Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

Let's see, you attend a funeral at a Christian church outside of Atlanta, Georgia whose membership is primarily African American for a civil rights leader and you're surprised that politics is part of the eulogy? I'm sure the wing nuts will be all over this story today, expressing disgust and shock. Fuck em. Jesus was a political figure - no matter how you feel about the religion, his image is political and the words attributed to him are a call for economic redistribution. Of course, black churches were a primary organizing force for political change in the segregated south and elsewhere. Coretta Scott King will forever be remembered not just as the wife of Martin Luther King, but as a leader herself. The fact that her legacy was remembered as one of a wife, a mother, and a leader for the rights of us all up until her death should come as a surprise to no one. From the article:

"For war billions more, no more for the poor." - Reverend Joseph Lowery

By the by, wasn't it weird to see the Papa Bush on that stage? We're talking about the man who, in his 1964 campaign for Congress in Texas, castigated his opponent for voting for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, calling Ralph Yarborough an "extremist" and a "left wing demagogue". He's also the one who ran the Willie Horton ads during his presidential campaign against Michael Dukakis. Those ads were widely viewed as racist.

Above, I link to Wikipedia for the entry of Papa Bush. Via Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin comes this story on how Wikinews is tracing back entries and deletions made by Congressional staffers in Wikipedia entries on their bosses. I'm fascinated how staffers from Senator Joe Biden, for instance, deleted references to his plagiarism scandal from a few years back and how staffers for Conrad Burns deleted his usage to "rag heads". Good work!

Bush appointee George Deutsch has resigned. He was in hot water the last couple of weeks after the NY Times ran a story about NASA scientists not being able to talk openly to reporters. Deutsch required prior clearance from himself before the scientists could speak to reporters. But it wasn't that hot water that got him in trouble. It turns out that, like the President and the Attorney General, Deutsch is a liar. He never graduated from Texas A&M which is what he claimed on his résumé.

Don't believe the Attorney General is a liar (note, I assume that you know the President is one by now)? Mort Halperin makes the case here against Gonzales:
SEN. FEINGOLD: I — Judge Gonzales, let me ask a broader question. I’m asking you whether in general the president has the constitutional authority, does he at least in theory have the authority to authorize violations of the criminal law under duly enacted statutes simply because he’s commander in chief? Does he — does he have that power?

MR. GONZALES: Senator, this president is not — I — it is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.

This is even worse since there could not be any doubt what Feingold was asking. Even if the AG picked his words very carefully and did not actually lie (judge for yourself) he could not have had any doubt about what the Senator was trying to ascertain and what (wrong) conclusion he must have drawn from the answer.

This exchange constitutes a crime and the Judiciary Committee should refer the matter to the Justice Department and ask for the appointment of a special counsel.

Orhan Pamuk was not the only Turkish writer facing prosecution from their government for insulting Turkish nationalism. Yesterday, the trial of five journalists facing the same charge over different incidents began. The U.S. and the E.U. should protest this as loudly as they did Pamuk's case.

Russia's bureaucracy has forced a shortage of vodka. The nation is recoiling in horror.

In a truly disgusting story - and not just because I'm a vegetarian - a man in England celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary by eating a 50 year old can of chicken. The picture at the top of this post is from that article.

Chocolate Jasmine Ice Cream

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