Monday, May 08, 2006

Ensuring a Hit 

It's somewhat amusing to watch the Catholic Church hierarchy again fail to learn from history. Every new pronouncement and bitchfest from some old queen in a red dress just ensures bigger box office for The DaVinci Code.

The latest?:
...a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception."
Well, two comments to that one. A) I guess all those pissed off parents are just taking Arinze's advice when they sue Church's for all that priestly child-diddling, which has certainly gotta offend Christ.

And B) Christianity is all just a gigantic load of horseshit, the Pope is a Nazi, and it's still just fucking bread and wine, you idiots.

Now sue me.

What Arinze and the other Vatican whiners don't get is this is exactly how they made sure that The Life of Brian and The Last Temptation of Christ would make money.

Maybe Arinze would like to trade in his biretta for an asshat.

Sidenote: someone at Reuters must have forgotten their stylebook. The reference in the article should be "Francis Cardinal Arinze", and not the way it's written above. I have no idea why that's the tradition of Cardinal reference, but it is.

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Really Strange Bedfellows 

From Drudge of all places, though probably not a surprise -- Rupert "I Am Fox News" Murdoch may be hosting a political fundraiser for a Hilary Clinton presidential run.

On the surface, that's about as unlikely as PETA hosting an event for Ted Nugent's gubernatorial campaign. But methinks there's something else going on here, and it's this. The Republicans desperately, desperately want and need Hilary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2008, because they think they can easily defeat her by bringing back all the stank they threw at her husband's administration. Unfortunately, I think they're right -- and that's why Hilary Clinton is the one person who should not run in '08.

Now, I say that as a huge fan of Bill Clinton. But Hilary already has too much baggage. The right has always despised her, probably because she doesn't believe that political wives should shut up, be pretty and stay in the kitchen. (Look what that approach did for Betty Ford). But a lot of the left aren't so enamored of her either, because of her stance in support of the Iraq War at the beginning. Granted, she was a freshman senator at the time and the only truth the electorate doesn't really get is that freshman Congress Critters pretty much have to shut up and do what their party tells them if they ever want to have any real power to get anything done. Yes, even if they're married to an ex-President.

So, looking a little below the surface, it makes perfect sense for Mr. Rightwing Media himself to be helping out the apparent Queen of Liberaldom. It might seem crazy, but Murdoch is being crazy like a fox.

Feingold in '08, maybe (maybe) with Clinton as a running-mate. But don't fall for the Republican trap of nominating Mrs. Clinton for the top spot just yet. Let's save her for 2016, after the non-Republican winner of '08 has served their two terms, and all the wingnut BS of the last twelve years is a distant memory.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006


If you want to know exactly whose fault the current immigration mess is, I offer this small bit of current eventery. President Vicente Fox had recently announced that Mexico was going to legalize possession for personal use of small amounts of just about every currently illegal drug. Our Administration here pulls their usual "OH GOD NO -- DRUGS!!!" bullshit piss and moan, and Presidente Fox is now "reconsidering." Or, as is put in less diplomatic terms, shits his pants and kisses ass.

Or, let's put it another way. The US Government feels an itch, the autonomous government of a friendly sovreign nation scratches. Fox, in theory, has all the power and ability to just listen to the US drug fears and say, "Hey, pinche -- not my problem. Te chingas, y tu mamá."

But he doesn't. Which implies that, if our current government/big business oligarchy really didn't want illegals from Mexico, they'd say the word and Fox would be supervising building of a wall tomorrow.

It really shows the schizophrenia of the Republican party over the whole thing. And, to be honest, the schizophrenia of the Democratic party as well. On the Republican side, it's "Oh no, evil brown people" vs. "Oh boy, cheap labor who can't force us to follow any labor regulations." On the Democratic side, it's "Oh dear, must help the downtrodden of all types" vs. "Oh shit, there go the unions."

But the bullshit is coming from the top. If our government wanted to stop the problem, they could do it diplomatically in five minutes. Instead, they pretend to care, stir up all the conflicted sentiments among the populace, then leave us to the in-fighting as they damn well know that no sort of immigration reform bill has any chance at all of passing.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Humo y espejos 

Okay, I have an idea. Our prison system is kind of crowded, the courts move slowly, we could certainly ease things up. So, here's the deal. Everyone who's been arrested for burglary in, say, the last decade -- free. Criminal record erased, you're out of prison, go home, have fun.

Oh, burglary will still be a crime, and you're SOL if you're charged with it after we let all the other burglars go. And we're being very specific here, so only burglars. No armed robbers get out, no would-be thieves who only got as far as breaking-and-entering before they got caught. Sorry. Just burglars, and just the ones who got caught.

Pretty stupid, isn't it?

And yet, in the ongoing immigration fiasco, that's exactly what a lot of people are asking for. Oh. Correction. The ongoing illegal immigration fiasco -- and that italicized word is the one that keeps getting dropped from the conversation. The debate is not about keeping all foreigners out of our country. In fact, when it comes to welcoming foreigners, the US is one of the most open-armed countries in the world. If you don't believe that, just try to get landed immigrant status in Canada or up and move to Mexico or the UK or France or... just about anywhere else. Trying to do that legally is hard enough. Try to do it illegally in some of those countries (I'm talking to you, Mexico) and you're screwed.

But, for some reason, that's not good enough for... well, I'm not exactly sure who. Because I also think this whole controversy has been manipulated from the start. Remember how it began? On March 25th, Republicans in Congress proposed building a wall along the US-Mexico border, and countless groups went apeshit on the spot. Why, how dare a Congressperson propose something as heinous as enforcing an existing law?

And it all makes me wonder... seeing as how this whole thing coincided with a major dip in the ratings of a certain high government official, could it all be a smokescreen, a non-issue that's being blown out of all proportion? After all, who become the major opponents in this scenario? It's not Illegal Immigrants vs. Congress. Nope. It's Latino Lobby vs. Blue Collar Workers. It's not rich vs. poor. It's brown vs. white -- and that's exactly how those in power want it.

Because... if the marchers out on the streets today turned their focus to something else, anything else -- impeachment, the war in Iraq, universal health care -- those problems would be solved post haste. Instead, they're manipulated into screaming about something that is either a non-issue, or has been the same problem for decades, without change. Nothing really new happened in the whole immigration fiasco, after all. It just got pushed to the forefront, probably for political reasons that have nothing to do with any of the immigrants.

Amnesty is a stupid idea, and the first person to tell you that will be an immigrant who did it legally. A wall across the border is also a stupid idea. Ask any resident of the former East Germany about that. Maybe a change in the laws is necessary, but note the word "change". Until the law changes, then it does no good for law-breakers to bitch about it. Compare the situation to the medical marijuana movement. Sure, drugs laws are stupid and silly. Yes, fight to change them. But don't bitch and whine when you get arrested for smoking a joint in public to advance your cause.

And don't bitch and whine if you get deported because you're here illegally. Don't bitch and whine if your company gets smacked with hefty fines because you knowingly hired illegal aliens.

But, most importantly, don't fall for this manufactured controversy. It clouds the real problem. Mexico exploits and abuses their own. The US serves as a safety valve. Corporate interests here in turn exploit and abuse the illegals, just not quite as badly as Mexico, hence the net flow northward. It's yet another case where root causes, rather than surface symptoms, are what need to be fixed.

Waving a magic wand and saying, "Poof! Now you're legal" won't solve a thing. Believe that one and blind yourself to the truth -- W would love nothing more than to be the guy to wave that magic wand, and suck up the Hispanic vote for his party as a quid pro quo.

Memo to the pro-illegal immigrant lobby: if you fall for that line of bullshit, it won't matter at all what other tiny battles you think you win.

We are all Americans. As Americans, we must focus on the real enemy. Hint: the descendent of white immigrant people and the descendent of brown immigrant people are not each other's enemies. We should be each other's allies against the descendent of rich people overlords, against those who would exploit all of us and play all of us against each other.

We should be marching in the streets, but for common cause. We need to fix America before we can even begin to work on fixing our borders.

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