I've got two pieces up at SlideRulePass. Both of them are about the Portland Timbers and both are pretty hardcore footy.
In national news, I wanted to be a little more specific about why sane citizens of the United States making under $200,000 per annum have no business voting Republican.
First, there's this. Where anyone with a functioning reptile brain could come up with the idea that turning the federal government's emergency response powers into a goddamn clown show is beyond me but not, apparently, beyond the vast majority of Republicans.
The current GOP candidate seems to think that placing horse lawyers and political hacks in charge of disaster relief isn't even stupid enough; "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."
Because I can't imagine that anyone in a position to make a profit from disaster relief would take advantage of that position to gouge, rape, and fuck over desperate people whose lives have been devastated by earthquakes or hurricanes.
Then, there's this.
I'm now used to the idea that you can tell when a Republican is lying by just looking to see if his lips are moving. But, really...when the facts so brutally smash your moron-grade fantasies that you can't even come up with a winning lie to try and make the
How thoroughly fuckolally fucked are you?
One important point may well be that you tend to get fucked when you not only don't have good answers but aren't even asking the right questions. Mike Specter has a good piece in the New Yorker about California's Proposition 37, this election's measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Now my position on GM foods as foods is that anyone who thinks we're not already eating GM foods and wearing apparel made from GM animals and plants is an idiot. The GM was just done by selective breeding rather than gene splicing in a lab, that's all.
Specter's piece points out that the campaigns on both sides of this proposition are characterized by a massive level of nonsense:
"Supporters of the proposition routinely make claims about the risks of eating, making, and cultivating genetically engineered foods for which there is simply no evidence. Big Ag, which doesn’t like regulation, claims that these labels will be useless, and insists that the new regime will set off an avalanche of lawsuits and cost consumers an unacceptable amount of money."(For which there is also no evidence, I should add).
But there ARE some huge issues surrounding not just GM agriculture but industrial agriculture in general. Monoculturing? Reducing the genetic variation of food animals and plants (and through that their resistance to disease and unviable mutations)? Over-reliance on irrigation and chemical fertilization? The increasing distance (and reliance on cheap fuel for transport) between where foods are grown and where they are consumed?
And speaking of not asking the right questions, here's a good article from the journal International Security about the ridiculous effects that the "War on Terror" has had on our actual security and, obviously, liberties. Glenn Greenwald sums this up:
"Unlike the actual, threatening wars of the past, this "war" is pure pretext, a total farce: so out of proportion to the civil liberties assaults employed in its name as to be inconceivable."I've wondered about this ever since our local G-men helped one of our local idiots delude himself that he was going to be the next Osama. Like the non-debate over GM crops, to me the worst part of this stuff is the utter lack of discussion - discussion, let alone concern - about how damaging this hysteria could be over the long term.
It's one thing to be fooled. But its another thing entirely to fool yourself.
But its better not to be a fool altogether.
But so as not to end with carping, courtesy of my witty and delectable friend Lisa (of Ranger Against War and the Story Project) here's a helpful guide for those of you who are still unsure of how to have sex with one of those poseable wooden mannequins.
Japanese sex manual from the Sixties, complete with diagrams showing the potential Romeo-san how to woo his Juliet-sama, from the initial stages of hand holding and cute-face-touching to manipulating breasts (although, frankly, this page put me in mind of one of those IKEA cartoon instruction books showing you how to assemble a Billy bookcase).
It makes you wonder how the hell Japanese couples of the time managed to have any sort of normal relationship. I mean, I understand that all societies have their odd little conventions and quirks, but...
Oh and there's that, too.
Let's just face it; as a species we are very, very, very, very strange.