The Road Not Taken

How the Republicans fail at governing. Written by a long-time conservative Republican. Of course, the multitude of ways the Democrats fail at governing make me even more angry…

Debt Ceiling

Doves, Hawks, and Owls. And in a separate piece, Five Myths about the Debt Ceiling. Both worth reading.

"Fair and Balanced"

Let me know when the head of CBS publicly says it’s his mission in life to get a Democrat elected, and then we’ll talk about bias in the media.

Illegal Aliens

They’re everywhere! Alternate title: “Illegal Aliens: Not just for moving pipe anymore”.

Love Wins

Hell yes, I’m a New Yorker. Although, my other reaction is ‘finally’.

An inescapable network of mutuality

Slacktivist in fine form. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you don’t already read Fred Clark via RSS or whatever–if you’re relying on me to send you to him–then you’re missing out on some very fine thoughts on religion and politics. Though Fred and I obviously disagree on some fundamental things (such as the reality of a god) I’m never not edified.

Minnesota Pastor is an Idiot

Not really news, right? Actually, my first reaction to that article was how strange it is that here, in 2011, we have chaplains for state legislatures. As the guy says in his prayer, it’s “non-denominational” - i.e., it’s a prayer for all kinds of Christians. They also play both kinds of music - country and western.

One in Twenty

That’s the number of people that got a job from McDonald’s at their recent “Hiring Day”. But surely, if you’re unemployed right now, that’s just because you’re lazy and won’t even take a burger-flipping job.

David Frum and Compassionate Conservatism

David Frum, leading libertarian demagogue of the 80’s and 90’s, on the Paul Ryan budget, compassionate conservatism, and moving beyond the welfare state. In seven parts, but each part is really short.

311 and data mining

Very interesting article about what calls to 311 show about New Yorkers, as well as things that the local government can do when they have that wealth of info.

Space Stasis

Neal Stephenson on space static. The reason why we use rockets to get stuff into orbit, and why that probably won’t change anytime soon.

Sharia Law!

Is the new boogie man. Find out what it actually means! Be more informed than any Tea Party member!

Defense of Marriage Act and the US Justice Dept.

Slacktivist’s take on the latest news. And yes, I’m linking to Slacktivist again. He’s my token Christian blogger - I link to him to show that I’m open-minded, even though he believes in stuff that I think is nonsense. That he writes clearly and convincingly about politics, religion, and morality is a nice bonus.

Never talk to the police

Ever, ever, ever. Not when you’re in the right. Not when you’re sure that being cooperative and reasonable will clear things up. Don’t let your kid talk to them. Just don’t do it. And yes, that story is obviously police overreacting. But that’s the point. Unless your lawyer is present, pretend you’re a prisoner of war. Except you’re a POW that doesn’t even have to give name, rank, and serial number.

Defunding Kentucky

“Theoretical conservatives, but operationally liberal.” Yeah, that sounds about right.

Crazies and religion roundup

Not that I’m saying they are the same thing (Hi, almost my entire family of true believers!). Let’s see… Scientology is still a dangerous cult. Christian Reconstructionists are scary. The Huffington Post is the worst place to go for medical news and advice. Weathermen are curiously prone to mistaking weather for climate. That oughta hold you for a little while.

Tea & Crackers

Interesting look at the Tea Party movement. The bit about the Medicare-paid scooters reminds me of my Dad railing about people taking government handouts, when every one of his kids has been on the WITS program (or its equivalent) and he uses government-run health care for himself (socialism!).

Never trust the justice system

Repeat after me: never trust that the justice system works. Never talk to a cop. Never sign anything presented to you by a cop unless your lawyer has told you to. Never, ever, think that things will work themselves out because you’re a good person and surely this is all just a big mistake.

The Gifford's Shooting

A list of links that encapsulate my feelings on the political scuffle surrounding it: Sarah Palin’s morality. A quick expansion on what blood libel is. Focus on content, not tone.

Stuxnet and James Bond

Real-life hackers, espionage, and nuclear weapons in Iran. Oh, and yeah - I’m back. Long vacation in South Dakota, shooting Bambi in the face.

Mauling live oak

It’s time for great moments in now-obscure American military history; the foundation of the US Navy, and our war against France. Go read it.

Medical Supplies

I probably shouldn’t read articles like this. They make me so mad, they probably shorten my lifespan (and spend more time in hospitals! Irony, I am your slave).

Jaw dropping ignorance

I literally watched this video jaw agape. The sense of smug satisfaction on her face is the clincher. The absolute knowledge that she is right and the guy is wrong.

Another death-row inmate exonerated

Shockingly un-shocking. But remember, according to Scalia, no innocent man has ever been executed! Another tick in the list of reasons why I’m against the death penalty.

Scumbags and lobbyists

But I repeat myself. This guy scores extra points for not even really working on behalf of the people he’s supposedly lobbying for.

A true Muslim hero

An antidote for those who think that merely being muslim somehow makes you a bad person. You know who I’m talking about.

Bob Greene, fallen man

A very sympathetic view of a guy on the wrong side of a sex scandal. Somehow manages to make you sympathetic with someone who cheated on his wife with a 18-year old.

Jon Stewart

A good summary of why the Daily Show is my go-to source for fair and balanced news.

Sex and money

Fred Clark, a.k.a. Slacktivist, showing in a three part series why he’s my favorite Christian blogger, and probably my favorite philosophy inclined blogger around. Also, I will be pointing anyone with a religious-based “reason” for anti-gay bigotry to these articles in the future. Either they’ll get it or they won’t - but if they can read that and still be clueless, nothing I say will get through. So - time saver!

The Death Penalty

Why I no longer support the death penalty, in a nutshell. Also, almost every public official, lawyer and judge connected to this case should be thrown out of office or barred for life from practicing law.

Smallpox and terrorism

Another scarily prescient article. Of course, written in 1999 there are a few things that scream “pre-9⁄11”.

Harvard's Homosexual Purge

A quick shock to the system to anyone that thinks homosexuality was “discovered” in the ‘60s. That is, the same type of person that thinks premarital sex never happened until 1969.

Pat Dollard's War on Hollywood

Even though this story was written three years ago, as far as I can tell Dollard is still a reputable (?) right-wing pundit. The movie talked about in the article has never been released.

Freeganism and Buffalo

I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the Freegan culture ever since I heard about it a couple of years ago, and this article talks about an enclave here in Buffalo, NY. Very interesting - and make sure to read all the way to the end.

The Marriage Cure

Anyone that wants to understand why there is a problem of unwed mothers on welfare, crime, and unemployment in the poor black community, please read this article. And anyone that thinks all you need to do is work hard to escape that life, needs to read this article. And anyone who has an ounce of human compassion in their body should probably not read this article, because you will be seriously depressed by the end.

Holocaust Deniers, and other nice folk

Or so this article would have you believe. Me, well, I’m suspicious. Also, this article is fairly old (2001) - I wonder in the tenor of those meetings have changed over the last decade.

Azzam the American

Speaking of home-grown terrorists, and death cults, and other creepy stuff. Anyone else think that some people, reading that article, will come away with the idea that we must ban death metal, as it’s obviously corrupting our youth?

Red Family / Blue Family

A very interesting article to start your week. Do traditional “family values” create stronger or weaker families?


A disturbing article about people that sue their creditors rather than pay their debts. As someone who has spent the last two years paying off a house I no longer even own, I had a hard time reading this.

The Lord's Resistance Army

Yet another horrifying article about horrible things going on the world. I need to start reading things that end up with unicorns and puppydogs.

Oklahoma City Bombing

A remembrance of our own, home-grown terrorists. Having not really been politically aware in the mid-90s, I don’t know if the comparisons people make between the modern day Tea Party’s fringe elements and the political climate back then are apt. But I fear that they are.

Al Jazeera English (AJE) - The Most Hated Name in News

After reading this article about Al Jazeera, I was inspired to add AJE to my RSS feeds. It’s only been a couple of days, but so far I haven’t noticed any particular anti-American bias. I’m also seeing that there is a lot more going on in the world than I had previously noticed. We’ll see how long I keep up with it, though.

Teabagger meltdown

I’m sure the point of this video is to make you think the woman is clinically insane (and she is), but I have almost as much dislike for the stupid, smarmy kid. Memo to the kid: the phrase “pursuit of happiness” 1) comes from the Declaration of Independence, which does not actually hold any legal weight and 2) is not followed by the phrase “so we’re going to protect you from existential problems”.

Illegal immigration...

from China, this time. It’s almost like a magic trick. Watch carefully, as your favorite idea for reducing illegal immigration is tried - and it just makes things worse! As long as people look at the opportunity to pay $30,000 to huddle in cramped boats for weeks on end, subsisting on rice and dried vegetables, all in order to work long hours bussing tables and sewing clothes, and say to themselves, “Sounds good to me!

England, Ireland, and Terrorism

Double-agents, torture, betrayal, death. It’s all there. Required reading for those that think Britain’s police force is made up of cheerful bobbies in funny hats swinging billy clubs on their appointed rounds.

General Petraeus: The Professor of War

A hagiographic article on the General. Interesting enough on it’s own, but I like how none of the politicians mentioned come out looking good. Required reading for anyone who’s ever thought that we just need to be tougher to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, or if you thought the whole Abu Ghraib scandal was overblown.

Kids these days!

Would you believe that the upcoming generation of kids is spoiled and bratty and feel entitled to things that they haven’t earned? I know! This has never happened before in the history of the world! I’m pretty sure that this is the first time old people feel that way about Kids These Days. Of course, the icing on the cake is that this is Fox and Friends accusing Mr. Rogers of being an evil man, who is (solely?) responsible for corrupting the youth.

Mexican immigration laws

An even-handed look at Mexican immigration law, both on the books and as it’s actually practiced. I’m sure it’s fairly obvious why I’m linking to this right now.

Health insurance reform

An interesting article on an option to actually help cut health care costs. I mean, apart from just culling the herd with death panels, obviously.

Conspiracy theorists are crazy

And I mean that in a clinical way. Which is why it is almost never any use arguing with a creationist, a truther, a birther, a global-warming denialist, moon landing hoaxer, or an anti-stratfordian. That last link is the one I want to direct your attention to. You’ve probably heard, vaguely, that there are theories that William Shakespeare didn’t write “Shakespeare’s” plays and poems. You’ve probably not read or thought much about it.

The Soiling of Old Glory

In an article on Boston and the Tea Party, there was a reference to a shocking photograph in the 70’s during the protests about busing and integration. A little bit of googling led me to this article about the picture, The Soiling of Old Glory, and the man in it. Both articles are probably worth reading, but if you have to pick one, read the second (even though it’s written in the style of Reader’s Digest True Stories!).

Due process in the U.S.

It both frightens and saddens me that there are people that think Obama is somehow “too soft” on terrorism and terrorist suspects, when, in fact, his disregard for due process and human rights is the most Bush-like thing about his already centrist policies.

Separation of Church and State

Another example of why Fred Clark is my favorite Christian blogger. We may disagree on some fundamental questions, but he is right on the important things.

Rescission is an ugly word for an ugly practice

But I wouldn’t worry about it. As one of the first commenters on this article points out, they’re happy with their coverage, so the story should have been about that. I mean, it’s not like the two ladies in the lede were happy with their coverage, right up until it was cancelled. You know, as soon as they needed it. No, I’m sure they did something wrong. They were probably bad.

I am an American Conservative

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration.