Monday, August 29, 2005

Did You See Him? He's Probably Still Scratching His Head

Steven R. Weisman has an analysis of the Constitutional situation in Iraq in today's NY Times. It's not that it's necessarily a bad analysis or anything. But it's got one sentence which shows, more than anything, the disconnect, not only between the Bush administration and reality, but the media's perceptions and reality.
It was not long ago that the administration was loath to be seen as interfering in internal Iraqi politics.
I'd say invading a country under false pretenses, trashing its infrastructure and then handing over the rebuilding contracts to American companies under a no-bid process rather than letting locals have a chance, building fourteen permanent military bases, forcing clans which have warred for decades to try and make nice without addressing any of their grievances, and ramming a hand-picked government down their throats all count as interfering. But, then, I'm not a professional news analyst.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Think We've Hit A Critical Desalinization Point

If you are in Louisiana, GET THE FUCK OUT NOW.

Here's information about blood donations, and another blood donation site if the Red Cross does not serve your area, and Red Cross updates (and cash donation options).

If you are still in the greater New Orleans area, and you have the option, PLEASE LEAVE NOW.

I'm Erect. Why Aren't You Erect?

A victory for the forces of lechery and turpitude:
A new state law banning seminude lap dances at Missouri strip clubs was declared unconstitutional by a judge Friday, two days before it was to go into effect.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan said provisions of the law violate First Amendment protections and state constitutional limits on amending a bill beyond its original purpose.

"The state may not limit persons of majority age from engaging in lawful expressive conduct protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution without a substantial and direct connection to adverse secondary effects, a showing that has not been made," Callahan said in the declaratory judgment.

Under the law, signed in July by Gov. Matt Blunt, seminude lap dances would have been banned and dancers would have had to stay at least 10 feet from each other. Customers would have faced misdemeanor charges for tucking money into a dancers' G-strings, and the minimum age for dancers and customers would have risen from 19 to 21.


The attorney general's office said it was reviewing the judge's decision and didn't yet know what actions it might take.

Hey, I've got an action you might take. How about not fucking worrying about people's sex lives?

The big difference between the very religious -- no, scratch that, the very moralistic -- and those who aren't is that those of us who aren't don't spend every waking hour worried about what the hell other consenting adults are doing and how it offends their weak, oversensitive Gawd.

This spills over into everything having to do with sex, sexuality, and childbirth: women's rights, the abortion debate, contraception, stem-cell research, explicit scenes in video games, the flash of a breast on national TV, "dirty words". And, bluntly, all this noise, all this time, all this money, all this anguish and angst and recrimination and in many cases hatred spent on such topics gets in the way of doing actual, y'know, good.

Let me spell it out more concretely. Because their God wants all children born, moral people would force women to bear every child conceived. It doesn't matter if the child has potentially life-threatening birth defects, if the mother can't afford it, if it would disrupt her career, if she is carrying the child of her rapist... all that matters is the actual birth. After that, the moral people couldn't give a shit what happens to the kid.

Because their God tells them that every embryo is a full human life, moral people would block embryonic stem-cell research with the potential to help millions of people with all manner of medical problems. And we're talking about embryos that would otherwise be thrown away. Nope, nope, nope -- Baby Jesus weeps for them all.

Because their God tells them that anything mentioning sex in any way besides as something sinful, moral people believe all forms of contraception, aside from abstinence, are bad. Unfortunately, humanity has a pretty intense sex drive hotwired in. This means that people, especially young people who don't know better, have sex without knowledge or protection. This means more children are born, more diseases are sexually transmitted, more young lives are derailed by the bearing and raising of children they are not emotionally, intellectually, or financially ready for.

In this particular case, because God tells them that sex and sexuality are wrong, moral people would outlaw lap dancing. I'm sure they'd say it's directly connected with prostitution; perhaps it even is.

Big Yip. That's another discussion for another day, but, briefly, I haven't got much of a problem with prostitution, either, at least not conceptually. The reality of it, i.e., pimps, STDs, and the emotional harm it can inflict on families, are pretty awful; but the concept of someone being paid to provide a service, in this case physical pleasure, is practically the backbone of our economy these days.

How much is the state of Missouri spending on pursuit of this, that they aren't spending on crime prevention?

If there is a God with a massive Hell waiting for all sinners after they die, and He's really all that concerned about lap dances, then let Him take care of it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Our Rules Supercede Those Of The Outside World

Example #43,819,591,706 that the Corporate Media is not your friend:
A patriotic camp with a "God Bless Our President!" banner sprung up downtown Saturday, countering the anti-war demonstration started by a fallen soldier's mother two weeks ago near President Bush's ranch.

The camp is named "Fort Qualls," in memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Wayne Qualls, 20, who died in Iraq last fall.

"If I have to sacrifice my whole family for the sake of our country and world, other countries that want freedom, I'll do that," said the soldier's father, Gary Qualls, a friend of the local business owner who started the pro-Bush camp. He said his 16-year-old son now wants to enlist, and he supports that decision.

Qualls' frustration with the anti-war demonstrators erupted last week when he removed a cross bearing his son's name that was among hundreds the group had put up along the road to Bush's ranch.

Qualls called the protesters' views disrespectful to soldiers, and said he had to yank out two more crosses after protesters kept replacing them.

Now, I am sorry for this man's loss. On a factual level, I don't agree with him. On a personal level, I think he's a fathead. I have no idea how questioning why our kids have died for a war we were lied into, or putting up a cross to commemorate a dead soldier, is disrespectful. But, honestly, Mr. Qualls has every right to hold his own pro-Bush protest. I don't agree with him, but that doesn't matter; so far, this is still America. And that, actually, is not what I wanted to post about.

I'm posting about the complicity of the Corporate Media in the Administration's propaganda campaign.

In the very first sentence of the story, with the first three words, Cindy Sheehan and those who protest with her are painted as unpatriotic.

There's really no way to avoid that implication. If those supporting the President are in "a patriotic camp", then Sheehan's Camp Casey is unpatriotic. 1+1=2, y'know?

The Right has been savagely smearing Cindy Sheehan for the past week. Coulter, Horowitz, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, all the big guns. They have been slandering this woman for wanting the President to give her a straight answer as to the cause her son died for. Because we still don't know, and we don't know how long we're going to be there, although the Army is planning for at least four more years.

The members of the Corporate Media do not care about America. They don't care about anything except being the toadies of those holding onto power. Like the sidekicks of bullies, they will take their small, petty, cheap shots wherever they can, and claim them as victories before their targets even look around to see what exactly hit them.

It is now unpatriotic for a mother to question why her son had to die. Think about that.

(The original story has changed. The first link in this post has been updated to access the original through Google Cache.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

When It Comes To Consoling... I'm About As Expert As A Palsy Patient Performing Brain Surgery With A Pipe Wrench

Every few weeks or so, I wonder if I've let my loathing of the Bush administration become too personal. I try to tell myself that maybe, just maybe, it is possible to hate the policies and not hate the people who implement them, and the monkey king who leads them.

Y'know, I think I've gotten past that.

There's no question anymore: I truly, personally hate George W. Bush. The loathing is necessary. It's as natural as breathing.

Why not, when, in the middle of a fawning, worshipful puff piece in the Dayton Daily News, Chimpy says something like this:

Bush finds time to exercise about six times a week. It's built into the schedule for a president who believes he is at his best when he takes time to work out.

Saturday's ride came as anti-war protesters, rallying behind Cindy Sheehan, a California mom whose son Casey died in Iraq, gathered on a road near the Bush ranch. Bush has steadfastly refused Sheehan's request to meet with her.

"Whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job," Bush said of bike-riding while a grieving mom was pleading to talk with him. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

Isn't that special? He thinks it's important to go on with his life. Pity Casey Sheehan can't. And Cindy's sure having trouble with the concept right now.

A uniter, not a divider. A "compassionate conservative", whatever the hell that is. A moral man who invokes Jesus as his favorite philosopher. What a load. What a crock. George W. Bush is a man who sends other people's kids to their deaths, and then he moves on with his life.

What's not to loathe?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'd Better Not Stand Too Close To You -- People Might Think I'm Part Of The Band! I'm Joking, Of Course

How does the Pentagon want to mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks? How 'bout a rock concert:

Q: What is the America Supports You Freedom Walk?
R: The America Supports You Freedom Walk is an event on September 11 that allows citizens the opportunity to remember the victims of September 11, honor our veterans past and present, and celebrate our freedom.

Q: When is the ASY Freedom Walk being held?
R: The Freedom Walk is being held on September 11, 2005, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Pentagon South parking lot.

Q: What is the ASY Freedom Walk route?
R: The America Supports You Freedom Walk begins near the Pentagon crash site, crossing Arlington National Cemetery, passing several National memorials, and concluding adjacent to the National Mall and Reflecting Pool with an America Supports You concert by country superstar singer and songwriter Clint Black....


Q: Why is DoD organizing this event?
R: Since September 11, 2001, the Pentagon has provided citizens with opportunities to commemorate September 11 in meaningful ways. The America Supports You Freedom Walk is the fourth September 11 commemorative activity sponsored by the DoD. The goal for the 5th anniversary in 2006 is for each state to host a Freedom Walk in order to provide an opportunity for as many citizens as possible to reflect on the importance of freedom.

Thank God. Without this important event, I'm sure we all would've completely forgotten 9/11. 'Cause, y'know, the media wouldn't have mentioned it or anything. And I'm sure Dubya would've maintained his usual dignified silence.

And how good of the Pentagon to "provide... citizens with opportunities to commemorate September 11 in meaningful ways". See? If we had remembered 9/11, we'd'a been stumped as to how to remember 9/11.

And I'm especially sure Dubya's tanking ratings and the abject failure of pretty much everything in Iraq have nothing to do with the timing of this exploitative bullsh- er, spontaneous celebration of American freedom.

Still, I feel for Dubya. He needs a distraction of some sort. Oh, not for him -- for America away from him. Hmmm. Lemme think.

Dammit, aren't there any white women in the news?

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