Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Wish I Could Say "God Bless 'Em"

Courtesy of
Since 1990, organized labor has taken a half-billion dollars worth of workers' dues and has given it to national Democrats in the form of campaign contributions. In return, those national Democrats have aggressively pushed corporate-written trade pacts that undermine unions; worked with Republicans to defund uniformed unionized public employees;failed to use their 60 Senate votes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act;embraced school "reform" rhetoric crafted by corporate foundations that deliberately demonizes teachers unions; and refused to robustly support worker protests against the new GOP assault on collective bargaining -- despite explicit promises about putting on comfortable shoes and walking the picket line.......

In a letter to his membership Tuesday, the president of the International Association of Firefighters announced that a unanimous vote of the union's executive board had frozen all campaign contributions to all federal candidates. Citing both the "extremist" Republican agenda and the refusal of Democrats to "stand up and fight for us," Harold Schaitberger said the resources now denied to federal candidates would be spent in states, where local Democrats have been much more willing to defend the labor movement.
Good. That makes me VERY happy.

While we're on the subject, I have a gripe with Rachel Maddow. I understand that she is extremely interested in political gamesmanship, but it is starting to piss me off that when she points out how great of an opportunity the Democrats have right now she doesn't (always) immediately follow by calling for the Democrats to actually fucking do something to fix our problems.

A minor gripe. She's still the only pundit I watch regularly.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Think My Imperialist Has Been Showing

Let us all bask in the glory of Mr. Samuel Clemens while pondering the wisdom and justice of America's glorious and ongoing adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Somalia and Yemen and Colombia and the Philippines (among others).

Taken from "The War Prayer" by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain):

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister....

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention.


"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

It's definitely worth it to go read the entire thing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Feeling Like Floating (WI Sup Court Election Drama)

One of the questions that fascinates me the most is, "If you were insane, how could you discover that fact?"

The conservative incumbent running for the Supreme Court here in Wisconsin had lost the race in the original vote counting. A recount has been all but certain though since the margin between the two candidates was less than three-hundred votes.

Going into this election I was pessimistic about the chances that the republicans would play fair.

I never expected something like this though.


A stunning discovery of votes in Wisconsin could give the state's hotly contested Supreme Court race to the conservative incumbent in an election largely seen as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's explosive union rights law.

Adding another twist, the county clerk who said she incorrectly entered vote totals in the race has faced criticism before for her handling of elections and previously worked for a state GOP caucus when it was controlled by the candidate who stands to benefit from Thursday's revelation.

The corrected totals gave Justice David Prosser a 7,500-vote lead over little-known liberal assistant state attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg, according to unofficial tallies. Before the announcement, it was assumed the race was headed for a recount. The difference between the two had fluctuated throughout the day Thursday as counties began verifying votes, but at one point was as close as 11.

From the AP

Nickolaus was given immunity from prosecution in a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the Republican Assembly caucus where she worked as a data analyst and computer specialist. Prosser, who as speaker of the Assembly in 1995 and 1996 controlled the same caucus, was not part of the investigation. Nickolaus resigned from her state job in 2002 just before launching her county clerk campaign.


Nickolaus said she didn't notice an absence of votes because her figures showed a 42 percent voter turnout, which exceeded the 30 percent turnout the county typically sees in spring elections.

"That was an amazing amount of votes," she said. "So I had no reason to believe I was missing anything."


"There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions," Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement.

An audit of Nickolaus' handling of the 2010 election found that she needed to take steps to improve security and backup procedures, like stop sharing passwords. The audit was requested after the county's director of administration said Nickolaus had been uncooperative with attempts to have county experts review her systems and confirm backups were in place.

The best part: the immunity she was granted in 2002 was part of a corruption investigation into the Republican party officials illegally using their positions for campaigning.

My brain is exploding.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sorry about Paul Ryan.

No really! As a Wisconsinite I feel it is my duty to apologize to all of you for Paul Ryan.

I am so fucking sorry :'(

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Only Korans? - Part 3, unfortunately

[04/16/2012] - I feel like I've learned a lot since I wrote this, and it now no longer 100% represents my views on the subject; they aren't enraged because we burned some books.

"Worse than useless" is the most concise way I can think of to describe that bigot Terry Jones.

That's all I have to say about him.

In Afghanistan many people have now been murdered because of a Youtube video of a Koran being burned. I'm disgusted by the bigotry of the group that burned that Koran. I'm outraged that those people were murdered. There is nothing to justify what has happened, though there are certainly explanations. Understanding their outrage is not a reason to sanction their actions. Understanding the maliciousness of the original offense does not mean that any part of the retribution should be forgiven.

When I made the original post I titled it "Only Korans?" to imply that no so-called Holy Book should be safe from burning in an act of defiance. Now though I'd like to repurpose that title for its other meaning.

That book is merely a Koran.

To Hell with the accommodationists and strict-multiculturalists. Their wretched hypocrisy, essentially born out of pity for murderers and tyrants, is nauseating. I have no respect for you or your opinions if you can look at the events that have just occurred in Afghanistan and say, "See? This is why we must forbid insulting Islam."

Fuck it. I have nothing left to say.

I'll quote Madison-area band Erebus instead:

(From 'God Loves Us')
The bones of infidels
Of countless human souls
How could the world forget
The graveyard it’s built on
This earth is drenched with blood
In the name of God
Surely the work of the Lord Has been Done

Let us pray for the 3 million children a year,
That are destroyed by the holiest butcher
Let us pray for the billions of infidels
That were created,
So they can burn in hell

Has he the will but not the power?
Has he the power not the will?
Just fucking end it all

I’m blessed,
you’re blessed,
we’re fucking blessed
I’m saved,
you’re saved,
it’s fucking great

Grab mom and dad and grandma too
Cuz it’s true,
God loves me and you!
Why keep a prison
When we’ve got one here on earth
What can we expect at the gates?
When you’ve turned your back on us?
You wash your hands
And sit in judgment
Or are we just fuel
For the Flames

Let us pray to the god that has betrayed us all
Born a sinner, you will die nothing more
Pray to the tyrant, laughing on a throne of despair
Demanding all from a world too poor to give

We are controlled by guilt and fear
Gambling on a roll of the dice
What are you waiting for?

I’m blessed,
you’re blessed,
we’re fucking blessed
I’m saved,
you’re saved,
it’s fucking great

Grab mom and dad and grandma too
Cuz it’s true,
God loves me and you!
How much worse can it get?

I’m disgusted
I don’t want your paradise
Send me to hell