In the spirit of fairness, I present the following:
Instapundit, who we have forgiven for his semi-advocacy of anything involving System of a Down, says:
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS THAT IRAQ IS VIOLATING THE LAWS OF WAR. Glad someone's noticed.The only problem is that Human Rights Watch also says this:
The United States is right to insist that Iraq honor the Geneva Conventions. But its position is weakened by failure to practice what it preaches in holding 641 prisoners without charges at the U.S. military facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.Now, I'm not saying I agree with the views of HRW on Gitmo, but we can't approve of their opinion on one aspect of the debate and offer it up as support for assertions, while discounting their view on the other face of things with which we disagree.
Also, I'm not saying that Glenn necessarily disagrees with them on Gitmo, but plenty of the pro-war folks do - and they might latch on to the HRW claim with much fervor. And they shouldn't. You know, just sayin' is all.
Love her or hate her, Dawn Olsen definitely has her beautiful moments, such as this one in which she reflects upon friendships made - and lost - in the blogosphere:
I am so deeply thankful for those "TRUE" friendships I have made, as I know that like the handful I have in life, they will remain through persistence and care, weathering the turbulent storms we all must face.Poetry, Dawn, poetry!
And to the fuckers I have left in the dust, good riddance you vile, soul-sucking pieces of shit - you know who each and every one of you are. May you forever rot from the inside out. Thanks for taking and taking, making empty promises, stealing, never being true and only seeing what's good for you, not for us as friends. You suck ass - and I will forever burn you in effigy as a charred image on my scorched retina of life.
Since I've been picking on the anti-war protesters so much, allow me to point out a variety of simple-minded thinking from the pro-war side that I find distasteful as well. This comes courtesy of my pal Jo.
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While I agree with the sentiment of supporting the troops and backing the war effort, it does give into jingoistic slurs and platitiudes like:
Tonight, I say we should support the President of the United States and the U.S. military and tell the liberal, tree-hugging, hippy, Birkenstock wearing, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and music and whine somewhere else...Sorry, but America-Love-It-or-Leave-It doesn't fly with me. Dissenting opinions are a good thing. Public discourse is a good thing. Confusing the issues complemented by pointless name-calling brings the pro-war side down to the level of the likes of Michael Moore.
I want to know how the very people who are against war because of the loss of life, can possibly be the same people who are for abortion?
The movie stars say they want to go to Iraq and serve as human shields for the Iraqis, I say let them buy a one-way ticket and go.
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Today, Instapundit said:
HERE'S A DELIGHTFUL dissection of Michael Moore -- who, come to think of it, directed the System of a Down video that nobody likes, didn't he?I'm sorry, does anyone like System of a Down's aural qualities either? I guess I missed the memo.
It's official - the World Wide Rant is on the market at BlogShares. I heartily advise everyone to buy it up immediately so I can dump my ownership stake and retire as a fictionally-wealthy former blogger and move to a fictional offshore location to avoid taxes that would help the fictional underclass. I will then sit on a fictional beach enjoying a fictional adult beverage and laugh a fictional laugh with a fictional aire of superiority.
I think this is a fictional future we can all support.
So get to it.
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As Blogshares creator, Sayed Razavi, says:
In the end BlogShares is mostly about vanity, greed and screwing the little guy as often as you can. Welcome to the stock market. However, from it's evil capitalist machinations good things can come.Yay, fun!
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Peter Arnett is being given the boot to the backside by NBC, following his stellar interview on Iraqi TV.
Arnett said that the U.S. "war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan...."Uh, someone should tell Peter that coalition forces have entered the "red zone" around Baghdad that is defended by the Republican Guard. The war is on.
During the Sunday interview, Arnett also said that Iraq had given him and other reporters a "degree of freedom which we appreciate." Iraq has expelled several journalists, including CNN's Baghdad team, and apparently has imprisoned two journalists from the New York newspaper Newsday.Whoops, wrong again, Peter. Perhaps it will eventually dawn on him that he's nothing but a useful idiot to the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Arnett told the Iraqi TV interviewer, who was dressed in an Iraqi Army uniform, that President Bush is facing a "growing challenge" about the "conduct of the war" within the United States.Someone should get him a copy of the latest Gallup poll that shows that American opinion in favor of the war is holding steady at around 70%, and Bush's approval rating is at 71%.*
Maybe Peter is getting his news from the Iraqis.
* Note to the loony contingent of the left, we're not endorsing Bush in general, just giving the numbers. So save your whining.
Most of the protestors carried anti-war signs and banners along sidewalks near Sperry Marine, while five others chained themselves to barrels and each other in order to block the company's entrance, according to an Albemarle County Police Department press release.So far so good - behaving nicely, except for that whole chaining themselves up bit. So much for respecting private property and commerce.
Protestors also dumped old washing machines, mattresses and other junk on the company's driveway, Sperry Marine President John DeMaso said.Now, we're littering - and what is the point? "Stop the war! Screw the environment!" I bet the ELF anti-war contingent wouldn't be happy.
"The police made them pick it up and then we had to go out and pick up" what was leftover for about 45 minutes, DeMaso said.Screw that, call in a company to clean it up and have the bill sent to the protesters.
Firefighters were called to a car fire early Friday morning in Executive Park. Once the fire was out, the true meaning of the fire was revealed. It was a calling card by a terrorist group to announce what they had done at a Naval Recruiting Headquarters. It's the first graphic sign of anti-war sentiment to hit the Capitol City.Hey, at least they aren't very smart! Imagine how dangerous they'd be if they had properly functioning brains.
They left behind messages calling for an end to the war and to stop the killing. Each vehicle sprayed with a bright orange paint and signed "ELF".
Ironically Friday's vandalism targeted nondescript government vehicles, the only thing denoting them as government cars, their tags. While just a few feet away the symbol of the U.S. Navy, a miniature Blue Angel jet, sat untouched.
I wonder if groups like International ANSWER will criticize the violence - you know, maybe something like "not in my name!" Somehow, I doubt it.
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Pssst - are they still watching? No? Good.
When we finally made it to Safwan, Iraq, what we saw was utter chaos. Iraqi men, women and children were playing it up for the TV cameras, chanting: “With our blood, with our souls, we will die for you Saddam.”Well, that's certainly news... to a large segment of San Francisco's populace, perhaps.
I took a young Iraqi man, 19, away from the cameras and asked him why they were all chanting that particular slogan, especially when humanitarian aid trucks marked with the insignia of the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society, were distributing some much-needed food.
His answer shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.
He said: “There are people from Baath here reporting everything that goes on. There are cameras here recording our faces. If the Americans were to withdraw and everything were to return to the way it was before, we want to make sure that we survive the massacre that would follow as Baath go house to house killing anyone who voiced opposition to Saddam. In public, we always pledge our allegiance to Saddam, but in our hearts we feel something else.”
Different versions of that very quote, but with a common theme, I would come to hear several times over the next three days I spent in Iraq.
The people of Iraq are terrified of Saddam Hussein.
The most surprising thing about it is that it was Arab News that carried the story.
Ahhhh, in the office at 8am on a Sunday - this is the life! I've got my Diet Coke, my music is turned up, and I'll now spend the next four hours or so finalizing a presentation that I have to have completed by tomorrow morning. Yay me.
A full day after that too. I need to touch up the paint in the nursery, put together the glider rocker, buy the crib and assemble that, install some shelves, and find the road to world peace. I'm an overachiever.
Won't you help Vicky with her efforts to spread the message of peace via the internet?
May (deity of choice, or none if you prefer) bless you, my child.
A common argument from the anti-war side is that the liberation of Iraq is wrong because of the potential for civilian deaths. One death is too many! they cry (as if war supporters were chanting "One is too few!").
These same people get upset when you then say that their argument could imply we should have not bothered liberating Europe from the Germans (as that means maybe it was ok that all those Jews got killed, and no one likes to be called an appeaser or a facilitator to the deaths of six million Jews, handicapped, and homosexuals).
Or, and more correctly perhaps - as one commenter suggested below - we should have stopped at Germany's borders because that was Hitler's country, the people seemed to like him, and what goes on in there is his business and not ours. See no evil, hear no evil, yada yada yada.
Why, it could have been just like Gulf War I - march right up to the door and stop.
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Maybe it's only ok to liberate European folks, while tyranny and oppression are just the name of the game for our darker-skinned brethren? Surely an unfair assessment (I hope!), but it makes one wonder why invading Germany was ok, but invading Iraq is not (at least on the premises of civilian deaths and the sovereignty of nations).
So - how many civilians died in World War 2 while the Axis was storming the Continent and the Allies were liberating it? I've found a series of figures and have selected the lowest value provided in each case (although the median values tend to be considerably higher):
That's a lot of propaganda pictures of horribly injured children sarcastically thanking FDR for toppling the Third Reich courtesy of Photoshop and the anti-war crowd.
Remember, one European civilian death is too many, but six million Jews is a-ok. And one Iraqi civilian death is too many, but one hundred thousand Kurds and possibly a million Iraqis are a-ok too.
So, go on, continue to post your tired propaganda pictures showing that civilians get killed in war - my reply to that is "No shit." It's an unfortunate consequence, and one that the US seeks to minimize while the Iraqis try to maximize it - where you choose to point the finger is very telling.
I'd like to provide you with an estimated two-hundred thousand Photoshopped images of Iraq's "disappeared" but - well - they've vanished.
But maybe not for much longer.
Unless you get your way.
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Hi - yes, I know there's no logo - I'm working on it. In the middle of modifying the template to CSS with absolute positioning, blah blah, and will need to do a new logo for that too that fits. Hopefully this version will work with Mozilla as I am building it in Dreamweaver MX.
If not, screw it.
Update: OK, in Mozilla it seems to be having some overlap problems with the rightmost column - and Dreamweaver doesn't seem to want to fix them either. The page looks fine in IE, so that's ok - but if any of you Mozilla experts want to lend a hand, just let me know. Thanks!
Somebody asked for another "stupid protester" post - so here it is:
MONTPELIER, Vt. — A group of Vermont teen-agers threw rocks at a uniformed female Vermont National Guard sergeant last week, in the latest example of a service member facing hostility in the United States.Stupid protesters.
"There were various profanities directed in her direction, along the line of '[expletive] murderer, [expletive] baby killer,'" Stirewalt said. "It culminated with some of the individuals throwing rocks at her, and as testament to her disciplined professionalism, she got in her car and left the area."
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Update: And one more protest observation, courtesy of Wendy:
One sign in particular caught my attention--it was white posterboard, with "Peace Now" and "No War" sandwiching a large peace sign. It looked peculiar to me, and it took me a moment to realize what was wrong--the peace sign's vertical line went only halfway through the circle, ending in the legs of the design. This girl, standing next to a sign that read "No Blood for Oil," was holding a sign emblazoned with the logo of Mercedes Benz.Maybe if they spent less time staging walk-outs from high schools and colleges...
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From the American Top 40 mailbag:
"Dear Casey: No matter how hard I try to stay away from the WWR, I just can't. It's like this compulsion rises up in me and forces me to spout off, putting words into the mouths of others, erecting strawmen and knocking them down with glee, and being like that late night guest who doesn't get the hint that since the host is now in their PJs, it's probably time to leave.
So, Casey, could you play Lionel Richie's 'Just Can't Say Goodbye' for my friends, Andy and Tom?
Rev, here's your long distance dedication. Keep looking up, and keep reaching for the stars.*
* And on that note, the petty feud is over from my side of things.
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One More Thing: There's always one more thing, you know. Allow me to leave you with some lovely words (see comment #113) to show Mykeru's true face.
Well, one can always hope that you are gifted with a nice big birth defect so a hard-assed Thomas Malthus conservatives like you can show us bleeding hearts how to eliminate the surplus population of the weak and the sick like a man.That's right, rather than attack me, he wishes that my unborn child come complete with birth defects to teach me a lesson (although how that would work is beyond me).
And don't go for the burlap sack and cinder block in the pond like a pussy. Strangle the fucking thing with your own hands. Have the courage of your convictions. And have the wife watch, just so she knows what's good for her.That's right, not only should I have a child with birth defects, but I should kill it myself because that's the kind of guy I am. Although, I've yet to see where I've said anything along those lines.
You, Rev, are truly a piece of work, you sad fuck.
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In the continuing saga of extremists throwing around big words in order to sound enlightened, I received this comment today from Jefe at Jared's site.
My assesment of your views led me to look up a word in the dictionary and the definition fit like a glove.Apparently, in some sort of Bizarro World episode of Super Friends, my advocacy that the property rights of individuals be respected and that rampant government ransacking of wallets be reversed somehow equates to the desire for centralized, autocratic government with severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of the opposition.
Main Entry: fas·cism
Pronunciation: 'fa-"shi-z&m also 'fa-"si-
Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
Interesting, given that the person who called me fascist advocates - best I can tell - socialism, or perhaps communism - and the way-lefties over there have had no shortage of unkind words en masse for the opposition (that is, me). So very sorry, Jefe, but if anyone is remotely close to the idea of fascism, it's you. (Although, like I said, you're probably more of a socialist or communist from what I can tell, but neither of those is paying you a compliment either, really.)
If you want to see where my ideological views tend to fall, check out the word "libertarian:"
lib·er·tar·i·an ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lbr-târ-n)In other words, you're wrong.
One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
But I imagine that state of being is like a well-worn, comfy blanket for you by now.
Have a nice night everyone!
Yes, Laurence Simon is stopping by to post on his Blog-A-Day Tour. It oozes goodwill. So, here's Laurence...
(Welcome to the Amish Tech Support Blog a Day Tour!)
Hi there. One of the things that I have been obsessing on for the past week is a new name for French Toast that doesn't sound so lame as Freedom Toast and actually helps describe the altered nature of toast that comprises of that dish.
"Eggy bread" has been suggested here and there. I'd be interested in what other countries call the stuff.
Apparently, the Air Force has already made their decision:
On President Bush's Air Force One flight to Florida on Wednesday it was au revoir French toast, hello "Freedom toast." "Stuffed Freedom Toast" topped the breakfast menu, in a subtle slap at the French for helping to confound U.S. attempts to get the U.N. Security Council to authorize military force against Ira.
The name change for the venerable breakfast dish -- in this case stuffed with cream cheese -- followed similar moves by the U.S. Congress and some restaurants across the country to change "French fries" to "Freedom fries."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, asked about the newly titled "Freedom toast," smiled and said, "We're always proud of the men and women of our Air Force."
Freedom Toast sounds silly, but Stuffed Freedom Toast sounds even sillier.
Come on people... we're not just Americans... we're Netizens! Let's come up with a better name!
“Daniel-san, must talk. Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished just like grape.”
~Mr. Miyagi (as if you didn’t know.)
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It seems that as long as we were bashing the idiotic right-wing “pundits” like Ann Coulter and Mike Savage, we were everybody’s heroes, but as soon as we turn around, hold up our hands and say, “now wait a minute, we don’t agree with a lot of left-wing stances either,” our former “friends” not only get their raw, unbleached cotton panties in a wad, they turn viciously and bite. We are accused of being Republicans, Reaganites, and Conservatives, none of which is remotely true. Andy is a libertarian, and I am a registered Democrat. But because we’re not as “Lefty-As-Thou,” suddenly we’re Satan’s own hyperconservatives.
Oh, but let’s not just talk about philosophical differences, they say. The fact that we don’t agree with their stances makes us bad people…the most egregious, irresponsible, and breathtaking use of argumentum ad hominem it has ever been my dubious honor to witness. Apparently we are now “selfish,” “poor excuses for human beings,” and we make all right-thinking people nauseous.
Full disclosure, “selfish.” I am a thirty-something scientist who is the child of much older, Depression-era parents. My father grew up on a farm in South Carolina. My mother grew up in the mountains of northern Georgia after her father couldn’t make enough money to feed his family as a sharecropper. She later moved to Atlanta when her father, through his hard work, became one of the most valuable employees of the Fisher auto body plant there. I was raised to be very tight with my resources, as one never knows when they will go away. Growing up, we recycled everything…and I don’t mean a once-monthly trip to the aluminum can place to get our $1.50 per metric ton. I mean we recycled aluminum, plastic, containers, paper bags. I learned to mend my own clothes because I was taught that to throw things out after they show a little wear was irresponsible. Everything organic produced in our kitchen was mulched and converted to soil in a compost heap…everything except, as Eugene Walter put it, “the coffee grounds and the citrus.” We grew some of our own food, even after my dad became a radar engineer with the FAA.
My parents have supported everyone in our family that needed it with open hands. I never knew my paternal grandmother or my maternal grandfather…they died long before I was born. My paternal grandfather died in our house after a years-long convalescence at the age of 97, and my mother’s mother did precisely the same thing in the same room twelve years later. I stood by her bed, held her hand, and watched her die, with all of my family standing there with me. My father is long since retired, and he is currently taking care of my mother who, just this past year, had three strokes that left her lucid, but completely unable to move her left side. I live 200 miles away from them, but I do whatever I can to help, including helping them financially and with physical labor whenever I’m home. My parents are poor. They live in a modest home in a rapidly declining part of Montgomery, and even though my dad made good money at one time, it all went to support family members and friends who needed it.
I have spent I don’t know how many days and weeks at nursing homes and the children’s hospital in Montgomery, Alabama volunteering. I have spent who knows how long at local food banks hauling canned goods to regional distribution centers.
I have devoted my entire professional career to repairing what is, in my opinion, the worst environmental disaster in the world…the loss of biodiversity. I first worked for the largest environmental non-governmental organization in the world, writing and publishing a book on the freshwater biodiversity of North America for them. I also contributed to their effort to identify the status of every bird that occurs in the Indo-Malay region. I currently am doing the same thing, only I work to preserve the biodiversity of America’s public lands.
I researched world water conflicts, and helped produce a report that showed every watershed in the world that crosses international political boundaries. That report, I am told, was used in a summit between Israel and Jordan just last year. Never fucking tell me that I’m socially irresponsible and selfish.
I bring all this up not to blow my own horn, but because I’m incensed and outraged that any stupid clueless motherfucker has the unadulterated gall to call me “selfish.” It’s not merely stupid – hell, I can forgive stupid, since it’s one of the most common human traits in the world – it’s a miserable, self-serving lie.
I say “lie” with an absolutely clear conscience. Only the most rock-headed dipshit alive could be a regular reader of WWR and think that we mindlessly toe the Republican party line. I know neither Jared nor Reverend Mykeru are stupid, and I know that they both (at least used to) regularly read WWR. They should both be extremely familiar with our Centrist positions, and the fact that we will readily change our positions on any given issue with enough rational, logical persuasion. However, in spite of this, we are accused of being right-wing flacks and witless hyperconservative shills. As a believer in Hanlon’s Law (“Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity,”) I have to say that the latter has been neatly ruled out, leaving only malice, and its frequent rhetorical companion, dishonesty.
For example, let’s take Reverend Mykeru's contention that we imply that all antiwar protesters are idiots. He asserts that we are using confirmation bias, and when I point out to him that we are neither generalizing about all antiwar protesters nor presenting ourselves as unbiased reporters (after all, we’re for the war,) it goes completely ignored. Andy even posted another entry that we’d be glad to shell the idiotic right-wing pro-war jingoists if we see them saying or doing similarly dumbassed shit, but did anybody give us credit for being willing to act with fairness and balance? No, instead, we got even more pus and blame from them. Apparently because we believe that the balance of reasons to go to war outweighs the reasons not to, we are Bush’s lapdogs, and we are complete morons and fuckwits.
Yes, Mykeru said that.
I loathe Bush. I can’t wait to vote his beady-eyed, ignorant ass out of office. While I won’t go as far as to espouse Mykeru’s Jello Biafra/Zach de la Rocha-esque paranoia about the USA becoming a one party police state, I will say that I believe Bush was elected by judicial fiat instead of a completely fair election. I despise, similarly, quite a few of Bush’s cabinet members…John Ashcroft most especially. I believe he’s the scariest and most dangerous man in politics. Total Information Awareness (which I’m sure you’re aware we’ve ranted against at some length) is an Orwellian nightmare.
But I still think that deposing Saddam Hussein is the right thing to do, for a variety of reasons.
Put simply, not only are these twits showing their baboon-like asses, they’re doing it on purpose, which I can’t abide.
Then there’s Jared. Ah, Saint Jared of the Copiously Bleeding Heart, who, to all outward evidence, thinks that Josef Stalin was really onto something when he collectivized all the small businesses in the USSR into one giant, clunky, pathetically inefficient state machine that not only killed 20 million people at the time, but whose shadow reaches down through the years and is still responsible for Russia’s continued depression. By her rationale, it ought to be perfectly acceptable to tax the living shit out of everybody, because when you’re fucked by the government, it’s not theft, it’s fiscal responsibility! Apparently, everyone should be forced to feel just like she feels. And if you don’t, remember that you’re a pathetic excuse for a human being.
Also, there’s this lovely bit of utter lunacy: I am attached to my ideas of greed and abundance. Yes, that’s right, the guy who drives a ten-year-old four-cylinder car with 200,000 miles on it simply because he thinks that one ought to use things that still work (and because there’s no mass transit where he lives.) The guy who works for a pittance of a salary for the US government when he could have easily gone to law school, medical school, gotten an MBA, etc. and could have just as easily been making six figures right now. The guy who lives in an inexpensive, energy-efficient apartment and who shops for fruits and vegetables at the local farmer’s markets. The guy who is wearing the same shoes he wore five years ago because they refuse to wear out.
You have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. You’re a self-righteous boor, and your advocacy of government-sponsored theft doesn’t make it any less wrong. I also love how you characterize our values as “putting things before human life.” What complete idiocy. Tell me again how a flat tax rate and mandatory redistribution of wealth isn’t anything other than Taxation Without Representation, then tell me why those people that died in the Revolutionary War so that we can have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our own labors were misguided. Go on, I’ll probably get a few good chuckles out of it.
Advice to anyone concerned: it’s very easy to adopt one extreme or another. You see, when you do that, you can promptly dispense with rational thought and spend your days on sloganeering, polemics, and worthless appeal to emotion. Avoid at all costs having to independently evaluate every issue…it’s a lot of work. In addition, when you pick and choose what’s right on any given issue, whether what’s right leans more to either conservative or liberal thought, you’ve guaranteed one thing…that demagogues from both sides will hate you.
Well, fuck them. Let them hate me.
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Why? How? Because the House of Representatives has given us this bill:
H. RES. 153 - Recognizing the public need for fasting and prayer in order to secure the blessings and protection of Providence for the people of the United States and our Armed Forces during the conflict in Iraq and under the threat of terrorism at home.I'm still not exactly clear on why God doesn't know to protect his flock unless they ask him or refuse to eat for him. All this time they've been telling me he is omniscient - maybe not.
Well, if nothing else, he's obviously easily impressed if all you have to do for national security is stay away from Hostess cupcakes for a day.
(silly bill found here)
Just a reminder that we're planning the 2nd Annual or Something Like That Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash on April 11, 2003. I'm going to set an official start time of 7pm, but feel free to show up earlier - I will. After all, there's beer to be imbibed.
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
If you plan to attend, drop me an e-mail via the link on the left. Hope to see you there.
Well, I'd like to be able to show you the fabulous 4D pictures of the WWRunt, but we apparently have a very active baby who refuses to sit still in the womb. All four limbs were in motion in front of the face, so it was impossible to get a worthwhile picture - but I'd rather have an active baby than one that lies around like a lump causing us to worry.
The less good news is that the baby is currently in breech position. It's no big worry just yet as they don't get concerned until 36 weeks (so we've got a little over 2 weeks for the kid to turn). At 37 weeks, they may try to manually rotate the baby from the outside - this, however, might cause early labor, successful or not.
So, right now, all is really okay - the only questions are whether we're headed for a C-section or a possibly 3-week early arrival. No danger to mother or child, though, so that's good news.
I'm still excited and can't wait to buy my child their first gun and SUV.
You know, we've built up a bit of a readership here by picking on the anti-privacy insanity of the far right. Now that we've turned our affections toward the economic controls of the left, certain elements have become disgruntled - nay, downright unruly, in the comments they leave at their own sites.
As an example, Jared - who shed her reasonable skin to reveal a deeply-dyed communist - has said:
whatever andy. i still think you are a pathetic excuse for a human being and you sicken me. wait, disgust me? lets just say BOTH.Wow, talk about a loose cannon. At least we got past the 100 comment mark, indeed.
i'm done with this whole topic with you because it's a waste of time trying to "convince" you of anything as you are OBVIOUSLY way out of my league and already far more knowledgeable on any subject i could ever TRY to set my mind to. please excuse me your, royal fuckwad.
say what you will and think what you will. it's obvious you have no intention of educating or informing yourself of anything besides the values you already hold dear which i find worthless.
it's a waste of energy even talking to you.
you go about your life and do as you will. i and others like me will pick up your slack. you sit on your ass and judge all of us losers and our "woe is me bullshit" and you continue to feel proud of yourself and feel good about your greed and abundance. you think you're so much smarter than the rest of us and i think you're an ignorant mother fucker.
perhaps you'll find my comment "offensive", or "annoying", or "alienating", and perhaps it is, but i've got more important issues to focus on and your pompous, condescending attitude only drains me and disheartens me to humanity. and honestly, you're really not worth it to me.
and that's the last i'll say about it. we've already exceeded the 100 mark anyway.
All of that because I said that a) family and friends are better at caring for individuals than the government, b) Jared must have the perfect plan for providing healthcare, food, and shelter, c) Jared should define her standards for minimally acceptable healthcare, food, and shelter as well as an economic system that can support them long-term, d) I will raise my children to be contributors first, e) my family came from humble beginnings to a wide range of wealth, and f) she has no idea how I give back to society except in her narrow-minded black & white world in which anyone who disagrees with her kicks babies in the head just for fun.
(speaking of which, just a few more weeks until I get to kick my own offspring in the head!)
I know, downright scary way liberal psycho - RUN AWAY!
They walk among us.
On a separate note, I got to thinking about Jared's comment that my having a child with my wife was selfish and irresponsible - but, really, let's think about it a bit further.
Why are there children in homes for orphans? Because couples got divorced? Because someone had sex without being willing to accept the risk? Because someone had sex who was an unfit parent? Because a couple of parents were complete shitheads? All of the above.
But, what that boils down to, is that THEY were irresponsible - not me. Jared is asking ME to be responsible for those who are knowingly irresponsible - I should aid in removing all penalty from a lack of responsibility, which only encourages further irresponsibility. Her solution perpetuates the very problem she hopes to solve.
I'll pass. Sorry, Jared, but you're far-left ideas are as tired and worn out as those of the far-right, all of which have proven to be failures. Mind you, I'm not saying people shouldn't adopt - but that there is no necessarily motivating factor to encourage adoption.
Now, in the case of abused children, etc, then we're back to the whole idea of family and friends being the best solution - but then again, it's easier to hold people completely unaffiliated responsible, I guess.
I meant to add this site back to the blogroll a while back, but forgot. Oops. So, without further ado, I give you:
The Georgia state legislature is on the verge of doing something right:
Rep. John Noel, D-Atlanta, and four co-sponsors filed a bill Tuesday that would make it a misdemeanor ``of a high and aggravated nature'' not to offer sweet tea in any Georgia restaurant that serves iced tea.I do so miss sweet tea from the days in Alabama. I've not found anywhere in Denver that sells it, except for the pre-fab, pre-brewed, watered-down crap in a bottle. Nothing complements a meal of country-fried steak, green beans, mac & cheese, and fried okra like a tall glass of sweet tea.
Noel acknowledged the bill was an attempt to bring a little humor to the Legislature. But he said he wouldn't mind if it became law.
I can't believe I'm missing the South. Shhh, don't tell them.
(link from Jefe)
Why? Because I was tired of it being nothing but insults, tired of it being a non-debate, and - yes - because I can. While I was editing and closing down the comment thread, Mykeru got one last shot off at a fellow commenter:
Mz:So, someone tell me what the added value was with that comment. Because I don't see it.
"Ummm, didn't we march into Germany in WWII? So we were liberating the German people from a "foreign invader"?"
What in fuck are you talking about? The "Liberation" of Europe wasn't liberating Germany from itself.
"According to your rationale, we should have left Hitler in power and just stopped at the border of Germany, Rev, and let him keep killing the Jewish people. Interesting stance you have there, though I respectfully disagree with it."
Pay attention: You are an idiot and have no idea what I was talking about to a degree which is, as impossible as it may be to imagine, even greater than the extent that you have no idea what in fuck's name you are talking about.
I have given fair warning before that I expect people in the comments to at least attempt to play nice. I realize that people get heated and might mouth off here and there, but when it becomes the SOP for a string of comments, I'm going to close it, shut it down, put a stop to it.
I have been accused of doing it because Mykeru disagrees with me. That might make sense if I had done the same to, say, Jared or regular religion-commenter, S.F. However, I haven't - the accusation rings hollow.
So, no one has been banned - I'll only ban trolls. But I am asking people to be at least remotely civil - and for the guy in the cube next to me quit farting.
Update: Since our friend is deciding to read into every comment more than is there (he's now convinced he's been called an appeaser and a Jew killer), I'm closing the comments lest I get another e-mail telling me how I'm a "fuck head" for allowing the non-existent Bash-Mykeru Party 2003 to continue.
And One More: Now he's whining (on another site) that I closed the comments. Make up your fucking mind! OK, they're open - have at it, kids.
Update: OK, I hate to admit that while waiting for the aforementioned "24" to begin, I am watching the tail end of American Idol. And here is my advice: Reuben - learn the words to "Sweet Home Alabama":
Now Watergate does not bother meAnd also, Julia D'Amato is hot and fills out her clothes nicely, but her singing isn't anything special.
Does your conscience bother you?
And now I shall go douse my head in acid out of shame. Where is Saddam Hussein when I need him?
For those interested in tracking the more-or-less accurate, give-or-take-a-week development of the World Wide Runt, you can see our current progress here. It's not suitable for those who are squeamish at the sight of cartoon corporeal cutaways or who giggle at the word "vagina."
Felt the WWRunt giving the wife some good kicks this evening - still boggles my mind in that oh-my-god-it's-Alien kind of way. Or maybe more like Kuato. Either way, it's amazing.
For those keeping score, we'll be having our 4D ultrasound this Thursday, assuming the weather cooperates. Rumor has it another big storm is coming our way to dump snow, but this is Denver and forecasts more than a couple days out are about as useful as trying to predict next week's bowel movements.
Sorry for that image.
While being needlessly insulted by Bobby for not fitting into his black and white view of the world (honestly, the dimwit keeps referring to me as a Republican, go figure), I stumbled across some interesting facts about socialized healthcare.
You see, according to Bobby, socialized healthcare is a panacea - why, if only the United States could follow the bold example set by the United Kingdom and Canada!
So - how well is socialized medicine working up north and across the pond? Let's find out:
Canada - from here:
For example, in its 2001 annual survey...the Fraser Institute, found that, for patients requiring surgery, the total average waiting time from the initial visit to the family doctor through to surgery was sixteen weeks....So, how are Canadians dealing with this awful situation?
...A key factor behind these statistics is the inability of the Canadian system to provide even equipment deemed basic, let alone new technology...
...An assessment in 2000 by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) argued that shortages have led to an “unconscionable” delay in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and debilitating bone and joint ailments...
For-profit clinics have sprung up across the country. Some are entirely private, some contract with the local health authority.Imagine that.
And, now to England - found here:
The total time taken for a typical patient to move from seeing a GP to receiving inpatient treatment in England is just over 28 weeks.And what are the British doing about it?
A 8.9 day fall makes cardiology the best performing speciality, but gynaecology still has the lowest waiting time at 156.9 days.
Trauma and orthopaedics maintain its position as the speciality with the longest waiting times. This speciality, [sic] including operations such as hip replacements, has an average waiting time of 250.4 days
Today, 13% of Britons are covered by private health insurance, and that population accounts for two-thirds of all private patients; the rest are an equal mixture of privately paying, noninsured Britons and overseas patients. About 20% of all nonurgent heart surgery and 30% of all hip replacements are done in the private sector, though a few operations are done under contracts from the NHS.Holy cow, you don't say!
Sorry, Bobby, but socialized healthcare is a nightmare... but don't let the facts get in the way of your idealism.
Roverpundit informs us of the latest pointless peace protest, this time in Fort Collins, CO:
Alison informs me that peace protesters are blocking College and Prospect, as well as three of the entrances to the CSU campus. She's been sitting in her car for about 30 minutes, and it doesn't look likely that she'll get to school anytime soon. Why they'd block traffic to a college is beyond me. I guess that when you want to throw a tantrum, any target will do.That's right, folks - since the war is being directed out of the CSU campus, it only makes perfect sense to block the roads so that the commanders can't get into CENTCOM.
Wait, I mean since liberal academia are behind this war 100% it only makes perfect sense to block people from getting into CSU.
Wait, I mean... uh... dude, we get to break something!
No, Matt, I don't see the point in it either. Didn't they get enough time off with the snow days last week?
Jared is complaining that I keep linking only to her comments and not directly to her blog, so here it is.
Our military has a new fear as they head for Baghdad:
Allied troops advancing on Baghdad have been warned Iraqi leaders have drawn an imaginary "red line" outside the city and are poised to unleash lethal chemical weapon attacks.Aside from the impracticality of drawing a real red line around the city (with the blood of the infidels!), this is impossible because we all know that Saddam Hussein destroyed all his chemical weapons. Right?
I mean, even if the Brits did find suspected Scud missiles in a
chemical plant baby milk factory.
You know you have a good, solid cold when:
Either way, it sucks.
And you know it's the real thing when they call you a "total fucking dipwad jerk-off." Yes, folks, that's what passes for enlightened discourse with the gent in question. Naturally, I felt compelled to respond in a similar manner in case he felt I was talking down to him with my normal tone - you know, the literate one.
Stupid Evil Bastard sums it up nicely, so - for now - let's let this be the end of it:
Now, group hug everybody.
A note to the war-protesters: You’re not doing your cause any good when you resort to violence, vandalism and other acts that are just plain stupid (like blocking traffic). Study the history of non-violent protest and you’ll see that the tactics you’re using will end up breeding resentment instead of sympathy. Your goal is to build support for your views, not convince people you’re a bunch of loonies who forgot to take their medication this morning.
A note to the war-supporters: We all realize that a lot of people have fought and died in wars of the past so that Americans can enjoy the freedom they currently have including the freedom to protest a war they don’t agree with. Try to recognize the hypocrisy involved in pointing that out to the protesters and then telling them to shut the hell up. Consider that the wars of the past to secure those freedoms are not the same as this war being protested now. Consider also the possibility that not everyone who is against this war is necessarily pro-Saddam Hussein. It is possible to be opposed to a method to reach a goal without being opposed to the goal itself. The ends do not always justify the means.
Jody, get your hand off my ass.
OK, some people are getting upset that I am only focused on the outrageous behavior we're seeing at the anti-war protests. With that in mind, I have embarked on a Google News search for similar activities at pro-war rallies.
I've looked here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, but I can't find anything about pro-war supporters blocking traffic, attacking police, throwing debris into the streets, puking on the sidewalks, playing dead for dramatic effect, etc.
Now, of course, this could be the media refusing to report such disturbances - so if there are contrary claims, please submit them so I may mock them as well.
What a lovely site, indeed.
Attention all Bloggers along the I25 corridor in Colorado, or anywhere in Colorado, or outside of Colorado who might be interested - tentative plans are afoot to have the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash II on April 11, 2003 in downtown Denver.
If interested, drop me an e-mail, leave a comment, or telepathically communicate your desire to attend using your superhero powers that were acquired in a tragic childhood accident.
Michael Moore decided to use the Academy Awards, an event honoring some of the best in media, to hype his own agenda, to the surprise of no one:
"We live in fictitious times," he said when picking up the award for best documentary for his anti-gun film Bowling for Columbine."Speaking of fiction, uh... how about Bowling for Columbine? (link from Single Out West)
"We are against this war, Mr Bush. Shame on you. Shame on you!" he said to loud boos from an audience of 3,500, including most of Hollywood's top stars.Whether those in attendance support the war, or simply realized that it was neither the time nor the place to abuse the privilege of standing on that stage, it's nice to see them giving the boorish Moore what he deserved.
"I'm an American, and you don't leave your citizenship when you enter the doors of the Kodak Theatre. What's great about this country is that you can speak your mind," he said.Having knocked over that strawman with a full-body tackle, Mr. Moore lifted his girth from the floor. Hey, Mikey, no one said you leave your citizenship at the door - or that you can't speak your mind. What you fail to realize is that you are being provided the use of someone else's stage and someone else's airtime paid for by someone else's money to accept an award and offer thanks - not to get on your political soapbox and spout off like some kind of trained monkey.
Update: Dear lord, is Kurt Loder of MTV the new voice of reason?
First of all, how relieved were you not to be subjected to three-and-a-half hours of preening anti-war moral instruction from a parade of Malibu millionaires? Even Barbra Streisand, that lovable, out-of-control diva, limited herself to praising the American tradition of free speech, "even for artists."
(There appears to be a widespread delusion within the celebrity community that somebody has passed a law prohibiting them from declaiming their political opinions at every possible podium. Until the right-wing talk-show harridan Ann Coulter becomes president, this probably won't happen.)
In our continuing effort to be "selfish and irresponsible and...contributing to the degredation of the planet and its resources," the wife and I attended our second childbirth class today. We learned all about breathing techniques, massage, epidurals, and even got to see female genitalia grossly distorted by emerging baby heads and a placenta or two.
Oddly enough, as I move closer to the culmination of my selfishness and irresponsibility, those sorts of scenes don't really bother me. It's really quite an amazing sight. And I absolutely cannot wait until the day when I get to hold my little bundle of self-centeredness, alongside my partner in selfishness, and embark on our life as a family.
One British human shield has his eyes opened to the truth in Iraq:
We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US and UK governments.Not that I know any Iraqis either, but the protesters themselves indicate who they see as the enemy: George Bush and Tony Blair. I've yet to see one sign condemning Saddam for his atrocities, but plenty telling Dubya to choke on a pretzel or comparing him to Hitler, and Blair with a leash around his neck.
Now, before you get in a huff, I realize that there are some well-meaning anti-war people with rational opinions that should be heard; however, these protests overshadow them completely. The anti-war side might get some more respect if some of the more sane members of the movement would condemn the obstructionist bullshit in which their supposed ideologues engage.
While talking to his taxi driver, the human shield had this exchange:
Until then I had only heard the President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family.He wasn't aware that Saddam took the oil money? Or that he maintained political power with fear and violence? When I joke that the extreme anti-war left lives in a world of fantasy where cuddly bunnies run up to you for a hug, perhaps I'm not that far off the mark.
It scared the hell out of me.
There's more, go read it.
Fox News just reported that the attack at Camp Pennsylvania may be the work of one of our own soldiers. The Kuwaiti suspects have been accounted for - and one soldier is missing.
You tell me.
While the tone isn't what I'd normally agree with, you have to admit, this is mildly amusing.
Thanks to Naked Writing for the link.
When the police tell you to stop, you should listen.
Ouch. And... ugh.
The French government just doesn't get it:
BRUSSELS, Belgium — French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that France would not go along with a new United Nations resolution allowing the United States and Britain to administer postwar Iraq.Chirac lives under the odd delusion that we remotely care.
Anti-war protesters are out en masse again today, although they have yet to make clear exactly how complicating life for the people of their cities is supposed to end the war they so despise.
About 70 protesters dropped to the ground Friday outside a federal courthouse in Baltimore; 30 were arrested. One protester held a sign saying "This is what war looks like."Actually, a bunch of bodies on the ground without a trace of blood is what it looks like when Saddam gasses his own people.
One protester died after tumbling from the Golden Gate Bridge. Authorities were investigating the death as a possible suicide.Unlike the Sydney Opera House, this potential defacing of the property of others resulted in death. It's a fine line between bravery and sheer stupidity, you know.
In Portland, Ore., protesters smashed in three windows at a McDonald's restaurant, set a flag on fire and sprayed graffiti on a sign at a Shell gas station.Dude, let's break something, that'll show'em!
Most Americans are probably unaware that the war is being conducted in the name of Ray Kroc, as McDonald's attempts to extend its reign of power into Iraq. As for Shell, it wasn't exactly clear how damaging the assets of a Dutch oil company would convince the President to halt the war.
But, dude, we got to break something!
Students walked out of class at some high schools, while protests were held at several colleges.To my knowledge, not one high school or college is in control of the US armed forces. It escapes me why the protesters think this will show anyone anything other than "Hey, we get to skip class - and break something!"
You guys really rock.
Some have claimed that the Iraqis don't want an invasion. At least in the south, that simply isn't the case. It would be nice, as has been suggested elsewhere, if every anti-war protester could fly to Iraq, look these people in the eye, and tell them "I didn't want this to happen."
How many do you think would have the conviction and courage to do that?
Bill Quick had this view on the effects of embedding journalists with our armed forces in Iraq:
And have you noticed how, over the past 48 hours, these embedded reporters have gone from, "The men I am with are eager to fight..." to, "We engaged the enemy, our LAV fired a dozen rounds and we destroyed the target."Indeed - in fact, I listened to Bob Arnot this morning reporting from the unit with which he is embedded. It was the unit that lost twelve members, American and British, in a tragic helicopter crash in Kuwait. Arnot had this to say:
There's nothing like putting your life on the line and sharing battle to create bonds, loyalties, and memories that will never fade or break. The next generation of media stars will have a considerably different view of the military than the last one.
"We were with them last night... we were a part of this mission... Being embedded with the Marines here, we knew the pilot and copilot - we knew this particular squad. I just can't tell you the tremendous honor and privilege it's been to be with these men here."Absolutely.
Greeblie Blog, or its author actually, is having his THIRD blogiversary. I feel so young.
Sure, shutting down streets in San Francisco sounds like a good idea on paper. Unfortunately, the reality might be a bit more serious:
The roving protesters also stalled firefighters trying to respond to emergencies, fire officials said.Goddamn idiots.
"We don't want to alienate people. I hope people realize that political murder merits action that inconveniences them," said Quinn Miller, 32....No, if you want to protest, stand on the sidewalk - if you want to be heard, buy airtime or an ad in the newspaper - don't complicate the lives of others, who may or may not agree with you, because all you will do is change their mind about one thing:
You really are a bigger asshole than they thought before.
"This is not a fight with the San Francisco Police Department," an organizer told a group of 20 activists seated around her in a semicircle. She cautioned them not to be aggressive with police. "Do not touch the police or any of their equipment. Repeat after me. Do not touch the police or any of their equipment."Oh, so it's a fight with the businesses of San Francisco? With the economic well-being of the city? With ordinary citizens trying to get to work? Because those are the ONLY PEOPLE YOU HAVE HURT.
Maybe if the police brandished bars of soap and a hose they'd clear the streets and head for the hills.
Update: Well, that shows real class - puking for peace.
I know, I know, I've said it before: goddamn idiots.
OK, so - here we go. We're on Movable Type now. I didn't bother changing the template just yet, but I wanted to go ahead and complete the move to reduce the number of posts I would have to cut and paste later (having already imported most of the history of the WWR).
So, no archives yet - no categories - no search function. But we're halfway there - and the other half of the journey is to come. Be sure to pee before the WWR station wagon pulls out of the driveway.
Be afraid - be very afraid. And thanks for the well wishes, Acidman!
Iraq has a unique program for motivating its Olympic athletes. I saw a blurb about this on the news last night via CBS (I think) - ESPN has a lot more on the savagery that is the Hussein regime.
Iraq was once the athletics mecca of the Middle East, but it has languished under the heavy hand of Uday Saddam Hussein. In a supposed attempt to inspire his athletes to new greatness, the head of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee allegedly has imprisoned some, tortured others and executed dozens more since 1984, an ESPN.com investigation reveals.
Looks like most everyone decided to stay at home. I had little trouble getting in, except for having to ram my way through the snow bank at the end of my driveway - but the interstate was clear and mostly empty (see above about people deciding to stay home). Unfortunately, the two people with whom I need to meet are apparently not coming in, so I plan to have a late lunch downtown and then head home.
In other news, we were hoping to have our 4D Ultrasound of the World Wide Runt today, but the doctor's office was closed - it would have been nice of them to notify everyone before driving across town. Additionally, our child birth classes have been canceled as well.
The snow has mucked everything up. Yay.
The Command Post is up and running, courtesy of Michele and Alan. It's a group weblog that will run the duration of the war in Iraq - click through if you want to contribute, read, or protest it with really big puppets.
(cue the music) ...when the talk about war with Iraq initially began so many months ago, I was rather skeptical of the need to go to war. While I recognized Saddam was a "bad, bad man" - I didn't know if it warranted American lives to take care of the problem. Diplomacy could work! Containment would win the day! But, if you read the archives, you'll see that my opinion on all that changed (and Tom's too, I believe) as it became clear that Saddam had no intention of complying, that the UN was a farce, and that sometimes war - as messy and bloody and violent as it is - is the answer. From my current vantage point, the anti-war views of the left seem like either vacuous ideology, simple Bush-bashing, or plain wishful thinking on how to change the world.
For the ones that actually have something meaningful to say, please, do something other than attack the idea of war - offer a solution to the problem of Saddam. Offer a way to stop him from ruling his own people with fear - from killing them when they dare to challenge him, or even look at him funny. Offer an answer that will work!
If you wonder why the majority of people in this country aren't falling in behind you, consider that maybe you've offered no idea worth falling behind.
Oh, and speaking of vacuous ideologies, Bush-bashing, and wishful thinking, Evan Coyne Maloney has some more choice footage from the anti-war protests.
I will leave the analysis and running commentary to others more informed on the subject than I - in the meantime, let us hope that the war is over rapidly, with a minimum of loss of life on all sides, and with the United States victorious.
In other news, NBC scrolled that NASA has found the flight data recorder of shuttle Columbia - and it is intact. Perhaps we'll know what caused the tragedy after all.
Frank Martin listens to C-SPAN radio, and had this observation to share with the people who call in to the radio shows:
Note to Democrat Callers: The 2000 election is freakin over! Dubya is the freakin President! Florida or whatever is no longer relevant! Get over it!Yeah, that's kind of how I feel too.
Note to Republican Callers: Dubya is freakin President! Bill Clinton is no longer President. Quit your whining about "Clinton did this…Clinton did that, blah, blah, freakin blah." Get over it!
Watch the Amazing Lefty misrepresent, insult, and generally look like a kook in her own comments. It's rather ironic that the same anti-war crowd that complains they are only put down upon and insulted by the pro-war crowd are just as quick to use the same tools of the extremist trade.
Update: I'd like to add the words "Whiny Hypocrite" to her title - do you think that will make it too long for the marquee at the kook show?
Update Two: OK, there seems to be a move towards actual discussion in the comments - this could bode well and perhaps make me rethink my current opinion (because we know how the fate of the world hinges on it, now don't we?).
Update Three: You know, you try to be nice and reasonable, and it goes unappreciated. So, with that in mind, I proudly present today's installment of "Amazing Lefty" doublethink:
I'm hearing reports that the Iraqi soldiers are hiding within urban areas so as to force us to kill civilians or not attack the soldiers. Well, DUH. Everyone knows the Iraqi soldiers are being commanded by a madman who doesn't care about civilian death. This is one of the major reason so many of us are opposed to war in the first place.Which, unfortunately, only tells tyrants that if they want to remain in power they need only hide behind their people. You know, I sincerely wish that hugs and positive thoughts and cuddling bunnies at the pound could bring an end to regimes like Saddam's - but it can't.
We try to minimize civilian casualties - Saddam tries to maximize them. Who's the monster?
Today, March 19, 2003 is the first blogiversary (blogaversary? blogoversary?) of the World Wide Rant. Yes, a mere 365 days ago, in a fit of inspiration, this site was born - with the birth defect known as Blogspot. In the last year, we've come a long way from our seven readers per day to, gosh, millions (if you're creative with the math - and we are). I had hoped to have the new Movable Type site ready for unveiling, but you know how that goes (and if you don't, grab your dictionary and look up "procrastination").
So, for old time's sake, here is our first post from that first day way back in 2002:
...ranting to come...Profound and moving, I know. And, on a more serious note, here is our second post:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL showed their true colors this week. This is an organization that has virtually creamed themselves with delight anytime they can point a finger at the United States for any trivial violation of what they deem to be human rights. I'll be the first to admit that the United States isn't perfect, but let's examine the story of Safiya Hussaini - a Nigerian woman who is on the verge of being buried up to her neck and then having large stones smashed into her skull until she dies a bloody death for the crime of... (gasp)... getting some nookie on the side. Yes, under Islamic sharia law, she must be stoned to death if she is convicted of adultery. And what do our pick-and-choose friends at Amnesty International say about all of this? Well, one Mr. George Ngwa, had this to sayOut of all the changes we've been through, one thing remains the same: Amnesty International sucks.
"We are not for or against sharia law, but we are campaigning for a process based on fair trial where a suspect is allowed basic rights such as access to a lawyer and the ability to speak out in his or her own defense."
Stop the presses! Is this what I am hearing from a group that bitches, moans, and whines about the United States as if we're some oppressive regime of tyrants? Claiming to not have sense enough to be FOR or AGAINST sharia law would be like the friendly folks here at WorldWideRant saying that "we are not for or against tossing cuddly babies into vats of boiling tar for shits and giggles."
Anyone with a goddamned active brain cell could see that sharia law is barbaric, horrid, and wholly unfit for proper civilization. What's that? You want to get drunk and be in public? Well, son, here's your 80 lashes! Yet, Amnesty International would rather chastise the United States for the smallest of infractions while turning their collective head to the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalism. We should all be appropriately disgusted.
... it's a snow day. Last week it was sunny and almost 80 degrees in Denver. Today, this is what it looks like:
Oh, and RoverPundit has a photo from his place in Fort Collins.
I'm working from home. My driveway is buried under a three foot drift that is growing and my street is under a solid 18 inches - not much fun for a little zippy sportscar, even with good snow tires.
Lots of rumors about the war flying today - some say we've launched the invasion, others that high-ranking officials such as Tariq Aziz have defected from Saddam's regime (or been shot trying to do so - now that would be surprising *cough*). It should make for an interesting 48 hours ahead.
Now if it would just quit snowing, damnit.
The mind of Jacques Chirac must be a very muddled and dark place. Let's compare this:
France has steadfastly opposed US plans to attack Baghdad over its alleged weapons of mass destruction, insisting that UN weapons inspections continue and vowing to veto any UN resolution that would authorize military action....and this:
Go visit Matt - he's offered to help with the redesign of the new and improved, 20% longer shelf life World Wide Rant that is coming your way.
We have met the enemy, and he is us.
And for more fun, give this a listen. How will peace and prosperity come to Iraq? The hawks have an idea; however this dove doesn't have a clue.
What's up with the anti-war protesters feeling it's their right to destroy or deface the property of others?
On the bright side, it highlighted a weakness in security around the Sydney Opera House - on the down side, nobody fell.
Just in case the blog suddenly looks bizarre, or posts go missing, or whatever, don't be afraid. There is no need to go into your designated "safe room" and begin duct-taping plastic sheeting along the walls.
Our move to Movable Type is underway, with the basic page established with the help of RoverPundit, with further tweaking to come courtesy of yours truly. What this means is that I am bound to break something.
Bear with me.
Update: Well, I followed the instructions for importing posts and it grabbed all of them through July of 2002 - so we're missing a few months worth, and I have neither the patience nor the energy to import them. RTFM didn't seem to help too much.
Yes, that's what it is here at the World Wide Rant. Not much to report... looks like war is coming soon, the guy in the cube across from me keeps farting (apparently unaware that it doesn't cease to smell once it moves beyond the confines of his cube), and last night the local news interviewed a couple people who were at a peace vigil for their informed views. The first - a long-haired, freaky-people person - had this insightful comment:
"War is not the answer - it never was, and it isn't now."
Apparently candelight peace vigils, however, are the answer, as evidenced by their astounding success rate at achieving independence for the United States, liberating Europe in WWII, ejecting the Iraqis from Kuwait, etc. Verily, ignorance is indeed bliss.
Anyway, must do some work around here. Thanks for stopping by.
Please remind me not to offend him too deeply in the future.
Andy says: Don't forget to compare and contrast here. And, Tom, "second-rate" is being generous.
The keen insights of our government officials are making the news:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The same technology used to download music from file-sharing sites makes it possible to trade pornography, tech experts testified at a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday.No! You don't say!
Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., was surprised. "This is really very alarming to me as a parent who thought he was tech savvy on this kind of thing to see how far this has gone," he said.It is my belief that very few parents will ever be as tech savvy as their children are. My own mother would stare at my stereo components if I left them on, too scared to push any multiple of buttons on the off chance, apparently, that it might explode if you just looked at it funny.
That said, it's not the place of the government to play nanny to YOUR children. Besides, everyone knows that kids like porn.
Jen Watch, since I know that Jane is probably jonesing for it, begins now:
In spite of the all the whining of the Liberal Left in Britain, the U.S. and everywhere else, I think that President Bush and Brit PM Blair are on the same page and it says "War war" now and no more "Jaw jaw."Uh, Jen, this may come as a shock to you (sort of like the news that the Earth isn't flat), but even the conservatives in the UK would be labeled (to use your worn out, lame, and please-for-the-love-of-god-take-it-out-back-and-shoot-it term) "Dimocrats." Don't believe me? Go here. Taxes! National health care! Welfare housing! Oh my!
And then, there's this:
It's far better to listen to American *ss-kicking country music like Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" and Darryl Worley's terrific new post 9/11 lament "Have you Forgotten?"No comment needed, especially if maudlin, cheesy, lowest-common-denominator country songs are your cup of tea.
You're welcome, Jane. I do this for you.
At my office, we hire nothing but the best, as evidenced by this e-mail from our receptionist:
When making coffee please leave coffee pot under the coffee maker before turning it on. We had a coffee flood this morning.This is probably the same guy who walks around with toilet paper stuck to his shoe.
Thank you so much.
Oh, and allow me to qualify one thing - the receptionist isn't the one who screwed up the coffee. Our receptionist is great.
They can spell, but can they count?
In the study, 33 undergraduate students were asked to proofread a one-page business letter — half of them using Microsoft Word with its squiggly red and green lines underlining potential errors.I think if the journalist had used one of those new-fangled calculators, he would have realized that half of 33 is 16.5 - makes you feel kind of sorry for the student they had to cut in half for the study, doesn't it?
The other half did it the old-fashioned way, using only their heads.
Once upon a time, The Straight Dope Message Board used to be a very fun and informative place to hang out (as those of you who have sung along with us on "The Ballad of Mykeru" probably have realized). However, it continues to become a parody of intelligence and open-mindedness (kind of like Mensa, but with less reason to consider itself intelligent and open-minded).
Mykeru (who else?) has the full story.
Message to the SDMB - please, stop, you guys are just making yourself look even more ridiculous with this petty bullshit.
Update: Always the gentleman, except when he isn't, Mykeru is working diligently to bring this messy situation to an amicable close. Oh, and ignore his screwy anti-war ramblings - no one is perfect.
From this story:
Police early Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old woman who witnesses said showed up at the memorial late Tuesday, claimed responsibility for burning some of the flags and pushed Chandler while saying the memorial endorsed the looming war in Iraq...And fluffy bunnies and cuddly puppies too! Hooray!
"It's an American flag, obviously it has everything to do with the war," she told the crowd. "There should be no war, just peace and togetherness."
Was Elizabeth Smart being hidden in plain sight?
Elizabeth Smart was likely photographed at a party with transient and self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell in Salt Lake City last September.Thanks to Jo for the link.
A photo taken at the party by Dan Gorder and e-mailed to 2News shows Mitchell with two women wearing veils. One of the females may be Elizabeth.
...but I'm a libertarian:
Libertarian - You believe that the main use for government is for some people to lord it over others at their expense. You maintain that the government should be as small as possible, and that civil liberties, "victimless crimes", and gun ownership should be basic rights. You probably are OK with capitalism.Found via Jared and Jo.
Maggie Gallagher gets it wrong in her defense of the use of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance:
Had it not been for an appeals court stay, almost 10 million American public school students in nine Western states ruled by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would have been forced to take a new oath this week: Stop pledging allegiance to this nation, under God.Strange, I don't remember anyone telling kids they would be forced to do anything of the sort - exactly where is this new oath documented with instructions for its application?
I think the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance express an extremely important point, both about our historical understanding of the source of our rights, and about the limits to the kind of loyalty oath that a government can demand.Hmmm - so, Maggie, which god do you believe is the source of our rights, historically speaking, and to which god do you pledge loyalty above and beyond your country? My guess is that you, and the bulk of the Pledge defenders, are picturing the white-bearded, flood-the-planet, send-myself-to-die-as-a-sacrifice-to-myself-to-fix-the-problems-I-created god of Judeo-Christianity. Sounds like an explicit endorsement of religion to me.
Those who insist that any mention of God and government in the same breath constitutes the establishment of religion immediately run into the declaration paradox: Our founding national instrument holds: "that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."Bzzzt! Thanks for playing, but the Declaration of Independence is not our "founding national instrument" - may I direct your attention to Exhibit A, the Constitution of the United States of America, which you'll notice lacks any mention of God, gods, a Creator, or creators?
To say that we are a nation under God is to say, with the Declaration of Independence, that the rights we enjoy as Americans are not gifts of the state but of nature and nature's God.Fantastic, Maggie, but you're missing the broader point: the Declaration of Independence has no legal significance, just like the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, or the Heaven's Gate guide to all things Star Trek.
Equally importantly, the words "under God" qualify what might otherwise be mistaken for a totalitarian demand upon the soul of the citizen.Replacing it instead with a theistic totalitarian demand upon the soul of the citizen - yes, that's much better. Unfortunately, there you go establishing religion once again - so sorry. You're not very good at this whole "supporting a point" thing, I see.
Totalitarian states persecute religions because they recognize that religion competes for the loyalties of citizens. In our republic, by contrast, the claims of the state are made under God, who guarantees our rights.He does? I've never seen his guarantee on my rights - do I get my money back if not completely satisfied? How exactly does he guarantee them? Does he guarantee them for people in Iraq? Is there some reason he hasn't bothered showing up to protect those rights? Sorry, but rights are only guaranteed to the extent that the people around you allow them, right or wrong.
Religious liberty is one of those rights. You are free to understand and worship Him however you choose. You are free to believe He does not exist and come up with alternate theories for why rights are unalienable. But you are not free to rewrite the history of how these rights came to be yours. That is what is at stake in the battle of the pledge.Mags (can I call you Mags? I feel like we know each other so well), now you're just being blatantly dishonest - you said the words "under God" were added in 1954. How, exactly, did our country maintain its history for the preceding one hundred seventy-eight years without its presence? Your slippery slopism doesn't cut it.
Funnily enough, you keep referring to God as "Him" and "He" - what if you worship the Goddess? What if you're a pantheist? A polytheist with a multitude of male and female gods? Once again, your Judeo-Christian colors are showing. Don't insult our intelligence by pretending otherwise. Piety parading as patriotism is all you're offering.
And keep that out of the pledge to the country that we all - Christian, Jew, Hindu, atheist, whatever - call home.
Note: I am not that tragically bothered by the Pledge of Allegiance, but now that it is being discussed in the public square, perhaps it is time to right this wrong, even though it's a rather small one.
My lovely girlfriend sent this one to me with the short commentary, "This is laughable." Three words to perfectly sum up my very thoughts. An annoying two-fer of mouth-breathing "activism" cloaked in the form of an email chain letter. Truly a tour de dumbass:
Join the resistance!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $3.00 a gallon by the summer. Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth, offered this good idea: This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, who ever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read it and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $1.97 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the Marketplace....not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.Aside from the staggeringly simplistic grasp of economics and mathematics evident in this email, the sender missed one more crucial item: Email chain letters suck, and they make your friends hate you.
Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON"T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't whimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!! I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10)... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people and DON"T purchase ANY gasoline from EXXON and MOBIL. That's all. (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million don't worry about it all you have do to is send this to 10 people.... well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am... so trust me on this one.) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this email out to ten or more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.
PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.
Another nugget from Democratic Underground. Number 7 on this weeks "Conservative Idiots" list is The Pentagon.
Oddly enough, while the Bush administration is coming down hard on any country that might soon be in possession of nuclear weapons (um, unless they're not a military pushover, or they already have nuclear weapons, or they're our "friends") they've also been slashing global non-proliferation treaties. Why? Because the Pentagon wants to start building new nuclear weapons, silly. After all that disarmament nonsense in the 80s and 90s, I guess they just realized that suddenly we don't have enough weapons to blow up the planet, and that has to change, pronto. So they're developing an excitingly-titled "Nuclear Earth Penetrator" which is designed to, well, penetrate the earth and blow up any bunkers underneath. Don't worry though, the bombs only have a yield five times greater than that of the one used at Hiroshima, and Congress would only have to lift a 10-year ban on developing "small" warheads. So what the heck, pass the plutonium and let's start blowing shit up!Yes, yes, yes. I grew up during the Cold War. I remember proliferation, MAD, "The Day After," Checkpoint Charlie, and the uber-hot East German Women's Swim Team. I'm duly horrified by the image of a glass crater where New York used to be, making those *tink tink* sounds as the fused silicates slowly cool down from white heat. Mushroom clouds are as graven on my mind as McDonald's signs.
But I find the whole strictly-qualitative "nukes are B-A-D, and that spells moon" attitude increasingly hard to swallow. The whole idea behind these bombs is to more efficiently incinerate stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons inside their hardened bunkers. If a low-yield nuke has the capacity to effectively sterilize a bioweapons complex or render a stockpile of Sarin gas into strawberry jam, I for one am very strongly tempted to say "Hell yes." Obviously, this does not apply if the aforementioned complexes are located in downtown Baghdad.
I realize that people are convinced they'll see mushroom clouds rising over the desert like djinni, but don't count on it. I have a little more trouble with the nukes that have five times the Hiroshima yield, but I believe that would still only be about 150 kilotons, and they'd be specifically used to bust very hard, deep targets. Most of their explosive energy would be used up underground.
Democratic Underground, normally not useful for more than seeing just how clinically insane much of the far left is, actually offers a bit of hilarity regarding the equally insane far right folks at Free Republic:
50,000 PRESENT AT LOS ANGELES 'SUPPORT OUR TROOPS' RALLY" screamed the FR headline last week, and if you were a Freeper you might actually believe it was true. What really happened was that about 20 Freepers decided to hold a pro-war march during the LA Marathon - at which 50,000 people were present - and then claimed that everyone who was there to see the marathon was actually there to support the march, and by proxy, the war on Iraq. So in effect there were two marathons in LA that day - the official Los Angeles Marathon, and Free Republic's Marathon Effort To Look Completely Stupid. Good job, lads!As you know, kids, we're in favor of a war with Iraq, but the self-delusion on the part of the Freepers is at best amusing - at worst, scary.
Thanks to the well-meaning, but politically misguided, Rev. Mykeru for the link.
Not much of a scientist, are you, Dr. Wise?
Scientist Kurt Wise doesn't expect his latest book to convince skeptics that God created the earth in a literal, six-day period about 6,000 years ago.Last I checked, scientific findings weren't validated by how we feel about them in our heart of hearts.
"I'm not trying to convince people of the truth of this position," said Wise, author of "Faith, Form, and Time." "It's not a decision of the mind but of the heart.
"It's a decision you make with the interaction of the Holy Spirit," he said. "It's by faith that we understand worlds were framed by the Word of God."
As a scientist, Wise said he can create any number of theories that explain the age of the universe based on various worldviews -- from deism to pantheism to Christianity.Yes, anyone can posit a number of hypotheses (not theories) to explain the when and how of the universe; the difference is that a true scientist would then make observations and attempt to falsify the hypothesis in question. A hypothesis that stands up to scrutiny long enough will become a theory. When that happens, one will find that creationism is no more scientific than Last Tuesday-ism. That is, not at all.
Sorry, Dr. Wise, but you're a scientist in name only.
In this time of possible war, when our national leadership should be focused on the pressing issues of the day, working to secure the homeland, defending our civil liberties against an Attorney General that anoints himself with Crisco, and helping to ensure that our foreign policy remains at least moderately focused, what are they doing? That's right - updating the menus in the restaurants that serve the House of Repesentatives.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The restaurant menus in the three House office buildings will change the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," a culinary rebuke of France, stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq.Wow! That will show the French that DAMNIT. WE. MEAN. BUSINESS.
The name changes were spearheaded by two Republican lawmakers who plan to hold a news conference later Tuesday to make the name change official on the menus.
Folks, your tax dollars at work.
Its seatbelt usage has reached an all-time high!
"These numbers are the result of years of hard work by our traffic safety partners in the African-American community," Runge said. "This is extremely heartening and will quickly result in fewer deaths and injuries to our citizens."Look, I don't care if you're black, white, yellow, or red - if you're too stupid to realize that, without a seatbelt, you stand a good chance of becoming a permanent part of your windshield in an accident, you have no business being behind the wheel to start. Yet another example of the government wasting tax dollars to protect idiots from themselves.
Yes, I know that Vicky posted about this earlier - go see what she had to say, why don't ya?
This can't be! Don't these bacteria know that evolution isn't true?
...attack the messenger (and anyone else you might feel like as well). In reference to the Quinnipiac University poll, showing that an un-named Democratic candidate might have an edge on President Bush in 2004, Jen had this to say:
I have 3 university degrees--2 of them post-graduate and I went to law school-- and I've read lots of research from our nation's institutions of higher learning, but I've never in my life heard of Quinnipiac University.Fascinating - and with all your smarts n' learnin', I doubt most people have ever heard of you. Whether or not Jen has heard of a particular educational institution has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of the study, the methodology used, or the results (or whether or not anyone else has heard of the university). But you, dear reader, know such things already.
Turns out its in Hamden, Conneticut....(?). Who knew? I don't know where that is either.Ditto as for the previous comment - but if you're really curious, Hamden is here.
Are Quinn Univ students all from the local Indian reservation or something?I'm not racist - I have lots of black friends!
(No offense to native Americans, but...)
Using this bogus poll from an obscure, podunk "university" (that was probably a community college until last semester, NTTAWTT) shows just how desperate the Liberal Media is to prove that Bush isn't "popular."Bogus? Podunk? "University?"
Discounting a poll while knowing nothing about the methodology except that you don't like the results, and proceeding to insult the institution, the town, and Native Americans (a hat trick!) while doing so, just shows us your true colors.
And they clash.
Note: I know, it's been a while since I wrote about Jen, and that's primarily because with pro-war writing, I tend to agree with her position. However, when she gets into the ignorant partisan bullshit (not that I belong to either party, of course) - it's always fun to respond.
Update: Phillip Coons gives his opinion on the Charlie Daniels of the Blogosphere.
That a person may not find the PETA campaign offensive in no way suggests that they lack appreciation for the horror of the Holocaust or its victims.Well, unless they have some sort of moral equivalence between humans and other animals, I'd say that's exactly what it suggests.
We've labeled other species "inferior" and therefore subject to serving us as we please. Where do we differ from the Nazi's here?Like I said.
Now, stay with me here, but the big difference is that Jews, gays, and mentally retarded humans all belong to... our species! That would be how we differ from the Nazis - it's a subtle difference, but perhaps someone out there will catch it.
As I said at another site regarding this peculiar view, I sincerely hope that I am never in danger while a cute and cuddly bunny is also in danger, or such people will have to have some huge internal dialogue about who they should save - because, you know, bunnies are just like us. And cute to boot.
So, where do we draw the line? Do insects feel pain? They obviously have some sort of stimulus response mechanism - should we make sure that the only stimuli they receive are positive? If not, how do you justify such a position? How about plants? Plants react to stimuli as well - shouldn't we make sure that all plants are well-watered and cared for, lest they wilt and suffer needlessly? What if an animal has worms? Yes, it sounds like I'm being a mocking wanker, but they do require answers.
Mind you, I don't take exception to everything she wrote - I would like to see animals raised in moderately humane conditions, and then quicky dispatched of their lives in as painlessly a manner as possible before they end up on my plate.* However, when people start thinking that a cat and a human are equals - well, it certainly helps explain why we find crazy old ladies living in disgusting apartments with fifty cats, if nothing else.
Update: I forgot to mention that March 15th is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day.**
* Mmmmm, bacon cheeseburgers!
** Mmmmm, pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef!
The Raving Atheist raises a good question in relation to the current Pledge of Allegiance case and the zealotry of Ashcroft and DeLay:
The threats are idle, legally speaking. And the hysteria they convey will only make it harder for opponents of the decision to argue before the Supreme Court, as they must, that the Pledge’s reference to God is merely empty “ceremonial deism.” What’s the big deal, if the words “under God” don’t really mean anything?Ah, but we know it's not empty ceremonialism, but a declaration of Judeo-Christian belief. I just can't see DeLay really thinking that "under God" means "under any and all gods that may or may not exist, and I'm certainly not just thinking of my monotheistic three-for-one godhead when I utter those two little words that mean so much to so many even though they aren't important words."
If only Ashcroft, DeLay, and other opponents were as honest with their intentions as these kooks.
Hmmm, you wouldn't think so if you visited Josh Claybourn.
That would be one way to describe this article about evolution and creation. Of course, calling this "argumentation" is being generous.
The good Reverend has responded to my quibblage. The result is the fetchingly-named essay, "Tom: You Puss-Monkey." Considering what he's capable of, I think I got off rather light. I also, believe it or not, my pro-war stance notwithstanding, agree with almost everything he says about President Bush...that is, that I'm gonna close my eyes and count to ten, and when I open them I want to see a real president standing there. Please?
The first rule of gun safety is to remember the other first rule of gun safety: always assume the gun is loaded. Otherwise you end up with a pointless death like this.
We support a war with Iraq, but while level-headed anti-war people don't need the likes of Babs representing them, we certainly don't need Charlie Daniels opening his ignorant yap either in support of the war.
I'll let Reverend Mykeru do the honors on this one.
Tom sez: GOD, REVEREND MYKERU IS SUCH A TOOL. Just keeping in practice, lest all the warm fuzzies from the last week take his edge off. I do, however, have some quibbles with his war analysis. First, from his entry War Whores, he says:
What has become clear over the past few months is that the Bush administration, given good reason, will pursue a war with Iraq. Also, given bad reason they will pursue a war with Iraq. The same goes for having no reason whatsoever for a war with Iraq. Whatever reasons there are, or aren't, have little to do with the clear and present threat that Iraq represents and everything to do with a mentally weak president facing elections with a presidency as mediocre as his college and military record and a stalling economy.Now, I've been seeing people wax horrified for months over the inevitability of war with Iraq. I've seen all sorts of horrific predictions, propaganda, dramatic war protests, you name it. I've seen Bush threaten, bluster, cajole, and shake his finger. I've seen Powell address the the UN Security Council, Blix say Saddam is an obstructionist with weapons of mass destruction, then turn around and say he doesn't think Saddam is any threat, and uber-lefties get rhapsodically conspiratorial about the connections between Bush's oilman background and the rich Iraqi petroleum fields.
What I haven't seen is a war. Yes, it may be coming. Yes, it may be absolutely as inevitable as the movement of the spheres. But for all the hysterical, chicken-little hullaballoo, can anyone seriously tell me where Bush has acted irrationally, hastily, or irresponsibly? He's kept up a steady barrage of Gunboat Diplomacy talk (incidentally, anyone who says the US doesn't have a history of acting unilaterally should look up that little episode) while the diplomats have met, talked, and bargained. It seems to me that from the very beginning, when Bush first unveiled the strategy that this is a test of the UN's mettle, he's been holding their feet to the fire to do what?
That's right. To enforce the resolution on Iraq they made a decade ago...a resolution and a bargain that Hussein abrogated from the word go, and a resolution, not coincidentally, that the US has been enforcing almost without aid. Remember all those Page 3 items that read, "Iraqi jet fires on US fighter," or "US SAMs down Iraqi fighter in No-Fly Zone?"
Casus belli, right there. We're such rash cowboys that we've sat back and taken it for over 10 years.
And sure, the present links between Hussein and al-Qaeda may be tenuous, but hell, that would simply be icing on the cake. We already have all the cause for war we need. If we invaded today, I would see it as a reflection of two things: 1) an unwillingness to wait any longer while Saddam developed illegal weapons, and 2) a statement that the UN has officially become obsolete.
The only link seems to be that Hussein is a bastard and bin Laden is a bastard and they are both Muslims, albeit a different flavor of Muslim, one being Sunni and the other Shiite, which is rather like thinking Jack Chick of nutty religious tract fame is secretly funded by the Pope.Now, this one simply doesn't apply because, when you're in a corner, the enemy of your enemy is your friend, whether he's Shi'ite, Sunni, or Cher. I don't have any trouble imagining a secularist Baath dictator falling into bed with Osama. Well, I'd rather not imagine it, but I'm sure there's a related image on Ogrish somewhere.
Al-Qaeda hasn't gone away. Osama bin Laden is still out there. So what the fuck are we doing leaning on Iraq? The reasoning seems to be that Iraq, if they have weapons of mass destruction, might pass them onto some terrorist organization that would use them against the United States or our allies, particularly Israel. Well, who might actually used them? Well, al-Qaeda, for example. Remember them?Yes, and the recent capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would seem to indicate that we certainly haven't given up the hunt for al-Qaeda.
Also, from his An Open Response to Charlie Daniels entry, he says
Do what again, Chuck? The last time I checked the thing that the Southern rebels did was instigate a civil war in order to protect their sovereign right to maintain a system based on human slavery. Although you probably refer to it as the "War of Northern Aggression".I object very strongly to this, as I think Atlanta should be burned down immediately, regardless of whether the toothless rednecks living in single-wides can bestir themselves to "rise again."
Do it again and you will be put down again and you will be lucky if all we do is burn Atlanta.
Well, it turns out that the World Wide Rant is (as of this morning) a "mysteriously luminescent" blog. Rest assured that your vote was very valuable, and will allow us to continue offering the levels of service and product quality that you've come to expect. May our strange glowing continue for many moons.
Today's survey is of absolutely no value to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Feel free to take it anyway
Update: The poll is closed! Voting is over! And Osama bin Laden is an asshole - the people have spoken!
I'm rat in a sewer because I think Michael Savage is a blustering blowhard.
Advocacy groups, led by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, have launched a letter-writing campaign to keep Savage off the air. The syndicated radio personality fought back by calling his critics "stinking rats who hide in the sewers."Apparently we have some rather nice sewers here in Denver, judging by my surroundings - and a rat that can type! A miracle!
A group Savage formed, the Paul Revere Society, advocates closing borders, deporting illegal immigrants, mandating health tests for immigrants, eliminating entitlement programs and making tax cuts permanent.I find it interesting that they left off the newest brainchild to come forth from the Savage Home for the Mentally Incapacitated: arresting the leaders of the anti-war movement under the Sedition Act.
The Sedition Act - Time to Act.Poor sentence construction and ugly website design aside, Savage's proposal should strike us all as ... well ... un-American. I'd advocate his arrest, but unlike him I actually believe in freedom of speech, rather than just paying lip service to it.
Time to Arrest the Leaders of the Anti-War Movement,
Once we Go To War?
We Must Protect Our Troops!
He said his show "is about liberty, it's about free speech," and the campaign against him is "liberal fascism."Get your lips off my Constitution, Michael. And perhaps look up "fascism" in the dictionary sometime.
In Savage's defense, Michael Harrison - of the trade magazine Talkers - said:
"He's a very aggressive, clever, street smart everyman. He flies in the face of political correctness. He's what works on talk radio."I'll agree with all of that except one part - and suggest that Mr. Harrison take some time away from his magazine to consult a dictionary (maybe borrow Mr. Savage's when he's done looking up "fascism") - and learn what "everyman" means.
Savage threatened to launch his own campaign against people who fund groups like GLAAD, perhaps appealing to the U.S. Justice Department to see if his rights have been violated.Oh give it up, you whiny little man - help! help! I'm being repressed!
Citizens have the right to express their concerns to broadcasters - to advertisers - and to the public in support of their views and opinions. As well, the broadcasters, advertisers, and public have the right to not be swayed and to desire to see your mug gracing their television screens. No one is obligated to give you a platform for your views - they do, however, have the freedom to choose.
I choose to think you're a twit, parading around as a defender of liberty and freedom, when you are anything but.
The Evil Queen's boobies are a-ok. That's good news!
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has informed us in the last couple hours that Hal Maxie Atchley, one of Tennessee's Most Wanted Criminals, is suspected to be on the run in the immediate vicinity of where I work, and I work way out in the frigging woods.
Did I mention that everybody just left for the day, but I'll be here until after sunset?
Did I mention that while I have my concealed-carry license, I am not currently armed?
Did I mention that they found footprints and human feces in the mouth of the cave where I work, not 400 yards from here?
I think I may go home early tonight.
Taking a cue from Vicky, I'm putting up the first, official, kid-tested, and mother-approved World Wide Rant poll. In order to serve you better, we would appreciate your answer to the following question:
Update: The voting is over and - by popular declaration of the unwashed masses - the World Wide Rant is MYSTERIOUSLY LUMINESCENT!
But of course.
Pope urges Catholics not to eat to prevent war with Iraq. Yeah, it didn't make a lot of sense to me either (apparently the Almighty is swayed by people who give up Hostess Cupcakes for 24 hours or something).
Speaking of eating, or regurgitating, I've been caring for and cleaning up after a sick dog all night, so I'm going back to bed for a while. See you later.
I've been a slacker in more ways than one. Ask Andy. Specifically, however, I'm referring to the fact that I have just returned from my first hard run in quite some time. Between gasping like a landed orca and trying to re-swallow my lungs as they attempted to abandon ship, I had quite a bit of time for reflection. "Angels whisper to a man when he goes walking," said Raymond Inmon, and I can attest to the truth of this, as near the end, I was jogging toward a bright point of light, and I could clearly hear the voice of my dear old grandmother.
"You little shit." Yup, that was Memaw.
Anyhow, I digress. I was reflecting, but you wouldn't know it by the berth that freaking Lincoln Navigator gave me.
For the first time, I attempted a running discipline called the "fartlek." No Jon, this is not something a Swedish pervert pays extra for in Amsterdam. It's "speed-play," and while it is related to Interval Training, it's supposed to be even better for muscular development in your legs. I attempted this pattern: 10 minute warm-up, 5 minutes fast, 2 minutes slow, 4 minutes fast, 2 minutes slow, 3 minutes fast, etc. And it would have gone fine if that damn paramedic hadn't been chasing me with the defibrillator. As it was, I managed the warm-up, the first two fast periods, then I ran at a normal sloth-like pace to round out my 45 minutes.
Ah well. A work in progress, and I learned several valuable lessons.
1) You lose it fast if you don't keep up with it.
2) Low-hanging, denuded crepe myrtle branches are surprisingly hard to see even in a well-lit suburban area.
3) Said crepe myrtle branches are not terribly tasty.
4) Cheetos may not be so bad after all, and besides, running improves my temper way too damn much. How in the world am I going to post intemperate screeds with all these happy endorphins coursing through my bloodstream?
I'm off to find some Bacardi 151. That usually makes me mean.
Ah, the adoration of the fans is so pleasing. It warms the cockles of my heart. I'm not sure why I'd have weedy plants in my heart though (unless that's just the standard for us god-hating, misanthropic, atheist zealots or something).
This is the surest way to get Republicans to endorse the separation of church and state, I bet.
Today is Pancake Day! This evening I shall dine on cottage pie and pancakes. Yay me.
Nicholas Kristof today writes about "God, Satan, and the Media," in which he laments that mainstream media is out of touch with evangelical America.
Evangelicals are increasingly important in every aspect of American culture. Among the best-selling books in America are Tim LaHaye's Christian "left behind" series about the apocalypse; about 50 million copies have been sold. One of America's most prominent television personalities is Benny Hinn, watched in 190 countries, but few of us have heard of him because he is an evangelist.Nevermind that the "Left Behind" series of books directly violates the Biblical imperative to not change the story (which, by necessity, will happen when LaHaye has his two-dimensional, Kirk Cameron-esque characters do just about anything). Nevermind that Benny Hinn could more aptly be labeled "crook" than "evangelist" - although I'm aware the two often go hand in hand.
According to recent Gallup Tuesday briefings, Americans are more than twice as likely to believe in the devil (68 percent) as in evolution.Fantastic, so since 68% of Americans believe in spooky things that go bump in the night, the media should pander to that? Is the media out of touch with evangelical America, or is evangelical America out of touch with reality?
This is the kind of idiocy that results in things like this - ooooh, Mommy, hold me!
But liberal critiques sometimes seem not just filled with outrage at evangelical-backed policies, which is fair, but also to have a sneering tone about conservative Christianity itself. Such mockery of religious faith is inexcusable.Nick, it might be rude, but it is excusable. I fail to see why religious belief is entitled to a Mysterious Shield of Ultimate Respect +4 simply because it's labeled "religious." No belief, in and of itself, is worthy of respect - especially when it's an unsubstantiated belief on the actual existence of something. Does Kristof think the Heaven's Gate cult's beliefs were worthy of respect? How about those folks in Jonestown? How about extreme Christians who let their children die by praying for them rather than seeking medical attention? I call bullshit, Nick.
Both sides need to reach out, drop the contempt and display some of the inclusive wisdom of Einstein, who wrote in his memoir: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."This quote gets thrown around so often that it will soon be the newest star in the Godwin constellation. Does Kristof believe that an atheist scientist's work is lame? Or that Creationists are blind since they reject the scientific evidence for evolution? OK, I could support him on that one. Anytime someone uses that Einstein quote, making some sort of fallacious argument from authority, I envision them throwing down their cards and saying "Royal flush! I win!"
Sorry, Nick, but you're holding a pair of twos.
Andrea Harris is tired of the Ron Jeremy / Khalid compare-and-contrast meme that arose in the blogosphere over the weekend. So, let's start a new one - Khalid looks kind of like The Critic as well, sans moustache. Of course, so does Ron Jeremy - hey, this could be a two-pronged memetic assault on the blogosphere.
OK, maybe not.
Hey, we got a mention from Reuters:
Some blog entries take the form of no more than one or two-sentence gasps. Business-minded Lawlor refers dismissively to the mass of blogs as "angst journals" even as he upholds the form as a model of effective small group communication. With names like gigglechick and worldwiderant, one doesn't even need to click to imagine where such blogs are headed.Although, if the author had clicked through to the World Wide Rant (maybe he did, I don't know - I've e-mailed to find out), he would have seen that we've gone beyond just bitching and moaning - usually. I like to think we're a very small clearinghouse for links regarding atheism, popular culture, libertarianism, skepticism, and the like, combined with our own brand of sarcasm, cynicism, and humor.
And some ranting, naturally. Of course, your mileage may vary.
Are we here to change the world? Of course not (not intentionally, anyway, but if it happens, we'll abuse the power and oppress all of you with an iron fist). We're here to maybe, hopefully, just possibly... entertain (a bizarre and alien concept, I realize). And if we fail to do that, you're welcome to click away from the site (but, of course, apparently unlike the author in question, you'd have to click to us first to find out).
Thanks to Useless for the heads-up on this one.
Gimme gimme more more more »
Update: Just swapped e-mails with the journalist and he said his intent was merely to say that our name speaks for itself. I understood that was part of it, but found that the way it was phrased (or the context in which it was placed) could lead one to to think we're naught but angst-ridden (and, as you know, we're only like that maybe 75% of the time). Heh. Anyway, thanks to Eric Aucher for the mention and for the quick response to the e-mail, especially while he's busy traveling around Europe.
« That's plenty, thanks!