Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nation of NAMBLA

Call me a cultural imperialist, but Christ these people are disgusting:

In Kandahar, population about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular, often weekly, pastime. Young boys dress up as girls, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called "dancing boys" a "widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape."

So, why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles, certainly more per capita than any other place on Earth? And how did Afghanistan become the pedophilia capital of Asia?

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from perverse interpretation of Islamic law. Women are simply unapproachable. Afghan men cannot talk to an unrelated woman until after proposing marriage. Before then, they can't even look at a woman, except perhaps her feet. Otherwise she is covered, head to ankle.

"How can you fall in love if you can't see her face," 29-year-old Mohammed Daud told reporters. "We can see the boys, so we can tell which are beautiful."

Even after marriage, many men keep their boys, suggesting a loveless life at home. A favored Afghan expression goes: "Women are for children, boys are for pleasure." Fundamentalist imams, exaggerating a biblical passage on menstruation, teach that women are "unclean" and therefore distasteful. One married man even asked Cardinalli's team "how his wife could become pregnant," her report said. When that was explained, he "reacted with disgust" and asked, "How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean?"

That helps explain why women are hidden away - and stoned to death if they are perceived to have misbehaved. Islamic law also forbids homosexuality. But the pedophiles explain that away. It's not homosexuality, they aver, because they aren't in love with their boys.

Bull. Fucking. Shit. They're gay, and they're child molesters, pure and simple. This seems to be fairly widespread across South Asia, not just among Muslims but Hindus in Bengal as well. But it appears to be cultural more than religious.

Of course, in the West there is a similar culture, and it's called the Catholic Church. And the commonality here is that both cultures despise, fear, and subjugate women (really, all people of both genders, since what they really fear is free expression of thought, but especially women). You can't repress people so forcefully and violently, keep men from meeting or even seeing women, and not expect to get some twisted results. These guys would probably fuck a farm animal or a slab of liver if it came to it.

It's never not a source of constant amazement to see people who commit awful, dreadful shit as a way of life, like it never occurs to them to question their catamite "culture", to stop abusing their children. Not sure what we're trying to "save" here. I find it difficult to believe that the planet would miss these "men", rapists and child molesters is all they are.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


What Chez said. I couldn't agree more. It's psychically draining just to keep up with the barrage on nonsense and bad faith, much less comment on it, much less do anything about it.

And that's what they're counting on.

I Have a Scream

Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid. -- Heinrich Heine

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H. L. Mencken

So the Beckalos had their little putsch at the Lincoln Memorial, and amazingly, none of the attendees keeled over on their Rascals from the die-uh-beat-us that may take their feet before it kills them outright. (And how much you want to bet that every one of those little vehicles has some sort of gubmint subsidy? May these scumbags get their wish for a minarchist gubmint, and have to subsist on ketchup and cat food before they finally die from their self-abuse.)

Your tax dollars at work. Really getting our money's worth.

Naturally, reports of attendance vary wildly, from the kabillionty-jillion estimated by the Becktards themselves, to the more realistic 87,000 from CBS News. Either way, hell must be full. Whatever the amount, it's too many, and whatever they say to excuse their conduct, they are vile and insufferably dumb right down to the last person. Check the second photo in the Wonkette post -- they made a Lincoln Memorial backdrop to put right in front of the actual Lincoln Memorial. As I've said before, this is so far beyond stupid, I'm not sure a word exists in the English language to properly describe it.

(Yes, I get that it presents a more scaled image of the memorial behind the speaker for headshots, but still....extremely lame. As always, these people could find a way to fuck up a baked potato.)

Then there's this fucking guy, surely proof that Darwin was full of shit. Not sure where "Mauitania" is, perhaps one of the lesser-known Huhwayan Islands, but thanks for playing, asshole.

Chicks dig a poorly-spelled racist t-shirt.

Even as empty slogans go, this "Restoring Honor" thing was pretty weird. Implicit in the phrase is that the honor in question has been absconded with, or worn from attrition. This requires some actor or set of actors, catalyzing event(s), some sort of narrative describing said honor. Deconstructing further, one might as well wonder, when exactly did this honor change or disappear, to where it needed to be "restored"?

Of course it's a waste of time to pursue it further, these were just two randomly-picked buzzwords from a Newt Gingrich list. But the logical upshot from this is that either the honor was impacted on eeeevil Obammy's watch, or it left before, and they've just been waiting around all this time to, I dunno, gather and mutter about it per Lonesome Rhodes' instructions. (A third possibility: it took them this long to get to Warshinton on their state-subsidized fat-fuck scooters.)

Really, Dennis G. at Balloon Juice has the most likely explanation for how these simpletons perceive "honor", and thus how it must be "restored":

The Confederacy and the Confederate movement has always been very concerned with ‘Honor’ and its restoration and when seen as a neo-Confederate rally the gathering today make sense as a fitting endpoint to a month celebrating stupidity in America. It makes sense that these neo-Confederates would hold this rally on the Anniversary and at the site of MLK’s famous speech 47 years ago. And it is predictable that these shifty fuckers would claim ownership of King and his movement. After all, Confederates have been trying to reclaim their right to own people, their labor and their ideas for more than two hundred years.

“Honor” is a wingnut code word that defines the term in the same way that the old Confederacy defined the term. And when paired with the word “restoration” it is a call for a return to an American rooted in the White Supremacy of the Confederacy. This Neo-Confederate movement has—ironically—captured the political party that was formed over a 150 years ago to destroy Confederate thinking and slavery. History is filled with funny twists of fate.

He's right, and indeed, if their slack-jawed audience could pronounce it or know what the word meant, Beck might as well have used the word "instauration" rather than this "restoring honor" crap, because that's really what he means, and what his crowd means and desires.

I thought about writing a serious post about how to genuinely engage the Beckalos, instead of belittling them, to ask them concise, pointed questions that would force them to confront the logical gaps and contradictions in what they're saying and doing. Surely beneath all the clown paint and edema lies a vestige of reason, a dormant core of sense needing only to be awakened by the right means, to reclaim itself from limbic lizard-brain mumbo-jumbo.

And those questions should be fundamental indeed (define "socialist"; explain how Obama fulfills that definition; name a politician whom you feel would do a better job than Obama; precisely which of their stated positions or policies do you agree with), but more and more it seems a waste of time. Sometimes it's tempting and easy to ride the fine line between schtick and honest sentiment, but it's not schtick when I say that I don't think someone that deeply invested in people such as Beck or Palin can be reasoned with. I don't think there's an honest dialogue to be had, because they have no use for intellectual honesty or factual debate.

It sounds like a pejorative, but it appears to be true -- these followers are magical thinkers, people who seriously think that the things they say are true and correct simply by virtue of being vocalized. Magical thinking is what underpinned eight years of policy under the last regime -- we have never done anything to inflame resentment among Middle East Arabs; Saddam has WMD; the Iraqis will greet us with champagne and blowjobs; deficit spending is not a problem.

This is a very fundamental but extraordinarily dangerous precept, that so many people apparently think things are true just because they say they're true. That someone can piss and moan about the gubmint while they're on the fucking dole; that they can complain about even small measures toward reforming our barbaric health-care system while they themselves suck on Medicare's tit. These really are despicable human beings, no two ways about it. Merely calling them hypocrites understates the case.

It is to Obama's, and the Democrats', shame and disadvantage that they repeatedly try to meet these assholes halfway, or any way at all. At some point you have to realize that some people cannot be reasoned with, because they are not interested in learning anything. They already know what they need to know, and are aggressive and hostile to anything else. It is wasted effort to engage them, pure and simple. Every second Obama has spent trying to reason with the hard right is a second better spent playing with the dog or spanking the monkey. If he doesn't get wise to that, his ass is done in '12, the rest of his life spent monitoring Third World elections.

Not that, given the track record so far, it would be a huge loss, except for the increasingly scary incoherence burbling from the other side. They have no clue what they want, but they fucking well want it yesterday. Bad enough behavior from a four-year-old stomping his wittle feet in the cereal aisle, but in adults? People like that are always a danger to themselves and everyone around it. It sucks having to vote for someone who doesn't have the balls to tell a bunch of braying assholes to sit down and STFU, just as a bulwark against said assholes. It's pathetic.

The teabaggers gain traction from constant coverage, more and more idiots flocking to the be-in, see what Palin has scrawled on her hillbilly Palm Pilot this time. If the (bowel) movement does turn into an electoral force of any sort, you can thank the media for a lot of it, and John McCain for the rest, for unleashing Palin and her clan of grifters (seriously, does anyone in that family actually have a fucking job, besides auditioning for reality shows?) on an unsuspecting public, for once again ventriloquizing the worst, basest sentiments this country has to offer. Empowering them will only make a bad situation catastrophically worse.

And the idea that these people agree with, much less endorse, any of MLK's points about social and economic justice, is obviously bullshit. It is not rendered any more legitimate by the presence of King's niece, a craven pro-life activist who has never missed an opportunity to cash in on her name.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Freudian Slip

It never fails with these weirdos:

"And because you choose whether to be homosexual or not, this is not a civil rights issue," Nunn said. "It's going to be very difficult for us to agree with the other side on this one."

He opened up his Bible and began jabbing his finger at passages such as Corinthians 6:9-11, which lumps "homosexuals" and "sodomites" in with idolaters and thieves as being among those who "will not inherit the kingdom of God."

"I wouldn't want anyone to look at us and say we're just Bible thumpers, right-wingers, intolerant," Nunn said. "We speak out in love, not hatred. We're not going to be politically correct about this - we are going to do what's right and help people find their way."

By fighting to preserve Prop. 8 and urging gays and lesbians to go straight, he said, "we're not trying to jam anything down anyone's throats. We're just extending an invitation to see the truth."

[emphasis mine]

They just can't help themselves, can they? Actually, the more interesting quote to me is the one declaring that "you choose whether to be homosexual or not". I've made this argument before, but it bears reiterating: "gay gene" studies aside, insofar as one person can ascertain the basis for the sexual orientation of a person they have never met and don't know anything about, what if, for some people, it is choice? What of it, what business is it of anyone else's? What happened to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", the ability to chart one's own course in life?

The very notion that people should be able to live their lives the way they want, and be left alone by these fucking ninnies, never seems to occur to said ninnies. Which, I suppose, means that they're just living up (down) to their names.

Insane Clown Pussies

Fuckin' facts, how do they work?

As the Gathering of the Beckalos draws nigh, the only question is what the over/under is on the per-dipshit IQ range of these knuckle-dragging, illiterate, barely-closeted racist troglodytes. I say low double digits, probably around the 25-30 range. Maybe Tila Tequila will show up and they'll pelt her with bottles and shit, who knows?

They're such rebels -- just ask them, they'll tell ya -- taking on The Man, these sainted common folk, not realizing that a couple of robber barons are bamboozling them, as ever, and that they will throw out one set of bums for a crazier, less articulate set of bums.

Crazy Uncle Joe has a cracker of a post whacking the usual moles, but he loses the thread in this passage:

You never hear them say it, but neo-conservatives understand that they have a mean streak down inside. They also know if they want to share in the national plunder, they must win hearts and minds.


Most educated American liberals, however, believe simply being progressive makes them, by default, the nation's saviors -- morally and intellectually right in all things.


So when educated liberals look up from their copy of The Nation or the Jon Stewart show, they behold a chilling sight: Beefy mobs waving teabags and demanding tax cuts to help pay for new schools and bridges, Sarah Palin emerging from the ashes of the McCain campaign to become the high priestess of the uncurried tribes, with a Mormon named Glenn Beck exhorting millions of fundamentalists to seize the country. They feel that something has gone terribly wrong with America.

Immediately they conclude that it is the American people's fault through their backwardness, incomprehension and misdirected anger, and that maybe it serves them right for not rallying behind the flying progressive standard.


"Ah yes," they wailed, the people have let us down. They are absolutely disgusting!" liberals agreed. And they still agree. Read the comments on Huffington Post or Daily Kos.

Bah. No doubt there do exist the caricatures of self-righteous bien pensant libruls, just as surely as there really do exist toothless goobers who think their broken-down Camaros are possessed (read Bageant's Deer Hunting With Jesus for that one). Or idiots, many of whom collect Social Security or Medicare, who were educated in public schools and take public streets to the public park for their self-contradictory anti-gubmint protests, completely indifferent to the sheer cognitive dissonance.

So yes, there are most definitely people -- some liberal, some not, most having at least some level of education but not necessarily -- looking down at the Palinoids and Beckalos. It is not, as Bageant seems to posit, mere elitism. It would be easier if that's all it was.

Rather, it is a frustration with their preening ignorance, the pride they take in knowing absolutely nothing true or factual, the bad faith with which they infuse every contrived argument and crusade of theirs, the ease with which they generate yet another imaginary tempest in another phantom teapot, rolled up in their badly-cobbled astroturf philosophy. How is that supposed to be worthy of respect, or even civil disagreement?

It would be swell if they could be honestly engaged with facts and ideas and even solutions, but they don't want that, they want something to rally against, something to hate. There's no engaging with that, any more than you can engage or reason with a bratty kid in the cereal aisle. These people are morons, and they're fucking hypocrites. I cannot figure out how an honest broker (were there one in the political arena to begin with) would get a handle on this crew.

Really, I would say the Koch brothers are the elitists in this narrative -- multi-billionaire brothers who apparently spend every waking moment figuring out how to take it with them, and bamboozle the peons into believing they've been done a favor. And it's a neat trick, truly impressive. In the last decade this country has managed to return to the Gilded Age, robber-baron levels of disparity, and roll the rubes into thinking it's in their own best interest.

Ideally, a 1-2% redistributive tax on high-flyers like the Kochs would poke in the right direction toward more diversified ownership of assets, production, and distribution. But seeing how the Kochs operate, making ever more and more, but never quite enough, and dedicating their pelf to the lowest forms of propaganda and sleazy astroturf stunts, it almost deserves to be completely redistributed. It takes some fucking balls to throw tens of millions into this "Washington is run by thieves and crooks" schtick, while simultaneous pouring millions into an army of lobbyists to ensure your mega-conglomerate can keep poisoning the planet.

But in the end, as a utilitarian and an empiricist, I can't help but admit that the Kochs are rational actors in this, even if their political power seems to be derived from the cynical manipulation of irrational actors. It's unethical, but it makes sense.

However, the people who allow themselves to be fooled by this stuff have no one to blame but themselves. They've "refudiated" facts for emotion, common sense for truthiness. They've abdicated any entitlement to a civil response to their braying nonsense. They insist that Obama is a moooslim cokehead with a fake birth certificate who is socializing America, even though the man has continued almost every single policy from the last administration.

They all talk tough and front like rugged individualists, but with all the bluster, we've yet to hear of one giving up any gubmint assistance they might receive. Real self-sufficient there, sporto. When you burn your Medicare card, then we'll be impressed.

These people are not remotely intellectually honest, they're not even pretending to be interested in that. They are motivated by spite and lies, hate and fear, and at the heart of it, they're just pissed that they're not getting what's coming to them. They will not believe you if you prove to them beyond a shadow of doubt that the people bankrolling their little short-bus-to-Warshinton distraction are every bit the privatize-profits-socialize-debt motherfuckers that Obama's buddies on Wall Street are. Meet the new boss indeedy.

Bageant needs to understand that it is not everyone else's job to try to engage their impenetrable claptrap and "compromise" with utter stupidity. I seriously have no clue what I'm supposed to say to someone who seriously thinks Barack Obama is a "socialist", any more than I would know what to say to someone who insisted that Nolan Ryan was a power forward for the Lakers.

It's not that we're unwilling to help them comprehend precisely why Obama is not a socialist, it's that we know they don't give a fuck. Facts are of no use to them; things are what they say they are. There's a legitimate reason to be concerned that people who are proud of having no use for logic or facts, who invent reality as they go along, might accrue even a toehold of power. It benefits no one, including themselves. Well, that's not entirely true -- it benefits people like the Koch brothers, and Dick Armey.

But at this rate, if the Becktards get what they think they want, they'll get what they really deserve -- a swift kick in the ass from cruel fate. Try as I might, I cannot generate a drop of sympathy for any of them. Sometimes people are just their own worst enemies, and all you can do is get out of their way, or they'll take you down with them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Speaking of retards, I'm sure Nuh-VAD-ans are thrilled with bankrolling this happy horseshit:

Earlier this month, Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, submitted a bill draft request for the 2011 Legislative session for a resolution that asserts while the preferred pronunciation of the state's name is "Ne-VAD-a," pronouncing it "Ne-VAH-da" is also acceptable.

"The bottom line is, I do not want to change the pronunciation that Nevadans use for their state," Mortenson said. "I am trying only to ask them to be tolerant of those who use the Spanish pronunciation."

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, really? These assholes have nothing better to do than legislate how something is or isn't pronounced? I despise the notion of ceremonial legislation to begin with -- if it isn't something that will actually affect someone's life, don't waste time on it -- but this is on a par with proclaiming National Broccoli Week or some such nonsense.

Actual laws have consequences -- if you break it, there is a penalty, whether a fine or a jail term. Is Mortenson proposing to levy a fine for being a jerkoff and correcting someone's errant pronunciation? I just don't understand this type of crap. Bankrolled pedantry is all it is.

Besides, everyone knows the proper pronunciation of Nevada is "unemployed".

Going Full Retard

Kirk's advice for the Simple Jack sequel, Simple Jack Goes Teabaggin'.

There are a lot of practical reasons I don't post much these days -- work, school, and family leave very little leisure time, and what time is left is ill-spent in a medium best perhaps best characterized by its response time to hot-button issues. There's not much percentage in jumping in on a story after ten thousand other mooks have already wrapped their dick-skinners around it, especially when most "stories" and "issues" really have about a 36-hour shelf life -- or none at all, for those of us with functioning basal ganglia. That's the easy answer.

The harder answer is that it's more difficult to keep up with the accelerating pace of American stupidity. This refers to both the corporate media and its -- I don't want to bother with the usual trope and say "sheep-like", because it seems an insult to friendly, harmless ungulates -- aggressively retarded audience. Everything is a cause for which the barricades must be immediately and resolutely manned. You'd think all the exercise they get from mindless raging, seizing moral high-ground, and rabid ankle-biting would work off their sloshing beer-bellies, but no such luck.

So. Fat, stupid fucks looking for shit to get weird about. Really, who can keep up with it? And yet, I suppose in the end my ass-spelunking into the ridiculous activities of my fella 'merkins qualifies as some sort of amateur anthropology. Eventually their chimp-like antics get the best of my studied indifference, and I have to WTF the situation. So like us, but with some increasingly important distinctions, such as the ability to read and comprehend fairly simple points of fact, as opposed to constantly acting like someone deliberately ran over their dog.

So it is with the ongoing, endless hoo-ha over the "Ground Zero Mosque", an ongoing narrative into the continuing dumbassificationof this doomed land of ours. (Not that America isn't a great idea, but great ideas cannot continue when they're weighed down by an overabundance of morons.)

Two protests on Sunday morning, in the normally quiet blocks north of Ground Zero, claimed to be on the side of tolerance. One camp stood in favor of the mosque and Islamic center that has been proposed for the area; the other argued against.

Around 500 of those opposed gathered in a cordoned-off area, heavily monitored by police. They sang patriotic songs and spoke of a hijacked Constitution, a renegade presidency and tolerance toward the sensitivities of New Yorkers whose relatives died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks


Opponents of the mosque insisted they fully supported religious freedoms, but that the location of the planned Islamic center represented an incursion on the rights of Americans who deemed Ground Zero a hallowed space. “It’s a disgrace to have a mosque at this sacred site; it’s a smack in the face,” said Kali Costas, a Long Island education worker who said she was a member of the Tea Party.

"[H]ijacked Constitution", "renegade presidency". Hanh? Ex-squeeze me? Look, faced with someone whose family died in the WTC, I would at least grant them the benefit of the doubt on the "sensitivity" thing, inapropos as it is. But I literally have zero clue as to what this manufactured issue has to do with the Constitution, which has a curious lack of mention as to people's fucking feewings, or Obama, who has sidestepped taking a stand on this issue with the Astaire-like deftness with which he approaches every issue of contention, real or imagined.

But 500 people in New York City, the city so nice they named it twice, decided that the best use of a glorious summer morning was to be corralled in a free-speech zone and lob their tired-ass Mad Lib epithets at a building which, as it stands, does not even have sufficient funding to pay for the lot, much less the building. Where's a suicide bomber when you could really use one? Seriously, the collective effect on the IQ of an area infested by these gaggles of idiots must be like a sudden pressure drop, a tropical storm of stupid gathering to assault the beaches of sanity.

As one would expect, Faux News has done its part to fan the flames of stupidity, as it jibes with their teabagger promotional campaign, and their million-dollar donation to the husk of the Republican party. And yet, how many of these jabbering dipshits know about this?

Amid the howls of outrage over the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, some political pundits on Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate News Corp. (NWS), have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the project.

Last Thursday, popular Fox News host Sean Hannity said the proposed center's leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a U.S. citizen who has spent 25 years working to improve relations between the Muslim world and the U.S., wants to "shred our Constitution" and install "Sharia law as the law of the land in America." Sharia is a body of law derived from the Koran and Islamic teachings.

In fact, in his book What's Right With Islam, Rauf writes that "many Muslims regard the form of government that the American founders established a little over two centuries ago as the form of governance that best expresses Islam's original values and principles." (Page 81.) He has never publicly advocated "shredding" the U.S. Constitution or replacing it with Sharia law.

A Major Backer From the Muslim World

The stridency with which Fox News personalities attack the downtown Islamic center -- red meat for the millions who tune in each night -- is an example of the often uneasy relationship and occasionally diverging interests between many of News Corp.'s properties, in this case Fox News and its parent corporation.

For example, News Corp.'s second-largest shareholder, after the Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (pictured at left, and above right), the nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, and one of the world's richest men.

Through his Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed owns about 7% of News Corp., or about $3 billion of the media giant. He also owns 6% of Citigroup -- to which he was introduced by the Carlyle Group -- or about $10 billion of the giant bank. He's a part-owner of the famed Plaza Hotel in New York and has invested in many other prominent companies. (At one point he invested in AOL (AOL), the parent company of DailyFinance.)

Earlier this year, News Corp. invested $70 million for a 9% stake in Alwaleed's Middle Eastern media and entertainment company, Rotana, which "owns the Arab world's largest record label and about 40% of the region's movies -- most of which are Egyptian -- and operates 11 free-to-air television channels, two of which are through a partnership with News Corp.," according to Reuters. (Rotana broadcasts Fox movies and TV shows throughout the Middle East.) News Corp. has an option to double its stake in Rotana for another $70 million within 18 months.


Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by Alwaleed's uncle King Abdullah, is, of course, an authoritarian petro-monarchy that actually is governed by Sharia law and is known as one of the top global sponsors of terrorism. A spokesperson for the Saudi embassy in Washington says that while Alwaleed is part of the royal family, he isn't a member of the government, but rather a private citizen.

Alwaleed, like Iman Rauf (pictured at right), professes a desire to build bridges of peace and understanding between the Islamic world and the West. One man is a multibillionaire, with far-flung investments around the world, and the other is a religious cleric, whose congregation happens to be in downtown Manhattan.

Now, this is not exactly a "gotcha", afaic. I happen to be a capitalist and a (cautious) globalist at heart, and I see at least the potential in engaging with assbackward buttholes like Saudi Arabia, in the hopes of bringing them along into the 21st century -- or hell, even the 10th century. This is how progress happens, when it does, slowly, incrementally. As long as positive direction can be tracked -- an important distinction for putatively idealistic Democrats -- incrementalism can be acceptable, even desirable.

(Not to mention that there is a very real distinction between the peaceful, introspective Sufism of Rauf and the aggressive, regressive, extremist Wahhabism/Deobandism cynically endorsed as a control mechanism by the Sauds. I get that the average knucklehead at these ricockulous protests just sees towelheads regardless, but that's supposed to be the function of a free press -- to point out the crucial differences.)

But by the avowed goals of the teabaggers and the assorted morons rolled up in this particular episode of bullshit, they should be refusing to even consider watching Faux News, seeing as it is in significant part -- and yes 7% is significant -- bankrolled by someone who, however much of a businessman/philanthropist he aspires to be, still works ably and willingly within the constraints of a profoundly regressive system, one which raises every red flag these weepy, posturing fake patriots have stashed up their collective arsenal.

Put more simply for the window-lickers in the teabag crowd: if you watch Faux News, if you swallow the lies Hannity and Beck are feeding you, you are, in some small but aggregately important part, supporting the sharia system you profess to detest.

That exploding sound you just heard may be their heads exploding from the cognitive dissonance, or maybe one of these impressionable goobers finally decided to strap himself with semtex and rebar chunks and become McVeigh 2.0.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Take This Job and Love It

Like most people, I suppose I got an initial kick out of the story of Steven Slater, the put-upon flight attendant who finally said "fuck it". Good for him, say the wage-slaves and assorted peons.

So our so-called media, never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, grab precisely the wrong end of the stick in this here shaggy-dog story. There are at least two enormously useful approaches they could easily have taken:
  1. How airline travel has become oppressive and borderline abusive, with countless tales of passengers being herded, pushed around, left to swelter for hours on the tarmac while the airline thumbs its dick, treated like something between third-strike felons and factory-farmed chickens.

  2. How work itself has become, for a great many people, borderline abusive. From pissing in a cup just to get the job, to being electronically monitored and force-fed corporate happy-talk right up to the moment the job gets outsourced to Shenzhen or Bangalore, work is less frequently an honorable pursuit that can in many cases provide a sense of discipline and even purpose, and more frequently an escalating series of unpleasant circumstances that occasionally culminates in violent provocation.

    Even in this festering "jobless recovery", an oxymoron right up there with "jumbo shrimp" or "Governor Palin", even people who have been unemployed for some time have a core of secret dread that they will get a new job, and it will almost be guaranteed to be one that serves only as a buffer between themselves and a cardboard box on the sidewalk. Where labor used to actually have some dignity to it every so often, even mid-range jobs frequently necessitate new and improved modes of cringing, of reading the latest Who Moved My Cheese? knock-off and pretending to swallow it whole, of forgetting how to find joy in even the simple accomplishment of useful tasks.

Instead, what do we see on the Today show this fine morning (and it is fine, friends 'n' neighbors; the weather out here in the NorCal has been spectacular the last couple weeks) but a woman Slater was briefly married to right out of high school. That's right, ladies -- pray right now to whatever temperamental phantom you grovel to that your dipshit ex-husband doesn't do something stupid and/or trendworthy, or lazy-ass reporters will be beating down your door, breathlessly asking What was he like?, even if you divorced twenty ferchrissakes years ago.

There are legitimate reasons why Slater could be perceived as a bit of a "folk hero", yet those reasons are seldom discussed. It is a consistent pattern of disengagement between media entities, and the audience they sell cars and tampons to. It is not a joke, it is a deliberate effort to ignore the serious aspects of an entertaining story, and focus disproportionately on the most inane factors of that story.

This is why every ten days or so, we are treated yet again to some fool antic involving Sarah Palin and her inbred cracker clan, whether we like it or not. It may not be as tightly scheduled as the next Two and a Half Men, but it is reliable and predictable and distracting all the same.

Fuckin' A, folks, it cannot be repeated too often -- if our professional corporate media spent half as much time talking about issues that actually affect peoples' lives as they do with this ricockulous ass-sniffing soap-opera nonsense, more people might actually get a clue.

Which is why, of course, they persist in this crap. I refuse to believe in accidents and coincidences anymore, not when they proliferate with such regularity.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Police State

Not to pick on cops, but this is the most chickenshit thing I've seen in quite some time:

Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video — which could put the officer in a bad light — up on YouTube.

It doesn't sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws — a stretch, to put it mildly.

Really, this is the hallmark of the fascist state -- not only are they attempting to extract murder-level penalties for non-crimes, but they deliberately invoke the most absurd conceivable interpretation of existing law to do so. It would almost be more respectable to just be honest and say, "We can't let you film us, because we might be held accountable for our actions." Even though they very rarely are.

It cannot be put any simpler, really -- no decent cop should care for even a second if someone's filming or not. But it says a lot that they and their courtroom minions are in the hunt, seeking ricockulous penalties while not even being able to find an actual law that's being violated. Citizens have to deal with cameras in all sorts of public places, sidewalks, sports stadiums, freeways, intersections. Your front door can be kicked down on a PC drug warrant, shoot first, ask questions later, ain't shit you can do about it.

But the average Joe or Jane taking modest steps just to protect themselves from asshole cops face serious time. Ask Oscar Grant's family just how important this is, keeping in mind that BART actually confiscated the two videos they knew about, that it was the one that made it to the media that stopped them from covering it up. Ask Rodney King, ask any number of people who've managed to catch cops harassing and abusing people.

So here's the deal, law enforcement folks -- if you get to film us, we get to film you. Or all the cameras come down. One or the other, and only a punk-ass bitch would try to have it both ways.

BTW, here is the Graber video. Graber is riding like an asshole, to be sure, but to be cutoff on the off-ramp by an unmarked car, and have a gun pulled on him by someone who doesn't even identify himself as a cop initially, for a fucking speeding ticket, is insane. Even more insane is that after Graber posted the video, the jackbooted thugs "upheld the law" by presenting an unsigned warrant, with which they confiscated all the computer equipment in Graber's house, and illegally detained Graber's mother and sister.

For a speeding ticket, once again. Someone needs to lose their fucking job for this shit.


For someone who flashes the quals of a Serious Thinker, Amitai Etzioni has some poorly-thought ideas about Why We Should Listen To The Teabaggers.

For starters, look at the photo at the top of the article. Okay, chief, which one of these dipshits are we supposed to seriously engage with -- the one on the right in the powdered wig; the one on the left with the tri-corner hat, bursting the buttons on his waistcoat; or the fucking cat lady in the middle?

More importantly, the concern on the part of tea partiers that the government is not responsive to the interests and values of the majority is a valid one.

Ahahahaha. The government is not responsive to the interests and values of the majority, you say? Well, no fucking shit, Sherlock. This is not exactly a new phenomenon, no matter what the suddenly-aware closet-case pseudo-patriots would like us all to believe.

Etzioni goes on like this, reciting the laundry list of noble concerns and intellectually honest differences of opinion our costumed park-rats continue to air. What it really boils down to is that jobs are scarce, and these folks didn't get a piece of the action when the gubmint was bailing out its rentiers. If jobs suddenly get created, these losers will melt right back into the scenery, because they'll have something to do. All else is hair-pulling over the awful, corrupted mechanics of the legislative process, something pretty much everyone had figured out about, oh, 150 years ago.

The desire to gut the government ignores the fact that there are many important missions that the government is best-suited to accomplish. However, before those of us who do not belong to this movement can carry this message to the tea partiers, we first need to validate their feelings, rather than dismiss them.

This is what really grinds my gears. "Validate their feelings"?! Ex-fucking-squeeze-me?! This nation needs triage, not a goddamned counseling session for the slow kids in class. Fuck their feewings, m'kay? Validating the incoherent and the irrational just encourages them to continue their bullshit.

No constructive purpose is served by costume parties in the park, by a group of morons who have no platform, no goals, no leaders, and whose very name is inapt and intellectually dishonest in comparison to the historical event they attempt to glom onto.

I persist in calling these goofballs "teabaggers" not because of the raunchy flavor of the nickname, but because I will never refer to them by their preferred moniker. It is a lie, the name they choose to go by, a disingenuous interpretation of a long-standing historical principle. There is no taxation without representation here, therefore there cannot be a tea party, only a disgruntled group of ignorant codgers and perpetually aggrieved rabble-rousers, who cannot muster a coherent argument of their own, so they poach one that doesn't apply.

Well, as my first-grade teacher, kindly old Mrs. Lockhart used to say, fuck that noise. I ain't playing their game, I ain't (puke, retch) validating their fucking feewings, and I'm not going to pretend they're contributing something useful to the discussion when they've made a concerted effort to be mindlessly disruptive. I'm all for fighting the power and not taking shit from The Man, but ferchrissake, these people are idiots.

As I've said before, there are valid arguments to be made against Obama's governance thus far. It's a complete "refudiation" of what he had promised, and what was expected of him. But these assholes have not made that argument, nor have they proposed anything resembling a solution. They argue in bad faith, without facts, and they have done quite enough damage to an already battered political process. They need to go already, and the media need to stop validating every stupid thing that tumbles out of their pieholes.