Friday, June 03, 2005

Frothy bubblettes go to my head 

From the Oweboat, this choice nugget:

The chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Assn. is worried enough about the torrid housing market to get out of it.

"I'm going to rent for a while," said Douglas Duncan, who expects "significant reversals" in regions that have enjoyed strong home price appreciation...
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Thursday, June 02, 2005

All the news that's fit for you 

Big, distrubing internet vid via da Big Mattress.
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Win Ben Stein's unhinged furor 

So according to Ben Stein, the enemies of Nixon are responsible for the Vietnam disaster and the Khmer Rouge's slaughters in Cambodia. (No wonder Ferris kept skipping his class.)

See, Stein submits that it's Woodward, Bernstein and Deep Throat who have blood on their hands for not going along with Nixon's noble lies... how could they not know that, at bottom, ole Tricky Dick was the consummate peacemaker? After all, his campaign motto was "Peace with Honor"; what more evidence could they need?

Update: But as Bob Herbert inconveniently notes, Nixon himself told us truth was our commitment:
When he accepted the Republican nomination for president in 1968, Richard Nixon said, "Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth - to see it as it is, and tell it like it is - to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth."

Sure, Nixon might've sabotaged peace talks in '68 by telling South Vietnam they'd get a better deal once he was in office. And sure he and Kissinger had to widen the war and bomb scores of thousands of Cambodians (who proceeded to flee to the cities and foment the unrest that allowed a Pol Pot to gain power). And sure he ended up negotiating a nearly identical peace with Vietnam years later after thousands more American soldiers were killed. And sure he lied and was a thin-skinned, paranoid, mob-financed dirty-trickster... but didn't people understand that, above all, he was a peacemaker?!? If only the press knew to trust him, and not dog him with nettlesome questions... so many lives could've been spared.

If only...

If only we could have spoken to Richard Milhous Nixon that morning in Dallas, the day JFK was shot, perhaps all of this could've been--

Hold on a second, oyster. Nixon was in Dallas on November 22, 1963?

That's correct. Unfortunately, his memories of that day were a bit hazy and scattered... but weren't everyone's?

I'll conclude again with Herbert:

Trust, said Ronald Reagan, but verify.
Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, drunk with power and insufficiently restrained, took the nation on hair-raising journeys that were as unnecessary as they were destructive. Now, in the first years of the 21st century, George W. Bush is doing the same.
But what course of action did the Gip recommend once you verified that your trust was wildly misplaced? Suggestions welcome.
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From Unqualified Offerings, a delicious defense of Amnesty Int'l:

President Bush calls Amnesty International’s report on our deliberate, systemic employment of torture, direct or outsourced, against prisoners either in our various bolt holes or the dungeons of cooperative tyrannies "absurd." Vice-President Cheney avers that he is "offended" by the report. The Washington Post and two million warbloggers think the biggest scandal is that Amnesty used a Bad Word ("gulag") and therefore, according to a secret codicil to the rules they make up as they go along, they don’t have to pay attention to anything else the report says.

Cry me a river and stock it with trout already. President Bush complains that Amnesty talked to detainees, "who hated America and were trained to lie." Unlike President Bush, who comes by the skill naturally.

Oh, it's just getting started. Read the whole thing. And this is the sort of crap he's referring to, when one misused word is used to invalidate everything else in a text.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

From Winston Smith:

I don't know of any issues more important than redistricting reform. This is something I lay awake worrying about at night.

Wait...did I write that or only think it? Holy God, I am a geek...

Anyway. Our democracy is slipping closer and closer to becoming a joke because the voters no longer choose the politicians, the politicians choose the voters.
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Comfort for Philosophy majors 

Brad DeLong alerts us to the ten most dangerous books of the 19th and 20th centuries!

* The Communist Manifesto
* Mein Kampf
* Quotations from Chairman Mao
* The Kinsey Report
* Democracy and Education
* Das Kapital
* The Feminine Mystique
* The Course of Positive Philosophy
* Beyond Good and Evil
* General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

And I must agree, because while watching 7th Heaven last week, I was shocked to see the family patriarch refer to Nietzsche not once, but twice(!) while comforting his wife over one of their horny, unmarried sons and his accomodating girlfriend. Is nothing safe from the immoralists anymore?

Naturally, the good pastor was saying a version of Fritz's "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger" (rather than "Gott ist tot"). Dare we say: the latter quote would've made for some startlingly provocative teevee.

If only we took a page from W, and confined our reading to the Good Book-- and perhaps one other-- we'd all be much safer:

But, as one of W's Yalie frat brothers tells Kelley, it's not the substance abuse in Bush's past that's disturbing, it's the "lack of substance ... Georgie, as we called him, had absolutely no intellectual curiosity about anything. He wasn't interested in ideas or in books or causes. He didn't travel; he didn't read the newspapers; he didn't watch the news; he didn't even go to the movies. How anyone got out of Yale without developing some interest in the world besides booze and sports stuns me." New Yorker writer Brendan Gill recalls roaming the Kennebunkport compound one night while staying there looking for a book to read - the only title he could find was Fart Book.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Receive the holy sacrament of Shiner Bock and Blitzkrieg Bop. 

Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon is hella-cool. For example, she started her own church: the Church of the Mouse and the Disco Ball.

Among the tenets:
* We believe that the Ramones were the greatest band ever...
No need for "faith" there. Seems rather self-evident to me.
* We don't do Communion with wine and wafers. We do, however, believe in the holy ritual of the Beer Run.
I say "Amen!"
* Our holy land is Austin...
OK, well, even the Nazarene went through hell (E. Tejas) before he arrived in heaven... Luckily, though, Amanda expands on this point, saying: "I'm sorry, but I can't follow any religion that doesn't include among its holy places San Francisco, New Orleans or Memphis. I'm not saying that they've got to be number one, or even that they've got to come in any hierarchical order, but you got to at least recognize."
* We regard Bill Hicks as an early prophet who passed much, much too soon.
No argument here.
* Most importantly, we retain the right to make up any old crap as a religious belief if we find ourselves in a situation where the secular or atheist argument is getting no respect. For instance, if your local courthouse wants to put up a Ten Commandments plaque, insist on putting up a memorial to Joey Ramone in a bid for religious equality.
That would seem a useful demonstration.

And, yes, the holy text of the Church of Mouse and Disco Ball is a blog. Why not come to the pot luck supper Wednesday night in the Fellowship Hall, and learn more about it?

'Course... there are other options...
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Epiphany of St. Peters 

Greg distills Tangipahoa's funda-quackery into its purest essence in his latest strip. Not as subtle as most of his other work, but, then, satanic pedophilia isn't easy to sugarcoat.

Perhaps this will come off as clumsy and ignorant, but YRHT must ask:
"Is Greg Peters the best political cartoonist in LA. since Trist Wood?"
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"the best lead paragraph in the history of journalism" 

Richard has it.
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Monday, May 30, 2005

Doing some occasional posts over at Humid City 

Check it out.
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