Saturday, January 29, 2005

Filler while i write other things...

Woman threatened with arrest for her "F___ Bush!" bumper sticker...


I'm sure i don't need to go on a rant about this, so instead let's examine what the freepers are saying. Not one of their better (read: crazier) threads, but amusing. (Side note: while some of their arguments in that thread are seductive none of them have substance. Don't be drawn in :P)

Well, anyway...

In my giant, upcoming, post that i was mentioning i say something like "This inauguration was the most protested ever... but you wouldn't know that from watching CNN." Well, here's some of the protest.

Random, unrelated MMFA link. It's about Gonzales being a scumbag.

On gays White Supremecists infiltrating your schools and recruiting your children.
Also from Orcinus, a fairly solid defense of hate crimes.

An exercise in "naked partisanship" from the regular media. Now there's something you don't see every day...

President Bush throws up the horns: Innocent regional gesture or sign of allegiance to Satan? We report, you decide!

I was going to write something else--something quite substantial in its own right, actually--but now i've forgotten what and i seem to have lost my notes. Curses...

Instead, i'm going to substitute my talk about direct action from my giant post.

I'm running off of Crimthinc.com's "twelve myths about direct action".

I don't usually do anarchist stuff here, do i? Well, today is different.

I already wrote a bunch on this, but i want to add more.

Let's go line-by-line...

1. Direct action is terrorism.


I basically agree with the original author here.

2. Direct action is violent.


I have two points: Firstly that the most famous instance of direct action in American History was undertaken by a notorious pacifist: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I also think the author of the original article falls prey to a common problem for anarchists. I don't think brick-throwing is absolutely ineffective or "bad", but in the example given it certainly is ineffective.

Smashing some windows will not destroy the system. Even burning the whole plant to the ground has very little net effect. All that means is that they build a new one or buy new windows and carry on.

If brick throwing were a direct challenge to systematic inequality do you really think brick-throwers would be let off with vandalism or disorderly conduct charges? Enron was destroyed, not because America was "cleaning house", but rather as a symbolic sacrifice to convince people everything was and is okay. Make no mistake: the end of Enron was symbolic and not an indication of lack of corruption in business. Sure: Enron was actually guilty, but that is merely a side issue.

But brick throwing can't even begin to challenge inequality, injustice, corruption, etc, and if it could then not only would brick throwing be an inexcusable crime but bricks themselves would be illegal.

3. Direct action is not political expression, but criminal activity.


I would say sometimes it is both. "Actual" direct action is always political and sometimes criminal. Again: i refer to Martin Luther King.

4. Direct action is unnecessary where people have freedom of speech.


I would say that direct action is an extension of freedom of speech. Direct action is communication through action and not words--after all: don't actions speak louder than words?

But the original is also correct in saying that direct action exists for when "freedom of speech" gets rendered meaningless. After all: people must be willing to listen if speech is to mean anything. They can plug their ears up and chant "I can't hear you!" and all the speech in the world will do you no good. But march on their voting booths...

5. Direct action is alienating.


I have nothing to add at this time.

6. People who practice direct action should work through the established political channels instead.


Another Martin Luther King reference: his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

7. Direct action is exclusive.


The "is" is a bit unclear here. I'm going to just let the original's commentary stand as-is.

8. Direct action is cowardly.


Again: i refer to Martin Luther King.

Even in the case of stuff that's not so peaceful (for instance, ninja-sabateurs) i would propose that resisting or challenging an establishment is always going to be more difficult than going along with it.

Sure, some forms of direct action might seem cowardly: but i would propose the correct word is "efficient"...

9. Direct action is practiced only by college students/privileged rich kids/desperate poor people/etc.


I'm going to, again, let the original speak for itself here.

I do want to take a piece of the response and run with it though. In fact, this is my primary reason for discussing this article:

...The only possible exception to this would be members of the wealthiest and most powerful classes, who have no need to practice any kind of illegal or controversial action because, as if by coincidence, the established political channels are perfectly suited to their needs.


I think this quite sums up a lot of problems with our system as-is. Inequality will always exist and injustice will always exist in a society of hierarchies because the powerful have advantages just by being "the powerful". In a capitalistic society there will always be those who have more power and those who have less.

As someone whose name i can't remember once said: "Money isn't the goal, it's the way we keep score."

Let's look at Enron again. Ken Lay may be going to prison--but he's going to a prison that is made up of primarily economically deprived people. How unusual, considering Ken Lay may be worth any 100 of them in terms of overall damage done. Yet even if he was given a 3,000 year sentence he only has a certain number of years left to give. Even if society went on a rampage and began heavily convicting "corporate criminals", even those who didn't technically break the law, the prisons would still be primarily made up of the poor.

Prisons cannot, by their nature, reflect the graveness of Ken Lay's crime. How convenient, yes?

Prisons are, by this point, inherently unjust and as long as the inequalities of wealth can exist they will never be just.

The wealthy, as if by magic, need not break any laws to continue being at the top. The poor, in contrast, often need to do so to even survive.

Just because the system exists does not make it legitimate or just. A just or fair system must be fought for fiercely--even, i propose, by those who also would tear all such systems down. At least in a fair system people will not starve to death.

10. Direct action is the work of agents provocateurs.


This one is sometimes true, unfortunately. It's the price you pay, i guess.

This also demonstrates the superiority of using Dr. King's approach (nonviolence) as it's very hard to be a provocateur when you're peacefully going to prison for your right to vote. King didn't tolerate that sort of behavior in his own followers and as such his movement was inoculated against external provocateurs.

11. Direct action is dangerous and can have negative repercussions for others.


This is true, to a certain degree, and especially with respect to the more "brick-throwing" end of the spectrum.

12. Direct action never accomplishes anything.


I agree with the original in that direct action is one of the few ways to actually force change. In that respect: quite the opposite is true. Direct action is the only thing (or, i guess, one of the only things) that ever accomplishes anything.

However, as mentioned above, i think direct action needs to adhere to the actual principles of direct action. Burning the factories down may be flashy--but the factories will be rebuilt. The factories themselves are merely symbols of the problem and not the actual problem. By confronting the factories you really do accomplish nothing.

However, i would not term that direct action (in an abstract sense) as it does not directly challenge the problem.

Well, anyway. That's all for now.

1,350 words. About one tenth the total... A bit less considering only some of this post was taken from the primary one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"I hate your damn speech..." (With update)

So Congressional representative Marty Meehan (a Democrat, of Mass) was giving a speech on a proposed withdrawl plan from Iraq. It was fairly interesting and so forth.

Then William Kristol got up (he was also invited to speak, to give a counter-point i guess) and took the podium and basically completely mis-represented Meehan's proposal. Kristol pretended Meehan said "Hey, I don't like Iraq so let's just pull all our troops out and let the insurgents take over! Yeah!"

Meehan, of course, said no such thing.

What's interesting, though, is that while Kristol was going up to the podium he stopped to shake hands with Meehan. He assumed that his mic was off, or something, because he delivered a bit of private talk to Meehan. Starting with "I hate your damn speech".

Except the microphone was picking it up so everyone watching CSPAN got to hear.

Once more, just in case you missed it the first dozen times:

"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals--and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship," --Grover Norquist


Here's some discussion on what's going on here, for those who still haven't caught it. It's a pretty good article in its own right.

In other news (sort of) i'm writing a giant ass post. It's about 13,000 words so far. I'm going to try to break it up, though, as there're a several branches of the primary idea that can be... pruned off, so to speak. I dunno when it'll be finished @.@

(Update)

One other thing: I'm starting to think there's some sort of vast, right-wing conspiracy to troll every left-leaning weblog/forum/journal/whatever on the face of the internet. Either that or the Republican rank-and-file is really, fantastically good at spouting talking points. Like, newspeak-level good.

Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed that all of Bush's speeches since the elections have been nothing but newspeak? They're full of talk about "expanding freedom", and other euphemisms, but he seems to have gotten the art of talking without saying anything down...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Important reading...

Extreme Right Resonance

Christian Dominionism and How It Plans On Ruling The World

General Boykin's "Kingdom of Christian Warriors"

That website in particular has a bunch of stuff that's also interesting, though the charges made are rather worth considering cautiously.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Political ramblings ahead... (With update!)

First off, something decidedly apolitical...

What do you do if you're a lonely college dropout who just bought a bad CP/M clone and repackaged it, but still can't get a date?

Also: Those who know me might know my obsession with game design and related stuff. One of the things i'm big on is the Rock-Paper-Scissors game theory. Some people have objected to use of that sort of balance mechanism on the grounds of "There are only three choices! What if i want more options???"

Well, other than re-thinking what constitutes a choice (in other words, "Where is the R-P-S located within your game system?") you can add more choices. "But how?" Never fear, someone has invented a new game to give you up to five choices! I'm sure you can fill in more following the pattern if you want.

Speaking of which, placeholder note:

Winter's Two Rules of Game Balance
Rule A: Let nothing be so useful it is the 'standard' answer to every situation (or most of them)
Rule B: Let nothing be so powerful that is completely dominates situations in which it is useful.


Anyway, on to the politics...

All Hail the King of Liars!

I'm sure you can guess who it is.

Bill Oh Really accused Senator Kennedy of lying, but had to lie about what Kennedy actually said to do it.

That, in the business, is called hypocrisy.

Speaking of which, i heard this speech of Kennedy's. Many Republicans (and Republican plants/sympathizers within the Democratic Party) have been railing against the evil Democrats about how they want to increase the number of abortions, etc. This isn't new. However, when confronted with that they say "Well why don't the Democrats ever just say 'Hey, we want to reduce abortions but the way to do it isn't by banning it but by using other methods...'? No Democrats ever say that, therefore we can conclude that Democrats want to increase abortions as if they didn't they would say otherwise." Besides the logical contortions that sort of argument requires it's also totally untrue. Kennedy said what Democrats supposedly never say in his speech, as well as a number of other (similar, for our purposes here) arguments. So the next time someone says that to me i'm not even going to bother arguing the logic, but instead i'm going to say something like "Maybe if you listened to something other than Republican talking points you'd have heard what you're looking for..."

Also according to Mr. Oh Really: if you're poor it's because you're lazy and/or deserving of poverty.

Yeah.

And let's not leave Ann Coulter out of this! She's getting even nastier. Maybe someone should talk to her with a baseball bat some time.

The brothers aren't big on queer theory.


Maybe someone should inform Ann that Martin Luther King (remember that guy? Entirely coincidental, but entirely appropriate, that i'd mention him today... i've been writing this particular post for about a week now) once said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Maybe someone should tell her that he was pro-GLBT rights. His wife could if you could get Coulter to sit down and shut up for a minute.

But no, Coulter just sees a way to pit minority group 1 against minority group 2 so that the Republican Party can go to either groups (or more likely both) and use the old "the enemy of my enemy..." line on them.

Phone-jamming the Democratic Party during elections: A "few bad apples", or systematic corruption?

Let's not pretend we didn't know about the disasters that have occurred under Bush's watch, and no: i'm not meaning tsunamis of any variety.

The search for WMD in Iraq was recently called off. There were no WMD in Iraq. The CIA recently released a study stating that Iraq has supplanted Afghanistan as the global training grounds for international terrorists.

So instead of WMD we have sick prisoner abuse at the hands of Americans in a country full of terrorists that were not there until the USA started fucking around in that region.

Great. Hey, Red Staters, you wanna know why the rest of the world thinks the US sucks? Go re-read the last two paragrahs.

A lot of people ask stuff like "Why didn't the German citizens speak out against/know about the horrible crimes committed by their government?"

Well, for starters: they weren't "horrible crimes". See, the government implemented programs to improve Germany. For instance: Jews were a threat to Germany's financial, racial, and moral well-being, or so the government said. By removing the general public from direct interaction with concentration camp prisoners, or whatever, the people weren't forced to confront what was going on. The government could maintain plausible deniability (i wonder if, when faced with charges about this or that the Nazi apologists would all wave the charges off with "It's just the work of a few bad apples...") and the citizens knew better than to investigate matters themselves.

I know it's pretty overdone to compare stuff to Nazi Germany, but some times the comparisons just fit. I'm not saying, of course, that Abu Ghraib was our Auschwitz. Not to belittle the sufferring there, but emotional torture and abuse that took place there isn't even comparable to the death of six million+ at the death camps and the sufferring of millions more. No, the point of comparison is in the culture of intentional ignorance which permits horrors and abuse because nobody steps up to say "Enough!"

Of course, someone did do that at Abu Ghraib. Or at least, someone blew the whistle (to borrow the overused expression).

Anyway, away from that death spiral of a topic...

You know all that talk about not changing your values but instead changing your presentation of them? It really works. (As i alluded to at the bottom of this post.) Admittedly, that was an open situation which someone walked into. But that sort of situation exists all over--you have to look and be ready for it. Without the right sort of approach to capitalize--to relate it to the Democratic Party's values, if you will--it doesn't matter what sort of situation or oppoertunity you have.

Random filler:

"Rathergate", again...

"No Facts" Novak is at it again, also.

...You know, i do feel kinda bad about using the "No Facts" and "Oh Really" monikers so much. Sorta makes me feel like a dirty hypocrite. But i suppose i'm able to sleep at night anway...

I had something else i was going to talk about, but i can't remember what it was now. Ah well, i'll edit it in if i remember.

(Edit)

Duh, i was gonna talk about Nixon!

One of the things i've noticed about the Republican/Right Wing establishment is the very curious way in which it treats the Nixon scandal. Very few of the Republican propagandists and whatever (technically i've heard none, but i'll give them the benefit of the doubt) treat Nixon's criminal activity as an ethical or moral failure on the part of him or his administration. Instead, whenever they talk about Nixon and whenever the Republican establishment talks about Nixon (especially when it thinks nobody is listening) the situation is almost always considered not Nixon's failure but rather rather as a successful smear operation by the Democrats.

The sort of talk i'm thinking especially is when Republicans suggest that they "want to do to [insert Democrat of your choice] what the Democrats did to Nixon". The idea that Nixon's downfall wasn't, essentially, a plot or political coup by the Democrats seems to never even be considered. Rather, the talk focuses on how to leverage scandals (real or imagined) of political opponents and turn them into hard political power. Occassionally it turns into how to evade fates similar to Nixon's.

That, of course, is from what i've seen and i may be wrong.

But it does seem curious to me.

Woo!

For those of you who care about such things, Marathon 1, 2, and Infinity were recently released for free.

For those of you who don't care about such things: what's wrong with you? Marathon is awesome!

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Tao of Programming

A well-used door needs no oil on its hinges.
A swift-flowing steam does not grow stagnant.
Neither sound nor thoughts can travel through a vacuum.
Software rots if not used.

These are great mysteries.

-- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

Thursday, January 13, 2005

GRAAAAH! (With Update!)

My computer exploded again.

Or rather, it didn't technically. Only, the operating system can't see a number of very important files. For some reason. The files are there, but i can't convince the operating systme.

So i'm going to try to reboot. Jesus Christ, the files are right there! But i just know i'm going to end up re-installing the god damned operating system again.

FUUUUUUUUUCK!

(Update!)

Jon Stewart: 1, clueless media hacks: 0

Also: deceptively difficult...

(Update 2: DAMN! I was right about my system getting hosed again. On the plus side: i'm getting mighty good at Linux installs...)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Chris Matthews has no use for so-called "facts"

So apparently CBS has fired some people over the national guard story. How nice. I'm not going to say it was the right move or the wrong move becaues i know almost nothing about it.

But Chris Matthews doesn't let knowing nothing about a subject stop him.

On his show tonight he had Pat Buchannan and some sort of Geraldo Riviera look-alike who i've never seen before over to slime CBS, John Kerry, and Democrats in general. They claim, you see, that the CBS story was a deliberate attempt by CBS and "Liberals" to bring down the President. Not, by the way, through providing facts about his national guard service--but rather, and this is important so pay attention, in the same way the Republicans tried to bring Clinton down.

That is important because the "Bush-haters are worse than Clinton-haters ever were!" meme has been gaining traction lately. Again, i'm not going to deal with the veracity of such claims at this point in time but i would encourage people to remember that the same people who are spreading this new "Bush-haters are worse" meme are the same ones who gleefully jumped onto the Clinton-hating bandwagon once it picked up steam.

Anyway, so Matthews and his friends were discussing how CBS obviously knew the facts (and "the facts" in this case are, according to Matthews and company, "the CBS memos are obviously faked, as anyone can see") and are a bunch of treasonous traitors.

As an example of obviously faked parts of the memo--get ready for it!

The superscript "th" in the memo, according to Chris Matthews, proves that the memo was "obviously faked" because no typewriter of the time could do the superscript "th".

For those who are keeping score: this was the first argument against the memos. It was also the most obviously false. But of course, Chris Matthews doesn't let facts get in the way of smearing Liberals!

Just for the record, i have an old 1970 IBM Selectric typewriter that my grandfather purchased (yes, back in 1970) for personal use. It could, if configured properly, create a superscript "th" character. And certainly the 111th Airborne would have no use whatsoever for a superscript "th" character! You're a terrorist for even considering it!

----

As an aside, i saw the "Moss-mooning incident" today. They're still playing it. This aside is mostly aimed at Nickelbolt (whose blogger site thing you can find in my "friends of" column over there to the right) but also to others who have been paying attention to the ridiculous way in which the news media finds something which they claim is tasteless (or whatever) and then play it to death.

----

Aside #2

Orcinus talks about the mainstreaming of "white supremecist" groups.

As though by fate, i also saw a story about the KKK starting up highway cleanup projects in certain areas. "Hey! Look at me! I'm a productive, valuable member of society! I'm not a racist, honest!"

----

Aside #3

Orcinus also discusses some of the Usual Right Wing Suspects' reaction to the Asian Tsunami disaster.

It's pretty crazy, but not unexpected.

As an aside to the aside, i saw the Scarborough Country (or rather: i saw as much of it as i could physically stomach) in which Scarborough had some frothing Christian lunatic on preaching about how the death of 150,000 people was a good thing as long as those people were yellow-skinned and/or non-Christian.

Blah!

I keep trying to write another post, but my computer keeps crashing.

One more time, i guess.

I've been recently reading what i would charitably call my Republican counterparts. In other words, people who sort of fill my roll except on the Republican side of the political pie. More or less.

Anyway, they're pretty interesting. Not very insightful, but interesting. For example...

"Nazi" is short for "nationalsozialistische" or "National Socialist" ..


That sort of analysis apparently is supposed to be clever. But it's not. For instance, there's also the "People's Republic of China" yet not many people (outside the Chinese government) would categorize it as Republican in either the US mode-of-government sense or the US political party sense.

Similarly, Saddam Hussein called Iraq a Democracy--even held elections, too--but not too many people would say this was an accurate name and, again, not to many people would categorize it as equivalent to either the US governmental model or political party either. At least, i would hope not.

It's a mode of argument so dumb i have to give it a new name just to describe it:

Argumentum ad Their Names Sound Similar So Obviously They Must Be The Same!

Well, i wouldn't really have to give it a new name. But it's more amusing that way.

Lest you think that's just a witty (or not-so-witty) tagline that covers actual analysis with a hook: it isn't. Let's read on as the author of the post i linked "dissects" one of my personal favorites, Orcinus...

Right in the first paragraph the author already follows up the tagline with another bit of nonsense:

The Leftist origins of Fascism don't get a mention, in fact, so one knows immediately that the article will be low on scholarship. And its chief scholarly source for the nature of Fascism is in fact R.O. Paxton, the "historian" (much lauded in the N.Y. Times, of course) who said Hitler was an "antisocialist" -- when the very name of Hitler's political party was (translated) "The National Socialist German Worker's Party"! I think I have already at this early stage said enough about the article concerned to dismiss it for the claptrap it is but I cannot resist having a bit more fun with it.


At least the author admits this is some sick idea of "fun" and not an actual attempt at analysis. Orcinus's extensive documenting of the similarities between the old-style fascists and the present "movement Conservatives" that have more or less taken over the Republican party aside: i think i've already dealt with the argument presented here.

How about the "sub-title" of the weblog?

Leftists have a desperate need to prove that they are right. Conservatives are just interested in the facts


To which i could respond "Leftists are interested in the truth. Conservatives are just interested in making everyone obey them."

It may or may not be more or less accurate than "DissectLeft"'s line, but it would be approximately equivalent as far as truth or factuality would go. The only difference is that i give you both DissectLeft's line and my own, whereas DissectLeft neglects to even more than a couple lines of Orcius's extensive criticisms.

Anyway, onward and... well... downward i guess. I'm not really into extensive political criticism right now. It's kinda late and i'm irritated at my computer.

SOME THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS FOR LEFTISTS

1. Kerry really won the election-- Unfortunately, Bush and his rich cronies stole the election again- damn it!


The jury is still out on this one, as they say. In this case, the jury is literally still out. As in "don't count your Presidents before they're sworn in". Not that i'm expecting (or even, really, hoping) for that sort of outcome. But it's nonetheless a possibility, albeit an incredibly slim one, at this stage.

2. Obama the "Rising Star" beat Alan Keyes by an absurd margin.


There's gotta be a better name for him than that. But yes, a 90% margin of victory could be accurately classified as "absurd". But hey, Keyes ran on those all-American values of "QUEERS ARE EVIL", among other things, so i'm sure it'd be amusing if i could see the Republicans analysing his loss.

3. Terry McCauliffe is no longer actively destroying your party from within.


...Hmm...

4. Howard Dean may get a shot at leading the DNC to yet another Presidential election victory in 2008- barring another Republican electorate robbery.


Go Dean!

5. Being that the Republicans still retain power in Executive, Senate,and House- you get to do what you enjoy most- whine and blame Bush for everything that goes wrong.


Hey, it's a noble political pasttime to blame the other party for everything that goes wrong. Even when, as the Republicans currently do, you control the Executive branch, the Senate, and the House. "Obstructionist" and "activist liberal judges" anyone? But hey, i wouldn't want anyone to... i don't know... actually take responsibility for anything ever now would i?

6. The likelihood of a conservative being appointed to the Supreme Court will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to conduct tasteful Pro-Abortion rallies. Perhaps, a wire hanger can be your new party logo.


I'll believe this when i see it.

Meanwhile, you conservatives can go right on conducting your tasteful "Pro-You can't get an abortion ever, even when your unborn child is killing you from within" rallies. I suggest graphic photos of mothers whose internal organs have been popped and bones broken by their ectopic pregnancies. Very "in" this year.

7. With Bush in office- your taxes will remain nice and low. Be honest, you weren't buying that raising taxes nonsense from Kerry anyway.


See: Tim Pawlenty's Minnesota.

(For those of you not "in" on this one: Pawlenty made a "No new taxes EVAR" pledge and, by God, he's going to stick with it. Even when it involves spending Minnesota into insolvency when it was, previously, doing fine fiscally. Hey, he can just raise fees and other "stealth-tax-increases" that predominantly affect the poor and claim political victory! Who cares about single mothers anyway?)

8. Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw retiring gives the liberal media machine a rare opportunity to find more effective partisan hacks- capable of forging documents, and getting away with it, if needed.


What "liberal media" now? Are sure this was Thanksgiving 2004? On the planet Earth?

9. The Republican Senate does not have a filibuster proof (60 member majority), yet.


Thank God for small mercies...

10. When the U.S. military successfully exterminates the Iraqi insurgency- you can say it was Clinton's military that won the war in Iraq.


Hahah! That's a good one!

"When the U.S. military successfully exterminates the Iraqi insurgency"... oh man, that's great.

Sort of like they did in Fallujah, eh?

----

That line denotes a changed source for mocking.

The new one can be found here. I'm going to skip most of those as they're boring and/or already done, etc.

But that one...

Why change your behaviors to satisfy moral values when you can change moral values to satisfy your behaviors?

A. Good question!
B. That's what I was thinking!
C. I dunno.
D. Because we don't want to end up back in the caves, flinging our excrement at one another.

Conservative answer: d


My answer: e

(For those who missed it:

"E. Hey, it worked for the Republicans!")

Since traditional moral values have, for centuries, served and sustained civilization relatively well, they should be:

A. Honored and protected.
B. Chopped down like giant redwoods in an old growth forest.

Conservative answer: a


My answer: Hahah! Served and sustained civilization for centuries! Man, i never knew "conservatives" where such comedians! Oh man, that's pretty funny.

Yeah "Let's go lynch some niggers/queers" was great. Let's bring that one back, how about? I mean, it's only half gone... and yet, it has so much more "serving" and "sustaining" of civilization to give!

Meanwhile, on the front of traditional, moral values like critical thinking, freedom, equality, etc, Conservatives are more than willing to answer b.

Speaking of which, in regards to actual giant redwoods in an old growth forest they're willing to cut those down too. The environment is a natural resource that exists for the enrichment of the timber companies (Yes, Mr. Bush, you do own one) after all.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

"Memogate" take 4,384,294,308

Dingdingdingdingding!

We have a winner!

[The online-driven "investigation" into Dan Rather and the Killian memo] looks less like a victory for democracy than a case of mob rule... Dan Rather and company stand accused of undue haste, carelessness, excessive credulity, and, in some minds, partisanship, in what has become known as “Memogate”... Dan Rather is not alone on this one; respected journalists made mistakes all around.

Geek humor...

Q: How many IBM 370s [or insert your favore hardware pariah here] does it take to execute a job?
A: Four. Three to hold the job down and one to rip its head off.

(Update: I should really source this... it came from my Slackware 10 fortune file.)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Post!

So it's been a while since i posted anything. Partly due to laziness, partly because my computer exploded.

That second one is anoying to talk about, so i'll leave it at that. Let's just say that it died about five days ago and i only got it working yesterday. Sort of working. I'm still going to have to purchase a new video card or motherboard. I"m not sure which.

Anyway.

That's not why i'm posting this. See, the American Family Association still has me on their email lists. So...

PENNSYLVANIA CHRISTIANS FACE 47 YEARS IN PRISON FOR READING THE BIBLE IN PUBLIC
Philadelphia charges Christians with hate crimes, inciting a riot, and using a deadly weapon.

Bill O'Reilly reported on the situation on Fox News Channel.

Dear Winter,
What we have been saying has now happened. You cannot quote what the Bible has to say about homosexuality in public or you will be charged with a "hate crime." Philadelphia is only the beginning. If we fail to take a stand here, this "crime" will soon be applied across America.

In the 27 years of this ministry, I have never witnessed a more outrageous miscarriage of justice than what is happening in Philadelphia. Four Christians are facing up to 47-years in prison and $90,000 in fines for preaching the Gospel on a public sidewalk, a right fully protected by the First Amendment.

On October 10, 2004, the four Christians were arrested in Philadelphia. They are part of Repent America. Along with founder Michael Marcavage, members of Repent America—with police approval--were preaching near Outfest, a homosexual event, handing out Gospel literature and carrying banners with Biblical messages.

When they tried to speak, they were surrounded by a group of radical homosexual activists dubbed the Pink Angels. A videotape of the incident shows the Pink Angels interfering with the Christians’ movement on the street, holding up large pink symbols of angels to cover up the Christians' messages and blowing high pitched whistles to drown out their preaching.

Rather than arrest the homosexual activists and allow the Christians to exercise their First Amendment rights, the Philadelphia police arrested and jailed the Christians!

They were charged with eight crimes, including three felonies: possession of instruments of crime (a bullhorn), ethnic intimidation (saying that homosexuality is a sin), and inciting a riot (reading from the Bible some passages relating to homosexuality) despite the fact that no riot occurred.

You may think I am exaggerating. I'm not. Our AFA Center for Law and Policy is representing these four individuals at no cost. We will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary to get justice.

There is so much more about this case I don't have room for it in this letter. We have prepared a 25-minute VHS/DVD in which two AFA-CLP attorneys discuss the case in detail.

Please help us with our expenses in representing these committed Christians. With your tax-deductible gift of $15, less than the cost of a cup of coffee once a month for the next year, we will send your choice of either the VHS or DVD. Watch the VHS/DVD, then share it with your Sunday school class and church. This VHS/DVD should be required viewing in every church in America.

Click here to get your copy of the Philadelphia 4 Story
Thanks for caring enough to get involved. We must not allow this travesty of justice to continue.

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this email to family and friends.


And then today i got a follow-up...

UPDATE: Homosexual Attorneys from Justice Department Advise Philadelphia Police On Arresting Christians
One Internet news service says not to expect an investigation because of the involvement of the Justice Department homosexual attorneys

Dear Winter,
A few days ago I wrote you about the situation in Philadelphia in which four Christians were arrested. They are charged with eight crimes, including three felonies: possession of instruments of crime (a bullhorn), ethnic intimidation (saying that homosexuality is a sin), and inciting a riot (reading from the Bible some passages relating to homosexuality) despite the fact that no riot occurred.

They face a possible 47 years in prison and fines of $90,000 each. Now we have learned more about this horrible travesty of justice.

According to WorldNetDaily, "Homosexual attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division not only attended (the) large homosexual event…but they advised police on the scene who arrested 11 Christian protesters, says a source in the agency." (Charges against some of the Christians have been dropped.)

The WorldNetDaily article went on to say the U.S. Justice Department is "not likely to take up the cause of the five criminally charged Christians who believe Philadelphia officials violated their civil rights."

Did you catch that? The Justice Department will refuse to investigate the treatment of the arrested Christians because some homosexual attorneys from the Justice Department were advising the Philadelphia police on how to arrest the Christians!!!!

WorldNetDaily, quoting their source inside the Justice Department, said the Christians were charged with "ethic intimidation (hate crimes) 'at the recommendation of some of our (Department of Justice) attorneys who were at the march.'"

In fact, Chief Inspector Tiano, who serves as liaison to the homosexual community, testified at the preliminary hearing that he met at least four times with the organizers of the Outfest event in anticipation of the protesters' activities, presumably to discuss how to handle the "Christians" when they showed up at the event. He also said he had 40 officers on site that day. He did not meet with any of the Christians!

There appears to be collusion in this travesty of justice that goes to high levels of both the Justice Department and Philadelphia. A trail date will be set soon.

Would you stand with these Christians who are defending our constitutional right of free speech? We are asking you to stand with these four Christians by doing the following actions.


"Philadelphia charges Christians with hate crimes for reading the Bible"

Cute, but read on and the AFA will tell you what they really were charged with. "Use of a deadly weapon" is no laughing matter and has nothing to do with reading the Bible or not reading the Bible.

These emails are full of lovely Orwellian language and i would love to dissect them, except i don't really have the motivation.

I haven't even written that editorial. Things got a little crazy and now it's kinda untimely.

Perhaps i'll save it for next year.

Anyway, back on track, their emails sound all scary-like but i'm not really impressed. Aside from the fact that the AFA doesn't discuss the actual content of the charges (letting them hang out as though they were totally unsubstantiated) it also has already decided, as a matter of doctrine and political necessity, that these people are innocent of the charges.

I just hope the DoJ and friends are web savvy enough to realize that online petitions are meaningless >.>

As far as the follow-up, i love how the AFA insinuates there's something sinister about the DoJ checking with legal experts who witnessed the event (presumably, at least) as to whether counter-charges had any merit. But of course, they throw the word "homosexual" in there (how do they know?) and suddenly it's a conspiracy...