I thought we had heard the last of the anti-Bush/Cheney posters generated on their own campaign site. But now someone has created a Yahoo! group where people can post their pdfs and a flash movie (1.7 MB) of some good ones. (Warning: Green Day soundtrack.)
When the Spanish people elected the Socialist Party a few weeks ago, I defended them in part by pointing out that the Socialists said Spain would stay in Iraq if the UN came in. In other words, they weren't merely advocating withdrawal, they were advocating for a more effective occupation.
Romano Prodi, the European Union chief who also helps lead Italy’s largest opposition coalition, said in a letter published today that he has no doubt that the Italian left would end the nation’s military role in Iraq if elected to power. ...
Should [the coalition] come to power, “the problem would be to decide whether to continue or interrupt the participation in this war, (and) I have no hesitation in saying that the choice would be ending the intervention,” Prodi wrote.
“Because in its actual form, the occupation is the continuation of an unjustified and illegitimate war and not visibly capable of restoring peace and security to Iraq,” he added.
Well, stupid, if restoring peace and security to Iraq is your goal, then withdrawal of Western forces, without more, is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Bush, Berlusconi, Blair, Aznar & Co. stuck us with this situation, and now we have to do the right thing, not abandon the Iraqis to despotism and civil war. Damned if I know how we're going to deliver freedom and security, but that's no reason not to continue trying.
Senior editor James Woods at Even the Liberal New Republic Online takes John le Carré to task for flat characters and sneering anti-Americanism. Of course, Woods in his first paragraph says that Le Carré's George Smiley character was also known as Control, which is a startling error to anyone familiar with the most important character in the author's books. Smiley never was Control; Smiley worked for Control; Smiley buried Control, and his title died with him.
Will Baude (who is not a Le Carré fan) says about Woods' comparison of le Carre to Hemingway and Graham Greene: "[Woods] goes on to toss a little bit of data out on Hemingway (still totally unconvincing to Hemingway-lovers) but drops the Greene point entirely. Which is probably just as well, since he was only going to dig the hole deeper."
Lots of derogatory things can be validly said about Le Carré's writing (and Le Carré has said many of them.) Can't TNR get an editor who knows how to read?
At last, Bush has done something politically smart, after months of gaffes followed by a mistake followed by a blunder. He's got his mouth and brain back, Karen Hughes. The NYTimes.com article contains some fretting about "tension" between Hughes and Rove, but frankly, what Rove and Bush need right now is someone to tell them they're fucking up. A little tweaking of the message, a couple of more subtle smears against Kerry, maybe some manufactured outrage, and Bush will be making it a race again in no time.
Update 4/30/04: Dave Neiwert pulled his post down because he has begun to doubt the truthfulness of the story. If he gets confirmation one way or the other, he will update.
I hate arguing from incorrect facts. Neiwert is usually very careful. That said, I kinda doubt the freepers' story, too.
Original post follows.
Compare and contrast:
1. From David Neiwert at Orcinus: A man, who happens to be gay, posts a photoshopped picture of Bush dressed as a KKK Grand Dragon on a blog. In retaliation, several other men drive about 900 miles to where he lives, track him down, beat him, hold a knife to his scrotum and threaten to cut his testicles off, rape him with a sawed-off broomstick, stab him, and leave him unconscious in an alley.
2. A self-described "freeper" participates in a pro-Bush rally in Boston. Words are "exchanged" with several union members holding an anti-Bush demonstration. (You can imagine which "words" they were, given the captions to the photos here - "dyke", "thug", "freak", "commies", "mindless", "fools" and "pillow biter".) One of the union guys swings at one of the freepers, and his friend jumps in. The fight ends quickly. One freeper gets his glasses broken, another one has a scrape on his face and knee.
The World Trade Organization, in its first decision on an Internet-related dispute, has ignited a political, cultural and legal tinderbox by ruling that the United States policy prohibiting online gambling violates international trade law.
Ha hahahaha! Now, normal people may be asking (or rather, they would be if any normal people read my stuff), "Why is this funny?" To which I say, free trade must reign! Right, Republicans?
[T]he Bush administration vowed to appeal the decision, and several members of Congress said they would rather have an international trade war or withdraw from future rounds of the World Trade Organization than have American social policy dictated from abroad.
"It's appalling," said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. "It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue."
So, when trade agreements throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work as their jobs leave the country, then it's "free trade" and good; and John Kerry is bad for suggesting otherwise. But when trade agreements require that stupid morality-based laws be overturned, then it's bad, appalling and cannot be allowed to stand.
Like I said, hahahahahaha.
Update: For the record, I am pretty free-trade. Free-tradish. Whatever. I think protectionism pretty much sucks. It's just funny to me when right-wingers are hypocritical about it. I wonder if Glenn Reynolds, The Hack of Record, will decry this deviation from libertarian principles.
Just because it's so weird, I give you ... the McGurk Effect. What is it? In short, if you hear someone saying the nonsense syllable "ba", but you see their mouth saying "ga", your brain will turn it automatically into the sound "da."
You have probably already seen this Daily Show clip on the Clarke imbroglio, but if you haven't, you must. It'll make you fall off your chair laughing when Jon Stewart cuts back and forth between Rice and McClellan saying the exact same things, even using the same intonation.
This is Plame all over again, just with the lights on -- a kind of behavior -- a mix of pervasive secrecy and the use of state power to punish political enemies -- that is literally a danger to the republic.
And who is driving all this?
[T]op White House aides have told the press that the president personally initiated and is directing this campaign against Clarke. Not outside rabble-rousers, not nefarious aides operating on their own account, but the president himself. This is all his doing, according to his own staffers.
During the past 30 years, conservatives often accused liberals of using the power of the government to keep themselves in power. It was a lie, but it was a lie told repeatedly and so often that conservatives (and many moderates) came to believe it without question. And once that lie had been sold, the natural response of some was, "Well, we have to fight as dirty as they do. We have to seize the reins of power and use them to punish those who oppose us." That's what Gingrich's effort in 1994 to "defund the left" and the more recent effort to send billions of dollars to "faith-based organizations" are about. It's what explains the fact that the Bush administration has punished scientists that do or say things that they find politically unacceptable. It explains the freezing out of deliberations any person or company who donates money to both Democrats and Republicans. And it explains the relentless smear campaign against Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, Paul O'Neill and now, Richard Clarke.
The Bush administration is what conservatives accused the Clinton administration of being. Like in Richard Nixon's White House, paranoia has turned in on itself and corrupted the government. They have willed their own monster into existence. That's why they must go.
Flaming non-liberal blogger and Army officer Phil Carter:
[D]oesn't it say something about the war with Iraq that the counter-terrorism advisor was not part of the decisionmaking process? ... To me, it says three things. First, that Ron Suskind's reporting is right -- this White House really is run by its political offices (instead of its policy people). Second, that the opinions of professional policy people are probably less valued in this White House than is the norm. Third, that terrorism per se was not the raison d'etre for Operation Iraqi Freedom -- and that it never was a significant part of the decision to go to war.
All the right-wingers who have been rationalizing about Bush's brilliant reasons for going to war should stop right now and wake up to reality about the Bush strategy. There is nothing there. Experienced, high-level government officials like Beers and Clarke - along with people like Phil Carter - are telling you so. Why are you not listening?
Breakout band Sea Ray (who I have raved about here) are playing a live webcast today (Monday) at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, at Seattle, WA's kexp.org. Catch it if you can. (Also, you can hear their new album in its entirety right nowhere.)
Mark Kleiman has a "modest proposal" (I do think he means that literally, rather than in the Swiftian sense) to reduce alcohol-related mischief:
[I]f ... someone show[s] by his behavior that he is either a menace or a major public nuisance when he gets a skinful – then why not revoke his drinking license? ...
How would it work? The "personal prohibition" imagined here couldn't plausibly by enforced by the state against the individual, so it, like the (far less well justified) ban on drinking under some arbitrary age, would have to be enforced by sellers of alcoholic beverages, required to do so by the terms of their licenses. To do so, sellers would have to verify that each buyer is in fact legally eligible to drink, just as they now have to verify that each buyer is of legal age to drink. And the same document now used to "card" young-looking drinkers could be used to enforce the ban on drinking by those who make their drinking a problem for the rest of us.
Kleiman lists some of the objections to his proposal: The liquor industry would hate it, the inconvenience to buyers and sellers of carding, and people would try to evade it by various means.
I think Kleiman was just thinking out loud in this post, rather than making a serious proposal. But just for argument's sake, let me raise a few other points:
1. Not all people have photo ID. The largest group who have none are the urban poor, who take public transportation and don't engage in transactions that require photo ID (like using credit cards). Kleiman's proposal would require them to get an ID if they want to buy alcohol. This represents a tax on those urban poor who want to drink, so they would be as likely to evade it as those at whom the proposal is targeted.
2. The implementation costs of this scheme are huge. The government has to come up with a real-time, comprehensive database of those prohibited from drinking. To be truly effective, the database must be coordinated across states, otherwise people living near state borders could evade it easily. This list has to be transmitted to liquor sellers so they can check IDs against it. The maintenance of the database alone is a large, expensive task. The means of transmitting it and receiving it must certainly be electronic, so the whole list can be checked quickly. This requires a technological expenditure on the liquor sellers' part, a further expense. (You could envision an alternative scheme in which the government confiscates the ID of all persons convicted under the no-drinking rule and issues replacement no-drinking ID. While this would be simpler for the liquor sellers, the potential for delay and error, and the added government expense of issuing new non-drinking IDs, followed by new drinking ID when the sentence runs out, makes this not a viable option.)
3. There are several constitutional issues raised. First, some might argue that a total prohibition on drinking for someone convicted of an alcohol-related offense violates due process. Second, implementation of this program will likely be accomplished by means of a centralized electronic database. States would move toward a bar-code ID system if they aren't there already, and liquor sellers would simply swipe the card to check it against the database. Instantly, liquor sellers and the government would have a comprehensive record of everyone's drinking habits, which is obviously subject to abuse. Like the airline no-fly lists, once a name is put on the no-drink list, it may become impossible to get it off.
4. Finally, as a general privacy matter the trend toward "showing your papers" more and more often should be resisted. The number of people who get into trouble for abusing alcohol is small compared to the total number of drinkers, but this proposal burdens everyone. Worse, for many determined individuals and in many communities, enforcement will be impossible. This means the burden of the system will fall on the innocent while those targeted will evade it, which is unjust.
Technology presents many opportunities for surveillance that never existed before. It is often tempting to apply technological solutions to social problems, because they seem more effective. However, as in this case, once the proposed solution is considered in detail, it becomes clearer that the effectiveness is doubtful, but the negative impact on us as a society would be large.
More: Atrios likes the idea as an alternative to taking licenses away from first offenders. I still think the problems I raised outweigh the benefits, especially since judges probably won't use it the way Atrios envisions. Also, as others in his comment thread point out, if alcoholics who have their drivers licenses revoked drive anyway, why would revoking their drinking license do any better?
And more: Kevin Drum doesn't understand why national ID cards are such a bad idea. Oy. A commenter leads him here.
Kleiman updates 3/21/04:
"Mithras" at Fables of the Reconstruction wonders if I'm serious (yes, I am) and lists some objections, including a due process argument I can't track at all. ... Lots of comments on Eschaton and Political Animal, many of which, like "Mithras," dance past the point that the proposed drinker's license revocation would be a (possible) part of a criminal ssentence, imposed by a judge after a verdict or plea.
I should have made clearer that I don't think too much of the due process argument. I was simply noting for the sake of completeness that some people would make such an argument. I think under the 21st amendment states have the authority to regulate alcohol pretty much as they wish; in the criminal conviction context, it would be a simple matter of tacking on this additional punishment.
Whether it would do any good, of course, is a separate question. It still strikes me as a very broad approach to catch a very narrow set of people. Kleiman also keeps talking about how photo ID is required for many credit card transactions, so requiring it for all liquor sales is not a big step. I don't have time at the moment to do the research, but I bet most blog readers would be surprised how high the percentage is of adults in the United States who have neither a credit card nor state-issued ID. I would also bet those people are disproportionately the target group Kleiman's proposal is aimed at. For those people and for alcoholics, the ID requirement wouldn't be much of a barrier.
Citing national security concerns, the Army on Friday dropped all charges against a Muslim chaplain accused of mishandling classified documents at Guantanamo Bay, which houses suspected terrorists.
Capt. James Yee will be allowed to return to his previous duty station at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Wash., said the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the detention center in Cuba.
"Chaplain Yee has won," his attorney, Eugene R. Fidell of Washington, said in a statement late Friday. "The Army's dismissal of the classified information charges against him represents a long overdue vindication."
Yee was arrested on September 10, 2003. (I guess the symbolism of arresting him the next day would have been too obvious.) Opportunistic politicians like Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) railed against the fact that Yee was allowed to become a chaplain. Yee was held in solitary confinement at the naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina, for 76 days. Initially, prosecutors said that he might be part of a terrorist plot and that he could face the death penalty. But when he was charged in October, the most serious accusation made was that he had mishandled classified material by carrying it in the wrong kind of cover. Later, as a way to boost an obviously failing case, prosecutors charged him with adultery and possessing pornography, both of which are crimes in the military.
I first expressed skepticism about the charges in October. As I wrote later, the charges against Yee were brought by an overzealous and incompetent commander at Guantanamo, Geoffery D. Miller, who believed that the Muslim staff were disloyal and plotting something. In contrast, a white, Christian officer who actually committed the same offense Yee was originally accused of wasn't even arrested. The proceedings against Yee were continued in December when it was revealed that the military hadn't bothered to determine if the material Yee was carrying was classified. Then they were continued again, and again. Yee never was presented with the evidence against him. Last week, Yee's attorneys "accidentally" leaked a draft plea agreement that would drop all charges and let Yee receive an honorable discharge. (It seems clear to me that the leak was intentional and meant to pressure the prosecution - which had no case - to give up.) It worked, apparently.
Of course, the fuckups in the Army tell a different story:
In dismissing the charges, [head-fuckup-in-charge] Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which operates the detention center, cited "national security concerns that would arise from the release of the evidence" if the case proceeded.
"In the grand scheme of things, and in the interest of national security, Gen. Miller felt like the charges needed to be dropped," said Lt. Col. Bill Costello, a Southcom spokesman. "It seemed to be the prudent way to proceed." ...
[Yee's attorney] Fidell rejected the notion that security concerns played a role in the dismissal of charges. He said Yee, who was in the Washington, D.C.-area on Friday, was entitled to an apology.
The consequences of the witchhunt against Yee are far-reaching. First, of course, a man, a father, a loyal and dedicated Army officer has had his career ruined and his personal life dragged through the mud. He was falsely accused, held in solitary confinement for almost three months and had his life threatened. His family, including a wife and young children, has suffered intensely. That is the immediate, human tragedy. Next, as Juliette Kayyem, professor of national security and law at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, wrote even before the charges were dropped:
[T]he impact of the treatment of Yee on potential Arab and Muslim translators in the military is likely to be devastating. It is a result the US can ill afford. It is also not new. It has been reported that the aggressive, and ultimately minimal, espionage prosecution of scientist Wen Ho Lee in 1996 caused a dramatic decline in Asian-American scientists willing to serve the US.
In addition, the Yee case is a glimpse into the government's heavy handed detentions at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court will decide this year whether the administration's indefinite detention of hundreds of men there, only alleged to be terrorists or combatants, is a legitimate use of power. Until then, Guantanamo Bay exists in a legal never-neverland. Charges against Yee, and other Muslims at Guantanamo, have all fallen short. The problem with Guantanamo is not espionage or infiltration; it's Guantanamo.
Whatever Yee may have done wrong in the military's eyes pales in comparison with what the case has done to denigrate the military court system.
The only thing to add to this list of self-inflicted wounds is the perfectly obvious point that this case has harmed our effort to convince moderate Muslims worldwide that we are the good guys. By arresting a Muslim with such impeccable credentials, a West Point grad, especially a chaplain, on false allegations that when actually committed by a white Christian are handled casually, we help to make the terrorists' case that America wants to destroy all Muslims.
So, the question remains: is this the end of it? Will there be no consequences for the people in the chain of command who perpetrated this mess? Why, for example, does Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller still have a commission, much less a command? His apparent bigotry and incompetence has harmed the country as much as a real enemy spy.
One good thing may come of all this. Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine notes:
But the case can still have a positive impact by demonstrating the risk of rushing to judgment and the need to preserve an open, adversarial process for determining guilt.
Reporting on Yee's arrest, The New York Times noted that the brig where he was sent also has been used to hold suspects designated as "enemy combatants." In two cases the Supreme Court will hear this spring, the Bush administration maintains that such prisoners can be held incommunicado and indefinitely, without charge or legal representation. "But Captain Yee's case is unlikely to be handled that way," the Times reported. If it had, Yee might still be known as a spy rather than an adulterer.
Preserving the United States Constitution is one reason we fight terrorism. If only the people doing the fighting would keep it in mind.
I know, I shouldn't read too much into things. But if I am right, I will look prescient, and if I am wrong, no one will remember. So, what the hell. First, there is this:
Pakistan will be named a non-NATO ally by the United States -- making it easier for the country to acquire U.S. weapons -- despite Washington's unease at just how much officials knew of the nuclear proliferation row. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in Pakistan for talks on the row, the hunt for Osama bin Laden and peace with India, said the status of non-NATO ally would enhance military relations with Pakistan.
Okay, so we're rewarding people who engaged in nuclear weapons proliferation. Why? And why now?
Consider this story: "Pakistani troops believe they have surrounded al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri in an operation near the Afghan border, three senior Pakistani officials said Thursday." Hmmm, the story goes on to say, "Pakistani officials said they do not have any intelligence indicating that bin Laden is with al-Zawahri", even though they have said in the past they believe bin Laden is traveling with him.
Hmmmm. If I were George Bush, and my intelligence operatives had pinned bin Laden down in Pakistan, what would I do? I think I'd want Pakistani forces to catch him, so (a) it would show my policy is working, (b) it would reinforce my buddy Musharraf's position, and (c) if they fuck it up, it's their fault. American troops catching bin Laden on Pakistani soil might produce riots there. Sure, they say it's al-Zawahri, but that's only because they don't want to be humiliated if bin Laden gets away. And if it were announced to be bin Laden, everyone would question why the U.S. wasn't leading the charge.
Bin Laden is about to be caught. You heard it here first.
How's this for preserving the right of free speech? Say you want to organize a peaceful demonstration. You gather 20 friends to voice your opinion. Afterwards, the local government sends you a bill for $3,064.47 for "police overtime":
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday against Springettsbury Township on behalf of a York[, PA] man who helped organize a march through part of the township last December. ...
Dobson was among the 20 members of the group Convergence for Human Rights who walked in the snow on Dec. 6 from Springettsbury Township Park to the York County Prison and then to a Caterpillar facility on Memory Lane. The bill he is being asked to pay was due Thursday. That bill stated it was for “related police and public works personnel overtime costs.”
Think they were trying to intimidate these people into not marching? Check this out:
More than 100 police officers dressed in riot gear surrounded the group of protesters for every step they took. Law enforcement officers videotaped and photographed the march, and the law enforcement presence included explosive detection units, officers on rooftops and Department of Homeland Security personnel. Part of the presence was to make sure the marchers were safe as they walked, officials said.
Department of Homeland Security personnel ... observing a march? Does Big Brother love us, or what?
Paula Knudsen, a staff attorney for the ACLU, said Thursday that the ACLU asked for a temporary restraining order that would prevent Springettsbury Township from attempting to collect the money from Dobson, as well as a ruling on whether some of the sections of the township’s law are unconstitutional. A conference involving the judge, the township and the ACLU has been scheduled for today.
Good for the fucking ACLU. And fuck David Bernstein and his whiny-ass "ACLU doesn't protect free speech" bullshit.
Hey! If you aren't a member yet, you should be. And if you are a member, you need to increase your contribution. Now. You think lawsuits are free? You think someone else is going to pay for them?
A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda said on Wednesday it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said. ....
The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."
In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:
"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization."
"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."
If nothing else, the emergence of the "Spaniards are cowards" and the "Kerry caused 9/11" ideas from the right-wing spin in the last few days has proved that John Kerry was right when he called them crooks and liars.
What do you give someone who’s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit?
An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you’re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in British prisons.
On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.
Blunkett’s fight has been described as “outrageous”, “morally repugnant” and the “sickest of sick jokes”, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it’s a completely “reasonable course of action” as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ‘Saved Living Expenses’.
Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six. He spent 16 years behind bars for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA. Hill now lives on a farm with his wife and children near Beith in Scotland. He has been charged £50,000 for living expenses by the Home Office.
Peter Bagge at Reason Online has a comic up about attending an alternative lifestyles convention in Seattle. It's mildly amusing, and I had a few smiles of recognition, but there were also a couple of clangers, such as describing polamory as being "open, polygamous relationships." Um, no. Polygamy is multiple marriage. Polyamory is multiple relationships. If you don't understand the difference - hey, you're at a convention of kinksters, you can find someone to interview.
There's also this, the usual product of a monogamous person's inability to imagine something beyond their own sexual jealousy:
Update: Comments at Atrios' and by Mike here suggest it's for real. The guys who run the xxxchurch site have received a lot of press and have other sites at which they tell essentially the same story, without a hint of sarcasm or irony. So, it could be real. Or, it could be a couple of hipsters doing "life as art." Either way, the little antiporn ad is hilarious.
Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.
with this: U.S. House website used to attack Kerry.
To paraphrase a dishonest hack, they're not in favor of better policies, they're just for the other side. And they will use your money to win.
If you believe as I do, then you'll agree the 2004 presidential election is the most important for a long, long time. Bush and his administration represent a real threat to the future of our economy, our civil liberties, our standing in the world, and even our physical safety and the well-being of people everywhere, by his bungling of the response to 9/11 and deceiving us into a pointless invasion and occupation. The Republicans have distorted scientific research, economic data, and intelligence information in order to force through their agenda. They are wrong on every major policy issue, and the polls show that the public agrees with us.
Meanwhile, the GOP continues to loot the country for the benefit of its wealthy members, which gives Bush a huge monetary advantage. Here's your opportunity to negate the one thing Republicans have going for them - their money. Please make as large a donation as you think you can afford right now. None of us are made out of money, but this is the most important thing you're ever going to do just by opening your wallet. It's worth more than every cent than all of us have to win this.
For the past 24 hours or so, I have not been able to access my site. I can get to Typepad and make whatever changes I want, and they show up in the RSS feed, but I cannot get the actual page to load. I've opened a ticket with Typepad, and strangely they tell me they can see my site.
Another strange thing: the Typepad control panel says my bandwidth usage is 0% for the month.
Very strange. I would guess that it's a server problem at Typepad, except for the fact that they can see my site.
Update 9 a.m. Eastern: Still unable to load the site. Typepad is still working on it, I guess. If you are seeing this either via the site or RSS, would you please e-mail me at mithras dot blogs at verizon dot net? Thanks.
Update 11 a.m. Eastern: I've received e-mails from people who can load my site. Thanks to them. Therefore, it's not a Typepad problem. If anyone out there is also experiencing this problem with loading Typepad blogs (either their own or others), please e-mail me at mithras dot blogs at verizon dot net. I'm particularly interested in what ISP people are using; I'm on Verizon DSL.
Update 10 p.m. Eastern: The site came back up for me for a few minutes today, and then stopped loading again. I sent along some network information to Typepad this afternoon, and they are working on it. In the meantime, I can post but not see what the site looks like, which is frustrating. I just put up a Kerry contribution link in the post above and on the sidebar - if any of it looks squirrelly, I apologize.
Just in time for the weekend, there now are these "fun" Bush/Cheney signs you can print out and post in your neighborhood. Pick your favorites and start staplin'.
In the continuation of this post are links to 84 (whew!) anti-Bush/Cheney signs (pdf) made with their own web tool. Most of them are satirical, some critical, others just plain silly. (Orcs For Bush!) But it was fun.
Jason Buckley has about 28 signs up here. He also has a very cool blog.
If you know of any other places people have posted signs, please post it in comments, and I'll add them here. Thanks.
It struck me how funny this is. A functionality on Bush's website is seized on by lots of anti-Bush people and, suddenly, all these creative folks are trying to come up with the best anti-Bush slogan. Even better, the software lets you print out your creation, and soon the posters will be appearing all over the country.
Once again, technology has unintended consequences.
Update: Well, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. As of 6:25 p.m. Eastern, the Bush site has taken down the tool to make customized signs. I was able to create only 50 different signs, so we'll have to doing a little swapping out there.
Here's a link on Bush's campaign page where you create customized posters. Certain words are not allowed, but you can often get around that by using all caps and substituting zero for the O character. Other words you would think they would ban they haven't caught yet - like, well, I don't want to tip them off. And for obvious reasons, I guess, they haven't banned words like "Jesus", "God" and "Allah." The possibilities suggest themselves! Enjoy. I'm off to staple some of these to telephone poles.
Pop quiz! Which leader of a recently-liberated country said the following about giving women the franchise:
"Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process," [he] told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. "Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go."
So, my question is, how should I feel about this? In the prior regime, women would have walls toppled onto them if their hemline was above the instep. So, is this a small measure of progress that has its embarrassing aspects, or did we just set up a different set of fundamentalists who want to look good in one election so the American public will roll over and go back to sleep?
I had to look twice to make sure that this wasn't a parody. Nope, it's really the webpage of the Republican National Committee. The headlines alone tell the story:
JOHN KERRY: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY III Communist North Korea Is Only Government On Record Supporting John Kerry
PERHAPS HE WAS SPEAKING TO KIM JONG-IL?
OR TO HIS FRENCH COUSIN?
OR TO VARIOUS EUROPEAN NEWSPAPERS AND ENTERTAINERS?
Two thoughts from this:
First, what a fuck-up on the right-wingers part. Could you do anything to make yourself look more desperate? This can't be how you fire up the base. And if you think that this shit will make the rounds and that anyone who might actually be considering voting for Kerry will change their behavior as a result, well, I want the number of your dealer. You're obviously getting crack at the wholesale price.
Second, please preserve the link to this crap and post it anytime a Republican gets in your face about how irrational "Bush haters" are.
Last night I got to see Sea Ray at the Troc. It was an outstanding set. The band is made up of friends-of-a-friend, but I don't think I'm just being biased when I say they rock. It's been wonderful to watch them work so hard over the past several years and then finally get amazing reviews.
Dense, layered, atmospheric and hard-rocking, trippy without losing a good tune, I suppose the closest thing I can compare them to is Radiohead with a cellist. Their latest album is "Stars At Noon"; you can listen to it here. Especially check out "Revelry", "Stray Dog" and "Nicholas Ray."
Their upcoming tour dates (mainly with The Church) are here. They're coming to Annapolis, New York, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Austin (SXSW), Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. Do not miss them.