The best argument yet for kids to stay away from performance "enhancing" drugs: the just-released list of names from the Mitchell Report.
Yeah, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are on there (which could explain Clemens' penchant for fits of rage). But for every Clemens there are 10 Nook Logans and Cody McKays.
And on a side note, someone should have told Mo Vaughn that you're supposed to lift weights after you take steroids, not eat a bakery.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Feministing reader came across the item pictured below at her local Wal-Mart.
In case the scale is out of whack, it is a pair of panties from the junior department that says, “Who needs credit cards…” I suppose we can presume the … to be short for, “when you have a pussy.”
So at first I thought to myself, this is Wal-Mart, the savior of moral values; the place where you can’t buy Eminem and Maxim and your choice of birth control; the place where Jesus is safe to roam free and His birthday is a holiday to be declared merry - and they are encouraging pre-teens to fuck for money?
But then I thought again… This isn’t hypocritical or paradoxical at all. In fact, it makes perfect logical sense. In the Wal-Mart ethos, women are empty vessels to be used for reproduction, cooking, and house cleaning. Barefoot and pregnant, if you will. So, this tween panty isn’t about whoring it up for diamonds and rides in Ferraris. It’s preparing these young girls to understand early that the only way they are going to survive in this world is to get married, get knocked up, and get to scrubbing those tiles.
Well played, Wal-Mart. Well played…
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
If you liked Hostel, then you’ll love Canada’s new PSAs about preventing workplace accidents. I’m told (by Will at Deadspin) that they’re actually being run on the Ceeb during Hockey Night in Canada. Jesus. And there’s too much violence in hockey?
But wait, there’s more. Then you have to go to the PSAs’ website. Click on Enter Now, and you’ll be greeted by a cartoon severed hand squirting blood like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail impatiently drumming its fingers waiting for the flash movie to load. The movie begins with said bloody severed hand parachuting down to its presumed previous owner whose stump isn’t having the best time getting over the injury. From there we get to watch several different examples of a day in the life of a guy with a bloody stump, which is to say he gets blood all over everything! If I learned one thing, it’s do not help your girlfriend get food off her face with a bloody stump.
It’s the most hilarious thing you’ve seen in a while.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Julie Myers, assistant secretary overseeing Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division -- herself a recess appointed, grossly unqualified nepotism case -- was part of a three-person panel selected to judge Halloween costumes at the Homeland Security Department office Halloween party. As an aside - a three-judge panel for a Halloween party? Can DHS do anything without bureaucratic red tape??
Anyway, the winning costume, you’ll be horrified if unsurprised to discover, was a man dressed up in prison stripes, dreadlocks, and you guessed it - blackface. I mean, DHS says it was just “dark makeup” but that sounds like some bureaucrat hair-splitting to me.
Third place was dressed up as Chief Wahoo, the lovable scamp from the Cleveland Indians uniforms. First runner-up, who will take over for the now disgraced Prisoner Sambo was dressed as Slowpoke Rodriguez, the laziest, slowest, most unemployedest mouse in all of Mexico. Sounds like a great party!
Monday, November 05, 2007
In case you don’t watch TV (yeah, you’re so cool), or just don’t pay attention, the Writers Guild of America, aka - the writers union has gone on strike. What does that mean? It means The Daily Show and Colbert are not on tonight. Damn.
But the interesting thing to me about this is it seems to be the very last union left in the United States that gets the support of the people. Why is that? Let’s compare it to the New York City transit strike of 2005. MTA (The Man) - rich, corrupt and incompetent. MTA workers (The Little Guy) - underpaid, overworked, and constantly looking over their shoulder, worrying about getting laid off. Hollywood producers - rich, corrupt, and probably incompetent, although I can’t say for sure. Hollywood writers - probably paid very well, (but definitely not as well as they deserve, at least not if they work for Lost, 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, or other such brilliant programs. More than they deserve if they work for Two and a Half Men or anything with Dane Cook), constantly looking over their shoulder with the rise of reality programming, probably overworked and underappreciated.
So what is it about the writers that makes people side with them? During the transit strike, the entire blame fell on the union, as though asking for a living wage was fine as long as it doesn’t inconvenience anyone. “I’d rather bring back indentured servitude than be late for work.” In the case of the automakers or Wal-Mart, it’s all the union’s fault that cars are so expensive with the former, and the lack of a union is why I get a DVD player for $14 at the latter. So why is the writers’ union held in such high regard? Why are people lauding Tina Fey or Jon Stewart for making impassioned pleas on the writers’ behalf, but ridiculing me for favoring unions the rest of the time?
Don’t misunderstand - I agree with them 100%. The writers deserve all that they can get, and god knows many of them are quite talented - talent I wish I possessed. But what is it about literally every other union in the country that inspires such disdain and mistrust? Why is it if the teachers strike so they don’t have to buy their own fucking loose-leaf paper and text books for children that it’s the teachers’ fault, and not the fault of tax-slashing administrations or tax dodging multi-national corporations for underfunding city services? The auto unions are so powerless thanks to dwindling membership and a lack of public support that they stage a phony one day strike to make some sort of arcane point, and then happily lap up whatever table scraps the automakers offer them. Why is it that when the MTA is raising fares, decreasing service and letting the subway fall into complete disrepair, making a handy salary for the fat cats, all the while laying off hundreds of union employees, that it’s the transit workers’ union who bear the brunt of commuter rage when the workers decide enough is enough?
Why is the writer’s union of Hollywood, of all places, the one union held in any esteem whatsoever? God bless ‘em and good luck! Honest. Hell, I can use a break from TV, so I’m with the workers, as always. But what is it about America that except in this one situation, always makes people side with The Man over The Little Guy?
Friday, October 26, 2007
Not for nothing, but if you ever set out for a short boat ride, a two or three hour tour say, do yourself a favor and keep an extra can of gasoline on board. That’s all I’m sayin’…
So what’s new?
FEMA has learned the lesson of Katrina. That lesson? If you hold phony scripted press conferences, you won’t get any liberal media types like Anderson Cooper asking nosy questions.
Looks like Jin is about to get killed off.
Alberto Gonzales may be in bigger trouble than we thought.
Chris Dodd’s got a pair.
Without question, Garry Kasparov is my favorite politician alive in the world today. Seriously, he’s essentially risking his life and those of his family just to fight to be allowed to lose to Putin’s handpicked successor.
This year’s World Series is thus far proving the old adage, Jesus can get you to the dance, but the devil wins you championships.
Radiohead totally rules.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The Right Wing is a big tent, don't you know. Any and all are welcome. From your run of the mill "straight" guys who suck dick in airport bathrooms, to guys who rape their daughters, your attracted to 5-year-old girls types, and on down the line to the dirty, dirty BDSM bitches. And I don't just mean those who would "surprise" his wife with a trip to the slave club, bark out some orders and make her cry. The Republican party and extreme fundamentalist religious right even has room for the submissives too! Take, for example, Liberty University graduate and employee, and Jerry Falwell disciple "Reverend" Gary Aldridge and the tale of The Spanking to Die For... (Click on image below for close up.)
There's a lesson here, kids. A) Don't trust anyone who tells you not to masturbate; he's probably got a contraption in his house that would scare Satan himself. And B) If you go to your preacher/minister/teacher/senator's house - bring a parent or guardian. And pepper spray.
On the other hand, it is refreshing to see Rev. Aldridge use his moment of death to illuminate a lesson he's been teaching his whole life - Jesus cries when you have protected sex with a boy or girl your own age. As the Good Book says, condoms are only for use on the dildos you shove up your ass. Is that from Leviticus? Deuteronomy?
Friday, October 05, 2007
First off, I told you a while ago that I wouldn't have as much time for you as I used to. We appreciate that you miss us, but can you call off the attack dogs? I'm busy enough as it is trying to sort out the scam Nigerian princes from the real ones, and now I have to deal with what can only be described as a coordinated effort to make me write more. We at DoG love getting your emails at DelusionsofGrandeurBlog [at] gmail [dot] com, but cutting and pasting an email you found at the online petition loses its effect after the thousandth reading. Move on, people!
But please don't move on, check back from time to time. We miss you too!
Secondly, is it just not having enough time? To be honest, it's not. I may have lost the fire, DoGgers. Yes, Bush still enrages me, but you can only say douchebag and twatwaffle so many times before it loses its intrinsic oomph. Take this Blackwater kerfuffle, for example. The fact that we have more mercenary troops in Iraq than the 160,000 U.S. military solders, and that those mercenaries have no oversight by anyone in the world has been common knowledge for years now. In a single Google search, I found a story on PBS from 2005. And that was just the first page on the search. So should I have been beating my head against the wall for the last two years, or been even a little surprised when they sent Blackwater in to "patrol" New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? It's maddening. So I just keep it to myself. The knowledge is out there; I'm not bringing anything new to the party.
The Democratic congress has been a bigger failure than one could have possibly imagined. I'm not talking about getting the troops out of Iraq. After reading this article by George Packer, I'm not convinced we should ever leave Iraq. No, it's one thing for the Republicans in congress to give Bush his monarchical powers, but when the Democrats bend over and take it up the ass, giving Bush unlimited authority to do anything and everything, it's easy to get tired of the blogging game right quick.
So what am I doing here today? Because today, I have a point of view that is counter to most liberals, from what I can tell. I feel that I have something different to say on this one.
Are you ready?
I agree with Bush for vetoing the child health care plan but I disagree with his reasons for doing it.
In a nutshell, Bush vetoed the child health care plan because of his dogmatic adherence to the principle of the free market. Or to put it another way - to keep the commies at bay. This, in my opinion, is stupid. It's always been stupid. For them, it's always been less a principle, and more of a way to keep the rich richer. Which is to say, not at all a principle and only about keeping the rich richer. The "free market is always right" meme is the rich's way of tricking the poor into following them backwards though time to their Dickensian utopia of starving proletariat in their slums eating their own dead, completely ignored by anyone who can afford to.
However, I agree with Bush's veto because of how the child health care plan was going to be paid for - a tax on cigarettes. Now before those of you who know me personally come down on me for protecting my own self interests, let me assure you, without specifying why, that this tax would not affect me. I'm against it for two reasons:
1) Regardless of how you feel about the supposed immorality of smoking and its inherent dangers, a tax on cigarettes ends up being a regressive tax, meaning it is paid by the people who can least afford it - the poor (much like the lottery, which I am also against). People lower on the income scale smoke in much larger numbers than those with higher incomes. You can call it a moral failing of anyone who picks up the cancer sticks, or you can make a claim that they smoke more because of less access to education about the dangers of smoking. You could even suppose that they have a bleaker outlook for their future with a cigarette providing a small, however brief escape from the daily rigors they must endure. All of that is beside the point. If we are going to expand the federal government -- and we should, particularly by giving our children health care -- it should not be on the backs of the poor. (And as a 1(a): do we really want to rely on people continuing to smoke so that lower income children can keep their health care?)
2) Sin tax. The libertarian streak in me finds sin taxes abhorrent because of the slippery slope it presents. We already tax cigarettes and alcohol to great extremes. What's next? What happens when the exerstapo decides that television leads to sloth, a deadly sin, and slaps a tax on sitting on your ass in front of the tube? (Or as the immortal George Harrison put it - If you try to sit, sit, I'll tax your seat.) The fat police are already in action in New York City shutting down anyone using transfats in their cooking. When's the tax on ice cream going to kick in? I don't think it should be anyone's job in government to decide which products that are going to kill me are bad and should be taxed (cigarettes, alcohol) and which products that are going to kill me should be subsidized (high fructose corn syrup, pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry, petroleum industry, lead-based children's toys industry). Make it illegal, or leave it be. We should be allowed to legally kill ourselves however we see fit.
So I'm glad Bush vetoed the bill, but only because I think we should pay for the children's health care by stopping every and all government subsidy and corporate bailout scheme funneled to massive corporations in the drug, food, oil, and chemical industries. Where's your free market religion when it comes to them, Mr. President?
Come to think of it, if we dropped all the corporate welfare, we'd all have free health care for life. Think about that.
Friday, September 28, 2007
What’s going on over at radioheadlp7.com?
They’re counting down to something happening tomorrow morning. We are all aware of a forthcoming Radiohead (greatest band ever) album, but what’s going on tomorrow? Pitchfork tells me that this site has nothing to do with the band, so it’s probably a big scam.
Or is it? I Might Be Wrong, but… I Will remain… Optimistic. If we’re… Lucky, they won’t leave us… High and Dry, and make me look… Idioteque.
(Entertainment Tonight, Extra, anyone else may contact me at DelusionsofGrandeurBlog [at] gmail [dot] com.)
UPDATE: Full-on hoax. (Nice Dream)
UPDATE II: However, the new album does come out next Wednesday, October 10th. With a catch. It’s only available for download at their website. Apparently, you can buy the whole liner notes, old school CD whatnot for 40 quid. But for the download, they’ve gone Shatner on us, as we can “name our own price.”
See for yourself. What an interesting ethical conundrum to have placed before me. I love the band, hate the labels, enjoy deciding how much to pay for stuff. Yet, I also hate spending unnecessary money. Hmmn…
UPDATE III: Through further research, I’ve come to discover that Radiohead would typically make in the neighborhood of $1.50 per album sold when working through a major label. That is something to bear in mind when having that selfishness vs. sticking it to the man debate you’re going to be having all this week. That is to say, it’s going to cost you at least $1.50 to demonstrate to the labels that they’re dinosaurs on the verge of extinction if they don’t wake up, and soon. After that buck-fitty, it’s all about how much you respect the band.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Aren't Republicans supposed to be the tough guy father figures? Aren't they supposed to be able to keep their shit together when the going gets tough? Doesn't look like it from my point of view. First, they curled up in a fetal ball and cried their eyes out because MoveOn.org called General Petreus "General Betray-Us" (Get it? Get it??). Now, people are positively apoplectic because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in town and speaking at Columbia today.
Oh my god, get a hold of yourself, people! The dude is talking, he's not ethnic cleansing the city. Furthermore, in our history, we have celebrated and met with people much worse than the virtually powerless Ahmadinejad. Mahmoud talks about wiping Israel off the map. Nixon met with Chairman Mao, and he had slaughtered hundreds of thousands. Bush is BFF with the leadership in Saudi Arabia, and they will stone a woman to death for being pregnant. Reagan, the mannest man of all time, met with the leaders of the Soviet Union many times.
This is America. The great thing about America is you can speak your mind, no matter how much of an asshole you are, and other people can just fucking ignore you. Get over it!
Friday, September 14, 2007
From Bill Maher on The Huffington Post the other day:
Republicans sex scandals are getting to be like Iraqi car bombings. By the time you hear about one, there's been another. Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, Vitter, Craig...Oh, Lord, won’t You please stop sitting around reading blogs and grant me a slice of Bill Maher’s talent?
It's like "Clue" only the answer is always "A Republican... in the washroom... with his cock."
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Wonkette made a nice catch, seen above, of President Bush once again pledging his undying support (and eternal soul) to the Devil at a 9/11 ceremony yesterday.
I have a simpler, more benign explanation. I think he thinks he's planning a quick escape as his alter-ego, Spider-Man.
As I'm sure you've heard by now, the trainwreck that is Britney Spears made a stop at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend, and it was everything you'd expect and worse.
As her life has slowly unravelled before our eyes and millions of cameras, I've quickly found myself in the camp of just feeling sorry for her. I'm not typically one who pities those who are given everything and piss it all away of their own volition, but there are times when I feel complicit in their self-destruction. I don't read TMZ myself, but I read people who do. And where there's a demand for salacious details of people's private lives, there are going to be writers and photographers to fill that demand. As such, there's an element of Schrödinger's cat in a breakdown such as Britney's, which is to say that the act of observing it necessarily affects the outcome. When you're an 18 year old superstar, living your life completely in the public eye and developing an addiction to that praise and attention, it's probably pretty difficult to find your way when it's time to develop a private life.
All of that is prologue for this article you should read in Salon by Rebecca Traister. As she goes on to point out that we are all guilty, not least MTV and Britney herself, she composes some moving paragraphs which are staying with me.
As has been pointed out before, she embodies the disdain in which this culture holds its young women: the desire to sexualize and spoil them while young, and to degrade and punish them as they get older. Of course, she also represents a youthful feminine willingness -- stupid or manipulated as it may be -- to conform to the culture's every humiliating expectation of her.And that's the part that gets me. Let's give her a break. And Lindsey Lohan into the bargain. Are we Romans watching the murder of Christians in the Coliseum? If we stop watching, she'll have no choice but to try to get her life -- her real life -- back on track.
No one would think that the performer, whose music has historically been catchy, but whose live performance appeal has rested on her super-fit ability to writhe around in athletic dance routines that could only succeed if rehearsed with Waffen-level discipline, could pull this off. She was hired by MTV to attract viewers eager to see her make an ass of herself. And she was complicit in her own public flogging, apparently doing nothing to prepare, making no effort to learn the words to her own song, or the dance moves she was supposed to execute.
There was also the harsh but deserved criticism of her performance and, more horrendously, of her physique. Spears, it seems, two children and five years of self-abuse later, no longer pleases the public with her hourglass shape. No, her ill-fitting outfit showed off a figure that was not as compact and pink as it was when she was a teenager. Sure, she looked better in a bikini than probably 98 percent of the Americans sitting on their couches and howling at her, but she was no longer porn-star perfect. And in the American lexicon, that equals fat. Wonder why your daughters have eating disorders and hate their bodies? Maybe because they're reading reports that label the thin young woman dancing around in a bra and panties physically unappealing and obese.
When I was a kid, my mother told me a story about some men she once saw on a lake in northern Maine. They were in a motorboat, chasing a swimming moose around the lake. They chased it and chased it and chased it until, finally, the moose got so tired and confused that it drowned. This, of course, was the idea: torturing an animal too stupid to swim for shore until it died, all in the name of good fun for the guys at the wheel.
I know my plea falls on deaf ears, but it warrants saying.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
You know, I write these articles about the Family Values Republicans and their perverted private lives with a touch of tongue-in-cheek, primarily because were it not for their own religious fanaticism and hypocritical homophobia-mongering to win elections, their so-called perversions would be perfectly fine and dandy. They could blow whomever they wanted, and in the public eye (metaphorically), instead of taking a “wide stance” in the airport crapper and getting busted by the vice squad.
And then you come across a real Republican pervert, and it turns your stomach. St. Petersburg City Council Chairman, Republican John Bryan sexually molested his daughters and once he was found out, he offed himself in the garage. I’m against the death penalty, so I’m not thrilled with his choice, but there are worse things to have happened.
Thing is, that’s not the worst part. Although, I suppose his daughters would disagree with that. They’d be right. Politically, the worst part is that the Republican Party in Florida has known about this man’s sexual deviancy and danger to children for twenty years! That’s fucked up.
The Republican Party - Protecting families by protecting reputations. One sexual deviant at a time. (The children can fend for themselves.)
Monday, September 10, 2007
Larry Craig is the gift that keeps on giving. He’s standing by his story that he’s not gay -- as if -- that by random coincidence he simply had to take a shit in that world-renowned gay hotspot, and dammit, he’s got a wide stance and likes tappin’ his feet while he’s pinching one out. To add to the fun, today he’s actually going to try to withdraw his guilty plea from before, on the grounds that the press was so mean and like all up in his bid’ness.
Have you ever played Texas Hold ‘Em? To me, this situation with Craig is when you have nothing in your hand, but you bluff big time on the turn. Your opponent calls your bluff, and instead of folding (resigning), you decide to raise again on the river. His actions demonstrate a Bushian level of stubbornness and lack of vision that will eventually destroy him.
The guy is gay, or at the very least, he likes to give or receive blowjobs in men’s rooms. All he’s doing is dragging out an unwinnable situation thereby making it longer and more humiliating.
Hmmn… Maybe longer and humiliating is what he’s into.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
In honor of Fashion Week coming soon to Midtown, I present to you my friend and yours and erstwhile contributor to these pages, Thomas Crowley, competing for the title of Esquire Magazine's best dressed “real man” in the United States. As a finalist, he appeared on the Today Show yesterday morning. Enjoy:
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I gotta say, I love John Edwards' new proposal:
Edwards Proposes "Brownie's Law" — Has Nothing To Do With Girl ScoutsIn the coming weeks, Edwards is also expected to announce his Fredo Initiative, which would make it illegal to lie to Congress; the Turd Blossom Doctrine, forbidding the deletion and/or shredding of important documents of public interest; and the G.O.P. Principle, requiring that government officials and candidates for office demonstrate their heterosexuality prior to embarking on a campaign of demonizing and restricting the civil rights of homosexuals.
John Edwards announced yesterday that as president he would have a policy dubbed "Brownie's Law," named in "honor" of former FEMA head Michael Brown. "Edwards will enact a new requirement — 'Brownie's Law' — ensuring that senior political appointees actually are qualified to perform the job to which they are appointed," according to a campaign fact sheet. "Brownie's Law will require that heads of executive agencies and other senior officials have demonstrated qualifications in the field related to their job." It sure says something about the current state of governmental affairs that such a pronouncement could be considered newsworthy.
Another day, another anti-gay Republican caught in the men’s room soliciting blow jobs. This time it’s U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R - ID). Hey, at least this one didn’t want to cram cock in his mouth because he’s afraid of all the black people. Nope. Senator Craig just likes him some dick.
He just doesn’t like it when other people like dick. Hypocrisy and homosexuality are a way of life in the Gay Old Party…
Monday, August 27, 2007
Yes, Alberto Gonzales has resigned. You know how I know? Because I've gotten no less than 15 spams from the Democratic party during the course of the day bragging about how they washed that man right out of our hair.
Yeah, right. The Democratic party was as effective at changing Bush's mind about cabinet members as I am at throwing a 98 mile per hour fastball. If they want to boast about how they are actually doing something good since having taken over congress, then let's see what they do when Bush nominates Michael "The Crony In Charge During Katrina" Chertoff to take Gonzales' place. If they manage to force Bush to nominate an independent, honorable, competent candidate for Attorney General, then -- and only then -- will I applaud their accomplishment. It would be their first.
Please make note of and click on our latest What We're, Like, Totally Into Right Now&trade resident, "The Faith Between Us" blog.
As background, friend of DoG Scott Korb and his partner (in business, not in life), Peter Bebergal, have a forthcoming new book entitled The Faith Between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of God. It promises to be an interesting book, one which I am looking forward to reading. I am loathe to speak for Mr. Korb (the Catholic referred to in the subtitle), but it is always entertaining and enlightening to have a discussion about God and religion with Scott because of his unusual attitude about religion. I'll leave it to him to explain, but from my limited understanding, his belief in God is quite contrary to the man sitting in a cloud guiding creation and granting home runs to Albert Pujols idea, as described by many in the religious community.
Please enjoy a taste of their handiwork in this column. In the meantime, I apologize to Scott if I've mangled and/or embarrassingly simplified his point of view, and invite him to comment or even guest post if he would care to correct me. In any case, check out their blog and buy the book on October 30. You won't be sorry.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
To follow up on my Nuke the Others post of the other day, there’s a recent column from a right-wing think tank called Family Security Matters that advocates -- this is real -- that Bush nuke the whole of the Middle East and declare himself Emperor of the World. Democracy (i.e. - you) is what’s wrong with America.
Read for yourself.
As I say, this is a real organization with the likes of James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, on its Board of Advisors.
Monday, August 13, 2007
"You always have these oddballs in a group and somebody says, 'Ah, we should drop a nuke over Iraq.' The stupid jerk doesn't even know what a nuke is. If he do, he wouldn't say that."
- Theodore Van Kirk, Navigator on the Enola Gay
I just finished watching white light/black rain, an HBO documentary about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Just from hearing the one sentence description I know you already know you don't want to watch it, not because you're incurious or willfully ignorant, but because it's brutal and depressing, and you just don't want to spend an evening feeling suicidal. It's worse than you think, and you should watch it anyway.
Learning exactly how war can destroy an individual person's life is a tried and true method of getting people to understand why we should all be against every war except when absolutely necessary. Bush understands that, and it's why he hasn't allowed photographs of the coffins of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since day one. I won't go into that aspect. This movie will affect you without question. The issue that strikes me from having viewed the film is the sense of "Other" that we -- all of us -- feel towards other human beings based only on the fact that they were born outside of our artificially drawn national border.
Whether it's the dirty Mexicans who are stealing our jobs and apparently killing us in our sleep or about the ragheads in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all those other countries over there, somehow we tend to ignore whatever trials and hardships these Others might have to endure. "It don't affect me, so piss off, foreigner." Not in those words, of course. We tend to find reasons why we shouldn't concern ourselves with these Others. They're "illegal" immigrants. They're trying to destroy America. They hate us for our freedom.
The same ideas were pervasive back in World War II. In the film, they interviewed the men who dropped the bombs -- the bombs that went on to kill 370,000 innocent people -- and they hadn't lost a night's sleep over it. Nor should they - they didn't set policy; they were just following orders. My point is that most everyone felt that the Japs deserved what they got for what they did at Pearl Harbor, and if you were up on the topic, for their imperialism and destruction they had wrought upon much of eastern Asia. That's fine except the people interviewed in this film, people whose ribs were showing through their skin, whose flesh had been melted away, whose bodies were ravaged with tumors, were mostly children at the time, and I've no doubt that the hundreds of thousands of dead were mostly innocent too.
Which brings us to today. Yes, there are crackpots who think we should just nuke the whole Middle East. And they can go fuck their ignorant selves. Today, I'm bringing to your attention the fact that while we may not have dropped a hydrogen bomb, there may possibly be 600,000 dead civilians in Iraq or more. And can you really tell me there isn't a sense of Other circulating around that number? Do we really care about these woman and children? Do we really care about the people we torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the dozens of secret bases we've established around the world? The U.S. government has admitted that many of those in Gitmo are innocent, but we can't release them because after all the shit we've done to them, they may not have been our enemies then, but they sure as hell are now.
We have to stop and think about why we consider a human life to have less value just because he or she resides outside of our borders, worships a different god than we do, or has different colored skin. As Americans do we not consider it self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? Are those unalienable Rights endowed by our so-called Creator only endowed to those who live within these fifty states? Do you really believe that? And should our battles in the name of that document rescind those Rights just because they live in the vicinity of a few who would like to see us killed?
3,000 of us were murdered on September 11, 2001. We murdered 370,000 in August of 1945. We've murdered many, many more since. Exactly when does murder -- the murder of innocents -- become something we can so easily brush aside?
Rove resigns. Wow.
Well, Bush said that if anyone in his administration was found to be responsible for leaking the name of Valerie Plame that person would no longer work for him. And I'll be damned if he's not a man of his word. Cheney had better watch his back.
My prediction - Cheney will be ousted from office Januaryish, 2009.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
You support a team that tacitly encourages cheating and overtly celebrates a farce of a broken record. Therefore the Fates will step in and in the one place where people actually support the chemically enhanced robot freak that is Barry Bonds in huge numbers, a Mets fan on a brief layover will go home with the record breaking baseball.
I don’t even give a shit about this record, or any other for that matter. Mostly, I guess because this overblown season-long tempest has stolen the very last drop of nostalgia and innocence from these cynical bones of mine. But also because while Bonds cheated, the pitchers and half the rest of the non-record-breaking players were cheating too. And who’s to say all those old guys weren’t cheating in some way, to say nothing of the fact that many of those records were set when we had barely even heard of the Dominican Republic and you wouldn't have let Barry Bonds watch a game at the ballpark, let alone step on the field. So, whatever, all records are bullshit. But no matter what, a Giants fan didn’t get the big ball.
Suck it, San Francisco. Now maybe that fat fuck can retire and you can get to the task of rebuilding your baseball team. And your integrity.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Chief Justice Roberts had a bit of a spill and I hope he’s ok.
I guess in a perfect world, I would hope that he’s well enough not to die, but not well enough to go back to work, but well enough that he wouldn’t feel compelled to step down until 2009 when his sick days ran out.
Oh, no wait! In a perfect world his little seizure would have scrambled his brain just enough such that he kept all his lawyerly schooling and whatnot, but he stopped being a conservabot automaton, reflexively voting in favor of whatever the right-wing powers-that-be have predetermined to be his position. That would be the perfect world. (And he also developed an X-Men style mutation that caused heavy bricks to repeatedly fall onto any condescending Italian Catholic jurists in his vicinity. Yeah!!)
But alas, I doubt it. I’m sure he’ll be fine and back at work undermining the constitution in no time. Whatever. Any excuse to show that picture of his kid getting’ jiggy wit’ it, am I right?
The Tigers are my team. I just wanted to say that up front. However, years ago I moved from Detroit to New York and you know how it is when you’re in a new town, you start following the local sports as well. Needless to say, the Yankees are evil personified and represent all that is wrong with baseball (even more than Barry Bonds!), so I started going to Mets games. As such, they have become my second favorite team, conveniently located in the National League so as to avoid too many uncomfortable series.
That said, Shea Stadium is an absolute dump. It’s too big. It’s got that boring cookie-cutter design from the 60s. You’re too far away even in the good seats. The good news for Mets fans is that they are building a new home right next door. And there is a movement afoot to save the Home Run Apple in the outfield (pictured right) and transplant it in the new stadium. I approve of this movement and ask that you join them.
Save The Apple.com
One of my favorite things about old Tiger Stadium, where I practically grew up, was that the flagpole was in the outfield in fair territory. There was a line painted on it above which was a home run. When they moved to Comerica Park, where the Tigers play now, they put the new flagpole in fair territory. Comerica is really nice, and Tiger Stadium was a dump (in the way a 100-year-old building is a dump), but Tiger Stadium had something Shea would never have - rich character steeped in history. As sad as it was to have to leave behind the ol’ ballpark on Michigan and Trumball, it was nice to have the continuation of the flagpole you could kill yourself on chasing a fly ball in the sparkly-shiny new place. Makes the transition easier. (Note - they moved the fences in and the pole is now out of play, but you get my point.)
Let’s hope they do the same for new Shea.
Giuliani is becoming a bigger and bigger douchebag. Things come flying out of his mouth lately with no sense of rhyme or reason. Take today for example. Generalissimo Rudy says that the Democrats want a nanny government. That Democrats think the government knows better than you do how to live your life.
Ironic coming from a man who banned dancing in New York City and worked his ass off to protect New Yorkers from the unease of seeing a poopy painting.
Funny thing is, a nanny might do him some good. Maybe she could prevent him from hiring criminals and perverts, stop him from making catastrophically idiotic decisions, and maybe put on a freakin’ pair of pants for crying out loud.
His first of three wives was his cousin. It has nothing to do with anything, I’m just saying… He’s creepy…
Friday, July 27, 2007
The Bush administration subpoenas Michael Moore for bringing sick people to Cuba, (the law in question being a relic of the Cold War, and an illogical one at that).
Honoring the subpoenas issued by the United States Congress? Not so much.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
In an interview for Business Week, Condoleezza Rice says,
I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner.It’s a good thing her job in the State Department only requires her to wing it...
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I don’t even know where to begin with David Brooks’ Tuesday column. Actually, I do. You see, he begins his column with lyrics from some current pop songs by Avril Lavigne, Pink, and some American Idol chickee. Whatever, I’m old too, and I’ve only heard one of the songs. But these songs are about young women who go out without escorts, enjoy getting drunk and generally act unladylike. Brooks goes on to say that this is all due to computers and MySpace and text messaging, and most of all - girls not getting married before 30 and not wearing chastity belts before marriage as it was back in the previous aught-seven.
Dana Goldstein cleverly points out that both Avril and Pink are under thirty and married. Touché.
I would also like to add that The Beatles didn’t actually live in a Yellow Submarine, nor was Mr. Roboto in point of fact, Kilroy. He was just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control. Beyond his control. (Ask your parents.)
And all that is very cute. But the most interesting point to me is that on the very same day that Brooks is acting like he’s 150 years old, getting his panties in a twist over a lyricist who thinks “makes me go oh-oh” is not like, so whatever, the New York Observer is running a piece about the so-called New Victorians. It’s a story about the new trend of 20-something New Yorkers like Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams getting married early, running up real estate prices in Brooklyn by settling down in fancy brownstones, lumbering around town with their Maclaren prams and generally eating all the sushi in Park Slope. All the while managing to make it to age 30 without slashing tires or whoring around town.
So… I guess the questions is - How out of touch is David Brooks? Grandpa and Nana out of touch? Ronald Reagan out of touch? Or Kim Jong-il out of touch?
Oops! Is there something worse than NC-17? Ah, well… As I said, today we have Bob Allen, another hypocrite Republican who votes yea on penisbreath despite consistently voting nay on gay rights.
And, oh yes, he works for the rapidly imploding McCain campaign.
And, uh, if you were curious - he offered an undercover cop $20 to be allowed to suck the cop’s dick. You need it bad when you pay to give a beejer. Or maybe that was just his idea of compassionate conservatism.
Lest you find yourself confused as to the status of the prosecutor firings scandal and Bush’s claims of executive privilege, I have three required pieces of reading for you that should clear everything up. Start with Bruce Fein's piece in Slate yesterday. Or at least read this:
Executive privilege is a concoction, then, to protect secrecy for the sake of secret government, while transparency is the rule of enlightened democracies to insure political accountability and to deter folly or wrongdoing. Still, let's assume for a moment that executive privilege is in fact needed to promote presidential candor. The privilege still would not justify silencing presidential aides like Ms. Taylor or John Dean, who are eager to disclose their communications. Candor is not threatened by a rule that entitles each presidential communicant to decide for him- or herself whether to speak publicly or not.As the article goes on to point out, This is not a matter of a principle for Bush, this is all simply a tactic to further lead our country down a darkened corridor of corruption and dictatorship. He is expressly attempting to not simply minimize, but to entirely eliminate congress’ constitutional duty to provide oversight to the executive branch.
Follow that up with a taste of Dahlia who explains that Sara Taylor’s song and dance at the hearing yesterday in which she decided that everything good about Bush is not covered by privilege and everything bad is, was actually worse (if your interests lie in a free and open government not ruled by a corrupt monarch) than if she had not shown up at all (like Bush’s dim-witted BFF Harriet).
And finally a primer in executive privilege from Salon where you find out the new extremes to which the Bush administration is taking us.
You can’t prove a cover up if you can’t find the crime. But like the man said about pornography, I recognize it when I see it. Or as the Patriot Act fans in the house are fond of saying - if you don’t have anything to hide, then why can’t we take a look?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A new rating system for blogs is now available. As you can see, DoG is not for kids. My favorite part of this is the reasoning behind it:
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:Ah... I remember that one. Something about how Bush wanted jumpstart this abortion of an administration by bombing the fuck out of those bitch-ass Democrats. Something like that...
- bomb (5x)
- ass (4x)
- fuck (3x)
- bitch (2x)
- abortion (1x)
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
It’s no surprise that Libby goes free; it was coming for sure. (And apparently, Bush even broke the law while he was giving Scooter permission to break the law.) But for some reason, it has me especially upset. I’m used to this sort of thing by now, you’d think I could let it roll off my back. As Americans, we’re like the abused dog who keeps coming back for more and probably thinks he did something to deserve it.
Pardoning Libby is just about the most harmless thing Bush has ever done in terms of taking the law into his own hands. It just says something. Demonstrates something about what Bush values. The laws are different for them. He IS the law, goddammit! Torture the brown people, set my friends free, disenfranchise voters, fire attorneys and replace them with obsequious automatons, gin up intelligence so I get to kill people, secretly rewrite the laws that congress passes. I AM THE LAW!
Back in 2000 when we were watching the election, it was like how bad can this doofus be? (And anyway, Gore is 10 points ahead.) At worst, he could ruin our country through inaction. But with the psychopaths he’s chosen to surround himself with, they have essentially rendered the constitution moot and created a monarchy. Their understanding of manipulating the press and the press’s unwillingness not to not ask questions - they ask questions - their unwillingness to call a spade a spade, has given this administration carte blanche. Even on Meet the Press, where Tim “Insider Extraordinaire” Russert pretends to ask the tough questions, when they lie to him, he won’t say lie. I’ve even heard Brian Williams specifically say that he won’t use the word “lie” because it’s not his place. It IS his place. If you water everything down by saying, “Bush critics say…” then everything sounds like an easily dismissed partisan attack. But it’s knowable and provable that they lied us into war and that torture was initiated from inside the White House to name merely two of his impeachable offenses. If you have a guy on TV who says that the sky is green, do you just get another guy who says the sky is blue and let them have at it? Or do you put a camera outside pointing at the sky and say, “The green sky guy is wrong, because look, there’s the sky and it’s blue.”
I don’t know why this one thing upsets me so much today, it’s just like I say, it’s indicative of a greater evil. An evil that surrounds us all and is growing; threatening to encompass and devour everything we hold dear. It must be stopped, but I don’t know how. People are too complacent. While the everyday folks are trying to figure out how to feed their families, Bush is standing behind us, twirling his mustache and stealing our souls. And most will never take the time to notice.
Anyway, I like Wonkette’s take on it:
Number of pardons Bush has granted:Happy Fourth of July, everybody! Enjoy the fireworks and go on living your life without remembering why the Founding Fathers decided to declare their independence on that day some 231 years ago - to rid themselves of a corrupt and tyrannical emperor who stole money from the people to amass great wealth for himself and his friends and who held himself above the rule of law.
113, less than any president in a century.
Number of pardons Bush has denied:
More than 1,000.
Number of commutation requests Bush has denied:
More than 4,000.
Commuting Cheney’s henchman’s prison sentence right after the bail appeal is denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals:
Fuck you, America!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Does that make me qualified to be president? Rudy “Thigh Highs” Giuliani seems to think so. Were you aware that he had a spot on the 10-member Iraq Study Group panel? Did you know that he was kicked off because he skipped all the meetings? Did you know that he skipped the meetings in order to make $1,000,000+ in speaking engagements? Well, it’s true.
As Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains, it’s positively bone-chilling to imagine that a man who would be president would skip out on the one chance to add a foreign policy line-item to his threadbare (as foreign policy goes) resume, in particular, a line-item as prestigious the Iraq Study Group. And to skip it for pure profit should by itself disqualify him from eligibility for office.
…it was widely assumed at the time that Baker-Hamilton would serve as Bush's vehicle for getting out of—or somehow otherwise resolving—Iraq. And Giuliani, like all other mainstream party members, was still very much in Bush's camp. To be a part of this 10-member panel—to claim the prestige of such august company, to play the role of politico-strategic statesman, and to gain instant credibility on a topic to which he'd previously had no exposure—should have been regarded as an enviable opportunity, both on its own terms and as a boost to his political fortune.But he protected us from dancing to music! Let’s not forget that…
But—given a chance to elevate his standing, serve the country, and get educated on the nation's most pressing issue—Rudy went for the money.
On the campaign trail he says that the terrorist threat "is something I understand better than anyone else running for president." As the mayor of New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, he may have lived more intimately with the consequences of terrorism, but this has no bearing on his inexperience or his scant insight in the realm of foreign policy. He is, in fact, that most dangerous would-be world leader: a man who doesn't seem to know how much he doesn't know.
Even in his own realm, Giuliani has displayed uneven judgment. After 9/11, he rallied the city with gallant eloquence and organized the recovery with impressive skill. But before the attack, he installed a high-tech counterterrorism office on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center's Building No. 7—even though terrorists had tried to blow up the trade center back in 1993. (On 9/11, Building 7 was destroyed by the Twin Towers' rubble.)
Giuliani also failed, ahead of time, to create a liaison between the police and fire departments, or to make their radios interoperable—a failure that may have cost many firefighters their lives. He also urged President Bush to hire his crony Bernard Kerik, first to train the Iraqi security forces, then to run the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Bush went along with the first, to no good effect, and was about to OK the second until the feds unearthed Kerik's massive record of corruption.
Where is the evidence that Giuliani's best behavior as mayor, before or after 9/11, says anything about his qualifications to be president?
His shrugged blow-off of Baker-Hamilton offers a glimpse at the darker side of America's Mayor: that he's in it not for the country, but for himself.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Here’s a revelation that we didn’t hear too much about before the 2004 election… Or ever. Remember how that idiot Michael Moore was asking all those questions in Fahrenheit 9/11, wondering why the U.S., when all flights were grounded following the attacks, allowed a charter flight to pick up all these Saudi diplomats and businessmen and whisk them out of the country? Remember when he was asking who cleared that flight and why didn’t we get to question anyone on the flights? After all, it was right after 9/11 and we were still kind of wondering what the fuck, you know? I think we just found out why Bush didn’t feel up to answering any questions about it.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released new documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) related to the “expeditious departure” of Saudi nationals, including members of the bin Laden family, from the United States following the 9/11 attacks. According to one of the formerly confidential documents, dated 9/21/2001,Wait for it…
terrorist Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of the Saudi flights.Oh yeah! That’s the Bush I know and love. That boy not only fucked up so bad as to not have seen 9/11 coming despite all the warnings. But when Osama sent a plane over to pick up his and Bush’s mutual friends, Bush was totally cool with it.
There’s incompetence, and there’s FUCKING INCOMPETENCE.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Look, I'm not coming around on Bloomberg or anything. He's still the guy who invited the Republican Convention to New York City so they could grotesquely capitalize on the deaths of 3,000 New Yorkers. He's still the asshole who locked down the City during said convention and denied New Yorkers their basic civil rights. He's still the prick who stroked the CEO of ConEd while the good people of Queens went without power for a week. Etc.
And even though it's probably a political move to position himself better for the White House, I love that he told the GOP to go Cheney themselves.
- President George W. Bush, upon hearing of the mob justice administered to a man who was sitting near someone who hurt a kid by accident.
AUSTIN, Texas -- A crowd attacked and killed a passenger in a vehicle that had struck and injured a child, police said Wednesday.You see? It’s not just the president who’s above the law, it’s everyone from Texas.
Police believe 2,000 to 3,000 people were in the area for a Juneteenth celebration when the attack occurred Tuesday night. The man who was killed had been trying to stop the group from attacking the vehicle's driver when the crowd turned on him, authorities said.
The Austin Police Department identified the victim as David Rivas Morales, 40. The child was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Everybody's making a big to do about the Pentagon's admission of research into a gay bomb - a bomb that would render our enemies harmless because they're too busy listening to Madonna, snorting crank and ass fucking. It's pretty funny, I admit. But I think it also provides a disturbing window into the thought process of right-wingers who fear the Gay Invasion.
If you read the article, you see that it wasn't a serious development project; they were also exploring a way to make the enemy have stinky breath, a bomb that makes you fart, and something that makes the bees sting you like crazy. So it was more like brainstorming than real research. However, those other ones, however stupid, actually have some logic behind them. I mean, it's awfully hard to blend in with the local population if you're bakin' brownies all day. But their idea to turn our enemies gay demonstrates how horribly they view homosexuality; and how low they rate gays on the scale of humanity. They thought about some of the worst things they could do to people, and gay showed up on the list. We could develop a bomb that kills people... OR we could make them gay!! *GASP*
Furthermore, they actually thought that a) you can just "turn" gay. That it's possible there is a level of turned on and horny that will make you attracted to the gender that you're not normally attracted to. And b) that once you're gay, you can't stop yourself from finding the nearest dick and shoving it in your mouth - even under the threat of death or capture by your enemy on the battlefield.
Is it any wonder that these people fear gays raising children or having the same civil rights as the rest of us? They have such a warped view of homosexuality... no... of anyone who sees the world differently from them, that they can't even try to imagine that other person's point of view. They can't envision that maybe it's possible to be gay and not want to find the nearest bath house with a glory hole. That it's possible for gays to go a day or two or a year without having sex. That homosexuals are basically the same as straight people, they just feel more comfortable being in a relationship with a person of the same sex. Be it heartwarming, loving, boring, arguing over the netflix, mopping the floor, sexless, full of mundane suburban monotony like any number of straight couples you know. They just cannot picture it. To them, the gays will always be sex-crazed, drug-fueled, disco-loving maniacs looking to shove their genitals in the face of any available human being.
The gay bomb is funny, sure. But it's fucking disgusting too.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
All you hear about these days is our visionary (and handsome) leader’s success after success (locally) in his Global War on Terror. Most recently, they foiled a “plot” to blow up JFK airport. And looking back, they stopped the carnage at Fort Dix; some whackjobs in a warehouse in Florida who had a, trust me, complete and absolutely foolproof “plan” to destroy the Sears Tower; and let’s not forget the definitely not harmless masterminds in the terrorist hotbed of Albany.
Whew! I mean, with all these very serious, completely realistic, and almost totally achieved terror plots being foiled, it’s a wonder we have enough FBI and CIA agents for it all!
Thing is, maybe we don’t. For example, last night on the subway, I heard two olive skinned men discussing how they wanted to get a space rocket with a giant fishhook on the end, shoot it up to the moon with a cable attached, and crank the moon down with a big winch until it crashes into Times Square!! Fuck! I mean, they totally have an idea and a plan! Save us, President Bush! SAVE US!!!!!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
A new museum dedicated to the fable of Creationism opened recently. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me when people are so stupid as to willfully disregard science in favor of a storybook, but I just can't help it. My favorite, and the most telling, line is this:
"I don't care how long it took to make the Grand Canyon," he tells me. "It's not how old it is that matters to me. What matters is being right with God. Darwin's theory has no God. It can't be right. I don't know if this story is truer than Darwin's theory, but I do know it's better."Makes sense to me. If you like a particular tale better than you like the facts, then ignore the icky, confusing, brain-requiring truth.
In that light, I present to you an incomplete list of must-be-truisms that feel better than reality.
- They hate us for our freedom.
- The insurgents are in their last throes.
- Ice cream causes weight loss.
- Torture works.
- The U.S. doesn’t torture people.
- Saudi Arabia is our ally.
- Size doesn’t matter.
- Jesus Christ is protecting me.
- George W. Bush cares about me more than he cares about his corporate masters.
- If I’m not doing anything illegal, I don’t need my civil liberties.
- God hates fags.
- No one can tell it’s a toupee.
- Owning a gun protects my family.
- They would never interfere with voting procedures.
- I’m sure it’s not cancer.
- 9/11 had nothing to do with our foreign policy.
- Anyone with “Reverend” as their title must be an honest, moral human being.
- She’s just stuck up.
- We have an all-volunteer army.
- We're safer now than before 9/11.
- Other people are causing global warming, not me.
- There’s probably no such thing as global warming anyway.
- Bush will never invade Iran after the shitstorm he created in Iraq.
- The cab driver knows what he’s doing.
Monday, May 21, 2007
"And I, frankly, view what's taking place in Washington today as pure political theater. And it is this kind of political theater that has caused the American people to lose confidence in how Washington operates.Because if anyone can spot and identify political theater, this is the guy.
"I stand by Al Gonzales, and I would hope that people would be more sober in how they address these important issues. And they ought to get the job done of passing legislation, as opposed to figuring how to be actors on the political theater stage."
Friday, May 18, 2007
This Comey thing is a real jawdropper, innit. It never ceases to amaze me that every time I get numb to the iron-fisted tyrannical rule of the Bush regime, another story will leak out putting their past transgressions to shame; doing things that would make any brutal despot green with envy.
This time, in case you’re unaware, it’s a tale told by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Ashcroft was the AG, but he was in the hospital recovering from serious surgery. Comey was placed temporarily in charge of the Justice Department. Bush was running his secret domestic wiretapping program, and Comey told the White House that the program was illegal and Justice would not sign off on it. So Bush’s Chief of Staff Andy Card and then head White House council, Alberto Gonzales jumped in the Batmobile and raced over to the hospital to try to trick the drugged-up and recuperating-in-the-fucking-intensive-care-unit John Ashcroft into overriding Comey’s decision. Someone tipped Comey off and he hustled over to the hospital basically to protect Ashcroft from being browbeaten into submission by Bush’s henchmen.
The super-freaky part of the story, to me, is that Ashcroft, even through his haze of ether basically told Card and Gonzales to suck his crank and get the hell out of there - Comey is in charge. I mean, you know you got some pretty fucked up shit when Ashcroft is the hero of the story.
Of course, no one is paying much attention to this, in the same way the “liberal” media hasn’t paid much attention to any of the steps towards fascism Bush has taken over the years. But when discussing why we should be paying attention, I like Dahlia Lithwick’s take in Slate yesterday - it’s not so much about the image of Bush dispatching his goons to go and hover over a dying man’s bed as much as it is about Bush’s complete and utter contempt for the constitution and the rule of law.
The psychodrama in Ashcroft's hospital room boils down to a rift between the people at Justice (Ashcroft, Comey, and Goldsmith) who believed even the president can cross a line into lawless behavior and those who simply don't. Glenn Greenwald contends that "the President consciously and deliberately violated the law and committed multiple felonies by eavesdropping on Americans." The Wall Street Journal insists that no law was broken because the surveillance program put the president above the law. Greenwald believes in an immutable legal architecture that binds even the president. The White House contends the president answers to nobody. There is no midpoint between these two arguments. The president is either above the law or he isn't.I wrote about this last month asking how much longer can this go on. That was well before I knew Bush had a team of pipe-hittin’ thugs at the ready to run off and twist arms as necessary. His own imperial guard from the inner sanctum. Furthermore, consider the fact that after John Ashcroft didn’t give Bush the leeway he needed to wipe his ass with our constitution, Bush fucking fired that no-dancin’ religious Bush-freak (Ashcroft) to replace him with someone more obsequious and cocksucking (Gonzales).
As it turns out, almost everyone who espoused the latter view has fled DoJ. The most underreported moment at Comey's hearing this week was not, as the Journal claims, the Comey-Specter colloquy, but Sen. Chuck Schumer's Freudian effort to swear Comey back into office when he was supposed to be administering an oath. As Ben Wittes puts it today, "the bad guys won."
But that's not quite right. The bad guys were winning for a while because they picked the teams, set the rules, sidelined the referees, and turned off all the lights in the stadium. Congress has some work to do. It needs to drill down on what this mystery eavesdropping program was (and which worse mystery eavesdropping program it replaced) and to get to the bottom of the Yoo memos and what else they've authorized. Let's call the Comey testimony the halftime show. With the refs in and the lights finally on, this might just prove to be an interesting game after all.
Think about that! He had to fire Ashcroft because Ashcroft wasn’t into Bush enough. Is there any wonder why Bush is lovin’ on Gonzales more than ever after Al’s massive brain fart on Capitol Hill? Loyalty literally above all else. Maybe that works in your banana republics and your military juntas, but it’s no way to run a successful democracy, or frankly any nation as large and as complicated as ours. And it shows, don’t it…
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Call me a monster if you like, but I’m full-on prepared to say good riddance to Jerry Falwell. Salon reminds us why:
In reference to 9/11: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"Well, we’re celebrating down here today. Too bad we didn’t get to see his face when he discovered either a) there is neither a god nor an afterlife, or b) God exists, and He’s pissed at how unchristian “Reverend” Falwell has been his whole life.
"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."
"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals."
“If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being”
“Textbooks are Soviet propaganda”
“The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews”
“[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”
See you in hell, Jerry!
(Find your own favorite Falwell quote here.)
Friday, May 11, 2007
Interesting item of note in Wonkette yesterday.
Hey guys, a bunch of breast-feeding women will be breast-feeding on the Cannon Terrace today. It’s a stunt for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s “Breastfeeding Promotion Act,” which would reward employers who provide a breast-feeding area with a suck on the federal teat.Aside from the fact that I just do not get who gets all bent out of shape by seeing a baby eating and that my completely uneducated opinion is that this act is probably a good thing, I only mention this because Representative Maloney happens to represent my district (big ups to my peeps in Astoria, muthafuckas!!), and because I wanted to brag that I had the pleasure of meeting her at a small luncheon a few weeks ago. She liked the salmon.
And you know for a congresswoman, she’s got a decent rack.
Deadspin hits it out of the park when they say the Yankees suck!
OK, OK… That’s not what it says. It says that God Bless America is a totally overly sentimental, terribly-written song and it is fucking annoying as hell that they still play it during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium.
That said, we kind of can't stand the song "God Bless America." Putting aside the church-vs.-state discussions, [Ed. - personally, I’d prefer not to put that aside] it's just a poorly written and constructed song, sugarly, stupidly sentimental, not Irving Berlin's happiest moment as a songwriter. (He even admitted this late in his life.) All told, "America The Beautiful" is a decidedly superior song. And we really can't stand how Yankee Stadium still plays the song every seventh inning stretch; the pomp reeks of "We Are More Patriotic Than You Are" self-congratulation.This in addition to the Yankees epitomizing exactly what’s wrong with baseball and the fact that they let you smoke at Shea but don’t at Yankee Stadium explains why I prefer the Mets and will never attend another game in the Bronx, even when my beloved Tigers come to town.
Oh, and also, you're not allowed to leave your seat while the song's on.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
- Detroit: Original Six team, founded in 1926, originally named the Detroit Cougars. They have won 10 Stanley Cups, second in the NHL only to the Montreal Canadiens.
- Anaheim: Founded in 1993 as a marketing arm of the Walt Disney Corporation. Originally going to be named The Little Mermaids 2 of Anaheim until that project fell through forcing Michael Eisner to settle on The Mighty Ducks. They have won zero Stanley Cups in their 14 years of existence.
- Detroit: Gordie Howe, Sid Abel, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Mickey Redmond, Nicklas Lidstrom, Dominik Hasek, Steve Yzerman - the longest serving captain of any team in NHL history. Scottie Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, won nine Stanley Cups in his famed career as a head coach. He retired after leading Detroit to its three most recent Stanley Cups, but still serves in an advisory capacity to the team.
- Anaheim: Kenan Thompson, Joshua Jackson. Emilio Estevez, head coach.
- Sergei Federov, an all-star center on the Red Wings, decided that he’d had too much winning after claiming his third Stanley Cup, moved to Anaheim and has since become a shell of his former self, never scoring more than 65 points in a season. He now plays defense on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Detroit: Nicknamed Hockeytown because of the long history of the Red Wings, the love and knowledge of, and devotion to the game by its residents and fans. Joe Louis Arena has sold out every game since 1996, and when on the road, Red Wings fans often outnumber the home team fans, selling out arenas wherever they go.
- Anaheim: A suburb among a maze of suburbs, there being no real city to be found, the Ducks are the sixth most popular team in Los Angeles behind the Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers, Angels, and Kings. There will no doubt be johnny-come-lately celebrity fans in attendance at the Ducks games, but only because the
Kobe BryantsLakers were eliminated from the postseason in embarrassing fashion.
- Detroit: Archetypal art deco structures such as the Fisher Building, the Penobscot Building, and the Fox Theater meet the future with the Renaissance Center and Comerica Tower. The Joe Louis Memorial. The Spirit of Detroit. Greektown.
- Anaheim: Disneyland.
- Detroit: A tradition in Hockeytown is to hurl an octopus onto the ice after a goal or victory. This tradition dates back to the Original Six days when it required only eight victories, represented by the eight legs of the octopus, to win the Stanley Cup. While it is technically against the rules to bring any dead animals into Joe Louis Arena, let alone tossing objects onto the playing surface, arena officials tend to look the other way.
- Anaheim: An Emilio Estevez movie. Didn’t we already go over this?
Let’s Go Wings!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
With an expected grandiose flourish (not that grandiose in the grand scheme, mind you), Bush vetoed the "emergency" supplemental war funding bill because it places a date that we're going to get out of that hellhole. Didn't see that coming...
But you know, it got me to thinking. It has become a standard construct to categorize people into one of two categories. For example, you can either be a Beatles person or an Elvis person. A person who listens or a person who waits to talk. PC or Mac. And all of us fit into one or the other. Well, something that's been weighing on me lately is the idea that when confronted with a physical attack, there are two types of people - one who wants to try to talk his way out of it and the person who hopes he possesses a bigger weapon than the attacker.
Frankly, each of these approaches can have its advantage. If a mugger comes at you with a knife, pulling out a gun is probably going to keep your wallet on you better than asking him to reconsider his actions. But maybe not. What if he's got a gun too and has a quicker draw? Or in other situations. What if you catch someone hitting on your girlfriend in a bar? Does it make more sense to whip out your gat or to drop some well-chosen words? What about a loud asshole in a movie theater? The problem with becoming accustomed to going for the kill each time brings to mind that other cliché - when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.
People are people, so differences in opinion on how to approach problems would be fine. Except for the fact that much of our country (and the world) is populated by people with less access to education and as such become defensive around people who are smarter than they are. They liked to pick on the "nerd" in grade school, and that mindset follows them throughout their entire adult lives. This is how we ended up with a halfwit simpleton for president - the people would rather have a beer with Bush than with the insightful scholar who makes them feel like a dum-dum.
This method of securing the White House (Vote for me, I'm as much of an incurious ignoramus as you!) leads to further problems when Bush tries to maintain his political popularity by using tactics that involve stoking the anti-intellectual fire that burns inside his supporters. Thus he takes scientifically untenable positions (there is no global warming, creationism) and beats the drum against the scientists saying, in so many words, "Who you gonna believe, a buncha eggheads, or your pal down the street who likes to clear brush and shoot guns like y'all?"
Which leads us back to our initial hypothesis. There are two types of people - people who want to talk their way out of problems, and those who want to fight. Bush is clearly a fighter. And hell, after 9/11, the Taliban needed to be fought. Everybody concedes by now that Iraq didn't warrant fighting, but that ship has sailed. Now the question is how to deal with it, and still Bush is holding that hammer looking for more things to hit with it, but there is nothing left to nail. Meanwhile, the only way he can attempt to maintain that tiny sliver of credibility among his most ardent supporters is to degrade the "talkers" by calling us "appeasers," "Chamberlains," "surrender-monkeys," etc. Wimps, sissies, losers, nerds!
And therein lies the basis for his little speech yesterday. If you support diplomacy, you're a nerd and a loser. If you'd rather talk than bomb, you're a pussy. If you want to pull out of Iraq instead of fighting to the death, you're a coward. The fact is - we're going to pull out. The "war" is already lost. The question is simply a matter of when we're going to decide to stop letting our brave young men and women be slaughtered by the dozens each week and start letting our words and brains, instead of our fists, do the talking.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Boy! It hardly seems like four years have passed since we won the war in Iraq. Wow. I mean, time sure flies when democracy is busy spreading across the Middle East.
On the other hand, when I think how long it’s been since I’ve seen the president’s junk,
I realize it has been a long time...