Lemme 'splain... 

Nobody knows, What kind of trouble we're in. Nobody seems to think, It all might happen again. [guitar solo!]





My Overflow






Ted Barlow




This Modern World

Talking Points Memo

The Onion



Sisyphus Shrugged


The Poor Man

Nobody Knows

River Tech Review


Sunday, March 30, 2003

Good lord

I'm hating myself right now. I moved out of my apartment and just seeing how much crap I own I've lost all respect for myself. You know them books that show families with all their posessions laid out in front of their house and there's always a family from Texas or something and they got so much shit you wanna projectile vomit? Just the sheer fucking amount of crap they really don't need?

That's me.

Actually everything I have I either use, is useful and will use, or is real special. I actually have very little "crap". For instance, I don't have any gaudy trinkets from the 70's because they're aesthetically ironic. Nope. I don't do irony; I only like things I actually like. But, I still got mountains of shit, and I'm going to have to do this again as soon as we find a new place.


Friday, March 28, 2003

Idiot Nation

I just caught the tail end of a local news piece. It seems the city of Thousand Oaks wasn't going to allow yellow ribbons and other signs of self-indulgent "patriotism" to be displayed on public property. Some woman apparently has been tying yellow ribbons all over the fucking place. I caught a sound blurb from her: "They're fighting for our freedom."

How fucking stupid are we? Huh? What kind of mouth-breathing, angel-sighting, pyramid-scheme-succumbing, appeasement-is-anything-that-doesn't-involve-people-gettting-killed-in-vast-quantities morons have we become?

Jesus fucking christ. Has it always been like this? Is it like this elsewhere? In industrialized western nations, are people as fucking stupid en-masse as we are?

"Fighting for our freedom"?! Yeah lady, Saddam's vast military machine was amassed on our fucking borders.

He had a button in his office labeled "Destroy America" and we had to get to it before he could push it.

He's been conspiring with the Venusians. They're hovering over the US right now, just waiting for word from Saddam to level all our cities and sports arenas.

Lady, you wouldn't know freedom if it came up and bit you in your fat, white ass.

[Oh yeah- just so you know, I'm not going to hunt down the reporting to make sure I got everything correct. Her quote was quite enough proof she's a goddamn moron no matter what Thousand Oaks is doing]

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Keebler Elf pariah feels his power

The Keebler Elf clan's most famous prodigal son flexed his now-powerful elf muscles today by insulting Turkey:

[Paul Wolfowitz] said the Turkish government came close to win parliamentary support for the use of its territory.

"It was a new government that I think didn't quite know what it was doing," he said. "It was a big, big mistake."

He said Turkey would have benefited from the $6 billion aid package. "And that's clearly gone," he said.

There was no comment from Grandpa Keebler who has previously described Wolfowitz as, "the biggest, little elf asshole you'd ever not want to bake cookies with."

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Reality is a liberal bias.

Eric Alterman had lunch with David Shaw recently, and though Alterman kindly "agree[s] to both agree and disagree, depending on the topic" with Shaw, I think Shaw would be better suited to writing a column titled "The Sound of Jaws Flapping" rather than "Media Matters".

"Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw want nothing to do with the people who listen to talk radio and drive pickup trucks," he said. "In the high levels of the New York media, these people are regarded as yahoos."

But Alterman said none of this matters. The journalists' "professional obligation to be objective, the pressure from the conservative critics and their own bosses keep them from acting on that liberalism."

I agree with the first of those points, and maybe the second. But I think it's the demonstrable presence of so many liberals in the big-city news media -- and their coverage of antiwar activities and the civil rights, feminist, gay rights, consumer and environmental movements -- that has enabled the conservatives to make their case for liberal bias.

To many conservatives, the very fact that the media covered these movements means the media were sympathetic to them and the coverage was, ipso facto, tainted by a liberal bias.

Get that? The very act of covering the news is a "liberal" act. I mean, how was the civil rights movement, for example, not newsworthy?

Moreover, journalists are skeptical, confrontational and iconoclastic, which means they challenge the establishment, while conservatives want to conserve it.

So the better journalists do their job, the more likely conservatives are to see them as liberal.

Good journalism means investigative and objective broad coverage with strict attention to accuracy and detail. So journalism a conservative would love would be something more like self-serving, biased, mendacious and shallow near-propagandistic screed, right? Kind of like the opinion page of the WSJ? So by Shaw's reckoning good journalism = liberal journalism, to which we can infer, bad journalism = conservative journalism.

Um, we have a largely terrible media, wouldn't that make it, ipso facto, a conservative media? Anyway…

At least, that's my explanation. It may be every bit as self-serving as Alterman's, but at least it doesn't rely on conspiracy theories. And, unlike Alterman, I've not only had a couple of anti-gun control friends to my house, I've gone on vacation with one of them. Twice.

Conspiracy theories? No, your explanation doesn't rely upon conspiracy theories, it relies upon the premise that conservatives simply don't like good journalism. They don't want to know what's going on in the world. They want the world to conform to them, rather than deal with it as it is: "antiwar activities and the civil rights, feminist, gay rights, consumer and environmental movements…. To many conservatives, the very fact that the media covered these movements means the media were sympathetic to them".

Do we really need to keep having this pointless debate? Shaw has spelled it out: conservatives are intolerant. Absolute, fanatical intolerance to unwelcome ideas, people, organizations, movements, etc., is the quality that defines someone as "conservative" nowadays. Conservative media does not seek to explain the world, to do so would require covering unwelcome topics in a fair manner. Rather, conservative media seeks to change the world via the broadcast of inaccurate and biased (there's no other word for it) propaganda. FrontPageMag, anyone?

Take the media watchdog groups. While FAIR, for whatever faults it may have, at least publishes studies backed by systematic data, the ridiculous Media Research Center does what one would expect a conservative (as defined by Shaw) watchdog group to do: bitch and moan whenever a journalist says something the Media Research Center doesn't want to hear, and label it as "liberal bias".

What's so galling about all of this is that people who think the media is liberally biased, and who think they're being honest about the whole thing, will "capitulate" by suggesting that both sides are evenly matched. That is, both right and left are equally biased and have equal representation in the media; they're qualitative and quantitatively the same, just different sides. [I hear versions of this all the time, most recently here, comments 7 and 9] It's galling because it's demonstrably not true. FAIR uses comprehensive, systematic data to make its case, MRC gauges how far something strays from its worldview. "Bias" by Goldberg uses anecdotes and out of context quotes to make its case. "Slander" uses inaccurate Nexis searches, outright falsifications, and unsubstantiated statements to make its case. "What Liberal Media" uses (so surprising) systematic data and analysis married with a cohesive thesis to make its case.

So am I arguing the media is conservatively biased? No, I'm arguing what Shaw has already said: the idea of liberal media bias is based mostly upon perception, not reality. The sort of "bias" conservatives constantly rail against, the injection of subjective opinion into reporting with the intent to skew perspective, is exactly the sort of thing conservatives in the media constantly partake in. While liberal bias, as it is accused, is actually something more like "reportage of unwelcome news or ideas to conservative audiences", conservative bias is: selective reporting, suppression of unwelcome, though relevant, facts, and actual for-real-and-for-true "bias".

I say "as it is accused" above because, of course, there's bias everywhere, and some of it is going to be liberal. But what conservatives claim is not the obvious fact that all reporting is subject to some sort of basic bias (because it all is), but that bias is "anything you don't like", and that it is manufactured. There are people out there in this world, walking around, breathing air, eating food- they seem to be just like you and me- but they actually believe reality is what they believe it to be and anything that challenges that reality is a malevolent, knowing distortion of the truth. [So to this day, the Shah was a "stabilizing force" in the region (how stabilizing a guy who got overthrown in a revolution can be is beyond me), Contras were "freedom fighters", and on and on and on.] That's what they mean by "liberal media bias" and it would be a great big joke if so many people weren't in on the delusion.

I'm sure Shaw doesn't know it, but he actually cleared up a lot of things. Maybe his column should be called "Proving Myself Wrong".

[Update] - I should point out that my theory regarding conservatives still applies: there are no more conservatives. What it means to be "conservative" has changed and there's nothing conservative about most conservatives from Bush on down to pond scum like Coulter.

TPM says just what I was thinking...

but much better and with more credibility.

The other point was on the definition of terrorism. Ledeen argued that the record of the war thus far has confirmed Saddam's practice of terrorism. His point was a reference to the Iraqis' practice of having soldiers try to blend in with civilians by taking off their uniforms and putting on civilian clothes, false surrenders, ambushes, and stuff like this.

Now, I don't defend this stuff for a minute. These are clear violations of the rules of war. But this isn't 'terrorism.' It's called guerrilla warfare. And guerrilla fighters, almost by definition, seldom follow the rules of war. This is something that's almost always practiced -- for better or worse -- by forces that are vastly outnumbered by their opponents.

It's amazing that anyone would not have expected that, and disingenuous to class it as terrorism.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Julia Roberts: step down as America's sweetheart.

Last year when she got up to give the best actor award her "bit" before the announcement was something about her being up there the year before, like, 'I feel so good to be back up here again', or something real humble like that. Yeah, it's all about you, ain't it?

This year she gets up there and, lo and behold, mentions herself again with something like "I appreciate cinematographers because I know what I look like when I get up at 5 in the morning for work". Yeah, it's all about you, ain't it?

Step down. Or at least, stop talking about yourself.

[Update] - I forgot to mention the most annoying thing she does: she gets up there and lets out a falsely self-effacing sigh with accompanying knowing smile as if to say: "Yes, it's me. Yes, you love me. I humbly accept your admiration."

She did it last year, which could be forgiven since it could be construed as a: "Here I am. I won last year. Aren't you pleased to have another opportunity to see me up here?" Which is annoying, but understandable considering the person and the event, but she did it again this year!

Yo! Julia! There's no special significance when you give an oscar away! You're just another presenter! Whaddaya think everyone in TV land is whispering "it's means more if Julia Roberts gives it to you..."? Come on!

(also update- I took out the "horse-face" jab. But, there it is again! Whoops!)

Idiots rally to give "American" a bad name, America gives thanks.

Hundreds of people across the nation gathered over the weekend to reinforce the stereotype of Americans as juvenile, ignorant, and blood-thirsty:

"Thank God we have a president who is a real global leader, protecting our liberty and security, relentless in his pursuit of justice and not bending to the appeasers," said Republican activist Michael Benjamin, who is considering a run for U.S. Senate against Charles Schumer in 2004.

And thank Michael Benjamin for never bothering to look up the word "Appeasement" in a dictionary. If he had he wouldn't have been able to use the term so incorrectly and dishonestly.

"The entire world community has said time and again that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) is a danger and that he must be disarmed," said former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler. "But it is the United States and the coalition of the willing which has finally been willing to stand up and say, 'What must be done, let it be done now.'"

And thank Bret Schundler for not understanding what a "coalition" is.

"I'm here to support the troops because I know what it was like when people didn't," said Steer, 55, who fought during the 1968 Tet Offensive with the 1st Air Calvary Division of the Army. "That can't happen again."

And let's thank Terry Steer for equating war opposition to wanting troops to die, or something… who knows?

Forrest Winks, a 14-year-old corporal in his high school's Junior Army ROTC program, said he sees the soldiers on television and hears duty calling.

"I really wish I could be out there with them taking part, but it's very scary, too. I know that," Forrest said, in his dark green dress uniform and black beret. "I'm stuck here, at home."

Yes, I'm sure it's just "very scary" Forrest, and not something more akin to "hell on earth" or "pants shittin' time" or "the worst depths nations can sink to." I'm sure you have a mature and comprehensive view of the reality of war.

Forrest, your support and devotion is, in a word, creepy. Thanks!

Two separate groups totaling a few hundred people — one opposing war and another supporting U.S. military action — rallied on opposite sides of Missouri Highway 94 about 25 miles north of St. Louis. Supporters of military action carried American flags and signs, including one that read, "Hey, Boeing! Ignore these other idiots and keep the missiles coming!"

And thank the St. Louisians for their clever, patriotic signage!

God bless the USA!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

The Oscars

Whenever the Oscars roll around, the night of my reaction usually is, "oh, the oscars are on tonight?"

I never really care that much.

I watched a good portion of it though, as I was packing up my apartment to move, and tuned in just before Michael Moore won.

God bless Michael Moore.

I know, if you're a right-wing nutjob you think Michael Moore is Satan's bitch, and if you're liberal you probably have nothing but criticism for him because, well, to show how fair-minded you are. After all, you're above such populist buffoonery.

But I like him. I don't give a shit if he gets a few facts wrong, I don't care that he's all hyperbole, I don't care that his films aren't documentaries but instead nonfiction, personal-beef fliks... I like him.

He is the only guy on the left who is sticking his fat head out there, speaking his mind, not backing down, and not apologizing. For every fact he has gotten wrong there are 5 right-wing pundits who spew lies non-stop on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and books. For every uncomfortable thing he says there's 10 calls for the death of Bill Clinton or the destruction of the New York Times building or the forced conversion of Muslims or the rape of teenage, female social workers.

I don't care if he's supposedly a control freak and difficult to work with, I don't care he's overweight.

He is not the equivalent of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, David Horowitz, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Sullivan, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ollie North, Michael Medved, G. Gordon Liddy, or any other right-wing pundit. I really get tired of liberals lumping him into the same category, that he's just the same goddamn thing as Coulter but on the left. Bullshit. The man is more talented than all of them combined, he fudges the truth or, at worst, lies less than any single one of them; he's genuinely funny, just not with liberal "in" jokes, as that is the only way a right-winger can get a laugh, with some crack about liberals or Bill Clinton (he was a Republican!); he's been speakin' truth to power his whole fucking life, and for godsakes- he's not on TV or in print constantly!

He's three times the creative talent of all of them put together- and he doesn't even enjoy as much face time as the least of them! How on earth could he be considered the equivalent when he can't even get on more than 2 or 3 shows to plug his book?

I like him. He pisses people off, but goddammit- he doesn't do it by fomenting hate, bigotry, violence or intolerance. He may pick out an individual and speak his mind (bashing Bush), but does he wish Timothy McVeigh blew up the New York Times buidling instead (Coulter)? Does he use cutouts of Hillary Clinton for target practice (Liddy)? Does he damn the people of Afghanistan for not rising up against the Taliban, stating they should all starve for not revolting (O'Reilly)? No. No he does not.

He's a good man, and good for him. His speech said something, and it meant something. Good for him.

So, what's going on?

How many Iraqis are being killed?

Toward Baghdad, part of the 3rd Infantry Division had reached the area of the Shiite holy city of Najaf after a 230-mile, 40-hour sprint through the desert, killing 100 machinegun-toting militiamen along the way.

When more than 30 Iraqi armored vehicles were spotted heading toward the 2nd Brigade's positions, A-10 and B-52 warplanes were called in to hammer the Iraqis. The Army didn't have to fire a shot.

Are we killing hundreds a day? Have we killed more than 1,000 already?

This is really sort of bizarre, the news that we're getting. I can't get a clear picture of what's happening from any of the reports. It seems kind of surreal, we seem to be just waltzing through many areas, but when they talk of "heavy fighting" it's hard to picture. Is it Iraqi tanks and stuff or is it just guys with guns holed up in houses?

I don't know. We shouldn't be there, and, like always, Bush sucks.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Don't ever say I don't change my mind.

I'm watching a mega-Frontline regarding Iraq, and though I'm familiar with most everything they're discussing, the mere fact of seeing it all together within the package they present, it's modified my views somewhat.

First of all, if there's anyone who doesn't think 9-11 is an excuse to attack Iraq, they're nuts.

However, 9-11 isn't the reason we're attacking Iraq, they're two very different things.

The reason, as the hawks see it, is clearer to me, I understand it better. Though I still do not think war was necessary, the argument that removing Saddam was necessary is a more reasonable one to me.

Two things: basically it's clear, a little more clear I guess, just how obstinate Saddam was in the face of UN inspections. Also, it's more clear how very weak he was at the end of the Gulf War, and how very brutally the uprisings were crushed.

This makes me think a couple things: one, that any war to remove him will be essentially a cake walk, allying somewhat my inherent disgust for war, and two, on the most basic terms Saddam being gone would be a very good thing in many ways.

But! Oh there's always a but... My basic opposition to the war remains because no nation and certainly no one administration can be trusted to undertake such things as the unprovoked forced remaking of a nation of people.

Do we have a right to overthrow any "regime" (let's face it, we're not overthrowing regimes or waging wars upon governments, we're attacking a nation) we don't approve of or label as a threat? If we do than any nation has that right.

How can we give small groups of men the authority to remake the world as they see fit? It's quite simply too dangerous a thing to entrust to anyone- it can only be entrusted to all of us, a consensus of humanity.

And that's how we get back to the UN.

If the UN functioned a little better, was basically the same but through some reorganization better reflected the will of the people of the world, I would have no problem with overthrowing regimes and nation-building. Seriously. If most of the world decided Iraq was simply too dangerous to allow to continue as it has, and the only solution were a military overthrow of the government, I would be all for it.

I trust consensus, as flawed as it may be, much more than I do any one government from any one nation. I find it so unbelievable that every time there is a war- or heck, not even just war, every time there's any kind of huge screw-job, like the great recent accounting scandals last year, or Iran-Contra, or hanging chads, or S&L scandals, or whatever- every time some huge shit goes down we tell ourselves, "It'll be different next time", and in the case of war we think "It will be different this time."

How is it that we refuse to learn from history? The people in charge are not to be trusted! Even if you, dear reader, become one of those in charge- you are not to be trusted! Even if I became president- "Don't trust me!" would be my campaign slogan.

We give so much power to these people it is our duty to keep an eye on them. We give so much power to these people it corrupts them so, so easily.

So, a lot of good could come from this war, but given all we know about the crooks of administrations past and the crooks of administrations present, the odds are Bush and Co. ain't gonna' bring it.

[addendum- I should make it clear that I am saying I understand there is a reasonable argument to remove Saddam by force, but that is not the reason we're doing it. And even if we really were going in there just to remove the chances of WMD proliferation and liberate the country (we're not), this would not be the administration to do it. And- I didn't mention that there are plenty of other "regimes" for which there is a reasonable argument to remove by force too, and for them the same fact exists- no one nation should ever be allowed to overthrow countries as it sees fit, and especially not a nation under the Bush administration! They're terrible!]

Friday, March 21, 2003

Oh, aren't we so fucking magnanimous?

I just have to say, quickly, I'm really fucking tired of hearing people say, or seeing quoted, or reading as a proof of our our "compassionate bombing" the fact that we're trying not to damage the goods.

Like good ol' Tom Brokaw, "We don't want to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq because in a few days we're gonna own that country."

Ok listen, we may not be targeting infrastructure this time, but Tom is more correct than he realizes it. We're sparing water and electric and sewer facilities and bridges and dams and roads only because we don't want to have to rebuild any more than we have to- and we want things working as well as possible from the first day of occupation.

In the Gulf War we fucking decimated Iraq's civilian infrastructure.

All those kids you heard about dying? It was due to destroying their water-processing facilities. All them kids died from water-borne diseases created by the destruction of water facilities that couldn't be treated for lack of medical supplies due to the sanctions.

See, this is the kind of thing I hate. Someone will bring up the completely true fact that in this war we're trying not to destroy civilian infrastructure as some sort of proof of our benevolence.

Bull Fucking Shit.

You hear someone say that ask them, OK, then what did the complete and deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure during the first Gulf War indicate? Our fucking horribleness?

The shit was destroyed so as to try to bring down Iraq from the inside. To make it so fucking awful to live there, day in day out, that the nation would just break down on its own. It was immoral and inhumane to do so, not to mention illegal according to the Geneva Conventions.

War is hell. It's a horrific event. A fucking breakdown of all that is good within humanity. If it better suited our purposes to light children on fire and gang-rape retarded nuns, we'd be doing that.

There's no fucking reason to pat the pentagon on the back for making the cold, calculated decision that it would be best to not try to destroy Iraqi society from the inside this time.

Sure, it's a good thing that was the decision - I'm honestly really fucking glad - but it's just war strategy, it's not kindness. We've proved that before, oh, about 12 years ago, in the same fucking country against the same fucking guy!

What does the military do? How should we approach war?

Coming here you might think I write everything in a hurry. You're right.

You might think I can't spell. You're right.

You might think I over-explain everything. Right-o you are.

You might think I'm overly sensitive. Why do you think that? What did I do? Why do you want to hurt me so?

You might think a lot of things, and if you were a Freeper type you'd be wrong about every one of them. But what you'd be most incorrect about, my dear friend, is your assumptions regarding my views of the military and war.

I support our troops. I do. I hope they all come home safely. I also hope no innocent people die. I also think this war is unjust and unnecessary.

Is there a contradiction there? Nope. Not one bit.

"Safe" is an end result that can come many ways. If a soldier has to kill a thousand people in order to be "safe", so be it. If a soldier comes home without ever firing a shot, because a small number of people who control the world's mightiest power suddenly pulled their heads out of their cavernous asses where they have been residing for the last 30 years, and realized they were all a bunch of power-hungry madmen in good need of a spanking- great.

Immorality applies to war and the orders from those directing the war, not those fighting the war.

A military cannot function unless the soldiers do one thing above all others- follow orders.

Whenever I point out that a soldiers job is to follow orders to kill and/or destroy (or indirectly assist in efforts to kill or destroy) I get someone telling me a soldier's job is to "defend freedom", or something like that.

That's not only an asinine presumption, it's a dangerous one as well.

If you truly believe that a soldier by definition "defends freedom", then it follows that every conflict a soldier is a part of is somehow good, every campaign he must take part in is noble and righteous and in defense of liberty. This is demonstrably false. Unfortunately the powers-that-be often wage wars for cynical, morally repugnant reasons. Like a certain little conflict going on right about now.

It's a dangerous assumption because it effectively removes the public from the governing of the nation on the world stage. When the public believes their nation can do no wrong, it logically follows the actions the leaders take are never wrong either. [I find it curious that those most supportive of war-making and most eager to defend every past conflict the US has taken part in are usually the same people most distrustful and hateful of "the government" on domestic issues. It's an obvious contradiction- at home the government does no right, abroad they do no wrong?]

I've heard a million times people say "I think everything we've ever done has been done with good intentions. It may not have turned out great, but we've always meant well." What's the point of being informed, questioning, getting involved, or concerning oneself with state affairs if everything the US does is based upon good intentions? Answer- there is no point.

It's also dangerous because it pushes reasonable questioning out of the realm of acceptable discourse. As it is now either you "support the troops" or you're some kind of anti-American loon. That ain't right.

When I say a soldier's job is to kill I also get accused of implying soldiers are just sheep, just dumb automatons with weapons. No, not at all.

It's a simple fact you can't have an effective military force unless the soldiers are willing to do what they're told. That doesn't mean they only do what they're told, or that decisions don't get made all the way down the chain of command, just that they basically have to do what they are told in order to be an effective fighting force. It's really pretty simple, yet many people don't want to admit it.

A soldier doesn't want to think of himself as just one mindless cog in a wheel, or a trained attack dog, and neither does anyone who admires the military. But those are false implications; they do not follow the assertion.

What does a soldier do? Kill people or destroy things. Or threaten to kill people or destroy things. All this killing or threat of killing may take place within many nested contexts- a soldier may be defending, attacking, patrolling- in an effort to secure something, protect something, protect people- and yes a soldier may be killing and destroying in order to defend freedom or save little golden-haired girls with bows in their head from certain death. WW2 is the closest the world has ever come to a fight between good and evil, and I would be the first to suggest the allies were fighting for freedom.

However, what did our soldiers do in WW2? How did they defend freedom? They killed and destroyed. I know a guy who fought in Burma in WW2, part of Merrill's Marauders, and he's rightfully proud. He also doesn't like the fact that he had to kill people and isn't exactly "proud" that he did, he just had to do it. There's no contradiction.

This is not to say that a soldier from Vietnam, a largely immoral war we should have never fought, should be ashamed of his service. No, every soldier, no matter what the conflict, who has performed as a soldier should, should be proud. The soldier deals with the situation he is thrust into, he does not create the war itself.

There's no moral judgment here and no moral baggage for the soldiers to carry. I just think it's important to remember, at all times, that war is absolutely horrific. People say shit like "Of course there will be civilian casualties, there always are", but that's just a slogan, a sound bite used to avoid any deeper thought on the subject.

What people need to first realize is that if we're in a war our soldiers are there specifically to kill and destroy- that is what will always happen in a war- and they're doing it in the service of the people of the United States of America. Then folks need to ask- to what purpose are they going to do all this killing? Why have the leaders of this country decided our soldiers need to kill people from another country, and destroy parts of that country?

None of this tiny-flag waving, "we have to support our president", bullshit. None of this, "if you don't support the war you're against our troops", shizzat. Rather, why are we, as a nation, killing people from another nation? Do we want our soldiers to do these things in our name and in our service? Why?

If the conclusion is, "yes, we have to have this war", then it's time for the tiny-flag waving, if you must. [Though you still run the risk of using a national symbol for pure self-aggrandizement, which makes you a fucker.]

If one approaches this from as an objective viewpoint as possible, I think conclusions would often get turned upside-down. How different would the last 50 years be if these same questions were asked before the start of any war?

Would we have been in Vietnam? Well, this all requires an effective and honest press… and a judgmentally secular populace… and a public debate, or at least congressional debate before we bomb people, so…

Objectivity is an idea that has died a million deaths. It shares its tomb with rational and reasonable. Everyone stakes claim to it as evidence their opinion is based upon some pure, ethereal truth, untainted by human bias. It never ceases to amaze me how wholly ideologically-driven, ahem, dumbasses can think themselves fundamentally more rational, reasonable, and therefore "objective", than those whose opinions they don't agree with.

I'll be the first to admit that my worldview is biased (because it can't be any other way), but every once in a while I feel I can deconstruct far enough to view some things objectively. Also, I think I can usually recognize when I'm not being so objective (which is most of the time, because it can't be any other way).

For instance, it's my opinion this current war is immoral and unnecessary (and therefore twice immoral as war should only be waged when necessary). I think it's based upon a pretty objective review of the facts, but other people, like TPM before his conversion, reached the opposite conclusion through a just as (or more) careful review of the facts. I can respect that and understand that. I cannot respect nor understand, nor consider as legitimate, the opinion of some Nurse Betty from Pensacola who's taped up all the windows in her house and thinks "they" have had "plenty of time" cuz Rush said so, and isn't even aware of the forged nuke documents or the CIA reports or anything like that.

So, what does our military do? How should we approach war? How much more base can you go than "kill and destroy"? How much more distilled can it get? "Defend freedom" is assumption upon judgment upon morals and mores upon tradition upon opinion.

Better to think soldiers "kill and destroy", and accept it without moral judgment as the reality of war, than think they "liberate" or "defend freedom", because by doing so you ignore the very real possibility and probability that the war itself may be immoral. It's an important judgment to make and worth whatever discomforts the stripping away of conscience-soothing pretence may cause. After all, any "reasonable" person wouldn't want to make our soldiers live through such hell for all the wrong reasons, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Some letters for you

The following are letters to the editor of the Wall Street Journal from the past couple of days that I've transcribed. They're out of context, but that doesn't matter.

[I]t is clear to me that the United Nations and those who have sought delay and appeasement during the past 12 years have acted as enablers for Saddam Hussein, allowing him to remain in power and grow as a threat. It was in deference to the U.N. in 1991 that former president Bush held back, following the strict letter of the U.N. mandate to liberate Kuwait and nothing more.
It isn't clear to me what excuse former President Clinton may have had for largely ignoring the threat presented by Saddam, while at the same time being very vocal about the need to confront it.
Messrs. Chirac and Schroder and the left in general will try to blame this war and whatever it brings squarely on President Bush. They will say that he has defied the U.N., which interestingly doesn't seem to bother when Saddam does it, and of course they'll ignore U.N. Resolution 1441. The blame will, however, belong squarely on the shoulders of those who have allowed it to come to this point. Responsibility will will lie with the U.N. and those who have turned a blind eye toward Saddam Hussein for too long, with Mr. Chirac now becoming the poster boy for appeasement.

dumb bitch from walla walla

(regarding some op-ed screed)
Mr. Henninger has laid bare the nature and financial support of the fundementally leftist and loud minority that took to the streets to protest America's position on Iraq. Never mind that some 65% of Americans support the President's position.

With as much of an in-your-face approach as the gentlemanly Mr. Henninger ever employs, he has taken left-leaning American and European journalists to task, declaring that Mr. Bush "is going to stick Saddam Hussein in a hole before one more U.S. citizen dies in a repeat of September 11." As a former Marine and a Vietnam veteran, I say, "Amen."

Mr. Henninger elucidated a fact I've attempted to communicate recently, not always successfully, to friends and others regarding the intransigence of France, Germany and Russia: "U.S. citizens inevitably have to die or pay to clean up the mess their dysfuntional economics and politics create."

Dumbass from Mineola

For more than 50 years the U.S. has poored cast treasure and good will into helping nations recover from the ravages of wars in which we were thrust as liberators, and we've lost brave young men and women as they patrolled troubled lands as peacekeepers.

In many instances our largess and personal exertions have been expected, sometimes virtually demanded, by countries without the financial means or, in certain cases, the will to dig deep into their basic resources to help themselves. Some of these are now among the nations reviling America's desire to rid the world of a tyrant bent on enlarging an inventory of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Henninger's March 7 suggestion that the people of the U.S. may one day become fed up with the job of "constantly bailing out an ungrateful world" should be viewed as a prediction. Doing good time after time, year after year, sneer after sneer, is a self-imposed task that wears very thin under abrasive jeers and a dearth of appreciation.

Dumbass from Chevy Chase

Get that?

- Bush is cleaning up a mess, not creating one.

- Anything short of war is "appeasement.

- The US only does good.

- The US knows what's best.

- Every other country is backward compared to the US.

- People are getting tired of the world not licking our balls every time we do good, so therefore we ought to just stop doing good and let the incompetent nations of the world wallow in their dysfunction.

And these are reasonable people compared to what you find on the internet.

At Congress.org, in a section devoted to Senator Daschle's criticism of Bush, you can find such gems as this:





And this:

You are a liar and a traitor to the state and country you claim to represent. Why don't you and your liberal/socialist's ilk move to France, Germany or Russia? From what I understand they are in great need of "citizens" such as yourself. If you need to have your socialistic skills put to better use then why not chose one of their havens? Perhaps you could be an interpreter in France since you seem to understand everything the French spit out. Or maybe a musuem curator in Germany since you are in step with their NAZI history. Or better yet, Russia where you could probably end up becoming a part of their government. Of course with your radical leftist views you would fit in just fine!!
The American people, are sick and tired of you and your hateful, spiteful and moronic speeches; your constant lying in front of television cameras, and your abuse of the senatorial powers you swore to uphold. Did you NEVER have a conscience? And yes, you are as STUPID as you look.

Laguna Niguel , CA

We all know much, much worse stuff can be found easily.

When I read this kind of stuff, and try to explain what it does to me, the only thing I can come up with that seems accurate is to say it damages me.

It sounds maudlin (well, it is maudlin), but a little piece of me dies every time I read something like that. That's why I don't go read what the idiot Freepers have to say and laugh, because I usually don't find it funny.

There's something wrong, something very wrong with this country. We're living in a society blind to history, hypocrisy and corruption. We've lost our moral center every bit as much as Germany after WW1, but rather due to humiliation it's due to unparalled self-absorption and self-worship. Our view of ourselves is so distorted beyond all reckoning we're not even operating within the bounds of reality anymore.

Many, many people despise "liberals". Many people would like to see "liberals" dead, many people think all of our problems can be attributed to "liberals".

I don't hate "conservatives". I hate most of the GOP, many pundits, I hate the Bush administration... but see, none of them are conservative. There are very few conservatives left in this country. What is commonly referred to as "conservative" now is something that would have been described as "far-right" 30 years ago. There's nothing conservative about the Bush administration or any of his policies. There's nothing conservative about fucks like Ann Coulter.

The conservative movement, or whatever, is dead. It's morphed into something hideous and dangerous. Average men and women want the world ordered according to far-right, "Christianoid" dogma. People like you and me want everything and everyone they don't agree with marginalized and oppressed.

The new conservatives simply cannot tolerate living in a world that does not reflect their personal beliefs.

This is the opposite of the basic liberal belief of inclusiveness, no wonder they hate liberals so much.

They're right, liberals are to blame for all they despise: the acceptance of gays, women as equals, minorities, etc., it's all, proudly, the product of liberalism.

Reading such vile, ignorant hatred damages me in the same way as when I hear about some punks killing an animal for fun. Like a few years ago a few kids brutally killed a donkey just for the heck of it. Or when the "spotted owl" was such an issue and jackasses would go out and deliberately kill a few to make a brutal, ignorant point. It all makes me wonder if "they" are going to win. Are we going to live in a world shaped by greed, hate, and naked exploitation (even more so than the last 1000 years)? Are we going to continue along the primitive, insular model of the Abrahamic religions that consists of raping the land and killing infidels because God gave it all to us and we are his chosen ones?

That's not a world I want to live in.

A self-proclaimed conservative, or worse, a self-proclaimed libertarian, would say something 'like it's not about hate and intolerance, it's about the rights of the individual vs. a morality imposed upon society by liberals.'


All the new breed of conservatives care about is the right of the individual or groups of individuals to discriminate or oppress in whatever manner they are able to, vis a' vis whatever influence they have. In other words, if a conservative owns a business and doesn't want to hire fags or blacks, he should have that right. If a community doesn't want it's school to hire any blacks, or if it doesn't want to let fags attend, it should have that right. If a city council wants to post the ten commandments everywhere and make them the laws of the town, they should have that right. That and "property rights". They want to go back to the good old days where a person could impose his hatred and will upon others without governmental influence.

The new conservatives are just self-absorbed. It's that simple. They, and especially all the new "libertarians" out there, think they live inside a vacuum, and everything they do has no effect upon anyone else. For instance, they would say a land owner should be able to do whatever they want with their land. If their land contains the last wild bassalopes in the world, and they want to kill them all, they should be able to do so- it's their land. If they want to cut down every tree and pave over 1,000 acres, they ought to be able to. Never mind the impact on the surrounding land, never mind the impact upon the future, never mind the impact upon whatever is living there- it's their land.

There is no larger good for this new breed, there is only their most petty desires and prejudices, inflated to the point where it is a mark of true individualism to despise and attempt to crush anything that does not agree with them. It's just all "Fuck You, I Got Mine", and it scares me.

It's a binary world they're creating, and here in the US I think they're winning. It pains me to know so many people are so intolerant of an inclusive society that they would actively hasten it's demise. Supporting Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, denouncing everyone anti-war as traitors and appeasers... it's just so unreal. This country is liberal. The very core of it- people should be treated equally, society should be inclusive and work for the benefit of the whole- these are liberal ideals.

What we have now is an intellectual and emotional war to change all that. Rather than define ourselves by how just our society is, the new Right wants to define society by removing the segments it doesn't like. If liberals didn't exist, if blacks took their rightful place as subversives, if gays were outlawed, of women went back to being the dutiful appendages of a man, things would be perfect.

The debate has shifted so far right, reasonable people on the left now exist at the periphery.

What should we do?

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Fuck da' man! -- I got pics for my peeps!

Yeah, I know. The war has started. I was so fucking depressed today, and the war starting was the icing on the cake. I've become convinced there is some sort of structural flaw in US society that will eventually lead to some seriously fucked up shit like the world has never seen...

But fuck that, I got vacation pictures to share!

A sampling awaits you... but let me tell you about the trip first.

My dad and his woman came down, we was going to the desert to dig up some shizzat! We go to Barstow and set up camp, and head to a site about a half hour outside of town. The place is amazing. See, me and my dad have been hunting artifacts from way back. We used to do it in a couple places in eastern Washington, and basically it involved following a creek, picking up every shiny rock we come across to see if it had "been worked".

Arrowheads and other stone tools are made out of fine-grained stone like chert, chalcedony, flint, obsidian, etc. The best stuff is obsidian because obsidian is basically natural glass. It chips and flakes consistently. That is, you can hit it the same way a million times and pretty much always get the same results. fine-grained rocks are easy to spot because they're naturally shiny when broken, behave like glass when broken, and are usually somewhat transparent and just a lot prettier than regular ol' rocks.

Anyhoo, this place we went to outside Barstow was non-stop chalcedony. I mean every single rock was of the fine-grained variety- every single rock. That may not sound cool to you but, man, I've never seen such a thing before. On these green hills not one regular rock. Everything was potential stone-tool material. I'm sure the place had to have been used as a quarry for material way back when.

There was too much stuff. I could literally sit down and spend 10 minutes just looking at the stuff around me. There was so much stuff that just about everything I'd pick up seemed to have been "worked". By worked I mean shaped by human hands. There are tell-tale signs of a human touch, it has to do with the way the stone has been flaked or chipped. Even if the stone has no tool-like shape to it, if you know what to look for you can tell if it had been worked by someone. However, there was so much material here and so much stuff I found that seemed to have been worked at least a little, it was just too implausible that that much stuff had been worked. So, I only kept the tools that were of obvious human origin. I found about 8 or 10 tools in all (2 are suspect), which is a lot considering in Washington we'd be happy to go home with one tool. Mostly what I found where either "choppers" or generic "scrapers" or "blades", the equivalent of an ancient, cheap pocket knife. But every time I've ever found some long-dead dude's long-lost stone whatever I've had to wonder, "what happened, why is it here?" I'll never know.

We went to that site the first and last day. The second day we spent looking for fossils and garnets.

The fossil trilobites are found at a shale bed that's well-known to people who like to do such things, apparently. It's a big hill that's got shale inside of it. A lot has been mined but there's still plenty. What you do is either sift through all the millions of shale bits that cover the side looking for fossils in them or dig into the hill and little and pull out some shale and crack it open with a hammer. It's actually a lot of fun because when you find one, it's pretty exciting. I found quite a lot, but none were complete. Everything I found was basically the imprint of part of a trilobite's head. Sometimes just the top bump of the head, or perhaps the bulk of the head, or if lucky the whole head with crescent-moon side horn thingys. I found the imprint of a head and body- but only part of the head and a little part of the body. Still, it's cool to be able to see the segments of the body whereas all the other imprints I have just sort of look like stone imprints of moths. For the sheer number I found in a relatively short amount of time I imagine the ancient seas to be a swirling mass of big, ugly bugs. Ick.

This site, and the garnet site, where way the fuck out in the desert about an hour past a tiny town called Amboy, population 20, that is for sale for 1 (or 1.5?) million. No shit. After about 3 hours digging through the shale, to which I lost a good hunk of flesh from the top of my thumb-knuckle (hey! great name for a band! Thumb-Knuckle!).

The garnets were a few miles away, but it took about an hour to get there as both sites were reached via long, bumpy roads. The garnet site is beautiful. Soaring hills of rock on every side jutting out of the desert floor, and in the middle a sort of ugly, brown mound.

The little brown hill is where the garnets be, and they're very easy to find: walk up to the hill, look, pick up garnets. The thing is they're all small, basically shapeless and brown. There's supposedly small, decent-shaped red ones to be found, but the best I found were a couple of cool looking little clusters of tiny brown garnets and one loose, small brown garnet that was naturally faceted, which is pretty cool. Overall it wasn't as cool as the fossils, but interesting nonetheless; but then, I saw the cactuseseseseseseses.

The hills surrounding the area were essentially all rock, very jagged, and very steep. Oddly, they were dotted by hundreds of barrel (?) cacti. I don't know how they got there, but all the way up, sometimes on seemingly sheer rock faces, were cactuses hanging on for dear life. It was so cool I had to hike up to try to get a shot of them, as you'll see at the photos it didn't really work out because I never got close enough, and my little A40 digital camera don't have no telephoto lens.

But I tried, and hiked way up the side of the hill ( I call it a hill only because I don't think it was quite big enough to call a mountain, though it was still impressive), climbing most the way up a dry waterfall made out of marble. I only reached the very bottom cacti, and they were about 100 yards up the side of the hill. I found one small cactus, about the size of a softball, that had been uprooted somehow and was just laying on the rocks where it had come to rest after tumbling. I thought about taking it home but would have felt terrible if it had died at my house, so instead I just planted it in a little spot of dirt. While I was up there a falcon, I think, was circling the very top of the hill, the jagged peaks as it were, doing that cool screeching thing that seems so poignant when you're way up high, out in the middle of nowhere, looking out over miles and miles of vast, beautiful nothingness...

It was a good goddamn day.

Fuck Bush. The cosmos has decided he's a speck of nothing worth no more than a footnote's footnote in the annals of time. The cosmos has spoken.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Around the blogs...

Man. So much to catch up on. I've been going around some of the blogs on my list and...

MaxSpeak, good, good. Smart guy, well-reasoned arguments.

Atrios, must be kind of weird being half human, half internet appliance. The sheer amount of stuff always amazes me... and yet it's still not enough...

Ted Barlow is probably a really, really nice guy, so nice you fucking hate him because he's nicer than you and you feel like a fucking toad in comparison. He's so reasonable and succinct too. Bastard.

This Modern World. Tom Tomorrow is the best guy on the web, hands down. Such a talented, smart and erudite guy. Somehow I admire him rather than despise him for being cooler than me. He's that cool. Whatever he sez, goes.

Talking Points Memo is invaluable. Smart and perceptive. Reliable, truthful, political analysis. I get the impression he'd be cool to hang out with for a couple hours, but then after his non-stop deconstruction of foreign policy and the Washington press corps you'd just wanna say "good lord, can't we just talk about tits or something for a little while?"

Tbogg is funny, and he has the stomach to go around the right-wing websites and bring back juicy tidbits for mass comsumption, which I appreciate. I'm a funny guy myself, and appreciate good comedy, but for some reason blogging is like the worst possible forum for my skilz. Tbogg has no such hindrance upon him.

The Poor Man is very funny and an excellent writer but, I dunno, there's something very annoying about his political posts. He's looking for his own blog-war so maybe this could be the start of it- Poor Man, you just sound so damn whiney and condescending when you discuss politics, which isn't so bad, I'm whiney and condescending myself, but instead of whining about the great evils in the world you can't go two days without bringing up Woody Harrelson and how so very wrong he is to continue to have the audacity to live in this world and exist and occasionally show up in the news which, is like, worse than Hitler.

Also, the "I'm so reasonably centrist anyone more than two clicks out from my position at the bell-curve apogee is annoyingly naive and tiresome and worthy of a great fisking like only I can deliver with copious rhetorical questions that either completely ignore the point or greatly simplify the original argument but, you see, that's the point; if it wasn't so tiresome-ly simplistic or pointless it would not be worthy of so much scorn and let's all get together and kill Woddy Harrelson" posture is getting a little, well, annoying and tiresome. -- [if this starts a blog-war feel free use as ammo the fact I don't punctuate well, rarely spell-check my posts, often ramble on with no point, and overall it just seems like I write everything in a hurry (because it's all true)]

He's funny though.

Nobody Knows is a nice break from the real world. Well, it's real, it's just not a political blog. It's about living in LA with, apparently, a much larger income than myself, yet they (the author and her husband) don't seem to be the typical BMW driving, ignorant pricks that populate this city like a fucking plague of prada-wearing locusts (I don't know anything about any designers to use a better reference than "Prada"), which is nice because, well, it sometimes seems that everyone in this town with money is a horrible fucking person- which is depressing.

Anyhoo, lot of catching up to do, maybe in the next couple of days I'll put up some photos of my trip and also complain about the coming apocolypse.

Bad to be back.

I've been gone for three days in the high deserts of southern Cali, hunting for fossils, artifacts, and purty rocks. The first headline I see on my way back announces that the "summit", which, like all good summits, didn't involve anyone from the opposition, concluded with an ultimatum to the UN to give the US the OK to bomb, or we would bomb.

So, give us a stamp for what we will do anyway because we'll so it anyway. I saw a quote from Bush that was something like "it's time to see if diplomacy fails or not". Listen asshole, "diplomacy" means no one dies. The UN giving you whatever you want whenever you demand it is not diplomacy.

Good god I hate that man.

Then later I find out they decided not to put it to a vote anyway and Saddam has got 48 hours.

Really fucking good to be back.

More later- maybe some photos.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Furthermore for the ramblin' man.

More on the subject of this nation being permeated with assholes...

I was just thinking in the tub, that is to say I was in the tub thinking... about how liberalism, in the general American use of the term, has won over Europe. Europe's right, as represented in government, is like moderate Republicans over here. Their left is further to the left than most Democrats.

They have flare-ups of nasty nationalism or Anti-Americanism, or what have you, but as far as I can tell, they do not seem to be awash in a sea of neo-con hawks or petty little lying bug-killers from Texas. Same with Canada.

They have a lot of room to grow and are heading toward a more equitable and kind version of the nation-state. It seems with every idiot move the president makes or every time some stupid congressman lets slip his racist views or names a goddamn freedom-fry, the citizens of France, England, or Canada embrace it as an example of exactly what they don't want to be.

Canada is becoming better, we're becoming worse. Europe is becoming better, we're becoming worse. You can thank fundamentalism. There's 2 strains of fundamentalism in the US, the Christian kind, and the moronic-American kind.

We're all familiar with Christian fundamentalism. You know, they're the people who hate fags, among other things, and call Islam's prophet a terrorist. You know, the people who want to live in a Christian Theocratic state? Yeah, them. They're no different from islamo-fascists, and possibly more dangerous because they work among their targets- secular America -and strive to change the very systems of our democracy to bend to their influence.

The moron-American fundamentalists took their cues from Colonial England. They consider America to be the very bestest civilization ever! So good and perfect that everything we do is in the pursuit of some good. Every time our military is mobilized our troops are necessarily fighting "for freedom". Every time we overthrow a government it's for a larger good, the big picture. Quite simply, we are the best nation on the planet, the most enlightened, the most powerful, the richest, somehow they think it follows that therefore we can do no wrong (though of course the political party they despise often does wrong, the nation as a whole is still the best).

I've come across the rare Democrat moron-American fundamentalist, which just proves that Democrat doesn't ever have to mean "liberal", or "smart"; but normally these people are Republican, or often they're morons, but too dumb to know it, and so think of themselves as particularly astute politically and therefore call themselves "Independent with Republican leanings" or just Libertarian.

They are worthy or mockery, but one has to understand there is a huge support mechanism in this nation for idiots. It never ceased to amaze me how in Seattle everyone I met was an artist. Most of them had no talent whatsoever, but they were indeed artists because, well, they said so and they had about 100 other talent-less hacks saying so in a big, reciprocating delusion. We have the same thing in the US at large with political opinion and overall "common sense".

Jon Margolis has a great piece about whom is attracted to the idiot right-wing pundits like Weiner:

The niche is disappointed people, mostly men. Andrew Kohut, the highly regarded pollster for Times-Mirror, has described "the typical Limbaugh listener" as a "white male, suburbanite, conservative [with a] better-than-average job but not really a great job. Frustrated with the system, with the way the world of Washington works. Frustrated by cultural change. Maybe threatened by women."

Somebody, in short, who is not as rich, powerful or famous as he thinks he should be, and who wants to blame outside forces. The talk-show hosts help. They blame cultural (but rarely economic) elites and the government for the world's ills and regularly reinforce the listener's sense of being scorned and ridiculed.

It's by idiots, for idiots- who never stop to contemplate their views, opinions, or depth of knowledge. But, because of the huge idiot support mechanism of talk radio, pundits, Fox News and the like, one can be stupid and, by dint of mutual agreement among their cohorts, have an opinion that's considered reasonable or legitimate.

Margolis goes on to write:

It was liberals who first glorified self-esteem and self-assertion, who first asserted the primacy of the oh-so-sensitive individual vis-a-vis the community, minimally less objectionable than the talk-show host assertion of the primacy of the determinedly insensitive individual vis-a-vis the community.

It was liberalism, in short, that established the mind-set, permeating from the schools and through the generations, which deluded many into thinking that their failures could not be their fault. As society became more materialistic, failure was redefined as not getting rich.

If I were to go back to school and pursue a doctorate this would be the subject. [of my disertation, I mean]

I've thought nearly the same thing since junior college. Well, it took me years to realize where it was all headed, but the moron-American fundamentalist movement is one of horrible outcomes from the "self-esteem" movement. Oprah telling her viewers they need to learn how to say "no", and just worry about themselves, telling kids they are their own universe and can do whatever they want, Suze Orman (that walking tan with eyeliner) telling her fans they "deserve" wealth...

All of this sounds like self-empowerment, but in reality the average person isn't that introspective. Any attempt to positively motivate someone from the inside out is just going to morph into "me, me, me!". What has been preached since the 80's as a positive tool for self-realization is in reality just a legitimization of selfishness and self-absorption.

Is it just coincidence that our society has now reached a point where sacrifice for a common good is viewed as communism? Where assholes can be easily identified by the SUVs they drive? Where your average Joe thinks it's "unfair" to tax dividends, and rich people don't get a fair shake when it comes to taxes?

We're stuck. I don't think we can pull out. What makes freepers and the like so dangerous is not their insane ideas, but the fact that self-absorption in this country is a virtue. It's a virtue for an asshole to declare he doesn't care what anyone thinks- he's driving a Hummer! It's a virtue, among the freeps, for a person to use the word "spic", no matter if it's PC or not.

Selfishness don't work like Ayn Rand's books (message to libertarians who love Rand- it's just stories!). Selfishness walks hand in hand with fundamentalism, bigotry, hate, ignorance, and hubris down that road to ruin.

We're on that road and it'll take some real effort to get us off. Man... I don't wanna live in Canada!

I'm peeing my pants...

From laughing or from fear? You decide!

Whenever someone like me points a finger and cries "Idiot!", all someone else has to do is say something like, "Oh? so you're perfect and know everything?", and the discussion is officially over. The only way you can really counter something like that is with logic, but "you're a know-it-all" is not a logical argument; it's school-yard yappin'.

But, this does not change the fact that there are indeed plenty of idiots in the world, and it's quite easy to finger them without fear of being wrong.

Idiot number 1 is this dumb bitch.

The open letter signed by actors Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen and more than 100 of their Tinsel Town pals asking President Bush to back down on Iraq, angered one North Carolina woman so much that she launched an online petition to counter their influence and to let Sheen know that he's not the commander in chief, even though he plays one on TV.

Lori Bardsley, a stay-at-home mother of three, accuses Hollywood celebrity "pundits," as she calls them, of using their celebrity to interfere with the defense of the country.

"Anti-war activism is hip but Sept. 11th was real," said Bardsley. "On Sept. 11th our children were threatened. We expect President Bush to take whatever measures necessary to keep us safe," she added.

I found this at Tbogg. My favorite line is from the author or the article:

Bardsley feels the celebrities don't speak for most Americans. Indeed, one week after she quietly posted her online petition entitled "Citizens Against Celebrity 'Pundits,'" she reports more than a thousand visitors have added their signatures.

Indeed! Indeed the celebrities don't speak for most Americans because more than one thousand people signed her petition! One thousand! Imagine!

Of course idiot number 2 is the author of the piece.

It gets better, folks:

"We support President Bush in his efforts to defend our homeland, to defend democracy, and to take any measures to end the threat of terrorism," the petition reads. "We do not claim to know more than anyone, especially President Bush. We elect a President who we can trust to make proper decisions based on facts available to him and not available to the rest of us."

So, you don't think regular people should try to influence policy because regular people don't have enough information to make an informed decision?

Ok. Then howsabout you just shut the fuck up? Cuz some people do their homework, beezatch!

"I remember cheering in front of the television as I watched Gloria Steinem and her Hollywood friends march in D.C. for choice. It would be many years later that I would have three abortions in place of birth control and end up with complicated pregnancies as a result of my choice," she said.

You are one twisted, fucking person. So, it would be many years later that you would regret your decisions, realize you were one big, dumb, fucking moron to, apparently, let people on TV influence you so much then, rather than consider it a life lesson and become a little wiser from it all you decide to blame Hollywood, thereby assuaging yourself of the guilt?

"Hollywood celebrities are beautiful, wealthy, live in extravagant mansions, drive expensive cars and own the admiration of most American youth. They are well aware of their influence and choose to use it to forward their own agenda," she added.

That's wrong, but, oh, Fox News is OK? World Net Daily is just fine? The WSJ editorial page is dandy? Public servants like our elected representatives are the only ones who get opinions?

What about dumb, slutty, presumably dumpy, stay-at-home moms?

Idiots 3 and 4. The Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast morons.

Good lord. Good lord.

Asked why he was focusing on France when other nations, including Germany and Russia, oppose the U.S. position on Iraq, Jones said it was because France had taken the lead in challenging the United States.

The correct answer to that question is: "Because dipshit Americans who've never been to France and don't know anything about it hate France reflexively. Also, there's no actual French food in North Carolina. None of my constituents know what brie is and have never had any bread that wasn't named "Wonder".

The last idiot for today is a gestalt idiot, the Freepers!

And as we established when we started this discussion back on Jan. 5, this kind of tyrannical ear-covering has even reached the point where Michigan housewife Janice Barton can be jailed for expressing the political opinion that, "I wish these damned Spics would learn to speak English."

No, Ms. Barton did not use pretty euphemisms. But if you want to get something changed, to bring people to an awareness of a desperate but well-camouflaged danger, sometimes you have to invoke and stir up your listeners to an emotional response. When folks shrug and walk away at the mention of "progressive social redistribution policies," perhaps it's time to call them what they really are -- blood-stained communism, the same policies once effected atop the bloated, crunching corpses of a million dead kulaks and their wives and children -- no matter how uncomfortable it makes your "compassionate, progressive" listeners feel.

How can the truth ever be derived from a debate in which plain facts cannot be set forth plainly?

It never ceases to amaze me how the only real liberties dumb-fucks like this care about are the right to hate, discriminate, intimidate, segregate, and guns, guns, guns.

Kids, "spic" is not a necessary word. It occupies a special place in the common-tongue dictionary under "Words That Exist Only to Harm and Degrade Other People".

I'd think this is funny, but I just can't. It's sad. Truly sad. This is the slowly maturing face of the GOP. These people represent tomorrow's mainstream Republican presence. Hell, we're basically already there, Orcinus explains it it detail.

This would be funny if so many people didn't believe it to be the gospel truth. These people order their world around hate and blissful self-delusion. A freeper type is never wrong, never doubtful, never guilty... it's a self-regulating system, it's based upon 10 year-old logic, that is, the logic of a ten-year-old, and not a mature ten-year-old, either, one of those shitty, bratty little kids you hope falls out the bus window.

A few days ago some people were wondering out loud if, whatever happens in Iraq, are the hawks just simply going to spin it to prove their arguments?

Yes. Of course. I thought it was a really dumb question to ponder because, what else have "conservatives" been doing with their time for the last 10 years or so? Being honest? Playing fairly? Not being a load of fucking hypocrites every goddamn second of the day?


Saturday, March 08, 2003

I have to look for apartments... and I hab a code...

Do you live in LA? Do you know of a big 2 bedroom for around $1200? Let me know.

Me and my best gal are getting a place, and we both have a cat. That makes two cats total for those of you not near your calculators. So many good places don't allow pets.

Whaddathey got against my fuzzy little guy? He's fuzzy! And he meows! And every once in a while he seriously tries to eat me. I'm not kidding. Every once in a while his little walnut brain snaps and he tries to eat part of me. He hunkers down and chaws like he's trying to get a piece off, he's very determined and won't stop unless I get crazy on his ass and scare him.

One day it'll happen while I'm asleep and I'll wake up minus a deltoid or something.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Bush's glorious performance last night

We're living in a nightmare world, people. This is our president? This is the most powerful person on the planet?

He answered every question exactly the same: 9-11, God, Weapons, Saddam, Gas.

He didn't even really answer the questions.

He only allowed, what was it, like 10, 15 questions?

Who the fuck was that chick who asked, essentially, "How does your faith guide you every day?"

Huh?! Who the fuck was that?! I wish I were black so I could, like, call her a traitor to the black man, or something, for lobbing such a creampuff "question". But I ain't so I'll just say:

You Fuck-o, you.

A couple of- sigh... fisks...(bleh)

We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states could do with weapons of mass destruction.

When there is an obvious threat, when has any country waited for an attack to occur that they could otherwise circumvent? Iraq isn't a threat, pal. There is nothing we can attack that will save us from terrorist attacks. Terrorists don't mass at your fucking border with tanks. Terrorists don't set sail with their fleet, heading in your direction. Shit blows up; that's when you know you got a terrorist on your hands. The only thing one can do, directly, is police work, investigation. But what can be done indirectly, things like finding peace in Israel, rebuilding Afghanistan, stop propping up shitty regimes, pull troops out of muslim nations, etc., we're not doing any of that, are we?

Oh yeah, and BTW- terrorists are far more likely to get shit from Pakistan and they, like, have nuclear weapons...

This is a regional issue. I say a regional issue because there's a lot of countries that have got a direct stake into whether or not North Korea has nuclear weapons. We've got a stake as to whether North Korea has a nuclear weapon. China clearly has a stake as to whether or not North Korea has a nuclear weapon. South Korea, of course, has a stake. Japan has got a significant stake as to whether or not North Korea has a nuclear weapon. Russia has a stake.

OK... so let me see here... We have a stake, Korea has a stake, China has a stake, Russia has a stake, Japan has a stake...

That's a pretty big fucking region. In fact, a person who has ever glanced at a globe might say it's half the world. But I guess one half can have nuclear crisis and the other half can just sit back and doodle.

Funny that the region that covers half the globe warrants less attention than a region that covers merely the fertile crescent.

I remember the protests against trade. A lot of people didn't feel like free trade was good for the world. I completely disagree. I think free trade is good for both wealthy and impoverished nations. But that didn't change my opinion about trade. As a matter of fact, I went to the Congress to get trade promotion authority out.

Real fucking profound:

'People didn't like trade. I did. They didn't change my mind.'

This is a statement from the president of the most powerful country on the planet? It's a nightmare world, people.

The risk of doing nothing, the risk of hoping that Saddam Hussein changes his mind and becomes a gentle soul...

Again, just two choices? Bomb him or do nothing?


liberty is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to each and every person

Stop invoking God!!!!

And- No it isn't!!!! People have ordered themselves so many different ways since the beginning of civilization, and there's still a million different ways that haven't been tried. Our version of democracy is not required for a decent life. I don't mind if you talk specifics, that is, 'Iraq is an oppressive dictatorship, and that sucks', because that's true. Saying every person on earth has been given a certain type of innate freedom by God is old school English Colonialist, and that worked out real well for everyone, didn't it?

Oh- here it is:

...how is your faith guiding you? And what should you tell America -- well, what should America do, collectively, as you instructed before 9/11? Should it be "pray?"

What the fuck is wrong with you lady? What the fuck is wrong with you?

Hutch, I think, first of all, it's hard to envision more terror on America than September the 11th, 2001.

Uh... I thought that's why we were going to war? And, looking at the first quote above I see I am correct.

Just waiting for the day my head 'splode.

I'm sick

I hab a code.

You ever have someone tell you their pet can sense their mood? Like they're feeling sad and their cat could tell and would curl up on their lap and purr? Or they're feeling angry and frustrated and their cat will, well, I've heard people tell me their cat goes as far as to "kick their ass", metaphorically speaking, to shake them out of their bad mood... whatever.

My cat? He can sense two things: the presence of food, and the absence of food.

Beyond that he's pretty oblivious to when I need a fuzzy pal to soothe my soul. He does know when I'm angry though, because that's normally when the forkin' starts.

And so...

Why does anyone think this is a good idea?

Iraq can't pay for it's own reconstruction. And the CBO predicts a 1.8 trillion decifit over the next decade if we implement anything resembling Bush's budget.

People still support this guy? People still admire him? People still think he's doing what's best for the country?

People are stupid.

"The only way to get out of the deficits is to get the economy moving," said White House budget office spokesman Trent Duffy. "And that's why Congress must pass the president's jobs and growth plan."

Box seat in hell waiting for you, bub.

Man... My cat's meowin' for attention. Can't he tell I'm forlorn over these news?

Nope. Time to pet.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

What would you do, oh wise one?

Say you're on a luxury boat cruise. You're traveling to Europe via the North Atlantic. You, my friend, are the first mate on this ship.

Halfway across the ocean the in-ship iceberg expert tells you he’s done the calculations and checked the charts and it’s likely there’s a number of iceberg s in your path.

You inform the captain and he says:

“There may be a number of icebergs in our path? Doesn’t sound very convincing. Full speed ahead!”

You inform the expert. He tells you he’s ran more tests, consulted historical charts, consulted with other iceberg experts, and they all agree that there are probably at least a couple but possibly tens of icebergs in the path of the ship.

“We should slow down” He says.

You go back to the captain and tell him this. He calls his pal back at Euro-Cruiselines Inc. and asks:

“Carl! It’s Jim! Say, I got a guy here telling me we’re going to run into an iceberg. No he hasn’t seen one. No I haven’t seen one. No, we don’t have any eye witnesses saying they’re seen any- he’s just got some charts, Carl. You say you haven’t heard anything? You’ve been in the business for 40 years and never seen one? Got it.

Tell what’s-his-name to shove it, Number One.”

You tell the expert. He’s done more tests, same story, this time he gives you charts to show to the Captain.

You take the charts back to the Captain, he whips out his willy and pisses on them in an act of contempt.

“You nattering nabobs of negativism make me sick! You’ve got no spine! No determination! YOU FUCKING PUSSIES!! Full speed ahead!!”

You go back to the expert and he’s blowing up a life raft.

In this situation would you beat the captain unconscious with a sock full of marbles and slow the ship down, or ridicule the expert and go get drunk with good ol’ Cap’n?

A prudent person, that is to say, a person with at least one working brain lobe, would beat the Captain, slow the ship down, and keep a look out for icebergs. A prudent person would know “better safe than sorry”, in this instance, is the path of someone who wishes to live through the night, not a “pussy”.

A bold person, that is to say, a self-absorbed asshole, would go get drunk with the Cap’n and probably go down with the ship when it hits a fucking iceberg just like the experts said it would. But of course as you’re sinking into the water, your balls sucked into your spleen it’s so fucking cold, you’d point out that actually there was only one, really big iceberg, so the experts-- WERE WRONG!

And you’d have one last rush of self-satisfaction before you freeze to death you prick.

What’s my point?

I’m watching a re-run of a Frontline episode concerning Global Warming and again, as I am whenever I’m confronted with global warming “skeptics”, I am simply amazed at the levels of fucktitude these bastards continue to strive for and reach.

You have to be either a complete fucking idiot, completely ignorant, or a completely and utterly mendacious asswiper of the first order to think there is nothing to global warming, or there is nothing to worry about, or worst of all, like our dumbass Captain, that because the future cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy, there’s no reason to heed any of the warnings or do anything about it.

Really. If thousands of people who know their shit are telling you there’s probably a fucking iceberg in your way, would you keep on truckin’ and go take a nap? Of course not. So howcome you're driving that fucking Lincoln Navigator?!

Man… I often wonder if I have nothing but contempt for most of my fellow men, and worry perhaps I’m becoming too jaded and cynical even for a person who thinks it’s healthy to be a bit of both. Then I see a group of “ordinary Americans” assembled for a focus group to gauge attitudes toward global warming and hear this:

“You know, you can't predict what's going to happen, you know, with the climate. Nobody can. That's my opinion. It's like, they say one thing one day, and the next day something else happens.”

And then see everyone nodding in agreement and I think--

Yeah. They’re all just talking pigs, aren’t they?

And I glory in the festering swamp of mediocrity that is this nation, and let the contempt and accompanying guilty sense of superiority wash all over me like a cleansing rain.

God bless us, dumb fucks, one and all!

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Geeks have it good these days

You know, dudes who dress up like Boba Fett or Aragorn... they got it good.

They can retreat into a fantasy world filled with hobbits and Jedi when things go foul, or when it's the 3rd year anniversary of the last time they got laid.

Me? I'm stuck in terrible, horrible reality. I have to deal with it when Bush says if Mexico doesn't vote with the US on Iraq "there will be a certain sense of discipline.”

Or sums up his views of the anti-war moevement with:

"...obviously some people in Northern California do not see there’s a true risk to the United States posed by Saddam Hussein. And we just have a difference of opinion.”

Or, concerning Iraq:

“This is a difficult decision for any president to make. I’ve thought about the consequence of doing nothing. I’ve thought about the consequences of military action.”

Indicating the only thing he has considered is military action, since, last time I checked, there were more than two options, and no one thinks "nothing" is one of them.

Or when he says:

“I’m sleeping well at night. I am sustained by the prayers of the people,” he said. “People walk up to me all the time and say, ‘I pray for you and your family, Mr. President,’ for which I am most grateful.”

“I’m reading the Bible every day.”

Which indicates he thinks he's got an OK from heaven to kill thousands of people if he sees fit, and others think the same thing too (though I don't know how often the president is in the position to be "walked up to". Is that "walked up to" in a photo-op sense?). Man, I hope there is a heaven and hell, ordered as it says it is in the bible. Cuz man, there's a box seat in hell waiting for some of these jokers that call themselves statesmen.

I wonder how well citizens of Baghdad are sleeping at night. Hell, I can't get to sleep... I guess our president is just unfettered by conscience, huh?

It's all enough to make me wanna start sewing up a Frodo costume.


This is one for the ages, Pinkerton

So I caught this article via Atrios and read down to:

But under the pundit/publishing radar, signs of a revalorization in the popuar culture have abounded. Movies such as 'Saving Private Ryan," "Gladiator," and now, "Gods and Generals," were, in their own way, oblique heralds of American invigoration.

I've just now stopped throwing up.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Good News

Turkey sez no to US troops.

We ain't going to the Philippines.

One could argue both are bad things, because in Turkey's case, it would make an invasion more difficult and therefore there'd be more casualties, and the Philippines because, well, it'll be harder to root out the armed thugs they're after.

However, whatever it is we want to do, if it's blocked by democratic means, that's a good thing. The Bush administration has very little respect for democracy. Very little. They have been trying to act as if their will is law and not subject to public scrutiny. Actually, it's no act, that's what they've been doing since day one: they've been filling all cabinet posts with corporate ideologues, they've been filling the non-partisan departments with ideologues- having the gall to ask scientists whose only job is to figure out how much lead a person can ingest before it's harmful such questions as "do you believe in abortion?", keeping the energy meetings secret, subverting the UN, subverting the constitution, lying at every opportunity.

Bush and Co. don't give a shit about democracy at all. If democracy continues to thwart our plans, good. Great. Because democracy isn't the tool of spoiled, asshole frat-boys who need a fucking kick in the teeth, it's a tool for everyone, man.

This page is powered by Blogger.