Bush Circumvents Courts Again

President Bush on Monday signed into law a plan to transfer San Diego’s Mount Soledad cross to federal control in an effort to avoid its court-ordered removal.

Yup, that’s our Boy George — in one fell swoop he trashes the separation of church and state and undermines the separation of powers. The fucking U.S. Defense Department now owns a gigantic cross. This completely fucked up logic seems perfectly fitting, somehow, for the theocrats.

Bush Circumvents Courts Again

What Winning Isn't

Arianna Huffington sums up pretty well what I have been a broken record about for the last few weeks: Israel’s Tactical Catastrophe is pushing Middle East moderates to embrace Hezbollah.

But, as I’ve asked before, does Israel want to be right or does it want to win? And can victory be defined as anything other than the ability of Israel to guarantee the security and safety of its people?

I think the actions of Israel indicate that it would rather be right than win. The hawks who I argue with on blogs around the world like to believe we can “win” through military efforts. All this does is swell the ranks of Hamas and Hezbollah. Unless you kill ’em all, which is immoral and virtually impossible, you will generate enemies faster than you can kill them, just like Israel is doing right now in Lebanon and just like the US is doing in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

5 years after 9/11 George W. Bush has succeeded in making the world far less safe. The Middle East is in far worse shape than the day he took office. Our interests there are less secure. Our allies are less secure. A hundred thousand people are dead so we could put one man in jail. This is an administration of incompetence and failure and apparently one that never learns. No matter how unsuccessful we are, we never change tactics.

What Winning Isn't

Chank!

<a href="http://www.chank.com/&quot;
Ok, a few things about Chank.

1. Check out his cool fonts.
2. Read his blog.

Chank is the best fontographer I know. And he is a nice, albeit rather odd fellow. If you are a designer you should get Chank’s free fonts and buy his non-free fonts. Just a suggestion. If you are not a designer but still need a cool font every now and then, check out his free fonts.

Chank!

Are Liberals Open Minded?

michadelic questioned my assertion with the following:

  • They are very open minded on the subject of abortion. Hey, it’s a big tent, right to lifers are so very welcome in those lefty circles.
  • War in Iraq. Huge open-mindedness, any Dem who supports the war effort is welcome at the party of the open mind. Just ask Joe Lieberman.
  • Global warming. Those lefties welcome all points of view. Anyone who thinks that it’s a naturaly occuring phenomenon is practically celebrated by the left and their open-minded good nature.
  • In reverse order.

    1. If you think that human activity is not effecting Earth’s climate, you (in general, not you specifically) are either a colossal idiot or you have an ulterior motive. Regardless of the growing evidence, just anecdotally, when you pump billions of cubit feet of shit into the air every day, it is impossible for it to have no impact. But science has weighed in, repeatedly, and the only people who don’t get it are…on the Right!

    2. The Left was against this war before it started and has been consistently against it, for reasons that should now appear obvious. The Left has also been consistently appalled by virtually every act of President Bush. Yes, people who claim to be on the Left and support this President in one of the most ill-advised military actions in history will lose our support. Is that close-minded? I don’t know, it’s just logical to me.

    3. So-called pro-lifers want to criminalize, i.e. imprison, doctors and women who have abortions. They want to put the government in the bedroom and the doctor’s office with you. Should we be open minded towards this? Fuck no. For a party that claims they want less government, it is wildly inconsistent to intrude in our personal reproductive decisions.

    In a nutshell open minded people have no duty to be open minded towards close minded people.

    You want to debate when an unborn child should gain the rights of citizenship? Let’s do it! You want to debate how or if we should apply military force to the troubles of the Middle East? Let’s do it! You want to debate the extent of climate change or the ability for the Earth to equalize our impact? Let’s do it!

    But if you have made up your mind like the Right has, for example, that climate change is somehow an impossibility, it’s not a debate. I’m willing to consider that with climate change, as an example, there may be complexities that Greenpeace may not want to consider. I’m willing to consider that, at some point, an unborn child should gain protection from the state. I’m willing to consider that there may be times when we do need to protect ourselves and our allies in the Middle East with military force. Not so with the Right Wing. They have the answers and they are at war with anyone that disagrees.

    The moral high-ground of open-mindedness does certainly not belong to the Right.

    Are Liberals Open Minded?

    More Middle East Confusion

    The Christian Science Monitor says:

    The Bush administration continues to cling to the fantasy that a peaceful, prosperous Middle East can be brought about through brute force and capitulation of the enemy. In this fantasy, a “new Middle East” will see the terrorists vanquished, replaced by a happy, pacified populace, embracing American-style democracy.

    This should not be a partisan issue, and yet somehow it is. The Bushies and the rapid Right Wingers that call him King somehow think that there is nothing complex about this situation at all. Just send in the troops and kill people until peace develops. Fucking retarded logic that has never proven true in the Middle East.

    I DO see the situation as complex and I am not solidly on one side or the other. That is the difference, to me, between partisans and non-partisans. Partisans, like the rapid Right Wingers, are told which side they are supposed to be on and then they are religiously on that side and that side only, with no real discussion or debate. We on the Left are cursed with this open mind thing where we want to understand and solve problems based on logic, personal insights and knowledge gained as new information comes in. The Right decided long ago we should enforce our will militarily in the Middle East and kill as many Muslims along the way as we can. The rapid Right Wingers have convinced Israel that peace is only a few invasions and occupations away.

    So let me tell you — somtimes I agree! Sometimes I think we should obliterate Hezzbolah and Hamas and kill every fuckwit that has declared jihad on the US. You wanna kill us? Fair enough, we’ll kill you instead. This attitude, which does not win in the battle that rages in my mind, is based on the frustration of facing an “enemy” that has never truly given peace in the region a chance. They are teaching their children to hate Jews and Americans (with a lot of help from Jews and Americans) and they kill even their own people who disagree with them. How do you forge peace with such a mentality?

    Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is just as bleak. We have leadership in the US and Israel which is apparently blind to the fact — I repeat, the fact — that there is not a military solution to the problems in the Middle East. You can win some battles but you’ll never, ever, ever win the war. The US and Israel suck at compromise and they are constantly making the situation worse with troops, air raids and ground offensives. The definition of stupidity is when you keep trying the same failed “solutions” over and over and never get any closer to your goals. Yet you never change tactics.

    This situation is complex and simple-minded solutions based on the application of military tactics can never work. Left and Right should agree on that, if nothing else.

    More Middle East Confusion

    This Josh Wolf Thing

    Chuck-o pointed out this whole Josh Wolf thing — a 24-year old blogger who is in jail for contempt for not surrendering video of a protest he recorded. Apparently he had sold some of this video to local media but the government wants the rest of it to identify perpetrators in some vandalism which resulted in property damage and injuries.

    You can read the rest linked off the link above. To judge an issue like this, I always reverse it: what if some Billy Buttfuck radical right-wing Christian had video of an abortion clinic bombing. Would we want the video? What would our argument be for demanding the video in the courts?

    I think the “journalism” sword may cut two ways here. I don’t think the government should have any reason to demand photos or videos that I shoot. That is personal property protected by a right to privacy. But if I publish that and then claim journalistic protections, I may be subjecting myself to some responsibilities as well. I generally don’t agree when the government imprisons journalists for protecting their sources. But if you seek to be lumped in with journalists, you have to be aware that journalists do go to jail sometimes.

    But this borders on a different issue. Is every piece of video that the media or citizens film automatically available to the state if they think it is proof of something? No fucking way. That is explicitly turning the citizenry into government surveillance cameras. Mr. Wolf is not accused of a crime regarding the protests events. He was acting as a documentarian. Does that oblige him under penalty of imprisonment to give over any footage requested by the government? Are we willing to say that we would say the same thing for the militant Christian warrior with the footage of an abortion clinic bombing?

    The difference with this case is that Mr. Wolf offered to show the judge the video, confident that the judge would deem it immaterial. As far as I understand it, Mr. Wolf is not necessarily a supporter of or associated with the perpetrators of the protest crimes. Should citizen observers be obligated to turn over any footage they get if the government wants to use it in a prosecution?

    No. This would squash free speech and the freedom to associate and the right to privacy. It would also kill a new form of art, which is this weird world of vlogging and real reality TV. Citizen journalism should be protected as free speech and should be protected under the right to privacy and this kid should not be in federal prison right now.

    This Josh Wolf Thing

    Feel Like Vomiting?

    Go read My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    Hook, line and sinker this idiot buys the whole whacko, insane ball o’ wax. Rather sad, really.

    UPDATE: Although this person doesn’t know or care who I am, I’m sure, that wasn’t nice. I apologize. I should be more respectful of other people’s opinions. I do enjoy passionate debate, but some of these people seem so rapidly over-the-top it is just ridiculous. I’m not fighting a war between Left and Right, I’m not a soldier in an army of DNC. I was immediately revolted by the above web site.

    Feel Like Vomiting?