Friday, June 27, 2008

Swamp Thing

The Barnacle.
Jindal: Boy, I Sure Am Disappointed With Me

Governor Jindal promises to schedule a meeting with himself express his dissatisfaction with the governor's handling of the legislature pay raise controversy. He will then apologize...
Somewhere Between "Shotgun Wedding" and "Marriage of Convenience"

Diaper Dave and Larry Wide-Stance become tag team partners in the fight to "protect" marriage.
Yellow Journalists Produce Yellow Journalism

William S. Lind:

What lies behind the decline in the quality of American reporting? Cutbacks in the size of newsrooms are part of the answer. As the electronic image replaces the printed word, newspapers are dying. To those who know that perceiving reality requires more than shadows on the cave wall, that is bad news.

Lazy reporters are another part of the answer. It is easy to print the bulletins. Reporters have always been lazy, but now their editors let them get away with it. Not too many decades ago, any reporter who single-sourced a story would have been sent back on the street to get more sources, with a richness of invective editors seldom lacked.

But the biggest reason, I suspect, is intellectual cowardice. After the defeat in Vietnam, many supporters of the war blamed the press for our failure. By printing the bad news, the press supposedly undermined popular support for the war and thereby caused our defeat. It's poppycock, of course. The Vietnam War was lost early in the game when MACV, at the demand of General William Depuy, ordered an end to efforts to control the populated coastal lowlands in favor of fighting formal battles against enemy main force units in the highlands. Those units were sent there as bait, which MACV took.

But the American press was scarred by the accusations. Now, it is afraid to be accused of "not supporting the troops" if it does anything but print the bulletins. So the American public gets the mushroom treatment, and two failed wars continue ad infinitum. When the roof falls in both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, the shock will be considerable. America's yellow press will deserve no small share of the blame.

Of course, journalists who actually do their job run the risk of getting caught in the grinder of the gossip mill, case in point Lara Logan...who, in addition to being a first class reporter, is yes, drop dead gorgeous...but that doesn't give rags like Murdoch's NY Post license to slither around publishing rumors about her private life.
In Loon He Trusts

If ignorance is bliss, then Virgil Goode must be on Cloud Nine.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oughta Be One in Every State

After all, everything he touches turns to shit.
Sad to Say, This Probably Helps Him

Living it up at Angola

And not just down here in the Gret Stet or the rest of the Deep Fried South, but throughout the country.

It's a measure of how low debate's sunk when you realize that castration, chemical or otherwise, is 'acceptable' punishment in no small part because ANY suggestion that society should perhaps refrain from sinking to such depths generates, in Wingnuttiastan, a never-ending chorus/rant alleging 'softness' on if not complicity with child rapists.

As if a life sentence at LSP/Angola is the equivalent of a tropical isle vacation.

Well, they've got "cable" tv.

And a level of barbarity that I doubt anyone who hasn't been to prison could ever fully grasp. Prison is no picnic, but trying to make that point to the 'nuts is well nigh impossible.

That attitude could change, however, if there was any REAL justice, which would certainly result in any number of Wingnuttiastan Heroes, First or Second Class, earning an extended stay at the Gray Bar Hotel.
God 'n Guns

While I personally don't own firearms and don't ever expect to own any, I tend towards Second Amendment absolutism...if for no other reason than the plain fact that Pandora's Box has long since been opened in the United States...and there are plenty enough certified gun nuts to guarantee a blood bath should anyone ever attempt to effectively regulate them.

I mean, geez--when even G. Gordon Liddy, a convicted felon, manages to get around the ban on felons owning firearms (if I remember right, because they're registered in his wife's name), it pretty much makes a mockery of regulations, however well intentioned.

No, we've already passed the point of no return...if there's any small comfort, it's that most gun owners are responsible. Otherwise, believe me, the every-day violence this society has become used to would be even worse.

Not that I think it's necessarily a win-win situation/compromise, but perhaps a different and effective tack on the gun issue would be to give the gun nuts their Second Amendment, while in return insisting that other amendments--like the First and Fourth--be enforced with equal vigor. For that matter, the Ninth Amendment isn't just for show.

Effective registration and statutes that REALLY penalize gun offenders certainly wouldn't hurt...and one thing I'd support strongly would be some sort of crackdown on wholesale arms dealing, which rarely is even a topic of debate in this country (again if I remember, the largest exporter of arms/weaponry by far)...'s not something I like, but I'll deal with it.
Exxon Suggests "Modifications" to National Symbol

Also proposes new motto: "We Pwn SCOTUS!"

For that matter, they pwn pretty much everything...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The White Man's Mustache of Understanding's Burden

Shorter Tom Friedman: You're a lesser man than I am, Gunga Din.
Is It a Freudian Slip When You're Silently Reading?

What it actually says:

What I thought I saw:

Of course, an argument COULD be made...
John McCain Is Aware of the Inter-Net


I hear he also enjoys attending exhibitions of the time-honored pastime of base-ball on his leisure.
Some Smoke With Your Mirror?

I've read this article a few times, and have looked over the methodology statement...and can only conclude that AP/Yahoo has decided to be willfully ignorant or disgustingly partisan and cynical.

The numbers simply don't add up to the headlines, nor do they reflect the actual numbers. And while I realize that AP/Yahoo stands to make greater gains in an election that's close as opposed to a blowout, this sort of article makes a mockery of any claim to credibility.

This sort of distortion is fine for the fun house, but elections are no joke.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I See Offshore Drilling, Dr. Freud

Ah, policy proposals based on psychotherapy...
Paper Werk is Hard...

I suppose this post should be illustrated with a picture of Steney Hoyer, but hey, can't a guy holler at Steny while maintaining his bonafides with the BDS crowd, too?

Anyway...legitimate, genuine concerns for civil liberties aside, I continue to wonder why nobody ON the civil liberties side of the argument makes what is to me an obvious and even easily understood point, namely, that filling out a FISA warrant is soooo easy even a wingnut could do it (even though they didn't) and, if they're TOO STUPID to fill out the one page form, do we really want them in government service? After all, even the simplest of tasks requires a minimium of competence, and, well...catching terrorists isn't the simplest of tasks.

Put the 'nuts on the spot--get right up in their face and ask them, point blank, if they're not just too goddamned dumb to be put in a position of authority. No, it's not a particularly pleasant or pretty strategy, and to be truthful, it's a little underhanded and mean (no, I don't think ALL wingnut are stupid...some are evil.) Nonetheless, it puts THEM on the defensive--and it's not like they haven't been playing a pretty ugly game themselves for quite some time.

And keep hitting the point, over and over--repetition WORKS in this instance. If they holler and whine about "the terrorists," reply that anyone too dumb to fill out a FISA warrant CAN'T BE TRUSTED to go after terrorists. If they talk about what a burden it is, point out that a one page form isn't exactly a theoretical physics final. If they get angry, note that anger is exactly what you'd expect from an idiot. If they claim it's merely a formality, then ask why it's such a goddamned burden.

For too long the whole argument about warrants in general has been slanted by a popular culture that's created the myth of a guilty crook walking because Officer Harry Callahan, man of action, was undercut by namby-pamby librul judges. Hell, FISA itself, when first enacted, ALLOWED the Callahans of this world to beat the crap out of suspects, throw them in the slammer...THEN get the warrant up to THREE DAYS later. But THAT'S still unacceptable to the Bush administration goons...and their enablers in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

What a sad statement as to our "freedoms."
Sir Bobby The-Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Lady-Queen-Bee

He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering up
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge...

They are the Lege That Says..."Ni."

Alright, now, to be slightly more serious...all things considered, this issue is almost all symbol and zero substance--my math skills are deteriorating as I age, but the increase, best as I can tell, is one quarter of one percent of a $30 billion dollar budget...additionally, thanks to--what else?--a piss-poor Bush energy "policy," the Gret Stet's Treasury should be in rather good shape, at least for a while.

That said, if Sir Bobby is feeling a little hot under the collar and not just because it's summer in Red Stick, well...I can't say I feel real sorry for him. His political party has for generations screeched long and loud over fluff like flag lapel pins and Pledge of Alliegance posture...or Bill Clinton's ahem, Johnson...

On the flip side, they've demonstrated a level of sheer savagery that's NOT so symbolic: off hand, I can think of fundamental women's rights, or Terry Schiavo, to name two examples, and an obscenely casual disregard for the mess they've made in Iraq.

So, if the wingnuts want to turn on one of their own for "violating" principles, well, let the feeding frenzy commence, and I'll wait till they're done before noting that "principle" and "wingnut" are diametrically opposed terms.

And, in the interim, I'll hum a little tune:

Later Than Usual Start Here

That is, for blogging. It's been a busier than usual morning on the work front.

See you after lunch.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Late Renaissance

A friend of mine once told me "the sky doesn't sit any lower than it does in Loosiana."

Renaissance Village in Baker (just north of Baton Rouge) one of the largest refugee camps for New Orleans flood victims, has finally closed.

One of Renaissance Village's more thought provoking projects was and is a children's art retrospective. In additiona to the online exhibit, I was fortunate to view some of the works on display at the Fair Grounds grandstand during Jazzfest.

I think one's reaction to these works speaks volumes...
Rove Takes Umbrage

Because Barack Obama would never rap. like. Karl.

Well, it's certainly beginning to smell like election season--all sorts of vermin are crawling out of the woodwork to proffer their latest defacations.

Well, you certainly can't out-stupid the just have to hope the public is tired of the bullshit.
McCain Praises "Horseless Carriage" as "Alternative" to Tally-Ho

At This Point I Wouldn't Trust Them to Properly Make a Ham Sandwich

Considering the only thing Team Bush has ever done even halfway decent is produce propaganda, this latest example of incompetence underscores just how pathetic this administration's become as they sputter and wheeze towards the finish line.

Meanwhile, idiots like John Bolton beat the war drum for an attack on Iran...what a demented idiot.

It's almost as if they're itching to avenge the summer of 1974, when, during the Final Days, Al Haig of all people took steps to ensure Nixon wouldn't go apeshit and drag the country down with him as he crashed and burned.

Geez: Al Haig and the Nixon administration as a model of restraint. THAT'S how far we've fallen.