Friday, October 31, 2003

Proving that there really is a website for everything: The World Beard and Moustache Championships.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Maureen Dowd compares Bush with Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf AKA Comical Ali - you know, the Iraqi Information Minster who amused us all by claiming there were no American military in Baghdad, even as American soliders practically waved to their mothers in the background.

The comparison's a good one: as things get worse and worse in Iraq, our President claims the ever-growing number of attacks and deaths are a result of our increasing success over there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

You can't kill a cat with pancuronium bromide in Tennessee, but you can kill a criminal. In his article Mark Essig explains that the drug paralyzes muscles, but not nerves, so if you're on the receiving end, you may be wide awake as you die painfully. Advocacy groups and medical experts want about 30 states all told to change the way they administer lethal injections, "thereby bringing euthanasia protocols for human in line with those of domestic animals." (The NYT has archived this article already.)

Essig goes on to make the larger point, though, that ever since we've used capital punishment in this country, various groups have tried to get rid of it by pointing out its cruelty. Instead of getting rid of it, though, the folks administering it have simply found new ways to kill people--more humanely--temporarily mollifying the anti-execution crowd until they can find a problem with the new method. That's how we've "progressed" from hangings, to the electric chair, to gassing, to lethal injections.

Now, Essig points out though, "Death penalty opponents are realizing that scientific execution methods, ceaselessly refined, simply mask the barbarity of killing."

Coulter Reasonably Considered Insane

In an Elle article we find more evidence supporting the theory that Anne Coulter actually is insane.

Just one quote:

“Conservatives believe that man is made in God's image, and liberals think that they are God! Liberals want to create heaven on earth! They want to redistribute income, abort babies when they're unwanted, effect the 'perfect' racial balances they desire through the government and the law—and this is why the inevitable logic of their position is not to care about America! They don't consider themselves Americans! They're gods, part of a universal state!”

A typically bizarre and indefensible denunciation.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Bill Bennett's Boorish Bullshit

The New Republic's Andrew Sullivan lovingly deconstructs William Bennett's recent inane op-ed from the LA Times, in which he declares, "What Nature Joins Let No Gays Put Asunder." Ugh, even Bennett's title doesn't make sense. Sociology clearly has much more to do with marriage than nature.

Basically, Bennett's piece is another conservative anti-gay diatribe under the guise of a defense of marriage. In Sullivan's piece he dissects the stupidity paragraph by paragraph.

Why's a big bear of a man like Bennett so afraid of how two consenting adults decide they want to set up their household?

Why are such intellectual simpletons in positions of power in this country?

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Conservative Labels Homosexuality a Deformity

In the news forum of the conservative I decided to question the apparently unchallenged belief there that the Pope deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. The site recently reprinted David Brook's article on why the Pope didn't win this year there.

At one point after I argued that being gay was neither a sickness, nor a choice, "per loin" responded that "It's a deformity. I class your championing of that deformity with those in 'the deaf community' who campaign against medical research to cure deafness on the ground that such research could cause the shrinkage or even disappearance of the deaf community."

So I responded with the following:

"If homosexuality is a deformity, why do you feel such contempt for gays? Do you hate the deaf and the blind?

"If homosexuality is a deformity, what is it about this deformity that prevents gays from enjoying their lives? (Nothing I can think of except perhaps for external forces beyond their control: e.g bigotry.)

"If homosexuality is a deformity, why don't gays want to be healed? Perhaps because they feel right about themselves and believe they can live their lives quite happily without having to be straightened out to be like the rest of us.

"If homosexuality is a deformity, why are you so afraid of it?

"Being gay isn't a deformity, my friend. It's a joyful experience for many people and you should either learn to acknowledge that or ingore that which doesn't appeal to your tastes and move on.

"Hatred towards gays is a human rights issue. And trying to change people who are enjoying their lives to suit your (mistaken) personal beliefs is a human rights issue, too."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Ever heard of focus groups?

According to the Toronto Sun Buick has had to change the name of it's new sedan to sell it in Canada since in Quebec it refers to, well, self-excitation, you might say. The vehicle was to be called the LaCrosse, which sounds innocent enough, ay?

You might've heard talk of this new report, Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness from the President's Council on Bioethics. It was discussed at length on NPR today. There's a lot of talk on the potential effects of a greatly aged populus upon society, for example, and the ethics of choosing your children's gender. Fascinating stuff and you can download the entire 342 page report.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Cut 'n paste real stuff Dubya said to craft your own Bush speech. Have him say the stuff you know he really wants to say.

Michael Moore explains in some detail how, yes, he really did come out of that bank in Michigan with a free gun for opening a Certificate of Deposit account. He even references the ad the bank ran which caught his attention. Appararently, some folks have taken to saying he made that and other stories in Bowling for Columbine up. If you watched Bowling, you'll enjoy reading this piece in which he defends various passages of his award-winning documentary in great detail.

Thanks to Adam Greenfield for reminding me that information architecture can be a meaningful endeavor.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Shoulda pointed this out a coupla weeks ago:

David Brooks recently wrote this article for the NYT which makes the dubious claim (facetiously, I guess) that the reason the Pope wasn't given the Nobel Peace Prize is because he's "too big and complex for their award."

No, sir. I'm guessing it's much more to do with his open hostility towards homosexuals. Earlier this year, he couldn't resist the urge to come out and advise people of another church not to ordain gay men.

Brooks goes on to say, "The pope has tried to defend the dignity of personhood in all spheres, and this has meant that he does not conform to ordinary political categories."

All spheres, huh? No, that's just not true. Did you know that the Pope has met with Yassir Arafat (who also ironically is a Nobel recipient), but he refuses to meet with gay Catholic leaders? Any religious leader who treats gays like 2nd-class citizens, shouldn't pretend to defend the dignity of all people. That makes him a hypocrite.

I hope a man so openly hostile to the gay community never wins the Nobel Peace Prize. He simply doesn't deserve it.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Filter Tips By Michael Kinsley - Wherein Kinsley details Bush bragging about his ignorance - that is, his steadfast determination not to be educated by the newspapers but to trust his objective sources: e.g. Conaleeza Rice and Andrew Card. Makes you glad to know we're in good hands, doesn't it, folks?