Same difference, really.
You know, to someone. Someone at the Washington Post.
Drudge has a developing story that Chris Matthews of
Hardhead Hardball was attacked live on the air. I didn't see it happen, primarily because I find Mr. Matthews the television equivalent of unsightly panty lines*, but the safe money is that Michelle Malkin just kicked the shit out of him.
I'll keep you up to date with details as I get them. From Drudge. Which you can do just as well as I. So, hell, quit expecting me to do all the work for ye, ya lazy bastard. Arrrr!
Sorry, pirate moment.
Update: Robbed! Michelle stole m'joke! Somebody call me a trial lawyer! Hey, where's John Edwards when you need him?
No, really, has anyone seen the guy lately? He seems conspicuously absent.
Update 2: Hey, my last name is O'Reilly. And Michelle's post says her alibi is that she was "with O'Reilly." This doesn't look good. Man, I hope my wife doesn't read the blog.
Update 3: Why, yes, I do like to hear myself type.
Anyway, I just scanned down Michelle's last few posts and noticed she makes a quick reference to the mysterious, vanishing John Edwards as well. So, now it looks like I stole from her after she stole from me**, which, honestly, just makes me look petty.
I am not a crook!
Anyway, I've about run this one into the ground, so moving right along.
Looking forward to providing you more alibis down the road, Michelle. Be a doll and leave my money on the dresser. I am sooo going to Washingtonienne this.
* Nope, I don't know what that analogy means either. You'll notice I do that a lot.
** Which is not meant to imply that Michelle actually stole from me, because it's highly doubtful she'd visit my wee backwater of the blogosphere for naughty and nefarious plagiaristic purposes.
It's an argument one often hears applied to any major scientific advance, usually by some slopey-browed cave dweller who fears the wrath of God (or "Oog," as the first cave dwellers called him) should mankind actually dare further its own understanding of the world.
It's an argument that rises up from the distorted worldview that knowledge can, in and of itself, be evil or immoral.
In short, it's generally a big crock o'poo.
However, much to my dismay, I have found one area in which it applies as a useful maxim:
Just because you can serve draught beer in Montgomery, Alabama, doesn't mean you should.For years and years (the exact number of which I have no idea, but Google is your friend), Montgomery banned the sale of draught beer within the city limits. Friends and I have tried to comprehend the rationale behind it, and the best we could muster was that brewers would be against it as it costs more to build local storage for refrigerated kegs than it does to tuck a truckload of bottles in the back of a store. Or, perhaps, it was just one more in a series of misguided blue laws that religious types like to foist on the populace.
It isn't as contentious an issue as abortion, but I probably could have made mint by producing t-shirts that said "Don't want a draught beer? Don't have one!" You may think I jest, but we drinkers of good beer are deadly serious.
Anyway, that little bit of limited history is neither here nor there nor anywhere, so let's move along.
So, there I was...IN
the jungle Montgomery, Alabama.* I was so looking forward to seeing my former home delighting in the beveragey goodness that is quality draught beer. Of seeing mugs filled with golden, brown, or red nectar sweating happily on bars all across that fair city. Of watching bar patrons carefully reading a menu with copious beer choices, determined to select the perfect fresh beer to complement that bacon cheeseburger in front of them. And then I realized something. Something tragic.
They just don't get it.
If you're going to put beer on tap, make it good beer. The difference between Bud, Coors, or Michelob in a bottle, and the same beer on tap, is akin to the difference between a needle through one's private parts and a swift kick there. True, one is moderately better than the other, but both are best avoided at all costs.Where, oh where, are the taps for Guinness, Newcastle, Bass, Fat Tire, 90 Shilling, Red Hook, or any other of the hundreds of delicious micro- and not-so-micro-brews out there?
If you're going to drink crappy beer, at least drink it on tap. In one particular instance, in one particular bar, serving four particularly crappy beers (and one good beer) on tap, eight of the ten people at the bar were drinking from bottles.** Drinking the same beers available on tap, but from bottles!I generally like to avoid testicular trauma imagery in my posts, but this is like choosing the needle over the kick. Wrong choice!
On the outside, I might have looked rather stoic (or slightly buzzed) with my pint of Bass in hand, but inside, I was crying like a wee schoolgirl.
Perhaps it's the novelty of the concept. Perhaps it's a lack of exposure to the wider world of beer. Perhaps it's similar to the way democracy in Russia looks a whole lot like totalitarianism with a smile - the people just don't know any other way. Perhaps there is hope for my old hometown.
In the meantime, however:
O! Montgomery, how I weep for thee!* Don't remember that commercial? Too bad. Oddly enough, while Montgomery is not the jungle, it is nicknamed "Monkeytown" by truck drivers. As with the reasons for the draught beer ban, I'm at a bit of a loss as to why that should be, unless it's something from our racist past.
** Sadly, the other two appeared to be drinking "froo-froo" drinks. Yes, it's better than drinking crap beer, but, c'mon, people!
Her husband, the former president [Clinton], speaking at Riverside Church in upper Manhattan, said, "Politics and political involvement dictated by faith is not the exclusive province of the right wing."How silly of me. Here I was hoping that our policies might be rooted in reason, analysis, and far-sighted planning for the future of the United States of America and her people.
The Democrats, Clinton argued, need to show their policies are also rooted in faith.
But, nope, guess I was wrong. We should make all of our policy decisions based on a complete lack of evidence*. It's all about the Mighty Mighty Morphin' Jeebus.
To quote the philosopher Sammy Hagar:
Christ, what's a man to do?And apologies to The Raving Atheist for knicking his tagline, kind of, for my post title.
* No WMD cracks, if you please. Honestly, that's so obvious. Last time I heard that I had my finger up a dinosaur's butt. Don't laugh, I was pulling you out. *snork*
OK, shutting up. Going to bed.
We're back from Alabama and headed off to bed. The house, dogs, and cats are fine, courtesy of our most excellent house-sitting friends. Although they did wipe out my beer, so a run to the store was in order a couple of hours ago.
More thoughts on vacation, Alabama, beer, and such to follow tomorrow.
...of my vacation, that is.
In a couple of hours, we'll be boarding a series of planes on our return to Denver. Yes, we'll have the delightful task of keeping a 16-month old entertained for 4-6 hours so as not to drive other passengers crazy (although I'm not so sure they really enjoy it when I bounce her up and down on my knee saying "boing boing boing boing!").
Admit it. You envy me.
Looking forward to stepping out of the sauna that is Alabama.
See you soon.
Glenn Reynolds should have birthdays more often:
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, which means no more blogging today unless something rather major happens.I think that this probably qualifies.
CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.Immediate thoughts of influence in the war in Iraq, of what intelligence to trust, etc, all spring to mind. I think it's about to get interesting.
I understand the notion that friends spy on friends, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a penalty for it. Perhaps some solo flying time for Israel is in order?
BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A woman who agreed to have a child with her lesbian partner, but split up with the mother before the baby's birth, cannot be forced to pay child support, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.C'mon, Christian Coalition, do it for the children!
* No charge for specially-added hyerbole
Actually, if it involves giant spiders the size of chairs, I'll just stick with beer.
Way over here.
With a big can of Raid.
My half-elven thief cleric just found a Scroll of Perpetual Virginity! Take that, Voldemort!
Update: Hi kids, I had to block access to the video of people who really need to grow up as we're on the cheaper hosting plan and I'll be away from the blog until I get back to Denver. So, I'd hate to get back and find that my bandwidth is all blown out.
If anyone else wants to host it in the meantime, drop me (Andy) an e-mail and I'll update the link.
Update 2: This site seems to have a copy of it as well.
Been a long day on the road today. Up early and off to Tuscaloosa, home of my alma mater, The University of Alabama. Met up with some old friends from college, showed off the wee Fiona, had lunch.
Two things I learned:
Hope you're enjoying my vacation like I am!
Well, technically, I'm already here, with the wife and the wee Fiona. A few weeks ago we decided to surprise my mother by flying down for a visit without telling her we were coming. So, got on the phone to my dad, got him in on the plan, arranged some flights, and shortly after lunchtime on Saturday we walked in the door of their house.
Mom was, in a word, surprised. Thankfully she didn't keel over on the spot as that would have put a damper on the day.
Anyway - this trip is to blame for the lack of posting, and will be to blame for the lack of anything significant (most likely) for the week. I'd blog from here but my parents live in Internet-Land 1994 with their 28.8 AOL connection and it's agonizing waiting for pages to load. How we ever put up with it before is beyond me.
(For business process geeks, this would be an example of customer requirements shifting from a satisfier to a dissatisfier - not that many of you are such geeks like I am)
OK, that's all. Over and out and talk soon and take care of yourselves.
Yeah, that'll make life loads better.
via evil incarnate
You might remember that a little while ago I linked to a story about how Denver was America's most sloshed city.
Well, it turns out that my previous home, Montgomery, Alabama, came in first as the most sober city.
They owe it all to me. Well, my leaving.
I'm voting for John Kerry because he's sooooo dreamy!
He's not gay. He's under-straight.
Alan Keyes is flip-flopping worse than John Kerry on a particularly well-lubricated tramponline upon which Teresa Heinz Kerry* had just double-bounced him.
Alan Keyes was against carpetbagging, until he wasn't. Alan Keyes was against reparations, until he wasn't.
Verily, I say, the Republican party has lost its way. And its mind.
Now, if only they would lose their Keyes.
Update: An interesting observation:
So how do they handle the dilemma? They hand Alan Keyes a nice, long rope and he'll make like Judas, leave town and hang himself. They can't think of a more graceful way to fire an obviously disastrous employee.One can hope, but be careful with the "hanging" reference. Given Keyes' bizarre behavior of late, he's liable to rant about how you want to put together a lynchin' posse. Racist!
Anyway, I think it would be much, much cooler if instead of hanging himself, Keyes made like Judas and - during a stump speech - fell over and exploded his guts out.** Maybe too messy though. But cool.
* Or perhaps one of her houseboys, as trampolines are so proletarian.
** Yes, the inerrant Word of God can't make up its mind on how Judas died.
Please visit Josh Claybourn's site and extend your condolences to him on the loss of his mother. Despite our significant differences on myriad issues, I think I can safely say that Josh truly is one of the good guys.
Our thoughts are with you.
P.S.: The rest of you, go tell your mom that you love her. I mean it. Do it.
Today, on my lunch hour, I went to OfficeDepot and bought some pens. A box of 12 uni-ball roller ball pens. Ink, blue. Oh, and some refills for my Dr. Grip Gel pen. I'm not sure who names these things, but I'm wagering there is something moderately subliminal about "uni-ball" and "Dr. Grip." Or, there was until I pointed it out, exposing these pen marketing gurus for the sexual deviants they are.
So, anyway, yeah - I bought some pens.
Update: "Pens" is "penis" without the "i."
Just an observation.
If it's in Al-Jazeera, it must be true!
McGreevey ‘sex scandal’ was an Israeli Intelligence operationHeh huh huh huh, you said "penetrate."
...Foreign Policy/Intelligence Columnist Andy Martin uncovers some secrets to this regards, and asserts that McGreevey sex scandal was an Israeli Intelligence operation.
"People have been confused by the McGreevey sex scandal," says Martin. "But McGreevey's dilemma is not a gay sex scandal. It is an Israeli intelligence operation gone sour. This is not a scandal about 'sex.' It is a scandal about 'secrets'," Martin says.
"...Mr. Cipel was a junior Mossad case officer, originally posted to New York under official cover. The Mossad is well known for using human sex toys. McGreevey was lured into a relationship that was intended to penetrate New Jersey's homeland defenses."
Pardon me, please, must go to the store as I'm fresh out of tinfoil.
And apparently some folks at FoxNews are bat-assed blind, because I think this incarnation of the site is even less attractive and harder to read than the previous one. Imagine if a news junkie had the munchies and then blew news spew all over their screen - that, ladies and gents, is of what I am reminded.
Now, Google News - clean layout, easy-to-see categorization, and all the global newsy goodness a boy could want. Except for when it links you back to that god-awful new FoxNews page.
A slew of books, both future-papyritic* and modernly aural in nature:
Maybe Bamford goes on to make some good points about the failures of the intelligence community in the modern era. I don't think I'll ever know, as this thing reeks of bias and agenda (you know, so much as an audiobook can) from the very start.
Bonus points for referring to some of his time stoppages** as "chronanisms***."
And I realize that two books probably doesn't count as a slew, but what if they were really BIG books? Huh? What then, Mr. Smarty Pants? No? Well, fine.
* I think I just winged that word. You know, in case it wasn't obvious. See, paper's not quite papyrus, but similar, thus...oh, nevermind. To hell with the lot of ya.
** Not to be confused with Time Passages.
*** Expand your vocabulary. Ooh, work it baby.
When news of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison broke, Army Spc. Joseph Darby's family said they were proud the soldier revealed photos documenting the mistreatment. But they never expected their own friends and neighbors would turn on them for what they considered a brave disclosure....Of course, doing the right thing doesn't always mean doing the easy thing. Kudos to Spc. Darby for letting his conscience be his guide when others were willingly telling their own " just piss off, would ya?"
"We did not receive the response I thought we would. People were, they were mean, saying he was a walking dead man, he was walking around with a bull's-eye on his head. It was scary," Bernadette Darby, Joseph Darby's wife, said today on ABC News' Good Morning America.
There's more of the story at GQ.
Another good, but unrelated (aside from the Army angle), story can be found here.
If any of you like Monte Montgomery, the Austin Music Network is streaming a show of his they recorded the other day. You can watch it here. I think it runs until about 4 Eastern time today.
It's my official cooking music of the day.
A day of cooking, that is. Got up early with the wee Fiona and then we went grocery shopping. In a matter of 90 minutes or so, we'll all be sitting down to an uber-healthy meal of slow-roasted brisket with bourbon BBQ sauce, roasted corn on the cob with cheese and lime, and buttermilk-bacon smashed potatoes.
I'm about halfway through the cooking - the BBQ sauce ended up being rather spicy, so Fiona won't be able to enjoy it. Well, she might enjoy, but I'm not changing that diaper. Biohazard: beware.
Now, to choose a wine to go with it...
Headline: Alabama to expand border security
Governor Bob Riley, himself a product of the award-winning* Alabama educational system, told reporters that more Alabama state troopers, trained in immigration enforcement, will be stationed along Alabama's borders with Canada and Mexico**.
* Hey, not all awards have to be good ones.
** Yes, sometimes I embellish or just plain make shit up.
An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.Of course, a "true believer" should probably just trust the good Lord Jesus to prevent that wheat-laden wafer from making seriously ill or perhaps killing their child. I mean, if He can turn the stuff into his own flesh and blood, thereby making it magically delicious, then this should be a pretty simple trick, don't you think?
Or maybe the Church is just plain nuts, in a world full of injustice, suffering, and oppression, to follow a god who gets his pan-galactic panties in a twist over a little girl's wafer and the disease with which he, in his infinitely divine super-duper-love, blessed her.
Note: one may argue that the article describes the case of another child with the same disease, who was also denied the sacrament, but who then was contacted by another parish willing to use a gluten-free substitute. Fine and dandy, but it also mentions that the family is unwilling to name the priest or the parish, clearly to prevent retribution from the Church. So, while there may be some priests out there with human hearts, the Church is still nuts.
Note the Second: an alternative suggestion has been that the girl should simply drink from the chalice and that, under Church dogma, this would constitute a complete sacrament. How does the Church reconcile this when their own writings on the sacrament quote from the book of John?
54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.It's not eateth or drinketh - it's eateth and drinketh, which sounds to me like if you only go halfway, you're going to be in hell with all the evil atheists like myself.
55 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
57 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.
Sorry, little darling, but Jeebus says yer screwed.
(thankee thankee to Zombyboy)
It's clear, sunny, and 67 here in Denver (on the left).
Sorry, Tampa (on the right).
Being stupid doesn't make you cool.* Houses can be replaced - people can't. Not yet. But there's no need to get into the whole cloning argument right now.
* However, being more like me certainly would.
Did Tom actually post something?
Sweet Jesus doin' the happy bunny dance in a clown suit, he surely did.
And a long one at that.
Must go read. You do the same.
Denver earns another distinguished honor:
Researchers at Men's Health magazine have published a report that ranks Denver as the drunkest big city in America.Hooray! - who wants to join me to celebrate with a beer or six?
NPR's Fresh Air had two interviews today: the first with Illinois US Senatorial candidate Barack Obama, the rising Golden Child of the Democratic Party, and one with opposing candidate Alan Keyes, perennial right-wing mouthpiece.
I want to analyze several things about the interviews today with the Democratic and Republican US senatorial candidates for Illinois, from the way each interview was handled, to the candidates themselves. I found it a particularly enlightening day. The contents of both interviews can be found here, in case you want to listen for context. I'm pointing to the archive in hopes that this will be a permalink and not be outdated by tomorrow. I apologize that the show is in audio format, but unfortunately, transcripts cost money.
Gimme gimme more more more »
General Impressions: Obama seems like a genuinely warm, sincere person in an interview...which no doubt contributes significantly to his "warm fuzzy" appeal factor. Another is that he appeals to both white and black voters. He strongly purports to want to run a "clean" campaign - that is, one which focuses on the issues rather than attacking the opposite candidate. While superficially sincere, I have reason to believe that he is not entirely above a little mud-slinging himself. I'll get to that later. However, it's obvious that he's trying to angle for the fresh-faced reform campaign.
But man, did he ever get a fluff interview. The interviewer questioned Obama broadly on the memoir he wrote, and Obama used the wide-open opportunity to hold forth on his American Dream platform. More than 22 minutes of the 28 minute interview were largely composed of soft-pitch floaters about his father, his background, etc. It came off as an intimate "get-to-know-ya" talk, but there wasn't a lot of substance to it. The second part wasn't a whole lot better. Ostensibly, they moved the interview into the realm of the senatorial race, but they never actually touched on the issues.
Specific quotes and reactions:
Dave Davies at 18:55Oh puhleeze. Davies might just as well have fellated him on the spot. Some specifics, please. Specifics are, in fact, what are painfully absent from this whole interview. It's as if they were chatting over a couple of umbrella drinks rather than conducting a political interview.
It's interesting that you mention LBJ, because he's an example of a politician, as are a lot of very successful politicians, that are rooted in a place. I mean, we know he's a Texan. We know that Harry Truman came from Missouri. Um...your past seems almost rooted in ideas...I mean inclusion, diversity, hope.
Barack Obama at 22:47followed by:
Well, he's [Alan Keyes] been here two days, and so far, he's compared me to slaveholders, Nazis, and has justified him coming in from Maryland by comparing the situation in New York after 9/11, suggesting that we were all New Yorkers then, and in the same way, he's an Illinoisian now, in doing battle with me. Y'know, that's Mr. Keyes's style. Y'know, that's his rhetorical style.
Barack Obama at 23:28This was a shrewd, if not totally original, political speech. In one economical statement, he attempted several things:
What people really wanna see are politicians who attack problems instead of each other. I think people are just weary of this scorched-earth, slash-and-burn politics that demonizes whoever doesn't agree with you. And Democrats, by the way, are complicit in that. And I always tell my supporters and my fellow Democrats - or, not even Democrats, just people of good will who want to see the country move in a better direction - we lose when we engage in that sort of mudslinging. The people that I care about lose, because those are the people - the ordinary folks that are most apt to be alienated from the process in that kind of political environment. The people who thrive in those political environments are the professionals. They're the ruthless, and the cynical, and the people who've got a monetary stake in the outcomes and are gonna be working the back rooms and the corridors no matter what happens.
Hoo boy. Obama strikes me as being much, much more subtle and shrewd than Keyes. Such subtlety may not, however, be necessary for Keyes, as he appears to be a hard-line right-winger from the word go, and he is effectively parroting a lot of the neoconservative religious arguments that so much of America gets behind.
Personally, he strikes me as a loud, shrill, contentious ideologue literally imported specifically to out-shout Obama in the Senate race. His interview was considerably rockier. They started pitching him the hard stuff after a brief couple of questions about his family and ideological background (his interview was taped, incidentally, by the same interviewer after the Obama interview. I think the timing is significant.) To start off with, Davies throws him a question which might have been innocent, but ended up effectively contrasting him with Obama in the strongest possible terms.
Dave Davies at 3:35Bolding mine. So far, everything sounds great. Family? Check. Personal responsibility? Sometimes used as a code word for a "let them eat cake" attitude, but still something most folks can get behind. It's that last one - moral clarity - that was thrown in there as a ringer, and it's that tangent that Keyes takes off on. That gets him into trouble. The question also had the added rhetorical benefit of establishing an immediate contrast with Obama. To wit:
You've been known for advocating an approach for issues in the United States, but African American communities in particular, of valuing the family, of personal responsibility, of moral clarity. Are there experiences that sort of crystallized that view for you? Where did you really pull that together?
Alan Keyes at 3:57He speaks at length about the role of faith and family in the survival of African Americans here. Feel free to listen to the rest of it, but my main point here is that he immediately established himself as not a down-to-earth "man of the people," but as a cold, aloof intellectual. Uh oh. This is a prime reason I don't think he's nearly as shrewd as Obama. Politics is very much a popularity contest. If the people don't like you, you're sunk. Take Dukakis for example. He ran a strong race, but in the end, he got the labels "cold," "passionless," and "technocrat" attached to him, and that was all she wrote.
I wouldn't say, though, that it's experience. I mean, a lot of what I think is the result of...thinking. It's a result of trying to look at facts and information. I mean, I wrote a book some years back, Masters of the Dream, and it was during that period of working on it - it took several years - that I really spent a lot of time delving into the history of black Americans, from slavery forward. The question I had in mind at that point...
That is, incidentally, the main concern I have about John Kerry's campaign as well.
Given that the interview was taped after the Obama interview, and the fact that a later question shows that Davies did some background work on Keyes beforehand, I wonder if Davies led Keyes down this path quite purposefully.
Dave Davies at 9:39Zing! Fast curve ball to the inside! Keyes takes a swing at it, and in my opinion, misses badly, making himself look like a hypocrite.
You were quoted as saying in the year 2000, 'I deeply resent the destruction of Federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in, and pretend to represent the people there.' You're from Maryland, running in Illinois. Have you changed your mind, or are the standards different in your case?
Alan Keyes at 9:57He then goes on to explain that he did not decide to do this on his own, that he was approached by the "people in Illinois" (presumably the Illinois Republican Party,) making it consistent in terms of sovereignty, and also that his move was somehow related to the other part of Federalism as he defines it, "national unity." This falls far short of an adequate explanation, IMO, because:
Oh no no no. The standards are the same, and I have not changed my mind, and I think that what Hillary did I would still criticize roundly. Because she self-evidently, uh, shopped around America, looked carefully to pick a state that would serve her personal ambition, prepared the ground, went in in order to construct a basis for pursuing her personal ambition, and was consciously translating her national standing and reputation into a bid for a seat of power, regardless, really of the principles of representational integrity and state sovereignty. That is not what I'm doing.
Alan Keyes at 11:52I take issue with Keyes's comparison of abortion to slavery. The differences in the two issues are too numerous to dwell upon. Slavery, for example (the 3/5 Compromise, etc. notwithstanding, as they addressed blacks' status for purposes of taxation,) had no scientific grey area concerning what qualified as human life. Nobody can answer that question adequately, and Keyes's evocation of slavery is just a bit intellectually dishonest.
Not so much [awfully strong words], just logical, just rational - it's an argument. Because the slaveholders' position as reflected in, say, the position of somebody like Stephen Douglas - he was a pro-choice candidate back on, on slavery. He said he didn't care if it was voted up or voted down, as long as it was done by popular sovereignty.
Also, he misrepresents Douglas's position badly. Douglas was not "pro-choice" on slavery - at least, not in the same way as the term applies to abortion. To be the same, Douglas would have had to supported the rights of each individual person to either have, or not have, slaves. This point can't even be interpreted the same way as in abortion, since to be "pro-choice" in slavery means you're pro-slavery. Nobody is "pro-abortion." They're for the choice to have an abortion. Given the grey area previously mentioned about the scientific qualifications for human life, it's not nearly so cut-and-dried.
Alan Keyes at 12:30What a mess. In the first place, our "common principles" (whatever they are) don't say anything in one unified voice about "development." That's why the issue is - say it with me - controversial. Second, our "common principles" (whatever they are) don't say anything in a unified voice about a creator. Once again - controversial. Third, the Declaration of Independence is not, I repeat, not the foundation of our national conscience. Finally, slavery is not the same as abortion. Jesus.
The notion that somehow you can look at the life in the womb and say the mother's choice determines our respect for it when our principles say that every human being, regardless of circumstance, development, or condition - the worth of that human life comes from the creator - that's what the Declaration states. So just as the slaveholder and people like Douglas were willing to disregard the worth of black Americans, on the basis of their choice, so we have people like Obama today saying, 'We can disregard the God-given worth of that baby in the womb because of our choice,' and in doing so, they reject the fundamental principles that Lincoln asserted, that Martin Luther King asserted, that Frederick Douglass and others asserted, that we must respect the conscience shaped by the Declaration on which this country is founded. I believe that, ad I think it's clear that Barack Obama does not. And so I'm not calling him names or anything, I'm just saying, 'Look, the principle at stake is the same, and his position is like the position of Stephen Douglas and others, who were the slaveholders' favorites in those days.
He then claims (seriously) that his introduction of the slavery comparison has nothing to do with a cynical ploy to bring a racial element into the argument...to play the race card. He jumps through a series of hoops to establish that all he really means is that it's a human-decency issue, not a race issue (while nimbly playing the race card by declaiming that since his ancestors were slaves, he oughta know.) Strawman. Poor argumentation. False analogy. Blegh. He's not fooling anyone, of course. His analogy was rather carefully developed for precisely that rhetorical reason.
He goes on to say that he would ban abortion in the case of rape and incest as well, launching into a diatribe about how it is fundamentally against our principles of justice (assuming that an embryo is a human life, I presume, at the moment of conception. Again, controversial. Remember?)
After all this, he drops the Bomb:
Alan Keyes at 15:30As if anything he's said is anything more than airy, flimsy assertion based on bad logic.
See, people like to make assertions. He [Obama] makes assertions. We should make arguments for the positions that we take, because otherwise, we're just engaging in name-calling. And I say I make an argument for what I believe. Let him come forward with a valid argument for what he believes, and let's compare the two.
To wind up the interview, Keyes excoriates Obama for
Alan Keyes at 16:15In my socially liberal opinion, this is pure insanity. Obama is not even pro-gay marriage! He's actually against gay marriage, but pro "civil unions." When confronted about why gay marriage is a threat to traditional families, Keyes responds that
...saying that he respects the family, but being against everything - the Defense of Marriage Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment - that's being done to defend the family.
Alan Keyes at 17:05Uh, where does he get his definitions, cause they're crazy. Assuming for a moment that "hedonistic self-gratification" is not a good reason to get married (who gets married for hedonistic self-gratification, anyway?,) he commits a beauty of an Excluded Middle Fallacy. The truth is that people get married for any number of reasons, from Twue Wuv all the way down to base greed, and as long as the parties involved are male and female, whether their purposes are procreative or not, it's perfectly legal.
Marriage is about procreation, and people who cannot, in principle...procreate, cannot get married. It's very simple. It makes marriage an absurdity. It means that marriage is just the relationship of two individuals for the sake of what? Hedonistic self-gratification.
Conclusion: Barack Obama is a shrewd, subtle politician, regardless of his assertions to the contrary, but I don't fundamentally think I learned anything about his politics in the interview. He seemed to be there as a foil for Keyes's ridiculous pseudo-intellectualism, and that can't ultimately be anything but good for Obama. Alan Keyes is a self-righteous, arrogant blowhard who will ultimately hang himself with his wild-eyed rhetoric, and it was difficult to find anything in his spittle-flecked diatribe which I didn't think was stark, raving insane.
Keyes will get his ass handed to him on election day.
« That's plenty, thanks!
From this story:
A Nebraska man who once weighed more than half a ton has lost 321 pounds in a Sioux Falls hospital, with a goal of losing another 450 pounds....Dignity ain't what it used to be, apparently.
A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed.
Tip of the hat, a wink, and a nod to Jo for pointing this out.
Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?
Tonight's episode was the idiotic War on Drugs.
Amazing, someone whose drug of choice is a nice, cool Fat Tire (as opposed to a fatty) thinks the War on Drugs is the height of governmental stupidity and its best effort yet at telling you and yours what is good for you, because, clearly, you're too damn stupid to figure it out for yourself.
Update: You know, this post scanned a lot better while I was intoxicated. Oh well.
Twin one: "How do you feel?"
Twin two: "A little light-headed."
Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.
Once again, science puts right what the infallible and ever-so-perfect Intelligent Designer inexplicably just fucked right the hell up.
Yes, Senator Kerry, let's rely on the United Nations, our international allies, our global brothers-in-arms, to help us with the hard job of making the world safe for democracy, freedom, and dirty movies on late-night cable.
They can't even be bothered to defend themselves:
UN officials said member states refused to contribute to a proposed force that would protect a UN mission in Baghdad. The mission was meant to mark the return of the UN presence in Iraq after a year's absence and help organize and monitor national elections in January 2005....The United Nations: Keeping the world safe, so long as it doesn't involve any of that "danger" stuff.
"We haven't had much success attracting governments to sign up for the dedicated force to protect the UN personnel in Iraq and our property," Annan said. "So for the time being, for practical measures, we have no other choice but to rely on the multinational force."
I always thought it was the right-wing that made a big to-do over race not being important. But then... how to explain Alan Keyes?
Republican Alan Keyes ripped into Democratic rival Barack Obama's views on abortion Monday, calling them "the slaveholder's position," as the U.S. Senate race roared back to life in Illinois.At least he avoided the over-used comparison to Uncle Tom, so kudos to Mr. Keyes.
Mr. Keyes continued by saying that he was the true inspiration for the "black Jesus" that J.J. painted on "Good Times" and everyone should vote for him because he is, in a word, "dyno-mite!"
The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below.It's hard to seriously wear the mantle of liberators when we adopt a policy of willful ignorance.
From his post several stories above ground level, he watched as men in plainclothes beat blindfolded and bound prisoners in the enclosed grounds of the Iraqi Interior Ministry.
...Soon after, a team of Oregon Army National Guard soldiers swept into the yard and found dozens of Iraqi detainees who said they had been beaten, starved and deprived of water for three days.
The soldiers disarmed the Iraqi jailers, moved the prisoners into the shade, released their handcuffs and administered first aid. Lt. Col. Daniel Hendrickson of Albany, Ore., the highest ranking American at the scene, radioed for instructions.
But in a move that frustrated and infuriated the guardsmen, Hendrickson's superior officers told him to return the prisoners to their abusers and immediately withdraw. It was June 29 -- Iraq's first official day as a sovereign country since the U.S.-led invasion.
As relatives tell it, it was the stuff of Greek tragedy: A love-struck young man threw himself off his balcony Monday, two days after a quarrel prompted his girlfriend -- a member of Greece's Olympic judo team -- to jump from the same spot.Strikes me as more of a Shakespearean tragedy, and if there is anything that Romeo and Juliet taught us, it's to always make sure the girlfriend is actually dead before doing yourself in.
"He had very intense feelings about the girl. He was very much in love," said Nikos Drakopoulos, a printer who lives across the hall from the couple. "He could not see himself living if she was gone."
Giorgos Chrisostomides, 24, was on life-support at an Athens hospital with injuries to his head and back. His high-school sweetheart, 20-year-old judo champion Eleni Ioannou, was at another hospital in critical condition with multiple fractures to her head and body.Like I said, check for a pulse before taking the elevator up to do your high-impact Greg Louganis impersonation. Rather than being tragic, this whole thing just makes the two of them look incredibly dumb.
Folks, if you have a quarrel with someone you love and then try to kill yourself, you're a dumbass. Hell, if you even threaten to kill yourself to guilt somebody you love into compliance, you're a weeny, little milksop (or the female equivalent).
In other words, leave death to the dying and get on with your life, you emotional basketcases.
It's been a while since I updated you good folks on the bizarre right-wingery that is The Greatest Jeneration, and since I picked on the lefties in the previous post, this will balance the political karma of the universe, creating peace, love, and harmony among men* of all nations.
So, without further ado...
On the matter of interim Iraqi PM Allawi, Jen says:
Of course, I thought he had style when I read a few weeks ago that he'd personally executed 6 imprisoned murderers with his own handgun!Yes, nothing says style like a nation's leader taking a gun to the heads of convicts. Sorry, reminds me a little too much of a certain Iraqi leader we deposed last year. While I support the death penalty in principle (but not as a pragmatic matter), it should be a necessary evil, not a pat-on-the-back, three-cheers, vigilante-like display.
For someone to claim that Allawi's action show "style" is a reflection of a sick, sick mind at work.
But we knew that.
Now, for the real fun. Much like Democrats who claim over and over again that Bush is going to get stomped into the electoral dirt come November, despite polls showing a tight race, Jen also doesn't let reality get in the way of her posting or her titles.
The end of al-Sadr and his uprising fast approaches, August 8, 2004
"Mookie" starts to cave in Najaf, May 27, 2004
Al-Sadr about ready to cry "Uncle", May 12, 2004
Al-Sadr, call your office...on second thought..., May 11, 2004
" And thanks to your putting down of al-Sadr's insurgency, there are a lot fewer IslamoFascist terrorists we have to worry about coming over to the homeland to do their jihadi killing!" April 15, 2004
That's right, no matter what happens in Iraq it's always progress, even when it's two steps backwards. Perhaps it's some muddled psychology of "wherever we go, there we are, and we're America, so it's victory!" This kind of blind cheerleading may not be as dangerous to our victory in Iraq as the kooky anti-war left's agenda, but it's certainly as simple-minded.
This concludes today's test of the Emergency JenWatch Blog System.
* Figure of speech. No conservatives will be required to hug, kiss, or even sit down next to another man without a "we're not gay" seat between them.
Bush Administration raises terror threat level based on intelligence. Left-wingers declare election-year political stunt, demand justification. Administration attempts to comply.
The effort by U.S. officials to justify raising the terror alert level last week may have shut down an important source of information that has already led to a series of al Qaeda arrests, Pakistani intelligence sources have said.Anybody-but-Bush, but at what cost?
Until U.S. officials leaked the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan to reporters, Pakistan had been using him in a sting operation to track down al Qaeda operatives around the world, the sources said.
...after Khan's name was revealed, government sources told CNN that counterterrorism officials had seen a drop in intercepted communications among suspected terrorists.
Update: In case it's not clear, I think releasing sensitive information like this was a bad idea all around. So, shame on them for that.
As I said via e-mail with Jo, if she encourages me to key someone's car, and I do it, then - yes - I'm to blame for keying the car. However, it doesn't mean Jo isn't a huge dick.
All clear? Good.
Penn and Teller's "Bullshit," that is, available at my whim courtesy of Comcast On Demand. I've been spending much of today lending an indentation reflective of the shape of my rear to the sofa cushions while catching up on Penn and Teller's take-no-prisoners attack on the irrationality of the world. You should try it sometime, unless you happen to be irrational and such. Or perhaps especially so.
I'm right now watching the first episode of "American Candidate." It's basically the opportunity to watch a bunch of one-issue zealots (some good-hearted, some whack-jobs) making the case for why they'd be a good President.
All I've learned so far is that Chrissy Gephardt can't defend partial birth abortion to save her life (saying - under direct and pointed questioning - that it's acceptable to kill an infant minutes from birth, which is a morally reprehensible position to me). Sadly, she's off the show now. Thank you for following in Daddy's political footsteps.
Episode 2 comes on later tonight - followed by the most excellent "Dead Like Me." I can't exactly place what I like about Ellen Muth, but like her I do. And Mandy Patinkin is always a pleasure to watch, even if he does have a girl's name that was also shared by my neighbor's dachshund growing up. My name is Mandy Patinkin. I have a girl's name. Prepare to die.
See you in the morning.
A video aired Saturday that purportedly showed an American being decapitated in Iraq (search) was a hoax....Because nothing makes me want to vote for someone like their ability to mock and insult the memories of people of all nationalities who have been viciously beheaded by Islamic fundamentalists. Nothing says "choose me me me!" quite like a wanton display of boneheaded insensitivity and disrespect. Nothing says "I'm your man for city supervisor!" like faking one's own beheading, particularly when I'm hard pressed to find any significant link between political aspirations for city office and decapitation.
Benjamin Vanderford, 22, said he began distributing the video on the Internet months ago in hopes of drawing attention to his one-time campaign for city supervisor. When his political aspirations waned, he thought the video would serve as social commentary.
However, it does nicely say "Benjamin Vanderford needs to pull his head out of his ass and try growing up sometime."
He said he understood if relatives of those killed in Iraq thought his stunt was misguided, but he offered no apologies for the hoax.It brings up the issue that the terrorists could just fake the beheadings?
"I see how it could be considered disrespectful. But I think people, if they look at it, will understand two other big issues it brings up," he said. "A small group of disgruntled people in Iraq or Saudi Arabia could just get more attention just by easily releasing something like I did on the Internet."
Well, yeah, Benji-boy, I suppose they could. Unfortunately, their goal is to kill Westerners, not to play cops and robbers with pointy fingers going bang bang bang.
Or are you suggesting that the terrorists are faking the beheadings? Tell that to Paul Johnson's head.
No, Benji, I'm afraid the only issue that this tape raises is whether or not you have a shred of human decency, let alone two brain cells to rub together.
Pardon me while I go find a private room to ponder this at length.
That wasn't terribly professional of me, was it?
Like you care.
Note: I'd mention that both this story and the previous one were found at Oliver's site, but there's just something not right about mentioning Oliver and auto-eroticism in the same post. So, let's pretend I didn't.
Republican Representative Katherine Harris, when not frightening small children and dogs with her Joker make-up, also likes to engage in lying and making obfuscatory apologies:
Republican Rep. Katherine Harris said Wednesday she regrets making the claim that a plot existed to blow up the power grid in Carmel, Ind., a notion city officials disputed.Sounds pretty scary, huh?
She told the audience that while in the Midwest recently, the mayor of Carmel told her how a man of Middle Eastern heritage had been arrested and hundreds of pounds of explosives were found in his home.
"He had plans to blow up the area's entire power grid," she said, according to the newspaper.
City officials in Carmel said they know of no such plot.Whoops.
Nancy Heck, a spokeswoman for Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, said, "The mayor never talked to Katherine Harris. They never had that conversation."Doublygood whoops.
And now, the - uh - apology?
Questioned Wednesday, Harris' office issued a statement in which the congresswoman said, "I regret that I had no knowledge of the sensitive nature of this situation."Now what the happy-lovin'-jumpin'-Jesus does THAT mean?
Kathy, baby, bring your sweet self on over here, sit on my lap, and let me 'splain somethin' to you:
There was no situation.
The situation was not of a sensitive nature, because...
There was no situation.
You had no knowledge of the situation that was not of a sensitive nature, because...
There was no situation.
You can't regret not knowing about something that never existed in the first place!
Well, you could, but it would mean you're an imbecile.
Sadly, you're just a big fat doodyheaded liar liar pants on fire.
Dinner tonight was something simple, as Mrs. World Wide Rant was going out with some other motherly friends.
Yes, that means I am currently on diaper duty, and the wee Fiona is standing at the entertainment center inserting sundry objects into the VCR. In the past, this would have been a cause for alarm, but here, in the year 2004, it's rather like watching her pound away on a rotary dial phone.
That is: so the hell what? We'll buy another one with some pocket change.
Anyway, due to the time constraints outlined above, I took a couple of chicken breasts, lightly coated them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and Worcesteshire sauce, then wrapped them up in foil packets with some diced potatoes (also salted, peppered, and Worcesteshired). Put those in the center of a large pan.
Took a variety of vegetables (green and red peppers, asparagus, corn on the cob, red onion, garlic, yellow squash, and more), tossed in fresh rosemary, some basil, thyme, olive oil, and sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. Gave it a good shake (or swirl or whatever your mixing bowl of choice calls for) to coat the vegetables in the oil and spices. Spread them out around the chicken packets (or "chicken parcels" as the limey wife would say).
Slip the pan with the chicken and veg into the overn at 400F. After about 30 minutes, give the vegetables a good stir, then put the lot back in the heat for another 15-20 minutes. Retrieve and serve.
I paired it with an inexpensive Aussie Shiraz, which was ok but whose name shall remain, uh, nameless, as it didn't really do much for me. Decent enough, and I'll use it for cooking tomorrow night, while breaking out something better to actually imbibe.
No, not really.
So, earlier today Drudge's site mentioned that the CNBC show "McEnroe" had achieved a zero share in the Nielsen Ratings (hitting an estimated 37,000 homes in all of America, that is, not many).
After watching a bit of it tonight, with McEnroe hosting and Mario Cuomo engaging in Bush-conspiracy-making a la Michael Moore, I think the zero was probably being generous.
Update: "Same Mac time. Same Mac channel?" Oh lordy lordy lordy, 'twas worse than I thought.
To your health...so much good news regarding alcohol is coming out, that it's bound to give the formerly-useful-activists-turned-crazed-zealots MADD a heart attack (they should probably drink some wine to reduce the risk).
It has long been known that red wine helps keep arteries clean. The question has always been, how? Was it the antioxidants in the red wine? New research at the William Harvey Research Institute, published in Nature magazine, points to the polyphenols which come from the skins of red grapes.......and...
They found that white and blush wine had no effect, and grape juice only had a middle-level effect. It was the red wine which was the true winner. Not only that, but red wines containing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were best of all.
A team of American scientists has successfully increased the life span of fruit flies and earthworms by adding resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, to their diets....and...
Resveratrol is found abundantly in grapes, certain nuts and berries and even some types of wheat. Recent studies have shown that the compound may help reduce the growth of skin melanomas, kill breast cancer cells, lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health.
A new study conducted by researchers from the from University College London suggest that drinking half a bottle of wine a day can make your brain work better, especially if you are a woman, reports The Telegraph.......and, finally, one more for the ladies...
Those having one glass of wine a week scored significantly higher than teetotallers. The benefits were most marked among women and showed no decrease with increasing consumption.
Those who had half a bottle of wine or two pints of beer a day scored best, even after the results had been adjusted for factors such as physical and mental health.
Red wine is the latest craze in the beauty salons of Buenos Aires where it's said to tighten the stomach and firm the breasts.Drink up. I will!*
* Even though my breasts are just fine and delightfully perky.
Laurence Simon, smart man that he is, has selected the high-quality, nuclear-blast-proof* World Wide Rant large mug as his Mug of the Month!
Do you know what that means?
That's right, it means that the global population of WWR mugs has swelled to a total size of one!
But you, dear reader, can turn the tide of anti-large-WWR-mug bigotry and order your very own** right here.
Hop to it!
* If you don't believe me, get a nuke and try it out on one or more of these fine drinking vessels. Hell, just to be sure, order 100 of them and test it.
** You can also order shirts, thongs, and other such wacky propaganda to support our cause of "militant atheist small-L libertarian with neoconservative tendencies"-ism.
Hey, anyone out there need a resume written or reviewed?
I fancy myself rather good at it, as I've been through training provided by both LHH and DBM (both well-known outplacement and career-coaching companies), courtesy of the economic miracle known as "downsizing."
I'm cheaper than places like Resume.com, with the price determined by an estimate of the work involved.
However, I don't provide any guarantee such as "you'll get an interview in 30 days!" To me, that seems to provide too much incentive to creatively embellish the document, indeed guaranteeing that you'll likely get an interview and then fall on your face when you can't back up what is written with actual facts and knowledge.
Anyway, if there's any interest from anyone, just drop me (Andy) an e-mail via the link over to the left. Amen and hasta la pasta.
Maybe it's me, or some sort of trans-spacetime-continuum hangover from all those drugs I did in the 60s (had I been born, hence the trans-spacetime-continuum bit, see), but - uh - am I the only one who thinks that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani looks like a chick?
I mean, really now.
Yep, Mikey Moore is right, we're the bad guys in Iraq:
Footage of what appears to be a Turkish hostage in Iraq being shot dead has appeared on the internet.Allahu akbar, indeedly doodly.
The videotape shows a group of masked men standing over a figure, who is then shot in the head three times.
In the video, the man said to be Mr Yuce reads a statement in Turkish, saying: "I have a word of advice for any Turk who wants to come to Iraq to work: You don't have to be holding a gun to be aiding the occupationist (sic) United States... Turkish companies should withdraw from Iraq."
Then the leader of the three masked men takes out a pistol and shoots him.