Monthly Archives: March 2009

Towering tackiness and stupidity

In this June 28, 2006 artist's rendering made by dbox inc. and ...

Associated Press photo

An artist’s 2006 depiction of the tower that is to replace the World Trade Center in New York City. Originally dubbed the “Freedom Tower” by then-Gov. George Pataki, a Repugnican, in 2003 — the year that the Repugnicans also brought us freedom fries” (and yes, even freedom toast”) — smarter heads since have prevailed and have decided to officially and much less tackily call the tower One World Trade Center instead of the “Freedom Tower.”

“Patriotic” fucktards are all agog that the replacement building for the World Trade Center, slated for completion in 2013, won’t be called the “Freedom Tower” but instead will be called One World Trade Center.  

You know, maybe the reason that “Freedom Tower” was scrapped, at least in part, is that it’s too reminiscent of the Repugnicans’ incredibly cheesy post-9/11 creation of such things as “freedom fries,” which were meant to pettily replace French fries after France refused to rubber-stamp the unelected Bush regime’s bogus Vietraq War — an issue on which history already has vindicated France, of course.

The reason that the wingnuts bandy about the word “freedom” so much, of course, is that they don’t value it at all.

Well, let me clarify: they value it for themselves. Just not for anyone who isn’t in lockstep with them. There is to be freedom for those AmeriNazis who march together in lockstep, but “shock and awe” (and torture and illegal incarceration, etc.) for everyone else — even if it wasn’t your nation that attacked our nation on Sept. 11, 2001 (or had anything to do with it all).

It’s a lot like how the “Christians” who actually follow Jesus Christ’s actual teachings the least scream the loudest and the most frequently about what great fucking Christians they are.

From top to bottom, the “Freedom Tower” — no matter what we call it — was and still is a bad fucking idea.

It is meant to be a gargantuan middle finger extending into the Manhattan skyline; it is just an invitation for someone who’s not on board with the wingnuts’ Orwellian conception and practice of “freedom” to come and try to knock it down, too.

No one occupying the “Freedom Tower” will be completely safe — ever. (I’m not alone in that assessment; Reuters notes that “the tower, which will be New York’s tallest building, has been beset by delays and its developer has struggled to attract tenants, due partly to fears it could be targeted for another attack.”)

From the fact that it’s incredibly dangerous to rebuild the World Trade Center — the site of the fallen WTC should be left as a memorial and that’s it — to the incredibly cheesy details of the Skyscraper Formerly Known as the “Freedom Tower” (the resurrected WTC is to be 1,776 feet tall — isn’t that clever?), the whole concept of the “Freedom Tower” has been a mistake from day one.

If the United States must have a tacky “Freedom Tower,” let’s at least locate it in a tacky red state (that’s pretty much redundant) instead of in the great blue state of New York.

Is there real estate next to Jesusland? It could be one-stop vacationing for the rednecks, who love both “freedom” and Jesus (the Jesus who hates fags and Muslims and Democrats and non-whites and non-Americans and many, many others, of course).

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It’s not kiddie porn when the kids do it

Suddenly, “sexting” is our nation’s largest “criminal” problem. No, better to go after the corrupt judges and the other white-collar criminals who are bankrupting our nation morally as well as financially and leave the kids the fuck alone.

So there is a trend now of charging minors with kiddie porn crimes when they post to the Internet or otherwise electronically post or exchange sexually explicit images of themselves (“sexting,” this is called).

This is bullshit.

Kiddie-porn laws were meant to protect minors from predatory adultsnot to prosecute kids who engage in sexually oriented behavior with other kids.

When I was a kid (I am 41, a member of Gen X), things like “playing doctor” were considered a normal part of growing up.

Today, overzealous assbites in the “criminal” “justice” system want to prosecute minors for behavior that used to be considered a normal part of growing up.

Gee, maybe it’s because we have a “criminal” “justice” industry that, just like the military industrial complex, has gotten waaaaay out of control.

Think I’m full of shit?

A 14-year-old girl in New Jersey has been charged with the possession of and the distribution of child porn for having posted to MySpace sexually explicit images of herself. A conviction could mean that she is branded a sex offender for life.

There’s big money in convicting minors of crimes — two corrupt judges in Pennsylvania recently pleaded guilty for having taken $2.6 million in payoffs to sentence juveniles to the private juvenile detention centers that were giving them their payola. (These privately owned detention centers should be shut down as soon as possible and those who bribed the judges need to be imprisoned for their felonious behavior, and detention centers should not be privatized — but that’s another blog post for another time.)

When I used to work at the California Youth Authority, processing paperwork for incoming youthful inmates, I saw many inmates (“wards,” they euphemistically were called) whose intake files indicated that they were being locked up for sexual behavior with other minors that, in my day, would have been considered rather normal sex play between or among minors.

It’s not about justice anymore (if it ever was about justice); now, it’s about making big money by locking up people (even minors), with even judges being on the take. (Really, what have the baby boomers who run the nation touched that they haven’t corrupted?)

I admire these teenagers who are fighting back against a “criminal” “justice” system that is out of fucking control (from The Associated Press):

Scranton, Pa. – One of three teens suing a Pennsylvania prosecutor says she does not want to be bullied by the district attorney, who threatened to charge the girls over racy cell-phone pictures.

Fifteen-year-old Marissa Miller said after a federal court hearing [yesterday] that she did nothing wrong when a friend took a picture of her and another girl in their bras.

Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick has threatened to file child pornography or open lewdness charges against the two girls unless they participate in an after-school program.

A girl photographed topless in a separate setting is also suing. The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a temporary restraining order on their behalf.

The judge has not ruled on the request. Skumanick says he won’t take action until after the ruling.

Gee, is the district attorney getting payola from privately owned after-school programs? You have to wonder, don’t you? (And, as a feminist columnist points out, an image of a young woman in a bra constitutes child porn? What about young women’s clothing catalogs? Those are now kiddie-porn magazines?)

If I were the parent of a teen, no, I would not be thrilled if he or she posted sexually explicit images of him- or herself to the Internet or otherwise exchanged such images electronically.

However, if I were a parent of a minor who was charged criminally or threatened with criminal charges for such behavior, I would be absofuckinglutely livid.

Child-porn and sex-with-minors laws were (and are) meant to protect minors from predatory adults.

Just because the worthless baby boomers are in charge of the nation and the boomers didn’t have certain technology when they were teens doesn’t mean that the sexual behavior of today’s teens is any worse than was the sexual behavior of the boomers when they were teens.

People who are ignorant of today’s technology get blinded by their technological ignorance and are unable and/or unwilling to see the underlying principles. The technology that they don’t understand renders them utterly unable to reason (not that their faculty of reason ever was sound in the first place).

The boomers would have been into “sexting” too had the technology been available to them. Duh.

And those (mostly baby boomers, very apparently) who illegally profit from abusing the “criminal” “justice” system — such as the corrupt baby-boomer judges (gee, that sounds redundant) in Pennsylvania who made millions — need to experience the “criminal” “justice” system themselves. They need to spend many years inside of  a prison cell (a prison cell that is not privately owned).

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We liberals need to stop resting on our laurels and start slaying the vampires

 Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative ManifestoLiberty versus the Tyranny of Socialism: Controversial Essays

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of MeaningGuilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America

These wingnutty titles, for which trees actually died, are typical of’s top 100 best-selling books list right now.

So I was perusing’s top 100 best-selling book titles just now, and among the top 100 are these lovely wingnutty titles:

  • Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
  • Liberty Versus the Tyranny of Socialism: Controversial Essays (gee, the wingnuts just can’t get enough of that “tyranny” thing; funny, for some reason it wasn’t tyranny when Repugnican George W. Bush stole the White House in late 2000, but it’s “tyranny” when the majority of American voters actually do elect a Democratic — er, I mean, “Socialist” — president)
  • Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America (this is by the same wingnut dipshit author of Liberty and Tyranny, so his argument probably is not that the Supreme Court destroyed the United States of America by having appointed G.W. Bush as president in late 2000)
  • A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media (of course, it was perfectly fine with the wingnuts when the mainstream media just rolled over and played dead when the Repugnican-dominated Supreme Court, not the majority of American voters, elected Bush in 2000, and it was perfectly fine with the wingnuts when the mainstream media were nothing but fucking cheerleaders for the unelected Bush regime’s bogus Vietraq War in early 2003 [“shock and awe” makes great television!])
  • Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (replete with a cute little picture of a smiley face with a Hitler ‘stache, comparing liberals to Adolf Hitler; nice!)
  • Atlas Shrugged (the dead Ayn Rand’s ancient wingnutty novel that apparently is like Dungeons & Dragons to conservative geeks; Rand also wrote a nonfiction tome lovingly titled The Virtue of Selfishness*)
  • The American Patriot’s Almanac: Daily Readings on America, by wingnut William Bennett (wingnuts almost always wrap their toxic ideology in such nice sheepskin as “patriotism” and “liberty”)
  • Ann Cunter’s latest drivel (does it even matter what the title of it is?)
  • Bill O’Reilly’s latest drivel (ditto)
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms, by wingnut dingbat “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger (hey, if a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mom, that’s fine by me, as I support a woman’s right to choose, but why do I have the sinking feeling that Schlessinger’s stance is that a woman should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?)

While it’s a virtual wingnut extravaganza on’s top 100 best-selling books list, there is a dearth of liberal titles on the list, which makes me suspect that we libbies are resting on our laurels now that centrist Barack Obama is in the White House.

My fellow libbies, let me remind you that the wingnuts are like Freddy or Jason: They have a tendency to come back.

The ideological war continues; there is no hiatus just because we finally have an actually democratically elected president in the White House who is a Democrat.

Just like Team Bush hijacked the White House in late 2000, the wingnuts have hijacked such terms as “liberty,” “freedom” and “patriotism” — while calling their opponents (who would be us, the majority of Americans, who voted for Barack Obama in November 2008) “tyrants” and “fascists” and “traitors” and the like.

We need to put an end to this shit now — and not allow Freddy or Jason to return from the dead.

Speaking of the undead, I also noted that’s top 100, curiously, is chock full o’ vampire titles.

Hmmm… Conservatism, vampirism… Same thing

We liberals need to get off of our laurels and finish the job of driving that stake through the heart of the vampire that is called conservatism.

(Maybe we can start with the queen of the damned wingnuts, Ann Cunter…)

*Library Journal says this of The Virtue of Selfishness:

…[A] good essayist with a flair for the dramatic turn of phrase, [Rand] wasted her obvious writing skills in an effort to support outlandish personal opinions cloaked in the guise of logic. An absolutist thinker, she devotes one whole essay to an effort to persuade us that we really should see things as black and white, with no shades of gray.

Born in Soviet Russia, Rand so despised socialism and collectivist thinking that she leapt to the furthest extreme possible to become the champion of unbridled capitalism, the rights of the individual at the expense of the community, and the diminution of all regulation by the state, with the exception of a judicial system and the control of crime.

Among the sadly dated ideas she conveys are the attitude that homosexuals are mutant symptoms of a sick society and the belief that anyone with an interest in internationalism is a “one world” proponent.

To use one of her own favored words, Rand’s political and social philosophy is critically “muddled.” … 

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Sick Israeli T-shirt ‘jokes’ about killing pregnant Palestinians and their unborn

In this photo taken March 16, 2009, an Israeli model poses with ...

Associated Press photo

Israeli soldiers have worn this T-shirt depicting a pregnant, presumably Palestinian woman and her unborn in the cross-hairs of a rifle. (According to The Associated Press, the Hebrew on the T-shirt reads “Sniper platoon.”) Because the Israelis are so morally superior, you know.

I’ve noted before that the Zionists are so quick to remind all of us of the Holocaust at every opportunity yet think that it’s perfectly OK to regard Palestinians and other Arabs as animals — just as the Nazis regarded the Jews during the Holocaust.

But this takes the cake (from The Associated Press today):

Jerusalem – Israel’s military condemned soldiers for wearing T-shirts of a pregnant woman in a rifle’s cross-hairs with the slogan “1 Shot 2 Kills,” and another of a gun-toting child with the words, “The smaller they are, the harder it is.”

The T-shirts were worn by some Israeli Defense Force soldiers to mark the end of basic training and other military courses, the newspaper Haaretz said.

The appearance of the T-shirts followed allegations of misconduct by Israeli troops during the three-week Gaza war. Palestinian officials say about 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis died, three of them civilians.

The army said it would not tolerate the T-shirts and would take disciplinary action against the soldiers involved, although it was not clear how many wore the shirts or how widely they were distributed.

The military sought to portray the T-shirts as “tasteless” humor and condemned the soldiers involved, saying in a statement that the shirts “are not in accordance with IDF values.”

They were not manufactured or sanctioned by the military.

The shirts’ existence was first reported Friday by Haaretz and later on broadcasts by Israeli radio and television.

Haaretz showed pictures of five shirts and said they were made at the unit level — indicating that they were made for small numbers of troops, perhaps several dozen at a time. It said they were worn by an unknown number of enlisted men in different units. The Tel Aviv factory that made many of the shirts, Adiv, refused to comment.

Few in the Palestinian territories appeared to be aware of the T-shirts. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it “reflects the brutal mentality among the Zionist soldiers and the Zionist society.”

Hamas-controlled media consistently glorify attacks on Israelis, and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers frequently use anti-Semitic images of Jews as hook-nosed, black-hatted characters.

Hamas also mocked Israeli suffering, staging a play about its capture of an Israeli soldier in which it makes fun of the serviceman crying for his mother and father.

Israel’s military has come under increasing scrutiny after soldiers alleged that some troops opened fire hastily and killed Palestinian civilians during the Gaza war, including children, possibly because they believed they would not be held accountable under relaxed open-fire regulations. The military has ordered a criminal inquiry into soldiers’ accounts published in a military institute’s newsletter….

The Gaza offensive, launched to end years of rocket fire at Israeli towns, ended Jan. 18.

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fire rockets from heavily populated areas, and Israel says Hamas is to blame for the civilian deaths because it leaves the military no choice but to attack them there.

United Nations human rights experts said [today] that Israeli soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian as a human shield during the Gaza offensive. The military ordered the boy on Jan. 15 to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in a Gaza neighborhood and enter buildings before them, said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general’s envoy for protecting children in armed conflict.

Israeli army spokesman Capt. Elie Isaacson denied the military used human shields, saying “morals and high ethical standards are paramount” in the army.

Uzi Dayan, a former Israeli deputy chief of staff, said he was “shocked but not surprised” by the T-shirts.

“I spent many years in the army and I know that if you don’t pay attention all the time, these things can happen. These are very young people in a combat situation, so you need to have a finger on the pulse,” he said.

You can’t make the “few bad apples” argument on this one. The Israeli soldiers don’t exist in a vacuum but are the product of their environment.

Americans should know what is being done by Israel, since Middle Easterners equate Israel with the United States, which keeps Israel afloat.


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Hypocrisy, thy name is Repugnican

So Repugnicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for having made some professional basketball picks and for having planned to appear on Jay Leno’s show tonight.

After all, shouldn’t Obama perpetually be miserable, knee deep in the shit that Repugnican “President” George W. Bush left behind for him?

No, Obama should find time to enjoy himself now and then.

George W. Bush certainly did. It was during one of his many vacations at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, that Bush received the Aug. 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

Bush was on vacation and just couldn’t be bothered to do anything about the worst terrorist attack upon mainland American soil that would take place the following month.

According to this source, more than a year before his first term was over, Bush already had taken more vacation days than President Bill Clinton took during both of his terms in the White House. (The least-vacationing modern president, according to this source? The much-maligned Jimmy Carter.)

So yeah, I think that we can allow President Obama to enjoy himself from time to time. And that the Repugnicans, who never criticized Bush for his many vacations, can go fuck themselves.

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U.S. getting closer to being civilized(?)

So yesterday the administration of President Barack Obama decided to bring the United States closer to being back into the fold with the other truly civilized nations by signing on to the United Nations’ decriminalization of homosexuality.

Reports AFP:

The United States [yesterday] announced its support for a United Nations declaration decriminalizing homosexuality, a move that had been rejected by former president George W. Bush [in December].

Washington will join 66 countries, including all the members of European Union, in backing the measure put forth by France in December, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.

“The United States supports the UN’s statements on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world,” Wood told reporters.

“As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora,” he added.

But Wood stressed that U.S. support for the measure did not have legal consequences in the United States, an argument against the declaration made by the Bush administration.

“Supporting this statement commits us to no legal obligations,” he said.

The appeal is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article One that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

It reaffirms “that everyone is entitled to the enjoyment of human rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Homosexuality is punishable by death in seven countries — Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Vatican considers the declaration a legitimate effort to stop the crackdown on homosexuality. But it worries that condemning anti-gay discrimination and biases will favor gay marriage, gay adoption or artificial insemination.

So those so-called Americans who oppose the United Nations’ declaration that homosexuality must be decriminalized (in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) are in the same league with the fundamentalist Islamic (i.e., “Islamofascist”) nations, such as Iran, in which it’s OK to execute gay men and lesbians. (You can judge people by the company that they keep…)

Fact is, the Repugnicans and other assorted wingnuts just like to have at least one historically oppressed minority group to be able to kick around. It’s not so easy to kick around black people anymore, so the reason that the unelected Bush regime had opposed the United Nations’ declaration in December was to keep gay men’s and lesbians’ faces pressed firmly in the dirt.

However, the assertion by even the Obama administration that the United States of America should sign on to the UN declaration but that it doesn’t actually have to carry it out — such as by rescinding the unconstitutional, anti-human-rights “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the U.S. military — demonstrates that the United States still has a long ways to go before it truly is in league with the truly civilized nations around the word.

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Election of President Barack Obama is no excuse to kill the Voting Rights Act

Even as they push out their first black party chairman, the Repugnicans are claiming that the election of Barack Obama as president in November is proof that there no longer is any such thing as racism in the United States of America.

Reports the Los Angeles Times:

The election of Barack Obama as president has been hailed as a crowning achievement of America’s civil rights movement, the triumph of a black candidate in a nation with a history of slavery and segregation.

But in a twist, Obama’s success has emerged as a central argument from conservatives who say his victory proves that some of the nation’s most protective civil rights laws can be erased from the books.

Conservative legal foundations and the Republican governor of Georgia, challenging key parts of the Voting Rights Act, filed briefs in the Supreme Court this month pointing to racial progress and a high black turnout in the fall election. They said Obama’s victory heralded the emergence of a colorblind society in which special legal safeguards for minorities are no longer required.

“The America that has elected Barack Obama as its first African American president is far different than when [the Voting Rights Act] was first enacted in 1965,” argued Texas lawyer Gregory S. Coleman, whose client, a utility board in Austin, is challenging parts of the law….

The Texas case to be heard next month will decide whether certain states and localities, mostly in the South, must continue to obtain Justice Department approval before changing voting districts, polling locations or other election procedures. The requirement is viewed as something of a badge of dishonor in the South.

By invoking Obama, conservatives are in effect asking the justices to issue not only a legal decree about the fate of one law, but also to weigh in on emotionally charged questions about American society: Does the election of a black president mean that racism is no longer a factor in American politics? And are civil rights laws outdated in the age of Obama?

Conservatives said they planned to apply the Obama argument in the court of public opinion as well. It could play a role, for example, in potential ballot initiatives in 2010 in Arizona and Missouri seeking to roll back affirmative action laws.

“We will say, ‘How do you account for the election of Barack Obama?’ ” said Ward Connerly, a leading anti-affirmative-action activist [who himself is black]. “If we can’t get rid of these laws now with Obama, I don’t know what yardstick we’re going to use.”

Civil rights advocates bristle at the assertion that Obama’s victory signals it is time to dismantle the Voting Rights Act and other laws.

“It’s an overly simplistic argument that doesn’t reflect the facts,” said Jon M. Greenbaum of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

He and others pointed to state-by-state voting data from 2008, presented to the Supreme Court, showing persistent racial polarization in the Deep South and elsewhere. In Alabama and Mississippi, for example, Obama won only about 1/10th of the white vote — less than his party’s white nominee in 2004, Sen. John F. Kerry, who waged a far weaker campaign than Obama. Kerry won 19% of the white vote in Alabama and 14% in Mississippi.

The gap was even bigger in Louisiana, where Obama won 14% of the white vote, down from Kerry’s 24%.

“How can [conservatives] make this case, when the effete Massachusetts liberal with a rich foreign wife who loves windsurfing and spandex got more white votes in Mississippi — in much less negative economic circumstances — than a highly popular candidate who was as hot as can be?” asked David Bositis, an expert on racial voting patterns at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Overall, Obama won just one in four white votes in the areas covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is the provision being challenged in the Texas case, while he took nearly half of the white vote nationally….

The 15th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, says the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied … by any state on account of race.” Yet blacks were largely denied the right to vote in the South for another century. County registrars controlled the voter rolls, and they used various schemes, including literacy tests and poll taxes, to prevent blacks from registering….

Obama and his administration reject the conservatives’ arguments.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., who is black, vowed in Selma last week to protect the voting rights law, which he said was “under attack.” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said that even as Obama acknowledges “tremendous progress” since the Voting Rights Act was enacted, “he does not presume that his election or those advancements have wiped out the need for laws that protect the voting rights of all Americans.”

Federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act is most important in small towns and rural counties across the South, said Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project in Atlanta. The law requires changes in election districts and procedures to be cleared in advance by the Justice Department….

Congress voted in 2006 to extend the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the Texas challengers who say the law is no longer needed.

Asked what would happen if the provision was rolled back, Nathaniel Persily, a Columbia University law professor who compiled voter data in a court brief, said: “It’s like removing the police presence from what had been a high-crime area. You don’t know what would happen.”

If racism really is a thing of the past (and it is not, of course), then why are the Repugnicans so adamant that the Voting Rights Act be killed? If the act is superfluous, then it’s superfluous, and no harm is done, but the only reason to want to kill the act is so that it no longer has to be followed.

That Obama won the vote of only one in four white voters covered by the Voting Rights Act — that speaks volumes, I think.

Further, as I have written before, the mixed-race Obama is half-white and half-black and is not the descendant of black American slaves (his father was from Kenya). As even Vice President Joseph Biden once infamously indicated, Obama acts like a white guy. No “angry” black man like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson — both fully black descendants of black American slaves — would have been elected president in November.

And Obama was boosted greatly by the fact that George W. Bush was the worst “president” in at least recent American history (the last four decades or so, or at least since Repugnican Richard Nixon). Bush never legitimately was elected, he started the bogus Vietraq War, and he plunged the national economy into the ground, leaving his successor a record federal budget deficit, just like his daddy did.

In short, Bush’s stunning failures as “president” in large part, I think, made the much more presidential Obama’s mixed-race heritage a non-issue in a good number of American voters’ minds.

The Voting Rights Act should stand.

Obama’s election is no “proof” that racism is a thing of the past.

Obama believes so himself.

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‘Watchmen’ is barely worth watching

A computer-animated Billy Crudup, as Dr. Manhattan, replicates himself in a still from “Watchmen.” (What’s below the good doctor’s waistline is even more impressive…)

I love ensemble super-hero movies. The X-Men movies are my favorite, but I enjoyed the Fantasic Four and the Hellboy movies, too.

“Watchmen,” however, disappoints.

I can get over (maybe “get into” is more accurate) the alternate universe of “Watchmen,” in which the United States won the Vietnam War and in which Richard Nixon, because presidential term limits were abolished, is still president in 1985, and in which the Cold War is at its height, with nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union looming large.

But the mixture of super-heroes in “Watchmen” doesn’t make sense.

In “Watchmen” you have (in no certain order) the Joker and/or Scarecrow-like Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), who is psychopathically violent but who is on the side of the good guys; Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), who is a likeable-enough but rather weak Batman knock-off; the cigar-chomping, murderous Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who belongs behind bars instead of out on the streets; Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), whose powers (if he really has any) are not fully explained (and is he gay or what?); and Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), whose powers are so great that he not only doesn’t belong in the same room with the other “Watchmen,” but he doesn’t even belong on the same planet with them — and, in fact, in “Watchmen” he spends a good deal of time on Mars (no kidding).

Then there is Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), whose powers probably are the least of everyone’s (she has great martial arts skills and wears a tight yellow and black super-hero suit that is somewhat reminiscent of Uma Thurman’s outfit in “Kill Bill,” but that’s about it), yet she is paired romantically with Dr. Manhattan, whose powers exceed those of even Superman; the good doctor can bilocate (well, poly-locate), make himself as large or small as he pleases, blow things (including people) up with his mind and otherwise manipulate matter with ease, reassamble himself after he has been disassembled, and teleport himself and others (yes, even to the planet Mars).

This mixing and matching of super-heroes with such disparities in their abilities doesn’t really work and makes “Watchmen” a rather convoluted mess.

“Watchmen” has its moments, to be sure, but overall, even Dr. Manhattan, with all of his super-powers, can’t keep the crazy quilt of a movie together.

And director Zack Snyder, who brought us the awful “300,” needs therapy. (Maybe Mel Gibson can be his roommate in the rehab that they both seem to need, since their directorial tastes seem to be so similar.) Gratuitous violence in “Watchmen” includes the unnecessary severing of a thug’s arms with a power saw and a scene in which dogs fight over the remains of a murdered little girl. Ewwwww! (The “real” story of the assassination of JFK, however, while probably unnecessarily graphic, is fairly inventive, however.)

And Snyder apparently felt the need to make the vast majority of us males feel woefully inadequate by endowing Dr. Manhattan with a large flaccid phallus.

The average human’s penis is only about three inches when flaccid, but the blue-hued bald and buff Dr. Manhattan, who struts around nude in most of “Watchmen,” sports what appears to be at least four to five — hell, maybe even six — inches. Flaccid. (And remember, he can make himself as large as he wants to! We’re talking rather unlimited actual penis size!)

And we don’t get just glimpses of Dr. Manhattan’s big blue thing; we really get to know it.

My guess is that Snyder, who seems to have almost as much of an obsession with the male body that I and other gay men do, was disappointed that he apparently couldn’t show us dick in “300,” and so he made up for it with Dr. Mahattan in “Watchmen.”  

(While Billy Crudup probably would love to claim that Dr. Manhattan’s big blue penis is modeled after his own manparts, Dr. Manhattan’s penis appears to be entirely computer generated, and I’m sure that plenty of homegrown computer-animated porn featuring Dr. Manhattan will crop up on the Internet if it hasn’t already. [I know that I’ll be searching for it…]) 

I guess that we can expect more gory and homoerotic testosterone flicks from Snyder, since “300” and “Watchmen” have done so well at the box office.

It’s just too bad that “Watchmen” wasn’t put in the hands of a more capable director.

Snyder didn’t even make good use of the underrated talent of Billy Crudup, who in most of “Watchmen” is computer generated. Even though I never mind seeing a large weenis on the screen, even a blue, computer-animated one, I very much would like to have seen more of the actual Crudup in “Watchmen.”

My grade: B- 


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The birth of top Repug Michael Steele is an argument AGAINST abortion?

In this Friday, Jan. 30, 2009 picture, former Maryland Lt. Gov. ...

Associated Press photo

Repugnican former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, pictured on Jan. 30, when he was named to head the Repugnican National Committee, is in hot water again. First, he bucked Grand Dragon Rush Limbaugh; now, in an interview with GQ magazine, he appears to have bucked the Repugnican Party’s stance on abortion. Repugnican president wannabe Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas — whose former presidential campaign manager had vied for Steele’s job by distributing a CD including the song “Barack the Magic Negro” — has voiced his opinion that abortion rights violate the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of  happiness” guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. Of course, Repugnicans routinely deny the same “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to gay men and lesbians and other historically oppressed minority groups without a second thought.  

Repugnican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele — the first black RNC chairman who, the rumor mill has it, already is in danger of being booted from his post for not being Rush Limbaugh-y enough — uses his own birth as an “argument” against abortion.

Steele, under fire from Repugnicans and anti-abortion nuts for apparently having made statements to GQ magazine that suggest that he has a permissive stance on abortion, issued this official statement on his abortion stance:

I am pro-life; always have been, always will be. I tried to present [to GQ magazine] why I am pro-life while recognizing that my mother had a “choice” [WTF with the quotation marks?] before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life.

The strength of the pro-life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did.

In my view, Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed.

I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue. But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life.

I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.

Hmmm. The Repugnicans started the senseless war in Iraq that has resulted in thousands and thousands of wholly unnecessary deaths. (Well, OK, those deaths were necessary for the war profits of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.)

And the Repugnican Party labels any real effort to help our nation’s children and others as “socialism.” Health care? Socialism! Education? Socialism! Environmental protection? Socialism!

But the Repugnican Party — which denies global warming, which, if unaddressed, threatens all life on the planet (addressing global warming, of course, equals socialism!) — deems itself “the party of life.”

Poverty in the United States increased every single fucking year that George W. Bush was “president.” (Poverty had been declining every year that Bill Clinton was president.)

Poverty kills. Is being pro-poverty being “pro-life”?

You know, the stance against abortion isn’t about the children.

The stance against abortion is about the continued domination of women by stupid white men.

Control his or her reproductive organs — be it being anti-choice or being anti-gay — and you control the person, no?

My stance on abortion is simple: While it’s unfortunate that a woman should conceive when she does not wish to carry a baby to term, I cannot see how I, a man, or how any other human being, could dictate to her what she may or may not do with her own fucking body. Roe vs. Wade seems reasonable to me as to how long a woman may wait until she has an abortion.

What about that “freedom” thing that the Repugnicans can’t shut the fuck up about?

A woman cannot have control over her own uterus but she can still have “freedom”?

The issue of abortion was decided for the nation — correctly — in Roe vs. Wade.

Gee, what other U.S. Supreme Court decisions would the Repugnicans like to overturn?

Perhaps we can segregate the public schools again and outlaw mixed-race marriage and start to police what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes!

Oh, yeah, the Repugnican Party not only is the “party of life,” but it’s the party of the future!

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Shoe-tossing Iraqi should go free

Nephews and a niece of Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who ...

A brother of Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw his ...

Reuters photos

Above: Relatives of the Iraqi journalist who was sentenced to prison for having shown his shoes at then-U.S. “President” George W. Bush — in protest of the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq — protest before and after his sentence by the puppet government in Baghdad today. Below: A video grab of Bush ducking one of the Iraqi journalist’s shoes at a press conference with the leader of Iraq’s puppet government, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad in December. The Associated Press reports that a poll released today “found that 62 percent of Iraqis surveyed considered [the shoe-tossing journalist] a hero and only 24 percent considered him a criminal.”

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to block US President ...

AFP photo

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the 30-year-old Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then-U.S. “President” George W. Bush in protest during a press conference in Baghdad in December, has been sentenced to three years in prison by an Iraqi court for his defiant act of footwear hurling.

He should be set free.

George W. Bush is responsible for the wholly unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and more than 4,250 members of the American military as the result of his unelected regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, yet not only does Bush remain free — and he very most likely won’t spend as much as a single fucking day in jail — but American taxpayers will finance his fucking retirement.

There is no fucking justice in a world in which a man who throws his shoes at some murderous dictator (and misses!) spends three years in prison, but the murderous dictator remains at large.

The United States of America has no fucking grounds upon which to lecture any other nation on the topic of justice until and unless traitor and war criminal George W. Bush and his fellow treasonous war criminals are brought to justice.

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