Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Starting a soapblox group blog

Starting it over at Thinking Meat. I'll keep this as an archive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Absolution

It's official.

I am officially absolved for comparing the Republicans to the Soviets.

None other than the Shooter himself, Darth Cheney, said so in a recent speech.

As time passed, the terrorists believed they'd exposed a certain weakness and lack of confidence in the West, particularly in America. Dr. Bernard Lewis explained the terrorists' reasoning this way: "During the Cold War," Dr. Lewis wrote, "two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: 'What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?'"
So, apparently we were not fighting the Soviets in the Cold War to protect the world from Soviet totalitarianism. Apparently, we were fighting them because they got to be totalitarian and we couldn't.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Rule of Law Died Again Today.

Kagro X over at Big Orange says it better than I can:


So what we're saying here is that secret memos can now be drafted (retroactively and be backdated if necessary?) that purport to be "legal directives" upon which the telecom companies can claim to have relied in "good faith." Or worse, they may even be able to say they received nothing but oral assurances that their activities were "legal." And if you want to see these "legal directives," it just so happens that since they've been prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel or some other close advisors to the president, executive privilege may just prevent you from doing so.

Or "national security."

Or "I just don't feel like it, and you can't make me."

And that's the real problem here. How is anyone to tell the difference between law that meets the commonly accepted definition we all work with every day on the one hand, and "whatever the hell the president says" on the other?

What is "law," anyway? Is it the stuff that Congress passes in public and that you can read in order to be able to obey it? Or is it just anything that can in practice frighten you into obeying? If you can be sent to jail, or immunized from suit, or whatever, based on a secret showing that you relied in "good faith" on a memo an "administration" official gives you (and literally nothing more -- and perhaps even a lot less), you really have to ask yourself that question. What. Is. Law?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Randi Rhodes Attacked

From the Village Voice:


The Talking Radio blog reported on Tuesday that liberal talk radio host Randi Rhodes was mugged and brutally attacked while walking her dog near 39th Street and Park Avenue, but the NYPD can't confirm the report.

From the blog:

According to Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website....Elliott was extremely agitated when he reported on the incident. He opened his show by saying "it is with sadness that tonight I inform you that my Air America colleague Randi Rhodes was assaulted last night while walking her dog near her New York City home."
The NYPD has no reports on file, and the corporate media has nothing to say. The same people who still think Saddam was behind 9/11 and that we're winning in Iraq think that Randi is just making this up.

Updates when I hear more.

UPDATE: From Air America:

October 16-NEW YORK-On Sunday evening, October 14, Air America host Randi Rhodes experienced an unfortunate incident hindering her from hosting her show. The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded. Ms. Rhodes looks forward to being back on the air on Thursday.

Air America Radio


So, what happened?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Been a while

Real Life's been too busy, and I've been down.

But I did have to tell y'all about this Frank Rich column.

Here's the heart of it, but please go read it all:

By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. As Andrew Sullivan, once a Bush cheerleader, observed last weekend in The Sunday Times of London, America’s "enhanced interrogation" techniques have a grotesque provenance: "Verschärfte Vernehmung, enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the ‘third degree.’ It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation.
Emphasis mine.

I agree. "Bush lies" just doesn't cut it anymore. And Frank, welcome to Moody Loner three years ago.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Courage Campaign

You know an election is coming up when the Republicans start looking for a way to throw it. This time they came up with the great idea of making California - the state with the most electoral votes, as they're allocated by population - give up a third of their electoral votes to the Greedy Old Perverts for showing up.

Sure, allocating electoral votes by Congressional district instead of by state would be fair if everyone did it, and if the Congressional districts weren't so gerrymandered that they were safe votes for one party or the other. That the GOP isn't pushing this in Texas and Florida tells me all I need to know about their motives: change the rules to favor themselves.

So what do we do about it? Head on over to the Courage Campaign and find out. They have a conference call coming up on Monday that specifically addresses this issue.

Oh, and Californians, when you see a paid signature gatherer with this petition - and they are out there - don't sign it. Unless there's a solid provision that it goes into effect when a majority of states vote for it - and not until - then all it would do is hand the Republicans another election they didn't earn and don't deserve.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Official: I Live in the Soviet Union.

Those of you who remember the USSR - remember how we'd get on them about the whole "internal passports" thing? How we said that one of the hallmarks of totalitarian Stalinism was having to beg permission from the government to move around within your own country?

Well, take a look at this.

Oh, it gets better. Blue Patriot Woman at the Great Orange has analysis.

In related news, a music scholar had her visa torn up, was groped during a search, threatened with detention in a Santa Clara, CA facility, and kicked out of the country - apparently for being brown. Or Welsh.

And these are just the cases we hear about. How many do we miss? And since when does DHS have a detention facility in Santa Clara?

And why the hell are we hearing O.J. crap when this is going on?