Monthly Archives: February 2009

Ok, Dallas Wins

For the longest time, Houston has had an inferiority complex.  Dallas has always gotten all of the attention.

I have hated Dallas all my life, almost as most as California.  But they one-upped us today and good for them.  According to the local CBS news, more than 200 people turned in their guns for a grocery coupon.

Yes indeed.

All those transplanted southern strategy types who have decided that they needed to stock up on guns otherwise Obama will take them away, take note.  You aren’t winning that argument either.

I have a mind to call that Gun Man tomorrow while I work on my lawn or finish painting the living room — you know things people do instead of worring about who is going to try to kill them or take their toys away.

That guy also had this “radical” idea.  He thinks gun types should leave gun related magazines in doctors’ and dentists’ offices.  It’s his brilliant idea.

I Forgot the Watermelons

Back in the ’80′s my mom and sister had a business.   It was in the “Arts and Crafts.”  They sold a lot of wooden decorations to white people.  A lot of it was wooden “piccaninnies” with watermelons.  White women like my mom at that time paid good money to decorate their houses with them.

I went to a baby shower for a friend in one of those neighborhoods a few years ago and I saw some of those “piccaninnies” and I knew exactly where I was.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that same sort of decoration in this man’s house.

I hated every minute of the time I was guilted into selling that crap for my family.  They knew how I felt and what I thought and they still asked me to help them.  I hated every bit of it and I made sure they knew, but they also knew thay could force me to help.

It’s one of the worst things I have ever done.

I guess I am that evil person.  I didn’t fight hard enough.

I don’t rub it in their faces either.

I’m the worst of the worst.

Here’s the link.

Friday Rant

Do you remember where GWB was during November and December of last year?

On Wednesday morning, callers into Bill Bennett’s show and Bennett himself referred to Obama’s speech as happening “the other day.”  I think Republicans and Conservatives are feeling like George Will:  Obama just won’t get out of their faces.

Martha “natavist” Raddatz gets to have her say twice on television (ABC and Washington Week).  I am so tired of hearing that the “surge” worked.  Jim asked if it was “worth” it, meaning the Iraq war in general, but the “surge” cost a great deal in both US and Iraqi lives.  It seems that 2007 is a black hole for some people.  It’s just like how people think we’ve all forgotten the ’80′s and Reagan.  I haven’t forgotten. 

On Washington Week, they are laboring under the inability to see long term.  It’s kind of funny, in a sad way.  Journalists lament the closing of one paper in Denver, but watching these guys tonight, it’s understandable.  Their work isn’t up to par.

When the conversaiton switches to what Republicans are doing, NOW they can see a long term plan.  Republicans play by the book.  Obama doesn’t.  That’s the difference.

Martha “nativist” Raddatz criticizes Hillary.  I’ll take Hillary’s own words and how well she had done over the nativist view anytime.  “I was there.”  From her again.  Yes, she was there.  The smart journalist joined the administration.  So this is what we are left with.

Like most tax payers, I wish that I could say where my donation to PBS went.  It wouldn’t go to supporting Washington Week, that’s for sure.

Last rant.  Because I am mean and hateful and unprofessional, one of our part timers (who has a new job as of today, I guess) decided that I am her problem and unloaded on me.  I asked her to give her students more constructive comments than “Good”  “Bad”  or  “OK” and then signing her initials to those comments.  Once again, because I seem to think about our students as more than something to gossip about, I am the evil one.  But hey today was her last day, so screw everyone.  I just got to be the person who had to sit through her rant.  I’d rather have my toenails pulled.  She won’t do well in the current economy, I think.  But that’s the bed she’s chosen.  In other words, today sucked.

Better Than You and Me

I’m seriously tired of journalists asking both Obama reps and analysts about 5% of tax payers finally getting off the gravy train of Bush’s $1.7+ TRILLION holiday they’ve been on.

I’m also seriously tired of people like the guy on The News Hour tonight bemoaning the idea that some people who DON’T PAY TAXES IN APRIL get a $400 credit spread out over an entire year.

I’m also seriously tired of people claiming that REdistributing wealth is something NEW.

Lastly, I’m seriously tired that a handful of people who have a vested interest in the statis quo have the loudest voice.

A case in point.  Earlier this week, an itemwas included on the city’s agenda (in Houston).  It got picked up by Dumbass Drudge and all of the whiners got their knickers in a wad.  When Mayor White got back in town (he was in DC for the secretive mayor’s meeting with Obama) he took it off the agenda.

Local radio talk show butt shiner Michael Berry went ballistic, and Mayor White called him and asked to be on his show to set the record straight.  But Michael Berry (former city councilman) decided to put off Mayor White until this evening.  (He’s controlling like that.)

So now the Mayor of Houston is on Berry’s show this evening.  Berry pulls his pants up and acts like an adult for about 10 minutes.  Then it’s back to showing his butt.

The Paultards are going to rally in downtown Houston tomorrow, with all of the simpleton Republicans and conservatives they can dupe into joining them.  I thought about making an excuse to get away from work to go down and take pictures, but since my favorite dupe is in DC for CPAC 2.0!11!!!!, I’ll just watch it on the news — if it makes the local at 10.

I listened to a bit of CPAC 2.0 today at work. Tucker Carlson tried to convince the audience that the NYT is a good model for fact finding.  The audience poo-pooed him.

Remember back in the primaries when the Paultards tried to take over the Republican caucuses?  Now they are using the Twitter and the plan to take over the Republican party.  Is there any wonder why the Republicans put up their best and brightest Tuesday night?

I wonder what it’s like to live in a city that just has regular AM radio.  AM radio?  Just sports all the time :)

This is Rich

Former colonial power and assholes extraordinaire Belgium decides that it has something on the Africans.

I’d love to just copy and paste the VOA account of this, but I will just link and copy this one part:

“Belgium is not saying we want Habre extradited to Belgium to stand trial. They are saying Senegal has an obligation either to extradite him or to prosecute him. Hissene Habre is accused of systematic torture, of thousands of political killings. The documents say his political police which provide a roadmap to how Hissene Habre organized his repression in Chad and lists the names of 1,208 people who died in detention. So there’s a very strong against Hissene Habre for torture and crimes against humanity. Senegal has legal obligation under the Torture Convention and other conventions to either prosecute or extradite him,” Brody said.

Belgium’s action against Senegal comes at a time when the International Criminal Court is on the verge of issuing an arrest warrant against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.

Brody dismissed accusations by some Africans that the international justice system has been targeting only Africans.

 

“For Africans who complain that African leaders are being target by international justice, I think there’s a need to show that Africans are capable of delivering justice when crimes are being committed in Africa. In this case, I think Senegal should take the lead and show the world that African courts are capable of bringing to justice Africans who are alleged to have committed these crimes,” Brody said.

Brody is an attorney for Human Rights Watch.

The irony of the Belgians going after African torturers, and all the while George Bush gets to go to a hardware store and ask for a job as  a greeter is more than I can take.

But Rasmussen is a Legitimate Polling Organization!

Back in the day, I checked Rasmussen every day for Bush’s job approval rating.  It updated just before my classes were over each day.  There was always this long and knowing explanation for how they looked at their three night robocall results and were better than other pollsters because they gave respondents the choice of “somewhat” approve or disapprove.  This allowed them to keep Bush’s approval ratings around 40% until The Surge started with its carnage.

(Sidenote — I think my neighbor is trying to blow something up tonight.  Whatever he’s got running — I don’t think it’s the leaf-blower — sounds like it is about to explode.  Hopefully I won’t have to cal 911 tonight.)

Anyway, Rasmussen has decided that all that is old school and now it just subtracts the strongly disapprove from the strongly approve for a “Presidential Approval Index“.  You can look for numbers similar to the ones they compiled for Bush, but good luck with that.

Can’t they just be honest?

Getting Their Kicks In

It’s just one lawyer’s report, but I am more inclined to believe the Gitmo detainees’ attorneys at this point than I am to doubt them.

Abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has worsened sharply since President Barack Obama took office as prison guards “get their kicks in” before the camp is closed, according to a lawyer who represents detainees.

<snip>

He stressed the mistreatment did not appear to be directed from above, but was an initiative undertaken by frustrated U.S. army and navy jailers on the ground. It did not seem to be a reaction against the election of Obama, a Democrat who has pledged to close the prison camp within a year, but rather a realization that there was little time remaining before the last 241 detainees, all Muslim, are released.

“It’s ‘hey, let’s have our fun while we can,’” said Ghappour, who helped secure the release this week of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident freed from Guantanamo Bay after more than four years in detention without trial or charge.

“I can’t really imagine why you would get your kicks from abusing prisoners, but certainly, having spoken to certain guards who have been injured in Iraq, who indirectly or directly blame my clients for their injuries and the trauma they have suffered, it’s not too difficult to put two and two together.”

Attorney General Holder visited Gitmo and, well, wasn’t shown anything that would make him say that things are bad there, but what surprise is there in that?  It makes me especially suspicious when a known liar like Senator Inhofe says this:

“I believe as more time goes by there is a chance the administration will grow to realize that we need Gitmo and must keep it open. More time will allow facts to replace political rhetoric,” said Inhofe, who is pushing legislation seeking to bar any Guantanamo detainees from coming to the U.S.

And the latest boogey-man that the torturers-by-proxy trotted out?  He’s backin Saudi Arabia, courtesy of the Yemeni government.  I doubt that he will be scratched off the list of the supposed “return to the battlefield” former Gitmo detainees.

For context, I have written about the effect torturinghas on the people who commit it.  Unfortunately, it looks like American torturers are secure in their righteousness.  (But not all of them, of course.)  I have the feeling that the people running Gitmo were specially picked for that duty.