Above the Fray

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Funny line

I really respect Mark Kleinmans comments. Generally he is a reasoned, calm commentator. But sometimes even reasonable folks can lose their cool when discourse [coarse?] become purile.

This 'swift boat' smear is disgusting. The collusion to produce and amplify the message is equally disgusting.

Fire alarm in Bob Dole's pants

Bob Dole on the Swift Boat Yada Yada:

"Not every one of these people can be Republican liars. There's got to be some truth to the charges."

Why not? Is there suddenly a shortage of Republican liars? Consider, for example, a certain lying former senator from Kansas [Dole], who said on national television that two of Kerry's Purple Hearts came on the same day, which is not the case unless December 2, is the same date as February 20 or March 13, and that Kerry "never bled," [excellent interview] which isn't how the people who were there at the time recall it.

You know, I think Viagra really is a wonder drug: it seems to have made Bob Dole an even bigger prick than he used to be.

The reluctance of the press to kill this story by reporting how transparently falls the Swifties' accounts are is truly disgusting. At this point, I think Kerry has no choice but to fight back, and fight back hard.

Bob Dole on the Swift Boat Yada Yada

At a loss for words

A bit of sharp 'diplomatic' language:

North Korea labels Bush an 'imbecile,' among other insults..
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea called President Bush an "imbecile" and "a tyrant that puts Hitler into the shade" yesterday, unleashing a stream of insults that seemed to rule out any serious progress on nuclear disarmament talks before the presidential election.

In yesterday's tirade, North Korea's diplomatic spokesman called Bush "an idiot, ignorant, a tyrant and a man-killer."

"Bush's assumption of office turned a peaceful world into a pandemonium unprecedented in history as it is plagued with a vicious circle of terrorism and war," continued the statement, adding that Bush's aides and allies are "a typical gang of political gangsters."

Perhaps running low on adjectives and images, the spokesman warned that the American president is "a bad guy."

The new tirade appears to have been set off by a campaign speech in Wisconsin last week by Bush, who referred to Kim Jong Il, North Korea's hereditary leader, as a "tyrant." [bring it on]

Why don't they say what they really mean?

North Korea labels Bush an imbecile

Friday, August 20, 2004

Overtime Pay

Go take this quiz to see how the new regulations will effect your take home pay.

Could You Lose Your Overtime Pay

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Mild Rebuke

Molly Ivins has been reading her history;

To think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just another attempt to disguise one's unmanly character; ability to understand the question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action; fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man...

Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect."

The quote is from Thucydides, the Father of History, writing about the day in 415 B.C. when Athens sent its glorious fleet off to destruction in Sicily.

Not a rebuke, just an observation
Molly Ivins: What A Mess

Word Play is a two edged sword

Pesky thing, words. Playing with sharp implements doncha know. This campaign is a goldmine of examples for NLP practioners..

..Cheney went on rightwing talk radio to mock Kerry for backing a more "sensitive" war on terror. Laughing, he said, "It strikes me the two words don't really go together, sensitive and war. If you look at our history, I don't think any of the wars we've won were won by us being, quote, 'sensitive'."

Same show, minutes later: Why weren't U.S. troops storming the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf where Shiite militiamen are holed up? "Well, from the standpoint of the shrine," Cheney said, "obviously it is a sensitive area, and we are very much aware of its sensitivity."

Gene Lyons

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A 'let them eat cake' moment

I was really angry when I heard L Bush and her little 'anti-infomercial' on stem cell research. From a technical view, her grasp of the basis of scientific research is appallingly incorrect. It was really an 'anti science paradigm'. I was not suprized, this administration has a pattern of denigrating and corrupting science to put forth their policy agendas.

What did suprize me was her tone. She was dismissive and patronizing. A real WOAC moment, just like Dubya. This is the language and embedded belief system of the entitled. [Insufferably smug, and lacking any authentic empathy]. I didn't think any newspaper folks would react to this insulting posturing.

I was wrong. A number of them let their professional demeanor slip, and with good reason:

Charles Pierce
Hometown: Newton, MA

...when they rolled her [L Bush] out to talk about stem cells, and she unctuously explained to the country that, maybe, the benefits of stem-cells were being "oversold." I watched her, all creamy certitude, and for the first time since 2000, wondered: "Where in the hell do you get off, lady?"

...shouldn't we be a bit alarmed as well that a back-country librarian from Level Crossing, Texas is out there explaining cutting-edge science to the nation? Where in hell is the President's Council On Bioethics? (Probably either bleeding people with leeches or booking tours to Lourdes.) I mean, would I ask Gregor Mendel where the biography section is?

Look, it is entirely possible that stem-cell research will not be the panacea that its proponents say it will be. Sadly, that may well be the case with Alzheimer's, which is my particularly nasty-ass dog in this fight.

But, what eludes Laura, her husband, and whoever reads "My Friend, The Genome" to him is that's what f***king research is FOR! (I'm shouting now.) You do the research to find out IF the little critters will perform as advertised.

What you don't do is choke off the inquiry because something MIGHT not work out, and might get Jesus pissed in the bargain. And you damned sure don't send your wife, the librarian, out to run the ball on the issue for you. God, it was insufferable. All those devastated families, like mine, having our little heads patted, and being warned not to get our tiny hopes up, all the while being talked down to out of a family of failures, spoiled children, and international sex tourists.
If there's a god in heaven, Laura Bush will get caught in a Green Room one day with Nancy Reagan. [reminds me of Jack Anderson and the head of NIDA..but I digress]

Michael Kinsley

...In a display of her husband's famous compassionate conservatism, Laura Bush scolded that "it really isn't fair to people who are watching a loved one suffer" to overplay the promise of stem cells. She said, helpfully, "We don't know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything."

As someone with a loved one (myself, as it happens) who has the disease (Parkinson's) for which stem cells hold the most promise, please allow me to say: Thank you so much, Mrs. Bush, for trying to make sure that I don't get too hopeful. While your husband and Sen. John Kerry make a major issue out of who is more optimistic, it is inspiring to have a first lady with the courage to say: Let's be pessimistic! Optimism is unfair!

But talk is cheap. While Laura Bush is destroying hope by the traditional method of spreading gloom and pessimism, her husband is bringing the pessimist's art into the 21st century by actually destroying the objective basis for hope. While she battles rhetorically against false hopes, he works to ensure that there is no hope at all.

Full Disclosure: In my past life, I was a neuro biologist. I had a number of research projects wiped out because some of the conclusions were not in line with 'acceptable' thinking at the time. This type of foolishness really steams me.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Thee is Trademarked

This really bugs me too. STU PED™

It feels good™.
Monday, August 09, 2004

On my drive to work today, I saw an ad on the back of a bus. It was for "JugoJuice", a chain of juice bars, and it showed a woman with a delicious-looking cup of orange juice with the caption in giant bold print: "It feels good.™".

Although I'm sure that the cup of juice does feel good (unless you've misunderstood how it's supposed to be used), how can a company trademark the words "It feels good"? Lots of things feel good, and among them a good many of those things are products. Are they implying that people can no longer sell a product by saying whether it feels good? Do they really expect this to hold up in court?

I'm getting tired of seeing the ™ show up in everything. I'm waiting for someone to trademark the letters "TM", and sue anyone who uses the ™ symbol on any trademarked words.

(Trademark notice: "the" is now a trademark of CubicleDweller.ca. Any use of this word for commercial purposes is prohibited.)

Only amateurs think there stuff is so unique that it requires a trade mark sign. BTW the use of 'the' is not for commercial purposes so na na na
THE(tm) CUBICLE DWELLER (.ca) industrial-strength non sequiturs. now even crunchier!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Quote for the week

A good rule for the road:

Someone asked me if I was afraid of physical attacks because I write a controversial column, and I said, "No, because I'm careful not to insult nonverbal people."

Let's face it: Journalists are not popular. The last time I saw one of those lists of how the public rates people, journalists were down in the basement with undertakers and used-car salesmen. If you're a public figure and you have to insult or strike somebody, a journalist is by far your best bet. Lawyers will sue, and athletes can usually give you a good whipping.

Someone asked me if I was afraid of physical attacks because I write a controversial column, and I said, "No, because I'm careful not to insult nonverbal people." I never criticize ironworkers, professional wrestlers or other people who might not be able to think of a snappy comeback. Inarticulate people are the kind of people who sometimes let their fists do their talking. For the more serious types who like to make death threats, I just remind them that I learned to shoot long before I learned to write.


Charley Reese

Monday, August 02, 2004

Deja Vu [again]

Your history lesson for the day:

They stab each other in the belly and the back. Any defamation is treated as legitimate. Every blow is good, as long as it staggers the enemy. He who invents an effective slander proudly struts … . A good faith observer has no idea how to analyze a battle in which everyone considers it legitimate to campaign in bad faith. ..

The evil was very grave: the Republicans, entrenched in power, cynically abused it; they subverted the integrity of the vote, and of the press; they mocked the spirit of the Constitution through partisan legislation, and copying the tactics of tyrants, used overseas wars to deflect attention from their actions. Who had a chance to compete against them? Defeat them? -- if elections are won by the force of money, if the Republicans have a free hand with the national coffers?
Read the conclusion of this drama..
Bad, very bad