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From the monthly archives: February 2011

Some random loon just posted a phenomenal non sequitur comment on one of my predecessor blogs.  Some highlights:

Abortion is part of the decay inflicted by the gods in the latter half of the 20th century as we approach the Apocalypse::::
– Free sex
– Explosion in gay sex
– Abortion
– Legalized greed/immorality
– The internet. Whereas TV was a phenominally destructive new temptation on the landscape it doesn’t hold a candle to the internet. Some people will waste their whole lives. […]

The gods will utilize the corruptive predisposition of the private sector economy, as seen with the sub-prime/bailout fiasco, to initiate economic catastrophy and initiate the bankruptcy proceedings of the United States.
Whether the cure for cancer/diseases or the permanant resolution of economic misery, before the gods remove these motivations to pray we will experience an inordinate deluge of each element, with economic misery being perhaps the dissallusion of the united States with bankruptcy. […]

A good example of societal decay and how the gods manage their culpability is birth defects. In the past the gods occassionally punished people by divinely creating birth defects in the womb. Now, with the advent of biotechnology, they tempt the mother with “earning” and compell her to take a substance in utero which deforms the fetus, dispelling the gods of blame and future obligation to the victim. […]

You don’t want to get involved in the abortion battle. You’re not “earning”. The gods will use this tool to cast people into Damnation. Nothing will save them. Stop wasting your time on others and work on fixing your own problems. If you don’t make enough progress to be granted good parents when reincarnated you will waste your next life too.

Jeebus bless crystal meth for the fine work that you do.

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I don’t really have much to say on this, but I think it’s absolutely great that the Justice Department is going to drop their defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. You can get some more details here. Not sure why it didn’t come sooner, but evidently this increases the odds of the whole thing getting struck down by the courts, which I consider good news indeed. Sadly, this won’t mean gay marriage becomes legal everywhere, but it will mean that the federal government will be able to recognize those marriages as legit. Which is as it should be.
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The perfect musical accompaniment to our times. (h/t Daily Kos for the pic)

Chait ponders why Republicans are preparing to do the strategic equivalent of “the American military […] preparing in 1980 to send troops back to Vietnam” and speaks some sense:

The primary driving force is obviously the Republican base. Republicans rehabilitated themselves from the Bush administration disaster by crafting a narrative in which the party veered from its conservative roots, and now a new grass roots movement would purify it. This was useful in suturing the party off from Bush’s legacy and re-invigorating the base, but one side effect was to stoke the already-strong suspicion that the party leadership was prepared to sell out conservative principles.

Conservatives expect major spending cuts and believe the public supports them, but Republicans can’t actually enact their agenda because Democrats control the Senate and the White House. Republican leaders have to show that they’re fighting for their agenda, which leaves them no room to come out with a compromise. Conservative Republican voters, unlike moderates or even liberal Democrats, oppose compromise even in the abstract.

I particularly like his capper: “There’s logic in coming up with a bunch of bullshit to fool the public. It’s dangerous to do it to yourself.” Which nicely encapsulates the last decade of American life, I think.

Evidently the geniuses at POLITICO are asking the question if this will turn out better for Republicans this time. I think the obvious answer is: no, it won’t. The message of pro-shutdown Republicans has fallen into two basic arguments: (1) it won’t be a big deal and (2) we’re going to do it because we have a mandate and the Democrats need to do what we want them to do. It will obviously be a big deal, and setting the tone for the next two years by shutting down the government right off the bat seems like a perfect way of turning public opinion against them. Considering that the Republicans’ budget cuts seem to just be a bunch of random stuff that basically shows they don’t really have a clue what they’re doing, I think confronting them is the right move. Say that their budget doesn’t solve the debt problem but just makes it harder to protect the borders and get out Social Security checks, and if Republicans do shut down the government, just use it as a club against them, some variant on “I have troubles enough without the Republicans keeping my checks from coming.” Republicans see compromise as a bad thing and, if I had to guess, will applaud themselves for not giving into the demands for compromise and shutting things down. You can’t brag about something while simultaneously blaming someone else for it.

I’ve been watching the miniseries Carlos, about Carlos The Jackal. It’s pretty great. It’s I believe a French miniseries, but it’s mostly in English and Spanish. Very similar feel to the Bourne films, and there’s all kinds of awesome in it: probably the steeliest French guy ever in a hostage scene, a really gripping installment about a raid on an OPEC conference, and ultimately a very fascinating portrait of Carlos himself. He comes off here as someone desperate to gain approval and justification from everyone he can, even his victims, though even during his “idealistic” period he wasn’t much more than a self-aggrandizing thug either. I still have yet to watch the last installment, but I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far. I’d recommend checking it out. Miniseries are a substantial time commitment, but I’m generally a fan of the format, as not all ideas are cut out to be full-fledged TV series but warrant more time than just a single movie. And Carlos is one of the better ones I’ve seen.
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