As the war continues between Anonymous and the Church of Scientology, one can only think that the turnout of hundreds of masked anonymous protesters at CoS locations around the world, caused some serious bricks to be shat. The DoS attacks against CoS web sites are interesting, but nothing new. This sort of thing goes on all the time now. But anything that makes lots of people do something in the real world can no longer be ignored, because that means power. And that is what oppressive governments and religions/cults fear more than anything else. You can bet that the FBI and CIA in the US, and their counterparts in other parts of the world just increased their interest in Anonymous. And you can bet that those who want to strip the net of anonymity will be using these protests as leverage to do so, labeling it as cyber-terrorism or some such nonsense when in fact these protesters are acting in the best of classic American traditions. Makes me want to go dump some tea in the harbor or something.
As much as Bush and Cheney like to demonize Iran’s president Ahmadinejad, they should actually be quite flattered. Imitation is, after all the sincerest form of flattery and Ahmadinejad’s comment that there are no gays in Iran is just a variant on GOP strategy concerning gays in the US. It is no secret that Ahmadinejad is not particularly popular at home in Iran right now. He simply hasn’t delivered on his promises to the people there on the economy, and they’re pissed. So he needed a distraction. Gay bashing is a strategy that has served the GOP very well in the US and probably plays very well in Iran too, along with poking the Great Satan US in the eye. It’s really quite a delicious treat he served up because Bush and company can’t really condemn his remarks without somehow coming off as pro-gay which they are about as likely to do as anything that would make them look pro-black in any meaningful sense.
So a tip of the hat goes to President Ahmadinejad, we have been soooo played! And as a nice, cover your tracks, twist his comments have been scrubbed from Iranian media. Can’t have those nonexistent people getting ideas you know!
I’ve been seeing stories on digg about US Presidential candidate Ron Paul for months now. I’ve seen so much there, that quite honestly, I doubted that Ron Paul was a real person rather than some new internet meme. Well, Ron Paul is real and there’s a story on CNET today.
I don’t have any problems with Ron Paul, but I think that like Howard Dean before him, being too popular on the internet is the kiss of death. So far, internet popularity has not, to my knowledge, translated into big electoral success. There’s still something a bit unreal about the internet to most people. And it is still far too easy to manipulate the internet in ways that the mainstream media is resistant to, at least without a lot of money. So I think that unless Ron Paul can raise some real money to raise his profile in the mainstream media, television in particular, his candidacy is doomed to fail.
Wow, Keith Olbermann is majorly pissed! And after hearing his reasons for it being time for Bush and Cheney to step down, I’m a bit more pissed too. I haven’t been happy about the way there has been a continuing erosion of American freedoms since 9/11 in the name of defeating the terrorists. And I wasn’t happy about the commutation of Libby’s sentence either, it being a sign of a President and Vice President determined to protect and help their friends at all costs. But honestly, I don’t think the Congress has the guts to throw the bums out. Bush and Cheney are going to take the Republican party right to the bottom of the sea with them, yet the party doesn’t have the guts to join the Democrats and show Bush and Cheney the door. I hope I’m wrong, but until I see otherwise, I don’t think anything is going to change.
I ran across the following on CNN’s Political Ticker today from a blurb on Hillary Clinton’s comments regarding the need for a clean sweep in the White House.
â€œIf Hillary Clinton thinks women will support her candidacy simply based on her gender she is mistaken,â€ RNC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson said. â€œWomen, like men, will vote for a candidate because they share their views, and Hillaryâ€™s consist of higher taxes, bigger government and waving a white flag in the global war on terror.â€
It’s a shame, for women, that this is probably quite true. If women were to decide to vote as a block, as some minority and special interest groups have, they could transform the US government in a very short time. Women outnumber men in the US, live longer, and vote in greater numbers. Women could rule this country simply by calling forth and fanatically supporting female candidates. If they could just agree that it is more important to seize power first even if you don’t agree on every little point.
I asked my wife why women don’t see this and support each other to seize power. She said that it’s because women are too jealous of any other woman’s success to work together in the same way men often do. Women are not any more perfect than men, but they do have a different perspective on things which could be useful to the country. I wonder how much things will have to be messed up before they rise up and decide, as a block, that the government needs a more feminine touch?
Honestly I really don’t care anymore about the US Supreme Court’s rejection of school assignment plans that use race as a factor. What I’ve seen in my life time is that if people don’t want to be with someone because of their race, then they’ll use whatever means they can to avoid it. The schools have already resegregated and the court decision can only accelerate and validate this process. In the US we pay a lot of lip service to valuing ethnic diversity, but when you get right down to it, people’s actions speak otherwise. And I for one am tired of trying to fight against that tide. If white, brown, or yellow people don’t want to be with me or my kids because we’re black, then screw them! There’s no point in trying to force the issue through the law. All we can fight for now is fairness in the assignment of resources. But if history is a guide, separate is never equal.
The New York Times editorial, Gitmos Across America, well illustrates the kind of abuse immigrants in the US can face, legal ones or not. And once again illustrates, as I’ve written before, that it is the fact that because the rights of illegal immigrants are not spelled out, they are left open for abuse and exploitation.
From the editorial
The cells would be full of people who shouldnâ€™t be there: asylum seekers, the elderly, pregnant women, the sick and those ensnared in paperwork mistakes. Children, like the kindergartners in inmate scrubs walking the halls of a federal detention center outside Austin, Tex. Day laborers, like those in suburban Brewster, N.Y., whose arrests were hailed by a mayor who spoke proudly of his communityâ€™s â€œzero toleranceâ€ for people unlawfully playing soccer in a schoolyard.
The country already detains some 230,000 immigrants a year, at an annual cost of $1.2 billion. Under the current immigration bill, it would build tens of thousands more beds to hold detainees. And it would need many more â€” GuantÃ¡namo Bays across America â€” if Mr. Grahamâ€™s zero-tolerance vision is fully realized.
This flavor of so-called immigration reform will only serve to put more power in the hands of those who benefit by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Why aren’t any of the US presidental candidates saying anything about this? What about it Senator Obama? What about it Senator Clinton? It doesn’t take a genius to see that these bills don’t address the problem as long as illegals are in legal limbo in the US.
I haven’t been paying much attention to the 2008 campaigning for the US presidency because for the most part I’ve already made up my mind and have better things to do until election day. But this video certainly caught my attention and again plays up the fact that the new avenues of participation made possible by the internet may be reshaping the political game in the US. In a world of YouTube and MySpace, a politician’s public image is no longer shaped merely by handlers and spin doctors. It looks like the public is getting a say too! I wonder what wife Michelle thinks about this chick crushin on her man?
Most parents with young school aged children know the Flat Stanley story and exercise. In our school, each child makes a flat, paper, version of themselves which is then mailed to friends or relatives. The flat children are mailed back along with accounts of all of the adventures they have had. It’s great fun which is why it breaks my heart to hear about the flat daddies that are starting to make their appearance in the US. From the Chicago Tribune article.
FT. STEWART, Ga — Sgt. Andrew Ponton has been in Iraq since January, but if you’ve visited Florida’s SeaWorld recently, you might have seen him sitting on a bench between his wife and son watching the dolphins perform. Or perhaps you noticed him, dressed in his Army fatigues, sunning on the beach at Tybee Island near Savannah.
A closer look, however, would reveal that it’s not Ponton in the flesh. It is a life-size vinyl foam board cutout that his family uses to keep him close even when he is far away.
While this can and does offer some comfort for many while their loved ones are away, wouldn’t it be better to bring the troops home? If we must have a presence in Iraq, why not deploy the flat daddies and mommies instead? Most of our forces have performed with honor and courage, now it’s time for us to honor them by bringing them home to their families.
Insert obligatory, “I don’t care who you vote for, just vote”, phrase here! Bppppppppppppppppp! Fsck that, get out, vote, and please don’t vote for any idiots who want to keep us in Iraq or impose their own narrow moral views on you with the force of law! Who these idiots are may vary a little from place to place, but I think we know who we’re talkin’ ’bout! On the other hand, if you actually support these
idiots people, then don’t worry, the election is next week, yeah that’s right, next week…
I’m sure there are thousands of blog postings around the internet concerning the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks. I remember the day as being one of great anger for me. I was angry because I’d just been laid off the Friday before 9/11. And as I watched the first tower collapse on TV, I was almost in a rage because I felt that the the stupid unilateralist policies of the Bush administration had set the stage for these horrific attacks. Five years later, I don’t really think the government’s policies or who the President was would have made any difference at all. The attacks were the result of hatred of the other, the not us. There’s no reasoning with hate, but returning the hatred doesn’t work either. It’s become a cliche, but we really do need to find a way to love our enemies. If war can’t conquer hate, then that only leaves love.
President Bush admitted today that the U.S. does have secret prisons around the world in which the CIA holds and interrogates suspected terrorists. He said that the interrogation is tough, but humane, safe, and legal. And he said that this must be done for the security of the U.S.. Well I say we’ve become the evil we were fighting against which means we’ve already lost the war on terror and taken our place besides the other great oppressive empires of history. We might as well drop the pretense of being the land of the free and the home of the brave. By surrendering the moral high ground, we’ve lowered ourselves to the level of those who would destroy us. Has Anakin been replaced by Darth? Did I just reference the bad Star Wars trilogy?
The bottom line is that being the good guys means that sometimes we have to suffer defeats and setbacks because it is evil to hold people indefinitely without charge. It is evil to torture people for information, even if you think it will save lives. And it is evil to invade other countries to install the government that you think they should have. All of this evil is not going to make America or the world any safer and so far that seems to be what we are seeing by and large.
ZOMG! Once again an attempt to ammend the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage has failed in the U.S. Senate! OMGZ! Puhlease! If the government really wanted to protect marriage, they could start by making it harder to get married in the first place and harder to get unmarried once you got married. Making adultery a criminal offense would probably help too. Oh, and they could actually do something about the very very high costs associated with raising children.
In a world where the front page of CNN has a link to a story about Pitt and Jolie denying rumors of their getting married, after just having a baby no less, I hardly think that men wanting to marry men and women wanting to marry women is a threat to heterosexual marriage. Our society’s failure to support marriage has nothing to do with gay people, who one would think must be crazy in some sense to want to embrace it. But far from crazy, the passion exhibited in their drive to marry must surely tell us something about human nature and the things that are really important.
I’ve been thinking a bit about the Immigrant Protest scheduled for today and all of the contradictions and conflicts embodied in it. I’m pretty sure that most Latinos in the U.S. and most immigrants in general, are a little uncomfortable to be tied to illegal immigration. I don’t think that anyone, even the illegal immigrants themselves would argue that illegal immigration should be condoned or encouraged. Nevertheless, I’m not sure that the true heart of the matter has been articulately expressed.
I think the real question that needs to be answered is, what rights and protections should people in the U.S. illegally have? In many countries, illegal immigrants have little if any rights spelled out in the law and are wide open to merciless exploitation and abuse. I would think that Americans would like to be better than that and I don’t think that any of the measures on the table right now address this fundamental question. A guest worker program will still leave many, if not most, in an illegal status. Granting legal residence after paying fines, etc…, still leaves a lot of illegals too. Either way, the question of what rights undocumented residents actually have is left unanswered.
There will always be people in the country illegally, and they have rights that should be protected by virtue of their humanity. The real debate needs to get focused on spelling out what these rights are before moving forward on any of the immigration proposals currently in play.
It looks like there’s plenty of room on the stupid-assed politicians bandwagon. The Oklahoma senate has passed an anti-violent games bill that makes it illegal to sell violent video games to anyone under 18. Never mind the fact that laws like this have been struck down by the courts as unconstitutional in state after state. So it seems to me that any legislator that supports such a bill at this point is at best uninformed, and at worst a dumb fuck! Sorry about the language, but it is sooo frustrating for our elected officials to be wasting time and money on things like this when real work needs to be done. Our energy and education needs should be more than enough to keep them busy, so dumb-assed legislation like this just proves how morally bereft our system has become. We have no moral right at this point to even suggest that countries like China, or Iraq should adopt the same system that continues to spew out bull crap like this!