Bush’s gophers

23 October 2009

I meant to post this a while back, but McSweeney’s’ recent list is a classic and contains the following suggestion of what Bush should do in retirement, regarding the gophers on his ranch:

When gopher holes flood, do not send help. Gophers can fend for own selves. Tell them to go to doghouse for shelter. Continue to ignore even as they signal from roof of doghouse.

Strong work, Bobby

19 September 2009

Because he knows that most of his constituency doesn’t want “them” voting, Bobby has denied ACORN state funding.  Problem is…

Officials from ACORN’s New Orleans office told WDSU Thursday evening thet the group did not receive money from Louisiana and the move would not affect its operations.

More stupid posturing from a worthless governor.  I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again, why is it that everyone thinks this guy is so brilliant?  What has he done?  Ever?

Meanwhile, nice take on ACORN by Joe Conason.

Why the Right needs to shut the fuck up

5 September 2009

…Wherein I comment on some of the outrages of the ignorant Right.

Manufactured Outrage 1:  Obama is far left.

Response:  Bullshit.  If you want to see far left, look at those of us who are so pissed that he’s so moderate.  I’ve been patient with him because I know you can’t get things done with my politics, but you fucks better take the compromises he’s offering because you’re damn lucky.  Your guy fucked up this country so bad for the last 8 years that you need to shut the fuck up and get out of the way.

MO 2:  Obama is Hitler.

Response:  What the fuck are you talking about?  You just said he was a socialist.  What the fuck kind of fascist-socialist hybrid are you imagining?  Oh, that’s right, you don’t really know what any of that shit means in the first place, you just know it’ll scare the pinheads.

MO 3:  Obama’s talking to your kids.

Response:  Now this is where you’re showing your true racist colors.  I know, I know, “It has nothing to do with race.”  Bullshit.  You just don’t want to admit it, so you inflate your objections to him and pretend that’s what really has you going.  Truth is, you don’t want that black man talking to your kids because you want them to grow up just as backward as your ignorant ass.  When W was in there, you were all, “Respect your president no matter what!  Where’s your flag pin?”  So show the man who actually won an election a little respect.  Don’t be such an obvious hypocrite.

MO 4:  Obama isn’t a real Christian.

Response:  Obama is far more Christian than your guy.  Talking about Jesus whenever it’s convenient doesn’t make you a Christian.  What would Jesus do?  He’d sure as fuck be in favor of universal health care, whatever the cost.  He’s sure as hell be in favor of spreading the wealth around.  He’d sure as hell not go around trashing gay couples in love.

MO 5:  Van Jones.

Response:  This one’s a little less severe, but shut the fuck up about this too.  Your guy doesn’t even believe in global warming, so ignore what you don’t like about the guy who’s trying to transform the economy to one that doesn’t rape the planet and destroy the land you get off on hunting on.

MO 6:  Imported beer.

Response.  Shut the fuck up.  You didn’t even know that Budweiser wasn’t American anymore, and you couldn’t find Belgium on a map.

My apologies to the dignified among us who are better at polite discourse; I’m fed up.

The outing of Dambala

31 August 2009

I’m only sorry the article didn’t include pictures of Bob Ellis and Daya Naef.  I gather everyone else knows who they are, but although I read American Zombie pretty regularly, I hadn’t followed this story because it was over my head from the beginning.  Now, thanks to them, I know who Ellis and Naef are, and not that they care, I think they suck.

A number of years ago Elizabeth Loftus, a prominent social psychologist and expert on eyewitness testimony and the malleability of memory, was sued by a woman whom she showed had been subject to false memory creation in a sexual abuse trial.  Although she had worked hard to protect their anonymity, they sacrificed their anonymity by suing her for testifying as to what the data showed.  Sometimes people cut off their nose to spite their face.  In fact, Loftus’ university didn’t back her in the shitstorm and ended up losing one if its most badass researchers.

I don’t know what the Latin phrase would be, but surely it’s a logical fallacy for one’s response to an accusation to be, “I sue you now.”  Here’s hoping this all blows over, or Dambala is vindicated.

On Canada, Camping, and Camping in Canada

16 August 2009

DSC_0042E and I just got back from a wonderful trip up North.  She attended APA in Toronto while I milled around the city and attempted to work.  Then we both spent almost a week in Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.  Got in some excellent hiking, camping, and kayaking.  Pix will be on my Flickr page soon.

It was an interesting time to be in Canada, as the whole country seems to get a bit of a kick out of our gnashing over health care reform.  Lots of people asked about the city, and they were almost uniformly more informed about our status than people in other parts of the US.  And because it was only the 2nd time I’d been there, I now feel equipped to judge the entire country on my limited experience.  So herewith, some overgeneralizations about Canadians:

DSC_0171First, meet Tom.  Tom runs Doc’s Gas Bar, which I hoped meant Gas & Bar, but didn’t.  It’s the typical rural supply store where in the States you’d find rebel flag hats and lots of cellophane-wrapped “nougat” products for sale.  We came there to buy firewood and ice, and a couple of citronella candles.  On our first stop, Tom was very friendly and asked us where we were from and eventually asked us how we felt about “this guy behind me,” which was the first time I noticed that he had a big Obama poster behind the counter.  I told him that I was pretty thrilled and that it sure as hell was a step up from his predecessor, but then it dawned on me how weird it was that in this otherwise redneck-looking outpost, the man wouldn’t just be a closet Obama sympathizer, but would actually advertise it.  Not even his president (or maybe that’s why it’s safer).  Anyway, here’s E and me with Tom.  As he put it, “White men screwed it all up, and it’ll take a black man to fix it.”

Here are some other thoughts on the trip:

  • In American parks, if you’re willing to hike about 1/4 mile on a trail, you don’t see anyone else; no so in Canada.  People really get out there.
  • Sea kayaking is a lot of fun as long as you’re not in a hurry.
  • I was amazed at how little wildlife we saw.  The parks were pristine, but at night you wouldn’t hear as much as a cricket or frog, and our fauna tally amounted basically to some frogs, lots of squirrels, a couple rabbits, 2 water snakes, and a couple chipmunks.  Kinda disappointing.
  • It’s pretty hard to get decent bourbon in Canada.
  • Stone Orchid Indonesian restaurant in Tobermory is phenomenal and set us up with a full 7-course vegetarian feast on our anniversary (14 yrs, btw).
  • If at all possible, avoid driving on Toronto highways or downtown.
  • If someone offers you an Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, do not accept.  It’s no IPA at all; virtually no hops.
  • On the other hand, the Mill Street Brewery makes a number of very fine beers.
  • I’m really glad we’ve given up backpacking in favor of base-camp-day-hiking.
  • Even though Canadians seem to use their parks more, they’re fairly loud (and yes, I know it was the Canadians by the accent, and yes, I know I’m generalizing, but I cautioned about that).  I mean jeez, people are sleeping in a tent 20 feet from you and you’re going to stay up talking at full volume?  And all parks should ban recorded music at all times.
  • The Harry Potter book recordings make for excellent road-trip listening.
  • My wife is amazingly tolerant.

DSC_0137Great trip, and now work resumes.  Counting my blessings to have the opportunity to travel and relax.  I sure sleep better in that tent.

Obama’s “evil” health plan

8 August 2009

After reading this, I’m starting to think that we should only support a health care plan that DOES force suicide.  I have a list of initial candidates, if anyone’s interested.

The party of quitters

7 August 2009

First Palin and now Martinez (but not Vitter?).

At least once a week I get a batshit crazy email from my dad about the differences between Republicans and Democrats, or about Obama’s conspiracy to kill you or whatever.  Many times, these focus on the industriousness and initiative of conservatives and the laziness and complacency of liberals, you know, always wanting everything handed to them.

Once I responded that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would appreciate their clever use of technology they developed to spread such crap, but now maybe they’ll see the folly in such characterizations.  Their people quit when the job’s not done, and they don’t quit when they’ve violated everything they claim to stand for.

But, for better or worse, liberals seem to have better things to do with their time than fabricate and distribute mass garbage emails.

The racists vs. Obama

29 July 2009

I’m no Freudian, but I think Joan Walsh is probably right that there’s a good deal of projection going on as the racist right wing pundits try to label Obama a racist.  I’d chalked it up to white privilege and crying foul that their monopoly on power is gone, but I was being a little too simplistic.

Watch for yourself, but don’t sue me if you destroy your computer afterward:

Who’s fanning the flames, guys?  Oh, that’s right, the guy who doesn’t know his place…


More on Sotomayor: Has it always been this way?

29 May 2009

Probably so, but I don’t like it.  Here’s FoxNews’s headline:

Republicans divided over how to oppose Sotomayor

I know it’s Fox, but I’ve seen the same thing all over the place.  What irks me is that there’s no sense coming from Republicans that they’ll try to determine whether she deserves the post, but just strategies about how to shoot her down and arguments about how she sucks.

Maybe these nominations are always this way and I’m just used to being on the other side for 8 years (was that only 8?), but it seems to just be assumed that the examination of her record is just a way to find evidence against her, rather than a fair evaluation.

Meanwhile, Adam Serwer nails the arguments on the Ricci (firefighter) case you’ve heard about.

Why we need Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

27 May 2009


Updated Below…

In case you can’t see in the pix, the New Yorker conveniently points out that the current SCOTUS is on the “far right.”  Now, Sotomayor is not as left as I’d like her to be, but don’t buy all this crap the right is giving you on her “radical” views.  The current justices are way right of Nixon, and it’s about damn time we got a little rationality.  I don’t know when I’ve ever seen this much premeditated political BS over a nominee.

GBitch provides a good link to this article, and there’s a lot to see here.  My main beef is that these folks don’t seem to see the White Privilege from which they’ve received great benefit.  Roberts says that affirmative action mandates the “recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.”  Wrong, fucker, wrong.  AA requires that we give people a look who aren’t on the inside track, who weren’t the privileged sons of rich folks who got them in the door of the CEO’s office.  Here’s what Roberts believes:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

Easy for him to say.  He doesn’t see that the simplicity of his argument belies the depths of the racism that much of the American public (including people who’ll probably comment in response to this post, because they’re the usually the only people who comment on my posts) feel.  Everyone would be fine with stopping discrimination, but the privileged classes have screwed things up so bad, we need to fix some things.  And affirmative action provides a positive approach to this goal.  It’s not a quota, and it doesn’t require employing unqualified people.  As soon as you suggest it does, you insult the phenomenal qualifications of Sotomayor.

Here’s another telling quote from the New Yorker article:

It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.

Yeah, sounds good, but guess what, your people have been doing it for many, many generations, so you don’t get to decide that the time for divvying is over now.  You’re out of touch, and I’d call your ignorance judicial activism.

Last point:  This claim of judicial activism is as spurious as the claim of “pork” in the legislature.  Pretty damned subjective.  Anybody who’s a judge and doesn’t fall in my line of thinking is an activist to me, and anyone who disagrees with Sotomayor’s views will see her as an activist.  Damn straight, a Latina from a poor family will see the world, and the law, differently from those of us who have not felt the sting of dismissal.  No shame in that.  The white men haven’t exactly had a monopoly on wisdom, God knows.

Sonia Sotomayor is quaified to be a Supreme Court Justice, no matter what her “story” is, and those who lob their condescending opposition her way are just the desperate, privileged few who fear a little social justice heading their way.  Maybe the chickens really are coming home to roost.

UPDATE:  Jim Morin says it better than I ever could: