Archive for February, 2007

To the fucks who broke into my car this afternoon:

Feb 28, 2007 in Uncategorized, WTF?

Get a job.

-mg

George Will’s New Whopper

Feb 28, 2007 in Uncategorized

Lilly-white Will is worried that corporations will have their free-speech rights infringed upon if union organizers are able to hold simple yes/no ballots.  With their voices curtailed, how can the corporate voice be heard over the din of the mighty union machine?  It’s a preposterous claim rationalized with equally baffling logic.

-mg 

Global warming hijinks!

Feb 27, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Global warming

The global warming debate here has sparked an avalanche of fun. Not only did we have a minor comment skirmish in my last post (11 comments is hectic traffic here in these parts!), but I went and took it straight to DJ Brian Pickrell in two comment threads on his blog. Not only that, but he has posted a flurry of global warming posts with more junkity junk science goofball claptrap than one can keep track of.

Thread one, all about climate change in general. Did you know global warming was a communist conspiracy? Find out all about it!

Thread two, starting with Brian’s attempt to mock the glorious and pristine character of our own Mike G and his DJ moniker. Apparently Brian didn’t catch that “Jack the Lad” was British slang for a young rogue and thought it meant penis. And that was funny on “so many levels”. Then it got back to global warming again. And the communist conspiracy hastened by lefty rags like Scientific American, among others.

You see, it’s all about us here at Iowa Liberal gaining “ultimate power,” or something.

Oh, you think I’m exaggerating?

And Democrats certainly know that if they can convince enough people we’re on the brink of catastrophe, they’ll willingly pay more taxes and allow more control over their lives.

Pretty soon, we may as run up a red flag with the hammer and sickle over every government building, because we will have become a full-blown communist/socialist nation.

Oh, dear!

And, by the way…if you’d actually read the MSNBC article (another one of your left-wing sources, btw), you’d see it says exactly what I’ve been saying: that Big Oil initially hired these people to get their side of the story out, not push an agenda like you people are.

I stand corrected! No agenda, they swear! Here’s more honest testimony from some people whose credibility Brian trusts:

We’ve taken action against the cabal and their global warming facts by becoming experts on legally eliminating your debt. This process will free you financially while reducing the amount of money available to this corrupt cabal. For every dollar of debt you legally eliminate through us, you’re cutting $33 out of their pockets because of their fractional reserve banking scam.

Don’t believe he could be that stupid?

I’ve seen more things than you can possibly imagine, and that’s why I’m a conservative and you’re a liberal.

Fortunately, this statement is so idiotic on its own I don’t need to tell any personal stories to rebut it. Because I’m not telling anything😉 Lastly:

…if you knew my IQ, it would be you bashing your head against the wall…

Crap, I’d better stop provoking him then, or he’ll win the argument by telling me his IQ.

We really have to find a bigger fish to fry, but could we ever find one more entertaining?

-jb

Global Warming Update: the debate is STILL over.

Feb 22, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Global warming, Politics

A salient point is made at Scientific American:

(Al) Gore deserves all the plaudits he has received and will receive, including potentially an Oscar. But the time for such a messenger is past. As Scientific American’s own John Rennie put it: “We’d be much better off had that [climate science] debate not occupied center stage for so long.” 2007 is the time of the engineers, scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs who have solutions–and I suspect Mr. Gore knows that his time should have passed.

How many more votes of confidence do we need to confirm theories that we had a pretty damn good idea about several decades ago?

We’ve determined that the car is pointed at us, that it’s going fast enough to kill us, that we are indeed not temporarily imbued with immortal properties, that nobody else will jump out in front of the car, that we are unlikely to bounce off the hood landing on our feet or in the arms of our future spouse, and most importantly, that if we leap out of the path of the car, we can avoid death, if not injury.  And yet, we pontificate further.

It is truly amazing how many conservatives, who try so often to take pride in their flinty sense of realism and tell us mush-headed liberals “hard truths,” cannot seem to grasp an elementary fact:  where there is cash, there is speech.

Conservative think tanks are trying to undermine this conclusion with a disinformation campaign employing “reports” designed to look like a counterbalance to peer-reviewed studies, skeptic propaganda masquerading as journalism…The think tanks provide both intellectual cover for those who reject what the best science currently tells us, and ammunition for conservative policymakers like Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who calls global warming “a hoax.”

These “reports” find easy purchase in the soil of the anti-science right and the thousands of lackeys who desperately wish to be paid shills when they grow up.  Alternatively, such human-dodo hybrids will eagerly misintrepret and cherry pick the work of real scientists.  Here’s village idiot, DJ Brian Pickrell:

Antarctic temps aren’t agreeing with the “climate change” whackos.

Here’s the scientists:

Bromwich said that the increase in the ozone hole above the central Antarctic continent may also be affecting temperatures on the mainland. “If you have less ozone, there’s less absorption of the ultraviolet light and the stratosphere doesn’t warm as much.”

That would mean that winter-like conditions would remain later in the spring than normal, lowering temperatures.

“In some sense, we might have competing effects going on in Antarctica where there is low-level CO2 warming but that may be swamped by the effects of ozone depletion,” he said. “The year 2006 was the all-time maximum for ozone depletion over the Antarctic.”

Bromwich said the disagreement between climate model predictions and the snowfall and temperature records doesn’t necessarily mean that the models are wrong.

“It isn’t surprising that these models are not doing as well in these remote parts of the world. These are global models and shouldn’t be expected to be equally exact for all locations,” he said.

The peasant can’t even bother reading the article past the “gotcha!” moment.  Here’s a hint:  science taxes human brain, uses much power!  A tenth-grade level of understanding just won’t cut it.

Of course, a rightwinger might say, “Thar’s your public education fer ya!  No respect for logic, science, or those who can do that stuff.  I’m a goddamn idiot and I don’t even know it, and it’s all your fault!”

I could only clutch my bleeding chest wound and fall to the ground.
-jb

UUUUUUUhhhrrrrrrrr!

Feb 21, 2007 in Uncategorized

I’d like to congratulate Chewbacca on achieving a PR 6 for his blog.  Way to go Chewy!

-mg 

Efficacy versus trying to look like a tough guy.

Feb 20, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Drugs, Health Care

No, I’m not talking about Bush II’s moron approach to foreign policy, although certainly that applies.  In fact, it applies to all sorts of issues, but today let us look at drug policy.  Here’s a story of people who actually do things that will reduce drug usage:

In the shadows of Frankfurt’s gleaming glass towers an undistinguished six-storey building serves as a safe injection area for heroin addicts.

Along with the heroin room, there is a medical station, a counselling centre, a crack-smoking room and on the top two floors, a 24-hour shelter, complete with a cafe run by the addicts.

The results?

The introduction of heroin-injecting centres in Switzerland has reportedly led to an 82 percent decrease in its use since 1990.

Of course, who would want there to be fewer drug users if it meant less cause for grandstanding?  Why treat them when you can have a steady supply of people to throw in jail?  We’re not so big on solving problems, more on talking about solving them.

Like I said, this covers a wide range of subjects that tend to divide liberals and conservatives.  Here’s Iowa’s village idiot, Brian Pickrell, drooling on his keyboard:

Once again, liberals trying to show that “they care” (by distributing free condoms) rather than do what’s right. If they really cared about preventing HIV or AIDs, or the spread of STDs, or stopping unwanted pregnancies, they’d be promoting abstinence, instead.

See!  If liberals really cared about these things, they would stop using an effective approach and use one proven to be ineffective, but allows pathetic and most likely hypocritical moralizing!

Folks who like to solve problems will sometimes take approaches that don’t leave lots of room for personal aggrandizement, except through success.  The folks in Frankfurt can say, “We have dramatically reduced heroin use!” and can enjoy the social benefits.  But they had to do the hard work.

People like the world’s dumbest man, Brian Pickrell, would much rather go for the quick fix of looking tough before actually achieving anything.   Failure is a problem, of course, but that’s easy:  get tougher!

Sex, drugs, Iraq n’Roll, it’s all the same to them.  Talk lots of junk to cover up constant failure.  I choose differently.
-jb

I *heart* Joel Bolkcom

Feb 20, 2007 in Corporate shenanigans, Iowa, Local, Uncategorized

Ever rent an apartment in a college town?  Then you’ve probably been ripped off by a shady landlord or property management company.   Withholding some or all of deposit funds under flimsy pretexts is all too frequent in any community that has a largely transient population.  Landlords take advantage of the fact that student renters commonly lack the sufficient resources (both monetarily and the time associated with litigation) to pursue unfair treatment.  It’s also a pretty safe risk considering the lack of any meaningful penalties for those caught stealing.  That’s why I applaud this legislaton recently introduced that would give renters a fairer shot at representation and recompensation :

“First, the proposed bill would change the legal condition to win damages in court to proving the deposit was retained “wrongfully,” as opposed to in “bad faith.” At present, the court must be convinced that the landlord acted with “malicious intent” in withholding the deposit beyond the 30 days allowed by law. But under the bill, the tenant would only have to prove the landlord retained the deposit beyond the 30-day period without justifiable reason.

Second, if passed, the bill would increase the maximum damages for wrongfully withholding a deposit to double the amount of the deposit or the portion of the deposit wrongfully retained, or $500, whichever is more.

This would effectively set the minimum punitive damages a tenant could receive at $500. The current maximum reward a plaintiff can receive under current law is $200.”

Joe Kelly, a lobbyist representing the Iowa Landlord Association, the Manufactured Housing Association of Iowa, and Landlords of Iowa isn’t thrilled:

The most ‘egregious’ part of the bill, in his opinion, is the change of legal standard from ‘bad faith’ to ‘wrongfully,’ because that would give a judge little discretion in rewarding damages if a landlord made an honest mistake.  “When you put a straitjacket on a judge like this, it’s hard for us to support it.”

I’m sure the above was said with a straight face.

-mg

The gift that keeps on giving.

Feb 20, 2007 in Uncategorized

Iowa’s favorite unemployed Sinatra tribute singer can’t keep from making an ass out of himself. 

The face of George W. Bush’s war.

Feb 17, 2007 in Iraq, Uncategorized

Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan.

This is a photo gallery of a Marine wounded by a suicide bomber in Iraq.  He is blessed by an amazingly noble and wonderful woman who married him even after his accident, although one must hope she remains so.  Any slip in her character and she’ll be gone, leaving him alone to bear the deformation George W. Bush sent him to receive.
George’s ignorance in plunging the country into war isn’t an excuse, but further grounds for condemnation.

The gallery will inspire many thoughts, and I will keep the rest to myself for now, except to say I dream of an alternative universe where George W. Bush is put on trial as a war criminal.  Or one where war supporter Brian Pickrell signs up with the Marines to take this guy’s place.  The photo gallery will tell you what he’s afraid of.
-jb

English grad-students rejoice! Iowa Liberal is going meta…

Feb 15, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Middle East, Politics, Uncategorized, WTF?

nitrate21 says:

happy valentine’s day, sugartits

Mike G says:

i tried calling you earlier

nitrate21 says:

i just got home. what’s up?

Mike G says:

i was at the video store calling to ask whether or not i should rent “the wicker man”

nitrate21 says:

holy fuck i hope you didn’t!

Mike G says:

i rented it dude…you failed me you simple bastard

nitrate21 says:

well, have fun mst3k’ing it

Mike G says:

ah, i just shut it off…complete rubbish

nitrate21 says:

should have looked for science of sleep

nitrate21 says:

or the invincible iron man!

Mike G says:

ah! right.

Mike G says:

or “robot monster”

nitrate21 says:

or “beerfest” again

nitrate21 says:

this time, get drunk first

nitrate21 says:

bree and i went pretty lavish on each other for v-day

Mike G says:

so you bought her a package of juicy fruit gum?

nitrate21 says:

man, heard some pathetic whining from republicans in the house today. the “support the troops” cry has never been louder…yet it still means “support whatever the fuck george bush feels like doing”

(more…)

Iran…*sigh*

Feb 13, 2007 in Media, Middle East, Politics

It goes without saying that the administration has no credibility on…anything. But this entire discussion about “Has Iran assisted hostilities in Iraq?” begs the question of, “If so, so what?” The Bush administration has been very successful at framing the debate to make the answer to that implicit: If Iran is mucking around in Iraq, the White House reasoning stands, then George W. gets to go gallavanting with bombs and missiles into an even darker future he has utterly no ability to predict or control.

The debate itself is rather uninteresting. More relevant questions include: Why wouldn’t Iran be messing around in Iraq? Why shouldn’t they? They’re no different or worse than most of the parties in Iraq, Iran simply favors a Shiite-friendly outcome. Is that something we’re against? Are you sure? Does Iran have less national interest at stake in Iraq than we do? Do we have the right to tell Shiites in Iraq they can’t enlist the help of Shiites from other countries? Why aren’t we planning anything in response to Saudi Arabia’s known assistance of the Sunnis and vow to step it up if we leave? Did George W. Bush ever know what the fuck he was doing?

Whoops, no debate on that last question.

Before the Iraq War, I asked people why, even if Saddam had weapons (and he could have only had a meager amount), it was assumed that we had to go to war with him. One thing did not necessarily dictate the other. With nuclear secrets floating around the Middle East like traces of depleted uranium shells, very little pointed to Saddam being the most likely culprit to give weapons to terrorists, and much evidence ruled him out.

The real hard questions never got asked in the public debate on Iraq, and we have suffered mightily for it. The question is, has our mechanism for national internal dialogue been fixed, or does it still work the exact same way?

More importantly, even if our reasoning points against an attack on Iran, what can be done to stop “The Decider”? What good is it to decide somebody is too drunk to drive if you don’t take the keys away?

-jb

Update: Josh Marshall says much the same, probably says it better…

Little Brother?

Feb 12, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives

Holy smokes, how pathological is this? (via Crooks and Liars)

A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require ISPs to record all users’ surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.

The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a Republican congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.

Even in the minority Republicans try this stuff? Do they think they can slip it past the Democrats? Or use it to smear Democrats as “soft on child predators” because they don’t want all internet activity permanently recorded? May the Democrats in the House leap up and stomp on it like a kid squashing a bug.

It’s just funny…I comment again and again that the Republicans read 1984 and thought it was an instruction manual, but then somehow I tell myself, “Ah, they’ll learn to simmer down about total surveillance,” and relax my guard. As soon as I do that, one of them turns around and starts demanding telescreen installation.

It’s become impossible to get around the fact that the GOP is simply not on board with the Founding Fathers and what America is truly about. The huge overlap of security extremists and religious fundamentalists creats a huge bloc against the Constitution.

-jb

Urgent bulletin from George Bush’s base!

Feb 11, 2007 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, War on Terra

See what you learn at a rightwing blog?  We should re-name our defense budget the anti-Satan budget!

But after the rapture the anti-christ will arise. He will be islamic(he will come from babylon/Iraq) and he will use terrorism/peace to destroy many.He will sign a peace treaty with Israel and he will establish real,true peace between the jews and palestinians to win over the world’s support. they will be deciebed because he will evetually brak the treaty after having decieved the world. There will be a false prophet(possibly a corrupt future Pope) who helps the anti-christ unite the world’s two largest religions(the Lamb with two horns) He will use signs and wonders to unite Islam and false christianity and the Anti-christ will take over the one-world government(led by the the EU the revised roman empire the bible prophecied would come back)bring about the Mark of the beast system, a one-world government,economy and religion. and unless you take his mark you will not be able to buy or sell. And if you reject it, you will be beheaded just like islamic terrorists do.And he will divide the earth up into ten sections and appoint ten kings who are under his command to rule them.

This is just the short version.

Don’t kid yourself. It is coming. And you can already see the beginnings of it with your own eyes.

The basis for our foreign policy?  Yes.

-jb

Fine Dinin’

Feb 09, 2007 in Uncategorized

Stormfront, a disturbingly popular white supremacist discussion board, has a thread discussing squirrel recipes.  Those Jethro’s need to make themselves useful and have a thread on how to make your own gin still.

-mg 

Serious thinking on campaign finance.

Feb 06, 2007 in Politics

First and foremost, as much as I like Russ Feingold, McCain-Feingold “campaign finance reform” is a clusterfuck monstrosity that does nothing to change anything. Feingold is as honest as a politician can get, but even he is a monkey junky when it comes to those private dollarz.  Anybody serious about campaign finance, who wants a future where our politicians are not spending their free time peddling for big bribes that inform their working hours should know that public financing is the only serious road to clean government.

Politicians seem unable/unwilling to take on their fatcat sponsors, so it’s hard to say whether we’ll be able to get it at the national level (Arizona and Maine have made it work), but two Yale professors, Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres, have taken a stab at refining public financing in a way that will give voters more autonomy and give politicians plenty of cash to wage formidable campaigns (although a sensible plan would include free airtime for ads, thus reducing the necessity for such large amounts). Unfortunately, it seems to be counterproductive and unnecessary.

The gist? You, the voter, gets a $50 voucher that expires on Election Day to distribute to the candidates of your choice; $10 for a House race, $15 for the Senate, and $25 for presidential (although I imagine it would be tied more closely to the actual number of races each year). All donations are completely anonymous, and would total around $6 billion (an incredible savings, considering the hundreds of billions of handouts politicians give in exchange for their millions in campaign donations).

The point? Well, it gives you the voter more control to some extent, and provides a fairly big enough carrot to convince some candidates to forego private money. But it still provides opportunities for gaps in financing that candidates would seek to fill with private money. Did the people give $50 million more to your opponent’s campaign? Then you’ll need to get your hands dirty to catch up. Ah, but Ackerman-Ayres think they have a solution.

For the fatcat who wants to make that $100,000 donation, he/she must make that check out to the FEC, which then anonymously puts it into the bank account of the fatcat’s candidate.

Get it? You rich folks get to donate all that money and the candidate doesn’t even get to know it’s you! What do you think about that? You don’t donate for the influence anyway, right?

Yeah, right. A Salon reader puts it this way:

If the big money private donations were made private, people with big money would still find a way to make known their financial directives to the politicos, but it would be outside the public eye, laundered in various ways. This is better?

The truth is that this plan is cute and has some appeal with the vouchers, but it doesn’t do enough towards the goal of cleaning up politics. Public financing that allots a set amount for candidates and allows for equalizing funds against an opponent competing with private funds already solves most major problems. It works. It just needs to be forced down the throats of our politicians like medicine. They’ll like the taste once they’re cured of their corruptive disease.

-jb

North Liberty protests Coralville annexation

Feb 03, 2007 in Iowa, Local, Local Politics, Uncategorized

The Johnson County residents that live in between North Liberty and Coralville are voicing concerns about being annexed by Coralville and it’s no wonder why. Coralville city planners lack the vision to endeavor anything for their community beyond the standard formula :

  1. Annex land for development
  2. Develop cheap, high-density housing that is only accessible via car
  3. Annex strips of property to accomodate commercial demand (only accessible by car)
  4. In ten years time when the desirability of your cracker box “homes” start to wane go back to step one.

When I first moved to Iowa City I used to read the dismal Press Citizen and was amazed on several occassions at all of the unprovoked letters to the editor denouncing what Coralville residents perceived to be an Iowa City elitism. It reminded me of the type of inferiority complex I witnessed by my then-girlfriend’s West Des Moines parents. They were always quick to shun the decrepit state of neglected downtown Des Moines and point out how “progressive” and “forward looking” the western suburbs were in comparison. Valley West Mall being a favorite example. That is until the new Jordan Creek developments were proposed. Then their attitudes rapidly changed.

Coralville is much the same in that they sure are proud of their big fucking mall. So much so that they’re the only community that I know of that puts an aerial view of the mall on a postcard (I shit you not) just in case you’re so overcome with consumer bliss that you absolutely must send your friends and relatives a bird’s eye view of the air conditioning units and tarred roof of the Coral Ridge Mall. The problem is that Coralville planners look to a town like West Des Moines and can’t wait to make the exact same mistakes.
North Liberty have fucked things up to a similar extent by building atrocious looking condos and cul-de-sacs all up and down the 380 (embarrassingly referred to as “The Corridor” by the local media) but it can’t be as bad as anything Coralville has planned. At least North Liberty has sidewalks.

-mg

I Remember When…

Feb 01, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Uncategorized

Our favorite whore was singing for his supper.

What happened to the promotional mp3's?

-a special thanks to the folks at iowa underground for making this post happen.