Friday, February 15, 2008

Who Says the Arab World Won't Learn From Democracy?

(apologies to those who feel it unamerican to visit al jazeera's website [or are afraid they'll be put on someone's terrorist watch list], but i doubt we'll be seeing this bit of news in any american newspaper)

"Al Jazeera has said a code adopted by Arab states to govern satellite broadcasting could shackle freedom of expression.
Arab information ministers meeting on Tuesday in Cairo endorsed the charter, which allows host countries to annul or suspend the licence of any broadcaster found in violation of the rules it sets...

...The Cairo document stipulates that satellite channels "should not damage social harmony, national unity, public order or traditional values".

Anas al-Fiqi, the Egyptian information minister, said his country would be the first to implement the charter.
"Some satellite channels have strayed from the correct path," he said...

...The Cairo charter stipulates that channels should " refrain from broadcasting anything which calls into question God, the monotheistic religions, the prophets, sects or symbols of the various religious communities".

sweet, the 22 Arab League members are actually very american (just like jesus) in their irrational fears about outsiders and infidels. this could be the New Coalition of the Willing To Kill All Who Disagree.

We should have a summit (by "we" i mean Bush), cut some brush, shoot someone in the face and attack Iran.

i mean, we should sit down, discuss our differences and how to reconcile them since we seem to agree on the "outside agitators" thing, then attack iran.

no, i mean, we should let them redress our women with their eyes, become our AA sponsors, butt into our need to Butt Out From Smoking, then attack iran.

um, i mean, we should fuse our two gods, destroy Tibet and Nepal, eat a cow for christ and asparagus for allah, ban the obese, the unwashed and those who wear bowties, bow to the East (which works for me, because washington, d.c. is in that general direction from where i sit), and then attack iran.

wait, i mean, we should destroy all gods but the true god (and east or west, we all know which one that is, right?), spread social hegemony, refrain from "bombasting anything which calls into question Cod, the mannishbeastic digestions, the poppets, sex or cymbals of nefarious incisions", then (finally) attack iran.
okay, i think i've got it right. yeah. let's do it!

No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition!

hee. hee hee. hoo hoo. snork! oh, my sides. my ribs. can't breathe. oh, the hilarity. oh, oh, oh...bwaaahaaahaaa!!!...sniffle, snark, snark...

The CIA's use of waterboarding was legal and not torture, a Justice Deparment official argued this morning, because it was a "procedure subject to strict limitations and safeguards" that made it substantially different from historical uses of the technique by the Japanese and the Spanish Inquisition.
Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department official who heads up the Office of Legal Counsel, is testifying before a House Judiciary subcommittee this morning. And he made an unexpected argument when Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) asked him whether waterboarding violated the law against torture.
It did not, he said. And he argued that what the CIA did bears "no resemblance" to what torturers in time past have done. "There's been a lot of discussion in the public about historical uses of waterboarding," he said. But the "only thing in common is the use of water," he said.
The Spanish and Japanese use of "water torture," he said, "involved the forced consumption of a mass amount of water." Asked by a Republican whether Bradbury was aware of any "modern use" of waterboarding that involved the "lungs filling with water," Bradbury said no.
The Japanese forced the ingestion of so much water that it was "beyond the capacity of the victim's stomach." Weight or pressure was then applied by standing or jumping on the stomach of the victim, sometimes leading to "blood coming of the victim's mouth." The Spanish Inquisition would use the technique to the point of "agony or death."
But the CIA wasn't doing that, he argued. "Strict time limits" were involved -- presumably governing the length of time that interrogators could induce the sensation of drowning. There were "safeguards" and "restrictions" that made it a much more controlled procedure. Because of that, he said, the technique did not amount to torture.
But Bradbury said that subsequent laws and Supreme Court decisions passed in 2005 and 2006 had changed his office's analysis, and in 2006 the CIA removed waterboarding from its authorized battery of interrogation techniques.

oh man, i think i just crapped my pants! that's good stuff there. i guess the writer's strike really is over. woof!
p.s. this next one sounds like a great idea (as oppsed to signing a petition), especially the "going back to bed" part since i'm not getting Presidents' Day off:

Veterans For Peace today kicked off its March 19, 2008 “Sick Of It Day” campaign to end the war in Iraq.
March 19 is the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and the campaign is designed to give every person sick of the corruption, the lies and the war an opportunity to join with others in the classic civil resistance tactic of “withdrawing consent” from the system.
Based on the principle taken from the Declaration of Independence that government requires the consent of the governed, everyone who joins Sick Of It Day will be actively withdrawing their consent, one by one, until the collective economic impact reverberates through Washington and politicians are faced with a choice: end the war or have an ungovernable country. (Read more about this powerful form of civil resistance…)
Giving his personal reason why he is “sick of it,” campaign originator and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Adam Kokesh said, “I am sick of seeing America in denial about how much we have been lied to.”
Veterans For Peace member and campaign organizer, Mike Ferner, explained “I’ve seen the pain on the faces of the people of Iraq and the soldiers who come back from war. It’s something I can’t get out of my mind and there are days when it really does make me sick.”
People who call in sick on March 19 can choose from a wide variety of other things to do that day – from contacting Congress and going back to bed, to more ambitious ideas like helping quarantine military shipments in U.S. ports. Campaigners are invited to come up with their own “Sick Of It Day” activity and post it to the site.
Sick Of It Day web designer, Scott Blackburn, said “We’ve made the site easy to use and easy to pass along to others. The success of Sick Of It Day depends on the idea going viral on the internet. With so many people sick of this war, we think there’s a good chance it will.”

unlike petitions to impeach the pResident, this will truly hurt them where they live. i don't know how just yet (i don't even know who "them" truly is), but i will by the time i turn off my alarm, call in to work with my most indignant, pissed off and (just in case) flu-ridden voice to announce my unavailability for work that day and that my bosses need to do something about ending the war in Iraq and the lack of Paydays in the snack machine in the break room. mmmm, i do love me a good Payday. so nutty and nugatty.

Monday, February 11, 2008

yeah, it's a site's address i stole from the gentelman who will not be named.. it wants you to sign on to their petition to impeach Bush.
wow. what a drive. put your name on a petition that will go nowhere, because the Dems in Congress have repeatedly stated they will do no such thing, because it would be detrimental to our society.
hey, a blow job was worth an impeachment vote for republicans and some democrats, but crimes against humanity aren't.
so, save your breath and your internet time. concentrate instead on the important matters, like a $600 rebate to stave off the impending recession. or forcing fat people out of restauarants in mississippi. or shoving ethanol down the throats of a gullible populace. or an announcement to push for the death penalty for foreigners "involved" in the 9/11 bombings. or supporting the death penalty for chinese guys trying to steal nuclear secrets for china.
and make sure to get out and vote those people back into power the next time they come up for review. because they truly have our interest at heart.
as do the petitioners who rake in the signatures that do nothing. i mean, wow. "let's make it a million signatures" and this will force the government to listen.
really? not even the opposition is listening. so, what do you do now? get those million signers to jump and down all at the same time and cause an earthquake?
you're preaching to the choir when you start a movement like this. all of the signers are sheep who hope that the repository will do something for them. and the repository tends to do nothing but send in the signatures and then wait for a non-response so they can say that the government is non-responsive and afriad of the power of the people.
bullshit. the government knows that the people's power couldn't accelerate one hybrid car past the speed of stall.
all we seem to do is spit and stare.

It Takes A village To Raze A Nation

An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi:
(1) The provisions of this section shall apply to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) or more seats for customers.
(2) Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.
(3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food establishments to which this section applies for compliance with the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2008.

really, i shouldn't even bother to comment. the mississipians' legally elected have done more than enough with this one. but i just can't help myself. i see the food and i gotta snarf at the trough.
so, no fatties at the public table. okay.
let's start with the obvious.
how do they define obesity? ah yes, it will defined as "per criteria" provided by a state based group after consultation with another group (not so state based). well, let's hope they don't include any of the national diet and/or weight loss organizations that want you and me to buy their products. a few years ago i was privy to nutrasystem's chart to determine obesity and i was three pounds under the limit for my height. 5' 8" and 185 pounds, mostly rugged marbled fat and muscle. overweight? yes. to a dangerous and possibly fatal point? not by a long shot in anyone's eyes.
next. will there be scales at the entrance to each and every restaurant and a government employee present to check for noncompliance? or will they rely on fit patrons to call in to a special hotline and "out" the offending patrons/restaurateurs?
and are 7-11's and AM/PM's and the like included? these establishments are notorious for selling absolute crap to anyone who trundles it to the checkout counter. they even provide carry carts for those too weak to bear the weight of processed food and sugar laden heart attacks.

while the state government is at it, why not go after obese restaurant employees who get a free meal after each shift?

so, what's next for the wonderful state of mississippi? ban bars from serving "known" alcoholics? restrict tobacco sales to those who smoke less than a pack a day? force fiancees to disclose any and all previous sexual encounters?

hey, here's an idea: how about it gets its state out of the lowest tier for income? how about it tries its damndest to push its education scores out of the gutter? how about it cleans up its river so the fish can swom and the fishermen can make a living again? how about it reads mark twain again and his rantings about state government?

obesity is a terrible disease, whether genetic or environmental. but to regulate who can and cannot eat at a public establishment is a callous slap in the face to those who suffer from it. if you are not willing to treat the disease as opposed to punishing it, then you will only paint yourself further into a corner of being perceived as stupid, ignorant, biased, redneck, zealotrous, phobic, narrow-minded and backwards.

i, for one, cringe at the children i see in the supermarket. grossly overweight, coddled by parents, throwing what they want into the cart and getting away with it. i find it hard to make eye contact with obese adults, because i am afraid they will see the pity and revulsion i know i can't quite hide. maybe it is a bleeding heart liberal thing to wince inwardly at the excesses perpetuated by our society, but not speak outright to those indulging in them. but i don't see the other side doing it either. i see them passing laws to punish those who don't fit in to their narrow view on life. i see them expelling those who don't fit. i hear them saying "bless her heart" behind scented handkerchiefs and then passing judgement.

what i don't see from any of us is a willingness to work with them. we give money to charities and then call it a day. we pass laws to protect and then don't follow up to make sure the law is doing what it said it would. we turn a blind eye to those in need and then chastise them for being who they are.
do i have the right to go up to a mother at savemart and tell her she's killing her obese child by buying it insta-meals and pop tarts? yes. it's a free country and speech is protected. it may be rude and self-serving, but it is a right.
do i have the right to regulate where and when families or individuals can eat on a night out? no. or, rather, i should not. but even in our nation of citizens' rights i find that those who do not fit within any majority group's predetermined list of rules can be forced out or into subjugation.
we are a nation of laws, but we seem more and more willing to let a select few write and enforce those laws. and as long as we are satisfied to concentrate on our individual ills we will continue to allow the city and the state and the national governments to pass any and all laws without our consent.

you know the saying:
"it takes a village to raise a child".

historians may look back on America and say "it took a village to raze a nation".

or it took a populace afraid of speaking out to acede to domination. we are, indeed, a global village. every nation, no matter their politics, looks to us as the compass. we have become THE empire for the 20th and 21st centuries. whether they agree with us or not, all fate is tied to ours.

and if the best we can give them is to ban obese people from dining out, then we are truly fucked.