Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Things Have Changed

I know I said in my last update that I'd be back updating again. Kids, let me tell you. That was what we in the business call a "lie." I think I'm actually gonna be quitting this blog for a while... maybe permanently. I just don't think I have the desire to keep going with it (funny, since it just turned a year old recently). I mean, what's the point? Writing this stuff doesn't help me sort through anything and it's not like I have any readers of this damned thing anyways. I never really was into the whole masturbatory aspect of blogging, and that's all there is when you don't have readers. Just go read Daily Kos, and if you want your doses of Ashnod, read his blog called Serenity.

If Ashy wants to keep writing here, that's cool. But as for me, I'm done for a while.

(The title is, of course, a reference to Bob Dylan's song of same name.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

An Update

Hey all,

Sorry I haven't been posting this last week. I've been busy working and don't have reliable internet access outside of work. So, no updates from me 'till June. Ashy will have to fill in.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

While Kevin is settling in with his new gig and I'm pissing away the moments before graduation (jesus god I just want this shit over with), I figure it's time for my glorious return to these pages. Although I'm neither glorious nor welcome, I'm sure, but I am here to fill these pages with a bit of nonsensical ranting about the current state of, well, the Republican Bullshit Machine (TM). Few points here, let's have a little fun along the way...

1) Tony Snow: What a putz. Seriously, let's grab someone from the network everyone KNOWS is biased to the Right and have him continue to spin the Bush debacle like his entire network does in what is basically a blatant 'hi2u America, I'm a presidential mouthpiece of the lowest sort!' Does this remind anyone else of the Harriet Myers scandal - I mean, it's like George is actually calling the shots. And frankly, that scares me, because this guy has the world's largest nuclear arsenal at his disposal. And we've got to put up with him for another two years. I guess this is what happens when Rove is off battling indictment and Cheney is off recharging his hate batteries so he can beam deathrays of hate at random Democractic nominees for Congress and the Senate.

2) Fox News: Following the whole Tony Snow thing, this John Gibson fellow cracks me up. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195036,00.html <- that has to be the most amusing bit from a tv segment I've seen since...shit, Colbert at the Press dinner. Gibson's entire point is that the Iranian whackjobs letter has a lot of Democrat talking points, but I also think that the entire thing has a lot of American talking points - after all, most of the things Gibson was frothing at the mouth about are things average Americans are seriously worried about and interested in. But, read the article. It's good comedy.

3) Democrats: Discovering that they have backbones finally? Perhaps, if they listen to the Left and drop this whole bullshit about the fringe left, since we're the motivation of the party right now. We're also the ones (at least, the blogospheres) that have any coherent message, something that the Democrats have finally started to rediscover. But allowing the Media to cast us as this fringe, leftist group and going along with it does nothing to help the Democrats or our country.

4) Al Gore's New Movie: An Inconvienent Truth, holy CRAP do I want to see this movie. Just google it, you can find all the info on it. But yea, Al Gore, we need you more now then we needed you in 2000. Please run in 2008. Please.

5) Democracy: What happened to it? Where did it go? I don't think America is a democracy anymore, and it's seriously starting to worry me. And make me cry. I mean, we do have civil liberties right? Who the FUCK are the Republicans of this country to give up MY rights? Who the hell says the President should be in power when he's doing crap like this. And who in the lords name things that the appropriate response to Terrorism is to destroy the heart and soul of this nation? These are dark days for America my friends.

6) College: Completely unrelated to this bullshit above, thank fucking GOD I'm done. Expect to see more of me, and definitely better from me, but it's been forever since I've blogged and my engines are just warming up.

PS - FUCK the NSA
PPS - I want my civil liberties back, you fuckers

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How Classless...

I am, of course, referring to the fact that Randy Johnson was booed by the Yankee faithful as he left the game yesterday. Next time some jackass Yanks fan accuses Sox fans of having no class, beat 'em on the head with that.

EDIT: Holy crap... read this account about a Sox fan's experience at Yankee Stadium last night. The way the cops acted is the worst part. I've been to The Fens a number of times, and I've never heard WHOLE SECTIONS of Sox fans do anything like this. Yeah, all teams have their asshole fans (and the Sox have quite a few), but the Fens isn't known for having entire sections that Yank fans just need to stay away from... but hey, Yanks fans are so much "classier."

Dems Are Better... At Basically Everything

I've thought this for awhile, but America seems to agree now. The latest poll shows folks substantively think Dems will do a better job on many, many things. A couple of my favorites:
Do you think the Republican party or the Democratic party comes closer to sharing your moral values?

Dem 50
GOP 37
and
... do you think the Republican party or the Democratic party is more likely to make the right decisions about the war in Iraq?

Dem 48
GOP 30
Swell, huh? But, as LiberalOasis points out:
We should not assume that these are hard figures reflecting fervent support for the Democratic Party.

They certainly show major disappointment with the Republican Party and a willingness to give Democrats a chance – which may well be enough to reclaim one or both houses of Congress in November.

As much as I'd like to accuse LiberalOasis of being downers, they are correct. These polls suggest the Dems have a real chance to push an agenda, but they still need to make the agenda stick. This isn't a mandate, this is a window of opportunity. Hope we can use it.

(A Little) More on Civility

Well, I probably wasn't going to do a follow up post on this... but what the hell. I figure since a couple of the actual folks involved in this little debate actually came to my blog and posted (thus creating the highest readership this blog has ever had, I'm pretty sure) I'd make a few quick comments.

The first and only substantive thing I have left to say is just that the actual original problem of the Cox/Digby/Atrios/Kleiman/every-other-blog-ever-at-this-point discussion (focusing on the actual quality of Cox's article), is less interesting (i.e. barely or not at all interesting) to me than the question of "civility." For better or for worse, this was brought up by Retardo and I thought it was worth thinking about. Even if Kleiman never actually used the word in his original post, I agreed that one could see the connection.

To round things out, Kleiman posted an apology to Digby and wrote a little more on this whole bit. Check it out here. For me at least, this clears things up a bit and I hope to God I won't be reading anymore about this topic anytime soon.

After all, can't we all just get along?

Monday, May 08, 2006

The role of "civility"

If you've been following the recent Kleiman-Cox-Digby-Atrios blogfight (and God knows that Blog navel-gazing is a priority for everyone), then you'd quickly see the debate morph into the place of civility in discourse. Now, I for one generally am in favor of civility (I like to think I'm a fairly nice guy), but I'm certainly not against calling bullshit when I see it. Some (*ahem* Kleiman), however, are much more in in support of civility at any cost. Civility, in this case anyways, meaning always being polite and even-handed, treating every argument as if its actually worth consideration. For like, 95% percent of things, I agree with this approach. But... when someone says something that isn't even worth an intellectual debate which would actually legitimize said argument (ex. let's torture indiscriminantly), I don't think it's unreasonable to respond with a "you're a friggin' loonie, you know that?" However, in some warped perverse universe, civility is being increasingly seen as an end unto itself, to be placed on a pedestal higher than the actual content of the argument at hand and what the response entails. Frankly, this "civility at all costs" mantra is a tool of the have's (in the popular discourse of the country currently, conservatives) to belittle those that have grievances and are legitimitely pissed the fuck off (the rest of us). And liberals like Kleiman buy into the discourse. Read more about in the excellent writeup (where I got most of the material for this post) by Retardo here.

For the perfect example of discourse which is always substantive but never civil, read The Rude Pundit. Rude da man.

P.S. To be extra super clear, flaming and baseless attacks are obnoxious. They get nowhere. But crap arguments are crap arguments, and at a certain point aren't even worthy of an intellectually rigorous response.

P.P.S. This should also work as a defense of our own erstwhile blogger Ashy (who will hopefully be posting on here more soon, as his final college push has come to a close), who tends to find civility a waste of time, but always makes posts that are substantive and illuminating.

Edit: Removed quotations around the word "liberals" in regards to Kleiman. I think that was just me being kind of a jerk.

Sidebar Re-Arranging

Hey all,

Just a quick site update. I rearranged the sidebar a bit to try and make it more manageable. I've deleted the "games section" and added an "Inactive blogs" and "Inactive comics" section. Those will contain blogs and comics that are never or very rarely updated. This should help thin out the regular blogs and comics list a bit, making it more manageable to explore. That's all for now.

EDIT: I added a link under news. It's Media Matters and it's an indespensible resource for watchdog info on the state of "mainstream" media.

Creepy

Sorry for the lack of TFB last Friday, I will try to make amends this week.

Anyways, do you think Bush looking into people's souls is creepy? I sure do. Check it out.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ethics & Dems

People who think their are no differences, ethically speaking, between Dems and Republicans (the ones in office, anyways) should read this.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life Imprisonment...

...for the wrongs that he done.*

Yep, today it was announced that Massaoui WOULD NOT recieve the death penalty. Maybe I don't know the pulse of America or something, but I must say I was rather surprised. I was pretty sure we were gonna go for blood on this one. But hey, that's why we have trials. As Jess Toobin points out:
At the same time, the actual evidence against Moussaoui in this case is really not that strong. As many people will remember, Moussaoui was arrested in Minnesota in August of 2001, a month before 9/11. He was in prison at the time of the attacks.

His connection to the attacks is -- it's not zero, as the jury found -- but it's not that strong. And the thing that got him convicted or got him to this stage -- he pleaded guilty -- is his insane, self-defeating testimony that may have been some sort of bid for martyrdom.

That seems suggestive of why someone would get life in prison instead of the death penalty - if they just weren't totally strongly connected with the crime. Now, I wasn't a juror and I don't know everything that was said - but if that analysis of the case is accurate, I can see why a juror would support life imprisonment instead of the death penalty.

The other theory being thrown out there is that the jury gave Moussaoui life in prison instead of death because they didn't want him to be seen as a martyr (an idea that the defense put forth). This seems like a little more dubious reason to not give someone the death penalty, but the BBC reports:
Jurors did unanimously reject the suggestion - put forward by Moussaoui's defence - that the death penalty would help fulfil the defendant's visions of martyrdom.

Maybe the jurors were lying, but I like to think that the ruling had more to do with an honest interpretation of the law and evidence before them than anything else.

Miscarriage of justice? I leave it for the Freepers to decide:
The jurors should be identified and roundly mocked and criticized for their cowardice.

The next time Al-Qaeda pulls some nonsense on American soil, millions of Americans should send them thank you cards with photographs of 9/11 enclosed.
and
I agree. People who have no brains will think killing him would have made him a hero to the Muslims. Actually NOT killing him has made us look like weak , spineless saps to a society who respects ONLY strenght and violence. To that culture we are now not to be feared , they are laughing at our feminine court system. DISGUSTING I say . Real men would have strung his ass up outside the courtroom on national TV and used it as a warning to the rest of the Islamic scumbags out there.We're lost I tell you , LOST !!!!!
See, it's the feminists' fault that we didn't execute Moussaoui! Women, you owe America an apology for ruining the legal system. Get back in the homes so we can start executing our prisoners again! After all, REAL MEN kill people no matter WHAT the evidence may suggest we should do with them!

And I'm spent.

*To get this reference, see: The Byrds - "Life in Prison"

EDIT: A few minor spelling/grammatical changes.

Online Integrity

I'm endorsing the (non-partisan) Online Integrity Statement of Principles:
Private persons are entitled to respect for their privacy regardless of their activities online. This includes respect for the non-public nature of their personal contact information, the inviolability of their homes, and the safety of their families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted. The separateness of private persons’ professional lives should also be respected as much as is reasonable.

Public figures are entitled to respect for the non-public nature of their personal, non-professional contact information, and their privacy with regard to their homes and families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted.

Persons seeking anonymity or pseudonymity online should have their wishes in this regard respected as much as is reasonable. Exceptions include cases of criminal, misleading, or intentionally disruptive behavior.

Violations of these principles should be met with a lack of positive publicity and traffic.

It just makes sense, ya' know? If you have a blog, I hope you do the same.

(via Reasonably Ascertainable Reality)

EDIT: MyDD makes the case for why he will NOT be signing the pledge. Worth a read.

This Modern World: 24 Style


 This weeks TMW cartoon is particularly funny, as it uses the TV show 24 to riff on the Republican world-view. As a fan of the show, this makes the comic particularly amusing.

(via Working For Change)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bush Sings (En Espanol!)

If you've been following the whole Spanish-version-of-the-National-Anthem thing, you'll know that Bush went on record saying that the National Anthem should be sung only in English (apparently it's inapproriate to express love of this country in any other language. It dirties the pool or something). Anyhow, turns out that Bush is just a big hypocritical jerk. Seems that during his 2000 inaugural, the National Anthem was sung in both English and, GASP, Spanish! In fact, El Presidente himself sang the song in Spanish (to the best of his ability). Now, it's not news that Bush is a hypocrite - it just never really gets old pointing that fact out.

(via Atrios)

Children ARE being left behind...

 ...because they can't figure out how to get back home. Stolen in its entirety from the always crucial The Carpetbagger Report:
This is just sad.

Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic.

"Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from the world," National Geographic president John Fahey said in announcing a program to help remedy the problem. It's hoping to enlist businesses, nonprofit groups and educators in a bid to improve geographic literacy.

I'm not entirely convinced that young adults' ignorance has such a negative effect, but it's terribly embarrassing. Louisiana is not only geographically distinct, it has been on TV quite a bit.

Of course, the young adults weren't much better identifying big foreign countries. Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East, 75% were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East, and half could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.

I don't even know what else to add to that. It's just sad. Glad to know that Bush's education policies have improved the quality of education in this country...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Colbert Has Balls

It's true! Science proved it the other night when he gave his speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner and proceeded to say, right in front of Bush, pretty much everything that needed to be said. The shock of it was undeniable, as people sat stunned in their seats. You can check out his speech (split into two parts) here and here.

If you approved of the speech, feel free to sign the "thank you" list here.

Can't wait to watch The Colbert Report tonight...

Sox Re-Aquire Mirabelli!

The Wake-Bard experiment is over. The Sox have shipped off Bard, Cla Meredith, and cash to San Diego to re-aquire Bard. Was the price too steep? Maybe. But Bard wasn't working out, Meredith was a promising pitching prospect but was blocked with the glut of pitching we have now, and well... what's a little cash, anyways? I'm just gladd 'Belli is back. Now maybe Wakey can win a few games...

Source