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Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Poof in Prada and Immaculate Misconceptions 

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much. It has become too difficult to refer to Pope Benedict XVI in the masculine gender. When men flurry about in satin dresses, generally we refer to them as drag queens.

Frequently we love drag queens, and find them deserving of the highest form of adulation and worship. At the risk of stereotyping, the most fabulous of drag queens – admittedly a rare breed -- are gorgeous, with razor sharp wit to match their immaculate make up and trend setting fashion. Sometimes there is sadness beneath the surface, not because they hate themselves, as some may posit, but simply over the burden of having to constantly navigate their lives and choices through the relentless ignorance, fear and derision of others. Anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of the gifts and wisdom bestowed by a true drag queen hasn’t really lived. Pope Benedict XVI, however, is just not that type of lady.

The New York Times, November 24th, reported on the disclosure of a new Vatican directive that deters most gay men from joining the priesthood including a clause that says spiritual directors and confessors in seminaries "have the duty to dissuade” candidates "who show deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from joining the priesthood. Would that not turn the confessional into a Catholic version of Operation TIPS, the ill conceived program proposed by the Bush Administration that encouraged citizens to rat on their neighbors if they thought they displayed “terrorist tendencies,” like skin color darker than Ann Coulter?

While a directive in the form of a homophobic screech that is designed to mimic the unworkable, impossible to fairly enforce, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” will hurt the Church more than anyone else, it shows where this Pope’s mind is toiling. “Out damn spot,” didn’t work well for Lady Macbeth, and the Pope’s unnatural focus on homosexuality is not going to be a cruise either.

Policies that confuse people like Michelle McCusker:

I don't understand how a religion that prides itself on forgiving and on valuing life could terminate me because I'm pregnant and choosing to have this baby.

The 26-year-old preschool teacher was fired last month from St. Rose of Lima in Queens, and is represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit filed Monday against the school and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Diocese spokesman Frank DeRosa, in a news release commented:

This is a difficult situation for every person involved, but the school had no choice but to follow the principles contained in the teachers' personnel handbook.

Message to Catholic girls who fuck before they marry – as rare as gay priests – is simple. If you want to keep your job in this forgiving religion, make sure you abort the baby before you put on any noticeable weight, and you’ll be just fine. Or else claim it was conceived immaculately.

Amidst all the brouhaha over faggots and whores tainting the pristine reputation of the Catholic Church, where does the leadership stand? Whilst impossible to ignore the opulence of the Catholic Church, even after the bankruptcies resulting from the moral bankruptcy of policies like the latest one, designed to create liars and attract perverts, the Pope is setting an atrocious example for those attempting to find spirituality outside the material.

It turns out that Papa Razi, or Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger or Popina Benedict I, rather than emulating Pope John Paul II, is fashioning herself after Diana. Gallivanting in designer sunglasses and red Prada slippers, the Petty Pope is raising plucked eyebrows by her extravagant fashion choices.

Popina Benedict I is said to have thrown a diva tantrum after Annibale Gammarelli, whose firm has been serving the Vatican since 1792, was dropped after Popina was forced to appear in a cossack that revealed her lily white ankles. Oh the horror.

According to CNN, "Alessandro Cattaneo, and the 20-year-old religious-fashion house of Raniero Mancinelli, which has provided the pope with dazzling new vestments (some with shimmering, sequinlike details)" are the new fashion darlings at the Vatican.

As Madonna becomes Kabbalist Esther, it seems the Pope wants to become Madonna. Who's the material girl now?

Ordinarily we would wish her well, but actually we wish her hell. Someone has to say it, so here it is: the Pope is a bitch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Shameless Smear and Leaking Dick 

Sounds disgusting. The chicken hawk Vice President -- under who’s leadership CIA operatives are outed, Halliburton scores billions in government contracts in "rebuilding" Iraq, and under whom the CIA was pressured to shape intelligence to conform to his twisted neo-con desire to control oil in the Middle East, the human cost be damned -- has the audacity to declare politicians complaining about the trumped up intelligence of engaging in "revisionism of the most shameless variety." Is there another kind?

As if this sneering, leering, incontinent incompetent is capable of any conduct that isn't shameless anyway, and as if we are supposed to trust revisionism of a different variety. Revisionism of a duplicitous variety perhaps? Video clips clearly illustrating contradictory and conflicting accounts suggest that the Vice president is either lying yet again, or is senile or suffering from Alzheimer’s that clouds his recollection.

Despite initial criticisms by him and President Bush -- of the vicious and shameful variety -- both are quickly changing tune and tenor when it comes to Representative John P. Murtha, the powerful Pennsylvania Democrat who called for an early withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The “dishonest and reprehensible” Cheney called Murtha "a good man, a marine, a patriot."

Given Cheney’s draft-dodging and his role in sending young servicemembers to die under false pretenses, how he thinks he can discern a good man or a good marine is typical of the arrogance resulting from isolation in undisclosed ivory towers. The President, who was chugging on gallons of Jimmy Beam and AWOL from the cushy National Guard stint organized by his Daddy, while Murtha earned a Marine veteran with two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, also attempted to smear Murtha.

Days earlier Murtha was criticized by President Bush spokesperson, Scott McClennan -- the credibility depleted Press Secretary who defended Karl Rove and Scooter Libby as having no role in the outing of Valerie Plame -- as having embraced the polices of Michael Moore, clearly intended as an insult.

By Sunday it became apparent that the Swift Boat smearing of Murtha was not about to wash over well with Americans, fed up with the lies and corruption of the administration as Iraq violence spills over into Jordan and more and more of their children are being blown to irretrievable bits -- too much to even be brought home in body bags. The retreating President managed to eloquently sputter that Murtha is a ''fine man and a good man."

When the gun-toting, bull dykish Jean Schmidt, or “Mean Jean” the wet-behind-the-ears, tight and taut Ohio Republican who grew up sniffing armpits in auto racing pits called Murtha -- a marine for a mere 37 years -- a “coward,” all hell broke loose. The loose-lipped amateur with the cultural sophistication of a yet-to-be-neutered pit bull, breached the last vestiges of decorum in the House, stooping to personal insult and treating the hallowed halls of congress as a NASCAR pit stop.

"To me, energetic debate on issues facing our country is more than just a sign of a healthy political system, it's also something I enjoy. It's one of the reasons I've stayed in this business," claimed the credibility deficient Veep in a speech delivered at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

AEI boasts such credible fellows as the scandal plagued, disgraced Richard “the ‘cakewalk’ to Baghdad” Perle, who was forced to resign as head of the Defense Policy Board and Lynne Cheney, the author of Sisters, the smutty girl-on-girl sex, dime store novelette, as well as a children’s book on, incredibly, patriotism. (Given her family dynamics, her knowledge of lesbianism is likely far more credible than her knowledge of patriotism.)

Actually what Dick Cheney meant to say was this:

"To me, openly debating issues on energy policies facing our country is more than just a sign of an unhealthy politicized environmental system, it's also something I enjoin. It's one of the reasons I've strayed in this business."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Black Sites and Digital Rights 

The fabulous thing about a culture that rewards those who shirk responsibility and accountability is that it engenders such arrogance that the self-absorbed perpetrators do a better job of digging their own graves than anyone else could ever wish to. Cases in point. Let’s begin with Sony BMG, who arrogantly decided to secretly install a rootkit -- a hacking tool widely considered to be spyware -- in the computers of their consumers (without their permission) as a component of XPC, the digital rights management technology they used, developed by a small but arrogant upstart start-up in the UK, First 4 Internet.

All it took was one smart and enterprising expert by the name of Mark Russinovich to reveal the sneak attack by Sony – and make no mistake; this was nothing short of an outright attack on its own customer base. And under the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which can carry fines and prison terms for anyone who "knowingly causes the transmission of a program ... and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage, without authorization, to a protected computer," Sony’s attack is not simply malicious, it’s criminal.

Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG's Global Digital Business President, dismissively downplayed the violation before an avalanche of negative publicity forced Sony to not simply apologize, but to withdraw the CD’s containing the XPC and offer compensation. (If not to ward of criminal and class action civil lawsuits). "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" he said in a November 4, 2005 interview on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Where oh where is Courtney Love when one needs her?

While Sony BMG deserves every piece of shit flung their way, it should be remembered that their CEO since August 2004, Andy Lack, a virgin in the music industry, but a well-used whore elsewhere, previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer for NBC, overseeing among other things, entertainment, news and MSNBC. This is the asshole who claims to have redefined “news” by exploiting JonBenet Ramsey more in her death than she was in her short little life.

Sony is already trying to distance itself from First 4 Internet from whom it licensed the XCP malware. The regret -- being caught fucking consumers up the digital ass without protection or consent -- is best expressed by the pomposity of First 4 Internet's CEO, Mathew Gilliat-Smith, who told CNET: “I think this is slightly old news… Obviously there are a lot of people who don't like the technology, and we will take note if we need to.” Take note, fuckface – you do need to.

As if criminal activity that might have occurred is lessened by the passage of time.

As a matter of fact, aside from making your hard drives vulnerable to gang rapes, the other technology First 4 Internet develops is called ICA (Image Composition Analysis) which they market as being the closest thing to artificial intelligence in terms of filtering “pornographic” and “inappropriate” content, by supposedly using text, image and context filters. But at the end of the day, this too, will fall short of the hype or deliver the wrong result and the wrong message. Yep, those exercising inappropriate conduct have designed technology to discern inappropriate content.

They believe, for instance, that they can differentiate between Dirty Daisy and Ann Coulter, even if Daisy is sitting demurely with her legs crossed in a men’s locker room, or Ann is sitting, typically, in a mini skirt with her legs open on the set of Hannity and Colmes. And yes, they know the difference between Michelangelo’s David and Chi Chi LaRue’s David because Michelangelo’s David is so inadequately endowed it would probably be tagged as kiddie porn.

I haven’t studied their technology with the precison of a Mark Russinovich, but let’s just say I’m skeptical. If First 4 Internet or Mathew Gilliat-Smith doesn’t like what I have to say, I’ll take note if I need to.

When Washington Post’s Dana Priest recently reported on the existence of a "covert prison system" or “black sites” set up by the CIA four years ago, her use of confidential sources sparked outrage – particularly as Washington is still reeling from the Valerie Plame CIA outing.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) fired off a strongly worded request that a bicameral investigation into the disclosure be convened immediately. Until fellow Republican, Trent Lott, suggested Republicans were most likely the source of the leak (again!). Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) followed, suggesting waiting until the Justice Department completes its own inquiry.

The “black sites” are nothing short of Stalin style gulags where the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe. Instead of worrying about the reports of illegal detention, cruel and inhumane torture and other horrors that further damage America’s frayed credibility, Frist revealed where his real concerns lie: “I am not concerned about what goes on and I'm not going to comment about the nature of that… My concern is with leaks of information that jeopardize your safety and security – period. That is a legitimate concern."

President Bush insists America does not torture. As he threatens his first ever veto if congress refuses to exempt the CIA from "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees. And as Dick Cheney trolls the back halls of congress, browbeating and ripping the toenails off any senators that opt for humane treatment of prisoners by the CIA. The senate voted 90 – 0 to include the CIA in America’s policy regarding the detention and interrogation of prisoners, both at home and abroad.

We’re not sure if that includes the “black sites” but no matter. When Abu Ghraib II opens wide at the box office, we’ll simply trot out Karen Hughes to pretty up America’s image, along with Jerry Bruckheimer. Maybe the White House can hire Ann Coulter instead.

Or perhaps we can just take a page from the Sony playbook/station...most people don't know what a covert CIA gulag is, so why should they care about it?

Rootkits and Bootkicks 

Despite America’s attempts to downplay the revelation by the Washington Post that the CIA has been hiding and interrogating al Qaeda captives at a secret facility in Eastern Europe -- part of a covert global prison system that includes sites in eight countries, President Bush insists America does not torture. As he threatens his first ever veto if congress refuses to exempt the CIA from "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees.

The senate voted 90 – 0 to include the CIA in America’s policy regarding the detention and interrogation of prisoners, both at home and abroad. The secret installations, or “black sites” have not been officially acknowledged by the CIA, but Republicans are already threatening an investigation to find out who leaked the information.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he is more concerned about the leak of information regarding secret CIA detention centers than activity in the prisons themselves. Fellow Republican Trent Lott intimated that it may be his own GOP colleagues could be to blame for the possible leak.

Secret installations, false and misleading assurances, lack of appreciation of the consequences? Perhaps the White House and Sony BMG should rethink their priorities and their PR.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bill O'Reilly - Coition Deprivation Threatens Coit 

A furor has arisen in San Francisco following comments on his radio show by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, the married man who writes children’s books on ethics when he’s not engaging phone sex with his employees. While most intelligent people don’ take this rapidly aging, perhaps prematurely senile hypocrite seriously, his comments – that Al Qaeda should go ahead and blow up San Francisco’s Coit Tower, suggests that like Pat Robertson, his speech crosses the line to inciting violence.

If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, 'look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

In 2001 terrorists sent anthrax to the New York Post (also a News Corporation company), but unfortunately Bill O’Reilly didn’t open the letter. Perhaps if he had, he wouldn’t be so quick to make thoughtless, callous comments that endanger Americans, incite violence and disrespect first responders. Coit tower is a tribute to none other than firefighters. (Lest anyone forget, those are the people that raced into the World Trade Center on September 11th, while TV hosts gushed from the safety of their studios).

John Hanley, San Francisco’s firefighters union president, who identified himself as both a third-generation San Franciscan and military veteran to San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli commented:

Who is this guy, O'Reilly?...I've got guys fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm a veteran myself. What's he talking about?

O’Reilly was commenting on the passage on Measure H, the second amendment bashing measure banning handguns authored by the misguided, attention-seeking Supervisor, Chris Daly, as well as a resolution opposing military recruitment in public schools. And like his lack of understanding about second amendment issues, Daly suggested O’Reilly be fired. One day, Mr. Daly will realize that in the real world we approach a problem by addressing it head-on, not by legislating it away that threatens the constitution.

Meanwhile note to O’Reilly, paraphrasing that First Amendment loving former North Carolina Senator, Jesse Helms, who threatened President Clinton in 1994 – if you come to San Francisco, you’d better bring bodyguards.

Handguns may be banned by then, but this city that allows gays to marry and doesn’t want the military in their schools may just vote to allow for the "taking out" of cable TV show hosts that threaten our citizens and our landmarks. (Thank you, Pat Robertson, for such nuanced phraseology.) But seriously, O’Reilly, don’t even come here. We’d sooner welcome Robert Mugabe.

Maybe we should be more forgiving of this retarded jackass. This is a guy who pretends to have been in the military. (Maybe having phone sex with a servicemeber's wife, for him, qualifies) This is a guy who, while his subservient wife, Maureen McPhilmy, stays home with her betrayal, her vibrators and her cucumbers, is trying to seduce employees in sexually explicit phone sex.

His first mistake – confusing a loofah with a falafel. His second mistake – assuming a saggy-titted, gravity succumbing, osteoporosis-ridden, ego damaged asshole with a chip on his shoulder, asking a woman to stroke her pussy with a loofah is a turn on.

No wonder the guy is so fucking frustrated, and no wonder this fossil probably hasn’t got laid since the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

Please, whatever you do Mr. O’Reilly, don’t apologize to San Francisco or to firefighters or patriotic Americans or to victims and families of terrorist attacks. We don't want it or care for it. But please, feel free to kill yourself. How about suicide-bombing yourself in Tora Bora, Afghanistan? Your first real combat, putting your money where your big, fat mouth is and actually doing something useful. We'll pay for the ticket.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bernie McGuirk: Foul Mouth or Meth Mouth? 

Poor Bernard McGuirk. The executve producer of Imus in the Morning - the same twat who was supposedly hired to do "nigger" jokes, and who is emasculated by Don Imus on a daily basis is looking a little worse for wear. Maybe the constant homophobic comments are designed to cover up what looks like a suspicious weight loss, but this increasingly skinny runt is looking a little meth mouthed of late. (Meth mouth is an informal name for the tooth decay and poor oral health seen in many cases of methamphetamine abuse.)

We're not saying this homo is a meth addict -- former sports guy Sid Rosenberg held that honor -- but if he's not, maybe the dude should consider a dentist. This is why simulcasting WFAN on MSNBC is not such a good idea. Don Imus, Chris Carlin, Charles McCord and trailer-trash-toothed Bernie McGuirk have the looks better suited to radio. On TV, with the racism and homophobia, it's all just a little too ugly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No Guns and Roses in California 

While California punished Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by defeating all of his propositions last night, San Francisco punished itself by voting to ban handguns.

Aside from the flagrant violation of the Second Amendment, the proposal, Measure H, which bans possession, sale and manufacture of handguns and ammunition within city limits, is so tough that it will leave residents of San Francisco weak and defenseless against those who happen to live across the bridge or anywhere else.

The measure makes it illegal for city residents to possess handguns, and those that already do, to turn them in to police by April 1, 2006.

Hate groups and criminals that live in San Francisco are sure to stand in line to hand in their guns. There’s more chance of DHL not losing a package and actually delivering it to the right place on time.

The measure was authored by San Francisco City and County Supervisor Chris Daly, who knows as much about crime prevention and law enforcement as Michael Brown does about emergency preparedness. This dizzy, lefty, wingnutty, anti-everything liberalism can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Or worse, a bullet to a defenseless head.

Perhaps Chris Daly, (and Schwarzenegger), should be required to personally cover the court costs of this symbolic measure that will not withstand a legal challenge.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Krauthammer and Nails 

Amazing that America was duped into believing that the Harriet Miers nomination was ever intended as a serious proposal.

It's little wonder she didn't bother answering anything seriously. The Administration played the game so well, the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. has been met with far less opposition than had he been nominated from the outset.

Of course I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. The ultra-conservative columnist, Charles Krauthammer, in a column, Saving Face, on October 21, 2005 suggested exactly such an exit strategy. My only question, is whether such a strategy wasn't Plan A from Day One, but kept under wraps to allow conservatives to throw the predictable hissy fits they did. In fact if I wasn’t such a trusting individual, I would viciously suspect that Charles Krauthammer, like Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher, was actually paid by the White House to opine in such an editorial so that no one would suspect the conservative drama wasn’t planned from the very beginning.

For a nominee who, unlike John Roberts, has practically no previous record on constitutional issues, such documentation is essential for the Senate to judge her thinking and legal acumen. But there is no way that any president would release this kind of information -- ``policy documents'' and ``legal analysis'' -- from such a close confidante. It would forever undermine the ability of any president to get unguarded advice.

Which creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives: The Senate cannot confirm her unless it has this information. And the White House cannot allow release of this information lest it jeopardize executive privilege.

Hence the perfectly honorable way to solve the conundrum: Miers withdraws out of respect for both the Senate and the executive's prerogatives, the Senate expresses appreciation for this gracious acknowledgment of its needs and responsibilities, and the White House accepts her decision with the deepest regret and with gratitude for Miers' putting preservation of executive prerogative above personal ambition.

In the meantime, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has prepared a document that reflects the nominee’s First Amendment record, and despite the many troubling aspects of this nominee, his First Amendment decisions are not as horrific as expected.

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