Fuck the Religious Right
If you search those words on Google, this site comes up second.
spirit of the age
If you search those words on Google, this site comes up second.
Lots of quiz-taking going on lately, so I thought I'd mention my favorite internet quiz ever. I don't know if most people already have seen this, but it's called 'Are you Einstein, Gandhi, or Hitler?' Questions include:
You prefer to wear:
- A German military uniform
- A toga
- The same outfit every day to simplify things
You believe in the theory of:
- Passive resistance
- Racial purity
Via Media Matters, Rush Limbaugh shrieks about the Nobel Prize:
LIMBAUGH: This story in the LA Times is just unreal. Here's the headline: "Experts Are at a Loss on Investing." Subheadline: "Nobel winners and top academics fumble the sorts of decisions Bush's Social Security overhaul plan would ask average Americans to make."
You know why? Because the Nobel winners and top academics are a bunch of egghead elitists who can't even button their shirts. So, we're supposed to say because these clowns, these eggheads, these Nobel winners and top academics are lousy investors -- (doing impression) "Man, if the most brilliant people among us can't figure it out, then how is ol' Mabel in the trailer park going to pull this off?" That's the point of this story.
My investments, meager though they are, are all over the place in a bunch of different managers' hands, and I measure the managers against each other to see who's doing better. I did not need a Nobel Prize winner to tell me that this was the right way to do it. The fact that somebody won the Nobel Prize for suggesting this is a testament to how irrelevant the Nobel Prize is.
And Leiter himself:
"microeconomic theory has made no advances in the management of economic processes since its current formalism was first elaborated in the nineteenth century."
"the twentieth-century history of economic theory certainly does not appear to be that of an empirical science."
"Economists would indeed be well-advised not to surrender their...research program, if only they could boast even a small part of the startling successes that other [similarly structured] research programs have achieved. But two hundred years of work in the same direction have produced nothing comparable to the physicists' discovery of new planets, or of new technologies by which to control the mechanical phenomena that Newton's laws synthesized. Economics have attained no independently substantiated insight into their domain to rival the biologists' understanding of macroevolution and its underlying mechanism of adaptation and heredity."
Read more of what Prof. Leiter has to say about this here and here.
[It is not] that economics generates no successful predictions, but only that (a) the quality of its predictions (their precision and reliability), and (b) the growth of its predictive power over time, are not of scientific quality. They do not live up to the standards that economists themselves claim for them. Generating true generic predictions is not the hallmark of science. All of us, drawing on common-sense psychological assumptions, do that all the time. Genuinely scientific theories must anticipate the future with a degree of precision and consistency greater than that realized by common-sense.
I predict, for example ... that ignoring the curve and giving A's to all my students will increase enrollment in my courses. I predict that covering a class for an absent colleague will make it more likely that that colleague will give me detailed comments on a manuscript I've given him to read. All of this is the stuff of common-sense, but no one would think of characterizing the common-sense psychology that undergirds such predictions as the core of a scientific research program ...
But on the bright side, you'll be getting laid a lot more ....
Polyamory is a neologism, signifying having more than one long term intimate, usually but not necessarily sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. Persons who enter into or consider themselves emotionally suited to such relationships may define themselves as polyamorous, often abbreviated to poly.
Rick Santorum Was Right
Meet the future of marriage in America.
I have seen the future of American family law, and her name is Elizabeth F. Emens. Emens, who teaches the University of Chicago Law School, has published a major legal and cultural defense of polyamory (group marriage). In "Beyond Gay Marriage," I showed that state-sanctioned polyamory was rapidly becoming the favorite cause of scholars of family law. Yet not until now has anyone offered so bold, informed, intelligent, and comprehensive a brief for polyamory. Emens's breakthrough article is a sign that the case for mainstreaming polyamory is finally being...well, mainstreamed.
Emens begins by suggesting that Senator Rick Santorum was right or, at least, she seems to be trying to bring Santorum's prophesy to fulfillment. The professor is unhappy that proponents of same-sex marriage agree with Santorum that were gay marriage to create a new openness to adultery, bigamy, and polygamy, that would be a bad thing. Emens's preferred response to Rick Santorum's parade of horribles is "So what?"
Emens ... concentrates not on constitutional issues, but on building a deeper case for the social utility and justice of polyamory ... Emens lays out a sophisticated case for treating polyamory not just as a practice, but as a disposition, broadly analogous to the disposition toward homosexuality.
... Polyamorists have long treated their inclination toward multi-partner sex as analogous to homosexuality ... What's new here is that a scholar has built this analogy to homosexuality into a systematic and sophisticated case.
... Emens argues that everyone has a bit of "poly" inside. If we can just discover, nurture, and accept our inner polyamorist, then even for those who choose to remain monogamous, the prejudice against polyamory will disappear. This will allow everyone to make an unconstrained choice between monogamy and polyamory.
... Emens even has a practical program for creating a polyamory-friendly world. Instead of abolishing the remaining laws against adultery, Emens wants to keep these laws in place, but force people to decide before they marry whether to contract for a monogamous or a nonmonogamous union. Emens thinks this should probably be done through civil law rather than criminal law. But her clever idea is to force people to make a conscious choice from the start about monogamy. In effect, Emens is taking a leaf from the book of Louisiana's "covenant marriage," but turning it toward the radical end of encouraging marriages that are, by agreement, nonmonogamous from the start.
Is Emens right? Not by a long shot. The most striking thing about her article is how little it has to say about children ... If the gay marriage battle hadn't already done so much to separate the idea of marriage and parenthood, an article like this could never have been written. Once we act as though children are anything other than the central reason for the public interest in marriage, we open the way to exactly what Emens offers.
... Folks used to say we'd never slide down the slope from gay marriage to polyamory. Gradually, the slippery-slope scoffers are being replaced by bold polyamory defenders. Yes, as someone once said about Dan Quayle, Rick Santorum was right.
Call for U.S. apology over QuranI realize that the reaction of a lot of people to a story like this is going to be along the lines of, "Get over it" etc. And I'm not necessarily saying you'd be wrong to react like that.
KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- The United States should apologize to Muslims for the senseless desecration of the Quran which has only strengthened the hands of fanatics and undermined efforts to build democracy, an Afghan newspaper said on Saturday.
Sixteen Afghans have been killed and about 100 injured since violent anti-U.S. protest erupted on Wednesday over a report in Newsweek magazine that U.S. military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba had desecrated the Koran.
Protests spread across the Muslim world on Friday with thousands taking to the streets in Pakistan, Indonesia and Gaza.
The United States has tried to calm Muslim anger, saying disrespect for the Quran was abhorrent and would not be tolerated, and military authorities were investigating the allegation.
But the Outlook newspaper said the United States must do more.
"The U.S. government should officially apologise to the Muslims of the world about the heart-wrenching act of desecration of the holy Quran ... and immediately arrest and punish those who are responsible," it said in an editorial.
Newsweek said in its May 9 edition investigators probing abuses at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay found that interrogators "had placed Qurans on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book down the toilet".
"Already there are strong anti-American feelings among some Muslims who think America, by going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, waged a war against Islam," said Outlook, Afghanistan's only English-language daily.
"These types of senseless actions will only strengthen the hands of fanatics and fundamentalists and undermine all efforts towards building democratic societies," it said.
Meanwhile in Washington, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said an investigation has so far turned up no evidence of U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay desecrating the Quran.
This is disturbing. I was looking at my Statcounter referral stats (these show you how people arrived at your site--e.g., from searches, or following a link, etc.) and four of my pageloads were from people who ran the following searches:
13 year old girls getting f***edExcept, of course, without the asterisks.
f***ing of minor girls
Make it 50 million + 1. Yet another fresh blog, hot off the press:
This is only Avril Fan's! Includes the 411 on Avril Lavigne! News and alot of shit!
Friday, May 13, 2005Avril Lavigne
Hey today is my time I have started an Avril Lavigne webpage!Cause her music is so great!She tell's it straight to you!That she ain't no punk!and doe's whatever she wants!She doesn't care about the shit other people ae saying!
So go Avril Lavigne!
posted by HilaryHilaryHilary at 3:38 PM
Enough with the soul searching--just take this 'What Is Your World View?' quiz!
You scored as Cultural Creative.
Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.
Hillary snuggles up to Newt Gingrich.
And these kids know it.
Teens seek debate vs. Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio show that Evanston Township High School students "don't know anything about World War II" and "they've probably never heard the name Adolf Hitler" because they're so focused on a multicultural curriculum.
Some Evanston kids want to show Limbaugh what they know. They want to debate him on American history.
"I think [a debate] would be great because then we'd prove him wrong and open up his opinion a little bit," Sarah Loeb, an ETHS sophomore, said Thursday.
Limbaugh's comments came after he read a Christian Science Monitor article Tuesday that profiled global studies courses required at ETHS. Limbaugh railed against multicultural education generally and singled out the North Shore school.
Limbaugh's producer did not return a call on whether Limbaugh would agree to a debate.
"Maybe he might be a little intimidated because I don't know his basis for saying we don't know anything," Sarah said. "But I think he might be interested if he wants to live up to his reputation and back up his ideas so he doesn't look stupid."
"It's funny to me that someone would say we don't know about World War II -- we live in a large Jewish community," said Jane Biliter, a senior. Each year, the school hosts activities for Holocaust Remembrance Week. "Until 10th grade, all we did was U.S. and European history. It's just so false that what he says is funny."
Aaron Becker, who teaches the Middle East class, said his students also are considering sending Limbaugh essays they've written on American history.
"This is a perfect teachable moment," Becker said. "Kids are angry and want to respond by showing they know a lot, that it's not a zero-sum game, that you can learn about more than one history."
"It's not even worth responding to," said Aaron Hamilton, a senior. "He has nothing to say about my education and my future. He's just a guy talking on the radio."
Just because I enjoy making fun of wingnuts, this is a post from Christian Conservative (via Daou) about moral relativism.
If elected President, John Kerry would have waged a “more sensitive war on terror.” Personally I prefer to err on the side of large explosions.
Yes, I am simpleton. It is not a mental disorder, it is a worldview that recognizes real evil instead of rationalizing it and calling it a “different way to live” ... Moral relativism makes the simplest things complicated. When defending a terrorists’ right to kill innocent civilians of any country, moral relativists of the America’s 2004 Presidential campaign introduced us to “nuances” aaahhhh.
Well, [takes M60 out of safety] there is a simple way to negotiate with terrorists: Two in the chest and one in the head. There is also a simple way to deal with Congressional Democrats who do not like President Bush’s judicial nominees: make them vote. There is a simple way to deal with people like Jerry Hobbs, who repeatedly stabbed his own 9-year-old daughter in the neck and eyes along with her best friend: Firing squad, lethal injection, electric chair. Not necessarily in that order.
It is the moral relativists who equate George Bush who apologized for Abu Gharib with Sadaam Housain who hides behind lawyers while a growing list of his 300 mass graves of some 300,000 people are discovered. It is the moral relativist who says “all wars are bad” and “all sexual expression is good”, even when WWII stopped the wholesale slaughter of 6 million Jews, and forms of sexual expression may rob children of their innocence.
I devote the work of this Web Log to the true living LORD God, and to His Son, Jesus Christ. May the blessing of God's hand be upon it that it might be a light in a dark place.
Look, call yourselves South Park conservatives if you want to, I don't give a shit. The South Park guys are twits.
Some day, I am going to punch Marshall Wittman in the face. Especially if he doesn't stop referring to himself as 'the Moose', as in, 'the Moose is a fan of Joe Lieberman ...'. Stop that.
Although conservatives control the executive and legislative branches (and are on the verge of dominating the judiciary), the right whines like helpless and hapless victims. These crabby cons are a embittered crowd. There is little joy in DeLayville. The big bad press does them wrong (President Clinton might share their complaint). The socialist Democrats persecute their virgin leader. Oh, and don' t they realize that the Bug Man is a upright man who always puts principles first?
No, I don't think you should run for the chair of the Democratic Party. I think you should get into your car, check into the nearest dingy motel, eat one last cheeseburger and blow your brains out.
Let's start with something smallyour nickname. To begin with, it's taken. It belonged to a person that the world has judged to be of genuine historical import, a man with balls, a person who, by all accounts, literally bowled crowds of people over with his personality every time he entered a room.
You, on the other hand, are a nobody, a bureaucrat, a stuffed suit. You don't have a single idea of your own. You have to honk in order to get served at the local drive-thru. You think you're being cute and funny by taking Teddy Roosevelt's nickname, but it's not funny. It's sad. What you are, exactly, is a high school nerd who starts a Van Halen cover band and does David Lee Roth kicks when he rocks out in his garage in front of his only friend's eight-year-old brother. Outside that garage, the whole world concludes that you will never reproduce. That's you in your DLC offices, playing at being Teddy Roosevelt.
... That shit does not work with the vast majority of Democrats. They want men, not clowns, running things. And you, Marshall Wittmann, are a fucking clown.
... People are slowly coming to understand what the DLC is. You are a tiny gang of needle-nosed cubicle slaves hired to sell out the genuine political aspirations of millions of people. You have been hired to rush from newsroom to newsroom badmouthing almost every principle your constituents have held for decades, and to propagandize at every opportunity the hopelessness of such ideas as peace, tolerance and ideological backbone.
It's bad enough that you are who you are. But that you should have fun doing what you're doing is just flat-out intolerable. I wouldn't get too used to it, if I were you. But that's just one Mooseketeer's opinion.
Understandably angst-ridden from ruling the entire world, right-wingers have begun to turn on one another. Because if there is one thing right-wing blog triumphalists hate more than us moonbats, it's anyone who doesn't understand that blogs are IMPORTANT and REVOLUTIONARY and are HOLDING THE MSM ACCOUNTABLE. I mean, they're even reading blogs on the cable news channels now! You just don't get it, maaaan.
The problem with blogs ... is that they divert our attention from real and serious journalism ... As the quality of stories has diminished and we now fixate on runaway brides, car chases, celebrity trials and other sideshows, serious subjects such as the war and coming conflicts with China and possibly Russia take a back seat.
If the public is unprepared for new threats and challenges, it will largely be the big media's fault for failing to prepare them. The public will share the blame for fixating on blogs.
Blogs have their place ... But if they replace solid journalistic principles and practices, the public will be ill-served and the profession may suffer a mortal wound from which it might not recover.
With blogs, we do not know if what we read is true. For most blogs, no editor checks for factual errors and no one is restrained from editorializing ... Blogs have no checks and balances.
I suspect - and hope - that once the bloom is off the blogs, serious people (and they seem to be an endangered species) might still crave real journalism and be able to remember what it looked and sounded like.
Yes, the blog-o-sphere has certainly been awash in commentary about runaway brides.
To be fair to John, his take on the importance of blogs is actually pretty measured and reasonable. But I think everybody's missing the point here.
Cal undercuts his own point here. Are blogs "divert(ing) our attention from real and serious journalism" or has "serious journalism" been practically dead for "20 years?" ...
The reason "runaway brides, car chases, celebrity trials and other sideshows" have become prevalent is not because of blogs, it's because the cable news networks are on for 24 hours a day and they need to fill airtime. If you want to get the daily scoop on who was kidnapped today or the latest details of the Michael Jackson trial, you tune into somewhere like Fox -- where Cal Thomas appears every week -- you don't go to blogs ...
... if you compare credibility between blogs and MSM sources like USA Today or New York Times, I think blogs do very well -- especially since we tend to link directly to our sources so the readers can examine them if they so desire ... Furthermore, as far as checks and balances go, blogs are in the same position as the newspapers. Why Thomas doesn't think blogs can be shamed into issuing a correction is a mystery ...
I often wonder whether there is any point to blogging and reading blogs other than my own amusement. That doesn't seem right, because it's not always all that 'amusing'. Very often it is just me yelling at other people, and them yelling back at me. Sometimes it's hard to see any constructive end in that.
Does this site load slowly? I've been putting a lot of images up lately, and while it loads fine on my DSL connection, it occurred to me that it could take an unreasonably long time to load on a dial-up.
pick for U.N. ambassador.
Steve Gilliard thinks so, for these reasons (among others):
* US units mobility is severly limited. When they use the roads, they have to dodge explosions on an hourly basis.
* The Iraqis have negated airmobility. US units cannot use mass helicopters en masse for fear they will be shot down by $20 RPG's.
* Every institution, every unit, is penetrated by the resistance. US units are tracked from the minute they leave their fortified bases to the minute they return.
* The Iraqis are the best armed guerrillas in history. Every man is armed with an assault rifle, every unit has RPGS and no lack of ammunition. They can engage US infantry force on force with equivilent weapons.
* US troops have almost no contact with the Iraqi people. They cannot walk into their shops, get a haircut, get a drink or have sex with a whore, much less a girlfriend. A US soldier who tried to interact with the Iraqi people would be either kidnapped or killed outright within an hour.
* The US has one fifth of the forces they had in Vietnam, yet have taken losses equivilent to 1965. Just multiply.
Another right-winger makes a good point--and not just any right-winger, but that wingnuttiest of wingnuts, Kim du Toit! Responding to Daimler-Chrysler's recent decision to bar plant employees from their parking lot unless they are driving Chryslers, on the grounds that they give employees a large discount on Chryslers, Kim writes:
Here’s a little tip for Daimler Chrysler: If you’re offering big discounts and incentives to your employees to buy your product, and your employees are still rejecting the product, that’s not treachery or ingratitude: that’s free consumer research.
Instead of punishing those employees, DC should be interviewing them at length, and in a non-hostile fashion, to find out why people would not buy their product—and then incorporate those findings into improved new models.
I ... don't ... under ... stand ...
This post demonstrates ... logic ... sound reasoning ...
Absence ... of insanity ...
World ... upside-down ...
(That is the gun one, right?)
While this reviewer agrees that deaths (including accidental and suicides) by firearms are high, they are lower than vehicle deaths. Yet I haven't heard of groups clamouring for taking cars off the road. Air-bags and sober driving about does it.
OK, I know not all Republicans and conservatives are perverts. But a lot of them are! Horse-boy is one extreme example. There's also Jack Ryan, Ah-nuld, Rush, Ken Starr, Jim West, and many, many others. Well add another one to that list: David Hager, Bush appointee to the FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. From The Nation:
For Hager, those moral and ethical issues all appear to revolve around sex: In both his medical practice and his advisory role at the FDA, his ardent evangelical piety anchors his staunch opposition to emergency contraception, abortion and premarital sex. Through his six books ... he has established himself as a leading conservative Christian voice on women's health and sexuality.
According to [Linda Davis, Hager's ex-wife], Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."
... life with David Hager had grown unbearable. As his public profile increased, so did the tension in their home, which she says periodically triggered episodes of abuse. "I would be asleep," she recalls, "and since [the sodomy] was painful and threatening, I woke up. Sometimes I acquiesced once he had started, just to make it go faster, and sometimes I tried to push him off....
By the 1980s, according to Davis, Hager was pressuring her to let him videotape and photograph them having sex. She consented, and eventually she even let Hager pay her for sex that she wouldn't have otherwise engaged in--for example, $2,000 for oral sex, "though that didn't happen very often because I hated doing it so much. So though it was more painful, I would let him sodomize me, and he would leave a check on the dresser," Davis admitted to me with some embarrassment. This exchange took place almost weekly for several years.
... Eventually, Davis was diagnosed as having narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to regulate normal sleep-wake cycles ... Davis says it was after the diagnosis that the period of the most severe abuse began. For the next seven years Hager sodomized Davis without her consent while she slept roughly once a month until their divorce in 2002, she claims. "My sense is that he saw [my narcolepsy] as an opportunity," Davis surmises.
Incidentally, in defending herself for accepting money in exchange for sex, Davis said:
Well, money can't buy happiness, but it buys the kind of misery you can learn to live with.
Despite the fact that my last attempt to goad a semi-public figure into a fight was an abject failure, due to said semi-public figure being a total pussy, I am going to make another attempt to mete out a brutal, well-deserved ass-whoopin' on yet another pseudo-prodigious jackanapes.
A young Jewish American--who just happens to be called Jonathan Safran Foer--travels to the Ukraine in the hope of finding the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. He is aided in his search by Alex Perchov, a naïve Ukrainian translator, Alex's grandfather (also called Alex), and a flatulent mongrel dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. On their journey through Eastern Europe's obliterated landscape they unearth facts about the Nazi atrocities and the extent of Ukrainian complicity that have implications for Perchov as well as Safran Foer.
Oskar Schell, hero of this brilliant follow-up to Foer's bestselling Everything Is Illuminated, is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Like the second-language narrator of Illuminated, Oskar turns his naïvely precocious vocabulary to the understanding of historical tragedy, as he searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks, a quest that intertwines with the story of his grandparents, whose lives were blighted by the firebombing of Dresden. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code.
It's bad form to call a living writer corrupt and debased, which is why I begged out of a review I'd been assigned of Jonathan Safran Foer's highly touted debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated ... I understand how a young man could write such a book, but not why he would have it published, and certainly not how it could be acclaimed as marking the arrival of a major new talent. (The $500,000 advance, and later nearly $1 million for the movie rights, and another $1 million for the follow-up, may have helped.)
Having "read" Foer's latestif that's what one does to this cut-and-paste assemblage of words, pictures, blank pages and pages where the text runs together and becomes illegibleit's time for bad form.
Foer isn't just a bad author, he's a vile one.
... the book is an Oprah-etic paean to innocence and verbosity as embodied by Foer's latest saintly stand-in (there was a character named Jonathan Safran Foer in Everything Is Illuminated), nine-year-old Oskar Schell, who has a business card, speaks French, walks the city at odd hours by himself, writes letters to Stephen Hawking and other luminaries, knows more facts than any of the adults he speaks with, flirts with women, is a vegan, an atheist and otherwise equal parts unbelievable and unbearable. Foer, I should note, is a Jewish atheist, wrote letters to Susan Sontag when he was nine, and otherwise sounds like he'd make unbearable company, though perhaps not as much as the obnoxiously precocious, overeducated brat Schell. If Foer is beginning to sound like a minor Saul Bellow character (think the masturbating uncle in Mr. Sammler's Planet), he has only himself to blame.
By the way, is little 9-year-old Oskar beginning to remind you of anybody? Just wondering.
The plot is a series of contrivances that free the nine-year-old Schell to walk the city by himself in a shaggy-dog quest for the meaning of a key his father, who died in the towers, left behind. This is mixed in with an epistolary saga involving Oskar's grandparents, a woman who serves as still another Foer stand-in and a man who can't write, but only speak, leaving the reader in a hall of mirrors reflecting nothing but Foers and stock characters who reflect back the wonderful-ness of the author.
Eventually, the Schnells' stories converge into one absurdly convenient superstory, saturated with meaning, from which we learn such lessons as, "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without also protecting yourself from happiness," "'I do not want to hurt you, he said' 'It hurts me when you do not want to hurt me,' I told him," and "I spent my life learning to feel less."
And those quotes are all from one, not unrepresentative page.
Most of all, we learn the search, not the treasure, is the thing, which readers may recognize from the pages of Robert Fulghum's classic of inspirational mush All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten....
And with the same easy spirit in which he pillages other authors' techniques, stripping them of their context and using them merely for show, he snatches 9/11 to invest his conceit with gravitas, thus crossing the line that separates the risible from the villainous. The book's themesthe sense of connection we all feel when the coffee or acid hits and everything is illuminated, the brain-gurble and twitch and self-pity we all know better than to write abouthave nothing to do with the attack on the towers, or with Dresden or Hiroshima, which Foer tosses in just to make sure we understand what a big and important book we're dealing with.
Foer, you represent everything that is wrong with contemporary art and literature. You are the George W. Bush of fiction: if you've earned nothing, you have no discernible ability, and you make a mockery of everything you touch. I guarantee you that your books will be lucky to fetch $0.25 at a fucking garage sale ten years from now.
I am giving you an ultimatum: stop publishing books. Now. You are never to publish another book. If you feel compelled to write this vomit-inducing garbage, do so in the privacy of your own home, though I doubt you would write a single sentence if you didn't think it was going to get your ugly face in the New Yorker. I'm serious: you publish another novel, another short story, an essay, anything, and I will kill you.
You've been warned. If I ever see you, I'm kicking your ass; it's too late for you to avoid that. But if you ever, ever, publish another word, you will not live to see your next glowing review from your fellow pretentious loser frauds at the Village Voice.
You pompous little scrotum-sucker.
Or is it already here? From Newsday (emphasis, as usual, is added):
Experts: Iraq verges on civil war
WASHINGTON -- An unchastened insurgency sowed devastation across Iraq Wednesday as experts here said the country is either on the verge of civil war or already in the middle of it.
In the course of the day: Four car bombs detonated in Baghdad; a man wearing explosives at an army recruitment center in Hawija, north of Baghdad, blew himself and many others up; a car bomb exploded in a marketplace in Tikrit, north of Baghdad; and the country's largest fertilizer plant was heavily damaged by a bomb in the usually quiet southern city of Basra. Meanwhile, U.S. Marines were winding up a remarkable pitched battle against surprisingly well-equipped and determined insurgents on Iraq's western border. Some 76 Iraqis were reported killed and more than 120 wounded in the one day of violence.
With security experts reporting that no major road in the country was safe to travel, some Iraq specialists speculated that the Sunni insurgency was effectively encircling the capital and trying to cut it off from the north, south and west, where there are entrenched Sunni communities. East of Baghdad is a mostly unpopulated desert bordering on Iran.
"It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time," said Pat Lang, the former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon.
Other experts said Iraq is on the verge of a full-scale civil war with civilians on both sides being slaughtered. Incidents in the past two weeks south of Baghdad, with apparently retaliatory killings of Sunni and Shia civilians, point in that direction, they say.
Also of concern were media accounts that hard-line Shia militia members are being deployed to police hard-line Sunni communities such as Ramadi, east of Baghdad, which specialists on Iraq said was a recipe for disaster.
"I think we are really on the edge" of all-out civil war, said Noah Feldman, a New York University law professor who worked for the U.S. coalition in Iraq.
He said the insurgency has been "getting stronger every passing day. When the violence recedes, it is a sign that they are regrouping." While there is a chance the current flare of violence is the insurgency's last gasp, he said, "I have not seen any coherent evidence that we are winning against the insurgency."
"Everything we thought we knew about the insurgency obviously is flawed," said Judith Kipper of the Council on Foreign Relations. "It was quiet for a little while, and here it is back full force all over the country, and that is very dark news."
Lang said there is new evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime carefully prepared in advance for the insurgency, with former Iraqi officers at the core of each group. They are well coordinated and have consistently adjusted their strategy, he said.
Now the 140,000-plus U.S. troops in the country are mainly "a nuisance" factor in the insurgents' overall goal of preventing the new government from consolidating.
"They understand what the deal is here," Lang said, "to start applying maximum pressure to the economy and the government and make sure it will not work." Their roadside bombs are intended to keep U.S. forces inside their bases, he said.
All the while the insurgents are gaining strength, he said. "The longer they keep going on the better they will get," said Lang, a student of military history. "The best school of war is war."
The Sunni insurgents could win the battle if they persevere long enough to sour U.S. voters, Feldman said.
He said, "There is no evidence whatsoever that they cannot win."
Of all the movements of the early avant-garde, Dada is the one that continues to say the most to us. Although its life was short ... its spirit has not quite passed into the remoteness of history ... For Dada's questions remain our questions, and when we speak of the relationship between art and society, of art versus action and art as action, we cannot help but turn to Dada as a source and as an example. We want to know about it not only for itself, but because we feel that it will help us toward an understanding of our own, present moment.
The diaries of Hugo Ball are a good place to begin. Ball, a key figure in the founding of Dada, was also the first defector from the Dada movement, and his record of the years between 1914 and 1921 is an extremely valuable document ... It is not so much a self-portrait as an account of his inner progress, a spiritual and intellectual reckoning and it moves from entry to entry in a rigorously dialectical manner ... Ball was an incisive thinker; as a participant in early Dada, he is perhaps our finest witness to the Zurich group, and because Dada marked only one stage in his complex development, our view of it through his eyes gives us a kind of perspective we have not had before.
Hugo Ball was a man of his time, and to an extraordinary degree his life seems to embody the passions and contradictions of European society during the first quarter of this century. Student of Nietzsche's work; stage manager and playwright for the Expressionist theatre; left-wing journalist; vaudeville pianist; poet; novelist; ... convert to Catholicism: he seemed, at one moment or another, to have touched on nearly all the political and artistic preoccupations of the age. And yet, despite his many activities, Ball's attitudes and interests were remarkably consistent throughout his life, and in the end his entire career can be seen as a concerted, even feverish attempt to ground his existence in a fundamental truth, in a single absolute reality.
Too much an artist to be a philosopher, too much a philosopher to be an artist, too concerned with the fate of the world to think only in terms of personal salvation, and yet too inward to be an effective activist, Ball struggled toward solutions that could somehow answer both his inner and outer needs, and even in the deepest solitude he never saw himself as separate from the society around him. He was a man for whom everything came with great difficulty, whose sense of himself was never fixed, and whose moral integrity made him capable of brashly idealistic gestures totally out of keeping with his delicate nature. We have only to examine the famous photograph of Ball reciting a sound poem at the Cabaret Voltaire to understand this [Ed.-see image above] ...
In the prologue to Flight Out of Time Ball presents the reader with a cultural autopsy that sets the tone for all that follows: "The world and society in 1913 looked like this: life is completely confined and shackled ... The most burning question day and night is this: is there anywhere a force that is strong enough and above all vital enough to put an end to this state of affairs?" Elsewhere ... he states these ideas with even greater urgency: "A thousand-year-old culture disintegrates. There are no columns and no supports, no foundations anymore--they have all been blown up ... The meaning of the world has disappeared."
These feelings are not new to us ... What is unexpected, however, is what Ball says a little further in the Prologue: "It might seem as if philosophy had been taken over by the artists; as if the new impulses were coming from them; as if they were the prophets of rebirth. When we said Kandinsky and Picasso, we meant not painters, but priests; not craftsmen, but creators of new worlds and new paradises." Dreams of total regeneration could not exist side by side with the blackest pessimism, and for Ball there was no contradiction in this: both attitudes were part of a single approach.
Art was not a way of turning from the problems of the world, it was a way of directly solving these problems.
The seriousness of these considerations ... helps to dispel several myths about the beginnings of Dada, above all the idea of Dada as little more than the sophomoric rantings of a group of young draft-dodgers, a kind of willful Marx Brothers zaniness. There was, of course, much that was plainly silly in the Cabaret performances, but for Ball this buffoonery was a means to an end, a necessary catharsis ...
To understand Dada, then ... we must see it as a vestige of old humanistic ideals, a reassertion of individual dignity in a mechanical age of standardization, as a simultaneous expression of despair and hope.
Ball retreated from Zurich only seven months after the opening of the Cabert Voltaire ... partly from disenchantment with the way Dada was developing. His conflict was principally with Tzara ... under Tzara's direction, Dada was officially launched as a movement, complete with its own publication, manifestos, and promotion campaign. Tzara was a tireless organizer, a true avant-gardist in the style of Marinetti, and eventually ... he led Dada far from the original ideas of the Cabaret Voltaire ... into the bravura of anti-art ...
If Tzara gave Dada its identity, he also robbed it of the moral purpose it had aspired to under Ball. By turning it into a doctrine, by garnishing it with a set of programmatic ideals, Tzara led Dada into self-contradiction and impotence. What for Ball had been a true cry from the heart against all systems of thought and action became one organization among others ...
Of what we have come to realize were several different periods and divergent tendencies in Dada, the moment of Ball's participation, as I see it, remains the moment of Dada's greatest strength, the period that speaks most persuasively to us today ... because Ball never treated Dada as an end in itself, he remained flexible wand was able to use Dada as an instrument for reaching higher goals, for producing a genuine critique of the age. Dada, for Ball, was merely the name for a kind of radical doubt, a way of sweeping aside all existing ideologies and moving on to an examination of the world around him. As such, the energy of Dada can never be used up: it is an idea whose time is always the present.
... If we regard him today as an important figure, it is not because he managed to discover a solution, but because he was able to state the problems with such clarity. In his intellectual courage, in the fervor of his confrontation with the world, Hugo Ball stands out as one of the exemplary spirits of the age.
Somebody get Jonah Goldberg the number of his local recruiting office. From Kos:
We know the recruitment situation is dire ... Enlistment is down because of the War in Iraq -- a war that people like Jonah Goldberg and the rest of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists continue to support and defend. Yet while they continue to pimp a war that has cost us over 1,600 US dead, they themselves refuse to put their words into action and join our heroic (yet undermanned and underequipped) Armed Forces.
Yet the Jonah Goldbergs don't feel the cause is worthy enough to justify their well-being.
A Kos reader:
I loved your blistering critique of Jonah Goldberg ... I sent it to him with some choice words. His one word response: "Yawn".
I e-mailed him back and said:
"You 'yawn' while good Americans die...
Soo typical of your kind."
Matt from Cerulean Blue points out the irony of Bush's recent comments about the Yalta Conference:
I love that, while visiting the former Soviet republic Georgia, President Bush thought it would be a good idea to bash Roosevelt for working with Stalin, when the week before he was eagerly leg-humping Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, whispering sweet political nothings into his ear.
From the Washington Post:
Grenade Found Near Bush Was Dud: Georgian OfficialsBack in the day, Eastern Europe produced real assassins.
TBILISI (Reuters) - A hand grenade was found at a square in Georgia where President Bush made a public speech on Tuesday, but it was incapable of exploding, a top Georgian security official said on Wednesday.
The U.S. Secret Service said it was investigating a report by Georgian authorities that a possible hand grenade was thrown within 30 meters (100 feet) of Bush during his visit to the Caucasus state on Tuesday.
The hand grenade, found some 50 meters (160 feet) from where Bush stood in Tbilisi's central Freedom Square, could not have gone off, the secretary of Georgia's Security Council said.
"A (Soviet-made) RPG-5 hand grenade was found at the square," Gela Bezhuashvili told a news briefing. "It was not in working condition. In fact there was no chance it could explode.
Don Imus says:
Anyone who writes a blog or reads a blog is a loser.
Kant on our friend Neal Horsley:
But what is to be done in the case of crimes that cannot be punished by a return for them because this would be either impossible or itself a punishable offense against humanity as such, for example, rape as well as pederasty or bestiality? The punishment for rape and pederasty is castration ..., that for bestiality, permanent expulsion from civil society, since the criminal has made himself unworthy of human society.
Professional jackass Joe Scarborough thinks the media should stop covering attacks by Iraqi insurgents.
Car accidents, bloody assaults, and brutal murders all lead the top of the 11 p.m. news hour because station managers believe blood equals ratings.
The New York Times' John Tierney writes a piece this morning explaining how the same blood lust has seemed to infect newspaper editors covering Iraq.
Tierney suggests the daily suicide bombings are not newsworthy and covering them only encourages more terror attacks.
As I wrote in this space a few weeks back, the terror attacks in Iraq serve no political purpose.
America is not leaving.
Iraqis are not going to back down.
The so-called insurgents are hated by their own people.
So running front page items on these senseless civilian murders serves no purpose other than maybe heartening anti-war reporters who have argued for years that the Iraq war would be a debacle.
They were wrong. But they still haven't gotten the message.
But they do have bloody pictures.
In their world, that still counts for something.
Alan Colmes, who hosts his own radio show and co-hosts Fox News's Hannity and Colmes, recently interviewed anti-abortion activist Neal Horsley, the creator of the infamous 'Nuremberg Files' website:
Alan: You had sex with animals?
Neal: Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule.
Alan: I'm not so sure that is so.
Neal: That's cause you didn't grow up on a farm in Georgie, did you?
Alan: Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?
Neal: It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality...Welcome to domestic life on the farm... if you don't know that you experiment with any thing that moves when you're growing up sexually, you're naive ... if it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates, you might in fact have sex with it.
If a person is depraved and has nothing but their own sexual desires to guide them, they'll do anything.
Neal Horsley, America's leading anti-abortion webmaster, is the profane voice of the extreme Christian rightNeal Horsley: the new face of the Christian Right.
Horsley [is] the implacable enemy of homosexuals who promises regularly to "arrest faggots," a man who proposes to use nuclear weapons in a bid for Southern secession, the Scripture-quoting theocrat who wants to force his version of Bible law on American society.
Horsley ... boasts to a young acolyte about having sex with men and with mules ... put up photographs on his Web site of naked men engaging in homosexual acts and a nude woman engaging in bestiality amid shots of grotesquely maimed fetuses ...
The 57-year-old Georgian, who warns that "domestic terrorism heralds the shape of things to come," also has become the most public face of anti-abortion extremism in America.
... It was Horsley who propelled his notorious website — featuring home addresses and other detailed information about hundreds of abortion providers — into the national limelight after a physician was murdered by a sniper in 1998.
Neal Horsley, the Bob Dylan enthusiast who once begged a girlfriend to get an abortion, may be the most important rising figure on the hard Christian right.
I read a lot of right-wing blogs, for various reasons. One of the sites I check occasionally is My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, which is written by a 38-year-old woman named Beth who describes herself as "a Republican by choice, American by the Grace of God" and whose site is decorated with a little cartoon of a girl sitting in front of a computer in her underwear, in a shameless attempt to entice her male readers into imagining her as a lithe, scantily-clad blogger.
Ariana Huffington…is a fucking scumbag.
I won’t use the words that are in my head (believe me, they’re worse than “fucking scumbag”) because I don’t want to offend you dear readers any more than I already do on a regular basis.
I’m not linking to her, but why the hell would a $< vÑ+$ like her (and her vile allies) have high-traffic conservative blogs on her blogroll? Because she wants to suck us (the readers of said bloggers) in to her filthy little world, that’s why. You don’t even have to look at that blogroll to find out which ones I’m talking about–just look at the TTLB traffic rankings and find the top 10 or 15 right-of-center blogs, and there you have it ... Yeah, I’m fucking bitter–there are 8 million blogs out here with people just trying to be heard by more than a dozen or so readers ...
Now, I don't know what a "$vÑ+$" is, and while I'm not crazy about Ariana H., I don't know that I'd call her a "fucking scumbag." But Beth is right to call her out on the silliness of blogrolling the high-traffic sites.
In my opinion, it's not just Ariana who shouldn't be doing this, though. I don't understand why anyone has Instapundit on their blogroll (or Atrios, or Kos, etc.). Everybody knows about these blogs, and anyone who wants to read them will have no trouble finding them. So it's hard to see the point of linking to them on your blogroll.
Blogrolls should be for blogs that your readers might not otherwise be familiar with. Basically, anybody in the 'Higher Being' category in the Ecosystem shouldn't be showing up on your blogroll. And really, the same goes for most of the 'Mortal Humans'.
Considering the fact that blogrolls need to be kept to a reasonable length, the presence of Instapundit or LGF or Atrios or whoever means less room for a smaller, less well-known blog that could really use the link.
Eric Cowperthwaite has hit a milestone: 20,000 unique visits. Congrats! If you're not familiar with Eric, he is one of those wacky libertarian/anarcho-capitalist types, and he runs an excellent blog which you should definitely check out.
It was only a hand grenade:
Bush escapes possible grenade in Georgia
AP - The US Secret Service says a possible hand grenade was thrown toward a stage in Georgia where US President George W Bush was giving a speech.
A spokesman says US authorities were informed by Georgian security forces that an object had been thrown at the stage where Bush had been speaking in the capital Tbilisi.
The device landed 30 metres from the stage and failed to detonate.
The suspected hand grenade thrown at US President George W Bush in Georgia was a reminder of the risks political leaders faced, John Howard said.
The prime minister said he was pleased Bush was safe.
"It's just a reminder that there is always a risk involved, particularly for people occupying the sort of position he does," Mr Howard told Southern Cross radio.
"But in a democratic world, political leaders should and will continue to mix very freely and openly with the public."
Wingnuts can blame anything on libruls. According to Liberal Quicksand, the Left is responsible for fat kids:
I have to say, LQ is right about one thing: liberals would not, in fact, 'go for' this plan. Because it is insane.
Bill Clinton is out enlightening us to the fact our children's diets...well, suck. He says they are eating way to much junk food and are not getting enough exercise.
Great. But this is a prime example of a liberal bemoaning a new problem in our nation - that they crreated! Before the women's movement and sky high taxes, moms stayed home. Mom's made the meals and packed the lunches. These moms not only knew about the four basic food groups, they also told the kids to go outside and play (exercise!), so moms could clean without the children being under foot.
We could reduce taxes, tell the women it is their job to raise the kids at home until they are in high school, and tell the men it is their job to bring home the bacon. Naw, the liberals would not go for it.
Tim Birdnow is on to us:
We have to understand that Liberalism takes the long view, and they are content to ride out the storms of Conservativism with patience. They have accomplished so much over the Centuries and they can afford to wait a few decades before resuming their efforts toward what they see as the inevitable. We don`t look at it that way; we see our battles in years, not decades. We plan for the next election, the next issue, the next social cause. Liberals will fight us on all of these, but they look to the horizon. We have waited too long. We are going to have to fight this war for a long time because what we must change is a fundamental worldview which is now inculcated in the minds and hearts of all the peoples of the Earth. Liberalism HAS won, in so many ways. We have to fight the whole war over again. I fear that too many on our side don`t understand this, and don`t have the patience.
I must say that the national Democratic Party's approach to Christians is analogous to an abusive husband in complete denial, seeking reconciliation when it suits his purposes, but otherwise engaged in a pattern of abuse.
Just like certain abusive spouses, the party can't live with Christians but can't live without them (politically). No matter how distasteful some may find our chronicling of it to be, the systematic abuse is demonstrable, as I documented in my book ...
That's why it's almost humorous to read of a conference of secular liberals at the City College of New York called "Examining the Real Agenda of the Religious Far Right," or an analysis of the liberal think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, arguing that Democrats are suffering from a severe "parent gap." ...
For liberals to woo Christian conservatives, they must stop the pattern of abuse and get on the right side of the Culture War. Pretending to do so just won't be enough.
All I have to say is ...
Or, you might be a 'blue neck' if ...
Blue Necks are Northerners -- the opposite of Rednecks. Because of Redneck jokes, here are some takes on how Southern folks look at Northerners ... YOU JUST MIGHT BE A BLUE NECK IF...
...Instead of referring to two or more people as "Y'all," you call them "you guys," even if both of them are women.
...You think barbecue is a verb meaning "to cook outside."
...You would never stop to buy something somebody was cooking on the side of the road. (e.g., boiled peanuts, not road kill, Dummy!)
...You don't have any problems pronouncing "Worcestershire sauce" correctly.
...For breakfast, you would prefer potatoes-au-gratin to grits.
...You don't know what a moon pie is. You have probably never watched a moon pie in a microwave.
...You've never had an RC Cola.
...You've never, ever eaten okra -- fried, boiled, or pickled.
...You have no idea what a polecat is.
..You don't see anything wrong with putting a sweater on your dog.
...You would rather have your son become a lawyer than grow up to get his own TV fishing show.
...You drink either "Pop" or "Soda"- instead of "Cokes."
...You have never planned your summer vacation around a gun-'n-knife show.
.. You have never been hep'd.
...You think more money should go to important scientific research at your university than to pay the salary of the head football coach
...You don't even have one can of WD-40 somewhere around the house.
...You couldn't find the eye of the stove if your life depended on it.
...You don't have any hats in your closet that advertise feed stores.
..You have more than one professional sports team in your home state.
..You call binoculars opera glasses.
...You can't spit without opening your mouth.
...You don't know anyone with at least two first names (i.e., Joe Bob, Faye Ellen, Billy Ray, Mary Jo, Bubba Dean, Joe Dan, Mary Alice)
...You don't know any women with male names (i.e., Tommie, Bobbie, Freddie, Johnnie, Jimmie, Ricki)
...You don't have Maw-maw's, Me-maws, Pawpaw's or Pappaw's.
...None of your fur coats are homemade.