July 22, 2004
God's gonna sit this one out
And thus, we find an actual use for the shit that was The Punisher. But I digress.
In what I'm still not sure technically counts as irony or hypocrisy, the mostly-Protestant extreme Right Wing of the Republican Party has spent much of their time since the notion of John Kerry being the Democratic nominee came into fruition trying to exploit American Catholics into believing that candidates who are Catholic should be as infallible as the Pope. The GOP based this strategy on, to the best of my knowledge, the idea that the whole of the country cared as much about exploiting their distortions of religion for the purposes of carrying out personal agendas as, well, them.
Meanwhile, on Earth, the pesky problem of 99.99% of religious Americans not following their religious instruction manuals to their exact specifications has led to the conclusion that, once again, the Republican Party lives in a gigantic, albiet devout, reality-proof plastic bubble o' Jesus.
Scores of leading Roman Catholic politicians across the country appear undaunted by election-year warnings from bishops that those who support abortion rights may be unworthy to receive Holy Communion. In Associated Press interviews with more than 75 such politicians, none said that they are abstaining from the sacrament over the issue, and many said they believed voting for legalized abortion did not jeopardize their standing with the church.Meanwhile, organizations devoting to pissing on their own faith for camera time are entering tantrum mode upon finding out that their strategy to convince 285 million people that the First Amendment simply doesn't exist has, amazingly, not been a complete success:
AP reporters spoke to governors, state legislators, congressional representatives, U.S. senators and other public officials, who all said they were at peace with their political and religious practices.
Deal Hudson, editor of the conservative Catholic magazine Crisis, has been highly critical of bishops who fail to take a hard line against dissenting Catholic lawmakers, and said he wasn't surprised that the politicians hadn't reconsidered their positions.Of course, Hudson is completely wrong. People aren't taking bishops seriously about the abortion issue not because they've ignored the issue for 30 years. People aren't taking the bishops seriously because the issue is absolutely ridiculous.
"Bishops have been ignoring this issue for 30 years, so (politicians) don't take the bishops seriously," Hudson said.
George W. Bush has personally ordered the capital punishment of over a hundred people, as well as instigated a war that was completely and undeniably not what the Pope supported. If we were actually pretending that this entire anti-abortion thing wasn't just a petty and blasphemous attempt to use the crucifix as a hand puppet and that Republicans actually cared about strict instruction from Rome, then not only would Bush not be allowed to recieve Communion in any Cathedral in the nation, but he should age a thousand years instantly and shatter into dust the moment he dares cross the Great Seal in the White House press room.
It seems obvious that most of the religious grandstanding from the Right has, as with most attempts to infuse religion into politics, proven itself to be for show and nothing else. The GOP clearly could care less about the abortion views of Catholic politicians, considering that three of them- Governors George Pataki and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani- are giving keynote addresses at the Republican National Convention. I have to double check, but I believe this event has something to do with the a national declaration of its platform or something like that.
In the utmost of irony, the GOP is realizing that enough non-stupid voters are beginning to notice that none of the Republican pro-choice Catholics are being chastized by attention-seeking Bishops... something that will be increasingly more difficult as these men become the very same people that dominate the Convention in August because they're, tragically, the only members of the Republican Party mainstream America accepts.
Doing the work for you
Josh Marshall highlights the historical revisionism of George W. Bush. Then, Sadly, No! points out the selective re-elaborations of the U.S. Military. And of course, Dick Cheney obviously just forgot about saying the opposite of something he said later on.
But none of those, you understand, are flip-flops. And certainly none of them are lies.
I'm sure it can't be just me who's noticed that Republicans haven't been clamoring on about John Kerry's "waffles" lately. I'm assuming it's because they realize how easy it is to counter stupid crap like that at this point.
They're practically doing the job for us with recorded quotes like this. I'm not ecstatic about a three-month "gotcha" game with quotes, but right-wingers really need to start accepting that it's Bush, not John Kerry, who has spent practically every waking moment of the last four years saying everything in the vein of what he thinks will get him elected. There is no way the GOP is going to outdo itself in the "revisionist history" department.
July 21, 2004
This is getting much, much worse
It appears that sections of the Taguba report of Abu Ghraib prison partially verify Sy Hersh's accusations of children being raped.
It's been a week since this story first broke, and there haven't even been off-record comments from the military or the Senate Armed Services Committee that these reports are untrue. There is no rational explanation for why the government has expressed no intent or desire whatsoever to verify that this isn't happening. With, of course, the most horrific and terrible of exceptions- that they already know it's true.
July 20, 2004
Brother, Can You Spare a Job?
Tom Neely and Greg Saunders (of Talent Show fame) were one of the four finalists for "Best Animated Ad" in MoveOn's Bush in 30 Seconds competition.
Why they lost is beyond me, and will be beyond you after you download and watch the 7-minute extended version of the cartoon they just put out.
The rhetoric, admittedly, is a tad bit over the top, but it's an homage to Depression-era animation, and as a former animation student I can honestly say that politics should be irrelevant to admiring the quality of this thing. This is the most amazing recreation of 1930's Bosco-style Schlesinger animation I've ever seen.
More on the Protest Armchair Warriors
Joshua Clark wrote me today to share his personal experience with the aforementioned credits to the gene pool that are the members of Protest Warrior.
While we're at it, I had this thought running through my head about which party's views are more endorsed by their respective extremists. You know, I noted before how there's not a single Democrat in all of Washington, or to my knowledge any local state legislature, that actively supports the Earth Liberation Front or other eco-terrorist group. On the other hand, the GOP has a Senate candidate right now who's earned some popularity by saying that doctors who provide abortions should be executed.
You know what? Give me the hippies with the puppets.
Oh yeah, mighty warriors, indeed
For those of you unaware of the much-loved by the pseudo-right group Protest Warrior, this story can give you a hint of background:
Activists planning to demonstrate against the upcoming GOP convention should be on the lookout for young conservatives gearing up to protest the protesters.Now, it's clear that the only members of this group "suprised at the animosity" of agitating a group for the sole purpose of videotaping it to show how agitated a group is are those who drank a good gallon or so of paint thinner that morning. The rest are just liars.
"To show that there is a group of people out there, there are Republicans that will protest them right back," said Tom Paladino, who leads the New York chapter of the newly formed Protest Warriors.
"We are the right-wing freedom fighters � we are out there and are just as animated as the protesters can be," said member Jason Sager, of Brooklyn.
Leaders say they know they won't have equal representation, but hope the contrast helps them stand out. They will be armed with their own picket signs and T-shirts, even video cameras to capture their mission.
"It's going to be the protest Olympics. They're all going to be trying to outdo each other," said Kfir Alfia, of Austin, Texas, who formed the group last year with Alan Lipton after they crashed anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, carrying signs that said: "Except for Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, War Has Never Solved Anything."
Activists hurled signs at them and hissed "Fascists!" as they marched along, Alfia and Lipton said. They said they were surprised to encounter animosity at a peace rally, and decided to publicize their experience.
They posted videos of their counterprotests on the Internet and began coordinating more actions. The movement attracted young conservatives from across the country, as well as stalwarts like Rush Limbaugh, who has hailed them.
You'll notice I said "pseudo-right." That's because it's what these guys are. In fact, it's what most of the warbloggers who hawk this group's shit are. They're not right-wingers. They're Libertarians and moderate Repubicans who orgasmically support the war in Iraq, and have found a comfort zone in declaring those who disagree with them as "crazy" or "wild-eyed" or whatever connotation. Protest Warrior has defined the evil left as such:
The mainstream media does a great job of covering for them, witness the plethora of stories about the NRA, about pro-lifers, about the tobacco lobby, while never a word about the NEA, the eco-terrorists, and the ideological McCarthyism at our universities to give a few examples. So we thought this protest would be a rare opportunity to see leftists out in the open, unabashedly hawking their true core beliefs.Okay, here's the problem, kids. Sit down, this might shock you. The tobacco lobby, the pro-life movement, and the NRA all actively participate within the GOP. Would you mind showing me a single candidate for office in the last decade that supports eco-terrorists? (By that, I mean legitimate terrorists such as ELF, not people like Ben & Jerry.) As for "university McCarthyism," give me a break. Furthermore, I don't seem to remember the NEA or any college administration organizing mass protests.
This is the pseudo-right's image of the left: not the pro-choice groups that oppose the GOP's opposition to abortion, not the gay rights groups that oppose the GOP's endorsement of bigotry... teachers. Environmentalism. There's a term for someone who supports only environmental and extreme left-wing issues: radical. There's also a term for someone who thinks those people represent the Democratic Party, or even liberals in general: idiot.
I guess the idea that having cute slogans is now "bravery" came in the same vein of thinking the same swipe at certain groups are still original. Go to any site promoting Protest Warrior, and I'll bet you that within a few minutes you'll find a line along the lines of "you know what will really upset PETA? Let's eat meat in front of them! Hahahhahah!!!1!! ROFL please donate to my weblog!" Scary, isn't it?
These people don't want to promote conservative values; they want to hate liberals and need to find a reason to. They want to pick little issues that they can smear as the left. Dialogue and significant issues are useless when your true goal is self-promotional masturbation over topics like Mumia and Ethanol products.
And that's really it. Like most statements in the political punditry world, it's about popularity. There are protest groups out there who oppose positions more closely tied to Democrats. They don't go to protests, though. They just shoot doctors with sniper rifles and park trucks full of fertilizer next to the day care center of a federal building. I'm waiting for Protest Warrior to make the T-shirt explaining how they're not as dangerous as the NEA.
Maybe stuff like that doesn't sell as well or get you on Limbaugh as much. Or maybe it's just a lot easier to base everything you belive in on how it will upset someone else.
July 19, 2004
Regarding the previously-mentioned issue a few readers have written me about with the images not loading, my hosting people claimed there doesn't seem to be any problem with my server or anything on their end.
From what I found in a few searches, there's apparently one of those "not a bug, it's a feature!" glitches in Microsoft Service Pack 1 that makes this happen. There is also, apparently, no fix for it.
As I said before, try clearing your site cache, or fiddle around with some stuff, because I'm stumped. No code has been changed or altered; I guess you have to keep trying. If anyone out there has experienced this problem (in which everything on your site loads perfectly except all .JPG and .GIF files) and found an answer, feel free to send it along.
Newest comic - "The most corrupt and unforgivable of professions"
If I may, I'd like to dedicate this one to Tucker Carlson, who is officially a worthless piece of shit. That is all.