Friday, December 29, 2006

. . . and More Death

This pretty well sums up my take on Saddam, and capital punishment generally:

“Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him,” al-Maliki said.

Full story:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wreaking Death

Congratulations to the Bush Administration. According to the latest casualty figures,, George Bush and his band of neoconservative warmongers have achieved in about four years, and $400 billion what it took 19 men with box cutters, and about $4,000 worth of plane tickets, to do in about four hours: the deaths of 2973 Americans. Of course, unlike the hijackers, George Bush didn't have the balls to lead the charge and go down in flames, literally, with his malevolent choice.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The God Delusion

I've delved into Richard Dawkins' impressive argument for atheism. Thanks a lot Dawkins. Now I'm an agnostic about Thor.

Agressive Interrogation Techniques

Here is a pretty simple question to ask someone -- without using the word "torture," but rather by using the dictionary definition of torture -- to determine whether they advocate torture or not:

Do you believe that it is justifiable to inflict severe pain on a suspected terrorist in order to obtain information that the suspect would otherwise not provide?

Whoever answers "yes" to this question is not my friend.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

God was Wrong

Remember when George W. Bush, when asked if he sought the counsel of his father, George H.W. Bush, on matters pertaining to the impending Iraq war, replied that he sought the counsel of a "higher father?"

I think Bush's "other" father was a little higher than we all thought. The failure of the "higher father's" policy vis-a-vis George H.W. Bush's policy is striking. It means, logically, that (1) Bush was lying when he said he recieves counsel from a God; (2) Bush was not lying, and the God who counsels him knows less about foreign policy than George H.W. Bush; (3) God was lying to Bush to test his intelligence; or (4) Bush is always lying and he and his God are stupid.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Objectivity and Fairness

Eric Deggans at HuffPo writes about objectivity vs. fairness in journalism (in the absurd context of Bill O'Reilly doing research on journos' political affiliation):

It is often noted that journalists in the U.S. more proportionately register as Democrat than Republican. It is not-so-often noted that doctors, lawyers and scientists are also disproportionately Democrats. Do we question doctors' ability to do their jobs whether their patients are Republicans or Democrats?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Did Congress Authorize this War?

I'm not so sure it did:

God Bless America

Here's CNN talking about the new more difficult citizenship exam:

I particularly enjoy this sentence: "No longer would it be sufficient to know the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial)."

Presumably, the parenthetical is for CNN's American readers.

Has an official movement begun, by the way, which insists that elected officials also pass the test? How about religious leaders? Here's an exam question for them: How many times does the word "God" appear in the U.S. Constitution?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

On religion

We'll be talking alot about religion on this blog, so long as one day there is a "we" beyond me and myself. At any rate, Sam Harris at HuffPo is apparently involved in an organized debate about religion and atheism. Mr. Harris represents atheism, and answers the question "why are atheists so angry?"

This atheist, for one, is not angry. Sad for the state of humanity sometimes, but fairly infrequently angry. The thought of religion makes me a little angry sometimes, but then, thinking of the final episode of Six Feet Under makes me happy, so go figure.

Here's Sam Harris:

Monday, November 27, 2006


By the way, for all my regular readers, the Dems won control of both houses like 5 weeks ago or something.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Vigilante Mob Allegedly Beats, Kills Wrong Man

Two sets of comments here. I won't even make the obvious one. How about the medium component, however, with CNN's headline? Seems severely misleading. To me, it implies that this mob came to the conclusion that it had been horribly wrong in identifying its victim. Reading the article, I'm not so sure the mob didn't really care that the guy they were beating didn't kill their friend. This was simply good old American blood thirstiness. I bet they'd do it again. Better, more accurate headline "Mob Allegedly Beats, Kills Man." Of course, I suppose CNN needs to distinguish its domestic headlines from its Iraq coverage.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cusacks are the best

Here's Bill on HuffPo, a must read:

I wish I were a Cusack

What a wonderful family. Here's Bill, over on HuffPo, with some compelling, occasionally far-fetched, but constantly cunning and tragicomic analysis:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Man the Red Sox Suck

Life is meaningless, death is a passing into nothingness, and the Yankees are 8.5 games up in the AL East.

Challenging Pacifism

Was is the pacifist to make of cases like this,, a 16 year old girl hanged in public in Iran for promiscuity with a married man (alternately described by the State-run newspaper as 22 years old, and guilty of adultery). This type of atrocity cannot be committed alone. It takes at least a government, and almost always a measurable section of society, to commit such atrocity. How does the pacifist meet the challenge of preventing such tragedy?

One obvious solution would be to beg of 22 year old Iranian adultresses (and/or 16 year old Iranian promiscuelles) not to ever commit such offenses. That, of course, constitutes appeasement. Nonetheless, it is a potentially non-violent solution.

Another solution would be to turn back time to when important impressions were formed at a cultural/societal level that caused a shift in mores that would led to the accomodation of violence as a solution, and ensure that a different path be taken, one that ultimately leads to peaceful existence.

What effect do you suppose having executions be made public would have on American perception of capital punishment? I suppose it might either weaken support for the practice, or, as may have happened in Iran, it might coerce acceptance through fear.

Goodnight nobody.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Adminstration in Last Throes, Save for a Few Dead-Enders

Rumsfeld's and Cheney's latest comments ( reminded me that this administration is now in its "last throes," with only a few "dead-enders" still thrashing about and making these absurd arguments and shooting off whatever ammunition remains in the budget (literally and figuratively). Of course, the facetious analogy here does not bode well for Democrats in the Congressional elections.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yellow Elephant Actually Pretty Damn Cool

. . . what with Karl therefrom being my only commenter ever. Still.


Karl? Anyone?



Yellow Elephant Misguided

I am largely pacifist and believe that humans have brains not to create better fangs and claws, but to create solutions to problems without resort to violence. I agree that advocates for war should be willing to fight. If a building is burning, and there aren't enough fire fighters, if you believe the fire should be put out, then you'd better grab a bucket. However, on both sides of the political aisle you will find personal habits that fall short of the rhetoric. Have we on the left who advocate greater welfare for the poor given away any appreciable percentage of our material wealth toward that endeavor? Do we environmentalists ride our bike to work? Do we advocates for peace sign up as human shields? Perhaps some do, and bravo to them. Others haven't the courage of their convictions. My point is not that war-cheerleaders are not morally repugnant. They are. But it's not because they don't serve. It's rather because they advocate violence. And those who carry out violence willingly are morally no better, and quite possibly worse, than those who merely advocate it. Nonetheless, it seems perfectly reasonable -- perhaps even admirable -- to champion an ideal which one inevitably cannot achieve. My ideal happens to be peace and love, and that love extends from bombed civilians to misguided rightwingers. They shouldn't be signing up to fight. Nobody should be.