Nobody got shot, but Vice President Cheney still fired up controversy Monday when he went hunting at a private club that hangs the Confederate flag.
A Daily News photographer captured the 3-by-5 foot Dixie flag affixed to a door in the garage of the Clove Valley Gun and Rod Club in upstate Union Vale, N.Y.
Club officials threatened a reporter with arrest when he sought comment. ...
Yeah, how dare that reporter ask questions?
It's unsurprising that Cheney hangs with authoritarian racists; what I want to know is what that garage is used for. I see three orange hunting caps on the wall and - by lightening the picture - a pile of equipment on the table, and what looks like a refrigerator to the left of the door. Is this some kind of mud room where the brave hunters returning from shooting stocked game can kick off their boots and sip an iced whiskey? And does the club have any African-American workers? Say, the ones tasked to wait on the gentlemen in the garage?
I'd say someone should ask, but that might get them arrested.
Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that pharmacists have a right to use conscientious objection to avoid dispensing emergency contraception or euthanasia drugs — and told them they should also inform patients of the ethical implications of using such drugs. ...
"Pharmacists must seek to raise people's awareness so that all human
beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that
medicines truly play a therapeutic role," Benedict said.
Benedict said conscientious objector status would "enable them not
to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have
clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."
Okay, first of all, Your Assholeyness, emergency contraception is just that - contraception - and has nothing to do with fucking abortion. That's one.
Benedict's comments resonated strongly in Italy, where pharmacists are required to fill prescriptions regardless of their moral or ethical positions, according to Federfarma, Italy's national federation representing 15,500 private pharmacies.
In a statement, the organization said the law would have to be changed to allow for conscientious objection, but noted that the change might result in pharmacists objecting to dispensing basic contraception or other hormonal drugs prescribed for medical reasons.
The issue came to a head on Monday in Chile, when the government warned it could close drugstores that refuse to sell the morning-after pill, which has been legal in Chile since last year for sale to girls as young as 14. The country's three largest drug store chains have not been selling the drugs, claiming they could not buy them locally. The government responded by fining the stores and importing thousands of doses.
Good for Chile. Good for Federfarma for pushing back, although far more weakly than the issue deserves.
Pharmacists are licensed medical professionals. If you have a moral objection to doing your fucking job, then quit and go work for some Catholic hospital or just go into a different line of work, because you obviously didn't realize this one involves dispensing medicine.
The Vatican took on Spain's Socialist government Sunday, criticizing its social policies as the church beatified nearly 500 victims of leftist persecution during the country's civil war era.
The ceremony was the largest mass beatification ever by the Vatican, which supported the fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco during and after his war against the leftists.
Some in Spain questioned the timing of the beatification of the 498 martyrs, which came three days before Spain's parliament is expected to pass a Socialist-sponsored law that will for the first time formally condemn Franco's rule and order the removal of all fascist symbols from the country. ...
Critics say the Vatican was hitting back at the government by simultaneously beatifying the two bishops, 24 priests and 462 members of religious orders, as well as a deacon, a subdeacon, a seminary student and seven lay Catholics. Since the late 1980s the church has beatified nearly 500 other clergy killed in the war, but in a series of smaller ceremonies.
Get that? The Church supported Franco and the Spanish fascists, the allies of the Nazis. They shot teachers who didn't want the Church to control the schools and anyone suspected of "anti-clericalism". The Church picked sides in a civil war and a number of its priests were killed before the Nazis came in and won the war for them. Now they put their dead fascist supporters on the road to sainthood.
In his homily, [Cardinal Jose] Saraiva Martins took aim at Socialist legislation that facilitates divorce and gay marriages, as well as the administration's scrapping of plans by a previous conservative government to make religion an obligatory subject in schools.
Criticizing all three initiatives, Saraiva Martins said there was a need to protect the family "founded on the sole and indissoluble marriage between a man and woman, on the primary right for parents to educate their children."
And the Church is upset that people are allowed to marry and divorce as they will, and that (the Catholic) religion is not taught in schools on the public's dime. You with me so far? Then there is this:
Ties between the church and the Spanish government, which took office in 2004, have also grown tense over the government's attempts to make the church more self-financing. As of a year ago, Spain no longer makes direct payments to the church, instead allowing taxpayers a choice whether to divert 0.7 percent of their taxes or not.
So, the freedom-hating, theocratic fascist-lovers in Rome are upset that Spain no long directly pays tribute to them. The Pope demands you kiss his ring and then tithe. Fuck him.
The court ruled 4-3 that Genarlow Wilson's 10-year sentence was cruel and unusual punishment. ...
Wilson, 21, was convicted of aggravated child molestation following
a 2003 New Year's Eve party at a Douglas County hotel room where he was
videotaped having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was 17 at the
The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex
between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding
teen sexual intercourse. But the state Supreme Court later upheld a
lower court's ruling which said that the 2006 law could not be applied
Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in the majority opinion that the
changes in the law "represent a seismic shift in the legislature's view
of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants."
Sears wrote that the severe punishment makes "no measurable
contribution to acceptable goals of punishment" and that Wilson's crime
did not rise to the "level of adults who prey on children."
Anyone who doesn’t believe the gates have by now been well and truly crashed needs to check out the October issue of Washington Life magazine, one of the local glossy society pubs, and turn to page 46, where they can find a nice shot of Open Left’s Matt Stoller,
martini glass in hand, laughing with friends in the picture spread on
“Cocktails at Arianna’s” in Georgetown. I suppose it was only a matter
of time before the prep-school and Ivy League educated bloggers gave in
to the expectations of their social class and began living, in their
later 20s, the lives they would have mocked four years ago, while
earnestly rebellious and penurious recent college graduates. Still,
it’s amusing to see the onetime “outsiders” out and about on the Dupont
Circle-Georgetown circuit, or hear about their retreats at the Arca Foundation-affiliated private estate, Musgrove, on St. Simon’s Island off the coast of Georgia.
This is actually one of the reasons I love D.C. All a person has to
do to become the establishment in this very small and transient town is
stay here — which is an oddly and wonderfully democratic way to
construct a nation’s political elite, geography and length of residency
being far less restrictive criteria for entry than those used by most
institutions of higher education or by historical elites, let alone
your average Manhattan nursery school.
Way to call out Stoller while praising him. "Welcome to the Club, dear, so glad you finally decided to join Us." But don't the first and second paragraphs somewhat contradict each other? If "the prep-school and Ivy League educated bloggers gave in
to the expectations of their social class and began living, in their
later 20s, the lives they would have mocked four years ago", swanning about Georgetown, then, it seems to me, Franke-Ruta is claiming one who does not have that pedigree is not expected, not welcomed easily, into that world. But then she goes on say that "[a]ll a person has to
do to become the establishment in this very small and transient town is
stay here", regardless of class. Do these not conflict?
Ah, I think I have the secret decoder ring. By democratic Franke-Ruta means meritocratic, so that anyone with the proper chops can join the establishment, but naturally those of a certain quality have bucketloads of talent, dahling.
Drinking Liberally is tonight and every Tuesday night at Tangier,
18th and Lombard, from 6 PM to whenever (usually 8 but sometimes later). Free hot wings, drink specials and great conversation with your fellow liberals. Come one, come all. Tonight will probably be one of the last times this year it will be warm enough that we can all sit at the outside tables.
Bitch Ph.D. notes that this is a bunch of sexist crap:
File under "barf": Home Depot is opening the first in a planned second line of stores called Her Depot.
You won't find any lumber yards, contractor-grade tools or commercial building supplies.
'cause the ladies don't know how to, y'know, actually build stuff. Or
run a business. Our job, as everyone knows, is to let the men do the
actual fixing while we go out and buy overpriced consumer crap like
flower bouquets, well-lit bathroom and kitchen displays, stylish home furnishings and stacks of floral-print storage bins.
I totally agree that it's sexist crap and, as she says, it's doomed to failure. You know why? The problem with Home Depot and Lowes is not that women don't like them, it's that people don't like them. For one simple reason:
You cannot find a goddamn thing in Home Depot.
The big-box home improvement store is the most unnavigable shopping experience in the world. If you haven't bought the thing you want there before, you are almost guaranteed you will not be able to find it without escalating things up three chains of management. Because it is certain that the first low-paid orange-aproned employee you run across will not know where what you are looking for is. Or, worse! They will pretend to know and confidently but wrongly send you to aisle 327.
So if you walk into the store with a list of, say, eight things, if you seriously want to buy all of them, it will take 2 hours by the time you get through the checkout. You want to know why women - and men - aren't shopping there? Because it's a huge waste of time. Women, especially, do not have time to waste. Your customers are comparing the time it takes to buy those eight things in your store to the time it takes to buy eight things at any department store or large grocery store. And guess what? You do not look good by comparison.
What's wrong with you people? You presumably have a computerized inventory management system. You presumably know where things are kept in your store. And you have a website. Hey, here's an idea! Let me look at the products I want to buy on your website, and then give me a printout of where they are in my local store. Hell, even if I change my mind at the store and buy a different brand, at least I know to go to aisle 723, not 327, for that kind of item before I walk in the door. And you could have kiosks near the front door of the store to let people do something similar there, instead of handing out those lame-ass "store maps" that say things like "Hardware" to indicate a swath of the store equal to the size of the state of Delaware. Not helpful.
And as for "Her Depot", where they will apparently sell mini pink hammers, Bitch Ph.D. is very right about this:
Somehow I'm thinking this isn't actually going to go over too well with Home Depot's lesbian customer base.
Most of us are grateful that we got through the Cold War without a nuclear cataclysm; these people see it as a missed opportunity. And they are determined not to miss another. Much as they admire George W. Bush's moxie, they think we aren't going fast enough now. A good standard for supporting political candidates would be to pick the ones who will keep these guys as far from power as possible.
So, this article features an optical illusion of sorts: the silhouette of a twirling dancer. When you look at it, which way do you see her spinning? You can actually see it either direction:
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?
If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.
of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to
focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.
For a few minutes, I didn't believe it, or didn't think I could stop her spinning clockwise. Then what I did was look down at the shadow beneath her and tried to convince myself that the spinning leg was in front when I thought it was behind, and vice versa. Eventually, I got the image to change directions, but predominantly when I first look she spins clockwise. Which makes sense, given I seem to have all the characteristics of a heavily right-brained person.
After a little practice, I could make her change directions almost at will by closing my eyes, visualizing her spinning the other way, and looking at the shadow first.
Someone needs to tell him the nightmare has wound down considerably in
Anbar, the awakening is spreading, death and destruction is down
everywhere. The only way this becomes a nightmare with no end in sight
is if the AP, Congress, etal, get their way.
Hmm, someone didn't read the speech.
Sanchez comes off a little bitter. About everything. S&S provides
Sanchez’ reason for why he doesn’t think the strategy has a chance …
insufficient non-military resources, lack of coordination. Well, that
sounds a little more like we need more non-military resources and
coordination than “nightmare with no end in sight.” If what he is
trying to do is offer constructive criticism as a retired general, that
Shorter Jules Crittenden: "La la la la la I CAN'T HEAR YOU. Loser." Too bad he can't make Sanchez's name rhyme with "betray us" or there would have to be a Congressional resolution.
Jawa Report is unhappy that the media didn't highlight Sanchez's criticism of the media, which actually is quite trenchant:
Almost invariably, my
that the sensationalistic value of these assessments is what provided
that you seek for self aggrandizement or to advance your individual
getting on the front page with your stories! ... For some, it seems that as long as you get a front page story
is little or no regard for the "collateral damage" you will cause.
Personal reputations have no value and you report with total impunity
rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. ...
Over the course of this war tactically insignificant events have
become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power
and impact of the media and by extension you the journalist. In many
cases the media has unjustly destroyed the individual reputations and
careers of those involved. ...
All are victims of the massive agenda driven competition for
economic or political supremacy. The death knell of your ethics has
been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align
themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are
perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our
country and killing our servicemembers who are at war.
(Cleaned up from the original.) Joining in is Cap'n Ed:
Given that, it seems highly ironic that the journalists covering the
story attempted to cover up the acidic, biting, and mostly accurate
criticisms of their own performance in this war while giving front-page
treatment to Sanchez' criticisms of the political structure at the same
time. If Sanchez has such credibility and standing to bring this kind
of criticism to bear on Washington, why didn't the Post and other news
agencies give the same level of exposure to his media criticisms as
well? He basically accuses them of cynically selling out the soldiers
to defeat American efforts to win the war, and made sure that those
accusations came first before his assessment of the political failures,
but you'd never know that from the Post.
And no survey of far-right crazies would be complete without John Hinderaker of Powerline:
So, one might ask: Why did the Washington Post (and every other news
outlet I have seen) not headline their story: "Former Iraq Commander
Bitterly Denounces Mainstream Media's Coverage of Iraq War"? Or,
perhaps, "Former Iraq Commander Accuses Biased, Unethical,
Agenda-driven Press of 'Killing Our Servicemembers Who Are At War'"?
I guess the question answers itself. The Post has an agenda, and
those headlines wouldn't have advanced it. The same is true for
essentially all newspapers and other news outlets. It's quite a luxury
to be able to decide whether criticisms of your own conduct ever see
the light of day--a luxury the mainstream media not only enjoy, but
Unfortunately for the wingnuts, what Sanchez is referencing is the media's coverage of Abu Ghraib. And the fact that he thinks Brownie got a similar bad rap for Katrina certainly doesn't help his case. Is he suggesting U.S. media coverage drives the efforts of the insurgents? Just saying it shows how ridiculous it is. And in any event, no sane reading of Sanchez's remarks is "We'd be winning if it weren't for that pesky media."
Well, well. Think the wingnuts will believe it now?
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition troops for
a year beginning June 2003, cast a wide net of blame for both political
and military shortcomings in Iraq that helped open the way for the
insurgency — such as disbanding the Saddam-era military and failing to
cement ties with tribal leaders and quickly establish civilian
government after Saddam was toppled.
He called current strategies — including the deployment of 30,000
additional forces earlier this year — a "desperate attempt" to make up
for years of misguided policies in Iraq.
"There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end
in sight," Sanchez told a group of journalists covering military
Sanchez avoided pointing his criticism at any single official or agency, but it appeared a broad indictment of White House policies and a lack of leadership in the Pentagon to oppose them. Such
assessments — even by former Pentagon brass — are not new, but they
have added resonance as debates over war strategy dominate the
But, just as Wesley Clark has said, this is a nightmare we cannot wake up from:
Sanchez went on to offer a pessimistic view on the current U.S.
strategy against extremists will make lasting gains, but said a
full-scale withdrawal also was not an option.
"The American military finds itself in an intractable situation ...
America has no choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq," said
Sanchez, who works as a consultant training U.S. generals.
As I have said multiple times, Bush has driven us into a ditch in Iraq. We can't leave, but staying will be a long, painful, unrewarding experience. The next president of the United States - Hillary Clinton, I believe, but whoever - will not completely withdraw U.S. forces from the country.
In its simplest terms, the reason we can't leave is this: Saddam was a buffer between the Iranians and the Saudis. We can't find anyone to replace him, at least not yet. And so we have to be that buffer. Because the real nightmare scenario is a regional conflict between the Saudis and Iran. Why? Because the only real force that the Saudis can turn to would be Sunni militant groups linked to al Qaeda. The Saudis have already been funding such groups, in Syria, Iraq and Iran. If we leave Iraq, they take the gloves off, and a covert war breaks out region-wide.
A Saudi-Iran war would be a disaster on three levels. It would be a humanitarian catastrophe that would make Iraq look like a minor scuffle by comparison. Hundreds of thousands more, maybe millions, would die. It would be an worldwide economic catastrophe as oil tankers would be sunk or seized in the Persian Gulf. I mean the Arabian Gulf. (You get the picture.) And it would be a political catastrophe with devastating effects on global security. The Saudis funding the Sunni militant groups linked to al Qaeda legitimates al Qaeda. In order to fight Iran, the Saudis would have to embrace al Qaeda's leaders, leading to blowback in the future that would be orders of magnitude worse that the results of the decision to fund and arm the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
So, what's the answer? Fuck if I know. From day one (of this blog, at least), I have been predicting we would find another strongman to take over, a new Saddam like the old Saddam when he was our buddy, but with no aspirations to pan-Arab leadership. There have been rumblings that a coup was in the offing, but maybe there is no one who can or is willing to fill the position. Or maybe they just have to wait until the U.S. presidential election is closer. I don't know. But even if a coup succeeded and a pro-U.S. authoritarian government took over, it would still require U.S. military support.
The situation in Iraq is fucked. And we're not leaving.
“There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent
strategic leadership within our national leaders,” he said, adding
later in his remarks that civilian officials have been “derelict in
their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”
Von at Obsidian Wings, trying to rationalize his unshakable support for a bunch of thugs:
Malkin is not the conservative community. Nor is she the Republican
party, or even a representative sample of a fraction of its membership.
Yes, and there has been so much outrage directed at her by the silent majority of conservative Republicans, hasn't there? I can't find any, but I am sure there is ... some. Maybe.
Bonus pseudo-intellectual plaint:
It would be nice to have a genuine discussion of health care in this
country, including how we could protect folks like the Frosts without
expanding government coverage (or, if coverage must be expanded, being
smarter about it).
It would be nice to be smarter, wouldn't it, von? Also, I think you owe Sen. Clinton an apology for comparing her to Malkin.
"With universal health care, you can finally quit your sucky corporate job and pursue your dreams of owning your own business" is absolute political gold.
That's brilliant. Universal health care could unleash a revolutionary wave of entrepreneurship in this country by allowing people to ditch dead-end jobs that offer health insurance and instead start innovative small business which create new jobs, new technologies and new markets.
[M]odern movement conservatism
attracts a certain personality type. If you identify with the
downtrodden, even a little, you don’t belong. If you think ridicule is
an appropriate response to other peoples’ woes, you fit right in.
You undoubtedly know what CAPTCHA is, if not the name. It's the distorted or otherwise obscured text that some websites use to prevent bots from spamming them. It's an unfortunately necessary, annoying tool, but now someone has come up with a way to make all the CAPTCHA-interpreting frustration useful.
involved in digitising old books and manuscripts
supplied by a non-profit organisation called the Internet Archive, and
uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to examine scanned
images of texts and turn them into digital text files which can be
stored and searched by computers.
But the OCR software is unable to read about one in 10 words, due to the poor quality of the original documents.
The only reliable way to decode them is for a human to
examine them individually - a mammoth task since CMU processes
thousands of pages of text every month.
To solve this problem the team takes images of the words which the OCR software can't read, and uses them as CAPTCHAs.
These CAPTCHAs, known as reCAPTCHAS, are then
distributed to websites around the world to be used in place of
Thanks to the adoption of reCAPTCHAs by popular websites
like Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon, the system is helping to
decipher about one million words every day for CMU's book archiving
project, according to [CMU Professor Luis] von Ahn.
Given that it takes about 10 seconds to decipher a
reCAPTCHA and type in the answer, this represents the equivalent of
almost three thousand man hours a day spent deciphering words that
CMU's computers find illegible.
A handy extra benefit of this system is that reCAPTCHAs are particularly good at foiling bots while remaining legible to people.
"Firstly, we are starting with words that we know our
computers can't read," says von Ahn. "These words have also been
distorted naturally over time, and the number of ways they have been
distorted is very large.
One can only marvel at how developed and richly detailed is the fantasy
that he has created and carries around with him -- being on one's knees
before a Muslim terrorist, begging and pleading and shaking, dialogue
about "having served you." It is really right out of some cheap, trite
sadomasochistic pornography script, and yet these fears and truly
creepy fantasies are the foundation for their political beliefs,
driving most of our political discourse and policy. ...
Bombing and killing Muslims is the only path for avoiding the
humiliating scenarios which our nation's war cheerleaders carry around
obsessively in their heads, and which are currently filling my inbox.
They're not going to be the ones on their knees, begging. They're not
going to be the "faggots." Instead, they are going to send others off
to fight and bomb and occupy and kill and thereby show who is strong
and tough and feel protected.
What Greenwald layers on top of this insight is the racism aspect. It's not just that war-lovers are terrified of being forced to suck cock, they're terrified of being forced to suck a big, dark cock, specifically.
The source of their terror is the thought - probably well-justified - that they would like it.
In their world, being proved to be a homosexual "bottom" would destroy their entire self-image. They would be helpless, lower than women in their zoology, Not-Men. And the very worst would be for them to serve a dark-skinned man, because then their subjugation is complete: They lose all of their deep-seated faith in their own racial superiority.
They fear they would enjoy being forced to serve another man sexually, so they're repulsed. But at the same time, they're fascinated:
Based on what the Catholic League chose to show us about Folsom, it
would seem that the Catholic League’s photographer—or Bill Donohue
himself, or whoever chose the photos for the Catholic League’s
website—has a thing for jocks and beefy guys with hairy tits. I mean,
check out the hot guys here , here, and here—all
from the Catholic League’s website. Whoever was choosing photos for the
Catholic League’s website doesn’t just like firm, hairy man tit, but
firm, hairy man ass too.
There are tons of conventionally hot homos at Folsom. But hot homos aren’t the only folks at Folsom—after all, hot, straight bi Matisse was there. Yet conventionally hot guys—and a few conventionally hot girls—are pretty much the only thing the Catholic League wanted to show us. Why do you suppose that is?
They are terrified but they can't look away. Tormented, they invent their own counter-fantasies where they are the ones holding the long, hard, dark penis and telling the source of their agony, "Suck. On. This."
From now on, every time I read one of these nitwits' posts about buying some big, black shiny gun, I am going to laugh my ass off.
Picture the scene: 16-year-old girl attending her friend's birthday party in the school cafeteria. Someone bumps her and she drops her cake. Security guard orders her to clean it up, but when she does, he is not satisfied. When she refuses to do any more, he twists her arm behind her back, breaking her wrist, and slams her head onto a table while saying, "Hold still nappy head."
Oh yeah, the guard is white and the student, Pleajhai Mervin, is black.
So for dropping the cake accidentally, she's charged with littering. And for breaking her wrist against the guard's hand, she's charged with battery.
So, another student catches all this on his cellphone video. The guards try to stop him, then beat and arrest him.