Monday, April 30, 2007

Rules for the National Day of Prayer*

Just heard a guy call up Alan Colmes' radio program to say, "Thursday is the National Day of Prayer and I'm going to spend all day praying that you become a born-again Christian."

I didn't hear Colmes' answer because I was too busy saying, "Ah'm uh Krishchun'n yer not, yardy yhar yhar" right before I got out of the car. My initial intelligent thought as I flip-flopped through the grocery store was, "Just tell such assholes to go ahead and pray for whatever the hell they want, it's not going to happen anyway. Besides, if he's spending the whole day on his knees making impossible wishes, at least that will be one less day he's out making complete strangers miserable."

Here are rules I pray people will follow to make it a much more pleasant National Day of Prayer for those, like me, who are insufficiently religious:

1. Don't tell anyone you're praying for them. If you tell them, the miracle won't be a surprise.

2. Don't rub the magic God lamp. Unless you do think God is a genie, in which case pray for more prayers.

3. Don't use prayer as a weapon. I'm not just talking about the appeals for vengeance on one's enemies. Telling someone you're praying that they become a better person is the same as telling someone they're a crappy person. Sanctimonious and rude.

4. Don't let anyone see you praying. Something about hypocrites and street corners.

5. Pray for something useful and constructive, like reducing poverty and illness or for peace, love and understanding.

6. Better yet, don't pray at all. Go out and do something useful and constructive, like reducing poverty and illness or creating peace, love and understanding by not lording your immaculate invocations over the beatifically bereft.

And that's about it. If you do those things, not only will you be a truly punctilious pontificant, you will cease to be a prick, punctilious or otherwise.

Finally, just a piece of advice for those who get told "I'm praying for you," even if it is a presumption. Smile graciously and say "Thank you." With those two words you will have done far more to advance good will and world peace than a million smug supplicators could with a million pseudo-sanctified exhortations.

*Warning: Excessive use of thesaurus. Maybe this should have been at the top of the page.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Diary of Jane

I heard this Breaking Benjamin song on the radio the other day.

Didn't anyone notice during the extensive songwriting and producing and promotion process that over and over again it sounds like he's saying "diarrhea?"

It seems many other people noticed it, including the guy who wrote this parody, "Diarrhea Pain."

It hasn't made it onto The Archive of Misheard Lyrics, but I'm sure it will soon.

(I find it very interesting that many people have gotten the lyrics to Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner" wrong in the exact same way, including my husband.)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

MST3K Returns

Way to get around copyright laws and having to pay big bucks for the rights, guys!

Now all I need is some sort of device which begins with an i.

Here are some more samples, and a little something for people itching to see more Chad Vader before episode 8 comes out.

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Starfest 2008 Pics

It's better than the Sarlacc, but not by much




















Ben's favorite Bounty Hunter























The actual car from Mad Max















I doubt this is the real Robby the Robot, as there were two of them

























And the Ghostbusters car, which I think I saw in Fort Collins a few months ago














And that's all the pics I got because both sets of batteries wore out.

My fun was a little cramped by having Ben and then both boys in the later afternoon (we did two crafts projects and bought lots of Star Wars action figures), but much laughter was had.

The Toughest SF Dude challenge was pretty funny, with four panelists defending the toughness of their chosen SF characters. Raphael the TMNT was represented for a while, and I never did see Kara "Starbuck" Thrace or Col./Gen. Jack O'Neill get unseated.

And the beginning of the Klingon Warrior Tournament was hilarious (I had to take the boys out during the fighting as they got bored). The first round was insults. One contestant in particular stood out. The really weird thing, however, was that he was sitting right in front of me making frequent comments that only the surrounding people could hear. I didn't find those comments very amusing, and it didn't seem anyone else really reacted to them, either. But when he would raise his voice so the entire room could hear, suddenly they were uproariously funny. And his insults really were top-notch, quick-witted and responsive to his opponent.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Letter to Sen. Salazar RE: Iraq Funding

Dear Senator Salazar,

I am writing to thank you for your yea vote in H.R. 1591, requiring the President to set a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, and for sending the letter to the President requesting that he implement the Baker-Hamilton Report which also calls for timelines.

The President will veto this bill, but I urge you to stand firm in your insistence that he comply.
It is obvious that our President believes that ever leaving Iraq except under the perfect scenario he has in his mind is equal to losing the war. And he believes that the course we are currently on is working just fine. That means that, unless he is forced to change, we will continue doing what we've been doing, the Iraqis will never attain the ideal state, and we will never leave Iraq. The non-productive waste of resources and the cost in lives will continue as long as President Bush is in office.

There is only one check on his authority, and that is held by you in the form of funding.
In your letter, you said, "I do not believe that we can or should cut funding for our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan while we anticipate that our troops will be in harm’s way," which I take to mean that you may give in to the President and give him the blank check with no strings attached that he's asked for. That simply means more of the same, which will harm our troops far more than defunding the Iraq War.

Defunding simply means the President will have to withdraw the troops much sooner than either H.R. 1591 or the Baker-Hamilton Report call for. The troops will not be kept in harm's way with no funding. Do not fall for the President's false rhetoric.

Stand firm for the troops and force the President to take responsible actions that will lead to the safe withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.

Sincerely,
Julie O.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Lovely Lady Lumps

I have noticed that it is often better to not understand the lyrics to many songs.

My Humps is one of them.

But this video version makes the song quite enjoyable. So enjoy.

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Seung-Hui Sends Videos, Pics to NBC

We now know what Seung-Hui was doing in the interval between shootings; he was preparing and sending sickening pictures and videos to NBC.

Much speculation has followed the use of the phrase "Ismail Ax" scrawled on Cho Seung-Hui's arm.

On the Express Mail package to NBC
Cho’s name was not on the package; instead, the return address said it came from “A Ishmael.” Investigators said Cho’s body was found Monday with the words
“Ismael Ax” scrawled on his arm.

Ismael. He left off the "h," which isn't surprising considering how apparently insane and illiterate he was.

This incident is awful and frightening enough without wild speculation searching desperately for a tie to foreign terrorism. There is no fucking link to al Qaeda, Saddam, bin Laden, radical Islam or whatever boogeyman rightwingtards think they can use to terrify the populace into submission to their totalitarian schemes for dominance.

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IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!

Sorry, did I scream that?

Sanjaya got voted off American Idol.

Sanity is returning to all facets of life. Imagine how loud I'll be shouting when our Bushit Adminstration gets voted off.

And imprisoned.

25 to life.

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Kucinich to Introduce Articles of Impeachment

The Sleuth at Washington Post says Dennis Kucinich has submitted a letter to the Democratic House that he intends to introduce articles of Impeachment on Vice President Cheney.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Would You Do, Hot Shot?!

If someone were firing a .22 at John Derbyshire he wouldn't even be able to count the number of turds piling up in his drawers.

From the fingers of our hero, bravely typing away in dramatic slow motion, on what to do when confronted with a maniacal killer with two guns:


... count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands.

Now that's a strategy for victory. I think we found our War Czar!

What our children really need are classes called "What Would You Do, Hot Shot" in which various deadly scenarios are proposed and acted out so that our citizens will be prepared in the event of a crisis. Here're some thought exercizes:



You pull your gun, of course, shoot the guy and you're a HERO! Yay

Second scenario: There you are when you hear gunshots. You pull your gun and turn to look for a target. Wait! There are two guys with guns and they seem to be shooting at each other! Whom do you shoot?

Third scenario: You turn, gun in hand, looking for a target and there are five people, men, women, black, white, hispanic, all shooting at or towards each other. It's a fire fight! Whom do you shoot?

Fourth scenario: Some other guy is drawing a bead on some guy with a gun and that guy happens to be YOU because he doesn't know who the bad guy is either. Who gets shot?


Who, hot shot!?

The obvious answer is to shoot everybody in the leg, like Arnold Schwarzenegger did in T-2. Watch out, Glenn, you've got some competition.



(h/t Big Ink)

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Wheee! Islamic Connection Found!

The Virginia Tech shooter, a South Korean who'd been with his parents in the U.S. legally since 1992 (since he was 8-years-old), had the words "Ismail Ax" written on his arm in red ink. Ismail, of course, is the Muslim form of Ishmael, the "other" son of Abraham, the one who founded Islam.

According to this Daily Musings post,
AX refers to the Muslim belief that Abraham was to kill Ishmael as an act of obedience and faith using an AXE.

...

There is also a Muslim belief that Abraham attacked idols around him with an AXE. This could relate to the axe potentially used to kill Ishmael.

Thus, this phrase, "Email Ax", seems undeniably related to carrying out an act of judgment in the Muslim context. The two words together suggest both sacrifice and judgment, which seems to go along with the strange note he left behind.
I tend to think the phrase "Email Ax" refers to both sacrifice and judgment relating to the 5 million missing RNC emails, thus making 31 murdered people Karl Rove's fault. Either that or it's a typo. Or an Islamic conspiracy to downplay the Islamic conspiracy.

The Daily Musings post is titled "Does 'Ismail Ax' Suggest Korean Student Was A Secret Muslim Terrorist?" with a reminder that Cho Seung-Hui was "not an American, but here on a visa." A foreigner on a student Visa! Obvious terrorist sleeper cell.

Daily Musings also notes that "Finding his connection to Islam, and radical Islam will be the next mystery." Indeed. Especially since he'd been living in the U.S. since he was eight. And not on a student Visa. He had a green card since, you know, he had been living here legally since he was eight.

And that is some genius terrorist sleeper cell plot, recruiting an 8-year-old South Korean kid. Like No Way Out genius, if Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell had grown up to be a socially inept loner who self-destructed in an insane downward spiral writing over-the-top violent pre-teen angst for his college assignments instead of infiltrating the Pentagon as a Navy officer. But then, America's neglect of the mentally ill is well known. [h/t Marita, Sadly, No! commenter, for play link]

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Monday, April 16, 2007

VA Tech New Conference Liveblogging

The story.

2:43 - President Steger - A few minutes ago he spoke to President Bush who offered support and help. Spoke to Governor Kaine.

At a loss for words. What we know. Now 31 deaths confirmed, including gunman. 15 other victims being treated. 2 more in addition to 31 at Norris Hall. Gunman had no ID.

In process of id'ing victims and notifying kin. No names will be released, but possible list tomorrow.

Investigating whether connection between two separate shootings.

Resources taxed, receiving assistance from FBI, Red Cross and others.

Posting info on website vsp.virginia.gov

2:47 - questions for police and President Steger

Classes not cancelled and students not notified because thousands of students were already in transit. Had reason to think shooter was done and had left.

Had info from witnesses and evidence that lead authorities to believe shooter off campus and leaving jurisdiction.

Do not know if shooter was a student.

One person in Norris Hall who was shooter is dead.

Not looking for anyone else currently.

How can campuses prepare for such situations? It's difficult because of open society and open campus. Best for people to report suspicious activity, but can't have armed guards at every entrance. You can only make decisions based on what you know at any given time.

Bomb threats, looking into connection.

Gunman took his own life.

Officers first responded and found 2 people shot, began investigation when second incident started. People shot in dormitory room.

Another shooting in apartment off-campus, officers not aware.

No shoot-out between officers and gunman.

How characterize shootings? [ed: blegh!]

President Steger interjects: About closing campus, when first shooting took place, building was closed immediately.

Preliminary reports, doors were chained.

No on in custody at this time.

No one arrested after first shooting.

First scene, what thinking was? Acting on info they had, secured crime scene and building, believed it was secure and person had left. Following up leads and looking for person of interest.

Stupid questions. Did someone try to tackle the gunman?

No reports between two shootings.

There is # for families.

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Drive

When I see more than one actor from a Joss Whedon project in a show or movie I figure there has to be some sort of connection behind the camera. There's Nathan Fillion in the lead role, Amy Acker as his missing wife, and Richard Brooks of the Firefly episode Objects in Space.

I thought I recognized the name in the Executive Producer slot. Tim Minear also worked on Firefly and Angel. In fact, he wrote two of my favorite Firefly episodes, The Message and Out of Gas.

Despite that, I am completely unbiased when I say I enjoyed Drive. Like Prison Break, I wonder how they're going to stretch it out more than one season, since you'd think the finish line would be the end of it. And the good news is I didn't love it as much as Firefly, so it has a chance of having more than one season (so many shows I like have very short runs: most recently, Arrested Development, Knights of Prosperty, Studio 60). I swear I think my viewing habits are being monitored and specifically thwarted. Yes, that's paranoid. Doesn't mean it's not true.

And Drive has got some problems. Come on, at least try to keep the California foothills out of the South Florida scenes; there is ocean on both the East coast of Florida and the West coast of California, use the ocean as background scenery. Some of the foreshadowing seems a might obvious. And who knew getting in to Cape Canaveral during a shuttle launch would be so easy and uncrowded? Hell, Paynes Prairie, 150 miles away, was more crowded when we watched John Glenn's' launch in 1998.

But those are minor things which, actually, make the show a little more fun for us. We like using our well-traveled and varied knowledge to pick out such goofs. We also like playing along. The racers get clues about their next checkpoints, and Pither pretty easily figured out the first two. Did I ever mention how awesome Pither is at geography, history, and general trivia? He made it through a first round of a Jeopardy! tryout, but we think his immense height and stunning good looks intimidated Alex Trebek, so he didn't get chosen for the show.

Really, Drive is almost like Amazing Race on amphetamines, where the annoying contestants (I'm looking at you, Mirna) might actually get killed.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I Represent No One

In fact, I'm more marginal and non-representative than Malik Shabazz of the Black Panther Party.

And I take a stance on some controversial stuff.

So how come The O'Reilly Factor doesn't invite me on to engage in childish repartee?

Via Firedoglake


Warning: playing the video in the linked blog post has been shown to kill the human brain. I only watched half of it and I almost couldn't spell Pink Blank Balck Black Pather Panter Panther.

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Gardening

I haven't had a garden in years; the last time was in California with its super easy year-round growing conditions. Now we've bought a house in short-growing season Colorado with a horrendous (but large) backyard that was neglected for about a year and is basically a blank slate.

It would be great if we had the money to hire landscape designers and workers to instantly build our perfect dream yard, but we'll be doing most of the designing and work ourselves, and it's going to take years, part of an evolving, organic, as it were, process.

I'm so excited.

Here's what we have to work with:











The seedlings will soon find a seasonally permanent home outside:











It's a good thing I have the patience to grow things from seed. I only have to feed, clothe, entertain and educate these two for less than two decades. Meanwhile, crack that whip:

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Daily Dose of Funny

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

Enjoy.


(Psst ... click on the picture)

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Pointless waste of time

There is so much to be said about Don Imus yet his irrelevance is only rivaled by Anna Nicole Smith. However, a very small sidebar in the RMN stirred my derision for professional protesters and the perpetually outraged. At least research your targets before you begin your picket of idiocy. Don Imus had a simulcast of his radio show on MSNBC. KUSA is an NBC affiliate but not owned by NBC. MSNBC is no way involved with KUSA and KUSA management has no perview whatsoever, even nominally, over MSNBC. Perhaps the Alvertis Simmons tried to find where Comcast relays MSNBC to its Denver-area customers but the confusion began clouding their indignant outrage. Tip: Imus worked for CBS radio and KCNC (Channel 4) is owned and operated by CBS. Of course, Imus has been fired so protesting Channel 4 would be a pointless waste of time. Then again, pointless wastes of time are the melieu of Alvertis Simmons.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Emails Gone!

It is entirely possible that the douchebags who were doing White House business for the Worst. Administration. Evar. on unsecured servers lost track of hundreds of emails.

But they're not gone. They may not know where exactly they are (I'm a clever mom, I don't fall for technical semantics; it may be technically accurate to say "we don't know where they are," since they can't find the file, but I'm sure someone knows how they disappeared), but they are somewhere that an IT guy or hacker can find. Hit the delete button all you want, they're somewhere.

And this is just asking for a hacker to break into the RNC's unsecured servers to search for official White House emails, which is yet another proof of this Administration's incompetence and corruption, potentially compromising security to get around the law to serve their political purposes.

This may be a nice stalling tactic, but it will ultimately not work.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Last Mimzy

**Spoiler**



My favorite part was when the Regional Director for Homeland Security, after bursting into the house S.W.A.T.-style, arresting the whole family (saying, "I don't need a warrant, I've got probable cause under the Patriot Act") and discovering children with strange technology that blacked out half of Washington state who then escaped to build a bridge to the future which sucked a stuffed animal with Intel Inside into the sky right in front of his eyes, shrugged and said [paraphrasing]"That was weird. You folks need anything? No? Okay, we are out of here."

Then the Homeland Security helicopter takes off never to disturb the family again.

No renditioning. No stress positions. No sleep deprivation. No waterboarding.

Fantasy indeed.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

I Do Not Recognize Your Authoritah

Just as soon as similar guidelines are suggested for radio, television and print commentators, pundits, columnists and even editors and journalists, I'll consider it.

For instance, "pledge to get a second source for any gossip or breaking news they write about."

That would be great.

via WTF Is It Now?

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Chad Vader

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5: Holiday Special

Episode 6

Episode 7

Hopefully Episode 8 will be out soon.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Leeroy Jenkins!

Something tells me he'd make a great U.S. Attorney.

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Embrace the Good News

John Markman always looks on the bright side of life, asking himself, "how can I make lemonade from this gigantic steaming pile of dung?"

He has a reason to appreciate the massive, conspicuous overconsumption that is leading this planet to the brink of disaster on several fronts. The emergence and spending of more and more mega-millionaires and billionaires around the world has led to fewer and more shallow recessions. That's because
According to research by Ajay Kapur, an analyst at Citigroup, the wealthiest 1 million people in the world account for as much spending as 60 million other households.

This is useful to know at a time of fears that a decline in U.S. home prices could sink the U.S. economy, for it only takes one new free-spending Mumbai or Moscow zillionaire to make up for tens of thousands of faltering Americans missing their mortgage payments.
Isn't that comforting?

Economically, we don't need to adjust to accomodate inflation or bad business practices so the "little guy" doesn't get crushed. Crush away, because just one zillionaire in Mumbai will cover the loss of thousands of little guys. And it's not like anyone's getting sent to debtor's prison. You get to rent your own crappy overpriced apartment while you work past your retirement until you die.

Ecologically, there's no need to worry about squandered resources spent on private jets, yachts and huge friggin' cars; the pollutants caused by maximizing profits through lax regulation; the suppressed innovation of cleaner technologies that would infringe on already established dirty industries. If the wealthy can't bail us out of Global Warming by purchasing a new atmosphere, at least they can build space stations and domed cities to protect themselves and horde resources. And there are so many plutocrats now, the gene pool will be deep enough that they won't have to include any of those inferior people who couldn't bother themselves to behave like locusts and consume everything in their path and yet demand equal rights and representation. The human race will survive, albeit in black and white jumpsuits and mini togas.

The only trouble are those pesky, messy, disruptive resource wars that are and will continue to be fought. Of course there are always plenty of little guys with missed mortgage payments for cannon fodder who are made up for by a couple of Moscow gas magnates. And even for the losers, the wars are still profitable.

So, as John Markman says,
Rather than being resentful of the superrich, perhaps we should all be grateful. The next time you run into a superrich guy at your local Bentley dealer, give him a hug.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Wheels on the Bus are Coming Off, Coming Off ...

Everybody sing.

Cliff May. Peter Boyles. John McCain. Matt Drudge.

Now Rush Limbaugh and Orrin Hatch. (Little Thom's Blog via Eschaton)

I know these people (and more) have been telling lies for a long time. It just seems there are so many of them piling up recently, there's a sweaty stink of desperation from it all.

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The Dangers of Direct Democracy Illustrated

Oy vey.

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Oh, Rocky Watch, Where Are You?

In today's RMN:

Today in history
  • In 1861, Benjamin Harrison, the ninth U.S. president, died of pneumonia after one month in office.

Hmm, they must have gotten that from Conservapedia. Here's what it should say:
Today in history
  • In 1841, William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. president, died of pneumonia after one month in office.

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Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet ...

The moment the Secret Service has been training for; after the "dry run" in 2006, they knew it was just a matter of time before Dick Cheney made his move.

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Objectivist Aristocracy

Thom Hartmann has an Objectivist on just about every day to argue.

Often I hear him get Objectivists to admit to beliefs that I and I would guess most other Americans would find objectively objectionable, but which makes perfect sense for his guest. For instance, that there should be a small group of super wealthy people who use their wealth and power to force out or buy out any competition as this is beneficial for everyone, including the poor people who can never become even moderately wealthy because they're locked out of competition by the super wealthy and powerful. Monopolies keep prices low so poor powerless people can afford the cheap, unhealthy crap that's forced on them.

I only caught a bit of today's argument, but heard the end when he was talking to a member of the Ayn Rand Institute about some company's bankruptcy and whether that's a reason for government regulation of business. Thom asked, "Do you think it's acceptable for a company to have government protection in the form of bankruptcy, but it's not acceptable for the government to regulate the behavior of a company that might lead to bankruptcy." The answer was yes, government protection is okay while government regulation isn't as bankruptcy is a contractual issue.

Huh?

I wasn't ever aware of signing a contract with corporations telling them it was okay for them to use my investment money to line foreign bank vaults, reupholster yachts, bribe public officials, drive the company into the ground with horrid mismanagement and then have the government protect them from me being able to force them to sell their multi-million dollar mansions paid for with ill-gotten gains to repay at least a portion of my retirement fund.

What government regulation of business comes down to is an enforcement of basic laws such as against theft and murder. Willfully mismanaging funds and using business practices which cheat people is theft. Selling products or emitting pollutants which poison or otherwise physically harm people and lead to their early demise is murder. At very least it's an assault.

So even if I did sign a contract allowing corporations to do these things, the basic illegal acts makes the contract void.

It's just stupid and unworkable to believe that government should protect a certain class of people (corporate officers) in their illegal acts just because they do "business." How's this for an argument in favor of protecting business: "When the deceased came to my client asking for a loan, my client made it clear what would happen to him if he didn't repay. It wasn't personal, it was business, therefore the government must protect the interests of my client."

What that amounts to is the institution of an aristocracy that lives by different laws. From what I glean from Objectivism, it is the belief that there is a class of people that is inherently better than everyone else, the manifestation of this superiority being economic wealth and consequently political power. It apparently doesn't matter what people do to gain wealth; there is no such thing as unethical business practices, and as the guest on Thom Hartmann's show clearly stated, the magical mantle of business should be protection against any consequences for illegal behavior. The greatest crime seems to be the suggestion that poor and powerless people who will be kept poor and powerless by the Business Aegis should band together to claim more power for themselves.

But the government we Americans have instituted is based on the notion of inherent equality before the law. If it's illegal for me to do it, then it doesn't become legal simply because I label myself a part of an elite cadre.

One may argue that the government has no responsibility to provide for anyone, such as with social programs. But what the Objectivist guest was championing by claiming a one-sided role of government when it comes to business is the reinstitution of the Samurai and Feudal lords, of the aristocracy, of the idea that there is one law for the elite and another for the rabble.

Government (that being an institution that we Americans created for the protection of all Americans) has the right and responsibility to regulate behavior at all levels, including business.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

One Trick Pony in the Center Ring

And already we're bored.

Coloradolib liveblogged Tancredo's announcement.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Beyond Cognitive Dissonance

Rarely, I'll argue something beyond my own belief in it. Semantics and filtering can be useful for those who don't like to lose arguments. But there comes that moment, if you're basically honest, when you smile and concede the point, particularly when presented with a mountain of evidence whose valleys echo with the piercing cries of "bullshit."

Glenn Greenwald caught Cliff May of National Review going way past simple poor forensic sportsmanship.
Just think about that: the lesson which right-wing, Bush-following war supporters drew from the mountain of empirical evidence in this post, as well as from this entire day-long exchange with Cliff May (to say nothing of the November, 2006 election), is that Americans support the War in Iraq and do not want to withdraw the troops. That is beyond jarring.
And it's beyond cognitive dissonance. It's on purpose. At this point it has to be because now is when May should smile and admit he was wrong. But that won't happen easily, as Greenwald points out,
Independently, the right-wing movement in this country has used as its principal rhetorical tactic over the last two decades the claim that they represent the "normal, mainstream Americans," while liberals are the subversive freaks on the coasts, hopelessly out of touch with mainstream American values. Hence, few things are more damaging to their political brand than for it to be acknowledged that on the most critical political issue of the decade -- Iraq -- they are about as isolated and fringe as a political movement can be. That is why they will deny whatever facts one presents, no matter how clear and compelling, which demonstrate just how repudiated their views are by the "normal, nonideological Americans" (h/t David Brooks).
This is the equivalent of an ideological life and death struggle, and Cliff May and his cohort must be feeling like the impala that jumped in the lake of the Okavango to escape the wild dogs on Planet Earth. It's going to be ripped apart by dogs or drowned in the lake. Either way, it will soon cease to exist (except the dogs on Planet Earth were called away when the rest of their pack killed a different impala, a circumstance often prayed for by dishonest bloggers, journalists and pundits, as well).

It's an ideological disembowelment. But it's a necessary culling, one that could actually strengthen the conservative herd. [/extended metaphor]

So, really, what's something as ephemeral as a little public humiliation and shaming when compared to the destruction of the very foundation on which one has based an entire life's endeavor? Bringing down the Cliff Mays of the commentary veldt is going to be more like taking down a cape buffalo. [/damned persistent extended metaphor]

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Grand Canyon Skywalk

I was going to complain about the outrageousness of charging $75 for that skywalk. For things like that, you're supposed to go for volume by making things affordable for more people. In fact, I was going to write a letter to the Hualapai about how we were thinking of a Grand Canyon trip this summer (I've never been), but the outrageous prices made a Black Hills tour more likely.

But I looked it up, as good bloggers should, and found that the price for the Grand Canyon West Entrance Spirit Package is $49.95 while the skywalk itself is $25. And that includes
... photo opportunities with members of the Hualapai tribe (in full dress) as well as access to the Indian Village and Hualapai Market. The village features examples of the houses and lives of several tribes in the area. Performances by the tribe members are scheduled throughout the day. As if that was not enough, your package also includes access to the Hualapai Ranch western town. There you will find the Wagon Wheel wagon ride, cowboy demonstrations, and a scheduled western town show. Round out the trip with your choice of the Western town cowboy cookout or the Hualapai Buffet (all-you-can-eat).
All you can eat.

So it sounds like an okay price for a day filled with western fun and all-you-can-eat buffets. Still a bit on the pricey side considering we'd have to get all the way to Las Vegas, but not so outrageous to warrant a complaint letter.

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When Will This be Our Fault?

Former Bush campaign strategist, Matthew Dowd, has become disillusioned with his former boss. (via Eschaton)

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

...

“I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things,” he said. He added, “I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in.”

Those of us who have never liked President Bush on a personal or professional level have long-recognized his secluded and bubbled decision-making processes (we've used the word "insulated").

But now Bush is even moreso.

So, is it our fault, we naysayers and Bush-haters? Did we create a negative feedback loop and push him further into his tiny bubble instead of playing along happily with his bad decisions? Are the people out to get the paranoid responsible for making the paranoid more paranoid?

At some point a Bush apologist has to make that argument. We can't be given credit for being right that the Iraq war would be a big mistake. We certainly can't be allowed to be right for seeing Bush's authoritarian streak and penchant for Potemkin villages.

Besides the fact that it would have been just stupid to humor president who makes his decisions solely from the gut (the Higher Father he appeals to being a rumbling GI tract would explain a lot), stretching the bubble to encompass us all would have meant the same outcome, only possibly on a much larger scale further down the road: a giant burst bubble and lots of dazed and confused people.

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