Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Bible Wasn't Written In English

And god didn't tell anybody to write it either.

The Atheist Experience:











Saturday, June 28, 2014

If They Find It, They'll Play With It

What'll They Think Of Next?

They may be wacko, but wacko is what makes 'em creative.

So Sir John of Orange has decided to sue Obama for - uhm - not sure for what exactly, but it doesn't matter cuz Obummer's not one of us so he must be up to no good somehow, and if we just keep pissing into the wind, we're bound to get sumpthin' important wet eventually.

Anyway, great idea, right?  This is USAmerica, Inc after all, and if you want somebody to stop doing something you don't want him to do; or you want him to start doing something he's not doing that you think he oughta be doing - sue the fucker.

Quick tho't: isn't it one of the basic tenets of "conservative thinking" that we should do everything possible to prohibit frivolous lawsuits?  Or is Tort Reform really just another instance of Repubs trying to recapture the glory days when The Law and The Courts and The Government were all reserved for the landed gentry?

BTW - "conservative thinking" - now there's an oxymoron for ya.

But let's consider what Ol' Doc Maddow pointed out for us on Thursday - that there's no process in place that makes it possible for The House of Representatives to sue The Prez over a dispute about some political or even legal point.

In order to make that happen, Boehner has to pass new legislation (something he has shown himself to be woefully inept at accomplishing); it then has to pass The Senate, and then Obama has to sign it into law.

Why are we paying these guys for this shit?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

You First


A Chinese hospital in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, has introduced a new machine that makes sperm donation even easier- an automatic sperm extractor. I’m all for hands-free technology, but have scientists gone a little too far with this invention?
The effortless machine features a massage pipe that can be adjusted to suit the height of the user. All the gentleman has to do is plug in the frequency, amplitude and temperature and off they go. It’s also fitted with a small screen for those feeling uninspired.
According to the director of the urology department of the hospital, the machine is designed to help individuals that are finding it difficult to retrieve sperm the old fashioned way. We're not entirely convinced that standing in a room shared by many other people and being milked like a cow is going to help, but their efforts are commendable. Here’s to technology.

Today's Pix









About That Thing In Mississippi

Teabagger fave Chris McDaniel challenged Thad Cochran in a GOP primary and lost.  The 'Baggers are trying to tell us that Cochran courted "the black vote" to pad his totals blah blah blah.

Look, guys - I'm not gonna try to convince anybody that the 'Murican voter is some kinda genius, but if those Mississippi Democrats wanted to fuck up the GOP's chances to get their guy back in the Senate, they woulda voted for McDaniel.  I can't possibly be the only one here who remembers Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell, can I?

Of course, it seems the Press Poodles are willing to go with the Shenanigans-At-The-Polls narrative - or at least the Tea-Party-Is-So-Over blurb - because if they point out that a lot of people in today's GOP really are stoopid enough to see a duck and call it a frog, then they lose the dramatic tension and it makes it harder for them sell us the Red vs Blue / They're All The Same / It's A Horse Race bullshit.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia officially ratified the Constitution of the United States and became the 10th state of the United States on June 25th, 1788.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Invisible Hand

..is invisible because it's another mystical fabrication of "capitalists" who aren't interested in doing any more work than it takes to sell us the illusion of a useful product instead of creating something of real value.

There's no such thing as Alternative Medicine.  Anything that's been studied and tested and peer-reviewed and proven beyond the 95% Certainty Threshold is called Medicine - because that's what it is.  Everything else comes under the general heading of Quackery. However, there are new things that come along all the time, and some of them could lead to (or actually be) the next great discovery.  So the point is - as always - to be skeptical and to demand evidence.

By the 1920s, a huge fad had grown up around Radium (eg), which was being touted as a miracle substance - "liquid sunshine" is how some companies described it.  They sold people on drinking water that had been infused with radon gas, and never mind that a good buncha these suckers died of various cancers and leukemia - Marie Curie died in 1934 of aplastic anemia believed to have been contracted from her long-term exposure to radiation - and her original lab notes are still too radioactive to be handled safely.

Science finds something interesting, and almost immediately, the sharpsters gather to figure out how to use this new stuff to separate the marks from their paychecks.

Commerce must be regulated.  We have to be careful not to let regulation be used as a political weapon to gain an unfair advantage just to beat down competition, but every time we've allowed "the free market" to run wild, we've paid a heavy price.  A little of that good ol' American Common Sense is in order here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Call It "Quaint"

FAIR-TV looks at the week's Press Poodling:




Isn't it Interesting?

Interesting, but not surprising at all.

Here's a report (Business Insider) on how researchers are unlocking the secrets of how Antibiotics-Resistant bacteria are making it really hard for us to kill them.
The global threat of antibiotic resistance could finally be tackled after British scientists discovered a chink in the armour of deadly bacteria.
Health experts have warned that within 20 years even routine operations like hip replacements and organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection.
But now scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered how the bug responsible for E-coli and salmonella builds an impenetrable wall to keep out antibiotics.
I guess it's interesting to me mainly for these three reasons:

1) A properly funded public institution (not in USAmerica Inc, of course) is leading the pack while we're sittin' here with our thumbs up our ass.

2) Evolution, motherfucker.  How do you suppose those brainless little bugs have managed to flummox "the greatest healthcare system on the planet"?

3) For the Dems - you've been handed 2 more great little items that should be more than enough to beat the GOP bloody.  What do you intend to do with them?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

One God Further

Saturday Nite Tunage

Born To Be Blue --Mavericks




No Sugar Tonight --Guess Who

"a bag of goodies and a bottle of wine - we're gonna get it on right tonite"




No Matter What --Bad Finger




All My Only Dreams --The Wonders




A Cheat --The Blue Hawaiians




Dirty Work --Steely Dan




I Wanna Love You --Delbert McClinton




I'd Rather Go Blind --Etta James




Walk Away --James Gang





Friday, June 20, 2014

Today's Pix


  






White Bird --It's A Beautiful Day

Today's Bile Venting

I'm not crazy about every little thought-item that pops outa this guys head, but sometimes, ya just gotta lance that carbuncle and squeeze it all out.

Here's the rant from The Rude Pundit that got him kinda "censured" by a few of the more sensitive blog-izens:


6/18/2014

Father and Daughter Cheney Can Go Suck a Dick

Let's state this as plainly as possible: The Iraq "war" was a complete and total waste. It was completely and totally worthless. The United States and the rest of the world would be in better shape if Saddam Hussein were still in power. Every life lost was for nothing. Every limb, every scar was for nothing. Every veteran who faces the unending nightmare of PTSD does so for nothing. Let's just stop fucking pretending anything else. Let's grow up a little and face that fact. Let's look the families of the dead in the eyes and tell them the truth.

The invasion of Iraq was the heaving fuck of a bloated superpower dragging its gut over to pump away because it could. And most everyone just went along with it, applauding each "victory" like it was the motherfucking Battle of Gettysburg. All that's left behind is the giant cosmic fucking joke that is a United States made weaker by wasting trillions of dollars on the mad ego trip of acid-blinded utopians and an Iraq that is exploding like a bottle of soda shaken by a paint mixer and uncapped by a gun.

And we need to bring former Vice President Dick Cheney before those families and have him tell the truth: "We did it for the dollars. We went to war with Iraq because war profiteering was the easiest goddamn way to enrich already rich people, like my friends at Halliburton. It was robbery and we named it 'patriotism.' It was extortion and we called it 'honor.'" Then, we should let the families do what they want. Maybe they'd let him go. Maybe they'd tear him limb from hideous limb. Maybe they'd rip out his machine heart and fuck the hole left behind, jizzing into his sternum.

If nothing else, it would stop him from co-signing an editorial from him and his heinous daughter-beast, Liz, like the one that ran in the Wall Street Journal today. In it, Cheney and Cheney pretty much say that President Obama is an America-hating cocksucker who wants our enemies to win and who is too stupid to understand jackshit about the real world, the world that Cheney (Dick) understands is full of threats without understanding that they are threats he created.

Here, in one paragraph, is enough rage fuel to keep your house running for months: "Our president doesn't seem to [care]. Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America."

The first thing that comes to mind is "Golfing? Really, you fucking piece of frog shit and its daughter? You are criticizing a president for golfing?" But what the paragraph is really saying is that Obama doesn't care if the United States is attacked by "terrorists."

And then: "Despite clear evidence of the dire need for American leadership around the world, the desperation of our allies and the glee of our enemies, President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists' takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch." Dick Cheney bears no blame for the "decline" of America, oh, no. Not the vice president of an administration that wrecked the economy.

The Rude Pundit imagines Dick Cheney dictating this to Liz Cheney, his fingers too slickened by the viscous goo that comprises what we might call his skin, a gelatinous semi-human form that doesn't so much as move as undulate, that doesn't so much as eat as absorb, so that one can place, say, a kitten or a Pakistani child on his globular stomach and it will be digested immediately, without chewing, without swallowing. Liz Cheney, meanwhile, secretly turns the egg vibrator in her snatch up to "WMD," and she can barely pound out the words her father slurps out for need of crying out in orgasmic glee.

The two of them actually have the audacity to speak out and call Obama's policy toward Iraq "willfully blind," as if Obama is deliberately attempting to undermine some great and mighty victory in Iraq. That's as much living in a fantasy as those who say, "Well, at least we got rid of Saddam."

That Dick Cheney is still alive is a demonstration that either there is no God or that God said, "Fuck it" and walked away a long time ago.


- See more at: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com

About That ISIS Thing In Iraq

As usual, if you wanna know what's going on, you need to find somebody like Juan Cole - somebody who might actually know what the fuck he's talking about.

But of course, that's obviously not what's on the "mind" of the average Press Poodle, who apparently still thinks it's a good idea to make us listen to a near-human pustule like Dick Cheney.

But anyway, here's Cole's take:
Already in the past week and a half, many assertions are becoming commonplace in the inside-the-Beltway echo chamber about Iraq’s current crisis that are poorly grounded in knowledge of the country. Here are some sudden truisms that should be rethought.
1. “The Sunni radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are popular.” They are not. Opinion polling shows that most Iraqi Sunnis are secular-minded. The ISIS is brutal and fundamentalist. Where the Sunnis have rallied to it, it is because of severe discontents with their situation after the fall of the Baath Party in 2003 with the American invasion. The appearance of video showing ISIS massacring police (most of them Sunnis) in Tikrit will severely detract from such popularity as they enjoyed.
2. “ISIS fighters achieved victory after victory in the Sunni north.” While this assertion is true, and towns continue to fall to it, it is simplistic. The central government troops, many of them Shiite, in Mosul and in towns of the north, were unpopular because representatives of a sectarian Shiite regime. The populace of Mosul, including town quarters and clan groups (‘tribes’) on the city’s outskirts, appear to have risen up in conjunction with the ISIS advance, as Patrick Cockburn argues. It was a pluralist urban rebellion, with nationalists of a socialist bent (former Baathists) joining in. In some instances locals were suppressed by the fundamentalist guerrillas and there already have been instances of local Sunnis helping the Iraqi army reassert itself in Salahuddin Province and then celebrating the departure of ISIS.
3. “Iraqi troops were afraid to fight the radical Sunni guerrillas and so ran away.” While the troops did abandon their positions in Mosul and other towns, it isn’t clear why. There are reports that they were ordered to fall back. More important, if this was a popular uprising, then a few thousand troops were facing hundreds of thousands of angry urbanites and were in danger of being overwhelmed. In Afghanistan’s Mazar-i Sharif in 1997 when the Pashtun Taliban took this largely Tajik and Uzbek city, the local populace abided it af few days and then rose up and killed 8,000 Taliban, expelling them from the city. (A year later they returned and bloodily reasserted themselves). Troops cannot always assert themselves against the biopower of urban masses.
4. “The Sunni radicals are poised to move on Baghdad.” While ISIS as a guerrilla group could infiltrate parts of Baghdad and cause trouble, they would face severe difficulty in taking it. Baghdad was roughly 45% Sunni and 55% Shiite in 2003 when Bush invaded. But in the Civil War of 2006-7, the American military disarmed the Sunni groups first, giving Shiite militias a huge advantage. The latter used it to ethnically cleanse the capital of its Sunnis. The usually Sunni districts of the west of the city were depopulated. The mixed districts of the center became almost all Shiite. There simply isn’t much of a Sunni power base left in Baghdad and so that kind of take-over by acclaim would be very difficult to achieve in the capital. As Joshua Landis puts it, ISIS has picked a fight it cannot win.
5. “The US should intervene with air power against ISIS.” The Sunni radicals are not a conventional army. There are no lines for the US to bomb, few convoys or other obvious targets. To the extent that their advance is a series of urban revolts against the government of PM Nouri al-Maliki, the US would end up bombing ordinary city folk. The Sunnis already have resentments about the Bush administration backing for the Shiite parties after 2003, which produced purges of Sunnis from their jobs and massive unemployment in Sunni areas. For the US to be bombing Sunni towns all these years later on behalf of Mr. al-Maliki would be to invite terrorism against the US. ISIS is a bad actor, but it so far hasn’t behaved like an international terrorist group; it has been oriented to achieving strategic and tactical victories in Syria against the Baath government and the Shiite Alawis, and in Iraq against the Shiite Da’wa Party government. But it could easily morph into an anti-American international terrorist network. The US should avoid actions that would push it in that direction. So far the Baath regime in Syria is winning against the Sunni radicals. The Shiite majority in Iraq can’t easily be overwhelmed by them. Local actors can handle this crisis.
6. “US interests are threatened by the ISIS capture of Mosul.” It is difficult to see what precise interest the hawks are thinking of. Petroleum prices are slightly up because the pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan in Turkey is closed. But it only does a few hundred thousand barrels a day on good days. Most oil in Iraq is produced in Basra in the Iraqi deep south, Shiite country where ISIS is unlikely to gain sway. And in any case high petroleum prices may be good for the US. More Americans should be using public transport, moving to the city from the suburbs, buying electric vehicles and electric plug-in hybrids and putting solar panels on their roofs to power their EVs. These steps are desirable to fight climate change and for economic health. Wars for oil are so 20th century.
7. “The US should be concerned about Iranian influence in Iraq.” The American hawks’ attitude toward Iran in Iraq has all along been comical. US viceroy Jerry Bremer used to warn against “foreign” influence in Iraq, making Middle Easterners fall down laughing. Shiite Iraqis and Shiite Iranians don’t always get along, but warning Iraq against Shiite Iranian influence is like warning Italy against Vatican influence. Iran has an interest in seeing radical Sunnis rolled back in Iraq, and if ISIS is in fact a danger to US interests, then the obvious thing for the US to do would be to improve relations with Iran and cooperate with Tehran in defeating the al-Qaeda affiliates in the region. In fact, this has been the obvious course since 2001, when president Mohammad Khatami of Iran staged pro-US candle light vigils throughout Iran after 9/11. Instead, Neocons like David Frum maneuvered the Bush administration into declaring Iran part of an imaginary Axis of Evil on behalf of right-wing Israeli interests. This stance has all along been illogical. The Obama administration is said to be considering consultations with Iran about Iraq. Even Bush did that at one point. It is only logical.

Happy Solstice Everybody

Under The Boardwalk (cover)  --John Mellencamp

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's In The Desert?

Sunshine.  There's lots and lots of it in the desert.  So instead of doing incredibly stoopid things like irrigating the sand in an attempt to magically transform it into a totally unsustainable garden; or poking holes in the ground to reach all that smelly goo that ends up choking us as we burn it - maybe we could try doing something with what the desert has to offer us - which doesn't require us to deny what the desert actually is, and doesn't make it necessary to rationalize blowing shit up and shooting people down.



Just a tho't.

Logical Fallacy #17 - No True Scotsman


No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion.[1] When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim ("no Scotsman would do such a thing"), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule ("no true Scotsman would do such a thing"),[2] creating an implied tautology. It can also be used to create unnecessary requirements.

A simple rendition of the fallacy:[3]
Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "I am Scottish, and I put sugar on my porridge."
"Person A: "Well, no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
A cited example of a political application of the fallacy was asserting that "no democracy starts a war", then distinguishing between mature or "true" democracies, which never start wars, and "emerging democracies", which may start them.[4]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today's Eternal Sadness

Via The Raw Story:
An Illinois man reportedly fatally shot his ex-wife and her new boyfriend at a high school reunion in East Peoria over the weekend before being killed by an off-duty FBI officer.
WEEK reported that 33-year-old Lori A. Moore and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Lance E. Griffel, (pictured, above) were at The Fifth Quarter Sports Bar and Pizzeria on Saturday, when 40-year-old Jason A. Moore walked in and shot them both in the head at pointblank range.
Lori Moore was there to attend her reunion for East Peoria Community High School Class of 1999. More than 100 attendees witnessed the shooting.
According to the New York Daily News, an off-duty FBI officer shot and killed Jason Moore.
--and--
“It’s very difficult to say. You can play the ‘what if’ game over and over again, but I think it’s pretty clear in his case the presence of this officer and his ability to take very quick and very decisive action prevented a further tragedy,” East Peoria Police Chief Ganschow explained.
Exactly - it's hard to say what else would've happened, but we're speculating wildly, so here's one thing: if others had been armed, maybe that FBI agent would be dead as well.  Cuz, y'know sometimes, a good guy with a gun fucks up and stops another good guy with a gun.

And here's a coupla others:

First, isn't it just a tiny bit possible - given the climate of Self-Defense in the Extreme - that Jason Moore had absolutely every right to claim he was just 'standing his ground' against a guy he believed was threatening his right of "pursuit of happiness"?

And second, if you walk into a bar with a gun, looking for all the world that you intend to do somebody harm, how do Lori and Lance not react in an aggressively defensive way, thereby representing a legitimate threat to Jason's safety?  And so, shouldn't he have the absolute right to shoot 'em down?

That's what your "logic" sounds like to me, Ammosexuals.  Work on it.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Ghost Bear Walks By Night

Haven't seen him in a while, but we know he's out there somewhere.  Today's evidence is paw prints on the driveway:


How It Works



Ya gotta look after the people who're looking after the business, Meg.  The only thing your bonus gets you is a little extra insulation; an added layer of "security" against the inevitability of a vengeful mob coming to take whatever they want once they realize they have nothing more to lose.



Doing it right is important, but doing it right for the right reasons is everything.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Tunes

Beyond The Sea --Bobby Darin




Ain't That A Kick In The Head --Dean Martin




Jump Jive And Wail --Brian Setzer




Bump Bounce Boogie --Asleep At The Wheel




Teach Me Tonight --Dinah Washington



Today In Cloying Sentimentality



Yes - yay for this kid.  He pushed thru and he might just make it.

Everybody has everything nice to say about how wonderful he is; and how generous his girlfriend's parents are; and how FSU's gonna step up and help; and how amazing it is that people raised a fuckload of bucks to help him out.  All excellent.  Very very excellent indeed.  (I mean it - good for that kid; way to go)

Except for the part where his dad is practically invisible.  I guess it's because dads really don't count for much anymore.  Or is it because a guy with a coupla kids and a dead wife just gets dumped on the side of the road, and nobody gives a fuck about it (this is Florida, y'know)?  And hey - if he can't manage to get back on his feet all by himself, well then he's nuthin'; he's morally deficient.  Why didn't he borrow some money from his parents and start a business?  Fuckin' loser.

If America is so fucking strong, how come we can't lift that kid's dad (and his brother) outa that hole they're in?  How is it we can only manage to help 33% of that family?

And don't get me started on the extreme Press Poodling, as they epically fail at a decent opportunity to tell a real story about real people and instead turn it into this Heapin' Helpin' of Feel Good Pablum Bullshit.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Follow The Money

Eric Cantor never knew what hit him - and since the Press Poodles haven't figured out anything about anything in a solid dozen years or more, we needn't burden them with any expectation of hearing much from them about it (maybe because half of them get paid to push this shit, while the other half gets paid to ignore this shit).

Salon has an interesting take:
Back in 2008 during America’s financial collapse, BB&T Bank was one of the many big banks that crashed. In order to stay afloat, that bank took a $3.1 billion bailout from the Bush administration.

At the helm of the bank at that time was John Allison, an Ayn Rand-loving CEO.
According to The Street, during his time as CEO of BB&T, Allison regularly used the BB&T Charitable Foundation, “to provide grants to schools that agree to create courses on capitalism that feature the study of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’”
Meanwhile, according to New York Magazine, Allison gave $500,000 to Randolph-Macon College to hire Dave Brat, so that he too could teach the Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy as an economics professor.
Shortly after BB&T accepted $3.1 billion government bailout from the Bush Administration, Allison resigned as CEO, and was picked up by Charles Koch, to become the new president of the Cato Institute, formerly known as the Charles Koch Foundation, and to keep spreading the work of Rand.
--and--
So, Dave Brat is far more than just a college professor who beat Eric Cantor in a fluke of a primary.
He is a complete shill for Ayn Rand-loving libertarians and the Koch Brothers.
And he is apparently a graduate of the Kochtopus’ “Teach Ayn Rand in College, Do Well, and We’ll Send You to Washington” program.
Besides saying that Brat’s win was just a fluke and that he’s just a college professor, pundits have also been saying that Cantor lost to Brat because of his stances on immigration, and because he ran a poor campaign.
Again, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
So I guess the theory is, "We don't need a traditional campaign organization when all we really have to do is pay Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity to pimp our guy directly to the rubes".

Works pretty good in a Primary - makes me wonder what they have in store for us in the General.

It's Not Harmless

Check this one out:





Below are the topics in which we have found stories of harm. We encourage you to explore the stories within, especially any topic that is part of your own life or the lives of your loved ones.

Medical

Supernatural & Paranormal

Religion

Fears

Pseudo-Science

Misinformation

Miscellaneous


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ruby

Ruby --Dion and the Belmonts




Ruby on Tupac



Ruby Dee, 10-27-1922 - 06-11-2014

American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and activist. She is perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and the film American Gangster (2007) for which she was nominated for anAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was the recipient of Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, andScreen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors. She was married to actor Ossie Davis until his death in 2005. On June 11, 2014, Dee died at her home in New Rochelle, New York.

Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922,[1] to Gladys Hightower and Marshall Edward Nathaniel Wallace, a cook, waiter and porter. After her mother left the family, Dee's father remarried, to Emma Amelia Benson, a school teacher. [2][3][4][5]

Dee was raised in Harlem, New York.[6] She attended Hunter College High School and went on to graduate from Hunter College with a degree in romance languages in 1945. [7] She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta.[8]

Today's Pix










Who'da Thunk It?

So Iraq's all fucked up.  I was going to hang the word "again" on the end of that sentence, but when I look at almost any reporting from that part of the world in the last year or 30, it gets pretty clear that the joint is practically never un-fucked up.

Somebody please tell me how we managed to ignore every warning about how something like this was bound to happen if we went in there and started knocking shit down - warnings that came from all those damned dirty hippie libruls, going all the way back to about 1990.

And it's not that it wouldn't have happened anyway - guys like Saddam always end up stepping on their own dicks eventually - it's just that we wouldn't be standing here holding an empty bag.

We didn't get the oil, we didn't put any holes in al-Qaeda (cuz al-Qaeda wasn't fucking there until we showed up - duh), and we didn't get any strategic positioning worth a good goddamn.  But we did get 4500 dead uniforms and we got 15,000 maimed to the point of being cripplingly dependent on dope or a stoopidly inadequate VA healthcare system or both, and we got maybe millions more with varying degrees of PTSD and assorted other Invisible Wounds which means we could have thousands of human time-bombs walkin' around here in USAmerica Inc just waiting for something to set 'em off.


From WaPo:

IRBIL, Iraq — Insurgents inspired by al-Qaeda rapidly pressed toward Baghdad on Wednesday, confronting little resistance from Iraq’s collapsing security forces and expanding an arc of control that now includes a wide swath of the country.
By nightfall, the militants had reached the flash-point city of Samarra, just 70 miles outside Baghdad, after having first seized Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town, and other cities while pressing southward from Mosul.
The stunning speed with which the rout has unfolded in northern Iraq has raised deep doubts about the capacity of U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces, and it has also kindled fears about the government’s grip on the capital.
In a country already fraught with sectarian tension, with parts of western Iraq already in Sunni militant hands, the latest gains by insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria prompted cries of alarm from leaders of Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority.
Bush, Condi, Cheney, Hillary, Wolfowitz, Kerry, Kristol, Rummy, Perle, Biden, Powell, Reid, etc etc etc - all you guys own this shit.  And the only thing's that's more tragic than the colossal cluster fuck itself is the simple fact that there will never be any reckoning for it - because if everybody's responsible then nobody can be held accountable.

And as usual, if you wanna know the real deal, ask Juan Cole:
The fall of Mosul to the radical, extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a set of historical indictments. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city, population roughly 2 million (think Houston) until today, when much of the population was fleeing. While this would-be al-Qaeda affiliate took part of Falluja and Ramadi last winter, those are smaller, less consequential places and in Falluja tribal elders persuaded the prime minister not to commit the national army to reducing the city.
It is an indictment of the George W. Bush administration, which falsely said it was going into Iraq because of a connection between al-Qaeda and Baghdad. There was none. Ironically, by invading, occupying, weakening and looting Iraq, Bush and Cheney brought al-Qaeda into the country and so weakened it as to allow it actually to take and hold territory in our own time. They put nothing in place of the system they tore down. They destroyed the socialist economy without succeeding in building private firms or commerce. They put in place an electoral system that emphasizes religious and ethnic divisions. They helped provoke a civil war in 2006-2007, and took credit for its subsiding in 2007-2008, attributing it to a troop escalation of 30,000 men (not very plausible). In fact, the Shiite militias won the civil war on the ground, turning Baghdad into a largely Shiite city and expelling many Sunnis to places like Mosul. There are resentments.

Logical Fallacy #16 - Composition and Division



The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part). For example: "This fragment of metal cannot be fractured with a hammer, therefore the machine of which it is a part cannot be fractured with a hammer." This is clearly fallacious, because many machines can be broken apart, without any of those parts being able to be fractured.

This fallacy is often confused with the fallacy of hasty generalization, in which an unwarranted inference is made from a statement about a sample to a statement about the population from which it is drawn.

The fallacy of composition is the converse of the fallacy of division.

A fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true for the whole must also be true of all or some of its parts.

An example:
A Boeing 747 can fly unaided across the ocean.
A Boeing 747 has jet engines.
Therefore, one of its jet engines can fly unaided across the ocean.

Happy Loving Day, Everybody

On the 12th of June in 1967 (after a fight that started in 1958), SCOTUS managed to get America's head a little farther out of its ass.
Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967),[1] was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored." The Supreme Court's unanimous decision held this prohibition was unconstitutional, overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S., and is remembered annually on Loving Day, June 12. It has been the subject of two movies as well as songs. In the 2010s, it again became relevant in the context of the debate about same-sex marriage in the United States.


Near the end of the video, the reporter mentions there were still 16 states with Anti-Miscegenation laws on the books in 1967 - can you  guess which ones?


“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ’wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others, especially if it denies people’s civil rights.”  -– the late Mildred Loving, speaking out for marriage equality on June 12, 2007, the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia announcement.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

About The Cantor Thing

Eric Cantor lost his primary against a nobody yesterday - and I imagine you've prob'ly heard all about it already, so I don't need to rehash it.

But there's not a lot of celebrating going on at VA-GOP HQ today, cuz here's the thing most Teabaggers just don't get:

Because of Eric Cantor's position as House Majority Leader, Virginia's 7th District has been the 2nd most powerful Congressional District in all of USAmerica Inc.  Out of 435 voting districts, only John Boehner's (OH-08) has more clout and influence than VA-07.

Guess what happens now?  Almost 600,000 Virginia voters are about to get shuffled to the bottom of the deck.

I think that's not necessarily a bad thing - if power doesn't change hands once in a while, we get some pretty shitty results (kinda like what we've been seeing for the last 20 years or so).  Just keep in mind that in politics, even when you get what you want, you don't always get what you want.

hat tip = Balloon Juice

Today's Eternal Sadness

Just can't get enough.  Here's a list of the shootings (just the ones at schools) since  Sandy Hook in Dec2012:

Date

City

State

School Name

School Type

1.1/08/2013Fort MyersFLApostolic Revival Center Christian SchoolK-12
2.1/10/2013TaftCATaft Union High SchoolK-12
3.1/15/2013St. LouisMOStevens Institute of Business & ArtsCollege/University
4.1/15/2013HazardKYHazard Community and Technical CollegeCollege/University
5.1/16/2013ChicagoILChicago State UniversityCollege/University
6.1/22/2013
HoustonTXLone Star College North Harris CampusCollege/University
7.1/31/2013AtlantaGAPrice Middle SchoolK-12
8.2/1/2013AtlantaGAMorehouse CollegeCollege/University
9.2/7/2013Fort PierceFLIndian River St. CollegeCollege/University
10.2/13/2013San LeandroCAHillside Elementary SchoolK-12
11.2/27/2013AtlantaGAHenry W. Grady HSK-12
12.3/18/2013OrlandoFLUniversity of Central FloridaCollege/University
13.3/21/2013SouthgateMIDavidson Middle SchoolK-12
14.4/12/2013ChristianburgVANew River Community CollegeCollege/University
15.4/13/2013Elizabeth CityNCElizabeth City State UniversityCollege/University
16.4/15/2013GramblingLAGrambling State UniversityCollege/University
17.4/16/2013TuscaloosaALStillman CollegeCollege/University
18.4/29/2013CincinnatiOHLa Salle High SchoolK-12
19.6/7/2013Santa MonicaCASanta Monica CollegeCollege/University
20.6/19/2013W. Palm BeachFLAlexander W. Dreyfoos School of the ArtsK-12
21.8/15/2013ClarksvilleTNNorthwest High SchoolK-12
22.8/20/2013DecaturGARonald E. McNair Discovery Learning AcademyK-12
23.8/22/2013MemphisTNWestside Elementary SchoolK-12
24.8/23/2013SardisMSNorth Panola High SchoolK-12
25.8/30/2013Winston-SalemNCCarver High SchoolK-12
26.9/21/2013SavannahGASavannah State UniversityCollege/University
27.9/28/2013GrayMENew Gloucester High SchoolK-12
28.10/4/2013Pine HillsFLAgape Christian AcademyK-12
29.10/15/2013AustinTXLanier High SchoolK-12
30.10/21/2013SparksNVSparks Middle SchoolK-12
31.11/1/2013AlgonaIAAlgona High/Middle SchoolK-12
32.11/2/2013GreensboroNCNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityCollege/University
33.11/3/2013Stone MountainGAStephenson High SchoolK-12
34.11/21/2013Rapid CitySDSouth Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyCollege/University
35.12/4/2013Winter GardenFLWest Orange High SchoolK-12
36.12/13/2013Arapahoe CountyCOArapahoe High SchoolK-12
37.12/19/2013FresnoCAEdison High SchoolK-12
38.1/9/2014JacksonTNLiberty Technology Magnet HSK-12
39.1/14/2014RoswellNMBerrendo Middle SchoolK-12
40.1/15/2014LancasterPAMartin Luther King Jr. ESK-12
41.1/17/2014PhiladelphiaPADelaware Valley Charter HSK-12
42.1/20/2014ChesterPAWidener UniversityCollege/University
43.1/21/2014West LafayetteINPurdue UniversityCollege/University
44.1/24/2014OrangeburgSCSouth Carolina State UniversityCollege/University
45.1/28/2014NashvilleTNTennessee State UniversityCollege/University
46.1/28/2014GramblingLAGrambling State UniversityCollege/University
47.1/30/2014Palm BayFLEastern Florida State CollegeCollege/University
48.1/31/2014PhoenixAZCesar Chavez High SchoolK-12
49.1/31/2014Des MoinesIANorth High SchoolK-12
50.2/7/2014BendORBend High SchoolK-12
51.2/10/2014SalisburyNCSalisbury High SchoolK-12
52.2/11/2014LyndhurstOHBrush High SchoolK-12
53.2/12/2014JacksonTNUnion UniversityCollege/University
54.2/20/2014RaytownMORaytown Success AcademyK-12
55.3/2/2014WestminsterMDMcDaniel CollegeCollege/University
56.3/7/2014TallulahLAMadison High SchoolK-12
57.3/8/2014OshkoshWIUniversity of Wisconsin – OshkoshCollege/University
58.3/21/2014NewarkDEUniversity of DelawareCollege/University
59.3/30/2014SavannahGASavannah State UniversityCollege/University
60.4/3/2014KentOHKent State UniversityCollege/University
61.4/7/2014RoswellNMEastern New Mexico University-RoswellCollege/University
62.4/11/2014DetroitMIEast English Village Preparatory AcademyK-12
63.4/21/2014GriffithINSt. Mary Catholic SchoolK-12
64.4/21/2014ProvoUTProvo High SchoolK-12
65.4/26/2014Council BluffsIAIowa Western Community CollegeCollege/University
66.5/2/2014MilwaukeeWIMarquette UniversityCollege/University
67.5/3/2014EverettWAHorizon Elementary SchoolK-12
68.5/4/2014AugustaGAPaine CollegeCollege/University
69.5/5/2014AugustaGAPaine CollegeCollege/University
70.5/8/2014GeorgetownKYGeorgetown CollegeCollege/University
71.5/8/2014LawrencevilleGAGeorgia Gwinnett CollegeCollege/University
72.5/21/2014MilwaukeeWIClark Street SchoolK-12
73.6/5/2014SeattleWASeattle Pacific UniversityCollege/University
74.6/10/2014TroutdaleORReynolds High SchoolK-12

74.  Seventy-fucking-four.  At schools.  Every 9 or 10 days.