Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Below are some photographs of families with their next week's worth of food:

First the Revis Family of North Carolina:

Next, the Casales Family of Mexico:

Next, the Ayme Family of Ecuador:

And finally, the Aboubakar family of Chad:

In addition to the fact that the Sudanese people clearly don't have a father, and must be freaking hungry, a couple of other thoughts jump out at me. For one, notice the amazing amount of packaging at the American kitchen, versus what you find in a Mexican home, and Mexico's not a world away. Look at the difference in vegetables. It seems the the poorer you get (save for the Chadians) the more fresh vegetables and grains you eat.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Barrel, meet scraper

You know the routine. You think to yourself, "Jesus, I know I've seen the lowest that the Bush administration can go. They can go no farther down. Seriously."

That's where you'd be wrong. Because they always find new and innovative ways to ruin the lives of regular Americans. Always. Case in point: People who enlist in the military often get 'signing bonuses' to re-enlist after their contract is up. It's very common. What's new is that the Bush administration's Department of Defense is demanding the signing bonus money back from veterans who have been injured in the line of their service.

That's right, the same people who pillory Congressional Democrats for doing what the American people want--namely, trying to pass legislation to fund the troops and get them home--are demanding back the signing bonuses of injured veterans.
“I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they’re telling me they want their money back,” Fox said.
These people fucking suck. They suck. They're not human. That's really the only explanation that one can come up with after you look at the things they actually do (rather than the things they say). They really do make you lose all faith in human beings with nearly-unlimited power to conduct themselves with a tiny modicum of human freaking decency.

Especially since Boy Wonder and Darth Cheney themselves passed on any meaningful military service when they were asked to serve, and especially since their offspawn have similarly declined to enlist in The Most Important War of All Time, Seriously, We're All Going To Die Unless We Kill All the Muslims Everywhere (TM).

I know you're not supposed to hope that people go to hell after they're dead.

I mean, I know this. I know it's not right.

And yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One day we'll have smart discourse like this on teevee

Instead of the dumb shit we see every day that makes us dumber every day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Swift Kids For Truth

I knew there was something about John Edwards I couldn't trust. $4,000 for a nail trim!

(Tip: Make sure your sarcasm switch is in the 'on' position.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I made it!

I'm on the ballot for precinct committeeman in my precinct! I got the call last night, and the paperwork went through with no hitches.

Republicans believe in nothing

You know how I know? Because international God Gangster Pat Robertson is endorsing Rudy Giuliani. This is the same Rudy Giuliani who supported gay rights his whole career, is pro-life, has been married three times, and even demanded that the NYC emergency response center be placed at the World Trade Center.

Why? Why would you put the terrorist response center where terrorists have already attacked, and where, by all accounts, more attacks might be coming? Why? Why not just put your response center in Staten Island? It'd be safer, right?

Here's why:
Giuliani's office had a humidor for cigars and mementos from City Hall, including a fire horn, police hats and fire hats, as well as monogrammed towels in his bathroom. His suite was bulletproofed and he visited it often, even on weekends, bringing his girlfriend Judi Nathan there long before the relationship surfaced. He had his own elevator.
So for all the morons for whom the worst possible crime against humanity was Bill Clinton's fooling around in the White House, let me make this clear. This man put the security of the city at risk so he could have a convenient place to boink his mistress (he was married at the time). Get it? Pat Robertson made a fortune shilling Clinton conspiracy hokum on his teevee network, and it was all predicated on his infidelity to his wife. Clearly, Pat Robertson could not be bigger hypocrite if his very life depended on it. If God herself appeared on the 700 club and commanded Robertson to find innovative ways of looking like a complete hypocritical shill, I doubt she could have devised something so ingenious.

So why is he endorsing him? Because Republicans believe in only one thing: Republicans winning. Abortion, the gays, fidelity, it's all secondary to the overriding principle, which is to win, to accrue power, and to use it for yourself and your friends. I'll leave you with this quote from TPM:
This does beg an important question for Rudy: How does the former mayor of New York City feel about courting and accepting the endorsement of a man who said after 9/11 that America deserved it, on account of our sinful ways?
Kind of makes you wonder, don't it? It's almost like Rudy himself doesn't believe in anything anymore.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

North Carolina Called Out for Lack of Labor Rights By Mexico

Mexico? Seriously, Mexico?

Yup. The National Administrative Office in Mexico followed up on a complained issued by the International Labor Organization that the state of North Carolina (my home state, thus my continued interest in this story) is violating an international Charter on Freedom of Assembly by prohibiting public employees from forming unions and bargaining collectively. Why did Mexico file this complaint? Why do they care?

They care because the union that is working most aggressively with North Carolina public workers, the UE is also affiliated with an independent Mexican union representing chemical and mine workers. It was the Mexican union that spurred the Mexican government to action on behalf of its brothers and sisters in North Carolina.

The North Carolina law banning collective bargaining dates back to 1959 (an enlightened era of forward-thinking southerners moving ahead on labor relations and race) and was passed essentially to keep the commies out of state gub'mint, stop bolshevism, and keep black workers in their place--most of the state jobs that UE has been trying to organize are among low-paid custodial, trash hauling, and other jobs typically held by black state workers.

Anyway, this state law sucks, is a violation of international conventions, and ought to be repealed. Right?


I missed this part. Pure genius. When the complaint against the NC State government was filed by the ILO, the response of the Bush administration was simple--the first amendment guarantees the right to form unions and organize! They went even further, though, saying that if any law in North Carolina prohibited this, it would be null and void!

Allriiiiiiiiiiight gang! You heard 'em. George Bush says you can form a union. Go forth and conquer.
Military grafiti.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

This would explain a lot.

Everyone knows that George Bush snuck through college on a whim and name, barely graduating from Yale. This is not news.

What was news to me was that in that the New York Times ran a story in the 1960's about fraternity hazing (torture) at Yale that included branding pledge brothers with a hot iron. That article ran with a quote from then fraternity-member George W. Bush:

“it was just a coat hanger, and ... it didn’t hurt any more than a cigarette burn.”

Well, cigarette burns hurt asshole. But it also brings to mind the President's steadfast refuals to define what torture really is. Here he is earlier this month:

The Preznit contends that the only way to save the American Way of Life (TM) is to let the CIA do what we all know they hunger to do, namely roughing up swarthy brown guys in their custody.

Except he's saying that it's not torture. That'd be illegal.

And that's why the appointment of the new Attorney General is such a big deal. Prominent Republicans, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham (who folded his opposition to waterboarding after Bush came to South Carolina to fundraise for him) admit that a practice we use (waterboarding) to interrogate prisoners is in fact illegal, but they refuse to do anything about.

The job of the new AG would be to prosecute wrongdoing within by the administration if he believes that what they're doing is torture. That's why (some of) the Democrats are being such persnickety assholes about whether Mike Mukasey (the guy Bush has recommended for the job) thinks water boarding is torture or not. If he does, he's obligated by his job to prosecute it. If he doesn't think it's torture, then we're back to dealing Abu Gonzales. Of course, the Democrats are such a bunch of spineless wimps that they're naturally backing down on fighting this:
Schumer held a closed door meeting with Mukasey on Friday in which the nominee appeared to offer a crucial assurance: If Congress chose to enact a law banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, Bush would have to follow it.

“He flatly told me that the president would have absolutely no legal authority to ignore such a law,” Schumer said. “He also pledged to enforce such a law and repeated his willingness to leave office rather than participate in a violation of law.”
The reason that's such a pile of crap is that the US has in the past prosecuted American soldiers for waterboarding prisoners of war. Plus there's the Geneva Conventions that we're signed on to, as well as last year's Military Commissions act of 2006. But instead, Mukasey is saying that if Congress passes another law against water boarding, he'd enforce it.

Which brings me back to George Bush and his love of branding people with hot irons. He probably just loves this shit. He probably gets off on knowing the new ways that our less-ethical interrogators have cooked up to 'scare' the truth out of anyone we capture on the battlefield in this never-ending war on terror.

Such is life in the early 2000's. Torture is not torture except when it benefits us politically to tell the base we're bad enough to torture Arabs Who Want To Kill Us (TM). That's what you get for thinking that common human decency had a pig's chance at a roast in Washington DC.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


"Snowflakes" are the term for the little post-it notes that Donald Rumsfeld used to issue policy decrees when he was the Secretary of Defense. You know, he'd jot down "invade that country" on a little post-it, and off we'd go, committing hundreds of thousands of troops and billions of dollars.

You think I'm kidding, right?

Nope. Not only that, but the following gems made into his sacred scraps of parchment to be turned into public policy:
...Muslims avoid "physical labor";
..."keep elevating the threat";
..."link Iraq to Iran"
..."Develop bumper sticker statements to rally support."
This is, ladies and gentlemen, the man who was responsible for our war policy. I hope you're as proud as I am.