August 31, 2007

Science Friday

Study Hard.

No Do Overs

Too Late, too late, much too late.

August 29, 2007

Punking Karl

Well, you do what you can:

White House pranksters wrapped Rove's Jaguar in plastic wrap on the private driveway next to the West Wing. Rove's car is easily recognizable because of its "I love Barack Obama" bumper sticker and the twin stuffed-animal eagles on the trunk. Oh, and there's a stuffed-animal elephant on the hood.

Its not being lead away in handcuffs, but at this point I'll take what I can get.

Is Bourne Anti-American?

Bill O'Reilly and Mickey Kaus say yes, Christopher Orr says no.

I with Orr on this. Bourne is basically about good and bad elements within US government and the good guys win. The problem is that Kaus and O'Reilly identify with what the bad guys want to do and it disturbs them that these movies show those tactics being used by the black hats. They want to "take the gloves off" which means torture, which means murder. That's what the bad guys do.

O'Reilly:

Damon does work for the far-left MoveOn organization and is on record as requesting the Bush daughters serve in Iraq.

The actor also told the Idaho Statesman that the CIA's use of water boarding is an erosion of our American values.

Guess what? There's a water boarding scene in the flick. What a coincidence!


Why yes there is a water boarding scene in the movie. "Water Boarding" is euphemism for torturing someone by drowning them. O'Reilly hates that movie shows us what water boarding is. He doesn't want you to see what he is advocating. Torture is a tool of bad people both in movies and real life. But O'Reilly and Kaus wants us to torture. Not in movies, but as the official policy of the United States government.

August 28, 2007

Again

So, another conservative caught with his hand in the gay cookie jar. This time it's an Idaho Senator whose was otherwise notable only for having the tasteful name of Larry Craig.

Look, there's a reason why this kind of thing keeps happening. The GOP and the conservative movement at this point are built around hating gay people. But there are a number of gay people in the country who really like church, tax cuts, or invading countries for no good reason. So we end up with quite of few closeted Republicans. Who are still gay, despite all efforts to the contrary. So we keep getting these ludicrous scandals as ideology loses out to nature.

August 27, 2007

Man of Vision

Go check out this write-up in our home town paper of Chris C-B, occasional contributor to this blog and, apparently, a paradigm shattering changer of worlds.

I particularly like the photo included with the story. Chris is peering into distance -no- the future and pointing to humanity's great destiny on the horizon, a destiny only he can see.

They are going to turn that photo in a bronze statue, just you wait.

Nice job, Chris.

Hey, Hey, Heyyy...

Goodbye.

Alberto Gonzales is resigning
. And with one voice the nation crys out "What took so long?"

This is a comforting resignation to me. It restores order to the universe. That someone that bad could hold on to that job for so long is like fire not being hot or gravity repelling objects. It was a defiance of all the known laws of politics.

Order has been restored.

August 24, 2007

Bit by Bit

So senior GOP Senator Mark Warner, The Joint Chiefs and GOP Voters in the State of Iowa all want to see the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Now these these are not full withdrawals Warner and the Joint Chiefs are talking about, but it is moving in the right direction. It could just be a stall tactic, withdrawal a little, so we don't have to withdraw a lot, but I think withdrawal will have a momentum of its own once it gets started. Which is why Bush will do anything to keep a drawdown from beginning.

The Iowa poll number is more interesting. If actual GOP voters check out on Iraq then the politicians will fallow. After all they keep backing massive subsidies for corn ethanol in order to keep Iowa happy, and that is far more stupid policy than withdrawing troops from Iraq.

August 23, 2007

Oooooooo

Carnivore Heaven.

Dumber Nation

The President, more than any other individual, sets the national debate. So when the President makes a mind boggling dumb speech invoking Vietnam in support of his Iraq adventure, he renders the entire nation dumber.

As Kevin Drum says:

Another longtime conservative fantasy makes its way out of the fever swamps and into the public discourse, where we'll all be expected to stroke our chins and pretend to take it seriously for the next week or so.


We can't ignore these lunatic ravings, because they aren't coming from that guy with crazy eyes down on the corner. They are coming from the President of the United States. These ideas gain credence just because the President has said them. Add making us dumber to the long list of damages that Bush has inflicted on the Country.

August 21, 2007

Harmful

To children and other living things.

But I do think this kind of thing is happening because of, no despite, Bush's poor approval ratings. When you are down to 30% approval you can afford to do unpopular things, cause you ain't going any lower. When 55% of people approve of you, things need to be done to keep that number up.

But the 30% are going to stick with Bush even if he implements a Federally funded puppy kicking program.

August 20, 2007

Counterintuitive!

Ah, Victor Davis Hanson, the right-wing's favorite historian. Deservedly thumped both at this blog and many, many others.

But I shall surprise my audience and win myself New Republic style counter intuitive points by agreeing with something his has written. Read his call to study military history. I agree. There should be more study of military. So we can put the interpretation of military matters out of the hands of people like Victor Davis Hanson. Liberals need to study military history.

Hanson is right that military history is out of fashion on campus. During my undergraduate years I took courses on both the American Revolution and The Civil War, and both professors took extreme care in avoiding any discussion of military matters. We dealt with economics, sociology, government, everything except the battle, tactics, and strategy. Not say this stuff isn't interesting, or important, but it leaves one unequipped to deal with the Hansons of the world.

Look, you know about things you like and don't spend time on things you don't. Conservatives love war so they study war. Which mean when the time comes to debate this war or the next war, conservatives can invoke Thucydides or Germany 1944 and liberals come back with who?, when? You've got to know that their interpretation of Thucydides is complete crap and that Germany 1944 has nothing to do with the current situation.

And to know that, you must study military history. So Professor Hanson is right. About that one thing. Nothing else.

August 17, 2007

Tragedy On Tragedy

3 rescue workers have died and six have been injured in an attempt to rescue six trapped miners in Utah.

August 16, 2007

He Is. And he Is.

Some folks are born
made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they're red, whit and blue.
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
they point the cannon right at you.
It ain't me,
it ain't me.
I ain't no senator's son.


John Fogerty - Fortunate Son

From the news today -

The son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is preparing for deployment to Iraq next year.

Capt. Beau Biden, a Judge Advocate General in the Delaware National Guard and the state's attorney general, is part of the 261st Signal Brigade that has been told to prepare for duty in Iraq in 2008. They have not been given a date of deployment yet.

"I don't want him going," Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said from the campaign trail Wednesday, according to a report on Radio Iowa. "But I tell you what, I don't want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years and so how we leave makes a big difference."

Oh no

Not to alarm anybody but it appears that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is about to designated a terrorist group by the US government. The Revolutionary Guard is a unit of the Iranian army. And as we all know, we are engaged in a great "War on Terror" Which leads one to believe the next step is to go to war with Iran. Which I'm sure will go just fine.

August 15, 2007

Everwhere is Texas Now

One of the things that makes California different from Texas (Its a long list) is how we administer the death penalty. Both States hand it out very frequently but in California appeals take a long, long time, while Texas has itself a express lane of death. I'm on record as wanting my death penalty to take as long as possible.

Bush now wants everyone to apply the same "kill em fast" standard as his home state. New rules give the Attorny General the power to speed up death penalty appeals in Federal Court. Yes, that would Attorny General "I don't recall" Gonzales power of life and death. Comforting thought, isn't it?

August 14, 2007

Fine, Do It

Micky Kaus, who has been calling, loudly, for a enforcement only approach to immigration now is now facing the possibility that enforcement might be a political nightmare. As if removing millions of people from the labor pool and millions of people from the Country was going to be an easy, pain-free process. So he blames the Bush administration for moving to enforcement only in order to undermine enforcement only. But Kaus has been claiming that enforcement only is not only good policy, but good politics. Oh the "idea" is just great. But in the real world it means families broken up, businesses shut down, crops rotting in the fields, and so on. Kaus thinks this could be avoided if only the policy is better implemented. Call it the immigration version of the "The Incompetence Dodge." Stupid idea actually put into play, turns disastrous. Blame execution. Can work for wars, firing prosecutors, and so on.

Qoute of the Day

“George Bush is counting the minutes till he gets out of town. I always felt about George Bush — that he wanted to win desperately, I’m not sure he really wanted to be president and he’s looking enviously at Karl Rove as he heads back to Texas.”

Howard Fineman on Countdown.

August 13, 2007

Gone, Baby, Gone.

Karl Rove to Resign.

We really can't call this resigning in disgrace, I don't think that Rove is going to get indicted for anything next week. Rove faces a kind of creeping disgrace, as his work to create a Republican majority is buried, dug up, staked, burned and buried again.

Still, the man was able to get worst President in American history both elected and re-elected, so his entry in the history books is secure.

August 9, 2007

More To The Asterisk...

...than what you may have thought.

Really interesting stuff.

Sooner

Oh my. South Carolina is moving its primary date up. That means that Iowa and New Hampshire who think they are always entitled to go first in the election season, are going to move up their dates as well. So we could in up with an Iowa Caucus that takes place in Mid-December of 2007. Utterly ridiculous. My only hope is that the system is on the verge of cracking, so we can throw it out and start over.

August 7, 2007

Bourne!

A couple of things in here are sort of spoilers so read carefully.

More! More! Unlike just about every other summer movie franchise (Pirates! Now even Longer and Making Even Less Sense!) I'm really glad they keep making Jason Bourne movies. The latest is Ultimatum again with Paul Greengrass at the helm. Greengrass has a style all his own. Way too close to the action not-steady-cam. Which puts every fight, every car crash this close to you. Which is riveting. The downside is that, after the movie, you pretty much feel like you were in a car crash and a fight.

They really do know what they are doing making these movies. All the pieces are in place. Put some great A-list talent back at CIA headquarters. Lots of great globe trotting locations. Whip-smart action. All the moving parts fit together. (Kung Fu calls it out -Nested sequels! Sonovabitch!) O hell even Julia Stiles and the movie's use of Julia Stiles gets better with each picture. There's this part where she cuts and dyes her hair and looks just like Marie after she had just cut and dyed her hair...oh man! I could write a whole thing on the perfection of that moment, of how the movie is smart enough just to show it without calling it out, trusting enough in the audience to get it without having someone explain it.

That's the secret of Bourne - it's a smart movie for smart people who watch action movies. A few weeks back, I'm watching Miami Vice with my Dad and during the scene with Tubb's girlfriend rigged with a bomb-collar, my Dad says "Looks like C4." And I say, "First, I think your right and two pretty damn scary how much we can learn just from the movies we take in." Bourne movies are for people who watch and learn, even from summer action flicks. Bourne is smart, but not magic smart. You get to see him think, to see how he gets one step ahead. You learn something.

No Enemies

You know, we don't even need an enemy in Iraq. We seem to be doing a great job shooting ourselves in the foot on our own:

The US has lost about 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces since the 2003 invasion, according to an official report published in Washington.

The weapons include AK-47 machine guns, pistols, body armour and helmets, some of which will have ended up in the hands of insurgents.

The disclosure adds to the picture of the chaotic and clumsy administration of Iraq that has been emerging over the last four years.


So of course these means that we are getting shot we weapons we provided. Of course.

August 5, 2007

Bourne!

Review Coming - Here's Moby off the soundtrack to get you in the mood.

August 3, 2007

Name up in Lights



A page that will produce a custom Hollywood sign for you. Via World O Crap, who got it from some other people, who got it from some other people and so on.

August 2, 2007

Bridge

The headline is the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota.

Your understanding the headline link is to Rick Perlstein's The Big Con, which documents how conservatives dedication to cutting government leads directly to our crumbling infrastructure.