Sunday, December 31, 2006
Ruminations On A Hanged Dictator
When I first expressed my satisfaction that Saddam was dead... well, I realize it was out of keeping with my previous Six Months rule (no saying anything bad about a dead person for six months, to give the family time to mourn; until then, just attack what colleagues say about the dead man's contributions). I don't even know why I broke it for Saddam; really, was he any worse than Pinochet? But, in the end, I did. Because the man was a dictator, and he is dead. He can no longer torment his people.
Of course, given the state that his people are currently in, that does a fat lot of good. Saddam's hanging has changed nothing. In fact, it may make things worse. It says a lot when you hang a leader who's still esteemed by certain religious factions on the morning before a religious holiday. And all the while, Iraq is tearing itself apart. Saddam's death did not prevent a car bombing. It did not save an American soldier's life. It did not convince terrorists to release the victims of a mass kidnapping.
Iraq's still burning, and our leadership treats Saddam like he's some sort of milestone for progress.
I'm glad to see that man hang. I just wish it happened in a way that didn't make life horribly uncertain for the people he once tormented.
Friday, December 29, 2006
The Hemp Necklace
Goodbye, you hideous old bastard.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Mom, the Judiciary's Being Mean Again!
Don't worry; I'm sure you'll continue to moan about "the tyranny of the judiciary" for years to come. Never mind the fact that you wanted the judiciary to be tyrants this time.
A President Passes
I didn't really know much about the man. He was in office before my time, and he doesn't really have the legacy of either his predecessor (Nixon) or the guy who came after him (Carter). But he seemed like a nice enough guy, and from what I've seen in the news, he and his wife were one loving couple.
Godspeed, President Ford.
A Very Mixed-Up Xmas
This year was also the year my family and I learned the importance about Christmas lists-- me, the importance of handing them in early, and my parents, the importance of sticking to them. See, due to the confusion of finals, I didn't end up handing my parents my list until December 3rd, when they'd already started shopping for me.
So, what did I get? Clothes. Lots of clothes. Some I could use (a pair of black jeans), others not really (a Dickies work shirt with the world's most unpleasant checker pattern). The only things I got that I'd asked for on the list were "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" by the Dead Kennedys and an iPod Nano. The worst part is, the Nano-- probably the most expensive gift I received-- was just a spur-of-the-moment, "Well, if I can't get a Wii..." request that became somewhat impractical due to the fact that I only have one real CD (the aforementioned Dead Kennedys), I have little disposable income at this moment and am currently subscribed to two MMOs with monthly fees, and I've joined Pandora.
Fortunately, my parents and I both realized our error. So, my parents allowed me a "credit pile", where I could place the gifts I didn't like so that I'd get the cash off the returns for some post-Christmas Christmas shopping. The first spoils of that shopping were claimed yesterday, when I picked up Final Fantasy XII and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess... which kind of explains why I'm posting this on the 27th.
It wasn't a bad Christmas, though. We watched Clerks (a gift from a cousin in Jersey, and an experience for my parents) and feasted on turducken. And now, I'm doing what every kid who got socks always wanted to do.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Hooray for Santy Claus!
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is often considered to be one of the worst sci-fi movies ever made, and quite possibly the worst Christmas movie (though Skipping Christmas comes pretty fucking close). The title says, if not all, then most of it: Santa Claus, along with two annoying little kids, is kidnapped by Martians, who decide their children need a Santa figure to lessen the fact that they're being turned into rigid little robots by Martian childhood. Throw in a "comedically" incompetent Martian tag-along (complete with "WAH-wah"-type sound effects), the world's most unbelievable piece of robotics, and Pia "She's In The Attic!" Zadora as a young Martian, and you have a piece of crap for the ages.
That is why I give you Mystery Science Theatre 3000 vivisecting Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, in ten parts. God bless you, YouTube and Best Brains.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Oh, By The Way...
Ah. Life is good.
The Brown Menace
We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
Geez, Virgil, couldn't you have gone for the seeting distaste that people like Tom Tancredo thrive on? That way, you'd still get the idiot vote, and you'd have less of a chance of revealing yourself to the universe as the scared little man you really are.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sarah Loy, 27, of Worcester was holding a sign in defense of same-sex marriage amid a sea of green “Let the People Vote” signs when Larry Cirignano of Canton, who heads the Catholic Citizenship group, ran into the crowd, grabbed her by both shoulders and told her, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.” Mr. Cirignano then pushed her to the ground, her head slamming against the concrete sidewalk.
“It was definitely assault and battery,” said Ronal C. Madnick, director of the Worcester County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Police interviewed Mr. Madnick and several others moments after the incident.
As Ms. Loy lay motionless on the ground, crying, Mr. Cirignano ran back behind the lectern, where moments before he had opened the afternoon rally by leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
How's that for class? He throws her to the ground, then goes back to his photo op. That's what Jesus would do.
Pam's covering this one pretty well, including some of the counterspin coming from Cirignano's camp (they're claiming Loy was an actress who faked the whole thing). So, not to step on her toes, let's look at some of the rhetoric that was used by Mr. Cirignano and his colleagues:
“Heaven will not be heaven if our children are not there with us,” Mr. Cirignano told the crowd, while counter-demonstrators, most of whom remained behind same-sex marriage opponents, chanted “Shame, shame, shame, shame.”
What the hell does this even mean? Are the mean nasty gays going to force you to stop following your particular brand of Christianity? Oh, wait; I'm talking to one of those people who thinks that anti-discrimination policies are a great affront to his faith.
Well, Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston, showed up, so maybe he said something somewhat level-headed:
“No matter what happens on Jan. 2, it’s not the end of it,” Mr. Flynn said. “We’re the same as Iraq, then. We’re the same as Afghanistan. We’re the same as Russia.”
Hmm, let's see. Iraq: torn apart by sectarian violence, lacking basic amenities, total shithole. Afghanistan: Taliban are coming back, despite our "best" efforts. Russia: Putin. Massachusetts: ...failing to see the comparisons. By the way, Mr. Flynn, do you have any idea what they do to gay people in Iraq?
I can't say which surprises me the least: the intimidation, or the half-assed, "I'm the real oppressed party, not you" rhetoric.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Yeah, There Went My Christmas Cheer
...and one of the comments at the bottom says, "When the Muslims take over, nice videos like this will be destroyed."
Thank you, sir. You just took a dump on my sense of human kindness. Happy fucking holidays.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It's Not Pettiness, It's Art
Yeah, you see that? That's tasteless, crude, and about as subtle as an unstoppable force hitting an immovable object. Of course, that doesn't mean it'll stop "Mike" Crichton himself:
The next page contains fleeting references to Crowley as a "weasel" and a "dickhead," and, later, "that political reporter who likes little boys." But that's it--Crowley comes and goes without affecting the plot. He is not a character so much as a voodoo doll. Knowing that Crichton had used prior books to attack very real-seeming people, I was suspicious. Who was this Mick Crowley? A Google search turned up an Irish Workers Party politician in Knocknaheeny, Ireland. But Crowley's tireless advocacy for County Cork's disabled seemed to make him an unlikely target of Crichton's ire. And that's when it dawned on me: I happen to be a Washington political journalist. And, yes, I did attend Yale University. And, come to think of it, I had recently written a critical 3,700-word cover story about Crichton. In lieu of a letter to the editor, Crichton had fictionalized me as a child rapist. And, perhaps worse, falsely branded me a pharmaceutical-industry profiteer.
That's right, folks; Michael Crichton didn't like the fact that Michael Crowley pointed out holes in his research for State of Fear (speaking of Crichton's trademark subtlety, apparently, environmentalists aren't beyond mass murder, and Martin Sheen is a clueless liberal who will likely get eaten by cannibals). So Crichton spends all of two pages in his next book painting "Mick" Crowley as a child molester with no self control whatsoever. Oh, and a tiny penis.
Y'know, I wonder what would happen if we stuck Aaron Sorkin and Michael Crichton in a sealed vault. Would they rant about the many injustices against them until they run out of oxygen? Go against each other like fighting dogs? Or would they explode, like overly pretentions matter exposed to self-entitled antimatter?
I understood Ann Coulter. I understood William Donohue. I understood Bill Bennett. I didn't like the fact that you were giving these intellectuals G.G. Allins the time of day, but I could understand the importance ladeled upon them, given the current political scene.
But David Duke? David Fucking Duke? You really thought it would be good to do a piece on Iran's Holocaust denial conference by going straight to the source? You really thought it would be a good idea to bring this man on and have one of your top anchors just sit there while he's accused of being a "Jewish extremist"? You really thought it would better the national discourse if you had this freakshow on?
Hey, here's an idea: next time we're talking about George W. Bush, let's have David Icke on to explain all about the Reptoids. He seems to have just as much validity as any other commentator on a news program these days.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Our Precious Bodily Fluids
Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because "I can't remember a time when I wasn't homosexual." No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them.
Y'know, maybe at some point, the talking heads of the far right will get together and figure out what the hell actually does cause homosexuality. Is it aberrant behavior? Health food? Seeing mommy and daddy wrestling? Who knows; we just think it's gross.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
The Other September 11th
Here's hoping the healing process can truly begin.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Ha Ha Ha, Ha, Ha Ha Ha, Ha, Ha
Now, why is this? Why is it the case?, I mean. Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny? Please do not pretend not to know what I am talking about.
It gets worse:
In any case, my argument doesn't say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there. Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three. hen Roseanne stands up and tells biker jokes and invites people who don't dig her shtick to suck her dick—know what I am saying? And the Sapphic faction may have its own reasons for wanting what I want—the sweet surrender of female laughter. While Jewish humor, boiling as it is with angst and self-deprecation, is almost masculine by definition.
So, women who aren't desirable, or who exhibit "masculine" traits, are the only ones who can be funny? Amazing.
And don't worry, ladies, Hitch says; you may not be funny, but you make up for it through the awesome power of your vaginas!
I'm so not kidding here:
For women, reproduction is, if not the only thing, certainly the main thing. Apart from giving them a very different attitude to filth and embarrassment, it also imbues them with the kind of seriousness and solemnity at which men can only goggle. This womanly seriousness was well caught by Rudyard Kipling in his poem "The Female of the Species." After cleverly noticing that with the male "mirth obscene diverts his anger"—which is true of most work on that great masculine equivalent to childbirth, which is warfare—Kipling insists:
But the Woman that God gave him,
every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue,
armed and engined for the same,
And to serve that single issue,
lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be
deadlier than the male.
The word "issue" there, which we so pathetically misuse, is restored to its proper meaning of childbirth. As Kipling continues:
She who faces Death by torture for
each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must
not swerve for fact or jest.
Men are overawed, not to say terrified, by the ability of women to produce babies. (Asked by a lady intellectual to summarize the differences between the sexes, another bishop responded, "Madam, I cannot conceive.") It gives women an unchallengeable authority. And one of the earliest origins of humor that we know about is its role in the mockery of authority. Irony itself has been called "the glory of slaves." So you could argue that when men get together to be funny and do not expect women to be there, or in on the joke, they are really playing truant and implicitly conceding who is really the boss.
The ancient annual festivities of Saturnalia, where the slaves would play master, were a temporary release from bossdom. A whole tranche of subversive male humor likewise depends on the notion that women are not really the boss, but are mere objects and victims. Kipling saw through this:
So it comes that Man, the coward,
when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council,
dare not leave a place for her.
In other words, for women the question of funniness is essentially a secondary one. They are innately aware of a higher calling that is no laughing matter. Whereas with a man you may freely say of him that he is lousy in the sack, or a bad driver, or an inefficient worker, and still wound him less deeply than you would if you accused him of being deficient in the humor department.
"So, girls, you may not be equal to men-- hell, you may be stuck-up prigs who don't have the common sense to laugh like hyenas at your average Farrelly Bros. movies. But none of this matters, because your lot in life is to churn out babies, and the menfolk will forever tell 'white people/black people' jokes to earn your poony privileges!"
Well, I'll say Christopher Hitchens knows one thing about humor: he certainly knows how to get me to point my finger at him and laugh.
Cheney Has Two Mommies
Congratulations. Welcome to the world. There's a lot of good stuff here-- chocolate, video games, and kittens. But before you come shooting out of that birth canal, I thought I'd warn you about some of the difficulties you're going to have to face.
First of all, your mommies live in Virginia. Virginia is not known for being the best place for two mommy families. Your mommies aren't allowed to gain the same rights as mommy daddy families, and if your biological mom dies, then your other mommy will have a hard time fighting for maternity rights. There's always the possibility that they''ll move somewhere else when they have you, but that's your mommy's choice.
Also, your grandpa Dick has some friends. Well, they're not so much "friends" as they are "allies", or "clients", or, well, "johns." Your grandpa and his friends have reached out to these people as good buddies, and embraced them. And now, these people have decided that your mommies' decision to have you is an affront to Western civilization. Your grandpa may not like these people, but he's never directly attacked them, and his friends still really like them.
So, welcome to the world. It's a good place, when you get past all the bullshit. Just make sure to ask mommy why her daddy is so close to people who don't like her.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me...
At recent partners conferences I have talked about the cost to secure this
state-of-the-art jet aircraft, the tool we must have for declaring the Gospel to the nations in this last hour, and the miracle the Lord has provided—Dove One, an aircraft that became available just as the door of opportunity began to close on aircrafts the ministry had previously been utilizing.
And at these partners conferences, I was able to raise the first portion of the down payment, which was another miracle the Lord has provided us.
As a result, we have recently taken delivery on our Gulfstream G4SP plane, which we call Dove One. I have enclosed a beautiful photo-filled brochure to explain more about this incredible ministry tool that will increase the scope of our abilities to preach the Gospel around the globe. Now we must pay the remainder of the down payment, and I am asking the Lord Jesus to speak to 6,000 of my precious partners to sow a seed of $1,000 in the next ninety days. And I am praying, even as I write this letter, that you will be one of them!
I know that as you obey the Lord, He will open heaven wide and cause a mighty harvest of blessings to descend upon your life and all that you do!
"Yes, that $6 million could be used to feed the poor, build schools in developing countries, or help set up hospices for the dying... but let's admit it, they just aren't as bitching as a private jet!"
Would somebody please drive the moneylenders out of the temple?
Monday, December 04, 2006
We Just Don't Care
Which would explain why some faith-based groups are demanding the US cut its funding to the AIDS fund unless it takes steps to actually push faith-based programs that will likely use condoms for amusing balloon animals and nothing else.
This isn't the first time it has happened, either. I'm just a little bit sickened that there are religious fundamentalists who would view being "right" as superior to actually helping the sick.