Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Which got me to thinking...
What one event is an absolute, no-question, must-do every year? For me, I'd have to say that, while Indy is close, as is Movies in the Park,, the one thing I've done every year, and plan to as long as I'm in Chicago, has to be Northalsted Street Market Days. It's silly, trashy, and always the same big boring drunkfest, but I can't seem to stay away.
(This doesn't count my yearly trek to a different state for New Year's, which is really just a sickness more than anything else.)
So ... what's yours? Don't be shy! Share!
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
We will prevent al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban – a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends.
I think the only way to accomplish that at this point in Iraq is to invade and remove their sovereign government from power, don't you?
P.S. When did it become okay again to use the word "comrade," as in "our Iraqi comrades"? Isn't that a word better reserved for military dictators? Oh, wait.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
KENNEDY ON WOLF
On Wolf Blitzer’s show today Sen. Ted Kennedy said that the focus must stay on al-Qaeda.
There is only on place in the world where al-Qaeda is killing people virtually every day.
That place is Iraq -- from which, Kennedy would like to retreat.
Yeah, Kennedy's a stupid idiot for not wanting to stay the course in a situation in which more terrorist attacks occur on a daily basis than perhaps ever before in human history.
Does he realize how stupid he sounds? I mean, let's face it. The number of terrorists in Iraq is increasing at a faster rate than we're killing them (and they're killing themselves). At what point does this become an untenable situation? We have HELPED "AL QAEDA" GROW IN POWER OVER THE PAST 2+ YEARS! Got that? Our actions have helped INCREASE TERRORISM in the world!!!! And it's not like we haven't tried different tactics. We've evacuated and bombed entire cities. We've tried torture. We've tried elections. We've tried talking to them (so much for not negotiating with terrorists). We've established curfews, checkpoints everywhere, media control... and yet the terrorists are still at it, unabated.
You know the GOP is in trouble when they start pointing to the massive number of terrorist attacks in Iraq in order to criticize a Democrat for having a nonsensical Iraq policy.
Residents want gay publications out of libraries
... featuring these greatest hits:
"I’m angry about this," he said. "As a heterosexual male, I can’t get a copy of Playboy at the library. What’s next? Pornographic, homosexual DVDs available to check out?
and of course:
"I would feel the same way about a woman and man kissing," he said. "This material is a ticking time bomb — there is no one standing around it, watching who picks it up."
and we can't forget the greatest of all:
"I’m not opposed to any type of lifestyle. Just don’t throw it in my face."
Hope everyone takes an opportunity today to symbolically throw something in this guy's face.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Friday semen blogging
Oh, and they make a lot of mistakes. I've seen more spelling & grammar & factual mistakes there than in any paper anywhere.
Which leads us to our topic of the day. As you may have heard, "The Scream" was stolen. Yes, that Scream. The Munch Museum in Oslo is now reopening. Here's the Times coverage of it:
Museum reopens without its 'Scream'
OSLO, June 17 - After Edvard Munch's masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna" were taken in a daylight robbery of the Munch Museum here in August, critics accused the museum's director, Gunnar Sorensen, and other city officials of naïveté for not adequately securing Scandinavia's greatest art treasures. After all, the robbers had simply run in, yanked the paintings from the wall and left.
The Munch Museum is exclusively dedicated to Norway's greatest Expressionist, a tormented figure who lived from 1863 to 1944. Both "The Scream" and "Madonna" (a haloed woman with a rippling blue aura said to suggest the moment of conception) are part of a series of paintings from the 1890's that Munch called "The Frieze of Life." When Munch liked one of his paintings, he often did numerous versions, keeping one for himself. A second oil version of "The Scream" hangs today in the National Gallery in Oslo, across town from the Munch Museum. Munch painted five variations of "Madonna," including one decorated with a fetus and semen, but the version stolen last summer is considered the best.
Wait. Munch created a painting of the Madonna decorated with ... SEMEN? What? How in the world would that work?? Wouldn't that be the greatest art scandal of all time, regardless of how great Munch was and despite him living in a more open time than now, and not having Rudi Giuliani as his damn mayor?
So I looked it up.
In fact, the painting in question is ringed with spermatazoa. Not semen. Sperm. There's a difference. It's actually pretty inflammatory, what Walter wrote, and conjures up images of Munch going a little overboard in his excitement over his great painting. Instead, it's quite the haunting image. Check it out:
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
HOMEBOY CHAUNCEY BILLUPS leads the defending champs Pistons to a win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals (MVP! MVP!)...
Going to the SOX GAME later today (best team in baseball mis amigos)...
And WIMBLEDON, WIMBLEDON, WIMBLEDON (unfortunately, Sequera, Ginepri, Blake & Randriantefy all went out in the first round)...
Yes, sports is a distraction. But better than the Michael Jackson show!
Monday, June 20, 2005
Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror. By making their stand in Iraq, the terrorists have made Iraq a vital test for the future security of our country and the free world.
What he means is:
Isn't it great that hundreds of Iraqis are dying every month thanks to me?!? Plus dozens of Americans?!?!?!?!? What a brilliant person I am!!!
And when Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) says in response:
Farm families have tight budgets, and most don't have access to employer retirement accounts such as 401K plans. In fact, three out of four farmers fund their own retirement. They depend on Social Security when the crop yield is low or the weather is bad.
What he means is:
I'm too much of a pussy to call George Bush a war criminal. Which he is. Plus, his social securty privatization something something something....
Sunday, June 19, 2005
We are almost to June 30, the reporting deadline for campaign contributions for this quarter. That means NOW is the time to contribute to Christine Cegelis for Congress, if you haven't done so already. With a good showing this quarter, Christine will be able to firmly establish herself as the frontrunner in the Dem primary and as a threat to win the general in District 6.
You can either give $20.06 (or more) through the "GCCC" (Grassroots for Christine Cegelis for Congress), which I've been working with; or give directly through Christine's Web site.
As Christine says:
In 2004, I put everything on the line to fight for what I believe in — to keep the doors of opportunity open. I'm continuing that fight. I am running for Congress and I intend to win. I'm honored to ask you again for your support so I can work to bring back American jobs and the educational opportunities that are the heart of the American dream — to the 6th district, to Illinois, and to America.
So GIVE GIVE GIVE! And by the way, here's a photo of me & the candidate & other supporters at the Rose Parade in Roselle...
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Every administration, every politician, ever corporation, every nonprofit, every lobbyist understands that it's all in the pictures - preferably the TV pictures. So it's our job to see beyond those pictures, to be able to understand what other agendas are at work, and hopefully, to use that information wisely. And it's especially important in a world in which terrorism is such a frightening reality that there be at least some substance behind the PR. Right now, I'm not sure there is. It's all mythmaking. Perhaps the president's drooping approval ratings are a sign that people want something more. Perhaps.
Read Billmon's entire post, but here's my favorite paragraph:
Looking at the episodes mentioned by Bernhard, I'd say the Pentagon is in some danger of overdoing it. There appear to be enough "top Al Qaeda aides" in Iraq to fill Shea Stadium. Zarqawi's inner circle alone would probably take up the entire upper deck. This is not only bad news, but bad storytelling. Shit, the way things are going, I wouldn't be too surprised if some day soon Centcom announces it's captured the Joker and the Riddler, and is hard on the trail of the Penguin. Is it any wonder the ratings are down?
Friday, June 17, 2005
Friday semen blogging
The Los Angeles Times headline beckoned like a bulletin from the future: “Sperm Bank Donors All Nobel Winners: Plan Seeks to Enrich Human Gene Pool.” It was February 29, 1980, Leap Day—that strange quasi-day seemed right for such an otherworldly story. The article began by describing the sperm bank as “the world’s most exclusive men’s club,” then piled on the weirdness: a reclusive zillionaire . . . a secret cadre of Nobel geniuses . . . the women of Mensa . . . a mysterious, ultramodern fertility technology . . . a sinister experiment to improve the human race. It sounded like something out of a James Bond movie.
It's got lots of eugenics stuff.
What's most interesting about the book is how it got started. As far as I can tell, David Plotz started this project way back in 2001, when he announced in Slate (where Plotz is a Deputy Editor) that he would make his research an exercize in "transparent" "cyberjournalism". His months & then years of research into how these families turned out led him to start calling himself "the Semen Detective." Interesting, and good, and apparently productive for him (he got a book out of it) but ultimately, not obviously a changing of the guard so far as journalism goes. In fact, I'd say there's something more disturbing at work.
As much as I love semen blogging, I also understand that there are more important things in the world. I'm not sure that Slate does. They're more than happy to do their little "So you want to start a film festival..." or "How do feeding tubes work?" stories even as real, actual outrages are happening in their names as Americans. The only one around there who can seem to muster any excitement about the state of our discourse, media, political structures, and foreign affairs seems to be god-damn Christopher Hitchens!
Okay, I'm clearly missing the point of Friday semen blogging. Then again, as one of my friends asked me today, "What is the point of Friday semen blogging. I'm so mad at George Bush and Powerline that I've forgotten.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
I love Dick
Here's a description he read verbatim from an FBI report:
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
Choosing his words carefully, he asked under what kind of system, had he not revealed the source, you would have thought this activity had occured.
...you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings.
Our torture policy is an international scandal and, in simpler times, somone in a position of authority would take responsibility for it instead of consistently scapegoating a few "bad apples."
Everyone should be denouncing, at the very least, the specific acts of torture in which we have engaged. This should be one time where our humanity takes over and politics goes out the window. Semantical games won't cut it. And those who speak most loudly, in the most glaring language, against the torture must be lauded.
Or, if you're the right wing, you can attack Senator Durbin, just like you attacked Amnesty International.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars has yet to condemn our torture actions or policy. But the Veterans of Foreign Wars has no problem going after Durbin for ". And how did they describe the horrors that Durbin read verbatim from an FBI report? "The agent wrote about loud music, varying temperatures and physical restraints being used on the suspected Al Qaeda terrorists." They say that Sen. Durbin owes an apology to our troops. Despite the fact that Durbin is working his ass off to protect and expand veterans' benefits.Do they really think our troops are better off with us having a torture policy? Honestly?
The Anti-Defamation League has yet to condemn our torture actions or policy. But HEY LOOK! They're also demanding an apology from Sen. Durbin.
The Christian Coalition has yet to condemn our torture actions or policy. But guess what...
I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said by those who are smarter, more prolific and more eloquent than I am. I would ask you to contact Sen. Durbin and let him know how you feel.
Okay, I do have one more thing to say. Those fuckers on the right and in the middle who are DEFENDING what's going on in our name around the world need figure out what side of history they want to be on. They are now defending activities which the MILITARY and the BUSH ADMINISTRATION officially disavow and prosecute. They need to stop criticizing Durbin and Amnesty and start castigating the BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the MILITARY for punishing those inovolved in the torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. WHY, they should be screaming, is the BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the MILITARY on the side of TERRORISTS when they disavow and prosecute those involved in these activities?
If what OUR TROOPS have done in these prisons is really no big deal, is really just a bunch of fraternity pranks, or even more to the point - if it's NECESSARY to protect American FREEDOM AND SAFETY then isn't it indeed criminal for the BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the MILITARY to punish those involved?
The terrorist-loving, America-hating BUSH ADMINISTRATION and MILITARY should be deposed for daring to say a negative word - no, for daring to IMPRISON! - those troops who are merely protecting the safety of our families. Right?
Make up your god damn minds.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
We have two more rhetorical tactics to discuss:
4) lies/blatant hypocrisy
5) message coordination
Lies/blatant hypocrisy We support the governments of Uzbekistan and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia while pretending that alls we care about in the world is "freedom" and "democracy;" Congress votes on a Medicare bill based on fraudulent numbers, our "war hero" stories are inevitably lies, we lie about the air quality at ground zero. Bush even lied about his arrest history! Then there's the hypocrisy -- the chickenhawk factor, the gay-baiting (with bonus faux-indignation when someone points out that Mary Cheney is openly gay!), the whole crazy filibuster saga by people who blocked Clinton's nominees for 8 years. We know how it works. Bush's speech last night does a great job of wallowing in the same slop.
The main lie is that Democrats are responsible for his inability to get traction on Social Security. Without question, it's the GOP minority that's freaking out that they might have to actually take a vote on this issue, that they'll then have to face the American people with that on their record. Hell, they don't want to even have to have it hanging over their heads. They want it to go away. Once it was clear that the Democrats were going to stick together on this, they realized that they couldn't pull their little "bipartisan" thing. They tried to lie & browbeat the Dems into compromise but now they're screwed. Bush knows this, of course, but he's dug himself too deep. So now all he can do is lie some more.
The hypocrisy? I'd have to say the charges of obstructionism from the same party that SHUT DOWN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT back in the 90s.
Message coordination The GOP is extremely good at keeping its folks on message. It's obvious that this is their new theme, and expect them to flog it for as long as the media allows them. Bush, Frist & Hastert all said the same thing. Naturally, Rush is saying it on his homepage (if you want to go there and buy some "Club Gitmo" t-shirts, go right ahead. I'm not making that up). I imagine the Fox morning folks were right on target this morning.
This here is the key -- the Democrats CAN'T TAKE THE BAIT. To me, this charge of "obstructionism" is the last refuge of a lame duck. These people control all the levers of government. They've set it up so they only have themselves to blame. The Democratic wishy-washies (Joementum, anyone?) must stick together right now and not freak out about what "the American people" might think about these hilarious charges.
In closing: the Republicans are a party of bad ideas. The American people are with the Democrats, policy-wise. The GOP message of Democratic obstructionism is a loser ... unless the Dems listen to it. As much as we appreciate Frist's concern about the future of the Democratic party, we'll respectfully decline to follow it.
Bush blasts Democrats for 'agenda of road block'
By Adam Entous | June 14, 2005
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Tuesday unleashed his harshest criticism yet on Democrats for thwarting his second-term agenda, demanding they put forward ideas of their own or "step aside" and signaling a more aggressive administration strategy of attack.
With approval ratings the lowest of his presidency and critics suggesting he is already losing political clout, Bush blamed "do-nothing" Democrats for holding up an overhaul of Social Security and delaying votes on his nominees to the federal bench and the United Nations.
Bush accused Democratic leaders of trying to "delay solutions" and "obstruct progress."
The speech marked a combative turn for the president, who declared two days after winning re-election last November that he had earned "political capital, and now I intend to spend it."
Bush said the Democrats, in contrast, were employing a "philosophy of the stop sign" and an "agenda of the road block," and warned: "Political parties that choose the path of obstruction will not gain the trust of the American people."
He issued a challenge to the Democrats: "If leaders of the other party have innovative ideas, let's hear them. But if they have no ideas or policies except obstruction, they should step aside and let others lead."
Bush's line of attack was echoed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican who accused "half" of the Senate of being "determined to keep anything from being accomplished."
Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee took aim at Democratic Party boss Howard Dean, saying he was "helping us expand our Republican majority."
Okay, let's try to parse this rhetoric. It's very easy to let them rile us, to get our dudgeon up, but we've got to be smart about how they're using their language. It's a given that back in non-Bizarro land, blaming Democrats for the problems in Washington is like blaming me for the breakup of Destiny's Child. Because it's not enough that the Dems allowed shit like his credit card bonanza bill to pass, the Schiavo insanity to fester, his wacko judges to be approved, etc. If they don't all vote en masse for every single legislative proposal he backs? They needs to git out the WAY!
But we're not going to let ourselves get drawn into the actual substance of their remarks, which they don't believe and we don't believe. That's the old "How often do you beat your wife" trap. Instead, let's remember how Bush and his friends like to operate:
4) lies/blatant hypocrisy
5) message coordination
Projection is by far the most insidious of Bush's tactics. In other words, project your greatest weakness onto your opponent. We saw this done throughout his two presidential campaigns. In this situation, he's clearly frustrated by his lack of popularity (lowest approval ratings in his presidency) and specifically for the low approval ratings of his policies and stunts. He can't get a few unpopular pieces of legislation passed. He hasn't managed anything like a "mandate" in his two elections, the latter of which came after freakin' September 11. And he's anything but an idea man (not that he's not smart, but he's not an idea man).
Solution? Blame the Democrats for the inability of your unpopular shit to pass, even though they could pass every single one of their bills should they so choose. It's just that the GOP incumbents would pay dearly should those things pass, as things stand now. Say the Dems're unable to come up with any ideas, and that they will continue to fall in popularity.
Marginalization: Well, who amongst us has not tried to marginalize a political opponent? Still, Bush, Rove, DeLay and the rest are playing this game at a much higher level. From the K Street project (demanding that lobbying organizations fill their staffs with Republicans) to the redistricting of Texas to dismissing anti-war legions as "focus groups," these guys make a point of not merely demonizing their opponents but actively trying to get us to believe that Dems don't even deserve to be part of the discussion. His little "they should step aside and let others lead" is hilarious but exactly in this vein.
Cooptation: Yes, this is a long-standing political tradition. If you can't beat 'em and all that. Still, it doesn't make it right. Bush and cohort are extremely adept at using the language and imagery of progressive movements over the past several decades to promote their corporatist, theocratic agenda. Remember how Bush I called himself an "environmental president" oh so many moons ago? Or how Bush took the Department of Homeland Security, a Dem idea, and used it to wage political war in 2002?
Well, in this case, Bush is coopting the concerns of rank & file Democrats that the party leadership may lack the "grand ideas" that are so popular in Grovers Corners. The whole "lack of ideas" thing is direct from progressive democrats who have been frustrated by losing in the "grand ideas" game. Hell, Rove could well have been reading my blog from December when he decided to make that the centerpiece of this summer's Bush offensive. Regardless, it means that the focus gets taken off the question of WHY ON EARTH anyone should support ideas that are almost without exception BAD (hey! let's get rid of social security!! and interfere with a Florida family's medical-slash-religious dispute and lie about the medical condition of one of the parties!), or how that's somehow better than having no ideas at all. Oh, and by the way, the Dems have plenty of good ideas (universal healthcare, stopping global warming, equal rights for gays) but apparently that doesn't matter.
So anyways, that's what's going on here.
//more during the day...
Monday, June 13, 2005
While Atrios & Digby are asking the question, "Why did we invade Iraq?," I have a different question.
If it's not too impolite, I would love for a journalist to now ask Scott McClellan the question:
Can you please detail what steps this administration took to avoid war?
However, I would be remiss not to comment on one point. If you watch the video, Sensenbrenner says that nobody was really talking about the USA PATRIOT Act except the one dude who said librarians had been visited by law enforcement under Section 215 of the Act. Sensenbrenner then says "well I want the NAMES of those librarians and the specifics of those visits!!!"
Conveniently neglecting the point that if any librarian or other target of a Section 215 search were to be willing to "come out" about a PATRIOT Act search, they could immediately be arrested and charged with violating the odious gag order provision of said act. GOT THAT, SENSENBRENNER?? Now you COULD promise to grant immunity to anyone who has been subject to a 215 search -- have you done that? Or you could just support amending the Act to remove the gag order provision. But y'aren't gonna do that, are ya, Tex?
But the point isn't really whether librarians have been getting these visits by the FBI (particularly given the fact that I believe the FBI is lying low in overusing these powers until the act is reauthorized). The point is that without reasonable restrictions on police powers in a society, the police will at some point use all the powers in their arsenal. People will go as far as the rules allow them to. Defense attorneys, football players, toddlers, political fundraisers. The mere act of setting limits serves to set the frame of not just what's allowable, but what's acceptable.
Sensenbrenner and Gonzales and Bush and the rest want us to believe that it's okay for the FBI to have massively expanded police powers, including powers that directly contravene the protections against a police state that we've built up over hundreds of years, because they say they won't USE those powers inappropriately. I say, give us enough rope and we'll hang our fool selves.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
And the fucking army shows up to recruit?
An Army of One.
Between the recruiting crisis, the looming retention crisis, the continuing deaths and maimings of U.S. Soldiers, and Don't Ask Don't Tell, I'm beginning to think that the Army's slogan is just a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Interesting that the front page of the army's website doesn't mention Iraq once, and if you do a search on the term "Iraq" most of the articles talk about it in the past tense.
What I don't get is that, between their disgust for gays and their willingness to let 1700 servicemembers die for no reason, why aren't they going all-out to let the gays be cannon fodder too? Kill two birds with one stone, as it were.
Edited to add: Oh! I forgot to mention, the dudes were in front of a gay strip club. And they sent a couple of hotties as well, which I have to believe was intentional.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Friday semen blogging
I hereby call this story, CLEANUP ON AISLE 10!
Crash spills blood, urine on I-10 near Marana
Jun. 10, 2005 07:45 AM
MARANA, AZ - A crash on eastbound Interstate 10 near Marana Thursday night turned into a biohazard situation after blood, urine and other lab materials spilled across the roadway.
The crash happened about 6:35 p.m. near the Trico-Marana Road exit.
No serious injuries were reported, but containers of blood, urine, semen and other medical lab materials were scattered across the interstate.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Northwest Fire District firefighters handled the crash scene near the Pinal-Pima County line.
Gosh ... how interesting that the headline on this article listed two natural bodily fluids, but the article points out that at least one additional natural bodily fluid was also part of the spillage. Is it because of our national inability to think about and talk about sexual things without making jokes or getting grossed out?
Or is it because, given the numbers of lonely truckers on Highway 10, a little more semen on the highway is not particularly newsworthy?
May 31: Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says
June 10: Bomb kills 5 Marines; U.S. death toll nears 1,700
Never ever forget this "last throes" statement. I mean, it's not the first time he's said it, but it had better be the final time. How long do these "last throes" last, anyway? Cheney is certain the fighting will end before this administration is gone in January 2009. That's three and a half more years of potential "last throes." And by all non-Cheney estimations, the bad guys are STRONGER, more COORDINATED, and DEADLIER than they were, say, a year ago.
As I type this, there are 1,319 Days, 8 hours, 57 minutes and 48 seconds left in the Bush presidency...and counting. If the death of American military personell keeps up at the continuing pace of 2.08 per day, we're looking at a total death toll of 4,438 by January 20, 2009. Now it's true, more Americans died on Iwo Jima alone during World War II.
But Roosevelt didn't lead our boys there with the false promise that the Japanese empire was in its "last throes." Nor did he constantly reach far, far into his ass to pull out statements like this:
"America will be safer in the long run when Iraq, and Afghanistan as well, are no longer safe havens for terrorists or places where people can gather and plan and organize attacks against the United States," he said.1,692 American men and women have died in order to turn Iraq INTO a safe haven for terrorists ... to turn Iraq INTO a place where people can gather and plan and organize attacks against the United States.
Will 4,438 be the breaking point?
Thursday, June 09, 2005
What's a wedding? Webster's dictionary describes it as the act of removing weeds from one's garden.
I read the meain headline of USA Today yeterday:
Soldiers Divorce Rates Up Sharply
and all I could think was:
My head is going to explode. My whole god damn body is going to explode. I mean, this god damn administration, which slavishly used catchwords such as "sanctity of marriage" in an attempt to divide and conquer the American people ... and the supporters of which scream "SUPPORT THE TROOPS" every time you question the color of Donald Rumsfeld's god damn tie ... and here is final, obscene, incontrovertable proof that their rhetoric is more depraved, more unholy, and emptier than even this administration's critics could conceive.
DIVORCE RATES AMONG ARMY OFFICERS ARE UP 78% FROM 2003!
I don't know what else to say. Oh, except of course the god damn USA Today article makes no mention of the hypcrisy of a president who lied us into war and then used the war to prop up his failing political prospects and who is thus personally, directly responsible for every divorce over average and thus is more of a threat to the god damn sanctity of marriage than every faggot on this planet combined.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Blogging from home...
Uh, it's medicinal. Without it, I could go ... even blinder!
1) I agree with Digby that Antonin Scalia is a huge freaking creep, a hypocrite of the highest order, and the single most important reason that the Democrats' loss last year was a major, major problem (because we simply can't afford any more justices like him).
2) When it comes to states' rights ... I feel that the difference between Jim Crow laws, anti-gay initiatives, and other laws that have identifiable "political minorities" unable to protect themselves politically without relief from the courts or the federal government on the one hand, and the medical marijuana laws on the other (where no such minorities exist), is pretty significant, and is potentially a substantial hole in the entire states' rights argument. I'm not high-falutin' legal mind here, and am pretty much just guessing, but does anyone agree that our drug laws seem to be a pretty clear overreach of federal power in a way that isn't justified by constitutional theories of the protection of the powerless?
3) I have met people in my life who have sampled marijuana, and they are just like you and me, just a little more selfish and hedonistic, and forgetful. I have heard that it can be a very social activity. I forget where I was going with this.
4) I very much believe that medical marijuana is a WINNER issue for Democrats, not just in the West. The congressional Dem leadership is foolish for not using this to start advocating for change in the federal rules. Make Bush veto yet ANOTHER bill to help cancer patience. So much for his "culture of life" crap.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Friday semen blogging
There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: "Fool me once ... .... shame on ... ... shame on you. ... If fooled can't get fooled again!"Ah, the Internets! As most of you know, I'm strongly opposed to satire and/or parody during these dire days. Too many people don't "get it" and the results are usually counterproductive to the real and lasting change we seek in the world.
Case in point:
Ban on Gay Sperm Has Community Taking Matters into Its Own HandsSEE WHAT I MEAN?!? This guy takes a serious issue, and pokes fun at the ridiculousness of the entire situation ... and people take it seriously! In this case, it's Proud Parenting, a GLBT pop & pop shop, which took the article & posted it in its entirety on its site.
Last week's decision by the Food and Drug Administration to ban gay men from donating to sperm banks has angered many in the gay community, prompting some members to take matters into their own hands. A "call-to-arms" resulted in hundreds of semen samples being sent to the FDA's Rockville, MD, headquarters.
Protest organizers praise 'outpouring of support'
By Todd Fox
ROCKVILLE, MD—Long Island residents Joey Mirras and Sandy McAvoy, domestic partners of 14 years, have never considered themselves "activists" and have little interest in politics. But that was before the Food and Drug Administration made its controversial decision to ban gay men from donating sperm to local sperm banks. The FDA's move, says Mirras, left them with bad tastes in their mouths, and prompted them to put out a "call-to-arms" among their extensive network of gay and straight friends. "We weren't going to take this lying down," says Mirras, whose movement called "Act Up, Jack Off" is now gaining national attention.
Sperm release hits the street
The protest has already resulted in hundreds of semen samples being sent to the FDA's Rockville, MD, headquarters. According to Maryland postal officials, the state's mail distribution centers have been flooded with the samples, sent in from all over the country and tagged with statements such as "Don't Ask, Don't Sell" and "Different Strokes for Different Folks." Mirras and McAvoy say that they plan to keep up the pressure on the agency until it comes to its senses. [Click thumbnail to view PDF letter urging the community to protest.]
Implications for GOP officeholders?
While the gay community has been sharply critical of the ban, the FDA's move also prompted harsh words from some unlikely quarters. A number of conservative Republican office holders are reportedly concerned that the new rule may affect them adversely, as most GOP leaders have turned out to be gay. One potential sperm donor who now fears being barred at the door: the Republican mayor of Spokane, WA, an outspoken opponent of gay rights who last week acknowledged trolling a gay website and soliciting sex with men.
"He's going through an incredibly rough time right now," says a source close to the embattled mayor. "It's tough enough for him to deal with the fact that he may have to step down from his job. Now he can't give sperm in Spokane? It's a tragedy."Gay stem cells at issue?
In announcing the ban, which will prevent men who have had male sexual partners within the past five years from selling their sperm, the FDA cited statistics that gay men are at increased risk for diseases like HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis. But some observers say that the agency is less concerned about the sperm itself than about what that sperm might potentially produce: gay babies and their building blocks, gay stem cells.
Last month, a Kansas man who'd undergone stem cell therapy for male pattern baldness sued his doctors when he was diagnosed as gay just weeks after the procedure. Experts estimate that as many as 10% of all stem cells could be gay.
Oh, the humiliation.
Really, though, the FDA policy does seem to be pointless. My guess is that someone there really does think it's possible to catch Teh Gay through daddy's genes. Kevin Cathcart of Lambda Legal put it best:
The federal government issued recommendations today that look like they were written in 1982, not 2004. There is absolutely nothing about this proposal that's based on science or medicine -- this is a policy based on bigotry. The government's recommendations are discriminatory and defy common sense. It's completely illogical to say that a gay monogamous man who practiced safe sex four years ago cannot be a sperm donor, but a heterosexual man who had high-risk unprotected sex 14 months ago can donate his sperm. There are already procedures in place to ensure that donated sperm is safe, no matter who donated it. HIV affects every part of our nation's population, and the F.D.A. needs to realize that fact and stop treating gay men as the only people who contract HIV.Can I get an amen? Can I? Seriously, can I? Who do I have to blow to get an amen around here?!?
Thursday, June 02, 2005
There's no shame in being a pariah.
Me: People who voted for Bush voted for torture. They have blood on their hands.
Friends: Aw, give 'em a break. Kerry was so lackluster. How much REALLY happened at Abu Ghraib?
Me: Umm, rapes. Deaths. Not just pictures of naked guys. We as a country had a chance to stand up for our values and we didn't do it. We should all be ashamed.
I don't know ... it was frustrating. And got me to thinking: yes we can blame the unbelievably cowed media, the Democrats for not being stronger about this, even the compliant GOP Congress for not wanting to be traitors to their party. We can blame the troops (which is what the "supporters of the troops" invariably do). Or we can put the blame where it belongs: on Bush and Rumsfeld. Not just for the torturing, but for the covering up of the torturing, and worst of all, the belittling of those who would demand someone take responsibility:
[Note: No, that's not what happened. Amnesty released a detailed report establishing that Rumsfeld helped establish and is currently responsible for our TORTURE policy. Rumsfeld tried to change the subject to get into a semantic debate. Amnesty refused to play that game.]Remember the torture folks. The 9/11 failure, the "war is our last option" lies, the pretense of caring about chemical, biological & nuclear weapons, the complete mishandling of the post-invasion Iraq situation (the looting, the unguarded depots), the failure to capture Osama bin-Laden, the tax-cuts-as-Trojan-horse-to-bring-down-Social-Security, the stem cell stupidity, the inability to pass any important legislation despite having majorities in the House & Senate, the assault on gay Americans. Any one of those things should have been enough to guarantee an historic loss in 2004 by Bush. But the torture should have been enough to push ANY. REMAINING. DOUBTER. over the cliff.
WASHINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday assailed as "reprehensible" Amnesty International's description of the Guantanamo prison as a gulag but the group said he should be held accountable for torture.
The spat between the Pentagon chief and the human rights group came a week after Amnesty compared the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the vast, brutal Soviet system of forced labor camps in which millions of prisoners died.
"No force in the world has done more to liberate people that they have never met than the men and women of the United States military. Indeed, that's why the recent allegation that the U.S. military is running a gulag at Guantanamo Bay is so reprehensible," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon briefing.
The United States holds about 520 men at Guantanamo, where they are denied rights accorded under international law to prisoners of war. Many have been held without charge for more than three years.
"Most would define a gulag as where the Soviet Union kept millions in forced labor concentration camps, or I suppose some might say where Saddam Hussein mutilated and murdered untold numbers because they held views unacceptable to his regime. To compare the United States and Guantanamo Bay to such atrocities cannot be excused," Rumsfeld added.
Free societies welcome informed criticism, particularly on human rights, but "those who make such outlandish charges lose any claim to objectivity or seriousness," Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld's remarks came a day after President George W. Bush called Amnesty's gulag comparison "an absurd allegation," and said, "The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world."