Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Note to Readers

I guess I've hit the semi-big time. I've been getting a lot of comment spam recently, so I've had to enable a "verification word" feature in the comment section. All you have to do is enter the displayed word. I apologize for the extra step, but it'll keep all of us from being treated to comments regarding enlargement of body parts... if you get my drift.

"Full Disclosure" Run Amok

Ampersand at "Alas, A Blog" has an interesting post on some recent abortion research. In short, a recent JAMA article concludes that fetuses cannot feel pain until roughly the 28th week. This conflicts with a proposal from the pro-life crowd that patients be told their fetuses will feel pain. Now, some of the pro-lifers are bitching about the fact that one author worked for NARAL, another performed abortions, and the third is a professor at a med school, affiliated with a women's clinic.

As Ampersand points out -- correctly -- "Finally, the pro-life press is full of studies conducted and funded by professional pro-life advocates - and many of those studies are never published in legitimate peer-reviewed journals. It seems unlikely that pro-lifers would be willing to hold their own studies to the standards they're holding this study to."

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bush's Response to Katrina

While the flood waters rise, and people die, Shrub shows the usual concern for everyday (i.e., non-billionaire) Americans:

President Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country Singer Mark Wills, right, backstage following his visit to Naval Base Coronado, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Bush visited the base to deliver remarks on V-J Commemoration Day.

His increasing disconnect from reality is scaring the hell out of me.

Monday, August 29, 2005

More Compassion From the Conservatives

The far-right neocon wingnut 'Christians' are raising more hell in Georgia. Someone vandalized a home near Atlanta, spraying swatikas on the walls, burning another into their lawn, scrawling "fascist" and crapping on the porch.

Now, given the victims were Jewish, I would think it's a safe bet them damned libruls din't do it.

So it must be the Pat Robertson "love thy neighbor, lessin' they's Jews" compassionate Christian conservatives.

Jesus must be weeping at the things these animals do "in His name".

Jackalope Found in Minnesota

No, really.

I read it on the Internet, so I know it's true.

For more information on jackalopes, see here.

Gotta LOVE Them Neocons!

I was reading about the latest goings-on with Cindy Sheehan, down there in Crawdad, trying to interfere with Twig's vacation.

1. One batch of mouth-breathin', hooker-humpin', Bible-thumpin', sister-marryin', rifle-rack-in-the-pickemup bunch went after a group that seemed to be supporting Cindy. Oops, turns out it was a different bunch of mouth-breathers. Stupid friggin' neocons can't even tell their friends from their enemies.

2. One of the neocon media jerks -- Hume or Limbaugh or one of those twits -- apparently mistook Cindy Sheehan in Crawford with Cindy Crawford (of Sheehan?). The afore-mentioned wingnut was blithering about supermodels in politics. Go drink some more of that Kool-Aid.

3. One of the "support our military" types decided to show his support of the military by plowing over a dozen or so of the crosses that Sheehan and her followers set up. Each cross bore the name of a service member killed in action. Yup, drivin' yer pickemup over them crosses sure shows your support, Bubba.

4. In a semi-related vein, a bunch of right-wing neocon wingnuts is heading for South Carolina, to establish a 'Christian Republic' that will follow the tenets of the Old Testament. Um, guys, the OLD Testament is before Jesus. You'll be running a pre-Christian society. Not that they'll really care; they'll be able to keep women, minorities and other 'sub-human' species in line. And why am I not surprised to see they chose South Carolina? SC was the first state to secede prior to the Civil War (and the current batch of wingnuts is also talking secession). Y'all wanna secede? Fahn. Go ahaid. But don't y'all come lookin to us to bail out yer sorry asses with furrin aid.

As I said, you gotta love those fascist, neocon wingnuts.

Prayers... and Pampers

I just heard Dear Leader asking for prayers to help Katrina's victims. As a member of the reality-based community, I take a slightly more pragmatic approach.

Donate to the American Red Cross. Cash is best, as they can use it to purchase (at wholesale) the supplies that tre most needed. Aso, the Red Cross is not set up to handle donations of food, water, etc. (although other groups will certainly be taking physical contributions).

The Red Cross has already mobilized their disaster services units across the country. As a past member of Disaster Services, I can tell you these people are highly trained and incredibly motivated. These are regular American citizens who are willing to travel across the country -- or around the world -- to help wherever and whenever needed.

Prayers are good, but right now, the people in LA, MS, AL and surrounding areas need more concrete items, like Pampers, food, water and shelter.

And if you can, please donate blood as well.

Barnes and Noble

We've all heard at least something about the brouhaha at the Wilmington, DE, Barnes and Noble, where Little Ricky "man-on-dog sex" Santorum was signing copies of his latest screed. A couple of students decided to go ask Little Ricky some embarassing questions, and found themselves being escorted out -- and subsequently dragged down to the hoosegow -- by a uniformed Delaware State Police sergeant.

I sent the following letter to customer service at B&N:


I have been a Barnes and Noble customer for years, and have always appreciated not only the vast selections, but also the ambiance of your stores.

The recent happenings at the Rick Santorum book-signing (at the Wilmington B&N), and the refusal of B&N management to condemn these activities, have shown me that B&N is no longer worthy of my business. As a book store and publishing house, your company should be a champion of free spreech. Instead, you allow Santorum and his goons to stifle any dissenting opinions.

I'll be spending my money elsewhere from now on.

And when Santorum and his fascist cohorts eliminate freedom of speech and of the press, and B&N is gone, you will have yourselves to thank.

Today, I received a reply from them:

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I appreciate having the opportunity to clarify the situation regarding Senator Santorum's signing at our Wilmington bookstore:

Barnes & Noble did not remove the students from the store, and we regret what happened. A law enforcement officer took control of the situation and acted on his own. He physically removed the students without talking with us or notifying our store managers beforehand. We do not agree with the actions of this officer and feel the situation was mishandled.
This kind of usefully ignores the fact that B&N "knew or should have known" (as the lawyers put it) of the behaviors previously exhibited by Little Ricky and the rest of the Bushies -- the "free spech zones" at political rallies (designed to keep protesters out of the sight of Dear Leader), the recurring attempts to brand dissension as "commie-sympathizer" rhetoric, the outright theft of elections, the steady erosion of civil and Constitutional rights, and the rest of their sorry panoply -- yet B&N still expressed surprise that such behaviors occurred. It's akin to saying "we didn't know the Illinois Nazis were going to be making hate speeches in Skokie".

Come on.

If one is going to invite a hate-monger to one's business, one should realistically expect hateful speech. And if one invites a politician whose entire career is based on quashing dissent, one shouldn't be surprised that Gestapo tactics are used in that situation.

Yes, the lady from B&N was polite, and expressed the usual big-business platitudes about being sorry, but they knew what Santorum was like, and they invited him anyway.

I'll still be buying my books elsewhere from now on.

Oh, and lest someone think I'm lettingDelaware's answer to Major Hochstetter off the hook... the sergeant in question should be fired immediately, and charged under Federal statutes for violating the civil rights of the students involved.

Not that Twig's "so-called 'Justice Dept"" will ever do that. These kides were, after all, commie-sympathizin', Murica-hatin' libtard scums, right?