Saturday, April 14, 2007

From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be sir. Do you maggots understand that?

Turd Blossom was in Oregon yesterday to speak at a Republican fundraiser which sounded like it went pretty much by the numbers (Democrats are only interested in "mandating failure," yada yada.) Of course there was a protest against Rove and the war of about fifty people which the Oregonian dutifully reported. Then they stuck this little paragraph in-

Rove did find some support among those on the street. Austin Hope, 17, and his six buddies from Beaverton were driving along Southwest Hall Boulevard when they spotted the rally. They went home, grabbed some markers, scrawled "Support the war" on a poster and drove back to protest the protest.

"We want to show that there are some Republican supporters in Oregon," Hope said.

One would think that a reporter competent enough to get Mr. Hope's age and name would at least ask the obvious question of Mr. Hope as to whether he planned on enlisting in the Army come his eighteenth birthday to actually put some action behind his oh-so-empty "support the war" words. I realize the answer to this question would probably be embarrassing to Mr. Hope but it could be considered his first lesson in civics, and being called on hypocrisy.

With all do respect to young master Hope should either lace up some boots next year after he turns eighteen or polititely sit down and shut up while the adults discuss the issue.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.

In case the context of the pre-election Bush quote on email I dug-up and posted isn't clear then this article may clear things up- Rove e-mails may be missing.

Democrats are suspicious that Rove and other senior officials were using the political accounts, set up by the RNC, to avoid scrutiny from Congress. E-mails already in the public record suggest that at least some White House officials were mindful of a need not to discuss certain matters within the official White House e-mail system.

Point is that apparently everybody from the President on down were hypersensitive to the idea that email was discoverable well before this scandal broke. Obviously they can't claim that anything was "accidentally" deleted when the President himself won't even send or recieve email because he's worried it will be part of "record requests."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

For me the Internet is just yet another way of being rejected by women.

A reminder email and our Googler-in-Chief:

According to CNBC’s unofficial transcript, he replied: “Occasionally. One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see that. I forgot the name of the program, but you get the satellite and you can — like, I kind of like to look at the ranch on Google, reminds me of where I want to be sometimes. Yeah, I do it some.” He added: “I tend not to email or — not only tend not to email, I don’t email, because of the different record requests that can happen to a president. I don’t want to receive emails because, you know, there’s no telling what somebody’s email may — it would show up as, you know, a part of some kind of a story, and I wouldn’t be able to say, `Well, I didn’t read the email.’ `But I sent it to your address, how can you say you didn’t?’ So, in other words, I’m very cautious about emailing.”

Because. I don't make monkeys, I just train 'em.

On the Imus thing-

I've spent more than my share of listening to talk radio and have had the opportunity to listen to Imus' show in particular on a fairly regular basis although it's been years.

For the most part I can't stand the guy.

His regular shtick is exactly what finally got him into trouble. His asshole of a producer Bernie would utter some utterly offensive comment and Imus would either run with it or laugh and say "no, no, no." It's utterly transparent in it's effort to avoid accountability and I'm glad he finally got stung by it.

The other thing I find contemptible about Imus is his own politics. They aren't discernibly left or right but they are thoroughly Washington establishment. If you wanted to hear the sort of smarmy, superficial bullshit that was making the rounds on the D.C. cocktail circuit all you had to was tune in to Imus.

The apex of this is his absolute hatred of Bill and Hillary Clinton who he regularly refered to using his favorite word- "hideous." His speech at the Radio/TV Correspondents Dinner in 1996 was back in the news last year as it was compared to Steven Colbert's skewering of Bush in the same venue. As far as I can tell the two speeches share only one similarity- they're both speeches given at Radio/ TV Correspondents Dinner. After that they pretty much head off in opposite directions. Imus' speech is a rambling diatribe listing every gross accusation that had been leveled at the Clintons thus far. Just a sampling-

You know I think it would be fair to say, back when the Clintons first took office, if we had placed them all in a lineup -- well, not a lineup -- if we were to have speculated about which member of the First Family would be the first to be indicted... I don't mean indicted -- I meant to receive a subpoena -- everybody would have picked Roger. I mean, been there done that. Well, in the past 3 years, Socks the cat has been in more jams than Roger. Roger has been a saint. The cat has peed on national treasures. Roger hasn't. Socks has thrown up hairballs. Roger hasn't. Socks got his girlfriend pregnant and hasn't... oh no, that was Roger. And as you know, nearly every incident in the lives of the first family has been made worse by each and every person in this room of radio and television correspondents -- even innocuous incidents. For example, when Cal Ripkin broke Lou Gherig's consecutive game record, the President was at Camden Yards doin' play by play in the radio with John Miller. Bobby Bonilla hit a double, we all heard the President in his obvious excitement holler "Go Baby!" I remember commenting at the time, I bet that's not the first time he's said that. Remember the Astroturf in the pickup? And my point is, there is an innocent event, made sinister by some creep in the media.

In some cases, the Clintons have not exactly helped themselves. Imagine if back in 1978 Mrs. Clinton had NOT said to Mr. Clinton, "Honey, Jim and Susan are here and they've got some river front land for these great vacation homes, maybe we can make some serious money. And he said "God I love this Reaganomics!" Or later, she'd said, "Bill, I talked to Web and he said 'put down 600 hours' and he'd said, "well, that's a lot," and she'd said, "yes, I think 60 makes more sense." And recently somebody said, "I don't know, I left them on the table in the book room."

Not exactly Jonathan Swift.

Although Imus gets the closing of his speech right. He aims his "wit" squarely at the elite media in which he apparently doesn't consider himself a member-

One of the things that it seems to me that the media ought to think about in the coming months, particularly in this election year, consumed by the chaos of the campaign, is the sensibilities of the people you are covering. The way you cover them, and your treatment of them as individuals. For if nothing else, they are all good and decent people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to devote the bulk of their adult lives to public service. People who possess a passion for ideas and ideals to which they have committed extraordinary energy. It is almost always irrelevant and short-sighted to seize only on the unfortunate human imperfections of people who frankly have demonstrated an often puzzling willingness to endure great sacrifice, both personally and professionally, for what they see as a noble summons to serve the greater good. More often than not, however, that is exactly the case. You folks focus on each misstep, every misspoken word, each testy outburst. Do they not deserve some degree of our respect? To be treated with the dignity that at least acknowledges the mission of altruism they believe they're conducting. Shouldn't we be willing to give them some benefit of the doubt?

I don't think so.

Ironically this pathetic, sad and HIDEOUS little man should take his own advice.
(Today's quote was in honor of Overdroid who, no matter what he says, is still a poopy-head times infinity)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

He doesn't punish men for discipline. He likes to see men crawl.

Why won't Bush sign the Iraq supplemental?

The elements of the supplemental of which he disagrees such as the time tables and benchmarks are all non-binding. As our local radio personality Thom Hartman has pointed out on a number of occasions Bush could just sign the bill and then issue a signing statement saying he's ignoring all of that stuff and go on merrily sending our troops into his quagmire without facing a single repercussion for thumbing his nose at congress.

So why the veto?

The only two answers I can come up with are politics and his ego. Both are stupid reasons to force a constitutional showdown over non-binding legislation but our President hasn't shown himself at any moment of his life to be a very bright man.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?

It should come to no surprise to anyone that really thinks about it that moral decisions are tied to emotional centers of the brain.

US neuroscientists have demonstrated that moral decisions such as whether you would kill one person in order to save many others are strongly influenced by a part of the brain that involves emotion.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

The research team, comprising scientists from the University of Southern California (USC), Harvard University, Caltech and the University of Iowa, presented 30 men and women with dilemmas where they had to say which decision they would take.

Some of the decisions involved making moral judgements about whether to cause harm or death to one person in order to save others from immediate or future harm or death.

One example of a dilemma was: you know someone who has a deadly disease plans to infect others, some of whom will die. Your only options are to let it happen or shoot the person with the disease. Would you pull the trigger?

Most people would say they knew the logical choice is they should sacrifice the one to save the many, but they would not be able to bring themselves to pull the trigger.

The difference, say the researchers, is emotion; not emotions in general, but a particular combination of two emotions. One is a general aversion to the act of harming or killing another person, a sort of social compassion, and the other is a more specific compassion, or empathy, for the particular individual concerned.

Conservatives, on the other hand, might find this study counter-intuitive. Generally they consider themselves less plagued by an emotional view of the world than their leftist brethren as well as morally superior. The findings of this study run directly opposite to that worldview.

It brings to mind a number of conversations I've had over the years with my more conservative friends around religion and morality. They seem to have a hard time separating moral choices from religious beliefs. They are incapable of comprehending that correct moral choices can be made in the absence of a belief in a higher power of some kind and a moral value system built on religious foundations. As someone with no personal religious beliefs per se the idea that the only thing keeping me from robbing a bank or going crazy and shooting up the city is a belief in God incomprehensible.

There are a whole lot of things that would keep us from going on a murderous rampage among which are what I consider a societal moral structure that transcends religion. Our duty and belonging to the society we live in, our respect for the government and laws are just a couple parts of that moral structure. Most importantly - we don't harm our fellow citizens because we would just feel bad. Call in "conscience" or "empathy" or whatever but the bottom line is that there's something hard-wired into us as a species that normally prevents us from harming others.

Of course one of the downsides to the higher faculties we possess as a species is that conscience can be reasoned away and overcome. The professional military is very good at this. Citizens get that same opportunity when they serve on the jury of capital cases or vote. Usually we tell ourselves these decisions are for the higher good and they're not really decisions at all but necessary moral capitulations to the circumstances.

Then there are those which don't need to wrestle with these moral decisions. They're the ones that find these decisions simple, that have no problem making life or death decisions about others without giving it all that much thought. Ironically they usually consider themselves morally superior to others when in reality, as this study suggests, they're actually morally deficient when it comes to making choices of what's right and wrong.

Holy smoke, he's a Toon!

This last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing two films both of which attracted quite a bit of controversy in the realm of politics this last year - "The 300" and "Happy Feet."

"The 300" was the center of quite a bit of attention from the Right-Wing in it's depiction of the epic battle of Western civilization against the godless hordes of Eastern savages. As much as I happy that conservatives are warming to the idea of trying to understand subtext I think they're wildly overextending by identifying with the Spartans depicted in this movie. Although the depiction a horde of half-naked, oiled and muscled men did give off a Jeff Gannon vibe that I'm sure hit a note with that weird element of the conservative subconscious in which they are similarly suppressing their wildest desires at the same time they're violently against those same desires when they see them openly expressed in others.

"Freedom isn't free."

"The 300" was made for one reason only - to depict the violence inherent in ancient warfare as realistically as possible using today's state of the are computer graphics. If you're looking for deeper meaning in this movie than I feel sorry for you. Sure, there are tons of throwaway lines like the above that sound like they might be something that could fall out of George W. Bush's mouth during any of his speeches but really the expositional portions of the movie are filler to get to another crackerjack actions scene.

Clash of civilizations? The Persian empire displayed in this movie was a cartoonish, looking glass view that fell somewhere between the hordes of maniacal bikers populating the desert in Mad Max and Peter Jackson's orcish armies which seemed to heavily influence many parts of the film. One would have to be a simpleton of the highest order to take this depiction of Persian culture at face value.


In contrast the children's movie "Happy Feet" was the target of quite a bit of conservative bile a few months back. They hated the film's categorizing of religious zealots among the penguin leadership as the crazy ones. They despised the film's environmental message. They loathed the dancing penguins. Especially the dancing penguins.


The criticism of this movie that I've read was still fresh in mind as I watched which left me to ask myself "what the hell kind of people have a problem with a movie this good?" Yes- it had a blatant ally pro-environmental message but it was never that heavy-handed and wasn't central to the story. Yes - the devoutly religious penguins in the film are a actually antagonists but a couple of points might be important to point out here: they're cartoon penguins and they're god is great penguin in the sky. C'mon.

How many films have we seen in out lifetimes where those that resist change are the bad guys? It's hardly something new that conservatives would be the villains in a film. Film, all drama, is about a protagonist doing something and changing. The forces that line up against that protagonist and resist that change are what create the drama. Don't like that? Stop going to movies.

So to sum up, conservatives -

  • Like half-naked, well-muscled men.

  • Like empty slogans.

  • Hate dancing penguins.

  • Don't much like to have the penguin-god mocked.

  • Prefer much less pro-environmental stuff in their pro-environmental movie.

  • Still seemed confused between cartoons and real life. (see George W. Bush)

Boy, am I a victim of disappointment in you.

It was nice of the Big O to publish an editorial yesterday begging somebody of the stature of Earl Blumenauer or Peter Defazio to run against Gordon Smith but this bit rang a little hollow-

Of course, we're not prepared to endorse any potential challenger, nor have we reached any conclusions about Smith's re-election. But Oregon does not need another one of those incumbent coronations that are so common here and elsewhere. What we want to see is a great race, with two (or more) talented, well-funded candidates going all-out for Oregon's highest elected office.

Does anyone doubt that The Oregonian will be endorsing Smith again in the next general election no matter who his Democratic challenger is? This is the newspaper that just the day before ran an editorial slamming Pelosi for her trip to Syria that would've been right at home in the pages of the Washington Post. Their editorial board isn't exactly the font of common sense.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

What do you do with these easter eggs?

Do you know what the Easter Bunny is doing the other 364 days of the year?

Kicking ass.