Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

Constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh recently declared his desire to overturn the Bill of Rights in order to make America more like Iran, at least in terms of the slow painful public execution of some horrible criminals. He relishes in the pre-execution flogging, and he delights in the strangulation by crane, with the victim kicking above the crowd…

In defense of his vengeful bloodlust, he points out that the Bill of Rights is not likely to be amended (yet) to allow slow painful death by torture.

there is more to see   → → →

Zombies

High school junior William Poole wrote a story in his journal about zombies attacking a high school. His grandparents read his journal and turned him in to the police (it’s Kentucky, so apparently this is normal).

William Poole was arrested, charged with making a terrorist threat, and thrown in jail. The prosecutors asked to raise his bail due to the serious nature of the charge, and the judge agreed, raising it to $5000.
[original story at Lex18 via One Good Thing]

William Poole is 18 years old. At last report, he was being held in an adult county jail, presumably in the literature wing. If he were convicted, the felony would go on his adult record and he would lose his voting rights.

there is more to see   → → →

A Revolution of Values

Excerpt from Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
April 1967 at Manhattan’s Riverside Church

The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from re-ordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

Rain

It’s still raining in Los Angeles. Keeping the shades open all day, watching the clouds roll from the coast like dunes. The park smells like Seattle, impossibly green. Every street is cleaner than it’s been in a year, every reservoir full. Last week, there was downpour and hail followed by a hundred mile view. This week there’s steady on and off drizzle and five feet of new snow on the mountains.

Blissful.

For a few precious monsoon months — if you can manage to ignore the grumpy tourists — this actually is one of the best cities in America.

And according to a fundamentalist wizard-king working out of Alexandria, we can thank the fags.

Bless you, rainmaking queers. Is there nothing that your magical sense of good taste can’t accomplish?

move small objects [2004]

A craigslist “telekenesis” job ad was posted to zota in July of 2003. The comments kept coming for nearly a year, turning in to an active forum for people desperate to move objects with their mind. (Still no word on who got hired.)

If you are interested in contributing to telekenesis (or telekinesis) research, please visit the LubberNet Telekenesis Node


The following are the comments through August 2004.

there is more to see   → → →

Heartland

It still shocks me that there are people who openly defend the sickening hate of things like this. I’m not shocked that there are hypocritical defenders of genocide in America. There will always be at least a few people who manage to poison themselves with the stink of their own bile.

What still shocks me is when open calls for racial genocide are waved away as a just wee bit of a rant. Blowing off a little steam. As many times as I see it, I am still shocked when this kind of holocaust-porn is dismissed as normal enough to excuse. To accept. To defend

That’s when a society becomes able to commit the most unimaginable horrors — when these horrors become innocuous things. When calls for mindless slaughter can be easily brushed aside or ignored. When a society is able to remain asleep while enacting its nightmares. That’s when things get truly fucking frightening.

Fortunately there are still conservatives who are sane enough to be frightened too. Scott McConnell at the American Conservative Magazine :

You see it on certain blogs and hear it in the rants of some of the most widely listened to right-wing talk-radio hosts. If the Arabs don’t want to be democratic, we should nuke them. We have no choice but to nuke them for our own safety. It’s a vulgarized neoconservatism –no one from the American Enterprise Institute speaks like this (in public). But this talk is around in the heartland and growing, and it is wind in the sails of the new administration.

[via Daily Kos]

Hopefully it’s not too late to be speaking up….

The pictures aren’t going to go away

Regarding the Torture of Others:

Just as it was regarded by many as an implicit criticism of the war to show on television photographs of American soldiers who have been killed in the course of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it will increasingly be thought unpatriotic to disseminate the new photographs and further tarnish the image of America.

After all, we’re at war. Endless war. And war is hell, more so than any of the people who got us into this rotten war seem to have expected. In our digital hall of mirrors, the pictures aren’t going to go away. Yes, it seems that one picture is worth a thousand words. And even if our leaders choose not to look at them, there will be thousands more snapshots and videos. Unstoppable.

Susan Sontag, New York Times Magazine
May 23, 2004

Country My Ass

Clearing brush speaks louder than words…

Guardian, Dec 2003:

On Dec. 26, 2003, when Bush was beginning his 2003 post-Christmas vacation here, his advisers were keeping him abreast of an earthquake in southeastern Iran that left more than 26,000 dead.

Bush also spent time clearing brush at his ranch and thinking about what he’ll say in his inaugural speech and upcoming State of the Union address.

Washington Post, Dec 2004:

Skeptics said the initial aid sums — as well as Bush’s decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy — showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work facing such nations as Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia.

Earlier yesterday, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was confident he could monitor events effectively without returning to Washington or making public statements in Crawford, where he spent part of the day clearing brush and bicycling.

Dale Watson, Country My Ass

Hey, that’s country, my ass,
Who do they think we am?
Force-feed us that shit.
Ain’t you real tired of it?
Tell ’em, stick it up high,
Where the sun don’t shine.
Get pissed, an’get mad,
’cause that’s country, my ass.

Gal. 4:16

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Update — the Stalinist Red State speaks out at Editor and Publisher:

“Their dissent equals treason.”

“Today’s press undermines our troops and supports our enemies.”

“The Patriot Act will put both of you (Al Neuharth and Greg Mitchell) on trial for treason and convict and execute both of you as traitors for running these stories in a time of war”

Fundamentalist Checklist – TOTALLY not gay

Characteristics of fundamentalist fascism:

  • They hate liberated women and all that symbolizes them. They hate it when women compete with men in the workplace, when they decide when or whether they will bear children, when they show the independence of getting abortions. They hate changes in laws that previously gave men more power over women.
  • They hate the wide range of sexual orientations and lifestyles that have always characterized human societies. They hate homosexuality.
  • They hate individual freedoms that allow people to stray from the rigid sort of truth they want to constrain all people. They hate individual rights that let others slough off their simple certainties.

This measure of fundamentalist insecurity turns out to be a helpful way to size up man’s man Doug Giles at TownHall. He firmly (ooh!) expresses his masculinity — without even the slightest hint of defensivenes — by picking on… Clay Aiken.

Yep. That’s how friggin’ hardkore Doug Giles is.
So watch your back, girlie men.

there is more to see   → → →