Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.


"The carnage on our roads"

Metroland is inviting readers to submit their attempts to "defend the indefensible" (though Amanda at Pandagon insists that the proper phrase is "slaughtering sacred cows"). Submissions include: Golf is not a sport; The Lord of the Rings movies sucked; Nirvana didn't change anything; Reality TV is really good for America; Reading is a waste of time. Stephen Leon's, though, stood out as actually making a good point:

Anti-drunk-driving groups do more harm than good

For the record, I don’t advocate drunk driving. I don’t think it’s a good idea to operate a one-and-a-half-ton death machine when you can’t see straight.

I also don’t think it’s a good idea to drive when you can’t stop yourself from exceeding the speed limit. Or when you can’t remember that a red light means “stop.” Or when you think it’s OK to tailgate or cut somebody off because you’ve decided they’re in your way.

Basically, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be on the road in a car if you think you have a god-given right to get where you’re going as fast as possible with as little interference as possible from lights, road signs, pedestrians, weather, other cars, etc.

And yet, this is exactly what millions of us do, every day.

And as a result, about 120 of us die in traffic accidents, every day.

The carnage on our roads is the biggest public-health scandal of our time. And yet, we continue to design our environment to accommodate even more driving. And our automobile-centrism breeds ever-more aggressive and arrogant drivers.

Alcohol is not a factor in a majority of fatal traffic accidents. And even when it is a factor, often there are others—like speeding. And yet, if you talk to Mothers Against Drunk Driving or Students Against Destructive Decisions, or visit their Web sites, nary a peep about speeding (a big problem, especially among young people) or other dangerous driving habits. The message: If only we can stop drunk driving, the roads will be safe.

My message: You’re dead wrong. Drunk driving is the tip of the iceberg. Driving itself is unsafe—and we’re so addicted to it, and so indoctrinated to automobile culture, that we don’t have the will to acknowledge and change it. And groups like MADD and SADD deflect our attention from the more serious underlying problem. But hey, if you don’t believe that MADD (intentionally or otherwise) is doing someone’s dirty work, look at the organization’s biggest donors: automakers, oil and insurance companies. They know what’s good for business.

I'm not sure I agree about MADD and SADD being harmful to the cause of greater safety (I'm not saying I disagree, I just don't have an opinion); what is true, however, is that even without drunk driving, the frequency with which people are killed or seriously injured in automobile accidents is unacceptable. It is also a problem that is by and large ignored by government, media, and the public. It's hard to believe that we are so willing to tolerate so many lives cut short.

Anyone who's lived through or witnessed the death of a young person in a car accident knows that this is an infinitely tragic event, and the fact that more isn't done to prevent such incidents does not speak well of our society.

Libertarianism defined

EPTropy, a commenter at Eschaton, gives us the low-down:

Libertarianism is what Republicans would set up after they've decided that they can make more money through sex slavery. There's no real difference between Republicans, libertarians and the Mafia. It's just that the Mafia didn't have philosophical pretentions.

I knew it

A prestigious news outlet confirms it:

Cost Of Living Now Outweights Benefits

WASHINGTON, DC—A report released Monday by the Federal Consumer Quality-Of-Life Control Board indicates that the cost of living now outstrips life's benefits for many Americans.

"This is sobering news," said study director Jack Farness. "For the first time, we have statistical evidence of what we've suspected for the past 40 years: Life really isn't worth living."

To arrive at their conclusions, study directors first identified the average yearly costs and benefits of life. Tangible benefits such as median income ($43,000) were weighed against such tangible costs as home-ownership ($18,000). Next, scientists assigned a financial value to intangibles such as finding inner peace ($15,000), establishing emotional closeness with family members ($3,000), and brief moments of joy ($5 each). Taken together, the study results indicate that "it is unwise to go on living."

"Since 1965, the cost-benefit ratio of American life has been approaching parity," Farness said. "While figures prior to that date show that life was worth living, there is some suspicion that the benefits cited were superficial and misreported."


Child-rearing, a course taken by many people who choose to live, is actually contributing to the problem.

"The fact is, the supply of Americans greatly outstrips demand," said Evan Alvi of the Portland-based Maynard Institute. "Americans seem to believe that minting more lives will increase the value of their own holdings. All they are doing, though, is inflating the supply and reducing the dividends paid by long-term familial bonds."

Despite life's depreciating value, Alvi did not recommend that shareholders divest themselves of their holdings.

"Limited dumping could result in a short-term increase in available resources for those who remain in the market," Alvi said. "However, it's a risky move that could affect perception of value, leading to mass divesture."

Alvi added, "And let's not fail to mention that some religious experts say there are penalties for early withdrawal."

Kill the messenger

From meme-orandum:

The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered.


"Instead of dealing with the facts and dealing with them in an intelligent fashion, they try to hide their facts from the American public," charged Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert who first disclosed the decision to eliminate the report in The Counterterrorism Blog, an online journal.


Not quite

Matt Margolis, editor of Blogs for Bush / canker sore on the lip of humanity, writes:

It's time for the Republicans to play their hand. Force the Democrats to filibuster. Force them to stall the Senate. When they do, more Americans will see what a bunch of partisan obstructionists the Democrats really are.

That's funny. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, when asked:

"Which of the following roles would you like to see the Democrats in Congress play? (A) Work in a bipartisan way with Republicans to help pass President Bush's legislative priorities so that we do not have gridlock. OR, (B) Provide a balance to make sure that President Bush and the Republicans do not go too far in pushing their agenda."

30% say (A) [help pass Bush plan] and 63% say (B) [provide a balance].

And when asked:

"As you may know, in the last term of Congress some senators used a procedure called a filibuster when it came to some of President Bush's judicial nominees. When this happens, it takes the votes of 60 senators instead of 51 to end debate and hold a confirmation vote for a nominee. In your opinion, should the Senate maintain the filibuster rule or eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations?"

50% say maintain the fillibuster and 40% say eliminate it.

But according to Matt, the people will be outraged over the Democrats ... doing what they want them to do.


That sounds about right

Damn those GOPers are clever.

(Via The Lion and the Donkey.)

What Failure?

Randall McElroy of Catallarchy complains about the "continuing failure of the anti-war left":

I just got out of an antiwar event hosted by Iraq Veterans Against the War ... As with many of the antiwar events I’ve been around, segments of the audience did not make me optimistic. The events are dominated by leftists who, while antiwar - a position I agree with - blame it on things I consider irrelevant; corporations, of course, are the main culprit.

... They have to say it was the evil corporations who drove us to war (apparently during lunch breaks, as the rest of their days are spent plotting every other real or potential evil in the world) or detailing weird conspiracy theories involving the key players but ignoring everything else.

Anyone who thinks that corporate interests are "irrelevant" to the Iraq war, or that the reasons the U.S. is currently forcibly occupying Iraq have nothing to do with those interests, either has an agenda or is delusional.

One of the main reasons this is so is that you can't draw too sharp a distinction between corporate interests and the U.S. government. The GOP is the party of big business (don't get me wrong; most Democrats aren't much better--I'm looking at you, DLC sons of bitches). Corporate America is their constituency; it is whose interests they are in government to serve. So in a sense one cannot criticize the Bush administration but not corporations.

Does anyone actually believe that it is a sheer coincidence that Iraq happens to be sitting on top of a shitload of oil? Or that U.S. companies are making a bundle war profiteering ($12 billion for Halliburton alone)? "Evil corporations" didn't plot the war "on their lunch breaks"; their associates in government did what all good businessmen do--they saw an opportunity to make money, and they took it.

There were many reasons for the Iraq war: it allowed Bush to run as a "war president"; it allowed the U.S. to gain a strategic foothold in the Middle East; it served as a demonstration to the rest of the world of American military might; it set a precedent for the U.S. to engage in "preemptive war"; etc.

But without question, one of the major reasons behind the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was a kind of reverse socialism: a giant transfer of wealth from average American citizens (via taxes used to fund the war) to the coffers of large corporations. Christopher Hitchens once mocked the "No War for Oil" slogan by claiming that the invasion could not have been motivated by profit lust, because the war would cost more than it would make. This completely ignores, of course, the fact that the money being spent was the public's, while the money being made was all private. You don't have to worry about not turning a profit if all of your outlay is on someone else's dime. Ask the owners of Major League Baseball teams who convince state legislatures to build new stadiums with taxpayer money while they keep the income generated by them.

The Iraq war--and nearly everything the Bush administration does, for that matter (with notably exceptions like the Terri Schiavo circus)--cannot be properly understood without understanding the role of corporate interests, which, far from being "irrelevant" to the issue, are positively at the center of it.

Mrs. Scalia takes it in the ass

Via Atrios:

April 14, 2005 -- WHEN U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (above) spoke Tuesday night at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, "The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex," our source reports. "One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer."

In other words: nightly.

Next time, someone should ask Scalia if he and his wife are swingers.

I demand a refund

When I order a military man-whore, I expect a man-whore who has served in the military, dammit.


What gives?

I was under the impression that Google did not include blogs in its news service.

So what the fuck is Power Line doing there?

Which is it?

Are we unhinged moonbats or are we too civil for TV because we "don't get too worked up about anything"?

I think of myself as more of an unhinged moonbat, personally.

Cry me a river, fuckhead

And now they're coming for your art:

Secret Service Investigates Bush Stamp Art

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.- Secret Service agents attended the opening of the exhibition "Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin," at Columbia College in Chicago. The exhibition includes a work that depicts mock postage stamps depicting a gun pointing to the head of President George W. Bush. The exhibition includes themes such as the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal, racism and the war in Iraq.

Secret Service spokesman Tom Mazur stated, "We need to ensure, as best we can, that this is nothing more than artwork with a political statement."

He stated that no artwork had been confiscated. A Chicago resident called the Secret Service and this started the investigation. Two federal agents took pictures of some of the works on opening night and asked for contact information for the artists.

GOPers, of course, see no problem with this. Matt Margolis:

Artwork? Political statement? I fail to see how those mock stamp fall under either of those categories. The stamps were created by Chicago "artist" Al Brandtner.

Michael Hernandez de Luna, the curator of the exhibit, was "frightened" by the inquiry.

"It starts questioning all rights, not only my rights or the artists' rights in this room, but questioning the rights of any artist who creates - any writer, any visual artist, any performance artist. It seems like we're being watched," he said.

Cry me a river.

And Ass Missile:

In reality, they aren't that important. But they are contemptible. There is no parallel in modern American history for the virulent hate that the left has generated against President Bush.

This, of course, follows on the heels of Jesse and Michelle Malkin going apeshit because someone put a button up for sale on Cafe Press with a picture of Dubya with a gun to his head (with the caption, "End Terrorism Now.")

Attention, wingnuts: No one is going to assassinate your beloved leader, so calm the fuck down already, OK?



That could be pie he's making ...

D.J. at Casual Asides has a post about the ridiculous controversy over pie-throwing that makes three incredibly important points:

1. Pie-throwing and free-speech HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ONE ANOTHER.

2. Pie-throwing IS FUCKING FUNNY.

3. Comparing pie-throwers to Nazis is extremely insulting. (This hadn't occurred to me before.)

But he makes these points much more cleverly and eloquently than I just did. Read.

Do not kill George W. Bush

Are you threatening me?

Jesse and Michelle Malkin have their panties in a bunch because someone made up shirts on Cafe Press that urged Tom Delay to commit suicide, and a button with a picture of a gun to George W. Bush's head with the caption "End Terrorism Now."

... before the "everybody does it" apologists pooh-pooh this lunatic anti-Bush merchandise: There's tasteless political paraphernalia on both sides of the aisle, but I've already searched and there are currently no "Kill Kerry" products, blood-spattered or otherwise, being sold at Cafe Press ...

"Where's your sense of humor?" the libs will ask.

Where's their decency? Their sanity?

Welcome to the sick world of the pro-assassination Left.

It's funny how wingnuts go apeshit over someone's joking suggestion that one head of state be killed, but they don't blink an eye at the murder of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

I also don't remember them complaining about U.S. attempts to assassinate Salvador Allende or Fidel Castro.

For the record, I do not advocate killing George W. Bush. It would solve nothing, and would make him a martyr.

Hey look

These wingnuts have named yours truly the "Liberal Lunatic of the day," in response to my earlier post about the recent trend of tossing food on conservatives:

Dada head is a dickhead and I will only refer to him as such. But this dickhead is featured as today’s liberal lunatic because he so clearly demonstrates the liberal-left mindset. "I can speak my mind freely, if insanely, but if you don't agree with me, you have no right to speak. Shut up. Sit down. Free speech is not a right of all people ~ only the people that think like me.” This is the liberal totalitarianism that many on the left believe but don't express as openly as dickhead here.

But beyond just the free speech aspect, is the demonizing of an ideological opponent. The statement, “Horowitz isn't a person,” attempts to reduce the person to a non-entity. Once a person is a non-entity, they can be degraded, humiliated, attacked, even killed. It doesn’t matter what happens to him or her because “they are not a person.”

Dickhead's website motto is, "attempting to discern the proper role of the sane in an insane world" and posts on his blog, "Dada head has begun blogging as a response to what it sees as an increasingly deranged world, in the hope of offering some solace to others who suffer from the isolation of sanity and all that this implies." Psychiatrists and psychologists have a name for this defense mechanism. It's called projection.

If obscenity is the mark of a weak mind, dickhead has a very weak mind, indeed. This guy is also out of all touch with anything real ~ your classic liberal lunatic.

Woo hoo! Previous winners include Jane Fonda, Al Gore, Dan Rather, and Paul Krugman.

Oh, I suppose I should point out that the above post exhibits a complete misunderstanding of the concept of free speech, as do so many comments on this issue that spew forth from the mouths of right-wingers. Freedom of speech is, of course, the freedom from government sanctions on speech. It has nothing to do with pie.

But anyway, I proudly accept this honor. After all, if wingnuts didn't think I was insane, I would know that I was doing something very wrong.

Bush surges to 50% approval!

From The Hedgehog Report:

... when Gallup came out with a poll a couple weeks ago showing his job approval rating down to 45%, the “mainstream” media and Democrats were jumping for joy and crowing about how this was the lowest point of his presidency, as if that somehow gave them the satisfaction they were looking for. Well in two weeks time, President Bush has reversed the numbers and is back at 50% in the latest Gallup Poll.

I guess if 50.73% of the popular vote can count as a landslide, GOPers can brag about Bush's 50% approval rating.


The worst thing ever, or the best thing ever

I can't decide. It's definitely one of the two. If you haven't seen this yet ... do yourself a favor, and watch it.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn't. At least keep small children out of the room when you do.

You can buy the CD or the DVD here.

There's a "remix" here (via Atrios).

See what I mean?

(Via Brian Leiter.)

This is the kind of thing that happens when you take people like Davey Horowitz seriously. As Christopher Schroen brought to our attention the other day, Michael Bérubé, a professor from Penn State, had agreed to a sort of cyber-debate with Horowitz, consisting of back and forth missives that would be posted on Horowitz's website FrontPage Magazine. Oh, and the subject of the debate was: "Is the Left in Bed With Terrorists?" This alone should have been enough for Bérubé to realize that this was not a good idea.

But Bérubé went through with it, only to find--surprise, surprise--that Horowitz was incapable of conducting himself in an ethical manner:

But when I went to the FrontPage site to check out the “debate,” I found that almost all my replies to David had been cut from the “conversation,” and that Glazov and Horowitz, after chopping all the stuff I’d written, slapped me upside the head for not replying to them:

FP: Prof. Berube, it was clear to you that, in this second round, you just had your final turn. We had ascertained that this would be your final opportunity to discuss each of the points that Mr. Horowitz would raise, and that Mr. Horowitz would then have a final reply. And yet, this is all you have to contibute [sic] to what was supposed to be an intellectual dialogue.

Mr. Horowitz, what is your take here on Prof. Berube’s contribution to our second and last round?

DH: This answer from Michael Berube is disappointing but not surprising. As I have already observed, the left has become so intellectually lazy from years of talking to itself (and “at” everyone else) that it has lost the ability to conduct an intellectual argument with its opponents.

Well, holy infant Jesus with a rattlesnake, folks – what a shabby little stunt. First they refuse to publish my responses, and then they chastise me for not responding to them? What is going on over there at FrontPage – are they smoking crack, or are they just giving up altogether? Did they think maybe I wouldn’t notice that fifteen paragraphs of mine had somehow disappeared from the text of the “debate”? ...

Now, of course, I know what you’re thinking – Michael, didn’t you see this coming? why did you expect that Horowitz and his minions would reproduce your every word? And the answer, straight from the man who brings you Mister Answer Man, is this: I had every reason to expect that they’d print my replies in full, because last time around, two years ago, that’s exactly what they did ... But this time, they simply decided to cheat, editing out almost everything I wrote back to them in the “second round,” and then, incredibly, declaring victory because I didn’t reply to them ...

The moral of the story?

Horowitz isn’t just a far-right ideologue. He’s also a sorry old fraud.

Well ... yes. And, according to Bérubé, he is a fraud with diminishing credibility even from his own comrades:

think about how often Horowitz complains that the intellectual left doesn’t take him seriously, doesn’t read his books, and so on. What’s weird about this, you’ll probably have noticed by now, is that American left intellectuals are just about the only thinkers who pay any attention to Horowitz at all. Most of the country’s serious intellectual conservatives consider him either a useful rabble-rouser or a rank embarrassment, more akin to Michael Savage than to Michael Oakeshott. And with good reason.

I don't say this often, but I think on this issue we should take a page from the "serious" conservatives: stop responding to David Horowitz as if he were trying to establish a rational dialogue, and start treating him like the human joke that he is.


Has anyone gotten the impression that conservative blogs tend either not to allow comments, or to strongly monitor comments, while leftish blogs tend to have a more open commenting policy?

This is an admittedly unscientific survey, but of the blogs I check every day or nearly every day, the numbers break down like this:

Out of 25 leftish blogs:

20 allow open commenting--no moderation to speak of, no registration required. Among these are Eschaton, Washington Monthly.

1 has commenting that requires registration (Oliver Willis).

4 have no commenting at all (Billmon, Olbermann, Wolcott, Leiter).

Of the 22 conservative blogs I read regularly:

11 have open commenting, including, most prominently, Right Reason.

4 have commenting but make you jump through significant hoops (registration, moderation, etc.); these include LaShawn Barber and Captain's Quarters.

7 have no commenting at all: Power Line, Instapundit, The Corner, Michelle & Jesse Malkin, and Hugh Hewitt among them.

I'm not sure how to account for this. If I wasn't such a nice guy, I might be tempted to say that conservatives, especially the more prominent ones, are afraid to allow readers to post comments that are less than worshipful. But like I said, I'm a nice guy, so I won't say that.

I also wonder if my impression is accurate; it could just be a fluke that I happen to read conservative blogs with strict commenting policies (or no-commenting policies) and leftish blogs with liberal commenting policies. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has the same impression.

Quit yer bitchin'

One of the stand-bys of the right-wing playbook is never to engage with what their opponents actually say, but instead with some preposterous caricature of what they say--straw men being so much easier to knock down. Thus John Hawkins at Right Wing News huffs:

Yes, in the world according to Dadahead, people who disagree with him don't have a right to speak at all, not even to groups of supporters who want to hear their message. But free speech is a right reserved for human beings, is it not? And in Dadahead's world, people who disagree with him apparently do not rise to that level. Instead, to him, Horowitz is a "hallucination," an "evil spirit," who's spewing out "chimpanzee screechings," so it's OK to throw things at him if he tries to speak. That's the sort of "nuanced" opinion that most people probably associate with the sort of thugs who walk around with shaved heads and swastikas on their arms, darkly muttering about "subhumans." What was that Dadahead said early on in his rant, "They will call us Nazis...?" Well, if the jackboot fits...

If Dadahead and others who think like him have their way, political dissent will quite literally become a food fight featuring goons hurling things at those who disagree with them. However, lowering ourselves to the level of feces flinging chimps at the zoo is not something that should be endorsed by civilized human beings, whatever their ideology may be...

If I had my way, Horowitz et al. wouldn't be considered legitimate political commentators and we wouldn't be having this "conversation." They are the feces-flinging chimps, and you don't sit down and try to reason with a chimp--though you might have better luck doing so than you would with these psychopaths.

Please tell me where, exactly, I have ever endorsed the proposition that "people who disagree with me don't have a right to speak at all." (Well, I did say that it should be illegal for Pat Sajak to have a blog. But come on--Pat Sajak?!? Can't we all agree on this one?)

But for some on the Right--including the vile Michelle Malkin and various others--the thought that one of them might get a salad dressing bath is so "chilling" that it's equivalent to state-imposed sanctions on objectionable speech. Pardon my vulgarity, but ... what a bunch of pussies. Fucking hell; are you really that scared of ranch dressing and Boston cream pie that it's going to stop you from speaking in public? Is a pie in the face all it takes to scare the big, bad right-wingers into scurrying back under their rocks? Are you that easily intimidated? When the next pie-wielding college kid "assaults" one of you, why don't you just "put a boot in his ass"--it is, after all, the American way--instead of running to your blog to whine about your free speech rights being violated by "jackbooted" leftists?

Conservatives often chide the Left for embracing "victimhood," but the truth is that no one plays the victim better or more often than the Right. They have actually managed to convince a large number of people that Christians are being persecuted, that media outlets driven by corporate interests have a leftist bias, that their "values" are the object of mockery by "latte-drinking" liberals, that conservative professors are discriminated against in academia, and now that the Left is waging a campaign of pastry- and condiment-warfare to eliminate conservative speech.

This is all, of course, patent absurdity, and it's getting really old. My advice to Horowitz and the rest of the right-wing victimhood cultists: quit your fucking whining. Just quit it.


Updating the blogroll

The time has come to induct more members into the prestigious club of bloggers who are on my blogroll. These are four excellent blogs written by my fellow moonbats, and I invite you to check them out. They are:

Casual Asides by D. J. Waletzky. D.J. currently has a fascinating post up that relates Einstein's refusal to accept the probabilistic character of quantum mechanics to those who justify their belief in God on the grounds that without God, life would be meaningless. The moral of the story, I think, is that we shouldn't assume that nature must conform to our norms, rational or moral. Good stuff.

Don't worry, though; it's not all esoteric metaphysics--D.J. also has a lot to say about the state of things in the world at large. Do visit.

Dum Pendebat Filius by Christopher Schroen. Christopher's current post gives props to Robert Jensen,

an honest-to-goodness radical academic whom I once saw acquit himself admirably under fire in Scarborough Country (where straw men, ad hominem, dissembling, and tu quoque are the favorite tools of the execrable "Congressman Joe" and his running-dog sycophants... why anyone would agree to subject himself to an appearance in Scarborough Country is beyond me, but Jensen kept his cool).

He also announces that

Michael Bérubé has agreed to debate David Horowitz about "The Network." FrontPage wants to have "a lengthy series of conversations with leftists about radicalism and leftism and liberalism and conservatism."

Furthermore, Christopher hates Mallard Fillmore.

The Liberal Anti-War Avenger, written by the Liberal Avenger, Anátema, and Auguste. The Liberal Avenger recently called for the resignations of Michelle Malkin, Michelle's alter-ego Jesse Malkin, and Power Line blogger Hindrocket/Ass Missile, who

have been beating their washtubs over the Terri Schiavo talking point memo for the past several weeks, convinced that it was a forgery put into circulation by sinister Democratic operatives. The idea that a Republican would commit to paper the very concepts that they were acting upon in a special legislative session seemed beyond comprehension to these silly people ...

Since we're talking about men and women of honor here, it is natural to expect that they themselves will resign now in the same spirit that they demanded the resignations of Rather and Jordan. Powerlineblog will continue on without the Assrocket while, losing its blogging team, will have to shut its doors.

If they are unwilling to do this of their own volition, then we must demand their resignations.

Predictably, the guilty parties have refused, but "mad props" to the Liberal Avenger for saying what needs to be said.

Finally, we have The Lion and the Donkey, the blog of the Columbia University Democrats. One of the contributors, Josh B., recently caught an instance of right-wing hypocrisy that hadn't even occurred to me, nailing Rush Limbaugh for going apeshit about conservatives getting hit with pies and salad dressing:

Rush Limbaugh’s take on the matter.

“[W]ho is it that is responsible for fomenting harm against others? Who is it that cannot tolerate hearing things they disagree with, and who is it that reports to heckling and throwing salad dressing or ice cream pies on conservative Republican speakers? It’s the left, my dear. It is the left, my good friends, that is out there fomenting violence.”

I don’t know what’s more amazing: a. that he believes that the American “left,” or what passes for it, acted as one monolithic force in throwing that Ranch dressing, or that b. he’s implicitly arguing that there’s such a thing as a “cycle of violence,” a decidedly un-Rush-like manuever. What really takes the cake (no pun intended) is the comparison between this and his comments on Abu Ghraib:

“[S]ort of like hazing, a fraternity prank. Sort of like that kind of fun.”

So remember - setting dogs on naked prisoners is pure fun, but the road to hell? Paved with pie.


Anyway, take a gander at these first-rate blogs. They are all on my list of daily reads.

Why are wingnuts upset about this picture?

This is an advertisement that Time Magazine has been running:

Powerline blogger John Hinderaker (nee "Hindrocket," or, as some call him, "Ass Missile") complains:

"Know why." Know why what? Why American soldiers are beaten and dispirited, I guess. Why we're losing in Iraq. Is there any other way to read this ad? I've studied it more than I'd like to admit, and I can't think of any. If you want to know why American soldiers are defeated and demoralized, read Time.

... this strikes me as a really bad way to sell a news magazine. Defeatism has never gone over well with the American people, and I think all but the most obtuse have figured out by now that we are winning, not losing, in Iraq.

Promoting news magazines in today's media environment isn't easy. If I were running one of the weekly news magazines, like Time, I'd try to stake out a niche as the magazine that is on America's side. I think it would sell. And I also think it would be the gateway to more accurate and balanced reporting.

Mark Tapscott asks "Does Time know what time it is?"

... the ad vividly demonstrates an institution wholly out of touch with reality. The evidence grows by day that the U.S. effort in Iraq is becoming an historic success. A murderous tyrant will soon face justice from the people he oppressed for nearly four decades. A democratically elected government is in place and solidifying a regime change that goes far beyond its own borders. And American military might has again been shown to be a force for peace and democracy, not conquest and death.

Clearly the world evoked by this Time display requires a special kind of myopia, the sort that doesn't have a clue about things like the truths of the times.

Liberal Quicksand accuses Time of

tak[ing] great glee in trying to show a soldier in a not-so-favorable light.

So far, to my knowledge, Michelle Malkin has yet to comment upon this dastardly advertisement.

I mean, how dare someone insinuate that fighting in a war is anything but summer camp except with tanks and guns? How dare they suggest that being a soldier isn't all rose petals and glory and blowjobs of gratitude from liberated Iraqi women?

Obviously, the people at Time magazine think that warfare sometimes, you know, sucks--that killing people, seeing your friends get killed, getting your ass shot at, worrying about driving over a land mine, being away from your family for months at a time or more, etc. might not be the most pleasant set of experiences. Haven't they seen Top Gun?

Why do you hate America, Time Magazine?

"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash."

That's when I reach for my vinaigrette

Billmon is a genius, but he's got this one wrong:
Another conservative speaker was hit with a pie ... in this case, Dave "the Chairman" Horowitz, who was creamed while agitating the academic masses at Butler University ...

This continues a recent string of drive-by foodstuffings by disgruntled liberal students, who apparently are studying for their Bachelor of Infantile Behavior degrees -- and acing all their courses, I might add. I think the one who nailed Horowitz was majoring in lemon merengue, with a minor in smearing apple sauce all over his high chair.

I have to confess, part of me found this new campus fad mildly amusing at first -- and even weirdly appropriate, given our increasingly absurd culture. (What's a clown show without a good pie fight?) But it's getting out of hand. The wing nuts are starting to spin on their screwbolts again, ranting about leftist hatemongers and liberal thuggery and (you know it's only a matter of time) "pie-throwing terrorists."

...this time the wing nuts are right -- although, as usual, they've got the volume turned up about ten clicks beyond the point where human ears begin to bleed.

In a civilized society, you don't physically harass or attack people for exercising their free speech rights, even if they are the vile scumsucking lackeys of crazed right-wing multimillionaires -- or even worse, David Horowitz. You just don't do it ...
Wrong. Let the wingnuts scream from here till kingdom come about their free speech rights being stifled, I don't give a shit. They'll scream about it anyway. We have to realize that their complaints only occasionally and accidentally correspond to reality, and that this is of absolutely no concern to them. They will call us Nazis and terrorists and traitors no matter how nice we play.

In a civilized society, you don't listen quietly to demons like Buchanan and Horowitz spewing their madness, waiting politely for your chance to rebut like it's a high school debate team match. The very act of engaging them in discourse lends them a legitimacy that they haven't earned; it is unconscionable to allow them to present themselves to society as rational human beings with opinions and beliefs and arguments when they are not. They are not just people we disagree with, for the sake of fuck. They are not playing our game--they are not making a good-faith effort to make sense of the world and do what they can to make things better--and we shouldn't pretend that they are.

Rather, we should make clear what they are really doing by doing the same thing--by playing their game, if only temporarily. By acting like they do: as if guided solely and absolutely by insanity and rage and the blind need to stain the world with oneself by any means necessary.

Horowitz isn't a person; he's a ridiculous hallucination, an evil spirit that thrives on our refusal to call him what he is. And the same goes for Buchanan and the rest of the wolf pack. Ridiculous buffoons all of them; treating them any other way is immoral and stupid.

Give me a choice, and I'll take a dreadlocked Marxist college student dousing Buchanan with salad dressing over Paul Begala sitting down and debating him any fucking day of the week. At least one of them hasn't sold his soul to the devil yet. At least one of them is calling a spade a spade.

Fuck the CNN kabuki circle-jerk where we sit down like we are all adults and talk things out, foolishly believing that since our arguments are better, that since we have reason and truth on our side, that this is in our interests. Give me the sheer honesty of smearing condiments on these jackasses' Brooks Brothers suits. Give me the perfect absurdity of a pie in a clown's face.

Whatever you do, don't treat irrationality as rationality; don't treat insanity as sanity. And if flinging shit is the only way to expose the lie that says that the chimpanzee screechings of these fucktards are actually attempts at rational discourse, then so be it.

Give me money, bitches

One of the strangest things that bloggers do, in my opinion, is periodically beg their readers for money. Steve Gilliard, whose blog is without question first-rate, is currently having a "fund drive." Andrew Sullivan used to do this, too. It is really quite common: the blogger tells you how hard he works at finding entertaining and enlightening things to say, how much time he puts into monitoring the news and doing research, etc. etc., then points out that he/she doesn't charge for these services, that his/her blog is (and always will be) available, for free, to anyone who cares to read it, so really you should please think about giving him/her some money.

This has always seemed weird to me, like if you were hanging out with a friend, and then he started saying, "Look, I work hard on being your friend, and I put a lot of time and effort into coming up with witty things to say to you. Furthermore, I never require you to me pay me for this service, and I have no plans to. But won't you consider donating to me, so that I may continue to provide my services?"

Even crazier is that this actually seems to work; people do, indeed, pay money to these bloggers without getting anything in return!! It's like, all you have to do is say: "Hey, people, give me some money," and they will.

Well, if that's the case, then .... HEY--give me some money. All you people reading this: you owe me. I've been giving it away for free all this time. Don't you think it's the least you could do to send me some of your hard- or not-so-hard-earned money?

Now, I don't have that many readers, so you all are going to have to pony up something serious. I figure an average donation of approx. $1,000 would be about right. I think that is a fair price, given the steady stream of insightful and witty commentary that this site provides to you, the reader. While it's true that I pay nothing for the Blogger service, and that I would probably waste just as much time on the internet even if I weren't blogging, and that I don't really have anything to add to political or cultural discourse that you couldn't find at a million other blogs by know-it-all smartasses like me ... still, give me money.

Your kid can wait until next year for braces, and your wife doesn't really need those breast implants. Stop being so selfish and start giving your money to a worthy cause. No, not OXFAM, or Amnesty International. You can't trust these outfits. You know that Paul Newman dressing, the profits of which supposedly all go to charity? My sources tell me that actually, nearly 90% of the money goes straight into Paul's ivory ball-scratcher fund.

You can be assured, however, that any money you give to me will never be put to such frivolous uses. Rather, it will be directed right back into the ol' blog, so that you can continue to experience blogging at its finest.

So ... who wants to make the historic first donation to the first annual Dadahead "Give Me Money, Bitches" pledge drive?

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