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


Right-wing crazies

I realize there are nutjobs all up and down the political spectrum. But it really seems like the right side of that spectrum plays host to a disproportionate number of individuals who are truly, deeply psychologically disturbed.

We've already seen one example this week, whom I'll refrain from discussing just so as not to risk fanning the flames any more.

Another recent example of real unhingedness comes from an unsurprising source, Keith Burgess-Jackson. I'd actually stopped reading him quite some time ago, for whatever reason (i.e., nothing in particular). Even then he seemed to be losing hold of his sanity. But after taking a look at his Anal Philosopher site, clicking through from a post by Brian Leiter, I was taken aback by just how much Keith seems to have deteriorated.

To put it frankly, Keith seems to be obsessed with Prof. Leiter. On the front page at Anal Philosopher, Leiter's name shows up no fewer than forty-two times.

"Brian Leiter and other America-haters ought to read this speech..."

"Leiter is a punk"

"I'd like to express my gratitude to all those who fought—and are fighting—for this country, its people, its way of life, and its ideals. Wouldn't it be nice to hear Brian Leiter express a similar sentiment..."

"Wouldn't it be nice to see Brian Leiter engage Rove's arguments for a restrained judiciary?"

"Wouldn't it be nice to see Brian Leiter, Michael Sprague, or any of the other philosophers at the Philosophy of Biology blog engage this essay...?"

"I'm delighted to see a semi-literate and semi-civil discussion of the issues ... You'll never get anything like that on Brian Leiter's blog."

Etc. etc. etc. It's quite unseemly. I actually almost feel sorry for Keith, because I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that I think he is not well. It's kind of sad to watch someone having a public melt-down. But Keith is still enough of an asshole that he undercuts any sympathy one might have for him.

And finally, speaking of assholes, the sociopathic Bill O'Reilly has, as most of you have probably already heard, invited terrorists to have at San Francisco:
On Tuesday's version of O'Reilly's syndicated radio program, "The Radio Factor," the host vented his exasperation at two ballot measures that San Franciscans were in the process of approving on election day.

If city voters were intent on voting to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership, O'Reilly reasoned, then maybe it should be cut off from federal dollars. To illustrate his point, O'Reilly riffed on a vision of a San Francisco nation-state:

"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead," O'Reilly went on. "And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead...

"Why should we protect you from al Qaeda and terrorists if you're going to disrespect the military...?"
I think Keith Burgess-Jackson, who entertained the possibility of annihilating an entire nation ("President Bush should make it clear to the North Koreans that if they attack the United States, their people, their culture, and their land will be incinerated. It will be as if they never existed.") has found a soulmate.

UPDATE: O'Reilly, responding to the angry reaction to his comments on the part of San Franciscoans:
HOST: First question, do you stand by what you said?

O’REILLY: Of course I do. I mean, it’s ridiculous. We’re in World War III and San Francisco votes against military recruiting in schools. It’s insane. So, you know, people have to live with their actions ... There are dozens of people from my neighborhood on Long Island are now dead because of 9/11, and you people are telling me you’re not going to allow recruiting out there? Hey, it’s serious, and I think you guys need a wake-up call — not you guys, the people who voted against the military recruiting.

... I love the city, it’s a great city, but if you’re going to work against the United States of America in the war on terror — the city of San Francisco chooses to do that — then you have no right to federal funding. Believe me, if I were President Bush, I’d be standing in the middle of Union Square telling you that.

...What I said isn’t controversial. What I said needed to be said. I’m sitting here and I’m looking at a city that has absolutely no clue about what the world is. None. You know, if you had been hit on 9/11 instead of New York, believe me, you would not have voted against military recruting. Yet the left-wing, selfish, Land of Oz philosophy that the media and the city politicians have embraced out there is an absolute intellectual disgrace.
World War III?

We're all doomed!

If Avian Flu doesn't kill you, the treatment for it might:
TOKYO — Two teenage boys who took the antiviral drug Tamiflu exhibited abnormal behavior that led to their deaths, with one jumping in front of an oncoming truck last year and the other falling from the ninth floor of a building earlier this year, health ministry and other sources said Saturday.

The drug in Japan carries a note listing impaired consciousness, abnormal behaviors, hallucination and other psychological and neurological symptoms as possible serious side effects. The ministry is considering making a fresh warning about them, following its decision to increase the stockpile of the drug amid growing fears about a possible pandemic of a new type of influenza as bird flu deaths rise across Asia.


This guy:

is freaking me out.

Also, is this site displaying correctly? Jacob says he is having problems with it in Firefox, but I use Firefox and it looks all right to me. It should look something like this in Firefox (click to enlarge):

Please let me know if it looks drastically different. It should look roughly the same in Explorer; if it looks drastically different in IE for anybody, please let me know as well.



Wingnut Don Surber, with an approving nod from Glenn Reynolds, calls the president's boilerplate speech today on Iraq "Bush's Gettysburg."

White Phosphorus

I'm no expert on these matters, and I haven't yet looked into it very closely, but as I understand it, the use of 'white phosphorus' (which honestly I'd never heard of before yesterday, or whenever the story broke) is not in and of itself illegal, but it is limited to very specific purposes. So, the use of this material in certain prohibited ways would indeed be illegal.

So the question, then, is whether 'WP' was in fact used illegally. Mark Rothschild says that, according to the Army itself, it was:

What is the truth about the charge that "banned weapons" (such as the napalm-like white phosphorus) are being used in Iraq – specifically that they were used during the November 2004 Battle of Fallujah? The U.S. Department of State has addressed this through its "Truth Squad" Web site, which debunks "misinformation" and anti-American slurs. The State Department's Truth Squad is called the "counter-misinformation team."

As the Truth Squad points out, an important distinction must be made between the lawful use of white phosphorus as an illuminator and the use of white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon. The use of white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon is against U.S. policy; however, its use as an illuminator is lawful.

...However, the U.S. Army itself disagrees with the State Department and says that it does use white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon ... Indeed, Field Artillery magazine puts white phosphorus at the head of its list of useful anti-personnel weapons deployed in Fallujah...

Ultimately, the Bush administration cannot continue to hold out what are essentially two versions of the truth about white phosphorus.

FYI, FWIW, etc.

UPDATE: In the comments, Blake suggests that Rothschild may be confused. We report, you decide!

Confirm Alito, or die

Grace Nearing catches this bizarre bit from wingnut James Atticus Bowden:
Judge Alito will be the fourth of nine votes to fix the Supreme Court. One more vote and an ‘Originalist’ majority on the U.S. Supreme Court can save American Civilization from Judicial Tyranny. Alito won’t save our Civilization by himself, but it can’t be done without him. Or, at the least, saving our Civilization can’t be done the easiest, direct, most peaceful way without an Originalist Supreme Court and many Originalist judges throughout the Federal judiciary. The harder way is another revolution...
to which all I have to say is ...

Are you threatening me?


Need a reason to oppose Alito, Democrats?

If his general wingnuttery wasn't enough, how about this :
Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. said yesterday that he did nothing improper when he ruled in cases involving two financial firms in which he held accounts, although he had told the Senate 15 years ago that he would step aside in matters involving the companies.

Alito, trying to quell conflict-of-interest issues raised by liberal opponents, said he had been "unduly restrictive" in promising in 1990 to recuse himself in cases involving Vanguard Group Inc. and Smith Barney Inc. After the Senate confirmed him as an appellate judge and when he subsequently ruled on routine cases involving the two companies, he said, he acted properly because his connections to the firms did not constitute a conflict of interest under the applicable rules and laws.

The Supreme Court nominee's comments, made in a two-page letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members, differed from the White House's explanations of his actions. The White House said last month that a courthouse "computer screening program" had failed to alert Alito to step aside in the Vanguard case. Alito made no reference to computers in yesterday's letter. He said he went further than he needed to in 1990 when he promised to avoid ruling in cases involving Vanguard and Smith Barney.

"To the best of my knowledge, I have not ruled on a case for which I had a legal or ethical obligation to recuse myself during my 15 years on the federal bench," he wrote.

...Democrats and liberal groups have not suggested that Alito could have benefited from the rulings in the Vanguard and Smith Barney cases. Rather, they have questioned why he ruled in the matters after telling the Senate -- in the 1990 confirmation process for his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit -- that he would recuse himself in cases involving Vanguard, Smith Barney and his sister's law firm.

Democrats have focused on the recusal questions in recent days, as criticisms of Alito's judicial philosophy have had little effect. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), speaking with reporters this week after meeting with Alito, said he told the nominee: "You are ultimately the check on whether or not you kept your pledge. You indicated you would recuse yourself, and then did not."
Arlen Specter is worried:
Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today was asked if he thinks the Vanguard matter is spiraling out of control and could endanger Alito's nomination. His response, quote: "I'm concerned it has potential, it may."

Can the Senate trust Alito?

This seems like a big deal:
Here's a question for Senators: If a nominee for Supreme Court already has a history of telling the US Senate one thing to get confirmed, then doing the exact opposite, when can you trust him?
When Alito became a federal appeals court judge in 1990, he promised to recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard mutual funds, because he had personal investments through the company. Yet he participated in a case decided in 2002 involving Vanguard.
...This was not a small matter. What's worse, it looks like a pattern. Today, the Boston Globe, which has done great work investigating these discrepancies, reports on another situation where Alito said one thing to the Senate and did another:
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., who said in 1990 that he would disqualify himself from cases involving his sister's law firm, was a member of an appeals court that reviewed a 1995 case in which his sister's firm represented one of the parties, according to court records.

It is at least the third instance in which there is no indication the Supreme Court nominee recused himself from the kind of case he had promised a Senate committee he would avoid as a federal judge.
This is a very troubling pattern. It begs the question of how much Senators can trust what Alito tells them. Does Alito think that what he says to get confirmed doesn't matter once he's on the bench?

According to Reuters, Alito is spending a lot of time on the Hill telling Senators about "his respect for precedent" which is taken to mean he won't rush to overturn established cases like Roe v. Wade. Can those words be trusted? It is a big risk to confirm a justice who already has a history of not following through on promises made to the Senate.
Blogs for Bush, surprisingly, doesn't see the problem:
Despite Democrats claims, nothing inappropriate occurred... Arlen Specter has released two letters from independent legal experts who found that Alito broke no laws by not recusing himself from the Vangaurd case. Geoffrey Hazard. Jr., Trustee Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, explained that "Judge Alito had no conflict of interest and should not have recused himself." George Mason University Foundation Professor Of Law, Ronald Rotunda, wrote to Specter that he had "evaluated the situation and conclude, for the reasons discussed below, that neither federal statutes, nor federal rules, nor the Model Code of Judicial Conduct of the American Bar Association provide that a judge should disqualify himself in any case involving a mutual fund company (e.g., Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price) simply because the judge owns mutual funds that the company manages and holds in trust for the judge."

Looks like the Democrats are barking up the wrong tree... Again...
The point isn't that Alito broke the law in failing to recuse himself, or even that he should have recused himself and didn't. The point is that he said he would recuse himself, and then didn't. Which means that Alito is perfectly willing to lie to the Senate. Which means that anything he says in his confirmation hearings cannot be trusted. Which means his promises to "respect precedent" and to go to the Court without an "agenda" don't mean shit.

Lately, some prominent Democrats have been going on the record as regretting the fact that they trusted Bush on the Iraq war. Fine. Now show us that you've put such naivete behind you, and don't put your trust in the assurances of someone who is no more trustworthy than the president.

Massachusetts ravaged by the Gay Plague!

A very funny Daily Show piece can be found here (the QT is not of the best quality; go with the WMV), wherein Ed Helms visits the state of Massachusetts, armed with a "Homometer" to ascertain the fallout of the recent legalization of gay marriage (Mass. now ranks 50th in illiteracy!).

As a side note, the Daily Show piece contains a clip of Bill O'Reilly saying something like, "If you legalize gay marriage, you're going to have to legalize polygamy." This, of course, is a familiar argument, and is usually dismissed an instance of the "slippery slope" fallacy.

But really, what is the argument against legalized polygamy (assuming that we are talking about gender-neutral polygamy, and not a situation where only men were allowed to take multiple spouses)? Most people prefer monogamy, but most people prefer heterosexuality as well. Don't proponents of gay marriage who oppose polygamy have to make an argument that monogamy is somehow intrinsically superior to polyamory? If so, what is the argument?

Polygamy is clearly not an inevitable result of allowing gay marriage; if we can draw the line at man-woman, we can just as easily draw the line at man-man or woman-woman (as opposed to man-woman-man, etc.). But what is the principled basis for doing so? I don't know that I've seen anyone address this.


57% of Americans are in Michael Moore territory

Remember this, from DLC wanker Marshall Wittman?
Of course, this Administration was negligent from the beginning in planning for the occupation. Rummy and the boys expected to leave the country soon after the toppling of Saddam and failed to prepare for an insurgency with sufficient troop levels. And we all know the horrendous stories of how our troops even lacked sufficient armor.

But, the Congressional Democrats are not pursuing the Administration's mishandling of the war and the failure to achieve victory. No, they are now headed for Michael Moore territory with the argument that a vast conspiracy concocted a war base on lies. These Democratic leaders should be aware of the path on which they have embarked.
It's apparently a pretty crowded path: "Fifty-seven percent believe he deliberately misled people to make the case for war."

See ya

Judy Miller "retires" from the New York Times.
Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who was first lionized, then vilified by her own newspaper for her role in the CIA leak case, has retired from the Times, the paper announced Wednesday.

Miller did not immediately respond to an e-mail or answer her telephone.

"We are grateful to Judy for her significant personal sacrifice to defend an important journalistic principle," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times, in a statement. "I respect her decision to retire from The Times and wish her well."

Executive editor Bill Keller, who was critical of Miller's actions, said of his newly departed reporter, "She displayed fierce determination and personal courage both in pursuit of the news and in resisting assaults on the freedom of news organizations to report."

In an e-mail memo last month to the newspaper's staff, Keller said that until Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.

"Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her involvement, Keller wrote.

Taubman asked Miller in the fall of 2003 whether she was among the reporters who had gotten leaks about the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.

"Ms. Miller denied it," the newspaper reported in a weekend story.

Miller and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, discussed Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, in three conversations in the weeks before the CIA officer's status was outed by columnist Robert Novak.

Keller said he might have been more willing to compromise with Fitzgerald over Miller's testimony "if I had known the details of Judy's entanglement with Libby."

In response, Miller told the Times that Keller's memo was "seriously inaccurate," the newspaper said. It reported that in a memo to Keller, Miller wrote she "never meant to mislead Phil (Taubman), nor did I mislead him."

As for Keller's remark about "my 'entanglement' with Mr. Libby, I had no personal, social, or other relationship with him except as a source," Miller wrote.

Responding to Keller's memo, Miller's attorney, Bob Bennett, said: "I am very concerned now that there are people trying to even old scores and undercut her as a heroic journalist."
"Heroic journalist"? I think I just threw up a little.

In other news regarding people with blood on their hands, Andrea Yates has been granted a new trial.

Am I the only one who finds Yates a more sympathetic figure than Miller?


From the Uncyclopedia entry on Philip Glass:
Philip Glass (January 31, 1937 – ) is a composer of minimalist music, who once worked as a taxi driver in; Philip Glass is a composer of minimalist music, who once worked as a taxi driver; Philip Glass is a composer of minimalist music, who once worked as a taxi; Philip Glass is a composer of minimalist music, who once worked as a mole for the cia; infiltrating the enharmonic taxi composer jethro tull. muther.

One two three four. One two three four.One two three four. One two three four.

Philip Glass Philip Glass Glass Glass Philip Philip Glasssssssss had Milton Babbitt for a fare once had Milton Babbitt for a fare once had Milton Babbitt for a fare once had Milton Babbitt for a fare once and Milton got off and didn't tip him, didn't, didn't, didn't tip tip tip tip tip tip.

Philip Glass is a composer oser oser oser Philip Glass is a composer oser oser oser Philip Glass is a composer oser oser Taxi Waxi Taxi Waxi.

Applied ID science

"I don't understand how my microwave works...which means that, for lunch today, God made me a ham and cheese hot pocket. Thank you God!"

Oh, now it all makes sense

The people of Maine were asked today to vote on a proposition called the "People's Veto," an effort to overrule a law passed by the legislature that guaranteed equal protection for gays. Christian Civic League leader Mike Heath explains why it was so important for his fellow Mainers to vote 'Yes' on the proposition:
Today is election day 2005. The people of Maine will vote about sex, again [Ed.-This is the THIRD time the religious right has put the issue before the voters, and the third time they were defeated.]. Many don't know this is the subject they are deciding -- sexual morality. They have believed the dark lies about our state. They think we are a state of bigots who hate homosexuals. This deception is made possible by the institutions of Maine. The media, the political parties, the government and even the Catholic Diocese of Maine. The responsibility for the corruption of our youth will lie with them.

The hands of the Christian Civic League of Maine, Coalition for Marriage, Maine Grassroots Coalition and every YES voter today will be mercifully clean. God has washed them. He is the only one with enough power to scrape away the evil filth that is now known in the west as the left.

To continue with the hand metaphor -- support for homosexuality is like creating a cake you plan to eat with your bare hands using mud from a pig sty while recognizing the evil of this ideology is like raising undefiled hands to heaven thankful for His miraculous salvation.

(Link via Slublog.)



Just lost all my Firefox bookmarks and can't recover them.

Even lost my extensions, any customizations I had made, everything.

Fucking hell.


Kos is worried about problems with the voting machines in Ohio.

This, after banning community members who dared to voice similar concerns after previous elections.

Hey, Kos:

The dumbest clause ever written?

"Assuming choices to engage in risky sex are made rationally, ..."



Do you ever find yourself worrying terribly about something, only to realize that you have no earthly idea what you're worrying about?

And then sat there and tried to think about what could have been the source/object of the worry, and eventually come to the conclusion that there really, truly is nothing that you should be worried about right now?

But then still not been able to stop worrying? And then getting even more worried because you've got this objectless dread that you can't shake, which maybe means that you're having some kind of psychic premonition or something, and that something must be about to happen that really will be cause for worry?

...not that this happens to me. I was just, you know, wondering.

The crybaby right

Some jackoff named Paul Deignan is threatening to sue her Excellency, Bitch Ph.D., for libel.

Why? Because she accused him of spoofing his IP to get around being banned from commenting on her blog.

Yeah. Aren't you wingnuts always getting your panties in a bunch about frivolous lawsuits?

Be a man, Paul. I realize that life as a thirty-year-old virgin (or however the fuck old you are) can't be much fun, but that's no reason to take it out on the rest of the world.

And Paul, I think it's only fair to tell you, since you are a "pro-life" fetus fetishist of the highest order, that you are actually doing your cause a disservice, since you are, yourself, a walking argument for abortion.


Don't believe the hype; Roe is good constitutional law

Whenever the Supreme Court becomes a hot topic of discussion in Blogland and among the punditocracy, you inevitably hear people saying things like "legal scholars of all stripes agree that the Roe opinion is poor constitutional law." I haven't taken a poll of legal scholars "of all stripes," but I can tell you that the idea that Roe is undeniably "bad law" is utter bullshit. (This is not to say that there is nothing wrong with Roe - there is, but what Roe gets wrong, it gets wrong not because it goes too far in protecting abortion rights, but because it doesn't go far enough. But that's a topic for another day.) When people criticize Roe, they usually do so on the grounds that the Constitution simply does not guarantee the right to an abortion. They are wrong.

In Roe, the Supreme Court found (among other things) that the criminalization of abortion violated the 'Due Process Clause' of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
So no state is allowed to pass laws that infringe upon individual liberties - unless the due process condition is met. This means that one's liberty can only be violated if the state has a legitimate reason to do so. In the absence of a "compelling state interest," as the Roe decision put it, any law that constitutes a significant interference with a person's basic liberty is unconstitutional.

Abortion bans undeniably limit the liberty of pregnant women; even those who support such laws must acknowledge this. The right to control what happens to one's own body is fundamental (though not absolute). If a state is going to be permitted by the Due Process Clause to outlaw abortion, it will have to have a "compelling interest".

This means that the burden of proof is on those who oppose Roe to identify just what this compelling state interest is that justifies the violation of liberty that abortion prohibitions entail. So far, they haven't done this. (Appeasing the fetus fetish crowd by catering to their bizarre superstitions doesn't count.)

Instead, they misdirect the discussion: "If the constitution says nothing even remotely related to abortion, [a law against abortion] is not unconstitutional." Sorry, no. The Constitution doesn't have to say anything about abortion. It says something about liberty - namely, that it cannot be violated without a good reason. If you want to infringe on someone's liberty, you have to demonstrate that you are justified in doing so. If you can't do the latter, you can't do the former - the Constitution says so.

Talk about no new ideas

Something that's not mentioned very often is the way that the Right is still using the same old playbook from the Joe McCarthy days, with 'terrorism' replacing 'communism' as the one-size-fits-all smear for anyone who dares to question the wisdom - or sanity, or morality - of Bush administration policy, and as a final, absolute justification for any savagery or idiocy the administration wishes to perpetrate.

This post by Mark Noonan - who might just be the most far-gone Kool-aid drinker I've ever run across (I mean it) - illustrates the point perfectly (my emphasis):
Let us at least face this one fact: this War on Terrorism has been, and will continue to be, longer and bloodier than it had to be because a large segment of our own population does not see this war for what it is - a life and death struggle for survival on the part of liberal democracy. Victor Davis Hanson neatly describes the dead weight we are forced to carry into battle:
...Western parlor elites are still arguing over whether there were al Qaedists in Iraq before the removal of Saddam Hussein, whether the suspicion of WMDs was the real reason for war against the Baathists ... Some of this acrimony is understandable, but such in-fighting is still secondary to defeating enemies who have pledged to destroy Western liberal society. At some point this Western cannibalism becomes not so much counterproductive as serving the purposes of those who wish America to call off its struggle against radical Islam.
Mr. Hanson, I have noted, is a man who gives every benefit of the doubt to people who disagree with him - but in that emphasised point, we see him approaching a position which most of us have been wary of acknowledging: that the opponents, so-called, of the war have left rational dissent far behind and are now engaged, witting or otherwise, in an effort to secure our, that is, defeat for themselves. They don't understand that the Islamist butcher-knife is sharpened not just for neo-con supporters of Israel, but for Michael Moore and the entire membership of MoveOn as well. I'm a Christian - and a man really trying to live a Christian life (something a bit new for me) - and thus I love my enemies and pray for them; I wish this war were over and the bloodshed stopped...but war we have, and right and decency demand that we prosecute it to victory. The consequences of our defeat are so bad that no consquence of fighting for victory can possibly be worse.

So, we continue the fight - our President is steadfast and we are ready for whatever call to duty may happen. We will fight and win this war, and get no thanks from those we saved from the consequences of their own desires. So be it - life isn't fair; but Justice eventually triumphs over all.
Every good fascist knows that you need an Emmanuel Goldstein.

Notice that sentence just above in bold ... "the consequences of our defeat are so bad that no consequences of fighting for victory can possibly be worse." In other words, no matter how much blood the Bush war machine spills, it will never be too much. Just ponder the implications of that for a moment.

By the way, Noonan is no fringe figure; he's solidly within the mainstream of the Republican Party.

I am very afraid.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory Sanity is not statistical.