Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'. - Yoda

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Piss Boy!  The Piss Boy!  You Look Like the Piss Boy!*
by Lee

So I just got back from seeing a nephrologist.  My urologist recommended I see one to try and figure out what has been giving me kidney stones for the past 20 years.  He did a pretty damn comprehensive review, too.  We sat in his office for almost an hour while he went over the minutiae of my medical history from the past two decades, then ordered a battery of tests.  So now I have to piss in a plastic jar for a 24 hour period so they can analyze it.  They sent me home with this contraption which looks like two liter-sized milk bottles connected by a central reservoir.  One of the jugs has a preservative in it, the other does not.  So you piss in the reservoir and the liquid gets evenly distributed between the two jugs.

Of course, you have to keep it in the fridge.  Let’s just hope I don’t get up in the middle of the night, thirsty.

*"And you look like a bucket of shit!” (Name that reference.)

Posted by Lee on 08/27/07 at 05:56 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Scenes We’d Like To See
by Lee

Okay, tell me this doesn’t sound completely accurate.

REPORTER:  “Mr. President, the Department of Education yesterday released its annual report on the state of education in America.  One of the more startling claims contained in the report is that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map.  Why do you think this is, and do you believe your No Child Left Behind education program is responsible?”

BUSH:  “That’s a great question, Sharon, and I’d like to thank you for asking it.  I personally believe … that … U.S. Americans are unable to do so… because, uh, some … people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our eh-education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as, and … I believe that they … should … our education over here … in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.”

(If you don’t get the joke, see here.  Explanation of post title here.)

Posted by Lee on 08/27/07 at 01:34 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Allah’s Balls
by Lee

Man, I truly feel sorry for our side this time.  It’s obvious they honestly tried to do the right thing, but once again, the gossamer-thin restraint was no match for the fury of Islamic outrage.

The US military in Afghanistan expressed regret Monday after footballs it distributed kicked off a storm of protest because they bore Koranic verses as part of the flag of Saudi Arabia.

The US-led coalition on Friday dropped toys, including soccer balls, into the eastern province of Khost from a helicopter as part of a goodwill gesture aimed at winning over support from the local population.

The balls showed the flags of several nations, including the Saudi standard.

A few dozen people protested Friday near the provincial capital, also called Khost, saying it was insulting for texts from the Koran to be put on the ground and kicked.

The resentment simmered on Friday. “It’s an insult to our religion,” said one man, named only Palawan, who was one of the protestors.

“They insult our religion and call it a gift,” another man, Gilani Sanizai, said.

The coalition regretted causing any unhappiness, said a spokeswoman, Captain Vanessa Bowman.

The distribution of the toys was part of a “hearts and minds” campaign, she said.

The US-led force made “significant efforts to work with local leaders and ordinary Afghans to understand and respect their culture,” Bowman said.

If Palawan doesn’t likme the soccer ball, there are all kinds of other things that the US military can give him, but I doubt he’d find any of them too appealing.

Posted by Lee on 08/27/07 at 12:29 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Torured Soul
by Lee

Irony, thy name is Cornyn.

As to the timing of the resignation, Senator Cornyn said “I think he was probably just worn down by the criticism. This sort of thing has a Chinese water torture effect of drip drip drip drip...I think the only two people that were going to determine whether [Gonzales] was going to continue in office were the president and Al Gonzales--and I guess Al Gonzales had had enough.”

Let’s see.  Torture is a good thing when it’s being done to terrists who hate Amurka and want to kill us, but it’s also useful as a metaphor for describing the corruption and incompetence of the man who was in large part responsible for it.

Posted by Lee on 08/27/07 at 11:55 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

He’s Gone… He’s Going… He’s Gonzo!
by Lee

Wow, I sleep in today and wake up to this.

Alberto Gonzales, the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general, announced his resignation Monday, driven from office after a wrenching standoff with congressional critics over his honesty and competence.

Republicans and Democrats alike had demanded his departure over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend for months until accepting his resignation last Friday.

“After months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision,” Bush said from Texas, where he is vacationing.

But then there was this.

Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff was among those mentioned as possible successors, though a senior administration official said the matter had not been raised with Chertoff.

Of course it would be Chertoff, wouldn’t it?  They couldn’t bring in some new blood, someone with integrity, to put a new face on the administration.  No way, they need an insider, someone completely enmeshed in their quasi-illegal law-bending who will follow the administration line and provide “legal” justification for all the illegal shit the administration wants to do, just like Gonzo.

Update: And here’s a great timeline in USA Today showing Gonzo’s long and impressive list of activities done in service to our nation.  What a sad, sad legacy of incompetence and ruthlessness.

Posted by Lee on 08/27/07 at 11:31 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Like South Africa, And I-Rack
by Lee

For those of you living outside the United States, this is what our government-run school system produces.

And, in case you’re not familiar with US geography, South Carolina is part of “The South.” Let the stereotyping and righteous indignation begin.

Posted by Lee on 08/26/07 at 12:59 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Superbad
by Lee

Trust me, go see it.  I thought I was going to shit myself laughing.  An instant classic.  One of those rare coming of age films which truly captures what it’s like to be a teenage dork.

Posted by Lee on 08/25/07 at 10:05 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Almost Famous
by Lee

Someone put a link to last night’s Ted Nigent post up on the Seattle Craigslist.  To whoever did, thanks!

Posted by Lee on 08/25/07 at 02:38 AM in Tooting My Own Horn  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Is What We Say It Is
by Lee

I’m not even going to quote this story, just take a moment and read it.  You should especially read it if you’re one of those readers who often dismiss my concerns about Bush and privacy as being nothing to worry about.

Remember, Bush is gone in 18 months.  The president I’m concerned about is the one 20 or 30 years from now.  But by then, it’ll be too fucking late.

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 06:47 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Ocular Penetration
by Lee

FINALLY!  After years and years of mindless blather about wars and poverty and terrorism and all that other pointless hoo-hah, Congress finally gets down to debating the issues that Americans are actually concerned about.


Live From Congress: The Ocular Penetration Act of 2007

Only when the scourge of ocular penetration has been eradicated from society can we truly be free.

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 05:59 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Suck On This, You Worthless Bitch
by Lee

Say what you want about him, but you gotta love the Nuge.

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 05:53 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

America’s Gun Culture
by Lee

In addition to their wonderful NHS, in which every patient gets all the free medical care they want without any waiting periods or rationing, the British are leading the world in ridding from society the scourge of criminals having access to guns.

Teenage gangs in Liverpool are using the popular video-sharing website YouTube to flaunt their culture of violence and law-breaking, taunting each other, making threats, and showing off guns and cars, it emerged Friday.

The video clips have come to prominence following the murder on Wednesday of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, shot dead as he returned from football practice to his home in the well-to-do Croxteth Park area of the city.

On Friday, clips showing the activities of two gangs from the neighbouring Norris Green and Croxteth areas were still posted up on YouTube. Several arrests have been made following the murder but police are still looking for the killer, believed to be a teenager linked to the gangs.

In one clip, a youth can be seen pointing a gun to the camera. In another, an apparently bloodied victim is shown.

Hmm.  I’ll tell you one group in Liverpool which is guaranteed to be unarmed:  those who obey the law.  Don’t worry, though, those dangerous law-abiding citizens have been duly disarmed and are now utterly defenseless.  Surely the government will solve this problem by installing a few more CCTV cameras.

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 05:40 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

History’s Mysteries
by Lee

See, if I was Bush I’d fire someone’s ass over this.  But, knowing Bush, he’ll give them the Presidential Medal of Freedom and promote them.

A historian quoted by President Bush to help argue that critics of the administration’s Iraq policy echo those who questioned the U.S. effort to bring democracy to Japan after World War II angrily distanced himself from the president’s remarks Thursday.

“They [war supporters] keep on doing this,” said MIT professor John Dower. “They keep on hitting it and hitting it and hitting it and it’s always more and more implausible, strange and in a fantasy world. They’re desperately groping for a historical analogy, and their uses of history are really perverse.”

In a speech on Wednesday, Bush quoted “one historian” as suggesting that foreign policy experts – and, by implication, critics of Bush’s approach to Iraq – aren’t always right. “An interesting observation, one historian put it, ‘Had these erstwhile experts’ — he was talking about people criticizing the efforts to help Japan realize the blessings of a free society — he said, ‘Had these erstwhile experts had their way, the very notion of inducing a democratic revolution would have died of ridicule at an early stage.’ ”

A search of Google books revealed that the “one historian” is Dower. The quote is from his book, “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II,” which won the National Book Award and the Bancroft Prize, among other awards, in 1999.

So, what does this expert, quoted by the president, think about our chances for democracy in Iraq?

He immediately directed me to a November 2002 New York Times op-ed where he outlined 10 reasons why “most of the factors that contributed to the success of nation-building in occupied Japan would be absent in an Iraq militarily defeated by the United States.”

In March 2003, Dower wrote an essay for Boston Review, entitled “A Warning From History: Don’t Expect Democracy in Iraq.”

But wait, it gets better.  Now, as you read the following paragraph, think about what I’ve been saying on this blog for the past few years.

“In the case of Iraq,” Dower said, “the administration went in there without any of the kind of preparation, thoughtfulness, understanding of the country they were going into that did exist when we went into Japan. Even if the so-called experts said we couldn’t do it, there were years of mid-level planning and discussions before they went in. They were prepared. They laid out a very clear agenda at an early date.”

And that’s it right there, folks.  That’s the message.  I can’t say for sure whether the Iraq mission would have been a success.  But with this incompetent bunch of fuck-ups running things it was guaranteed to be a failure, because THEY HAD ABSOLUTELY NO PLAN FOR WHAT TO DO ONCE THEY GOT THERE.  They thought a democratic government was just going to magically spring up out of the fucking ground or something.

This is why I question the continuation of the surge or the occupation.  I just think that we’ve screwed the pooch so badly that “victory” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean these days) is unobtainable, and we need to consider falling back.  The bloodshed that will follow will be on a Cambodia-like scale, but that’s what happens when morons invade a country with no plan.

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 01:02 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Bottom or Top
by Lee

Take THAT, you moralizing pricks.

A man who planned to open a topless bar near downtown says he will make the club bottomless after being denied a liquor license.

A Superior Court judge rejected Moe Ahmadi’s appeal of a city decision to deny a liquor license to Little Tokyo Showgirls at Commercial and Vignes streets, disagreeing with his assertion that the alcohol permit application was a free speech issue.

Ahmadi and his brother, Max, said Little Tokyo Showgirls will open in about two weeks and feature full nudity while they appeal the judge’s ruling.

State law prevents alcohol from being served in clubs where complete nudity is featured, but proprietors of topless establishments can apply for liquor licenses.

This exact same thing happened in Houston when I was living there.  There are a shitload of strip clubs all over Houston, like sushi restaurants are in LA.  There was one planned to open near where I was working at the time.  A local Christian group (big surprise there) was aghast at the idea, and made a big stink about it to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC), the organization which grants liquor licenses.  The TABC caved to the fundies, so the guy opened it up as a full nude joint where you could bring your own booze.  They’d sell you buckets of ice, or mixers for cocktails, all the stuff they’d sell normally except the alcohol, and you’d bring in beer or a bottle of liquor or whatever you wanted. 

So now, rather than an establishment where people could drink and look at topless girls, they now had an establishment where people could drink and look at fully naked girls, rolling around spreading their legs.  And it was 100% legal. 

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 12:34 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Mr. Hammad’s Opus
by Lee

Today’s Opus cartoon involves the Religion of Peace™.

Note to Opus readers: The Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus’ host paper The Washington Post. The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at Salon.com.

I’d like to see the WaPo asked why they wouldn’t print the cartoon.  They’d claim it was disrespectful to Islam.  Then, some enterprising young reporter should dig up every cartoon they’ve printed since the original Danish Muslim riots which could be construed as offensive to Christians, and ask this question.

“It seems that one of the following is true.  First the Post thinks Islam is a more violence-prone religion than Christianity, or second, the Post is intentionally singling out Christianity to ridicule.  You can’t have it both ways.  Which is it?”

Posted by Lee on 08/24/07 at 02:12 AM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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