Saturday, April 11, 2009

Raisin of Reason: Storm

Tim Minchin's excellent 9 minute takedown of irrationality (and alternative medicine!):

Friday, April 10, 2009

Animal Farm Friday - Feeding Frenzy Armageddon

If this doesn't look like what Wall Streeters and predatory mortgage lenders have done to the world, I don't know what does:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More stupidity from Texas

Why are so many Texans so f-ing dumb? And racist...

On Tuesday, State Rep. Betty Brown (R) caused a firestorm during House testimony on voter identification legislation when she said that Asian-Americans should change their names

Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

because they’re too hard to pronounce:

Obviously, this functionally retarded twat hasn't had to pronounce many Scandinavian names. I wonder how well she does with French names.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bill-O, the mouse with an erection

Roger Ebert is hilarious!

Bill, I am concerned that you have been losing touch with reality recently. Did you really say you are more powerful than any politician?

That reminds me of the famous story about Squeaky the Chicago Mouse. It seems that Squeaky was floating on his back along the Chicago River one day. Approaching the Michigan Avenue lift bridge, he called out: Raise the bridge! I have an erection!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Disillusionist

To say I am disillusioned right now would be an understatement, though a bit accurate. My disillusion spans many levels, but in this post it's focused specifically on one individual.

A certain song comes to mind, as I think the lyrics are somewhat fitting. Here's an abridged set:

The Disillusionist


Hang around the backstage door
But he knows what you're waiting for
You rub yourself against his fame
Already ready to bear the blame
He asks you Did you like my show?
As if he really wants to know
Then doesn't wait for your reply
He just pulls you back inside
You've started feeling dizzy
It isn't you or is he
Persuade you mentally
Undress you incidentally
Down the swaying corridor
People you feel sorry for
But when he puts the gaze on you
You're amazed at what you'll let him do
He can turn wine into water
Mother against daughter
Juggles busy deadlines
Gets himself in headlines
Surrounded by his minions
Who never have opinions
Performing little tricks for you
Puts it in a fix for you
Smashes your watch with a hammer
Caresses you with camera
And says the magic words
That nobody's ever heard
Now the slur is fading
Reality all-pervading
It only makes you want him more
It only makes you fawn him more
And he does the Indian rope trick
The one that makes you seasick
And he keeps on filling up your cup
But you keep on filling up
And some of it's done with mirrors
And some of it's done with scissors
And some of it's done with cables
And his hands under the table
It doesn't matter you want to believe
It doesn't matter if you have to leave
You won't escape his orbit
And the things that you must forfeit
And the audience seems familiar
Some of them in particular
Bet you they are his plants
When he plays the game of chance
He reads the minds of jilted girls
And the story really unfurls
Cast a fortune for the man in the suit
Who's suffering is very acute
There's a rabbit in his hat
But I thought I smelled a rat

ICRC Report

The International Committee of the Red Cross condemns the leaking of their reporting on detention facilities known as Black Sites. It's fair that they condemn the leak because it could very well undermine their ability to gain unfettered access to prison sites in the future. Because these reports were only made for the purpose of issuance to those running the prisons, and were not for public consumption, this leak could undermine that.

It can be surmised that the individual who leaked the report may well have done so weighing the cost benefit analysis of which was potentially more damaging in the future: ICRC access, or the fact that the ICRC's access is meaningless when torturers can escape accountability.

Take for example that the Obama administration has not merely ignored attempts by citizen groups to hold the Bush administration accountable for torture, the Obama administration has also been very pro-active at defending Bush, Cheney, and their cronies. Never mind that Obama ran on the promise of accountability.

If someone with access to evidence that the US did actively and willingly engage in human rights abuses and torture sees "the leader of the free world" actively and willingly engage in efforts to block investigations of alleged war crimes, that person can hardly be blamed for coming forward with their evidence of crimes.

At this point, a line in the sand has been drawn. Obama has only two options: Choose to accept this evidence and begin DOJ investigations into these allegations of war crimes, or b) Obama can choose to suppress this evidence and refuse to pursue any charges against KNOWN war criminals.

To date, Obama has displayed a propensity in this regard to do the exact opposite of the right thing. But the evidence available in the public domain, indeed via this site, is damning. If Obama chooses "a", he will be at the very list keeping his word.

But I've pretty much lost hope in Obama.

Makes me sad

It seems that there are very few Obama supporters out there who care that Obama is behaving worse than Bush on matters that he and his administration were most despised for. Apart from myself, there are a few at Daily Kos, EFF, Andrew Sullivan, and the inimitable Glenn Greenwald that I count so far. Not many. I'm not sure how many would even bother to read the full story about what Obama is doing and just how wrong all of it really is.

When I wrote a letter to Bill Burton of the Obama campaign last year, explaining how Obama lost my support because of his reversed stance on the warrantless wiretapping issue, it got picked up by Glenn Greenwald, and by the New York Daily News. I got a big spike in traffic but I would rather that Obama would have just kept his word.

Obama pissed off a lot of his supporters other than the likes of me, because he knew that reversing his stance on immunity for telecoms made him look either weak and malleable (perhaps in the pocket of the likes of AT&T, who forked over the cash for the DNC convention), or just a fork-tongued liar. In a weak effort to try to appease some of the angry supporters, Obama issued a statement - perhaps knowingly dishonest even then - that immunity for telecoms didn't shield guilty government officials.

Well, Obama has not only changed his tune on that one, he actually goes one further than Bush. His DOJ is now trying to convince the courts that the government can't even be sued for information relevant to the warrantless wiretapping cases at all.

I guess in this case "change" means being worse than Bush?

I know other Obama supporters don't really care about this, because in their eyes he can do no wrong. He is, as has been said, the Benevolent Tyrant, it seems.

As for me, I'm very, very saddened by this. Saddened because of my own naiveté. Sad for thinking that is was remotely possible for a politician to not be a liar. I put so much effort into Obama's primary campaign because I believed he could be the one politician that could be trusted to do the right thing. Obama promised to bring a new degree of transparency to the White House, but the only transparency we've seen are the drapes pulled back on the front room. But we need light shining on the darkest corners of the White House to expose the evil of the Bush/Cheney regime. Yet, at every opportunity, Obama has done the opposite. Instead of working to hold them accountable, he helps them get away with their misdeeds.

The two most egregious examples of Bush's legacy are the warrantless wiretapping and illegals spying on Americans, and the torture of detainees. Obama is bending over backwards to shield Bush and Cheney and their cronies from accountability.

Obama has totally crossed the line.

Perhaps when the courts of other nations have their own trials, and convict Bush and Cheney of war crimes, then they can turn their attention to Obama for aiding and abetting known war criminals.

As Rachel Maddow says, "the arc of the Universe bends towards justice." Lets hope she's even just a little bit right.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama WTF? Embracing warrantless wiretapping

This does it for me.

The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration's position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency's (NSA's) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

Raisin of Reason: Rational Response Squad

It's a BONANZA today!

These guys (and gal) of the Rational Response Squad are great, and not hard on the eyes either!

Money slogan: "Believe in God? We can fix that."

Raisin of Reason: Stop Lying to Your Children...

Stop lying about Santa, and other ridiculous fairy tales.

Raisin of Reason: The truth about Open-mindedness

Raisin of Reason: Behold the Wheel of Power

What I mean by Republiscum

Calling members of the Republican party "Republiscums" is hardly civil, and is certainly demeaning. But I have a damn good reason for it, and this is why:

Senate Republicans are now privately threatening to derail the confirmation of key Obama administration nominees for top legal positions by linking the votes to suppressing critical torture memos from the Bush era. A reliable Justice Department source advises me that Senate Republicans are planning to “go nuclear” over the nominations of Dawn Johnsen as chief of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice and Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh as State Department legal counsel if the torture documents are made public.

Republiscums are the bottom-feeders that helmed the ship of State for more than a decade, controlling all three branches of government for at least eight straight years. These scumbags sullied America's reputation around the world, and made a mockery of us to our allies. These repugnant lowlifes advocated and championed the use of torture, that ultimately proved to be useless for anything other than destroying America's collective morality. Now, no longer in power, they continue to strive to avoid any accountability for their crimes, which continues to damage America's image, and her reputation as a nation of laws.

This is what I mean by the term Republiscum. The Republiscums shouldn't just be voted out of office, they should be tried and imprisoned. They are all enemies of the State. For their assault on our Constitution, they should be branded as traitors, and tried for treason, and/or sedition.

When that doesn't work, then it's time for pitchforks and torches, and maybe a little rope.