JABbering Stooge

Thursday, April 28, 2005

What the Hell are the Republicans thinking?!

I know I said I was going to take a brief hiatus from posting for a while, but then I saw some news that just pissed me off.

According to the Raw Story, several amendments to the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CAINA) proposed by Democrats to exempt family members and innocent bystanders from prosecution under the law (all of the amendments failed) were altered by House Judiciary Committe Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. to make it sound like the Democrats were trying to protect "sexual predators."

That's right folks, standing up for reproductive freedom means that you love child molestors. Expect the new meme to be propagated by all the usual suspects (the Oxycontin Junkie, Sean "I'm gonna pound Democrats" Hannity, Ann "Whack anyone who disagrees with me" Coulter, Michael "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" Savage and all the rest of the right-wing hatemongers) - all cheered on by the "liberal" media.

Even worse, when asked by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the ranking Democrat in the House Rules Committee, why he perpetrated such an outrage, his response was "You don't like what we wrote about your amendments, and we don't like what you said about our bill."

I guess the "tu quoque" fallacy means nothing to Sensenbrenner, who apparently feels that the Grand Thuggery Party's "mandate" (with Jeff Gannon) gives him the perogative to act like a spoiled child whenever he sees or hears anything not on his list of approved speech.

The adults are in charge, indeed.

One can just hear the sound of the horses of this army of true believers under the flag of Our Caesar George W. Christ as he prepares to cross his own Rubcon, trampling underfoot anyone who dares to raise a voice in protest.

Alea iacta est.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Bury my body at Finals Junction

Yes, finals are rapidly approaching, and I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to prepare. Because of this, I won't be posting as regularly as I usually do.

(I post regularly? When has THAT ever happened?!)

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First Contact Established...

Well, well, well. I did a vanity search of this blog on Google, and one of the links that came up was an April 18 mention on blah3.com, official blog of AmericanStranger (Don Waller), who also hosts Take Back the Media.

Many thanks to Don for the mad props. Nice to know my work is actually read and appreciated (Ha ha - in actuality, he said that I got a mention on the strength of the name alone - wonder if he's actually read any of my crap. Oh well.) by someone who's actually been in the trenches fighting the corporate (conservative-biased) media.

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Friday, April 22, 2005

Meanwhile, in Colorado...

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Critics see religious bias in Air Force Academy
by Robert Weller

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence that religious harassment has become pervasive.

There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the last four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.


*snip*

More than 90 percent of the cadets identify themselves as Christian. A survey found that half had heard religious slurs, and that many non-Christians believed Christians get special treatment.


*one last snip*

Critics of the academy say the sometimes-public endorsement of Christianity by high-ranking staff has contributed to a climate of fear. They also say leaders are desperate to avoid the sort of uproar that came with a 2003 scandal.


You can also read about this story at American's United for Separation of Church and State's blog.

The American Inquisition has initiated a hostile takeover of the Air Force Academy. Not that that's a hard thing to do, seeing as how the AFA is in Colorado Springs, which also hosts SpongeDob StickyPants World Headquarters.

You know, I would've thought that turning our military into an arm of the American Inquisition's jihad against all things non-Christian would be the LAST thing we want.

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General Pace: downplaying torture and religious insanity in the military

CNN broke the story that President Bush has nominated Marine General Peter Pace to replace Air Force General Richard B. Myers as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is a man who downplayed the military's slow reaction to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. Incidentally, he also defended General William G. "God told us to nuke those evil Muslims" Boykin, saying: "He [Boykin] mentioned to me how sad he was that his comments created the fury they had" and that "He does not see this battle as a battle between religions, he sees this as a battle between good and evil, the evil being the acts of individuals."

Sure, saying that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups which represent all Muslims as much as Eric Rudolph represents all Christians (which is to say, not at all) are "after us because we are a Christian nation" is not "seeing it as a battle between religions." And I'm Elvis Presley.

Of course, this fits in perfectly with Bush's pattern of sending up extremist, way-beyond-the-pale nominees, and then blaming even a microsecond delay in their (usually nearly unanimous - thanks co-dependent Dems!) confirmation on "partisan politics."

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Well, he sure wasted no time...

Pope Benedict Arnold I sure wasted no time injecting himself into the politics of sovereign nations. According to the BBC, the former Chief Inquisitor condemned a bill passed by Spain's lower house that would allow homosexuals to marry and to adopt.

The BBC article includes this little gem:

He [an unnamed senior Vatican official] said Roman Catholic officials should be prepared to lose their jobs rather than co-operate with the law.


And yet we're supposed to believe that this pope reluctantly joined the Hitler Youth.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Habemus papam...oh, rats...

Where There's White Smoke...

"That was fast. Struck by a divine revelation, were you?"
- Marcus to Lennier, Babylon 5, "Endgame"

Has the Catholic Church finally gone off the deep end? Was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger really the best they could do for a new pope? I’m serious. I don’t see how Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, will do anything other than harm the Catholic Church’s reputation in the world, unless one considers intolerance for dissenters a vital part of one’s reputation.

Consider the following. Benedict XVI’s election took slightly less than 48 hours – the fastest election time in a century. Did the cardinals really carefully consider who would be the best person to replace John Paul II, or did they borrow a page from the Grand Thuggery Party’s manual on groupthink?

Furthermore, let’s look at Ratzinger’s history. This is a man who intervened in American politics by ordering American Dioceses to deny communion to pro-choice politicians and those who vote for them. America was the only place at which he directed this edict. The Austin American-Statesman also reports that Ratzinger pressured the Austin Diocese, along with Brackenridge Hospital, to treat women as chattel in terms of reproductive freedom. Anyone remember how the Republicans were screaming and yelling that President Kennedy would be getting his marching orders from the Vatican? Now it seems that religious conservatives, both in office and at the grassroots level, are doing just that.

Benedict Arnold I would’ve been a better papal name for this man.

Of the pedophile priest scandal, Ratzinger had this to say: “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign.” That’s right, Ratzinger believes that John Geoghan, Rev. Joseph Birmingham, Rev. Paul R. Shanley, Rev. Ronald H. Paquin and others like them are the fictitious creation of the evil “liberal” media. Ratzinger further thumbed his nose at the victims of overly-friendly priests by having Cardinal Bernard “above the” Law, who played a giant shell game with parishioners in the Boston Archdiocese (“Step right up folks! Guess which parish the pedophile priest is in!”), lead the funeral Mass for John Paul II.

And when it comes to the strictures of the Catechism, no one has a bug further up his/her proverbial posterior than Ratzinger. Prior to elevation to the papacy, Ratzinger was Dean of the College of Cardinals, and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – what the Inquisition became after it was no longer PC to be “the Inquisition.” As head of the CDF, Ratzinger was responsible for purging the Church of practitioners of the “liberation theology” that coalesced around Vatican II.

Quite a long way to regress for one who was supposedly an influential member of the council that produced the reforms of Vatican II.

Given all of this, it’s only fair to say that my first reaction to the new pope is to say “Duck and cover!”

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Next Editorial, Please

Submitted for your perusal is a copy of my next editorial. I figured people might like to see the original, because the version that will appear in the student newspaper I write for will likely be cut in half, with important details omitted as the rest dies a slow, painful death due to hack drag-n-drop treatment of the word order.

GOP to America: Do as I Say, Not as I Do


For the life of me, I cannot understand what drives conservative pundits and their fans to so brazenly commit the rhetorical sin of hypocrisy in the service of their groupthink-driven narrative of how America is and how it should be. Nevertheless, the fact remains that such hypocrisy exists, and that it should be dealt with in the only way possible: exposing it to the light of day and hoping that you, the reader, are armed with the knowledge needed to survive the coming Uncivil War.

Nowhere has this rank hypocrisy been more evident than in the political circus over Terri Schiavo. As Terri’s life ebbed away after numerous identical court decisions by mostly conservative Republican judges, supporters of Schiavo’s parents took matters into their own hands. These are people who so care about life that one man put out a $250,000 hit on Terri’s husband (with a $50 grand bonus for bagging Judge Greer) and another tried to steal a gun from a Florida gun store to “take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo.” Even Sean “I’m gonna pound [Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA)]” Hannity came a bit unglued. Amid all this, the Michigan legislature was considering a bill that, while targeted against abortion, was so vaguely worded as to allow doctors to refuse to treat gays.

“Culture of life,” indeed.

Speaking of inciting violence, in the wake of Schiavo’s death, Tom “Sex tourism is America at its best” DeLay threatened the judges who decided the Schiavo case saying that “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior” while Sen. John Cornyn displayed a staggering ignorance of statistics in order to justify the recent spate of violence against judges. Meanwhile, Eric Rudolph justified his bombing of abortion clinics, gay bars and the Olympics by saying that law enforcement is “[a] legitimate target” in anti-abortion activities and that “every effort should be made, including force if necessary” to keep treating homosexuals as second-class citizens. The worst liberals can do is throw pies at Ann “Take a baseball bat to liberals” Coulter and take the phrase “Dressing down Pat Buchanan” a little too literally.

Liberals are the ultra-violent ones, indeed.

But to hear the story in the mainstream media, the only ones acting out are those whose political inclinations lie to the left of Torquemada. This is the same media that covers for a Republican shill pretending to be a journalist and overhypes controversy over a sloppily researched story about Bush’s National Guard service and buries the all-too-true story of a conservative pundit’s illegal outing of a CIA operative.

“Liberal” media bias, indeed.

This same media fawns over Sen. Bill Frist’s efforts, aided by the American Inquisition, to equate a non-rubber stamp Senate with persecuting Christians – all while we’re killing upwards of a hundred thousand residents of the Middle East whose only crime was belief in the wrong god, to hear General Boykin put it.

Religious freedom, indeed.

Not satisfied with near total control of America’s political, economic and news institutions, these same conservatives are agitating for control over America’s education system. Witness the College Republicans who published lists of professors “pushing a political agenda.” But these aren’t blacklists, if you ignore the fact that the bulk of the professors on the lists are liberal, and that the token conservatives receive very mild rebukes, while the lion’s share of the venom is reserved for the liberals. And let’s not forget the bill in Florida’s state legislature that allows students to sue professors for political bias.

Academic freedom, indeed.

So what is a freedom lover like yourself to do? Stay tuned to this space for further details.

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Time for Coulter

Time magazine has perennial nutcase Ann Coulter on its cover. I'm sure they'll be such staunch investigative journalists as to dig up those rather revealing quotes of her pontificating on Tim McVeigh (who ten years ago tomorrow blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City) or advocating violence against "liberals" (defined as anyone who disagrees with her in any way), right? (Yeah, that'll happen when monkeys fly out of my butt.)

So here's the cover in question for your perusal:



By the way, I've noticed a pattern in the titles of Ann's books. First we had Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right:



Then it was Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism:



And most recently, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter:



Given this progression, it's not too far a jump to presume that her next "work" will be titled something along the lines of the following:

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What's in a name?

The Austin American-Statesman reported on April 7 about how a bill by state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin) to name a stretch of the upcoming Texas 130 toll road after country western singer and Austin native Willie Nelson was being challenged by Republican state Sens. Jeff Wentworth and Steve Ogden.

(Sidebar: Wanna see my fellow Austinites spontaneously combust? Ask them about all the coming toll roads - particularly the quixotic effort to turn Capitol of Texas Highway/Loop 360 into a toll road.)

If nothing else, the one thing that has come out of Republican dominance in the last two decades is this double standard where you have to meet an impossible burden of proof to show that anything the Republicans do is wrong, corrupt or otherwise, while the standard for proving the same for Democrats is so low, even a mole could pass it.

These people have been busy naming everything that isn't nailed down after their patron saint, Ronald Reagan, yet in order to get even a pathetic excuse of a library in Podunk, CA named after a prominent Democrat, you'd have to appeal to the Supreme Court (and good luck getting them to even look at the case). So how long will it be before I'm reporting to you from the corner of Ronald Reagan Ave. and Ronald Reagan Dr. in Reaganton, Gippersota? Only time will tell.

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Support your local (fascist) Senator!

As a Texan, I have the misfortune of being represented in the U.S. Senate by one John "Union of Man and Box Turtle" Cornyn (R - Taliban). Well, Cornyn's at it again. The former Texas Supreme Court Judge had the following to say about "activist judges" (translation: any judge who doesn't rule in the rabid right's favor):

And finally, I – I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that’s been on the news. And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in – engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), on the Senate floor, 4/4/05 (emphasis mine)

Excuse me Senator, but have you ever taken even a basic statistics course?! I say this because even the worst statistics student knows from basic regression analysis that even if there were a correlation between certain judges' decisions and violence against judges in general, it doesn't automatically mean that one caused the other! In other words:

CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION!!!

If Sen. Cornyn has so much trouble understanding such a simple concept, then perhaps its time that we the people helped him out a bit in his studies. I'd like to suggest that anyone who reads this send him a copy of either Statistics for Dummies or (more appropriately) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics. *

However, the bigger issue with this statement, beyond Sen. Cornyn's apparent ineptitude with statistical analysis, is the fact that he is condoning violence against judges - part of the Grand Thuggery Party's larger assault on an independent judiciary.

And speaking of condoning violence against those who disagree with you, as a secondary project enrichment activity, I suggest sending Ann Coulter a copy of either Islam for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam. *

* Note to any Department of Homeland Security folks who may be reading this: the ONLY thing I am condoning here is sending literature to people ("petitioning for redress of greviences" I believe is the term the Framers used - you might want to look it up if you haven't already used the Constitution to wipe your collective asses). I didn't even give the contact information (trusting the people to look it up themselves, and certainly better treatment than the freepers gave the Chuy's manager who carded Jenna and Barbara Bush).

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Gallup-ing to new lows

As several of my fellow liberals (along with Media Matters For America) have pointed out, President Bush's poll numbers for the first trimester of his second term are not good - 45% according to a recent Gallup poll (the same Gallup that oversamples Republicans). I have produced a copy of the polling data presented by Media Matters below in order to point out a caveat with the data:

PresidentApproval ratingDate of poll
Truman57%March 6-11, 1949
Eisenhower65%March 15-20, 1957
Johnson69%March 18-23, 1965
Nixon57%March 30-April 2, 1973
Reagan56%March 8-11, 1985
Clinton59%March 24-26, 1997
Bush45%March 21-23, 2005

The caveat is this: President Johnson ascended to the presidency in the wake of the assassination of JFK in 1963, so technically, he would've been in his first elected term as president. This makes him an outlier in the data. But even compensating for that, you have to admit that the evidence is pretty damning.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Judgement Day - Without DeLay

Tom DeLay is at it again - this time threatening the judges who decided (over and over and over and over again) the Terri Schiavo case. As the Houston Chronicle notes, DeLay had said:

This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another.

Fortunately, there is still a Democrat with a spine in Washington: Sen. Frank Lautenberg wrote a letter to DeLay (who now aims his pesticides at those who dare to disagree with him) complaining about the former exterminator's comments. A copy of the letter is available below.

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Friday, April 01, 2005

Romanian Pop on the Brain

The other night, my friend's roomate introduced me to this Europop song with catchy beat and lyrics but a really crappy music video by a Romanian group called O-Zone. The song is called "Dragostea Din Tei" ("Love From the Linden Tree" in English).

You can see what I mean below (Click on the play button):




(Courtesy of www.fobiopatel.com)

For those of you who are wondering what the hell is being sung,the lyrics are available (in Romanian and English) at this location.

In reality,though,I suspect that the typical American's exposure to this song would come from the Internet phenomenon created by 19-year-old Jersey boy Gary Brolsma,who posted a flash animation of himself caught on webcam dancing in his seat to the song. It will be interesting to see if the phenomenon becomes as well known and talked about as the infamous "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" craze of Winter '01.

Interestingly enough,the song,and the Internet craze it spawned have both earned mentions in the English Wikipedia. (And yes, All Your Base also gets a mention.)

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Duelling Quotes, and an extrapolation

City and state education officials didn't seem to have a clue about what was going wrong. "Is it teaching?" asked state Education Commissioner Richard Mills. "Is it teaching practice? Is it the material? Is it the work students are doing? What are they reading? What are they writing? What kind of math problems are they doing?"

What are these people doing with our tax dollars if they don't even know the answers to these questions?
Sean Hannity, Let Freedom Ring, pg. 145-146.

This little gem was recorded on page 88 of Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. And as Franken rightly points out, Mills was asking RHETORICAL questions, not looking to be led by the hand towards a solution, as Hannity suggests.

"When you look at schools in relation to the accountability system, New York City schools have a long way to go."

Now for a little context. Richard Mills was the person who had created that accountability system. In fact, just the year before, Mills had been presented with the prestigious Corning Award for Excellence because, among other things, he had set tough new academic standards and required rigiorous testing of all students' progress. The difficulty of the tests that Mills himself had imposed had led to the low test scores Hannity cited. Back to the article:

"There is no simple fix," he said. "I would peel the onion. I would ask questions about all the fundamentals that go on in school."

And that's where Hannity started quoting him - when Mills started asking questions about all the fundamentals.
Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars, page 89

So why bring up a pair of two-year-old books now? Because I thought about what Hannity might have to say about the following comments by Michael Schiavo while the "Terri's Law" circus was going on:

Have they ever met her? What color are her eyes? What's her middle name? What's her favorite color? They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

I bet you anything that Hannity would say something along the lines of the following:

Is he so callous that he doesn't know what color her eyes are? How evil he must be not to know her middle name! And yet the evil,terrorist, traitor libruls support this adulterous bastard!

This, of course, is the same Sean Hannity who whipped up a good mixture of froth because Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) called him on his hypocrisy RE: Medicare (which was paying part of Terri Schiavo's rather substantial medical bills).

Gems from the off-air comments:

"I'm gonna pound him, too, like those other guys..." (And yet we liberals are supposed to be the uncontrollably violent ones...)

"Asshole!" (Temper, temper, Sean!)

"God, I hate these people...you have no idea..." (Why? Because we dare to disagree with you?) Okay, to be fair, Mike Malloy has said much the same of pompous, arrogant, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing jackoffs like Sean Hannity. I guess all's fair in love(?) and war.

"How pissed is Moran? Not that I give a shit." (Compassionate conservative, indeed...)

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