Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tabloid TV

OMG, they've put her back on tv. There is no accounting for taste. But then, this is the network where she reigned as queen for so long. What's that say about the current state of CNN?

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Monday, August 27, 2007



But this should not end the investigations, Democrats.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.
Aw ... isn't that sweet. A monday? Granted, congress is in recess and a long holiday weekend is coming up - but still. Oh, I see, Friday will be reserved for the announcement of his recess replacement.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The More Things Change ...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

McCain's Russert

Is Jon Stewart McCain's Tim Russert?

Back in the I. Scooter Libby trial, you know, the trial in which he was convicted on several felony counts, it was revealed [confirmed would be more accurate for those of us paying attention] that Russert was Cheney's tool.

Granted Stewart's show is comedy, which he pointed out during his surgical dissection of Tucker and Paul for their partisan hackery on Crossfire but, he does do political comedy/commentary which is, for the most part, accomplished without the need for political candidates to appear on the show. Why is it then, that is seems as though John McCain is his most oft-appeared (10 times) guest?

Just when McCain seems at one of his lowest points - up he pops on Jon's show. In his latest appearance, Jon quasi-apologizes for the "tiff" they had last time McCain was on (though Jon claims he can't remember what it was about) then he proceeds to tell McCain he'd like to see the old McCain, "speakin' it like it is ..." and McCain again thanks Stewart (for allowing him to be on the show) in a manner that implies this appearance may have been at his (or his campaign's) request.

Let's be clear. There is no old John McCain. There is no new John McCain. His votes in the senate have never coincided with his straight talk on the campaign trails or circuit talk shows and eating his salad with something other than a salad fork is about as maverick as he'll ever be. Again, it's Stewart's show and it is comedy but I also think his propping up of McCain is intellectually dishonest.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lessons in Linguistics [& T-shirts]

Yes, 9/11 changed everything. Apparently now we 'merikuns, some of whom haven't managed to master our own language, are fluent in Arabic.

In a country not yet two hundred fifty years old with our fast-food attention span and a sense of history that barely extends beyond last week [unless of course we're talking about the Republican Party whose memory goes back further but then only to the Clinton years for blame and the Reagan years for praise -but I digress], we know the real definition of various Arabic words and they're always offensive.

Last week, the ACLU, on behalf of Raed Jarrar a U.S. resident, Iraqi-born architect and peace activist [and all around hunk - as a friend would say " I wouldn't kick him outta bed for eatin' crackers" -actually she had a more apropos phrase but this isn't cable], filed suit against the TSA and Jet blue. Last August, Mr. Jarrar's flight home was disrupted when he was not allowed to board his Jet Blue flight until he acquiesced and covered the T-shirt he was wearing which displayed the phrase We Will Not be Silent in both Arabic and English. He was also made to surrender his boarding pass and sit in the back of the bus plane. Aside from the obvious point that if he were dangerous placing him behind everyone in the plane was just stupid, can we please get over this Arab=Muslim=BAD phase?

Apparently not. The Kahlil Gibran International school was likely doomed from the start. The new Brooklyn middle school that is to include Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic in its curriculum has brought out all the usual fear mongers , bigots and loons.

Not satisfied with merely blocking the chosen site for the new school, the Stop the Madrassa Coalition manufactured a controversy that resulted in the resignation of the school's principal.

The controversy was about T-shirts bearing the slogan NYC Intifada. These T-shirts were neither made nor worn by the principal, Debbie Almontaser, but were produced by the subversive group, AWAAM (that's Arab Women Active in Art and Media - oooooh scary), that happens to share space with a nonprofit group, The Arab American Family Support Center, with which Almontaser is affiliated.

Yep, that's the connection - I feel Kevin Bacon should be involved here somewhere.

When asked to comment on the shirts, she explained, that intifada means "shaking off" (Mona Eldahry, co-founder of AWAAM, discusses it here as well), as in shaking off oppression - following the literal meaning in Arabic. But that wasn't good enough for the NY Post (critical of the school from the start). They deemed her explanation/definition "malarkey" and lectured that:
It would behoove Almontaser and her supporters to recognize that "intifada" is an incendiary word in New York City - with its large Jewish population, and with its singular understanding of just where Islamist extremism can lead.
After several groups that had previously shown support for the school (primarily Jewish groups) became critical, Almontaser apologized:
"By minimizing the word's historical associations I implied that I condone violence and threats of violence," she said. "That view is anathema to me and the very opposite of my life's work."
So, where to start - Madrassa? Didn't we deal with that back when we found out that Barack Obama was an evil Muslim because he had attended a Madrassa -it means study/school. I'm certain that intifada, like war, or ammunition, or jihad can only have a single definition and a single context.

I mean you'd never hear about a war of, say, ideas where words were the ammunition and no one got killed.

Ironically, I caught a little of this last night and I don't recall precisely who they were interviewing but he said it (Haight-Ashbury) was about 'shaking off' and going a new direction. See it always comes back to hating those dirty, f#%&ing, liberal hippies. Peace man - intifada.

As far as some Jewish groups not being able to get beyond intifada relating only to 1987 - well, the holocaust was a horrendous thing and we should do everything in our power to ensure it never happens again. But we haven't. We aren't. But what I've also never been able to wrap my head around is how Jews (as a people), having gone through the ravage of Hitler's Germany, could ever, let alone such a short time afterward, have displaced another group of people - the Palestinians -as they did in 1947.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Too Funny

So Karl Rove is going to spend more time with the family and the New York Times has this to say:
But from the time he leaves office, Mr. Rove will no longer have the protection of White House lawyers and will be more on his own when it comes to dealing with Congressional subpoenas.
Hear that, Harriet?


Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Right* of Conscience Ignorance

The Hon. Judge Jeanne Scott is as ignorant a buffoon as the plaintiff in whose favor she ruled this past week. A pharmacist's refusal to dispense the emergency contraceptive (Plan B) is not a matter of conscience, it's a matter of biological ignorance - shared, evidently, with Jeanne. Plan B is not abortive. Period. I thought someone had a nice summary on the action of this pill awhile back ... he did ... he did ... it was PZ. Pharmacists and, more importantly, legislators and judges: Please Read. At least there's a sign of sanity in the state of Washington (no, not the pharmacists).

Geez, we really need to do something about science education in this country. Naw, then people might come to understand that sexual orientation is not a choice [scroll down video 7] and then they might feel all bad and stuff about the way they have treated these people in the past. Yeah, who am I kidding.

*universally accepted symbol for double entendre [hehe]


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Key is Unidentified You Putz

Doesn't he know that when you want to blame a black man it's supposed to be the ubiquitous unidentified black man. Geesh Repugnicans can't seem to get anything right these days.