in a situation like that is to collaborate with whatever is going on, to allow it to happen. I did not want to be a collaborator with what was happening. I wanted to enter into history....I wanted us to intercede. I wanted my history to intercede and to take a stand on behalf of peace, on behalf of a racial equality or sexual equality, and so I wanted my students to know that right from the beginning, know you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

AMY GOODMAN: Were your surprised by the election of President Bush, November 2004?

HOWARD ZINN: A little. A little. That is, I thought that maybe by then, perhaps there would be enough understanding about the deception, the hypocrisy of the US government, just enough to dethrone Bush, but I say only a little surprised, because on the other hand, I knew that John Kerry was not the candidate to represent the feelings of the American people. By then, by the time of the election, at least half of the American people were already against the war. Now they faced an election where 100% of the candidates were for the war. So, they had nobody to vote for. And so I -- with nobody to vote for, with no real alternative, of course, 40% of the voting population did not vote. And people ought to remember this. You know, Bush did not win overwhelmingly. You know, he won by one or two percentage points. And if you consider how many people voted for him against the voting population, you know, he got, you know, maybe 30% of the voting population. But it was a commentary on the pitiful showing of the Democratic Party, its failure to be a true opposition party in this country, and I think maybe a wake-up call to Americans to try to create a new political alternative to a political system that is really a one-party system, and it is quite corrupt.
-Howard Zinn on Democracy Now!

WHICH AMERICAN political party best reflects the views of a majority of citizens on the Iraq war, environmental issues, health care, campaign financing, population growth, genetically modified foods, and marijuana use?

The answer, based on various polls, is the Green Party.

That you may not be aware of this points to a problem with American journalism far more important than plagiarism, blogs, or Fox News, namely that our media - for all its professed objectivity - is stunningly biased towards the views of the American elite and particularly those who buy space in their papers or time on their channels.
-Sam Smith
The Ann Coulter Copies are here. The death of Marla Ruzicka gave Debbie Schlussel a chance to unveil a lot of nastiness.

Ruzicka founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), which by trying to get a count of Iraqi casualties, something the US military refuses to do, Debo thinks she's trying to "blackmail America into paying monetary settlements for each death." Marla did succeed in getting Sen. Patrick Leahy to draft legislation to "help the innocent victims of war in both countries in a variety of ways, ranging from medical needs to home and school construction." The Senate voted 99 to 0 approve the "Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund."

Debo thinks Marla tried to "force the U.S. government" into getting an accurate [debo thought accurate needed scare quotes] body count and surely by Marla going house to house this compelled the US government to do the same, except they didn't.

Marla took the adage "while in Rome, do as the Romans do" to heart while in Iraq as many women there have been coerced into wearing the hijab.
Al-Sadr's men appear intent on enforcing a strict interpretation of Islamic law. His militia beat a group of students because they had a picnic at which men and women danced together at Basra University last month. In a similar incident this week, a group of male and female students at Baghdad's Rafidain College, near the entrance of Sadr City, were accosted by about 10 men wielding AK47s and sticks.

The men admonished female students for not wearing the hijab, the traditional Muslim head scarf. Then, according to witnesses, they looked at a group of women sitting with men and yelled: "Aren't you ashamed of sitting next to a man? If we come again and see you like this, we will kill you and hang your bodies."
-Detroit Free Press
The marked increase in the number of women wearing head scarves these days is only the most outwardly visible sign of the creeping Islamization of society that has already taken place since the U.S. invasion, leaving many women living under a de facto form of Islamic rule, she said.

"There are armed men everywhere. If you go without the protection of the scarf, they can stop you and you may get assaulted," Mohammed said. "And there's pressure from husbands and fathers. Being good and chaste means you put a veil on. They tell you it's voluntary, but how can it be voluntary when there's that much pressure on you?"
-The Chicago Tribune

Debo begs to differ in Marla's case. According to Debo Marla "didn’t wear the hijab out of any new-found sense of Pan-Arabia modesty, but rather to be down with her new Islamist homies." This kind of poorly crafted slander continues throughout and makes use of Sugar Daddy Davy's delusional discoverthenetwork.org to paint Code Pink members as "neo-Commie America-haters who love Fidel Castro".

As is noted in the previously linked Counterpunch article, Debo says Marla "aided and abetted" terrorists, but Joshua Frank striped out another attack on Marla. Debo finishes off the sentence with ..."and belittled our troops." As long as you're piling on the bull, why stop there Debo?

I would be no better than Davy to apply the concept of guilt by association to the whole lot of Frontpage contributors, but Debo doesn't fall far from the fanatical tree of bullshit-rich rhetoric. One doesn't have to delve too deep within the pile to discover more of it.

According to Dennis Prager, secularism leads to a fear of dying, which leads to pacifism, which leads to believing that American troops who have died liberating Iraq wasted their lives.

I have news for ya Dennis. I don't have religion. I am not a pacifist. I don't have any special fear of death. I think that if Iraq does find peace, those that died for that purpose we're not lost in vain, but those that handled the whole matter have made that loss more than it should have been. And Dennis, you're full of bovine feces.
According to yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Venezuela will be raising its tax rate on private oil firms, which produce 40% of Venezuel's oil, from 34% to the standard income tax rate of 50%.

Last year, the government increased the royalty rate on several heavy oil projects conducted by ExxonMobil in the Orinoco belt from 1% (an ultralow rate to get ExxonMobil to do the major upfront investment needed) to 16.6% (a pretty typical royalty rate in the early days of colonial oil concessions and in the post-nationalization days of neocolonial oil concessions). ExxonMobil is paying the new rate under protest.

According to the Journal, "Venezuela is seeking to increase revenue to fund social programs ranging from adult-literacy and job-training programs to subsidized food prices at a state-run grocery chain, now the country's largest."
-Empire Notes
The Flathead Friedman
Buk appears on Mefi again. Brings back memories
What Party does Faith belong to?
ACLU uncovers evidence that torture goes furture up Chain of command.
Friday 22
There are moments in my life where I can see how much of a preaching prick I can be. Sorry. I can only say it is small compensation for the things I can't (through lack of courage or just because I just can't) change in my life that I can rant here. At least you are not paying for this. Hell, I'm not being paid for this.

Is journalism copy&paste&comment? Of course not. Journalism though...I'm not sure I'd want that, even if I knew how. I'm vacillating between being a complete fucking mess and being on the verge of an elegant epiphany that encapsulates the American zeitgeist. Whether the latter is self-deception in the Robert Trivers sense or just a desperate attempt to steer clear of the former remains to be seen.

It's just that there are times when the veneer of politeness gets rubbed clear by the audacity of those that have taken the reigns of authority by a seemingly willing public. It's hard not to see folks as idiots for voting to power such poor examples of humanity. However, I understand that that decades of gerrymandering have rendered null the resident rational people left in certain states.

There comes a time when the rules of polite society that dictate a limit on the criticism of religion become dangerous to maintain. The fundamentalists of the world are celebrated day in and day out by the MSM. The focus is on the good of their theology rather on the disturbingly bad that not only negates the good, but poisons it. Of course, Islam doesn't get this kind of white-washing. Inspiring general terrorism against the west versus inspiring the bombing of gay/lesbian bookstores in Canada or Abortion clinics in the US highlights how self-interest is the true barometer of outrage in America.

The new Pope is the poster child (A counter Sullivan) for why government funds should never be given to anything faith-based and that, in fact, their tax exempt status should be revoked. The Church's pedophile protecting hands should stay out of politics. This includes the Evangelicals that plan to eviserate the courts with the help of corrupt congressman like Tom Delay, which may be stupid enough to generate a real backlash.

Phony infallibility falls flat against the facts. Condoms save lives. Homosexuals make great foster parents. The sanctity of marriage is maintained on an individual basis and allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the same benefits harms no one. Women have a right to control their sexuality. Life does not begin at conception. Stem cells do not equal a human. I know some would like to think these things are debatable, but an argument from authority (especially theologically based) is a logical fallacy.

It would be nice if we could just dismiss them, but they are getting out from behind the pulpits and invading the public sphere. Once they did it to champion the civil rights movement and now they are working against it with an all-too-willing group of Republicans.

Ah yes, those Republicans...Likely sensing their power is at its peek, the effort to consolidate their grip is alarming. According to a "senior FCC official" the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "is engaged in a systematic effort not just to sanitize the truth, but to impose a right-wing agenda on PBS. It's almost like a right-wing coup. It appears to be orchestrated."

Of course! They even have Microsoft running scared. Then there's the sickening celebration of that fact-challenged, right-wing nut Coulter in the pages of Time, which also named Powerline blog of the year *gag*.

Cloud's credibility and the paper's is in question. His protests ring hollow and are easily debunked.

The counter to all this in in the works, but will take time. Hopefully it's not just going to add to the mess of misinfomation.
Pope-squatting
Sativex, liquid marijuana, approved in Canada
Chicago Transit Authority map on Google Maps
Short take on Smartest Guys in the Room
A Calvinist Defense of Anarcho-Capitalism
The London Review of Books lands on my doormat twice a month, and is packed with erudite and entertaining essays. But I suspect I am not the only subscriber who turns to the remarkable personals section first.
-Metafilter
Lollapalooza returns to Chicago
Competition gave rise to the robber fly, to trap-weaving tree ants, an ‘homosexual’ fungus, robot jockeys, logic-checking software, and to custom-made brass knuckles.
-Metafilter
John Bolton might not make it. Whew. Tom points out Powell's "take no risk" strategy
Deficits matter, even Greenspan admits it.
Falling out of liking someone...
Actually, it’s not so difficult, I’ve discovered. All the someone in question has to do is begin thinking differently from me about a few important matters, and in no time I find that his qualities have subtly metamorphosed. His abundance of colorful anecdotes now looks like incessant and ingenious self-promotion. His marvelous copiousness and fluency strike me as mere mellifluous facility and mechanical prolixity. A prose style I thought deliciously suave and sinuous I now find preening and overelaborate. His fearless cheekiness has become truculent bravado; his namedropping has gone from endearing foible to excruciating tic; his extraordinary dialectical agility seems like resourceful and unscrupulous sophistry; his entertaining literary asides like garrulousness and vulgar display; his bracing contrariness, tiresome perversity. Strange, this alteration of perspective; and even stranger, it sometimes occurs to me that if he changed his opinions again and agreed with me, all his qualities would once more reverse polarity and appear in their original splendor. A very instructive experience, epistemologically speaking.
-George Scialabba on Hitchens (talked about here)
As you know I've tried to be reasonable in my approach to Ward Churchill. Even considering the source, this is pretty scathing. Then Michael has to come along and compare him to Coulter. Alright, alright. Ward is a pretty creepy guy, but he stands very much in the shadow of Coulter's own creep factor. They both use inflammatory language for self-promotional purposes.
Exploding FROGS MEAN END OF WORLD!
What's the Matter with Liberals?
There goes another one...
Howard Dean Supports Bush on Iraq
The chair of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean has come out in support of President Bush"s current Iraq policy. In a speech earlier this week in Minnesota, Dean said, "The president has created an enormous security problem for the United States where none existed before. But I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now that he's there." Dean said a US pullout could endanger the United States in three ways: By leaving a Shiite theocracy worse than that in Iran; by creating an independent Kurdistan in the north, with destabilizing effects on neighboring Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran and Syria, and by making the so-called Sunni Triangle a magnet for what Dean called Islamic terrorists similar to the former Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Dean was portrayed as an antiwar candidate in the media during the 2004 presidential race.
-Democracy Now! Also, "Should U.S. Troops Withdraw Now From Iraq? A Debate Between Naomi Klein & Erik Gustafson"
Monday 18
Time loses it and we near towards a war with Iran after making Iraq worse there is little time to make the changes we need to the political climate. Meanwhile, I bang my head against the wall in a Mefi thread or two.
Saturday 16
A review of the novel The Noodle Maker includes this quote by one of the characters, a professional blood donor, to his writer friend...
Do you have a motorbike? Do you have tickets for the next week’s concert? Do you have FECs [foreign exchange credits]. Can you take a woman into a hotel where foreigners stay? … Your year’s salary isn’t enough to buy one pair of Italian shoes. … Not everyone can see things like you do. But if I could write, I’m sure I’d be a better writer than you. I know about the real world. You just write in order to fill your inner void, you have no experiences to draw from. You see life in terms of tragedy and myth. You are obsessed by your fear of death. But death is something everyone has to go through, there’s nothing particularly interesting about it.
As "the most powerful restaurant critic in the world" sometimes you have to go incognito to see what the service is like for the rest of us.
Manners determine not so much what is right and wrong as what is seemly and unseemly: what is and is not decorous or appropriate. Consider the latest bestseller from Princeton University Press by a philosopher named Harry Frankfurt. It's called "On Bull----"--well, many American newspapers, including this one, forbear to print the word, but you know what it is. Even the New York Times, whose lifestyle sections celebrate all manner of "transgressive" habits in detail, can't bring itself to spell out the book's title on its bestseller list. Why the hesitation? Mr. Podsnap, in Charles Dickens's "Our Mutual Friend," is always worried about bringing a blush to the cheek of a young person. Is it an American version of Podsnappery that prevents papers from printing a word that has long since passed into general conversation? The British must think so, for they have no scruple about printing it, gushing about Mr. Frankfurt's book in major papers. The book, quoth the Times of London, is "a testament for our times." They might be right. Should we be pleased? As it happens, there is something of a bull market in Mr. Frankfurt's subject at the moment. We can all look forward this August to "Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bull----" by Laura Penny, a Canadian professor who also wants to give a low-down subject a high intellectual gloss. The titles of both books bear witness to an academic trend, one that furthers the coarsening of cultural life that Burke warned about. They are, to be sure, small things, relatively innocent as book titles go. We live at a time, after all, when MIT Press--a publishing house with an eminently austere list--can publish a book called "History of S---." In 2002, the academic journal Criticism wrote admiringly of this work: "[It] indulges an array of scatological impulses to demonstrate the ways in which the history of the 'State,' the history of modern subjectivity, and to a certain extent, the history of history are entangled in wonderful and horrible ways with the history of the fundamental fundament." A few years before, Johns Hopkins published "The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator and Women's Sexual Satisfaction," the film rights for which have been sold.
-On Academic Celebrity, by Roger Kimball
A look a the great biologist, Ernst Mayr who died in Feb. at the age of 100. The author suggests starting with What Evolution Is is case you are new to his large body of work.
A look at two new books on Neurobiology
Stone age porn
Are dogs smarter due to domestication?
Some used tax day for protests
"Tariq Ali on Political Activism from Pakistan to Vietnam to Iraq"

[AIM: linkworthy]
john@linkworthy.com