The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley's GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it."
In the days after 9/11 the panic and hysteria were so thick in the air that people were saying a lot of crazy things. I remember writing a blistering post some time back about Jonathan Alter, who is a good guy, but who lost his mind for a bit after 9/11 and entertained this torture concept in his column. We all remember Alan Dershowitz going on the record early with an argument to make torture legal. I was quite stunned at the time, but I assumed that once the smoke cleared the nation would realize, with some chagrin, that many of the things they felt and believed while the rubble was still fresh was no longer acceptable.
The opposite happened. Our culture, debased by years of ugly rightwing eliminationist rhetoric has gotten worse. It is so much worse that it has abandoned the taboo against torture. There is no other way to read the results of this week.
Some of our leadership did speak out against the abuse of prisoners. Hillary Clinton, in particular, addressed the humane treatment of the captured enemy in explicit terms of fundamental American values. Others did as well. But overall, I think it's pretty clear that speaking out against torture is still something that requires chutzpah --- which means that approving of torture is now the norm. We need to recognize that and form our strategy based on that recognition. We are no longer the country I grew up in.
Welcome to the The New America.
However, although we're living in a New America, it does have a familiar sort of feel to it; kind of a Soviet feel. I'm reminded of a column from way back in 2003 describing the beginnings of our transformation into Soviet America:
...I went home–and made the mistake of turning on the television. A half hour later, I was watching a shot of George Bush waving goodbye to a throng of adoring sailors dissolve into a black screen, leading to the chilling voice-over that I did not imagine: "We now return to Friends, already in progress."
It was at that moment that my headaches went away, and I realized that I had woken up in the Soviet Union.
It has become fashionable on the left and in Western Europe to compare the Bush administration to the Nazis. The comparison is not without some superficial merit. In both cases the government is run by a small gang of snickering, stupid thugs whose vision of paradise is full of explosions and beautifully designed prisons. Toss in the desert fatigues motif and the "self-defense" invasion tactic, and there does seem to be a good case.
But it’s way off. It’s wishful thinking. The Reich only lasted 12 years. The Soviets reigned for 75. They were better at it than the Nazis, and we’re better at it than the Russians. Ask anyone who’s lived in a communist country, and he’ll tell you: Modern America is deja vu all over again. And if ever there was a Soviet spectacle, it was Bush’s speech last week.
Think about it. Huge weapons on display, in foreground and background. The leader who has never fought dressed in full military regalia. Crowds of adoring soldiers and "shock worker" types dressed in colorful costumes, carefully arranged for the cameras. A terrible, excruciatingly dull speech, 20 minutes of incoherent, redundant patriotism (Bush used the words "free" or "freedom" 19 times in an 1800-word speech) and chimpanzoid chest-pounding.
On May Day.
That was Red Square every year for about 70 straight years. And now it is a most natural fit in our society.
The genius of the Soviet system–and now the genius of ours–was that it appealed not to the hatreds and passions of its people, but to other, more dependable qualities: laziness, banality, drunkenness, cowardice. It gave you a piece of sausage and a bottle of vodka and asked only that you take a few minutes to cheer some pictures of tanks rolling into Prague. Its leaders (with the exception of Stalin) were a succession of Bush-like plodders who were dumber than your chimney-sweep uncle and could barely speak their own language.
The...irresistible instinct toward mediocrity is the same.
So is the fawning sentimentality, and the preposterous fake idealism. In Soviet times, a man who was afraid to speak frankly on any topic in front of his own children and whose neighbor had disappeared two days before was capable of shedding real tears over the plight of the American Negro, a popular Soviet cause for decades. You see the same thing here in the States: no job, no health insurance, fucked for life by the credit bureaus, but swelling with pride over the sight of an Iraqi child with a candy bar.
Modern observers look back at the early Soviet days and wonder how it is that people could possibly have believed those fantastic tales they read about in the state papers–the lurid descriptions of fascist terrorists and wreckers who conspired to poison reservoirs and turn up rails and put broken glass in sausage in the most faraway, seemingly irrelevant places in Siberia and the far north. The answer probably is that they wanted to believe them. Because that was what was in their hearts. It wasn’t a lie that was being put over on them. It came from them.
Few sane people survived those early years to pass on genes to the next generation. The ones who did remained in careful hiding for decades while they waited for the beast to rot from within.
That may be our only hope in the States, because the problem isn’t removing George Bush. It’s the rest of it. This whole thing, all around us, is a package deal. From war all the way back to Friends, already in progress. A monster that mighty doesn’t need a führer.
Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.
Borat often discusses his family members with the people he interviews. Borat's sister, Natalya, is a prostitute (awarded "best sex in mouth" by the Almaty Chamber of Commerce, and rated the "number 4" prostitute in Kazakhstan) and the two of them like to pretend to be "husband and wife." He has a younger brother Bilo who is mentally ill and has a son born with an unusually excessive amount of body hair who travels "in a tent"; and another pubescent brother Vilo, who has grown a moustache since Borat left his home village. Borat states that the former has "small head, but very strong arm," and thus must be kept locked behind a metal door or in a cage. His relationship with his mother seems to be unpleasant, and Borat has commented that "she wishes she was raped by another man." According to the Official Borat Homesite, he also has an 11-year-old son named Biram, who is the father of his two grandchildren. Borat has a pet pig Igor which he claims to love, although he and his family end up eating it (including its eyes).
In one episode, Borat reveals that he suffered a "very bad gypsy attack," in which his wife and plough were stolen and "they touch[ed] [his] horse in [a] very bad way; it was depressed." Borat also claims to have previously worked as a Gypsy catcher, boasting that he can "hit a gypsy with a rock from fifteen metres away if chained—ten if not". Tragically, his first wife was accidentally shot in a field after a hunter mistook her for a bear. Borat was able to cope with the loss of his first wife and he has remarried several times. Still, Borat's exceptional sexual virility has compelled him to maintain extramarital relations with a girlfriend, a mistress, and at least one prostitute (although the latter relationship seems to consist exclusively of dancing). Incestuous relations with his sister, as well as incidents of bestiality with domesticated animals, and accidental homosexuality, have led some to question Borat's sexual ethics.
All the images where he is supposed to be in Kazakstan are actually filmed in Romania. The people, including those who are presented as being his family and friends, are Romanians from poor remote villages. Likewise, the theme song for his documentaries and that can be heard on his Myspace profile is a Romanian song. The person who appeared on MTV Europe Music Awards pretending to be the president of Kazakhstan also spoke Romanian.
Sweet Jesus on a Cross I can't wait for this movie.
"We present a new paper-based voting method with attractive security properties. Not only can each voter verify that her vote is recorded as she intended, but she gets a “receipt” that she can take home that can be used later to verify that her vote is actually included in the final tally. Her receipt, however, does not allow her to prove to anyone else how she voted. "
...That this claim about "leftist" terrorist groups made it into the NIE summary is particularly significant in light of the torture and detention bill that is likely soon to be enacted into law. That bill defines "enemy combatant" very broadly (and the definition may be even broader by the time it is enacted) and could easily encompass domestic groups perceived by the administration to be supporting a "terrorist agenda."
Similarly, the administration has claimed previously that it eavesdrops on the conversations of Americans only where there is reasonable grounds (as judged by the administration) to believe that one of the parties is affiliated with a terrorist group. Does that include "leftist" groups that use the Internet to organize? This NIE finding gives rise to this critical question: Are "leftist" groups one of the principal targets on the anti-terrorism agenda of the Bush administration, and if so, aren't the implications rather disturbing?
I'm glad that this dkos blogger has taken the time to rip apart the arguments of the oppressed majority types. I've heard this shit entirely too often from my token white friends and acquaintances. You've heard it too, so you know how it goes:
... There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, etc. And then there are just Americans.
... You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day. You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day. You have Yom Hashoah You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi You have the NAACP. You have BET. If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) ... we'd be racists.
... If we had a White Pride Day ... you would call us racists. If we had White History Month ... we'd be racists. If we had any organization for only whites to "advance" OUR lives ... we'd be racists.
If this person intended "just Americans" in an inclusive way, like "there are all these different races and ethnicities, but we're all Americans," this would be an admirable sentiment. But it's clear from the rest of it that to this person "Americans" = "White Americans."
Does Condi's calling out of our last real President seem even crazier than their usual insane caterwauling? We are used to their lies, but this is a significantly different tactic, and a serious misstep, for the following reasons:
This is not just lies, but a challenge based on their lies.
The challenge is directed at someone who is sure to respond.
The challenge is directed at someone who is high profile enough that the response will receive significant media coverage.
The truth of the matter is easily demonstrated, and strikes the Republicans at what they condsider to be their strength and our weakness: terrorism & national security.
The 9/11 Commission Report contradicts Rice’s claims. On December 4, 1998, for example, the Clinton administration received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks.” Here’s how the Clinton administration reacted, according to the 9/11 Commission report:
The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports. [pg. 128-30]
On August 6, 2001, the Bush administration received a President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.” Here’s how the Bush administration reacted, according to the 9/11 Commission report:
[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so.[p. 260]
We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period. [p. 262]
This seems destined to blow up in their faces just before the midterm elections.
Folks, we have truly gone from the world's bitch-slappers to the world's bitch-niggaz.
And it all happened so quickly. If you google your way back in time a few years, to that Golden Age between early 2002 and the summer of 2003, you'd find a slew of insane articles describing America as, in the words of Newsweek, "the most powerful country in the history of the world." Or as best-selling historian Niall Ferguson argued, "The most powerful empire the world has ever seen." One winces when reading an article in the Washington Post from a couple of years ago, quoting neocon uberfag William Kristol boasting, "What's the point of being the greatest, most powerful nation in the world and not having an imperial role?" And no one around to smack him with a wet fish. Or a cold tire iron.
The kicker here is that not only has Kristol NOT been pulled out of his mansion and had his head shaven by angry Americans, but rather, he speaks their language! This is where, unless you're lying to yourself, anyone who's trying to understand America needs to look. Past Kristol, past the editorial offices and think tanks in coastal America, and into its rank, mean, stupid heart. In a poll released earlier this week, Bush's approval rating has soared--SOARED!-- to 44%, the highest in ages. Even more shocking, Americans no longer believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake. The Bertrand Russell theorem applies to us too: we're getting what we deserve.
When I read that poll this past Monday, I exploded in laughter. The absolute, pure gullibility of the American public is without limit, bottomless...Everyone was asking last week "Why do they hate us?" all over again.
What a silly question! I mean, what's not to hate?! I hate us! We hate us! Anyone in his right mind would hate us!
I can't help it, suddenly I find Americans not merely contemptible but also funny as hell, I mean if you imagine them as literary characters. Because even in the world of fiction, you couldn't possibly invent a nation of such grotesque, abject suckers if you tried. For one thing, it wouldn't sell. No one would buy it. If the American public were characters in a novel, no editor would let them pass without massive reworking: "Your American public are simply not believable. They're too stupid and credulous and predictable...not to mention completely unlikable...no reader will identify with them! You can only suspend reader belief so much! Fiction has its limits!"
[Given how pathetic and absent the Democrats have been on issues like torture and warrantless-eavesdropping], it is truly difficult to avoid indifference over the outcome of this upcoming election. But then one ponders what the next two years is likely to bring our country if the Bush administration continues to exercise full-scale, unchecked power over all facets of our government -- a Congress that rubber-stamps a war with Iran (if it is allowed to vote at all); a likely Supreme Court nomination to replace the 86-year-old John Paul Stevens, which would create an executive-power-worshiping majority on the Supreme Court for the next couple of decades; more presidential lawbreaking, and the further entrenchment of one-party rule. And then one realizes that indulging the desire to see the timid, meek, frightened, principle-less Beltway Democrats get what they deserve (still more defeat) is something that our country simply cannot afford if it is to have any hope of avoiding passing the point of no return, where both our national security and our national character are fundamentally degraded in a way that is irreversible.
The "opposition party" is literally missing, silent, mute and invisible. And yet the only hope for reversing or at least halting any of this is to have that same Democratic Party actually somehow win an election and provide some desperately needed gridlock and balance and investigative processes to find out what our government has been doing. That is about as bleak of a picture as one can imagine.
"To some people, punk rock might have represented another wave of ethnic cleansing in Rock & Roll. However, that first wave of the New Wave was more integrated than most people might think. Several Black performers had key roles in punk bands during the prime early years (1976-83), particularly in New York, which, as the home of the Black Rock Coalition (a musician's collective), has had a long involved history of Blacks playing Rock & Roll. This is a salute to the brothers and sisters that helped make it happen."
A Review of "The Square Root of 2: A Dialogue Concerning a Number and a Sequence"
"Professor Clyde Kruskal, who works in parallelism, has triplets: Alexander, Justin, and Rebecca Kruskal. They are in 9th grade, have already taken elementary algebra, and are taking Geometry now (this was written in Spring 2006). Professor William Gasarch spoke to them about the square root of 2. What follows is an interpretation of their conversation. "
I was watching BBC World today. They interviewed a Thai academic who had just begun to express an opinion critical of the junta. Zap! BBC World was off the air until the segmant had finished. Clean and clinical censorship -- exactly the way it's done in China today. It's quite ironic, really. The guy the army deposed, Thaksin, was widely criticized for having exerted too much control over the Thai media.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, Thailand was a free country -- one of the two most democractic nations in Southeast Asia. Also the country in the region with the most democratic "experience." But today? Today this is what the coup leaders have said, according to the NY Times.
“In order to avoid problems, the Administrative Reform Council prohibits political gatherings of more than 5 people,” said Thavinand Krongkrang, a news anchorwoman on Channel 5, a station owned by the military. Violators would be jailed 6 months or fined....
The military also ordered the ministry of telecommunications “to control, stop or block the distribution of information through all media channels that might affect the council’s work,” meaning the activities of the junta.
The coup leaders singled out several groups... urging laborers and farmers “to remain peaceful, because any gathering or movement right now might facilitate the work of people with bad intentions to cause disturbance.”
As for students... “Any of you who has an idea or any opinion, please send your ideas or suggestions to the army,” a spokesperson said in one of the televised statements.
There was only light traffic on the streets of the city. On the sidewalks you might bump into the occassional soldier. Thai television broadcast some images which suggested to me that tanks were being postitioned toward the outer reaches of Bangkok. The Guardian reported today:
Outside Bangkok's army headquarters, a crowd of around 30 anti-Thaksin protesters confronted a group of two dozen Thaksin supporters, who were carrying banners the rival group ripped to shreds. Soldiers quickly intervened and told the pro-Thaksin group to leave.
In a separate incident at Democracy Monument - the site of mass demonstrations against the military regime in the past - an official from Mr Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party staged a one-man protest as a crowd of around 100 people jeered him.
Soldiers later forced the politician, Thawee Krikup, into an unmarked van after allowing him to protest for several hours.
Thai newspaper the Nation said several senior government officials and others close to Mr Thaksin had been arrested, with their fates unknown.
Well, I'm glad that Texas public schools are evangelizing to their students. Who else would present the word of the Christian god if not our "secular" schools? I'm worried about Christianity dying out. If only they had some sort of organized infrastructure to codify and spread their beliefs.
Short Answer. Answer three of the following questions. Use Specific examples. 1. How is the Bible’s honesty a good reason to believe what the Bible says? 2. The miracles of the Bible are considered an argument for its credibility. Name one of the miracles in the Bible. 3. How is the unity of the Bible a good reason to believe it? 4. What does it mean to say that the Bible is endorsed by Christ? 5. Explain how the survival of the Bible makes it believable?
The Rude Pundit's answers: 2. Jesus never takes a holy dump. 4. Well, it's sort of like Wilford Brimley endorsing Quaker Oats. There's a man who needs a clean colon. And if we can learn to shit better because an old character actor shows us how, then we can certainly buy the Bible because one of the characters in it says it's a really good book. 5. Wilford Brimley seems to be surviving an awful long time thanks to Quaker Oats. That makes it believable that oatmeal is a means to an end. So if something stays around long enough, it must be valuable, like herpes or Courtney Love.
According to the article to which Michelle linked, the complaint is that the Terrorists "were convicted by a trial riddled with illegalities, like witnesses who were not listened to and evidence that was rejected by the court." Wow -- a trial where the witnesses are not listened to and improper evidence was used. What kind of country would convict someone of terrorism using procedures like that? And what kind of disgusting barbarians would be opposed to having "the International Criminal Court in Geneva," pursuant to an international "human rights convention," demand greater legal protections for terrorists?
Paragon of journalism, Bill O'Reilly, is a "T-Warrior". As a traditionalist who "want[s] to keep the country pretty much the way it is," he sets himself against not just progressives, but progress itself. Amazingly, he claims to be a target of Al Qaeda:
"With the controversy comes death threats on a daily basis," O'Reilly said. "Not only from kooks. But the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that al Qaeda had us on a death list. … That's a little disconcerting."
He's kidding himself if he thinks anyone knows who he is besides some bloggers and his 60 year old demographic.
"It has been reported," said Fox, that "your grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish. Could you please tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?"
Allen recoiled as if he had been struck. His supporters in the audience booed and hissed. "To be getting into what religion my mother is, I don't think is relevant," Allen said, furiously. "Why is that relevant -- my religion, Jim's religion or the religious beliefs of anyone out there?"
"Honesty, that's all," questioner Fox answered, looking a bit frightened.
"Oh, that's just all? That's just all," the senator mocked, pressing his attack. He directed Fox to "ask questions about issues that really matter to people here in Virginia" and refrain from "making aspersions."
His jeering supporters demonstrate their own anti-semitism.
The favorite channels of the future being The Masturbation Channel and Fox News. The favorite television show being “Ow! My Balls!” and the favorite film being “Ass” (a single shot of a bare ass, which farts every few seconds). The size of a Costco being bigger than a large city. Starbucks being a place where you can get a lot more than a coffee (if you know what I mean, huh huh).
``The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers,'' said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in a statement.
You Cum Like a Girl The feds say a comic’s phrase is too vulgar to trademark, but “cum-furt” is A-OK By MARGY ROCHLIN Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 6:00 pm
Like many standup comedians, Cathy Carlson has a signature line in her act: “You cum like a girl.” Though not as suit-and-tie quaint as Rodney Dangerfield’s “I don’t get no respect,” it’s all hers. Or at least she’d like it to be. Carlson has emblazoned her five favorite words in pink letters on tank tops, T-shirts and spanky pants, which she sells at outdoor street fairs and via her Web site (www.youcumlikeagirl.com). Several months before she started the apparel line, she attempted to register her catch phrase with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). What she got in return was a resounding NO! and a sizable porn collection on her computer hard drive, compliments of our own federal government.
Carlson discovered the unusual gift of porn one morning two months ago when she found four separate pieces of correspondence from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in her personal e-mail account. In each were literally dozens of photographs of women covered in ejaculate and no letter of explanation.
...The following day she received a fifth e-mail, which apparently had been sent with the others but somehow got lost in cyberspace. This time, there were only words. Citing Section 2 (a) of the Trademark Act, Carlson’s application to register the phrase “You cum like a girl” had been refused on the grounds of being “scandalous” and “vulgar,” with the phrase’s offending verb defined as a “vulgar slang term for ejaculation at the time of orgasm.” Shanahan provided examples of similar rejections and explained why other attempts to register phrases with “cum” passed muster and Carlson’s didn’t. He also suggested why the word “orgasm” might make a suitable PG-13 replacement. Shanahan did include one small conciliatory detail in the haze of constrained legalese: an expression of discomfort at having to send an avalanche of visual aids — unearthed by way of a Google search — to “illustrate the predominant connotation of the term ‘cum.’”
“He said he knows this is considered distasteful, but he’s sending them anyway,” Carlson remembers. “He could have sent one picture. He sent 10 megabytes.”
...Shanahan’s voice over the phone is matter-of-fact, not defensive, like a schoolteacher having to tutor one more student in his area of expertise. Asked to explain why so many triple-X-rated pages were sent to Carlson, Shanahan frames his answer as a case of USPTO protocol: He has to make his argument as complete as possible in case it goes before the Trademark Trial Appeal Board. “I personally have never sent them in the 15 years I’ve been doing this... I wasn’t happy to do it.”
But why images of women being ejaculated on instead of actually having an orgasm? Shanahan didn’t pause before answering, “I don’t think that really matters. What does that phrase mean otherwise?”
Another reason why we should not have attorneys who can't use the word "cum" in a sentence. Preferably during their bar exam.
Luckily, I missed the first battle in Burnett's race war, but luckily (for me, unfortunately for her), reappropriate liveblogged it. Starts off well with a laundry list of Asian stereotypes. But it's from an Asian guy, so it's okay!
Cao Boi (the 'ol Asian hippie archetype) is discussing why he feels apprehensive about being in an "all-Asian" tribe because he's "never fit in with Asians... because he doesn't fit into the stereotype". Cao Boi proceeds to describe typical Asians in terms of the model minority myth: studious, unassuming, eager-to-please. Here is the problem with the model minority myth in many aspects: it not only divides Asians by constantly establishing a "standard of Asianness" which uses external qualifiers to decide a person's own racial authenticity. Also, Cao Boi assumes that the myth is fact.
Surprisingly, the rest of the episode does an admirable job of challenging these and other stereotypes. The producers and editors take care to present everyone as individuals and not faceless racial charicatures. In fact, by the end of the episode, they succeed in solving the problem of racism, causing all of Mark Burnett's detractors to eat a heaping helping of crow. The contestants from the different tribes come together in a multiracial love fest, eventually leading to a torrid, drunken orgy, ensuring record-breaking ratings and well-deserved wealth for Burnett.
Unsurprisingly, that's not what happens. The contestants are marginalized and dehumanized, both by the producers/editors, who portray them in ways consistent with their racial stereotypes, and by the contestants themselves, who refer to others as "the Black guy" or "the Asian guy."
We're speculating among ourselves that if the white tribe behaves as it historically has, they will bring along vials of diseases; they will end up oppressing the other groups; they will deny them benefits; deny them their property, steal it from them, and you know, put them on some kind of a benefit program.
...and from the episode:
We also find out that the White people in the portion of the episode I missed stole a chicken from the Latinos (I think), as well as having one of their own. So, as in history, the White-folk start out with resources privilege by stealing from the brownfolk.
And then they lose the chicken.
Another tribe is given the opportunity to punish the thief, with predictable results:
The Chicken Thief disdainly says in his voiceover that he stole "the Asian guy's" chicken and "the Black guy" screwed him. And we get that White entitlement thing, too, because the Chicken Thief actually talks about how he feels wronged for being "punished" for stealing from the minorities. You even get a hint of the "damn minorities, all uniting against the poor 'oppressed' Whitefolk" from him as he bemoans his fate spending a night or two from his tribe.
Frankly, I doubt the episode was quite as bad as it she makes it sound, if only because I'm an optimist. But I'm still not watching. Until the inevitable racial epithet fueled altercation. Then I'll watch that scene on YouTube.
This will be my last penis post for a while, I promise. New York Times:
MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) -- A woman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with a bizarre incident in February that resulted in a fake penis being microwaved at a convenience store.
Leslye Creighton, 41, of Wilkinsburg, entered the plea Wednesday, and authorities dropped the same charge against Vincent Bostic, 31, of Pittsburgh, who has agreed to help pay $425 to replace the store's microwave, police and the couple's defense attorney said.
Police in McKeesport, about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, said the Feb. 23 incident began when Bostic filled a fake penis with his urine that they said Creighton planned to use to pass a drug test to get a job.
The two stopped at a GetGo! convenience store and, after wrapping the device in a paper towel, asked a store clerk to heat it up in a microwave, police said. Authorities said they believe Creighton wanted the device heated so the urine inside would be at body temperature during the drug test.
The clerk, however, believing the lifelike device to be a severed penis, called police.
Defense attorney William Difenderfer said Creighton faces a maximum punishment of $300 and 90 days in jail when she is sentenced Nov. 15 by McKeesport District Judge Doug Reed. Difenderfer called it ''a humorous, but weird, case.''
Mixed martial arts is the most exciting sport, bar none. Don't look away for a second. Anything could happen at any time; a knockout, a surprise submission. The fight could be over before you know it.
For most people in the US, MMA means UFC. And that's somewhat unfortunate. The original owners of the organization promoted the sport as a bloodsport, an unsophisticated slugfest. Like Bumfights on steroids.
It's hard to blame them. In the early days, the fighters were skilled, but not well rounded. As a result, the fights were often one-sided. The "no rules, buckets of blood" marketing sold pay-per-views, even though the fights often failed to deliver the expected ultra-violence and gore. As the fighters became more well rounded, the fights became more complex, and the marketing did a real disservice to the people who devoted their lives to the sport. Talented fighters were jeered by ignorant audiences who wanted blood and couldn't be bothered to learn about wrestling and submissions.
The new owners have taken the sport in a new direction, emphasizing the athletes' skills and working to educate the audience. Today, a great fighter needs a complex and diverse combination of skills, dedication, and a hell of a lot of heart, and the crowds are beginning to understand that. They are certainly booing less, if nothing else.
Not coincidentally, the organization now emphasizes the safety of the sport, in an effort to get it sanctioned by athletic commissions in more States. See this comparison:
Boxing Deaths from 1998 until 2006 MMA Death Rates from 1998-2006 1998 = 2 Deaths in the ring 1998 = 1 Death in the ring 1999 = 6 Deaths in the ring 1999 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2000 = 10 Deaths in the ring 2000 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2001 = 12 Deaths in the ring 2001 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2002 = 10 Deaths in the ring 2002 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2003 = 10 Deaths in the ring 2003 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2004 = 9 Deaths in the ring 2004 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2005 = 7 Deaths in the ring 2005 = 0 Deaths in the ring 2006 = 4 Deaths in the Ring 2006 = 0 Deaths in the ring
Somewhat misleading, because there are many thousands more boxing matches than MMA matches each year. But zero deaths in eight years? And the only death was a guy with a pre-existing condition who probably should not have been fighting. That's a pretty goddamn good safety record. All that aside, MMA fighters are hit in the head significantly less than boxers. Fights can end in a submission, with no punches thrown. No shame in tapping out.
For example, the fight above ends in a tap out. Unfortunately, it's Frank, my friend in the green and white shorts, who taps. His opponent is a college wrestler and jiu-jitsu fighter, which makes him a takedown and submission machine. Frank led the fight on their feet. In my opinion, he got the better of the stand-up striking, and even defended a few takedown attempts. The tables turned on the ground. His opponent was able to get side mount twice, the second time leading to the armbar that finished the match. Frank tried desperately to get out of the armbar, but when his opponent got his legs across Frank's chest and sunk in the hold, there was little left to do but tap.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged Thursday that Venezuela will support Iran if it is invaded as a result of the Middle Eastern nation's high-stakes nuclear standoff with the United Nations Security Council.
"Iran is under threat; there are plans to invade Iran, hopefully it won't happen, but we are with you," Chavez told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a meeting of the Group of 15 developing nations.
Chavez said Venezuela stands with Iran in this time of crisis, just as it has with Cuba, where Fidel Castro handed over power to Raul while recovering from intestinal surgery. If they don't defend each other, no one else will, Chavez said.
"Under any scenario we are with you just like we are with Cuba," Chavez said. "If the United States invades Cuba, blood will run... We will not have our arms crossed while bombs are falling in Havana or they carry Raul off in a plane."
Doesn't he have better things to do? I can't see how this meeting can instill fear of terrorism in the US voter, or cause more people to believe that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks. It probably won't even give the Prez an opportunity to declare victory in Iraq. God willing, we'll get a prime time joint press conference out of this.
Before cops threw the book at him, Jakub Fik threw something unusual at them -- his penis.
Fik, 33, cut off his own penis during a Northwest Side rampage Wednesday morning. When confronted by police, Fik hurled several knives and his severed organ at the officers, police said. Officers stunned him with a Taser and took him into custody.
Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital reattached Fik's penis Wednesday, sources said. He was listed in good condition Thursday, according to hospital spokesman Andrew Buchanan, who declined to comment further.
Fik was bleeding when the officers arrived and may have already cut off his organ, Dolan said.
"At that point, this guy came running out, naked, with a handful of knives . . . and started throwing knives at the police officers that were 10, 20, 30 feet away," Dolan said.
Fik threw his penis during the confrontation, too, Dolan said. He then went back into the house and re-emerged with "another handful of knives," Dolan said.
Dr. Greg Bales, associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago, said severed penises are uncommon but surgery usually works.
"As long as the penis is placed on ice and reattached within a few hours, the success is usually pretty good," Bales said.
I'm glad I know that the success of reattachment is "usually pretty good" along as it is put on ice. If an irate girlfriend ever cuts my organ off, I won't despair. I'll just be sure to put it on ice before I head to the hospital.
Cuba will bring its free eye surgery program to Africa and Asia in the coming months, expanding a campaign that has restored eyesight to hundreds of thousands of poor people in 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Most of the surgeries are done at the Cuban Ophthamology Institute in western Havana, a complex of buildings with 34 operating rooms where 62 doctors and dozens of residents can perform simultaneous operations, the directors said.
But "Operation Miracle" has also expanded to clinics in Venezuela and Bolivia and Cuban teams will soon expand to Ecuador and Mexico as well.
The Cuban government usually pays for air fare and other costs, as well as the surgeries. Since the program began in July 2004 with a group of poor Venezuelan patients, Cuban doctors have performed eye surgery, mostly for cataracts, on 375,619 patients, Rios Torres said.
Stories like this make me wish "socialism" hadn't become such a bad word. I'm wary of the totalitarianism that sometimes accompanies socialism (as in Cuba), but the "helping the less fortunate" aspect of it is pretty cool. I'd like a little more socialism in the USA.
The operating conflict on earth now is no longer capitalism vs. communism, but one pitting organization vs. anarchy. All over the world, the borders of nation-states are blurring and becoming more and more meaningless. From the north Indian subcontinent, to the jungles of the Amazon basin, to the Middle East, and especially to West and Central Africa, nations are fast losing their integrity while local warlords and gangs are taking over. In some places in the world, authority changes more from block to block than nation to nation. In countries like Pakistan, which last week was forced to sign a humiliating peace accord with belligerents on its own territory of Waziristan, a tribal leader can twist the nipples of a nuclear power and not only keep his neck but come out ahead of the game afterward. In the late Eighties and early Nineties the Risk nerds squealed with delight over the supposedly unipolar world created by the fall of the Berlin Wall, but actually the change was from bipolar to apolar. There was anarchy and a crisis of international identity on the other side of that wall. Our pole, one might say, turned out to be a lot smaller than we thought it was.
Cheney on going to war with Iraq: "If on 9/11 they'd had a nuke instead of an airplane, you'd have been looking at a casualty toll that would rival all the deaths in all the wars fought by Americans in 230 years. That's the threat we have to deal with, and that drove our thinking in the aftermath of 9/11 and does today."
You know, I've often felt this way about my neighbor. If he had had a nuke instead of a really loud stereo, I'd be looking at millions of deaths instead of simply being woken up early this morning.
So, can I kill my neighbor?
I just wanted to say that I fucking hate our upstairs neighbors. Are they bowling up there? Jesus Christ.
There I was, happily watching war pornography with my family - the Path to 9/11 program on ABC - when they interrupted to bring us a speech from our president. It had the Orwellian vibe that we've come to enjoy so much at our house.
Mention offshore outsourcing, and Americans fume. But who would cry if we outsourced the work of lawyers, with their fat fees and endless strategies for adding years to litigation? Sounds like a great idea, but many might say it can't be done anyway. Legal work is too sensitive and technical to risk farming out to Asia.
Try telling that to DuPont (DD), the giant chemical company. On the seventh floor of an old office building on the outskirts of Manila, 30 Filipino attorneys, including three who have passed U.S. bar exams, are seated elbow-to-elbow with 50 other staff at long tables crammed with PCs. Working in three shifts seven days a week, they read, analyze, and annotate digital images of memos, payroll and medical records, old engineering specs, and other documents that might be used as evidence in DuPont legal cases.
For a puzzling seven minutes, the youngsters read aloud from the story "The Pet Goat" while the shaken president followed along in front of the class, trying to come to grips with what he had been told - that a second plane had just hit the World Trade Center and the nation was under terrorist attack.
"He looked like he was going to cry," said Natalia Jones-Pinkney, now 12.
The crazy side of the blogosphere has been bitching about how the Fox News journalists should have died rather than converted to Islam. Your average conservative chicken-hawk is fucking positive that they would have chosen death in the same situation. Well, I can say that I would rather die:
ATHENS, Ala. (AP) -- A woman and two roommates are accused of holding her brother at gunpoint as she prayed for his repentance, even firing a shot into the ceiling to keep his attention.
Of course, I'm completely full of shit. If forced at gunpoint, I will pray to any goddamn thing you can possibly conceive. Because it doesn't fucking matter. It's all imaginary anyway. A ten foot incontinent squirrel named Bucky? Praise Bucky! Just put down the gun.
I look back on that moment when so many of us wanted to trust our president and I wonder:
Who would have imagined in their worst nightmares that these political usurpers would employ the human catastrophe of 9/11 to continue the terrorists work for them? Who would have imagined that they would embark on a course that would eventually kill more Americans than died on 9/11 in wars that do nothing to ensure the nation’s security but much to inspire more Arabs to hate us and wish to attack us? Who would have imagined they would dissipate the global solidarity and support the world had offered us? Who would have imagined that, having ignored all of the signs of a certain attack, they would continue to ignore the most obvious steps to protect us against future catastrophe, leaving our ports, our nuclear facilities, our chemical facilities invitingly unguarded? Who would have imagined that they would willingly allow bin-Laden to escape? Who would have imagined they would lie to the rescue workers about the health effects of the air they were breathing. Who would have imagined that they would put the fate of the nation in the hands of a group of lying, conniving, rats like “curveball,” Ahmad Chalabi and the INC? Who would have imagined a political campaign in which a man like Max Cleland, a man who lost three limbs in Vietnam, would be branded as insufficiently patriotic by right-wing politicians and pundits who never sacrificed so much as a chicken dinner for their country? Who would have imagined they would use homeland security as pure pork money, doling out millions for Red State fire houses while leaving tens of millions who live near obvious targets—and were attacked last time—unprotected? Who would have imagined they would emulate our enemies, employing methods of torture and massacre? Who would imagine they would force our brave soldiers to die fighting phantoms, without even proper body armor? Who would have imagined they would outlaw photographs of military funerals, or that the president could not find time to attend a single one of them? Who would have imagined they would use the attacks to create a domestic spying regime, a series of secret prisons and tribunals, and the declare the right to abrogate any and all American civil liberties whenever it struck their fancy? Who would have imagined, in other words, that they would exploit these tragic deaths to seek to undermine our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, indeed the very foundations of the same “freedom” that allegedly inspired the terrorists in the first place? And finally, who would have imagined that our vaunted “liberal media” and nonpartisan political establishment would cheer them along the way, failing to ask the difficult questions and attacking the patriotism and even sanity of those with the courage and foresight to do so?
9/11 could have been a rebirth of our nation’s civic and political culture, together with a recommitment to use our power to ensure the security and prosperity of a world community that looked to us with sympathy and admiration. “We are All Americans,” said Le Monde. Today most of the world is anti-American and understandably so. We have failed the Afghans. We have failed the Iraqis. We have failed our long-time allies, indeed, virtually everyone who trusted us. We will survive, of course, and someday, a more enlightened leadership will be able to undo some of the damage these two curses have inflicted upon us and return us to the values that helped build this great nation. But the opportunity offered by a world united in solidarity with America and its values is almost certainly dead for good. Let the coroner’s certificate read: “Cause of Death: Lies, Extremism, Incompetence, Corruption, Murder, Torture, and Hypocrisy, Stupidity, and Even More Lies.”
Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said. "I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today. "He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
That's why Rumsfeld doesn't own umbrella. If he did, it would surely rain.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today apologized for saying the lone Latina Republican lawmaker in California had a "very hot," fiery personality because of her ethnicity, a comment captured on audio tape last spring in his private office. ... On the recording, Schwarzenegger describes Republican legislators as the "wild bunch" and refers to Garcia, casually saying that "black blood" mixed with "Latino blood" equals "hot."
"I mean, they are all very hot," the governor says on the audio recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."
...British workers get more than 50% more paid holiday per year than Americans, while the French and Italians get almost twice what the Americans get. The average American's response is neither admiration nor envy, but rather a kind of sick pride in their own wretchedness, combined with righteous contempt for their European worker counterparts, whom most Americans see as morally degenerate precisely because they have more leisure time, more job security, health benefits and other advantages.
It's like a classic case of East Bloc lumpen-spite: middle Americans would rather see the European system collapse than become beneficiaries themselves. If there is one favourite recurring propaganda fable Americans love to read about Europeans, it's the one about how Europe is decaying and its social system is on the verge of imploding; we Americans pray for that day to come, with even more fervour than we pray for the End of Days, because the very existence of these pampered workers makes us look like the suckers and slaves we really are. ... How can anyone possibly feel sympathy for a people this gullible and craven? The New York Times article on the vanishing vacation told one particularly grotesque story about American workers' own refusal to take vacations even when their companies offer it to them. Accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers has lately become so frustrated in its inability to force workers to take holiday time that it resorted to shutting down and locking out its 19,000 employees twice a year in order to force them to relax.
One can imagine PwC's parking lot the day after forced-vacation lockdown. It would look like the scene outside of the mall in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead: thousands of starched, dazed yuppies converging on the corporate grounds, clawing at the entrance, growling for the opportunity to just put in one more 70-hour work week. ... And like Romero's zombies, America's workers won't stop scratching at their office doors, starving for more work, until someone finally opens them back up. Or until they break the doors down themselves, and resume their vile orgy of slavishness.
On that note, I'm going shut my office door, kick my feet up, and read blogs the rest of the morning. Not quite a vacation, but it beats working.
I had completely forgotten that Bolton wasn't nominated and confirmed, but was in fact the worst candidate for the job and temporarily shoehorned in by our Prez when he was feeling especially imperial. A mistake that may soon be remedied.
I kind of dig Allison Margolin, a criminal defense attorney that bills herself as "LA's Dopest Attorney." She is also a blogger and Playboy fan. From her blog:
I try to promote the Playboy philosophy daily by defending drug users, drug sellers, and, prostitutes and I have no qualms about trying to get off those who are guilty of those crimes. But the best promotion I could do is posing nude in the magazine. I can see it now ........... LA’s Dopest Attorney Nude.
1) Karl Rove, master of using homophobia for political advantage, apparently had a gay father;
2) Rove had some kind of an exorcism in Hillary Clinton's former White House office to exorcise her evil spirits:
Soon after Rove moved into his new office in the West Wing, previously occupied by Hillary Clinton, he invited three top Catholic priests to conduct a ceremony to purge the room of evil spirits. "It was an actual liturgical ceremony," says participant Deal Hudson. "We sat at the table, we prayed. A priest said a series of prayers, including a blessing."
[David] Gregory [NBC News]: Okay. There's so much emphasis by the President on his resolve and on the consequences of failure, which seems to dovetail to the political strategy of casting the vote as not a referendum on his leadership or his conduct in the war on terror, leading the war on terror, but on a choice between two parties and their visions. And I'm curious whether, in this document, there's any reflection on the fact that this White House, this administration failed to anticipate a violent terrorist-based insurgency in Iraq, and also failed to adapt once it learned of its presence? And shouldn't that be put before the voters this fall?
MR. SNOW: I think you've admirably expressed the Democratic point of view, but I don't think -- . . . .
Q: It's not a Democratic argument, Tony.
MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.
Q: But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.
MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.
Q: Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.
MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.
Q: Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.
Save that money you were going to give to charity. Turns out there aren't as many poor people as you think. The numbers are inflated by rich people who don't work.
God, I fucking love that mindset. It's so freeing. Did you know that the number of US soldiers who've died in Iraq is artificially inflated by living soldiers who are just having a lie down? The whole debacle is actually a smashing success!
It seems like every tenth time or so that I hear people misusing the phrase "that begs the question," the pressure builds up to a point where I'm all, "DON'T DO THAT, YO." This replaces my normal state, which is something like "I don't give a shit, really" (which applies to just about everything everyone does).
In logic, begging the question is the term for a type of fallacy occurring in deductive reasoning in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. For an example of this, consider the following argument: "Only an untrustworthy person would run for office. The fact that politicians are untrustworthy is proof of this." Such an argument is fallacious, because it relies upon its own proposition—in this case, "politicians are untrustworthy"—in order to support its central premise. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself.
Begging the question is also known by its Latin name petitio principii and is related to the fallacy known as circular argument, circulus in probando, vicious circle or circular reasoning. As a concept in logic the first known definition in the West is by the Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 B.C., in his book Prior Analytics, where he classified it as a material fallacy.
The term is usually not used to describe the broader fallacy that occurs when the evidence given for a proposition is as much in need of proof as the proposition itself. The more accepted classification for such arguments is as a fallacy of many questions.
Just don't use it. That's my counsel.
This means you, distinguished patent law professor and author of the preeminent text in the field.
Among the items federal agents were searching for in Alaska legislative offices this week are hats or garments labeled “Corrupt Bastards Club” or “Corrupt Bastards Caucus,” according to the search warrant.
We therefore ask (again!) that you cease and desist in your attempts to sell, market or produce the speculative screenplay entitled Indiana Jones and the She-Vixens of Berlin, and remove all references to said screenplay from your "blog".
Putting the legal department in a building named after Salacious Crumb is a nice touch.