Saturday, July 31, 2004

Fall fashion for fascists


Putting the "shit" in "shirt" Posted by Hello

At last! The most honest Bush-Cheney shirt I've ever seen!

At last! A shirt that shows off the friendly face of compassionate America! Sure, that face looks like Skeletor, He-Man's old nemesis, but then again, Peace Isn't Pretty. And I'm sure that deep down he has a heart of gold. Or is that the flames?

At last! A shirt that shows the true meaning of compassionate conservatism and the importance of unity, not division. So "Pansies, hippies, dirt bags and freaks, shut up and stay out of the way."

At last! A shirt that alerts us to the heretofore unknown fact that the War on Terror is a dirty job!

This shirt is available (for $18.99, because Freedom isn't Free) at Metrospy, an online W-Mart that carries this odd disclaimer:

"Campaign finance law does not allow proceeds from this Site to benefit the Bush-Cheney campaign. This law applies to ALL political merchandise websites, INCLUDING THE OFFICIAL BUSH '04 STORE. If you support the President, one of the best places to buy t-shirts and buttons is right here, with METROSPY! :)"

With that doubletalk out of the way, Metrospy describes its shirt in a way that would make Bill O'Reilly nod with approval:

"If you listen to the nutty-left: People like Al Gore, Michael Moore, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Mad Donna, Jorge Soros and others, they expect Americans to roll over and cave in to terrorism. Fortunately, none of these screwballs run the country. The only way to stop terror is to fight terror. Terorrists [sic] must be hunted down and killed. - It's a dirty job. Thank God we have a President willing to do what has to be done."

Outside the Beltway is raving about the shirt in ways I couldn't spoof if I tried:

"You've never seen a Bush-Cheney T-Shirt like this before. This historic piece of political swag is destined to incite near riots on every college campus in America. Be part of the action and order this amazing T-Shirt today! Click to Order the Greatest Bush-Cheney T-Shirt Ever Made."

"100% cotton"...guaranteed to shrink in heat. Like Bush.
"Strong, durable and guaranteed to last." Unlike Bush.

The minutes of 9/11

The Rotten Library, a site I highly recommend for trivial and serious information alike, has a stellar timeline on the events of September 11, 2001. It offers the known facts, minute-by-minute, a pretty remarkable feat when you think about it. The timeline is the clearest documentation I've yet seen regarding the intelligence failures of that tragic day. The page also features hard-hitting and compelling pictures, including footage of Mohammed Atta boarding a plane in Maine at 5:45 a.m., the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, Bush looking busy and damage at the Pentagon.

While you're at the library, check out some of the other great stuff. If only this had been around when I was making papers in high school...

Just say no to "Just Say No"

Report: Bush taking drugs to combat stress

No, this isn't some old news about Bush's numerous alleged substance trysts. This is in the now:

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” says one aide. “We can’t have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally.”

Presidential protocol calls for all medical prescriptions to remain private. And thus the speculation begins. In an unintentionally hilarious development, the breaking point had to do with Kenny Boy!

Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.

“Keep those motherfuckers away from me,” he screamed at an aide backstage. “If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can.”

Supposedly, Adolf Hitler had his aides injected him with methamphetamines several times a day during the crumbling of the Third Reich. If you know anything about meth, you know that it makes you really PARANOID (or, at the very least, wide awake). So that was probably a bad idea.

Disclaimer! I'm not at all implying that Bush is on crystal meth, just that he evidently shares many of the traits that Hitler displayed as World War II slipped out of his outstretched hand. The article doesn't mention the Hitler connection, but does compare Bush's behavior to the late-term antics of Nixon (talking to presidential portraits) and Reagan (early-onset Alzheimer's).

As a human being, I feel bad for Bush. He's been dealt the addiction card and has played it more times in his life than has been good for him. Over time, he's cleaned up and allegedly relapsed numerous times. This bodes badly for him as a leader. If he handles the presidency this badly, then maybe we should seriously reconsider his position, for health reasons if nothing else. Then we could symbolically hand over the reins to Dick Cheney, whose health is...ah, forget it...

Read more about our fearless leader here

Friday, July 30, 2004

Brilliant moments in lexicography

Supporters of the Bush administration (at least those in the blogosphere) are constantly coming up with new and unique insults to describe liberals. You've seen many upon many on this page, and you can see them of course on any right-wing blog.

The latest among these creative epithets is "muckadoo." In the last 48 hours alone, I've been called a "muckadoo" on IMAO almost as many times as Bush has IQ points. So, naturally, I've been wondering what it means. Lo and behold, I've finally been bestowed an answer by the fine folk at Hello Infidels! According to that site's introductory post, "muckadoo" has legitimate etmylogical roots:

"You sick little muckadoo, ("Monkey see, monkey do" -Frank J. speak) don't you get it?!?!"

Aha! I KNEW it was a Frank term! In case you don't know, Frank is the almighty god of IMAO. He's the Rush Limbaugh of bloggers, a guy who can spawn off all manners of absurd terminology and who has a fawning fan base. If only I were that powerful! If Frank is the Rush of bloggers, then J.A. Olinger (the blogger behind Hello Infidels) is the Web's wannabe Michael Savage. His influences are quite obvious:

"I listen to the voice of sanity Mon-Fri, Michael Savage. He is the man!" [True fact: Michael Savage's last name is actually Weiner!]

He also pimps for "the lovely and talented Ann Coulter," as well as "the real son of Ronald Reagan, Michael Reagan (real because he embodies the former prez better than his son by the same name.) Though he was adopted, he is the true son of that great statesman, Ray-gun."

In the interest of fine grassroots debate, I'm always on the lookout for a true conservative weblog. If you are too, then check him out! You've been warned.

GOP blurt of truth #395,626

Facing three million jobs lost since 2001, the Bush administration trotted out a helpful solution in a candid moment Thursday:

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"

This bit of wisdom comes from Susan Sheybani, an aide to Bush campaign spokesperson Terry Holt. Of course, Sheybani didn't actually mean for her bold idea to actually be known; she was relaying her off-the-cuff comment to a coworker while on the phone with a reporter. Read all about it here!

I don't know for sure, but I'd bet ten-to-one that Sheybani is either a college intern or a very young professional. I don't think she had any malicious intentions by saying what she did; besides, who among us hasn't said dumb things from time to time? But it does offer an interesting insight into the psyche of someone deemed worthy of employment by the Bush administration.

Sheybani reminds me of a friend of mine from college, an intelligent girl I liked immensely, but who despite her best efforts could not totally shake her pampered upbringing. One day, I went to eat at the restaurant where she worked. In the parking lot, I saw her car and noticed that her license plate had been expired for almost a year. When I went inside, I told her that she needed to renew her license plate. She looked at me and, with a totally straight face, replied, "License plates expire? Daddy never told me that!"

So, yeah, I'd say the Republicans are a little out-of-touch. Maybe they need some Prozac...

I love Republicans!

Here's the latest in my ongoing effort to bring out the real and desperate face of conservatism, circa summer 2004:

At my favorite hangout IMAO, they were going absolutely orgasmic over the picture of John Kerry in that silly green suit. Of course, the 126 comments there were the educated observations you would expect of such a fine conservative bastion. Pay particular note to the repeated references to colons, condoms and sperm (and, as always, the piss-poor spelling and grammar is untouched):

"Tuh-ray-zuh, i'm wearing my cute little PJs with the flap in the back..."
"Kerry dons an over-sized prophylactic, and gives a dramatic reenactment of how his little willie made him big millionare!"
"Kerry gets down on hands and knees, and demonstrates his "position" on foreign policy. He wears protective garments, so that "those UN guys don't get me all sloppy".
"Plaqued with questions about his manhood, democratic challenger John Kerry tours an oversized model uterus dressed as a sperm"
"John Kerry, what a homo."
"Nothing says Effiminate Douchebag like the latest in French jumpsuit fashion."
"Hey, what am I doing in Michael Moore's small intestine?"
"In Style News today, Senator Kerry, who served in Vietnam, models the latest in official DNC convention wear: color-coordinated prophylactic apparel designed to cleverly hide those unsightly liberal-moonbat circumcision scars."
"John Kerry suits up in preparation for Michael Moore's yearly cleansing"
"The Klingon can stay, but the leftist in the sperm suit has got to go!"
"The problem here was that the U-joints weren't greased enough, plus there was this (holds up Skeleton of Whole Moose) stuck in the Exsauhst, other than that Mr. Moore should be good for another 3,000 miles."
"No. Really. It's just this suit - I'm not an actual dickhead!"
"What? You found that in my colonoscopy?"
"I made a poopie...tee...hee...hee."
"John Kerry emerges from the exam room after performing a visual self-colonoscopy."
"Umpa, umpa, umpa di do, Michael Moore has another poopie for you."
"BikerMommy: instestinal virus! I love that! That is so right on, and not just for the picture! A virus is intrusive, vile, painful, untreatable, nauseating, and it cleans you out. Bravo!"
"The suppository goes in which way?"
"Hoping to gain the support of women voters, John Kerry dons his sperm suit."
"Mission accomplished! I stopped up the drain hole so they can't flush the Johns now!!"
"I made a poopie...tee...hee...hee."
"Turns out, it's not very funny at all when you fart in a spacesuit."
"ya know, seeing that big, dorky smile on his face it make one wonder where exactly that big white hose behind him leads to..."
"Wow, Michael Moore's rectum is REALLY big......."
"Kerry "When I was fighting in Vietnam, we didn't have the full-body condom like the one I'm demonstrating..as a matter of fact..what THE?? Glenn??? What are you doing back there?? Get offa me!"

"Poor 3 eyed mutant Bass Turd."

Of course, you just KNOW I had something to say…

Yeah, go ahead, attack his outfit! After all, your president knows better than to dress up in silly costumes (like, say, flight suits) and strut around...

Stick to the issues. Oh, wait, you can't...

Posted by Ian McGibboney at July 29, 2004 01:53 AM

Somewhere down the line, in between the John Kerry poopie jokes and the Michael Moore colon obsession, a few people called out the lone party pooper:

Dear Ian McGibboney,

Sure, I can stick to the issues. For example, just now I had this nearly uncontrollable urge to call you Ian McGibbon, but I didn't.

Posted by Paul at July 29, 2004 11:22 AM

Ian McGibbon-face,(see what I did there?)
It's probably not a good idea to come to a site with opposing views, and challenge them on what they're saying. Like, I just went to your website, totally not expecting it to have any logic or make any sense or be good at all, and you didn't let me down. I didn't go there and say, hey mr. dude, how about some actual facts here? Or how about you find out what the issues are so you can stick to them? So....IMAO is probably not the place for you....muckadoos...erm they're all the same.... In closing, righties rule, lefties drool.
Sincerely,
Moi
(See what I did there?? Threw in a little french to confuse him...LOL)

Posted by Jen at July 29, 2004 04:17 PM

Inspired by this oh-so-hilarious-and-inspirational political exchange, these people were courteous enough to visit my site! Not that they’d bother to, you know, tell me.

Jen, he admits at the top of his page that he's "not right about anything." At least he realizes it.
Posted by beo at July 29, 2004 04:36 PM

A common thread in IMAO posts is the propensity for major butt-kissing of the almighty god of the site, some guy named Frank. Many of the posts are of the “I humbly send this in for your consideration” strain. Apparently Big Frank’s standards allow only for the truth, for my favorite post of the whole thread shows a lot of inherent truth about conservatives in 2004:

And I see there was a muckadoo here earlier asking you to stick to the issues.... Someone needs to teach these muckadoos to respect their betters. LOL

Posted by Jen at July 29, 2004 01:28 PM


Just for fun, let’s dissect this comment:

1) “And I see there was a muckadoo…”

What the hell is a “muckadoo?”

2) “…here earlier asking you to stick to the issues....we're REPUBLICANS.”

Oops, my bad then…

3) “we're REPUBLICANS. We can do whatever we wanna.”

Yes you can. And you do. Which is why you make Kerry in his space suit look studly.

4) “Someone needs to teach these muckadoos to respect their betters.”

Their betters? The GOP? To that I have to say:

5) "LOL"

Amen, Jen.

So the wingnuts on the right are name-calling, self-righteous, childish, issue-less morons hiding behind untraceable pseudonyms? Is this even news anymore? Rock the vote!!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yes, those are real!


Does this really need a caption? Posted by Hello

What you are looking at is a very real piece of Clinton memorabilia. Sit down and let me tell you about it...

On October 27, 1992, a certain Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton came to Lafayette, LA to talk about running for some office or another. His appearance was the culmination of a Cajun-dance party known in these parts as a "fais-do-do." "Fais-do-do" is a Cajun-French term that means, literally, "go to sleep," originating from the fact that these parties went on all night and made you sleepy. The featured band was Wayne Toups and Zydecajun (or was it Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys? I always get those two confused).

Anyway, because my father was working for the local Clinton campaign here, he was one of the main coordinators for the event. This allowed my mom and I to get special passes to stand directly in front of the lectern with the most fanatical Democrats that this Republican-leaning city could muster. We were all given miniature American flags to wave; I also managed to finagle a bumper sticker from an NEA representative. Much to my surprise, only a handful of protesters were there. Many of them blew duck whistles while displaying "Clinton ducked the draft" posters. Ha freaking ha.

Night had fallen by the time the big man arrived. I don't quite remember what he said, but I remember thinking that he had a hell of a lot more stage presence than George Bush (hell, he even upstaged the band, something that's very hard to do in the Cajun heartland!). Following the speech, I nearly met an early pre-voting death as described below in the Secret Service column. After shaking Clinton's very HUGE hand (and repeatedly banging my head for not bringing a camera), I watched as a representative handed him my NEA bumper sticker to autograph. I still have it in a secure location to this day, and will post it as soon as I can figure out just where that secure location is.

As for the tag shown above, it is the security pass my dad wore for the event. On the back is the Clinton-Gore logo along with the phrase "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" ("Let the good times roll!"). My dad says he designed the tag, which I think even Clinton's people had to wear. Naturally, Dad had his tag signed by the Big Dog for posterity. The two allegedly talked for awhile, and given both men's propensities for going on and on and on, I fully believe it.

On those days when Dad and I are trying to top each other, he can always screech me to a halt by saying, "Yeah, but have you ever talked to the president?"

"Yeah, Dad, but did you talk to New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett and forget to tell him your name?"


Me with Coach Haslett, 5/16/03  Posted by Hello

"And don't forget that time I sat in Knight Rider!"


Me, my brother and KITT, 1985  Posted by Hello

As if I ever had a chance...Clinton's still the king!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Electoral College: Disaster 101

Here's a column that I hope to publish in the Vermilion closer to the election. Oyster expressed to me his support for the Electoral College, and so I promised him a look at this. I won't keep him hanging any longer (and I'm sure he was just holding his breath waiting...ha ha...). Oh yeah, I should probably mention that this is far from done. In fact, just to give you some insight into the writing process, I wrote much of the first paragraph probably a year before the rest of it. Sometimes you have tidbits that just don't fit with anything else, you know? But once you are finally able to connect it to a larger point, you get that warm sense of accomplishment. Kind of like when you pick up something with your toes.

The United States of America is a democracy only in theory. Very few institutions reflect this mode of government; the military, corporations, bureaucracies, churches and families operate under a structure of top-down management, with a few people or offices setting the agenda and using the bottom rungs as pawns to attain these means. Parents scream with fervor to their unruly kids, “This house is NOT a democracy!” Republicans and libertarians gladly remind us that “the United States is not a democracy but a republic,” as if that somehow justifies worship of our leaders. The people at the bottom of these pyramid schemes have no choice but to follow orders and have no voice whatsoever. All that’s left in terms of democracy is elections, and even those have come under scrutiny.

Still, we talk a good game about “the will of the people.” Except for the small fact that WE DO NOT VOTE FOR PRESIDENT! You think Election Day is on Nov. 2? Guess again! It’s actually on Jan. 6. And no, this is not one of those oh-so-hysterical Republican jokes about having all of the Democrats vote on Wednesday. No, this particular joke is called the Electoral College.

You have to love the Electoral College. We, the United States of America, supposedly the hallmark for free and fair elections by, of and for the people, hold tremendous support for a system that is in fact the least democratic or republican thing imaginable.

So, you might ask, what exactly are you doing in the voting booth? Look carefully. When you pull your lever for your chosen candidate, you are actually voting for the handful of names listed in fine print underneath. These people are called “electors” and they are more or less local; in fact, you may even know one or more of them. When you vote, you are voting for them to go to Baton Rouge on Jan. 6 and vote for your candidate. Only the electors for the winning candidate in your state will cast their votes.

Nationwide, there are 538 total votes, one for each member of Congress. Want to know the best part? THE ELECTOR IS NOT AT ALL OBLIGATED TO VOTE FOR THEIR PLEDGED CANDIDATE. Granted, most of the people who choose to serve in this position are so partisan that they make me look like a swing voter; however, change has been known to happen… “One man, one vote,” indeed. More like, “One state, one vote.”

What the Electoral College succeeds in doing is heightening the drama. Us Americans, we sure do like our drama! Remember that good old Reagan Revolution in 1980, when Ronald Reagan trounced incumbent Jimmy Carter 489-49 in the Electoral College? Man, you talk about a blowout! Except that it really wasn’t—the popular-vote count was much closer; Reagan amassed 43,898,770 votes to Carter’s 35,480,948. That’s 50.8 percent to 41 percent. Hardly a landslide. And those numbers shift depending on the source.

Likewise, Reagan whipped Walter Mondale in 1984 by the largest EC margin in history, tied with Richard Nixon over George McGovern in 1972. Of 538 electoral votes, Reagan nabbed 525, while Mondale grabbed a lucky 13. Not bad for a race Reagan really won 59 percent to 41 percent (54,450,603—37,573,761)!

Defenders of the Electoral College claim that it keeps the whims of the public in check. Yeah, wouldn’t want the public to decide, now would we? So much for the old adage that people get the leaders they deserve.

As a political-science professor once pointed out to me, “If you’re a conservative and you live in New York, your vote’s never going to count!” He did have a point. This works both ways and thus is yet a further argument for abolishing the diploma mill known as the Electoral College.

Fortunately, the Founding Fathers were smart enough to leave most elections to the popular vote. We only use the Electoral College for the frivolous presidential elections. Whew! I’d hate to see it being used on something important, such as on “American Idol.”

Stories of the Secret Service

This is a working column I might put in the Vermilion sometime in the future. I wrote it some time ago but I've held back on it (mainly because it's a little me-centric, something I usually try to avoid in my columns). And yes, it's 100-percent true. What do you think?

Ah, the Secret Service. It’s not secret, and it’s only a service to a couple of people. Despite its oddly ironic name, however, the Secret Service serves as a model of personal safety and security. Its thoroughness is not to be believed. If you doubt that, consider how this often-overlooked juggernaut of security has had Ian on the brain.

In late 1996, I was a junior staff writer for the Lafayette High Parlez Vous. Then-Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp was coming to visit and, well, we considered that somewhat important. The Secret Service called our staff about a week before the campaign stop and inquired as to the extent of our coverage. They told us that any photographers would have to submit their cameras and all other equipment for extensive scrutiny. Their rationale: certain chemicals within camera film can conceivably be used to make a toxic and dangerous bomb. With our staff at the time, they should not have worried about anyone expressing any less than serious ass-kissing toward the man. In the end, our paper made no mention whatsoever of the event. Too much hassle. Besides, it came out a month later anyway.

More recently, Dick Cheney’s Super-Duper beef-deluxe Secret Service swept the Lafayette area in October 2002 when Cheney dropped by the City Club to pander to rich people. As part of its apparently comprehensive sweep, agents stopped by the Vermilion office to inquire about a certain writer named Ian McGibboney. Editor in chief Amanda Guidry was asked about my beliefs, my disposition and even my whereabouts. Mandy and I have been friends for years; I am fortunate that she never told the SS about my tempers throughout journalism school. Those questions were all moot anyway. Why the hell would I go see Cheney wipe Terrell’s ass while Mike Foster looks on in shame? I get enough dirty looks just biking near the City Club, much less going inside the place.

Whoops! I bet the Secret Service will schedule another Republican visit very soon just so they can cite this column and throw me in jail with Big Buns Eddy.

I do have to admit, however, that the Secret Service pretty much saved my life in 1992. On Oct. 27 of that year, then-Gov. Bill Clinton came to Lafayette. In stark contrast to “Man of the Rich People” Cheney, Clinton held his bash at Girard Park, for free, with live music and dancing.

After his speech, Clinton came to the section where mom and I stood and greeted us. I shook his massive hand just after he hugged my mother (insert Monica joke here). Because of his rapid approach, the crowd swarmed around and enveloped us. Being a skinny 12-year-old boy in a crowd of hardcore adult Democrats, I could barely breathe. I noticed the CNN camera pointed at me, imagining how my internal organs were going to look to the world and to Wolf Blitzer. The SS stepped in quickly, however, and we all lived to cast our votes two weeks later. Not me, though; I couldn’t vote yet because I was 12.

Because my father worked diligently on the local campaign, the Secret Service enlisted him to help coordinate the event. This brought about one of my dad’s favorite anecdotes; after the event, he and an agent were talking over beers. The agent remarked about the Secret Service’s constant professionalism. Even after several beers, the agent still maintained an eerily straight face, despite a barrage of dad’s very funny comedy. You gotta admire that!

These are the people who are protecting the people who are not protecting us. Rock on, secret servers!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Kerry-Bentsen '88?

The ever-civil Republican Party was in Boston Tuesday to hand out photos of John Kerry crawling through a NASA space shuttle orbiter. The best part of this photo is--get this--he's wearing a funny outfit!


HAHAHAHAHA!!! Posted by Hello

The GOP evidently hopes that, by portraying Kerry as a bumbling buffoon out of his element, they can do to him what they did to Michael Dukakis in 1988:


NOOOOOOOO!!!! Posted by Hello

If you ask me, though, Kerry looks more like Kup from the Transformers:


Beat that Decepticon Bush!  Posted by Hello

Louisiana loves its yankees

Here in Louisiana, we're barraged with daily news that paints us as a "conservative" state. That might be true, being that most of the state is, well, north Louisiana (think "Footloose") with New Orleans thrown in for balance. Lafayette, in the heart of south/Cajun Louisiana, is a bridge connecting the two polar-opposite regions, if such a thing can possibly exist. These conservative commentators often forget that Louisiana is probably the least cohesive state in the South and often swings the vote (LA went for Clinton in both 1992 and 1996).

(True story: on election night 1996, my friend--and, at the time, virtually my only outwardly liberal friend--attended a game of our local hockey team. At some point during the game, the announcer relayed the news that Clinton had taken Louisiana. My friend jumped up, pumped his fist, and screamed "YEAH!" while 11,000 other people ferociously booed. He said he was THE ONLY ONE who showed any support. I've always wondered how Louisiana made the smart choice with so many Republicans in the state...but anyway...)

So today I was not at all surprised to see a below-the-fold front-page story in our local newspaper entitled, "Bush builds on his lead in Louisiana." Nothing shocking there. But I couldn't help but laugh/gasp when I saw this statement:

“Louisiana is listed as a battleground state, but it’s definitely a state that is leaning to Bush,” Kennedy said. “Louisiana voters are just not likely to vote for someone from Massachusetts.”

Really? Well, we sure did vote in a miserable failure from New Haven, Connecticut! I mean, as long as we're doing the New England thing, let's at least do it right!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Banned on the run

Well, I made history today...for the first time ever, I've been blocked from a blog! (Update at 12:34 a.m.: I can still post there...)

The always open-minded guys at antiprotester were apparently a little miffed at my responses to their Kerry criticism. The second link will bring you to the conversation thread; just in case, I saved a screen capture.

Mad at what the dynamic duo saw as personal attacks on my part, they responded as anyone would, with a barrage of personal attacks--on their own blog--that define the word "overreaction" [emphases all mine]:

Rocco said...
Ian McGibboney, a young man who fancies himself a journalist recently showed me disrespect by trashing me on his blog. Instead of having the cajones to continue challenging me on the subject matter at hand, he instead elected to insult me on the sly in his personal blog. [?!!] Tight fact-based argument frustrating you Ian? Nothing new, this is a classic leftist reaction.What's next?...What can I say besides stop aping others, find a "voice"(if that's possible in your case) and learn to think for yourself. Ian, you acted like a little man. You call yourself a journalist. You're nothing of the sort. In your lamo blog you wear your formal education on your sleeve, proving to me once again that some of the most formally educated people in the world can also be the dullest, most insecure,rudderless, insincere unoriginal and untalented people on the planet. The hackneyed leftist tripe that is your blog is boring, derivative illogical nonsense delivered with about as much pizazz, originality and insight as a brain-damaged Michael Moore on Quaaludes, minus the brains.Grow up, kiddo or your journalistic career will end where it's stuck now, covering PTA meetings and interviewing Aunt Bertha about her prize winning tomatos in some backwater far from the spotlight you crave.You're now blocked from posting on my blog, jerk. [um, no.] 

Here's my question: if I'm not supposed to talk about these guys on my own blog (did I?), then how is being blocked from their blog helping things? In any case, I must be doing something right. Nothing worthwhile is ever met with a "ho-hum." Except, perhaps, a comfortable bed when you're tired.

What concerns me the most about this is that, at the beginning, we were all civil and we dished on the issues. I met Rocco's long, detailed rebuttals twice and then was rebutted again, the third time which I had not yet found time to answer. In that time, another response came from someone else, and then came the huge hatefest you just read. So, it would seem, without provoking him a third time, he suddenly found his fuse. This is nothing new, of course, but it's the first time that I've ever received correspondence quite so extreme from a total stranger.

12:06 AM
Ted said...
Ian, just one more thing: Your claim that there is no media bias is simply moronic, and the argument you construct to defend that claim is shockingly weak....

 
As I was typing this, I received an e-mail from Ted (from a no-reply address) that read, in part:

Another thing, please: you have a very limited understanding of philosophy (and a much smaller mental capacity than you believe you have); so you should try to avoid the references to philosophical texts.

Now, I understand someone not agreeing with you; I understand taking issue with the logistics of a debate; I understand the futility of being unable to get someone to see things your way. But never will I understand someone's desire to attack a stranger's personal traits, careers and works with a fervor that goes far beyond anything that sparked such anger in the first place. On the other hand, debate in general seems to be going heavily in that direction.

Anyone had a similar experience in their blogging careers? I welcome any and all comments. Never have I blocked anyone, nor do I hope to.

Was that a Democrat talking trash?!!

Did you see the opening speeches of the Democratic Convention tonight? Major League Baseball would turn green with a cliche over this all-star lineup!

*Al Gore
*Jimmy Carter
*Hillary Clinton
*Bill Clinton

Not to mention the other speeches from less-known, but equally compelling personalities. Though the speakers varied in speakability, they all would have trounced Joe Lieberman's lackluster performance in 2000, which can't possibly be a bad thing.

Watching Bill Clinton (who, along with Hillary, looked really healthy and vibrant) is, and always was, awesome. Watching him speak tonight reminded me what a real president is supposed to sound like. Damn, that dude can engage an audience! Anyone who needs a reason to support Kerry and the Democrats needs to get themselves a feed of this speech and WATCH IT!

Most importantly, I'm ecstatic that Bill Clinton is back as the elder statesman of the Democratic Party (though he's actually younger than both Carter and Kerry), because Gore's desire to distance himself from Clinton in 2000 really damaged the chances of a Gore presidency. Suffice to say, Clinton brought down the damn house...he definitely brought down my house. I hope this momentum will continue!

Best (approximate) Clinton line of the night: "Strength and wisdom are not mutually exclusive!" Just the WAY that he said it made you realize what a dumbass Bush really is. And just how much Clinton also thinks so.

As for Hillary? Clinton-Clark 2012, baby!

Heinz variety #58: feisty!


"Shove it" is an anagram for "His Veto" Posted by Hello

Those crazy Democrats! First they get ripped for being too dull (Al Gore), then they're accused of being too uppity (Howard "YEE-HA!" Dean), then they're lambasted for being too dry (John Kerry), then they're decried for copping an attitude (Teresa Heinz Kerry). Damned if you do, damned of you don't, damned if neither one applies!

Teresa's comment to a repeatedly invasive right-leaning reporter--"You said something I didn't say. Now shove it"--mirrors the off-the-cuff comment uttered by George W. Bush in 2000, when he called a New York Times reporter a "major-league asshole." The difference is that Teresa said it on the record and had it reinforced by her husband, friends and colleagues. In fact, you can even see the whole incident here!

This is the kind of unapologetic fire that I hope the Kerry campaign can refine and use when they need to. Don't listen to the inevitable Republican backlash--that just shows they're afraid! The whole Bush administration should heed her message.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Crap that bothers me

You know what bothers me? People who, in the most loaded presidential election in history, are still clinging to third-party candidates. What bugs me even more is that the people who are the most third-partisan are left-leaning types who are determined to spit on John Kerry.

Are there really those who are so uncompromising in their ideas that they are going to take the time to visit their polling station and cast a vote for Ralph Nader or David Cobb? In 2004? As if that's going to accomplish anything else besides securing another vote for George W. Bush? And all because they think Kerry is just too mainstream! Do the Democrats not deserve votes because they want to appeal to a broad base of constituents, the United States? That's a strategy and-a-half there, Cochise. Maybe if these third-party voters force us into four more years of Bush, maybe then we'll see just how evil Kerry is. Thanks for the head-up!

Yeah, I know and understand that they don't like Bush. Neither do I. But why all the hatred for Kerry? Isn't this exactly the kind of in-fighting that the Republicans are counting on to whip us? After all, it was the GOP that recently managed to get Nader on the ballot in Michigan. Think about that!

Of course, maybe it's just because they want to make a statement. How's about this for a statement: "We don't like Bush. He's bad for the country, so we're going to vote in Kerry. He's not our favorite, but he's better than what we have now. We're paving the way for our pick for next time." Because if they blow this one, I don't think the third-party types are going to get the same level of respect they got after the 2000 election.

You know what bothers me? Debating libertarians. It's easier to debate the most extremist political science professor than it is to debate the average libertarian. I have issues with the libertarian philosophy, which is basically two parts liberalism with a major dollop of right-wing FUCK YOU thrown in for good measure. I believe in self-sufficiency; however, I don't see the harm in helping another human being from time to time. Or the idea of community.

The reason I dislike debating libertarians is that they know everything. Everything. These people have so much historical text memorized and drown you in so many terms that even if you make a totally flawless point--one that would make Karl Rove fall on his knees and beg to the heavens for forgiveness--you'll get the stinging rejoinder, "Within the context of my piece, your statement makes little sense and given the brevity of your reponse I'll try and extrapolate what it is you are in fact trying to say. Forgive me if I'm incorrect." Then they'll ask you to define every word of your statement ("What exactly do you mean when you say, 'foreign policy?'") and inquire as to how your comment fits in with John Adams' interpretation of "The Leviathan."

What's most puzzling to me about all of this is that I have a degree in journalism with a minor in political science. I took five classes alone on political philosophy, and learned everything about men from Socrates to Hobbes to Machiavelli to de Tocqueville to St. Thomas Aquinas. And I don't know one-tenth of the shit that these guys spew! Of course, that's mostly the lousy libertarians; the really good ones actually have something to offer and don't cloud it as much. And at least they care, which brings me to my next point:

You know what bothers me? People who are proud of their ignorance. I actually overheard a friend of mine at a party say, "Well, I don't agree with a lot of things that Bush does, but he's all about, 'God Bless America,' so he's all right with me." Good--um--God! When you know enough people like that, you begin to understand why Bush is such a lock with people who normally wouldn't associate with the antichrist. God, God, God. Say it loud and there's music playing! Say it soft and it's like--well, you get the picture. Of course, when I say God, somehow the mere mention of his name fails to elevate me among my fundie friends. Funny how that works; why is it Bush can get away with atrocities in the name of God, yet I'm the heretic for voicing a different opinion?

Another example of ignorance is the half of America that takes pride in not voting. Now granted, two-thirds of these people are probably doing the country a favor by staying away from the polls; still, why do people brag about it? And what is the deal with the politically active who chose not to vote in 2000, because no candidate appealed to them? In other words, no one running agreed with them 100 percent on all issues. How petty is that?

You know what bothers me? That, in this new and improved Moral Murrika, Whoopi Goldberg lost her endorsement deal with Slim-Fast for making a Bush pun while that Master of Decency Dick Cheney can tell a Democrat "Go fuck yourself" and still keep his job. That, and the fact that Cheney has his job at all.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Speaking in thumps


Hate in the name of love Posted by Hello

A while back, I stumbled upon a blog from my hometown, The Rock. It is the work of a twentysomething ex-felon who has found God. And while I'm for anything that gets you through the day, especially after some seriously hard times, I do take exception when that belief system turns into hate for anyone different.

Even in a predominantly Catholic area, I know a lot of people whom you might call "fundies": fundamentalist Christians of the Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps strain. Yep, the ones who just looove to endlessly harp on "the unsaved" and "those filthy sodomites." They're such good Christians that they even hate Catholics and other differently Christian sects!

I think that fundie Christianity is less about God or Jesus or adherence to morality as much as it is about pushing religion. See, it's not enough to them that someone leads a moral existence, does good things for others, loves everyone, and attends church only twice a week. YOU'RE STILL GOING TO HELL! In fact, you're WORSE than the worst filth rotting on death row! Why? Because you don't attend MY church and you haven't gotten on your hands and knees right here in the coffee shop to scream out your desire to be saved in front of everyone! It doesn't matter if you're the most perfect and faultless person in the world, because in my God's eyes you aren't fit to shine His shoes. But if you join my faith then you can gain a heart full of love just like mine, SINNER!

In the end, does all of this matter? Was it really necessary to fight thousands of years of wars over how someone gave a message of peace? To the fundies, apparently it is. Then again, many of them talk about how Jesus was filled with the war spirit, so at least they're consistent in their hatred, if not in their logic.

What does all of this have to do with The Rock? Well, I asked him a simple question. He had written a post that I reproduce here, with all caps and sloppy typing intact:

WHY IS IT THAT ALL THE LIBERAL MEDIA, THE MOST INFLUENTIAL SINNERS SUCH AS MADONNA ANDPAUL MCCARTNEY, & THE POPE ALL HAVE THE SAME THING IN COMMON: THEY ARE OPPOSED TO THE WAR IN IRAQ. COULD IT BE THAT THE SPIRIT THAT DRIVES THE ABOVE MENTIONED IS THE SAME SPIRIT WE REFER TO IN THE BIBLE AS THE god OF THIS WORLD IS THE SAME SPIRIT THAT WOULD LIKE TO SEE GAYS MARRIED , AND ALL OF OUR CHILDREN ON DRUGS LIVING IN VIOLENCE WITH ONE ANOTHER. I AM NOT A BIG BUSH SUPPORTER, I AM NOT A PRO-WAR ACTIVIST. I DO AGREE WITH THE WAR HOWEVER BECAUSE I CAN TELL SATAN IS NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH IT.

My question, then, was this:

Whatever happened to "let he who is without sin cast the first stone?" What is Christian about indiscriminate killing? Or implying that people are demonic because they don't support a disastrous and utterly pointless war?

I had forgotten about my comment until I got this e-mail reply from The Man himself. Keep in mind that I asked him specifically about the Christian ethics of supporting the War in Iraq. What I got was the standard fundie template answer for everything:

Ian,
There is a time to have mercy on sinners. Like for example when I got saved. At the time I was 21 years old was a convicted felon, had spent all together 12 months of my life in rehabs and halfway houses trying to get straight and none of that had power to change me , then God came and had mercy on me the sinner. While it is true that no man is without sin there is one who came to earth as a man and he did live a sinless life. He was a perfect man a perfect sacrifice. The Bible says clearly without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Jesus Christ came and shed his blood at the cross , died , and rose from the grave on the third day. He died so that we who put our faith in what he did on the cross would not only be forgiven of our sins, but have power over sin. The Bible is clear "he who has died is freed from sin" by faith we die on the cross with Christ our old life is buried and we are given new resurrection life. We are made whole in Christ.
Now anyone who is in opposition of this redeeming work of Christ is any ememy of the Cross of Christ ie. Militant Islamics, Liberal Media, Evolutionist, the Pope. Cathilocs are in strict oppositon of the gospel of Jesus Christ because they have no clue what it means to be born again of the Spirit through death to sin. Now let me clarify myself I say I have power over sin , I do not mean I am sinless like Jesus Christ no what I mean is I no longer practice sin. I am no longer a slave to the sin of drug addiction, immorality, and rebellion. I will put it another way before I was saved I had 99% corrupted thoughts and maybe 1% pure thoughts, now that I am saved I have 99% pure, righteous thoughts and maybe 1 % corrupted thoughts. Ian I noticed you live in the same town as me. I challange you to let me sit down with you and discuss this. I believe that I can prove to you that God is real and that not only are His commands very possible to obey but we must obey. I can prove it you given the chance. HIs Word is real and if it turned a son of iniquity like me who had no joy to a Son of God who is full of joy and peace it must be a very powerful thing.

respectfully,
Daniel

Well, that cleared up the issue, didn't it?

Another question: If it takes this guy 448 words to respond to my question without venturing anywhere near an answer, then how does he expect me to sit with him and be converted? I just hope he doesn't find out that I'm a liberal journalist who once considered himself Catholic. Would he shoot me on the spot?

This world will continue to destroy itself as long as people have no respect for the private beliefs of others. I respect Daniel the Rock; but if he cannot defend his beliefs without tearing down mine, than he is part of the problem.

On the other hand, anyone who can profess their deeply held beliefs in a reasonable and earnest manner; who can explain their faith's role in their understanding of world issues; and who can do all of this without resorting to vague platitudes, is certainly someone whose opinion I will value.

War is hell

New line of rations rehydrate with piss
 
Ahhhhh! That turkey's PLUMP! Posted by Hello
 
They're NOT kidding!

In an effort to do to the military what they're doing to America, private industry has introduced a cost-cutting method of providing portable food for soldiers. Just add urine!

The Combat Feeding Directorate, a branch of the US Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., commissioned the product from Hydration Technologies of Albany, Ore. The main feature of these new, lighter rations is a filter pouch that supposedly removes 99.9 percent of all toxic chemicals in urine or dirty water.

"The pouch - containing chicken and rice - relies on osmosis to filter the water or urine," the New Scientist Magazine reported. The liquid passes through a membrane, thin sheets of a cellulose-based plastic with gaps just 0.5 nanometres wide. It means only clean water can reach the food, and the bacteria is left behind. (Where?)

Of course, engineers at Hydration Technology recommend that soldiers use urine in their bladder banquets only as a last resort (a tip that I'm sure the soldiers will find most helpful). While the pouch allegedly filters 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria, it is incapable of removing urea. Urea is the pissy part of urine, chronic use of which can lead to severe kidney malfunction (!!) Besides, it tastes bad.

I once read a quote that summed up the K-rations of World War II: "The food serves the dual purpose of sustaining the soldier while making him angry enough to kill." Well, these new rations should piss them off pretty good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Words of wisdom

Here are selected bits of wisdom from the July 21 edition of The Vermilion:

"My last documentation concerning the appointing of a new head basketball coach was pretty one-sided. So, the first thing I did while preparing to write another opinion piece on this issue, was research."
(From the sports column)

"Our great nation spans from one end of the continent to the other..."
"My IQ does not go up automatically by simply being around minorities."
(Both from the conservative column)

Words to live by...

Rock...no, BLOCK the vote

George W. Bush is fond of saying "Bring 'em on," except when it comes to ballots.

Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the infamously unplayed 1994 World Series comes this gem: the GOP push for a possible postponement of the November presidential election is officially underway. Our baseball-lovin' White House squatter can certainly appreciate the timing.

Not that this is news or anything...

Of course, the plan is just a precaution, you know, in case something really bad just HAPPENS to happen between now and November (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more)!

Between this and the terrorism-stock-market system that the Pentagon recently tried to implement, I'd have to say that the Republicans apparently really, really want another attack. They see terrorist attacks as a fun gamble. It's a much safer bet than the election, because war is something at which they might actually stand a chance of winning. That is, in the Dumb-and-Dumber, "one-in-a-million" sense of the word chance.

As bad as things are in Iraq (and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan), how can anyone even begin to justify the situation being bad enough to postpone an election? No American presidential election has EVER been rescheduled. Nor should it ever, as everyone's favorite president Abraham Lincoln noted at the only possible time when postponement might have been justified, the freaking breakup of the nation:

"The election is a necessity," Lincoln said. "We cannot have a free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forgo, or postpone, a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered us." BBC

I say, if Lincoln could hold an election in a country that was HALFWAY TO MAD MAX at the time, then we can certainly pull it off in 2004! After all, aren't we supposedly united like never before? Hell, we've faced numerous wars in the United States in election years, virtually all of which held far more immediately devastating consequences to the home turf than Bush's dual shitstorms:  

The War of 1812 (1812, perhaps?) 
The Civil War (1864)
The Spanish-American War (1896)  
World War I (1916)
World War II (1944)                             
The Korean War (1952)
Vietnam (1964, 1968, 1972)        
The Cold War (1945-1992)


I guess the Bush administration has a point, though; if they suspend the election, then any terrorist attack would simply be redundant.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Putting the "mental" in monumental


A Bush-brained, uh, bird-brained, mistake Posted by Hello
 
The Smoking Gun reports that one of the commemorative signs along the fence of Ground Zero in New York City had an error. Actually, a serious error. Hell, a (dare I say it?) MONUMENTAL error! In short, the sign noted that the terrorist attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2002 instead of the more-popular 2001.
 
The error was noticed July 10 by a 22-year-old guy who e-mailed notice of the mistake to the Port Authority. He was apparently the first person to notice it in the TWO YEARS that the sign had been up! Horrible, just horrible. The GOP's plan to make education uncool is almost complete.
 
We're not talking some obscure grammatical error, either. It's the freaking date! And the way the Bush administration constantly reminds us of 9/11 like it's the best thing that ever happened to them (it is), surely someone would have noticed by now. Well, at least one person did. In this age of constant revisionist history, that's no small feat. 

Daily dispatches

Here's a look at some of the stories are changing our world, courtesy of the Polite Press and the Wire of United States Stories:
 
Viewer discretion advised
 
LOS ANGELES (PP)-- The Movie Channel advised parental discretion for the Kate Hudson movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" just prior to its 8 p.m. showing Monday.
 
"The following movie is rated PG-13," an announcer said just before the feature presentation. "It contains adult language and adult content. Viewer discretion is advised."
 
This marks the first advisory of viewer discretion since the network's showing of "Rob Roy" at 5:30 p.m.
 
Seventies-music lover prefers eighties pussy
 
SEATTLE (WUSS)--Rick Cole, a self-described "seventies-music fanatic," is also into eighties pussy, the 37-year-old mechanic declared Sunday.
 
"Yes, I'm hugely into [Bruce] Springsteen, Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and BTO," Cole said. "Not to mention the Jackson Five, Diana Ross, Parliament-Funkadelic and even Donna Summer. My musical taste runs all over the map.
 
"And have you checked out that Jessica Biel?" Cole asked, referring to the 22-year-old former star of the TV series "7th-Heaven." "Not only is she hot and a great young actress, I heard that she even plays soccer at the college she attends. What else could a guy want?"
 
Cole expressed similar affinity for a long list of 1980s pussy. "Let's see, there's Beyonce Knowles, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton, the Bush twins and too many others to count. Yep, just like the 1970s rocked for music, so did the 1980s rock for pussy."
 
Cole recalled that his favorite concert experience was catching the Grateful Dead in California in the late 1970s.
 
"Man, that Dead concert was a blast," Cole remembered. "A bunch of us dudes got together and drove all the way to Sacramento on impulse. That concert was the best ever. Not just a concert, but a life-changing event, you know?"
 
Another date that Cole remembered with fondness was June 13, 2004.
 
"That was the day the Olsen twins finally became legal," he said. "Man, I tell you, eighties pussy is the greatest!"
 
Garfield killed by jealous Heathcliff
 
MUNCIE, IND. (PP)--Garfield, the orange cat known worldwide for his long-running series of mischief and misadventures, was killed Sunday night at the hands of Heathcliff.
 
According to Muncie police reports, owner Jon Arbuckle found Garfield, 26, face-down in the pup tent he had used as a bed.
 
"I passed by Garfield's pup tent and he was motionless and swaddled in his bedsheets," Arbuckle said. "Being that this is far from unusual, I went on and continued my day. When he failed to respond to the aroma of the lasagna I was cooking him for lunch, however, then I became alarmed."
 
According to coroners, Garfield's official cause of death was listed as acute suffocation. A plastic grocery bag had been finagled onto his face without any evidence of foul play.
 
"The manner in which the plastic bag was affixed to the victim's head immediately caused us to suspect Heathcliff," said Joseph Winkle, Muncie chief of police. "In order to accomplish that with so little interference, the assailant would have had to either be very quiet or have somehow convinced Garfield that there were groceries in the bag. Heathcliff knew that while no one should terrorize their neighborhood, he would not be outdone, playing pranks on everyone."
 
Winkle further noted that Garfield had long been the target of Heathcliff, 31.
 
"From 1973 to 1978, Heathcliff ruled over the orange-cat comics sphere," explained . "With Garfield's birth in 1978, however, the tide began to turn and Heathcliff presumably became jealous."
 
While Heathcliff was the first to have his own cartoon show, in 1980, it sputtered through several incarnations and lacked the consistent success that "Garfield and Friends" enjoyed during the late 1980s and early 1990s. While both cats' strips continue in print to this day, Heathcliff never sustained the continued pop-culture presence of his victim.
 
Garfield creator Jim Davis, Heathcliff cartoonist George Gately, Riff Raff and Odie were all unavailable for comment.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Saturday sports link

You may have never heard of the National American Football League. Formed in 1999, the NAFL's motto is "For the love of the game." More than 90 teams play in 22 separate divisions. Who plays on all of these teams? Anyone who wants to play football at some post-school level and has the drive to do so. The league offers inexpensive Saturday-night football action and a chance to support a genuine grassroots sports league. If you have a local team (and, chances are, you do), check them out! The NAFL offers opportunities to players and coaches that wouldn't otherwise be available in the age of multi-million-dollar salaries.
 
My local team is the Louisiana Swamp Gators, who are in their inaugural season. They are coached by former UL Lafayette standout Keno Davis, and I am their videographer (an unbeatable combination!)
 
Check out the NAFL site and support community football. While you're there, stop by the discussion board. They even have a thread on Fahrenheit 9/11!
 
Tonight the Swamp Gators travel to New Orleans to play the Louisiana Hurricanes. See you on the field.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Open wide!


Only their dentists know for sure Posted by Hello
 
This cartoon of George W. Bush is by Eric Zahler at www.megspace.com/computers/beaver/comics.html (visit the page or bartcop.com for the full cartoon).
 
What threw me for a loop was how much Zahler gives Bush the same look that sadistic rapist/serial killer Ted Bundy had upon hearing his sentence. I don't know if this likeness is intentional or not, but hopefully Bush will be making this face on Nov. 2, when he needs to find a new job with a lot less power.

IRAQIS KILL OSAMA!!

NEWS FLASH * NEWS FLASH * NEWS FLASH
 
MOSUL, IRAQ--Looks like that security force we're training in Iraq is already getting results.  Gunmen spotted Osama in a four-car security convoy Wednesday, threw a grenade at his car and then fired away.
 
Put it on the record--Osama is now DEAD.
 
Wait, what? He changed his name to Osama Kashmoula? And he was the governor of Mosul? Wow! The fabled 9/11-Iraq connection! And he sure looks different! Like a whole other man!
 
Oh, wait, he IS a whole other man...yet another northern Iraqi leader murdered by insurgents...darnit to heck...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ditka to not run for Senate

Amid much speculation over the past few days, former NFL head coach Mike Ditka has officially decided not to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Illinois. The seat had recently been abandoned by Jack Ryan (R-Ill.--an ill Republican) after polls showed that, in light of his sexcapades, even Osama bin Laden would beat him.
 
I can't say I blame him; his last campaign wasn't all that good. Fellow New Orleans Saints fans know exactly what I mean. Remember when Ditka rolled in on a bus with a giant mural declaring, "Now it's made of IRON"? Remember how great we all felt in the summer of 1997 when Ditka announced that the Saints were going to the Super Bowl in his first year there? Damn, that was awesome.
 
But then 1997 came. And 1998. And 1999. Then, about five minutes after the 1999 season ended, the Saints had a new coach--Jim Haslett. And Ditka had a new job at ESPN. Ditka's withdrawal is probably the best thing to happen both for himself and the people of Illinois.
 
Oh, and he's supposedly not even registered to vote in Illinois. Oops. Oh well...that never stopped Rush Limbaugh (proud voter since 1986)!

Holy shi--uh, matrimony!

'Traditional marriage' amendment declared too unconstitutional to be in Constitution


Marriage is bee-tween a man and a woman!
Even if she is mah daughter...  Posted by Hello

On July 14, the Senate finally put to sleep the lingering carcass that was the Defense of Marriage Amendment. Hopefully this is just the latest in a chain of common-sense rulings that will defuse the religious right's hostile takeover of the United States.

A few days ago, my good RR-aligned friend--whom I've mentioned before--sent out an e-mail forward to advise us to tell our Congresspeeps how we felt about the idea of gay marriage. I don't think she expected our mutual friend--a former conservative I helped convert, embarrassingly enough, while she was the conservative columnist at the Vermilion--to reply as she did. "Thanks for the heads up," she said, adding that she told all of our reps just how pissed she was over the continuing erosion of separation of church and state. Amen, sister. Uh, I mean, thanks.

And as my last few libidinally influenced pictures prove, I am a heterosexual. Do I think that gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of my wedding in a faraway decade? Nah. I'll leave that to Britney Spears. 
 
For much more on this subject, visit the Hot Abercrombie Chick 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Hope within the Bush family?


I'll take L over W anyday  Posted by Hello

Meet Lauren Bush. She is the daughter of Neil Bush of SNL...oops, S&L fame. She is the first cousin to everyone's favorite tipsy twins, Barbara and Laura. She is around 19 and is a Tommy Hilfiger model. I've seen a picture of her strumming a guitar, so I assume she's into music as well.

As much research I've done on her (and believe me, it was a grind), I have found nothing about any political views she might hold. Is she just another Bush babe, or could she be another Ron Reagan? Wouldn't it kick ass if she would speak out against environmental damage or something? "I'm a Bush against Bush!"

Can anybody clue me in here?

A great comic link


His halo was a bit off  Posted by Hello

My good friend Robert Guillory has a new comic-book short out. It's a collaboration between him and Mark Smith, a writer buddy of his in California.

Robbo has been illustrating for The Vermilion since 2001, with both his strip and the political cartoon. He's complemented each of my columns since I started in 2002. Between us, we've enlightened, delighted and/or pissed off tens of thousands of south Louisiana readers over the years.

Rob brings his dramatic and detailed style to this Old West story-with-a-twist. In his own words, this short tale is "a warmup for a different, much larger story." He also said "we're throwing it at anyone that will look," which remains one of my favorite all-purpose statements/pickup lines.

Do me, Rob and yourself a favor by checking out Go West, Old Man!

Beating a dead horse

I know, I know...Lately I've been beating to death the point that conservatives are namecalling jerks uncaring of any opinion but their own. But, almost daily, I find a new blog that just continues to prove me right in spades:

Today's link is to a particularly excremental blog. How excremental? For one thing, its name is "Face It. I'm Right. You're Wrong. End of Story." This title is not tongue-in-cheek either; indeed, I failed to find even a trace of humor on this site. But that's not all! Its subtitle is "What more is there to say? Shut up, I don't even care." And true to that last statement, the blog does not allow comments. Nor is there any profile information; of course, who would take credit for this shitty blog?

But it's the entries that are the worst. They veer from agonizingly lenghty articles quoting hack right-wing think tanks to the usual "Michael Moore sucks because he's fat and unshaven" slop. He (too dumb to be a woman, for sure) apologizes for Bush's lack of intelligence by citing the lack of college degrees among liberal celebrities. One post even blames the popularity of file-sharing (and subsequent profit losses by those poor entertainment barons) on John Lennon!

To recap:

1) This site declares, "Face It. I'm Right. You're Wrong. End of Story."
2) The author says, "What more is there to say? Shut up, I don't even care."
3) No comments allowed
4) Posts are of the right-wing, fact-free, "liberals all suck" variety
5) The author is anonymous and apparently afraid to be held accountable

Yep, he's a good little conservative.

Note: The reason I'm mentioning this blog is because of my belief that you should always know your ideological enemy. I'm not about censorship, and I'm glad that blogs such as the one above exist. Yeah, I'm tearing him and his paranoid ways down; but I'm also linking to him twice. Furthermore, I wanted to preemptively declare that I did not set up that site as a joke, as much as it may seem like it. All hail freedom of speech!

Get your neocon kicks here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Ron Reagan to speak at DNC!

Yes, you read right!

Ronald Prescott Reagan, son of the late Ronald Reagan, will be delivering a five-to-eight-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, the second night of the event. Reagan also said that he would not attend the Republican National Convention's planned President Reagan orgy in September.

Through the years, Reagan has been known for his outspoken progressive views which completely oppose everything for which his father stood. By his own account, Reagan is doing all he can to get Bush out of office this year. Reagan, who says he did not vote for Bush in 2000, says that Bush's policies are a gross distortion of President Reagan's. Ron differs most publicly from the Republicans on the issue of stem-cell research. Stem-cell research might have allowed the elder Reagan to chat with Christopher Reeve on a morning jog, except that the religious right doesn't consider that to be pro-life.

A Reagan speaking at the Democratic Convention! In 2004! Opposing all of his father's tributes! Isn't politics fun?

[Exit Republicans, incredibly embarrassed.]

Monday, July 12, 2004

The right's Ian fetish

This is from a thread on IMAO, a popular right-wing blog that epitomizes the conservative style of debate these days. This thread, dated 6/7/04, is called “Know Thy Greats: Ronald Reagan.” Even for a Reagan tribute it is utterly sappy; if that were its worst attribute, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But what makes this thread particularly interesting is the hatred and ugliness (or is it piss-poor satire?) that IMAO and his brethren apparently cannot avoid for more than one sentence at a time:

* As a lifeguard in his youth, Reagan saved 77 lives while letting 12 Communists drown.
* Reagan's aides told Reagan not to call the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire", but Reagan couldn't help it. They were just that damn evil!
* Now that Reagan is in Heaven, we can be assured that, once we get there, it will be free of Commies and hippies.


The following 40 responses were in the same vein. Usually I am content to let the sap run; after the 40th god-bless-Lord-Reagan-may-he-co-reign-in-heaven-with-God post, however, I had to break it up. These people were drowning in twin cesspools of sentiment and anti-progressive invective. So I wrote this:

Sorry to burst this big lovefest thread but...
Reagan was a terrible president. He was the smiling face behind a jingostic, xenophobic, reactionary right-wing administration. Just because he is now deceased does not and will never change that fact. And despite what your boy Rush says, the 1980s were NOT a decade of robust and uninterrupted growth. In fact, two of the largest recessions since the Great Depression occurred in 1982 and 1987. Reagan championed the crackpot supply-side economics theory that even George Bush called "voodoo economics." Bush Deuce continues to destroy the economy with Reaganomics today. I guarantee that every single one of you posters were and are being screwed sideways by this insane thinking (unless, of course, you're in the top 25 percent).
But I know that none of this is going to change any of your minds, not in this level of discourse. After all, Reagan was a champion of the right, and they can do no wrong. If you really want to be the kind of American that Reagan wanted us all to be, the first thing you'd do is recant his policies.


“That should start up a shitstorm,” I thought, grinning. To make a long story less long, here’s a sampling of the several posts that followed:

“Who let the dirty hippy in?”... “Ian, my taxes say you're wrong…Also, when I read your name, the first thing I thought of was a Gibbon (a primate). Gibbons are funny.”…“Ah yes, Ian is so much smarter than the rest of us knuckle-draggers. See, he was able to memorize all those words...hmmm...I wonder if he actually knows what they mean? Most liberals do not.”… “I also guess that it would be pointless to clue Ian”… “And I suppose that it would be a waste of breath to advise Ian”… “it would not be worthwhile to let Ian know”… “That was priceless truthspeak Ian.” … “Whaddda mook!” … “So says every book that Ian has read, and dagnabbit, he believes it.” … “all of us get our talking points from pundits like Ian does” … “Yeah Ian man”… “Looks like you and your lazy little socialist hippy buds are the only ones getting ‘screwed sideways’ by not moving out of your mom's basement and getting a job.” … “all of the lazy little bastards like yourself would be fertilizer in the killing fields when the next Pol Pot or Stalin steps up to the plate.” … “all you freakin' hippies” … “an old hippie econimist named John Maynard Keynes” … “all the freakin hippies” … “you mindless, ignorant, lemming.”

Wow! Of course, they offered more than just the intense Ian fetish; there was also the contempt for spelling! Most of them appeared in the few posts that actually attempted an informed argument (showing that they took the time to write), strengthening my belief that many hardcore conservatives look down on spelling as a sign of excess intellect. And I guess some of these words ARE pretty hard to spell:

“hippy”…“a Demon-cratically run congress broke it's promise to cut spending and instead… “respectible” … “the liberal icon B.J. Clinton… “they now critisize GWB”… “has exceeded explectations”… “the last report on job's”… “that underachiever John sKerry”… “attitute" … “sucess" … “attacts” … “Cristians” …“hippy”…

At least one dude, “Bill,” had my back. He richly cited death statistics from Reagan’s dealing with the contras and others in Central America. And what was the informed rebuttal that came his way?

“Bill, if I had the time, I'd disprove your words point by point, but I don't. Suffice to say, I remember. I was around then. And what you're saying is utter bullshit.”

Much like most right-wing debate these days.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Expensive taste, priceless mind


She's like me, but cute  Posted by Hello

Check out this girl's blog!

Hot Abercrombie Chick!

She's hot and into politics! Now if I could just cure her of the Abercrombie fetish...ha ha...

Old entry becomes new column

This new column, for the July 23 Vermilion, is a sharpened version of my July 3 blog entry. I don't know know if this a good or a bad writing trend. What do you think?

The 411 on ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’

The summer of 2004 has been a dynamite season for cinema. In any year, summer is the time to escape the heat and reality for a dose of escapism. However, one of the biggest movies of late dispenses with escapist cinematic elements in favor of a head-on collision with reality. That movie, of course, is Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Lots of people, however, would dispute the notion that “Fahrenheit 9/11” is at all based on reality. The main criticism of the anti-war documentary is that it is not balanced. The bulk of this criticism comes from those who watch Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, and who thus know all about bias. Is “Fahrenheit 9/11” biased? Yes. Is it false? No.

My suggestion is that anyone who wishes to weigh in on the issue should see the movie and compare and contrast it with what they already know and believe. “Fahrenheit 9/11” is a delicious part of a balanced breakfast; complain about the cereal only after you’ve had a bite. Disney sought to deny us the opportunity when they refused to release the film, and Ray Bradbury publicly dissed Moore for copping the title “Fahrenheit 451” from his book about suppressing information. Talk about free publicity!

I saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" for the first time on July 3, an experience that exceeded my high expectations. What made the experience so special to me wasn’t so much the movie—well, that too—but the feeling I got just by being there. Like “The Passion of the Christ,” Moore’s flick is a major tug of the belief strings. But where “Passion” was a literal preaching to the choir, “Fahrenheit 9/11” aims to convert.

Lafayette didn't bother to show the film until a week after its release, when one theater figured out that the number-one film in the nation might have a few fans here. In line in front of me were a well-dressed man and a couple that looked fresh out of high school, both clad in shirts sporting Bible verses. The trio looked ready to pounce on me if I bought the wrong ticket. To my surprise, though, all three were also there for "Fahrenheit 9/11"!

In the lobby were people dressed in Uncle Sam and Statue of Liberty outfits, raising money with crafts and signature stars. This was a July 4 fundraiser for the troops, and I purchased a star from a very sweet girl. I was not the only one, proving that even critics of the war can and do support the soldiers.

I didn't expect to see the diversity of the audience that I saw; perhaps most enlightening was the presence of a number of middle-aged professionals. At first I thought they were there out of morbid curiosity; as the film progressed, however, they were often the most vocal in their approval. Everyone seemed to be there in support of the film, which I found surprising. The closest thing to opposition occurred before the film, when someone mentioned how some people had bought tickets for "Shrek 2" and then snuck into "Fahrenheit 9/11" so that Michael Moore wouldn't get paid. Amazingly, I didn’t hear one instance where anyone jeered what was being said.

Coming out of the theater, I saw people amassing and talking like never before. Whether they agreed or disagreed with certain issues, they at least were talking. Knowing that this is going on several times a day, all over the United States, is perhaps the most rewarding experience to come out of the film. Thank you, Michael. Thank you.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Update on Iraq

For the latest developments in that burgeoning sovereign paradise we call Iraq, let's go to the tape!

Before:

-Saddam Hussein was on the loose
-The Ba'ath Party ruled with a tight and tyrannical fist
-Elections were a sham
-The people were not permitted free expression
-Basic necessities, such as food, water and shelter, were often in short supply
-Thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed in the name of the country
-Saddam's torture chamber was in full swing
-At the onset of war, Saddam Hussein fled the country for his safety

Now:

-Saddam Hussein is out of U.S. custody
-The Ba'ath Party looks to be back in power soon
-Elections are a sham
-The people are not permitted free expression
-Basic necessities, such as food, water and shelter, are often in short supply
-Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed in the name of freedom
-Saddam's torture chamber, under new management, is in full swing
-At the onset of sovereignty, Paul Bremer fled the country for his safety

Now THAT was $87 billion well spent! Brother, can you spare a dime?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Surprise of the century

Homeland Security anticipates terrorist attack right before election

Click here for full story and funny pic of Tom Ridge

WASHINGTON - There is an increased risk of a large-scale terrorist attack against the United States by al-Qaida prior to the Nov. 2 election “in an effort to disrupt our democratic process,” Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday,

More like, "An attempt to disrupt the Democrats' process."

citing “credible” but non-specific intelligence.

In other words, gossip.

Despite the new information, the government is not raising its color-coded terror alert status from "yellow," or elevated, because of the lack of specificity about possible targets, he said, adding that there is no evidence that the Democratic or Republican conventions are in the terrorists' crosshairs.

Okay, so who exactly is threatened? Don't we have a right to know?

Ridge said that in addition to the information, warning signs have been raised by the pre-election terror attack in Spain earlier this year...

Red light! Spain not only didn't suspend its upcoming election, but actually saw a new, more liberal party come into power. That, right there, shows me that GOP forces are definitely going to try to capitalize on this.

"This is sobering information about those who wish to do us harm," Ridge said. "But every day we strengthen the security of our nation."

By "security" they mean "destruction of rights."

Ridge denied any political motivation.

Rim shot, please!

“We are basically laying out before the general public the kind of information that we’ve received,” he said. “And it’s not us — these are not conjectures or mythical statements we are making. These are pieces of information that we could trace comfortably to sources that we deem to be credible.”

This is the second time in the article that Ridge has said this! Is Ridge repeating himself out of urgency? Or because pathological liars tend to repeat things in order to convince both the public and themselves? See "Kampf, Mein."

There’s, obviously, no reason for panic, or paralysis,” Frist said...

Obviously!

“The country is at some increased risk between now and the time of the presidential election. It’s important for people to be aware of that.”

For all we know, Ridge could be talking about the GOP and PNAC setting booby traps to ensnare potential Kerry voters at the polls.

“What is clear is that law enforcement has generally been notified."

Generally. Except, perhaps, in the blue states.

And Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was briefed on the threat earlier in the day, told reporters that “there’s, obviously, no reason for panic, or paralysis.”

Man, even the PRESS is repeating the BS on purpose!

Elaborate plans are already in the works to protect the Republican and Democratic party conventions in New York and Boston, which have been classified as National Security Special Events. With the designation — a concept that evolved from the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta — comes federal funds, increased preparations and heightened security.

Wait a minute--didn't they just say that neither convention has been targeted for terrorism? That was almost the first thing Ridge said! It's good to know that they're looking out for themselves Frist, I mean, first.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Repubs err on Edwards, Part 1


"Look at all these rumors, just doggin' me every day..."  Posted by Hello

The New York Post, the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid that once led its front page with John Lennon's morgue photo, reported in yesterday's issue that John Kerry had picked Richard Gephardt to be his running mate. The Post got it right, except for the whole Dick Gephardt thing. Kerry, in fact, chose John Edwards. But what else can you expect when newspapers are so desperate to scoop the competition?

I bet Murdoch's already got a cover set for Nov. 3, "BUSH DEFEATS KERRY," that Kerry can hoist above his head (a la Harry Truman) after he whips Bush.


From picturehistory.com  Posted by Hello

Knock on serious wood.

Repubs err on Edwards, part 2


In your face, Rush!  Posted by Hello

This screen capture was taken from www.rushlimbaugh.com, where it was preserved on www.stupidgit.com, then posted on www.bartcop.com, where I got it. I saw it for myself on Rush's site late yesterday, where the story around it had been changed. The photo's since been removed altogether from his home page.

Compare this photo to the real one in the entry below. The one above clearly shows evidence of photoshopping, and mediocre photoshopping at that (note Edwards' thumb and left shoulder)! I have done better manipulation work in two minutes. And what exactly was Rush trying to prove by having Edwards' hand in Kerry's face? Something, probably.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It's Kerry / Edwards!


John-John is back! Posted by Hello

From John Kerry's official e-mail, at 8:22 a.m. on 7/6/04:

In just a few minutes, I will announce that Senator John Edwards will join me as my running-mate on the Democratic ticket as a candidate for vice president of the United States. Teresa and I could not be more excited that John and Elizabeth Edwards will be our partners in our journey to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

I want you to know why I'm excited about running for president with John Edwards by my side. John understands and defends the values of America. He has shown courage and conviction as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class. In the Senate, he worked to reform our intelligence, to combat bioterrorism, and keep our military strong. John reaches across party lines and speaks to the heart of America -- hope and optimism. Throughout his own campaign for President, John spoke about the great divide in this country -- the "Two Americas" -- that exists between those who are doing well today and those who are struggling to make it from day to day. And I am so proud that we're going to build one America together.

Long before I endorsed John Kerry or Wesley Clark for president, I pulled for John Edwards. The grapevine says that Edwards will be able to pull the southern vote; in the last seven elections, the winners have had southern connections:

1) Jimmy Carter--Georgia
2) Ronald Reagan--one-time Dixiecrat from California
3) George Bush--Texan, however marginally
4) Bill Clinton--Arkansas (VP Gore--Tennessee)
5) George W. Bush--Texas

As much as that fact bugs me, I accept it as reality. And it is a shame that we won't get to see a Clark-Cheney debate. But in any case, John Edwards is still an exciting addition to this team. A fresh infusion of Edwards' left-of-center positions can only help the already-strong Democratic campaign. Kerry-Edwards 2004...it's got a nice ring to it!