Thursday, January 31, 2008

You Want Changes?

Well, I got yer Changes right here:


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Farnsworth Endorsement: The Kiss of Death?

Jeez, you gotta wonder. First I came out for Kucinich, and he drops out. This morning I was all ready to endorse Edwards, and he drops out just seconds before I posted my endorsement of him.

Now I am kinda scared about my new endorsement. Whichever candidate gets it will be killed in the Super Tuesday primaries.

Naaaaw, fuck that. I'm still coming out for Obama. I'm in the ABC school of Democratic politics: Anybody But Clinton.

So there you have it: Your old pal Farnsworth is now an active supporter of Barack Obama and is in the process of joining Veterans for Obama.

I encourage everyone who truly believes that it is time for change in the direction of this nation to join me in supporting Barack Obama in his quest to be the President of the United States in 2008.

Rush Limbaugh and the Evil Voting Machine

I swear you can't make this shit up. News out of Palm Beach today carries the story that notorious gasbag and brain-addled drug addict Rush Limbaugh couldn't figure out the voting machine when he went to vote in the Florida primary yesterday:

"I hit 'Next' and it didn't go there," said Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach and often recounts the county's electoral foibles on his show.
Then he hit the "Back" button and "got my candidate page again with the vote already recorded there. So I said 'hmmmmm, I wonder if this is going to count twice."
So he unclicked his favored candidate, clicked that candidate again and hit "Next" a second time - and it worked.
"I don't know if I voted twice," he said. "Probably not.

Yeah, uh-huh. This is the guy, you'll recall, that made a ton of malicious fun back in 2000 and 2004 about the stupidity of people who complain about voting machines.

What a fucking moron. Maybe you should pop a couple of Vitamin V tablets next time. Kind of perk up your head, so to speak.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Way Democracy is Supposed to Work

I'll admit it right up front that I didn't watch Baby Doc's delusional view of the State of the Union last night. I can't stand even looking at the guy, let alone listen to him speak for an hour. Besides, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed would feel she'd have to lock up the guns lest I starting shooting holes in our big-screen HDTV.

However, I wish that congress would take a page from the British House of Commons, which holds a Q&A session with the Prime Minister weekly.

Take a look at this one posted on YouTube:



How great it would be if our own congress was able to -- had the balls to -- talk back to The Chimperor the way these guys do to their HMFIC. I'd actually tune in if that happened.

C-Span shows these sessions on a regular basis. They are always fun to watch.

Monday, January 28, 2008

"You're a Liberal!" -- "Am Not, YOU Are!"

Jesus, does it get any better than this? Both of the frontrunning Rethugs are hurling "The L Word" at each other like a couple of schoolyard third-graders on recess.

The L Word. As in "Liberal".

Liberals!!! Oh my god!!! It's the end of civilization as we know it! Dogs and cats, living together! (Bill Murray, in Ghostbusters)

Who'da thunk it, forty years ago, when being a Liberal was a good thing?

You remember the Liberals, don't you? The people who brought you the minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, Social Security, the end of Jim Crow laws, etc etc etc.

For some perspective on those goddam atheistic commie pinko America-hating terrorist-enabling liberals, take a look at the brilliant satire A Day in the Life of Joe Republican by John Gray, who wrote it way back in 2004.

This is some great stuff. It's too bad more Rethugs can't read it. Won't read it. Wouldn't "get it" if they did read it. Morons.

A Sleepless Night

I really shouldn't let my imagination run loose when I'm trying to go to sleep. Here are the nightmare scenarios that kept me up until the wee hours.

Setup:

The next president dies in office, and his vice president, under the US constitution (which is still more or less in effect, even though it's currently on life supports), becomes president.

Scenarios:

John McCain, the apparent front-runner in the Rethug race, would be 71, making him the oldest president ever, at the the time he is sworn in next January. (By comparison, Saint Ronald was a youthful 69 at the time he took office.) Despite the fact that McCain regularly keeps trotting out his doddering 95-year-old mother to prove that he has longevity genes, he's already had skin cancer and his body has to be a lot less than 100% after his wild youth (I "generally misused my good health and youth" -- source) and those five-and-a-half long years of torture and lack of medical care as a guest of the North Vietnamese.

In order to shore up his support among the mouthbreathing knuckledragging Fundo Xian branch of the party, McCain chooses Huckleberry Hucklebee as his VP. McCain dies and Huckleberry starts in on his campaign to restore Christian principles to the US constitution and, with the compliance of the spineless Blue Dog Democrats and the Dominionist-packed Supreme Court, slides us into theocracy.

And the Dems? Barack Obama is a prime target for assassination (a Google search for "assassinate obama" turns up some 14,000 terrifying hits). Let's face facts: Anyone who does not believe that there is a deep-seated and virulent strain of violent racism lurking just beneath the surface in many parts of this country is living in a fool's paradise. The current wide-eyed comparisons between him and JFK are downright scary when you remember what happened to Kennedy.

If Obama is the nominee, he will just about have to choose Billary as his VP running mate (and vice-versa). By the time of the Democratic Convention the party will be badly wounded by the current infighting that's going to only get worse. The best way to try to heal up those wounds would be to choose your enemy as your running mate and pretend that you have always been best buddies (as Reagan did with "Poppy" Bush, and JFK seems to have done with Lyndon Johnson). Then Obama dies in office. She is president, and she will continue the slide into fascistic corporatism that was started by Ronald Reagan and sadly continued, in large part, by Bill Clinton.

Jeez, I think I need a Xanax/Ambien cocktail...

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 1339 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown, Argentina and god-knows-where-else to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.

And it's not just The Twins: ONLY ONE member of the extended Bush family has seen fit to volunteer for military service. Check out the Buzzflash analysis of the chickenshit Bush/Cheney extended family and see for yourself. There's even a photo taken in 2000 of the extended Bush family, complete with a whole lot of young fresh faces who seem to be of an age now to be eligible to enlist.

Little Georgie Bush, the son of Jebbie, has enlisted in the Naval Reserve. He's going into the Officer Training Program, preparing to be ... an intelligence officer. Okay, the obvious jokes aside, what are the chances he's ever going to see Iraq? Especially since he apparently hasn't actually even put on the uniform yet, even though he "enlisted" way last year.

And I see in the news that little Jenna has set a date to marry her boyfriend, one Henry Hager. Wanna bet that he won't be wearing a uniform anytime soon? Like ever? Unlike the husbands of the daughters of Lyndon Johnson, both of whom went into the service and were sent to Vietnam.

Bush and Cheney were cowards during Vietnam who sent other men off to die in their place. Now the next generation is doing its part, sending their own peers off to die instead of them.

Why can't the Twins be more like their royal counterparts in the UK? The British Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerra de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War) and Prince Harry, until the decision was made not to send him, was on his way to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant. But even though he's not on his way to The Sandbox, he's still in uniform.

Will the Bush Twins follow his example?

No, they will not. They are fucking cowards like their father and their Uncle Dick(less) Cheney.

Be sure to check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

BTW, the twins are also still not pregnant with their own Snowflake Babies. If they can't join the service, the least they could do would be to get themselves impregnated with a couple of blastocytes that would otherwise go into the garbage.

Remember what Farnsworth always says: Baste 'em, don't waste 'em.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Think a Conjoined Church and State is a Good Idea?

Really? Well, this is one of those "be careful what you ask for because you just might get it" questions. Let's take a look at the last time this happened in the traditions of "Western Civilization".

Although a bunch of wingnut Koolaid drinkers have gone to some length to try to deny it, you don't have to look any farther than Nazi Germany for proof that the melding of church and state is never a good idea.

Take a look at the photographs on this page for a stark visual reminder of what can happen when the church and the state get into bed together.

Not convinced by a bunch of photographs? How about taking a look at the scholarly study, Theologians Under Hitler by Robert P. Ericksen PhD, or, for those with a short attention span, check out the DVD of the same title. The premise of the book and the film is that even the most reputable and "normal" theologians can readily accommodate themselves to the banality of evil and see the attractiveness of a church-state combination.

The right wing can try to weasel out of this all they want, but facts are facts and their denials are Just. Fucking. Wrong!

Okay, I hear you saying, but that was Germany, and they are among the "others". So you want an example in an English-speaking context? How about Oliver Cromwell and his attempts to establish a Protestant theocracy in England after his Roundheads overthrew -- and chopped the head off of -- the English king, Charles I. His genocidal activities against the Irish Catholics are still highly resented in the Irish Republic and among Irish descendants world wide.

Our best and last hope to prevent this in the US lies in organizations such as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. I am proud to be a member of AU. Please consider joining us, so you can help us make our collective voices heard.

Remember: The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Not Too Late to Help Dennis Kucinich

Even though he's dropped out of the presidential race, Dennis Kucinich still has a lot to offer this country, but it'll be difficult for him to do anything if he's not reelected to Congress.

And that's why I am urging everyone to go to his website and shake loose a little cash so he can stay in the House of Representatives.

The Rethugs, smelling blood in the water after his poor showing in the presidential campaign, are pouring literally millions into a campaign to give him the boot and install a Koolaid-drinking lockstep-marching robotic moron in his congressional seat.

Let's not let that happen. We were with him in the presidential race; let's be with him now.

Thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kucinich Quits Quest for Presidency

It wasn't surprising that it happened, but it kind of took me off guard that it happened fairly early in the campaign. I thought that he would at least wait a couple of weeks, until after Super Tuesday, to do it.

But in the long run, it was probably smart to do it now. This way those of us who were going to vote for him in the primaries -- or in my case my party caucus -- can jump over to another candidate.

Now the only problem is which one. As I've said before, I will actively support ANY Democratic presidential candidate over any Rethug, since the Dem will be several orders of magnitude better than the Rethug when it comes to appointments to the Supreme Court.

Stay tuned.

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921 3932

Total coalition forces dead: 307
Total Iraqi Dead: 700,000+ [yeah, I'm still keeping that number -- sorry PH]

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2326
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 1787
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 1729
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 714
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 554.

It is still 358 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Biggest Threat

Ask the average member of the Moron-American voting bloc what the biggest threat facing the United States is and he'll probably mouth some Faux News/BFEE-induced nonsense about "Islamofascism" and the like.

He would be wrong. Very wrong.

The biggest threat facing our nation is not external. It is found in the bedrock christofascism found in so many Fundo Xian niches across the country. These people are serious -- and openly honest -- about their desire to turn this free country over to an Americanized version of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

A case in point -- and a very scary one it is -- is the almost-unknown infiltration by these Radical Christianists into the US military.

It all started fairly innocuously. The US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs had a showing of the Mel Gibson Christianist propaganda film, The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre (a/k/a The Passion of the Christ). But, not content just to show this execrable movie as part of their regular movie night experience, the Fundo Xians in charge of this shit browbeat each and every cadet into going to see it.

Naturally afterward, those already Fundo cadets were found to be calling their fellow cadets who were Jewish "Christ Killers", "fucking Jews", and worse. The brass at the academy did nothing to put a stop to this. In fact, the Xian cadets were aided and abetted in this Nazi-like behavior by their higher ups.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. It has spread throughout the military, with such formal organizations as the Officers' Christian Fellowship and the Christian Military Fellowship. Promotions and perks are often based on an individual's participation in these organizations.

Thank the gods for the timely appearance of Michael "Mikey" Weinstein. He's the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and there's a lengthy and enlightening interview with him on the Philadelphia Jewish Voice website that is well worth the time it takes to read it (that's where I stole the "Jesus Chainsaw Massacre" title above).

Excerpts:

. . . we are at war with a small subset of evangelical Christianity – about 12.6% of the American public, about 38 million Americans – the Premillenial, Dispensational, Reconstructionist Dominionist, Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians who believe they have an unlimited right to push their particular biblical worldview (the gospel of Jesus Christ) irrespective of time, place and manner, regulation by our Constitution of any other type of law. That is to say, if we were not talking about the freedom of religion, but we were talking about the freedom of speech, they would believe they had the right to scream “fire” in a crowded theater.
. . .
Now, I remind you, Hitler never had more than eight percent of the German citizenry in the Nazi party; I don’t think Stalin ever had more than 2.9 percent of his closest association. So, this is plenty, particularly when you are talking about a command and control structure like the U.S. military. The frightening prospect that our conventional and nuclear forces--technologically the most lethal organization ever created by humankind—was falling into the hands of a Christian Taliban.
. . .
My eldest son, Casey, graduated from the Air Force Academy in the class of 2004, as did his wife, Amanda, a Christian. They both experienced this, both of them did. My daughter-in-law was “asked” by the commanding general, the commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy, to go out an essentially harvest non-Christian cadets and bring them to the New Life Church, where they had those shootings a couple weeks ago. Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, headed that organization until it came out that he had a homosexual liaison in Denver.
. . .
Whenever a virulent form of any religious faith --- in this case Christianity --- has engaged the machinery of the state --- and those are not my words, they are the words of our U.S. Supreme Court . . . where all the sticks and stones are that break our bones, the armed forces -- whenever that has happened, we have seen that train leave the station before over the last 2,000 years. It goes to a one-town Slaughterville, because we do not end up with little creeks, rivers creeks, ponds and lakes. We end up with oceans and oceans of blood, usually beginning with Jewish blood.
Now I can look on the calendar, I can see that it’s January 2008 and I can make a strong case that it is January 1937. It is happening over again. We are about a Tiger Woods’ two-inch putt away from a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in this country. It is starting with the completely controlling U.S. military.
Now that is some scary shit. Especially when these fuckers are working hand-in-hand with their identical-twin Fundo Xians in Blackwater.

So if you have a few bucks to donate to the most worthy of causes, go to Mikey's website and drop some cash on him. He has a big battle in front of him and he needs all the help we can provide.

O'Reilly? No, O'Wrongly

Last week Bill Orally made, on his nationally-shown Faux News infotainment show, an absolutely flabbergasting statement concerning homeless veterans sleeping under bridges:

They may be out there, but there’s not many of them out there. Okay? … If you know where there's a veteran sleeping under a bridge, you call me immediately, and we will make sure that man does not do it.
This is over the top, even for a dickwad bully who has made a history out of making outrageous -- and flat out wrong -- statements about pretty much everything.

If you get a chance, please drop by the website set up by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), watch the video, and then send the open letter to Billo urging to set the record straight on homeless veterans.

It's going to be a lot of hard work for Billo to get all 200,000 (according to that bastion of America-hating terrorist-enabling Bush-hating Islamo-fascio-communism, the US Department of Veterans Affairs) homeless veterans out from under those bridges.

But if you look closely at his statement, he doesn't really say he's going to do anything to help those homeless veterans. He's just going to get them out from under those bridges. What they do next is up to them, but I'm sure Billo thinks that they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, just the way he did.

After all, we all know about the desperate poverty that he was forced to grow up in, in that heated house in Levittown, with a full dinner table each night and the support of his extended family.

Maybe if Billo had to spend a few winter nights under one of those bridges, he'd have a little more compassion for the people who have to.

Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

Study: 935 False Statements Over Iraq

Right on the heels of that scintillating interchange with my new BBF who apparently has his head so far up his ass that he thinks clean air smells like shit, a new study came out that found that Baby Doc and his top minions made a total of 935 false statments about Iraq leading up to the illegal occupation.

In other words, as those of us out here in Left Blogistan have been saying for years, we were lied into the Iraq War.

The study was an extensive one, investigating public statements by the likes of "Colon" Powell, Kindasleazy Rice, Ari Fleischer (official "mouthpiece" of the BFEE in those days), Baby Doc himself, and especially Dickless Cheney. Including this classic from Crashcart's speech to the VFW convention in 2002:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.
The plaintive whining of weak-minded Koolaid drinkers to the contrary, there simply were no longer enough WMDs to be a threat even to Gilligan's Island, let alone a huge nation halfway around the world.

It's especially interesting to see the study's criticism of the news media for their compliance with the BFEE in propagating The Big Lie. Yeah, that good old "liberal media" at work again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Circular Firing Squad

No, it's not what you think. I know it's a phrase that's long been associated with Democratic internecine warfare during primary/caucus season. And true, there's been a lot of that with the latest Clinton-Obama quarreling spats, but that's not where we are going today.

No, instead we're going to take a dark safari over to Rightwing Hate Radio Land, and its apparent inability to get its shit together on a viable candidate.

Now even ├╝bermensch Michael Fucking Medved, a one-time liberal leopard who "got religion" and changed his spots, is taking potshots at Rightwing Hate Radio (which is ironic, to say the least, since he's one of the beloved poster boys for wingnut radio media). He evidently has had enough:

The big loser in South Carolina was, in fact, talk radio: a medium that has unmistakably collapsed in terms of impact, influence and credibility because of its hysterical and one-dimensional involvement in the GOP nomination fight.
For more than a month, the leading conservative talkers in the country have broadcast identical messages in an effort to demonize Mike Huckabee and John McCain. If you’ve tuned in at all to Rush, Sean, Savage, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and two dozen others you’ve heard a consistent drum beat of hostility toward Mac and Huck.
[…]
In other words, the talk radio jihad against Mac and Huck hasn’t destroyed or even visibly damaged those candidates. But it has damaged, and may help destroy, talk radio.
Jesus, I just fucking love it when they start eating their own. And I'm so glad to see yet another sign that the GOP is on the verge of imploding.

Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

Hookers for ... Ron Paul?!

Despite the "hook" (jeez, I loved doing that...) of the story of a political visit to one of Nevada's legal brothels, showing that the "girls" working there are supporting Ron Paul(!), the story itself is actually a very incisive analysis of what's gone so dreadfully wrong for the Rethug party in the Intermountain West. That's a geographical region that for a long time has been solidly Republican, and suddenly the Rethug party won't be able to count on that solid support this year.

Oh, and since these working girls are considered self-employed independent contractors, their support of Paul doesn't really come as a surprise. His stands on health care and bringing the troops home have a special resonance with these ladies.

Wow! A Hot Button Post

All of a sudden -- and out of the blue -- I got a big bunch of responses on last Friday's Friday by the Numbers post. (Probably it literally was "out of the blue" -- my friend bluegal's contribution citing OPOVet on the always worthy Crooks and Liars site--thanks BG!)

Including an apparently endless continuing series from my new BBF, one "pepsiholic" who is so new to Blogger that he doesn't have his own blog or a real profile.

But PH, as I call him, has been so entertaining that I've temporarily suspended my regular rules about not responding to anonymous posters and refusing to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

Go ahead and check it out. It really is entertaining.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Update on the Cruise--Michelle Malkin Is Worried About Us

Just in case you were all feeling a little smug satisfaction that a bunch of liberals are going to be on the Air America cruise, take a look at what Malignant Malkin had to say about it on her blog. Little Michelle is concerned about us. She's afraid the boat will lean so far to the left it will capsize. Awwwww, isn't that just too cute? Too precious?

And be sure to read the enormously entertaining comments by her ... well, I was gonna say "dittoheads", but that belongs to The Bloviating Missouri Windbag. What would hers be? Mittenheads? Muttonheads?

Martin Luther King Day 2008

In April 1967 The Rev Dr Martin Luther King gave a speech at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City:

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
You can read the full text of the speech -- and listen to an audio of it -- on the American Rhetoric website.

Dr King was speaking of Vietnam and the necessity for us to resist our government's excursion into that nation, but his words still ring true when you think of Iraq.

We could do a lot worse on this national holiday dedicated to Dr King than to read his words, listen to his speech, and take them to heart.

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 1332 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown, Argentina and god-knows-where-else to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.



And it's not just The Twins: ONLY ONE member of the extended Bush family has seen fit to volunteer for military service. Check out the Buzzflash analysis of the chickenshit Bush/Cheney extended family and see for yourself. There's even a photo taken in 2000 of the extended Bush family, complete with a whole lot of young fresh faces who seem to be of an age now to be eligible to enlist.

Little Georgie Bush, the son of Jebbie, has enlisted in the Naval Reserve. He's going into the Officer Training Program, preparing to be ... an intelligence officer. Okay, the obvious jokes aside, what are the chances he's ever going to see Iraq? Especially since he apparently hasn't actually even put on the uniform yet, even though he "enlisted" way last year.

And I see in the news that little Jenna has set a date to marry her boyfriend, one Henry Hager. Wanna bet that he won't be wearing a uniform anytime soon? Like ever? Unlike the husbands of the daughters of Lyndon Johnson, both of whom went into the service and were sent to Vietnam.

Bush and Cheney were cowards during Vietnam who sent other men off to die in their place. Now the next generation is doing its part, sending their own peers off to die instead of them.

Why can't the Twins be more like their royal counterparts in the UK? The British Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerra de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War) and Prince Harry, until the decision was made not to send him, was on his way to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant. But even though he's not on his way to The Sandbox, he's still in uniform.

Will the Bush Twins follow his example?

No, they will not. They are fucking cowards like their father and their Uncle Dick(less) Cheney.

Be sure to check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

BTW, the twins are also still not pregnant with their own Snowflake Babies. If they can't join the service, the least they could do would be to get themselves impregnated with a couple of blastocytes that would otherwise go into the garbage.

Remember what Farnsworth always says: Baste 'em, don't waste 'em.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beer and Fitness

Can it be? Is it really true?

I've been an avid beer drinker for nearly 50 years, and since I've managed to gain only a pound per year of weight -- since high school! You can do the math on that one... -- it's nagged at me over the years (as has She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) whether that beer consumption has actually contributed to the classic "beer belly" that I seem to be protruding in front of me.

Well, it turns out that there's good news and bad news on this front. Acccording to an article over at Military.com, consuming one to two beers per day is actually healthy for you!

That's the good news. The bad news is that you have to match that calorie intake with some calorie outgo, or the beer (and everything else you consume) contributes to that "frontal assault" you carry around with you.

So I figure the glass is half full: I'm doing the two-beers-a-day regimen. Now all I have to do is figure out how to open the front door, go outside and take a walk...

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921 3926

Total coalition forces dead: 307
Total Iraqi Dead: 700,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2319
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 1780
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 1722
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 704
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 547.

It is still 362 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nucking Futz, a/k/a "Batshit Crazy"

So good ole boy and servant of god Huckleberry Huckabee says we need to "return to god's standard" by amending the constitution to outlaw a woman's right to choose and to eradicate same-sex marriage.

Okay, I'm down with that. Just so long as Huckleberry doesn't stop there. There are a LOT more proscriptions in his "Holy Bible" than just those two.

Why stop at just the two top sins? And, for that matter, why are those sins in the "top two"?

Even a cursory examination of the so-called Old Testament (which these assholes seem to love, to the pretty much complete exclusion of the actual words of their "savior") will reveal that those assholes on the right are GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY of a veritable plethora of sins.

To illustrate this apparent oversight, let me share with you the following letter that I sent some time ago to the venerable Internets softcore porn queen "Doctor" Laura Schlessinger:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your radio show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific Bible laws and how to follow them.
(a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors complain to the zoning people. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
(b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. What do you think would be a fair price for her? She's 18 and starting college. Will the slave buyer be required to continue to pay for her education by law ?
(c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense and threaten to call Human Resources.
(d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? ....Why can't I own Canadians? Is there something wrong with them due to the weather?
(e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should this be a neighborhood improvement project ? What is a good day to start? Should we begin with small stones? Kind of lead up to it?
(f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. I mean, a shrimp just isn't the same as a you-know-what. Can you settle this?
(g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here? Would contact lenses fall within some exception?
(h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die? The Mafia once took out Albert Anastasia in a barbershop, but I'm not Catholic; is this ecumenical thing a sign that it's ok?
(i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
(j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

Winston Smith Farnsworth
[I actually stole this from somewhere, but it's been so long that I can't recall where it came from. If it's yours, please accept my thanks and apologies, if necessary... And please let me know so I can give you the proper credit.]
Needless to say, I am still awaiting a reply from Dr. Laura.

But that shouldn't dissuade us from asking Huckleberry the same questions. After all, he's a fucking minister of the gospel, for chrissake, and if anyone has the answers to these questions it ought to be him.

But I'm not holding my breath.

--Update! Here is the source of the original letter to Dr. Laura. It was written by a bible-student-cum-snarky-genius named J. Kent Ashcraft way back in 2000. Thanks, J. Kent!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The "Air America" Cruise

It's official.

I, along with She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed and another liberal/radical couple who are close friends of ours, are taking the Air America cruise next month.

It will be my first cruise, and I figure it's better to be on one with a bunch of like-minded liberals instead of a bunch of rich Republican stuffed shirts.

It ought to be a blast. Featured on the program will be presentations by the likes of my favorite Air America heroes, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes and Rachel Maddow, along with such "lesser stars" in the liberal talk radio firmament, Lionel, Richard Greene, Mark Green and Jon Elliott, along with some of my absolute favorite left-wing pundits, Paul Krugman, Jim Hightower, and Marc Sussman.

Even though you're basically required to play dressup on at least two nights (I don't even own a tuxedo and at this point in my life I figure I really don't need one, but I figure that a black sports coat and my trusty black Levis ought to do it up just fine), it ought to be a ton of fun, and it's something that I'm really looking forward to.

The boat leaves San Diego on the evening of February 23, bound for exotic ports of call in Mexico, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, and returns to San Diego on the morning of March 1.

I hope as many of you as possible can make this cruise. I'm excited to meet all of these guys (and get autographs on their books -- I'll have a broken back from lugging a suitcase full of them), but I would be even more excited to be able meet those of my regular readers as can make it.

If you are planning on going on the cruise, send me an email at farnsworth68-AT-yahoo.com and I'll be sure that we get a lot of "face time" while we're on the boat.

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 1325 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown, Argentina and god-knows-where-else to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.



And it's not just The Twins: ONLY ONE member of the extended Bush family has seen fit to volunteer for military service. Check out the Buzzflash analysis of the chickenshit Bush/Cheney extended family and see for yourself. There's even a photo taken in 2000 of the extended Bush family, complete with a whole lot of young fresh faces who seem to be of an age now to be eligible to enlist.

Little Georgie Bush, the son of Jebbie, has just enlisted in the Naval Reserve. He's going into the Officer Training Program, preparing to be ... an intelligence officer. Okay, the obvious jokes aside, what are the chances he's ever going to see Iraq?

And I see in the news that little Jenna is engaged to a joker named Henry Hager. Wanna bet that he won't be wearing a uniform anytime soon? Like ever? Unlike both husbands of the daughters of Lyndon Johnson, both of whom went into the service and were sent to Vietnam.

Bush and Cheney were cowards during Vietnam who sent other men off to die in their place. Now the next generation is doing its part, sending their own peers off to die instead of them.

Why can't the Twins be more like their royal counterparts in the UK? The British Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerra de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War) and Prince Harry, until the decision was made not to send him, was on his way to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant. But even though he's not on his way to The Sandbox, he's still in uniform.

Will the Bush Twins follow his example?

No, they will not. They are fucking cowards like their father and their Uncle Dick(less) Cheney.

Be sure to check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

BTW, the twins are also still not pregnant with their own Snowflake Babies. If they can't join the service, the least they could do would be to get themselves impregnated with a couple of blastocytes that would otherwise go into the garbage.

Remember what Farnsworth always says: Baste 'em, don't waste 'em.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Waterboarding" is Torture. Or Is It???

So what are we to think? Chief Spy Mike McConnell stated that waterboarding would be torture, if it were done to him.

Okay so far, but McConnell stopped way short of calling it "torture" in the abstract -- i.e., the concrete -- sense. The sense that it is being done on a daily basis to "suspects" in the War on Terratm.

And why not?

The only thing I can think of is that if McConnell, like Mukasey, came right out and called it what it is -- torture -- then they would be turning on their boss.

And we can't have that, can we? I mean the Leader of the Free World condoning acts of torture? It boggles the mind. It really does.

And how many more days of the BFEE do we have to put up with?

Only 367...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary RIP

The news yesterday brought us some sad tidings. Sir Edmund Hillary, 88, died of a heart attack.

Hillary had always been a hero of mine, not only for his incredible accomplishment of scaling Sagarmatha (a/k/a Mt Everest -- back when it was only 29,002 feet -- it's "grown" some 33 feet since then) but more importantly for his insistence over the intervening years that he was not the "first man" to scale the mountain.

No, Sir Edmund right from the start gave equal billing to his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay. Sir Edmund always insisted that he was only one of two men to reach the summit.

This is one reason that the Nepalese always held him in such high regard.

So what does the news media do when they announce his death? You guessed it: "First Man Atop Everest".

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921

Total coalition forces dead: 307
Total Iraqi Dead: 700,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2312
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 1773
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 1715
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 697
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 540.

It is still 369 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Big Brother is Watching You

Over at Privacy International they maintain a telling list of surveillance societies the world over, complete with a map showing where a society stands on their ranking of privacy protection.

Sadly the United States doesn't stand up well against such countries as, say, Greece (of all places), which heads the list as being only "adequate" in its safeguards against privacy abuse.

Check it out and prepare to be shocked (or maybe not) by the fact that that the US ranks right down there with many nations in the former Soviet Union and China as being an "endemic surveillance society".

Big Brother is watching you.

[Thanx to longtime reader jae for the heads up on this.]

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Dire Straits of Hormel

For Immediate Release

In a surprising move today, Iranians took action to tighten up the Straits of Hormel. It is a little-known fact that over 80% of the world's supply of chili comes through the straits.

If the Iranians are successful, it will have grave implications on the United States, and indeed, all of the West. For example, the long-awaited remake of Blazing Saddles will be shelved, and even Terrance and Philip, the Canadian duo will be forced to hold it in.

But it's even more serious than that. If the straits are indeed closed, President Bush, himself a fart joke connoisseur, will have to put a cork in it.

"And that is unacceptable," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "I mean, I'm not the kinda guy who'd start World War III, exactly, but this is cutting it too close."

Unless the Iranians take steps to relax the sphincter of the Straits of Hormel, Bush stated, they can expect the United States to take direct, pointed and insertive action.

"We won't turn the other cheek," the president said. "They -- and we -- need to cut it."

--30--

Freedom is Slavery

In an astonishing Orwellian moment, Rudy Nine-Eleven made this statement in 1994:

What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be ... Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
WTF???

And this is the man who would be president?

War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery -- 1984

Indeed.

It's Official: The Economy is on the Skids

Yep, that's the word, direct from the smirking lips of The Chimperor himself. In a little-noted speech to business leaders on Monday in Chicago, Baby Doc said, "the nation faces 'economic challenges' due to rising oil prices, the home mortgage crisis and a weakening job market."

So what's up with that sudden shift to reality on the part of our Fearless Leader? You know, the man who has not been a member of the Reality-Based Community since some time in the 1950s.

PM Carpenter has a theory about it: Bush did it to kick McCain in the teeth.

According to Carpenter, the last thing that Bushco wants is to have Baby Doc followed by another Republican. Any Democrat will dismantle our illegal occupation of Iraq, and pretty much any Republican (except Ron Paul) will continue the march. And Baby Doc, who despite what he might claim to the contrary -- "History? Who cares? We'll all be dead." -- is very concerned about his historical legacy.

There's more, including an alternate theory: Given the many financial ties between the Mittster and Bushco -- and given the historical bad blood between Baby Doc and John McCain -- could the BFEE be trying to cripple McCain so Romney can assume the throne?

Pretty fanciful stuff, but it has more than a kernel of truth in it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Campaign to Ban Paperless Voting

The good folks over at MoveOn.org have created an online petition to ban paperless voting, and good on them for doing it.

No one who has ever worked in Information Technology (i.e., computers) can deny that the current electronic voting schemes in place in the various states are a far cry from being transparent, from being trustworthy, from being fair.

So drop by and sign the petition calling on the Democratic members of congress to take immediate steps to ban paperless voting before it's too late.

The last thing we want to see in November is another Ohio debacle. Our representative democracy is fragile enough as it is. Let's do everything we can to resuscitate it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 1308 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown, Argentina and god-knows-where-else to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.



And it's not just The Twins: ONLY ONE member of the extended Bush family has seen fit to volunteer for military service. Check out the Buzzflash analysis of the chickenshit Bush/Cheney extended family and see for yourself. There's even a photo taken in 2000 of the extended Bush family, complete with a whole lot of young fresh faces who seem to be of an age now to be eligible to enlist.

Little Georgie Bush, the son of Jebbie, has just enlisted in the Naval Reserve. He's going into the Officer Training Program, preparing to be ... an intelligence officer. Okay, the obvious jokes aside, what are the chances he's ever going to see Iraq?

And I see in the news that little Jenna is engaged to a joker named Henry Hager. Wanna bet that he won't be wearing a uniform anytime soon? Like ever? Unlike both husbands of the daughters of Lyndon Johnson, both of whom went into the service and were sent to Vietnam.

Bush and Cheney were cowards during Vietnam who sent other men off to die in their place. Now the next generation is doing its part, sending their own peers off to die instead of them.

Why can't the Twins be more like their royal counterparts in the UK? The British Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerra de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War) and Prince Harry, until the decision was made not to send him, was on his way to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant. But even though he's not on his way to The Sandbox, he's still in uniform.

Will the Bush Twins follow his example?

No, they will not. They are fucking cowards like their father and their Uncle Dick(less) Cheney.

Be sure to check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

BTW, the twins are also still not pregnant with their own Snowflake Babies. If they can't join the service, the least they could do would be to get themselves impregnated with a couple of blastocytes that would otherwise go into the garbage.

Remember what Farnsworth always says: Baste 'em, don't waste 'em.

BTW, while we're on the subject, how come none of those Romney boys are in uniform? Why does their father want to be commander-in-chief and expect to do a good job when he doesn't have any "skin in the game"? What about those sons of Mike Huckabee, at least one of whom already has a penchant for firearms and killing? Or maybe he could join Blackwater -- they'd be right up his alley.

Today's Quote

Guess who said this:

The national government ... will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.
Today Christians ... stand at the head of [our country]. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press — in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... few years.
Sounds like something out of the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell et al. playbook, doesn't it? A LOT like it, in fact.

So who did say it?

Give up?

Adolph Hitler!!! (From The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D. (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872.)

Rewriting American History

Leave it to the Fundos. Not content to overtly attempt to turn this nation into a Fundo Xian Theocracy through the ballot box, they've set out to do a fundamental rewrite of American history, apparently on the infamous Jesuit theory of "give me a child until he's seven and I will give you the man".

It's an easy two-step process: (1) Change beliefs about the origin of the US Democracy, and then (2) Institute theocracy.

Bruce Wilson over at Talk to Action has a damning piece entitled How Fake American History Feeds Christian Nationalism on the current activities of the Fundo Xian wingnuttery on just this topic:

... a 2007 poll from the First Amendment Center showed that 65% of Americans believe the founders intended the US to be a Christian nation and 55% from that poll thought the US Constitution establishes the US as a Christian nation ... Democratic Party politicians are terrified of being tarred as "anti-Christian" and they lack the political advisers who can tell them how to effectively deflect such attacks. Thus, they tend to vote as, at least, "soft" Christian nationalists regardless of their personal religious views.
Read the rest of and then gird yourself for the coming battle. I have a feeling that, since these people aren't grounded in the reality-based community, it will take a lot of blood, toil, sweat and tears to stop them.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another "Straw Man" Argument -- This Time it's the JFK Assassination

I have been a student and critic of the Warren Report's version of the JFK Assassination for well over 40 years (which report, by the way, resulted in my first dose of healthy skepticism about the workings of our government). I've even taken two trips to Dealy Plaza in Dallas to check it out for myself.

Consequently I tend to read everything about it that I can lay my hands on. Or lay my eyes on, when it comes to the Internets.

I even have a personalized Google News search for news about the assassination. And that's where I ran across something by a guy named Massimo Polidoro posted on the seemingly otherwise reality-based Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website.

In it, Polidoro sets up a perfect "straw man" argument about the path of the so-called Magic Bullet, also known as Commission Exhibit 399. He even includes diagrams that supposedly illustrate (1) the Warren Report critics' alleged account of the path of the bullet, and (2) the supposedly "true" path, as posited by Warren Report enabler and notable suckass idiot Gerald Posner, among others.

Yeah, looks good. Unfortunately the only problem with it is that is lacking a three-dimensional perspective. Go ahead and take a look at the graphic of Posner's (and consequently Polidoro's) "hypothetical" trajectory of the Magic Bullet. It's two dimensional; if you put it into three dimensions, then the bullet has to take another, different, magical turn -- upward and then downward on exit. And that's a trajectory question that people like Posner and his surrogate, Polidoro, can't answer. CE 399 would have had to take a midair turn upward and then downward after exiting JFK's throat in order to inflict Connolly's wounds.

Connolly could not have sustained the wounds that he did without that happening.

BTW, I don't have any kind of a "pet theory" on the JFK Assassination. The only thing that I'm convinced of is that the government lied to us when it published the Warren Report, and that the true facts surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy will probably never be known.

Most of the dozens of conflicting theories about the assassination (e.g., The government did it; Rogue elements of the CIA did it; Castro did it; The KGB did it; The Mafia did it, etc. etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum), which in most cases are mutually exclusive, have been fabricated out of whole cloth by those who do not want the truth to be known. It's easy enough to muddy the waters to the point where the casual observer will throw up his/her hands in disgust, with a "pox upon both your houses" attitude.

And that's what the ones who were truly responsible for the JFK assassination are counting on.

I used to think that eventually the facts would come out and that the world would finally know what really happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Now I'm resigned to the conclusion that the truth most likely will forever remain hidden.

Ten Questions

My friends over at First Freedom First have come up with a list of ten questions to ask political candidates. These are questions that the media should be asking but aren't.

Here are the questions. Next time you're at a candidate forum, press conference or town hall meeting, ask a few of these.

1. Leaders on the religious right often say that America is a "Christian Nation." Do you agree with this statement?

2. Do you think Houses of Worship should be allowed to endorse political candidates and retain their tax exempt status?

3. Do you think public schools should sponsor school prayer or, as a parent, should this choice be left to me?

4. Would you support a law that mandates teaching creationism in my child's public school science classes?

5. Do you think my pharmacist should be allowed to deny me doctor-prescribed medications based on his or her religious beliefs?

6. Will you respect the rights of those in our diverse communities of faith who deem same-gender marriage to be consistent with their religious creed?

7. Should "faith-based" charities that receive public funds be allowed to discriminate against employees or applicants based on religious beliefs?

8. Do you think one's right to disbelieve in God is protected by the same laws that protect someone else's right to believe?

9. Do you think everyone's religious freedom needs to be protected by what Thomas Jefferson called "a wall of separation" between church and state?

10. What should guide our policies on public health and medical research: science or religion?

In other words, it's up to each of us to hold the candidates' feet to the fire and get them to commit, in a public forum, that they support the concept -- the bedrock principle -- of that Wall of Separation.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Re-emergence of Populism

Populism has had kind of a funny, on-again-off-again relationship with the American people. It seems that it is a many-headed hydra, meaning different things to different people in the different times that it has arisen.

Speaking simply, Populism is defined as a political movement that appeals to "the people", positing a dichotomy between "the people" and the "others". Those others are the ones who seem to be amorphous, depending on the time and place of the Populist Movement.

That's why Huey Long's Populism can be so different from that of, say, George Wallace or that of Teddy Roosevelt.

What we've seen lately, starting in 2000 with the destructive -- yet normative -- campaign of Ralph Nader, is the rise of a new Populism.

And IMHO that is a good thing. It means that We The People are starting to wake from a long period of somnambulism and are seeing the need, the driving imperative, to take back our country.

And this time around, there's nary a trace of Populist Fascism in the works. We'll leave the fascism up to the Rethugs while we all form up here on The Left and take the necessary steps to reclaim our country.

So everyone, get involved, stay involved, and let your actions Speak Truth to Power.

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck

Okay, I'll admit that Schadenfreude is one of my guilty pleasures in life, and was I ever rolling in it when I saw this Buzzflash Alert today.

It seems that one "journalist" aptly misnamed Bill Orally tried to rough up an Obama aide in New Hampshire, and for his troubles he was escorted out of the "safety zone" by the Secret Service agents guarding Obama.

Take that, asshole! Now go back to your loofah sponges and leave the real journalism to the big boys. God knows they have enough trouble as it is without you inserting your stupid nose into it.

Nyuck nyuck nyuck!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Huckabee Iowa Victory Speech

It was kind of a surprise to me that Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus -- especially since The Mittster outspent him by something like seven to one, yet Huckabee swept the caucuses by a margin of something over 10 percent.

So what the fuck is he talking about in his victory speech? Four years ago Howard Dean was trashed by the media for the now-infamous "scream", yet Huckabee gets away with spouting what I can only call pretty much total gibberish:



Take a look and tell me exactly what the fuck he is talking about, what with the "loving the man behind us" crap (see it starting about 6:20 into the speech)...

Is Fundo Mike giving us a Tappy McWidestancetm clue into his "secret longings"?

I'm just asking.

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908

Total coalition forces dead: 307
Total Iraqi Dead: 700,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2305
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 1766
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 1709
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 690
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 533.

It is still 376 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Progressive Message Wins in Iowa

A couple of things are really encouraging about the Iowa caucus results. One is that the 200,000+ turnout is almost unprecedented -- and gratifying. The other is that almost 2/3 of the people showing up for the Dem caucuses don't support Hillary.

Whatever Big Mo she had going in, whatever mojo she thought she had working for her, fell flat. People are smart enough that they can see that she's Rethug Lite, and they are rejecting it.

My boy Dennis Kucinich -- well, he didn't do so well, but he's still hanging in there, despite the fact that Dodd and Biden are early casualties and have announced that they are getting out of the race.

But the fight isn't over. Counting those so-called Super Delegates already pledged to her, Hillary still leads by over 100 delegates in the overall race for the nomination. Now watch her start going negative in an effort to beat back the progressives. Here's hoping that it doesn't work.

Jeez, watching politics is more fun than watching football.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Only in Texas? Sadly, No...

Here's a piece of news that is simultaneously amusing, amazing and appalling. The great state of Texas is on the verge of giving accreditation for degrees in so-called "Intelligent Design".

While it would be fun to dismiss this bullshit as something local to the Murder-by-Government capital of the entire world, it would be wrong.

Wrong in the sense that it's not localized to the state of Texas. It's a dominant theme in many states, and don't think your state is immune. I'm going to monitor a school board meeting in a town a few miles north of here because a Fundo Xian newly-elected school board member is likely to bring up ID as a valid scientific area of study and therefore a suitable topic for students in that district.

I'll be monitoring this meeting on behalf of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, so unfortunately that means I won't be able to toss any grenades into the mix, the way I would if I were there on my own.

But sometimes you have to submerge your own desires for the benefit of the greater good.

Iowa Caucuses Today

Today is the opening shot in the actual 2008 election. If you know anyone who lives in Iowa, please call them and urge them to attend their precinct caucus meeting. Regardless of who they support, this is democracy at the grassroots level, and the more people who turn out, the better off we all will be in the long run.

As Thom Hartmann always says when he signs off, "Democracy begins with you. Tag, you're it!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dennis Kucinich and Realpolitik

So yesterday my main man, Dennis Kucinich, says that he's throwing his support to Barak Obama. For "second choice". For Iowa only. Thanks to the Byzantine Iowa caucus rules and their "second choice" provision, Iowans can vote for BOTH Kucinich and Obama, with Obama collecting the marbles if Kucinich fails to make the cut.

And that was my first WTF moment of 2008.

I mean, why not Edwards? He's the one who is talking the talk and walking the walk for progressive issues on the campaign trail.

Well, here's my best guess: Many of us out here in the hinterlands suspect Edwards of not being 100% genuine. My wife (the infamous She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed), when she first glimpsed Edwards in 2004, said that he was too slick, too smooth, too phony, for her to support for the presidency.

And she's right; Dennis Kucinich saw that as well. Despite the fact that Edwards talks a good fight, there is just something unsettlingly phony about him, and many people can see through it. Including Kucinich. Obama isn't the best candidate, but in my estimation he's way better than the other two "top tier" Dems, and that's why Kucinich is promoting him for "second choice".

Hence the "realpolitik" approach to the 2008 election. Despite the Edwards endorsement by Ralph Nader (yeah, after the 2000 stolen election debacle, who's gonna listen to him?), I can see that Obama is the logical "second choice" for a lot of people.

Including me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Blackwater: A Must Read!

I spent some of my time off pursuing other avenues of inquiry. One of the things that I did was finally get around to reading Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Jesus, is that ever some scary shit!

From Blackwater's eerie beginnings in the febrile brain of Fundo Xian millionnaire Erik Prince through the questionable orders that sent four "contractors" to their deaths in Fallujah (and thereby causing the military to decimate the town, with an astronomical death rate, which in turn became a nifty recruiting tool for Al Qaeda) to now -- or at least late 2006, Blackwater cuts to the core of the world's first modern mercenary army and explains in excruciating detail how -- and why -- this malevolent bunch of greedy profit-seeking Christian Reconstructionist cutthroat mercenaries have wormed their way so far into the Military-Industrial Complex that it will take major surgery to root them out.

In chilling detail towards the beginning of the book, Scahill describes the mood among even the mainline Fundo Xians during the latter years of the Clinton Administration:
In November 1996 -- the month Clinton crushed Bob Dole and won reelection -- the main organ of the theoconservative movement, Richard Neuhaus's journal First Things, published a "symposium" titled "The End of Democracy?" which bluntly questioned "whether we have reached or are reaching the point where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime."
A series of essays raised the prospect of a major confrontation between the church and the "regime," at times seeming to predict a civil-war scenario or Christian insurrection against the government, exploring possibilities "ranging from noncompliance to resistance to civil disobedience to morally justified revolution." Erik Prince's close friend, political collaborator, and beneficiary Chuck Colson authored one of the five major essays of the issue, as did extremist Judge Robert Bork, whom Reagan had tried unsuccessfully to appoint to the Supreme Court in 1987.
"Americans are not accustomed to speaking of a regime. Regimes are what other nations have," asserted the symposium's unsigned introduction. "This symposium asks whether we may be deceiving ourselves and, if we are, what are the implications of that self-deception. By the word 'regime' we mean the actual, existing system of government. The question that is the title of this symposium is in no way hyperbolic. The subject before us is the end of democracy" It declared, "The government of the United States of America no longer governs by the consent of the governed. . . . What is happening now is the displacement of a constitutional order by a regime that does not have, will not obtain, and cannot command the consent of the people."
The editorial quoted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia saying, "A Christian should not support a government that suppresses the faith or one that sanctions the taking of an innocent human life."
Colson's essay was titled "Kingdoms in Conflict":
"[E]vents in America may have reached the point where the only political action believers can take is some kind of direct, extra-political confrontation of the judicially controlled regime," Colson wrote, adding that a "showdown between church and state may be inevitable. This is not something for which Christians should hope. But it is something for which they need to prepare." He asserted, "[A] 'social contract' that included biblical believers and Enlightenment rationalists was the basis of the founding of the United States. . . . If the terms of our contract have in fact been broken, Christian citizens may be compelled to force the government to return to its original understanding. . . . The writings of Thomas Jefferson, who spoke openly of the necessity of revolution, could also be called upon for support."
Colson stopped short of calling for an open rebellion, but he clearly viewed that as a distinct possibility/necessity in the near future, saying, "with fear and trembling, I have begun to believe that, however Christians in America gather to reach their consensus, we are fast approaching this point."
Now that Blackwater has essentially crossed the Rubicon with their unauthorized self-insertion in the Hurrican Katrina aftermath in New Orleans, their foot is in the door, their nose is in the tent, and their what-I-thought-were-illegal automatic weapons are at the ready for any "civil disturbance". Such as, say, the Democrats winning the White House and extending their control over both houses of Congress.

Those shitweasel nutjobs on the Religious Right might just make good on their threats and turn on the government. And if that happens, just who do you think Blackwater is going to help out? Certainly not those atheist commie feminazi abortionists in Congress and definitely not those of us out here in Left Blogistan who are struggling against tyranny.

Here's more from Scahill:
What is particularly disturbing about the "expanding role" of Blackwater specifically is the issue of the company's right-wing leadership, its proximity to a whole slew of conservative causes and politicians, its Christian fundamentalist agenda and secretive nature, and its deep and longstanding ties to the Republican Party, U.S. military, and intelligence agencies. Blackwater is quickly becoming one of the most powerful private armies in the world, and several of its top officials are extreme religious zealots, some of whom appear to believe they are engaged in an epic battle for the defense of Christendom. The deployment of forces under this kind of leadership in Arab or Muslim countries reinforces the worst fears of many in the Islamic world about a neo-Crusader agenda masquerading as a U.S. mission to "liberate" them from their oppressors.
What Blackwater seemingly advocates and envisions is a private army of God-fearing patriots, well paid and devoted to the agenda of U.S. hegemony—supported by far lower paid cannon fodder, foot soldiers from Third World countries, many of which have legacies of brutal U.S.-sponsored regimes or death squads. For its vaunted American forces, Blackwater has expanded the mercenary motivating factor (or rationalization) beyond simple monetary gain (though that remains a major factor) to a duty-oriented, patriotic justification. "This is not about business and widgets and making money, at least not in our company it is not," said Cofer Black. "If you're not willing to drink the Blackwater Kool-aid and be committed to supporting humane democracy around the world, then there's probably a better place" to go work than Blackwater, "because that's all we do," Taylor told The Weekly Standard.
Like I say, it's some scary stuff.

Blackwater: buy it, read it, give it as a gift, make every progressive person you know read it. Hell, even make every wingnut Rethug asshole you know read it -- they need it more than we do.



And if you still haven't got the picture, I'll let a fellow blogger from Washington State, The Broking Report have the last word:

I'm Back -- Tanned, Fit, Rested and Ready!

Well, maybe not all of those...

I spent my winter "vacation" smoking cheap cigars, drinking too much and eating to excess while visiting my children and grandchildren. Plus my son came down from Alaska for the holidays, and my wife says that the two of us together are hell on wheels...

And you can see the new look. It was time -- this blog had basically the same look since I started it way back in 2005, with a few tweaks here, a couple of moderations there, and like anything else, it was getting stale. I cast around for a new template, specifically one with a three-column layout, and thanks to Webtalks, I have one.

So here we are, facing a Brave New Year, with a presidential election coming up, and a lot to do to make sure a Democrat -- any Democrat -- wins the White House in 2008.

I've had some time to reflect on this and I've made some decisions: Regardless of who the Democratic nominee is, I will support him (or her) 100%, and I will work whole-heartedly for a Democratic victory in November.

You all know by now my thoughts and reservations about Hillary Clinton, but even I will suck it up, push it down, grab my jockstrap and hump the ruck for her.

Why? Well, I can sum that up in two words: Supreme Court.

Whoever the next president is, he or she will undoubtedly have the opportunity to make at least one and probably two (or more) Supreme Court nominations.

Even a Rethug-Lite president (Hillary) would nominate jurists who are vastly and incandescently better than the nominee that any of the potential Rethug presidents will send forward. And that, in and of itself, is reason enough to work for whoever the Dem nominee is.

Yes, even Hillary.