Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lakota Wisdom.

In a Chicago Tribune article regarding abortion on an Indian reservation, the first female president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation said:

"Women are so colonized and oppressed, even if you drive a Mercedes and have a charge account at Neiman Marcus you're a second-class citizen in the eyes of the government and the church."
The tribe is located in South Dakota which recently passed a law making an abortion a felony, except in cases of life of the mother.
"Rape and incest are common [on Indian reservations]." The incidents are "often linked to the high rates of alcoholism and drug abuse. According to U.S. Justice Department statistics, Indian women are sexually assaulted at a rate more than three times higher than white women. The alcoholism rate on the reservation is at least double the national average. "Who gave those men in Pierre [the state capital] the right to decide about a pregnancy caused by an act of violence?" she said.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wisdom with bushy eyebrows.

Michael Dukakis co-wrote a New York Times editorial (Raise Wages, Not Walls) that exposes the cognitive dissonance over GOP immigration reform.

Curiously, most members of Congress who take a hard line on immigration also strongly oppose increasing the minimum wage, claiming it will hurt businesses and reduce jobs. For some reason, they don’t seem eager to acknowledge that many of the jobs they claim to hold dear are held by the same illegal immigrants they are trying to deport.

Monday, July 24, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

See the movie.

Heck, even the sports junkies are gettin' in on the action.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated said:

This is the most apolitical piece of advice I could ever give you, because I realize Al Gore is not popular with all of you. And I really don't care very much about Gore weaving details of his personal life into the global-warming lecture. But you should see this movie and judge the facts for yourself. What's happening out here is no isolated occurrence. It's going to keep happening and it's going to get worse. Facts are facts. And we all need to do something about this phenomenon of the Earth heating up and the polar ice caps melting. This is not exactly the venue to warn the world about global warming, but all you football junkies readying for your fantasy drafts should do one real-world thing in the next couple of weeks: take two hours to see this movie. I'm not saying you'll be glad you did, because it's going to slap you around mentally a bit. But it's something you need to see. You don't want to wake up in 15 years with the Earth permanently damaged and huge portions of the Earth's surface under water, forever.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Strategy vs. Tactics

Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post with a write-up of decision making in Iraq, quotes Robert Killebrew, a veteran of Special Forces in the Vietnam War:

"When you're facing a counterinsurgency war, if you get the strategy right, you can get the tactics wrong, and eventually you'll get the tactics right. If you get the strategy wrong and the tactics right at the start, you can refine the tactics forever, but you still lose the war. That's basically what we did in Vietnam."
That would be "strategery" vs. tactics for the ditto-heads.

*Update: "This is the first of two articles adapted from the book "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" by Thomas E. Ricks. Penguin Press, New York, © 2006."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Adjectives and nouns are funny things...

Protesting the Gay Games is . . . gay.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cognitive Dissonance.

I believe that the ability to toe the Republican Party line and proudly claim their ideals as your own is the ability to view two completely opposite perspectives as one. Cognitive dissonance is defined as the perception of incompatibility between two "cognitions", which can be defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief or behavior.

Case in point, from The Hotline's Wake Up Call:

"This is probably the best message we can give to the Middle East in regards to the trouble we are having over there right now" -- Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), on banning gay marriage (Washington Post)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Libertarianism works, uh-huh...

I saw self-professed libertarian and 20/20 reporter John Stossel on The Colbert Report a while ago. In questioning libertarian beliefs, Colbert asked whether Stossel was against the Federal Aviation Administration. Stossel replied along the lines of, yes, he was against the FAA, and that the airlines companies, the market, would take steps to resolve problems. He stated that the airlines have nothing to gain by risking and killing their passengers. It's apparently a bad marketing technique. reports today that plane are still around flying with the problem that blew up TWA 800 ten years ago. The federal regulating agency has charged that

"without its recommended safety changes four more TWA-type disasters are likely to happen over the next 50 years."
This is apparently not enough motivation to fix the planes.
"The FAA estimates that an explosion of a fully-loaded passenger aircraft, such as a 747 or Airbus A380, would 'result in death and destruction causing societal loss of at least $1.2 billion based on prior calamities.'"
Yeah, you'd think the companies would act in their own self-interest because of their desire to not lose like, I dunno, $1.2 billion.

Without changes, the FAA also said that there is
"a nearly 40 percent probability of five or more accidents."
So far, the FAA's actions have been recommendations. The companies are waiting for the rule of law. Libertarianism, huh?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Danica Patrick to NASCAR?

I pay some attention to NASCAR. I have Fantasy NASCAR lineups on my Yahoo! Sports, and I always read the writeups in Sports Illustrated and I usually listen to the radio broadcasts on the country radio station if I'm in my car on a Sunday.

If Patrick raced NASCAR, I'd pay more attention. I'd sit and watch a race. Name another way to kill a 12 pack. sportswriter Mike Celizic wrote an analogy that made me laugh out loud, however. He comparing Danica Patrick's welcome to the "beer-and-tobacco" NASCAR crowd by saying she would be as warmly welcomed "as a homosexual, secular-humanist, pro-choice, Libertarian evolutionist would be at Pat Robertson's birthday party."

Italy Soccer Sucks.

In addition to their dirty game versus the United States in the World Cup, they've proved how "uncultured" they are. Zinedine Zidane of France head-butted Marco Materazzi of Italy after Materazzi held his jersey during play and flung an insult shortly after.

Materazzi admitted insulting the Algerian-born Frenchman. However, the way he framed his statement is reminiscient of a 5th-grader lying to the teacher, and later laughing about it with his classmates. Denying that he'd called Zidane a "terrorist" Materazzi said,

"I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."
This is like the kid who tells his parents or his teacher he didn't know the baseball would break the window or that cheating was against the rules. It's easy to imagine him going back to the lockeroom and having a good chuckle with Daniele de Rossi (the Italian who elbowed Brian McBride in the face during the U.S. match).

If they can get away with it, they will. If they can get away with it and be smart-ass about it, why not?

Italian soccer players = spoiled grade-schoolers.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Without a care in the world

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction."
- Pascal

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You might be a...

If this valid form of deductive reasoning makes sense to you, you might be a GOPer:

Every criminal opposes the government.
Everyone in the opposition party opposes the government.
Therefore everyone in the opposition party is a criminal.

Ways to play the game.

"Let me put it this way: I think Republicans tend to keep the ball in play, Democrats go for broke."
- Arthur Ashe

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