Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh My Gawd

Here's an article my mother will love. I for one think it is a little much, especially in light of evangelical Curt believing that the Christian thing to do was to vote for a lying, stealing, murdering, hyppocrite because he has "courage and character."

I am of course referring to the same man that called the Wild Card - the path the Red Sox took to win the Series- an "excercise of folly." Oddly enough, he used that same compass to determine whether or not to invade Iraq.

Anyway, from a strictly baseball standard, I actually think the blinding faith has a positive effect on the field...

''There are a lot of temptations on the road," Olerud said. ''Having a group of guys who share a similar mind-set helps you get through the season."

... Well, the point is, these guys aren't shitfaced every night. They are not out whoring it up on the road. They are not drug users. Any one or combination of these things can lead to a lot of stress both at home, and on the field. I don't think the reasoning is right, but if they want to "stay pure" it can only help the team. If faith helps them focus, more power to them, just don't be like every wingnut Christian who accepts the idea of faith but also endorses someone who pisses on the message of peace daily. I for one stay focused on a strict diet of pornography.

The Big Easy

I just wanted to post a few more pics from our trip, including a few from the New Orleans Jazz Festival. The news is too depressing right now, this photo essay from The Washington Post pretty much sums it up, and all I have been thinking about is our recent stay in New Orleans. We had a blast, and I am just heartbroken for what has happened. I wish I had remembered my camera for more than just one day, and I really wish I had taken shots of the city (it was dark by the time we got downtown from the festival, but still) because it was just awesome. Now, we keep seeing shots of places we were just in three months ago and just can't believe it.

Look! Karl Denson!

This is a plaza in back of the building that holds the stands for the track at the fairgounds. Hydra was playing and we got an elevated view.

I couldn't stop focusing on these lines. They were floating above the plaza where Hydra was playing. The picture doesn't do it justice so let me just assure you, they were outtasite man.

Clearly, I didn't take this picture. It is from Jambase, Chris Goodyear.

There's was tons of late night stuff to do. We went to see the Mike Gordon and the Duo show and Trey at the Superjam show where we had dead center seats on the second balcony. We were waaaay up and felt like we were floating above the stage. It was incredible.

We had so much fun. On the last day of the festival there was a woman behind us in her late fifties who offered us some of her "reefer" and after we told her who Trey was she said, "Ooooo ya'll are phishheads! Wow, my son is one too."

Below I am calling my father for moral support after refusing the reefer (actually, it was just schwagy and I was calling Eric Barry who was having a great time, but just nowhere to be found)

I am having trouble thinking about what that city will be like in a year. Don't believe all the sensationalized overplaying of the looting on cable. Of course there is looting, some of these people have been well below the poverty line for their entire lives and now have been completely devastated. People with nothing have nothing to lose.

Plus "stuff happens," remember?

Anyway, everyone we met was incredibly nice, and now they are all homeless. That's just unreal. Every restaurant is closed. The hotel we stayed in is a mini refugee camp because it was slightly out of town and elevated. No commerce in the city for months, no taxes, no oil, no gumbo! I don't think it will ever be the same. How can it? The whole city is a germ stew right now and the foundations of every building are rotting away under water. People have lost everything, and are being shipped off to Texas and whereever they can find shelter. Why would they return? Why would they rebuild in a place where this can likely geographically happen again? Plus, we are not out of this year's hurricane season yet. Why happens if they get another one next week?

I feel so horrible for those people and all I can say is it was truly a beautiful city and I am glad I got to at least spend a weekend there before it was destroyed. It was just the best way to start off our trip out west.

Oh, thaaaaaat's why....

I just wanted to post that I will no longer be advocating science and understanding of the environment and the fury from nature we are inviting on ourselves. As far as disasters are concerned, I have seen the light.

Dear Leader

More on Money and the Guard.

And then there's this:
“The general scientific consensus on climate change and hurricanes is this: Hurricanes won’t necessarily become more frequent, but they will become more intense. While ocean and atmospheric circulation is the engine of a hurricane, heat is the fuel. ‘In order to form, a hurricane must have ocean temperature of at least 80 degrees down to a depth of 164 feet,’ says Curry. ‘Sea surface temperatures all over the tropics are running 1.8 to 3.6 degrees above normal. This is due to global warming.’ Thus, when other factors line up to form a storm, a warmer ocean means it will be all the more powerful and destructive.”

Which is again that silly little thing called science countering the logic of oh, say easing pollution rules:

The Bush administration has drafted regulations that would ease pollution controls on older, dirtier power plants and could allow those that modernize to emit more pollution, rather than less.

The language could undercut dozens of pending state and federal lawsuits aimed at forcing coal-fired plants to cut back emissions of harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, said lawyers who worked on the cases.
"We are committed to permanent significant emissions reductions from power plants because what matters is environmental results, and we get far better results under the Bush administration's Clean Air Interstate Rule, which cuts emissions by 70 percent," she said. That rule sets a long-term cap that would cut industry-wide emissions over the next decade and allow less-polluting plants to sell credits to dirtier facilities to reach the overall goal.

But John Walke, NRDC's clean-air director, said: "This radical proposal is a 180-degree flip-flop from what the administration has been arguing in court. Instead of protecting public health, now EPA wants to protect the polluters. The proposal would completely sabotage clean-air law enforcement, and it would be open season for power plants to pollute even more than they do now."

Phew... I was worried we we're just going to be handing our kids an enourmous debt! I am so relieved they won't be able to breathe too.

And to all of you so-called scientists sounding the alarm, I say this: Watch Your Back!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

When the levee breaks...

I'll have no place to stay.

This is just awful, and again points to what happens when our resources are spread too thin. First, they sent the National Guard away from the homeland and second they redistributed the money that was supposed to be used to finish the levees on the war and now we are faced with a catastrophy where we clearly need both.

But the guy supports a definition of marriage ammendment, so leadership in this kind of situation has to kind of take a back seat.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Reap the Whirlwind

Bobby Kennedy Jr in Huff Post:

In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour’s memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast.

Even Dave Is Not Feeling It

"I am so 1997."

The Scallion: Industry Study Finds "Industry is Awesome"

I am always abit weary of news like this, even if it is about coffee.


That's Fox News, Fare and Balanzed.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Where's the party?

My weekly love affair with Frank Rich continues:

It isn't just Mr. Bush who is in a tight corner now. Ms. Sheehan's protest was the catalyst for a new national argument about the war that managed to expose both the intellectual bankruptcy of its remaining supporters on the right and the utter bankruptcy of the Democrats who had rubber-stamped this misadventure in the first place.

When the war's die-hard cheerleaders attacked the Middle East policy of a mother from Vacaville, Calif., instead of defending the president's policy in Iraq, it was definitive proof that there is little cogent defense left to be made. When the Democrats offered no alternative to either Mr. Bush's policy or Ms. Sheehan's plea for an immediate withdrawal, it was proof that they have no standing in the debate.

Instead, two conservative Republicans - actually talking about Iraq instead of Ms. Sheehan, unlike the rest of their breed - stepped up to fill this enormous vacuum: Chuck Hagel and Henry Kissinger. Both pointedly invoked Vietnam, the war that forged their political careers. Their timing, like Ms. Sheehan's, was impeccable. Last week Mr. Bush started saying that the best way to honor the dead would be to "finish the task they gave their lives for" - a dangerous rationale that, as David Halberstam points out, was heard as early as 1963 in Vietnam, when American casualties in that fiasco were still inching toward 100.

And what exactly is our task? Mr. Bush's current definition - "as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down" - could not be a better formula for quagmire. ...

Among Washington's Democrats, the only one with a clue seems to be Russell Feingold, the Wisconsin senator who this month proposed setting a "target date" (as opposed to a deadline) for getting out. Mr. Feingold also made the crucial observation that "the president has presented us with a false choice": either "stay the course" or "cut and run." That false choice, in which Mr. Bush pretends that the only alternative to his reckless conduct of the war is Ms. Sheehan's equally apocalyptic retreat, is used to snuff out any legitimate debate. There are in fact plenty of other choices echoing about, from variations on Mr. Feingold's timetable theme to buying off the Sunni insurgents. But don't expect any of Mr. Feingold's peers to join him or Mr. Hagel in fashioning an exit strategy that might work.

The Democrats are hoping that if they do nothing, they might inherit the earth as the Bush administration goes down the tubes. Whatever the dubious merits of this Kerryesque course as a political strategy, as a moral strategy it's unpatriotic. The earth may not be worth inheriting if Iraq continues to sabotage America's ability to take on Iran and North Korea, let alone Al Qaeda.

As another politician from the Vietnam era, Gary Hart, observed last week, the Democrats are too cowardly to admit they made a mistake three years ago, when fear of midterm elections drove them to surrender to the administration's rushed and manipulative Iraq-war sales pitch. So now they are compounding the original error as the same hucksters frantically try to repackage the old damaged goods. ...
Even though their own poll numbers are in a race to the bottom with the president's, don't expect the Democrats to make a peep. Republicans, their minds increasingly focused on November 2006, may well blink first. In yet another echo of Vietnam, it's millions of voters beyond the capital who will force the timetable for our inexorable exit from Iraq.

Damn right. And at this rate, it looks like the Iraqis will stand up sooner then the Democrats. Wake up, stand up, speak up please. Do something. For God's sake Cindy Sheehan has transformed the debate, and the Democrats are nowhere- too busy on their own vacations to give a damn about our crumbling country. At least Russ Feingold has offered an idea for a target date for withdrawal, but his colleagues have voiced either mumbled whiny opposition to that idea, or offered nothing at all. Its like the whole party is playing the "Who can stay quiet the longest" game my father would make us play as a kid on long, and often irritating, drives. Except at the end of that road our silence was rewarded with a trip to the beach or the White Mountains. The democrats, some probably at the beach or in the White Mountains right now, probably will be rewarded by losing more seats in Congress for being spineless Milquetoasts.


Paul Hackett for Senate!

Windy Photo Shoot?

I know they're the 'idiots' and all, but what was this kid thinking? This is a disgrace to Red Sox Nation, I don't care how good he is.

Update (08/29) From my genius friend Knoefel comes this:
The story is he's partially blind in his left eye. Which is a wonder anyways to see how this kid overcame that to pitch in the majors (as a lefty though it's his right eye that is most toward the plate, but still). He tilts the hat to one side to cut down on the glare in his bad eye, and has so since little league, long before it became hip.

OK so I was completely off, but I am still weirded out by the picture. It's not like John Olerud is wearing a hard helmet in his team pic. But seriously, much props to Knoef for the correction, and for this article.

Rev. Fred Phelps Knows What God Hates

And more importantly he knows when and where to spread his message. How can God hate anything? This is the same man that picketed Matthew Shepard's funeral. Such class.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

"Extraordinary Arrogance"

What do you say when you are a one term governor who can't win reelection but have decided to run for president? You say that you would win in a landslide if you decide to run for another term as governor. That way, you are free not to run (because who really cares about running if all its going to be is a landslide), travel all over the country and raise money while getting an early start on your presidential campaign, and tell all your critics who justifiably call you a failed one termer who couldn't get reelected, "Hey, I would have been reelected in a landslide, but I decided I was more important to try and stop Hillary and the other liberals like McCain and Rudy." I mean for a guy who spends half his time out of state courting hardcore conservative votes anyway, he's got to be kidding about not having made up his mind. Plus, if he loses his reelection battle - which every poll indicates he will at this point - he's damaged goods and can't run for president.

On a related note, I guess its not that far of a stretch for me to endorse someone named Tom Reilly.

Update (8/28) - Atrios cited chickenhawk Romney in the Herald (of all places) being very gung ho for the war, but not asking his sons to enlist:
"No, I have not urged my own children to enlist.I don't know the status of my childrens' potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve," Romney said, his voice tinged with anger.

Massachusetts residents can enlist in the National Guard up to age 39. Romney's five sons range in age from 24 to 35. Neither the Romney children nor the governor have served in the military, Romney spokeswoman Julie Teer said.
"I don't think you should be so `rah-rah' for a war that you aren't willing to send your own family members to,'' said Rose Gonzalez, 30, of Somerville, whose mother, a state employee, was deployed to Iraq in January. "If he thinks the war is so just and so important and we shouldn't pull out, then he should encourage his own sons to go."

Friday, August 26, 2005


Did anyone else see this? Two of my brothers live there as do many of my friends as do police and firefighters that ran into the towers and cowards is the last thing I would call any of them. Personally, I think it takes balls to get on the subway there, let alone live there after 9-11. What the hell is she talking about?

Fun With Maps

Interesting. Well, I guess Operation Yellow Elephant is still going strong.

It would go right in line with the rest of these wankers (entire list from :
  • George Will, did not serve
  • Chris Matthews, Mediawhore, did not serve.
  • Bill O'Reilly, did not serve
  • Paul Gigot, did not serve.
  • Bill Bennett, Did not serve
  • Pat Buchanan, did not serve
  • Rush Limbaugh, did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst' -ass warts.
  • Michael Savage (aka Michael Alan Weiner) - did not serve, too busy chasing herbs and botany degrees in Hawaii and Fiji
  • John Wayne, did not serve
  • Pat Robertson - claimed during 1986 campaign to be a "combat veteran." In reality, was a "Liquor Officer."
  • Bill Kristol, did not serve
  • Sean Hannity, did not serve.
  • Kenneth Starr, did not serve
  • Antonin Scalia, did not serve
  • Clarence Thomas, did not serve
  • Ralph Reed, did not serve
  • Michael Medved, did not serve
  • Charlie Daniels, did not serve
  • Ted Nugent, did not serve
  • Radio Host Phil Hendrie, did not serve.
  • Senator Richard Shelby, did not serve (1)
  • Senator Jon Kyl, R-AZ - did not serve (1, 2)
  • Senator Tim Hutchison, R-AR - did not serve (1, 2)
  • Rep. Christopher Cox, R-CA, fifth-ranking Republican in Congress - did not serve. (1)
  • Representative Saxby Chambliss, Georgia - did not serve (1, 2), had a "bad knee" (yet somehow feels he has a right to attack Max Cleland's patriotism)
  • Former Representative JC Watts - did not serve (1, 2)
  • Jack Kemp, did not serve (1, 2) (was unfit because of a knee injury, though he heroically continued as a National Football League quarterback for another eight years - source)
  • Former Vice President Dan Quayle, avoided Vietnam service, got a slot in the journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard when the unit was at 150% capacity (at least he showed up for his duty, unlike GW) (1, 2)
  • Eliot Abrams, did not serve (1, 2) (however, played a key role in subverting democracy in South America)
  • Paul Wolfowitz, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Former Representative Vin Weber, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Richard Perle, did not serve (1, 2) (is the current bloodshed in the Middle East a direct result of his treasonous meddling in Clinton Administrstion foreign policy?)
  • Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy - did not serve. (1)
  • Rudy Giuliani, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Michael Bloomberg, did not serve (1, 2)
  • George Pataki, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Spencer Abraham, did not serve
  • John Engler, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - website used to claim service as a "Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran." A current biographical website makes no such claim. In reality, was a National Guard lawyer who never left South Carolina during the Gulf War.
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, did not serve (1)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA/49th, there were some problems with his service.
  • Rep. John M. McHugh, R-NY - avoided the draft, did not serve (1)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Republican Governor - went AWOL from his Austrian army base to enter a bodybuilding competition
  • Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - avoided the draft, did not serve.
  • Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - avoided the draft, did not serve.
  • House Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve (1). "So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself."
  • House Majority Whip Roy Blunt - did not serve
  • Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve.
  • Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-KY - did not serve (1)
  • Rick Santorum, R-PA, third ranking Republican in the Senate - did not serve. (1)
  • Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did not serve.
  • Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - avoided the draft, did not serve (1, 2)
  • Former President Ronald Reagan - due to poor eyesight, served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing.
  • GW Bush - decided that a six-year Nat'l Guard commitment really means four years. Still says that he's "been to war."
  • VP Cheney - several deferments (1, 2), the last by marriage (in his own words, "had other priorities than military service") (1)
  • Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - did not serve (1, 2); received seven deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State
  • Jeb Bush, Florida Governor - did not serve. (1)
  • Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve (1), too busy being a Republican.
  • Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    The .357 Club

    Sirota has a great point on Muktader al Robertson's latest fatwa. Keep in mind this man represents millions of "Christians," ran for the GOP Presidential nomination, blamed gays and abortion for 9-11, and has recently called on God to strike down- as in inflict with cancer- additional Supreme Court Justices so Bush can pack the court.

    What a fucking lunatic.

    I remember in church as a kid, the priest talking about how Jesus would order his disciples - which I understand means 'hitmen' - to go out and "whack" all the idolaters.
    "Their worship is a false one which I disagree with" he explained. "It is also a threat to us."
    "Make it look like an accident, I don't want this coming back to us" the lord said. "It will be so much cheaper than war or negotiating."

    The Shakes...

    Getting withdrawals here. Please send some quickly.

    I Dare You to Be This Obnoxious

    This video is the perfect example of the type of thing I was referring to below. One of the most disgusting segments I have ever seen on television. And cheers to Norah O'Donnell for personifying incompetent media.

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    Red Sox Being Red Sox

    Thought this was interesting...

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Clues in Real Time

    The other night on Real TIme with Bill Maher featured two conservatives, former drug czar Asa Hutchinson and a women named KellyAnne Conway (a scary looking women who I imagine to be the love child of the one-night stand between Ann Coulter and Skeletor from the cartoon He-Man) and from their "performance" I can only gather that speaking the truth about Iraq will only be met against the GOP's strategy of balancing truth with fantasy.

    First, when Bill asked (paraphrasing) 'Why should I still be clinging to hope about Iraq after what I have been reading these past months' (and in Bills case, he is someone that has championed the positives in Iraq) Hutchinson basically said 'When we started our country’s democracy it was an experiment and so is Iraq's democracy, and the world hopes now as it did when it watched our democracy flourish, that Iraq succeeds.'

    What an apple pie piece of wholesomenss that is. Umm, umm. Just compare over there with over here and you get a shining city on a hill where you can still smell the thanksgiving turkey and hear the football game. Yummy that’s good Americanized democracy over there isn’t it? You see, you just add one part fantasy with one part America – a value that must never have a negative in front of it - and you get a total wash over comparison that avoids the real question.

    Not to say that there isn’t a speck of truth there and a speck of similarity between those points, but it is like comparing apples to really soft, yet perky, breasts. Both are curvy, amazing to look at and delicious, but the similarities end there.

    For starters, Americans fought to free themselves from tyranny and expelled an occupier. Why do conservative talking heads always forget this painfully ironic piece of information? Second, and I hate to repeat myself, but America expelled the occupying force!!! Hello? Sooner or later, you get sick of the powerful people with the tanks, even if they did "free" you. I take it that process rapidly accelerates when 100,000+ of your civilian population is killed by the ‘freedom fairies’ while they’re spreading their ‘freedom dust’ (both Maherisms). There's also the point Maher pointed out, "Franklin's people had not gassed Hamilton's people."

    But the charade continued with Conway jumping in to add more sprinklings of pixie dust… ‘They have it better over there than we did…’ which I am guessing would have segued nicely into an uproarious jibe along the lines of ‘at least the Iraqis don’t have to deal with the French like we did, yuk, yuk’ had Chris Rock not interrupted with “Why is gas so expensive?”

    Rock and Maher laughed this one over for a few seconds and after Rock said he would be on the Surreal World because of the dent in his wallet caused by gas prices, Conway noted,

    “Jeez, you really are Jews… ahh… in a different way.”

    The “different way” was to clarify that she was not referring to the show’s opening skit about the pullout of Gaza and its moving company “Ju Haul,” but to the stereotype of Jews being cheap. Isn’t that soooo funny? I mean, I certainly think calling someone who objects to paying $3-a-gallon for gas a cheap Jew in 2005 is downright hilarious. Does she go on tour? Will she tell jokes about Irish drunks and ignorant blacks, and ooh, even better, blonds that sound fucking moronic?

    Then, sticking to the GOP playbook of closely following up stereotypical name-calling with a trip to Factlesschusetts, she starts spouting talking points about how wonderful Iraq is. She began praising how great it will be for women in Iraq, and in following up the ‘they-have-it-better-than-we-did’ cartoonishness, compared it to how women had no rights when our country first started, when Maher correctly interrupted her by noting that this independent-Iraqi-women- fantasy is in fact the exact opposite of what is really going on, as noted by anyone who has closely looked at the constitution and its theocratic overtones. Maher said ‘Excuse me, but five years ago women in Iraq had a somewhat equality to men and now they are taking a step backward. We are not promoting a democracy, we are promoting a theocracy.’

    And then it happened. When the conservatives had their backs against the wall staring at nothing but painfully ugly truths, they went with their old standby of completely undermining the truth of their opponent's point by exaggerated distraction in the form of Asa Hutchinson saying “Now you’re promoting Saddam Hussein.”

    This is of course absurd and it was the furthest thing from what Maher was doing because he actually thinks it is reprehensible that women were actually “freed” from a dictator only to lose freedoms!!!

    But, as always, what do conservatives do when faced with such situations? They panic and cowardly react by completely exaggerating to the point of lying. If the lie distracts you, well then, Mission Accomplished. If this sounds familiar, that’s because you have heard it before…

    People that think a woman’s body should not be governed by the state are babykillers. That’s it, no discussion. No nuance. No grey.

    People that want a clean environment are treehuggers. Forget the warnings and look at those crazy hippies.

    People that are furious that we took resources away from finding Osama to fight a war based on lies are liberal crybabies. Do not look behind the curtain...

    People that find out they have been lied to are flip-floppers.

    Generals that tell the president that he is not using enough men for the postwar plan are fired. All other generals tell the president what he has given them is the perfect amount of men, and this in turn becomes is the point made to attack those that continue to call for more troops.

    If you are a grieving mother who wants to know why the Commander-in-Chief takes five week vacations while waging a senseless war, you are a "crackpot."

    Calling the post-war planning a disaster is supporting the enemy. You are either with us or with the terrorists.

    Asking why the famous “$87 billion for our troops” never seemed to get to our troops in the form of armor for Humvees is aiding the insurgents. You go to war with the "army you have not the army you want."

    Calling for our troops to come home is admitting defeat and a bad sign to the terrorists. Plus, everything is lovely in Iraq. They love us because we liberated them. It is just going to take us 3 months to train your son to go over there to and spend 3 years giving the same training to his Iraqi counterpart. Everything's great!

    And, in line with the simplistic idiocy of my favorite GOP sponsored bumper sticker that read “Kerry Is Bin Laden’s Man/Bush’s Mine,” asking why thousands died and hundreds of billions was spent so theocratic rule could take over and strip women of freedoms is “Endorsing Saddam Hussein.”

    Isn’t second grade logic wonderful?

    But, this is going to be the strategy for 2006, just wait. The clues are right there for anyone thinking of running against this fantasy of this administration. Criticizing failure will equate to endorsing Saddam, and if you dare complain about how high gas prices are hurting the American working family, well then, you're just a cheap Jew.

    Update: Frank Rich writes another brilliant piece with some similar observations:

    When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    This Is Your Brain...

    ...This Is Your Brain On Hillbilly Heroin

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Op Truth

    I read this at Daily Kos and thought I should share it. It is a response to the story highlighted in the post below about the desicration of crosses and flags at Cindy Sheehan's protest. It is originally from Operation Truth, a site dedicated to giving soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars a voice to share their experiences. Try to check it out from time to time.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    When Flag Burning Truly Isn't Enough

    I suggest getting in your pickup and plowing over flags and crosses (meant to symbolize American war dead) as a true sign that you support your president. How else will he be able to get on with his life? I mean, he's got so many naps to take and books (giggle) to (giggle, giggle) read.

    I know if I was killed in action for my country, I certainly would be looking down from heaven with smiles at the thought of someone desicrating a symbol of my sacrifice, particularly if it was in the form of a flag draped cross.

    Bravo, Larry Northern, Bravo.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Mission Accomplished

    So this is why they tried to change the name to the "global struggle against violent extremism." It is so much easier to save face and say 'we're doing the best we can in the struggle' than have to say 'we lost the war because of incredibly bad planning and arrogance. Sorry about all your dead sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers.'

    Three questions: If they are willing to announce to the entire world that troop withdrawals will begin in the spring, isn't that a flip flop on Dubya's claim that it would be aiding the enemy to set a timeline for withdrawals?

    Also, if they already know that they can't realistically win, why stay until spring (outside of the fact that it will help Republicans win 2006 congressional races, which is as disgusting a reason as it is a true one) at the cost of billions of dollars and countless lives?

    So, as a wise man once asked, how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

    Alterman has a great take on this entitled Oooops, Sorry.

    And Frank Rich wants someone to tell the President that the war is over.

    Sunday, August 14, 2005

    I Can't Believe I Am Saying This...

    ... But Christopher Walken Is Running For President.

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    Mike Seaver - True Believer

    It was either that, or

    Like Father, Like Son (of God)


    You know what, that first one wasn't enough... Wow.

    Actual quotes from Kirk's new "reality" show's website The Way of the Master:

    "FAQ #4: I have a lust problem."


    "I have a friend named Joey who loves people, and therefore shares the gospel with them."

    "Love Test:
    Question 9
    If you saw a blind man walking toward a 1000 foot cliff you would
    A) Offer him your favorite Christian CD
    B) Invite him to your house for a non-confrontational BBQ the following weekend
    C) Suggest a more fulfilling place to walk
    D) Warn him about the cliff"

    "Question 11
    If we know someone who is not born again, we should do all we can to
    A) spend months building their trust and hope they ask what makes us different (assuming they don't die first... which we can't assume) ...
    C) Wear a cross around our neck so they know we're sold out for Jesus. "

    "Evangelism: ... You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel. After the initial shock of your conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box, and keep you at arm's length. So it's important that you take advantage of the short time you have while you still have their ears."

    "Kirk is best known as the lovable teen heartthrob Mike Seaver of the award winning series Growing Pains. He entertained audiences worldwide as the charming troublemaker. He is also known to every Christian as "Buck Williams" from Left Behind: The Movie based on the NY Times runaway bestselling novels..."


    "Warfare: Praise the Lord and Pass the ammunition." (Bold and Itallics mine, but that's it)

    "God doesn't want them to perish and I know you don't either... Please don't let your loved ones go to Hell without trying to rescue them."

    I have heard similar apocalyptic rants before- trust me- but there's just something crazy about it coming from Mike Seaver. And could the multiple choice be any crazier?

    Once on the Master site, I actually did a Choose-your-own-adventure model and chose 'no' and was told about my eternal damnation fairly quickly. So then I went back and went through it choosing 'yes' and I can safely conclude that taking copious amounts of acid- and by acid I mean LSD- is healthier for your mind than the new gospel of Heaven's Heartthrob.

    Seriously, take some, and then tell me which world makes more sense.

    Update: Just when I thought I had seen it all... No amount of acid or Growing Pains reruns could prepare me for the path Willie Aames ("Buddy Lembeck" from Charles in Charge, Eight is Enough) has carved out for himself.
    I'll say it again, Wow.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Broken branch

    I used to subscribe to Rolling Stone, and after reading this I might just have to resubscribe. Great article on how the Congress actually works. In school we were all taught the wonders of the three branches of government and how a democracy works. Congress makes laws and the President signs them and all is well in our lovely little "democracy." Well, just like the Indians being best buddies with the pilgrims, that's complete horseshit, yet people still believe it. When people get sick of my ranting and over obsessing about how corrupt our government is, I often feel like it is because they do not actually understand (or have the patience to try to understand) what is wrong with our system. Most people today have no idea how the inner workings of congress actually work, and therefore affect all of us. It is crucial that we all understand it, yet barely any of us do. This is the type of garbage that gets me so fired up. "Why is Brian so obsessed with politcs?" Here's your answer. We as a country swallow our daily pills of ignorance and ambiguity while these people rape us rather than represent us. They get away with it because we're ignorant to it and the band keeps playing on.

    This article lays it out as simple as possible. We are fucked as a democracy unless more people revolt against this sort of thing. Please take the time to read it.

    I found the piece thanks to David Sirota and here's a snippet of his review of it. This needs to be drilled into the collective skulls of the Democratic leadership:

    The takeaway from this article is really threefold:
    1) The U.S. Congress does not represent "democracy" and to say it does is to insult the word "democracy" and all of those throughout American history who have fought for democracy.

    2) The problem with Congress is largely a problem with the corruption of the GOP. But, that said, the problem also involves Democrats, a powerful cadre of whom seem comfortable in the minority, and seem comfortable selling their souls to the highest corporate bidder. Unless Democrats really change, unify, and take up policies that challenge Congress's bought-off behavior, they will not be able to electorally capitalize on corruption.

    3) Despite all of this, there still are some courageous leaders in Congress like
    Sanders and others fighting for ordinary citizens. The more we, the grassroots, can help them in their fight, the more we will start taking back our government.

    Rolling Stone's website is acting a bit wierd with this piece, so if you can't click on it, just go to and go to "politics" and then "Four Ammendments and a Funeral."

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Sweet Show

    Should be an easy ticket...

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    H.R. 3037


    Too much bad news to go over today... energy bill, a decade without jerry, cindy sheehan, chafee and the bush handlers, etc. I will get more detail soon, but for today, some painfully funny reviews of The Dukes of Hazzard:

    The movie stars Johnny Knoxville, from "Jackass," Seann William Scott, from "American Wedding," and Jessica Simpson, from Mars. Judging by her recent conversation on TV with Dean Richards, Simpson is so remarkably uninformed that she should sue the public schools of Abilene, Texas, or maybe they should sue her. On the day he won his seventh Tour de France, not many people could say, as she did, that they had no idea who Lance Armstrong was.

    From the SF Chronicle:
    There are routine movies and others that blaze a trail. There are routine bad movies and others so horrendous that they redefine bad, that make us look up synonyms for agonizing and abysmal and then gnash our teeth because the language has not kept pace with the decline of film. There are even movies that are so blazingly rotten that they can redefine past experiences and make us look back on recent weak efforts like "Stealth" or "Fantastic Four" and think, "Ooh, that was fascinating."

    "The Dukes of Hazzard" is hardly some routine bad movie. Rather, it's one of the elite...

    Three back-to-back chases form the climax. They're excruciating. The comedy is nonexistent. The filmmakers couldn't buy a laugh in a burning poppy field. The movie is only 97 minutes long, but it makes time stretch, so that it's impossible to feel comfortable in one sitting position for more than five minutes. Instead of releasing this film in theaters, they should have sent it straight to Guantanamo, at least while it's still legal.

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    7 errors in 3 days...

    This weekend's defense was almost as awful as this picture.

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    I don't know about you, but I don't think we're really safe unless we have at least 10,000 more of these...

    60 years ago the United States did this. Many believe it was necessary to defeat the Japanese. I do not. I feel like it was the moral low point of the United States. I base that opinion on the words of prominent members of the military at the time and those of members the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. I actually had to explain this position recently in a paper I wrote on the subject. I posted excerpts of it below in case anyone is interested. (I have edited the footnotes for length and because the quotes from military leaders are part of the public record and many notes were based on these three sources: Ronald Takaki’s Hiroshima, the movie Atomic Cafe, and a professor's class handout book.)

    BTW, since Hiroshima the US has conducted 1,054 atomic tests and has constructed over 10,000 nuclear weapons. There are thought to be over 22,000 nuclear weapons in the world today- all vastly superior to the one that caused the above devastation- enough to destroy the Earth three times over.
    Happy reading…

    Admiral William D. Leahy, among others in the military, knew that Japan was already crumbling; “The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.” According to Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, “every officer in the Fleet knew that Japan would eventually capitulate.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed saying he had “grave misgivings” about the use of the bomb against an enemy that “was already defeated.”

    The Japanese were “already defeated” because the United States had orchestrated massive firebombing campaigns that absolutely devastated Japanese cities. In Tokyo alone over 1 million homes were destroyed, 17 miles of the ancient city were reduced to ashes, and between 60,000 and 100,000 people were killed. During the firebombing campaign the temperature in Tokyo was 2000 degrees Celsius, so hot that people would spontaneously burst into flames. Those who sought refuge in the rivers surrounding the town were boiled alive. A police officer in Japan described the streets as “rivers of fire. Everywhere one could see flaming pieces of furniture exploding in the heat, while the people themselves blazed like match sticks. . . . Immense vortices rose in a number of places, swirling, flattening, sucking whole blocks of houses into their maelstrom of fire.”

    According to Fleet Admiral Ernest J King, the Japanese were in “disarray,” cut off from food, oil, machinery, and even their own troops in Manchuria by an “effective naval blockade” that would have soon “starved them into submission.” In fact, a report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff meeting in Potsdam in August 1945 stated the US had destroyed “25% to 50% of the built up area of Japan’s most important cities.” The report actually warned, “Prepare for sudden collapse of Japan.”

    The effectiveness of the blockades and the firebombings and the fact that the Japanese had put out “peace feelers” led many to believe the war was coming to a close. General Lemay thought the war would have been over in “two weeks,” and by the latest October 1945, without the need for a U.S. invasion. Admiral King, General Arnold, Admiral Leahy and General Dwight Eisenhower, all joined Lemay in agreement and felt the Japanese were on the “verge of collapse.”

    These were the best military minds of the time and they all saw the same thing: Japan was not capable of withstanding an invasion, she was about to crumble on her own and therefore there was certainly no need for the atomic bomb. According to Admiral William Leahy, there was not even a need for an invasion: “I was unable to see any justification, from a national defense point of view, for an invasion of an already thoroughly defeated Japan.” If Japan was already “thoroughly defeated,” and there was no need for an invasion according to the best military minds in the U.S., then a reasonable conclusion is the atomic bombings had little to do with saving America lives. In light of what the military leaders were saying as well as looking at how quickly the bombs were actually dropped, it is safe to deduce that the use of the atomic bombs was to end the war quickly, and stop the Soviets.

    By July 1945, President Truman wanted to avoid the Russians from entering the war, a reversal of U.S. position from the previous year. There was a great fear that once the Soviets entered the war, they would have leverage at the post-war table and increase their “sphere in the region.” The Russian entry date into the war was fast approaching because Truman had been pushing the Japanese to accept “unconditional surrender,” an unacceptable position for the Japanese who feared for the life of Emperor Hirohito. Acting Secretary of State Joseph Grew explained that the U.S. lost nothing by letting the Japanese keep the emperor and that the Japanese would surrender immediately if they were allowed to “save face.” Admiral Leahy agreed and feared Truman’s stubborn position would only prolong the conflict and was unnecessary. Truman was open to the idea of concession until the successful atomic test at Alamogordo in July 1945. Although Truman was advised that the Japanese would prolong the conflict to protect the emperor, he refused to accept any conditions for surrender after the test, even though the August 8 date of Russian entry was fast approaching. The test proved that no concession was necessary and the July 26 Potsdam Declaration made that point clear to Japan. The Japanese would submit to “unconditional surrender” or face “utter devastation.”

    This arrogance again calls into question the morality behind the atomic bombings, especially when considering that the Japanese were eventually allowed to keep their emperor after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It mirrors the arrogance reflected in keeping the Russians out of the war simply to avoid letting them sit at the post-war table. According to Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of State James Byrnes considered the bomb a bargaining chip “in his pocket” that he could use to negotiate with the Russians. Byrnes was deeply wary of what would happen if the “Red Army entered Manchuria.”

    Byrnes was a very influential fellow, not just as Secretary of State but also as the President’s representative on the Manhattan Project Interim Committee. His relationship with FDR gave him a lot of leverage on the committee whose “charge was to advise the president on the use of the bomb.” Byrnes, once considered FDR’s “assistant president,” also had a lot of leverage directly with President Truman, a man completely in the dark about the Manhattan Project until after he took office following FDR’s death in April 1945.

    According to Takaki, Byrnes was “the single most important member (of the interim committee) promoting the proposal for a surprise attack.” Byrnes even argued against the common practice of dropping warning leaflets on the Japanese for fear that American POW’s would be moved toward the target or that a possible “dud” would only strengthen the resolve of the enemy. A warning would also take away the element of surprise with concern to the Russians; “The demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia with America’s military might.”

    Because U.S. air raids had reduced most of Japan’s cities to “rubble and ruin” a true demonstration of the bomb’s awesome magnitude could not be known unless it was detonated over a “virgin target.” A city of 350,000 Hiroshima had been spared in the air raids and was targeted. Truman told Secretary of War Stimson to use the bomb on a “purely military” target, but Hiroshima was almost completely a civilian center, only its small communications center could qualify as a military target.

    On August 6, 1945, 70,000 people would be wiped out instantly by Byrnes’ “bargaining chip.” More than 150,000 would later die from horrific injuries and radiation from the bomb. Hiroshima had been “completely wiped out.” ... Although Byrnes was “anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in,” he could not prevent it completely, and two days after Hiroshima, Russia entered the war. The following day, two days ahead of schedule, a second atomic weapon obliterated another civilian city, Nagasaki. Another 70,000 people wiped out of existence instantly.

    If the first bombing was unnecessary militarily, than Nagasaki was downright criminal carelessness, especially in light of the fact that that bombing was advanced by two days. “What we did not take into account … was that the destruction [from the first bomb] would be so complete,” General Marshall explained. It would take Tokyo at least a day, “maybe longer,” to get the facts down on what had just occurred. When Emperor Hirohito heard the news of Hiroshima he was ready to “bow to the inevitable” and surrender, but because the total devastation slowed communications and assessment, he had no time to react before Nagasaki was attacked.

    According to Takaki, Byrnes “clearly connected the atomic attack on Japan to the need to challenge Soviet expansionism,” and was willing to “drop the bomb on Japan in order to intimidate Russia.” Byrnes’ hawkish approach impressed Truman who said he was “able” and “conniving,” but also a man with “a keen mind.” Byrnes saw hostilities with the Soviets through a “frontier mentality,” adding, “He saw the war against Japan as a hunt, and he wanted Russia to stay out of it.” The atomic bomb would bring about a quick end to the war and Russia would not “get in so much on the kill.” (My Italics)

    Admiral Leahy saw the use of the “barbarous weapon” as giving the U.S. “no material assistance” in winning the war against Japan. Leahy claimed Japan was “already defeated and ready to surrender” and that the bombings represented “a modern type of barbarism not worthy of Christian men.” Secretary Stimson agreed, first asking for a warning to the Japanese and arguing against the predominant racial stereotypes that were “deeply embedded in the minds of influential people in the State Department.” Stimson said the war was prolonged as a result of the United States’ demands for unconditional surrender. He argued for “continuance” of the throne at Potsdam, but “The President and Byrnes struck that out.” According to Takaki, the effect of that decision led to “the vaporization of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Sadly, US policy towards Japan after the bombings allowed for the continuance Stimson advocated for. … For Stimson, the bombings were not as simple as saving American lives, but rather preventing a war with Russia.

    However fruitful the post-war table turned out to be, the decision to incinerate two civilian populations to end a war that was going to end itself in a matter of “weeks” is morally reprehensible. As Secretary Stimson stated in February 1945, U.S. policy “never has been to inflict terror bombings on a civilian population.” But the policies of World War II changed tradition moral holdings, and the United States’ claim on a moral high ground was forever damaged. Philosopher Lewis Mumford has suggested the “urban crematoriums” created by U.S. firebombing campaigns were no different than the Nazi death camps. Secretary Stimson even asked at the time if the United States wanted a reputation of “outdoing Hitler,” with regards to its own atrocities.

    For anyone who wants even more joy, my mom sent along an article by the priest who blessed the pilots who bombed Hiroshima. It is heavily religious, but very interesting, especially for those who find some contradictions in the dominionist cry that "We're a Christian nation!" as Stimson seemed to. There is also a fantastic documentary from the discovery channel film entitled Hiroshima: The First Weapon of Mass Destruction. Really, really sick stuff though, not for the squimish.

    Example 4,342,897 of how the Bush cartel silences the truth:

    The hits just keep on coming.


    Krugman's latest brings up a great point that I often have a hard time dealing with while talking to my friends; the whole mastery of spreading confusion or "white noise" about certain facts. There is no doubt in the scientific community about global warming, yet I hear otherwise very intelligent people claiming that there is. Corporations like ExxonMobile have a vested interest in the science coming out a certain way, so they fund "scientists" to say that global warming doesn't exist. By the way, as you pay $3 a gallon, poor ExxonMobile still managed to squeak by and make a paltry $7.6 billion in profit last quarter. Well, with all the extra cash, they get to buy quite a bit, including the lobbyists that wrote the next energy bill that gives them even more money. (How could this happen?) Besides outright buying politicians, they can outright buy their facts, sometimes straight from the White House's own editorial board. And the media is too lazy or too fearful to distinguish fact from bullshit for their readers/viewers. This is how the Swift Boaters got to spread their lies and muddy the water against Kerry. This is how Rove gets to muddy the water about his involvement in Plamegate. And this is why very smart people are still up in the air about global warrming. The machines are powerful enough to construct and spread their own facts, and the media is a willing accomplice.
    Will evolution be the next "theory" they muddy?

    Here's Krugman:

    You might have thought that a strategy of creating doubt about inconvenient research results could work only in soft fields like economics. But it turns out that the strategy works equally well when deployed against the hard sciences.

    The most spectacular example is the campaign to discredit research on global warming. Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus, many people have the impression that the issue is still unresolved. This impression reflects the assiduous work of conservative think tanks, which produce and promote skeptical reports that look like peer-reviewed research, but aren't. And behind it all lies lavish financing from the energy industry, especially ExxonMobil.

    There are several reasons why fake research is so effective. One is that nonscientists sometimes find it hard to tell the difference between research and advocacy - if it's got numbers and charts in it, doesn't that make it science?

    Even when reporters do know the difference, the conventions of he-said-she-said journalism get in the way of conveying that knowledge to readers. I once joked that if President Bush said that the Earth was flat, the headlines of news articles would read, "Opinions Differ on Shape of the Earth." The headlines on many articles about the intelligent design controversy come pretty close.

    Finally, the self-policing nature of science - scientific truth is determined by peer review, not public opinion - can be exploited by skilled purveyors of cultural resentment. Do virtually all biologists agree that Darwin was right? Well, that just shows that they're elitists who think they're smarter than the rest of us.

    Which brings us, finally, to intelligent design. Some of America's most powerful politicians have a deep hatred for Darwinism. Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, blamed the theory of evolution for the Columbine school shootings. But sheer political power hasn't been enough to get creationism into the school curriculum. The theory of evolution has overwhelming scientific support, and the country isn't ready - yet - to teach religious doctrine in public schools.

    But what if creationists do to evolutionary theory what corporate interests did to global warming: create a widespread impression that the scientific consensus has shaky foundations?

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Why Tivo is Awesome


    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    But what are frat kids going to scream at 3 in the morning?

    If this is true, I feel for all the white people that preach the Dave-as-Lil' John gospel at bars, office water coolers, frat parties, baseball games, anywhere there's a line, and at red lights.
    What are unoriginal catalogue people going to mockingly gigglingly say to one another?
    First a summer without Austin Powersisms and now this!
    A sad day for America.
    God speed.

    What?? Yeaaaaaayahhhhh!

    Oh what's the use!?!???


    Hackett's Loss in Ohio

    Maj. Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who ran for Congress in the 2nd congressional district in Ohio, lost yesterday to Jean Schmidt. Hackett ran as a Democrat one of the most Republican districts in the country (a Dem hasn't won there in 20 years). The normal balance is 70-30 in this overwhelmingly conservative district. It would have been a great win for the Democrats but 70-30 is a really tough mountain to climb. So how badly did Hackett get "buried?"


    This is unreal and an opportunity for the Democratic Party to steel victory from the jaws of defeat. The Republican Congressional Committee was forced to spend 500,000 to win (or "bury him" as they referred to it- support the troops!) this seat in a place where they shouldn't have had to spend a dime. The reason, I believe that Hackett did so well, outside of his military service and the incredible netroots support was that he was a tough talker who was clear, concise, and not embarrassed about his opinions. He didn't waffle, and he didn't apologize- even after calling the President (who got 64% of the district against Kerry) a “son of a bitch” and a “chickenhawk.” He simply said that he did not respect Bush, but did respect the office to the point that he was willing to die for him. He called on his critics (most like Rush et al who "Swift Boated" him for 'not really seeing combat') to 'get off their chickenhawk asses and go see if Falluja isn't really combat.'

    All in all, this guy has balls the size of church bells and people respected that. Republicans voted for him. Republicans that voted for the President voted for him. He won in all the rural areas otherwise thought to be heavily Republican.
    We need more people like him. Clear, concise, and no holds barred. Kerry would have won if he showed even one-tenth the conviction that Hackett did. And the Democratic Party needs to get of their asses quicker and support candidates like him in the reddest of the red districts if they think they can compete nationally again. I want this guy to run for governor but he’ll probably be sent back to Iraq.
    How depressing.

    On a lighter note, speaking of no holds barred, it might just be the funniest movie trailer ever.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Bush Endorses Creationism In Public Schools

    Unbelievable. Keep in mind that these are public schools and this is science class we are talking about. Also keep in mind that this is 2005 and the leader of the free world actually has issues with evolution. EVOLUTION!!!

    I wonder what he feels about those radical teachers that dare not to offer a counter theory to gravity in their classrooms. I can’t believe this needs to be said but, science, meaning the practice of formulating hypotheses and theories through a process of gathering data and experimentation, should be taught in science class, not faith.

    Charles Krauthammer, a supporter of the President and one of the most conservative men in Washington, wrote an article for Time Monday (a day before the Bush endorsement) entitled Let’s Have No More Monkey Trials: To Teach Science As Faith Is to Undermine Both. Although I disagree with this man almost daily, I have been wondering for a long time where the actual Republicans (the uber smart ones that believe in principals-not talking points- who have seen their party hijacked by religious illiterates) were on this issue. I know the party loyalists have to pay lip service to religious people, even if they don't believe in it, but it was starting to get crazy.
    Krauthammer nails it at least from the standpoint of someone that respects both:

    The half-century campaign to eradicate any vestige of religion from public life has run its course. The backlash from a nation fed up with the A.C.L.U. kicking crèches out of municipal Christmas displays has created a new balance. State-supported universities may subsidize the activities of student religious groups. Monuments inscribed with the Ten Commandments are permitted on government grounds. The Federal Government is engaged in a major antipoverty initiative that gives money to churches. Religion is back out of the closet.

    But nothing could do more to undermine this most salutary restoration than the new and gratuitous attempts to invade science, and most particularly evolution, with religion. Have we learned nothing? In Kansas, conservative school-board members are attempting to rewrite statewide standards for teaching evolution to make sure that creationism's modern stepchild, intelligent design, infiltrates the curriculum. Similar anti-Darwinian mandates are already in place in Ohio and are being fought over in 20 states.

    Well, if you believe that science is reason and that reason begins with recognizing the existence of an immanent providence, then this is science. But, of course, it is not. This is faith disguised as science. Science begins not with first principles but with observation and experimentation.

    What we are witnessing now is a frontier violation by the forces of religion. This new attack claims that because there are gaps in evolution, they therefore must be filled by a divine intelligent designer.

    How many times do we have to rerun the Scopes "monkey trial"? There are gaps in science everywhere. Are we to fill them all with divinity? There were gaps in Newton's universe. They were ultimately filled by Einstein's revisions. There are gaps in Einstein's universe, great chasms between it and quantum theory. Perhaps they are filled by God. Perhaps not. But it is certainly not science to merely declare it so.

    To teach faith as science is to undermine the very idea of science, which is the acquisition of new knowledge through hypothesis, experimentation and evidence. To teach it as science is to encourage the supercilious caricature of America as a nation in the thrall of religious authority. To teach it as science is to discredit the welcome recent advances in permitting the public expression of religion. Faith can and should be proclaimed from every mountaintop and city square. But it has no place in science class. To impose it on the teaching of evolution is not just to invite ridicule but to earn it.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Happy Birthday

    Happy Birthday to a great American. Garcia is one of the most culturally significant Americans of the last century and also "Just another dead doper," according to America's biggest hypocrite, Rush Limbaugh. Coincidentally, Crooks and Liars has posted the audio clip of Howard Stern's show today where he compiles some of Rush's greatest anti-drug hits. Remember when listening to this that he not only called Garcia "another dead doper" but that he also was so addicted to hillbilly heroin that he was taking 30 Oxycontins a day (while spewing anti-addiction rhetoric) to the point that he had his maid obtaining them for him.
    The voice of the right wing ladies and gentlemen.

    One Vacation Per Star, Right Georgie

    Dear President Bush,
    I wish you the best and plenty of fun and relaxation on your fiftieth vacation in the last five years. I only ask that if you are given any memos similar to the one with the vague title of "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" you put down the brush cutters and act on it immediately. Please don't freeze for seven minutes for fear of startling the armadillos if told we are under attack, but act immediately as you are still the Commander-in-Chief even on vacation. The children in the room- I mean the armadillos- will understand that you are the leader of a country currently engaged in a war- dammit, I mean a struggle- and that you need to leave, immediately, in order to defend it. I know this stuff is a little serious, especially for a man of the people trying to keep his common-folk inspired 10-a-year vacation schedule in tact, but we here in the blue states will rest easier knowing that you will not ignore any more memos.
    Thanks for understanding my concern and good luck with the brush clearing,
    brian geraghty