Monday, December 31, 2007

All Night Long

Tell automatic Slim, tell razor-totin' Jim, tell butcher knife-totin' Annie (heh), tell fast-talkin' Fannie, we're gonna pitch a ball down to that union hall - We're gonna romp and stomp 'till midnight, gonna bust and fight 'till daylight! We're gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long....all night long.....

Then hope we don't end up here:

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just Doing My Part

I never knew what a GoogleBomb was until today but count me in. Because if ever there was a piece of work that deserved as much scorn as could possibly be heaped upon it, Liberal Fascism is one such piece. So, in the interest of doing the literary world a favor, I am creating links to Liberal Fascism that I think it deserves. If you have a blog, see what you can come up with for Liberal Fascism.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why We Love Doghouse Riley

You must read this. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT. Here, to get you started:
Let's back up just a bit here, but not enough we're tempted to mash the accelerator and smash into these people, forcing us to exchange insurance information: 1) Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, leading any number of Americans to feel they need to have an opinion about what this means. 2) Some of these Americans have column inches to fill, if only in cyberspace. 3) One of them is John Dickerson. 4) Dickerson decides that what it means is we'll be backing "safe" candidates like John McCain and Hillary Clinton from here on out, seeing as how we now know the world is a dangerous place, especially for opposition leaders returned from exile to the powderkeg of their homelands in a desperate attempt to make the US State Department look like a player. 5) The campaign discussion group at Slate then comment on his comments, after first checking Cap'n Ed to assure a firm grounding in Subcontinental politics.
But seriously, you must read the whole thing OR YOU MIGHT DIE!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I just wanted an excuse to use this picture...

Bill, The Brain Trust at All Things Conservative:
Mark, Drowning someone is torture. Waterboarding instills the fear of drowning. If it qualifies as torture, then what other uses of fear qualify: fear of being cold, fear of lack of sleep, fear of hunger, fear of being yelled at?
Mark, Attempting The Impossible:
No, drowning someone is murder ;-)

Angry, Abusive, and Crude - Damn Right!

Every single word of this is exactly right. H/T Sharla (Thanks Sharla!) Anyway, made me think of this:


The "Pole" Tax

Now isn't that clever. Via Crooks and Liars, I found this charming analysis of yet another howler from our hardworking boys in the Texas lege. Man, this echindne guy sure likes to think about stuff, don't he? Makes my head hurt. Hell, if the lege had to spend that much time and energy actually thinking about the bills they write, why there'd be no time for beer and hot tubs! My favorite part:
Fourth, note that the architect interviewed in the story routinely takes his customers to strip joints. Including female customers? Does he ever have female customers? Does he have female colleagues? How common is this way of doing business, with the other half of humanity acting as a sort of gigantic masturbation mitten? Is that deductible in taxes?
Someone please fix me a margarita. Now.

We can also dress ourselves and cut our own food...

In the interest of Broder-like balance and in order to try and convince Heydave that Texas isn't all about stupid rednecks and killing people, I offer the following from our own San Antonio Current: A summary of the activity that 2007 saw in San Antonio's bustling art community, of which I am a part by many degrees of separation.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I have no doubt that this doesn't interfere with Bill's sleep, either.

Benazir Bhutto

This is unspeakably horrible.

UPDATE: Juan Cole.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best Quotes of 2007

Glenn Greenwald has a typically great post up in which he lists his favorite quotes of 2007, and it got me to thinking, Could I pick a favorite quote of Bill's for 2007? So I trotted over there to do a little research and, Eureka!, there was a contender right on the first page! Now, I gotta say, it takes a lot to nudge this one from the #1 spot:
Rule #1 in Politics: When you have the moral high ground, milk it, don't ruin it with politics.Posted by Bill Crawford on September 19,2007 at 7:44 AM
I think my readers will agree that that's pretty spectacular wingnuttiism. But take a gander at this (emphasis mine, snark added):
Six years without an attack, did anyone think that possible in the months after 9/11?  No, and its clear from the evidence that one of the tools used to keep us safe since 9/11 is waterboarding.  It's a legitimate interrogation technique, it is legal, and it should stay that way. Your life may depend on it. [ed: Cut to Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in the balcony scene in A Night At The Opera - oogitty boogity!] This technique has been used sparingly, only high-level al Qaeda operatives, and I sleep very well at night knowing this.Posted by Bill Crawford on December 26, 2007 at 09:51 AM in
Demonstrating such an astonishing breadth of both stupidity AND moral bankruptcy in such a concise statement, it is my contention that this entry should earn our Bill a place at the table with such denizens of wingnuttopia as Pastor Swank, Jonah Goldberg and, yes, James D. Miller. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Nap Time, but first....

This goes out with a special nod to friends Lamar and Gayle with whom the ex and I saw Ernest Tubb in person at Floore's Country Store in Helotes, Texas, about a million years ago. This is a twofer, so be sure and force yourself to listen to the whole thing. Gotta love the message in that first one: "Merry Christmas, bitch. While you're having a great time, I'll be committing suicide." Perfect for our valiant soldiers in the War On Christmas! The second one is considerably perkier.

Tree Trimmers

Merry Christmas everyone! Does everyone's tree have an assortment of these Mother's Treasures hanging on them? For some reason, I only have Sandy's creations - James must have ditched his before I got my mitts on them. I actually have one that I made with my nerdy little mug on it, but it must be down in the bottom of the Christmas ornament box and I didn't quite get that far. Well, the packages are all open and ooo'ed and aaahh'ed over, paper and ribbon is strewn all over the house and the cats are having a field day. Buddy, our black lab, is happily surveying the yard for a place to bury his new rawhide bone. In awhile, the boys and I will head into San Antonio for a traditional get-together with friends at Mi Tierra's for brunch, maybe a movie afterwards (The Kite Runner and Charlie Wilson's War are contenders) if we're not too wiped out - or perhaps just home and a nap. Hope all of you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Getting Down To The Wire.....

For all of you on the road - as well as for all of you staying home - this holiday season, may God, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the tooth fairy or whatever spirit you choose (I like mine in liquid form) be with you and keep you and yours happy and safe!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I think I'll call this one Someday I Might Actually Be Ready For Christmas When It Comes, But It Won't Be This Year.

I guess I could also call it Mom Playing With The Scanner When She Should Be Wrapping Presents, Cooking And Putting Up Decorations.

Rockin' on a Sunday Morning

I felt the need for a little Who this morning, because you know, it's My Generation and I sure as hell hope We Won't Get Fooled Again:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vanquishing The Beast, Ongoing Saga

Jillian tackles the torture issue in a way that satisfies. In dissecting an essay by Bush toady Linda Chavez on the subject of the destroyed CIA tapes, Jillian finds this:
So What exactly did we expect the CIA to do when they captured high-level al-Qaida operatives? Read them their Miranda rights, provide them with free lawyers and place them in a cell with cable TV?
To which the honorable Jillian had this to say:
No, you blathering, drooling, crapulous sack of dishonesty - we expected them not to torture people. It's the sort of basic expectation your average sane person has of their government. I know you don't hear people say it very often, but that's because it is such a bare-bones expectation of what a government will do that verbalizing it feels a little crazy. It's like how when people get married, they promise to love and honor, but you never hear people promising to, say, never use the living room carpet as a toilet. We just automatically assume that sane people will never do these things. Alas, when it comes to the Bush wing of the Republican party, our first mistake was in assuming they operate by the same definitions of civilization and sanity as the rest of us.
I believe that even those of us who follow politics somewhat closely, but much less the general public, are aware of just the slightest tip of the glacial iceberg that will ultimately be known of the sheer devastation that the Bush Assholes have brought upon us. Of course the fact that we know so little has much to do with how they operate, but it also has to do with how the political establishment operates, including the mainstream political media. We are in for years and years of a very difficult struggle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fun With The Scanner!

Meet Lizzie:

My parents bought her when I was about 3 years old while we were living in England. This picture was taken when I was probably about 8, and that litter of 6 pups contained only one male which we kept, and named him Willie. That's some expression on her face, isn't it? I believe that's Willie, on top, heading straight into her chest - that would be just like him! These wonderful dogs were the single most unifying thing our family ever experienced - we all adored those dogs, even when we didn't like each other so much. They were endless sources of companionship and entertainment, and their passing was brutal, though they both lived to ripe old ages. Here's Mom and Willie some years after we no longer had Lizzie:

When Willie died, my parents were so bereft, they immediately went out and bought another bull terrier, which is when Daisy came to us:

I was no longer living at home when my parents bought Daisy, but that didn't stop us from becoming great friends:

Well - this scanning thing has great possibilities.......!

Choices Amongst The Anti-Choicers

So it seems highly likely that Rudy will be citing health reasons, again, to drop out of another losing campaign and will be spending more time with his family which, I'm sure, thrills them no end. This brings our blurry focus 'round to Huck and Mitt who appear to be engaged in a hilarious duel over who *hearts* George W. Bush more - now THERE'S a brilliant strategy! But I really think that Huck doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination, so let's take a look at Mitt: Sure! Just what this country needs! Another lying, corporate whore, religious loon to further hasten our country's pell mell race to wrack and ruin.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't Listen, Bill!


"Jimmy K" is a little gadfly who apparently loves to tell people what bad things others are saying about them. Bill pretends he's above it all:
I see you are getting trashed again over at Rhetoric and Bull Shit. :)

Posted by: Jimmy K | December 19, 2007 at 10:38 PM

He's just showing what "good character" he has!

Posted by: Bill Crawford | December 20, 2007 at 08:43 AM
Right Bill! Nothing like advocating torture to prove your own "good character" bona fides!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Because You Have Better Things To Do, Like Get Those Toilets Cleaned!

In case you were just itching to read Jonah Goldberg's new book, don't bother. Really. The Cliff's Notes version is here.

What Are We, Kansas?

Weeping Jesus on the cross, the morons just never give up, do they? If you have some spare change and are feeling charitable this holiday season, give a nod to the Texas Freedom Network. They're a good bunch and, Lord knows their task is a mighty one. What is WRONG with these people?!!

UPDATE: The inimitable Amanda weighs in.

UPDATE: As does our friend Mike who has some good information on the delegation that evaluated the ICS, as well as a link to a great blog called Millard Fillmore's Bathtub. Thanks Mike!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Morning Constitutional

I always like to begin my day with a little Crap which is how it came to be that I am in a position now to share with you.....

It's A Blunderful Life. Enjoy!

Yes, you.

Bill actually responds to Mike's great rebuttal of his pro-torture post by whining:
Morally Repugnant...Who, Me?
Yes, you, asshole - and not least because of your cowardly refusal to engage in honest debate with someone who disagrees with you. Bill demonstrates his mental vacuity by claiming that Mike, whom he calls "some liberal blogger" as if they hadn't been corresponding for years, didn't "answer the question" and that:
The problem with this debate is that Liberals won't explain why they oppose it in light of the evidence that it saves lives, and the media certainly isn't going to press Barack Obama for an answer.
Thus does our Good Friend casually dismiss not only Mike's eloquent and lengthy post in which he does, exactly, "answer the question" but also volumes of additional articles that have done so. Which is not to say that the torture proponents haven't written reams about how it does "work" and why it's just peachy keen for our government to sanction the practice against the Ultimate Evil Enemy Of All Time - of course they have. But to claim that "liberals" don't "answer the question" is just plain stupid disingenuous, at best. It's not too hard to figure out, though, why Bill refuses to acknowledge points made by those who disagree with him - because then he might be compelled to respond and that might require some intellectual effort which is something our Good Friend Bill avoids like the plague. He is famous for refusing to answer questions from his commenters such as this one from "David":
How do you reconcile your opinion on torture with your religious beliefs?
and this one from the same troublemaker-who'd-better-watch-out-or-he'll-be-blocked:
Lets see how you guys feel about your boy Huckabee after what he said about George Bush and Iraq.
which of course Bill didn't respond to, prompting said troublemaker to repeat:
Where's the post on what Huckabee had to say about Bush?
So you see, Bill prefers the simple life where he is surrounded by sycophants who don't challenge him too strenuously and force him to think about things he doesn't want to and where he can get away with howlers like this one:
Let's see here, the economy is booming, Iraq is improving, there has been no erosion of civil liberties, and Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident, the perpetrators have been punished, and it's far-fetched to say the least to blame President Bush for the incident. So much for facts.

Oh yeah, and we haven't been attacked again since 9/11. All in all, I would say that President Bush has been quite successful, especially in light of his predecessor's record.
which is included in a post he hilariously titles "The Left Begins To Rewrite History" and which brings me to another point that Bill managed to avoid in Mike's post. He didn't just call you "morally repugnant" Bill. He called you, appropriately, a "morally repugnant IMBECILE".

UPDATE: For those with at least a modicum of intellectual integrity, here is yet another discussion which "answers the question." (H/T TPM) Note:
And what do you think of the interrogation procedures the president described?

The fact is that the history of interrogation shows that you do not do particularly well when you confirm expectations, when everybody plays their preordained role. In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel. The fact is, when we use harsh techniques we essentially say, "We are going to confirm your expectations."

What has largely worked in all the interrogations, what we got -- and in many cases it's not very much -- but whatever we got, for the most part occurred because we were, let's just say, a little more clever than that. Instead of going medieval, which is the tactic our enemies here embrace, we essentially find a way to confuse their expectations. In many cases, just by treating them as human beings we have created an environment where we get what we so desperately need, which is information that might help save American lives.

That's the key. The key is to not give in to anger, but to do whatever works best. There's clearly been a learning curve on that; some of the harsh techniques used early on have been I think largely abandoned because they didn't work.
"Treating them as human beings." Wow. What a concept. To think that this needs to be explained to Americans, much less Americans IN THE HIGHEST OFFICES OF OUR GOVERNMENT makes me sick in a way that I have no words to describe.


WAY TO GO CHRIS DODD!! And way to go, netroots - for all of us who wrote and called, congratulations. Here's Russ Feingold's excellent statement.

Now let's see if we can get Cheney impeached.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decking the Halls and Fa La La La La...

Am full bore into Holiday Madness and have taken off work all this week, so posting will probably be weirder than usual. Who's to say? But, meanwhile, the filibuster starts today. Please do what you can to support it. Thanks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aren't Presidential Primaries Fun?

And the longer the better! Really now, it doesn't get any better than this:

A Hucka-Hucka Hatin' Huck

Someone else is having fun, too. Pass the popcorn!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thanks Atrios!

Okay, enough already with the doom and gloom! Atrios provides us with a little levity:

Vanquishing The....

Well, my goodness. Look at the title to this quintessential post by Digby. I'm very grateful to people like Digby and Mike for being able to express what I could not. From Digby (emphasis mine):
To some extent civilization is nothing more than leashing the beast within. When you go to the dark side, no matter what the motives, you run a terrible risk of destroying yourself in the process. I worry about the men and women who are engaging in this torture regime. This is dangerous to their psyches. But this is true on a larger sociological scale as well. For many, many moons, torture has been a simple taboo --- you didn't question its immorality any more than you would question the immorality of pedophilia. You know that it's wrong on a visceral, gut level. Now we are debating it as if there really is a question as to whether it's immoral --- and, more shockingly, whether it's a positive good. Our country is now openly discussing the efficacy of torture as a method for extracting information.
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined the phrase "defining deviancy down" he couldn't ever have dreamed that we would in a few short decades be at a place where torture is no longer considered a taboo.
It certainly makes all of his concerns about changes to the nuclear family (and oral sex) seem trivial by comparison. We are now a society that on some official levels has decided that torture is no longer a deviant, unspeakable behavior, but rather a useful tool. It's not hidden. People publicly discuss whether torture is really torture if it features less than "pain equavalent to organ failure." People no longer instinctively recoil at the word --- it has become a launching pad for vigorous debate about whether people are deserving of certain universal human rights. It spirals down from there.
I repeat, letting those bastards that brought us to this point get off scot free will be a blight on our nation for generations to come. I swear, I don't know how we recover from this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On The Death of Ike Turner

Amanda Marcotte hits just the right note.

Legacy Of A Peach Pit

I wrote this poem and it won't mean a goddam thing to anyone except the person I wrote it for and I'm putting it up here because this is my blog and I feel like it! WooHoo!

Follow her cyanogenetic thread
along a trail of bones to the cliff's edge
where blossoms of glucosine promise spill,
singed by bitter almond kisses.

Angry, Abusive and Crude - But Not Nearly Enough

Words fail to adequately express the sheer retching disgust I feel for the hijos de putas estupidos who "find it hard to argue" with this. I want to believe that there is a special corner in hell reserved just for the Bush administration and their IMBECILIC apologists. Pendejos.

UPDATE: Heh, From Crooks and Liars:
First, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi: You’re either with us or you’re with the torturers. I thought God was clear on this “torture debate,” folks. Apparently not. Fresh news cycles of “Is Waterboarding Torture?” are upon us. Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound here - and if this disturbing debate makes you madder than a neocon spotting a baby’s smile, pull up a chair:

UPDATE 2: Way to go, Mike!

Supporting The Troops

From our local free, that's right: F-R-E-E, weekly The San Antonio Current:
Even more disturbing are the increasing reports that the military may be intentionally misdiagnosing wounded veterans with PTSD and head traumas and discharging them with “pre-existing” mental disorders — diagnoses that limit their access to military health care.

“I don’t think we have even started to see the tip of the iceberg,” said Ignacio Leiya, vice president of service operations for the American GI Forum’s National Veterans Outreach Program in San Antonio. “In a few more years we’ll start seeing the full effect of what has been going on in Iraq.”


It can be tough identifying PTSD cases and the war’s growing “signature injury” —
Traumatic Brain Injury, a plague caused by the prevalence of homemade bombs. After all, “A mental illness doesn’t present to us like a broken leg,” Brown says. Still, thousands of brain injuries and psychologically damaged troops go undiagnosed and uncompensated.

Parrish has a more critical assessment of the military and the VA’s performance.

“There’s so much, let’s say, bureaucracy involved in all of these situations that so many of the veterans just feel hopeless. Basically we’re running into similar problems nationwide,” Parrish said. He calls the personality-disorder discharges a scam.

“The doctors are being motivated by the command to not give out PTSD diagnosis and put them in the medical-board situation,” Parrish said. “It just so happens then these doctors, whenever they give out a misdiagnosed personality disorder, they are getting patted on the backs by the command for saving the budget.”

Here’s the rub: A personality discharge means the veteran had a mental disorder before joining up. Since it is considered “pre-existing” the soldier doesn’t qualify for benefits when he or she comes home.

Currently it is estimated that more than 22,000 veterans have been discharged with personality-disorder diagnoses in the past six years. This, in turn, may have saved the Department of Defense billions in health-related claims.
So, this maneuver may have saved the Defense Department billions of dollars. How much is it costing the rest of us?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Flaco and Ry

Kinda sounds like a sandwich, don't it?

Could the band be any more deadpan? I mean, jeez, you'd think they could camp it up just a little.

Today's Required Reading

And there will be a test!

Item #1 in which hilzoy patiently attempts to respond to IMBECILES who blather on about how those islamogayfascist surrendocrats are just ignoring all the Good News that is coming out of Iraq.

Item #2 (h/t Maha) in which a guy with a porn star-sounding name explains the IMBECILIC (h/t Mike) neocon foreign policy.

Vanquishing the Beast, III

I'm quite aware that I may come across as somewhat obsessed - Deranged! - about the perfidy of the Bush administration, but I honestly can't imagine any more appropriate response to them. I have been struggling over the last several days with how to write about the latest flurry of horrible revelations regarding torture, rape, murder and, of course, frenetic cover-up and Congressional enabling of all of the above. Then I wander over to Bill's place to see what his latest idiocy is (surely, for the sake of my mental, cardiological and gastroenterological health I am going to have to quit doing that...eventually) and, lo and behold, there he is telling his readers that:
Since waterboarding works, any debate over whether to use it is just ridiculous in my mind.
That's right, Just Ridiculous! Now I ask you, is there anything in the world that is more galling than having Mr. Liberals-Have-No-Honor, Mr. ValuesVoter, Mr. Conservatives-Are-So-Much-More-Moral-Than-Liberals tell us how "ridiculous" it is to debate the sanctioned practice of waterboarding, i.e. TORTURE, by our own agents acting in our name? Well, is there? Okay, don't answer that because I'm sure there is and my stomach can't take it. So, since I am Barred For Life from ever leaving any comments over at Bill's place (yeah, that's probably a Good Thing) my response to Bill's supercilious and pathologically ignorant assertion that "Torture Works!" is here and it includes this:
"In the long debate over torture, the disappearance of these tapes is the strongest indication yet that the Bush administration knew its approved interrogation methods were illegal. Officials could draw up secretly legal justifications for these tactics, but they knew the court of public opinion and international law would never sanction them."
which is what led to the title of this post. Seriously now, if we allow these bastards to finish out their terms and ride off into the sunset to build their libraries and get rich(er) on the wingnut speakers' circuit, then we will all have blood on our hands.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas! er, Happy Holidays!!

In keeping with the time-honored tradition of waging commie-pinko-DFH-War on all of our great Judeo-Christian ceremonies and All That Is Holy, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all Season's Greetings! and do so in a way that truly expresses the Spirit of the Season. I have been known to give donations to charities in honor of certain people as gifts to them, i.e., donation to the Humane Society for my animal-loving sister, to my mother's church, etc. So, I have found the perfect charity to give as a gift to YOU, dear readers of my blog, and it is here. Happy Flying Spaghetti Monster Day!

Still Drawn to Some Things

Barbara O'Brien, God love her:
The truth is that we Boomers were brought up in the 1950s to be idealistic and patriotic. I’ve written about this before, here and here. We faced an entirely different culture with entirely different challenges than younger people do today. No doubt some of what we did makes no sense outside that context — you had to be there — but if you’d been brought up in the 1950s, you’d have felt drawn to beads and patchouli oil, too. Trust me.

Vanquishing The Beast, II

Every word of this post rings spot-on true to me. (H/T Atrios)

The constitution is meaningless unless our rulers pay a price for raping it. Until they do, we are no longer a democracy.

Vegetative State


Last night my sister and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all, If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

So she got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

She's such a bitch.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vanquishing The Beast

Regarding this post by publius, I can't help but feel like a better metaphor for The Beast Who Must Be Destroyed is Michael Myers instead of Darth Vader:

Because it seems like every time we feel like we KILLED it, it just KEEPS COMING BACK! As publius notes:
To the extent the Dems have a strategy, it seems to be duck, bob, and weave until they can be saved by the 2008 election bell. They are avoiding a high-level security battle (i.e., a game of chicken) in the hopes that a Democratic President is just around the bend. This strategy, however, is short-sighted. It won’t work even if it works. That is, even if a Dem wins in 2008, the Congressional leadership won’t “win,” they will simply postpone the fight for another day.
and also:
The Dems can’t make the Cheney worldview go away by dodging it and winning an election. It will come back. The Imperial Forces will retreat to AEI for four or eight or twelve years – however long they must. But eventually, they’ll be back. They always come back.
This gets right to the heart of something that I have tried to say several times before (but never this well) which is that it is not ENOUGH for the Democrats to win the next Presidential election. Until the Beast is vanquished, he'll keep coming back.

Something Else To Thank Canada For

When feeling Blue, who better to turn to than:

A Friend in Canada

About a year or so ago, I began an email correspondence with a fellow named Neil who was one of the commenters over at All Things Conservative, the conservative blog where Mike and I used to carry on lively discussions with wingnuts on the issues of the day - until we were banned. For some strange reason, Bill's blog attracted an inordinate number of commenters from Canada, most of whom fit perfectly into the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging demographic that comprises the majority of his blog community. Neil, however, was one of the few who made intelligent and thought-provoking comments, so of course he was banned too. I don't hear from Neil very often, but when I do, it is always a pleasure, and I hope he won't mind if I share with you this part of his email I received this morning:
What can I say about ATC? Seriously, I think Bill just couldn't manage the work it took to defend his position anymore. That has to be it, it just got too hard for him. When I started posting using headlines, he went off on me. Then he made a new rule that you have to post using a name, so I started posting by playing a game I called "Name The Dictator™". :)

I would post once as Joseph, the next time as Benito, and then Adolf, and.. occasionally as George, amongst many others. Anyway, he eventually started just deleting my posts once he knew it was me. I sometimes felt compelled to just go back in under my own name, but to be honest, it just seemed too much of a commitment. For some strange reason, when I'm in under my own name, I'm very less likely to let something go - and I just couldn't bring myself to get back into it.

But, much like the gentleman in your White House, it appears that Bill's "rules" began to expand.

I lost all respect for him when I put up a post using one of my Dictator names (might of been Idi ). Anyway, it was a post in response to an article that he posted which was highlighting Iranian shelling on the border of Iran and Kurdish Iraq. As usual he was framing the story as "another reason that Iran is so evil" entry. This even though the story is clearly indicating that Iran is responding to incursions and terrorist attacks within its boarder. My memory kicked in a bit, and I did a search back in the archives. Sure enough, there was a post back during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, where Bill was arguing that the alleged attack by Hizbolah against the army patrol justified the Israeli incursion. It was pretty scathing, basically highlighting his hypocrisy, but I had posted it very early in the morning - by the time I got up, it had been removed.

Alas, probably a good sign if people such as he feel the need to go underground.

Most intelligent people I know have long ago given up attempting to carry on discussions with wingnuts because it seems such a hopeless enterprise. I told our friend Freewheel once that my participation at ATC made me feel like a hamster on a wheel, spinning madly and going nowhere. But when I told him that, I also tried to explain that I was doing it not so much to change anyone else's opinion, but to engage in a sort of mental exercise for my own benefit - to clarify and express my own opinions, as well as to understand other points of view. Having been booted off the wheel, however, I do find that I don't miss it much - fun while it lasted and all that. The larger questions remain, though, which are: Can we ever get back to a point in time (if there ever was such a point?) where people with opposing viewpoints can carry on discussions that are not only civil but based in reality? Is it hopelessly naive to think that such a time is possible?

I'm feeling awfully down in the dumps today, which made the discovery of an email from Neil especially timely - Thanks Neil! (Neil also has started a blog which can be seen here.) It has been so dispiriting this last 6 years to watch the Bush administration's assault on our basic fundamental American values and structures, and to see these things occur with so little pushback from the press and the American public. I suppose it was only natural that my hopes would have been too high when, at last, the Democrats were able to win majorities, albeit slim ones, in Congress last year. So when stories break out, as they did late last week, about Democratic complicity in some of the worst abuses by the Bush administration, it's awfully tempting to give in to hopelessness. Refuge in humor (H/T Crooks & Liars) helps some but not enough. And of course, there is always strong drink and extreme profanity, but these too provide only temporary relief. What say you, dear readers, how do you cope?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Yeah well, as much "sense" as, oh never mind....

If they get away with this, the terrorists will have won:

“Here’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to tear the fuckin’ shit down and then they’re going to want it for museums in New York,” said Lee. “What sense does that make? San Antonio’s always been so ashamed of itself.”

To see some of the good Reverend's good work, go here and maybe pitch in, if the spirit moves you.

The Sandman

Today is Sandy's birthday and I've been struggling for a couple of weeks now with what to write about Son # 2. Words fall far short of the mark in attempting to describe the young man who dropped into our lives on Pearl Harbor Day fifteen years ago. I could say that he has learned how to keep a secret, I could talk about his love of animals (We live a few blocks from our town's animal shelter and, from the age of 11, Sandy, on his own initiative, volunteered there every summer for three years.), or his incredible wit, which is legendary in these parts. But no, I'm going to fall back on one of Sandy's favorite YouTubes which conveys the essence of Sandy in the most imperfect way possible. Happy Birthday, Sandyman!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yes, I'm still here!

Profuse apologies to my legions of faithful readers for the paucity of postings yesterday and today. There has been a slight uptick in activity in my non-virtual life and I have actually had to spend time AWAY FROM MY COMPUTER(!) for extended periods of time! It's an unsettling experience, I tell you, but anyway, here I am, and while today's offering won't exactly "make up" for, well, anything, here it is:

First up, I've got to find out where I can get one of these T-shirts.

Best headline of the day.

Seasonal arts and crafts for the twisted frugal set. You guys are gonna love this! Name your favorite in the comments - mine might be the Halloween ghost. Oh I don't know, maybe the toupee...

Have evangelicals "matured"?

The day's not over yet, so there's still the possiblity that more mischief can be done. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And Stupidity Marches On, Unabated

From TBogg who begins by quoting Chimpy at his press conference today:

"To me, the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) provides an opportunity for us to rally the international community -- to continue to rally the community -- to pressure the Iranian regime to suspend its program," the president said. "What's to say they couldn't start another covert nuclear weapons program."

At some point the White House press corp just quit taking notes figuring that eventually someone would come out and interpret the gibberish for them. Most of them spent the rest of the press conference playing "Hangman". D_MB_SS.

Or, as Bill says:

What this comes down to is who or what are we going to believe: the NIE or the evidence?

No really - he did actually say that. I swear.

Tom Burka

gives us Opinions You Should Have.

Comedy Gold

Gavin deconstructs the neocon response to the newly-released NIE saying that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and to reports that administration officials have known about these findings since as far back as last July. Meanwhile, our Chimp-in-Chief declares in his press conference today that he doesn't read NIEs, he just has people tell him what's in them, and then he doesn't remember what those people say anyway, and so what's the big deal? Iran's part of the Axis Of Evil doncha know and we need to kick their butt because that's what big He Man countries do. And every time I am forced to listen to or read about anything that that idiot has to say about anything, I think about this:



H/T Maja who talks also about the despicable HB 1955, the so-called "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act"

Monday, December 3, 2007

Doux Chagrin

More of Jeannette's France paintings here.

Oh that darn Liberal Media!

Glenn Greenwald continues to kick the butt of the "liberal" emm ess emm. And you gotta love the title of this post that he links to.

Are they really?

Something about the lede to this story caught my eye, I wonder what it was....
Jeb Bush, Worse than Neil?
by emptywheel

Via Atrios, people are beginning to wonder whether Jeb Bush was responsible for approving Florida's purchase of a hefty chunk of the shitpile when he was Governor.

Yeah, we lefties are "angry, abusive, and crude" but righties have Teh Stupid on their side!

Angry, Abusive, and Crude - Oh My! (On a side note, did anyone else watch The Tin Man last night? We were underwhelmed.)

I don't think this has much to do with the true state of their mental health. One thing I've noticed is that, generally speaking, republicans tend to be optimist, while democrats are pessimists. That's why republicans generally think Ayn Rand had some really neat views, while Democrats think she's the devil. It's why we believe that most people are capable of being productive, and have a responsibility to provide for themselves, while Democrats believe that most people are helpless, and must be "cared for" by society.

Posted by: Alex | November 30, 2007 at 03:52 PM

Thank you Alex! I wanted to say just that, but was having writer's block and couldn't figure out the best way to word it.

You are exactly right. I would also point out that we see this in the differing tone of left-wing vs. right-wing blogs.

Consider Kos, the biggest left-wing blog, and biggest blog period. It's very angry, abusive, and crude as are most left-wing blogs.

Posted by: Bill Crawford | November 30, 2007 at 04:58 PM

How To Choose Your Target

I believe Jillian is on to something here, although she may not be taking into account the, er, "crossover" demographic of the Gay Biker Bar, but I see that someone in the comments pointed this out:
On the other hand, the God Squad here has obviously never spent any time around actual gays. I would love to see them pull this shit outside of one of Chicago’s gay leather bars. I used to live near one and have to say there were some pretty scary people going in and out. Mind you I used to hang out in redneck biker bars in Oklahoma when I was younger.

Saturday, December 1, 2007