He was a bully I think. He was a man who never knew happiness I think. He rationalized his actions I’m sure by saying that he did what had to be done. He called his own enemies evil, and tortured them completely. Saddam Hussein was all too human. He walked among us. In this moment of spiritual limbo between Christmas and the start of a new year I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness.
I feel sadness because we repaid cruelty with cruelty. We did it because we allowed an emotionally disturbed man to lead us, to direct our actions. We destroyed Saddam Hussein’s life. This was perhaps justified. Do we destroy every cruel man’s life? Is it our duty to destroy every cruel man’s life? Still, it was not less than he deserved. Take away his livelihood. What will we do to the war profiteers who had a hand in murdering our own children for a few dollars? Will we be as angry, as cruel?
We killed his children while he was still alive. We hunted them down like animals and slaughtered them without dignity. As a father I will say no human deserves this. Once we have reached this level of cruelty it has gone beyond repayment. It has become something visceral, something deep within our souls that we usually try to hide, even from ourselves. But we felt no shame. We celebrated this cruelty, cheered it and broadcast it to the world. Who gave us this licence I wonder? Now that this Pandora's box is open, will we be able to close it?
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Illinois is about to become the first U.S. state to crack down on dogs used by convicted felons, especially those involved in gangs, to intimidate people or participate in dog fights. Convicted felons, legally prohibited from owning guns, frequently use dogs to attack or threaten people.
"This innovative act was designed to make our communities safer, and is a major step forward in correctly administering and regulating 'dangerous dog' laws," said Ed Sayres, president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Last year on opening day I brought el nino fishing to a trout park, big mistake for several reasons. There were dozens of kids and families surrounding the lake and some numbnuts walking around with a massive pit bull with a spiked collar. What sort of asshole deliberately walks a dog like that around dozens of active, distracted children? As he walk by I moved el nino in front of me so that I would be between numbnuts, his dog and my son. I felt bad because the dog looked like a decent enough mutt, he was just put in position where he might hurt someone and get K-BARed in the cabeza for doing so. It seems to me the problem is not with the dogs but with the sort of person who would own one.
To abandon the nascent Iraqi government with a foreign insurgency raging would not serve our national interest, short or long term. The cut and run crowd, a.k.a. the Democratic party, not content with cutting and running and leaving our indigenous allies to the tender mercies of our enemies in Vietnam thirty years ago, want to do the exact same thing again in Iraq.
We could leave Iraq and retreat behind our oceans and sweat every container ship and every foreign national and still have a modicum of safety and security, but I would much rather draw our enemies to a Mesopotamian abattoir and kill every last one of them.
I hate to admit this, but I don’t give a crap if Iraq becomes the next Switzerland or not. It would be nice, but that’s for the Iraqis to realize. What I care passionately about is whether our friends and enemies view us as feckless and inconsequential. We may be the most powerful nation in the history of the world, but that does us little good if half a million Jihadis with Kalashnikovs and I.E.D.s can have there way with us.
Friday, December 29, 2006
With stunning abruptness we’re jostled from the Christmas Mass (the Christ Mass) to the feast of St. Stephen, proto-martyr. And then on to the slaughter of the Holy Innocents. It is an antidote to the sentimentality that inevitably attends devotion to the baby Jesus. A sentimentality, let it be allowed, that is not to be scorned. Others may make neat distinctions between “authentic sentiment” and sentimentality, but these days of Christmas are a time for the suspension of neat distinctions. Sentimentality is all too human, and all too human is what God became.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
"I don't want to be open on Sunday," said Joe Salvatore, proprietor of Capitol Liquor on Main Street in Middletown, as well as Valentino's Café, a nearby strip club that is also customarily closed on Sundays. "I'm a religious man, I go to church every Sunday. I'm a Catholic," Salvatore said. "But that's got nothing to do with it."
The real issue, Salvatore and many other package store owners say, is that an additional sales day does little for the bottom line, while costing them their one day off or forcing them to pay for labor, possibly at a loss.
There it is. If these coelenterates don't want to be open on Sunday then they should stay the hell closed. It takes balls for some guy in Middletown, of all places, to lobby the legislature to force everyone else to stay closed especially when all the states that border Connecticut allow liquor sales on Sunday.
Jojo, employed in an electronic shop in Jeddah, ran into trouble while rushing in a cab to a hospital where his wife had given birth to a child. The taxi driver took a wrong route and strayed into the prohibited area, his family members said. The Indian was then spotted by religious volunteers, who handed him to police.
Compare this to the worst case of government discrimination in western societies - I dare you to find a comparably egregious example.
Hat Tip: LGF
Friday, December 22, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
This year, LIHEAP will provide fuel assistance to low-income people with annual incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level, or $40,000 for a family of four. Current benefits vary depending on income levels. Last year, DHCD served over 143,000 Massachusetts households through this program and expects more to be served this winter.
It looks like the Joe 4 Oil program is taking from the poor and giving to rich so what gives?
- Americans are "weary" of war.
- War is difficult and messy and good people get hurt.
- Iraq has shitty neighbors.
- We should ask these shitty neighbors to help Iraq instead of being shitty.
- But being shitty, they won't help
- We should leave at some point.
- Leaving will cause still more problems and further destabilize the region.
- This report is to be implemented as a whole, even if contradictory.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
What's at stake? If Sen. Johnson can't return to work the US Senate is back to 50/50:
Johnson's illness -- which sent Senate Democratic leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) rushing to the hospital to check on Johnson -- underscored the fragility of democrats' hold on the next Senate, which they won by the narrowest of margins in the Nov. 7 elections. Should Johnson be unable to complete his term, South Dakota's Republican governor, Michael Rounds, would name a replacement for the next two years.
With Johnson in office, Democrats would hold a 51-to-49 edge in the Senate that convenes Jan. 4 as part of the 110th Congress. (The two independents have said they will caucus with the Democrats.) But if he is to leave office before then and Rounds replaces him with a Republican, the GOP would control the chamber.
Karl Rove's mind beams are all powerful and not to be trifled with.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.
Disturbing video footage of post-mortem examinations on dismembered tiny bodies raises serious questions about what happened to them. Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.
There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.
But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
I am a little pissed at this whole debacle. The situation in Iraq is difficult, to no ones surprise and we had better rise to this challenge or start driving around in a white VW Cabriolet and calling ourselves Nancy. Let me toss some words out there and see if you can spot the difference between this fecklessness that is so au courant and the determination that made this country the gentle colossus astride the globe. Omaha Beach, Antietam, Guadalcanal. These too were tough, only the generations before the baby boomers didn't have the luxury or the inclination to be pussies. If we are going to dabble in world affairs we owe it to ourselves, to our soldiers and our allies and yes even our enemies to finish what we start or stay home and keep our mouths and our borders shut. This reluctant hegemon who's afraid of a nose bleed act is getting old.
After the group made its information public, Hollywood stars Pamela , Alec Baldwin, and Bob Barker pledged never again to appear on screen with a chimpanzee.
Read the rest of the REAL STORY.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Blond actresses are more stupid and promiscuous than brunette actresses and more prone to sweeping generalizations about 360,600,000 people. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of actresses like Paltrow, so I still expect any future benefit that might come my way for sucking up after insulting her.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
These men are the very least complicit in terrorism and should be made to answer for their behavior. This is not a religious tolerance issue as they would have you believe. Rather they wanted to see if someone would make a stink if they acted like the 9/11 terrorists and then attribute any negative attention to Islamophobia. From their perspective they couldn't loose. Either they got by security (which is good to know) or they got to piss and moan to the national media about how America mistreats Muslims.
UPDATE: Muslims seek prayer rooms at US airports. Call me a cynic, but giving Muslims prayer rooms in airports would be like giving a fox a room in the hen house - nothing good will come of it. Is this a part of the imams agenda?
I'm not too adept at writing reviews, or anything else for that matter, so I'll be brief. Casino Royale is the best Bond Film ever. Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever, even better than Sean Connery, yes I know heresy.
This Bond is no smart ass gentleman spy. He's darker, more brutal yet somehow more vulnerable than other incarnations. Gone are many of the Bond standbys; silly word plays, Walther PPKs, overblown Dr. Evil type villains and silly gadgets. This Bond can and does drink and unlike the other Bonds who drink their vodka martini shaken, not stirred (an abomination as any real drunk knows) he doesn't give a rats ass how you make his drink as long as your quick about it.
As I get older I've realized that a lot of iconic franchises have been mailing it in for years. The Peanuts, The Simpsons and sadly the Bond films. Casino Royale re invents the Bond film. I can't wait to see the next one.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Fortunately Reyes' web site confirms his diversity fetish:
From a speech delivered July 24, 2006 at the University of Maryland
That began a long process of pushing the intelligence community – inch by inch – to make a sincere commitment to diversity. As you can imagine, it was not easy. With generations of hiring and promotion practices, both formal and informal, firmly imbedded in the intelligence agencies, there was a huge amount of cultural and institutional reluctance to making that change. Ultimately, I had to threaten to box off portions of the intelligence budget before the community responded with human resources plans that made diversity a priority.
I am proud to say that the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence program is part of that response.
I’m not sure what our committee’s intelligence community witnesses thought when I confronted them time and time again about diversity. In my day, I have been confronted by a lot of narrow attitudes toward the issue.
A large part of my reason for promoting diversity was indeed to give under-represented minorities and women an opportunity to work in the intelligence community when they would not have been able to break in otherwise. For too many minorities, looking for employment and promotion was a story of closed doors and old boys’ networks. For the sake of millions of Americans looking to serve their country and earn a government salary, I knew I had to challenge the system.
"One of the main purveyors of violence in this world has been this country, whether it’s been against Nicaragua or wherever...I’ve been an advocate for peace my whole life. But one of the main purveyors of violence in this world is this country."
Please allow me to retort:
Lethal Weapon 1
Lethal Weapon 2
Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 4
Out, amongst many others.
Newsflash Danny - you are part of the problem. You have been in 90 or so films and TV shows almost half of which are violent. Some of these films are great and illuminating, i.e. Witness some are awful, violent, schlock such as Predator 2.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good violent flick as much as the next guy, probably more so. But if one wants to pontificate like the Dali Lama and avoid being called a hypocrite, one might want to refrain from buttering ones beans with paychecks from the Lethal Weapon series of films.
Judges 16:25-30 (New International Version)
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, "Bring out Samson to entertain us." So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.
When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, "Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them." 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Just when I thought Nancy Pelosi did the smart thing by passing over disgraceful Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee, I heard Silvestre Reyes - the new chairmen on NPR. When asked how he would change things with America's intelligence gathering communities in light of 9/11 he said something to the effect that he was a big believer in diversity and that the intelligence communities need to look like America. I shit you not. Buy your KI, plastic film, tape and MREs now - beat the rush when everyone finds out about this gomeril.
When transcripts or audio is available I'll post it.
Before you go all weepy on me saying that the program is good for the poor, which it may well be, let me ask you how this would play out if things were a little different. Instead of a left wing nut job with autocratic tendencies and Republican president, let's say it was a right wing wacko providing some other boon to the constituency of a Democratic president's political adversaries. There would be investigations out the kazoo, the press would yammer non stop and the Nancy Pelosae of the world would throw hissy fits of biblical proportions.
As far as Chavez goes, I question the patriotism of any American who trucks with him. If you think he is providing oil at a discount to America's poor out of the kindness of his heart you may need to think again, and again and again.
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