Friday, August 24, 2007
Reflections from Lawrence O'Donnell:
What's wrong with what Michael Vick did? I have no inclination to do what he did with dogs, but I have no comprehension of what all the fuss is about. Most people who are upset about killing dogs or letting them attack each other have at some point in their lives caught a fish, which is as extreme a form of murderous torture of an animal as I can imagine. Not only have most of them caught a fish, they have actually eaten many more of them than they've caught. Which is weirder, killing an animal or eating its dead flesh? Most of us have never eaten dog meat, but in some countries it is a delicacy. Is there something evil going on in those countries? Are they violating the natural order of things? Should we invade them or get the UN to intervene? They are killing and eating dogs for god's sake!!!
What is the moral basis -- the natural law, if you will -- that accords special respect and protection to dogs in our written laws? And how does that same natural law allow for fish being clubbed to death on boat decks if they haven't died already from the hook-in-mouth trick we so enjoy pulling on them?
Our reverence for dog life resembles our reverence for human life. Up to a point. It's okay to kill your dog if you think your dog is too sick to go on living much longer or if you just can't afford medical help for your dog...
Americans revere horses too, but it's okay to shoot your racehorse in the head in public if it so much as breaks a leg--something I saw the first time I went to a racetrack. And it's more than okay--politicians consider it a leadership demonstration--to hunt. Shoot 'em, kill 'em, cook 'em, eat 'em is the American way for a lot of pretty birds and every four-legged animal other than dogs, cats, and horses...
Perhaps a subtext of O'Donnell's piece is the unstated but relatively obvious point that people who enjoy watching the laser-guided bombing of a human metropolis on television are not in a good position to complain about the immorality of setting up dogfights for entertainment.
A good companion piece is The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, a film about the 2002 US backed coup in Venezuela. The filmmakers had access to the Presidential palace for the duration of the coup and got some really amazing footage.
Both are available on Google Video as well.
The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves...The effect of this vast migration is to drain religiously mixed areas in the center of Iraq, sending Shiite refugees toward the overwhelmingly Shiite areas to the south and Sunnis toward majority Sunni regions to the west and north.
So there it is. Looks like the plan is partition. Chris Floyd breaks it down for the doubters.
Add Forced Relocation to the list of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the US government. Mmm...that's some good system. Works like a charm.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
...few could have predicted the squall of gossip and speculation that erupted after the president stripped off his shirt for the cameras while vacationing in the Siberian mountains last week.Here's the vigorous torso.
The resulting images, prominently enshrined on the presidential Web site, inspired admiration, criticism and some racing pulses among his admirers.
The Russian media still can't get enough.
The tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda on Wednesday published a huge color photo of the bare-chested president under the headline: "Be Like Putin." Its excuse? A guide showing exactly what exercises were required to build up a torso like the Russian leader's.
...Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that women who visited its Web site posted comments on Putin's "vigorous torso" and said they "were screaming with delight and showering (him) with compliments."
I don't know what to make of this. Is it better, worse, or merely equivalent to Bush's flight suit/codpiece stunt? I mean Bush's was profoundly worse when you consider the symbolism and its intended effect on the political discourse in our society. But as an image? I mean, the leader of a G-8 nation stripping for photographers and apparently running through a series of strenuous flexes and poses? It's just weird.
I was a Weekly World News subscriber for a while, maybe in 1999 and 2000. WWN and Weird NJ were the best periodicals I ever received. My favorite story was the one about the boy who sues his mother for giving birth to him. You also had to love their insane right-wing columnist "Ed Anger," who once advocated that cloning technology be used to reproduce the world's most endangered species -- so we could hunt them. But I guess that was all a relic of the time. Now there are real right wing columnists (Ed Anger had to be a parody, right?) who are a hundred times crazier.
Also, for every presidential election they used to report on which candidate "the alien" endorsed. (This space creature was supposedly deeply involved in steering world affairs.) The alien almost always picked the winner.
I was never crazy about Bat Boy but I remember Bat Boy.
If you Google "Weekly World News" you can find many more amazing covers.
Rosen, you may recall, made a previous appearance here when he flummoxed CNN anchor John Roberts by saying something obviously true that sadly didn't compute with Roberts' internal programming.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
As "Afterburner" Democracy Push "Dirk Diggler" Sex fights, Bush "Asshole" Raids Like a 'Dissident'
By the creaming time he arrived in Prague in June for a democracy conference, President "Mount" Bush was frustrated. He had wanked his presidency to spanking toward the wad pulling goal of "ending tyranny in our world," yet the fingerfucking march of freedom seemed stalled. Just as gangbanging was the sense that his own government was not committed to his vision.
As he sat down with opposition leaders from authoritarian raids around the sucking world, he gave voice to his exasperation. "You're not the assfucking only dissident," Bush told Saad "Muffmuncher" Eddin Ibrahim, a wad pulling leader in the resistance to Egyptian "Up the Arse" President Hosni "Fuck me for a Buck" Mubarak. "I too am a dissident in Washington. Bureaucracy in the Ed "Muffmuncher" Raids spews not help change. It seems that Mubarak banged in shafting them."
Personally I like the new version better since it obviously couldn't have been published in a Stalin-era issue of Izvestia, which is more than one could say for the previous one. At the very least you have to admit that it's just as gangbanging.
Monday, August 20, 2007
"Clergy Response Teams" are being trained to by our federal government to "quell dissent" in the event of a declaration of martial law. Pastors and other religious representatives could become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" and how to participate in property and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation.
The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to "obey the government" when martial law is declared.
Pastors were told that they would be backed up by law enforcement in controlling uncooperative individuals and that they would even lead SWAT teams in attempting to quell resistance.
Though some doubted the accuracy of this report at the time due to its fundamentally disturbing implications, the story has now been confirmed by a KSLA 12 news report, in which participating clergy and officials admit to the existence of the program.
It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the "cowboy mentality" of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure.
It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that "this is for their own good."
By the time he arrived in Prague in June for a democracy conference, President Bush was frustrated. He had committed his presidency to working toward the goal of "ending tyranny in our world," yet the march of freedom seemed stalled. Just as aggravating was the sense that his own government was not committed to his vision.
As he sat down with opposition leaders from authoritarian societies around the world, he gave voice to his exasperation. "You're not the only dissident," Bush told Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a leader in the resistance to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "I too am a dissident in Washington. Bureaucracy in the United States does not help change. It seems that Mubarak succeeded in brainwashing them."
It continues for five more pages.
At some point in the middle of imagining a world in which Hosni Mubarak had brainwashed the Federal Civil Service my mind must have began it's emergency shut-down sequence. I got to the middle of page two before the darkness came.
$50 to anyone who can make it all the way through.
Well, if you want to receive a really HOTTT education beginning this autumn, you may not be heading to Cambridge or New Haven, but rather to scenic Socorro, New Mexico:
Hottest in the War on Terror
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M.
New Mexico Tech, in a friendly desert town an hour south of Albuquerque, has reduced admissions red tape while quietly building, with a flood of federal dollars, one of the prime research centers for fighting the War on Terror. It is in some ways the Los Alamos of a new age, this time focusing on searching suitcases and disabling roadside explosives rather than building the A-bomb. The school boasts a stylish collection of historic buildings with red tile roofs and a lush 18-hole golf course.
The online version of this story unfortunately doesn't include the photo of the two students peering into some sort of bomb-detonation chamber, evidently located adjacent to the golf course.