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Rants

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Christian Fundies: Take Oklahoma and Leave us Alone

Subscribers to Foreign Policy can read "The Next Generation of Terror" by Marc Sageman.

The article strikes me as credible - basically saying that al Qaeda has been reduced to not much of a threat. We have to credit the Bush Administration for not totally failing at everything because al Qaeda is now less of a threat.

However, the Bush Administration's incompetence means that there are far more people who would love to execute successful terrorist attacks against the U.S. The War on Terror has weakened al Qaeda while creating far more enemies. This strategy is like starting the rest of your house on fire to starve the fire in the kitchen of oxygen. I love unwieldy analogies.

At any rate, there is a good chance that the next attack will come from a group of people who are not making phone calls to Afghanistan or Pakistan, who are not really connected to al Qaeda but are inspired by them.

As for what they want to achieve, well, like most religious crazies, their creations suck.

The few times its aspirations have been translated into reality—the Taliban in Afghanistan, parts of Algeria during its civil war, and more recently in Iraq’s Anbar Province—were particularly repulsive to most Muslims.

Which makes me wonder ... I wonder if we would just hand Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Texas to the "Christian" conservative warriors, would they leave the rest of us alone? Maybe they would stop trying to force the rest of us to live by a moral code they preach (but mostly ignore as well - check out divorce rates among the loudest "Christian" conservatives) if we gave them a bit of terrority to set up their Evangelical Caliphate.

Back to the article - it points out that the Republican response to 9-11 (which has largely been unchallenged by Dems) is rather counterproductive. The Bush Administration has declared a high profile war on these small-minded cave dwellers and massively publicizes the few near-victories his administration has achieved.

Each of Ashcroft's asinine press conferences validated the al Qaeda chickenfuckers by making it appear that they truly were a major threat (on par with the nuclear weapon toting commies, if you listen to the rhetoric) when they are actually a small rag-tag group of assholes who got lucky because the Bush Administration considered China a bigger threat than terrorists and put a higher priority on ballistic missile defense than anti-terror intelligence.

It is equally crucial not to place terrorists who are arrested or killed in the limelight. The temptation to hold press conferences to publicize another “major victory” in the war on terror must be resisted, for it only transforms terrorist criminals into jihadist heroes. The United States underestimates the value of prosecutions, which often can be enormously demoralizing to radical groups. There is no glory in being taken to prison in handcuffs. No jihadi Web site publishes such pictures. Arrested terrorists fade into oblivion; martyrs live on in popular memory.

The only fear I have with trials of high profile terrorists is the temptation for their comrades to take hostages and attempt to trade prisoners. I hope that whoever finds Osama puts a few rounds into him, pisses on him, drowns him in liquor, and strikes a match. Good riddance.

In a just world, we would do the same to Bush - a man who did 20x the damage to this country in response to 9-11 than the attack did.

Grumblings

Spitzer: What is the BFD? Aside from his hypocrisy, I do not believe he has violated any trust I put in him. Of course, I haven't put any trust in him...

I cannot believe that with all our problems, we still criminalize prostitution. Seriously. For every stupid law we attempt to enforce, we make it harder to enforce laws that are actually supposed to be protecting people.

Prostitution? Really? I cannot figure out why an ostensibly free society allows you to sell damn near anything but you can't rent your privates for a few hours. You can pay people to rub you for an hour to help you relax and loosen your muscles ... but if that person touches you in a certain area, BOOM - it is ILLEGAL!

In no way am I defending predatory pimping or abduction and forced prostitution. Obviously, just as I can pay someone to clean my house, I cannot abduct them and force them to do it.

Some may claim prostitution is exploitation. Well, so is paying poor wages to illiterate people to roof your house rather than going with a unionized shop that has crucial things like FRIGGING HEALTH CARE. What is more dangerous?

I suspect the only real reason people can come up with to keep prostitution illegal is because too many religions tell us that doing stuff that feels good is somehow immoral. Well, it isn't. It is immoral if you violate a relationship you are in. It is immoral if you spread an STD. But pleasing yourself (and ideally, the other person/people you are with) is not immoral.

Prostitution is a victimless crime. The problems surrounding it (mostly issues of health) are better dealt with policies that do not involve prison and pushing it underground - where women (and some men - but mostly women) are more likely to be victims of violence.

Demockery

As an Obama supporter, I do not want this to look childish. However, I am horrified to hear Rush Limbaugh calling for Republicans to vote for Hillary in an attempt to subvert the democratic process. Not surprised, but horrified.

I have long suspected that Rush has no respect for a democratic society and is instead more obsessed with his demagoguery and personal fame.

I hoped that his listeners would either be too lazy or have respect for the democratic process but they apparently are not and do not.

There is substantial evidence that some Republicans are attempting to deceitfully choose the Democratic nominee.

Fortunately, they may not have turned out in enough numbers to have changed much - I suspect Obama could have still put Hillary away in Ohio and especially Texas if he responded more effectively to her bullshit kitchen-sink attack tactics. But they are clearly having some effect, eroding the number of delegates Obama is getting from these states.

At this point, I have to wonder if Democrats will even have a chance to screw up their historic opportunity or if Republicans will just screw it up for them.

These fuckers are not content to have just flushed the last 7 years down the toilet, they are determined to ensure it will continue declining just as rapidly as possible.

At one point, these Republicans laid claim to patriotism and the rule of law. Now they are stealing bully tactics and a win-at-all-costs mentality. They have no respect for the democratic process or the rule of law.

I fantasize about living in a country that is outraged when Rush Limbaugh calls on his followers to subvert our elections. In that country, other conservative hosts at least act horrified and distance themselves from this call to illegality (many states have laws against this type of fraud). But we do not live there.

Experience

Hey Hillary, if experience is so important and Obama is not prepared (a charge you only make when he is not sitting next to you ... when he is, you cannot defend your words) then we should be supporting the following people over you because your experience in government pales compared to...

  • John McCain
  • Joe Biden
  • Robert Byrd
  • Bob Dole
  • Dick (head) Cheney

The problem with experience is that it reveals who you are and why we do not support you to run this country.

Now, please continue your stupid attacks because I can put up with them for one more week as long as you knock it off after you lose the next two primaries.

FISA and Telco Immunity

The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.

In what appears to be a growing tit-for-tat hat tip, thanks to Moldy Blue Cheese Curds for that Kennedy quote.

I wrote to our Senator Coleman asking him to respect the Constitution and refuse to grant retroactive immunity to phone companies who gave the government access to our private conservations (thank you Qwest for refusing to violate the law and telling the Bush Administration to piss off until it was in compliance with the law).

The Honorable Senator, who must have momentarily forgotten his oath to uphold said Constitution, replied that more or less, if the President asks someone to break the law and tells them they are not breaking the law, they should not be punished for breaking the law. Seems like kind of a bad precedent.

But hey, this is a time of war and the King should be free to act. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right? The right to privacy is only something we should expect when, I dunno, buying weapons I guess.

Which brings me to - what the hell is up with people gunning down lots of people lately? Damn, reading the national news is like watching a damn western lately.

French Irony

I just saw another clip making fun of that Romney guy and how he started that insane speech he gave at CPAC.

I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century-still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable.

Let's think about this for a second. We have to change course. Duh.

But from what course are we changing? That of a Republican Administration and a Republican Congress. Since the Democrats got their thin majority in Congress, we have not changed course so we must still be on the same course as the Republicans charted for us.

So now we need to change it? How? By more of the same according to Romney! What the fuck is the matter with the brain dead rank and file people who eat this up????

We do need to change course because the Republicans put angry children at the helm (and the Democrats were too chickenshit -- ahem, Hillary -- to challenge them). They may have dug the deepest hole this country has ever dug. And now Romney wants to change course by digging faster? And he gets wild applause.

Romney Rant

If ya don't like cuss words, don't read this post.

It started when I watched this clip of Romney's quitter speech:

In an age when Ann Coulter can call all liberals treasonous for their policy choices, I could turn around and say that Mitt Romney is a traitor for abandoning our Constitution and not respecting the idea of multi-party (such as it is here, barely) rule. But I won't call him a traitor. To him, I just say, "Fuck You."

To those who cheered as he equated a Hillary or Obama victory as a success for the terrorists, I say, "Fuck You."

That was before I actually looked at his speech. Wow. I am trying to decide if the fact that he was giving this speech to the heart of Bush's conservative country matters. I don't think it does. Because Romney is a fucking dipshit and he has no respect for what makes us strong.

As you know, in one wing of the world of Islam there's a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These jihadists will battle any form of democracy because to them democracy is blasphemous, because it says that citizens, not God, shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be equally offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical jihad.

To battle this threat, we've sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world.

But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years, when troops were reduced by 500,000, when almost 80 ships were retired from our Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25 percent.

Let's be clear. Those pigfucker jihadists don't just hate us because of our freedom though they are hostile to our (albeit limited) democracy. They target us because we rule the world. If we did not have military bases ringing the planet, they would be content to only fuck over people near them. This would still be a bad situation, but the U.S. has never made it our business to go liberating folks just for the hell of it (the cost tends to be too high).

To battle the threat of jihadists we sent a few thousands soldiers to Afghanistan. Then we sent over a hundred thousand to Iraq where there were no jihadists. We killed the only people keeping jihadists in check and encouraged the jihadist threat to blossom while taking thousands of losses.

This is the Rocky style of boxing - I'm going to wear down your fist with my face until you cannot take it anymore. This is not patriotic and you can damn well bet that if more than 1 or 2 Congress people had kids or knew kids over there, we would goddamn well would find a better fucking way to prosecute this stupid fucking war.

As for blaming Clinton for slashing troop numbers. What a red herring. First of all - Republicans like Rumsfeld loved the idea of slashing military personal and replacing them with different tactics. This was the whole idea of the new shock and awe fighting force. So even if Clinton had fucking tripled the number of troops, Bush would not have used them and we would still be in the middle of a civil war, doing nothing to stop jihadists. Of course, we would have more troops to send and it would have been harder for Bush to break the military. But it would have been easier to invade Iran and probably result in 10x the casualties of Iraq, so it is probably a FUCKING WASH.

Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America's vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.

I'm sorry, I thought you were opposed to government by caliphate. I guess only if it is a brown religion. I almost want to see fundamentalist pseudo Christians take full control of this fucking country, tear apart the Bill of Rights, and restore God's law (as interpreted by them). Because at least then they would fucking kill Mitt Romney for being an abomination because his sect is not Christian enough. It just might be worth it.

Read over this arrogant prick's speech and tell me where is the call for humility as typified by his supposed fucking savior, Jesus Christ? Where does it call for loving your brother - and I'm not talking about some fucking cave dwelling asshole Jihadist - I'm talking about how he sits in judgment of everyone from the threat of the Asian worker to the government bureaucrat, making far more than the private sector worker.

Fuck this guy. And fuck those who take inspiration from such a small minded asshole. I love this fucking country, for all its faults, because of how many people we have produced who see that there is a better way. From entrepreneurs to Martin Luther King Jr., we have produced some great minds.

We sure could use one now. Bush's war in Iraq has fucked us far more than the terrorists ever could have. We are losing soldiers and the cost is killing the economy. And it is producing more terrorists. But millions of Americans will undoubtedly support McCain because he won't leave. He won't change course. Because changing course it bad. Admitting a mistake is the worst thing ever.

Rome fell too. And when we fall, I have no doubt that some will write history books blaming it on women who wouldn't submit to their husbands, our refusal to stone gays, and the popularity of atheist books. Such is life on Earth.

Updated: I just found another good response to this bullshit speech that includes this gem:

Of course, Mitt's party already has surrendered to terror. They are so bowel-liquifyingly scared that they would give up their sovereign rights to be shielded from it; they would flush our national dignity and esteem down the toilet by engaging in, and legitimizing, torture; they would dismiss the Constitution--the very soul of our country--as a "suicide pact" if they deem it provides insufficient protection from their night terrors; they would turn their backs on legal traditions that date back centuries before the founding of our nation; they would allow the president to violate the law he swore to uphold whenever he fucking feels like it, if only he promises to protect them from their Muslim phantoms. And all because they are terrified of the terrorists under their beds.

Perfect, my ass

Quoth Brady (in response to a Burress prediction of 24-17 Giant Victory prior to the game):

"We're only going to score 17 points?" a surprised Brady said Wednesday. "OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."

Eat it Brady, eat it long, eat it hard. Guess the Patriots didn't have enough time to hide video cameras around the field.

I am happy to say I only caught a few plays. We played poker through most of the game while listening to tunes. I'm not sure who is a worse Superbowl quarterback - Eli nearly-throw-two-interceptions-in-the-last-drive Manning or Brad seriously-this-guy-has-a-ring Johnson. But I'm glad I didn't actually waste my time watching this one.

Go Eagles.

Nader

I had the good fortune to travel to Reedsburg, Wisconsin a few days ago. Reedsburg is NW of Madison and has a municipal utility that provides a fiber-to-the-home connection. They offer considerably better Internet connectivity than the cable company.

I drove there with a guy who has led quite an impressive life. Spent a decade as the chief economist for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, dealt with billions for the World Bank, and lived in Eastern Europe when it was the USSR. Spending 7 hours in the car with him was a trip.

Like me, he liked to talk. So we talked a lot. About all kinds of things.

One of things he mentioned that struck me was that he knew Nader back in the day ... in the 70's. Said Nader was a punk (my words). That his whole Public Interest Research Group was a cynical operation that preys on idealistic young folk.

Well I worked for the PIRGs for a summer. I have been (and may still be) one of those folks and I have to agree. The way it is structured, you are pressured to work some 10-12 hours a day and end up making less than minimum wage. You can learn some important skills, but it is a really poor model that undoubtedly results in far more burned out idealists than would otherwise be the case.

There is practically no education for PIRG employees. They are basically taught to regurgitate "the rap" at door after door to get contributions. If the person disagrees, we move on. There is no discussion, no persuasion. No attempt to change mind, just a recruiting of those who are already onboard or too timid to say no to a stranger.

I have long felt that way, but I guess I just accepted that this was how such orgs have to run. I don't think that is accurate. And I also don't think it is efficient. It is all about getting names to persuade a Representative who is already bought-and-paid for by the opposition that (s)he will piss off too many people by overtly supporting their handler.

This is why I have not made donations to any U.S. PIRG canvassers that come to my door. Maybe I'll give them some cash out of pity for their predicament, but that is for them, not for the PIRGs.

Superbowl 2008

I cannot believe I wasted Sunday watching football. There are some games where you think, I'm glad I watched ... sure, my team didn't win, but it was an exciting contest. Neither of the games on Sunday felt that way.

I generally hate the Giants more than any other team (go Eagles) but this year, I hate the Patriots more than any other team. It really pisses me off that the same year the Patriots were caught cheating and received the harshest penalty the NFL has ever handed out, they are being branded the best team of all time.

Screw that. I could have rooted for Dallas to win the Superbowl (our other main rival). I would have cheered for Romo while jeering T.O., but I could have done it. I cannot cheer for Eli and that cheeseball coach of theirs (who appeared to get some nasty wind burn on Sunday ... what a pity).

So James and I came up with a plan that Kim, Michelle, and Autumn seem to like. I think we will get together on Superbowl Sunday and watch football movies. I don't think we will miss much - especially as the ads have been lame ever since the dotcom bust.

Screw the Superbowl. Screw the Patriots. I'm done with football until August.

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