Friday, January 28, 2011

good question

ed quillen @ the denver post:

have you ever heard of any campaigning politician, in any other industrial democracy, promising to provide "an american-style health-care system"?

Monday, January 24, 2011

so long, jack

the original tv fitness guru, jack lalanne, dead at 96:

would you get your dog up every day, give him a cup of coffee, a doughnut and a cigarette?

hell, no — you'd kill the damn dog!

Friday, January 14, 2011

488 days ago

... but who's counting?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a question for sharron angle

from seneca doane @ daily kos:

i'm tired of beating around the bush arguing about evidence of whether jared loughner was or wasn't motivated to assassinate rep. gabrielle giffords last saturday by far-right-wing craziness. of course the republicans can disavow him — his being "crazy" and a "lone wolf" and all — as quickly as they like.

my interest is: can they disavow his actions — categorically? is what he did fundamentally wrong, in their eyes? or did he just choose the wrong target? the wrong time? the wrong place — what with all those people around? they're sorry, they're sorry, they're incensed at being presented as in some way sympathetic to these actions — but why?

if you want to keep a rifle in your house in case the oppressive government comes after you, then i think i understand what you mean by a "second amendment remedy." but we're not talking about home defense here; we're talking about guns in public, about shows of force. what i want to hear from republicans (and others who favor the NRA line) is: why in their opinion was what jared loughner did not a legitimate appeal to a "second amendment remedy"?

that's a question i'd love to see answered.

is it because "it's polling poorly"?

due to work, i've missed full coverage for the past two days of the festering counter-reaction to this weekend's righteous rejection of the rhetoric of death, so maybe others have already started asking this pointed question: why is what jared loughlin did wrong?

it's not because it's murder. a "second amendment remedy" will inherently involve murder — or at least killing someone, under an attenuated theory of self-defense. it's not even because bystanders were killed as well — these things happen in a revolution. had he shot rep. giffords and then threw down his gun, does anyone want to say that their reaction would be otherwise? (let him or her speak up, if so. i'd like to be forewarned.)

in fact, the problem with "second amendment remedies" is that this is what they look like.

here, listen to sharron angle:

you know, our founding fathers, they put that second amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. and in fact thomas jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

i hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those second amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? i'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take harry reid out.

well, wasn't jared loughner fighting against a "tyrannical government," as represented by rep. gabrielle giffords — who at a similar 2007 event had had the temerity to reply to his question about the government's using language for mind control by replying to him in spanish?

don't we get to decide for ourselves what constitutes "tyranny," under this theory? surely we don't have to wait for the government to say "we're officially tyrannical now, so as a matter of constitutional law it's ok to start shooting at us."

well, jared loughner was more convinced that the government was tyrannical than most of us will ever be convinced of anything! so, why was his acting on that belief illegitimate, second amendment supporters from the republican and tea parties? because we disagreed with his judgment?

did he look around and say "my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?" well, he probably didn't say "my goodness." but let me ask you, those of you who think that this wasn't "political" — do you think he would have shot gabrielle giffords and all these others if she had lost rather than won this past election by 1% of the vote? do you think he would have gone to find her at her old family tire store and shot her there? i highly doubt it (and not just because they sold it to goodyear.)

"i'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take harry reid out," is what sharron angle said — and the first thing loughner thought he needed to do was to take gabrielle giffords out.

isn't this what it's all about, fans of violent rhetoric? in what sense was his action not legitimate — by the standards of what those who blather about being "armed and dangerous" and who shoot up pictures rather than people and who pointedly remark about murder as a conceivable alternative to political victory?

please explain! please do explain — the children are listening. i'm sure they'd like to understand the distinction.

i don't have to explain why i think what he did was morally repulsive. i don't talk about "second amendment remedies" because i know that when we enter the arena in which logic and civility are no longer the means to victory, i've lost my advantage. i'll fight in the gutter if dragged into the gutter, but the gutter is not where i want to be.

is the real problem that republicans and tea partiers have with jared loughner is that he, unlike them, turned out not to be a poseur? that he actually went and did something that was only supposed to be threatened?

if so, then they need to do a better job of explaining "the rules" to those whom they influence with this sort of talk.

so in the meantime, if no one has already had the chance to do so, i'd really like to see someone ask sharron angle and sarah palin and michele bachmann and whoever else why jared loughner's "second amendment remedy" — his attempt, frankly, to overturn the results of an election with the bullet when the ballot didn't work — is illegitimate.

i don't even want to hear it — assuming they'll have a coherent answer — for my own benefit. but i sure would like the alienated 22-year-olds — who are watching jared loughner, head like a clenched fist, in the wake of this massacre and silently thinking "well, he sure went and did it. he had the courage of what he believed, what i say i believe" — to hear it.

explain to them, please why — believing in second amendment remedies in a political culture such as ours, as opposed to that of nazi germany or communist czechoslovakia or such — why what jared loughner did was wrong.

i know what i think it was wrong, but those sorts of kids won't listen to me.

they'll listen to you, maybe. so please, sharron angle and others, explain why this "second amendment remedy" was wrong.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

at the movies

speaking strictly for myself, i know, upon seeing a madman charging headlong at me with teeth grit, nostrils flared and extreme prejudice in his eye, that my first impulse wouldn't be ... to charge headlong at him.

which is probably why i'm not an action hero:

on the other hand, who hasn't savored all the little emotions flitting across your opponent's face, as he slowly comes to the cold realization that you've just defaced him — literally:

Saturday, January 01, 2011

a new year's guarantee, revisited

exactly one year ago birthers promised me a few healthy giggles for the new year:

the 2010 new year's resolution of all good conservatives should be to achieve the goal of restoring the u.s. constitution this year. if the kenyan usurper is still in office a year from now, we will have failed.

yes, that was way too easy, but i'll get my yucks in where i can ...

♦ ♦ ♦

update: leave it to the birthers to never disappoint. i'll be looking forward to reposting next year these resolutions for 2011:

... i have up here a few resolutions, just a few, but i hope we can all agree on them.

number one — i think we can all agree on this: defend and obey the u.s. constitution. we have — don't have that, we have nothing. no order, no rule of law.

number two: hold congress accountable. they're starting to listen, we voted a lot of them out, we can vote these — wonderful people — out as well.

number three, and almost as important: hold the media accountable. and that includes fox news. that's one of the reasons i'm standing up here right now, on new year's eve.

[number four:] free the patriot [former] lieutenant colonel terry lakin. he put it all on the line for his country. a true patriot. we must stand behind him and free him — with honor.

number five falls in line with all the above: expose the truth about barack obama. one of the catalysts for me standing up here right now — aside from glenn beck, as you all know — is [fox news reporter] megyn kelly and the ludicrous, asinine news show she has. where she covered abercrombie, neil abercrombie, the governor of hawaii, and used as a forum to insult concerned americans. was she fair and balanced? well, i don't think so. uh, megyn ... ? call me!

and that leads me to the last one: if necessary — and this is not something i necessarily wanted to do — glenn beck, are you listening? a new internet and/or tv news show. we need a real news show and — not entertainment, not megyn kelly showing her cleavage, making fun of concerned americans. real news. real fair and balanced news. and if necessary, i'll be involved in it. this may be the first show ...

... giggles guaranteed.