Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Let’s beat up on Ron Paul

August 23, 2011

Ron Paul fans should be careful about what they wish for.

Last week on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart did a segment on how the media’s been conspicuously avoiding coverage of the Quixotic Presidential campaign of Ron Paul. His supporters loved it, probably hoping that more coverage of Paul would mean more people getting on board with his campaign. But more coverage means more coverage of his crazier positions too, and there are a lot of them. During the 2008 Republican candidates’ “debates” (they’re kind of like debates in that people in suits stand at lecterns), the candidates were asked to raise their hands if they believed in evolution. Most of the candidates did so, including Ron Paul. Then John McCain said something goofy about how he helped Jesus dig the Grand Canyon, or something like that. Shortly afterwards, a video showed up on the internet of Paul telling a much smaller, conservative Christian audience that he doesn’t believe in evolution.

“I, um, I think there, that it’s a theory. The theory of evolution. And I don’t accept it. You know, as a theory. I think the creator that, that I know, uh, you know, created us, every one of us, created the Universe. And the precise time and manner and uh, and all. I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute truth on either side.” -Ron Paul

So we’ve got two possible ways of reconciling these contradictory positions: Either Paul is an evolution denying creationist and he lies to the much larger national audience, or he accepts what we know about how we came to exist and lies to smaller groups of ideologically skewered constituents when he thinks nobody will notice. Neither of those possibilities make him look good, especially since he’s been trying to earn this label of consistency in his campaigns. And that’s not even the extent of Paul’s weird Christianity. In 2003, he wrote a pretty terrible essay called The War on Religion for his friend Lew Rockwell. Rockwell’s another supposed “libertarian” who’s worked closely with Paul for decades. But anyway, this essay just reiterates Bill O’Reilly’s War on Christmas screeds, but with even less literary skill. Check this out:

As we celebrate another Yuletide season, it’s hard not to notice that Christmas in America simply doesn’t feel the same anymore.

If you read it, you’ll find Paul loves him some passive tense. It makes attacking your perceived enemies so much easier when you don’t have to actually identify them. Literacy problems aside, Paul doesn’t even seem to have a basic grasp of the Constitution he claims to hold in such esteem. He moans and bitches about the “anti-religious elites” who want to “transform America into a completely secular nation,” as if America wasn’t a secular nation from the very beginning. Apparently Paul believes America’s founders just forgot to mention that America is a Christian nation anywhere in the Constitution, which is weird since he claims to respect them so much. But here’s my favorite part of his whinefest:

Most noticeably, however, the once commonplace refrain of “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by the vague, ubiquitous “Happy Holidays.” But what holiday? Is Christmas some kind of secret, a word that cannot be uttered in public?

This is the kind of lack of self-awareness you get in true religious zealots. I doubt it even needs to be said, but if not saying Christmas means that it’s a secret which can’t be uttered in public, then the same must be true of all other religious holidays at that time of year. A Jew could just as easily claim that saying either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays is driving Hanukkah underground. But Paul is incapable of looking at this “War on Christmas” nonsense from any perspective (let alone a Jewish one) other than his own narrow one.

Paul’s often described as Liberterian. There’s a tiny bit of truth to that, since his policies certainly lean that way. But Paul has been a Republican since at least 1992. He ran for President on the Liberterian ticket in 1988, and since then he’s been working in politics as a Republican. In ’92, Paul endorsed and advised the campaign of the racist Nazi sympathizer Pat Buchanan, who went on to lose the nomination for the Republican Party to George H. W. Bush.

Besides being “liberterian,” the other sales pitch for Ron Paul For President, Inc. has been that although he’s extremely conservative on fiscal issues, he’s socially liberal. He wants to legalize pot, for instance. But when it comes down to it, he sticks to the (Republican) party line on culture war issues. If you check out his voting record, you’ll see his votes against allowing adoption for gay couples in Washington, DC, against same-sex marriage, against taxpayer funding for abortions, and for displaying the Ten Commandments in government offices and courthouses. So much for his being “not a typical Republican.”

Some of those votes go back a few years, so it’s probably also worth noting that Paul’s still hammering away at culture war issues on behalf of his fellow Republicans. He’s even just recently tried to portray his advocacy of government restrictions on abortion as if it were on liberterian grounds:

“There is something that precedes liberty, and that is life,” Paul said. “If we are to defend liberty … you have to understand where that liberty, and where that life comes from. It does not come from the government, it comes from our creator.”
Paul recalled somewhat graphic stories from his time as an obstetrics-gynecology resident to explain his opposition to abortion rights.

There he goes again with all this “creator” talk, while at the same time saying that abortion should be illegal. And for some reason his supporters will keep on claiming that he’s not like those other Republicans, oh no, not at all.

There are some ways in which Ron Paul is different from the rest, but those are mostly issues where he out-flanks his colleagues on the right. So while your Republican neighbor next door wants to reduce regulations and “cut some red tape,” Paul wants to just eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and many more. While your average Republican might agree with Rick Perry’s crazy idea to just stop the printing of paper currency, Ron Paul would like to go back to the Gold Standard.

Speaking of the Gold Standard, it’s possibly revealing to go back and look at the arguments made for it when it was an issue – back when Dr. Paul was 728 years young. It turns out that there was a heavy emphasis on what they called “natural law.” That doesn’t mean the laws of physics. They had some strange ideas back then about natural hierarchies of elements, and it turns out that people with a lot of gold discovered that gold was at the top of that hierarchy. Nice coincidence, huh? They drew an analogy to a supposed natural hierarchy among humans with (surprise, surprise!) white males on top.

Ron Paul, seen here forced by the government to work with a black guy to save the Federal Reserve.

So in this way they argued that changing to paper money would be a horrible tragedy which would upset both this hierarchy of elements as well as the patriarchy, both of which were backed up by this “natural law.” It’s the worst of the worst of hippy nonsense – all the mindless worship of nature and the naturalistic fallacy without any of the socially enlightened impulses against sexism and racism.

Paul also had some race issues when someone working on one of his newsletters wrote some terribly racist stuff on his behalf. To be fair, that staffer was eventually fired. And if it were just a matter of just that instance, or if it were just his weird views on gold and “natural law,” or if it were just an early 90s gig with Pat Buchanan, or if it were just the fact that his supporters are overwhelmingly white, any one of those could be overlooked. But when you consider each of them, you start to get a very different picture of who Ron Paul is and what he’s all about. That should make most of his supporters uncomfortable, but that’s what they asked for when they wanted more coverage of him.

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Melissa Harris-Perry would like more irrationality, please

August 3, 2011

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
-Voltaire

Melissa Harris-Perry, seen here being incredibly full of shit.

I like Rachel Maddow’s show. It’s one of the few I can stand on MSNBC. Sure, she slips into the “Defend the President and Party At All Costs” mode from time to time, but it’s nowhere near as egregious as some of her fellow hosts on the network. Also, her head is not a ginormous wonder to all surviving phrenologists, which is another plus.

Last week Maddow was on “vacation.” This might be true, or it might be that she was preparing her legal defense against a bullshit defamation lawsuit against her from heavy metal rock star / Christian minister Bradlee Dean. Melissa Harris-Perry filled in for Maddow.

Last Friday, she recorded an un-aired segment about the proper role of faith in politics. Harris-Perry believes that such a thing exists. It’s one of those editorials which tries to get at a ‘big picture’ perspective but somehow still fails to say anything useful about anything, making us all stupider in the process.

She introduces the segment with a fair enough, albeit obvious point: That while we’re all learning about this right-wing Christian terrorist in Oslo who just killed nearly 100 innocent people, the US Congress is holding these hearings on the radicalization of Muslims taken straight out of The Crucible. She claims that the demonization of Muslims here in the States is “as much guided by prejudice as it is by evidence.” That sounds about right. Seems obvious enough. What else is obvious to most of us would be that it’s a bad thing to let policy be guided equally by evidence and whatever fills the void left by the lack thereof – in this case, prejudice.

“I saw Goody Proctor with the Prophet Mohammed!”

But then things take a turn. Suddenly, Harris-Perry orders the audience to ignore any kind of faith-inspired political violence:

“Let’s not talk about fanaticism. Let’s not talk about violence. Let’s just talk about religion in the political world and the ways it’s been divisive.”

And we’re not talking about fanaticism and violence because… why exactly? Fanaticism and violence are ways in which religion’s impact on the political world have been divisive, to put it extremely mildly. So why not talk about it? In whose interests does it serve to just ignore violent religious fanatics? Definitely not those of us who’s rather they not be inspired by their stupid beliefs to do stupid things, like fly planes into buildings or shoot up a camp full of teenagers. She continues:

“In this moment, it often seems that the connection between religion and politics happens exclusively on the right.”

She then lists some examples of conservatives “using religion” in order to advance their agenda: the anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-science policies so popular with the right these days (n.b. apparently all of those positions are “not fanatical,” according to the host here, since she earlier decreed that we shouldn’t talk about fanaticism). This should be a PR bonanza for us progressives. We could be using this perception of faith-based politics being a mostly conservative phenomenon to point out that it’s the right who are the ones disconnected from reality and with their heads in the clouds.

I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the first to say that.

But Harris-Perry makes it clear that she doesn’t have much of a problem with that disconnect. Her only problem with it is that the conservatives have their heads in the wrong clouds. Instead of just laughing at those religious conservatives who base their politics on goofy beliefs which aren’t supported by evidence, Harris-Perry tries to convince us that the real problem is that most people don’t recognize that believing in nonsense is something liberals should be adamant and proud about as well:

“We do not need to give up faith… The faith ‘tool’ I want us to retain is the one that gives us strength in the face of daunting circumstances. I understand the appeal of reason. But if we look exclusively at the evidence in the world, it’s a pretty bleak place.”

Harris-Perry then goes on to relate some sad facts about the world, but she forgot the part where she demonstrates that we can’t be inspired by the real world and the empirical evidence in order to change those sad facts. Looking at what’s called the cold hard truth can actually get people off their asses, but having faith just pacifies us and makes us comfortable waiting around for someone else to fix our problems.

And though I obviously agree with her in that the disparity between rich and poor is a bad thing, others might not see it that way. Others might look at the advances made by civil rights and science and become depressed, thinking the world is a “bleak place” because of them. Using Harris-Perry logic, they’d be perfectly justified in ignoring the empirical evidence (for example, that there can be more genetic differences between two people of the same race than between two people of different races) and rely on their faith.

Or we could go back to Bradlee Dean and his bullshit defamation suit against Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. If Dean only looks at the empirical evidence, it looks like his lawsuit is transparently ridiculous and doesn’t have a chance at succeeding in an American court. This makes Bradlee Dean sad. The world looks like a bleak place to him. His circumstances are daunting. So he should apparently rely on his faith to give him the strength he needs to carry on with his frivolous lawsuit.

That’s the big problem with having a place for faith in politics. It’s all way too subjective since there’s no epistemological basis we can all agree upon. And since we can’t even agree on the difference between what we believe because it’s true and what we believe because it feels good, any distinction between what is and is not “fanatical” is going to end up being totally arbitrary. Harris-Perry already proved this earlier in the segment by supposedly suspending discussion of the fanatical and then proceeding to immediately talk about conservative religious fanaticism.

Harris-Perry’s brought up this sort of thing before, and for some reason she’s being praised to high Mormon heaven for it (that’s a cheap jab by me, since her mother’s side of her family was Mormon). So it’s important for rational people to fight back against this glorification of faith, because if we don’t then the only opposition will be coming from other faith positions and our political discourse will degrade to the point where the idea of basing our arguments on reality instead of what makes us feel good will just be a distant memory.

Ain’t no party like the Korean Worker’s Party cuz the Korean Worker’s Party don’t stop till all the students are shoved into forced labor camps

July 3, 2011

Best Korea had an amazing week. Someone – possibly a student – put up some anti-government graffiti at a wall near a university in Pyongyang. The state’s response was to shut down the city to interrogate passersby so they could find the perpetrator and lock them up in a forced labor camp. Ha, just kidding! The traitor to the Glorious People’s Republic and Our Dear Leader will definitely be executed if caught.

But since whoever wrote the graffiti hasn’t been caught yet, it’s going to be collective punishment for the college students. Anyone who’s going to university and isn’t graduating this year is going to be conscripted for forced labor for the upcomming 100th anniversary of Kim il-Sung’s birth. He’s still officially the head of state in North Korea, despite having died in 1994.

And for the next week or so, North Korea is going to head up the UN conference on disarmament. The conference has a rotating leadership, and now it’s their turn, apparently. Spencer Ackerman pointed out that the conference is already largely an ineffectual joke, so although it’s ridiculous for a country constantly threatening war with its neighbors to the south to be in charge of disarmament, it’s also pretty harmless.

Egypt v. Mississippi

April 7, 2011

Today is apparently Beating Up On Mississippi Day. I just found these two recent polls, one from Egypt on peace with Israel and another of Mississippi Republicans on whether or not interracial marriage should be legal. The anti-miscegenation law in Mississippi has been repealed since 1967 by the Supreme Court (Loving v. Virginia).

It’s not a controlled experiment, obviously, but this could be a pretty good test on which region is more modern and progressive and open to embracing people who are different from them.

The good news is that 60% of Egyptians supporting maintaining peace with Israel and 50% support the secular Wafd Party. And the bad news?

Remember that’s only the Republicans in Mississippi, so it’s not necessarily representative of the entire state.

So far I haven’t seen any quotes from someone who votes for “illegal” justify it by saying that people can do what they want as long as it doesn’t go against the Bible, but would you really put it past them?

A truly inspiring story of bipartisanship

April 6, 2011

Jeremy Scahill on Ed Schultz

April 5, 2011

Hey, let’s all watch this video from 2003 last week where  Fox News MSNBC blowhard Ed Schultz scolds Jeremy Scahill for not blindly trusting President Bush Obama over the war in Iraq Libya.

It’s really pretty amazing to see how blatantly Schultz copies the defense for war used so recently by his political adversaries while Bush was in power. But then he pretends it’s totally different because of how Obama went through the UN to get authorization for the use of force. So apparently the only problem Schultz can really say he had with the Iraq war was that no such authorization was sought, and not that it was a pointless waste of lives and money to try to force democracy on a country externally.

Wisconsin

February 18, 2011

The Republican governor of Wisconsin is trying to push through legislation which would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. You’ve probably heard about this by now.

In response, thousands of protesters have filled the streets of Madison. Here are some of them:

Good times. Anyway, Glenn Beck weighed in on the subject and did that random association thing he does. According to Beck, the Wisconsin public unions are collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood because Midwest teachers, police officers, and other public servants have a lot in common with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which (unfortunately for Beck’s conspiracy mongering) has only 15% public approval in Egypt.

Here’s how it works: See, in Egypt, they had demonstrations protesting against what the government is doing. And now in Wisconsin, you’ve got demonstrators  protesting against what the government is doing. Obviously the two groups must be in cahoots! For some reason, Beck doesn’t use this kind of brilliant analysis to compare protesting teabaggers with protesting Muslim extremists, even though they share much of the same ideology.

At this point, the only thing stopping Glenn Beck from being as much of a loon as Alex Jones is his refusal to get involved with 9/11 troofer bullshit.

Governor Walker claimed he needed to try to bust up public unions because of budget problems. We’re broke and the sky is falling so we need to cut benefits from skilled workers. It’s just how it’s got to be, because of the BUDGET. Ah, if only if weren’t for that budget, everyone who works for a living would get a retirement and decent health care and stuff like that. In fact there’s even a number associated with the budget problem. They are $137 million in debt. But then some people started investigating why there’s so much of a budget problem in Wisconsin. From One Wisconsin Now:

Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to pay for $140 million in new special interest spending signed into law in January by extending the state’s long term debt in a “scoop and toss” refinancing scheme that will cost untold tens of millions of dollars in additional debt for Wisconsin.

In other words, the only reason they’re in so much debt is because now Walker has to pay off the corporations which helped him get elected. In order to do that, he has to redistribute the wealth from the working poor and the middle class to his extremely rich contributors. Apparently you only get to call it socialism or communism when you’re redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. When it’s the other way around – as it is in this case- it’s an “emergency budget measure” or some other such nonsense. Got that? Giving money to the poor = communism. Giving money to the rich = tough-minded pragmatism. That’s how conservatives think. Seriously.

Yesterday, in an attempt to delay or kill the proposed bill, Democratic state senators fled the state so that less than the necessary 3/5 wouldn’t be in attendance. Reporters tracked some of them down to a Best Western in Rockford, IL. Wonkette points out that that hotel has an awesome water park and a pub, so that makes it a win-win for the state senators who made it there.

Probably will have more on this later as it develops.

Only 12 Senators voted against extending the USA-PATRIOT Act

February 17, 2011

Here are their names (source):

  1. Max Baucus (D-MT)
  2. Mark Begich (D-AK)
  3. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  4. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  5. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  6. Mike Lee (R-UT)
  7. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  8. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  9. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  10. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  11. Jon Tester (D-MT)
  12. Tom Udall (D-NM)

If you see your Senator listed here, maybe it’d be a good idea to contact them and let them know that you appreciate their support for civil liberties. And it’d probably be even better to contact the ones you don’t see listed here to let them know that they lost your support.

John Boehner is standing up for the stupid guy

February 16, 2011

The President of Republicans John Boehner went on the teevee this weekend to tell David Gregory that although he’s definitely not a birther, he doesn’t want to interfere with the right of Americans to believe stupid things by telling his supporters that they’re wrong about Obama’s place of birth and religion. From Politico:

When the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked Boehner whether he, as speaker of the House, had a responsibility to “stand up to that kind of ignorance,” Boehner told David Gregory: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.”

OK, got that? John Boehner is not interested in telling the American people what to think! He would never do such a thing. Right? Well, I decided to ask the Wikipedia to find out if that is actually true. Here are some things I found:

On May 25, 2006, Boehner issued a statement defending his agenda and attacking his “Democrat friends” such as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Boehner said regarding national security that voters “have a choice between a Republican Party that understands the stakes and is dedicated to victory, and a Democrat Party with a non-existent national security policy that sheepishly dismisses the challenges of a post-9/11 world and is all too willing to concede defeat on the battlefield in Iraq.”

Each and every day, Israel’s very existence is at stake.

We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we’re broke,” Boehner said. “If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you’re retired, why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke? We just need to be honest with people.

A ban on taxpayer funding of abortion is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land.  But current law – particularly as enforced by this Administration – does not reflect the will of the people.


Those are all quotes from the House Majority Leader literally telling the American people what they should think. And not only that, but he’s also told the American people what to think in regards to how to pronounce his own name. If I think his name is pronounced ‘boner,’ isn’t it my right to call him that? Apparently he’s not as against telling people what to think as it seems he is when it comes to birtherism. But why the special exception in that case? Let’s go back to Politico to find out:

Boehner denied that he is willing to let those misperceptions remain because they weaken and delegitimize Obama.

Oh no, of course not.

65 House Democrats voted to extend the USA-PATRIOT Act

February 15, 2011

Here are their names (source):

  1. Gary Ackerman (NY-5)
  2. Jason Altmire (PA-4)
  3. Joe Baca (CA-43)
  4. John Barrow (GA-12)
  5. Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
  6. Tim Bishop (NY-1)
  7. Dan Boren (OK-2)
  8. Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
  9. Corrine Brown (FL-3)
  10. George Butterfield (NC-1)
  11. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
  12. Russ Carnahan (MO-3)
  13. John Carney (DE-1)
  14. Kathy Castor (FL-11)
  15. Ben Chandler (KY-6)
  16. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
  17. Jim Cooper (TN-5)
  18. Jim Costa (CA-20)
  19. Joe Courtney (CT-2)
  20. Mark Critz (PA-12)
  21. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
  22. Susan Davis (CA-53)
  23. Ted Deutch (FL-19)
  24. Norman Dicks (WA-6)
  25. Joe Donnelly (IN-2)
  26. Martin Heinrich (NM-1)
  27. Brian Higgins (NY-27)
  28. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
  29. Tim Holden (PA-17)
  30. Steny Hoyer (MD-5)
  31. Jay Inslee (WA-1)
  32. Steve Israel (NY-2)
  33. William Keating (MA-10)
  34. Ron Kind (WI-3)
  35. Larry Kissell (NC-8)
  36. Jim Langevin (RI-2)
  37. Sander Levin (MI-12)
  38. Daniel Lipinski (IL-3)
  39. Nita Lowey (NY-18)
  40. Stephen Lynch (MA-9)
  41. Jim Matheson (UT-2)
  42. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
  43. Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
  44. Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
  45. Brad Miller (NC-13)
  46. Chris Murphy (CT-5)
  47. Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
  48. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)
  49. Gary Peters (MI-9)
  50. Collin Peterson (MN-7)
  51. Mike Quigley (IL-5)
  52. Nick Rahall (WV-3)
  53. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
  54. Mike Ross (AR-4)
  55. Steve Rothman (NJ-9)
  56. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
  57. Adam Schiff (CA-29)
  58. Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
  59. David Scott (GA-13)
  60. Terri Sewell (AL-7)
  61. Heath Shuler (NC-11)
  62. Albio Sires (NJ-13)
  63. Niki Tsongas (MA-5)
  64. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)
  65. John Yarmuth (KY-3)

Contact your Representative if you see them on this list to tell them that they lost your support due to their position on civil liberties.

Nobody who reads this should be allowed to vote

January 26, 2011

Let’s all listen to this nice young man explain why only “virtuous” people should be allowed to vote, if we’re even going to bother with that old voting thing anymore. If we keep letting just anybody vote, we’re all going to die of cancer. Or something.

Obama pals around with William Daley

January 10, 2011

Obama's Chief of Staff's friends pal around with terrorists

Last week Barack Obama announced that William M. Daley would be replacing Rahm Emmanuel as the White House Chief of Staff. And yeah, that would be the brother of current Chciago mayor Richard M Daley. Their father was Richard J Daley, who was also a mayor of Chicago.

The older (dead, actually) Richard Daley was mayor of Chicago from 1955 until 1976. Right in the middle of his tenure in office was the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which attracted lots and lots of anti-war protesters, whom in turn attracted lots and lots of police officers who then proceeded to beat up and throw tear gas at the demonstrators. Punching Dan Rather in the stomach was also a popular pastime at the convention.

A year later, also in Chicago, was the Days of Rage direct action demonstrations led by the Weatherman Organization where young people smashed windows, trashed fancy cars, and crippled one of Daley’s corporation counsels. And one of the people who led the riots in Chicago was BILL AYERS.

ATTENTION REPUBLCIANS: This is yet another connection between the Obama White House and Bill Ayers! I mean, sure, maybe it just shows that Obama is on the opposite side of 1960s radicals since he’s now appointing one of their main targets to a high government position. But whatever! It’s another name to add to the blackboard, right?

Neo-Nazis take over a German village

January 4, 2011

OK, so this is incredibly frightening! Der Spiegel has this report about a village in what was once East Germany called Jamel. It was known as the home of a notorious neo-Nazi leader (Isn’t it illegal to be a neo-Nazi in Germany?) and now lots of his co-fascists have moved in as well. There are lots of Nazi graffiti and attack dogs and target practice in the woods and children praising Hitler on their way to school and burning down the houses of non-believers and other Nazi stuff like that.

It’s actually a lot like this fascinating documentary I just recently watched. Or Idaho.

The article follows a narrative of a couple who moved there because they wanted to get away from the city life of Hamburg. They didn’t realize what they were getting into, and now they’re practically the only normal people in town. Worse still, it’s pretty isolated and the local, state, and federal governments have basically given up and ceded the village to neo-Nazi rule by thuggery.

Teabaggers say more stupid things

December 22, 2010

The Tea Party Nation is one of those groups of mouth-breathers who like to rant about politics. And now their leader, after causing some controversy by suggesting only property owners should be eligible to vote, is attacking the Methodist Church. This is very weird because theologically, they’re about as middle of the road as it’s possible to be. But this Judson Phillips person isn’t going after them for being too moderate. It’s because they are… (wait for it) socialist! From the weblog-thingie:

Reading the Methodist social justice manifesto is like reading a socialist wish list. They want amnesty, they want “economic justice”, they opposed “global climate change” (earth to the Methodists, man isn’t doing it), fighting global poverty (here is another hint, most poverty is caused by a lack of freedom and lack of a free enterprise system).  Not shockingly, the Methodists side with the Islamists against Israel, and of course oppose America in Iraq.
In short, if you hate America, you have a great future in the Methodist church.

You could go an investigate each of Phillips’ spurious claims here, but here’s an easy shortcut: The last president, that George W what’shisname guy, remember him? Yeah, he was and still is a member of the United Methodist Church.

Misleading headline of the day

December 15, 2010

As a lefty commie pinko peacenik, I was encouraged by this headline (“Air Force Is Through With Predator Drones”) of Spencer Ackerman’s post on Wired‘s Danger Room blog. Great! Now maybe we’ll stop doing counterproductive shit like bombing funerals in Pakistan because there might be a terrorist there – which would then set off an infinite regress of “terrorist funeral” drone bombings until everyone in the region is too afraid to ever go to another funeral again.

Then I read the lede.

Wave a tear-stained handkerchief for the drone that changed the face of air war: The Air Force won’t buy any more Predators.

Oh, so they’re just going to stop buying them. Well, that just means that we’ll stop using drones after the ones which have been purchased are worn out or destroyed, right? Here’s the next sentence in Ackerman’s post:

The Reaper drone is about to be in full effect.

Oh I see what you did there. In the same way that people refer to photocopies as Xeroxes® or to tissues as Kleenex®, I had thought of Predator® drone as a generic term for all drones instead of a brand name. So now we’ve got the Reaper®, and next will be something called the Avenger®.

Apparently the Predator, despite its name, wasn’t designed to carry weapons. Those capabilities weren’t added on until afterwards. But the Reaper and presumably the Avenger too, definitely are. And now lots of other countries are all like how I am with this.