In a purely masturbatory moment I'm going to quote a story I posted some hundred days ago, This, Quite Frankly, Is Terrifying..
...at this point the arrested politicians and reporters would be big news, and there would be a big political hubub about it, but the administration has already established that enemies of the state (sorry, terrorists) can be whisked away to Guantanamo Bay for less.
Alright, I might as well start cross-posting these things to my site since I spend more time writing in other journals than my own. I'm a little unsure how to start formatting these responses so no promises about readability yet:
From Stop the ACLU - When You're In A Glass House... Don't Act like Jack Murtha Raging Anura posted a nice little satire comparing Jack Murtha's comments about Karl Rove's speech in New Hampshire. It is a beautiful example of deflection and slight-of-hand managing to completely ignore what is said and convert it into personal attack (see: Jabba The Hut), and distortion of previous events (see: Murtha's speech about Haditha). I'm aware that Murtha's statements about Rove's "fat backside" are about as personal as attacks can get... one thing at a time.
And the response
Wow. You managed to miss the entire substance of what he said. Impressive.
To start: `Not counting the fact that all evidence indicates that Karl Rove's office is not in New Hampshire'
Shows a nice little bit of entirely missing the fact that the speech Murtha was responding to was given in, you guessed it, New Hampshire. You might have caught that fact if you'd have read the deeply elusive allusion disclosed in THE FIRST TWO SENTENCES: `He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech.'
While this speaks volumes of the careful analysis you did of what he said, I'll push on.
You don't have to parse Murtha's statements that carefully to catch that he's saying that a politician with absolutely nothing to lose should offer more of a plan than `stay the course', which is open-ended and provides no road map for ending a conflict which is costing America's young their lives. As for the sitting in an air-conditioned studio, I think after 37 years of service, and being of ripe old age of 74 he's done his duty to the military already.
It also ignores the speech which inspired this response. The speech in which Rove, yet another draft dodger (though, I'll give him credit for at least finding out where in the lottery he was before getting a deferment, unlike Cheney or Bush's defacto deferment) is attacking Kerry and Murtha for being cowards who'll run at the first sign of trouble. Of course, those he's attacking actually DID serve, and actually DID see combat. This is so brazenly hypocritical it's unbearable. It also shows a common tactic: take your opponent's advantages and pretend they're somehow a disadvantage, whilst claiming your disadvantage as an advantage. A tactic I have to show disgusted respect for when it's so painfully successful in the media. It also is an attack based entirely on the idea that a politician should never, ever, ever change their minds based on the changing face of reality. A mind-numbingly stupid idea, to say the least.
Finally: `Congressman Murtha one one basic truth he may have blissfully overlooked: his star may be bronze, but silence is golden.'
You have GOT to be kidding. If a congressman in a time of war isn't supposed to be talking about the war in progress, who the heck is supposed to be? I could sure rant on, but this is already longer than it should be. I'm not a Democrat, but I'm one of those `crazy far left fringe liberals' (who are tremendously common for how crazy, far and fringe it is), and I'm willing to admit when a liberal says something inappropriate and stupid. You might consider doing the same.
Google Earth on Linux
Google Earth is now available (native) for Linux. Let me tells yeah, it works smooth as can be. Huzza!
STOP ASKING COULTER TO EXPLAIN HER REMARKS! Geeze. The guys at FOX doing it I understand, it's an excuse to bring her on to plug her book, but for the love of god, left wing people are helping and I can't figure out why. All of your indignation, anger and disgust is doing exactly one thing, and will only ever do one thing: sell her book. This was absolutely calculated, just like: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." It's crazy, it's stupid and it's obscene, and people just keep talking about it over and over again. It's crazy and stupid and obscene all the way to the bank. Stop it! She's only relevant as long as we make her relevant.
Three Prisoners Hang Themselves... To Attack Us!
Good God. First of all, this is a dumb thing to say. It would be a vaguely plausible assertion if not for a couple of things. First thing is that they'd been held for somewhere in the realm of 4 years without being charged, without being given a trial and having been told many times that they were never, ever getting out. No matter what. (The being told many times they were never getting out has been reported by the legal representation of other prisoners, so I'm extrapolating that one.) If that isn't a formula for despair then there isn't a formula for despair.
Second, and even more telling is that the US was going to release one of them, though he didn't know it. (Three Guantanamo Detainees Commit Suicide -- Democracy Now!. The obvious implication of this fact is that he wasn't in any way shape or form a terrorist or enemy combatant. The US is not in the habit of releasing people they have something on. That would mean that the assertion being forwarded here, the "PR Stunt" motive, would include a man that even the US government had admitted had no terrorist ties. That would leave his motive for suicide as, what, peer pressure?
Recently the prospect of ending up on CBC Radio crossed my plate when I was referred by a friend because of my admittedly anti-social, social smoking habits. This encounter was interesting, springing up in me several urges ranging from frightened to opportunist. What if I make an ass of myself? How can I fit George Bush bashing into it? What if I cough too much? Can I plug indi-media? I sneeze a lot and Grizzly always meows when I'm on the phone... oh good Christ!
Another feeling sprout up in me, though. After I spoke with the reporter doing the story it occurred to me that I was witnessing the distortion of the news first hand.
I should explain. In Montreal a ban on smoking in restaurants is imminent. This has caused the predictably mixed responses that any such freedom limiting, benevolent parent legislation brings about. I don't want to sound overly negative, I agree with the legislation whole heartedly. Ninety percent heartedly, at least. I've never been a big fan of government legislation of behaviour, but it seems to be that the market will always benefit from selling fixes to addicted smokers, and so public health and employee health be damned. In this light I'm pleased that the government is taking action to force the ethical position upon smokers. Of course, they aren't doing it for the sake of right and wrong, the government is doing it because the smoking profitability matrix has shown that long term care of cancer patients is out-weighing the short term gains of taxation on big tobacco. Besides, it is becoming more and more clear that big tobacco will find ways around taxation whenever possible. Follow the money.
Now what am I talking about in terms of the distortions of the media? I talked with a very nice woman yesterday who asked some tentative questions about my smoking habits, my opinion of the impending ban and its impending effect on my smoking habits. She was friendly, apparently intelligent and smooth and informal with her questions. In a very subtle way she was disarming, which while in this particular case wasn't necessary, I suspect it makes her quite a good interviewer. It was the result of the pre-pre-interview which struck me. I was told that I didn't meet the criteria of the story. I didn't smoke enough, and I didn't plan to "quit because of the ban" (paraphrased). I'm not particularly bitter that I was excluded, mind you, because I was terrified of doing the interview anyway. It occurs to me that I was too neutral.
What does too neutral mean? I think it means that I answered her questions with an even keel. "Do I agree with the ban?" I hate government legislation of private behaviour, I say, but I think that businesses will never 'do the right thing' left to their own devices, so it is a necessary evil. Obviously employees will greatly benefit from this, if no one else. "How much do you smoke per day?" Average? Well, I smoke none per day, but when I drink I smoke a lot, so I guess somewhere around a pack every four or five days. "Do you think the ban will compel you to stop smoking?" Well, I'll smoke less because when I'm socially drinking I won't be able to smoke as easily, so it will reduce my smoking, but it has no real effect on my decision making.
Neutral. Every answer is neutral. It seems to me to be the kind of answers that people don't fight over. Of course I'm not sure, but it seems very likely to me that the radio program in question will have extreme viewpoints which virtually yell at each-other. There is no round table of misc. laymen interacting, but the editing will likely be like every other story I've read, seen or heard and will pit the blind opinions blindly against each-other in meta-round table format.
Is this important? Not really. Is this authoritative or researched? Not in the slightest. It does feel like a micro-chasm of every debate we see or hear about, however. Most importantly, it makes me wonder how many people are neutral, and so don't fit the story.
No one goes to a rally with a sign that says "A-Ok!", I guess, and there sure isn't any coverage of anyone who does.
Check out this baby on Media Matters, Returning to favorite slogan, Smerconish blamed Moussaoui verdict on the "sissification of America".
"A guy who the jury just two weeks ago found absolutely, if he'd been truthful, we could have stopped short that which occurred on September 11, is going to be allowed to live on my dime." -- Michael Smerconish
Unfortunately reality is quite different than this particular opinion given that people like Carie Lemack, daughter of America Airlines Flight 11 passenger Judy Larocque have said in no uncertain terms that they agree with the sentencing. In fact, all she wants is Moussaoui out of the headlines. Good job MSNBC.
My mother, Judy Larocque, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, and we're from Boston, and this is my first time at the Alexandria courthouse today. And I have to say I'm glad to see that this will be the last day that Mr. Moussaoui is in the headlines. He's going to be in jail for the rest of his life, which is exactly what this man deserves.
-- Carie Lemack, Jury Rejects Death Penalty
for Moussaoui in Major Defeat for Bush
Administration, Democracy Now!
What I would like to know is why multiple Presidents were able to preserve the rights and freedoms of American citizens during the terrifying and genuine threat that was the Cold War but to defeat desperate, subjugated people without so much as a functioning standing army Americans need to shred the Constitution? Why is there the repeated pronouncement from the administration and their media clients that anyone who wants to preserve their rights or who wants to show some compassion and understanding to our enemies are somehow cowards. All the while they assure us that instinctively bombing defenseless civilians thousands of kilometers away is a brave and noble act.
That isn't how bravery works. Hitler was a coward. Gandhi was brave. The KKK were cowards. Rosa Parks was brave. The Mexican police were cowards. Digna Ochoa was brave.
Go ahead and give away the store to protect yourself from fundamentalists with no power, no running water who have been ground into the sand for the last hundred years by people just like you. I'm sure your sons and daughters will be happy to give up an arm, a leg, their sanity or their lives so you can feel a little safer in the suburbs.
You know what? You're right. You are a sissy.
"I can't buy into this logic of transcending hatred. This is the sissification of America." -- Michael Smerconish
Phyllis Rodriguez lost her son Gregory, 31 to the attacks on 9/11. Phyllis met with Aicha El Wafi in private after November 2002. That's right, Aicha El Wafi, mother of Moussaoui. These two women have all the reason in the world to hate each other, surprisingly even more than a Republican like Smerconish who presumably lost some sleep on 9/11. How do these women react, you ask? I'll let her tell you:
We were all nervous about meeting each other, but she broke the tension for everybody by opening up the conversation with an apology to us and an expression of sympathy. She said, `I don't know if my son is guilty or innocent, but I'm so sorry for your losses.' We responded to the warmth and generosity of Aicha.
Want to know why you can't buy into this logic of transcending hatred, Michael? It's because Michael Smerconish is a coward. Phyllis Rodriguez is brave.
After the fact...
Oh, and by the way,2006.05.05 01:54pm
Bolivia, you kick ass too.
*sigh* Thank god we have Latin America to show us that Democracy can still work, assuming the US fails to stop them.
I can't believe how depressing that is.
Since we're doing quotes today, apparently:
"I wish I wasn't [the richest man in the world]" -- Bill "Downtrodden" Gates
I could make a comment, but the ultraviolet dimwittery speaks for itself.
No, I will make a comment: Africa wouldn't mind a 9 billion dollar infusion into aids research or for medication. Then lots of lucky poor people might live and you'd get the honour of being the second richest. Then if you REALLY wanted to slum it you could give 12 billion more to impoverished nations rapidly becoming subjugated to the WTO and IMF so they can keep getting luxuries like water and food. Then you get to be really lucky and be the third richest.
And here's a crazy fucking thought, you could give a paltry 28 billion to alternative fuel research, or improving educational infrastructure, or cancer research, or into researching a KIND OF VELCRO WHICH DOESN'T MAKE A TEARING SOUND WHEN IT SEPARATES, which would STILL be more useful then sitting in your f-ing bank account. Oh, and even if you DO give that 49 billion away I can suggest other things you might do with the over a billion you STILL have left.
Christ. What a JACKASS. Let me rephrase that quote for you guys:
"I wish I didn't have to sleep so I could keep kicking poor people in the sack over and over again without taking a break for 7 hours a night." -- Bill "Downtrodden" Gates
Filed Under: Opinion
Bill O'Reilly has been doing as Bill O'Reillly does and this time seems to have veered further out of reality than normal. On March 2nd basically threatened a caller that the police would be paying him a visit for saying something on the air that O'Reilly didn't like. This is crazy. It's crazy and it's, quite honestly, as fascist as anything I've seen in quite some time. I mean, it's one thing to yell at someone and talk over their points on your own opinion show but it's a completely different thing to imply that that the police will come lock you up for having a different opinion.
However it is well known that O'Reilly is crazy, so for once I'm here to defend him, of sorts. Actually, it's less a matter of defending him and more a matter of chiding Olbermann and even Media Matters for intentionally misrepresenting the facts to make O'Reilly look worse than he should. This is known as fighting fire with fire, and it sucks. Olbermann's commentary is clearly intended more for the comedic value than actually to report anything of detailed substance, so I'm willing to give him a partial pass, but Media Matters should know better. Specifically, I'm talking about the name of, and this section of their article: O'Reilly threatened radio show caller with "a little visit" from "Fox security" for mentioning Olbermann's name on the air
The caller began by telling O'Reilly, "I like to listen to you during the day." Continuing, the caller stated, "I think Keith Olbermann's show," at which point O'Reilly disconnected the call, proclaiming: "Mike is -- he's a gone guy. You know, we have his -- we have your phone numbers, by the way. So, if you're listening, Mike, we have your phone number, and we're going to turn it over to Fox security, and you'll be getting a little visit."
The details here are the problem, however. O'Reilly didn't disconnect the call where Media Matters, and Olbermann imply he did. Nor is he necessarily reacting to the callers statements which hit the air. As Olbermann admits in his own commentary what hit the air is whatever survived from an (up to, or possibly longer than) 7 second dump of call. Clearly O'Reilly is reacting to the contents of those 7 or more seconds, not to the utterance of Olbermann's name.
Shame Media Matters, shame. This is exactly the kind of misrepresentation that you're supposed to be illuminating, not creating. As unlikely as I find it, it is entirely possible that those 7 seconds contain threats of physical violence, or extremely obscene content which justify the response O'Reilly aired. Again, I'll say that I personally REALLY doubt that. Really, really doubt it. In any case, certainly the highroad would have been a better position for O'Reilly to take given the offending comments had been dumped, but this is O'Reillly, so what do you expect? That doesn't change the fact, however, that neither Olbermann or Media Matters (or the countless others reporting on this) have any proof as to what was actually said, and pretending that the second of audio before the dump is what O'Reilly was responding to is exactly the kind of biased reporting that O'Reilly is fantastic at.
As Colbert would say, you guys are "On Notice".
To those who ask if Onyx is dead I ask you: Am I dead? No. Not yet. So no such luck. Onyx is still alive and twitching.
That's right. We're in the last 10% that takes 90% of the time. Boy, does it ever. The good news is that the game is actually playable, if impossible at the moment. The AI is actually working and puts up a "good" fight in that you won't live for more than a few seconds in some of the skirmish missions.
I just finished writing the spacial orientation systems so that the universe is consistent, and countless loose ends have been tied bringing the game to the brink of a first techdemo release. I've had to prune the storyline to nothing but some skirmish missions for the first release for the sake of getting something out before I die, but there will be a release to a few beta testers soon.
God help me, this game will be given away for free and cost me a mint in bandwidth, or so help me, I'll kill everyone on the planet ... a couple of times.
On that cheery note, here are three new screenshots showing off the racing minigames and a rather pointless view of orbit around one of the staging areas visited early in the game.
We're not done yet. Don't you worry; and to those poor souls that helped get it this far, I will be begging you for more game assets soon. Be afraid.
Ezra Levant has hit the nail on the head as to why American and Canadian press in general has really dropped the ball on this whole cartoon/rioting escapade. Rather than paraphrase I'm just going to throw out some of his quotes from this CBC article.
I'm doing something completely normal. I'm publishing the centre of a controversy. That's what news magazines do.
-- Ezra Levant
Absolutely right, sir. Just like he says in the article, if these were Jews burning down embassies over cartoons of the Holocaust then those cartoons should be published too. It's news. That is their job. The reason the press in North America have been censoring themselves has nothing to do with respect, it's either an attempt at PR juggling now that the spotlight has been shone on anyone republishing the cartoons, or more likely, it is a matter of fear. We're willing to bring the Middle East freedom at the points of our sons and daughters bayonets, but we're afraid of publishing cartoons that might make these faceless threats angry.
It's exactly this kind of chilling effect which makes it critical that free speech be unabridged. It's this kind of PR/fear that keeps the press from asking the President hard, hard questions about statements like "... we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God".
Critical examination of religion, religious beliefs and the events that come out of those beliefs is absolutely crucial for a modern society which claims to keep an open and free dialog. These issues affect all of our lives, religious or not, and often it affects our lives in terribly disruptive or violent ways. If the press becomes afraid of taking long hard looks at religion then we risk losing the right to exercise our own beliefs without fear of repercussion and even worse we legitimise the kind of barbaric nonsense going on in this current round of rioting.
I previously published two of the most mentioned cartoons if you're curious. Luckily it's easy for me to do because I'm nowhere near important enough to be endangered by doing so. I really hope that this shameful response by our mainstream press doesn't repeat in the future.
After the fact...
No... Actually, Rioters Are Choosing To Put Our Troops In Danger2006.02.14 06:20pm
Our government's reaction to the posting of the cartoons mentioned above? Regret. Fine, that's tap-dancing and I would expect nothing different from a baby kisser, but now we have people in relative authority saying stuff like this:
"I think the fact that people choose to reprint the cartoons could put our troops in danger,"
-- Riad Saloojee, Canadian Council American-Islamic Relations
If they aren't overseas to secure these rights and we should be so afraid as to not exercise them, what's the god damned point? It's amazing how much people often miss the point. These rights we're talking about a pain in the ass to defend. They cause huge problems for everyone involved with them. People abuse freedoms, they say stupid things, they hurt feelings and they destabilize regions. Either we want free speech or we don't. I think a lot of people have to ask themselves what they really want.
Stop the fear mongering! Damn.
Filed Under: Opinion
I'm not even saying it is accurate, just that it was fun to make.