Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Obama Administration Fantasy League

President: Barack Obama
Vice President: Bill Richardson
Secretary of State: Joe Biden
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Hillary Clinton
Attorney General: THE ENTIRE ACLU!?
White House Press Secretary: Bob Odenkirk

Anything else?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Barack the Vote

Sen. Barack Obama is our candidate now. He has made it through a ridiculous primary season. That is awesome.

If you don't think it is awesome, I invite you to read this story. You'll think it's awesome after that.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Really I Just Want It All to End

I would rather Senator Hillary Clinton drop out of the race about now. I think Senator Barack Obama would be the better candidate. This doesn't make me a sexist.

Here are some things:

I like Sen. Clinton sometimes. I like her health care plan, I like her response to the sexism that she has seen. To hear her talk about the bullshit media pigs who spewed unthinkable, bilious word vomit about her gender, her purported resemblance to a nagging housewife and whatever other nonsense, is to hear her talk like a real thinker. The fact is she's right about it and it might be a different game right now if we didn't have people like Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough on people's TVs.

However, I don't like her a lot of the rest of the time. I don't like she played a Republican game about gas taxes, and then to defend it played the same game that Christian Conservatives play when defending abstinence-only education or creationism: the Screw-the-Experts Game. She plays the anti-intellectual card, she does not win points with me.

I also don't like that despite her heartfelt, well-spoken response to media misogyny, she has made no effort to reject the racism of some of her supporters. She has made blunt - and admittedly true - statements about how white working class voters support her and not Sen. Obama. However, despite the truth of this, as the favored candidate to these people isn't it her responsibility to at least give some lip service to the thought that maybe race should not influence their voting? I mean, obviously she wants their votes and that's fine, but I do not like seeing a major Democratic candidate saying "well sure they're racist, that's just how it is, so just back off and let them vote for me for the wrong reason," especially when she's seeing discrimination of her own.* Her readiness to play up GOP talking points regarding Obama and Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan has not sold me on her either.

It boils down to this: I respect that Hillary Clinton wants to win, and if she loses the reason damn well shouldn't be because she's a woman. But that doesn't give her the right to run a hatemongering campaign (based on race or intellectualism), especially under the banner of the Democratic party.

*Notably, Sen. Obama could have done more to reject the sexism that surrounds his opponent. However, it's not like he made any speeches proclaiming that he would win black voters because black people do not trust women.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Anti-Intellectualism Jumps the Shark?

I want everyone to pay very specific attention to this story. Rep. John Duncan (R-TN, natch) said, regarding the mountains and mountains of evidence that Abstinence-Only sex ed is useless, that such facts are "elitist." He thinks that people gathering facts and evaluating them in an academic, impartial fashion, is elitist and would rather empower individual families with all education decisions (from Yahoo! via Pharyngula)

So most of you have probably noticed how anti-intellectual Americans can be. The message here is little different than the message of the "bitter" news cycle Obama was caught in recently, the idea that he was elitist because of the blunt and correct observation he made about the American populace. Of course, the problem here is that by his own definition of elitism, Duncan must himself be elitist; he is an elected lawmaker, named by his constituency to be an authority, an elite, who is empowered to make decisions for the greater community, rather than individual family units making those decisions themselves. If Rep. Duncan feels so strongly, perhaps he should step down as a Representative of his people?

The greater point here: this is the logical end of anti-intellectualism as it stands now (well, barring a great holocaust wherein all academics are lynched for thinking too much anyway). The anti-intellectual sentiment grows so strong that any intellectual statement on anything ever is taken as elitist, some sort of dangerous oligarchy (as opposed to the safe one that exists in the hands of plutocrats, but that's really a story for another day). Maybe in seeing this logical end, a few people will take a step back and say, "Wait a minute, that's moronic. Ought I to reconsider my stance vis-a-vis these poor maligned intellectuals? Oh dear, I'm even talking like one. This is rather problematic." I hope so anyway.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Out of Touch

Barack Obama has been called out of touch with the electorate for having noticed that bitter people often grasp onto familiar things to them, like the impulse for self-defense or the values of their religious life.

George Bush said the following to a single mother of three:

"You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." (source)

That's all.


Political Cartoons, Pt. 2

Keith Olbermann grabs Joe Biden's moob.

(picture from Crooks and Liars


Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Portrait

Nepali Maoist leader Prachandra, speaking from his home in a pile of insulation foam.

(Thanks for the picture BBC)


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This Just In!?

Hang on a second here.

The Chinese government is weird and shady? Silvio Berlusconi is sexist? A republican did something hypocritical?

Has the whole world gone mad?

Oh, no. No it hasn't.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Not Cool

Iced Earth are releasing new material with old singer Matt Barlow. Generally, I could give half a shit about this turn of events, as Iced Earth bore me stupid, kings as they are of the dullest brand of power metal. But one thing struck me in particular about their upcoming single, "I Walk Among You." Specifically, the release along with it of an iTunes only track called "A Charge to Keep." If the phrase means nothing to you, I suggest Googling it and seeing what the first thing to come up is.

I knew they were big American ape men, but really? Did they really see fit to do this? This makes me feel dirty for having ever owned their material or seen them live.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Corrupt Party Is Well Attended

If the Democrats are smart (and this is a big if), we should be able to make the resignation of Eliot Spitzer work for us. People The idea of the Republicans as a corrupt party is already and constantly in the public consciousness, what with people like Vitter and Craig and Foley and etc. etc. etc., not to mention any of the non-fucking-related scandals that have gone on. So, while some GOPs will probably try to use this incident to say "see, the Demoncrat party is corrupt too, look at this filthy filthy filandering New York lieberal!", we have the convenient fact that he was forced to resign promptly, while Senators Craig and Vitter can still be found on Capital Hill - if they're not in bathrooms or brothels, respectively. But of course this is one of those things that assumes the party has a little more backbone than they tend to show.

For the record, I don't care if any politicians are using prostitutes - provided they don't spend their on-the-record lives denouncing prostitution, just like I don't care if a Senator likes to do it in the can, as long he isn't an outspoken homophobe. Eliot Spitzer was a hypocrite for busting prostitution rings as Atty. Gen. and then patronizing them as Gov., so I think it's right for him to have resigned.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008



On Saturday I caucused for Baraucus. As you may have noticed he kicked much ass. Still, I would have liked to have gotten at least one of the two Hillary delegates from my precinct won over to Obamarama. In any case, Caucusing is a wonderfully vivid form of real democracy. I've heard some criticize it as giving too much power to the politically active. I don't generally support most forms of oligarchy, but I've got to say, if the form is rule by the people who care and know, maybe that is a good thing. Everyone should have the right to vote, but if they don't care enough to get involved they're just waiving that righte in any case.

But I digress. I gave him my support and he's giving it back already, being now the only one of the Senators running for President to have voted to strike retroactive immunity for telecoms from a security bill. McCain - like every single other Republican in the Senate who was present - of course voted in favor of immunity, while Clinton was not herself present. A disturbing number of Democrats also voted for plutocratic pseudo-justice. Biggest disappointments: Not even fairly dependably sensible GOPS like Specter and Snowe were on the right side of this, nor was Jim Webb, who came into the chamber as a potential Democratic superstar, giving the Blue respones to the '07 State of the Union within days of having been sworn in.

The Senate have completely fucked us today. They have openly declared that if the government tells you to break the law, you just go ahead and break it, fuck everyone else. Especially if you are a major corporation.

If I keep writing this, it's just going to get angrier and angrier. It's impossible to keep a level head talking about this bullshit. Fuck shit balls on all filthy politicians.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Best Birthday Present Ever

I have said in the past that I dread somewhat a John McCain candidacy in the general election, especially if Clinton wins the blue nomination, because of his (somewhat mysterious) appeal among swing voters and moderate Republicans. However, there is a possible silver lining here insofar as this embrace by moderates has corresponded to a firm rejection by the further right (and even, of all things, a declaration by Coultergeist that against McCain, she would support Clinton). Now this to some extent mostly seemed like it would affect the primaries, if anything at all.

However, we have now gotten our first sign that this may have some positive effects for Democratic politics in the general election: James Dobson of the horrific Focus on the Family - and seen by some as the "Most Influential" of all the Evangelical crazies in our fair country- has declared that he will not vote in the general election if McCain is the GOP's candidate.

Now, it remains to be seen how much this one statement will be followed by other similar crazy types, or indeed if the media will pick up on the story at all. But if these do follow, the GOP's chances in the general will take a spectacular nosedive, and I will be a happy camper.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ruh Roh

The word on the street for most of this election cycle seems to have reliably been that Obama's chief base of support is the youth vote.

This Tuesday is Super Tuesday, with a billion and one primaries happening at once.

It's also Mardi Gras, where many bad decisions will be made.

Will the youth be too distracted by booze and tits to vote for their man? Discuss.


Thursday, January 10, 2008


In the wake of the New Hampshire primary, there has been much talk about the polls beforehand and where and how they had failed by predicting Obama as the winner. One suggestion tossed around is that the "Bradley Effect" (a specific example of the Social Desirability Bias, itself an example of Observer Effect) caused people to say they would be voting for Barack Obama because they thought the interviewer wanted them to be willing to vote for a black candidate. I see some problems with the assumptions behind this conjecture. First and foremost, there is no evidence so far to suggest that the polls were wrong, per se; they were probably right at the time they were taken. there were lots of undecideds and independents in New Hampshire. Who decided it was time to be surprised when things changed the day of?

But additionally, there is a problematic cognitive process that would have to accompany this turn of events. The first assumption here is that people associate the willingness to vote for a specific black candidate with willingness to vote for a black candidate in general. This particular assumption would be logically followed with the connection between voting for Hillary Clinton and voting for a woman in general, so it also must be assumed that those polled dependably believe that it is more desirable to be seen as non-racist than non-sexist.

This thinking also assumes that race is the only reason claiming to support Obama would appear more favorable than claiming to support Clinton. One must not forget that Clinton is widely thought of with some amount to a lot of disdain. So can we safely assume that the reason that responding in Obama's favor would feel expected by respondents has to be race?

It raises lots of questions: how much does Obama's race factor into people's thinking, compared to Clinton's gender? Are Americans more racist than sexist? Does a genuine dislike of Hillary Clinton overwhelm any such problems of race and gender? What voting patterns in general are thought of as the most socially desirable?

Of course, all of that ignores this. Oops. So much for Observer Bias.

Update: Another possible factor. The primacy effect is one of those things that makes you question how we as people don't just die from forgetting to breathe more often.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More on Ron Paul

Here is another clip of Ron Paul denying science. I'm not sure where this is but there's at least a much clearer view of what he thinks on this one. Note a few things:

First, he thinks it is an unimportant/inappropriate question for a presidential candidate. Of course, we in the real world know that, if he doesn't know anything about science (and of course, our current president does not, and neither does OBGYRon here), the president's decisions regarding things like the environment, medical research, and for that matter EDUCATION will be severely hindered and often painfully misdirected.

Second, take note of his language. The standard creationist line about evolution being a theory, and therefore completely suspect and not in any way established, is of course dragged out here. I really don't know how we can save the word theory at this point, and lord knows "hypothesis" is too many syllables for these people. But after that, note that he points out that, while evolution is just a "theory" that Ron Paul does not accept, he knows that he was created by God. Then there's the convenient reframing of the debate as being about "the precise time and manner" of the creation of the universe. It's a hard one to argue against. Good thing evolution has nothing to do with that, and no one is claiming to have the "absolute proof" that Ron Paul is looking for. Funny thing about science, the phrase "absolute proof" isn't used to often.

But the whole thing does put me in the mood for some Absolut of high proof.

Hey, Ron Paulsters, come and argue with me! Aren't you guys supposed to have nothing better to do than roam around the internet looking for fights? Where's your spirit on this one! Defend your wonderful, anti-war, anti-establishment candidate who sounds an awful lot like a Christian conservative! Need some search keywords? Free trade, neoconservative, war on terror, war on drugs, free market capitalism, end welfare!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Conservatism is Broken

Duncan Hunter just declared that Israelis are not raised in a Judeo-Christian tradition. Seriously.

EDIT This is the video that I was talking about there. The above video is Catholic Rudy Giuliani forgetting which edition of the Bible he reads from.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I know that a large portion of what I blog about anymore is politics, but it's the main thing I get worked up about these days. And it's so easy to do.

Bush today made a statement directed at world leaders asking for support in "bring[ing] freedom" to Cuba. My immediate thought upon hearing this was that if there is one person in this world who should not be taking on the task of spreading freedom anywhere, it is George W. Bush. He is pretty obviously not too good about it. And, while I am not one to spend too much of my time agreeing with Fidel Castro, the guy did issue a letter to Bush stating much the same. So there you go.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Best Potential Gay Bar Name Ever: The Rum and Cock

I chose the title because I felt it needed to be said, and I couldn't think of a good relavent title.

It's always struck me as pretty strange that mainstream conservatives don't at least publicly disavow people as completely unhinged as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.* But, I think I might have figured out why it is.

Modern Conservatism is a very conflicted ideology. It relies upon reactionary fundamentalist Christians for political power, but it does not necessarily embrace fundamentalist Christianity. And yet, vestiges of older conservative ideas (usually bigotry against women, minorities, gays) rest in their head, and sometimes peak out through their chosen mouthpieces (this conflicts very directly, of course, with those members of the movement who are gay themselves, as we see in cases like Larry Craig and that guy who gives blow jobs because of how scared he is of black men).

Because modern conservatives can't decide if they agree with Coulter and Limbaugh or if they think they are horrible, they have created a compromise solution: they treat them as humorists. This is also because conservatism mixes very poorly with humor, and as such there are very few actual humorists who use conservative politics in their work. Of course, in their respective ways Coulter and Limbaugh really do have humorous aspects to them. Limbaugh uses a fair amount of attempts at humor in his programs, usually in a style that is aggressively bigoted or misogynist (surely we have not forgotten "Barack the Magic Negro"). Coulter is a little trickier, because while everything she says is delivered as if it were a joke, and indeed she says things that are so ridiculous that they really ought to be jokes, she has never given any confirmation that she is joking (unless she gets in trouble; see John Edwards = faggot).

In both cases, for those on the mainstream right, it is much more comfortable to assume, since they feel strangely drawn to these people, that they are joking. Conservatives need to think of reasons to label these zealots as their spokespeople without openly embracing their ideologies, so they add a subtext of joking to their messages (in the case of Coulter, it could also be argued that they are adding the subtext of "See, conservative women can also be 'hot'"). Granted, this is entirely hypothetical, but I feel like there isn't much else that explains people who seem reasonable on the surface even sort of embracing Coulter and Limbaugh.

*I know that people on the right often say much the same thing about far-left people like Michael Moore, but they also say it about such "radical" liberals as Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, so this piece will take as a given that they are wrong.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Makes sense to me.

Right wing crazies are hilarious. On the one hand, Shakespeare is not appropriate material for our schools, and would give children nasty ideas. Imagine the weird soups children would try to make if they saw MacBeth! At the same time, if students aren't taught Shakespeare as part of literary studies, they might become murderous communists.

Good to be alive.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

UN: Clearly Megalomaniacal Tyrants.

Wales Part 2 is in the works, but it's going to be undercut real quick by a post on a slightly more important matter.

I was listening just now to an NPR report on the international politics surrounding solutions to climate change, and heard the same old predictable things about how there needs to be an international solution, and how the US (emitter of 20% of all greenhouse gases) would absolutely need to be involved for any meaningful results to occur. The Danish and English spoke of how we aren't doing our part, and how there needs to be an internationally agreed upon protocol (maybe if it were discussed and agreed upon in, say, Kyoto...), because self-policing just plain doesn't work in this matter. The American response to this was so typical and yet so stupid, it was almost unbelieveable. The American talking head (I didn't catch who exactly it was) declared, "There is no world government [or] dictator" who can give orders regarding this. In so many words, what he said was "You can't tell us what to do!"

This is really the overarching problem with the American mindset. We will do what we want because you can't tell us not to! This is why we have such rampant environmental problems ("I will drive this ridiculous gas guzzling SUV because you hippies can't tell me not to!") and such terrible suburban sprawl ("I will live where I want! I can afford a bigger house out in the boonies and I can commute with my ridiculous gas guzzling SUV!"). It might even be why we entered Iraq this last time ("You can't tell us NOT to invade this other sovereign nation! Screw you UN, you aren't our real dad!").

David Cross once said of the rhetoric of the war on terror ("The terrorists hate our freedom," etc.), "Are we a nation of eight-year-olds?" I'm starting to think that we are in fact 16 year olds. Which might be a lot worse.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

This Libby Nonsense

So much has been said in the past couple days. I don't have much to add, just that the entire republican party should be barred from ever using the phrase "tough on crime" ever again, and this precedent should be used to bring down any republican-implemented mandatory minimums policy on the books anywhere. Hell, by Bush's standards of crime and punishment, shouldn't Libby be executed?


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Demographic Stuff

This just in from everyone's favorite dixiecrat ex-senator and full time old coot, Zell Miller. Apparently, old Zell has taken time out from his duelling career to try his hand at demography, suggesting that the source of military shortages, the present social security woes, and illegal immigration in America is (get ready for it) abortion. Luckily for everyone, I know a thing or two about demography myself, and can correct mister Miller on a couple of his mistakes.

First, the actual cause of the social security crisis is not the lack of chidren born since 1973, it is the number of children produced by Zell's generation. The Baby Boomers are the ones mucking up the system, as they have been since they started popping out in the late '40s. It is certainly not the fault of the Boomers or their children and younger cousins in Gen X for having avoided a repeat by practicing assorted forms of contraception. And it is certainly not the fault of the US Supreme Court legalizing abortion in 1973, for the reason previously stated, and also because the Baby Boom ended about 9 years prior, in 1964.

The military shortage is partially another effect of the above, but one other thing also comes to mind: there aren't enough people in the military because we keep sending them to die. People also probably notice the way we treat our vets in this country. Not a lot of reasons for people to want to join the military here and now.

Lastly, the illegal immigration thing. Now, this one at least shows some interesting critical thinking, and possibly even some amount of research on the part of the senator. It is true that underpopulated countries seem to be more likely to experience great amounts of in-migration. Countries like Spain, Russia, and Sweden are good examples of this. However! Given the number of unemployed people in this country, I'd say this one becomes hard to argue in this case!

So there you have it. Trust twenty-two year old college kids with blogs on matters of demography and public policy, not crazy old men with long government resumes and religious agendas.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some newses

First on the agenda, apparently a pediatrician at a medical office called Christian Medical Services in Bakersfield, CA, has refused to treat a young child because her mother had a tattoo*. I guess I'm screwed if I ever find myself desperately in need of care while in Bakersfield with only this guy around. Also I guess he's a terrible person who should be mauled to death by zombie Hippocrates.

Also, remember a few weeks ago when I discussed the situation in Sri Lanka? Apparently today saw the attacking by the Tamil Tigers of a helicopter containing diplomats from the US, Germany, and Italy. The Tigers have apologized, blaming the Sri Lankan government for placing the diplomats in harm's way. Seriously. I'm not sure if I think they have a good point or if I think they're just less ballsy than other terrorists who are up and shouting about all the ridiculous shit they've pulled within minutes of pulling it.

Speaking of whom and which, the Taliban have taken credit for a suicide bombing in Afghanistan that had Cheney as the target. Cheney was completely unhurt, but several soldiers were killed. I sense an allegory here.

*Linked to by Pharyngula

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Today was the 59th anniversary of the creation of the sovereign state of Sri Lanka, known previously as Ceylon under British colonial rule. Today, like most other days in Sri Lanka, there is much in the news of those who seek to form another sovereign state on the South Asian island. "Those" would be the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who seek to create the state of Tamil Eelam in the Sri Lankan north to be a homeland for the native Tamil language group, seperate from the Sri Lankan Sinhalese language group. There are of course a number of ways to see this struggle -- as an instance of an Indo-Aryan language group oppressing a Dravidian group, as violent renegades creating terror, as just another far-off dispute out of western reckoning -- but in any case I'd like to think that on American independence day we would have thoughts on struggles for freedom on our own soil, so I feel that it is prudent to give the story of the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankans a little air today.*

Not too far from East India, in the People's Republic of China, it was the 55th birthday of Li Yinhe, a sociologist and sexologist who devotes much study to the sexual norms of the nation, a topic with just as much resonance in our own American home front. And while we are back on these familiar shores, it was also both the 1st anniversary of the death of, and the would-be 86th birthday of second-wave American feminist Betty Friedan, who studied gender roles in our own society decades ago.

And here in Bellingham, it was the 22nd birthday of your noble blogger Mike. I celebrated by pondering social issues abroad and at home, and by being with some of my very favorite people in the world. Today was a very good birthday, and perhaps will even go down with the previously mentioned historical events as a revolution, a triumph of good times over the oppression of bummed-outness and the formation of the new state of 22 Year Old Mike-istan.

*The 4th of February has actually been historically a prolific day for revolutions, reform movements, and the like. In 1861, six states first formed the Confederate States of America. In 1969, Yasser Arafat first took the reigns of the PLO. The SLA kidnapped Paty Hearst in 1974. Hugo Chavez staged a coup d'etat in Venezuala in 1992, and was elected president of the nation exactly seven years later. And, in 2000, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became Serbia and Montenegro, a country that would be further revised in identity six years later (though for once not on this day) as the seperate states of Serbia and Montenegro.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

1944-2007; 62 Years of Hell have been Risen

Rest in peace Molly Ivins.

"... All of us civil libertarians, of course, are obliged, solemnly obliged to defend the right of any nincompoop to stand up and spew whatever vicious drivel he wants to."

"Have a good time while you're fighting for freedom. First of all, we don't always win and it might be the only fun you'll ever have. And second of all, it's a better way to live."


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why Does America Hate?

South Africa recognizes same sex marriages. Croatia and Israel recognize same sex civil unions.


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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bush v Satan

This just in: Bush #1 Villain of 2006, or so says a poll conducted by the AP and AOL. When asked to name the person they thought of as the greatest villain of the year, 25% of respondents named G-Dub. Comparitively, 6% named Saddam, 5% named Ahmadinejad, 2% named Kim Jong Il, and about 1% each named Satan, Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell, and a whole grim cast of others.

The jokes are too easy. However, I think it's more remarkable that Saddam Hussein, a man who has been in custody for quite some time now (and indeed all of 2006) is considered a greater villain than a histrionic dictator known to have at least some nuclear weapons AND a far right muslim leader who puts on holocaust denial festivals. Also, I'd like to meet the people who responded "Satan." I'll bet they are very interesting folks.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Death: It surrounds us

Those of us who are fans of Dana Carvey and familiar with his work on Saturday Night Live will have a hard time with this news, as it is so easy to want to laugh, but at the same time definitely not the appropriate response.

Gerald Ford dead today at the senseless age of 93.

This is quite soon after the Christmas morning death of the godfather of soul, mr. James Brown. It's always remarkable to me how famous, influential, or interesting people can manage to die in groups. Remember last year, around April? Johnny Cochrane, Pope John Paull II, Terry Schiavo, Mitch Hedburg, and Bass Wolf died within weeks of each other.

I invite you all to respond with your thoughts on the recently departed, as well as who you think might kick off soon (Saddam is sort of the obvious answer).

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In yet another instance of me feeling vindicated for not liking something, the producer of the show 24 is now going to join Fox News Channel in creating a conservative political satire show to rival The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I never got a positive vibe about 24, but could never place why. I know now that it was my conservodar.

Also: amazing.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Been a Long Time Since I Rocked and Rolled

So much has happened in the long while since I've posted. Brief recap of things:

Blue Congress
The Democrats take both houses of Congress and a number of gubernatorial races, much to the pleasure of all. The very close Senate races in Montana and Virginia seal the deal. Many have attempted to frame this as a victory of conservatism, as so many of the victorious Democrats are moderate or right of center, but to that I say bull shit. We are moving genuinely leftward in this country, and most of the new faces in the Senate show this. Plus, look at our in-coming House Speaker, a San Fransicgay liberal no less. Anyway, we also saw the departure of Rummy. Gooooooood riddance.

The Bards Are Back
Tomorrow evening, I will be seeing Blind Guardian in Seattle. It will be the most amazing thing ever since the last time I saw Blind Guardian (four years ago).

Magical Transportable Computermajig
With my next pay check, I will be purchasing a laptop from work. It will be a PC, which is on the one hand lame, but on the other hand, I will be primarily using it for gaming and taking notes at school, until I get a chance to put Linux on it, which is very un-lame.

Let's Get the Hell Out of Here
I talked to my advisor at school recently about my graduation prospects. They are good. Bearing unforeseen events, I will be graduated from WWU in June, after which I will take a trip to Europe (possibly taking in the Welsh National Eisteddfod in Mold. And on a related note, there might be a brief trip to Italy in the spring as well. Exciting!

Indescribably Awesome

Ok that's it. Coming soon: Wizard Belt Project Presents the Jake E. Lee Award for Mediocrity!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This just in!

Holy shit guys!

Any of us who never got into the whole Chuck Norris fad will sure feel vindicated now, 'cause the man is a Creationist Christian commentator (linked to by Pharyngula). I mean, just wow. Never saw that one coming.

On the flip side of things that caught me by surprise, New Jersey's supreme court mandated that gay partnerships must be legislated, which means that the state will soon have either civil unions or marriages open to same sex couples. But really now, where the fuck is Washington on this one? We can't let New Jersey be a better state than Washington in anything! Let's get movin' guys!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

From the News

Two things:

The first is that Kenneth Lay apparently has had the case against him dismissed, simply by the virtue that the dead can't appeal. I call bullshit on this -- or at least that it should happen. I agree that the dead can't appeal. But I don't believe in this idea of someone being dead and thus free from attack. You see the same thing with dead musicians, especially the likes of Bradley Nowell. Stupid Thanatocultists.

The second is much more infuriating. At the swearing in of the newly appointed US global AIDS coordinator Mark Dybul, a Gay dude, Secretary Rice referred to Dybul's partner's mother has being Dybul's "mother-in-law." This has the far right INFURIATED, with a spokesman for that center of excellence, the Family Research Council, stating, "We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," and characterizing this semantic debacle as being "profoundly offensive."

Oh yeah, what a world.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Culture War Implodes

Apparently, shocking everyone in the universe (himself most of all), Bill O'Reilly is a secularist anti-Christian.

First off, let me say that this really confirms once and for all that John Lofton is completely deranged out of his skull.

But more importantly, it is very interesting to read Bill O'Reilly in the context of being among his fellow far-righters. It's admirable that he makes any points in favor of public secularism in America, and it really drives home the point that the problem with him isn't so much how far to the right he is. The problem (not particularly displayed here) has always been how insane he is. What is displayed here against him, however, especially in the quoted discussion between him and an "ex-homosexual" about interpreting the Bible, how his opinions are whatever he feels like them to be at the moment with no particular reasoning.

I'd like to see O'Reilly and Limbaugh duke it out.

(thanks to Dispatches from the Culture War for the link)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Last night at work, we had Monday Night Football on. It was a big event this week, because it's the first game played by the Saints back in the Super Dome, and everyone is happy, sad times are getting better, etc. So ok, that's cool, bully for them. BUT! They decided to make it a heinous hullaballoo of an event. It was really nauseating scene for several reasons.

First, Green Day and U2 performing together before the game and at halftime. I know U2 are all about tragedies and stuff these days, and Bono and The Edge are the all time rock start philanthropy gods, but Green Day? And how are these bands appropriate for rechristening the NEW ORLEANS Super Dome? New Orleans! Jazz! Blues! Not this hideous uber-whiteness! Also, when did Billy Joe decide on the Robert Smith look-alike act?

Next on the list of grievances was the man tossing* the coin before the start of the game: George Herbert Walker Bush. That's right, the former president, the father of Bungly Joe, the husband of that elloquent, compassionate woman Barbara Bush, who had so many wonderful things during the Katrina crisis, flipping the fucking coin in the Super Dome! I'm surprised that the audience did not run him out on a rail.

Lastly, there was the game itself. Aside from the fact that the whole situation was very unfair to the poor Atlanta Falcons (who could bring themselves to even try to beat the disenfranchised New Orleans team?), there were the announcers, who could only seem to focus on how surprised they were at how happy everyone looked, and how they were actually SURPRISED that the people seemed to be trying to forget about the tragedy that had befallen them. Of course! What a surprise it is that people don't want to think about the fact that their homes and possessions were destroyed? Why, they should be ashamed of themselves for not constantly grieving their misfortunes.

If only I had had some respect to begin with for producers and announcers of NFL games, I'd be able to lose it.

*and notably, he seemed to be taking the term "coin toss" a bit too literally: this was no flip, it was a straight up lob of the coin.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

230 and Still Sexy

Today is the 230th anniversary of a bunch of American politicians gathering in a room somewhere on the east coast and discussing Thomas Jefferson's recent retooling of a Thomas Paine pamphlet to serve as a way to goad the British, with whom they were squabbling. Though most of them had no particular part in writing it, they all put their names on it, just because they agreed with what the two Thomases, who were much smarter than them, had written. John Hancock was a real asshole about it and took up way too much space with his signature, but he would die before he reached the age of 50, the bastard. One signer had the unfortunate name of Button Gwinett.

The document's signing is considered the founding of a country that stands for freedom of speech, as long as you don't bother anyone, freedom of your choice of Protestant sects, freedom of being given due process sometimes, and calling sports that other countries play whatever we feel like calling them, and then making fun of them because we don't play them.

All brilliant satire aside, happy birthday America, though you've seen better ones. If we don't blow up the world, we can make sure that the best is yet to come.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Corpse Painting the White House

A first season episode of The West Wing I watched today really showed off how well the show's producers/writers did their homework by talking about neo-nazis and mentioning Graveland, although they made a slight mistake in citing "Following the Voice of Blood as their second album, when it is in fact their fourth (although maybe I misheard). Either way, I went nuts for that. The only thing that would have made it better is if it had been Det Som En Gang Var, but as they would probably have to say the title in English and explain the meaning more, it would have been a bit too awkward for the fast flow of the show.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dumb Fun and Just Dumb

Last night I went to the Papa John's new employee orientation. It was a lot of paperwork and uniform handing out and going over rules, but the highlight was clearly the training video. As soon as I had been told I was going to an orientation meeting with a video, I thought of a particular sketch on one of my very favorite tv shows of the past, Mr. Show, wherein a Marilyn Manson-styled character is the host of a training video for his very own chain of pizza parlors. The sketch finished with the "16 Ps" of success, one of which was actually mentioned in the Papa John's video ("Positive Mental Attitude"). But, aside from the silly dress code rules* and dumb phrases, the video actually reminded me quite pointedly of another Mr. Show sketch called "No Adults Allowed," wherein middle-aged squares attempted to appear as teenagers on a cable access show. The video was really the perfect synthesis of Marilyn Monster's "We're cool and different but here are strict rules by which you must always abide and live by" and No Adults Allowed's "We're painfully out of touch with youth and reality but here's some hints of things we think we heard are cool; that's cool, right?"

So recently we've been hearing a lot about one Ann Coulter. Claiming that 9/11 widows are profiteering "harpies," that "all liberals want to live like Swedes,"** and that Jews are Christians but Episcopalians are "barely a religion," there is no shortage of things to correct her about. I mean, it's almost too easy. How does one even start to correct someone who purports (very specifically, I might add) that it's good that conservatives and Christians are pushing for Earth to be over-populated to the point of "standing room only."*** Perhaps the sheer incredulity that one can't help but feel in light of her bizarre opinions is why so many of her critics end up stumbling into ad hominem comments on her ghost-like face and Adam's apple. One is left gasping for air in a sea of disbelief, and her ugly neck and head are the only solid things one can stand to hold onto (perhaps holding onto her neck actually is a good idea) to escape drowning in the madness of her rants.

*The dress code at Papa John's includes: Belts must be worn if one's pants have loops; no form of visible body piercing or any jewelry is allowed (excludive of wedding bands but inclusive of watches); pants must be khaki; no facial hair between chin and ear lobe. Tattoos are strangely absent from any mention in these rules.
**And it's true!
***If you don't believe any of this -- and you probably shouldn't -- check out of the first chapter of her new book.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Just wow.

Within a week of each other, this and this. What the hell is wrong with Washington these days? Everything will be fucking illegal soon. Aren't we supposed to be liberals up here?

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pro-Life Display Revisited

All of WWU seems atwitter over the nonsense last week. And as if the group who put it on weren't bad enough, there's a large contingent of its detractors who are going about their opposition the absolute wrong way: acts of vandalism and calls for censorship.

During the second day of the demonstration, a few rebellious souls decided that just making a counter-protest and doing what they could to make the "Genocide" people appear more clearly as the fools they are wasn't enough. They had to destroy the group's display. They caused a fair amount of damage and are of course being disciplined for it.

But much worse, and much larger, is the group of people who felt that the group should not have been allowed to demonstrate in the first place. They regard the nonsense as "hate speech," and are petitioning to have such things forbidden from public display. Some have claimed that after first seeing the display, they were forced to stay home much of the rest of the week for fear of trauma. Others claim to have needed to retreat to the campus counseling center, so shocked were they.

The response to the hate speech allegations by the campus pro-life group on campus is of course bad in its own right. From WWU's Western Front newspaper, spoken by Western for Life club president Tom Herring:

“We had no signs of hatred, we had no signs of condemnation for anyone,” Herring said. “All we were doing is exposing what abortion is and revealing accurate pictures depicting what’s taking place in an abortion and stimulating dialogue on campus as to whether or not this is what we want to endorse as a country as a good choice.”

There is a lot of dishonesty in what this Herring fellow says (although, if this is the same guy I think it is, mentioned in the previous post, then I'm not surprised): if you are "exposing" abortion as an act of "genocide," then clearly you are condemning its supporters or those who have performed it as mass murderers, and you know damn well that this will not stimulate dialogue, but rather it will stimulate rage and controversy. Either this man is an idiot or a vile liar, and I'm willing to believe that it's both.

But the reaction to this, while not so dishonest, is naïve and immature. One cannot expect to go through college life without being offended; and once it has happened, one cannot expect the offender to be punished for having a different point of view. That is not the administration's job, and it god damn well should not be. If you are scared to leave home for fear of being offended, or if being exposed to an extreme viewpoint leads you to seek psychological counseling, then you simply do not have the emotional or intellectual maturity or strength to be in the environment of a university. Period.

Liars and brats, all of them.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ban Bloody Noses!

Anyone who has seen any protests at all has probably seen multiple abortion-related protests. The pro-choice types with their catchy slogans like "Keep your laws off my body," "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries," "If you can't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a life," and on one occasion, "If you can show us Dead Fetuses, I should be allowed to show some Clitoris;" these usually pop up during demonstrations by the other side, the pro-life contingent, who show dead fetuses. They also show pictures of war and genocide related deaths, purporting to draw a connection. There are also bible verses.

But the forefront of their argument seems to be in the pictures of abortions. With no real argument given as to why they believe these little aborted pre-humans are equatable to the victims of war and starvation and deadly hate. It seems enough for them to say that abortion is bloody and gross, and therefore wrong in the eyes of their God. Of course, anything that produces that much blood is clearly the holocaust returned in greater force. You know, like open-heart surgery. Or childbirth. Then, of course, there are the arguments that abortion is wrong because God says so, ipso facto. This argument seems to be all you need if you want something labeled wrong, unlawful, or at least controversial in this country. God doesn't agree with abortion, homosexuality, evolution, or disagreeing with God. It says so right here in this book that says everything in the book is true, how can I argue with that?

The past couple days at WWU, a group of pro-life demonstrators have had up quite an eyesore of a display of blood and fetuses and hanged black men and concentration camps, and were accompanied by a few people holding up their nutty Bible signs, reading "God's love is CONDITIONAL! You-must [sic] REPENT (Luke 13.3)" and other such things. And this of course drew a multitude of counterprotestors, a few of them scantly clad.

But then came the part that made it truly remarkable, in the worst possible way, to me. Words do not exist to convey my ire when I saw a photo in yesterday's edition of the Western Front (the school's rather pathetic newspaper) of the leader of the school's pro-life club. He was standing next to the large moving truck that had contained the pictures in their display. And on his face was a look of transcendent smugness, of powerful self-satisfaction. He smirked, looking at the likeness of an aborted fetus on the truck's side. That smile told much. This is a man who knew what bullshit he was spouting and gathering others to spout. How could he not? How could anyone who took seriously the "genocide" that is abortion grin like an idiot king when talking or thinking about it? Here truly is a man who deserves to be shot every moment of his life. In honor of this asshole, I leave you with another quote from one of yesterday's Bible nuts' signs:

"Are you a fool? Then repent!"

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Idiocy of the Month

The issue of immigration, especially of the illegal sort, especially among Hispanics, has been ever so hot lately. Politicians speak, pundits bicker, and the streets of major cities the nation over are crowded with people making feeble (though agreeable) statements in support of the hard-working, if illegally-residing and employed Latin population of the United States. And of course, many, many people spout pure nonsense.

One such example was presented to me just today. No, not just an example; it was a gem, a paragon of poorly-thought drivel, as confusing as it was malignant. So inconceivably stupid, the mind reels, boggles at just where to begin in correcting it. If reading it causes your brain to escape its skull and join the circus, I apologize, but I can't not repeat it here, it's too priceless:

"[W]e should stop using the term Hispanic ... give them a name and you give them power."

The argument continues that by grouping together people from all over the Spanish-speaking Americas, we are giving them greater numbers and thus greater influence on the mighty monolith that is American society (the word "White" is not used on that side of the argument, but its as readable as a bludgeon to the head). Further, including with the Mexicans and the Colombians the more European Argentinians gives the former a sort of prestige that they clearly do not deserve and will manipulate into a tool to our detriment.

I cannot begin to chronicle why this is idiocy. Granted, it's at a disadvantage with me already because it is blantantly racist, and I see any number of logical flaws with any specifically racially driven ideas, but there is such thing as vaguely reasonable racism. But this is not it; this is paranoia, senseless and ridiculous, being spouted by an educated American.

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