September 19, 2009
October 31, 2007
Mood: who cares?
<orwell>Thank goodness we don’t have prisoners at Gitmo (or elsewhere). Prisoners are liable to be mistreated, maybe even tortured, but we’re just hosting some detainees. They’ve been detained. Traffic was heavy, and they’re running late. </orwell>
Even relatively liberal sources, such as NPR, use this word.
Whoever frames the terms of the debate, wins.
July 27, 2007
May 4, 2007
Barak Obama already had my support. Now he’s made me even more enthusiastic by requesting the presidential debates be released under Creative Commons licenses. See the Slashdot story, or read Obama’s letter to DNC Chair Howard Dean. (John Edwards also supports open access to debate footage, though I’m not sure whether he specifically endorses Creative Commons licenses.)
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January 25, 2007
Mood: Curtly Doric
(With a tip of the pixel to Ambrose Bierce)
Apologize: To express regret that another has suffered due to agents unknown. (See Full Responsibility)
Class Warfare: Low demagoguery, meant to persuade those whose pockets we pick to ask for some of their money back.
Conservative: In favor of rugged individualism; opposed to the nanny state; desirous of regulating the private lives of consenting adults in minute detail.
Educated: Devious. (See Stupid)
Full Responsibility: A magic phrase by which one escapes the consequences of malfeasance. “I take full responsibility” means “Don’t hold me accountable.”
Impeachment: An appropriate measure for serious offenses, such as staining dresses and ruining good cigars, but an overreaction to minor peccadilloes that merely destroy thousands of lives.
Mistake: A meaningless concept in politics. We don’t make mistakes: our plans are sabotaged. They don’t make mistakes: painstaking malice guides all their actions.
Nuanced: More complex than a bumper sticker; requiring thought, and therefore both (a) snobbish and (b) mean.
Respect: To have high regard for one’s opponent, despite his habit of pinching invalids and feeding whiskey to babies.
Safeguard: An old law you like. An old law you do not like is a relic.
Security: A prison in which we are safe from the criminals, who roam freely outside.
Special Interest: Any group of people who want something we are unwilling to give. Examples: teachers, veterans.
Stupid: Virtuous. The lower the intelligence, the closer to the angels.
Support Our Troops: To cheer on any senseless war that causes their destruction.
Thought: An evil habit which leads one astray from truths plainly seen by morons.
Us Versus Them: They are reckless; we are bold. They refuse to compromise; we stand by our principles. They are beholden to special interests; we serve our constituency.
December 14, 2006
Mood: Sporadically dignified
I’ve heard the argument many times about the Guatanamo “detainees.” (Remember when people behind bars were called “prisoners?”) “They aren’t Americans, so they have no rights under the American constitution.”
They’re in American custody. Have we no responsibility to them? Do they have any rights at all? Can the guards use them for target practice when they get bored?
Let’s reverse the situation. Suppose you, an American, travel to Znizhikistan. The country is filled with civil unrest, and you get caught up in a police sweep. The Znizhikistanis hold you incommunicado for three years, interrogate you with techniques like waterboarding, but don’t charge you with any crime. The Znizhikistan constitution says nothing about your rights. Would you be okay with this? Would you shrug it off and say, “Well, I’ve lost five percent of my life here, I’ve been isolated and abused, and I have no recourse for justice–sounds fair to me!”
I suspect many (not all) of those making this argument also believe America should be a Christian nation, based on the faith of our founders. (Let’s ignore for now the question of what those faiths, plural, actually were.) Here’s one statement of faith the founders signed their names to: “all men… are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” (emphasis added). They believed that no document or government bestows rights; they come from God. The state is merely the guardian of rights, and cannot take them away. It can, however, violate them–and presumably, violate the will of God.
November 6, 2006
Democratic politicians as well as Republicans are cheering the Hussein death verdict. It’s a shame he isn’t being guillotined: they could send his head on a tour around the country before mounting it on a fencepost in Crawford. And it would make a handy prop in any political debate.
So we stoop to the psychopath’s level. He wins. Civilization loses.
In the state:
- Stem cell research narrowly passes.
- The tobacco tax increase fails.
- More votes are cast for McCaskill, but more votes are counted for Talent.
- Republicans retain control of the Senate.
- Thanks to gerrymandering, voter suppression and election fraud, Republicans retain control of the House.
- Accusations of rigged elections flurry around the blogosphere. Mainstream news outlets ignore the story, except to dismiss those who question the vote as conspiracy theorists.
- Democrats move further to the right. Hillary Clinton declares the ACLU a terrorist organization. Joe Lieberman suggests dropping nukes on Ted Kennedy. John Kerry pins his purple hearts to his nipples.
- Citizens grow increasingly cynical. By 2012, only those actually running for office bother to vote. And their spouses. Sometimes.
- In 2024, all political offices are made hereditary. The first Tuesday after November 1st becomes National Zither Day.
- In 2080, we finally have a female president. But only because we’ve ceded our sovereignty to India.
(This was originally posted to my userspace at gather.com)