Thursday, June 28, 2007


If You Can't Say Anything Nice, You Get A Lucrative Book Deal

So, after my last post on Ann Coulter, Elizabeth Edwards ended up calling into Hardball while she was on and smacking her about for the seven kinds of shit she's given her family over the years. And, as usual, it seems like I'm the last person in the world extensively commenting on this.

First of all, good for Mrs. Edwards. It's about time someone who's been dragged through the mud by Coulter confronted her in a public place where she can't shy away from the harsh light of the truth. And look at the defense Ann throws up-- "You're trying to silence me!" Yes, God knows that there's no way you can ever tell the truth unless you make fun of people for mourning their son and call for the grieving father to die in a car bombing. If there were any substance to Ann beyond a cheesecloth dress and a tendency for sadism that would make most torturers blush like school girls, it failed to materialize.

Second of all, while everyone focuses on Elizabeth Edwards's bitch slap, few are really focusing on the depths to which Ann has sunk. Yes, she went even lower than, "Can someone speed up Darfur?"

"We need to be less concerned about civilian casualties...we bombed more people in Hamburg in two days ... I'd rather have their civilians die than our civilians... we should kill their people."

She said this, right in front of Chris Matthews, whose job is to ostensibly provide some gravitas when it comes to journalism. Of course, Matthews realized who was steering the gravy boat long ago, so he just lets her spit out her vitriol because, in his own words, "she sells books."

What the world needs is for somebody to say, "No." Somebody to say, "You have crossed the line." And the minute Ms. Coulter bitches about someone trying to curb her freedom to speech, that someone needs to tell her to go get a soapbox and try screaming at the pigeons like all the other psychotics. The First Amendment gives everyone a right to free speech. Doesn't mean we have to give you a fucking megaphone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


What A Way To Start The Day

The other day, I crawled out of bed, came downstairs, and found my mom watching Ann Coulter on Good Morning America. I'm telling you, seeing that botched wax museum piece bloviate on the air has the tendency to wake me up faster than having a panicked ferret dropped on my genitalia. Mind you, I quickly turned on my heel and went back upstairs.

What did I miss? Oh, nothing. Just Ann expressing her deep hope that John Edwards gets cacked in the near future. I'd make a joke, but when I realize that this is what political debate has come to in our country-- the point where a pundit can get away with hoping someone gets killed without the Secret Service falling upon her like the wrath of God-- I find there's nothing funny to say.

So, the only thing I'll say is that, in the future, I'd prefer a nice cup of coffee to wake me up.

Monday, June 25, 2007


The Phantom Office

So, Cheney's now claiming that his office is not a part of the Executive Branch. This makes him exempt from an investigation into security breaches, as well as making people wonder where, aside from Satan's fiery furnaces, he draws all his power.

At least this little delusion is meeting with a righteous amount of scorn.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


And I'd Stick John McClane For Property Damage, Too

You know, it's one thing when Republican pundits cite a fictional character as an example of why the US is right to torture the hell out of people who haven't even been charged with a crime. When a standing judge on the highest court in the land does it, however, it becomes a whole other thing.

enior judges from North America and Europe were in the midst of a panel discussion about torture and terrorism law, when a Canadian judge's passing remark - "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra 'What would Jack Bauer do?' " - got the legal bulldog in Judge Scalia barking.

The conservative jurist stuck up for Agent Bauer, arguing that fictional or not, federal agents require latitude in times of great crisis. "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

As a matter of fact, Mr. Scalia, I do happen to believe in those absolutes. I happen to believe that there may very well be times when good people must do bad things in order to prevent unbridled catastrophe. I happen to believe that, in a time like that, I might possibly force myself to make that choice and do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

But I wouldn't get up on a pedestal and ask for a goddamn medal for it. And I most certainly would not ask that, due to the one incident where I had no option but to perform a bad act for good reasons, we should throw open the floodgates and play Pin The Diodes On The Suspected Terrorist's Nipples until we get some tasty, tasty data. In fact, I would turn myself over to the proper authorities and face my judgment. Maybe, as Scalia argues, I'd get off easy in a case of jury nullification.

But Scalia doesn't even want such cases to go to trial. He argues for leniency, not judgment. He argues that, because a fictional man of action routinely does horrible things to save the day, it's only right that we do it in the real world, where none of us have narrative or executive producers behind us to make sure that the guy we're torturing is really a terrorist leader. And the minute we start doing bad things without even thinking about facing the consequences, we are no longer the good guys.


Happy Unabomber Day!

I really don't know what to say about this sad, disgusting spectacle. Except for this:

Paul Hill was a terrorist. Plain and simple. He showed no remorse for the plight of his victims and of their loved ones left behind. He took part in an orchestrated effort to scare medical professionals out of helping women in need. He went to the grave thinking he'd end up at the Pearly Gates for his righteous act of murder. And now he's getting a party.

I can think of two victims of that day who should be mourned. And Paul Hill ain't one of them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Less Of A Surge, More Of A Tidal Shift

Hey, everyone, good news! According to General Petraeus, if the surge doesn't work... we'll just stay in Iraq anyway!

Claiming steady, albeit slow, military and political progress, Petraeus said the "many, many challenges" would not be resolved "in a year or even two years." Similar counterinsurgency operations, he said, citing Britain's experience in Northern Ireland, "have gone at least nine or 10 years." He said he and Crocker would be making "some recommendations on the way ahead" to Congress, and that it was realistic to assume "some form of long-term security arrangement" with Iraq.

So, we've spent four years fucking up Iraq to the point where it makes the dictator's reign look good, and now we're being asked to keep feeding our already overtaxed troops into a ten-year plan to pull it out of the cesspit we could have avoided digging in the first place if someone had stopped to think for a minute. Why do I have the feeling that the American people won't go for this?

Friday, June 15, 2007


For The Win

Like Shakes, I'm usually cool with Matt Taibbi, but his latest piece leaves me just a little ticked off. It's not just the fact that he's engaging in the same rhetoric as nearly every gay guy who flinches at a gay pride parade, claiming that the "freaks" need to pushed to the back and the "real people" need to be brought to the forefront. While I agree the media loves to make little categories, stuffing a ball gag in Al Sharpton's mouth, as amusing as the thought may be, is not going to keep the media from bringing him on as one of all of two black liberal representatives.

But I've gotta say, it's this bit, right near the end, that really drives me up a wall:

In a few years it will be half a century since the 1960s began. The Baby-Boomer generation that shaped modern liberalism will soon be moving on to the nursing home, many of its battles – for civil, gay, immigrant and women’s rights, for workplace protections, and against the Vietnam war and Richard Nixon – already won.

You know, I just love it when some straight white guy tells me that all the battles black people, women, and gays have ever had to fight are as good as won. After all, it's not like the past few years have seen a nasty reminder of the racist undercurrent in America, the Supreme Court ruling against operations that could save a woman's life and equal pay for the sexes, and a state-by-state effort to write hidebound laws that prevent gay couples from receiving the same rights as straight couples. Apparently, we've done all we can, folks! Let's pack up and let the Serious Common People (none of whom are black, or gay, or women) do their jobs.

Equality is not some fucking trophy. It's not something you win that you can put up on some shelf to mark the occasion throughout the years. It's something that, once won, you fight for with all your life. Because somewhere out there, there are people who don't agree with the general public. And given enough time, and enough attention, there's a chance they might win over the general public. And pretty soon, that nice shiny trophy is gone, and you're back where you started.

Matt Taibbi wants to see a more serious version of liberalism. I suggest he lighten up a little, and perhaps take some lessons from the music of Phil Ochs.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


It's All Up To Them Now

Today, at 1 PM, floor debate starts for the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. The topic: whether or not an amendment on same-sex marriage should go directly to the voters.

I'll admit, I haven't done as much as I can to support the effort to kill this amendment where it stands. And if it goes through, then I may very well feel responsible to some degree.

But I believe we can beat it. I believe we've gotten the word out. Besides, some of the most powerful people in the state government are opposed to this amendment. I do believe we'll win.

Doesn't mean I'm not feeling as nervous as all fuck, though.

UPDATE: It failed. We won. We're safe for the next few years.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Out With It Already

So, a staffer working for Tom "Nuke Mecca!" Tancredo has been outed as gay. Normally, I'd be happy about people working to further the causes of politicians who'd love to see us gays forced back into the closet seeing what the rest of us are afraid of, but there's one problem here: he's only eighteen.

I've got to admit, I'm a little torn on this one. According to stories, this guy's been working for anti-gay groups and was spotted holding an anti-gay sign back in November. Then again, when I was coming out, I went through a massively homophobic phase about three months before I came to terms with my sexuality, as it appears this guy is doing.

Then again, this is a kid who should be wising up. This is someone who should realize that the people he's working for would love to see him thrown in jail the minute he engages in sexual relations with another man. This is someone who should realize that the woman defending him is the not-at-all-diametrically-opposed sister of a man who thought AIDS victims were getting divine punishment. And if he fails to do that, even after he's been brought into the harsh light of day... well, then, I guess there's just no excuse for him.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Paris Is Burning

Some time around 3 PM yesterday, my journey to the Dark Side took another solid step. I turned to AmericaBlog, only to find that Paris Hilton had been ordered back to jail. I read about how she screamed out that it wasn't fair, and cried out to her mother. I saw a photo of her, caught in a silent scream as if Jason was right outside the door with a chainsaw.

And God help me, I laughed like the Baba Yaga.

Still, the incident, and the massive, massive schadenfreude it generated convinced me that maybe it was time to reexamine why the world hates Paris Hilton. Amanda thinks that it's a mixture of sexism and reverse class warfare with sexism coming out on top, and while I agree with her (and Al Gore) that I was just about ready to throw a boot through the TV when I saw CNN covering the deposition like it was OJ 2.0, I wouldn't say the hatred of Hilton is entirely sex-based.

Amanda gives a good list of reasons why we really should hate Paris: she's a snotty, reality-starved rich twit who deprives the world of oxygen and gives back nothing more than her bodily waste. My first exposure to Mademoiselle Hilton was through Fametracker, where I learned that Paris and sister Nicky appeared at movie premieres in dresses that just barely showed their Southern Coriolises, and that the paparazzi kept taking photos of them. So, they were getting famous for... absolutely nothing. But it wasn't the kind of Angelyne-style safe-made fame, where at least she had the grace to pay for her own media blitz. Paris just had to show up where cameras were, and people would pay attention.

And no one would scorn her. No one. After the first sex tape came and went, videos turned up of Paris having worse things coming out of her mouth than going in. Like, say, "nigger", or "fag". And nothing happened. Even during the sex tape "scandal", no one important was really wagging so much as a finger at Paris. It was more of a spectacle, the kind of thing you watch with jaw agape. And Paris rode such "punishment" out, and made it her own.

Which makes this punishment all the more sweet. I've heard people complain that 45 days is far too harsh for a DUI offense, but the thing is, this was Paris's third offense in less than a year. The first one resulted in a suspension of her license. The second one, which happened when Paris's license was still suspended, resulted in her signing a statement saying she understood the legal penalties involved in driving without a license.

And then she did it again, and got thrown in the hoosegow, and there was a slight feeling of joy. And then Paris got out in three days due to a "medical condition", and there was much anger. And then Paris got thrown back in, screaming and crying, and there was much schadenfreude.

See, the reason I'm exulting in this jail sentence is it's the kind of karmic bitch slap I've longed to see people like Ann Coulter receive. The kind of thing that happens when someone tells society, "I don't care about your rules, I just live here." The kind of thing where reality takes the subject about the shoulders, shakes them hard, and says, "You live under my roof, mister, you follow my rules!"

I need more days like this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


If It Doesn't Fit, You Must Acquit

Y'know, one day it would be great to see Bush put someone in a position of authority over the health and wellbeing of the citizens of the United States without that person being an inveterate dogmatic whose "medicine" is more Bible-based than science-based. Today is not that day.

Gay sex, [Dr. James Holsinger] warned, can lead to "lacerations, perforations and deaths...The anatomic and physiologic facts of alimentation and reproduction simply do not change based on any cultural setting. In fact, the logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other. When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur as noted above."

So, basically, it's the typical old "the parts don't fit" argument. As well as all the old tired points of AIDS, anal fissures, and, of course, fisting. Keep in mind that this is also the same Holsinger who believes in the validity of "ex"-gay therapy.

Man, there's a part of me that wants Barney Frank to just read this thing before Congress, just to see the look on Holsinger's face when an actual gay man calls him on the carpet for his sham science.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Honesty: The Best Policy

Well, that's a change for the better (emphasis ThinkProgress's):

O’REILLY: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you’ve got to cap with a number.

Of course, McCain agrees, but at this point he'd agree that carbon monoxide is delicious and nutritious if it would get him polling points. I'd just like to look more at O'Reilly's statement.

As Amanda points out, there's been this whole attempt by certain conservative pundits to crouch their arguments against fairness in terms that disguise the naked bigotry. It's not xenophobia, it's a need to "respect our country's borders." It's not racism, it's "fighting the soft bigotry of low expectations" by opposing affirmative action. It's not being sexist, it's not wanting to tip some sort of imagined balance.

And here's Bill O'Reilly, basically arguing that no, it's because obviously the white, straight, Christian males are the best-- hell, the only-- heirs to the throne, and those stupid liberals want to interfere and drag the nation screaming into ruin. So, the hegemony must cover its own ass at all costs. Mr. O'Reilly, I salute your honesty.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Pomp and Circumstance

As of right now, my little brother is a high school graduate. And, like myself, he is right now partying his ass off. Pity my poor mom, who has to go tend to it between the hours of 1 and 5 AM (which, uh, aren't usual mom nighttime hours).

This fall, he'll be heading to the College of Charleston, which he's looking incredibly forward to. I wish him all the best of luck.

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