JABbering Stooge

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Falwell hospitalized

Sorry to be breaking old news. I've been busy at school. Anyway, it seems that Mullah Jerry Falwell was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday for what was initially believed to be pneumonia. Now, though, CNN has conflicting reports about just what exactly is going on with Mr. Falwell - the report even suggests congestive heart failure, though cardiologist Carl Moore was quick to reassure everyone that his heart is fine - the only sure thing is that he's still going to be around to demonize anyone committing the thoughtcrime of holding a liberal opinion.

Additionally, as the CNN story notes:

Moore said there is no evidence of neurological damage.

Now, if I wanted to be a complete and utter asshole, I'd say "not that anyone would notice with all the neurological damage that comes with being an extreme right-wing religious nut," but I don't, so I won't.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

When Politics and College Basketball Collide...

Normally, I leave commentary on sports news to my brother, but there is one story out of the sports world that deserves my attention.

I'm sure Mullah Jerry Falwell is creaming his pants over his Liberty University Lady Flames' Cinderella storyin the Women's NCAA tournament. While their 78-70 win over fourth-seed Penn State was a shocker, their latest conquest of fifth-seed DePaul by the score of 88-79 should come as no surprise, given DePaul's lackluster 79-78 victory over 12th-seed Virginia Tech. However, if LSU's dominance of the Chattanooga bracket continues, I suspect that Liberty University's luck will (thankfully) run out on Saturday.

Fortunately, the other theocratic fascist university in the tournament, Oral Roberts, had the decency to bow out in the first round.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Fun with Macromedia Fireworks

Okay, first a bit of background information. I am currently working on a Master's Degree in Computer Science at Texas State University in San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas State University). I had some time between my databases class and my graduate-level software engineering class today, so I spent the time messing around with Macromedia Fireworks in one of the computer labs. What appears below is the result of that session of dicking around.

Torquemada vs. Tom Delay

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Monday, March 21, 2005

GOP Groupthink: Another take

Harvey Wasserman has an excellent column describing more or less the same features of today's Rethuglican Party that I point out in my latest editorial.

Check it out here.

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Gannongate Editorial part 2

The “Liberal” Media Doesn’t Get It (Part 2)

[Irving] Janis' original definition of the term [“groupthink”] was "a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action."

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

I really don’t know why the “liberal” media would keep covering for an administration that hates them because said administration thinks the media aren’t flattering them 24/7. When the media isn’t distracting Americans from Bush’s appointment of partisan hacks to the U.N. and the World Bank with lurid tales of Michael Jackson’s peccadilloes, they’re cheerleading him as he helps the American Inquisition insert government into a family’s private medical turmoil.

And yet, this is not enough to satisfy the GOP. It’s not enough that they control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and the vast majority of the media. Like a bizarre mutation of George Orwell’s 1984, they want everyone parroting the Republican talking points (or is it “shout-down-a-liberal” points?) constantly, and anyone who does otherwise is guilty of a thoughtcrime worthy of execution on sight – just ask former Green Beret Bo Gritz, who apparently wants to play James Kopp to Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer’s Dr. Barnett Slepian.

Consider also the following examples of the Grand Thuggery Party’s desire to control all thought, by hook or by crook:

  • In his first four years in office, President Bush spent a total of $250 million on public relations efforts (by comparison Bill Clinton spent $128 million at the height of the Lewinsky "scandal"). Although congress has final authority on White House PR spending, it is interesting to note what Bush used the money on. The $250 million includes the lavish extravagances that lead to the payola scandal - $240,000 to Armstrong Williams to promote No Child Left Behind, $21,500 to Maggie Gallagher and $10,000 to Michael McManus for their marriage promotion efforts. It is also believed that part of the money funded Bush’s propaganda pieces disguised as news reports.
  • Bush kept the meetings of his Energy Task Force hidden from public purview, even going so far as to use the same legal stalling tactics that conservatives chastised former president Clinton for. Transparent government advocacy groups like Judicial Watch had to fight tooth and nail to win FOIA access to the Task Force documents.
  • In both the run-up to Election 2004 and in pitching his Social Security privatization Ponzi scheme, President Bush spoke to hand-picked crowds consisting solely of supporters. Methods to keep people who disagreed with him in the slightest ranged from ordinary Secret Service casing of each speaking location to coercing attendees into signing “loyalty oaths” that said the signer support everything Bush says or does 10000%. (Do you think Britney Spears signed one of those?)
  • And then there are the scandals surrounding Tom Delay, most of which stem from his involvement in the 2002 midterm elections and subsequent redistricting debacle. After three of his corporate associates were indicted last year for their role in the dirty deeds, the House made several efforts to change the rules so that Delay might escape scrutiny or accountability.
From the above examples, it becomes abundantly clear that the GOP considers “groupthink” not as a sociological phenomenon with unfortunate consequences, but standard operating procedure, and any attendant slide towards fascism merely the cost of doing business.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Welcome to Austin, Air America Radio!

It turns out that author, comedian, and radio host Al Franken came to Austin yesterday to launch Air America Radio's latest station KOKE 1600 AM (seems somehow appropriate given Bush's alleged cocaine use as a Skull and Bones fratboy).

The local fishwrap, the Austin American-Statesman, covered Franken's visit in a rather unusual way. They devoted about 15 paragraphs of the Metro & State section to the story, but made it sound like Franken's show was the only one being brought to the Austin area, as opposed to the whole freaking station (formerly a Spanish news/talk station) changing format to host the liberal radio network.

And then there was this strange tidbit dropped into the middle of the story:

Franken engaged in a heated go-round with the token conservative guest, John Fund, a columnist and editorial board member of The Wall Street Journal. (emphasis mine)

Rush Limbaugh is far more known for screening to allow only two types of callers on: 1) sycophantic "dittoheads" who cream their collective pants whenever Rush lobs ad hominem tactical nukes at anyone committing the thoughtcrime of expressing an opinion to the left of Torquemada, or 2) caricature "libruls" that the Oxycontin Junkie then claims are exemplar of ALL liberals (all the better to delegitemize anything one's opponents say).

Question: Will the Statesman, in the interest of being "fair and balanced," write a story on Rush that stealthily slams him for the tactic described above, or will they, by their silence, subscribe to the "It's OK If You're A Republican" (IOKIYAR) philosophy that most of the mainstream "librul" media has?

One thing's for sure, though: I have a new station to program into my car's radio. :-}

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California Judge Rules Prop. 22 Unconstitutional

CNN has the story right here.

I'm sure the theocratic fascists have their collective panties in a bunch right about now, ranting about how this will be the downfall of America. Of course, they'd be completely missing the irony in Our Glorious Leader the Most Holy George W. Christ constantly blathering about freedom being on the march abroad while the American Inquisition fights to restrict freedom here at home.

Of course, this is the same American Inquisition that seems to have no problem with gay men - so long as they're Republican shills pretending to be journalists.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Upcoming editorial series on Gannongate

Note: This is the first part of a two part editorial series on the whole Jeff Gannon/James Guckert scandal. I plan to submit it in as many places as I can.

The “Liberal” Media Doesn’t Get It (Part 1)

If there was ever a story that ought to put to rest the lie that the media has a liberal bias, it ought to be the ever-evolving story about Jeff Gannon. A male prostitute with fake journalism credentials and tax evasion problems is allowed to get within knife-throwing distance of a sitting president and ask softball questions that have nothing to do with honest journalism and everything to do with naked partisanship. Under any other circumstances, given the media environment of “news as entertainment,” this has all the makings of a juicy story worthy of at least a modicum of coverage – a sex scandal, a national security element ripe for fear mongering, and indications of illegal activity by the executive branch.

Instead, what we get is more in line with “did those evil liberal bloggers violate Jeff Gannon/James Guckert’s privacy?” as the story is quickly buried on page Z 269. That at least was the message when Gannon/Guckert appeared on the February 10 edition of Wolf Blitzer Reports – Blitzer acted more like a guidance councilor comforting Gannon from “those mean, nasty liberals” than a journalist seeking the truth.

Question: Where was Wolf Blitzer’s comfort for the Chuy’s manager who carded Jenna and Barbara Bush when members of FreeRepublic.com posted her contact information for harassment purposes?

Howard Kurtz, ever eager to cover up blatant examples of pro-Republican bias in the media, declared that it is very easy to get a daily press pass – you just have to show that you are a credentialed member of a valid media outlet that regularly publishes news items. I’d love to hear Kurtz explain how Gannon was able to get a press pass a month before “Talon News,” which Gannon supposedly wrote for, even existed, especially given that Helen Thomas has been ostracized for asking tough questions and Sara McClendon was denied access for three months in 2001, also for asking hard questions.

Most recently, Democrats in Congress in a rare show of backbone, introduced a Resolution of Inquiry regarding Gannongate, yet not a peep is heard about it on NBC, CBS or anywhere. Apparently, the media has decided that you’d rather hear about what a sick, twisted pervert Michael Jackson is.

And l’affair Gannon isn’t the only place where the media has done everything in its power to protect President Bush. Gannon apparently had access to a secret CIA memo involving Valerie Plame – the same Valerie Plame who Robert Novak illegally outed as a CIA agent. Yet the “liberal” media is silent on the issue – Dan Rather’s sloppily researched story on Bush’s National Guard service received far more attention than the Plame outing.

Imagine if you will all of the above happening under a Democratic president – a fake journalist is given unprecedented and potentially felonious access to the White House, asking softball questions that ridicule the opposition and leaking secret memos to friendly pundits. The “liberal” media would jump on the story like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat, and the Democrat’s presidency would collapse like a house of cards.

When you connect these dots, its clear that the media is actively manipulating what you see and hear in order to promote the idea that Republicans are infallible – its those evil Democrats who need watching. And the worst thing is, they’re getting played for suckers, as I will detail in my next editorial.

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