Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An Unapologetic Liberal

Thanks to Jacob Davies at Obsidian Wings for steering me to this wonderful letter by a Berkeley professor to his students telling them How It Is!

He even links to a Kingston Trio performance at the end, God love him!! Good grief, is there anything more heartwarming these days than a principled liberal willing to stand up and shout out the truth with vigor! Yee Haw!! (Heh, an aside: I was on the phone the other day with someone from Philadelphia who told me that I didn't "sound like a Texan" - she asked me if I could holler "Yee Haw" and I replied with as much dignity as I could muster that I certainly could but that present circumstances dictated that I not demonstrate that ability right then and there...)

Incredibly Frustrating Things

Ah, the eternal mystery of Wingnutism: Stupid or Evil? As far as the Bush administration goes, I don't think it's an either/or proposition; the correct answer is: Both, with Dubya himself personifying the perfect melding of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

And his legacy lives on! (and on, and on, and....)

Atrios sez:
One of the incredibly frustrating things during the Bush years was that people who were incompetent buffoons at best and transparently evil liars at worst were treated as Very Serious People.
"Were"??? Hell, they STILL ARE - which, of course, is one of the incredibly frustrating things during the Obama administration.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Hatemongers always become emboldened when they triumph"

Glenn Greenwald hits another one out of the ballpark:
To belittle this issue as though it's the equivalent of the media's August fixation on shark attacks or Chandra Levy -- or, worse, to want to ignore it because it's harmful to the Democrats' chances in November -- is profoundly irresponsible. The Park51 conflict is driven by, and reflective of, a pervasive animosity toward a religious minority -- one that has serious implications for how we conduct ourselves both domestically and internationally. Yesterday, ABC News' Christiane Amanpour decided to let Americans hear about this dispute from actual Muslims behind the project (compare that, as Jay Rosen suggested, to David Gregory's trite and typically homogeneous guest list of Rick Lazio and Jeffrey Goldberg and you see why there's so much upset caused by Amanpour). One of those project organizers, Daisy Kahn, said this during her ABC interview:

"This is like a metastasized anti-Semitism. That's what we feel right now. It's not even Islamophobia; it's beyond Islamophobia. It's hate of Muslims, and we are deeply concerned."

Can anyone watch the video of that disgusting hate rally and dispute that? That's exactly why I've found this conflict so significant. If Park51 ends up moving or if opponents otherwise succeed in defeating it, it will seriously bolster and validate the ugly premises at the heart of this campaign: that Muslims generally are responsible for 9/11, Terrorism justifies and even compels our restricting the equals rights and access of Americans Muslims, and more broadly, the animosity and suspicions towards Muslims generally are justified, or at least deserving of respect. As Aziz Poonawalla put it: "if the project does fail, then I think that the message that will be sent is that bigotry and fear of Muslims is not just permitted, it is effective."
At the end of his post, he points to some very fine examples of the few brave and principled leaders who have been willing to speak out on this issue, including this one which just makes the rest of our Democratic establishment look awful by comparison.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There's comedy gold in them hills...

And Scott is one of the best miners around!

You know, for people who disdain "elitism" so much, they sure like to confer upon themselves a lot of phony elitist-looking credentials.

Don't let the door smack your ass on the way out...

"Dr." Laura, she's a-quittin'. The reason? She wants to "regain" her "First Amendment rights". Which apparently she lost, somewhere. She wants to (emphasis mine):
be able to say what's on my mind, and in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and attack sponsors.
Uh huh. Good luck with that one, sweetie.

I recall seeing Andrew Breitbart bellowing to a TV reporter shortly after he had been humiliated elevated to national prominence by the Sherrod incident that he was inspired to become active in social and political commentary after "years of being told to Sit Down and Shut Up" (presumably by The Left - Hat-tip to you, norbizness!). I'm sure that was unpleasant for him, and as a card-carrying member of the hard-core (though, regretfully, not Professional) Left, I can well imagine telling Andrew Breitbart AND Laura Schlessinger to Sit Down and Shut Up. The common thread among these types is their seething self-righteous rage at being in any way hindered - by even so little as mere criticism - in their ability to openly espouse their racism and bigotry. It's a fascinating, in a horrifying kind of way, pathology. Someone should do a study.

UPDATE: Joan Walsh

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In which a picture is worth....well, you decide

Thank you, Amanda!

And do be sure and read Amanda's post which is one of the best - of many good ones - on the subject of our current political lunacy.

And P.S. I am hereby officially adopting Amanda's term for the Tea Party Nutcases: Tea Crackers. Perfect!

UPDATE: Friend Sharla sends along a link to more entertaining album covers, possibly where Amanda found The Faith Tones.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ignorance, Racism and Hatred, aka Wingnut Stew

Digby asks:
Has this know-nothing hostility been out there all along and was just held back by the GOP establishment or is it just plain old racism and xenophobia come to the surface in an environment which welcomes it?
I'm not sure this is an either/or question. Based on what I have been reading for the last 9 years on rightwing blogs such as the now-defunct All Things Conservative, and current offerings at TexasFred and Conservative Dialysis, I would say that, yes, this know-nothing hostility has been out there all along and, yes, it seems to be gaining traction, spurred on perhaps by a combination of the election of a Democratic black president, a rightwing political and media establishment that offers a veneer of respectability and acceptance for such views, and, of course, the internet which makes community-building for even the most odious populations easy.

Happy Birthday, Al!

Today is the birthday of Alfred Hitchcock, a man who got the humor of horror.

You can watch full episodes of his TV show and full features of his films here.

Turns out, Hitch shares his birthday with my friend Gayle, with whom I am having lunch today - Happy Birthday Gayle!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fred's guest blogger

I'm sorry. I imagine that my readers might be tired of hearing about TexasFred, but he's a source of endless entertainment for me. Yesterday, he put up a post which included a picture of its author, presented below for your edification and amusement:

I guess the pipe is supposed to convey gravitas, or something. Comment away!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RIP Ted Stevens

Awful plane crash in Alaska. Condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

UPDATE: Oh brother. My local news this morning, in the course of reporting on the ex-Senator's demise, informed me that "many" of Senator Stevens' constituents referred to him as "Uncle Ted".

Why I read Glenn Greenwald every day and you should too!

Reason #1

Reason #2

Yes, yes, I know he's "shrill". I am too, sometimes. But he's also right 99.99% of the time, and he backs up his assertions (e.g. see the end of Reason #1), and if he's ever not right, he admits it.

Remember that wonderful scene in "Annie Hall" when Woody Allen (as "Alvy Singer") pulls out Marshall McLuhan from the wings and uses him to confront an obnoxious pontificator who is standing in line behind him, then Allen looks at the camera and says, "Boy if only life were like this!" Glenn Greenwald is who I'd like to pull out of the wings.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maybe we should ban them from serving in Congress

Good grief, look at this guy. If he's not gay, I'll eat my hat. So maybe if "they shouldn't be guiding our children" they shouldn't be serving in Congress either. New Rule: Gays can only serve in Congress if they're out and proud - closeted homosexuals and lesbians banned! That right there would thin out the ranks of probably most Republicans. I like it!

Barry Eisler

The friendly folks at Amazon who surely have nothing but my best interests at heart made a personal recommendation to me that I might enjoy the books of one Barry Eisler, so I took their advice. And I hereby report that I do, indeed, enjoy his books! I just finished the series featuring the character of John Rain, a Japanese-American mercenary assassin, and I enjoyed it enough to want to continue with his subsequent works and I'm well into the first of those, a novel called "Fault Line". What's amusing about it so far are the hints he drops suggesting his own personal political ideology which seems to slant pretty heavily, um, left. There was some suggestion of this in the Rain series also, but in this novel it seems to be a little more pronounced. For example, a leading female character is an Iranian American young woman who becomes interested in politics and finds that she prefers reading blogs much more than "mainstream media" which is "too affiliated with corporate interests" (or something like that - I don't have the book with me to quote it word for word). Then there was this rib-tickler: She goes to college where she meets her first boyfriend to whom she loses her virginity and his name is - wait for it....Josh Marshall! Heh. To top that off, her next boyfriend is John Cole! I notice that Cole's blog has Eisler's latest book prominently advertised, but that doesn't necessarily indicate endorsement. However, to further support my theory that Mr. Eisler's fiction supports a leftist perspective, I saw the other day that Juan Cole over at Informed Comment had this blog post which is a pretty good recommendation also. I'm about to go to lunch and do some more reading!

UPDATE: Oh for Pete's sake, two seconds into my lunch time reading I come to this:
A moment later, another woman's voice came on, throatier than the first, the tone more businesslike. "Hello, this is Director Jane Hamsher, Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security. May I ask to whom I'm speaking?"
LOL! This is great fun. Also - I completely forgot to mention (this makes me feel dumb): I didn't get the reference until all these other blog names came up, but the first character in the book is a guy who gets murdered, and his name is Hilzoy! Yes, Virginia, there is a definite trend here....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fred's seen a movie!

Our pal, TexasFred is blathering on again today about something or other to do with how Obama is Destroying America because he's such a moonbat SecretMuslim wuss, or something, and in the middle of his rant he throws this out:
Did any of you ever watch a movie called *A Few Good Men*?

The lead character is a bleeding heart wuss lawyer and he used the flight records from Gitmo to Washington, D.C. as the basis for his analysis into the habits of Col. Jessup.
This cracks me up. I've actually seen this weird phenomenon on more than one occasion - a rightwinger citing A Few Good Men as some sort of validation for whatever twisted thing is going on in what passes in their circle for "brains." At first I wondered if any of them had ever SEEN the actual movie (Do they KNOW that it was directed by Rob Reiner? Do they know who Rob Reiner is? I'm guessing Not.) or if they were just swooning over a clip that showed Jack Nicholson hollering, "You can't HANDLE the truth!" and were so busy having multiple orgasms after that they missed the ending which contains MY favorite line in which Lt. Kaffee says to Col Jessup:
Don't call me "son." I'm a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy, and you're under arrest, you son of a bitch.
Woo Hoo!! Strike up the Band!

UPDATE: I think it's probably unfair to point out Fred's error about the "flight records" as support for my contention that he didn't actually see the movie - they were phone records, not "flight" records (and they weren't used "as the basis for his analysis into the habits of Col. Jessup" - they were used to prove that Col. Jessup was lying in his testimony under oath. Wingnuts might remember that this process is called "committing perjury".); but that's a pretty minor error and one that would be easy to make unless one is a movie fanatic like me! Still, Fred's an idiot. Period.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Target Update

Wow. Good for him, and good for the woman who started it all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

RIP Mitch Miller

My parents thought he was great.

This is the sort of thing that, in my day, would only be watched while under the influence of major mind-altering substances.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Sweet Inspiration

For when the real world is just too damn depressing.

Vocal gymnastics are all well and good, but it's pure soul that gives mom Cissy the edge over Whitney:

And how cool to see the Derek Trucks Band cover their signature song!

And here are the girls offering up a sample of that sound that you will recognize from the background of many favorites:

Their story here.

Target Target

Stand up and cheer for this lady!

Story here.