Saturday, May 21, 2005

5-21-05: The Day the World Changed 

Until it suddenly plunged and crashed, some witnesses watched the plane and thought it might unfurl an advertising banner. "I thought it was a plane show," Joel Pacheco said.

People dying--especially in accidents--is never funny. But could there be a more appropriate symbol for our times than an airplane plunging straight toward the ground, while bystanders look on and await the unfurling of an advertising banner?

News Items 

When Dean calls DeLay corrupt it's an outrage, but when Santorum--and not only Santorum but several others, it's an official GOP talking point--compares the entire Senate Democratic caucus to Nazis occupying France, no one bats an eye.

Britain releases documents showing (for the 70,000th time) that Bush lied the U.S. into war, and it goes unreported here. Now there's additional evidence from senior U.S. intelligence officials, and it's even made the front page of the Washington Post! Does anyone care?

Polls show people turning against the Senate Dems even more than the Senate Rethugs, even though a large majority of those same people claim they do not want the Senate rules changed. Does anyone understand anything?

There's no point in even providing links to these "news" items, since they're not news, they didn't occur. Nothing occurs. A veil of stupidity, amnesia, paralysis, and mindless oblivion has descended over the entire country. Behind this veil the fascists can do pretty much anything they want to. And they are.

Q: who will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008?


Friday, May 20, 2005

Bobo make a words. 

Shorter David Brooks:

We are in mortal peril of forgetting that we are in mortal peril.

The world is truly your inkblot, David:

They've spent so many years inhabiting a delusional mental landscape filled with conspiracy theories and paranoia that you could drill deep into their minds without ever touching reality.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Compromise" vs. Smeared Blood & Shit 

Not a new point, but I just cannot wrap my head around this. This is the freaking "compromise"???

At least six Democrats would agree to filibuster no more judicial nominees this year -- including any for the Supreme Court -- except in "extraordinary circumstances," the participants say. In return, at least six Republicans would pledge to oppose Frist's effort to change the filibuster rule unless the Democrats broke their promise.
The compromise is simply that the Democrats willingly surrender the filibuster, rather than having it stripped from them by sheer force. And even this can't be agreed to.

Wow. This is really what things have come to. Half a dozen Democratic senators gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair over the manner in which they will relinquish their last remaining shred of power: to stop the appointment of fascists to the federal and Supreme courts.

This is over, folks. It's Sith time. If these Democratic senators had even a shred of dignity left, they would strip naked, smear themselves in human shit, slit their wrists, and run screaming out onto the Senate floor.

As for the rest of us, what can we do? We can't check this power through democratic means, since elections have been obviated through the corruption of the electoral apparatus. So what can we do?

Oh--and over at Daily Kos they've got crap like this:

Let's Be Clear, Politically Frist's Nuclear Option is Good For Dems

Let's be clear: Frist's nuclear option is good for Dems the way makeup is good for a corpse. A corpse that, incidentally, had been trying to save your life (i.e., before it became a corpse).

Death, Death, Death 

At W.T.C. Site, a Temple for Contemplating Freedom

Relying on varied exhibits and multimedia presentations, the Freedom Center will foster "conversations on freedom"...


Paula Grant Berry, the widow of a Sept. 11 victim and the vice chairwoman of the Freedom Center, said the terrorist attacks would be a springboard for the center's meditations on freedom in the United States and abroad. "It will look at 9/11 in the way 9/11 affected the world," she said.

Death and corpses.

Visitors will then set off on a grand concourse, called the Freedom Walk, that winds around the building's perimeter and highlights significant moments in history through a collage of images and sounds.

Death, corpses, shit.

The center also plans Freedom Sites evoking the cause of liberty, like a former gulag in Russia, that will be set up with other groups promoting freedom around the world.

Death, corpses, shit, and death.

Freedom Hot Spots will focus on places around the world where people are campaigning against human rights abuses. The Challenge Galleries will emphasize what the planners view as current or historical challenges to freedom, like India's caste system. The center plans to feature the stories of ordinary people - slaves who resisted their masters, shopkeepers who risked all to fight the Nazis - as well as more prominent figures.

Charred dead corpses smeared with shit.

The Freedom Center's creators, meanwhile, have sought to emphasize that their institution has no partisan identity. "We're filmmakers," Mr. Kunhardt said. "We're journalists who want to explore freedom in accurate and meaningful and exciting ways." He added, "We tried to be above politics as we did our research."

Mr. Bernstein said the center plans to emphasize questions rather than answers. "Our ambition is not to tell you what to think," he said. "It's to make you think."

As for the emphasis on freedom, Mr. Kunhardt said: "This is not a word to shy away from. Freedom will be a word everyone will use with great pride."

It's finished. It's all finished. The terrorists won a thousand times over. We were already dead. All they had to do was to come and strew some rubble over the corpses already lying there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Something everybody wanted to hear about" 

You'll remember the fun we had last fall with the message board at Montgomery County, MD-based "Citizens for a Responsible Cirriculum," a group that doesn't want children in public schools to learn that gay people exist...even in their midst. They haven't gone away--in fact, they've quietly kept up their work and this month won a court injunction temporarily suspending implementation of the new sex-ed cirriculum (which allows teachers to discuss--to discuss--homosexuality. (There's also the matter of the condom/cuke video, but that's really a footnote; these folks hate and fear gays, not hyperphallic fruit, as intimidating as such fruit in fact is).

The WaPo has a piece on Michelle Turner, the supermom behind CRC. Amazing stuff:

The couple's oldest son, Grant T. Turner III, a senior at Albert Einstein High School, is headed to Mormon-run Brigham Young University in the fall, to study music. Two older sisters already are at BYU. The Turners' 13-year-old son will start at Northwood High School in September, and their 15-year-old daughter will be an Einstein junior. The two siblings didn't want their names published. The youngest in the family, Madeline, is a fourth-grader.

None has a phone or TV in his or her bedroom. They watch suitable shows in the basement den on a set wired to an $80 device called the TV Guardian -- "a nifty little gizmo," Turner said. The small black box decodes hidden, closed-caption text, searching for any of 150 preprogrammed "offensive words and phrases," then mutes them, flashing substitute text on the screen. "Get the hell out of here," for instance, becomes, "Get out."

"You can set it to take out just the cuss words," she said, "or the cuss words and anything related to taking the Lord's name in vain."

Poor freakin' kids. But check out the oldest one:

Grant Turner III, the only sibling willing to be interviewed, is an aspiring song producer who plays piano and guitar. He said his parents' rules are "good tools for bringing up a good family," even though he gets frustrated now and then. CDs with parental advisory labels are forbidden, for example, and his mother has lyrics-approval over all other music he brings home.
"Sometimes I feel it's not fair, other kids getting to do things that seem fun to do, and I don't get to enjoy those things," he said. "But I tell myself it's not going to change, so just get over it. And I do."
He said that he shares his parents' religious beliefs, and that he didn't want to discuss homosexuality. And he said he has been too busy getting ready for college to focus on the sex-ed debate.

"I feel it's not fair"? C'mon, Grant III, you pussy! You're a senior, for chrissake! Is this how healthy, virile, heterosexual 18-year-olds are supposed to behave? "Other kids getting to do things that seem fun to do"? Jeeebus, what a wuss.

As far as mom goes:

Hers was not an especially religious upbringing, she said. Her mother explained the facts of life to her when she was a sixth-grader, after two pet mice in the family mated and their babies were born. As for homosexuality, she said, back then "it was just something that you heard about, with your peers. . . . I know that people joked about it, and people would get ridiculed."

"Something you heard about?" Sounds like this woman is really informed about the subject which has become her life's crusade! Ah, the good old days, when gay people were merely the subject of rumors, mockery, and jokes--you didn't have to actually, like, discuss them in the informed context of a classroom!

But with Michelle--as with all people like Michelle--her political position is a funny thing. Such as when it comes to people she actually knows:

She added, "I will admit there could be a possibility" that in rare instances, people are born homosexual -- such as her cousin Steve.

"He's gay, and he's a great guy," she said. "He's a hairdresser. He's very artistic, very good at what he does, men's and women's hair. Fabulous decorator. And I remember playing together when we were young. . . . My brother was always into trucks and guns, knives and swords. . . . Steve was much quieter. He was much happier hanging out with the girls."

Michelle Turner isn't really a gay-basher--she's a fag hag! But only for the good gays--such as her cousin Steve. Isn't Steve awesome? Steve is just Steve, you know, and that's cool. It's a shame all the other bad gays are going straight to hell.

And as to all the decadent heathens down in the D.C. suburbs:

"I don't think they're purposely promoting the homosexual agenda," Turner said in her home. "I think they're just very liberal, and this is a liberal area. And they just assumed that this was something everybody wanted to hear about."

What do you suppose Michelle Turner would say if you asked her what she thought the "homosexual agenda" was, other than the right of cousin Steve to live his life with dignity and equal opportunity, to hairdress and decorate artistically, fabulously, and without being humiliated, intimidated, discriminated against?

If I were her, I'd keep Grant III away from that tinkly piano.

Oh, and for anybody interested in following the developments in MC--both locally and in the context of the national right-wing crusade against gay people, sanity, and knowledge--should check out the excellent blog TeachtheFacts.org.

Giving the Enemy Aid 

The Fixin's Bar passes along this item:

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. - The owner of two Kentucky theaters has refused to show the new Jane Fonda film "Monster-in-Law" because of the activist role the actress took during the Vietnam War.

Ike Boutwell, who trained pilots during the Vietnam War, displayed pictures of Fonda clapping with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft crew in 1972 outside the Elizabethtown Movie Palace to show his disapproval. The marquee outside Showtime Cinemas in nearby Radcliff reads: "No Jane Fonda movie in this theater."

Both theaters are just a few miles from the Army post of Fort Knox, south of Louisville.

"I think when people do something, they need to be held responsible for their actions," Boutwell said. "When you give the enemy aid, it makes the war last longer."

I couldn't agree more.

Small Triumphs, Large Turds 

George Galloway, MP, may be crazy; he may, in fact, be corrupt; but this week he is my hero--especially as he took the opportunity to sling a big, fat, well-earned turd in the already turd-spattered face of Norm Coleman (R-MN), the Senate's Most Loathsome Member (SMLM).

When Mr Coleman asked how he could have failed to be aware of Mr Zureikat's oil deals, Mr Galloway turned the attention to Mr Coleman's campaign fundraising.

He said: "Well, there's a lot of contributors, I've just been checking your website..."

"Not many at that level, Mr Galloway," the senator interjected.

"No, let me assure you there are," Mr Galloway went on. "I've checked your website. There are lots of contributors to your political campaign funds, I don't suppose you ask any of them how they made the money they give you."

Indeed. There's much, much more where that came from.

So--George Galloway was great. What wasn't so great was standing in the checkout line at the supermarket and catching a glimpse of the latest Reader's Digest, whose cover featured something that said: "Laura Bush: How Her Mind Was Shaped by Books."

Sorry to say, I didn't purchase the issue and thus wasn't able to find out how Laura Bush's "mind" was "shaped" by "books." However, in another (online) article, RD has this to report:


On the day of our visit last January, as my colleague Bill Beaman and I sat in a room waiting for the First Lady, we noticed a wall full of children's books, and thought they might be some of her favorites. The room was plain, rather cozy (read small), and under-decorated. We were told the interview would take place in Mrs. Bush's office, and assumed this was a waiting room. Wrong. This was Laura Bush's office: childcentric art and literature, a simple desk, a small sitting area, and that's it. How true to her style, I remember thinking. The tangerine suit was a compromise to the role of political wife. The office wasn't. You could imagine her in jeans and a work shirt, organizing anything from a bake sale to an inaugural ball. Then it dawned on me. The reason Laura Bush is perhaps the most popular First Lady since her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, is because of the jeans and work-shirt attitude she projects to the country.

Her numbers are astounding: According to a recent Gallup Poll, she has an 85% approval rating, roughly 30 points higher than her husband.

One reason is that she hasn't made any mistakes -- not one -- during her four years in the White House. Compare that to Hillary Clinton's erroneous assumption that she should have a policy role in defining the nation's health care system.

Compare that, gentle reader.

Men, Women, and Children: A Reminiscence 

That we might place the immanent launching of the "nuclear option" in some context, I'd like to remind us that none of this might be happening were it not for the powerful and moving words spoken by Trent Lott (R-MS) about a year and a half ago, during the Senate Rethugs' 33-hour floor circus meant to highlight the Democratic filibustering of a handful of Bush's neo-fascist judicial appointees. This was the same charade that featured Orrin Hatch exhibiting a sign (meant to explain the parliamentary concept of the filibuster to the general American citizenry) which read "From the Spanish word filibustero, meaning a pirating or hijacking"; Saxby "Saxby Chambliss" Chambliss wielding a "Faces of America" poster, featuring the faces (note: not all of them white) of four of the blocked nominees superimposed against a map of all the land of the United States; and Rick Santorum with a weirdly off-topic "Most Jobs Ever" placard. But the kicker was ole Trent:

Although Lott wasn't one of the major players in this thing (that honor went to freshman slimebags Lindsay "Lindsay" Graham, Coleman, Saxby "Saxby Chambliss" Chambliss, and a more-than-healthy dose of Jeff Sessions) his speech stood out for the peculiarity of its language. Initially Lott referred to the mistreated judicial nominees as

"These men, women and m'nahrities [read: minorities]..."

O.K., so we got the broad sketch of the 3 Categories of Judge-Types we were dealing with here...but then Lott bears down, seeks focus and detail:

"Three men, four women, a minority...all blocked by this filibuster."

Now the math is one thing (the Dems are currently filibustering four; Janice Brown can be counted as a fifth); the gender breakdown is another; but who is this solitary spotlit "minority"?

Well, the men/women/minority triad had to break down at some point:

"But don't use a procedural vote to defeat these men, women and children..."

Well, now Janice Rogers Brown is back. And Americans simply will allow their "children" to be filibustered any longer.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Violent Bear it Away 

The "defining passage" of Force Ministries:

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." (Matthew 11:12) New International Version


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