Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Thoughts On "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays"

Boy, our friends on the right seem pretty angry that religious minorities exist in this country, don't they? They just can't stand it when people make allowances for that.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Liveblogging Getting Home and Channel-Surfing After A Few Drinks And A Bit Of Dancing

On TNT, Lou Diamond Phillips seems upset that someone called someone else on the phone; meanwhile, Marky Mark, apparently without the Funky Bunch, is holding a Japanese schoolgirl hostage, but his heart isn't in it.

On CNN, someone sitting in for Larry King finished an interview with Bernie Goetz by explaining that he "fought back." Actually, if I remember right, he shot a bunch of dudes execution-style after they asked him for cash. Apparently the woman standing in for Larry King approves of this.

On Bravo, Dave Navarro just announced that if he wins this poker game, it will be the most important thing that ever happened to him. Jane's Addiction aside, I have very little trouble believing that.

I like to think I'm not a violent person, but it frightens me to think what I'd be capable of if I was in a room with these people singing the Old Navy commercials. I don't think I'd last more than a minute or so before it started to look like Reservoir Dogs in there.

TNT seems inappropriately proud of the four Steven Seagal movies they plan to show tomorrow. Comedy Central seems inappropriately proud to be showing a Wayans Brothers movie (I'm trying to avoid learning which one).

On Channel 56, a bunch of cartoon robots seem pretty angry with each other.

On Fox News, Neil Cavuto is pretending to interview a guy pretending to be Santa about his stock picks. I imagine they mean it as a joke, but to me it doesn't seem markedly different from interviewing Donald Rumsfeld about the future of Iraq.

I get the feeling the SciFi Channel's heart just isn't in it tonight.

On Channel 53, someone just said, "There literally are no quacking ducks in Argentina." It's amazing what you can learn without really trying these days. I changed the channel pretty fast.

Things are not going well for Marky Mark. Or anyone associated with this movie he's in.

From VH1, I learn that Johnny Depp has his own private island. Then they move on to Britney and how much she spent on her new husband. I would rather gargle sewage for a living than be one of the people VH1 is interviewing for comments on Britney and Kevin's lifestyle.

Okay, time for bed.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tonight I Made Some Pork Explode

So, yeah. True story. Tonight I was microwaving some pork--a medium-sized piece, no weird marinade or anything--and I did all the usual things (take pork out of refrigerator, put pork on plate, put plate in microwave, turn it on).

After about thirty seconds, I heard a loud BANG. Once I figured out that it had come from the microwave, I walked over, turned it off, and opened it up. There was pork all over the inside.

I didn't even know pork could explode.

If any of you have any insight into this, I'd love to hear it. Why did my pork explode? I really don't have any thoughts, other than that if this story reminds you of the whole Bernard Kerik saga, well, me too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Unintentional Truth in Advertising

Seen today on Fox News: a banner that read: "ONLY ON FOX: GOOD NEWS OUT OF IRAQ."


Monday, December 13, 2004

How To Get John Ashcroft Not To Execute You

Okay, so the right wing supports the death penalty, but opposes assisted suicide. Doesn't that mean that if a condemned killer decides he wants to die, like this guy in Connecticut, they have to call off the execution?

I'm glad I'm not a right-winger--there's so much to keep track of.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Second Thoughts About Destroying Christmas

So I got distracted for a minute and forgot what we liberals were supposed to be working on this week. Fortunately, Concerned Women For America reminded me: we're trying to get people to watch this movie about that Kinsey guy, because it's the only way to spread porn and gay sex, and thereby reach our Ultimate Goal:

Kinsey's work has been instrumental in advancing acceptance of pornography, homosexuality, abortion, and condom-based sex education, and his disciples even today are promoting a view of children as "sexual beings." Their ultimate goal: to normalize pedophilia, or "adult-child sex."

Right, right, right. Got to remember to normalize pedophilia. Aside from kidnapping and mutilating family pets, I think normalizing pedophilia should be liberals' number one priority. Or possibly helping the homosexual activists attack Salvation Army bell-ringers:

When Target announced the end of the Salvation Army’s exception to the store’s non-solicitation policy, it blamed an “increasing number of solicitation inquiries.”

“Gee, could some of those requests be coming from homosexual activists, who have had the Salvation Army in their gun sights since the charity decided to uphold marriage and refuse to fund homosexual relationships?” asked Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute.

Note: this is possibly the longest sarcastic sentence beginning with "Gee" in recorded history. But there's more:

“Perhaps the organizers of a campaign created as a parody of the Salvation Army were among them?”

“Celebration Army,” a proposed fundraising effort, had planned to solicit donations at Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall and other Minnesota locations this Christmas season with kettles and bell ringers. Funds would go to Open Arms of Minnesota to provide meals to those with HIV-AIDS.

Our secret plan revealed! Isn't it deliciously evil? We want to feed the hungry and take care of the sick. Next thing you know, we'll be giving the thirsty something to drink, clothing the naked, and visiting those in prison, thus turning Matthew 25:34-46 to our own nefarious purposes.

It's like we're using the word of God to advance the homosexual agenda. We rule! But there's more:
Celebration Army was created by Charlie Rounds, president and co-founder of RSVP Productions Inc., a St. Louis Park-based travel agency catering to “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender [GLBT] travelers.”

Hah! Yes! It's all a plan to send the homos on vacation! Feeding the hungry and sending the homos on vacation! These are our number one priorities.

But Jerry Falwell seems to disagree. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about this, because it's on a section of his website called Falwell Confidential, but I'm going to chance it. Jerry thinks our priority isn't Kinsey or gay vacations on the backs of Salvation-Army Santas; it's destroying Christmas.

The spiritual Grinches in our nation are accelerating their war against Christmas as never before.

I hate Christmas so much. And with all due respect to Concerned Women For America, Fox News seems pretty sure that destroying Christmas is liberals' number one priority. When Fox and Falwell agree, I'm afraid I'm leaning away from pedophilia and towards destroying Christmas. There just aren't enough hours in the day for both.
But adherents of this colossal effort to create a secular utopia have forgotten two significant realities:

1. Our Founders were men who explicitly embraced Judeo-Christian principles in the founding of this nation. Even those who were Deists openly recognized the need for the citizenry to fall to their collective knees and beseech God’s favor. They understood the need to recognize God in our Constitution, in our courts and in our schools.

Falwell's right, you know. The Founders thought God was so important that they mentioned him in the part of the Constitution that says what day it was signed:

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven...

See? It says "the Year of our LORD." Obviously the Framers meant "Separation of church and state is a bunch of crap." Maybe we shouldn't destroy Christmas after all, guys.

2. Our fellow citizens do not want a spiritual sanitization effort to sweep out all vestiges of Christianity from the public square. One need look no further than an AOL poll this week. An astounding 89 percent of respondents (as of Wednesday afternoon) answered in the affirmative to the question, “Should religion be included in public holiday celebrations?”

Absolutely astounding. Look, I know how important it is to all of us to win the war on Christmas. But I think we're going to have to bow to the will of the AOL-using community here. If we're not accountable to the membership of AOL, to whom are we going to be accountable?

So, good point, Jerry. Maybe I'll go back to pedophilia after all. After all, it's the Ultimate Goal.

I'm So Funny

So NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe is going to retire. You know what I bet he's going to miss? Going, "Come on, people, this isn't rocket science." I bet that never gets old.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The War On Checks and Balances

Democrats are desperately in search of a narrative, everyone seems to agree. Okay, well, here's the story I think we should be telling about the Republicans. (It has the particular advantage of being true.)

It's the oldest story in government: they want power, and they'll do anything to get it. They hate checks and balances. They hate accountability. They hate the rule of law, because it stands between them and more power. They want to destroy any institution they can't control.

Hence all the meaningless garbage about "activist judges"--the judiciary has power over the President, and they can't stand it. Hence "tort reform"--juries are not under their control, so their power must be limited. Hence their interest in destroying Senate procedural rules like the filibuster--anything that can check executive power is a threat. Hence their loathing for universities and intellectuals--universities teach students to question the beliefs of those in power. Hence their weird triumphalism over the Dan Rather scandal, and their bizarre insistence that the whole media is against them.

And, in today's news, hence their vehement opposition to the international rule of law. The U.N. and the international legal structure which the US fought so hard to build only works if the US follows the rules it advocates. For the right, this idea is poison. Even if the rules clearly benefit us (like the Geneva Conventions, which protect our soldiers), they are rules, so they have to go.

This is why we hear lawmakers like Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), laser beams shooting from their eyes as they swat helicopters away from their scaly snouts, saying things like:

"To me the question should not be whether Kofi Annan should be in charge. To me the larger question is whether he should be in jail at this point in time."

You can hear the pain in his voice, can't you? It hurts him, to have to say these things about Kofi Annan. Either that, or the amphetamines are wearing off.

Over at the National Review ("Barking Mad, Feeling Good"), Andrew McCarthy is stirred to righteous anger by the Red Cross' daring to suggest, in private meetings with US officials, that the US shouldn't be abusing prisoners at Guantanamo.
It is high time for the American people to ask: Just what is international law? Is it a body of obligations, rooted in the principles of consent and comity, that provides sovereign nations with a path toward avoiding provocation and bloodshed? Or is it a subversion by which foreign entities and their activist nongovernmental organizations trump democratic choices and sovereign self-determination?

Guess which one he thinks it is. Hint: after finishing his article, you may find yourself worrying that international human rights organizations are trying to poison our food supply.

Presumably it's this kind of brilliant work that leaves Michelle Malkin so outraged that Andrew McCarthy is not a candidate in Legal Affairs magazine's on-line poll, asking people to select the greatest living legal thinkers. Inexplicably, Malkin does not seem outraged that they omitted Bozo the Clown, a legal thinker of comparable distinction.

You know why? Because Bozo, like all funny people, represents a potential threat to Republican power. Humor is the last, best weapon of the little people against power that takes itself too seriously.

Watch out, clown, your day will come.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

This Man Thinks "No Limit Texas Hold'em" Is A Theory Of Constitutional Rights

Okay, you want examples of embarassing Thomas decisions? Here you go. From Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, where Thomas--failing to bring any other justice, even Scalia, around to his bizarre, monarchical view of presidential powers--found it okay to detain someone, forever, on the mere say-so of the president:

Undeniably, Hamdi has been deprived of a serious interest, one actually protected by the Due Process Clause. Against this, however, is the Government's overriding interest in protecting the Nation. If a deprivation of liberty can be justified by the need to protect a town, the protection of the Nation, a fortiori, justifies it.

It's just that simple in Thomas' mind. The security of the Nation is at stake, so "the protection of the Nation, a fortiori, justifies it." Following this reasoning, what deprivation of liberty would not be justifiable "a fortiori"? No one's liberty can be more important than the protection of a nation, right? Thomas seems to balance them one-to-one. This is the reasoning of Korematsu, which I think even most right-wingers can agree is an embarassment. I hope.

In Thomas' mind, the war on terrorism means you have no rights at all. This sounds like hyperbole, but it's not--this is what he thinks our Constitution means. This is what he thinks the Framers fought for. This is his best work. Welcome to the world of Clarence Thomas.

"Embarassment" doesn't begin to cover it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Truth About the Monster Thickburger

One of the bloggers over at Southern Appeal has a self-righteous post about the new Monster Thickburger, a giant piece of meat selling for $5.49 at Hardee's.

He thinks we liberals will be offended by this.
Of course this will offend all the usual suspects. I have no doubt that the health and safety Nazis will add this to their crusade against fun. The Monster Thickburger will take its place alongside SUVs and guns as the third member of the eco-hostile Axis of Evil.

Heh. No, Joel, we liberals are thrilled; this particular right-wing habit (unlike, say, pre-emptive war) has no impact on us at all. We'd also recommend you right-wingers take up smoking, and driving with horse-blinders on.

You see, the Monster Thickburger is just evolution having its way with people who don't believe in it.

The War on Terror Is a War of Values

There's an important post by Digby, suggesting a new theme for Democrats: we should lead the war on terror because, at heart, it's a war on fundamentalism:

We start by having the womens' groups decrying the Islamic FUNDAMENTALIST view of womens rights. These FUNDAMENTALISTS want to roll back the clock and make women answer to men. In AMERICA we don't believe in that. Then we have the Human Rights Campaign loudly criticizing the Islamic FUNDAMENTALISTS for it's treatment of gays. In AMERICA we believe that all people have inalienable rights. The ACLU puts out a statement about the lack of civil liberties in Islamic FUNDAMENTALIST theocracies. In AMERICA we believe in the Bill of Rights, not the word of unelected mullahs.

Good idea. Take it further: Democrats have always led the war on fundamentalism. Liberalism is the opposite of fundamentalism. We are the party that stands for American values, the opposite of everything the Taliban and their ilk believe. Democrats represent equality, freedom, justice, the rule of law, everything we're supposed to be fighting for around the world, in Afghanistan (and, now that we have no choice, in Iraq).

And Republicans have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the war on terror. They've failed to see that it's a moral struggle, a struggle about values. They think we can win by dragging America through the dirt. They want to throw away our Constitution by holding people forever without trial; they want to turn a blind eye to torture; they want to quiet dissent. Just look at Bush's expression when someone asks him a hard question.

They don't understand that we win by being good, by being the good guys. Strength means more than military power--you have to be strong in your heart, strong enough to win without debasing yourself. In a war for hearts and minds, you can't win any other way.

This is why people like Sean Hannity are on the wrong side. His book is called "Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism." (On principle, I'm not providing a link.) "Defeating Liberalism" is Osama bin Laden's job, not ours. It's what Mullah Omar tries to do every day. It's what Kim Jong Il has mastered in North Korea.

Defeating terrorism is liberalism. The war on terror is a war of values between liberals and fundamentalists. Time to pick sides.

Monday, December 06, 2004

A Permanent Majority of Visigoths

So Newsweek thinks they know what Karl Rove's secret plan is. Apparently it has something to do with creating a "permanent majority," whatever that means. (Sounds a little spooky to me--in order to create a "permanent majority," you'd need to come up with a "final solution," don't you think?)

Anyway, Newsweek hasn't got a clue. Senior investigative journalists in The Sneaky Rabbit's newsroom have uncovered Rove's true plan, which involves completely getting rid of the federal tax code. How will they pay for a federal government without taxes?

One word: plunder.

Why not? It worked for the Vikings. Simply raid and pillage whichever other countries still have cash. Sounds crazy, I know, but it ties in neatly with Bush's secret plan to replace his Treasury Secretary with those hordes of irritating Visigoths from the CapitalOne commercials (first reported right here at The Sneaky Rabbit.) Next time you see Karl on TV, think, "Yaaaaarrr." It makes sense, right?

In a related development, radio behemoth Clear Channel will shortly begin broadcasting content from toilet behemoth Fox News.


Friday, December 03, 2004

I've Lost That Loving Feeling

So apparently it's okay to use evidence gained by torture against Guantanamo detainees.

Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government says.

Of course, this is an obvious incentive to torture. Good thing we don't have a problem with that.

A confidential report to Army generals in Iraq in December 2003 warned that members of an elite military and CIA task force were abusing detainees, a finding delivered more than a month before Army investigators received the photographs from Abu Ghraib prison that touched off investigations into prisoner mistreatment.

Meanwhile, former CIA director George Tenet wants to stop the internet from getting into the wrong hands:

[...] Tenet yesterday called for new security measures to guard against attacks on the United States that use the Internet, which he called "a potential Achilles' heel."

"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

[...] Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said.

I take security seriously! I take security seriously!

So does Brian Boyle, principal deputy associate attorney general of the United States (do you think his business cards have to be two-sided?), who explained to a federal judge yesterday why the US should be able to detain as "enemy combatants" people who've never been near a battlefield:

"The military has an interest in holding people who pose a risk," Brian Boyle, principal deputy associate attorney general, said of the Pentagon's decision to hold some people for nearly three years. "We're not detaining these people just because there's some enjoyment in it."

Do you think anyone actually suggested that Brian enjoys detaining people, or is the PDAAG sounding just a tad defensive here?

[...] "If a little old lady in Switzerland writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization for Afghanistan orphans, but it's really supporting . . . al Qaeda, is she an enemy combatant?" the judge asked.

Boyle said the woman could be, but it would depend on her intentions. "It would be up to the military to decide as to what to believe," he said.

You know, when I used to hear Republicans arguing that we need the Second Amendment because the people need guns to defend ourselves from the government, it never occurred to me that they meant defending ourselves against them. Okay, guys, I've learned my lesson--you can stop the scary stuff now.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Truth About Christopher Hitchens

The Sneaky Rabbit's intrepid research team has discovered that Christopher Hitchens, (pictured below appearing on tonight's Daily Show) looks like the frikkin' twin brother of Herbert Lom, better known as Chief Inspector Dreyfus, the villain from the Pink Panther movies. Judge for yourself:

For me, the scary thing is that between the two of them, Hitchens actually has the more intense evil-mastermind glare.

We report, you decide. Of course, you may remember that Chief Inspector Dreyfus came to a rather bad end:

In the memorable scene pictured above, Dreyfus has just blown up the United Nations with his Doomsday Machine. Hitchens, take note: it may sound like a good idea, but this was the beginning of the end for the Chief Inspector. Put down that laser.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Casting the First Stone in Alabama

Last night I saw an excellent bumpersticker: "ARE YOU FOLLOWING JESUS THIS CLOSE?"

The answer from Alabama, where state lawmaker Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, wants to ban all books that mention homosexuality from Alabama libraries, is an emphatic no:

Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.

"I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said.

So much for casting the first stone. One wonders if he's talking about the books, or the gays.