Saturday, December 31, 2011

Y2011/Happy New Years!

Happy New Years Eve/Day to all of my readers and your families. Where I'm sitting, it's roughly 10 hours away from midnight, meaning that there are roughly 10 hours left in 2011. Good riddance, I say - this year has been nothing but crap for a lot of people. It's been a halfway decent year for me - I managed to get a decent paying job, and I bought a car, and I'm making headway into getting out on my own. I've accomplished more this year than I have in most years past. I also started this blog back in June, and come February, I'll have held down my job for a full year. This is called "making progress," I think. I'm hoping this progress will help carry me right out of this State to greener pastures, but that's for the future.

In the meantime, I'm not going to use this post as a means to repeat everything that happened this year. It was a bad year for women's rights, it was a bad year for human rights, and it was a bad year for democracy and freedom. Every year since 2001 has been a bad year for it, and it's been progressively getting worse - in part due to a strong self-fulfilling prophecy that I see Americans, and indeed, the rest of the world inching towards.

Instead, I'm going to use this as a means to talk about prophecies - in particular, the this 2012 business. You can probably guess where I stand on it, but I've got some thoughts on the issue that might surprise you, dear reader.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Scattered Notes from the Future

As we approach New Years Eve, I figure a look forward is necessary - past 2012, because we'll still be here on January 1st, 2013. And that's all I'm going to say about this Y2K Rapture 2012 nonsense. I've lived through three Raptures, Y2K, 9/11, and predicted global nuclear war. I've learned that there's only one way to look and that's forward.

I'm firmly of the belief that we need a future. We need something to aim for. And right now, that thing we need to aim for is the Singularity. What's on the other side of? Who knows. That's why it's called the Singularity. We can't see what's on the other side. Once we get there, we'll know. Will it destroy use as a species? Maybe. But you know what? I'll take potential destruction at the hands of reaching for a future that we can all share than destruction while we claw at a past that never existed.

So, with that in mind, I read an interesting article today from H+, addressing the point about human normal people don't believe in the Singularity. It was an interesting article that made a few interesting points. On that note, I read a similar article that dealt with the concept of technology that fully embraces Clarke's 3rd Law. While the two are not necessarily related, I'm going to look at both articles and give my opinions on them both. I'm also going to end it with my New Years Resolution, because I only have one.

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Time to Measure the Marigolds

I don't usually respond to poems or songs, but being the kind of killjoy that I am - that is, the kind of heavy scientist who sees no beauty in the world and wants to crush all your romantic but ultimately "frivolous" approach to reality because growing up sucks and you have to be mature and that means breaking out the slide ruler every time you see a flower (I don't even know how to use one - but they'd take away my Enlightened card if I didn't at least pretend to) - I felt driven to respond to this particular poem.

It's called "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomy" by Walt Whitman.

And yes, it will be crushed. And blown to the wind.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Look Out! Enigma Has Photoshop!

Merry Christmas, all. Here's a Christmas gift from yours truly, lampooning the Right-wing conspiracy mind-set. Have a fun and safe Christmas, everyone.

Just follow the arrows.

Human Black Box: Devil's Advocate, Part 8

Here we are, at Part 8 of Devil's Advocate. The mystery has only gotten deeper - what is going on at New Hope Colony? What's Cameron and the inhabitants planning to do with the Christ bot once they get it out of the sysem? Why a did Dr. M&M risk life and ego to bring a Christ bot back to Earth? What does the Christ bot know? Where did it come from?

With all these questions and more, let's dive headfirst into the story, and rejoin Chloe back at New Hope Colony...

Not Published... Yet

And a very Merry Christmas Eve to all of my readers, and a Merry Christmas to you all if I don't get around to posting before tomorrow.

I'll be posting the most recent version of Human Black Box shortly, but I'm just taking the stand for a minute to rant a little. A while back, I entered a short story contest. The nature of my submission was a mystery novel, with a hint of supernatural flavoring thrown on the side. It's totally outside of the norm for me - I don' usually do supernatural stories or stories that hint at the supernatural because I have a general dislike for fantasy and supernatural stuff that stems back to my childhood. Still, I need a short story for the contest, and I decided to go with an idea that'd been bouncing around in my head for a while. The protagonist of the story, Naomi Creed, is an African-American/Indian (Dravidian; Naomi has really dark skin and it only makes her that much prettier, with straight black hair and an even mix of the two features) woman from Michigan, and her deuteragonist throughout the story - her "Watson" - is an older White woman twice her age (Naomi is in her 20s) named Fiona, who's described as a faded redhead with the type of beauty and grace that comes with age and experience; Fiona is also a mother, with two sons that Naomi's age, but that's mentioned in passing. The story is set in the American south; in particular, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. That region has a lot of folklore and history, and there's something mystical about it. Throughout out there are happenings hat can either be chalked up to the supernatural or mundane phenomena, depending upon your persuasion - Naomi tends to be the rationalist and the skeptic, and does a lot of the science and footwork throughout the novel, while Fiona is the folklorist. I set out to write this story with one purpose in mind: I was tired of fiction stories where the skeptic is always proven wrong. And not only are they always proven wrong, but it's obvious they're wrong from the start (I'm glaring daggers at you Rifts: Beyond the Supernatural; that book's fluff is hilariously anti-logic and science; the Nega-Psychic is the exact opposite of a the skeptic that the book claims the class is supposed to represent, and it's actually a beautiful sort of irony. White Wolf is bad for this, too.). This is a more nuanced story where it's not clear who's right, and you can make a case either way.

I wasn't sure what genre the story fit into. It was on the surface mystery, because there was a mystery to be solved. At the same time, there was definitely a supernatural element to the story, but because it was a may be magical, may be mundane situation, I figured it falls under "magical realism", the catch all term for "what the fuck is this and yes, I want it published so I'm not calling it fantasy."

Which brings me to my point. See, that story was rejected. I didn't place a lot of hopes on it, and I'm not bitter or anything - in fact, the reject letter was nice and they'd certainly read it; they were able to single out specific incidences of the novel that the readers had enjoyed. So I won't rant about that or about it being rejected. Rather, the last line of the letter catches my attention - they told me that they "don't often publish genre works."

Is it just me or is there some kind of vendetta against genre works? Academia seems to me like it has it out against genre; this can't just be me, because there's a whole trope devoted to it over on TV Tropes: behold the Sci-Fi Ghetto. Don't be fooled by the name; fantasy literature gets tagged by this, too. In fact, one can argue that fantasy gets it worse, because at least science fiction is forward looking and trying to teach people about getting into science. This is actual rather sad, because Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery are all very strong genres and I'll be damned if I can tell the dividing line between the four (if there even is a line at all. Mystery might be easily enough set aside - a mystery can be formulaic, after all, much like that soulless Harlequin Romance garbage), and even then - my short story is arguably mystery and some other form of speculative fiction. It's not fantasy - there's no Romantic elements to it, there's no presence of magic, and any otherworldly forces that might be present can be argued as mundane with equal validity within the text. It's not science fiction because it doesn't deal with the future, doesn't tackle any big ideas, and doesn't look at any "What Ifs." You might could argue horror, although it's more eerie than it is horrifying, and I'm not sure how much of that is confusion over what's going on verses the location - Appalachia is eerie. Those mountains, during the evening time, are creepy as fuck. I certainly pulled that in, if my readers are anything to go by. So what is it? That's the only real reason I called it Mystery/Magical Realism - none of the other genres worked.

So what do I do with this story now? Well, I'm going to keep it and send it in to a few magazines. These stories are also difficult to write - I have to make sure that all of my bases are covered so they can either be magic or mundane, depending - but in the future, I may write more. I may post one here.

In the meantime, I have another story that needs to be posted. I'll just close this rant by saying that while I didn't get published this time around, that doesn't mean I won't see print in the future. It's a matter of persistence and determination. And I've nothing if not both.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Look At Modern Libertarianism

I've mentioned before Libertarianism is racist. I wasn't kidding, and that wasn't snark. American libertarianism is all about White Male privilege expressing itself and justifying itself through the presence of the Free Market. If there's nothing to make sure that the corporations are playing fair, and regulate them, then who gets trampled on? The poor. And no, you can't just sue them - you can't see someone if you're fucking dead. And your family can't sue them if they're poor and can't afford multimillion dollar hot-shot lawyer to take on a corporation run justice system - what did you expect, a public justice system? That's a vehicle for the government.

Like most other Right-wingers, Libertarians are all over the "I got mine, fuck you" mentality. In addition, they're all over the whole "government for me but not for thee" business; after all, they have to get to work somehow, and they certainly aren't using private roads to do it.

Society is geared towards a certain group of people. That's what privilege is, and that's how it works. Now, privilege is formed of interlocking gears and wheels; one person might have White male privilege without having Christian or wealth privileges, or cis-gendered straight privileges. It generally sets itself up as a tiered system; at the very top you have White straight cis-gendered wealthy Christian males, and it takes itself apart from there. Libertarianism is geared towards protecting this White, straight, cis-gendered wealthy Christian male privilege. After all, if there's no government to lift up people who are disadvantaged by the system, then these White, straight, cis-gendered wealthy Christian males (WSCWCM?) don't have to worry about sharing their social privilege - or, rather, the privilege that society awards them. If there's no entity to try to equalize the playing field and make sure that nobody is starting at a serious disadvantage, then the only people who benefit from it are WSCWCM.

And that's before we get into corporations and such, and how they exploit everyone. Modern libertarianism is just a tool expressed by those who want to exploit.

And if you need a look into that mindset, just take a stroll through the comment thread over on Ashley Miller's blog. She asks the question "Why does anyone like Ron Paul?"

I'll admit that Ron Paul is like the stopped clock of modern politics. He's done a handful of things that I agree with - not because he's Ron Paul, but because I'm a liberal social libertarian myself (in the class sense; I believe that the government should level the playing field for everyone so that nobody is starting this race blind with two broken legs, while things like the "War on Drugs" are a waste of money). However, like a stopped clock, he's wrong most of the time, but we're not talking the "five-o'-clock somewhere" wrong; we're talking incredibly, egregiously wrong.

Like his supporters, more than a fair share of whom are misogynistic gasbags, asshole racists, and generally blind to the faults of their "messiah." It's popular to mock libertarianism as a religion, but I think there may be more than just a fair share of truth to that. It's certainly one of the weirder economic cults.

I have no respect for most modern libertarians, or modern libertarianism. I view them with the same disdain I direct towards anti-vaxxers and creationists, or towards birfers, or 9/11 trufers.

Revisiting Animal Uplifting

A while back, in one of my Transhuman posts, I took a look at the process and purposes behind animal uplifting - that is, the concept of taking an animal and moving it from it's current intelligent state through genetic engineering, tailoring, and bioengineering, to make it "human" or, more accurately, "transhuman", level in intellect.

There's a lot of watch words in here that make his a complicated preposition - the first and foremost among them the otherwise slippery definition of what defines "intellect". Generally speaking, it often includes some level of sapience and self-awareness, but because we haven't solved the mysterious riddle of how you know you're here, determining what defines self-awareness can be tricky. Any philosophy 101 student can tell you that I can deny you are sapient and self-aware, because I can't prove it. I can prove that there are certain parts of your brain that are firing a the same time, it's true, but given what little we know about the mystery of consciousness and "self", I cannot confirm that you are where you are on a conscious level. Oh sure, you exist as a body and a mass of cells, but when it comes to your conscious? I have to take your word for it.

This is the "Hard" question of cognitive sciences; basically, where "you" come from. We're pretty sure that "you" are not a soul, stored in the brain using it as a vehicle. However, whether brain-mind duality exists or not, we're not sure. I have no doubt that the Hard question will be answered (some doubt that the Hard question exists at all, but I tend to disagree. I think that the consciousness is the whole of the brain, and the chemical reactions in it, and you can transfer those chemical reactions in mid-reaction or mimic them, moving your conscious from entity to another) - but the "Hard" question is in our face when we talk about the purposes of animal uplifting.

Thus, the tools that we use to define "sapience" and "self-awareness" are laughable at worst and curiosities at best. The so-called "Mirror Test" is one of the most commonly used and one of the simplest among them. Think of the mirror test as a sort of biological Turning test; it's used to determine whether or not you're self aware, and you can recognize yourself. The hypothesis is simple enough: To date, only a handful of species have passed the Mirror Test, and they are the primary candidates for biological uplifting. Some of them, however, are not species that one might think.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And Finally...

Last post for today, and it's a brief one.
A Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" rule on Wednesday when two women sailors became the first to share the coveted "first kiss" on the dock after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, Calif., descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles. The crowd screamed and waved flags around them.
Both women, ages 22 and 23 respectively, are fire controlmen in the Navy. They met at training school and have been dating for two years.
Navy officials said it was the first time on record that a same-sex couple was chosen to kiss first upon a ship's return. Sailors and their loved ones bought $1 raffle tickets for the opportunity. Gaeta said she bought $50 of tickets. The Navy said the money would be used to host a Christmas party for the children of sailors
You can go read the article here, and see the pictures.

This is what we need more of. This is the new world order. And I welcome it with open arms.

We Will Lose Autonomy Over Our Beings...

Transhumanism post - I haven't done one of these in a while.

I've had this article locked away in my favorites for sometime and I've been intending to get around to writing about. Transhumanism is one of the thing that sets my blog apart (I should like to think) for other blogs. I'm not sure how many other transhuman blogs there are, but I haven't been doing a very good job of making this one transhumanist despite it being my personal philosophy.

There's a lot more to transhumanism than just mind-uploading and body surfing, although those are two currents that do make up a lot of transhuman thought. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about mind-uploading personally; I'd like for it to be true, but it seems to reek of mind-body duality, which current advances in neuroscience are suggesting isn't the case. In fact, current advances suggest that consciousness is just an illusion brought about by the chemical reactions inside of your brain; your ego, your identity, all of it, is just an illusion that's created by firing neurons. Now, we're not sure if this is the case or not. There may be some kind duality present that allows for the "conscious" as we recognize it to be transferred over to a new source much like a program can be, and so far, there's nothing either for or against it. There's a reason Eclipse Phase is set some 100-200 years in the future.

Wait, I take that back. There's a lot against it, and transhumanism in general, as this article suggests. In Is Transhumanism Coercive: Forcing humanity to remain relatively stupid and sick doesn't make us freer by Ronald Baily, he recounts a debate that he had with a bioconservative named Peter Lawler. Now, Lawler was he president of George W. Bush's "Council of Ethics," and like most individuals, Lawler presents an irrational fear of biotechnology and the future development of technology. Or, rather, I'm sure he'd like everyone else to have an irrational fear of biotechnology, even if he himself does not. For the most part, Ronald does a good job, but I want to take a closer look at it, and bioconservatism in general.

10 Differences Between the Religious Right and Jesus

h/t Confessions of a Former Conservative

He does a pretty good take down of this silly little list of points built on strawmen and distorted ideas of what the Religious Right think and what the actual reality around President Obama is. This "10 differences" list is a joke through and through, built around a number of fallacies and straight up stupid claims. As I was reading their list, I couldn't help but think "you know what? I can do better than this." And because this is likely how all great things in this universe being, I concocted my own list of 10 differences - in this case, the 10 differences between the Religious Right and the Jesus they claim to worship.

A heads up - do not refer to the Religious Right as "the Pharisees". For starters, there are still Jewish people who practice Pharisical Judaism, and that's insulting to them. Second, the Pharisees were concerned with the rule of law and the way that the law was carried out. The Religious Right doesn't give a rat's ass about religious law. They only want the religious law insomuch as it benefits them - which is why you hear this made up garbage about how Jesus made it "okay" to eat shrimp and wear mixed fabric clothing while still making it "wrong" to be gay, when there's nothing in the New Testament or any of Jesus' teachings to back that up (oh, sure, you can get Paul to help by quoting maybe two verses out of how many? But you know what? Paul was an asshole. And Paul was not Jesus). So no, let's stop calling them the "modern Pharisees." That's an insult to the practitioners of Pharisical Judaism ancient and modern, and it's not clever or remotely correct.

Also, before we go any further - yes, I have read the Bible. Most atheists have read it. I've read it even further, and I've made an even stronger effort to understand it, because I'm both an author and a student of literary criticism. You can't study Western Lit completely without understanding the Bible.

Other Earths

The newest observatory in space, the Kepler eye-in-the-sky (as I call it), is already paying for itself. It hasn't been online very long, but it's already finding exoplanets. In fact, it's found not one but two exoplanets orbiting around a star not even 960 light years from here. And while they're too close to their parent star to be habitable, they have another upshot - see, these rocky planets are roughly the size of the planet Earth.

We Always Knew Flight was OP

Overland Flight is one of the most OP spells in 3.X D&D. There's a lot of reasons why, but in any game with map combat, flight tends to skew to favor of the battle. Another example I can think of is Returners, an FFRPG game that's freeware.

But who would know that using flight in melee combat here in real life would be OP, too?

Just ask this ant, who's gonna get pwned by a wasp.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batman, Aliens, and Hollywood

There are two things that have entered my world lately that are worthy of note, because bizarre thinking and criticism of movies and literature is the norm for me. Neither technically exist yet, but apparently they're working on it.

The first thing that came to my attention is the most recent trailer for the last Dark Knight movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The other thing that came to my attention comes to my attention through PZ Myer's blog; the fact that Ridley Scott is going to do a prequel to the Aliens movie. Both of these come from Hollywood. Thus, you know the origin of the post's name.

Now please excuse me while I indulge in some deep, probably over-thinking it but well deserved criticism.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Racism on Parade - Tea Party Edition

We know that the official stance of the Tea Party is one of thinly veiled racism. Sure, they can claim otherwise, and maybe there are a few honest members who legitimately aren't racist (no, wait. They're libertarian. They're still racist), but if you take a bulk sample of the Tea Party, odds are good that you'll be getting a slice of the largest segment of Regressives in the American population.

So it comes as no surprise whenever a Tea baggers opens their mouth and proves that they're a racist bigot. In fact, I rather expect it. It's like a lying right-wing Christian evangelical, although I wouldn't be anywhere near as disappointed if these people just shut up and went away (really keen readers will notice the overlap. I'm sure this isn't a mistake - after all, God works in mysterious ways. Especially when the bulk of his followers on the Right are trapped in paleolithic period with a moral outlook to match).

So, lemme introduce you to Jules Manson (h/t Freakout nation)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Right Wing Asshole Being Right Wing Asshole

This is certainly a "stop the presses" title. Gasp - a right-winger being an asshole? Do they come in any other flavor but asshole?

You get generic asshole flavor, but sometimes, they'll have a mixed flavor. Like "bigoted-homophobic-sexist" or "bigoted-racist-sexist" or you'll get the mystery flavor, where it can be any of the above, better known as the "Rush Limbaugh" flavor or the "FOX news" flavor.

Well, some guy I've never heard of before called Matt Staver has just earned his own, distinctive flavor of bigoted right-wing asshole.

Why Target, Macy's, and Lowes Support Bigotry and Hate

By now, I'm fairly sure that you've at least heard of the whole controversy surrounding the TLC show, All-American Muslim. I've never seen the show, and I don't watch TLC (not since they stopped being "The Learning Channel"). For those who haven't seen it or heard what was going on, one of those "inhumanly pro-family" (if I may borrow a phase from Fred Clark) organizations from (where else?) Florida (you were expecting Texas. Admit it) has pressured the sponsors of the program to back out, trying to get the program taken off the air.

It's greatest offense? Well, I imagine that the show displays Muslims as being people, rather than freakishly inhuman things ready to blow up your good, White, Christian country a moment's notice. This is a good thing. It helps fight back against the absurd propaganda that's concocted in the weird and frightening labyrinthine depths of the twisted organ right-winger's call a "mind", and can help "normalize" Muslims. Or, at least, the popular conception of what a Muslim is. I've said before that I worked with a lady who had blond hair, blue eyes, and dressed like any Western who also happened to be Muslim. She identified herself as a Muslim to me, and it was rather surprising the first time because I certainly did not expect it. So this show helps, at least, remove the overly negatives and humanizes the popular conception of Muslims and Islam, as opposed to just, y'know, lying about how they all want to kill us for freedoms, replace our law with Sharia Law, and other stupid shit like that.

Lowes, one of the companies they petitioned, backed out of the show and stopped sponsoring it. I know where I won't be shopping for home supplies in the very near future, and I recommend all readers of this blog vote with their feet. I prefer small, local hardware stores, and we still have a few of those around. But that's beside the point. What we have here is what happens when the peacock puffs up it's chest and thinks that it's managed to scare off competitors - it pushes the envelope.

Now that same Florida association is pushing to get Degrassi's sponsors to jump ship, too.

Human Black Box: Devil's Advocate, Part 7

Alright, here's Part 7 in the continuing saga of Chloe and Zira.

Last time around Zira concocted a scheme that would either get them killed or get them into New Hope Colony. And by "them" I mean Chloe, and by "killed or get into the colony" I likely mean both. Today picks up with Zira following a few leads, and answering a few questions while Chloe infiltrates the New Hope Colony.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Human Black Box: Devil's Advocate Part 6

It's a been a while since I posted a new Human Black Box. I've been busy at work, so I haven't had a chance to get ahead like I'd want to, but I'm still far enough ahead that the only reason they haven't been posted is because I've forgotten to. While I'm burning the midnight oil tonight, I figured I might as well set up Part 6. Hopefully, I'll get Part 7 up tomorrow.

Last time around, things picked up when Chloe and Zira found themselves confronted with two unusual things - the ego that M&M brought back from Earth (a Christbot), and a wily and skillful Cameron, who managed to get the drop on them by complete surprise (sleeving in a flat? And then pretending to be bioconservative and an idiot to get them to drop their guard?). Today's HBB picks up with Chloe and Zira, following Chloe's resleeving.

So let's roll the footage!

Aha! I Knew It!

Obama balked and backed away from his veto threat.

Do I get a cookie? I knew this was going to happen. It doesn't come as a surprise to me anymore - the Democrats are the party without a spine and guts and the Republicans are the party without a brain or conscious.

What this means now is ... ominous.

Of course, for all the deal I made of this before, one thing needs to be stated clearly - this is the logical progression of how things were going to turn out. No, it wasn't the PATRIOT act's fault (although that sped it up). The problem was and always will be the ongoing "War on Drugs."

This is where our problem starts (I apologize ahead of time for the scattered nature of this post - I had thoughts that, like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, seemed like they would fit together. In retrospect, they might not have fit together as well as I thought).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Now That's Too Much Evolution

I originally started this as a post with three links in one, but after my Intertubez messed up this morning and I had to head out for work, I decided that I would break them up into three different posts. So here go. The first one is from the annals of "evolution verses creationism," because this is a big thing in the United States.

This one comes to me via the Panda's Thumb.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The War on Christmas (Korean DMZ Edition)

It took me a good couple of seconds to realize what was being done here, and even though I think I got it, I'm not entirely sure I understand. All I can do is scream WHY!?

We all know the Right is deaf to hyperbole. They don't seem to understand it, nor do they seem to understand irony or hypocrisy. But there are time when they go so far over the time that it manages to boggle me.

Behold: the War on Christmas is the same as a the North Korean threat over South Korean due to a Church Group's display in the DMZ:

He's Killing that Jacket

So, I'm behind the curve (yet again). Apparently, wannabe presidential-hopeful Rick "Texas Teabagging Thug" Perry has a new political ad out. One of the reasons I'm behind the times is because I really don't watch TV, so I don't see this stuff. Another reason is because I don't deliberately go looking for information on this man, it just has it's way of gravitating to me. And because I'm opinionated, it goes without saying I've got something to say about this abomination of a political ad.

So, without further ado, let's watch this magnificent, Shakespearean-in-its-elegance political ad (am I damning with false praise? Now, now, be fair: Perry is so far lost he deserves all the praise he can get):

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once Again, Right-Wingers Make Poor Villians...

It's been a while, but I've got some time off now so hopefully I'll be able to catch up with all of the wonderful things I've been lacking on. One of them is this blog - sadly, these tend to be the first thing to get cut when you get sacked with a lot of work. However, I'm back, and I've got some time off, so I've got some catching up to do.

First thing is first. I made a post a while back about how dominionists make crappy villains. Well, apparently they come by that honestly. Really, there comes a point when you, as a liberal, just throw your hands in the air and say "you know what? If this is the best you've got, I quit. It's gotten to the point where having you as opponents is just downright insulting to me."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

People Die In America Because People Die In America

File this one under "shaped like itself." (TVtropes link).

Frothy-mix Santorum (do not Google that man's last name) got an ear full from a young college student - two of them, in fact - and the results of the confrontation highlight the reaction that one gets when you expose a Republican to cold, hard reality.

I suppose I could go for the potassium/water analogy, as chemistry jokes aren't nearly as popular as they should be. However, I figure watching the chemical reaction unfold is more interesting than actually reading about it from a third person perspective. Behold - what happens when you expose a Republican to reality:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Your Government Sells You Out...

What happens when the law becomes illegal? When the government, in an act that can only be described as a proto-fascist power-grab, way over steps it's bounds and, as an end result, threatens to imprison anyone, indefinitely?

The United States is the proto-typical police state. I know there's a lot of readers out there in the developing world who scoff at that, but the U.S. has always been this way, since it's very founding. Our police have been militarizing since the birth of the so-called "War on Drugs" - we have an almost military-like police, if not a military police system in place, accountable only to it's own and nobody else. The legal system is turning from a legal system against people because of their skin color to against people because of their economic class. On top of all this, theofascists have been trying since the beginning of the Civil War and even earlier to inject their pitiful little god into the government.

Well, today, the U.S. Senate sold us out.
An amendment that would limit military detentions to people captured overseas failed on Thursday afternoon. The Senate soundly defeated a measure to strip out all the detention provisions on Tuesday.

So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end. And because the Senate is using the bill that authorizes funding for the military as its vehicle for this dramatic constitutional claim, it’s pretty likely to pass.
It would be one thing if the military was clamoring for the authority to become the nation’s jailer. But to the contrary: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opposes the maneuver. So does CIA Director David Petraeus, who usually commands deference from senators in both parties. Pretty much every security official has lined up against the Senate detention provisions, from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who worry that they’ll get in the way of FBI investigations of domestic terrorists.