Saturday, June 23, 2007

Croc Socks

Pither showed me this picture in the newspaper (Getty Images), saying, "I knew there was a reason I hated Crocs," and I immediately laughed out loud.
Not because the President of the United States is wearing Crocs, and not really because he's wearing dark ankle socks with them, but because of what's on those ankle socks.

They're Commander-in-Chief socks.

Hail to the Chief
He's got socks
That keep his feet warm.

And Sarah Gilbert at BloggingStocks found that the CEO of Crocs is a Bush supporter in more than just footwear.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yep, It's Their Motto

From Glenn Greenwald's post on Richard Cohen's defense of Libby.

... And it inspired a new bumper sticker, which can be purchased at my CafePress store, the humble link to which may be found in the right sidebar.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nobody's Watching ... Or Reading

This is the epitome of perfection.

I'm always so behind on everything. So now here I am, excited by this new thing I found on YouTube called Nobody's Watching. I was going to post this clip of Nobody's Watching "According to Jim" and say something like
Yes, that's right. This brilliantly rags on a crappy show that apparently has gotten six years of episodes. Six. Years. But all my favorite shows get cancelled after a couple of weeks.

At least we can enjoy these hilarious and creative internet shorts by Nobody's Watching.
My son was enjoying them, too, and was very pleased when I discovered a nine minute episode. But it turns out that it was only part 1 of 3, and that it was actually a WB pilot for a mockumentary-style sitcom created and written by the creator and writers of Scrubs and The Family Guy. But it confused the test audience. So of course the concept (which is awesome, a rarity for the former WB) found a new life on the internet, which should say something about the difference between television and internet audiences ... more on that later.

What I love most about the whole thing is how the date code on the show was 4/24/05. And how the most recent internet posting was 5 months ago (Little Superstar!) Yes, I'm still behind. It's so awesome and cool and hip and "now;" of course it's two years old and of course I am now endorsing it on my blog which Nobody Reads!

Anyway, about the difference between TV and internet viewers. The other day Randi Rhodes talked about a study of the effect of television viewing on the brain. It apparently shuts down the parts of the brain which govern logic and reasoning. Reading, on the other hand, stimulates our brains. Of course she discusses the relation of mindless television programming to the uninformed and intellectually stunted populace who believe Fox News and the Preznit. And how wonderfully that works out for the mega-corporations who own all the television networks which destroy our ability to reason with their shitty programming and then manipulate us into giving them more power by scaring us into obeying their political puppets. (Also, Randi's Book Club assignment is to read Al Gore Assault on Reason. I haven't bought it yet, but you can get your copy through the link in the right sidebar).

But all I think is, "so that's why my favorite shows don't usually make it. They're shows that require thought and knowledge. And since I have long eschewed daytime television and most evening television in favor of reading (and writing) blogs, my logic and reasoning centers are intact; are, in fact, thriving. And of course I actually get angry at those stupid sitcoms. All thinking people should be angry at those stupid sitcoms. Everyone should read more lefty blogs."

So I feel better about being better than those millions of morons who watch stupid sitcoms (which rightie bloggers watch) and look forward to the future when the intelligent internet audience who actually have to read will make a profitable home for truly creative and entertaining programs.

Speaking of him, every night I will say a silent prayer thanking Al Gore for helping to create the internet that we know, saving us all from complete dominance from scaremongering, warmongering, controlling mega-corporations that are attempting to suck out our brains, turning us into mindless, obedient zombie consumers.

Update: Blogger can't post any new Amazon links in the template right now, so I'll put Al's book in this post instead.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Why I Don't Care About Stolen Music and Movies

Because the very wealthy -- particularly the famous -- can commit crimes, endanger society with reckless behavior, even murder ... and spend only 3 days in jail.

Of course, they do get a little dehydrated because they can't eat or drink while they're crying uncontrollably over how mean people are.

But that's not nearly enough of a penalty. If they get to drive drunk at night with the headlights turned off and a suspended license, then I get a free song once in a while. If they get to whine and cry their way out of jail after 3 days, I get a free movie and a hand towel embroidered with an elegant letter.

And it doesn't have to be a Paris Hilton song, movie or hand towel, because that would be further endangering the public.

In fact, I should get a free song every time I'm channel surfing and accidentally see Paris and/or one of her equally useless, drunken, oily friends.

On second thought, if I ever commit a crime, I should be able to serve my time in Paris Hilton's mansion. Now that would be equal justice.

... Hmmm, the judge is upset at the house arrest and has ordered Paris to appear in court tomorrow morning to determine if she should be returned to jail, though the Superior Court spokesman says the sheriff, not the judge, determines when inmates are released.

Update: Nevermind. Paris, Paris, Paris. What does not destroy you will make you stronger and hopefully a better person. Destruction or a better person. Either way, it's a win for us all.

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Closer to Withdrawal of One Type or Other

A few weeks ago, the Iraqi Parliament passed a non-binding resolution that would take away the power of the Prime Minister to unilaterally approve the continued occupation of the U.S. under U.N. mandate.

Today the resolution became binding (via Alternet).

The Iraqi Parliament has been having the same problems with their Prime Minister that our own Congress has been having with our President. The Iraqi Parliament and the current U.S. Congress reflect more the sentiments of the general populations of their respective countries. But the Executive branches, for purposes of power consolidation and personal enrichment, ignore the governmental checks when popular sentiment gets in their way.

Iraqi lawmaker Jabir Habib (a Shia closely aligned with the al-Sadrist Movement) said in an interview last fall that the Iraqi Assembly had been poised to vote on the issue [of conditions on the U.S. occupation] . "We spent the last months discussing the conditions we wanted to add to the mandate," he said, "and the majority of the parliament decided on three major conditions. These conditions included pulling the coalition forces out of the cities and transferring responsibility for security to the Iraqi government, giving Iraqis the right to recruit, train, equip and command the Iraqi security forces, and requiring that the U.N. mandate expire and be reviewed every six months instead of every 12 months."

Lawmakers said that while they likely had enough support to require a timetable for withdrawal as a condition of the mandate's renewal last year, they were sidelined by al-Maliki when the prime minister sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council requesting an extension without consulting members of parliament. The move outraged lawmakers.


It is possible, even probable, that the Maliki regime will veto the resolution passed today. The White House's separatist allies in Baghdad have consistently found ways to bypass the assembly. [Secular Sunni lawmaker] Al Mutlaq said today that the nationalist bloc probably doesn't have the the two-thirds majority required to override a veto.

Sounds very familiar. And so do the warnings about too much consolidation of power into a unitary Executive that ignores the will of the people:

He warned, however, that the more the al-Maliki regime does to sideline the Iraqi parliament, the more Iraqis will be compelled to turn to violent resistance to the occupation. He said: "It will lead to many groups withdrawing from the political process and could only make things even worse."

Just as it was not unforeseeable that an invasion of Iraq would probably lead to civil war and a destabilization of the Middle East (Turkey invaded Kurdistan -- what a surprise), it's not unforeseeable that, the more the Bush regime does to sideline the U.S. Congress, the more Americans will be compelled to withdraw from the political process and turn to violent resistance.

Iraq's government faces a crisis of legitimacy, in large part due to its refusal to demand the withdrawal of U.S. forces long favored by as many as four out of five Iraqis. According to a poll last year by the Project on International Policy Attitudes, 80 percent of Iraqis believe the U.S. plans to maintain permanent military bases in the country and three out of four believe that if their government were to demand a timetable for withdrawal, Washington would ignore it (according to the poll's authors, that finding was a major driver of the significant support among all groups of Iraqis for attacking coalition troops).

Randi Rhodes says it's not surprising that the Iraqi people aren't taking over their own security. Would you fight for what you considered an illegitimate government? Or would you do exactly what many Iraqis are doing, fighting the soldiers who are protecting the illegitimate government which is sucking your economy dry?

There will either be a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, or there will be a withdrawal of the populace of Iraq from the political process. We in America have a timetable for the withdrawal of the Worst. Presidency. Ever. If that gets sidelined, then we may have our own withdrawal from peaceful democratic processes right here in America.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Music Mash

I just discovered the music mixes on YouTube.

IMO, Green Day vs. Kelly Clarkson is the best.

And the most hilarious is Eminem vs. 4 Non Blondes. A white trash Thanksgiving, as Pither called it; being mixed with "What's Up" makes it so much more special.

... Speaking of her, I don't much care for pop idol Kelly Clarkson. But I caught the end of her performance on Idol Gives Back, and she sang the shit out of that song. I like that Kelly Clarkson.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Dance Dance Revolution

In case you were wondering where those awesome World of Warcraft dances came from.

This one has better production values (hilarious Napoleon Dynamite footage), but this one is more complete.

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Catholic Church: "Womyns is Teh Stoopid"

We went to mass with my in-laws on Mother's Day. It was my second time going to mass; the first time was several years ago before the birth of my second child; I strongly suspect the Mother's Day visit will be the last. Ever.

On the cover of the bulletin the church passed out was written "Happy Mother's Day" and a quote from Proverbs 31:28 - 30:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: "Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Inside the front page was the Pastor's Note:

Dear Parishioners,

The world has a weird way of trying to advance women's rights. They Church is all for justice for women but we disagree with women trying to become men as the world recommends. The world also diminished the value of motherhood, whereas the church upholds mothers as a symbol of God's love for us all. I think it is sad that the vocation of being a mother is looked down upon by career minded people. Motherhood is as much of a career as any job. We further believe that motherhood reveals an aspect of a woman's dignity in a beautiful way. We honor the Blessed Virgin Mary with her highest title when we call her "Mother of God."

Mother's Day is a time to reflect upon the truth of motherhood and to defend it as an important institution in our society. Women respecting the right to life of their own children is a moral imperative in our country today. Sentiments of our appreciation for our own mothers need to translate into valuing the mothers in our midst. Being a mother is a vocation in the truest sense of the word. God called women to bring life into the world. Some women cannot be mothers, some have motherhood imposed upon them; but God calls them to bring life into the world. Everybody needs to assist mothers in this essential task. Today we say thank you and we value the vocation, the career, of being a mother. Happy Mother's Day!
But then the sermon was "Don't you dare question the Catholic patriarchy."

I shit you not.

When I told my mom about this, she asked if that was really what the sermon was or if that's what I interpreted it to be, since she believes I have such a militant bias against religion that my fevered brain will almost deliberately misconstrue even the most innocuous of doctrines. A nearly direct quote from the sermon was, "imagine the gall of any Catholic who questions the Archbishop or the Pope," and it was delivered very passionately and forcefully. And, no, it wasn't delivered by Bill Donahue.

The sermon was about apostolic authority. Christ charged his apostles with spreading the faith, one of them founded the Catholic Church, and therefore there is a direct traceable line of authority from Christ down through every Pope and Archbishop (how the Priest issuing the sermon might have answered my questions about anti-Popes, schisms, Galileo, and Purgatory, I don't know). So, of course, to question the dogma of the church is to question Christ. I guess he was trying to make charges of heresy popular again. But the message was clear: "sit down and shut up." Or as I whispered to Pither during the sermon, "respect my authoritah!" Or, as I also thought at the time but didn't voice, particularly since I couldn't remember the exact quote: "Do you know what the chain of command is? It's a chain I go get and beat you with until you understand who's in ruttin' command here."

I'm not the only one who understood the message. Pither and his devoutly Catholic mother understood exactly the same thing (she's one of those Catholics who quietly disagrees with aspects of the Catholic doctrines and didn't much care for the sermon herself).

Pither tells me there is a popular belief that Catholics keep guns in the basement of their churches for the day when the Pope orders the attack. The tenor of this quite literal "come to Jesus by being mindless drones and obeying without question" sermon wouldn't help that perception any.

But there is real reason for that sermon to be particularly disturbing for women, particularly when coupled with the protestations of advancing women's rights. If men really want to change or at least have influence in the Catholic church and decide they'd rather not sit down and shut up, they can potentially become priests, Archbishops or the Pope. Despite the claims of honoring female Saints who wore armor into battle in the name of the Church, women are denied real participation in fundamental decision-making (btw, that sainted woman who defended the church may have had her property stolen from her daughter by that very same church).

The Catholic church claims to support the advancement of women's rights, but then narrowly defines what rights women have. Women don't have the right to careers outside the home if they have children; women don't have the right to make medical or reproductive decisions about their own bodies and lives; women don't have the right to make spiritual decisions through influencing church doctrine.

So exactly what rights for women does the Catholic church advance? Apparently, females have the right to not be killed as infants; to read and be generally educated; to hold property and be in positions of worldly power; to have access to healthcare of a limited nature; very specifically, "[t]hey must be empowered to share fully in the enjoyment of those rights which are theirs by nature, and to fulfil their responsibilities by contributing to society and to the family." [emphasis added] The determination of these "natural rights" are left solely to men, and even when women are in positions of worldly power, they are still required to be secondary and submissive to the Catholic Church's patriarchal order.

And that is the fundamental issue. Until women can be included in the decision-making and authority of the Catholic Church, any protestations of advancement of women's rights, of honoring women and mothers, is more than empty and meaningless; it's downright insulting and patronizing.

The same goes for any other religion. Women must be allowed to participate and have religious authority.

But I did get a lovely red rose on my way out of the church. So there's that.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Young Dr. House

Because Atrios chose a dismal and and odd clip of Blackadder Goes Fourth to say, "Hey look, it's the same actor who plays Dr. House on Fox!" with. Seriously, it's a lengthy clip in which Hugh Laurie basically says "Hoorah" a couple of times.

I have very personal reasons for wanting to display the very best of Hugh Laurie's Blackadder characters. I am married to the Stupid Prince.

And don't miss out on Jeeves and Wooster.


Still Here

After reading about the untimely death of Steve Gilliard of The News Blog (via Atrios), just thought I'd check in to let people know I'm still alive.

I got a part-time job recently because when you buy a house you no longer have a landlord to pay the electrician $50/hr to find the mysterious short somewhere that knocks out the electricity in half your house.

So I'm tired, my feet hurt and I've discovered that I'm developing arthritis in my left knee. But I try to check on your blogs a few times a week, so it's not all Chuzzle all the time.

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