Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Oh, It's Fine, Except For The Regularly Scheduled Terrorism!

So, Laura Bush says that everything's going just fine in Iraq. The problem, of course, is that "what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone."

Now, I understand this isn't a fitting comparison, as we have not been invaded by an outside force and had our infrastructure knocked for a loop. But if there were one bombing a day in America-- one bombing a day that guaranteed that five people at the very least would be killed-- we would, as a collective nation, lose our shit. Hell, the last great act of terrorism against America took place a little over five years ago, and we are still losing our shit over it. Were there at least one bombing a day somewhere in America by terrorist forces, with losses roughly comparable to the attacks in Iraq, the American people would probably storm Washington and lynch everyone who had done nothing to keep us safe.

But they're not Americans, so they'll get their minimum of protection from terrorism and they'll like it.

Monday, February 26, 2007


And When Even I Don't Care...

Let's get this straight: I intensely dislike Mitt Romney. I hate how he passed himself off as a moderate, then turned conservative when he smelled presidential bait. I hate how he bowed to the whims of fundamentalists and almost scrapped one of the few good resources we have for gay and lesbian youth in this state. I hate how he claimed to be all about the will of the people, only to engage in his own version of "judicial activism". Most of all, I hate how he never stood up for-- nay, took every opportunity he had to shit on the people who elected him to political office.

So, when you have a story about a scandal relating to Romney and even I couldn't give a shit about it, you know you have problems.

So Mitt Romney's ancestors were polygamists. So the fuck what? Look at the histories of quite a few Mormon families, and I'm sure you'll find quite a few polygamists. It doesn't make them any less of a man that having a grandfather who shot a man or a grandmother who worked in a bar with women of "loose morals."

Remember, if you're going to throw shit at Romney, make sure it's about the stuff that actually matters.


Watch the Scandal Flounder

So, potential Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter has appointed a man by the name of Henry Jordan as a campaign co-chairman in South Carolina. Mind you, a few years back, Henry Jordan was saying things like this:

A state Board of Education member, talking Tuesday about displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools, had a ready suggestion for groups who might object to it.

"Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims," Dr. Henry Jordan said during the board's finance and legislative committee meeting. "And put that in the minutes," he added.


"I was expressing my frustration. We can't teach basic Christianity even from a historical standpoint, but they can teach about Muslims and Buddhists," he said. "They can teach any kind of cult. Buddhism is a cult. So is Islam. I'm getting a little tired of it."

I predict the media controversy over this hiring will start sometime never. If only we had someone who claimed secular Jews controlled Hollywood and hated Christianity to explain to everyone how bigoted this statement is.


A Naked Man With No Genitals, Holding A Sword

Yeah, I know, I haven't been posting lately. Things have been hectic around these parts. So, what better way to ease back in than with an Oscar post?

Ellen DeGeneres was pretty funny. Not as good as Jon Stewart, but that's pretty much obvious.

Speaking of famous lesbians, Melissa Etheridge won an Oscar for writing a song for a film about global warming. And then she thanked her wife in the acceptance speech. Somewhere, David Horowitz broils with fury.

Al Gore likely deserved his Oscar, too. What does it say about me that I honestly hoped he was going to announce his candidacy?

Eddie Murphy didn't win Best Supporting Actor. Something tells me that might be because he made Norbit and, by creating his own post-Oscar slump, managed to break the bonds of fate. Or maybe Alan Arkin was just that good. Whichever

And, of course, Martin Scorsese finally gets his Oscar. All I can say is, it's about freaking time. Oh, and that I should probably see The Departed at some point (yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a bad, bad film buff).

And that's that. Well, except for the five hundred articles that will inevitably come out about liberal bias at the Oscars. Again.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Who Needs Facts When You Have the Truth?

And once again, the authoritarian right reveals that when they want everything to be "fair" and "balanced", they don't want to be challenged, and that anyone who dares disagree with them had better shut up. Case in point: Conservapedia!

That's right; Conservapedia. According to the founders of the site, Wikipedia, what with its tendency to allow anyone to alter an entry and a dedication to avoiding bias, is obviously heavily slanted towards the left. So, a new bastion for unchallenged conservative thought has developed, with a dedication towards being open sourced but not, y'know, that open-sourced.

I'd value the dedication of certain people to the goal of absolutely rewriting reality if I wasn't trapped in the same dimension as them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


It's Not Our Job To Upset People

Ladies and gentlemen, Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent and ostensible defender of liberty, on bloggers:

“They want us to play a role that isn’t really our role. Our role is to ask questions and get information. … It’s not a chance for the opposition to take on the government and grill them to a point where they throw their hands up and surrender. … It’s not a political exercise, it’s a journalistic exercise. And I think often the blogs are looking for us to be political advocates more than journalistic ones.”

That's all journalism is, apparently: the art of "ask[ing] questions and get[ting] information." After all, I'm sure when Woodward and Bernstein covered Watergate, their goal was just to get the opinion from the White House, put it up against Deep Throat's, then go to print.

Jesus. Tapdancing. Christ. "Our role is to ask questions and get information"? Your job is to find the truth. Your job is to pursue any hint of wrongdoing in hopes of finding the worm in the apple. Your job is to bring any lying, corrupt bastard, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, to their knees. Your job is to tell us what is truth and what is lies.

Your job is not to repeat what is given to you. Your job is not to trust the man who has lead us into one meaningless war when he says he has evidence that might point us towards another. Your job is not to comply to the whims of those in power to the degree that I'm surprised Nellie Bly, Katherine Graham, Joseph Pulitzer, and Benjamin Franklin haven't risen from the grave and unleashed their dreadful zombie powers on an insufficient press corps.

And when you stand there, having sucked on Tony Snow's tit, and tell us, the bloggers, that we don't know how it works, we don't have any experience... well, we have plenty of experience, Mr. Wolffe. Maybe not as professional esteemed journalists, but as Americans. We've seen bullshit passed off as truth, we've seen answers go unquestioned, we've seen utter jackasses treated as reasonable figures of authority, and we have had enough.

There is something wrong with the modern discourse today, Mr. Wolffe. Question is, are you sure you're not responsible for it?

Monday, February 19, 2007


I Can't Even Make Snide Comments Here, People

All the arguing on Congress about non-binding resolutions doesn't seem to matter any more. It looks like we've already abandoned our troops.

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So much for sanitary conditions. And some of the family members don't fare much better:

Family members who speak only Spanish have had to rely on Salvadoran housekeepers, a Cuban bus driver, the Panamanian bartender and a Mexican floor cleaner for help. Walter Reed maintains a list of bilingual staffers, but they are rarely called on, according to soldiers and families and Walter Reed staff members.

Evis Morales's severely wounded son was transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda for surgery shortly after she arrived at Walter Reed. She had checked into her government-paid room on post, but she slept in the lobby of the Bethesda hospital for two weeks because no one told her there is a free shuttle between the two facilities. "They just let me off the bus and said 'Bye-bye,' " recalled Morales, a Puerto Rico resident.

And when people actually have the faculties to try and help themselves, they encounter the kind of bureaucracy that would Joseph Heller crap himself:

Life beyond the hospital bed is a frustrating mountain of paperwork. The typical soldier is required to file 22 documents with eight different commands -- most of them off-post -- to enter and exit the medical processing world, according to government investigators. Sixteen different information systems are used to process the forms, but few of them can communicate with one another. The Army's three personnel databases cannot read each other's files and can't interact with the separate pay system or the medical recordkeeping databases.

The disappearance of necessary forms and records is the most common reason soldiers languish at Walter Reed longer than they should, according to soldiers, family members and staffers. Sometimes the Army has no record that a soldier even served in Iraq. A combat medic who did three tours had to bring in letters and photos of herself in Iraq to show she that had been there, after a clerk couldn't find a record of her service.

Shannon, who wears an eye patch and a visible skull implant, said he had to prove he had served in Iraq when he tried to get a free uniform to replace the bloody one left behind on a medic's stretcher. When he finally tracked down the supply clerk, he discovered the problem: His name was mistakenly left off the "GWOT list" -- the list of "Global War on Terrorism" patients with priority funding from the Defense Department.

He brought his Purple Heart to the clerk to prove he was in Iraq.

Lost paperwork for new uniforms has forced some soldiers to attend their own Purple Heart ceremonies and the official birthday party for the Army in gym clothes, only to be chewed out by superiors.

And don't think the Administration wants to bring this matter to the forefront:

David tangled with Walter Reed's image machine when he wanted to attend a ceremony for a fellow amputee, a Mexican national who was being granted U.S. citizenship by President Bush. A case worker quizzed him about what he would wear. It was summer, so David said shorts. The case manager said the media would be there and shorts were not advisable because the amputees would be seated in the front row.

" 'Are you telling me that I can't go to the ceremony 'cause I'm an amputee?' " David recalled asking. "She said, 'No, I'm saying you need to wear pants.' "

David told the case worker, "I'm not ashamed of what I did, and y'all shouldn't be neither." When the guest list came out for the ceremony, his name was not on it.

The Administration and its defenders can wave about all this bullshit about how opponents of the war discourage the troops. But as long as our defenders, those who we have promised to protect, struggle in rotten hells of red tape and abandonment, they can go fuck themselves.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


A Sensible Standard for Debate

My, what reasonable discourse. (ganked from AMERICABlog)

This modern dolchstosslegende of the far right has made its way from pundits and talking heads all the way up to the front pages of major newspapers. We must fight back against it with all our will.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Invisible Monsters

If you would listen to the media, Debbie Schlussel is a woman with opinions you should respect. She gets brought on the talk shows whenever they need someone to talk about something. Hell, just last week she was on Paula Zahn, talking about how atheists should just shut up about any hostilities they receive.

And here's what Debbie Schlussel has to say about the mall shooting in Salt Lake City:

Yes, this is what we get for helping the Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs--terror, murder, and mayhem in U.S. malls. The Muslims blame us anyway.

Thanks, Bill Clinton.

Back in August, I talked about the possibility of Crusades cheerleading among members of the far right. I'm afraid this is one step worse. This is the acceptance of genocide. This is the embrace of 200,000 deaths. This is the welcoming of an agenda of extermination, of the end of innocent lives, based on an agenda of paranoia.

Then again, Deb's not the first "respectable" person to suggest such a course of action:

Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since World War Two? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out—as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ’em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

That would be Mark Steyn, a star writer for the National Review, suggesting that what Slobodan Milosevic and his murderous buddies did was not only justified, it was prescient. Since every Muslim apparently thinks and acts the same way, and all are programmed for the death of Judeo-Christian society. They're like the Cylons, only without nudity and putting chips in people's brains.

The most frightening part-- and I know I beat this drum repeatedly, but still-- is that, as I said, these people are "respectable." They get brought on TV shows. They get published in magazines. They forgive-- nay, embrace-- genocide, and no one bats an eye. But when it's turned out two liberal bloggers hired in a professional context have been pointedly attacking the Catholic Church and swearing on their private blogs, it's as if the Visigoths are at the gate.

What will it take to rip aside the gauzy veil and show America what kind of monsters they are truly dealing with?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I Am Spartacus

I'm guessing this is where the meme originated, but I'm jumping on, in any case.

If you've missed it by now, Amanda and Shakes were kept on by Edwards in the face of the incontroversial controvesy, but both decided to resign in order to keep William Donohue from painting Edwards with the world's widest brush. I respect Amanda and Shakes for their decision, and hate that it had to come to this.

Which brings me to the one who might be the progenitor of this whole shitstorm: Michelle Malkin. As you might guess, she's fucking ecstatic about this. What I find funny about that, however--

Actually, wait. To indicate that I find one thing funny with Malkin's rejoicing is an utter fallacy. So, three things that I find funny about this:

1. Malkin posts a long passage by Shakes where Shakes is somewhat "uncivil" about her disdain for those who call themselves "pro-family" trying to undermine gay families. The funny thing is, Malkin does not directly attack any of Shakes's positions. In fact, she says nothing about how Shakes's post might be insulting to Christians. Instead, and perhaps most telling, she says that Shakes "writes like this (language warning)." So, according to Malkin, the worst crime Shakes seems to be guilty of is... large amounts of swearing. We have a woman here who knowingly enabled death threats complaining about another woman for swearing to make a point like she just shat all over a Da Vinci painting. I guess you have to have some standards.

2. I love the fact that Malkin's going along with Donohue's "anti-Catholic bigotry!" hate train, as if she's never engaged in something as grevious as base bigotry.

News flash, Michelle: you are a bigot. When you use words like "dhimmitude", when you claim that every crime by a Muslim is part of some big unplottable al-Qaeda conspiracy against America, when you argue that Muslims should be rounded up and put in internment camps, when you suggest that every Muslim man, woman, and child is a threat that must be dealt with, you engage in the same attitudes that you claim to see in Amanda to a magnitude of ten.

3. Whenever Malkin is attacked for her positions, for her slander of left-wing advocates in general as "moonbats", she points to the hate mail she has received based on nothing more than the color of her skin. Needless to say, what she received, and possibly still receives, is disgusting and racist.

Still. From the time this "scandal" hit the pages to the time Amanda announced her resignation, and beyond, Amanda was flooded with hate mail. She was called everything from a "libelous hag" to a "fat ugly bitch." Do you think Malkin might feel guilty about forcing Amanda to experience what she did?

Nope. There's absolutely nothing about Amanda's hate mail deluge on Malkin's blog, even a day after the news went up. My, it's almost as if, once Amanda was taken down, Malkin lost all interest in her. Imagine that.

So, nothing changes, in my eyes. Shakes and Amanda are still great women, Michelle Malkin is still a bigot and a hypocrite, and I'm gonna keep getting so angry at what's happening to my great nation that I swear.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Big Brother Loves You, Too

Just in case people thought that the Administration's defenders in Congress could get a bit more desperate in seeing civil liberties disappear absolutely, here's Lamar Smith (R-TX) attempting to completely eradicate Internet privacy as we know it.

A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require ISPs to record all users' surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.

The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a republican congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.

And why this massive coverage, you ask?

"A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet," said Congressman Smith.

"In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism pose a serious threat to the US. Law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes."

Maybe it would be quicker if we just all got a chip put in our heads that shocked us every time we had nasty thoughts. Come on; we all know what this is really about. From Ashcroft's attempts to wear Rob Zicari's ass as a hat to Gonzales's porn squad, this administration has been unhealthily obsessed* with taking down the adult entertainment industry. Oh, and would you look at that rider:

The bill includes a separate clause that would force the owners of sexually explicit websites to include warning labels on their web pages, or face jail.

Also included is a 20-year "jail tariff" for anyone ordering child pornography that crosses state borders, with a $150,000 fine for the ISP that allowed the transaction to take place.

Yup; porn, porn, and more porn. Obviously, it's worth it to have your private conversations, your e-mails, and every thing you have ever said online recorded and categorized so that no inappropriate sexual activity ever goes on anywhere.

*And you know that people are overstepping their bounds when I defend sick fucks like Zicari.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Go Forth And Sodomize No More

Ted Haggard: "I'm cured!"

Oh, this is going to be a disaster in waiting. Not just because he's in denial of himself, and not just because that "intense spiritual discipline" James Dobson was boasting about seemed to take all of three weeks. Nope; it's because Haggard is saying he's "completely heterosexual."

I mean, look at the rhetoric used by other "ex"-gay groups. They don't treat the eradication of homosexuality in a person as an absolute. They state that homosexuality is still in there somewhere, but that they fight against it in order to live a "normal" life. Ted? Apparently he's attained Hetvana, for he has rid himself of all those queer demons.

Ah, well. Whatever happens, it's apparently going to be his own private destruction:

Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was also forced out from the 14,000 New Life Church that he founded years ago in his basement after Jones alleged Haggard paid him for sex and sometimes used methamphetamine when they were together. Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to "sexual immorality."

Haggard said in an e-mail Sunday, his first communication in three months to church members, that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master's degrees in psychology. The e-mail said the family hasn't decided where to move but that they were considering Missouri and Iowa.

In other words, if things go horribly wrong in the future- which they likely will- he's not going to be dragging down a franchise that makes good money on maligning gay folk down with him. Because the big wigs of the religious right need to know how to cover their asses.


Notes On A Non-Scandal

Well, the dust has cleared, and Edwards is keeping Marcotte and McEwan on the team. Of course, he's also told them to watch their tongues, and Amanda and Melissa have both issued apologies for using such harsh words.

I'm a bit torn about this. On the one hand, Edwards did not reciprocate to the nutcases of the far right who wish to dominate the national dialogue and geld those filthy liberals who dare speak up. On the other hand, he acted as if they actually had a legitimate complaint, when he likely should have laughed in Bill "Secular Jews Love Anal Sex!" Donohue's face for daring to suggest he knew when someone was a disgusting bigot.

Oh, well. We're still on neutral ground. We'll just have to see where Edwards' campaign goes next.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007



Well, that was quick. We're not even past the first quarter of '07, and already the presidency-related blog attacks have begun.

I don't think I have to tell anyone whose side I come down on. I read Shakes and Amanda regularly, and I love their stuff. Yes, Amanda can be rough on organized religion, but when she is, she usually attacks the institution, not the followers. And as for the criticism/nepotism that Terry Moran engages in here over Amanda's post on the religious right and Israel... look, folks, let's get this straight. There are conservative Christians who want to make sure Israel stays together because it's a good thing to do. But the leaders of many organized bodies among the religious right have openly admitted that they want Israel to thrive and the holiest icons of Islam destroyed because, in their eyes, it will trigger the end of the world. This is not to be praised.

Furthermore, who is it making the newsworthiest of these allegations? Why, none other than William Donohue, who accuses Shakes and Amanda of being "bigots." Yes, folks, the man who went on the air and claimed Hollywood was controlled by "secular Jews" who hate Christianity, and who considers shop tellers saying "Happy Holidays" a direct attack on Christianity, gets to decide who the bigots are. Why doesn't he just look in the mirror if he wants to find a bigot?

Glenn Greenwald's already taking a look at the bloggers hired by potential right-wing presidential candidates. Still, a part of me wonders which scandal will be played on the news until we either all go crazy or someone backs down.

Oh, wait. I can already guess.


Close Your Eyes, Can't Happen Here

I think the thing that surprises me the most is that this comes as a surprise:

Huge street protests made millions of immigrants more visible and powerful last year, but they also seem to have revived a hateful counter force: white supremacists.

Groups linked to the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and neo-Nazis grew significantly more active, holding more rallies, distributing leaflets and increasing their presence on the Internet — much of it focused on stirring anti-immigrant sentiment, a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League says.

Gee, I wonder why this could be...

Could it be because some of our more... ardent Congressional delegates are playing to these folks' interests, to the point where Tom Tancredo attended one group's barbecue?

Could it be because Lou Dobbs has been raising the specter of illegal immigration during every single one of his shows, to the point of using a well-established hate group as a source for one of his pieces?

Could it be because Glenn Beck faces absolutely no penalty from his higher ups after asking America's first Muslim Congressman to prove that he's not with the terrorists?

Could it be because David Duke is brought on The Situation Room and allowed to steamroll Wolf Blitzer with allegations that he is a "Jewish extremist"?

I wonder...

Monday, February 05, 2007


Full of Caramel, Peanuts, Nougat, and Blatant Homophobia

So I was watching the Super Bowl yesterday, and was exposed to a Snickers commercial where two mechanics end up eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends. Once they "meet at the middle", so to speak, they freak out, tell each other to "do something manly", and rip off their chest hair and scream. I was a bit suspicious, but I didn't really raise a fuss. After all, the ad could easily be making fun of the two guys for being so concerned about their masculinity that they cause themselves pain.

That is, if not for the extras. See, to correspond with the ad, Snickers put up on their web site (which is suspiciously down right now) a series of extras, including various ways you could vote for the ad to end. Among these extras were:

-members of both the Colts and the Bears looking at the ad, grimacing, and generally expressing general disgust at the fact that-- dear God!-- two guys had to kiss.
-an ending where the two men swallow motor oil or antifreeze to get the taste of another man's tongue out of their mouth.
-an ending where the two men go at one another with wrenches for having the gall to sully one another's lips with man saliva (so, men, if another guy hits on you, beat the shit out of him! It's funny!).

I keep feeling that we're stagnating when it comes to our presentation in the media, if not sliding backwards. We got somewhere near being human beings in the '90s, and TV shows kept wanting to show us getting married. Now agents want their clients' characters to "straighten out", there are news segments saying it's okay to think about us as one-dimensional stereotypes, and a major candy company thinks it's good business to have pro athletes in one of the butchest sports in America say that they have nothing to do with that gay stuff.

Let's show them otherwise, shall we? You can write Snickers here. Let them know what you think about the ad.

UPDATE (2/7/07): Well, the good news is, Snickers pulled the ad. The bad news is, they don't get it. They say their goal was "to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer, primarily 18-to-24-year-old adult males." Apparently, 18-to-24 year old males find the idea of whaling on a man for daring to kiss you fucking hilarious. They also say that "humor is highly subjective", which is ad exec code for, "Can't you take a joke?" You're gonna have to do better than that, Mars.

Sunday, February 04, 2007



Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came out with a report that clearly stated that climate change will have a serious effect on the world, is caused by human interference, and must be changed now. Well, you'd think that'd be the end of it, right?

Hell, no! Obviously, money must be thrown at it until it goes away:

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Yup; once again, ExxonMobil is bribing scientists to throw something approaching legitimacy behind an argument that global warming is not having any effect on us. Only now they're actually being open about it. Oh, but look who's behind this effort:

The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.

You remember Lee Raymond, right? The man who, when questioned about high oil prices by Congress, said, "We're all in this together"-- right before retiring and getting a $400 million package? Who worked for a company that made more than $75,000 per minute in 2006? Apparently, he figures there's a way he can get even richer, environment be damned.

Maybe he's trying to save enough for a space station so he can look down on us plebians while we drown.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Hey! Teacher! Leave Those Kids Alone!

Now, here's a tale to inspire. In the county of Kearny, there is a high school student by the name of Matthew LaClair, who has a teacher by the name of David Paszkiewicz. Now, during his American history (I repeat-- American history) classes, Mr. Paszkiewicz felt the need to teach some... unorthodox subject matter.

Such as the fact that his students would go to Hell if they did not accept Christ as their savior. Apparently, he also singled out a Muslim girl and lamented the fact that she was destined for the slow roast.

Now, LaClair had the feeling that, were he to complain to the school board, he would not be believed. And this is exactly what happened. But! LaClair, at the meeting, managed to produce two CDs of audio from Paszkiewicz's class, full of the extracurricular bloviating. Of course, Paszkiewicz claimed that he was the victim here, but the matter still had yet to be resolved.

Well, now a resolution has come down. And the answer to a teacher whose curriculum involved teaching matters that were not on the curriculum, teaching what amounted to unscientific propaganda, and oh, yeah, telling his students they were damned?

Oh, he gets to keep his job. And there's now a ban on taping a teacher's comments without their permission. Of course, to make it appear like they're punishing the guy, the school board's insisting that every teacher receive "mandatory instruction about how to interpret the Constitution’s separation of church and state", which, big fucking whoop. I think it was clear from day one what this teacher thought about the separation of church and state.

And what of Mr. Paszkiewicz? Well, don't let you think a slap on the wrist is actually going to stop him:

Meanwhile, Matthew said that Mr. Paszkiewicz recently told the class that scientists who spoke about the danger of global warming were using tactics like those Hitler used, by repeating a lie often enough that people come to believe it.

Mr. Lindenfelser said that the district did not investigate the report of that comment, which he said was not religious or a violation of “any kind of law.”

And, what do you know? It's nothing that could be considered American history.

Did I have the atypical high school experience, or did I just not notice this bullshit? I had teachers who taught me to expand my horizons, to strive, to seek, to find, and all that jazz. And here I see a kid who was honestly concerned about the wellbeing of his classmates and the validity of his education, and he gets punished for revealing that his teacher has absolutely no reason to teach his course, and his teacher gets to go on spewing his bullshit.

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall.


Dance, My Puppets, Dance

I know I'm quite, quite late on this, but that doesn't make it any less relevant. Apparently, Bush has signed an executive order that says certain agencies, such as the EPA or OSHA, must have a regulatory officer to oversee policy. Oh, and guess what? The officer will be appointed by the president. And in case you're not worried yet, here are a few names for you:

-George Deutsch, who told the NASA scientists that they should still refer to the Big Bang as a "theory."

-W. David Hager, the FDA official who suggested women take care of menstrual cramps by reading Bible passages and who allegedly sodomized his wife while she was conked out on medication.

-Michael. Fucking. Brown.

There's a difference, though. Before, these folks basically operated independently within the agency, advising but not controlling those underneath them. Now, every significant problem requires the sign off of an official after it has been proven that the problem has a negative effect on-- my, what a surprise!-- the market.

But I'm guessing Bush is above such petty things as checks and balances.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


He Tried To Kill Me With A Forklift!

Y'know, it's pretty obvious that Bush hates the press, but I would never have expected it to come to this:

Wearing a pair of stylish safety glasses--at least more stylish than most safety glasses--Bush got a mini-tour of the factory before delivering remarks on the economy. "I would suggest moving back," Bush said as he climbed into the cab of a massive D-10 tractor. "I'm about to crank this sucker up." As the engine roared to life, White House staffers tried to steer the press corps to safety, but when the tractor lurched forward, they too were forced to scramble for safety."Get out of the way!" a news photographer yelled. "I think he might run us over!" said another. White House aides tried to herd the reporters the right way without getting run over themselves. Even the Secret Service got involved, as one agent began yelling at reporters to get clear of the tractor. Watching the chaos below, Bush looked out the tractor's window and laughed, steering the massive machine into the spot where most of the press corps had been positioned. The episode lasted about a minute, and Bush was still laughing when he pulled to a stop. He gave reporters a thumbs-up. "If you've never driven a D-10, it's the coolest experience," Bush said afterward. Yeah, almost as much fun as seeing your life flash before your eyes.

It's not even the fact that Bush apparently loses control of the tractor, driving it so fast that the press corps don't have enough time to scatter. That's understandable; we all have trouble with machinery. It's the fact that, even after the press corps have run for their lives, afraid that Bush might lose any semblance of control and actually kill someone, he gets out and starts laughing, talking about how it was so much fun for him.

I bet it was.


Gentlemen... Behold!

Just great. My entire city goes into a tizzy over the fucking Mooninites. We should just be glad they didn't bust out their mighty lasers, or we wouldn't have stood a chance.

I'm telling you, there's nothing like watching CNN for two hours, fearing that your city's the target of a terrorist attack, and then finding out it was a fucking ad blitz that's gone off without a hitch in a bunch of other cities across the US. It sure is something.

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