The Talking Lion

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Shameful Silence

It's easy to forget about the ongoing genocide in the Sudan. Thank God that Nicholas D. Kristof is around to remind me/us. Check out his Op/Ed in today's NYT here.

I assume that most of you reading this are at least vaguely familiar with the situation in Darfur. If not, you can get some background here.

Unfortunately, not much attention is paid to this terrible situation that has been ongoing for several months now. Maybe its because we just consider violence, oppressiona dn starvation to be the norm in Africa; some sort of inevitable fact of nature that will never be changed. Maybe its because it makes us feel terribly guilty to think about the kind of suffering that these people are going through compared to the lives of comfort we lead living in the US. Maybe its something else that completely eludes me.

Regardless, it's disappointing how little coverage the press has given to this issue. If it weren't for the fact that I spent the first four months of this year on a college campus and for the last few weeks I've been living in a house that gets the New York Times delivered to its doorstep every morning, I might not be aware of what's going on in the Sudan.

As Kristof notes in his piece, the president made a passing reference to the crisis on January 10th, but did not go so far as to condemn the situation. The interesting element to all of this is that a core part of the Presiden't base, evangelical Christians, are among the few who have spoken out about this issue (despite what some on the left would like the believe, the evangelical community is not merely devoted to keeping the teaching of evolution out of our public schools and oppressing gays, and on this issue seem to have more of a social conscience than the average liberal). But other than the evangelical community and the academic community, there is a shameful silence concerning the genocide in Darfur.

If the president has little at stake poltically, what is keeping him from speaking out on this issue? There doesn't really seem to be a good answer. As Kristof points out, the American people have shown a great amount of compassion with the amount of money given to the tsunami relief effort, helped in part by the President appointing his two predecessors to raise money for the victims (albeit after the administraion initially dragged its feet on the issue). All the president has to do is speak to the American people, let them know that there is a crisis going on and it is something they should be concerned about. There doesn't seem to be any good reason why the president should remain silent.

After Downing Street. Things need did.

There's a small chance anyone who reads this remembers my first real post. Ya see there is this memo, the Downing Street Memo, a British memo recently made public in the London Times, which contained the minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

This memo is the first solid bit (not a smoking gun, I stress) of evidence of what we all knew: George Bush lied to us to go to war in Iraq. Within the minutes of the memo, a high-ranking British intelligence official says that the Bush Administration was "fixing the intelligence around policy." Meaning, shaping the intel from CIA/NSA/FBI/etc. so that it fit what they wanted so they could justify, to the American people and Congress, invading Iraq.

Important stuff, huh? Well our press has been its spineless self and hardly anyone has even mentioned it (the WashPost had one article a couple weeks ago on A-18):

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
So if little people like me don't do shit, there will be no consequences. And it is with that in mind that I announce: The Talking Lion, alongside veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, and about 150+ blog, has joined the After Downing Street alliance (Big Brass Alliance).


Whats happening right now? Well:

John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush. Bonifaz's memo, made available today at www.AfterDowningStreet.org, begins: ‘The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution.’"
So, we who are in this alliance are going to do what we can to raise awareness of this bullshit to force Congress to begin an inquiry.

Conyers has a petition and is seeking 100,000 signatures. So friggin SIGN HERE. Write your congress people HERE.

More on this later...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Texas is a barrel of stupid crazy..


Keep up the good work Texas. This thumbs up is dedicated to you!


Texas has banned all marriage, well almost. Thats right, in its quest to stop dudes from kissing and getting health care, Texas is on the verge of accidentally banning all marriage. How, you ask?

New addition to the Texas Constitution to be voted upon in November (it passed in both Texas Senate and House):

Sec. 32. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Hmmm, whats identical to marriage? Well, marriage. For more go read
Jonathan Ichikawa's blog or Majikthise's on the subject (the comments on Ichikawa's are excellent).

Texas, you make me giggle as often as you make me weep.

A Comic Strip about Yours Truly...

Tom the Dancing Bug makes me laugh uncontrollabley. His political stuff is amazing and his non-political stuff never dissapoints. Here's a comic strip he wrote about me:

Tom Tomorrow is also unstoppable.

PS. Don't be a baby, watch the add and get into Salon, its fucking worth it. I mean, damn, stop whinning like all over the place.

You pass, Washington Post. You know what you got? F+, click.

Pretty great article in Sunday's Outlook section of the WashPost (Outlook is the most consitent section of the Post, there really hasn't been a week where there wasn't at least one great article).

Here are the highlights:

Before good-government types go all weak in the knees about the Great Filibuster Compromise of 2005, they might do well to recall the Great Filibuster Compromise of 2004.

Don't remember that one? That's understandable: It didn't change anything.

That deal, which was reached last May, guaranteed up-or-down votes on 25 Bush judicial nominees in exchange for a promise that the White House wouldn't bypass the Senate by making any more of those dastardly recess appointments to the bench.

Yeah, I must have been asleep or something, becuase I did not remember this. Sigh, let us read on:

But the compromise had no real effect at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush simply pressed ahead last year with his intention to put his stamp on the federal judiciary, naming the same kinds of conservatives after the 2004 deal -- and after his re-election -- as he had before. Sometimes he renominated the very same people who had been turned down earlier, reviving antagonisms with Democrats.
He's that guy. He's just pulled so much shit without any consequences... can God send me one day of accountibility for this man? I mean just enough to smack the smirk off his face.
What's to stop Bush from following the same course this year? Not much. Last year's compromise is a vague memory because it failed to alter any of the dynamics between the two sides of a philosophic divide that last week brought the Senate to the brink of a standstill.
Yeah, my thoughts exactly. The problem with this latest compromise is that it effectively does nothing but let in 3 jerk-offs to the lifetime-appointment club. Bleh.

In trying to understand Bush's motivations, and his possible next moves, one other thing must be said: He does not like the way Democrats talk about his nominees...

[...]

Bush wasn't occupying the White House when John Ashcroft, then a Republican senator from Missouri, derailed Ronnie White, one of Bill Clinton's judicial nominees, with the ludicrous slur that White was "pro-criminal." Bush has convinced himself that Democrats shouldn't consider such history. But they do, as Bush learned when he nominated Kavanaugh, whose crime in Democrats' eyes is that he served on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's staff.

Free from the burden of historical memory, Bush can just get indignant. He wasn't in town during Starr's investigation, and he thinks he knows the gentlemanly, soft-spoken Kavanaugh a bit better than liberal judicial activist Ralph Neas does -- for the simple reason that Kavanaugh works at the White House and Bush sees him almost every day. It was Kavanaugh's wedding that Bush went to a year ago in Georgetown after giving that radio address on judicial activism and marriage; Kavanaugh married Bush's personal secretary.

To paraphrase the late House speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr.: These days, all politics is personal.

Good work, WashPost.

F+, click.

Thank you



Today we remeber those who died in uniform. They died fighting for our country. We owe them.

Part of me wants to make jokes/spew hatred at our leadership for the current mess and blah blah blah, but thats just unchecked cynicism that has consumed me since Gore v. Bush. So while I bow my head and wish their souls well, go visit The Heretik for some more eloquent words. And Pandagon, for that matter.

Einstein said, "The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service." But I (wish I wasn't a cynical deist or I would) pray for those who don't have that choice; the poor always fill the most flag-draped coffins. I (would) pray for their souls and pray for retribution upon those who sent them to their deaths for... what? I think it starts with "o".

But today isn't about politics or policy or assholes, its about remembering those who fought and died for us. And I will. And I thank them.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

John Paul Stevens just refuses to die

So, fresh from the AP wire this morning, a story about how the Bush administration is narrowing its list for a Rhenquist's replacement, who's retirement, it seems, is imminent.

Of course, the retirement of the third-most conservative judge on the court won't do much to change the political makeup of the court, other than the possibility of Bush appointing someone so far to the right that he/she makes Antonin Scalia look like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Speaking of RBG, the story also mentions how Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor are both in their 70's and John Paul Stevens is 85 years old. He's been on the bench for THIRTY YEARS! The man was a Ford appointee and he's one of the most liberal members of the court and he REFUSES TO DIE.

Bush is the only president in a long-ass time not to get to appoint a member of the court. During the 2000 election, most pundits took it as a given that the winner of the Bush-Gore battle would likely appoint at least one Justice. This has to irk Bush and the conservative community to no end. It's the last branch of remaining that hasn't been completely taken over by the right. And they want it. Bad. The moderate/liberal five of Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens and O'Conner has allowed the Court some ridiculously radical decisions, like striking down sodomy laws, for example, and conservatives have had enough.

This is why I think John Paul Stevens is so bad ass. He's by far the oldest on the court and, since 1994, has been considered to be the most likely to retire or die and leave an opening. It's no wonder this guy is still going strong, the fact that everyone else is writing him off is giving him plenty of motivation to keep it all together.

I'd suggest the progressive community focus their efforts on keeping this guy alive long enough to survive the Bush presidency, but I really don't think he needs any extra help. Stevens is going to stick around as long as he wants to, damn it. And Bush can't do a thing about it...

The Misinformation Age

Good piece in the Seattle Times today on the Tillman family reaction to the army's handling of their son's death: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002291242_pitts29.html

The army may not try and label the parents who were upset that the army did not divulge the true nature of their son's death in Afghanistan (it was friendly fire, not combat with the enenmy) as unpatriotic, but I wouldn't be surprised if many Americans did. Despite the fact that it has been almost a full four years since the 9/11 attacks, there is still this sense that any criticism of the military or our aggressive foriegn policy. This country still seems to be caught up in this bizarre sort of jingoism that is part xenophobia, part ignorance and part fear.

Pitts hits the nail on the head at the end of the story when he refers to these times we live in as the "Misinformation Age." I'm not sure if he coined the term himself, but it's very appropriate for this day in age where most Americans get their current events from Fox News and conservative talk radio. People just fail to recognize these Murdoch-owned media outlets were established with the number one priority of winning the ratings battle, and thus maximizing profits, by telling people what they want to hear instead of reporting on the news.

It's just a shame that in this current political environment, the only people who can get away with criticizing the current administration on military matters are those who have had their son killed by friendly fire...

The WashPost might as well not exist...

For a perfect example of "non-biased" aka lazy journalism feel free to read this wonderful peice on bloggers in the Post today.

I mean its just wasted column inches reporting what he said and then what she said and then what he said again and then what she said and then finally what he said. But wait more of what she said!

No conclusion, no evaluation of sources, just copy+paste+meet-my-deadline.

Jerks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Au-dessus du Tour Eiffel


This is me when I was a cheese-eating surrender monkey last summer. You can even see Les Champs-Elysees in the background. Speaking of which, what a great name for a street. Posted by Hello

I'm going to go out on a limb here...

...and guess that this is the first link we've received on another blog. Major thanks to The Heretik.

Semi-regular argument for atheism #1

Ok, I'm going to get going with a trope, the "Semi-regular argument for atheism." Every few days/weeks I'm going to post a new argument for atheism. I don't want to offend, just foster debate. They won't be all exactly for atheism as such; sometimes just against a certain theistic idea, or a clarification. I'm not going to always cite where I got these arguments, I'll just point you in a general direction, although this first one is from the basic assumptions of the Raving Atheist. For more information you might want to check out The Secular Web (infidels.org).

What I'm going to argue against is the idea that God (and here I'm drawing on the theology I learned in twelve years of Catholic school) can possess the following three properties:
1. omnipotence (all powerful)
2. omniscience (all knowing)
3. omnibenevolence (all good)
and that the following proposition can obtain:
p. There is evil in the world.

It's not that God couldn't be any of these things, it's just that the three together are logically incompatible, without totally uprooting the standard meaning of the four terms involved (powerful, knowing, good, evil).

1) p
2) Assuming 1 & 2, 3 must be false because if God knows all evil, and has the power to stop all evil, then omnibenevolence obliges him to do so.
3) Assuming 1 & 3, 2 must be false, because if God has the power to end evil, and is obliged to do so by his omnibenevolence, then he must not know about all of the evil that exists.
4) Assuming 2 & 3, 1 must be false, because if God knows all evil and is obliged to end it, he must not have the power to do so.

Now, I want to nip some theological contortions in the bud before I let in comments. First, I am construing evil as suffering, injustice, and immoral acts. Second, one cannot claim that a balance between good and evil is necessary to God's plan, or that God allows us to do evil because to not do so would deny us free will; there are many things which humans are precluded from by our basic biology, and it is very clear that the capacity to do evil is part of our biological make-up. There are many things, like flying and breathing under water, that we cannot choose to do. God simply could have made us the sorts of creatures who don't sin. Evidently, he chose not to. Have at it.

A spot on prayer

Anna Quindlen's essay in this weeks Newsweek is spot on:
The intolerant, the monomaniacal, the zealots driven by religious certainty engineered the worst attack on American soil, and the result has been intolerance, monomania and zealotry driven by religious certainty.

I was drawn to the article because she is discussing Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's commencement address this year, and the fact that this is the first college graduating class to live entirely under the shadow of 9/11 (TIME this week featured a cover story on class '9/11 at West Point). Since 9/11 the fascist and theocratic elements in America have come to dominate the Republican Party, and we are now a nation seen by much of the world as a graver threat than our enemies, for the first time in history. To add to the bleakness, since the election it has become abundantly clear to almost everyone that respect for the "faith" and "values" of these people is something that the "secularists" must do in order to continue being Americans, even if their beliefs are dangerously stupid, ignorant, or insane. Everyone is entitled to belief, damn the evidence! This has resulted in civil discourse has become more stifled, where power and volume dominate reason and intellectual responsibility. She writes:
President Bollinger, who has recently navigated a pitched battle about academic freedom and civil classroom discourse on his own campus, described intellectual inquiry thus: "To learn to ask: 'Is that true? Maybe there's something to what she just said. Let me think about it. That's interesting. Maybe I should change my mind. I changed my mind'."

When is the last time you can honestly remember a public dialogue, or even a private conversation, that followed that useful course? To shy away from rigorous intellectual engagement is not new for undergraduates; in 1998 a study done by an anthropologist at Grinnell College reported the most common discussion model among students was stating what they were certain they already believed, not learning what they did not or exploring the views of those with whom they disagreed. Eighty-four percent of the first-year class believed that one of the paramount values of the college was to make sure all its members felt comfortable. "Exploring new ideas, encountering people with different values, learning a new discipline's way of thinking and having someone point out a flaw in one's argument—these can be uncomfortable experiences," Carol Trosset noted in her findings.

The important thing to realize about this is that it isn't what a lot of people are saying, i.e., fundamentalist principles and "faith" need to be respected, where the "secularists" are also seen as fundamentalists at war with the religious. Rather, it is an impassioned plea for empiricism and reasoned argument; the antithesis of faith and absolute certainty. It is a prayer for America to start doubting and questioning, moreso than expressing the (futile) hope that pundits will stop screaming at each other on Faux News.

Sleeping in...

Here's to Saturday.



I'm going to grill some chicken.

I'll leave the anger and the awesome for Sunday.

In the mean time, listen to these albums:

Interpol, Turn on the bright Lights
The Streets, Original Pirate Material
Dragonforce, Valley of the Damned
Deltron 0, Deltron 3030

...and I'll be with you in spirit...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Awesome, just awesome...

Hey, The World Policy Institute released a study on arms sales:
Perhaps no single policy is more at odds with President Bush’s pledge to "end tyranny in our world" than the United States’ role as the world’s leading arms exporting nation.

The reports executive summary is brutal, and I'll just quote some stuff for now with a substantive post later in the evening.

In 2003, the last year for which full information is available, the United States transferred weaponry to 18 of the 25 countries involved in active conflicts. From Angola, Chad and Ethiopia, to Colombia, Pakistan and the Philippines, transfers through the two largest U.S. arms sales programs (Foreign Military Sales and Commercial Sales) to these conflict nations totaled nearly $1 billion in 2003, with the vast bulk of the dollar volume going to Israel ($845.6 million).
[...]

In 2003, more than half of the top 25 recipients of U.S. arms transfers in the developing world (13 of 25) were defined as undemocratic by the U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report: in the sense that "citizens do not have the right to change their own government" or that right was seriously abridged. These 13 nations received over $2.7 billion in U.S. arms transfers under the Foreign Military Sales and Commercial Sales programs in 2003, with the top recipients including Saudi Arabia ($1.1 billion), Egypt ($1.0 billion), Kuwait ($153 million), the United Arab Emirates ($110 million) and Uzbekistan ($33 million).

When countries designated by the State Department’s Human Rights Report to have poor human rights records or serious patterns of abuse are factored in, 20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003-- a full 80%-- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses.

Fucking ridiculous.

So I guess that's a good point, David Brooks, but...

I should make it clear right from the start here that I hate, hate David Brooks (and of course I mean the body of writing bearing his name, not he himself). The kind of hate that makes it impossible for me not to read him because I like it so much. This isn't Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity hatred, though. I hate David Brooks because he is such a monumental waste of prime op-ed space. He has nothing to say, ever. So it's a shocker to me when he sort of makes good point:
...we can have a culture war in this country, or we can have a war on poverty, but we can't have both. That is to say, liberals and conservatives can go on bashing each other for being godless hedonists and primitive theocrats, or they can set those differences off to one side and work together to help the needy.

Ok, that sounds pretty good. But given Brooks' general vapidity and incoherency, what is he really saying?

One of David Brooks' only talents is for inventing turns-of-phrase that cleverly mask momentous piles of bullshit. It has occurred to him that we can have a culture war, or a war on poverty. At first, this is a pretty seductive idea, so I want you to take a deep breath and utter a nice loud "WWWHHHHAAAAATTTTT???????" What possible reason do we have for supposing this to be true? I want to really unpack this idea--we're going to see some of that Wittgenblogging I promised right here, right now. In lieu of in depth analysis, I'm going to ask a few pointed questions, make a few remarks, and hopefully generate some debate.

First, what does Brooks mean by "culture war" and "war on poverty," and more importantly, how do these terms actually function in the discourse in which Brooks takes part?

Second, why does Brooks think that they're incompatible?

Third, of what do these "wars" actually consist? [e.g., media sensationalism, christian persecution complex, political grandstanding, general debasement of culture, independent organizations actually doing things, evangelicals voting for candidates who are expressly not concerned with poverty or human rights]

As to the first question, these two terms obviously grab on to a host of issues in America. The "culture war" is a general opposition between social liberals and social conservatives--opposing "value systems"--or at least that's how Brooks likes to use it. However, Brooks generally has nothing but praise for evangelicals, and very little for...well, it's a lot harder to pin down the "secularists" because there is no such cultural-political bloc. There just isn't the cohesiveness. So I think that the culture war is largely a manufacture of propaganda--conservative propaganda. The tireless right-wing media machine has gotten the social conservative to believe that there are dangerous secularists out there plotting to destroy all that is good and holy and replace is with anal sex and cannabis (that there is not really a problem with either of those things is another issue altogether). That there are two opposite sides at war is a total fiction. Essentially, I think that evangelicals are being had. They get almost everything wrong.

As to a war on poverty, I don't think David Brooks has the slightest idea what he's talking about. If you consider any of the facts on the ground, it's obvious that there are many, many oranizations, religious and secular, who work tirelessly for the poor (and social justice, human rights, environmental preservation, etc.). Guess who most of the people associated with these organizations didn't vote for--George W. Bush. David Brooks does not give a shit about a war on poverty. David Brooks cares about defeating the "militant secularists" he's dreamed up. At least that's my take on this article. Secular and religious organizations do work together to help the poor, and the culture war is largely a product of the right-wing propaganda machine.

David Brooks, keep your brain farts to yourself. Stop writing.

Comment-O-Rama

Check out the heated thread of comments and my own retorts here, they're on Sean's post about Viginia's love of teh Gay. It gets kind of intensely bitter at times but thats becuase everyone in this thread knows eveyone else (except for pat who lives in philly and no one cares).

any way. its a good read, and leave a comment if you dare....

Thursday, May 26, 2005

His friends call him Lyle

Some of you might remember the Dana Carvey SNL skit from the late 80's entitled "Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual" (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/89/89elyle.phtml). A better name for the skit might be "The Jerry Kilgore story."

Republicans don't come too much more conservative than Virginia Attorney General and 2005 gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore. And like a true conservative republican, Kilgore is strongly against gay rights. The funny thing is that when you listen to him speak, he has what many people would describe as a "gay sounding" voice. For a sample, click the link in the top left corner: http://www.jerrytheduck.com/

I think it's hilarious that one of these Republicans who is quick to define the gay community as a crude charicature that, in addition to having sex all the time and lacking any sort of moral code, speaks with a nasal lisp actually talks "gay" himself.

Unfortunately, it seems like the Kaine campaign has been trying to use this to their advantage, playing to the homophobia that is more than prevalent in this state by putting out radio ads that call out Kilgore for not using his own voice in advertisements, claiming that Kilgore "is hiding behind slick radio announcers" and asserting that Kilgore "isn't being straight" with the voters. Mike Slaven wrote a fantastic piece about this a few weeks ago: http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle.asp?ID=23433&pid=1298

While these tactics are unfortunate coming from the Democratic camp and should be stopped, I still have to laugh at the irony of all of this. The politician who is trying to appeal to a core base of conservative homophobes may lose votes because he fits the kind of inaccurate stereotypes that he himself is promoting.

For your listening pleasure, here's a link to the "Jerry Kilgore Techno Remix"
http://www.people.virginia.edu/~clh7n/jerry_kilgore_techno_remix.mp3

We're rich, biatches!

The New York Times has been running a multi-part series entitled "Class Matters" which, according to nytimes.com aims to explore "ways that class - defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation - influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity." In Part 5, which ran in Tuesday's paper (nytimes), some disheartening facts were revealed about the University that I attend:

"'The system makes a false promise to students," said John T. Casteen III, the president of the University of Virginia, himself the son of a Virginia shipyard worker.
Colleges, Mr. Casteen said, present themselves as meritocracies in which academic ability and hard work are always rewarded. In fact, he said, many working-class students face obstacles they cannot overcome on their own.
For much of his 15 years as Virginia's president, Mr. Casteen has focused on raising money and expanding the university, the most prestigious in the state. In the meantime, students with backgrounds like his have become ever scarcer on campus. The university's genteel nickname, the Cavaliers, and its aristocratic sword-crossed coat of arms seem appropriate today. No flagship state university has a smaller proportion of low-income students than Virginia. Just 8 percent of undergraduates last year came from families in the bottom half of the income distribution, down from 11 percent a decade ago.
That change sneaked up on him, Mr. Casteen said, and he has spent a good part of the last year trying to prevent it from becoming part of his legacy. Starting with next fall's freshman class, the university will charge no tuition and require no loans for students whose parents make less than twice the poverty level, or about $37,700 a year for a family of four. The university has also increased financial aid to middle-income students. "

Unfortunately, the article made no mention of the recent Charter initiative, which will mean that every student that is not desperately poor will have tutition raised for at least the next decade, and likely long after (see: Critical Mass for more). This means that in-state students who are merely hovering around the poverty line won't get to attend U. Va. at the standard public school rate.

I admire the fact that Casteen has risen to his position growing up in a working-class family, but the fact that he is touting Access UVA (the name of the program granting free tuition to these desperately poor students) as the program that will alter our status as the the top public university with the smallest percentage of low-income students is frustrating.

As expected, members of the Board of Visitors expressed "surprise" and said they felt "embarrassed" (Daily Progress) but they don't seem to be interested in doing much about it.

It came as no surprise to me that so few people from blue-collar background want to come to U. Va. Just walking around Grounds you find yourself overwhelmed by the elitism and snobbery emanating from the student body. The school is large enough that there are plenty of different types of people with different interests and different styles, but with the dominating presence of popped collars, frilly skirts and pearls, it has the air of a country club more than a place of learning.

Casteen has done a lot in terms of making the University of Virginia more diverse culturally and intellectually. But economic diversity is important too and I hope he, the Dean of Admissions and the BOV will recognize this are as a place where they need to improve.

Edit: I reformated Sean's links so that they would fit without messing with my window. --Arun

Wow.

At a phony townhall in New York:

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

—President Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24th, 2005

This is how much respect he has for Americans. He has so much contempt for us and the press that he knows that he won't get any shit from saying something like this.

And I'm proud to be an American, cuz at least I know I'm free...

I SPOTTED MILDRED!

Holy Shit! I saw that crazy lady from last summer that tried to blind me with pepper-spray!!

If you have no idea what I am talking about click here.

Jeez, she look crazier than ever. She didn't see me I don't think; so there was no rematch, but I'll survive the disapointment.

That is all, over and out.

Trip Down Memory Ln...

For some reason this memory popped into my head for some reason this morning, allow me to share..for some reason for some reason for some reason...:

For whatever reason I had the esteemed privillege of attending the first inauguration of GWB in 2001. Not to sound melodramatic, but the weather perfectly captured my mood: fucking miserable. It was wet and the grass was muddy, there was a light rain at times and it was cold.

The whole thing lasted for what seemed like years and about 20 minutes into the thing I managed to construct a sign from my shoulder bag and a permanent marker. "BUCK FUSH" my sign proclaimed in just the cleverest genius of my 11th grade wit.

I held up the sign sporadically over the next hour as Bush paraded Xtian clergyman after clergyman. The person next to me turned to me. He's a tallish, middle-aged white man with a giant handlebar mustache hiding a pock-marked face and messed-up teeth. He was brandishing a "Don't Mess With Texas" pin the size of a grape fruit on an expensive looking sportscoat. He looked agitated and slightly perplexed.

"Why the hell are you a Democrap," he inquired in a heavy southern drawl,"you're not black...are ya queer?"

Sigh.

No, no. Thank you Red State America.

PS. here's a pic of me that day. its been a while...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I wish I could kid with certain people...

Hilarious.

Burt Reynolds slaps TV producer



NEW YORK (AP) -- Burt Reynolds slapped a television producer in the face while a camera was rolling at a movie premiere, but the actor's spokesman said he was just being playful after the man acknowledged he hadn't seen Reynolds' latest film.

The producer was asking Reynolds about his new movie "The Longest Yard" outside the premiere Tuesday night when the actor appeared to become annoyed.

"You don't know anything about the movie?" Reynolds, 69, asked the producer for CBS News PATH, which provides video footage to affiliate stations.

The producer acknowledged he hadn't seen it or the original 1974 version -- and then Reynolds smacked him. "What ... kind of guy are you?" Reynolds asked.

WCBS-TV aired the footage Wednesday morning. The producer was just outside the camera's range when Reynolds delivered a quick but audible slap.

WCBS declined to give the producer's name. (because he just got owned on film)

Jeff Lane, a spokesman for Reynolds, said in a statement that Reynolds "playfully tapped (the producer) on the cheek, as if to say, 'Well, that's not very nice.' He was kidding."


Awesome. Heres a short list of people I would love to kid with, Burt Reynolds style (preferably while drink-sodden):

- The Republican Party
- every advocate of Intelligent Design
- anyone in the entertainment industry involved in this summers clusterfuck of remakes...
- George Lucas
- your mother.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Saying what needed to be said...

Thank you representative from...Texas? That's right! Representative from Houston in the Texas legislature, Senfronia Thompson, has a few important words to say about a recent anti-gay measure passed in Texas.

Molly Ivins has a good piece, consisting of healthy quotes from Thompson's remarks. For them click here.

Here are some highlights:

"Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination... When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage' as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree... Fifty years ago, white folks thought interracial marriages were 'a threat to the institution of marriage.'

"Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, 'Gay people can't marry.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination.' Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness -- not hate and discrimination.

[...]

"Last week, Republicans used a political wedge issue to pull kids -- sweet little vulnerable kids -- out of the homes of loving parents and put them back in a state orphanage just because those parents are gay. That's disgusting.

"I have listened to the arguments. I have listened to all of the crap... I want you to know that this amendment [is] blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry."

...Fucking beautiful. Why can't there be more politicians like her? I dare someone to say anything to this.

Sexy Sexy Religious Intolerance...

WWJD? Make hillarious jokes! LOL!!!!!!11111oneoneonewon

FOREST CITY, N.C. -- A Baptist minister refuses to apologize for a church sign saying the Muslim holy book should be flushed. "I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong," said the Rev. Creighton Lovelace of Danieltown Baptist Church. "I knew that whenever we decided to put that sign up that there would be people who wouldn't agree with it, and there would be some that would, and so we just have to stand up for what's right."

[...]

The church sign read[s], "The Koran needs to be
flushed
,"...



Ahhhhh, let us all bask in the joyful and healing blessing that is organized religion and its smooth and beautiful intergration with inbred idiots. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.....

Arun + Perspective: Hmmm. I seem to be angry today.

Hooray?

So did we win? Wait, we didn't?

No, no, thank you, New York Times:
In Senate Deal, a Modest Win for Bush, but More Tests Lie Ahead

WASHINGTON, May 23 - President Bush won enough from the bipartisan compromise on judicial nominees on Monday night to claim a limited victory, but he now faces a series of additional tests of his political authority, with the stakes extending to the fate of his second-term agenda...

Well I don't know that Bush won much more than 3 nominees, which is more than none. But, I think the real victory here is that the Dem's showed that they can pussy out of an important fight without losing their shirts. Also the pictures of Frist afterward make him look... well, special:




(note: this photo was not edited)


What really chaffes my ass is the NYTimes article on this anti-climactic non-nuclear showdown. In general the article is fine. What kills me is where they talk about Bush's "testing the limits of his power":

From his push to add investment accounts to Social Security to his nomination of John R. Bolton to be the United States envoy to the United Nations to his opposition to pork barrel spending in the Senate's highway construction bill, Mr. Bush has been assertive and even provocative in probing the limits of his own power.

Hmmm. His "provocative" "opposition to pork barrel spending" resulted in his not using his mint condition, never-removed-from-the-box veto on the bill that was nothing but pig. Talent Show has a great post from a couple days back on this.

Anyway, I wish the nuclear option would have come to a vote. It would have been defeated as well as a huge "fuck you" to Bill Frist and his pack of goons.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Virginia is for (Non-Gay) Lovers

The Virginia House of Delegates has its fair share of crazy motherfuckers. I always believed that Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), who said that universities that allowed their students access to emergency contraception were "turning young women into love canals for frat house playboys" (see http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle.asp?ID=18805&pid=1117), was craziest of them all. But Delegate Richard Black (R-Loudon County) is giving Bobby boy a run for his money.

You see, an immoral high school student from Black's district named Sabrina Audrey Jess wrote a play that included gays. Not only that, but she had the audacity to actually make them compelling characters in the story. The play, titled "Offsides" depicts a football player who struggles with his sexuality and features an "almost kiss" between two dudes. Black decided that this warranted an "action alert," according to the Associated Press. In essence, he raised the homosexual alert level to Code Red in Loudon County. And many of his constituents did not sit idly by while the terrorists threatened the sacred moral code of our nation. They flooded the Loudon County school system with emails, one of which read, in part:

"We are continually lectured on the idea that we need to keep God out of our classroom. Am I now to believe that the reason we need to keep God out is so that homosexual teachings can have free reign?"

Yes, it's a vast homosexual conspiracy. That's why the Founding Father established a separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison got it on with each other all the time. The real reason George Washington was able to survive the long hard winter at Valley Forge was the heat generated by the passionate lovemaking between the general and his soldiers. In fact, the Constitutional Convention was just one huge gay orgy. Why else would they keep the curtains closed throughout the entire summer and refuse to discuss with the public what was going on in there?

When homosexuals become more visible to Americans, many are quick to point to a moral decline of our culture as the blame. A member of the Loudon County school board, J. Warren Guerin, proposed a ban on all plays that “contain sexual themes, promote sexuality or depict sexual acts”. The only problem is that will likely exclude every single play ever made by anyone ever, particularly, most of the works of Shakespeare.

So, the only solution is to bring God into the classroom. The holy words of Jesus Christ will surely heal the gays of their disease. The only problem is that there are only a handful of references to homosexuality in the Bible. And Jesus spent much of his time befriending sinners that were shunned by society. His main focus was convincing his audience to help the poor and love their neighbors.

Silly Jesus. Doesn't he listen to Jerry Falwell? The gay teletubby is brainwashing our children! That's where our time and energy should be directed.

Keep doing God's work, good citizens of Loudon County. Don't stop sending those emails to your school district. Your country needs you.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Wittgenblogging

Ok, the reason I haven't posted on anything political yet is because I'm trying to figure out how I want to attack thing. Or, rather, I know how I want to attack things, but I've had to think about how to put it into words, so I've come up with a slogan: Wittgenblogging. As Arun and hopefully a few of our other readers know Austro-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) devoted the mature part of his philosophical career to rooting out various sorts of philosophical "nonsense" (that's incredibly crude, and in a way completely wrong, but fine for my purposes). Well, most of my writings here are not going to be addressing philosophical nonsense, but rather the nonsense that dances on the current cultural-political stage (e.g., The New York Times editorial page). So I will mainly be taking things that people say and subjecting them to rigorous interrogation. I don't want to, or claim to, be doing journalism. I don't even really want to be putting out opinions. I just want to attack what's out there with an intellectual rapier, and what doesn't survive, oughtn't. One of the major strategies I'm going to employ, then, is the "how the hell could anyone possibly believe this shit?!?" strategy; I will argue strenuously for whatever bile Ann Coulter or whoever is spewing, not to defend her (she is, quite frankly, indefensible) but to get at WHY someone might be inclined to agree with her, and from that standpoint take things apart. I think I'm going to start with Brooks and Tierney, as a follow up to one of Arun's recent posts.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Pornstars make strange Dinner guests...

Well this is simply stunning, from ainews.com:

(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, D.C. on June 14th. Kulkis was invited to attend the event by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is organizing the event.

Over a two-day course of NRCC events preceding the dinner, Carey and Kulkis will be attending a meeting with Presidential advisor Karl Rove, giving their recommendations on important national issues."I'm hoping to run as Lieutenant Governor of California next year," Carey said. "Since Arnold is a Republican, I thought this dinner would be a great networking opportunity for me."

"I'm honored to be invited to this event," Kulkis said. "Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won't find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year."

"I'm especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove," Carey added. "Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he's against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn't so bad!"

Awesome. This is awesome. I guess the real question is: Will Karl Rove finally get laid?

Stay The Course

It's good to know we have a president who listens to the American people. Here's a quote from GWB in today's Washington Post:

"I'm just beginning this debate," Bush said in an appearance at the Milwaukee Art Museum, his 32nd Social Security event of the year. "I'm going to spend whatever time it takes to continue traveling the country and make it absolutely clear to the people, we've got a problem."

That's right. The president is not interested in what you think about Social Security. He's knows there's a problem and it's your job to listen to him and do what he says. Besides, thinking about the complexities of Social Security reform will make your head hurt. Just sit back, pour yourself a cold glass of lemonade and enjoy another episode of American Idol. That Ryan Seacrest is so dreamy...

Bush is on the 78th day of what was supposed to be only a two-month barnstorming tour. The president decided to extend his time on the road because many Congressmen in his own party think his reform plan is a bad idea. So, instead of taking a second look at the plan, Bush simply continued to "stay the course," pushing forward with his plan despite blatantly obvious failures and continuing to insist that legislation includes personal investment accounts funded with payroll taxes. Because in this country, apparently, courage is a synonym for stubborn. These colors don't run, motherfucker!!!!!11one

This is just another example of this administration refusing to ever admit they were wrong about anything. It happened with the War in Iraq, but that didn’t bother enough Americans to keep Bush from winning a second term. After all, it's okay to send poor people off to die; their lives suck anyway. But when it comes to the Social Security reform, which affects everyone's pocketbooks, the country has begun to take notice. According to the Post, only 29 percent of Americans approve of the president's handling of Social Security, and his job approval rating has dropped to 43 percent.

Having any second thoughts, America? Nov. 2, 2004 was not that long ago...

At least Bush is open to talking to the public about his plan and hearing what they have to say. His appearance at the Milwaukee Art Museum was in front of an invitation-only audience. So if you had something to say to the president about his plan, any sort of suggestion or question you were guaranteed the right to wait outside, and maybe, if you're lucky get within earshot to ask him in a loud voice. But be careful to not say anything too negative. Dissent is un-American.

Too. Many. Full. Stops.

Looking over my first two post, i realize that I. did. this. too. many. times. So I'm done with that. Now on to something completely different...

Santorum likes Nazi's?

Big surprise I know. Heres an awesome quote from Ricky S on the floor of the Senate yesterday:
Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania countered, "It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942." He said Democratic protests over Republican efforts to ensure confirmation votes would be like the Nazi dictator seizing Paris and then saying: "I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It's mine."

Hmmm. This is an interesting analogy; let us examine it. First, he's calling the Democrats, all of them, Hitler. Second, the R's are presumably the Allied Powers. NO! WAIT! Are they the, dare I say it, French? No, maybe "People of Faith"TM are the French. Or are they the bombs?

Moving on, Hitler(D's) is whining about being bombed, and he shouldn't be.

Sooooooooo, Santorum is basically saying that the Dems, despite being in an obvious minority, are fascist dictators forcing the Senate to do everything they say (for example, the Dems were behind all those nasty plots to fuck the environment, poor, elderly, and A-rabs). But thankfully, the Republicans are coming to the Rescuuuuue! And not a moment too soon.

Its stunning that he even considered calling Dems Hitler, but he did. This analogy is rather obvious bullshit. But apart from the shitstorm Santorum will receive from the ADL and PA Jewish groups, its awesome that he made this analogy. It's very apt, just not in the way Ricky intended.

In fact, the Dem's are a wimpy version of the Allied Powers, and the R's are a weird, whining Hitler* (who is also beholden to corporo-churches and industry). The Resistance are us bloggers and the people of Paris are the people of the US. Republitler rolled in with his Panzers of Christ TM, and are trying to complete their dominance of France with this Nuclear Option. And when the Wimpy Allied Dems try to stop them, Republiter is just so offended.

"How dare you try to make it so that I can't do just whatever the hell I want? Don't You know who I am? I am Republiter!"

"Well, sir, you shouldn't, um, do this. We're going to try and, um, stop you," says the Dems, wimpily.

"STOP OPPRESSING ME!!!!!!!!!" cried Republiter,"WHY DO YOU HATE GOD SO MUCH?"

* Let me be clear that I don't think that the GOP is the same as Hitler, but they are doing their damnedest to enter the same dicator-ial league. We all (should) know that Hitler became a dictator through legal means (in the sense that there wasn't a violent revolution, he was given the power by the legislature). If they are successful in stripping the minority party of any ability to represent their electorate, the R's will have brought this country to the beginning of the slippery slope into creating a one-party state.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

riverrun...

I've been struggling through Ulysses of late, and I've gotta tell you, it's the best piece of literature I've ever read, bar none. Or so I thought. Last night, I was at a used bookstore with the Beast, Julie, and I picked up a copy of Finnegan's Wake that was in really good condition for only five quid. MOST. AMAZING. PROSE. EVER. Allow me to give the world a little taste of the first page:
The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner-
ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-
nuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since dev-linsfirst loved livvy.

The entire 600+ page book narrates the night of one Finnegan, a native of a suburb of Dublin, from the time he falls asleep to the time he wakes. This is the third paragraph, so he's just dozed off, and that huge word at the beginning is thunder rumbling. The paragraph makes a parallel allusion to the fall of Adam and Eve (the book begins: " riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.") and the fall of Humpty Dumpty. Because this is a dream, the two are free to comingle. But the allusion is secondary to just how. beautiful. the. language. is. Spend a little time absorbing it. It's so playful. I read the first ten pages like it was a rare and wonderful narcotic. Just amazing.

A link for the full e-text here.

Good Morning...

Well Star Wars is definitely worth the 10 bucks the ticket cost. Which is nice.

More on this go to Jesse's post at Pandagon. I agree with most of it. Especially the plot wholes stuff. But I still enjoyed the movie

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Effing Hilarious...

I stumbled across this great article by John Rodat, in MetroLand Online. Its a great read but allow me to highlight some of the funniest bits.

The story is about the options for someone desperately seeking out liberal voices in mainstream press. rodat offers some great lines about the state of the NYT Op-Ed page:

On Brooks...
In my opinion, David Brooks is the worst of the lot...what's really infuriating is Brooks' transparent appeal to reg'lar folk. He slams Manhattanite rice cake addicts, and name checks Cinnabon, The Da Vinci Code and of course the Good Book, he touts the folksy pleasure of extra biscuits at the breakfast buffet, all to advance the cause of socially productive mediocrity. Socially Productive mediocrity. Fucking shoot me.


On Teirney...
John Tierney, the newest kid on the Times' opinion block, is equally bad. In his column about the First Lady's humorous speech at a recent press dinner (Laura Bush Talks Dirty, 5/3/05), this partisan Yale grad claims that middle-class Americans are moving to Red States and Republican exurbs for more jobs, affordable houses and the lower taxes offered by Republican politicians. Let's skip...right to Tierney's butt- kissing: [Middle class Americans], too, watch Desperate Housewives, and they're not surprised to hear Laura Bush doing Chippendales jokes. They've spent their own dollar bills there. They don't see anything the matter with that or with themselves.
He also says that the Chippendales set identifies with the president because, when Jon Stewart sneers at him, they empathize because they're used to being sneered at themselves. OK, let me get this straight: Desperate housewives tired of being intelligently mocked for their weekends spent stuffing sweaty bills into the thongs of beefy, arrhythmic Fabios like our president because they, too, know the pain of being an Ivy League-educated millionaire, whose every fuck-up propels him to further wealth, prominence and power? Oh, I see.


He gives backhanded praise to Freidman and doesn't even mention Krugman (who is by far the most concentrated form of awesome on that page). But all in all I agree with his criticisms.

Basically theres no way that the Op-Ed-payplan is going to work, its just not worth it.

The New American Dictionary

Advance excerpts from the New American Dictionary of the FUTURE:

Judicial Activism(n.): a decision made by a judge that someone somewhere disagrees with on whatever grounds.(see: segregation)

Judicial Tyranny (n.): when a judge does his/her job.(see: segregation)

People of Faith (n.): totally all-inclusive term for all people who believe in God, not just Christians, we swear.(see: just Christians)

People of Faith, Attacks on (n.): when the Judiciary or the militant secularists and the gays tyrannically persecute the tiny minority that is the People of Faith. (see: bullshit)

Tiny Minority (n.): definitely not the majority of country, we swear. (see: more than 2/3rds of the population identifies themselves as Christians, you jerks)

Persecution (v.): when someone stops Christians from oppressing everyone else. (see: always)

...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.

My name is Sean. I write about sports.

But not all the time. Right now I am not writing about sports. But most of the time when my name is accompanied with some text that is available for the general public to read, it is about sports.

Why is that? Why don't I write about something other than sports?

Well, for one, writing about sports put me in a good mood. It's fun to watch sports, even if it's high school games that I'm assigned to cover for a medium-sized daily newspaper in Central Virginia. Watching an atheltic competition is a relaxing way to spend a chunk of your day and capturing the essence of such a competition in 15 inches of column space for 50,000 good people of the Charlottesville area is an enjoyable experience.

There are other things I enjoy, like eating, watching movies and having relations with the opposite sex. But for all of these subjects I don't have the expertise that I do when it comes to sports; I am nowhere near qualified enough to write on these topics.

There are other things that I am knoweldgable enough to write about, like Nickelodeon TV shows from the early 90's, the ins outs of delivering pizza and, to a lesser extent, politics and current events. As far as the first two are concerned, I am confident that very few people have any interest of reading what I have to say on any of those subjects. When it comes to politics and current events, I'm inclined to think otherwise.

But what makes me think anyone has an interest in hearing me talk about politics and current events? Well, it seems like Arun Butcher does. And that's good enough for me.

Like my esteemed colleagues Pat and Arun, I have opinions on the current shape of the world and the American political climate, among other things. I will be sharing those opinions with you in the future. I hope you find them to be of some value.

The Nuclear Option, A Few Thoughts

It's pretty clear that the Republican party has been hijacked by fundamentalist nutjobs and also garden-variety nutjobs. Luckily it appears that many of them cannot read, or at least do not read works of history.

I would direct your attention to the last time the R's tried to make major changes in the Constitution to curtail the operations of the D's.

The 23rd Amendment, the one that limits presidential terms to 2 per person, was largely an initiative by the new Republican majority in the legislature to make sure that there wouldn't be another FDR to eff up their monopolies and give poor people food for a million terms.

Yet the first president to be affected by this amendment was Eisenhower, an enormously popular republican president.

R's won't have the majority forever, sustained dominance is myth both globally and domestically. So the R's should keep that in mind when they consider this nuclear option.

They only "won" the executive by a slim margin, and you can only smear the queer for so long.

My. First. Post.

My name is Patrick, and most people think I'm interesting and mysterious. Then they get to know me, and find out I'm bookish, pretentious, and self-absorbed. Some still choose to like me though, which is nice. Arun was indeed here this past weekend, which delayed my posting. It's really getting to the point where the political climate in this country makes me want to crack skulls, so I'm going to try to post on other topics as well, to maintain my sanity, like how awesome James Joyce is. I also love Wittgenstein, cheese, and Radiohead. You'll hear more from me soon.

Bill Frist '08, pretty please?

Word around Washington is that this Frist character is making moves with the '08 presidential nomination in his sights.

Please
God, let this man represent the Republicans in a national election.


Frist has no shot, he looks like a vampire and I have proof! Here is Frist dressing up as a vampire on one of his days-off from being a complete tool:




Alright, I may have touched this up with MsPaint a little bit, but the essence of Frist's blood-sucking nature remains.

My mad mspaint skillz aside, Frist is spoiled goods. All the dems will have to do is replay his interview by the Abc guy with the long name, and hes toast.


Also, the Dems should talk about Terry Schiavo and also about his profiteering on the fears of 9/11.

But the Dems don't have bollocks. So, shit.

A substantive post will make an appearance soon, have no fear.

The Ny Post is a Douchebag

Score 1000 points for religious tolerance.


I can hear the pitch to the editor now:

"Ok, you know how there's two major sects in Islam?"

"What's Izz-lamm"

"Those guys that wear turbans on their heads and shit. You know, the brown people who hate us for our freedoms?"

"Still not following..."

"Not important, we can get away with some killer potty humor. Just trust me."

"Yes, Mr. President."


stab my eyes, stab my eyes, stab my eyes....


Sorry about Monday

I was in Philly visting Pat, who has yet to post on the site. Thanks to late nights and cheesesteaks i was unable to post for monday.

There will be posts today.

Furthermore, your mom.


UPDATE: It seems Sean Mclernon, of CavDaily fame, will soon be another member of the growing Pride that is The Talking Lion. he used to have a 'fro, but then he cut it becuase he is a jerk.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Strange but telling Insight into FauxNews

As everyone has heard, the White House and Capitol were evacuated yesterday because of a plane scare. This is a screenshot from the FauxNews covering the event:




I think this shows quite clearly that FauxNews recognizes the Republican-controlled White House and Capitol Building as RNC headquarters.

Could this be the first accurate (however inadvertently) news report on FauxNews?

The Washington Post is selling us out...

I love the Post. It is my favorite paper. But since 2003 it has consistently and without apology lost its bollocks.

This story was buried, burried, buried on page A18, in the online edition you have to go News -> World -> Middle East -> Iraq before its the top story. In the World online section an article about the fasttrack sainthood of JPII is 7 stories above the article:

British Intelligence Warned Blair of War: Prime Minister Was Told of White House's Resolve to Use Military Against Hussein

This sterile headline is for THE FIRST PRINT ARTICLE that the Post published discussing the meeting of Blair and the head of MI-6 (UK's CIA equivalent) that stated Bush intended to fix the intelligence around policy.


"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Am I the only one that thinks this is huge news? HUGE! This memo is the first solid proof that Bush lied to, Bush cheated, and Bush deceived the American people about the Iraq War. He was not -- I REPEAT, WAS NOT -- a victim of bad intelligence, he was the patron!


And this is the coverage? A-fucking-18?

And the article has no shame:


Although critics of the Iraq war have accused Bush and his top aides of misusing what has since been shown as limited intelligence in the prewar period, Bush's critics have been unsuccessful in getting an investigation of that matter.

FUCK YOU. If the liberal saviors of our print press, the New York Times and the Washington Post would do their job and SCREAM shit like this article on the front page where it belongs, it would be a whole fucking lot easier to get shit done about an investigation! ::wheeze gasp::

Sometime scissors-to-the-eyes seems like a vacation from awareness and righteous anger.

Underwear Introduction.

Get it? Underwear Intro? Brief Intro.... Yeah, I'm that clever.

Alright, let me make this quickish. My name is Arun Butcher (pronounced: Uh-roon). It used to be spelled Aroon so as not to be confused with an alternate spelling of Aaron. Buuuut, silly white people overemphasized the "oo", turning my name effectively into Arooooooooooooon.

But I digress. I am a senior History, Phil major at Pitt. I have also worked for the Kerry Campaign and the DNC; I was Youth Media liaison (liaison wasn't the actually title, I forget it just this second but its what I did essentially). I'm pretty hardcore democrat, but not the spineless bullshit-type Dem. Well, I hope I'm not.

The blog will be more on the commentary end of the journalism spectrum, and it will be awesome because its written by legendary PittNews columnist Arun Butcher.

As to the title, its from Wittgenstein, that quote is in the side bar. I may explain it sometime in full but for now if you need said explanation to make your life more complete, you can ask me.

My next post will kick this shit off!

Update: My good friend and fellow surrender-monkey, Pat Kirts will be joining me in this blog. He's a big jerk and no one likes him.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Perhaps this one will last longer than a summer!

Yes, it has begun once more. I have opinions. Developing....