Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Fascist Syrian Government

Andrew Sullivan has the brutal post on the torture, genital mutilation and murder under arrest of a thirteen year-old boy by Syrian authorities, with the video of his corpse being returned to his parents. I don't even want to embed here. Too awful.

This Assad was supposedly the good-guy doctor trained in the West, not his brutal old man. Well, unless he's a puppet, he's still in charge, and he now deserves the meathook for his deeds.

On top of all the slaughter of protesting civilians, this boy, Hamza al-Khateeb, is now a cause. Stupid, evil dictators. I guess I haven't paid all that much attention due to my feelings about Syria in relation to Israel as well as its collaboration with the current Iranian regime. But these are the people speaking, Arab Spring, repressive edition.

Fascism means deputizing the most sadistic and base to strike terror into the populace. It never lasts forever, but it can be on so many lifetimes, taken.

The President of Yemen is reneging on his promise to step away as well, returning to death as his political tactic.

Hook 'em.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Smart Analysis

Lawrence O'Donnell does a great job of debunking the notion that former half-term Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin will run for the GOP 2012 Presidential nomination, while simultaneously eviscerating the news media for covering her like she is -- i.e., falling into her p.r. generating trap:

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As I've said before, there's a relatively new grifter class of Republican conservatives who are vying for shows and appearances on Fox News, at GOP and Tea Party-type events, churning out books and generally competing for the guaranteed Conservative Dollar. This means that Sarah Palin is actually rivals with Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and even, now, Mike Huckabee. (His declining to run in order to preserve his current income made that clear.) Fox News is built on narrowcasting to their rightwing viewership base, and the game for individuals is all about being outrageous enough in your pandering to prejudice and ideology to beat your comrades in conservatism to that audience's paycheck.

While I find them dismissible for other reasons, I do not put Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty or John Huntsman in the grifter category. They may pander, but they are still politicians rather than solely con artists. I'd even, for the moment, put Rick Santorum in the non-grifter category. (I would not, however, put him in the "intelligent" category.) Ron Paul is at a higher level altogether, because I don't see him lying or bending his positions to try and win any nominations. He's essentially as honest as Obama, if ideologically opposed.

As O'Donnell points out, the pity isn't that Palin et al are grifters or that her chump fans waste their cash on her.

It's that our national political media even pays attention.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just Funny

With Nightmare Sarah coming back to suck some air out of the room, it might just be better to laugh, absurdly:

PS: Good movies: Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, Hanna, 13 Assassins, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Double Hour, Fast Five (guilty pleasure).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wake of Ruins

America is finding extreme weather to be the new normal, but it's still devastating for the victims of monster Mother Nature:
Wednesday's storms followed a deadly outbreak Tuesday in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas that killed at least 15 people. The nation's deadliest single tornado since 1950 killed 125 on Sunday in the southwest Missouri city of Joplin.
Joplin seems hit the worst so far:

Standing in a wreckage-strewn park across from a hospital that is now only a concrete shell, the mayor pro tem, Melodee Colbert-Kean, said that officials understood the need to be careful about how fast they moved forward. In addition to the considerable logistical challenges, there are the emotional considerations imbued in the splintered lumber, crushed brick and strewn personal possessions — as well as the remains of the missing.

“To a lot of people, it’s just rubble,” she said. “But to a whole bunch more, it’s lives.”

That rubble was once assembled neatly into more than 5,000 buildings stretching through nearly a third of the city. Now it is where at least 125 people died, the most in a single tornado since modern record-keeping began in the United States in 1950. It is a rolling junkyard presided over by the jagged forms of denuded trees. The mess revealed a prosthetic leg, a college thesis, a live guinea pig, an empty wheelchair, a pocket watch, and a child’s doll.

Still, even residents of the hardest-hit area seemed to carry a gloomy resignation about what was surely ahead. “What else can you do but bulldoze it?” said Anna Kent, 54, as she wandered through rubble that once was a friend’s home in search of missing items. “They ought to draw a perimeter around all of it and take it all. What else can you do?”

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