Tuesday, March 31, 2009

X-Post: Dirtbag Media, Dirtbag Bloggers

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Anyone who uses the child of a politician to attack that politician is a dirtbag.

There are no excuses.

Those who are dirtbags know who they are (and we do, too).

If muttering unproven allegations and rumors that may or not ever prove true is all you have, you're just not needed. (And kids, it's a question of class, not of political persuasion. There are dirtbags of this sort all along the political spectrum.)

So instead of talking about the dirtbags, let's highlight the folks showing a little class.

Hot Air - Just leave it alone: Ed Morrissey has the right idea, but predictably, most of those commenting on his post do not.

Politicians kids SHOULD be left off limits, even in this case | Fire Andrea Mitchell!: As unpleasant as this person appears to be, s/he's right, this time.

Is Ashley Biden's alleged cocaine video a smear or scam? | The Dish Rag | Los Angeles Times: This gossip reporter is asking the right questions, both about privacy in general, and about this tape in particular, which has quickly risen on wingnut blogs, and is now unravelling faster than another recent story pushed by the wingnut media/blogesphere. Anybody remember our friend Ashley Todd, the "backward B girl"? Same rush to sell it to the gullible minions, same growing inconsistencies coming to light... I hope that the clown promoting this can and will be prosecuted, should it turn out to be another right-wing hoax with intent to do harm. (Anybody else think he may have a McCain bumper-sticker on his car, just like miss Todd?)

Much as I hate to have to admit it, Rupert Murdoch deserves credit for not purchasing and running with the increasingly bogus looking story.

Joe Biden's Daughter Isn't Fair Game - Political Machine - Politics Blog, Opinion and Analysis - AOL News: Article good, comments bad. (Nothin' like situational ethics... Either it's ok when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids, or it's wrong when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids. If you bitched before, you shouldn't be applauding now... ...but many are...)

((And yes, I suppose I could've been a better person and spoken up for Palin's kids, rather than just ignoring those stories, but there is a difference between doing harm and doing nothing. I have nothing against those on the right ignoring this story, either. My saying nothing about the Bristol, Trig, Bush twins, or Nicole stories doesn't mean I cannot offer kudos to those who speak up against such behavior toward the kids of politicians, or disappointment and disgust for those who choose to propagate stories that do little but hurt people who never asked to be in the partisan spotlight. Perhaps next time, I will be among those who speaks up when it is a Republican wife or kid being slimed by leftwing dirtbags. Contrary to what the commenters to some of these sites seem to think, ethics are not made of rubber. You cannot bend them to fit the situation.))

I'll update as more facts (or reporters / blogs deserving of praise) come to my attention.

Roundup and Commentary - 3/30/09

Blog Post:
Dirtbag Media, Dirtbag Bloggers

Sunday, March 29, 2009

X-Post: Bachmann: Remember the Amero!

American Nihilist X-Post

No matter how much or how often our friend Donald Douglas jumps up trying to defend this woman --and drum up support and cover for her from like-minded Cons--the fact remains that she often sounds a little bit crazy. And while feigning (or being) over the top or crazy works for some cons as an attention-getting device (see: Ann "Homenim" Coulter, or Glenn "Crazy Eyes" Beck), I believe the American people know the difference between show business clowns like Beck or Coulter, whose job it is to get eyeballs and ears for the media outlets for whom they work, and elected officials like Bachmann, whose job it is to intelligently discuss and debate legislation, and provide oversight of our government.

In his first post in defense of Ms Bachmann, Professor Douglas offers cover for her "foreign correspondent on enemy lines" quip and misquote of Jefferson's "a little rebellion..." line. My favorite part is where professor Douglas takes offense at the comment of a person who says:
"I want this nutjob - and others like her - stripsearched every time she comes close to the President. It would NOT at ALL surprise me if at one point people like her get the insane idea that they need to "save" the nation and do stupid things."
Donald has obviously already forgotten that nutjob who shot up the Unitarian Church in TN, or the reasons he gave for doing so.

Post #2 sees Donald Douglas mentioning (but not really defending, so much as changing the subject of) his heroine's insistent questioning about Treasury Department power in the US Constitution, after noting that many people found her behavior a bit odd. (In answer to her question, the US Congress granted that power, as authorized by the US Constitution. The Constitution itself doesn't verbally authorize all that much of what we now have in modern America. And in answer to one of Donald's anon commenters, where in the Constitution is there a rule analogous to the free speech clause saying that Congress cannot legally decide to grant powers to the Treasury department?) After showing the video of Bachmann's behavior and quoting one of the folks who question it, Donald ignores both video and quote, and instead attacks a different FDL post about Bachmann--this one about her "foreign enemy" comment I mentioned above, which Donald took offense to based on a photoshopped photo included in the post, rather than any of the commentary it contained--, put Bachmann in the same league as Palin (at least some liberals agree, calling them the "Thelma and Louise" of the Republican party.), and then quoting some other right wing blogger saying what a good girl Michele Bachman is...

Donald's third Bachmann post this week defends her against those who think she's a nut for creating a congressional resolution against the replacement of the dollar by a foreign currency as the unit of exchange in the United States, something no US politician or government official supports in the first place.

This time Donald tries to justify Bachmann by talking about what happens in developing economies, where they essentially adopt the dollar as their currency, either together with, or instead of their own. Dollarization is real, but it isn't something likely to happen here anytime in the near (or far) future.

Realizing dollarization was a mighty thin thread on which to hang his defense, professor Douglas offers the example of the Euro, which did change the sovereign currencies of several European countries into one continental currency. Again, I suppose it's possible somewhere down the road, but at the moment, those defending our nation against a similar move here (which now includes Bachmann, hence the title of this post), are fighting against a straw man of their own making, as no one--NO ONE--is suggesting any such thing.

As I said above, Bachmann post #4 begins with Donald bemoaning the fact that few right wing bloggers have leapt to Ms. Bachmann's aid like he has. Beyond that it's simply Donald restating the things he's said in the previous posts--the Euro, dollarization, stupid liberals are attacking Bachmann unfairly, .... While he at one point says "She's simply putting in place legislative protections against this administration's transnationalists, those who are willing to consider the replacement of the dollar of the world's reserve currency.," Donald offers no evidence that any "administration transnationalists" exist. In fact, it was many good liberals (and good libertarians and paleocons) who've been opposed to all this free trade transnationalism from the beginning. (NAFTA's giant sucking sound continues moving jobs away from America and other developed nations, and to places where pennies a day gets you 12 or more hours of union-free, protection-free labor. All hail cheap plastic crap from Wal-Mart. Ford paid his employees enough so they could afford to purchase one of his cars. Wal-Mart & the like pay just enough so that their workers can't afford to by anything anywhere else.)

"Bachman is my heroine (or heroin)" post # 5 is another plea for help in protecting the honor of this poor woman against the slings and arrows of those who see her for the crackpot she proves herself to be with her every word. He's disappointed that so few are coming to rescue her. And, if Donald thinks mentioning "Beck of the Apocalypse" as someone who understands and agrees with Bachmann is going to help the reputation of Glenn or Michele (or Donald, himself), he's sadly mistaken. They have their true believers (including professor Douglas, apparently), but outside of those insular pockets, the American people see both Bachmann and Beck for who they are...

I can understand why it would take five posts to even try to keep up with the crap Michele is slingin' and the responses to it from across the blogesphere... What I don't understand, is why someone would wish to make himself look so pathetic by posting them. I mean, I'm glad Donald Douglas has found his Con hottie of the moment and can't stop talking about her, but when she falls even further out of favor with the American people over some future stupid comment, and one after that--as she inevitably will--it's going to break his tiny heart, and one of these times, his disappointment over the sorry state of his chosen political party/movement will turn the rest of his blog as black as his masthead.

I'd feel bad for the guy, but the fact is, he brings it on himself...

More info than a person could ever want about the buffoonery of Ms. Bachmann: Dump Michele Bachmann

Roundup and Commentary - 3/28/09

Blog Posts:

Bachmann: Remember the Amero!

Interesting Reads:

Not fans of Rep. Michele Bachmann: Dump Michele Bachmann

Friday, March 27, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 3/26/09


THE END OF AMERICA, but with constitutional democracy: Swiftspeech!: The Nutty Professor

Naked Teabagging (or, "going very Galt... ...for an afternoon, anyway..."): insert clever s.logan here: Tea Parties Going the Way of Godiva? (Lady, not Chocolate)


One of my first appearances on a Donald Douglas blog, back when he was a Burkean: The Post: Burkean Reflections: Supporting the Troops, and the comments. (I just wanted to keep the links handy, but figured someone or other may be interested...)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 3/25/09

Blue Texan at Instaputz is a damned dirty nihilist (He may be an ape, too... A distant relative of the famed purple "Grape Ape.")

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

X-Post: The Same Old "Party of No" Whining

American Nihilist X-Post

In a recent post purporting to be about an article in The American Spectator on "The New Humanism," written by Roger Scruton, Professor Donald Douglas says the following (in full):

I was reminded of Repsac3, and his merry band at American Nihilist, upon reading Roger Scruton's essay, "The New Humanism":

Like so many modern ideologies, the new humanism seeks to define itself through what it is against rather than what it is for. It is for nothing, or at any rate for nothing in particular. Ever since the Enlightenment there has been a tendency to adopt this negative approach to the human condition, rather than to live out the exacting demands of the Enlightenment morality, which tells us to take responsibility for ourselves and to cease our snivelling. Having shaken off their shackles and discovered that they have not obtained contentment, human beings have a lamentable tendency to believe that they are victims of some alien force, be it aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, capitalism, the priesthood, or simply the belief in God. And the feeling arises that they need only destroy this alien force, and happiness will be served up on a plate, in a garden of pleasures. That, in my view, is why the Enlightenment, which promised the reign of freedom and justice, issued in an unending series of wars.

Repsac3 has declared he's Unitarian, which has been discredited as disguised humanism amenable to atheism. It's nihilism, in other words, pure nothingness, just as Scruton shows.

Posted by Donald Douglas at 7:07 PM
Labels: Nihilist Left

Now, aside from being dismissive of my faith--a slight to which I respond here at Donald's post and, because one can no longer trust him to leave comments or links in opposition to him on his blog, here, too--I think Professor Douglas is misstating what Roger Scruton's article is about.

Indeed, according to Scruton, not all humanism is alike. At the beginning of the piece, Roger Scruton takes great pains to separate humanism in general to this "new humanism" he wishes to write about. Of "old" humanism, the author says:
"Looking back on it, I see the humanism of my parents as a kind of rearguard action on behalf of religious values. They, and their contemporaries, believed that man is the source of his own ideals and also the object of them. There is no need for God, they thought, in order to live with a vision of the higher life. All the values that had been appropriated by the Christian churches are available to the humanist too. Faith, hope, and charity can exist as human causes, and without the need for a heavenly focus; humanists can build their lives on the love of neighbor, can exercise the virtues and discipline their appetites so as to be just, prudent, temperate, and courageous, just as the Greeks had taught, long before the edict of the Church had fallen like a shadow across the human spirit. A humanist can be a patriot; he can believe with Jesus that "greater love hath no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friend." He is the enemy of false sentiment and lax morals, and all the more vigilant on behalf of morality in that he believes it to be the thing by which humanity is exalted, and the proof that we can be the source of our own ideals."

The author goes on to say "That noble form of humanism has its roots in the Enlightenment, in Kant's defense of the moral law, and in the progressivism of well-meaning Victorian sages." Clearly--and in direct opposition to the picture Donald Douglas wishes to paint--not all humanism is the enemy according to Mr Scruton. It is possible to be a humanist without being a nihilist. In fact, it can be noble.

Then there is "new humanism," which lies in stark contrast to it's more noble cousin. Of it, Scruton writes:
"The new humanism spends little time exalting man as an ideal. It says nothing, or next to nothing, about faith, hope, and charity; is scathing about patriotism; and is dismissive of those rearguard actions in defense of the family, public spirit, and sexual restraint that animated my parents. Instead of idealizing man, the new humanism denigrates God and attacks the belief in God as a human weakness."

Professor Douglas willingly--indeed, intentionally--conflates the two, and accuses Unitarian Universalists the world over of being a party to the latter kind of humanism, in the process pretending that Roger Scruton agrees with him or in any way supports his argument. As I did in my original reply to Donald Douglas, I invite those interested to take a look at what Unitarian Universalists do and do not believe here, here, and here, and decide for yourselves whether Roger Scruton would say the humanism contained in Unitarian Universalist thought is of the "noble" or the "new" variety. Does it seek to build up, or tear down? Is it about ideals, or about anything goes morality? Is it about faith in God and in man, or about separating man from God or man from man?

And once you're done with that, I ask you to look at Donald Douglas' blog, and judge the beliefs he expresses by the same criteria. How much of his blog is devoted to building up the ideas and ideals he supports, and how much to tearing down the ideas and ideals of those with whom he disagrees? Is his blog acting as a positive force for (neo)conservatism or Republicanism, or does he overwhelmingly define himself and his conservative thinking by disparaging and dismissing those people and ideas he is against? How many of his posts are about the good of his political thinking and ways to make it better, and how many are sniveling attacks on bloggers, politicians, and people with whom he disagrees?

If you ask me, Donald Douglas is a perfect example of the "party of no." With both Donald and these elements in the Republican party or the conservative movement, it's seldom about saying and doing what's right themselves, but about disparaging and dismissing the accomplishments of others, and generally "taking the other guy down." Hopefully, such thinking will continue to lose favor with the American public (though yes, there always will be a niche market for hateful and destructive rhetoric), and folks like Donald will either find their positive soul, or lose what little impact they have on our American way of thinking. Because in the end, if all they're going to do is bitch and moan and tell everyone else how good they are and how bad everyone else is, who needs 'em?

Roundup and Commentary - 3/24/09

Blog Posts:
Unitarian Universalism, humanism, and nihilism: The Same Old "Party of No" Whining

Conflating Unitarianism with nihilism (even by way of humanism) is just wrong.: Immoderate Monk: Donald Douglas and religious bigotry: "Unitarianism is Nihilism"

What ever happened to all those people who used to be moved to speak at Donald Douglas' American Power blog? Have they all changed, or has he? American Power Failure

Worth Reading:
The American Spectator : The New Humanism

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 3/21/09


Term limits and reading legislation (Read the Bill!): Common Sense Political Thought - Just how gullible do they think we are?

Sweetits and Fatty, and the joys of nicknames - insert clever s.logan here: Let's play a game: name that googler!

Liberals love to laugh, even at themselves... Common Sense Political Thought - Will our friends who screamed “Chimpy McHalliburton BushCo” be offended that some people are making fun of Barack Hussein Obama?

So far, he answer to the question above appears to be "Not so much..." One of the wingnut sites is pretty lame, but the other is a pretty clever idea, and can be kinda funny, too. So may I present: Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog (If I had one suggestion, I'd rename it The TOTUS Blog, which is what most folks are calling it anyway... Other than that, it's ok...)

Friday, March 20, 2009

X-Post: Tired of the stupidity

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Is it too much to ask that we (and they, themselves) give our representatives--and the American people--enough time to read all the bills that come before them in final form before the votes, and then to hold them accountable for having done so?

Every representative who votes on a bill they haven't read is a moron, and if there's one thing we need, it's fewer damned morons in elected office.

Read The Bill from Sunlight Foundation on Vimeo.

Is 72 hours enough? I don't know, but it is better than nothing... Imagine if every bill had to be given to the House/Senate clerk in final form, and posted online for the American people and the news media to read for at least 72 hours before voting could begin on them, and that every change restarted the 72 hour clock... Think of all the foolish bullshit that we might've avoided over the years...

This thing Dodd snuck out of the bailout bill is (or should be) a friggin' crime, but while I'm pissed at Dodd, I have no sympathy for all the people from both parties claiming they had no idea it was changed... They are assholes all, and if they can't be bothered to read the friggin' laws before passing them, they have no business being in congress... (Perhaps we need to raise the taxes on their salaries to 90% or so, until they actually do their jobs.)

We need more sunshine all over the legislative process. I'd ultimately like to see bills posted online, with names attached to every earmark or other change to every bill, updated within 24 hours of every change (on 3/15/09 @ 7:45 AM Senator Dodd struck the following line from S:177 "... ..." and replaced it with "... ...". The following 6 senators/conferees agreed to the change "... ..."; the following 4 were opposed "... ..."). I realize that may be a pipe dream since, no matter which party is in charge, secrecy and "It wasn't me" is the name of the game... ...but at the very least, we should never again hear the words "I didn't know that was in the bill I voted for/against. I didn't read the bill." That cannot be too much to ask...

X-Post - Bracket of Evil

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

This should be interesting...

Have you ever wondered who would win in a face-off between Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh? Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman? Ann Coulter and Blackwater?

Now, you can do more than wonder. You can help decide who wins - in a Bracket of Evil.

CREDO is trying to figure out who's the most evil person (or organization) in American politics. I just voted for my picks in categories like Media, Government, and Maverick, and you should too! Just head to:

Bracket of Evil

Happy bracketing!

Roundup and Commentary - 3/19/09

Blog Post:
Bracket of Evil

Read the friggin' bills, congressfolks... That's your job!!!: Tired of the stupidity


Jon Stewart as news man? (x2): Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Some Presidents can govern and chew pretzels at the same time...: Barack's Bracket

"Marriage is a religious rite; civil union is about legal rights" proposal (x2): Big Hollywood - Love, War - and Gay Marriage and Big Hollywood - Love, War - and Gay Marriage

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 3/18/09

Need a haircut? See a barber.: insert clever s.logan here: Baldly Going Where No Beauty Queen Has Gone Before

Comment on common goals/differing tactics, deemed "unacceptable" for post elsewhere, for reasons unknown: Immoderate Monk: "No enemies" enemies

Jon Stewart as news media, and political donations from AIG employees...: Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Worthwhile Reads:
Pres. Obama to World: Homosexuality Is Not a Crime - Liberty Street

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Roundup and Commentary - 3/17/09

Worth Reading:
Perhaps too late for this year, but worth downloading for next year: Last Days of Man On Earth - St Patricks Day Podcast

Marriage, the Constitution, and the law...: Take Government out of the Marriage Business: A better reconciliation on Gay Marriage

No one should be taking medical (or any other) benefits from military vets: Screw You, Mr. President! - Old Soldier (or, should the comment there not make the moderation cut: Military service and vet benefits)

Individual people should be too important to fail, unless they really want to...: Sane Political Discourse: Regulation vs Control

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

X-Post: "...as evidenced by his link to Horowitz, I'm betting Mr Douglas has never read the book"

American Nihilist X-Post

Funny how Donald feels qualified to comment on a book he's never read--

American Power: Classroom Indoctrination's Indefensible Defense:
"One-Party Classroom is on my list of 'books to read,' although I've written previously a lengthy post outlining some of my thoughts on all of this."

--while attacking folks on the left who discuss a book they have never read (or "may not have ever read" in one case. A wikipedia link really doesn't prove one way or the other whether someone's read a book or not,does it?):

In the post The War on High Earners, Donald says:
"...as evidenced by his link to wikipedia, I'm betting Mr. Taylor's never read the book."
(You tell me... Does a wikipedia link to "John Galt" prove someone's never read Atlas Shrugged? Can you explain why?)

Donald continues:
Matthew Yglesias hasn't read it, but that didn't stop him from attacking the "nightmare scenarios" of the revolt of the "titans of high finance."

Mathew admits to not having read Atlas Shrugged, the same way Donald admits above to not having read One Party Classroom. So what should we take away from this? Is it alright to comment on an unread book only if you're a neocon, or is it wrong to comment on a book you haven't read UNLESS you're a neocon? Or is there some kinda rule that should apply to everyone, including Donald?
"The non-book reading collectivists are like that though..."

I suppose it takes one to know one, professor...

X-Post: "It's like a Nihilist with a unicorn tattoo."

American Nihilist X-Post

Part somethin' or other (3, I think) in the occasionally ongoing "Happy-go-lucky Nihilist" series.

While reviewing the lastest alarm clock offering from Sony, Donald Bell, of CNET's Crave says the following:
"I have to admit there's something I like about the way this thing combines a kind of cold, menacing design with the words "Dream Machine." It's like a Nihilist with a unicorn tattoo."

If that don't say happy go lucky, musical singin' nihilist, I don't know what does...

Roundup and Commentary - 3/16/09

Blog Posts:
"It's like a Nihilist with a unicorn tattoo."

"...as evidenced by his link to Horowitz, I'm betting Mr Douglas has never read the book"

Worth Reading:
New York - Rightbloggers Culture-War For John Galt, Against Jon Stewart and Meghan McCain - Runnin' Scared - Village Voice

John K. Wilson offers David Horowitz a much deserved slap down for his latest "intellectually dishonest, superficial, and boring" book.: College Freedom: One-Party Analysis: Reviewing David Horowitz

Ummm... Introduction: The Chronicles of Testaclese - HotMES

No need to be mean...: Progressive Eruptions: GOP CONTINUES TO IGNORE REALITY

"Must be jelly, 'cause jam don't..." ...Damn! They ate the jelly, again...: TRUTH SHALL RULE: HOT NEOCON LESBIAN RULE 5 ACTION!

Con codger proves geek cred is all Greek to him: Brain Rage: Geek Cred: Pwning The Elderly Ctd.

Blame (and credit) for the Stock Market: insert clever s.logan here: Craigslist, Casual Encounters, Cavemen, and Capitalism

Monday, March 16, 2009

Michelle Malkin: Conscience of the Conservative Movement

American Nihilist X-Post

Donald Douglas sez:
"...and Malkin, along with Rush Limbaugh, is the conscience of the conservative movement."

For once, Donald and I are in complete agreement.

To me, this is one of the things wrong with the nuttier portion of the conservative movement, including our fair associate professor. To Donald and his ilk, having the likes of Malkin, Limbaugh, Coulter, ... serving as the consciences, the de facto leaders, and the spokesmodels of their movement is a thing to be celebrated.

They will reap what they sow... In fact, they already have. And the sooner more reasonable, responsible people step up and lead good conservatives away from these self-important, mean-spirited blowhards, the better it will be for them, and for politics in general.

Links in this post: American Power: Michelle Malkin: Conscience of the Conservative Movement

Roundup and Commentary - 3/15/09

Blog Post:

Good thing, or bad thing? Depends on who you ask... American Nihilist: Michelle Malkin: Conscience of the Conservative Movement


What Stewart was saying, and what he wasn't: Wingnuts & Moonbats: Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

When O'Reilly sounds like the sane one... Wingnuts & Moonbats: Beck: People ‘Pushed To The Wall’ By ‘Political Correctness’ Launch Spree Killings

Just because they call themselves religious, it doesn't mean they are... And Doctor Biobrain's Response Is...: The End of Religion

Pwned old man, obsessed... Brain Rage: Geek Cred: How Pwned Can One Old Man Get?

Body image and ability, and how it affects the way others see us. and the way we see ourselves... Brain Rage: "How My Legs Give Me Superpowers"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

X-Post: Donald Douglas' Fear of "Feminization"

American Nihilist X-Post

In a recent post, our favorite neocon professor chooses to question whether men's fears of being feminized include worries over the social acceptability of knitting.:

For example, check out Cynthia Enloe's Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link. As the book blurb book indicates, at Professor Enloe's homepage:

Written by one of the world's leading feminist scholars, this masterful and provocative book takes seriously women's desires to be patriotic yet feminine and men's fears of being feminized as a strategy to explain how militarism is being globalized and thus what it will take to roll back militarized societies and assumptions.

Hmm, 'men's fears of being feminized'? Does that include worries over the social acceptability of knitting? I'm going to leave that one to Repsac3: 'The Real Scurge of Gay Marriage...'


First off, it'd probably be a good idea to include the whole of Professor Enloe's book blurb, for better context:

"Written by one of the world's leading feminist scholars, this masterful and provocative book takes seriously women's desires to be patriotic yet feminine and men's fears of being feminized as a strategy to explain how militarism is being globalized and thus what it will take to roll back militarized societies and assumptions. Through explorations of how governments think so narrowly about national security, of how post-war reconstruction efforts have marginalized women, of how ideas about feminization were used to humiliate male prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and of why camo has become a fashion statement, Cynthia H. Enloe unravels militarism's both blatant and subtle workings. Focusing her lens on the Big Picture of international politics and on the small picture of women's and men's complex everyday lives, Enloe challenges us to recognize militarism in all its forms."

Now, in answer to Donald's question. Yes, it does appear that fundamentalists and conservatives in a variety of cultures believe that the more a man takes on "feminine" characteristics or engages in activities that their society does (or "once did") consider the province of women, the less of a "man" they are. And yes, Donald, some men are even threatened by the idea that people might see them as less of a man, were they to knit (or sew, or cook, or do housework, or work in a traditionally "female" occupation, like teaching...), and some poor, sad, conservative men and boys are even threatened by seeing other men knit (or, one can assume, doing one of those other activities they believe to be "unmanly")

For my money, this notion that "knitting is for girls (or fags)" is very similar to the one that allowed some of the interrogators at Abu Ghraib to humiliate prisoners. To be sure, there are real threats to manhood, both at an individual level and in societies, including our own. But having panties placed on one's head, or being seen or photographed knitting, are not among them.

Links included in this post:
American Power: Courtney Friel, Political Scientist
American Power: Picture of the Day, 3-6-09
Amazon.com: Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link: Cynthia Enloe: Books
Clark IDCE
American Nihilist: The Real Scurge of Gay Marriage...

X-Post: Stewart's nihilist attack on Cramer

American Nihilist X-Post

First off, I urge anyone who hasn't yet seen Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview, to do so. What made it on air was good, but the whole thing, uncut and uncensored, is a thing of beauty.

Predictably, there are naysayers, and even more predictably, Donald Douglas of American Power seems to be one of them. His post on the subject (his first one, anyway--He has a habit of doing several, on some subjects) is titled: Jon Stewart Attacks Jim Cramer (and Markets).

But rather than say much of anything about Jon Stewart, Jim Cramer, the interview, or the state of the economy and/or the financial news media in general, himself, professor Douglas quotes others, leaving us to assume he agrees with their take on the subject (unless of course their take turns out to be unpopular or devoid of fact, in which case he can claim to simply be quoting them, and not taking a position himself.)

The meat seems to be from James Pethokoukis of Capital Commerce (usnews.com) Donald quotes him thusly:

There was a lively exchange last night on The Daily Show between Jon Stewart and CNBC's Jim Cramer, in which Stewart hammered Cramer and the network for being subservient to Wall Street and not alerting viewers to the coming meltdown. Cramer and the network can defend themselves, but what became clear to me is that Stewart really doesn't believe in the idea of a stock market where individuals can go to invest their money and build wealth over the long term. This, I think, is a revealing quote:

Isn't that part of the problem, selling this idea that you don't have to do anything? Anytime you sell people the idea that, sit back and you'll get 10 to 20 percent on your money, don't you always know that that's going to be a lie ...

So what is Stewart suggesting, that we "workers" just save insane gobs of money that we squirrel away into low-yielding savings accounts and rely on those savings and Social Security for our retirement? Even plenty of Democrats believe that, which is why many are pushing universal savings accounts. Now, of course, investors tend to be more conservative than folks without investment portfolios. So maybe that is what really bugs the liberal Stewart, as well as those Dems who want to get rid of 401(k) plans.

Links as in Donald's original post.

Yes, I know he links to the same few things a 2 or 3 times...
I know two of the links appear to go to the same nowhere in particular--(the top of an ever changing comment stream... I can't even guess what the intended target was...)
I know.
Don't ask me why...

Now, before I even reply to that, permit me to show you what Donald did, here... What appears "quoted" above isn't what the original article said, and needless to say, those crazy repetitive links didn't appear in the original article, either.

James Pethokoukis of Capital Commerce (usnews.com) actually said:

There was a lively exchange last night on The Daily Show between Jon Stewart and CNBC's Jim Cramer, in which Stewart hammered Cramer and the network for being subservient to Wall Street and not alerting viewers to the coming meltdown. Cramer and the network can defend themselves, but what became clear to me is that Stewart really doesn't believe in the idea of a stock market where individuals can go to invest their money and build wealth over the long term. This, I think, is a revealing quote:

Isn't that part of the problem, selling this idea that you don't have to do anything? Anytime you sell people the idea that, sit back and you'll get 10 to 20 percent on your money, don't you always know that that's going to be a lie. When are we going to realize in this country that are [sic. should be "our"] wealth is work, that we're workers.

Me: So what is Stewart suggesting, that we "workers" just save insane gobs of money that we squirrel away into low-yielding savings accounts and rely on those savings and Social Security for our retirement? The only reason to do that is if you don't believe in the long-run soundness of the American economy. And if the American economy isn't dynamic over the long run, don't expect Social Security or Medicare to meet their meager promises.

Americans need to be building asset wealth, they need to think of themselves as "investors" and not just workers. Even plenty of Democrats believe that, which is why many are pushing universal savings accounts. Now, of course, investors tend to be more conservative than folks without investment portfolios. So maybe that is what really bugs the liberal Stewart, as well as those Dems who want to get rid of 401(k) plans.

(Yeah, as it turns out, the last two of Pethokoukis' links take you back to the same 2008 article, too... Don't ask me why...)

If you ask me, Donald's version changes the meaning of some of what he was supposed to be quoting, but both of them are misunderstanding Stewart's point in pretty much the same way.

Jon Stewart isn't saying don't invest. He's saying don't be a schmuck. Don't trust these fools like Cramer & the rest, or anyone who tells you that you can just drop your money here, and have it gain 10, 20, 30%, while you pay no attention. There are few, if any, get rich quick schemes that're on the up and up. Anything that seems too good to be true probably is. And Stewart was laying into Cramer (& by extension, much of the financial "news" media) because even if a whole lot of the people were too naive to realize that, these professional financial experts and reporters should've known, and should've spoken up, rather than playing along.

Many of the people commenting get what Stewart was saying, and get that this writer, James Pethokoukis (& Donald Douglas, who quotes him--sorta) are missing the point, probably as a result of political partisanship. Here's one example. There are many comments a lot like it...

Investing is work, duh.

Actually, I think you've grabbed the concept badly.

Investing is work. It's not "sit back and sip a julep while your money makes money." Anyone who actually invests pays attention to far more things than the Cramers, and you, of the world would have them.

Investing is work, you don't get 20% returns for free, it takes a lot of research, takes understanding of the companies you're investing in, takes concern for the management of those companies, etc. That would be his point, and that's what gets short-shrift from guys like you, who think that we should all be pumping money into the market without taking the time to do the homework necessary to make wise decisions.

This makes you as dumb a rock and Cramer and the rest of the CNBC cheerleading squad. Congratulations.

Donald then offers up Megan McArdle as being someone "worth a read" on this subject:

"Ultimately, I find Stewart disturbing because in some sense he's doing exactly what Cramer is--making powerful statements, and then when he gets called on him, retreating into the claim that well, you can't really expect him to act as if he were being taken seriously."

I haven't seen Stewart do this concerning anything meaningful, and neither Ms. McArdle or Mr. Douglas offer any examples of the claim, so it's a bit hard to evaluate. The closest I can come to what they may be talking about is when Stewart appeared on Crossfire in 2004, and Tucker Carlson asked him why he didn't ask hard hitting, in depth news questions (of John Kerry, in particular) on the Daily Show, and he responded by saying (in part), "You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls." (See video, below).

Surely there is a difference in the responsibility to report truth to the audience between Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on CNN, or Jim Cramer on CNBC. To some extent, all of 'em are trained monkeys just putting on a show. But even still, there is a difference between 'em, just based on the arenas where they're paid to dance and sing.

If you were to ask Jon Stewart about what he said to Cramer, or what he said on Crossfire to Carlson and Begala, I have the feeling he wouldn't pretend he wasn't dead serious, or retreat from his words in any way.

Yes, he is a clown on his show, and no, he doesn't follow strict journalistic standards (or any standards, in some cases)... But it is a comedy show, after all. Even there he finds a way to tell more truth than many of our "real" news gatherers. A more reasonable give-and-take would be to directly confront what he said to Jim Cramer in those segments, or even to Begala and Carlson on Crossfire, rather than to question his (lack of) journalistic standards... That's what I think, anyway...

More about James Pethokoukis' article can be found here. Others talking about the Megan McArdle piece appear here.

Roundup and Commentary - 3/14/09

Blog Posts:
American Nihilist: Stewart's nihilist attack on Cramer

Can knitting really make you less of a "man"? American Nihilist: Donald Douglas' Fear of "Feminization'

Either the worth of your offering is judged by the interest it generates... ...or it isn't.: Brain Rage: Geek Cred: Old Guys Don't Get It, Or Got It

Saturday, March 14, 2009

X-Post: Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart went toe-to-toe last night. But you didn't see everything. Much of the interview had to be cut for time. But this is the internet, where all we have is time. So, here now, is the complete interview.

Follow the links and watch the whole thing. Perhaps it's his outsider "non-reporter" status, but Jon Stewart gets to the heart of issues more thoroughly than most "real" news reporters. He's not Tim Russert, but sometimes I wonder whether, in terms of confronting hypocrisy anyway, he isn't the closest thing we have we have right now. "Roll the tape."

Memeorandum has links to the 3 part series of videos, and to many other posted reports and opinions.

read more | digg story

X-Post: Beck: People ‘Pushed To The Wall’ By ‘Political Correctness’ Launch Spree Killings

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Matthew Yglesias on Glenn Beck

There was a remarkable segment on Glen Beck’s show yesterday, thankfully captured by Matt Corley in which Beck was basically outlining his view that the reason you see spree killings like the one in Alabama is that conservatives are so deranged, and so racist, that when people point out that they’re being racist they can’t help but fly into a psychotic rage and commit multiple murders. Really:

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

See it here:

Combine this with Beck's earlier thoughts on the looming apocalypse and the worst case scenarios that may result--like anarchy in America, for which many Beck type crazies are already planning, apparently--and we have a pretty good case that Beck himself is calling out--& perhaps begging--for help and intervention.

How long before Mr. Beck himself feels "pushed to the wall," and creates his own self-prophesied tragedy, incites someone else to do so with these nutty lowbrow rantings, like fellow wingnut Bernie Goldberg did in TN, or starts his own little right-wing terrorist militia compound deep in the woods, readying he and his followers for the coming anarchic (if not post-apocalyptic) America?

Related discussions on Beck's unique understanding of spree killers and killing here.
More on Beck's Worst Case Scenarios here.

Roundup and Commentary - 3/13/09

Interesting read: Hospital CEO knows financial health is important, too: A Radical Perspective.....: The American Spirit is Alive and Well in Boston

Blog Post: Wingnuts & Moonbats: Beck: People ‘Pushed To The Wall’ By ‘Political Correctness’ Launch Spree Killings

Blog Post: Wingnuts & Moonbats: Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Comment: Constitutional amendment to replace the word "marriage" with "civil union" in laws that affect marriage?: Wingnuts & Moonbats: Take Government out of the Marriage Business: A better reconciliation on Gay Marriage

Comment: The pull of the blog is strong, young one... but we'll give you a pass... : insert clever s.logan here: (Don’t Pay Any Attention to Me. I’m Not Really Here.)

Comment: Sorry, McFly... We just don't care... ...and maybe you shouldn't, either... : Brain Rage: Insecurity: It Ain't The Size Of The Wave...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Commentary 3/12/09

Comment: Taking time away from reading and writing blog posts and comments: insert clever s.logan here: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow ... Pivotal Life Moments, Part 2

Comment: Invisible Jesus (& later) "You're the cream in my coffee...": Brain Rage: Atheist Toast

Comment: If ya ask me, these Cons doth protest too much: Brain Rage: The Talk Of Buggery Is Starting To Make Sense...

Interesting posts: A conservative named Conor Friedersdorf makes a whole lotta sense about gay marriage: The Confabulum - Blog Archive - Lots of Flawed Arguments About Gay Marriage
The Confabulum - Blog Archive - C11’s Gay Marriage Debate, Epilogue

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Commentary 3/11/09

The Other McCain: Works on Several Levels

Deranged Leftwing Baker: A Professor, Really?

Reply to The Other McCain: Gays. And marriage. And rights.

With All Due Respect X-Post


The Other McCain: Gays. And marriage. And rights.

RSM sez:
"Men and women are different. They were created different, designed with a natural complementarity, to fulfill specific life functions. There is a natural order to human life, and marriage between man and woman is part of that order. The legal status of marriage did not create marriage, but is rather a recognition of a pre-existing natural order -- an order that was not created by human agency, but by the Creator."

I'm sorry, but childbearing/rearing is incidental to the state's legal interest in the marriage contract. From the science I've read, the "pre-existing natural order" was an at first unformalized, but increasingly formal, polygamy. According to David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington, "...before the homogenization of cultures that resulted from Western colonialism, more than 85% of human societies unabashedly favored polygamy." He also believes the instinct toward it is still there, though as humans, most of us have the ability--and these days (post Western colonialism), the desire--to control it.

And then we come to God...

"The gay-rights movement would like you to believe that sexual behavior can be divided into two categories: Gay and straight. But according to the Creator, this is a false distinction. God divides sexual behavior into two categories: Righteousness and sin.

Righteous sex is the love between man and wife that creates human life, and which through that God-ordained intimacy knits together the couple in a permanent and exclusive union: "One flesh."

Everything else -- everything else -- is sin. And this was once recognized by Anglo-American jurisprudence, which in one way or another imposed sanctions against every type of sexual behavior except between man and wife. But in the decades after World War II, in the name of "modernizing" the legal code, these sanctions were gradually repealed. "Sexual liberation" was the name of the game, divorce skyrocketed and the lawyers cheerfully liberated wives from husbands, liberated husbands from wives, and liberated fees from clients."
"To cite the most authoritative source -- the Word of God -- is to be accused of superstition, or of seeking to "impose your values" on others. But my values (or Dr. Douglas's values, or anyone else's values) are irrelevant. What counts is God's values, and these are not subject to amendment or public opinion polls."

Here's the thing. According to US law, God and the Bible have no place in US law. That is the very reason that Judge Roy Moore (mentioned approvingly by RSM elsewhere in his post) is no longer a judge. That isn't to say that RSM is incorrect in saying that all forms of sexual congress deemed sinful by Christianity once were unlawful, but it's also worth noting that all of those laws that could not be justified by secular reasoning rather than Biblical teachings have been repealed. Religious freedom necessitates that we do not enshrine the tenets of any faith into our laws strictly on the basis of their being religious tenets. Whatever your "Good Book," it belongs in your church and your home, but not in our legislative halls or at our judge's benches. Those who do not worship your God, or do not worship your God in the same way that you do, have as much right to protection under law as do you. Even though Judeo-Christians currently have the numbers here in the US--and in fact, because Judeo-Christians have the numbers here in the US--it doesn't mean they get to write Biblical teachings into law. As conservatives are so fond of pointing out in other circumstances, we are a republic rather than a democracy. We're designed to protect the minority from mob rule.

So yes... In citing what you believe to be the most authoritative source -- the Word of God -- and more specifically, trying to enshrine the Word of God into the Laws of Man, you are seeking to "impose your values" on others. The fact that you believe your values are in line with God's values is what's irrelevant; God isn't the one imposing them on those who do not share them, by virtue of being non-believers, skeptics, or believers in other faiths. (If He were, this whole conversation would be a lot easier for all involved.) Freedom of religion means that no one need live under the laws prescribed by anyone else's faith. There are probably relatively few Americans who believe that God, Allah, Goddess Mother Nature, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are equal. But under US law, they are.

"The prophetic nature of the Bible is evidence of its authority, and if anyone wants to tell me that the successive disasters that have fallen on our nation in recent years aren't just a wee bit apocalyptic in appearance, the Bible can answer that, too: Let him that has eyes, see."

Maybe... But people alot like Mr McCain have been expressing thoughts a whole lot like this for a L-O-N-G - T-I-M-E...

A Brief History of the Apocalypse, 2800 BC - 1700 AD
Doomsday: 1701 - 1970
Doomsday: 1971 - 1997
Doomsday: 1998 - 1999
Doomsday: 2000 - Now (2005)
Doomsday: The Future (2004 ... ???)

But it's possible that RSM's got something on all those other folks... Right?

As for gay marriage, I think it's more a question of semantics and word choice.

Marriage is a religious rite. The state is free to recognize it, but not to regulate it.
Civil Union is a legal right. No God or church has any legal dominion over it, nor should they.

I think a good solution would be (& I'd like to see) the state give "Marriage" back to the church, and have all laws regulate "Civil Unions," instead. The state would be free to (& should) recognize the religious rite of Marriage as a particular kind of Civil Union, but it's special status would derive from the church and from God, rather than from the state. The church would be free to recognize or reject other kinds of Civil Unions as Marriages, according to the Word of God and the particular church's doctrine. In my view, having the state regulating a religious rite was the cause of the problem, and stopping the state from regulating a religious rite will be the solution.

Previous conversations & posts on the subject:
Wingnuts & Moonbats: My thoughts on Homosexual Marriage
Wingnuts & Moonbats: Is there a right to marry whomever one wishes?
Wingnuts & Moonbats: Special Comment on Gay Marriage
Wingnuts & Moonbats: Protect Marriage. Prohibit Divorce.
Wingnuts & Moonbats: Oppose Gay Marriage, but Approve Civil Unions?
Wingnuts & Moonbats: Take Government out of the Marriage Business: A better reconciliation on Gay Marriage

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Reading Skills

American Nihilist X-Post

Read this:
"I supported the Iraq War and (although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect) the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I could go on, but you get the idea." - David Frum: Why Rush is Wrong: Newsweek.com

Now, read this:
"What really bothers me here is Frum's discussion of his "bona fides." Yeah, Frum's a GOP insider, so he's presumably got the conservative creds to bash Limbaugh. But this part just sticks in my craw: 'I supported the Iraq War ... although I feel kind of silly about it in retrospect ...'" - Donald Douglas: American Power: David Frum: "I Feel Kind of Silly About Supporting the Iraq War"

Thanks for applying, Professor. Don't call us; we'll call you.

If you prefer response to what Frum actually said, memeorandum has a bunch.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Class Warfare

With All Due Respect X-Post

A real class act, this Kathy Shadle:

Times have changed and now the poor get fat

"Today's "poor" are the rich Jesus warned you about: fat, slovenly, wasteful of their money and other people's."

"He spends all his (our) money on cellphones and, most likely, tattoos and drugs and booze and other crap, and has no money left for a home and food. And why should he bother? We pay for his shelter and food anyhow."

"What's really funny in that news story by the way is what they're serving at the soup kitchen: risotto with brocolli. Obviously some rich white liberal did the cooking that day, feeling all proud of herself, and what thanks did she get? Some lowclass loser going, "You expect me to eat this weird crap?!""

The Christlike love and compassion makes you go all weepy, don't it?


The Real Scurge of Gay Marriage...


That's right, knitting. According to Donald Douglas, this picture:

Vantha Sao, 22, works on some knitting next to spouse Jay Mendes, 41, while watching the televised California Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 at the West Hollywood Auditorium. The couple were married in 2008. (3/5/09 - Los Angeles Times)

"...raises serious questions about what's really at stake in the same-sex marriage debate..." because "The younger guy is KNITTING!" and as we all know "knitting's a girl's thing!"

While Donald claims he's "no absolutist on stereotypical gender roles," he believes "there's something weirdly out of sync about a male homosexual with his husband attending a public rally while knitting away on some fluffy cap or sweater."

Donald prefers his men to be manly, not the kind of guys who'd "get their sissy butts kicked by men like Rosey Grier, as would you." ("you" apparently being anyone with the nerve to burst poor Donald's "men are men" fantasy by pointing out that Rosey Grier quite enjoyed working with yarn, himself... ...and what is it with Donald and kicking ass, lately? Does he think it makes him more "manly," rather than more ridiculous?)

But of course it isn't just about knitting. It's about the effects of knitting on the children...

"So, what does this say about marriage? Are these guys adopting? What does the son say to his "dads" while hoping to make the JV football squad at the tryouts: "Gee, 'dads,' can you leave the knitting needles in the car ... might hurt my chances with the coach, you know?'"

Parent's are born to embarrass their kids, and I'm certain that Donald has embarrassed his one way or another a time or two, even if knitting needles weren't involved. Yes, Donald... Assuming the kid or the coach is as much of a troglodyte about gender roles as you, he does ask dad to leave the knitting in the car, the same way he asks mom not to bring the harlequin romance novel, or perhaps the Chilton's manual or the tools to change the oil in the car, while she's waiting...

While I can appreciate some traditional gender roles--I'd rather take the chance that I might be thought sexist because I hold open a door or offer a lady my seat on public transportation, rather than give up doing such things--gone are the days when "knitting is a girl's thing!" (or fixing cars is a boy's thing, for that matter.) As with several things coming out of the "traditionalist" camp, maintaining outdated gender stereotypes like the one the professor displays, in the name of "tradition" alone, is just foolish.

Grow up, professor. It's a new millennium.

American Nihilist X-Post

Friday, March 06, 2009

Take Government out of the Marriage Business: A better reconciliation on Gay Marriage

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

We owe thanks to gay marriage supporter Jonathan Rausch and gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn, the joint authors of a widely circulated New York Times piece which steered the polarized dialogue toward more civil waters.

While the Rausch/Blankenhorn proposal had some merit, in the end it leaves homosexuals with a lesser version of "marriage." While they get most of the rights and privileges as heterosexual folks, their relationship gets a different name, lest anyone think they're in a "real" marriage.

Sam Singer offers another proposal, one that is being discussed by a few more people everyday... Rather than fighting over whether or not to allow homosexuals to use the term "Marriage," why doesn't the state stop using the term "marriage" in laws designed to grant rights and privileges to anyone, and instead base the granting of rights and privileges on the term "civil union," or "domestic partnership"?

If it’s a grand bargain we’re after, consider an alternative federal law prohibiting states from attaching legal significance to an individual’s marital status. The law would define “marital status” narrowly to include an individual’s relationship with a significant other as recognized by a religious organization. Likewise, the law would define “marriage” as the spiritual union of two individuals. Under this regime, legal benefits or obligations which traditionally flow from marital status would do so no longer. Instead, states could recognize and regulate healthy, stable interpersonal relationships by way of civil union, provided they do so equally and on a secular basis. Left for churches and other religious organizations are the religious and moral dimensions of “marriage.” Religious organizations will have autonomy over those aspects of matrimony in which they claim historical or divine province. That is, churches would be left to govern the sacred principles associated with the institution, and to ordain whichever marriages they see fit without fear of legal repercussion.

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Beware the Nihilist Gay Robot Dogs, Especially...

American Nihilist X-Post

Music to read by:

Steve Benen points out another conservative who'd never, ever, ever equate being gay with bestiality. ("Bestiality? I've been blogging about this issue for months, and I can't recall the word ever being used by conservatives, or anything close to it." - Donald Douglas)

Meet David Gibbs III, a lawyer who in 2005 fought to keep brain-damaged Terri Schiavo on life support. At an anti-gay marriage rally in North Carolina, he not only brought up the polygamy thing, AND the bestiality thing; David offered yet another wrinkle, telling rally participants that gay marriage would "open the door to unusual marriage in North Carolina. "Why not polygamy, or three or four spouses?" Gibbs asked. "Maybe people will want to marry their pets or robots."

Maybe, indeed...

Steven Waldman from Beliefnet offers a possible solution to the rush of people wanting to marry Rover, their Roomba, or both at the same time:
"If gay marriage opponents fear the slippery slope, why don't gay activists offer conservatives a deal: you support gay marriage and we'll oppose extending it beyond gays toward dogs and robots -- and, in fact, (more seriously), will support an agenda geared toward reducing the divorce rate in America."

In fact, similar lines of thinking have been offered before: Protect Marriage. Prohibit Divorce.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Apparently, Ms. Bachmann, Rush "be da man."

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-Post

Can any Republican representative break free of Rush's gravitational pull?

Spokesman for Boehner Calls Rush a "Boogeyman." Will He Apologize Too?:

"Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Gibbs was trying to create a distraction by responding to Limbaugh.

'What we are seeing is a desperate attempt by Democrats to distract attention away from a multi-trillion dollar spending spree taking place in Washington,' Ferrier said. 'Creating a boogeyman to change the subject does nothing to alter the fact that there are 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, that the economic stimulus bill contained no Republican input or that their budget would increase taxes on all Americans.'

So now Rush Limbaugh is a BOOGEYMAN? Perhaps we'll be hearing Antonia Ferrier or John Boehner apologizing to Rush now?"

Advice for the GOP: don't mess with Rush

Let the word go forth from this time and place to Republicans everywhere: Rush Limbaugh, the ideological Mother Superior of contemporary conservatism, is not to be crossed. First, he earned the mewling supplication of Congressman Phil "Georgia Peach" Gingrey. That began when Gingrey criticized Rush's inflammatory locutions as unhelpful, not having to "do what's best for your people and your party." In response to a "high volume of calls and correspondence to his office," Congressman Gingrey phoned Mr. Limbaugh in "regret" to apologize for saying so.

Now, the microphone-toting unofficial head of the GOP has managed to get its official head to kiss the ring as well. This weekend, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele derided Limbaugh as "incendiary" and "ugly." Late Monday, Chairman Steele withdrew criticisms of Rush he made over the weekend calling them "inarticulate." This follows closely on the heels of Limbaugh's Monday broadcast, where he derided Steele as being "obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds."

While the Republican party still has a leadership apparatus comprised of elected officials, it's pretty clear just who is actually running the show. If Limbaugh manages to squeeze an apology out of Congressman Boehner, the debate is over - the GOP will be the party of the untouchable, unimpeachable Chairman Rush. And then things will really get nasty.

The chastised Steele will probably be permitted to stay on as RNC "leader," but the lesson is clear: Attention--and more importantly deference--to the great Rush Limbaugh, the true head & heart of the Republican Party, must be paid. And isn't that classic of the totalitarian right. This Michael Steele, like Gingrey before him, spoke the truth, until Rush and the dittohead hordes that worship at his alter practically lynched them both and forced each of them to beg forgiveness. And when Bohner's aide does to -- which is immanent, judging by the speed with which the last two Rushpublicans fell to their knees before the sweaty ton o' fun that can control some Cons like ventriloquist dummies -- it could prove to be be the final nail in the Republican coffin for a good long while.

“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach. I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell." - Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 1/27/09

"Rush, thank you so much. I thank you for the opportunity. Of course, it's not exactly the way I wanted to come on, but I appreciate you giving me the opportunity. Mainly, I want to express to you and all your listeners my very sincere regret for those comments I made yesterday to Politico. Basically the intent of my words to them was to discuss the unique position of congressional Republicans and our leadership, particularly John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments (laughs) and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, and -- and all our conservative giants who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it and get back this majority that I regret those stupid comments." - Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 1/28/09

"I don’t want him [Obama] to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble." - Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), 2/25/09

“The governor was not referring to anyone” in particular." - Joel Sawyer, Sanford’s Communications Director, 2/25/09
"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh—his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary. Yes, it's ugly." - Michael Steel, RNC chairman, 3/1/09

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh” - Michael Steel, RNC chairman, 3/2/09

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Music: Francesca Valle

This may be a tad premature, as I've only heard three songs from this artist, but in my defense, they were really good songs. Besides, if you're not duking it out over some major (or more often, minor) political point or another (and I'm giving myself a tiny break from that today), what better way to use the internet than to give a boost to an artist in need (and deserving) of more attention?

With a h/t to my political blogging neocon nemesis, Donald Douglas for his offhand mention of a woman in one of his classes, I discovered the music of Francesca Valle.

Being an all out sucker for chick singers with great voices, I was immediately sucked in by the tune Splinter, which automagically starts playing as soon as her site opens. (...currently, anyway--When she's famous & someone stumbles on this early review, who knows what'll be playing on her site?). The song is plaintive & "city-folkish" (those who listen to WFUV Public Radio, either here in NY or via the online stream, should already have a pretty good idea what I mean.) It's not too heavy--though it rocks, building from a quiet little song into something much more emotional & raw--and it's lyrically pretty damned good, too.

Since there were only two songs available, (and I'd already heard one), I figured I'd splurge and spend my big $1.98 on both. If the second song didn't live up to the promise of the first, I hadn't lost much. After a minor glitch in getting my songs (which ended up working out in my favor 8>), I received RubberSoul, and a special bonus track for bein' so patient with the glitch, called Hate. Both more than live up to the promise of Splinter.

RubberSoul is a bit heavier, but still has that adult alternative/city folk feel. I wasn't expecting the harmonica, but it blends nicely and fits with the song.

Hate really catches my attention. It has that building, tension & release quality I like so much in Trey Anastasio's guitar work with Phish, and reminds me alot of another female lead band that had some popularity aways back. (I'm doing everything I can to avoid any of those "this song sounds like ... [name artist here]" lines in this review. Francesca does put me in mind of other bands large & small, but I suspect that she'd rather you'd take her as herself, first... ...or at least make your own damned connections, rather than having mine stuck in your head as you listen.) This song is much heavier, leaving the city folk genre behind. Any good rock station worth it's salt would be proud to have it in rotation...

As you can see from her site, her home turf is the Long Beach, CA area, so those within driving distance of there will prolly see her long before I do. (I checked for her gig the other night... Mapquest said it'd take me 44 hours or so of straight driving to get to the club she was playing. That ain't happenin' any time soon... Nevertheless, I'm on the mailing list, waiting for the announcement of that inevitable east coast tour... 8>)

That's my pitch... If you have the opportunity, I'd check her out...

More info: Francesca Valle on MySpace Music

PS: You know... It occurs to me that I usually write about dead musicians, rather than live ones... Other than my mention of Antigone Rising (now Antigone 4, or Antigone, featuring Shannon McNally... I'm not sure where that stands...), I've mostly done eulogies for artists lost... Feels good to write about an artist & have something (a whole lot, in this case) to look forward to from them, for a change...

Life. It's all about how you choose to look at it.

A quick (4 min, 12 sec, + reading/pondering time) public service announcement from my friend JBW.

Life doesn't suck.

Brain Rage: Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy

We now return you to your regularly scheduled life (hopefully, with a little more appreciation for it).

Nerd Score (Do nerds score?)