Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Story to Warm the Cockles of a NeoCon's Heart

The Associated Press is reporting that McLiar/Vader administration's newly reconstituted CIA succeeded in killing a passel of innocent Pakistani women and children in a drone bombing attack of a village along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Ayman al-Zawahri (al Quaeda's #2 guy) was supposed to be in the village, but apparently the CIA was the recipient of bad information (does anyone else see a trend here?) .

Meanwhile, the USA continues to win over the hearts and minds of the local populace...

Spelling Bee

Moderator: George, your word is "nuclear."

George: Could you use it in, uhmm, you know, one of them things that daddy stopped me from gettin' when I was drivin' all liquored up, you know...

Moderator: You mean, a "sentence?"

George: That's right, there, Moddy, use that

New Clear in a sentence.

Moderator: Aggressive conduct toward Iran, in the midst of an already volatile Middle East, could result in nuclear war.

George: Sorry, there, Moddy, I just don't understand that New Clear word, just go ahead and buzz me.

Could the stupid bastard at least learn to pronounce the kind of disaster he is going to bring upon the world? Is that too much to ask?

Wheel of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

The puzzle:

"Ira_, armed with a _uclear weapo_, poses a grave threat to the security of the world," Bush said.

Contestant: Pat, I would guess a "Q?"

Pat: Oh, sorry, there's no Q. Condi, it's your spin.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A note on the troll

Apparently the whining troll has moved on to dazzle others with his "all [m]uslims are the same" brilliance. Damn, I was really looking forward to his discourse on the lawfulness of the invasion.

My apologies to all for the intrusion.

Rush on Rape

Rush Limbaugh, pictured below in the pool at his Florida home, with girlfriend Daryn Kagan of CNN ,

today described the move by the Maryland legislature to require Wal-Mart, and other companies so situated, to pay a defined portion of their employees' health care costs, as "rape."

Right. There is nothing that screams out violent sexual assault more than requiring the country's largest retailer to pony up some health care premiums.

A C&J Plug

I am a big fan of The Daily Kos. It is a great spot to find the latest scoop on what's going on. My favorite daily contributor is Bill from Portland, Maine, the writer of "Cheers and Jeers" a daily feature.
Here is the headliner from today's edition:

C&J has reviewed the confirmation hearing transcripts, and we've concluded that the following would be more productive on the Supreme Court than Samuel Alito:
William Jefferson Clinton...Former Maine Senator William Cohen...Dan Quayle (Oops...that's the liquor talkin')...C&J's chocolate lab, Molly...Harriett Miers...John Dean...A sprig of parsley...The blond-haired, puffy lipped supermodel gestating inside Angelina's womb...Penn & Teller...Judge Joseph Wapner...A handful of almonds...that guy over there talkin' to himself...ABBA...Senator Olympia Snowe...Wolf Blitzer (medicated)...Yoda...Mike Judge...Arnold Palmer..."Hi! I'm David Oreck!"...Whatever it is that's residing in my belly button at this moment...Bill Gates...Tom Hanks...The color green...Moby...Keith Olbermann...The Weather Channel...Oh, say, a woman or a minority...Or a minority woman...The Hamburglar...Jon Stewart (nah, they'd never go for that)...A stick of butter...a slice of rhubarb pie...Mel Brooks...The "Intelligent Designer"...Whatever this is on the tip of my finger...Oprah...Former Senator Bob Graham...Jocelyn Elders...The county water commissioner...Molly Ivins (admit it---your heart just went a-flutter)...Mr. Pibb...peat moss...and finally:
Sandra Day O'Connor


And so it got me to thinking, who/what else would do a better job on the SCotUS than ScAlito.

I can come up with two right off the top of my head: My five year old son and/or my nine year old daughter. The kid who retrieves the shopping carts at the Butera store would be a great choice as well. Do we have any other nominees?

Today's picture puzzle





Trolls and comments

Unfortunately, we've been trolled, so I have no choice but to activate comment moderation. Sorry, but it only takes one jackass to screw things up.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Disneyland, perhaps?

Fearless Leader today said
"New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to come to visit," he said. "It's a heck of a place to bring your family. It's a great place to find some of the greatest food in the world and some wonderful fun. And for folks around the country who are looking for a great place to have a convention, or a great place to visit, I'd suggest coming here to the great New Orleans."

Psst George...I think you're in New Orleans Square

at Disneyland!

A completely stolen idea

Over at the Chicago Tribune letters page, there was a very clever response from a fellow named Andy to the claim that the constitutional abuses, etc. are working because, "well, look, we haven't been attacked again!"

Andy wrote, "I have a rock that keeps tigers away. Would you like to buy it? I've kept it outside of my house for years, and I haven't been attacked by a single tiger. That makes sense, doesn't it?"

A funny about Libertarianism

So I was watching "The Colbert Report" last night - good stuff, by the way, and he was interviewing ABC's John Stossel, apparently somewhat of a Libertarian. They were discussing the FAA, and Colbert, in his smarmier-than-Bill-O'Reilly-but-a-lot-funnier way said (paraphrasing here) "There shouldn't be anyone telling me I can't fly my plane at 30,000 feet just because you're flying yours at 30,000 feet on the same vector. You know what will keep us from crashing? The invisible hand of the free market."

Market forces may be powerful and all, but they can't stop two planes from running into each other. The only thing that can do that is someone keeping track of each flight, everywhere in the country, and making sure that there aren't two planes scheduled to be in the same place at the same time.

Oh, and I hope that anyone who doesn't realize that by agreeing to live in a large and diverse society, you have to give up some amount of freedom just to keep the peace, wakes up a little. One can still be a strong advocate for freedom and understand that it's not a protected right to get on an airplane at O'Hare without walking through a metal detector. You don't have to get on that plane - it's a choice you're making.

I read 'em

so you don't have to...

Fetuses don't count in car pool lane, judge rules

PHOENIX -- Fetuses do not count as passengers when it comes to determining who may drive in the car pool lane, a judge ruled.

Candace Dickinson was fined $367 for improper use of a car pool lane, but contended the fetus inside her womb allowed her to use the lane. Motorists who use the lanes normally must carry at least one passenger during weekday rush hours.
Municipal Judge Dennis Freeman rejected Dickinson's argument Tuesday, applying a ''common sense'' definition in which an individual is someone who occupies a ''separate and distinct'' space in a vehicle.

''The law is meant to fill empty space in a vehicle,'' the judge said.

Sgt. Dave Norton stopped Dickinson's car Nov. 8. When asked how many people were in the car, Dickinson said two, pointing to ''her obvious pregnancy,'' the officer said.

Norton said Dickinson's theory ''would require officers to carry guns, radios and pregnancy testers, and I don't think we want to go there.''

Ground Rules

Anyone who visits the board is more than welcome to express his or her opinion. I love arguing with people who don't agree with me, provided there is some value to the argument. Telling me that my beliefs are wrong just isn't going to accomplish anything productive. Disagree all you want. Anyone who knows anything about sports, for example, knows that Cubs fans and White Sox fans don't exactly see eye-to-eye on everything. But as much as I'm not going to convince Schmidlap to change allegiences, or he to convince me to change, we can still discuss baseball.

Some other things to know about this blog:

1) We believe that the current administration has hurt this country in every way possible, and if we get our anger at that out with a little name calling, so be it.
There are indeed posts here which are pure invective, and none of us will apologize for that. What I wonder is why everyone isn't walking around in a rage.

2) There are posts which are an actual attempt to advance a discussion, and I expect you to recognize the difference.

3) Remember that if you're new here, we don't know your history, and you're jumping into the middle of a discussion. Therefore, please make sure your posts have some content. Merely attacking the posters on a blog won't accomplish anything except time wasting. You want to convince someone of something? Provide an argument. Give an option. Explain why that option is better, with data. Don't just throw crap at the board and hope it sticks to someone. If someone could prove that Bush isn't a worse president than, well, the rest, I'd be happy to see the data. But you gotta come with something.

4) Posts which are content-free, demonstrably false, or needlessly snarky will be removed. Note that this is not censorship - you're free to create your own blog and be as cranky as you want.

5) If you have a question about how someone here reacted to something that happened in the past, either (a) see if we posted about it or (b) ask. Don't assume that just because, say, I'm a liberal, that I loved everything Bill Clinton did, or that I've never seen a Republican worth anything. And we're all a little different here. Assuming things about people you don't know is remarkably insulting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

from Molly Ivins

She's always worth a read.

Both Abramoff and DeLay and many of their web of colleagues have consistently used nonprofit organizations ostensibly formed for charitable purposes to launder money, to move peculiar proceeds and to pay for high-flying perks. Come on, guys, give us a break -- if you're going to make a mockery of democracy and show your mastery at flipping money, wiring the system and fixing the odds -- please don't use charitable organizations designed to help crippled children to do it.

That's Bad Taste.

According to Associated Press, Tom DeLay "visited cliff-top Caribbean resorts, golf courses designed by PGA champions and four-star restaurants, all courtesy of donors who bankrolled his political empire."Over the past six years, the former House majority leader and his associates have visited places of luxury most Americans have never seen, often getting there aboard corporate jets arranged by lobbyists and other special interests. "Public documents reviewed by the Associated Press tell the story: at least 48 visits to golf clubs, and resorts with lush fairways, 100 flights aboard company planes, 200 stays at hotels, many world class, and 500 meals at restaurants, some averaging nearly $2,000 for a dinner for two. "Instead of his personal expense, the meals and trips for DeLay and his associates were paid with donations collected by the campaign committees, political action committees and children's charity the Texas Republican created during his rise to the top of Congress."

More here.

You couldn't make this stuff up...

Wheaton College prof fired for converting

A former Wheaton College professor who was fired because he converted to Catholicism found himself this week at the center of a debate about diversity and theological perspectives in private, faith-based schools. Faculty members at the west suburban evangelical Protestant college must sign a faith statement that the Bible is the final authority. Catholics follow the authority of Scripture and the pope. Joshua Hochschild, an assistant professor of philosophy at Wheaton College for four years, became a Catholic on Easter 2004. He was dismissed last spring.

More at

Monday, January 09, 2006

Maybe I can bunk with Scooter....


[DISCLAIMER: Your friendly barrister has not had the time to review the content of this article for, you know, legal crap.]

"Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime. It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity. In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess. This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison."

Now anyone could find out my "real name" in about 30 seconds here, but doesn't the First Amendment guarantee us the right to annoy???

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Just to make things a little more interesting...

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said it was ready to remove U.N. seals at some atomic research and development sites on Monday, a move that would raise the stakes in Tehran's dispute with the West over its nuclear program. European Union and U.S. officials say that, if Iran goes ahead with the move, diplomatic efforts to settle the issue would be endangered and that could lead to Tehran being referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

[Editor's note: See "possible sanctions" below]

More Dissembling from the Ministry of Propaganda

BAGHDAD, Iraq (from -- Twelve Americans were killed when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq early Sunday, the military said....The military also announced the deaths of five U.S. Marines in three different Iraqi towns Saturday and Sunday....Since the war began, 2,198 U.S. service members serving in Iraq have died....At least 13 people, including six Iraqi police commandos, were wounded when a suicide car bomb exploded Saturday as a police commando patrol was passing by, police said.
Asked if the attacks were a sign that the December elections had failed to diminish the insurgency in Iraq, Gen. Peter Pace said the opposite was true.
Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that with each of the country's three elections, voter turnout increased, indicating that "the terrorists failed at each of their primary missions of stopping the vote."
"What's clear to me is that each of the elections has been a major blow to al Qaeda," Pace said at a Pentagon news conference Thursday. "I think what you're seeing now is a continuing attempt to disrupt the proper formation of the Iraqi government, and I'm confident they will fail."
A couple of comments:
  • How can the McLiar/Vader administration continue to have it all ways? A reduction in insurgent activities signals progress...... an increase in severity is a sign of desperation on the part of the insurgents...... the latest spate of death and destruction is doomed to failure.
  • Who - aside from the mouth-breathers in Idiot America - believes that the Iraqi insurgency has ANYTHING to at all to do with al Quaeda?
  • Meanwhile, the insurgency has been very effective in snuffing out the lives of decent young American soldiers who are exposed needlessly to mayhem - sans the proper equipment.
and so it goes...

Alito and the "The Hell with You" Signing Statements

Doc Magoo pointed out below how the president has taken to issuing "signing statements." For example, when he signed the McCain anti-torture measure, he also signed a "statement" saying in effect:

I'll torture anyway if I want to (and yes, I want to!)

These bizarre "signing statements," in which the president announces his intention to disregard the very law he just inked, are in large part the handiwork of one...Sam Alito.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Twenty years ago, a Reagan administration lawyer proposed that when the president signs a bill passed by Congress, he should use the occasion to declare how he interprets it." The President's understanding of the bill should be just as important as that of Congress," wrote Samuel Alito in a 1986 memo. Spelling out those thoughts "would increase the power of the Executive to shape the law," he added.

Wouldn't that be lovely, a Supreme Court vote endorsing the grabbing of more power by the most rapacious, power-drunk administration in history.

Visit here for more on Alito.

Strange bedfellows, or armageddon over easy

Recent headline events, such as the Abramoff scandal that is so closely tied to Tom Delay, and Pat Robertson's insane ramblings, have pointed out a very curious aspect of American politics, the strong support of our generally southern white fundamentalist Christians (those who feel quite comfortable with such expressions as "Jewboy") for Israel.

Now on an individual level, much of it is purely criminal, as felons of a feather (Delay, cracker thief, and Abramoff, Orthodox Jewish thief) steal together. But beyond that, though, is an important aspect of fundamentalist theology at play here that shows that religion mixed with politics makes for very strange bedfellows indeed.

Initially, I must make the following disclaimer. I am no expert on millenial eschatology, and the following (except the scripture quotes) is off the top of my head. I welcome corrections and clarifications.

What we would consider "mainstream" Christian dogma in the United States is amillenial in nature. In other words, the "kingdom of God" is essentially spiritual in nature, with the emphasis on salvation through faith. While the rather ecumenical Nicene Creed (adopted in the 4th century A.D. in response to the Arian "heresy" that claimed that Jesus the son was not of the same essential divinity as God the father) does include the "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead" language, that prospect is not generally viewed as an immediate and temporal event.

On the other hand, we have a particular brand of fundamentalists that embrace a millenial theology. Influenced by the 19th-century Anglo-Irish evangelist John Nelson Darby, this "dispensational" view of scripture sees a very real and temporal "end of days" within the contemplation of a human lifetime. You see it in the notion of the "Rapture" as described "Left Behind" books. In addition to the familiar apocalyptic vision of John's revelation, millenialists look to other sources, such as a passage from Thessalonians:

For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air

and the 7th chapter of the book of Daniel, dramatic stuff such as

A fourth beast appeared, one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. It had two large rows of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns. As I was contemplating the horns, another horn, a small one, came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things. While I was watching, thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His attire was white like snow; the hair of his head was like lamb’s wool. His throne was ablaze with fire and its wheels were all aflame. A river of fire was streaming forth and proceeding from his presence. Many thousands were ministering to him; Many tens of thousands stood ready to serve him.......I was watching in the night visions, And with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man was approaching. He went up to the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. To him was given ruling authority, honor, and sovereignty. All peoples, nations, and language groups were serving him. His authority is eternal and will not pass away. His kingdom will not be destroyed.

Then toss in Jesus' words on the fate of Jerusalem:
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled

To make a long story short, fundamentalists believe that the purge of Israel is a necessary component of the rapture. Israel must occupy its historic lands, the scene will be the setting of Armageddon, and the Jews of israel will either be incinerated or converted to Christianity. They don't care about Israel proper, it is just a piece of their nightmarish jigsaw puzzle--until Israel is "intact" and the temple rebuilt, Jesus isn't coming.

Think about it--an apocalyptic vision of the end of time drawn from an interpretation of scripture that is bizarre to say the least is driving U.S. foreign policy.

Have a nice day.