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Showing posts from September, 2008

The dilemma of a civil libertarian

As a civil libertarian, I believe that everyone has the right to express their views. However, I also feel a strong urge not to legitimize those who promote racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other kind of overt bigotry. As the Oklahoma editor of BlogNetNews, that contradiction is causing me a real moral dilemma.

Several weeks ago, I removed a blogger from the Oklahoma BNN feed because of an anti-Semitic post. I informed the owner of BNN that I had done this, and he did not object. I have also discussed with the owner of BNN my desire to remove certain other bloggers for similar hateful remarks made about the GLBT community.

Recently, several of the same bloggers who had been on my radar for their rabid hatred of "the homosexuals" have been posting incredibly bigoted blog posts about Muslims.

Now, if I were to apply the standard I used to remove the blogger who posted an anti-Jewish slur, I would immediately have to remove these other bloggers for what they have repeatedly sai…

Hate leads to hate crimes

Of course, the local paper won't call this a hate crime, but that's clearly what it is.

What else would you call it?

After a right-wing organization tied to John McCain's campaign distributed an anti-Muslim hate film across the country as a free insert in local papers, somebody sprayed an irritating chemical into a room at a Mosque where children were being watched while their parents were involved in a Ramadan prayer service.

This kind of anti-Muslim hate is disturbing not only because all racism and religious hatred is disturbing. It's also disturbing in the way that such hatred has exploded since 9/11. Muslims have become the new Communists - they're "the other," the ones that "hate our freedom," the people who are trying to "destroy our way of life." It's almost as if we have some sick need for someone to blame - like we always have to have an enemy on which to focus all of our anger, to blame for the world's problems, to…

*giggle*

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This economic crisis represents the death of _____

A lot of people are trying to fill in the blank about this economic crisis. What is it that we're seeing here? Is something fundamental changing about the way our economy works? Are certain ideas being discredited? Will we see a major realignment of the relationship between capital and government?

I think the ____ should be filled with the phrase "laissez-faire capitalism." This financial crisis represents the death of the idea that markets, left to their own devices, will be able to create a stable and prosperous economy. There's a clear line of demarcation here. When markets are well-regulated by a competent and prudent government, capitalism is at its most stable. When regulations are stripped and markets are left to run rampant, we get into a system of hills and valleys - each hill smaller, and each valley deeper, until we witness a major crash such as this one.

If anyone has been proven wrong today, it is Ayn Rand. In some ways, it's even Adam Smith. Those ec…

Andrew Rice comes out against bailout bill

This is what Rice had to say:


Rice said that, as U.S. Senator, he would only support a plan that includes: Meaningful oversight; a Stake for Taxpayers; and Hard Limits on Executive Compensation. Unfortunately, the final version of the bill that was released to the public Sunday does little to limit executive compensation for firms accepting a taxpayer bailout. In fact, the primary effect may be merely to decrease the amount such companies can deduct from their taxes for executive pay from $1 million to $500,000. Furthermore, the bill does nothing to fix the broken system that allowed abusive and reckless loans, an explosion of risky investments and poorly understood financial instruments, and other excesses.

*giggle*

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Mission accomplished.

In response to my post in which I dared to suggest that America is not "the greatest country in the world," Mr. Tater had this to say:

Well then by all means feel free to first enlighten us as to which country is better and then please feel free to move there.

You liberal morons and your hatred for America is disgusting... and yet you present this holier than thou attitude while condemning those who love their country for the same.

I had hoped for exactly this kind of response to my post, so that I could make a point.

Saying that we're not the greatest country in the world is not the same thing as saying that we're not a great country. The far right seems to have lost the ability to see this distinction, and they bite the heads off of anyone who suggests that America doesn't shit gold bricks.

The truth is that our shit stinks just like anyone else's. America is a great country. It has a lot going for it. We have a lot of freedom that a lot of other countries don&…

Monday loldog

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In honor of my new nephew:


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Um, I have news for you.

America is not the greatest country in the world, and it's pretty much extremely arrogant for us to presume that we are.

In happy news,

I have just become an uncle.

:-)

Here's a song dedicated to John "Napoleon" McCain.

Oh, how the "mighty" have fallen.

Scary web ad drills home the point - if you don't vote, McCain wins.

Message to Jay Matlock

Mr. Matlock:

You seem pretty determined to cram my mailbox full of big one-page flyers demanding that I vote for you for State House. Alright then, here are a few questions:

1) I had to search really, really, really hard to find your party affiliation. Way down under the address label, it says "Paid for by the Republican State House Committee." Why are you so afraid of calling yourself a Republican?

2) On your website, your candidate photo shows you not wearing a flag pin. Why do you hate America?

3) One of the strengths that you trumpet on your flyer is your experience as a "financial advisor." Why did you destroy our economy?

CBS poll: Obama won, but there's something weird about the math...

Among the poll findings:

Forty-eight percent of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. Fifty-six percent think McCain would.

Do the math there. Unless there was a choice for "both," we have an opinion from 104% of the poll respondents.

Huh?

Initial post-debate impression

1) McCain: angry, petulant, often incoherent, spouting talking points seemingly at random.

2) Obama: Calm, cool, collected, hitting McCain where it hurts repeatedly and taking real command of the debate.

Verdict: This election was over 2 weeks ago. We're just going through the motions here, kicking the dead horse of McCain's campaign over and over again. Still, it was entertaining to watch Obama eat McCain's head.

When you've lost the racist right...

Prominent racist columnist Kathleen Parker, who was initially an enthusiastic supporter of Caribou Barbie, is now calling for Palin to "leave the GOP ticket for the good of the Party" because of Palin's comically incoherent performance in recent interviews.

Now, when you've lost someone who called McCain a better candidate because he's a "full-blooded American," you know you're in trouble.

lol - Stephanie Miller again

"John McCain is a Cadaverick." Because his campaign is dead.

My partner had an interesting idea.

Instead of giving $700 billion to Wall Street, why not give each and every American taxpayer $5,072.00? That'll stimulate the economy.

(The math works. $700 billion / 138 million taxpayers = $5072.46)

The fundamentals of our economy are....?

Largest bank failure in US history.

Not good.

Happy Friday

This seemed appropriate:

Thought for the day

Is Kid Rock aware that the song, "Sweet Home Alabama" is pro-segregationist?

Ich eine minuten bitte...Ich habe eine kleine problemo...avec dese...election...

(he was from everywhere).

Um, wasn't McCain supposed to have suspended his campaign?

Then why did I just walk into the break room at work and see a McCain campaign commercial on television?

Hmmmmm??

What a pile of discarded scrotum skin.

More brilliant insight from Caribou Barbie

Click the post title for a link to the video. Here's the transcript - to be aired tonight:

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--

COURIC: Mock?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even n…

A quick note to McCain.

You're familiar with Saran Wrap, right?

Imagine if someone took Saran Wrap, which is pretty much completely transparent, and somehow made it 100% more transparent.

That's what everything you're doing to try to stop your veep candidate from having to debate looks like.

Then again, if you saw Katie Couric's interview with Caribou Barbie yesterday (and I'm sure you did, since you lied to Letterman so you could ditch him and have your own interview with Couric), I guess you'd be doing anything you could to stop her from giving an answer like this:

“I personally believe, that U.S. Americans,
are unable to do so,
because uh,
some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps.
and uh…
I believe that our education like such as in South Africa,
and the Iraq,
everywhere like such as…
and, I believe they should uh,
our education over here,
in the U.S. should help the U.S.
or should help South Africa,
and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our fut…

When you shoot yourself in the foot...

the last thing you want to do is to go ahead and shoot yourself in the other foot just to make things even. And then go ahead and shoot yourself in the elbow.

Those of you who missed David Letterman tonight may have missed what might turn out to be a pivotal moment in the campaign. McCain canceled on Dave "at the last minute," telling Dave in a phone call that he had to rush off to Washington to fix the economy. Dave spent most of the show just absolutely skewering McCain - saying something didn't "smell right" about McCain suspending his campaign, and asking why Sarah Palin couldn't have come on instead. It was a beautiful thing. Then, with Keith Olbermann on as pinch hitter, Dave learned that McCain had in fact ditched him to go get interviewed by Katie Couric - apparently he had a layover at CBS News on his way "rushing" to Washington. Dave showed the feed of McCain getting makeup before the interview, and shouted, "Do ya need a ride …

The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

So strong, in fact, that McCain feels he has to drop EVERYTHING and RUN to Washington to...make them stronger??

Obama can do two things at once. Why can't McCain?

This is a desperate political stunt that will backfire.

ABC / WaPo poll: Obama 52, McCain 43 among "likely" voters

It's the economy, stupid.

Here's something that tickles my cockles:

"You have to go back to 1948 for the last time when a candidate having this kind of a lead in late September lost," Stephanopoulos said.

Now, I'm no fan of George Snuffalupugus, for a lot of reasons. But I'll take a nice bit of news like that any day.

Positive Religion

A soldier in Iraq is being granted conscientious objector status after he experienced a "religious awakening" and decided that he couldn't be a good Christian and a soldier at the same time.

"I have been trying to justify being a soldier and finding a way to do so while still being a Christian, because that is what I wanted to do since I was a kid," Barnes wrote in his request for conscientious objector status in December 2006.

"But I can no longer justify spending my short time in this world participating in or supporting war. ... I must try to save souls, not help take them."

When I talk about promoting "positive religion," this is what I'm talking about - a religious view that seeks to lift up society, bring people together, and promote peace. In Judaism, this is called Tikkun Olam, the moral obligation that we have to repair the world for future generations. This Christian soldier has decided that his own moral obligation to repair th…

Dear PETA: ...wait, I already told you to shut up. Well, shut up again.

Now PETA has ruined my chance to bottle feed a tiger cub at the Tulsa State Fair.

Dicks.

Seriously, PETA, you really, really, really need to get the hell over yourselves. People have the right to eat meat, to wear fur, to go to zoos and stare at wild animals, to go to the circus and go "ooh" and "aaah" over unicycle-riding bears, to have fucking cow milk in our ice cream. Sure, there are abuses, and sure, we can reform practices to make these things more humane. Your extremist views, PETA, are doing nothing but making people angry at you. Reel it in, folks. Join the SPCA or the Humane Society, both very good advocates for animal rights.

How long could YOU survive?

Dear PETA: Shut up. Seriously.

PETA wants Ben & Jerry's ice cream to start using human breast milk in its ice cream.

Ew.

Happily, Ben & Jerry's said, "um, no."

Sign Bernie's Bailout Petition!

Senator Bernie Sanders, who has always been a real fighter for working people, has some good ideas for the bailout package, and he has a petition he'd like you to sign.

Highlights:

Any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must:

Ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout by

-Imposing a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue over five years;
-Ensuring that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; and
-Requiring that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the taxpayers’ assumption of risk is rewarded when companies’ stock goes up.

Taken together these three provisions will substantially reduce the likelihood that this bailout will end up on the backs of …

More Fundie family values.

Apparently, girls who reach puberty have reached the "age of consent."

So, let's review.

A girl who's reached puberty can "consent" to have sex with a man of any age, whether or not that's considered statutory rape. Said girl, who may be as young as 12, is then required to carry that baby to term.

Once that baby is born....wait, it seems "family values" kind of ends there, because Fundies and their allies in the Republican Party tend to like cutting funding for early childhood education, health care, and anything else that might help a teenage mother raise the baby she was forced to carry to term.

So, I guess fundie family values are this:

From conception to birth, protect the hell out of the blastocyst/embryo/fetus, even at the expense of the mother.

After birth...the mother is on her own. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, missy, and go get a job!

Nice.

OKC, Tulsa rated last on eco-friendly cities list

Tulsa was rated 48th on the list of 50 "environmentally friendly" cities in a recent report.

Who was #1?

Portland, Oregon.

100 days
2413 hours
144804 minutes
8688278 seconds

till we head that way to look for jobs and apartments.

Can't come any sooner...

Which is scarier?

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Obama sits down with Jed Bartlet

Aaron Sorkin envisions a meeting between Barack Obama and fictional President from "The West Wing," Jed Bartlet.

Highlights:

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well ... let me think. ...We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know ... I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do noth…

Georgianna Oliver for CD-1

Georgianna Oliver's campaign sent me an e-mail fundraising solicitation this afternoon. I had been feeling pretty cynical about that race because I hadn't heard much of anything about it in quite some time, and I worried that we were in for another token race in which Sullivan would just cruise to victory.

I shot an e-mail back expressing my frustration that I hadn't heard anything from the campaign, basically saying that if I was going to give them my money, I had to be sure that it wasn't wasted.

To my very pleasant surprise, the candidate herself sent me back an e-mail explaining that while the campaign had had trouble getting media coverage, there are television commercials airing and volunteer activity is ramping up. Oliver's website has also been updated since I last looked at it - she has a blog that is updated fairly regularly.

Stay tuned for more news from Oliver's campaign. Now that I know that there is indeed life there, I'll be providing cover…

Republican family values.

1) If a woman is raped, she must pay for the rape kit used to identify her rapist and check her for injuries.

2) If a woman gets pregnant as a result of that rape, she must carry her attacker's child to term.

Nice.

Poll: Do you support the government's bailout plan?

So, Sinister readers, what do you think? Do you support the bailout? Do you think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the only way to fix our teetering economy? Or do you think it's a horrible giveaway to the rich and powerful capitalist bastards who created this mess in the first place?










Hey, it's autumn!

I love autumn. Happy equinox!

monday loldog

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Socialism 101

A lot of folks this week seem to be throwing around the big scary "S" word as a reaction to all of these government bailouts, thinking that anytime anyone nationalizes something, that's the same thing as socialism.

First of all, if this is indeed socialism, then it's a twisted, through-the-looking glass version of socialism in which the only thing that is socialized is the risk, while profit remains privatized. In simple terms, companies get to keep the money they make in the good times, but they are assured that if anything goes wrong, we the taxpayer will pick up the tab.

That's not socialism.

In fact, if you think about it, what's happening now can be seen as a merger of government and corporate power. If you're going to put a label on that, it's fascism. But I think that's as ridiculous a label to put on the situation as calling it socialism.

Socialism is a concept that, broadly, calls for a total reinvention of economics. Socialism says t…

Global warming vs. Pirates

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The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster offers proof that global warming is caused by a decline in the number of pirates.

Did Shrub just say

that the people responsible for this financial mess will be caught and persecuted?

Yeesh.

Pirates vs. Ninjas

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ADD cat

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more animals

This is hilar-oh look, a chicken!

Happy Friday, ya landlubbers!

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys! Arrrrrrrr!

Right-wing blogger goes back in time to complain about something.

The rarely lucid far-right blogger known as Fried Green Onions has really outdone himself this time. He posted this article from WorldNetDaily, presenting it as something that just happened:

Protesters outside the California State Capitol yesterday urged Gov. Gray Davis to veto four bills that would provide for "tolerance" field trips and curricula.

The rally in Sacramento, which attracted about 350 people, is the last stop of Campaign for California Families' week-long "Stop the Insanity" Tour, which has made its way through several cities, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Fresno. Most of the rallies took place outside Davis's district offices.

Now, those who know something about recent California history will immediately see a problem here.

Jeopardy question:

This actor replaced Gray Davis as California governor in a recall election several years ago.

Who is....?

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This article, that FGO is presenting as something that is happening &qu…

This is getting really bad for McCain.

Apparently John McCain doesn't even know who the Prime Minister of Spain is.

So McCain is the candidate with the foreign policy experience ready to lead on day one. But he doesn't know who the leader of Spain is. He gets confused in an interview, apparently thinking Zapatero is someone from Latin America who is an enemy of the United States and manages to create a minor international incident.

Um, hi? This is a guy who wants to be the Commander in Chief, and he can't even identify the Prime Minister of a close European ally?

I mean, I've heard of a meltdown before, but McCain's campaign is suffering a Chernobyl-style chain reaction disaster of mega-gaffes.

This election is over.

The fundamentalists think our economy is strong.

Dow closes another 440 points down.

Margaret Cho has something to say.

All kinds of Christians are getting mad about my Sarah Palin comments, and it is pissing me off.

(snip)

Don’t fucking question my Christianity you fucking idiot assholes. If you continue to have a problem, then talk to God about it, not me, you fucking racist homophobic misogynist fake Christian shitheads. God thinks it is funny that I swear so much. He said I could use his name in vain or whatever. He just wants me to use it. He loves me. So fuck you. And I guess he loves you too. Even though you are fake Christian assholes. If you were truly Christians, you would let gays get married, and send them fucking presents from Bed Bath and Beyond!

If you truly believed in Jesus, you would try to be like him and love us, fags and dykes and feminists all. God bless you, even you. You fucking fuckers.

Hey Mr. Smith, lend me a hand.

With the markets plunging, and the economy in such chaos that the government is nationalizing one business after another, one has to wonder where exactly Adam Smith's invisible hand is pointing.

Down?

lol - caller on the Stephanie Miller show

on McPalin:

"They look like a million bucks. They're wrinkled and green!"

I think this might be what Obama was talking about.

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Wow! Obama's related to a Rabbi!

Wow!

Barack Obama's cousin (once removed) is the Rabbi of a predominantly black synagogue on Chicago's southwest side. Who knew?

This is a fascinating examination of his cousin's congregation.

France and World War 2

Mr. Tater just said "you're welcome" for the fact that the Nazis didn't win World War 2, in response to a very non-political post I just did about tennis. Apparently, everyone in France has to grovel and suck the toes of America until the end of history because of the Allied victory in Europe, to such an extent that a completely non-political post about tennis isn't immune from this kind of irritating smugness.

I have several points to make here.

Yes, France surrendered quickly to the Nazis in World War 2. They made some tactical errors in the face of a very well organized Nazi attack. One reason that the French surrendered so quickly is that they didn't want their cities devastated. They were trying to save lives. You're free to judge that decision on its own merits.

Northern France became occupied territory, and Southern France became a Nazi collaborator regime. Several years later, starting with the Normandy invasion, the Allied armies, including Americ…

A picture is worth....an election?

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h/t to Kossack Al Rodgers.

Tennis.

When I was a kid, I took tennis lessons. I was living in France at the time, and I basically had a tennis court right outside my backyard.

I loved tennis, and I got pretty good at it. I played pretty regularly for a good 5 years. One year I went to summer camp in Texas and chose tennis as my major elective. We spent nearly every day in the Texas summer heat playing tennis for hours. It was awesome.

Then I moved back to the States, and I just stopped playing.

Part of it was that I was in my rebellious teenager phase, and I was much more interested in doing very unhealthy things to my lungs and liver. Also, I began to develop a very "anti-sports intellectual geek" persona, the vestiges of which I still carry with me.

So I stopped playing. I didn't join the tennis team at my high school. The $200 racket I had been given for my Bar Mitzvah sat in my bedroom closet.

For fifteen years.

Then, about three weeks ago, my partner decided he wanted to learn how to play tennis. …

Does this look familiar?

In Houston, tensions were rising among more than 1,000 who had spent several nights at the George R. Brown Convention Center because most of the city is still without power. They complained that they couldn’t get information about how to get food and clean clothes. The city’s mayor said only 1,300 people were inside, but those sleeping on cots said it felt like thousands.

Lines snaked down side streets at gas stations that had little fuel to sell. Some looked like parking lots. At sites distributing water, ice and prepackaged meals, people stood on foot for hours waiting for anything they could take home.

Heckuva job.

A Note to MSNBC.

So there I was on MSNBC's website, scanning the headlines. I saw this story that looked interesting. The headline:

Your walk may reveal more than you think

Ok, thought I, this is going to be an article about walking and personality. Perhaps it's a psychological profile of people who have certain kinds of distinctive walks. Perhaps they're going to tell me that walking a certain way might reveal health problems.

But no.

I clicked on the article, and I was confronted with:

A woman's stride indicates how easily she can orgasm, researchers claim

Well.

Alrighty then.

That wasn't really where I thought the article was going to go, based on the headline. Now, I'm no prude. But I do prefer it when the headline of an article describes adequately the content of the article. A more appropriate headline for this article might have been:

A Woman's Walk Might Reveal Orgasm Potential

Such a headline would serve two purposes:

1) It would adequately describe the contents of…

Mooselini

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h/t to Starbuck on the Randi Rhodes Show message board.

Congratulations to George Takei and his new husband

George Takei married his longtime partner on Sunday in California. A hearty congratulations to the happy couple. May all Americans soon be able to enjoy the right to civil marriage equality.

"We have a relationship that's been stronger and longer-lived than some of our straight friends, and yet we were not equal," Takei told The Associated Press before the ceremony. "What this does is give us that dignity; (it's) being part of the American system and being whole. We're making the American system whole as well, as America is becoming more equal."

New blog links - "Progressive Radio"

I've added a new links category to the blog - "Progressive Radio." Check out Air America and Nova M, the two major progressive radio networks, along with several individual radio hosts that I like - Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, and Randi Rhodes.

Caller on Stephanie Miller show nails it

"Wall Street is melting down but we shouldn't worry because Sarah Palin can see the Bank of Wasilla from her office."

The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

Except when they're not.

monday loldog

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lolz

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Are anorexic models on the way out?

For years, models on fashion runways have exemplified a kind of "heroin chic" look of protruding rib cages and general twigginess. The natural curves of the female form were replaced by sharp angles and bones. This trend has in turn caused millions of teenage girls to starve themselves and develop eating disorders in an effort to reach a level of thin that is incredibly unhealthy.

According to this article, however, this week's Fashion Week runways featured models that had at least a little meat on their bones. Instead of size 0, many models featured were "size 2 or 4." While the article stresses that the difference was moderate, the trend is encouraging.

Models like Kate Moss who exemplify the anorexic look are not only endangering their own health, they are endangering the health of millions of teenagers. By trying to aspire to an impossible body mass index, these girls end up with major problems of malnutrition, stunted growth, low self-esteem, and other probl…

Happy Friday

Probably NSFW:




"The Origin of Love," from the movie "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it.

For those of you who think Bush has made us "safer"

because there "haven't been any more attacks on US soil since 9/11,"

I have a rock that I'd like to sell you. It prevents tiger attacks. I have one, and I've never been attacked by a tiger. That must mean it works, right?

Ok, Mr. Tater, let's play "Who Am I?"

I was County Executive of Baltimore, Maryland for 4 years before I was elected Governor. As governor, I crossed party lines and passed tax and judicial reforms. Two years after I was elected governor, I was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.

Who am I?

Questions

Kossack Bill in Portland Maine asks some very important questions:

Questions

When he was warned in the August 6, 2001 PDB, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US", why did the president do nothing except tell the guy who delivered it to him, "All right, you've covered your ass, now"?
Why did Rudy Giuliani put the anti-terrorism command center in the World Trade Center against the advice of experts who knew better?
Why did the president sit in that Florida classroom for several minutes after being told "America is under attack"?
Why were members of the bin Laden family allowed to fly out of the country when all planes were grounded?
Could there be any greater examples of heroism than the passengers who fought back on Flight 93, the rescue teams at the Pentagon, or the NYPD and NYFD responders who ran into the towers without hesitation?
Father Mychal Judge: Saint...or Supersaint?
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Why did firefighters have faulty radios instead of dependable ones, Mr. Giu…

Seven years later, why is there still a hole in the ground?

The daughter of a woman who died in the WTC attacks asks a very important question. Why, seven years after the attack, have we not built a memorial at Ground Zero? Why is it still a hole in the ground?

Republicans have hijacked 9/11

Keith Olbermann tells it like it is.

I knew the Bush regime was in bed with oil companies, but this is ridiculous...

Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Message to OK-PNS: I'm not actually apologizing to you, per se.

I've already posted a couple of comments in response to the post by OK-PNS "accepting my apology."

It's interesting to me how the right wing can turn even a genuine attempt to give people a breather from angry politics into an opportunity to attack someone.

First of all, I will fully admit that there are things I've written on this blog that will offend people. Sometimes I use this blog as a place to vent. Sometimes in doing so I go over the line.

However, the line that OK-PNS pulled out of this blog from two years ago did not refer to all Christians, and even a casual reading of that post would show that. As I've repeatedly said, I don't hate Christians. I don't hate Christianity. The greatness of America lies in the fact that everyone has the right to worship as they wish.

What I hate are theofascists. I define that word as someone who seeks to impose a narrow, moralistic politics on the country based on extremist, exclusionary theology. The …

Howard Fineman, make up your mind!

Howard Fineman has just executed the rhetorical equivalent of a reverse double backflip within the course of an argument about Obama's supposed weaknesses on the stump. I quote (emphasis mine):

Failing to state a sweeping, but concrete, policy idea
It is not enough to be for change – everybody is, or is trying to be. To make it stick, Obama needed, and needs, to put forth an easy-to-grasp grand proposal, one that would encapsulate what his central message. That tagline? That he is dedicated, body and soul, to advancing the economic interests of hard-working, average Americans. He has the makings of such a proposal – his tax cuts for low and middle-income families. But he has yet to package that, or anything else, in an easy-to-grasp, hard-number plan for voters. Instead, he’s got more of a laundry list than an actual rallying cry.

Remaining trapped in professor-observer speak
When you listen to Obama, it sometimes feels like you’re hearing a smart but distant analysis of the politica…

Enough!

Obama has had enough of McCain's lies and pointless accusations.

In a press conference today, Obama said the "phony outrage" over the "lipstick on a pig" line would be funny if it weren't the front page story. He asked incredulously - (paraphrasing), hey, we're dealing with some real problems in this country, our economy is in the tank, our health care system sucks, and this nonsense is what the McCain campaign wants to focus on? Enough!

Lipstick on a pig.

So I guess you're not ok with this quote, either?

McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's health-care plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the early 1990s.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal.

'Doomsday' Machine Rap

The scientists behind the Hadron Collider give us the scoop:

Calculate your Obama tax cut

95% of Americans will get a tax cut when Obama is elected. How much will you get?

In the spirit of fairness

Here's a story from factcheck.org with a different take on the enigma that is Sarah Palin.

According to factcheck.org, several of the rumors out there about Palin are not true.

For example:

-Sarah Palin did not try to ban books from the library; she merely asked a "rhetorical question" of the librarian, fired her, and then rehired her the next day.

-Sarah Palin did not cut special needs education funding.

-Sarah Palin did not push for teaching creationism alongside evolution in Alaska schools; she merely said "teach both" in a debate and then clarified her remarks later by saying that creationism didn't have to be "part of the curriculum."

If factcheck.org's findings are accurate, then obviously those of us who spread these stories were mistaken.

However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about Palin's record.

-Why did she charge the people of Alaska a per diem rate for living at her own house while she was governor?

-Why does she sti…

James Burke

My partner has been watching this show called Connections, created by James Burke, a historian with a rather unique view of how historical events are all linked to one another. Instead of saying, "Mozart wrote the Magic Flute" and "Edgar Allan Poe wrote horror stories," James Burke will link the two, and then he'll connect them both to the development of the helicopter.

Here's an example from his website (linked above):

Q: How was Napoleon important to the development of the modern computer?

A: Napoleon’s troops in Egypt buy shawls and start a fashion craze.

In Europe the shawls get made on automated, perforated-paper control looms.

This gives an American engineer Herman Hollerith the idea to automate calculation using punch cards.

Which get used to control ENIAC, the first electronic computer.

Fascinating stuff.

The "Connections" shows were done in 3 series: one in the 1970s, one in the late 1980's, and one in the late 1990s. They're all availa…

Those who love each other shall become invincible.

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It seems lately that we've all gotten a little bit nastier about our political differences, unable even to see the humanity in those with whom we disagree.

So here's a post that has nothing to do with politics. Let the polls, the analysis, the accusations, the stump speeches, and the partisan rancor rest for five minutes.

Instead, here are some nice photos.

We'll start with a nice picture of the Eiffel Tower:


Now, here's a cute beagle puppy:


Sunset on Mars:


The beautiful city of Portland, Oregon:


Salvador Dali's "The Rose"


The Provence region of France


Over the carnage rose prophetic a voice,
Be not dishearten'd, affection shall solve the problems of freedom yet,
Those who love each other shall become invincible,
They shall yet make Columbia victorious.

from "Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice" by Walt Whitman

Monday loldog

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So now community organizing = communism??

Red S Tater is shocked...SHOCKED...that the Communist Party has endorsed Barack Obama, and he's absolutely TERRIFIED about this particular tidbit:

The Obama campaign, drawing upon the candidate’s community organizing experience, is also looking toward the grassroots. Unity for Change house parties across the country on June 28 will bring neighbors together for voter registration and getting out the vote.

The emphasis is the original author's.

So, apparently, according to Mr. Stater, now community organizing = communism.

This attack on community organizers is just bizarre and insulting. Thousands of people spend countless hours every week working to bring their neighbors together to improve their communities, reduce crime, and empower citizens to take charge of their neighborhoods. These folks are not well paid, their jobs are difficult, thankless, and sometimes downright dangerous. But they do it because they care about serving their community. I would think that service to …

Happy Friday

Lewis Black tells it like it is.

Hypocrisy from the "hypocrites"

Stan Geiger agrees with OK-PNS that we on the left are "intolerant" because we have the nerve to criticize Sarah Palin.

And I quote:

It’s amusing to us to witness the party of diversity, tolerance, smores and Kumbaya, stumbling all over themselves as they try and tear down Governor Palin and her family. Anyone with a semblance of objectivity could see that Palin hit a bases loaded, walk off home run last night with her acceptance speech at the Republican convention

Here's my response.

It's amusing to me to witness the party that would seek to impose a narrow, bigoted, and theocratic morality on everyone in America fall all over themselves demanding that Sarah Palin's family be granted the same freedom and privacy that these same right-wingers would deny me and my life partner - and that these same right-wingers consistently deny to the Obama family. If these wingnuts were at all consistent, they would judge Palin's family decisions with the same moralistic hammer…

Happy Friday post delayed again.

I overslept this morning. Bleah.

You'll get a video this evening.

The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The unemployment rate soared to a nearly five-year high in August as employers trimmed jobs for the eighth straight month, the government reported Friday.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, the highest level since September 2003. That's up from 5.7% in July and 4.7% a year ago.

In addition, the economy suffered a net loss of 84,000 jobs in August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, compared to a revised reading of a 60,000 job loss in July.

The U.S. economy has lost 605,000 jobs so far this year.

Did McCain wear a flag pin?

I don't know if McCain wore a flag pin last night. The news website pictures certainly don't show one. Why does John McCain hate America?

Where were the American flags at McCain's speech?

Hey, I didn't see a whole slew of American flags all over the Republican convention last night. McCain was speaking in front of a glowing blue screen, not a field of flags. That must mean he hates America.

Why do the Republicans hate America?

So McCain...zzzz...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

what? oh, sorry I dozed off for a minute.

Yeah, I think I'm done with this speech.

Wow. It's over. And a half.

McCain is in front of a big blue screen. This speech sounds exactly like the one where he was in front of that big green screen. That isn't a good thing.

Compare this speech to Obama.

No contest.

Seriously.

Plus, football is on. Nobody is watching this geezer ramble on and on. I'm probably going to tune out in a minute anyway.

We are NOT watching the next President of the United States.

In other news, the Atlantic Ocean is moist.

Apparently Faux Noise is leading the ratings for the Repig convention.

Wow. Imagine that. The Bush propaganda network is leading the ratings during the Bush propaganda convention.

What's next? Water leads the ratings when it comes to quenching thirst?

C'moooonnnn....

Randi Rhodes has it right.

Unbelievable. When your philosophy and worldview has wrecked an economy, destroyed 60 years of global goodwill, started a useless war that has cost thousands of American lives, run up a trillion dollars in debt, made the dollar an also-ran in world markets, shipped a good chunk of the post-WW2 Middle Class to China, indebted your nation to Communists and Islamic Militants, turned an efficient government into one that can't even collect drowned bodies of its own citizens off battered streets...and you have zero left but tired, divisive ideas that will do NOTHING to get us out of this mess.........what do you do when you stand up in front of an angry country expecting answers from you?........

BLAME THE 'LIBERALS'.

Yeah, it was those damned liberals, wasn't it....????


George W. Bush inherited a $128 Billion Dollar Budget Surplus When He Took Office. REPUBLICANS have posted a deficit every year since. 2009? A RECORD $482 Billion Dollar Shortfall.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLIT…

So, I guess this is the image Sarah Palin is going for?

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Yech.

Thoughts on Praline's speech.

1) Um, there was absolutely ZERO policy in that speech. The speech was all about fear - fear of the terrorist bogeyman, fear of Obama, fear of an untested Presidential candidate, fear of higher taxes under Obama (a lie), fear of bigger government under Obama (another lie). No mention of how to fix the economy, the war, health care, trade, international relations, not even a mention of how often the White House lawn will be mowed. Sheesh.

2) They actually brought the daughter's baby daddy out on stage? Isn't there a line between accepting the reality of an unfortunate situation and celebrating it - a line that someone who is so concerned with "family values" should recognize?

3) Oh, McCain, nice "surprise appearance" at the end there. Where have I seen that before?

4) The delegates cheered at everything Praline said. Especially the meaningless panders and nonsensical attacks on Obama.

5) We cannot elect this ticket to the W…

Why does Sarah Palin hate freedom?

Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

Banning books? That goes against the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, doesn't it? Why does Sarah Palin hate the Constitution, and by extension, freedom?

(note to Republicans - these kinds of attacks piss you off, don't they? Well, if you can't take it, don't dish it out!)

More evidence Sarah Palin hates America

More from Alaska Independence Party founder Joe Vogler:

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government," Vogler said in the interview, in which he talked extensively about his desire for Alaskan secession, the key goal of the AIP.

"And I won't be buried under their damn flag," Vogler continued in the interview, which also touched on his disappointment with the American judicial system. "I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."

At another point, Volger advocated renouncing allegiance to the United States. In the course of denouncing Federal regulation over land, he said:

"And then you get mad. And you say, the hell with them. And you renounce allegiance, and you pledge your efforts, your effects, your honor, your life to Alaska."

I ask again, why does the Republican Party hate America?

Why does Sarah Palin hate Jews?

Sarah Palin has a preacher problem. Viz, this sermon given by a guest preacher at her church, the founder of the deceptive Christian cult known as "Jews for Jesus:"


“There I will meet with you, there I will hear your prayers, and there I will forgive your sin.”

And now Jesus in that temple, just before going to the cross, says, ‘From now on this place is desolate.’ And Jesus’ words have echoed down through the centuries. Not a generation after He uttered this promise, Titus and his Roman legions marched into that city and destroyed both the city and the temple. And from that day until this very present there has been no temple, and there is therefore no sacrifice in Judaism. Only we could sacrifice in...the only place was in the temple. And therefore there has been, and there is today, no confidence of atonement, no confidence of forgiveness. If you were to stand outside of a synagogue on the day of atonement and ask those leaving the service, “Did God hear your prayers? Were…

Stephanie Miller on Sarah Palin

"She governed the most tundra of anyone."

Ha!

Why does the Republican Party hate America?

The Alaskan Independence Party quotes [party founder Joe] Vogler as stating "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."[3] [4]

Wait for it...

Lynnette Clark, the chair of the AIP, told ABC News that current Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the presumptive 2008 Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States, attended the state party's 1994 convention, a year after party founder and would-be secessionist Joe Vogler died.[6][7] Palin recorded a message welcoming party members to its 2008 convention as part of her duties as Governor of Alaska.

On September 2, 2008, the political website Talking Points Memo reported that Palin's husband, Todd Palin, was a member from 1995 through 2002.[8]

Bearing those two things in mind, then, why does the Republican Party hate America?

The Complete (?) Sarah Palin

Randi Rhodes has a good summary of Governor Palin:

She knows nothing about Foreign Policy - YOU know more about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Russia and Pakistan than she does!!

She thinks Alaska should [secede] from the “union”

She was FOR the Bridge to No Where until she was against it

She campaigned for indicted Senator Ted Stevens

She knows nothing the American Credit Crisis, Free Trade, Immigration, Economics, Foreign Policy, National Security, Education, Health Care, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Korea or China.

She is under investigation for abuse of power (she had her brother in law State Trooper Wooten fired during a custody battle with her sister)

She was a sportscaster, a city councilwoman and mayor of a town with less than 10,000 people before she was elected Governor almost by default

She now claims “13 years of Elected Experience”

She claims to have MORE experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden

She has served less than 2 years as Governor

She d…

Statutory rape. Just another Republican family value.

Bristol Palin: 17.

Her boyfriend: 18.

That's statutory rape.

Current Palin scandal count: 12342345368942.

Monday loldog

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Happy fake American "labor day."


see more puppies

Here's some info on the real Labor Day, which we abandoned because it was too "communist."