<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: April 2005

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Clouds send Bush to bunker

Yesterday a mysterious flying object showed up on U.S. security radar in Washington, D.C., sending Bush to an underground bunker in case it was an attack. The mysterious object turned out to be...


"It does happen," said Gary Bracken, spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection. "We have to deal with weather anomalies showing up on the radar screen." Clouds are a weather anomaly?

The Secret Service said it took Bush down to the bunker because "there was a potential violation of the restricted airspace." You'd think clouds would know better than to violate restricted airspace.

We're in more trouble than we thought if the people who are supposedly protecting us can't tell the difference between clouds and enemy aircraft.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Florida gets even weirder

If you thought Florida was a weird place before, take a look at it now. Yesterday Governor Jeb Bush signed a bill allowing Florida citizens to use guns or other deadly force to defend themselves in public places without first trying to escape.

And here's a surprise: the National Rifle Association lobbied hard for the bill's passage. In fact, Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, said it would use the victory to push for similar measures elsewhere.

To paraphrase a verse from the '60s song, "One Tin Soldier":
Go ahead and shoot a neighbor, go ahead and shoot a friend...
Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end...


Republicans flip-flop on ethics rule

House Republican leaders, finally acknowledging that Tom DeLay's ethics problems are adversely affecting the party's image, have decided to rescind a rule change that led to the shutdown of the ethics committee.

This is the second time in four months that House Republicans have changed a rule and then changed it back because the changes were perceived to protect DeLay.

Whatever happened to our beloved decisive Republican Party, unafraid of making the wrong decision and sticking by it against all logic?


Monday, April 25, 2005

Best of times or worst of times?

According to a recent Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans think the economy is "only fair" or "poor." Yet the Bush administration maintains that everything is hunky-dory. Why the big discrepancy?

Paul Krugman answers that question in his column in today's NY Times:

"President Bush and other Republican leaders honestly think that we're living in the best of times. After all, everyone they talk to says so.... Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests and the religious right - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns."

So it's just a matter of perspective. If you're rich, the economy is great. So all we have to do to improve the economy is...get rich.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Microsoft does the wrong thing - again

As if there weren't already plenty of reasons to hate Microsoft, now there's a new one: this week the company withdrew its support for a bill in Washington State that would have barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill failed by one vote yesterday in the Washington State Senate.

What caused Microsoft to withdraw its support of the bill? Pressure from a prominent evangelical church in Redmond, a few blocks from Microsoft's headquarters.

Microsoft, of course, denies any connection between its decision and the church's opposition - although they do acknowledge meeting twice with the church's minister, Ken Hutcherson. Hutcherson, pastor of the Antioch Bible Church, said he threatened in those meetings to organize a national boycott of Microsoft products.

After that, Hutcherson said, Microsoft "backed off." He said he had told Microsoft that he was going to "give them something to be afraid of Christians about."

Indeed. So how about a national boycott of Microsoft AND the Antioch Bible Church?


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fun with Pope Ratzinger

A blogger named Bob Harris (www.bobharris.com) discovered that "Pope Ratzinger" produces the following anagrams:






Have you ever received an e-mail filled with gibberish masquerading as actual text? Do you know the purpose of these e-mails? Are they trying to slip past the spam filters by generating faux prose cryptically coded with what they're really selling? If so, it's anyone's guess what the sender of the following e-mail was trying to sell us:

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To a few of us here maudlin today this is a augur solemn and most momentous hancock occasion. And yet, in the history of our nation, it is a commonplace dire occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as toby called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it thunder has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every four-year aurelius ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

To a few of us here surjective today this is a vertical solemn and most momentous bade occasion. And yet, in the history of our nation, it is a commonplace select occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as stampede called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it explain has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every four-year dogmatic ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

The economic excusable ills we suffer have bordello come upon us over several landlord decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, perfume have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do ceramium whatever needs to be done to sprague preserve this last and bloodhound greatest bastion of freedom.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Time Magazine: poor taste, poor timing, poor judgment

Time Magazine put right-wingnut Ann Coulter on the cover of its April 19 edition, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. What's the connection? Most of us wouldn't guess, but Tom Tomorrow did - and Time Magazine apparently didn't. Tom Tomorrow urged readers of his blog (www.thismodernworld.com) to write Time about its abomination, and we did. If you would also like to write, e-mail the editors of Time at letters@time.com.

Dear Time,

It's bad enough that you put such a blanched, bleached, ghastly spectre of a person on your April 19 cover ("Ann Coulter, Ms. Right"), but to feature her so prominently on the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is reprehensible. Are you unaware that "Ms. Right" was quoted as saying, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building" (New York Observer, 8/20/02)? Or that she tried to downplay the seriousness of that remark by telling the Right Wing News, "RE: McVeigh quote. Of course I regret it. I should have added, 'after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters'"?

You ask, "Is she serious or just having fun?" How much fun do you think it is for the families of the 168 people, including 19 children, who were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing?

Editor at Large

Friday, April 15, 2005

Irritating introductory clauses

"With all due respect..." (Usually followed by something disrespectful.)

"To be honest..." (You mean you've been lying up till now?)

"Not to mention..." (Always followed, of course, by the thing not to be mentioned.)

"I don't know about you, but..." (Of course you don't know about me - you're the one doing the talking, so I'm currently finding out about you. And when it's my turn to talk - if you ever shut up - you're going to find out about me.)

"Obviously..." (Obvious to you, maybe, but maybe not to the rest of us. Are you trying to make us feel stupid - or make yourself feel smart?)

"All in all..." (All what in all what?)

"At this point in time..." (As opposed to some other point in time?)

"Needless to say..." (Then why say it?)

Readers, got any others?

Frist calls Democrats "Godless communists"

Well, not really, but he's getting pretty close. He plans to participate in an evangelical telecast this Sunday that will portray Democrats as "against people of faith" because they have blocked or are planning to block a few of Bush's judicial nominees.

Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and originating at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. Under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

Wait, there's more (if you can stomach it): Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and organizer of the telecast, wrote in a message on the group's Web site, "As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism. For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."

Anti-Christian dogma of the left? The veil of the judiciary? Thieves in the night? Throbbing members? Oh, sorry - he didn't say that. It's just that his prose is so...Harlequin.

Democrats, thankfully, are not turning the other cheek(s). Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) said, "No party has a monopoly on faith, and for Senator Frist to participate in this kind of telecast just throws more oil on the partisan flames." (We think he means "fuel on the partisan fire," but you get the gist.)


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Spot the aprotypo

(An aprotypo is an apropos typo - one that is appropriate to the context. Kind of like a Freudian slip.)

"We're extremely gratified to be ranked so highly by our peers," said Jose Reyes, professor and interim department dead in the OSU Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics.


Wal-Mart shows its true colors

After workers at a Wal-Mart in Quebec voted to unionize, making their store the first unionized Wal-Mart in North America, the company decided to close the store. The closure will leave 190 people out of work.

Wal-Mart has fiercely resisted unionization attempts at its 3,600 stores in the United States. Only one Wal-Mart in the U.S. has come close to unionizing. In 2000, 11 meat cutters at a Wal-Mart in Texas voted to join a union. The store eliminated its meat department.

If this is how Wal-Mart treats people, people need to treat Wal-Mart in kind. Don't shop there.


Monday, April 11, 2005

See? We did liberate them!

How else can you explain why they are free to march against us?

According to the NY Times, on Saturday tens of thousands of Iraqis marked the second anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein by marching in Baghdad to demand the withdrawal of American forces.

Banners held up during the march called for a rapid trial for Mr. Hussein and the elevation of Islam as the official religion of Iraq. One of the main chants was: "No America, no Saddam! Yes to Islam!"

The marchers also burned large photos of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"We are asking that the occupier leave our country," said Amer Shihab, an Iraqi college student. "Iraq now has enough competent forces to maintain security by itself."

Now, you tell us: Are those not the words and actions of a liberated people?


Oh, great

Just what we needed. President Bush said that attending Pope John Paul II's funeral had strengthened his belief in Christianity. Haven't his beliefs already caused us enough trouble? If these zealous rants are any indication, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg:

"Today's ceremony, I bet you, for millions of people, was a reaffirmation...and a way to make sure doubts don't seep into your soul." Doubts about, say, our presence in Iraq? Your plans to wreck Social Security? The economy? The environment?

"There is no doubt in my mind there is a living God. And no doubt in my mind that Lord, Christ, was sent by the Almighty. No doubt in my mind about that." There was also no doubt in your mind about Iraq's possessing weapons of mass destruction.

"I think John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace, compassion and a strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone." Jealous?

"My relationship with John Paul II was a very good relationship." Right. Just like your relationship with 49% of Americans and 90% of the world.

"Tides of moral relativism kind of washed around him, but he stood strong as a rock." And we all know how strong one must stand against the incessant barrage of facts.

• "[The pope's dedication to the church was an] example of Christ's influence in a person's life. A lot of Christians gain great strength and confidence from seeing His Holiness in the last stages of life." You mean, from seeing him die, finally, so you can start wars, enrich the wealthy, and ignore the poor with impunity?

• "I think a walk in faith constantly confronts doubt, as faith becomes more mature. And you constantly confront, you know, questions. My faith is strong. The Bible talks about, you've got to constantly stay in touch with the word of God in order to help you on the walk. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and during all our life's journeys we're enabled to see the Lord at work if our eyes are open and our hearts are open." We're still waiting to see the Lord at work in you.


Friday, April 08, 2005

Boo boo of the day

From today's Newsweek Web Exclusive:

"Unlike her SNL peers Jimmy Fallon (whose new movie “Fever Pitch” opens this weekend) and Will Ferrell (who is in, well, everything), Gasteyer has had a handful of smaller film rolls..."


Monday, April 04, 2005

Deciphering Bushspeak

You may have seen one of the lists of "Bushspeak" definitions making the rounds; here are excerpts of one from today's "Daily Mojo," an e-newsletter from Mother Jones Magazine:

Abuse: Modern word for what was once referred to as torture. An interim term, soon to be replaced by "tough love" (which, in turn, is expected to be replaced by "freedom's caress").

Burning Bush: A biblical allusion to the response of the President of the United States when asked a question by a journalist who has not been paid to inquire.

Checks and Balances: The system whereby the campaign checks of the few balance the interests of the many.

China: See WalMart.

Death: An increasingly rare phenomenon, no longer occurring among soldiers of the U.S. army or civilians in affected countries. However, the media reports that death is still caused by lone gunmen and over-consumption of saturated fats as well as natural disasters.

Democracy: 1. A product so extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted. 2. When they vote for us. (See Tyranny: When they vote for someone else.)

Free Speech Zone: The area to which those who differ from the administration are confined should they be so audacious as to wish to exercise their right of free speech.

Free Press: 1. Government propaganda materials covertly funded with a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money but given out for free to the press and then broadcast without any acknowledgment of the government's role in their preparation. 2. Newspapers that obscure the truth on behalf of corporate and government interests for free.

Healthy Forests: Forests made safe from the ravages of nature, i.e., bugs and fires, by removal to pulp mills and lumber yards.

Homeland Security: Synonymous with Homeland insecurity.

Intelligence: What Dick Cheney wants and the CIA must provide--or else. (See Iraq, weapons of mass destruction.)

Oil: 1. Black gold. 2. (defunct acronym) Operation Iraqi Liberation or OIL (name changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, OIF, without explanation). 3. What the Bush administration wasn't after in Iraq and isn't after in Iran. (See Democracy.)

Ownership Society: You no longer own your national parks, your public transit, your commons, your government, your Bill of Rights, or your future, but you may purchase a Burger King franchise or some stocks with your WalMart earnings.

Patriotism: How Americans love their country. A trait so positive you can't have too much of it, and if you do, then you are a super-patriot which couldn't be better. (Foreigners cannot be patriotic. See Nationalism.)

Peace: What war is for.

Republican Party: A party that assails the foundations of the Republic, attacking the balance and separation of powers (See, Assertions of Untrammeled Presidential Authority--to violate domestic and international laws forbidding torture); habeas corpus (See Assertion of Right to Lock Away "Enemy Combatants" Forever--without due process of law); and federalism (See, Legislative and Executive Rampage--to overturn state court decisions in the Terry Schiavo case).

Rummy: 1. (archaic) A person so drunk he can't recall a thing. 2. (modern) A SECDEF so drunk on power that he refuses to remember anything.

Senate: Exclusive club, entry fee $10 to $30 million.

Social Security: A good idea except for two problems: Social verges on socialism and guarantees of security violate a free market.

Support the Troops: A mandatory mantra which need no longer be mouthed since full "support" can be offered with a simple $1 investment in a magnetic yellow ribbon to affix to the back of your SUV.

Town-hall Meeting: A meeting in a hall in a town where all the participants have first been vetted for loyalty to the Bush administration.

Wilderness: 1. Publicly owned former habitat for wildlife, often endangered, where private corporations go wild drilling for oil and gas, grazing cattle, logging, and building roads. 2. Off-road vehicle theme parks characterized by abundant stumps, oil slicks, tire tracks, flattened owls, and coughing caribou.