Friday, December 09, 2011

Godless Athiests Persecute Rick Perry with Mockery of Jesus!

Blasphemy! ... or IS it?

As our comic impersonator put it...

"What have gays in the military ever done to Rick Perry other than keeping him safe while he executed the mentally retarded?"

When you read the Words in Red, Jesus had a few blunt things to say about the Pharisees of his day, the ones that made a big, fat hairy deal about public piety. He had a few choice parables about people who talked the talk but didn't actually walk the walk. And whatever you might think of an actor portraying Jesus...

...the gist of the Gospels is that you ARE supposed to be impersonating Jesus. Or to put it in the terms of modern sunday-school Christianity; "What WOULD Jesus Do?"

So the question is not whether it's bad to impersonate Jesus. It's not. The question is, if you attempt to impersonate Jesus, would anyone know that's what you are doing?

If you HAVE to take out an ad to say that you are "not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian..." while attacking the President for supposedly "persecuting" your faith... well, after this, I'd be ashamed as all hell to be mistaken for anyone even remotely LIKE you.

But I have a word for "Christians" like Rick Perry.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zombies VS Pod People: Best. Birthday. Ever.

She's not the Mayor! She's a POD PERSON!

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. - Henry Louis Mencken

Happy Birthday To Me! The Reddit Politics Page, November 15, 2011.

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." - Robert HeinleinLife-Line (1939)

Today is my birthday, a day I have loathed for most of my life.

It has always been associated with disappointed expectations, another year older and a lifetime's dour assurance that there's more of the same to come.

But today I saw the tipping point - the turn away from a baleful future I have been blogging against since the tragedy of  9/11 convinced me to get out of my own head and give a public damn.

I will go on record as saying that today, November 15, 2011 was the day everything changed. The day the future we need became obviously more probable than the future I had been predicting for more than ten years.

I am temperamentally a cynic and while I do know the better side of humankind, and have generally good reason to expect the best of individuals, I have come to have rather low expectations of them in their great masses. My general view of them is well summed up by my choices of intellectual heroes.

I've long considered myself an reflexive conservative; but it is the conservatism of H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein.  It is the conservatism of best practices. It is the conservatism that tells me that if I MUST jump from a perfectly good aircraft, I want to have packed both chutes myself.

As a Reflexive-Conservative, I prefer the company of people who embody the self-discipline required to be trusted with firearms and the wisdom to know why, by whom and to what end they are entrusted with my lack of concern.

Rick Perry - A Texan who reflects well on the intelligence of George Bush and the impulse control of LBJ.
This fool just failed the NRA safety course. See if you can count how many critical failures this picture represents. I'm genuinely surprised he's actually holding it by the right end. 

While I will uphold your natural right as a human being to bear arms in defence of your family and person against any forces you feel might threaten your person, your dignity and your way of life, I point out that every society exists in order to let you hoe a row of potatoes in some expectation of peace and the reasonable hope of not being trampled in your own field, and that no society that failed to do that most basic task lasted much longer than a second missed harvest. 

Now we don't mostly live and die by the whim of the weather - but when we are led by people who do not see widespread unemployment, poverty and homelessness to be a problem, well, that is a group of leaders that need to be replaced by those who understand what the point of a civilized society is - lest there become so many victims of Social Darwinism wandering the streets that civil society simply collapses in the face of being obviously pointless.

And yet we have people arguing in favour of Social Darwinism - as if history proved that people forced to the margins and subjected to increasing oppression and poverty simply and politely accepted their fate.

The right of self-defence is inalienable and of course, wandering hordes of wandering, hungry "zombies" are an obvious reason for having the means to defend yourself. But, when emergency planners speak of "the zombie apocolypse,"  they likely mean starving Black and Hispanic citizens deciding to eat the rich, braaaaains first.

When well educated, reasonable, prudent professionals feel a need to prepare the public for the potential breakdown of civil order of that degree, well, first, you should raise one eyebrow and say "indeed"... and you should do it on your way out the door to get any bits of kit you happen to be missing.

But what should first cross your mind (as you fill your shopping cart, mind you...) is how much better it would be to craft a society that was inherently zombie-proof. Because, well, there have been quite a few examples of what might as well have been  a zombie apcolypse, and the reason we lived through it amounted to a lot of people banding together to make sure that the zombies went away. And at some time, it occured to people that it would be A Good Thing to try and nip zombie infestations in the bud.

We call that development "civilization."

When you think of it that way, it becomes pretty obvious that any civilization that has brought the zombie apocalypse upon itself deserves to suffer such a fate.

 Now every single practical guide to survival will tell you that if you are alone in the face of the zombie apocolypse, the best use of your gun is to blow your own brains out before the zombies get to you. This is what europeans realized about the Huns, and that's part of what brought about the age of the Nation State. Not being flayed alive as part of the evening's entertainment is a significant incentive. With so much history to learn from, it should be obvious to the dullest that the only practical way to ensure personal security is in some co-operative way. You have to sleep sometime. This is why the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution is written the way it is.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
When you think of it that way, you also realize that it is very much to your advantage and my advantage to deal with the immediate concerns that we both share. Such as, say, not being shot by fools, rousted by thugs or eaten by zombies. With those matters dealt with, we can spend time on our divergent, individual concerns.

But within the last decade and a bit, pointing out such clearly obvious things to the typical Republican or Canadian Conservative brings accusations of being a "Socialist" and at the same time "a fascist who wants to take away our guns."

Does this look like a "well regulated militia" to you?

Those are citizen-taxpayers, and the children of citizen-taxpayers. Seems to me these guys are the people the 2nd Amendment was intended to deal with, not the people it was intended to empower.

But then, as I said, I'm a reflexive conservative. I expect the cops to uphold the law and protect citizens, not assault the citizenry and spit on the law.

But clearly they do - and clearly the people telling them to do it haven't the first idea why that's an amazingly, vibrantly, painfully stupid thing to do. Because you see, this is not the sort of thing that makes real conservatives happy. This is the sort of thing that made the Civil Rights Act possible, these are the optics that ended the British Empire. When decent people realized what was being done in their name, with their money, while they were being told there was no reason to pay attention to a few isolated malcontents.

Instead, the video shows that the Zombie apocolypse is upon us, and it's lead by men in riot gear, sent by the mayor of your home town. My, doesn't that just that just resonate with your cinematic memory?

The people entrusted with protecting our society are acting as if they were Pod People. And of course, the tide turns when people start to realize that external appearances and the reality of motivations are very much at odds.

As much as the average social conservative might giggle at the idea of hippies getting punched, the idea of a hippie chick getting punched by a cop for presenting a valid court order to an officer of the law... that is quite another thing.  That's not a cop. That's a POD PERSON! That's a ZOMBIE! The APOCOLYPSE is upon us! Jesse Kornbluth put it in this way, and set the twitterversre on fire.
"Many of us have knee-jerk reactions to cops beating citizens. Mine comes from George Orwell, the subject of my honors thesis. He wrote something like this: When I see a policeman with a club beating a man on the ground, I don't have to ask whose side I'm on. But with the exception of the great Colbert, you will look in vain for an intelligent conversation about any of this on television."
I would dryly ask why anyone would turn to their television to hear an intelligent "discussion" about a policeman beating a man on the ground. Perhaps liberals, pacifists and pansies might consider this a time to dialogue and raise conciousness, but a genuine conservative? What, I dryly ask, would John Wayne Do?
John Bernard Books (The Shootist):"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." 
 There are some assertions and arguments that will be made in favor of such a thing, but there are some assertions for which the most logical and and appropriate response is a punch in the throat. And should that present the spectre of unreasonable paperwork unworthy of the affront - then turn away from the yammering of fools. I have. And if you are reading this - I suspect you haven't watched much television for the last five years, either.

The conversation IS happening between people who have realized they don't need Tom Brokaw's goddamn permission to have a serious fucking conversation about the moral imperatives expressed by a cop beating supine citizens. To the extent that such an idea needs much discussion, I shall refer you to american history for the sort of conversation required.

"Let us hang together, or we shall most assuredly all hang separtely."

and, of course, should it come to that;  "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

That is why I've been smiling all day. It's been my best birthday in literally decades, for today, I have genuine hope that I will see the beginning of something wonderful, instead of hoping I will die before seeing what I most dread.

There will be marching and shouting and yelling and beating and blood and pain for months, possibly years; there might be occasional terrorism and civil wars will continue - though I consider that far, FAR less likely within the US than I did just a week ago. But however it goes down, the only real question for the US Right wing and the Neo Conservative movement worldwide is how long they can postpone surrender, and under what terms they may negotiate a dignified reatreat.

Just in time for 2012, it's the end of the world as we knew it... and it's about time.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Gmail Phishing Scam

    I just got this email, and while it's the usual sort of phishing scam, the timing is pretty good for a better than usual success rate, because of the uncertainty Google has created with it's real names policy regarding Google products. I've sent it on to, if anyone lives there, but the important thing to do is make sure than neither you, nor any of your slightly computer-illiterate friends fall for it.

    fromGmail Team
    dateWed, Sep 28, 2011 at 4:49 AM
    subjectGmail Warning Verification
    hide details 4:49 AM (4 hours ago)

    Dear Member,

    We have decided to protect each account with a user account control to protect user privacy and make sure each user account is not accessed unauthorized since we have been detecting unusual activities on some user accounts. We are sending this general message to all users to confirm their details below for verification purposes :

    * Full Name * :
    * Email ID * :
    * Password * :
    * Year of Birth * :
    *Alternative E-mail * :
    * Country * :

    Remember : All members are sending in their details for verification. E-mail to let us know if you do not want to receive spam e-mails anymore. Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within (7)days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently. Your account email service will continue to work as normal.

    The English usage is a tell, and it makes me think Russia or Eastern Europe. But the most important thing is to remember that no reputable company asks for your password in email.

    Ok, back to our irregularly scheduled mutterings.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    2012 and Beyond: The End of the World as We Know It

    We seem to think that mind and spirit are separate, that there is a spiritual realm and a practical realm and that they do not overlap at all - and that the one does not inform the other.

    But cause and effect still rules and amoral actions in the here and now lead to direct consquences that are suffered by our children and grandchildren. Indeed.. unto the seventh generation.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    #Nymwars: Content is King, and King is Content.

    My patience has ended. 

    I'm just about to pull the pin on Google+ so that I can take some time and think about my reliance on other Google services. The entire debate tells me that for whatever reason, google as a corporation has jumped the shark and I do not feel comfortable investing my social capital in it.

    And if that social capital were not valuable, they would not be locked in a death match with Facebook over data-mining futures, and governments would not be petitioning them for their databases.

    Oddly, my decision is not based on whether I have anything to hide. I have always made the point of never putting anything on the Internet that could put me at risk, and I make a point of distancing myself from those who do.

    "Content is King, and King is Content." The reality of the Internet is there is always someplace else - and moreover, wherever you are will cease to be anyplace sometime in the future.  One SURE way of ensuring that the interesting people will leave is to send out invitations to the "bridge and tunnel set," the sort of people who think that the Luxor casino is even better than the actual pyramids of Egypt.

    This is about investment, and where my time is best spent and to what ends. Google, at the moment, seems like a very poor investment for my social capital and I shall be investigating other social investment vehicles.

    You see, I'm a fucking punk;  I understand the difference between civility and civilization. "Civility" is being careful about the words used to boast about raping a peasant wench.

    "Civilization" is a condition in which it's considered wrong to rape peasants, and a right and proper outcome is to bring rapists to justice, regardless of their station in life.

    If that distinction is unclear to you - and it seems to me that it is - a discussion about "civility" as being a way to make things "better" will create no better thing that I care to participate in.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    THIS! Or in Canadian, "Peace, Order, Good Government."

    I found this in the comments section of  a TPM post; an otherwise forgettable rhetorical drive-by of an entirely deserving target. The thread was mostly partisan, and mostly well-aimed jibes at a target that more than deserves to be mocked, because she's an insult to the intelligence and principles of anyone who actually should be engaged in the process.

    Now, this assumption was inherent in the post and the reaction; it is of course the underpinning of the Resistance ... I mean, the rather incoherent gasp of horror that is the US Progressive movement. But I've never really seen the resistance to the tea-tards put so well. It's not enough to mock and resist; one really should know why, or one's disdain can and perhaps should be dismissed as mere partisan sniping.
    guntotingliberal1 DAY AGO
    The GOP loves to fight, loves to win, but frankly, finds governing a pain in the ass. They don't think it should or even can be done properly, since government is the problem, not the solution. Why people vote for individuals who despise the process they're fighting hard to become a part of is so far beyond me as to make me, in my own view, practically a foreigner in my own country. 
    I don't want an arsonist managing my lumberyard.
    I don't want government-haters running my government.
    Seems simple to me. I believe in our government, and the founding fathers who risked and sacrificed everything they had to establish it. I'm tired of idiots telling me the People shouldn't rely on the government. We the People established the government. It's ours. We made it. and we made it to help solve problems. To rely on institutions set up to help us is not a shame. Tearing down those institutions is.
    I love America and I love my American Rights. I love our open arms and our promise of hope to the wretched refuse of the world -- you know, our grandparents and great-grandparents, and their parents, and theirs, etc.
     Emphasis Mine.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    The Ironic Ethics of Wernher Von Braun

    Air Force Cites New Testament, Ex-Nazi, to Train Officers on Ethics of Launching Nuclear Weapons | Truthout

    This story changed even before I got it published. Update below.

    There are certain levels of irony that tend to render the ordinary human speechless. There are ways of getting through, and Jason Leopold guts it out with his usual determined outrage and the aid of direct quotation.
    One of the most disturbing slides quotes Wernher Von Braun, a former member of the Nazi Party and SS officer. Von Braun is not being cited in the PowerPoint as an authority on a liquid hydrogen turbopumps or a launch vehicle's pogo oscillations, rather he's specifically being referenced as a moral authority, which is remarkable considering that the Nazi scientist used Jews imprisoned in concentration camps, captured French anti-Nazi partisans and civilians, and others, to help build the V-2, a weapon responsible for the death of thousands of British civilians.
    "We knew that we had created a new means of warfare and the question as to what nation, to what victorious nation we were willing to entrust this brainchild of ours was a moral decision[emphasis in document] more than anything else," Von Braun said upon surrendering to American forces in May 1945. "We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured." [emphasis in document]
    Well, as stunning an irony and as compelling an insight as it is... it's not exactly new, either. So rather than react in amazement to the sudden realization that the people who build and deploy disintegrating totem poles with radioactive "happy endings" may have to struggle with the ethics involved... rather than that, I turn to Tom Leher. Because Just Moral Outrage Theory goes down better with a bit of piano. 

    And this way... I turn you on to Tom Lehrer. He also had some things to say about the ethics of deploying nuclear weapons that really should have been included in that Air Force Power Point presentation.

    UPDATE: It appears that the military found the optics as bad as everyone else did.
    The Air Force, in response to a report published by Truthout earlier this week, has pulled a Christian-themed training session that used a quote from an ex-Nazi SS officer and numerous passages from the New and Old Testament to teach missile officers about the morals and ethics of launching nuclear weapons.

    "It has been taken out of the curriculum and is being reviewed," said David Smith, chief of the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command, about the Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare training session. "The commander reviewed it and decided we needed to have a good hard look at it and make sure it reflected views of modern society."

    Smith said the ethics course has been in place for "20-plus years." He added that it will now be "given thorough scrutiny" and if "folks will be appointed to look at what we have and determine its utility and if they think its useful to continue having an ethics course they will develop a new course."
    So perhaps they will now consider including Tom Lehrer in the revised materials? It was a contemporary critical review of that ethos. Somehow, that makes this whole thing a little more darkly humorous, as "20+ years" puts it in range of not just Lehrer, but other thoughtful critiques of the ethics of atomic war.

    Indeed, the Air Force need not even concern themselves with creating new materials. It turns out an Independent Contractor has met the need.

    Obama on the Debt Ceiling "negotiations:" A tax by any other name...

    D.C. Tea Party hardly a tea party
    Ah, the irony. The sweet, sweet, unintended irony!
    I've said this a bunch of times out loud and in print, but had despaired of ever seeing anyone important and well-connected saying something like this out loud. This is one of the great shared secrets of power. Not all taxation is called taxation.

    Remarks by the President on the Status of Debt Ceiling Negotiations | The White House:
    "Keep in mind, if we don’t do that, if we don’t come to an agreement, we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating, not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills -- we do -- but because we didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.

    And make no mistake -– for those who say they oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would result potentially in a tax increase on everyone in the form of higher interest rates on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards. And that’s inexcusable."
    The way I'd put it is that a "tax" is an additional fee, charge, expense or transactional cost that you cannot avoid and must pay in order to conduct the ordinary business of life.

    And this is absolutely a tax. Worse yet, it's a tax that rewards nobody but banks - it essentially will create a condition where you - and you and you and you - will have to pay more for everything, and none of that additional money will achieve a single damn thing.

    Which, from the viewpoint of a middleman, is the perfect tax. Getting an extra share of something in return for nothing at all.

    Now do please realize that the people that brought us to this passage are the people who say, loudly and insistantly, that "all taxation is theft."

    But rather than eliminate taxation, they've figured out how to privatize it - by compelling the government to mandate theft.

    This compellingly illustrates the compound idiocy of the Tea-Party caucus, for I regret to say, for the majority of them, there isn't a shred of nudge-nudge wink-wink. They aren't actually trying to "put one over" on the American People. They really think that there is a difference between having to pay Peter and having no choice but to pay Paul.

    And they think it's "freedom" when you have to pay Paul twice as much to do what Peter did before, for results that are at best half as good.

    The sole task of good government is to do those things that cannot be done cost-effectively in bits and pieces, here and there; to determine standards and provide for the common security and defense.

    Well, tanking the economy would be a brilliant stroke of economic warfare, if it were done by an actual enemy of the state. It will do more harm over a longer span of time than, say, popping a nuke over Washington.

    So perhaps it might be prudent, at this juncture, to consider that anyone damn fool enough to think that risking the entire economy over a re-election strategy is, in fact, an enemy of the state. In a very real, non-rhetorical, this isn't politics you morons sort of way.

    John McCain Wakes Up in Bizarro World

    I remember back to the dawning of the current Cycle of Unease, the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

    I'd been ignoring politics almost entirely; politics, current affairs, world news and for the reasons most people do.

    It's boring. Politics are supposed to be boring. Like soccer, golf or Dungeons and Dragons, while it matters a great deal to those who enjoy the sport and great benefits are claimed of it, the rest of us are mostly glad that it keeps those who are interested in such things locked away in oppressively smoke-free rooms, chewing nicorette and trying to look dignified while peeing on one another's shoes.

    It is not particularly surprising that those who participate in this needful task try to make it seem more significant than it is when in the ideal, it is a mind-numbing routine with occasional achievements, not unlike a garbage worker's job; it's value is mostly recognized when the workers go on strike to remind us that we could, after all, do without them if we were not such fucking lazy slobs, willing to recycle and compost.

    And perhaps there's a lesson in there for those of us unwilling to sully our hands with such a distasteful task. Clearly, the standards have slipped to a point that it would be an improvement if the whole lot of them went on strike.

    You see, every once in a while it does matter what sort of person we send to our legislatures. We expect our political leaders to respond in accordance to our expectations. And I mean not just according to the most petulant and dogmatic interpretation of our political wishful thinking - I mean, in accordance to "what sane people would choose to do, given the access and information a member of Congress has."

    In a way, it's just like a volunteer firehouse. Most of the time - ideally, even - it's a way for people to get out of the house, sit around with friends in a context where they can play with large, rumbly boy-toys, drink sodas and swap lies in a context where belching and ball-scratching is not merely tolerated, but humorously encouraged. The understanding, though, is that when the bell rings, you run for the fucking truck! ALL of you!

    For ten years, the American People presumed that they had sent firefighters to the hall, and that if they didn't actually say all that much, or seem to be doing all that much that made sense, it was presumed that they were, after all, fire-fighters and knew at least that fire was hot, water was wet and explosives go bang.

    As these are not particularly complex ideas, it seemed safe enough to presume that people old enough to be elected to the House and Senate; people legally able drink hard liquor and presumably able to read and at least sign their own names; such people would know intuitively, that there is a time to play games and a time to fight fires.

    I mean, you would think, wouldn't you?
    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today that some members of his own caucus who are refusing to agree to a compromise debt ceiling deal are hoping to unleash “chaos” and thus force the White House and Senate Democrats to make bigger concessions than they’re already offering. As many as 40 House Republicans, especially Tea Party members and freshmen, have demanded nothing short of changing the Constitution to include a balanced budget amendment before they would vote to raise debt ceiling, even though that has zero chance before the U.S. faces potential default on Aug. 2.
    Speaking on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show this morning, Boehner agreed that failing to raise the limit before the deadline would be devastating, and said the “chaos” plan won’t work when asked by Ingraham what’s motivating the recalcitrant Republicans:
    BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.
    This is what we get from the Tea Party Caucus and the freaking' House Majority Leader?

    It's amazing how very diplomatic other nations are being in the face of this assault upon reason and the very real and deadly threat that a small group of economic illiterates would happly tank the global economy in order to achieve a political goal.

    But then I rememember Will Rogers' definition of "diplomacy." "Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock."

    On that note, I remind y'all that John McCain - A man who is very much an elder statesman of the GOP - didn't say anything like "nice doggie." But more to the direct point, neither did President Obama.  Which leads me to think that he may well have a few choice rocks all picked out.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Bill O'Reilly gets it EXACTLY right!

    "No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder," he said. "The man might have called himself a Christian on the net, but he is certainly not of that faith...we can find no evidence, none, that this killer practiced Christianity in any way."

    It's odd to find that I agree with Bill-O. I do. I've said a great deal about this over the years. I was actually a little shocked to see how VERY much I'd said about it.

    But I don't think Bill-O would really like to pursue that thought. Because it amounts to this: Calling yourself a Christian doesn't make you a Christian.

    Anders Behring Breivik is a Christian in exactly the same sense that Michelle Bachmann is. Or Ted Haggard. Or George Bush. Or Tom Ball. 

    Jesus made this point a few times. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,.. " but I think that obvious and commonplace. Frankly, people like Bill and Anders and George Bush really don't seem to act as if there are consequences in the afterlife for their acts - but what they do care about is you giving them the slack, the benefit of the doubt a "coreligionist" deserves.

    So to avoid confusion about the point myself, and being quite unwilling to concede the foundation of my own moral high ground to those unworthy of it, I've coined the term "Chromefishtians." 

    Chromefishtians are people, people like the sort Bill is complaining of. The are the ones that have to slap a chrome fish or a bible verse on everything they do so that people will know they are godly people. Because, well, if they didn't do that, their actions would lead people to different and perhaps more obvious conclusions.

    Let me quote an example of what I mean from one of my many fine rants on the topic.
     (Welcome to Free Republic! America's exclusive site for God, Family, Country, Life & Liberty constitutional conservative activists! ) in a thread titled Wisconsin Teachers Lead Students in Anti-Walker Chants (thugs instruct children in the capitol)

    To: Libloather
    > Are they indoctrinating their pupils? You bet your @$$ that's exactly what they've been doing since the 1960s. 
    > Where are the decent people of Wisconsin? 
    Working to support these slugs. 
    Or cleaning and oiling their rifles.
    8 posted on March-19-11 10:11:34 AM by Flatus I. Maximus (Everything you know about McCarthyism is wrong.)

    To: bigbob
    It’s that bad. Isn’t it?

    9 posted on March-19-11 10:28:03 AM by GVnana

    To: Libloather
    It’s the way WI “repents” for having twice elected Joe McCarthy to the Senate.

    10 posted on March-19-11 11:02:14 AM by Theodore R. (John Boehner just surrendered the only weapon with which he had to fight. What does OH see in him?)

    To: sanjuanbob
    "Where are the decent people of Wisconsin? Why no rallys?"Working and earning a living. It's long past time to go Galt.
    Boy, it's a good thing they tell us they are Christians, right up there in the title. I don't know how we'd ever know, otherwise. 

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Oslo proves that Right Wing Terrorism doesn't exist. /s

    The Price of Eliminationist Rhetoric
    It's early days in the aftermath of the Oslo bombing and I shall leave the actual motives of the actual criminal to the actual authorities who will have to decide how to decently dispose of the matter. As is often the case, I'm fascinated by the reactions of people who are shocked, shocked, to find out that an act of terrorism wasn't committed by a bonded and licensed terrorist. It turned out that Anders Behring Breivik  not a radical Islamist at all. reports that on Breivik's Facebook page he listed his interests as body building, hunting, freemasonry, stock analysis and the Modern Warfare 2 video game. Breivik said he had completed “3,000 hours of study in micro and macro finance, religion,” and describes himself as being both Christian and conservative.
    Over at the CBC, this little nugget produced confusion among the readership:
    “It’s not clear what his motivation is yet and the police haven’t really talked about that,” CBC reporter Nahlah Ayed said from the scene outside Oslo on Saturday. “What we do know from police is that he has been very co-operative and is very keen to express his point of view.”
    In response to the new information that the perpetrator may have right-wing cultural and religious leanings,  "scapeloftruth" writes
    ""his Facebook page suggests he may be a Christian fundamentalist"
    Surprise, surprise.==============
    What precisely does that mean? 
    Christian Fundamentalist? 
    This is an Extremely RARE incident for a Christian , especially if it WAS religiously motivated. You can't say that for the Religion of peace now can ya. and to those who equate this with Timothy McVeigh, He was NOT a Christian and did NOT commit his crimes in the name of ANY Religion. 
    This will be used by the left and exploited by Liberals to show That Christians commit Terror as much as Muslims and you more finger pointing and suspicion toward Non Muslims when there is ANY terrorism in Europefrom now on. 
    This One Pyscho will distract people from the real Everyday Threats Europe faces from Islamists and he has , in the eyes of Bleeding hearts and Leftists , made us ALL equal in ideology and capability toward Religious Violence, which is 100% false and misleading. "
     "LiberalLoser" writes
    Why would someone who is anti-Muslim immigration attack Norwegians? Why wouldn't they just attack Muslims?
    It makes more sense that this man is trying to 'undermine' any anti-immigration policies happening in Norway.
    That would make him a leftist, not someone on the right.

    And any number simply say "his religion doesn't matter, he's clearly insane." Which should be what we say any time a politically or religiously motivated act of violence occurs, of course, but in practice, they are only "crazy" if they act violently in support of a cause the person speaking tends to sympathize with.

    Case in point.

    Article comment suggest it's perfectly understandable that things like this happen, with all them Muslims
    coming into Norway.
    Then, of course, this being the CBC, the point IS raised that it would have been rather difficult for him to kill so many people without access to a gun. Which is inarguable - but clearly, very strict gun regulations did not preclude a premeditated act of terrorism, which also included a large ANFO explosion.
    Designed by a hobbyist machinist,
    this air-powered selective-fire weapon
    is truly lethal.

    So of course, dragging the the need to have a  Long Gun Registry into this is beside the point - had he needed to, this fellow could have managed to create a functional automatic weapon with hobby-grade machine tools. You can't make physics illegal, and even if you regulate ammunition as many gun-control advocates suggest - well, have a look at this screenshot, a .30 calibre sub-machinegun.

    If you are truly determined to kill a lot of people, it's possible to find a way to do it, rather easily. It becomes even simpler if you aren't concerned about legal or personal consequences. I've written about this sort of thing before, and likely will have to again...

    Law-abiding citizens who are neither suffering from mental illness nor operating under some delusion do not generally kill people, even if they are farmers with tons of ammonium nitrate, hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, guns, ammo, and long dark winters of boredom. If that's all it took, Saskatchewan would have a lot more craters.

    So what we really must talk about is motivation. Why do people like Anders Behring Breivik resort to terrorism? How does it become part of their thinking, to the extent that he can calmly hunt down and kill children who happen to be at a politically sponsored summer camp?

    Eliminationism is the belief that one's political opponents are "a cancer on the body politic that must be excised — either by separation from the public at large, through censorship or by outright extermination — in order to protect the purity of the nation"

    It's crazy. But it's a depressingly common sort of crazy that leaves piles of bodies in it's wake, from the Killing Fields of Cambodia, to the Rwandan Genocides, to Waco, to Bosnia, to ... well, I'm sure you can think of other examples. And yes, you could indeed make the argument that Ruby Ridge was an example - as was Wounded Knee. 

    No particular religion or political viewpoint that is required. All you need do is convince someone holding Belief A that people that have Belief B deserve to be killed for the "good of right-thinking people."

    Sadly, that's easy enough to do, and done commonly enough that I think "crazy" isn't the right word. Unless we are to consider that sort of crazy to be a sort of "normal." Of course, if you start with someone who's a little crazy and a bit stupid, it's fairly straightforward to point them at people like Congresswoman Giffords or Dr. George Tiller and then, of course, disavow any responsibility for the acts of obviously crazy people.

    But there seems to be a lot of money in Crazy Talk. Here's some golden oldies, courtesy of Orcinus- remember these?
    Ann Coulter:
    "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
    "We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too."
    "They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn’t slowed them down."
    "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
    "God said ... rape the planet -- it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and striping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars -- that's the Biblical view."
    "I have to say I'm all for public flogging."
    "I think [women] should be armed but should not [be allowed to] vote."
    "Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."
    "My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."
    "In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he [Clinton] 'did it,' even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate."
    You know, in a sane culture, people who say crazy things like that in public are given appropriate medication - not book deals and appearances on Fox.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Al Frankin Focuses on Focus on the Family.

    You see, this is why Focus on the Family hates those "lie-buh-ral edumacators" and "critical thinkers" and people who actually look stuff up.

    They unfairly use these tactics to embarrass "Real Uhmurikins."

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    The Start of the End of an Empire

    Fox News GOP Merger - Faux News
    Graphic courtesy New England Secession
    The downfall of the Murdoch empire is well underway, and the conventional wisdom seems to be that this will be limited to "the Murdoch Empire." And in a sense, perhaps it will be - but you really must think in terms of what that empire entails.

    If you think only in terms of media, you would be quite wrong. If you were to think in terms of influence and corruption - well, you would be closer to the mark. If you were to think in terms of "what would have happened had Murdoch been against the Iraq war" - well, now, you are starting to get the shape of it. But you'd still be out of scale.

    Media and money influence in two ways - by what they choose to "invest" in and what they choose to ignore. And both depend very heavily indeed upon credibility. RJ Eskow writes in an Truthout Op-Ed:
    History books record an empire's fall as a series of dates and events. Battles are fought, people resist, elections are called, arrest warrants are issued. But those are just details. An empire really falls in that moment when people stop believing that it's invulnerable. Whenever the spell is broken, whether it's by anger or just by awareness, the end becomes inevitable. It doesn't matter what happens to Rupert or James Murdoch now. They may return to positions of relative wealth and privilege or their lives may take unpleasant turns. Either way, the Murdoch empire has already fallen.
    But what will that mean in practical terms? There was something very telling to be found in a discussion of Murdoch's "hands on" approach to the news and his choice of politics and his choice of candidates to support.
    Neil, the editor of Britain's Sunday Times for 11 years, told a House of Lords committee looking into media ownership in 2008 that he was never in any doubt what Murdoch wanted, even though he could not recall a direct instruction telling him to take a particular line.
    "On every major issue of the time and every major political personality or business personality, I knew what he thought and you knew, as an editor, that you did not have a freehold, you had a leasehold ... and that leasehold depended on accommodating his views," he said.
    "Rupert Murdoch is obsessed with what his newspapers say. He picks the editors that will take the kind of view of these things that he has and these editors know what is expected of them when the big issues come and they fall into line."
    In the 1980s, the Sun's MacKenzie would hear from Murdoch on a daily basis -- not quite to discuss exact headlines, but to make sure the newspaper would report the major issues as the press baron saw fit.

    Nor is it particularly surprising (or difficult) to find out that he Murdoch hive-mind approaches political clients the way he approaches employees.
     In 1992, when Britain was unceremoniously ejected from the European Exchange Rate mechanism and forced to raise interest rates to double digits, then Prime Minister John Major called Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor of Murdoch's tabloid The Sun, to ask how he planned to play the story. Mackenzie famously told Major: "Well John, let me put it this way. I've got a large bucket of shit lying on my desk and tomorrow morning I'm going to pour it all over your head."
    The Global Post goes on, a bit smugly:
    Here is the important point: This is a story about journalism and its unique power — for good and evil Journalism is not like any other business — and it's product cannot be measured by normal business school taught analytics. The main product of journalism is not tittle-tattle and check-book obtained "scoops" about celebrities — as Rupert Murdoch has found to his cost. It is about digging out the facts about how societies are governed, about corruption, about eyewitness accounts of how the world works. Strong institutions — led by editors who are willing to give reporters the time and space — are necessary to fund that work.
    And without their efforts and vigilance then parliaments and congresses and presidents can be cowed by all manner of powerful special interests, especially those whose idea of the journalism business is give the people what they want: tits and ass and a large dose of prejudice. 

    A keen observation that misses one of the great truths of history, even as they note in passing that Murdoch's tabloids are read by at least 40% of the UK population. While upmarket papers are included in his stable, I'm sure their private briefs are more about what will not be covered than what will be exploited. The way you deal with thinking people is to avoid giving them anything to think about that leads them to think about what you are up to.

    His taste in politicians runs to those who are controllable and who's politics appeals to his tabloid demographic; Those who have no thoughts of their own, or have some weakness that can be used to keep them on a leash. Interestingly enough, the currently leading Republican contender (or so we are told...) is Michelle Bachmann. She reportedly suffers from such debilitating headaches that she's probably incapable of actually steering the ship of state. She would need to rely on some quiet, grey Eminence.

    But she does appeal to the mob.  And that, combined with built in leverage, is her appeal to Murdoch. And she's the only sort that has such appeal. So if you have wondered why those suppored by the media on the Right have turned out to be such a sorry, corrupt and shallow lot - well, consider the source of their support.

    Nobody better has a chance with the yowling rabble - or the man who whips them into a froth.

    The problem for Murdoch, Bachmann and the GOP is that the mob is ... a mob. And not only have they turned on Murdoch - they are likely to turn on anyone that reminds them of Murdoch.

    Let me remind us all how this often works out.

    The execution of Robespierre and his supporters on 28 July 1794

    Saturday, July 09, 2011

    Never Let Amateurs do Parody

    This is the original, unintended self-parody.

    This is the actual parody.

    Rarely has Poe's Law bitten so hard, or with such sharp little teeth. Thank Ghu for Miss Vermont, the "winking smiley."

    Bob's Correlation: Pretty people don't have to be smart.  People who are happy with being judged on their looks should not be graded on their ability to answer "Gotcha" questions, like, say, "Should it be illegal to divide by zero" or "Where and why did Paul Revere ride."

    Bob's Even More Obvious Correlation: Never confuse pretty with smart.


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