Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who'd of thunk it?

Today the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project released a new study investigating where Americans want to live.

Among its findings: Denver is the most desirable place in the country to live -- which any Coloradan could easily have told you. No study needed. Another discovery: People who live in cities -- as well as people who want to live cities -- are more open than others to the idea of living with immigrants and neighbors of different races. Whoa, stop the presses!

We can all be grateful to Pew for investing in a study that provides the shocking, absolutely shocking, news that country hicks are bigots. Who could have imagined that?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Man, 72, knocks out whole group of gang bangers

Jack get's it...

The stimulus package is not going to be a walk in the park either. Republicans are yelling it's too costly and doesn't stimulate enough. And they might have point. It's at $825 billion now and could go higher. Hundreds of millions for condoms and other contraceptives doesn't belong in there either, unless it's for what's about to happen to the American taxpayer. (Jack Cafferty, 1/26/09)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Congratulations, President Obama!

This has been reprinted in several places today, and for good reason. It is an an acerbic and appropriate observation. Thanks to Rob Wicks:

Congratulations, President Obama!

I just wanted to congratulate President Barack Obama in his performing that grand rite of passage for American Presidents. No, not any such silliness as his first bill or executive order. I meant something much more important. Today, President Obama ordered his first murder.

So, while you can look into the loving eyes of your own beautiful daughters, somewhere in Afghanistan, a grieving family will never look into the loving eyes of three children again.

Where is the change?

With one hand President Obama is standing in front of the television cameras waiving executive orders announcing "change," while with the other he is dropping Bush's left-over missiles into the territory of a friendly, ally nation. The illegal attacks on Pakistan today only drive Pakistan's northwest border region further from its own government and further into militancy--and thereby undermined the authority of a U.S.-friendly Pakistani government in the process.

There is great potential here for coalition of Democrats, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Greens and other Progressives to reinforce President Obama's mandate for change by opposing today's missile strikes into Pakistan -- and they should so forthwith.

Contact the White House website to voice your displeasure, and let your Congressional delegation know your views as well. It is easy to do:

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The First Minority Executive

Barack Obama is not the first partially non-European American to achieve an executive office position in American government. That distinction belongs to Charles Curtis who was the 31st Vice President of the United States (under Herbert Hoover) and a member of the native-American Kaw nation. It is of interest that, like President Obama, Curtis was raised by his grandparents. Perhaps of more interest, at least to constitutional scholars, should be that fact that Curtis was not born in the United States, but rather in the Kansas Territory prior to statehood. If anyone can explain why this did not present an obstacle to his election, please post the details.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To the swift

In what will hopefully establish a precedent pace, President Obama acting quickly on Wednesday to begin the process of shutting down the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center by issuing an executive order halting all prosecutions of detainees for 120 days.

Comment of the week...

No. 35 · Arrogant Bastard Ale

"I thought you had to be 21 to drink in Oregon, this kid turns 18 and first thing he is sucking down a Sam Adams?"
Reader comment regarding the breaking sex scandal involving Portland's newly elected Gay mayor, Sam Adams.

Record Turnaround in Government Reporting!

The Bush Administration accomplished a phenomenal piece of government investigating at a record pace. Never before in the annals of flight accident investigation history has a case been closed so quickly. The very last thing President Bush did, as he left the White House, was to leave a classified report on the cause of the U.S. Air Flight 1549 accident laying on the president's desk for Barack Obama's attention. The report is classified, but the Snarkmeister has been able to obtain a copy. In the interest of the public's right to know, he is disclosing it today, at great personal risk. The Bush administration, of course, concluded that the accident was caused by terrorists. The photographic evidence is a bit grainy, but unlike with the weapons of mass destruction, their proof this time appears incontrovertible:

U.S. Air Flight 1549
Confidential Report

For Eyes Only

National Security Clearance Required

U.S. Air Flight 1549 was brought down by radical Islamic geese, likely owned, trained, and smuggled into the country by Osama bin Laden. Supporting this conclusion is the fact that small bit of turban were found in the remains of both engines.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brown or Lincoln?

John Brown was hanged by the State of Virginia on December 2, 1859, on the very day that Victor Hugo's letter was printed prophesying that Brown's death would result in a civil war. The predicted American Civil War would begin within 18 months and cost the lives of roughly 3% of the American population, including an extraordinary 18% of the male population of the South.

Presently, John Brown is pariah to history, labeled a radical and a terrorist, for having been judged indirectly responsible for the killing of (almost all in self-defense) fewer than 30 radicalized slavery advocates in his efforts to free African Americans from their bondage. On the other hand, the racist Abraham Lincoln, who cynically exploited John Brown's cause for political gain and who was directly responsible for the deaths of well over a million Americans, is held out this very day by Barack Obama as a role model.

That choice, from a highly educated African American who would presume to lead this country on issues of unity, should give all Americans pause.

And interesting historical detail...

It is of interest to note that none other than the great Victor Hugo publicly predicted that the State of Virginia's murder of John Brown would result in an American civil war, and of course, he was correct. And for those who think that Barack Obama, or even Martin Luther King, speaks eloquently on the subject of equality, consider this, and weep for the century and a half that our country lost by its deafness:

To the Editor of the London News:

Sir: When our thoughts dwell upon the United States of America, a majestic form rises before the eye of imagination. It is a Washington!

Look, then, to what is taking place in that country of Washington at this present moment.

In the Southern States of the Union there are slaves; and this circumstance is regarded with indignation, as the most monstrous of inconsistencies, by the pure and logical conscience of the Northern States. A white man, a free man, John Brown, sought to deliver these negro slaves from bondage. Assuredly, if insurrection is ever a sacred duty, it must be when it is directed against Slavery. John Brown endeavored to commence the work of emancipation by the liberation of slaves in Virginia. Pious, austere, animated with the old Puritan spirit, inspired by the spirit of the Gospel, he sounded to these men, these oppressed brothers, the rallying cry of Freedom. The slaves, enervated by servitude, made no response to the appeal. Slavery afflicts the soul with weakness. Brown, though deserted, still fought at the head of a handful of heroic men; he was riddled with balls; his two young sons, sacred martyrs, fell dead at his side, and he himself was taken. This is what they call the affair at Harper’s Ferry.

John Brown has been tried, with four of his comrades, Stephens, Coppic, Gree and Copeland.

What has been the character of his trial? Let us sum it up in a few words:—

John Brown, upon a wretched pallet, with six half gaping wounds, a gun-shot wound in his arm, another in his loins, and two in his head, scarcely conscious of surrounding sounds, bathing his mattress in blood, and with the ghastly presence his two dead sons ever beside him; his four fellow-sufferers wounded, dragging themselves along by his side; Stephens bleeding from saber wounds; justice in a hurry, and overleaping all obstacles; an attorney, Hunter, who wishes to proceed hastily, and a judge, Parker, who suffers him to have his way; the hearing cut short, almost every application for delay refused, forged and mutilated documents produced, the witnesses for the defence kidnapped, every obstacle thrown in the way of the prisoner’s counsel, two cannon loaded with canister stationed in the Court, orders given to the jailers to shoot the prisoners if they sought to escape, forty minutes of deliberation, and three men sentenced to die! I declare on my honor that all this took place, not in Turkey, but in America!

Such things cannot be done with impunity in the face of the civilized world. The universal conscience of humanity is an ever-watchful eye. Let the judges of Charlestown, and Hunter and Parker, and the slaveholding jurors, and the whole population of Virginia, ponder it well: they are watched! They are not alone in the world. At this moment, America attracts the eyes of the whole of Europe.

John Brown, condemned to die, was to have been hanged on the 2d of December — this very day.

But news has just reached us. A respite has been granted to him. It is not until the 16th that he is to die. The interval is a brief one. Before it has ended, will a cry of mercy have had time to make itself effectually heard?

No matter! It is our duty to speak out.

Perhaps a second respite may be granted. America is a noble nation. The impulse of humanity springs quickly into life among a free people. We may yet hope that Brown will be saved.

If it were otherwise, if Brown should die on the scaffold on the 16th of December, what a terrible calamity! The executioner of Brown, let us avow it openly (for the day of the Kings is past, and the day of the peoples dawns, and to the people we are bound frankly to speak the truth) — the executioner of Brown would be neither the attorney Hunter, nor the judge Parker, nor the Governor Wise, nor the State of Virginia; it would be, though we can scarce think or speak of it without a shudder, the whole American Republic.

The more one loves, the more one admires, the more one venerates that Republic, the more heart-sick one feels at the contemplation of such a catastrophe. A single State out not to have the power to dishonor all the rest, and in this case there is an obvious justification for a federal intervention. Otherwise, by hesitating to interfere when it might prevent a crime, the Union becomes a participator in its guilt. No matter how intense may be the indignation of the generous Northern States, the Southern States force them to share the opprobrium of this murder. All of us, no matter who we may be, who are bound together as compatriots by the common tie of a democratic creed, feel ourselves in some measure compromised. If the scaffold should be erected on the 16th of December, the incorruptible voice of history would thenceforward testify that the august Confederation of the New World, had added to all its rites of holy brotherhood a brotherhood of blood, and the fasces of that splendid Republic would be bound together with the running noose that hung from the gibbet of Brown!

This is a bond that kills.

When we reflect on what Brown, the liberator, the champion of Christ, has striven to effect, and when we remember that he is about to die, slaughtered by the American Republic, that crime assumes an importance co-extensive with that of the nation which commits it — and when we say to ourselves that this nation is one of the glories of the human race; that, like France, like England, like Germany, she is one of the great agents of civilization; that she sometimes even leaves Europe in the rear by the sublime audacity of some of her progressive movements; that she is the Queen of an entire world, and that her brow is irradiated with a glorious halo of freedom, we declare our conviction that John Brown will not die; for we recoil horror-struck from the idea of so great a crime committed by so great a people.

Viewed in a political light, the murder of Brown would be an irreparable fault. It would penetrate the Union with a gaping fissure which would lead in the end to its entire disruption. It is possible that the execution of Brown might establish slavery on a firm basis in Virginia, but it is certain that it would shake to its centre the entire fabric of American democracy. You preserve your infamy, but you sacrifice your glory. Viewed in a moral light, it seems to me that a portion of the enlightenment of humanity would be eclipsed, that even the ideas of justice and injustice would be obscured on the day which should witness the assassination of Emancipation by Liberty.

As for myself, though I am but a mere atom, yet being, as I am, in common with all other men, inspired with the conscience of humanity, I fall on my knees, weeping before the great starry banner of the New World; and with clasped hands, and with profound and filial respect, I implore the illustrious American Republic, sister of the French Republic, to see to the safety of the universal moral law, to save John Brown, to demolish the threatening scaffold of the 16th of December, and not to suffer that beneath its eyes, and I add, with a shudder, almost by its fault, a crime should be perpetrated surpassing the first fratricide in iniquity.

For — yes, let America know it, and ponder on it well — there is something more terrible than Cain slaying Abel: It is Washington slaying Spartacus!

Victor Hugo

Hautville House, Dec. 2d, 1859.

Alas, America was not the noble nation that Hugo imagined, although perhaps it is a bit closer today than it was even eight years ago.

John Brown can rest

Old John Brown’s body lies moldering in the grave,
While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save;
But tho he lost his life while struggling for the slave,
His soul is marching on.

John Brown was a hero, undaunted, true and brave,
And Kansas knows his valor when he fought her rights to save;
Now, tho the grass grows green above his grave,
His soul is marching on.

He captured Harper’s Ferry, with his nineteen men so few,
And frightened "Old Virginny" till she trembled thru and thru;
They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew,
But his soul is marching on.

John Brown was John the Baptist of the Christ we are to see,
Christ who of the bondmen shall the Liberator be,
And soon thruout the Sunny South the slaves shall all be free,
For his soul is marching on.

The conflict that he heralded he looks from heaven to view,
On the army of the Union with its flag red, white and blue.
And heaven shall ring with anthems o’er the deed they mean to do,
For his soul is marching on.

Ye soldiers of Freedom, then strike, while strike ye may,
The death blow of oppression in a better time and way,
For the dawn of old John Brown has brightened into day,
And his soul is marching on

--William Weston Patton

Good Riddence

Saturday, January 17, 2009


As we end another eight disastrous years of straight men running the world, with the most impressive thing to show for it being a little device that lets you run a program called Wobbles which animates a "wobble" onto photos of women with overly large breasts, I have to wonder -- what in the hell are we thinking?

Clearly these guys have impaired judgment. They can't run financial institutions, or auto companies, or governments; at least not without causing bankruptcies, frauds, and wars, so why are we letting them run things? Sure they are great in the sack, or so I'm told, but that doesn't mean we have to hand them the keys to the kingdom.

If you have at your disposal an entertaining source of propagation, but who can't balance a column of numbers, who can't tell the truth, and who can't talk to the neighbors with getting into a fight, well, then the rational solution is to just keep them at home, naked, and chained to the bedpost. What's wrong with that? After all, that's essentially what they did with women for, like since -- FOREVER.

Really, what could it hurt?

Would it really be all that damaging to run companies at a fair profit without the goal of destroying every competitor by any means, and without bilking investors and taxpayers out of billions of dollars? Would it really hurt to let us "creative types" actually run things, like car companies, rather than to just design their interiors? How exactly would the world be worse off if it was run by guys who would rather make love with each other than to kill each other?

I wobble at the concept, and so should you, because if you think a straight black guy with power is going to be any saner than a long line of straight white guys with power, than I have a nice deal on a mortgage for you: no money down, no points, zero interest for the first five years until the rate adjusts up with inflation -- and you don't even have to qualify! Just sign here: _______________________________.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blair House 3.0

Today is the 15th, the day that the President Elect is traditionally supposed to have access to Blair House. So, do we yet know who was in Blair House all this time? Who was it that was occupying this entire 14 bedroom complex, such that it required the Obamas to run up a taxpayer-paid bill in the millions for hotel and security charges at the Hay Adams Hotel?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Dream for Some, but not for others

Writes Andrew Sullivan...

What Equality Looks Like

When I came to America from Britain, the gay rights movement was way ahead here of the old country. No longer. Here is a list of the most powerful openly gay people in Britain. The whole list is a staggering contrast with the US. At the top:
  1. Spencer Livermore, 32, Director of Political Strategy, 10 Downing Street
  2. Nick Brown, 57, Deputy Chief Whip, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend
  3. Peter Mandelson, 54, EU Trade Commissioner. He's back in the cabinet as Business secretary and Brown's main spin doctor.
  4. Angela Eagle, 46, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, MP for Wallasey
  5. Ben Bradshaw, 47, Minister of State for Health Services, MP for Exeter
  6. Andrew Pierce, 46, Assistant Editor, Daily Telegraph. Julian Glover, Matthew Parris partner, is opinion editor al The Guardian.
The bigotry that infects the Republican party and the cynicism and cowardice that dominates the Democrats on this issue prevent such success and integration in America. And yet many of the causes that have prevailed in Britain - marriage equality and military service, for example - were pioneered on this side of the Atlantic.