The Talking Lion

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Empathy for the Devil...

Hey y'all.

Other than my bomb-ass column in the PittNews today I don't have much to say. So I'll just link farm like a camp:

Amanda(gon) Marcotte got a strange flyer.

Giblets of Fafblog! pitches my dinosaur idea but in a different direction. It's good to see my plans get some traction though.

The Heretik from yesterday on our articulate orator-in-chief.

I will be back to blogging as soon as I can add something. Read my column.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh Lordy...

Is anyone else nervous about this?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said he wants to make it easier for the military to take charge after a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, but the White House acknowledged Monday the proposal raises "a lot of issues" that need resolution.

Critics argue that putting active-duty troops on American streets would violate a long-standing tradition that keeps the military out of domestic law enforcement.

But Bush said he wanted to improve the federal response to a "catastrophic" event like Katrina, which left more than 1,000 people dead after it struck last month.

"I want there to be a robust discussion about the best way for the federal government, in certain extreme circumstances, to be able to rally assets for the good of the people," he said.

Making it easier for the facists to fascist. Why should I be worried?

Thats right, I just used fascist as a verb. Do something.

There is more to this story, I am just feeling really lazy. I'm sure it'll pass.

Executive energy talks...

...and yet not one mention of my brilliant transposaurus plan.

Also, it seems I am going to have a column every Wednesday under the title of "What Can Brown Do For You" or "Brown Like Me". So don't touch that dial.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

One of the creepiest stories I have ever read...

The New Republic has a story about College Republicans and their elections for chair of the national organization. It is goddamned scary how cut-throat this election is.

HUNDREDS!!! I MEAN HUNDREDS!!!!

If ever there was an example of public disapproval of the administration, it showed today.

Saturday's anti-war protest brought 100,000 people. Today's pro-war rally brought out about 400. Thank you, and good night.

The best sign. The most telling sign was as follows (in bold):
One sign on the mall read "Cindy Sheehan doesn't speak for me" and another "Arrest the traitors"; it listed Sheehan's name first among several people who have spoken against the war.

These are the people that support the war, those whose actions tell the Constitution to "fuck off."

Never am I prouder of my beliefs than when I see the anemic attempts at challenging them by idiots like these. It's good times.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hot Catholic Love...

Some needs to explain this to me:
Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests, a church official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on one of the most sensitive issues facing the church.

The official, said the question was not "if it will be published, but when," referring to the new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official, who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the church's policy of not commenting on unpublished reports.

He said that while Pope Benedict XVI had not yet signed the document, it would probably be released in the next six weeks.


First of all, I think it's funny that reporting has gotten to the point where even stories about the Catholic church has anonymous sources. More to the issue at hand, why the hell would this church go out of its way and ban homosexuals from being priests? It seems to me that the only way gays sin differently than heterosexuals is when they sin "gayly". But if they are bound by oaths of celibacy they wouldn't be kissing dudes and would be effectively in the same boat as the hetero's (in that sexual acts are forbidden of both, the gender of the partner seems really superfluous). Right?

Also, this ban on teh gay isn't retroactive. So, if gay-you are ordained sometime in the next six weeks it's all good, but after this piece of paper gets the signature, suddenly there's a ban on a group of people that if they cared about papal rules isn't necessary in the first place.

PRIESTS WHO FUCK ARE BREAKING THE RULES! So, the ones who care about the rules won't have sexual relations. The ones that don't will. All this new rule does is say that gay people are weaker and cannot possibly control themselves, not even when their god requires it of them. And though this position sounds ignorant and crazy to you and me, it seems to be exactly what they are thinking and saying:

But the church official who discussed the expected new rules said the document called for barring even celibate men who considered themselves homosexual because of what he contended were the specific temptations of seminaries.

"The difference is in the special atmosphere of the seminary," he said. "In the seminary, you are surrounded by males, not females."

Adding, "The gay has a voracious sexual appetite rooted in evil that cannot possibly be curbed by God (read: the self-loathing that accompanies being a cog in the machine of a gay-hating faith.)"

OK, I made that last bit up, but check this real quote out:
Mike Sullivan, of Catholics United for the Faith, a conservative advocacy group, said his group would favor a ban because putting a homosexual in an all-male seminary environment subjects that person to too much temptation, and increases his likelihood for failure.

"It's not appropriate to put an alcoholic in a bar either," he said.

Because gays don't funtion like not-gay-you and not-gay-me, all they think about is anus.

This ruling is motivated by the urge to purify the churches ranks. But all this is going to do is make prospective candidates for priesthood become less honest in the interest of self-preservation. And dishonesty and secrecy within the church is the real problem (and the true seeds of the past decades of scandals).

"People would do what they used to do, which is not be honest," said a gay American priest and professor at a Catholic college who did not want to be identified because he fears he could lose his church position if his sexual orientation was known.

"The irony is, if you look at the exact ages and seminary graduating classes of those priests who were convicted of sexual abuse in the past few years, they were not on the whole people who entered seminaries in the 1980's, when there began to be more openness about homosexuality," he said. "These were people from the old closeted days.

"So what the church is doing is repeating, in a weird way, the conditions they had before that gave rise to the abuse crisis."

This is probably for the best, seeing as this might awaken the remaining gays in Xtian churches across the land to the fucking obvious fact that despite disingenuous claims to the contrary, the xtian establishment (if not xtianity itself) hates homosexuals. And this new papal bull(shit) will serve as the beginning of a mass exodus of people from the church (gays and people that still believe that God speaks through a person with such ridiculous results).

Hmm. And people wonder why I thank my parents nearly everyday for not raising me hypochristian.

Logic 0500 beats Literalism...

I've been meaning to post this for quite some time. I can't find the quote online so I'm going to paraphrase this argument against a literal interpretation of the Bible said by a Catholic official several centuries ago (I had to break down into symbols and prove is veractiy as homework for my Logic class a year ago):

1. The sun was created on the 4th day by God.
2. Days are defined by the period between the risings of the sun.
3. Therefore days are meaningless before the sun is created.
3a. The term "day" is used for the first 3 days of creations despite this.
4. Therefore literally interpreting Genesis is misguided.
5. Therefore literally interpreting the Bible is misguided.

It was worded better, but thats the gist.

I think those who stand by the literal interpretation of the Bible is silly because the book has been translated so many times. Jesus didn't speak english; taking every english word literally is just dumb (read: willful ignorance (see: religious faith)).

Also "literally interpreting" is a oxymoron that acknowledges that interpretation is involved. Once acknowledged, who can say which type of interpretation is most worthy since all the interpreting is being done by extremely fallible creatures.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hey, more funny

Um, if you have run out of internets, you can read my latest PittNews effort. It might just help you get that raise you've always wanted!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Come on, Obscenity squads,,,

Fucking idiots.
The FBI is joining the Bush administration's War on Porn. And it's looking for a few good agents.

Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director." That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Mischievous commentary began propagating around the water coolers at 601 Fourth St. NW and its satellites, where the FBI's second-largest field office concentrates on national security, high-technology crimes and public corruption.

The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

And we're not talking about kiddie pr0n; the FBI is already working on that stuff. This FBI squad is going after and prosecuting pr0n that they deem obscene. So basically Al Gonzo (which is what we should call him from now on) has turned the FBI into pr0n critics who happen to carry sidearms.

Now I've never watched a second of pr0n so this won't affect me. But my good friend "not me" is devastated.

I can't see how any of the arrests will stick. This seems like a clear First Amendment stuff and any lawyer worth his attache case will be easy-off. But we're wasting the resources of the FBI and the federal judiciary on something as fucking trivial as consenting adults fucking on film when we have so much more to worry about.

It seems horribly medieval for our government to legislate and prosecute "obscenities" that are legally produced. It smacks of providing the initial inertia that eventually leads to playful activities like book burning. But we already do prosecute this stuff.

Obscenity laws are to be put in place to appease conservative Xtians, and the Miller Test seems to be just that. The problem with prosecuting using this test seems to be that its so undefined that any lawyer can make any film fit those standards. The test outlines three criterion to determine obscenity:
Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,

Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law,

Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

This average person mentioned in the first bit is the average person from the community in which the porn was made. So the holiest roller in Alabama doesn't get to decide what is not allowed. And with the movement to the mainstream of hardcore pornography to the point where porn-stars have legitimate celebrity status makes satisfying the first bit harder and harder (pun most assuredly intended).

The second bit seems harder to wriggle out of no matter how much legal lubricant used. State laws made to prohibit certain types of pornography makes it incumbent on the person defending the pornographers to outline why the whole law should be overturned. This is more difficult than arguing that your porn is legal, I imagine.

It's the third where the Miller Test drops the ball(s). Artistic merit/value is something that can never be defined quantitatively or qualitatively. It's fucking art. And as in the first bit, any lawyer can argue this point effectively.

As I've said, it is a waste of money that we could be spending on , say, victims of Katrina; and a waste of time that FBI agents could be spending finding who put anthrax in those letters 4 years ago or, you know, sniffing out terrorism.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Forget me not...

ARrrrgh. I be sick t'day, sicker than a salt-sodden scalawag of a cuss. Leeches dinae work so I be lying in me bunk and will for the rest o'the day.

So find yer politics elsewhere or by the bottom of Davey Jones' locker I'll make ye wish ye did.



This be me fav'rit show as a wee tike. And 'tis of this that I'll be dreamin'.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I hate when I'm a hypocrite...

I am a huge Redskins fan. And I hate that I agree with this article by Mike Wise about the team's name being more than slightly racist:
Which brings me to the Washington Redskins and every other professional franchise or school vowing to never retire their American Indian names, logos and mascots, to make things right with a culture and a people.

As you're drinking out of your Redskins mug Monday night while wearing your Redskins T-shirt -- supporting your make-believe Indians against those reviled Cowboys -- think long and hard about what a sweet way to "honor" a people that is. And, please, enough with this, "We're paying homage to the bravery and warrior mentality of the Native American." That's the same tired excuse Florida State University uses to continue the tradition of a student on horseback in full Hollywood regalia, chucking a flaming spear into the ground at midfield before football games, while thousands of people participate in the Tomahawk chop and the accompanying war chant also popular at Atlanta Braves games. The truth: The indigenous people of this continent were almost all hunters, gatherers, craftsmen and craftswomen before some of our ancestors nearly exterminated them and turned them into B-western caricatures.


I just hate to think that one day I'll be a fan of the Washington 'not Redskins' because I absolutley dread the fact that it'll be Dan Snyder's call as to what the new name will be. Changing the name is the right thing to do, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. And Wise ends his column perfectly:

When parents buy their children bedspreads and rain ponchos with the team's insignia on it -- as Snyder's parents did for him -- it becomes part of your life experience, a piece of personal history.

But it's not your history. It's not your cultural symbol. It never was. You co-opted it, seized someone else's identity and made it part of your own. When Native people try to explain that, you should listen -- just as you would listen when a black person tells you they don't appreciate the term "colored," just as you would listen when a well-educated person from Morgantown tells you it's no longer funny -- it never was -- to paint West Virginians as toothless, moonshine-sipping hayseeds.


Friday, September 16, 2005

If you'll please allow me to be silly for a moment....

I was watching Predator yesterday on AMC or Encore or something. Great flick. But I was wondering. With all the "VS" horror movies (you know, Predator vs. Alien, Freddy vs. Jason) why doesnt Hollywood make the "VS" movies that I want to see. Here are some suggestions:

Predator Vs. The Mighty Ducks. Triple deek this, motherfucker. Emilio's coaching would be tested like never before because this time they're playing for blood. Also, they're not playing hockey. They're doing battle with a badass alien thinger. Hopefully Carl Weathers will make a cameo.

Freddy Vs. Who ever made U Got Served. U Got Served is one of the worst movies ever made. I would truly enjoy hearing Freddy telling the producer just before he lops of his head, "U got severed!"

Austin Powers vs. Michael Myers. Mike Myers vs. Mike Myers. This one writes itself.

Grab-bag of Horrifying Monsters and Serial Killers Vs. The Cast of Mtv's Laguna Beach. This one also writes itself.

OK Hollywood, get crackin'. I want to see at least 3 scripts on my desk by 2 o'clock or you'll never work in this town again.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A few snark-filled asides...

Bush is requesting more funding for the relief/rebuilding effort:
President Bush will call tonight for an unprecedented federal commitment to rebuild New Orleans and other areas obliterated by Hurricane Katrina, putting the United States on pace to spend more in the next year on the storm's aftermath than it has over three years on the Iraq war, according to White House and congressional officials.

With the federal tab for Katrina already nearly quadruple the cost of the country's previous most expensive natural disaster cleanup, Bush plans to offer federal assistance to help flood victims find jobs, get housing and health care, and attend school, according to White House aides.

[...]

The president will call on Washington to resist spending money unwisely, but some in his own party are already starting to recoil at a price tag expected to exceed $200 billion -- about the cost of the Iraq war and reconstruction efforts. As emergency expenditures soar -- with new commitments as high as $2 billion a day -- some budget analysts and conservative groups are warning that the Katrina spending has combined with earlier fiscal decisions in ways that will wreak havoc on the government's finances for years to come.

Resist spending money unwisely? Oh you mean like on needless tax cuts? Like on gaudy re-inaugurations? Like on companies that almost pathologically overcharge? Like on missle defense systems that don't work? Like on privatizing Social Security which won't help anyone but the brokers? Like on a million other things I don't have the finger stamina to enumerate?

He has a knack for transforming me from a functioning student into an apoplectic, angry mess.

As far as the money needed to rebuild the places effected by Katrina, never have those tax cuts (you know, the ones before and after we went to war) looked more idiotic and short-sighted. And I hope Bush blushes a bit when he's in front of that podium tonight asking for 200 billion, becuase if we repealed all of his tax cuts the federal government would have that 200 billion without skull-fucking the deficit any more.

But you know, thats just my opinion, man.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In case you're bored...

Here's a column I wrote in 30 minutes for todays PittNews (University of Pittsburgh's student paper). I think it's funny. Whatever.

Get Your War On...

I forgot about how much I love Get Your War On. I hadn't read it since before May because the author, David Rees was slow with updating his site. Lucky for everyone, I happened to check it this morning. This strip is so funny that I cried a little (of course, the crying was a healthy mix of laughter's tears and weeping):
Floating Corpse 1: I like it when President Bush hugs people. It's heart-warming. He's a really good hugger
Floating Corpse 2: Totally. It's chicken soupd for the abandoned, poverty-stricken corpse's soul.
Floating Corpse 1: Umm... You can only be poverty-stricken if you're alive.
Floating Corpse 2: So I'm not poor anymore? Well I'll be drowned -- I guess those tax cuts really did work!

Hahaha... sigh, my heart hurts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Um. What? No way...

George Bush has taken responsibility for something in his life ever:
WASHINGTON -President Bush said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of
Iraq.

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

Wow. I can't help but remain cynical in my belief that this is a new tactic to nip the growing inertia of reform in the bud by denying it its fuel: righteous anger at a classless, blame-anyone-but-us administration. But as Ross (ThisSpaceForRent) said today:
I am at the very least willing to admit that it's heartening to see something resembling assumption of responsibility coming from this adminstration, even if I remain convinced that nothing will change. No matter how appropriate (or inappropriate... 'what went right' anyone?) this is, it does not change the fact that Bush constantly fucks up and constantly fucks up even worse on the rebound. No matter how he handles it from this point onward, he should not have been in charge in the first place, and he should not find himself or his party rewarded for it next year.

And that about nails how I feel about the whole affair. If something real happens as a result of this, if for example he is so shamed by his failure that he resigns, I'll have a completely different opinion of the man.

Oh, wishful thinking...

Maybe we should outsource FEMA to India too...

On July 27th, 2005 many parts of Maharashtra, India flooded thanks to more than 37 inches of rain (8th heaviest rainfall in history, Noah). Despite the risk of telegraphing my pass, so to speak, the metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was almost completely flooded.

Despite technological disadvantages in public communication, no Doppler radar to give warning, an antiquated drainage system for which funds never existed to fix/replace, and other various examples of disparity in resources that accompanies being poorer than America, 48 hours later Mumbai was up and running.


The Indian Army and Navy were in Mumbai in
12 hours evacuating more than 10,000 residents and restoring order to the city (there were no cases of violence analogous to what happened in the wake of Katrina). And the death total (406) looks like it's going to be many, many times less than what we'll eventually tally in New Orleans.

What I am saying is obvious. Despite the differences in magnitude between Katrina and the Maharashtra floods, there is no question that the so-called developing nation of India handled its similar crisis exponentially better than the asshats that run our 1st world country.


And that sickens me. No disrespect to India (I am half-Indian), but what the hell is wrong with the US if it can't live up to the example of a nation that is striving to live up to ours? Quite simply, our government is an embarrassment and something drastic needs to change.


We need to keep screaming at the top of our lungs about this mess. We've learned that to let the commotion die will result in no accountability. There are heads that need to roll for this, and I figure if we start high enough, those rolling heads will snowball taking the rest of this repulsive administration with them.


200th post, I only wish it was less depressing

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I'm just not feeling it today...

Yeah, I just can't do much thinking today. A close relative passed away so I am unable to muster up the requisite snark and fury to post. So instead I'll just link farm and you'll be damn grateful.

This post by Amanda(gon) is stunning. It's an ad from wayback advertising Lysol for feminine hygiene. The ad is amazing, and Amanda is at her best when taking down misogyny.

Ross of ThisSpaceForRent fame is blog-sitting at The Talent Show. This post has a killer pun in it. Also it has some great stories.

The Heretik is always fantastic. Read his post on Time's woman of the year.

That should tide you over until tomorrow.

"Cheer up, tomorrow's Friday," my professor said today.
"But you just assigned us a 7 page paper due next class. We don't have time to be cheerful," I reply.
"Oh yeah... Well, it'll be Friday again next week. I'll remind you to be cheerful then."
"Awesome."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Just a little reminder. Vacations are super duper.

Pressing Roberts

There are those on the left that have been frustrated at the Democrats' lack of scrutiny on Bush's latest court nominee. I don't count myself among them.

As far as Republicans go, Bush nominated a moderate who is generally well-respected among his colleagues. I mean, this guy isn't anything close to someone like Janice Rogers Brown. Is he my ideal of an ideal justice? Hell no. Far from it. But the way the system works, the president gets to nominate his guys to the Supreme Court. Making a fuss about Roberts is just antagonizing Bush for the sake of antagonizing Bush. There's about a million other things the Democrats should be making a fuss about instead of prodding Roberts for the hell of it.

But then, a disaster struck New Orleans that left the entire nation shocked and saddened. Not only was one of the nation's major cities underwater, but thousands upon thousands of poor residents were left stranded, with no way to get out of town. The death toll gets larger and larger each day and the federal govt. refuses to accept any signifficant responsibility for the disaster. The rescue effort was seriously botched. Our nation should be appaled and should be demanding answers.

This is why I think what Ted Kennedy said in this morning's Washington Post is very appropriate for these times:

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said in an interview . The question for Roberts, he said, is whether he stands for "a fairer, more just nation" or for "narrow, stingy interpretations of the law to frustrate progress."



Some may criticize Kennedy as using a national disaster as a political asset. I have no way of knowing what Ted's motives are, all I care about is the fact that someone has decided to make this an issue that is discussed in the highest levels of our government.

There is no issue that is more pertinent right now, and the American people have a right to know how Roberts would respond to questions along this line. Even more than that, the Senators have a duty to the American people to ask these questions and consider his responses when looking at whether or not to confirm.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'm tired...

John Tierney is in severe need of a beating. His column in NYT today is a vile piece of rat shit. It can be summarized in one paragraph:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, often criticized for ineptitude, became even less efficient after it was swallowed by a bureaucracy consumed with terrorism. The department has spent billions on new federal airport screeners - with no discernible public benefit - while giving short shrift to natural disasters.
Of course, he does not mention that the reason FEMA hasn't been able to devote resources to defense against natural disasters, such as strengthening certain levees is because BushCo slashed their resources, preferring to waste them instead on Halliburton contracts and tax cuts. He also blames local officials, and liberals.

Here's something you should read instead. My Pet Goat -- The Sequel by Greg Mitchell:
While a rising chorus in the press has taken the White House, FEMA and the Pentagon to task for performing miserably in their response to the human disaster on the Gulf Coast, few have focused on the most telling aspect of the entire failure. It’s not just incompetence. It’s a shameful lack of concern: The 9/11 “My Pet Goat” dithering on an administration-wide scale.

Simply stated, the president and his top advisers chose vacation over action.

While the media has done a good job in portraying the overall deadly failure of leadership, it has not focused enough on this deadly dereliction of duty.

President Bush, in his weekly radio address on Saturday, said: “In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need.” But Bush, and his top aides, quite frankly, did just that.

[...]

This follows Bush himself remaining on vacation for more than two days after the storm hit, despite acknowledging this was the worst disaster in the nation’s history. He did take a trip during those days, not back to Washington but out to San Diego to deliver a political speech comparing his Iraq war to World War II. It got little play because nearly everyone else in the country, beyond his inner circle, was focused on New Orleans instead.

What that trip did produce was a picture of Bush laughing with a country singer and strumming a guitar. But at least the president did start heading home late Wednesday. As he did, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was still enjoying her vacation in New York.

Yep.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It's time to strech...

...we need to be limber for the upcoming fight.

We aren't fucked. He died. George gets another judge. But we are not fucked. He is unpopular. He has fucked up. We'll be ok.

But only if we fight.

So. Let's fucking get ready. I'm looking at you Senate Dems.

Moderate Creationists

I had the unique experience today of spending the afternoon at a military-style prep school for young men out near Palmyra, Va. On assignment to cover the Fork Union Military Academy football team for the Charlottesville Daily Progress, I sat in a sction full of the fans and family of the Fork Union players. To my right were all the cadets in uniform sitting orderly. There were older students who seemed to be monitoring them -- it looked like they were allowed to cheer for the team, but any sort of friendly interraction with fellow students must be kept to a minimum. The fun police were in full force.

In front of me in the middle section of stands was the family of one of the football players. The mother was wearing an American flag visor and the father was wearing a baseball cap and t-shirt that both made reference to the fact that he was an Army Ranger, or at least used to be. In the middle of the first quarter, their daughter arrived, driving down from Birdgewater College to watch her brother play football and spend some time with her parents. It really was a nice little scene. Then the mother asked the daughter how her profressors were.

"Oh, they're pretty good," the daughter said. She then paused, before speaking again: "My biology teacher was talking about evolution the other day and he presented it to us like it was fact, like he didn't talk about any alternatives." Apparently, this was upseting to her.

At this point the mother asked the daughter if she had challenged the professor and his secularist world view in any way. The daughter reluctantly replied that she hadn't, claiming that she couldn't think of anything that would have made up a good defense against this evolutionist.

The mother comforted the daughter, and began to explain the "Christian" alternative perspective to evolution. "Some of the extreme creationists believe the earth is only 4,000 years old," the mother said. "But the more moderate creationists put the age of the earth at around 12,000 years."

Well, thank goodness for those moderate creationists. They provide a much more reasonable perspective than those 4,000 year lunatics...

Yeah. Anyway, the daughter still expressed some frustration, saying she would need some more information to help her defend the creationsit view against her biology professor's secularist assault. It was at this point that the mother pointed her daughter to a website: www.answersingenesis.com. "This site will give you the information you need," the mother said.

My curiosity piqued, I decided to check out the website myself. If I didn't hear the personal recommendation of the American flag visor woman to her daughter, I would have thought it was a joke. Like a Landover Baptist thing or soemthing, that was just a parody of the Christian fundamentalist movement. But no, this was no joke. This was as real as it gets. Here's my favorite sample from the website:

A ‘young-Earth’ view admittedly receives the scoffing from a majority of the scientists. But Paul warned us in 1 Corinthians 8:2, ‘And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.’ Compared to what God knows, we know ‘next door to nothing!’ This is why we should be so careful to let God speak to us through His Word, and not try to impose our ideas on God’s Word.


So, the lesson here is don't listen to scientists. Ever. Unless it is in clear accordance with the Bible. Awesome.

The fact that anyone would consider this website to be a source of information that a college student could use to arm themselves intellectually against a biology professor is beyond ridiculous. It would be easy to dismiss this website as the work of a couple of extremists that is ignored by all but like eight people. But no, this website is being recommended by a real live person as a resource for a college student looking to argue for a viable alternative to evolution. Scary.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Wow. You know shit's tough when even Russert is on top of things...

Well is seems Tim Russert has finally removed Li'l George from his mouth (from Atrios):
President George W. Bush said the other day that no one expected the levees to break.

Well, with all respect, study after study, including FEMA's own tabletop exercises last year, all included the breaking or the giving of the levees. Everyone who had studied the issue knew that with a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm, that was a very strong likelihood.

So, again, it’s very difficult in the midst of a crisis for people to be critical, but I have not talked to anybody, underscore anybody, in official Washington who believes the government at any level has done a good job.

Yep. It's very tough to be critical in the midst of a crisis, he's right. However. There never seems to be the "right time" to expect accountability from those who are responsible for the lack of preparedness. The Army Corp of Engineers had to slow any flood protection project around the country because of the war in Iraq and the TAX CUTS! Of course, thousands of National Guard can only watch from across the world their homes and their families wade in water.

It's a shit time. And blaming someone sounds so crass, even when blame's due. But there is time to expect some fucking contrition from these assholes. Not guitar playin' vacations and tennis-n-broadway NYC shopping sprees.

And, yes, it seems like BushCo is in the process of actually doing something about this crisis. That's good; that's their fucking jobs. All this concern is coming a week late. All of this could have been prevented. The levees didn't have to break, Mr. President. You could have made sure of that, sir.

My biggest problem is that their their eyes are as dry as their suits. Although I can't help but chuckle darkly (and weep openly) at how much these warnings as early as 2001 strike me as analogous to the infamous "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" intel memo. Of course, the analogy is complete with how much we did to prepare for this.

UPDATE: Dr. Myers of Pharyngula has a great post about this. It's pretty much what I wrote here. But, he's much cooler.

UPDATE II: Agitprop has specific info on the warnings I mention above.

Today is going to be busy for me...

In the mean time, read Paul Krugman's column. It's a dead-on assesment of the situation in NOLA.

Also, check out this post by Amanda at Pandagon:
Apparently, some men are posting offers of shelter on Craiglist--if of course, you're a young woman willing to fuck them. Now the motivation behind the men who troll refugee camps looking for rape victims has an American face.

Well the good news is that any of the asshats behind this shit will soon have the karmic equivalent of a bus dropped on them...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I mean, what the hell...

This is beyond fucked up. I don't even know what to fucking say about this shit:
Sniper fire halts hospital evacuation
Gunmen fire at medical workers and patients at Charity Hospital

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- The evacuation of patients from Charity Hospital was halted Thursday after the facility came under sniper fire twice.

A physician at the hospital said that despite the incidents staff members and patients were eager to get out after three days with no water and electricity and sparse food rations.

"A single sniper or two snipers shouldn't have to shut down a hospital evacuation for two hours now," Dr. Ruth Berggren told CNN. "I look outside, I'm not seeing any military." (See a video report on the sniper's attack -- 1:06 )

Berggren's husband, Dr. Tyler Curiel, witnessed both incidents.

"We were coming in from a parking deck at Tulane Medical Center, and a guy in a white shirt started firing at us," Curiel said. "The National Guard [troops], wearing flak jackets, tried to get a bead on this guy. "

The first incident happened around 11:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET) as Curiel and his National Guard escorts headed back to the hospital after dropping off several patients at nearby Tulane Medical Center to be evacuated by helicopter.

What kind of sicko do you have to even think about doing something so heinous. Good god.

I'm motherfucking syndicated...

Yeah, I'm helping Pitt College Dems get their blog off the ground. So my post's on this site will be republshed on their blog site. It's pretty cool.

Also, if you look at the sidebar, you can see I added a new section: Lion Cubs. Under it there is a link to something called Left Hook Magazine. That is the new print magazine that I am starting. It's going to be awesome. If you follow that link now you can read a super-sweet article by AWOL Talking Lion Patrick Kirts. Also gaze at the awesome flyer I made (luckily I have yet to be sued by DC comics).

Enjoy!