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Archive for May, 2007

Heavens To Murgatroyd!

Posted by scott on May 31st, 2007

EXIT, stage left!

(Stolen from Hoffmania, which stole it from Blah3.)

During the recent celebrations of Treason In Defense Of Slavery History Month, it was ruefully noted by more than one commentator that the Confederacy retroactively won the war when Reconstruction ended and the Southern states established Jim Crow.  Likewise, it seems we were a little hasty in popping the champagne corks on V-E Day, because it turns out that certain former Gestapo functionaries are having a bit of a laugh at our expense.

As Andrew Sullivan points out, the Bush Administration borrowed the elegant euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” from a pre-War Gestapo manual (which also limited the types of prisoners upon whom such techniques could legally be used — ah, those naive, starry-eyed Nazis), as well as several types of creative, interrogater-induced torment:

Freezing prisoners to near-death, repeated beatings, long forced-standing, waterboarding, cold showers in air-conditioned rooms, stress positions [Arrest mit Verschaerfung], withholding of medicine and leaving wounded or sick prisoners alone in cells for days on end – all these have occurred at US detention camps under the command of president George W. Bush. Over a hundred documented deaths have occurred in these interrogation sessions. The Pentagon itself has conceded homocide by torture in multiple cases.

…The victims, by the way, were not in uniform. And the Nazis tried to argue, just as John Yoo did, that this made torturing them legit. The victims were paramilitary Norwegians, operating as an insurgency, against an occupying force.

…This is the Yoo position. It’s what Glenn Reynolds calls the “sensible” position on torture. It was the camp slogan at Camp Nama in Iraq: “No Blood, No Foul.” Now take the issue of “stress positions”, photographed at Abu Ghraib and used at Bagram to murder an innocent detainee. Here’s a good description of how stress positions operate:

The hands were tied together closely with a cord on the back of the prisoner, raised then the body and hung the cord to a hook, which was attached into two meters height in a tree, so that the feet in air hung. The whole body weight rested thus at the joints bent to the rear. The minimum period of hanging up was a half hour. To remain there three hours hung up, was pretty often. This punishment was carried out at least twice weekly.

Remember during the 2000 presidential campaign, where the candidates were asked to name their favorite political philosopher?  And Bush, who was slumping in his chair liked a bored fourth grader on a library field trip, drawled, “Jesus, because he changed my heart.”  Well, maybe so, but apparently he changed it into a lump of coal, since some of the techniques the president has authorized actually predate the Gestapo, going all the way back to Roman times, when a certain political philosopher named Jesus coincidentally died from a “stress position.” 

Hollywood Blvd Disproves Theory of Evolution!

Posted by scott on May 29th, 2007

Sure, the “Hollywood Renaissance” is bringing on a flood of trendy clubs and upscale clothing emporia, chasing out the tchotchke shops for disappointed tourists, the tranny shoe-and-schmatta stores, and the tattoo-and-piercing parlors.  But so what?  From it’s earliest days, Hollywood was a magnet for filmmakers and filmgoers, and This


…used to look like this:


I always thought the Fox was the ugliest damn theater on Hollywood Boulevard, until I saw how it looked when it was built in the early 30′s (and well into the 50′s…check out the marquee on the right.)

Again.  This…

Evolved from this…

If Darwin was here right now, I’d give him such a pinch…! 

J. Matt Barber, Concerned Woman

Posted by scott on May 29th, 2007


J. Matt is not only a columnist for RenewAmerica, not only “an attorney concentrating in constitutional law,” (which usually means filling up the break room at work with empty pizza boxes and discarded Slurpee cups as he brainstorms strict constructionist and/or original textualist interpretations that prove the Commerce Clause totally outlaws abortion), but he’s also the “Policy Director for Cultural Issues” at Concerned Woman for America.  And as a woman concerned with America and culture and Issues, J. Matt has naturally gone all twitter-pated about Mary Cheney’s bouncing baby abomination.

Mary Cheney, unwed lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, has given birth to a son, Samuel David Cheney. This beautiful child of God is undoubtedly a wonderful blessing to Ms. Cheney and to his two doting grandparents. This precious new life should be celebrated. But the conditions under which Ms. Cheney has chosen to bring this child into the world are to be condemned.Although circumstances don’t always allow child rearing to occur within God’s natural design for the family (which includes both a mother and a father), Ms. Cheney has very sadly and selfishly made the conscious choice to deny her child a natural family environment. She has intentionally deprived him of his other parent — his father.

More commonly known as “that guy who masturbated into a cup at the sperm bank for fifty bucks.” 

Ms. Cheney apparently intends to have a woman by the name of Heather Poe, whom she has identified as her lesbian “partner,” assist in the rearing of her son; but unfortunately, Ms. Poe can never replace little Samuel David’s other parent — his dad.

Has this “Ms. Poe” person ever taken a Juggs magazine into a toilet stall and whacked off for a cup of juice and a small honorarium?  No!  All she’s gonna do is hang around for the next 18 years, changing diapers, bandaging skinned knees, helping with homework and saving for college.  Sure, hop on the bandwagon now, bitch!  The hard work’s all done. 

One wonders if Ms. Cheney has ever contemplated what her childhood may have been like if she had been denied her own father.

Self-righteous jackholes like you wouldn’t be writing about her personal life?

The Fox News Channel, which in the past has at least made an effort to avoid liberal bias and political correctness in its reporting…

We will now take a break, while those who spewed their drinks pause to swab the monitor, and those who aspirated their beverages stagger around the house looking for someone to Heimlich them.

Okay, we’re back:

…has covered the story with the PC caption: Dick Cheney’s Daughter & Lesbian Partner Give Birth to Boy. This begs the question: How is it that Ms. Cheney’s lesbian partner has “[given] birth to a boy”?

Well, she’s got a better shot at it than Dick Cheney’s son-in-law, Phillip Perry.  On the other hand, given Phil’s tireless efforts to defend chemical plants from EPA regulation, he might have started to grow his own set of bacon and Playdoh, allowing he and wife Elizabeth Cheney to trade off the childbearing chores.

It is a biological impossibility for a homosexual “couple” to conceive a child without the assistance of a third party who is a member of the opposite sex. Yes, due to infertility natural male-female couples sometimes have to employ similar assistance, but there is no comparison.

Oh wait, I just made one.  Crap!

The Legend of the Big Giant Head….

Posted by Maryc on May 29th, 2007

Many thanks to Stephanie Miller.com for this youtube offering!


Edgar Bergen’s less intelligent dummy, Andy McCarthy, slowly sits up in his case, frightens the crap out of Michael Redgrave, then declares:

Good for Senator McCain on his sharp rebuttal to Senator Obama.  May I add one point, though, that continues to make me nuts?

Senator Obama says:  ” It is time to end this war so that we can redeploy our forces to focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and all those who plan to do us harm.”

Senator Obama, are you proposing that we move U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where you guys keep saying the “real” War on Terror is? 

I have good news for you, Andy — you needn’t lose another night’s sleep, agonizing over what Senator Obama could possibly mean when he utters the baffling word “redeployment.”  Thanks to modern miracles like Retsyn, Chlorinol-3, and The Internet, you can actually go to his website and read all about it:

Perhaps most importantly, some of these troops could be redeployed to Afghanistan, where our lack of focus and commitment of resources has led to an increasing deterioration of the security situation there. The President’s decision to go to war in Iraq has had disastrous consequences for Afghanistan — we have seen a fierce Taliban offensive, a spike in terrorist attacks, and a narcotrafficking problem spiral out of control. Instead of consolidating the gains made by the Karzai government, we are backsliding towards chaos. By redeploying from Iraq to Afghanistan, we will answer NATO’s call for more troops and provide a much-needed boost to this critical fight against terrorism.

Not so fast there, Senator.  Andy is bouncing in his seat and raising his hand, so he’s either dying to ask an asinine follow-up, or he has to make wee-wees: 

There is also a very good chance that bin Laden and some al Qaeda hierarchy are in Pakistan.  When you say “redeploy,” are you suggesting that we invade Pakistan?

Well, it’s not my place to speak for Senator Obama, but I’m gonna take a leap of faith here and say:  No. 

Folks, let’s not let these guys get away with this.  By “redeploy,” they don’t really mean move the troops to where they say al Qaeda is.  They don’t want to fight al Qaeda.  If they wanted to fight al Qaeda, al Qaeda is in Iraq — that is indisputable.  Bin Laden has said repeatedly that Iraq is the central battle.

Yes, but so has President Bush, and his use of lies has proven to be, shall we say, more than recreational. 

You can argue about whether al Qaeda has been in Iraq all along or whether they are there only because we’ve drawn them there.

Uh…no, you can’t. 

Reasonable minds differ on that.

Uh, no they don’t. 

But however they got there, they’re there.

Later, when the police arrived, they found Andy with a gun in his hand, standing over the body of Jonah Goldberg.  There were signs of a struggle, powdered sugar was spread all around the break room, and the last chocolate-frosted maple log was lodged in Jonah’s mouth.  Andy was quick to put the situation in perspective:  “Yes, there are certainly five, or perhaps six bullets in Jonah.  And they penetrated his back fat, so it’s at least conceivable that they were propelled by some sort of firearm.  Maybe a Wrist-Rocket.  But it’s also possible he just fell on them, or swallowed them on a dare.  Reasonable minds differ on that.  But however those bullets got into Jonah, they’re there, and we should learn to live with that, rather than get bogged down in a lot of guesswork and finger pointing and blame-gaming.”  

If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq. 

The operative word here being “you.”

If you really believe al Qaeda is not in Iraq — that the real al Qaeda is only in Afghanistan and its environs — then you’re on drugs.

Andy.  Bud.  Taking your post as a whole,  I’m assuming this accusation of hallucinogen abuse is made on the time-honored basis of It Takes One To Know One.  (Totally willing to vanpool to the Dead concert in Iowa City.  Call me, dude.)

But, sure, fine, “redeploy” our troops … to Afghanistan.  But can we please have five seconds of honesty?  You guys don’t have the slightest intention of doing that.  You don’t want to go to Afghanistan.  You want to go home.

And you’re gonna take your ball with you!  Be honest! 

When you say redploy, you mean withdraw.  You don’t actually want to “focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.”  You are content to bring the troops home and leave “the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11″ to build a safe-haven in Iraq even as they continue to make mayhem in Afghanistan.

This message brought to you by Projectionists Union Local 160.

You think Bush is incompetent and “his” war in Iraq is a terrible mistake?  Fine.  You think the price of that is that we should pull everyone out of Iraq even though we all know that will be a monumental victory for al Qaeda — geometrically abetting its future fundraising and recruiting for future terrorist attacks on America?  Fine. 

Okay, I may actually need more drugs than I have on hand to get through the rest of this.  Nothing heavy, some ‘shrooms will do, maybe a peyote button…So let me see if I catch your drift, Andy…You think that I think that a reasonable price for ending a world historical blunder which is tearing this country apart, and exacting an ongoing toll in lives and treasure is Osama bin Laden showing up in your dreams and calling you a pussy?  Hm.  Let me check the Magic 8-Ball…

“All Signs Point To Yes.” 

But have the good grace to say so.  Don’t give us this BS that you want to redeploy to fight al Qaeda, when the truth is that you want to “redeploy” to NOT fight al Qaeda.

You know, when you pull your hand out of that hole in his back, Andy’s actually kinda stupid.

Check out my fave radio progressive, Stephainie Miller on CNN the other night!

And there we have it: The GOP Plan to win the WOT, via Mark Smith: Let our soldiers die, so we(the accountants and professionals and GOP chickenhawks over here) don’t have to.

Submitted Without Comment…

Posted by scott on May 24th, 2007

 Okay…ONE comment…

Remember: Never overbook your boners.

I’ve had a lot of odd temp jobs in my time.  I won’t bore you with the whole list (although the week I spent high atop  a vacant-for-the night Time-Life building, busily taking notes from midnight to 5 AM while a slow-talking, hillbilly expert in criminal psychology drawled on about the habits of modern American cannibals perhaps merits a mention).  Oddest though, was the 18 month period I spent being worshipped as a wrathful god by a tubby tortoiseshell cat.

I had moved back to California from New York City in order to look after my dad’s business while he recovered from a heart attack, and I found myself living on the exurban fringe of the Ojai Valley.  After five years spent in various tenements in the East Village, I thought I was inured to vermin — rats, mice, roaches — but I soon discovered that these effete, Eastern varmints were nothing compared to their frontier counterparts.  For just as the buffalo once thundered across the West, turning the vast prairie black with their numbers, so it was in Ojai with gophers.

My dad grew up on a ranch, and had fought the little subterranean terrorists to a standstill.  But while he was convalescing, they infiltrated the untended acre of land surrounding the house like Al Qaeda flocking to Afghanistan.  As a tenderfoot from the big city, I wasn’t overtly asked to trap them myself, then mush a team of dogs to the trading post and barter the gopher pelts for hardtack and gunpowder, but my parents’ disappointment was implicit.

A few weeks into the onslaught, however, I managed to subcontract the pest control.  My stepmother was in the habit of reprimanding any cats she caught in the act of hunting, and shooing them away from their freshly killed bird, lizard, field mouse, or other grisly prey with a sharp smack on the haunch.  But one morning I came around the house and discovered Sam, a chunky orange and black female — and the one cat who had never really warmed up to me – lazily shaking a gopher in her mouth.  She froze when she saw me, evidently anticipating a rebuke, but I could not have been more effusive in my congratulations (well, I guess I could have, if I’d felt slightly less queasy).  She warily permitted me to approach, and I stroked her back, and scratched her head to the point that she dropped the hirsuit corpse and stretched and purred and rolled belly up.

The next morning, as I departed for work, I found a severed gopher head sitting upright on the welcome mat.  I gingerly kicked it into the bushes, glad that I was always the first one to leave the house, and vaguely wondering if I’d managed to offend a really wimpy Mafia capo.  But I soon realized that the head wasn’t mere leftovers — it was an act of religious devotion.  Because from that point on I would frequently find a gopher head waiting to greet me first thing in the morning, until the pile of decayed rodent skulls I’d furtively scuffed into the shrubs began to resemble the Bone Church of Kutna Hora.   And it finally dawned on me that, lacking cash for the collection plate, Sam was leaving me a blood sacrifice.  This was confirmed when I moved down to Los Angeles, and the rodent skull offerings abruptly ceased, although I suppose it’s possible that she simply failed to harvest the gopher heads in an ecologically sustainable fashion, and they became extinct in our yard.

I started thinking about this again after I got an email from Anntichrist S. Coulter, who has been working to help cats who have no choice but to live off the land, and would be grateful for a whole gopher head tossed away by some suburban dilettante.  And it reminded me that not all stray cats are feral; some are just homeless.

BTW, the b&w pissy cat in the bottom picture was a very persecuted-feeling feral male (who lives in the holler behind our town’s recycling center), the solid-black male in the trap above him was also from the same holler, and had a very similar attitude, but the little solid-black kitty (also male) in the pet carrier was sooooooo sweet — even though he was totally feral, he was soooo sweet, he had the sweetest little voice, and he was AFFECTIONATE to me, even after I trapped him and moved him to the carrier — no hissing, no scratching, just a little “mew.”

When I took him back to the recycling center to set him free, he didn’t want to GO! He just sat in the back of the carrier and looked at me with those big gorgeous green-yellow eyes and mewed at me, like, “Why don’t you want me? Can I please go home with you?”

I’ve NEVER had a truly feral cat that LIKED ME, especially after I’ve had his nuts chopped off, and he was sooooos sweet, he even let me pet him and scratch him under his chin. From what I saw of his behavior, he was a domestic cat whom some asshole/irresponsible white-flight republicunt suburbanite nouveau-riche-white-trash Baton Rouge assholes who moved up here after Katrina just THREW AWAY like he was nothing more than GARBAGE. He had been born to human contact, that’s why he wasn’t afraid of me. Just broke my fucking heart. But then, most of them do, especially my baby Smudge.

Thanks to all of y’all who have helped me continue the feral cat work, even new people that I’ve never even met before, but especially to my long-time buds, many of whom are in similar financial straits as I am, but who never fail to help me when I’m pursuing a good cause.

Her purpose in writing, though, was to spread the word about Cat Haven, the rescue operation she works with.  And like any organization that tries to do some good in this world, they are chronically underfunded.  As Annti said in her email:

But most importantly…please pass on the URL for CatHaven.org to all of your animal-loving friends! If it weren’t for Cathy (who, many times, is funding Cat Haven from her own paychecks!) and Cat Haven, I wouldn’t have been able to neuter ANY of these cats. THEY MAKE ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE. So please, even if you don’t have a dime to contribute, even if you can’t afford to donate to Cat Haven itself, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pass the URL and the word around about Cat Haven for me!

Here the link to help, if you can.  The page helpfully details what each dollar pays for, and even a small amount can save a life and prevent future misery, so I want to thank Annti for alerting me to the work being done by Cat Haven.  There are, of course, feral and abandoned animals all over (and not all of them are lucky enough to wind up in a shelter near s.z.’s house), but things are particularly bad in southern Louisiana in the wake of Katrina.

Just to get the ball rolling (and for purely selfish reasons), Mary, Riley and I have made a modest donation in memory of Hobbes.


Via Ken Levine, I found this YouTube compilation of David Caruso’s Greatest Sunglasses Putting On Moments from CSI: Miami, and it reminded me of how much this show annoys s.z. (For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Caruso’s character, Horatio Caine, is a cop with a weakness for 800 dollar suits, womany Italian sunglasses, and Joe Friday-like zingers full of pith and vinegar, and delivered with the pacing and brio of a Pinter play.) Below is a bit on CSI: Miami, taken from this pensee on irritating TV shows that s.z. wrote for the old site, and below that, the video…in question. Put on your sunglasses…and…Enjoy.

“CSI: Miami”

We hate “CSI: Miami.” Why do we watch it? Well, partly because we have nothing else to do Monday nights at 9:00. But more, we watch it to hate.

When we heard the promo stating that one of the “CSI: Miami” cast would die in the season premiere, we hoped that it would be Horatio Caine. We hate him with the heat of 1000 suns. It’s one of those satanic confluences of an an annoying actor and an annoying character that together rise above annoyingness to reach, um, hatability.

We hate the way he talks — both the way David Caruso reads a line, and the stupid lines they give him to read. For instance, one his team will say something obvious like, “Hey, a dead body!” And EVERY TIME Horatio will reply with something portentous and pompous, like “Not dead … murdered. And it’s our job to catch murderers.” He’ll say it like everybody should be thanking him for pointing this out, because they’re, like, such idiots that without him they would have thought their job was to wear designer clothes and look hot. Oh, wait, that IS their job.

And then crime scene investigator Horatio will single-handedly wrestle a gang of murderous rappers to the ground, and will later later show up at their execution so he can quip something like, “You thought it was cool to hook kids on crack. Let’s see how cool you are in the electric chair, my friend.”

And then he will promise some cute little kid that he, Horatio Caine, will make sure that the kid never gets scared by anything ever again in his life. And then he will be sadly misunderstood by the Italian supermodel/cop who is the widow of his junkie brother, and spend the last five minutes of the program brooding about how life is, like, so unfair.

Anyway, like I said, I hoped that Horatio would be the one who died last week. But I figured that he really wouldn’t be, since Miami would presumably be buried under the weight of the inhabitants incompetence if he wasn’t there to tell cops that it was their job to catch murderers. So, I figured that it would be the Italian supermodel/cop who would bite the bullet, because (a) her accent makes her hard to understand, and (b) it would give Horatio a whole season’s worth of brooding fodder.

But no, it turned out to be Speed, the scruffy guy — the only one on the show with enough smarts (and gumption) to roll his eyes when Horatio gave one of his lectures on what their job is. A hot young Hispanic man was briefly shown working in the lab — we presume he will be Speed’s replacement. They should just change the name of the program to “CSI: Supermodels” and be done with it. Then there wouldn’t be any reason at all that the coroner can’t show up at crime scenes in a bikini, instead of the skimpy tank tops that she wears now.

Exhibit A: