Sunday, July 30, 2006

Free Elvis Sightings!

I was researching copyright laws, as is my wont, and I stumbled upon this question in the FAQ at the U.S. Copyright Office:

How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?

Could that one really be asked frequently?  I mean, really?  Or is this some kind of a joke?  For the record, the answer is no.  You can copyright your pictures of the sighting, but you cannot copyright the sighting itself.  Damn.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

PSA

It’s my birthday.  I’m now officially old enough to be president.  You’ve been warned.

Marketers will Inherit the Earth

Why don’t movie studios give us the movies that their marketing departments want to sell?  I mean, how often have you seen some movie that looks just great on the previews, but when you see the movie, you realize that it was a completely different kind of movie than what had been advertised.  Like if you saw a David Spade movie and expected to be entertained.  And the movie you saw wasn’t nearly as good as the movie that you thought you were going to see.  That happens all the time.  So why don’t they just get with the marketing department before the movie is made, and give us the movies that we want to see?  How hard is that?  The marketing people clearly know what people want, so why do so many movies really really suck?  That makes no sense.  

And for that matter, why can’t they do that with politicians too?  Was it really too impossible for them to make Bush into the brilliant war president they insisted he was, or was that exactly what they were trying to avoid?  I saw a clip of him on The Daily Show tonight, and he really looked like crap.  Like even he has realized that he’s just a big incompetent phony. I honestly feel sorry for the guy.  Is it his fault that his marketing department was so damn good?  I don’t see how.  If anything, he’s been working to undermine his presidentialness from the get-go.  You can’t say he wasn’t trying.  But ironically, he was much too incompetent to overcome the marketing juggernaut that was intent upon hiding that very incompetence.  

And if things continue, it’s likely that the marketers will eventually gain control of both the movie and political system, and will start giving us what we really want.  But then again, it’s quite possible that they’re only good at commercials.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Problems with Honesty

One big problem with government is that it’s much much easier to be a crooked politician than an honest one.  It’s easy to accept money to have lobbyists make your agenda.  It’s easy to come to conclusions based upon how it factors into your pocketbook.  And the hardest part for them is deciding whether or not to accept the money personally (which is riskier) or being magnanimous enough to let their re-election campaign keep it.  

But honest politicians don’t have that option.  They have to earn their money the hard way, and make decisions on their own.  It’s easy to wait for a political machine to bribe you to vote with them, and it’s hard to campaign against a political machine.  There are few job perks for an honest politician and plenty of penalties.  Something needs to change about that.

What's Your Tribe?

Sorry to do this to you people, but apparently, I’m a Republican, so all y’all are going to have to leave.  Via Carpetbagger, I just took the Applebees America’s What’s Your Tribe Quiz, and scored a 10 out of 12 in regards to being in the Red State tribe.  And while that doesn’t match the formerly liberal Carpetbagger’s score of 11, it still means I’m going to have to toss-out the homoerotic terror porn and Ted Kennedy blow-up dolls; and all because I prefer Audi over Saab, Dr. Pepper over Pepsi, and the Discovery Channel over Court TV.  Who’d have guessed?

Frankly, none of those are my top preferences, but who the hell am I to second-guess the geniuses who can determine our political leanings based upon twelve inane questions?  If it was up to me, I’d have just asked people what side they lean to and take their word for it.  Such a fool.

Henceforth, I’ll be paraphrasing Little Green Footballs for awhile and slamming my head into walls, just until I get my rightwing bearings.  And who knows, maybe you can take the quiz and find out that you belong at the new blog too.  All hail the emperor, and don’t forget to screw someone over.

Make Those Fuckers Pay

I fail to understand how anyone could consider a woman who kills her own children to be sane.  Perhaps these people are so close to the border of crazytown that they consider these actions to be normal, but I do not.  

And these are generally the same people who insist that we should try minors as adults, whenever the crime is heinous enough.  As if crazy and violent kids should be held to a higher standard than the normal ones.  

But I guess some people consider “Justice” to just be about making fuckers pay.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Offensive Diplomacy

From the AP:
Meanwhile, Israeli military officials said the offensive could last several more weeks.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said diplomatic efforts were under way, but that a cease-fire would be impossible unless Israel's three captured soldiers were returned unharmed and Lebanese troops were deployed along the countries' border with a guarantee that the Hezbollah militia would be disarmed.

Are we still supposed to be pretending that this is about captured soldiers?  Really??  Because this seems more like a cheap excuse for continuing their offensive for several more weeks.  Especially as it seems kind of odd to kill many many civilians in an attempt to rescue three soldiers.  I just didn’t think it was supposed to work like that.

And frankly, I’ve never quite understood how it’s supposed to be a legitimate negotiating technique when you continue to insist that your enemy has to disarm and stop attacking before you stop attacking.  That makes sense after it’s become apparent that your enemy is willing to surrender.  But otherwise, it just seems like a cheap tactic to justify a continued assault by people more concerned with the appearance of diplomacy than with actual diplomacy.  

That was always one of their demands against the Palestinians, which they knew would be rejected; and it looks like they’re going this route again now.  Because the general rule is that if your negotiating position insists upon something that you know your opponent will never cede, then you’re really not negotiating.

And whether the Palestinians are trying to destroy Israel or merely trying to protect themselves, it would be foolish for them to give-in to this demand; which is probably one reason why Israel insisted upon it.  If the Palestinians submitted, then they’d lose their entire negotiating position.  But if they refused, then Israel could claim that its efforts at diplomacy failed and they were forced to act.  And even if the Palestinians submitted, it would only take the actions of a small group of extremists to end the cease-fire and Israel would have made significant gains in the meantime.  And it’s absurd to suggest that Israel hasn’t made the mental calculations that appear obvious to me.

And the same goes for this current disaster.  I honestly don’t see why anyone thinks this is a valid tactic.  I suspect that most Arabs don’t.  Nor do I think that Israel does either.  And yet people continue to describe this as an “overreaction” on Israel’s part, rather than a planned offensive that was merely waiting for a pretense.

Instant Gratification

That’s what’s wrong with cats these days.  So impatient.  Have to have everything now now now.  Cats used to take pride in their work.  But these days, all they care about is how much longer until they get fed again, and whether their next meal is stinky enough to smell up the whole house.  It will be the downfall of us all.

Pitbull Smarts

Regarding Condi Rice, one thing people need to know is that “PhD” does not necessarily mean intelligent.  It means that someone has a certain knack for academic work, but more importantly, it means they have a certain level of tenacity.  The ability to stick things through for a long-term goal.  And while that’s certainly admirable, it would be a big mistake to assume that this is the equivalent of intelligence.  Because it’s not.

The same goes for a traditional Bachelor’s Degree, something I possess.  The courseload for an Associate’s Degree in Accounting is the same as a Bachelor’s Degree, at least in terms of the business classes one needs.  But the reason why a Bachelor’s Degree is worth so much more is because of the extra work one needed to do to earn it, in all the crappy-ass classes that I couldn’t stand taking.  Like Fine Arts and Science.  And if undergrad work is like Army training, then a PhD is like becoming a Green Beret.

But it’s not about intelligence.  Sure, you have to have some.  But too much can actually hurt you.  And a better prerequisite is the ability to suck-up and to tell your superiors what they want to hear.  And that means regurgitating what your professors say in a non-obvious fashion.  And most definitely, the ability to memorize and regurgitate is much more handy than actual intelligence.

And that’s what we see with Condi, particularly with her multi-lingual, concert pianist stuff.  Sure, maybe she’s a genius.  But more likely, she’s just good at memorizing things and repeating them, and has a pitbull mentality when it comes to achieving things.  And from what we’ve seen so far, that’s more likely the case.  Because what makes a genius a genius is the ability to leapfrog over what they’ve been told to come up with something new.  And we haven’t seen that at all from Ms. Rice.  And while there are many good positions for such a person, Secretary of State isn’t one of them.  History sure looks familiar, but it never does repeat itself.  And we don’t need a world leader who does, either.


For the record, I graduated Summa cum Laude, and for you non-Latin speakers, that’s the foreigner equivalent of “Best of the Fucking Best, Mofo”, or something like that.  What can I say.  I got A’s in the crappy-ass Fine Arts and Science classes too.  And I’ve got a lousy memory, which means I did it the hard way: I learned stuff.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fathoming the Unfathomable

Why do conservatives have such a hard time with hypothetical questions?  The Bush Admin uses the “Can’t answer hypothetical questions” as one of many excuses to avoid answering questions they don’t like, as if it would be unethical to tell people your plans (and god forbid if you try using one as a follow-up question).  But even regular conservatives have a hard time with them.  If you ask a “what if” type question, they will inevitably insist that things aren’t that way, and revert back to their standard line.  

If you ask: “What if global warming is real?”  
The answer is: “Global warming is not real.”  
They’ve received their marching orders and nothing else matters.

And I think the answer is simple: Because it requires them to answer questions based on a separate set of facts than the ones they need to believe in.  Their system is entirely dependent on the idea that all facts line-up exactly as they need them to, and so they refuse to even consider alternatives.  For them, we have to prove beyond any shadow of criticism that our facts are real before they’ll even contemplate any of them.  Outside of that, we’re merely being delusional for not admitting the exact set of facts that they need to believe on any particular idea.

Of course Saddam had WMD’s and wanted to give them to terrorists.  Of course removing Saddam and installing democracy is the best course of action.  Of course the invasion will go well.  And so they don’t consider what might have happened if they were wrong, and consider us to be traitors for not demanding the same outcome that they were screaming for.  After all, if their facts were correct, we really are idiot traitors for not agreeing with them.  If they were correct.

And even once hindsight shows that they were wrong, they still refuse to contemplate the existence of an alternate set of facts.  To them, it wasn’t their facts that were wrong.  It wasn’t their theories or their conclusions.  It was some outside influence that was impossible to have deduced, and shouldn’t have been avoided.  And if things are bad for us now, they would only have been worse had we not invaded.  Or had we not cut taxes repeatedly.  Or had Bush excused himself from reading about a pet goat to learn more about the biggest terrorist attack in American history.  Or anything.  No matter what mistake a conservative makes, it would always have been worse had they not made it.  

For conservatives, the facts are already settled and agreed upon by everyone.  The only question is whether you’re honorable enough to accept their implications, or whether it’s cowardice, treason, or both that’s causing you to ignore them.  And so by mentioning hypothetical facts that aren’t established in their minds, they see you as delusional or that you’re just trying to muddy the issues.

It’s ok to torture terrorists because we know that they’re terrorists and that they’re withholding information from us that can only be obtained by torture.  And it’s ok to wiretap phones without warrants because we know who the bad guys are and we know the Bush Admin would never abuse them.  And it’s ok to plunge headfirst in whatever dangerous policy they want, because they already know all the relevant facts, and have foreseen the outcome.  To them, hesitation is the enemy, not ignorance.  So there’s no need to consider anything else or muck around in fictional facts.

But life isn’t like that.  If you plug-in different facts, you must get different answers.  And they don’t want to imagine the possibility of different answers, because it undermines everything they say.  Their conclusions are dependent upon specific facts being absolutely correct, so they just ignore the alternatives.  

If the answer they need is 4, then the facts must be 2+2.  It’s that simple.  And anything else is simply unfathomable.  They might be willing to accept 1+3, but only if it comes from an established rightwing source with impeccable credentials.  And even then, only if it turns out that Ted Kennedy likes the number 2.  They need a good reason to waste time rethinking any facts, but that damn drunk Ted Kennedy ruins everything.

Ken Lay's Faked Death

I’m not suggesting that I have proof of Ken Lay’s faked death, but I’ll have more to say shortly.

A Random Thought

“Love” is not noticing that your boyfriend is a stalker.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Enemy Within

In a post I could have written, had I been a better writer, better educated of the facts, and not a half-drunk weirdo named “Doctor Biobrain”; Mark Schmitt of TPM CafĂ© explained how the “netroots” are not actually responsible for Lieberman’s failures or Lamont’s success.  He points out that while they’ve certainly helped, the main credit goes to Lamont, who has wise staffers helping him, and not half-drunk weirdo bloggers like myself; and how that has led to Lieberman self-destructing.  But he didn’t really explain why Lieberman self-destructed; so I’ll use that as my opening to one-up him.

And the reason is simple: Lieberman really believes that crap that he’s attacking us with.  Just as Bush is the Deceiver-in-Chief, with himself as his primary victim; Lieberman really does believe that he’s being attacked by a small, but vocal minority who doesn’t represent true Democrats.  And while repeating that is certainly part of his strategy and helps him in some circles, the fact that he picked that strategy is evidence that he believes it; because it totally undermines the strategies he should be taking.  But more importantly, is that he continues to act it out; and thus, marginalizing himself and making him campaign like a small-time nobody rather than a bigtime Senator.

Like too many longtime politicians with mucho media access, he’s fallen victim to the Inside Beltway Bubble and the media chattering class.  And while that certainly helps him get the prime media access he desires, it totally insulates him from what’s going on around him.  Because his arguments aren’t designed for mass consumption, but to woo them; his media enablers.  They’re the ones who hate bloggers and the netroots.  They’re the ones who are threatened by my voice and the fact that they have no control over any of us.  Screaming about crazy liberal bloggers might get you heartfelt sympathy and chuckles at a cocktail party; but they’re not going to sell to the typical Democrat.

And while your typical conservative is largely inoculated against liberal blogger arguments; those people aren’t going to be persuaded about anything anyway.  But despite their vocal status, they don’t represent most Americans.  Particularly not Connecticutians (or whatever they might be called).  While they might not read blogs themselves, most Americans don’t have any real problem with bloggers; assuming they even care about what we’re doing.  But the authoritarian conservative elite does, as does the liberal media types who insist on cornering the “liberal” message.  Those are the people who instinctively hate bloggers; and those are the people influencing Joe.

And there can be no doubt that many of these “liberal” elites would much rather see Democrats lose to the macho Republicans than for them to lose their seat at the table.  That’s exactly what the conservatives have been training them for, to not even realize how they’ve been breed into docility.  People who see Alan Colmes as being a feisty liberal counterpart; and CNN as a Fox News alternative.  

And that’s exactly what’s got the liberal bloggers so upset.  As others keep saying, we’re not looking for ideologues or strict party-liners.  This isn’t a purge.  We just want strong Dems who stand-up for something.  Something besides docility to Republicans and people who denounce us.  

But Joe doesn’t get that.  Instead, Joe has totally embraced the very people who are misleading him in the first place.  And so he’s decided to bunker with the people who got him into this mess; constantly whining about the treacherous outsiders to the zombies he needs to avoid.  And while a weak primary challenge couldn’t have made this so apparent, Lamont’s strong challenge has certainly brought this out.  If anything, it has made Lieberman openly pick sides and announce where he stands.  And it’s obviously not on our side.  He’s not just against liberal bloggers.  He’s against the people he took for granted; and that includes the mainstream Democrats he needs to win.

As Schmitt said, it wouldn’t have been hard for Lieberman to change tack slightly and wooed Democrats to counter this attack on his Democratic-status; but he would have first needed to understand why that was necessary.  Instead, he’ll keep impressing them on the news shows while losing them on the street.  And that’s the exact reason we need to get rid of him.  

Why Video Games Were Made

Call me crazy, call me anti-Semite, but at this point, I really don’t think this whole Israel-Lebanon thing has anything to do with abducted soldiers or anything.  That is purely an excuse for whatever plan Israel has in mind, and it’s not even a particularly good one.  

And sure, maybe Israel really is so totally stupid that it’s willing to do this kind of dumb, dumb thing over two soldiers and whatever; but I doubt it.  This seems much more like a much less dumb (though still dumb) maneuver that will surely bring about more danger for them than anything they’re preventing.  Little dogs like to show how loud they bark, and Israel keeps acting like they’ve got something to prove.  And maybe attacking weaker foes makes them feel good, but I really don’t see how this is good for them.  Especially as history has shown that nobody likes to be pushed around and it almost always makes things worse in the long run.  Brute force will almost always backfire.  The secret to winning isn’t just about attacking; it’s about knowing when to stop.

And I don’t know much about Israeli history, relatively speaking, but I do know that everything I’ve seen is exactly what I’d do if I was playing some Civilization III style video game and had no qualms about winning at all costs.  (Though I only dream of a game which was complex enough for that.  I’d never have time to blog!)  But even still, I’d have played it better than them and wouldn’t have made all the serious miscalculations that they have.

In fact, I once did play Civ III as Israel, and quit after a few hours.  It just wasn’t worth it and was much too difficult.  Germany, now that’s a good country to conquer from, especially if you can wipe-out France early.  Russia wasn’t bad either.  And I once did wonders with Spain, believe it or not; also having wiped-out France early (it’s always in the way).  But Israel just wasn’t worth it.  And frankly, I can’t figure out how that’s different in real life either.

Overall, the whole mess smacks of powerful, but stupid people who can’t admit that they’re wrong and refuse to backdown.  Not just on the Israel side, but all over.  They insist that violence is the answer and they refuse to understand that the other side feels the exact same way.  My kids used to be like that when they were younger.  If only you can just do that final push to make them back down, they’d tell themselves, the other side will learn their lesson and give-in.  And they are totally dumbfounded when their opponent continues to act just like how they would be.  Funny how everyone’s really the same inside.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Power-Hungry Cultists

Atrios writes:
It occurs to me that we're at a fascinating moment in political history. Just about all the leading lights of the conservatarian movement in this country are on the record as being in support of the executive branch's right to spy on American citizens, tapping their phone calls, without any judicial oversight. So much for freedom and small nonintrusive government and all that crap.Nice going, guys. You've sold all your former principles down the river out of fealty to George W. Bush. Authoritarian cultism is rather disturbing no matter who the cult leader is, but... George W. Bush?

But this isn’t right.  They didn’t sell out any principles to Bush because they never had any principles.  Not really.  This was always about them denying power to their enemies while grabbing power for themselves.  That’s the only thing they stood for, and they invent sham “principles” to mask their true intent.  They don’t want a government which can regulate their businesses, but are completely happy with an all-powerful government that they control.  And that includes having the control to subsidize businesses (and people) that they like and to damage people (and businesses) that they don’t like.  That’s what they stand for.

And that’s exactly what they think about us too.  They think that we invented environmentalism as a means of hurting businesses and the economy.  They think we invented feminism and civil rights to usurp their power and take it for ourselves.  And they think we invented poverty programs as a means to bribe black people to vote for us, while keeping them subservient to us.  They think that it’s all a sham and that we’re never honest about our true intent.  Because they think that we’re exactly like them, but just not as clever.

But even with those sham ideas they attribute to us, I really can’t tell how much they actually believe any of it.  Nor do they.  It’s just what I was saying yesterday.  These people are all about propaganda, even to the point of lying to themselves.  They don’t know where they really stand.  They don’t know what they really believe.  And they don’t really care.  They just know that they want power and want to deny us the ability to take it from them.  That’s all they stand for, and in that regard, the Authoritarian Cultism of Bush is one with that.  

But their current problem isn’t that they’re Authoritarian Cultists, but that the guy they picked to worship is truly a dunce.  But I guess perhaps they like that, as it allows them a better chance at controlling him and thus retaining true control of the cult, but without getting the blame.  They say they want a strong president, to mask the fact that they really wanted a powerful puppet.  If these people are anything, it’s consistent; at least regarding their love of deceit and power.

Welcome

Welcome InstaPundit Readers!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Treason is the Reason

Bush conservatives believe that it is un-American, traitorous, and deadly to not support pro-American propaganda.  They believe that if the truth shows America in a negative way, and you prefer to mention that truth instead of pro-American lies, then you are a bad person who wants America lose.  And if you support a politician who prefers to focus on that truth over pro-American propaganda, you are a bad person.  They tell us this all the time and it is one of their core beliefs.  So why don’t liberals believe them?  

This attitude of theirs starts all the way at the top, is consistently repeatedly by their information disseminators, and goes all the way to the bottom.  They all believe it.  It’s what separates us from them.  If you don’t agree that pro-American propaganda is more important than truth, then you’re not one of them.  And it’s so engrained in their minds that they find it impossible to believe that we’re not doing the same thing.  That’s why they think we’re treasonous, because they think we prefer anti-American propaganda over pro-American propaganda; regardless of the truth.  What’s so confusing about this?

Sure, they never say it that way, because if they did, they’d be betraying this exact principle.  If they admitted that things are going poorly in Iraq and that we should lie about it, then there would be no point in lying at all.  And if they admitted that Bush was a lousy president who they only supported for propaganda reasons, then again, they’d be undermining everything they were trying to say.  But it’s clear that they think this way, because that’s what they keep attacking us for.  So why do liberals forget?

Unmitigated Catastrophe

I was thinking about this while at Legal Fiction, where Publius was discussing a neo-con talking point on how a Lieberman loss in the primary would be bad for Democrats; because it would reinforce the idea that we’re too wacko.  And while Publius clearly wasn’t endorsing the idea, it was of concern to him.  But it was bullshit.  Because a Lieberman loss would clearly be good for us and bad for the Republicans.  And they obviously know it.  And that’s why they say this shit, because they want us to get confused and perhaps shy away from Lieberman.  And that would be a huge victory for the conservatives.  

Here’s what he quoted from NRO’s David Frum (no link):
Republicans are instinctively sympathetic to Lieberman as a Democrat who demonstrates that one can remain faithful to liberal principles at home while supporting the country's war effort abroad. That said, it might prove something less than an unmitigated catastrophe for the Republic, the war, and (ahem) the GOP if Lieberman were to lose. His defeat would hand Republicans a vivid symbol of what the Democratic party is evolving into: It's too left-wing, too defeatist, too antiwar even to tolerate its own vice presidential nominee of six years ago!

This was pure propaganda.  From his “faithful to liberal principles” to “too left-wing, too defeatist,” he’s trying to trick us.  These aren’t real thoughts.  This doesn’t represent his version of reality.  These are lies.  This is propaganda.  Why on earth would the GOP fear that Democrats would hand them a “vivid symbol” of the exact things they’ve been saying for decades?  For christ’s sake, it would reinforce everything that he himself is trying to say in that post!!  So why would he count that as a bad thing?  An “unmitigated catastrophe”?  That’s entirely illogical.  It would be bad for them, but not for the lame reason he’s giving.

But they can’t help it, by their own admission.  They cannot say that a Lieberman loss is good for Democrats any more than they can say that Iraq is bad for Bush.  Or any more than they can admit that soldiers are doing bad things in Iraq because of Bush’s incompetence.  This is apparent to everyone, but these guys can never ever never say it.  They can’t.  This is who they are.  They truly believe in propaganda, just as they claim they do.  They can never admit defeat.  They will never give you that “Ok, we were wrong” speech we keep waiting for.  They will never give us the satisfaction.  

Everyone Hurts

But it’s not because they’re stubborn fools, though they are.  But because they truly believe that it will lead to more defeats.  And even if they halfway admit to being wrong, it will be as an attempt to damage you even more.  They can’t help it.  They will always act as if your every move will give them another victory, and that your inaction will ensure your defeat.  They want you to be worried about every action, thought, and breath you take; because that’s how they win.  And they want you to look at them and see stoic men without fear.  Invincible stone statues that can’t be damaged, swayed, or stopped.  And you are to crumble into a whimpering pool of your own urine while they tromp over you, laughing.

But they do feel it.  They are scared.  Trust me, I know these things.  They know what a Lieberman loss means.  They know it will be yet another nail in their coffin.  And the more they know that, the more they’ll have to hide it, and the more they’ll have to act like victory is always theirs.  And if you can’t deal with it and require them to act scared, well tough.  They won’t do it.  They repeatedly tell us that.  They think that admitting defeat is immoral.  Even worse, they think it’s unpatriotic.  And that goes for foreign policy as well as domestic politics.  They refuse to show weakness and feel proud in lying to themselves about it.

They will never admit defeat or weakness or insecurity, but this isn’t strength.  They do so because they can never really win, never feel strong, never be secure.  Nothing is ever good enough.  They hide the truth because it haunts them so much.  They are scared, little people who are afraid of their own shadows, which is why they have to project the strength that they’re afraid they’ll never have.  

These people are not strong enough to admit truth.  So we’re going to have to trust ourselves enough to know that.  We have to be strong, because they never can be.  Well that, plus we need our fellow Islamofascist Feminazi Gay Lovers to finally secure a victory of some sort, so that we can at last put an end to this failed experiment called “America”.  If only we can invent a few more American atrocities against Muslims, victory is ours!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Screwing History

Oddly enough, the big reason why the mainstream pro-war types on the right, left, and media continue to believe that invading Iraq was the right decision is based on the outcome of the first Gulf War, as well as the long-term aftermath of Vietnam.  In both those cases, the lesson learned by these types was that being against the war was the hard position to explain.  And as such, it was the stupid position.  

And despite all their talk of principals and wise policies, it was a political position period.  Because that’s all they understand.  To them, politics are everything, and you just don’t take a position that you don’t want to have to defend on television.  And so this was all a no-brainer for them.  Because by taking it, they could talk about their strong principals and how they want to ensure the safety of America and other such blather that they don’t really care about.  And the fact that their peers agreed made it all the easier.  

Even now, they accept it as the right decision.  Not because the outcome turned out well, because it obviously hasn’t.  But because they still wouldn’t want to defend the anti-war position.  It’s just too easy to demagogue it into an anti-American position, and they’d rather be on the giving end of that barrel than the receiving end.

And so they continue to see their decision as being terribly clever, despite how terribly terrible it was.  And they see it as a win-win.  They can hold tight on their position and look principled while continuing to attack their opponents as anti-American, or they can change positions and look pragmatic and wise.  And in both cases, they believe they can claim the moral highground because they took the Save America option that makes them look brave and heroic.  It doesn’t work like that, but because the media had agreed with this calculation from the start, they’re sure to agree.  

Fortunately or not, these people are as clever as they are unwise and can be counted on to screw things up.  The aftermath of their actions will not redeem them the way they believe history has assured.  There is no chance that historians will favor these people, and more likely than not, history will hold a dimmer view of them than we do.  No, their only hope are the contrarians, who will have a backlash opinion against the mainstream historians’ utter trouncing of the Bush Admin and everything about it.  Which is ironic, as those are the jackasses that got them into this mess to begin with.  

But most students will learn how Bush set the new standard for presidential buffoonery, and how all these people enabled him to do that.  Because none of their cleverness, half-truths, or finesse will be remembered.  Only the big actions, like unconstitutionalities and the war’s aftermath will make it through history’s filter.  And their decisions will surely be remembered as the ones to avoid.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Christian Brand

Show me where it says that a Christian has to be a good person to retain the “Christian” label.  Because I’m just not buying it.  And I won’t even accept the non-Gospel parts of the New Testament as proof; as that was just more of mankind mucking around in the dark.  I want something straight from the Big Guy, Jesus Christ himself saying that his followers had to be good people and that if you did bad things, you weren’t his people.  And I don’t think you’ll find that, as I don’t think he said it.  

If Jesus was for real, then we were all inferior beasts to him, and he would have understood everything, suckiness and all.  We don’t blame ants for behaving like jerks, and Jesus wouldn’t have any different opinion of us.  And the bigger a jerk someone is, the less they can be blamed for behaving like a jerk.  That’s my attitude and I’m not even an omniscient deity (not officially, anyway).  I’m not some lofty god looking down from my ivory tower with my theoretical morality.  I actually have to put up with these assheads on a daily basis and still I forgive them.

I think anyone’s a Christian who thinks that they’re a Christian, and they don’t have to be particularly good.  To me, a “Christian” is anyone who believes that Jesus was a real person who was either the “Son of God” (whatever that means) or God himself.  I’m not picky.  I’ll accept either answer.  They also have to believe the stuff in the New Testament, even if they don’t follow it.  That’s it.  That’s what it means.  You don’t have to be a good person.  You don’t even have to make sense of the contradictory parts.  Or to even believe that hogwash about the virgin birth or the other cool stuff that looks like it was added in later.  You just have to have some semblance of a sensible theory of Jesusness, and you’re in.  Oh, and they probably have to believe in the miracle stuff, though that isn’t a strict requirement.  And I suppose the whole Easter thing is pretty important; but that’s it.

And heck, lots of Christians are bigots.  Lots of them are happy with poor people starving and kids suffering.  They’ll allow millions of kids to live and die in horrible lives that they’d never allow for their own children.  Those aren’t good people.  Yet who’s to say they aren’t Christian.  You might.  But they sure don’t.  So why can’t we include the Christian rapists too?  Or the bastards?  If people are willing to allow others to suffer, what does it matter if they do it indirectly.  If they’re ok with this stuff happening, then they’re to blame anyway.  And as long as they pass the “Jesus as Lord and Savior” test, then who are we to say otherwise?  I’m not saying that most Christians are this way, but the ones who are might disagree with all the others.  And who’s to say they’re wrong.

And if this is all about word games, and who a “true” Christian is: Why can’t we all play?  Why can’t I deny that bad people are American?  Or atheist?  Or human?  Because that’s all this is: word games to make their group sound better.  And it just doesn’t work like that.  You accept the good with the bad.  There are Christians who do bad things and cheat on their wives and there are liberals who hate people and want America to suck.  That’s just the way it is.  Most people have sucky qualities about them, and it is inevitable that they’ll join some group we’d rather they not join; namely, our own group, and say and do lots of embarrassing things.  And if they happen to join your group, then you really don’t have much right to complain.  That’s just the nature of groups.  Statistically speaking, jerkoffs will join.  And the more you think they’re a jerkoff, the more they think you’re a jerkoff.  It can’t be helped.

And if that means that you can’t claim that your group is superior to others, then so be it.  You lose that claim.  There are no guarantees in life (lest God get sued by the Consumers Union for fraud), and there’s nothing to say that a group you’ve joined is free from suckers.  In the end, you’re on your own with this stuff, and if you don’t like the company you keep, then you have no other choice than to stand on your own two feet and claim your own opinions.  

Heck, I’m a CPA, a group that I’m particularly proud to be a part of; and even I won’t claim that all CPA’s are good people.  And we even have enforceable standards for that kind of thing.  We try to kick-out the rapists, jerkoffs, and bastards; and even that’s not enough.  There’s still a CPA somewhere screwing someone over and there’s nothing I can do about it.  And the Christians have no such standards for admission.  There’s no test for Christianness or any kind of ethics board to kick the baddies out.  They’re on the Honor System and it’s not particularly honorable.

They claim that bad people aren’t Christians, but the bad people have an equal claim to the contrary.  They say they’re believers.  They say they’re priests, preachers, and ministers; and no one can claim otherwise.  They can be denied access to a particular church, but they can’t be denied the generic label of “Christian”.  And if someone doesn’t like that, then they just have to deal with it.  There is no Board of Directors controlling access to the Christian label, and if you’re reading my site, then you probably wouldn’t be on it anyway.  This isn’t meant to disparage Christians in general.  It just means that the Christian brand isn’t worth what you think it is.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

More on Lieberman

Though I don’t read him regularly, I’ve been a longtime fan of Jonathan Chait and consider him to be one of the people intercepting my brainwaves for their own writing.  That’s fine, as I easily have enough brain power for everyone; I just wish I received some sort of acknowledgement.  Another of those people is Digby, who I agree with completely regarding Chait’s very bad column on the whole Lieberman thing.

In essence, Chait is saying that although Republicans are bad guys, we shouldn’t allow the liberal rabble to pick the people they think should represent us.  And as usual, I agree with everything that Digby has to say on the subject.  Chait seems to have fallen victim to the whole Rovian spin which says that liberals are held to different standards than everyone else, and that liberals who are pushing popular policies should just shut-up because the politics doesn’t favor our position.

And I also agree that this is largely the fault of the DLC “third-way politics” thing that was so popular in the 90’s.  It may have won short-term victories for individual politicians, but it really screwed with the party.  It’s much easier for one man to thread a political needle, particularly when he has the presidential bully pulpit to speak from; and even he had things tough.  It’s a lot harder when you’ve got hundreds of politicians trying to thread needles of their own, while also being attacked for not having a unified message.  Clinton was considered a waffler on his own; and it’s impossible to navigate “waffle politics” in multiple campaigns across America.  We need a strong, unified message; and now Chait and the Beltway types are attacking us for that too.

One point that I think Digby ignored was Chait’s absurd idea that liberals are to blame for Lieberman’s childish attitude towards primaries.  I'm sorry, but if everyone's playing by the rules and a kid is upset that he lost and takes his ball and leaves; we don't blame the people who followed the rules.  We blame the jerk for being a sore loser.

There is no difference here.  Lieberman might be wanting to take his votes home with him, but that's not our fault.  That’s his.  Nobody is even suggesting that Lieberman is doing this because he thinks that he has a better shot at winning as an independent than Lamont has as a Democrat.  He just wants to win, or to at least screw with the liberals for playing by the rules and defeating him.

And we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be held hostage because he’s upset that he can’t win.  It may give us a short-term victory in the Senate; but it certainly will continue to hold us hostage for years to come.  I know of few liberals who would prefer to lose political victories for ideological purity.  But a Lieberman win is not a political victory for us either.  His tactics are of someone who takes his Democratic status for granted, and rather than behave rationally; he lashes out at his own people.  This is not someone we need.  The centrists can continue to blame us for their losses, but it will only serve to deepen their losses.

Oh, and for anyone wondering why I keep giving Lieberman playground analogies, it was due to the Bagnews’ revelation of Lieberman’s true mental age and how he’s a kid trapped in an adult’s body.  It was spot-on psychology and I just wish I had thought of it first.  Playground analogies work best for him because that really is where he’s at.

Rewriting Goliath

A judge ruled against several companies which edit the dirty parts out of movies and rent or sell them to people who don’t like dirty parts.  The judge ruled that it was copyright infringement and an injury to the creative artistic expression of the movies.

Of the ruling, CleanFlicks’ chief executive said:
"We're disappointed.  This is a typical case of David vs. Goliath, but in this case, Hollywood rewrote the ending. We're going to continue to fight."

And the irony flies thick with that one.  First, that he’s rewriting the David v. Goliath story by making David out to be a law-breaker getting sued for infringing Goliath’s rights.  Perhaps that part was just edited out of my bible, but I doubt it.  And second, that he’s accusing Hollywood of bad rewrites; which is the offense that his company was denied the right to do: ie, rewrite Hollywood’s movies.

And then there’s the fact that it was a judge who supposedly did the rewrite, and that Hollywood was merely asserting its right of ownership; which the judge agreed with.  But that’s not really irony, as much as another demonstration of the delusional mindset that these people engage in.  Where righteousness is always on the side of the underdog, even if the underdog is wrong.  And how they’re being victimized by Hollywood…because Hollywood won’t allow itself to be victimized.

Of course the real losers in all this are the poor people who can’t enjoy movies the way they were intended.  But I guess we already knew that, didn’t we.

Everyone's Enemy

It’s too complicated to explain why I’m saying this, but it is scary to reflect on the fact that many conservatives believe it would be ok for a foreign nation to attack America and to execute any American who doesn’t qualify for Geneva standards; which apparently would be any American not in uniform.  As if self-defense is a capital offense.  The mind boggles.  Somehow, they have forgotten the difference between right and wrong and are merely satisfied with legal justifications.  They agonize at criminals being let-off for “redtape” and yet they’re completely satisfied with killing people for technical reasons; and regard morality as yet more redtape.  One begins to believe that they merely like to kill people, and one is probably right.

Maybe it’s just the booze talking, but I really don’t understand how the sadists haven’t taken over.  I fear it’s just a fluke.  I was thinking about it while reading John Dean and Michael Dorf at Findlaw discussing the Hamden decision, and truly fear that our luck won’t hold out and that the small-minded idiots will win-out in the end.  But I’m naturally an optimist, so I will continue to believe that luck will somehow continue to save us all.  I just don’t understand why we deserve it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Inconceivable Boobery

Why is Bush such a boob?  Here he is on Larry King “craftily” refusing to give an obvious opinion on his friend Joe Lieberman:

G. BUSH: First, the Democrats have to sort out who their nominee is going to be and that's going to be up to the Democrats. And the rest of it's hypothetical.

LARRY KING: But he said he would run as an independent, if he were...

G. BUSH: He also has said he's going to win his primary.

LARRY KING: I know you like him.

G. BUSH: You're trying to get me to give him a political kiss, which may be his death.

Jesus christ,   It’s like if Vizzini from The Princess Bride had a retarded brother who thought he was equally clever.   Now, I understand why he’s been instructed to not answer these kinds of questions.  Because he would have screwed it up.  A real answer would have been better, had it properly threaded the needle; but one needs the instinctive political acumen of the Big Dog to pull off that kind of feat.  And so the next best thing is to abstain completely.  To either give a non-response, or to outright admit that you haven’t an opinion.

But bush couldn’t even pull that off.  He tried, but quickly fell into telling us that he’s being cunning, by demonstrating how he knows that Larry is being cunning, and ends up exposing how he’d like to support Joe, but can’t because it would be a kiss of death for his friend.  And so he’s done almost the exact thing he wasn’t supposed to, while again exposing what a boob he is.

I swear I’ve written of this before (though I can’t find the post), but Bush does this thing a lot during interviews.  He just can’t help himself.  He tells the questioner how he knows that the questioner is trying to trick him, and how he won’t bite.  And by doing so, he’s signaling that he would fall into the interviewer’s trap, but won’t because he’s “on to them”.  

But he can’t help himself.  He’s an idiot and as such, likes to show-off how clever he is.  But truly clever people don’t do that.  They don’t need to, nor do they want to.  In fact, that’s the first rule of being clever: If you announce that you’re being clever, then you lose much of the advantage of your cleverness.  Because you’ve just warned them to expect it.  Far from impressing anyone, Bush is like the annoying twelve-year-old who stands up during the magic show and proudly announces that it wasn’t really magic.  And you just want to smack them upside the head to shut them up so you can enjoy the show.

And in Larry’s case, I don’t think he was trying to be clever or tricky.  It was a straight question.  This wasn’t a trick.  It’s completely legitimate.  Would Bush support his friend and ally?  And not only does “clever” Bush implicitly answer the question, he tells us why he’s not going to answer it; because he thinks he’s being tricked.

And Bush has trotted out his “You’re trying to trick me” thing on lots of occasions that didn’t warrant it.  That just shows how unclever he is.  Because he really can’t tell when people are being tricky.  He’s been told that it happens, and has latched onto the concept because it’s the kind of devious stuff he just wishes he could do.  And by god, he’s not going to fall for it now.

So instead, he exposes what a dope he is, while doing nothing to help his side.  He doesn’t even get straight-shooter points, because he’s clearly trying to be tricky.  And were the media more clever than Bush’s handlers, everyone would have known about this by now, and Larry wouldn’t have asked him the question.  Not only would the opinion of an ex-president been irrelevant, but he would have already told us on his regular 700 Club spot.

Oh, and for the record, no I don’t actually believe that Bush considers Lieberman to be a real friend.  I’m sure he’d like to give Joe a wedgie while copying his homework.  He’s just using Joe for political purposes, and like all nerds who can curry favor with the bully; Joe’s happy to oblige.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Regarding War Heroes, Private Messages, and the Secret List

I just read this story mentioning some Iraq war hero, and needless to say it would make my life easier if we can confine the story.  If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen.

Oh, and make sure you don’t tell anyone about this message.  That would really make me look bad.  It’s bad enough that we constantly work to hide these stories of American valor so that we can undermine the war effort and help our Islamic comrades, but if it was known that a blogger engaged in the same kind of backstage political maneuvering that conservatives use every day on a national scale; we’d be totally screwed.

Oh, and for god’s sake, nobody mention the list.  That would also screw us over BIG TIME!!

Coulter's Liberal Footnotes

Guest Post by Doctor Snedley, Personal Assistant to Doctor Biobrain

These baseless accusations of plagiarism against Ann Coulter are entirely baseless. Sure, she stole whole passages from other sources and didn’t accredit news sources for rewriting their stories in her book. But what choice did she have? As has been mentioned repeatedly, Coulter just has a different footnote style than what the stupid liberals at the MLA would have her use. And so she shouldn’t be punished, simply because she’s cutting through the MLA’s communistic redtape and hurdles over the barriers of ineptitude they continue to place in front of her.

For Ann, rather than using footnotes to merely attribute borrowings to her sources, she uses them as proof of what she’s saying. As a form of factual back-up to show that she’s not just making shit up, and that there really is some kind of basis in reality to what she’s saying. And if her source doesn’t actually back-up what she’s saying, but in fact, says the exact opposite; then that just shows how biased the media is, because they won’t provide Ms. Coulter with the proper evidence that she needs to make her case. It’s that simple.

And so it would have been inconsistent with her writing style, were she to use footnotes for actual citations of her sources. That would have confused her loyal readers who have depended on her footnotes as the double-edged proof that they need of how right she is about everything. And after all, if she could merely cite some other source of information for the points she’s making, then what would be the point of her even writing? And thus, we would be denied such masterpieces, like Treason, Slander, and Godless. But I guess that’s exactly what the liberals want.

This isn’t about “plagiarism” or “footnotes”. This is about destroying the liberal slimebags while making a quick buck. Coulter isn’t trying to document history. She’s conveying a bigger message, about Truth, Justice, and the American Way. And you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Liberals on Parade

Well I saw my first hippy parade today.  Well, “hippy parade” is a bit much, but it was certainly hippyish for a Fourth of July parade.  It’s a yearly thing my neighborhood puts on and consists mostly of a bunch of kids on their bikes, which were decorated red, white, and blue, and their ex-hippy-type parents walking next to them.  They had a few cars and trailers with various decorated kids throwing out candy and beads (no, I didn’t have to flash my sexy ta-ta’s).  There were also a few juggling people, an old dude on a unicycle, and a parade queen which may or may not have been an actual queen.  They also had a police escort, though I’m not sure if that was supposed to protect them or us.  

The highlight of the parade is when the Flying Spaghetti Monster made an appearance, attempting to touch us all with his noodly appendages.  Unfortunately, I was a bit confused as to what it was, as it looked to be a bunch of kids wrapped in a brown material, holding long foamy things and toy swords, yelling “Argh!” and laughing a lot.  It had two random eyes sticking out the top.  I thought it was some kind of deranged pirate ship until it walked past and I saw a sign on its back saying “Be touched by his noodly appendage” or some such thing.  And then I regretted not having reached out and being touched.  And for not having brought a camera.

Overall it was pretty fun.  I actually got my five-year-old out of the house before 11:00 A.M. to see it, which was a miracle in itself; though no one else in the house would come.  We’re planning to join next year, and would have done it this year, had I learned about it before 10:45 this morning.  And maybe the Spaghetti Monster will make another appearance and I’ll get closer to those appendages.  It might just make a believer out of me.  

And just to keep things in the political spirit of this blog, I’ll say that this is the liberal community you never hear about from the wingnuts: Adults and kids, having fun on the Fourth of July.  And without a burning flag in sight, no less.  But then again, we didn’t go to the picnic and BBQ that was at the end of the parade, so maybe I just left too soon.  Maybe the fire’s built with flag-logs or bibles or something equally un-American.

Not that I didn’t want to go, but dammit, liberal Fourth of July or not, it was muggy and hot even by Texas standards and I’m not going to melt for some damn picnic.  I may be a liberal, but I do have some standards.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Are THEIR Fears

Regarding Josh Marshall’s post on North Korea’s failed test of the missile that supposedly can hit the United States…in Alaska…if it worked: How much longer until it is widely acknowledged that neo-conservatives and other international fear-mongers are always running from their own shadows?  They’re constantly worried that the enemy is as devious as them and knows all their weaknesses.  And they trumpet unlikely, but potential threats as if the missiles are already on the way.  

And the enemy they fear is really in their own minds.  Yet they use this fear-mongering as an excuse to act as underhandedly as they imagine their enemy is.  Sure, there is an enemy plotting against us; but listening to these fools is little better than listening to any other paranoid-schizoid.  Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong; but it sure don’t help.

And in the meantime, we fail to take actions to properly protect ourselves.  We anger the international community, screw our allies, and enrage our enemy’s recruiting base.  We over-react.  We spy on ourselves and see enemies around every corner.  Pre-9/11, they focused on evil regimes which didn’t threaten us, and kept that focus long after it was obviously wrong.  Heck, these guys weren’t even right about the Cold War, and that was their specialty for over thirty years.  If they’ve ever been right, it’s been purely by luck; because they don’t base their theories on reality; only fears.

So how much longer until even neo-cons are too embarrassed to say this stuff?  Until they finally decide to keep their paranoia to themselves?  And who knows, with any luck, maybe the media might get embarrassed of the Chicken Little routine too.  We can only hope.

And on that note:

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

Don’t blow-off anyone’s face.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tolerating Bigots

Guest Post by Doctor Snedley, Personal Assistant to Doctor Biobrain

Perhaps he’s just joking, but it looks like uber-leftie Atrios has hit the nail on the head with his post titled Intolerant Atheists, pointing out that the less you attend church, the more you discriminate against Christians by lumping all of them together; as if one faith is just as good as any other.

As Atrios cites, the poll shows that 50% of people who attend church more than once a week realize that Mormons aren’t suitable for controlling the reins of government, compared with only 28% of those who never or barely attend church.  And that just makes sense.  After all, if you don’t have a preacher, priest, or pastor to regularly remind you of what you’re supposed to believe, it’s not so easy to keep these distinctions separate.  

And that is the exact goal of the Feminazi Islamofascist Communist cabala and why they want to ban churches.  Because they want us to forget our distinctions and start thinking that we’re all just as lousy as everyone else, the damn bigots.  That’s also why they have the rappers wearing their jimmy caps all the time, so that people follow the fashion and start blocking the brainwaves emitting from their skull so God won’t know what they’re thinking and inform the DOD.  Of course, the joke is on them, as God can still intercept your brainwaves through your face.  But they’re trying, dammit.  They’re trying.

And why do they want that?  Treason’s the reason.  They want you to get confused as to God’s original categorizations, so that you can’t remember up from down or why you’re not married to your dog.  Eventually, you’ll just throw up your hands in confusion and toss-out the only thing that’s preventing them from taking over this country: God’s good graces.

And so what is the undeniable conclusion that these polls point to?  Mandatory church attendance.  It worked for our Founding Fathers, and I have yet to see any 17th century poll that showed atheist support for those damn wacko Mormons getting the presidency.  As George W. Washington famously said: “When people are in church, they’re not committing crimes.”  And that goes doubly for the terrorists.  Looks like both God and the President will remain coffee drinkers.

Oh, and for any intolerant racist out there who suggests that all faiths are equally valid, let me remind you that when God chose to send his only begotten son to earth, he didn’t make him a Hindu, Islama, Pharaoh, or Mormon.  He was a Christian, bigot!  It says so in the bible.

Radical Incumbents

Regarding Lieberman’s recent announcement that he’s willing to leave the Democratic Party in order to remain in the Senate, does this kind of thing not happen?  Do incumbents not lose primaries?  I’m confused as to why Joe thinks this is ok.  This just seems entirely unprecedented and is likely to only hasten his defeat in the upcoming primary.  In particular, it plays right into his opponent’s argument and shows that Lieberman really doesn’t give a shit about Democrats.  But falling into his opponents’ traps seems to be the norm for Joe.

And the truth is that he would have been a much better Dem, had he not falsely believed that he was safe in the primary.  His voting record reflects someone who was only concerned with the general election…in 2008.  Had Joe spent the last six years voting like a Democrat, he wouldn’t have to spend the next few months running away from them.  Instead, he kept trying to win the Beltway Primary in Washington, and it might be the only victory he gets all year.

The Anti-Establishment Establishment

As for his entire campaign, something that many folks don’t understand is that the Establishment can’t run on an Anti-establishment platform.  That’s just commonsense.  Unfortunately for people who don’t understand the rules of an objective universe, these things don’t make sense.  They want to be able to run whatever strategy they think will work best, and don’t understand how some options are off-limits.

So they think one of the most established countries in world history can ignore all rules and mimic the dictators and terrorists they’re trying to defeat.  And they think the majority party in America should run on an obstructionist platform that relies on symbolic, political victories rather than having to actually do stuff.  And they think a three-term Senator can run a cynical, radical campaign without rules and just tear shit up; including their own political party.  

Even Lieberman’s recent campaign ad recycling a successful ad from his first Senate victory shows this.  It worked the first time because he was the outsider attacking the establishment guy with his own record.  Those tricks don’t work if you’ve actually got a record to run on and a smart opponent to remind voters of it.  Instead of looking witty and strong, he looked silly and desperate.

King of the Hill

Because it just doesn’t work like that.  Anti-establishment types get to tear down the establishment, and the Establishment has to prove that they can maintain the place.  It’s that simple.  It doesn’t seem fair to people who know that it’s easier to tear things down than to build them up, but that’s just the way it is.  If you’re the Establishment, you’re stuck acting responsibly.  That’s just what people expect, and there really isn’t too much wiggle room in that.  

Even the Republicans’ anti-Washington schtick is wearing thin, and will completely evaporate once the media internalizes the Democratic victories that will come in November.  Voters expect results from the people in charge; even the Walmart Voters.

This is the equivalent of being king while playing King of the Hill and complaining that you’re out-numbered and don’t get to have the running start that the usurpers have.  But you don’t.  You either get the advantage of numbers and a running start, or you get to stand on top of the hill and use that advantage.  But you don’t get both.  And if you leave the top spot to get that running start, you’ll quickly find that you’ve lost the top spot.

For Republicans, that’s really where they should be.  They don’t know how to run the show, and they like tearing down other people.  They’re natural obstructionists and contrarians, and they work best in that role.  I wouldn’t want a Democratic majority if there wasn’t a strong opposition to keep them in check.  Because the only thing keeping them on our side is that they still need us to remain there.  So the sooner the Republicans lose their leadership role, the better for everyone.

Lieberman, on the other hand, will find himself out of the loop completely.  As has been pointed out before, his whole schtick was to appeal to the Republicans who were only using him because he was a Democratic Senator.  And if he loses the one in the primaries and the other in the election; he’ll really discover what we already knew.  Joe Lieberman is a sucka.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Dastardly Dick

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of Dick Cheney, I’m actually envisioning Darrell Hammond’s impression of Dick from Saturday Night Live.  Perhaps that’s just because I don’t watch the news and rarely see the real thing, and perhaps that’s just because Hammond’s impression does a better job of summing up the real Dick Cheney than Cheney himself.  I don’t know.

Is it that way for you?  Do you think it’s that way for most people?  And if so, do you think that could explain why people don’t take him as seriously as they should?  He really is a frightening person, if you take his words seriously.  But I just have a hard time taking him seriously.  Is that because I keep thinking he’s Darrell Hammond?  And if we added a laugh-track to Cheney’s public appearances, would that help or hurt his ability to haunt us?  Maybe everyone would ignore him.  Or maybe, it would enable him to be even more dastardly.  But seeing as how the Evil Dick routine is really just cover for the Incompetent Dick reality; I think it would only help.

All this brings up an obvious question:
If they replaced Cheney with Darrell Hammond, would anyone complain?  As long as he continued to fulfill his SNL duties, I wouldn’t mind.

Blog for Sale

Having read about the bundle that Kos is making, as well as WaPo’s own problem of having paid shills writing opinion pieces without proper attribution: I have an announcement to make.  As of this moment, this blog is for sale.  Five bucks gets you a positive blog post.  Fifteen gets you a five-post series.  For fifty bucks, I'll devote my entire blog to you and give you my first born child.  I have no scruples and a thesaurus that just won’t quit.  You’re unlikely to get as much publicity than if you just started your own diary at Kos, but the money will be well spent.  By me.  

Besides, there'd be nothing better than watching O'Reilly complain about the Big Biobrain Payola scandal.  Probably the most fame I could ever get is to have O'Reilly turn me into a big Kingpin of liberal blogs, just to show how corrupt the whole system is.  He might even put my picture next to Ward Churchill.  That'd be awesome.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Anonymous Sources of Spin

Why is our media so damn stupid?  I don’t get it.  They can write well enough.  Most of them must have graduated from a college of some sort.  So on an individual level, I’m sure they’re probably intelligent enough people.  What went wrong?  

What I’m complaining about this time is the whole anonymous sources crap.  We recently had a problem with the media getting bullshitted with anonymous sources, and the media responded to this by taking them seriously and agreeing not to give blanket anonymity to sources which don’t need to be anonymous.  Sure, that was already part of their ethics; but they were supposed to take it seriously now.

Here’s part of The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:
Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.

And that sounds pretty straight forward.  But what has happened in practice?  As we all know, they’ve simply added longer disclaimers as to why anonymity was granted.  And the joke is that it’s obvious that journalists don’t think they’re granting anonymity.  They act like it’s a right that people have, to be quoted anonymously; rather than a decision that is entirely up to the journalist.  

And in a way, it is a right; if you’re an important person like a Whitehouse staffer, anyway.  Because journalists like the access that giving blanket anonymity provides and if you won’t quote them anonymously, there’s always another journalist who will.  Besides, as any blogger or student will tell you, it’s always easier to fill space when you’re retyping someone else’s words.

The Pirate’s Code

Needless to say, unlike many other professions (including my own), the journalist code of ethics is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.  As the Society explains:
American citizens’ constitutional rights to free speech and a free press are vulnerable, and they are placed in jeopardy whenever we allow them to be confused with or limited by the professional responsibility to act ethically.

Yes, and let me tell you, it is just sooooo confusing to follow a code of ethics that is mandatory and detailed.  It’s so much easier and less confusing if it’s voluntary and everyone gets to follow whatever rules they want, whenever they want; than if folks have to work by the same set of rules all the time.  That’s why we have so many criminals; because they’re all so confused by their responsibility to act legally.

And in case you were wondering: Yes, Arthur Andersen and many of their CPA’S got totally screwed by my ethics board; including heavy fines and losing their livelihoods.  And afterwards, they tightened the code and made us have to take an ethics course more frequently.  And if you don’t like it, you don’t get to be a CPA.  Damn mandatory codes.

Internal Debate

I got this latest one via Digby, who quotes an article saying (emphasis added):
A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue is still being debated internally, seemed to hint at the potential political implications in Congress. "Members of both parties will have to decide whether terrorists who cherish the killing of innocents deserve the same protections as our men and women who wear the uniform," this official said.

Because it’s still being debated internally???  What the hell excuse is that for granting anonymity?  Because this isn’t an inside scoop that the source would get in trouble for.  This isn’t even a leak.  This is outright spin that helps the source’s boss.  I seriously doubt that the source wasn’t instructed to say it.  This was straight-up spin which can’t be attributed to anyone; and thus, given more potency.  After all, this wasn’t a political hitman; this was an “official” who supposedly wasn’t given permission to say these things.

And what does “debated internally” even mean?  That because they haven’t decided for sure to go with this spin, that it’s ok to not source it to the Whitehouse?  At best, this is a trial balloon to see if the spin works; and more likely, this is the agreed-upon spin for now.  This doesn’t deserve anonymity, and if the Bush Admin can’t say this stuff directly; then they shouldn’t get to say it at all.  This is disgusting.  This is wrong.  And yet, this is exactly what we’ll continue to get.  

And as long as that’s the case, the media will continue to be used as a source of bullshitty spin rather than informing the public; thus betraying the entire point of a free press.  After all, why even have a free press if they’re going to give access to the government that they won’t give to the rest of us.  I personally would love to be quoted in these kinds of articles, anonymously or not; but I’m unlikely to even get one letter published in the “Who Gives a Crap” section of my local newspaper.  While this government official is given free reign to recite political messages without repercussions to a nationwide audience.

And yet somehow, it’s people like me who get accused of screwing with journalism; rather than the people who are actually ruining it.  But thank god we don’t have a mandatory ethics code for journalists.  We’d be so confused.