The Talking Lion

Saturday, December 17, 2005

God, it's happening again...

So yeah, Bush authorized illegal spying on US citizens. But hey, he has good reason:
Bush defended the program as narrowly designed and used "consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution." He said it is employed only to intercept the international communications of people inside the U.S. who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al-Qaida or related terrorist organizations.

Government officials have refused to provide details, including defining the standards used to establish such a link or saying how many people are being monitored.

Remember the last time he said someone was clearly linked to al-Qaida? Anyone? Anyone? Beuler?

Here's a hint. It rhymes with:

If anyone buys this from this administration without ANY PROOF let me know because I owe them a punch in the face. Thanks.


The president had harsh words for those who revealed the program to the media, saying they acted improperly and illegally. The surveillance was first disclosed in Friday's New York Times.

"As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," Bush said. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."

So now he's worried about unathorized disclosure... Asshole.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander-in-chief for three more years," the senator said. "We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."
Joe Leiberman (via The Heretik)

Just a quick comment on this type of attack against news outlets and others people reporting and drawing attention to the facts of the war and/or criticizing those in charge.

If something is poorly run and is causing death and chaos without a foreseeable solution, my acknowledgement of this does not make the death and chaos my fault. Reporting on Iraq can hardly ever be positive due to the nature of the facts, and the American people who financed this war and take part in the selection process of our government deserve to know what is going on.

If I do not bring attention to important events just because they reflect poorly on my nation, that does more disservice to said nation than the "loss of credibility".

Thus, bad news is not the fault of the press. Any credibility being lost by the president is his own damn fault for being an incompetent lying shitbag. Not reporting it, not yelling about it after its reported allows it to continue unchecked which our country simply cannot afford.

If I had any confidence that the Bush Administration could turn it around and succeed in Iraq; if I had any delusions that the considerable efforts of those who serve in Iraq could overcome the incompetence of those who lead them; if there was anyway to change leadership in the executive branch tomorrow and a get new start at fixing Iraq, I would whole-heartedly support our continued occupation of Iraq.

We broke it, after all. It should be our responsibility to remake Iraq. But right now all we are doing is fucking it up worse than it was before we arrived (quite the statement considering who was in charge of Iraq before we arrive, but a statement echoed even by the new Iraqi leadership). And because there is no hope of not fucking everything up, the continued loss of American lives and billions upon billions of dollars becomes an exercise in futility.

And I hate the president and his band of assholes for making me make this choice. I want Iraq to be a nation remade to foster freedom and shine as an example of a successful democracy in a region of the world where that just doesn't exist. But there is no way, short of some deus ex machina-esque miracle, that this kind of result is possible given who is in charge.

This will be a sad chapter in American history and may be the first chapter of the end of our global dominance. I hope 2006 can win the D's a legislative body so there can be an official investigation into all the ways everything that the Bush Whitehouse has done has been wrong. I hope that 2008 will feature a D nominee with at least a decent campaign staff so we won't have to suffer 4 more years.

Lots of posting today. It's because I have other things that I don't want to do.

The War on Christmas...

First and foremost, as is clear to anyone with a discerning mind, there is no war on Christmas. It's bullshit and it's not worth wasting my sore fingers discussing it.

But I saw this rather funny yahoonews story about how a bunch of supergigantochurches are closing their doors on Xmas:
This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day.

OK fine, it's not big deal. It even makes sense if the attendance is going to be low. I mean, why should a godly man waste his breath on a few stragglers with no family or something. It's a waste of the electricity needed to run the mic and slideshow.

All kidding aside, I don't care if these churches have a pagan carnival in their halls, they can do what they want. But I do think it's funny that yahoo included this sentence in the story:
Critics within the evangelical community, more accustomed to doing battle with department stores and public schools over keeping religion in Christmas, are stunned by the shutdown.

I mean, when your own church decides to take the day of days off, it's kind of hard to regain any leverage you had with Macy's.

Also I think that this story is a good example of complete journalism. The fact that Xtians all over the place are whining about discrimination and intentional disrespect from anyone who refuses to tattoo "Jesus Jesus Jesus" on their throat is an important peice of this story that would have been left out as little as 4 months ago. Perhaps this would have gone unreported; I mean, the press has recently been praised for "growing a backbone" but I am slightly more cynical. I would say that the actual facts and developments and events that require reporting are so obviously vile and indicative of everything thats wrong with the current admin that any reporting on this at all would appear as though the major media outlets is taking a stand. But in reality, I think that its just that you can't ignore things like Katrina and secret prisons and climbing death toll and no real achievment in Iraq. And becuase the press couldnt get away with not reporting any of these things, they begrudgingly did. Which took everyone by surprise.

We weren't used to being told the bad things loudly. So we praised them and their refreshing and reasserted journalism. And luckily a few of them took it to heart and began doing it in earnest, but I think any journalist who didn't cover these stories would have been guilty of gross negligence. So, not to give yahoo too much credit, this story is relevant solely because of the O'Rileys and Gibsons and their attentionwhoring ways rousing up simple minded house fraus with nothing better to do but yell at the minum wage secretary manning the phones at Sears.

This is getting a little too unfocused rant-y for my tastes. SO let my rephrase my point succinctly:

It's all good and well to give credit for journalism where it is due. We are quite obviously in a time where elected officials are committing unethical acts so often to the point of absurdity. Asking questions that are tough and revealing in light of all that has happened is easier now. The fact that it'e easier now makes todays important questions less newsworthy.

What I'm saying is I wish journalists would have asked the tough and revealing questions when it was tough. Perhaps we wouldn't be stuck in a shitty Iraq situation, perhaps we wouldn't be stuck with 4 more years of the worst president in our nation's history.

Some brief felating...


How great is the Colbert Report. I mean, honestly, I've seen nearly every episode so far (not including tonight's) and have yet to be dissapointed.

I am thoroughly impressed and convinced of its lasting power.

Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert (should the latter keep his game sharp) as fast becoming important political figures in the greater context of our contemporary political history. There will be books written about them.

Too good to resist...

Narnia Targeted To Christians

The film adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the first installment of the Chronicles Of Narnia series, is being marketed strongly to a Christian audience. What do you think?

Young Woman

Marta Osburn,
Travel Agent
"Do they realize this movie is all about people coming out of closets?"

I mean, wow. Talk about the perfect joke about Narnia-related stories.

Well done, sir.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

And so it goes...

Yeah, things have been slow here at the Talking Lion. I'm just drowning in so much of my own personal shit that even when I have time to blog I would rather sulk in a corner somewhere and pretend that I was someone else.

Luckily, my magazine (Left Hook) is coming out this week here in Pittsburgh. It's free. The website is linked to the side there, but the site is still under construction. If anyone wants a copy that doesn't live in Pittsburgh, you can comment below and I'll send you one snail mail style at my earliest convenience.

Reading over it, I will be the first to admit that it could be a better first issue. But I think that taking into account the inexperience of the writers (all freshmen except Pat and myself), there is much slack to be cut. Also, we've already finished the 2nd issue and it's like 50 times better and my replacement (I retire after the next issue) is much better than me. LEFT HOOK 4E!

As my terrible government teacher always said: "The first pancake is always lumpy"

Anyway, here's the last few of my PittNews Columns I haven't linked because I am ajerk:

Brain Surgery and Bush.

I Have a Secret Admirer, Opinions..

Arun's Global Warming Column, He Is Officially Liberal.

So read those, I hope to have another for you to enjoy this week. And who knows, maybe I'll fill you in on some of my opinions in regards to current events... Wouldn't you be lucky?