ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Essential
Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Data
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage

 

Monday, May 31, 2004

resegregate the military 

I had a great idea: all-women units of the army, navy, etc.!

I have heard {laziness is causing me not to site this, so, bombs away} that there are a great number of pregnancies on Navy ships. If we had all-women ships, this problem would be handily solved.

I also have vague recollections of some mention of a benefit for women who attend all women colleges.

It seems like a women Lt. could better identify with and guide her soldiers in battle more effectively than a man commanding women could. Also, lower levels of sexual harassment and rape, I would expect.

what do you think?

-paul  11:33 EST | |

Mascots 

CU's mascots [Ralphie, the Buffalo and Prometheus] are not only apt, but perhaps prophetic.

Prometheus, featured on the CU seal and sculpted dreadfully in the UMC fountain court, comes from Greek myth. We remember him for (a) angering the gods with his academic pursuits and (b) being chained up in the middle of nowhere, doomed to have his liver eaten every day by vultures.

As temporary boulderites, every student can appreciate looking forward to an evening of liver destruction as respite from the boredom of being stuck in the middle of nowhere.

There is no example I can think of in which "gods" were angered by the academic work at CU. But, it is a fine goal to reach for, condsidering how popular and useful the introduction of fire to humans turned out to be.

The buffalo, once the mighty lord of the plains, was hunted to near-extinction by rogues and drunkards from the east and west coasts. Similarly, the once prestigious school will be a memory and a uselessly sustained curiosity, brought down by rogues and drunkards from the Football team and the Colorado Legislature.



-paul  11:06 EST | |

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Instant Karma is going to get you  

Puttin' the first class in Pfc., Lyndie England is complaining that she was unfairly interrogated. Is it possible?

-paul  14:35 EST | |

Friday, May 28, 2004

Moral tragedy 

It isn't online, but Jeffrey Goldberg's article "The Settlers" in the NEW YORKER is top-notch. It confronts the hateful fanaticism of both the far-right Israelis and the militant Palestinians. Highly recommended!

-Ziggy Stardust  23:54 EST | |

Blinded by partisan rage or is the NRO really evil? 

So Matt and I were having a conversation about, inter alia,* corruption in government and how much it still shocked us. And Matt remarked how often he thinks he's reached the point that he just can't be any more outraged, that he's full, and then something else comes up that pisses him off just that much more--becoming another slap in the face to everything that is decent.

I'm relaying this conversation because, via Crooked Timber, I just finished reading a 2001 article by John Derbyshire in the NRO titled, "Why I hate Chelsea Clinton".

Suffice to say, I'm just a little more cynical, a little more sad, and a little more disappointed in the world, now that I've read this. Thanks NRO, more evidence of the "moral decline of America."


*Yes, I know I just used the term inter alia when "among other things" but I read this stuff all day long and it is starting to seep into my writing, this is why lawyers are often criticized by others as bad writers. They are deeply entrenched bad habits that we are exposed to regularly and--like many speech crutches--some of the bad habits rub off. Anyway, god bless Bryan Gardner for the work he's doing...
**An even worse revelation is that I am upset that Blogger doesn't have Small Uppercase font--yes, even more evidence that I spent far too much time bluebooking my writing competition.

-Ziggy Stardust  00:34 EST | |

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Have I gone too far?  

Readers of this blog (I'm not really sure who you are), I wanted to know if my posts had gone too far in recent days, particularly the "CU" one, and the "Ann Coutler" one I deleted after a few hours.

While I have never been bounded by good taste, or a desire to be inoffensive, I also love praise. This would be in short supply if I, say, violated Blogger's decency standards and got this puppy shutdown.

I really liked my "Ann Coulter" post of earlier today, but it contained some violent imagery [the hope that someone gets shot], and a claim that a well-known public figure is the female Osama Bin Laden.

If I feel people want to read this crap, I have the post ready to go once more. If the readers (and the blog staff who invited me into this role) think I have crossed the line, or a line, or a hyperplane, please let me know.

ALSO - Blogger's spellchecker considers "blog" not to be a word.

-paul  18:18 EST | |

I Can't Help Myself 

You need to go here. And join. It is the supreme duty of every American to join this organization. All praise be to the Ziggy for alerting me to this movement. I figured that the readers of this blog (three) were more numerous than the readers of my religion blog's comments (one), and I want this message to be spread across the land. Once we are 50,000 strong, we can move to 'Bama, Misipi, or South Carolina.

-Matt  16:38 EST | |

A reason to feel good about being yourself 

Today, despairing from my banal and pointless life, I took to the internet to while away some time. That's when I discovered 2 things, one surprising, and the other less so.

There are people who write "fan fiction" based on the early 1980's G.I. Joe cartoon. This is unsurprising. What was surprising is that there are also people who write erotic G.I. Joe fan fiction.

I am posting this news from work, so I am not to keen on losing my job for reading erotic G.I. Joe fan fiction. Because of this, I can't really tell you what this stuff is all about, other than the erotic entanglements of the soldiers of G.I. Joe [which, interestingly, was an anti-terrorist unit].

Regardless, what ever walk of life a person is in, he or she should take pride in the fact that they aren't the people who write erotic G.I. Joe fan fiction.

-paul  13:29 EST | |

For all you obsessive New Yorker types 

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

CU knows no defeat 

I was just informed that CU rape facilitator Gary Barnett will keep doin' that VooDoo that he do so well [losing football games].

While this may seem like a mistake, consider this: ROTC is housed in the very stadium that CU is regularly humiliated in. Since we are moving to a rape-based military, America's first officially rape-based football team could be a feeder for future military intel gathering. Think, after rape "bootcamp" at CU, they will surely have the forcible orifice penetration skills to ferret-out potential terrorists. While its true that most of the raping the CU Buffs do is directed at women, we can hope "Stiff Fingers" Rumsfeld will approve a box of wigs and a case of Mickey's Malt Liquor to "grease the wheels" when the time comes.

Since these "football players" will now be officially in the ROTC, they can make classes directed at their interests: manufacturing GHB, playing football poorly, and how best to apply Crisco up to your shoulder when fist-f#cking somebody.

CU pays Barnett $1.3 million a year. Maybe we can start co-branding snuff films, to help defray the costs of legal fees and bribes. If Barnett has the foresight to direct his players to kill the girl, think of how much trouble will be avoided. Lord knows he's not going to be helping the team by leading us to victory. Unless, of course, its the victory of shirking the accountability for your own worthless ass.

-paul  12:02 EST | |

Monday, May 24, 2004

Best News I've Seen in a while 

It is from the WSJ and yet it is free, what could it be? A clever flash program combined with the latest Zogby polling data that, for those keeping score, would give Kerry a 320-218 victory in November. How sweet would this be?

Via Kos.

-Ziggy Stardust  18:50 EST | |

An afternoon at the Heritage Foundation, a 1 act play  

Guy 1: I need to present an answer to this protracted and nuanced problem.

Guy 2: That is a tough issue.

Guy 1: Lower taxes!

Guy 2: You must be a genius like regan or enstein!

Guy 3: I just saw a liberal!

Guy 1: they can't do good at math. Only an idiot would see the way to make money is to abandon your stream income. The right thing to think is they really hate freedom.

Guy 2: Why does John McCain hate freedom?

Guy 4: a minority took my spot in Vietnam! I was heart broken! When will the white man get a fair shake?

Guy 2: I want a fair steak.

Guy 1: where is my starland vocal band tape?

Guy 2: I glued my hands to my face again! AGGGG! LIBERALS!!!!!!!

Guy 1: John Kerry has gay animal sex, which is worse than the other kind.

Stay tuned to see the nonsequitor, logically dubious conclusion, repetativly stated conclusion.


the piss-poor spelling here is for effect, you smirking pansy.

-paul  16:45 EST | |

Sunday, May 23, 2004

For the two travelers (in case they should get hitched) 

For those who think gay marriage is a threat to 'straight' marriage, Lee Badgett has something to say about it.

Maybe M&B should conduct their own investigation...

-Lucky  22:12 EST | |

Friday, May 21, 2004

Deflower the next Ann Coulter, pt. 2  

In my quest to make increasingly unacceptable posts, I have returned to the subject of finding love with a NeoCon beauty [readers may remember an earlier facination with a marxist guerilla, but, {insert shakespeare quote here}].

This fine webpage specializes in helping you find a ready-and-waitng conservative. As an added bonus, they sometimes have adds on this very blog.

I was once a conservative. Somehow, despite my best efforts I am now something else. Homeland Security officals noticed I was listening to NPR in my car and shortly thereafter representatives of the RNC sent me a letter asking me why I hate freedom, and why don't I go to hell.

But even before being politically disenfranchised, I never wanted to date to a conservative girl. Want to know why? Too bad, you'll know anyway.

-paul  12:01 EST | |

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Will Bush get lucky? 

From this week's Economist:

President George Bush is widely seen as the architect of peace, he is perhaps more popular in southern Sudan than anywhere else on earth. At the Rumbek sub-chief's election one young warrior called Thuapon leaps frenetically in the air, proudly waving a white Barbie-doll in a pink dress. "This is a new wife for President Bush. May God grant him many fertile women with firm bodies and an election victory without problems in Florida."

-Daddy Brooklyn  17:52 EST | |

A short little rant about online "polls" 

So why do so many news sites, including Newsweek and many newspapers, have poll questions like "What do you think should happen in Iraq?" or "Is Kobe guilty?"

Since these polls are self-selecting and thus have no accuracy as to the general public's or even the general readership's actual opinions, they aren't actually creating any valuable knowledge. If the question is one of fact, like: "who was the starting first baseman for the Cubs in 1985?" I can see the value since if there is a consensus from the poll that's good evidence of the answer's correctness, but most polls are of opinions that do not have a right answer. Why do reputable news agencies do this? My guess is that it is a cheap and easy way to make their sites interactive, but they don't seem to add much value.

Thoughts?

-Ziggy Stardust  12:25 EST | |

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Kaplan as soothsayer 

I think Kaplan will prove to be all too prescient:

What is Bush to do? There's not much he can do. Many, including loyal Republicans worried about the election, are urging him to fire Rumsfeld. But that move probably wouldn't stop the investigations. In fact, the confirmation hearings for Rummy's replacement would serve as yet another forum for all the questions—about Abu Ghraib, the war in Iraq, and military policy generally—that the administration is trying to stave off. More than that, Bush has said repeatedly that he won't get rid of Rumsfeld. If he did, especially if he did so under political pressure, he would undermine his most appealing campaign slogan—that he stays the course, doesn't buckle, says what he means and does what he says.

If lesser officials are sacrificed—Cambone, Feith, and so forth—there is no guarantee that they will go gently, especially if they face possible criminal charges. The same, by the way, is true of Rumsfeld himself, a savvy survivor who can be expected to take some interesting memos with him—for possible widespread circulation—if he were forced to leave the building.

Much is at stake here—budgets, bailiwicks, careers, reputations, re-elections, to say nothing of national security and the future of Iraq. Get ready for a bumpy ride.

-Daddy Brooklyn  13:00 EST | |

Sunday, May 16, 2004

On tolerance 

Brad DeLong has some interesting thoughts for any self-proclaimed tolerant liberal who has ever said "I hate Republicans"

Sometimes, it's fun to see the ripples spread through the blogsphere. See here, here, and here.

P.S. that was not a stab at Mark, who claims to hate republicans but tries harder than any liberal I know to understand where they are coming from (even if it is for ammunition). But now that I think of it, Mark has never claimed to be tolerant.

-Ben  18:24 EST | |

More from Hersh 

Sy Hersh has another New Yorker article on the Abu Ghraib thing.

The most fascinating of the series, it describes a black-budget DOD program, in place before the Iraq war, whose mandate was expanded to include prisoners in Iraq.

Interesting in the article is that while Rumsfeld approved the whole thing, it was actually Stephen Cambone, his Under-Secretary for Intelligence, who was responsible.

Overall, it shows that not only did the Bush administration know about the abuses, it planned and approved them.

Read it.

-Ben  11:09 EST | |

A question for those who still aren't Kerry supporters...  

Fred Kaplan has a piece in Slate about Zarqawi's terrorist (real, honest-to-god terrorists) camp in Kurdish controlled Iraq prior to the invasion. The gist of the article--I recommend you read it all--is that the White House did not attack the camp prior to the invasion because it would hinder the rationale for the war. [insert anguished screams here].

Here's the question for remaining Bush supporters: If the story is factually correct, which of the two options below is more palatable for you? And, again assuming that the story above is correct (I've heard no official or unofficial denials), how can you possibly still support Bush?

The quandary:
"One ambiguity does remain. The NBC story reported that "the White House" declined to carry out the airstrikes. Who was "the White House"? If it wasn't George W. Bush—if it was, say, Dick Cheney—then we crash into a very different conclusion: not that Bush was directly culpable, but that he was more out of touch than his most cynical critics have imagined. It's a tossup which is more disturbing: a president who passes up the chance to kill a top-level enemy in the war on terrorism for the sake of pursuing a reckless diversion in Iraq—or a president who leaves a government's most profound decision, the choice of war or peace, to his aides."

-Ziggy Stardust  00:31 EST | |

Saturday, May 15, 2004

A transplant from whiskeydiscussion, but only fitting 

From local news, and in relation to a previous conversation with Mark, check out the bishop from your old home town. Note:

He said some Catholics have challenged him on why he did not highlight the church's positions against the death penalty or the war with Iraq, but he does not believe those matters carry the same weight.

There must have been a vote sometime that changed the commandment about not killing to one about not marrying another man.

-Lucky  12:45 EST | |

One of the best blogs 

If you don't read Fafblog, I pity you. But, more importantly, I bet Fafnir, Giblets, and Medium Lobster pity you. And that would be truly bad.

To get a sense of Fafblog brilliance, check out this post.

-Ziggy Stardust  12:43 EST | |

Diploma Mills... why didn't I think of this? 

The fake degree story was broken by a network? That's the real story.

-Ziggy Stardust  12:20 EST | |

I'm posting about poker? 

"Strategy-oriented, individualistic, and embedded in a nice masculine mythology, poker is the perfect game for the revenge-of-the-nerds generation looking to square their intelligence with their inner maleness."

Read the rest here.

-Ziggy Stardust  11:47 EST | |

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Bad news 

I have to study all day today, so no more posts after this. Today is pretty much the worst post-9/11 newsday I can remember. Check out the front page of the Times.

-Daddy Brooklyn  08:04 EST | |

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

What Gives? 

Try this link to the now infamous video stills from Nicolas Berg (via Andrew Sullivan). Earlier, the link displayed a 404 error, but now, I get "This Account Has Been Suspended."

My earlier thoughts on this were "ooh...there is so much interest in this that the site has exceeded it's allotted bandwidth and is temporarily unavailable"

But now, I'm thinking more along the lines of "someone decided that this is inappropriate/illegal/too-racy-for-consumption-by-the-general-public and shut the site down." If this is the case, I am disappointed and a little pissed off. Ok, a lot pissed off.

Forget for a moment that the media refuses to release all of their available Abu Ghraib pictures, not to mention the video from today of Nicolas Berg's murder, the Daniel Pearl video, and countless others (a refusal stemming, I believe, from the cynical view that the public can not handle such graphic images), shutting down a site that would offer such pictures is just unfettered censorship. Something stinks about this.

Note: I am not arguing that the worst of these pictures should be on the front page of the paper; nor should the videos be shown in their entirety in the nightly news. I simply believe that they should be available to anyone who wants to see them. The internet is a perfect venue for such things, as any link to view or download might provide a stern warning about the nature of what is to come.

Update 5/12 1815 EST:
The site is up. Methinks I overreacrted. If you choose to go and see, let me warn you that the pictures are extreemly graphic, very upsetting and quite disturbing. Beware.

-Ben  21:26 EST | |

Did you hear the one about the glow stick?  

Monday, May 10, 2004

Want to deflower the next Ann Coulter?  

Sodomize Ken into Patriotism 

With this nifty Rumsfeld Doll.

Put the electrified nipple-clips of western moral highground onto those "insurgent" Barbie dolls with arabic features.

Hours of Fun.

God help us all.

-paul  15:34 EST | |

Metal Gear Solid: Rumsfeld 

I think I need to point out that Donald Rumsfeld bares a striking similarity to the treacherous Secretary of Defense in video game classic Metal Gear Solid. This was the best picture I could find, but in the actual game the resemblance is uncanny. Voted "Most Detestable Video Game Character" the year of the game's release, at the end of the game, the President has the Secretary arrested to cover up the president's central role in a massive conspiracy involving chicanery with illegal nuclear and biological weapons, private military contractors run amok and terrorism.

I can't resist so...

let's all hope its "game over" for rummy soon.

-paul  15:12 EST | |

Rumsfeld vs. Skeletor 

So it wasn't just a few bad apples... 

From yesterday's Baltimore Sun
...the abuses were not caused by a handful of rogue soldiers poorly supervised and lacking morals but resulted from failures that went beyond the low-ranking military police charged with abuse.

The beatings, the two soldiers said, were meted out with the full knowledge of intelligence interrogators, who let military police know which prisoners were cooperating with them and which were not.
The story is developed from interviews with some junior military intelligence officers who were assigned to do interrogations at Abu Ghraib (they speak anonymously, as they were ordered not to speak to the press about their involvement in the story). The thrust of the article is that this happened for three reasons: the soldiers were improperly trained (unsourced side note: Jeremy Sivets, the first scheduled for court-martial, enlisted as a truck mechanic), they were poorly supervised and, surprise, military intelligence asked them to. This last angle has been widely ignored in the last few weeks. As Today's Papers mentions, too, the only angle that has really been played on this thing is to place the blame squarely on the soldiers who perpetrated the abuses.

It makes sense that any wider sanctioning and knowledge of this would be kept hush hush. The US military sanctioning violation of the Geneva conventions in the name of actionable intelligence? That's no good. Not to mention that it get easier and easier draw lines toward the top once it becomes clear that this was more than just a few bad actors.

Oh well, at least the soldiers don't have to answer to the International Criminal Court.

-Ben  10:40 EST | |

Friday, May 07, 2004

In case I join the millitary and die... 

I am leaving the readers of this blog responsible for seeing that I'm buried in a Kiss koffin.

-paul  12:49 EST | |

Taking a break from studying 

"Do you really think the president of the United States is dumb?"

Bush's ignorance is so transparent that many of his intimates do not bother to dispute it even in public. Consider the testimony of several who know him well.

Richard Perle, foreign policy adviser: "The first time I met Bush 43 … two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much."

David Frum, former speechwriter: "Bush had a poor memory for facts and figures. … Fire a question at him about the specifics of his administration's policies, and he often appeared uncertain. Nobody would ever enroll him in a quiz show."

Laura Bush, spouse: "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."

Paul O'Neill, former treasury secretary: "The only way I can describe it is that, well, the President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:26 EST | |

How could Bush not have known? 

From a CNN Report:

U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners, a Pentagon official told CNN on Tuesday...The official also confirmed there are "credible reports" that there may be photographs of the alleged abuse...[and] that the Army is deeply concerned about possible problems of "poor discipline, poor leadership, and a need for re-training," in the military police community.

Nothing new, right? This was reported in JANUARY.

This week Bush "chided" Rumsfeld because Bush "had to learn from news reports this week about the scope of misconduct documented in an Army investigative report completed in March."

We now know that there were several army reports on the abuse circulating in the months before the scandal broke and "a confidential and previously undisclosed Red Cross report delivered to the Bush administration earlier this year concluded that abuse of prisoners in Iraq in custody of U.S. military intelligence was widespread and in some cases 'tantamount to torture.'" Also, the photos were supposed to air on 60 Minutes two weeks before they actually did.

How is it that the president learned of the pictures from TV? Maybe this transcript of Bush speaking on Fox News will explain it: "But I also understand that a lot of times there's opinions mixed in with news, and...And the best way to get the news is from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."

-Daddy Brooklyn  09:44 EST | |

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Wall street journal poll bodes poorly for bush (woo hoo!) 

See the summary article here:

Six in 10 American voters say the economy is heading for trouble rather than prosperity...Only 42% say they are better off than four years ago, compared with 33% who say they are worse off and 23% reporting "about the same." Pluralities of political independents, swing voters and senior citizens say they have become worse off under Mr. Bush....The Republican incumbent's approval rating slipped to 47%, the lowest of his presidency, while a 49% plurality of voters say he doesn't deserve a second term. By a 50%-to-33% margin, voters say the nation is headed in the wrong direction...Disapproval of Mr. Bush's handling of the economy, 53% to 41%, represents the weakest showing of his presidency. After months of high-profile discussion of job losses, the proportion of Americans who expect better times in the next year has fallen to 42% from 50% in January. By 51% to 40% voters say Mr. Bush's tax cuts were too large, while a 63% majority shrugs off recent stock-market gains as benefiting "only businesses and investors," not "nearly all Americans."

The political pros always says that the "right direction/wrong direction" question (however inane it sounds) is a good leading indicator for approval. We can only hope.

-Daddy Brooklyn  20:05 EST | |

Secretary Rumsfeld is a really good Secretary of Defense 

From a press conference today:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Harkins said today that for the good of the country, the safety of our troops, our image around the globe, Secretary Rumsfeld should resign. If he doesn't resign, the President should fire him. We know you weren't happy with him yesterday. Should he keep his job?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Secretary Rumsfeld is a really good Secretary of Defense. Secretary Rumsfeld has served our nation well. Secretary Rumsfeld has been the Secretary during two wars. And he is -- he's an important part of my Cabinet, and he'll stay in my Cabinet.


..."Secretary Rumsfeld has been the Secretary for almost four years. Secretary Rumsfeld is a nice man. Secretary Rumsfeld went to college. Secretary Rumsfeld points out countries on the map for me."

-Daddy Brooklyn  19:14 EST | |

The Most Important Thing I've Read About the Atrocities In Iraq 

Philip Kennicott, in the WaPo, writes:

"But these photos are us. Yes, they are the acts of individuals (though the scandal widens, as scandals almost inevitably do, and the military's own internal report calls the abuse "systemic"). But armies are made of individuals. Nations are made up of individuals. Great national crimes begin with the acts of misguided individuals; and no matter how many people are held directly accountable for these crimes, we are, collectively, responsible for what these individuals have done. We live in a democracy. Every errant smart bomb, every dead civilian, every sodomized prisoner, is ours."

-Ziggy Stardust  13:21 EST | |

A new standard of accountability in the Bush Administration? 

Rush Limbaugh's incomparable stupidity 

From Limbaugh's May 4th show:

CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men --

LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?

And from May 3rd:

LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture.

LIMBAUGH: You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:44 EST | |

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Who is running this occupation? 

This is burried in the newspapers because of all of the other stuff that's going on, but it's just baffling. They appoint a leader for Falluja's security force and then replace him three days later. Why not vet him first?

-Daddy Brooklyn  23:39 EST | |

I'm agreeing with a Republican who normally supports Bush 

From a recent George Will column:

Appearing Friday in the Rose Garden with Canada's prime minister, President Bush was answering a reporter's question about Canada's role in Iraq when suddenly he swerved into this extraneous thought:

"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."

What does such careless talk say about the mind of this administration? Note that the clearly implied antecedent of the pronoun "ours" is "Americans." So the president seemed to be saying that white is, and brown is not, the color of Americans' skin....That is one way to respond to questions about the wisdom of thinking America can transform the entire Middle East by constructing a liberal democracy in Iraq. But if any Americans want to be governed by politicians who short-circuit complex discussions by recklessly imputing racism to those who differ with them...

-Daddy Brooklyn  21:09 EST | |

Please think before you speak 

"Because we acted [in Iraq], torture chambers are closed."

-George Bush campaigning in Ohio, May 4.

-Daddy Brooklyn  21:05 EST | |

more military strangeness 

Today, I was put on hold by the Navy, and the hold music was WWII era "victory at sea" orchestral marching band stuff.

At least it wasn't "In the Navy" by the Village People.

-paul  15:10 EST | |

One Down, Two to Go... 

From the NYT story about the new Kerry ad:

"The advertisements will run on national cable television and on broadcast stations in 17 states seen by both parties as battlegrounds. They will also run in Louisiana, where Senator Mary Landrieu won re-election last year by taking aim at Mr. Bush, encouraging Democrats about the state, and Colorado, where there are some unexpectedly competitive congressional races this year. Bush campaign officials indicated Monday that they too might expand their advertising purchases to Louisiana and Colorado, and Democrats late in the day said the Bush campaign was indeed moving to go on the air in Colorado on Wednesday."

It looks like Colorado is starting to get attention...

-Ziggy Stardust  14:48 EST | |

Monday, May 03, 2004

Zionist Terrorists in Saudi Arabia? 

Crown Prince Abdullah blames Zionists for the recent attack: "It became clear for us and I say it, not 100 percent but 95 percent, that Zionists' hands are behind what is going now," the crown prince said. "Unfortunately, they deceived some of our sons. The devil made them daring and they are supports of the devil and colonialism."

Sigh.

-Daddy Brooklyn  12:55 EST | |

Creationist theme park, pt 2 {different author} 

As someone who has seen the worst american christian culture has to offer, I recall a important moment my first year of school.

I was attending Trinity International Univerisity and in its book store they sold a "WWJD" glow in the dark Yo-Yo. Why should you buy this particular Yo-Yo? It's "christian". {Bible Scholars: how much yo-yo is Jesus depicted as playing in the bible?}

Often, the people manufacturing and selling "christian" stuff are opportunists, cynically taking advantage of the spiritual insecurities of people. The quality is generally low, because you are expected [in some circles] to only buy christian music, books, etc. Glueing crosses to a ferris wheel isn't getting you into heaven, and if your kids already don't believe in evolution, seeing a 60's drawing of meteors hitting a dinosaur isn't going to make them renounce their faith.

I was recently at Disney World, and don't remember anything that even really mentioned evolution. Maybe in Epcot's huge silver ball, for 10 seconds, 'dinosaurs ruled the earth'. If I recall, the next moment in history the ride shows you is homo erectus, no monkey business. I do have to say, while riding on Disney's Darwin Indoctrination Machine, or any of their other rides, I did very little praying because I remembered reading that Disney does exhaustive maintainence and testing every night on them. I would pray much more in a christian theme park, because I would expect a deadly accident. Maybe what we need is a theme park marketed on how much you have to trust God to go inside.

The mind reels at the posibilities. Will there be people in constumes that look like angles and biblical figures like disneyland? Will you get your picture taken with some guy who looks like Jesus? Will their slogan be "The 11th Commandment is to Have FUN!"

-paul  10:48 EST | |

Sticking up for Bush (sort of) 

I've studied so much that I can no longer think straight. Bush recently said:

"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."

There has been some condemnation and head scratching over this. Josh Marshall wondered what skin color was "ours", among other things.

I don't know of any serious people who say that "brown people" can't self-govern, and of course Bush hasn't named the people who think this. But a lot of people think that a capitalist liberal secular democracy like ours can't possibly flourish in the Middle East. The capitalist part is hard when many object to the charging interest. Likewise, a liberal and secular public sphere would be hard to establish for obvious reasons. Though for Bush, any kind of rhetorical or logical nuance would be inappropriate (that's for indecisive liberal flip-floppers), so in his eyes, if your don't share his hopeful democratic vision, then you're a racist.

-Daddy Brooklyn  00:09 EST | |

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Creationist Theme Park 

This appeared in The Onion, er, um, The New York Times.

According to this woman, there's a demand for the new theme park because of the flawed science at Disneyland: "My kids kept recognizing flaws in the presentation," said Mrs. Passmore, of Jackson, Ala. "You know the whole `millions of years ago dinosaurs ruled the earth' thing."

The theory that The Grand Canyon was formed by a river is refuted with impeccable logic: "This is clearly not possible. The top of the Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet higher than where the river enters the canyon! Rivers do not flow up hill!"

I imagine this is going to be quite successful given that the owner declared he doesn't "have any tax oblgigations" and there are a ton of home-schoolers who agree with this sentiment: "We've been to museums, discovery centers, where you have to sit there and take the evolutionary stuff," Mr. Passmore said. "It feels good for them to finally hear it in a public place, something that reinforces their beliefs.

It's always good to sit in an echo chamber.

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:23 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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