Friday, June 27, 2008

Ouch, My Head Just Exploded

Quoth a gun-loving bozo from Georgia last night on CNN, apparently without sarcasm:

"It's a great day for the residents of Washington, D.C., who can now enjoy all the rights that other freedom-loving Americans enjoy."
(Note to non-local readers: freedom-loving Americans living in the District of Columbia have no voting representation in Congress. Many of them are highly pissed off about this. Now they can own handguns. I'm just sayin'.)

And this is in E.J. Dionne's column in the Post today:

"In his intemperate dissent in the court's recent Guantanamo decision, Scalia said the defense of constitutional rights embodied in that ruling meant it 'will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.' That consideration apparently does not apply to a law whose precise purpose was to reduce the number of murders in the District of Columbia."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scalia: Handguns for everybody!

Why, why, why, why, why would anyone living in the District of Columbia need a handgun? Would someone please explain this to me?

We aren't talking about the right to own a deer rifle here. We're talking about machines for making people die. That's what handguns exist for: killing people. That's what the Supreme Court has guaranteed every citizen of Washington, DC the power to do. Murder may be illegal, but every American is entitled to have the means to do it.

It boggles the mind. Are Americans so hung up on the cowboy archetype that they insist on constitutional protection for their fantasies about wild-west shootouts on K Street?

Are we so fearful that we absolutely have to have legally protected lethal means to defend our homes? Are we so pathetic and idiotic that we feel we need guns to keep the bad guys away?

Home of the brave, my ass.

Expect more V-Techs, more Columbines. Expect more death and mayhem in the streets. Expect more people dying at the hands of family members who mistook them for burglars.

If there is a hell, I hope Antonin Scalia spends a thousand years there for every child, every cop, every innocent passer-by that will be killed by a handgun purchased legally in DC, having his liver perpetually eaten by weasels.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memoriam



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cat Pix: The Last Resort of the Idle Blogger

For lack of other content, here are a few scenes from Kyosaku's action-packed Sunday morning, featuring a catnip mouse and a grocery bag from Giant:









Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Drive the Boobs Out of Washington!


I live a sheltered life. I get so used to hanging around beautiful, intelligent, sophisticated people such as yourselves that when I hear about someone who is genuinely an unreflecting knuckledragging asshat, I have a hard time believing that such a person can exist in the same universe.

Take Robert Hurt, a GOP delegate from Texas. Remember when John Ashcroft hung a curtain over the Spirit of Justice sculpture in the DOJ building so he wouldn't have great big cast-aluminum hooters disturbing his gravitas during speeches? This guy Hurt wants to do the same thing on a grand scale. Last week he tried to get the Republican Party platform amended to ban all nudity in art in Washington. No more Dupont Circle fountain, if this guy had gotten his way. The relief scupltures on the front of the National Cathedral would have to be chiseled off. All the nude and partially draped sculpture in the National Gallery would be hauled away for scrap, or else clad in overalls. The twin figures of Valor and Sacrifice on the Memorial Bridge would have to go too; Hurt really doesn't like them.

To the credit of the GOP, Hunt was laughed out of the room. Well, I don't know that for sure, but at least his proposal didn't make it. I hope he was laughed out of the room. Even so, he's a man on a mission, and he's vowed that he won't stop till he succeeds. Really, it just boggles my mind that there are people capable of holding such attitudes. Never mind that they're allowed to drive and vote.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rob's Thrilling Vacation (So Far)

After a comparatively brutal time at work, I've got this week off. I'm planning to do as little as possible. This morning Kyosaku nudged me awake at 7. I made coffee, ate a banana and a container of Fage Greek-style yogurt with honey (to which I'm now inescapably addicted), and read for a while. It's a little after 11 now. Maybe I'll get dressed and think about lunch soon. The cats are curled up on either side of me. They love it when I stay home.

Yawn. Scratch. Yep. Gonna be a boring week for the ol' blog. I'm not apologizing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

History

Per A Tiny Revolution, my favorite poli blog: as I type this, Dennis Kucinich is introducing 35 separate articles of impeachment for the president. He's reading them all into the record. As of right now (9:27 pm) he's on number 18: torture. Go watch on C-SPAN.

In other news, today Scott McClellan was invited to testify under oath before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, June 20th at 10 AM. Better stock up on the popcorn.

Update. Read Kucinich's articles of impeachment here. I feel a little ambiguous about all this. On the one hand, I'd love nothing more than to see Bush & Co. called to account and exposed for the lying, cheating, murdering, immoral, underhanded, opportunistic, corrupt, anti-American, thoroughly evil scumbags they are. I want to see them led from the White House in chains. I want to see them pilloried in Lafayette Park, wearing clown noses and dunce caps, while thousands of jeering onlookers pelt them with raw vegetables.

Um. Where was I?

Oh. Right. I was going to say that two years ago, impeachment would have been worthwhile, but now, while it would certainly be immensely gratifying, it would mainly be a distraction from the big quesiton of what the future is going to look like. With only a half-year of Bush's tenure left, maybe the best thing to do is to focus on who the next president is going to be, and shuffle the little cretin out of office as quickly and efficiently as possible. And we can still hope that the FBI and Interpol will be waiting to arrest him on January 20, at the very second he ceases to be president.

It's still pretty damn gratifying that someone in Congress is speaking out, though, even if it does come to nothing in the end.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Highlights from last week

Airport security is a joke. Old news, but really now. In 2006 a bunch of guys in England had a vague, unformed, and probably unworkable scheme to concoct explosives on board a plane with liquids they smuggled aboard. They all got arrested and shipped off to a secret prison to be tortured, but because they conceived this scheme, you now can't take your bottle of shampoo or baby formula or cup of coffee through security checkpoints in American airports. It's paranoid and overreactive, of course, but you want to know what really makes me walk in tight circles and wave my arms and gibber?

Get this. What do the TSA people do with the shaving cream, baby formula, and PowerAde they confiscate? They throw it in a trashcan! Could there be any more damning evidence that the rules are just for show? Because if anybody actually thought there was a risk of actual liquid explosives getting smuggled onto a plane, they damn sure wouldn't be treating the liquids they confiscate as anything but potential hazmats. But no. Everybody knows there's no danger in what they seize. The policy is nothing but window dressing. It's following rules for the sake of following rules. If it makes you feel safer to shuffle barefoot through airport security carrying your three-ounce bottle of mouthwash in a magic bombproof plastic bag, you're a doofus.

Woods Hole was cold, grey, nasty, and rainy. Of course I didn't take a jacket with me (because it's June! Why would I need a jacket in June?), so I spent most of Wednesday holed up in my hotel room watching the entire fourth-season-so-far of Top Chef. Best season yet. I'm pulling for Stephanie.

Saturday I discovered that a colony of ants has taken up residence in my car. They were scurrying all over my back seat carrying their larvae around. I guess this is what comes of not driving. At least they aren't bees.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Off to the Hole


...Woods Hole, that is, where I'm staffing a meeting for the rest of the week. Blogging will be light for the next few days.

I just found out that before Woods Hole became a center for scientific activity, it was the site of the Pacific Guano Works, a major producer of fertilizer in the late 19th century and a cause of much grief to the residents of the town whenever the wind was from the west. I find this a lot funnier than I probably should.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Little Man with a Gun in His Hand

"'Kick ass!' [Bush] said, echoing Colin Powell's tough talk. 'If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal.

"There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!'"

--Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story, quoted on TomDispatch


He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, 'must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings -- we approach them with the might of a deity,' and so on, and so on. 'By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,' etc., etc. From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence. It made me tingle with enthusiasm. This was the unbounded power of eloquence -- of words -- of burning noble words. There were no practical hints to interrupt the magic current of phrases, unless a kind of note at the foot of the last page, scrawled evidently much later, in an unsteady hand, may be regarded as the exposition of a method. It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky: 'Exterminate all the brutes!'
--Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June

I can't believe I almost forgot! It's National Accordion Awareness Month!


(That's Branko Dzinovic, playing John Zorn's piece "Road Runner.")