August 13, 2008 • 10:05 pm 2
A peek above our garters to Musicguy for this:
The George W. Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages.
The Library will include:
The Hurricane Katrina Room , which is still under construction.
The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won’t be able to remember anything.
The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t even have to show up.
The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.
The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.
The National Debt room which is huge and has no ceiling.
The ‘Tax Cut’ Room with entry only to the wealthy.
The ‘Economy Room’ which is in the toilet.
August 10, 2008 • 10:31 am 8
PITTSBURGH – Karen Fletcher, the Donora, Pennsylvania woman who ran the RedRoseStories.com Website, which the government charged contained obscene text pieces involving sex with and torture of underage characters, today pleaded guilty to six counts of “using an interactive computer service to distribute obscene materials.”
Fletcher, whose site had 29 subscribers worldwide and charged $10 per month for access – then her sole source of income – received, under a plea agreement worked out between U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman and Trial Attorney Michael Yoon, both of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Justice Department, and defense counsel Jerry Mooney and Lawrence W. Walters, a sentence of five years’ probation, including six months of house arrest with electronic monitoring, plus a $1,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti pronounced the sentence, and could have imposed as much as five years in prison, but the government agreed that such a sentence was not appropriate.
What’s really disturbing about this is that the court is deciding that written words can be deemed obscene, and that you, and I, can go to jail for writing down the things in our heads. We don’t have to act on them, we don’t even have to want to act on them. We write them down, we go to jail because somebody else finds them disturbing or offensive.
Not sexual images of underaged children. Not threats. Not descriptions of actual events. Just thoughts in our heads unapproved by the state. Under such a ruling, Lolita would land Nabokov in jail. Didn’t we already fight this battle? Oh yeah, we did. Timothy Sandefur has the legal dissection over at Freespace.
Most of all, given the fact that the written stories in question are unquestionably fictitious, it’s hard not to see these prosecutions as simple moralizing: as attempts, in the Osborne Court’s words, at paternalistically controlling the heads of the people who write these stories. Now, the general public may find such stories highly offensive, but that is not gounds for prosecuting them. Just about everybody has some sexual fantasy or other that they would be extremely embarrassed to make public—fantasies they would never act out in real life.
My thoughts exactly. But only of course, if the state approves them.
From whence came the art:
July 22, 2008 • 8:25 am 6
A peek above our garters to Greg Laden for this.
Take a look at John McCain’s America:
At a McCain event in Denver, advertised as “Open to the Public”, McCain’s Secret Service detail had Denver Police ticket, remove, and threaten to arrest 61 year old librarian Carol Kreck for attending the even holding a sign that said simply, “McCain = Bush”.
That’s right, in John McCain’s America, even little old ladies and libraries will be arrested for voicing dissent on city property. Carol Kreck had it exactly correct. John McCain does in fact equal George W. Bush, and that is exactly what this country needs less of, not more of. I shudder to think what he’d do to Ms. Kreck’s library, should he attain the power for which he rabidly drools.
July 9, 2008 • 1:40 pm 19
Don’t like reality? Rewrite it.
It’s long been the policy of the Republican party at large, and the George W. Bush administration in specific, to screw with science and edit out the parts of it they don’t like. They’ve done it at the EPA, NIH, NASA, wherever they’ve been able to get a political hack to use as a mouthpiece between the scientists and the people.
Guess what? Yeah, still at it.
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s office was involved in removing statements on health risks posed by global warming from a draft of a health official’s Senate testimony last year, a former senior government environmental official said on Tuesday.
The former official, Jason Burnett, made the assertion and described similar incidents in a three-page letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who is the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He then stood with her at a news conference at which she excoriated the Bush administration.
“History will judge this Bush administration harshly for recklessly covering up a real threat to the people they are supposed to protect,” Boxer said.
Only if we manage to get them out of power before they rewrite it, Senator. What have you done lately to facilitate that?
From whence came the art:
That image is titled Parodia de propaganda militar en la novela de ficción “1984” by Jaume d’Urgell and is licensed by the artist under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 license.
July 9, 2008 • 1:11 pm 3
In 2006, We The People of the United States of America, as a group, decided we had finally had enough of the raping of the Constitution by the Republican party. In no uncertain terms we threw them down from their high and lofty pedestal of power, from whence they had been dictating this republic into a theocracy.
It should have told you something. Apparently, you’re as deaf as a rock to the subtleties of a sea-change election. Let me make this a little more clear for you then.
Stop. Get up off your knees, Congresspeople and Senators of These United States. The time for sychophancy and capitulation is long over. The man in the White House is no longer the defacto dictator in these parts. You are not required to march to the beat of his drum.
Get us out of Iraq. Now. Not later.
Desist supporting the hair-brained religious pandering, the head-in-the-sand sex mis-education programs, the promotion of mythology over reality, and the invasion of our most intimate moments. Get out of our bedrooms, and get Jesus out of our legal system, our marriage laws, and our taxpayer supported programs. Bring back the secular republic our forefathers bled and died for, and so meticulously set up for us.
End the “Domestic Surveillance Program“, which is clearly a violation of the Constitution. You remember that thing, right? The piece of paper that stands as a wall betwixt us and him? The supreme law of the land that he’s been ignoring since he took up residency in the nation’s capital? Remember that? Remember your promises to us that you would put an end to his shredding of the contents of that document?
Apparently, a bunch of you forgot all that stuff, that cool November night the election results came in.
Fortunately, we didn’t. And equally fortunately, some of us are about to remind you.
From whence came the art:
That image it titled Please follow directions, by tread, and is licensed by the artist under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 license.
July 8, 2008 • 12:00 am 2
I love the Beeb.
A citizens group in San Francisco wants to pay an ironic tribute to President George W Bush when he leaves office – by naming a sewage plant after him.
The group, calling itself the Presidential Memorial Committee of San Francisco, wants the issue voted on at this November’s election.
“It’s important to remember our leaders in the right historical context,” said petition organiser Brian McConnell.
’tis an entirely fitting tribute to His Holiness, The Glorified Houseplant Who Would Be Caesar. He’ll be leaving many years worth of shit to clean up.
I ❤ ‘Frisco.
From whence came the art:
:That image of His Holiness, The Glorified Houseplant Who Would Be Caesar is titled Morph: George W. Bush and Nero, and was created using Morpher by Flickr user Wm Jas:
July 3, 2008 • 3:49 pm 4
Faux News, asshat mouthpiece for the far right wing nutters, is rather well known for its utter contempt of reality, but there are still a few people who consider it a legitimate news source. Yeah, I don’t understand it either and yes it’s much like believing “pro-wrestling” is real, but just to drive the point home a little further, Media Matters runs this breaking story:
After putting up the photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe, Fox & Friends also featured a photograph of Steinberg’s face superimposed over that of a poodle, while Reddicliffe’s face was superimposed over that of the man holding the poodle’s leash.
Below is a screenshot of Fox & Friends featuring the photo it used of Steinberg, with the original photo on its left. Comparing the two photos, it appears that the following changes have been made: Steinberg’s teeth have been yellowed, his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further.
And on the same story, read this from the Editor & Publisher:
NEW YORK The Fox News channel has gained wide attention today in the blogosphere for airing photos of two New York Times staffers that appear to have been doctored to portray the Timesmen in an unflattering light.
The photos depict New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg with yellowed teeth, “his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further,” according to a statement today by Media Matters for America. The other image, of Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe, with similar yellow teeth, as well as “dark circles … under his eyes, and his hairline has been moved back,” according to the Media Matters statement.
The photos appear to have been flattened or extended using photoshop tools.
On Wednesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade aired the photos while discussing a piece in the June 28 edition of the New York Times. The piece pointed out what the newspaper called “ominous trends” in Fox News’ ratings.
What really surprises me is that this surprises anyone. The disconnect from reality and actual journalism is about as big as the one in the White House. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
I was tempted to put up the example images from Media Matters, but I think I’ll let you just click on over there and see for yourself.