Friday, February 29, 2008
* Mr. Hussein Obama's claim that McCain "speaks of a war in Iraq lasting C years."
* An intercepted e-mail from O'Bomber to his fellow collaborators in which he solicits a contribution of XXV, L, or even C dollars which will be used to murder American babies.
* A similar e-mail in which the turban-clad bomb-throwing playa wildly boasts of having recruited M Americans and organized them into cells throughout the nation.
* Dunkin' Donuts receipts charged to the campaign that contain row after row of Arabic numerals arranged in some sort of coded arithmetical pattern.
* Economic and budgetary proposals which, according to former FBI profilers retained by the McCain MVIII campaign, seem to have been calculated using an obscure and potent form of dark Islamofascist numeromancy known as "al-Jabr."
The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comments made by hollering into the mouth of their secret cave.
For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.
Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.
Sounds grim...but wait! There's a justification for all this human warehousing. It works!
But Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah and a former federal judge, said the Pew report considered only half of the cost-benefit equation and overlooked the “very tangible benefits — lower crime rates.”
In the past 20 years, according the Federal Bureau of Investigation, violent crime rates fell by 25 percent, to 464 for every 100,000 people in 2007 from 612.5 in 1987.
Alas and alack. You know all those studies about high schoolers who can't even find the US on a map? The studies they like to publish in the Times on the regular in order to scare the professional class into gripping their holdings just a little tighter in fear of the coming uncartological hordes? What's happening to our country! Standards are plummeting! Who can devote time to giving a shit about anyone else when you've got to get your kid into a good school so he doesn't end up flipping burgers?!
Well, never fear. Lacking basic thinking skills and knowledge sets is clearly no bar to attaining social status. Those very same high-schoolers pulling down the averages actually grow up to become judges and professors who get called by similarly brain-pinched journalists for pull-quotes.
Even taking into account the benefit side of the above equation, one can only feel good about these numbers by ignoring the rest of the cost side. Armenia, for example, has a shade lower murder rate, and managed to achieve this with one tenth of our incarceration rate. Whatever dubious benefits we garner with our superawesome freedom machine they are being gained in the most costly way yet devised by modern human society.
Even according to his own morally myopic criteria he's defending the indefensible. So fuck you Cassell, you mandarin twit.
Radley Balko finds an alternate way to get past the thin layer of stupid to a better view of the situation. It must have taken a whole two-minutes of Googling:
As the Washington Post explains, a state like Florida, which has been giddily locking people up for two decades, has experienced only a slight drop in crime over that period. New York, on the other hand, has experienced a substantial drop in crime since the early 1990s, but the state’s prison population is the lowest its been in 15 years.
See the BBC coverage here.
Is the deputy defense minister threatening to exterminate all of the Palestinians? Is he threatening to turn the Gaza concentration camp into an extermination camp?
Maybe. But don't worry. A Gaza "holocaust" would be justifiable, as long as it did not become a "Holocaust." And how could it? There are only one million people in Gaza. Even if they were all killed, that would still be infinitely less than the number killed by the Nazis.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
OBAMA: I do know Al Qaeda's in Iraq, and that's why we should continue to strike Al Qaeda targets, but I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq before George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq. They took their eye off the people who were responsible for 9/11 -- that would Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which is stronger now than at anytime since 2001. I've been paying attention, John McCain.
GEIST: So are you ready for eight months of that argument?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, it is an argument -- Mika's gonna disagree with me on this one -- but I would guarantee you, guarantee you, that while a lot of people in Manhattan and Georgetown and on college campuses are worried about what happened in 2002 and the lead up to the war, Americans are concerned about what's happening now.
I don't know much about Georgetown and college campuses, but I'm pretty sure Manhattanites are concerned with the cause and effect part of foreign policy. Having a bulls-eye painted on places you frequent tends to raise the awareness. If only a few ticks above average.
So if being a target makes you not American, then Americans are under no threat from terrorism. Which means the war must be over.
I just won the War on Terrorism. You're welcome.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
And thus another turd is flushed down to the abbatoir from whence he came and rejoins his infernal master.
Bye Bill. You will not be missed. You affected supercilious hack.
In addition, Obama said this (according to Jim Lobe):
“I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have an honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress.”
This is significant and should not be the occasion for cynicism.
More interesting statements from Obama here.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Then they brought a special guest on to discuss the flap. Can you guess who it was?
It was fucking Bill Cunningham!
And they let Cunningham go on for about another 5 minutes about how Obama was a "proud Muslim" and so on and so forth. Some of the hard-hitting questions the anchor asked Cunningham including something to the effect of (paraphrasing), "Now, you also say Obama is corrupt. Can you tell us a little more about that?"
Then they played some clips of Bob Kerrey at a Clinton rally disingenuously claiming that it was really neat and wonderful that "Barack Hussein Obama" attended a "secular madrassa."
Finally, Candy Crowley et. al. were trotted out to praise John McCain for his forthright and undoubtedly sincere repudiation of those awful remarks. Then Candy Crowley claimed that, regrettable though it may be, there is nothing CNN can do to stop this kind of rhetoric. Crowley said, and I think this is an exact quote, "If Obama's the nominee, then this kind of talk is just going to be out there, all the way to the general election. It'll just be out there."
WTF?! "Out there"?! It wasn't "out there," it was on your own network!
I had to turn off the television after this but presumably they're still talking about it. Maybe they're now showing the turban photo and morphing it with a Bin Laden photo and regretting how regrettable it is that those kinds of images keep being broadcasted by cable news networks.
We are officially through the looking glass. Again.
Bonds circa 1990 vs. Bonds circa 2000.
"What's all this about my head size?" Bonds asked. "My hat size is the same today as when I started. My head hasn't grown. I've always been a 7-1/4 to a 7-3/8 my whole career. You can go check. Sometimes you get one and you sweat, it gets smaller, so you go a size up or a size down. Those things shrink when you sweat or they get wet during a season.
"I saw a 13-year-old kid on one of the news shows talking about my head size. How do they know? That kid hasn't seen 15 years of my career and he's talking about my head size. That's one of the saddest things, man. That's manipulation. They manipulated that kid."
Monday, February 25, 2008
Obviously this isn't traditional Arab garb -- I think this is from a summit or conference in Vietnam -- but I couldn't resist.
Even the Joker gets in on the act!
Here's the president's niece, model Lauren Bush, sporting a keffiyeh. Apparently this is some kind of fashion trend?
Can anyone guess who this self-styled terrorist sympathizer is?
Last night, the times publishes story about Obama assassination concerns.
This morning, the Clinton camp circulates photo of the Black Osama.
What are we to make of this?
[Posting from work--can't add links/pics on this fucking browswer.]
...sad to say, the Presidential contest has mesmerized liberals and radicals alike.
The very people who should know better, having criticized the hold of the media on the national mind, find themselves transfixed by the press, glued to the television set, as the candidates preen and smile and bring forth a shower of clichés with a solemnity appropriate for epic poetry.
Even in the so-called left periodicals, we must admit there is an exorbitant amount of attention given to minutely examining the major candidates. An occasional bone is thrown to the minor candidates, though everyone knows our marvelous democratic political system won’t allow them in.
No, I’m not taking some ultra-left position that elections are totally insignificant, and that we should refuse to vote to preserve our moral purity. Yes, there are candidates who are somewhat better than others, and at certain times of national crisis (the Thirties, for instance, or right now) where even a slight difference between the two parties may be a matter of life and death.
I’m talking about a sense of proportion that gets lost in the election madness. Would I support one candidate against another? Yes, for two minutes-the amount of time it takes to pull the lever down in the voting booth.
But before and after those two minutes, our time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice.
Let’s remember that even when there is a “better” candidate (yes, better Roosevelt than Hoover, better anyone than George Bush), that difference will not mean anything unless the power of the people asserts itself in ways that the occupant of the White House will find it dangerous to ignore.
Today, we can be sure that the Democratic Party, unless it faces a popular upsurge, will not move off center. The two leading Presidential candidates have made it clear that if elected, they will not bring an immediate end to the Iraq War, or institute a system of free health care for all.
They offer no radical change from the status quo.
They do not propose what the present desperation of people cries out for: a government guarantee of jobs to everyone who needs one, a minimum income for every household, housing relief to everyone who faces eviction or foreclosure.
They do not suggest the deep cuts in the military budget or the radical changes in the tax system that would free billions, even trillions, for social programs to transform the way we live.
None of this should surprise us. The Democratic Party has broken with its historic conservatism, its pandering to the rich, its predilection for war, only when it has encountered rebellion from below, as in the Thirties and the Sixties. We should not expect that a victory at the ballot box in November will even begin to budge the nation from its twin fundamental illnesses: capitalist greed and militarism.
So we need to free ourselves from the election madness engulfing the entire society, including the left.
Yes, two minutes. Before that, and after that, we should be taking direct action against the obstacles to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war.
Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy...