Welcome to the "Flat Daddy" and "Flat Mommy" phenomenon, in which life-size cutouts of deployed service members are given by the Maine National Guard to spouses, children, and relatives back home.
The Flat Daddies ride in cars, sit at the dinner table, visit the dentist, and even are brought to confession, according to their significant others on the home front.
"I prop him up in a chair, or sometimes put him on the couch and cover him up with a blanket," said Kay Judkins of Caribou, whose husband, Jim, is a minesweeper mechanic in Afghanistan. "The cat will curl up on the blanket, and it looks kind of weird. I've tricked several people by that. They think he's home again."
I'm wondering if Our Leader should consider doing something similar. A lot of people think he doesn't care about the men and women who are defending us against Islamic enslavement. They wonder why he has time for vacations (a whole year's worth of vacation time in the first five years of his presidency) but is unable to free himself for a few hours to attend a soldier's funeral a stones's throw across the Potomac at Arlington.
It doesn't have to be that way. With a dozen or so Flat Deciders™, he could attend nearly every soldier's funeral. I doubt most people would even notice that he's only a cardboard cut-out. Indeed, the fact that the Flat Decider™ is merely a cold, heartless, two-dimensional rendition of a real human being is what makes it so realistic. Add the optional Pull-My-Finger™ fun kit, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
I think I would prefer to be around a Flat Decider to being around the real, flesh and blood Decider. It would be smarter than him, and I could throw darts at it without getting into trouble.
We shouldn't feed the poor, because that makes them fat. Take that money you were going to give to charity and spend it on OxyContin and Dominican sex tourism.
I actually envy his powers of rationalization. The only thing that stops me from being a complete prick is that fucking conscience of mine. If I could rationalize my selfish and petty desires like that, I'd probably be hooked on hillbilly heroin and smuggling viagra up my ass. What a glorious life that would be.
Even though the media doesn't seem to be buying it on the merits, I have to give the administration credit for their smooth pivot from their Katrina failure to defeating Hitler. It was savvy, you have to admit, to go down to New Orleans and give a couple of plodding, desultory speeches while Rummy delivered a half-mad stemwinder about appeasement in the 1930's. Then, the minute the Katrina "anniversary" was over, Bush hightailed it out of town and immediately evoked the spectre of the Nazis, commies and martians coming to kill us all in our beds. I'm not seeing much about New Orleans anymore.
In the spring of 2005, porn director Warren Evans ("Forced Entry", "Waterpower") began posting responses to questions on the DVD Maniacs forum. The following 32 pages cull and lightly edit Evans’ text.
"you can't wear a t-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads "I am a robber" and going to a bank". I said "but the message on my t-shirt is not offensive, it just says "we will not be silent". I got this t-shirt from Washington DC. There are more than a 1000 t-shirts printed with the same slogan, you can google them or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org . It is printed in many other languages: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, English, etc." Inspector Harris said: "We cant make sure that your t-shirt means we will not be silent, we don't have a translator. Maybe it means something else". I said: "But as you can see, the statement is in both Arabic and English". He said "maybe it is not the same message".
... So the woman interfered and said "let's reach a compromise. I will buy you a new t-shirt and you can put it on on top of this one".
... She asked, what kind of t-shirts do you like. Should I get you an "I heart new york t-shirt?". So Mr. Harmon said "No, we shouldn't ask him to go from one extreme to another". I asked mr. harmon why does he assume I hate new york if I had some Arabic script on my t-shirt, but he didn't answer.
Is George Allen working for Jet Blue now?
I wonder how many passenger complaints it takes to get security to force someone to change their clothes? A handful of friends and some cheap plane tickets could make for an entertaining day at the airport.
Of course, this story would not be complete without the final insult:
At 8:50 I was called again by a fourth young man, standing with the same jetblue woman. He asked for my boarding pass, so I gave it to him, and stood in front of the boarding counter. I asked the woman: "is everything okay?", she responded: "Yes, sure. We just have to change your seat". I said: "but I want this seat, that's why I chose it online 4 weeks ago", the fourth man said " there is a lady with a toddler sitting there. We need the seat."
Then they re-issued me a small boarding pass for seat 24a, instead of seat 3a. They said that I can go to the airplane now. I was the first person who entered the airplane, and I was really annoyed about being assigned this seat in the back of the airplane too. It smelled like the bathrooms, which is why I had originally chosen a seat which would be far from that area.
A high-powered Los Angeles law firm on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether Juneau Douglas School District had a right to punish a student who stood off school grounds during the passing of the Olympic torch holding a banner that read, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."
The phrase is so giggle-worthy, so odd, so catchy, that the entire lengthy legal affair is often referred to simply as the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus case."
At its core: Juneau-Douglas High School principal Deborah Morse, the Juneau School Board and then-senior Joseph Frederick, who is now a teacher in China. Court records outline what happened that day, Jan. 24, 2002:
The torch passed the school. Some kids had skipped out to make fast food runs. Others cheered. Frederick and some buddies stood across the street and held up their 10-foot banner.
Morse crossed the street, grabbed the sign and ultimately suspended Frederick for 10 days. District officials agreed his banner violated school anti-drug policies.
Enter the Alaska Civil Liberties Union. That group said that Frederick was off campus and drug free and the school clearly smothered his rights to free speech.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP -- a 1,100-attorney law firm with offices around the country and clients around the world -- is representing the Juneau School Board and Morse.
Lead counsel on the case includes Kenneth Starr, author of the infamous Starr Report to Congress on the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal that led to the impeachment of President Clinton.
In this case, Starr's team argues the U.S. Supreme Court should review the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case because "the Ninth Circuit's decision, as a practical matter, renders long-standing school policies against pro-drug messages unenforceable," according to a press release the law office sent out Monday.
"This case raises an issue of vital importance to every school principal and administrator in the country," Starr said, in a statement from his office.
(08-29) 15:56 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco running them down before he was arrested, authorities said.
Seven of those injured were in critical condition, police and firefighters said.
Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Ohmeed Aziz Popal, who has addresses in Ceres (Stanislaus County) and Fremont.
"It was like 'Death Race 2000,' " firefighter Danny Bright said at California and Fillmore streets, as an ambulance stood nearby. "Guys were walking down the sidewalk and the guy just came up and ran them over. The guy went crazy.'' ...
At Frankie's Bohemian Cafe at Divisadero and Pine, a man named William, who asked that his last name not be used, said he was walking south on Divisadero when "we heard the thump, turned around, saw bodies flying.''
He described the vehicle as a black Honda Pilot SUV that looked new and had a windshield that was shattered on the right side.
The driver went down Pine and Bush, "stood on the gas,'' then a couple of minutes later "came flying up through the bus lane'' headed north on Divisadero.
After hearing that the driver had been arrested, William said, "Unfortunately, they didn't shoot him right on the spot.''
Fuck. It is probably selfish to say this, but I really hope none of the people injured or killed are my friends or people I know. I hope the same for any of you that might be reading this.
I guess I'm going to be taking Park Presidio rather than Divisadero on my drive home today.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Bush to participate in a television debate with him about "how to end problems in the world." Looking at the CNN.com daily web poll (go to CNN.com and scroll down), I see that Bush isn't the favorite in that match-up:
Who would win a debate on world issues between President Bush and Iranian President Ahmadinejad?
"A number of my Democratic friends, who have raised lots of money for Democrats, have said they cannot support Phil," said Angela Bradstreet, a well known San Francisco attorney and co-chair of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's re-election campaign. "This is the first time I can remember it being so pronounced."
Bradstreet, a Democrat who said she is voting for Schwarzenegger, argued that the governor has re-established himself as a moderate who has shown strong leadership on economic issues.
"Quite frankly, I'm also sick and tired of paying taxes," she said. "And that's Angelides' solution -- raising taxes."
She can suck it. I don't give a shit who the bitch votes for, but to put a quote like this in the newspaper is tantamount to campaigning for Arnold. And taxes?
Phil will work to close corporate tax loopholes and make the state’s tax system more functional to get more state revenue. If additional revenue is needed, Phil has repeatedly said any tax increases should only be on the top 1% of California taxpayers, which means people making more than about $500,000 a year.
When you hear “taxes, taxes, taxes,” remember these facts: There are 7 million people in California who don't have health insurance. More than 13% of the state’s residents live in poverty. The cost of living is skyrocketing for families, putting the typical California middle-class dream out of reach for millions of people year after year. Meanwhile, wages remain stagnant for those at the bottom of the economic scale, under a Governor who has twice vetoed a minimum wage increase.
The vast majority of Californians will not see an income tax increase under Angelides. If you're one of the top 1% who does, then suck it up, moneybags. Pay your fair share and shut the fuck up about it. Quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of rich assholes complaining about having to contribute to the society that enabled them to get rich in the first place.
Given Reuters’s coverage of the conflict in Lebanon, it would perhaps be understandable if the Israelis started firing on Reuters vehicles. Which is what Reuters now says they did.
I'm sure that if you were to kick his fucking ass because you didn't like what said, he would totally understand. He wouldn't even press charges, not even if what he said was demonstrably true. He'd pat you on the back and say, "That's understandable."
"I think what an actor has to realize (is that) when you show up an hour late, 150 people have been scrambling to cover for you. There is not an apology big enough in the world to have to make 150 people scramble. It's nothing but disrespect. And Lindsay Lohan is not the only one. A lot of actors show up late as if they're God's gift to the film. It's inexcusable, and they should have their asses kicked."
I am continually surprised by these stories, and then surprised that I am surprised. I have immense respect for the pastor who resigned as a result of the vote. I hope he's replaced by a black pastor. Whoever he or she is, watch out:
Mike Dillard, who acted as spokesperson for the church, said the congregation "categorically denies" accusations that the church took such a vote and feels the charge is an attempt by a party to do them harm.
They're accusing the first pastor of lying. What will they say about the next one to get out of line?
Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."
If you're pandering, any outrageous statement is okay. Katherine Harris is politically sophisticated enough to understand that.
"According to a just-declassified State Department schedule, Cruise visited then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on June 13, 2003, just an hour after Armitage had met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. (It's speculated that Armitage outed Valerie Plame as a CIA spy at that meeting.)
Cruise was accompanied by Tom Davis, head of the L.A. Celebrity Center for Scientology, and Kurt Weiland, Scientology's veep of communications."
I had a dream last night where I was at a very formal Christmas dinner with Elton John and Joan Rivers, among others. Then there was a run-in with Mel Gibson. Then I got a job offer from the New York Times.
'The American political philosopher and activist Murray Bookchin, who has died of complications of a malfunctioning aortic valve aged 85, was a theorist of the anti-globalisation movement before its time, an ecological visionary, an advocate of direct action and a polemicist. "Capitalism is a social cancer," he argued. "It is the disease of society."'
The only drunken Pirate seeking office in America.
James Hill is running for Congress in Iowa. He is a Pirate. From his website:
What you see is what you get. I am the only drunken Pirate seeking office in this great nation.
The result will bring a more honest open type of person to the race. You will see the false Christians and smarmy trained monkeys recede to the shit-holes they crawled from. This challenge is not to be taken lightly. Can the American voter accept a flawed person or even down right ugly one to represent them? Every day I fight the urge to drink, debauch women out of wed-lock and beat people on the street.
I would have your wife right in front of you. I would smoke the last of your glaucoma medication. Then I will surely drink your liquor cabinet dry. However, know this my friend. I will never break an oath to uphold the public trust. My affidavit will be signed in my own blood. A Pirates crimson mark, with real binding effects into my after life. Laugh if you will then ask yourself if you could do it.
I wish I was still registered to vote in Iowa. I'd vote for this guy.
Perhaps you should be sitting down when you read this, as you may be shocked to hear that there is a report of racism occurring in Louisiana. A school bus driver forced the black kids to sit in the back of the bus. In response to complaints, they came up with the following solutions:
...Transportation Supervisor Jerry Carlisle asked Davis to make seat assignments for her passengers, Sessoms said.
"But she still assigned the black children to the back of the bus," she added.
And the nine children had to share only two seats, meaning the older children had to hold the younger ones in their laps.
A new solution reached Monday by School Board officials has a black bus driver driving across town to pick up the nine black children.
White folks have gone fucking nuts. First they segregated Survivor, and now this? When seat assignments didn't work, because they had the same racist driver assign the seats, the School Board's new solution is to send a separate but equal bus with a black driver! Unbelievable.
Host Jeff Probst says the idea "actually came from the criticism that 'Survivor' was not ethnically diverse enough."
The coloreds are getting uppity, so let's give them what they want, but completely twisted so that it'll be a fucking horror show. That'll teach 'em.
To be clear, I don't seriously believe that the idea stemmed from a desire to spite people of color for complaining about their nice, white show. More likely, it was just the amazing, unthinking stupidity and short-sightedness some white folks have when addressing race issues. In an episode of the Addicted to Race podcast, they read a listener email describing an HR director's brilliant idea for celebrating diversity. Her idea was to have people of different races and cultures dress up in their traditional garb, and other (read: white) people could walk around the office and look at them and ask them about their cultures. The HR director wasn't a bad person, she just wasn't thinking. Luckily, the woman who wrote the email was the voice of reason and patiently explained why the "colored folks zoo" was a bad idea.
Of course, no less a racial and cultural scholar than Rush Limbaugh has weighed in on the subject. I think that he was rattled by a caller's accusation of racism, because he felt it necessary to say this about white people:
He added that "the white tribe," "if it behaves as it historically has," will "bring along vials of diseases" and "will wind up oppressing" the other tribes by "deny[ing] them benefits" and "property," but will later "try to put [the other tribes] on some kind of benefit program." He further asserted that if CBS "allows ... cheating" and "oppression," "then of course the white tribe is going to win."
"The former Destiny’s Child member is planning a late November wedding on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Guests at the bash will dine on $300,000 worth of Beluga caviar as well as lobster and Italian truffles and will wash it down with $200 bottles of Dom Perignon. Knowles’ wedding dress will be modeled after Princess Diana’s, reports the Star, and among the guests invited are Oprah Winfrey and U.N. head Kofi Annan."
According to the respected and irreverent British technology publication The Register, the plot--if it existed--was a joke. Smuggling the component parts of triacetone triperoxide (TATP)--the liquid explosive we've been told was the object of the wannabe jihadis' vengeance fantasies--and successfully mixing them into a brew powerful enough to bring down a plane would require skills far beyond the capabilities of, well, anyone.
"First," wrote The Register, "you've got to get adequately concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This is hard to come by, so a large quantity of the three per cent solution sold in pharmacies might have to be concentrated by boiling off the water...Take your hydrogen peroxide, acetone, and sulfuric acid, measure them very carefully, and put them into drink bottles for convenient smuggling onto a plane. It's all right to mix the peroxide and acetone in one container, so long as it remains cool. Don't forget to bring several frozen gel-packs (preferably in a Styrofoam chiller deceptively marked "perishable foods"), a thermometer, a large beaker, a stirring rod, and a medicine dropper. You're going to need them.
"It's best to fly first class and order champagne. The bucket full of ice water, which the airline ought to supply, might possibly be adequate...Once the plane is over the ocean, very discreetly bring all of your gear into the toilet. You might need to make several trips to avoid drawing attention. Once your kit is in place, put a beaker containing the peroxide/acetone mixture into the ice water bath (champagne bucket), and start adding the acid, drop by drop, while stirring constantly. Watch the reaction temperature carefully. The mixture will heat, and if it gets too hot, you'll end up with a weak explosive. In fact, if it gets really hot, you'll get a premature explosion possibly sufficient to kill you, but probably no one else.
"After a few hours--assuming, by some miracle, that the fumes haven't overcome you or alerted passengers or the flight crew to your activities--you'll have a quantity of TATP with which to carry out your mission. Now all you need to do is dry it for an hour or two."
The conclusion is clear: "Certainly, if we can imagine a group of jihadists smuggling the necessary chemicals and equipment on board, and cooking up TATP in the lavatory, then we've passed from the realm of action blockbusters to that of situation comedy."
The "plot," or at least the prosecution thereof, is already unraveling. Two "terrorists" have been released. Of the remaining 23, only 11 have been charged. Of those charged, only eight face charges related to the "plot."
Kinda makes you wonder if the "plot" was real at all, doesn't it?
Taibbi points out an interesting Q & A in New York magazine with U.S. Representative--and chair of the D-Trip--Rahm Emanuel:
Q: Are bloggers too powerful? A: Do I think they're important? Yes. Do I think the [bloggers] and Al Sharpton alone are the future of the Democratic Party? No! Welcome in, contribute, but it's about winning in November and moving the country forward, not about a firing squad in a circle.
Wait, what? I thought the question was about bloggers. How did Sharpton get into that answer? What did Emanuel mean by that? Taibbi answers:
That's actually not hard to figure out; it's political hack-ese for the human sentence bloggers = Al Sharpton. As for what he means by that: Just think about the thought process that had to go into Emanuel's adding of the phrase "and Al Sharpton," when Al Sharpton wasn't even part of the question. Ask yourself if you really believe Emanuel isn't aware that he's addressing the mostly white, Upper West Side readers of New York magazine when he "offhandedly" ties bloggers to the legendary gold-medallion-wearing icon from forty blocks north in Harlem.
These DLC types are amazing, they really are. Their pathology is unique; they all secretly worship the guilt-by-association tactics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, but unlike those two, not one of them has enough balls to take being thought of as the bad guy by the general public. So instead of telling big, bold whoppers right out in the open, they're forever coming out with backhanded little asides like this one, apparently in the hope that only your subconscious will notice. I won't be surprised if they respond to the next electoral loss by a DLC candidate by having Bruce Reed argue in the Wall Street Journal that "bloggers, Queer Eye, and Arabs with syphilis are not the future of the Democratic Party."
I really hope the defeat of Lieberman in the Connecticut primary was a harbinger of a wider revolt against the DLC wing of the Democratic Party. Al Sharpton and I hate those bastards.
QUESTION: The attacks upon the World Trade Center.
BUSH: Nothing. . . . .Except for it’s part of — and nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September the 11th is: Take threats before they fully materialize,
It just trancends the written word, doesn't it? Someday, when science is sufficiently advanced, we will all learn the rhetorical technique of starting a few sentences, letting them peter out, then blurting out what is likely just the first thing to come to mind. We should all — in the due course of — I like cheese!
David Sirota posted an inspired bit of satire on HuffPo. He underlines the importance of the popular vote by fabricating quotes that would not be asserted seriously in a democracy, at least not by anyone who wished to be taken seriously:
Polarized primary voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics.
The DLC remains an organization of politicians that believes the less beholden politicians are to grassroots activists, the better they will represent voters as a whole.
Brilliant. I really wish you could see me, because every time I read those made up quotes, I am almost literally rolling on the floor laughing. (And by "almost literally", I mean "not literally at all" but in fact "figuratively", and really not even that. I don't want you to see me, either.)
But his true comedic genius is shown in this quote that Sirota "attributes" to the New York Times:
Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy' in Iraq.
We’re not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president. That would be a huge mistake.
Can you imagine? Abandoning the mission while continuing to throw U.S. soldiers at it like meat into a grinder? Oh, what a wonderfully dark sense of humor Sirota has! But that's what makes his satire so effective. Because if this shit were real, it might drive me to suicide. Good thing it's not.
Approximately one-quarter of Americans host a parasite that has been shown to affect personality in both rodents and humans. According to a recent study, this single-celled organism may be able to shape entire cultures.
In a paper published in the online edition of Proceedings of the Royal Society, United States Geological Survey researcher Kevin Lafferty argues that a significant factor in why some countries exhibit higher levels of neuroticism than others may be the prevalence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The study also indicates that it may influence a society's preference for strict laws, an expression of uncertainty avoidance, and its valuation of 'masculine' priorities such as competitiveness and financial success over 'feminine' values like relationship-building.
... Lafferty based his analysis on earlier research by Jaroslav Flegr, a parasitologist at Prague's Charles University, which showed that in humans, Toxoplasma infection correlates highly with certain personality traits: Infected men tended to have lower levels of intelligence, superego strength and novelty-seeking...
That would be nice, eh? If we eliminated the parasite and people stopped being complete dickheads?
Both Lindsay and PZ have commented on the rise of religious fraud, with PZ noting that the church has always been home to such schemes. I'd imagine it's easy to cheat people with religion. If you say god wants them to give you their money, who are they to argue? That would make them unbelievers and al-Qaida types, and the terrorists win and all that shit.
In 2003 Steorn undertook a project to develop more efficient micro generators. Early into this project the company developed certain generator configurations that appeared to be over 100% efficient. Further investigation and development has led to the company’s current technology, a technology that produces free energy. The technology is patent pending.
... Steorn is making three claims for its technology:
The technology has a coefficient of performance greater than 100%.
The operation of the technology (i.e. the creation of energy) is not derived from the degradation of its component parts.
There is no identifiable environmental source of the energy (as might be witnessed by a cooling of ambient air temperature).
The sum of these claims is that our technology creates free energy.
This represents a significant challenge to our current understanding of the universe and clearly such claims require independent validation from credible third parties. During 2005 Steorn embarked on a process of independent validation and approached a wide selection of academic institutions. The vast majority of these institutions refused to even look at the technology, however several did. Those who were prepared to complete testing have all confirmed our claims; however none will publicly go on record.
... Steorn has decided to publish its challenge in The Economist because of the breadth of its readership. "We chose it over a purely scientific magazine simply because we want to make the general public aware that this process is about to commence and to generate public support, awareness, interest etc for what we are doing."
Fucking christ. Actually, you chose The Economist because no peer reviewed scientific journal would touch this shit. This has to be like Genpets, right? They can't be serious.
Mr. Bush denounced those who have called for a law enforcement approach to fighting terrorism.
“Some people say, Well, this may be a law enforcement matter,” he said. “No, these are people that are politically driven. They want to impose their vision on other people. That’s what they’re trying to do. And the United States of America must never retreat and let them have their way.”
This week Bush broke from his usual long summer vacation at his Crawford, Texas, homestead for a press conference and meetings in Washington. The week before, while the Lebanon war was still raging, Bush invited Reuters correspondent Steve Holland to join him on an hour and a half bicycle ride in 100-degree heat. (Bush holds contests for his staff at Crawford to belong to his "100-Degree Club." When the temperature hits 100 degrees, they run three miles while the president rides his bike alongside them, urging them to run faster. "You can do it! Come on!" At the end, they receive T-shirts and pose for pictures with Bush.) "Bush does not ride quietly, constantly shouting out in his Texas twang the names of trees and geographic features and yelling at himself to pedal faster," Holland wrote. As Bush rode up a hill, leading an entourage of sweating Secret Service agents and the reporter, he shouted to no one in particular: "Air assault!"
Almost one-third of NASCAR fans now intend to vote for Democrats in congressional races this fall, similar to the number planning to vote Republican, according to the Zogby poll. According to political analysts, this has occurred despite no significant increase in Democratic campaigning aimed at this group.
Explaining why she is scared of heights, Ms. Allen writes that “Ever since my brother George held me over the railing at Niagara Falls, I’ve had a fear of heights.” [Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, page 43]
Referring to George’s relationship with one of her boyfriends: “My brother George welcomed him by slamming a pool cue against his head.” [Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, page 178]
Referring to George’s early leadership skills, Jennifer wrote: “We all obeyed George. If we didn't, we knew he would kill us. Once, when Bruce refused to go to bed, George hurled him through a sliding glass door. Another time, when Gregory refused to go to bed, George tackled him and broke his collarbone. Another time, when I refused to go to bed, George dragged me up the stairs by my hair.” [Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, page 22]
Referring to George’s early career aspirations, Jennifer wrote “George hoped someday to become a dentist. George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession - getting paid to make people suffer.” [Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, page 22]
Referring to George’s habit of terrorizing a Green Bay Packer fan in their neighborhood, Jennifer wrote that the fan’s mailbox often “lay smashed in the street, a casualty of my brothers' drive-by to school in the morning. George would swerve his Mach II Mustang while Gregory held a baseball bat out the window to clear the mailbox off its post. . . . Lately, the Packers fan had resorted to stapling a Kleenex box to the mailbox post to receive his mail. George's red Mustang screeched up beside us, the Packers fan's Kleenex mailbox speared on the antenna.” [Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, page 16]
It appears George has always been an asshole and a bully.
More generally, the participants said, the president expressed frustration that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd. “I do think he was frustrated about why 10,000 Shiites would go into the streets and demonstrate against the United States,” said another person who attended.
Fucking christ. How 'bout I kick him in the balls every day for three years; will he appreciate the wear and tear on my boots and the daily risk of stubbing my toe? Will he greet me as a liberator for making his junk too sore to masturbate, freeing his balls from the tyranny of his clumsy flogging?
The conclusion you gotta draw from these two pieces is that Bush is an evil idiot, which is a pretty good combination for the most powerful person on Earth, all things considered. If this were a fucking superhero moviefucking Spaceballs.
A poll conducted by what bills itself as "the world's most visited Christian website" indicates a surprising number of Christians are addicted to pornography, RAW STORY has learned.
"The poll results indicate that 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography," said Clay Jones, founder and President of Second Glance Ministries.
[ snip ]
Additionally, 60% of the women who answered the survey confessed having "significant struggles with lust." 40% admitted to being "involved in sexual sin" in the past year.
"No one is immunized against the vice-grip clutches of sexual addictive behaviors," reads a release issued by the site. "The people who struggle with the repeated pursuit of sexual gratification include church members, deacons, staff, and yes, even clergy."
I'd comment on this story, but the vice-grip clutches of sexual addictive behaviors are calling me...
“President Bush operates in Washington like the head of a small occupying army of insurgents,” the pundit Fred Barnes writes in his recent book, “Rebel-in-Chief.” “He’s an alien in the realm of the governing class, given a green card by voters.”
Let’s see: These insurgents today control all three branches of government; they are underwritten by the biggest of businesses; they are backed by a robust social movement with chapters across the radio dial. The insurgency spreads before its talented young recruits all the appurtenances of power — a view from the upper stories of the Heritage Foundation, a few years at a conquered government agency where expertise is not an issue, then a quick transition to K Street, to a chateau in Rehoboth and a suite at the Ritz. For the truly rebellious, princely tribute waits to be extracted from a long queue of defense contractors, sweatshop owners and Indian casinos eager to remain in the good graces of the party of values.
What a splendid little enterprise American conservatism has turned out to be.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started a blog. From his first post:
سيدالشهدا باز كرد. از آنجا كه قرار بود شاه كوركورانه ايران را دروازه تمدن غرب كند، طرح هاي زيادي اجرا شده بود تا ايران به بازار مصرف ديگري براي كالاهاي تشريفاتي غرب تبديل شود بدون آنكه در زمينه علمي پيشرفتي داشته باشد. فرهنگ ايران اسلامي ما اجازه چنين هجمه اي را نمي داد و مانعي بر سر راه آمال شاه و اربابان بيگانه اش بود. از اين رو مي خواستند تا آرام آرام اين فرهنگ اصيل و مستحكم را كم رنگ كنند تا وابست
“After watching these shows for some time, I felt the attitudes of some of the characters were beginning to influence me,” the poster wrote. “It’s hard to describe, but I think I learned a way of life from some of them. They are good at simplifying complex problems, which I think has something to do with American culture.”
Of course, it now becomes a matter of national security to reform our intellectual property law to encourage peer to peer sharing of popular culture. Where are the Republicans on this issue? Why are they soft on terror? Are they all in league with Al-Qaeda? All except Ted Stevens, who wants to clear the tubes so freedom can flow freely.
Matt Taibbi wasn't impressed by Hillary's grilling of Rumsfeld last week. And despite Lieberman's loss to antiwar candidate Lamont, he doesn't seem confident about the future of the Democratic Party or the American Electorate in general:
The only kind of change most dissenting voters in this country can contemplate is the rejection of an openly drooling imperialist like Joe Lieberman, whose real crime was not his war stance but his refusal to participate in the kind of craven cover-your-ass posturing the Hillarys and Joe Bidens and John Kerrys have indulged in this election season. Had Lieberman merely pretended to be antiwar once things went wrong in Baghdad, he almost certainly could have counted on the pusillanimity of the American voter to carry him to yet another Connecticut landslide.
Beltway pros like Hillary have long understood that in tough times, the vast majority of disgruntled Americans would rather find a way to convince themselves that their party agrees with them than face the fact that they never had any choice at all on a wide range of crucial issues. They're willing to be swayed by a carefully scripted display of canned anger like Hillary's outburst in the Senate because the alternatives -- third-party politics, grass-roots activism, dropping out of society altogether -- are too exhausting and radical to even imagine. Because getting to the root causes of things is so hard and scary, they'll settle for punishing an unpopular politician, even if it means electing his accomplice.
So they'll vote, even for a factory-produced fraud like Hillary Clinton, because voting is easy. Much easier than doing something. That's the real platform the Democrats are running on this November.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A Pakistani-born pilot is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for discrimination, claiming the airline rescinded a job offer and told him it was because of his background.
Faisal Baig, a U.S. citizen who was raised in Yonkers, claims in the suit that an airline manager told him in March that he was a ''security risk.''
According to the suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Baig asked, ''Are you saying that you are not hiring me because of my name or my religion? ... Are you saying you are not hiring me because of where I'm from?''
The manager answered, ''Yes, and JetBlue considers you a security risk,'' according to the suit.
Baig claims he was offered the job in February and had already received a ticket to attend the airline's training school in Orlando, Fla. The 40-year-old, a Muslim, had previously flown for Independence Air for nearly six years.
''I was devastated,'' he said. ''I've been living in this country since I was 7, and now somebody's telling me I'm not a good American.''
A message left for a spokesman for the New York-based airline was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Baig, whose suit seeks an unspecified amount of money, is now living in Raleigh, N.C., where he is continuing to look for work as a pilot.
This was not the result of one bigoted middle manager. I hope that the end result is not just that one manager getting fired.
US President George W. Bush seized on a foiled London airline bomb plot to hammer unnamed critics he accused of having all but forgotten the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
... His remarks came a day after the White House orchestrated an exceptionally aggressive campaign to tar opposition Democrats as weak on terrorism, knowing what Democrats didn't: News of the plot could soon break.
... "Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances. - AFP, August 11, 2006
Sen. Joe Lieberman set out on his go-it-alone re-election campaign Thursday and seized on the terror arrests in Britain to argue that his Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont, does not fully understand the danger facing the nation.
Lieberman's stop in Waterbury was his first public event since losing Tuesday's Democratic primary, dismissing his campaign staff and launching his independent bid.
He seized on the terror plot in Britain to criticize Lamont's opposition to the war in Iraq.
''I'm worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don't appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us -- more evil or as evil as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet communists we fought during the long Cold War,'' Lieberman said.
''If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.''
Uh, Joe, this kind of Republican rhetoric is the kind of shit that got Democrats mad at you in the first place. Are you really so stupid?
And "more evil" than Nazis? I can't believe you went there.
Did anyone else notice that for the past couple days the right-wing press outlets were flogging the "possible imminent terror plot" angle a bit harder then they had been in recent weeks? At the time, I had chalked it up to their general goal of increasing fear and anxiety. I hesitate to say more, lest I seem like a crazy fucking conspiracy nut. I'm really not. Honest.
For the short term, the strategy is to use screeners, to exclude excluding liquids. At Dulles International Airport near Washington today, one traveler reported that screeners were also making passengers remove all food items from their carry-on baggage for inspection, and one passenger was told to peel her banana.
As I said last night, the good guys won the primary but lost control of the message. Lamont and his campaign are on the verge of becoming the new Howard Dean -- shorthand for everything that's evil and dangerous about us wild-eye angry hippie America-haters. And liberals have never countered that message, at least not with any success. And believe me, the haters have barely begun attacking Lamont -- go ask Michael Dukakis or John Kerry how that's likely to go.
And now Lamont's running not just against Lieberman, but against all of Wingnuttia and against the centrist commentariat. We liberals have fallen into a trap, like Bush and Rumsfeld fighting in Iraq and not seeing the insurgency coming. We didn't see the wingnuts and pundits coming.
Good luck, Ned -- but I'd like to focus a bit more on people who are running to defeat Republicans, and who have a real chance of winning.
It's a like a mini-version of the Iraq War or the War on Terror. You're either with Joe or you're with the extremists. Apparently half of Connecticut Democrats are outside the mainstream.
This is really the attitude that got poor Joe into this bind.
The mainstream is Joe Lieberman, along with possibly Sean Hannity and Bill Kristol. If you disagree with Joe Lieberman, a disagreement about policy is the least of it. It's a major existential crisis for the Democratic party which risks conquest by unreconstructed leftists, extremists and miscellaneous other freaks.
The idea that Ned Lamont is 'outside the mainstream' on any issue I'm aware of is laughable.
As a matter of civics, if Joe Lieberman wants to run as an independent, good for him. If 51% of Connecticut voters want to vote for him, that's democracy. As a Democrat, he should get out of the race now. And every Democrat should tell him to.
It's all about him and stabbing his own party in the back while he disingenuously pleads that he's trying to save it. He can't admit or realize or get his head around the idea that his denial about Iraq and his obliviousness to his own constituents got him into this mess.
In the end, he just won't come clean. Forget about being a Democrat. Just be a man. It's time.
But as far as I'm concerned, as long as Joe Lieberman remains in the race he is doing Karl Rove's bidding anyway.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Republicans try to help get Joe elected, either as a Republican outright or as an independent who will caucus with them. I don't know how far gone Lieberman actually is but I think it's at least possible he'd think about it. Last night he was more defiant than I've ever seen him. (Where, oh where was all that energy in 2000, I wonder? Of course, Joe kept his senate seat as a back-up so maybe he didn't feel quite so passionately about fighting to the bitter end and he does now.)
But Lieberman is actually old news whatever he does from here on in. He's left the Party and in a two party system that really means he's jumped. As of today we are no longer waging a painful civil war, brother against brother. We are once again fighting the Republican Borg. Get ready for swift boating and race baiting and charges of being traitors and crazed, smelly "piewagons." We're back to dealing with the ruthless, feral GOP again. And they are dangerous, wounded beasts...
A lot of people are going to get a lot of credit in the coming days, but one thing I really haven't seen pointed out is just how well the Lamont campaign stayed on message: that this race was about Joe Lieberman loving Bush more than he loved his state. Over and over and over, the campaign hung the Dubyatross (tm Eli) around Joe Lieberman's neck and in the end, it dragged him down into a classless, whiny, quicksand of bullshit from which there was no returning.
What Ned Lamont's campaign did, and the reason it was so strenuously supported by those of us who've been calling for change within the party for years, is simply say the things that candidates afraid of Bush refuse to say. Every day, that campaign pushed the message: sick of your president, his policies, his wars, his impoverishment of you and yours? I know most of you are. Here's how to fix that: elect people who'll do something in Washington other than suck his face.
Joe Lieberman would have been plenty content to win his primary from a bar in DC. Plenty of Democrats like to take potshots at their foes from a distance. Ned Lamont and his backers waded right into the crowds with signs and questions and the Kiss Float, and it rolled them all the way to victory.
It will be tempting to believe that Joe Lieberman's defeat in the Connecticut primary means something profound about the future of the war or the future of the Democrats. It may indeed mark a turning point in the public's patience with the president's war-management, but we'll have to wait till November to confirm that more generally. The primary defeat wasn't a rout, after all. And Lieberman, even among Democrats, was a special case. Hawkish Democrats, like Clinton, have managed to maintain support for the war against Islamist terror, while criticizing the president's staggering ineptness. Lieberman seemed unable to do this. He appeared more interested in becoming Rumsfeld's successor than in getting re-elected in blue-state Connecticut. And it's worth recalling: many Republicans have been more critical of the Bush administration's war decisions than Lieberman. Lieberman is to George Will's and Bill Buckley's and Chuck Hagel's and Bill Kristol's right on this. His position that any criticism of a president is inappropriate in wartime is also simply Hewittian in its proneness. At least that's my instant response to his political demise as a Democrat. I'm not crying any tears. Do you know anyone who is?
I'm not too unhappy about the result. I've never liked Lieberman (which is odd, considering he's my patron saint) but my big fear was that his loss would start a wave of bloodletting by the party's left. I think that's less likely now. If Lamont had won by ten points or more, as polls suggested and as most people expected*, it would have been overwhelming. But the fact is that Lieberman is one of the most, perhaps the most, pro-Bush Democrats in Washington, in one of the most liberal states, and he only lost by a whisker. I don't think other Democrats are going to look at Lieberman and say "there but for the grace of God go I."
"This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. "This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush."
One-quarter of the voters on Tuesday said they made up their minds whom to vote for in the week before the primary; Mr. Lieberman received a majority of their votes. Thirty percent decided in the last month, and three-fifths of them preferred Mr. Lamont. Voters who made up their mind earlier than that divided closely — 51 percent for Mr. Lieberman and 49 percent for Mr. Lamont.
BEIRUT (element) -- Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah yesterday announced that he was "sorry" after admitting that his militia was "not fighting fair."
"I feel really, really bad and embarassed," Nasrallah said in a statement on Hezbollah television. "I mean, why can't we just fight fair against the Israelis? How can we face the girls during recess if we refuse to fight the Israeli forces face-to-face, and instead continue to fight in this sneaky way."
He called for a broad change in tactics in the war against Israel, after conceding that "the rules" clearly showed that bombing from an air force is "totally fair," while firing Katyusha rockets is "not fair."
"From now on, when the Israeli tanks and jets come at us, we'll make sure we're not anywhere near women or children, because it's not fair. Give the jets their best shot, then we'll take our best shot," said Nasrallah. "If it means our complete destruction, well, then that's fair."
He also called on Iraqi insurgents to "fight fair." "No more IEDs, no more suicide bombs," he said. "From now on, fight the Americans in formation on an open battlefield. After all, it's only fair."
An American Indian attorney is asked where she keeps her tomahawk. White male partners look past a black lawyer, assuming she is clerical staff. An Asian attorney is called a "dragon lady" when she asserts herself.
A study by the American Bar Association that says those real-life experiences, along with more subtle forms of discrimination, are prompting growing numbers of minority women to abandon the nation's biggest law firms.
If something like this happened to me, they'd have to call security, and my employment would be terminated shortly thereafter. But they'd be telling the story around the office for years to come. "Tomahawk"? Are you fucking kidding me?
"As I see it, in this campaign we just finished the first half and the Lamont team is ahead. But in the second half our team, Team Connecticut, is going to surge forward to victory in November," Lieberman said. Then he shouted, "Will you join me?"
I realize that Mel Gibson's crazy, anti-semitic rant is a bit long in the tooth, but Orcinus posted excellent rundown. He points out Gibson's history of anti-semitic comments, including denying that he's a Holocaust denier while at the same time using the language of Holocaust deniers:
"I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."
To a Jew a Christian commits idolatry every time he looks at a crucifix and says a prayer. You know there in control and they're going to get in control the way things are going. Because they get all of our people...They killed several generations of us Americans (referring to WWWI, WWII)...The Jews weren't in the army much in WWI that because they were fomenting a revolt in Russia. America had no right to fight in foreign wars (in reference to WWI and WWII).
Gee, sounds rather like people who claim that "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," doesn't it?
Whatever happens tonight in the Connecticut Lamont/Lieberman primary, things are lookin' up for democracy. Yay democracy! Here are some thoughts from Ezra Klein that I stole from Digby:
The phase of this race bearing significant implications for the Democratic Party already happened, and whether Lamont wins or loses tomorrow is almost entirely immaterial to the political triumph of the netroots. Their scalp was claimed, mounted, and hung on July 7th, the day Joe Lieberman, an affable, popular incumbent who’d been his party’s celebrated vice-presidential candidate only six years earlier, was forced to mount a stage against some nobody named Ned Lamont and defensively debate his right to call himself a Democrat. Or maybe the seminal instant occurred four days earlier, on July 3rd, when Lieberman admitted that he would gather signatures to enable an independent run, a sign he feared defeat in the primary. Either way, the point is the same: The netroots won the moment Joe Lieberman felt fear.
With the netroots having proved they can generate an existential challenge to a safe-seeming incumbent, actually defeating Lieberman would be little beyond icing on the cake. Moving forward, a Lieberman victory would do nothing to blur the traumatic memory of his near-loss. And that gives the netroots an extraordinary amount of power, vaulting them into a rarified realm occupied by only the strongest interest groups.
Now the netroots will join that category. But, as evidenced by their choice of target -- Dianne Feinstein and Herb Kohl, while war supporters, face no primary challenges -- they will demand something altogether different. Rather than requiring submission to a certain set of policy initiatives, they’ll demand unity in certain moments of partisan showdown. What so rankled about Lieberman was his willingness to abandon ship when steady hands were most necessary -- he was always the first to compromise on judicial nominees, or flirt with Social Security privatization, or scold critics of the Iraq War. His current plight is evidence that such opportunistic betrayals will not, in the future, go unpunished. On July 7th, being the Democrat who criticizes Democrats ceased being safe.
Opposition to the Bush junta has come a long way. And I think we're gonna actually win one today.
The Chronicle has an article on San Francisco neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. Some of her claims regarding neurological differences between women and men are:
Thoughts about sex enter women's brains once every couple of days; for men, thoughts about sex occur every minute.
Women excel at knowing what people are feeling; men have difficulty spotting an emotion unless someone cries or threatens bodily harm.
Give me a fucking break. I, as a man, have difficulty spotting an emotion unless somebody is crying or is threatening to kick my ass? Women only think about sex and get horny once every couple days? Those claims are absurd on their face.
I don't doubt that there are neurological differences in the brains of men and women, and that those differences result in certain behavioral differences, but I'm deeply skeptical about some of her assertions (like the two above).
Male readers, can you tell I'm feeling skeptical righ now? How about if I punch you in the face, would that make you understand how I feel? Huh?! Huh, motherfuckers!? I'll kick your motherfuckin' ass!
On page 3, we are treated to a typical, if rather aesthetically impressive aerial shot of the Green Lantern team-up (Hal Jordan and John Stewart), fighting six of the 'Great Ten' high above China. We know it's China because part of the landscape features a sweeping Great Wall of China separating the diagonals of the two-page panel.
It's no coincidence that the Great Wall of China is used as the symbol of China in this image; the 'Great Ten' represent China's "Closed Door" policy as they defend China's airspace from the American intruders. Also, in this shot, American characters (not coincidentally represented by the African American John Stewart and White American Hal Jordan, to underscore the threat of this foreign Yellow Peril to all Americans regardless of colour) are trapped on the side of the Great Wall closest to the reader, meant to represent "us" or "the outside", while the villain the GLs are pursuing (a yellow star) is able to cross easily into Chinese airspace with no quarrel. This further suggests that though Hal Jordan suspects that the "Great Ten" are the good guys, they are of questionable morality, at least to the perspective of our All-American Heroes.
...In the next panel, Hal Jordan squashes Thundermind like a bug with a giant Green Lantern fist of God -- which suggests a visual superiority of not only America over Asia, but Judeo-Christianity over Buddhism.
Don't get me wrong. I know that there are good comics out there that actually think about the thematic implications of the art accompanying the dialogue. I just don't think this is one of them. Symbolic of China's "Closed Door" policy? It's more likely just a lazy way to indicate that the story takes place in China. And visual superiority over Asia and Buddhism? All Hal Jordan ever did as Green Lantern was make giant hands to smash or carry things. Why should this instance be any different?
That said, I think the analysis of the characterization is spot on:
In the same panel, we see what was possibly the most disturbing sight in the comic: the disgusting character, Mother of Champions, whose character description said that her superpower was to birth an army of "cannon fodder" every three days, is seen being attended to by the Perfect Physician (another Great Ten character) while she lies, on her back with a massive pregnant belly, on a chair with six spider legs. This chair presumably allows the Mother of Champions to move about despite her perpetually pregnant state, but the legs are far too reminiscent of an insect. The Mother of Champions character is basically a queen bee, creating insect-like drones, that are described, by the Ghost Fox Killer, as disposable cannon fodder. Immediately, we see another allusion to the Yellow Peril, in which China is represented by a sea of terrifying faceless, brainless, insect-like men, and the women exist only to birth these men into existence. How's that for sexism and racism all in one character?
The post's first comment notes hopefully that Grant Morrison might pull it out in the end. I couldn't care less if he does. This shit is too far gone. I'll write it for them. Superman shows them Coca-Cola and Rock and Roll, and they all defect to be saved by the white Western world. Throw in some symbolic baptism imagery and you're done. Happily ever after.
Telling racist jokes. (This one's pretty fucking obvious, but apparently some people need a reminder.)
If you did not know that the above things were not okay, please print this out and give it to your parents.
Y'know, this is exactly why we don't trust you white folks. As nice as you seem, we wonder if, among your white friends, you're all racist as fuck. When you do shit like this and post it on the internet, you're just reinforcing our stereotypes. And yes, I'm willing to grant that it's a racist stereotype. But as people say when defending racist stereotypes, "But it's true! I know a guy who's just like that!" Examples above.
(To any of my white friends who might read this: Don't worry. You're one of the good ones.)
Claire Hoffman, an intrepid L.A. Times reporter (and old friend of mine), has written a fascinating article on Joe Francis, the creator of the sleazy Girls Gone Wild videos. While reporting on Mr. Francis, she became part of the story:
Joe Francis, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, is humiliating me. He has my face pressed against the hood of a car, my arms twisted hard behind my back. He's pushing himself against me, shouting: "This is what they did to me in Panama City!"
It's after 3 a.m. and we're in a parking lot on the outskirts of Chicago. Electronic music is buzzing from the nightclub across the street, mixing easily with the laughter of the guys who are watching this, this me-pinned-and-helpless thing.
Francis isn't laughing.
He has turned on me, and I don't know why. He's going on and on about Panama City Beach, the spring break spot in northern Florida where Bay County sheriff's deputies arrested him three years ago on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking and promoting the sexual performance of a child. As he yells, I wonder if this is a flashback, or if he's punishing me for being the only blond in sight who's not wearing a thong. This much is certain: He's got at least 80 pounds on me and I'm thinking he's about to break my left arm. My eyes start to stream tears.
This is not what I anticipated when I signed up for a tour of Joe Francis' world. I've been with him nonstop since early afternoon, listening as he teases employees, flying on his private jet, eating fast food and watching young women hurl themselves against his 6-foot-2-inch frame, declaring, "We want to go wild!"
Tonight we had spent almost five hours in a sweaty nightclub, crowded with 2,500 very young and very drunk people. Clubs like this are fertile fields for Francis. He's made a fortune selling videos of women who agree to flash their breasts and French-kiss their friends for the cameras. In exchange, a girl who goes wild will receive a T-shirt, a pair of panties, maybe a trucker hat. It had been a typical night for him. He'd scoured the club, recruiting young and, for the most part, intoxicated women. Because filming wasn't allowed inside, he and his newly discovered entourage had stepped outside, heading for the confines of a "Girls Gone Wild" tour bus parked across the street.
Before climbing aboard, he walks in my direction, and the next thing I know, he's acting out his 2003 arrest on me.
I wriggle free and punch him in the face, closed-fist but not too hard.
"Damn," bystanders say. Francis barely blinks. He snatches at my notebook. He is amped, his broad face sneering as he does a sort of boxer's skip around me, jabbering, grabbing at my arms and my stomach as I try to move away, clutching my notebook to my chest. He stabs a finger in my face, shouting, "You don't care about the 1st Amendment. I care about the 1st Amendment, but you are the kind of reporter who doesn't care."
Read the whole thing. His behavior gets worse. Joe Francis is a piece of shit.
David Brooks worships the status quo because he has no penis
Matt Taibbi has a new weekly column. I'm pretty happy about that. Check it out:
Brooks is the perfect priest of American conservatism, and by conservatism I don't mean the bloodthirsty, gun-toting, go-back-to-Africa, welfare-bashing right-winger conservatism of the NRA and Sean Hannity and the Bible Belt. I mean the dickless, power-worshipping, good-consumer pragmatic conservatism of Times readers and those other Bobos in Paradise who have exquisitely developed taste in furniture, coffee and television programming but would rather leave the uglier questions of politics to more decisive people, so long as they aren't dangerous radicals like Michael Moore or Markos Zuniga.
That's why the marriage of David Brooks and the Democratic Leadership Council makes perfect sense. It's repugnant and the kind of thing one should shield young children from knowing about, but it makes perfect sense. Both prefer a policy of being "cautious soldiers," "incrementalists" who shun upheavals and vote the status quo, although they subscribe to this policy for different reasons. Brooks worships the status quo because he has no penis and wants to spend the rest of his life buying periwinkle bath towels without troubling interruptions of conscience. The DLC, a nonprofit created in the mid-1980s to help big business have a say in the Democratic Party platform, supports the status quo because they are paid agents of the commercial interests that define it.
Moreover, Brooks and the DLC have this in common: While they both frown on the open flag-waving and ostentatious religiosity of the talk-radio right-wing as being gauche and in bad form, they're only truly offended by people of their own background who happen to be idealistic.
Hence the recurring backlash by both against the various angry electoral challenges to the establishment of the Democratic Party -- including, most recently, the campaign of Ned Lamont, challenger to Joe Lieberman's Senate Seat in Connecticut.
Brooks's column of a few weeks ago on the subject of Lieberman/Lamont, titled "The Liberal Inquisition," was a masterpiece of yuppie paranoia. In an editorial line that would be repeated by other writers all across the country, Brooks blasted the "netroots" supporters of Lamont for being leftist extremists driven by "moral manias" and "mob psychology" to liquidate the "scarred old warhorse" Lieberman, whom he calls "transparently the most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of men." This is the archetypal suburban-conservative nightmare -- anonymous hordes of leftist boat-rockers viciously assaulting the champion of the decent people, who is just a really nice guy given to tending his lawn and minding his own business.
Being "nice" is a central part of the Brooks yuppie's guilt-proofing self-image rationale; so long as you're the kind of guy who lets people merge on highways, stands politely in line at Starbucks, doesn't put garish Christmas decorations on his lawn and pays his taxes, you're not really doing anything wrong. It gets a little tiring after a while, hearing people who vote for wars tell you how nice they are.
I have not been one who believed in the global warming. But I tell you, they are making a convert out of me as these blistering summers. They have broken heat records in a number of cities already this year and broken all-time records and it is getting hotter and the ice caps are melting and there is a build up of carbon dioxide in the air. We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels. If we are contributing to the destruction of the planet we need to do manage about it.
Wow. I have to admit, I'm kind of shocked by this.
Only this week I met a family at the airport who wanted me to drop in to their daughter's 16th birthday party for 100,000 dollars (£53, 310). Because I'm her idol. So I will. I'll take her a present, though.
It is vitally important that we find these parents and take away their daughter. She'll thank us later.
Skinny blonde girl on The View goes apeshit over Plan B. You know it's bad when Barbara Walters has to end your shrill bleating and put you in your place. Guest host Lisa Loeb looks like she'd rather fuck a donkey, so long as that donkey is 200 miles away from The View.
The Bush administration said it viewed attempts by Venezuela or other countries to influence the transition in Cuba as unwarranted intervention. “The president is worried about people in the neighborhood who seek to destabilize neighbors using economic or other means,” Mr. Snow said.
I think American exceptionalism is so deeply ingrained in the Bush administration's thinking that it doesn't even see the ridiculousness of that statement.
A movie costarring two of the biggest names in kung fu cinema Jackie Chan and Jet Li is nearly a sealed deal, with the only outstanding issue being the script, Chan said Tuesday.
"All the hurdles have been overcome. The only problem left is the script," Chan told The Associated Press after a press conference to promote his new action comedy, "Rob-B-Hood."
"We need a script that he approves and I approve. If that goes well, shooting will start in March or April in Shanghai," he said.
Asked about the plot, Chan suggested it will be action-oriented fare, saying he and Li must defer to the movie's Hollywood backers.
"It will be more American-style. It will be more suited to foreign audiences than Chinese audiences," he said. "If you make a Hollywood movie, of course you have to follow their wishes. They're paying us so much money."
What used to be a punchline is now reality. This is the Lieberman campaign completely giving up on the primary and preparing for his independent run. Continued support in the general election for Joementum is a win-win for Republicans. Either they split the Democratic vote enough to elect Republican challenger Alan "All-In" Schlesinger, or they re-elect their good buddy Joe.
[Mel Gibson] said he wants to “meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.” . . . Now that the volatile Mr. Gibson has pleaded for guidance from leaders of the American Jewish community, I decided to consult the only one I know. I asked Leon Wieseltier, the author of “Kaddish ” and the literary editor of The New Republic, how he would help Mel heal.
“He has been a very bad goy,’’ Leon said.
“It is really rich to behold Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? Why would a people who start all the wars make a peace? Perhaps he’s feeling a little like Jesus, hoping that the Jews don’t do their worst and preparing himself for more evidence of their disappointing behavior.
“I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us. Take that cop who arrested Gibson. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was a Jew? We have been following Gibson’s every move since he released that movie. The other night, when our uniformed brother spotted him bobbing and weaving in his star car, we saw an opportunity and we took it. Don’t blame us. It’s what Yahweh would do.
What comes next is an escalation of the Guerra Fria between Venezuela and the US. There will be pressure in the US to invade, or even take other steps to "liberate" Cuba, while Hugo Chavez will increase aid and support of the replacement Cuban government. We'll get nasty about that and there will be tension.
This will only increase Chavez's stature in Latin America, and if Calderon is appointed as the president in Mexico, he [I'm not sure who the writer is referring to. -ed.] will be weakened even further.
Landis has insisted his body’s natural metabolism — not doping — caused the result, and he would undergo further tests to prove it.
His personal doctor, Brent Kay, told The New York Times that his initial test showed a ratio of 11:1, but cautioned that such a result was “not off the chart.” He maintained it could be due to natural causes, bacterial contamination, alcohol consumption before the test or contamination of the specimen during testing.
“I’ve seen bodybuilders with numbers 100 to 1,” Kay told the newspaper. “Although Floyd’s was elevated, it’s not off the chart or anything.”
Floyd Landis is a cheater. And most likely a liar too.
1. The information coming out of Cuba is straight. Castro is seriously ill and somewhat incapacitated and power was shifted to Raul Castro (his brother) for pragmatic reasons.
2. Castro isn't really all that ill. The temporary transfer is to gauge the response of the Cuban people to Raul as a successor and perhaps give him a little of the legitimacy that is conferred when one actually holds the keys, even for a short time.
3. Castro is dead. Raul is in control, and the plan is to gradually leak information out in a way that will not destabilize the regime.
And the thing is? We seriously have no idea. None.
As you know our rainbow flag was hung outside of our hotel because we dearly miss our son. It signified to us that he is just over the rainbow and as soon as we can we will all be together again. When my good neighbors told me to take it down, I assure you there was no hesitation. It will not come down. Last night, July 30, 2006 some "person" cut it down, well most of it anyway. Robin & I want you all to know that as soon as we can get a replacement here, the rainbow will proudly fly again.
My son's Rainbow flag is gone, cut by the very closed minded bigots that we sent him home to get away from. Our new Rainbow flag will serve a different purpose, it will stand for the very thing that THEY (the schalooses) wanted it to stand for. Gay Rights, Gay Pride, Human Rights, Equality of the Sexes, Equality of the Races, Diversity, Unity, Peace, The International Co-operative Alliance's, The Inca banner, The Flag of Cusco, Peru, The Wizard of OZ, God's Gift to Mankind, and everything else that the homophobic, bigoted, ignorant ... people of the world fear.
Their letter includes this heartwarming tale of Christian charity:
Before we bought the Lakeway Hotel a gay couple looked at it and the same good christians that want my son's rainbow flag down told the bank, 'if you sell to those gays, we'll all pull our accounts.' They'll never be happy, and their hunger for control will never subside. Never!!! They change scripture to suit their purpose. They are spreading ignorance and bigotry one child at a time. Not my son.
The Knights sound like lovely people. Their community sounds like the embodiment of all the worst stereotypes that Blue Staters have of Red Staters. Things are escalating, and I fear for their safety.