Author Archives: clwill

Blog Note

Nevermind. The site is still hosed and keeps collapsing like a flan in a cupboard. It’s only up because I’m rebooting the server, but it will just keep crashing. So just head on over to the old site until we get sorted.

As you can see, we’re back up. (The list of posts from the hurricane party over at the old blogspot blog is below, in case you missed anything.)

Our server was hacked; it should be functioning properly again (touch wood), but if we go down again, then it’s back to the blogspot blog. We’re in the process of upgrading, so things might be dodgy for a couple of days, and I’m sorry about that. Stick with us. It’s all a bit of whack-a-mole at the moment, but, if there’s any plus side, it’s that we’re learning how to combat everything that can be thrown at us.

Onward…

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels

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Hurricane Party Round-Up

Here’s what you missed during the hurricane party…

Melissa: Two More Examples of Why We Need Federal Marriage Equality NOW

Melissa: “Lighten Up”

Jeff: Shorter Jules Crittenden

Mustang Bobby: Captain America, the Perv

Space Cowboy: Don’t Flatter Yourself, Dick

Melissa: Caption This Photo

Brynn: A third example of why we need federal marriage equality NOW

Jeff: Liveblogging the Debate

Melissa: Question of the Day

Mustang Bobby: The Heart of a Chickenhawk

Kathy: George W. Bush is the Founders’ Worst Nightmare

Misty: Wedded Bliss

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I Get Mail

From: [Name and Email Redacted]

Subject: You’re a dumb bitch

Thank you for making the dummying down of America complete – so much easier to laugh at you all this way.

There’s apparently no room for drooling idiots in your family – you unilaterally get all the credit.

When god (notice the small g) realizes what a mistake she made in creating you, I wonder if she’ll finally abort you?

I’d like to note that, despite Name Redacted’s opinion that I am a dumb bitch, he sent this email to me from his work email. I now know his full name, where he works, and that he was sending harassing emails from work, presumably during work hours. That means, if I were the sort of nasty person who would do such a thing, I could quite easily just forward his email to his employer and ask if they share his estimation of me, if the email were, say, transmitting an official company policy, or if I should consider their employee’s opinion his alone.

So, who’s the real dumb bitch here?

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The “Genial, Professorial” Grinning Deathhead

Howard Kurtz profiles William Kristol in the respectful way he reserves for rabid right-wing lunatics:

Bill Kristol’s the-war-is-being-won piece in The Washington Post brought him plenty of ridicule, but at least one person liked it.

President Bush read the July 15 Outlook article that morning and recommended it to his staff.

On the other hand, Arianna Huffington called it “the single most deceptive piece of the entire war” and said Kristol had “officially surpassed Dick Cheney as the most intellectually dishonest member of the neocon establishment.” David Corn of the Nation dismissed Kristol’s “Bush boosterism.” And 260 pages of comments on The Post’s Web site called him everything from an “uninformed, partisan fool” to a “Bush sycophant” to a “menace to America.”

The Weekly Standard editor, looking a bit grayer at 54, takes the broadsides in stride, his genial, professorial demeanor seemingly unruffled by the highly personal attacks.

“I’ve been pretty consistent, pretty upfront and straightforward about my views,” he says in his downtown office. “I had the same views when they were reasonably popular as I do now when they’re unpopular. It would really be pathetic to adjust one’s analysis based on public opinion.”

Adjusting one’s analysis based on emerging information and facts might make sense, though.

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Soon, Rape Won’t Exist at All—Not the Act, Mind You; Just the Word

Part Seven in an Ongoing Series: Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. Part Five. Part Six.

Reuters does a 240-word story (including headline) on Moroccan UN peacekeepers in the Ivory Coast being suspended “amid sex abuse charges,” including “having sex with a large number of underage girls,” which is at best statutory rape. Guess what word never appears once?

Shocking, I know.

Soldiers who are found guilty of “having sex with” underage girls and/or “sexual exploitation” will be “sent back home” as punishment. Where, presumably, they will be free to “have sex with” and “sexually exploit” other women.

The conflict in Cote d’Ivoire saw rape widely used as a weapon by both sides.

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Educating Men About Rape

Pamela Pizarro has what I think is a telling anecdote about how we teach our youth about rape.  It’s based on her experiences in Canada, but I think it’s applicable to the U.S. as well:

I remember the day that they showed us the video on rape. It was during a physical education class, and our teacher, simply put the video tape in the machine and pressed play. The movie that proceeded told the story of a young girl (in university) who went out on a date with a popular “jock”. After going to a party or a movie, her date felt that she “owed” him and proceed to sexually assault her. Now the point of the movie was to let us girls know that we shouldn’t be pressured into sex, that we had the right to say NO, and that if we ever were to find ourselves in this situation, we should not be afraid to tell someone about it. After the movie was done, there was no further discussion, the class bell rang, and we went on with our day.

The reason that this memory sticks out in my mind is because I as a woman have been told over and over again and in many different ways, that I need to protect myself from situations of violence, and that if I should ever find myself in such a situation, I should have enough confidence and strength to tell someone about the incident so that something can be done.

However, it so happens that my husband went to the same high school as I did, so when this memory came back to me, I asked him if he received the same sort of education, or instruction that sexually assaulting a women was “not okay” or if their was any talk about the possibility that he may find himself as a victim of sexual assault, his answer was no. So why is it that I have had many years of learning how to protect myself, but my husband (who is exactly the same age as me) has had no education whatsoever on the exact same subject?

I don’t think that her husband received no education — but I also don’t think the education took.  That’s not his fault; I don’t think we spend nearly enough time educating young men about sexual assault.

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Let’s Give Tom Toles A Great Big Hand*

Ha! Via the Washington Post.

(H/T oddjob)
*thanks, darkblack

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Heckuva Job, Brownie

Surely assuaging concerns in D.C. that he wouldn’t be as useful a tool as his predecessor Tony Blair, new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has evidently decided to prove his mettle as a fearless lapdog by being as belligerent as his Beltway masters:

[Brown, holding his first Downing Street press conference,] said Monday that tougher sanctions are likely against Iran over its contested nuclear program and declined to reject outright the prospect of future military action.

…”I’m not one who is going forward to say we rule out any particular form of action,” Brown said, asked if he would rule out options for future military action against Iran.

…He said Britain would “take whatever measures are necessary to strengthen the sanctions regime in the future.”

The US and the UK continue to fear that “Tehran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce atomic weapons,” and Iran has not quelled those fears as they’ve now twice rejected UN Security Council resolutions “requiring it to halt uranium enrichment work.” On the other hand, the “International Atomic Energy Agency said this month that Iran has scaled back its uranium enrichment program, signaling a possible willingness from Tehran to resolve the international deadlock,” so perhaps now would be a good time to engage some of that famous British diplomacy instead of barking about tougher sanctions and issuing veiled threats about military action, which will necessarily be viewed through the lens of Britain’s alliance with the US, where the administration is presumed to want war in Iran as a follow-up to their grand Iraq adventure.

I don’t give Ahmadinejad, who’s clearly crazier than a shithouse rat, the benefit of the doubt for a second, nor Ali Khamenei, who’s sane but a tyrannical bully, but I’m getting extremely tired of a foreign policy that’s got all the nuance of a dick-measuring contest. I’d really appreciate it if we could can the fucking bravado and start behaving like grown-ups for awhile.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

3rd Rock from the Sun

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Thanks For That Wonderful Thank You, France — Now Here’s a Slap in the Face

There’s a lot of good writing in the blogosphere, but every once in a while I read a post that so exactly hits the nail on the head that I think, “Wow. I wish I’d written that.” Well, right now I’m feeling that way about the post Shamanic, over at Newshoggers, wrote regarding the boorish response by some right-wing bloggers to a deeply touching gesture of appreciation from a group of French citizens to the United States for saving France in World War II. The post is titled “The Cons Even Slime French Gratitude“:

Here’s your tasteless Sunday treat: Gateway Pundit and a couple of others on the right are mocking a French event commemorating the US-led liberation of that country in WWII.

Asking “Goodness, What’s Happened to France?”, Gateway Pundit shows a brief series of pictures (culled from MSM mainstay Reuters) showing thousands of people lined up on Omaha Beach, forming a human chain that spells “France Will Never Forget”. Below the words, the American and French flags are held aloft.

So, what’s happened to France? Not a thing. The real question is what’s happened to the slice of Americans that have turned long-time allies, partners, and friends into enemies.

French foreign policy often butts up against America’s interest in a given region. This should surprise no one. France has played the role of regional European power since before North America appeared on European maps. That two powerful, internationally engaged nations often disagree in pursuing their own interests is a no-brainer. Only to the crazies on the utter fringe of the right does this make a nation like France our enemy. Idiots.

That was precisely what I thought when I saw that headline, “Goodness…What’s Happened To France?” What condescending slop. Can you say, Ugly American?

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Caption This Photo

“I’ve actually got to talk to these losers?!”

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I Have Met Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and They Are Named Chuck and Larry

Currently on Yahoo’s front page:

Adam Sandler: My accountant just came in his pants. I am nonetheless slightly ashamed.

Daniel Radcliffe: You’ve got to be fecking kidding me.

Melissa McEwan: I weep for the future, Shakers.

[The story says Harry may edge Chuck and Larry by weekend’s end. Let us dare to hope… BTW: I’m not much of a Potter fan, but I’ve seen all the films because Mr. Shakes is mental for the books. IMO, the new film, which we saw last night with Mama and Papa Shakes and one of my oldest friends, JWM, all of whom are also mental for the books, is the best film so far by a long shot. It’s the darkest and the most expressly political, with Voldemort’s reconstitution a pitch-perfect anthropomorphization of creeping fascism, abetted by the legislated conservatism of Professor Umbridge, who seeks to squelch anything she deems “progress just for progress’ sake.”]

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Pinkie Needs a Home

Shaker Jaclyn, who is a regular foster mom to animals in need of adoption, has just taken in a new ward, Pinkie. Pinkie needs a good home, and there’s information about Pinkie, and how you can adopt her, below the fold.

Am I cute or what?

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More Guts

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks the Democrats should go for the visceral to win.

Consider this hypothetical:

A Democratic president is forced to take action after terrorists attack New York and Washington. It’s clear that the terrorists’ sponsors are based in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But within 18 months, this Democrat decides to invade a country that had nothing to do with the attack. In the next four years, he spends half a trillion dollars, sucking America deeper into a quagmire, stretching the military to the breaking point – while in Pakistan, the culprits remain free. Indeed, U.S. intelligence officials warn that the evildoer group in Pakistan has “regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability.”

Imagine it’s the eve of a national election. Any question how the GOP would respond?

They’d run TV ads mocking the Democrats as the party that has made America weaker. Their talking heads on Fox News would lament about how the Democrats are wrecking our proud military, can’t be trusted to run a war, can’t even choose the right war to fight. They’d crank out podcasts about how the party of George McGovern is wasting our precious blood and treasure while our true enemies plot to kill our kids in their suburban beds.

In short, the Republicans would craft a visceral message that aims for the gut and engages the emotions. Over the last 40 years, that has been the GOP’s metier.

These days, however, the Republicans are stuck in neutral, because it’s their own guy who has fought the wrong war and emboldened our enemies. Which gives the Democrats a rare opportunity to lash out at GOP national security failures, to aim for the gut and engage the emotions.

But that is not what Democrats do.

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Breaking: William Kristol explodes from hypocrisy

WASHINGTON — The rear section of Time Magazine star columnist William Kristol exploded today, leaving the neo-conservative leader hospitalized and in stable condition. Attending physicians have said they believe Kristol is the first human to ever literally explode from intellectual dishonesty.

“We all knew that hypocrisy builds up,” said Dr. Sven Hanson of Toronto, where Kristol is being treated. “We actually refer to this as the “Trickle-Down Theory” of intellectual dishonesty. This is, however, the first confirmed case of some one actually exploding from it.”

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‘Whiney, self-absorbed, full of Michael Totten and precious little else.’

I meant to get to a post on Michael Totten’s disturbingly narcissistic article about his travels to Iraq, but Mark Gisleson has beaten me to ittwice.

Totten’s article is a target-rich environment, but when you shoot fish in a barrel you still end up with dead fish:

I waited for my helicopter flight with two other civilians – Willie from Texas and Larry from Florida.

Willie and Larry work construction for private companies in harsh places like Iraq and Afghanistan. They are both well-rounded individuals with Red State tastes and political views and a worldliness and cosmopolitanism that surpasses that of most people who live in the Blue States.

Totten, an effete Republican elite, clearly doesn’t know squat about the construction industry, which exists in virtually all states, red and blue. Like many of the mental cripples on the right, he assumes that all manly jobs are done by Republicans in red states. And like many of the twisted fucks on the right he thrills in finding construction types who’ve seen Cats.

I’d like to introduce him to Deb, my buddy Jon’s daughter. She supervises road construction crews and would cheerfully kick Totten’s lily-white ass up around his ears. Come to think of it, my red state, farm-raised, factory-hardened right foot wouldn’t mind taking a shot at Totten’s sorry ass either.

If the gasbag right truly believed in this occupation they call a war, not only would they enlist, but they’d reach out to the left to build support here at home. Instead they resort to petty insults and cheap shots, trying to rub our noses in their superiority.

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Just the Kind of Thing A Liberal Would Say

In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is an outrage that anyone who works full time would still wind up in poverty. Everyone who puts in an honest day’s work should receive a fair day’s pay.

That’s Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, quoted in an AP article about the federal minimum wage, which will rise to a stunning $5.85 an hour on Tuesday:

Many lawmakers, along with advocates for low-wage workers, are celebrating the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. Yet many acknowledge that raising it from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 will provide only meager help for some of the lowest paid workers.

About 1.7 million people made $5.15 or less in 2006, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The reality for a minimum wage worker is that every penny makes a difference because low-wage workers make the choice between putting food on the table and paying for electricity or buying clothes for their children,” said Beth Shulman, former vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

“Saying that, it’s clear going up to $5.85 is not enough to really make sure that people really can afford the things that all families need,” said Shulman, author of “The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans.”

Minimum wage workers will get an additional 70-cent boost each summer for the next two years, ending in 2009 at $7.25 an hour. That comes to just above $15,000 yearly before taxes for a 52-week work year.

Now, someone in such a job and earning $5.85 an hour would bring home $12,168 a year before taxes. The federal poverty level for singles is $10,210, couples is $13,690 and $17,170 for families of three.

“In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is an outrage that anyone who works full time would still wind up in poverty,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “Everyone who puts in an honest day’s work should receive a fair day’s pay.”

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RIP Tammy Faye

Tammy Faye Messner has died after her third bout with cancer. She was 65.

I was a great fan and admirer of Tammy Faye, and I am profoundly sad that she’s gone, though also relieved. When she appeared on Larry King’s show, in what was to be her final interview, on Thursday night (Part One, Part Two, Part Three), she was clearly in a lot of pain and had dropped down to 65 pounds. She died the very next morning.

Below is a post I published back in August 2005, about my enduring fondness for the inimitable Tammy Faye.

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Questions and More Questions

The Grinning Deathhead has a question:

How can you say with a straight face that you support the troops while advancing legislation that would undercut their mission and strengthen their enemies?

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