Friday, September 26, 2008


This will be the first of three--count 'em, THREE posts--coming this weekend. Tonight, I'll share a few thoughts about the ongoing debate in between sips of tasty wine. Enjoy!
7:05-7:31 p.m. - It's obvious that the debate organizers shoehorned the global financial crisis and the Wall Street bailout into the planned debate on foreign affairs and that neither candidate had enough time to really compose their thoughts and offer anything remotely substantive about the crisis. Neither McCain nor Obama are at their best here, although I do think I know the moment that John McCain might have lost Iowa. At 7:29 he said, "I would do away with ethanol subsidies." Great--there goes the only economic incentive for living in Iowa.

SIDEBAR: Tonight's wine is a lovely Ironstone California Rose circa 2007. A nice blend of a Syrah, a Cabernet Sauvignon and hint of Reisling. Tasty!

7:44 Senator McCain keeps hammering away with subtle jabs at Senator Obama's lack of experience by suggesting that Obama "doesn't know the difference between a tactic and a strategy" and that Obama also didn't spend any real time in his foreign affairs subcommittee taking up the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, Obama has deflected most of the jabs well, but he looks weary and a bit exasperated. McCain is the one that supposedly has the temper but I wonder if Obama isn't about to slap ol' Grandpa in the mouth. (Now THAT would be an entertaining debate.)

8:03 Moderator Jim Lehrer marvels that each candidate is even on their allotted time. Maybe Lehrer should run the Wall St. bailout!!

8:10 McCain can't pronounce Ahmendijad and I can't spell it without Googling it. Iran is the topic--both agree that Iran is becoming a nuclear threat but they disagree on how to sanction and control Iran. Senator Obama says that if we don't alter our strategy, Iran with nukes could lead to a "Middle East arms race." Hmmmm...something I've never understood is why it's okay for Israel, Pakistan and India to have tactical nuclear weapons, but not everyone else in the region. Don't we already have a Middle East arms race?

8:14 For the 94th time tonight, McCain calls Obama either "naive" or "confused" or suggests "he doesn't understand". I wonder what the talking point is there?

8:15 Things are finally getting heated. McCain says Obama is parsing words when he talking about preconditions in discussions with American antagonists like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He mentions several times that he's been a friend of Henry Kissenger for 35 years and "I know what his positions are and he'd be very interested to hear Senator Obama's understanding of his statements." Translation - I'm old and if I'm president, me and my old Cold War buddies are going show you whippersnappers how it's really done! To be honest though, this part of the debate is the weakest Obama has looked all night--McCain scored some points.

8:21 Time for another sip of wine. For some reason, it's getting harder to follow the debate. They're talking a lot about Russia and the Georgian invasion. McCain has a funny line about how he looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and he saw "a K, a G and a B". I wonder how that will play in Moscow? If McCain is president, I don't think there will be a whole lot of glasnost.

8:26 Another question goes first to McCain. (About the likelihood of another terrorist attack like 9/11). This should be a strategic debate advantage to Obama, but he doesn't seem to be taking full advantage of it. By the way, is reaching out to Joe Lieberman really "reaching across the aisle"? He's more of a Republican than John McCain is.

8:29 Obama says al-Qaeda is now operating in sixty countries. I wonder what it's like to start up an al-Qaeda cell? Is it like opening a McDonald's franchise? "Yes Ahmed, may I take your order?" "Hmmm, yes, praise Allah, I would like a suitcase nuke, an IED and some sarin gas to go." "Very well, would you like two tickets to a flight school with that?" "Oh no thanks, that will be all." "Very well, please drive up to the next window and pay in cash." There's something wrong with me.

8:32 Obama is starting to regain his footing a bit. He's making a strong point about the difficulty of pouring so many troops and so much money into Iraq thus weakening our stature and ability to defend around the world. I wonder if McCain will Obama "doesn't understand" again.

8:34 Yes, McCain says it again. Sigh...

8:36 Will this debate ever freakin' end? It's time for a Klondike bar.

8:38 Oh shit, it's over! Did they hear me?

MY TAKE: So who won? People didn't expect quite as much from Obama in this debate as they did from the "foreign policy expert" McCain. As a result, what I would consider merely a passing performance from Obama on the foreign policy questions is being treated by the hoi polloi as a small victory. What's interesting is that in the CBS coverage I watched (I'll pick a different one of the Big Three networks to watch for each presidential debate), the 100 uncommitted voters sequestered in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (sans wine apparently) were much more impressed with Obama's debate performance, especially on the question of Iraq. If this is a common feeling among viewers across the country, then it really is a win for Obama who will amp up the momentum his campaign has picked up in the last week or so.

All in all, not as dry a debate as I expected, but nothing super juicy either. On to Round 2 -- if we ever sort out what to do about the financial crisis.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Political rant, with much swearing




I have tried to swear off all news for the past few weeks, but people will insist on sharing shit with me.



Please, people, if you really give one vague shit about me as a human being, don't share anything about this clusterfuck with me.

Back when McCain was running against Du(m)bya, I kinda had some respect for him, especially after the way the Bushies and Co. eviscerated him and basically declared that he was a Viet Cong spy just waiting to slice the throats of American babies and drink their hot blood while it was spurting from their carotids (slight exaggeration), but now I realize the error of my ways.

Mr. McCain, you might be anally gang-raped by a bunch of brutal, ignorant fucktards, but you don't have to turn around with their semen and your blood running down the backs of your thighs and thank them for the experience.

How can you say anything positive about the current administration after the brutal hatchet job they did on you? Yes, I understand that you have to be able to work with them, but the way you praise them makes me physically ill.

Our country's standing with the rest of the world is at an all-time low, and we collectively as American citizens have the opportunity to turn that image around. But I am so very afraid that we're going to fuck it up. And you know, if we do, America just might deserve what it gets.

So, seriously, I am signing off the news from now until after the election, at which point I will tune in and see whether our national nightmare is almost over or if we're going to endure another clusterfuck of epic proportions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


...among other crimes.

Maybe the President didn't say this directly, but he's authorizing it as part of his continual assault on civil liberties and basic human decency. As part of a deal struck between the administration and Congress yesterday, a bill may pass the Senate which allows wartime commanders to force prisoners to strip naked and dance, wear underwear on their head or be sexually threatened as a part of prisoner interrogation during wartime. Basically, it's ensuring that another Abu Ghraib will happen again soon. When I read this, there were some things I had envisioned for Donald Rumsfeld that I'm sure would be allowed under the new procedures, but somehow I don't think he'd like them very much.

Appalled? Of course you are...go here to read more and tell Congress how you feel.

I hope it makes a difference, I really do.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Thanks to Damon for pulling this article off of the AP. This is the man leading our country and the "free world"? Leading it where, into Armageddon?:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

ABA: Bush violating Constitution
Bar association president says signing statements erode democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's penchant for writing exceptions to laws he has just signed violates the Constitution, an American Bar Association task force says in a report highly critical of the practice.

The ABA group, which includes a one-time FBI director and former federal appeals court judge, said the president has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws.

The attachments, known as bill-signing statements, say Bush reserves a right to revise, interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds.

"This report raises serious concerns crucial to the survival of our democracy," said the ABA's president, Michael Greco. "If left unchecked, the president's practice does grave harm to the separation of powers doctrine, and the system of checks and balances that have sustained our democracy for more than two centuries."

Some congressional leaders had questioned the practice. The task force's recommendations, being released Monday in Washington, will be presented to the 410,000-member group next month at its annual meeting in Hawaii.

ABA policymakers will decide whether to denounce the statements and encourage a legal fight over them.

The task force said the statements suggest the president will decline to enforce some laws. Bush has had more than 800 signing statement challenges, compared with about 600 signing statements combined for all other presidents, the group said.

Noel J. Francisco, a former Bush administration attorney who practices law in Washington, said the president is doing nothing unusual or inappropriate.

"Presidents have always issued signing statements," he said. "This administration believes that it should make clear ... when the Congress is getting close to the lines that our Constitution draws."

Francisco said the administration's input is part of the give and take between the branches of government. "I think it's good that the debate is taking place at a public level," he added.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said last month that "it's important for the president at least to express reservations about the constitutionality of certain provisions."

The ABA report said President Reagan was the first to use the statements as a strategic weapon, and that it was encouraged by then-administration lawyer Samuel Alito -- now the newest Supreme Court justice.

The task force included former prosecutor Neal Sonnett of Miami; former FBI Director William Sessions; Patricia Wald, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards; and former Reagan administration lawyer Bruce Fein; and law school professors and other lawyers.


At the top is the annotated text of an essay by Dennis Miller, comedian and conservative gadfly. At the bottom, after the dashes, is my response (Miller's comments were sent to me in an email as an example of the different schools of thought about the Mideast Crisis). Enjoy...

"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service
to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country.
There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians.
It's a made up word.
Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years.
Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient
but is really a modern invention

Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war,
Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan,
and there were no "Palestinians."

As soon as the Jews took over and started growing
oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians,"
weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian"
anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy
at our deaths, until someone points out they're being taped.

Instead, let's call them what they are:
"Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life
And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In
The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."

I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN.
How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters."
Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country.
Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't.
They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years,
especially two years ago at Camp David
but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights
and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse,
you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

That's no fun. No, they want what all the other
Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel.
They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course --
that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.

Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity"
as their textbooks call it --for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people
away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate,
poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth . . . you know that's really saying something.

It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic
about the great history and culture of the Muslim Midleast.
Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the
world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that

Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews.
Think of all the Arab countries as a football field,
and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it.
And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them
half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to
obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day:
Just reverse the Numbers.
Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs.
I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it.
Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades
and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.

Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations
to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense.
Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible.
Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their
bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace,
the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that,
with vital operations in Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as
Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible,
and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of
super models who've just had their drugs taken away.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger
of losing moral weight. We've already lost some.
After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going
to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them.
Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of
an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day,
we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration
to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean
and east of the Jordan.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Re. Dennis Miller: he used to make me laugh, but now I can't stand the guy. Back when he was a liberal, he used to oversimplify things in his analysis of world events, but he still had a knack for telling really funny stories that used polysyllabic words to great effect and he still made me laugh most of the time (he performed at Northwestern my freshman year and I got to see him in person). After 9/11 he completely changed his politics and now he contradicts everything he ever said before. Maybe someone close to him was killed in the WTC. I get that. Maybe he's just appalled by those who try to understand why the terrorists would act the way they did. It's not irrelevant, trying to know the mind and heart of your enemies, but like everyone else, having watched those towers come down and realizing that close to 3,000 people lost their lives in a senseless attack, I can frankly understand why it wouldn't seem very important what was on the hearts and minds of cold blooded murderers.

All that being said, one of the few things I'm intolerant of is people who try to misinform others by portraying the Mideast conflict as a battle between "good" and "evil" or "right" and "wrong". There is no moral side to be on in the conflict and Miller's anti-Arab diatribe conveniently leaves out and distorts several facts that would provide perspective and balance to the analysis. To wit:

--The term Israeli is fairly recent too. There was no Israel until 1947, when the United Nations, feeling tremendous guilt over what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust, agreed to carve out a roughly triangular piece of land centered around Jerusalem--a holy city to THREE different faiths by the way, not just Jews--and give it to the Jews as place that they could call their own. A noble cause, given that Jews had been scattered around the world for generations and locked up in ghettos, except that to create this Jewish state, hundreds of thousands of Arabs who were living there were driven from their homes. As you can imagine, that really pissed them off.

--Miller says that the Arabs really wanted the land when Israel started growing "oranges as big as basketballs". Well, seeing as the Jews got the best land in that part of the Middle East (it has rivers from which aqueducts can be built, fresh water lakes and more precipitation than the Sinai peninsula to the SW or the deserts to the east), with a little culitvation and a lot of money it's not surprising they were able to grow oranges--and olives, all kinds of vegetables and plenty of other foodstuffs. Imagine if all the Black people in the United States were given their own state as compensation for slavery--and we were given California. You think other races in the other 49 states might be jealous? Yeah, there's earthquakes and heat waves but California is also the eighth largest economy in the world. You get the picture...

--Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Arabs are not the most illiterate, backwards people on Earth. That's just racist (if Arabs were a race--they're not. Like most Jews, they're all Caucasian, but that's a different topic.) It doesn't end with algebra...The Arabian Nights...Schezerade (sorry for the spelling). It's kind of hard to develop a nation state when a) no one will recognize your country officially, making it hard to trade with other nations and build your infrastructure and b) some nation called Israel keeps sending troops, tanks and missles into your territory to destroy "terrorists". Survival becomes a bigger priority than putting up a stoplight, I would think.

--Does Miller think there aren't militarized Jews who would gladly kill as many Palestinians as they could get their hands on? Has he seen MUNICH? The fact is, Jews don't have to kill in the same way as the Arab terrorists do because they have a nation-state with armed forces heavily subsudized by the United States that kill with precision and thoroughness under the guise of "defense". If you have no country and no formal army, the only way you have to stand up for yourself is to throw rocks. Or make yourself a human bomb. Or fire your AK-47, before you yourself get bombed by a Stinger missle.

--Does anyone else find it interesting that Israel is launching another major military incursion against Lebanon, a country with a Christian government and more than 50% Christian population? Huge sections of Lebanon are being destroyed to root out Hezbollah, and Hezbollah has supporters throughout Lebanon, but the majority of Lebanese people are being hurt even though they have nothing to do with Hezbollah. Also, is anyone else offended by the Jews calling themselves "the Chosen people"? It's always bothered me because I believe no one is favored--or cursed--by God. But do you think Israel governs and acts differently on the world stage and in the Middle East because it believes it's people are chosen by God? I do. And that's a problem.

Obviously, I've barely scratched the surface here, but Dennis Miller has become a conservative blowhard and an apologist for military overaction throughout the world. It's interesting, his opinions, the way Hitler's opinions were also pretty interesting, and ultimately, very dangerous. If the Jews and Arabs could share the same land and have respect for each other, then obviously there would be no problems, but two thousand plus years have taught us that this is impossible. I don't know what the solution is in the Middle East, but I know it's not to exclusively demonize either the Arabs or the Jews. Each side must take responsibility for its killing and own up to their prejudices and that's the only way any progress can ever be made.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


What Voting Rights Act?

So it seems that our esteemed Congress, led by Southern Republicans and those on the front line of the current immigration debate, are holding up extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. (Read more about it in Yahoo! news or Mother Jones.) Republicans claim that some provisions of the Voting Rights Act are no longer necessary--such as supervision in nine states of polling procedures and the printing of bilingual ballots in areas with heavy non-English speaking populations. (You might have missed this, since the mainstream media certainly didn't cover it all that well, but one of the provisions of the new immigration bill passed by the Senate made English the official language of the United States. All well and good, except that now we can see the consequences of starts with printing ballots only in English and ends who-knows-where?)

Although one would like to think that even if the Voting Rights Act isn't extended voting rights will still be protected, all a person has to do is to look back at the 2000 elections to realize that we need all the protection we can get. If your skin is brown (or reddish) or you have ovaries it pays to remain ever vigilant. Every day, right-wing Republicans are starting to look more and more like the intolerant, bigoted, extreme religious fascists they claim to hate. I don't even have to squint anymore to see the similarities. My advice--write to your Congressperson to pressure them into extending the Act. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

THE BLOGGERS LAMENT...or Conspiracy?

Yesterday, I typed an open letter to the Bush Administration and the top members of the G.O.P. in which I chastised them for introducing legislation to ban gay marriage at a time when so many other more important issues must be dealt with in this country, a litany ranging from the bloodshed in Iraq to rebuilding New Orleans and getting control of the oil and gas cartels who are ripping us off.

Yet, due to problems with my server, either at home or on the blogspot site, this magnificent editorial was not only not posted, it wasn't even saved.

Or was it the work of the PResident and his minions, censoring free speech? I guess we'll never know...

All I can do now is give you the Cliff's Notes version of this blog: anti gay marriage amendment, bad. Doing all the other work necessary to keep this country from falling into the Third World, good.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dear Governor Rounds:

Since abortion is murder, why not make it a capital offense to kill an unborn child? Yes, make the penalty for any woman who has an abortion or any doctor who performs an abortion execution. I guarantee that if we lethally injected a few of these folks, the abortion rate in this country would plummet. And while we are at it, let's make it a capital offense to masturbate, since millions of sperm die every time a man ejaculates. In fact, let's set up screening clinics to make sure that if a woman has a period, that she didn't unwittingly spontaneously abort a baby. Of course, the penalty for this offense, which I call "menstrual manslaughter" would only be ten years in prison, rather than death.

Sincerely yours,

Out of my mind in NC