May 22, 2004

Just release the damn thing so we can see it already!

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 wins the top prize at Cannes. The first time for a documentary since Jacques Cousteau in 1956.

Yeah, I know. Stupid French Bush-haters. And I'm sure when it becomes as successful as Bowling for Columbine- liberal conspiracy. And when it hits every critics' list- partisan Hollywood. And so on and so on.

The optimist in me- tiny as it is- almost sees a Cassandra complex in the pro-Bush warfloggers. Maybe they're right that every instance of Bush being in trouble is just liberal conspiracy. But maybe, and, yeah, I know, this is craaaay-zeeee- but maybe there's just a slight chance that the entire world and more than half this country honestly can't stand the motherfucker. If that possibility proves fruitful in November, I honestly think I'm going to feel sorry for a lot of people. Everything they'll have said for the last two years would have just been a self-satisfying figment of their imagination.

But hey, what do I know. After all, George Bush staying President is the only thing that prevents the world from collapsing into the ocean, and anyone who says otherwise has an alterior agenda. Sane people tend to be like that.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:54 PM

May 21, 2004

"Here's a little number I wrote while out duck hunting with a judge."

God bless you, Eric Idle. (MP3, not safe for work)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:32 AM

May 20, 2004

Worried, not

E-mails and message boards have noted a few times today this story about a proposed bill to allow anyone to sue anyone for putting something obscene in the reach of children.

On April 28, California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R) introduced legislation that could �turn parents into prosecuting attorneys fighting a wave of obscenity,� the representative told Family.org.

H.B. 4239, also called the �Parents� Empowerment Act,� would allow the parent or guardian of a minor to sue in federal court anyone who knowingly disseminates any media containing �material that is harmful to minors� if the material is distributed in a way that �a reasonable person can expect a substantial number of minors to be exposed to the material and the minor, as a result to exposure to the material, is likely to suffer personal or emotional injury or injury to mental or moral welfare.� The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

In other words, this bill would make every media outlet in America liable for damages if a parent doesn't like what their kid saw on television. Or read. Or heard.

The fact that, in simple terms, this bill would actually make something like that possible should tip off how unlikely it is for this to actually become a law. And even if it had a chance, I don't really see the media guys taking a back seat with this one. I've heard that the recording industry, for one, is not beneath going to court over the rights to distribution of their property every now and then.

So, yeah, this is with the annual flag-burning bill and all those other frivilous go-nowhere time-waster grandstand bills that mainstream America affectionately refers to as "crap." Regardless, score one for the Republican Congressman and his march to carry the GOP standard of reducing friviolous taxpayer-damaging multi-million dollar lawsuits. Yup.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:46 PM

Expecting the response faster than I get my order at the drive-thru

I'm gonna give... let's say, three hours before a right-wing blogger or pundit decides to take this story about leftist anarchists blowing up a couple of McDonalds' as an example of how liberals support terrorism because, as you'll clearly note, every left-wing weblog on the planet hasn't satisfied them by condemning the bombings to their specifications.

Which is sad, because it'll be the complete opposite of what they should realize- that this was terrorism, it is irrefutably and undeniably inexcusable, and that it if anything proves that extremism knows no political leaning.

However many liberals bother to state the blatantly obvious- terrorism is bad, gluurrraaaagh (drool)- what seems much more relevant is how few liberal pundits will likely applaud this. Which says a lot in light of all the right-wing bloggers demanding that Fallujah get napalmed and that the 45 people massacred by army helicopters yesterday somehow all "deserved it." There's about as much moral consistency in a lot of 'em as there is actual nutrition in a Supersize fries.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:36 PM

May 19, 2004

Scattered bits of hearts and minds all over the place

U.S. helicopters attack Iraqi wedding party, kill over 40 people, mostly women and children.

Umm... yay, us?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:55 PM

May 18, 2004

Chemical attacks in the war of industry

Kos with an update on the potential nightmare results from the NYC air following the 9/11 attacks:

Now it turns out that the dust from the WTC attacks was even more toxic than researchers initially realized, and that a wide range of health problems have developed because of exposure to it.

John Graham is a carpenter with emergency medical technician training, and he was only a few blocks from the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. He immediately went down to Ground Zero, and his unique combination of carpentry and medical skills made him an asset there for more than nine months, where he continued to help in spite of his own mounting health problems.

John Graham was rarely ill before 9/11.

Kos has a set of links to more information about this, and everyone should be reading it.

I wrote about the air issue last September; as is the way these health situations work you only find out about them years past the range of public outrage being wont to actually address those responsible.

This is children suffering life-long illnesses. This is productive workers being reduced to welfare and Medicaid burdens. This is deformed babies. This is policemen, firemen, and all the heroes of September 11th being lied to. To get Wall Street re-opened. If you read some of these stories, and the first thing that comes into your head isn't the outrage over the very idea that hundreds, maybe thousands of people, might have been exposed to dangerous chemicals to make businesses feel better, but that this is some kind of hit piece on Bush, or holding a "liberal bias," well frankly I pity you.

Any New Yorker made to suffer because of a set of lies told to make everyone feel better deserves their justice. And any conservative warhawk still willing to toe any of this administration's lies to make themselves feel better deserves for Karma to really exist in this universe.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:07 PM

Fetch the Holy Hand Grenade

Here's what I don't get about the right's borderline-orgasm over the Sarin bomb incident: doesn't this declaration of WMDs come off as grossly insulting to the soldiers serving in Iraq? I read some of the reactions from the pro-war side and they come off like John Cleese playing the Wizard Tim in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

TIM: Behold the cave of Caerbannog!

ARTHUR: Right! Keep me covered.

GALAHAD: What with?

ARTHUR: W-- just keep me covered.

TIM: Too late!

[dramatic chord]

ARTHUR: What?

TIM: There he is!

ARTHUR: Where?

TIM: There!

ARTHUR: What, behind the rabbit?

TIM: It is the rabbit!

ARTHUR: You silly sod!

TIM: What?

ARTHUR: You got us all worked up!

TIM: Well, that's no ordinary rabbit.

ARTHUR: Ohh.

TIM: That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on.

ROBIN: You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!

TIM: Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide; it's a killer!

GALAHAD: Get stuffed!

TIM: He'll do you up a treat mate!

GALAHAD: Oh, yeah?

ROBIN: You mangy scots git!

TIM: I'm warning you!

ROBIN: What's he do, nibble your bum?

TIM: He's got huge, sharp-- eh-- he can leap about-- look at the bones!

The difference being, of course, that the rabbit then actually did reveal himself as a weapon of mass destruction, while in Iraq, we're now 0-6 I believe in the act of being positively, absolutely sure that rabbit will kill all of us.

This is the fifth or sixth time something tied to WMDs has been found in Iraq, and before being dismissed a few days later the right declares that this is the proof of Saddam's blah blah blah. And in that, there's really only two situations:

1. The right honestly thinks 800 men needed to die to discover and contain a single shell that was used by insurgent forces a year after the removal of the leader claimed to have it. Furthermore, constantly sending these soldiers to die, stay in Iraq, and stew around in the desert for months at a time because you think that rusted can is a horrible rabbit with pointy teeth is a perfectly acceptable way to perform military policy.

2. The right knows that this is nothing, could give a shit about the weapons or the soldiers, and merely wants yet another story to use as fodder to tweak the anti-war side.

I'm never sure when this choice arises, but luckily people like Instapundit can answer it for me:

A reader emails: Listen, if the Left believes that 7 soldiers out of 150 thousand abusing Iraqis detainees can sully the honor of the whole military, then this one shell is proof that Saddam had an extensive WMD program. Sounds fair to me!
We think the left is lying, so we'll just deliberately lie too. Well, that's more important that reality, isn't it? I mean, it's not like soldiers are fucking getting killed or anything, you douche.

Anyone who actually gives a damn about the safety of the U.S. knows that a single delapidated bomb isn't the Lost Mines of Solomon Hussein. But people who write garbage like that could care less about a single soldier in Iraq when there's more important things to do... like try to irritate liberals. Mission accomplished, Glenn. Liberals, as well as all Americans, tend to get pissed when you take pride in not caring about anyone.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:07 AM

May 17, 2004

(Checks watch)

7:30 PM EST.

Yep, been nigh of nineteen or so hours now since gay people could get married and the earth hasn't been punished by a rain of God's angry fire.

Heh. Whaddaya know.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:28 PM

May 16, 2004

Weekend mailbag

Reader Mike Thomas makes a good suggestion about the Freepers and their potential activity of, you know, getting Nick Berg killed:

We (meaning left-of-Rush-Limbaugh people everywhere) should flood Free Republic with requests to be on their enemies list. Similar to the demands of celebrities to be placed on the NRA enemies list a year or two back.

I demand to stand up and be counted as an enemy of these nut cases.

The blogosphere is first and foremost in the art of pretending to be outraged at everyone for everything they say, so I don't think that'll be that hard.

From Matthew Bernier, PhD - Sarcasm:

I'd like to take a moment to defent some or Rush [Limbaugh]'s recent comments, which I feel have been misinterpreted. I think we all know that Rush said that the prisoner abuse is no worse than the stuff Skull and Bones does at initiations. And I think we all also know that the pictures (especially the unreleased ones) depict acts of sodomy, burning with acid, beatings, "inappropriate" bahavior with dead bodies, and the raping of several male children and at least one woman. People on the left are trying to say that Rush is downplaying the severity of torture and child raping. I disagree. I think this is misguided slander against an a brave American who is standing up all alone to tell us the truth. It's clear to me that Rush is not saying that raping kids is no worse than normal fraternity hazing. He's saying that Skull and Bones rapes children. I, for one, would like to know why Rush is the only one trying to tell Americans this awful truth, and why the liberal, child-rape-favoring media is trying to supress him. Why, if this matter were further investigated, I wouldn't be surprised if pictured emerged of Bush ramming his throbbing, engorged member deep into a screaming five year old boy, while Dick Cheney beats the boy's face and points at his genitals. Rush Limbaugh is to be commended for his efforts at exposing the awful truth about Skull and Bones.
I'd like to thank Matthew for that bit of humor, as well as permanently rendering my website as the #1 Google search for "Bush ramming his throbbing engorged member deep into a screaming five year old boy." If there's no more posts for the next few weeks, it's because I've been taken away to Guantanamo.

Speaking of Guantanamo, from Josh Orr:

This quote was taken from the transcript of Rumsfelds testimony to the Armed Forces Comitee, specifically when McCain was grilling him.

RUMSFELD: Well, the -- as the chief of staff of the Army can tell you, the guards are trained to guard people. They're not trained to interrogate, they're not -- and their instructions are to, in the case of Iraq, adhere to the Geneva Convention.
The Geneva Conventions apply to all of the individuals there in one way or another. They apply to the prisoners of war, and they are written out and they're instructed and the people in the Army train them to that and the people in the Central Command have the responsibility of seeing that, in fact, their conduct is consistent with the Geneva Conventions.

The criminals in the same detention facility are handled under a different provision of the Geneva Convention -- I believe it's the fourth and the prior one's the third.

Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I find it interesting that when he was stating the instruction to the guards was to follow the geneva convention, he maid sure to qualify it as "in the case of Iraq". That really makes we wonder what is going on in Guantanamo.

Finally, in light of this article asking for which newspaper will be the first to publicly call for a withdrawal from Iraq, I send you over to Max Sawicky's Rumsfeld dead pool, in which you can win cold, hard, Paypal cash if you guess the exact day Donald Rumsfeld will decide he "needs to spend more time with his family."

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:20 PM

Movie-related program activities

Three movie-related items:

1. This could either be the greatest or worst movie ever made. Ever.

2. Troy is good primarily in the sense that it's nowhere near as bad as everyone claims it to be. If you're aiming for an adaptation of Greek mythos, forget it, as Troy is an adaptation of The Illiad the way The Lion King is an adaptation of Hamlet. But it's a fun movie nonetheless. My advice? Wait a week or two and see it's not in a packed theater... the biggest annoyance of this movie is watching it with an audience that claps at every killing and giggles every time Orlando Bloom gets a close up of his, let's face it, girlishly ridiculous deer-in-headlights face.

3. My first child shall be named "Ollam." The appropriate sources know why.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:52 PM