Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Propaganda Prospecting in a River of Blood - or - Just Another Day for the American Right

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in Iraq with far more important things to worry about, you’ve likely heard all about yesterday’s tragic massacre at Virginia Tech.

The dude was, predictably, a loner with some serious issues. But that news didn’t stop Right wing pundits from attempting to claim the South Korean national born, naturalized American citizen as an Al Queda-connected, Muslim… or claiming that this was the best reason yet for arming every man and woman on every college campus across the nation--Now, I’m reasonably pro-gun, but you’ll probably draw the same conclusions as me about a campus full of fully armed, hormone-flooded, testosterone-crazed, booze-soaked, kids freshly escaped from a lifetime under mommy and daddy’s watchful eyes. Yea. Great idea.

So, shall we visit some of the swine who’ve come to graze on the still-warm corpses in Virginia?

* Well there’s the National Review’s John Derbyshire, whom you may remember from this post where he publicly chastised the captured British sailors last month. Well, the human-swine hybrid is at it again. Today, he bravely describes how, had he been on campus yesterday, he would have gone all Chuck Norris and put a stop to the madness.

*Then there's ding-a-ling winger, Debbie Schlussel, who has gone to bat for America's racists and "War On Terror" (tm) types--with decidedly diminished returns as more info on the murders has been released. Her wild speculations aired on, where else, Fox News where she cast an ever wider net in attempts to fire up the ol' base and maybe win a few strays back with some blatant racist pandering.

*Not to be outdone for comedy's sake, another National Review-er, Carol Iannone, tosses out this gut-buster, blaming the killings on co-ed dorms and English lit.

*Should I even bother with the "Bowling for Columbine"-esque, rapid-response of the NRA types? Though, there is this.

I will be on the lookout for more wingnut responses and will post the more sub-human of 'em.

**Update Below**

*A late entry to this knuckle-dragging, morally corrupt gang is bible-thumper, Ken Ham, who feels that were every US public high school be converted to a christian academy, Monday's tragedy could have been prevented.

*And what would a list of self-promoting swine be without his Foxness, Bill O'Reilly? Here every one's favorite stoke-victim-in-waiting employs his famous, post-modern political jujitsu to use the tragedy to attack the politics of those who used the tragedy to even mention the subject of gun control. Dizzy yet?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Billy Pilgrim's Wild Ride

(Photo borrowed from Rolling Stone magazine)

This news is omnipresent right now... no, not more Imus bullshit. (Though, if you want to see the human side of that bit of nastiness--not the political posturing and maneuvering--the real, honest to goodness, human faces on the receiving end of the supposedly glib, racist, pap, you could do much worse than this here.)

No, today, it's another story. (Always another story for another day here on the good ol' internets.) You see, writer, philosopher, survivor, Kurt Vonnegut has passed away.

There's really not much I can add to the eulogizing goin' 'round the web right now, except to simply add that if you haven't yet read any Vonnegut, just what in the hell are you waiting for?

2007's been a lousy year so far for... well, for all kinds of people and for all kinds of shit. But as it happens, it's also been a lousy year for folks that I greatly admire. They've been dropping dead at a somewhat alarming pace. Maybe it's not the pace, though. Maybe it's more the quality of people that have shuffled off lately. I dunno... it's a little sad to start thinking about.

And anyway, there's still a pile of work to get done before I can go home. And once I'm safely home, there's still our unconcerned neighbor's car alarm that will certainly go on and off all goddamned night. And even if it didn't, our bank account's still in the red. And that's nowhere near as red as all the blood that's getting spilled in our nation's name over in a place called Iraq as our corrupt and inept politicians rob us all several generations into the future. And...

And then again... I won twenty bucks at poker last night. And I got Red Sox tickets the other day. And I've got some good friends coming to town soon. And there's all those great restaurants waiting to be discovered and all those great albums the keep on coming out regardless of tastemaker prognostications... And, hell, I've just started reading a new book. It looks pretty good.

So, maybe sad isn't exactly the right word for what I'm feeling.

(Photo borrowed from Nezua, the Unapologetic Mexican)

Some worthwhile Vonnegut interviews: Rolling Stone, NPR, Salon, PBS, In These Times, Playboy (interviewed by Joseph Heller).

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just What They Needed?

I almost never shop at Circuit City for various reasons. One of those reasons happens to be that, year after year, they give the lion's share of their corporate political donations to the Republican party. Off the top of my head, I think the figure averages to something like 80/20 for the GOP.

Add to that the godawful customer service and knowledge-base that their shoddy, Wal-Mart-esque treatment of employees garners and there's very little incentive to even walk in the door. And I didn't even mention the uncompetitive prices and perpetually under-stocked inventory.

So, it's not like I need any more incentive to stay the hell away from Circuit City. But should you need it, look no further.

These days, it doesn't surprise me in the least to read about how American upper management treats long-term, mid-level employees. It's always another variation on the cannibalistic urge to swell the corporate coffers and bloat the corporate aristocracy. It's a sickening symptom of the cancer that's killing the American dream... AKA: America's Soul.

Barbara Ehrenreich writes about the media reaction to this wickedness.

From the article:
"Columnist Bill White of the Allentown Morning Call pictures Circuit City CEO Philip J. Schoonover getting a warm welcome to hell - very warm. Satan tells him, "This place is full of overpaid, outsourcing, golden-parachuting, employee-abusing worms like you." Schoonover's sin? Laying off 3400 employees because they had been around for too long and needed to be replaced by minimum wage workers...

...Times columnist David Leonhardt showed some pious sympathy for the laid-off, who will, after a 10 week cooling off period, be able to re-apply for their old jobs at much reduced pay. But he goes on to explain that Circuit City's employee abuse is just part of the larger corporate demand for 'efficiency.'"

Read the entire article: Circuit City Slaughter.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Right Wing Bloodlust On Parade

Crooks and Liars points us to leading "conservative" publication, The National Review, where that famous Right Wing support of our troops is on full, naked, dog piled, electrode-to-the-genitals, display.

From human-swine hybrid TNR opinion columnist, John Derbyshire:

Once again, it's me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran. When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who'd shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me—I've been there—have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn't shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.

Read the C&L entry.

Read the pathetic article itself.

Been Down So Long...

...Don't Hardly Know What Diplomacy That Doesn't Come From The Barrel of a Gun Is.

If you too have forgotten that diplomacy really isn't defined by sabre rattling and troop surges, perhaps it'll lift your spirits to read this: "Syria Tells Pelosi It's Ready for Peace Talks."