Democrat and Independent Thinker..."The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Nietzsche
Commenting on many things, including..."A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." - Keith Olbermann
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I was so disappointed in the movie about the Black Dahlia. It sucked. (Suck is my word of the day.) It was all atmospheric and relationship oriented. Gag me. I wanted the mystery. Plus, they just made most of that shit up. It wasn't in the book.
So, I'm curious about the "Zodiac" movie. If they bullshit it, I'll know. I've read the book twice. And the guy who wrote it thinks he knows who is was but I don't agree. He made some tremendous leaps. Wonder how they'll treat it? They should leave it as unsolved, because it is.
While I'm on movies, let me just say that we just had the most boring Oscars EVAH. As I don't see every single movie, I never feel qualified to decide who deserves the award so I just watch it for the fashions. I love fashion even though I usually look like a reject from the homeless shelter. Fashion has been sorta the family business, so it had to rub off on me. Especially since I went to work in the business when I was about 13 (with special permission). Thereafter, my work choices veered off wildly. But I still love me some fashion. And what did I see Sunday night? Beige. Rosy beige, white beige, greenish beige, beige beige. Maybe a little champagne beige. Omigod, I thought I would barf beige. The only women who did not dress in beige were beige women. Like whats-her-name, Mrs. Ex-Cruise, oh yeah, Nicole Kidman. Has her face been replaced with a plastic mask, ya think? And that voice! All squishy soft. Don't you know that she probably shrieks like a crazed harridan in reality? So phony, I want to slap that botox right outta her mask. And the hair! Geezalouisa, was there a line out of Haircrafters or did they just hack at their own heads? And the long haired women had hair that was so in need of a trim that it just devolved into wisps of dead ends at the bottom. Eeeewwwww!
Guys suck. All of them. Not worth watching. Don't like 'em. The few that can sing a lick are repulsive to look at. Yuck.
ALL of the white girls suck. Give it up. Go home. You suck.
The only one who can give Lakisha any competition is the backup singer girl, don't know her name.
The absolute worst one is that girl with the porno pics on the 'tubes. She totally sucks. But I don't mean in the pics, 'cuz I don't think that's really her.
Can we just vote all of them off now and get right to Lakisha and the backup girl? Otherwise, just a big waste of time.
And what is with all these sappy dedications? Yaaaaawwwnnn. Who cares? Booorrriiinnng.
However, in matters of corruption, I think it is the perogative, indeed the imperative, of all media to shine the light on the actions of elected representatives across the board. Ultimately, of course, it will be in the hands of the voters in the representatives constituency who make the decision as to whether they remain in office, absent any actual criminal wrongdoing and subsequent arrest and prosecution.
It is the role of media, both the MSM and the internet bloggers, to hold elected representatives up to the full light of day. Regardless of party affiliation. DownWithTyranny! has done just with this excellent post on Steny Hoyer.
I have never liked the guy. I think he's slimy in manner and demeanor. I was not happy when he took Majority Leader, but I had no information as to his possible corruption. Now I do. Thanks, Howie Klein. I don't agree with you on a number of things, but I do appreciate this information and this type of reporting. Good going.
If the man wanted to keep ninety thousand bucks in his 'fridge, he has every right to do so. That is not a crime. Personally, I don't even think its suspicious.
He's an older man from the south. An eccentricity like that is nothing unusual in the south. My mother, considerably older for sure, still has a healthy, I think, distrust of banks in general. I think it stems from the Great Depression. (She also hoards food like you would not believe!) Add that to an even greater distrust of banks amongst older black people in general, and the fact that he is from Louisianna where death and destruction (without much help from government) lingers around every corner, and I'd probably be keeping a hoard of cash somewhere handy if I were him.
Not that he might be guilty as hell. But, until proven so, I think he should be allowed to serve on any committee where he could do so relatively harmlessly should he be on the take.
If Rep. Jim Clyburn of my home state stands by him, so would I.
For Republicans to hoot and point fingers takes a hell of a lot of gall on their part. Not that that is anything unusual.
Olbermann: Secretary Rice’s comparison of Saddam to Hitler is not accurate
Updated: 11:14 a.m. ET Feb 27, 2007
On "Fox News Sunday" Feb. 25, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paralleled World War II with the state of Iraq when discussing what would happen if Congress were to revise the Iraq authorization:
We already know about her suggestion that the president could just ignore whatever congressional Democrats do about Iraq.
Just ignore Congress.
We know how that game always turns out. Ask President Nixon. Ask President Andrew Johnson.
Or ask Vice President Dick Cheney, who utterly contradicted Secretary Rice on Monday when he warned President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan about what those mean congressional Democrats could do to his foreign aid.
All of this, par for the course.
But about what the secretary said regarding the prospect of Congress’ revising or repealing the 2002 authorization of the war in Iraq:
Here we go again! From springs spent trying to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11, to summers of cynically manipulated intelligence, through autumns of false patriotism, to winters of war, we have had more than four years of every cheap trick and every degree of calculated cynicism from this administration, filled with Three-Card Monte players.
But the longer Dr. Rice and these other pickpockets of a nation's goodness have walked among us, waving flags and slandering opponents and making true enemies — foreign and domestic — all hat and no cattle all the while, the overriding truth of their occupancy of our highest offices of state has only gradually become clear.
As they asked in that Avis commercial: "Ever get the feeling some people just stopped trying?"
Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld thought he could equate those who doubted him with Nazi appeasers, without reminding anybody that the actual, historical Nazi appeasers in this country in the 1930s were the Republicans.
Vice President Cheney thought he could talk as if he and he alone knew the “truth” about Iraq and 9/11, without anyone ever noticing that even the rest of the administration officially disagreed with him.
The president really acted as if you could scare all of the people all of the time and not lose your soul — and your majority — as a result.
But Secretary of State Rice may have now taken the cake. On the Sunday morning interview show “Of Broken Record” on Fox, Dr. Rice spoke a paragraph, which if it had been included in a remedial history paper at the weakest high school in the nation would've gotten the writer an "F" — maybe an expulsion.
If Congress were now to revise the Iraq authorization, she said, out loud, with an adult present: "… it would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change, then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown."
The secretary's résumé reads that she has a master’s degree and a Ph.D in political science. The interviewer should have demanded to see them, on the spot. Dr. Rice spoke 42 words. She may have made more mistakes in them than did the president in his State of the Union Address in 2003.
There is, obviously, no mistaking Saddam Hussein for a human being. But nor is there any mistaking him for Adolf Hitler.
Invoking the German dictator who subjugated Europe; who tried to exterminate the Jews; who sought to overtake the world is not just in the poorest of taste, but in its hyperbole, it insults not merely the victims of the Third Reich, but those in this country who fought it and defeated it.
Saddam Hussein was not Adolf Hitler. And George W. Bush is not Franklin D. Roosevelt — nor Dwight D. Eisenhower. He isn't even George H.W. Bush, who fought in that war.
However, even through the clouds of deliberately spread fear, and even under the weight of a thousand exaggerations of the five years past, one can just barely make out how a battle against international terrorism in 2007 could be compared — by some — to the Second World War.
The analogy is weak, and it instantly begs the question of why those of "The Greatest Generation" focused on Hitler and Hirohito, but our leaders seem to have ignored their vague parallels of today to instead concentrate on the Mussolinis of modern terrorism.
But in some, small, "You didn't fail, Junior, but you may need to go to summer school" kind of way, you can just make out that comparison.
But, Secretary Rice, overthrowing Saddam Hussein was akin to overthrowing Adolf Hitler? Are you kidding? Did you want to provoke the world's laughter?
And, please, Madame Secretary, if you are going to make that most implausible, subjective, dubious, ridiculous comparison; if you want to be as far off the mark about the Second World War as, say, the pathetic Holocaust-denier from Iran, Ahmadinejad — at least get the easily verifiable facts right: the facts whose home through history lies in your own department.
"The resolution that allowed the United States to" overthrow Hitler?
On the 11th of December, 1941, at 8 o'clock in the morning, two of Hitler's diplomats walked up to the State Department — your office, Secretary Rice -- and 90 minutes later they were handing a declaration of war to the chief of the department's European Division. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor four days earlier, and the Germans simply piled on.
Your predecessors, Dr. Rice, didn't spend a year making up phony evidence and mistaking German balloon-inflating trucks for mobile germ warfare labs. They didn't pretend the world was ending because a tin-pot tyrant couldn't hand over the chemical weapons it turned out he'd destroyed a decade earlier. The Germans walked up to the front door of our State Department and said, "We're at war." It was in all the papers.
And when that war ended, more than three horrible years later, our troops and the Russians were in Berlin. And we stayed, as an occupying force, well into the 1950s. As an occupying force, Madam Secretary!
If you want to compare what we did to Hitler and in Germany to what we did to Saddam and in Iraq, I'm afraid you're going to have to buy the whole analogy. We were an occupying force in Germany, Dr. Rice, and by your logic, we're now an occupying force in Iraq. And if that's the way you see it, you damn well better come out and tell the American people so. Save your breath telling it to the Iraqis — most of them already buy that part of the comparison.
“It would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown."
We already have a subjectively false comparison between Hitler and Saddam. We already have a historically false comparison between Germany and Iraq. We already have blissful ignorance by our secretary of state about how this country got into the war against Hitler. But then there's this part about changing "the resolution" about Iraq; that it would be as ridiculous in the secretary's eyes as saying that after Hitler was defeated, we needed to go back to Congress to "deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown."
Oh, good grief, Secretary Rice, that's exactly what we did do! We went back to Congress to deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after Hitler was overthrown! It was called the Marshall Plan.
Gen. George Catlett Marshall!
Secretary of state!
The job you have now!
Twelve billion, 400 thousand dollars to stabilize all of Europe economically — to keep the next enemies of freedom, the Russians, out and democracy in! And how do you suppose that happened? The president of the United States went back to Congress and asked it for a new authorization and for the money. And do you have any idea, Madame Secretary, who opposed him when he did that? The Republicans!
"We've spent enough money in Europe," said Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio.
"We've spent enough of our resources," said former President Hoover.
It's time to pull out of there! As they stand up, we'll stand down!
This administration has long thought otherwise, but you can't cherry-pick life — whether life in 2007, or life in the history page marked 1945. You can't keep the facts that fit your prejudices and throw out the ones that destroy your theories. And if you're going to try to do that; if you still want to fool some people into thinking that Saddam was Hitler, and once we gave FDR that blank check in Germany he was no longer subject to the laws of Congress or gravity or physics, at least stop humiliating us.
Get your facts straight. Use the Google!
You've been on Fox News Sunday, Secretary Rice. The Fox network has got another show premiering Tuesday night. You could go on that one, too. It might be a better fit. It's called "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?"
© 2007 MSNBC Interactive
© 2007 MSNBC.com
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The uproar in response to the attacks I just found pointless. It was akin to castigating wild tigers for their propensity for eating meat, and insulting every feline, including your own personal lap cats, while you're at it. Sure, shoot the tiger attacking you but don't set yourself up (and possibly your party) to get clawed bloody by Fluffy and Sweet'ums when they were just minding their own business.
In other words, I don't understand why there seems to have been such an effort by atheists (still ongoing in some arena's) to alienate Democrats of religious persuasion while fighting back against the Republican religious extremists.
For one thing, and a point that is wholly overlooked by many, is that African-American Democrats by far and large are of religious persuasion. Their voices are out there on the blogosphere clamoring to be heard, but they, like many, many others are locked out of the discussion, especially on the "big box" bloggers who are overwhelmingly white, and for the very most part, male. The white males are prevailing again, this time in the Democratic blogtopia. (I would say the "left" but I'm sick and tired of that bullshit, too. If you support Democratic candidates, you're Democratic whether left, left-center, center or swinging from the ceiling.)
Jack and Jill Politics, Skeptical Brotha, Angry Black Bitch, Oliver Willis, and Francis Holland are a few of the voices that deserve to be heard. Not that I would even attempt to determine their religious persuasions or lack therof, and not that they may care a whit for me, especially since I'm a southerner. And especially since I'm a southerner who believes the south is getting a lot of bad raps unjustifiably, since I think it has progressed far more than most of the rest of the country.
To expound a bit on race in the south for a moment, all I know is I've never heard the "n" word used so often and so casually as I have heard up north, literally turning my stomach, and never have I been so embarrassed as when shopping out west when a black person entered shops I was in, watching clerks literally falling over themselves to watch their every move. I always walked out in disgust. I've never seen either in TN, NC, SC, TX or GA where I've either lived or spent a lot of time, though that's not saying that bad, unjustified things never happen to African-Americans in the south, they most certainly do, but I do think great strides have been made by both whites and blacks in the south and I think its evident in that many African Americans are moving back to the south. They wouldn't be doing that if they were feeling mass hatred from southern whites.
It is simply true that demographically, the south has a lot more African Americans and since they almost invariably vote Democratic, the Democratic party is practically disenfranchising them by writing off the south and that pisses me off no end. I've even seen discussions about whether SC is "worthy" of having an early primary, as though we could be more unworthy than any other single state of the Union. Hell, yes, we've got some crazy damn politicians here, for sure, and on both sides and of both races. So do other states. We have political operative who take money to support certain candidates. So do other states. We are just under the microscope because we are SC. And most of our crazies are Republicans. We are talking about the Democratic primary.
I have no problem with bloggers who are atheists. They have every right to be themselves and express themselves. I just think they need to realize that they are a very small percentage of the Democratic voting bloc and just because atheism is echoing around in the company they most often keep, atheism is not going to win any elections.
As I noted earlier, my belief system is based on buddhism, taoism, Judaism, spiritualism, Christianity, and a large degree of quantum physics, to which I should probably add a big dollop of Baruch Spinoza, humanism, druidism, wicca, and "God" knows what else. But just because I basically believe that "God" consists of everything in existence, up to and including the space between the smallest units of matter in the universe doesn't mean that I am wise beyond all others and therefore qualified to look down my nose at those who have a more conventional belief system.
It's a turnoff. If its a turnoff for me who half expects every church of an established religion to erupt in flames should I pass by it within a mile of it, then I can safely predict that this wallowing in atheism sublime is turning off a whole hell of a lot of religious people, even devoted Democrats and, perhaps more importantly, religious independent voters.
We don't need it. It defeats the purpose of electing those who will most likely promote the wide-ranging interests of the Democratic party.
So, if you will, please cut it out.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
What especially galls me is the less than holy level holier than thou blandishments and those blandished counter with pointing out the less than holy level holier than thou-ness of the blandishers while ignoring that they are doing so in an holier than thou manner themselves.
As the Buddha said, "Be ye a light unto thyself" and as Jesus said, something along the lines of don't point out the speck in your neighbors eye while ignoring the boulder in your own.
I become overcome with the patent ridiculousness and absurdity of it all.
Friday, February 23, 2007
"He stood up to the Yankees. He proved to Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and the rest that he felt their pain: tribally, he was one of them"
I mean, huh? I was 23 at the time and I don't recall anyone down here thinking a damn thing about where Reagan announced nor that he was any less of a Yankee than anyone else not born here. Reagan barely squeeked by in the South in the election and lost Georgia. SC-49.57-48.04, TN-48.70-48.41, AL-48.75-47.45, MS-49.42-48.09, NC-49.30-47.18 with Anderson-2.85.
Comparable to Massachusetts at 41.90-41.75, except that 15.15 went to Anderson.
Who the fuck lost this election to the Republicans here and why is the South always blamed? More so, why is the South always blamed BECAUSE the South is RACIST?
Give me a freakin' break, people. Compare to NH-57.74-28.35, PA-49.59-42.48, OH 51.51-40.91.
How about UT 72.77-20.57? Was that because they are RACISTS? NV-62.54-26.89. RACISTS all, huh?
I have lived all over this country and I am telling you people that the least racist people in this nation are southerners, and I don't give a flying fuck what you think if you think otherwise, because if you think otherwise then you are a fucking ignorant bigot against southerners, be they republican or democrat. There is a much higher per capita percentage of bigots in the west and the north than in the south, goddammit. We have a much higher number of African Americans who we interact with daily, whereas most westerners and northerners are terrified of black people on sight.
Reagan won in the south for the same damned reasons he won in the rest of the entire nation. Last time I checked, we were still part of this nation, regardless of whether any of us still prefer state sovereignity to a rapacious and imperial federal government now headed by a crazed demigod.
I am so tired of this boring, ignorant bullshit.
Anna Nicole Smith
I have an idea. Why not lay the poor dead corpse out on a slab in a public venue suited for live television feed 24/7, perhaps the Hollywood Bowl or some such? Then the media could broadcast round the clock coverage of vultures picking the flesh off of the bones for the entertainment and amusement of those who choose to expend whatever few brain cells they may have on the decomposition of this particular corpse. Once the bones are picked clean, then they could be parceled out amongst those fighting over them, perhaps by drawing lots for the left femur, right bottom rib, etc. and then we could hold a state funeral for each bone. That should guarantee a ratings bonanza for at least a few more months.
The John Edwards Blogger Brohaha
While I admire anyone who has the courage to speak out about their other than mainstream religious convictions, their other than mainstream anti-religion convictions, or their other than mainstream lack of religious convictions whatsoever, I find the rush of many to define or delineate their said convictions hilarious and somewhat surreal in the aftermath. Hells bells, my convictions incorporate buddhism, taoism, Judaism, spiritualism, Christianity, and a large degree of quantum physics but I'm sure as shit not about to try to explain them on my blog when I cannot even explain them to my closest and most cherished loved ones.
So, I couldn't give a rat's ass.
However, the so-called reality based community might attempt to come to grips with the fact that, in reality, the vast majority of people in the world to the extreme do hold a religious conviction of some type. If you do not, then you are probably in a minority of something like 10%, if that, of the world population. Therefore, if you attack or criticize religion in general or any religion in particular, you should have prepared yourself for a massive backlash from those who are religious or who do profess whatever specific religion in question. The form of the backlash and the intelligence or representative or non-representative "godliness" of those defending their beliefs is irrelevant. You have no chance in this fight. You will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Do what you feel you must, but don't be so naive as to assume that you will win this fight.
What do you think? That a small group of non-religious liberal bloggers are going to successfully abolish religion or even its influence when the first piece of rendered art in the history of mankind was a goddess figurine? Get real. Grow up. Learn your history. At least, try to get a grip on the nature of your own species.
The best that could be achieved in any attempt to address the role of religion in society is to put the pursuit of reason "in the air" as did Voltaire, Rousseau and a few slightly lesser minds (or reintroduce it, or keep it afloat). Unless you equate your intellect in the same stratosphere, and can manage to do the same as they without attacking the "church(es)" and/or particular religious faiths and rather direct your attentions to the clergy and, possibly, the liturgy, as did they, then you might want to take another tack in achieving your aims.
If you disagree with, for an example, the Catholic Church's position on birth control, then you are free in this society to do any number of things to help promote birth control. It is not necessary, nor demonstrably helpful to include attacking the Catholic Church itself while promoting birth control.
If your position is that religious viewpoints play too large a part in society and thereby in influencing government, then your argument that your religion-free or atheistic viewpoints should be playing a larger part is invalid on the face of the argument. Neither should be of influence, in a perfect world, but that utopia doesn't exist nor likely ever will. Because we live in a republic with representative democracy, people are the representatives and people have their own religious or non-religious viewpoints. Even our Founding Fathers, children of the Age of Reason, were Deists, as was Voltaire. All you can do that is worthwhile is work to elect representatives that are most likely to support the causes you believe to be important, regardless of the religious beliefs or lack thereof of those candidates. One can only hope that they will exercise reason in their representation of their constituents, but there is no guarantee and there never was a time when religious beliefs had no influence on those in governance over this land.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, left, right, suspended from the ceiling, needs to read the first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
"Separation" of church and state means that Congress will not legislate to establish a religion or prohibit people from freely exercising their religion. This means that no religion will be established as the state religion, nor will the state interfere with the practice of any religious beliefs by any people. No where does it say that religious people cannot participate in government, be elected to office, use their religious beliefs to guide them in the exercise of their office once elected. But, then, it doesn't say you have to be religious to participate in government, be elected to office, etc., either. That is just the way it is, folks. You don't have to like it either way, but you all do have to deal with it. If someone or a group of someones elected to office manage to get something into law that you don't like, use the rest of the amendment to get it abolished. What's your freakin' complaint?
If you have published writings in the public sphere on religion or any other topic which could damage that candidate you have chosen to support should you go to work for them in the public arena, you really shouldn't. That would be contrary to your objectives, now wouldn't it? Does that really take a great leap of imagination or intellect to work out?
Yes, you absolutely have the right to fully express your mind in free speech and I, for one, would defend to the death anyone's right to do so still. But, every action has consequences, and you should keep those consequences to yourself.
I admire Melissa and Amanda and their courage to speak their minds and their diligence and devotion to their blogging and subsequent climb up the blogosphere ladder, so to speak. I wasn't aware of every single thing they had ever written, but they surely were and I had assumed that if there had been anything which could have been potentially damaging to John Edwards they would have made sure that the candidate was fully aware and in full support of their viewpoints. Obviously, I was wrong. As were they since this apparently did not take place. That's rough. Too bad, really. Especially since this entire episode has apparently turned some bloggers against Edwards when he did nothing wrong, even supporting them and their right to express themselves long after they should have resigned. That earned him even more of my respect, but some in the blogosphere seem to blame him and give all their respect to the unfortunate bloggers themselves. To me, that exhibits both logical fallacy and a blindness to their own interests. At this point, I fully support and endorse Edwards. I also fully support the two bloggers since they did finally do the right thing, and will continue to read them and cheer them on.
Now, in general, all this Christofascist shit and "I'm an atheist so I don't want any people of religion to impose their beliefs on me by being an influence on government" crap is incredibly infantile and really must stop if the Democratic Party has a chance in hell to succeed in winning and maintaining their hold on two of the three branches of government. The vast majority of Democrats (like the vast majority of nearly every group of people other than a group of atheists) are people of some type of religious faith, and, in this country, that means mostly some version of Christian.
All Christians are individuals. Not only do their beliefs and values vary wildly from denomination to denomination, but their individual beliefs and values vary wildly from one person to another person. Assuming that all Southern Baptists are anti-choice or even whether they consider themselves "evangelicals" as evangelicals are currently defined in mainstream thought is W-R-O-N-G and to do so simply displays your own ignorance, prejudices and bigotry. To assume that all Catholics are anti-contraception is both historically and obviously W-R-O-N-G, and, likewise, doing so makes you a bigot. If you are so concerned about gay people or other minority groups being discriminated against and yet you bunch a rather undefined group of people together and call them Christofacists, what, exactly, does that make you? Other than a hypocrite. Which is, ironically, what you are attempting to paint this ill-defined group of people as with your broad brushstrokes.
In a way, it's like saying I'm not Irish, but I have no problem with Irish people, but I think all O'Connells and O'Malleys are fucking fascists. While standing in the center of Boston.
Grow a fucking brain and sense of yourself. And try to remember, especially to those bloggers who have massive followings and huge groups of commenters, that a really huge percentage of your spawn are 12, have the mental capacity of 12 year olds, or have been living in mom's basement for the 12 years since they graduated vocational school. So, just because you get agreed with a whole bunch, or hero worshipped, you're just another person with a blog and having your coined word or phrase or halfway reasoned thought passed around your echo chamber doesn't make you any less of a bigot, or an idiot, for that matter, so try to be a positive influence at the very least. Encouraging hate, or even hate speech against those of religious persuasion by proclaiming yourself a ever-enobled atheist to your followers may be candid and all, but what good are you doing and what makes you different than evangelicals except that you are preaching atheism while they are preaching some form of deism. Who died and made any of you right?
And, yes, liberals in general who are also atheists are also a very small minority of liberals. Face it. Deal with it. Learn to get along. My advice would be to keep your mouths shut as to your own personal belief system or lack thereof and target your rebuttals or attacks based on the issues, not the religion of those you rebut or attack, regardless of whether or not you surmise it to be the basis for their objection to or advocacy of the issue.
In a civil society, you respect your opponent and their right to their own views and right to express themselves with free speech. If they lie, exercise your free speech and you say they lie and you speak the truth. When you say they lie because they are Christofascists and all Christofascists are liars, as a vague example, not only are you engaging in ad hominem idiocy, you are achieving not one wit of anything other than to lower yourself to their level. The truth will out and the truth will win, every time. If you speak it clearly enough, loudly enough and often enough.
At some level, I think the crux of the matter is that organized religion has a leg up on independent citizen commentators and/or philosophers (should there be any - I haven't come across any who would meet that level of discourse in the "top" tier of bloggers yet). It has a leg up because it is organized. Big groups of religious people gather in churches and in some of those churches, mainly very large mega-churches, the clergy speaks in more political tones than religious ones. This gets the back up of some who disagree with the clergy. Some even believe that such churches should register as PAC's or some such.
This is nonsense. You, or I, may go out on any street corner and stand on a box and espouse our political viewpoints and even urge any who gather to listen to us to give money to candidates we support. There is no reason why any preacher should be judged to be any different. Those gathering to hear whatever blather he chooses to speak do so willingly. That simply is their right.
If you don't like it, rent a hall, advertise and give your own speeches to your own crowds. It's what has been done throughout American history. Get off your asses, get out in the real world, and get organized. And quit yer whining. Even if you stay on your fat ass in the intertubes, you can still preach politics from your own laptop to probably more than attend any mega-church. You're just not likely to start a real time, real life movement involving real bodies marching in real streets and getting real media coverage.
Personally, I think all this blather about an internet "movement" is patently ridiculous. The sheer thin-skinness of those who are the most ardent of proponents is comical. You want a "movement" and yet get all up in arms and bloviated when the least bit of criticism is leveled, just typing your little fingers to the bone in your own defense and it is asinine. If you believe in any political philosophy or social change strong enough to call it, or try to make it a "movement", then you'd best be prepared to have your character assassinated, your wealth confiscated, your friends and families and your supporters persecuted and be willing to be hanged, beheaded, shot by firing squad or burned on the stake. Then you will have the right to sponsor a "movement".
Speaking of "movements
It is appalling that the so-called "netroots" are again revving up their juices and gathering up their oh-so-mighty forces again for another exercise in self-defeating cannabalism, this time against a Democrat named Tauscher. It's pathetic. Pitiful, really. Omigod, this Democrat apparently doesn't vote exactly like the "netroots" would like her to vote! So, let's ignore all the Republicans who have been elected who vote AGAINST EVERYTHING the "netroots" support and eviscerate one of our own just, well, heck, just because maybe we can, y'know? This dude we think is real cool on the internet said so, so let's. Why expend our energy getting one less Republican in office when we can get one less ideally perfect (in the "netroots" all but humble opinion) Democrat in office? It worked so well with Lieberman, after all. Dint it? It dint? Who says so? That's not what some guy on the internet said! And, if you don't agree with us, well, we'll show you. We'll make fun of you. Yeah, that'll show you.
It's kindergarten recess time play rules. Unfortunately, its being waged in the real grown up world of the political life of the United States of America.
Worse. It's the last sad, streets running rivers of blood days of the French Revolution when you needn't be a member of the aristocracy or an enemy of the Republic, you just had to be not quite as bloodthirsty, reactionary revolutionary as the knitting women of the marketplace to have your head placed squarely in the guillotine.
Obama vs. Clinton
Who gives a flying fucking shit? The election is two years away. The primaries are a year away. Who the fuck is going to remember any of this in two months? They are the "leaders" in the race only in the vapid, vast wasteland of the mind of the mass media. Give me a couple of primaries in the recent past and I'll tell you what makes a gnat's ass worth of difference.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Jeebus! They are TRYING TO BE COOL! It is freakin' hilarious!! That is, if you can catch a breath to laugh at them between having your breath taken away by their sexist, anti-gay, anti-hispanic, anti everyone but so super cool giggling white asswipes.
Oh, now they are giggling and being bashful about saying the word "vagina" but just said about date rape, hey, everyone knows who's been to a frat party that girls get drunk and bad things happen... with a shrug of the shoulders.
And that the planet is 4500 years old.
It's vile, disgusting, really quite beyond words. But, Ace just loves it, doncha know. Wouldn't ya know.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
In the 1940's, a farm magazine had a contest for a 100 word analysis of a photo of a deserted farmhouse in a badly gullied feild. This was 1st prize:
Picture show white man crazy. Cut down trees, make big teepee. Plough hill. Water mash. Wind blow soil. Grass gone. Door gone. Whole place gone. Money gone. Papoose gone. Squaw too. No chuckaway. No pigs. No cow. No plough. No hay. No pony. Indian no plough land. Keep grass. Buffalo eat grass. Indian eat buffalo. Hides make teepee. Make moccasin. Indian no make terrace. No make dam. All time eat. No hunt job. No hitch hike. No ask relief. No shoot pig. Great spirit make grass. Indian no waste anything. Indian no work. White man crazy.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study
Feb. 2, 2007, The Guardian
Scientists and economists were offered $10,000 each by the American Enterprise Institute, funded by ExxonMobil, to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Read the memo
PRESS STATEMENT: ExxonMobil Double-Crossing America on Global Warming, Groups say
Profits announced amid release of world climate report
Feb. 1, 2007, Exxpose Exxon
ExxonMobil reports 2006 profits today of $39.5 billion after reiterating intention to continue lobbying against solutions to global warming. Read more
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Exposing ExxonMobil
Jan. 28, 2007, The Huffington Post
In a quarter-page advertorial in Thursday's New York Times, ExxonMobil launched a new greenwashing campaign to salvage its earned reputation as Earth's number one global warming villain. Read more
Thursday, February 01, 2007
There's a hard breeze blowing that could send me over the edge soon, generated by Shakespeare's Sister and Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte, two female bloggers I much admire. Both have joined the Edwards campaign. You can check out the campaign blog here, it's pretty awesome.
Dems get little to no media coverage in the Republican controlled press in Greenville, so I am very happy to have a place to go to find out what, exactly, our state Dems are trying to do and why.
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Published: 31 January 2007
There are growing suspicions in Iraq that the official story of the battle outside Najaf between a messianic Iraqi cult and the Iraqi security forces supported by the US, in which 263 people were killed and 210 wounded, is a fabrication. The heavy casualties may be evidence of an unpremeditated massacre.
A picture is beginning to emerge of a clash between an Iraqi Shia tribe on a pilgrimage to Najaf and an Iraqi army checkpoint that led the US to intervene with devastating effect. The involvement of Ahmed al-Hassani (also known as Abu Kamar), who believed himself to be the coming Mahdi, or Messiah, appears to have been accidental.
The story emerging on independent Iraqi websites and in Arabic newspapers is entirely different from the government's account of the battle with the so-called "Soldiers of Heaven", planning a raid on Najaf to kill Shia religious leaders.
The cult denied it was involved in the fighting, saying it was a peaceful movement. The incident reportedly began when a procession of 200 pilgrims was on its way, on foot, to celebrate Ashura in Najaf. They came from the Hawatim tribe, which lives between Najaf and Diwaniyah to the south, and arrived in the Zarga area, one mile from Najaf at about 6am on Sunday. Heading the procession was the chief of the tribe, Hajj Sa'ad Sa'ad Nayif al-Hatemi, and his wife driving in their 1982 Super Toyota sedan because they could not walk. When they reached an Iraqi army checkpoint it opened fire, killing Mr Hatemi, his wife and his driver, Jabar Ridha al-Hatemi. The tribe, fully armed because they were travelling at night, then assaulted the checkpoint to avenge their fallen chief.
Members of another tribe called Khaza'il living in Zarga tried to stop the fighting but they themselves came under fire. Meanwhile, the soldiers and police at the checkpoint called up their commanders saying they were under attack from al-Qai'da with advanced weapons.
Reinforcements poured into the area and surrounded the Hawatim tribe in the nearby orchards. The tribesmen tried - in vain - to get their attackers to cease fire.
American helicopters then arrived and dropped leaflets saying: "To the terrorists, surrender before we bomb the area." The tribesmen went on firing and a US helicopter was hit and crashed killing two crewmen. The tribesmen say they do not know if they hit it or if it was brought down by friendly fire. The US aircraft launched an intense aerial bombardment in which 120 tribesmen and local residents were killed by 4am on Monday.
But, I simply cannot resist:
New York, NY - Smart
Los Angeles, California - Smart
Chicago, Illinois - Smart
Atlanta, Georgia - Smart
Seattle, Washington - Smart
Portland, Oregon - Smart
Austin, Texas - Smart
San Francisco, California - Smart
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Smart
Boston Massachusetts - VERY, VERY STUPID!
Photodude could not be more right as to the apology Time Warner should have issued:
“We’re sorry this country has reached the point where every odd smell in downtown Manhattan, every prank by some obvious web goober, every unruly woman on an airplane, or every jokester college student playing with dry ice ... is immediately construed as a terroristic act.”
POSTED: 4:59 p.m. EST, January 11, 2007
(CREATORS) -- The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that WE simply cannot let it continue.
It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost. Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military. "You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically," he said.
His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops.
Bush's call for a "surge" or "escalation" also goes against the Iraq Study Group. Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications.
About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: "The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own -- impose its rule throughout the country. ... By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed." But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.
A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country -- we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.
Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.
Anyone who wants to talk knowledgably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone." It's like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?
As The Washington Post's review notes, Chandrasekaran's book "methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq's fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis."
We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on January 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"